Spring is here! …And with it, all the pollen. It might be the new neighborhood that we moved to, but the allergies are out of control. Tissue boxes are everywhere and I had my first dose of non-drowsy allergy medicine that made me foggy headed all day. So I’m soldiering on, no pills, just eye drops and nasal spray to keep the itching away.
As much as I am suffering, springtime also brings fresher produce and we can finally move on from the comforting and hearty roasts and stews that kept our bodies and bellies warm over this winter. Asparagus is a welcome change and it stays crisp and fresh if you blanch it! (Blanch = quick cook in boiling water). It’s also super cheap this time of the year, and as I am a sucker for deals, I tend to over buy good looking, affordable produce. So what to do with all the asparagus? Make asparagus toast!
We happened to have some roasted garlic hummus in the fridge from our attempt to have healthier snacks, (dieting is going terribly btw) and it made the perfect canvas for the asparagus and the soft boiled egg. Then it’s topped with Hollandaise sauce which is made in the microwave (I know, I didn’t know it could be done either), and is the perfect velvety, rich and tangy touch to the healthy toast. Spring is served.
Asparagus Smashed Egg Toast Makes 2 toasts
Ingredients: 2 slices of bread, toasted (I used Ezekiel Bread) garlic hummus (whichever brand or hummus you like) 8-10 stalks of asparagus, pending on thickness extra virgin olive oil 2 large eggs quick microwave hollandaise sauce (recipe below) parsley, for garnish salt and pepper, to taste
Fill a medium bowl with ice water and set it aside.
Trim your asparagus about 1-2 inches from the bottom, removing the tough ends.
Boil a pot of water and bring it to a simmer, add your asparagus for about 1-2 minutes until crisp-tender.
Remove asparagus and place into the ice water until cool.
Rub extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of salt on the asparagus and set aside.
Bring the same pot of water to boil and once it does, lower the heat to a bare simmer and submerge your eggs carefully into the water with a spoon.
Cook the eggs for 7 minutes and move into an ice bath.
Once cool enough to handle, crack and peel eggs.
On your toasted bread, spread garlic hummus. Remember to spread it to the edges.
Neatly arrange your cooked asparagus in a diagonal, giving it a push to secure it to the hummus.
Place an egg on each toast, and smash it with a fork.
Drizzle on the hollandaise sauce.
Sprinkle on salt and pepper, if desired and garnish with parsley
Quick Microwave Hollandaise
½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted 2 egg yolks (from a large egg) 1-2 tbsp lemon juice 1 tbsp. milk Salt and pepper to taste
Whisk egg yolks, lemon juice (start with 1 tablespoon and add more later if needed), milk and a pinch of salt and pepper together in a microwave safe bowl.
Drizzle in the melted butter while whisking the egg yolk mixture until smooth.
Microwave the sauce in 15 second intervals for one minute, whisking in between every interval until the sauce is hot and thick.
I first caught wind of Parasitefrom The Big Picture podcast and it was clear that it was becoming a big deal. So when it hit theaters last October, I quickly made a movie date with a fiancé that was confused as to why I wanted to watch a thriller. I am not ashamed to say that I am a big chicken when it comes to movies in the horror/thriller genre. But the hype and the South Korean pride were too strong and I had to be a part of the wave.
I won’t go spoiling the movie for you, because it is best seen without knowing anything. But there is an overall theme of class difference and it is illustrated in so many ways. One such difference is the chapaguri (aka jjapaguri aka ram-don) dish that the maid makes for the family. Chapaguri is traditionally made with two packages of instant noodles: one package of chapagetti (“chapa”), a black bean noodle, and one package of Neoguri (“guri”), a seafood ramyun. The wealthy family puts a lavish twist to it by topping the dish with Hanwoo, a premium beef with dense marbling. It’s the equivalent of topping a box of Kraft macaroni and cheese with a prime+ steak.
It’s been years since I’ve eaten a pack of instant noodles but I had to get my hands on this dish asap. I went to the nearest Korean supermarket and grabbed the noodles and beef. It was delicious. The savory noodles coated with a sweet and spicy sauce (thanks to the spice packets) interspersed with juicy umami slices of melty beef. I can see why it’s a crowd pleaser for anyone. As for the calorie content? Well, it’s the weekend and weekends are made for cheat days. 🙂 Continue reading “The Movie Series: Chapaguri (aka Jjapaguri aka Rom-Don) from Parasite (2019)”→
Oh, hello. It’s been a while. It’s been a whirlwind of a month since my last post. During the time I was away, I made a wedding cake, 200 cupcakes and threw an engagement party for my brother. There was a dessert bar, which I’ve wanted to do forever and a beautiful mini cake filled with flowers. I need to share photos with you guys asap as possible (<=the office). I almost called this soup, a shepherd’s pie French onion soup because of the mashed potato. But, as shepherd’s pie usually has beef and this does not, I felt like I would be misleading you. It has a ring of mashed potato that floats around the crouton, like a delicious moat around a castle of bread and cheese. The mashed potatoes meld into the soup once you dig into it giving it a velvety finish similar to potato soup. I didn’t even plan on making it this way until I realized that I had some mashed potatoes left over from dinner the other night and thought that it was a great way to use up the rest of it. Because in the world of food math: potatoes + onions = winning. But really, you don’t have to go out of your way to make mashed potatoes because even without it, it’s a pretty darn awesome French onion soup. I know it’s customary to put either gruyère or mozzarella on top of French onion soup, but I had some sliced Muenster cheese in my fridge and it melted beautifully. Insert heart eyes emoji . P.S. I have this really awesome Christmas cake coming your way. Like my-mind-can’t-handle-it-cute. I can’t wait to share it with you as soon as I put it together. Hopefully, by next week!
French Onion Mashed Potato Soup
Makes about 2-3 servings
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 large onions, sliced thin
1 garlic clove, minced
1 bay leaf
1 thyme sprig
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½ c. red wine
1 ½ tbsp. flour
1 qt. beef broth
1 baguette, sliced
2 slices muenster cheese
mashed potatoes (recipe below)
In a medium pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat until onions are caramelized, about 30 minutes.
Add the wine and cook until the wine evaporates and the onions are dry.
Discard the bay leaf and thyme spring. Stir in flour.
Cook the flour over low heat for about 2-3 minutes (do not burn the flour).
Slowly add in the beef broth while stirring.
Simmer the soup for about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper if needed.
Preheat your broiler. Fill your soup bowl or crock bowls with the soup.
Place a large baguette slice in the center of the soup.
Fill a piping bag fitted with large frosting tip with the mashed potato. (I used one with a lot of teeth hoping that it would make a pretty presentation with the toasted edges, but once the cheese covered it, it didn’t matter. So, any large cake tip will work.)
Pipe around the floating slice of baguette.
Place a slice of cheese on each bowl and broil until the cheese gets nice and toasty.
Creamy Mashed Potatoes
2 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed
1 stick butter, melted
1 c. heavy cream, divided
about ½ c. low-sodium chicken stock
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook potatoes until tender and easily pierced with a fork.
Drain and peel potatoes under cool running water.
Pass potatoes through a ricer into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
Add the melted butter and half of cream.
Whip on low speed until cream and butter are incorporated. Move to a higher speed and whip until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute.
Adjust the taste and consistency with more heavy cream or chicken stock.