Thai Burger with Ginger Mint Cilantro Slaw

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Thai Burger with Ginger Mint Cilantro SlawBuy 540

This here is the burger version of my ginger garlic lime cilantro meatballs that I posted a few months ago. It’s the same recipe only shaped into burger patties rather than meatballs and served with a delicious Asian-inspired slaw made with ginger, garlic, mint and cilantro. It’s packed with great and intense flavor. Enjoy!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Thai Burger with Ginger Mint Cilantro Slaw
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 4
Ingredients:
For the slaw:
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1 chili pepper, thinly sliced (seeds and ribs removed)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced napa cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • lime juice
  • salt
For the burgers:
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 2 slices sandwich bread
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 3½ teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 egg
  • burger buns
  • cilantro
Instructions:
For the slaw:
  1. Mix all ingredients except lime juice and salt together, then season with lime juice and salt.
For the burgers:
  1. Mix milk and lime juice together in a bowl, cut the sandwich bread into ½-inch cubes and soak them in the milk mix for 10 minutes.
  2. Mush the bread cubes up a bit with a fork.
  3. Mix the beef into the mushed up bread cubes.
  4. Mix cilantro, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes and egg into the beef/bread mix.
  5. Form 4 burger patties and fry them with a little bit of vegetable oil until they are crispy and brown on the outside and cooked on the inside.
  6. Stack fresh cilantro, burger patties and slaw on a burger bun and serve.

Food Photography and Styling: Since the predominant colors of the food (and the Guinness) were brown I chose my blue wood surface as a background to contrast them. The surface that the food is sitting on is again my dark wood tray turned upside down. I drank a sip of the beer to keep it from looking too perfect and to make it look as if someone were actually sitting at the table, ready to eat the burger. As usual, I lit this photo from the side with my Hensel Integra Pro Plus 500 strobe and my Hensel Ultra IV Softbox – 35×58″ (90x150cm)).

 

Lens: I took this photo with my 105mm f2.8 NIKKOR macro lens. You can find the current version of this lens through the following link (I use an older version that is no longer being sold): AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens.

Camera: I used my Nikon D600 to take this photo. You can find the current version of this camera through the following link: Nikon D610 DSLR Camera.

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Thai Curry with Chicken

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Thai Curry with ChickenBuy 541

It’s curry time again! I love curries and eat them A LOT. This here is a yellow variety with chicken, coconut milk, red bell pepper and lots of intense flavor. It’s very easy to make and, even better, requires mainly pantry ingredients. Enjoy!

5.0 from 3 reviews
Thai Curry with Chicken
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients:
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • ¼ of a 2-cup chicken bouillon cube
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ¼ teaspoon whole yellow mustard seeds
  • ⅛ teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • ⅛ teaspoon whole coriander seeds
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed or minced
  • 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 3 teaspoons yellow curry powder (see notes)
  • 2 medium-sized boneless, skinless chicken breasts, seasoned with salt and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1½ tablespoons tomato paste
  • one 13.5-ounce can coconut milk
  • 1½ teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • one 8-ounce can pineapple chunks (without the juice)
  • lime juice
  • chopped peanuts
  • chopped green onion
  • chopped cilantro
Instructions:
  1. Peel the onion and chop into ~ 1-inch chunks.
  2. Put onion into a pot along with 1 cup of water and boil without a lid until almost all water has evaporated.
  3. Puree the onion in a food processor along with the chicken bouillon. Set aside.
  4. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven until shimmering.
  5. Add mustard, cumin and coriander seeds to the oil and fry on medium heat for 4 - 5 minutes (the seeds need to sizzle but be careful not to burn them).
  6. Turn the heat to low, then carefully add the onion puree (be careful, this will probably splatter!).
  7. Turn the heat back up to medium-low or medium and fry the onion for 15 minutes.
  8. Add garlic, ginger, turmeric and curry and stir until you have a homogeneous mix.
  9. Add the chicken pieces and fry for about 2 minutes.
  10. Add tomato paste, coconut milk and soy sauce and mix well.
  11. Add bell pepper and pineapple, bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.
  12. Sprinkle with lime juice to taste and add peanuts, green onion and cilantro as garnish.

Food Photography and Styling: Like many curries this one is a bit of a shapeless mush so to make it look interesting I made sure to show a lot of surface texture and place the bowl in dark and mysterious light. What inspired me to light the set like that was a scene in a music video I had seen recently. If you want to check it out it’s the part of Mikky Ekko around the 1:58 – 2:03-minute mark in this video. I really liked that light and wanted to create a similar look and atmosphere. As usual, I used my Hensel Integra Pro Plus 500 strobe and my Hensel Ultra IV Softbox – 35×58″ (90x150cm) for that. The surface that this bowl is sitting on is again my dark rustic wood tray turned upside down and the backdrop is a placemat that I just held up with my hand behind the set.

 

Lens: I took this photo with my 105mm f2.8 NIKKOR macro lens. You can find the current version of this lens through the following link (I use an older version that is no longer being sold): AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens.

Camera: I used my Nikon D600 to take this photo. You can find the current version of this camera through the following link: Nikon D610 DSLR Camera.

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Stir Fry with Steak

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A delicious noodle stir fry with a perfectly rare and juicy tenderloin steak.Buy 538
I love beef stir fries but I’ve always found it really hard to cook the meat such that it’s crusty on the outside but still rare, tender and juicy on the inside. That’s the problem I solved here because this is a stir fry with steak, not a steak stir fry, you see? What I did here was stir fry only the vegetables and cook the steak completely separately.

Here’s how it goes: take a nice tenderloin steak, sear it well all around in a very hot cast iron pan, then finish it in a 350-degree oven to the desired doneness. Meanwhile cook soba noodles, then stir fry snow peas, baby bok choy and red bell pepper with a little bit of vegetable oil in a very hot pan. Once the vegetables start to soften a bit, add my trusty stir fry sauce. Once the steak is done, slice it up, then serve it with the stir fry and voila, you’ve got yourself a flavorful meal with juicy and perfectly cooked beef!

5.0 from 3 reviews
Stir Fry with Steak
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 2
Ingredients:
For the steak:
  • 1 large or 2 small tenderloin steaks
For the stir fry sauce:
  • Get the ingredients here.
For the stir fry:
  • 3 ounces soba noodles, uncooked
  • 2 heads of baby bok choy, chopped up into 1 - 2-inch pieces
  • ~20 snow peas
  • ½ red bell pepper
Instructions:
For the steak:
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Heat a little bit of vegetable oil in a cast iron pan until shimmering.
  3. On high heat, sear the steak well on all sides, then move it with the pan into the oven and cook to desired doneness.
For the stir fry sauce:
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside.
For the stir fry:
  1. Cook the soba noodles according to instructions. Drain, then set aside.
  2. Heat a little bit of vegetable oil on high heat until shimmering.
  3. Add the vegetables and cook on high heat until they start to soften.
  4. Add the stir fry sauce into the hot pan with the vegetables and cook until thick and translucent.
  5. Serve noodles with vegetables and sauce and sliced up steak.

Food Photography and Styling: I’ve had this beautiful blue antique wood surface for quite a while but this is the first time I used it as a background rather than a surface. It’s a little loud but I think it fit well here, I certainly liked the blue in combination with the pink of the steak. The surface that this bowl is sitting on is my dark rustic wood tray turned upside down. I lit this photo from the side with my Hensel Integra Pro Plus 500 strobe and my Hensel Ultra IV Softbox – 35×58″ (90x150cm)).

 

Lens: I took this photo with my 105mm f2.8 NIKKOR macro lens. You can find the current version of this lens through the following link (I use an older version that is no longer being sold): AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens.

Camera: I used my Nikon D600 to take this photo. You can find the current version of this camera through the following link: Nikon D610 DSLR Camera.

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Salted Caramel Candy Bites

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Delicious salted caramel candy bites on a shortbread crust.Buy 535
Yup, that’s right, I’m back to salted caramel! My good blogging buddy Shinee mentioned Ina Garten’s fleur de sel caramels to me the other day and of course I had to add them to my to-do list!

I had never made candy before and was surprised how easy it actually is! I chose to make these caramels quite soft, such that they are very easy to cut and bite into and don’t require a trip to the dentist. I also added a shortbread crust (from Martha Stewart) because I wanted something crumbly to contrast the chewy candy. Other than that I followed Ina’s recipe closely but I left out the salt in the caramel because that part was already covered by the coarse salt in the crust. I finished the recipe off with a little sprinkle of fleur de sel (both for taste and for looks) and that’s already all there is to it!

5.0 from 4 reviews
Salted Caramel Candy Bites
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients:
For the crust:
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
For the salted caramel:
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup corn syrup
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • fleur de sel for sprinkling
Instructions:
  1. Line an 8 inch by 8 inch baking pan with parchment such that you have parchment hanging over on each side. That way you can grab the parchment and easily lift the candy out of the pan once it's all done.
For the crust:
  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Beat butter and sugar until creamy.
  3. Beat in the egg yolk, then the flour and the salt. (The dough will be crumbly and won't come together).
  4. Press the dough into the baking pan using your fingers.
  5. Bake the dough until it's golden-brown, 20 to 25 minutes.
  6. Set aside to cool.
For the salted caramel:
  1. Add water and corn syrup into a saucepan.
  2. Add the sugar into the middle of the saucepan, without letting any of it touch the sides of the pan.
  3. Heat the mix, without stirring or touching, until it turns a deep copper color. You can swirl the saucepan but don't stir the mix. Be careful, the mix will be dangerously hot!
  4. Meanwhile heat the cream and the butter just until dissolved.
  5. Once the sugar has reached its copper color, turn the heat off and very slowly start to whisk in the cream. Be careful, the mix will bubble up violently!
  6. Whisk in the vanilla.
  7. Turn the heat back on and cook the mix until it reaches 225 degrees F on a candy thermometer.
  8. Pour the mix onto the baked crust.
  9. Transfer the baking pan into the fridge and let it cool completely (1-2 hours).
  10. Lift the candy out of the pan and cut into small squares.
  11. Sprinkle each square with fleur de sel.

Food Photography and Styling: I was going for an elegant look here and chose an antique metal tray to hold the candy and my dark wood board as a surface to add some texture and also darkness. I turned one of the bites onto its side so that the viewer could see that there was a shortbread crust underneath. To keep the photo from looking too monotonous (after all the candies all look the same) I put my oval metal bowl in the composition and filled it with some fleur de sel to fit the story of salted caramel candy. I lit this photo from the back with my Hensel Integra Pro Plus 500 strobe and my Hensel Ultra IV Softbox – 35×58″ (90x150cm)).

 

Lens: I took this photo with my 105mm f2.8 NIKKOR macro lens. You can find the current version of this lens through the following link (I use an older version that is no longer being sold): AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED Lens.

Camera: I used my Nikon D600 to take this photo. You can find the current version of this camera through the following link: Nikon D610 DSLR Camera.

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