Pesto alla Genovese [Italy]

The word “pesto” on its own can be a reference to any type of sauce that is an aromatic mixture made of herbs, garlic, cheese, nuts, salt, and olive oil. However, Pesto alla Genovese, is the pesto that most commonly comes to mind when we hear the word. It is a Genoese-style pesto that is traditionally made with fresh basil and a mixture of Parmigiano Reggiano and Pecorino Romano. The recipe below is one of many that can be found online. When making the pesto, taste along the way and adjust the sauce to your liking.

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Avocado Roses & Scrambled Eggs Sourdough Toast [USA]

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Our neighborhood supermarket was having a 2 for $1.00 sale on avocados, so there was no way we can resist purchasing a small box for ourselves! Luckily we still had some sourdough bread leftover from an earlier grocery haul… and what do we do when we have avocados AND bread in the kitchen? We make avocado toast. With some time on our hands, we shaped the avocado slices into roses (you know, for the ‘gram), but don’t feel any pressure to do so when making your version of this recipe at home.

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Fermented Tea Leaf Garnish 4 Ways [Myanmar]

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Homework?? Yayyy! Nerd alert – I was honestly excited when Chef gave us all a bag of fermented tea leaves to take home and make something yummy out of for a tasting this upcoming Wednesday. Looking into the origin of the ingredient, fermented tea leaves are a commonly used ingredient called lahpet in Myanmar. Tasting it on its own, the leaf is quite bitter. In Myanmar, lahpet is traditionally used to make lahpet thoke, a tea leaf cabbage salad, or ahlu lahpet, a snack dish where the lahpet is served in the center of a tray surrounded by crunchier elements to be mixed with and eaten all together.

After brainstorming several ideas, the one that stuck was turning the fermented tea leaf into a crispy garnish that can go over a bowl of congee, silken tofu, or the like! Continue reading to discover the four ways I’ve flavored the garnish. My favorite so far is the Parmesan Tea Leaf Garnish! I’ll be needing to make a second batch of that one to take to the restaurant since the first is already almost all gone…

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Eggs & Asparagus Nest [USA]

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Asparagus and eggs, there’s no surprise why this combo has been served time and time again! Hint: it’s quick AND delicious. Today’s take was finished with a squeeze of fresh lime juice and a pinch of fleur de sel, but another great option is to top it with a generous grating of fresh Parmesan or if you have time to make the sauce, a spoonful of hollandaise. No plates needed here – we recommend serving it right in the skillet.

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Xi’an Beef & Chives Potstickers [China]

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Potstickers are dumplings that have been pan-fried on one side for the crispy bottoms and then steamed to ensure the filling and tops of the wrapper are cooked through. The origin story is that an imperial court chef in the Song dynasty accidentally left a batch of dumplings on the stove for a bit too long and burnt the bottoms of the batch. Without time to prepare a new batch, he brazenly served them bottom-side up, bringing attention to the burnt bottoms and claiming that the burning was intentional. Luckily, the crispy bottoms brought a difference in texture to the traditional dumpling and pleased the members of the court so much that potstickers were born.

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Cremini Mushroom & Camembert Cheese Crostini [Italy]

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“Crostini” translates into “little crusts” in Italian and the variations are endless. They can be simply brushed with extra-virgin olive oil before being seasoned with salt and pepper, or topped with any combination of meats, vegetables, cheeses and herbs! For today, we have a baguette slice that has been brushed with butter and toasted until the exterior is just crisp before being topped with a slice of gooey Camembert cheese followed by cremini mushrooms that’s been cooked with shallots, garlic and parsley. A hit of lemon juice during cooking and even right before serving adds a burst of brightness that takes each bite to the next level.

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