December 3, 2013
I have recently discovered monkfish. White, tender flesh. Almost lobster-like. Versatile and mild flavor. It is a very ugly fish, but damn, it tastes good.
PAN SEARED FISH à la Meunière
- 6 oz monkish fillets
- clarified butter*
- unsalted butter (always buy unsalted)
*over low heat, melt butter (cut in 1 inch blocks) until fully melted. Stir. Continue heating until it begins to bubble and foam. Once it stops foaming, turn off heat and strain over cheesecloth. Do this in bulk. Keep left overs in fridge for several months!
- Trim off any grey/ugly membranes from fish. Slice filets into even size pieces to allow for even cooking. 5×3, and about 2 inches thick is good.
- Optional: soak fish in milk ~ 30 min. Helps the browning process.
- Pat fish dry. Salt generously. Dredge fish in thin coat of flour.
- Heat frying pan over medium high heat, add a few tablespoons of clarified butter. Pan fry fish until brown on one side (white/cooked portion will creep up to past halfway the thickness). DO NOT push/nudge/peek under fish until it’s half way cooked! Once ready, it WILL release from the pan.
- Flip and brown other side for a few minutes until cooked through. Remember: cooked fish flakes. If it’s transparent and chewy, it’s still raw. (which is OK in some cases, like for salmon it is ok to have a slightly pink center.)
- IF YOU HAVE A PARTICULARLY THICK CUT: after the first side is done (white/cooked portion creeped up past half way the thickness of the fish), place in a 400F oven until no longer transparent. THEN pull the pan back out and flip the fish over to let it “kiss” the other side. once that browns, serve. MAKE SURE you have an OVEN PROOF pan before trying this.
- Set fish aside. Add another pat of regular unsalted butter (mmmm butter) and some fresh herbs of your choice, then a squeeze of lemon. Once melted, pour over fish.
CELERY ROOT MASH
- 1 part celery root, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
- 2 parts russet potatoes (for a creamier mash) cut in 1 inch pieces
- herbs: chive, or parsley, or rosemary, what have you.
Put celery root pieces in a large pot. Bring to a boil, let it boil for about 5 minutes. Add potatoes. Boil another 20 minutes or until fork tender. Turn off heat. Strain. Put potatoes back in pot and turn heat back on medium. Let the liquid dry up. Mash. Add butter and milk to taste/consistency of preference. Salt and season. You will always need more salt than you think… Potatoes always take a lot of salting.
ROASTED BABY CARROTS
Preheat oven to 420 F. Shave off skin of carrots, if you have little baby carrots, roast them whole. If you have larger ones, cut them in long diagonals. Toss in olive oil, salt, black pepper. Optional: a bit of curry powder, or a pinch of brown sugar, whatever you’d like to mix it up. Spread out on lined and greased baking pan. Roast for 20 minutes or until just charring at the ends.
November 29, 2013
It’s the morning after our Friendsgiving feast last night in Manhattan and feeling a bit homesick. One would think I’d want to curl up with a bowl of congee: light fare after a night of pigging out, food of my people and all. But nope. Jumped out of bed this morning with a inexplicably strong craving for huevos rancheros. R took one look at the heaping plate of chorizo, fried eggs, and warm tortillas and responded with “woa…bIG breakfast..”
- 1/2 lb chorizo*, sliced
- 1/2 avocado, sliced
- 1 lime
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 1/2 medium red bell pepper, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ~ 3/4 can of diced tomatoes, in juice
- 1/2 can black beans, with liquid
- optional: 1/3 can of corn
- black pepper
- 1-2 tsp chili powder
- 3 eggs
- 3 white corn tortillas (these dont get soggy as fast as flour)
- cheese (cotija if you have it, or shredded mexican blend)
*NOT cured chorizo, but uncooked chorizo sausage. Note packaging instructions if you have to remove the casing. I keep it on unless it’s plastic…The type that comes in plastic casing tends to be the ground meat type that breaks up. Either is fine.
- Slice avocados. Squeeze over lime juice to keep it from oxidizing/browning.
- Toast tortillas in a single layer in toaster oven until they poof up. Start this while you begin cooking, remember to check on it from time to time so you don’t burn them.
- Heat pot over medium high heat. Add a bit of cooking oil, and cook sliced chorizos until browned and cooked through on both sides. Stir as needed. Remove and set aside.
- In remaining chorizo grease, add chopped onions and bell peppers. Season with chili powder. Salt generously and stir until soft, ~3 minutes. Add garlic. Stir until fragrant, 1-2 min.
- Add back beans with liquid in the can (this will help thicken the sauce), canned tomato, (and corn if you like corn). Salt to taste. Cover pot and simmer while you fry eggs.
- Fry eggs. In a 8-10” frying pan, heat on high. When pan is just smoking hot (or eggs WILL stick), add oil. Let oil heat to a shimmer, then bring heat down to medium/medium high. Crack three eggs into pan, spaced evenly. If you don’t like super runny eggs, carefully shimmy your spatula underneath each egg, then flip and let the top side just kiss the pan. Turn off heat. Salt and pepper tops of eggs.
- Plate tortillas, spoon over lots of tomato-y bean salsa. Top with a runny fried egg. Top with cheese. Squeeze over some lime juice. Add avocado and chorizo to the sides (or keep adding it to your tower if you’re brave.)
- I love Tortilla Factory tortillas. I’ve said this many times before. I keep packages of it in my freezer at all times. Great chewy texture.
- Buying: avocados should be tender and give slightly when you press firmly on them (grip the whole thing in your hand, dont just poke it or youll bruise it). Skin should be dark, almost black, but NOT wrinkly or dimpled in any way. When buying avocados, I always get varying degrees of un-ripeness. ‘Cause you don’t eat five avocados in one day…. so get some that are a few days a way from ripening, that way they’ll be perfect when you finally get to it.
- Cutting: I rock the knife from tip to end of one side, then back up to the tip on the other side (the pit will obviously prevent you from simply chopping it in half). Firmly chop down on the seed, twist the knife, then pull the pit out. Wrap the pit in a paper towel and gently pull it off the knife (be careful). Peel the skin off. If it is properly ripe, it will come off in sheets. Then slice and squeeze lime juice over it to keep from browning. IF the skin does NOT simply peel off (it’s probably not ripe enough), carefully slice with skin side down, then try to spoon out the slices. Messier, but will suffice.
November 26, 2013
Adapted from a Betty Crocker recipe
Want cobbler in 20 minutes? This recipe could be a dangerous thing. I don’t even have flour at my apartment right now let alone baking powder. This recipe uses Bisquick mix and frozen berries. Meaning you can have fresh warm cobbler every night…
Makes 2 big servings. I bake these in a 4 cup, glass tupperware bowl (or the yellow Snapware). Perfect for saving leftovers (rare, but it happens).
- 2 cups frozen mixed berries (raspberry blackberry blueberry)
- 1/4 heaping cup of brown sugar
- 1 tbs water
- 1/2 tbs corn starch
- 1/2 cup Bisquick mix
- 3/4 tbs of butter, melted but not heated (nuke until mostly melted, then stir until fully melted)
- 2 tbs whole milk (I use the half and half I keep in my fridge for coffee..)
- Preheat oven to 430F
- In a medium sized sauce pan, add berries, corn starch, sugar, water.
- Turn heat to medium and stir until sugar dissolves and berry mixture begins to congeal and thicken. Do not use high heat as it will burn. **Carefully dip in a clean spoon and taste! Adjust sugar as needed. If too sweet, add a squeeze of lemon juice. Note that the mixture should coat the back of the spoon and not run off. If it looks too watery, add more corn starch, a pinch at a time.
- When berries begin to bubble, let it boil for 1 minute then turn heat off and pour mixture into 4 cup baking dish.
- in a small mixing bowl, add Bisquick, lightly melted butter, and milk. stir until JUST combined into a dough. If it is still crumbly, add a dash more milk. DO NOT over mix.
- With a large flat spoon, plop small sections of dough into berry mixture.
- Place on flat baking pan (in case it bubbles over) and bake in oven for 15 minutes. Mixture will be bubbling and edges of the dough will have baked to a nice golden brown.
- Serve with ice cream or a dash of cold cream! Tastes good cold the next day, too.
September 27, 2013
This is a meal of left overs. Feel free to adjust portions/ingredients as you see fit. Can’t mess up fried rice!
- 2 cups left over rice
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- few tbs chopped green onion (I keep them pre-chopped, in the freezer)
- left over salsa (I used pineapple mango salsa)
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp chili powder (not chili peppers, but a tex-mex blend with cumin, like Mexene)
- garlic salt
- 1/2 cup Mexican shredded cheese blend
- Heat large frying pan on medium high. Add a tbs of oil, heat until shimmering.
- Add cold left over rice to hot pan. Smoosh down with flat side of spatula to break down rice. Add chili powder and paprika. Stir and mix until rice becomes soft, ~3 minutes.
- Add shredded cheese to lightly beaten egg. Spoon a little hole in the rice and pour egg directly onto hot pan. Once bottom of egg begins to cook, stir lightly and begin mixing in rice. Salt with garlic salt to taste.
- Add green onion. Stir and mix until egg cooked through. Turn off heat.
- Mix in salsa. Serve.
September 11, 2013
I had left over spare ribs from my stew and basically tweaked the recipe for Chinese Chicken Wings
- spare ribs, cut in 2 or so inch pieces
- equal parts honey, hoisen (NOT oyster) sauce, soy sauce, rice wine.
- ginger, garlic, green onion
- Classic Chinese recipe trio.
- cut in thin but large slices so that it’s easy to remove from the marinade later. Less burning when you bake.
- I also like so smash the slices with the flat side of my knife before I add it to the marinade, releases more juices.
- Chinese Five Spice. ~1 tsp is fine. don’t over-do this. Just sprinkle over the ribs before you add it to the marinade.
It’s hard to mess up the ratio. as long as you keep equal parts of the liquid ingredients, you’ll be ok.
- Marinate ribs in a large ziplock bag over night.
- Preheat oven ~310F.
- Space ribs evenly on foil lined pan, pour 1/2 cup marinade into the pan, tent over with aluminum foil (**this part’s different from the chicken recipe!).
- Pork takes longer to cook. Lower heat, longer time, and tenting the foil keeps the meat nice and moist and prevents burning. Results in a more tender rib.
- Bake for 1 hour. Open the tent and flip the ribs 180 degrees, add a bit more marinade
- pan bottom should be bubbly and brown, not black and charred. When you flip, the side of the ribs that were in contact with the foil should be shiny and have a bit of a golden crust.
- Re-tent and bake for 30min-1 hour more, depending on thickness of the ribs. Check on it on the 30 min mark, and if it’s not shiny and brown with a nice crust, it’s not done. If it’s greyish, it’s not done. If the meat doens’t come easily off the bone with a fork, it’s not done. Pan bottom by now should start to blacken. That is A-OK.
MMM… nice end of summer snack. (yes. i eat bbq ribs as a snack.)
See the little black bits clinging to the meat? Doesn’t taste bad. Just looks bad. That’s green onion, diced. I know, I know, I said use long slices for the marinade. But I get my green onion in bulk in Flushing where it’s like 3 bunches for a $1 as opposed to 1 for a dollar. I chop ‘em up then freeze them in ziplock bags. So if you want to be cheap, use frozen diced green onion. If you’re going for presentation, use fresh sliced green onion.
Ginger powder works fine if you don’t have fresh.
Never skimp on garlic. Canned stuff is foul. I don’t even do pre-peeled bulk garlic. Just break off a clove, smash with the back of your knife, and the skin comes right off. Chop off the hard nubby end and slice, OR, if you want minced garlic, I use my onion method (I think I learned this from Alton Brown):
HOW TO MINCE GARLIC – LESS MESS, LESS TOOLS.
- break off 1 clove.
- do NOT cut off nubby end.
- Smash lightly a few times with flat side of knife, peel.
- Lay clove on its flattest side.
- slice parallel to the cutting board, then perpendicular along the LENGTH of the clove, all the while stopping at the nub. You should end up with long slivers, all still attached to the nub. Like a brush.
- Slice perpendicular to the board, this time starting at the tip, along the wiDTH of the clove. this creates the mince.
Voila! less sticky fingers, less useless tools in the kitchen that only perform one duty. I will draw you pictures some day. SOME day…
EDIT: found an awesome video on chopping onions. The “traditional way” is how I mince my garlic. I think the new way looks intriguing, but not sure how I can manage that with a tiny garlic clove…
September 6, 2013
Holy crap! Was it really in the 50′s last night? Is it really only September and already noodle soup weather?
Yea, I’m not in Texas anymore.
Left over pork stew works wonders on a day like this.
Note: did not parboil ribs this time. Rubbed them with salt and brown sugar and seared them in the pot. Remove. Add aromatics, deglaze, add soup, add ribs, then simmered on the stove for 4 hours. Similar outcomes, different method of getting there. I did have to skim a ton of “meat particulate” throughout the simmering process though.
September 4, 2013
This is a large meal for two. Inspired by the best meal I had in Bali this summer, at a little run down restaurant overlooking a volcano (Mount Batur). My mother actually use to make something similar when we were kids. (Sans curry ’cause we’re not southeast asian). It was a smooshy chicken noodle soup with lots of greens and fluffy eggs melted in. Any time one of us was feeling sick, she’d make us this soup. Perhaps my strong affinity towards this Indonesian dish is just due to homesickness. Anyway, don’t tell my mother, but I like it better with curry and shallots. Just a stronger, richer tasting meal.
- 1 qt Chicken Stock
- ~3 servings of noodles (I used dried, flat wavy noodles. plain dried ramen noodles are good, too)
- chicken thigh meat, diced (yes. dark meat. do it.)
- fried shallots (comes in a plastic container w/ red lid. asian supermarkets)
- ~3 tbs yellow curry paste (thai. ’cause that’s what i have.)
- 1/2 medium onion, sliced
- spinach (frozen OK, other asian greens, OK.)
- 3 eggs
- optional: sliced green onions and peppers as garnish
- Rub diced chicken meat with curry paste. Salt generously. Mix with your hands. It’s slimy. It’s fun. Please wash your hands.
- 4 qt pot – Heat on medium high. Add a tbs oil. When shimmering, add onions. Stir. Saute until soft ~5 min. Salt generously. Add 1 tbs curry paste and mix in.
- Add chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Stir in another spoonful of curry paste or to taste. Add chicken, reduce heat to simmer. Cover and simmer 10 min.
- Bring heat up to medium high. When bubbling, add noodles directly into pot. If you are uncomfortable judging cooking times, you can boil a separate pot of water and cook noodles there. Skip to step 5 and ladle finished soup over it after wards.
- Once noodles are almost done but still white on the inside and slightly too hard for al dente, add handfuls of spinach (to your heart’s content). I used 1 handful of frozen spinach. It will expand as it cooks.
- Bring soup to a low simmer, no rolling bubbles. Lightly beat 3 eggs (whites and yolk still slightly separated), drizzle into soup. Like all over. Don’t just dump it into the center. Cover. 3 minutes or until eggs solidify (OK if still a bit runny. will continue to cook)
- Spoon into serving bowls. Squeeze in a bit of lime and toss in spoonful of fried shallots.
Note: obviously not a picture of my recipe, seeing as there is a volcano in the background. These pics are from my vacation. I unfortunately ate all the noodles I made before I thought to take pictures. Next time!
September 4, 2013
Moving to LIC means more time in the mornings for real breakfast.
Stole this idea from Inspired by the $3 yogurt cups I was getting at the Pret A Manger by work. Look what my shitty salary has encouraged me to create!
plain greek yogurt + mangos + raw almonds + honey + crumbled dark brown sugar
I love brown sugar. I get mine at the Chinese supermarket. Crumbly. Grainy. Like wet sand. Not to be confused with turbinado, or “raw sugar”. That stuff just doesn’t melt into your food like this does. I also rub this REAL dark brown sugar over pork spare ribs before browning them for stew. Caramelization is your friend. I think I’ll make some stew this week…
I am so getting off topic.
April 24, 2013
Mmmm…spicy. Super fast Sichuan Chinese noodle dish.
A note on mung bean noodles: they come in different sizes and shapes, not unlike Italian pastas. I ran out of the thin skinny kind, which is traditionally used in this recipe. Personally, I rather like the thicker, more al dente texture of the thicker noodles. Random cultural lesson: in Taiwan, they call this chewy bite “Q”. Like mochi is Q. Or gummy bears are Q. Insert extra Q for added f.o.b factor: “these noodles are so QQ!”
Anyway. Mung bean noodles are awesome because they are made out of beans. And therefore gluten free! It’s got a brittle dry texture pre-soak. Stiff and slightly slimy post-soak. Wonderfully Q when cooked. Stole a picture of the thin kind from google:
On to our recipe! Not including soak/marinating time, takes 10 minutes max to cook. I heart me some fast stir fry.
- 3 batches of mung bean noodles
- 1/4 lb ground pork
- 1 tsp hot bean sauce
- soy sauce
- 1 slice fresh ginger, julienned (or 1/2 tsp ground)
- 2 stalks green onion, chopped finely
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- corn starch
- cooking oil
- Soak mung bean noodles in cold water for 1 hour+. Drain and set aside.
- Marinate pork in 1/2 tsp corn starch dissolved in 1 tbs soy sauce and ginger for 30min-1 hour. Discard ginger.
- Dissolve ~1 tsp+ corn starch in 1 cup of cold water and set aside.
- Heat 1 tbs oil in wok/large saute pan on high. When pan is smoking hot (smoKING), add meat. Using the edge of the spatula, break up the meat as small as you can. When evenly brown and cooked through, remove from heat and set aside. NOTE: I used a sharp pair of kitchen scissors to cut meat up even smaller after cooking.
- In remaining oil over medium high heat, fry garlic and green onion until fragrant ~ 1-2 min. Add ~3 more tbs soy sauce, HALF the corn starch mixture, and stir. When mixture starts to bubble, add meat back in and stir evenly.
- Add noodles. COVER and let it steam for 3-5 min. If not enough liquid to steam noodles, add more corn starch mixture. (this is not meant to be a soupy dish, just enough liquid to cook the noodles is fine). Remove from heat.
- Top with fresh chopped scallions and serve.