Thursday, April 14, 2011

Dinner Tonight

Tonight I went to the gym and lifted weights. I wanted something with protein and Omega-3s. So, I decide on Wild Sockey Salmon. Of course, it is previously frozen but it is not fresh salmon season yet. I use Tom Douglas Rub with Love for Salmon to cook it. The recipe is here on how to make salmon this way. I also made kale salad. It is my new favorite! I did crave some starch so I cooked fettuccine and tossed it with butter and white truffle infused olive oil. I will enjoy pasta tomorrow for lunch.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Kale, Avocado and Pine Nuts Salad

Finally, I learned the way I LOVE to eat Kale. Two nights in a row I have been making this salad. I know, I know kale is a super food. Still...  it is not that easy to convince me to eat it.

I have been reading more and more recipes about kale salads and have noticed that restaurants have added kale salads on their menu as well. After consulting few recipes and thinking about the ingredients I like to eat I made this kale salad. Here is how to make it.

1 bunch of kale, stemmed and finely chopped
1 avocado, seeded, quartered and chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1/8 cup of toasted pine nuts
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons of Olive Oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Cayenne pepper (optional)


In a large salad bowl combine together kale, tomato, lemon juice and olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste.

Using your hands massage vigorously the salad mixture until kale looks wilted. (Wash your hands thoroughly before doing this).

Kale will look like this.

I bought raw pine nuts and toasted them in a pan on medium low heat. The last step is to add avocado, pine nuts and cayenne pepper and toss. Salad is ready to serve :) Enjoy!

I also tried massaging kale with 1/2 of avocado and adding the rest 1/2 of avocado with pine nuts. The salad comes out very creamy this way. Also, other recipes suggest adding cucumber and omitting avocado and using hemp seeds instead of pine nuts.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Strawberry Tart

Today I made strawberry tart following the recipe from the Web site Joy of Baking. This was my first time making a fruit tart so I cheated a bit. Instead of making the dough myself I bought frozen pie crust in a store and baked it in a tart pan. I also decided to skip on super rich pastry cream and used fromage blanc that I mixed with honey from my Dad's bees. I did follow all the rest of the instructions. The tart came out delicious. Next step is to make my own dough. As for filling I like honey cheese and will use it again. I might try other berries.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Braised Catfish in Coconut Sauce – Vietnamese Style

My favorite dish at Monsoon Restaurants in Seattle is Catfish Claypot. I always order it when I go there.

I finally decided to try and make it myself couple weeks ago and guess what?! It turned out brilliant, like English would say, and comparable to Monsoon’s dish. Instead of Claypot I used my Le Creuset dutch oven.

I have to give credit to the blog by Ravenous Couple. Below I describe how I made this dish following their recipe.


2 fillets of catfish
4 tablespoons of fish sauce
3 tablespoons of brown sugar
2 tablespoons of finely chopped shallots
2 tablespoons of minced garlic
1 tablespoon of black pepper
Green onion, chopped for garnish
1 white onion, sliced
½ can of coconut milk
4 tablespoons of white sugar
½ cup of water
Oil for cooking (peanut, grapeseed or canola)
1 thai green chili, chopped


Wash catfish fillets with cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Cut each fillet into 3-4 slices and put in a bowl.

        In a separate bowl combine together garlic, shallots, brown sugar, pepper and fish sauce. Rub catfish slices with this sauce mixture and let marinate for an hour.

        While fish is marinating make caramel sauce. Ravenous couple suggested using caramel sauce from the store. I was not able to find it in the store so I followed their recipe for making it myself. Combine white sugar and water in a small pot and bring it to boil. Next, reduce heat to medium low and let it boil for about 8 minutes. The mixture will have light brown color and start to become syrupy. At this point I pour caramel sauce into a separate bowl and leave it until I am ready to use it.
        Now it is time to make the dish. Fry catfish pieces in a dutch oven (I use Le Creuset) on medium high on both sides for about 2 minutes a side. 

        Add white onions, chili. Pour coconut milk and caramel sauce on top of catfish (just enough to cover fish) and bring to boil. 

        Once boiling reduce heat to medium low, put the lid on and let simmer for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes take the lid off, taste the sauce and adjust it to your liking with fish sauce, coconut milk, pepper or sugar.  I wanted sauce to boil down and become dark brown so I increased the heat to medium and cooked fish uncovered for another 10 minutes.

        Once fish has been cooked, add chopped green onions. Catfish is ready to serve. I served it with white rice. Bon Appetite!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Mousse Au Chocolat

I love love chocolate mousse! One of my college memories is making chocolate mousse with my french friend. I remember her using eggs and chocolate and making this amazing mousse. Sadly, I lost touch with her but the memory of the mousse never faded. So, one day I decided to make chocolate mousse and was looking for it on the internet. I was looking for something very simple, the recipe that used only eggs and chocolate and I found one. The recipe for Mousse Au Chocolat is here. I want to share how I made it with pictures.

8 ounces of bittersweet chocolate (I used Ghirardelli)
6 eggs, at room temperature

1. I start by separating egg yolks and whites into two separate bowls.

2. I prefer to whisk egg yolks right away and put the bowl aside.

3. Next step is to break chocolate and put it in a small pan and turn the stove on low and let chocolate melt very slowly. Be careful not to burn it. But keeping the pan on low worked for me. One thing I have learned about making desserts is to take time. Let chocolate melt slowly. It will melt!

4. While chocolate is melting I use hand mixer to whip the egg whites until I can make fancy stiff peaks.

5. I check on chocolate and is has melted. I then pour it into a separate large bowl and let it cool for 2 minutes. I then add egg yolks into chocolate and whisk the mixture with a whisk very fast.

6. The next step is to add egg whites. Following the recipe I first added one third of egg whites into chocolate mixture and mixed it thoroughly. I then continued folding couple scoops of egg whites into the mixture until all egg whites were gone.  This is how the mousse looked after I added egg whites. It was hard to take pictures while I was folding in the egg whites :) So this is a picture of the final mousse mixture. Next, I covered the mousse bowl with a plastic wrap and put it into a fridge to set. I served the mousse with berries and a mint leaf. It was delicious!