October 08, 2014

Homemade Tofu

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Tofu is very easy to make at home. It takes a little time, and a little more hands-on time than Tempeh, but it's worth it. Normally, you need fancy ingredients to coagulate the tofu, but here we have a method using citric acid, which you might have around if you make cheese. Since it does use citric acid, it might be a little more tangy than you're used to. It pairs nicely with soy sauce and garlic. Enjoy!


Homemade Tofu

Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 200 g soy beans
  • 1/2 teaspoon citric acid
  • water
Cooking Directions
  1. Soak the beans for at least 8 hours.
  2. In a food processor, grind the soaked soy to a fine paste, like hummus almost. Add water if needed.
  3. In a large pot add enough water to the paste to bring it to milk consistency.
  4. Bring it to boil then switch to a simmer. Let it simmer on low flame for 15 minutes.
  5. Line a sieve with a cloth and filter the milk. The result is soy milk. The byproduct after filtering the milk is called okara. This is rich in protein.
  6. Mix citric acid to 1/4 cup water. Add this solution to the soy milk and stir it once. Then let it stay for 5 minutes.
  7. The milk will curdle. Filter this through a cloth-lined sieve.
  8. Squeeze out the water or keep the filtered tofu on a flat surface and cover it with the cloth on all the sides. Keep some heavy object on top and leave it for 30 minutes or to desired firmness.
  9. Remove weight and open the cloth. Cut it into small pieces and use.

September 24, 2014

Chinese Chicken Salad

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Here is a recipe passed down from grandma to ma to my wife. She loves to make this. It's like a nostalgic reminder of her childhood, especially the holidays. Personally, I could do without the maifun, so if you don't want it, try it without.

This recipe also walks you through cooking and shredding the chicken, but if you already have some on hand or prefer another method, I'd love to hear it! Enjoy!



Chinese Chicken Salad

Yield: 8+ servings
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 3/4 cup water
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, chopped and sliced
  • 1 package maifun
  • oil for deep frying
  • 3 green onions, only the green parts, sliced
  • 1/8 cup toasted almonds
  • 1/16 cup toasted sesame seeds
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
Cooking Directions
  1. Pat the chicken breasts dry and season with some salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat the 1 tablespoon of canola oil, and cook the chicken breasts top-side down until browned, about 5 minutes. Flip the breasts and add the water and additional salt to the water. Cover and simmer on low for 7-10 minutes, until cooked. Let cool slightly (at least 15 minutes) before shredding.
  2. Deep fry the maifun in batches until all are puffed up. Set aside on plates with paper towels.
  3. For the dressing, mix together the last 5 ingredients.
  4. When ready to serve, mix the chicken and lettuce together. Then add in the maifun, then the green onions, almonds, and sesame seeds. Finally, mix in the dressing.

September 10, 2014

Bismarck or Dutch Baby

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Sometimes called a Bismarck, sometimes a Dutch Baby, sometimes a German Pancake, and sometimes probably a whole mess of things. What it is is a baked pancake that houses some delicious fruit (if desired), and a warm, soft interior, yet crispy exterior.

Easier and quicker to make than regular pancakes and possibly even healthier because it's sugar free. This naturally no added sugar pancake will please everyone. Other variations include cooked fruit or preserves or plain with a dusting of powdered sugar and or cinnamon. Enjoy!




Bismarck or Dutch Baby

Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pear, sliced thin
  • lemon juice
Cooking Directions
  1. Heat oven to 475 F.
  2. Place butter in cast iron or oven-safe dish. Put in oven once it has reached 475 F. Melt the butter until it sizzles and then take it out.
  3. Meanwhile, mix together the flour, milk, and eggs into a batter. Do not overmix.
  4. Make sure the butter has coated the entire pan, and pour the batter into the center.
  5. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes, until it has puffed up and started to brown.
  6. Take the pan out and place the Bismarck / Dutch Baby on a plate.
  7. Sprinkle lemon juice over it and place pear slices everywhere.
  8. Roll it up and serve immediately.

August 27, 2014

Garlic Broccoli Rabe

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Here's a recipe for some simple and delicious broccoli rabe. It's basically a recipe you can employ with any green, more or less. Enjoy!

Garlic Broccoli Rabe

Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 bunches broccoli rabe
  • 6 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (optional)
Cooking Directions
  1. Rinse and drain the broccoli rabe. Cut off and discard the tough ends and cut the rest of into 2-inch pieces.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large pot or pan. Over low heat, cook the garlic, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Remove the garlic and set aside.
  3. Add the broccoli rabe stems to the hot oil. Cook for 3-5 minutes, covered. Add the rest of the broccoli rabe, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper and cook, covered, over medium low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the stalks are tender.
  4. Add the reserved garlic, season additionally to taste, and serve hot.

August 13, 2014

Roasted Chicken Thighs

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With this basic recipe for roasted chicken thighs, you'll have tender, juicy meat every time. Play around with the different options and let me know what works best for you. Personally, I like 2 tbs white wine and 2 tbs lemon juice. Enjoy!


Roasted Chicken Thighs

Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 lb boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1-2 any other root or roasting vegetable
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons other liquids, such as lemon juice, white wine, etc.
  • 1 teaspoon dried herbs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Cooking Directions
  1. Heat the oven to 425°F. Place the chicken thighs in a large bowl. Add veggies to the bowl with the chicken. Add dried herbs.
  2. Add the garlic, olive oil, and other liquid to the bowl. Toss all the ingredients together, and add the salt and black pepper.
  3. Spread the chicken and veggies on a large baking sheet, arranging the veggies around the outside and placing the chicken pieces closely together in the center. Pour any remaining juices in the bowl over the chicken.
  4. Roast for 30 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of about 160°F. Take the pan out of the oven, and cover with foil. Let it rest for about 5 to 10 minutes before serving.