Friday, 27 May 2011

Sweet Chile Cucumber Pickles

Sweet Chile Cucumber Pickles


  • 2 hot house cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 2 fresh hot red chiles, thinly sliced
  • 2 large handfuls fresh mint leaves
  • 2 cups rice vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Combine the cucumbers, chiles, and mint in a mixing bowl. Pour in the vinegar, sprinkle with the sugar, salt, and pepper. Toss everything together so the cucumbers are well coated with the vinegar. Refrigerate overnight if possible; the cucumbers will soften as they marinate and the flavors will deepen.

Mongolian Chicken

Chinese Mongolian Chicken

Mongolian Chicken

2 tsp groundnut/peanut oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
10 oz boneless skinless chicken breasts cut on diagonal
into 1/4"-thick by 2"-long slices
1/2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp freshly-ground chilis
1/2 tsp finely-chopped onion
2 tsp cold water
2 tsp sugar
1 tbl groundnut/peanut oil
1 tbl Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
1/3 cup Family Chicken Broth (see recipe)
1 tsp dark soy sauce
4 x Chinese dried mushrooms soaked in warm
water for 45 minutes, rinsed, water
squeezed out, stems discarded, caps halved
1/2 sm red bell pepper cut 1" triangles
3 x scallions (spring onions), mainly white cut into 2" lengths
1/2 tsp cornstarch mixed with
2 tsp cold water for thickening
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp ground bean sauce (mo si jeung)


Mix the marinade ingredients together and marinate the chicken while you prepare all of the other ingredients for cooking. Mix together the garlic, chilis, and onion. Combine the ground bean sauce, water, and sugar.

Heat a wok, add the groundnut oil, and swirl the surface with oil. Stir-fry the garlic mixture for 5 seconds. Add the ground bean sauce mixture and stir-fry for 5 seconds. Add the rice wine and combine. Pour in the broth; then the dark soy sauce and stir to combine. Add the chicken, mushrooms, bell peppers, and scallions. Stir-fry over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Then, reduce the heat a little, and stir in the thickening mixture for a few seconds.

Finally, add the sesame oil, which will impart a beautiful fragrance and richness to the dish.

Serve hot.

Orange Chicken-2

Orange Chicken
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 tablespoon dry sherry
1/2 tablespoon 
cornstarch (corn flour)

1/3 cup orange juice*
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon chile paste

1 clove garlic, minced
1 slice 
ginger, minced

Oil for stir-frying
Directions: Place the cubed chicken in a bowl, and add the marinade ingredients. Marinate the chicken for 30 minutes.

While the chicken is marinating, prepare the sauce ingredients and the garlic and

Heat the wok and add oil.  When oil is ready, add the garlic and 
ginger and stir-fry until aromatic.

Add the chicken and stir-fry until it changes color.  Push up to the sides of the wok, making a well in the middle. Add the sauce.

Combine the sauce and the chicken. Stir-fry for another minute and serve hot.

*If you find the orange flavor too overpowering, try substituting a combination of
orange juice and water to make 1/3 cup. 

General Tso's Chicken Recipe

General Tso's Chicken Recipe

1 lb chicken thighs, boned and cubed 
3 eggs, beaten 
1/2 cup and 2 tsp cornstarch 
5 dried pepper pods 
1-1/2 tbsp rice vinegar 
2 tbsp rice wine 
3 tbsp sugar 
3 tbsp soy sauce 

In a large bowl, thoroughly blend the 1/2 cup of cornstarch and the eggs; add the chicken and toss to coat. 
If the mixture bonds too well, add some vegetable oil to separate the pieces.

In a small bowl, prepare the sauce mixture by combining the 2 tsp cornstarch with the wine, vinegar, sugar and soy sauce. 

First-Stage Frying: Heat 1-2 inches of peanut oil in a wok to medium-high heat (350-400o). 
Fry the chicken in small batches, just long enough to cook the chicken through. 
Remove the chicken to absorbent paper and allow to stand 
(this step can be performed well in advance, along with the sauce mixture, with both refrigerated). 

Second-Stage Frying: Leave a tablespoon or two of the oil in the wok. 
Add the pepper pods to the oil and stir-fry briefly, awakening the aroma but not burning them. 
Return the chicken to the wok and stir-fry until the pieces are crispy brown. 

The General's Favorite Sauce: Add the sauce-mixture to the wok, tossing over the heat until the sauce caramelizes 
into a glaze (1-2 minutes). Serve immediately. 
Serves 4, along with steamed broccoli and rice.

Variations and Substitutions 

Sherry substitutes well for the rice wine, but avoid "cooking sherry" if you can. 
Sugar in the sauce ranges from as little as a few teaspoons to a full half-cup in some recipes. 
Soy sauce, too, varies dramatically, rising as high as double that listed above. 
Nearly any sort of vinegar can be used. In some recipes, a tablespoon of soy sauce is added to the egg-and-cornstarch blend. 
In others, the chicken itself is marinated before being used, in either soy, wine, vinegar, or some combination of those.

Many recipes include a much lighter egg-and-cornstarch coating for the chicken (about 2 tbsp of starch and two eggs). 
I prefer the heavier coating; adjust to taste.

Optional Sauce Ingredients: 
A grind of fresh black pepper, a teaspoon of sesame oil, a teaspoon of MSG, a clove or two of garlic, a couple of 
fresh chopped scallions or green onions, 1-2 teaspoons of Chinese chili sauce, fresh ginger, a teaspoon of hoisin sauce, 
the minced rind of an orange, and many other items may be added to the sauce. 
Any vegetal additions should be added to the oil along with the chicken (the ginger can burn easily - add it last).
 Light Tso Sauce: 
The traditional sauce for General Tso's is a heavy, spicy glaze, different from the lighter broth-based sauces found on most 
other Chinese dishes. Some prefer a lighter Tso sauce, too, and this can be achieved by tripling the cornstarch in the sauce 
and adding a half-cup of fluid. The "fluid" can be chicken broth, water, or even fruit juice (both orange and pineapple have 
been used). Cook the sauce only 'til it thickens, instead of waiting for a glaze. 
This version of the sauce is actually more common in the local restaurants; if you're a Tso fan, it might be what you're used to.


General Zou Zong-Tang was a general of the Qing (Manchu) Dynasty of China, responsible for supressing Muslim uprisings. 
His name was used to frighten Muslim children for centuries after his death. 
It is questionable whether or not the General (or his quartermaster) 
actually invented General Tso's Chicken . . . it seems more likely to have been the invention of Taiwanese immigrants to 
the United States and Europe, and then (according to some folks who've done some poking into that side of the history) 
popularized at a New York restaurant in the 1970s. Alternate spellings include General Cho, General Zo, General Zhou, 
General Jo, and General Tzo. It's pronounced "Djo," with the tongue hard against teeth.

Broccoli Beef Stir-Fry

Broccoli Beef Stir-Fry

Yield: 4 servings  

1/2 pound boneless tender beef steak 
1 tablespoon cornstarch 
4 tablespoons Kikkoman Soy Sauce, divided 
1 teaspoon sugar 
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root 
1 clove garlic, minced 
1 pound fresh broccoli 
4 teaspoons cornstarch 
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided 
1 onion, chunked 
   Hot cooked rice  

Cut beef across grain into thin slices. Combine 1 Tbsp. each cornstarch and 
soy sauce with sugar, ginger and garlic; stir in beef. Let stand 15 minutes. 
Meanwhile, remove flowerets from broccoli; cut in half lengthwise. Peel stalks; 
cut crosswise into 1/8-inch slices. 
Combine 4 teaspoons cornstarch and remaining 3 Tbsp. soy sauce with 
1-1/4 cups water. 
Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in large skillet or wok over high heat. Add meat and stir-fry 
1 minute; remove from pan. 
Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in same pan. Add broccoli and onion; stir-fry 4 minutes, 
or until vegetables are tender-crisp. Stir in meat and soy sauce mixture; 
bring to boil. Cook and stir only until sauce thickens. 
Serve immediately over rice. 

Salmon Panang Curry

Salmon Panang Curry

2 tbsp panang curry paste
1 ¼ cups coconut milk
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp soy sauce
Red bell pepper, kaffir lime leaves shredded (garnish)

Place a pan over medium high heat, and add ¼ cup of the coconut milk, add the curry paste, and stir it until the oil begins to separate out. Add the remaining coconut milk and the salmon. Let it cook for a while then add sugar, soy sauce. Remove from the heat and garnish with red bell pepper, lime leaves. Serve with rice. (1 serving)

Panang Curry Paste

Panang Curry Paste

5 dried red chilies (toasted)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large shallot
4 large cloves garlic
1 tablespoon galangal (or ginger)
2 stalks lemongrass (peeled, lower 2 inches)
1 tablespoon kaffir lime zest (or lime)
1 tablespoon cilantro root
1 teaspoon white peppercorns (toasted and ground)
2 teaspoons coriander seeds (toasted and ground)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds (toasted and ground)
2 tablespoons roasted peanuts (toasted and ground)
1 tablespoon shrimp paste

1. Mash everything with a mortar and pestle or puree everything in a food processor.

Apricot Chicken Recipe and Red Curry Paste

Apricot Chicken Curry
4 apricots (stoned and peeled)
1 tablespoon apricot preserves
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1/2 lime (juice and zest)
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon red curry paste
1 pound chicken breast (cut into bit sized pieces)
6 apricots (stoned and peeled and cut into bite sized pieces)
1/4 cup cilantro (chopped)
1 red chili (sliced)

1. Puree the apricots, apricot preserves, fish sauce, lime juice and zest in a food processor.
2. Heat the oil in a pan.
3. Add the red curry paste and saute for a minute.
4. Add the chicken and the apricot sauce and simmer until the chicken is cooked, about 6-10 minutes.
5. Add the apricots and simmer for a minute.
6. Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro.
7. Serve on coconut jasmine rice and garnish with sliced red chilies.

Red Curry Paste

adapted from The Big Book of Thai Curries by Vatcharin Bhumichitr

10 dried red chilies (toasted)
1 kaffir lime (or lime, juice and zest)
4 tablespoons shallots (chopped)
3 tablespoons garlic (chopped)
2 tablespoons galangal (or ginger, chopped)
2 tablespoons lemongrass (peeled, lower 2 inches)
1 tablespoon cilantro root
1 teaspoon white peppercorns (toasted and ground)
2 teaspoons coriander seeds (toasted and ground)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds (toasted and ground)
1 tablespoon shrimp paste

1. Soak the dried red chilies in the lime juice for 30 minutes.
2. Mash everything with a mortar and pestle or puree everything in a food processor.

Red Curry Paste Ingredients

Baked Orange Chicken

orange chicken recipe
This Orange Chicken Recipe is the quick baked version. The flavors of curry, honey, orange juice, soy sauce and vinegar make a wonderful tangy sauce.Towards the end of cooking this dish, you will be adding a corn starch/water mixture. This will thicken the orange chicken sauce so that it is more like a glaze.

Oh, and by the way it's important to mix the corn starch into cool tap water in order for it to mix properly. If the water is warm then the corn starch will clump up and make a mess.
This recipe calls for using chicken breast but you can use thighs if you prefer. The photo above shows this meal made with chicken thighs because that is what I had in the freezer that day.

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 30 min
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (6 to 8 ounces each)
  • Salt and ground black pepper 
  • 1/2 cup orange juice 
  • 1/4 cup honey 
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar 
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce 
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder 
  • 1 teaspoon Hot pepper sauce 
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch 
  • 1 tablespoon cool water 
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds 
  1. Adjust an oven rack to the upper position and heat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper.
  3. Lay the chicken in a 9 by 13-inch baking dish coated lightly with cooking spray.
  4. Mix the Orange Juice, Honey, Vinegar, Soy Sauce, Curry Powder, and Hot Sauce together in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
  5. Simmer, stirring often, until the mixture has thickened, about 8 minutes.
  6. Quickly stir the cornstarch in the cool water until it dissolves, then stir into the orange mixture while still over the heat. The sauce will thicken quickly.
  7. Pour the orange mixture over the chicken breasts.
  8. Sprinkle the Sliced Almonds over the chicken.
  9. Bake until the chicken registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 20 to 30 minutes.

Garlic Fried Chicken Recipe

* 2 teaspoons garlic powder, or to taste
* 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon paprika
* 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup milk
* 1 egg
* 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - pounded thin
* 1 cup oil for frying, or as needed

1. In a shallow dish, mix together the garlic powder, pepper, salt, paprika, bread crumbs and flour. In a separate dish, whisk together the milk and egg.
2. Heat the oil in an electric skillet set to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Dip the chicken into the egg and milk, then dredge in the dry ingredients until evenly coated.
3. Fry chicken in the hot oil for about 5 minutes per side, or until the chicken is cooked through and juices run clear. Remove from the oil with a slotted spatula, and serve.

Chicken Tamale Recipe

1 1/2 Pound Shredded Chicken Breast
5 1/2 Cups Corn Masa Harina Flour [Tamale Mix]
5 1/2 Cups Vegetable Broth Or Chicken Broth
1 Cup Pure Corn Oil
2 Cans Tomatillo Sauce
1 Large Onion, Finely Chopped
1 Package Corn Husks
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
3/4 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Tablespoon Fresh Pepper

Chicken Tamale Information:

Serving Size 6
335 Calories Per Serving
11 Grams Of Fat

Cooking Directions:
First thing is marinate the Shredded chicken in the tomatillo sauce while you prepare the rest. Simmer the Corn husks until they are soft. Add the corn oil, tamale mix, salt, broth and baking powder into a mixing bowl. Now pour the tamale mix over the soft husks. Add a spoon full of the shredded marinated chicken on top. Fold so the husk seem is down while cooking. If you steam with seem up the husk will open. Now steam chicken tamales for 40-50 minutes. When done remove the husk. Serve Hot

Pork Tamale

Tamales de Carne de Cerdo - Pork Tamales
1-1/2 pounds pork in chunks
2 whole peeled garlic cloves
1 Tablespoon vinegar
Water to cover meat
3 cups ground fresh corn (may substitute frozen)
2-1/2 cups masa harina
3/4 cups lard, butter or shortening
2-1/2 cups chicken broth
Dash or two Bijol powder for color
5 cloves garlic. minced
Olive oil for frying
1 large onion, chopped fine
1 green pepper, chopped fine
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 ounces tomato paste (1/2 can)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup red or white wine
Juice of 1 large lemon
Corn husks (soak the dried husks in water before using)
For meat you need pork with plenty of fat - either well marbled or with a fat layer or both. We had luck with de-boned country style pork ribs. Or have the butcher something to order.
Whichever meat you use, cut it into smaller pieces - no more than two inches thick or three inches long. Add a little salt with a shaker and place in a large sauce pan. Add water to just barely cover the meat.
Add two peeled garlic cloves and one tablespoon vinegar. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered until all of the water has boiled away. Fry the pork pieces in rendered fat just until brown, but NOT crispy! The meat should be tender and stringy. Remove the meat. Trim off any excess fat (there shouldn't be any) and with a knife or meat hammer, break up the meat in smaller pieces.
Slice the corn kernels off the cob (or use frozen corn). Quickly grind the corn in food processor with your choice of fat (lard, butter or shortening) until you get a very coarse mixture with visible corn
kernels. Don't over process! Remove from the processor and blend in 2-1/2 cups warm chicken broth and two cups masa harina to the ground corn. Add a dash of Bijol powder (*) to give it a nice yellow color.
Fry the onion and green pepper in olive oil at medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft. Add garlic and continue to fry for two to three minutes. Do not drain off excess oil! Mix tomato paste in 1/2 cup warm water and add it and the wine to the vegetables. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
Place the pork, vegetables and the ground corn/masa harina mizture in a large cooking pot. Add lemon juice to the mixture and blend. Add salt and pepper and stir. Cook the mixture on low heat, stirring frequently (don't let it burn!) until it thickens - about 20 minutes. Add more masa or more broth as necessary to make a stiff paste. Taste and add salt if needed. Remove from heat and let cool.
To make the tamales:
Take two husks and overlap them (**) flat on the table. Put some of the corn mixture in the center of the cornhusks. Fold the cornhosks, first over the filling the short way, and then folding up the long way from the ends. Tie with a string.
Tamales are best cooked in a large pot with about two inches of water in the bottom. (If you have the little insert that keeps the food off the bottom, great!). Add the tamales, standing them on end and cover the pot. Bring water to boil. Reduce heat and simmer/steam about 90 minutes to two hours.
(*)Bijol is a condiment that is found in most Hispanic or Latino markets. Comes in small cans with a bright yellow-orange label and red lettering. Bijol is made from annatto seeds, corn flour, cumin and
food coloring.
(**)To overlap the corn husks, place the two tapered ends flat, opposite each other with the wider end of the husks overlapping to form a double 'sheet' just in the center - fold the sides in over the
filling first and then bring the ends down to make your little packages. Use cotton string intended for kitchen use.


PortobelloPortobello recipe
Portobello mushrooms are a species of champignons. This mushroom tastes real nice and can become a great substitute for meat during Lent. You can make soups with it, cook over a grill and even make barbecue after marinating for just 15 minutes. I was making two kinds of dish from it – no-fast and Lenten

4 Portobello caps
100 gram lentils
1 carrot
150 gram celery root
2 onions
a few cauliflower buds
salt, pepper, nutmeg
a bit of vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves
For a no-fast dish
100 gram sheep cheese
50 gram cheese
1. It’s best to clean Portobello mushrooms (just like any other kinds of champignons) by wiping off with wet paper towel, without soaking in water, as otherwise they will give away too much liquid when you cook them.
Scrape out the gills from the inside of the cap. The stems of Portobello mushrooms are too fibrous, so it’s best to use them in other recipes, as well as to make a sauce or grind them.
stuffed Portobellomushrooms
2. Brown finely chopped onion with a bit of oil, adding finely cut carrots, celery, cauliflower and mushroom stems.
Stew everything together for 10-12 minutes. Put rinsed lentils in salted boiling water and cook until ready. Drain off water and add lentils to the vegetables.
Add finely chopped garlic, pepper and ground nutmeg.
3. You can add grated sheep cheese at this point if you are going for the no-fast variant.

4. Sprinkle some salt and pepper over the mushroom caps and fill with stuffing. Lay the baking tray with baking paper or silicone pad.
You can brush the baking paper with some oil for the caps not to stick to it. Place the stuffed caps on the baking tray and place into the oven preheated to 200 degrees.

Lenten dish
Bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle your stuffed mushrooms with grated cheese and bake for another 2-3 minutes. It’s all ready now!
You can serve with lettuce or, even better, roquette. Its pleasant nutty touch will make the dish more piquant.


Peppers Stuffed with Feta (Piperies Gemistes me Feta)


This meze is made in Macedonia with sweet Florina peppers, though Fresno or Anaheim chiles (the former being hotter than the latter) can be substituted.

10  3"–4" Fresno chiles or six 4"–5" 
   Anaheim chiles 
9 oz. feta, crumbled
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. Greek yogurt
1 tbsp. minced fresh parsley
1⁄2 tsp. lemon zest
1⁄4 tsp. dried oregano
2 egg yolks
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, 
   to taste
1⁄4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Arrange a rack 6" from the broiler element and set oven to broil. Put peppers on a baking sheet and broil, turning once, until just soft, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a rack; let cool. 

2. In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to whip feta, oil, yogurt, parsley, zest, oregano, and egg yolks; season with salt and pepper. Make a lengthwise cut from the stem to the tip of each pepper; scoop out seeds and ribs. Stuff each pepper with some of the feta filling; transfer to an aluminum foil--–lined baking sheet; chill for 30 minutes. Sprinkle peppers with grated cheese; broil peppers until cheese is golden brown and bubbly, about 6 minutes. Transfer peppers to a platter and serve hot.  

Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Glaze







  • Combine milk and butter in glass measuring cup. Microwave on high until butter melts and mixture is just warmed to 120°F to 130°F, 30 to 45 seconds. Pour into bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add 1 cup flour, sugar, egg, yeast, and salt. Beat on low speed 3 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl. Add 2 1/2 cups flour. Beat on low until flour is absorbed and dough is sticky, scraping down sides of bowl. If dough is very sticky, add more flour by tablespoonfuls until dough begins to form ball and pulls away from sides of bowl. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if sticky, about 8 minutes. Form into ball.
  • Lightly oil large bowl with nonstick spray. Transfer dough to bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.


  • Mix brown sugar and cinnamon in medium bowl.
  • Punch down dough. Transfer to floured work surface. Roll out to 15x11-inch rectangle. Spread butter over dough, leaving 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar evenly over butter. Starting at 1 long side, roll dough into log, pinching gently to keep it rolled up. With seam side down, cut dough crosswise with thin sharp knife into 18 equal slices (each about 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide).
  • Spray two 9-inch square glass baking dishes with nonstick spray. Divide rolls between baking dishes, arranging cut side up (there will be almost no space between rolls). Cover baking dishes with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until almost doubled in volume, 40 to 45 minutes.
  • Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Bake rolls until tops are golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and invert immediately onto rack. Cool 10 minutes. Turn rolls right side up.


  • Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat until smooth. Spread glaze on rolls. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Paletas de Coco – Mexican Coconut Popsicles

Mexican popsicle coconut coco mango pinaForkFingersChopsticks

Makes about 8  (3 oz.) popsicles
1 (14 oz. can) unsweetened coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup agave or honey
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup water or milk*
3/4 cup shredded coconut
1 cup mango, diced in ½ inch cubes
In a small sauce pan, bring the coconut milk, vanilla, agave, cream and water to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and chill in the refrigerator until the mixture is no longer hot (about 15 minutes). Add the shredded coconut and mango. Stir and pour into popsicle molds, distributing the chunks of fruit evenly. Freeze until solid (about 3-4 hours).  Remove from popsicle mold and enjoy.
*Use more water/milk to thin/dilute and make less creamy popsicles.
Milk/Cream:  sweetened condensed milk, milk, SO Delicious coconut milk (low cal/low fat)
Fruit:  mango, pineapple, strawberry, guava