Sunday, December 25, 2011

Rosemary Garlic Pork Loin Roast

Around the holidays pork loin goes on sale and I usually get one. I couldn't find the recipe that I usually use but I am very pleased with this one that I came up with. I used very few and ingredients to make this yummy juicy pork.


3-4 lb pork loin ( that was what I bought to feed 7 adults)
1 TBS minced garlic
1 TBS Rosemary (chopped small)
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 TBS olive oil
some water

Preheat the oven to 475• F.
Rinse and pat dry the pork.
Rub the pork loin with 1 TBS olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and peeper.
Make a paste using rosemary, garlic and 1 tsp olive oil.
Cut small slits all over the pork loin and stuff put the herb paste into them.

Bake the pork uncovered for 15 min. Then reduce the heat to 425•F and bake about 40 more minutes or till the meat thermometer reads 150•F.

Add a little bit of water (1/4 cup ) into the pan while baking and do not let the pan burn.

Let the pork sit for 15 minutes before slicing.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Samgyetang (삼계탕) Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup

HERE comes another soup recipe you may say, but I cannot tell you enough times how much I love soups and stews. This soup definitely is a special occasion type of soup not because it is hard to make but because of the ingredients I have to gather before making it. I have never ever bought fresh ginseng till I made this soup the other day and it was pricey. I am sure getting dried ginseng would have saved me money but I wanted to follow this recipe from Norecipes exactly. I encourage you to visit the original website mentioned to see all the fun pictures too. I read that this soup is served in the summer in Korean but I made this on a cold rainy day. I love hot soups on a cold day! I aslo doubled the recipe because I had company. I made a special trip to a Korean gerocery store and found all the ingredients needed and I bought everything fresh. I wouldn't leave anything out, but I must say that I loved the chestnuts in the soup very much because they are so sweet and add a little crunch in the soup. I also bought a premade package with dried ginseng, jujubes, rice , and etc to try another time and compare and the taste and convenience.
I am so thankful for Internet and fellow food blogger such as Norecipes for sharing the recipes and allowing me to learn. This is the recipe I used.

Serves 2 hungry people

1/2 cup sticky rice (also known as “sweet rice” or “glutinous rice”)
2 Cornish game hens
2 tablespoons kosher salt (halve if using regular salt)
2 tablespoons pine nuts
3 small fresh ginseng roots (dried works okay too)
6 cloves of garlic, peeled
10 jujubes
4 whole chestnuts
4 cups low sodium chicken stock (preferably home made)
1 scallion thinly sliced
sea salt for serving

The morning you want to make the Samgyetang, wash the rice and soak it in a bowl full of cold water. Rub each hen with a tablespoon of kosher salt, both inside and out.

When you’re ready to start cooking, drain the rice and mix it with the pine nuts. Add a ginseng root, garlic clove, jujube, and chestnut into the cavity of each hen, then split the rice between the two hens. Add another garlic clove, jujube, and chestnut to each chicken, then cut a small slit into the flap of skin just above each drumstick and thread the end of each drumstick through both flaps as shown in the photo below. You could also use a toothpick to “stitch” the opening shut, you just want to keep the opening closed so the stuffing doesn’t all fall out.

Add the chicken stock and remaining ginseng root, garlic, and jujubes to a pot that’s just big enough to hold both hens. Bring to a boil, then carefully add both hens. Return the soup to a boil then cover and turn the heat down to low and simmer for one hour.

Serve the Samgyetang in a small pot or stone bowl along with the soup, then garnish with the scallions. Give each person a small plate of salt that can be added to the soup to taste, or be used to dip the chicken meat into.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Smothered Pork Chops

I love southern food and this is one of them. I recently got a dutch oven as a gift and it is perfect for for making tender thick cut pork chops browned and smothered ( slow cooked in gravy). I just love gravy and this dish is perfect over white rice. Basically, you will be eating rice and brown gravy with a bonus, tender pork chop. I will not be giving you the exact measurements of the ingredients but will walk you through the basic smothering steps with pictures and all. so enjoy and feel free to email me with questions and comments.

Ingredients (Approximate)

1.5 to 2 lb pork chops of your choice ( I used bone in, thick cuts)
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1 Tsp Cajun seasoning powder, optional (salt and peeper will work too)
2 TBS soy sauce
4 Cups stock/broth/ or water
2 TBS oil
3/4 Cup flour

Rinse and dry the pork with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper or Cajun seasoning powder.

Heat the oil the Dutch oven or big skillet.

Put the flour in a plastic bag and shake the pork chops one by one and add to the hot oil and brown them on both sides. Take them out and set aside.

Add the onions and peppers to the pan and saute them till tender about 5 minutes. Then add the soy sauce. Cook for a minute or two.

Then add your choice of stock ( I used turkey stock I made after Thanksgiving. Bring to a slow boil.

Add your pork chops back into the boiling gravy and cover. Let simmer till pork is fork tender. (this will depend on your pork and the cook ware you use) I did about 2 hours. Taste the gravy and season as needed.

The final results looks like this. Serve with rice.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Homemade Kimchi in Two Hours!

Making kimchi is easier than you think...or at least I think so. maybe because I love cooking and making everything from scratch when I can. My family loves kimchi so I enjoy making a big batch and giving some away to my family and friends. I have never made whole Kimchi but usually make the already chopped Kimchi. I think it is considered the "easy" Kimchi. I have not noticed the taste difference in the two. So, I choose to make this cut Kimchi using Maangchi's Kimchi Recipe.. I did double the recipe because I have so many people to share.

You will need:


10 lb Napa cabbage
10 Green onions, cut in 2 inch pieces
1/2 Cop julienned carrot
2 Cups julienned Daikon radish
2 Cups leek, chopped

1 Cup sea salt

For the Porridge:

1/4 Cup sugar
3 Cups water
1/2 Cup sweet rice flour, see picture below


1 Cup fish sauce
3 Cup hot pepper flakes

1 Cup whole garlic cloves
2 TBS minced ginger
1 Cup onion, chopped

*Tip: Use a food processor.

Preparing the cabbage:

Trim the discolored outer leaves of 10 pounds of napa cabbage.
Cut the cabbage lengthwise into quarters and remove the cores. Chop it up into bite size pieces
Rinse cabbage in cold water and put the soaked cabbage into a large basin. Sprinkle salt.

Every 30 minutes, turn the cabbage over to salt evenly (total salting time will be 1½ hours).
1½ hours later, rinse the cabbage in cold water 3 times to clean it thoroughly

Drain the cabbage and set aside in a huge basin or plastic bowl..

Add the other vegetables (green onions, leek, carrot, and radish).

Making the Porridge:
Put cups of water and sweet rice flour in a pot and mix it well and bring to a boil.

Keep stirring until the porridge makes bubbles (about 5 minutes).

Add the sugar.
Stir and cook for a few more minutes until it’s translucent.

Cool it down.

Making Kimchi Sauce:

Place the cold porridge into a large bowl.

Using a food processor, puree the ginger, garlic, and onions. Add this to the porridge along with fish sauce, hot pepper flakes.

Now you have Kimchi Sauce.

Add the kimchi sauce to your bowl of prepared veggies.

Mix well by hand ( must wear gloves or your hands will burn!!!).

Now that you have your well mixed fresh Kimchi, put it in wide mouth glass jars or air tight plastic containers. (Korean stores sell different containers for kimchi storage). This is ready to eat if you choose to.

A little "Kimchi Knowledge".......for those that ask me when Kimchi will be ready to eat after making it. Eat it Right away!!

Fresh Kimchi:
Just made, not fermented, not sour yet.
"Old" Kimchi: Well fermented. Sour and great for cooking such as making Kimchi stew, stir fry, pancakes, fried rice etc.

Kinchi Tips:

* make sure your hands, all you utensils and bowl, knives etc are clean.
* Wear Gloves.
* Vinegar can be used to get rid of strong smells in the jar after kimchi is all gone and you want to clean your jar for reuse.
* Keeping the jar of kimchi in the sun for several hours will speed up the fermentation process and kimchi will sour fast.
* Keep a small container full of kimchi at room temperature to get "old" kimchi for cooking and majority in the fridge for the fresh kimchi.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Galbi Tang ( Korean Beef Short Rib Soup): The Daring Cooks’ September 2011 Challenge

Peta, of the blog Peta Eats, was our lovely hostess for the Daring Cook‟s September 2011 challenge, “Stock to Soup to Consommé”. We were taught the meaning between the three dishes, how to make a crystal clear Consommé if we so chose to do so, and encouraged to share our own delicious soup recipes!

Being a soup lover, this challenge gave me so many ideas of what I wanted to make. I picked this Korean Beef Short Rib Soup because my family requested it and also I found a great deal on the short ribs.
I am not Korean but I LOVE Korean food and learned to make many Korean dishes mainly from blogs, sometimes friends and from eating out. Galbi Tang is simple to make if you have some time to make the stock and let the beef become tender. Tang in Korean means soup. This website lifeinkorea has a great list of Korean soups, the meanings, and even how to eat them.

Wiki also has some good information on this dish including how to prepare too.

Here is how I make mine.


2 LB Beef Short Ribs (in big chunks)
1 Large Onion
5 Garlic Cloves
1 TBS whole Black peppercorns
1 tsp salt
5 Green Onions (white part only)
1 6 inch piece of Daikon Radish
2 eggs

Seasonings for the Beef:

2 TBS Light Soy Sauce
1TBS Ground Toasted Sesame Seeds
1 tsp Sesame oil
1 TBS Minced Garlic

chopped green Onions
Sesame seeds

To get rid of some blood from the bones, soak the ribs in a cold water for at least 1hours changing the water a couple times.

Place the ribs in a pot and cover with new cold water and boil vigorously for 5 minutes. There will be scum /foam on the top. Remove the pot from the heat and strain the ribs. Wash the pot and the ribs so there is no more scum.

Place the clean pieces of beef back in the clean pot and fill the pot with 10-12 cups of water. Add salt, Daikon Radish, onion, green onions, peppercorns, and whole cloves of garlic.

Bring to a boil, and then simmer over low heat till the meat it tender ( about 2-3 hours. You want the meat to be falling off the bones when you eat. Must simmer over low heat or the stock will be cloudy. )

After about an hour, take the radish out and slice the radish and keep aside to put back into the soup later.

When the meat is tender, strain the meat and veggies. Discard the veggies. Season the meat with seasonings above.

Let the stock cool in the fridge for several hours or overnight so the fat will come up to the top and you can skim and throw away the fat. This step is necessary to obtain a good Galbi Tang that is not oily. If you are in a hurry, you can also scoop out the oil that comes up to the top as much as you can.

Bring the broth back to a boil along with Daikon and seasoned meat when ready to eat.

If everyone likes eggs in your soup, crack the eggs directly into the boiling broth before serving and break the egg up in the pot. Otherwise, you can make a thin omelet, slice it up and add that to the individual bowls.

Sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds. Serve very hot with rice. Hope you have yummy kimchi to go with it too!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Chicken Tikka Masala ( Easy Version)

If you like Indian flavors and want to try making some at home quickly, this would be one recipe you may like. Have you ever seen jars of different Indian curry sauces in ethnic stores? Well, I bought one for Tikka Masala and used it for this easy dish. Hope the step by step pictures will help you to make a similar dish at home. This is probably far from what an Indian mom or grandma would call Tikka Marsala but HEY! it sure was an easy yummy curry!

You will need:

1 Lb Chicken ( I used boneless skinless thighs)
Veggies of your choice (I used 1 yellow squash, 1 red bell peppers)
Some cilantro leaves, chopped
1 TBS oil
salt, to taste
1/2 Cup water or broth

Tikka Masala Sauce Jar (see picture below)

Cut the chicken into bite size piece. Sprinkle some salt.

Have your veggies cut up and ready.

Heat up the oil in a wok.

Add and saute the chicken about 5 minutes.

Add the veggies and cook for a few minutes.

Add about 1/2 jar of the sauce. Mix well.

Add the broth or water and cilantro leaves. Simmer about 20 minutes with low heat, uncovered till meat and veggies are tender and sauce has thickened.

Serve this colorful dish with some rice.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Apple Walnut Gorgonzola Turnovers

I love gorgonzola cheese and was searching for recipes that use this cheese for a party. I found several recipes that sounded good but I chose to make these mini turnovers from simply recipe because I love the combination of apples, gorgonzola and honey. They turned out well and we enjoyed them. I will make this again and when I do, I will put a little more gorgonzola than the original recipe calls for. The combination of the sweetness of honey and apples, the crunchy walnuts and the cheese was AWESOME!


If using prepared frozen puff pastry sheets, they need to be defrosted in the refrigerator at least 3 hours before using.

* 1 1/2 cups peeled, cored, chopped apples (use a good cooking apple such as Jonagold, Pippin, Granny Smith, Jonathan, Golden Delicious, Gravenstein, Mcintosh)
* 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
* 1/4 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
* 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled)
* 2 Tbsp honey
* 2 7-ounce prepared puff pastry sheets (total 14 ounces)
* 1 egg, beaten


1 Place chopped apples in a bowl, microwave on high heat for 5 minutes until apples are cooked through. Remove from heat and let cool. Drain excess moisture. Once cooled, chop further so that the pieces are between 1/4-inch and 1/2-inch square. (Note you can skip this step if you want; the main purpose is to get the apples to release some of their moisture before cooking into the pastry.)

2 Combine apples, walnuts, gorgonzola, thyme and honey in a small bowl.

3 Preheat oven to 400°F. Working with one puff pastry sheet at a time (leave the second one in the refrigerator until using it) roll out the pastry to a size of 9-inches by 12-inches. Cut into 12 3x3-inch squares (a pizza slicer works great for this). Paint 1/2-inch of border around each square with beaten egg (this will help the pastry seal). Place a heaping teaspoon of the apple walnut mixture in the center of the squares. Fold over the squares into a triangle shape, stretching the dough if necessary to cover the filling. Use the tines of a fork to crimp the edges. Place triangles on a silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet, with space between the triangles. Chill for 5 minutes in the refrigerator before baking, or chill while you prepare the second puff pastry sheet.

4 Whisk in a half teaspoon of water into the remaining beaten egg. Use a pastry brush to paint on the tops of the pastry triangles for a nice glaze. ( I sprinkled some sea salt on the top too). Place in oven and cook for 15-20 minutes until nicely puffed up and lightly browned. Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.

Makes 24 turnovers. Serve either warm or at room temperature. Can be made several hours in advance.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Irish Cream Brownies with Toffee Bits

Brownies are so easy to make and so yummy! Also, there are many little twists and varations you can create which makes them so FUN to make. I found an awesome recipe from allrecipe for these Irish Cream Brownies. I have been making these for almost every potluck or gatherings since. Hope you try these yummy little treats and enjoy them. I think they are very tasty!

Here is the recipe:

Yield 24 brownies


* 1 (20 ounce) package brownie mix
* 1/2 cup Irish cream liqueur
* 1/2 cup vegetable oil
* 2 eggs

* 2 teaspoons milk
* 2 tablespoons Irish cream liqueur
* 1 teaspoon brewed coffee
* 1/2 cup butter, softened
* 2 cups confectioners' sugar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/2 cup toffee baking bits (such as Heath Bits 'O Brickle®) (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
2. Stir together the brownie mix, the 1/2 cup Irish cream liqueur, vegetable oil, and eggs. Spread in the prepared pan.
3. Bake in the preheated oven until the top is dry and the edges have started to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven to cool completely on a wire rack.
4. Place the milk, 2 tablespoons Irish cream liqueur, and coffee in a small, microwave safe bowl. Microwave on High until the mixture boils. Set aside to cool completely.
5. Beat the butter and confectioners' sugar with an electric mixer in a bowl until smooth. Add the vanilla extract and the cooled Irish cream mixture, and beat well. Spread evenly over the cooled brownies. Sprinkle evenly with the toffee bits.

Nutritional Information

Amount Per Serving Calories: 276 | Total Fat: 14.2g | Cholesterol: 32mg

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Blueberry Limoncello Cake with a Limoncello Glaze

Doesn't the name alone sounds good already? I was immediately drawn to this Blueberry Limoncello Cake when I first saw the name popped up during my search for summer deserts that uses limoncello. I was recently introdued to limoncello and successfully made a bottle of it for the first time. I didn't want to drink all of it but wanted to use some of it in baking, so here I go...making this yummy cake which was easy to bake. I will share the recipe for limoncello in another post. There are many limoncello recipes floating on the Internet if you'd like to make it or you may purchase is as well.

Here is the recipe from

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

* 3 cups flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 2 cups fresh blueberries
* 1-1/2 cups butter, room temperature
* 2 cups sugar
* 3 eggs, room temperature
* 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon limoncello, divided
* 2 tablespoons lemon zest, divided
* 2 cups powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease 9x13 cake pan.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt with a wire whisk. Set aside.

Place blueberries in a small bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of dry ingredients. Toss gently and set aside. (This is done so blueberries don't sink to bottom of cake.)

In an another bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time.

Add 1 tablespoon limoncello.

Add the dry mixture and combine completely.

Fold in 1 tablespoon zest and blueberries.

Carefully add batter to prepared pan.

Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Cool pan on rack for 15 minutes before adding glaze.

Cool completely before serving.


With a wire whisk, stir together powdered sugar, 1/4 cup limoncello and 1 tablespoon lemon zest. Drizzle over cake, then spread for even consistency.


Saturday, June 18, 2011


Coffee lover? Got a sweet tooth? Then you will LOVE this classic Italian desert! Tiramisu, (in Italian: Tiramisù), literally means "pick me up". It is a layered desert consists of ladyfingers dipped in strong coffee typically Espresso, layered with a whipped mixture of egg yolks and mascarpone, flavored with liquor, and some cocoa sprinkled between layers. I have made this desert several times using different recipes and my favorite is the one I found on Alessi brand ladyfinger cookies package. It is in a green package. I kept this recipe but sometimes use any brand lady fingers which works just fine. I haven't tried making my own lady fingers. I have been told that they are easy to make. One day, I will try that and will also try making a Tiramisu flavored cake or even a cheesecake.



For making Zabaglione Cream:
5 Large egg yolks
1/4 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Marsala wine (sweet)
2 TBS Sugar

1 cup Whipping cream, chilled
2 TBS Sugar

1 lb Mascarpone cheese

2 cups freshly brewed espresso or 2 cups strong coffee
1/2 cup Brandy or Marsala
1 TBS Vanilla
2 packages Alessi Savoiardi cookies, or any other ladyfinger cookies (I used about 24 fingers)
2 TBS cocoa powder
Chocolate shavings to garnish (optional)

Making Zabaglione Cream: In the top part of a double boiler or a heat proof bowl ( I used my glass bowl), beat eggs and sugar together until the mixture is pale yellow in color.

In the bottom part of the double boiler or a sauce pan, bring water to a boil then reduce heat to simmer.

Place egg yolk mixture over water and gradually add Marsala, beating continuously.

Scrape bottom and sides occasionally and cook 6 to 10 minutes or until soft mounds can be formed.This is your Zabaglione.

Transfer to bowl (if you didn't use a bowl already), cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.

Whip cream with 2 TBS sugar until soft peaks form.

Fold whipped cream in Mascarpone and Zabaglione until well blended. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.

In a separate bowl, mix espresso, 2 TBS sugar, Brandy and vanilla. Carefully and quickly dip the lady fingers in the coffee mixture one at a time so they are well saturated but not falling apart. Arrange cookies on the bottom of a 9" by 13" pan (or a spring form pan.)

Note: Some just brush the cookies with coffee mixture using a pastry brush or even sppon the coffee carefully over. Try it one cookie and see what works for you. The goal here is to get the coffee flavor into the cookies without them falling apart.

Spoon 1/2 cheese mixture over cookies and sprinkle with 1 TBS cocoa.

Repeat one more time ending with cocoa. Cover and refrigerate at least 5 hours or overnight so that cookies can soften as they absorb moisture. (Very important part for all the flavors to marry)

Garnish and serve.

Chicken Pesto Florentine

I came across this wonderful pasta recipe from Simply Recipe when I was searching for recipes that would help me use up the basil that I have in my garden. This recipe calls for fresh pesto and many other ingredients that I love. I followed the recipe and everyone at the dinner table was very happy with this dish. I like creamy pastas but I LOVE this one for the fact that it is not too creamy that it makes you feel guilty after eating, and it also has veggies that I like. I will make this again and again!!

Chicken Florentine Pesto Pasta Recipe

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Yield: Serves 6-8.

We've used fresh spinach in this recipe, but you could easily use frozen. Just defrost and drain.


12-16 ounces dried short pasta (bowties, penne, gemelli, etc)
4 chicken breast cutlets (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds total)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 yellow or white onion, chopped, about 1 cup
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup white wine or stock
8-16 ounces of fresh spinach*, washed, long stems removed and chopped
Black pepper
1/4 cup cream
1/4 cup (or more) pesto, see here for recipe

*To wash spinach, fill up a clean sink basin with cold water and let the spinach soak in the water. Move it around a bit to loosen any dirt. Fresh spinach is usually pretty dirty, so you may need to do a couple of soakings. Remove the spinach and shake off excess water. Lay the spinach leaves down on a clean towel and pat dry.


Bring a large pot of salted water (add enough salt so that the water tastes salty) to a boil. Add the dried pasta and cook until al dente.

While preparing the pasta, cook the chicken. Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt, heat the olive oil in a sauté pan and brown the chicken breasts on both sides over medium-high heat. They don't need to be cooked all the way through, just browned. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

Add the chopped onion to the pan and sauté 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. While the onions cook, slice the chicken into strips. Put any pieces that are cooked all the way through in one pile, and put the ones that still need a little cooking in another pile.

When the onions are just beginning to brown, add the garlic and cook another minute. Add the white wine or stock and boil vigorously until the liquid is reduced by half.

Add the spinach and the undercooked pieces of chicken to the pan. Using tongs, turn them over to coat them with the juices in the pan. Continue to cook, turning and stirring often, until the spinach is wilted and the chicken cooked through, about 2 minutes.
Turn off the heat and add some black pepper, the pile of cooked chicken pieces and the pesto. Stir to combine. Drain the pasta put it in a large bowl. Add the cream to the saute pan and stir well to combine. Add the contents of the pan to the bowl with the pasta and mix well. Serve at once.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Fresh Basil Pesto...Straight from my garden :)

Oh what a delicious way to use up all the basil I have in my garden! I am so delightful that I found this fantastic pesto recipe from Simply Recipe. I used some of this pesto in
my chicken pesto florentine and my family quickly ate the rest as an appetizer with some bread while I was making the pasta dish. I did add a little more olive oil than what the recipe called for but I am sure it is fine the way it is too. Pine nuts are expensive and I have heard that using macadamia nuts instead is also delicious. I am not sure how much money you will save though. This little one cup of pesto can get pricy especially if you have to buy everything, but I was able to use my basil from the garden. I made sure the olive oil and the parmesan were also good quality. next time I will try it with Romano cheese to see which one I prefer. This recipe requires a food processor but there are recipes that do not. I will never buy pesto again!!!

Fresh Basil Pesto

Yield: Makes 1 cup.


2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Equipment needed: A food processor


Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.

Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Serve with pasta, or over baked potatoes, or spread over toasted baguette slices.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Easy Chicken Marsala

I like chicken, I like mushrooms and I LOVE this easy yummy chicken Marsala! I am not sure what the best thing is to serve this with but usually, I serve it with some angel hair pasta or sometimes mash potatoes. I have not tried making this in a larger quantity but I would like to try soon. There are many recipes floating on the Internet for this dish and I use this recipe from Allrecipes and it was awesome. The recipe did not say whether to use sweet Marsala or the dry but I used the sweet one. Also, I butterflied the chicken breast, put them in between two sheets of clear wrap and pounded them to 1/4 inch thick before cutting them a little bit smaller. It was such a quick and easy delicious recipe with simple ingredients. I am keeping this recipe!!Would you like to try it too?

Here is the recipe:


1/4 cup all-purpose flour for coating
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - pounded 1/4 inch thick
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup sliced mushrooms (I used 8oz pre sliced baby Bella mushrooms)
1/2 cup Marsala wine
1/4 cup cooking sherry


In a shallow dish or bowl, mix together the flour, salt, pepper and oregano. Coat chicken pieces in flour mixture.
In a large skillet, melt butter in oil over medium heat. Place chicken in the pan, and lightly brown. Turn over chicken pieces, and add mushrooms. Pour in wine and sherry. Cover skillet; simmer chicken 10 minutes, turning once, until no longer pink and juices run clear.

Nutritional Information

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 448 | Total Fat: 26.6g | Cholesterol: 99mg

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo: The Daring Cooks’ May 2011 Challenge

Our May hostess, Denise of There’s a Newf in My Soup!, challenged The Daring Cooks to make Gumbo! She provided us with all the recipes we’d need from creole spices, homemade stock and Louisiana white rice, to Drew’s Chicken & Smoked Sausage Gumbo and Seafood Gumbo from My New Orleans: The Cookbook, by John Besh.

I am so glad that this month challenge is GUMBO because I love LOVE soups and stews, and gumbo is one of my top favorites. I like seafood gumbo as well but I think I make a better chicken gumbo than seafood so this is what I often make, especially in the cold months. Sometimes I make a huge pot to eat some and freeze some.

Gumbo, in my opinion, is not hard to make and one should not be discouraged after seeing the long list of ingredients. However, it does take some patience to make a good roux and some time to chop up the veggies and get the chicken ready etc. There are other options to speed up the process if you choose to. For instance, instead of making homemade chicken broth and shredding your chicken, use boneless skinless chicken breast or store bought rotisserie chicken and box chicken broth. There are also jars of roux you can buy if you do not want to make roux but I enjoy making everything from scratch so I just pick a day that I have time and make this yummy pot of gumbo.

Feel free to tweak the recipe according to your taste. For instance, add more or less veggies or hot sauce or omit anything that you do not have or like. You can make a thicker gumbo if you make more roux by increasing the flour and oil. (Just keep a 1:1 ratio). Add more stock for a thinner gumbo. Some file powder can be sprinkle at the end into the pot or in the bowl before eating.

Okra is optional even though some say it is not gumbo unless okra is in it. (Tip: some say that if you sauté the okra in a little bit of oil before adding into the pot will make it not so slimy. I just add the chopped okra as is.)In my opinion, there are no rules and it’s all about your taste!

So enjoy it how YOU want it!


1 whole chicken, about 3-4 lbs
1 lb smoke sausage
½ Cup All Purpose Flour
½ cup canola oil
1 large onion
3 stalks of celery
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 Cup chopped fresh or frozen okra (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1 TBS Tabasco sauce
1 TBS soy sauce
Salt and peeper to taste
Steamed rice to serve with

Rinse and pat dry the chicken. In a large stock pot, place the whole chicken and rub some salt and pepper onto the chicken. Cover the chicken with cold water and boil on low to medium heat till the chicken is tender, for about 1 hour.

Strain the chicken and reserve the stock. Remove skin and bones from the chicken and shred or chop the chicken.

While the chicken is cooking, chop the onion, celery and bell pepper and cut the sausage into ½ inch thick pieces.

Make the roux by heating the oil on medium heat and adding the flour. Stir continuously till the roux is a darker golden brown and not let the flour burn. (This is very important). This will take about 30 min or so. Be careful because it is very hot.

Add the veggies and bay leaf when the roux is ready and cook till they are almost tender, then add the cayenne pepper. Cook a few more minutes.

Add the chicken, sausage, seasonings and the stock. If you are using okra, add okra. Let simmer on low heat till desire thickness or about 20-30 min. Serve over white rice. ENJOY!!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Tender Braised Oxtail

As Wiki explains, “Oxtail (occasionally spelled ox tail or ox-tail) is the culinary name for the tail of cattle. Formerly, it referred only to the tail of an ox or steer, a castrated male. An oxtail typically weighs 2 to 4 lbs. (1-1.8 kg) and is skinned and cut into short lengths for sale.Oxtail is a bony, gelatinous meat, and is usually slow-cooked, often stewed or braised….”

I personally think that most meat near bones such as wings or ribs and oxtail of course are delicious. There are many people who are not adventurous and won’t try oxtail but I really wish they would because it is TASTY!

However, if you were looking for a quick meal, this is not the one because unless you have a pressure cooker, Oxtail takes about 3-4 hours to prepare and at the end you will get a well deserved delicious dish of tender juicy oxtail in a rich brown gravy. I serve this dish with steamed white rice and my family LOVES it.

I usually purchase Oxtail from Asian or Hispanic grocery stores. I look for big meaty pieces that are not too fatty but you can’t avoid fat or bone if you are going to eat oxtail. I developed this oxtail recipe after trying different recipes and eating oxtail from different restaurants. I used many recipes as my guidance before coming up with the one that is most suitable to my family’s taste and mine.

Here is the recipe I would like to share:


2-2.5 LB oxtail pieces
1 TBS oil
3 bay leaves
1 large onion, chopped
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 TBS soy sauce
Dash cayenne pepper
¾ to 1 Cup water, (depending on how thick or thin you’d want your gravy to be)


1. Wash and pat dry the oxtails with paper towels.
2. Season them with salt, pepper, cayenne, garlic pepper, and soy sauce.
3. Heat up the oil in a Dutch oven and when it is hot, add the seasoned oxtails to sear and brown them on all sides for about 5-7 min.
4. When the oxtails are brown, add bay leaves and chopped onions. Mix well and cook for a few minutes.
5. Add the water, cover and cook on low for at least 2 hours or till tender.
6. Serve with rice.

Note: This step is not necessary but if you have time, let the oxtail pot cool in the fridge for several hours till all the fat floats to the top and solidifies. Remove the fat from the top, reheat and serve.