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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

As geese migrate in the winter, so too must I migrate to fairer weather

I've moved! Lucky for me, there were no boxes to pack. Please visit my new site at: http://thekitchenslave.com. See you all there!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Black Pepper Beef Hao Fan

Tombee hates rice and I hate noodles. In order to be fair, I always alternate one day of noodles with one day of rice and so I'm always on the lookout for new noodle recipes. I saw black pepper udon on a blog and I decided to try making my own black pepper noodles, but with hao fan instead of udon. Hao Fan is a fresh flat rice noodle and comes in sliced sheets that are packaged. Usually when you purchase it fresh, it's quite hard because it's cold, so the best way to soften it is by steaming for a few minutes until the noodles are soft and pliable. Once soft, they are silky smooth and absorb sauces extremely well. Unfortunately despite its delicious taste, the noodles look quite ugly when mixed with the sauce and doesn't photograph well but I can assure you that despite the dodgy picture, the noodles are really delicious. The tenderness of the beef echoed the soft, smooth texture of the noodles and the slight sweetness in the beef from the mirin brought out the sweetness of the hoisin sauce in the black pepper sauce.


Cooking the beef with the snow peas and carrots



Black Pepper Beef Hao Fan

Ingredients
1/2lb beef, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon baking soda
900 gram package hao fan
1 1/2 cups snow peas
1 cup carrots, julienned
1 tablespoon oil

Marinade
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon cooking wine
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Black Pepper Sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons kecap manis (indonesian sweet soy sauce)
1 tablespoon cooking wine
1 teaspoon mirin
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

Directions
1. Marinate beef with baking soda for 15 minutes. Wash beef thoroughly of baking soda.
2. Mix marinade ingredients together and pour over beef and massage marinade into beef.
3. Bring a pot of water to boil and place steaming rack inside. Place hao fan on a heatproof plate and place on steaming rack. Steam for a few minutes until hao fan is soft. Set aside.
4. Mix sauce ingredients and set aside.
5. Heat oil in pan and add carrots. Cook for 1 minute, then add 2 tablespoons water and cover for a minute until carrots are slightly softened.
6. Move carrots to edge of pan and add a teaspoon of oil in the middle. Add beef and leave for 1 minute without stirring so that beef can brown. After one minute, stir beef around so that the second side gets browned.
7. Add snow peas when beef is 80% cooked and mix beef, carrots and snow peas together. Cover for 1 minute. Snow peas should be crisp and cooked by this time. If the snow peas are not cooked, add 1 tablespoon water and cover for another minute.
8. Add softened hao fan to pan and stir to mix noodles with beef and veggies. Add sauce and mix well so that noodle mixture is entirely coated with sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Raspberry and Maple Syrup Glazed Chicken

I got the idea to use raspberry preserves as a marinade when I saw another recipe that used apricot jam as part of a marinade for chicken. I started thinking about possible preserves and remembered that I had a quarter of a jar of raspberry preserves left in the fridge and I decided to try using that as a marinade for chicken. The raspberry flavour did not come through as well as I had hoped and I could only taste hints of it in the chicken. I'm not sure if the raspberry flavour would be more pronounced if I had marinated it overnight, so I would suggest trying that. The marinade resulted in a sweet and sticky glaze over the chicken that was delish but again was not necessarily different from a honey glaze since the predominant flavour was sweet rather than having a distinct raspberry flavour. The maple syrup added a nice depth to the marinade and was complemented well by the fish sauce. Overall quite good but just not as raspberry-ish as I had hoped.




The raspberry preserves lent a beautiful red colour to the chicken

Raspberry and Maple Syrup Glazed Chicken

Ingredients
1lb chicken drumsticks, wings or thighs

Marinade
3 tablespoons raspberry preserves/jam
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon mirin
2 tablespoons sriracha chili garlic sauce

Directions
1. Mix marinade ingredients together in a large bowl and taste. Adjust if necessary, adding more mirin for sweetness or fish sauce for saltiness.
2. Wash chicken and pat dry. Make slits in chicken to allow marinade to penetrate.
3. Add chicken to marinade and mix together thoroughly. Marinate overnight or at least 5 hours.
4. Heat oven to 350 degrees and place chicken on baking sheet covered with foil. Bake for 30-40 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Throughout the baking process, brush chicken with marinade every 10 minutes. After 20 minutes, brush chicken with honey or maple syrup instead and baste every 10 minutes. Chicken is done when juices run clear and flesh is no longer pink.




Friday, February 5, 2010

Chicken Teriyaki

Teriyaki ready made sauce is prevalent today and very inexpensive to purchase in grocery stores. Wikipedia states that the word teriyaki is derived "from the noun teri (η…§γ‚Š?), which refers to a shine or luster given by the sugar content in the tare, and yaki (焼き?), which refers to the cooking method of grilling or broiling. Traditionally the meat is dipped in or brushed with sauce several times before and during cooking." The traditional teriyaki sauce, made up of equal parts soy sauce, mirin and sake is incredibly easy to make and tastes much better than the store bought stuff. You can choose to braise meats in the teriyaki sauce, grill it or bake it in the oven. I've braised some cut up chicken thighs in the teriyaki sauce in order to infuse the chicken with the sweet marinade but any method will produce delicously glazed sweetness when brushed with the marinade.


Braising the chicken in the teriyaki sauce



Chicken Teriyaki

Ingredients
1lb chicken thighs, cut into 2 sections or any other chicken parts
1" knob ginger, sliced into 3 pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 green onion, cut into 2" sections
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin
1/4 cup sake (substitute with chinese cooking wine if unavailable)
1 tablespoon oil
1 green onion, thinly sliced (for garnish)

Directions
1. In a small saucepan, combine soy sauce, mirin and sake and bring to a boil. The sauce should be slightly thickened.
2. Heat oil in a pan and add ginger, garlic and green onions. Cook until fragrant, then add chicken. Cook for another minute until chicken starts to brown.
3. Pour sauce over chicken and stir to coat. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down and cover and simmer until chicken is cooked.
4. Sauce should have reduced to a syrupy glaze on the chicken but if you would like sauce to reduce even further, uncover and cook on high heat until sauce is reduced. Transfer chicken to plate and garnish with sliced green oniones.




Thursday, February 4, 2010

Red Curry Squid and Green Beans

There once lived a king and a queen and the king was completely attended to by his queen. She did everything in the castle and even had to spoon feed him sometimes when he became extra lazy. They were completely smitten with each other and lived in harmony and happiness. However, one day the devil came to visit the kingdom and stayed for a while. Life was difficult and the king was so distracted that he didn't even have time to let the queen spoon feed him anymore. The king and queen were unhappy and managed to evict the devil from the castle for a short period of time, but not much time had passed before the devil managed to insinuate himself back into the castle. The devil's name? You guessed it - Modern Warfare 2! I know some of you ladies out there have had the pleasure of the devil's stay, either for a short time or you may still be enjoying its pleasant company, and can commiserate with me over this intrusion into life. It's like a second wife, and gets all the attention and none of the grief. The most annoying thing about MW2? Since Tombee's hogging the TV, I still haven't been able to watch Julie & Julia! It's a tough life I tell ya...

But, the show must go on. This dish was nice with a hint of spiciness. I would have added more curry paste since I adore super hot food but because Tombee sweats like an Eskimo in fur in 40 degree weather when he eats "spicy" food, I didn't add as much as I would have liked. The hoisin sauce complemented the heat in the dish well by tempering a lot of the spiciness with an almost caramelized sweetness. I cooked the beans until they were barely done and were still extremely crisp, which added a nice textural contrast to the soft squid. Of course I probably don't need to say that Tombee's food went ice cold while he was in the devil's clutches...waste of my efforts I tell ya!





Red Curry Squid and Green Beans

Ingredients
1lb squid, cut into rings
1lb green beans, ends trimmed
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 birds eye chili, thinly sliced and seeds discarded
1 tablespoon oil

Sauce
1-2 tablespoon red curry paste (depending on how spicy you want it)
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon water

Directions
1. Mix sauce ingredients and set aside.
2. Heat oil in pan and add garlic and chili pepper. Cook until fragrant.
3. Add green beans to pan and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons water and cover for 2 minutes. The beans should be about 90% cooked. If not, add more water and cover again.
4. Add squid rings to pan and stir to mix with beans.
5. Add sauce and stir quickly to coat squid and green beans with sauce. Cook until squid is just cooked (do not overcook as squid will become rubbery). Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
6. Serve with steaming hot rice.




Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Brown Rice Peanut Vermicelli with Snow Peas, Shredded Carrots, Cubed Tofu and Spicy Soy Beef

I saw these brown rice vermicelli noodles and was intrigued since I love brown rice. Of course, it was also a bonus that the brown rice noodles are healthier than the regular rice vermicelli. It tastes the same so why not eat something that's better for you? Plus it has a cool factor since anyone can eat rice vermicelli but not many people eat brown rice vermicelli ;). The peanut butter lent a creaminess to the noodles and the crunchy carrots and snow peas provided a nice contrast to the tenderness of the beef. Peanut noodles are definitely one of my favourite ways to eat noodles (even though I must admit that I'm not much of a noodle fan).


Mixing the noodles in the pot



Brown Rice Peanut Vermicelli with Snow Peas, Shredded Carrots, Cubed Tofu and Spicy Soy Beef

Ingredients
1 cup snow peas
1/2 cup julienned carrot
1/2 cup cubed firm flavoured tofu
1lb beef
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 package brown rice vermicelli

Marinade
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon cooking wine
1 tablespoon mirin
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Dressing
3-4 tablespoons peanut butter (depending on your preference)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon sriracha chili garlic sauce

Directions
1. Slice beef thinly across the grain into strips. Marinate beef with baking soda for 10 minutes. (Do not leave for longer!) Wash beef of all baking soda and pat dry with some paper towels.
2. Mix marinade ingredients in a bowl and add to beef. Leave to marinate for at least half an hour.
3. Bring a pot of water to boil and cook noodles until soft. Drain.
4. Mix dressing ingredients together and set aside.
5. Heat oil in pan and garlic. Cook until aromatic, then add beef. Quickly stir and cook until beef is 80% finished. Dish out and set aside.
6. Add carrots to the hot pan and cook for 2 minutes until slightly softened. Add snow peas and stir fry for a minute, then add 2 tablespoons water and cover for another minute.
7. Add tofu to pan and add oyster sauce. Stir to coat. Add beef back into pan and stir fry until beef is fully cooked.
8. Place noodles in a large bowl and add beef mixture, stirring to incorporate everything together.
9. Add dressing and mix until noodles are coated in the sauce. Taste and adjust as desired.




Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Gochujang and Chipotle Fried Sea Bass and Zucchini

I luurve spicy food. Unfortunately Tombee is a bit of a wimp when it comes to spicy stuff so I always have to be considerate when making something spicy. This dish was not spicy at all but Tombee said it was so I guess it depends on how much of a wimp you are ;). If you can't find chipotle peppers you can substitute with chili powder but the smokiness of the chipotle peppers just cannot be replaced.


Live action shot - look at that steam!



Gochujang and Chipotle Fried Sea Bass and Zucchini

Ingredients
2 sea bass filets, cubed (substitute with any firm white flesh fish)
2 small zucchinis, cubed
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon oil

Sauce
1-2 tablespoons gochujang (more or less depending on how spicy you want it)
1 chipotle pepper (omit or only use half if you don't want it too spicy)
1 teaspoon chipotle pepper sauce (from can)
2 teaspoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons chicken broth (can substitute for water if you'd like)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon cooking wine

Directions
1. Place all ingredients for sauce into a food processor and blend together until smooth. Taste and adjust sauce as desired.
2. Heat oil in pan and add minced garlic. Cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.
3. Add zucchini cubes and cook until they are softened and almost cooked.
4. Add the fish cubes and cook for 1 minute.
5. Pour the sauce into pan and mix to fully coat fish and zucchini in the sauce.
6. Cook until fish and zucchini are cooked and tender.