Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Spicy Sweet Potato & Coconut Milk Soup

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Spicy Sweet Potato & Coconut Milk Soup
Wanna hear something crazy? I’m going to be 28 next week! When my mom was 28 she had a seven year old and a five year old. That’s nuts. I still feel like a kid, I can’t imagine having one (or two) of my own. My furry cat child is a big enough handful.
Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Spicy Sweet Potato & Coconut Milk Soup
It doesn’t feel like it’s almost my birthday. When I was a kid, my birthdays were always sunny and summery, and even though this will be the 10th birthday I’ve spent Seattle, I’m still not used to June 4th being blustery and cold. Hopefully we’ll get some sun again soon!
Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Spicy Sweet Potato & Coconut Milk Soup
In the meantime, though, I’m happy to warm up with something homey and delicious. Like this soup. Creamy coconut milk with a bit of spice from sambal oelek (an amazing hot chili sauce, you should try it!), and a bit of depth from peanut butter. Add some heft and sweetness from sweet potatoes, some acidic freshness from tomatoes, and some extra feel-goodness from a big pile of dark leafy greens.
Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Spicy Sweet Potato & Coconut Milk Soup
This soup is awesome this time of year, because it can play the warm comforting card in cold weather, but the bright Asian flavors also work when the temperature rises.

Sweet Potato & Coconut Milk Soup with Swiss Chard & Sambal Oelek

1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 onion, diced
1 small knob of ginger, grated
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed in bite-sized pieces
1.5 tablespoon peanut butter
1 teaspoon samba oelek (or more, depending on your taste)
salt & pepper
4 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
1 bunch swiss chard, stems removed & leaves chopped or torn to bite size pieces
1/2 cup diced tomatoes (I used cherry)
1 can coconut milk

Serve with:
Sliced green onions
Crushed peanuts
More sambal oelek

Heat coconut oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add onion, and cook until just starting to brown. Add ginger and garlic, and cook for a minute or so. Add sweet potatoes, and cook for another minute. Stir in peanut butter and samba oelek, and salt and pepper to taste. Add broth, turn up heat, and bring to a boil. Let boil for a few minutes, then cover, lower the heat and simmer until potatoes are soft, about 10 minutes. Add in swiss chard, tomatoes, and coconut milk. Turn heat back up until soup boils. Remove from head and serve with sliced green onions, cilantro, crushed peanuts, and more sambal. 

PS. It's even better the next day!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Totally Grilled Guacamole

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Totally Grilled Guacamole

This weekend is the kickoff of grilling season, and I'm stoked! I. Love. Grilling. We actually grill year round in my house, but we really start to go grill crazy around this time every year. 

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Totally Grilled Guacamole
We grill everything from the salad to the bread to the dessert. So I figured… why not grill the guac too!? 

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Totally Grilled Guacamole
Yep, grilled guacamole. Grilled everything. Avocados, corn, tomato, tomatillos, green onions, and even the lime. You could (and, really, you should) add a pepper too. Maybe a jalapeño or poblano. 

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Totally Grilled Guacamole

Avocados get all creamy and nutty when you grill them, and we all know that an ear of corn is amazing with a little char on it. Even the lime takes on a zingy, limier flavor with a little kiss of the flame. 

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Totally Grilled Guacamole

PS. Who else is SO excited for Arrested Development this weekend!? I bet a piping hot cornball would be pretty awesome dipped in a bit of grilled guac…just sayin! 

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Totally Grilled Guacamole
Totally Grilled Guacamole

3 avocados, halved & pit removed
1 ear of corn, shucked
1 smallish roma tomato
3-4 green onions
2 tomatillos
1 lime, halved
1 pepper (jalapeño or poblano)
salt & pepper 
Cotija Cheese

Heat the grill over medium flame. Brush all the vegetables with olive oil. Place all items on grill: avocado and lime halves cut-side down, everything else whole. Keep an eye on everything, and grill until just charred. Flip the corn, tomato, tomatillos, and pepper half way through. Remove and let everything cool for a few minutes. Scoop avocado into a bowl, and mash. Slice the corn off the cob, and dice the tomato, onions, tomatillos, and pepper. Stir everything together, and add juice from half the lime (to start, add remainder if desired), and salt and pepper to taste. Top with crumbled cotija cheese. 


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I Heart New York

Hey guys, I just got back from NYC! While I was there, this ol’ blog celebrated her 4th birthday, and our little nephew celebrated his 1st birthday! It was a cake and champagne kind of weekend. Shouldn’t all weekends be filled with cake and champagne, though?

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: NYC

We mastered the subway (for real this time, no missed flights due to subway mishaps!), saw an off-Broadway show, sloshed through a soaking wet rainy Central Park, and drank a whole lot of Intelligentsia coffee. And, as usual, we ate. So many good new-to-us spots, plus a few favorites that we discovered on our last trip to the big apple. Here are a bunch of my (iPhone) pics from our trip, and the run-down on our eats:

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: NYC

Adrienne’s Pizza: On our first night in town, we met up with family at this pizza spot in the financial district. It just so happens that on Thursday evenings this street closes down and becomes an outdoor happy hour spot for the Wall Street crowd. We don’t see too many suits in Seattle (please, our “financial district” is, like, 2 buildings), so that was fun! Also…the pizza. Is there any bad pizza in NYC? Because I haven’t had it. The “old fashioned” style pizzas at this place were super tasty—big baking sheets of pizza, with really, really good crispy little pepperoni rounds.

Russ & Daughters: We went here last time, and had to go back. I’m pretty sure we can’t go to NYC without going to this classic bagel shop. Tons of different kinds of smoked fish, cream cheeses, and fish spreads, and the best bagels ever. I had a bialy—which is basically a Polish bagel, and the hole is filled in with an oniony-poppyseed mixture—with cream cheese and smoked salmon. Um, yes please!

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: NYC

Shake Shack: Another NYC must. Just as with last time, we went more than once. Shack Burger, I dream of you. 

BaoHaus: Two words: Eddie Huang. The man himself. Sitting right next to us, chowing down on his own goods. I had two baos: the birdhaus (fried chicken…the best), and the chairman (pork belly), and we shared the taro fries. I just want this to be in Seattle. I just want to eat that fried chicken steamed bun forever.

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: NYC
Ippudo: We met our friend Jim (who lives in NYC) at this ramen house. Jim moved to New York to live the Seinfeld life, and I think he’s doing just that. Oh, also, the ramen was awesome. I had pork ramen topped with miso paste, cabbage, sesame mushrooms, scallions, garlic oil, and a soft-boiled egg. Evan had the spicy one, which was maybe even better than mine. Would definitely recommend, would definitely go back.

Balthazar: We went for weekday breakfast, so no wait or reservations! Breakfast was delish, and I loved the atmosphere. Too bad we were too full to try the pastries at the bakery! 

Nom Wah Tea Parlor: Dim sum! I loved this place…we ordered pretty much every item on the menu. Scallion pancake and shrimp buns for days. The restaurant is over 90 years old, in the same location in China town. And the street its on is "the deadliest street in NYC." The one from Gangs of New York. Super cool. And ps. who doesn't love dim sum!?

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: NYC

The Meatball Shop: Another one we had already been too. Evan and I just love the vibe of this place. You pick your meat (pork, beef, etc), pick your sauce, pick your sides, or have the meatballs on a sandwich. I've probably had better meatballs, but I seriously think this is the most genius restaurant concept. 

Les Halles: So, we decided to do one fancy French dinner, and figured if Les Halles was good enough for Bourdain, it was good enough for us. But you know what? I think they need Tony back! The appetizers—bone marrow, escargot, and French onion soup—were pretty good. But the entree? Meh. Took forever (seriously, like an hour… everyone around us that came after us finished eating before our entrees came out), and then the steak itself…nothing special. Oh well, you win some, you lose some! 

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: NYC

And after all that… I'm stoked to get back in the kitchen and do my own cooking. I love eating out and traveling, but man it feels good to eat a homemade dinner! 


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Happy Birthday, Blog!

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: 4th Birthday
Yellow Cake + Chocolate Buttercream = Happy birthdays.

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: 4th Birthday

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Meyer Lemon & Honey-Poppy Seed Swirl Ice Cream

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Meyer Lemon & Honey Poppy Seed Swirl Ice Cream
Lemon and poppy seeds seem like a combo that was made for mother's day. Don't you think? The perfect combination of tangy and sweet, surprisingly crunchy. Like moms. They're sweet, and sometimes they're a bit sour and tart…but only when you make them that way. You gotta treat your mother right, friends. Listen to Mr. T. He knows how to treat a mom. Also, that Mr. T video, it happens to be the most amazing video ever made. It includes back-up singing/ dancing moms. And Mr. T rapping. So, Happy Mother's Day… here's the gift that keeps on giving.

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Meyer Lemon & Honey Poppy Seed Swirl Ice Cream

Another good mother's day gift is lemon poppy seed ice cream. Moms love homemade ice cream. And I should know, I'm a cat mom to a fur child, and I wish that my little beast would make me some ice cream this weekend. Or at least scoop her own litter box just once. Biscuit really needs to start pulling her weight around here. Since I know she'll probably show her appreciation some other way, like meow-yelling in my face at 4am, I figured I should just make my own mother's day ice cream. 

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Meyer Lemon & Honey Poppy Seed Swirl Ice Cream

I make a lot of ice cream, but—I'm a bit embarrassed to say this—this was the first time I made an egg yolk custard base. I usually go eggless, because I usually want homemade ice cream like, right now, not tomorrow. And now I'm kind of upset that I tried it. Because I don't know if I can go back. Holy hell, that's some creamy, rich, amazing ice cream. Damnit. And it was actually really easy, too, as long as you're not afraid of a little tempering and are wiling to wait while it chills. 

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Meyer Lemon & Honey Poppy Seed Swirl Ice Cream

This creamy, rich, custardy ice cream is super tart and lemony, thanks to a quick Meyer lemon simple syrup. And the poppy seeds add just the right amount of fun pop to each bite. Oh, and did I mention there's a honey poppyseed swirl in there too? Yep. There is. Creamy, crunchy, sweet, tangy. Holy mother of mom's day. This one is good. Honestly, I think Mr. T would approve. 

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Meyer Lemon & Honey Poppy Seed Swirl Ice Cream

Meyer Lemon & Honey-Poppy Seed Swirl Ice Cream

There are a few steps to this, but if you plan ahead, it goes pretty quickly. I made the base and simple syrup the night before, and made the honey poppy seed swirl while the ice cream was churning. Ice cream maker required. 

Ice Cream
1 recipe sweet cream custard base (below)
1 recipe lemon simple syrup (below)
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 recipe honey poppy seed swirl (below)

Freeze custard base according to your ice cream makers' instructions. When you have about 5 minutes left, slowly stream in the lemon syrup, and add the tablespoon of poppy seeds (you may need to stop the freezer for a moment and combine quickly with a spatula). Finish churning, and scoop alternate layers of ice cream and honey poppyseed swirl into an airtight freezer-safe container. Freeze up to two hours in your freezer. 

Sweet Cream Custard Base
Adapted from this recipe

2 cups heavy cream

3/4 cup milk (1 or 2%)

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

5 large egg yolks

In a medium-heavy saucepan, whisk together cream, milk, half of the sugar (1/4 cup), and salt.  Heat over medium high, stirring occasionally, until the mixture approaches a simmer, reduce heat to medium.

Meanwhile, in a medium-sized heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and remaining 1/4 cup of sugar. 

While whisking the eggs constantly, slowly add about 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture to the egg bowl. Keep whisking, and repeat, adding another 1/2 cup of the hot cream to the eggs.  Then, using a heatproof spatula, stir the cream and slowly pour the egg and cream mixture from the bowl into the pan. Congrats, you tempered your eggs!

Continue to cook carefully over medium heat for another 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly until the mixture is thickened, coats the back of a spatula, and leaves a clear mark when you run your finger across it. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer and into a clean container. Set into an ice bath, and stir occasionally until cool. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. 

Lemon Simple Syrup

3 large Meyer lemons
2 tablespoons sugar

Juice lemons and squeeze enough juice to make 1/2 cup. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine lemon juice and sugar, and bring to a simmer. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and refrigerate until chilled. 

Honey Poppyseed Swirl

1 tablespoon poppy seeds
2 tablespoons honey

Stir together, set aside. 


Saturday, May 4, 2013

Jarritos + Tequila, To Go!

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Cinco de Mayo Jarritos + Tequila To-Gos

Oh boy. I remember the days when I was young and crazy and could drink all night and still make it to work the next day, not a hair out of place. Nowadays, one beer after work knocks me out. And a few rounds of cocktails? Fuhgettaboutit. There was even a time in my life when I referred to Cinco de Mayo as Cinco de Drinko. Don’t act like you didn’t call it that too. Oh wait, you still do? Well, in that case…

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Cinco de Mayo Jarritos + Tequila To-Gos

There’s a bar in Seattle that serves a drink called the To-Go. It’s a bottle of grapefruit Jarritos, topped off with tequila. I mean, c'mon people, that’s genius. It’s essentially a paloma in its own to-go bottle. Perfectly contained. How is that not the most genius drink to serve at a BBQ/picnic/fiesta!? No shakers, no stirry things, not even any red plastic cups, for goodness sake!

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Cinco de Mayo Jarritos + Tequila To-Gos The one challenge with making this drink at home: where the eff do you find grapefruit Jarritos!? I tried two Mexican markets, 2 big grocery stores, and 1 gas station. I found lime, pineapple, fruit punch, orange, and even tamarind. No grapefruit. The good news is, the variety of fun flavors also works here, and the colors are bright and festive and just what Dr. de Mayo ordered. But if you’re dying for grapefruit and can’t find it, feel free to sub with another grapefruit soda or fizzy drink like Izze.

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Cinco de Mayo Jarritos + Tequila To-Gos

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Cinco de Mayo Jarritos + Tequila To-Gos

Ok amigos y amigas, let’s make To-Gos!

Step 1: Fill a big bowl/bucket/cooler/tub with ice.
Step 2: Wedge a bunch of fun flavored Mexican sodas in said ice.
Step 3: Provide 1 mini bottle (airplane size) of tequila per soda.
Step 4: Open a soda, and take a big swig.
Step 5: Pour a full mini bottle of tequila in the soda bottle.
Step 6: add a lime wedge.
Step 7: BEBE

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: Cinco de Mayo Jarritos + Tequila To-GosPS. How cute are these little cactus fiesta favors!? Check out Camille Styles for the how-to!
© Loves Food, Loves to Eat. All rights reserved.
Designer Blogger Template by pipdig