Tuesday, November 27, 2012

My Newest Creations

I have been SUPER SUPER busy for the past...I don't know how many months. I had midterm and final exams to deal with at school and had visitors over. My inlaws visited first for two weeks and then my parents visited for two weeks two days after my inlaws left. I had only one day in between to rest and clean up the house a bit before my parents came. It was the most busiest time of my life. Unlike my husband and I, both parents eat everything with rice about three times a day with a variety of side dishes and, of course, meat. With that said, I had to cook bigger portions and many things while doing homework, cleaning in between, and caring for Jensen. I was sleep deprived and took care of 4 other people. We also spent most of the day going sight seeing and touring Hawaii. By the time we come home, I have a few hours of doing homework, cook, clean, and shower before we all head to sleep. I'm truly thankful for the times my husband grilled and took care of some of the chores. I'm SO SO lucky to have such a great man and husband in my life. Truly blessed!!

Anywho, I won't be posting up any recipes for what these dishes. Mainly because I didn't write down any recipes. They were all from the top of my head and from previous experiments. Happy to say that they all turned out DELICIOUS!! Had so much compliments that I will be making these dishes again in the future and, hopefully, remember to jot down the recipes.

This is steamed shark in banana leaves. I first sauteed onion and red and green bell pepers with salt. I also sprinkled salt and pepper onto the shark. I then spoon out a small portion of the onion and pepper mixture onto banana leaves, laid the shark meat on top, drizzle with soy sauce, topped off with a slice of lemon, wrapped it up like an envelope, and steamed it for about 10 minutes.

Baked Flounder
This is baked sweet flounder. I sprinkled salt and pepper on the flounder. Laid a bed of thinly sliced tomatoes, chopped green onions, and chopped cilantro on foil. Laid the flounders on top. Drizzle with dark sweet soy sauce. I added slices of zucchini and eggplant for decorations. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. **Remember to clean out the fish gills and wash the flounders before cooking.

Hmong Cabbage Rolls
Cabbage rolls with hot, spicy pepper sauce....yummm!!
These are cabbage rolls. They're just like eggrolls but with cabbage as a wrap and steamed so it's healthier. The stuffing is the same stuffing as with eggrolls but with less ingredients. I only used ground pork, crushed garlic, salt and pepper, noodles, onions, and eggs. No need to over flavor. Take a head of cabbage and cut out the core. In a big pot, bring water to a boil and drop the head of cabbage in it. The boiling water will soften up the cabbage and make it easier for the cabbage leaves to fall apart. Once they have all fallen apart, dish them out one by one and let them cool. Then start filling them up with the stuffing, roll them like eggrolls, and place them in a steamer. No need to seal them up with any extra ingredients. Steam for about 30 minutes. Served best with a hot, spicy pepper dip.
By the way, these are my husband's favorite and my mother always makes it for him.

Pineapple Glazed Duck
For Thanksgiving this year, we celebrated it early so that we can have it with my parents. Instead of turkey, we used duck. My parents haven't had duck for a long time so they bought a duck for me to cook for Thanksgiving. I decided to make a pineapple glaze in honor of my dad who fell in love with Hawaii's pineapples. I first made a salt and pepper mixture with minced ginger and I smeared that all over the duck; in betweent he skin and inside the duck. I then made a pineapple reduction using honey, brown sugar, and pineapple juice. I can't remember how long I cooked the duck for but it was at 400 degrees. I covered it with foil and then took the foil off, glazed the duck with the pineapple glaze, and baked it again for 20 minutes. The picture DOES NOT do it justice. It came out golden brown and glossy. DELICIOUS!!
 In honor of my mom passing her citizen's test (took it 3 times) and finally becoming a U.S. citizen, I made her a strawberry layered white cake with mango curd on top. Almost forgot to take a picture so I took one quickly, but that was after my husband already had starting cutting the cake so that's why there's cake slices on the cake. I made a traditional white cake and saved the yolks to make the mango curd. I used mango nectar for the mango color and flavor. For the strawberry filling, I just cooked down some strawberries with sugar in apple juice. For the cream, I made a butter frosting with shortening for that white color and added walnuts around the sides for decorations. I didn't want the frosting to be so sweet because my mother doesn't like very sweet desserts so it wasn't as sweet. However, the mango curd and strawberry filling balanced it out very well. I am now a huge fan of white cake only because I can make other things with the yolks. It was definitely a great cake and the combination was perfect. SUCCESS!!

This cake was made for my inalws to welcome them to our home and to the island. It is a cream cheese layered red velvet cake with marshmallow fondant. I've always heard about marshmallow fondant being a better choice than regular fondant so I decided to try it for myself. It was definitely better. Making fondant is really easy but time consuming. So making the marshmallow was easy also but very sticky. I made it two days ahead and it stored very well in the frigde. I made a basic red velvet with the basic cream cheese frosting which was my husband's favorite cake. I then cover the cake with a thin layer of cream cheese and covered that up with a thin layer of fondant. I smooth out the sides and trim off the excess. The writings on the cakes says "Mom and Dad". I was constantly being bothered by my son so I couldn't make it look better since my husband had left to pick up his parents. I did what I could and that was the best I could do. As long as it's readable then it's good enough. It was a delicious cake and one that my inlaws love because of the marshmallow fondant. It wasn't as sweet as other frostings. Another SUCCESS!!


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