Blog, Recipes

Crab Fried Rice Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 250 g of dry Jasmine rice
  • 2.5 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 Thai chili
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 large eggs
  • 150 g picked white crab meat
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp Fino sherry or Shaoxing rice wine
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • a handful of fresh coriander leaves
  • slices of cucumber, to serve

Serves: 2 people

We love this Thai variation on crab, which we’re used to seeing in salads, pasta dishes, or as a toast topper. The ginger and chili pack a punch and give the crustacean a wonderful aromatic flavoring. This versatile seafood, in season for most of the year, is less expensive than lobster and easier to find, making crabmeat a spring and summer favorite! Try this recipe paired with a crisp, chilled white wine or rosé from Provence whose acidity compliments the crab meat’s umami. For more tips on wine pairings with crab, check out Williams-Sonoma’s guide.

But back to the food! Begin by cooking and draining the rice. In keeping with classic East Asian cuisine, this dish is best prepared in a wok.

Put half a tablespoon of vegetable oil in the wok on high heat. Finely slice the chili. Peel and grate the ginger. Add both to the wok, stirring them for a dozen seconds as the mixture cooks and becomes fragrant.

Take half of the rice so as to not crowd the wok and stir fry it for 2-3 minutes. The rice should start to take on color and become chewy. Set the stir-fried rice aside and repeat the process with the rest of the rice. When the remaining rice has been stir-fried, add the first batch back to the wok, stirring to combine all of the rice.

Next, drop in a tablespoon of fish sauce and a tablespoon of either rice wine or sherry. Add the soy sauce. Stir the rice until the sauces have evaporated. Taking care not to spill the rice over the edge, push it toward the side of the wok to clear room for your two eggs. Scramble them in the wok with a fork or spatula and combine them with the stir-fried rice.

Now it’s time for the most important ingredient – the crab! Finely slice the two spring onions and add them along with the white crab meat to the rice. Stir until the crab meat is nicely warmed before adding the coriander. Continue to stir and taste the mix. You may want to add a bit of salt for seasoning. When it’s seasoned to your liking, you’re all set! Serve the rice in bowls topped with cucumber slices and set out chopsticks for the adventurous (maybe with backup forks, for the less agile!).

Blog, Recipes

How to Make Pizza Dough

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg white bread flour or Tipo ’00’ flour (alternately, 800 g white bread flour or Tipo ’00’ flour, plus 200g finely ground semolina flour)
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 14 g dried yeast
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 650 ml lukewarm water

Prep and resting time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Makes: 3-4 large pizzas, 6-8 medium pizzas

Ah, pizza—the any-ingredient holder—what would we do without it? If you are as much of a fan as we are, say no to stale, premade crusts and try this delicious, easy to make dough at home! We suggest using Tipo ‘00’ flour, which can be found in Italian delis or on Amazon, but a simple white bread flour will do as well. Just make sure that it is high-gluten to get the dough nice and elasticy. If you want add a little nutty flavor and subtle yellow coloring to your dough, use 800 g of the Tipo ‘00’ flour or white flour and 200 g of finely ground semolina flour.

You’ll want to start by clearing a large, clean workspace. Sieve the kilogram of flour (or flour and semolina mix) and teaspoon of salt onto this space, then poke a well in the middle.

Pour 650 ml of lukewarm water into a medium-sized bowl and add the yeast, sugar, and olive oil. Mix and let rest a couple of minutes before pouring it into the flour’s well.

Gradually scrape the flour into the well with a fork to incorporate it into the water, yeast, sugar and olive oil. Continue to stir the flour into the liquid until the flour starts to come together. Dust a bit of dry flour on your hands and pull the remaining flour into a ball, then knead the dough on the workspace until you have a smooth, somewhat sticky ball. To knead the dough, use the heel of your hand to push the dough forward on the workspace, then fold it in half, and repeat the process. Working the dough to make it smooth and somewhat elastic can actually be quite therapeutic, but be careful not to over-knead it!

Dust flour in a large bowl to avoid sticking and place the dough inside. Dust a little more flour on top of the ball of dough before covering with a damp cloth and leaving to rest at room temperature. Check in an hour later—the ball should be twice as big.

Time to “knock back” the dough, which means kneading it on your workspace (which should be dusted with flour) to force the air out. If you’re preparing the dough for later, cover it and store it in the fridge. If you’re using it right away, split the dough into as many pizzas as you plan on making. Using a rolling pin, roll the balls out into ½ cm thick circles and let rest another 15 minutes. Dust flour and rub a bit of olive oil on tin foil, preheat the oven to high, and prepare your toppings before adding them to the dough and popping your delicious homemade pizzas in the oven for 20 minutes. Voila!

Check out these unconventional pizza toppings to mix things up with this everyday pizza dough.

Blog, Recipes

Spaghetti atterrati Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 red chili
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 anchovy fillets
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 325 g spaghetti
  • Parmesan cheese (to serve)
  • 4 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 6 parsley sprigs
  • 50 g walnut (halved or diced)
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts

Prep and cook time: 30 min.

Serves: 4 people

This delectable pasta dish is a sure people pleaser and can feed a family of four. You can use quality cured anchovies from a jar or try to find anchovy fillets from a local Italian deli. Either way, the salty fish adds a nice twist to classic tomato-based pasta sauces.

To get started on the sauce, heat the extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan on medium heat. If you use anchovies that are packed in oil, make sure to drain the oil before placing them in the heated olive oil. Allow the anchovy fillets to melt.

Now for some flavor. Without removing the skin, crush the garlic clove. Chop the chili into fine dices and add the chili and garlic to the frying pan for a couple of minutes. Wait for the anchovies to color.

Chop the two tomatoes and incorporate them to the mix. Turn down the heat to low to allow the sauce to simmer for about 10 minutes. Wait for the sauce to thicken. Add a pinch of black pepper to season the sauce. Set aside, keeping the sauce warm.

You will need a food processor to make the wonderfully crunchy pasta topping. Begin by toasting the four tablespoons of breadcrumbs in a frying pan without any oil or butter, then put them in a food processor.

Chop the parsley leaves and add them to the food processor, along with the 50 g of walnuts. Set the food processor to blitz until you have a pulpy mixture.  (Note that you can do this by chopping all of the ingredients very finely with a sharp knife; it will just take much longer, whereas a food processor will save you the headache!)

Cook the pasta in salted water. You will want it to be al dente, not well-cooked. Click here for some interesting ways to cook perfectly al-dente pasta.

Drain the pasta for all of a couple of tablespoons of the water you used to boil it, and add the pasta to the sauce. You will want to mix it well, and maybe add a little bit more of the water used to cook the pasta if the sauce needs to be loosened a bit.

Serve your delicious spaghetti atterrati in bowls topped off with a nice amount of the walnut, parsley, and toasted breadcrumb topping and – of course – a handful of grated Parmesan cheese. Yum! Dinner is served.

Here’s a fun tip for eating the spaghetti: if you want to live like a real Italian, forgo the knife and twirl your pasta instead of cutting it! Scoop up  a mouthful of pasta up with the fork and twirl it around the fork, using a large spoon as a support base at first. It may take a little getting used to, but eventually you’ll be able be able to twirl the spaghetti without the spoon and eating your delicious pasta like an expert. After all, when in Rome…

Blog, Recipes

The Ultimate Steak Sandwich

Ingredients:

  • 1 fresh baguette
  • 2 x 200 gram rib eye steaks, seasoned to your liking (salt & pepper)
  • 1 packet of Boursin (shallot & chive or garlic & herb)
  • half of a red onion
  • a handful of watercress

Prep and cook time: 10 min.

Serves: 2 people, or 1 person for the very hungry, very enthusiastic steak fanatic

It’s a classic American debate: what to put on the perfect steak sandwich? We prefer to keep it simple and avoid overloading the sandwich with messy ingredients that don’t add to the flavor so much as make a mess in your plate—and distract from the goodness that is a well-prepared steak on delicious bread. Put away your peppers and caramelized onions, save your tomatoes for a BLT, and get ready for the ultimate steak sandwich experience.

The key to this killer sandwich? It starts with good ingredients, of course. Find yourself a quality baguette, crisp on the outside and all fluffy softness on the inside. Get your hands on two excellent steaks (about 200 grams each).

Season your steaks highly with salt and pepper. Put the seasoned steaks on the BBQ for 2-3 minutes on each side, while flipping them every half a minute. (If you prefer medium or well-done, feel free to leave them on longer. We won’t call it blasphemy, but we’re warning you now: the best steak sandwiches aren’t overcooked.) Allow the steak to rest. Set aside.

When your steak is resting, turn back to the baguette. Cut it in half lengthwise.

Spread liberal amounts of flavored cream cheese on the bottom half. We recommend either shallot & chive or garlic & herb Boursin, which is so smooth and spreadable, it is practically made for this purpose. Don’t be shy. Stop when the packet’s empty.

Cut half of a red onion into thin slices and sprinkle them on top of your Boursin-buttered bread.

When your steaks have cooked and have rested, slice them in nice, thin strips the size of your baguette’s width to maximize meat placement. Arrange them over the onions and top it off with the delicious steak juices.

Add as much watercress as you feel necessary for vegetable intake or to make a pleasing color palate. You can also try cutting up the leaves to make them less prominent on the sandwich.

Put the baguette’s top half back on and slice the massive, delicious steak sandwich according to how generous you feel. Can easily serve two. We won’t judge you if you don’t want to share.

For less classic but equally yummy steak sandwich recipes, check out this BBQ steak sandwich with pimento cheese or the one and only Philly cheese steak sandwich.

Blog

Why eat food that is in season?

In the dead of winter, the supermarket produce section looks almost the same as during summer months. Thanks to international imports, we have fruits and vegetables year-long. But before you put that tomato in your shopping cart in the middle of January, consider the following advantages of eating food that is in season:

1. It’s more eco-friendly

When you choose local food that is in season over food that traveled a long way, you reduce the environmental impact of your consumption. But if, for instance, you consistently buy imported asparagus from South America instead of waiting for when it will be in season in your area, you are actively endorsing the CO2 emissions needed for the food to travel such a great distance. Eating foods that are in season where you live is a highly effective way to reduce your carbon footprint. Read more about food miles and the pollution caused by shipping various products here.

2. Save yourself a buck

Of course, it is not only the environment that pays for your food shipped halfway across the globe, but your wallet as well! When a product is in season locally, the cost naturally goes down due to an abundance of that crop. And keep in mind that part of the price tag for imported food is not only travel expenses, but also storage costs.  Seasonal consumption is not only environmentally but financially advantageous.

fresh cherries

3.  Save the local economy

Refusing to adapt your diet based on what is in season hurts local famers, who are able to supply a variety of produce and other foods based on nature’s cycles. If you consume more of the foods that are currently in season, you are supporting the agricultural economy in your area. Find fresh food from right around the corner, that has neither traveled a great distance nor been stored in a way that will reduce flavor, at your local farmer’s market.

4. Freshness, taste, and nutritional value

Apart from having significant economic and environmental impacts, the food consumption choices we make are important for how they affect our bodies and taste buds. When you buy local food that is in season, you eliminate the need for early harvesting and refrigeration that occurs before a long storage and shipping process. The chilling process commonly used before transportation dulls the product’s flavor. Produce that has been prepped for long periods of storage before consumption have a significantly lower nutrition counterpart than their farm-to-table counterparts. The fact is that in-season produce is likely to be more ripe, taste better, and have a much higher nutritional value. This is extremely important for maintaining a balanced diet, which is especially important while exercising. Maximizing your nutritional intake after a workout is important for optimal recovery. I recently bought a rowing machine and have been working out regularly and find that if eat a poor quality meal after a workout I feel sore the next day. Therefore, I like to try and eat nutritionally rich food which will naturally be the food that is in season.

Each season offers a variety of foods, and falling in tune to nature’s cycles is a great way to diversify your palate, support the local economy, reduce your carbon footprint and – of course – eat better!

 

Blog

What foods are in season now? (May)

Among the many economic and environmental incentives to eat food that is season, you also get the freshest, tastiest, and most nutritious meals!

But it is not always easy to know what foods are in season since our consumerism-centered economy, combined with a growing rift in knowledge between urban populations and agricultural practices, have led to supermarket aisles stocked with all of the products, all of the time, regardless of what is in season.

A good way to know what is in season is to check out the products on sale at your local farmers’ market. You can be sure that what family farmers offer there is fresh and harvested when ripe (as opposed to international imports, which are often harvested early  so as not to spoil during shipping). To find the location of your local farmers’ market, enter your zip code in Local Harvest’s guide.

For those who prefer to shop in a supermarket but still want to purchase seasonal foods, here is our quick guide to what is in season in the month of May in North America:

Radish

Perfect for a pre-dinner snack, these popular root veggies are rich in vitamin C and loaded with anti-cancer nutrients! You can store them in your fridge for several days before serving them with butter and salt for an aperitif to stimulate the appetite. Make sure to pick out radishes with plump bulbs and vivid green leaves.

Artichokeartichoke

Great for dipping into succulent vinaigrettes or mayonnaise, the leaves of this flower bud  can be a dish in and of themselves or added to a salad. The subtle flavor and patience in both preparing and consuming the artichoke make it a food to linger over!

Zucchini

This low-caloric, potassium-rich vegetable with vitamins A and C is incredibly versatile and can be prepared in ratatouilles, fried, baked, grilled – you name it. Look for the small zucchini, as they have the strongest taste.

Rhubarb

Check the crispiness and firmness of these fiber-rich stalks before making your selection for a tarty complement to meat or delicious pudding.

Lamb

We aren’t just talking about fruits and vegetables here! In the months of May and June in North America, one can find seasonal local lamb that is as succulent as it is rich in zinc. Of course, lamb imported from New Zealand is obtainable year-round, but a good spring lamb from your area during this time cannot be matched for flavor and freshness.

Mackerel

Doctors recommend a serving of oily fish such as the mackerel per week, so get yours fresh while it’s in season, April through July. We recommend preparing it with a creamy or buttery sauce to bring out the moistness and flavor of this excellent catch.

Some more wonderful seasonal foods during the month of May include asparagus, corn, fava beans, broccoli, avocado, cucumber, peas, spinach, apricots, grapefruit, strawberries, kiwis, lemons, limes, pineapples, duck, and crab.

You can learn more about seasonal foods and keep up to date with the following guide.