French Macarons!

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So sure, my french macaroons don't look amazing but they certainly tasted so!! The filling is dulce de leche which you can make by simply by punching in holes into the can of condensed milk and letting it boil in water for about three hours. 


(Check out this link for the how to: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Dulce-De-Leche)


Start off by using a stand mixer to create 3/4 cup of almond powder. Then sift the powder so that it light and has the consistency of flour. (I got the recipe for the macaroons from http://lovelyladycakestv.blogspot.com/2012/04/best-french-macaroons.html) Next, you add 1 cup of powdered sugar to the almond powder. This can be made by putting 1 cup of granulated sugar in the mixer. Now mix the two ingredients together evenly.


Then create your french meringue. This can be done by using two egg whites and putting them in a dry mixing bowl. You can choose to hand whisk them but I prefer using the stand mixer. Add a bit of lemon juice once they foam. Then add 4 tablespoons of granulated sugar. Add each tablespoon in slowly. 


Wait until you get a stiff peak with your meringue. That means the meringue should be glossy and not slip off the whisk if you hold it in mid air. 


Then fold in the meringue into the mixture until it is evenly spread.   


I used a ziploc bag to pipet coin sized amounts onto the parchment paper. 


Then I let them sit for an hour on the parchment paper before I put them in the oven so that they would have a little more crunch once they were done baking.



YUM YUM!

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Tips to Making Croissants (By revealing my mistakes as a first timer)

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Honestly, I'm not sure if I would try making this again because making croissants can be labor intensive and it can take a few times to get them to be perfect. Although they look good and tasted good, they turned out be more biscuit-like rather than airy and soft....Hmmm. (My dad loved them because they reminded him of a brand of biscuits he used to eat as a kid--Not exactly the reference I was aiming for. ) I looked at quite a few recipes but mainly relied on one from this source: http://moroccanfood.about.com/od/breadandrice/r/croissant_dough.htm. For some reason, this recipe calls for adding the cut up pieces of butter into the dough mixture whereas other recipes required you to make an entire layer of butter and incorporate it into the dough once it was done. I changed my mind and decided to take out the cut up pieces of butter in my flour (as pictured below) and form a sheet out of it (which I didn't take a picture of).

I just have to be honest. This was the first time I made dough using yeast and I forgot common sense. I should have used a mixer to make the dough properly. Yet, I rushed through it because I had time constraints. For some reason, I forgot I would have to knead the dough and then add the butter. BIG MISTAKE. Because the dough wasn't properly made, it kept sticking to the counter while I was folding in the butter. (Here, I added my yeast mixture to the flour.) 

In order to prevent the dough from sticking to the counter, I added A LOT of flour. It was like a hungry monster; it just would not stop sticking until it ate up as much flour as possible. This thickened the dough and turned it into the perfect pre-biscuit paste. 


And so, I refrigerated my pre-biscuit paste overnight. The next day I folded it again to "wake the dough up" and tried to cut them in the shape of isosceles triangles to best of my ability with my dough scraper.

The one on the bottom right was filled with jam. This turned out to be a bad idea because it came out of the croissant and burned quite a lot.


Pictured below was my best croissant. However, once he was done, he came out a bit raw. Most recipes call for you to leave the croissants in the oven between 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees. Yet I was making biscuit croissants, so that left them pretty under cooked and left me pretty disappointed. I needed an additional 20 minutes!


He looks pretty appetizing here!


It's quite funny how the best tasting one was the one that looked most horried-yes the one that is surrounded by burnt jam. That's because, inside the jam remained its true texture and went well with the biscuit exterior.


I also made a blueberry tart out of the excess dough and it came out delicious!!
 P.S. Don't use baking chocolate to fill your croissants. SMH.

If you like the blog, please follow for more recipes and restaurant reviews @ unarguablydelicious.blogspot.com!! Or follow me on tumblr (unarguablydelicious.tumblr.com) or my twitter (@Its_Taran) or my pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com/unarguablydelic/) or instagram (unarguablydelicious). Please feel free to share your opinions or your recipes as well because I'd love to hear them!



Rustic Peach Tart

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This tart was so easy to make and I loved it. I followed the recipe from http://www.joyofbaking.com/PeachTart.html 
The recipe calls for the following ingredients: 

Short Crust Pastry:
1 1/4 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) salt
1 tablespoon (14 grams) granulated white sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) (113 grams)unsaltedbutter, chilled, and cut into 1 inch (2.54 cm) pieces
1/8 to 1/4 cup (30 - 60 ml) ice water

I divided everything by two to achieve one serving size and I simply flattened the dough and put in slices of a peach inside. I didn't add any sugar or anything else and it came out delicious. I set the oven to 425 degrees and left it in there for 30 minutes. YUM! I could have this as breakfast as well!



If you like the blog, please follow for more recipes and restaurant reviews @ unarguablydelicious.blogspot.com!! Or follow me on tumblr (unarguablydelicious.tumblr.com) or my twitter (@Its_Taran) or my pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com/unarguablydelic/) or instagram (unarguablydelicious). Please feel free to share your opinions or your recipes as well because I'd love to hear them!

Honey Fried Chicken

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The recipe I used came from a book called "Step by Step Chinese Cooking" and it is from the Hawthorn Series. The chicken came out really delicious and I will certainly make this again! First I cut up bite-sized pieces of the chicken (of which you will need about one pound) and marinated it for a few minutes in ginger powder, soy sauce, and "Kick'n Chicken Seasoning" from Weber.  The recipe is for 4-6 servings.



Then I prepared the batter required. I used 1 cup of cornstarch, 2 egg whites, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, and cold water. You want to mix it so that it is really thick, but no so that there are still clumps of cornstarch lying at the bottom of the bowl. If the mixture is as thin as pancake batter, add more cornstarch to thicken it. 


Next, I took Krissi Biasiell's, a contestant for Master Chef, advice on frying from her cook along. She said she learned from her family to flavor the oil by adding in onions and wait until they turn brown. This way, you can also tell when the oil is hot enough to fry food. 

Mix in your first piece of chicken breast into the batter and slowly add it into the wok. Woks are better for deep frying because you use less oil yet you also have to be very careful working with them if they are wobbly on the stove because you obviously don't want it to spill over.




Add more in until you can't fit any more pieces comfortably within the oil. Turn the pieces over once the edges begin to brown. Cook the pieces of chicken in batches. 


Don't add raw pieces of chicken into the wok until the cooked pieces are removed. To keep the chicken juicy inside, take the pieces out once they turn a golden brown, and don't leave the chicken inside the oil for too long. 


Good job, Chef Blamblam! 




The sauce I made is also from the recipe. It requires 3/4 cup of honey and 2 teaspoons of sweet chili sauce. Tomato chili sauce is fine. Stir it over low heat until warm and pour it over the chicken.   

You can check out my last blog post on how to make the other components of this dish. The other component is Indonesian peanut noodles. The chicken goes well with it! Have fun making this dish! 

If you like the blog, please follow for more recipes and restaurant reviews @ unarguablydelicious.blogspot.com!! Or follow me on tumblr (unarguablydelicious.tumblr.com) or my twitter (@Its_Taran) or my pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com/unarguablydelic/) or instagram (unarguablydelicious). Please feel free to share your opinions or your recipes as well because I'd love to hear them!

Hokkaido's Red Bean Bubble Tea (Except instead of those "bubbles", I ordered jelly) My rating: 9/10

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 Hello, everyone. Welcome to the "What did Taran eat today?" show. Well guys, I have to review Hokkaido because they have fantastic bubble tea that will lift your spirits. I have to say the prices are a bit above what I want to pay for bubble tea drinks. (I paid $3.25 for the drink below.) Yet, every time I order from these guys, I want to come back! The drink made me feel so full that I skipped lunch--and as a foodie, that is hard to do. They have tons of exciting flavors to choose from. I think I'll be their customer even after I graduate from Rutgers University, which is two years from now. If you're in the Easton Avenue neighborhood of New Brunswick, I suggest you should stop by.


If you like the blog, please follow for more recipes and restaurant reviews @ unarguablydelicious.blogspot.com!! Or follow me on tumblr (unarguablydelicious.tumblr.com) or my twitter (@Its_Taran) or my pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com/unarguablydelic/) or instagram (unarguablydelicious). Please feel free to share your opinions or your recipes as well because I'd love to hear them!

Hokkaido on Urbanspoon

Indonesian Peanut Flavored Noodles (similar to Noodles & Company)

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Let's make some stir fry. Sort of. Yes, this was an attempt to nail the Indonesian peanut noodle meal at Noodles & Company.  


Above is a picture of me eating this dish there and I truly savored it.
No, my homemade dish did not pass the test of my palate. Why? Because I ran out of homemade peanut butter. Next time will be the charm, and I'm sure I will conquer this meal. Let us settle on the present however.  Today's dish is based off the recipe from this website: 

**Edit. I made this dish again, and what I realized was that the sauce needed honey and Sriracha sauce. The recipe doesn't call for it and without the honey, the peanut sauce can seem bland. But if you add about 3/4 cup of honey to the pot, and 2 more teaspoons of Sriracha sauce, the sauce will taste delicious!**


Step 1. Make yo chicken! This is for one serving size. Add vegetable oil, garlic cloves, ginger in a saucepan over medium heat. Add a bit of Sriracha chili sauce, soy sauce, and squeeze in one lime. Add yooooo chicken. Wait until it's white and bravo! You are done with the chicken. Wrap it in aluminum foil to keep it hot. 



Step 2. Say the following phrase with a spanish accent please as I prefer it that way: Les végétables. Add your julienne cut carrots, onions, and cut broccoli into the hot vegetable oil. While that is sauteing, create your peanut sauce. USE HOMEMADE PEANUT BUTTER. Do not be afraid to try making it. All you need to do is peel your peanuts, roast them, throw them into a mixer, add vegetable or peanut oil, a bit of sugar and salt and VAL-LAH. YOU ARE CHEF BLAMBLAM! And once you are done, you will be amazed you just made peanut butter. (Screw JIF!)   





Step 3. Add a bit of chicken broth into the sauce pan. Then throw in that peanut butter you just made at home. Be proud, Chef Blamblam! Add garlic, ginger, sriracha sauce, soy sauce, and hunai (aka honey) and stir with your wand (aka spatula). 




Step 4. Make your noodles...........or use the noodles from a previous dish! Taking the easy way out here, guys.

BLAM! Add it all together and top it off with some sauteed bean sprouts. (Don't let those bean sprouts stay too long in the sauce pan. You want them to be nice and crunchy, not burnt and charry.)


Bon apetit, mi amigo!
If you like the blog, please follow for more recipes and restaurant reviews @ unarguablydelicious.blogspot.com!! Or follow me on tumblr (unarguablydelicious.tumblr.com) or my twitter (@Its_Taran) or my pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com/unarguablydelic/) or instagram (unarguablydelicious). Please feel free to share your opinions or your recipes as well because I'd love to hear them!

Huevos Rancheros (The easy way out)

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Step 1.
Toast your tortilla


Step 2.
Cook your salsa


Step 3:
Make your sunny side and and put all three components together on a clean surface. Enjoy!

For more pictures and a grander recipe, check out: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/sunny-anderson/huevos-rancheros-recipe/index.html

If you like the blog, please follow for more recipes and restaurant reviews @ unarguablydelicious.blogspot.com!! Or follow me on tumblr (unarguablydelicious.tumblr.com) or my twitter (@Its_Taran) or my pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com/unarguablydelic/) or instagram (unarguablydelicious). Please feel free to share your opinions or your recipes as well because I'd love to hear them!

Rita's Gelati 9/10

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AH Rita’s! Your #1 selling treat, the Gelati, have taken hold of my heart. Alas, I fell for your mango flavored gelato today. The rich, creamy, vanilla custard along with the cool iced mango was an escape from the heat. Yet because you are $3.50, I must refrain from being tempted by your scrumptous looking desserts in the near future.

If you like the blog, please follow for more recipes and restaurant reviews @ unarguablydelicious.blogspot.com!! Or follow me on tumblr (unarguablydelicious.tumblr.com) or my twitter (@Its_Taran) or my pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com/unarguablydelic/) or instagram (unarguablydelicious). Please feel free to share your opinions or your recipes as well because I'd love to hear them!

Who knew creating Chocolate Souffles could be so fun?!

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I am so happy to report that my chocolate souffles came out wonderful!!! I was a bit worried after adding my egg yolks into the chocolate mixture, that the egg yolks would get precooked because the chocolate was quite warm. However, my whipped egg whites finally came out perfect in that they had the "foot" or "stiff peak" that a chef looks for once I removed it from the mixer. And because my whipped egg white mixture came out so fantastic, the souffles were able to rise perfectly!!











Watch my video for extra help and tips:

The recipe I used was from this link: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/chocolate-souffles-recipe/index.html. However, it calls for 8 egg whites, which is absolutely ridiculous!! I used 5 egg whites and it came out just fine. Online, I found that 7 ounces comes close to 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons. Yet, I used a 10 ounce packet for my baking chocolate chips and after measuring the amount of chocolate chips I have left after making the souffles, I realize I have "another 7 ounces worth of chocolate chips" in my 10 ounce packet. Clearly, the online measurements were laughably wrong! I didn't exactly feel like I was wolfing down chocolate whereas when I made cheese souffle, I did. Instead, I felt like I was eating a light cross mixture between fudge and brownies. As much as I would feel guilty about adding in more chocolate the next time I make these, I know I would love the end product a whole lot more.
I was so excited after I pulled them out of the oven, because I was a bit worried about the precooked eggs. Nothing says "professional chef" like mismatched oven mitts hahaha.


Ooh! I almost forgot to add that I made praline today as well to serve as a topping for my chocolate souffles. I meant to melt them, but I used to many almonds, making them "unmeltable".


I was trying to follow this online youtube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOIrG375k1I. The chef, who goes by Dulcedelight1, uses a melted praline topping over the souffle. Above is my failed attempt at trying to melt them in a size proportional to the ramekins, which are the cermamic pieces used to hold souffles, just so that they would stick to the top of the souffles. Even so, powdered praline is a great addition to chocolate souffles and please be sure to make it. I followed this recipe to make praline : http://allrecipes.com/recipe/pralines/ This link is great because you can adjust the proportion of ingredients accordingly to serving sizes.  
It took all of my might not to use this melted chocolate and butter as a fondue for the almonds I had lying on the counter next to me.

Before the oven:
After the oven:

(After I realized the praline I had was not meltable (LOL)):


If you like the blog, please follow for more recipes and restaurant reviews @ unarguablydelicious.blogspot.com!! Or follow me on tumblr (unarguablydelicious.tumblr.com) or my twitter (@Its_Taran) or my pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com/unarguablydelic/) or instagram (unarguablydelicious). Please feel free to share your opinions or your recipes as well because I'd love to hear them!

Amazingly Delicious Green Pea Soup (My recipe rating: 9/10)

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 The soup will make you fall off your chair in amazement. HAHA Not really but I am definitely going to make this again and I'll be sure to squeeze an entire lime over 4 serving's worth of the soup right before serving instead of half of a lime, which I did today. I love how healthy & filling this soup is while remaining savory. I used a combination of two recipes. One was from the following link: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/ham-and-split-pea-soup-recipe/index.html
 I used just about every ingredient except for the ham, which I didn't have. I forgot to add the thyme and the red pepper flakes...I guess you're bound to miss things when you're reading two recipes while cooking. The second recipe I also used was from this link: http://www.chow.com/recipes/29519-green-pea-soup


       My family grows mint leaves in our backyard and I like picking out the fresh leaves and using them.




The satisfying smell of caramelizing onions...need I say more?  






Since this was my first time cooking pea soup, I was surprised that I had to use a blender to get that creamy texture. A lot of you probably saw that coming haha.




I need a new mixer, but my family disagrees. Feel free to donate one to me :)






The color looks great too and as with all warm soups, it's perfect to have on a rainy day.


                      Bon Apetit!!

If you like the blog, please follow for more recipes and restaurant reviews @ unarguablydelicious.blogspot.com!! Or follow me on tumblr (unarguablydelicious.tumblr.com) or my twitter (@Its_Taran) or my pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com/unarguablydelic/) or instagram (unarguablydelicious). Please feel free to share your opinions or your recipes as well because I'd love to hear them!




 
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