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Please feel free to leave questions, comments, or suggestions in a comment box under the recipe in question. I will be checking every so often, so I will answer any questions that you have. Thanks for checking it out.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Potato Cheese Empanadas

These are a delicious (and healthier) twist on traditional empanadas.

Prepare ahead:

1 recipe pizza dough
3 c. cubed, peeled, baked potato 

Saute together:

8 oz. spinach
½ onion, chopped

Mix potatoes, spinach, onion, and the following together:

½ t. red pepper flakes
¼ t. paprika
½ t. salt
¼ t. pepper
½ t. garlic powder
¾ c. shredded cheese

Divide dough into 8 - 16 small balls. Roll dough into flat circles, fill, and fold over and crimp. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes.




Friday, October 7, 2016

Cuban Picadillo

This recipe is pretty yummy. I was skeptical about the raisins, but they really taste good in the recipe. I make 1/3 of the recipe and omit the cilantro.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Asian Flavor Profile and Cooking Guide

Here's a basic list of dishes you will find in Asian (especially Chinese, Japanese, and Thai) restaurants. I've organized it by flavor to help you find the flavor profile you're looking for, whether you want to order a dish or make it yourself. Enjoy.
Basic flavor combination
May use alone (*DIY possible)
Other seasonings/spices
Recipes *mine, %fried,
#didn’t like
Spicy
*Curry paste, spicy black bean
Chili paste, red pepper flakes, Sichuan peppercorns, white pepper
*Hot and sour soup,*Hunan chicken, kung pao chicken,*Thai curry, %black pepper beef (chicken), %tiny spicy chicken, #Szechuan beef (chicken, shrimp)
Sweet and sour
*Basic sweet and sour, *duck sauce
Apple cider vinegar, lemon, lemongrass, lime, rice vinegar, tamarind
*Dipping sauce, *%sweet and sour chicken (pork, shrimp), #chicken with Imperial sauce
Sweet
Hoisin sauce,
Brown sugar, cooking sake (mirin), honey,
ketchup, sugar    
*Peanut Thai chicken, *Thai pizza, %chicken w/Peking sauce, %honey walnut shrimp, %lemon chicken, %orange chicken, %sesame chicken, #BBQ pork
Savory/salty
*Basic brown sauce, *basic white sauce, black bean sauce, miso, oyster sauce, soy sauce
Broth, fish sauce, garlic, sesame oil
Sweet and spicy
Ginger
Sweet and salty


A couple things to keep in mind:

  1. This list is far from comprehensive. However, it will give you a guide to the most common Chinese, Thai, and Japanese stir fry dishes and soups that you will find in restaurants based on which flavors you are looking for. A few are not even in restaurants, such as Thai pizza, but I think they’re delicious enough to include anyway.
  2. Making your own sauces is a lot cheaper, and they often taste better than the ones from the store.
  3. Amazon is a good source if you can’t find some of these ingredients in your grocery store.
  4. Some sauces (of those that can’t be made at home) are several dollars for a small bottle/jar, but they will last indefinitely in the refrigerator. You won’t use them up quickly because most recipes only require a few tablespoons. The exception is soy sauce, but that can be purchased for $10/gallon.
  5. Further explanation of symbols: *I have my own recipe, so follow the link to find it on my blog. %Fried, so I don’t make it at home. I like the taste of most fried dishes, but I prefer not to make the mess. #Not a favorite. I probably didn’t hate it, but there are other dishes I prefer. Usually it is because I found the sauce too one-dimensional (only spicy or sweet, but nothing else, and I prefer more complex flavors in my Asian foods.)
  6. Please comment with any questions! I know this is a lot of information condensed into a small space. Also, let me know if there are any classic dishes I've missed. I always love to try new ones.

Basic Chinese White Sauce (and Recipe Suggestions)

Pictured: moo goo gai pan
Though white sauce isn't as versatile as brown sauce, it's still a good recipe to have on hand for when you want something lighter in taste. I find that this sauce is often used with seafood, so I don't end up eating it often at restaurants.

Mix everything together in a saucepan and heat to a boil until thickened.

1 c. chicken broth (homemade or 1 1/2 t. powder + 1 c. water)
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. sesame oil
1 T. cornstarch
dash white pepper (Be careful! Don't add too much because it's spicy!)
1 t. minced ginger or 1/4 t. ginger powder
1 t. minced garlic or 1/4 t. garlic powder
1/4 c. cooking wine (I use mirin. If you don't have this, you can add sugar to taste, but it won't be quite the same.)

Recipe suggestions: moo goo gai pan, shrimp with lobster sauce (which has nothing to do with lobsters), any light vegetable or seafood stir fry.

For moo goo gai pan: slice chicken and marinate in 1 t. baking soda for 15 minutes, then rinse before cooking. This will give the tender, velvety texture that you can find in restaurants. Veggies: mushrooms, plus whatever else you want. I used carrots, onion, and celery.

Cook the carrots, celery, and onion for a few minutes, then add the chicken and mushrooms. When they are cooked through, add the white sauce and heat through. Serve over rice.


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Egg Drop Soup

This is one of the easiest soups in the world to make.

Bring to a boil and heat until thickened:

2 c. chicken broth
2 T. cornstarch
dash white pepper

Meanwhile, beat 2 eggs in a small bowl. When the broth is thickened, remove it from the heat and pour in the eggs. Stir 3 times, no more, and cover with a lid for 2 minutes. Serve.

(If you stir the eggs more, they will get mixed into the soup and not make nice threads. I'm still working on making better threads. I used a whisk, but I think a spoon would be better so it doesn't break them up so much.)


Basic Chinese Brown Sauce (and Recipe Suggestions)

I came up with this sauce when I noticed that a lot of my favorite Chinese recipes use a similar sauce. It somewhat resembles the brown sauce known as "stir fry" sauce but isn't as salty.

¼ c. oyster sauce
2 t. rice wine
¼ c. soy sauce
½ c. water
2 t. sugar
1 ½ T. cornstarch
⅛ t. white pepper
⅛ t. ginger powder
1 t. sesame oil
⅛ t. garlic powder

Mix all together and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Use for beef with peppers, beef with snow peas, broccoli beef, cashew chicken, chow mein, garlic beef, lo mein, Mongolian beef, mushroom chicken, or any other Chinese recipe using a dark brown sauce. You will love how easy and versatile this recipe is!

To make the meat extra tender (chicken, pork, or beef), slice thin and marinate in 1 t. baking soda for 15 minutes, then rinse before cooking. This helps make the tender texture that meat has in Chinese restaurants.

General directions for making any stir fry:

1. Cut up and marinate meat in baking soda. Rinse.
2. Heat wok or skillet on high heat. No oil is necessary.
3. Start with longer-cooking veggies like carrots and celery. Stir until about half done.
4. Push veggies to the side and add meat. Cook until mostly done.
5. Add quick-cooking veggies like mushrooms and frozen veggies and cook until done.
6. Add sauce last and stir until thickened.
7. Serve over rice.

I think most of these dishes are self-explanatory on which meats and veggies to use. Customize them however you like.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Best Teriyaki Sauce

http://rasamalaysia.com/beef-teriyaki-recipe/2/

I omitted the cooking sake but did use mirin. (You can find it in the Asian section sometimes in the grocery store.) I have never had a teriyaki recipe better than this one. I tripled the sauce and used it with chicken and lots of veggies. Delicious!