Posts tagged ‘Cook’

August 13, 2012

Oatmeal Date Bars

Use the best-quality dates you can find! Fresh medjool dates are my favorite and they worked perfectly in this recipe. Store in an airtight container, the bars will keep for a couple days.

 

Adapted from Bon Appetit

Total time: 1 hour, largely unattended

Prep: 20 minutes

Cook: 40 minutes

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pitted dates
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, diced, room temperature

 

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Butter 8×8-inch metal baking pan.

3. Bring 1 1/2 cups water to simmer in medium saucepan. Add dates; simmer until very soft and thick, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Stir in vanilla.

4. Combine flour, sugar, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in large bowl; stir to blend.

 

5. Add butter. Using fingertips, rub in until moist clumps form.

6. Press half of oat mixture evenly over bottom of prepared pan. Spread date mixture over. Sprinkle with remaining oat mixture; press gently to adhere. Bake until brown at edges and golden brown and set in center, about 40 minutes. Cool completely in pan on rack. Cut into bars and serve.

 

Happy Eating!

 

Love,

Yang

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August 13, 2012

Whole Roasted Trout with Thyme, Lemon, and Garlic

This is a simple and beautiful dish that is so easy to make. Roasting in foil packets minimizes cleanup. Instead of trout, you can use salmon, halibut, catfish, striped bass, rockfish, branzino, etc. Instead of thyme, you can also use fresh parsley, basil, rosemary, dill, and/or tarragon. A perfect weekday dinner, serve with rice (or any whole grain) and a fresh salad.

Advance preparation: You can prepare the fish and make the foil packets several hours ahead. Keep in the refrigerator until shortly before cooking.

Total time: 15-20 minutes

Prep: 5 minutes

Cook: 10-15 minutes, unattended

Serves 1-2

Adapted from Recipes for Health

  • 1 whole rainbow trout, boned
  • few sprigs of thyme
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ lemon, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • sea salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 bay leaves (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

2. Grease the foil with olive oil so that the fish doesn’t stick to it when roasted. Season both sides with salt and pepper, and open it out flat, skin side down.

3. Place the bay leaves, thyme sprigs, and a couple lemon slices down the middle of the trout, and fold the two sides together. Drizzle some olive oil over the fish.

4. Making sure that the trout is in the middle of each square, fold up the foil loosely, grabbing at the edges and crimping together tightly to make a packet. Place on a baking sheet, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, checking one of the packets after 10 minutes. The flesh should be opaque and pull apart easily when tested with a fork.

5. Place each packet on a plate. Carefully cut across the top to open it, taking care not to let the steam from inside the packet burn you. Gently remove the fish from the packet, and pour the juices over it. Serve.

Happy Eating!

Love,

Yang

August 9, 2012

Artichoke, Goat Cheese, Sweet Pea, and Mint Ravioli with Lemon Chive Butter Sauce

More ravioli from Eastern Market! Again, the sauce is versatile: you can use any type of pasta you want!

Tip: If you don’t have a grater, you can shave the Parmigiano-Reggiano with a peeler.

Time: 15 minutes

Serves 4

  • Pasta, of choice
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • small bunch of fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1. Cook the pasta.

2. While your pasta cooks, melt butter over medium-high heat; cook until golden brown.

3. Add chives and remove from heat. Add lemon juice and set aside.

4. Drain the pasta, but leaving some cooking water, and gently pour into saute pan and return to heat.

5. Add the cheese, toss to coat, season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.

Happy Eating!

Love,

Yang

August 9, 2012

Roasted Eggplant and Heirloom Tomato Stacks with Pesto and Feta

This is a delicious Greek-Mediterranean fusion recipe that features the beautiful produce of summer. Since there are so few ingredients in this recipe, make sure that each ingredient is the freshest and best quality you can find! Be careful not to over-season, since the feta is naturally salty. Although this is best eaten right away, you can make a big batch and store in the fridge for about a week. This would be great in a sandwich or wrap for a weekday lunch or as a quick snack.

 

Time: 30 minutes

Serves 4

Adapted from Gluten-Free Veggie Gourmet

  • Olive oil
  • Basil Pesto
  • 2 medium eggplants
  • 3 large tomatoes
  • 3 oz feta, crumbled (about 3/4 cup), more if you desire
  • Garnish: finely shredded fresh basil leaves

 

1. Preheat oven to 450F and line a baking pan with foil.

2. Cut off bottoms of eggplants, then cut 1/4″ thick crosswise rounds. Cut 1/3” thick rounds from the tomatoes.

Gorgeous heirloom tomatoes from DC’s Eastern Market

3. On baking pan, arrange the eggplant rounds side by side. Lightly brush eggplant rounds on both sides with olive oil to keep the eggplant moist and to prevent it from sticking to the foil. Season with a little salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 8 minutes.


4. Spread each eggplant round with pesto, then top each with the largest tomato rounds. Top the tomato rounds with feta. Make another layer with eggplant rounds, pesto, tomato rounds, and feta, then top with remaining eggplant and feta.

Roasted eggplant

Stacks on stacks on stacks!

5. Roast in the oven for about 10 minutes, until heated through and cheese on top is softened. Transfer stacks to 4 plates and drizzle plates with olive oil, salt, and pepper, to taste.

Happy Eating!

 

Love,

Yang

August 9, 2012

Basil Pesto

Basil pesto is a staple everyone should know how to make: it’s versatile (put it on eggs, pasta, risotto, fresh vegetables, chicken, sandwiches, wraps, stir it in a soup, etc.), it’s delicious, and it’s EASY!

Tip: Fresh pesto will keep in the refrigerator for a week or two. You can also make a big batch and freeze it for several months in ice cube trays. Use the pesto “cubes” as needed. If freezing, don’t stir in the cheese; stir in the cheese by hand just before serving.

Time: 5-15 minutes

Makes about 1 cup

Adapted from Mark Bittman, How to Cook Everything

  • 2 loosely packed cups fresh basil leaves, big stems discarded, rinsed and dried
  • ½ to 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts, lightly toasted in a dry skillet
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, or more
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan or other hard cheese (optional)
  • salt, to taste

1. Combine the basil, salt, garlic, nuts and about half the oil in a food processor or blender (or mortar and pestle).

Pine nuts

Toasted pine nuts

Quality extra virgin olive oil

2. Process, stopping to scrape down the sides of the container occasionally, and adding the rest of the oil gradually. Add additional oil if you prefer a thinner mixture.

Pesto!

3. Stir in the parmesan by hand just before serving.

Happy Eating!

Love,

Yang

August 2, 2012

Crispy Tofu and Vegetables with Peanut Sauce

This is a delicious and comforting weeknight recipe. You can use any vegetables you have on hand (I used sweet potatoes, red bell peppers, and carrots). The measurements for the sauce are approximate and feel free to add more sugar, soy sauce, or vinegar, depending on how salty, sweet, or acidic you like it. The water is important to add because the sauce will thicken as it cooks, and it can become gummy if the water isn’t added in the beginning. As the tofu turns golden brown, you might feel tempted to stir, but don’t. Just let it sit and crisp up in the pan for 5 minutes, and check every few minutes to see if it’s golden brown. This is a simple stir-fry, but tastes phenomenal!

Hint: To peel ginger, place your thumb on the back of a spoon and apply downward pressure; the skin will come off easily!

Time: 30 minutes

Serves 4

SAUCE

  • 5 tablespoons water
  • 4 tablespoons smooth natural peanut butter (Organics Old-Fashioned Creamy brand is my favorite!)
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, (or white vinegar, or lime juice)
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar (or honey)
  • dash of crushed red pepper or cayenne (optional, to add some spice)

TOFU & VEGETABLES

  • 14 ounces extra-firm tofu
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil
  • 2 cups of vegetables (any kind!)
  • 2 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp chopped onion
  • fresh basil (optional garnish)

1. To prepare tofu: Drain and rinse tofu; pat dry. Cut the tofu into ½ inch cubes.

2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add tofu and cook in a single layer, without stirring, until the pieces begin to turn golden brown on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Then gently stir and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until all sides are golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes more.

3. While the tofu is crisping, prepare the sauce: Whisk water, peanut butter, rice vinegar (or white vinegar), soy sauce, and brown sugar in a small bowl. Taste it, to make sure it’s the way you like it.

4. When the tofu is golden brown on all sides, transfer to a separate plate.

5. Saute onions, ginger, and garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add vegetables, tofu and the peanut sauce and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are just cooked, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate, garnish with fresh basil, and serve.

Happy Eating!

Love,

Yang

July 15, 2012

Dan Dan Noodles (擔擔麵)

A Sichuan favorite! Sichuan peppercorns are necessary in this dish and give it the characteristic “ma la” flavor. If you get the whole peppercorns, toast them slightly in a dry wok or frying pan before grinding them in a spice grinder. Ya cai or Sichuan preserved greens, which can be found in Chinatown markets, is also an important component of this dish, but they can be omitted if you can’t find them. The dish will still taste amazing!

Adapted from Red Cook

Total time: 40 minutes

Prep: 30 minutes

Cook: 10 minutes

1 lb. fresh Shanghai style noodles (if you can’t find fresh noodles, boxed spaghetti/noodles will suffice)

4 tablespoons light soy sauce (生抽)

4 teaspoons Chinkiang black vinegar

Chopped cilantro and scallion for garnish

Pork Topping

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

4 oz. ground pork

2 tablespoons Shaoxing cooking wine

a pinch of salt

4 oz. Sichuan preserved greens (芽菜 ya cai) or pickled mustard (optional, only if you can find them)

Sesame Sauce

4 tablespoons sesame paste

3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

1 teaspoon sugar

Chili Oil

5 tablespoons chili oil

1 tablespoon dried chili flakes

2 teaspoons ground Sichuan peppercorns (花椒)

1. Mix all the ingredients for the sesame sauce and set aside.

2. Mix all the ingredients for the chili oil and set aside.

3. In a wok, heat the vegetable oil until just beginning to smoke then add the ground pork. Stir-fry the pork until just cooked then add the rest of the topping ingredients and continue to stir-fry until the liquid completely evaporate. Set the topping aside.

4. Divide the sauce by putting one quarter of the sesame sauce mixture and chili oil into each of four bowls. Add one tablespoon of soy sauce and one teaspoon of Chinkiang black vinegar to each bowl.

5. In a large 8-quart stockpot bring four quarts of water to boil. Cook the noodles in the boiling water for about three minutes or until the noodles are just al dente. Divide the noodles into four portions and put them in each of the bowls. Top the noodles with one quarter of the pork and Sichuan preserved greens topping, and garnish with chopped cilantro and scallion. Serve immediately.

July 15, 2012

Poached Eggs with Rosemary Tomato Sauce

This is a great brunch recipe and very versatile. Other herbs and seasonings can be substituted for rosemary. Instead of tomato sauce, you can put poached eggs over toast, a salad, beans, pasta, rice, etc. Once you get the hang of poaching eggs, you’ll want to do it again and again! It’s a simple process and the result is beautiful. If you want to poach more than 2 eggs at once, use a bigger pan to avoid crowding or have 2 pots/pans going on at once.

Total Time: 30 minutes

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

Serves 4

Rosemary Tomato Sauce

2 tbsp of olive oil

4 large tomatoes, chopped

½ onion, diced

2 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped

salt and pepper, to taste

Poached Eggs

8 eggs (2 for each person)

2 tbsp white vinegar

1 tsp salt

1. Heat up a large sauté pan to medium heat.

2. Add the olive oil and heat. Add the onions and stir occasionally until they become translucent, 3-4 minutes.

3. Add the tomatoes. When the tomatoes have cooked down, add the rosemary. Turn the heat down to low and let it simmer.

4. Make the poached eggs: Bring about an inch of water to a boil in a small deep skillet or a pot. Add the salt and vinegar, and lower the heat to the point where it barely bubbles. One at a time, break the eggs into a shallow bowl or cup and slip them into the water.

5. Cook for 3-5 minutes, just until the white is set and the yolk has filmed over. Remove with a slotted spoon and allow the water to drain off for a couple seconds.

6. Season the rosemary tomato sauce with salt and pepper. When it’s the way you like it, spoon ¼ of it on a plate. Add 2 poached eggs on top. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with crusty bread.

Happy Eating!

Love,

Yang

July 11, 2012

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Time: 1 hr 5 minutes, largely unattended

Prep: 5 minutes

Cook: 1 hr

Serves 4

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes, unpeeled
  • Olive oil

Heat oven to 400° F. Wash each sweet potato and then rub each sweet potato with a little olive oil. Pierce each sweet potato several times with a fork. Place the sweet potatoes on a baking tray. Bake until tender, about 1 hour. Make a slit in the top of each sweet potato. Top with 1 tablespoon of butter and season with salt and pepper, cinnamon, maple syrup, however you like!

Happy Eating!
Love,
Yang
July 11, 2012

Roasted Acorn Squash with Maple Butter and Brown Sugar

Time: 1 hr 30 minutes, largely unattended

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 1 hr, 15 minutes

Serves 2-4

  • 1 Acorn squash
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Maple Syrup
  • Dash of Salt

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

2. Cut the acorn squash in half, lengthwise, from stem to end. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff in the center of each half. Score the insides of each half several times with a sharp knife. Place each half in a baking pan, cut side up. Add about a 1/4 inch of water to the bottom of the baking pan so that the skins don’t burn and the squash doesn’t get dried out.

3. Coat the inside of each half with 1/2 a Tbsp of butter. Add a dash of salt if you are using unsalted butter. Add a Tbsp of brown sugar to the cavity of each half. Dribble on a teaspoon of maple syrup to each half.

4. Bake in the oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, until the squash is very soft and the tops are browned. Do not undercook. When finished, remove from oven and let cool a little before serving. Spoon any buttery sugar sauce that has not already been absorbed by the squash over the exposed areas.

Happy eating!

Love,

Yang

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