appetizers

Beef Enoki Rolls

Beef Enoki Rolls

Ooooh these are little rolls of magic! Lately I've become obsessed with enoki mushrooms. The bouncy texture, how easy they are to cook, and the way they soak up whatever flavors surround them. They are dirt cheap, and you can toss them into virtually any dish. Growing up, I think I've only really eaten enoki mushrooms when I've gone out to eat hot pot with friends. I always enjoyed them, but they were definitely an afterthought. (Hello, beef!) Recently, however, I've been eating enoki with everything - stir fries, soup, noodle dishes, even salads. Their sweet, mellow flavor is so yum. 

I was inspired by these Japanese Beef Enoki Rolls that I had as part of a lunch set the other day, and couldn't get enough of them. They are simple to prepare and the marinade is actually super versatile and can be used for cooking other protein. Beef Enoki Rolls are tender, juicy, and almost taste like beef jerky - a harmonious blend of soy, ginger, garlic, sake, and sesame oil create an incredibly savory marinade for the thinly sliced beef. Soaking the enoki mushrooms in warm, salted water allows them to soften and gain some flavor. Finally all you've got to do is wrap small bundles of mushrooms in the marinaded beef and pan fry. Searing the meat takes a few minutes, and then you're in flavor heaven. Let's get cookin!

Lazy Chicken Wings for One

Lazy Chicken Wings for One

I'm going to let you in on one of my tried and true 'recipes', which is totally just a little trick I've been doing since high school whenever I'm really lazy and REALLY hungry. I love chicken wings - and here in Hong Kong, grocery stores sell bags of frozen mid-joint chicken wings. These are my favs - don't get me wrong, I like drumsticks too, but I really love just the wings. In my little HK kitchen, I don't have a proper oven (just a toaster oven). This method of cooking chicken wings on the stove-top is quick, fail-proof, and super flavorful. 

Sometimes you don't have time to go grocery shopping, but you can bet that there'll be some frozen chicken wings in your freezer. You can make these wings with virtually any sauce or marinade that you have in the kitchen, making this the perfect lazy meal! There are simply 2 steps, and 3 ingredients. Simmer the chicken in chicken broth until they're nice and plump (my trick to knowing when they're finished is when the blood clots come out :) and then tossing them in sauce in a skillet. 

Prosciutto Wrapped Figs

Prosciutto Wrapped Figs

Growing up, I've gotta admit that I really loved Fig Newtons. But, raise your hand if you've actually never had a fresh fig before! I didn't try the actual fruit until fairly recently. I fell in love with their rich, earthy flavor... sweet, with a slightly chewy texture. They're so simple to eat. You can slice them up and eat with with yogurt or açai, throw some pieces onto a cheese board, or add them to pizza or flatbread with some burrata. Today's recipe is a fast, elegant appetizer that takes minutes to put together. 

Sweet Potato Toast

Sweet Potato Toast

Sweet Potato Toast is amazing!! It's so vibrant and colorful, and is a nutritious alternative to your regular wheat toast - not to mention it's paleo and gluten free! There are endless topping options, and today I'm sharing some yummy ideas with you to get you inspired. Sweet Potato Toast works with sweet or savory ingredients, and is so satisfying that a few of these make a wonderful meal. I'm all about using whatever you've got in the kitchen already, and the hearty, sweet flavor of the sweet potatoes is a great vessel for tons of versatility.

Honey Lime Summer Corn Salsa

Honey Lime Summer Corn Salsa

This is a bright and zesty recipe to enjoy some of summer's best produce!! It can be enjoyed with chips as a dip, or eaten as a summer salad. Golden brown kernels of corn come together with tomatoes, creamy avocado, red onion for bite, black beans, and tons of fresh cilantro in minutes, and are tossed with the most amazing Honey Lime Vinaigrette. This combo is seriously delicious - the combination of lime juice, earthy, warm cumin, honey, and extra virgin olive oil is the absolute perfect way to bind these ingredients together. The best part is that the flavor of the dip gets better as it sits - so it's great to have out during an event, or to make ahead for lunch! Let's get cookin! 

Bacon Wrapped Peaches

Bacon Wrapped Peaches

Ok, I think we can all agree that everything...everything is better with bacon. Crisp, salty, fatty delicious bacon. BBQ season is here and grilling fruit is definitely one of my favorite ways to celebrate summer. The caramelization of the fruit is really delicious with the flavor of the bacon, and adding a simple reduced balsamic vinegar makes this the easiest appetizer ever. Finish the peaches off with fresh sprigs of mint for a flavor explosion in your mouth. Serious good eats. Watch my newest video recipe below! :) Let's get cookin!

Spring Salmon, Asparagus, and Orzo Salad with Lemon-Dill Vinaigrette

Spring Salmon, Asparagus, and Orzo Salad with Lemon-Dill Vinaigrette

Pasta salad is perfect for Springtime! This recipe is an easy and delicious way to stretch out fresh seafood. Tender orzo pasta, roasted salmon, cherry tomatoes, asparagus, and salty feta are tossed with a zesty citrus dressing for a beautifully hearty salad. There's something about the texture of orzo pasta that makes me crave it all the time! This Spring salad is great for emptying the fridge - don't have asparagus? Use peas, spinach, or beans! Sub shrimp for salmon or leftover chicken and feel free to use Parmesan instead of Feta :) If you're cutting carbs, toss all these ingredients with crispy Romaine or kale. 

No Cook Japanese Cold Tofu with Sesame Dressing

No Cook Japanese Cold Tofu with Sesame Dressing

The weather is warming up, especially here in Hong Kong. It's 80 degrees in April here! This recipe for Japanese Cold Tofu with Sesame Dressing is quintessential for Spring/Summer. The best part is that this dish requires zero cooking. 

This is one of the best ways to enjoy the beautiful subtle flavor of tofu. Cold tofu can be enjoyed with a ton of different topping choices, including creamy sesame dressing, or a punchy mixture of scallions, fresh ginger, and soy sauce. In this recipe, I'll be using store-bought Japanese sesame dressing. I'll include the recipe for homemade dressing below, but sometimes it's simply easier to go pre-made! 

Maple Glazed Carrots

Maple Glazed Carrots

An oldie but goodie; simple Maple Glazed Carrots are a delicious side dish perfect for any holiday meal. The natural sweetness of the carrots are enhanced, and fresh parsley, a sprinkling of sea salt and black pepper balances it all out. These are the simplest veggies to make! Seriously they took about 15 minutes from start to finish...and I gobbled them all up right after shooting :) The crisp-tender carrots aren't too sweet and are a wonderful accompaniment to savory entrees. Plus, carrots are super cheap! You can also use colorful heirloom carrots to add more beautiful color to your table. Let's get cookin! :) 

Cranberry Jalapeño Cream Cheese Dip

Cranberry Jalapeño Cream Cheese Dip

I really wanted to come up with a fun appetizer that involved deliciously tangy cranberries. This dip is unexpectedly tasty. A blend of fresh cranberries, lemon juice, sugar, jalapeño, green onions, cumin, and cilantro is served over softened cream cheese...yes a block of cream cheese! Honestly, what's better than a good dip? All you've gotta do is throw all the ingredients together, let it macerate a bit in the fridge, and pulse it in a blender. The result is a vibrant cranberry relish that is perfectly sweet, tangy, earthy, and with a slight spicy kick. This dip is festive, flavorful, easy on the wallet, and perfect for potlucks. Let's get cookin!