Monday, August 25, 2008

Golden Raisin Pound Cake

I try not to just stick to a recipe on a box. It's much better to have fun, be creative and make it more interesting.
Here's an easy way to spice up a dry pound cake. Add some golden raisins and vegetable oil, and egg yolk (instead of the whole eggs) to a pound cake mix. It will make it much moister and sweeter.

A New York Steak of Mind

Every once in a while you just want a great steak. Here is a simple recipe, with basic ingredients that you probably have, that come together to make a fantastic steak for that once in a while occassion.

1/4 cup Cider Vinegar
2 tbsp. Sesame Oil
2 tbsp. Soy Sauce
1/2 cup Ketchup
4 tbsp. White Granulated Sugar
3 tbsp. Teriyaki sauce
1/2 cup Chopped onions
1/2 stick butter
1/4 cup Wine/licqeur (Cointreau)

  • Directions:
  • Salt and Pepper the New York steaks on both sides.
  • Add a little ground thyme
  • Put on a rack for 15 minutes at 250 degrees (this will make the steak much juicier, since it will later cook in the pan, faster and more even)
  • Sear with butter in a skillet both sides until evenly brown, approx. 2 minutes each side at medium heat
  • Take out the steak, let it rest
  • Caramelize the onions in the same pan with brown butter
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and reduce the sauce for approx. 10 minutes.
  • Drizzle over the steak and serve

Then get a nice big steak knife and dig in!
(A good combination to this is some fried rice and sauteed squash, as you see above).

Green, green and green

No Green Eggs and Ham here, but close! Sometimes a color combination ties your whole meal together. Here, I wanted to add some green that would match the green on the serving plate and some beautiful green star fruit that were given me. The idea came from my Mom's cooking. We always had fried eggs with beans - it's a very asian thing.
It was very simple to slice up some leftover green beans I had, chop them in small bite size pieces, adding them to my beaten eggs (with a little ground cumin, salt and pepper), and create this fast and easy and healthy, GREEN breakfast.

Barbeque Bass

What was leftover here was actually a lot of lemons that a friend had given me. So lemon juice is needed for fish, so fish it was. Also, the truth of the matter is, that me and my partner had gone for a nice fishing trip. We enjoyed the sun, had a nice snack, but we got NO FISH. So, we got some great chilean sea bass at a nice gourmet store for 22.99 a lb!! (That's why you go fishing, because it's much cheaper!) The secret to this recipe is the barbeque rub. You might think of that for meat, but on a chilean sea bass, a barbeque rub is music to a fisherman's ears!

Barbeque Rub
Barbeque Seasoning (use your favorite)
Ground Black Pepper

4 tbsp. Soy Sauce
Chopped Shallots
2 tbsp. White sugar


  • Rub the bass with all the ingredients
  • Heat up the pan with vegetable oil (medium heat)
  • Sear the fish approx. 2 1/2 minutes each side
  • Take the fish out to rest
  • Add the shallots into the same pan and saute until brown, add soy sauce and sugar
  • Drizzle sauce over the bass.
  • Squeeze the lemons over the fish
  • (I served with blanched sugar peas)

Enjoy the Fish without the Fishing!

An Omelette Salad

Don't be afraid to experiment. I told my boyfriend, Gregg, I was cooking this for that I had some sprouts and some bananas that were getting older, and I wanted to then use them for an omelette. At first his eyebrows raised up a little, but then, since he knows me and my cooking so well, told me that he would never stop any of my ideas, and go right ahead, and go for it. That's what you should all do with yourself, just be creative, if you have an idea, go for it, and see what happens.

4 eggs
1/2 cup Milk
1/2 cup mushrooms sliced
1 banana sliced
Sprouts - any kind
Chopped cilantro
Crushed Pepper

  • Beat the eggs and milk together.
  • Mix with the chopped cilantro, pepper and salt and sliced banana
  • Saute the mushrooms until soft. Add in the mixture above.
  • Stir slowly at medium heat
  • Add the sprouts on top
  • Flip over, and serve

So it's a salad, it's fruit, and it's eggs! All in one and delicous, try it!

Coq Au Vin

After eating at a great restaurant in San Francisco, called RNM, and trying their coq au vin, I wanted to do the Chef Chong version. Coq Au Vin is a fancy name for basically a chicken in a rich sauce, with vegetables. In the picture above, I served it with a soft roll and some homemade bread, because you will want to sop up every bit of this sauce, :) It's perfect for those cold winter days, or for a special celebration.

Chopped Bacon - 4 strips
Senior Chicken (no young chicken, this is very important, otherwise the chicken falls apart, it won't be the right texture for coq au vin)
1 tsp. Sugar
1/2 cup chopped Mushrooms
1/2 cup Cocktail onions (this is one of those leftover items I had from a party, and here I could use them)
2 Garlic Cloves
2 tbsp. Tomato paste
2 tbsp. All purpose flour
1 box of Chicken broth (add some water)
1/2 cup Red wine
Bay leafs (if you have them)
1 tsp. Thyme
1/2 stick Butter (Paula Deen will be proud of me)
2 cups of chopped potatos
Parsley (for garnish)


  • Saute the bacon on med. heat
  • Take out the bacon, leave the oil in the pan
  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper
  • Brown the chicken in the pan, just for a few minutes
  • Put aside
  • Saute the mushrooms and cocktail onions until brown
  • Put in tomato paste and garlic. Add in 1/2 cup of chicken broth and flour to thicken.
  • Then add the rest of the chicken broth and the browned chicken, potatos, bacon, red wine, thyme, bay leafs and cook on low to med. heat for 40 minutes
  • Take out the chicken and potatos, and let the sauce reduce further, adding in butter, salt and sugar.
  • Garnish with chopped parsley

If your significant other doesn't fall in love with you after this, find a new one!

Yam Pillows

After Thanksgiving, if you have some leftover yams, make them into something different, with a simple addition of some phyllo dough. Simply soften the yam with ground nutmeg, brown sugar and a pinch of salt in a pot of water on medium heat. Then drain them. Mash the yams. Leave it to cool a little. Add marshmallow. Brush the phyllo sheets with soft butter, and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Spoon the mixture onto the phyllo dough. Roll them up, brush with a little butter, sprinkle some cinnamon sugar on top. Put in the freezer for 5 minutes to get cool. Heat them in the oven on a baking sheet at 375 for 15 minutes, or until turns brown. These fluffy pillows are so soft, but don't sleep on them, simply eat them!

My Best Chicken Curry

This chicken curry dish is a little more advanced and was made at a dinner party, and was the main entree. For a small dinner party, this will light up your guest's eyes.

Chopped 1/2 cup of onion
Chopped ginger (2 tbsp.)
chopped garlic - 2 cloves
2 tbsp. Curry powder
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 tbsp. paprika 1 tbsp.
Thai chili oil 2 tbsp.
Thai curry paste
2 cups Coconut cream
4 tbsp. soy sauce
3 tbsp. white Sugar
1 tbsp. Salt
1/2 cup plain yogurt
Chicken breast
Long beans
Sliced onions


  • Brown the onions
  • Add in ginger and garlic
  • Add in the curry powder and crushed pepper and paprika on low heat until the oil changes to a red color
  • Add in the chili oil and thai curry paste
  • Add in the chicken. Cook until half done.
  • Add in 1 cup of coconut cream. Simmer for 3-4 minutes until the oil comes to the surface.
  • Add in long beans and onions. Cook for a minute more.
  • Add in rest of coconut cream and yogurt and stir for 2 minutes.
  • Lastly, season with salt, sugar, soy sauce.


A Pocket Full of Peanuts

Again, if you ever have a jar of peanuts that you have grown tired of, make it into something. Make it into this tasty dessert, a pocketful of peanuts and your kids will be screaming for more.

Flour and water (or from grocery store)

  • Chop some peanuts
  • Add sugar
  • Add cinnamon
  • Fill the dough with a spoonful of the mixture
  • Close the pocket of dough
  • Arrange on a cookie sheet
  • Bake in oven at 375 for 15 minutes or until browned
  • Eat after cooling off a bit

Comforting Vegetable and Mushroom Soup

Soup is a really easy thing to make. Don't shy away from making something very simple. When you have a lot of leftover mushrooms, make mushroom soup. On the top, are some grilled shallots which give it that perfect Crunch.


Food Processor
(The Sauteed Mushrooms/Carrots)
Balsamic Vinegar

Thai Peanut Chicken

This is a twist on the classic thai chicken with peanut sauce. It came about because I had a jar of peanuts that had been sitting in my cabinet for a long, long time (after I had made some rocky road for the holidays). So what to make? How about a creamy peanutty sauce to spice up some chicken.
Adobo sauce
Orange juice,
adobo sauce from canned peppers
soy sauce
Sesame oil
Chopped Peanuts

A Peach of a Chicken

When you've gone to the farmer's market, and you have a lot of veggies, and let's say, one Peach, it's a perfect time to make "A Peach of A Chicken".
This healthy summer salad hits all the spots, and the warm peach makes it so unique and memorable.
Salad - Roasted
Olive oil Salt and Pepper
White Peach
white Turnips
Butter Lettuce
Apple Cider Vinegar
Fish Sauce
Crushed Pepper
Chopped Onion

Seafood Mini Burger

Make this at a party, and you'll have people talking about it for a long time to come!

Ginger Pork Chops

The other white meat just got tastier! If you want a showstopper for that special dinner, try this pork recipe. It's all about the sauce. Pssst - The secret is the ginger and the onions.

2 pork chops
2 tbs fish sauce
1 tbsp ginger
1 tbsp sugar
Marinade the pork chops for 5 hours in the fridge with the fish sauce, ginger and sugar

2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp ginger
1 clove garlic
1 onion, diced
3 green onions chopped
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sugar

  • Saute the above ingredients in a separate saucepan
  • In a separate saucepan, fry the pork chops, 8 minutes on each side
  • Serve the sauce on top of the pork chop only

Your loved one will be extra loving this evening, ;)

A Summer Fennel Salad

Here's what to do with healthy, but slighty boring cauliflower. Add a fennel, and some spices, and get a refreshing, simple summer salad.

12 Cauliflower florets
1 fennel bulb sprigs of cilantro
3 green onions
1/2 tb dill
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 tablespoon fish sauce
Sugar, salt and pepper - dashes

  • Blanch the cauliflower in cold water, then crumble
  • Slice the fennel
  • Chop the cilantro and green onion and dill
  • Mix together
  • For the sauce
  • Mix the EVOO, lime juice, salt, pepper, fish sauce and sugar
  • Fold into the mixed vegetables


Apple Strudel

If you have a tree dropping lots of apples, or you bought a lot of apples and they're getting too ripe, it's time to turn these leftovers into apple strudel!

Here's all you need:
10 Apples
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
2 tablespoons Cinnamon
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Salt
2 tablespoons Butter
Dough (8 Phyllo sheets or any dough from the freezer section of your store)

  • Dice the apples
  • Saute them in a sauce pan in butter
  • Add brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt
  • After 10 minutes, it will caramelize
  • Pour the mixture into the phyllo sheets. Add some more cinnamon (with sugar if you have it) to the phyllo doll
  • Roll the sheets up into a roll
  • Put on a baking sheet

Bake for 20 minutes at 370 degrees
Take out of the oven, cool, drizzle with a little caramel if you have it, and you are ready for a warm winter treat!

A Veggie Soup to Cure All

Chicken soup isn't the only soup that is a cure all, give this Veggie Soup with Tofu a try. Always think of soup if you have some veggies in the fridge, that you've run out of ideas of what to do with.

Chopped onions
Vegetable broth
Fish Sauce
Ground Black Pepper
Tofu (2nd to last)
Rice noodles (soften it in hot water for 15 minutes)

  • Saute the onions in vegetable oil
  • Add water, carrots, cabbage
  • Let it boil until all the ingredients are soft and tender
  • Add salt, fish sauce, and ground black pepper
  • Add the tofu, Add softened rice noodles
  • Garnish with some basil leaves

You're on your way to better health!