Monday, February 06, 2017

Dress-Itself Fennel, Radish & Orange Salad

Roast is the way to go when it comes to salads e.g. Ratatouille-Style Roast, Roasted Artichokes, Mushrooms and Chickpea Salad in the winter months.

I am often hooked on words or key words such as  "one-pot pasta", "one-pot rice", "no-cook tomato sauce", "one-skillet noodles", "rice-cooker dinner","cheat-sheet", so it is not surprising when I am attracted to the concept of "dress-itself" salad.

Simply, a salad that does not need any dressing.

That leaves you an easy guess to my cooking style at home. Everything has to be straight-forward, easy, simple without forgoing most importantly, nutrition and health.

If you cook often at home, you will know what this means. It is not so much about achieving the perfect texture and/or taste but more, the feeling of comfort when food gets to the table.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Homestyle Kimchi Jjigae 家常韩式泡菜煲

When I tasted my own kimchi jjigae for the first time, I thought "what is the difference between this and soon doo bu"? Both taste similar. Kimchi jjigae just belong to a bigger umbrella of jjigae variety - jjigae refers to a savory hearty Korean stew.

Traditionally soon doo bu is a spicy Korean stew cooked in a soup broth made with red pepper paste and red chili flakes and the main ingredient is soft tofu. Kimchi jjigae is a soup base made from kimchi, and a base so versatile layered with tofu, vegetables (e.g. napa cabbage, leeks), mushrooms, and seafood or meat.

There is nothing quite like coming home to a simmering pot of spicy stew in the cold winter months. The spice heat, and stew heat will instantly warm you up. Moreover, the kimchi base yields a subtly-sour soup that actually whets your appetite even more.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Oven-Style Ratatouille Roast 烤蔬菜杂烩

Happy 2017 everyone! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and love here at my website throughout all these wonderful years. I wish everyone many healthy and happy years ahead.

Nothing fancy for the first post of 2017, just as my approach to home-cooked meals - simple and fuss-free; "simple" does not mean "done without deliberate thought". On the other hand, you have to put your heart and thoughts into preparing healthy and nutritionally-balanced meals, really.

The last time I made this ratatouille-inspired oven-roasted dish, I enjoyed it and wanted to make it again. This time, it is a vegetarian heartier lot with autumn/winter squash, heirloom carrots, green and red bell peppers, eggplant and Tokyo Negi (similar to leeks - leeks have flat green tops rather than the tubular tops of Negi). Tokyo Negi may be sharp pungent onion/leek but similar to leek, it mellows down to sweetness when slow-roasted or cooked.

Roasting packed the vegetables and squashes with natural sweetness, imparting full-bodied flavors to the entire dish.

Do not be afraid to load up the oven. It saves energy (your energy + the utilities bill of course!) and is a brilliant way to incorporate a variety of vegetables, a huge batch of vegetables; let alone the roasted vegetables coming together in an awesome medley of flavors, deliciously sweet in a savory way.