Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Egg Drop Soup



As Asian Week continues, today I present you with Egg Drop Soup. I have had it many times in my life, in many restaurants, and everyone seems to have their own take on it. Some are thin and sparse and some are packed full of veggies and chicken.

I took all the things I liked from the soups in my experience and omitted what I didn't like. (such as mushrooms). The stuff you have in restaurants that is the vibrant yellow color is due to Food Dye, this is what it looks like without the dye.

It isn't necessarily pretty, but it tastes damn good! Starting with home made stock really helps develop the flavor.

8 cups of homemade stock if you have it, otherwise use low sodium chicken broth
1 chicken breast (I used 4 tenders)
frozen peas, as much as you like
frozen corn, as much as you like
1 can of water chestnuts chopped
chives or green onions to garnish
2 eggs
2 tbl corn starch
1/2 tsp White pepper
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
2 tsp Low sodium Soy Sauce
Fresh Green Beans, a handful, ends removed and diced

Pan spray and salt and pepper your chicken; then bake it on a non stick pan for about 20 minutes at 350, remove to cool

In the meantime place your stock into a medium soup pot, and add your salt, pepper and ginger as well as the soy sauce

Add in your frozen vegetables, water chestnuts and your fresh green beans, let simmer, taste in 10 minutes or so and adjust the seasonings to your liking, adding more if necessary

Slice your chicken into thin medallions, place into your simmering soup

To thicken your soup, remove 1/8 of a cup of broth or so and place into a small bowl, add the corn starch and mix until well blended, then pour into your soup and continue stirring as it thickens. If you want a really thick soup, do this twice.

I read about the following trick regarding the best way to add the beaten egg to the soup, and it worked like a charm....

Beat your eggs well, stir stir stir the soup until it gets flowing around the pot, then quickly pour your beaten eggs thru the tines of a fork. I had to do it in 3 rounds to keep the soup moving so the eggs didn't get bunched together and look like scrambled eggs.

Serve with chives or green onions, I also add additional soy sauce

***My food reviewer indicated the soup was a bit on the thin side, so next time I shall add more of everything and thicken it a bit more**

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Welcome to Asian Week!


Welcome to Asian Week on the Cooking Dunkin Style Blog!

Today I bring you Hum Bao, or Banh Baoa (the proper Viet name for it), a wonderful Asian appetizer which you can fill with just about anything you wish. I am a traditionalist and use what I am used to eating, hard boiled egg, Chinese sausage, regular sausage, and peas!

My favorite website, FoodofVietnam.com has this to say about it "Banh bao (bánh bao in Vietnamese) is a ball shaped dumpling with pork meat, onions, eggs, mushrooms and vegetables inside. The steamed bun often has ground pork, Chinese sausage and a portion of a hard boiled egg inside. This delicacy originated with the baozi from China but was adapted by the Vietnamese and is also available in most other countries with Vietnamese populations.

I had always wanted to learn this recipe/method from my Vietnamese family but it never worked out, so I finally taught myself. These are a bit labor intensive, but I assure you, they are worth the effort! You will need to visit a Vietnamese store to get the Chinese Sausage and the Flour Mixture.

2 hard boiled eggs, diced
2 links Chinese sausage (they are long, thin and will be in the frozen meat aisle), diced small
1/2 lb of regular sausage
1/2 onion
2 cloves of garlic minced
3 green onions, ends removed and chopped
1/4 to 1/2 bag of frozen peas
salt and white pepper
Low Sodium soy Sauce

1 package Bahn Bao Mixed Flour, I have used the D&D Gold brand with great success. Tell your Storekeeper what you are making and they will direct you to the dough mix

In a non stick pan, saute your sausage, add your onion and garlic about half way thru cooking, continue to cook until no longer pink

Drain excess grease and remove to a bowl and add your diced Chinese Sausage

Add in your peas, green onions, dash of salt and pepper

Add in 2 to 3 tbl of Oyster Sauce several dashes of low sodium Soy Sauce, and mix well, set aside

Follow the directions on the flour package, kneading and resting and kneading again

Roll into one long log, cut in half and each half cut into 3rds, you want 12 equal pieces of dough (I weigh them with my food scale)

Roll each one out into a circle about 3 inches by 3 inches

Now is the hard part, place the circle into the palm of your hand, add a heaping tablespoon of the filling mixture and a piece of hard boiled egg, and carefully bring the edges together at the top and pinch to close

You will have to work the dough a bit to get it to stretch up and around the filling and seal at the top. Don't worry if it does not seal all the way, they normally will break open when steaming anyway

Steam in a double boiler for 20 minutes (only steam about 4 at a time as they EXPAND quite a bit during the steaming process)

Serve with Soy and Sweet Chili Sauce

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Chicken Stroganoff

First off a Techie Update, as I don't want you to have to find this out the hard way. I would NOT recommend upgrading to Internet Explorer 8.0. I did and it affected Blogger in an adverse way, I was not able to move photo's around any longer and a few other weird quirks happened.








With the New Year upon us and my cholesterol levels not where they need to be, I am trying to cook "lighter" and eat less of my beloved Red Meat. I love my beef, I need my BEEF! But my Beef does not need me!


This Stroganoff is made with chicken and in reality is pretty dang good. I found the basic recipe in my local newspaper under the Food Day Section. I have highly adapted it for my own tastes!


1 8 ounce package of sliced button mushrooms
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts diced or cut into lengths
1/2 cup fat free sour cream
1 can fat free cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup
1 tomato diced
1 tbl Dijon mustard
1/2 onion
salt and pepper to taste
few shakes of Cayenne (cuz that's how we roll)
few shakes of paprika
several shakes of ground sage
1 package No Yolks noodles, cooked to package directions and drained
2-4 tsp canola oil


Heat up a non stick fry pan and add 2 tsp oil, saute the onions until they begin to become translucent, add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes.


Remove to a plate, crank pan to high and add an additional tsp of oil and quickly sear the chicken pieces until brown on both sides


Turn heat down to medium high and add your mushrooms, cook until they start to wilt a bit


Add your cream of whatever soup and 3/4 soup can water or broth


Add your onions back in and the sage, Cayenne, paprika, salt, pepper and Dijon mustard


Let cook together for several minutes, then add the sour cream and the tomato, cook an additional several minutes


Serve over the No Yolks Pasta

Monday, March 23, 2009

Chocolate Chip and Cashew Cookies


Everyone loves Chocolate Chip cookies, some enjoy the cookies with Walnuts. I wondered what they would taste like with my favorite nut, Cashews. They were delicious!

I cannot stop eating them! Ok I can and I did, I had two.

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 cup chopped Cashews

PREHEAT oven to 375° F

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl.

Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture.

Stir in morsels and nuts.

Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes about 5 dozen cookies

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Blueberry Crumb Coffee Cake


Part IIII of my St. Patricks Day Feast featured a Blueberry Crumb Coffee Cake. I realize it is not really a dessert, but my husband is not a sweet eating guy, AT ALL, but for whatever reason he loves this!

He wants it I make it! He makes me happy I make him happy, it is a win-win situation!

Here is how ya do it!

1.5 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter or margarine softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup milk, I used 2%

Topping
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 tbl butter or margarine
**I also added a few dashes of Ginger**

**I melted several teaspoons of my home made Blueberry Jam and drizzled it on**

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Mix flour, baking powder and salt on waxed paper.

Cream softened butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy, beat in the egg.

Place blueberries in a small bowl, dust with a small amount of the flour mixture. Toss to coat.

Add the remaining flour mixture and milk alternately to creamed mixture, mixing continually

Gently fold blueberries into batter.

For the topping, mix flour, sugar and cinnamon (Ginger if you wish) in a small bowl, cut in butter until crumbly.

Spread batter into a greased 8 inch square baking dish.

Sprinkle topping over batter.

Bake for 45 minutes or until topping is golden brown.

Serve warm

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Rosemary and Thyme Roasted Potatoes


Part III of my St. Patricks Day Feast was my Famous Rosemary and Thyme Roasted Red Potatoes. I thought it would be a nice change from the traditional steamed or boiled potatoes.

I have been making this dish for many years. It is an easy and flavorful side dish that is good enough for a dinner party!

8 red potatoes, scrubbed and diced into quarters
Kosher Salt
3 tbl olive oil
2 pats of butter
fresh ground pepper
1/2 tbl thyme (dried is fine)
1 tbl Rosemary (fresh is best but dried works fine)
Parmesan cheese
Sour Cream
Chives

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

Place your potatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme in a bowl and mix well, place on a non stick baking sheet

Bake until tender, turning several times for even browning, it will take around 30-40 minutes

Remove to your serving bowl, add the butter and Parmesan and mix well

Top with Sour Cream and Chives

p.s. Tuesdays with Martha Ann will be Friday this week, due to the Holiday Blogfest!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patricks Day Purple Cabbage



Part II of my St. Patricks Day feast was Purple Cabbage. I am not a fan of Cabbage, especially the regular kind, so I decided if I was going to do it, I was using Purple Cabbage!

It was delicious, the Ginger and Honey helped tame the the taste of the Guinness in the cooking liquid as well as giving it a more updated taste!

1 head of Purple Cabbage, outer leaves peeled off, cored and cut into 4ths
Leftover liquid from simmering your Brisket
1 one inch knob of Ginger, peel removed and crushed
2-3 tbl Honey
2 pats of butter
salt and pepper to taste
Candied Ginger if you have it, diced into small chunks

Place your cabbage into the simmering liquid remaining after removing your Brisket, using tongs, separate and stir the cabbage

Add the knob of Ginger and let simmer until the Cabbage is tender, stirring often, about 25 minutes, remove or drain the cabbage

Place in your serving bowl and add honey and a tablespoon or so of butter, mix well and serve

Sunday, March 15, 2009

St. Patricks Day Feast



Since St. Patricks Day is nearly upon us, I thought I would share the recipes I made to celebrate the annual Feast Day which celebrates Saint Patrick, one of the patron saints of Ireland. I made a somewhat traditional meal of Corned Beef, Roasted Red Potatoes with Rosemary and Thyme, and Purple Cabbage done in a modern way!

I will be sharing all of these recipes with you this week!

The first one I will share is my Corned Beef Recipe, I checked around the Internets, found a few recipes I liked and then added my own twist! As I usually do!

I have only cooked Corned Beef Brisket once before and when my husband tasted this one, he said it was incredible and he was proud of me, AWWWWWW! I got a new car this weekend and am already on a HIGH!!! Now I am floating! He likes it!

3-4 lbs of Corned Beef Brisket (vacuum packed)
1 tsp dill
Add the spice packet from the Brisket
3 tbl Cider vinegar
1 tbl green peppercorns
3 tbl of a grainy mustard
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 large bottles of Guinness Beer
4 tbl brown sugar
mustard of your choice, I used Dijon and the grainy mustard

Place your brisket in your pot or dutch oven and pour in both beers. Add the spice packet, and the remaining ingredients (except the brown sugar)

Cover pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and continue to simmer approximately 50 minutes to one hour per pound of meat, until tender. I checked with my handy dandy instant read thermometer, you want at least 170 degrees.

Remove the meat from the pan and place on a non stick cookie sheet (SAVE THE DRIPPINGS FOR YOUR CABBAGE)

Mix the brown sugar and more mustard together to make a paste, which you will spoon on your meat and spread all over it.

Place in an oven at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes (use convection if you have it).

Remove, let rest and slice into thin slices

Friday, March 13, 2009

Red and White Stuffed Shells


I had not made stuffed shells in years, and last weekend I decided it was time. I wanted to do something a bit different, and decided to go with both red and white sauce. I turned out beautifully and was delicious!

I used the same filling I normally use for Manicotti.

1 box of large pasta shells (you probably wont use all of them)
4 tsp olive oil
½ onion diced
½ lb medium Italian sausage
½ lb veal (very hard to find, but worth it)
Salt and pepper
1 (15 oz container) whole milk ricotta
3 cups shredded Mozzarella
1 cup grated Parmesan, extra for sprinkling on before cooking
4 tbl chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups marinara sauce
1 small container Fettuccine Sauce (don't use jarred sauce)
Onion Powder and Garlic Powder (to taste)
Oregano (2 tsp)
1 small tub of cream cheese

Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of the olive oil, onion, garlic and meats. Season with salt and pepper.

Saute until the meat browns and the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and cool.

Cook the shells in a large pot of boiling salted water until slightly softened, but still very firm to the bite, about 8 to 9 minutes (or what is suggested on the box of pasta for al dente pasta)

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the manicotti from the pot to a baking sheet and cool.

Meanwhile, combine the ricotta, 1 1/2 to 2 cups mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan, cream cheese and parsley.

Add the salt, onion and garlic powder, oregano, and pepper to taste, and mix. Stir the cooled meat mixture into the cheese mixture, and re-taste for seasoning.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Using a tablespoon, fill the shells with as much stuffing as you can, it is going to be messy tho!


Place some of the red sauce in the bottom of your baking dish (use some pan spray before ladling the sauce on)

Arrange your shells tightly in your baking dish
Ladle on red sauce (do not smother the pasta)

Ladle on the white sauce

Top with a layer of Parmesan Cheese

Bake until bubbly and hot, about 30 minutes

Remove from the oven and add more cheese (I used Colby Jack), place back in to melt

I served with bread and salad!


I also want to thank my sister Mary for the Adorable Blog Award! I appreciate it so much!



Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Broccolini with Carmelized Shallots


I really enjoy the taste of Broccolini and wondered how it would be with caramelized shallots and a bit of white wine. It was amazing, the carmelized shallots were a tasty addition and the wine gave it a sweet taste. All in all a successful experiment!

1 bunch of Broccolini, rinsed and woody stems removed (chopped into large pieces)
2 shallots sliced (I had two very large Shallots, use more if yours are small)
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 tsp olive oil
Fresh finely grated Parmesan

Place your olive oil in a non stick pan and add your shallots, cook them on medium heat until caramelized, this may take a few minutes, be patient and stir stir stir. Add more oil if needed.
Remove your shallots from the pan and deglaze with the white wine scraping up all the fond on the bottom of the pan

Add your Brocollini and put a lid and steam until it is tender, sprinkle with Parmesan and serve

Monday, March 9, 2009

POMtini


I was recently contacted by the POM Blogger and she sent me a case of POM Juice. It is delicious and soooo good for your body. It gave me an idea! We are pretty boring in the liquor department, we don't like beer, are "over" our wine phase, and vodka is about all we ever have. Boring!

Heather, whom I have nicknamed Cocktail Girl, I hope you are proud of me!

My husband arrived home on Saturday from 2 weeks in Asia and I wanted to have a special cocktail for him. I don't know if there is such a thing as a POMtini, but I made this up and it was delish!

4 ounces POM juice
three shots of good quality Vodka (we like Kettle One)
Crushed ice
Squeeze of Mandarin Orange juice

Place all the above in your tini shaker and shake shake shake, pour into 2 martini glasses and garnish with a slice of Mandarin Orange

Makes 2 delicious cocktails. These are sneakers, they taste so good it sneaks up on ya!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Chicken, Black Bean and Corn Empanadas


We enjoy Latin food quite alot in this household, and I realized I had not made Empanadas for over a year.

I once read you can buy Empanada pastry rounds in a frozen format, and I finally found them. They just were not that great, I think using Puff Pastry works much better and is a tastier alternative. You could also use Frozen Pie Crust which I have successfully used in the past.

This makes a bunch of filling, so you may need more than 1 box of Puff Pastry. I still have a quart of filling in my freezer for next time!

1/2 onion, diced
1 can black beans, drained
1/2 can corn, drained (you could use a whole can I am just not a fan of corn)
2-3 breasts of chicken, poached in water, and diced into cubes
2 whole canned chilis, diced
salt and pepper
1 cup mexican blend cheese
1/2 cup Cotija cheese crumbled (you can get this just about anywhere)
2 jalepeno peppers, seeded and minced
1 tbl onion powder
1 tbl chives
1/4 cup tomato based salsa of your choice
2 tbl lime juice
2 tsp Franks Red Hot
Salsa Verde (to taste)
1 package puff pastry

Poach your chicken breasts, remove from pan, cool and dice, then place in a large bowl.

Add in the beans, corn, salsa, and remaining ingredients. Mix well, taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper. Add salsa verde by the spoonful until it is at the level of taste you desire.

You don't want this mixture loose and moist, keep it on the dry side. You can adjust any of the above ingredients or seasonings.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and use pan spray on your baking sheet

Place your room temperature puff pastry into a floured surface, roll it out a bit until the seams integrate. Cut into 4 pieces

You are going to fold them into triangles, so place several tablespoons of your filling in the middle of each piece.

Using your finger and a small vessel of water, dip your finger and run it around the edge of the pastry

Fold over and using your fork pinch and seal the edges

Cut several holes in the top for venting

Brush each empanada with a bit of vegetable oil and bake for 14 to 16 minutes, until golden brown and puffy

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Smoked Turkey Sausage, Asparagus and Cheese Quiche



Who says real men don't eat Quiche, I happen to know quite a few who love Quiche! I think any man, woman or child would love this particular Quiche. This is my second venture without my husband, I created and photographed this recipe!

In fact, if you would come and unplug my garbage disposal I will give you an entire pie! Seriously, I am not sure I can go another week with a plugged disposal! I should have known better than to use it without my honey around to unplug the dumb thing!

Anyway, this recipe makes 2 pies, I made both of them a bit different from each other.

2 pre-made frozen pie crusts (thawed)
12 eggs
1 half pint heavy whipping cream
1 cup milk
1 bunch of asparagus, break the woody ends off and rinse/dry
1 bunch of green onions ends removed and chopped
1 Smoked Turkey Kielbasa (I used Hillshire Farms)
Shredded Cheese (I used Pepper Jack in one pie, and Parmesan/Swiss in the other)
chives, fresh or dried
salt and pepper
1 tsp Tarragon
1 tsp dried mustard
1 Jalapeno seeded and diced (I paired this with the Pepper Jack Cheese Pie) OPTIONAL

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Place both your shells onto a rimmed baking sheet

Slice your sausage into 1 inch disks and brown on each side, set aside.

Place 1/2 of your sausage into the bottom of each thawed pie crust

Add 1/2 the green onion into each and 1/2 the Jalapeno into each (or omit the Jalapeno altogether or put the whole thing into one crust)

Sprinkle enough shredded cheese to cover the pie ingredients

Place your Asparagus in a Wagon Wheel design on each pie

Mix your 12 eggs, heavy whipping cream, milk, salt, pepper, Tarragon, chives and dry mustard, whip the heck out if it.

Carefully and evenly pour into each of the pies

Bake for 1 hour or until the center is set, let cool and serve

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Chicken Vegetable Soup with Orzo


I love making soups and from what I hear, I am pretty good at it! Whenever I make a roasted chicken I feel compelled to make chicken stock, as I did over the weekend. There was not much involved in making the soup as my chicken stock is so flavorful by itself.

My sister in law, made Italian Wedding Soup (which I loved) and used a pasta called Ronzoni Acini Di Pepe #44. I really loved the texture of that little pasta, it was like a tiny pasta ball.

I wanted to use that in my soup today, but could not find it anywhere! I ended up using Orzo pasta instead.

Chicken broth (home made if possible), I ended up using about a gallon
2-3 peeled and diced Carrots
2-3 stalks sliced Celery
1/2 box chopped frozen spinach
2 cups diced chicken (I used the leftover meat from my roasted chicken on Sunday)
1/2 box of Orzo Pasta
Salt and pepper to taste

Place your broth in a soup pot and heat to medium, add the carrots and simmer until they are almost cooked thru, add the remaining ingredients and cook until the pasta is plump and tender. Salt and Pepper to taste.

I served with fresh bread and a salad

Moist Turkey Meatloaf

In our continued effort to eat a little better and keep it "clean", I decided to make Turkey Meatloaf.  In my previous attempt...