Monday, August 24, 2015

Chili lime shrimp

As much as I love late summer nights, I am sad that summer's almost over. Seriously, next week is September?! Summer always goes so quickly but this summer was really a blink of an eye. With all the new adjustment with my mini, setting a new routine as she grows really kept everyone busy in my house. Time really flies and she turned 100th day old last weekend. And as Korean tradition goes, we celebrated it. It used to be a big deal but thesedays, it's just a small gathering between family members. So we decided to simply make a cake and no more than that. 

I've always wanted to make a pretty pink rosette cake and I was so happy I finally have an occasion to make one! All the things I've been dying to make, I can slowly go ahead and do it for my princess. =) Since it's an occasion to celebrate parents' hard work during the first few months and also the healthy growing of the baby , I needed something for the baby on the table. 

So there we go, the only thing she can have at the moment. A bottle. =) And of course I had some macaroons for my fancy little tot. For some reason he doesn't like cake so much thesedays. He's totally into macaroons. I should make some for him(or myself) some time soon. Not that it's healthy or anything but they're just so good!

Now, about this summery shrimp dish. I have cooked it three different ways so far. Baking in the oven and finishing up with broiling for the char, put a skewer and grilling on BBQ and sautéing. I like all three ways but when I eat it with some rice, I like to sauté because I pour the whole marinade to make it saucy, cut up some avocado and pour it over the rice. Little tang from the lime and a subtle sweetness with creamy avocado. YUM! It's very quick to make the marinade and it always has been a success for the crowds. If you haven't gone on a proper vacation this summer(like us), give your taste buds a trip to Thailand with some chili lime shrimp!

Chili lime shrimp

Ingredients :

1 lb cleaned shrimp(tail on or off)

1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
4 Tbsp Thai chili sauce
1 Tbsp honey
2 cloves garlic, minced

1 avocado, cubed(optional)

Directions :

1. Mix all the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Add shrimp and marinate for at least 30 minutes.

2. Heat up a skillet and saute the shrimp for 3-4 minutes on high heat(or until internal temperature reaches 145F). If you like it saucy like me, pour the whole marinade with the shrimp when cooking. Serve with rice and cubed avocado. 

* If you grill, soak the bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes and put shrimps on them before grilling. You can bake them on 400F oven and broil at the end for the char. 

*Adapted from Rasa malaysia

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Simple Tzatziki

The other day, Steve was flipping channels on TV and we naturally stopped when we saw my big fat Greek wedding on. It's such a great movie with super low budget and is loved by so many people. As we were watching that movie, I randomly saw someone's facebook post that they're making a sequel. WHAT?! That is awesome!

Steve has some Greek friends and they confirmed that a lot of the stereotypes of Greeks are true including windex. Haha. That's pretty funny. Maybe I am wrong but I find them very similar to Italians. Big families, like to have fun, lots of yummy food and so on. They're both mediterranean, so it's probably natural just like different asian countries share somewhat similar culture. 

Mediterranean food is so refreshing, Steve and I used to be obsessed. Now that the movie has brought us back to the memories, we should make more of Greek food. Steve used to make Greek salad for dinner every single day and not get tired of it, plus he lost a lot of weight. We have a new neighbor who are Greeks, we brought some cookies the day they moved in and met them. Maybe I should bake some more and knock on their door and learn to cook some real Greek food!

Tzatziki is not only great for gyro and simply grilled chicken, it makes a fabulous dip for crudites, baked pita, potato chips, you name it. Creamy, garlicky yet, refreshing with a whole lot of cucumber. When I want something simple for entertaining without making multiple dips for veggies and chips, I always go with this. Because it develops such yummy flavor as it sits in the fridge, you can make ahead the night before entertaining. Make ahead dishes are always the best when you entertain, aren't they? =) Here's how you bring your guests to Greece at a bite!

Simple Tzatziki

Printable recipe 

Ingredients :

1 1/2 cup Greek yogurt(fat free works just fine)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 English cucumber, peeled
1 Tbsp olive oil plus to drizzle on top
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp dill, chopped

Directions :

1. Scrape the seeds from English cucumber and grate it through large holes of cheese grater. Squeeze grated cucumber to remove liquid and let it sit on a sieve.

2. Mix rest of the ingredients in a bowl and stir in cucumber. Drizzle a little olive oil on top before serving. 

*It's a perfect make ahead dip as the flavor develops as it sits in the fridge. Serve it with crudité of your choice or toasted pita.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Sriracha cod with panko crust

Having a newborn after over 3 years of uninterrupted good night's sleep has been a challenge. Last couple of months, I am reminded a few things. One, grown ups can act just like a toddler - Über cranky. Two, you can totally feel hungover without a single drop of alcohol in your blood. After waking up a few times a night, my body would feel like someone just beat me up or I drank a whole bottle of vodka and danced all night.

She gives us hope some nights though. I rub my eyes and check my phone to see what time it is, and I realize it's been 5 plus hours since last feeding! Like I said though, some nights...

My tot was sleep trained very early. By this time, less than 3 months old, he slept through the night on most nights. I find my mini definitely has a lot calmer temperament than my tot(thank goodness!!)but night sleepwise, she's got some work to do. She'd better hurry up and give mama a break. All and all though, it's such a joy. I love her bright smile she gives me when I walk into the room, little kicks that go a mile a minute when she plays and even when she's just staring at the blank space. Everything about her makes me smile. 

I hate to admit, a day with a toddler sometimes goes so slow that I look at the time all day. But when a baby's around, a day goes by so quickly. By dinner time, I am always running out of time unless I am well planned. The other day, I realized I had cod in the fridge that I completely forgot about. I quickly whipped up one of our favorite fish recipes. This is so quick and seriously so delicious. 

 All things crispy is well accepted by my tot and cod is one of his favorite fishes. I usually make his without sriracha though. A tiny drop of mayo does the trick. Unless you drizzle sriracha all over like I did in this picture, it won't be spicy. You will feel just a little kick or not even. It gives nice flavor but not spicy if you just smear it on the fish. My au pair Lari said she has never eaten cod fish before and she loves it now. She said cod fish oil is made into health supplement for kids in Colombia but fish itself is not commonly consumed. Very interesting how different countries eat different fish. That reminded me of belt fish. In Korea, they're expensive but in FL, if belt fish came in the net when people are shrimp fishing, they just throw it back in the water I heard. Don't know if it's true. What I know for sure is this panko crusted cod is absolutely delicious! =)


Sriracha cod with panko crust

Ingredients :

4 cod fillets, about 12oz each
2 Tbsp mayo
2 tsp sriracha
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 Tbsp butter
salt and pepper

Directions :

1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Line and lightly grease a baking sheet. Season the fillets with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, mix sriracha and mayo.

2. Pour the panko into a rimmed plate. Brush sriracha and mayo mixture on top of the fillet. Take each fillet, turn mayo side down and press it onto panko. 

3. Heat the butter in a pan and brown the crust of each fillet for 2-3 minutes.

4. Carefully transfer the fillets onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or so. Cooking time varies depending on the thickness of the fillet - when it reaches internal temperature 145F, it's done.

5. Place it on a plate and garnish as you prefer. I use sriracha and chopped scallion. 

*Adapted from Foodie with family