Somehow with all the trends in food and drink like artisanal crafting, molecular gastronomy and mixologists, simply pouring a glass of champagne or sparkling wine seems boring and perhaps even….gasp!…lazy.
Quinoa has made its way across the globe. As a Peruvian, I’ve seen it go from basic seed to feed chickens to the gluten-free superpower phenomenon of the Gods. Last year was even the International Year of Quinoa. I, however, have only just tasted my first sip of ingenious: quinoa vodka.
I have to admit, it took me a while to appreciate uni. I blame that on the fact that most of my early experiences with sea urchin were with product that today I wouldn’t touch, i.e. stinky and pissy. I remember eating a particularly disgusting uni sushi asking myself, “why would anyone prize this? It’s disgusting.” Of course, these days, I know better.
When I’m skimming through a dessert menu contemplating what to have, the words that make me stop browsing and come to an immediate decision are “sticky date pudding”. I see those three magic words and I’m done. I close the menu, order and impatiently wait to indulge in my dessert. It doesn’t help that my hubby is similarly, a sticky date pudding fanatic. This basically means we have plowed through a significant number of sticky puds together, and unfortunately, only a third of them were stellar, some were stodgy and hardly any good and startlingly, many fell downright flat. Recently, I stumbled upon a sticky date pudding recipe on Nigella’s site, and registered that it’s actually a really easy dessert to make! I tucked that thought at the back of my head, and a few days later, found a bag of dates in the pantry. You can all guess what happened next.
When I go to Hong Kong I cannot get enough of dim sum. With the tradition of dim sum originating in Southern China, there may be no better place in the world than Hong Kong to experience this classic Cantonese weekend “brunch” ritual. And while I do have a few “go to” favourite spots for dim sum, I am always up for trying new places. Having heard about Tin Lung Heen from a great many foodie friends, I was sure this would be on my list for this Hong Kong trip.
My brother D, is your typical meat and potatoes kinda guy. He is always hankering after a good slab of beef, and some weeks ago, for our regular Sunday dinner at my mum’s, he treated the family to some amazing Wagyu steaks. My job was to cook some sides to complement the meat. I instantly thought of having the simplest salad (tomatoes, cucumbers, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper) and baking up a tray of this awesome leek and potato gratin.
Back in November last year, I wrote about a dinner I hosted to celebrate the wedding anniversary and birthdays of my brother and his wife (yup, all 3 on the same day). The menu was one I was particularly proud of: uni encased in tomato jelly; slow cooked prawns with scrambled egg and crab roe; foie gras with roasted figs and bocconcini; roasted bone marrow over porcini risotto; charsiu pork medallions with roasted brussel sprouts, spaetzle and pomegranate seeds; Japanese short rib curry; and matcha tiramisu. When I first wrote about the meal, and shared the recipe for the uni jelly, I promised to share some of the other recipes too. Unfortunately, things got in the way and I’m only now fulfilling part of that promise.
You have probably read about China’s obsession with wine. If you are interested in the intersection of wine and China, you should definitely watch the documentary Red Obsession – narrated by Russell Crowe, this documentary details the relationship between China and Bordeaux and how Chinese demand artificially inflated Bordeaux market values which later crashed. And so it is, quite rightly true, that the Chinese are becoming big wine drinkers.