We are really excited to be attending our 3rd FoodBuzz Festival this year 10/19-20 in San Francisco! One more week to go until a food filled weekend. The agenda looks great and I’ve already booked reservations Friday night at Acquerello .
Hope to meet some more bloggers and reconnect with those of you we’ve met in the past!
Sometimes the last thing I want to do when I come home after a long day’s work is to cook so I can eat. However, I discovered this quick 30 minute recipe watching Rachel Ray’s 30 minute meals one day on TV. I could easily take frozen chicken, a few ingredients from my pantry and a few spices and have a delicious (and healthy) meal in 30 minutes! Thanks rayray! By the way, these go awesomely well with the Cilantro Yogurt Dipping Sauce. Use leftovers in a sandwich for lunch!
2 pounds chicken tenders
Salt and pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
A splash milk
2 cups honey nut flavored cereal, or honey corn flakes (recommended: Honey Nut Corn Flakes) or I use whatever corn flakes cereal I have on hand.
1 cup bread crumbs
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
2 tablespoons grill seasoning (recommended: Montreal Seasoning)
1/4 cup vegetable oil, eyeball it
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Season chicken tenders with salt and pepper.
3. Combine cereal, bread crumbs, paprika, poultry seasoning, grill seasoning and vegetable oil in food processor.
4. Pulse until mixed and there are no large pieces. Transfer breading to a shallow dish.
5. Place flour in a large shallow dish. Beat eggs and milk in a shallow dish. Line up the dishes with the flour, egg/milk mixture, and then breading.
6. Place a nonstick baking sheet covered in aluminum foil near chicken breading station.
7. Coat chicken in flour. In batches, take flour coated chicken and coat in eggs then in breading and place on nonstick cookie sheet.
8. When all the chicken has been coated, transfer to oven and bake 15 minutes, until evenly brown and cooked through.
9. Enjoy! This chicken may be served hot or cold. Goes great with the the Cilantro Yogurt Dipping Sauce. In this picture I used some pesto and a sriracha aioli as my dipping sauces. Good ol’ BBQ sauce or a honey dijon mustard works too!
I love eating these tasty, flaky, savory turnip pastries. You can often find them in the Chinatown bakeries just waiting to be eaten. But nothing comes close to a freshly baked pastry still steaming when you take that first bite. *drool*
One of my mom’s friends, Johanna would often make these when I visit my parents LA. I asked her one time to teach me how to make them so I could make them when I was back home in SF. This post is the culmination of that lesson. You won’t be disappointed by these. You can store these in the refrigerator and bake them again to warm them up when you want to enjoy later.
Ingredients Turnip filling
1 large turnip (~3-4 cups shredded)
2-3 small pieces (3-4 tbsp) of Chinese cured and smoked ham (fatty pieces are good)
1-2 bunches of green onion (~1 cup chopped)
3 tbsp salt
diced ginger (~1 tsp)
1 tbsp sesame oil
7 cups of all purpose flour (4 cups for the outer pastry, 3 cups for the inner pastry)
16oz crisco (2 cups)
2 cups of water
sesame seeds for outside coating
Other kitchen items needed:
Large measuring glass
2 large ziplock bags
Kitchen gloves (for handling turnips)
Directions Start with turnip filling
**Warning: Some people are sensitive to raw turnip and your skin may get itchy. I wore some gloves to help prevent the itchiness afterwards **
1. Peel the skin of the turnip and shred the turnip. I used a food processor with the shredding blade for faster results.
2. Add salt to the shredded turnip and let sit for ~5 min to extract out the water. Mix and squeeze out the water in batches using your hands to make sure the turnip is dry.
3. Dice the green onions and ginger. Add to bowl with shredded turnip.
4. Dice the meat finely (I used a food processor) and remove any tough parts/tendon. Add 1 tbsp of sesame oil to the meat, and a pinch of white pepper for taste. Mix together. Pour out to same bowl as turnip mixture with green onions and ginger.
5. Mix the turnips, meat, green onions and ginger together so that all ingredients have been incorporated.
Prepare the pastry
Now there are 2 parts to the pastry layer (a wet outer layer/水油皮 and a dry inner layer/油皮) in order to get that flakey outside crust.
6. For the outer layer (wet layer/水油皮), add 4 cups of all purpose flour to a standing mixer.
7. Now, we need 1 cup of Crisco and 1 cup of water to add to the flour. (Now, I hate that the crisco gets stuck to whatever measuring cup i use, so I use this method instead. Using a large measuring bowl, I’ll add in 2 cups of water, and add in crisco until the level reaches 3 cups and then dump out 1 cup of water. You could just start with 1 cup of water and add in crisco until the level reaches 2, but I find that it’s easier to see the 2 cups to 3 cups markings.)
8. Use a dough hook in the standing mixer to mix all ingredients. The dough should be very soft, so if it is too hard, add more water. (I ended up adding ~1/4 cup water over two times)
9. When the dough is smooth and soft, put it in a large zip lock bag and let sit.
10. For the inner layer (dry layer/油皮), add 3 cups of all purpose flour to a standing mixer with 1 cup of Crisco (I was short a little Crisco when I took the picture.. ). There is no water in this mixture- only add the Crisco to the flour.
11. Mix in stand mixer and put into other ziplock bag.
12. Preheat oven to 375F
13. Make sure you have a large flat working surface. Measure out 2oz of the wet dough and 1 oz of the dry dough.
14. For the wet dough use a rolling pin to flatten. Roll the 1oz dry dough into a ball with your hands and place in the middle of the flat wet dough. Flip both sides over the ball and flatten with rolling pin. Roll up lengthwise and flatten again with rolling pin.
15. Roll up one more time, but instead of rolling flat, hold both ends of the pastry in your hands. Now press both ends towards each other so that you now have a rounded (smushed) pastry in your hands. Roll this into a circle.
16. Now add in the mixture to the middle of the pastry. In a circular motion, starting with one side, gather the dough, pinching each piece with the previous, until all sides are closed and you have a closed pastry with filling. The side with the closed seams will be the bottom of the pastry. See video below too!
17. Add sesame seeds to a flat plate. Press the completed pastry (top flat side) into the sesame seeds, and put completed pastries onto a baking sheet.
18. Bake pastries for 20-25 minutes or until sesame seeds and top are slighty golden. Enjoy and remember to share (only if you really want to)!!
Remember the good ole days at Cal? Remember all the good food? Remember Brazil Cafe on Shattuck? If you haven’t had their tri-tip sandwich, you’ve been missing out. Get in your car and go there right now. Go.
I think the best part of that sandwich is the cilantro yogurt sauce. Tao and I remember talking with the owner saying how much we loved it and he told us what was in it… so after many many attempts in trying to recreate and perfect the sauce (all kinds of yogurt), we’ve done it. You can thank me later. I almost don’t want to share it with you.
This sauce is great in sandwiches, dipping pita chips, eating with chicken sticks, or anything else. It’s awesome.
-Fresh cilantro (generous bunch, washed and the stems trimmed)
-Garlic (2 cloves, more if you love the kick like I do)
-Fage total 2% greek yogurt (at TJs)
-Salt and Pepper
1. Add the garlic to the food processor and give it a whirl until its nicely chopped. I like to use a spatula since the bigger chunks sometimes fly up.
2. Then add the cilantro and blend again until the cilantro is nicely chopped as well.
in the food processor
3. Add in the yogurt, a dash of paprika, salt, pepper, and blend one last time until its a nice green color. Taste and add more salt if needed. Then, enjoy your sauce and be glad I was in a sharing mood.
I love eggs. It doesn’t matter how it is cooked or prepared…over easy, poached, scrambled, hard boiled, soft boiled.. you get the point. To make these golden eggs, you will have to practice a few times to get the timing of the eggs just right. But when you do, the eggs are hardboiled, with a golden, partially runny yolk on the inside. YUM! You just have to be a hawk when watching the water boil with the eggs. The worse part is seeing the eggs in the fridge but having to wait 3 days to get just the right flavor and color. A true test of willpower… (that I have failed many times).
Prep time: 20-30 min Marinade time: 3-4 days Ingredients:
eggs, at room temperature
ginger, 1 inch piece
3 stalks green onions
1 cup chinese cooking rice wine
1 cup soy sauce
3 cups water
rock sugar, roughly 1 inch piece
1 anise star
egg perfect egg timer, optional (works pretty well- I picked mine up at sur la table). If you don’t have one, make sure you have a timer handy.
1. In a large pot, add room temperature eggs and enough water to cover eggs. Place the egg perfect egg timer in the middle of the eggs in the pot.
2. Prepare a bowl/pot of cold water nearby to cool the eggs once they cook.
3. On medium heat, start heating the water. Make sure you are watching the pot closely.
-If you are using the egg perfect egg timer, you want to watch to see when the black increases up to the “soft” line.
-If you you are using a regular timer, once the water start to boil (like consistent bubbling covering the whole surface), set a timer for 3 minutes.
4. Once it reaches that point (either the “soft” line or 3 minutes), immediately scoop out the eggs and put them into the cool ice bath on the side (or rinse in cold water like I did…).
5. Gently, crack some of the eggs just a little to help in the cooling and make the peeling easier for later. Keep in cold water.
6. Next, prepare the marinade for the eggs. Slice the ginger into large discs and cut green onion into large pieces.
7. Heat a large deep skillet/wok, with no oil, over low/med heat. Break the anise star into pieces and add in to release the oils for 1-2 min, stirring. Add in the ginger and green onion until starting to brown.
8. Add in the water, soy sauce, wine and rock sugar to the skillet. Heat for ~3-5min while stirring until the rock sugar has complete dissolved. Let cool to room temperature.
9. Peel now cooled eggs and return to empty bowl.
10. Once the sauce has completely cooled, add into bowl with eggs, cover bowl, and put in refrigerator to let marinade for 3 days. After a day or so, flip the eggs to let all sides marinade evenly.
11. Once three days are up.. or before if you’re like me and can’t wait, scoop eggs out and enjoy!
Sorry for the extremely long delay in posts, but it was for a good cause. Between all my traveling for work, Tao and I had to plan for our wedding which took place a few weeks ago on 1/21/12! I promise now that all that is done, the cooking and posts shall resume shortly!
Here is a recipe for chocolate covered strawberries- something so easy yet elegant looking where you can bring to a friend’s house or prepare for guests coming to your house. You will be amazed at how easy these really are to make. And, seriously, who can resist these beautiful chocolate covered strawberries? You will be the hit of the party!
Large strawberries (1lb =~20 strawberries)
Large chocolate discs for melting – white chocolate and dark chocolate (see picture below)
2 microwave safe bowls or 2 sauce pans and 2 heat proof bowls (for double boil method)
1 small sandwich bags
1 pair of scissors
1. Wash and gently pat dry strawberries with paper towel
2. Line a cookie sheet tray with parchment paper or wax paper to lay the dipped strawberries on.
3. Melt dark chocolate first. You can use one of two methods. I used the microwave method and they turned out just fine. The better the quality of chocolates, the smoother it will melt and the easier it will be to coat your strawberries.
Using the double bowl method: Add the chocolates into a heatproof medium bowl. Then, fill a medium saucepan with a couple inches of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Once boiling, turn off the heat and set the bowl with chocolate over the water to melt. Continue to stir until smooth and there are no clumps. I’d do the dark chocolate first and then while it is cooling, heat the white chocolate.
Using the microwave method: Add chocolates to a microwave-safe bow. Set microwave at half power, for 1 minute, stir and then heat for another minute or until melted.
4. Next, take a dry strawberry (if it is wet, the chocolate will not stick, so make sure you dried them off completely in step 1. Holding the strawberry by the stem, dip the strawberry into the chocolate, lift and twist slightly, letting any excess chocolate drip back into the bowl.
5. Once the strawberry is coated, place it on the parchment paper. Repeat with the rest of the strawberries. Once done, put the strawberries into the refrigerator to harden a little.
6. Now, melt the white chocolate using the same method you did in Step 3 for the dark chocolate.
7. While you melt the while chocolate, take the sandwich bag and flip and tuck the edges out.
8. Once the white chocolate is melted, carefully pour into the sandwich bag.
9. Now cut a tiny snip into the corner of the bag.
10. By now, the strawberries dipped in chocolate from the refrigerator should be hardened. Take out.
11. Using the sandwich bag, squeeze white chocolate in a left right motion over the chocolate strawberries to decorate!
12. Set the strawberries aside until the white chocolate cools and hardens, about 20 minutes. Then enjoy your works of art!
If you didn’t already know, I have a love for all things butternut squash and pumpkin related. Any time I see either of those words on a menu- I’m sold. It was to my happiness that I found a butternut squash risotto recipe in the America’s Test Kitchen cookbook!. You can also find the recipe here.
2lb butternut squash, cubed to 1/4 inch size (reserve seeds and fibers)
2 tbsp olive oil
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp gr black pepper
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 small onions, minced (~1.5 cups)
4 tbs (1/2 stick butter)
1 cup water
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 cups Arborio rice (i found this in the bulk bins at Berkeley Bowl)
1.5 cups dry white wine
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 tbsp minced sage leaves (I didn’t have any so I used cilantro- still good!)
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg (I just used the off the rack spice)
1. Dice the butternut squash into small cubes (1/4 inch) for sauteing. Reserve the seeds and fibers from the inside.
2. Add oil to skillet on medium heat until oil is shimmering and then add in butternut squash in an even layer. Do not stir. Let sit for 4-5 minutes until golden brown. Season with 1/4 tsp salt and pepper. Continue to cook, stirring occassionally until squash is tender and can be pierced by a fork (another 5 minutes). Take squash out and set aside in bowl.
3. Return skillet to med heat and add in the reserved seeds and fibers. Cook to break up fibers until slightly browned (~3-5 min). Transfer to a saucepan (or small pot) and add the chicken broth and water. Cover until boiling over high heat- then turn down to med-low and simmer.
4. Add 3 tbsp of butter into the empty skillet and melt over med heat. Add in diced onions and garlic and 1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper. Cook ~5 minutes until onions are soft.
5. Strain the fibers and seeds from the broth. Make sure to get as much liquid out from the fibers. Discard the seeds and fibers and return broth back to pot. Cover and keep simmering.
6. Add in the rice and cook ~5 minutes until grains become translucent. Add wine and keep stirring (careful not to spill rice out) until liquid is absorbed.
7. Once wine is absorbed pour in 3 cups of the hot broth and 1/2 of the reserved squash cubes into the rice. Stir every 3-4 minutes until liquid is absorbed- total of 12-15 minutes. The bottom of the skillet should be dry.
8. Add in 1/2 of broth while stirring- and continue to repeat until the rice is cooked through and slightly al dente. The rice should be a little firm in the center. Once off the heat, stir in the remaining 1 tbsp butter, parmesan, sage (or cilantro), and nutmeg. Also fold in the remaining squash. If the rice is too dry, add in a little more broth.
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