Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Spicy beef salad(plea sach ko/beef larb or laap)

You will need:

about 2 pounds of sirloin steak
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 whole small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 shallot, thinly sliced
8-10 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped
1 stalk of lemongrass, trimmed and finely chopped
2 slices of galangal, finely minced
12 sprigs of mint(or more)
12 sprigs of cilantro(or more)
8 sprigs of Vietnamese coriander
2-3 tsp of dried red pepper flakes
8-10 thai red chili, finely chopped(or to taste)
1/4 cup of good fish sauce(or to taste)
a pinch of salt
1/2 tsp of msg(optional)
3 large limes(more or less depending on preference)
Pahok or padek(optional)
1/4 cup of uncooked sticky or glutinous rice to make toasted rice powder(use 2-3 Tbsp in the recipe)
cooked, thinly sliced tripe(optional)

Take your uncooked sticky rice and place it in a small pan on medium to medium low heat. Dry roast your rice until browned, making sure to stir it occasionally. Once toasted, place into food processor or grinder until mostly fine. Set aside.

Wash and pat dry your sirloin steaks. Lightly salt and pepper them. Add a little oil into a large skillet and fry them only until medium rare. My steaks were thin so I only did 2--3 minutes on each side. Remove them from heat and allow them to cool completely before slicing into them. Once cooled, slice against the grain and once more to make them into tiny bite size pieces.

Add all of your above ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Add 2-3 Tbsp of the toasted rice powder last. Mix well using some food safe gloves and taste check. Adjust seasoning as needed. Serve same day along with some sliced cucumbers and fresh bean sprouts.

Notes: This recipe makes quite a bit so feel free to cut recipe in half!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Strawberry Cupcakes

You will need:
1 box of white cake mix(I like Betty Crocker)
1 3 ounce package of strawberry flavor gelatin(jello)
1/4 cup of good quality cake flour(I use the Queen Guinevere brand by King Arthur flour)
1 16 ounce package of frozen strawberries in syrup or sugar, thawed, and then pureed
6 extra large egg whites at room temperature
1/2 tsp of cream of tartar
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
1/4 cup of water
pinch of salt
cupcake liners and muffin tins

For the cream cheese frosting:
8 ounces of softened cream cheese
4 ounces of SALTED and softened butter(take it out the night before)
1/4 cup of room temperature, seedless raspberry preserves.
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 cup of powdered sugar
Pink gel food coloring
Ateco piping tips in #825 and #829
cake decorating piping bags

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, add in your white cake mix, strawberry gelatin, cake flour, pinch of salt and mix until combined. Add in your pureed strawberries, water, and vegetable oil into the dry mixture, and using a handheld mixer, beat until smooth(I missed a few steps in the video but it's written down correctly here)! :) Scrape down the bowl a few times to get a smooth consistency but be careful not to over mix.

In a separate mixing bowl, add your room temperature egg whites plus cream of tartar and whip until stiff peaks(be careful not to over whip your egg whites)! Next, carefully fold in your fluffy egg whites(a little at a time), into your strawberry cake mixture, until all of it is fully incorporated. Using an ice cream scoop, fill your cupcake liners until 3/4 full. Bake for about 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Immediately, remove cupcakes from pan and place them on a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting: In a large mixing bowl, add in your cream cheese, salted butter, powdered sugar, seedless raspberry preserves, and vanilla extract, and beat until smooth. Add in a touch of gel, pink food coloring(more or less depending on how dark you want it) and continue to beat until smooth again. Frost your cupcakes and then garnish however way you please!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Thit kho tau/Kaw(caramelized pork belly w/eggs)

You will need:

2 pounds of pork belly cut into medium sized chunks(about 1 1/2 inch wide).
8 hard boiled eggs(peeled)
1 can of bamboo shoots(tips only), cut into medium sized chunks
the juice from 2 fresh/young coconuts(watch the vid below on how to cut into the coconut).
freshly grated ginger
1/3 cup plus 1/2 T. of good fish sauce
1/3 cup of granulated sugar(to make caramel)
1 T. of sugar(to marinade pork)
1/4 tsp of msg(optional)
black pepper(to taste)
2 pinches of salt
garlic powder
1-2 green onions, finely chopped

First, start out by slicing your pork belly into medium sized chunks. Add in your chopped green onion, 2 pinches of salt, black pepper, garlic powder, msg(if using), toss to coat and set aside.

Drain your bamboo shoots, rinse them under cold water, and then cut them into medium sized chunks. Set aside.

Did you make some hard boiled eggs, yet?? Just checking. :)

Next, cut into the coconuts and drain the juice out into a fine, mesh sieve or strainer. Set that aside as well.

Take your heaviest pot(heavy bottomed or thick walled pot) and turn the heat to medium. Evenly coat the bottom of the pot with 1/3 cup of granulated sugar and wait for it to liquify. This can take up to several minutes. Try not to disturb it until most of the sugar has melted. Once it has melted, swirl the pot around a few times.

Once the sugar has turned into a coppery brown, stir it a little bit, and then add in your pork. Mix well and allow the pork to cook for 5 minutes. Add in your bamboo shoots, fish sauce, fresh coconut juice, and hard boiled eggs. You only need to add enough water to completely cover the pork(the eggs do not need to be completely submerged). Bring everything to a quick rolling boil, turn the heat down to medium low, and allow to cook for 2 hours. Don't forget to lift the lid and skim off any scum that has risen to the surface. Serve with rice and a side of pickled mustard greens(recipe can be found on my site as well)! :)

Notes: Once the eggs have browned to your liking, you may remove the eggs to prevent further cooking or just do what I did in the video below. I was taught to simmer the pork for a long time so that the flavor of the caramelized sugar would remain in the pork. If you prefer more of a soupy base, then you may cook for a shorter period of time or just until your pork is tender--just remember to adjust seasoning as needed. You may sub fresh coconut water for the canned ones but keep in mind that it will be much sweeter then using the fresh ones so reduce the amount of sugar used to make the caramel. You can also use pork spare ribs or pork tenderloin if you are trying to keep an eye on your awesome figure. I prefer using pork belly and because of the hight fat content, I can only limit myself into making this dish once, every six months. :)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Pan Seared Ahi Tuna

You will need:

2 ahi tuna steaks, cleaned and patted dry with paper towels(preferably sushi grade)
3 T. of sesame oil
3 T. of the marinade(ingredients listed below)
Black and white sesame seeds

For the marinade and glaze:

1/2 cup water
some freshly grated ginger(more or less depending on your preference)
1 T of soy sauce
1 T of hoisin sauce
1/2 tsp of salt
2 T of brown sugar
1/8 tsp of black pepper
1 tsp. of cornstarch mixed with a bit of water
*Note: I recommend doubling ingredients for extra sauce

Simple salad

your choice of salad(I like spring mix)
pine nuts(for garnish)
wasabi paste(for garnish)

For the dressing:

1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 T. of apple cider vinegar
the juice from one lemon
1 T. of orange juice
1 1/2 tsp of sesame oil
1 T. of Chinese style hot mustard(optional)
salt and pepper to taste

First, make your marinade using ingredients stated above. Then, take your ahi tuna steaks and toss them in some sesame oil, along with 3 T. of the marinade. Next, gently roll all sides of the ahi tuna steaks in some black and white, toasted sesame seeds. Reserve the rest of the marinade to make the glaze.

While the ahi is resting, place the remainder of the marinade in a saucepan, and bring to a quick rolling boil. When it boils, quickly stir in your cornstarch and water mixture. When sauce starts to thicken(about 15 seconds or so), turn off and remove from heat. Set aside.

Place your cast iron skillet on medium high heat and wait for it to slightly smoke. Carefully add in your tuna steaks and cook on first side for one minute. Flip it over gently using your hand and flat spatula, and cook on the other side for 45 more seconds. Flip again and do the sides as well(I do 20 seconds or so on the smaller sides). When the ahi is done, remove from heat, place in wrapped foil, and put it in the freezer for 20-25 minutes to stop it from cooking(it also makes slicing easier).

While the ahi is in the freezer, prepare your salad and salad dressing. Remove ahi from freezer and slice to preferred thickness. Plate your salad and tuna and take your thickened sauce from earlier and place in disposable bag(or ziplock baggie). Snip the tip of the disposable bag and drizzle the sauce directly on the ahi. Decorate the plate with more glaze, wasabi paste, and some pine nuts. ENJOY!! :)

Designed with love by BDD