Sunday, September 26, 2010

Penang Assam Laksa

Day 196 Monday 9/6/2010

Nur, my Southeast Asian food go-to person, sent me this penang laksa recipe to try out. According to Nur, it's authentic! How do I know it's authentic? It contains strange sounding ingredients. Let's take a break from my streak of dessert making and go into some real food.

Laksa is a sort of spicy noodle soup and it comes in several types. There's curry laksa and assam laksa. Curry laksa is self-explanatory. Assam laksa is a sour fish base laksa.

Pasta with Pumpkin and Sausage



I asked the Chopping Block what I should cook, and she suggested a pumpkin recipe from Martha Stewart, except I thought that it wouldn't turn out very well. I think pumpkin has a pretty mild taste, and I didn't think it'd work with pasta. After some searching around, I found a Rachel Ray recipe, albeit I'm not a fan, but it looked more promising than Martha Stewart's.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Elise's Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Orange Pecan Cookies

cookies 2

If you haven't notice already, I have like a crazy girl crush on Elise at Simply Recipes. You can see that I made food from her blog all the time. As shown here and here and here, and here.

That's right, people, Elise herself commented on one of my posts. I was so stoked I almost peed my pants. Hahahha...not really, but really stoked nevertheless! But all of her recipes are so delicious and simple. Not only that, she's also from the greater Sacramento area, like me! Well, I'm not exactly from from Sacramento, but I lived there when I was 11 to 21 and still consider it home.

Okay, let me end the fan girl craze and move on to tell you about my adventure of making Elise's oatmeal raisin chocolate chip orange pecan cookies or as I like to call it my Out-of-everything cookies...Why? Well, you shall know...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Matcha (Green Tea) Ice Cream

green tea ice cream

My first exposure to matcha, Japanese green tea, ice cream was during my first trip to Berkeley in high school. My first thought was "What? Tea ice cream? Wouldn't that taste kinda gross?" Good thing I decided to try it and changed my mind on the whole "gross" part. It's so fun when stuff you thought is gross initially turns out to be awesome?

When you have an ice cream maker, you might as well make ice cream with it, right? Right!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Meal Planning Part 2: Seasonings & Pesto Pasta Salad/Crepes

Awhile ago, I posted meal Planning Part 1 and then life, as it is wont to do...descended into chaos...

Which is the very reason I meal plan. Continuing with the topic, I'm going to suppose that the beginning meal planner has kept a food diary and knows his/her tastes. The next thing to do is research. What you want to know is how to flavor the dishes you want to make. There are 3 types of cuisines we eat in my house:

Asian
Italian
Mexican

All forms are intensely Americanized...no avoiding it. I'm white :P But I <3 learning traditional recipes...even if they degenerate into Americanized-whatevers as I become comfortable cooking the dishes. However, my neccesities are my oil and herbs and honey...and garlic....


From 2010-08-01

See?

So this (plus Mirin and Sherry, which I think are missing from this pick) are my essentials. These are what my meals start and end with. In differing quantities and mixtures, these oils, herbs, etc bring flavor to my meals.

My suggestion to the beginner is to choose a lot of recipes you like which require a selection of the same seasonings. Keep those seasonings on hand and develop techniques that use them to their full effect.

The next repertoire to build is based on your favorite (or edible) veggies/meats. Yes, this can be determined in part by budgeting. An example of our favorite dish this summer has been Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad.

First, you need the veggies:
From 2010-08-01

The artichoke hearts and olives came in cans, most of the rest was fresh.
Pesto came in a bottle, but if you have time and fresh ingredients Helen's Basil and Parsley Pesto would be a good addition :P

I used frozen chicken which I defrosted/slightly cooked in the microwave, cut into bite-sized pieces, then added to a pan that included: olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I cooked the mixture until the chicken was brown with the vinegar and flaky.

The eggplant and mushrooms were cooked separately in a similar mixture. The eggplant is done when browned by the seasonings and soft.

When done the veggies and chicken look like this:

From 2010-08-01

The salad is made by either
a) tossing the chicken with pesto
b) adding a portion of chicken, veggies and noodles (we use wheat noodles) together and tossing with pesto.

Or the same mixture can be added to a simple batter:

From 2010-08-01

made from flour, water, an egg and a touch of salt. Cooked like a pancake and then with the mixture added:

From 2010-08-01

You get chicken pesto crepes.

So the veggies and chicken (stored separately) can be made in large enough quantities to be eaten in different meals for 3 days.

This is why establishing precisely what you eat is important. If you love olives or tomatoes, you can create multiple dishes that use the same veggies in different ways. The seasonings will also be used differently.

What are your favorite vegetables? Have favorite ways of cooking them?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Poor Man's Korean Bimbimbap



Oh my god! It's my first "real" post since going to grad school! How exciting! I'm going to teach you how to make a poor man's bimbimbap. (Okay, just to warn you, it's sort of a "cheat" post because ... everything is prepackaged?). It's a poor man's bimbimbap because I don't have any bean sprouts, mushrooms, and etc. But who really needs them anyways?! So let's begin!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Peach Pie

peach pie

What do you do when someone gives you a bag of peaches? Munching on one or two peaches is fine, but what about the rest? You make peach pies, of course! Or peach galette! But if you really suck at making pie crusts like me, you would go with the pies and buy premade pie crusts!