Easter cakes across different countries

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A friend of mine highly recommended the Russian Easter Cake Kulich, so I brought it in a Russian supermarket in London.

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After I sliced it, I realise it really looks like Italian panettone during Christmas season. But it’s much drier.

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In Italy, people eat Colomba di Pasqua for Easter, it means “Easter Dove” in English.

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I also brought another Easter bread/cake, it’s called Flaounes, from a Cypriot bakery shop. Made with raisins and goat cheese inside, also be garnished with sesame seed.

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I like bread in general, I also love cheese, so this pastry is a perfect combination thereof.

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My Greece colleague told me in Greek, their traditional Easter cake named Tsoureki. It is a type of sweet bread made with olive oil and orange juice. I really wish I could know that earlier, now I have to wait for next Easter to try it.

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Boneless Stuffed Roast Chicken

If you want to impress your guests, there is nothing better than boneless stuffed roast chicken.

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First you need a whole chicken, which you should marinate overnight in brine.

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From the back remove all the bones, but do not throw them away, they can be used to make great chicken stock.IMG_20170329_212318

Place the chicken on a flat surface with the skin facing down and place a layer of Prosciutto di Parma on top of the flesh. You can stop there, or put something else in the middle, such like mushrooms, sage & onion stuffing, sausagemeat, whatever you like. I used duck liver pate for my stuffing.

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Chop some potatoes into fine strips and set aside for later use.

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Fold the chicken upon itself, with the stuffing on the inside until it is shaped like a small pumpkin, and tie it with some kitchen thread. Place the tied meat on top of the chopped potatoes, which will be cooked in the chicken juices while roasting it in the oven, preventing the meat from sticking to the tin foil under it.

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Season with salt and pepper, plus a sprinkle of smoked paprika.

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Heat up the oven to 180℃/Gas Mark 6 and roast for 45 mins. When the surface has become golden, take it out of the oven and pour some honey or maple syrup on the surface, to give it a nice shining glaze.

IMG_20170331_111727_059Put it back into the oven for another 30 mins and it is ready to serve.

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Now you can slice and enjoy the chicken without worry about the bones.

Blue Ocean Beach Cake

I understand the British weather is not very exciting, but we can always make life better with a nice cake.

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Ingredients: egg, sugar, milk, flour, rapeseeds oil, elderflower juice,  gelatine, double cream, fruit jam, coconut flake,lotus biscuits, Savoiardi lady fingers, food colour (blue and green), sea-life shaped chocolate.

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Step 1:

Separate 5 egg’s egg yolk and egg white, add 30 g of sugar in egg yolk,50 g of sugar in egg white when beating it. You can also add some vanilla seeds in the egg yolk.

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Step 2:

Mix the egg yolk with 50 ml of rapeseeds oil, after mixing them will add 90 g of flour. Fold egg white into the mixture. Put the mixture into a cake tin, oven 170° with fan, 40 mins.

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You can make a big one and cut in half, or make two cakes.

Step 3:

Spare jam on one (side of) cake, spare whipped cream on another one (side). I used passion fruit jam in this case.

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Step 4:

Spare the cream all over the cake, put Savoiardi lady fingers around the cake, use a piece of ribbon to hold it tight.

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How to make the blue and green ocean water: Simply put 2 pieces of gelatin leaves into 200 ml elderflower juice, heat up the juice, wait for the gelatin totally melted.

Took 2 containers, put 100 ml jelly juice in each container, one add a drop of blue food colour, another add a drop of the green. Put the gelatin mixture into the fridge overnight.

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Step 5:

Left to right: blue jelly, green jelly, coconut flake, lotus biscuits (blended)

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Step 6:

Put sea-life shaped chocolate on top. It’s done!

Hope this cake will bring you some summer feeling during the raining spring weather.

 

My new cat is 19-year-old

I got a new cat last month, her name is Molly, she is 19 this year.

Her previous owner need to move to another place, but he can’t bring Molly, because she is too old for traveling. I moved in the house after Molly’s previous owner moved out, so it is same house, same cat, just different people.img_20170116_150452

At the first day I moved in the new place, Molly was sleeping in a yellow IKEA bag. So the first thing I did is get a bed for her.

 

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After few days, I’ve been bitten by fleas.

So I bought flea drops from supermarket——useless; took Molly to pet salone——helpt a lot; took Molly to the vet——expensive flea drops; flea spray——totally useless.

But there were still millions of fleas hidden in the house, after remove all the old fleas, new fleas just come back again and again.

At the end, I got the pest control service, seems it finally solved the problem.

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Even Molly really likes this bed, but I still have to trough it away, because fleas might hide inside.

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But I bought her a new bed, she likes it even more than the old one.

This is the story of my 19-year-old new cat Molly.

Oeufs cocotte au foie gras

One day, I found one jar of discounted Foie gras at Fortnum & Mason, so I decided to make ours cocotte au Foie gras with duck egg and quail eggs.

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Ingredients: foie gras,crème fraîche, duck egg and quail eggs.

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I used 3 little ceramic containers to make this dish. The first layer is Foie gras, the second layer is crème fraîche, the third layer is one duck egg or three quail eggs.

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Take a bigger deep baking tray, add boiled water to the tray, the water level should be same as the contents of those little ceramic containers.

Oven: 200° 15 mins, both top and bottom heating elements, without a lid.

Pot: bring the water to boil, steam on low heat for 10 mins, with lid.

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You can add some caviar for extra flavour.

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You can also try to use some fresh herb, salt and pepper for decoration.

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This dish is a perfect starter for entertain.

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Quail eggs are prettier, duck egg is better for making running yolk.

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You can eat it by itself, or dip bread inside.

Super Easy Simplified Paella

Paella seems very difficult to make, because you need to cook the rice with other ingredients in a same port. But what if we do it the other way around? Which is cook the rice first, and then mix it with other ingredients.

How to cook rice:

Put rice and chicken stock 1:2, plus a little saffron in rice cooker, fully cook the rice.

How to cook the rest:

You need one whole chorizo, 10 cloves of garlic, one onion, garden pea, tomato puree and mixed seafood.

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You should get a good non-stick pan, heat up the pan, don’t put any oil, put chopped chorizo inside, wait for chorizo release the fat.

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Using the chorizo fat to cook chopped onion and garlic, until they turn soft.

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Add mixed seafood into the port; at this stage you can put smoked paprika.

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Put back the cooked chorizo and rice.

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Add garden pea and tomato puree into the port.

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Mix all the ingredients evenly, actually it is ready to serve at this point, but you can do some twist to make daily meals become more enjoyable.

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Stuffing squid tube with paella, pan fry the surface until the squid fully cooked.

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Slice the stuffed squid and display with some salad.

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Add fresh king prawn on top, close the lid for 5 mins.

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If you have guests come for dinner, this version will be more impressive.

Food Events in London 2017

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British food doesn’t have a world-renowned title, but different culture gathered together in London, made this city the capital of food.

In 2017, you can mark down these food events on your calendar.

Taste of London:the most famous one

Location:  Regents Park, London NW1 4NR

Ticket: Yes

Date: 14th~18th June 2017

Bellavita Expo: The largest Italian Food & Wine Trade Show 

Location: Business Design Centre Ltd,, 52 Upper St, London N1 0QH

Ticket: Yes

Date: 18th~20th June 2017

Meatopia: the heaven for carnivores

Location: Tobacco Quay, Wapping Ln, St Katharine’s & Wapping, London E1W 2SF

Date: 1st~3rd Sep 2017

London Restaurant Show : restaurant industry related

Location: Olympia National Hall, Hammersmith Rd, London W14 8UX

Ticket: Yes

Date: 2nd~4th Oct 2017

 

My Top 3 Restaurants In 2016

I’ve tried a few Michelin starred restaurants last year, most of them were in London, 2 of them were based in Amsterdam, 1 was in Paris.

Here are some of my favourites.

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No.1 The Ledbury

This is the only restaurant brought me surprise in every single dish. Lunch time 4 course set menu is quite a good deal. But very difficult to book.

  • Food 9
  • Price 8
  • Service 9
  • Tableware 10

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No.2 Vinkeles (Amsterdam)

I like seafood in general, and they are really good at seafood dishes. Price level is also very friendly, atmosphere is good too.

  • Food 9
  • Price 8
  • Service 8
  • Tableware 9

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No.3 Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

Love the idea of rediscovery traditional British recipes: the meat fruit was amazing, and, while the freshly made ice cream was perfect for summer, the rest of the desserts left me  unimpressive.

  • Food 8
  • Price 7
  • Service 9
  • Tableware 8

Some Michelin starred restaurants I had in 2016 were horrible.

The Clove Club: put seafood and fruit in the same freezer, serve with broken dishes.

Galvin La Chapelle: food was overrated, they also didn’t wash dinnerware properly.

La Tour d’Argent: worst way to spend €400.

Amber Runny Yolk Egg

Doesn’t this egg look great? With its coloured egg white and an amber runny yolk, it will be the perfect cocktail food or an amazing starter to impress your guests.

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It is really easy, you only need 3 simple ingredients, a few steps to follow, and the patience to wait for 24 hours.

One of my favourite way to use this runny yolk egg is to put it in ramen.

R’Amen!

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • 100ml soy sauce
  • 100ml mirin
Method:

  • Bring the water to boil
  • Put eggs in the boiling water for 5 minutes
  • Put the cooked egg into icing water
  • Remove the egg shell carefully
  • Put the shelled egg in the mixture of soy sauce and mirin
  • Refrigerate for 24 hours
  • Enjoy!