Monthly Archives: February 2012

Sausage and Shrimp Jambalaya

Jambalaya is a one pot dish , don’t have to worry about the side dish .. about the vegetables , about the meat … all together , in 1 pot !! I love it .. it’s easy , yummy and quick . I have to say although you have to cook the rice ( not the instant one ) in the pot , it didn’t take long for me , probably about good 20 minutes . It could have been spicier , next time , i have to throw in more cayenne pepper , i didn’t have them on hand , but i replaced them with serrano peppers , but didn’t matter much . We all love spicy food , next time i will use cayenne !

You need :

2 lbs of andouille sausage

1 lb of fresh shrimp , peeled and deveined , save the shells to make shrimp stock ( by adding water in a pot , boil then simmer for 15 minutes , u need at least 4 cups of this )

1 green pepper , diced

1 red pepper , diced

1 onion , diced

3 stalks of celery

5 garlic cloves , minced

4 sprigs of thyme

2 bay leaves

1 tsp . cayenne pepper

1 -28oz can diced tomatoes

2 cups of long grain rice

4 cups of shrimp stock

1. In a large pot or dutch oven , heat up olive oil , then add the sausage , brown about 7-8 minutes , then add the onion , celery , red and green pepper , salt and pepper , cook about 5 minutes . Then add garlic , cook for 2 minutes . Add tomatoes , and cayenne pepper . Stir in the rice , and then mix well . Add 4 cups of shrimp stock . Cook on low medium heat , cover , stirring often , to prevent burn on the bottom of the pot . At the end , throw the shrimps in , and cook for few more minutes til they’re done ( it’ll get done very quick when it turns orange it’s done )


So , this is not my first time to try to make flan . Few days ago i tried making flan , of course had to make the caramel sauce , when i made them , i added little water , that was a wet method that i used . For some reason after few minutes boiling , it started to crystallize . I didn’t even stir it .. i started stirring it with metal spoon when i saw them started to crystallize , well that made it worse . They all went to the garbage .. LOL ..

This morning , i tried making it again , except i used the dry method , without any water into the sugar at all . And it worked . This recipe below is super easy for the custard part , next time though i probably going to cook the custard  , just like the way i made Creme Brulee .They tasted delicious , the only complain i had is the picture .. when i took them out from the ramekins , the surface isn’t that smooth , because of the knife .

This picture below is my first time flan , and i baked it at 350 F .

Now , this picture below , is my 2nd time flan with the same ingredients , except , i turned down the temperature to 325 F and baked it for an hour . And the result is so much better , so much prettier than 350 F . 350 F is TOO HOT temperature for baking flan .

I’ve added an entry picture by picture how to make caramel and flan .

You need :

2/3 cup of sugar

Use a non stick small pot , cook the sugar , medium heat , keep moving the pot , swirling it , so you won’t burn the bottom , until sugar dissolve . Keep cooking and swirling the pot , until it changed into golden brown color , caramel color . Pour into ramekins . Just about 1-2 tbsp. per ramekins . I have used 6 ramekins dishes for this recipe .

For the custard

1 cup of milk

2 cups of heavy cream

1 – 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

1 vanilla bean

5 egg yolks

hot water

Mix all the ingredients together with mixer or blender , except for the hot water . Hot water goes into the roasting pan where you place all the ramekins in . Pour the custard mixture into the ramekins , bake at 350 F for about 50 minutes . Refrigerate at least 2 hours .

Baked Eggs in Ramekins

This morning i decided to do something different with eggs . My family eat eggs every morning , i think it’s healthy to start the day with eggs . Whole lot better than having pancake or waffle or even cold cereal . Eggs are healthy !!I usually just do scramble eggs , sunny side up , or hard boiled or half boiled eggs for breakfast . This time , i made them in ramekins , i did this before , and i called it green eggs and ham , because i had spinach and ham on ham at the time , but not this morning . So i just did what i had on hand 😀 Results are very yummy .. easy and worth the wait .I also served them with toasted bread on the side , that i made couple of days ago .

For 3 servings , you need :

3 – 4.5oz ramekins , buttered lightly .

6 eggs

1/2 cup of heavy cream

carrots , celery , onion

mozzarella cheese


garlic powder

salt and pepper

roasting pan

Put the buttered ramkins in the roasting pan , filled with water half way of the ramekins . Add 1-2 tbsp. of heavy cream in each ramekins , and then heat it up until the cream is hot . Add the cheese , the veggies . Add 2 eggs in each , ramekins , sprinkle with paprika , garlic powder , salt and pepper , sprinkle with 1 tbsp. heavy cream . Sprinkle with the rest of the veggies . Bake at 375 F about 15-18 minutes until the whites are set . Let it sit for 5-7 minutes before serving .

Sweet Bread with Fillings 2

This recipe is a slightly different than the other sweet bread , the only difference is the method of kneading the dough . I used food processor , and i used my own hand to knead them for a good 10-15 minutes afterwards . The result is amazing !! Light and soft bread !!

4 tbsp. of unsalted butter , melted

1/2 cup of milk ( i used 2% , if you have whole it’s even better , but i’ve done 1% too and it’s not bad at all , just don’t use skim milk )

2 eggs

1/6 cup of sugar

1 1/8 tsp. of active yeast

pinch of salt

2 c – 2 1/8 cups of bread flour

any fillings you choose , hazelnut spread , strawberry jam , grape jelly or sweet red beans fillings .. etc

Melt the butter and set aside . Make sure all the wet ingredients are chilled . Then after 5 minutes , beat the eggs and milk then slowly pour this mixture into the warm butter while whisking it . Then add the warm butter mixture into the egg milk mixture . Once it’s done , set aside .

Mix the dry ingredients together , pulse few times in the food processor , i don’t add salt yet , i add it later on , afraid it might kill the yeast . Then while pulsing it , add the butter milk egg mixture slowly into the food processor until the dough starts to shape . You might need to add a little flour , it should be done once the bowl is clean from any dough . Take it out , and hand knead it for 10-15 minutes . Let it rise until it doubles , then take them out and shape them , let it rise for 2nd time and brush with egg yolks and bake at 325 F for about 12-15 minutes .


Korean Roasted Eggplant ( Gaji Namul )

Another recipe that i adapted from Maangchi . This is also a delicious way to eat eggplant , i normally would slice them , sprinkle with olive oil and some spices before grilling them . This korean style eggplant dish is yummy , i can just eat it like that !!

You will need :

1 Eggplant ( don’t have to be asian eggplent , just regular eggplant you see at your local grocer )

Olive oil

Cut them about 2 inches length , then quarter them .Spread them all on the baking sheet , sprinkle with olive oil , bake at 400 F for about 15 minutes or so . Then let it cool . After it’s done cooling , shred the eggplants using your fingers , and set aside .

The sauce :

1 garlic clove

1 green onion

1 tsp. red pepper flakes

2 1/2 tbsp. of soy sauce

1/2 tbsp. sesame oil

roasted sesame seed

Mix the sauce together and mix well with the roasted eggplant .

Cabbage Kimchi ( Yangbaechu Kimchi )

This is the kimchi i made from Maangchi website . She called it emergency kimchi , just in case your local grocer doesn’t carry napa cabbage , in my case , the korean market is not that close , well about 40 minutes . Driving in the weekend is okay , but during weekdays , i have other things to do than making a trip to korean market . Local grocer is only 5 minutes away , the only problem , they usually either don’t carry napa cabbage , or napa cabbage could cost 3 times or 4 times as much as when you get it from korean market . So .. the solution , is to make cabbage kimchi . Cabbage is cheap enough , today i got it for 50 cents per pound , which costs me only $2.00 to make this kimchi . Considering you have the rest of ingredients on hand , in my case .. i do 🙂 And i love how easy and quick and not time consuming , but you still have the great taste in it . I adjusted some to my preference , so here it is .

You will need :

2 lbs of green cabbage

1/4 cup of salt

1 cup of cold water

Cut the cabbage into strips , put them in a large bowl , add the salt and water , mix well with your hand . Let it sit for 15 minutes . While you prepare the paste :

1/3 cup of red pepper flakes

1/4 cup of fish oil ( i used less because i didn’t care too much for fish oil )

1/4 cup of minced garlic

1/3 cup of chopped green onion

1/4 cup worth of julienne carrot

2 tbsp. sugar

Mix this ingredients all together to make a paste .

Then , wash the cabbage with water , rinse 3 times well with cold water , drain . Then add the paste into the cabbage and mix with your hands well . Store in airtight container .


Baked Lobster Tails

Lobster is really yummy , there is basically not much you need to do with it . I just cleaned it and prepared it , and then rubbed olive oil all over the lobster meat on top of the shell , and then sprinkle with Garlic powder , onion powder and paprika . Bake the tails at 375 F , for 6 minutes ( about 1.5 minutes each ounce ) , then take them out , brush with butter and broil for a minute . The picture below here is lobster tails with aglio et olio ( one of my favourite pasta dish .. simple and delicious !! ) with roasted asparagus .

Smothered Pork Chops w/ Gravy and Brussel Sprouts

Super easy and it has a good taste , and not to mention the gravy is delicious too . The brussel sprouts is an addition to this meal , you can always skip it if you don’t like it . I like to pair all my meal with some green stuff .

Anyway , pork chops , don’t overcook it , or else it will get tough , 3/4 inch of pork chops normally will take about 4 minutes on each side to cook . As long as you don’t overcook your chops , you will be happy with it !!

You need :

4 boned in pork chops about 3/4 inch thick

2 tbsp. garlic powder

2 tbsp. onion powder

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

1/2 cup of flour

Mix this all together , dredge the pork chops then brown them on the skillet , with 3 tbsp. olive oil . About 4 minutes on each side . Then set aside . On the pan drippings , add 1 tbsp. olive oil , then add 3-4 tbsp. the flour ( from the mixture earlier ) , and then using whisk , keep stirring the flour for couple of minutes until it becomes smooth , and brown . Then add chicken broth a little bit at a time , until the consistency reached , then add a little of heavy cream ( or without it would be fine too ) . Then return the pork chop into the gravy and simmer for few minutes . Serve warm .


Chocolate Souffle

I think this was my second time trying to make Souffle . The first time was not as successful , this time , i did it right . And it came out perfect !! Beautiful and just heavenly !! I think the key of making souffle is on the folding egg whites , because if you fold it too hard it could deflate the batter . Try this , especially if you’re a big fan of chocolate !

You will need :

6 -4.5 oz ramekins , butter all over with your finger and coat with sugar everywhere , then freeze . Do this overnight or hours before you do the batter .

7 oz of semi sweet chocolate

4 tbsp. of unsalted butter

Melt this on a small bowl on a double boiler . Set aside .

In a large bowl , beat

3 egg yolks

3 tbsp. of warm water .

2 tbsp. of sugar

Beat the egg yolks and water until frothy then add sugar . Keep beating with your mixer about 5 minutes until batter ribbons . Then add the egg mixture slowly into the chocolate , fold carefully ! Set aside .

Take the ramekins out from the freezer .

8 egg whites

1/2 tsp. of lemon juice

1/2 cup of sugar

In a large bowl , beat the egg whites and lemon juice until frothy , then add sugar slowly while beating . Keep whisking with high speed , until stiff peak , but not dry . Then add the 1/3 of  egg whites mixture into the chocolate mixture , fold carefully , then add the rest of the egg whites mixture in it .

Using spoon , pour mixture into the ramekins , about 1/2 of the ramekins , then tap the ramekin onto the counter top , and fill it up with more batter all the way to the top . Scrape the top with butter knife to make it even , and wipe the edges with your thumb . Do the same with the rest , bake at 400 F , for 18-20 minutes .

Roasted Corn Chower with Lobster Tail

This recipe is a little similar to the previous corn chowder i posted . They both tasted delicious , this one takes more time to make and a lil fancier with lobster thrown in there .I guess you can’t go wrong with either one of the recipe , but if you have more time , i guess why not making this fancy one ? It contains more vegetables too , with celery , and red pepper , green pepper . Not to mention bacon and also the fresh seafood stock and of course the lobster itself .

You need :

2 Lobster tail , onion and celery , water . After cleaning the lobster , chopped the onion and celery . In a stock pot ,sautee the onion , celery , then add water , bring to boil , add the lobster , cook for few minutes until it’s done , and then take the lobster out , take the meat out , and put the shells back in there , let it simmer , while you cook the chowder .

For the corn chowder :

6 ears of corn , stripped , and then mix with salt and little bit of vegetable oil, spread them out on the cookie sheet , roast at 375 F for about 10 minutes until it’s golden brown . Set aside .

In a pot , cook bacon about 1 cup until crisp , remove most of the fat , reserving 1-2 tbsp in the pot .Put the bacon back in the pot ,  Then add 1 medium onion chopped , and 3 stalks celery , chopped .. Cook for about 5 minutes until onion are softened . Then add 1/2 green pepper and 1/2 red pepper , 3 cloves minced garlic , cook about 5 minutes . Then add 1/2 cup of all purpose flour , cook for 2 minutes , and then add 3 cups of seafood stock and 3 cups of chicken broth . Mix well , add diced potatoes ( from 3 gold potatoes ) ,bring to boil , then cook on low for 20 minutes . Then turn it to simmer , and add 1 cup of heavy cream , salt and pepper .

Mocha Pots de Creme

This dessert very similar to creme brulee , they’re super easy to make , and yet , the result is so delicious !!! Not many ingredients needed in this dessert , as long as you h eggs , milk and cream .. voila .. you can make them . Either made them mocha , or vanilla .. This is the recipe for mocha / coffee pots de creme .

You will need :

4 – 4,5 oz ramekin dishes

3/4 cup of milk

1/2 cup of heavy cream

2 tbsp. of light brown sugar

2 tbsp. of sugar

1 tbsp. of instant coffee

1 tsp. vanilla extract

pinch of salt

1 egg and 2 egg yolks

Preheat the oven to 325 F , heat water until almost boiling , while you prepare the rest .

In a pot , heat up the milk , cream , sugar , brown sugar , vanilla and salt until just boil . Whisk the eggs . Then temper the eggs , by pouring the milk mixture just a little bit into the egg while keep whisking , then pour the rest of the milk mixture , mix well . Then pour the mixture into the prepared ramkins . Place the ramkins in a roasting pan , fill it up with hot water about half way . Then bake them about 22 minutes .

Creamy Mashed Potato

This is one reason i never like instant mashed potato . Instant mashed potato grosses me out , and makes me hate eating mashed potato . It’s a different story if we’re talking about a real home made mashed potato . There is nothing to hate about home made mashed potato , in fact i love it !! People think making mashed potato is hard , that’s probably why a lot of us choose instant mashed potato .

Home made mashed potato is so easy and you can season it as much as you like or just leaving it plain . All you need just potatoes , margarine , milk , salt , pepper , spices ( optional ) and you’re done ! This mashed potato in the picture , i used combination of red mashed potato and yukon gold potatoes , i diced them ,and then boil it until it’s soft , using a fork , if you can stab it with fork easily , that means it’s ready to be mashed . Drain it , return to the pot , and then add margarine , while you mashed it . If you have a hand mixer , you can use that , or you can always use a potato masher , and add milk a little at a time while you mashed it , until the consistency is reached . The rest , just up to you , you can add just salt and pepper , or add chopped green onion for a hint of it , or you can add garlic powder , onion powder . Or you can put few cloves of fresh garlic while boiling the potatoes and mash them all together , for garlic mashed potato .

Corn Chowder

I made this easy soup this evening to pair it up with light sandwich for dinner . Since we live in Texas now , it seems like corn is available any time of the year , fresh corn is the one i am talking about . This corn chowder is so easy and quick to make , next time i am thinking to add some lobster or crab meat in there . Would be even better !! But if you don’t have the lobster , just plain corn chowder will still work really good !!

You need :

2 tbsp. of olive oil

1 medium onion , diced

4 garlic cloves , minced

1/4 cup of all purpose flour

4 cups of vegetable stock

2 cups of seafood stock ( if you use lobster ) or just 2 cups of chicken stock

2 idaho potatoes , diced

2 cups of heavy cream

6 ears of corn

bunch of parsley

salt and pepper

In a pot , heat the olive oil , add onion and garlic , cook about 8 minutes on medium heat , then add flour , mix well , cook for a minute . Then add the vegetable and seafood stock a little bit at a time , while stirring with a whisk , to prevent lumps . Bring to a boil , then add heavy cream and potatoes , boil hard for 10 minutes until potatoes are done . Then add the corn , simmer on low for 15 minutes until the corn is done . Season to taste with salt and pepper . Serve in a bowl , sprinkle with parsley on top .

Cat’s Tongue Cookies ( Lidah Kucing )

When i was younger i grew up with this kind of cookies , usually we bought it . We never made it ourselves .. and now that i know how to make it , it made me wonder .. why didn’t we make it ourself back then ? Why did we have to buy it ? It is easy to make , but the only thing is , it easily burnt , hence , we have to watch it . Even with watching it , you still have to becareful because you want them done . For me personally , i loved the burnt part , just like butter cookies , slight burn is always good 🙂

So here is my imperfect cat’s tongue with a hint of lemon in the vanilla .

You need :

1 stick of unsalted butter , softened

1/2 cup of sugar

dash of vanilla extract

1 tbsp. of lemon juice

2 egg whites

1/3 of all purpose flour

In a small bowl , cream the butter , add the sugar and vanilla , mix until smooth . Then add the egg white , mix til blended , add the flour , mix well until smooth . Put the batter into a ziploc bag , and then squeeze out pencil size about 3 inches length , 1 inch apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper . Bake at 400 F for 6-8 minutes .Watch them carefully it’s easily burnt .

Chicken Marsala with Aglio et Olio

A great italian dish when you have boneless chicken laying around and marsala wine in the fridge . I used boneless chicken thighs , since we’re more into dark meat compared to white meat .. but whatever kind of meat you use , it doesn’t matter . It will still be delicious . I double the sauce in making this chicken marsala because they’re so good . Make sure you get a good marsala wine , because it is the key component in this recipe .


You need :

about 2 lbs boneless chicken thighs / breasts

1/2 cup of flour

1 tbsp. of essence of emeril

3 cups of mixed mushroom , i used button mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms

1 1/2 cup of marsala wine

2 cups of chicken stock

1. In a skillet , heat olive oil .

2. Mix flour and the essence , dredge the chicken on the flour , and then brown 4 minutes on each side on the skillet .

3. Add little bit more olive oil , add the mushrooms , cook until liquid are all gone from the mushroom , probably about 4-5 minutes . Add marsala wine , and scraping the bottom of the skillet , bring to boil , until reduced by half , then add the chicken stock , bring to boil again . Put the chicken back in and cook until the sauce thicken slightly .

4. For aglio et olio , choose pasta of your choice , normally would be thin spaghetti , then minced about 8-10 cloves of garlic , mix with 1/2 cup of olive oil and 2 tsp . salt . Pour into the skillet , and put the heat on low , cook about 8 minutes , do not let the garlic get too brown or it will be bitter . The best way is to add the garlic mix into the skillet , then turn the heat on to low . Once it’s done , pour into a big bowl , add your cooked pasta , and mix well , add salt to your taste . Sprinkle with chopped parsley .

Make sure you use a really good sweet marsala wine , my first picture ( with the lighter color ) wasn’t using the best wine , the taste even though it was still good but could be better . The picture with the dark sauce , has a really good wine , and the result was outstanding ! The best sauce for chicken marsala ! So , be willing to spend a little more to have a really good treat with this dish .

Lemony Shrimp Scampi

This is a lighter version of shrimp scampi , unlike regular shrimp scampi recipe , which uses butter quite a bit . I only used 1 tbsp. of butter in this recipe . And for you out there who loves the strong lemon tastes , this is perfect for you . My husband loves it , he’s always into lemons .. LOL , and to my surprised , i love it too .. i am not so much into lemony food , but this shrimp scampi is pretty delicious !!

You will need :

3/4 lbs of linguine, cook according to the direction to al dente

1 lb of fresh shrimp , with the shell still on , reserve the shells to make shrimp stock ( deveined the shrimp too )

6 garlic cloves , grated

2 large lemons , juiced

5 tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. red pepper flakes

1/4 onion , chopped

bunch of parsley

1. First clean the shrimp , and reserve the shells in a small pot , then add chopped onion and enough water to make at least 1 cup of shrimp stock . Let it boil , then simmer for 20 minutes , while you prepare the rest .

2. In a large bowl , mix the minced / grated garlic and olive oil , lemon juice and zest , and then add the shrimps that’s already cleaned , and mix them all well with your hand . Marinate for few minutes .

3. Bring water to a boil , add salt , and the pasta , cook according to the direction .Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water .

4. Heat a skillet to hot , then add your shrimp ( you should hear it sizzles ) , then cook about 3 minutes , transfer into a clean plate . Add the rest of the marinate into the skillet , cook for few minutes , add 1 cup of shrimp stock , and 1/2 cup of pasta water , bring to boil , til it reduce a little , then add 1tbsp. butter , mix well . Add the shrimp and pasta , mix well , sprinkle with chopped italian parsley .