Monday, June 28, 2010
Congratulations to Sandy and Jess of Lazygirlkitchen for winning the panda cookies giveaway!
I’ve never tasted clafoutis before, but I’ve seen a lot of recipes for them recently. I decided to try baking some cherry clafoutis this weekend to try them out. It just so happened that my cherry chomper arrived this weekend. Not only is it adorable, but it makes cherry pitting so much easier!
I didn’t have the ramekins I usually see used to make cherry clafoutis, so I used the small ones I had. Clafoutis are really easy to make. I didn’t even need a mixer. I used a recipe I found on Fork Spoon Knife. The recipe actually calls for the cherries not to be pitted. But I thought it’d be easier to eat the clafoutis with pitted cherries and I really wanted to use my cherry chomper.
Some of my cherries didn’t look so pretty after I baked them. The lighter red ones came out brown. The darker ones bled purple into the batter. I saw some variations on clafoutis that added an almond flavor. I think I may try that next time.
Cherry Clafoutis (adapted from Fork Spoon Knife)
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1.5 T granulated white sugar
1/2 cup cream
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 T unsalted melted butter
pinch of teaspoon salt
handful of cherries for each ramekins
1. Sift the dry ingredients
together. Whisk together the cream, eggs, extract and butter. Add the
wet to the dry and whisk to make a smooth batter.
2. Place the
cherries in shallow ramekins and pour the batter over them not covering
them completely. Bake at 425 F for 20 minutes or until the clafoutis is
puffed, set, and golden brown around the edges. Serve immediately with
a dusting of confectioners sugar.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Earlier this year, I discovered a Korean sesame tapioca bread that I totally fell in love with. The first one I tried was at Paris Baguette. They seemed super popular, so I grabbed one to try. The bread is light and airy and very, very chewy. It's like a cross between the chewy crusty French breads and a mochi. The bread is not really sweet. The toasted sesame seeds add a great flavor and keep the bread from getting boring. Normally I'm not a fan of black sesame, but the addition of the black sesame seeds is perfect for the bread
Since I love almost all things chewy, I really liked this bread. The use of tapioca flour is what makes it so chewy, similar to the tapioca balls served in the milk tea drinks. Since then, I've been on the hunt for this tapioca bread. I've found at various bakeries.
In the Bay Area, I've also found the bread at the Sogo bakery (10889 S. Blaney Avenue
Cupertino, CA 95014). Theirs is one of my favorites because it's really big and only costs $1. I've also seen it at the Mitsuwa bakery in Costa Mesa, though they are called "mochi bread" even though there isn't any mochi flour in the bread that I know of. I've seen it at the Tous Les Jours bakery located inside H Mart in Irvine. I saw it once at the Zion Market bakery in San Diego, but on subsequent visits, I wasn't able to find it.
Since it's been so hard for me to find these breads, I thought about trying to make my own. I searched the internet for recipes. But I couldn't find any. All I found was one poor girl's attempt to find the recipe also. She posted on quite a few forums trying to find a recipe. The only answer was that some Korean markets sell a mix you can use to make them.
So then, I began searching for the mix. I checked every Korean market I passed, but couldn't find it for the longest time. Finally, on my last trip home, my mom and I were out shopping and picking my favorite chewy noodles when I suddenly saw the mix on display. I was so ecstatic and I immediately bought a box. Since then, I've now seen the mix sold at Zion Market in San Diego.
I was so excited about finding the mix, that I didn't even realize that the direction were in Korean until much later. After I realized my dilemma, I immediately tried to think of what friends I had who could translate the instructions for me. I realized there was no one around me who could. And then I thought of the foodie community. And immediately through of one of my favorite bloggers, Rosa from Dining with the Catty Critic.
After some twitter exchanges, she told me that she couldn't translate, but that her mom could. So I snapped a picture, sent it over, and a few days later, I got my translation thanks to Rosa and her mom. Thank you Rosa and Rosa's Mom!
I made the balls this weekend. I was a little bit worried at how dry the dough was even after I added the egg and milk. But it was wet enough to form dough balls. It was quite easy to make. Each box contains two packages of mix. I took one package, poured it out, added an egg and the milk and then worked the dough with my hands until it came together.
Then I put ping pong ball size dough balls onto a baking sheet and put some water to keep them moist. Thirty minutes later, they were done! I think I might have overbaked them a bit because they seemed slightly too hard on the outside. Or perhaps my dough balls should have been bigger.
The ones I've bought in the bakery always have cracks and aren't completely circular. Mine had cracks, but all look like little pacmen. I'm not sure why they turned out this way. They were circular balls when I put them in to bake. I'm play around with my next mix to see if I can create a less pacman-like look. But I'm super excited I can now make these whenever I feel like eating one.
Instructions (Courtesy of Catty Critic's Mom)
1. Put 1 egg (60g), Milk or Water 70ml, in mixing bowl and mix well with the Mixer.
2 Put 1 pack of Kechal bread mix (250g) in the bowl, and knead well.
3. Place a ping pong ball sized bit of dough on baking pan with some distance.
(Spray with water on the face with sprayer for moisture).
4. In preheated oven, 180'c, bake about for 30-40 minutes. (I think next time I will reduce the baking time since mine seemed a bit hard at 30 minutes)
.When the Kechal bread bakes, they grow big so need distance from each other.
.It is better to store them in a vinyl bag after cooling.
.Be careful when eating right away out of oven; it is very hot inside of it.
Friday, June 25, 2010
MaMa's Lu Dumpling House
153 E Garvey Ave
Monterey Park, CA 91755
I thought I had finished blogging about my various eats in Monterey Park/San Gabriel Valley/ Rowland Heights, but apparently I left one out. After being really impressed with Mama's Lu's food and dumplings on my first trip, I had really been wanting to revisit and pick up some frozen dumplings.
On my first trip, I didn't even notice that they sold frozen dumplings until I was writing up my post and looked at the menu. I had already thought the frozen dumplings at Dean Sin World were a good deal, but the dumplings at Mama's Lu are even cheaper, and they offer more different ones like fish dumplings, and pork and shrimp dumplings. I also noticed that they sold frozen chive pockets and their green onion pancake.
We started out our dinner with an order of the green onion pancake. I absolutely love the green onion pancake here. It's not too oily, has just the right amount of green onion taste. It is also just the right amount of thinness while still producing several layers. I really wanted to get some frozen ones to go, but they were out of them that day. Too bad.
We were also given some cold appetizers to start:
Here you can see the workers making dumplings:
We loved the green beans last time, so we got them again. I am still surprised at how cheap this dish is it is made well. The beans are still crispy rather than soggy. I love the addition of the little dried shrimp and the pickled carrots.
We ordered the chive pockets to see how they were and whether we wanted to bring back some frozen ones.
The chive pockets were pretty good. Not nearly as good as the green onion pancake, and not one of the best I've had, but good enough that I wanted to bring home some frozen ones rather than making my own. Unfortunately, they were out of frozen ones that day.
We ordered the pork and shrimp chive dumplings. Each dumpling had a shrimp inside.
We also ordered the wanton soup.
I didn't particularly care for the vegetable used in these wantons. They have many more frozen offerings for wantons and we ended up ordering some shrimp ones.
The total bill was only about $20 something. So ridiculously cheap! We ended up spending a lot more getting frozen dumplings. The menu can also be found on my first post.