Shrimp and Scallion Shumai


When the woman outside NYC’s hottest new Dim Sum place, Tim Ho Wan, told us the wait would be 3 hours, I actually thought she was joking. Going for Dim Sum on a weekend is one of the joys of living in the city but nothing is worth waiting 3 hours for! Learning to make my favorite dishes at home has been a goal of mine and I’m always surprised at how simple it is. We added just a teaspoon of One Culture’s Southwest Asian Sweet Chili sauce to the filling and I couldn’t believe the extra flavor it gave each dumpling. Give them a try for Chinese New Year!


Shrimp and Scallion Shumai

Makes about 24 


1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon minced ginger

1 lb. uncooked shrimp

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1/3 cup roughly chopped scallion whites, chop the greens for garnish

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon Southwest Asian Sweet Chili plus more for dipping

1 package of wonton wrappers (found in the freezer section at Asian supermarkets)

Savoy cabbage for lining the steamer basket



1. In a food processor, puree garlic, ginger, half of the shrimp, soy sauce and scallions until it forms a smooth paste.

2. Dice the remaining shrimp and combine in a bowl with the paste.  Mix in the rice wine vinegar and sesame oil.

3. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and fill a small finger bowl with water.

4. To assemble the shumai, fill each wrapper with a dessert spoon of shrimp filling. Bring the sides of the wonton wrapper to the center, pleating them together as you go and pressing to the filling until the sides come together. The shrimp mixture should peak out of the top. Flatten the shrimp top and repeat until filling is used up.

5. Freeze or refrigerate shumai for 1 hour.

6. When ready to cook, steam in a cabbage lined steamer basket for  8-10 minutes until the exposed filling turns pink and the wonton wrappers are tender.

7. Serve shumai with extra Southwest Asian Sweet Chili sauce for dipping.

Mushroom and Lentil Soup


It’s been a relatively healthy beginning to 2017. Despite the odd hiccup, (Saturday’s birthday celebration for my friend Dwight included a stick of butter per person to ensure the Louisiana shrimp was authentic) I’ve been pretty well behaved. Making a big batch of this incredibly satisfying and unintentionally vegan soup has been the largest contributor to my restraint. It has also been especially comforting to have a steaming bowl of soup after walking Daisy in these frigid temperatures. It’s hearty, healthy, and very very tasty!


Mushroom and Lentil Soup

Serves 4


2 tablespoons olive oil

2 small onions, peeled and diced

2 large cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

1 large dried chili (any mild dried chili works)

5 oz. mushrooms, sliced (I used a mixture)

4 oz. small brown lentils (I used Puy lentils), rinsed

4 cups vegetable stock

3 sprigs of thyme


1 lemon

Good French bread for dipping



1. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan and add the onions. Cook on medium until soft, about 5-8 minutes. Save some of the browned mushrooms to a separate plate for garnish.

2. Add the garlic and chili and cook for a further minute or two, stirring regularly, before adding the mushrooms and cooking for a further 5 minutes.

3. Add the lentils, pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce to a low simmer with a lid almost covering the pot for about 30 minutes or until the lentils are soft. 

4. Season with salt, pepper, a dash of cognac and the juice of a lemon.

5. Remove the garlic, chili and thyme and then whizz using a hand held blender till about half of the soup is pureed but you still have plenty of texture. 

6. Serve warm with browned mushrooms as a topping and extra bread for dipping.



Spaghetti alla Carbonara



It’s slightly funny that National Spaghetti Day falls so close to New Years. So much for those resolutions. I find it a physical impossibility to see Spaghetti alla Carbonara on a menu and not order it even though I’m usually disappointed. My inability to resist has reached all corners of the world and is well documented on Instagram. Common sense would tell most people that a misspelt listing of Spagetee Corbonera on a laminated menu on the rooftop of a backpacker hostel in India is not the wisest choice but still I can’t say no. My search for the holy grail of Carbonaras is never ending. The best in New York is in my opinion at Barbuto and I have a near toddler temper tantrum when they aren’t serving it. My biggest piece of advice when making Carbonara is don’t make it for a crowd. It needs to be eaten immediately and if you’re serving more than three, the first person’s plate is already past its best by the time you’ve served the third. I’ve revised my version to be more authentic (I’m ashamed I used to add cream). Enjoy wholeheartedly – resolutions be damned!


Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Serves 2


½ lb Spaghetti (preferably De Cecco)
3 oz cubed pancetta
3 egg yolks
½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese



1. Start boiling water in a large pot and add a good handful of rock salt.
2. In a bowl whisk together the egg yolks and Parmesan cheese.
3. When the water is boiling, add the spaghetti and cook according to the packet.
4. Meanwhile fry the pancetta in a little olive oil until crisp and add freshly ground pepper to taste.
5. Before draining the pasta, reserve 2 cups of the salty water and set aside.
6. Drain the pasta well and add directly to the frying pan with the pancetta.
7. Turn off the heat, mix in 1/2 cup of the salty water and mix well. Then add the egg mixture and stir vigorously until you have a creamy consistency.
8.Serve immediately with extra Parmesan.