Posts from December 2015

Hear Ball Drop at Ms Marmite Lover 'Swedish Super Club' on New Year's Eve, If in London

Hear Ball Drop at Ms Marmite Lover 'Swedish Super Club' on New Year's Eve if you happen to be in London

Lingonberry cheesecake

A few seats are still available

TIckets are £50 a head. Book Here, Bring Your Own Champagne BYOC


If you are nowhere near London, get a taste of Sweden with Lingonberry Cheesecake Recipe (pictured above) from Traditional Swedish Cooking (Skyhorse Publishing, October 22, 2011) by Caroline Hofberg.

( Photo of Lingonberry Cheesecake recipe from Traditional Swedish Cooking by Caroline Hofberg- Skyhorse Publishing, October 22, 2011- reproduced by permission of the publisher, all rights reserved)

80's Dessert Delicious Straight from the Pan, Tarte Fine Au Chocolat from 'The Book of Chocolate'

80's for dessert with 'Tarte Fine au Chocolat from The Book of Chocolate (Flammarion, 2004)...

Tarte fine au chocolat

This chocolate pie with an ultra-thin crust is a French specialty that first became popular during the 1980s. The crust is a classic pâte brisée, and the thinner it is the better. The recipe calls for removing the lightly cooked crust from the pan before filling, but this is a very delicate operation and the pie will be just as delicious served from the pan.


For 6 servings

For the pâte brisée:

1 cup (200g) all purpose-flour

½ cup (100g) sweet butter, softened

2 egg yolks

Pinch of salt

3 tablespoons cold water

For the chocolate filling:

9 oz. (250g) bittersweet chocolate

⅔ cup (150g) light cream

½ vanilla bean

2 egg yolks

2 ½ tablespoons (30g) sweet butter, softened


To make the pâte brisée:

Sift the flour and the salt into a mixing bowl, making a well in the center. Place the cold water, the egg yolks, and the butter in small pieces, into the well and knead gently until the dough becomes workable. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and, using the palm of the hand, push the dough away from you to blend the ingredients thoroughly. Gather the dough into a ball, wrap in a damp cloth or plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Heat the oven to 390⁰F (200⁰C).

Unwrap the chilled dough and roll it out to a thickness of ⅛ inch (3mm) on a floured work surface. Place the dough into a buttered pie or tart pan and pat it well into place. Prick the bottom with a fork. Line the pan with foil or wax paper, fill with dry beans to weight it down, and bake until the crust starts to color, about 10 minutes. Remove the lining and the beans and bake for about 5 minutes more, or until the crust turns a light golden brown; the crust should be lightly cooked. Remove from the oven and let cool. Carefully remove the crust, which will be very fragile, from the pan and place it on a rack.

Break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a large, heat-resistant mixing bowl.

Heat the cream with the vanilla bean, to split lengthwise. When the cream begins to boil, remove the vanilla bean and pour the cream over the chocolate. Stir well, until the chocolate melts and the mixture is well blended and smooth. Add the egg yolks and the softened butter and mix well.

Pour the still-warm filling into the lightly cooked pie crust and cool completely before serving.

More than a cookbook, 'The Book of Chocolate' covers everything from Cacao Plantations to History of Chocolate and Great Names of Chocolate and concludes with The Taste of Chocolate chapter where this recipe can be found.

Any chocolate lover will want The Book of Chocolate on their coffee table...and it retails around $18...

(* Reproduced with permission from  The Book of Chocolate' Flammarion, 2004...Revised and updated edition - October 2015...Originally published in France as 'Le Livre du Chocolat' in 1995)

Loire and Wood Fired Fouee or Classic Gateau Basque, both from Luke Nguyen's France Cookbook

Loire and Wood Fired Fouee with Goat Cheese

Wood fired fouee

Or classic Gateau Basque...

Gateau Basque

Both from Luke Nguyen's France (Hardie Grant, October 2015). 

( *  Reproduced with permission from Luke Nguyen's France by Luke Nguyen -published by Hardie Grant- October 2015....Photography by Alan Benson and Suzanna Boyd)

Merry Christmas 2015 from Land of Riches, Christmas Tree at Bergdorf Goodman

Merry Christmas from Land of Riches, Christmas Tree at Bergdorf Goodman in New York


Did not buy huge chocolate tablet that was selling for around $250...

Would send anyone into sugar overdrive

(* Image captured in store on Monday, December 21)

Pretend You Are Spending Christmas on Amalfi Coast with Positanese Pizza from 'Artisan Pizza'

Pretend you are spending Christmas on Amalfi coast with with Positanese Pizza from Artisan Pizza, To Make Perfectly at Home (Kyle Books, November 2015) by Giuseppe Mascoli and Bridget Hugo.

Positanese baked

This raw salsa is a classic from Positano on the Amalfi coast. You need very good tomatoes for this, so make sure that you

find some that are super-sweet and fruity. We also call this pizza “a la Eduardo,” a reference to Eduardo di Filippo, the

famous Italian actor, playwright, author, and poet, who passed this recipe on to us many years ago.

Ingredients, per pizza

1 dough ball (see page 16),

left to rise for

11⁄2 to 2 hours

flour, for dusting

For the salsa (makes enough for 4 pizzas)

2 medium tomatoes

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1 garlic clove, crushed

1⁄2 tablespoon mashed onion

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 basil leaves

a pinch of dried oregano

a pinch of marjoram

a few sprigs of fresh

parsley, chopped

1 tablespoon chopped


freshly ground black


Parmesan, grated

Positanese Pizza

Make the salsa: Bring a pot of water to a boil and remove from the stove. Place the tomatoes in the water and leave for about 3 minutes until their skins start to wrinkle. Peel and seed the tomatoes and finely chop.

Place the tomatoes in a sieve, add the salt, and leave to drain over a bowl for about 20 minutes. Discard the juice and transfer the drained tomatoes to a large bowl with the garlic.

Add all the remaining salsa ingredients and stir to combine.

Marinate for at least 2 hours (it will keep in the fridge for up to 2 days, although if you do this, bring it up to room temperature before use).

Place a rack on the highest shelf of the oven and turn the broiler to its highest setting. When hot, place a greased 10-inch cast-iron pan on the stove, set to medium heat.

Divide the salsa into two bowls and set one aside, reserving it for later (in total, ensure you have enough for about 4 tablespoons per pizza).

Sprinkle a little flour over your hands and on the work surface and open the dough ball by flattening and stretching the dough with your fingers, or by rolling the dough with a rolling pin. Pick the pizza base up and gently stretch it a little more over your fists without tearing it. Drop this onto the hot pan, and allow it to start rising. As soon as the dough firms up, spread a quarter of the tomato salsa over the base with the back of a metal spoon.

Cook the pizza on top of the stove for about 3 minutes, then transfer the pan to the broiler for another 3 to 4 minutes. Once ready, add 2 tablespoons of the reserved salsa (at room temperature) and finish with Parmesan, either grated or shaved, with extra basil if you like. Serve whole or in slices.

(* Recipe excerpted with permission from Artisan Pizza, To Make Perfectly at Home -Kyle Books, November 2015- by Giuseppe Mascoli and Bridget Hugo,  Photography by Philip Webb)

Wings on a Mission, Chongqing Chicken Wings from Danny Bowien 'Mission Chinese Food Cookbook'

Wings on a Mission, here's a first recipe excerpted from The Mission Chinese Food Cookbook (Ecco-Anthony Bourdain, November 2015) by Danny Bowien with Chris Ying.

Chongqing Chicken Wings

It’s well known that the sign of a great dish is its ability to silence a large group of noisy people, enraptured by what they’re eating. All you hear is slurping and crunching, silverware against plates, chopsticks clicking. When the dish in question is la zi ji, the predominant sound is a soft rustling, like dry leaves skittering across a sidewalk. It is the noise made by diners sifting through a monstrous pile of chiles in search of golden brown bits of chicken hidden in the sea of red.

I’ve encountered versions of la zi ji, a dish most commonly traced to the Sichuan city of Chongqing, that are 95 percent chiles, 5 percent chicken. Some people balk at the idea of going to a restaurant and paying for a plate of food that is mostly inedible. To serve la zi ji at Mission Chinese, I needed to up the chicken-to-chile ratio.

Chicken wings to the rescue.

I’ve been pursuing the ideal chicken wing for most of my career. I’ve dabbled in all manner of elaborate wing practices. I’ve cured wings, confited them in chicken fat, smoked them, and sous-vided them. I’ve been close a few times, but I’d never really settled on a method until I spoke to a friend whose mom worked at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo. The Anchor Bar is the supposed home of the original Buffalo wing. I prodded my friend, trying to get her to ask her mom for their secrets. Eventually I pried out of them that the key to a perfect chicken wing is to treat it like a French fry: parcook it, freeze it, and fry it. The freezing causes the liquid in the skin to expand and burst the cell walls, resulting in perfectly thin, crisp skin without any breading. Once I learned this technique, I never looked back.

This is how a lot of things work at Mission Chinese. We talk to people with a history of doing things right, and we learn from them. Then we consider how we can add something to what they’ve taught us, improve on it, make it our own. In this case, the addition of fried tripe to a plate of chicken wingsis giving your guests 110 percent. I like mixing proteins and layering similar textures. Here, on the same plate, you get the crackly skin of chicken wings, still juicy on the inside, as well as the crunchy chew of fried tripe. Plus the papery toughness of those chiles, which, I should mention, you don’t eat. Please stop coming to the restaurant and eating the chiles.

Note: You need to parcook the wings a day ahead, so don’t start this recipe on Sunday morning thinking you’ll have wings in time for football.

3 pounds chicken wings (either mid-joints or whole wings)

¼ cup kosher salt, plus more as needed

½ cup vegetable or peanut oil, plus 8 to 10 cups for deepfrying

½ pound honeycomb tripe

½ cup cornstarch, for dredging

4 cups dried Tianjin chiles or other medium-hot red chiles, like chiles Japones

About ¾ cup Chongqing Wing Spice Mix (recipe follows)

MCF - Chongqing Chicken Wings

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the wings with the salt and ½ cup oil. Spread the wings out on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Bake the wings for 15 minutes, or just until the skin appears cooked but not browned. Let the parbaked wings cool to room temperature, then lay them in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze, uncovered, overnight.
  3. The next day, clean the tripe thoroughly under cold running water, scrubbing vigorously to remove any grit. Put in a pot, cover with cold salty water by 2 inches, and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 10 minutes, partially covered, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 2 to 3 hours, until the tripe is very tender. Drain in a colander, rinse under cold water, and cool completely.
  4. Meanwhile, retrieve the wings from the freezer and allow them to thaw at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours.
  5. Slice the cooked tripe into strips about ½ inch wide and 2 inches long. Set aside.
  6. In a deep pot or a wok (or use a deep-fryer), heat about 4 inches of oil to 350°F. Meanwhile, pat the tripe strips dry with paper towels, then dredge them in the cornstarch, shaking off any excess. Working in batches, if necessary, deep-fry the wings and tripe for 4 to 6 minutes, or until golden and crispy. They should cook in about the same amount of time.
  7. Meanwhile, toast the Tianjin chiles in a hot, dry wok or skillet for about a minute over high heat, stirring continuously so the chiles cook evenly. Transfer to a plate.
  8. Drain the fried wings and tripe, shaking off as much oil as you can (or let them briefly drain on paper towels). Then transfer to a large bowl and dust them generously with the spice mix, tossing to coat. Add the toasted chiles and toss well. The chiles will perfume the dish, but they aren’t meant to be eaten.
  9. To serve, transfer everything—aromatic chiles and all—to a serving platter and present to your awestruck and possibly terrified guests.

Chongqing Wing Spice Mix


2 tablespoons whole Sichuan peppercorns

2 tablespoons cumin seeds

2 teaspoons fennel seeds

2 star anise

2 black cardamom pods

1½ teaspoons whole cloves

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sugar

1 tablespoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons Mushroom Powder (page 299)

2 tablespoons cayenne pepper


  • Toast the Sichuan peppercorns, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, star anise, cardamom, and cloves in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring continuously until fragrant. In a small bowl, combine the toasted spices with the sugar, salt, mushroom powder, and cayenne.
  • In a spice or coffee grinder, grind the spice mix to a powder, working in batches if necessary. The spice mix will keep in an airtight container for about a week before losing much of its potency.

Mushroom Powder

This is the gentleman’s MSG. It’s umami incarnate, in powdered form. It makes dishes more savory, but since it’s made primarily of powdered dried mushrooms, it lacks the stigma—unwarranted or not—of MSG. You can find mushroom powder at Asian markets or online, usually from Taiwanese producers. But a slightly less potent, and less mysterious, version is easily made at home. I wouldn’t recommend making this in a large batch, as the flavor dissipates over time.


1 (1-inch) square dashi kombu ½ ounce stemmed, dried shiitake mushrooms


  • Toast Use a pair of kitchen shears to snip the kombu into 4 or 5 smaller pieces, then grind it to a fine powder in a spice or coffee grinder or blender. Transfer to a bowl.
  • Grind the mushrooms to a powder and combine with the kombu. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. Like ground spices, this begins to lose its potency immediately.



( * Recipe excerpted from The Mission Chinese Food Cookbook -Ecco-Anthony Bourdain, November 2015- by Danny Bowien with Chris Ying)