Teriyaki Chicken

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March 25, 2015

“You got to put this in your blog.” My chickadee told me last night after dinner.  And to me, it is the ultimate approval.

I love Teriyaki chicken and  usually made it with the store bought glaze just because it is faster. But after this, I am going to make my own sauce!  When I saw this recipe on the blog which I have been following,  I was instantly attracted to the fact that it calls for 4 ingredient and I got most of them already!

It is simple and fast to make, the only time consuming step is taking the skin off and de-boning the chicken.  If I was really pressed for time, I could have bought the boneless and skinless ones which are double in price.

If you like more sauce, I suggest you double the recipe for the marinade, and I had let the chicken sat in it for more than 20 minutes.  Next time I will make some bean sprouts to go along with it, and it is a quick one dish dinner completed with all the food groups!

Here is the recipe from Rasa Malaysia.

4 pieces chicken thighs with skin and bone removed

1 1/2 Tbsp soya sauce

1 1/2 Japanese sake or rice cooking wine

1 Tbsp oil

white sesame seeds and green onions for garnish

 

Method:

  1. Marinate chicken with the soya sauce, sugar and wine for 30 minutes
  2. Heat up skillet with oil on low heat, once heated add the chicken and marinade sauce in and cook slowly.  Cook about 5 minutes and turn and cook on the other side.  Cook another 5 minutes.
  3. Serve immediately and with garnish over rice or noodles.

 

Easy and delicious!

 

 

Pork Chop Onion Rice Bake

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imageMarch 21, 2015

This is a very old recipe given to me by my good friend Mabel at least 20 years ago.  At that time we were busy moms struggling with the kids’ extra-curricula activities and household chores and the biggest challenge for us was to cook a decent and nutritious meal for the family.

I used to make this a lot, and now that the kids are all grown up I hardly make it at all, as a matter of fact it must be at least ten years since.   Today, the chickadee decided to take a stroll down memory lane and said,  ” You have not make the pork chop rice for a long time.”  So I came home and started to dig around for this recipe from my pile of forgotten paper.  I finally found it in an old folder which is so worn out that it is starting to fall apart when I pulled it out from the book shelf.  The recipe was originally written in ink and now the handwritting is so faded that it is almost impossible to read.

Times have changed, now I don’t gather recipes in my binder and everything is either kept in Pinterest or in my blog.  This classical recipe for sure deserve a place of honor here, and in days to come when my chickadees find themselves rushing around with their families they too can find some use for this favorite of ours.

 

Pork Chop Rice Bake

6 pork chops ( 1-1 1/2 inches thick)

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 cup uncooked rice

1 envelope Onion Soup Mix

1 can sliced mushrooms ( or fresh)

Hot water

 

Method:

  • Brown chops in oil
  • Spread rice on a baking dish
  • Reserve about 1 Tbsp of soup mix and sprinkle rest of the mix on top of rice.
  • Drain mushroom, reserve liquid, spread mushroom on top of rice. ( if using fresh mushroom, blanche it in boiling water for a few sections to let them sweat a bit)
  • Add hot water to the reserved liquid to make 3 cups of liquid and pour over rice
  • Arrange browned chops on top of rice mixture and sprinkle the reserved soup mixture on top of chops.
  • Cover tightly with foil and bake in oven at 350F for about 45-60 mins.
  • Remove foil and continue cooking until excess liquid evaporates.

 

Sweet and Sour Wings

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The taste of these wings remind me of Ketchup prawns which I usually made for big family dinners.  However, the wings take longer to make, and to make sure the sauce actually sticks to the wings the most important step is to brown the chicken wings.

I love wings and have not really explore different ways of making them.  This is a good start.

Here is the recipe:

24 mid wings, wash and pat dry

6 Tbsp of Ketchup

1 1/2 Tbsp of rice wine

3 Tbsp of Oyster sauce

3 Tbsp of water

1 1/2 Tbsp of sugar

1 Tbsp of chili sauce ( depending on your taste)

Method

1. Marinade chicken wings with white pepper and rice wine.  Toss a dash of corn starch in and mix.

2.mix the ingredients of the sauce in a bowl ( ketchup, wine, oyster sauce, water , sugar and chili sauce). Set aside.

3. Heat about a Tbsp oil in saucepan, and fry chicken wings on both sides until lightly golden brown.

4.Pour sauce mix into chicken wings

5. Turn down heat, cover and simmer until sauce thickens.

Braised Beef Noodles

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IMG_3970September 29, 2014

It seems the rain is the motivation I need to cook and once again it is pouring outside today.  It is my day off and I have spent the morning with my daughters even though it was not under the most desirable circumstances.  My eldest chickadee had dental surgery this morning, and her sister was the designated driver and I just tagged along.  When your children are grown up and have their own lives, you do try to find opportunities to spend as much time as possible even though it was a trip to the dentist.

As I was sitting there waiting for her, what came to my mind was “braised beef noodles”, it is a popular dish in Taiwanese restaurant, and it has been a while since I have one. And right in the waiting room of the dentist I got my craving for a steamy bowl of fragrant beef noodle.

This dish takes a bit of time to cook, and it is best served a day after.  So after the trip to the dentist I went home and started cooking.  Sadly I have to wait for another day before I can consume it, but cooking on a rainy day is kind of therapeutic for the soul.

Ingredients:

1 pound of boneless beef short ribs

1 pound beef bones ( or ox tail)

3 carrots peeled and chopped

2 tomatoes peeled and quartered

4 ginger slices

4-5 cloves of garlic

3 green onions cut  half inch long

2 star anise

1 Tbsp of Szechuan Peppercorn

2 cloves

1 dried orange peel

2 Tbsp of chili bean paste

3 Tbsp of rice wine

4 Tbsp of soya sauce

1/2 tbsp of rock sugar

salt

To make:

Soup base:

-Wash beef bones,   put them in boiling water for 5 minutes.  Discard water, rinse bones with cold water.

– Fill pot with cold water enough to cover the beef bones.  Turn heat on, when water starts to boil, then turn heat down to a simmer.  Cook for about an hour.

Braised Beef:

– Wash beef, and put in boiling water to cook for about 5 minutes, discard water and wash beef in cold water.  Put beef in cold water in a pot and boil, then turn heat to low and simmer until beef is tender enough to have a chopstick go through the meat.

-Remove beef from heat, put the water aside.  Once beef is cool enough, slice and cut it to desired size.

-Remove beef bones from soup, add  water from above step to soup.

-Stir fry beef chunks with chili bean paste, add to the soup.

-Stir fry ginger slices, garlic, green onion until fragrant, and add to soup.

– Gather all the spices and put them in a small piece of cheese cloth.  Tie and secure the spice bag, and add to soup.

– Put the remaining ingredients in the soup, and set it on high until it boils. Turn heat down and simmer for about 40 minutes.

-Let beef sit in sauce over night.  Taste better the next day.

-When ready to serve, heat beef and soup, and add to cook noodles.

Braised Chu Hou Chicken Wings

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September 23

The rain is back with a vengeance today, it was pouring down like crazy this morning when I took the dog for his morning walk, it felt like I was standing in a cold shower for over an hour with water on full.   I spent most of the day trying to chase the chills out of my body and it certainly felt that summer has bid her farewell, and now I am bracing for the rainy cold days ahead.

On days like this I need my comfort food, and chicken wings is one on my list.   When I saw this recipe on Christine‘s blog, I was quite surprised that she used Chu Hou sauce for the wings, it is an eye opener for me, as I only use this sauce in making braised beef, ahhh…. new discovery.  This old dog learned another trick.

This dish got the taste of approval from my critique, and therefore deserve a write-up in this blog.  I made a big serving of it which will last a couple more meals.  Yum.   Thanks Christine for another delicious recipe ,

 

Braised Chu Hou Chicken Wings 

From Christine’s Recipes

The power of every stove is very different, so adjust the amount of water accordingly. Add water bit by bit if needed. Don’t pour too much in one go as you don’t want to dilute the sauce. When the dish is cooked, it should have some sauce but not too watery.

Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Yield: 2 to 3 serves

Ingredients:
500 gm chicken wings
½ onion, roughly chopped
½ capsicum, roughly chopped
3 tsp Lee Kum Kee Chu Hou paste
1 shallot, sliced
3 garlic, sliced
50 ml water
spring onion, to taste
Marinade:
1½ tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp shaoxing wine
2 tsp freshly grated ginger juice
½ tsp cornflour / corn starch
1/8 tsp salt
white pepper, to taste
Method:
Rinse the chicken wings. Wipe dry. Chop into bite-sized chunks. Mix with marinade well. Set aside for 20 minutes.
Heat oil in a wok or frying pan. Saute onion until translucent. Push to the sides of wok. Add some oil in the middle. Saute shallot and garlic. Add Chu Hou paste and stir to combine until aromatic. Toss in the chicken wings. Cook until both sides turn lightly brown. Pour in the water. Cover and cook for about 3 minutes, or until 90% done. Add capsicum and stir fry until it turns soft a bit, still remains crisp. Stir in spring onion. Done. Serve immediately.

 

 

Italian Wedding Soup

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Feb 6

We are having a bit of a cold spell lately. I said a “bit” because compare to the rest of Canada we are actually having spring like weather.    Really, I should not even mention the word “cold”, for a person who used to live in the Prairies, this is balmy weather for winter.

days like this, I crave for something hot and soupy, and most of all fast to make.  Normally I would just make a bowl of instant noodle soup and throw in some veggies and fish balls to complete a meal, but tonight I need to get into something new.  I found this recipe on Food.com, and it looks easy, only ten minutes to cook.  The only time consuming step is making the meatballs.  It worked up in a jiffy though, and in less than half an hour of preparation and cooking, I have a bowl of warm piping soup to warm my tummy.

I put in the spinach towards the end, just briefly to wilt it.  I cannot stand overcooked slimy spinach, I guess it is a result of the years of cafeteria food.  Next time, I would put in a squeeze or two of lemon juice.   It was a good thing I had some frozen homemade chicken broth , it sure taste better than the canned stuff.  Need to make some more chicken broth for occasions like this.

Here is the recipe:

http://www.food.com/recipe/italian-wedding-soup-14061

1/2 lb lean ground beef
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
5 3/4 cups chicken broth
2 cups chopped escarole or 2 cups chopped spinach
1/2 cup orzo pasta, uncooked
1/3 cup finely chopped carrot
grated parmesan cheese
Directions:
In medium bowl combine, meat, egg,bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, basil& onion powder; shape into 3/4″ balls.

In large sauce pan, heat broth to boiling; stir in spinach, orzo, carrot& meatballs.

Return to boil;reduce heat to medium.

Cook at slow boil for 10 minutes or until orzo is tender.

Stir frequently to avoid sticking.

Serve with additional Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

By the way, I thought this soup is so-called as it is something served in wedding banquets, but apparent it is  “Minestra Maritata”, or translated as  married soup, which means the marriage of flavors between the greens and the meats.

korean chicken wings

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chicken wingsNov. 25 , 2013

I have not blogged for a long time, as you can guess I have not been trying out new dishes.  Not only that but I have been busy with my knitting  for the November craft fair.   The ladies in my club did extremely well, and this year we managed to raise $1400 for the homeless community in our area !!

Dinner for a while has become a chore, and now that knitting frenzy is over I really want to put some excitement back to it.  I have started to love Korean food, and my favorite is the short rib ! I can eat them all the time and  have coined it my “happy ribs”, any time I feel a little down the ribs will manage to pick me up.  I have also learned to appreciate the spiciness of Korean cooking, and it has taken me a while to train my taste buds.   I am fortunate to live in an area with a well stocked Korean supermarket, I found the ingredients with ease, and the best thing about the Korean chili paste is its mildness and tangyness.  I added a tsp of  brown sugar in the simmering  to bring the favor out a bit.  It is such an awesome dish to have on a cold rainy night.  Just love the taste and the color of it !!

So here is the recipe from Rasa Malaysia

Korean Spicy Chicken Stew
Adapted from the Kimchi Chronicles Cookbook

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons oil
1 1/4 lbs chicken, cut into pieces and seasoned with some salt and pepper
1 onion, sliced
10 oz potatoes, cut into pieces
5 baby carrots
2 stalks scallions, cut into 2-in lengths

Seasoning:

3 tablespoons Korean chili paste
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon Korean chili powder
1 tablespoon rice wine (or sake)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon anchovy sauce (or fish sauce) or to taste

Method:

Heat the oil in a large pot over high heat. Working in batches if necessary, add the chicken, skin-side down, and brown on both sides, about 6-7 minutes per side.

In a small bowl, combine all the Seasoning ingredients and mix well. Set aside.

When all the chicken is browned, add the onion, potatoes, baby carrots, and scallions. Stir a few times to combine well. Add the Seasoning into the pot, stir to blend well with all the ingredients. Cover the pot reduce the heat to medium-low, stirring now and then. Cook for about 45-60 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are tender. Add some water if the stew is too dry.

http://rasamalaysia.com/korean-spicy-chicken-stew/

fish taco

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The other day in the middle of the morning, one of my chickadees sent me this link via Google Chat.  This was quite unusual because she is extremely busy at work and hates to be interrupted.   I just assumed that she had a very slow day, or she just wanted fish taco really bad.

I had never made fish taco before, and I was quite apprehensive about it.  To start off with, I hate frying fish at home because the after-smell.  When you live in a town house you do not have really good ventilation.  And I have to say, the older I get the more sensitive I am to the lingering smell afterwards.

When I read the recipe  I was glad to find out that it is not fried but baked, and made this more appealing to me.   Instead of making my own slaw, I went and bought the already made which cut down the prep to half of the time….I know the home made ones are lot better, but in this case I rather forsake taste for convenience.

I served the taco with mango chutney but next time I will make fresh mango salsa !  The chickadee loved it.  So what can I say…..but this recipe is a keeper and deserves a place in the blog!

Oh, and a side note: if you cannot get  creme fraiche, you can make it yourself with buttermilk and yogurt, but it will take at least a day.  I read that you can substitute it with sour cream or plain yogurt.

Here is the recipe:

source: http://joannagoddard.blogspot.ca/2013/06/the-best-fish-tacos-youll-ever-have.html#more

Recipe: Panko-Crusted Fish Tacos with Lemony, Creamy Coleslaw
Serves 4

You’ll need:

For the slaw:
1/2 head of cabbage, sliced
2 carrots, grated
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. creme fraiche
2 tbsp. olive oil
Salt

For the fish
1 lb. tilapia, sliced
1 egg, whisked
1 cup panko
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. oregano
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tbsp. canola oil
8 tortillas
1 lime

What to do:

Since coleslaw tastes best when it’s had time to marinate, start it first. If you’re a planner, you can even do this the night before. Place sliced cabbage, grated carrots and chopped parsley in a large bowl. Next combine lemon juice, creme fraiche and olive oil for the dressing. Generously salt the cabbage mixture, pour in the dressing and toss everything together. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight.

For the fish tacos, preheat oven to 425F.

Next, rinse the tilapia fillets and dry them with paper towels. Slice them into 2″ long pieces and place them onto a plate. Pour the whisked egg over the fish and make sure each piece gets covered in the egg wash. This will ensure that the panko mixture completely coats the fish.

In a Ziploc bag, mix panko, paprika, thyme, oregano, cayenne pepper, salt and oil. Place your egg-coated fish into the bag, seal and shake. (If you have a child that loves being a kitchen helper, this is a great activity for them. No kid can resist a shake-and-bake!)

Once the fish is coated in panko, spread the pieces onto a foil-lined sheet pan. Bake in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes until the panko is golden brown. Wrap your tortillas in foil and throw them in the oven for the last 3 to 5 minutes of baking.

baked eggplant with miso sauce

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June 4, 2013

Yesterday was my day off, and so I invited a few ladies over for dinner. I served them a big pot of chicken with 40 garlic, which is an all time favorite of mine. All my guests seemed to enjoy it as they ate with gusto. And then someone asked: ” So did you use a can of cream of mushroom soup in the sauce?’. Ouch, it still hurts when I think about it, okay….so it goes to show not everyone understand or appreciate this labor of love…..next time when she comes over I will serve her the canned stuff!

After last night’s meatfest, I know I have to make something healthier to balance my diet. I want to find a dish that is easy to make and after last night slaving over the stove ( I hope my friend will read this), I don’t want to spend too much time preparing food.

The highlight of my day is usually reading different food blogs and try to find inspiration, and this morning I got THE one, it does not seem to be too much work, and definitely healthier…the baked eggplant. The sauce is everything, it is the thing that made this dish tasty, so I will be more generous next time and make extra sauce for dipping.

Here it is:

Baked Eggplant with Miso Sauce

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 40 mins

Yield: 2 to 3 serves

Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant (aubergine), about 375 gm
  • oil, to taste
  • sea salt, to taste
  • sesame seeds, roasted for garnish
  • chopped spring onion, for garnish

Sauce:

  • 100 ml mirin
  • 1½ Tbsp white miso paste
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Japanese soy sauce
  • 2 tsp Japanese cooking wine

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C / 356F.
  2. Rinse the eggplant. Cut it in half lengthwise. Score the flesh deeply, yet not cut through to the skin, with the tip of a sharp knife in a cross-hatch pattern (as shown in picture above). Spray the cut side or brush with oil and season with salt.
  3. Transfer the eggplant to a lined baking tray. Cover with a foil and bake in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes, until the eggplant is softened.
  4. In the meantime, combine all the ingredients of sauce in a small sauce pan. Cook over medium heat and stir occasionally. When it starts to boil and the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from the heat.
  5. Remove the eggplant from the oven. Discard the excess water. Drizzle the sauce over the top. Sprinkle sesame seeds and spring onion for garnish. Serve immediately.

Notes:

  • Eggplant can soak up a lot of oil. If using oil spray, you can control the amount of fat used without making the dish too heavy.
  • Mirin is an essential condiment used in Japanese cuisine, available at Asian grocers.
    When preparing the sauce, you can use a large spoon to press the miso paste and help it dissolve thoroughly.
  • It’s better not to over cook the miso paste, or else you’ll lose much of its nutrition.
  • When the sauce starts to boil, remove the pan from the heat as quickly as possible.
  • The eggplant I used was quite large and thick. This recipe also works for small narrow ones. The baking time needs to be shortened accordingly.
Source: Baked Eggplant with Miso Sauce [Christine’s Recipes]
 
 

http://en.christinesrecipes.com/2013/04/baked-eggplant-with-miso-sauce.html#more

Broccoli and Spaghetti Squash Noodle Bowl

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May 23, 2013

In the middle of the afternoon I have this serious craving for spaghetti squash ! yup, I was just sitting there thinking about it !

The first time when I came across this squash was at my mother in law’s and just like anything squash from her garden or her friends’ she will put it in her soup. She told me the Chinese name for this is “shark fin squash”, and so I thought so until I saw this in a recipe then I realized its proper name.

I know this is not the season for spaghetti squash, and I have expected to find it in the stores. But I went any ways…..and lo and behold I saw them in this bin in the produce section. My eyes just popped wide open, and at the same time I saw this lady coming at me with the same expression, it turned out she was more interested in the bin of mangoes next to it. But funny thing though, I know this lady as my instructor from my former gym. She did take advantage of this encounter to “sell” me gym membership again, and in the end I walked away with my squash and a free month of membership. I have to say it was a very productive trip to the grocery after all !

Okay, I deterred….

Back home I tried the following recipe, and instead of baking the squash whole, I cut it in half and sprinkled a clove of chopped garlic and brush the halves with oil, and the squash turned out beautifully with a slight hint of garlic. Instead of soaking the shallots in cold water as suggested, I sliced it and stir fried it over low heat with just a little bit of oil until they are brown and crispy. To me, that’s the only way to serve shallots in a dish.

I love this noodle bowl, and as my daughter suggested, I need more sauce. Plenty of it. After I had a big bowl of it, I felt healthier….and definitely justified the big sticky bun I had earlier that day. It is all about balance…right?

http://tastespace.wordpress.com/2013/05/02/broccoli-and-spaghetti-squash-noodle-bowl-with-a-peanut-miso-sauce/

Broccoli and Spaghetti Squash Noodle Bowl
Adapted from The First Mess

1 medium spaghetti squash (2 lbs)
2 cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained if canned
4 cups coarsely chopped broccoli florets
1 shallot, thinly sliced, soaked in water for 10 minutes, then drained
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
Peanut-Miso-Sesame sauce (see below)

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Place rack in center of oven. (I prefer to roast it whole and cut it later, but if you are fancy, try smearing a halved squash with garlic, oil and salt and pepper first). Pierce the spaghetti squash multiple times with a fork or knife. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Rotate squash and bake another 30 minutes or until the shell feels soft. Remove from oven and set aside until cool enough to handle. Once the squash has cooled, cut it in half and remove and discard the seeds and scrape the strands of squash out with a fork. Set aside.

2. Meanwhile, prepare your sauce (see below).

3. Prepare the rest of your ingredients: slice and soak the shallot (I find soaking it relieves some of that bite). Toast your sesame seeds. Chop your broccoli.

4. Just prior to wanting to eat, steam broccoli for 2 minutes, or until slightly al dente and a brilliant green.

5. To serve, plate spaghetti squash. Top with chickpeas, broccoli, shallots and sesame seeds. Drizzle with dressing.

Serves 4.

Peanut-Miso-Sesame Sauce
Adapted from Your Bella Life

3 tbsp peanut butter
1.5 tsp white miso
1 tbsp Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce)
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1/2 tsp Aleppo chili flakes
1/4 cup water, to thin to your desired consistency

1. Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. It will thicken once cooled.

(I prefer more flavourful dressings in moderation, so thin further if you want to drench your noodles, or make a double batch)

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