Wednesday, November 30, 2005
I believe that most teriyaki as used right out of the bottle. However, my favorite which is made by Crazy Chef Sato (12720 SW Walker Road, Beaverton, OR 503-643-8932), is a thick sauce which needs to be diluted with chicken stock before it is used. Sadly, I think that Portland's Uwajimaya no longer carries this local brand, and the restaurant looks closed. I am uncertain if they have gone out of business or if they have moved locations. I liked their version of the sauce because it has a lot of flavor and isn't sickenly sweet.
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
1 large chopped bok choy
2 chopped carrots
1 chopped yellow onion
1 minced garlic clove
sambal oelek (ground fresh chili paste) or 1 dried red chili
Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and marinate in the teriyaki sauce for at least 10 minutes.
Saute the chicken and when it is just barely cooked, place in a bowl on the side. Next the vegetables will be cooked, starting from the ones that require the longest cooking time. Cook the onions and carrots in a covered pan with a bit of oil until softened. Add the ginger and garlic and saute for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the remaining vegetables. Add the teriyaki, a few drops of Worcester, sambal oelek, and some chicken stock. When the vegetables are all cooked, add the chicken and make sure it is cooked thoroughly. If necessary, thicken with corn starch mixed with cold water. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve over rice.
Use the freshest eggs as you can find; the white deteriorates as eggs get older, which is why some poached eggs become floppy and get white tendrils.
Fill a pan 2 to 4 inches of water and 1 tsp vinegar, and optionally a pinch of salt (if you want to use the vortex method, you need to use a round pan). Boil the water. Crack the egg into a ramekin Turn down heat to low. You can put the egg into the water using either of the following two methods. I recommend the vortex method, since it will give you a rounder poached egg which is prettier and looks like what you get in a restaurant.
- [Traditional method] When the water is almost still, gently pour the egg as close to the edge of the water as possible and drop the insides of the egg carefully into the water.
- [Vortex method] If you use this method, you need a round pan. When the water has stopped bubble is nearly still, gently stir the water to create a whirlpool. The center (vortex) of the whirlpool should be still, and the edges of the whirlpool should rotate around it. Stirring in the center rather than at the edges of the pot made a better whirlpool for me. Put the ramekin as close to the water as possible and gently pour the egg into the vortex. The edges of the whirlpool will rotate around and cause the egg to form a compact round shape in the center.
The recipe for Thomas Keller's "vortex" method which creates a round shaped poached egg is here: article & recipe from BonAppetit.com (via TheWednesdayChef.com)
Sunday, November 27, 2005
Halibut en Papillote (parchment paper) with Julienned Zucchini, Shitake Mushrooms, Carrots, and Red Onion cooked in its own juices and a balsamic shallot sauce
Finally I can use my origami skills to do something useful! Anything that will cook in the same amount of time as the fish (or that is precooked if it needs a longer cooking time), can be put in the pouches. In these photos, I have Juilienned the vegetables so that they will be thin enough to cook quickly. I sauted the shallots in balsamic vinegar beforehand. If you want an explanation for how to do this see Julia and Jacques Cooking At Home.
Its always hard to get the fish cooked correctly when its done this way, since you can't see it. Baking times can range from 8 to 12 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit. For pieces this size, I baked the pouches for 10 minutes.
Suggested Side Dish: Saffron Rice with Garlic and Parsley
This recipe is my attempt to recreate the "eggs eleganza" dish served at the Gold Street Cafe.
3 poached eggs
3 slices of bread (toasted or untoasted)
a few slices of ham or prosciutto (optional)
a handful of cherry tomatoes (halved)
a handful of salad greens
Assemble as shown.
Saturday, November 26, 2005
thinly sliced ham
stone ground mustard
smoked mozzarella or gruyere cheese
2 slices of bread
Spread the butter on one side of each piece of bread. Mix mayonnaise and mustard together. Spread the mayonnaise on the inside of each piece of bread. Lay cheese and ham over. Pan fry on medium low to medium until the outsides are browned and the cheese is melted. Covering the pan will help to warm the entire sandwich.
Salad with balsamic vinaigrette, dried sweetened cranberries, toasted salted pumpkin seeds, and candied walnuts--I guess I'm still thinking about Thanksgiving even though it's over. I was also thinking of putting a dash of pumpkin seed oil on top of this salad; I've never tried pumpkin oil but it cost nearly $20 at Whole Foods, so I didn't buy it.
Thursday, November 24, 2005
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Sunday, November 13, 2005
The liquid from yesterday's chicken repackaged as a soup.
The Chinese version of Vermicelli noodles are made from mung beans. When I was little, this type of noodles was my favorite because they are clear and slippery. They are translucent or even transparent because they consist of only starch and water, so there are no proteins to scatter the light.
Soak Vermicelli noodles in hot water for 30 minutes. Skim off chicken fat solids from the cold soup liquid, add a bit more chicken stock and a couple slices of ginger. Reheat. Add noodles either to directly the soup pot and boil for a minute or two or place the noodles directly in the serving bowls and spoon the hot soup over the noodles. If they still taste good, then add a few pieces of carrots, celery, and leeks to the bowls. Garish with parsley.
Saturday, November 12, 2005
These recipes makes a meal for 2 people.
Chicken in White Wine, Marsala, and Chicken Stock with Leeks, Carrots, Celery, and Dried Red Chili Pepper
I ran out of white wine when I was making this dish, so I also used Marsala. You could replace the Marsala with more white wine if you want.
2 large or 3 medium carrots, cut into 1.5 inch julienne
3-4 celery stalks, cut into 1.5 inch julienne
2 chicken thighs with the bone and skin
1 bay leaf
3/4 cup white wine
approximately 1.5 cups chicken stock
1 dried red chili, cut into very small pieces
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dried thyme
Leeks grow in such a way that dirt gets stuck between the leaves. Clean the leak by cutting it in half lengthwise and washing out all of the dirt. Discard the dark green portion. Cut the white part of the leek into 1.5 inch julienne. Mix the vegetables with the red chili, salt, pepper, thyme, and bay leaf.
Briefly cook the chicken on medium high to brown the outside for 5-10 minutes in a large pot. Remove chicken and place momentarily on a plate. Discard the chicken fat in the pot. Place 1/3 of the vegetables in the pan. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables, and cover the chicken with the remaining vegetables. Add the wine, marsala, and chicken stock to the pot. Add more chicken stock until the liquid just barely covers the chicken. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes or until chicken is done. When the chicken is tender and cooked all the way through, turn off the heat. Leave the cover on, and let sit for 15 minutes. Use this time to prepare the couscous and asparagus. If there is a lot of chicken fat on the top of the liquid, you can skim it off. The recipe that I modified this from, The Way to Cook by Julia Child, also mentions that the chicken can be made 1 day in advance and stored in the fridge immersed in the liquid. If you do this, the chicken fat will solidify, and I would definitely skim it off, before rewarming the dish by bring the liquid to a boil.
Couscous Made with the Juices that the Chicken was Cooked in, Lemon, and Parsley
2/4 cup dried plain Couscous
1/2 Tbsp butter
pinch of salt
1 cup of the liquid the chicken was cooked in
1 tsp minced Italian flat-leaf parsley (or curly parsley)
1 Tbsp lemon juice.
Bring the liquid to a full boil. Mix with the remaining ingredients, cover, and let sit for 5 minutes. Mix the lemon juice and parsley into the couscous with a fork. If you want to, you can spoon more of the liquid from the chicken onto the couscous when you serve it.
Snap or cut off the woody ends of the asparagus. Bring a pot of water to a full boil. I often add red pepper flakes to the water. Add asparagus to the hot water, when boiling resumes, reduce the heat so that the water does not boil over. Cook for 2 to 3.5 minutes depending on the thickness--these times are precise, do not over cook. Strain. If you will not be serving the asparagus right away, prefer them cold, or want to maintain a bright green color rinse with cold water (i.e. "shock with cold water"). Salt to taste.
Monday, November 07, 2005
Pan Fried Eggplant (see below)
1 French baguette or several small Italian loaves
toothpicks (to hold the hoagie together)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the ends off of the baguette and slice the baguette into 6 inch pieces. Half the bread lengthwise. Warm the tomato sauce. Arrange the bread slices, cut side up, in a large baking tray. Spread tomato sauce on the inside of the top and bottom pieces of bread. Sprinkle the basil chiffonade on the top piece of bread If the eggplant is cold, then warm them the slices in the oven for 5 minutes. Spread the eggplant across the bottom pieces of bread. Place the mozzarella across the top pieces of bread; if the mozzarella is large you may need to slice it into smaller pieces. If you have extra tomato sauce spread it on top of the eggplant. Bake for 8 minutes or until the cheese is melting. Remove from the oven. Put the tops on the bottoms, and secure with toothpicks.
Eggplant and Baba Ghanoush Sandwich
pan-fried eggplant (see below)
baba ghanoush or hummus
2 pieces sliced bread
a slice of tomato
Assemble the ingredients into a sandwich.
Pan Fried Eggplant
1 large eggplant
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/2 cup flour
2 cups fresh bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano
Skin the eggplant and cut it into slices that are 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle 1 tsp salt over eggplant and let the eggplant sit for 30 minutes in a colander set over a large bowl.
The eggplant is breaded by dipping the slices in three separate mixtures. Prepare the mixtures in separate bowls as follows.
- Bowl 1: Stir together flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, and 1 tsp paprika in a shallow bowl.
- Bowl 2: Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat slightly.
- Bowl 3: You can make fresh bread crumbs by mincing leftover bread by hand or in a food processor. In a separate bowl, mix together the bread crumbs with the Parmiginao-Regginao or Pecorino Romano cheese.
Dredge the eggplant slices in the flour and then dip in the egg. Let the excess egg drip off and cover with bread crumbs.
Pan fry the eggplant slices on medium in olive oil until the eggplant is cooked and the bread crumbs are brown. If parts of the crumbs blacken too quickly reduce the heat. (Alternatively the eggplant could be deep fried.)
The cooked eggplant will keep for a couple days in the refridgerator. Store wrapped in paper towels in an airtight container. It can be eaten cold, warmed in the oven or in the microwave.
Saturday, November 05, 2005
4 eggs (use farm fresh eggs if possible)
1/2 cup water
2.5 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 cup semolina (durum) flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp oil (optional)
(makes 1.5 pounds of pasta)
I prefer my pasta to be made mostly from flour. However, any mixture of all-purpose flour and semolina flour can be used (even 100% semolina) as long as the volume adds up to 3.5 cups. If you do not happen to have semolina around or cannot find it, then you can also use 3.5 cups of all-purpose flour instead.
Sift all-purpose flour, semolina flour, and salt together. Clean a large space on the counter top. Put the shifted flour and salt on the counter top and make a large well in the center. Crack the eggs into the well and add the oil and half of the water. Be careful to not let the liquid seep out of the flour walls, or else you will make a big mess. Use a fork to slowly incorporate the liquid into the flour. When the liquid is no longer runny, form a large dough ball. The dough should be moist enough to incorporate all the ingredients; if the dough isn't moist enough then as much of the rest of the water as necessary. Kneed for 10 minutes. As you kneed, the dough should get a bit drier. By the end of the 10 minutes, the dough should not be sticky. Many others describe the desired consistency as "leathery". If it is too sticky add more flour. Cover the dough with a clean dish towel. Let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Roll and shape into linguine, spaghetti, angel hair, lasagna, ravoli, etc. as specified by your pasta machine directions. Use coat the pasta with lots of flour to prevent sticking. After you shape the pasta lay it out on the counter top to dry it out. Leave the finished pasta on the counter top until you finish the batch. You can leave it out as long as several hours, if you desire. Once the pasta does not seem like it will stick to itself, I like to lay it in bird's nests on a cookie pan and then freeze it. Freezing the pasta helps to prevent the pasta from getting wet and sticking to itself. Frozen pasta will keep for a month or more.
I have the pasta roller attachment for my kitchen aid. I strongly recommend pasta rollers with motors. I have heard from people that have a pasta maker with a crank that it is difficult to use with only one person. I like to roll my pasta into thick linguine. On my pasta maker I roll my dough out to setting 5 for thick and chewy noodles or setting 6 for more delicate noodles and ravoli.
Follow your pasta machine's directions.
To make colorful flavored pasta make one of the following alterations to the original pasta recipe and continue as normal.
Note: I haven't tried variations with the tag "(TODO)". I've written them down because I was brainstorming about variations that I want to try. I'll slowly update this as I try out new variations but it will probably take me several months to do this.
Saute half a can of tomato paste for 1 minute until it smells fragrant. Mix the paste with half of the water. If you would like to make the pasta spicy, add 1 dried finely crumbed or ground red chili pepper.
Red Pepper Pasta (TODO)
Pan fry 1/2 diced red pepper or blanch it. When the pepper is cool, blend with eggs and water.
Carrot Pasta (TODO)
Pan fry 1 diced carrot or blanch it. When the carrots are cool, blend with eggs and water.
Sift the flour with 2 Tbsp curry powder. Curry is a bit of an untraditional flavor and probably will not go with most pasta dishes. However this flavor works really well with butternut squash ravoli.
Saffron Pasta (TODO)
Heat the water until nearly boiling. Let one pinch of saffron sit in the hot water for at least 30 minutes.
Wash 1 bunch of spinach. Blanch the spinach by plunging it into boiling water; immediately strain and rinse with cold water until the spinach is no longer warm. Squeeze the excess water out of the spinach and then mince. Blend the minced spinach with the eggs and water until the spinach is liquefied. If the liquid is not green enough, you can blend in minced parsley leaves. After the pasta is cooked, it should be shocked with cold water to protect the color.
Basil and Parsley Pasta
Basil alone doesn't seem to make my pasta green enough, so I "help" the color by using a handful of parsley leaves. Mince a handful of basil and parsley leaves. Blend with eggs and water until the herbs are liquefied. Spinach pasta has a tendency to not cut well, so you may need to pull apart the cut noodles by hand. After the pasta is cooked, it should be shocked with cold water to protect the color.
Replace 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour with buckwheat flour. I prefer my buckwheat pasta to be mostly made of flour, however you can use more buckwheat if you like as long as the total volume of flour adds up to 3.5 cups. Traditional Japanese Soba (Buckwheat) noodles are 3 mm thick and made from 10% to 90% buckwheat--if you use my measurement of 1/2 cup buckwheat to 3 cups all-purpose flour, then your noodles will be around 14% buckwheat. Buckwheat flour has a tendency to not absorb water as well as regular flour, so be conservative when you add the water to the pasta mixture. Buckwheat also does not form a cohesive gluten (its what holds the noodle together) as well as regular flour; omit the salt, since it interfers with the proteins and mucilage, a complex carbohydrate, that helps to bind the dough.
Blend herbs with eggs and water until the herbs are liquefied.
Salt and Pepper Pasta (TODO)
Sift the flour with 1 tsp salt (instead of the 0.5 tsp salt in the recipe) and 2 tsp cracked black pepper.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
More or less, these artichokes just require cutting up some stuff, and then for an hour or so you can do homework or whatever while it cooks. Essentially the recipe is just to braise the stuffed artichokes. ("Braising" means to slowly cook in a closed pot with fat and a bit of moisture.) Almost anything flavorful could be used for the filling and braising liquid as long as it can stand the 1-1.5 hour cooking time.
Braised Artichoke Ingredients:
3 oz diced pancetta
1 diced carrot
1 handful sliced crimoni mushrooms or morel mushrooms
1 sliced scallion
1 or 2 cloved minced garlic
1 chopped yellow onion (small pieces)
1 cup dry white wine
a couple cups of chicken stock
pinch of one herb (such as thyme)
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
Makes 2 servings.
I like to clean the artichokes by cutting the sharp spikes off the tips of the leaves (so they don't poke you when you eat them). Cut off the stem--even though I've had some artichokes with edible stems, often they are too woody to eat (especially if they are big artichokes). Halve the artichokes lengthwise and remove the hair from the artichoke heart and the non-edible white leaves--this will make a nice cavity for the filling. Rub the cut parts of the artichoke with lemon to prevent browning.
Pan fry the pancetta for 5 min (or until crispy). Mix cooked pancetta, the oil from the pancetta, diced carrots, mushrooms, scallion, 1/2 the garlic, parsley, herb, 1/4 of the chopped onion, salt and pepper. Place filling in the cavity in artichoke halves. Place artichoke halves in the pan that you fried the pancetta in--do not wash off the pork fat; the pork fat adds flavor. Sprinkle the rest of the onions and garlic in between the artichokes. Add the 1 cup of wine to the pot--pour a bit of the liquid over the artichokes. Add 1 cup or so of chicken stock--if you are using canned chicken stock, then you may need to reduce the salt a bit since canned chicken stock already has salt in it. If you used dried mushrooms then add the reconsituting liquid to the braising liquid.
Cover tightly and bring to a boil. (The steam is what cooks the artichokes.) Reduce heat to medium for 1 to 1.5 hours. Do not let all of the liquid evaporate from the pan; add more chicken stock as necessary. The artichokes are done when the leaves easily pull off and the flesh at the base of the leaf is soft. When the artichokes are done, remove them and place them on plates. The artichoke hearts as well as the soft flesh on the insides of the artichoke leaves are edible.
The mushrooms could be precooked with the pancetta. This would allow them to soak up some of that nice pork fat. If you do this, I would only cook the mushrooms halfway.
The onions could be caramelized. This will give them a nice brown color and extra sweetness and will also give the braising liquid a deeper color. Remember that when you are pan frying the onions to caramelize them, they will not gain any more color during the braising, so you should pan fry them until they are a nice rich brown color.