Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hotdog in Home Baked Buns, French Fries and Onion Rings

I tried the recipe from http://angelcookbakelove.blogspot.com's Christmas Tree Custard Bread (Super Soft).  The extra dough angel used to make the long bread looked attractively interesting for hotdog dinner that I wanted.  Since the holiday is passed, I made the other doughs into balls and into the shape of a double-rings.  It complemented my Potato-Leek soup (from Bouchon recipe book, previously posted) at the office today.  It was a good lunch.
For dinner, I also prepared French Fries from Chef Thomas Keller's Bouchon Recipe book.  I learned about blanching the french fries at 325'F and then fried at 375'F.  Wow... time consuming.  I also made some onion rings ... woops... didn't have Panko in my pantry.  Soooo.... onion rings dipped in seasoned flour, buttermilk, and tested with  white corn meal dip also.... that was not very tasty.... so I changed the last coating with Tempura powder.  That's much better.  Keeping the peanut oil between 350'F and 375'F is challenging indeed.  This is when the electric skillet with temp controller would work well... I think.


Canneles de Bordeaux 2011

This is my 3rd batch for 2011.  I think it's time to re-tin my canneles copper molds.




Valentine Chocolate Mini-Cupcake

Late posting, absolutely and timely, but want to let you all know that it was fun making this mini-cupcakes for my grandkids.

Beef Stew

In attempting to practice cutting potato and carrot tourne, I made this beef stew.  Tourne is quite challenging - gives me the finger cramps.



Chardonnay Flavored Sweet and Sour Lemon Spicy Sauce

Another evening of challenging cooking.  Prepared sauteed chicken with Marsala, but I didn't  have marsala.  Looked for substitute recipe for marsala.  Hmmm...grape juice and brandy... Yak!  nope, I do not like the taste.  Back to square one.  How about sweet and sour sauce?  But I did not want the vinegar.  An idea --
Ingredients:
1/2 C fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 C Chardonnay.  I used Inglenook brand's
1 C homemade chicken stock (seasoned, but no salt) 
1/4 C finely chopped - fine brunoise - 1/16"x1/16"x1/16"
1 clove of garlic chopped
2 to 3 Tbsp Sugar
about 1 tsp+ of chili flakes
1 Tbsp Japanese Potato Starch (Katakuriko) mixed with water = 2 Tbsp Slurry
Salt to taste

Sauteuse pan
Strainer
Glass bowl
Heat proof spatula

After chicken breasts--thinly sliced, pounded (scaloppini style), dredged in flour  (make sure to shake almost all the flour off each chicken slice and sauteed in butter, set the chicken aside.
In the same saute pan, add the onions and sweat it.  Pick up all the goodies at the bottom of the saute pan.  Then add 1 C chardonnay, add chopped garlic and cook to reduce to 1/4 C or less.  Add 1 C home made chicken stock.
Cook to reduce (evaporate) by 1/4 C.
Remove from heat and strain the sauce.  Discard onions and garlic...etc. or gobble them up  :-)
Return the sauce back into the sauteuse.
Heat - just before it starts to boil, add chili flakes.  Add 2 Tbsp sugar and taste.  Add more sugar as needed to your sweetness taste.  Sprinkle with salt to taste.
(Liquid should be bubbly until finish.)
Add 2 Tbsp of starch slurry, and stir quickly with heat proof spatula.
Cook till liquid is evenly thickened and for 2 min--stir continuously.
Remove from heat.

Cut the chicken into desired size if plating for individual size.
Arrange on plate and served with julienned Mango on chicken scaloppini layer. Drowse with Chardonnay flavored sweet and sour lemon spice sauce on each layer.
Yuummmy!!

Other odd pieces of chickens:  cut into somewhat equal size.  Serve after tossing the chicken and sauce together.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Roasted Turnips and Spaghetti Squash

They are heart warming and tasty.  Turnips tasted like DAIKON, but with firmer texture.
The spaghetti squash is very interesting.  





Poached Pears with Wild Berry Wine Sauce

I never thought I will ever poach pears... and in wine?  well, I am into the new arena in cooking adventure this semester.  Not too sure about poached food items in the meat group, but it works wonder with this pears.

French Onion Soup with Fresh Home Baked Baguette

What to say, but umm, ummmm gooood!
 Nothing goes wasted - even the clean fresh onion skin can be a part of stock making.

 

 



Cilantro Roasted Chicken

My first trussed chicken rubbed with Sea Salt, freshly grounded black peppers, fresh Cilantro.  Inside is rubbed with thyme, cilantro, salt and pepper, roasted with onions,  carrots, and celery.







 The roasted chicken is then pulled apart and broiled to crisp the skin.  Then served with the potatoes.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Happy Chinese New Year 2011- Golden Peanuts Sue-Giao (or Sue-Jiao)

There was a "Flower Fair" at the Chinatown, San Francisco, last weekend.  Even though the weather was bit damp, the street of Chinatown was filled with sunshine.  Street vendors filled the entire area with lots of interesting merchandise, flowers and trees, and candies and everything in red and green, etc... It was just fun being there.  And there we found a Lion Dance mask for my grand-children.  I was really excited to find it, too, that it is actually large enough for my grandson to hold it over his head, covered, and dance with it.  After we got home, we studied about the history of the Chinese Lion Dance over the Internet and found out that he has Southern Lion mask; then we studied how the lion dance was done over the YouTube.  My grandchildren spent a good few hours trying to learn the positions of sleep, bow, and dance.
I also made this WHA SEN SUE-GIAO (or JIAO) -- Flaky peanuts filled fried pastry.  It's a traditional pastry for the Chinese New Year.  I have only seen it made at our home when I was 7 or 8 years old.  Never after.  It has always been purchased.  With previously home made coconuts flakes (saved from the  time I made the Pandan Coconuts Chiffon Cake), I really like the taste of the filling.  I just never got used to the texture and sweetness of the store bought coconuts flakes.  Just don't taste right in my mouth.  Too grainy or coarse.  But this home made coconuts almost melts in the mouth,,,, but there is peanuts in this pastry sooo.... whatever... but it taste pretty good for once a year celebration.
So, Happy Chinese New Year and many best wishes, good health, and good luck to all.