I have thought about blogging for quite a while, but I was hesitating whether I'd have enough time and care to maintain the blog once I start it. I don't want it to be like one of those new year resolutions people start ambitiously but soon trail off because ambition fades faster than we expect.
Something prompted me to start it is that I attended a food photography contest recently, and to my surprise, both my photos submitted on the deadline day were selected into the top 10 finalists. (see here http://leitesculinaria.com/49676/culinaria-food-photography-finalists.html) Not until this day did I realize maybe my photos were not bad. I was encouraged to a large extent by this contest and finally decided to start my own blog.
I am a foodie, and I am a big fan of photography. So it's natural to be into the crossroad of these two areas-food photography. I like light and healthy food, so if I follow a recipe, I would normally find substitute for the high calorie ingredients if possible. I am originally from China, so I cook a lot of Chinese dishes, and Asian cuisine in general.I especially love Thai food. Meanwhile, I constantly make a variety of pasta and typical American homemade dishes like pot roast, chicken & rice etc, since my hubby is American. I started with cooking Asian food separately from western food, and before long I went beyond recipes to , say, pour Asian style sauce over spaghetti. My fusion experiments are always more likely to be a success, since my creative cuisine satisfies both my eastern tooth and my husband's western tooth. Therefore, I want to share all my creativity here, in both food and photography.
Here is the recipes for my two food photos of the food photography contest. I got them both from Leite's Culinaria
6 large eggs
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons mayonnaise( I used low-fat mayo)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
Salt to taste
Paprika for garnish
Chopped fresh chives for garnish
Freshly cracked black pepper for garnish
1. Put the eggs in a medium pot and add enough water to cover. Bring the water to a boil over high heat and cook for 13 minutes. Drain the eggs and rinse with cold water.
2. Peel the eggs and cut them in half. Gently remove the yolks and put them in a medium bowl.
3. Mash the egg yolks and add the mayonnaise, mustard, and curry powder. Mix well and season with salt.
4. Fill a reusable pastry bag with the yolk mixture and use it to fill the egg white halves. (Alternatively, use a small spoon.)
5. Garnish each egg half with a sprinkling of paprika, chopped chive flowers, and freshly cracked pepper
Chicken coconut noodle soup
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, chopped (1 tablespoon)
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated (2 tablespoons)
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
2 pounds boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 medium yellow onions, chopped (2 cups)
2 teaspoons ground paprika
Three 13 1/2-ounce cans coconut milk (5 cups)
7 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour whisked into 1/2 cup warm water to make a smooth, runny paste
2 pounds fresh or 1 pound dried thin Chinese egg noodles (like chow mein noodles)
6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
4 tablespoons ground dried red chilies, pan-roasted until dark and fragrant
1 large sweet onion, halved, cut into thin crescents, and soaked in water
2 green onions, white and green parts, chopped
1 cup cilantro sprigs
3 limes, quartered
1. In a medium bowl, combine the fish sauce, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and turmeric. Add the chicken and mix well with your hands (use gloves to prevent your nails from being stained ochre by the turmeric). Set aside.
2. In a medium heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it becomes runny and starts to shimmer. Stir in the onions and cook until soft and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the paprika and mix until the onions are well coated.
3. Tumble in the chicken and raise the heat to medium-high. Stir and cook until the chicken is no longer pink, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the coconut milk and stock and bring to a gentle boil, stirring constantly to prevent the mixture from curdling. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer gently for 20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
4. Stir in the garbanzo bean flour paste and return to a boil. Simmer over medium-low heat until the sauce is thick like heavy cream, 5 to 10 minutes. Adjust the consistency with more stock for a thinner gravy or more garbanzo bean flour for a thicker gravy. Taste and add more fish or soy sauce if necessary. Reduce the heat to very low and keep warm until ready to serve.
5. Just before serving the soup, cook the noodles in a large pot of water according to package directions. Tip into a colander over the sink and rinse under cold running water. Drain and place in a bowl. Toss in a little oil to prevent sticking.
6. Divide the noodles among individual soup bowls and ladle about 1 1/2 cups sauce over them. Garnish with eggs, chilies, onions, cilantro, limes, and fish sauce as desired.