Yum Yum Wings

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One of my chickadees has this on going love affair with fried chicken. He is a real trooper, and I have to say that you really do know a person’s character by his/her eating habits. He ordered fried chicken wings when we dined at this Vietnamese place two weeks ago, and even though they were not very good, he ate all of them without one word of complaint. Now I wonder, he never complained my cooking either…

When I saw this recipe,I immediately thought of him. This is known as copy cat KFC honey BBQ wings, and since I never had wings from the Colonel, I am not sure if I agree with the name of this recipe so I re-named it as Yum Yum Wings! ( it is really yum-yum!)

Here is the recipe, and instead of MSG I used Italian seasoning I found on the shelf as I am not a big fan of MSG. Next time when my chickadees come back to the hen house for family dinner, you bet I am going to make a big batch and see his eyes light up !

Recipe from: http://www.food.com/recipe/copycat-kfc-honey-bbq-wings-2146

Sauce1 1/4 cups ketchup
1/3 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon chili powderWings6 -8 cups vegetable oil
20 pieces chicken wings
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
3/4 teaspoon msgDirections:
Combine the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until ingredients are well-combined and bring to a boil.
Then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes.
As sauce is simmering, heat up 6 to 8 cups of oil in a deep fryer set to 350 degrees.
Combine the beaten egg with the milk in a small bowl.
In another small bowl, combine the flour, salt, pepper and MSG.
When oil is hot, dip each wing first in the flour mixture, then into the milk and egg mixture, and back into the flour.
Arrange wings on a plate until each one is breaded.
Fry the wings in the oil for 9-12 minutes or until light, golden brown.
If you have a small fryer, you may wish to fry 10 of the wings at a time. Drain on paper towels or a rack.
When the sauce is done, brush the entire surface of each wing with a light coating of sauce. Serve immediately.

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Slow Roasted Tomatoes

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I have roasted different types of root vegetables but never tried to roast tomatoes.  I saw a couple of posts about this and  last night I finally gave it a try.  Apparently cherry and grape tomatoes are the best kinds for roasting, but I was too lazy to wash and cut these little guys so I had opted for the Roma tomatoes. 

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The preparation is quite simple, you wash and cut the tomatoes in half and slice as many garlic slivers as tomato halves, then insert the garlic inside.  Put the cut tomatoes face up on a lined baking sheet and drizzle Pomegranate molasses into the cut tomatoes.  Then drizzle a little olive oil and a little bit of salt on each of them. Slowly roast the tomatoes in an oven preheated at 300 F for about two hours.  They are done when they are dry and curling at the edge and yet still moist in the middle.   Check after 90 minutes as the cooking time will depend on the type of tomato used.

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There are so many different ways to serve the roasted tomatoes.  I chopped mine up and mix it in pasta with cream sauce. If you use cherry or grape tomatoes they will make a good appetizer on sliced crusty french bread, with a dab of goat cheese and fresh basil.  They taste good in salad as well. The possibilities are endless.

I did not have exact measurements for the ingredients, basically it was a couple of teaspoons here and there.  I really love the texture of the tomatoes, it certainly made this ordinary vegetable quite special. 

Have fun with yours !

The next thing I want to try to roast is orange !

Eggplant, Chickpeas and Pomegranate Stew

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Photo 2013-01-21 8 45 13 PMThere is something about the pomegranate fruit which baffles me.  You might think this is weird, but I have trouble eating the fruit.  I never knew whether I should chew the seeds or spit them out.  They always managed to get stuck in my teeth some how.   But I do love the taste and the sweetness of this fruit, so when I came across this recipe, I immediately filed it along with the many dishes I want to make.  One of the ingredients in the recipe is pomegranate molasses, and it is not something that I can find readily at the local grocery, I managed to find a recipe for it, and last week had proceeded to make it just out of curiosity.  The syrup has been sitting in the fridge for almost a week and thankfully it is still okay, so yesterday I finally got the motivation to “experiment” this dish so I won’t waste the syrup ( which was not cheap to make).

This dish does call for a few spices, and I have all of them labelled properly but even then I made a mistake, instead of putting two tsp of cumin with my peeled onion, I put in two tsp of cinnamon!   I had to salvage this dish so did the only thing I could think of at the moment which was to wash all the spices out of the onion in a sift.  I ended up not using the exact measurements for the spices but thankfully it was not as bland as I had expected. The little green chili pepper I used really spiced the dish up.

Except for the little mishap, the dish was rather simple to make, which is  just the way I liked it.  It turned out very delish, and it is definitely one I will make again. I love how the sweetness of the molasses balanced the heat of the pepper.  The good thing is I finally master eating the seeds, it is a  lot easier to chew on them when they were mixed in with the veggies.

Eggplant, chickpeas & Pomegranate Stew
Adapted from Cook Vegetarian magazine (online version here)

2 medium eggplants (about 1 lb each), sliced lengthwise into ½” thick slices
3 tbsp olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 green chili pepper (or other small pepper), minced
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
Dash of cinnamon
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 28 oz can chopped tomatoes (I used the no-salt added kind)
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
Pinch of chili flakes (optional for a spicier stew, depending on how hot your chili pepper is – mine wasn’t very hot)
Salt and pepper to taste
~1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
4-6 tbsp pomegranate seeds
Sprinkle the eggplant slices with salt and lay in a colander (I divided them into two colanders). Let sit for about 20 minutes, then rinse the salt off with water and dry the slices with paper towel.
Preheat oven to 350°F.  Heat 2 large skillets over medium-high heat.  Pour 2 tbsp of olive oil in a small bowl and use it to brush the eggplant slices. Brush one side of each eggplant slice and lay the oiled side face down in the skillet.  Repeat with as many eggplant slices as you can fit in the two pans without overlapping. Once the slices are in the pan, brush the top side with oil.  Cook each side for 3-5 minutes, until well browned, then flip over and cook the other side.  Transfer cooked slices to a plate and repeat process with the remaining eggplant slices until they are all cooked.
Bring one pan back to medium heat with 1 tbsp olive oil.  Add the onion, garlic, ginger, chili, and spices. Cook, stirring often, for about 4-5 minutes, until the onion is translucent.
Add the chickpeas and tomatoes to the pan. Stir in the pomegranate molasses and chili flakes (if using) and season with salt and pepper.
Layer half of the eggplant slices over the bottom of a greased 13×9” baking dish. Pour about half of the chickpea mixture over the slices, spreading with a spoon or spatula to distribute evenly.  Cover with the remaining eggplant slices, then top with the rest of the chickpea mixture. Place in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
When ready to serve, sprinkle the parsley and pomegranate seeds over top of the dish, or you can serve each portion and then add about 1 tbsp parsley and 1 tbsp pomegranate seeds (or more if desired) as a garnish to each plate. (Note: Before eating, you might want to use a knife to cut the eggplant into smaller slices; otherwise, you can just use your fork to break it up as you eat).
Makes 4-5 servings.

bombay chicken

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Jan 4., 2013

Still trying to get used to writing 2013, cannot believe we are off to a new year already.

Do you ever have a craving in the middle of the day? Well, this afternoon I wanted to have chicken. It was indeed one of those rare occasions I developed a sudden yearning for the bird. I searched for different recipes for chicken and found this very simple one on Food. com.  I had Bombay chicken before, but I do not remember that they tasted like these ones. But regardless, they turned out very tasty, I even got a thumbs-up from my in-house food critic who does not normally care for chicken. In other words, this dish passed the taste test.

http://www.food.com/recipe/chicken-bombay-lighter-152284

1/8 cup olive oil
1/4 cup mustard
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts

Combine all ingredients, except chicken, in a small sauce pan
Heat over medium heat until smooth and slightly warmed.
Roll each piece of chicken into the sauce and place in a greased, 9 x 13-inch baking pan.
Bake uncovered for 30 minutes at 375°F (Cook for less time if you are using chicken breast tenders).
Spread remaining sauce over chicken and bake for a few more minutes until chicken is done.
To freeze: Prepare sauce ingredients in a small zip-top bag. Put chicken breasts in a larger zip-top freezer bag. Put both bags together into another bag with cooking directions inside as well. Label and freeze for up to 4 months. To serve: thaw overnight in refrigerator. Drain chicken and proceed with step 2 above.

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Blackeyed peas and Kale bowl

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Jan 14, 2013

I am determined to eat healthy ( still) and after all the gluttony done over the holidays, this determination is stronger. But I cannot shake the idea that eating healthy is not quite the same as eating. But it is recipes like this that really made me think differently.

This recipe does not call for any oil, so if you are one of those die heart dieter or someone who has to go on a cleansing diet of sort, this is the one to go. I tweaked it a little by using oil to fry up the onions and garlic, to me that’s the only way to bring the flavor out. For some unkown reason, all the groceries did not have bean sprout last night, so I ended up using cucumber salad as recommended in the blog.

After I was done with the dish and tasted it, my comment was “this dish is so healthy, it makes me want to cry.”

I have to say, this was a very good first step to a healthier way of eating.

Here is the recipe from the “Fat Free Vegan” blog:

Korean-Inspired Black-eyed Peas and Kale Bowl

Similar to bibimbap, this dish is a collection of separately-prepared ingredients served over rice. While it’s delicious with just the black-eyed peas and kale, I suggest adding a third component, such as the bean sprouts salad, shown, or Korean-Style Cucumber Salad.

Ingredients

Black-eyed Peas
  • 1.5 cups dried black-eyed peas, picked over and rinsed
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon chopped ginger root or ginger paste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, optional
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons chopped ginger root
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos
  • 1/4 teaspoon Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru) or red pepper flakes, to taste
Kale
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large bunch (12-16 ounces) kale, stems removed and leaves chopped
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos
  • brown rice, to serve

Instructions

  1. Pre-Cook the Blackeyed Peas: Combine the black-eyed peas, 5 cups water, 1 tbsp. ginger, 1 tbsp. garlic, and 1/2 tsp. salt in a pressure cooker or large pot. For pressure cooking, seal the cooker and bring to high pressure. Cook at high pressure for 10 minutes; then allow the pressure to come down naturally for 10 minutes before releasing the pressure. For regular cooking, use 6 cups of water. Cover and simmer until peas are tender (60-90 minutes), adding more water if necessary.
  2. Drain the cooked peas, reserving 1 cup of liquid. Heat 2 tablespoons of water in a medium-sized non-stick saucepan. Add the 2 teaspoons chopped ginger root and 2 cloves of garlic. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the drained peas, 1/3 cup of their cooking liquid, 1 tbsp. soy sauce (or tamari), and red pepper to taste. Simmer uncovered for 20-30 minutes, as you prepare the kale. Add additional cooking liquid if the peas get too dry.
  3. Kale: Heat a deep, non-stick skillet. Add the chopped onion and cook until it begins to brown, adding a little water as necessary to prevent sticking. Add the red bell pepper and garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the kale and 1/4 cup water and quickly cover. Steam until the kale is tender but still bright green, 3-6 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the soy sauce (tamari).
  4. Place a serving of rice into each bowl. Arrange the black-eyed peas on one side of the rice and kale on the other. Serve with hot sauce, such as Sriracha or the Gochuchang sauce in the notes below.

Notes

I served this with a simple hot sauce based on Korean red pepper paste (gochuchang). Mix 1 1/2 tbsp. gochuchang, 1 1/2 tbsp. hot water, 1 tsp. sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil in a small bowl. This makes a lightly spicy sauce that most people will not find too hot.

Easy Hint: You can use 2 cans of black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained, instead of cooking dried peas. Simply begin with step 2, use water instead of cooking liquid, and increase the amounts of ginger and garlic, as desired.

Gluten-Free and Soy-Free? Make this using coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.

Preparation time: 20 minute(s) | Cooking time: 1 hour(s) 10 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 6

Nutrition (per serving, without rice or sauce): 186 calories, 8 calories from fat, 1g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 432.9mg sodium, 793.2mg potassium, 34.4g carbohydrates, 6.2g fiber, 4.1g sugar, 12.5g protein.

source: http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2013/01/korean-inspired-black-eyed-peas-and-kale-bowl.html

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The Night Before Christmas Brunch Bake

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I have invited a couple of families to join us for Christmas brunch, the menu of the morning was sausage brunch bake, apple raisins oatmeal and fruit salad. My friends were really impressed by how simple this recipe is. It takes little preparation time, and about 1 hour cooking time. I made the oatmeal the night before in my crock pot, and while this casserole was in the oven, I relaxed over my morning coffee and enjoyed the quietness in the house before the excitement.

Here is the recipe from Food. com

Ingredients

    • 8 frozen hash brown patties
    • 2 cups cubed ham or 2 cups crumbled bacon or 2 cups browned sausage
    • 2 cups shredded cheese, divided
    • 2 cups milk
    • 1 (10 3/4 ounce) cans cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
    • 4 eggs
    • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
    • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions

  1. Place potato patties in a 9 x 13 inch baking pan coated with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Top with ham, bacon, sausage or any combination, and sprinkle with 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese.
  3. Combine milk, soup, eggs, mustard and pepper; pour over cheese.
  4. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  5. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.
  6. Bake covered at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
  7. Uncover and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup shredded cheese.
  8. Bake 20-25 minutes longer or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
  9. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

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Prime Rib Roast

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For Christmas Eve this year I decided to venture out a little and make prime rib. I love prime rib roast, and often amazed how my friends had made it looks so easy. I have tried to make it a couple of times, once it was very rare, and a few times they were over cooked. They never turned out the way I wanted it.

I found this recipe from Food.com, and discovered I was depending too much on the “cooking” time instead of the internal temperature of the meat.

I followed the instructions and the help part of this recipe, and the end result is more than satisfactory. I declared proudly to my family ” I have finally conquered the prime rib roast”!

http://www.food.com/recipe/kittencals-perfect-prime-rib-roast-beef-82023

Ingredients:
3 -4 lbs center-cut prime rib roast, nicely marbled, and trimmed, but leave a layer of fat on top of roast for flavor
8 fresh large garlic cloves, sliced in half (or use many as desired)
fresh ground black pepper (use lots!)
1/2 teaspoon white salt (can use up to 1 teaspoon salt) or 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt (can use up to 1 teaspoon salt)
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups beef stock (or use a good quality beef broth)

Directions

  1. Using a knife, poke small holes all over uncooked roast, and insert a half of a clove of fresh garlic in the hole (as many holes and as much garlic as desired).
  2. Cover roast, and refrigerate overnight.
  3. The next day, remove the roast from fridge and uncover; let sit out at room temperature for about 2 to 2-1/2 hours (this is an important step to relax the meat fibers, it will make for a more tender juicy roast, the length of counter-time will depend on the size of your roast).
  4. Set oven to 450°F and allow the oven to preheat for a minimum of 15 minutes.
  5. Season the roast with only a small amount of salt but lots of fresh ground black pepper pepper (that’s all nothing else but a little salt and fresh ground black pepper, using any other spices will take away the flavor from the prime rib!).
  6. Place the roast fat-side up on a rack in a shallow-sided pan, then insert a meat thermometer in the middle of the roast but not touching any rib bones.
  7. Roast uncovered at 450°F for 20 minutes (a few more minutes won’t hurt at 450°F).
  8. After 20 minutes of high heat cooking reduce heat to 350°F and continue to roast for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes OR until the meat thermometer reads 130°F for rare doneness OR 140°F for medium-rare doneness, that is the way a prime rib really should be served, check your roast after 1 hour cooking time.
  9. *NOTE* It is strongly advised to remove the roast slightly before desired degree of doneness is achieved as the roast will continue to rise in temperature several degrees after removing from the oven.
  10. Remove meat to a carving board.
  11. Cover loosely with foil and allow let rest (DO NOT CUT INTO ROAST for at least 20 or more minutes or all juices in the meat will flow out).
  12. While the roast is resting prepare the au jus; place the roasting pan on top of the stove over high heat.
  13. Add in the wine; cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring and scraping any brown bits.
  14. Add in the beef stock; cook and reduce the juice by half (this might take about 20 minutes).
  15. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  16. Slice roast (just before serving!) and drizzle with some of the juice.
  17. *NOTE* if desired you can cover the roast loosely with foil the first hour and then uncover and cook for the remaining time
  18. APPROXIMATE COOKING TIMES for the prime rib cooked at 350°F after the 20 minute cooking time at 450°F.
  19. Rare; cook 12-13 minutes per pound or to 130°F.
  20. Medium-rare; cook 14-16 minutes per pound or to 140°F (I would not recommend cooking a prime rib any more than medium-rare).
  21. Since every oven cooks differently cooking times are only approximate.
  22. SUGGESTED SERVING PORTIONS PER PERSON —-for a generous serving of prime rib roast you should figure on 2 people per rib, that means if you plan to serve 6 people you should be able to do so with 3 ribs/ eight people with 4 ribs/ do not bother with less than 3 ribs anything less than that is not a roast but rather a steak and would be better treated as such.

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pumpkin noodles

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Nov 14, 2012

Tonight is one of those days I need my comfort food.  I have been craving rice vermicelli all day long and it is exactly what I would prescribe to chase those awful blues away.  This evening I need my comfort food to bring me back to my pampered childhood years. 

As I was making the pork, I got a little concerned because besides the soy sauce there is not much seasonings.  But I am totally surprised after I added the kabocha, the tangyness of the pumpkin add another layer of flavoring to this other wise bland dish.

As I expected, rice vermicelli and Survivor did the trick!

Pumpkin Rice Noodles
Serves 1 | Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

100g dried rice vermicelli
2 tablespoons oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
100g pork, minced
100g pumpkin (or kabocha), diced
½ cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sweet soy sauce
3 dashes white pepper
100g bean sprouts, rinsed

Method:

1. Soak the dried rice vermicelli in warm water for about 20 minutes. Drain the water and set aside.
2. Heat up the oil in a wok and add the garlic. Stir-fry the garlic until aromatic before adding the pork and pumpkin.
3. Add the water, soy sauce, sweet soy sauce, white pepper and bring to boil.
4. Add the rice vermicelli into the wok, stir to combine well with the ingredients in the wok.
5. Add the bean sprouts and continue to stir fry the rice vermicelli until the sauce is dry and the vermicelli is cooked through. Dish out and serve immediately.

Source: http://rasamalaysia.com/pumpkin-rice-noodles/2/

beef curry with pumpkin

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October 30, 2012

I have half of a pumpkin sitting in the fridge for a few days, and tonight seems to be a good night to use it up ( or parts of it anyways).  When I  came across this recipe  I knew right away it will be the perfect one.

This dish is easy to make with very little chopping or cutting. The pumpkin adds a sweetness to the hot spicy red curry, which usually is a little too hot for me.  The only thing I will change is to add the pumpkin  the same time as the beef as the meat is  a bit over cooked and  too chewy.

Beef Curry with Pumpkin Recipe

Adapted from Thai Cooking Made Easy

Serves 4 | Prep Time: 8 minutes | Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pack (1.76 ounce/50g) red curry paste (see picture below)
4 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 cups (350ml) coconut milk
1 pound beef, sliced thinly
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon paprika powder
6 kaffir lime leaves
1 1/2 cups cubed pumpkin or Kabocha pumpkin

Method:

In a small bowl, mix together the vegetable oil, red curry paste and 4 tablespoons coconut milk. Stir-fry the red curry paste mixture in a wok over medium heat until fragrant.

Add the beef and give a quick toss. Let it cook for about 1 minute and then add in the 1 1/2 cups coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar, paprika powder and kaffir leaves. Stir to mix.

Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat. Cook for 8-10 minutes. Add the pumpkin and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Serve with rice.

source:http://rasamalaysia.com/beef-curry-with-pumpkin/2/