Dad’s recipes start with making broth by scratch before proceeding to the actual preparation of a dish. We have playful arguments about whether homemade or store-bought stock makes a difference in recipes. Of course he’s right, but when it comes to time, the quality of ingredients are sacrificed. As his nine-to-five working daughter, it is my duty to rewrite his recipes starting with organic, low-sodium store-bought broth (preferably from a box, instead of a can or powder to avoid a metallic and salty taste). Such changes encourages people to attempt Dad’s recipes. After all, most beginning cooks are intimidated at the thought of staying in a kitchen for a long length of time.
It’s the first few days of spring, and the weather is chilly. It comes to no surprise of hearing about future snowstorms at this time of year in New York. I once experienced the four seasons in one day. The morning started warm as I left my apartment in a sundress with a raincoat that only looks pretty. 45 minutes later, I exited the train station in the city to a crisp and cold breeze, similar to the fall season. By lunchtime snow flurries larger than a quarter were drifting pass the office windows. Toward the evening, the day had returned to a pleasant warmer temperature with no evidence of snow or rain. Read more →
Last week, was the first Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) pick up. My canvas bag was filled with organic kale, collard, dandelion, bok choy, and Swiss chard greens. A large head of romaine, a small head of butter lettuce, green garlic and a dozen eggs were also included in the share. I dutifully took my bags home, and the next two hours were spent cleaning, cutting and packaging the greens. The next day, a salad was made with a mixture of butter lettuce and dandelion greens. Goat cheese, mulberries and a small red onion were tossed together in a bowl. A few tablespoons of Cilantro-Almond Pesto were mixed into Greek yogurt to make a salad dressing. That was an easy salad to make. Now, a few more bags had to be sautéed, simmered, stir-fried or served fresh. Read more →
Morning Glory, also known as Water Spinach or Swamp Cabbage, is a beautiful green that also blooms bright flowers. Don’t become too excited and start picking leaves from vines, unless horticulture is a profession. Besides, the plant of familiarity that wraps around building and fences is of another family, and it’s poisonous to eat. The Morning Glory for this recipe is different, for it’s a semi-aquatic plant, in which it is also known as a leaf vegetable–such as kale, cabbage, and collards. It easily grows around waterways and in tropical regions, thus it’s known primarily as a Southeast Asian ingredient, especially in Thai dishes. Read more →
Star anise, cinnamon, chili, ginger and garlic makes a fragrant broth for cooking chicken or seafood. The smell was spicy, warm and seductive. After the solid ingredients were gone, there was extra broth left over. It was strained and placed it a freezer for a future dish of steamed or braised fish. Read more →