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Friday, May 30, 2014

Sichuan "Fish Flavor" Eggplant and Zucchini

While perusing different Sichuan recipes, I found one that called for eggplant without frying.
Oooh give it to me!  Eggplant is so darned sexy it's something I never pass up on when I get a chance.
Sort of like mango.. or shrimp.. or asparagus..
Anyway, although the title says "fish flavor" there is no fish or animal involved here.  The "fish flavor" is used to describe the mix of soy, vinegar, ginger, and garlic, often used on fish.
Inspired by ChinaSichuanFood
Serves 3-4 as a side
1 long eggplant, cut into sticks, soaked in a bowl of salted water 10 minutes, then drained
1 zucchini, cut into sticks, soaked with the eggplant, then drained
2 green chilis, whole
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 inch ginger, grated
1 shallot, sliced
1/2 Tbsp doubanjiang
2 Tbsp oil
chopped scallions for garnish
1 tsp corn starch
2 Tbsp black vinegar
1 Tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1.  Heat the oil in a wok and cook the eggplant and zucchini until colored and soft, about 10 minutes.
2.  Push the eggplant and zucchini to one side and add the garlic, chilis, and ginger and cook until the nice smell starts wafting to your nostrils.
3.  Add the doubanjiang and stir well.
4.  Add the sauce, mix well, then remove from heat.  The sauce should almost instantly caramelize.

Serve garnished with scallions.

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Sichuan Pepper Chicken

As I continue my Sichuan cuisine discovery, I uncover another recurring technique which may not be the healthiest idea, but gives excellent texture, especially when using white meat.
The quick shallow fry and drain before stir frying chicken with the rest..
the sauce at the very end, stir once, then turn off heat.
It's like.. magic
Here is one dish similar that brings out the Ma in Ma La, but I didn't go too crazy on the La because I'm not alone and I didn't feel like making another option (for wimps).
The Ma, though, is quite strong and makes for an interesting party on your tongue.
For those not familiar with Ma La, it is the description of a numbing spicy feeling.  The numbing comes from the sichuan peppercorns and the spicy from the red chilis.  It's really a match made in heaven and the best part is that they don't hit at the same time, so you can really enjoy them separately, then together as one wears off and the other kicks in.
That whole concept is a masterpiece on its own, which is probably one of the reasons I enjoy Sichuan cuisine so much... plus I'm addicted to the Doubanjiang now.
Inspired by ChinaSichuanFood
Serves 4
8 oz (about 250g) chicken breast, cut into cubes
3 Tbsp Sichuan pepper, soaked in warm water 20 minutes, then drained
3 Tbsp oil
2 tsp corn starch
1 scallion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 dried red chilis, whole
1 tsp rice wine
1 small egg white
1 tsp light soy sauce (or GF alternative)
Stir fry:
1 tsp black vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp light soy sauce (or GF alternative)
1 tsp corn starch
1.  Mix the marinade ingredients together and rub all over the chicken cubes.  Marinate for about 15 minutes.
2.  Right before cooking, add the 2 tsp corn starch to the marinating chicken, then heat the oil in a wok and fry the cubes in batches, reserving on a paper towel.  You want the cubes to get a nice color.. probably about 3 minutes.  Set aside.
3.  Dump the oil but leave about 1 Tbsp.  Add the drained Sichuan peppercorns and dried chilis and fry until it starts to smell lovely.
4.  Add the garlic and scallions and cook for another minute.
5.  Add the chicken back in along with the stir fry sauce.  Cook on high and mix well, then serve hot.

I served with some Fish Flavor Eggplant and white rice.
The numbing feeling is just amazing.. I love the Ma La two-step!

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Eggs in the Bamboo Steamer

There is a well known Chinese dish called steamed eggs where they are beaten with a custardy end result.
This post is not about that.
This post is about how I will never boil an egg again in my life.  The steaming method is much easier, more economic, and yields a perfect result with an easy to remove peel, thus a pretty egg.
Why oh why have I never done this before?
Steam on high for 8 minutes to get an almost hard egg with a slightly runny center (perfection by my standard).
To hard boil a medium egg with a solid yolk, 11 minutes.  An extra large egg, 13 minutes.
To soft boil a medium egg, 6 minutes.  An extra large egg, 8 minutes.
No mess!

I used this method (and did not photograph because, well, we all know what a whole peeled egg looks like) and then sliced the eggs to use in a sandwich with feta and red onions.
This has motivated me to test some Deviled Eggs, especially since I just stocked up on some farm fresh young hen eggs from the market!!!!

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Marinated Sardine Filets

Natural chemistry has been an integral part of cuisine history, but it also has its place in cuisine present and future.
Cooking meat or fish in coarse salt or lemon juice is still done today.  How do you think ceviche is made?  Here I did a little mix of both methods with some sardine filets;
First, I laid a bed of coarse salt (I used sel de Guerande) on a plate.
Then, I laid my sardine filets skin side down..
and covered them with some more coarse salt.
I left them like this for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Then, I rinsed them well.. very well, in cold water.  You don't want that salt to stay on there.
Pat them dry.  By now the flesh has firmed up.
Then, I laid them in another dish and squeezed the juice from 1 lime over the filets and added some olive oil until just covered.  I added a bit of piment d'espelette and swirled it all around to mis it well.
I placed this in the fridge for another hour.

Then I served alongside some roasted asparagus and a salad of mango, shrimp, lime, and cilantro.
This hot/cold deal was very refreshing, and cooking sardines this was is a great way to go if it's raining and you can't light up the bbq or plancha... and you don't want the fish smell in the house!

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Roasted Eggplant vs Gazi Feta

Having all of this on my plate was too much for me to handle as a sane "normal" person.
I'm not saying it was too much food, but I couldn't help going back and forth from the salad to the eggplant and saying "you win me over each time" and "how interesting I'm so happy I finally met you" and then trying not to mix the two but then happily mixing them while contemplating the other plates at the table, hoping there would be more eggplant... err I mean Gazi feta.. no I mean eggplant..
This amazing duel make an exquisite duo.
So Gazi feta is Turkish and comes from a refrigerated can..
.. but don't let that fool you!  This feta is tender, not too salty, almost sweet, and extra tangy.  It is the most incredible feta I've ever had, and I can't stop putting it everywhere.  Eggs, asparagus, salad (well, that's standard) and then I sprinkled it all over the grilled chicken and roasted eggplant.
I had a similar thing going on with the eggplant.  First I scraped it out of its skin, then quickly retrieved the skin and cut it up and sprinkled it over the feta.  It was like a tug of war between the two hemispheres of my brain.
Here is the composition of my insanely delicious plate:
handful home fries tossed with olive oil, fleur de sel, and za'atar
griddled chicken rubbed with olive oil and za'atar
salad of chopped bok choy with sliced tomatoes, scallions, chopped cilantro, a squeeze of lime, some fresh pepper, that addicting Gazi Feta and a drizzle of olive oil

I may have gone a bit over the top putting Za'atar in everything, but it really connected everybody in a way that was so simple yet almost spiritual...

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Spicy Apricot Basil Muffins

Here's a muffin I conceptualized while making.  I knew I was going for apricot, but I didn't use any recipe for proportions and right before adding the flour, I decided to add some dried basil and chile powder.  Those things go together well when fresh, why wouldn't they work in a muffin?
Well, they work very very well, although the basil is not overwhelming.  I may double the amount next time.
Yield 16 muffins
2 overripe bananas, mashed
1 packet vanilla sugar
200g apricot jam (mine was 65% fruit)
80g canola oil
2 eggs, well beaten
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 Tbsp dried basil
1/4 tsp chili powder (mine is extra spicy, but use more if yours is not)
1/8 cup milk
150g whole wheat flour
Poppy seeds for garnish
1.  Beat together the eggs, bananas, vanilla, apricot jam, oil, salt, baking soda, baking powder, basil, milk, and chili powder.  Beat it well until there are little bubbles.
2.  Carefully stir in the flour until just combined.
3.  Fill your buttered muffin tins 3/4 full sprinkle some poppy seeds on top and bake for 18-20 minutes at 180°C 350°F.

That's it.. eat warm or cold but don't tell anyone what's in them.. make them guess!
The small addition of spice is what makes these special.  It will have you think
and then realize you said it out loud!

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Monday, May 26, 2014

Sesame Peanut Cold Soba Noodle

To keep going with my China style weekend, I present to you some summer food.  Sesame peanut cold noodle is something quite popular all over the world.  I don't often have noodles cold..I'm one that likes to eat steaming hot, though certain things are best enjoyed at room temperature or just above warm.  Cold noodle salads at bbqs are something I usually avoid all together.  This tasty tangy noodle salad may change my mind on the subject.  I think my aversion to cold pasta and potato salad came from the fact that it is usually drenched in mayonnaise.  Drench it in a sesame peanut sauce with some spice, crunch, and tang? I'm sold...
Serves 5-6
3 portions soba noodles
1 cucumber, cut into matchsticks
1 bok choy, leaves removed and sliced horizontally stem to leaf
3 handfuls chopped scallions
1 handful chopped cilantro
2 Tbsp black/white sesame seeds
1 handful paneer cubes (or tofu if you must)
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 Tbsp grated ginger
1 Tbsp sesame paste (tahini)
1 Tbsp peanut butter
2 Tbsp water
2 Tsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp light soy sauce
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
Crushed peanuts
1.  Cook the soba in a large quantity of water according to the package instructions.  Mine were done in 3 minutes.  Drain, rinse in cold water and place in an ice bath to stop the cooking.
2.  In a large salad bowl, place the drained cooked soba, then the rest of the salad composition.
3.  Make the dressing by mixing together all the ingredients.

At this point you can either do a family salad toss (heehee) or serve the dressing on the side so each person can adjust the dosage.
I opted for the individual salad toss.
This was a very pleasant refreshing meal which went quite well with the Jaozi.  I'm not really used to eating noodles cold, but this may be the dish that makes me change my mind...

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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Vegetarian Jiaozi (Potstickers)

After successfully making Baozi (steamed meat buns) I imagined that the Jiaozi (potstickers) wouldn't be so tough to make.  Actually, they're pretty quick to make if you have the dumpling wrappers on hand.  I didn't have enough time to make my own dough, but the packaged dough works very well, and the ingredients are not a long list of unpronounceable words.  They have wheat flour, water,and tapioca flour, and salt.  Nothing else added (which is pretty amazing).
I decided to make a vegetarian version since I didn't get around to buying turkey and grinding it myself.  You can't buy packaged ground turkey in France, only pork and sometimes veal.
Anyway, usually vegetarian Chinese versions call for tofu, but since tofu isn't really as healthy as it is publicized to be, I subbed in some homemade paneer.  It is a bit more firm in texture than tofu, but otherwise is a perfect substitute and a good source of protein.  Most importantly, I always have some on hand.
Yield 30 Jiaozi
30 dumpling wrappers
small saucer cold water for assembly
drizzle of oil for cooking
1/4 cup water for cooking
200g paneer, diced
1 tsp doubanjiang (Pixian broad bean chili paste)
1 clove garlic, grated
1 inch ginger, trated
1 tsp light soy sauce
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tsp vegetable oil
3 Tbsp chopped scallions
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
Dipping Sauce:
1 1/2 Tbsp light soy sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp black vinegar
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ginger powder
1/4 tsp sugar
1.  Make the filling.  In a bowl, mix all the filling ingredients together.  You don't want them to be dry.  Add a drizzle of water if it gets too crumbly.
2.  Assemble.  Place about 1 to 1 1/2 tsp filling in the center of the dumpling wrapper.  Dip one finger into the water saucer and slide it around the edges of the wrapper.
To fold, keep one edge straight and fold the other edge into it making ruffles.  Make sure to pinch the seams together so that the filling is sealed.  It took me a while to get the hang of the folding.  Do not overstuff or you will not be able to fold.  The ruffles are optional but I like the way they look.
3.  Cook.  In a wide flat heavy based non stick pan, brush the bottom with a bit of oil and heat to high heat.  Line each dumpling into the pan so they do not touch.  Grill this way about 1 minute, then turn them to another side and grill another minute.
When two sides have colored, add about 1/4 cup water.  Be careful as the pan is super hot and the water may jump out and burn you.
Reduce the heat, cover and cook for another 5 minutes or until the water is gone.
4.  Make the dipping sauce.  Mix all the dipping sauce ingredients together.

Ready to eat!  Using chopsticks, take one jiaozi, dip it, and insert into mouth.

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Indian Basil Seed (Sabja) Iced Tea

Yesterday morning I went to one of my favorite amusement parks, the Asian supermarket.  It's kind of like going on a treasure hunt.  I had a list of things I know I want.  I had the Chinese phonetic pronunciation and the english description of the product, but once there, you have to really read the ingredients to be sure you have the correct item.. plus it helps to avoid buying products with msg and genetically modified soy.  Anyway, while perusing the spice isle, I saw something I'd never seen before in real life (or maybe something I'd never searched for) Thai basil seeds.  I immediately knew what to do with them since I'd seen many Indian summer drinks with these little seeds.  I also knew they have a wild variety of health benefits, so I placed them in my cart and felt motivated to continue my search for odd Sichuan pastes.  I hosted a dinner party last night and I thought I could make this into a refreshing happy hour beverage that would be new and fun.  My guest always know whether they like to or not, they'll be tasting something "strange" when coming here.
While researching, I found that these little basil seeds DO have a plethora of health benefits.
I may be onto a wild discovery...
-  reduces indigestion
- cures colds
-respiratory disorders
-helps with skin infections
-weight loss
-anti inflammatory
-reduces heartburn
-improves memory
-treats diabetes
How did I not come across these before?
Plus, all you need to do is soak just 1-2 Tbsp in 2 cups of water for 30 minutes and then you can add them to up to 2 L of whatever drink you want.. lemonade, plain water, juice, falooda...
They are fun too.  The texture is slippery and they look like lump eggs when they are soaked.  The inner part stays hard, but the whole concept made me think of Boba (bubble tea) that is so hard to find here in France.  Plus I'm sure these are much much healthier!
I made some Indian Iced "Tea" with honey, cardamom, and pepper.
2 Tbsp basil seeds (sabja) soaked in 2 cups water for 30 minutes
2 L warm water
6 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp cardamom
1 tsp finely ground pepper
1.  Dissolve the honey in the water, then add the cardamom and pepper.
2.  Mix well, then refrigerate until well chilled.
3.  Serve 2 tsp (or more) soaked seeds in each glass.

They will float to the top at first, then sink if you're a slow drinker.

It is such a refreshing change from the "traditional" happy hour drinks...

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Zucchini Pappardelle with Eggplant and Grilled Chicken

When I think I can't blow myself away, I do it.
Today was a difficult day for me.  It doesn't happen very often, but I was in a bad mood from the start until the very second I started making this dish.  That is completely non traditional behavior, since I usually wake up with a smile and giggle all throughout the day, whether I'm performing or at the office.  Today just irked me.  Everything about it pissed me off.  Even the people I usually enjoy talking to were not making it work.
Ahh women..
Until the illumination.
I bought eggplant yesterday!
And that was it.. I was happy as can be.
I decided to use a new veggie cutting tool that looks like a fat pencil sharpener and let me cut my zucchuni intonone long fluffy strand of ribbon, sort of like pappardelle when you break it into pieces.
This is really a no fuss meal, and I was lucky to have it all to myself.  i wasn't in the mood to share anyhow.
Serves 1
1 small eggplant, cubed
1 zucchini, cut into pappardelle
2 Tbsp EVOO
1/2 tsp fleur de sel
1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
1/2 tsp piment d'espelette
Juice from 1/2 lime
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 thin chicken cutlet
1/2 tsp cajun spice
scallions and parmesan to garnish
1.  Sprinkle half of the fleur de sel onto the eggplant cubes.  Heat the EVOO in a wok and coat the eggplant well.  Add the basil, piment d'espelette and half the lime juice and cook until tender.   Reserve.
2.  In that same wok, lightly cook the pappardelle zucchini 2-3 minutes, tossing well with the other half of the fleur de sel and the other half of the lime juice.
3.  While that is going on, rub the cajun spice into the chicken cutlet and griddle (or cook however you want).  I like mine to have the diagonal marks on it.. char grilled.

Serve the eggplant cubes over a bed of zucchini feathery pappardelle and lay the cutlet on top.  Sprinkle with some scallions and parmesan.
This is definitely a mood changer... this, and looking into T-Bone's loving eyes...

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Braised Lamb Shank with Thyme

I rarely cook lamb.  I love lamb, don't get me wrong.. But it's just so expensive that I'll only buy it on special occasions or when there's a good deal on it.  Today I saw 2 for 1 and grabbed the last ones before anyone else could spot them.  These were small shanks (souris) about 600g or 1.3lb each.
So upon returning home, I started going the ginger star anis and cinnamon way...but the asparagus told me it would pair easier with similar seasonings, so I completely changed my mind just as I was going to add the ginger into the cooker.  I ended up doing an instinct based freestyle and I'm very happy I did, for this meal made me feel like I was celebrating something special, even if that something was just the happiness of finding a good deal on some quality lamb!
Serves 2-4
2 lamb shanks
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 green onions, chopped
2 Tbsp thyme
2 tsp fleur de sel
1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
1 tsp piment d'espelette
1 tbsp Maille moutarde à l'ancienne (or grainy mustard)
1 tbsp tomato paste
3 carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
Juice from 1/2 lime
3 tbsp EVOO
Approximately 3 cups water
1.  Rub the fleur de sel and 1 Tbsp of the olive oil into the shanks and let them sit at room temperature for a few minutes.
2.  In a pressure cooker, heat the rest of the oil and color the shanks.  This should take about 5 minutes.  Add the lime juice, thyme, pepper, and piment d'espelette, then remove and set aside.
3.  In the lovely jus that has collected in the pressure cooker, sautee the white parts of the green onions until translucent, then add the carrots and garlic and cook a bit longer.
4.  Add the shanks back in with the mustard, tomato paste and water.  They should not be about halfway submerged.
5.  Close and cook under pressure for about 35 minutes.
6.  Carefully open the cooker and be amazed at the tenderness of the meat.  Sooo tender!  Stir in the balsamic vinegar.

At this point you have 2 choices.  Finish here, or use the liquid to make a sauce.
I did both.  For one meal I removed all the solids, had dinner, and while that was happening my juice was reducing into a wonderful sauce that I used for the next day's meal over pasta.

I served with some home fries and roasted asparagus.

1 shank is enough to feed 2 people, but I can easily imagine eating it all alone as well.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Steamed Whole Hake

I have a confession to make... 
I had never steamed fish before tonight.
Until I am authorized to use my plancha, I wanted to find a way of cooking my whole headless hakes without imbibing the house in a lovely fish aroma.  Apparently, that's not everybody's cup of tea.
I've oven roasted before with excellent results, but there's something so magical about steaming that I wanted to try it with these babies.  After doing some research on steamed fish, I mostly stumbled upon Chinese recipes using doubanjiang which I do not have but which I am determined to acquire within the week.  Most of those recipes require steaming the fish in a plate of broth.  I may get to that, but today, that wasn't going to happen and I went back to my basics...
Lime juice
Fresh cracked pepper
Piment d'espelette
Fleur de sel
and that's it.
I rubbed all that all over my 2 headless hakes (which I had previously defrosted but feel free to use fresh)
And I laid them over a skinny bed of grated carrot and kohlrabi in the steamer basket.
And steamed on high for exactly 9 minutes, then removed from heat and left covered in the steamer for another 5 minutes
before serving over some griddled zucchini
...and this simple quick meal was just heavenly.
Hake is a discovery for me.  It's the first time I've had it cooked this way and its flesh is tender and delicately flaky with easy to remove bones.  The cooking method was perfect, which is rare for fish for me.  I usually have to learn the species well before mastering the perfect way of cooking it.
Other than the whole fish being perfectly cooked, it did not release the fishy smell in the house, contrary to what I was expecting.

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Monday, May 19, 2014

Ratatouille Quiche

Here is are 2 lovely French classics in one, quiche and ratatouille.  One of the things I love about quiche (and pizza by the way) is that its a blank canvas with which to express all my desires.  Here my desire was to eat ratatouille as the main event, and this quiche brought back some not so distant tasty memories.
I used my Buckwheat Thyme Shortcrust, but instead of infusing the water with thyme, I used dried basil.
The "appareil" part was the standard 3 very well beaten eggs, 1 cup milk, 3/4 cup heavy cream, a pinch of nutmeg and some fresh cracked pepper.
This was poured over the (approximately 2 cups) ratatouille in the precooked crust, then topped with some grated parmesan and cooked at 375°F 180°C for about 45 minutes.
It always results in something marvelous when you pair two comfort foods together.

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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Kung Pao Chicken and Cauliflower with Fried Rice

I'm really falling in love with Sichuan cuisine.  While waiting to actually get to travel to that lovely refined province and until I get my hands on some Pixian Doubanjiang and black vinegar, I found that this classic dish is quite easy to make and it's easy to have the ingredients on hand.  I wouldn't call this the authentic version.  I did have to sub rice vinegar for black vinegar and rice wine.. and I decided to use cashews instead of peanuts, but I think anyone would agree that no 2 households would make this dish in exactly the same way.
I love how it tasted better than restaurant style and with a lot less oil and salt.
Adapted from Yi Reservation (my new Chinese cuisine tutor)
Serves 4
1/2 lb (250g) cubed chicken breast
1/2 lb (250g) chopped cauliflower
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup unsalted cashews (or peanuts)
3-4 dried red chilis, cut in half crosswise and seeded
2 Tbsp grated ginger
2 chopped scallions
1 bell pepper, cut into 1 inch squares
1 Tbsp dark soy sauce (or GF alternative)
1 Tbsp light soy sauce (or GF alternative)
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp black vinegar (I subbed rice vinegar)
1/2 Tbsp corn starch diluted in 2 Tbsp water
1 tsp light soy sauce (or GF alternative)
1/2 Tbsp corn starch
1 Tbsp rice wine (I subbed rice vinegar)
1/2 tsp white pepper
1.  Mix the marinade ingredients together and separately marinate the chicken cubes and cauliflower for at least 20 minutes.  Prep the other ingredients during this time.
2.  Heat the oil in a wok and fry the cashews until golden.  Reserve and set aside.
3.  In the same oil, fry the chicken cubes without overcrowding the pan for 2 minutes or until they turn white.  Reserve and set aside.  This seals in the juices and prevents the chicken breast from being too dry.. and it really works.
4.  Leave about 2 Tbsp of the oil in the wok and throw out the rest.  Fry the red chilis until they turn dark, then add the ginger and scallions and cook for about 30 seconds.
5.  Add in the bell pepper and cook for another minute, then add the cauliflower and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
6.  Add the marinated chicken and stir fry for another few minutes.  It should start smelling wonderful.
7.  Add the sauce and cashews, toss well, then remove from heat, cover, and set aside until you are ready to eat.

Serve hot or warm with some fried rice.
For the easy but versatile fried rice:
Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a wide flat pan.  Add a beaten egg and peas in the center and cook while agitating, then add some rice, stir, then spread out the rice along the pan.  Wait a few minutes, then stir.  Keep adding rice in this way so all of it gets "fried" and none of it clumps.

I started out with chopsticks, but finished with a fork... I have to admit that it is easier to eat noodles with chopsticks than rice...

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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Avocado Banana Muffins

Here is another avocado moment I had recently.  I figured it would work out and be low fat and low sugar as well.  Why not have the best of all worlds?
Yield 15 muffins
2 over ripe bananas, mashed
1 1/2 (190g) avocado
2 eggs
100g blueberry jam
1 packet (7g) vanilla sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1heaping cup (130g) flour
shaved coconut
1.  Beat together the eggs, avocado, bananas, vanilla, and jam.
2.  In a separate mixing bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
3.  Gently mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.  The texture should not be dry.. it should be very goopy.
4.  Grease your muffin tins and fill them 3/4 to the top, then sprinkle with the coconut.
5.  Bake in a 375°F (180°C) oven for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean after a nice stab.

These are very tasty, but they do not have a muffin texture.  I thought the avocado would have the same properties as oil, but even though the raw texture was the same as my other muffins, the rising process didn't quite make it.  They are like little custard cups though, which are very pleasant and have a hint of avocado as the aftertaste.
I'd probably do this again, but as custard pie instead of muffins.  It is remarkable that they are without any added fat, and apart from the blueberry jam and vanilla, no extra sugar... and they are bursting with flavor!

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Friday, May 16, 2014

Ratatouille with Piment d'Espelette and Capers

This may be appalling to the purists, but here is the most heart warming and flavorful ratatouille I've ever had.  I followed most of the basic rules, but added some piment d'espelette into the seasoning and sprinkled some capers at the end.  I chose to serve mine under a poached egg, but that is completely optional.  Ratatouille goes well with any type of protein, but traditionally, it is served with lamb.
I'm not very traditional, but this is actually an authentic French recipe (apart from my 2 minor additions) and I don't think I'd make it any other way in the future.
The sexiest part of ratatouille is the eggplant.  Have I mentioned how delicious and creamy eggplant can make me delirious?  It does.. and every single time.  I tasted pieces of eggplant at various stages of cooking and my eyes closed in pleasure every time.
The other important part of making good ratatouille is having quality ingredients.  You want all those veggies to shine so they might as well be top notch on their own.  Last and definitely not least is the quality of the olive oil you use.  With the good stuff, a little will take you a long way and you won't need to season much because all the flavor will be in and absorbed by the olive oil.
I used some hand pressed stuff from a friend's olive trees.
I'm just remembering why I love living in France.
Ah yes, as I was chopping the veggies for this while doing a few other things at the same time in the kitchen, the exact thoughts that went through my mind and in this order were:

Damn this eggplant in olive oil is good I would probably just eat it half cooked like this.. oops it dripped on the IS true I do make a lot of bordel (mess) when I'm cooking... hmm how would "bordel" translate literally?... whorehouse?... haha vive la France!

Serves 4-5 as a side
1 very large eggplant, cubed
1 large zucchini, cubed
juice from 1 lime
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large bell pepper (I used greed corne de boeuf), chopped
2 large very juicy tomatoes, chopped
6 Tbsp very fine quality EVOO
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
2 (or more) tsp flake salt
1 tsp dried piment d'espelette
2 tsp capers
(optional) 1 poached egg per person
1.  Toss the eggplant and zucchini with the lime juice and 1 tsp of the flake salt.  Place in a colander and let "sweat" for 30 minutes.  During this time you can prep your other ingredients or talk to yourself.
2.  Heat 3 Tbsp olive oil in a wok and add the sweated eggplant cubes.  Stir well so all the pieces are coated with oil and add the basil and 1/2 tsp piment d'espelette.  Cook for about 5 minutes until tender, then reserve.  (I think the purists peel it, first but I like the purple sexiness in my food). 
3.  Add 2 more Tbsp olive oil in the wok and add the sweated zucchini.  Stir well and add the thyme and the remaining piment d'espelette.  Cook for a bit longer than the eggplant, then reserve with the eggplant.  I would have done both together, but my wok was not big enough and I wanted it to be decadent.
4.  Add the remaining 1 Tbsp of olive oil in the wok and add the chopped onions with the other tsp flake salt.  Cook until translucent.
5.  Add the garlic and bell peppers.  Stir fry about 1-2 minutes, then add the tomatoes.  (Purists will have you blanch, peel, and juice them first.. but I really don't believe that is necessary).
6.  When the tomatoes start becoming a bit mushy (maybe 2-3 minutes) add back in the eggplant and zucchini with all the delicious juice goodness it is witholding.
7.  Stir, cover, and cook on low heat for about 20-30 minutes, making sure that nothing sticks to the bottom of your wok.
8.  Stir in the capers, then taste and adjust the seasoning.  I didn't need to add anything.. it was perfect.

Serve as a side or as I did, a wholesome meal with a poached egg.
The best part of meals like this is that it's essentially a side dish, so tomorrow will be a whole other adventure for my re-invented ratatouille!

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Monday, May 12, 2014

Cilantro Lime Avocado Cookies

I've been speaking to my avocados, and they kindly advised me to use them in place of butter or oil in my oven.  Interesting, I replied, but won't you taint the flavors?
That's the whole point, they replied.
And so I agreed to give it a try.
Adapted from AtablespoonofLiz
yield 35 cookies
1/3 cup (75g) room temperature butter
1 small avocado, mashed (about 95g)
3/4 cup (120g) cane sugar
1 egg, beaten
2 Tbsp lime juice (I used 1 whole lime)
2 Tbsp lime zest (I zested 2 limes)
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
1 3/4 cup (240g) flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
cane sugar
pinch cayenne
shredded coconut
extra lime zest if you have it
1.  Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda.
2.  In a separate mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together, then add the egg and avocado until the mixture is nice and smooth.
3.  Stir in the lime juice, zest, and cilantro until well incorporated.
4.  A little at a time, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well.  
5.  Plop tablespoon sized balls of dough, drop them into the topping, and press down on a cookie sheet.
6.  Bake for 175°C 350°F for about 12-15 minutes.  Carefully remove and let cool on a wire rack.

Be amazed at what a little thinking out of the box can produce.
The toppings are completely optional, but I feel like my cookies are naked without them.
The cilantro is subtle as is the avocado, but the mix of it all together is perfect with a hint of tang from the lime and a little kick from the cayenne topping.
I'd say these are a win.

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Sunday, May 11, 2014

Chinese Braised Chicken with String Black Mushrooms

I recently had a Chinese epiphany.
I want to make all types of authentic Chinese dishes, the ones you don't necessarily find in restaurants, but might find in a Chinese home.  Something about the hot broth, slippery noodles, crunchy wontons, chewy jiaozi, mint wrapped egg rolls, and fluffy buns that makes me go absolutely wild.  I love the way the culture makes a ton of different dishes and everybody shares them at the table.. sort of like an Indian thali.
Most of all, I love uncovering the mysteries behind the deep flavors.  So far, I have uncovered just a few, but it is motivating me to keep on going.
Here is an authentic northern Chinese dish inspired by Yi Reservation.
Serves 4-5
1 Tbsp grated ginger
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp flake salt
1 lb chicken legs or thighs, deboned and cubed (keep the bones)
1/2 Tbsp canola oil
2 dried red chilis
2 star anis
1 tsp sichuan pepper
2 cloves garlic, finely grated
1 carrot, peeled and thickly grated
1/2 kohlrabi, peeled and thickly grated
1 bok choy, sliced
3 Tbsp soy sauce (or GF alternative)
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
40g dried string black mushrooms (half a bag)
4 cups water
2 bunches cellophane noodles, soaked in warm water
1 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp white pepper
chopped cilantro and scallions for garnish
1.  Mix the marinade ingredients together and rub all over the cubed chicken.  Refrigerate while you chop the vegetables.  I used skin on bone in chicken thighs.  The original recipe has you cut it into cubes bone and all, but I thought it might be more pleasant to eat without fishing pieces of bone out of my mouth, so I cut the meat off the bones, but kept the bones in there for the stock.
2.  In a large wok, heat the oil and fry the dried chills, star anis, and sichuan pepper for a few seconds until the aromas start wafting.
3.  Add in the garlic and marinated chicken with the bones.  Cook for about 5 minutes until the skins start curling.  You want to get a nice color on there, so don't overcrowd the pan.
4.  Add the carrots, kohlrabi, bok choy, soy sauce, and rice vinegar.  Stir fry for a few minutes.
5.  Add the dried mushrooms and the water.  Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered for about 20 minutes.  Your beautiful broth will develop during this time so don't cut it short.
6.  Add in the soaked noodles, sesame oil, sugar, and pepper and cook for another 5 minutes.
mmm isn't that lovely?

Serve garnished with chopped cilantro and scallions if you have them.
I served mine alongside some Baozi for the full blown experience.
I love how this is full of spice and flavor, but not fiery hot.  I was careful not to break the red chilis, since those are usually the culprit when I make my meals "too spicy."
There is a ma la event that happens if you bite into one of those sichuan peppercorns... your mouth and tongue go numb for a few seconds, and it's strangely pleasant.  I think they call that feeling Ma La.  Here the ma la is very very subtle, not overwhelming.... but it makes me want to try the full blown ma la very soon...

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Friday, May 9, 2014

Baozi Chinese Steamed Meat Buns

Ever since receiving my bamboo steamer basket, I've been dreaming of baozi.. those fluffy savory steamed buns you can find at dim sum, usually filled with some meat based stuffing.  My fondest memory of baozi at the family owned Cambodian restaurant I used to go to when living in Picardie, the Angkor.  There they served one big one as an appetizer in an individual bamboo basket with some home made spicy sauce for dipping.  I had absolutely no idea how that strange piece of pleasure was made, and at that time, I didn't really care.. I had such easy access to it that it never even crossed my mind to make it myself.
Since moving to Lyon, I haven't found a "Vietnamese" or "Chinese" restaurant worth my time.  Don't get me wrong.. I'm sure they exist, but I've had so many disappointments that I'd rather eat homemade Chinese than some strange mass produced attempt to feed the crowds.
While researching, I stumbled upon Yi's video which made it look easy.
Yeast doesn't scare me.. but I wanted to try steamed leavened goodies.. plus, I like doing things with my little fingers.
Yield 12 buns
250g white flour
3/4 tsp yeast (I used fresh)
25 mL warm water
115 mL warm milk
25g sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch baking soda
1 Tbsp oil
200g ground beef (or chicken or turkey)
1/2 kohlrabi, grated (or 1 cup shredded cabbage)
1 handful kale, julienned
1 carrot, peeled and grated
2 handfuls black wood ear mushrooms, sliced thinly
1 egg
1 handful chopped cilantro
1 inch piece ginger, grated
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp rice wine (I used rice vinegar)
1 tsp five spice
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp canola oil
1.  Make the dough.  Stir the warm water, milk, sugar, half the Tbsp of oil, and yeast together and let sit for a few minutes.  If using powdered yeast, it should foam.  I used fresh and it seems to fizz but not foam.  It actually seems like I can hear all the woken yeast life partying underwater.  I know I'm a little strange.
2.  Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.  Pour in the liquid mixture and knead.    Do this for 15 minutes, then form a soft, but non sticky ball.  Use the other half Tbsp of oil to coat the ball.  Cover and let sit in a warm place.. like the oven (turned off please).  Leave it alone for minimum 2 hours.  It should double in size.
3.  While that is happening, make the stuffing.  I was planning on using chicken, but I had some ground beef ready to go and it worked out just perfectly.  In a large bowl, mix everything together with your hands until well incorporated.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
4.  When the dough has risen, knead it back into a ball, then separate it into 12 equal pieces.
5.  Roll each piece out into a 4 inch diameter disc.
Leave it a bit thicker in the center and thinner on the edges.  Get all the pieces ready and be sure to flour them to prevent them from sticking to each other.
6.  Take about 1 1/2 Tbsp stuffing and place into the center of one dough piece.  Then the technique is to make little folds starting on one side
and continuing all around the stuffing until the end is reached.
This is a technique I'm guessing becomes more natural the more you do it.  I felt like I was doing it wrong, but the end result came out just wonderfully.
Do this to all the pieces, then cover with a towel and let sit again for 30-45 minutes.  They will puff just slightly and that is what you want.
7.  Place the bamboo steamer in a wide pan with simmering water.  Place a few baozi in there making sure to have a piece of parchment paper under each one.  This will prevent the baozi from sticking to the bamboo.
8.  Steam on high heat (with a closed lid) for 15 minutes.  Then take off heat but do not uncover for 5 more minutes.
You are ready to serve.
I served mine with some steamed bok choy and a shredded kale salad and a bit of sriracha sauce.

I think I will be making these more often now that the bamboo steamer has no more secrets from me! I will try different fillings and different dipping sauces as well as different sizes.  I had 2 of these with 2 steamed bok choy halves for dinner and it was enough to fill me.  If I made them a little smaller they would be perfect as hors d'oeuvres for my next happy hour party.

I just can't get over how fluffy these come out after steaming.  The texture was exactly what I was expecting, and while they may not be as perfect as chez Angkor, they are pretty darn close!

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Peanut Butter Pie

Something magical always happens when peanut butter is used in a recipe, whether it be sweet or savory.  It gives that extra depth or creaminess needed in curries or desserts.  Here is a dessert completely dedicated to peanut butter.  It's a recipe from the Homesick Texan, who's repertoire I've been browsing lately.
This is a custard style pie and is very rich, so eat only small slices.  It is not overly sweet, however, so it suits me just well.  The original recipe calls for a meringue, but nobody at my table really appreciates meringue, so I skipped it.
Serves 10-12
2 egg yolks, beaten
2 cups milk
3/4 cup (140g) sugar
5 Tbsp (45-50g) flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup (170g) natural peanut butter
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 shortcrust, pre-baked 15 minutes
chopped peanuts for garnish
1.  Whisk together the egg yolks, milk, sugar, flour, and salt.  Cook on medium heat while whisking for approximately 5 minutes.  It should somewhat thicken, but not too much.
2.  Take off heat and stir in the vanilla, peanut butter, cinnamon, and cayenne.  The cayenne balances the flavors.  It's just absolutely amazing in this pie.
3.  Pour the mixture into the pre-baked shortcrust topped with a few chopped peanuts.  I didn't go to crazy on the garnish.  Cook at 350°F 175°C for 15-20 minutes or until the center has set.
Wait about 20 minutes before digging in.
Serve warm or cold.

I was afraid the cayenne would not work well with my guests' palates, but everyone seemed to enjoy it.  This is a nice change from the more traditional and sugar loaded pies.
Decadent and rich, for peanut lovers only!

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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Bok Choy in a Bamboo Steamer

I got a new completely unexpected toy.. A bamboo steamer!
I understand the concept..but I've always used my pressure cooker to steam before.
Here is a traditional way to steam things that don't need very long...and to make some fun dim sum items as well.  My first experiment was a medium bok choy.
It is actually very simple.  Line the bottom with banana leaves or parchment paper, place clean vegetables inside.  I did 1 bok choy sliced in half.
Then cover and place in a pan of simmering water
The pan should be wide enough so that the sides of the bamboo basket don't touch the sides of the pan (to avoid burning).
For bok choy, cook for about 10 minutes or until the tough center becomes a bit tender.
While that is happening make the dressing..
Mix 1 grated clove garlic with 1/2 tsp grated ginger, 1 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp rice vinegar, juice from 1/4 lime, some flake salt, and some crushed red pepper flakes.

I also did this again with Sos Bilis, sesame seeds, garlic, and ginger (from Malaysia) and it was out of this world.. no really.

Excellent side dish to anything you so desire.  I ate this with steak.  It was amazing.  I was very proud of my little vegetable.
I think I'm ready for Baozi..

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Monday, May 5, 2014

Springtime Crozets

I know I know, it's Cinco de Mayo and today's post goes against everything cinco de mayo stands for.  Mexico's victory over France.
But to be honest, I didn't make this today, I made it last night.  I had some Mole over turkey cutlets ther is no sacriledge going on here I promise!
Here we have something very very French, Crozets with Buckwheat, but from a region of France very very near the Italian border, La Savoie.  My last business trip took me to Savoie, where the Beaufort reigns, and where dishes like Tartiflette or Diots are the specialty.  I'm very familiar with the tartiflette and all the other regional cheeses such as Tomme de Savoie and Reblochon, but I'd never had nor tried Crozets, which are a pasta made with wheat and buckwheat grown and milled locally and cut into small squares.  Now the locals eat them mostly in gratins, but it's spring ladies and gentlemen, and there are plently of asparagus and fresh peas available, so I couldn't bear the idea of making a white winter dish void of anything green or springy...and I'm very happy I trusted my instincts, because in my version of Crozets, you can actually taste the Crozets instead of fishing it out of all the grease and cream in the casserole.
Serves 4-5
400g Crozets au Sarrasin
1 bunch fresh green asparagus, roasted and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 large carrot, peeled, roasted, and diced
1 very large handful fresh peas
1 black tomato, cut into large chunks
1 cup cooked shredded chicken
2 Tbsp EVOO
2 large cloves garlic, grated
1 handful parmesan
1 large handful crumbled feta
Lots of fresh ground pepper
Just a drizzle heavy cream
4-5 cups chicken stock (to cook the pasta)
1.  Cook the Crozets in the chicken stock and half the garlic until al dente.  The package instructions say 15 minutes, I only did 8 and they were already soft.  At 6 minutes, add the peas.  Drain reserving 1 cup of the cooking water.
2.  Off heat, toss the pasta in a wok with the EVOO, other half of the garlic, asparagus, tomatoes, carrots, chicken, and parmesan.
3.  Turn the heat back on and heat through, juste enough to warm up any cold ingredients.  Add the heavy cream and a bit of reserved pasta water.

Serve with crumbled feta and fresh ground pepper.

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Sunday, May 4, 2014

Black Current Buckwheat Muffins

This week's muffins are gluten free!  I recently added that label to my posts and I've realized that most of my recipes are GF in general.  It's just that I usually eat a piece of cheese with baguette after dinner.. hehee.
I've been using buckwheat flour relatively often, but always mixed with whole wheat flour for fear of the loss of fluffiness, but these muffins are 100% buckwheat and very low in sugar (except for the fact that I added bit of black current jam in the center).  I'm not going to say that they resemble a wheat flour muffin, but that wasn't my goal at all.  I wanted a tasty muffin full of fruit and a nutty buckwheat flavor.. which is exactly what I got.
My basic muffin proportions come from my Banana Nut Muffins, and I just tweak things from there.
Yield 16 muffins
3 over ripe bananas, mashed
2 eggs
scant 1/3 cup (50g) cane sugar
1/2 cup black current jam + 1/2 tsp for muffin filling
1/3 cup (50g) canola oil
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp poppy seeds
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1cup (130g) buckwheat flour
Chopped walnuts
1.  Beat together the eggs, sugar, jam, bananas, oil, and cinnamon.
2.  In a separate mixing bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
3.  Gently mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, then fold in the poppy seeds.  The texture should not be dry.. it should be very goopy.
4.  Grease your muffin tins and fill them 3/4 to the top, then push down 1/2 tsp black current jam into each one and sprinkle with the chopped walnuts.
5.  Bake in a 375°F (180°C) oven for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean after a nice stab.

Serve warm or cold.. both ways are marvelous and very breakfast worthy!

Next time I may entirely do without sugar (especially when using jam).

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Saturday, May 3, 2014

Poblano Mole

I haven't had this in over 10 years...partly because I don't want to buy the jarred stuff (although I heard La Costena does a very decent job of it) partly because I don't have access to some of the key ingredients, and partly because it intimidates me a bit.
Lucky for me, the family and professional extensions of it were on a mission to bring me some ancho and pasilla chiles from the US, and oh did they succeed!!
Thank you Elena for the acquisition, Brother for the logistics, and Father for the organization.  These types of little things make me so ecstaticly retarded my own household doesn't get it, but I don't care, I'm making MOLE!!!
Before I get started, mole is a sauce you use over boiled chicken (or whatever other meat or enchiladas or eggs you desire).  The ingredient most talked about is chocolate, although it is not the most prominent ingredient.  Only a bit is used and it is for a balance of flavors, not sweet chocolatey, but full of depth and slightly bitter.  While prepping all the ingredients for my mole, a familiar feeling came over me.  The motions seemed natural with a type of déjà vu.. and then I realized why.  This recipe is conceived the way many Indian recipes are.  Several separate parts that come together in the end, and always with a side of rice and rotis (or tortilla in this case).  When I get my hands on some masa harina, I will be able to make my Mexican meals even more authentic.
Adapted from Homesick Texan
Makes 3.5 cups
Part 1 dry roast and grind:
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup blanched almonds (I used ground almonds)
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anis
Part 2 fry soak and blend:
4 dried ancho/pasilla chiles, stemmed and seeded
1 dried chile de arbol, stemmed and seeded
1 cup warm water ready in a bowl
2 Tbsp canola oil
Part 3 simmer and blend:
1 1/2 cup chicken stock
1 large ripe tomato, blanched, peeled, and quartered
2 tomatillos (I subbed juice from 1/2 lime and 1 Tbsp tamarind concentrate.. sorry)
1/2 cup minced white onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
Part 4 stir in:
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 oz (30g) 100% dark chocolate (or the darkest you can find)
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp fresh cracked pepper
1.  In a wok dry roast the Part 1 ingredients until fragrant, then grind in a spice grinder and set aside.
2.  Using that same wok (why get more dishes dirty than you need to?) heat the oil from the Part 2  ingredients.  Add the dried chiles and fry for 2 minute on each side, then transfer to the bowl of warm water and let soak for at least 10 minutes.  This is to soften the chiles.  You can move on to the next step while you wait for the chiles to soften.  When you're ready, blend the chiles with their soaking water to form a thick lush dark reddish brown paste and set aside.
3.  In the oil still in the wok, sautée the onions and garlic from the Part 3 ingredients until translucent.
Add the stock, tomato, and tomatillo (if you are so lucky to find some) or tomatillo substitute and bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.  Blend it all together until there are no longer any bits and pieces.
4.  Stir in the ground spices and seeds from Part 1, and the chile paste from Part 2.  The sauce should thicken a bit.  Be careful not to have the heat on too high or it will bubble and pop in your face.  Stir well until all incorporated.
5.  Stir in the Part 4 ingredients until the chocolate melts.  Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.  Mine didn't need any adjusting.  The balance was just perfect.  If you're not using 100% chocolate, you might not need any sugar.

Now your mole sauce is done.  You can either pour it over some boiled or roasted chicken breast, or do as I did and simmer the chicken in the sauce just a few minutes before serving so the flavor seeps into the meat.  To use with eggs, take a bit of the mole and poach the eggs in it, kind of like shakshuka or even in the oven for mole shirred eggs!
This recipe yields enough for several servings of whatever you plan to do with it.  I may freeze some for a rainy day since I won't be able to make it again any time soon (no more chiles...)

I served mine sprinkled with more raisins and sesame seeds with a small salad and Mexirice.
I then poached some eggs in it the next day for fabulous results.  This is one of those things that tastes better the next day.  The eggs were not pretty enough to photograph, but this mole really pairs nicely with it!

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Friday, May 2, 2014

Fresh Yeast

Fresh yeast is one of those things you try once, and you can never go back to the powder ever again.
It gives fluffy tasty results in anything.  It's also cheaper than the packaged stuff and freezes well, so there really is no excuse to not use it.  I freeze it in 10g portions and then melt it between my fingers into the sugar water when I'm ready to use it.
I've used it in man'ouché, naan, and now bagels.
These bagels continued expanding even after the boil!
The end result is always more satisfying and full of emotion.
Bagels will now be a regular thing at the house.  I pretty much got a standing ovation from my guests.  I used the original recipe but made 10 intend of 12 so they were just slightly bigger in size.  I also used actual malt syrup instead of molasses and less salt.  Plus I may be a little better at getting the toppings on there.
I didn't have enough flour, but next time I'm definitely doubling the recipe (since there already gone anyway) and having a bagel brunch at the house.
Who's in?

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