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Showing posts from May, 2005
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Asparagus tart -- looks good, but tastes bad.

Looks can be deceiving

Doesn't that look like a delicious asparagus tart? Well, it wasn't. Let's count the ways it turned out badly.

1. The pastry: A frozen puff pastry that was opened at least 6 months ago and has been sitting in the freezer ever since. Apparently frozen puff pastry gets freezer burns too. (DUH!!) Notice how the top and right edges of the tart did not rise properly and was browned more significantly. There was a lot of water loss there. It caused the pastry to crack and difficult to be rolled out.
2. Asparagus was not that fresh. I threw away some old stems, cut out the fibrous ends, but it just didn't have a clean taste to it. Plus some of them were still too fibrous for my taste.
3. The final blow was the horrible Gruyere cheese. It smells bad. Simple as that.

The lesson was -- if a recipe is so simple, you'd better damn make sure your ingredients are of the finest quality. Otherwise there will be nothing like a heavy sauce to cover it up.

Recipe: Asparagus cheese tart

1 bu…

Recipe: Rosebud Madeleine Cookies

6 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 large egg
1 pinch of salt
1 Tbsp rosewater (can be found in Indian stores)
1 Tbsp confectioner sugar (optional)
Makes about 30

1. Melt the butter over very low heat.
2. Remove 2 Tbsp of melted butter into another container. Leave the rest 4 Tbsp to cool
3. Combine egg, sugar, and salt in a bowl and beat with a electric mixer on high for at least 5 minutes until mixture is lightly yellow and resembles mayonnaise
4. Sift flour over mixture. Fold it in just until combined.
5. Fold in rosewater and cooled 4 Tbsp of butter until combined.
6. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
7. Take out the bowl and leave at room temperature for 30 minutes
8. Meanwhile, pre-heat over to 425 F. Butter a mini-madeleine cookie pan with the remaining butter. Put in freezer for 5 minutes. Re-butter the pan so it is thickly buttered. Return to freezer.
9. After 30 minutes of resting in room temperature, start filling the pan with small spoonful of &quo…
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Rosebud madeleine cookies

Food and memories

I can still remember my very first steak dinner. It came with a white creamy soup with a richness that soothed my tongue and its buttery smell haunted me for the entire night. The steak was a shock too, since I had never tasted anything like it -- its slightly salty, meaty, and bloody juices splashed down my throat as I bit into that first piece with such skepticism as to how anything so undercooked can taste so good. I was in the third grade when my mom took me to this dinner. And to this day I still laugh at that experience, not only because I enjoyed it so much, but also because looking back that wasn't such a fancy dinner after all. The restaurant was a cheap establishment. The meat was not a prime cut. The soup was floury. And I ate most of the steak with ketchup. But it wasn't the quality of the food that haunts my memory so. What I want to relive again and again is how that first bite hit my head with so much seretonin and filled my body with happiness.

It was a similar…