Uncategorized

Beef Wellington

Inspired by watching Hell’s Kitchen, Viv and I set out to make Gordon Ramsey’s signature dish (with his recipe). I am pleased to share with you of our success, and Chef Ramsey himself would have been quite proud. Look at it..it’s beautiful…

beef wellington

I wish I could have taken a good shot of the perfectly pink interior but alas…my horrendous kitchen lighting did not allow me to do so.

Standard
Recipes, Uncategorized

Beef Curry Bites

beef curry

I’ve been slightly obsessed with puff pastry recently, getting excited with exploring new creative ways to use it and loving its versatility. So when I had to figure out what appetizer/dessert to make for a huge Christmas party I was attending, I definitely couldn’t miss the opportunity.

This was rather experimental, as I pretty much winged it, but I’m happy to say they turned out uhh-may-zing-lee. Here’s my recipe for beef curry bites! If you grew up going to the Chinese market and getting those puff-pastry things with the curry meat inside, you’re going to love these, since they’re kind of a mini or deconstructed version of those! **Please note, however, I don’t really measure when I cook my own recipes, so the measurements for the seasonings can vary!

Beef Curry Bites

3-4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 small onion, diced

1 lb of lean ground beef

About 4-5 tbsp of soy sauce

2 to 2 1/2 tbsp curry powder

1/4 tsp cumin

1/8 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or to personal preference)

1/8-1/4 tsp dry basil

Salt & pepper to taste

About 1/2 cup of frozen peas

1 to 1 1/2 tbsp corn starch

1 large potato, peeled and cut into small cubes

1 box of puff pastry, thawed at room temp (usually comes with 2 large sheets)

OPTIONAL: 1 egg + 1 tbsp water (for egg wash)

YEILD: About 50 mini bites, or 25 big bites aka muffin-size

Filling:

1. Heat up about 2 tbsp oil on medium heat in a large skillet or wok, and cook garlic & onions until onions are slightly soft or starting to brown.

2. Add in ground beef, and after it’s broken up and starting to brown, add soy sauce, curry powder, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, basil, salt and pepper. Add about 1 cup of water.

3. Cook until beef is cooked all the way through. In a separate bowl, combine corn starch with about 1-2 tbsp of water, mix well, and add to beef mixture (this will thicken the sauce). Add frozen peas, mix well, and cook for about 5 minutes.

4. In a separate pot (preferably at the same time you are cooking the beef), boil the cubed potatoes until just slightly soft. Then drain the water and saute in a separate skillet with some oil, a bit of salt and curry powder.

Potatoes usually take a while to cook, so boiling them for a bit saves some time, and then sauteing them to cook all the way through gives a good “sturdy” texture to them. Otherwise, you will end up with mushy and wet potatoes that make your curry mix mushy as well.

5. Add the potatoes into the curry beef mixture and mix well. 

Assembly:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Roll out a sheet of puff pastry, and with a pizza roller, cut into small 2 inch squares if you are using a mini cupcake tin, and about 4 in squares if you are using a regular muffin tin. Place squares in a greased muffin tin.

You don’t need to push them down all the way to get to the edges. Just so long as it makes for a good cup shape is fine.

image

3. OPTIONAL: Beat an egg and whisk with about 1 tsp of water. With a pastry brush (or your fingers I guess…), gently brush the 4 corners of each square with the egg wash. You don’t have to do this, but I like it because it helps the corners to brown a bit nicer.

4. Fill with curry beef filling. Don’t put too much or else it’ll stick to the sides of the pan, or fall out, but don’t be afraid to be generous with it either, as the filling will become more solid and stick together after baking in the oven.

beefcurry

5. Bake for 15 minutes or until puff pastry turns slightly golden brown.

The only thing was that the filling ended up slightly dry after being in the oven, so I made a super-random-on-the-fly curry sauce. Random recipe below:

Quick and easy curry sauce

2 tbsp of butter

3 tbsp soy sauce

1-1 1/2 cup(s) water

1 to 1 1/2 tbsp curry powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

dashes of cumin, basil, cinnamon and cayenne pepper

Salt & pepper to taste

2 tbsp corn starch + 2 tbsp water

Instructions:

1. In small pot or sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add soy sauce and water.

2. Add rest of seasonings, mix well.

3. Mix corn starch w/ water separately, and add to curry sauce. Mix well and let sauce thicken. Drizzle over curry-beef bites!

Since these turned out so well, I think next time I might just full out make the puff pastry curry pie things…for myself. 

Enjoy!

– CP

Standard

Bomb carne asada fries at Lalos in Hillcrest. For some reason Mexican food is the best post-drinking/clubbing food. (okay, maybe minus like 80% of that sour cream) – CP (Taken with Instagram)

Uncategorized
Gallery
Uncategorized

Late-night heaven: Tacos & Donuts

I have recently discovered a late-night craving gem, and yes, it is pretty worth driving all 20-25 minutes to Escondido for. 

Mi Rancho Market is actually a little Mexican market stocked with cheap produce and yummy Mexican treats such as those delicious creamy popsicles. In the back, however, you’ll find a couple booths for seating as well as various meats displayed as in a butcher shop, which is also where they sell tacos…but not just any tacos…legit Mexican street tacos, loaded with the meat of your choice from 11 different options (and they had it all, including tongue, brain, and intestines), for just over $1 each. Amazing? Absolutely.

I got the asada (bottom right) and pastor (bottom left). Both meats were very moist and not super oily tasting, and full of flavor. They give you two corn tortillas for each taco as usual, but since there was so much meat, we ended up dividing up the meat between the two tortillas, so it was like having 2 tacos in one. 

tacos

And just in case that picture wasn’t enough, here’s another…

tacos2

They don’t add any extra stuff like guac, pico de gallo, or anything. Just plain old cilantro and lettuce, with 3 salsas at the salsa bar along with some limes. With such flavorful meat, you really don’t want the extra stuff anyway.

And if the taco’s don’t get you sold on burning that extra gas to Escondido, the donuts that are right next door will! That’s right…right next door is THE famous Peterson’s Donut Corner

petersonsdonuts

If you can’t tell from the picture below, the donuts are massive. The maple bars at the bottom are easily 1.5x the length of my hand and extremely thick. 

donuts

And of course, that is the one that I got. One of my friends who suggested it told me that their maple bars are comparable to the donuts he’s tried at the famous Voodoo Donuts in Portland, Oregon. 

donuts

Okay so let’s be honest here. In the past week and a half or so, I’ve been to these 2 places twice. The first time we had Peterson’s we had unknowingly gone at the worst possible time, right before they put out the new batch and when their donuts are all old. Thus, my maple bar was super dry and…well…old. We wanted to redeem that experience, so we went back, and this time it tasted how it should.

It was super fluffy and light, and didn’t gush out oil when you took a bite. The maple icing was good, but there was such a thick layer I had to take most of it off. It’s also important to keep in mind my Asian taste buds that can’t really stand the sweetness of American desserts haha…but anyway, i wouldn’t say it was like the best donut I’ve ever had, but I could definitely find myself having a craving for this place at some random time. 

OH, I forgot to mention one of the best things about these two places besides the fact that they are super cheap, have great food, and are right next to eachother…they’re open 24 hours! Tacos & donuts, 24/7?!

Go now…

– CP

Standard