BUTTERNUT SQUASH, PLUM, AND KALE SALAD

I think the secret to making a great kale salad is to toss it with the vinaigrette for about fifteen minutes before you serve it. Also, you can switch out the plum with peaches or whatever stone fruit pleases you. You can even use grapes or dried cranberries instead. For the cheese, go with whatever cheese you like and feel free to switch out any of the ingredients as you please. You’re the one eating it so make it with your favorite ingredients. The almonds can be switched out with candied walnuts too!

Butternut Squash, Plum, and Kale Salad

Source: Lo Huynh (4 servings)

Ingredients:
½ bunch kale, ribs removed and thinly sliced
1 each plum, thinly sliced wedges
1 each tomato, cut into wedges
¼ each red onion, julienned
2 strips bacon, cut into 2 inch pieces and fried until crispy
2 each eggs, hard boiled and cut in half
3 tablespoons Danish blue cheese, crumbled
¼ cup almonds, toasted

¼ pound butternut squash, roasted and cut into wedges
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
tt sea salt
tt freshly ground black pepper

Dressing:
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
tt sea salt
tt freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
1. Roast the butternut squash by drizzling with some extra virgin olive oil, season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes. Once the butternut squash is cool, cut into wedges and set aside.
2. In a mixing bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together. Toss the kale with the dressing and let this sit in the fridge for 15 minutes.
3. After 15 minutes, toss the kale with the plum, butternut squash, tomatoes, and red onions.
4. Garnish the salad with the bacon, Danish blue cheese, almonds, and top the salad with the hard boiled egg.

BEEF, ASPARAGUS, AND MUSHROOM WITH OYSTER SAUCE STIR FRY

This recipe contains my go-to stir fry sauce. All I ever have to do is pick out whatever protein and vegetables I want and use this sauce to stir fry everything up and I can have a great dinner on the table in minutes. Okay…maybe not minutes…but in less than half an hour. Enjoy!

Before I cook, I always need to mise en place everything. And it becomes even more important when you’re about to cook up a stir fry.

What I love about stir frying is that after you’ve prepped everything, the cooking part moves fast and I can have dinner on the table in less than fifteen minutes!

Beef, Asparagus, and Mushroom with Oyster Sauce Stir Fry

Source: Lo Huynh (4 servings)

Beef:
½ pound New York steak or flank steak, sliced against the grain, cut into 1″ x 2″ strips
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine
1 teaspoon corn starch

Ingredients:
¼ each red onion, julienned
3 stalks scallions, cut into 2″ pieces
½ pound asparagus, ends trimmed off and cut into 2″ to 3″ pieces
1 cup mushrooms , sliced
2 tablespoons canola oil

Sauce:
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons oyster sauce
¼ teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce {Rooster/sriracha brand}, optional

Directions:
1. Combine the beef ingredients together and let marinate for about 15 minutes.
2. Mix the sauce ingredients together and set aside.
3. In a wok, heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil. Add the beef and cook until medium rare. Set aside.
4. Add the asparagus, mushrooms, and red onions and cook for a couple minutes or until the asparagus is cooked but still crisp.
5. Add the meat back to the wok.
6. Add the sauce ingredients and cook for a couple minutes until everything is heated up.
7. Add the scallions and and saute for a minute.
8. Serve with steamed rice.

ASIAN CHICKEN STOCK

Whenever I have some time, I like to make my own asian style chicken stock. It obviously tastes so much better than the canned stuff and I like knowing exactly what goes into my broth. This is a great base for your asian style soups and stir fry sauces. I like to add sugar when I make my stock but feel free to leave it out. The broth is pretty flavorful on it’s own. You can also get away with cooking this broth for two hours but I prefer to cook it for as long as I can, so I tend to let it simmer for about four hours.

These are the aromatics for the stock.

Throw the aromatics with the chicken carcasses into a big stock pot.

Bring the stock to a boil and scum will appear.

Remove the scum with a skimmer.

Let the stock simmer over low heat for four hours and semi cover with a lid.

After four hours, you get rewarded with some liquid gold. Or at least, this is my liquid gold.

Strain the stock, cool, and store into containers of your choice. I like using different size containers such as these deli cups and store them in ice cube trays for when I just need a little bit of chicken stock for a quick stir fry.

Asian Chicken Stock

Source: Lo Huynh (1 gallon)

Ingredients:
3 each chicken carcasses
18 cups water
3 inch each fresh ginger, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large yellow onion, cut in half
8 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar, optional

Directions:
1. Put all the ingredients into a large stock pot.
2. Bring to a boil and skim off the scum.
3. Semi-cover the stock pot and simmer for 4 hours.
4. Strain the broth.
5. The broth can be kept in the refrigerator for a couple days and stored in the freezer for a couple months.

TERIYAKI CHICKEN

I LOVE making chicken teriyaki at home and from scratch because the bottled stuff just doesn’t cut it. This teriyaki sauce would also be fantastic on top of salmon too.

Make sure to pan sear the chicken first so you can ensure a nice crispy skin! On top of that, it will only add extra flavor to your teriyaki sauce since the sauce will be cooked in this pan.

Teriyaki Chicken

Source: Lo Huynh (2 servings)

Ingredients:
2 each boneless chicken breasts
tt sea salt
tt freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil

1 cup mixed vegetables like brocolli and carrots, steamed for about 5 minutes or until desired doneness
1 cup Japanese rice, cooked

Sauce:
2 tablespoons sake
2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon honey

Garnish:
1 stalk scallions, chopped
1 tablespoon Robust Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, optional

Directions:
1. Mix your sauce ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.
2. Season the chicken breasts with some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
3. In a saute pan, sear the chicken breasts skin side down first. Flip and sear the other side.
3. Place the chicken, skin side up, on a sheet pan and roast in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes, or until the juices run clear and your chicken is fully cooked. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before slicing it.
4. In the pan where you’ve seared your chicken breasts, add your teriyaki sauce ingredients and bring the sauce to a boil. Turn off the heat. The sauce should have a nice sheen to it. Set aside.
5. Steam your vegetables until it’s cooked to your liking.
6. On a plate, serve your sliced chicken breast with some steamed Japanese rice and steamed vegetables. Spoon the teriyaki sauce on top of your chicken.
7. Drizzle with Robust Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil if desired and garnish with scallions.

HU TIEU NAM VANG {PHNOM PENH NOODLE SOUP}

Whenever I hit a pho restaurant, if there’s hu tieu on the menu, that’s usually what I’ll order. Luckily, I prefer my home version cause I don’t cook it with msg which is prevalent in these restaurants and I’m not left feeling crappy. Also, hu tieu is usually served with pork liver but I left it out cause I don’t think my husband is a big fan of liver. Anyway, I hope you enjoy my version! xoxo.

You seriously just throw the bones and carcasses in a pot. How easy is that?

Then you skim off this scum.

So while your broth is simmering away, you can start prepping the toppings that go into the soup.

Slice your shallots.

Then fry the shallots.

Cook the ground pork in some of that nice shallot oil.

Slice the char siu.

These were the rice noodles I used.

Now you can put your bowl together.

And then ladle this beautiful broth over your noodles and toppings!

Hu Tieu Nam Vang {Phnom Penh Noodle Soup}

Source: Lo Huynh (6 servings)

Broth:
1 each chicken carcass
1 pound pork spareribs or bones
18 cups water
1 large yellow onion, cut in half
1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 ounce dried shrimp, rinsed
1 each dried squid, rinsed
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt
1 inch, ounce rock sugar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

* NOTE: Feel free to use 3 pounds of JUST pork bones or feel free to combine chicken bones and pork bones.

Ingredients:
2 large shallots, cooked in 3 tablespoons canola oil until it is lightly brown and golden
½ pound ground pork, sauteed with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper until fully cooked
½ pound char siu, thinly sliced (see recipe below)
18 each large shrimp (16 to 20 count), peeled, deveined, and poached for about 3 minutes, or until it’s fully cooked
2 pounds fresh rice noodles or tapioca stick noodles, blanched

Garnishes:
1 bunch Chinese chives, cut into 2 inch long pieces
1 stalk Chinese celery, thinly sliced
12 ounces bean sprouts, washed and drained
½ bunch cilantro , chopped
3 stalks scallions, chopped
1 each lime, cut into 6 wedges
2 each serrano chili, thinly sliced

Directions:
1. In a large stockpot, add the bones and water and bring to a boil. Skim the scum that arises to the top and add the rest of your broth ingredients. Bring the heat to a simmer and let this cook for 2 to 3 hours.
2. While your broth is simmering away, prepare the rest of your ingredients.
3. Make the crispy shallots by heating a sauce pan with the 3 tablespoons of canola oil. Add the thinly sliced shallots and cook over medium heat until the shallots turn a nice golden color. Remove the shallots into a bowl and set aside. Leave about 1 tablespoon of the shallot oil in the pan.
4. In the pan that you’ve cooked the shallots in, cook your ground pork with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Break up the ground pork and saute until your ground pork is fully cooked. Set aside.
5. Poach the shrimp by bringing a pot of water to a boil. Add the shrimp and cook for a couple minutes or until the shrimp turns a nice orange color. Set aside.
6. Slice the char siu.
7. Strain your broth after it’s been cooking for 2 to 3 hours. Adjust the broth to your liking by either adding more salt or sugar.
8. To serve your soup, blanch the fresh rice noodles for 15 seconds or if you’re using dry tapioca stick noodles {hu tieu noodles dai}, cook the noodles per the directions on the package.
9. Put the noodles in a bowl, add the bean sprouts, sliced char siu, 3 pieces of shrimp, chives, celery, and ground pork.
10. Pour the broth over the noodles.
11. Garnish with the scallions, cilantro, and fried shallots.
12. Serve with the limes and sliced serrano chilies.

*********

Char Siu

Source: Lo Huynh (1 lb.)

Ingredients:
1 lb. pork tenderloin or pork shoulder

Marinade:
1 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder
2 tablespoons Chinese rice cooking wine
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Directions:
1. Mix your marinade ingredients and set aside 2 tablespoons of the marinade.
2. Marinate the pork tenderloin/pork shoulder in the marinade overnight or for at least one hour.
3. Line a baking pan with foil, place your marinated pork on top of the pan, and in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Farenheit, roast your pork for about 30 minutes. Flip the pork over half way through cooking time.
4. After about 30 minutes, when your pork looks pretty well cooked, pour or brush the rest of the 2 tablespoons marinade that you’ve set aside and roast at 375 degrees Farenheit for an additional 15 minutes until you have a nice dark brown roasted color on your pork.
5. Let your char siu rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing it.

GREEK YOGURT PARFAIT

Sometimes when the husband is rushing to get ready for work and doesn’t have time to eat a bowl of cereal for breakfast, I’ll pack him a cup of Greek yogurt parfait to go. He prefers the Chobani brand Greek yogurt but Lucerne Greek yogurt was cheaper at the market this week. I know…I never give the husband what he wants. Ugggghh. xoxo.

Here are the ingredients. I know. Too easy for words.

Greek Yogurt Parfait

Source: Lo Huynh (1 serving)

Ingredients:
4 tablespoons granola
6 ounces Greek yogurt
1 cup mixed fruit such as bananas and berries
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon honey

Directions:
1. In a small bowl, mix the fruit with the freshly squeezed orange juice. Set aside.
2. In a 16 ounce cup, put the granola on the bottom of the cup.
3. Layer the granola with the Greek yogurt.
4. Add your fruit to the top and drizzle with the honey.

GLAZED MAPLE BREAKFAST SAUSAGES AND CANDIED BROWN SUGAR BACON

I like to jazz up my breakfast meats because it’ll make it taste a little more gourmet and not like I just heated stuff up from a package. I know…it’s like I just Sandra Lee’d it. Ugggghhh…xoxo.

This couldn’t get any easier. You just lay out your meats on a sheet pan and drizzle or sprinkle stuff on top of it. And then you can use the words like glazed maple sausages and candied brown sugar bacon and it makes it sound like you spent a million hours in the kitchen!

Twenty minutes later, you get some awesome sausages and bacon!

Glazed Maple Breakfast Sausages and Candied Brown Sugar Bacon

Source: Lo Huynh (2 servings)

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
4 links breakfast sausages
1 tablespoon golden brown sugar
4 strips bacon

Directions:
1. Line your sheet pan with foil.
2. Lay out your breakfast sausages on the sheet pan and drizzle with the maple syrup.
3. Lay out your bacon on the sheet pan and sprinkle the brown sugar on top.
4. Bake at 400 degrees Farenheit for about ten minutes.
5. Flip the sausages and bacon over and bake for another ten to fifteen minutes or until the sausages and bacon are fully cooked.

ORANGE MINT BERRIES

Instead of serving fruit as is, sometimes I like to mascerate it with some fresh juice and a touch of sugar to brighten up the flavors. This would make a great brunch side dish!

Orange Mint Berries

Source: Lo Huynh (2 servings)

Ingredients:
⅓ each orange, juiced
½ teaspoon granulated sugar
2 cups mixed berries, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries
4 leaves fresh mint, chiffonade

Directions:
Mix all the ingredients together and let sit in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes before serving.

SHORT RIBS AND HASH

Sometimes I like to set up our dining table and eat like this for brunch because it makes me feel civilized.

I had soooo much short ribs leftover from last night’s Lemongrass Braised Short Ribs and since I’m such a fiend for brisket and hash, I decided to use some of those braised short ribs and make Short Ribs and Hash for our brunch today. I’m super glad I did because this recipe came out tasting pretty amazing. I hope you try out this recipe! I also served this dish with some maple breakfast sausages, brown sugar bacon, and a bowl of orange mint berries.

Such simple ingredients can bring such joy to my morning. This dish will start with some diced red bell peppers, a yellow potato, and some julienned red onions.

I first sauteed the potatoes with the sprigs of thyme over medium high heat in some butter and robust garlic extra virgin olive oil for about 15 minutes or until my potatoes were lightly browned and tender.

I then added the julienned red onions and red bell peppers and sauteed it for a couple more minutes.

I removed the sprigs of thyme and set it aside for garnish and added the cubes of short ribs.

I then used the braising liquid from the short ribs and cooked it with my short ribs and hash. I also added some minced parsley to this.

The finished product!

Short Ribs and Hash

Source: Lo Huynh (2 servings)

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon sweet cream butter
1 tablespoon robust garlic extra virgin olive oil
1 each yellow potato or red potato, diced into 1/2″ cubes
2 sprigs fresh thyme
¼ each red onion, julienned {thinly sliced}
½ each red bell pepper, diced into 1″ cubes
1 piece braised short rib , about 6 inches long, diced into 1/2″ cubes
6 tablespoons braised liquid from the short ribs
1 tablespoon parsley, finely minced

Poached Eggs:
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

Directions
1. In a frying pain, heat up the robust garlic extra virgin olive oil with the sweet cream butter. Once the pan is hot, add the diced potatoes and the sprigs of thyme. Saute the potatoes until it is lightly golden brown and tender on the inside. This should take about 10 to 15 minutes.
2. Add the red onions and red bell pepper and saute for a couple more minutes. Remove the sprigs of thyme and set it aside for garnish.
3. Add the diced braised short ribs and saute for a couple of minutes.
4. Add in the braising liquid from the short ribs to the pan and cook until everything is heated thoroughly. If you don’t have the braising liquid from the short ribs, you can just use chicken broth.
5. Stir in 1/2 tablespoon of the minced parsley. Turn off the heat.
6. On a plate, lay your short rib and hash and then top it off with a poached egg. Garnish with the sprig of thyme and the rest of the minced parsley. Serve with French bread.

Poached Eggs:
1. In a saucepan, fill with water. Add 1 tablespoon of distilled white vinegar, and bring to an almost boil.
2. Add one egg to the saucepan at at time and using a spoon, nudge the white parts of the egg towards the yolk.
3. Cook for a couple of minutes or until the whites are fully cooked but the yolk is still runny.
4. Use a slotted spoon to remove the poached egg from the saucepan.
5. Serve with the short ribs and hash.

I swear, I just love dipping my French bread into the yolk!

GARLIC ROASTED ASPARAGUS AND BABY OYSTER MUSHROOMS

This is such a simple yet fantastic side dish to make. Serve this with some awesome braised short ribs or a nice steak! This would also make a wonderful side dish to serve for the holidays.

Garlic Roasted Asparagus and Baby Oyster Mushrooms

Source: Lo Huynh (4 servings)

Ingredients:
½ pound asparagus, trim off bottom ends
3.5 ounces baby oyster mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
tt sea salt
tt fresh ground black pepper

1 tablespoon sweet cream butter

Directions:
1. Put all the ingredients together in an oven safe pan and gently toss together. Place the 1 tablespoon of sweet cream butter on top of the mixed ingredients.
2. Roast in an oven at 400 degrees Farenheit for about 8 to 10 minutes or until the asparagus is tender and lightly brown.