Friday, June 28, 2013

Spicy Salmon Sashimi

Spicy Salmon Sashimi So I was at H-Mart shopping for some beef bones to make more Pho and noticed that there's a sashimi section. HMMMMMMMM.....Poke? :D

It's actually pretty unfortunate because there wasn't any tuna. But there was a lot of salmon, so I just got a pound of it and made spicy salmon sashimi. It's pretty darn good and comparable to the one we usually get at a local sushi place, only it's less sugary. It is most definitely cheaper than getting it from there too. Lol. Maybe even healthier? :)

This is a pretty spicy dish, so if you don't want it to be that spicy, I'd half the gojujang and add 1 tsp of water to dilute it a bit. But if you're used to spice and love it, I'd stick with the recipe below. Add some chopped cucumbers to ease the heat. :)

Spicy Salmon Sashimi
(serves 2-3)

  • 1 lb sushi grade salmon filet, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 2 Tbsps gojujang
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsps sesame seeds, divided
  • 1 green onion stalk, finely diced, divided

  1. Combine salmon, gojujang, sesame oil, sugar, 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds and all but 1 tablespoon of green onions in a medium bowl. Mix until all of the salmon pieces are well coated.
  2. Garnish with remaining green onions and sesame seeds.

Make sure you use sushi grade salmon! I used the kind you can get at Costco (froze for 3 days and then defrosted before making) and it wasn't as good. It's still alright, but it definitely was not as yummy as the sushi grade kind at H-Mart. I gotta look for another place to get this stuff. A pound at H-Mart was already $12. Cheaper than going to sushi places for sure, but still...:P

Monday, June 24, 2013

Potato & Egg Salad with Bacon

Potato & Egg SaladFather's Day BBQ at the in-laws. I'd feel bad if I don't bring something so I decide on potato and egg salad. I've been meaning to make this anyway and this was the perfect excuse. Heehee. It's totally yummy I thought a pound of bacon would be too much, but it totally isn't. There was none left at the end of the night! Or at least that's what it looked like. I wasn't feeling well so I couldn't really eat much. Hence I didn't hang out at the food table as much as I normally would have.

Potato & Egg Salad with Bacon
(serves 6-8)

  • 3 lb russet potatoes, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 4 green onions, finely diced
  • 2 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 1 lb bacon, chopped
  • 6 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsps horseradish Dijon mustard
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

  1. Place potatoes in a large pot, cover with water and season with salt. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Strain and lay on a cookie sheet to cool. 
  2. In a large sauce pan, cook bacon bits until crispy. Spoon onto a plate lined with paper towels to soak up excess oil. Set aside to cool for a few minutes. 
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix everything together. Chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours before serving.

Updated: Changed the name of the recipe since it has yummy bacon in it and my other totally vegetarian one doesn't. :)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Lemon Chiffon Cake

Lemon Chiffon CakeI've been watching so much The American Baking Competition that I've actually wanted to bake. But when I watched them make the chiffon cake, I remembered how I've never been successful in making a coconut chiffon cake. Mind you, my last attempt was when I was 18 and had no clue about cooking nor baking other than "following" instructions. HAH! Anywho, I just wanted to give it another go. I found this recipe here. I WAS going to follow it to a T.............................but then I decided to change it ever so slightly. I can't help it! It's in my nature. Maybe that's why all those attempts at that infamous coconut chiffon cake flopped. Lol. :P

Lemon Chiffon Cake
(serves 12-16)

  • 7 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 tsps lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsps lemon juice
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp white vinegar
  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest (optional - if you have any left over from juicing all the lemons)

  1. If eggs aren't already at room temperature, put them in a hot water bath for a few minutes while you gather all the ingredients.
  2. Preheat oven to 325F.
  3. Separate eggs - whites in a large bowl and yolks in a small bowl. Add the white vinegar to the egg whites and beat on medium until you get stiff peaks. Set aside.
  4. In the small bowl with the egg yolks, add the water, canola oil, 2 teaspoons of lemon zest, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and vanilla extract. Mix until everything's well incorporated. Set aside.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and 1 teaspoon of salt. Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Beat on slow until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for another two seconds, if needed.
  6. Fold in the egg whites until the batter is no longer streaky.
  7. Gently spoon/pour into an ungreased tube pan. Run a butter knife through the batter to remove any excess bubbles. Bake for 50-55 minutes, until the cake is golden and the top springs back when lightly tapped.
  8. Invert the pan and cool for about an hour.
  9. In the meantime, combine icing sugar, softened butter, 1/3 cup lemon juice, dash of salt and any additional lemon zest in a small bowl and beat until smooth.
  10. Once cake is cooled, run a butter knife or metal spatula along the sides and inner tube of the pan to loosen cake. Gently pop the cake out of the tube pan and place is inverted on a cake stand/serving plate. Pour icing over cake and smooth over with a spatula, letting some icing spill over the sides.
  11. Serve with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream or just as is.

I like mine without any icing, actually. It's already pretty darn sweet in my opinion. :)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Pulled Pork

Pulled Pork Lo MeinI really like pulled pork. The only thing is that I tend to make too much and Hubby and I'll be eating it for the next week or so. That's a bit too much. Luckily we have two more mouths to feed. Or rather its easy to rope in two more mouths so making dinner is a lot easier. It's always easier to make food for 4-6 people than for only 2 (K still doesn't eat enough to count as one person).

Originally I put 2 tablespoons of salt but I'm going to half it in the recipe. 2 tablespoons is way too much! It was crazy salty and hurt my tummy. Thank goodness I had food left over for K. Otherwise he wouldn't have had anything for dinner. :(

Pulled Pork
(serves 6-8)

  • 3-4 lb pork shoulder
  • 2 Tbsps paprika
  • 2 Tbsps packed brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsps salt
  • 1 Tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tbsps Worcestershire sauce

Marinating Pulled Pork Directions:
  1. In a large Ziploc bag, combine paprika, brown sugar, salt, ground black pepper, garlic, onion powder and cayenne powder. Place pork shoulder in bag, close and shake and massage well to get pork shoulder ever coated. Open up the bag a little and squeeze out as much air as possible while closing the bag back up. Marinade in the fridge for 8-24 hours.
  2. Place pork shoulder into the Instant Pot. Cover with ketchup and Worcestershire sauce. Press the Meat button and adjust to 50 minutes.
  3. Sit back and relax for a little over an hour. When the meat is done, use two forks to shred. Mix with the sauce thoroughly and serve with coleslaw and/or pickles on buttered toasted buns. Or you can be weird like me and have it with noodles to make a Lo Mein out of it. :)

Friday, June 7, 2013

Pho Noodles with Beef Balls, Carrots & Beef Ribs

Pho Noodles with Beef Balls, Carrots & Beef RibsThere are SO many pho places around here. I LOVE pho. It's perfect for gloom and doom days and it's not that expensive. It's actually pretty cheap, which is why I normally have never attempted to bother making this. What's the point if it's not going to save me all that much money? I guess it'd matter if I cared what goes into my body, but sometimes I just want yummy food.

Sis' Hubby (-to-be) has a good recipe. I'm sure it doesn't include beef back ribs, but sometimes you gotta use what you got, right? And I had beef back ribs. Lol. It's actually his mom's recipe. Kinda. It's one of those recipes where they give you no measurements and you just add more here and there as you go along. >_>

Please note that the cooking time for noodles is entirely dependent on the thickness of the noodles. You can use any rice noodles, but try to look for actual Vietnamese kinds used for Pho. Otherwise they can soak up a lot of the soup while you're eating. I suppose that isn't so bad. But it can get soggy sometimes!

Pho Noodles with Beef Balls, Carrots & Beef Ribs
(serves 4-6)

  • 3 lbs beef bones/back ribs/oxtail
  • 3 star anise
  • 3 inch knob of ginger, sliced
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced and divided
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 Tbsps Por Kwan Beef Flavour Paste
  • 10+ cups water
  • 1 package beef balls
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 4 green onions, diced
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 2 packages of Rice Stick/Vermicelli noodles
  • Hoisin sauce (optional)
  • Fish sauce (optional)
  • Sriracha (optional)

Pho Noodles with Steak
  1. In a dutch oven, heat oil on medium high heat. Sauté star anise, ginger and 1 1/4 onion slices until golden. Stir in beef flavour paste.
  2. Add beef ribs/bones/oxtail, carrots and 10 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Cover and lower heat to simmer for 3-4 hours, or until beef ribs are tender. Add beef balls to cook 15-20 minutes before serving.
  3. While beef balls are cooking, boil water in a large pot. Cook noodles until al dente. Drain and separate into large serving bowls. Divide remaining sliced onions, green onions and cilantro into bowls.
  4. Ladle soup with beef balls, carrots and ribs over bowl of noodles. Enjoy steaming hot. Season with hoisin sauce, fish sauce and/or Sriracha, if desired.

Update: I just wanted to add a nicer picture because I made it again the other night. This time I used the Instant Pot from beginning to end and it wasn't as flavourful. Boo.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Adobo-ish Chicken

Adobo-ish Chicken ThighI LOVE easy dishes. What full time working mom doesn't, right? That's like asking if kittens are cute.....Lol.

This is essentially Adobo Chicken, but I add a couple more things to make it mine. I should really make garlic rice for this but I just have Jasmine rice and some steamed veggies. Since Hubby and I can't finish a whole chicken on our own (K can only eat a thigh), I just cut up a chicken and reserve the chicken breasts for another meal. That's why there's only 6 pieces of chicken in the picture. :)

Adobo-ish Chicken
(serves 3-4)

  • 1 whole chicken, cut into 10 pieces
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 3 ginger slices
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves

Adobo-ish Chicken Directions:
  1. Place everything in a large pot. Mix well. Cover and let marinade for 1-3 hours.
  2. Bring everything to a boil and then simmer for 30 minutes. 
  3. Uncover and simmer for another 10-15 minutes for the sauce to thicken. 
  4. Serve with a side of rice and steamed veggies.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins

Whole Wheat Blueberry MuffinsK has been eating so much bread lately. The little guy just LOVES bread! He'll grab a slice of multigrain bread an just walk around the house nomming on it. The most amazing part is that he'll eat the crust first and then the soft fluffy part. Mom and I think he likes the crust more than the inside. Such a funny toddler.

Anywho, he's getting a little tired of his blueberry oatmeal. Who could blame him? He's been eating it every day at least once a day for the past 6 months or so. That being said, I have to sneak blueberries into him in another way and blueberry muffins is the way! I wanted to make a loaf, but muffins are so much more portable. :)

Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins
(makes 16 muffins)

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tsps baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 1/4 cups frozen blueberries

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Grease muffin tins or line with muffin cups. Set aside. 
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Set aside. 
  3. In a small bowl, combine the eggs, milk and oil. Stir in the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. 
  4. Fold in the blueberries. And scoop into muffin tins. Fill any empty muffin cups 1/4 way up with water to prevent them from burning while baking.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until no crumbs stick to a toothpick when it's inserted into the middle of a couple of muffins.

This IS for a toddler, so I used less sugar and didn't make a crumbly topping for it. If you're making it for adults, I suggest increasing the sugar to 1 1/2 cups and maybe adding a crumbly topping for it. Crumbly toppings and toddlers just don't mix. The dog is always helpful in cleaning everything up off the floor but I take pride in having our pets at a healthy weight and with the way K's been feeding the dog off his highchair, we're going to have to work harder at keeping our barking vacuum cleaner nice and slim. :)