Archives for the month of: August, 2011


We bought these round flat breads from Pine’s and they are delicious eaten with hummus and soft cheeses.  One morning, Jesse wanted pizza for breakfast (he always wants pizza), so we decided to experiment with the flat bread. They came out really good, crispy on the bottom and around the edges, and soft in the center. Easy to make and delicious.

2 ripe tomatoes, hand crushed
4 tablespoons chimichurri sauce, recipe as follows
1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 round flat bread
Sea Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400° F / 200° C. Spread chimichurri sauce all over the flat bread. Crush the tomatoes in your hand and spread evenly over the sauce. Mix the 2 cheeses together and sprinkle evenly over pizza. Salt and pepper. Bake in oven until cheese top is bubbly and golden brown, about 12 minutes. Slice and serve immediately.


Chimichurri:

1/2 cup good olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup frech Italian parsley, packed
1 cup fresh cilantro, packed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 dried red chili
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Pulse all ingredients in a processor, about 20 pulses. Pour into a bottle, it can be refrigerated up to 1 week. We add this delicious sauce on steak, grilled chicken and prawns, as a pizza base, and even in salad dressings.

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There are all types and variations to a good burger. Ours is tasty and juicy with really good, robust flavor of the ground beef chuck. I’ll have to say this is the best burger in Shanghai, and you too can easily make it in your own kitchen! ^.^~

1/2 pound ground Australian or Shandong beef chuck or rib meat
4 tablespoons bleu cheese
1/2 large leek, julienned
4 cups peanut oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 sesame buns
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Form the ground meat into 2 burger patties, about 1/4 pound each. Salt and pepper liberally on both sides.

Clean and julienne the leeks to 4″ long strips. Separate all the pieces. Deep fry in peanut oil until golden brown.

In a frying pan, heat 1/2 tablespoon peanut oil (from frying the leeks) and cook the hamburgers until desired temperature. We like our burgers medium rare on the rare side, so about 3 minutes on each side. Serve immediately on toasted and buttered buns, top with bleu cheese, fried leeks and any condiment that you like.

How to make the best fries:

4 large potatoes
4 cups peanut oil, from frying leeks
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Cut the potatoes into 1/2″ thick strips, pat them dry with paper towel.

We will fry the potatoes twice. First cook them through, the second time we fry them until golden and crispy. Heat the oil in a deep pot, fry the potatoes in 4 batches until golden, about 2-3 minutes each. Crowding the fryer will lower the oil temperature, and your fries will get soggy and not brown. Drain on paper towel.

Fry a second time until the fries are golden brown and crispy, about one minute. Remove and drain on paper towel. Salt and pepper generously.


We saw these beautiful live blue prawns at the wet market one early morning and had to pick them up! Blue prawns have a crisp, sweet and buttery taste. So we thought the best way to prepare them was simply poaching. Served with crusty bread, sweet butter and Jesse’s cocktail sauce.

Jesse’s Cocktail Sauce

1 cup ketchup
4 teaspoons horseradish (we add more)
1 teaspoon Tabasco
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1/2 juice of a lemon
Splash of Worcestershire
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl, stir all ingredients together. Chill until ready to serve.

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Generously salt the water. Add prawns and poach until their blue shells turn bright orange, about 4-5 minutes. Remove prawns from the poaching liquid and immediately immerse in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain on paper towel and serve.


You can add anything you like in your sushi rolls. Spicy tuna, avocados, yellowtail, eel, tobiko, salmon skin, carrots, gobo (burdock root), eel sauce, shrimp tempura and etc…

1/2 pound sushi grade salmon, cut into strips
4 cups prepared sushi rice
1 package nori (seaweed) sheets
5 leaves red leaf lettuce
6 scallions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 cucumber, cut into strips
5 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons Sriracha or Tabasco sauce
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1 small bowl water
Wasabi
Gari (pickled ginger)
Soy sauce

Prepare your sushi making station: In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and water. This solution is used to wet your hands while spreading sushi rice on nori. Wrap the entire bamboo mat with a plastic saran wrap. Mix the Sriracha with mayonnaise and set aside.

Heat the nori over gas stove or in an oven at 350°F / 175°C for 2 minutes. Place the nori on the bamboo mat, spread sushi rice over the entire surface of the nori, leaving about an inch of nori on the top edge. Press the rice down firmly, wet your hands with the vinegar solution to help from sticking.

Spread a layer of mayonnaise mixture across the center of the rice from end to end. Add strips of salmon, cucumber, lettuce, sesame seeds and scallions. Begin rolling the edge from bottom to top, using the bamboo mat to press down on the sushi as you roll up, gently and tightly. Use a few rice grains to seal the top edge of the roll. Press the roll in the bamboo mat for about 30 seconds to hold shape.

Dip your knife in the vinegar solution and cut the roll into 8 even slices. Arrange the rolls cut side up on a platter, garnish with wasabi, lettuce and pickled ginger.

How to make the best sushi rice:

2 cups sushi rice
2 cups water
4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
Kombo kelp, 2″ strip

Wash the rice in a strainer until the water coming from the rice is clear. Let drain in the strainer for 45 minutes. While rice is draining, mix together vinegar, mirin, sugar, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

Add rice, 2 cups water and kelp to an electric rice cooker and cook until ready, about 30 minutes.

If you don’t have a rice cooker. Add rice to a medium pot with 2 cups water and kelp. Bring to a boil then immediately reduce to a simmer. Cover the pot and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let rice rest for 10 minutes. Do not remove the cover as the rice needs the steam to finish cooking at this point.

Turn the rice out into a large wooden bowl. Using a wooden spatula, mix the vinegar mixture to the rice in a cross hatching / slashing motion. This is so you don’t break the rice and making it mushy. Be careful not to over mix.


Hollandaise sauce is one of the five mother sauces in French haute cuisine.  It really isn’t as difficult as people might think.  It’s just an emulsion of egg yolk and butter, like making a loose mayonnaise.  There are a few different methods to creating the “best, most creamy with that perfect touch of lemon” sauce.   With this recipe we will go though a method to produce the easiest while still creating a very creamy and separation free sauce.

Now for the eggs, there are also many methods to poaching eggs – some very complicated and can get a bit frustrating.  This is simply the one that works for us.  No plastic wrap and no whisking.

2 eggs plus 3 egg yolks
4 Canadian bacon
2 English muffins (or toast)
12 tablespoons butter (1 1/2 sticks)
1/2 juice of a lemon
2 teaspoons vinegar
A pinch of cayenne pepper
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Melt the butter in the microwave. Place the egg yolks, lemon juice, cayenne, salt, and freshly ground black pepper in a blender. Start blending, while the blender is running, slowly pour the hot butter in and blend until the sauce is thick and creamy, about 45 seconds. Keep the sauce in the blender until ready to use.
*If the sauce thickens up before using, add 1 tablespoon hot water and blend for a few seconds.

Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil and add the vinegar. Using a spoon, swirl the water to form a whirlpool. Break the egg into the middle of the whirlpool and cook for 2-3 minutes. Repeat with the second egg, re-swirling the water as you slide in the egg.

Toast and butter your muffins or toast rounds (Jesse uses the top of a pint glass to cut the toast into rounds). Put a slice or two of ham on top, top with the egg, and spoon over hollandaise sauce. Garnish with chopped scallions and serve immediately.

Asparagus:
Break off tough ends of the asparagus and peel the bottom skin with a peeler. In a small pot, boil the asparagus for 2 minutes. Drain the asparagus and immediately immerse in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain on a paper towel lined plate.

Home Fries:
Dice 2 medium potatoes, skin-on. In a small pot, boil the potatoes for 6 minutes then drain. Heat a saute pan on medium-high heat, add olive oil, potatoes, 3 garlic cloves, 1 sprig of rosemary, and a pinch of ancho chili powder. Fry until fragrant and brown on all sides. Salt and pepper to taste.

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