Sunday, September 26, 2010

Crunchy Baked Pork Chops and Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Ricotta, and Peas

The Hearty Bread
Like any good foodie, I went to check out the new Trader Joe's that opened at 72nd and Broadway. Looking for what America's Test Kitchen calls "a hearty white bread" I chose this one as a likely candidate. In the package the slices were 1 inch thick and were substantial, without that Wonder Bread softness. When the cashier told me it makes excellent French toast I knew I was in the neighborhood. The menu tonight was entirely from America's Test Kitchen. I had to make some adjustments since Fairway, just 2 blocks up Broadway from Trader Joe's, does not sell center cut pork chops 2 to a pack but 3 to a pack. This recipe requires you to make your own breadcrumbs but after that, the pork chops cook very quickly in less than 20 minutes. In this recipe you must soak the meat in brine before baking.

Crunchy Baked Pork Chops
 3  center cut boneless pork chops, 3/4 to 1 inch thick, trimmed of excess fat

4-6 teaspoons table salt (down from 1/4 cup)
4 cups water
1 gallon size ziploc bag

Dipping Mixtures:

breadcrumb mixture
3 slices of "hearty white bread", shredded into 1 inch pieces
1/4 cup onion
3 large cloves garlic
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped (parsley in the original recipe but I like cilantro)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme

1/4 cup 

egg white mixture
6 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
3 large egg whites
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

3 lime wedges for garnish

Combine all the brine ingredients in the gallon ziploc bag. Put the pork chops inside, close it, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove from the bag and pat dry. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350˚F. 
The reason why the pork chops crunch
While the pork chops are brining, prepare the bread crumb mixture. Pulse the bread pieces in a food processor or blender until you get coarse crumbs. If using a blender, do a handful at a time. Spread the bread crumbs on a tray. I like onion and garlic, so I increased the amounts from 2 tablespoons onion to 1/4 cup, and I used 3 large cloves instead of 2 medium. Pulse the onions, garlic, and oil together, about 6 times. 
Clockwise from left: egg white mixture, flour, and breadcrumbs
Add the onion mixture to the breadcrumbs and mix well. Bake until golden brown and dry, about 20 minutes, stirring twice. Remove the breadcrumbs from the oven but do not turn it off. Let the breadcrumbs come to room temperature. Toss the crumbs with Parmesan, thyme, and chopped cilantro. Transfer to a pie plate and set aside. In another pie plate, pour 1/4 cup flour and set aside. In a third pie plate, add the egg whites, mustard, and 6 tablespoons flour. Whisk until there are pea sized particles. 
Three little pork chops are ready to go in the oven
Increase oven temperature to 425˚F. Spray a wire rack with cooking spray and put it in a baking tray. Dip each pork chop in the following sequence: flour, egg mixture, and breadcrumb mixture. Place about 1 inch apart on the prepared wire rack. Bake 17-25 minutes. I baked the 3 chops for 17 minutes and they came out juicy and slightly pink but cooked through. According to ATK, the internal temperature should reach 135˚F. Then let the chops rest 5 minutes until they reach an internal temperature of 150˚F. Now ATK did not say resting inside or outside the oven, but I turned off the oven and left the chops inside for 5 minutes. They were indeed crunchy, as promised, and not at all salty.
Simple avocado and lettuce salad, pasta with etc. etc. and the crunchy pork chop
Here's the recipe for the pasta. Now, when I cook, I don't run and and buy everything exactly as the recipe says for one very simple reason: economy. I make substitutions especially if they won't alter the taste or the appearance of the finished product. Instead of pasta shells, I used an open package of elbow macaroni from my pantry cupboard.

Pasta with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Ricotta, and Peas
2 cups pasta shells
1 cup frozen green peas
3 large cloves garlic (up from 2 cloves)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (I didn't increase this because these pepper flakes are potent--they're home-made by my sister-in-law's cook in Bangkok)
1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
1  8.5 oz. jar sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, drained, rinsed, and chopped coarsely
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
2 teaspoons fresh mint, chopped thinly
salt and black pepper to taste

Boil the pasta according to package directions. In the last 15 seconds, add the frozen peas. Drain and return to the pot.

In a small skillet, heat the garlic, oil and pepper flakes until sizzling but not browned. I accidentally browned the garlic, but I think it tastes better that way. I like the strong burned flavor. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, ricotta, Parmesan cheese, mint, salt and pepper to taste, and the garlic oil mixture. Add to the pasta and peas and mix thoroughly.
Tomatoes, ricotta, mint, salt and pepper

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Stone Fruit and Berry Galette

Blueberries, blackberries, and nectarines
I've wanted to make a stone fruit and berry galette ever since I saw the recipe for an apricot and blackberry galette in Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook. I tried it in Calgary earlier this summer but the pastry dough was  so much trouble. It's much easier to use frozen puff pastry! This is my version of the galette using nectarines which are in season.
Three cups of nectarines, blueberries, and blackberries drizzled with lime juice and sprinkled with sugar, cornstarch, and salt. 
 The puff pastry rolled out on a silicone mat is ready for filling and baking.
 Mound that delicious fruit in the middle of the dough and...
…Fold up the edges
1 frozen puff pastry, thawed according to package directions
1-2 tablespoons all-purpose flour for dusting
3 cups mixed stone fruit and berries (e.g. nectarines, blackberries, and blueberries)
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon granulated sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Line a rimmed baking tray with a silicone mat or a sheet of parchment paper.

First, cut the nectarines into slices. This is easy to do; simply slice the flesh off around the stone. Then slice the fruit into 1 inch slivers and discard the core with the stone. Put the nectarine slices, the blackberries and blueberries into a large bowl. Drizzle with lime juice. Combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add to the fruit and gently toss. Set aside.

Place the  mat or parchment paper on the counter-top. You are going to roll and fill the pastry dough on the mat/parchment because it's difficult to lift it once it has been filled. Dust the mat/parchment lightly with flour and roll out the thawed puff pastry into a 12x14 inch rectangle. With the pastry on top, gently lift the mat/parchment by the edges and put it in the baking tray. Mound the fruit in the center leaving a 2 inch border all around. Then fold up the edges, making pleats so that the fruit is snug against the pastry. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar. If any sugar is left over, just sprinkle it on top of the fruit!

Place the pastry on the baking tray in the oven (the oven rack should be in the middle) and bake 40-50 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Remove the baking tray and let it rest on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Using a flat spatula, gently ease the galette off the mat/parchment and onto the cooling rack to cool completely. If any juices are released, no worries. When the galette cools, the sauce thickens.

Slice into square and serve at room temperature with ice cream or crème fraîche--which I prefer to whipped cream because of its tangy taste. Here is a recipe for quick crème fraîche from my other favorite cookbook The Cake Bible:

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons sugar

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and let it rest in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Whip until soft peaks form. Delicious!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Black and White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cookie dough
I found this recipe in the Milwaukee Journal when Taranee was about a year old. I've done all kinds of things to it and it's always come out right. At one time I reduced the amount of sugar by one-half and it still tasted good. When I lived in Thailand, shortening was too expensive so I used butter. It still tasted fine. One summer, Taranee made them without brown sugar. They were anemic to look at but they still tasted great.

Have at room temperature:
1 cup shortening (or 16 tablespoons butter or 8 tablespoons shortening and 8 tablespoons butter)
1 cup packed brown sugar (use a full cup not only for sweetness but also for the nice brown color)
1/2 to 1 cup white sugar (1/2 cup is the lowest I would recommend for reducing the sugar)
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 package (12 oz) semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 375˚F. Prepare baking trays. Cover with sheets of baking parchment. Parchment makes prevents the cookies from sticking to the pan, making clean up much easier.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. Cream butter and sugars. Add vanilla and eggs until just combined. Add the flour mixture in 3 batches, mixing until just combined. Add the chocolate morsels and nuts (if using) by hand. I used 6 oz. white and 6 oz. black chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded teaspoonful on the prepared baking sheets. I recommend using a small ice-cream scoop with a spring-action release for making uniform-sized cookies. Bake 8-10 minutes or until the center of a cookie, when lightly touched, leaves no impression. Cool cookies completely on wire racks before stacking. Makes 2-3 dozen.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Popeye-Green Salsa Burgers

Juicy sliders!
A long time ago when Taranee was very little, I bought a book called Healthy Snacks for Kids. The point of the book was to feed healthy foods to kids but all the appeal was in the presentation. One of the recipes was called Popeye Burgers. It was a basic hamburger patty with chopped spinach inside. The recipe was an instant hit not only with Taranee but with Andy and AJ as well. Now that the children are grown up, so has this recipe.

1 pound lean ground meat (beef, chicken, pork, or turkey)
1 cup chopped spinach
1/3 cup green salsa (mild or spicy)
1/4 cup finely chopped almonds
salt and pepper to taste
1 slice of Cheddar cheese folded in quarters

In a medium bowl, add all the ingredients and mix well. I like to use my hands because it really helps to combine all the ingredients. I added the almonds partly to soak up the extra liquid and partly to add flavor. I also happened to have leftovers from Sunday's pad thai. 

On high heat, heat a non-stick skillet. Make patties about as big as the palm of your hand. I got 6 patties out of a pound--sliders! I put the sliders in that wonderful Everyday pan (no oil!). Turn the heat to medium high. I let the patties cook about 10 minutes on each side. I turned the patties once and topped four of them with the cheese quarters.They're juicy, as you can see from the picture above.
Popeye burger on a whole wheat sourdough bun

Monday, September 20, 2010

Potato-Spinach-Bacon Frittata

My Calphalon Everyday Pan is so versatile and perfect for making one-pot meals. Tonight's light supper was a frittata consisting of eggs, small red, white, and blue potatoes, bacon,  and spinach. Served with a salad it's perfect for brunch too. I got this recipe from and made some adjustments to it.

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2 cups diced potatoes
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped (don't you just love garlic and eggs?)
1 cup chopped spinach
6 eggs (1 1/2 cups liquid egg substitute in the original recipe)
1/4 cup fat-free milk
salt and pepper to taste
Scallion and cilantro, chopped, for garnish
6 strips of bacon, fried, drained, and crumbled (I used uncured pepper bacon)

Boil the potatoes. Let them simmer for 10 minutes. Drain well and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the oil. Add the potatoes, onion, garlic and cook until the onion and garlic become fragrant. Add spinach and cook until wilted.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour egg mixture over the potato-spinach mixture and reduce heat to medium. Sprinkle the bacon on top. Cover and let the eggs set, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Use a spatula to gently loosen the edges of the frittata. Cook until completely set about 5-7 minutes.

Wedge of frittata with Sriracha sauce and a Greek salad

Friday, September 17, 2010

Cheese and Bacon Strata

Cheese and Bacon Strata
A strata is a casserole made from bread, eggs, and milk. This is a basic one-layer breakfast strata recipe from Café . A strata can also be made with two layers of bread. I made some alterations to this recipe by using what I had on hand.

3 slices of whole wheat bread
4 large egg whites plus 1 whole large egg or 3 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream plus 2 cups skim milk (original recipe: 2 1/2 cups milk)
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 cups shredded Monterey Jack, Cheddar, and Mozzarella cheeses combined
6 bacon strips, fried until brown and crisp, then drained and crumbled

Generously butter one 8 inch square pan. Cut the bread slices to fit the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the cheeses over the bread. Whisk eggs together. Add the cream and milk and combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour on top of the bread and cheese and let sit for at least an hour at room temperature. It's preferable to do this overnight but I didn't think of making a strata last night! To let this sit overnight, cover the pan with plastic film and place it in the refrigerator. Let it come to room temperature before baking. Scatter the bacon in top.

Set oven rack to lowest position and preheat oven to 350˚F. Bake casserole until brown and bubbly about 45 minutes. You may need to cover it with foil to prevent the top from browning too much. Let stand a few minutes before serving.

Cook's Notes: The crust puffed up then deflated and once sliced, there was water in the bottom of the pan. It must have been from the egg whites so I just drained off the water. It was delicious served with a sprinkling of fresh scallion and a dollop of hot chili sauce!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Shepherd's Pie and Buttermilk Country Cake

For our Sunday dinners with Richard and John, I am mindful that John prefers food lightly seasoned with herbs, so I made this shepherd's pie recipe I found on and adapted. For the meat filling, I used ground turkey breast instead of ground beef and I added celery for flavor. For the topping, I added garlic to the potatoes. I do recommend sprinkling seasoning salt on top of the potatoes, both for flavor and for the color.

Shepherd's Pie
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 large carrots, diced
1 pound lean ground turkey breast (or use lean ground beef or ground chicken)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons dried mixed herbs (I used dill)
1 cup frozen peas
2 ribs celery, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

2 pounds  potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-1 1/2 inch cubes
6 large cloves garlic (I love garlic! Use less if desired)
1/2 cup fat-free milk
1 tablespoon butter (optional)
Seasoning salt to taste (optional)

In a large pot, add the potatoes and garlic. Cover with water to 1 inch above the level of the potatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and mash potatoes with garlic, milk, and butter, if using. Set aside. I forgot to get a potato masher so I mashed the potatoes in the blender a large spoonful at a time. The potatoes had the consistency of vanilla icing!

Preheat oven to 400˚F. 

In a large pot, heat the oil then fry the onions and carrots until onions are transparent and carrots are softened, about 3 minutes. Add meat and fry until no longer pink. I used turkey for a low calorie option. Season with Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, herbs, and chicken broth. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered about 15 minutes. Add peas and celery. Cook 5 minutes uncovered.

Pour the meat mixture into a 9-inch square baking dish. Top with potatoes. Smooth top and sprinkle with seasoning salt, if desired. Put the dish on a baking tray to catch the drips and put it in the oven for  20-25 minutes. I was afraid the seasoning salt might make it salty, but go ahead and sprinkle it! Use it if the meat filling is lightly seasoned.
Shepherd's  pie: Looks like a cake with vanilla icing!
I also made Chinese Style Barbecued Ribs (the recipe is elsewhere on this blog), steamed broccoli seasoned with a squeeze of lime juice, and a Mediterranean salad.

This Mediterranean salad consists of romaine lettuce, grape tomatoes, and ripe black olives. I served the feta cheese on the side along with a choice of dressings: ranch style and balsamic vinaigrette.

Friday, September 10, 2010


I cheated on this one. I didn't make it entirely from scratch. I bought fresh pizza dough in a tub from the Whole Foods Market and the rest was fairly easy.

1 tub of fresh pizza dough
2 fresh tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1 cup soft mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup ham slices, shredded
1/4 cup basil chiffonade (optional)
1/2 cup black olives, chopped (optional)

The pizza cook at Whole Foods recommended letting the dough rise before filling and baking.  Lightly spray a bowl with cooking spray and flour the bowl. Take the dough out of the tub and put it in the floured bowl. Sprinkle the top lightly with flour and cover bowl with a cloth. Put the covered bowl in a warm draft free place to rise for one hour.

Preheat oven to 400˚F.  Prepare a rimmed baking tray that measures 17x11 inches.

Put the tomatoes in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Mix well. Pour tomatoes in a strainer and allow the tomatoes to drain for 10 minutes. Discard the water.

Uncover the bowl and take out the dough. Place it on a lightly floured bowl and roll it out to roughly 17x11 inches. Spray dough lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with half of the grated mozzarella cheese.
Sprinkle with the drained tomatoes and the shredded ham. Top with the rest of the grated cheese. Then top with circles of the soft mozzarella cheese. If desired, top with chopped olives.

Bake 25-30 minutes until the crust turns a light golden brown. If desired, slice basil leaves thinly and sprinkle on top of the pizza.

Ready to eat!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Not-Fiery Pork Skewers with Sesame Rice Salad

Everything went wrong with this recipe. I didn't have teriyaki sauce so I substituted soy sauce. The problem is teriyaki is sweeter than soy sauce so I should have adjusted the sugar in the recipe. I didn't have red wine vinegar because I couldn't find a small enough bottle of the stuff to fit in the teeny tiny cupboard of the teeny tiny kitchen. I substituted mirin and white wine. The red pepper flakes imparted no flavor and no heat whatsoever to the pork. This recipe needs a stronger pepper flavor and that comes from using crushed dried chilies or sambal which is an Indonesian chili sauce. And worst of all,  9 minutes cooking time was way too long.  The taste? It was well-done and salty.
Not-so-fiery pork skewers with sesame rice salad
 "Fiery" Pork Skewers (from:
2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3/4 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed of fat and cut into 1 inch cubes

In a medium bowl, mix teriyaki sauce, vinegar, oil, brown sugar, and pepper flakes. Add pork tenderloin cubes to mixture and toss to coat.

You can do this on a grill but I have a New York apartment with no backyard so I fired up the broiler. Cover a baking tray with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray. Thread the meat on the skewers, about 4-5 cubes per skewer. Place on the prepared tray. Cook 10-12 minutes (ye gods! 9 minutes was long enough to dry them out. Try 5-7 minutes.) Turn frequently (every 3 minutes) and brush with remaining marinade.
Pork on skewers
Should you soak the skewers first and won't they burn? It's not necessary to soak the skewers, and yes, they will char a bit, but not to the point of bursting into flames--unless you do something else and forget you've got dinner in the oven.
The sesame rice salad is from the South Beach Diet cookbook. It has another name in the book but I've made the recipe so many times that I've made it my own. The trick is to make the vegetables crisp-tender and you do that by blanching them in boiling water.

2 cups cooked brown rice, warm or room temperature
1/2 pound green beans cut in 1 inch lengths  (asparagus in the original recipe)
1/2 pound sugar snap peas, whole, trim ends to pull off the strings
2 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
3 scallions, sliced on the diagonal
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (optional)

Put 4 cups of water in a saucepan on to boil. Immerse the beans. I never time them. Just watch them turn bright green. When they do, use a slotted skimmer to remove the beans at once. Immerse in cold water to stop the cooking process. Repeat with the sugar snap peas. Drain well and set aside.

In a skillet, brown the sesame seed until a light golden brown. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk the oil, soy sauce, and sesame oil until blended together. Set aside

In a large bowl toss the rice with the soy sauce mixture. Add the beans and peas. Add the sesame seeds. Combine. Sprinkle the scallions and crushed red pepper on top. I add the cilantro to this recipe because it adds a savory flavor and crunchy texture.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Lettuce Sandwiches and Chinese Style Barbecued Ribs

Ground pork lettuce sandwich sprinkled with mustard
This recipe for Lettuce Sandwiches is another family favorite that my mother-in-law taught me to make. It's basically the same idea as the ground meat with bean threads except you leave out the egg and the bean threads. Sometimes I'm lazy and I make it with garlic powder. This time I made it with fresh minced garlic and it tastes much better!

Lettuce Sandwiches
1 pound ground meat (I used pork)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 scallion, chopped fine
1 carrot, diced
2 tablespoons cooking oil
Soy sauce to taste
Black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons mustard
2 tablespoons water
Soy sauce for serving
Lettuce leaves (I recommend Cos/Romaine, leaf or iceberg lettuce)

Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the carrot and cook for one minute. Add the garlic and scallion and fry until fragrant. Add the meat and cook, stirring, until no longer pink. Season to taste with soy sauce and black pepper. The recipe can be doubled.

In a small bowl, mix mustard and water until it is smooth and no longer lumpy. If desired, serve with soy sauce. 

Spoon meat over lettuce, sprinkle soy sauce and/or mustard on top,  pop in mouth and eat!


I like surfing the internet for new recipes. This one came from but I adjusted it right away when I saw how much garlic was in it. Not enough! I used twice the garlic but halved the recipe because I'm only cooking for two now, just AJ and me.

Barbecued Ribs
Chinese Style Barbecued Ribs

2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 pound pork spareribs separated into 1-rib pieces

2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon honey

In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and garlic. Put the ribs in a plastic bag and pour the soy sauce marinade over it. Press air out of the bag and turn bag to ensure even coating. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Cover a baking tray with tin foil and lightly spray with cooking spray. Place the ribs on the prepared pan, meat side down. Prepare the glaze. Loosely cover with spare ribs with foil and bake for 50 minutes. Glaze the ribs with half the prepared glaze. Bake uncovered for 10 minutes. Turn ribs and cover with the remaining glaze. Bake uncovered for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from oven and eat with your fingers!

Our dinner

Friday, September 3, 2010

Ma Po Tofu and Bean Sprouts with Scallion

Teeny Tiny Kitchen
 I have a tiny kitchen so it doesn't pay to invest in a lot of pots and pans. So I got one good one, a Calphalon Everyday Pan that can be both a skillet and a pot. To go with the tiny kitchen is a tiny apartment sized refrigerator that doesn't hold much. I'm constantly juggling leftovers with freshly cooked food. The fridge was getting full so it was time to move stuff. I had half a cake of firm tofu and a pound of bean sprouts both left over from this week's pad thai. Hence, dinner! First, Ma Po Tofu is simply bean curd in a spicy meat sauce. The Bean Sprouts with Scallion is my own invention using whatever is on hand.

Ma Po Tofu (Spicy Bean Curd)
Ma Po Tofu
1 cup bean curd
1/2 pound ground pork
1 scallion minced
1/2 inch of ginger root, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 chili, chopped
1 tablespoon chili sauce (sold in Asian markets as sambal)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons oil
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water

Pour hot water over the bean curd and let sit about 5 minutes. Drain and cut into bite size pieces.

Combine scallion, ginger, garlic, and chili pepper in a small bowl. Heat 3 tablespoons oil over high heat in a large skillet. Add scallion mixture and fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add meat and cook until no longer pink. Add chili sauce, sesame oil, and chicken stock. Cook until bubbly. Add the bean curd and gently turn to combine. Mix cornstarch and water together. Add to the sauce to thicken. Remove to a serving bowl and keep warm. Serve hot with steamed rice.

Bean Sprouts with Scallion
1 lb bean sprouts, picked over
1 scallion, cut into 1 inch lengths
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon water
Salt and pepper to taste
Fish sauce to taste, if desired

Pinch off the root and any brown bits on the bean sprouts. Wash and drain.

Wipe out the skillet used to make the Ma Po Tofu with a paper towel.  Heat the oil in the skillet. Add the scallion and garlic and fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the bean sprouts and combine. Add the water and cook uncovered until the bean sprouts just turn transparent. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add fish sauce, if desired.

Ah, dinner!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Berry Delicious!
In New York this evening, it's 84˚F and humid. A refreshing dessert is this berry medley topped with this fluffy yogurt. All that's in it is a handful of blueberries, strawberries and raspberries sprinkled with a little sugar and topped with a dollop of Greek style yogurt drizzled with honey.