mohinga – burmese fish noodle soup

Mohinga - Burmese Fish Noodle Soup

in an effort to end 2016 with some
kind of happiness,
with some mad hope,
dw & i split the 4 day break
with friends,
then snuggled up,
(hygge, H O L L A!)
hiding from people,
watching sherlock.
we are our best selves
after a period of anti-social behavior.
it’s been a whirl of short weeks-long weekends,
now faced with not another holiday until spring,
i’m doing what i can to break the monotony of winter.

Mohinga - Burmese Fish Noodle Soup

the first step is a minor adjustment
to my social calendar.
i signed up to volunteer
at our local IRC office,
i was matched with a burmese family.
for a few hours a week
i will tutor them in english,
along with whatever else they’re up for.
this will likely challenge me,
i’m not naturally inclined toward teaching,
but this is necessary,
as i fight,
COME AT ME KC,
in a small way,
the absolute cluster of the next 4 years.

but first, let’s eat.
happy 2017.

Mohinga - Burmese Fish Noodle Soup

mohinga – burmese fish noodle soup
adapted from luke nguyen

makes an ass ton – we were eating this for dinner for about 5 days, and there was still more, but i had to put an end to the leftover thing

note: i did not add the rice powder, because i didn’t feel like grinding rice. my spice grinder is for coffee grinding anyway.

noodle bowls:
rice vermicelli noodles
hard-boiled eggs, halved
chopped cilantro, to garnish
lime wedges, to serve

broth:
1 head of fish, if you had to choose, catfish is fine
1 lemongrass stem, bruised
2 garlic cloves, bashed
1 tsp ground turmeric
3 TBL cooked chickpeas, mashed (i used jarred jovial)
1 red onion, quartered
1/2 red onion, chopped
fish sauce, to taste
1.5 lbs catfish fillet, cleaned and de-boned

spice paste:
3 lemongrass stems, finely sliced, white part only
2-4 red chilis, to taste
1/2 red onion, rough chopped
4 garlic cloves , diced
1″ piece of fresh ginger, peeled & sliced
1/2 cup grape seed oil
2 tsp shrimp paste
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp sweet paprika

make the broth: place the fish head in a large pot with the lemongrass, garlic, red onion quarters and turmeric. pour in enough cold water to cover the head and bring to a boil. skim off any muck, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. strain the broth and put back in pot. keep the heat at low, and gently lower the fish fillets into the broth and cook for about 15-20 minutes. remove the fillets and with forks, flake them into chunky pieces. set aside. keep the broth pot on low though.

while the broth is simmering, make the paste: in a mortar & pestle, pound the lemongrass, chillies, chopped onions, garlic and ginger into a smooth paste. you can use a food processor for ease.

in a saucepan, heat up the grape seed oil. add in the paste and saute for 20 minutes. you’re gonna question if the amount of oil is correct, and i’ll just say, i asked the same question and it worked out fine. stir in the shrimp paste, tumeric and paprika. add in the flaked fish, be gentle with mixing, cook on low for an additional 5 minutes.

returning to the pot of broth, add the fish mixture to it. next, throw in the mashed chickpeas and chopped red onions. season with fish sauce to taste. stir to combine, and let simmer for 30 minutes.

to serve:
cook vermicelli noodles according to package instructions. divvy into soup bowls.

ladle soup over noodles, being sure to add in chunks of flaked fish.

top with half hard boiled egg and generous smattering of chopped cilantro.
spritz with lime juice.

BAM!

Mohinga - Burmese Fish Noodle Soup

3 years ago: coffee chocolate chip ice cream
2 years ago: carne rustida de navidad
1 year ago: spiced mexican cookies

brownie cookies

Brownie Cookie

Brownie Cookie

Brownie Cookie

happy thanksgiving week, friends.
i am grateful for you all.

we’re unplugging for about 2 weeks –
traveling
eating
family-ing
movie-ing

speaking of which,
we saw loving recently.
not so long ago,
dw + i would not have been able to marry.
i am thankful for this couple.

this bears repeating,
i am thankful for you all.
be safe.

brownie cookies
adapted from mel’s kitchen who adapted it from urban bakes

note: i made these full on dairy doom since they are being shipped out to a sweet family who don’t have dietary restrictions. when i make these again, i will either use softened coconut oil or with lactose-free butter.
note*: i ended up with 39 cookies

brownie cookie dough:
1 stick + 2 TBL of butter, room temp
5 oz brown sugar
5 oz sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
7 1/4 oz white whole wheat flour
1.5 oz unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

chocolate chip cookie dough:
1 stick + 2 TBL of butter, room temp
5 oz sugar
5 oz brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
10 3/4 oz whilte whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
super generous handfuls of chocolate chips

for both sets of cookies, making each separately but using the same method:

in a bowl add the dry ingredients, whisk them together. set aside.

in mixing bowl, cream the butter with the granulated sugar and brown brown sugar until creamy and smooth. add in the egg and egg yolk, and vanilla; beat until well incorporated. add in the dry ingredients until just combined and no dry streaks are left (and the chips are evenly mixed).

Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

roll out the dough, aim for teaspoon sized balls. we weighed out the brownie dough at 1/2 oz and chocolate chip dough at just a smidge heavier.

smush two differing balls together. sometimes i rolled them together and other times i pressed them and formed a fat disk. the cookies spread so don’t go too crazy flattening them.

bake for 7 minutes.

cool completely.

BAM!

Brownie Cookie

3 years ago: mango pomegranate guacamole
2 years ago: garlic panna cott + curried root vegetable soup
1 year ago: only one thing last year, vegan carrot cake

apple almond tart

Apple Almond Tart

hello november:
it being that season,
we’re busy.
sweet dw is sick,
but well on the mend.
i am of the mind that,
yes, he does need to slow down,
be gentle with himself,
nurture his immune system now
as we begin the long haul of cooler temps,
but we have plans!
museum meet ups
potlucks
voting
comedy shows
cookie baking
travel
that’s just for this month.

Apple Almond Tart

to kick off dw’s favorite season
i made a tart.
it took me all day saturday to make,
i’d never make it on
the Great British Bake Off.
a little goes a looong way with almond extract,
and hard effort pays off.
stay well, friends.

Apple Almond Tart

apple almond tart
inspiration drawn from: insideChic, wild wild whisk, and Tom Kerridge.
serves 8

*note: i cheated and used a pie crust bag. i still cried. pie crust is something that i loathe making, AND YET I STILL MAKE THEM. if dw hadn’t been sick i would’ve had him do this entire step, he’s the pie man in this relationship.

Almond Tart Crust
64 g sliced almonds
25 g sugar
132 g sprouted spelt flour
super healthy pinch of salt
1 stick of lactose free butter, cut into cubes, very cold
1 large egg yolk (keep the egg white for the almond paste)
2 TBL ice-cold vodka

in food processor, pulse almonds with sugar until the nuts are fine. add in the flour & salt and pulse quickly to combine. throw in the cold butter and pulse until the butter is the size of small peas. in a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolk + vodka, and then add to the processor to pulse just until the entire thing comes together. transfer mixture onto a plastic wrap, gently mush together and shape into a disc. wrap in the plastic wrap and fridge for about an hour.

lightly flour pie crust bag. unwrap dough and place into the pie bag. roll out until it reaches the edge. if you need to cus the crust got all soft on you, put the crust still in the pie bag into the fridge to firm up. try not to cry, carefully transfer the dough onto 11″ fluted tart pan with removable bottom. gently press dough into the bottom and up the sides. trim any excess dough. prick bottom of tart shell with fork. fridge for 30 minutes.

preheat the oven to 375F.

top the pan with parchment paper and fill with dry beans or pie weights. bake for 13 minutes. remove from oven, carefully lift parchment paper with dried beans out and continue baking for another 7 minutes. remove pie from oven and allow to cool completely before filling etc.

lower heat to 335F.

Almond Paste/Frangipane
1 cup almond meal/flour
1/2 cup powder sugar
1 egg white
1/2 tsp almond extract
healthy pinch of salt

in bowl add all the ingredients and mix until combined. cover and fridge until ready to use.

Apple Topping
enough apples, cored & sliced thin via mandolin, to cover tart
powdered sugar sifted over top
coco whip, optional, to serve

while the crust is cooling from the blind bake and the almond paste is hanging out in the fridge, carefully core apples and slice. if you do this step earlier, keep the slices in some lemon water to prevent discoloration, but be sure to dab dry before put on tart.

when ready, carefully spread the almond paste onto pre-baked crust. it doesn’t have to be perfect, just spread as evenly as you can to cover the bottom of the tart.

layer the slices however you want to onto the tart.

bake for 45 – 50 minutes.

remove from oven and allow to cool.

serve topped with coco whip.

BAM!

Apple Almond Tart

3 years ago: calamansi olive oil bread
2 years ago: apparently i was reading
1 year ago: i only did one thing last year, a most worthwhile thing, vegan carrot wedding cake

sephardic challah with whole spices

Sephardic Challah With Whole Spices

even though i have a netflix list
of shows/movies queued up
i spend an inordinate amount of time
rifling through the various offerings.
same with HBO Go, Amazon
and don’t get me started on my
to-read books pile.
maybe it’s a fear of missing out,
or that non-committal habit of
having something already but
still seeking something better,
i don’t know,
i just know that when i finally do
settle on something,
my mind is pretty made up,
even if i took 30 minutes to get to that conclusion.

Sephardic Challah With Whole Spices

in the case of this challah,
i’ve been on an on/off again search
for the ultimate recipe.
i’ve pinned plenty of options,
with private promises of attempting them
and then perfecting them.
i took a baking break during the warmer months,
and when i went looking at my
queued list,
none grabbed my attention.
back to the drawing board.
it took awhile,
but this came along
and i knew i had to make it,
mind made up.

Sephardic Challah With Whole Spices

sephardic challah with whole spices
adapted from the NY Times
makes 2 loaves

*note: my oven must run hot, or it’s the convection thing, but the loaves became dark around the 10-15 min mark so i would tent with foil for remaining bake time.
*note: toasting and then grinding them would be an excellent way to impart the spices without having to bite into them whole. i don’t mind the whole spices but that’s just me.

scant cup of raisins, soaked in warm water, drained well
4 TBL sesame seeds, divided
1 TBL caraway seeds
1 TBL coriander seeds
1 TBL cumin seeds
1 TBL black sesame seeds
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
5 cups/600 grams bread flour, more for dusting
1/2 TBL cinnamon
2 1/2 tsp/30 grams olive oil, more for rising bowl
75 grams honey (to taste, i was aiming for 50 grams and got a little heavy handed)
2 eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup warm water, more as needed
1/2 TBL kosher salt
2 egg yolks + 1 TBL water for glaze/brush

in a pan, toast 1 TBL of sesame, caraway, coriander, cumin and black sesame seeds over medium heat until toasty-smelling. set aside and cool.
in a small bowl, combine yeast with 2 TBL warm water and ignore while it blooms. if it doesn’t, chuck it and get new yeast.

using stand mixer with dough hook, combine the flour with cinnamon, olive oil, honey, eggs and warm water. mix until a soft dough forms. on this particular day, the weather was kinda dry so i did add about 1-2 TBL of water to the dough to make it softer/pliable.

add in the salt and toasted seeds until the dough is smooth. it’s going to take awhile, about 5-10 minutes. original recipe says to add mix in the raisins then. what i did was i poured the dough onto the lightly dusted counter and gently kneaded the raisins in. it was a smidge sticky but you know, deal with it. transfer to large oiled bow. cover with plastic wrap and let stand until doubled in size, up to 2 hours.

line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. set aside.

turn dough onto lightly dusted counter and press down gently to deflate. divide dough in two and rest for 5 minutes.

roll each piece of dough into 18″ long rope and rest for another 5 minutes. then go back and roll into 32″ rope.

take one of the ropes from one end form the dough into a coil, tucking the end under.

repeat for the other rope.

transfer coils onto prepared cookie sheets and cover with large bowl. ignore for 1 hour, until the loaves have doubled in size.

about 30 minutes in, preheat oven to 400F.

whisk the egg yolks with 1 TBL of water. brush the egg wash over the loaves and let stand uncovered while oven warms.

brush with egg wash again and sprinkle with remaining sesame seeds.

if you’re able, bake both loaves side by side, for 30 minutes. i baked them one by one.

transfer loaves to rack and cool before serving/slicing.

can be consumed as is, but i liked it best when slathered with veg butter and drizzled with a bit of honey.

BAM!

Sephardic Challah With Whole Spices

3 years ago: butternut squash & pearl barley risotto, lactose free
2 years ago: inside out peanut butter cups – vegan, gluten free
1 year ago: i didn’t do shit last year

Apple Cider Magic Cake

Apple Cider Magic Cake

we’re enjoying an indian summer right now,
temps were around 70
when we went apple picking over the weekend.
the increase in temps didn’t prevent us
from turning on the oven though.
it shouldn’t turn you off either.
it’s too lovely to be inside,
but if you must,
open your windows wide
and make this magical cake.

here’s to hoping it’s been a
glorious october for you too.

Apple Cider Magic Cake

Apple Cider Magic Cake
adapted from tasting table
makes 1 8″ cake, about 8 servings

For the Apple Cider Reduction:
6 cups apple cider – simmered in saucepan and reduced to 3/4 cup

For the Magic Cake Batter:
4 large eggs, yolks and whites separated
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup apple cider reduction
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 stick vegan butter, melted but cool (i use earth balance)
1 cup spelt flour
2 tsp cinnamon, divided
1 3/4 cups lactose free half/half, or any kind of milk, vegan or not

Topping:
cocowhip

pre-heat oven 325F

prepare 8″ pan, greased and with parchment collar

using stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whip the egg whites till stiff and glossy, basically until you’re able to upturn the bowl over your head and you’re not covered in it. set aside.

either transfer the whipped egg whites to another bowl, or if you’re fancy, and have another stand mixing bowl, mix the egg yolks + sugar until pale yellow. slowly stream in the vegan butter until fully incorporated, then pour in 1/2 cup of apple cider reduction. add in the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, to the mix until no white streaks are seen. add in 1 tsp cinnamon. stream in the milk until thoroughly mixed. it will be quite liquid-y.

gently fold in the egg whites, in 3 parts. it will be a lumpy batter.

pour into prepared pan. sprinkle on top the remaining cinnamon.

bake for 45-50 minutes, the middle shouldn’t jiggle when shaken.

allow to cool completely.

invert the cake onto plate, and then invert again on serving plate. top with cocowhip and drizzle with remaining reduced apple cider. serve at room temp.

will keep in fridge, covered for a few days, if it lasts that long…

BAM!

Apple Cider Magic Cake

3 years ago: snickerdoodles
2 years ago: banh xeo
1 year ago: i didn’t do diddly