Friday, March 5, 2010

Pancake Batter

My little man and I have a weekend ritual. We always have breakfast at least once during our weekend together (which is usually friday to monday). I make the batter and he cooks the bacon and pancakes.  So I have been fiddling with pancake batter for a year now, trying to get it perfect. I've tried many recipes from different sites and cook books and I didn't like them. So in the end I always end up trying my own again and I've finally perfected them! Yah!
Next time I make them I'll take pics.
Makes 16 large pancakes.
3 C. Flour
3 Tablespoons Baking Soda (sounds like a lot but it works out perfect)
1 1/2 teaspoons Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 Tablespoons Sugar
Mix well
In separate bowl mix:
3 Eggs
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
4 Cups Milk (or butter milk if you like)
Add to dry ingredients and then add :
3 Tablespoons melted butter
The batter will be pretty thick, so I usually let it set for 10 mins or so then stir again.

Thai Spicy Garlic Chili Chicken Salad

I'm pretty famous for reverse engineering food. I can eat it once and go home and recreate it. So a friend of mine and I stopped at a new Thai place and we had their Thai Chicken Salad special for the day. I couldn't help but want to recreate it at home because it was soooo Good!
Spicy hot, slightly sweet with nice shinny citrus flavor.
Juice of 1 small Lemon1/4  (and you can add more if you like)
Juice of one regular sized Orange 1/2 C
1 1/2 Teaspoons Thai Chili Garlic paste
1 Green Onion sliced
1/2 teaspoon Ginger minced very fine
2 Tablespoons Finely minced red onion
1 1/2 Teaspoons Nam pla (fish sauce)
2 Teaspoons Soy sauce
1 Teaspoon Rice Vinigar
2 Teaspoons Brown Sugar
1/2 C Peanut oil
Mix and taste, adjust seasonings as needed.
1/2 head ice burg lettuce ripped into bite sized peices
1 large carrot peeled then finely sliced
1/2 Cup sliced Radish (either the red kind or Dikon which is my fav)
2 Cups finely sliced Napa Cabbage
2 Cups cooked shredded chicken
1/2 cup chopped peanuts for garnish.
Mix the greens and chicken and apply a liberal amount of dressing.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Salsa Fresca

Fresh Salsa from the garden is a wonderful addition to any Mexican meal. Try it with home made chips, or on your favorite Mexican meal.
Fresca is Spanish for Fresh. Try to use as many ingredients out of your garden as possible. This should be light and full of the beautiful flavors of spring.
6 med tomatoes (diced)
1 med onion finely diced
1 jalapeno seeded/de-veined and diced
Juice of 1 lemon and 1 lime(to taste, I like mine tangy)
1/4 C chopped cilantro
1 roasted Hatch or Pablano chili diced fine (or 3 Tablespoons canned) (they fresh roast them in front of the market by my house, I just can't resist the smell!)
1/2  teaspoon ground cumin
Simply mix all ingredients, add a little salt as needed and serve.
I like to put all the ingredients into a bowl, mix it together then put it back on my chopping block and chop it all up really fine.  I don't really like big chunks, but make it how you like it. :)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mango Curry Chicken

Everyone loves when I make curry dishes. The trick is getting the balance of the spices and sweet/sour. Remember when using curry a little goes a LONG way!
Although it's not recommended I was in a rush and my chicken breasts were not fully de-thawed, so I just added a little more time to the cooking time and they came out perfect.
Serve with Jasmine rice.

Oven : 350Deg Time: 45mins Prep: 15ms
1 Can 8oz Mango w liquid (diced)
1 Can 8oz coconut milk
1 teaspoon Tamarind paste
1 Medium Onion chopped
3 garlic cloves finely diced
1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 teaspoons Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons Curry powder
1/2 teaspoon finely diced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander (I just crush it with a mortar and pestle)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 to 2 teaspoons Sugar (to taste)
1 to 2 teaspoons Salt (to taste)
1 to 2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper (to taste)
2-3 Tablespoon Red wine vinegar (or to taste, remember it's about balance)
3 lbs chicken breasts (or a whole chicken cut up)

Mix all ingredients except chicken. Taste the sauce and make sure it tastes good. It will develop a better flavor as it cooks so don't be to worried if the sauce isn't exactly what you want it to be Yet. Once you are happy with the flavor mix chicken in and place in a 13x9 baking dish. (or a roasting pan depending on how much chicken you have)

Bake till chicken juices run clear.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Simply Roasted Carrots

This is so simple but so yummy.
Roasting your carrots makes them sweet and tender. If you have an oven don't be afraid to use it!

1lb peeled and 2" sliced carrots
3 T butter
1/2 t salt
pepper to taste
Oven 350@ bake for 25 minutes or till tender

It's so easy. place carrots on the bottom of a roasting pan (or my fav a glass  8x8" pan) season with salt and pepper and place butter on top. Turn carrots once during cooking and when they are fork tender you are done!

Lemony Mushroom and garlic butter glazed aspargus

This is very simple and easy.

1lb Asparagus
2 cloves garlic crushed and diced.
3 T butter
1/2 small lemon juiced
1 t. lemon rind
1/2 c sliced mushrooms

Steam Asparagus till done.In small sauce pan melt 1 T butter, add garlic and mushrooms, and saute till brown, add lemon rind then lemon juice. turn off heat and slowly add bit of remaining butter until you get a sauce.
serve on asparagus.

You are actually making a thicker "sauce" by adding more butter at the end. so you won't really "cook" the extra butter, it should be creamy.

Black Forest Braised Beef with Gravy

I love really hearty diners, especially in the winter. So I bring you my Black Forest Braised Beef and Gravy. I generally make mashed potatoes and roasted veggies as sides.
(try my lemony mushroom and garlic butter glazed asparagus or simply roasted butter carrots.)
*braising is the process of simmering a meat in sauce, the sauce shouldn't cover the meat and veggies it should only come up to about half the depth of the meat.
I like to use a dutch oven or a cast iron skillet.

Oven 350@. cook beef to a temp of  135, but you must let it set for at least 10 minutes to come up to 140-145 for medium rare, most dishes will continue cooking after you remove them from the oven, except for chicken which will be a different blog. :)

 1 3.5lb boneless cross rib roast
3 med onions sliced 1/4'' verticals (that means from root to stems)
1 small med bulb of garlic peeled  (about 12 med to small cloves)
3 medium portobello mushrooms sliced 1/4'' thick
1 T  Kosher or sea salt (divided, use to season each "layer" of ingredients)
1 T Butter
3 T crushed black pepper corns
1 8oz Can beef broth
2 T peanut oil or olive which ever you have, peanut brings a new dimension to the whole dish.
2-3T balsamic vinegar
After half the cooking time has elapsed add the following:
1 T Beef Base and 1/2 c. water Plus 2 cubes beef bullion and 2C. water)
Or 3 T Beef Base and 2 C water, Or 3 Cubes Beef Bullion and 2 C water.
basically you want to add  beef based liquid to bring the level of liquid back to the middle of the roast.

Heat your skillet until it's hot, add a tablespoon of oil, toss in the garlic and let it brown. Take the garlic out of the pan and set aside. Then toss in the mushrooms and season with salt, the mushrooms will soak up the garlic oil in the pan so when they start to dry add the butter, let them brown and put aside.
Salt and pepper the roast while you are working on the  mushrooms, make sure you season well on all sides.
Add remaining oil to pan and brown roast in pan on all sides, when you are ready to brown the last side add the onions, garlic and mushrooms to the sides of the pan. Once browned (about 4-5 minutes) add the liquids (vinegar, beef broth) then season with the crushed black pepper and remaining salt.
Place the whole thing in the oven and braise for an hour and a half or until it reaches temp. Baste every 20 mins to half hour.
At 45 minutes flip roast over and add the remaining liquids to pan, return to oven and let braise till temp.

Take the roast out of the pan. Set pan on burner and bring to a simmer, make a slurry of  1/8 c corn starch and 1 teaspoon water (mix well) and stir into liquid, make sure you keep stirring or it will clump, let simmer till it's thick and gravy consistency.

Serve. :)
Please let me know if you liked this and if it worked out fabulously for you.