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.

LO BA {TAIWANESE NOODLES WITH MINCED PORK}

We had eaten out at some Taiwanese restaurant yesterday and had some leftover leek and pork dumplings along with some oyster omelette so I decided to cook up some Taiwanese Noodles with Minced Pork to go along with our leftovers. I hope you enjoy my version of this dish!

1/2 lb. ground pork
2 T. red onions, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. fresh ginger, minced
2 T. soy sauce
3 T. Chinese rice wine
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. Chinese 5-spice
1 tsp. sesame oil
2 T. oyster sauce
1/2 cup white mushrooms, finely diced
1 cup chicken broth

Directions:
1. Combine ground pork, onions, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, Chinese rice wine, sugar, Chinese 5-spice, sesame oil, and oyster sauce in a bowl.
2. Add 1 T. oil in a sauce pan.
3. Once the oil is hot, add the pork mixture and saute until fully cooked.
4. Add in the white mushrooms and cook for a couple of minutes.
5. Add the chicken broth to the pan and simmer for about 30 minutes.
6. Serve with freshly cooked noodles and top with some chopped scallions and a hard boiled egg.

FILET MIGNON WITH A SOY GINGER GLAZE

When I want to impress my guests, I’ll cook up some filet mignon. Why? Cause filet mignon sounds classy. i like to serve this steak recipe with some sweet potato fries cause my husband just adores sweet potato fries…and what he wants, he sometimes gets.

Filet Mignon with a Soy Ginger Glaze

* 4 servings

Steaks:
4 6 ounches filet mignon steaks
sea salt
fresh cracked pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon parsley, rough choppd

Glaze:
½ cup sugar
1 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 inch fresh ginger
5 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 cup mushrooms, sliced

Glaze Directions:
1. Combine the glaze ingredients and simmer until the sugar has dissolved. Cook the sauce until there is a slight reduction, about five minutes, and it slightly coats the back of a spoon. Remove the ginger and garlic.

Steak Directions:
1. Season both sides of the filet mignon with the sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper.
2. In a cast iron, heat the olive oil until almost smoking and then sear both sides of the steak until there is a nice golden brown crust.
3. Place the steaks on a baking sheet, top each piece with chopped parsley and a pat of butter.
4. Transfer the steaks to the oven and bake at 425 degrees for about eight minutes, or until the doneness that you desire.
5. In a pan, saute the mushrooms with the butter. Add on top of steak.
6. Drizzle the steaks with the soy ginger glaze.
7. Serve with some sweet potato fries.

THAI CURRY CHICKEN

This is definitely my most favorite Thai curry chicken recipe. It’s simple to make but tastes pretty amazing!

* makes 4 servings

Ingredients:
13.5 ounces coconut milk
1 teaspoon red curry paste
1 each chicken breast, sliced into bite-sized pieces
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 each whole kaffir leaves
2 cups sliced bamboo shoots
¼ cup sweet green peas
½ cup fresh thai basil

Directions:
1. Combine 1/2 cup of coconut milk with the red curry paste and stir until fragrant.
2. Once the coconut milk begins to boil, stir in chicken and cook until done.
3. Add the rest of the coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar, and kaffir leaves.
4. Bring mixture to a boil and add bamboo shoots.
5. Cook for fifteen minutes and then add sweet green peas and fresh basil.
6. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.

VIETNAMESE CHICKEN RAGU

My mom makes this kick a$$ chicken ragu. This is my version of it.

* 4 servings

3 lbs chicken thighs
2 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons shallot, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Korean chili paste
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 11.8 fl. oz. can coconut juice, strain out coconut pulp
1 each star anise, untoasted
1 each carrot, diced in 1/2 inch cubes
1 15 oz. can sweet peas, rinsed and drained
1 8 oz. can button mushrooms, rinsed and drained

Directions:
1.Marinate chicken thighs with fish sauce, sugar, soy sauce, kosher salt, shallots, garlic, and Korean chili paste for at least one hour.
2.Add 2 T. oil to a pot and sear chicken thigh pieces. Set aside marinade.
3.Add the rest of the marinade to the seared chicken pieces and cook until the marinade boils.
4.Add tomato paste and cook for a minute.
5.Add coconut juice and star anise. Bring to a boil.
6.Simmer for 45 minutes.
7.Add carrots, button mushrooms, and sweet peas and cook for another 30 minutes.
8.Adjust seasonings if necessary.
9.Serve with French bread.

BO LUC LAC {VIETNAMESE SHAKING BEEF} WITH RED RICE AND WATERCRESS SALAD

My cousin Pete requested that I cook up some Bo Luc Lac, also known as “Shaking Beef.” So this one is for you cousin!

* Serves 4

Beef:
1 lb. filet mignon, cut into 1” cubes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. sugar
2 T. oyster sauce
1 T. fish sauce
1 T. soy sauce
1 T. sesame oil
1 T. fresh cracked black pepper
1 T. butter

Vinaigrette:
¼ c rice vinegar
1 T. sugar
½ T. sea salt
1/2 T. soy sauce
2 T. salad oil

Dipping Sauce:
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper

Salad:
½ red onion, julienned
1 tomato, quartered into 8 pieces
2 cups watercress

Directions:
1. Marinate the beef with the garlic, sugar, oyster sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil, cracked black pepper, and soy sauce for at least one hour.
2. In a pan over high heat, add 2 T. cooking oil, add the beef in an even single layer and sear before turning the beef and then searing the other side. Add the butter to this when the meat is almost done cooking. Do this in batches!
3. Serve seared meat with the salad with the dipping sauce and vinaigrette on the side.

Com Do Ca Chua [Vietnamese Red Rice]

2 cups cooked, day-old jasmine rice
2 medium shallots, minced
2 T. tomato paste
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 T. Maggi seasoning
1 tsp. sugar
tt salt and pepper

Directions:
1. In a sauté pan over high heat, add 2 T. oil and the minced garlic and shallots.
2. Stir in the rice.
3. Add in the tomato paste, the Maggi seasoning, and sugar.
4. Mix thoroughly and serve with the bo luc lac.

LO’S BOEUF BOURGUIGNON

For our one year wedding anniversary, I decided to cook up my husband’s favorite dish, beef stew…although he tells me every dish I make is his FAVORITE dish…I obviously married the perfect guy! So I made some Boeuf Bourguignon with an Asian twist by adding some star anise and cinnamon. I hope you enjoy my version!

* Serves 6.

1 T. vegetable oil
8 oz. thick sliced bacon, diced
2.5 lbs. beef chuck , cut into 1-inch cubes
sea salt
fresh cracked black pepper
1 lb. carrots, sliced diagonally into 1-inch chunks
½ red onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups red wine
1 14.5 oz beef broth
1 T. tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 lemongrass stalk
1 cinnamon stick
3 star anise
2 T. unsalted butter
2 T. all-purpose flour

1 lb. mushrooms, sautéed in oil and butter [1 T. butter, 1 T. oil]

Directions:

1. Heat oil in pot. Add bacon and cook until bacon is crispy. Set aside.
2. Season beef cubes with salt and pepper. Sear beef in oil and bacon fat until nicely browned on all sides. Set aside.
3. Add carrots, minced onion, minced garlic, lemongrass, cinnamon, and star anises. Cook until fragrant, about one minute.
4. Add tomato paste and cook for about one minute.
5. Stir in the wine and bring to a boil.
6. Add meat back to the pot along with the bay leaf, beef broth and enough water to cover the meat.
7. Bring to a boil, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid, and cook for about 1 ½ to 2 hours, basically until the meat and vegetables are tender when pierced with a fork.
8. While the meat is cooking, prepare the buttered mushrooms by heating 1 T. butter and 1 T. oil in a pan. Add mushrooms and sauté until lightly brown.
9. Combine 2 T. flour with 2 T. of butter and stir into the stew. Add the mushrooms to the stew. Bring the stew to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Season to taste.
10. Serve with French bread.
11. Garnish with cilantro.