Archive for the ‘meat’ Category

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mapo tofu (麻婆豆腐)

March 25, 2019

Quest for the perfect mapo tofu!

VERSION 1 – a sweet, Americanized version by Shirley Cheng for epicurious

•1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
•1 1/2 pounds soft (not silken) tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
•2 tablespoons Chinese hot bean paste (also called chili bean sauce)
•1 tablespoon Chinese black-bean paste or sauce
•4 tablespoons oyster sauce (note: this is too much, and will make your dish very, very sweet)
•2 tablespoons Asian chili powder (note: this is clearly too much for most westerners; add a little at first and more to taste)
•1 tablespoon cornstarch
•1/4 cup peanut oil (I mixed in some hot chili oil from dan dan noodles)
•4 ounces ground beef
•1 (1/4-inch) piece fresh ginger, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
•2 cloves garlic, minced
•1 scallion (white and green parts), thinly sliced on diagonal
•1/4 cup Shaoxing rice wine (or dry sherry)
•1 medium leek (white and pale green parts only), washed, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/2-inch slices (about 1/2 cup)
•1/2 cup chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
•1 tablespoon light soy sauce
•1 tablespoon dark soy sauce

recipe by Shirley Cheng for epicurious

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VERSION 2 – from omnivore’s cookbook

•120 grams (4 ounces) ground meat (pork, chicken or turkey)
•2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine (or Japanese Sake)
•1 teaspoon light soy sauce
•1/2 teaspoon minced ginger

For braising
•1 teaspoon cornstarch
•2 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns (increase to 3 teaspoons if you like your dish extra numbing)
•1 tablespoon vegetable oil
•3 tablespoons Doubanjiang spicy fermented bean paste
•2 tablespoons green onion, chopped (note: I didn’t have any, so I used 2 cloves of garlic)
•1 block (400-g / 14-oz) firm or medium firm tofu , cut into 1.5cm (1/2 inch) squares
•1 cup water or stock
•2 teaspoons Chinese chili oil; 1 teaspoon for a less spicy dish (note: for a mild dan dan noodle chili oil, you will need all 2 teaspoons.)
•1/4 teaspoon five-spice powder
•1 teaspoon sugar (or to taste)
rice or another grain to serve

1. Combine ground meat/veg, cooking wine, soy sauce, and ginger in a bowl. Mix well.

2. Combine cornstarch with 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside.

3. Cut and prep ingredients.

4. Heat vegetable oil and Sichuan peppercorns in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. When the Sichuan peppercorns turn dark brown and crispy, scoop them out with spatula and transfer into a bowl layered with paper towel to soak extra oil. Save to use for garnish the dish.

5. When oil is hot, add ground meat and bean paste. Stir-fry over medium heat with a spatula, until pork is evenly coated with bean paste. Add green onion and stir fry for another minute.

6. Spread tofu evenly on top of ground pork – don’t stir until it braises for a few minutes, so the tofu doesn’t fall apart. Add chili oil, five-spice powder, and sugar. Pour in broth/water and simmer, covered, over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until tofu becomes tender and the sauce has reduced to half the original amount. Taste the tofu with some broth. Adjust seasoning by adding salt. If the dish is too spicy, add another teaspoon of sugar. Gently mix well with spatula.

7. Mix cornstarch water again until fully dissolved and swirl it into the skillet. Gently stir a few times with a spatula, until sauce thickens. Turn off heat and transfer everything to a bowl.

8. Garnish with green onion and Sichuan peppercorns, if using. Serve warm over rice or another grain.

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VERSION 3 – from iron chef chen

1 package silken tofu
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
water, for parboiling tofu

3 ounces ground pork
1⁄2 cup green garlic chives, chopped in 1/2 inches (nira)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon chinese chili bean sauce (toubanjan or doubanjiang)
1 tablespoon chinese brown bean sauce (tenmienjan, tenmenjan, or tenmenjiang)
2 teaspoons fermented black beans, chopped finely
1⁄4 – 1⁄2 teaspoon ichimi togarashi pepper or 1/4-1/2 teaspoon japanese dried red chili pepper, minced
1 teaspoon chili oil
3⁄4 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon sake or 1 tablespoon dry sherry
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon szechuan peppercorn (optional)

Cornstarch paste: 1 tablespoon cornstarch + 1 tablespoon water

Cut tofu into 1 inch cubes. Heat enough water in a large saucepan, add 1/2 teaspoon salt and tofu pieces. Bring to boil and cook tofu on medium high heat for 8 to 10 minutes and remove from heat. Precooking tofu in water prevents tofu from breaking apart easily later. Set aside.
While tofu is cooking, make cornstarch paste by mixing 1 T cornstarch and 1 T water. Set aside.
Set wok on high heat for 1 minute until hot. Add 2 T vegetable oil and swirl the pan, then add ground pork, stirring to separate.
When ground pork is browned, add Chinese brown bean sauce ie tenmenjan, tenmienjan, or tenmenjiang, Chinese chili bean sauce ie toubanjan or doubanjiang, fermented black beans, and ichimi tougarashi or minced dried red chili pepper. Continue to cook for 1 minute.
Add chili oil, drained tofu pieces, chicken stock, garlic chives, soy sauce, and sake. Stir fry gently for 1-2 minutes.
Add cornstarch paste to thicken and add sesame oil. Swirl gently and cook for another 3-4 minutes on medium high heat. Sprinkle Szechuan peppercorn on top.
Serve with steamed white rice.

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VERSION 4 – from Hong Kong Food City by Tony Tan

“This classic Sichuan dish was invented by a widow named Chen at a stall in Chengdu. The name translates as ‘pock-marked grandmother’s bean curd’. It’s made with soft-textured bean curd similar to silken tofu along with chilli flakes, fermented black beans and a chilli bean paste called doubanjiang.

50 g (1¾ oz) minced (ground) beef
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) soft bean curd, cut into 3 cm (1¼ inch) cubes
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1–2 tablespoons chilli bean paste (doubanjiang; see Note)
2 teaspoons fermented black beans
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon chilli oil, or to taste
250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) chicken stock
1 baby leek, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon roasted ground Sichuan pepper
1 teaspoon chilli flakes (optional)
30 g (1 oz) Sichuan preserved vegetable (see Note), rinsed and finely chopped
1 teaspoon potato flour, mixed with 2 tablespoons cold water
Chopped spring onions (scallions), to serve
MARINADE
½ teaspoon light soy sauce
½ teaspoon Shaoxing rice wine
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar

Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl, add the beef, mix well and marinate for 5–10 minutes.
Cook the bean curd in a saucepan of simmering water until warmed through. Drain well and set aside.
Heat a wok over high heat, add the oil, then add the beef and stir-fry for 20 seconds. Add the garlic, reduce the heat to medium and stir in the chilli bean paste, fermented black beans, soy sauce, sugar and chilli oil. Stir-fry for another 30 seconds, then pour in the stock, add the bean curd and stir gently so as not to break up the cubes. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 2 minutes.
Add the leek, Sichuan pepper, chilli flakes and Sichuan preserved vegetable. Stir in the potato flour mixture and simmer until the sauce thickens. Transfer to a serving plate, garnish with spring onions and serve with steamed rice.
Note The best doubanjiang is from Pixian county in Sichuan. It’s very salty so use it sparingly. If you can’t find this variety, use Lee Kum Kee doubanjiang. Sichuan preserved vegetable, called zha cai in Mandarin or ja choy in Cantonese, is often sold in cans or plastic bags in Chinese grocers. Made from the stems of a variety of mustard green, it’s brined, then pickled with chilli powder. Rinse off the excess chilli and salt before using.”

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RECIPE 1: I’ll be honest – I hardly followed the recipe. I made my own low-sodium versions of bean paste, since I ran out of fermented bean paste a few months ago. I combined miso, a homemade version of hoisin with peanut butter and tamari… the substitutions were a mess. Sherry for Shaoxing wine, sesame oil for peanut oil… I barely had anything the recipe called for at all. But this was still one of the best things I made all winter.

Hits all those comfort food notes. Greasy, sweet, salty, savory, texturally interesting, and absolutely numbing and spicy. Just… yes. I used some extra chili oil from last month’s batch of dan dan noodles (dandanmian), and a ton of Sichuan peppercorns toasted and ground, although nowhere near the teaspoon called for in the recipe.

A comment on the Epi review recommends iron chef Chen‘s recipe as slightly more authentic and less sweet. Since I used half my oyster sauce on this recipe, I’ll definitely try it.

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RECIPE 2: I was worried it’d be too spicy, so I cut the bean paste from 3T to 2T. It wasn’t spicy enough last night, but the leftovers sat and got spicier and spicier! Today it was just perfect. I’d say cut it to 2T if you’re making it for tomorrow. Otherwise, go for the whole 3T! Very different from the super-sweet oyster sauce version. They’re both so good! I would say version two is a little more savory and simple, and recipe one is a little more of a flavor bomb, much saltier and sweeter. The first is perfect for American palates, and the second is great for people who don’t care for sweet food. I highly recommend both! I can’t wait to try iron chef Chen‘s recipe to complete this trifecta of tofu!

Added this to the “rotation” tag because I plan to try all the different versions of this amazing dish. I made this twice so far in March. What a rad way to use up the last little bit of ground meat in your fridge!

edit: help I can’t stop eating this incredible spicy meal

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RECIPE 3: (July, 2019) I’m guessing this is the most authentic, as it tastes the least like something from an Americanized Chinese restaurant. Recipe #1 is way too sweet, even for me, but it’s really delicious if you like it sweet. Recipe #2 is super flavorful. Recipe #3 is definitely more subtle. I splurged on some fermented black beans this year, and I really liked their subtle flavor in this. I definitely recommend recipe #3 – it’s delicious.

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BEST MAPO TOFU EVER: for my tastes, I prefer recipe #2 with some alterations. Next, I will start combining all these recipes – a little oyster sauce or hoisin from recipe #1, a ton of chives from recipe #3, using the skeleton of recipe #2. I have made this no less than five times this year!

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panko-crusted mustard-thyme roast chicken thighs

March 18, 2019

Easy weeknight chicken! What could be better? I’m including the original, from epicurious, and my own (way better) crispy-skinned version!

MY VERSION:
– preheat oven to 450
– rub chicken thighs with black pepper
– on the stovetop, brown chicken thighs on a smokin’ hot cast iron, skin-side down, til the skin is crispy
– flip thighs, sprinkle with thyme and a little bit of salt, and place in oven til done (about 25 min for small thighs)
– remove thighs, put smoking hot cast iron onto the stovetop on medium heat, and add white wine and mustard to deglaze the pan, maybe some thyme to taste.
– turn off heat, add fresh lemon juice to taste, and pour pan sauce out into another container so the acidity doesn’t mess with your cast iron. serve chicken with pan sauce. great served with a honey mustard dressed salad, or some roasted veggies like orange carrots with tahini drizzle, or even just toss potatoes in the pan sauce and roast them on the side! also great with veggies sautéed in tarragon mustard citrus butter.

ORIGINAL RECIPE:
•3/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
•4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
•1/4 cup Dijon mustard
•2 tablespoons thyme leaves, plus 3 sprigs
•8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs, patted dry
•Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
•1 pound medium carrots, scrubbed, cut into 3″ pieces, halved lengthwise if thick
•2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Place a rack in highest position in oven; preheat to 450°F. Place panko in a small bowl. Mash butter, mustard, and thyme leaves in another small bowl with a fork (it will be a little lumpy). Season chicken thighs on both sides with salt and pepper. Arrange skin side up a rimmed baking sheet and smear all over skin side of thighs. Working with 1 piece at a time, firmly press chicken, skin side down, into panko so crumbs adhere. Place back on baking sheet skin side up.
Arrange carrots and thyme sprigs around chicken and drizzle with oil; season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat and bake until carrots are tender and chicken is cooked though, 25–30 minutes.
Heat broiler. Broil chicken and carrots just until panko is golden brown and carrots are tender and browned in spots, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a platter and pour pan juices over top.

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first recipe adapted by friedsig from the second recipe, which is by epi and bon appetit

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I found the panko crust didn’t get crispy and brown, even when I broiled the thighs for six or seven minutes. My version is way better! You still get that nice mustard and thyme flavor, with a little more depth of flavor from the wine and lemon. Also, instead of the carrots absorbing all that great chicken fat, you get a huge quantity of pan sauce and you can use that to flavor a ton of different roasted veggies throughout the week! Try the Bon Appetit version if you want, but if you want a nice crispy skin, try my version! Tagged “rotation” because I make this all the time.

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make your own sausage with your hands (without casings!)

November 27, 2018

Recently learned you can make a great sausage without any special tools! No blender, no meat grinder, no sausage stuffer, no casings!

If you eat meat, you’ll love this recipe: buy ground pork, and just mash it up with your hands with some spices and herbs. THAT’S IT!

You can either form them into patties, or dump the whole mess into a pan and break it up with a spatula to make little sausage chunks like for pizza. Either way, you can cook them on a grill pan, cast-iron, or regular ol’ non-stick pan on a medium or medium-high heat.

Here are some I have been experimenting with lately to get your imagination running wild. Don’t let these recipes limit you! Add some curry powder for some currywurst patties… or jalapeno and cheddar… or sundried tomato and roasted garlic… fresh herbs, fruits, anything! If you make your own sausage, post a recipe here!

Enjoy!

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maple breakfast sausage

3/4 tablespoon paprika
1/2 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1/2T salt 1t or less salt (or more to taste)
3/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 c maple syrup splash of pure maple syrup
~0.8-0.9 lbs ground pork
a little minced lard

recipe adapted by friedsig from epicurious

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sage breakfast sausage

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
1½ teaspoons kosher salt 1 t or less salt (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
~0.8-0.9 lbs ground pork
a little minced lard

* a little bland – could really use a kick – next time I will try adding some more of everything

recipe adapted by friedsig from bon appetit

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peach balsamic chicken skillet (and a vegan alternative!)

August 12, 2018

It’s peach season here, and there is nothing in the world like a fresh, ripe peach. But if you grab some early, not-quite-ripe peaches, turn them into dinner!

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about two pounds of chicken legs or thighs
one medium onion
two to four cloves of garlic
two to three peaches
about a half-tablespoon of balsamic
handful of cherry tomatoes, or some tomatoes from a can (optional)
raw basil (optional garnish)

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Preheat oven to 425.

Heat a cast-iron or other oven-safe skillet on the stove on medium-high until very hot. Add some drippings, schmaltz, oil, or butter.

Brown chicken, skin side down, til crispy. (If you don’t eat chicken, heat some coconut oil or margarine, and add veggies cut side down. I have not tried this yet with vegetables, but I bet brussels sprouts cut in half, cauliflower, or something else savory would go great with the sweet peaches. Maybe even some mushrooms for that savory flavor.)

Remove chicken or veggies from the skillet. Add chunks of onions. When beginning to caramelize, add chunks of garlic, or whatever you have in the house, like shallots. Stir often. When cooked, add the chicken back to the pan, along with chunks of peaches, and if you have them on hand, cherry tomatoes. Splash balsamic on top – not much, just a few dashes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir well.

Roast at 425, stirring every fifteen minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

Serve with veggies and garlic rice, and top everything with fresh basil.

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original recipe by cooking classy and adapted by friedsig.

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Really fantastic. A very August dinner, using everything from the garden or farmers market. I left out the honey from the original – August peaches don’t need sweetening. In fact, this recipe might be too sweet for some. Adding some tomatoes (from a can, or an acidic varietal like calabash or celebrity from your garden) will help cut that sweetness. It’s worth noting that the handful of cherry tomatoes I threw in were totally overwhelmed by the caramelized onion-and-peach flavor. This makes me think that a caramelized onion and peach pie would taste amazing, maybe in the style of a zweibelkuchen!

Adding this to the “rotation” tag because this is as easy as it gets for a sweet and savory weeknight dinner! Next time, I want to try this with brussels sprouts for a vegan peach stew – or maybe even both chicken and veggies?

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choucroute garnie (sauerkraut and smoked sausage stew)

December 24, 2017

maybe my favorite hearty stew ever? it’s great to have a hearty stew in the wintertime. i love my friend eli’s version of kapusta. but my new favorite pork and sauerkraut wintertime stew is choucroute. this stew is eaten in the eastern part of france, on the germany border, and also on the western part of germany, where my family is from. thanks for the recipe, mom!

here’s my version – a small-ish version. i’ll also include the version you’ll want to make for a crowd.

friedsig’s choucroute

– 1 lb smoked sausage or other smoked meats like smoked pork chop, plus whatever leftover bacon or other meat you have in the house
– 1 large red onion
– 2 sweet red apples
– half a small jar of sauerkraut, homemade or store-bought
– half a small head of red cabbage, mince
– handful of little potatoes

– cup or two of white wine, like Riesling
– cup or two of chicken stock, veg stock, or pork stock

in a tea ball or cheesecloth:
– 0.5 t each of juniper berries and whole peppercorns
– 1.5 bay leaves
– pinch of caraway seeds
– 2 cloves
– 2 smashed cloves of garlic

1. (optional) in a large pot or dutch oven, pre-cook the meat, depending on what you use. if using bacon, cook that. if using smoked sausage or pork chops, brown them. no matter which meat you use, remove meat and set aside.
2. in that same large pot or dutch oven, saute your onion in lard, bacon grease, or some neutral oil like canola. when soft, add the whole spices and apple and raw cabbage. after a few minutes, add all the rest of the ingredients, including the meat. simmer for hours.
3. separately, boil up some potatoes. serve choucroute with boiled potatoes and whole-grain mustard.

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you can add any meat from short ribs to hot dogs. try varying the meats, adding a pound or two of each kind. check out the epicurious choucroute garnie for a crowd with six pounds of meat:

1 3/4 pounds smoked meaty ham hocks
1 pound fully cooked bratwurst
8 ounces thick-sliced bacon strips, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
2 large onions, chopped
1 teaspoon juniper berries (optional)
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
10 whole cloves
8 whole allspice
3 bay leaves
3 Red Delicious apples, unpeeled, cored, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 2-pound jars sauerkraut, squeezed dry
2 pounds fully cooked kielbasa, cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
1 pound fully cooked knockwurst
2 cups Alsatian Pinot Blanc or other dry white wine
2 pounds small red-skinned potatoes
2/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
Assorted mustards
Prepared white horseradish

you can also try serious eats‘ version, which calls for 7 pounds of meat, or jacques pepin‘s version with 8 lbs of meat, including hot dogs.

no matter what meat ends up in your choucroute, it’s great served with potatoes, or crusty bread and mustard, or even plain pasta or couscous or rice.

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quick 15 minute cider-dijon pork chops

December 4, 2017

this recipe by curtis stone is perfect for a weeknight meal.

2 pork chops
salt and pepper
splash of olive oil
1/2 c apple cider or apple juice [or apple-cider vinegar if you like a super sour sauce]
1/2 T Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into 2 pieces

season chops with salt and pepper

pan-fry over med-high heat for ~ 5 mins per side, or til golden brown
(i used bone-in porkchops, defying the recipe, and they still only needed about six minutes per side)

leave heat on, lower to a simmer, remove pork chops, then add apple cider, mustard, and butter to the pan to make a pan sauce, and reduce til delicious

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from epicurious.com

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i roasted peppers whole as a side dish because i was too lazy to chop up sweet potatoes and apples. roasted peppers taste great with this! you could serve the chops over a bed of salad and couscous for a complete meal ready in fifteen minutes. i never make a vinaigrette pan sauce for meat, but this was super easy, fast, and delicious. i used apple cider vinegar, which i would definitely do again, but that much vinegar might give you heartburn, so maybe half cider and half vinegar would be ideal. this is a great autumnal recipe, even if you’re too lazy to roast the sweet potatoes and apples like me.

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dan dan noodles (dandanmian)

December 10, 2016

i can’t stop eating these noodles because they taste so good.

but, i can’t stop crying.

they’re so, so spicy.

did you ever make something that tasted so good despite it being too spicy, but you were determined to power through it, and you ended up with tears streaming down your face?

this chili oil is great – a nice change of pace from la jiao jiang with sichuan flavors like star anise and cinnamon.

sichuan dishes heavy on the peppercorns are known as “numbing” – and this one is ~definitely~ numbing. as in, my mouth is completely numb and tingly… and i keep going back for more.

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i modified this recipe from woks of life. one of the main and most important parts of dan dan noodles are the pickled chinese mustard greens. it’s not really dan dan noodles without sui mi ya cai. so, maybe i should call this something different, because i didn’t use any. don’t fear if you can’t get them – these noodles are amazing even without them. next time i’ll get some bok choy to get some more vegetables in there, and to help cool the fire. and a larger bottle of antacids.

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MAKE THE CHILI OIL
2 tablespoons Sichuan peppercorns
1 inch-long piece of Chinese cinnamon (gui-pi) [i used whatever cinnamon i have]
2 star anise
1 cup oil
1/4 cup crushed red pepper flakes

In a small pot, add the Sichuan peppercorns, cinnamon stick, star anise, and oil. Over medium low heat, slowly heat to 325 degrees Fahrenheit, and then turn off the heat. Wait 6-7 minutes, then remove the peppercorns, cinnamon stick, and star anise with a slotted spoon.
Add the crushed red pepper flakes and allow them to steep in the hot oil. It should start smelling fragrant, almost like popcorn. Allow the oil to cool. This makes more chili oil than you’ll need, but you’ll be glad to have it on hand for use in other dishes. Store in a glass jar and keep refrigerated.

MAKE THE MEAT
3 teaspoons oil
8 oz. ground pork
2 teaspoons sweet bean sauce or hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons shaoxing wine (or cooking sherry)
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon five spice powder
1/3 cup sui mi ya cai [update 4/2018: if you don’t have access to these greens, you can use mustard greens marinated in a bit of apple cider vinegar or pickle brine. it’s great!]

In a wok, heat a teaspoon of oil over medium heat, and brown the ground pork. Cook til partially crispy.

Add the sweet bean sauce, shaoxing wine, dark soy sauce, and five spice powder. Cook until all the liquid is evaporated. Set aside. Heat the other 2 teaspoons of oil in the wok over medium heat, and sautee the pickled greens for a few minutes. Set aside.

MAKE THE SAUCE
2 tablespoons sesame paste (tahini)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon five spice powder
1/2 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorn powder
1/2 cup of your prepared chili oil [HEY PLEASE DON’T USE A HALF-CUP UNLESS YOU LIKE THINGS VERY, VERY HOT, MAYBE USE LESS THAN HALF, SERIOUSLY THIS CHILI OIL CAME OUT SO, SO HOT]
2 cloves garlic, very finely minced
¼ cup hot cooking water from the noodles

Mix together all the ingredients. Taste and adjust seasoning if you like.

PUT IT TOGETHER
cook about a pound of cu mian (Shanghai-style noodle,) fresh soft medium-thickness white noodles from an Asian marketplace, or udon noodles. Don’t forget the cooking water for the sauce! Steam bok choy or whatever other greens you have. Grab your bowl and add sauce to the bottom, then noodles, then greens and pork. Top with scallions, and peanuts that you fried up in some oil.

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modified from the woks of life

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tastes like something magical, just as it sounds – sweet, very hot, lots of textures – just what street food should be! the crispy pork and chili oil are just magical together. definitely a part of my rotation.

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bourbon chicken liver pâté

August 17, 2016

“Pâté” feels pretentious, but chicken liver is less than half the price of hamburger meat.

I eat organ meats because:
they’re cheap
they’re delicious
it reduces waste
they’re nutritious (one serving is 280% of your daily need for vitamins A and B12)
did I mention they are cheap?

If you do eat meat, I highly recommend you give chicken liver a try. It’s so quick to cook, and very easy.

One of my favorite preparations has never made it onto friedsig, so here we go: a modification of the classic bourbon chicken liver pâté. This one is modified from epicurious.

– Heat a cast iron pan with about 1.5 T butter, or however much you like. (They say half a stick.)
– Saute a medium onion over medium-low til it caramelizes.
– Add a minced clove of garlic.
– Add one container (~1 lb) of rinsed chicken livers. (Pick off the little globs of fat if you want, but leave some on if you went light on the butter.)
– Saute about 4 minutes on one side, then flip.
– Add lots of fresh or a little dried sage and thyme. Add salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg. Stir and add 2 T bourbon.
– Make sure each piece has been cooked on both sides when stirring.
– Cut one of the biggest livers in half. If it’s no longer bloody, mostly cooked, but still pink in the middle, it’s perfect. Don’t overcook – 8 minutes should be plenty.
– Blend in a blender or food processor. Do NOT add the liquid unless you want a drinkable pate – just the liver and onions. You can add the liquid as needed to blend into a thick consistency. I like to add a dash of heavy cream, but that is optional. Or, like epicurious suggests, scoop it into tiny bowls and add a little melted butter over the top.

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modified from epicurious

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You can serve this as a dip with cut up veggies, crackers, or toasts. You can use this as a sandwich spread – great with lots of fresh greens and herbs. You can roll this up in greens and make it into finger food. You can add a little to make a sauce richer, or to sneak it in if you don’t like the taste. You can eat it with pasta. You can layer it in casseroles like any other meat. Just try a little spread on a cracker!

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honey mustard chicken salad

August 15, 2016

really fast and easy.

cooked chicken
mayonnaise
honey
sour cream
dried cranberries
pecans
green onions and/or onions
lemon juice
mustard (dry or prepared)
salt & pepper
optional parsley
optional celery seed

optional chopped celery, or radishes, or something for crunch

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recipe by schnucks

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back to basics. adding this to my chicken salad rotation for the fall, along with chicken salad with spinach, apple, and dill, and coconut lime chicken salad.

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bobotie (south african curry meat casserole)

April 18, 2016

this is super sweet, with absolutely no processed sugars. if you like that kind of thing, it’s totally worth the effort this requires. it was one of my favorite meals when i first learned to cook, but i just made it tonight for the first time in many years. you can cut the sweetness by leaving out the raisins, and using the sourest apples you can find.

the meaty part comes out soft from the apples, and the topping is somewhere between a custard and fluffy scrambled eggs. if you are craving sweet takeout food, like general tso’s chicken or st. louis-style bbq, then you should give this a try instead.

my housemate dislikes apples, raisins, and sweet dinners, but he said this was delicious.

also, it’s extremely fun to say.

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minced lamb or beef, or a mixture of the two [the recipe doesn’t specify how much to use. i used one package, about 1.5 lbs raw]
butter, vegetable oil
2 onions, chopped
2 ml (1/2 teaspoon) crushed garlic
15 ml (1 tablespoon) curry powder
5 ml (1 teaspoon) ground turmeric
2 slices bread, crumbled
60 ml (1/4 cup) milk
finely grated rind and juice of 1/2 small lemon
1 egg
5 ml (1 teaspoon) salt, milled black pepper
100 g (3 ounces) dried apricots, chopped
1 Granny Smith apple peeled, cored and chopped
60 ml (1/4 cup) sultanas (golden raisins)
50 g (1 1/2 ounces) slivered almonds, roasted in a dry frying pan
6 lemon, orange, or bay leaves

TOPPING
250 ml (1 cup) milk
2 eggs
2 ml (1/2 teaspoon) salt

Set the oven at 160°C (325°F). Butter a large casserole. Heat butter and oil in a saucepan and fry the onion and garlic until translucent. Stir in the curry powder and turmeric, and cook briefly until fragrant. Remove the pot from the heat.
Mix in the (raw) minced meat. Mix together the crumbs, milk, lemon rind and juice, egg, salt, pepper, apricots, apple, sultanas (golden raisins) and almonds and mix in. Pile into the casserole and level the top. Roll up the leaves and bury them at regular intervals. Seal with foil and bake for 1 1/4 hours. Increase the oven temperature to 200°C (400°F). Mix together the topping milk, eggs and salt (you may require extra topping if you’ve used a very large casserole), pour over and bake uncovered for a further 15 minutes until cooked and lightly browned. Serve with yellow rice.

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from epicurious