"Noncooks think it's silly to invest two hours' work in two minutes' enjoyment; but if cooking is evanescent, well, so is the ballet." - Julia Child

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Chicken & Pineapple in Red Curry

3 chicken breasts, 1-inch-cubed
1 20oz. can pineapple chunks with juice
2 packages of firm Chinese tofu, 1-inch-cubed
1 can of coconut milk
1 4 oz. can of Thai red curry paste
1 bunch of green onions, chopped
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
2 cups of milk (anything but fat free)
salt and brown sugar for taste

*Japanese tofu are not porous, and hence will not work for this recipe.
**Everything in the ingredients list is available at 99 Ranch.

  1. Saute chicken in a deep non-stick pan on medium-high heat until chicken is almost fully cooked.
  2. Reduce heat to medium.
  3. Add pineapples with its juice, tofu, coconut milk, milk and curry paste into the pan. Mix and stir until all the liquids dissolve into each other. Keep stirring until it starts to boil.
  4. Add green onions and parsley. Cover and reduce heat to medium low. Let simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Adjust flavor with salt and brown sugar if necessary.
  6. Serve over rice or noodles.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe originated from a recipe found on allrecipes.com. We tweaked it a bit, and lo and behold, tastes just like cookies at Mrs. Fields. This makes about 2 dozen cookies.

1/2 cup salted butter
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
4 cups dark chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease cookie sheets with oil or cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer at the lowest speed, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla .Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually stir into the creamed mixture. Finally, fold in the chocolate chips. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls, and put the cookie balls onto the prepared cookie sheets 2 inches apart.
  3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until light brown. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Mint Brownies

(a.k.a.) Magic Brownies, Crack Brownies...

1 tsp pure mint extract
1 box Betty Crocker Dark Chocolate Brownies mix (9x13 family size)

*this mix is the one with HERSHEY®'S SPECIAL DARK chocolate syrup pouch.

  1. Follow the instructions on the box
  2. Stir mint extract into the brownie mixture before pouring it all into a 9"x13" baking pan.
  3. Follow baking instructions on the box.
  4. Let cool 5-10 minutes before serving.

**Serving tip: in a dessert dish, serve one scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream on top of a square of these brownies. Garnish with a sprig of mint.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Garlic Alfredo Sauce

1/8 cup butter (1/4 stick)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 pint heavy cream
1/2 pint 2% milk
3/4 cup fresh Romano cheese, grated
1/2 cup fresh parmesan cheese, grated
3-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste

1 cup fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp Italian seasoning

**Do not use the cheese-like stuff from Kraft!!!! It will not work!!! Go to Trader Joe's, and get the fresh stuff!!!

  1. In a large saucepan, melt butter and olive oil over low heat. Add garlic into pan, let saute for 5 minutes.
  2. Add cream and milk. Gently whisk the mixture until thoroughly mixed.
  3. Add salt and pepper. Stir in cheese over medium heat until melted; this will thicken the sauce.
  4. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Pot's Spaghetti Sauce

This recipe makes a lot of sauce:

2 16oz-24oz jars/cans of Ragu/Prego/Generic Tomato Sauce
2 6oz cans tomato paste
1 cup of red wine ($2 Merlot or Cab available at Trader Joe's)
5-6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 bunch Italian parsley, finely chopped.
3-4 Italian squash, small-diced
1 onion, small-diced
1-2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper
1 tsp chili pepper flakes
Italian Seasoning

1 lb ground beef, pan fried
1 eggplant, diced
2 bell peppers, diced
few tbsp. grated parmesan cheese

  1. On medium heat, melt butter in big saucepan, add olive oil. Add garlic, and let fry in olive oil and butter for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Saute all vegetables except parsley in oil mix until cooked. Translation: veggies look translucent and start to soften.
  3. Pour in tomato sauce, tomato paste. Stir in Italian parsley. Stir carefully until mixture is even.
  4. Add red wine, Balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper, Italian seasoning, chili pepper flakes. Stir carefully until mixture is even.
  5. Cover and let the whole thing simmer on low heat for 15 minutes. Periodically stir it so that the bottom doesn't scorch.
  6. Serve over any kind of cooked pasta.

Char Siu Chicken

about 2 pound of chicken meat
2 tbsp Char Siu sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
1 tsp Chinese five spice
1 tsp chili oil
1 tsp sesame seed oil
1 tsp sesame seeds
1/4 cup fresh green onions, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

  1. Cut off all excess fat in chicken. Mix 1 gallon of water, 1/2 cup salt, 1/4 sugar in a *large* mixing bowl. Soak the chicken in the mix for 1-2 hours. Warning: do not soak for more than 2 hours.
  2. Mix evenly in a smaller mixing bowl: Char Siu sauce, soy sauce, cooking wine, five spice, chili oil, sesame seed oil, green onions, and cilatro. Marinade should be "soupy".
  3. Take out chicken from brine, put chicken in marinade and let sit for at most 2 hours. Rule of thumb: the smaller the chicken pieces, the less time it needs.
  4. After marinating, the chicken can be baked or stir-fried.
* This recipe also works for pork.

Pot's Chinese Chicken Marinade

For 1 whole chicken (cut-up)

1 tsp Chinese five spice
1/2 cup Chinese cooking wine
1/2 cup Soysauce
1/2 cup Soy Vey teriyaki marinade
2 cloves of chopped garlic
1 cup chopped fresh green onions
1 cup chopped cilatro
1 tsp sesame seeds1 tsp sesame seed oil
1 tsp finely juliened ginger
a little seasoning salt if needed*

If you don't have Soy Vey on hand, try mixing Hoisin Sauce with a little Kikkoman Seasoned Vinegar.

Bake Chicken at 350 degree until juices run clear.

Sausage and Bean Stew

4-5 small cans of pork-n-beans
1 package Jenni-O turkey kielbasa, diced
5-6 stalks of celery, diced
1 onion, diced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp celery seed
1-2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp savory
3-4 tbsp brown sugar

  1. Saute kielbasa, celery, onion in olive oil on medium-high heat.
  2. Pour in pork-n-beans, reduce heat to medium or medium low. Keep stirring carefully.
  3. Stir in celery seed, cayenne pepper, savory, and brown sugar. Adjust amount for taste. Remember this about spices in general: start with a little, you can always add more.
  4. Sprinkle parsley on top for flavor and decoration.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Crispy Chicken made in the Toaster-Oven

4 chicken thighs
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp seasoning salt
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp rosemary
2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 of an onion

1. cut of excess fat on the chicken. leave the skin on.
2. put chicken and all seasonings in a mixing bowl. mix everything together and rub the seasonings all over the chicken. let it sit for about 15-20 minutes.
3. preheat toaster-oven to 350 degrees.
4. thinly slice the onions, break apart the rings, and lay them on the bottom of the baking pan. put chicken on top of the onions with a little space in between each piece.
5. bake chicken for 45 minutes or until juices run clear. turn the oven up to BROIL and toast the chicken for about 5 minutes. Don't go away from the oven and watch the chicken, and turn off the oven immediately when it's too toasty!!