Monday, December 28, 2015

Chinese Noodle Soup with Pork Balls and Napa Cabbage

Prepared December, 2015. Pork, beef, and fish balls are popular to serve as appetizers or to add to soups. They are sold frozen in specialty Chinese food outlets, and make it easy to add flavor and protein to a dish. 
1 qt (1 L) water
4 oz (115 g) frozen stuffed pork balls
1 t (5 ml) fish sauce
1 T (15 ml) soy sauce
1 t (5 ml) sugar
1/2 t (2.5 ml) salt
1 t (5 ml) sesame oil
1 t (5 ml) grated fresh ginger root
6 oz (175 g) Napa cabbage, cut into 1 inch pieces
3-1/2 oz (100 g) dry Chinese wheat noodles
Bring water, frozen pork balls, and seasonings to a slow boil in a 3-quart saucepan. Cover, adjust heat to a fast simmer, and cook 10 minutes. Remove the pork balls to a plate to cool briefly. Cut each ball into thick slices, return to the pot, along with the cabbage, and return to a fast simmer. Cook 10 minutes with occasional stirring, and add the dry noodles. Cook five minutes more. Serves four as a first course in a Chinese meal, or two for a hearty meal. Variation: Substitute fish balls for the pork balls.

Hint: Fewer Crumbs When Making Bread Stuffing

DrDaddy's usual method for making bread stuffing for poultry is to arrange the bread slices on a sheet pan, and to toast the bread in a  hot oven (425 degrees F, 220 C) until the top is browned, and then to invert each slice, and return the pan to the oven to brown the other side. When cool, to stack a few slices, cut off the crusts, and then dice the remainder. This method produces copious bread crumbs that are often discarded, which wastes food.

An alternative method that minimizes waste is to trim and dice the bread when it is fresh. Then, place the cubes in a shallow roasting pan, and brown them in a hot oven for five minutes, tossing with tongs or a spoon, and returning to oven to complete baking.

French Dip Beef Sandwiches

Recorded December, 2015. Prepared many times over the years. A Family Favorite. Easy, fast, and satisfying. Trimming the bread leaves more room for filling and reduces calories from carbohydrates.
6 oz mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 t minced garlic
2 T olive oil
1/2 t salt
Jus (see Recipe)
1 lb loaf artisanal French bread
12 oz thinly-sliced deli roast beef, rewarmed in the jus 
Sauté the mushrooms in olive oil until they are browned, stir in the garlic and salt, and cook a few minutes more. Re-heat the beef slices in the warm jus. Crisp the loaf in moist 350 degree F (180 C) oven for six minutes. Slice the loaf into four sections, and then each section lengthwise. Remove V-shaped pieces from top and bottom and set aside for another purpose. Spoon a quarter of the sauteed mushrooms into the bottom half, pile on a quarter of the warm beef, and top the sandwich. Press down and slice in half on the diagonal. Plate with a bowl of jus for dipping. Variation: Substitute sauteed onions for the mushrooms.

Jus for French Dip Beef Sandwiches

Developed December, 2015. Beef, tomato paste, and mushroom powder all contribute beefy flavor to this jus. A robust sandwich piled high with deli roast beef on crusty French bread makes a quick, satisfying economical meal.
1 oz deli roast beef, finely minced
2 t vegetable oil
1 T tomato paste
1/2 c dry red wine
1/2 t minced garlic

2 c hot water
3 T beef base (Better Than Bouillon™ Reduced Sodium is good)
1 t sugar
1/2 t salt
1 T porcini mushroom powder (purchased online or prepared from dry porcini)

2 T tapioca or corn starch dispersed in 2 T of water
In a two-quart saucepan, heat the oil to a shimmer and add the minced beef. Sauté until well browned. Stir in the tomato paste, and after a minute, add the garlic, and 30 seconds later, stir in the wine. Boil until half the liquid is lost. Stir in the hot water, beef base, sugar, salt and porcini powder. Cover and simmer 15 minutes, with occasional stirring. Stir in the starch suspension, and stir until thickened. Rewarm the beef slices in the hot jus before loading the sandwiches. Serves 4. 
Suggested sides: cabbage salad or freshly pickled onion-cucumber salad.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Candied Sweet Potatoes

Recorded Fall, 2015. Family recipe used for decades. Baking in the skin rather than boiling keeps out water and concentrates the flavor and sugars, and is more easily controlled.
3 large sweet potatoes
3 T (50 g) butter
1/4 c (50 ml)  brown sugar
1/4 c (50 ml) water
2 t (10 ml) lemon juice
1 t (5 ml) ground cinnamon
salt and pepper
1/2 c (125 ml) walnut pieces
Choose sweet potatoes that are straight and uniform in width. Prick potatoes all over with a fork to release steam and microwave on high (@1250 W) until just soft, about 12 minutes, but do it in steps since they cook quickly toward the end. They will emit steam and juice when done, but don’t overcook. Texture should be soft but not mushy. Alternatively, bake the potatoes directly on the rack at 325 degrees F (165 C). When cool, peel off the skins, slice lengthwise and then into 3/4 inch thick (~2 cm) half-rounds. Heat the butter, sugar, and water in a medium non-stick skillet, stirring to form a syrup. Arrange the potato slices in the hot syrup, add the cinnamon, nuts and lemon juice and cook slowly uncovered, until tender, about 30 minutes, replacing water as it’s lost. Cover and keep warm until serving. Serves 6 to 8.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Marinade for Turkey Burritos

Developed November, 2015. Another way to use leftover roast turkey is to make turkey burritos. This marinade adds both moistness and ethnic flavor to the turkey meat. 
1 c water
1 t chicken base (Better Than Bouillon™ Reduced Sodium Chicken Base is good)
1/2 t sugar
1/2 t salt
1 t cumin
1/4 t garlic powder
1/4 t chili powder
Heat ingredients to a fast simmer in a small saucepan for a few minutes with stirring. Cover and cool until just warm. Add up to 10 ounces (300 g) sliced or shredded roast turkey meat to marinate for 15 minutes. Drain and use for burritos. After use, the meat-flavored marinade can be thickened with corn starch for use as a gravy, e.g., over rice or potatoes. Variation: Subsitute roast chicken breast meat.

Hint: Shock the Grounds to Make Better Coffee

Chemex Brewer (Public Domain)
Recorded December 9, 2015. About 50 years ago, DrDaddy and MrsDaddy brewed their morning coffee using a Chemex brewer. This brewer joins a filter holder and a flask into a single piece of Pyrex, with a collar of maple lashed at the neck with a genuine rawhide lace. Both 'green' and cool. Took paper filters, like in the lab. The recipe that was advocated for this manual drip system was to first 'shock' the dry grounds with very hot water and then, after a delay, continue to add hot water to the funnel as the brew passed through the bed of coffee grounds. The method produced a very good product, especially using whole beans purchased at the newly-opened roaster, across the street from the Pike Place Market. We were among the very first customers at Starbucks and we had our own blend. The method is easy to apply using an automatic drip coffeemaker and a microwave.
33 oz (1 L) spring water
6 T ground coffee, drip grind
Measure the water into the carafe. Pour about 6 ounces (ca 1.5 dl) of that into a microwave-safe vessel, such as a plastic measuring cup, and heat to boiling. Transfer the remaining water to the coffeemaker, and after 30 seconds, start the brewing.


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Ranch Dressing

Recorded December 8, 2015. This recipe represents the simple one first used at a dude ranch outside Santa Barbara, California. Guests loved it. In time, the operators made it available commercially.
1/2 c (125 g) buttermilk
1/2 c (125 g) mayonnaise
1/4 t (2 ml) ground black pepper
1/4 t (2 ml) celery seed
1/4 t (2 ml) salt
1/8 t (1 ml) granulated garlic
1/8 t (1 ml) onion powder
fat pinch of dry thyme
Add the first two ingredients by weight or volume into a clean container with a tight-fitting lid. Add the others, by volume. Mix well. Hold for an hour before using to let flavors mature. Yields one cup. Easily doubled. Store cold.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Chinese Lion's Head Soup

Developed November, 2015 from an online recipe. Simple, fast, cheap, and so satisfying on a chilly night. Plump, flavorsome meat balls simmer in a light cabbage stock along with rice noodle squares. A one-pot supper ready in about 45 minutes.

Meatballs
1 lb (450 g) ground pork
1 large egg
2 T (30 ml) cornstarch
2 t (10 ml) dark sesame oil
1 T (15 ml) finely-minced fresh ginger root
1 t (5 ml) finely-minced garlic
1 t (5 ml) fish sauce
2 t (10 ml) salt
1 green onion, finely chopped
Soup
3 T (50 ml) vegetable oil
1-1/2 lb (700 g) napa cabbage
2 t (5 ml) ground mustard
4 T (60 ml) low-salt chicken concentrate (Better Than Bouillon™ is good) 
6 c (1.5 L) hot water
1 T (15 ml) soy sauce
4 oz (115 g) rice noodle squares, soaked in hot water until softened
2 t (10 ml) dark sesame oil
1 green onion, finely chopped
Mix the meatball ingredients in a bowl using a wooden spoon or your hands until they are well mixed. Chill for 30 minutes to firm up the meat mixture. Separate the cabbage into leaves, trim off tough bottoms, cut in half lengthwise and then across yielding eight pieces. Place noodles in a bowl, cover with hot tap water, and drain after 15 minutes. Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy six-quart saucepan on medium-high. When the oil shimmers, add the cabbage, stirring frequently, until cabbage is softened but not browned, about five minutes.  Add the hot water, the chicken concentrate, mustard powder, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a fast simmer. Using a spoon and wet hands gently form 1 inch balls and drop them into the boiling soup, one by one. After adding the last ball, cover and simmer for ten minutes. Stir in the drained rice noodles, replace cover and continue gentle cooking for five minutes. Add salt according to taste, garnish with green onion, and drizzle on a little sesame oil. Serves four generously.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Ingredient: Vegetable Stock

Just as a rich chicken or veal stock forms the basis of many dishes in kitchens that use meats, a versatile vegetable stock does the same in the vegetarian kitchen. This recipe, which comprises about 40% vegetables initially, yields plenty of savory vegan stock for soups, broths, stews, gravies, and pan sauces. Developed Fall, 2015 from earlier experience with sauces and stocks.
6 qt (6 l) water
1 lb carrots, scrubbed and cut into large chunks
1 lb onions, skins on, trimmed and quartered
1/2 lb celery with leaves, coarsely chopped
1/4 lb mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, and chopped
1/4 lb green cabbage, coarsely chopped
2 oz parsley sprigs
3 garlic cloves, crushed
10 black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
In a large pot set over high heat, add the water, vegetables, and seasonings. Cover and bring to a gentle boil. Uncover and adjust the heat to produce a fast simmer. Cook for about 45 minutes until all is very tender and cooked through. Cover and let cool. Pour through a fine strainer into a pot, but do not press on the residue. Discard the solids. Refrigerate stock up to a week or freeze in convenient portions in plastic zip-lock bags.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Oyster Mushroom Filling (for Crêpes or Omelets)

Crêpes Filled and Topped with Oyster Mushroom
A savory filling for crepes or omelets that exploits the tender flesh and mild flavor of oyster mushrooms. Easy and fast, a breakfast, brunch or supper entree in less than 30 minutes.
3-1/2 oz (100 g) oyster mushroom
2 oz (60 g) shallot, finely chopped
1 T (15 ml) olive oil
1 T (15 ml) butter
1/2 t (3 ml) minced garlic
1 sprig thyme
2  t (10 ml) porcini powder (optional)
1 T (15 ml) dry sherry
2 t (10 ml) all-purpose flour
1/2 c (125 ml) half and half or light cream
2 t (10 ml) lemon juice 

salt and white pepper
Cut away the tough root from each mushroom cluster, separate into 'leaves' and chop coarsely. Heat the oil and butter in a small non-stick skillet over medium. Add the shallots and a pinch of salt, cook gently for a few minutes, add the mushrooms and the thyme, salt lightly, cover, and continue cooking gently until the shallots are soft and translucent. Discard the thyme, add the garlic and porcini powder, and heat until fragrant. Add the sherry and cook until it has mostly evaporated. Stir in the flour and cook for a minute. Stir in the cream, raise the heat to a slow boil, and cook until the mixture thickens. Off heat, stir in the lemon juice, and season to taste. Fills two or three omelets, or six to eight crêpes.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Ingredient: Using Steam to Hard Cook Eggs

Cooking eggs with steam rather than boiling water offers many advantages. It's faster, more reliable, more energy efficient, and versatile, working as well for one egg or many. Eggs, even very fresh ones, peel easily. Developed Summer, 2015.
eggs
steamer basket
ice bath
Arrange a steamer basket, with the central handle removed, in a large sauté pan with a tight fitting lid. Add water to a depth of 3/4 inch (2 cm), cover, and bring to a rapid boil. Carefully place raw eggs in the basket. Adjust the heat to give steady steaming, cover, and steam for 14 minutes. With tongs, remove each egg to an ice bath. After a minute, gently crack the egg shells so as to craze the entire surface. Return to ice and chill for 15 minutes. Under running water, lift away the shells, dry the eggs, and store cold, covered.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Chinese-Style Cabbage Soup with Rice Noodles

Developed Spring-Summer, 2015. Quick, light nourishment providing hydration, savory cabbage, and carbohydrates from slippery rice noodles. 
Stock
1 qt (1 L) water
5 oz (150 g) napa cabbage, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 T (30 g) chicken base (Better Than Bouillon Organic Reduced Salt™ is good)
2 t salt
Seasonings
1 t sugar
1 T soy sauce (Kikkoman™ is good)
1 t Chinese rice wine
1 t fish sauce
1 t dark sesame oil
4 oz rice noodles, soaked 1/2 hour in cold water, and drained
Garnish
shreds of cooked chicken, pork, lamb, or beef
bean sprouts
sweet basil leaves
Bring the water, base, and salt to a boil in a three-quart covered saucepan. Add the cabbage, reduce to a fast simmer, and cover. Cook until the cabbage is almost done. Add the noodles and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. Ladle into bowls and offer garnishes. Variation: add prepared fish balls or pork balls when five minutes remain.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Poached Chicken

Adapted from Julia Child's original recipe (Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume II). An easy one-pot supper that is light but satisfying, a family favorite for more than 40 years. 
4 lb fryer, cut up, or breasts with attached ribs plus bone-in thighs
3 T butter
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into large diagonal pieces
1 large white onion, cut through poles into large wedges
3 ribs celery, cut into large diagonal pieces
1 leek, cleaned of soil and sliced across
2 c chicken stock
1 c dry white wine
1 t dry tarragon
salt and pepper
Skin chicken parts and trim away all visible fat. Heat a large heavy pot over medium, and add the butter. When sizzling stops, stir in the vegetables, and saute for five minutes. Add chicken, cover, and turn off heat for 5 minutes. Add stock, wine, and tarragon. Return to a simmer for 45 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over steamed white rice in a deep bowl, along with the vegetables and broth. Serves four as a main course.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Hint: Keeping French bread fresh and [almost] ready to serve

Crusty French loaves such as baguettes add substantial flavor and nourishment to a meal but rapidly go stale. Freezing the whole loaf will preserve much of its freshness but is slow to defrost, which delays its use. A useful workaround is to divide the loaf into serving-size pieces (2 to 4 ounces), return them to plastic bag it was sold in – if suitable, and freeze. If the bag is perforated or made from paper, use a new plastic freezer bag instead. When it's time for a yeasty, crusty side to soup, salad, or spread, just take one and freeze the rest. Defrosts in less than 30 seconds in the µwave. Don't forget to mist and cover before microwaving bread.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Hint: Grating Hard Cheese

Grating a hard cheese such as Parmesan or gruyere for a quiche or similar dish that calls for a goodly amount of cheese can be tiring. To make the task less fatiguing, rotate the box grater so that it lies flat on the work surface with the handle facing you. Grip the handle with one hand and push the cheese away from you and down on the grater. Thus, instead of having to press the block of cheese firmly sideways against the grater, force is applied downwards and away, a much easier task, since it employs more and larger muscles.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Banana in Sweet and Sour Raspberry Cream

Developed August, 2015, as a departure from banana in light cream. Versatile, a breakfast, brunch, a rich snack, or dessert dish.
1 ripe banana, sliced attractively
2 T (30 g) sour cream
2 T (30 g) half-and-half or light cream
1/2 t (3 g) sugar
1 T (15 g) raspberry sauce
Add the dairy products and sugar to a serving bowl and mix well. Add the sliced banana and gently combine. Serve with a topping of fruit sauce. Mix before eating. Variation: Substitute strawberries or blueberries as the fruit and use a fruit sauce made from those alternate fruits.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Ingredient: Infants' Gas Relief Drops

Cooks may encounter troublesome foams as they boil foods. Preserves, chutneys, gravies, and the like often threaten to foam up and boil over during cooking. 
Long ago this problem was solved in the food industry by using materials which broke the bubbles by lowering the surface tension of the liquid. In the early 1960s food-safe silicone oils were applied to this problem. Dow Antifoam A was the first product in the class. [DrDaddy's daddy worked in Midland where Dow is based.] 
DOW Antifoam A is a smooth mixture of silicone oil with water (an emulsion). A few drops dramatically stops product foaming. A similar product is now available to cooks in drug stores. It relieves infants suffering from colic. [DrDaddy's first born suffered from colic for 150 straight days.] If it's safe enough for infants, it must safe for the rest of us.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Seafood Cocktail Sauce


Dveloped June, 2015. A traditional tomato-horseradish sauce for shrimp cocktails and other seafood dishes. Chilled shelled shrimp on a bed of crisp head lettuce, topped with a zesty sauce make a classic appetizer.

100 g (3-1/2 oz) chili sauce (Heinz™ is good)
25 g (2 T) prepared white horseradish (Kraft™ is good)
3 g (1/2 t) lemon juice
2 ml (1/4 t) salt
1/2 ml (1/8 t) sriracha
Combine ingredients, store cold in a tightly-covered container, and allow the sauce to mature overnight.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Skillet Garlic Toast


Developed June, 2015. Add crunch and flavor to soups and salads, in a few minutes on the stovetop from pantry ingredients. For a similar product prepared in a toaster oven see this recipe.
4 oz (115 g) supermarket French bread
low-fat margarine
granulated garlic
grated parmesan cheese
Preheat a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Slice the bread crosswise into half-inch thick slices. Spread each slice thinly with margarine and lightly dust on the garlic. Spread the garlic into the margarine. Spoon cheese onto each slice, and press it into the margarine. Invert a slice onto the hot skillet and press firmly. Repeat with the other slices. Toast until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Turn the slices over, mist lightly with water, and cover. Steam for about a minute. Serves one or two.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Meat-Cheese Appetizer Rolls

Like many, DrDaddy and Family want to reduce their intake of starches and sugars ('carbs'), and consume fewer calories of all kinds. After carbs, only two food groups remain, protein-rich foods, and fats. What to eat late afternoon, when hunger often develops? These high-protein snacks make a good choice. They deliver virtually no carbs, are quick to prepare, and quickly tame the hunger pangs.
2 slices, about 2 oz (60 g) thinly-sliced delicatessen roast beef, corn beef, turkey, or chicken
Dijon mustard
1 oz sliced Swiss cheese
Cut the cheese into wide strips. Stretch out a beef slice, spread mustard along its length, position the cheese, and roll up from the wider end. Slice across to yield bite-size pieces.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Mushroom Soup

Developed June, 2015. This recipe delivers deep mushroom flavor in less than 30 minutes. It was devised starting from a recipe in a Good Housekeeping cookbook with the aims to intensify and brighten the flavor, to cut calories, and decrease saturated fat.
1 lb white or brown mushrooms
2 oz olive oil
2 oz butter
1/2 c coarsely chopped onion
1/3 c all-purpose flour
3-1/2 c chicken or vegetable stock
salt to taste
1/2 t ground black pepper
2 T lemon juice
2/3 c half and half or light cream
Wipe mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Remove the stems, chop finely and set aside. Slice the mushroom caps thinly. Heat oil in a 4-quart sauce pan and add the butter. When bubbling stops, stir in the mushrooms and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook over medium high until browned, stirring often. With a slotted spoon, remove mushrooms to a bowl leaving the juices behind in the pan. Heat the pan, adding more oil as needed. Add chopped stems and sliced onions, and saute until tender. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly stir in the stock, bring to a fast simmer and cook until it thickens. With an immersion blender, blend until smooth. Stir in the mushrooms and simmer a few minutes. Stir in the lemon juice, pepper, cream, and salt to taste. Serve warm. Serves 4 to 6. Skillet garlic toast makes a good side.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Ginger Scallion Sauce

Adapted from a recipe downloaded from Salon.com. Although it is made from only a few simple ingredients, it delivers complex, spicy, savory flavor that complements mild-flavoried meats. It's potent; a little goes a long way. Low in carbs, this sauce turns a high-protein snack into a satisfying small meal. H/T to Ben for sharing the link
1 oz (30 g) fresh ginger root, peeled and cut into small chunks
4 oz (115 g) scallions, cut into 1-inch lengths
1/2 c (125 ml) vegetable oil such as peanut or another high-smoke-point oil
1 T (15 ml) coarse salt
Finely mince the ginger in a food processor and transfer it a large heatproof bowl. Mince the scallions in the food processor and add it to the ginger. Thoroughly mix in the salt. Heat the oil in a pan until wisps of smoke appear, then cautiously pour the hot oil over the ginger-scallion mixture. It will sizzle. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Let cool to room temperature. Stored in a tightly-closed container in the refrigerator, it will keep for months. Dip warm or cold thinly sliced meats, such as chicken, veal, turkey, or pork, bite by bite. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Banana in Raspberry Sauce and Cream

Breakfast ready!
Prepared April 22, 2015. Delicious, nourishing, and quick.
1 ripe banana, halved lengthwise and sliced on the bias
2 T (30 ml) cold raspberry sauce
2 T (30 ml) light cream
Place the sliced banana into an 8 oz bowl. Spoon the sauce over the fruit and pour on the cream. Serves one.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Smashed Red Potatoes with Crispy Parsley

Developed April, 2015 as a side dish for kielbasa in mustard sauce. Choose potatoes about the same size.
8 oz small red potatoes
1 T salt
1 T butter
2 T finely minced parsley
1 T finely minced chives or green onions
salt and pepper to taste
Cover potatoes with water in a small saucepan, add salt, and bring to a gentle boil. Cover, reduce heat, and cook gently until easily pierced by a knife point, about 10 to 12 minutes. Drain and halve. Heat the butter in the dry saucepan until it sizzles and begins to brown. Add the parsley and sauté until crisp. Add back the potatoes, add the chives and turn to coat. Off heat, crush lightly with a potato masher. Add salt. pepper, and extra butter to taste. Serves two.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Pork Ribs Steamed in Black Bean, Garlic, and Ginger

Developed February, 2015 from a recipe in ‘Chinese Cookery Secrets’. Steamed foods never dry out.
1 lb (450 g) pork spare ribs, cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces
2 t (10 ml) corn or tapioca starch
1/2 t (3 ml) sugar
1 T (15 ml) fermented black beans (dou-chi, 豆豉) soaked in water and drained
1 large garlic clove
1 t (5 ml) grated fresh ginger root
2 T (30 ml) soy sauce
1 t (5 ml) dark sesame oil
pinch crushed red pepper
toasted sesame seeds or shredded green onions (optional garnish)
Place the ribs in large shallow bowl, sprinkle on the corn starch and sugar, toss to coat evenly. Mince the black beans, garlic, and ginger together, combine with the meat, along with other ingredients. Toss until the ribs are evenly coated. Spread in a single layer in the bowl and steam for 40 minutes, until tender. Combine the ribs and sauce and garnish as desired. Serves 3 or 4 as part of a Chinese meal.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Egg Salad

Recorded February, 2015. The wise cook keeps a supply of shelled, hard-cooked eggs on hand to provide a ready source of solid nutrition as well as a useful ingredient. This recipe yields a satisfying filling for a sandwich or mounded on a lettuce leaf as carbohydrate-free small plate. Ready in less than 5 minutes.
1 cold hard-boiled egg, shelled
1 T mild onion, finely minced
1 T mayonnaise
1/8 t sriracha or other hot chili sauce
salt and pepper to taste
Finely dice the egg and place in a small bowl, mix in the onion, and mash together with a fork until smooth. Mix in the mayonnaise, hot sauce, salt, and pepper until well combined. Makes 1 or 2 servings.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Tomato Stew

Developed February, 2015. The dish combines familiar fresh vegetables with canned tomatoes to yield a nutrition-packed side dish available in any season. It avoids the too sweet problem with most canned offerings. It's a versatile side dish, that pairs nicely with beef, fish, chicken, or sandwiches.
1 T vegetable oil
4 oz (115 g) sweet red pepper, diced
4 oz (115 g) celery, diced
4 oz (115 g) yellow onion, diced
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes in tomato juice (Tuttarosso™ or Muir Glen™ are good)

1 c hot water
1/4 t celery seed
pinch crushed red pepper
1 t salt
1/4 t ground black pepper
1 T (15 ml) apple cider or red wine vinegar
1/2 t (3 ml) sugar
Heat a two-quart sauce pan over medium high, add the oil, and when it shimmers add the peppers. Saute for 3 minutes, add the celery, and 2 minutes later, the onion. Add the salt, stir to combine, cover tightly, and lower the heat. Let the vegetables sweat for 5 minutes to soften. Then, add the tomatoes, water, and the remaining seasonings, cover, and cook for 30 minutes at a slow boil, stirring occasionally. Correct the seasoning. Serves 4 to 6, as a side dish.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Dry Garlic Ribs

Recorded Feb, 2015. This dim sum appetizer has been developed over the years from a recipe in a simple cookbook sold by a Chinese grocery in Victoria, BC. Sadly this lovely book is lost and so this recipe has been reconstructed from memory. Either cut the ribs with a heavy cleaver or have the butcher cut up the ribs.
1 lb (450 g) pork ribs, cut into bite size pieces
5 T (75 ml) corn starch, divided
1 t (5 ml) sugar
1/2 t (2 ml) granulated garlic
2 T (30 ml) soy sauce
2 t (10 ml) dark sesame oil
vegetable oil
1 to 2 T (15 to 30 ml) garlic, finely minced
Place the ribs in a bowl, and dust on 3 tablespoons of the corn starch, the sugar, and granulated garlic. Toss to cover thoroughly. Sprinkle the soy sauce over the ribs. Mix until ribs are covered completely. Heat a wok over medium-high heat for 6 minutes. Add two tablespoons vegetable oil to the wok. When smoking hot, cautiously add the rib pieces one by one. Stir fry until nicely colored, 8 to 10 minutes. Lower heat and cover tightly. Steam 30 minutes, turning occasionally. When tender, sprinkle on final 2 tablespoons corn starch, mix well, and remove the ribs to a bowl. Discard all but one teaspoon fat, raise heat to medium-high. Add the garlic and stir fry until it begins to color. Add back the ribs. Fry the ribs and garlic, turning frequently until the ribs are crispy and coated with toasted garlic. Serves 4 as an appetizer.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Pan-Grilled Polish Sausage in Asian Mustard Sauce

Developed Fall, 2014, in part to reduce carbohydrate intake. If you cut the carbs, that only leaves proteins and fats, the other major nutrient groups. Sausage has plenty of both, and rich flavor to boot. Here, a European meat product is seasoned with Asian flavors for a quick 'small plate' treat.
4 oz kielbasa, split lengthwise
1 t vegetable oil
1 T water
1 T mature vinegar (a Chinese vinegar made from sorghum and wheat) or balsamic vinegar
1 t Chinese rice wine or dry white wine
1 T coarse mustard (Dijon or bratwurst style)
Heat a small, heavy skillet over medium-high. Add the oil. When shimmering, add the sausage, cut side down. Grill 3 to 4 minutes undisturbed. Turn when browned, and grill 1 to 2 minutes more. Remove to a serving plate and cover. Deglaze the hot pan with water, vinegar, wine, and mustard. Return the sausage to the sauce, reheat, spooning over the meat. Serves one or two with extra mustard on the side, if desired.

Ingredient: Chicken Stock Concentrate

Many dishes call for the addition of chicken stock, and so a convenient source of ready-to-use stock is handy. This recipe exploits the retail availability of 'Better Than Bouillon', a thick paste that is diluted to make usable stock. While easy to keep on hand in the refrigerator, the product is not easy to measure or to dissolve, especially in small quantities. This recipe solves the problem by turning the solid concentrate into an easily measured liquid concentrate. Measuring the paste with a digital scale greatly simplifies the process. A fine quality balance with 1 g sensitivity and 5 kg capacity can be purchased on eBay for less than $10, including shipping. Every kitchen should have one, especially if a family member has special dietary needs, such as diabetes.
1 oz (28 g) chicken concentrate (Better than Bouillon™, Reduced Sodium)
1 c (250 g) water
Place a small saucepan on the scale and tare it. 'Tare' means to zero out the weight of the container. Weigh in 28 g of concentrate. Using two teaspoons makes it easy to dispense the concentrate accurately. Add the water, and heat to boiling with occasional stirring until the paste is dispersed. Alternatively, a plastic or glass microwavable container can be used. Pour the hot concentrate into a sanitized glass jar or bottle. Store cold, tightly sealed. To use, shake well, and mix one part of stock with three parts of hot water. Makes one quart (liter) of stock. Variation: Substitute beef- or seafood-flavored concentrate.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Shrimp Egg Foo Yung

Recorded January 2, 2015. Prepared many times over the decades for family. Virtually carbohydrate free, rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals, and protein.
vegetable oil
6 oz (150 g) Napa cabbage, shredded crosswise
6 oz (150 g) mung bean sprouts, rinsed and drained
6 oz (150 g) yellow onion, thinly sliced through poles
6 oz (150 g) raw shrimp, shelled, and cut into bite-sized pieces
8 eggs
1 t sugar
2 t salt, divided
1 t sesame oil
1 T soy sauce
1 t fish sauce
In a round bottom wok over medium heat, heat a tablespoon of oil until hot but not smoking. Add the onions, season with a teaspoon of salt, and cook covered over moderate heat for a three minutes. Add the cabbage, and continue cooking for two minutes more. Stir in the bean sprouts. Cook for a minute and mix in the shrimp meat. When lightly cooked, transfer the mixture to a shallow bowl to cool. In a large bowl, beat the eggs well with a fork. Stir in the seasonings. Stir the vegetable-shrimp mixture into the egg mixture, and combine gently.
 

To make an omelet, heat a tablespoon of oil in the wok until sizzling hot. Ladel in a cup of the egg mixture. The eggs should puff up. Lower heat to medium and cover. After about two minutes, gently turn the omelet, and cook the other side for a minute. Repeat the process. Makes 4 large omelets. Serve with Egg Foo Yung Sauce with white rice on the side. Variations: Make half-size omelets as ‘small plate’ appetizers or as part of a Chinese-style banquet. Substitute boneless chicken for the shrimp

Friday, January 23, 2015

Egg Foo Yung Sauce

Developed January, 2015. Closely approximates typical sauce served at Chinese-American restaurants.
1 t vegetable oil
1/4 t minced garlic
1 c chicken stock
Seasonings
1 T oyster sauce
1 T soy sauce (Kikkoman™ is good)
1 t Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1/2 t sugar
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/2 t sesame oil
Thickener
1 T corn or tapioca starch
2 T cold water
Heat the oil in small saucepan, and stir in the garlic. After 15 seconds, add the chicken stock and bring to boil. Stir in seasonings and return to fast simmer. After a few minutes, stir in starch suspension and stir until the sauce thickens. Adjust salt and pepper. Serves 2, but easily doubled.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Ingredient: Reuben Sandwich Dressing

Developed January, 2015. The 'correct' dressing for a Reuben sandwich (a grilled sandwich of corned beef, Swiss cheese, and sauerkraut on deli rye) has many definitions and designations. 'Russian' dressing and 'Thousand Island' dressing are widely cited, but rarely defined. Here is a picquant dressing that nicely complements The Reuben's flavorsome ingredients.
1/2 c mayonnaise
1/4 c ketchup
1/4 c hot mustard (English or Dijon)
2 T prepared horseradish, drained
2 t Worcestershire sauce
1 t lemon juice
1/4 c dry minced onion
1/2 t salt
Add ingredients to a small bowl and mix thoroughly. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to mature for at least an hour. Refrigerate unused portion in tightly closed container. Yields about a cup of dressing.