Potato Salad with Green Beans and Asparagus

Potato Salad with Green Beans and Asparagus

Hello Everyone! Potatoes and green beans are a classic combination; throw some asparagus and lettuce leaves or any other leafy greens into the mix and you’ve got yourself a great side dish that goes with almost anything. You can also bring it to a picnic, party, or barbecue.

Potato Salad with Green Beans and Asparagus

You’ll want to slice the baby potatoes (skin on) in half before cooking to help them cook faster. If you are using slightly bigger potatoes, you may want to quarter them. How long you cook them depends on their size, and you can check to see if they are tender by piercing a fork into the potatoes about 10 minutes into cooking. I prefer to steam my potatoes rather than boiling them because it takes a fraction of the time. Why? You’re only waiting for a small amount of water to boil, not a whole pot. In addition, unlike a big pot of boiling water, steam won’t dilute the flavour of the potatoes substantially.

This Potato Salad with Green Beans and Asparagus works really well at either room temperature or served cold. It has a bold, tangy taste thanks to the vinaigrette – a simple combination of red wine vinegar, olive oil, minced red onion and garlic, and seasoned with a touch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. You want to toss half the dressing over the warm potatoes to enhance their flavour. The remaining dressing is tossed over the whole salad at the end.

Potato Salad with Green Beans and Asparagus Ingredients

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 15 MINS | SERVES 4-6

INGREDIENTS

For the salad

  • 450g baby potatoes, thoroughly cleaned and cut in half (skin on)
  • 250g french beans, ends trimmed and cut in half
  • 1 bunch asparagus, tough ends snapped off and cut to the same lengths of the french beans
  • 1 bunch leafy greens of choice, roughly chopped
  • Handful of chopped malunggay leaves
  • Handful of sliced almonds
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the vinaigrette

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

METHOD

  1. Fill a pot with about an inch of water and put a steamer basket inside. Place the potatoes in the steamer basket and bring the water to a boil. Cover and steam until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, combine all the ingredients for the vinaigrette into a small-sized jar. Put the lid on a shake vigorously to combine the ingredients together. You can make this ahead of time to ensure that all the flavours have time to develop.
  3. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add both the french beans and asparagus to the boiling water. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes. While waiting, prepare an ice bath (large bowl with half ice and half water).
  4. When the french beans and asparagus are ready, drain and then plunge into the prepared ice bath. Let them sit in the ice bath until completely cool. Once cool, drain the french beans and asparagus and pat them dry with a paper towel. Set aside.
  5. Once the potatoes are done, transfer them into a large mixing bowl and add half of the vinaigrette. Toss to combine. Add the other vegetables together with the sliced almonds and remaining vinaigrette. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Give it a good toss and it’s ready to serve as a delicious side to your main! Enjoy!

Potato Salad with Green Beans and Asparagus

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Aloo Kadhi (Indian Potato Curry)

Aloo Kadhi (Indian Potato Curry)

Hello Everyone! If you haven’t already guessed it, or if I haven’t already told some of you (for a special project this coming August), the theme for this year on the blog is Colours of the Rainbow! Tonight, and for the rest of the month of May, I will be continuing on with the colour yellow.

Aloo Kadhi (Indian Potato Curry)

If you love simple ingredients with beautiful, massive flavours, then you’ve found the right recipe! This Aloo Kadhi, or in English, Indian Potato Curry, has incredible flavours that are hard to beat. Even though I ended up mashing almost half of the potatoes in this curry, mine didn’t turn out as thick in consistency as I would have wanted it to be, but that’s easy to fix – just mash up more potatoes!

This recipe may not have all the authentic spices found in a traditional Aloo Curry, but I can guarantee it tastes amazing! Vidhya, I know you still read my blog posts after so many years, so please don’t grill me on this dish *cheeky grin* Anyway, it’s terrific with freshly made puri, a crisp and puffy Indian bread, or with paratha, an unleavened Indian flatbread made with whole wheat flour.

Before we dive into tonight’s recipe, please take the time to check out where I drew my inspiration from. The original recipe is on Scrambled Chefs by Aena.

Aloo Kadhi (Indian Potato Curry) Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 35 MINS | SERVES 3-4

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 medium-sized potatoes, wash, peeled, and cut into small cubes
  • 3-4 pcs whole cloves
  • 2 pcs star anise
  • 1 pc cinnamon bark
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 thumb-sized fresh turmeric, julienned
  • 2 cups water (or vegetable stock)
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp ground paprika
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp yellow curry powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • Handful of blanched kale leaves, to garnish (optional)

METHOD

  1. Add the coconut oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. When the oil starts to shimmer, add the cinnamon bark, star anise, and whole cloves; sauté until fragrant, about a minute or two. Be careful not to burn the aromatics. Then add the minced garlic and fresh turmeric and sauté until golden brown and fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  2. Add the potatoes into the pot, together with the ground paprika, chilli flakes, curry powder, and turmeric powder. Season with salt, to taste, and then give it a good mix, cooking for about a minute or two.
  3. Add the water or vegetable stock and bring to a gentle boiling. Cover the pot and leave to cook for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through. If desired, use a fork to mash up some of the potatoes to thicken the curry to the consistency of your liking. Let it simmer, partially covered, for 5 to 10 more minutes.
  4. Check and taste to see if the curry needs additional seasoning. If so, season with a touch more salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  5. Once done, transfer to a serving dish and top with some blanched kale. Or, if you’re not a coriander hater like myself, go ahead and top your Aloo Kadhi off with a sprinkle of chopped coriander.
  6. Serve hot with some freshly cooked Indian bread of choice. You may also choose to enjoy this dish with some freshly cooked basmati rice if you’re a starch on starch kind of person. Enjoy!

Aloo Kadhi (Indian Potato Curry)

Notes:

  1. Cut the potatoes into small-sized cubes if you want the potatoes to cook faster. The bigger the potato pieces, the longer it will take for them to cook all the way through.
  2. Cook the potato curry on low to medium heat. Potatoes are root-based starches that thicken up and soften more easily when cooked on low heat. Therefore, when you cook the curry on low heat, not only will it cook the potatoes all the way through, it will also make the curry thick and at the right consistency.

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Auguest 2019: Brendon D'Souza

Potato Gnocchi with Red & Yellow Peppers

Hi Foodies, it’s Brendon D’Souza from @brendonthesmilingchef here.

It’s an honour to take part in Auguest once again this year at AMCarmen’s Kitchen. Allison and I met in Sydney a few years ago through Instagram, and then in-person at a food blogging event I hosted. Since then we’ve had countless foodie adventures together.

I started a food blog called Brendon The Smiling Chef around 2012, following the success of a recipe column of the same name. I wrote, styled, and photographed the recipes of my favourite dishes and reviewed some of my favourite restaurants and cafes. The blog continued to run until around 2016. I then focused on photography and a few other passions, worked for tech startups like Deliveroo and Tix and eventually landed a role at a global workspace provider. Earlier this year I launched my photography business Sydney Food Photography. I’ve been lucky to collaborate with some amazing brands like Samsung, OzHarvest and more.

Potato Gnocchi with Red & Yellow Peppers

When I received the theme for this year, I knew I wanted to take a playful twist on the definition of fruit. Potatoes are called pomme de terre in French which could literally translate to ‘apple of the earth’ and peppers (or capsicums as we call them in Australia), are also technically a fruit of the nightshade family (Solanaceae).

Gnocchi are delightful potato dumplings made with a few simple ingredients. They are one of my favourite comfort food this winter and pair very well with a tangy roasted pepper sauce.

Potato Gnocchi with Red & Yellow Peppers

PREP TIME 25 MINS | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR 30 MINS | SERVES 6

INGREDIENTS

For the gnocchi

  • 500g potatoes, skin on
  • 200g plain flour + extra
  • 1 free-range egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the peppers

  • 1 large red pepper, sliced
  • 1 large yellow pepper, sliced
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil + extra

To serve

  • 250g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Handful chopped parsley
  • Grated Grana Padano or other hard Italian cheese, to serve

Potato Gnocchi with Red & Yellow Peppers

METHOD

  1. Preparing the Potatoes: Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Continue to boil until cooked through. A knife should glide through the potato when it’s cooked. Remove from the heat and drain. Cover the potatoes with cold water and set aside to cool.
  2. Roasted Peppers: Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC/160ºC fan forced. Toss the peppers with a little olive oil and garlic slices. Spread in a single layer in a roasting pan and roast for 20-25 minutes until the peppers have softened and start to caramelise around the edges. You may need to stir the peppers in the pan while roasting. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  3. Potato Gnocchi: Once the potatoes have cooled, peel and then mash. Add the 200g of flour, egg yolk, salt and pepper and mix with a wooden spoon to form a pliable dough. If the mixture looks a little sticky, add more flour until it forms a ball. It will look and feel like play dough.
  4. Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil. Sprinkle a chopping board with some extra flour. Divide the dough into quarters and roll to form a 1.5cm thick sausage. Cut the sausage into 1cm thick slices with a sharp knife dipped in some cold water. This helps to prevent the dough from sticking. I like to make my gnocchi a little rough and leave them as discs.
  5. Cook the gnocchi in small batches for 2-3 minutes. They will float to the surface when they have cooked through. Remove to large heatproof bowl and toss with a little olive oil to prevent sticking.
  6. Add the roasted peppers, cherry tomatoes, and parsley to the gnocchi and toss to combine. Drizzle with olive oil and grated Grana Padano to serve and enjoy!

Potato Gnocchi with Red & Yellow Peppers

Optional extra: I love the taste and texture of pan-fried gnocchi. To do so, heat a frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add 1 tsp butter and a drizzle of olive oil. When hot, add the gnocchi in batches and sauté until golden brown.

Potato Gnocchi with Red & Yellow Peppers

Check out my foodie adventures on Instagram at @brendonthesmilingchef

Photo Courtesy & Recipe Copyright © 2019 | Brendon D’Souza

BON APPÉTIT

– Brendon D’Souza

myTaste.com

Bœuf Bourguignon with Potato Gnocchi

Bœuf Bourguignon with Potato Gnocchi

Hello Everyone! It’s week 2 of Cooking with Alcohol month and today I will be cooking with one of my favourite bevvys to have when I’m out with friends or just socialising with – well, this was back when I was in Australia and I don’t do it now; only if a friend throws a party and there’s red wine being served *cheeky grin*. Of course, using red wine in your cooking is just as good as having a glass or two (whispers: or more) on the weekends.

“Secondary cuts of meat are my favourite and I love to use them in this dish. Remember, you’ll need to start this the day before so the beef has time to marinate overnight in that gorgeous red wine. You really do need to use a bold red wine for this recipe, it makes all the difference — just make sure you buy an extra bottle to drink with the meal!” — Manu Feildel

Bœuf Bourguignon Ingredients

Okay, so a little bit of a tangent before I move on to the recipe, this morning at work, my colleague asked me a question after she had seen the ingredients shot that I uploaded just minutes before she asked me this: “I have one question… Whenever you cook, do you always buy new ingredients?” At first I was confused, because obviously I buy meat and veggies when I need them so it’s always fresh, and then she pointed out that my block of butter was new as seen in the photograph below, and went on to point out a new tube of maple syrup in another photo, and a new jar of something which I can’t remember. Well, to answer your question, especially to the particular photograph that she pointed out this morning, yes, most of the stuff were new there because I didn’t have those ingredients in my pantry at that time. Then she saw another photograph that had the same tube of maple syrup that looked new. I then told her that I gently move it around so that the maple syrup sticks to the sides of the tube to make it look full. Also, in terms of butter, I always, and I repeat ALWAYS have a new block of untouched butter in the fridge for my photos, especially if it’s less than half a block already. I eventually use it anyway within the next couple of weeks – it’s not like it sits in the fridge for months/years.

Anyway, one last thing, but not a tangent – before I head on to the recipe, please visit Manu Feildel for the original recipe! I once made Manu’s recipe for Bœuf Bourguignon, while I was still studying in Australia. I made this dish during my second year of studies, and when I come to think of it, that was 4 years ago! I can’t believe how long ago that was! Well, I decided to whip it up again for this theme since I really enjoyed this dish the first time I cooked it. So don’t forget, as the man Manu said: you need to start the recipe a day before so that your beef cuts have enough time to soak in the marinade overnight. And of course, make sure you leave some wine behind, or buy an extra bottle to have with your Bœuf Bourguignon!

Bœuf Bourguignon Ingredients

PREP TIME min. 24 HOURS* | COOKING TIME 2 HOURS | SERVES 6-8

*If you didn’t read above, the beef needs to marinate overnight to soak up all the yummy flavours before cooking.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2kg beef chuck

For the marinade

  • 1L red wine (Burgundy or Shiraz)*
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 sprigs rosemary**
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 brown onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 stick celery, roughly chopped

*I used Jacob’s Creek Shiraz Cabernet.

**Manu’s recipe used thyme, but at that moment I couldn’t find fresh thyme in the stores and I really didn’t want to use the dried kind – however, I had some sprigs of rosemary in the fridge leftover from another recipe I whipped up before this, so I used that instead.

For the stew

  • 250g brown mushrooms
  • 200g bacon, cut into bits
  • 20g unsalted butter
  • 3 brown onions, quartered
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • Ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste

To serve

  • Fresh parsley
  • Pasta, mashed potato, gnocchi, or crusty French bread***

***I first paired my Bœuf Bourguignon with soft pillows of potato gnocchi, and any leftovers we had, we paired them with fettuccine pasta.

METHOD

  1. Place the chopped carrots, celery, and onions in a large bowl (or deep pyrex dish like I have) together with the minced garlic, rosemary sprigs, and bay leaves. Cut beef into large 4cm/1.5″ cubes and add to the dish with the aromatics. Pour over the red wine to submerge the meat and vegetables, then cover with some cling wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Remove beef from marinate and season well with salt and pepper. Strain out the marinade herbs and vegetables and discard, but reserve the liquid as this will be your sauce!
  3. Heat the butter and half of the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. When the butter starts to foam, add in the meat and sear on all sides for a minute or two. Do this in batches if needed, and once done, set the meat and any pan juices aside.
  4. Heat the remaining olive oil in the same pot, and add onions, carrots, and mushrooms, cooking until golden and caramelised on the edges, about 2-3 minutes. Add in the bacon bits and cook for a further 3 minutes.
  5. Return seared beef and juices to the pan and sprinkle over the plain flour. Stir well, and then add in the red wine liquid to the pan.
  6. Cover the surface of the liquid with a cartouche (baking paper lid), and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce it to a simmer and cook for 1.5 to 2 hours until the beef is tender enough to pull apart with your fingers.
  7. Once tender, spoon the Bœuf Bourguignon into a dish, sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley and serve with fresh pasta, mashed potato, potato gnocchi, or even a big wedge of crusty French bread. Enjoy!

Bœuf Bourguignon with Potato Gnocchi

Bœuf Bourguignon with Potato Gnocchi

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Bacon, Beer & Potato Soup

Bacon, Beer & Potato Soup

Hello Everyone! Today is the last day for Winter Warmer Month *sad face* and I’ve got something that the men may like: Bacon, Beer, and ‘Tater Soup (aka “Man Soup”). Towards the end of June, when I was planning Winter Warmer Month, I came across this recipe in my research and decided to give it a go for one reason, and one reason only – it was just because it was called Man Soup, which I’m guessing comes from the bacon and beer.

Bacon, Beer & Potato Soup

If you are, or have been following my Instagram through my blog, you may have noticed that I have been posting a few photographs that show somewhat symmetry (asymmetry) breakfast/brunch/lunch/super late lunch photographs that have been inspired by the symmetrybreakfast guys that have been trending last weekend. I showed them to Jialing and we then decided to have our own symmetry breakfast this past week and it’s actually quite fun! Today, as you can see above, we had bacon, beer, and potato soup, well, we were supposed to have a different brekky this morning but since I was already preparing this for the blog, we decided to have soup instead.

The original recipe can be found on Food.com – I pretty much followed the recipe, but adjusted the quantities, probably not very accurately since I kind of just winged it to make two servings.

Bacon, Beer & Potato Soup Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR 10 MINS | SERVES 2-4

INGREDIENTS

  • 330ml (1 bottle) beer
  • 250g maple-glazed bacon, cut into bits
  • 50g vintage cheddar cheese, crumbed or grated
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled
  • 1 celery stick, sliced
  • 1/2 brown onion, halved and sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp light sour cream, plus more for topping
  • Ground salt and black pepper to taste
  • Olive oil

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 200C (400F or gas mark 6). Line a baking tray with foil or parchment paper and rub the potatoes with a bit of salt and some olive oil. Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes, adjusting the cooking time if needed to make sure that they pierce easily with a fork.
  2. As the potatoes cook, heat a medium-sized pan over medium-high and add the bacon bits. Fry until crispy. Once done, use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon bits and transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel.
  3. Next, add in the onion and celery slices to the pot with the bacon grease and sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Then add in the butter and continue stirring until it melts.
  4. Sprinkle the plain flour over the onion/celery mix, stirring continuously until it starts to form a paste-like texture, and the flour and fats are combined smoothly. Keep stirring it for a further 5 minutes until it becomes a blonde roux (a light tan colour).
  5. Slowly pour the chicken broth into the roux, adding more and more at a time to get the roux into a creamy texture. Once all the broth has been added, pour the beer into the soup slowly, a little at a time and continue to stir.
  6. When the potatoes are done, cut them into small chunks and add them to the pot, stirring to incorporate into the soup.
  7. Using a handheld stick blender, mix the entire mixture into a thick stew. Add water to thin if necessary, however don’t add too much liquid until the blending is done. Then, add the sour cream and cheddar cheese, and let the soup continue cooking for a further 15-20 minutes on medium-low.
  8. Turn the heat off, and divide equally into serving bowls (2 large bowls, or 3-4 small bowls) and top with the crispy bacon bits and a dollop of sour cream. Enjoy!

Bacon, Beer & Potato Soup

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Potato & Caramelised Leek Soup with Crispy Bacon

Potato & Caramelised Leek Soup with Crispy Bacon

Hello Everyone! It’s the beginning of Winter Warmer Month on the blog! For the next month of July I will be sharing my favourite soup recipes, as well as learning how to make other various soups that I don’t already have up my sleeve. These soups are sure to keep you warm on a mid-winter’s night while you’ve got a duvet wrapped around you as you binge watch all your favourite movies and/or tv shows; I know I’ll be doing that most nights!

Potato & Caramelised Leek Soup with Crispy Bacon

Today’s recipe is one that I’ve made many times before in the past when I started getting into cooking, before I started my blog. Before moving to Australia, I’ve never seen a leek before, not including the one that Farfetch’d carries around and whacks other pokémon with. I don’t think Brunei sells them? Or maybe they do but call them a different name or something. I know one grocery store that sells them now, and at a whopping $15.99/kg. Leeks can be pretty hefty so imagine the price! Here at Coles they sell it at $2.48 or something around that price range per piece, and of course I always choose the bigger piece.

The only possible thing that I dislike about this recipe is that it made me cry and left my eyes with a stinging sensation – those darn leeks and onions! Other than that, this is quite possibly one of my favourite soup recipes alongside roast pumpkin soup. Leeks are an excellent source of vitamin K, and are a very good source of manganese, vitamin B6, copper, iron, folate, and vitamin C. It has quite a number of health benefits, but a majority of people don’t know how to cook leeks, or what to pair them with. I am probably one of them as I only know how to use leeks in this recipes, and a pasta recipe with chorizo sausages. Maybe I’ll have a week where I just cook and experiment with the use of leeks in various dishes!

Potato & Caramelised Leek Soup with Crispy Bacon Ingredients

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR | SERVES 3-5

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 large yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 300ml thickened cream
  • 100g streaky bacon, cut into bits
  • 2 cups chicken (or pork)* stock
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large brown onion, diced
  • 1 leek, washed thoroughly** and thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • Ground salt and pepper to taste

*Remember my last post on roast pork belly crackling? Well, I had about 2 cups of rich pork broth that I didn’t want to throw away, so I reserved it and decided to use it for this recipe instead of using store bought stock or the powdered/bouillon version of it; made my soup super (or should I say, souper) tasty indeed! Okay I’ll stop there.

**Tips for cleaning leeks: Cut off the green tops of the leeks, removing any outer tough leaves. Cut off the root and cut the leeks in half lengthwise. Fan out the leeks and rinse well under running water, leaving them intact. Make to to thoroughly wash out any dirt/soil that can be found in the insides of the leek.

METHOD

  1. Heat a large pot over medium-high. Add in the bacon bits and fry until crispy. Remove from the pot and set aside, leaving the bacon fat/oils in the pot.
  2. Add the garlic in and sauté until golden brown before adding the onions in and cooking them until soft. Add the leeks and a little bit of water. Mix it around leave it to cook for about 5 minutes or until the leeks have softened. Add the brown sugar to the leeks and give it a good mix. Cover the pot and let the leeks cook and caramelise for a further 10 minutes.
  3. Throw in the potatoes and add the pork stock to the vegetables. Season the soup with a bit of salt and pepper and leave it to boil for about half an hour or until potatoes are soft. Once done, remove from the heat and let it sit too cool down slightly for about 10 minutes.
  4. Using a stick blender, blend the vegetables together with the liquid in the cooking pot until smooth. Add in the cream and give it a good mix.
  5. Divide the soup equally into serving bowls (3 large bowls, or 4-5 small bowls), and top each with a bit of crispy bacon, spring onion, and drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Serve immediately with some toasted bread.

Potato & Caramelised Leek Soup with Crispy Bacon

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com