Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Oxtail Stew



"Have you ever had oxtails? Most people I know haven't even heard of them, which is really quite a shame. Think braised beef short ribs, but with even more flavor, and you'll get a sense of why those of us who eat oxtail get dreamy eyed when we think about them. Yes oxtails come from a steer's tail, a well exercised muscle, marbled with fat. The segments are vertebrae so they have lots of iron-rich marrow as well. My father, who grew up during the Depression, remembers oxtails as being food for people with little money, because they could be had so cheap. You could get them for pennies a pound. These days, they're somewhat hard to come by and no longer cheap (though you can sometimes get a good deal on them at Costco and Asian markets). As with most tough cuts, oxtail are best slow cooked for several hours. They tend to be fatty, so we like to cook them a day ahead, so we can chill them overnight and scrape off the fat from the top the next day." - Simply Recipes

The above is an excerpt from Simply Recipes' Oxtail Stew recipe. It's a little similar to the one in this recipe, and I thought it was a good introduction to oxtails if you've never heard of them. I decided that I wanted to have some of my mom's cooking, so I called her up for her oxtail stew, which is one of her staple recipes. While I was on the phone with her she told me how Gandalf likes to sleep with her, aw! And Gandalf stole my mom's fish while she was cooking, and my mom had to chase her around the house to get it back. My sister says Gandalf also stole her chicken. In case you forgot who Gandalf is, she's this little kitty cat. Anyways, less cats more food!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Coconut Tuiles

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Coconut tuile sounds so fancy and difficult, but after making them I will have to say that these are the easiest cookies ever! In fact, if you need to appear fancy pants for some parties, just make some coconut tuiles.

I got the recipe from Simple Recipes. Yeah, I wouldn't be a fan girl if I didn't use Elise's recipe now, would I?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Bumble Bee Tuna Salad

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It was Helen who introduced me to this world of ready-to-eat tuna salad. They sure are tasty. If you are a cat owner like me, you would find that it's very hard to eat tuna without cats surround you on all sides. So these ready-to-eat tuna salad is very handy if you want to eat tuna away from home.

So this is a review post of Bumble Bee Tuna Salad* because sometimes, we just don't have time to cook fancy pants food like lamb burgers and beef stew.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Caprese Salad

Day 207 Thursday 9/16/2010

I used to think that caprese salad is the dumbest thing in the world. Why? I'll tell you why. I was watching an episode of Sex and the City and Charlotte was ordering a caprese salad. When her salad came out, it was one single slice of tomato, one slice of mozzarella, and one basil leaf! I was so perplexed. Why the hell would anyone want to eat that? It's so uninteresting! If I want to eat one slice of tomato, one slice of cheese, and one LEAF I wouldn't pay $5 for it!

Since I'm a grown up now, I decide to go back to all of the food I despised/thought was stupid as a child and try it again. Or else, I'd just be stuck in the child phase forever! Not that it's bad to be a child at heart, but it's pretty stupid to stay ignorant.

Let me tell you, I am a changed woman! ...as far as caprese salad is concerned, that is.

Apple Tart



This week, my friend, Iva, and I decided to make this Apple Tart posted at Smitten Kitchen, an adaptation of Jacques Pepi's apple tart as documented by Alice Waters. I believe this apple tart is still served at Chez Panisse today, which I believe the Chopping Block has visited a couple of times, but maybe I'm wrong. Anyways, this was delicious. We served it with homemade vanilla creme en glaze and apple syrup.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Stir Fry Ramen

2010-10-12 Tuesday

This is a lazy post for a lazy dinner for one. I was so lazy that I only took one photo. Heh.

Many people had made stir fry ramen before, right? Right. Well, who cares? I didn't want to spend money on dinner and I only had enough shrimp and broccoli for myself. Not only that, I didn't feel like rice. So I thought, if other people can make stir fry ramen, why can't I? And so I did.

List of lazy ingredients:

1 package of ramen
1 small thing of broccoli or several florets of broccoli
1 clove of garlic - minced
about 5 or 6 shrimps
sesame oil or vegetable oil
salt
pepper flakes (optional)


Lazy steps:

- Boil some water and cook the ramen without the soup base package. Don't throw that soup base away!
- Mix the soup base with the shrimps. Hahah! I even got too lazy to make my own marinade.
- Wash and cut broccoli into bite size. Like I even have to tell you that.
- When ramen is tender, drain and discard water.
- In a large pan or wok, heat about 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Stir fry the broccoli and garlic for about 2 minutes.
- Add in shrimps. Stir fry for another minute.
- Add salt to taste, but I think the ramen soup base should be enough.
- Toss in the cooked and drained ramen noodle.
- Add about 1 tablespoon of sesame oil or vegetable oil so the noodle doesn't get too dry.
- Constantly toss and stir the whole thing for 30 seconds or until well mix.
- Remove from heat and serve!
- You can sprinkle on some pepper flakes for fun.

This is an any-wo/man's stir fry ramen so feel free to use cauliflowers, or cabbages, or carrots, or peas in lieu of broccoli. Throw an egg in there for all I care! Go forth and make lazy dinners!

So easy, it's child's play!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Bacon Wrapped Brussels Sprouts

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I'm afraid I'm one of those bacon worshipers and believe that bacon-everything is awesome! Since I also love brussels sprouts, what am I going to do to double the fun? Wrap the brussels sprouts with bacon, of course!

A few recipes recommended that the brussels sprouts be blanched and the bacons be slightly fried before combining the two. A few other recipes start with frozen brussels sprouts. Well, I decided to try neither!



brussel sprouts
I started with some non-frozen brussels sprouts.



bacon wrap
Wrapped one piece of bacon around each brussels sprout and secured with a toothpick.



bacon wrap brussel sprouts
Twenty to twenty-five minutes later (depending on how crispy you want your bacons) in a 375 400 degrees oven resulted in delicious bacon wrapped brussels sprouts (I checked my notes, I had it at 400 degrees not 375).

That's it! Almost no work at all. Easiest and tastiest appetizer ever!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Pumpkin Bread



Do you know what time it is? It's time for my favorite season of the year: Fall! Do you know what that means? PUMPKIN! I was reading an RSS from Savory Sweet Life, and Alice had just made this pumpkin bread recipe from the Pioneer Woman. It looked so good, I had to make it too!