Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Beef Chow Fun

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Straight up--If I was an inmate on death row, my one and only last meal, would be chow fun. Sounds crazy, huh? Chow fun is, and will always be, my most favorite thing to eat on the planet! Beef chow fun, shrimp chow fun....I LOVE ALL THE CHOW FUN'S IN THE WORLD.


INGREDIENTS:

2 pounds of fresh rice noodles (may use dried noodles: follow the directions on the packaging)

8 ounces of sliced beef (I like to use tri-tip)

1 small bunch of sliced Chinese broccoli

3 scallions cut 1 1/2 inch in length

half of a white onion, sliced

4 cloves of chopped garlic

1 teaspoon of corn starch

garlic powder

fish sauce

oyster sauce

FOR THE SAUCE:

3 Tablespoons of double black soy sauce (or dark soy sauce)

2 Tablespoons of light soy sauce

2 Tablespoons of oyster sauce

2 Tablespoons of sugar

2 teaspoons of Mirin

1/4 cup of water

black pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Start off by making your sauce: place all of your sauce ingredients into a small saucepan and bring it to a quick rolling boil. Stir just until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and set aside for later use.

2. Separate your fresh rice noodles. If using dried noodles, follow the directions on the packaging. Set aside.

3. Marinade your beef with 3 Tablespoons of your reserved sauce. Add 1 teaspoon of corn starch. Mix well. Set aside.

4. Into a hot skillet or wok, add in a bit of water. Add in your sliced Chinese broccoli, pinch of salt, and black pepper. Stir, cover with lid, reduce heat to medium, and steam for 5 minutes. Remove lid, stir, and place into colander to remove any excess liquid. Set aside.

5. Into the same skillet on medium-high heat, add in a bit of oil. Add in your marinaded beef slices. Add garlic powder, fish sauce, and oyster sauce to taste. Cook just until no longer pink. Set aside.

6. Wipe down your skillet before using. On medium-high heat, add in 2 Tablespoons of oil and chopped garlic. Cook until fragrant. Add in all of your noodles, making sure to separate them in the process. Pour in the rest of your reserved sauce, sliced onions, and sliced scallions. Cook on high heat until the noodles are well coated. Remove from heat and serve immediately!

NOTES: *I've only used this sauce recipe with fresh rice noodles. If using cooked, dried noodles, I would recommend using only half of the sauce, at first, and then gradually adding more sauce to taste.

*Do not cut the sauce recipe in half. If you plan on using only 1 pound of noodles, then use only half of the chow fun sauce. Store the other half in an airtight container, and place it into the fridge for later use. :)

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Lemon Cake with Lemon Icing

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I don't discriminate--I love cake of all sorts. BUT I must say...lemon cake with lemon icing is the way to my heart (well, at least at the moment, it is!). This cake has the perfect balance of sweet-to-tartness that will tickle your taste buds. It's soft, not overly-sweet, and has a very soft crumb. Your family and friends will go nuts over this one!

INGREDIENTS:

6 EXTRA LARGE eggs (separate the egg yolks from the egg whites)

2 sticks (1 cup) of softened unsalted butter

2 cups of caster sugar (may sub for granulated sugar)

8 ounces of sour cream

3 cups of sifted cake flour

1/2 tsp of baking soda

3/4 tsp of salt

1 tsp of vanilla extract

1 1/2 tsp of lemon oil or lemon extract

The zest from 2 lemons

cream of tartar

FOR THE LEMON SYRUP:

1/4 cup of sugar

1/3 cup of water

The juice from two lemons

FOR THE LEMON GLAZE:

2 cups of sifted powdered sugar

2-4 Tablespoons of lemon juice
(I use about 1 1/2 lemons for this)

A bit of lemon oil

Pinch of salt

YOU WILL ALSO NEED:

A 10-inch aluminum tube pan

a skewer or something to poke holes with all over the finished cake

softened butter to grease pan

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INSTRUCTIONS:


PREHEAT OVEN TO 325 degrees F.

1. Butter your tube pan all over the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Generously coat the whole pan with cake flour and then tap off the excess. Set this aside.
2. Sift your cake flour, salt, and baking soda together. Set this aside.
3. Separate your eggs; place your egg yolks into a small bowl.
4. In a large mixing bowl, add in your egg whites along with some cream of tartar and beat until stiff. Set this aside.
5. In your stand mixer, cream together your butter and sugar for at least 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
6. "Stir" in your sour cream just until combined.
7. Alternate adding in your flour mixture and egg yolks until fully combined with your creamed mixture.
8. Add in your lemon oil, vanilla extract, and lemon zest.
9. Fold in your egg whites (by hand) just until combined.
10. Pour cake batter into your tube pan, give it a little jiggle to evenly disperse the batter, and bake for about 1 hour and 5 minutes. Check after 1 hour for doneness using a skewer.
11. While the cake is baking, make your syrup. Place sugar and water into a small saucepan, bring it to a quick rolling boil, and remove from heat. Add in your lemon juice. Mix well and allow this mixture to cool down.
12. Make your lemon icing: place sifted powdered sugar and salt into a mixing bowl. Add in your lemon juice. For thicker glaze, start off with only 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice and add more from there. Add in a small squeeze of lemon oil. Mix using a wire whisk. Add more or less powdered sugar to control consistency. Cover until ready to use.
13. When cake is done, allow it to rest in the pan for 10 minutes. Use a butter knife to loosen up the cake from pan and set it on a wire rack.
14. Using a skewer, poke holes throughout the whole cake. Using a spoon, slowly pour the lemon syrup all over the cake.
15. Once the cake has cooled down, pour your lemon glaze all over the cake. Allow for glaze to set (about 15 minutes). ENJOY!



NOTES:


-For best results, use extra large eggs.
-To make caster sugar, place white granulated sugar into a food processor and pulse until smooth.
-Love pound cake? If you do not separate the eggs and just beat them in whole, the cake will be much denser and taste like a pound cake!
-If you do not separate the eggs, the cooking time will be a bit longer.
-Add a little lemon zest to the lemon glaze for a little kick!
-I highly recommend purchasing some lemon oil (I use the Wilton brand) if you can find some! I found mine from my local craft store, Michaels. If you really want to splurge, Lorann makes a good lemon oil, as well.
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