Holiday Gift Guide 2012

Christmas is coming up fast. And while some of you may have already completed all your holiday shopping, I’m sure there are many more who are still seeking out the perfect gifts for your loved ones. The below list are some of my favourite things–gifts that I’ve purchased for family and friends, or gifts that I’ve been fantasizing about receiving myself. In the spirit of the twelve days of Christmas, I’ve kept to 12 gifts, one for each day. I hope some of the below inspire you. Happy Holidays!  Continue Reading →

Pantry Basics: Cornbread

Northern cornbread recipe

I thought I’d share this splendidly simple cornbread recipe just in case anyone happens to need one for Thanksgiving dinner (although this cornbread is so irresistible that I know that this recipe will going onto my regular, rather than special occasion, baking list). When I tested the recipe earlier in the week, I immediately knew it was a winner because my toddler, T demanded for seconds and was chasing me around the dining table for my slice of cornbread. Continue Reading →

My seafood sausage, an homage to Chanterelle

This past weekend was my brother’s and his wife’s birthdays; they share the same birthday. They also happened to have gotten married on their birthday last year. So, for their first anniversary and combined birthdays, I planned a small feast for them. Continue Reading →

Amazing sous-vide candied apples with apple cake

apple cake with sous-vide poached apples

A few weeks back, I updated my page in which I list my favourite tools. The list pretty much covers my camera gear (plus the Olympus OM-D I don’t own yet but dream of daily), my favourite knives and knifemakers, and the equipment I use for sous vide cooking. While I previously championed the SousVide Supreme, these days, my wife S and I are lucky enough to be using the coolest, smallest (and comparatively affordable) chamber vacuum packer on the market, the Vacmaster VP112EU, and the Addelice swid, a beautifully designed (and also comparatively affordable) immersion circulator. Continue Reading →

Making your own bread: Start with Peter Reinhart’s soft cheese bread

When I started baking, the idea of making my own bread had never crossed my mind. After all, bread is easily available from supermarkets and neighbourhood bakeries, and making bread seems labour intensive. Furthermore I am not a big “bread eater”. Continue Reading →

Pantry Basics: How to make semolina pasta at home

This is one of my favourite recipes for homemade pasta because it results in a perfectly al dente noodle. The key to the success of this recipe from The Harry’s Bar Cookbook is the addition of semolina (which is what you’ll find in most commercially prepared dried pastas). Continue Reading →

Friday Food Porn: The original carpaccio, from Harry’s Bar, Venice

Carpaccio from Harry's Bar in Venice

I love carpaccio, the raw beef “salad” that has become one of the must-have dishes on all Italian restaurant menus today. It’s actually hard to believe that the dish is only 62 years old; which makes it a baby compared to most of Italy’s equally famous dishes, most of whose recipes have been passed down from grandmother to daughter to granddaughter for generations. Carpaccio, unlike most of Italy’s most famous dishes, was invented in a restaurant. In one of my favourite restaurants in the world in fact — Harry’s Bar in Venice. Continue Reading →

Family Food: Dutch baby with sautéed apples from Michael Natkin’s Herbivoracious

I have probably used this Dutch baby recipe every week since I first received a copy of Herbivoracious, fellow blogger Michael Natkin’s vegetarian cookbook, a few months ago. As T’s appreciation for food gradually extends beyond purees and other soft foods, I have amassed a range of breakfast recipes that appeal to both T and CH. Michael’s Dutch baby ticks a number of vital boxes for me. Continue Reading →

A love for quiche: asparagus quiche with mashed potato crust

Asparagus Quiche

The first time I paid attention to the word ‘quiche’ was way back in the early eighties, and I did not even know how to pronounce it then.  It was from the title of a book, countless copies of which were stacked on a table as I entered a Barnes & Noble store in Fox Hills Mall in Culver City, California.  Continue Reading →

Rachel Khoo’s Puy lentil salad with goat’s cheese, beetroot and dill vinaigrette: a satisfying alternative to meat

Last year, following a friend’s initiative, in the name of sustainability, I decided to cut down on the amount of meat and fish I consume and try my best not to eat meat during weekdays. I also started looking for recipes and cookbooks that are more vegetable-centric. Continue Reading →

Learning how to make Chinese barbecue pork bun (char siu bao) for my family

baked char siu bao

One of the things that my lovely wife S likes me to do is make char siu (Chinese roast pork). It’s one of the things I feel I can be immodest about. Over the years, I’ve really perfected the art of making it. She’s always bringing home gorgeous fatty slabs of pork neck from Huber’s Butchery for me to turn into yummy hunks of Chinese roast pork. Because we always have char siu in the freezer, I decided recently that I wanted to learn how to make char siu bao. I figured it was something we’d enjoy, and if I knew what went into it, something we could feed our son. Continue Reading →