Recipe: Frozen Strawberry Soufflé

Today is National Strawberry Sundae Day.

11541877_713184038810585_3428910661991996962_n Continue reading “Recipe: Frozen Strawberry Soufflé”

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Tuiles – French Almond Wafers

These thin wafer cookies, shaped like a tile, are light and take little effort to make.

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It is the perfect dessert for a holiday party.  Continue reading “Tuiles – French Almond Wafers”

Duck Confit

How do you like your duck confit?

Over the years I have had many versions of this classic French dish – Some cooked dry with intense flavors; Others plump paired with some sort of fruity sauce. When it comes to meat and poultry, I prefer a simplistic approach with non-competing flavors.

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Orzo with Arugula Sauce

My love affair with arugula began three years ago when my friend Maggie, Jimmy and I made a stop at the French Rivera on our way to the Festival of Lights in Lyon. Maggie is a competitive runner. She runs everyday even on holidays and maintains a very healthy diet, which means a daily intake of some sort of green salad. Me, on the other hand, thought salads are for little bunnies. Continue reading “Orzo with Arugula Sauce”

Bostock

Two things I miss most from visiting b.patisserie in San Francisco: one is chef Brenda Leong’s delicious kouign amann – I have yet to find anything like it in Seattle.  The other is Bostock.

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Bostock is toasted brioche soaked in pastry syrup, topped with almond cream(frangipane) and sliced almonds. It is quite easy to make, as long as you have day-old brioche. I didn’t have day-old brioche at hand, so I made one from scratch and waited till the next day to make bostock. I know it sounded like wasting a good loaf of freshly baked brioche. But when one wants a bostock, one must have it!

Ingredients:

Orange Pastry Syrup
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
orange juice, Grand Marnier, Cointeau or Triple Sec (to taste)
Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring syrup to a boil. Once sugar dissolves, remove from heat and cool. Add orange juice or liquer to syrup. Syrup keeps up to one month in the refrigerator. Continue reading “Bostock”

Brioche

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The smell of good bread baking, like the sound of lightly flowing water, is indescribable in its evocation of innocence and delight…
―MFK Fisher

It’s been a while since I baked brioche. I almost forgot how intoxicating it smelled when one is in the oven. This recipe, adopted from L’Academie de Cuisine, yields approximately two pounds of dough, which will make 4 small, 2 medium or 1 large load of bread.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 4 cups (1lb) all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup (8oz)  room temperature butter

Continue reading “Brioche”

Stateside

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***Update***Seattle Met magazine named Stateside 2015 restaurant of the year.

I am lucky to be surrounded by a group of fun and food-loving friends. Once a month, we pick a new restaurant to meet up.  Not everyone can make it every time, but with about 6 to 9 people, we can order pretty much every dish off the menu, perfect for trying a new place in town.

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Stateside’s chef Eric Johnson has an impressive bio.  Having traveled all over the world, and trained with Michelin starred chef such as Daniel Boulud and Jean-Georges Vongerichten, he landed in Seattle and opened this French-Vietnamese restaurant.

The menu is organized by various plate sizes: small, medium, large and sides.

For small plates, we ordered both Crispy duck fresh rolls and Crispy mushroom fresh rolls:

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The rolls are wrapped with basil, cilantro, Vietnamese spearmint, lemon balm and shiso leaves.  There was a thin layer of crispy sheet in the middle, making it fun to bite into. Continue reading “Stateside”

Caramelized Apple Tart – Tarte fine aux pommes

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Do you know your apples?  I lived in the East Coast for 10 years, back there and then, the only apples that pop up at the super market were: Granny smith, Red delicious, Golden delicious, and Macintosh.  I didn’t like any of those varieties. It is not until I moved to Seattle my eyes finally opened.  Washington state is one of the biggest producers and exporters of apples in the United States.  When I found Washington apples (with their red stickers) at a grocery shop in Taipei couple of years ago, I was so very proud.

Now onto the tart.  Recipe courtesy of Clotilde from Chocolate and Zucchini:

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons high-quality unsalted butter, melted
  • 40 grams (3 tablespoons) blond unrefined cane sugar
  • 1 quick and easy puff pastry (you can substitute a sheet of store-bought, all-butter puff pastry, about 250 grams or 9 ounces, thawed if frozen, but it will be a lot better with the homemade pastry)
  • 3 small apples, about 450 grams (1 pound), peeled, cored, and thinly sliced into circles
  • 1 pinch fine sea salt

Continue reading “Caramelized Apple Tart – Tarte fine aux pommes”

Caramelized Apple Tart – Quick Puff Pastry

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After an unusual dry summer, fall colors arrived earlier this year.  Last Sunday my friend and I went to Mount Rainier National Park. This is the first time I saw my favorite park dusted with these colors so vibrant and in such magnitude.  The wild flowers in the summer simply CANNOT compare. Continue reading “Caramelized Apple Tart – Quick Puff Pastry”