Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Oil Dressed Pasta


 Recently I had this salivating craving for pasta dressed with oil. It's not over powered by a marinara or cream sauce. The oil acts as a saucy medium and helps intensify the natural flavors for the vegetables and herbs you use. Simplicity is key, it only takes a few good components to snazzily dress a dish.

Ingredients: pasta of your choice, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, mushrooms, cilantro, grated parmesan, meats/fish

Salt your boiling water. Grab a hand ful of pasta, makes 4-6 servings depending on your palm size.

Drain when al dente. Reserve some of that boiling liquid. About a cupful.

In a saucepan on medium heat, pour in about 1/3 cup of oil

 If you are like myself and enjoy heat in every meal, throw in some dried chili flakes.

Sliced white mushrooms, don't have to cook them down because textures are good.

I used both shrimp and squid

Stir that right in

Lastly, the garlic, tomatoes, cilantro and other seasonings last. Just long enough to heat up the tomatoes.

In come the noodles, may be sticky, pour in liquid.

Sprinkle on some parmesan and enjoy!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Moist Chocolate Chip Cake Squares

Began my day by taking care of a butter cake craving. Didn't want a whole cake, don't like brownies, this was just right.
2 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1 1/4 cups margarine
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
splash of vanilla
1 cup milk
1 cup of chocolate chips, or nuts, fruit..etc

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2.Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.
3. In a mixing bowl, cream together margarine and sugar. Add egg and vanilla.
4. Mix dry ingredients in, alternating with milk.
5. Fold in chocolate chips.
6. Bake for 30 minutes.

Chicken Again

I make this dish probably twice a week sometimes. Fast, easy, and the taste hasn't become bland to me yet.

Cut the breast in equal pieces
Season and fry on med-high
keep in warm in oven

Saute onions and mushrooms in olive oil
snap off tough ends of asparagus
this is a rosemary plant
rosemary in my caramelized onion and mushrooms

 In many of my posts, I often pour in a left over bottle of whatever I was drinking before..and 1 cup of chicken broth, water to dilute saltiness if you reduce it for too long.
Total cooking time: 10 minutes
Blanche asparagus and green beans. Saute in olive oil, sprinkle in garlic salt and add tomatoes long enough to just heat up
Chicken's for dinner.

Hột Vịt Lộn : Not For The Faint Of The Heart

It definitely is one of those things that you have to be brought up with. Like durian, shrimp paste, pickled crabs, and even cheese, for some a duck embryo is just too much of a taste risk to try let alone swallow. It does not smell foul (though the ones that do are considered even more of a delicacy), it is a perfectly harmless food. Unless you swallow the egg whole.

In Vietnamese cuisine, we eat our under developed duck embryos with Vietnamese coriander and muối tiêu chanh which simply means salt pepper lime, our favorite dip (next to fish sauce). The coriander is peppery to balance the richness of the egg. Salt and pepper is a must for everything and in Vietnamese cuisine lime is also a staple.
I position the round end of my egg up in my shot glass. Why a shot glass and not my hand or the egg carton? Because I love it that much.
Crack the shell open at the top.
Theres a bit of membrane covering everything, break it open. Slurp the broth, it's heavenly.
If this picture is too much, keep scrolling, it gets better.
You can see the yolk and something unidentifiable.
I am not sick. You are just living in a box. Get out of it and try this!

Pad Thai

My goblin of a sister making faces at my creations.
Used the simplest of ingredients: beans, tofu, chives, parsley, scallions, bean sprouts
dried rice noodles
boil rice noodles, when al dente, add in tofu and beans
Drain. Using the same sauce pan, on med-high heat, drizzle in oil and saute ingredients with desired sauces. I used hoisin and chili oil, stir in bean sprouts and chives.
garnish with parsley and scallions.