Thursday, May 26, 2011

Beer Bread

I've never had beer bread in my life until I went to a SimplyTasteful event held at a friend's house. It was served with a spinach herb dip, but I fell in love with the beer bread. I love bread...all kinds. I was determined to find a recipe to make beer bread. I can't remember how beer bread tastes like, but I'm happy with the recipe I came up with. It's nice and crunchy on the top with a soft, chewy inside. You can smell the beer too...for this recipe I used Budwieser.

 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer
4 cups flour
2 Tbsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
2 eggs slightly beaten
1/3 cup white sugar
2 Tbsp butter, melted

In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt. Add beer and continue to mix, then add the eggs. Batter will be sticky. Pour into a 9 x 5 inch greased loaf pan. Pound the pan on the table to level off the batter.

Preheat oven at 350 F. Bake for 60-70 minutes brushing the melted butter on the top the last 10 minutes. Let it cool for about 10 minutes. The top will be crunchy, and the insides will be soft.

the batter was very sticky, but came off the bowl very nicely too

I wasn't patient so my bread was higher on one side than the other, but it was still good

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Fried Eggplants

I love eggplants. Eggplants are one of those plants that goes well with any dish. You can cook it in so many ways. There's soup, stir fry, deep fry, pan fry, and grilling. My favorite way to eat it is Italian style with a nice plate of spaghetti. My husband likes to snack on this dish's the only time he'll eat more vegetables than meat. This is a very simple recipe...easy to follow and easy to make.

1 cup flour
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
½ cup plain bread crumbs
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 eggplant

Cut up eggplant into ½ inch rounds and let soak in milk for about 1 minute. Combine flour, cheese, bread crumbs, black pepper, and salt in a bowl. Coat eggplant slices into the flour mixture. Preheat a pan with a thin layer of oil and pan fry each side for about 3 minutes until sides are crispy, golden brown.

nice and crispy on the outside...
soft on the inside...great combination!!

Green Tea Chicken and Rice with Green Garlic Sauce

I love drinking tea, but lately I've been drinking coffee. Plus, I like drinking oolong tea more than green tea. My husband bought a box of green tea awhile ago. He's not a fan of drinking tea, but he thought he should start. Well, the box of tea was still on the counter unopen so I decided to use it in some of my recipes. I came up with this cold green tea chicken recipe from this one chinese restaurant in China Town in Honolulu. I ordered this chicken dish that was served cold and plain with a green garlic sauce. It was delicious and taste just like home. I was inspired to make this recipe with a twist.

Chicken Broth:
8 cups water
8 green tea bags
1 Cornish hen, halved
½ onion, diced
Ice bowl water

Green Garlic Sauce:
2 clove garlic, finely minced (try 1 clove to begin with first)
2 tsp grated ginger
Handful of cilantro leaves
1 Tbsp olive oil

2 cups uncooked rice, rinsed well

Bring 8 cups water to a boil and add the 8 tea bags. Let steep for 1-2 minutes. Turn off heat and let cool.

Meanwhile, start on the green garlic sauce. Put the minced garlic, ginger, and cilantro in a mortar and pestle. Pound until cilantro have broken down. Add oil and pinch of salt to taste. Mix well and set aside. (add sriracha sauce and fish sauce for a spicy green and red sauce)

Add Cornish hen to the pot of green tea and bring to a boil. Skim off any fat foam that floats on top. Once it boils, add the diced onions and salt to taste. Simmer for about 30 minutes or until hen is fully cooked. Take out the Cornish hens and put them in the ice bowl water for about 1 minute. Take hen out and set it aside to dry.

Make stove top rice as you usually would, but replace plain water with the green tea chicken broth. Once rice is done, fluff and serve with cold green tea chicken and green garlic sauce.

my green garlic sauce was very garlicy and the rice infused with the green tea....
and the cold chicken....yummmm oh!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

One Weekend Dinner Meal

So lately I've been very busy with life and husband was very busy with work. We didn't have much time to spend together on the weekdays and so one weekend, he decided to come up with a dinner menu that we've never tried before. He wanted some shark. I wanted something with coconut. And so, our dinner meal was created. We had seared shark fillets with a lemon grass sweet sauce topped with stir fry cole slaw. I also made coconut filled bread rolls and monkey bread as a dessert. Sadly, everything I made came from the top of my head and I didn't write down the recipes. It turned out very delicious. That shark was great with the lemon grass sauce and the cole slaw gave it a nice, healthy crunch.

shark fillets with lemon grass sauce and cole slaw
I seared the shark fillets with just salt and pepper

lemon grass sauce: minced lemon grass, diced onions, and sweet dark soy sauce
cole slaw: cole slaw, salt, pepper, soy sauce

 Coconut Bread Rolls
basic yeast bread recipe
coconut filling: egg, shredded coconut, honey

soft doughy bread rolls filled with warm sweet coconut

Monkey Bread
Pizza dough recipe
Sugar, cinnamon, and brown sugar

when it's done baking, flip it upside down and let all the syrup run down
my husband's new favorite junk food and he doesn't like cinnamon

Sweet Korean Pancakes

I love all kinds of pancakes, but when I came across this item I was interested. It's a premade package of korean pancakes. Usually found in korean stores. I also love green tea and so I was eager to make these pancakes, even though I had no idea what it would taste like. It's a korean pancake but it was actually similiar to one of my father-in-law's griddle cakes. It's almost the same method except this version is healthier and a lot tastier. It has a crispy and chewing texture with an oozing peanut syrup. My husband loved it. It's sweet, but not to sweet. One of my favorites to make as a snack.


You just follow the directions on the back. It comes with a flour packet, yeast packet, and filling packet. Mix the yeast with water and add it directly to the flour. Mix well. Oil your hands and divide the dough into balls. The packet suggest that it makes about 10 pancakes, but I was able to make more palm-size pancakes. Once the dough is divided, keep hands oiled and flatten dough in palms to form a flat disk. Cut open the filling packet and spoon a teaspoon of the filling into the center. Carefully, roll up the egdes of the flat disk and roll out into a ball. Heat a skillet with oil, flatten the pancakes down and cook pancakes for about 1-2 minutes on each side until golden brown. The filling will be very hot and might ooze out, but that's okay. Just be careful when eating it hot. I love eating it with a cup of coffee or a scoop of ice cream. 

the green tea pancakes were a nice gree color

nice crispy outside and chewy texture inside filled with peanut syrupy sweetness

hubby is not a pancake lover, but he loves these

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sweet Braised Pork/ Nqaij Qab Zib

I love this recipe. This was one of my childhood favorites, but my mom only made it every once in awhile. When I met my husband, I found out that this was one of his favorites, too, but his mom doesn't make it too often. I made it my goal to make this recipe with my own secret ingredient so that I can pass it down to my kids. My mom's version is very easy and simple, therefore, the taste is also easy and simple; nothing exciting. Sadly, I will not share the secret ingredient with you all.

2 lbs pork belly, cubed
1 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp ginger, grated
¼ cup sugar
½ cup dark sweet soy sauce
*secret ingredient

Mix all together and marinate for 2 hrs…1 hr the least.

1-2 cup sugar
½ cup dark sweet soy sauce
2 star anise
½ stalk lemon grass
1 tsp salt
4 hard boiled eggs, optional

Cook sugar in pot until caramelized. Add marinated pork including marinade to the carmalized sugar. Be careful. Let cook until carmalized sugar is completely dissolved. Add enough water to cover the top of the pork. Bring to boil and simmer for 2-3 hours; adding water a little at a time just to cover the pork. Half way through simmering, add lemon grass, star anise, and salt. Take the shells off the eggs and drop them in slowly into the pot. Continue simmering until liquid has reduced below the pork meats. Liquid can be reduced in half for a thicker syrupy sauce. Serve on rice.

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