Gumbo originated from Louisiana (southern region of United States). It usually consists of okra (lady's finger), meat or shellfish and the stock is thickened. They are traditionally served over a bed of rice. To be honest, my gumbo tasting experience only began a couple of years ago but the last few I had inspired me so much. The broth was so tasty and addictive, filled with seafoody-goodness (BNF vocabulary ;-P) and packed with tons of seafood. It is really a meal on its own! I was so tempted to rush home and make some gumbo! The last straw came when I was watching one of the episodes from the latest season of Masterchef US. One of the contestants made a pot of gumbo in less than an hour for the judges (according to them, was quite impossible) and all 3 were blown away by it. So hubby immediately said: "I want some gumbo this weekend!". That was how I began my gumbo-making journey. Although this is not the traditional recipe (I did not include okra and also added some extra ingredients), the flavor compensates for everything else. This is also one of my father-in-law's favorite BNF request.
Once again, it is Throwdown Thursday! Woohoo! In case you missed the first one, or have absolutely no idea what I'm referring to, Throwdown Thursday is inspired by the popular Food network television program - Throwdown! with Bobby Flay, his mission was to challenge cooks renowned for a specific dish or type of cooking to a cook-off of their signature dish. Both chefs will prepare their own version of the dish and the judges will have blind taste tests to decide the winner. Here at BNF, I plan to recreate some of the restaurants' signature dishes I've tasted and love. The two "judges" for this dish were my hubby and mother-in-law. :-P
Some of you might have seen my molten chocolate lava cake recipe a few weeks ago. I've received many positive feedbacks on how their cakes are finally flowing. Two thumbs-up if you are one of them! But alas, I realized not everyone has an oven readily available (i.e my sis) and what happens if you have the sudden urge to have some chocolate cake?? So, I've done some extensive research on substitute for ovens and guess what, the next best baking tool is microwave! Yeah, I'm actually not a big fan of using microwave, it's just not me. I'm more of an oven person (haha, if that makes any sense). But trust me, this recipe works so beautifully using the microwave and best of all, you will be able to savor your mug cake in less than 2 minutes! Although there is no "molten" effect, the end product is moist, gooey and oh-so-mmm. I've given an upgrade to the original recipe by adding in 2 of BNF secret ingredients*!
Let's face it, peeling garlic is a pain in the neck. It gets in your finger nails, under your skin and takes forever for them to come apart. The 2nd last thing I want (1st thing is garlic breath) is to have my fingers reeking of garlic. So here is any easy way to peel as many heads of garlic as you want, yet keeping your fingers garlic-smell free! Oh, an added bonus - you could also tone your arms and biceps while doing that.
So my MIL (mother-in-law) recently went to a cafe (somewhere in the east) and tasted some clam chowder. We were shocked to hear that she actually liked to it. Okay, a little background on my MIL. She is definitely not big into western food and does not like anything that is creamy or cheesy. I asked her to describe the taste and texture to me and just as I suspected, the thickness of the chowder was not the Soup-Spoon kind (for those who does not know Soup Spoon, they are a soup chain here in Singapore, famed for their thick, rich chunky soups, which I totally love by the way) but rather on the thinner side. Traditionally, clam chowder is made with potatoes, celery, onion and bacon. But for BNF version, I added in carrots and corn (for extra color and taste) and tone down the thickness of the consistency. It has passed my MIL's taste test and I'm a happy DIL! (Daughter-in-law haha!)
If you like kimchi, then you MUST like Kimchijeon aka kimchi pancake. There's no reason not to (unless you are gluten intolerant). Jeon in Korean means pancake-like dish primarily made with sliced kimchi, flour batter and sometimes other vegetables. There are many different versions but this easy to make yet delicious recipe is the best (in my opinion). This is a very basic version, feel free to create your own by adding in your favorite vegetables, meat or seafood.
My obsession with Korean food possibly began the same time I watched my first K-drama (a decade ago). In most of the K-dramas, besides drooling over the actors (after my hubby, of course :-P), there will always be scenes of them eating galbi, drinking soju under some pojangmacha (tent restaurants) in freezing weather. Recently, there was this drama which featured some Korean fried chicken in a few scenes and soon, a new wave of fried chicken craze was born. Feeling inspired, I've decided to put together a Korean Fried Chicken recipe, using mainly wings. If you are not a wings fan, feel free to use your favorite parts of the chicken.
I love limes. Be it the color, the smell, the taste, the health benefits, etc, I just can't get enough of this fruit. Here's why. Although lime is rarely eaten raw, they are used in flavoring savory dishes and desserts. Lime juice enhances the flavor of vegetables and salads without adding fat or too much calories. Win! The high content of vitamin C provides health related benefits too! Double win! They can also be used as a garnish, in the form of a slice or wedge, used in popular alcoholic beverages like margaritas and daiquiris. Lime zest is also used to add flavor in baking.
I'm a HUGE Kimchi fan. Be it baechu kimchi, kkakdugi, yeolmu kimchi, etc, I simply got to have it almost everyday. Looking at the amount of $$ I'm spending on kimchi, it makes economical sense for me to make it myself, right? After testing a few recipes, I found this to be the most easy-to-make and yummilicious version. The secret step here is making the flour paste. This step is optional but my Korean friend's mom told me it will bind the spices and absorbs better into the cabbage. Adjust the level of spiciness according to your taste bud.