Follow Eat The Love by Irvin Lin on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook


The first of two photo essays for the San Francisco Meals on Wheels Star Chefs and Vintners Gala fundraiser of 2019 featuring the appetizers and vintners.

My partner AJ and I are big supporters of Meals on Wheels. They’re a vital part of the community, providing meals to homebound seniors throughout the country. This year, I wasn’t able to attend the annual San Francisco Star Chefs and Vintners Gala but I was able to send AJ!

The Gala raised $3.3 million, which is enough income to provide 640,000 meals. It’s about 22% of their annual $15 million budget. Though I missed the event and the food, AJ was able to capture the event in all its glory. There’s no way I’m missing next year!

(I’ll be sharing more photos from the event later this week. In the meanwhile, you can check out photos from the 2018 Gala part 1 and part 2.)

Special thanks to Meals on Wheels San Francisco for providing tickets to the Star Chefs and Vintners’ Gala. I was not monetarily compensated for this post and all opinions are my own.

The post Photo Essay: Meals on Wheels Gala 2019, part 1 appeared first on Eat The Love.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

This apricot and blueberry cake is a delightful summer coffee cake that uses summer stone fruit and berries along with moist almond flour.

Jump to Recipe

In the pantheon of summer fruit, apricots surprisingly fall LOW on my list of must haves, especially for fruit to add to cakes. I’ve made numerous summer coffee cake recipes, including peach and blueberry cake, strawberry coffee cake, Earl Grey blueberry coffee cake and cherry buckle cake.

But I don’t often reach for the apricots. The fruit you find at grocery stores seem designed for durability and shipping, not for flavor. Though other fruits have seen a revival of heirloom varietals at stores, apricots still often show up as just apricots, with their soft velvet skin and vaguely generic summer stone fruit flavor.

This, of course, is changing a bit with farmer’s markets. But if you don’t have access to a local farmer’s market, the apricot you are getting from the supermarket is most likely not ideal. But once you start baking or cooking with it, the generic fruit mellows and deepens into something quite delightful. A handful of blueberries, and this summer coffee cake is an easy mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack, not to sweet, not too assertive and great with coffee or tea.

Make ahead and storage

You can make this cake up to two days ahead. Just store it at room temperature under a cake dome or tightly sealed with plastic wrap. Give the cake a fresh dusting of powdered sugar before serving, as the initial dusting most likely will have absorbed into the cake.

Substituting other stone fruit?

Apricots are sometimes difficult to find at grocery stores. You can substitute a different fruit like nectarines or peaches for the apricots. More and more stores and markets have hybrid fruit like apriums, pluots and plumcots which are a cross breed of plums and apricots. These hybrids are not GMO modified fruit but rather fruit trees that have been naturally cross-bred. They are a great substitute for apricots.

Can I use frozen fruit.

I don’t recommend using frozen fruit in this particular recipe, as they tend to shed liquid when they are thawed out which can lead to a soggy cake. Fresh fruit is best for this recipe.

What is almond meal and almond flour?

I use almond meal in this cake because it gives added moisture and flavor to the cake. Almond meal is just almonds with their skins on them ground to a fine powder. Almond flour is the almonds without their skin ground to a fine powder. Either will work with this recipe, though the almond meal has a slightly more bitter flavor to it (which is not very noticeable in the final product).

How do I substitute for almond meal or flour?

If you don’t have either product you can take a cup of whole almonds (with or without skins) and just grind them yourself in a blender or food processor. Just pulse the machine until the almonds have been reduced to a powder. Don’t overprocessing the nuts though, as they will turn into a paste which is not appropriate for this cake.

Don’t have a springform pan?

Just substitute in an 8-inch round cake pan. Use a piece of parchment paper on the bottom. The spring form pan just makes it easier to remove the cake. But grease the cake pan well and invert it onto the serving platter and you should be fine!

Looking for more fresh fruit cakes?
Apricot and Blueberry Cake
This summer coffee cake is slightly sweet and nutty. I use almond meal in this cake for added moisture and flavor. Give the cake a dusting of the powdered sugar right before you serve it, as the fruit and cake is fairly moist and will absorb the sugar if you let it sit around too long.
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword apricot, blueberry, cake, coffee cake, fruit
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 350kcal
Author Irvin
Cake Batter
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter 1 1/2 sticks or 170 g
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar 165 g
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 175 g
  • 1 cup almond flour or almond meal 110 g
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 3 medium apricots chopped, about 7 ounces or 200 g
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries about 6 ounces or 170 g
To serve
  • Powdered sugar
  • Lightly spray an 8-inch springform pan with cooking oil. Place a round piece of parchment paper at the bottom of the pan. Place pan on a rimmed baking sheet or pizza pan.
  • Place the butter, sugar, vanilla and baking powder in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Cream the ingredients together on medium speed until the mixture looks light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating until the first egg is incorporated before adding the second one. The batter will most likely look “broken” but don’t worry about it, as it will come together when you add the other dry ingredients. Scrape down the sides with a spatula.
  • Add the all-purpose and almond flour, salt and nutmeg to the batter and mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are absorbed. Add the milk and beat until incorporated.
  • Scrape down the sides with a spatula and then add the apricots and blueberries. Using a spatula, gently fold the fruit into the batter, trying not to break the berries or apricots too much.
  • Scrape the batter into the pan, then spread it evenly over the bottom of the pan with a spatula or butter knife. Bake in the oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle of the pan comes out clean.
  • Let cool completely, remove from pan, and flip upside down onto a serving platter. Peel off the parchment paper, then dust with powdered sugar. Serve immediately.
Loosely based on a recipe from Nigel Slater’s cookbook Ripe

The post Apricot and Blueberry Cake appeared first on Eat The Love.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

This easy and rustic strawberry rhubarb galette, otherwise known as a crostata, is a free-form tart and the best fruit galette recipe for springtime!

Jump to Recipe

If you’ve never made a galette, know that it’s way easier to make than it looks. Easier than a layer cake and more rustic and casual than a pie.

I’ve made mini mixed berry galettes with chocolate crust before. I’ve made plum galettes before. I’ve even made fancy pants poached mead pear galettes! Galettes are the little black dress of desserts.

What’s a galette

A galette is a free-form tart that is made without a pie or tart pan. The dough is rolled out and filling is piled into the middle of the dough, then the edges are folded over forming a crust.

The word “galette” is actually a French word and it is exactly the same as a crostata, which is the Italian word for a free-form tart! So, if you’re serving an Italian meal, you can call this dessert a strawberry rhubarb crostata instead!

The dough is often made with a tenderizer like egg yolk or buttermilk and is rolled a little thicker than a pie dough, because it needs to support the filling by itself. Galettes are easy-to-make, and are a great rustic dessert that impress most folks with their beautiful charm.

Make the dough ahead

If you have the forethought, make the galette dough the day before and wrap it well in plastic wrap. Store it in the fridge overnight. Or place the plastic wrapped dough in a quart resealable plastic bag and freeze it!

The dough will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Just defrost by placing it in the refrigerator the night before to thaw, or on the counter at room temperature for about an hour.

Cheat with store-bought crust

If you’re short on time or you’re freaked out about making crust (I promise my crust is super easy and forgiving but I get it!) you can cheat by using store-bought pie crust or even puff pastry!

Just make sure the crust is thawed completely (if frozen). Then use it like the homemade rolled out dough in the recipe, piling the fruit filling in the center and folding the crust over it.

Bake as directed, but keep an eye on the crust if you’re using puff pastry. It might bake faster because of the extra butter in it, so check about 30 minutes into baking! If you find the crust baking too fast and the filling isn’t bubbling try covering the edges of the crust with aluminum foil to slow it down as the filling continues to cook.

Make the entire galette ahead

Like most baked goods, galettes are best served the day they are made. But you can make the galette a day ahead and store it covered at room temperature. If you’d like to warm the galette up, you can pop it back into a preheated 350°F oven on a baking sheet for 10 or 15 minutes. This will not only warm it up but also crisp the crust as well. Whatever you do, don’t microwave the galette. The microwave will just toughen the crust and then make it soggy.

Why use an apple in the filling

This filling is a combination of tart rhubarb and sweet strawberry. I like to use a minimal amount of sugar and starch to thicken and sweeten the filling so the fruit flavors really shines through. The secret weapon for this is an apple! A grated apple not only helps to thicken the filling (apples are naturally full of pectin, the natural ingredient that is thickens jams and jellies) but also sweetens it. The flavor is fairly neutral so it doesn’t interfere with the rhubarb and strawberry flavors at all.

Why use tapioca flour in the filling

Tapioca flour is a thickener that is often used in pie fillings. It can be found online and at well stocked grocery stores. If you make a lot of pies and tarts, I highly recommend buying some tapioca starch as is thickens fairly well, especially under acidic conditions. It also creates a glossy thickened filling with a neutral flavor. But if don’t have tapioca starch and you don’t feel like buying a package just for this recipe, just substitute the same amount of cornstarch in its place. Don’t use flour as a thickener in this recipe. It will dull the filling in both flavor and color.

If you like this strawberry rhubarb galette, try these other rhubarb recipes:

Strawberry Rhubarb Galette
This free-form tart is made by rolling out the dough, piling the fruit filling in the middle and then folding the edges over the filling to create a crust. Then an egg wash is brushed on the edges and sugar is sprinkled over it. Baked in the oven on a rimmed baking sheet, these rustic desserts are super easy to make and impress most everyone. Feel free to serve a slice of the galette on its own, or with a scoop of your favorite ice cream.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, French, Italian
Keyword crostata, fruit, galette, pie, rhubarb, strawberry, tart
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Rest Time 1 hour
Servings 6
Calories 600kcal
Author Irvin
Galette Crust
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 350 g
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar 50 g
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup cold unsalted butter 225 g or 2 sticks
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup cold water plus 1 tablespoon if needed
  • 3 cups strawberries about 9 ounces
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb about 4 ounces or 1 large thick stalk
  • 1/2 medium apple peeled, cored and grated through the big hole of a box grater
  • 1/4 cup granulated white sugar 50 g
  • 2 tablespoon tapioca starch or cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper optional but recommended
  • Pinch of salt
To Finish
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar or granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar optional but recommended
  • Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Stir vigorously together with a whisk until the ingredients are evenly distributed. Cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes and sprinkle over the dry ingredients. Using your fingers and hands, first toss the butter in the flour, then smash the butter into thin slivers, breaking them up as you go.
  • Once they have been broken and flattened into small bits the size of peas, add the egg yolks to the 1/2 cup water in a glass measuring cup and beat together with a fork. Drizzle the eggy water over the butter and flour. Toss with a fork until the dough starts to come together. If the dough still isn’t forming, add additional water, 1 tablespoon water until it does. Massage the mass with your hands until it forms a cohesive dough.
  • Flatten into a disk about 1 inch thick, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
  • Once the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 350°On a clean surface dusted with flour, roll out the dough into a 13-inch circle. Slip a clean piece of parchment paper under the dough, then move the dough to a 13 x 18 inch rimmed baking sheet. Don’t worry if the dough hangs over the edges a little bit.
  • Make the filling by cutting the greens off the strawberries, the cutting them in half (or quarters if they are very large). Place the strawberries in a medium sized bowl and add the remainder of the ingredients. Gently toss and mix with a large spatula.
  • Dump the entire filling in the middle of the rolled out dough and then spread it out evenly, leaving about 2 inches around the edge of the crust. Arrange the strawberries and rhubarb so most of them are on top, and the grated apple is underneath if possible.
  • Start folding the edge of the dough over the fruit filling in a circle, “pleating” the dough to make it fold around the filling. the whole galette should be about 9 inches in diameter and fit comfortably in the center of the parchment paper and baking sheet.
  • Beat together the egg yolk and the water in a small bowl. Brush the top crust (as well as under the pleats of dough to “seal” the dough to itselwith the egg wash, trying not to get any of the egg wash on the parchment paper. Sprinkle with the turbinado sugar.
  • Bake until the crust is a deep golden brown and the filling is bubbly, 55 to 60 minutes. Let cool completely on the baking sheet before slipping the galette onto a serving platter. Brush with balsamic vinegar if using and serve.

The post Strawberry Rhubarb Galette appeared first on Eat The Love.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

This savory and sweet rhubarb chutney is sophisticated and easy-to-make and is a great addition to any charcuterie and cheese plate.

Jump directly to Recipe

This post was sponsored by Safeway. I was compensated for this post and for developing the recipe. However, all opinions below are completely my own.

For me, the sign that we are FIRMLY into Spring season isn’t the warmer weather or the flowers blooming. It’s the appearance of rhubarb in the stores! I’m a fan of the long vibrant red stalks that are often paired with strawberries. But strawberry rhubarb isn’t the only ingredient combination out there and pies aren’t the only thing you can make with rhubarb. Rhubarb Ginger chutney is my new favorite thing!

A few weeks ago I went up to J Vineyard and Winery with the Safeway team to learn all about their sparkling wine making processing, eat an extraordinary 5-course meal paired with their wines, as well as learn more about Columbus Craft Meats (one of my favorite charcuteries brands) and Triscuits (which has a new line of seasoned crackers that I’m a bit obsessed with).

I teamed up with Safeway to learn more about some of the products that they sell in their stores. I’ve been looking forward to visiting J Vineyard and Wineries for awhile since sparkling wines one of my favorites to celebrate and enjoy. The tour did not disappoint, starting with a history of the winery that was founded in 1986 by Judy Jordan (at the age of 25!) to the current owners of E & J Gallo who took over the winery in 2015. The tour continued and showed us the entire process of how they made sparkling wine which involved some cool looking machines that turned and twisted the bottles to make sure the sparkling wine yeast continued to ferment the wine. In the old days, this process was actually done by hand!

The tour ended with a 5-course meal in the Bubble Room that continued to get better and better after each course. From a white asparagus, morel and duck egg dish (paired with pinot gris, a signature wine that they started making after they expanded beyond sparkling) to the rainbow trout (paired with Chardonnay), and lamb three ways (paired with Pinot Noir) I was pretty stuffed. But not so much that I couldn’t fit in the chevre cheese course with a sparkling Brut Rosé and the final Meyer Lemon Crémeaux dessert served with a Vintage Brut sparkling wine. All in all, it was a hard day of eating and drinking!

Afterwards we went up to learn more about Columbus Craft Meats and Triscuits. I didn’t think I could eat any more, and neither did the Safeway folks, which is why they had us make snack filled bento boxes-to-go with both of them. Of course, despite being full, I had to sample all the various charcuterie, including their Italian Dry Salame (with Burgundy wine and a hint of garlic) as well as zesty Calabrese with red pepper flakes that Columbus Craft Meats brought. Of course, I already buy their products to snack and make sandwiches with as it tastes like actual charcuterie and meat, not like some weird Frankenstein meat product.

But what I didn’t know much about was the new Triscuit flavors, that included my favorite, a basil and garlic cracker that had quinoa seeds woven into it. What! I swear I could eat the box of them all by themselves. And I almost did too, despite being crazy full from the lunch. I’ve always had a soft spot for Triscuits and their simple three ingredient crackers (wheat, oil and salt). But their new flavors like their rosemary and jalapeno cracker had chia seeds woven into them as well!

In the end, as I came up with a “goodie bag” full of products, to inspire me in the kitchen. With spring here and rhubarb appearing, I knew that I wanted to make something that would be easy to make and bring to a picnic or serve on a charcuterie platter. I tend to hibernate a bit in the wintertime, but once Spring comes around, I start thinking of picnics and entertaining! And this spicy, sweet and savory rhubarb chutney would pair well with the richness of the Columbus charcuterie and the salty crunch of the triscuit crackers. Sharp and acidic, with a mix of savory and spicy, the chutney is perfect on top of the charcuterie and salty flavorful cracker. Plus the touch of pinot noir wine that I used from J Wineries added a level of complexity that brought the chutney to the next level. Spring is here! Grab a picnic basket and throw in some J Winery bubbly, a packet of Columbus Crafted charcuterie, some Triscuits crackers, a little cheese and wine and this easy to make rhubarb chutney. It’s finally time to get outside and enjoy the nice weather!

What is Chutney

Chutney is a sauce that originated in Indian and was used as a garnish or dip. The British adapted it by adding a tart fruit like green apples or rhubarb, adding sugar to mellow the tartness, as an acidic element to it, often cider vinegar. I’ve adapted my rhubarb chutney further, adding garlic and onion, as well as balsamic vinegar and ginger to give it a punchy kick of robust flavor. The strong combination of sweet, tart, acidic and spicy balances out and compliments charcuterie and strong cheeses, and holds up well on a charcuterie board.

How to make a Charcuterie and Cheese board

I love to entertain by making a large charcuterie and cheese board. Mix up the charcuterie, making sure to use two or three types of meat, some thicker and spicier, some more mellow in flavor. Columbus Crafted Meats offers a wide range of cured meats for you to select! Add in a selection of cheese, soft, medium and hard, as well as some that are more pungent than others. Then include a robust chutney or jam that will work well with the cheese and cured meats, along with crackers (like Triscuits, which come in a wide range of flavors) and/or bread. Finally include some fruit (dried and fresh) and salty nuts and olives to help balance it all out! Try to pick items that are easy to eat with your fingers, as opposed to something that requires you to use a utensil. Serve the board with your choice of wine (white or red) or sparkling bubbly!

Make ahead

This rhubarb chutney has both sugar and a little bit of balsamic vinegar in it, which will help preserve it. You can make and keep the chutney in the refrigerator for up to 5 days before serving it.

If you like this recipe, check out these other rhubarb recipes:

You can get all the ingredients, including J Vineyard Wines, Triscuit crackers and Columbus Craft Meats from your local Safeway store. And if you haven’t had a chance, you can also get the ingredients delivered for free, with $20 off on your 1st online order when you spend $75 or more. Enter the promo code: SAVE20 at the online checkout. Offer valid through 7/31/2019.

Rhubarb Chutney
This complex flavored chutney is sophisticated but easy to make. This spicy, salty, sweet and savory sauce makes a great addition to any charcuterie and cheese platter or served on the side with a rich meat dish like pork chops or roasted pork tenderloin. Make it ahead and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword charcuterie, cheese, chutney, entertaining, rhubarb, sauce, side
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 85kcal
Author Irvin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onions about 1/2 a medium sized one
  • 2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger about a 2-inch piece
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries 45 g
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins 45 g
  • 1/3 cup dry pinot noir wine like J Vineyards and Winery Pinot Noir
  • 1/2 cup white sugar 100 g
  • 3 cups chopped 1/2-inch chunk rhubarb about 12 ounces or 3 to 4 medium sized stalks, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup ground coriander
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Place the olive oil, garlic, onions and ginger in a medium saucepan and cook over medium high heat until the onions are soft and transparent, about 5 minutes. If the ginger starts to dry out and scorch, add 2 tablespoons of water and continue to cook, adding more water if necessary.
  • Once the onions are cooked, add the dried cherries and golden raisins and wine and increase the heat to high. Bring to a boil and then lower the temperature so the wine is at a simmer for 1 minutes. 
  • Increase the heat to medium and stir in the sugar, half rhubarb (1 1/2 cups), the pepper, coriander and cloves. Cook for 5 minutes or until the rhubarb has softened and is just starting to break down. Add the remaining rhubarb and cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes or until the just added rhubarb has just started to soften. Remove from heat and stir in the balsamic vinegar.
  • Let cool to room temperature and store in a refrigerator, covered for up to 5 days. Bring the chutney back to room temperature before serving.
This post was sponsored by Safeway. I was compensated for this post and for developing the recipe. However, all opinions below are completely my own.

The post Rhubarb Chutney [Sponsored Post] appeared first on Eat The Love.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

These vegetarian breakfast tacos are a great way to start the morning. The mushrooms and eggs satisfy even the meat eaters in the house!

Jump to directly to recipe

Recently there was one of those HILARIOUS lists on one of those viral websites (BuzzWorthyUpNowFeed or something like that) that talks about random things that Americans do in movies/tv shows that the rest of the world do not. This includes that fact that every American family not only has a baseball in their house (not in their garage, but in their house) and will immediately grab it when they hear a sound and go investigate (why don’t they just call the police instead?), how Americans always have a bag of frozen peas in the freezer ready to put on a bruised or injured body part (but apparently it is actually never used for food) and how all American family moms and dads eat full plated breakfasts in the morning before work, and they are often interrupted by their scantily clad daughters walking out to work, which results in an indignant fatherly talk about appropriate school attire as they drop their toast into their scrambled eggs.

Let the record show, I rarely eat a full breakfast in the morning.

BUT in those rare occasions that I do make a hot breakfast for myself, I find I’m super happy. And I swear to myself that I’m going to do it more often. And one of those breakfasts that I want to make more often is a mushroom and egg breakfast taco.

I had never had breakfast tacos until I moved out to California. Though I’m sure you can find them now in St. Louis, my old hometown, the food scene when I was growing up, especially in terms of breakfast, was more bacon and eggs and some sort of griddle-made carb (French toast, pancakes, or waffles if you were being super fancypants). But these breakfast tacos are a revelation to me. And since I’m often looking to eat less meat, the mushrooms pack a nice umami punch that satisfy the carnivore in me. And the fact that I can whip up these breakfast tacos super-fast, means I don’t really have an excuse not to eat a decent hot breakfast in the morning. Even if I do not have a sassy teenage daughter living in our house.

Why use mushrooms in the breakfast taco

The classic white or brown mushroom is probably the easiest mushroom for these breakfast tacos. When quartered, they are thick and chunky enough that they give a “meaty” kick of umami (the savory flavor that meat has) is often missing in plant-based meals. I actually add a dash or two of soy sauce to the mushrooms to not only season them, but also kick up the umami in them, making them more meaty and satisfying. Don’t worry that the tacos will taste “Asian” though. The soy sauce is blends in and isn’t assertive in flavor at all.

Make ahead

You can make most of these components ahead of time if you want to save time in the morning! Chop the tomatoes and chives ahead of time and store them in an air tight container in the fridge overnight. Saute the garlic and mushrooms and save them in a bowl in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap. Then, in the morning, warm up the tortillas and scramble the eggs. Toss the mushrooms with the eggs in the last 30 seconds to warm them up and you’re good to go!

What sort of toppings can you use in your breakfast tacos?

I like to use tomatoes and chives on my breakfast, especially since they work well with the garlic mushrooms. But if you want to add a little richness, you can add a dollop of sour cream or chopped avocados. If you like hot and spicy, try adding a dash of tabasco or hot sauce to the breakfast tacos or a sprinkle of cayenne in the sautéed mushrooms. A little bit of homemade or store-bought salsa is also always great on breakfast tacos! Breakfast tacos are super customizable to whatever you have in the fridge or pantry.

Corn vs Flour Tortillas

I love the flavor of corn tortillas but I find them tend to break when I try to bend them. Flour tortillas are more flexible but lack the flavor. Some companies actually have a flour and corn hybrid tortilla to fix this issue but they can be difficult to find. If you pick corn tortillas, you might want to double the tortilla to keep them from splitting. But whatever tortilla you use, warm them up either in a microwave under a damp paper towel, or on a dry skillet on the stovetop for 10 seconds. The warmth will improve their bendability.

Other Vegetarian Breakfast Recipes on Eat the Love

If you like these vegetarian breakfast tacos, check out these other vegetarian breakfast recipes:

Vegetarian Breakfast Tacos with Mushrooms and Eggs
A quick and easy hot breakfast is ready for you whenever you want! You can make and prep components ahead of time if you want the tacos even faster in the morning. But even if you make them in the morning from scratch, they’re ready in about 20 minutes.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American, Mexican
Keyword american, breakfast, cheese, deviled eggs, mexican, mushrooms, tacos, vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 300kcal
Author Irvin
  • 3 tablespoon butter divided
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms quartered
  • 2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk whatever you have in the fridge
  • 4 to rtillas corn or flour
  • 1 medium tomato chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded Pepper Jack or Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2 teaspoon chopped chives
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over high heat. Add the garlic and lower the heat to medium. Cook for 20 to 30 seconds or until the garlic starts to smell fragrant, then add the mushrooms. Once the mushrooms start to soften and look a bit translucent (about 2 minutes), sprinkle the soy sauce over them and continue to cook until mushrooms are done, about 3 to 4 minutes more.
  • Pour hot mushrooms into a heatproof bowl and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter to the skillet. Don’t bother cleaning the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the four eggs and milk. Slowly cook the eggs, stirring constantly until the eggs have come to a soft scramble with limp wet curdles. Add the mushrooms, garlic, any residual liquid in the bowl, and the cheese to the skillet and continue to cook, heating the mushrooms back up and fully scrambling the eggs with the cheese.
  • While the eggs are scrambling, warm up the tortillas by either wrapping them in a damp paper towel and microwaving them on high for 30 seconds or individually warming them up on a dry skillet for about 10 seconds per side on high heat. If warming them on a skillet, move them to a plate and cover with a damp towel to keep warm.
  • Once the eggs are done, divide them on to the tortillas and sprinkle the tomatoes and chives over them. Salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

The post Vegetarian Breakfast Tacos (with mushrooms and eggs) appeared first on Eat The Love.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

These stunning Beet Pickled Deviled Eggs use both Mediterranean Za’atar spice blend and tahini in the filling for an unforgettable standout dish! (Jump directly to the Recipe)

Year before I started my blog I catered a co-worker’s baby shower. It was my gift to her, though, in retrospect, I had bitten off more than I could chew. I made everything out of my tiny kitchen, feeding a party of 50+ people. I made mac and cheese, deviled eggs and cupcakes along with a number of other dishes that I can’t even remember. I’m not really made out for catering, and though I survived the experience, I can’t say I really enjoyed it or wanted to revisit it.

But one of the dishes, a beet-pickled deviled egg stuck in my head. I found the recipe online years ago and I can’t remember what the filling consisted of, though I think it had caraway seeds which I am not a huge fan of. But ever since then I’ve been wanting to revisit the egg because it’s really quite stunning, with its vibrant pink color from the beet juice.

So, when I opened up the kiln at my ceramic studio recently and pulled out a baby-blue textured plate that I had recently made, I knew that I wanted to make those eggs again. I’ve been spending more and more time in the ceramic studio, and it in turn has inspired me to spend more and more time in the kitchen. Each piece I pull out of the kiln makes me think of the food I want to make to put in them. It’s so funny how all my interests overlap and feed into each other (pun intended).

Once I figured out that I wanted to make those beet-pickled deviled eggs, it was just a matter of revisiting the filling. The sweet acidic beet juice not only turns the eggs a beautiful vibrant pink color but adds a distinct flavor that I wanted to highlight. I landed on both tahini and zaatar spice in the filling as a perfect compliment. This is the sort of vivid flavored deviled eggs that matched the stunning color, perfect for Springtime and Easter!

Make ahead

You can make components of these deviled eggs ahead of time if you want! Pickled beets will last up to 1 month in the fridge. Feel free to pickle them and eat them in whatever dish you want, saving the pickling brine for the eggs. If, at any point, the brine starts to look cloudy or smell off, toss and make some fresh pickling brine.

You do need to pickle the eggs at least 8 hours (overnight) and up to 48 hours (2 days) to infuse the eggs with flavor and color. The longer you pickle the eggs the more flavor and color the eggs will have. I pickled my eggs for 24 hours because I wanted to keep an inner white part of the egg and I didn’t want the pickled beet flavor to overpower my deviled eggs.

You can make the filling of the deviled eggs up to 24 hours ahead of time. Just combine all the ingredients and save them in the resealable freezer plastic bag or an airtight container.  You can even just snip off a corner of the bag with a scissors and pipe the eggs right before serving making it super easy! The eggs, once assembled, are best eaten the day of.

What are watermelon radishes?

I use watermelon radishes as a garnish on these deviled eggs. Watermelon radishes are a mild flavored radish with a stunning pink center and green white edge (which is what gives them their name). You can find them seasonally at Farmers markets or at upscale and well-stocked grocery stores. If you can’t find them, any radish will do for a garnish for these eggs. You can even omit them as a garnish, though I think they not only look great on the egg, but add a crisp peppery bite that helps compliment the tahini za’atar filling and the pickled beet eggs.

Easy Shortcut for Pickled Beets

If you don’t making your own pickled beet, feel free to use the brine from a store-bought jarred or canned pickled beet of your choice! Just make sure you have enough brine for the eggs. You need at least 2 cup of brine to pickle the eggs.

What is a good substitute for Za’atar?

Za’atar (sometimes spelled zaatar) spice blend is a middle eastern spice blend that can be found in well-stocked grocery stores or online. You can even make your own version of it if you want or just substitute another spice blend like dukkah (and Egyptian spice blend), harissa (a Tunisian spice blend) or your favorite Italian spice blend. To make a simplified homemade version of za’atar, just blend equal parts dried thyme, sesame seeds, and mix in half the amount of fresh lemon zest together, then add salt and pepper to your taste. Keep in mind the homemade version won’t taste quite like actual za’atar spice blend, which often uses wild thyme and other herbs and seasonings.

What is good substitute for Tahini?

Tahini is a ground sesame seed puree, a vital ingredient in hummus. I adore it in this deviled egg and don’t really recommend any other substitutions, though some folks say you can try peanut butter or another nut butter in its place. If you try that, leave me a note in the comments and tell me what you think of it!

What’s the best way to hard boil eggs?

I like using the pressure cooker to make my hard-boiled eggs because the eggshells practically slide off. You can use a pressure cooker like the Crock Pot Multi-Cooker or the Instant Pot for easy hard-boiled eggs. I pressure cook on high for 4 minutes, then do a natural pressure release for 5 minutes then quick release and move the eggs to a cold water bath to stop the cooking. Or you can steam them, which also makes them easier to peel than traditional boiling. I have directions on steaming eggs for soft-cooked eggs in this post. Just steam them for 12 minutes total instead of the recommended 7 minutes for soft-cooked.

Other Egg Recipes on Eat the Love

If you like these beet pickled deviled eggs, check out these other egg recipes:

Beet Pickled Deviled Eggs with Za’atar and Tahini
These Mediterranean-spiced filled deviled eggs have a stunning vibrant pink color because of they are first pickled in beet juice. You must pickle them in the juice for 8 hours minimum to get color and flavor so keep that in mind if you are making them for an event or special occasion.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Mediterranean
Keyword beet, deviled eggs, easter, eggs, mediterranean spice, radish, spring, tahini, zaatar
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Rest Time 1 hour
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 50kcal
Author Irvin
Beet pickling juice
  • 4 cups white vinegar
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 large beet peeled and cut in half
  • 6 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 tablespoon chives chopped
  • 1/4 cup Greek-style yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon za’atar spice blend
  • 2 teaspoon tahini
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
To assemble
  • Radish slices for garnish
  • Additional chopped chives
  • Za’atar spice blend
  • Make the beet pickling juice by placing the vinegar, water, sugar and salt in a medium sized saucepan. Turn the heat on high, until the solids dissolve, then add the beet. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the beet is tender and cooked. Remove the beet and save for another use. Let the brine cool. Place the hard-boiled eggs in a large bowl, then pour enough of the brine to cover the eggs. Then cover and refrigerate overnight (8 hours) up to 2 days (48 hours).
  • Once the eggs are done marinating in the brine, remove them and slice them in half. Place the egg yolks in a medium-sized bowl. Add the chives, yogurt, mustard, za’atar, tahini, salt and pepper into the bowl as well. Mash all the fillings ingredients together until smooth,
  • Spoon the filling into the egg white shells.
  • Garnish each deviled egg with a radish slice, a sprinkling of chives, and some additional za’atar spice blend on top.

The post Beet Pickled Deviled Eggs with Za’atar and Tahini appeared first on Eat The Love.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

These easy-to-make roasted radishes and Brussels sprouts side dish is drizzled with lemon brown butter and screams springtime! (Jump directly to the recipe.)

Our apartment smells like Spring. I’m not talking about a wafting smell of rhubarb or early strawberries or fresh cooked sugar snap peas. I’m talking about the fact that we finally were able to open our windows, after a miserably rainy season of wintertime cold, and breath the fresh air. We haven’t turned on the heat in a few days, and as I worked away in the kitchen, I opened the door to let in a little bit of Springtime light. And that’s when it hit me, Spring is here, at least in San Francisco, and I’m embracing it head on.

It’s funny how much weather can drastically impact your mood. I’m not one to severely suffer from seasonal affective disorder; at least not more than that average person. But there’s something to be said about the bright sunlight and outdoor air that will put me in a good mood. And with the fresh air (as fresh as you can get in a major metropolitan city like San Francisco) I found myself heading to the grocery store to pick up some Spring produce.

Radishes aren’t my usual go-to Spring vegetable. I tend to gravitate toward asparagus or sugar snap peas (or rhubarb if I can find it, though it’s still a little too early for me to find here). But when I saw the various different types of radishes at the store, including Watermelon, purple and Easter egg, I knew I had to pick up a bunch. Their sharp peppery bite is great in salads and as a vehicle for my hummus.

But when you roast radishes, that peppery bite mellows and softens into an earthy rich buttery treat. Paired with a nutty roasted Brussels sprouts and a drizzle of lemony brown butter, one bite had me realizing that Springtime was truly here. Longer days, shorter nights, and short sleeve t-shirts. I’m ready.

What the differences between the radishes at the store?

Like all vegetables, radishes come in all shapes and sizes. The most common ones are the red radishes, with a peppery bite, the French breakfast radish which sounds and looks fancy with their cylindrical shape and crisp texture and Easter Egg radishes. Easter egg radishes bunch, which are basically the “rainbow carrots” of radishes, are actually a mix of pink, white, purple, and red varieties which lend a bright mix of colors to any dish. I also have a fondness for watermelon radishes, which, like their namesake, is colored white-ish green on the outside and pink on the inside and are less peppery and milder in flavor than the traditional red radish. You can find them at upscale grocery stores and farmer’s markets when they are in season.

Whatever radish you choose to use, be sure to cut them into roughly the same size for roasting. This will keep help them cook at the same time. I try to cut the Easter egg radishes in half, while quartering and even cutting the larger radishes (like the watermelon one) into 6 pieces.

How to make brown butter

After roasting the radishes and the brussel sprouts, you can drizzle lemony brown butter over the vegetables. Brown butter is easy to make, but can run the risk of burning. If you have never made brown butter before, pick a silver or light-colored skillet so you can see the color of the butter fat as it browns. Cook the butter in the skillet, and remove the pan from the heat the moment you see the butter fat start to brown and smell the nuttiness. The residual heat will continue to cook and brown the butter. If the butter isn’t brown enough for your taste, you can always return the pan to the stove and put it on a low heat, nudging the butter to a toasty golden brown. But if you take it too far you’ll have to start over again, as the butter will taste burnt.

What if you hate brussels sprouts?

We can’t be friends. Just kidding! No problem. You can always just double the amount of radishes in this dish and still have a great dish. Or try cutting the same amount of carrots or another root vegetable and using that in its place of Brussels. But if you’ve never had roasted brussels sprouts, give them a chance before dismissing them. The high heat roasting gives them a nuttiness while the brown butter brings out the sweetness in them. Also consider buying smaller sprouts, as they tend to be younger and sweeter than the larger sprouts.

Want more Brussels Sprouts recipes?

Roasted Radishes and Brussels Sprouts with Brown Butter
Radishes melt into buttery goodness when roasted in the oven. Paired with nutty Brussels sprouts the combination is a quick and easy side dish for a weeknight meal. Brown the butter on the stovetop while the vegetables are roasting. And don’t discard the radish tops if the radishes come with the still attached. The edible greens can be used to add a garnish for the dish adding a brightness to the dish.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword brussels sprouts, radish, roasting, root vegetables, side dish, spring
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 205kcal
Author Irvin
  • 1 pound radishes any kind, (about one bunch)
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice fresh squeezed
  • Additional salt and pepper to taste
  • Preheat the oven to 450°F. Wash and remove the greens from the radishes (if they are still attached). Cut the radishes into roughly uniform size. Cut the Brussels sprouts into roughly the same size as the radishes. Place all the vegetables in a large bowl. 
  • Drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables and then sprinkle the salt and pepper over them. Toss to coat.
  • Pour the vegetables onto a rimmed baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 18 minutes or until the vegetables are crisp tender, and the Brussels sprouts start to brown and char a bit.
  • While the vegetables are roasting, place the butter in a medium size skillet. Cook the butter over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the butter fat particles just start to brown and it smells nutty. Remove from heat and continue to stir to let the residual heat continue to cook the butter until it is golden brown. Sprinkle the lemon juice over the butter and stir in.
  • Once the vegetables are done roasting, plate them on a shallow dish. Drizzle the lemony brown butter over the vegetables, add more salt and pepper to taste, and sprinkle some chopped radish greens over the entire dish if you have them. Serve immediately.

The post Roasted Radishes and Brussels Sprouts with Lemon Brown Butter appeared first on Eat The Love.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

If you’re looking for a great ground lamb dish, try this shepherd’s pie recipe, made with cheddar garlic mashed potatoes on top! (Jump directly to the recipe.)

Spring is nearly here, but the weather has been a bit schizophrenic. It’s crazy cold in the morning with a misty rain and with me regretting not bringing a scarf with me. Then, in the afternoon, it turns warm and sunny, with me shedding my coat and wondering why I’m wearing such a heavy sweater. It’s been messing with my meal planning as well. I have every intention of eating a lighter meal, but then I find myself shopping for comfort food ingredients.

That’s what happened when I found ground lamb for sale at the store. I’m not quite ready to give up on warm rich comfort food just yet. I grabbed a package and decided on classic shepherd’s pie! It’s the ultimate comfort food for me. I love the rich meaty dish in a casserole dish with a layer of creamy mashed potatoes on top. And though my version looks a bit fancy pants because I piped the mashed potatoes over the filling, I promise there’s a method to the madness. The piped edges of the mashed potatoes have more surface area, meaning more surface to crisp up in the oven. Crispy means flavor!

So while the Spring time is just around the corner, I’m not ready to put away my heavy sweaters, despite the warmer weather. I know it’s just mother nature playing tricks with me. I’m going to stick with my heavier clothes for the moment and make dishes like this Shepherd’s Pie for a little bit longer.

Make ahead

You can make any of the components of this dish ahead of time if you’d like. The mashed potatoes can be made up to 2 days ahead. Just cover and store them in the fridge. The filling can also be made ahead. Brown the ground meat and cook the vegetables as directed and store them in the fridge up to 24 hours. You can even make and assemble the entire casserole ahead of time, again up to 24 hours, and store covered in the refrigerator. Just bake as directed, allowing for an additional 10 minutes cook time in the oven.

Substituting ground lamb or make it vegetarian

Ground lamb is the traditional meat for Shepard’s pie. But if you don’t like lamb, or can’t source, you can use an equal amounts of ground beef (a dish commonly called Cottage Pie), ground bison (which I love) or even ground turkey or chicken. Keep in mind turkey or chicken will lead to a more dry filling, so you might want add a tablespoon or two of melted butter to the filling.

You can even make this vegetarian, which is sometimes called Shepherdess Pie! Omit the ground meat and increase the mushrooms to 2 pound. Or use a mix of wild mushrooms in place of the meat! You can even use a ground meatless substitute, like Beyond Meat Beefy Meatless Crumbles or Gardein’s Ultimate Beefless Ground.

How to make the filling extra tasty! And what is umami?

I used ground thyme as a seasoning but you can substitute 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves if you wish. I also use mushrooms in the filling, which add an extra layer of texture and umami flavor. Umami is an savory flavor that adds to the meatiness. Think tomato paste, parmesan cheese, and mushrooms. Not only does the mushrooms boost the rich savory flavor in the filling, I add a secret weapon, Marmite to the filling! Marmite is a British yeast extract that can be found at upscale grocery stores and online. Vegemite is a popular Australian version of it. A little bit goes a long way but it really adds depth and dimension to stews and fillings in casseroles. But if you don’t feel like getting another specialty ingredient, you can leave it out, or substitute 1 teaspoon of soy sauce to help boost the umami!

No you don’t need to pipe the mashed potatoes!

Yeah, I got all fancy and piped the mashed potatoes because it’s pretty and because I wanted to get the extra crispy top. But if you don’t feel like getting a pastry bag out (or you’re like IRVIN, NO ONE HAS TIME FOR THAT) feel free to just spoon the mashed potatoes on top. I’d go the extra step though, and maybe swirl or indent the mashed potatoes with the back of the spoon. It gives the top a little more texture and surface to help with the crispy topping. But that’s totally up to you!

Want more Ground Lamb recipes?
  • Mediterranean Meatballs with Tunisian Spices
  • Spiced Lamb and Beef Kebabs

  • Shepherd’s Pie, a savory ground lamb casserole with cheddar garlic mashed potatoes

    This classic casserole dish is made with rich filling of ground lamb, chopped vegetables and a thick tomato-based sauce all topped with a cheesy mashed potato crust and baked in the oven. It’s easy comfort food at its best. I added a chopped mushrooms to up the deep meaty flavor of the filling, as well as a teaspoon of marmite, which is a trick that punches up the umami (savory flavor) of the dish. If you don’t have marmite and don’t feel like buying it for this dish, try substituting 1 teaspoon of soy sauce in place. It won’t add as much depth to the filling but it will boost the umami flavor. Finally you can substitute ground lamb with ground beef or another ground meat of your choice or make it vegetarian by increasing the mushrooms to 2 pounds or using a meatless ground crumble.

    Mashed Potato Topping
    • 2 pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes (or another yellow potato)
    • 6 large cloves garlic (peeled)
    • 1 cup grated white cheddar (or regular medium yellow cheddar)
    • 6 tablespoon unsalted butter (melted)
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
    • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley (otherwise known as Italian parsley)
    • 1 3/4 pounds ground lamb (see note above)
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 3/4 pound cremini mushrooms (quartered)
    • 1 medium yellow onion (chopped)
    • 4 large carrots (chopped)
    • 4 large cloves garlic (chopped)
    • 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
    • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
    • 2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/2 teaspoon Marmite (see headnote above)
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 3/4 teaspoon ground pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried ground thyme
    • 1 cup corn kernels (fresh, frozen or canned)
    • 1 cup frozen peas
    1. Make the mashed potato topping by peeling and chopping the potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Bring a large pot of salty water to a boil. Add the potatoes and garlic to the pot. Cook for 10 minutes or until a fork inserted into a potato cube enters easily. 

    2. Drain the potatoes in a colander, and then return them to the still warm pot. This will help dry them out. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher or fork. Add the melted butter and mix until incorporated. Add the cheese and repeat. Mix in the salt and pepper, then add the parsley and cream. Mix and adjust seasoning to taste. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

    3.  Make the filling by placing the ground lamb in a large saute pan. Brown the meat, stirring frequently, until cooked fully, about 10 minutes on medium heat. Pour the meat and any pan juices into a heatproof bowl.

    4. Do not wipe out the pan. Place the oil, mushrooms, onions, carrots, and garlic in the pan. Cook the vegetables, stirring frequently until the onions start to look translucent and the mushrooms start to soften. Add back the cooked ground meat, along with any juices that have accumulated at the bottom of the bowl back into the pan.

    5. Pour in the chicken stock then add the tomato paste and sprinkle the flour over the mixture. Add the marmite and the salt, pepper, ground thyme and corn. Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes, until the filling has thickened. Stir in the frozen peas to the hot filling.

    6. Pour the entire filling into a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish or an oval 3-quart capacity dish. Spoon the mashed potatoes into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip, then pipe the mashed potatoes over the filling in strips. Or spoon the mashed potatoes over the filling and then use the back of the spoon to indent and create ridges in the mashed potatoes. You want to create as much surface area as possible so the mashed potatoes can crisp.

    7. Place the baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet (to catch any spills) and then place in the oven. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the filling is bubbling up around the edges and the top of the mashed potatoes are golden brown. 

    8. Let cool 10 minutes before serving warm.

    The post Shepherd’s Pie – a Savory Ground Lamb Casserole appeared first on Eat The Love.

    Read Full Article
    • Show original
    • .
    • Share
    • .
    • Favorite
    • .
    • Email
    • .
    • Add Tags 

    These fried char-siu chicken dumplings (Chinese BBQ chicken dumplings) are an incredibly tasty appetizer recipe that is a fun weekend project to make. (Jump directly to the recipe.)

    Some people just casually say to their significantly others “I think I’ll make some dumplings today!” I’m sure of it. Because in their minds, dumplings are something you can just whip up at a moment’s notice. I’m not one of those folks.

    I don’t make dumplings very often so when I do, I get myself ready for a weekend project. The truth is, dumplings aren’t that difficult to make but I’m not a pro, so I need to give myself plenty of time to make them. And I also have to give myself permission that they won’t look picture perfect Instagram worthy. I know dumplings are IG gold…but only if they look amazing. Mine never do. But I’ve come to terms with my mediocre pleating skills.

    All that said, I came across a recipe for char siu chicken dumplings while flipping through a cookbook by Donna Hay that came out a few years ago and I knew I had to make them. Especially when I saw Andrea Nguyen’s recipe for char-siu chicken on Simply Recipes. I’m a huge fan of both Andrea and Simply Recipes (though I’m a little bias as I’m a contributor to Simply Recipes and have met Andrea a few times at various food events) so I knew a mashup of their recipes would be a winning combination. One taste, and I knew my instincts were right.

    The meaning of Char Siu

    Char siu is a style of Chinese barbecue, literally translated to “fork roasted” or “fork burn”. Cha means fork (named after the long forks that the meat is often skewered on) while siu means roasted or burned. Most associated with boneless pork, the char siu sauce is also often colored with red food coloring (as red is the color of good luck). I skipped the red coloring in this recipe (as does Andrea Nguyen) and went with chicken thighs, which are equally juicy and moist, but don’t require the long marinade time. Though you can grill these thighs if you want the smoky charred flavor, I opted to roast them in the oven for convenience, as they’re going to be used as a filling for the dumplings

    Make it ahead of time

    There a number of ways you can make components ahead of time. Consider making the marinade by itself a day or two beforehand. Just store it in the fridge covered or in a jar. It should last up to 48 hours covered and chilled. You can also marinade the chicken thighs ahead of time if you’d like, up to 8 hours or overnight. The meat will be more flavorful with a longer marinade time. But don’t worry, 30 minutes is plenty of time for the marinade to give the thighs flavor. You can also marinade and cook the thighs ahead of time. Chop the cooked chicken and toss with the sauce. Cover and refrigerate. Then the next day all you need to do is make the dough, assemble the dumplings and fry!

    Where to find the Asian ingredients

    Five spice, hoisin sauce and sesame oil are probably the most difficult ingredients to find. But they can be found at an Asian grocery store or online. Increasing common grocery stores across the country are stocking more and more ethnic ingredients. Look in the Asian/Ethnic section in your grocery store.

    Shortcut these dumplings by using store-bought char siu sauce or wonton wrappers

    If you really don’t feel like making the sauce from scratch you can use 1/2 cup of store bought bottled char siu sauce if you’d like. You can even go the semi-homemade route and doctor the char siu sauce by adding 1 tablespoon of honey, 2 teaspoons of the sesame oil, 1/2 teaspoon of five spice, some grated ginger and/or green onions. Adding the additional ginger and green onions in particular will definitely perk up the commercial sauce.

    You can also buy homemade wonton wrappers if you don’t feel like making your own from scratch. But I really recommend the homemade ones. Not only do they taste better but they have a “stretchy” quality that make filling the dumplings easier! The store-bought wonton wrappers tear more easily and can be a little frustrating to use as they are made thinner. If you do go the store-bought wonton wrapper route, try using less filling in the beginning to make sure they don’t tear and fry them a shorter amount of time (try 1 to 2 minutes or until golden brown) as the thin wrapper cooks fast.

    Fried Char Siu Chicken Dumplings

    These fried dumplings are a nice weekend project that can be streamlined if you make the filling ahead of time. Marinade and cook the chicken thighs one day, chop and store in the fridge and then make the dumpling wrappers, assemble and fry them up the next day! You can also shortcut the recipe by using store-bought char siu sauce or wonton wrappers. Just adjust the fry time to be 1 to 2 minutes long as the wrappers are thinner. But if you can, I highly recommend making the sauce and the wrapper from scratch. The end result is worth it! Any leftover char siu chicken be saved and served as the main protein on a grain bowl or over rice for a quick meal. Or just snack on it, which is what I do!

    • 3 tablespoons honey
    • 2 1/2 tablespoon hoisin sauce (see note below)
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon ketchup
    • 2 teaspoon sesame oil (see note below)
    • 3/4 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice (see note below)
    • 2 green onions/scallions, trimmed and chopped
    • 1- inch fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
    • 1 large garlic clove, minced or forced through a press
    • 4 medium boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 1 1/4 pounds)
    • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (245 g (plus more for rolling out the dough))
    • 3/4 cup warm water
    To fry
    • Vegetable oil
    To serve
    • Sambal oelek sauce, sriracha sauce or a hot Asian chili sauce of your choice
    1. Make the filling marinade by combining all the ingredients for the filling except for the chicken things together in a large bowl. Stir with a fork until blended.
    2. Add the chicken thighs and toss to coat with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 8 hours, overnight.
    3. Meanwhile preheat an oven to 425°F. Line a small rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly coat with cooking oil. Once the thighs have finished marinating, remove them from the bowl, letting any excess marinade drip back into the bowl, and place chicken flat on the prepared baking sheet. 

    4. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the thighs are cooked fully and there is no signs of pink on the inside. If you have an instant read thermometer, the temperature should read 165°F at the thickest part.

    5. While the chicken is cooking, pour the marinade into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook for 1 minute at full boil to make sure it’s safe to use in the filling, then set aside to cool. The sauce will thicken.
    6. Once the thighs are done cooking, pull them from the oven and let them cool slightly. Pull them off the pan and cut them into 1/2-inch chunks. Add the chopped chicken into the pan with the cooked sauce. Scrape any juice and drippings from the baking pan into the saucepan with the sauce and chicken chunks as well and stir to coat and mix completely. Set aside to cool completely. You can refrigerate the filling at this point overnight if you want.
    7. While the filling is cooling, making the wrapper dough by combining the flour and water together in a large bowl. Stir with a fork until a dough gathers. 

    8. Dust a clean surface and place the dough on it. Knead the dough with the heel of your hand, adding flour as it gets a little sticky. You want to knead the dough until it is smooth, about 4 to 5 minutes. Don’t worry if the dough is still a little sticky once you are done.

    9. Once done, divide the dough into 24 pieces. I do this by first dividing the dough in half, then each half into half again (turning them into 1/4 pieces of the whole). Then I divide each quarter into 6 pieces. Cover the dough with a damp paper towel or plastic wrap as you work to keep it from drying out. Dust the surface with flour and roll one small lump into a rough 4-inch circle.

    10. Place 2 teaspoons of the filling into the center of the circle. Dip your finger into some water and wet the edge of the wrapper circle all the way around. Gather the dough together, pinching the edges together 

    11. Twist the top until the filling is completely enclosed in the dough. Set aside and repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Cover the dumplings with a damp paper towel or plastic wrap as you work to keep it from drying out.

    12. Once all the dumplings are made, pour vegetable oil into a deep saute pan or Dutch oven up to 1 1/2-inches deep. Turn the heat to high and bring the oil to 350°F. Once the temperature is reached, pick up a dumpling and place it in the oil, releasing the dumpling after it has been placed in the oil. Do not drop the dumpling in the oil. If you drop the dumpling in the oil, it will splatter and you have a great chance of burning yourself. If you place the dumpling in the oil, then release it, it will slide into the oil without splashing.
    13. Fry the dumpling in batches, trying not to add too many dumplings at once into the oil, as that will crowd the oil and drop the temperature too fast. Fry until golden brown about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove and place on a wire rack with a rimmed baking sheet underneath, or a large platter with paper towels to absorb any oil.
    14. Serve with your choice of hot chili sauce or Asian hot sauce.

    Five Spice, Hoisin sauce and sesame oil can be found at Asian grocery stores, well stocked grocery stores, and online.

    Recipe adapted from Andrea Nguyen’s Vietnamese Food Any Day and Donna Hay’s The New Classics.

    The post Fried Char Siu Chicken Dumplings appeared first on Eat The Love.

    Read Full Article
    • Show original
    • .
    • Share
    • .
    • Favorite
    • .
    • Email
    • .
    • Add Tags 

    These spiced lamb and beef kebabs have a complex flavor that comes from a wide range of spices that can be found at most grocery stores! (Jump directly to the recipe.)

    Like all popular things, I am often late to the party. It took me years to finally get around to watching Games of Thrones. I only recently started making avocado toast at home. And though it came out last year to much critical acclaim, I finally got my hands on my friend Nik Sharma’s book Season.

    Nik had told me about his book a few years ago, in a car ride at a food event in Chicago. We were both heading to the airport to fly back to the San Francisco bay area (he lives in Oakland, I live in San Francisco). Along the way, we chatted about writing cookbooks and how the landscape of food writing and blogging has drastically changed since we both started.

    Since then, Nik has forged a remarkable food career, making beautiful signature images and never compromising his vision. He has a weekly column in the San Francisco Chronicle now. And his debut cookbook Season has made numerous “best of” lists for 2018. I loved watching him grow into the food writer and photographer that he has become, and Season is a beautiful example of his voice and work.

    I’ve been meaning to write about his book for ages, but I’ve been preoccupied with so many other things in my life (like catching up on 7 years of Game of Thrones). But the first thing I knew I wanted to make from his book was his Spiced Beef Kebabs. Though I altered the recipe a bit, adding ground lamb and adjusting some of the spices to my own palate, his recipe didn’t disappoint. This one will be going into my rotation of recipes that I’ll be making often.

    What spices are in the spiced kebabs?

    The ingredient list seems rather long but most of the dried herbs and spices, like coriander, cayenne, sage and dill are already in your pantry or easily available at the grocery. The one that might be the most difficult to source is dried mint! It’s a popular ingredient in South Asian cuisine so you can find it at an Asian grocery store. However if you don’t have an Asian market near you, just walk one or two aisles over from the spices in your store and pick up a box of mint tea! Just turn the box over and check to make sure there aren’t any other herbs or tea mixed in. If the ingredients for tea just say “mint” or “dried mint” then it’s perfect for this recipe. There’s about 2 teaspoons of dried mint in most tea bags, so half a tea bag works for this recipe.

    How spicy are these kebabs?

    The recipe calls for 2 fresh Thai chilis and 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne so there’s a bit of kick but it’s not so hot that it feels like you ate the sun! If you like heat, increase the cayenne to 1 teaspoon and/or add an extra Thai chili. But if you are spice averse, reduce or omit the cayenne, and substitute 1 Serrano or half a Jalapeño pepper in place of the Thai chilis. You can even just omit the peppers completely! That said, most of the heat resides in the membrane and seeds inside the the peppers. So cutting that out of the peppers will remove most of the heat.

    What is Chickpea Flour

    Chickpea flour or Garbanzo bean flour is dried chickpeas/garbanzo beans that have been ground into a powder. It’s the main ingredient in falafel, and can be found at middle eastern and Indian grocery stores. It’s also sometimes labeled as gram or besan flour. Nowadays, you can also find it in well-stock grocery stores. Look for it in the baking aisle, or in the section where you might find gluten-free and whole grain flours. It adds an earthy nutty flavor to these kebabs and helps binds the kebabs together.

    Make ahead

    Yes! You can make these ahead of time. Just cook and fry them like directed, and then let them cool and store them covered in the fridge. Warm them up in a toaster oven for 10 minutes at 350°F. Or make the patties ahead of time, keep them wrapped in the fridge, then pan fry them before serving, directly from the fridge. The raw mixture should keep up to 24 hours covered in the refrigerator. Just fry them as a medium low temperature for an extra couple of minutes to make sure they are fully cooked all the way through.

    If you like this ground lamb recipe, check out my Mediterranean Meatballs made with Tunisian Spices!

    Spiced Beef and Lamb Kebabs

    These kebabs have a bit of kick with the addition of the cayenne and Thai chili in them. Nik’s recipe calls for 1 pound of beef, but I did a mix of lamb and beef because I like the flavor that ground lamb adds to the recipe. Feel free to use 1 pound of ground beef if you prefer. These kebabs are great appetizers or can be served as a main course with a vegetables over a starch of your choice. They are panfried by themselves, not on a skewer on the stovetop in a skillet. 

    Though the ingredient list seems long, most the spices are probably in your pantry already. The few that aren’t including the chickpea/garbanzo bean flour (sometimes called gram flour or besan flour), can be found at online, at an ethnic grocery store (try one that sells Asian and/or Middle Eastern groceries) or at a well-stocked grocery store (look for it near other gluten free and whole grain flours). Fresh Thai chilis can also be found at Asian grocery stores, but you can substitute 2 small serrano pepper in place of the Thai chilis though it won’t be quite as spicy nor will it have the same sort of “fruity” flavor that Thai chilis have. 

    Finally, Nik’s original recipe calls for dried mint which is surprisingly hard to find in most grocery stores. If you can’t source dried mint, pick up a box of mint tea (flip over the box and make sure the ingredients are JUST mint, and not a blend of other herbs or teas) and use that in place of the dried mint. I used peppermint tea for this recipe, but because you only use 1 teaspoon (roughly half a tea bag) and it blends with all the other spices, any mint will do.

    • 1/2 pound ground beef (15% fat recommended)
    • 1/2 pound ground lamb
    • 1 cup diced yellow onions (about 1 small onion)
    • 1/2 cup chickpea/garbanzo bean flour (see headnote above)
    • 1 large egg
    • 2 fresh Thai chilis, minced (see headnote above)
    • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
    • 1- inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
    • 1 tablespoon lime juice
    • Zest of 1/2 lime
    • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
    • 1 teaspoon dried mint (about 1/2 bag of mint tea) (see headnote above)
    • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground sage
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    To garnish
    • 1 tablespoons cilantro leaves
    • Thinly sliced red onions
    1. Place all the ingredients for the kebab except for the olive oil in large bowl. Mix first with a wooden spoon until the ingredients are all evenly distributed.
    2. Dampen your hands and then form 1 1/2-inch wide patties that are 1/2-inch thick with the mixture. You should have about 14 or 15 patties once you are done.
    3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and cook half the kebabs over medium heat for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until the side of the kebab is a deep golden brown and a crust has formed. Flip the kebab over and continue to cook until the kebab is cooked through.
    4. Serve the kebabs with cilantro leaves and thinly sliced red onions.

    Adapted from Nik Sharma’s book Season.

    The post Spiced Lamb and Beef Kebabs appeared first on Eat The Love.

    Read Full Article

    Read for later

    Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
    • Show original
    • .
    • Share
    • .
    • Favorite
    • .
    • Email
    • .
    • Add Tags 

    Separate tags by commas
    To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
    Start your free month
    Free Preview