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Showing posts from February, 2016

Homemade Pizza Sauce

To make a really epic pizza, you really only have three key ingredients, dough, sauce and cheese. 



All other toppings are a matter of personal choice, but if either of these three ingredients are not spot on, it's never going to be a brilliant pizza. 

In a previous post, I've shared my recipe for pizza dough. I can't emphasize enough how much of a difference the cold proof makes. The cold proof creates a vastly superior and tasty dough. http://www.thepasadenachef.com/2016/01/homemake-pizza-dough-real-way.html

Now, I want to share my pizza sauce recipe. It's not difficult to make, but use the best ingredients you can find and let it simmer very slowly. It smells wonderful.

Ingredients 

1- 14.5oz can Diced Organic Tomatoes, Muir Glen are particularly good.
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
Freshly ground Black Pepper
1 tsp Oregano
1/2 tsp Sugar
1 clove of Garlic peeled and lightly crushed with the side of your chef's knife.

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Bri…

Vegan Apple Tart

Their are so many desserts that have dairy products, and for those of us who don't eat dairy, dessert's can sometimes be challenging.

I've always loved Ina Garten's Apple Tart, but sadly it has a lot of butter and is assembled over puff pastry. I thought that I might be able to make my own puff pastry, but imagine my surprise when I found that Pepperidge Farm Pastry Sheets are 100% vegan.


So, here is my very easy recipe to make a vegan apple tart, inspired by the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten.

Ingredients

1 package of Pepperidge Farms Pastry Sheets, defrosted
1/2 stick Earth Balance Spread, you can use the Earth Balance in the tub if need be.
4 Granny Smith apples, cored and sliced to 1/4 inch wedges.
1/2 cup Sugar
3/4  cup of Apricot Jam
3 Tbsp of Applejack or other apple brandy, Calvados is fine.

Take a half sheet baking pan and line with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 400F. Take the puff pastry and lightly flour it and roll it out until it reaches the size of your sh…

Happy Chinese New Year - Sichuan Tofu with Cashews

I absolutely love this dish. I'd say it's second only to my Kung Pao Tofu or my MoPo Tofu. It gives you everything you want from quality Sichuan food, salty, sour, sweet and spicy.



Prepare everything before you begin to cook as the cooking time is 5-6 minutes max. The prep time is 10-15 min. 

Ingredients

Marinade for tofu
1 packet of Extra Firm Tofu, cut into 1 inch cubes. 
1 Tbsp Hot Bean Paste
1 tsp Shaoxing Rice Wine
1 tsp Chinkiang Black Vinegar

Sauce
2 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Chinkiang Vinegar
1 Tbsp Shaoxing Rice Wine
2 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Sesame Oil


3 Tbsp Oil
3 Green Onions, cut into 1 inch pieces.
1 Red Pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 cloves of Garlic, minced
6 Tien Tsin chilis
2 inch piece of Ginger Root, peeled and minced

2 tsp Cornstarch, mixed with 2 Tbsp water.

Mix your cubed tofu and marinade ingredients and set aside.

Preheat your oven to 350F and roast the cashews on a foil lined baking sheet for 6-7 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Heat your oil to a high temper…

A Well Stocked Chinese Pantry - The Must Haves

As I often feature Asian/Chinese dishes on my blog, I find that many people who love Chinese food and would like to prepare it at home, do not have the proper ingredients on hand.  A well stocked pantry is essential to preparing authentic Chinese cuisine. 

So after being asked multiple times, I've decided to post an essential shopping list, so you can properly stock up your pantry. 
When you feel the urge to make some stunning and healthy Chinese food, you should be able to go into the kitchen and pull something together relatively quickly. 
As these ingredients will last quite a long time, an initial stock up will produce many fine meals. You will find that most benefit from being stored in the refrigerator. Additionally, buy the best brand you can find. I find that Lee Kum Kee brand is always good.
This list is 100% vegan. 

Must Haves Light Soy Sauce Dark Soy Sauce Chinkiang Vinegar Shaoxing Rice Wine Hot Bean Paste Chili Paste Hoisin Sauce Mirin or Dry Sherry Distilled Vinegar Toasted Sesame …

Homemade Sichuan Style Chili Oil - UPDATED

There are so many variations for chili oil. From my research, I think it's likely that Fuchsia Dunlop's version is quite authentic. I modified her recipe slightly and was happy with the results.

After seeing my friend Kenneth's post on Chinese New Year, I was craving potstickers and wanted a spicy oil. This version is a bit hotter than a traditional Sichuan chili oil, so you use less. 



I serve it drizzled over the dumplings with some chopped green onion sprinkled on top. It is packed with flavor and has just the right amount of heat.

Ingredients

2 cups Canola or Sunflower Oil
1/2 cup crushed Red Chili flakes, Korean are fine.
2 pieces fresh Ginger Root unpeeled and crushed.
2 cloves Garlic, peeled and crushed.
4 whole Star Anise
1/2 tsp Szechuan Peppercorn, ground.
2 Tbsp toasted Sesame Oil

Bring oil to a medium high temp and add all ingredients, except the chili flakes and the sesame oil. After they are sizzling nicely, add in the chili flakes and turn off the heat and allow it to c…