Posts Tagged ‘rotation’

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easy savory congee (garlic rice porridge)

January 22, 2020

Congee is the ultimate comfort food. If you like carbs, and you like sipping on soup or tea, you are going to love congee. If you have an upset stomach, or a toothache, you are going to love congee. If it’s cold out, and you want to get warmed up, you are going to love congee. It’s totally foolproof – anyone can make this.

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Add a bunch of water and rice to a pot (about a half cup rice for eight cups of water/broth/stock)

Add garlic powder, black pepper, and a few splashes of chicken stock or a few ice cubes worth of frozen chicken stock. You can really mix it up here – substitute veggie stock or broth with no problem. You can add five spice powder, or your favorite seasoning. Anything from curry powder to roasted garlic and scallions to mushrooms (fresh or dried) is great in congee. Toss in leftover meats or grilled veggies or whatever leftovers you have.

Takes a while, but you can mostly just ignore it, simmering on a low heat and stirring every once in a while. It’s ready when it’s a gloopy mash. Drizzle toasted sesame oil and la jiao jiang (hot pepper oil) on top – or yogurt and chives – or a little miso paste – or whatever you are craving.

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Can’t go wrong with congee. The more cold, sick, or sad I feel, the better this tastes. It got me through a root canal, plenty of hangovers, and lots of cold nights. It really warms you from the inside out. It’s the ultimate soft food (I dare you to find a food softer than this!) and perfect for babies, and adults who are acting like babies.

I know “porridge” (or, worse, “gruel”) might sound weird to Americans – it reminds me of Goldilocks and The Three Bears – but if you like chicken and rice soup, that’s basically what this is. If you eat polenta, grits, oatmeal, or cream of wheat, you can probably already see how good this rice congee tastes.

My favorite lately is congee cooked with stock/broth and lots of garlic, dried shiitake mushrooms, leftover roasted veggies, and a pinch of five spice powder, served with a poached egg on top, sesame seeds, and LOTS of hot chili oil.

It’s also a great base for a one-pot meal. Throw in cooked meat, chopped veggies – whatever you want.

Infinitely customizable, impossible to mess up, totally different, and extremely comforting. What could be better?

If you like sweet better than savory, try this eight treasure congee (八宝粥) with dried fruit and nuts. It tastes perfect with some brown sugar, like oatmeal but even more like a warm hug.

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beef rendang (indonesian / malaysian coconut beef)

January 9, 2020

This is a big YES! One of the best beef dishes I know. Just a warning that if you use a cheap, lean beef roast, this might take three to five hours of simmering to become “fork-tender”. The beef was tough after being simmered for only an hour, so I gave it another two hours, and it started to really soften up like brisket. If your meat is lean, try doing this in your slow-cooker. (I don’t own a slow cooker, so I just used a big dutch oven style pot, and it was fine!)

Spice Paste:
3/4 cup grated coconut (I used less, because I used a thicker style of coconut strip instead of a grated coconut)
15 dried chillies (I used about eight and I’d definitely 100% recommend a few more. 15 probably sounds right.)
10 shallots, sliced (I used one. Shallots are expensive.)
4 cloves garlic, sliced (I used five or six to compensate for less shallots.)
1 inch ginger (20 g), sliced
1 inch galangal (20 g), sliced (I omitted this)
1 inch turmeric (10 g), sliced
2 stalks lemon grass, sliced (I used dried old lemongrass and the flavor was not strong.)
4-6 bird chillies, optional

chunk of beef, 1-1.5lb., sliced into one or two inch chunks

1 stick cinnamon, about 2-inch length
3 cloves
3 star anise
3 cardamom pods
tamarind paste or pulp
6 finely sliced kaffir lime leaves (I left these out and they were fine.)
rock sugar or palm sugar (or regular sugar)
6 T toasted coconut (I used larger dried coconut strips, toasted in an unoiled skillet)
1 c coconut milk, plus 1 c water poured into the coconut milk can to use the solids
(optional) one turmeric leaf tied into a knot (I used one from my plant and the flavor was great. Recommended.)
salt to taste

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1. Blend spice paste ingredients. You can use a mortar and pestle, blender, food processor, or, if you have to, the side of your knife.

2. Heat the oil in a stew pot, add the spice paste, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, and cardamom and stir-fry until aromatic. Add the beef and the pounded lemongrass and stir for 1 minute. Add the coconut milk, tamarind juice, water, and simmer on medium heat, stirring frequently until the meat is almost cooked. Add the kaffir lime leaves, kerisik (toasted coconut), sugar or palm sugar, stirring to blend well with the meat.

3. Lower the heat to low, cover the lid, and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until the meat is really tender and the gravy has dried up. Add more salt and sugar to taste. Serve immediately with steamed rice. The leftovers are great frozen or packed away for the rest of the week.

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adapted from a few versions, mostly the rasa malaysia and serious eats versions

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If you eat beef, this should absolutely be on your list of special occasion dishes, to eat for birthdays or just to cheer yourself up during a long cold winter. The smell of beef rendang simmering, and the warmth of it on your stovetop, is powerful enough to beat back the winter blues. Sweet, sour, spicy, savory, creamy… this dish is everything. Perfect for a long, lazy January weekend.

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lu rou fan (滷肉饭, Taiwanese braised pork belly)

August 23, 2019

One of the absolute best recipes of the year. Maybe the best pork belly of all-time? I love you, Woks of Life!

1 lb skin-on pork belly, cut into 1/2” pieces
2 teaspoons oil
1/2 oz. rock sugar (or about 2 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar) (or less is fine, too!)
1 small onion or a couple of shallots, finely chopped
8 shiitake mushrooms, cut into 1/2” pieces
1/4 cup shaoxing wine
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
2 cups water
4 hardboiled eggs, peeled (optional)

whole spices:
3 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
6 cloves
3 bay leaves
2 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns
2 pieces dried tangerine peel
2 slices fresh ginger

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1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, and blanch the chopped pork belly for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.

2. Heat the oil in a wok over low heat, and add the sugar. Cook the sugar until it starts to melt and then add the onions. Turn up the heat to medium high and stir-fry the onions for a minute. Add the mushrooms and stir-fry for another couple minutes.

3. Add the blanched pork, shaoxing wine, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce and water. Stir and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, add the spices (which should be tied in cheese cloth), along with the peeled hardboiled eggs and turn the heat to the lowest setting. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

4. At this point the meat should be fall-apart tender. To finish the dish, remove the spice packet and turn up the heat to medium high to thicken the sauce, stirring occasionally. This process should take about 5-minutes. The sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon, but there should still be plenty of it left. Serve over steamed white rice.

by Judy @ the Woks of Life

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These flavors are so complex! The chewy shiitake texture was amazing with the melty sweet pork belly. We ate a ton of this with hot chili oil and rice. The flavors build and layer with every bite! Although these are traditional “five-spice” flavors, it tastes completely different than a five-spice powder without the fennel. It’s really its own unique flavor. The sauce came out thin, since we used low-salt tamari instead of thick dark soy sauce, and a pinch of sugar instead of rock sugar. Still amazing, even without the thick, sweet sauce. Without question a highly recommended dish.

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turkish-style braised eggplant

July 8, 2019

Craving something sweet, healthy, and vegan?

1 large eggplant (about 1 pound)
2 teaspoons salt
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1 large tomato, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
¼ cup raisins
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin
black pepper
½ cup roughly chopped dill
2 tablespoons roughly chopped parsley
pinch of sugar (optional) 1 teaspoon sugar (optional – the raisins make it very sweet!)
Thick yogurt, for serving
Lemon wedges, for serving

1. Trim ends off the eggplant. With a vegetable peeler, cut off alternating strips of skin. Cut eggplant into 1-inch cubes, place in a colander over a large bowl and toss with salt. Let sit for 30 minutes to 3 hours, rinse well and squeeze to remove as much liquid as possible; do not break cubes up.

2. In a large skillet or saucepan, heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the eggplant cubes and move them around occasionally, until they are rather tender and somewhat browned, about 7 minutes. Remove from the pan with tongs, leaving as much oil as possible in the pan. Set aside.

3. Add remaining oil to the pan with the onions and pine nuts and stir occasionally, until the onions are transparent and some pine nuts are lightly browned, 7 or 8 minutes.

4. Return eggplant to the pan with the tomato, raisins, sugar, cinnamon, cumin and pepper. Mix well, then turn heat to low. Cover the pan and cook until the eggplant is very tender but still in distinct pieces, about 30 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking, stirring once or twice, until the liquid is somewhat thickened, 5 to 10 minutes.

5. Remove the pan from heat and let sit uncovered until it is at room temperature, about 45 minutes. Stir in the dill and parsley, adjust the seasonings to taste and serve, accompanied by yogurt and lemon wedges for squeezing.

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recipe by John Willoughby at the NYT

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I am firmly in the camp of people who never bothers to pan-fry eggplant. Why pan-fry, wasting all that time, when the eggplant just absorbs the oil? This method definitely worked, although the “7 minute pan-fry” was more like 17. The raisins and pine nuts meld perfectly with the other flavors. I cheaped out and skipped the dill and parsley, and it was still good. You can replace the pine nuts with lightly smashed walnuts or even peanuts. Even just a pared-down version of this – pinch of sugar and raisins, tons of eggplant and onions, a few nuts, fresh tomato, cinnamon, and cumin – would be incredible.

The salt cure really extracts a lot of the bitterness, but then again, I used super fresh eggplant from the farmers market that was nowhere near as bitter as the supermarket stuff. I think next time I’ll just roast the eggplant. It’ll turn the dish into more of an eggplant dip than distinct cubes of eggplant, but who cares? It’s easy.

Ended up eating this throughout the week as a dip with crackers, and had no problem finishing the whole thing.

Adding this one to my favorite aubergine / eggplant recipes. If you like the kick of sweetness to balance out the bitterness of the eggplant, this is in the top 3 that I would recommend, along with sweet and sour Indian eggplant, or Georgian-style eggplant stuffed with carrot and parsnip

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roasted artichoke and spinach melts

June 3, 2019

Everything you love about spinach and artichoke dip, combined with everything you love about grilled cheese!

ROASTED ARTICHOKES:

Drain a large can of artichokes. If the artichokes are marinated in oil and spices, leave them plain. If they are packed in saltwater, rinse and toss them in olive oil and Italian seasoning like thyme and oregano. Add a few whole cloves of garlic to add to the dip. Roast at 425 until crispy.

SPINACH-ARTICHOKE DIP:

Add the following to blender: roasted artichoke hearts, one large pack of spinach that you have blanched or steamed or sauteed, red pepper flakes and black pepper to taste, a pinch of garlic powder, roasted garlic cloves (or raw minced garlic if you’re daring,) and any combination of creamy things like plain yogurt, mayo, cream cheese, or their vegan substitutions.

ARTICHOKE-SPINACH MELTS:

Butter slices of bread, sprinkle with garlic powder, and toast in your toaster oven. When it’s almost crispy garlic bread, top the slices of bread with spinach-artichoke dip and tons of shredded cheese. You can use any blend of cheeses. (I used just sharp cheddar.) Place on small baking tray and toast in toaster oven, or bake at 425 for maybe 7 min or so.

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roasted artichoke recipe adapted from Anna Stockwell @epi – sandwich recipe adapted from Deb Perelman @Bon Appetit

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Exactly as good as it sounds. Fantastic way to trick yourself into getting some serious greens!

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diy chorizo from scratch!

May 20, 2019

Did you know you can make sausage from scratch without casings or any special equipment? I already posted recipes for two different breakfast sausages: sweet maple sausage, and savory sage sausage. But what if you want something fiery and super flavorful? Something to go perfectly with black beans, or paella, or chili, or breakfast tacos? Something to sprinkle on nachos, or queso fundido?

This chorizo, fried up with black beans, eggs over easy, and leftover garlic rice, is a perfect hearty breakfast!

•1/4 pound chiles guajillos (about 14), stems, seeds, and membranes removed
•3/4 cup mild vinegar such as vinagre de pina or diluted unseasoned rice vinegar, or more if needed
•2 pounds coarsely ground pork shoulder
•1/2 pound medium-ground pork fat
•4 large cloves garlic, minced
•1 tablespoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
•2 teaspoons sea salt
•1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
•1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
•1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
•1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

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Soak the chilis in hot water until soft, maybe 15 mins. Drain and puree. Mix all ingredients together.

Here’s the hardest part: you have to wait at least 24 hours before frying and eating them.

I know. It’s cruel. I tried frying up a few bites of it right away, and it just didn’t taste right. 24 hours later, though, the sausage was perfect. If you have the patience to let this cure, you can just fry it right up, in patties or crumbles. No need to buy casings! Amazing with everything from simple gallo pinto to fancy seafood. To be honest, I am watching my budget this month after overspending last month, so I didn’t buy chilis. I used the dried red pepper that my last housemate left behind, and some powdered chili. Surprisingly, the spice blend still made it taste just like chorizo!

recipe by Marilyn Tausend & Ricardo Muñoz Zurita from La Cocina Mexicana

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Thanks for being patient with experimental mixed meat-ea.

Added to the “rotation” tag because this is an amazing way to use the other half-pound of pork when I make mapo tofu!

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caramelized onion pizza with lemon cream sauce

April 29, 2019
caramelized onion pizza

pizza with lemon pepper cream sauce

Do you like food that is inexpensive to make, but looks and tastes like a million bucks? Do you like sweet and sour? This will be your new favorite pizza. I posted a vegan version way back in 2012, but this is the original. This pizza is a super affordable recipe that is easy to adapt for vegetarians or meat eaters.

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Preheat oven as high as it will go (500F on my oven).

CRUST:
any pizza crust. you can buy one pre-made from the grocery store, use toasted leftover french bread, or make an unbelievably good New York style pizza crust from scratch.

LEMON CREAM SAUCE:
Make a simple bechamel. Add 2T butter to a saucepan. When melted, add 2T flour. Stir constantly until the mixture starts to smell toasty. Add milk, about a cup and a half. Cook til a bit thicker. It will continue to thicken as it cools.
When almost thick, add just a little lemon zest. Turn off heat and add tons of fresh lemon juice, black pepper, and salt to taste. Optional: add a pinch of nutmeg, and/or a pinch of orange zest.

ONIONS:
Slice onions super-thin. Saute over medium-low heat for longer than seems possible, stirring often.

(If you like, adding a splash of apple cider vinegar and honey towards the end makes them taste like candy.)

Optional: add leftover roasted vegetables like broccoli or

FOR MEAT EATERS:
Add slices of prosciutto or, really, any meat. You can use ham for a Canadian bacon flavor, or crumbled bacon or sausage.

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Top crust with sauce and a mild white cheese, like brick mozzarella.
Add onions and other optional toppings.
Bake.

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One of the best pizzas of all-time. Based on a retired menu item at Bertucci’s: the Nolio pizza.
Adapted by friedsig.