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Roasted Chicken with Tomatoes and Kalamata Olives

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Thai Chicken with Basil/ Gai Pad Prik Grapao- Top Thai Dish

Thais’ love fresh basil, and use many different types. Most of us are familiar with Sweet Basil, and this is easy to find in any market. However, it’s the “Holy Basil”, known as Bai Grapao, which is the most flavorful and authentic.

This basil has an anise type of flavor and gives this dish an amazing flavor and dimension that just doesn’t taste the same with sweet basil. If you can't find the holy basil, a good quality fresh Thai basil will work as well.
You should always use fresh basil for this recipe, as the dried variety will not give acceptable results, unless you can find the authentic dried Thai Grapao.
Ingredients

¾ lb. skinless, boneless chicken breast, coarsely ground and marinated in about 1 Tbsp. of fish sauce, and 1 Tbsp. of light soy sauce. 1/2 sliced large Onion 1/2 sliced sweet Red Pepper 2 finely chopped Thai Chilies 2 Tbsp. of Peanut or another Vegetable oil 3 cloves chopped Garlic 1 tbsp chopped fresh Ginger Root 4 stalks of fresh Basil, pulled apart just before adding to…

Shanghai Shrimp with Rice Cake (Chao Nian Gao)

This is a dish that I often used to order at Din Tai Fung in LA. Along with their rightfully famous xiaolongbao. I had tried it a few times in China, but not with shrimp.

After tracking down the rice cakes (who knew there were so many types and shapes), it was a bit of a learning curve to figure our how to prep them for the wok. 
I finally settled on boiling them in water with a splash of fish sauce. The big take away, was it only took about 2 minutes for them to cook and they were done when they floated. Additionally once you drain them and start stir frying everything else, they tend to stick together, but quickly release once they hit the wok.
Ingredients
3 Tbsp Vegetable oil  1 cup Shiitake Mushrooms, sliced  2 cups Bok Choy, hard ends removed and cubed and sliced 2 Green Onion, chopped into 1-2 inch pieces.  2 cloves Garlic, minced 2 cups Rice Cake, see note.  10-12 large raw Shrimp, cleaned and peeled, tails intact.  1 Tbsp Shaoxing Wine
Sauce Mixture: 2 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce  1 tsp Dark Soy S…

Pan Pizza, quick and easy.

There are so many options to make your own pizza. I really enjoy my 72 hour cold proof pizza dough, but sometimes I want something faster.



The pizza dough in this recipe is more like a focaccia texture, but that makes it perfect for a pan pizza. It is a recipe from the amazing Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery in NYC. It is from his book "My Bread".

Ingredients 
3 3/4 cups/500 grams Bread Flour 2 1/2 tsp Instant or Active Dry Yeast 3/4 tsp Salt 3/4 tsp Sugar 1 1/3 cups/300 grams Water, at room temperature.  2 Tbsp Olive Oil 
Mix all of your dry ingredients together in a large bowl, slowly add your water and mix well with a spoon or spatula until well mixed. About 1 minute. Cover and allow to rise for two hours. 
Turn it out onto a floured surface and form into a ball and allow to rise for another 30 minutes covered with a damp cloth. 
Preheat your oven to 500°F. Once the dough has finished its second proof, oil a half sheet pan well and gently stretch the dough into a loaf shape and …

Sweet and Savory Oven Roasted Salmon

This salmon was truly amazing. I found so many recipes online, but this one seemed to really bring out the best of the salmon. Butter for richness, honey for sweetness and garlic and thyme for a savory element and a little brightness for the chili flakes.



Ingredients

2 lb Salmon filet. Skin on or off is fine.
2 Lemons thinly sliced, and a 1/4 saved for after cooking.
4 Tbsp Butter, melted
2 Tbsp Honey
1 clove Garlic
1 tsp Thyme
1 tsp Chili Flakes

Salt and pepper both sides of the salmon filet. Lay on a bed of sliced lemons. Spoon over the glaze.




Into a preheated 350F oven for 20 - 25 minutes and then turn on broiler for 3-5 minutes, and broil until the glaze sets. Squeeze on the reserved lemon quarter and let it rest for 5 minutes and serve.

Thanks to www.delish.com for the recipe and inspiration.

Caribbean Banana Cake with Lime and Nutmeg

I had been looking at this recipe for a long time, but as I've mentioned, I'm not much of a baker. Enter quarantine and I have plenty of time to hone my skills.

This comes from one of my favorite cookbooks, Warm Bread and Honey Cake by Gaitri Pagrach-Chandra. Her recipes reflect the heritage of her homeland of Guyana and her current home in the Netherlands. It's really a special book. 






A few things I learned when making this cake. Firstly, the recipe was vastly more accurate when I weighed the ingredients. Example, I found that 9 oz of AP flour was much more than 1 2/3 cups. My friends who are accomplished bakers say to always weigh if possible. I have tried to adjust the recipe to reflect this, but weighing would really be best.







Secondly, the recipe calls for 35-40 minutes cooking time, but I found in my oven it needed a full 50 minutes. 

Lastly, in the original recipe, she did not call for allowing the cake to rest before turning it out of the pan. I waited 15 minutes and it…

Sweet, Sour and Spicy Chicken Thighs

As with most of you, I have time on my hands, so I broke out the slow cooker aka crock pot. I found a recipe online, but wanted to adjust it to be more Asian influenced, almost a Korean BBQ. It was very good and will definetly be on rotation for dinner.

What I really liked about it, was that it was packed with flavor, but not a sodium bomb. The flavors were balanced and blended well. I served it with steamed jasmine rice and broccoli.
Ingredients
2 lbs Chicken Thighs, boneless and skinless. Excess fat removed. 1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil 1/2 cup Catsup or Tomato Sauce 1/4 cup low sodium Soy Sauce 2 Tbsp Honey 2 Tbsp Hoisin Sauce 1 Tbsp Rice Vinegar  1 Tbsp Shaoxing Wine 1 Tbsp Sriracha 3-4 cloves Garlic, minced 2-3 inch piece of Ginger, peeled and grated.  1 tsp Toasted Sesame Oil 1/4 cup Green Onions, sliced 2 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Seeds
Lightly brown the chicken, then into the slow cooker with rest of ingredients, except green onions and sesame seeds. 



Cook on high for 2-3 hours and sprinkle with sliced green…