Monday, February 21, 2011

Sesame-Butter Rice

Prepared February 20, 2011, as a side dish with Asian Chicken Wings.
2 t canola oil
1-1/2 c long-grain rice
2-1/4 c water
3/4 t salt
2 T raw sesame seeds
1 T butter, diced
In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the oil to the smoke point. Stir in the rice and salt. Saute rice in oil until it's lightly colored and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Stir the sesame seeds into the hot rice, and toast lightly. Add the butter and mix well. Add the water, cover, and simmer undisturbed for 15 minutes. Fold together gently, cover with a towel and the pot lid. Let steam off heat 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Caramelized Apple Topping

Developed November 18, 2007.
1/2 T unsalted butter
2 T dark brown sugar, packed
1 T water
1 t lime juice
1 large cooking apple, peeled, quartered, cored, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/4 t cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
pinch each of salt and freshly-ground pepper
Heat a heavy 8-inch skillet over medium-high, cook the butter until bubbling dies down. Add the brown sugar, stirring to dissolve, and then add water and juice. Boil the syrup for a minute or two until it begins to thicken. Add the sliced apples and turn to coat with syrup. Add seasonings. Cook for a few minutes until the apples begin to get soft, turning often. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook another 5 minutes covered until tender. Serve warm as a topping over vanilla ice cream, pancakes, or pound cake.
Optional: Stir in a 2 T of toasted pecans just before serving.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Reuben Sandwich, modified

Prepared February 16, 2011. Didn't have corn beef, but wanted a reuben.
2 slices Arnold's® rye
1 oz Swiss cheese
1 oz sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
2 T Reuben dressing
2 oz shaved rosemary ham
1 T low-fat margarine
Preheat small skillet on medium-high. Open bread slices like a book, and spread both sides generously with the dressing. Replace top slice back, spread with margarine, and put margarine-side down in a hot skillet. Pile on shaved ham, sliced Swiss cheese, and kraut, top with bread, and spread margarine on top. Grill a few minutes until golden brown, and flip. Finish grilling, pressing down with a spatula lightly to consolidate ingredients.

Standing Rib Roast with Pan Gravy

Recorded February 18, 2011. Prepared for Holiday Dinner, December 2010. The roasting method is straightforward, and is similar to the method used by DrDaddy's mother, Dorothy Magid. Herbs, stock, and wine in the pan were suggested by Emeril Lagasse's and Bobby Flay's recipes.
4-rib choice beef rib roast
1/2 T per lb General Purpose Dry Rub
2 c red wine
2 c beef broth
4 sprigs of thyme
2 sprigs rosemary
Preheat oven to 325 ºF (163 ºC). Remove the roast from the cold two hours before roasting. Season the entire surface well with dry rub. Place the herbs in the bottom of a shallow roasting pan. Arrange the roast, ribs down, on a rack placed over the roasting pan. Place the pan in the middle of the oven and add the wine and stock. Rotate pan every 30 minutes; replace any water lost due to evaporation. Roast about 2 hours, or until a thermometer placed in the center of the meat reaches 120 ºF (49 ºC). for medium-rare. Set roast aside on a cutting board, tented with aluminum foil to rest for 20 minutes. It will rise to about 125 ºF (52 ºC) while resting. 
Remove the herbs, and defat the juices from the roasting pan. Add water to bring total volume to 2 cups, add to the roasting pan, and deglaze on the stovetop. Thicken with a bit of corn starch suspended in water before serving on the side.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hamburger Helper + Helper

Prepared February 15, 2011. This reduces meat (and saturated fat) by half, replacing it with vegetables, seasonings and flavorings.
1 t vegetable oil
1/2 lb lean (85%) ground beef
2 T tomato paste
2 T dry minced onion
1/4 t crushed red pepper
1 t ground cumin
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T beef base
2-3/4 c very hot water
1/3 c frozen corn kernels
1 box Hamburger Helper® Mexican Chili Macaroni flavor
Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet, and add the beef. Cook, with frequent turning, until well browned. Stir in tomato paste, garlic, cumin, and pepper. Heat for a minute, add the hot water, dry onion, corn kernels,  beef base and the noodles and sauce from the mix. Stir, bring to a slow boil, cover, and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serves 2 or 3.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Beef Steak, Roasted Vegetables, and Toasted Buckwheat Stew

Conceived and prepared February 14, 2011. Based on leftovers from Sunday night's Valentine Day supper.
2 T butter
1 c tender-shredded rare grilled boneless beef steak (see Note)
1 c roasted mixed vegetables, coarsely chopped
1 medium white onion, thin blossom cut
2 ribs celery, 1/2 inch cross cut
1 T garlic, minced
2 T tomato paste
2 c prepared kasha (Wolff's® toasted buckwheat)
1 14 oz can beef stock, heated
2 c beef base (hot water plus 2 T McCormick® concentrate) or use another can of stock
2 T tapioca starch in 2 T water
In a 4 qt saucepan, heat the oil and butter until bubbling stops. Add celery, and cook a few minutes. Add onions, and cook until beginning to color. Add the garlic, and clear a spot to add the tomato paste. When bloomed, mix into onions, and stir in the kasha. When heated through, add the vegetables, and then the hot stock and beef base. Bring to a simmer, add the starch suspension, and the shredded beef. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Serves 4 to 6.
Prepared from charcoal-grilled boneless eye of the rib. Cut match-stick shreds with a sharp chef's knife across the muscle fibers to produce tender beef.

Stir-fried Vegetables, Hong Kong Egg Noodles, and Fish Cake

Egg Noodles, Mixed Vegetables, and Fish Cake

Recorded January 28, 2011. Prepared several times beforehand.
2 c baby bok choy, rinsed, dried, and angle cut
2 c napa, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 c broccoli crowns, sliced, blanched, and refreshed
1 medium yellow onion, thinly cut through the poles
2 c bean sprouts
1 c sliced mushrooms
1 T minced garlic
1 can bamboo shoots, strips, rinsed well, and drained
1/4 c canola oil, divided
14 oz pkg Hong Kong-style dry egg noodles
3/4 lb prepared breaded fish cake squares (5 or 6 cakes)
2 T soy sauce
1 T dark sesame oil
1/2 T fish sauce
2 T oyster sauce
about 1 c chicken stock
1/4 c julienned green onions (optional)
Fish Cake
Heat 1 T of oil sizzling hot in a large wok. Add the fish cakes, and crisp, with frequent turning, about 1 minute, taking care not to burn. Remove to a plate to cool. Cut into slices.
Add the noodles to salted boiling water (about 3 qts) in a large sauce pan. Boil gently for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. When just tender, drain in a colander, and cool with cold water. Drain well and mix in 2 T oil and 1 T soy sauce. Add 2 T oil to the wok, and heat to smoking. Add noodles, fry on one side a few minutes. When golden, turn. Continue until the batch of noodles is nicely browned and crisped. Set aside in a large bowl and cover to keep warm.
Vegetables in Sauce
Stir fry the bok choy, napa, onions, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, and garlic until crispy tender. Add the seasonings and stock.
Finished Dish
Bring vegetables to a boil, fold in the noodles, and heat through. Serve in a large bowl, arranging the fish cake slices on top. Garnish with the green onions. Serves 6.

Easier Fresh Fruit Salad

Fresh Fruit Salad (photo by Laura)
Conceived and prepared February 13, 2011 by Laura. When making a fresh fruit salad, you can increase the variety of fruits by selecting from a megamart's salad bar. Rather than buy large containers of individual fruits, select a variety in appropriate quantities from ripe fresh fruit already prepared. Save money, save time, and eat well!

cara cara oranges
black cherries
Cut the fruit into smaller pieces as needed (the last two were prepared at home). Combine fruits in a serving bowl, adding 1 t of sugar for each cup of fruit mixture. Fold gently, and set aside for 1/2 hour for the syrup to form and the flavors to meld. Serve lightly chilled.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Breakfast Burrito with Crab

Conceived and prepared February 13, 2011 by Laura as part of our special Valentine's Day breakfast.
2 large flour tortillas
3 large eggs
1 small leek, white and light green parts, julienned
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 T extra virgin olive oil
1 T butter
1/4 c prepared salsa, medium
2 T grated Mexican cheese
4 oz canned or freshly-picked crab meat
2 T chopped cilantro
Lightly sauté the leeks and garlic in olive oil. When leeks are tender, lower heat, add crab meat, warm through, cover, and set aside. Melt butter in an omelet pan over medium heat, and add the well-beaten eggs. As they set, push the curds to the center of the pan and let the uncooked egg spread toward the sides of the pan. Repeat until the eggs are cooked but still soft and moist. Steam the tortillas in the microwave under a damp paper towel. Place a tortilla on a plate, adding half the eggs, the warm crab mixture, the cheese, salsa, and the cilantro, leaving room for the folds. To form a burrito, fold the bottom third up to close off the bottom, and then fold in half, and in half again, perpendicular to the bottom fold. Pair with a fresh fruit salad for a special brunch or light supper.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Rotisserie Chicken and Couscous

Rotisserie Chicken over Couscous
with Braised Cauliflower
Prepared Feb 10, 2011. May sound exotic but it’s QuickEats©. And cheap.
Parts (as needed) carved from a supermarket rotisserie chicken (Costco™ is good)
3 c prepared couscous (see below)
16 oz prepared chicken gravy or homemade
Add the warm couscous as prepared below to a 2-qt glass casserole. Spoon about 1/3 of can of gravy over the couscous. Arrange the roasted chicken pieces on the couscous. Spoon the remaining gravy on top. Cover and microwave at 30% power (1250 watt oven) for 15 to 20 minutes. Serves 4 to 6. Turnip greens make a tasty side.

1 c water
1 c chicken stock
2 T low-fat margarine, butter, or olive oil
1/2 t salt
1 c French couscous (Trader Joe's™ is good)
Bring the first four ingredients to a boil in a small sauce pan. Sift in the couscous with stirring. Return to a boil, cover, and turn off heat. After 10 minutes, stir. Cover and steam another 5 minutes. Serve or proceed.

Chicken Bake

First prepared April 9, 2006. Modified from a recipe on a box of commercial stuffing mix.
6 small boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat and membranes
2 T oil
6 oz white mushrooms, sliced
3 T minced shallots
1/4 t garlic powder
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup (Campbell's™)
1 cup milk
In 12-inch skillet, heat oil and lightly saute shallots and mushrooms. Stir in garlic, milk, and the mushroom soup. Heat to a slow boil and simmer a few minutes.

Box of Stove Top™ stuffing mix (chicken flavor)
1 cup water
1/4 c green onions, sliced
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Combine ingredients well with a fork. Let stand 5 minutes.

Final Preparation:

Place breasts inside a heavy-duty ziploc plastic bag and pound until about 1/4 inch thick. Spread one-sixth of stuffing in a layer and roll up using a sheet of plastic wrap as an aid. Tuck in ends and place seam side down in a 9 x 13-inch glass baking pan sprayed with oil. Spread sauce over chicken evenly. Dust with paprika. Bake 30 to 40 minutes at 400 deg F until cooked through. Serves six. Suggested sides: parsley-butter new potatoes and a bok choy stir-fry.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Ingredient: Mushroom Powder

A tablespoon or two of mushroom powder, added to hot liquid (soup, sauce, stew, stir fry) adds a complex, meaty flavor to a variety of savory foods.
1/2 c dried shiitake, broken into pieces
Dried shiitake mushrooms (black or forest mushrooms) are available in any Asian grocery and many occidental groceries. Break them into pieces and process into a fine powder in a clean coffee grinder. [Hint: Clean your grinder by processing a batch of unpopped corn.] Store tightly sealed in a dark place. Alternatively, mushroom powders can be purchased online.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Grilled and Braised Asian-Style Chicken Wings

Developed January 29, 2011. Developed from Merry Magid's fried and braised Chinese-style wings.
Grilled Chicken Wings — Ready for Braising
4 lb chicken wings, rinsed, trimmed of fat and excess skin; tip-tucked
1 T vegetable oil + 1 T dark sesame oil
1 t garlic powder
3 T soy sauce
3/4 c white wine
1 t sugar
about 2 c water
2 T dow see (fermented black beans), soaked and drained
1 T mushroom powder
1/2 t salt
Brine wings 1/2 hour in 1 qt cold water plus 1/4 c each kosher salt and sugar. Drain well, dry, and grill covered over a hot charcoal fire for about 20 minutes, rotating and turning every few minutes until nicely browned. Transfer the wings to a large dutch oven, and heat over medium heat on the stovetop. As it begins to sizzle, add the canola and sesame oils. When heated add soy sauce and garlic powder, and stir fry until it glazes the chicken.  Add the wine and reduce by half. Add water to half cover the wings, and the remaining ingredients, and mix well. Simmer covered for an hour, basting often. Remove the top, and simmer until sauce is almost syrupy and the wings are tender, about 40 minutes. 
Serve over steamed rice. Serves 4 to 6.