Archive for November, 2013

November 26, 2013

Beef Pad Thai

Beef Pad Thai

So this is the second time I have made this in two weeks and I love it! It took me about 40-45 minutes. First introduced by my mom, and I wanted to make it again. I haven’t gone out for Thai food for a while, so I can’t compare this to restaurant quality, but it sure still tastes pretty damn good! Original recipe from The Chew.

Serves 4-5.

Ingredients:

For the noodles:

  • 8 ounces of pad thai rice noodles
  • slices of beef (or what ever meat you’d like, or leave out)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 of carrots, julienned
  • 1/4 red pepper, julienned
  • a lot of beansprouts (2-3 cups?)

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Franks hot sauce (I accidentally added this instead of Worcestershire sauce)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (ended up adding this anyway!)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon Thai chili sauce or Sambal (I added this the first time I made it, but forgot it the second time. I couldn’t taste the difference at 1/4 tsp, but I’m sure it’ll make a difference if you add more)

Directions:

Noodles:

Boil a large pot of water. Cook the noodles until the desired tenderness. Remove from heat and drain the water through a colander, and set aside.

In a large pan (or the pot that the noodles were in), heat some oil on medium high heat. Once heated, saute the garlic until lightly browned. Then add the meat slices until fully cooked. Add the carrots and red peppers and heat until desired tenderness. Add the bean sprouts. At this time, the bean sprouts will be raw, so put a lid on the pan and let it sit for a few minutes, letting the water coming out of the sprouts to turn to steam and cook the veggies. Once done, turn off the heat.

In a small pot, place all of the ingredients for the sauce except the Sambal sauce, and heat medium high. Make sure to keep stirring every so often or it will burn, and also to make sure that the sauce ingredients mix fully, or there will be lumps of peanut butter. Turn the heat off once the solution is emulsified and boiling. Add the Sambal sauce now and mix.

By now, the noodles are probably all stuck together in a big lump. Put it back into the big pot with the veggies and pour the sauce over the noodles, and mix it in.

Deliciousness at a much cheaper price.

The website also states at the bottom that in the sauce portion, the brown sugar and lime juice make up for the tamarind, and the Worcestershire sauce replaces the fish sauce. I’ll have to try this again with the “real” ingredients, which I’m sure I have floating in the cupboards somewhere.

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November 24, 2013

Healthy Chickpea Cookie Dough

Healthy Chickpea Cookie Dough

I made this almost two months back while I was studying for my certification exam. It worked great as a snack food, though it was a bit too sweet for my taste. However, I also added a lot of chocolate chips, but they weren’t sweet. It is quite rich so it would have to be spread over a few different snack times. I’ll definitely be making this again! Original recipe came from chocolatecoveredkatie.com.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips
  • 2-3 tablespoons of raw oats
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar

(Since this was a while back, I’m pretty sure I forgot to add the salt and baking soda that was asked for in the original recipe, but since I’ll be making this again, I’ll update this list later)

Directions:

Blend together until smooth all ingredients except chocolate chips in a food processor. Then, using a spatula, fold in the chocolate chips.

Enjoy!

November 24, 2013

Baked Salmon and Vegetables

Baked Salmon and Vegetables

So I was left with dinner tonight again, which is perfectly fine. I already figured I was going to make rice to finish some of that awesome sticky chicken sauce, and find some vegetables. Then Mom told me before she left to take my youngest sister to tutor that she had defrosted some fish. FISH. I’ve never done fish before! So of course I Googled it and came across this super handy website at seriouseats.com. Though I brought out my thermometer, I ended up not using it.

So what I did was heat up the oil in the pan medium-high. Once it was hot, I lay the fish skin down and it immediately started to sizzle and stick to the pan (not non-stick). Let it sit for 10-15 minutes at medium-high. Also find a thin, flexible spatula that can get between the salmon skin and the pan.

Do not scrape the salmon off the pan. It will come off when it is ready (or if you’re like me, you’ll have cut some awkward looking pieces. Then I turned the small one over after I peeled up a corner and found that it was very dark and scraping it off wasn’t all that hard). Then I waited a few more minutes and then separated all the others from the pan. Success!

I let it sit for another 5-10 minutes and had the oven turned to 350F. By the time the oven was fully heated, the top side of the fish was still raw. I put the whole pan (fish and pan) in the oven for 5-7 minutes, keeping an eye on it. Just make sure it turns light pink!

Side note: All I put on it was some Kosher salt and cracked black pepper.

And that’s it!

And for the vegetables, all I did was steam broccoli and Chinese cabbage.

November 22, 2013

Oven Roasted Carrots and Zucchini

Slow Cooker Sticky Chicken Drumsticks

So this is the second part of tonight’s dinner: oven roasted carrots and zucchini. I have to admit that the carrots came out great but the zucchini came out a bit mushy. Mom was saying that I should have sprinkled some salt on the zucchini and let it sit for a bit before roasting them so some of the water comes out. Now I know for next time.

Carrots serves 6-7 (I had seconds…), zucchini serves 5-6 (I also had seconds…)

Ingredients:

  • 4 mega carrots, peeled and grated to 4 inches in length x 1/2″ x 1/2″
  • 3 medium-large sized zucchini, grated to 4 inches in length x 1/2″ x 1/2″
  • Virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons of sea salt or Kosher salt
  • 3-4 tablespoons of parmesan cheese, grated

Roasted Carrots and Zucchini

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F.

Cover two baking sheets with aluminum foil. Place the carrots and zucchini on each of the sheets. Drizzle the olive oil over both vegetables and toss the vegetables to coat with the oil. Lay them out evenly. Sprinkle some sea salt over the carrots, and some parmesan on the zucchini.

Place both baking sheets in the oven for 10 minutes. Turn them over and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and browned around the edges.

Enjoy!

Click here for the chicken recipe!

November 22, 2013

Slow Cooker Sticky Chicken Drumsticks

Slow Cooker Sticky Chicken Drumsticks

(I have the worst luck with picture editing..) Anyway, this was tonight’s dinner. I have to say that this is probably one of the best dishes I have ever made! My most proudest moment!

I didn’t know what I was going to make for dinner tonight, and Mom came up and said “There’s drumsticks in the fridge.” So the first thing I did was hit Google with “drumstick recipes” and this was one of the first ones to come up. Farmgirl Gourmet had the more delicious looking picture so I clicked it.

It took about 45 minutes to do the chicken because I have had no experience with skin removal. I just used the meat cleaver like my Mom does and hoped for the best. I managed to get most of it off, except right at the end where the bone is.

And then include about 10 minutes of trying to get the solid crystallized honey out of a narrow mouth plastic container.

Turns out, my family absolutely loved it. 3 of us went back for seconds just for the sauce on the rice! This is definitely going in to my recipe book!

Serves 5 (2 drumsticks each)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 1/2 cup of light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of ginger, minced
  • 2 teaspoons of Sambal Oelek ground chili paste (the original recipe calls for Sriracha, or another hot pepper sauce)
  • Ground pepper
  • 10 chicken drumsticks, skinned

Directions:

In a small sauce pan, combine the honey, sugar, balsamic vinegar, garlic, ginger, chili paste and ground pepper. Bring to a boil. Lower the temperature and let simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Place the drumsticks in the slow cooker and pour the sauce over the chicken. Mix the chicken completely with the sauce. Set the cook temperature to low and let cook for 1.5 hours. Turn over the chicken and turn the slow cooker to high for another 1.5 hours, turn over one more time half way through the second 1.5 hours. (The original recipe calls for high temperature for 4 hours, but the slow cooker manual that I have said set to high for 1-2 hours. I originally set it to low, but found that the chicken wasn’t all that cooked, so I just cranked up the heat.)

Remember to use a thermometer to ensure that the internal temperature of the thickest part of the chicken reaches 74C or higher!

Enjoy!

Click here for roasted carrots and zucchini (yup, that’s zucchini hiding in there)!