Youtube: Japanese food channel Cooking With Dog

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Here’s more information for Japanese Food Lovers: Cooking with Dog is a YouTube cooking show featured a canine host name Francis and a mysterious Japanese Lady Chef whose real name is not disclosed.  It is very popular, currently there are more than 570,000 channel subscribers.

I came across this accidentally while searching for Japanese cooking instructional videos on Youtube; my dear pal James mentioned on his Facebook page (thanks for sharing my blog!) this is also one of his favourite Youtube foodie channel.

http://www.youtube.com/user/cookingwithdog

On a personal note:

Thank you Ms. Deborah Moore (http://deborahmoore.com/) for having me on your radio show this morning on AM1470 (http://www.am1470.com/splash.php)! Look forward to next time!

If you are a Vancouverite or a visiting tourist interested in the history of Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhoods, check out and sign up for James Johnstone’s walking tours.

http://historywalksinvancouver.blogspot.ca/ (the tour currently ranked #13 of 121 activities to do in Vancouver on Trip-advisor).

It’s getting late, good night!

Japanese Recipe Website: CookPad Available in English


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My friend Teruko just sent me the information so I thought I would share with all Japanese food lovers immediately!  CookPad, the largest recipe sharing community in Japan, has just released an English version online.  There are currently 3095 recipes available, all translated by community home cooks and translators, who are highly motivated to spread Japanese home cooking to the world.

I’ve just browsed quickly through the site, it looks simple and easy to use.  Look forward to trying the recipes soon!

Good things are meant to be shared.  Happy Cooking!

https://en.cookpad.com/

RECIPE: Spicy and Sour Thai Soup with Sea Bass

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This is a simple recipe (Tom Klong Plaa Kra Phong, a nice dish to try other than Tom Yum Goong) from Blue Elephant Cooking School in Bangkok, Thailand; I took a half day class (4 dishes plus visit to local street market) during my short visit in December 2012. Classes are available year-round at two locations, Bangkok and Phuket:  http://www.blueelephant.com/cooking-school/.  

The portion is for 1 person, please adjust accordingly. Conversion: 1 gram = 0.035274 ounces

Ingredients:

80 grams Sea Bass (Fillet and cut into bite size pieces), 200 Grams Chicken Stock

(I’ve used Pacific Cod and works just as well; fish stock can be used in place of chicken stock)

Vegetables and Herbs:

10 grams shallot (crushed), 4 thin slices galangal, 1 coriander root (crushed), 5 birds eye chili (crushed), 3 stems Thai saw coriander (cut 1 cm in length (can substitute with regular coriander), 1 stem lemongrass (bruised, crushed into pieces), 1 kaffir lime leave (torn, no stem), 2 dried chilies

Seasoning:

1 1/2 Tablespoon Fish Sauce, 1 1/2 Tablespoon Tamarind juice, 1/4 teaspoon sugar and 1/2 teaspoon lime juice
(this is the basic ratio, you can always adjust according to taste)

Preparation:

– Prepare the vegetables and herbs (sliced, diced, grind – always have everything ready!)

– Using medium heat, dry roast lemon grass, galangal, shallot and dried chillies until their aromas develop (don’t burn them)

– Add stock, bring to boil, add coriander root and kaffir lime

– Add fish, cook well and do not stir (our instructor emphasized this as stirring will break the fish into small pieces); when bubbling, add seasoning and gently mix well, taste and adjust if necessary.

– Once boiled, remove from heat and add crushed birds eye chillies, coriander and lime juice

– Remove coriander root prior to serving, enjoy!

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Spicy and Sour Soup with Sea Bass, Thai Green Curry (in background) – we enjoyed the dishes at the dining room after class completed. Will go again for sure when I visit Bangkok next time.

Here’s the picture of the dish I made at the school:

**Galangal is not the same as ginger and is commonly used in Thai cooking. The cooking process for this root is the same as cooking ginger, it has a peppery flavour and commonly used in soups, curries and stir fried dishes.  I found the vacuumed packed galangal here in Vancouver at Gourmet Warehouse (imported from Blue Elephant).  Since Thai food is so popular everywhere, this ingredient may be available at your local Asian grocery stores.

Recipe: Lemon Tart Filling and Meringue

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This is the lemon curd filling and French meringue recipe, courtesy of Chef Christophe (chef instructor at http://www.nwcav.com/).  It is absolutely delicious and one of the best I’ve ever tasted, the ratio of tartness to sweetness is just perfect.

LEMON TART (Yields 4 portions)

Due to the extensive length of explanation for the Sweet Paste (for the tart dough), I will only post the recipe which was used in class that evening: instructions can be found easily on internet.

Recipe yields 620g – enough for 2 10″ pies

100 g Sugar, 200 g Butter, 1 whole Egg Yolk, 300 g Cake Flour, 1 g Vanilla Essence, 1 Pinch Lemon Zest

Lemon Curd Filling: 

Juice of 4 lemons, Juice of 1 orange, 2 whole egg, 4 egg yolks, 6 Tablespoons Sugar, 4 teaspoons cornstarch, 6 Tablespoon cold butter, cubed, Zest of 2 lemon (don’t get to the pith), Zest of 1 orange (no pith please)

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Method:

– In saucepan whisk together sugar, cornstarch and orange juice, ensuring you have no lumps

– Add lemon juice, zests, stir and stir in eggs (must be room temperature)

– Whisk on medium heat until thickened, remove from heat.

– Stir in butter (set the custard and this gives it flavour)

– Cool, and fill in blind baked tarts (prepared separately)

– Chill overnight.  To serve, top with meringue and torch (be careful!!)

Remember, Patience is Virtue! and no Scorching!

Meringue (French meringue)

2 Egg whites (75g), 1/2 cup white sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Method:

-Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peak

– Slowly (like snowfall), add the sugar while whisking.  Use within 1 hour.

– Use Piping bag to decorate the tart with meringue; creme brulee torch use to “burn” the meringue, remember to follow the instructions and exercise extra caution!

Summer Tarts Baking Class @ Northwest Culinary Academy Vancouver (NWCAV)

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Summer Tarts July 2013: Lemon Meringue Tart, Creme D’Amande Paste, Rhubarb Creme Brûlée, Cherry Clafouti Tart. Can you guess which is my favourite?

Since childhood I have always been more interested in savoury foods than desserts.  Unlike my sister, who just cannot live without desserts (especially macarons), I really don’t have a sweet tooth..Over the years I can count the number of times I have made dessert for any occasion with both hands!  I DO enjoy certain desserts, anything with dark chocolate is my “vice”. I only need a very “small bite” to feel satiated (I secretly wish all desserts come in “child size”);  it is my own “dim sum” – just a “little to touch my heart”.

Andy loves lemon tarts and apple pies and I’ve only baked a few on special occasions.  When Northwest Culinary offered (http://www.nwcav.com/this one night 3 hour short course;  it was a perfect opportunity for me to learn something new  and add a couple of desserts to my repertoire.  Venturing into unfamiliar territory, I went with my friend Jo Jo, who is a very talented and accomplished baker  (https://www.facebook.com/MyJollySweets). Earlier this year in April, we attended a one day-Artisanal Bread Baking Class at Pacific Culinary Institute (http://www.picachef.com/) and had tons of fun together!

Unlike the other NWCAV classes, my classmates were 99% females and there was only one male student in this class!  We worked in groups of four (I had great teammates, all experienced bakers!), same as before, recipe handouts were given and  the class was broken down into segments  switching between Chef’s lecture/demonstration and hands on cooking/preparation at our workstations.

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Ingredients prepared ahead of time of us; the baking stations are located at the back of this one-floor culinary school.
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Tart shells ready fresh baked from the oven! Each student has their own “name tag” to avoid confusion.

Due to time constraints, the dough (Sweet Paste is used for baked base for tarts and widely used in European style Pastries) was prepared for us ahead of time.  Chef Christophe showed us how to roll the dough (we practiced!!) and provided us with many useful baking tips and technical information (blind bake, ratios, decorating); we prepared the tart shells and made fillings for Four different types of tarts: Rhubarb Creme Brûlée, Creme D’Amande (almond) Paste (decorated with in-season berries), Lemon Tart with french styled meringue, and Cherry Clafouti Tarte.  At the end of the evening, we brought the goodies home; Andy “inhaled” the lemon meringue tart quickly, and I brought the rest to work and shared with my colleagues the next day.

We had a Surprise (yes another one, remember power outage during halibut cooking class? (see earlier posting)) that evening…Chef Nina Hemmes was unable to teach due to last minute emergency; we were all truly grateful that Chef Christophe stepped in and the school did not cancel the class. I have taken his classes before, French Bistro Classic (2012), Stocks and Sauces (2012) and Poultry Butchery (2011), all of which I’ve enjoyed tremendously.

The school has graciously granted permission to post the lemon meringue tart recipe on my blog. Thank you NWCAV and Chef Christophe for another fun filled and informative evening!  Jo Jo, can’t wait to go to another class with you sometime!

Am I still clueless about baking?  Of course, after all this is only one class but I’m not afraid to try different baking recipes to hone my skills!  Just like all enthusiastic home cooks, I constantly look for new ideas and I know eventually all acquired skills and techniques come handy sometime when tackling any new recipes.   With the bountiful fruit harvests in early Fall (apples, plums),  I am sure I will be able to test and “adapt” the new recipes perhaps at the next family dinner.  I was just cleaning my pantry the other day, taking inventory and dug out all my baking supplies…My pink KitchenAid Mixer has been a “fixture” on the shelf for the past three years…perhaps it’s time….(OO)