26 April 2005

A healthy supper (for once!)

Well, after a rather self-indulgent weekend (so what else is new?), I thought a healthy meal would be in order. After all, we all told to eat fish, especially oily fish like this mackerel to get our quota of EFAs (essential fatty acids).

Maybe so, but how about just because it's delish and so easy? I just asked my fishmonger to behead, gut and take out the central bone. I sprinkled salt and Colman's mustard powder (quite a lot if you like a kick) on each fish, flesh side up in a pan and grilled them for only about 6 minutes total. Then I served them with a beetroot and corn salad in vinaigrette, chives, chervil and some new potatoes crushed with rocket and crème fraîche. No sauce necessary as the oiliness of the fish, plus a squeeze of lemon are all you need. Sorry about the fuzzy photo, was in a rush to eat!

A healthy supper (for once!) Posted by Hello

25 April 2005

Frugal Gourmet

I just can't bring myself to throw anything away, even a bit of Spam left over from my jigae, so I rustled around to see what I could come up with. And this is it folks. I had some lovely little Asian dinner rolls, so I spread them with my secret sauce (okay okay, Kewpie Mayonnaise and Sriracha), then pan-fried Spam and topped that with kimchi, sesame seeds, spring onions and more sauce. Consume immediately is the order of the day. You're lucky to even get a photo, hee hee!

Kimchi Spam burger, oh yeah! Posted by Hello

La Vie en Orange...

This is my first contribution to IMBB, hosted this month by Foodgoat. In fact I only just discovered there was such a thing, blogging newbie that I am. Fortunately, my food ESP must have been on this weekend as I made some righteous orange food! Please see the the Kimchi Mania post below... I promise to make a proper, conscious contribution next time! Oh yeah, the recipes: (Note - this is 'throw it in a pot until you see something you like' cuisine so these are only guidelines)

Kimchee Pajon
  • Pajon mix (from Asian market)
  • Water
  • Kimchi
  • Vegetables cut into julienne (I used red peppers and courgettes 'cause that's what was in my fridge!)
  • Spring onions
Mix all the ingrdients together well. Heat a few tablespoons of oils in a frying pan. If you are on a diet, don't make this! Seriously though, you need enough oil to get a nice crisy edge on the pajon or it's not as much fun. When the oil is quite hot, pour in a ladle full of mix and tilt the pan around to make a pancake. Repeat until mix is used up, then chow down!

Dipping Sauce
  • Soy sauce
  • Sugar
  • Rice vinegar
  • Water
  • Toasted sesame seeds
Mix all ingredients together to taste and serve with pajon, yum...

Kimchi jigae
  • 1/2 can of Spam, cut into thick matchsticks
  • 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • A handful of mushrooms, sliced
  • Green veg as desired (I like a couple of handfuls of spinach, but the okra was good too.)
  • A good cupful of Kimchi that's gone a bit sour plus its juice
  • 2 cups of stock if you have it, water + stock cube if you don't
  • 1/2 block of tofu, cubed
  • 100-200g glass noodles or duk (rice cakes)
  • 1 couple of spring onions, shredded
Stir fry the Spam and garlic until brown (No oil needed). Add the mushrooms and greens, then the kimchi and fry a couple minutes more. Then comes the kimchi juice, stock and tofu. Let it bubble for about 5-10 minutes, taste for seasoning then add the glass noodles and cook until these are ready. Dish up, top with spring onions and tuck in! Be prepared to sweat, it's good for ya!

21 April 2005

Kimchi Mania

Oh dear kimchi, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways... kimchi bokum bap, kimchi jigae, kimchi pajon, kimchi manduk, kimchi ramen, kimchi hotdogs (a family creation), kimchi pizza (yet another home recipe), etc etc etc. Forget all those supplements out there, kimchi is a known superfood with healthy bacteria to combat those nasty bugs out there (even reputed to have been why Koreans escaped SARS with practially no damage!)

Well, I've got a large jar of kimchi to use up (such a hard life) so I tried to make a dent in it yesterday. For lunch I made kimchi pajon which you can see below:

Kimchi pajon and dipping sauce Posted by Hello

Kimchi pajon, up close and personal! Isn't it beautifully orange?

Then for dinner, as I was inspired by The Scent of Green Bananas Spam posting, I cooked up some kimchi jigae, hot! A Korean ajima or "auntie" showed me how to make it with Spam, so I know it's pretty authentic. I thought it needed some green and I didn't have any spinach so I added some frozen okra for an experiment. Not bad, but I prefer spinach. I also added some wide glass noodles as I didn't make any rice. For those of you who are not familiar with this most lovely, hearty dish, it is usually a a hot pot of kimchi, meat, tofu and vegetables. Okay, if you're really not into Spam, you can also make this with other meats, bacon would be quite good, but how ever you do it, try it, you'll like it!

Kimchi jigae, scrummy! Posted by Hello

20 April 2005

There goes the healthy eating...

Had one of those days where comfort eating is the order of the day, you know what I mean...

My digital camera was not charged up so you won't get to visually share in my gluttony, but here goes:

Lunch was a pork trotter braised in soy, wine, sugar, ginger and spring onion until it was almost falling off the bone (gosh I love bone-sucking!). So bad for me yet soooo good.

From Chinese I went to All American mac 'n' cheese (yes the boxed Kraft kind, sometimes you just want that industrial flavour) for dinner.

Then over to France for a snack, Pain Poilane with St Marcelin cheese and some duck rillettes. Yummers!

Highly caloric day, but then I did spend a good time of it vacuuming : - )

Hasta luego!

19 April 2005

About time

Well, I've spent so much time reading and admiring other people's food blogs I thought it was about high time I started one myself. I even signed up on Blogger ages ago only to have my membership languish. A couple of things called sheer laziness and a natural tendency towards procrastination has prevented me thus far...

Anyway, this is a good a time as any as I have just been working at a one star Michelin restaurant in Paris. It's called Les Ormes at 22 rue Surcouf in the 7th arrondissement and it was fantastic!!! Not only is the food delectable, the chef and his team are superb. It was an experience of a lifetime. I've posted some pictures for your viewing pleasure!

It was so reassuring and refreshing to see someone who cooks such lovely food, uses ingredients wisely and seasonally yet is generous, almost too much so. Everything is made from scratch; the puff pastry, the ice creams/sorbets, the stocks, everything. I learned heaps, in fact I didn't want to leave. Anyway, I will be working on some of the things I learned and will post as I go.

Ciao for now, time to eat!

Oeuf de caille sur un lit de duxelles
 Posted by Hello

Crème de laitue, poêlée de cuisses de grenouilles et broccio frais
Posted by Hello

Langoustines rôties aux pistils de safran, barigoule de legumes, vinaigrette de crustacés
 Posted by Hello

Raviole de langoustines avec sa bisque Posted by Hello

Légumes des deux saisons en gelée truffée, ris d'agneau, sot-l'y-laisse rôtis et oeufs de caille pochés
Posted by Hello

Rognons de veau sautés avec pommes de terres braisés et échalotes confites
 Posted by Hello

Saint Pierre aux aromates, jeunes carottes et asperges braisées avec sauce orange
 Posted by Hello

Friandises - tuiles à l'orange, cannelés, macarons au chocolat
Posted by Hello

Gâteau moelleux au chocolat, crème glacée à la vanille
 Posted by Hello

Délice de fraises et dacquoise saveur citron
 Posted by Hello

Chocolates made by chef for Easter, delectable! Posted by Hello

Yours truly at a staff supper, yum! Posted by Hello

Les Ormes dining room with Claude, the maître d'hôtel
 Posted by Hello