Thursday, October 28, 2010

Chinese Fried Noodles

Just made this, and it turned out well!

16oz. package of Chinese noodles
1 lb. beef, cut into thin strips
4 Tbsp. sesame oil, divided
1-2 tsp. ginger, minced
2 carrots, julienned
4 green onions, chopped
1 can water chestnuts, drained
1 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
2 c. broccoli, cut into florets
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. oyster sauce (keep it handy in case you need more!)
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. Hoisin sauce
1/2 tsp. sugar
black pepper, to taste (aka: a lot)

2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. rice wine 
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. white pepper 

Bring a pot of water to boil. Boil the noodles. Stop cooking the noodles when there is still a good chew. Drain. Rinse with cold water. Drain again. Set aside.

Noodles with sauce
While the noodles are cooking, combine all ingredients for the marinade in a bowl. Add the sliced beef to the bowl. Stir to coat. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.

When the meat is ready, heat a Tbsp of sesame oil in a skillet over high heat. Add the ginger, cook for a minute or two. Add the meat and stir fry until it's almost cooked through. Remove to a bowl and set aside.

In the same skillet, heat another Tbsp of sesame oil over high heat and add all the veggies and garlic. Season with black pepper. Stir fry until the vegetables are cooked, but not mushy. They should still be a bit crunchy. At this point, add the meat and finish cooking with the vegetables. Set aside in a bowl.

Heat 2 Tbsp oil in the cleared skillet over medium high heat. Add the noodles. Toss them around in the oil until well coated, breaking up any clumps. If it's too clumpy, add more oil. Pan fry the noodles, stirring and flipping them frequently until some noodles get a golden exterior. Season the noodles with the oyster sauce, soy sauce, Hoisin sauce, and sugar. Toss the noodles and make sure everything is coated with the sauce. Add some pepper. Feel free to add more oyster or Hoisin sauce. Add the vegetables and meat to the noodles. Toss until everything is evenly distributed. Serve hot.

Here's a link to the recipe I adapted:

Monday, October 25, 2010

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

Peanut butter mixture
1 c. creamy peanut butter, divided
4 1/2 tsp. butter, softened
1/2 c. confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
4 milk chocolate candy bars (1.55 oz. each), coarsely chopped (I used 2 regular sized Cadbury bars)

In a small bowl, combine 1/2 c. peanut butter, butter, confectioners sugar, and salt until smooth. Set aside.

In a pot over low heat, melt the chocolate chips, candy bars, and remaining peanut butter; stir continually until smooth.

Finished product. Mmmmmm!
Drop teaspoonfuls of chocolate mixture into paper-lined miniature muffin cups (I put Crisco in the cups since I didn't have paper liners). Top each with a scant teaspoonful of peanut butter mixture; top with another teaspoonful of chocolate mixture. Refrigerate until set. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 2-3 dozen, depending on how big you make the butter cups. =)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pasta Puttanesca

Also known as "whore's pasta," the name of this robust pasta dish originated in Naples after the local women of easy virtue.
I love this recipe!

3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
dash or two of red pepper flakes
2 tsp. capers, rinsed and drained
12-16 pitted black olives, quartered
14 oz. diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp sea salt
ground pepper (lots!)
1 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
oregano, basil, dill, coriander, thyme to taste
cooked spaghetti or other pasta
Parmesan for the top (optional)

Heat 2 Tbsp of the oil in a frying pan over medium heat and cook the onion for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes, capers, olives, tomatoes, salt, pepper, cilantro, and other seasonings, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low, simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta. Drain the cooked pasta into a colander and put the sauce in the bottom of the pot. Top with the hot pasta and reserved Tbsp of olive oil, and toss together gently to combine.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 c. soft butter
1 c. sugar
1 c. light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. pumpkin
3 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. allspice
2 c. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 F. Mix all the ingredients except the chocolate chips. When well mixed, add in the chips and stir. Drop by spoonfuls on baking sheets. Bake 12-15 minutes.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Grandma Johnson's Lemon Scones

I don't remember where I got this recipe, but it's my favorite scone recipe.

1 c. sour cream
Before going into the oven
1 tsp. baking soda
4 c. flour
1 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. salt
1 c. butter
1 egg
1-2 Tbsp. lemon zest

Fresh out of the oven
Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets. In a small bowl, stir together sour cream and baking soda. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cream of tartar, and salt. Cut in butter with a knife or a pastry blender (I also hear grating very cold butter works great). Combine egg with sour cream mixture. Add the lemon zest into the flour mixture. Stir the sour cream mixture into flour mixture until moistened. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead briefly. Roll dough out into a 3/4 in thick round. Cut into 12 wedges and bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. I used a scone pan, and made 15 scones with this recipe.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pumpkin Muffins

2 c. sugar
1/2 c. vegetable oil
2 c. pumpkin
2 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. cloves
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c. walnuts, chopped (optional)
1/2 c. raisins (optional)

Pumpkin muffins
Preheat oven to 350 F. Beat together sugar, oil, and pumpkin together in a large bowl. In another bowl, sift together flour, cloves, baking soda, cinnamon, salt. Combine flour mixture with pumpkin mixture until all the flour and spices are evenly mixed in. Prepare muffin pans with liners. Fill cups 1/2 full with batter. Bake for 18-23 minutes. Inserted toothpick should come out clean when done.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Korean Burgers

1 lb. ground beef
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 Tbsp. milk
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
pepper to taste
1 Tbsp and 1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c. onion, chopped
1 slice white bread, finely cubed (or saltines)

Mix all ingredients together well. Press 1/2 c. portions into patties and grill or fry. Serve on buns with whatever you like to put on hamburgers (cheese and mustard is what I prefer).

Recipe courtesy of Trudy Lund

Mediterranean Soup with Mozzarella

2 c. eggplant, chopped
Halved eggplant
Cooking spray
olive oil
1 c. yellow onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 c. zucchini, sliced
cilantro, chopped 
2 medium bell peppers, chopped
1/2 Tbsp. dried basil
dill, thyme, coriander, red pepper flakes, and oregano (sorry, I don't measure!)
1 can diced tomatoes with Italian herbs
3 1/2 c. water
1 can white beans, rinsed and drained
2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp salt
mozzarella, shredded

Preheat oven to 400 F. Place eggplant on baking sheet lined with foil and spray with cooking spray. Roast 10-12 minutes, stirring once to cook evenly.

Soup simmering
While eggplant cooks, put olive oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic. Saute for 4 minutes or until onions are translucent, stirring frequently. Add zucchini, bell peppers, cilantro, basil, and other spices. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add roasted eggplant, tomatoes, and water. Stir to blend. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Soup with mozzarella
Stir in beans, sugar, and salt (taste test to see if you want to add any more spices too!). Cover and simmer about 3-5 more minutes or until beans are heated through. Remove from heat. Dish up into bowls; garnish with mozzarella.

Yorkshire Pudding

4 eggs
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. milk
1/4 c. vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 450 F (230 C). In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk until well blended. Whisk in the flour one cup at a time until frothy and well blended. Set aside. Distribute the oil equally among 12 muffin cups, a little over a tsp per cup. Place in the oven for 5-10 minutes, until smoking. Remove from the oven and quickly ladle about 1/4 c. of batter into each cup. Bake for 18-25 minutes. Serve immediately (with gravy). You can turn the oven off and leave the door partially open with the yorkies inside to keep them from deflating while waiting for everyone to ask for seconds. Yield: 18 yorkies

Recipe courtesy of Angelina Lee

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Caramel Sticky Rolls

Rolling out the dough
3 1/2-4 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
4 1/2 tsp. regular or quick active dry yeast
1 c. very warm milk
1/4 c. butter, softened
1 large egg
2 Tbsp. butter, softened

Caramel Topping:
Dough with butter spread on
1 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. butter, softened

1/4 c. granulated sugar or packed brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

To make the rolls:
Mix 2 c. of the flour, the sugar, salt, and yeast in large bowl. Add warm milk, 1/4 c. butter, and the egg. Beat with electric mixer on low speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Stir in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle.

Dough with butter and filling
Place dough on lightly floured surface. Knead about 5 minutes or until dough is smooth and springy. Place dough in large bowl greased with shortening, turning dough to grease all sides. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap (or towel) and let rise in warm place about 1 hour 30 minutes or until double. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.

Make Caramel Topping (below). Pour into ungreased rectangular pan, 13 x 9 x 2 in.

Make Filling (below).

Rolled dough
Gently push fist into dough to deflate. Flatten dough with hands or rolling pin into 15 x 10 in rectangle on lightly floured surface. Spread with 2 Tbsp. butter; sprinkle with Filling. Roll rectangle up tightly, beginning at 15 inch side. Pinch edge of dough into roll to seal. Stretch and shape until even. Cut roll into fifteen 1 inch slices with dental floss or a sharp serrated knife. Place slightly apart in pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap (or towel) and let rise in warm place about 30 minutes or until double.

Heat oven to 350 F.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 2 to 3 minutes; immediately turn upside down onto heatproof tray or serving plate. Let stand 1 minute so caramel can drizzle over rolls; remove pan. Serve warm.
Caramel Topping

To make caramel topping:
Heat brown sugar and butter to boil in medium saucepan, stirring constantly; remove from heat.

 To make filling:
Mix all ingredients.

First roll placed in pan

From Betty Crocker's Cookbook