Chocolate Fudge Frosting : Making Amends with My Food Processor

By Tsz on August 30, 2011

My relationship with my food processor is like the ungrateful little boy and The Giving Tree.

When I first bought the processor, I was infatuated—I used it to grind meats to make sausage patties, crush cookies for tarts, made purees with anything and everything. I spent everyday getting to know my processor.

This honeymoon period lasted for a week. Even though the food processor made cutting and blending easy, I realized it was more work to clean all the components than the actual task of processing. There was the razor sharp blade, the bowl and the lid, each with its many crevices that made cleaning an unsavory chore.

So, just like the little boy, I started distancing myself from the processor, opting to chop by hand and make rustic soups that didn’t need pureeing. Every time I cooked in the kitchen, the processor would beckon me from the counter, but I would look away and reach for the knife instead.

Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months. It wasn’t till recently that I spent quality time with my food processor—the day when I made 100 mini cupcakes. My friends, Hong and Kim (aka the talented Ravenous Couple) were getting married and had requested something sweet for their dessert table. So, I put on my thinking cap and settled on creating chocolate amaretto cupcakes with a chocolate fudge frosting.

For the frosting portion of the program, I found an unique recipe on Smitten Kitchen that uses only a food processor, which was ingenious. Because all the ingredients are contained within the processor, there was essentially no mess. So, I sheepishly went to my processor and together, we made a batch of the most dreamy-and-without-lumps chocolate fudge frosting in under 5 minutes. If you have an affinity for frosting, you have to check out this recipe.

That experience renew my appreciation for my trusty food processor. The cleaning isn’t so bad when the output is more than just for myself. With that in mind, I scheduled another play date scheduled with my processor—stay tuned!


Foodbuzz 24×24: 60s Mad Men Birthday Dinner

By Tsz on August 28, 2011

It seems everyone is on a diet these days.

We are constantly bombarded with flashy diet ads, whether they be on TV, on the street or on the radio, each claiming to be the quickest way to making you lose those stubborn love handles, because they are what stands between you and the fabulous life you’re supposed to live. There’s also daily news of which celebrity du jour is losing or gaining weight. Even my friends are trading diet tips and advices over meals these days. What is the world coming to?

I long for the days when butter and cream were not physical WMD.

Those good old days when America has yet to learn of cholesterol and everyone was free to eat what they want while keeping an active lifestyle—and living healthier because of it. No more living life vicariously through the Food Network and no more watching Paula Dean in shame!

I decided to set myself as an example for anti-diets. For my birthday this year, with the generous help of Foodbuzz’s 24×24, I threw a dinner party that embraced butter and cream, turning back the clock to the 1960s. A Mad Men dinner soiree!

Set in my friend’s historic house, my friends and I all gathered in our best Mad Men inspired outfits. With the strict rule of leaving all talks of diets at home, we indulged in a dairy rich menu:

1. Lipton’s Onion Dip and Crudites
2. Chicken Kiev
3. Thyme Scented Potato Gratin
4. Creamed Spinach
5. Baked Alaska
6. Mai Tai Punch Bowl

Delicious foods, wonderful friends, hairspray, photos and lots of butter. It was a night to savor. Join me and give these dishes a try!

1. Lipton’s Onion Dip and Crudites
Serves 10

16 oz. sour Cream
1 packet Lipton Onion Soup Mix
Italian parsley for garnish

Mix sour cream with soup mix and garnish with parsley. Serve with your favorite chip, carrots and celery.

2. Sous Vide Chicken Kiev
Serves 10

12 Chicken Breasts
3 Sticks Butter at room temperature
1/4 cup minced Italian parsley
4 cloves minced garlic
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups Panko Breadcrumbs
2 cups of grated Parmesan Cheese
6 eggs
1 quart vegetable oil
Salt & pepper

1. In a bowl, mix butter, garlic and parsley.
2. Between two sheets of plastic film, pound each chicken breast filet to approximately 1/4 inch thickness. Salt and pepper liberally.
3. Place a small log of compound butter at the center of each of the flattened chicken breasts. Roll the meat around the butter like a burrito and shape it with plastic wrap (see images)
4. Vacuum seal the chicken rolls and sous vide in a water bath at 140F for 45 minutes or until the chicken is done.
5. Heat the oil until it reaches 375F.
6. Dust with flour, then dip in beaten egg, then roll in Panko breadcrumbs.
8. Deep fry until golden.

3. Potato Gratin

Recipe can be found here.

4. Creamed Spinach

Recipe can be found here.

5. Baked Alaska
Serves 10

1 loaf Sarah Lee pound cake
1 quart Breyer’s cherry vanilla ice cream
6 large egg whites
cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar

1. Split the pound cake and layer the bottom of a loaf pan.
2. Spread ice cream over.
3. Layer with the other half of the pound cake and freeze for 4 hours or overnight.
4. When the cake is ready, beat egg whites with a pinch of cream of tartar to soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar, beating until stiff and glossy.
5. Spread the meringue over the ice cream cake and use a fork to create a swirly pattern.
6. To serve, preheat oven to 450 degrees. Bake until the meringue is browned. It should take around 2 to 4 minutes—watch carefully!

6. Mai Tai Punch

Light rum (as much or as little as you like)
1 quart orange pineapple juice
1/4 cup Campari
1 Lemon, sliced
1 cup Pineapple chunks
1 cup strawberries, sliced

Mix all the ingredients in a punch bowl with ice and serve!

Music Playlist:
Julie London – Wives and Lovers
Astrud Gilberto – Take Me Home (Aruanda)
Chris Montez – Just Friends
Christiane Legrand – Rome (Children’s Game)
Edu Lobo – Jangada
Elis Regina – Meilo De Campo
Erlon Chaves & Sua Banda Veneno – All My Love is For You
The Hi-Lo’s – Misty
The Lilac Time – The Laundry
Mario Castro-Neves & His Orchestra – Watch What Happens


Bottega Louie : My Breakfast at Tiffany’s

By Tsz on August 26, 2011

“The quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there. If I could find a real-life place that’d make me feel like Tiffany’s, then – then I’d buy some furniture and give the cat a name!” —Holly Golightly

Audrey Hepburn had breakfast at Tiffany’s to cure her mean reds. As for me, I have Bottega Louie. Whenever life gets to be too much of a drag, a brief interlude to the splendor in white and gold on Grand and 7th Street is all it takes to turn my day around.

The neat rows of rainbow hue macarons, dainty cupcakes and pristine baked goods has the uncanny ability to make me forget about my worries, even if for an hour.

Especially if I am tucking away a berry Dacquoise. It’s like a macaron, but 10 times bigger and better. It’s a cookie/cake hybrid made with a base of crispy hazelnut and almond meringue. Then, nestled in the middle is a perfectly sweetened vanilla cream (complete with bean flecks!). Then it’s topped by plump, juicy berries. It’s out of this world good.

What is your Tiffany’s / Bottega Louie?

Bottega Louie
700 S. Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Phone: (213) 802-1470


Uni Pasta Recipe : Impress Friends in 10 Minutes

By Tsz on August 23, 2011

One of my favorite dishes to order at Japanese-Italian cafes is uni spaghetti. Although uni is the female ovaries of the sea urchin (not too sexy sounding), there’s just something about al dente pasta swimming in rich oceanic goodness that I just can’t find anywhere else.

Unfortunately, the closest cafe from my house is about an hour away. That, paired with my distaste for traffic means I can only partake in this special dish maybe a handful of times during the year. Simply unacceptable.

So, I began experimenting in the kitchen and created my own version. It’s quick, made with just with few ingredients and an all-around crowd pleaser, making it part of my arsenal for quick entertaining.

If you have 10 minutes, you need to give this a try!

Uni Pasta
Serves 2

1/2 pound Angel Hair
1 tray fresh uni
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon white miso
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 cup cream
1 egg (optional)
Sesame seeds
Nori strips
Parsley, chopped

1. Cook the pasta in plenty of salted boiling water.

2. Meanwhile, mix the butter, miso and 3/4 tray of uni in a bowl until they’re more or less homogenized. Stir in the crushed garlic, cream and egg (if you like the sauce to be thicker). Sprinkle in togarashi to taste depending on your tolerance to heat.

3. When the pasta is al dente, quickly drain and toss with the uni butter mixture. The heat from the pasta will melt the butter and cook the uni so it becomes a luxurious silky sauce.

4. Plate the pasta on two plates. Divvy the remaining uni and place them on top. Sprinkle with more togarashi, sesame seed, nori strips and parsley according to your preference and dig in!


Case of the Tasties : Paris Dreams

By Tsz on August 19, 2011

Stumbled upon these mouthwatering watercolor pastries by Carol Gillott. Don’t they just make you salivate?

I’ll be using them as a patisserie guide to Paris because if all goes well, I will be ordering a Religieuse at Ladurée and many more this fall!

{Images by Carol Gillott}