Monday, January 18, 2010

Red Radish Leaves with Greek Feta Frittata

Ggakdugi Kimchi, Takuan, Daikon & Dried Squid Soup ... fresh or pickled, I love Daikon but I'm seldom into Red Radish until I was introduced to this Summer Radish called French Breakfast. They looked weirdly elongated root vegetables with lovely, brilliant deep pink jackets and white pants but with a long skinny tail! Come to think of it looked like a toy rat (really reminded me of Remy!) for a cat to play with. My son was just as curious as me when we saw bunches of them on the kitchen table. Seems that this specie of plant is related to the mustard found mostly in France than in Belgium but I saw once in a local supermarket and pricier than in France.

[Red Radish-French Breakfast variety]

[Close up of the Red Radish Roots]

This time, the bunches of red radish bought by our neighbour was far better than the previous batches! The freshness of this beautiful plant with her lushes green tops beckoning me to eat them! Yes, eat them whole especially the green leaves :-D Why not? The leaves smelled like Garland Chrysanthemum (known as Tung Ho, Tang Oh or Shingiku leaves) that I love so much. I like to add Garland Chrysanthemum in oyster omelettes or just stir-fry with chopped garlic. I learnt from a friend, that if you eat the whole plant, roots and leaves, it supposed to help kidney problems but he was refering to the White Radish or Daikon (Mooli) found locally in Asian markets. Anyway, my main target was the leaves...yummy! I know the leaves are edible but my Belgian side was a bit skeptical about eating them in their next meal :-D So, I decided to cook 2 versions on the same day! For lunch, I made the below recipe but for dinner, I stir-fried the leaves in a very hot pan with just oil, garlic, a bit oyster sauce and some julienned carrot for color contrast. What I can tell you is... my family loved both dishes! My father-in-law even told the story to the 'Red Radish' neighbor about it. They were surprised as most of time they just threw them away as garbage. I mean it's a common practice as the leaves are fodder for the animals or ended as compost. Really weird isn't it?

After that, I went to look for more infos and recipes using radish leaves and it's amazing what we can do with the leaves of this humble plant. I'm not talking of being frugal but for my foodie friends who haven't try it, please grab few bunches in your next trip to your favorite local farmers' market! Maybe you can try with Winter Radish varieties like Daikon or Gros Noir D'Hiver (Black Radish). Gosh... all this made me craving for Pickled Daikon in Nukazuke... :'-(

[Look at those delicious chunky Greek Feta sandwiched between the mushrooms, bacon, radish and leaves!]

Red Radish Leaves with Greek Feta Frittata
Serves 4

Leaves of 4 bunches of Red Radish (any variety)
150 g Red Radish (here I used French Breakfast red radish)
8 Nos Eggs (12 nos Eggs if you want a thicker frittata)
200 g Greek Feta (I used Dodoni)
250 g Champignons de Paris (White Button Mushrooms)
3 cloves Garlic ~ chopped
1 Medium size Yellow Onion ~ chopped
150 g Smoked Bacon ~ cut into small chunks (optional)
Some Cooking Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 pkt Mesclun Salad or any salad mix to serve

1. Clean the mushrooms, cut off the stems (you can leave it on or reserve the stems for other uses like stuffings or soups) and sliced.
2. Wash the radish leaves thoroughly from grits and remove wilted/damaged leaves. Drain the leaves dry. If you want to shred or chop it up into smaller pieces for easy cooking, you have to do it just before you cook as it spoils easily once cut up. I had the problem with previous batch when I thought I could save some time :-(
3. Sliced the red radishes into thin slices. Set aside.
4. Cut up the Greek Feta cheese into smaller chunks or you can crumble it just before adding to the cooking.
5. In a bowl, beat the eggs well and add in some salt and pepper to taste.
6. In a 10-in, heated ovenproof nonstick skillet or deep frying pan, add in the smoked bacon chunks (if using). Fry them until crispy or until the oil/fat released. Remove fried smoked bacon and set aside. Remove some of the oil/fat or for health reasons, replace it with your usual cooking oil or mix both to give some smoky flavour to the dish.
7. While pan still hot, add in chopped garlic and onions, fry until the onions almost transparent. Add in the sliced button mushrooms and continue cooking until the mushrooms half way cooked.
8. Pour in the beaten egg mixture; add in the fried smoked bacon (if using) and chopped radish leaves. Stir the egg and vegetable mixture evenly.
9. Add in the crumbled Greek feta cheese and then the sliced Red Radishes.
10. Reduce heat to low so the base of the frittata doesn't burn. Cook until the frittata is set around the edge but still runny in the centre.

11.Adjust the level of your rack, so that your pan is about 4-6 inches from the grill/heater. Preheat your oven to 220ºC/ grill on high (please refer to the manufacturer's guide).

12. Put the pan or skillet under the heater (broiler) for about 2-4 minutes or cook the frittata under grill until golden brown and just set. Set aside for 5 minutes to rest. Cut into wedges and serve with your choice of salad mix.

Note: You can use the Italian traditional way of cooking frittata instead of browning it in the oven or cook it straight all the way in the pan ~ that's me when I'm too busy (or lazy!). I used those multi-purpose flat pans (the ones I got at home were old AMC collections which amazingly still user-friendly today!) to brown the frittata on both sides :-D


PS. Do you think the name of the dish a bit like Tongue Twister? :-D

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Beautiful and Surprised ending to 2009!

There goes another year and another new year to begin with. So many memories and events that happened during 2009. Funny, I still haven't accomplished what I wanted to do from last year. Maybe I should brought forward the balance? :-) I did participated in BloggerAid Cookbook as I announced earlier in my latest blog entry BUT I think the most unexpected surprise for me was one of my recipe was selected by Saveur.Com ~ Best Of The Web: Sites We Love!
This really meant a lot to me and came unexpectedly before year ending. I found out accidently when I glanced at my site's Live Feed and saw some links or viewers were from! It really jump-started my senses ... :-D I clicked one of those links and voila! The page unfurl in front of my eyes. For an unknown food blogger like me, to have a small part in such well known magazine online and offline in the Culinary World, it encouraged me to improve myself further but also made me felt my efforts are not a waste of time! Thank you so much to Saveur.Com!

It took me some time to mention about it as I felt who am I compared to other established Food Bloggers that are famous and even produced their own cookery books nowadays. Then, inside me was a voice saying,"Hey, if this can happened to you, why not to others?" So, I decided to do this entry (actually, early this morning after I sent my son off to school) after months of silence. I want my Foodie Friends not to feel let down by all the rejections from online food galleries or if your dishes didn't turned right after you followed them to the T...:-D Yes, I do envied those gorgeous Photos in the food blogs :-P 90% of the time, I don't have the right location or using improper set ups, blah, blah, blah... but hey, someone out there did notice the effort!

I wanted to wish all my wonderful foodie friends and not forgetting 'Viewers' and particularly 'Anonymous' posters who left encouraging (and also discouraging) comments in my blog ~ Thank you so much and Happy New Year and best wishes to you and family ~ Let's start cooking for year 2010!


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