Sunday, March 11, 2007

Chinese New Year goodies

It's been a while, I know. This year started off so busy. Chinese New Year came and went and all I have left are these fond memories of making a dozen pies of Lor Bot Go, (or LBG as I like to call it). Lor Bot Go is a savory steamed turnip cake with Chinese sausage, mushrooms, dried shrimp, and topped with chopped cilantro or scallions. You can eat it steamed or pan fried, hot or room temperature. It's one of those things you can find at dim sum, a delicious brunch item that goes great with tea.

The ingredients: Fresh white turnips (or daikon radishes), Chinese sausage, dried mushrooms, and dried shrimps

A food processor is extremely useful for shredding the turnip. Otherwise a cheese grater works. Boil shredded turnip in salted water.

Dried mushrooms are great. Just soak em overnight and save the water for cooking.

Dried shrimps are salty and pungent, and adds a nice dimension to the turnips.

Dice up the mushrooms, shrimps, sausages and stir-fry with some garlic.

Rice flour for the "cake" part.

Mix all ingredients into a sloppy slurry.

Divide and steam until solid. The best thing about steamed cakes is that there's no such thing as over baking.

Same thing for steamed cakes, (but that's a different post!)

A little Happy New Year card, a nice ribbon, and there you have it! A nice traditional little food gift for friends and family!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Turkey Lasagna

15 ingredients went into the making of this turkey lasagna. Purists will scoff, but hey, I'm trying to look out for my arteries once in a while...

Fresh sage, parsley, oregano...

Button mushrooms...

Garlic, onions, spinach, and ground turkey...

Tomato sauce and tomato paste...

Fresh mozzarella...

Parmesean, ricotta and an egg...

Pre-cooked lasagna pasta...

Freakin good if I say so myself...

I didn't have that lasagna pan handy, so I used a couple of regular loaf pans, which apparently made the entire thing stronger and easier to cut and store. I think I'll do it this way from now on.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Chris is the Salmon King... and I'm the hot dog fried rice Queen!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

I freakin love me a big breakfast on weekends. Eggs, bacon, corn beef hash, waffles, the whole nine... Bring on the high cholesterol!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Strawberry Cranberry Compote

I am lacking in fruit intake. Started a little food journal of what I eat over the course of a day, and I realize I do not get enough of fruits and veggies!

Anyway, this is my attempt to change that... An easy fruit compote made of strawberries and cranberries, good for... hmm, I don't know what it's good for. Crepes? Toast? It tastes pretty good by itself.

Now if I can only avoid the cream in my fridge!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Lemon Basil Chicken & Mushroom Risotto Wraps

I went on a fresh herbs binge tonight. This past weekend Chris has been conjuring up some goodies for a catering gig he has next month. Apparently, there was a lot of basil and raddichio left over, so I just decided look up some recipes using those ingredients and the thought of lemon basil chicken and mushroom risotto raddichio wraps sounded... well, it sounded like a perfect dinner to make to use up the rest of the stuff. Of course, since the risotto required fresh oregano and sage, I stopped by the market after work... Sure, I'm all done with the basil, but now I have fresh oregano and sage left! Help!

Anyway, dinner is served...

Admittedly, I'm not a fan of radicchio, but in this case, it works. It's almost like a burrito. Personally, I find it a bit too bitter for my taste. Perhaps plain old lettuce might have worked better.

The sauce for the chicken was really good though. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice into a bowl and marinate the chicken for about 15 minutes. Then in a pan, melt some butter, and sear the chicken. Remove chicken when done, then add white wine and fresh basil to the pan, then finish off with some heavy cream and a little more butter. I couldn't believe how simple it was. The tangy-ness of the lemon chicken countered the aromatic basil and creamy taste of the sauce. In the original recipe it called for the marinade to be poured into the pan too, but I find that unnecessary. Chris didn't think so either. Anyway, it went well with this bottle of french wine someone brought over for New Years. *clink!*

Hmm... Now what do I do with that fresh oregano and sage?? :P

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Cognac Cod with Tomato Basil Relish

Sometimes the easiest thing to make comes out the tastiest.

This tool is freakin awesome. Well worth the $15!

Monday, January 01, 2007

NYE Menu

Okay, I didn't take pics of all the food, but check it, here's some of the stuff from last night!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

NYE Menu

We're having a few guests over for NYE, so we're going to spend some time doing what we love: cooking!

I think when it comes to food, we both have our own styles in the kitchen. After some discussion, we agreed that he will do the savory and I will do the sweet. (Let's face it, we both have rather big egos in doing what we do, so the best bet is to each focus on our strengths.)

I decided a little theme to help the direction along. Hey, poker and James Bond has been big this year, so I totally ripped the idea of the internet and created the above invite. Along with 007-related beverages, a classic Bond movie playing in the movie room, we are going to do the following finger foods so everyone can mingle, chill and hang out rather than doing a sit-down 4 course dinner. Although, I can't wait to get rid of my old leather couch so I can totally have a dining table out for dinner parties... (Yep, I'm definitely getting old...)

Anyway, the menu:

Chris's Savory:
  • Pineapple Jerk Chicken
  • Sauteed Shrimp w/ Chimichurri Sauce
  • Ravioli w/ Tomato-Basil Sauce
  • Roast Beef Tea Sandwiches
  • Roasted Red Pepper Fondue Dipper Trio w/ Garlic Herbed Pommes Frites,
    Onion Rings and Mozzarella Sticks
  • New England Cod Chowder
  • Tabouli Salad

Lisa's Sweet:
  • Truffles Trio
  • Fresh Fruit Tartlets
The apartment is decked out, everything is pretty much set, playlist selected. All that's left to do is chill the champagne for the midnight toast!

Happy New Year all!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Skate is a Fish

Have you ever had skate fish? I had it for the first time tonight and it was delicious. Chris made skate with lemon, parsley, yellow pepper and walnuts and it was really tasty. I wonder if it's related to a stingray or something. The way the meat flakes off is interesting. Not like other fish at all.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Pumpkin Pie Preppin'

One thing I love to do is bake. (My protruding belly is a testament to that.) I made 2 batches of pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving week; one for the family dinner, and one for the friends dinner. It totally reminded me of when I worked in the bakery. Mass production of pies at its finest. Very therapeutic if you ask me.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


You know, I never used to like salmon. Now I eat it almost as much as other fish. Maybe I had a first bad experience and continued to avoid it. But Chris cooks salmon really well and before I knew it, I was asking him to make it for dinner on a regular basis. (We've been on a seafood kick for a while now.)

I flaked into it before I took this pic. Consequently, I am also a fan of Yellowtail (the wine). The leftover from the other night was a perfect accompaniment to dinner.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Mussel Man

Chris loves mussels. Whenever he gets the chance he'll pick up a bag of fresh mussels and proceed to cook with enthusiasm. This is one food he loves to eat, (another being ice cream, but I'll leave that for another post).

I hovered like a hawk, watching his every move so I can provide my faithful readers (all three of you), with a way of making slamming mussels. (And slamming it was!)

The recipe:
  • 1 bag of fresh mussels, cleaned
  • 1/2 a head of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp. scallion, chopped
  • 2 slices of bacon, diced
  • 1/2 bottle of white wine (we used Yellowtail Pino Grigio)
  • Vietnamese hot chili sauce
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  1. In a wok, cook bacon until crispy, drain and leave half the drippings in the wok
  2. Add olive oil, toss in garlic and half of scallions
  3. Add hot chili sauce, stir until combined
  4. Toss in mussels
  5. Add white wine to mussels and cover for 5-8 minutes or until mussels open up
  6. Remove to a serving bowl and set aside
  7. Reduce white wine liquid still in the wok then pour over the mussels
  8. Sprinkle bacon bits and rest of scallions on top
Even though I'm not a fan of mussels, I ended up eating my fair share of this because of the juice, pouring it over my soba. This dish was lip-smacking good!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Pan fried flounder filet

Sometimes it's downright sinful, the things we put into our mouths. In this case, it's fish. Flounder to be exact. I felt naughty after eating this. This flavorful concoction of lightly battered, crispy-skinned flounder. So good on my tastebuds, so bad for the waist.

No my lovely, it was meant to be steamed to perfection. Dashed with a bit of light soy and sprinkled with heavenly garnishes of ginger and scallion. But the bad side of me wanted more. More texture. More crunch. And my dear boyfriend happily obliged, fileting the fish himself, I might add.

I was too busy salivating to actually see what he used. All I know is that corn starch was key, as was olive oil in a pan. A dash of salt and pepper and cayenne. Some browned garlic bits and parsley for contrast. My mouth was so happy to be eating this.

Will I regret it in the morning? Not if I do the requisite 500 steps on the machine.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Chinese Chicken Omelete

The other day Chris and I went out to celebrate "Grampy's" birthday. We went to the usual place and had our usual good dinner. Grampy wanted to order a whole chicken, and with only four of us at the table, guess who got to take the leftovers?

Chinese chicken is a bit of an enigma to those unfamiliar with it, but once you taste it, it becomes part of your regular palate when you're eating out in Chinatown. Anyway, I have a great way to fix up those leftovers, (or any other type of chicken for that matter). I just make an omelete out of it.

What I used:
  • 3 small stalks scallion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • handful (about 1 1/2 cup) leftover chicken, cubed
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
It's pretty simple. Just cut up the leftover chicken and brown it with the garlic and scallion in a medium flame. While that's going, scramble the eggs with the heavy cream, and pour it over the chicken when it's beginning to brown. I use my trusty wok for this to create a nice golden brown omelete.

The nice thing is that it's hearty without being heavy as many breakfast omeletes tend to be. Normally I use milk for my eggs, but in this case, heavy cream works well to incorporate the chicken, garlic and scallions. It gives the eggs a bit more substance.

I added a side of skillet potatoes make this a complete (Chris-approved) breakfast, which went incredibly well with my Panama Duran coffee from McNulty's. If you're making this for one, just halve the ingredients. That's it!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I eat a lot less when I take time to make my food look pretty. I think it's because it takes a bit more effort, and doing so makes me slow down to enjoy eating it. (Normally I whip up a big pile o' food and scarf it down fast.)

Chris brought home a gigantic box of crackers the other day, (we're talking 3lbs), and I wanted to eat it. I love crunchy. We didn't have any cheese at home so I made tuna salad to accommodate. I had a weird craving for olives so I added that in along with red peppers, onions and scallions for garnish. Hey, at least my tuna fish is never boring. And this snack was Chris-approved, which was surprising because he doesn't even like olives!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Nothing like a stack of silver dollar pancakes to make a weekend morning. I like to add a little vanilla the batter. Makes it more aromatic, I dare say.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Hot Potato!

I love immigrants. If it weren't for them, we wouldn't have such a variety of delicious food that we can take in as our own. I believe if all the world's leaders sat down together at the dinner table and shared in a happy feast, no one would worry about nuclear threats and wars and such.

Speaking of potato, I was in a mood for a potato pancake this morning. I don't recall where I learned this recipe from, only that I used to make it every Sunday for breakfast in place of hash browns, sometime in my teenage years when I was living away from home.

The premise is pretty simple, (and I'm a fan of simple). Grate some potatoes, slice up some onions, add an egg and flour for binding and skillet it up. (On a related note, I am loving the fact that I'm getting so much use out of the 3 cast iron skillets that I got on sale for $10 at Macy's!)

The recipe:
  • 2 medium potatoes, scrubbed and grated
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • oil (I used canola oil I'm sure any will do)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a bowl, mix potatoes and onions together, salt and pepper
  2. In a separate bowl, mix egg and flour until it forms a batter
  3. Combine both mixtures together and salt and pepper
  4. Heat up about a tablespoon of oil in a skillet at medium temperature
  5. Drop in mixture to form palm-sized pieces, cook about 4 minutes on each side or until it yields a nice crispy, golden brown color
That's it!

In the past I've eaten this with ketchup and fruit jam. Today I dabbed a bit of low fat sour cream to satisfy my newly acquired fondness of the stuff. By the way, you can also grate your onion instead of slicing it. I just find the texture more fun with keeping it sliced, as the onion flavor is more enhanced in the onion itself. (Plus I don't cry as much when prepping!)