Corn_and_Pine_Nuts_Stirfry_Song_Re_Yu_Mi

Chinese Corn and Pine Nuts Stir-Fry (Song Ren Yu Mi)

With spring in the air, we’re here to share another light and easy Chinese veggie recipe this week. Pine nuts are not only subtly fragrant but extremely nutritious, and make up the main ingredient of this week’s recipe, along with corn.

I’ve always got some frozen corn in the freezer as it’s so versatile and easy to store (not to mention tasty!), so this recipe is often a go-to if the fridge and food cupboards are looking a bit bare.

Continue reading “Chinese Corn and Pine Nuts Stir-Fry (Song Ren Yu Mi)”

roasted_grilled_baked_fish_kao_yu

Grilled fish simmer pot (Kao Yu) – a spicy Chinese recipe

Grilled fish served on a gas fire in a simmering tray of chillies and veg has been getting increasingly popular in Chinese restaurants, and unlike more traditional roast fish, it’s a lot saucier – in that it comes in a bubbling tray of soup. You can then spoon the soup over your bowl of rice as you eat the fish.

We’re making it with enoki mushrooms, celery and bamboo shoot here. In terms of choosing the fish, carp is ideal, sea bass is a good option, though we’re making it with yellow croaker here. Continue reading “Grilled fish simmer pot (Kao Yu) – a spicy Chinese recipe”

Pancake Day Recipe: Zeppole Sarde (Zippuas)

Shrove Tuesday, also known as Pancake Day, is traditionally the day before the beginning of Lent. During this Catholic holiday lasting forty days, followers of Lent should avoid eating meat and other fatty or sweet foods, which is why Shrove Tuesday is the day they feast and treat themselves to a special meal. You might have guessed that we do not eat pancakes on this special occasion in Italy, as each region makes their own traditional cakes. In Sardinia we have zeppole, in dialect Zippuas, very tasty fritters that look like doughnuts and taste of saffron and orange. Continue reading “Pancake Day Recipe: Zeppole Sarde (Zippuas)”

Drunken Chicken (Shaoxing Zuiji) – a pressure cooker recipe

Want to cook with alcohol now that we’re no longer in dry January? This drunken chicken recipe is super easy and as it’s made in advance and served cold, you can make it to soak on a weekend and take it out of the fridge on Monday! Traditionally it’s made with Shaoxing rice wine, and that’s what we’re using here.

It’s usually made with chicken thighs or chicken wings, ideally with the bones removed but the skin on, as the skin keeps the meat together better and it will look prettier at the end. I don’t particularly like the skin in cold dishes, so I’m using boneless and skinless chicken thighs here. Continue reading “Drunken Chicken (Shaoxing Zuiji) – a pressure cooker recipe”

Tiramisu – a classic Italian dessert

Valentine’s Day is approaching and this year we propose a simple but iconic Italian dessert: Tiramisu. We don’t know for sure where this dessert was originally created, but we know that it’s an all-time favourite throughout the Italian peninsula and all Italian restaurants abroad have their own version too. Just like any classic recipe, Tiramisu would be a perfect reason for an animated Italian argument about who has the best recipe amongst friends or family. Continue reading “Tiramisu – a classic Italian dessert”

Tiger Prawns with Sweetcorn & Chilli – a recipe from Ching He Huang

It’s going to be the Year of the Rooster in 2 more days,and as food is the main way to celebrate Chinese New Year, we tried out the Emmy-nominated TV chef Ching He Huang‘s tiger prawns, sweetcorn and chilli recipe. It’s a classic stirfry dish – very quick to prepare and cook – and really adds colour to the dinner table! In Ching’s words, “Prawns symbolise happiness as they are homonym for ‘laughter’ and their reddish colour is synonymous with ‘luck’. The yellow colour of the corn resembles small nuggets of gold symbolizing ‘wealth’.”

The prep time is only 5 minutes, as is the cooking time. It’s Ching’s ethos to use fresh ingredients, but all the fresh tiger prawns were sold out (probably in the scramble to buy prawns for Chinese New Year), and we had some leftover frozen sweetcorn left, so we’re cooking these from frozen, using 100g in total. You’d ideally need to defrost these before use, but when stirfrying, the ingredients such as sweetcorn can be added to the wok frozen – just add an extra minute to the cooking time. Continue reading “Tiger Prawns with Sweetcorn & Chilli – a recipe from Ching He Huang”

Chinese Steamed Fish – a simple recipe using sea bream

Chinese New Year is just a week away, and fish is a must on the menu (年年有余), so we’d like to share this simple yet eye-catching steamed fish recipe. Fish cooks really quickly in the steamer, so once you’ve done all the prep work, it only takes 5-10 minutes before it’s done! Not only so, you won’t get all the oil splatters you’d get from stir-frying.

The “must” ingredients are fish (sea bream here, but you can also use other types of smaller fish with white meat such as halibut, pike, sunfish and carp), loads of ginger, spring onions and all the seasoning/sauce ingredients. The carrot, luncheon meat, shiitake mushroom and chillies are optional. However, if you decide to go without fresh chillies, then you can also add a little chilli sauce into the sauce at the end. The amount of chilli included here will make a very spicy version, so please tone if down as per your own taste!

We’re using seafood soy sauce here – you can usually find it with a green label. If you don’t have it, then use a light sauce sauce and add an extra teaspoon of oyster sauce, then 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. Continue reading “Chinese Steamed Fish – a simple recipe using sea bream”

Tofu and crab simmer pot (xie huang dou fu) – a simple Chinese recipe

Crab is a popular dish to include when celebrating Chinese New Year, and since it’s only 2 weeks away, we’d like to share this simple tofu and crab simmer pot recipe – it has minimal frying so is a good one to try if you don’t like the smoke from stir frying at home.

This recipe is one of the used traditionally to emulate the rarer and more expensive crab meat (another being imitated crab/sai pang xie), and can be made with duck egg yolk instead of crab meat. However, since crab is easier to buy nowadays, it’s rarely made with just eggs. Continue reading “Tofu and crab simmer pot (xie huang dou fu) – a simple Chinese recipe”

eric_lanlard_cake_boy_hazelnut_ale_meantime_mince_pie_masterclass

Mince Pies and Hazelnut Ale – Eric Lanlard Launches Meantime’s Cake Boy Hazelnut Ale

Nothing sets off the festive spirit and signals the approach of Christmas quite like mince pies, and that’s what we learned to make with Master Pâtissier Eric Lanlard at Cake Boy in order to celebrate the launch of Meantime‘s latest limited edition beer in The Pilot Series: Cake Boy Hazelnut Ale.

eric_lanlard_cake_boy_hazelnut_ale_meantime_mince_pie_masterclass

We found Eric Lanlard’s boutique patisserie by the river near Wandsworth Town on an evening in December, which, in London, means that it had been pitch black for several hours already. A step into the patisserie brought us into a different world, where the sofas were as colourful as the macarons. We sipped a glass of Meantime’s Cake Boy Hazelnut Ale as we stared at the mini Christmas trees and chocolate baubles on the counter. Fairy lights twinkled in the background – yes, it’s Christmas.

The nutty and smooth dark ale was created with Christmas in mind. But more than that, it is the spirit of experimentation that led Meantime’s Brewmaster Ciaran Giblin to incorporate hazelnut, an ingredient from baking and festive desserts, into an ale. The desire to create something exciting, different and unexpected sits at the heart of Meantime’s Pilot Series: 26 limited edition beers of which Cake Boy Hazelnut Ale is the latest addition.

It is, again, the spirit of experimentation that led Eric to incorporate the ale into these special mince pies. We soon donned aprons with the pink Cake Boy logo to find out how to make them. We gleamed a few top tips from the Master Pâtissier throughout the evening.

5 tips from Eric Lanlard – how to bake (and eat) the perfect mince pie Continue reading “Mince Pies and Hazelnut Ale – Eric Lanlard Launches Meantime’s Cake Boy Hazelnut Ale”

Sugarless apple, cinnamon and veggie muffins – perfect for babies

To kick start our new category of recipes (due to one of us having a baby who’s now eating solids), we thought we’d share this apple, cinnamon, carrot and courgette muffin. It uses a flour and banana base – the banana’s there to add some extra sweetness. All our baby recipes will be sugar and salt free, and as our baby has cow’s milk allergy, we’re using margarine (Pure, to be specific, as recommended by the GP). This recipe is inspired by the courgette muffin recipe from BBC Good Food.

Also, with our baby recipes, as all mamas are probably running low on time, we’ve gone for the method with the least amount of prep work. In this case, we’re doing as much as possible in the blender. You’ll still get a nice and fluffy texture following these steps!

These make a nice batch of 12 muffins. The prep takes around 5-10 minutes, and it cooks in 25 minutes.

Continue reading “Sugarless apple, cinnamon and veggie muffins – perfect for babies”