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Archive for the ‘Meat & Seafood’ Category

It still amazes me that I can *cook* a dish in 5 minutes. Yes, I know… the prep time is 3 times as long but it somehow still feels manageable for a weeknight. With practice and familiarity with recipes, asian cooking can become a speedy, mid-week meal.

This recipe is the first one that I am to try from the Steamy Kitchen Cookbook.  I usually have most of these ingredients on hand, which is one of the reasons why this dish appealed to me.  I began by prepping the chicken and getting it into its slurry bath. Then I prepped veggies and the sauce.

Thai-style sweet chilli chicken:

  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 lb chicken, sliced
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 3 shallots
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sweet chilli sauce
  • handful of basil leaves (Thai or Italian)

Marinate the chicken in the slurry for 10 mins.  If you begin the chicken first, by the time you make the sauce and slice up the veggies, you’ll be ready to cook.  Heat wok to medium high, add oil and swirl.  Add chicken in one layer, cook 2 mins, flipping halfway. Remove chicken, leave oil.

Lower heat to medium, add shallots and garlic, 30 seconds. Add peppers and (and mushrooms if you are so inclined). Cook 1 minute.  Add sauce and stir well.  Add chicken. Simmer for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat, add basil.  Serve with rice.

P.S. Or.. serve with fresh spring rolls!

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Ms. Ray has nothing on me with this recipe. I can seriously have it tucked in my bowl with chopsticks in hand in 15 minutes or less. This is the ultimate “I need to eat now!” noodle dish.

There really isn’t any ‘recipe’ that you need to follow for this noodle bowl supper.  And, to be honest, I probably wouldn’t make it the same way twice.  This dish is about what you have on hand and how to best use ingredients that are already in your fridge.

What I had available was: red, green and yellow peppers, grated carrots and mushrooms.  I already had a bottle of peanut sauce and one serving of udon noodles left.  But wait. Where’s the tuna?  Ah… my secret weapon!

Say hello to spicy tuna in a can.  Currently, I can only find these gems in Canada now.. so I usually stock up whenever I go home to visit.

Peanut Satay Tuna with Udon

  • 2 cups of veggies (peppers, carrots, onions, mushrooms, broccoli… etc)
  • one can of spicy peanut tuna
  • 2 tbsp peanut satay sauce
  • 1 serving udon noodle (small or large, your choice – its what you have on hand!)

Bring a pot of water to boil, salt and cook udon according to package directions.

Meanwhile, prep veggies.  Heat wok, add 1 tbsp of cooking oil (I’m currently using canola). Stir-fry your veggies until al dente. Yes, like pasta.  I like my veggies to retain a bit of crunch.  Next, toss in tuna and sauce.  Heat through.  Add drained udon and mix up.

That’s all there is to it!  Happy wokking and see you on another Wednesday!

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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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Is there such a thing as a healthy burger?  I suppose if its with baked fish? Or a veggie composite? What about with pork?  Ok, so maybe I’m searching for the unattainable here, but with the roommate and I on the quest for skinny(-er) jeans, I wanted to make an attempt to eat the foods I love, but in a healthier way.

Introducing burgers made with 90% lean ground pork.  Not only did it actually look good in the store, but it was also on sale. 🙂 And I like sales.  I took the pound of pork and froze half for later.  In a small bowl, I mixed in some seasonings & flavour and hoped for the best.

Porkburgers w/ Butternut squash

  • 1/2 lb ground pork (90%)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder (or more, if you like)
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp bbq sauce (I use Hick Lickin’ Good – a local Maine brand in Maple Bourbon)
  • Sharp Vermont Cheddar
  • Arnolds multigrain sandwich flatbreads
  • 1 pkg of butternut squash

1. Gently mix garlic, paprika and bbq sauce into the pork.  Form two equal-sized patties.  Cook for 3 mins on first side; flip.  Top with cheddar; finish cooking for 2-3 minutes.

2. Prepare sqash according to the pkg directions.

3. Assemble burgers with flatbreads, a touch of mayo, banana peppers and pickle. Finish with side of butternut sqash and a salad.

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While my family experience a super long weekend (4 days for most Canadians), I suffered through a typical weekend in Maine. However, I was determined to have some resemblance of an Easter dinner that would remind me of home. And whats my favourite supper, Mom? That’s right, scalloped potatoes and ham. sigh.  So, my easter dinner menu is Mustard & Brown Sugar Glazed ham, scalloped potates and my Grandmother’s butterscotch pudding.

I picked up a 6 lb shank ham on Saturday morning and a bag of Maine potatoes. (PEI potatoes would have been optimal, but I’d have had to go to Shaws for those). I started dinner around 11:30am on Sunday and it was done to perfection by 6:30pm. This was my menu.

Brown Sugar & Mustard Glazed Ham

  • cooked ham
  • 3 tbsp mustard (mix of yellow and spicy brown)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp honey

I slow cooked the ham at 300F for 4 hours.  Once cooked, I carved the ham for 6 portions. Layer ham slices in a casserole dish, drizzle with glaze and put back into the oven for 10 minutes. 

Mom’s Scalloped Potatoes

  • 2 lbs sliced potatoes (yukon or russets)
  • 3 cups milk
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • salt and pepper

I peeled and rinsed 2 lbs of potatoes and then sliced them with a mandolin.  Toss potatoes loosely into a dutch oven.  Warm milk and butter on stove top, pour over potatoes. Bake in oven at 325 for 1 hour.  My grandmother always topped her potatoes with onions and strips of bacon – I didn’t have either on hand, but wish I did.

Spring Aspargus

  • 1 lb thin asparagus
  • lemon zest
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

I grilled the asparagus in my cast iron skillet for 4 mins, then removed the pan from the stove.  I misted with olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper and then zested one lemon. Cover with foil and let rest for 5 mins.

Nanny’s Butterscotch Custard

  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 7 tbsp corn starch
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp butter

Warm liquids on stove, and mix in dry ingredients. Cook for 1 minute.  Add 1/3 cup of liquid to egg, beat well.  Return egg mix to pan and continue to cook while stirring, about 2 minutes.  Once custard comes together and thickens, remove from heat.  Stir in vanilla and butter.  Use for either a pie filling, or individual pudding cups.

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I came across this recipe while scrolling through my feeds list on Google Reader.  The recipe, itself, is from the globe and mail.  And while it looked delicious in the photo,  I think it can be even MORE delicious once I’m done with it.  Tonight, I’m going to use this ragu as the foundation to my italian inspired cabbage rolls!

Ragu alla Bolognese:

  • 3 cups onion, celery, carrot – diced
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 4 oz pancetta or bacon
  • 1 lb each sausage and ground beef
  • 1 cup each white wine and milk
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • salt, pepper and nutmeg

Saute veggie mixture in 1 tbsp of butter and olive oil until soft. Add pancetta and garlic and cook until meat is translucent.  Meanwhile, in another pan, cook the ground beef and sausage. Drain well.  *I actually skimmed fat off the top the next day once it had solidified.

Add meat to veggies, along with the wine. Let wine evaporate.  Add milk and cook 10 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and stock, season.  Simmer for atleast 2 hours on the back of the stove.

Alright, this is the point where I am right now.  Tonight, I want to make the Cabbage Rolls and this is what I was thinking:

Cabbage Rolls:

  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 cups ragu alla bolognese
  • 4 savoy cabbage leaves
  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • herb mix: basil, oregano, thyme

Cook up brown rice.  In a bowl, combine rice with ragu.  Set aside.  Saute some minced garlic in a pan. Add remaining tomatoes.  Add herbs to taste, along with salt and pepper.  Come to a simmer. Add 1/4 cup of tomato into rice and ragu mixture.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Peel of the large outer leaves of the cabbage and blanch in water.  I’m hoping for atleast 4-6 rolls.   In a 8×8 pyrex, assemble rolls using 1/2 cup of filling. Top with sauce and sprinkle with parmesan and mozzeralla (b/c I have it in the fridge, I might as well use it).

I’ll see how it all goes tonight and give an update on the post.

cabbage-roll

*Update:  I rushed to slap this together last night.  And stuck pretty close to the recipe I think.  I used about a tbsp of basil, oregano and a tsp of thyme and garlic powder in 1 cup of crushed tomato.  I was quite impressed with how it turned out. Definitely will make this again.

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I think I should do a mmm series.  Maybe I will.

Last night was rib night.   I’ve only a couple of days left at this apartment before I move home to the island for my internship etc.  And so I loaded up on supplies that would carry over a couple of meals.  Mind you, the ribs last night could very well have been devoured in one sitting.

One pound of ribs were tossed into the bottom of my 3.5 qt le creuset, as my roommate took her bakewear when she left.

I then used brown sugar bbq sauce (sorry, store bought) which I added a tsp of honey as well as a tsp of Thai chili/garlic sauce.  Cooked for 25 mins in 375 oven, flip, coat and back in the oven for another 25 mins.   Beautiful. 

ribs-close.jpgribs.jpg

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