Friday, February 26, 2010

Curried Potato and Onion Curry

also from Aarti!

4 T olive or canola oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 large onion, diced
a few curry leaves
1-4 green Thai chilies (per preference)
2 pounds russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes & submerged in bowl of cool water to prevent browning
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
2 T chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add the mustard seeds, then once they beign to pop add the cumin seeds which which will turn reddish.

Toss in the onion, ginger-garlic paste, curry leaves and green chilies. Stir fry for two minutes.

Cover pan and cook 15-18 minutes.

Drain potatoes and add to the pan. Add salt and turmeric. Stir. Add 1 cup of water and cover the pan. Cook until potatoes are tender, 15 minutes. Sprinkle with the cilantro and serve.

Carrot, Cucumber, Onion Salad with Lime Dressing

from Aarti!

1 c grated carrots
1 cucumber, peeled & diced
1/4 onion, minced
1/4 green pepper, diced
4 T lime juice
1 tsp sugar
salt & pepper to taste
chopped fresh cilantro
chopped peanuts to garnish (optional)

Add carrots, cucumber, onions, and pepper to bowl.

In another bowl mix together the lime juice, sugar, salt, and pepper to taste. Add vegetables and toss. Garnish with chopped peanuts and fresh cilantro.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Time magazine article here on French school lunches. Love it!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Chicken Breast with Colorful Veggies in a Butter-White Wine ReductionSauce

I have no idea what to call this dish, hee the title just kind of names it. =)

I made chicken breasts again, similar to the paillard recipe from before, but modified it just a little. I'm not normally a fan of chicken breasts - I'm a dark meat girl - but I do have to admit that I can cook it so that it's moist and tasty. =)

The ingredients were completely eyeballed and thrown in together based on my own judgment, so...I'll do my best to give estimates, but honestly...most of the time, I just, as Toucan Sam says, "Follow my nose!". ^_^

Take one chicken breast and split it in half (or use two whole ones; up to how many you want to make), and season with salt and black pepper. In a cast iron skillet, heat up about a tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high. When it's hot, place your chicken on the skillet and let it cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side (*note: these were pretty thick).

Meanwhile, blanch one bunch of asparagus that you've trimmed and chopped into sections in boiling water. Drain, and set aside.

Slice one red bell pepper, dice a sprig of green onion, and chop up some white mushrooms.

When the chicken is seared well on both sides, and mostly cooked, add in about a tablespoon of unsalted butter, and let it melt in the skillet in the spaces where the chicken is not found. Also scrape off any chicken bits and let the butter mix with the juices and bits. Add in about 1/2 a cup of chicken broth (or mix chicken bouillon with water...depends on what you have) and all the veggies that were cut up, and mix the veggies and liquid well. Keep the chicken in the hot liquid on one side of the skillet as everything cooks. =)

TK and Bev left us a bottle of zinfandel...yay! That means Shelton and I can cook with some white wine, since we don't drink (plus, add in some wine to my diet and I'm sure Aiva will sleep for a little too long, hahahaha...!). How fun! So I added in some of the zinfandel, probably only about a tablespoon and some, and let the sauce reduce until about half, maximum.

Season with a pinch or two of kosher salt to your desire, stir well, and the dish is ready after all the veggies are cooked (which to me, means that it's still got some crunch, but definitely not raw!).

Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of this dish plated with jasmine rice, the chicken on one side, and veggies on the other, with the sauce drizzled on the chicken (and some on the rice, because the sauce was really tasty!). However, you'll have to trust me that it was really colorful, and delicious for the eyes as well as the mouth. Bon appetit! =)

Chicken Salad in Phyllo Cup

Quick chicken salad made from what I had on hand:

- 1 Chicken breast, diced into small pieces and poached.
- 1 apple, diced.
- 2-3 stalks of celery, cleaned, stripped and diced.
- 4 thin slices of deli honey ham, torn into pieces by hand (or you can dice)
- A handful of raisins
- 1 Tablespoon of light mayo (or more based on your preference)
- Toasted sesame seeds
- Salt and pepper

Mix everything together, and season to taste. =) Place in the refrigerator and serve when ready.

I tried to make a phyllo cup to place our salad in, only, as you can see, it kinda collapsed in the oven.

Collapsed Phyllo Cup...
Originally uploaded by gummychild

However, it was still fun to put the chicken salad on top, and breaking it up with our forks over dinner and mixing it well with our chicken salad. It gave it all a nice, crunchy texture, hee hee...

The salad itself was really refreshing and light! Not heavy at all, and the apples and raisins made it more fruity than a usual chicken salad. If I had a lemon, I'd squeeze some lemon juice in it for some zing. ^_^ The apples didn't oxidize, and I'm guessing it's because of the mayo because it would block its exposure to oxygen.

Monday, February 15, 2010

cabbage & pancetta with linguini

Better than it sounds!! Very yummy and really hits the spot when I'm craving pasta and vegetables.

From here, with few modifications.

Saute until crispy brown:
Pancetta (I used about 2/3 of a package from Whole Foods) or bacon

Lower heat and add:
1/2 c chopped onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
black pepper

Saute a bit, then add in:
1/2 cabbage, chopped

Stir up and let cook well, preferably until cabbage browns.

While that is cooking, boil water and cook linguini to directions. (I like a lot of cabbage to a little pasta, but do the amount you would like.)

Mix together, top with some grated parmesan and butter (*see below), and enjoy!

*When I cooked this, I used some leftover bacon grease in a cast iron skillet; between that & the pancetta, there was plenty of fat for flavor so no need to add butter or much cheese.

Friday, February 12, 2010

banana bread

I have a bunch of bananas from a friend from our last freeze - I think they are ready for consumption, but they're a funky kind. Friend called them "Mexican bananas" but I see no description for that on-line; said friend said they're not as sweet and have a nice lemony flavor. Well, I have no idea what to expect, and I fear they're very starchy, but I don't want them to go to waste! I like banana bread a lot, but I'm not fond of it being too sweet or too fatty. So, I shall make this up! (Note: And it TURNED OUT GREAT!! Exactly what I wanted!!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees; grease 1 bread pan.

Combine & set aside:
1 1/2 c flour (3/4 white all purpose and 3/4 c whole wheat pastry)
1/2 c oats
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1/2 c sugar (white or brown)
1/4 c (4 T) butter, softened

Add in:
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 c - 1 c yogurt*
1/4 - 1/2 c applesauce*

Add flour mixture in.

Mash: 2-3 very ripe bananas. Add in to mixture.

Add (if desired):
1/2 c chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts)
1/2 c chocolate chips or nibs

Bake for about an hour, until done.

*Honestly I didn't measure the yogurt & applesauce - just thawed frozen little containers. Whatever I used (probably to the upper level) was great - but the bananas were very starchy and didn't produce my liquid. So if I were using more and juicier bananas, I would use the lower limits of these probably.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cafe Style Seafood Rice

Cafe Style Seafood Rice
Originally uploaded by gummychild
This dish is easy to make, and nothing super fancy, but it's great over rice or pasta...if you really want to make it Hong Kong cafe style, you can toss some cheese on top and broil the whole plate, but I opted to leave that out.


- 1 Can Cream of Mushroom soup (plus milk and water to make the soup)- 1 fillet of fish (I used a big fillet of Mekong Basa, but any sole/white fish will work)- 4 sticks of imitation crab, frozen
- 8 fish balls (these are usually frozen, pounded rounds of fish meat, usually make with either threadfin bream fish, pollock, or other fish...not the balls of a certain animal, as Victor may have thought about "meatballs" and/or "fishballs" in his pho soup noodles, hee hee...)
- 1/2 a bunch of asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch sections
- Salt & Pepper
- Some flour or starch


1. Slice the fish fillet into bite size sections, and season with a little bit of salt (I used very little, as we'll be using a canned soup later anyways, and they have enough sodium!) and black pepper. Coat/dredge the fish pieces in either flour or starch.

2. Add a few teaspoons of oil to a saute pan, and when heated up, add the fish into the pan. Lower the heat to about medium, and watch carefully to be sure the fish is cooked through. Flip and turn the fish as each side cooks up.

3. a small saucepan, cook the cream of mushroom according to directions. I like to add in half a can of water and half a can of milk (and a little bit more milk) to make the "sauce" a little creamier. =) Do stir the soup once in a while to make sure it's not getting too hot!

4. Boil another saucepan of water, and toss the asparagus, frozen fish balls, and frozen crab sticks into the boiling water. Remove when cooked. Set the asparagus aside. Slice the fish balls in half and set aside. Slice each crab stick into fourths, and set aside also.

5. When the fish is cooked, pour the soup into the pan, and add the rest of the ingredients. When the entire mixture starts to bubble, it's ready! Serve over fresh rice, or over fresh cooked pasta noodles. ^_^

Chicken Paillard in Lemon Butter Sauce

Slightly modified from Martha Stewart's Living

Serves 2 to 4

-4 chicken breast halves (Martha says to make them into paillards by flattening them with a mallet...I pounded them only a little with a can of corn, but then decided I'd keep them nice and big so that they'd be more juicy. A wise move, as I found out later!)
-Salt and pepper
-1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
-1 tablespoon plus 2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
-2 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
-Segments and juice of 2 lemons (in hindsight, just 1 lemon is enough. 2 was fine and tasty, but it would be flavorful enough with just 1 lemon)
-3/4 cup low-sodium chicken stock


1. Season 4 chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil and 1 tablespoon unsalted butter in a large cast iron skillet (maybe it's psychological, but I thought the cast iron seared the chicken and made it taste better than just using a regular skillet) over medium-high heat until butter foams. Add chicken, and saute on 1 side until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Flip, and saute paillards until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

3. Raise heat to medium-high. Add segments and juice of lemons, chicken stock, and any plate juices, and deglaze the pan, scraping brown bits from bottom with a wooden or metal spoon. Simmer until sauce reduces by half, about 3 minutes. Gradually stir in 2 to 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (cut into small pieces) until just melted. Season to taste.

Served with rice and spinach (stir-fried with a bit of oil and a few cloves of garlic). Delicious! ^_^

Chinese Red Date Tea

Chinese Red Date Tea
Originally uploaded by gummychild
After delivery, I was told to drink this as if I was drinking water...and I loved it! It was a tea brewed of dried fruits, and it's easy to make.


- Toasted Rice Grains (just heat them up till fragrant on a wok)
- Dried Red Dates
- Dried Longan Fruit
- Dried Goji Berries (aka Wolfberries)
- Hot Water
- Thermos


1. Simply toss in about a Tablespoon of the rice grains into the Thermos...and add the fruits as desired. If you want a number, about 5-6 of the red dates and longans each, with about 12 goji berries will suffice, but you can increase the number of each depending on what taste you want. If you want it to be a little sweeter (and this is sweet as in a natural kind of sweet. It's really yummy!), add some more dates or longans. =)

2. Fill the thermos with hot water and seal. Let it sit for about 10 minutes, or whenever you are ready to eat. Enjoy it hot! =)

Slow Cooker 20 to 40 Clove Garlic Chicken

From Crockpot365


-3-4 pounds chicken
-1 large onion, sliced
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-2 teaspoons kosher salt
-2 teaspoons paprika
-1 teaspoon pepper
-20-40 garlic cloves, peeled, but intact (I used about 30...I think 20 would be best, as the flavor in the end with 30 overwhelmed that of the chicken. I like garlic, but the main part of this dish, in my opinion, should be the chicken!)


1. Place onion slices on the bottom of the stoneware insert. Toss and mix in everything else on top of the onions: chicken, olive oil, salt, paprika, pepper, and all of the garlic cloves.

2. Do not add water.

3. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 4-6. The longer you cook chicken-on-the-bone, the more tender it will be. If you use drumsticks, the ones on the side will brown and may stick to the sides of the crock, burning a bit. If this bothers you, you can rearrange them with tongs an hour before serving.


Monday, February 8, 2010

Gumbo Ya-Ya from Commander's Palace

The farmers market has posted the recipe and ... yum! Can't wait to make it soon! (Posting it here as written in case it disappears off the internet before I can make it - and I doubt I'd change this much at all. I might add okra because I love it so much - but it's not necessary with the roux AND file. I made my first roux during the NFC Championship game, and my New Orleans native host said I make a damn fine roux especially for a girl from Alaska.


  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 2-1/2-pound chicken, cut into quarters
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1 cup sifted flour, divided
  • 4 large or 5 small onions, diced
  • 1 medium bunch celery, cleaned and diced
  • 4 bell peppers (green or red), diced
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or 5 fresh cayenne peppers, diced
  • 1 pinch dried basil
  • 1 pinch dried oregano
  • 1 pinch dried thyme
  • 2 quarts cold water or stock
  • 1-1/2 pounds andouille sausage, sliced (or any spicy smoked sausage; I also use alligator sausage when available.)
  • 1 tablespoon filé powder
  • Louisiana hot sauce
  • hot cooked white rice
  • chiffonade of green onions (for garnish)


Heat oil in a pot over high heat for about 5 minutes or until oil is smoking. (Watch carefully.) Season chicken heavily with salt and pepper; dust with about 1/4 cup flour (shake off excess flour). Sear floured chicken in hot oil until golden brown, about 1 minute on first side. Turn and sear 2 minutes on second side. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.

Heat oil to smoking point again. Slowly add remaining flour to make a roux, cooking and stirring constantly for about 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture is the color of chocolate. (Scraping the sides and bottom of the pot while constantly stirring is the key to a good roux. Be careful not to burn it because if you do, you will need to start over.) When roux has reached the desired color, add onions; cook for 1 minute. Add celery and cook for 30 seconds. Add bell peppers and stir, scraping the bottom of the pot; cook for 1 minute. Stir in garlic and then add bay leaves, cayenne pepper, basil, oregano, and thyme. Add a touch of salt and black pepper. Slowly add water or stock, stirring constantly. Add seared chicken and sausage. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, then reduce heat and simmer for about 3-1/2 hours. Skim off excess fat. When chicken falls off all of the bones, remove the bones from the pot. Return to a boil. Add filé, stirring vigorously to avoid clumping; continue stirring until filé is dissolved. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Finish with Louisiana style hot sauce of your choice and taste. Adjust seasoning as necessary—don’t be afraid to spice this up! Serve over rice and garnish with green onions.

Serves 10-12

Recipe compliments of Jamie Shannon, Commander’s Palace