Monthly Archives: July 2012

Thai Drunken Noodles ( Pad Kee Mao )

Don’t ask me why they named this drunken noodles .. maybe it’s because after hangover ? Who knows .. All i know that this dish has a delicious taste . It’s similar to Thai fried rice , in fact most of the ingredients are pretty much the same , except instead of rice , you use rice noodles . I was supposed to use wide rice noodles , but i didn’t have any on hand , and i just ended up with pad thai noodles , they’re all made from rice anyway .

You need :

1 package of wide rice noodles

Soak the noodles in hot water for 10 minutes or until tender , remove and set aside until ready to be cooked in the wok .

3 tbsp. of oyster sauce

3 tbsp. of fish sauce

3 tbsp. of brown sugar

2 tbsp. of soy sauce

3 tbsp. of mirin ( if you don’t have it , replace with marsala wine , or sherry )

juice from half a lime

Mix all these ingredients together and set aside , until ready to be used .

4 garlic cloves , minced

1 shallot, sliced

1/4 of sweet onion , sliced

2 serrano peppers , or even better bird eye’s chilis

1 red bell pepper , julienned

1/2 c. of bean sprout ( optional )

2 cups of chinese cabbage ( optional )

2 beaten eggs

1 lb. of ground chicken / turkey

NOW .. LET’S COOK

1. In a wok , heat up the vegetable oil , add the garlic , shallots , and the hot peppers , for few minutes . Then add the ground chicken , until it’s cooked , add the beaten egg , cooked , then add red bell pepper , cook for few minutes .

2. Add in the rice noodles , and start mixing them , and add the sauce mix , stir well . Finally for those who cannot stand the fish sauce smell since they’re very pungent , i would sprinkle sesame oil and stir . And you’re done !! Right before serving , add chopped fresh cilantro .

Mustard Greens w/ chicken bites

When i was younger , my mom cooked this vegetable a lot . To the point where i complained a lot too .. ūüėÄ They call this sawi hijau , and in my opinion , mustard greens are bitter , but it’s still edible , unlike bitter melon , which only took me one bite to dislike it . So , the other day , grocery shopping , and i saw the same exact vegetable my mom used to cook . They’re called Mustard Greens over here . I guess they’re supposed to be very healthy and nutritious . The only down side about this in my opinion is its bitterness ,unlike swiss chard where after being cooked , the bitterness just barely noticeable .Just a note , you can always skip the meat and just have vegetable only dish . The chicken that i added here is just an extra thing .

You need :

1 bunch of mustard greens , cut the stems in few pieces and the leaves , then separate them after washing .

2 garlic cloves

1 small shallots

pepper , salt and sugar

vegetable oil

chicken thigh boneless , cut into pieces ( sprinkle with 1-2 tbsp. of soy sauce , mix , then sprinkle with corn flour ) <– optional

1. Heat up the oil in a skillet , then saute garlic and shallot for 30 seconds , add the sugar , salt and pepper.

2. Add the stems , cook for about a minute or so , if you using chicken , drop the chicken pieces now . Cook for few minutes . Add little water , and cover for a minute or two . Then add the leaves , keep stirring until leaves are wilted . Done !

Chicken Taco Salad w/ Cumin Dressing

I learned how to make taco salad a while ago from my husband’s friend , though it didn’t seem like it’s the healthiest since it’s using ground beef , and then dorito’s LOL .. plus soaked with western dressing . Just recently i found a recipe that seems like pretty healthy with everything home made , except for the tortilla chips . I wasn’t sure how this would taste , because the dressing was pretty sour when i tasted it . But once i mixed it with the salad itself , as long as you don’t flood your salad with the dressing , this will make a good dinner salad .

You need : 

About 2-3 chicken breast , bone in , rub with olive oil , and sprinkle with salt and pepper . Bake at 350 F , for 35-40 minutes . Don’t overcook it , it will get too dry . Once it’s done , let it sit for 20 minutes before cutting them into bite size .¬†

For the cumin dressing : 

3 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar

3 tbsp. of ketchup 

2 tsp. ground cumin

2 tsp. of lime juice

2 tsp. sugar

1 minced garlic 

1/2 tsp. of kosher salt

1/2 tsp. of Worcestershire sauce 

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/3 cup of vegetable oil

Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl , whisk well until blended , cover and refrigerate .

For the sour cream cilantro : 

1/2 c. of sour cream

2 tbsp. of cilantro , chopped

2 tbsp. of chopped jalapeno

MIx all ingredients together , refrigerate .

For the salad :

1 head of green lettuce , chopped

2 ears of corn , kernels removed , then heat up a skillet until it smokes , and char the kernels for about 5-7 minutes , stir occasionally , remove , set aside .

2 roma tomatoes , chopped , seeds removed

1/2 of red onion , chopped

3 green onions , chopped

1-2 avocados , diced

tortilla chips

Mix all the ingredients together , when you’re ready to serve it , add the chips .

 

Caramelized Grape Tomatoes with Sausage Rigatoni

This is a simple pasta dish that i thought .. should be quick to make and delicious and easy . I was inspired with one of the recipe on the website , but , i didn’t like the fact that the dish didn’t include garlic or onion . So i adjusted the recipe and added few ingredients that i think is a must in italian dish ..

You need :

1 package of hot italian sausage , if u don’t like hot , choose the sweet sausage then

Olive oil

In a pan , heat the olive oil , slice the sausage and then cook until it’s done and brown . Remove , set aside , discard the fat .

1 large onion

1 shallot

5-6 garlic , minced

1/4 cup of marsala wine

2 pints of grape tomatoes

1 tsp. of oregano

salt and pepper

rigatoni , cooked according to the direction , save about 1/3 cup of pasta water

In the same pan , add little more olive oil , then add the onion , shallots , cook about 4 minutes , add the garlic , cook for another minute , add the marsala wine , about 2 minutes , then add the grape tomatoes , sausage ¬†, oregano , salt and pepper ¬†, cover with the lid , let it cook under medium heat , about 10 minutes , until the tomatoes popped . Then add the pasta water , and stir . Sauce should be thicken , adjust the seasoning , salt pepper or sugar in case it’s too sour . Mix with rigatoni .. serve warm with basil on top and freshly grated parmesan cheese .¬†

Swiss Chard with Bay Scallops

Never tried swiss chard before . But according to a friend of mine , swiss chard is really delicious . I remember everytime i went to the farmer’s market , the next day when he found out , he would ask me , if i saw swiss chard because he’s been looking for it . So .. these past couple weeks , i saw swiss chard at the grocery store .. not to be mistaken with rhubarb btw .. since they both have red stems . Swiss chard comes in 2 colors , white and red . The red one looks pretty , so that’s what i picked up .. And since they’re very nutritious , i didn’t expect the taste would be good LOL .. nothing nutritious have a good taste , right ? well hardly .. any .. But i was surprised , although as i cut them , i can smell the bitter smell .. but once it’s cooked , it has a very delicious taste !! I didn’t do anything complicated with siwss chard , only saute them and add the scallops .. Next time i would love to try with sea scallops , didn’t use it this time , too expensive , instead i used bay scallops ..

You need :

3 garlic cloves

1 small shallot

1 bunch of red swiss chard

1/2 lb of bay scallops or sea scallops

salt and pepper

1 c. of chicken broth

1/4 cup of marsala wine

olive oil

1. In a skillet , heat up olive oil , add garlic , then saute the swiss chard , sprinkle with salt pepper , and cook until wilted . Remove , set aside .

2. Add bay scallops that’s been rolled on the flour mixture , and becareful cooking it , they cook VERY fast .. 1-2 minutes is enough , overcook will make your scallops rubbery . Remove , set aside .

3. In the same skillet , add shallots , and cook a minute then add the wine , scrape off the brown bits on the pan , then let it evaporates , and then add chicken broth , bring to boil . SImmer , put the swiss chard back in there with bay scallops , turn the heat off , toss to coat , serve .

Deep Fried Yellow Squash

Alright , first of all , i don’t usually cook using Paula Deen’s recipe , since i don’t like using overload of butter or mayo or cream cheese like she does . But this one looks pretty delicious , reminds me of vegetable tempura on food stall . So i thought i should give it a try , super easy and if ¬†you like squash or don’t like it .. you will still like it . As they all say ” everything is good fried ! ”

You need :

About 4 yellow squash , cut about 1/4 inch thickness

3 large eggs

1/2 cup of buttermilk

Beat eggs and buttermilk until mixture combine , place the squash in it and toss to coat gently . Let it sit for 30 minutes . Then when you’re ready , drain , and discard the liquid .

1 cup of yellow cornmeal

1 cup of all purpose flour

3 tbsp. of cajun seasoning

1/2 tsp. of salt

1/2 tsp. of baking powder

Mix all these ingredients together, dredge the squash on the flour mixture . Deep fried for about 2-3 minutes . Serve immediately .

1

Chicken Cacciatore

This is one of my favourite italian dish , not only that they’re easy , but they also taste really good . On top of chicken marsala , this is my next choice for home made italian meal ! Not going to say too much of anything , the ingredients are simple , nothing to complicated , and most of us , would have it on hand already !!

You need :

6 chicken thighs , or 4 chicken thighs and 2 breasts , i prefer dark meat , they taste better than white in my opinion

flour , salt and pepper

Wash chicken , pat dry and then sprinkle with salt and pepper , and smoked paprika , and then dredge on all purpose flour . Heat olive oil in a skillet , and brown the chicken 5 minutes on each side . Then remove and set aside .

1 large onion , chopped

1 large red bell pepper , chopped

5 garlic , minced

3/4 cup of white wine

1 cup of chicken broth

1 – 28 oz can of diced tomatoes , with its juice

1 1/2 tsp. of dried oregano

salt and pepper

basil

1 . In the same skillet you use for the chicken , add little more olive oil and then add onion , garlic and red bell pepper , saute for 5 minutes . Then add the white wine , simmer until it evaporated about 3 minutes , then add chicken broth , salt pepper , oregano and diced tomatoes into the skillet . Bring to boil . Return the chicken into the skillet , let it cook for 30 minutes or until chicken are cooked through . Make sure you flip the chicken few times , so it doesn’t stick on the pan .

Doughnuts ( Donuts )

This was my first time trying to make doughnuts . I’ve made italian doughnuts before , but i never made american doughnuts . So this afternoon , after gone almost all day , i thought .. i still wanted to do something , i didn’t want to relax and sit down , like my husband and my son wanted to do .Instead i came up with an idea .. i want to try making doughnuts . How hard can it be anyway , right ?? I’ve made breads from scratch before , and yeast doughnuts .. shouldn’t be too much difference ..

So , there i was , mixing the batter and stuff .. i’ve got everything on hand , there was nothing in particular that i needed , it was a quick process making the dough . As always with any bread stuff , waiting period is the longest time . Then i thought .. what am i going to cut these doughnuts with ? i didn’t have any biscuit cutter .. i didn’t have doughnuts cutter , eventually i picked a cup , and i floured the edges and using it to cut the doughnuts , and for the hole in the middle i just had to cut it manually with knife . Not so perfect but .. at the end , i was happy with the result ! And my son was happy with it too … if you couldn’t tell from his look !! ūüėÄ

You need : 

2 Tbsp. of warm water ( about 110 f ) and then sprinkle 2 1/4 tsp. of active dry yeast , let it sit til it gets foamy for about 5 minutes . While you prepare : 

In a large bowl , add all these ingredients :

1/4 cup of sugar

1/2 tsp. of salt

1 egg

2 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. of shortening , melted , cooled

3/4 cup of lukewarm milk

2  cups of all purpose flour

Mix all these together with the yeast mixture . Then add 1/2 cup more all purpose flour , and you might need more if the dough is too sticky , it needs to be elastic by the time you’re done kneading it for 8 minutes . So it depends on your humidity in your area .. you could need more or less than 2 1/2 cups . I used almost 3 cups of flour . Once you are done kneading , place in a buttered bowl , and cover with plastic wrap in a warm area until it doubles . About 1 hour ¬†Then roll the dough out in about 1/2 inch thickness , and using a doughnut cutter , cut the dough . Place in a cookie sheet and cover with plastic wrap , let it sit again in a warm place to double in size for about 1 more hour .

Then heat up oil in a small pot , and fry the doughnuts until golden brown . Becareful because it gets brown really quick . Set aside once it’s done .

 

Make the glaze : 

Chocolate glaze

1/2 stick of unsalted butter

4 oz of semi sweet chocolate chip

1/8 cup of milk

1 tbsp. corn syrup ( optional )

1 tsp. vanilla

Heat milk , butter , vanilla and corn syrup in a small pot . Then turn the heat low , add in the chocolate chips , whisk , keep whisking until melted . Add 1 cup of powdered sugar , and keep whisking . Turn the heat off , and use the glaze immediately on the doughnuts . Dip in , and place on a parchment paper , and decorate , or just serve plain . 

For Maple Glazed doughnuts :

2 cups of powdered sugar

1/2 tsp. of maple extract

1/2 cup of milk or less

Mix all ingredients together with whisk .

For Vanilla glazed doughnuts :

1 cup of powdered sugar

1/3 cup of milk

1 tsp. of vanilla extract

Strawberry Bread Pudding with cr√®me fra√ģche whipped cream

I was browsing on my tab the other day , and on my pulse app i had subscribed to Chow , and the recipe of the day was all about summer dessert . Which is strawberry , and i happened to have it in the fridge . Last week when we did our grocery shopping , my husband picked it up and when i asked if he had any plan to use that strawberry ( since i am the one who always does dessert ) , he said just to eat it like that . Oh .. alright .. good , cos i didn’t have any plans for any strawberry theme dessert .

Well it’s been sitting in the fridge for 5 days untouched ! Luckily , i ran across this recipe on chow , and it’s bread pudding . Years ago i’ve tried making bread pudding and i did alright but i wasn’t really into bread pudding , i didn’t care for it at all . But this time , the picture looks so delicious and after reading the ingredients , i thought this gotta be good !! I ended up having to run to the store to get a day old bread .. you can’t make bread pudding with a fresh bread , you need a stale bread . I was lucky again , because the grocery next door , usually baked too much and they always have a cart said ” Oooops … we baked too much ” and all the bread on the cart was marked down from $3.99 to 99 cents only .. which was great !

The recipe is adapted from chow

You need :

7 large eggs

1 cup of heavy cream

4 cups of milk ( i used 2% milk )

1 1/3 cup of light brown sugar

1 tbsp. of vanilla extract

Mix all these ingredients together with a whisk until combine in a large mixing bowl . Then add :

10 cups of 1 lb of day old bread , i didn’t use french bread , although the original recipe called for it , i used a day old bread from the store , i forgot what it’s called , but i made sure it wasn’t sour dough bread . Cut the bread about 1 inch cube . Then place all of these cubes into the mixing bowl , stir well , and then cover with plastic wrap for at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours .

Then when you are ready to bake them , wash , hull and dice 1 lb of strawberry , and then butter 9×13 inch pan . Preheat the oven to 350 F , and then add the strawberry into the bread mixture , and let it sit for 30 minutes before baking them . Pour all the mixture into the buttered dish . Bake for 1 hour , cover with foil . Then take the foil after 1 hour and bake an extra 45 minutes .

Creme Fraiche whipped cream :

1/2 c. of sour cream

1 cup of heavy cream

1tbsp of light brown sugar

Mix all these ingredients together in a chilled metal bowl for about 2 minutes . Serve with the bread pudding while it’s warm .

Chicken Salad w/ Grapes and Toasted Almond

I thought i was going to roast the chicken breasts tonight to make it with some green salad . Well .. i changed my mind .. as a result , i ended up making chicken salad . For the longest time i’ve been looking for a good restaurant with a good chicken salad , i couldn’t find it back when i was living in Northwest Indiana . Then we moved to Texas , and we went to this one restaurant , called Toasted Yolk , and immediately i wanted to try their chicken salad sandwich . I wasn’t expecting much about it , but .. when i took a bite .. i thought this is pretty good , not bland like what i used to taste in many restaurant . Now everytime i go there , i ended up ordering chicken salad sandwich ūüôā

So that’s why i thought instead of ordering it .. why not making it myself , it couldn’t be much different than making egg salad or tuna salad sandwich !! As long as you have the mayonaisse i think you’ll be set . Unlike the plain chicken salad , i think adding the grapes and toasted almond is a must in this sandwich . It really helps so it doesn’t taste as bland . And i also added my favourite secret spice in the mayo mix , you’ll find out in the recipe below .

You need :

About 3 chicken breast bone in

Rub the chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper generously . Bake at 350 F for 40-45 minutes , make sure you don’t overcook , or the chicken will be too dry and won’t be juicy and moist .

The dressing :

1 cup of mayonaisse ( i used Hellman )

1 tsp heaping of dijon mustard ( i used grey poupon )

3/4 tsp. of kosher salt

1/2 tsp. of pepper

1/2 tsp. of smoked paprika

1/4 tsp. of cayenne pepper

1 tsp. of fresh lemon juice

Mix all these together in a small bowl , refrigerate until ready to use .

1 stalk of celery , minced

5 green onions , including the green part , chopped

4-5 cups of diced chicken breasts

1/4 cup of almond ( sprinkle with sugar and toast it until it’s brown on medium heat , keep stirring so it won’t burnt )

1 lb of red grapes , halves

Mix all these ingredients together , and then add the dressing , mix well , refrigerate . Serve on a bed of lettuce or toasted bread , sourdough bread , crescent rolls , etc .

Prosciutto Wrapped Salmon and Garlic Butter w/ Roasted Vegetables

I love fish ! They’re yummy and they’re loaded with nutrition and healthy for you . Originally , i was going to make easy fish , wrapped in foil with vegetables , but i changed my mind . Fish is actually not my territory , my husband does a better job than me in making fish . But the wrapped with foil fish turned out really good . This time , i had Salmon , and the other night went to Trader’s Joe and got myself some prosciutto . I saw one time on a cooking show , wrapping the fish with prosciutto .. so i thought this should be good . Turned out , it’s super easy and quick meal for dinner !

For the roasted vegetables :

2 large potatoes

2 turnips

2 carrots

Dice all these vegetables ( same size ) , then place them on a cookie sheet , and sprinkle with olive oil , and salt and pepper . Bake at 400 F for 15 minutes , then turn them , and bake 15 minutes more . Once it’s done , add about 4-5 cloves of minced garlic , sprinkle all over the vegetables , bake for 10 more minutes . Remove and set aside .

For the fish :

About 1.5-2 lbs of salmon fillet , halibut , cod or seabass

About  8-10 slices of very thin prosciutto

olive oil

salt and pepper

Cut the fillet into 8-10 pieces , and then rub with olive oil , and sprinkle with salt and pepper . Wrap each fillet with the prosciutto , and place seam side down on a foil lined baking sheet . Bake at 400 F for about 10 minutes , the bigger the pieces , the longer you need to bake them , and the smaller , the faster .

For the Garlic Butter :

1 stick of butter

4-5 cloves of garlic , minced

In a skillet , on low heat , melt the butter and the garlic for about 5 minutes until the butter turns brown .

To serve , sprinkle a little bit of the garlic butter on top of the prosciutto wrapped salmon , and add the vegetables all over . Sprinkle with lemon wedge .

Chicken Marsala w/ Mascarpone

This is something that i tried , i went browsing not too long ago and found this marsala recipe . The chicken marsala that i usually cook is awesome , and i love the taste . But i thought i should give this one a try since it was a recipe from a real italian chef , Giada de Laurentiis . So i figured it should be good ..

Well .. i can’t say that it’s bad either , but this one though was def. richer than the regular chicken marsala i cook . I personally love the regular one , without the cheese . But anyway , i am going to post the recipe here ..

You need :

2 lbs of chicken thighs , boneless

salt and pepper

1 large onion , chopped

5 cloves of garlic , minced

1 lb of mushroom , sliced

1 cup of marsala wine

2 tbsp. of dijon mustard

1 cup of marscapone cheese

parsley

1. Salt and pepper the chicken , and cook until brown on both side , about 4 minutes on each side . Set aside .

2. In the same skillet , cook the chopped onion for 2 minutes , add garlic and mushroom , cook about 12 minutes until juices evaporated .

3. Add marsala wine , and cook until it reduced in half about 5 minutes . Then add dijon and mascarpone .

4. Return the chicken into the skillet , and simmer for 10 minutes . Salt to your preference .

5. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley .

Mushroom Risotto

I’ve made risotto a while back ago , and i think i only made it twice , although it’s not too hard , it does take time and patience . You literally have to stand by the stove and stir that arborio rice , and every so often you will have to add the liquid , so the rice can absorb it . It almost reminds me of my mom while she’s cooking white rice manually . Back then we didn’t have rice cooker , and she would have to cook and stir the the rice in the pot for about 30 minutes until all the water is absorbed and then she would have to steam the rice in the big steamer .

Anyway , we’re not talking about white rice , we’re talking about risotto here . A¬† very delicious rice , you can always change it each time , plain risotto is good too , and then this one mushroom risotto . I happened to have 3 different kinds of mushroom on hand , so here is the mushroom risotto .

You need :

2 cups of finely chopped onion

5 cloves of garlic , minced

1 1/2 cup of arborio rice

8 oz of white button mushroom, chopped

6 large shiitake mushroom, chopped

6-8 large oyster mushroom, chopped

2/3 cup of good white wine

8 cups of chicken broth

freshly chopped parsley

1/2 cup of frozen peas

1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan

2 tbsp. of unsalted butter

2-3 swirls of olive oil

1. Make the chicken broth first , then bring it to boil and simmer . While you cook the rice .

2. In a deep skillet , melt the butter , heat the olive oil , then cook the chopped onion for 8 minutes , sprinkle with little salt .

3. Add the shiitake , oyster and white mushroom , along with the garlic , cook about 5 minutes , or until the mushroom is cooked and juice is evaporated . Then add the rice , stir and toast the rice for few minutes . Then add the white wine , bring to boil until it evaporates .

4. Then add the chicken broth about 1 cup , cook for about 3-4 minutes , and don’t stop stirring . After 3-4 minutes , the chicken broth should be all absorbed by the rice , add another cup of chicken broth and keep stirring , cook for another 3-4 minutes . The whole cooking probably take about 25-30 minutes . The rice will absorb between 6-8 cups . I used about 7 cups . When you’re about done cooking , throw in the frozen peas , and freshly chopped parsley and fresh parmesan .