The Easy Aioli

I’m not the biggest fan of sandwiches. Yup. Blasphemy. I know. But I just don’t enjoy them as much. I enjoy burgers every now and then (a really really good burger) but sandwiches, I can pass on. Anyways, since the husband’s back in school again, we’ve resorted to sandwiches on some week days. Oi vey. 

So to keep things interesting, I was determined to find a secret ingredient that would make the sandwich, well, amazing! That’s when I chanced on the aioli. I have had different kinds of Aiolis in the past but never made one. And to be completely honest, did not know what it looked like or what it really was. It was always in my burger but who knew what it looked like.

I’ll share my Aioli for Dummys guide with people who are in need, like I was earlier today. Aioli essentially comes from Spanish cuisine and stands for a garlic oil sauce. Essentially, think about it as a Garlic Mayonnaise if you will. But better. Now for most American sandwiches, a Mustard Aioli is a great addition. And since I am lazy on most weekdays as most people, here is an easy recipe that you can whip up in about 4-5 minutes using a, wait for it, BLENDER! It is traditionally made with a mortar and pestle and if you want to do that, more power to you. It may take you about 15-20 minutes with the pestle, which is not THAT bad, I guess. 

Anyways, here it is. I smeared one of the sandwich buns with the aioli and then added the fresh vegetables and lettuce and such. You can add a dollop (such a fun word haha) on top or just eat it on the side or dip veggies in it. Wow I get carried away.

Bon Apetit!

Recipe:

3 Garlic Cloves, finely minced

2 Egg Yolks

1 Tbsp Lemon Juice

1 Tsp Dijon Mustard (You can add another half tsp if you love the mustard flavor)

1/4 Tsp Salt ( a little bit will go a long way)

0.5 Cup Olive Oil

1. Add the first five ingredients ( all except Olive Oil) to the blender and make sure its all smooth and blended well. This would take about 10 seconds. Stir it with a spatula or spoon.

2. Now is the fun part. Once Step 1 is completed, open the small opening at the top of the blender and start dripping in olive oil. You will see that the mixture will start to emulsify and get thicker and lighter colored as you keep going. Few things here:

a. Make sure the blender is on low. 

b. Ensure the oil is dripping down slowly but steadily. There should not be oil puddling up in the blender. So go slow. 

Keep blending until its thick like mayonnaise. Now you may or may not need more oil (See how specific I am). What I mean is that, this amount of oil may perfectly suffice in getting that thickness. So if you need it to be more viscous, add more oil and keep blending. If not, call it a day and go have your sammich. 

 

 

 

Dark Chocolate Semifreddo with an Oreo crust

photo (7)

Oh my. This sure enough put a definite end to my wedding diet. Well considering how the wedding is all done, dieting of course doesn’t matter ._. *runs and hides from husband’s glare* He is no position to speak cause he is the one who made it. One of the most decadent and easiest desserts we have made in a while. We did have some issues with whipping the cream but still easy enough.

The other day I came across this show by Gordon (Ramsay. Yes we are on first name basis) called Ultimate Home Cooking. Loved it. Very homey and shows a different side of Gordon cooking with his family. Anyhow, turns out he made this dessert in the first episode. The moment I saw it, I was like…

give_it_to_me_stephen_colbert

Anyways, now he did use pistachios but I am a purist when it comes to chocolate so no nuts for me. But we did add the oreo crust and chocolate chips to add variety in texture. Needless to say it was deliciousss. Recipe coming soon!

#songstuckinmyheadtoday

This song will forever remind me of Houston haha. You know how some songs just tie themselves to locations, memories, and situations. This song won’t stop playing on my current Pandora Station and to be honest, I have grown quite fond of it. I’m sure Spongebob square pants has nothing to do with it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7MoXPxA5LM&feature=kp

Cilantro-Ginger-Lime baked Flounder with Bok Choy(Garlic-Oyster Sauce)

Alright, lets get down to this one. This recipe was such a surprise and turned out so amazingly delicious, I have to give its own post. Yes. That deserving haha. Anyhow, so post all our wedding festivities in India, the husband and I are now in Houston, settling into married life. We celebrated our one month anniversary yesterday haha. Little joys in life. Anyways, since we are new in Houston, we decided to go exploring the Asian grocery stores around where we are. Surprisingly, or not, Houston has a big China town and some fantastic Chinese grocery stores. Especially, Jusgo in Bellaire is sooo good. We chanced on that store and were completely blown away by the variety of fresh produce and live fish that we found. Absolutely a seafood lovers’ delight. Crabs, snappers, turtles (don’t worry not going to eat the cute little turtles), flounder, halibut and more.

We got really excited and grabbed quite a few fishes to try out. One of them was flounder. I hadn’t had it in a while but remembered it being a very tender delicate white fish. It does not have much of a flavor of its own but you can do so much with it. Then we came across some Bok Choy in the produce aisle and I mean, who does not like Bok Choy. So, I immediately googled to see if there were any possible recipes that would combine flounder and bok choy and I came across this gem!!

http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/oven-roasted-flounder-with-bok-choy-cilantro-and-lime

So here is my slightly modified version of the recipe which adds some additional flavor profiles. I added some garlic, sauteed some Bok Choy and threw in some Jasmine rice for hearty comfort Asian food. Yummm. Hope you enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro plus small sprigs for garnish
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced peeled ginger
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound baby bok choy (2-3 bunches), cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup sake or dry white wine
  • 4 4-ounce fillets flounder or other delicate white fish (up to 1/2 inch thick)
  • My additions
  • 4 Cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons of Oyster Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

Sauce:

Combine scallion, 1/4 cup cilantro, and next 4 ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk in 1 1/2 tablespoon oil. Season cilantro-lime sauce with salt and pepper; set aside. Modification: So as much I love ginger, I do not enjoy it raw in a sauce. So in my modification, I cooked the sauce a little in a saucepan until it thicken up a little and the ginger was not as raw. This made the sauce slightly thicker and thus helping it coat the fish well. DO this as the last step and douse it on top of the fish! You can add a little fish sauce(1 tbsp) for taste as well.

Bok Choy:

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over high heat until shimmering. Working in batches if needed, add bok choy, cut side down, and sear until golden brown, 2-4 minutes per batch. Turn bok choy cut side up and remove pan from heat. Modification: I did this only for 1/3rd the total amount of Bok Choy I had. The rest is cooked separately. So once the fish goes into the oven, heat the wok with some olive oil, add some minced garlic (you can add a good amount of garlic, depending on how much garlicky flavor you like in your food), and throw in the bok choy. The garlic does not need to be cooked as it will cook with the Bok Choy. Also, add in some water in order to steam the vegetable and then, cover the wok. It does not take very long so keep it in there until tender.

Then take it out of the water, add the oyster sauce and coat the vegetable.

Onto the Flounder:

Take the browned Bok Choy, and put in on the base of the pan you want to use in the oven. Season flounder fillets with salt and pepper and arrange in a single layer over bok choy. Add sake. Roast in oven at 400F until fish is just cooked through, 8-10 minutes.

Present your dish:

1. Scoop out the sake sauce to the bowl

2. Add a cup of cooked Jasmine rice

3. Add the fish to the top of the rice

4. Pour/Drizzle on the cilantro-lime sauce (after cooking it down) on top of it all for delicious hearty flounder goodiness!

Enjoy!

photo 1 photo 2

Source & Credit: Bon Appetit

http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/oven-roasted-flounder-with-bok-choy-cilantro-and-lime

Of weddings and the bridezilla

For all my new readers (whenever eventually you hopefully show up), I am getting married this year!! That is huge because the fiancé and I have been waiting for a long time for this. There is a whole story of why we have had to wait. That is for another blog. You know once I get to know you better internet. Too soon to be spilling my life out. One step at a time. But I digress. Anyways, so yay a wedding is on the horizon. So here’s the challenge for which I need the internet and the good people of the internet to help me power through.

Challenge #1: The wedding is in 4 months. Yes. I have 4 months to start and finish the wedding planning. 

Challenge #2: I don’t live in the country where the big fat wedding will be happening.

Challenge #3: Fiancé and I are in a long distance relationship.

Challenge #4: I did not think I would be a Bridezilla (yes I am a little of the restless and control freak and must get shit done variety, but still)

Lets start with these and we will get through to the rest in time. More in my follow-up blog. Challenge number 1: ACCEPTED.

 

 

about new beginnings

I am not a writer. Not by far and particularly not about myself. I know how excruciating it has been writing college admission essays over majority of last year, trying to help people see who I am. I idealize the concept of writing but there is sometimes a breakdown in what I want to express and how I do it. As I said, this is only when it comes to writing about myself. I am not one to talk about myself a lot. With friends, I have always been more of a listener. Don’t get me wrong, I am quite social and love interacting with new people. Its just I am good listener and that holds me back at times talking about myself. I LOVE talking about people, their love, life, and everything. But I do think I need a place to think out loud so I can get more comfortable talking about me.

Therefore, as any technology savvy millennial, I figured it was time to start a blog. That was back in 2011. Yes. Its not that I never started but there would always be something that would get in the way. Excuses excuses. I know. This reminds me of the numerous failed attempts at keeping a diary when I was a kid. Anyways, so in the spirit of new beginnings, here I am. New year. New life. New country (again). New friends. All about moving out of my comfort zone. But more on that later. Lets begin.

P.S. I did not let the 30 minute blog name decision making process bog me down. Lets do this!