Sunday, August 31, 2008

Ginger Sesame Chicken Breasts with Mint-Cilantro Coconut Sauce

Chicken Breasts

I used organic air-chilled breasts from Whole Foods. I deboned them (save the bones for a future chicken soup!), and butterflied them.

For the Ginger Sesame Marinade, I used:

- 3 Tbsp ginger powder
- 1 Tbsp cardamom powder
- 4 Tbsp light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- salt, pepper
- 2 tsp sesame oil

  1. Only need to marinade up to 2 hours, any more than that, and you have overkill. Chicken is fairly light, and not as tough as beef, so the marinade time is not as long.
  2. Grill or broil chicken. I found that broiling produces a more tender result, although, the final product doesn't look quite as nice as grilling.
While the chicken is grilling, make your Mint-Cilantro Coconut Sauce.

- 2 avocados
- 14 oz. light coconut milk
- 3 limes, juiced
- salt
- a spoonful of honey
- dash of sugar
- 1 cup lightly packed mint (washed and dried)
- 1 cup lightly packed cilantro (washed and dried)

  1. Put all ingredients into food processor.
  2. Garnish and enjoy with chicken! Mmm.

With an added tomato for color contrast.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Freeform Crab Scallop Mousse Cakes with Honey Mustard Aioli, Baked Purple Potato Wedges

The addition of scallop mousse to the crab cake resulted in an extra tender product.

Honey Mustard Aioli

Make sure you've got a strong whisking arm for this.

- 2 egg yolks
- salt/pepper
- 1 Tbsp raspberry vinegar
- 1 Tbsp mustard
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1.5 cups hazelnut oil

  1. Whisk the first 5 ingredients together. All ingredients must be at room temperature.
  2. Gently add in a constant stream of the oil, always whisking.
  3. Stop when the aioli thickens and has a sheen to it.
  4. Add in additional seasonings and flavors as necessary.

Freeform Crab Scallop Mousse Cakes

- 16 oz. crab meat (preferably jumbo lump)
- diced green onions
- salt/lemon pepper
- scallop mousse (see below)

- Scallop Mousse
- 8 oz. bay scallops
- sea salt
- white pepper
- 2 Tbsp sour cream

  1. First, prepare the scallop mousse by mixing ingredients in a food processor.
  2. Next, mix together the crab meat, diced onions, salt/pepper.
  3. Add in the scallop mousse.
  4. Form into rough and freeform cakes.
  5. Brush with tops of cakes with oil.
  6. Broil for ~ 10 minutes.
  7. Serve with aioli, and baked purple potato wedges.

Top View

Closeup View

Saturday, August 09, 2008

NY Strip Steak and Zucchini/Squash Medley

So I decided to splurge a little bit, and purchased grass fed NY Strip Steaks from Whole Foods. Excellent idea.

There's definitely a huge difference in taste and texture between WF grass fed steak and farm raised cuts I usually get at Harris Teeter. Well, that's why it's pricier.

Made a nice little dry rub for my steaks. Nothing fancy; salt, pepper, curry, bit of cayenne for a little kick.

Cut up some yellow squash and green zucchinis.

Wasn't really proud of the plating for my steak and veggies, so I didn't take any pictures. Steak tasted great though.

Seared Scallops with MaoDou (Edamame) Puree, Brocco Alfalfa

I had diver scallops and 5 lbs of frozen mao dou (young green soybeans/edamame) in my freezer, so what better way to eat them than to pair them together? Instead of blending heavy cream with the mao dou, I decided to go a slightly healthier approach, with a dash of milk, sour cream, and Greek yogurt. I will probably decrease the concentration of mao dou in the puree, because there is a slight after taste, which isn't masked by the scallops' mildness.

Edamame Puree

  1. Boil mao dou (edamame) beans in salted water, or chicken broth.
  2. Puree with blender.
  3. Add milk, sour cream, Greek yogurt as needed to optimize texture.

The usual suspects, slightly cooked.

First step- puree has been made and plated.

Top with a little brocco alfalfa for contrasting texture, and a complementing and slightly darker shade of green.

Add a perfectly seared scallop on top.

Red Bean Soup

One of my favorite, and very classic, Chinese desserts. What, a dessert soup you say?

I prefer mine chock full of other additions, various grains and seeds, for that super-healthy and super-tasty appeal. Add in a touch of evaporated milk and brown sugar, and you're good to go.

The other complement to red bean soup, is of course mung bean soup, which is "cooler" (less huo qi).

Red Bean Soup

- 1 packet red beans
- oats
- millets
- tapioca
- raw peanuts (optional)
- lotus seeds

  1. Wash red beans. Simmer in pot until ~ half soft.
  2. Add in other components and cook.
  3. Don't add too many oats, since they tend to soak up the water in your soup.
  4. Enjoy!
  5. Goes especially well with vanilla ice cream.

Oi, I ate one too many bowls of red bean soup, don't feel so well.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Green Tea Ricotta Cheesecake

Green Tea Ricotta Cheesecake

- 2 x 8 oz. bricks of cream cheese
- ~ 1 to 1.5 cups ricotta cheese (remove excess liquid)
- ~ 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 cup sugar
- 5 medium eggs (or 4 large eggs)
- 1 Tbsp green tea powder
- dash of green food coloring

  1. Mix room temperature cream cheese, strained ricotta, and sour cream together.
  2. Then add sugar, mix well.
  3. Add in eggs, one at a time.
  4. Add in green tea powder, and a dash of green food coloring. The food coloring is necessary, otherwise the batter will be barely green.
  5. Bake at 325 degrees C au bain marie, for about 1 hr 20 min, or until sides are set, and middle still jiggles.
  6. Let cool completely.
  7. Refrigerate at least 2 days before attempting to remove cake from springform pan.
I haven't tasted it yet, since I'm giving it to my mom, and so pictures and critiques will have to come at a later date.

Look at that beauty! Perfect au bain marie technique, no cracks! :) I prefer my cheesecakes with a thicker crust.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Blueberry Crumb Bars

I'm finally making good progress on my blueberry stocks. Finished 2 pints of fresh berries today, included 2 pints in today's cooking project, and that leaves me with 2-3 more pints. Yay!

Blueberry Crumb Bars

- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 cups AP unbleached flour
- 1/3 cup oats
- 2 sticks cold butter
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs (beaten)
- dash of milk

- 2 pints blueberries

  1. Mix first set of ingredients together (either with a pastry blender, food processor, stand mixer, or two forks) until crumbly.
  2. Spread half of crumb mixture onto a greased baking dish.
  3. Place blueberries over crumb mixture.
  4. Add remaining crumb mixture over blueberries.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees for ~ 1 hr.
  6. Enjoy!
I purposely omitted adding additional sugar to the blueberries, as some recipes require. The blueberries were already quite ripe, but also added a slight tartness to contrast with the sweet crumb topping.

With some raspberry ice cream.