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Archive for October, 2009

At the BlogHer Food ’09 after-party, more treat bags were handed out to the lucky first party-goers. In those bags, was a bounty of goodies supplied by CHEFs catalog.  While I was overly excited about the 4-piece spatula set, I was more excited about the $25 gift card.  (Even more so, when KB donated her card to me!) So, after much drooling over the catalog and all the ooohing and aaahhing, I finally chose to purchase the Salter Nutrition Scale from CHEFscatalog.com.

The scale arrived this morning on my front door-step.  Santa came early!  The scale is very slim.  I appreciate the switch between metric and imperial measurements.  And while I may not need all 900 programmed food codes,  there are times that I definitely would like to know the nutritional details of my bulk food items.

baby bok

Bok details

 

 

 

 

 

 

This baby bok choy is only 120 grams. When I poke in the key code #820 for boy choy, it calculates the calories, salt, fiber, fat and protein. Obviously, I need to start eating more boy choy. Which is fine by me.

And so now, I go forth, able to make bread and other delicious food items with precision.  UK recipes can no longer scare me now!

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I’m not too sure yet, but I’m tempted to change the title of this blog to “Adventures of a White Girl in Asian Fusion”.  Catchy, yes? Its so easy to be excited when you have the proper cooking utensils and I must say, the new wok is fast becoming a treasured piece in my collection.  On Monday night, I tried a new dish that I found on Rasa Malaysia that seemed a little challenging but a good step forward. I did make an addition, obviously, b/c I can’t leave well enough alone. In an attempt to promote a well-rounded meal, I added asparagus to the dish. Thus, Orange Zest Chicken with Asparagus was born in a wok on Monday night.Orange Chicken with Asparagus

The most important thing that I learned through making this dish is be prepared.   I had everything prep’d before I started the cooking procress. And while it seemed a little hectic in the beginning, the cooking phase was actually quite easy and quick.  I first started by making the orange sauce that would be added at the very end. Next I made the batter for the chicken and then I prep’d the ingredients that would be fried together at the end.

Orange Sauce

  • 1/4 cup orange juice, fresh squeezed
  • 3 tbsp chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • pinch white pepper powder
  • 1 tsp corn starch

Mix well and set aside.

Batter

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup – 1 tbsp flour
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • salt

Mix batter well. Dunk chicken in batter to coat. Sit until time to cook chicken.

Orange Chicken Stir Fry

  • 1 chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 cup asparagus, blanched
  • 1 inch ginger, zested
  • 2 cloves garlic, zested
  • 4 dried chilis (soak in hot water, remove seeds)
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • Oil for deep drying

Prepped Ingredients

I used vegetable oil (about 1/2 cup) in the wok to shallow fry the chicken. I scooped out 5-6 pieces of chicken from the batter bath and dropped it into the wok. Once golden brown on one side, I turned the chicken pieces over.  Complete process until all chicken pieces are cooked.  Set aside on paper towel to drain.

Frying chicken

Clean wok of oil. I actually saved the frying oil for another occasion in a mason jar. Its your choice.

Next, heat 2 tsp canola in wok. Quickly cook minced (I use a zester to grate) ginger and garlic. Next toss in chilis and cook for 1 minute. Add orange zest and chicken. Stir for one minute. Next add orange sauce, continuing to stir until sauce thickens slightly.  Serve over steamed brown long grain rice.

Orange chicken with Asparagus

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It’s a Sunday night and my desire for cooking has been nil for the past week. Which seems counter-intuitive, after my foodie weekend in San Francisco. But, with a wok, you can’t go wrong with a stir-fry, right? And I’ve always tonnes of veggies in the fridge. So, veggie stir-fry it was tonight.Veggie Stir-Fry

It took me an hour to properly season the wok, according to the directions I received from the Wok Shop.  I just didn’t have the brain-power to think of something more incredible than just veggies.  And, truth be told, I’ve been lacking in my veggie consumption lately. In the fridge, I was able to scoop up 5 fresh veggies.

Veggies

Once the veggies were all prepped, I heated the wok with some oil and started the stir-fry with cooking broccoli and carrots.  Using foot long chopsticks is fun! Then I added in the onions, green peppers and mushrooms.  Then I threw in my favourite ingredient into any stir-fry:

Chestnuts

Water chestnuts are the bomb! I then finished the stir-fry off with a little teriyaki sauce. And that was my first experience with my new cast iron wok. I think I’m in love.

Veggie w sauce

Veggie Stir-fry

  • 1 cup broccoli, small florets
  • 2 carrots, diagonal slice
  • 1 cup red onion
  • 1/2 cup green pepper
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup water chestnuts, sliced
  • 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce

P.S.  I realize now that I need a better oil dispenser. Using a big jug – not a clever idea!

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During my trip to San Francisco, it was a priority for me to visit the Wok Shop on Grant St. in Chinatown. I read about this shop on one of my food blogs almost a year ago now. (Tried to find the original post, but can’t remember where it was from!)  And, as luck would have it, the Wok Shop does have a virtual store on Amazon.  But I put off purchasing online b/c of the cost of shipping. Did I really need an authentic wok that bad? mmm …  No, I guess not.  Etc., etc.

The Wok Shop

All that nonsense changed as soon as I decided to go to San Francisco with Sassymonkey for the BlogHer Food ’09 conference.  Getting a wok was the ONLY priority I had. I didn’t care about doing anything else but.  And, wouldn’t you know, Chinatown was only 4 blocks or so from our hotel. Wok Shop, here I come!

The owner of the store, while super busy with end-of-the-day store business, stopped what she was doing to help me choose my wok.  I told her I’m using electric heat now, but eventually will switch to gas.  So she pointed to the not-so-pretty iron wok.  And, then I fell in love.  Sigh.

Wok-a-liscuous

I am now the proud owner of a wok set from the Wok Shop.  I’ve the 16″ iron wok, with cover, steaming rack, wok chuan, cleaning whisk, and traditional cooking chopsticks.  I think I’ve gone to heaven!  The owner also through in a curly cue cleaning brush and a bamboo back scratcher. Can’t go wrong with freebies!

As soon as I publish this post, I’m going to season my wok, and crack open The Key to Chinese Cooking and see what trouble I can get myself in to. I’ll keep you posted… (wow, I just did a blog pun!).

Wok Seasoning

ALL DONE!

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It’s been one week today that I was lucky enough to attend the inaugural Food Track conference hosted by BlogHer. And, yes. It was wonderful.  I will agree with other attendees, that the best part of the conference was the people. I met food bloggers that I’ve been reading for years, and food bloggers that I’ve started reading since the conference. My only regret from the conference was that I didn’t take nearly as many pictures as I should have.

It wasn’t until last night and today, that I was able to sit down and more thoroughly pick through the swag that I scooped up while at the conference. Last night I cracked open my Cabernet Sauvignon from St. Supery Winery in Napa Valley.  Its quite lovely. (For those ladies in Napa, what bottle did you get?) And I’m having another glass now, while I’m writing this post.  If only I could have the same company from that delightful evening.

Today, I sent my email off to Jaden at Steamy Kitchen to redeem my coupon of a free copy of her new cookbook.  How exciting is that? I also filled out the postcard for Ree’s cookbook based on recipes from her blog, The Pioneer Woman Cooks.  I’ve also replied to Stacy DeFino for my copy of Rocco’s cookbook.  Yikes! Can you imagine that I met this guy in person? And he agreed to have a photo shot with a stuffed lobster?  The last, and probably most exciting, cookbook that I acquired while in San Francisco was David Lebovitz’s Perfect Scoop. Its been on my amazon wish list for over a year.  But I’ve not had great luck making ice cream, so I didn’t venture forth and get it.  Until last Saturday, that is. Knowing that I could have David sign it. And that was highlight #1 of BlogHer Food ’09, as my previous post mentioned.

Perfectly Scooped

I’ve compiled my coupons from the trip and will happily go grocery shopping tomorrow for Jell-O, Smuckers and Eggland’s Best eggs.  The last remaining coupon(s) that I must use are two $25 gift cards to CHEFs Catalog. Wowsers. Spending $50 at a kitchen supply store is like having Christmas come in October.  I started browsing the site today. Immediately, I went towards the Le Creuset section, b/c I’m hooked on enamel cast iron and I want to add pieces to my existing cobalt blue 9-pc set.  I’m really wanting a 6.75 qt oval dutch.. um.. but its $260.  Yikes!  Then I started browsing the catalog that they sent out, and I’ve seen many gadgets that I have thought about and would appreciate in my kitchen. For starters, the batter dispenser (p.12/C)? Hell, yeah! Perfect sized pancakes? Cupcakes? Muffins? I think I’m seriously thinking about that item.  Oh, what about the yogurt maker (14/E).  I have yogurt almost everyday, so wouldnt this be a money saver? Can you make greek-style yogurt using this machine? Thats my only concern.  But also, there is a beautiful glass kitchen scale, with all the bells & whistles (p.47/J).  Oh, the dilemna! Then I seen the KitchenAid immersion blender (54/D).  For someone that makes as many soups as I do, this is a dream purchase! (Although, I do have my moms basic immersion with 2 speeds… and yes, I suppose it does the trick… but?!).  And there is more… of course.   Any of you have suggestions? What are you getting with your gift card?

This concludes Part 1 of my Post-BlogHer Series. Tomorrow, I’ll finish with the series with shout-outs to those wonderful people that I met during the conference and what I learned during the info sessions.

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