Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sichuan noodles with cool cucumber

Hi all,

This was something that I just whipped up with the leftover roast chicken (see below). I just used whatever veggies that we had in the fridge, so if you don't have the exact set of veggies that match my recipe, don't worry about it. The sauce I used is Lee Kum Kee's Sichuan Spicy Noodle Sauce.

It is not super spicy but has a nice flavour, it also can be used as a dipping sauce. the sauce, along with the egg noodles, can pretty much be found in any Asian supermarket. The cucumber added a nice touch to the dish, it was really refreshing to have. Enjoy!!

1/3 English cucumber, cut into thin slices
2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1/4 cup green onions
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1/2 cup shitake mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup napa cabbage
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp suchuan sauce
2-3 rounds/bundles of eggs noodles
Few sprigs of cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper
  1. Bring a big pot of water to boil, add salt and throw in the egg noodles for about 5 minutes. Once the noodles are done, pour into a strainer and rinse with cold water.
  2. Heat sesame oil in a large skillet, add green onions and garlic. Saute for a minute.
  3. Stir in mushrooms, napa cabbage and chicken. Stir and heat through.
  4. Add the egg noodles, make sure that all the ingredients are mixed well into the noodle
  5. Add 2 tbsp of the sauce, mix well. Adjust taste with salt and pepper, or more sauce if you like it to be spicier.
  6. Pour the noodles into a bowl, top with cilantro and cucumber slices.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Simple roasted chicken


So the grocery story near our apartment had a "Dollar day" extravaganza. Whole chickens were on for 1 dollar a pound! WOOT WOOT! I have been very busy in the past few weeks and I really don't have much experience with roasting chickens, but this recipe was uber simple and the chicken turned out absolutely delicious! If you are a newbie cook like me, this is a great first dish to try.

What you will need:

1 whole chicken (~ 3 lb)
4 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
3 medium yellow onions, peeled and cut in half
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp dried thyme
4 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Sprinkled sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  1. Preheat your oven to 500°.
  2. Rinse the chicken thoroughly with cold water and remove any giblets from the cavity. Dry well. Clean and sterilize your sink.
  3. Toss the carrots, celery and onions into the bottom of a roasting pan large enough to comfortably hold the chicken. Toss with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables and sprinkle with some more olive oil, as well as the lemon juice.
  5. Season the chicken evenly with salt, pepper and thyme and place in the preheated oven.
  6. Immediately turn the oven temperature down to 350° and roast that bird for about 1.5 hrs, or until an internal thermometer registers 165° when jabbed into the deepest part of the leg.
  7. When it's done, pull the pan from the oven and let the chicken rest for a few minutes. Serve warm with the veggies.
  8. Save the chicken carcass!! Place the reserved carcass in a large pot and cover with cold water. Add some carrots, celery and onion and bring to a simmer, removing any debris that floats to the top. Leave it at a gentle simmer for an hour and then strain it into a clean container. Refrigerate.

Ps - for the very observant people out there, you may have noticed that my chicken was roasted with the wrong side up. I only realized this when I went to cut the breast out, and was at first quite confused because I could not find embarrasing. Can you tell I am new at this?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Greek potato and spinach salad

Hi everyone!

I made this dish last Sunday night and it was a big hit. The original recipe called for a lot more butter and oil than I actually used, but I think even the amount that I used was a bit too much and I would continue to cut it down next time. If you don't like the whole spinach feel, just cut it out of the recipe and it will still be a fabulous Greek potato dish.

As a side note, don't bring this dish to work, the garlic will stink up your entire office and make you smell like garbage. Not very attractive.

Here is what you will need:

1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 Stick butter or margarine(4 tablespoons)
6 Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 head of garlic, peeled into cloves
2 lemons, juiced and zested
1/4 cup more of olive oil
1 tbsp dried oregano
10 oz baby spinach
Sprinkled sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  1. Place a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat and add the first olive oil and butter.
  2. When the butter has melted and begins to sizzle, add the potatoes and brown slowly and patiently for 15-20 minutes, turning them as necessary until they have evenly browned on all sides. Set aside on paper towels
  3. Meanwhile finely chop or puree the garlic.
  4. Whisk the lemon, second olive oil, garlic and oregano into a small bowl and whisk until emulsified.
  5. Put browned potatoes into a salad bowl and toss with garlic dressing, salt and pepper and spinach.
Recipe adopted from Michael Smith, Food Network

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Yes...another chocolate chip cookie recipe

I know I know...

It seems like the only thing that I know how to bake is chocolate chip cookies, but the batch that I made this weekend was SOOOOO good, I had to share it! I found this recipe on Canadian Living, and gave it a try. It was amazing! Derek ate 8 of them in one sitting....

Now, if you are determined to make these cookies, you must not skimp on any of the ingredients. Don't try to cut the butter down or cheap out on the chocolate chips. A few more tablespoons of fat won't kill and will makes a world of difference in these cookies!! And honestly, if you are making chocolate chip cookies, no matter how you look at it, you are not eating the healthiest thing in the world. So just embrace it!

Here is what you will need:

1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts

  1. In bowl, beat butter and gradually beat in granulated and brown sugars until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
  2. In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt, and stir into butter mixture. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts. (At this point, the dough may look dry, just throw the wooden spoon away and use you hands to mix, the dough will soften up)
  3. Cover bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls, about 2 inches apart, onto parchment paper–lined or greased rimless baking sheets.
  5. With the spoon, flatten to 1/2 inch (1 cm) thickness.
  6. Bake in 350F oven for 8-10 minutes or until edges are golden and centers are still slightly underbaked. Let cool on pans on racks for 3-5 minutes.
  7. Transfer to racks; let cool completely.
  8. Make-ahead: Layer between waxed paper in airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 2 weeks.
Recipe adopted from Canadian Living

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Fish Burritos

Hi guys,

I have being looking for a good fish dish for a long time, and finally came upon this one when I was watching the Food Network (surprise, surprise!). I made this for Derek on our anniversary last week, and he really liked it. Here is what you will need:

Not the best picture in the world...this was before we wrapped it up

4 x 6 oz salmon filets, or any other firm fish
1/2 cup ketchup
1 lime, zested and juiced
3 or 4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp ground cumin
0.5 - 1 tbsp of your favourite hot sauce (careful with this one, it can make or break the dish)
Salt to taste
6 whole wheat tortillas
1/2 red or green or napa cabbage, sliced very thinly or shredded
1 batch of Avocado Salsa or any guacamole and salsa
Few cilantro leaves

  1. Preheat your oven to 450°. Slice the salmon filets in half lengthwise.
  2. Whisk the ketchup, lime, garlic, oregano, cumin, hot sauce and salt together in a bowl then add the fish, tossing it well to coat it with the marinade.
  3. Grill the fish or place it in an oven proof baking dish and roast until it is cooked through, about 12 to 15 minutes.
  4. Lay a tortilla on your work surface and add a handful of cabbage. Lay a piece of salmon over it and top with some Avocado, Salsa and cilantro.
  5. Wrap it up like a burrrrito! Enjoy!

Recipe adopted from Michael Smith, Food Network