WELCOMEHi, I'm Jane. I started Cooking In The City to share my love of food, travel and, of course, cooking. Just like me, my recipes are a mix of east and west influence. Enjoy!
This is a great way to use duck legs, which is almost half the price of breast meat. By slowly roasting in the oven, the Chinese five spice really gets into the meat, making it very flavourful and aromatic. The sweet, sour and spicy salad is a perfect accompaniment and helps cut through the fattiness of the duck.
Living in Boston over the last year, I’ve had my fair share of clam chowders - both good and bad renditions. Sometimes the clam chowder is just right - rich, creamy and full of seafood flavour. But other times it’s either too thick or too thin, you can barely taste the clams, or worst, the clams taste unfresh and like they came out of a can.
At home, I like to make a slightly healthier version by using potato and whole milk instead of cream to get the right texture and creaminess. It’s not completely healthy though as there’s still a fair bit of bacon! Here I’ve used fresh littleneck clams - if you can’t find fresh, frozen chopped clams are a decent substitute but I would avoid the canned ones.
I first tried bibimbap while I was at university. As a student, I was always looking for delicious and affordable food, and bibimbap fit the bill; a complete meal in one bowl. I didn’t have the dish for many years but fell into love with it again after happening on it in Koreatown, New York. Each element is tasty by itself - spicy pungent kimchi, lightly seasoned vegetables, sweet garlicky beef - but in this case, the whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts. When all the ingredients are mixed together with the right amount of chilli paste, a runny egg yolk and balanced with plain white rice, the results are unbelievably good.
Pumpkin or squash soups can be a bit sweet; here I’ve roasted the pumpkin with generous amounts of garlic, thyme and olive oil to give a rich and savoury soup.
Galician-style octopus, or pulpo á galega, is a traditional tapas dish from the Northwest of Spain. The key to dish is to tenderize the octopus - the actual cooking is very simple. For best results, use frozen octopus (the freezing process helps break down the meat) and defrost in the fridge the night before. Before cooking, beat and rub the octopus to further tenderize it.
Skate is often overlooked by home cooks but when fresh, it tastes really sweet and slight nutty with soft, meaty flesh. This a classic French preparation - sauteed whole and “on-the-bone” (figuratively speaking because like sharks, skates have no bones, only cartilage) with brown butter, capers, lemon juice and parsley. So simple and delicious that it had me wondering why I don’t cook skate more often.
This is real comfort food - rich beef and mushroom filling slowly braised in red wine and topped with silky mashed potatoes and a cheesy crust. If shepherd’s pie and beef bourguignon had a baby, this dish would be it!
Swordfish is very meaty and un-fishy, which is perfect for meat lovers looking to mix it up every now and then. It’s also firm enough to chuck onto the grill without falling apart, but be careful not to overcook it - swordfish can dry out very quickly. Here I’ve marinated the fish in ginger, soy and lime before pan frying (personally, I like my swordfish cooked to medium rare).
I love dumplings. Little parcels of meaty goodness. Bite into them and all the delicious juices inside spill out. Dip them into a little bit of vingear, pair with a few strands of ginger, and maybe even add a touch of chilli. I could eat dumplings for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
This is a super simple way to serve fresh seafood. You can use almost any kind of shellfish you can get your hands on - lobster, scallops, mussels - just make sure it’s fresh. Here I’ve used little neck clams, wild gulf shrimp and squid. Make sure you serve this with some good crusty bread to mop up the delicious juices from the shellfish.
Ma Po Tofu is one of my favourite Chinese dishes; it’s super spicy and perfect with steamed rice. So when I was challenged to cook a vegetarian meal, I decided to make a version of Ma Po Tofu with mushrooms instead of pork. The mushrooms have a meaty quality and the spicy sauce adds so much flavour that you almost forget that it’s vegetarian. Almost.