Posts tagged Beef
Abu Dhabi GP 2018: Koobideh, Shirin Polo, and Fattoush

It is already the end of the season! Hard to believe. It was a great first half with proper competition between Vettel and Hamilton and the Red Bulls putting up a fight. Though Hamilton started to dominate toward the end it was fun to watch the top 6 duke it out on track and lots of drama in the mid field. Congrats to Hulk for winning the F1.5 competition as well!

My three favorite moments from the 2018 season:

  1. Max tearing through the field race after race, particularly his win in Mexico and his excellent drive in Austria.

  2. Kimi’s solid win at the U.S. GP, it didn’t hurt that we saw it LIVE!!

  3. Lewis smashing the track record at the Singapore GP, pure perfection, with the added bonus of the new coined term: “Lewis Lap”.

Three things I am looking forward to for 2019 season:

  1. All the new blood! Looking forward to seeing all thenew F1 rookies: Norris, Giovinazzi, Albon, and Russel! Also super excited to see how LeClerc and Gasly stack up to their more experienced teammates of Vettel and Verstappen.

  2. New regulations might bring the pack together a little more and create more excitement! Especially simplifying the front wing which will likely make for better following and passing opportunities.

  3. Jenson Button commentating for Sky! I’ve missed JB and look forward to seeing how he contributes to the race weekends.

What are you looking forward to?

Of course I’m also excited about continuing to find new dishes and explore more traditional foods, my Christmas wishlist is replete with cookbooks and cooking implements like tagines, maamoul molds, pasta cutters, and the like. I have expanded my spice collection and have learned a lot of new techniques this year. I never thought I would make bagels, let alone croissants. I think I’ll take some time over the winter to work on my pasta making skills!

Our last meal of the season for Abu Dhabi was a nice little feast. We grilled up some koobideh kebabs, made shirin polo, and fattoush, and my friend made a delicious dessert of basbousa.

Abu Dhabi Meal


Adapted from 196 Flavors

 A few saffron threads
¼ cup water
1 lb ground beef
1 onion
½  tablespoon turmeric
½  tablespoon sumac
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
4 roma tomatoes

1. Soak saffron in ¼ cup of boiling water, infuse for 10 minutes.

2. Grate entire onion on a box grater or in a food processor with the grater attachment, then using a dish towel or paper towel squeeze out as much liquid as you can from the grated onion.

3. Mix the ground meat with the grated onion, then add the spices, salt and pepper. Stir for 2 minutes or until fully incorporated.

4. Finish with 2 tablespoons of infused saffron water and mix well again.

5. Place in a covered container in the fridge for at least 6 hours.

6. Make 4 koobideh kebabs by pressing the meat well onto wide barbecue skewers. If you do not have traditionally wide koobideh skewers, simply form into a 8-10 inch log shape. (Standard skewers or bamboo skewers will not hold the beef and it will slip around or even slip off easily.) Optional: Pinch the meat with your fingers regularly throughout the log/skewer every inch to give it the characteristic koobideh shape.

7. Grill the skewers on a grill or grill pan over high heat. Turn them regularly to ensure even grilling for approximately 7-10 minutes (depending on the heat of your grill or pan). At the same time, grill the tomatoes until lightly charred in parts and softened.

Shirin Polo

Shirin Polo

 Adapted from Food 52 recipe by Fig & Quince

2 ½ cups Basmati rice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon butter 
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound carrots, julienned
½ cup barberries (soak in cold water for 5-10 minutes, rinse a few times, drain)
2 tablespoons sugar, separated
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon coriander powder
½ teaspoon ground saffron, dissolve in 2 tablespoons hot water
¼ cup almonds, slivered or chopped
¼ cup pistachios, chopped

1. Wash rice with cold water, using your hands to swish it around. Repeat several times until the water runs clear. Drain.

2. In a large pot bring 2-3 quarts of water and 2 tablespoons of salt to a boil. Gently add the rinsed rice. Bring to a gentle boil again and boil rice for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally & gently. Drain in a colander. Pour 2 to 3 cups of tepid water over the rice in the colander. Drain again.

3. In a big pot, preferably nonstick, bring 1/2 cup water and 2 tablespoons oil plus 1 tablespoon of butter to a boil. Then, one spatula of rice at a time, arrange rice in the pot by first covering the bottom of the pot, using a spatula to spread it, then layering the rest of the rice to taper on top in the form of a pyramid or dome. Make several wells in this rice dome with the handle of a wooden spoon. Cover and cook over medium heat until rice steams – usually around 20 minutes.

4. Once steaming, reduce heat to low, and continue to cook for another 30 minutes until rice is fully cooked. When done, turn off heat and let rice rest undisturbed in the pot for 5 minutes. (Your goal here is to both produce fluffy steamed rice and a crusty bottom referred to as tahdig.)

5. Meanwhile prepare the carrots and barberries. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet. Add carrots and sauté over medium heat until slightly soft, around 5 minutes. Season carrots with cumin, coriander, cinnamon  and 1 tablespoon sugar. Stir to combine, then cover and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. Wipe skillet with a paper towel, heat ½ tablespoon olive oil till very hot; reduce heat and sauté barberries with 1 tablespoon sugar on low flame, stirring frequently, for no more than a minute. Remove from pan and set aside in a separate bowl.

6. Once rice is ready to be served, place 2 spatulas of rice in a small dish and sprinkle with saffron water, using a fork to fluff the rice grains and color it with saffron water. Lightly mix the colored rice into the pot, not fully integrating so that you will still be able to see it when it is served.

7. You have two options for how to serve the rice: 

Platter inverting method: Using a butter knife run it along the edge of the pot to separate the tahdig (crisp rice) at the bottom corners of the pot. Then, using a large platter, set it over the rice cooking pot and invert the contents of the pot onto the platter in a quick flipping movement. If the tahdig does not comes with the rice just take a moment to release it in as few pieces as possible and layer it on top of the rice pile. Top with prepared carrots and barberries in between or next to the tahdig. Garnish platter with the pistachios and almonds.

 Scooping pyramid method: Alternatively, taking one spatula full of rice at a time, arrange a layer of rice on a platter and then top with a third of the carrots and barberries. Then add another layer of rice, forming a pyramid or dome with each new layer, top it again with another third of the carrots and barberries. Repeat till you've used all the rice, reserving just a little of the carrots and barberries to serve as garnish. You will then reach the tahdig, or crispy bottom. Try to separate this from the pot as gently and as in tact as possible. Top the pile of rice with the tahdig to serve. Garnish everything with remaining barberries and carrots, and the pistachios and almonds.  

Pastel de feira de carne (Brazilian pastel pastries with meat filling)

We first had these on a beach in Hawaii from a Brazilian food truck in Haliewa. It is hard to beat that experience, but knowing we can make them in our own kitchen is getting pretty close.

I highly recommend making both these and the Deep-Fried Polenta since you will already have a nice hot pot of oil, may as well make the most of it!

Pastel de feira de carne

(Pastel Pastries with meat filling)

Adapted from ‘The Food and Cooking of Brazil’ by Fernando Farah

Makes 6 large Pastel, or you can size them smaller for more

2 ¾ cups plain flour, sifted
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp lard, chilled or extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp cachaça or vodka
1 tbsp white vinegar
½ cup warm water
Vegetable oil for deep frying (vegetable or peanut oil)

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
¼ onion
10 ounces ground beef
2 cloves garlic
¼ cup green olives, sliced
1 tbsp parsley, chopped
1 tbsp green onions, sliced
ground black pepper

1. Pour the flour and salt in a bowl, mix. Rub in the lard with your fingertips until mixture forms crumbles.

2. Make a well in the center and pour in cachaça, vinegar, and water. Mix the ingredients well.

2. On a clean surface, dust some flour and work the dough vigorously for 5 minutes or until it is smooth and elastic. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rest for at least 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, heat the extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan and fry the onion, stirring for 5 minutes or until soft. Stir in the garlic and ground beef, breaking the meat with a wooden spoon. Keep frying for a few minutes until the meat is cooked through. Stir in the olives, parsley and green onions, cook for a further minute. Transfer to a bowl, cover and place in the fridge until required.

4. Using a pasta machine or a rolling pin, roll the dough flat until it is about 1/8 inch thick. Using a pastry cutter cut the pastry into rectangles 4 inches by 8 inches.

5. Pour some water into a small bowl. Place 1 ½ tbsp of the meat mixture on one half of the pastry rectangle. Using a pastry brush or your fingertip, brush the edges of the pastry with a little bit of water. Press the edges of the pastry together and then press down the edges with a fork to ensure it will not open while is being fried. Repeat the process with the remaining pastries.

7. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan to 375° F. Fry the pastries, one at a time, for 1 minute on each side or until slightly golden and crispy. Place each fried pastel on the a paper towel-lined plate. They can be served hot (in which case you can keep them warm in a 200° F oven) or cold.

Pastel with meat filling



Brazil GP 2018: Grilled Steak (Picanha Fatiada) with Fresh Salsa

The penultimate race.

Somehow it is here again, the end of the season. At least these final races are great spectacles and keeping us on the edge of our seats! As a solid Max fan I couldn’t believe he got run off the track by a backmarker. What drama! But all is fair in love and racing and it was an awesome race nonetheless. You could tell how proud Lewis was to win it for Mercedes and solidify the championship. This year he really did show he is a real champion. He was fast, focused, and didn’t make any mistakes. Three cheers for Lewis, or hell give him and the team five!

We went all out for a Brazilian feast. All the recipes come from ‘The Food and Cooking of Brazil’ by Fernando Farah. A gift from our tenant and Brazilian friend Luis before he moved back home last year.

We started off with Pastel de feira de carne (Fried pastel pastries) and Batida cocktails. And our dinner featured Pichana Fatiada (Grilled Rump Steak), Fried Polenta, Brazilian-style shredded greens, Palm heart salad, and Fresh Brazilian-style salsa.

Brazilian Steak

Grilled Rump Steak

Adapted from ‘The Food and Cooking of Brazil’ by Fernando Farah

1 whole cut of beef rump (picanha) about 2 ½ pounds
2 tbsp coarse sea salt

1. Rub the salt all over the beef, massaging it in. Leave at room temperature for 30 minutes.

2. Slice rump steak into 4 inch thick steaks 1½-2 inches each.

3. Pat the steaks dry on both sides and grill them on the barbecue or hot grill pan until medium rare or done to your liking.

4. Let rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing.

5. Cut each steak into ½ inch slices for serving, pour juices over on serving plate.

Serve with any or all of the following: White Rice, Farofa, Brazilian-style salsa, Deep-fried Polenta

Steak and salsa

Brazilian-style Salsa

Adapted from ‘The Food and Cooking of Brazil’ by Fernando Farah

1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
3 plum tomatoes or 1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
1 large white or red onion, diced
¼ cup white wine vinegar
1/3-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp sugar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper

1. Place all chopped vegetables in a large bowl.

2. Whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, parsley, sugar, salt and pepper in a bowl, or combine in a mason jar and shake.

3. Pour over vegetables and mix well.

4. Serve immediately or cover to chill and let flavors meld together for no more than an hour.

2018 Azerbaijan GP: Chicken Kebabs, Dolma, and Chopped Salad

Baku!!!! What a crazy race! As soon as you thought the drama was over something else exploded, someone ran into someone or something else, and all hell broke loose. Some major disappointments, but it sure did make it exciting! I, for one, am glad to see teams allowing their drivers to race each other and be ambitious and aggressive out on the race track. Every race is a learning experience for the drivers and the teams. I hope to see even more wheel to wheel racing in the upcoming races, and more crazy Max too! 

On a personal note, the past couple weeks and weekends have been so busy I haven't been able to keep up in life or on here, my apologies for the delay on this post. On that note, I am also going to take a break from writing up pre-race posts. I'm going to focus that energy on creating awesome meals and including desserts and drinks for as many races as possible. I promise I'll make it delicious. Let me know if there are specific dishes you'd like to see included, or ones you've cooked and would recommend! 

For this meal we went simple summertime (I know it's only May, but I am ready!) with some grilled chicken kebabs, chopped veg salad, and dolmas with grape leaves from my Mom's garden. 

Grape leaf for Dolma

The kebabs were super easy to prepare and turned out really tender and juicy. They would go great with rice, green salad, or grilled veggies.  The dolmas took a little work but were well worth it. I'm thinking I might even try out a vegetarian version this weekend. I discovered that we have a volunteer grape vine growing on the side of our house that is just begging to be made into dolmas! 

Chicken Kebabs

Toyug kebabs (Azeri sour chicken skewers)

Adapted from SBS Recipes by Adam Liao

1 ½ lb chicken thigh fillets ( approx. 4 fillets)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
½ small brown onion, roughly chopped
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
1 pinch of sugar
6-8 skewers (bamboo or metal)

To serve
¼ cup finely shredded coriander or mint
¼  cup finely shredded flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp sumac
lemon wedges (optional)

1. In a large bowl or ziploc bag, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, onion, salt, pepper and sugar. Add chicken and marinate for 2 hours or overnight.

2. If using bamboo skewers, soak them for at least 10 minutes before using.

3. Skewer the chicken evenly onto 6 or 8 skewers (depending on their size).

4. Grill over medium-high heat on a grill or grill pan.  Cook until chicken reaches 165 degrees F or until juice runs clear.

5. Serve with herbs scattered over top and lemon wedges (if desired).


Dolma, Azerbaijani-Style Stuffed Grape Leaves

Adapted from AZ Cookbook by Feride Buyuran

½ pound ground beef
½ medium onion, grated
¼ cup medium-grain white rice, thoroughly rinsed (do not use long grain rice)
¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
¼ cup finely chopped fresh mint
½ teaspoon salt
pinch ground black pepper

About 20-30 medium-size fresh grape leaves
1 ½  tablespoons butter

Garlic Yogurt Sauce
½ cup Plain Yogurt
2 garlic cloves, crushed

1. Combine first seven ingredients to make stuffing. Mix until well combined.

2. Blanch grape leaves. Boil a small saucepan of water, blanch the fresh grape leaves in batches of about 10 at a time, for about one minute. Remove from pot with a slotted spoon, drain on a plate with a paper towel, and allow to cool.

3. Prepare a medium saucepan by spreading a few leaves to cover the bottom.

4. Stuff the grape leaves. Hold a leaf shiny side down in your hand, place about a tablespoon of the stuffing in the center of the leaf. Fold the top down, then the sides over the filling and roll tightly into a round ball or cylindrical roll. Set seam side down in the prepared saucepan. Arrange dolma snuggly next to each other. Continue until all leaves or stuffing are used up.

5. Dot the top with butter, pour water in until it reaches halfway up the dolmas. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Simmer for one hour or until leaves are tender and filling is cooked. (If liquid completely absorbs during cooking, add a little more and continue to simmer.)   

6. Serve with Garlic Yogurt Sauce: Combine yogurt and crushed garlic to make sauce.


Chopped Vegetable Salad

Chopped Vegetable Salad

Inspired by NPR Recipes

1 bell pepper, chopped in large chunks
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cucumber, partially peeled and chopped
5 radishes, quartered

juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

1. Mix all vegetables in a large bowl. 
2. In a mason jar or small container, combine lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Shake to emulsify and make dressing. 
3. Pour dressing over vegetables and mix until just combined and dressing is distributed. 

2018 Winter Olympics - Bibimbap

It has been so fun to watch the Olympics this year, for some reason it has just warmed my soul. Seeing all the international competitors, such respect and collegiality all around. Despite any political melodrama, countries race side by side and people cheer for the 5-time winner and underdog alike. We even began to understand curling and cheered like crazy for the mixed doubles gold medal match between Canada and Switzerland! (Who knew there was so much strategy involved??)

Korea has hosted large international sporting events before, including F1. From 2010-2013, F1 raced at Korea International Circuit. DailyMail has a great article showing some of the memorable races and shares a number of amusing stories. I remember in 2012 the ever-memorable Psy teaching the RedBull boys how to dance some Gangnam style moves!

Back to present, as the closing ceremonies draw near I figured it was time to try my hand at a few Korean dishes! Bibimbap is the clear contender for most popular dish to come out of Korea. You'll see it atop every Korean restaurant menu, and really it is the quintessential "bowl" meal, which seems to be a Pinterest favorite these days. Along with the Bibimbap bowl I made some Korean Beef and finished it off with a Korean tea inspired cocktail.

Bibimbap, directly translated, means "mixed rice", it is a delicious melange of hot rice, just cooked veggies, crunchy fresh veg, tangy kimchi and runny-yolked egg served with spicy gochujong. Yum! In case you're wondering how to eat it (white girl talking here) I found an amusing and surprisingly informative video from Zagat which I'll include below :) 

Hope you have enjoyed the Olympic festivities and that they have tided you over before the start of Formula 1 Pre-Season Testing next week and the real deal on March 25th!



A note on ingredients: Finding gochujong (Korean hot pepper paste) turned out to be an adventure of sorts. After driving around during rush hour to two different Asian markets and pulling up pictures on our phones and scouring aisles, and still not finding it... we were at the end of our rope. I was planning to just throw on some Sriracha and call it a day. But at the urging of my husband (who had driven through all the traffic to multiple Ranch 99s) I ended up reaching out to my good friend who told me, what I had suspected, that bibimbap just wouldn't taste the same without gochujong. 

She did suggest that if we really couldn't find it we could make a combination of sesame /soy/ fish/ sauce/ oil with some red pepper flakes "but it wouldn't be the same", she even suggested if all else fails just to use some of the juice from kimchee! 

Turns out we didn't need to resort to patchwork chili sauce... because she is also an expert Googler and found that Whole Foods highlighted gochujong as a "hot right now" ingredient.  All I can say is thank goodness for my friend and her quick texting and googling, and Whole Foods, because honestly gochujong is DELICIOUS and totally did make the dish. If you haven't had it before it is spicy, tangy, a bit sweet, and has a completely unique taste.


Adapted from Budget Bytes

4 cups Jasmine rice (cooked)

Sautéed Vegetables
2 tsp canola oil
2 bunches spinach, roughly chopped
1 tsp toasted sesame seed oil
pinch of salt

2 tsp canola oil
4 cups mushrooms, sliced
pinch of salt

Fresh Vegetables
2-4 carrots, shredded
1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
2 green onions, white and green parts, sliced
salt to taste

Additional Toppings
4 large eggs
1 cup kimchi
 sesame seeds (optional)
gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste), to taste

1. If not already cooked, begin by cooking rice in rice cooker or on stovetop. Prepare the rest of the bowl ingredients as the rice cooks.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium flame and add the cooking oil. Add the fresh spinach. Sauté the spinach for a few minutes, or just until it is wilted. Drizzle the sesame oil over top and season lightly with a pinch of salt. Remove the spinach from the skillet and set aside.

3. In another skillet (or same pan as spinach after you have finished preparing spinach), heat oil. Add sliced mushrooms and sauté on high heat until browned and tender. Lightly salt and set aside.

4. Prepare the fresh vegetables. Peel and grate the carrot. Thinly slice the cucumber – lightly salt. Slice the green onions. Set all ingredients aside.

6. Fry or soft boil 4 large eggs.

7. Build the bowls by adding 1 cup cooked rice to the bowl, followed by 1/4 of the cooked spinach, some sliced cucumber, shredded carrots, a cooked egg, and kimchi. Sprinkle sliced green onions and sesame seeds over top. Add gochujang paste to your spiciness preference.

korean beef

Slow Cooker Korean Beef

From Damn Delicious

1 cup beef or chicken broth
1/2 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon Sriracha or gochujang, or more, to taste
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
3 pound boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
2 green onions, thinly sliced

1. In a large bowl, whisk together beef broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, ginger, Sriracha or gochujang, onion powder and white pepper.

2. Place chuck roast into a 6-qt slow cooker. Stir in beef broth mixture until well combined.

3. Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high heat for 3-4 hours.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and 1/4 cup water. Stir in mixture into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high heat for an additional 30 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.

5. Serve immediately, garnished with green onions and sesame seeds, if desired.

mixed rice
Italian GP - Osso Buco and Risotto Milanese

When researching recipes for the Italian GP, I felt overwhelmed by the ridiculous variety of delicious food I could make. Choice paralysis took over just by the thought of whether I should do a pasta dish, or make pizza, or find something properly authentic I've never made. I have cookbooks, and blogs I follow, and the entirety of the internet full of recipes that could be amazing, and will be, because Italian food is frickin' amazing. 

How to choose?! To narrow it down I'm going regional. Monza is one of the classic F1 tracks, and it resides in the Lombardy region of Italy. Lombard cuisine is known particularly for a unique Risotto made with saffron (Risotto alla Milanese) and for deep braises like Osso Buco. 


I was also tempted to make something from the 'TIMES Foods of the World – Cooking of Italy' book from the 1960’s. It actually did have some gems like Polpette alla Casalinga (Meatballs - fried to perfection), Pere Ripiene (Pears stuffed with Gorgonzola cheese), and Pollo alla Cacciatora (Braised Chicken with black olive and anchovy sauce). But we stuck to the reliability of the internet for this meal.

However, we did pull a few cocktails from the Spritz cocktail book for your drinking pleasure! Check out the Americano, Negroni Sbagliato and the Spritzz on my Spritz post. 

For dessert I  found Giada's Nonna's Lemon Ricotta Biscuits and Olive Oil Gelato (and yes, me and Giada are totally on a first name basis).

They turned out to be particularly good together! Look for recipes in follow up posts. 


Slow-Cooker Beef Shank Osso Buco

From Serious Eats

4 cross-cut, bone-in beef shanks (about 2 1/2 pounds total) (I used Beef Chuck Steaks)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
2 carrots, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
1 stalk celery, diced (about 3/4 cup)
2 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped (about 4 teaspoons)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
4 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
Pinch ground cloves

For the Gremolata:

1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon grated zest from 1 or 2 lemons
2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)

1. For the Shanks: Pat shanks dry using a paper towel. Place 1 cup flour on a plate. Season beef with salt and pepper and dredge in flour, shaking off excess. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until lightly smoking. Add meat and cook without moving until well browned on first side, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook until browned on second side, about 4 minutes longer. Transfer to a slow cooker.

2. Add onion, carrots, and celery to the Dutch oven, reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin have softened, about 7 minutes. Add tomato paste and garlic. Stir and continue cooking until fragrant, about 1 minute longer. Add wine and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot using a wooden spoon.

3. Transfer the contents to a slow cooker and add stock, vinegar, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, and ground clove. Season with salt and pepper and cook on low until meat is tender, about 6 hours.

4. Remove and discard thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Skim fat from the sauce and transfer 1/2 cup of gravy to a medium saucepan. Whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour into the reserved gravy until no lumps remain. Add the rest of the sauce to the saucepan. Whisking frequently, bring the sauce to a rolling boil over high heat and cook until the sauce achieves a gravy-like consistency, about 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

5. For the Gremolata: Meanwhile, combine parsley, lemon zest, and garlic in a small bowl.

6. Arrange shanks on a platter and spoon sauce on top. Garnish with gremolata and serve.



Risotto alla Milanese Recipe

From Serious Eats

14 ounces risotto rice (400g; about 2 cups), preferably carnaroli or vialone nano (though Arborio is the only variety I found in my store - and it works just fine!)
4 cups (950ml) homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock or homemade vegetable stock, plus more as needed
3 tablespoons (45ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, minced (about 200g; 7 ounces)
1 cup (225ml) dry white wine
2 generous pinches saffron (I know it is expensive, but now we can make proper paella too!)
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter
1 1/2 ounces (40g) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
1/2 cup (115ml) heavy cream, whipped to stiff peaks (optional; see note)

1. Combine rice and stock in a large bowl. Agitate rice with fingers or a whisk to release starch. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer set over a 2-quart liquid cup measure or large bowl. Allow to drain well, shaking rice of excess liquid.

2. Heat oil in a heavy 12-inch sauté pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add rice and cook, stirring and tossing frequently, until all liquid has evaporated and rice sizzles and takes on a nutty aroma, about 5 minutes. Add onion and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pan is nearly dry, about 3 minutes.

3. Give reserved stock a good stir and pour all but 1 cup over rice. Add saffron and a large pinch of salt, increase heat to high, and bring to a simmer. Stir rice once, making sure no stray grains are clinging to side of pan above the liquid. Cover and reduce heat to lowest possible setting.

4. Cook rice for 10 minutes undisturbed. Stir once, shake pan gently to redistribute rice, cover, and continue cooking until liquid is mostly absorbed and rice is tender with just a faint bite, about 5 minutes longer.

5. Remove lid. Stir remaining 1 cup of stock to distribute starch, then stir into rice. Increase heat to high, add butter, and cook, stirring and shaking rice constantly until butter has melted and rice is thick and creamy; add more stock or water as necessary if risotto becomes too dry. Off heat, add cheese and stir rapidly to thoroughly incorporate. Fold in heavy cream, if using. Season with salt. Serve immediately on hot plates, passing more cheese at the table.


And for the random thoughts part of the day...

Ferrari's home race poster. So gorgeous. 


Aaaand, last but not least, in case you haven't explored it, Google Play Music has some awesome radio stations, like 'Ultimate Oldies Party', 'Singing Your Feelings', and every type of dinner party you can imagine. This one seemed like an excellent pick for Osso Buco and Rissoto making... 

And in case you aren't convinced: this morning it is recommending: 'For Shame: 80's and 90's Guilty Pleasures', don't mind if I do. 

Hungarian GP - Goulash

I love the names of Hungarian dishes: goulash, paprikash, balushka. They sound so warm and comforting. This dish definitely met those criteria. Since we have a great beef source we went with a nice beef stew for this year's race. So easy, and so much flavor. The long cooking time develops the flavors nicely and the paprika really shines in this stew. It can be served with egg noodles, rice, or any kind of pasta. 

Beef Goulash

from Savory Tooth

3 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-2 inch chunks
3 yellow onions (about 2 pounds), chopped
2 cups vegetable broth
6 ounce can tomato paste
10 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup paprika
2 teaspoons cayenne
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil

For serving:
Vegetable for a side (I used cauliflower)

1.  Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.

2.  Add onions, garlic, salt, and pepper to the pot. Cook until the onions soften, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

3.  Coat the beef chunks in a mixture of paprika and cayenne, and add to the pot. Cook until the beef browns, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

4.  Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add stock and tomato paste to the pot, and stir. Cover with a lid and let simmer until the meat is very tender, about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

5.  Serve with noodles and a vegetable side.


On to the cocktails! Last year we bought a bottle of Zwack Unicum, a liqueur from Hungary. This year I did not know what to do with it when I dug it out from the back of the liquor cabinet. But Food & Wine came to the rescue with a properly delicious cocktail! Can't wait to try some of the other suggestions!



“Zwack is equally sweet and herbal—you could say the same about sweet vermouth, an essential ingredient in a Manhattan. So instead of pairing vermouth and rye, we're going with Zwack and rye, for a stiff drink that drinks like a Manhattan but lets a citrusy flavor linger around the edges.”

To make the cocktail:

In a mixing glass with ice, combine 2 ounces of rye and 3/4 ounce Zwack.
Add a dash of Angostura bitters. Stir until well-chilled, and then strain into a cocktail glass.
Garnish with a big twist each of lemon peel—twisting over the surface of the drink to spray its citrus oils all over.

Austrian GP - Steak & Potato Salad and Linzer Torte

I am consistently surprised and impressed with Austrian recipes and dishes. I had such a hard time choosing a recipe, there were so many amazing sounding options to choose from. 

Also, I found on my shelf a classic of American cookbooks, the TIME cookbook series: The Cooking of Vienna's Empire (!) Although there were some tempting options in there I went for something a little more contemporary... or at least updated. 

I am also tempted by the Hungarian Goulash's in this classic cookbook, but those will have to wait until the Hungarian GP!

Austrian Style Steak and Potato Salad

From Saveur

3 lb. small red or white new potatoes, chopped into ½ inch cubes
Kosher salt, to taste
1⁄4 cup apple cider vinegar
1⁄4 cup pumpkin seed oil (or 1 tbsp nut oil and 2 tbsp canola oil)
3 large shallots, thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Canola oil
2 cups plus 2 tbsp. flour
1 medium yellow onion, very thinly sliced
1 lb. beef top round, cut into 8 equal pieces
1⁄4 cup dijon mustard
1 cup beef broth
2 tbsp. cold butter, cut into small pieces
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
Thinly sliced flat-leaf parsley leaves

1.Put potatoes into a pot; cover with salted water by 2". Boil; reduce heat; simmer until tender, 14–15 minutes. Drain; cool slightly.

2. Mix cider vinegar, pumpkin seed oil, and 1⁄4 cup warm water. Add in shallots, and salt and pepper. Toss gently with potatoes in a large bowl; cover and set aside.

3. Pour canola oil into a pot to a depth of 2"; heat over medium-high heat to 350°. Put 1 cup flour into a bowl. Toss a handful of onions in flour and shake off excess; fry until golden, 3–4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel–lined plate; season with salt. Repeat with remaining onions.

4. Working with 1 piece of beef at a time, pound it between 2 pieces of plastic wrap with a meat mallet until 1⁄4" thick. Put 1 cup flour in a shallow dish. Season beef with salt and pepper; coat only one side of each piece with 1⁄2 tbsp. mustard. Dredge mustard side in flour; shake off excess; transfer to plates.

5. Heat 3 tbsp. canola oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the beef; cook, turning once, until browned, 4–5 minutes. Transfer to a plate; keep warm. Clean out skillet; repeat with another 3 tbsp. canola oil and remaining beef.

6. Return skillet to medium heat; whisk in remaining flour; cook for 30 seconds. Whisk in broth; cook until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk in butter 1 piece at a time. To make smooth, strain sauce into a bowl. Stir in balsamic vinegar; season with salt and pepper.

7. Serve steaks with sauce and onions alongside the potato salad garnished with parsley.

The Linzer Torte was inspired by every website, book, or person I talked to about Austria, so I knew I had to make it. I remembered, somewhere in the back of my mind, that Smitten Kitchen shared a Linzer Torte recipe a few years ago, and as usual she did not disappoint. 

Azerbaijani GP - Beef Plov

The more I follow the races in F1 and read blogs about the races and the locations, the more I realize I do not know about the world. Geographically speaking I am probably a little more savvy than I give myself credit for, but I could not have named the sea which Baku sits on (The Caspian), or the neighboring countries that surround Azerbaijan (Georgia, Armenia, Iran and Russia). I could point to it on a map though, and I do know the food is flavorful and deserves to be tried! 

Beef Plov

From Natasha’s Kitchen

1 1/2 lbs good beef stew meat or beef chuck
1/3 cup canola oil, or extra light olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
3 medium carrots, cut into matchsticks or chopped
1 tsp salt for the meat and veggies + 1 1/2 tsp salt for the rice
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
3-4 bay leaves
1 3/4 cups hot water for braising meat
3 cups long grain rice (Basmati or Jasmine rice work great!)
4 cups hot water when cooking rice
1 head of garlic
1 tsp ground coriander

1. Trim beef of excess fat, pat meat dry with a paper towel and chop into ½" to ¾" pieces.

2. Preheat a dutch oven to high heat. Add ⅓ cup canola oil. Once oil is hot, add chopped meat and saute uncovered about 7 min over high heat until meat is browned, stirring every minute or so. (Note: it's important to preheat the dutch oven first for the meat to sear over very high heat, otherwise it will juice out and become dry.)

3. Reduce heat to medium and add chopped onion, stirring often until onion is softened (5 minutes). Stir in chopped carrots, 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp cumin, 3-4 bay leaves and continue to cook over medium heat 5 minutes until carrots are softened.

4. Add 1¾ cups hot water, cover and simmer over medium/low heat 45 min or until meat is tender.

5. Meanwhile, rinse rice until water runs clear, then drain and set aside (this gets rid of the starch so you won't end up with a sticky rice).

6.  Spread rice over the meat and add 4 cups hot water. Sprinkle the rice with 1½ tsp salt (DO NOT STIR), bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium and let cook uncovered until most of the water is absorbed (10 min).

7. Cut off the head of a garlic head to expose the cloves. Put head of garlic, cut side down into the center of the rice and sprinkle the top of the rice with 1 tsp ground coriander.

10. Poke 7-10 holes through the rice to allow steam to escape to the surface, reduce the heat to low then cover and cook an additional 15 minutes or until rice is cooked through. Remove the garlic head and bay leaves and stir everything gently to combine.


Ok, so a few disclaimers and additional info... this is a Plov, which basically is a Pilaf.

Apparently, Plov is a very popular dish in Russia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan,  pretty much all of Central Asia and indeed Azerbaijan. However, I’m pretty sure this is more of an Uzbek and/or Russian version than Azerbaijani. It is nonetheless, delicious and I would highly recommend you make it.

The only thing missing are some veggies, so I recommend serving it with a salad or some roasted broccoli (which I will serve and eat with ANYTHING).

I found a website recently, called Flavors of Baku, which I think I will have to look into a little more for next time!

So as not to disappoint, here are Ferrari and Renault's posters for the race!

Monaco GP - Beef Daube and Champagne

Monaco, oh, Monaco. If ever there were a dream of opulence and grandeur, you are it. With the nearest neighbors being France and Italy and sitting so elegantly on the Mediterranean sea, it is the setting of dreams. I can only imagine walking the streets, eating at sidewalk cafes, seeing beautiful people and even more beautiful cars.


I was inspired to delve in to my French cookbooks for this year's Monacan Grand Prix. Dorie Greenspan has a way of making all her recipes perfectly comprehensible and doable even if they have 20 ingredients and take 3 hours! This was perfect served with some roasted root vegetables and a tall glass of champagne. 


Go-To Beef Daube

Dorie Greenspan's Around my French Table, thanks to Serious Eats I did not have to type all this up!!

4 slices thick-cut bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch-wide pieces
One 3 1/2-pound beef chuck roast, fat and any sinews removed, cut into 2- to 3-inch cubes
2 tablespoons mild oil (such as grapeseed or canola)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 yellow onions or 1 Spanish onion, quartered and thinly sliced
6 shallots, thinly sliced
1 garlic head, halved, horizontally, only loose papery peel removed
1 1/2 pounds carrots, trimmed, peeled, halved crosswise, and halved or quartered lengthwise, depending on thickness
1/2 pound parsnips, trimmed, peeled, halved crosswise, and quartered lengthwise (optional)
1/4 cup Cognac or other brandy
1 bottle fruity red wine
A bouquet garni—2 thyme sprigs, 2 parsley sprigs, 1 rosemary sprig, and the leaves from 1 celery stalk, tied together in a piece of cheesecloth

  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Put a Dutch oven over medium heat and toss in the bacon. Cook, stirring, just until the bacon browns, then transfer to a bowl.
  3. Dry the beef between sheets of paper towels. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil to the bacon fat in the pot and warm it over medium-high heat, then brown the beef, in batches, on all sides. Don’t crowd the pot—if you try to cook too many pieces at once, you’ll steam the meat rather than brown it—and make sure that each piece gets good color. Transfer the browned meat to the bowl with the bacon and season lightly with salt and pepper.
  4. Pour off the oil in the pot (don’t remove any browned bits stuck to the bottom), add the remaining tablespoon of oil, and warm it over medium heat. Add the onions and shallots, season lightly with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until the onions soften, about 8 minutes. Toss in the garlic, carrots, and parsnips, if you’re using them, and give everything a few good turns to cover all the ingredients with a little oil. Pour in the brandy, turn up the heat, and stir well so that the brandy loosens whatever may be clinging to the bottom of the pot. Let the brandy boil for a minute, then return the beef and bacon to the pot, pour in the wine, and toss in the bouquet garni. Once again, give everything a good stir.
  5. When the wine comes to a boil, cover the pot tightly with a piece of aluminum foil and the lid. Slide the daube into the oven and allow it to braise undisturbed for 1 hour.
  6. Pull the pot out of the oven, remove the lid and foil, and stir everything up once. If it looks as if the liquid is reducing by a great deal (unlikely), add just enough water to cover the ingredients. Recover the pot with the foil and lid, slip it back into the oven, and cook for another 1 1/2 hours (total time is 2 1/2 hours). At this point the meat should be fork-tender—if it’s not, give it another 30 minutes or so in the oven.
  7. Taste the sauce. If you’d like it a little more concentrated (usually I think it’s just fine as is), pour the sauce into a saucepan, put it over high heat, and boil it down until it’s just the way you like it. When the sauce meets your approval, taste it for salt and pepper. (If you’re going to reduce the sauce, make certain not to salt it until it’s reduced.) Fish out the bouquet garni and using a large serving spoon, skim off the surface fat.
  8. Serve the beef and carrots moistened with sauce.

The round up for F1 related fun times for this week:

One of my all time favorite F1 related media has to be George the Poet on Monaco from 2013. We watch it religiously every year, and get goosebumps with every re-watching. If you haven't seen it yet, you're welcome!

This year with Fernando Alonso making his bold move into American MotorSport this McLaren poster was on point. 

Not to be outdone Ferrari kept their designs gorgeous as ever. 

And last, but certainly not least, graphic designer and artist Chris Rathbone created this excellent contribution for Alonso at Indy!

Russian GP - Kartofelnaya Zapekanka & Vatrushka

Russian dinner party anyone? I think beyond making entrees and desserts for friends, we should really think about stepping up our game and introducing costumes and decorations. I'll keep you posted!  


In case you missed the race, here is a news headline to sum it up "FIA reports just one overtaking pass during F1 Russian Grand Prix at Sochi". Yeah, it was a hoot.

The Guardian, however, dug a little deeper to at least consider some takeaways; including the fact that Bottas' win makes it at least a three-way fight at the top, much to Hamilton's chagrin. So much for #2 driver, way to go Bottas!

Even if the race was boring, at least the food was good. We made Kartofelnaya Zapekanka (Beef and Potato Casserole) and Vatrushka (Cheese Pastries). Enjoy!


"Kortofelnaya Zapekanka" - Beef & Potato Сasserole

from Cooking Melangery Russian Mondays

2 lb. russet or gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
salt and pepper, to taste
3/4 cup milk, heated
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp. butter

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, diced or shredded
1 lb. ground beef
1 tsp smoked paprika
salt and pepper, to taste
parmesan cheese

  1. Boil potatoes, with generous pinch of salt, until tender, approximately 15 minutes. Drain well.
  2. Mash the cooked potatoes in a large bowl. Add hot milk, egg, and butter, and beat with potato masher or with a handheld mixer on medium speed until smooth and fluffy. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and carrots and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the ground beef and bring to a simmer. Add the salt and spices. Cook, stirring occasionally, until cook through, about 15 minutes.
  4. Preheat broiler to high.
  5. Spread half the mashed potatoes evenly into a shallow baking dish. Spoon the beef mixture over mashed potatoes. Spread remaining half of mashed potatoes on top of the beef mixture to completely cover. (To make the alternating wave pattern pull a spoon across the potatoes making divots every 1/2 inch in alternating directions across the top.) Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and place under the broiler. Broil the potato pie until the potatoes are tinged with brown, about 3-5 minutes. Serve directly from the baking dish.

(Spot the toddler treats in the background? Turned out he preferred the potatoes!)

And for dessert...


Vatrushka (Ватрушка)

From Russian Recipe Book


1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 packet active dry yeast
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1/3 tsp. salt
2 tsp. unsalted butter


1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 lb. fresh unsalted cheese (cottage cheese or ricotta cheese) note: if using cottage cheese use a cheese cloth and strainer to squeeze out excess water before using in the recipe
1 egg
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt

  1. Prepare the dough:
  2. Heat the water to 110°F; add 1 Tbsp. of sugar, yeast, and ½ cup of sifted flour. Stir well, cover, and leave in a warm place for about an hour. The mix should develop a lot of bubbles and rise.
  3. Separate the egg white from the yolk. Save the yolk for later in the recipe.
  4. Heat milk to 110°F and add to the mix. Stir in the egg white, salt, and the remaining 1 Tbsp sugar. Gradually add sifted flour while stirring in one direction (a wooden spatula is preferred). When the dough becomes too dense to stir with the spatula, start kneading it by hand while adding small amounts of flour at a time. You will want to work the dough until you get a ball of dough with a smooth surface that has just enough flour to prevent it from sticking to your hands. Don’t use more flour than necessary!
  5. Cover the dough and let it rise in a warm place until it doubles in size. After that, press it down and let it rise one more time.
  6. Prepare the filling:
  7. Melt the butter without making it hot, and then mix all the ingredients. (Make sure to have strained the cottage cheese, if using.)
  8. Assemble vatrushkas:
  9. Dust your work surface with flour and roll out the dough into a sheet about ¼ inch thick. Cut out circles about 5 inches in diameter (you can use a tea saucer for that).
  10. Place 1/2 – 1 Tbsp. of filling in the middle of each circle (the exact amount depends on your vatrushka size and your personal preferences). Do not overfill! Carefully roll up the edges making neat, smooth, and even walls about 2/3 inches in height. Even make them a bit higher if you are afraid you are overfilling. Carefully smooth the surface of the filling making sure it is even and fills the entire space.
  11. Turn on the oven to preheat it to 425°F – 450°F.
  12. Lightly grease a baking sheet or pan. Arrange vatrushkas on the baking sheet some distance apart so they don’t stick together when they expand. Let your vatrushkas stand for about 15 minutes in a warm place.
  13. Meanwhile, melt the butter without making it hot, and mix it with the saved egg yolk. Stir very well and remove any clumps.
  14. After vatrushkas have been rising for 15 minutes, carefully brush a thin layer of the egg yolk/butter mix on the top and most importantly, the dough portion of each pie.
  15. Let vatrushkas stand for another 10 minutes and carefully puncture the top in 2-3 places with a fork without puncturing all the way to the bottom. Place them in the oven.
  16. Baking time will vary but it usually takes 15-25 minutes to obtain a smooth brown crust.
  17. After the baking is finished, immediately place vatrushkas on a wooden board or wire mesh for cooling.
  18. Let the vatrushkas cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. This is important for full flavor development.

"Carefully roll up the edges making neat, smooth, and even walls" I think not! Baking did wonders to smooth things out, but I would not say my pastry walls were anywhere near neat, smooth, or even :)

In the end this recipe was fine but a bit finicky, and I found that the dough did not rise like it should have. I think I should have gone with my initial instinct and made the recipe from Yelena at Cooking Melangery, so here is a link to that recipe! Melangery Vatrushka. Maybe I’ll try that one next year!

And because they are ridiculously amazing, Ferrari's Poster for Sochi:

Chinese GP - Orange Chicken and Beef Chow Fun

This year we finally did it. We made our own Chinese food! And because I can't resist a cooking challenge we made three dishes, two of which were fried and none of which I had ever made before. But the pork buns were store bought, so I let myself off the hook there. A big thank you to Luiz who provided the inspiration in the way of a new cookbook for my birthday: Katie Chin's Everyday Chinese Cookbook: 101 Delicious Recipes from My Mother's Kitchen.

For the Chinese GP this year we had:

Crab Wontons
Orange Chicken
Beef Chow Fun
Pork Buns
Chinese and Taiwanese beer


Despite the juggling, none of these dishes turned out to be overly complicated or difficult. Just a little time consuming with the need to make a sauce, batter the meat, and fry for the orange chicken, but perhaps that is what makes it so very tasty.

When I make these dishes over again I will halve the sugar in the orange chicken and double the veggies in the chow fun because those are my preferences, otherwise, they are delicious!


Crab Wontons

Katie Chin’s Everyday Chinese Cookbook

6 oz crabmeat (or imitation crab)
Two – 8 oz packages cream cheese, softened
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp garlic powder
20 wonton wrappers
1 egg slightly beaten
Oil for frying
Sweet and Sour sauce

  1. In a medium bowl mix together first four ingredients
  2. Lay one wonton wrapper on a clean surface. Brush edges with beaten egg, then place a heaping teaspoon of crabmeat mixture in the center. Fold the bottom corner of the wonton wrapper over the filling to form a triangle and seal the edges. Pinch the two folded corners together. Repeat with remaining wrappers.
  3. In a large wok or dutch oven, heat 2 to 3 inches of oil to 350 degrees F. Fry 8 to 10 wontons at a time, turning 2 or 3 times, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Drain on a sheet pan lined with paper towels. Serve immediately with Sweet and Sour sauce.

Orange Chicken

Katie Chin’s Everyday Chinese Cookbook

chicken marinade:
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thigh or breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt dash white pepper

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
vegetable oil for for frying

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
3/4 cup rice or white vinegar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup water

  1. In a large bowl, combine the chicken pieces, egg, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 2 teaspoons soy sauce, 1 teaspoon salt and the white pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a wok or deep frying pan to 350 degrees. Mix flour, 1/2 cup water, 1/4 cup cornstarch, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the baking soda. Stir the chicken and remaining marinade into the batter until well coated. Fry about 15 pieces at a time until lightly browned, turning frequently, about 3 minutes. Drain on a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Increase oil temperature to 375 degrees. Fry all of the pieces at one time for 1 minute (this is the secret for getting crispity-crunchy results). Drain on paper towel.
  3. Heat sugar, chicken broth, orange concentrate, vinegar, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 2 teaspoons soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt, garlic, red pepper flakes and orange zest to boiling in a medium sauce pan. Mix 1/4 cup cornstarch and 1/4 cup water; stir into the sauce. Cook and stir until thickened about 10 seconds. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and pour over chicken pieces.

Beef Chow Fun

Katie Chin’s Everyday Chinese Cookbook

10 oz flat rice noodles (fresh or frozen)
1 tsp dark sesame oil
3 medium dried black mushrooms
8 oz beef tenderloin, sliced diagonally across the grain in ¼ in slices
1 tsp plus
2 Tbsp all-purpose cornstarch, divided
1 ¼ tsp salt divided
2 tsp sugar divided dash of pepper
2 oz snow peas, trimmed
8 oz asparagus, cut into 2-in pieces
¾ cup chicken stock, divided
2 Tbsp oyster sauce
3 Tbsp oil, divided
1 tsp peeled and minced ginger
1 clove garlic, minced

  1. Toss (prepared) noodles with sesame oil and set aside
  2. Soak mushrooms in hot water until soft, about 20 minutes, and drain. Remove and discard stems and cut caps into ½ inch pieces.
  3. In a bowl, toss beef, 1 tsp of cornstarch, 1 tsp salt, 1tsp sugar and the pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  4. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add snow peas and blanch for 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer snow peas to a bowl of ice water to stop cooking. Drain and set aside.
  5. In a small bowl, mix 4 Tbsp of the chicken stock with the remaining 2 Tbsp of cornstarch, the remaining ¼ tsp salt, the oyster sauce and the remaining 1 tsp of sugar. Set aside.
  6. Heat 2 Tbsp of the oil in a wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef, ginger, and garlic and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Remove beef from the wok.
  7. Wash and dry wok, then heat the remaining 1 Tbsp oil over medium-high heat. Add the drained mushrooms and the asparagus and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Pour in the remaining ½ cup of chicken stock and the cornstarch mixture and cook stirring continuously, until the sauce thickens and all the ingredients are nicely coated, about 2 minutes.
  8. Add the blanched snow peas and cook for 30 seconds. Add the beef and cook, stirring continuously until the beef is hot.
  9. Pour beef mixture over noodles in individual bowls, or mix noodles in, to coat with sauce.

Get the book or check out her website. Many more great recipes where these came from!


All these recipes made an ungodly amount of food so the three of us ate very well and we had lunch for the entire week! I do love a FULL fridge!

Australian GP - Burgers 'with the lot'

The first race of the new season is always exciting. Fanfare and speculation abound. It is so great to see the Sky F1 crew back together and hear Crofty and Martin's voices over the sounds of screaming F1 cars. This year, out of tradition, and gluttony we stayed the course and made our all time favorite burger too big for your mouth: the Aussie Burger 'with the lot'.

Recipe is available on last year's post

Here are some pictures just to make you jealous.


Foster's has NEVER been in such good company. 



All the toppings ready to be assembled. 



A row of burger beasts.



Come to Mama. 



Before it topples over...



Australian Grand Prix - Burgers!

The Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne holds a special place in most F1 fan's hearts as it is the spring to our long cold winter. The first race of the new F1 season! Not only do we get to look forward to seeing all the new liveries, and meet the new drivers... but we also get to have some Australian deliciousness, in the form of BURGERS.


This my friends is the Aussie Burger "with the lot".


And yes, that is a Foster's...


both kinds!


And that is what SUCCESS looks like.

We've been doing this cooking and eating with the races thing for 3 or 4 years now. This recipe has never changed. When you meet perfection... just go with it.

Aussie Burger with the lot

Adapted from: (among others)

For each burger:

Burger Bun
Homemade hamburger patty (ground beef, onion, salt, pepper, optional: egg and bread crumbs)
1 slice of cheddar cheese
Lettuce leaf
1 tomato slice
3-4 slices Beetroot (sliced pickled beets), canned
1 slice of pineapple, canned rings or fresh slice
1 slice of red onion
1 bacon (Canadian) slice
1 egg

Mix ground beef with chopped onion (slightly cooked if preferred), salt and pepper - mold into patties.

Grill or pan sautee sliced onions until browned and a little crisped at the edges.

Grill or pan fry: pineapple slices and Canadian bacon.

Grill or cook burger patty to medium rare or as you like it.

Melt cheese on burger patty.

Pan fry egg until just done.

Pile on bun in this order: Bottom bun, mayo (optional), lettuce, tomato, pickled beets, onion, burger with cheese, grilled pineapple, Canadian bacon, fried egg.

Ketchup on the top bun... try to hold it together and enjoy!

We like to serve this either with a cold Foster's (when in Rome?) or with a crisp glass of champagne, because there is not much better in life than a burger and bubbly.

Happy Days!