CHINESE HOT POT

Here is a great recipe for an awesome Chinese hot pot stock. xoxo.


* serves 6

6 tablespoons oil {use vegetable or canola or peanut oil}
6 dried red chili
1 tablespoon sichuan peppercorn
2 tablespoons chili bean sauce
5 star anises
1 2-inch knob fresh ginger, sliced 1/4″ thick
6 stalks scallions {use ONLY the white parts and cut 2-inches long}

96 ounces chicken stock
5 dried shitake mushrooms
1-inch rock sugar
1 tablespoon salt
3 tablespoons chili oil

Directions:
1. In a stock pot, heat up oil. Add dried red chili, sichuan peppercorns, chili bean sauce, star anises, fresh ginger, and white parts of scallion. Saute until fragrant for about a minute or two. Do NOT let the dried red chili burn!
2. Add the chicken stock, shitake mushrooms, rock sugar, chili oil, and salt.
3. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes.
4. Use this broth to cook your favorite meats and vegetables with and serve with your favorite condiments.

* If you like your Chinese Hot Pot to be spicier because my version is pretty mild, just add more chili oil to your broth.

For my Chinese hot pot, i like to use thinly sliced angus beef or rib eye, assorted fish cakes, bok choy, napa cabbage, enoki mushrooms, udon noodles, rice cakes, fried bean curd, dumplings, spinach, and oyster mushrooms.

For the condiments, i’m a big fan of the Chinese barbecue sauce, Chinese black vinegar, soy sauce, satay sauce, sesame oil, chili oil, hoisin sauce, and chopped green onions. I personally like to make my dipping sauce by mixing the Chinese barbecue sauce with soy sauce, green onions, and sesame oil. You can also buy pre-made sesame sauces or ponzu sauces too.

CHINESE VEGETABLE CASSEROLE

Lunch today consisted of 50 pieces of chicken McNuggets in which my husband and i each managed to wolf down 20 pieces…which of course left us feeling very sick and disgusted…or I was left feeling disgusted with myself. Like WHY do I do that? WHY?

So for dinner, I had to counter that meal with a vegetarian casserole in a cheap attempt to make myself feel better for eating that McDonald’s crap. That was prolly a billion calories that I didn’t need and a clogged artery…

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this vegetable casserole…it tastes very HEALTHY.

* serves 4

3 dried shitake mushrooms, soaked in hot water until soft, remove stem, and julienne
2 stalk scallions, chopped {separate white parts and save green part of scallions for garnish}
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 cup Napa cabbage, cut into bite-sized pieces
32 oz. stock {chicken or vegetable}
1/2 of a daikon, diced into 1-inch pieces
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
4 oz. deep fried soy bean cake, sliced in half

2 oz. bean thread noodles

1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice cooking wine
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon black vinegar
1 tablespoon Chinese barbecue {sa-tsa} sauce

1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water

1. In a stockpot, add 3 tablespoons oil. Once oil is hot, add shitake mushrooms, white parts of scallions, and ginger and saute until fragrant.
2. Add napa cabbage and cook until tender.
3. Add stock, daikon, carrots, celery, deep fried soy bean cake, soy sauce, rice cooking wine, kosher salt, black pepper, oyster sauce, sesame oil, sugar, black vinegar, and Chinese barbecue {sa-tsa} sauce. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for about 30 minutes.
4. Add the bean thread noodles and cook for an additional ten minutes.
5. Garnish with the green parts of the scallions and serve with rice.

MONGOLIAN BEEF

Tonite’s dinner was some jasmine rice with Mongolian beef cause I had some green onions in my fridge that I needed to cook up before it went bad. So if you love green onions as much as I do,Ii think you may love this dish. But that’s only if you like green onions and beef.

* serves 4

1 lb. beef, thinly sliced against the grain {use flank or whatever kind you want}
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice cooking wine
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Sauce:
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon chili oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1/2 each red bell pepper, diced into 1-inch pieces
1/4 each white onion, sliced
1 bunch green onions, sliced 2-inches long on the diagonal

Directions:
1. Marinate the beef with the soy sauce, rice cooking wine, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and cornstarch for 30 minutes.
2. In a bowl, mix the sauce ingredients together.
3. In a hot wok, add 3 tablespoons of oil. Once oil is hot, add the beef and cook until a nice sear develops.
4. Add sauce mixture to the beef and cook for about a minute.
5. Add onions and red bell pepper and saute for a minute or two.
6. Add green onions and cook until heated through, about a minute.
7. Serve with jasmine rice.

MINT BEEF WITH OYSTER SAUCE

Everyday I cook, it’s like an iron chef kind of thing…except that I’m competing against myself and the mystery ingredient is whatever I’ll find lurking in my fridge. Last night, i found a couple of mushrooms, some mint, and one thai chili…and then I have to figure out how I’m going to use it up….so since i still had some celery and carrots from last night’s dinner, I opted to cook up a simple stir fry.

* serves 2

8 ounces beef, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice cooking wine
1 teaspoon cornstarch
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 thai red chili, minced

2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
tt ground black pepper

3 stalks celery, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1/2 of an onion, julienned
1/2 bunch of fresh mint, picked through and washed

2 tablespoons oil

Directions:
1. Marinate the beef with the soy sauce, sesame oil, rice cooking wine, cornstarch, garlic, and thai chili for 15 minutes.
2. In a bowl, combine the oyster sauce, fish sauce, sugar, and pepper and set aside.
3. In a hot wok, add the oil. Once the oil is hot, add the beef and stir fry until a nice sear develops.
4. Add the carrots, celery, and onion and stir fry for about a minute.
5. Add the mushrooms and stir fry for another minute or two.
6. Add the oyster sauce mixture and coat the sauce with the beef and veggies.
7. Add the fresh mint and stir fry for about a minute.
8. Serve with jasmine rice.

SILKEN TOFU EGG DROP SOUP

I’ve been wanting some egg drop soup as of late…and craving tofu too so I was like…Why don’t I just marry the two and voila…I made some yummilicious silken tofu egg drop soup. My husband loved it so much, he had two bowls…or maybe it was cause he was like hungry…anyway, it was eaten…

The good news about this soup is not only was it a piece of cake to make, it didn’t taste craptastic like that prenatal vitamin I took last night. That was pretty NOT cool.

* serves 4

32 ounces chicken broth, preferably homemade
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound silken tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 egg, slightly beaten
tt black pepper
1 stalk scallions, chopped

Directions:
1. In a stockpot, add the chicken broth, soy sauce, sesame oil, and salt.
2. Bring to a boil and gently add the silken tofu.
3. Once the broth boils again, lightly whisk in the egg without breaking up the silken tofu.
4. Garnish with the scallions.

HOMESTYLE CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP

There is seriously nothing more comforting than a nice bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup. And you can kick it up a billion notches by making your own noodles. I swear, it makes this soup taste like a million bucks! xoxo.

* serves 2

broth:
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 carrot, diced
1/4 onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
32 ounces of chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 cup roasted chicken, shredded
tt sea salt and black pepper

homemade noodles:
1 1/2 cups AP flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg

Directions:
1. Make the homemade noodles by first mixing the flour with salt. Add your egg and mix in with the flour. If it’s too sticky, add more flour. If it’s too dry, just add a little water to it. Roll out the dough and using a pizza cutter, cut into whatever desired size you want. I cut mine 1/2 inch by 1 inch rectangles.
2. In a stockpot, saute the carrots, celery, and onions with the butter for about a minute.
3. Add 1 tablespoon of flour and mix well. Cook for about a minute over medium heat.
4. Over medium high heat, add your homemade chicken stock.
5. Bring to a boil and add your freshly made noodles.
6. Add 1 teaspoon of dried or fresh minced parsley. Set your heat to medium low.
7. Cook for about thirty minutes or until your noodles are fully cooked and tender.
8. Season with salt and pepper.
9. Serve with some saltine crackers.

OVEN-ROASTED LEMON HERB CHICKEN

I found some fresh thyme and rosemary in the fridge today and a lemon. So since i can only make stuff i find in my fridge cause i need to pinch pennies, i decided to make an oven-roasted lemon herb chicken.

 

* serves 4
1 5 lbs. chicken, washed and dried
2 red potatoes, diced into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup grape tomatoes
1/2 of a red onion, julienned
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch of fresh thyme
1 bunch of fresh rosemary
1 lemon
1 head of garlic
3 tablespoons butter
tt sea salt and black pepper

Directions:
1. In a bowl, whisk the balsamic vinegar with olive oil and 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme.
2. Add the potatoes, onions, and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Roast the potatoes, onions, and tomatoes on a sheet pan at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes or until you can pierce the potatoes with a fork.
4. In a food processor, process butter, garlic, and the juice from one lemon until it turns into a paste.
5. Season the chicken generously with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Stuff the cavity with sprigs of fresh thyme, rosemary, and the 1 lemon that has already been juiced out.
6. Slather the chicken with the butter lemon garlic mixture.
7. Truss up the chicken.
8. Bake the chicken at 425 degrees for about an hour or until it’s fully cooked.
9. Let the chicken rest for ten minutes and then serve with the roasted potatoes and tomatoes.

NY STEAK WITH A ROSEMARY PORT WINE SAUCE

There was some thyme and rosemary in the fridge…so of course, steaks for dinner it is!

* Makes 2 servings

2 New York Steaks, about 8 ounces each
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 garlic cloves, crushed
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
tt sea salt, fresh black pepper
1/2 cup port wine
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons sweet cream butter

Directions:

1.  Marinate the steaks with olive oil, thyme, rosemary, and garlic overnight.
2.  Remove the steaks from the marinade and season generously with salt and pepper.
3.  In a hot saute pan, sear both steaks until a nice brown crust develops.  Throw the steaks in a sheet pain in a 425 degree oven and cooked until desired doneness.  Take steaks out and let rest.
4.  In the same saute pan where steaks were cooked in, add in port wine.  Throw in the rosemary, thyme, and garlic from the marinade.  Cook until reduced by half.  Remove the rosemary and thyme.  Add in the chicken broth and let the sauce reduce until it can coat the back of a spoon.  Add in your sweet cream butter and swirl it into the sauce.
5.  Top your steaks with the rosemary port wine sauce and serve with mashed potatoes and sauteed veggies.

CURRY BEEF UDON

I make this dish when I’m too lazy to cook a real meal. I didn’t even make my own dashi. I know. I’m terrible. Ugggghh….

* Serves 2
1/2 lb. beef, any kind you want, cut into 1/2 inch cubes {i used some beef chuck}
1 carrot, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 cup of onion, any kind will work {i used some red onions today cause that was what was in the fridge}
4 cups water
1 teaspoon hondashi powder
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin
2 cubes of japanese curry roux
2 packages of frozen udon noodles
tt salt and pepper
1 sprig scallions, thinly sliced for garnish

Directions:
1. Season the beef with salt and pepper.
2. Heat a pot with 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the beef, carrots, and onions. Saute until your beef is cooked.
3. Add water, hondashi powder, soy sauce, mirin, and the cubes of curry roux.
4. Bring to boil and then simmer. Cook until your carrots are tender, about 15 minutes.
5. Once broth is ready, cook your udon noodles according to the package directions and pour curry udon broth over your noodles. Garnish with some fresh sliced scallions.

MAPO TOFU

I should NOT have stayed up past my bedtime watching Wolverine. Sooo many hot dudes in a movie. I couldn’t contain myself. And I find it interesting that when I see a hot guy on TV and I’m like, “Wowzers. Sooo yummy. I want some of that,” my husband doesn’t act jealous. He responds, “You really think he’s hot? like seriously?” He doesn’t understand my penchant for druggy looking skinny fools.

What does that tidbit have to do with my recipe for mapo tofu? Nothing.

* Serves 4

1 pack firm tofu, diced into 1-inch squares
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon scallion, the white part, chopped
1/2 inch knob of fresh ginger, minced
2 oz. ground pork
1 tablespoon hot bean paste
1 tablespoon rice wine
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
1 sprig scallions, chopped for garnish

Directions:
1. In a pan, heat up 2 tablespoons of oil and add garlic, white parts of green onion, ginger, pork, and hot bean paste. Cook until the pork is fully cooked.
2. Add tofu, rice wine, chicken broth, salt, soy sauce, sugar, and sesame oil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook for about fifteen minutes.
3. Add cornstarch and water mixture to thicken.
4. Serve with steamed rice and garnish with chopped scallions.