26 February 2009

Whole Lemon Tart a la Smitten Kitchen

When modifying a recipe, i.e. halving a recipe, make sure to halve every ingredient! For Smitten Kitchen's Whole Lemon Tart, I used 1 egg instead of 1 egg + 1 egg yolk and 3/4 tablespoons cornstarch instead of 1.5 tablespoons of cornstarch. BUT, I used 1 stick of (unsalted, melted and cooled) butter instead of the half portion of 1/2 stick! The result: a very oily tart.

I did not realize my mistake until the tart had baked. I used paper towels to absorb as much butter-oil as possible. Given my mistake, the tart was tasty. Also, I added slices of mandarin - a sweet touch and the additional citrus helped to "cut" the butter-oil. I recommend this recipe but beware the butter.

15 February 2009

The Bread Machine Is Back

The last bread I baked was a failure - too moist and very uneven. My six-year old bread machine is very finicky. I did not closely watch the previous loaf during the kneading and rising process. In fact, I was out of the house. However, the machine redeemed itself this afternoon with an aromatic and delicious rosemary, thyme, dill loaf. I was at home the entire time. The rosemary is from my garden; I dried fresh dill purchased from the grocery store; and the thyme was purchased dry. The loaf has an airy and chewy center with a lightly crunchy crust.

The recipe is from the manual that came with the machine oh so many years ago. The recipe is a 1-1/2 lb. basic white/french loaf. I substituted 1 cup each of organic whole wheat pastry flour, organic fine whole wheat flour, and organic unbleached flour for 3 cups all purpose flour. I did not have all purpose flour. I had approximately 1 cup each of the afore-mentioned flours. Vegetable oil at 1-1/2 Tbl. is optional; I used about 1/4 1/8 cup olive oil. I could have used apple sauce, a low-fat substitute for oil, but I did not have this either. For dinner, I plan to eat my bread (not all of it of course) with a bowl of cold mango soup or maybe a bowl of reheated coconut carrot onion soup.

08 February 2009

The toaster oven that could

Today, I had a lovely, satisfyingly exhausting day, exploring a beach park in Singapore. It was fun exploring a new place, and I had some wonderful company on this adventure. On the way back home, I dropped by my favorite grocery store (that also happens to be right next door to my flat) to pick up something easy to have for dinner. I wanted something quick to put together, in addition to being light and healthy (trying to be good since I had worked hard hiking/burning calories earlier today :) ).

I thought of getting some sashimi from the Japanese stall (satisfy protein crave), but I stumbled upon this fish which was on sale. It is called Japanese Sanma.

I know what you're thinking...buying discounted fish? Living dangerous, eh?

But you know what, it was $2.80 for two, and after poking and smelling them, I decided they were all right. Plus they cost a fraction of a small plate of sashimi. The grocery store also has a good reputation for fresh food, so I thought, hey why not!

I remember reading somewhere sanma is tasty grilled. That sounds perfect for me: a small salad and a simple grilled fish. This is where the toaster-oven-that-could comes in. It was my first time grilling fish in my toaster-oven and I am very glad to say it came out perfect.

I basically just cleaned the fish (yes, I had to gut it). I cut the heads off to reduce the 'food staring back at you' effect. Some salt for seasoning and then threw the fish in the toaster oven for about 10 minutes (flipping once halfway through). Sanma is an oily fish so I did not even need to drizzle oil on this. The fish grilled perfectly with a nice color.

While the fish was grilling way, I put together a simple salad of arugula (or rocket as they are known here) dressed with a dressing made of olive oil, Japanese rice vinegar, minced garlic and ginger, and a dash of sesame seed oil.

The sharp arugula and the oily fish (had one fish, the other in the fridge for tomorrow's lunch) made for a mighty tasty combination. I was very happy with my dinner which took less than 15 minutes to put together. It was delicious AND healthy! Hurray!

I am also now very excited of the expanded possibilities of my toaster oven. I don't have a real oven in my Singapore flat and have missed being able to to roast and bake. The capability of this small oven is still limited as it has only one temperature setting that makes for perfect toast, but too high a temperature for baking cakes or cookies. But now that I have discovered grilling, I feel inspired to try out other recipes in this micro-oven. Stay tuned for more toaster-oven food adventures in the future!