Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cherry Glazed Rack of Lamb


Looks super simple and delicious!!

Cherry Glazed Rack of Lamb
Serves 8

Ingredients
1 can (16 oz.) dark sweet cherries in heavy syrup
1/4 cup honey
2 T. grenadine syrup
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 T. cornstarch
1/4 cup water
1 double rack of lamb (about 5 pounds)

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Drain cherries, reserving liquid; place liquid in saucepan. Chop enough cherries to make 1/3 cup; add to saucepan and reserve the remaining cherries. Add honey, grenadine syrup, almond extract and ginger. 
  3. Cook until heated, stirring occasionally. Dissolve cornstarch in water; slowly add to cherry mixture, stirring constantly until mixture thickens. 
  4. Place lamb on rack in shallow roasting pan. Bake in preheated oven 24 to 26 minutes per pound or until meat thermometer registers 150 degrees for medium-rare doneness. During last 40 minutes of baking time, baste rack with cherry sauce every 10 minutes. 
  5. When rack is done, stir cherries into remaining cherry sauce and heat. Cut lamb between bones into chops to serve. Serve cherry sauce with lamb.

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Review:

It was really good but after about 3/4 of the way through the cherries became a little overwhelming. More than likely because I used more cherries than it called for. All in all a very delicious meal.
Please excuse the "bright red alien popsicle" picture.  I didnt take the time to take another picture after it was sliced as the house became quite busy with ppl eating.

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Red Bean Paste Wontons


This is one I learned in highschool. VERY simple to make. I prefer to fold my wontons in the crown style, but there are numerous ways to fold them (link at bottom!) I also like cream cheese wontons, which are done in the exact same way just add cream cheese instead of bean paste, or put half and half in!

30-60 wonton skins
can or bag of sweetened bean paste




1.
Lay a wonton wrapper on a clean cutting board. Place a tablespoon of filling in the middle of the wrapper



2.
Wet the sides of the wrapper



3.
Fold the wrapper in half to form a triangle. Work out any air between wrapper and filling



4.
Wet the two side corners of the triangle, gently pull them together and press firmly.The center corner should stick out slightly. Cute right?

(see recipe pic above)

5.
Heat oil in a deep fryer or wok to 180C. Cook 4-6 wontons at a time in the oil until crisp and golden, then drain them on kitchen paper and keep them warm in a low oven while you prepare the remaining ones.

for more ways to fold wontons check out this site http://www.homemade-chinese-soups.com/how-to-fold-wontons.html


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Paw Pia Thawt (Thai deep fried springrolls)


I have a friend from Laos that makes the most awesome egg rolls EVER. But she moved to another state and hasn't logged into her myspace in forever so I cant get the recipe! So I'm trying out this recipe by chef Kai because it looked the best out of any I've seen so far. I wont be putting in the mushroom though because if I did my husband wouldn't eat them! Chef Kai didn't post any written directions just had a video of him making them with a list of ingredients, so I typed this out, hope its not too confusing. I'm adding in the video so that if there is any confusion you can watch that as well.

Paw Pia Thawt 
(Thai deep fried spring rolls)

Ingredients
1/2 lb ground pork
1 cup cabbage (shredded)
1 cup carrot (shredded)
1 cup mushroom (shredded)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp black pepper
1 egg (for recipe)
2 buns of bean thread noodle (soak in water for 15 min)
25 sheets of spring roll wrapper
4 cup cooking oil (for frying)
1 egg, beaten (for sealing)

Directions
  1. Soak your bean thread noodles for 15 minutes.
  2. Add first list of ingredients, and mix well. Set aside.
  3. Carefully separate first sheet of egg roll wrapper, place like a diamond in front of you.
  4. Add in 2 tbsp of filling on bottom 4th of wrapper. Roll spring roll up one roll, fold in sides, roll two more rolls.
  5. Take beaten egg and brush on the point of the egg roll to seal, finish rolling up roll.
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 until all spring rolls have been rolled.
  7. Heat wok on medium high heat, add oil. Deep fry until golden brown (8-10 minutes). Rembemer to slide the egg rolls into the pan not to "dunk" them into the pan. 



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Review:
Made the spring rolls.. SO good. I didn't use the mushroom in them and doubled the pork. It didn't make 25, more like 18, but even that was more than enough for my family. I'm totally stuffed with no room for the fried wontons I made for dessert! Update: Made this with tofu the other day, just as awesome!



Tofu Spring rolls


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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Honey-Poppy Seed Cornish Hens

Sounded good, so I decided to try it!

Honey-Poppy Seed Cornish Hens
Yield 4 servings (or 2 hungry adults!)

Ingredients

2 Rock Cornish hens
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons mustard powder
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger


Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). 
  2. Spray rack of shallow roasting pan with non-stick spray. 
  3. Cut each hen in half; place skin side down in roasting pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. 
  4. Whisk together the honey, poppy seeds, mustard and ginger. Brush over both sides of the hens. 
  5. Roast uncovered for 1 hour turning once.

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Review--

This was VERY delicious, my picky 3 year old had seconds!

It took longer to cook than the recipe says... about 70 minutes instead of 60, but the extra time is worth the wait.

I couldnt see how you could "whisk" the honey mixture together, so I put it into a small sauce pan and heated it just until the honey melted and then drizzled it over the hens. I was disappointed that the flavor didnt go all the way into the hen so I made up another batch of the sauce to drizzle onto the bird when we needed it.

I think I will be making this again, but probably on drumsticks instead of cornish hens because you lose so much of the sauce when pulling apart the bird! (though its VERY juicy and you can use that to "dip" pieces of the bird into it.)
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Honey & Cumin Glazed Cornish Hens

When I went looking for a picture for the Honey-Poppy Seed Glazed Cornish Hens, I came across this recipe, which looks too good to miss! I have to buy some more ingredients but will definitely be trying this in the future!

Honey & Cumin Glazed Cornish Hens

Ingredients

Glaze
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons cumin seed, toasted and crushed
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

4 Cornish hens, split in half
Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Combine glaze ingredients.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  3. Rinse hens and blot dry. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Using about a third of the glaze, brush both sides of hen halves.
  5. Place, skin side down, on a baking sheet with low sides. Place in oven and roast 10 minutes.
  6. Turn heat down to 375°F, brush hens again with half the remaining glaze and roast 5 minutes.
  7. Turn hens over and roast 10 minutes.
  8. Brush with remaining glaze and roast until deep golden brown, about 5 minutes more. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 8 (or 4 hungry adults)

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Monday, May 3, 2010

Lemon Garlic Tilapia


Going with my tilapia challenge I decided to cook this recipe. It seems pretty straight forward.

Lemon Garlic Tilapia

Yield 4 servings
Ingredients

4 tilapia fillets
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
pepper to taste

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Rinse tilapia fillets under cool water, and pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Place fillets in baking dish. Pour lemon juice over fillets, then drizzle butter on top. Sprinkle with garlic, parsley, and pepper.
  4. Bake in preheated oven until the fish is white and flakes when pulled apart with a fork, about 30 minutes.

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Review --

I melted my butter with my garlic, which of course made the garlic absorb some of the butter, but I dont feel that it changed the taste any, if anything it probably helped keep my garlic from browning. I also used about 4 stems of fresh parsley coarsely chopped instead of dried and added about 2 grinds of sea salt per filet.

The kids and I really liked it, especially since I served it with a wedge of lemon, but my husband found it too bland. Not sure how I'd tweak it to make it so that we all enjoy it... yet.


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Saturday, May 1, 2010

Crispy Orange Beef Stirfry with Vegetables


So my husband and I love Asian food, we cook some sort of Asian dish on average bi-weekly if not every week! After you use a recipe for a long period of time, no matter how good that recipe is, you're going to get bored of it. So tired of a lot of our old recipes we went looking for a new one, and found a few instead. None of which looked good enough to make in its own right. So we took bits and pieces from them and came up with this, and let me tell you... it was good.... to make things taste better I use all fresh vegetables...

Crispy Orange Beef Stir-fry with Vegetables
Makes about 6 servings

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds beef top sirloin, thinly sliced
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate
1 teaspoon salt + one pinch
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 cups broccoli florets
2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
1 (6 ounce) package frozen snow pea pods, thawed
2 tablespoons chopped onion (I used 3 pearl onions thinly sliced)
1 cup vegetable oil, plus 1 tablespoon for sauce if necessary
1 (8 ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
Hot cooked rice

Directions

  1. Lay beef strips out in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Allow to dry in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, rice vinegar, orange juice concentrate, salt and soy sauce. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Toss dried beef in cornstarch and one pinch of salt to coat. Fry in the hot oil in small batches until crispy and golden brown, add more oil if necessary; set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, combine rice and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, or until rice is tender.
  4. Add the broccoli and onion to the wok and lightly stir-fry, then add the carrots, peas and water chestnuts, stir-fry until broccoli is bright green. Set aside.
  5. If the vegetables have soaked up all the oil add 1 tablespoon of oil, if not then drain all but 1 tablespoon oil. Add the soy sauce mixture to the wok, bring to a boil, and cook until thick and syrupy, about 5 minutes. 
  6. Add vegetables and beef, heat thoroughly, stirring to coat. Serve immediately over steamed rice.
Note: To make sure that the recipe is gluten free be sure to use gluten free soy sauce

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