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Salted Yolk Cookies~ one of the new cookies (the other one is Seaweed Cookies) I made this year for CNY. Salted yolk refers to the yolk of an salted egg. I love salted yolk. I can’t believe I waited this long to try out this recipe. The cookies are flaky and not too grainy. Even my family that ewes at salted yolk loves the cookies. One tip~ because of the richness of salted yolks, I suggest to keep the cookie size small (preferably one small bite size), and serve with a cup of tea.

Salted Yolk Cookies 咸蛋黄酥餅

Salted Yolk Cookies 咸蛋黄酥餅

 

Salted Yolk Cookies 鹹蛋黄酥餅

Ingredients:

1 cup flour
1 tbsp tapioca starch
1/2 tbsp milk powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 stick unsalted butter– softened
1/4 cup sugar
3 cooked salted egg yolks– warmed up and mashed
20 leaves curry leaves– very thinly julienned

Egg wash

Method:

  1. Combine flour, tapioca starch, milk powde and baking powder. Sift and set aside.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in salted yolks and curry leaves with a spatula.
  3. Add in flour mixture. Use a spatula to mix and press, until all incorporated.
  4. Form dough to a disc and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Rest in the fridge to harden so it’s easier to handle.
  5. Slightly dusted a work surface with flour. Roll out harden dough to 5mm thickness, anc cut out with a cookie cutter.
  6. Apply egg wash and bake in preheated 350 F oven for 12-15 minutes. Cool on a rack, then store in air tight container when completely cooled.

I made crab dip before, but I wasn’t quite happy with the taste– I was trying to replicate the baked crab dip at Horatio’s (A restaurant in San Leandro that has famous crab dip) but it tasted too tangy to me. Well, crab season is here again so I’m fine tuning the recipe. It’s much closer to Horatio’s and way better than my previous versions. This will be on my winter party food list when crab is in season. Yes, a keeper 🙂

Baked Dungeness Crab Dip

Baked Dungeness Crab Dip

Baked Dungeness Crab Dip (makes 1 appertizer serving)

Ingredients:

1 cooked Dungeness crab– pick out the meat
2 tbsp butter
1 clove garlic– chopped
1/2 cup onion– thinly sliced
2 stalks green onion– chopped
3/4 cup freshly shredded asiago cheese
1/4 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, plus extra

1 small container sour cream
2 tbsp mayonnaise

Seasoning to taste:
1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp spicy mustard
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Method:

  1. Melt butter in a sauce pan, sauté garlic and onion for a few minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. Add all ingredients and sautéed onion in a mixing bowl. Mix with a spoon to combine. Pour mixture into a 9″ pie dish. Smooth the surface and sprinkle extra mozzarella cheese on top. Bake at 375 F for 15-20 minutes, until it’s bubbly and the top crust is golden brown. Serve hot with sliced bread or crackers.

Regina’s Note:

  • Crab: Dungeness crab meat taste better than canned crab meat. Picking the meat out takes some time but can be done 1-2 days ahead and kept chilled in fridge. For adventurous eaters, creamy yellowish crab brain inside the body shell (scoop out with a spoon and put in a separate container and keep chilled) can also be added for more flavor. When sautéing onion, add this creamy goodness to sauce pan and cook until the oil starts separating, stirring at all times. This will take a few minutes.
  • Mozzarella cheese: add more mozzarella cheese if you want more cheese stringy look, but not too much as it will change the texture of the dip.
  • Flavor: sugar is added to help bring out the sweetness of the crab meat, so it has a sweet taste along with savory. Do not add too much salt or the flavor will change.
65C Raisin Wheat Loaf 65C湯種葡萄乾麥片麵包

65C Raisin Wheat Loaf 65C湯種葡萄乾麥片麵包

65 C TangZhong Raisin Wheat Loaf 65C湯種葡萄乾麥片麵包 (makes one 2-lb loaf)

Ingredients:

Bread Starter:
1/4 cup bread flour
250ml water

1 egg
6 tbsp milk, plus 2 tbsp
6 tbsp whipping cream
3 cups bread flour
1 cup wheat flour
2 1/2 tsp dry yeast
6 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp milk powder
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp unsalted butter– melted
1 cup raisins
2-3 tbsp black brown sugar 黑糖
dashes of cinnamon powder

Method:

  1. Prepare bread starter: Combine bread flour and water in a small sauce pan. Blend well with a balloon whisk over medium low heat (whisk continuously). When the mixture thicken slightly, reduce to lowest heat setting while whisking continuously, until the mixture reaches 65 degree C. The consistency will be like condensed milk. Remove from heat and cool before using.
  2. While bread starter is cooling, beat egg in a bowl, then add in 6 tbsp of milk and whipping cream. Mix well.
  3. Combine bread flour and wheat flour. When measuring be sure to use a knife to scrap off extra flours so you have a leveled cup.
  4. Put all bread starters the bottom of bread machine loaf pan, followed by egg mixture.
  5. Add flours to loaf pan.  Make a indent in the middle, and add dry yeast to the indent. Add sugars, milk powder and salt to different corners of the loaf pan.
  6. For Zojirushi bread maker (model Zojirushi BB-PAC20), press HOME MADE button and set timing as follow and press START: Rest: OFF–> Knead: 25 min –> Shape: OFF –> Rise 1: 45 min –> Rise 2: 30 min –> Rise 3: 1hour –> Bake: OFF –> Keep Warm: OFF
  7. 1-2 minutes after the knead cycle starts, add in 2 tbsp milk (the dough will be very wet– add more milk if needed). Add melted butter and raisins in 3-4 batches before knead cycle completes.
  8. When the final rise cycle is completed, transfer bread dough to a lightly floured surface. Gently roll out to 15 x 13 rectangle. Sprinkle black brown sugar and cinnamon evenly. Roll the doug up like a jelly roll, pinch the end to seal.
  9. Transfer dough to a greased Pullman loaf pan (do not use lid), cover with plastic wrap and let it rise almost to the rim.
  10. Brush top with whipping cream, and bake in preheated 350F oven, middle rack, for 45 minutes. Remove from the pan. The bread should be nice and brown, with a hollow sound when tap the bottom.
  11. Cool bread completely on a rack before slicing. To keep bread moist for longer time, put bread in a Ziplog bag then inside bread box.

Regina’s Note:

  • Bread starter: I like to use 65C TangZhong method. It’s a bit more work but really produces breads that keep moist and soft for a longer time.
  • Bread machine: There is a bread button on my bread machine Zojirushi BB-PAC20, but I manually program the knead and rise time because it makes softer and fluffy breads. You can still use the same recipe but change the method/setting according to your bread machine manual. Be sure to cut down the ingredients if your machine has only 1 lb capacity (small loaf).

Cheeseboard Bakery is a very famous bakery in Berkeley, California. Their breads are amazing and there’s always a line for their freshly baked breads. Cheeseboard also makes pizzas, and there’s a line too. They only sell vegetarian pizzas, and the menu changes weekly. What’s interesting is that they always give you extra slices of pizzas to “compensate” you waiting patiently in the line (the line sometimes gets long, but it keeps moving). They also give you some spicy green pepper sauce for your pizza… boy, it’s THIS sauce that got me hooked when I had it at the first bite. I bought a container of the sauce, and the family finished it fast! Luckily, I read the ingredient list on the container before throwing it away. Guessing the amount for each ingredients wasn’t that hard with this sauce, and I think I got it pretty close to Cheeseboard’s.

Cilantro Pepper Sauce

Cilantro Pepper Sauce

 

Cilantro Pepper Sauce

Ingredients:

1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro
3 Serrano peppers
2 cloves garlic
1/2 small onion
1 tsp spicy mastard
4-5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste

Method:

Coarsely chop cilantro, peppers, garlic and onion then put all ingredients in a food processor to blend well. Served with warm flat breads, baguette or even pizzas.

Crab Melt

I am not a fan of sandwiches. However, Crab Melt is a different story. The first time I had a crab Melt was on a family road trip north to Oregon. We stopped by a coastal town called Brookings (southern coast of Oregon) to have lunch at a marina that has seafood eateries. The family ordered some Crab Melt’s, fish n chips, grilled oysters and smoked salmon dip (best SS dip!) from two different stores. Everything was so fresh and good, and the whole family falls in love with Crab Melt ever since. Since the trip I have been trying to creat the same flavor of the sandwich that we had in Oregon. After a couple of recipe fine tuning I’m finally happy with the result.

Making Crab Melt is pretty much an easy assembly job. However, qualitied ingredient plays an important role to make it a good eat. Obviously you don’t want to waste Alaska King Crab meat on this sandwich, but please don’t use cheap crab or fake crab meat. Using some random cheese will throw the flavor off… etc. Please check out my note at the bottom for more details. Okay, let’s get started before the crab season is over!

Crab Melt

Crab Melt… from the buttery golden crunchy crust, to the generous amount of sweet crab meat and Asiago cheese in the filling, with just enough Mozarrella cheese to bind together. Mmmm… now this IS good eat!

Crab Melt (makes 5 sandwiches)

Ingredients:

1 Dungeness crab– pick out the meat– see note below
3/4 cup freshly shredded Asiago cheese– see note below
1/4 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese– see note below
2/3 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese– see note below
10 big slices French bread– see note below

Butter to spread on bread

Method:

  1. Spread butter on one side of the bread. Lightly brown the bread slices (buttered side face down) on a sauté pan/skillet/griddle. Transfer bread to tray/plates with buttered side face up.
  2. Combine Asiago cheese and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle generous of cheese mixture on top of the bread, followed by Mozarrella cheese.
  3. Spoon generous amount of crab meat over Mozarrella cheese on 5 slices of the bread ONLY. Microwave all 10 slices about 1 minute until the cheese is slightly melted.
  4. Now find the bread partners– carefully flip over cheese slices over crab meat slices. Butter the top and bottom of the sandwiches, and grill on sauté pan/skillet/griddle until golden brown on both sides. Use a spatula to press down sandwiches to help bind the cheeses together. Serve fresh and hot.

Regina’s Note:

  • Crab meat: I like to use Dungeness crab meat but feel free to use any crab that is meaty and has a sweet taste. It’s best to use fresh crab (aka bought alive). Avoid using crab meat in a can or a tub as those are usually sourced in different country (different water, different taste…). Hand pick crab meta can take some time, but it can be done ahead of time and refrigerated (2-3 days) until ready to use.
  • Asiago/Parmesan cheese: I find the cheese flavor goes very well with crab meat. Gruyere cheese is a good choice too. Because these cheeses taste salty so you don’t need to add salt to crab Melt. Avoid using Cheddar/Fontina/Gouda these sort of cheeses as they are too salty and will over power the delicated mild flavor of crab meat.
  • Mozarrella cheese: I use this cheese only to bind the sandwich breads together. Don’t use too much Mozarrella cheese or you will have very cheesy sandwiches and won’t be able to taste the crab meat.
  • French bread: I prefer French bread but you can use any bread you like. Avoid breads that have big air pockets such Ciabatta and Pugliese (fillings will fall out), or baguette (unless you like the chewiness).

Cornbread Muffins

Cornbread Muffins

Cornbread Muffins… fresh hot from the oven!

Last time I made corn bread it didn’t turn out as good as I expected– it wasn’t as fluffy as promised in the recipe, and quite dry too. I used a rectangle pan so when I sliced the corn bread it was full of crumbs… Well, this time I searched recipes for cornbread muffins, in the hope that texture will be more like fluffy muffins. I came acrossed this Recipe from Brown Eyed Baker (I believe the author got the recipe from Cooks Illustrated) , and decided to give it a try (even it only has one review). Why? Because this recipe uses more corn meal than other cornbread recipes, and the method really catches my eyes– it calls for cooking some corn meal with milk to trap the liquid, and thus producing moist cornbread muffins (as explained in Cooks Illustrated). I made a small change– increase sugar to 1/2 cup instead of 1/3 cup.

Results? 12 golden, happy cornbread muffins, fluffy and moist, waiting to be slathered with butter! Oh yes! 

Cornbread Muffins (yields 12 Muffins– adapted from Brown Eyed Baker)

Ingredients:

2 cups corn meals (divide to 1 1/2 cup and 1/2 cup)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup (1 stick)  unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Method:

  1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan with butter. 
  2. In a medium bowl, Whisk together 1½ cups of the cornmeal, the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining ½ cup cornmeal and the milk. Microwave for 1½ minutes, then whisk thoroughly and continue to microwave, whisking every 30 seconds, until thickened to a batter-like consistency (the whisk will leave a distinct trail in the bottom of the bowl that slowly fills in), 1 to 3 additional minutes. [Note: If you do not have a microwave, you can do this step in a saucepan on the stovetop.]
  4. Whisk in the sour cream, melted butter, and sugar until combined, then whisk in the eggs. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour mixture until thoroughly combined (the batter will be very thick). Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups (the batter will mound slightly above the rim).
  5. Bake until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 15-20 minutes, rotating the muffin tin halfway through baking. Let the muffins cool in the muffin tin on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then remove muffins from the muffin tin and let cool 5 minutes longer. Serve warm or at room temperature. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or wrapped in plastic wrap, placed in a freezer bag and frozen for up to 2 months.

Seaweed Cookies 紫菜酥餅 (yield 80-100 small cookies)

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup flour
2 tbsp dry milk powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
12 tbsp ( 1 1/2 stick) unsalted butter– softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 pack (17 gram) Costco organic seaweed– blended (see note below)
1 tbsp roasted sesame seeds

Egg wash
Chili powder

Method:

  1. Combine flour, milk powder, salt and baking powder. Sift and set aside.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg and mix until blended.
  3. Mix in blended seaweed  and sesame seeds with a spatula.
  4. Add flour mixture. Use spatula to mix and press to form a dough.
  5. Wrap dough in plastic wrap. Chill dough in the fridge to harden so it’s easier to handle. When ready, lightly dust work surface with flour, roll out dough to 5mm thickness and cut with cookie cutter (dust cutter with flour to prevent sticking). 
  6. Put cut cookies on baking pan lined with parchment paper. Brush with egg wash then dash the top with chili powder.
  7. Bake at preheated 325 F oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool cookies on a rack. Store in air tight container when completely cooled.

Regina’s Note:

  • Seaweed: I used snacking seaweed instead nori for sushi making– snacking seaweed is usually lightly seasoned with salt and oil, making the cookies more flavorful. 
  • Flavor: The cookies have a nice seaweed flavor and not too sweet. Chili powder wasn’t spicy ( you can also use paprika powder– it’s more for the look). Next time I will try adding finely grated Parmesan cheese… sounds like a good combination with seaweed…