This risotto recipe is one of my favorites. The first time I had sweet pea risotto was at North restaurant. It was served with pan-fried sea scallops. Although I am not particularly fond of scallops, I'll eat it on occasion.
When the dish came out, I thought it was especially green but when I took a bite, the pureed sweet peas with the creamy rice was such a great combination. The recipe for the risotto can be found here on my blog. Here is a link. Sweet Pea Risotto
I decided to make sauteed garlic shrimp to accompany the risotto. Please do not use pre-cooked or pre-peeled shrimp. My mom used to buy 5-lb blocks of shrimp. My job was to package the shrimp into 1-lb portions. The shrimp was never peeled or deveined ahead of time. Since I am all grown up and a tad lazier, I buy bags of IQF (individually quick frozen) shrimp that have already been deveined.
While at the grocery store, I saw the bags of cooked and peeled shrimp. I wondered, "who buys this stuff?" The bf buys cooked shrimp. It was a good thing I didn't send him out to pick up shrimp. A while back, I was helping a friend make shrimp kabobs. She bought cooked shrimp. I looked at her and said, "What is this? How am I supposed to marinate, skewer and grill cooked shrimp?" Shrimp should never be overcooked. It should be cooked just enough so that it is no longer transluscent. When you start off with cooked shrimp and cook it a second time, the shrimp is almost guaranteed to be overcooked.
I supposed cooked shrimp has its purpose. Shrimp cocktail? I don't like shrimp cocktail so I guess that is why I never buy frozen cooked shrimp. I have to think of a use for frozen cooked shrimp. In egg rolls? Nope. I use chopped raw shrimp for egg roll filling. Hmm...I will have to think about it.
Okay, okay enough about shrimp. Here is very simple yet very delicious recipe for sauteed garlic shrimp.
1 teaspoon olive oil 1 teaspoon unsalted butter 1 lb large shrimp (I used 26/30 count so according the the charts this size is considered extra large) 2 cloves garlic, minced salt pepper 2 teaspoons italian flat leaf parsley squeeze of lemon juice
1. Heat a medium skillet on medium heat. Add olive oil and butter. When butter is melted add shrimp and garlic. Saute until shrimp is just done. (This should only take a few minutes.) Do not overcook the shrimp. (How many times can I type overcook in this post?) 2. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper, stir in parsley and lemon juice.
I doubled the recipe for pizza dough but decided to only make a few small pizzas. We used the dough to make freezer calzones. We filled each calzone with pepperoni, salame, veggies, ricotta and mozzarella. We par-baked them for a few minutes, let them cool and then wrapped them up for the freezer.
The bf is the master dough tosser.
Ready to be filled: How much can I stuff in this thing? Poke little vent holes. We baked them on a stone but cooled them on a sheet.
The bf calls this "Billy Bread." He used to make it in his pizza joint. He brushed the dough with garlic butter and topped with cheese.
This is my favorite pizza stone. It is Mario Batali's cast iron pizza stone and griddle. It makes the best pizzas. It currently retails for about $60 or $70 at stores like Crate & Barrel. I bought mine for $2.59 plus an additional 30% off for using my Macy's card. The stone on the bottom is a regular Kitchenaid pizza stone. It used to be my favorite pizza stone until I found Mario.
See the bottom of the pizza crust? Isn't it gorgeous?
I made this earlier in the week but was too tired (lazy) to post. I had green chiles in the fridge that I bought the week before from Sunflower Market. This was their first shipment of green chiles this season. I read that the chile growers in Hatch had an awesome harvest this year so the green chiles started showing up a few weeks earlier. The green chiles will also be shipped to other parts of the country that usually do not receive green chile shipments.
Since it wasn't the height of green chile season, the roaster in front of the store did not continually roast them. You can get roasted chiles but you had to wait. I was in a rush so I took the chiles home unroasted. (I usually roast my own poblanos and jalapenos during the off season.)
I won't repost the recipe because I base it off my regular recipe with minor adjustments. Sometimes I will use fresh tomatoes and other times I will use canned. I use fresh tomatillos when I can find them but chile verde works just as well. I will vary the meat. I sometimes will cook a whole piece of pork loin or butt but cubed pork or chicken works. I am a little careful with chicken breast because I don't like to over cook it or it will dry out. This time I used a mix of thighs and bone-in breasts. I slightly undercooked both, pulled them out and shredded the chicken before returning it to the pot.
The one thing that I never sub are the chiles. I don't use canned chiles. The chiles have to be freshly roasted or frozen freshly roasted. Chile season is not very long so I rely on frozen green chiles. I, however, always add a few freshly roasted poblanos and jalapenos or serranos. Poblanos, serranos and jalapenos can be found fresh all year round.
I start with a mix of three types of peppers (hatch, poblanos and jalapenos). I use mostly hatch but add two poblanos and one very large jalapeno. The mix of chiles adds to the complexity of flavors.
Roast the green chiles and place them in a large container with a cover.
Wait about half an hour and the chiles should be cool and the skins should come off easily. Use gloves or your hands will hate you.
Make a slit down the chile. Remove the tops and under running water, slip off the skin and remove the seeds.
Should look like this.
Same chile but from the outside.
Dice them up.
Chile looks like this before adding the corn and cilantro.
Here is the finished stew. I like adding potatoes and corn for a heartier stew. I omit the potatoes and corn when I want to use it as a sauce for enchiladas or breakfast burritos. This time I used chicken thighs and shredded the meat before adding it back into the stew.
Ladle into a bowl and top with some shredded cheese and serve with a tortilla.
I won't call this coq au vin since I didn't use a rooster. I'm fresh out of old roosters at the moment. I need to ask my dad to send me some. (I'm not kidding. My dad has roosters. My dad does not live in the country. His roosters are in the heart of San Diego, California.)
I've been hearing so much about Julia Child in the past weeks so I thought about a dish she is famous for. This is not her recipe. It is my lazy stovetop method. I didn't do any oven braising. I don't think it is all that necessary when you are not using a rooster or an old stewing hen. I'm using all natural chicken thighs and drums.
Shhh...Don't tell anyone but I used frozen wine. I am the only one who drinks wine in the house and with my various medications and because I am now a lightweight, I have to watch how much I drink. A whole bottle doesn't get consumed very quickly so I freeze them in ice cube trays or in 2-cup portions so that I can add them to different sauces and dishes.
The pictures are horrible. How do you take pretty pictures of a not so pretty dish? It is the same way I feel about photographing cassoulet. Love the stuff (except for the duck confit) but doesn't photograph well.
Poulet au Vin
8 ounces bacon, diced 3 chicken leg quarters, cut into drums and thighs 3 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour 1 medium onion, diced 2 carrots, diced 1 celery rib diced 2 cloves garlic 8 ounces mushrooms, quartered 2 teaspoons parsley ½ teaspoon rosemary ½ teaspoon thyme 2 bay leaves 2 cups red wine 1 tablespoons sugar splash lemon juice salt pepper
1. In dutch oven, render bacon. Remove bacon and reserve. 2. Brown chicken in rendered bacon fat. Transfer chicken onto a platter. 3. Add onions, carrots, celery, garlic and cook until soft. Add mushrooms and cook until mushrooms are tender. Add the flour to make a semi-roux for thickening (the culinary term is singer and pronounced san-jay). Add parsley, rosemary, thyme and bay leaves. 4. Deglaze with wine, bring to a low boil and cook uncovered about 10 minutes. Cover and continue to cook until chicken is tender (approximately 40 minutes). Add sugar, lemon juice and adjust seasoning.
I didn't have thick cut bacon or lardons so the regular bacon went into the pot.
Damn pot doesn't brown very well but I didn't feel like using a regular cast iron to brown and then transferring pots.
Button mushrooms. The grocery store was out of my usual baby bellas aka creminis.
I’m not exactly sure what to call this dish but after doing some research, I’m going with Khua Mee. I thought the dish was Laotian in origin because the first time I had it was when a Laotian friend’s mom made it. I did some research and a found that a few different countries and ethnic groups within these countries have their own claim to the origin of this dish.
I read that the Shan ethnic group in Burma have a dish they call Mee Kola and Cambodians also have a noodle dish called Mee Cha. In Laos the dish is either called Mee Lao or Khua Mee. I believe the word “mee” or “mi” is the universal Asian word for noodles.
This is a pan-fried and caramelized noodle dish topped with slices of crepe-thin omelets, bean sprouts, green onions, coriander leaves and sometimes shredded chicken. The taste is sweet, savory and garlicky. The contrast between the warm soft noodles and the cold crispy bean sprouts is perfect.
The noodles that my friend’s mom used were pho rice noodle sticks so I use the same noodles. I have a feeling that the ingredients of the dish have been changed based on what is readily available.
After several attempts, I found a method to recreate this. I’m not guaranteeing that this is the way that my friend’s mom made it. It was all trial and error until I was satisfied with the finished product.
The bf gives his stamp of approval.
Khua Mee aka Fried Noodles
2-3 boneless chicken breasts 2 cloves garlic, cut in half salt
2 packages banh pho noodles ½ cup granulated sugar ¼ cup canola oil 4 cloves garlic, crushed 2 cups water ¼ cup Pearl River dark soy sauce 2 tablespoons fish sauce MSG salt pepper
8 eggs salt pepper MSG 2 tablespoons water oil, as needed
Prep Work: 1. Poach chicken breasts with salt and garlic until cooked. Allow to cool and then shred into strips. 2. Soak pho noodles in hot water (tap is fine but if your tap doesn't get very hot you can bring the water just below a boil) until slightly softened; approximately 5 minutes. Strain noodles and set aside. 3. Wash and prep the cilantro and green onions.
Directions: 1. In a wok, caramelized sugar until golden brown. Add oil and garlic and cook garlic until golden. 2. Carefully add water to the wok. (Be very careful because you are adding cold water to caramelized sugar.) Add soy sauce, fish sauce, MSG, salt and pepper. Bring to a low boil. 3. Taste the liquid, adjust seasonings and when caramelized sugar has melted, add the pho noodles. Stir to evenly coat noodles with sauce. Continue to cook until noodles are softened and sauce had been absorbed. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.
Preparing the Egg Strips:
I think the "EB" stamped on the eggs are so cute.
1. Beat eggs with salt, pepper, MSG and water. 2. Heat a nonstick (yes I said nonstick) pan and slightly coat with oil. Pour a little of the beaten eggs into the pan (like preparing crepes) and cook on both sides. Repeat until all eggs are cooked. 3. Stack the egg omelets and slice into strips. Assembly: 1. When noodles have completely absorbed the sauce and is cool enough to handle, carefully separate the strands of noodles and place into a casserole pan (I often see people use the disposable aluminum pans but a casserole will work.) 2. Spread a layer of green onions and coriander leaves on top of the noodles. 3. Then a layer of shredded chicken breasts. 4. Then a layer of egg strips and finally a layer or bean sprouts.
This is a really simple side to prepare. It is better suited for the fall but since I had leftover butternut squash and was craving something sweet, I threw this together.
I had to take a culinary nutrition class in school. In addition to remembering that 1 gram of protein or carbohydrate equals 4 calories, 1 gram of fat equals 9 calories and 1 gram of alcohol equals 7 caloriess, we had to completely alter and execute randomly chosen recipes and turn them into healthier alternatives. We were allowed to choose our own teams and since we worked with the same group of students in each class, we knew their dedication (or lack of).
I looked at my friend Brooke and we decided that our team would consist of only the two of us. Other classmates asked to be part of our team but we did not want any slackers on our team. The chef had a thing against women chefs. He had this notion that only men made good chefs. We spent the entire ten weeks convincing him that we were his top students. We were the only team that received a 100 on our project. We spent many weekend hours doing our research and executing our dish. We were fortunate enough to be assigned duck a l'orange. I felt really bad for the team that was assigned the Monte Cristo.
Not only did we have to write up a new recipe, using substitute ingredients, but we had to also make the dish as our final product. The Monte Cristo was a complete disaster. How the heck were they supposed to make a low fat deep-fried battered ham and cheese sandwich?
Well in addition to the main dish, we also had to come up with some "healthy" side dishes. I decided to put together a glazed butternut squash side. I diced up some butternut squash, added honey, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger and butter. I always had a few surprise ingredients hidden in my pockets and that day I happen to have a handful of dried cranberries. I added the cranberries at the last minute. I told the chef it was "healthy" and failed to mention the pats of butter I added. Sometimes I add pecans or walnuts but I didn't feel like it this time.
This glaze can also be used for halved acorn squash. I do like the presentation options of acorn squash but I'm not particularly fond of the texture and flavor. I think butternut and buttercup squashes have more flavor.
Not a real recipe here but it is fairly forgiving.
cubed winter squash (butternut/buttercup or halved acorn squash) Saigon cinnamon ground ginger pinch of ground nutmeg honey (I use local honey because it is supposed to help with my allergies) brown sugar a few pats of butter dried cranberries pecans or walnuts (optional)
Place the squash into a casserole dish and top with cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, honey, brown sugar and butter. Roast in preheated oven. (I don't even care much about the temperature but 350 sounds about right.) When the honey, brown sugar and butter melts, it will form a syrupy glaze; mix to coat everything. Cook until slightly fork tender and then top with cranberries and nuts (if using) and cook about 10 minutes longer.