Friday, October 23, 2015

If you love cooking like I do and you really want to impress someone or show how much you love them....make these babies. You will hear your dinner guest make embarrassing num num noises I've even given people downright dirty flavorgasms with these delicious dumplings.

Ginger Pork Dumplings with Citrus Sesame slaw and Lime Almond Rice

1 lb ground pork
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp finely chopped ginger
2 garlic cloves minced
2 green onions minced
pinch of chili flakes
1 Tbsp sweet chili sauce, I like Mae Ploy
1 tsp sesame oil
8oz. package of oyster mushrooms sauteed cooled and minced
1 egg
1 pkg. wonton wrappers
1 egg mixed with 1 Tbsp. water
In a medium sized bowl mix the first ten ingredients together. Place wonton on a cutting board and brush the egg wash onto the border of the wrapper, take a tsp of the filling and place in the center of the wrapper. fold the wonton over the filling and seal edges by pressing firmly. Then add more egg wash to the pressed edges and make tiny folds and pinches to further seal the edges... like a pie crust. Set the prepared dumplings on a baking sheet and cover with slightly moistened paper towels. Refrigerate til ready to cook
Citrus Sesame Slaw
1/2 c. Litehouse Sesame Ginger dressing (yes store bought dressing)
1/4 c. mayo
juice of one lime (zest the lime and set aside for the rice)
12 oz bag of broccoli slaw
In a large bowl whisk the first three ingredients together and add the slaw and toss to coat. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Lime Almond Rice
4 c. cooked white or Jasmine rice, hot (make sure to salt your cooking water)2 Tbsp minced cilantro
1/4 c. toasted slivered almonds
zest of one lime

Mix all ingredients. Do the rice last so that you can serve it hot.
For the dumplings, Put 2 Tbsp. of peanut or veg oil in a non stick pan. Heat the oil on a medium high setting. Fill the pan in a single layer with the dumplings. You may have to do several batches. When the bottoms of the dumplings start to brown add 1/2 c. of water and cover the pan but leave a space for the steam to escape. When the water is gone your dumpling should be ready. Watch it near the end , when the water is almost gone, so they don't burn. Set the finished dumplings in a covered oven prof dish and keep in a low warming oven.
Serve the dumplings on a bed of the rice and top with slaw. You can use your extra sweet chili sauce, soy sauce or dressing as dipping sauces for the dumplings.
I'm not going to lie to you. This is a very involved recipe. Takes tons of time and work. But very worth it
Pumpkin Pie Creamcheese stuffed French Toast
It's Fall and I'm gonna be a white girl and love on the pumpkin. Don't you judge me!!!
1 loaf thin sliced Italian or Vienna bread
1 tub of pumkin flavored cream cheese, available at Aldi's or Kroger
2 to 3 cups of granola of your choice, if it is chunky whiz it up in the food processor until coarse crumbs are achieved
10 large eggs
2 c. half and half
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
4 to 6 Tbsp butter
in a shallow baking dish crack the 10 eggs and whisk in the half and half, vanilla and cinnamon. take one slice of the bread and spread a generous amount of cream cheese onto it. Cover the spread with another slice of bread and repeat til the loaf or tub of cream cheese is gone.
Place the coarse chopped granola into a shallow dish. Dip the prepared bread into the batter and place into the granola to coat. in a preheated griddle or pan melt enough butter to generously coat the bottom. When butter is foamy add enough of the frebch toast slices to fill the pan. cook 5 minutes on each side or until toasty brown. Repeat til the whole batch is done. Keep in a warming oven until ready to serve
I serve this with maple syrup with just a touch of apple cider in it

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Caprese Upgrade.
These past two months have been very interesting. I feel like I have lived two lifetimes growing and and experiencing things. I am now in a healthy place and therefore I have met some really wonderful people who are very good for me. That said, one of those people is a foodie like me and turned me on to something new. (get your mind out of the gutter...or don't lol) My friend stumbled upon preserving garlic in wine and of course I had to put my sexy little spin on it. So here we go minions, this is Caprese salad on a whole new level.
First we will start with the garlic. Buy a tub of peeled garlic. And I know some of you purists out there will have to peel your own. (freaks!) Then simply cover those babies with some leftover red wine and let sit for a few days until the scent of the garlic permeates the room and makes your plants wilt.
Salad ingredients
2 pints of cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half. I like to mix the colors
2 Tbsp basil sliced into a chiffonade (fancy term for really thin strips)
1 large ball of fresh mozzarella diced into a 1/4 to 1/2 inch cube or a package of the smaller balls each sliced in half
1 ripe avocado diced same size as the cheese
2 or 3 wine marinated garlic cloves crushed and minced
A generous handful or two of toasted walnuts or pine nuts
Fresh cracked black pepper and sea salt to taste
1 cup of your favorite commercial Italian salad dressing
1/4 cup garlic infused red wine
In a large salad bowl mix the tomatoes, basil, cheese, avocado, nuts, garlic and salt and pepper. In a smaller bowl whisk together the wine and dressing and add enough of the mixture into the salad bowl to coat the salad generously. There may be some of the dressing left over, save it for later.
Now this step is important. WAIT! it must marry and have flavor love children before you eat it. Give it an hour or so to marinate. After its soaks in that lovely flavor,go ahead and enjoy.

Monday, June 1, 2015

It's coming up on Summer and that means one thing to me. Good freaking tomatoes. I don't care what kind of Frankenmater someone tries to make in a lab. It will never ever compare to a fresh garden tomato. The perfect sexy menage a trois in the tomato world is the Caprese. Red white and green baby! So mangia on this easy recipe that is killer, and it will get you raves at family picnics.
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 large ball of fresh mozzarella cut into 1/2" cubes
1 c. freshly made or store bought Italian dressing
1 bunch of fresh basil, sliced in chiffonade, reserve the top for garnish
Sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
1 c. Balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. molasses or honey
1/4 c. chopped shaved prosciutto or a rough chopped salami or pepperoni (optional)
In a bowl, add the cheese and dressing and marinate for one to six hours. If you do it over night the cheese will be rubbery.
Slice your tomatoes in half or quarters depending on your preference. Add to the cheese mixture. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper to your taste, add sliced basil. Add the meat of choice at this point if you wish. Transfer to a serving bowl or platter and refrigerate.
In a small saucepan add your vinegar and boil til reduced by half. Add in the molasses or honey and reduce til the vinegar is the consistency of a thick syrup. (watch closely because it can burn if unattended) Cool and drizzle it over the salad when ready to serve and garnish with the basil top. This salad can be multiplied easily for bigger crowds. Serves 4 to 6

Monday, January 26, 2015

Beef Braciole
serves 4
This recipe will reflect how terribly odd my family is. We were watching the episode of Everybody Loves Raymond where Ray's wife was supposedly making better braciole than his mom...and hi jinx ensued. But my kids were all, "mom you cook better than anything. Make us some braciole!" Well eff me running I didn't know braciole from Adam. What to do. LIBRARY!!! Got a recipe from Joy of Cooking and yeahhhh...hehehe I tweaked it. Now it's a family favorite

4 one quarter inch slices of beef rump roast, slicing diagonally against the grain
Using the flat side of a cleaver or a flat mallet, pound the slices to about ⅛ inch thick, taking care not to tear the meat. Trim any excess fat and pat dry. Season lightly with:
     Salt and black pepper
For the stuffing, mix together:
     1 cup fresh bread crumbs from day-old bread
     4 ounces ground beef, veal, or pork
     ½ cup grated Parmesan
     ¼ cup chopped parsley
    4 thin slices of prosciutto
1/4 c. dried currants
1/4 c. toasted pine nuts
     1 large egg, lightly beaten
Line the beef with a slice of prosciutto
Spread the meat evenly with the stuffing, leaving at least a 1-inch border all around. Roll up, tucking in the sides to form a tight, neat packet. Tie securely with string, both crosswise and lengthwise. Dredge the rolls in:
     ½ cup all-purpose flour
Shake off the excess. Heat a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil
Sear the meat packets and brown carefully on all sides. Remove the rolls with a slotted spoon, and pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the pan.
Add to the pan:
     ½ cup finely chopped onion
     ¼ cup finely chopped carrot
     2 teaspoons minced garlic
Cover and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add:
     ½ cup beef stock or broth
     ½ cup dry red or white wine
     ½ cup tomato puree or 2 tablespoons tomato paste
     1 bay leaf
1Tbsp brown sugar

Bring to a boil. Return the beef rolls to the pan, Cover the pan and place in a 300 degree oven, simmer until the beef is fork-tender, 1 to 1½ hours. Remove the rolls to a platter and cover to keep warm. Discard the bay leaf. Skim off the fat from the surface of the liquid. Reduce, if necessary, over high heat just until syrupy. Season with:
     Salt and black pepper to taste

Pour the sauce over the meat. Sprinkle with:
     Grated parmesan or romano
     Minced fresh parsley, basil, or oregano

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Satay Chicken salad

Been a while since my last post. However, now that I am unemployed and a small cushion of savings away from homelessness...I feel the urge to tell you about an awesome chicken salad I have invented. Because I am just that odd.
Now here is a disclaimer. I have never measured these ingredients. I cook by eye and tasting. I suggest you try the same. Even If you have to sacrifice one meal cuz it tastes like a dead gerbil after it's bloated by the afternoon sun. Teaching yourself to eyeball ingredients and tasting your way through things gives you skills that prop up your instincts

Satay Chicken Salad

-4 cups of chopped or torn cooked chicken. Whatever parts you like
-3 or 4 ribs of celery
1 handful of shredded carrots
-small bunch of cilantro minced
-1/2 of chopped roasted peanuts or cashew...or more depending on your taste

Satay Base
-1/4 c. minced ginger
-1/8 c. minced garlic
-1/4.c minced green onions
-2 T corn or peanut oil
-1/4 c. plum or peach jam
-2 T chili garlic sauce
-1/4 c rice wine vinegar
-pinch of chili flakes
-2 T brown sugar
-2T. sesame oil
-2 T of creamy peanut butter or 1/4 c. of tahini
-1 c. water
-2 T cornstarch or more

-as much mayo as it takes to get your chicken salad to stick together well

In a large bowl add the chicken through the peanuts and refrigerate.
in a medium pot add the corn or peanut oil and heat on medium.
Add green onions, garlic and ginger. heat til fragrant. Be careful not to burn the garlic.
Add the ingredients from jam to peanut butter and mix well.
Taste this concentrated mixture and adjust the flavors to your taste.
simmer on low and mix the water and cornstarch together.
add the cornstarch slurry until the sauce is a mayo consistency.
Taste again, adjust if needed and then cool.
Add the cooled sauce to the cooled chicken mixture and mix, add mayo if needed to get the right consistency.
Serve how you want.
My daughter ate through 3 servings of this salad not realizing we were supposed to share it, and my clients just went silly after they tried a sample.
So enjoy and give me feedback

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Mojo de Ajo inspired Pilaf

1 bunch fresh asparagus, broken into pieces
8 oz mushrooms (your choice, I used button) cleaned and quartered
1/4 c. toasted slivered almonds
1 c. white rice, I like basmati
1 and 3/4 c chicken broth
1/4 c. Mojo de Ajo
1/4 c. grated parm or asiago
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400.
In a medium pot, heat 2 Tbs of the Mojo over medium high heat and add the rice. Stir until the rice starts to turn golden brown. Add the chicken broth, cover and put in the oven for 20 minutes until dry and fluffy.
In a 9x13 baking pan add the mushrooms asparagus and remaining Mojo. Stir to coat and roast for 15 to 20 minutes in the oven. It should be slightly brown and tender.
After the rice and veg are done, combine them in a serving bowl with the rest of the ingredients and if ya wanna drizzle more Mojo on that, I won't tell on ya