Monday, June 29, 2009

Grilled Portabello Mushrooms With Beef and Cheese


These grilled Portabello mushrooms are great appetizers. The mushrooms are stuffed with a beef mixture and topped with some Monterey Jack Cheese. I must admit this is one of my favorite grilled mushrooms recipe now. In fact, I’m thinking of making them again this weekend. The recipe is good for 4 servings. Do try making it. I hope you will like it as much as I do. Have a good week ahead.




Grilled Portabello Mushrooms With Beef And Cheese
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients


6 Medium Portabello Mushrooms
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
Sea Salt to taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Beef Mixtures
180 g Ground Beef
4 Sun-dried Tomatoes in oil, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
1/2 Yellow Onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp Dried Parsley
1 tsp Dried Basil
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
Sea salt to taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

160 g Monterey Jack Cheese, grated

Method

Prepare the beef mixtures: In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and saute until translucent, for about 10 minutes.

Add the ground beef and cook until the meat is no longer pink in color. Then add the sun-dried tomato, parsley, basil and season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Clean the mushrooms with a damp cloth and discard the stems. With a spoon, gently and carefully remove the black gills from the mushrooms caps.

Preheat the grill for direct cooking over medium heat.

Brush the mushrooms with olive oil on both sides. Place the mushrooms caps, gill sides down on the grill. Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the mushrooms into a baking tray.

Place the beef mixture on top of the mushrooms (cap sides) and top with the cheeses. Then grill the mushrooms, cap sides up, over medium heat, with the lid closed for about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the grill and serve immediately.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Prawn In Tamarind And Plum Sauce


This tamarind prawn recipe have been on my list of “to do’s” for a while now. So, I thought it was about time I get to it this weekend. While the recipe had used crabs, I opted to use live fresh prawns instead as it was available and well priced from my seafood provider here.

After deciding on the shellfish to use for this dish, I was pressed to decide on which recipe I should use. Well, all my Vietnamese food cookbooks had a recipe for tamarind crabs and I liked all the options available.

In the end, I decided to use the recipe from Pauline Nguyen’s cookbook, “Secrets of the Red Lantern”. In my opinion, her recipe is probably the closest to a version of this dish, which I had at a Vietnamese restaurant here. Suanne and Ben of Chowtimes* had suggested dining at this restaurant recently and the food was just outstanding, especially, the irresistible Tamarind crabs!

* Chowtimes is a website from Vancouver, BC featuring Suanne and Ben's Food and Travel Adventures.


Recipe adapted from Secrets of the Red Lantern by Pauline Nguyen

Prawn In Tamarind And Plum Sauce

Ingredients

2 1/2 lbs Large Prawns
6 Scallions
2 Long Red chilies
1 Cup Potato Starch
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Fine White Pepper
Oil, for deep-frying
1 Cup Tamarind Plum Sauce
1 Large Handful Cilantro Leaves

Method

Cut the scallions into 1 1/2 inch lengths and finely slice the chilies on the diagonal, and set aside. Combine the potato starch, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Pass each prawn though the potato starch to lightly cover, then shake off any excess starch.

Meanwhile, put the oil in a large wok, or large deep saucepan and heat over high heat until the temperature reaches 350˚F, or until a cube of bread dropped in the oil browns in 15 seconds. Add the prawns to the wok in quick succession (you may have to do this in small quantities to maintain the high heat in the oil). Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a colander to drain off excess oil. Carefully strain the hot oil from the wok into an appropriate container for discarding and place the wok back on the heat.

Add the scallions, chilies, and prawns to the wok, and toss well to combine the ingredients. Add the tamarind and plum sauce. Bring it to a boil and reduce the sauce while occasionally tossing the wok to coat the prawns with the sauce. Once the sauce has coated the prawns and reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes, turn it out onto a serving platter and garnish with cilantro leaves.

Tamarind And Plum Sauce
4 1/2 oz Tamarind Paste, without seeds
1 1/2 Cups Boiling Water
3/4 Cup Plum Sauce
3/4 Cup Oyster Sauce
1 Cup Superfine Sugar

Method

Put the tamarind paste in a heatproof container and pour the boiling water over it. Once it is cool enough to handle, break the paste up with your hands, then pass the entire mixture through sieve, to make a smooth sauce.

In a saucepan, combine the tamarind sauce, plum sauce, oyster sauce, and sugar, and bring it to a boil. remove from the heat and allow to cool. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 month

Friday, June 26, 2009

Lime Sorbet & Seasaltwithfood on BBC Click's Webscape


I woke up this morning to a pleasant surprise, which I will like to share with all of my readers. BBC TV’s flagship technology review programme, Click, discovered and reviewed seasaltwithfood on the latest episode of the programme this weekend. Click’s Webscape host Kate Russell, who reviews her latest selection of the best websites every week on the programme, gave young seasaltwithfood a great review! She was just fantastic, said all the nice things including quote “seasaltwithfood.com is a scrumptious blog providing some of the easiest recipes to create the most amazing meals”. You can watch the clip here.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Kate Russell for reviewing and including seasaltwithfood as one of your selection of the best sites on the World Wide Web! Very much appreciated.



This is a delightful lime sorbet, full of fresh lime flavor with a light hint of sweetness. Simply refreshing! I had a few scoops of this sorbet with a shot of Tequila, as suggested by the author of the cookbook. Well, I guess you can imagine what this innocent sorbet transformed into – voila, instant frozen margarita! ☺


Recipe adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

Lime Sorbet

Ingredients

2 1/4 Cups (560 ml) Water
3/4 Cup (150 g) Sugar
Zest of 1 Lime
3/4 Cup (180 ml) Freshly Squeeze Lime Juice (from about 9 limes)
6 Tbsp (90 ml) Champagne or Sparkling Wine (optional)

Method

In a medium, nonreactive saucepan, mix 1 cup (250 ml) of the water with the sugar and lime Heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the remaining 1 1/4 cup (310 ml) water. Allow the mixture to chill thoroughly in the refrigerator.

Then, mix in the lime juice and Champagne or sparkling wine, if using. As usual, freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

PERFECT PAIRING: To make Lime Sorbet more festive, prepare the recipe but omit the Champagne. Serve coops in frosty cocktail glasses with a shots of tequila poured over them. Top each off with a few flecks of coarse salt.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Nugget Potato Salad With Horseradish


I’m posting a potato salad recipe using delicious nugget potatoes that are in season now. These are B.C. nugget potatoes – small, dimpled potatoes with natural sweetness, and full of flavor. Tossed together with a mixture of fresh celery, onion, chives, sour cream, and horseradish, this simple potato salad was just delicious! If BC nugget potatoes are not available at your grocers, you can also substitute them with any small variety of yellow waxy potatoes.



Nugget Potato Salad With Horseradish

Ingredients


2 to 2 1/2 lbs B.C Nugget Potatoes, or any small variety potato, washed
1 small Red Onion, chopped
3 ribs Celery, chopped
3 Tbsp chopped fresh Chives
6 Tbsp Sour Cream
1 Lemon, juiced
4 - 5 Tbsp Prepared Horseradish
2 Tbsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt to taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Method

Boil the potatoes with 1/2 tsp of salt until just tender. Drain and cut the potatoes into quarters or halved if smaller.

To prepare the dressing, combine red onion, celery, chives, sour cream, lemon juice, and horseradish and mix well. Add olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Combine the potatoes with the dressing and mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 to 2 hours before serving.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tofu With Asian Basil


I prefer the sweet and spicy scents of Asian Basil, or sometimes known as Thai Basil. They have a distinctly stronger pungent and sweeter smell compared to the better known, sweet basil. This is a delicious tofu dish, stir-fry with loads of Asian Basil. Give this recipe a try, if you like tofu and basil. Trust you will like it. :-)



Tofu With Asian Basil

Ingredients


2 Packet (350g x 2) Firm Tofu, drained and sliced (about 1/4 inch thick)
50 g Asian (Thai) Basil
3 -5 Bird's Eye Chilies, coarsely chopped
2 Stalks Scallions
4 Cloves Garlic, smashed
1 1/2 Tbsp Peanut Oil
Sea Salt to taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Peanut Oil for deep-frying

Sauce
1 Tbsp Oyster Sauce
2 Tbsp Fish Sauce
2 tsp Soy Sauce
2 tsp Corn Flour
1 Cup Water

Method

Deep fry the tofu slices over high heat until light golden in color. (Do not overcooked) Drain the tofu on paper towels and set aside.

Heat the oil (1 1/2 Tbsp) in a wok and cook the garlic on low heat. Remove the garlic when they are fragrant and golden in color.

Turn the heat on high. Toss in the chilies, tofu, half portion of basil and garlic. Stir-fry for about 2 minutes and add in the sauce. Bring it to a quick boil and season with sea salt and black pepper. The sauce should be thickened and then mix in the rest of the basil and scallions. Serve immediately.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Stir-Fry Broccoli With Prawns


Since the last stir frying garlic spears posting, I have received several more requests for simple and healthy stir frying vegetables recipes. So, here it is, another easy stir fry broccoli with prawns recipe. If you are not into prawns, then either replace the prawns with scallops or just some carrot slices instead. The carrots will provide the "sweetness" needed for this stir fry dish, obviously making it tastier!



Stir-Fry Broccoli With Prawns

Ingredients


450 - 500 g Broccoli, cut into smaller florets and blanched
200 g Prawns, shelled and tail intact
3 Cloves Garlic, thinly sliced
1 tsp Minced Ginger
2 Tbsp Peanut Oil
Sea Salt to taste

Sauce
1 Tbsp Oyster Sauce
1 1/2 tsp Corn Flour
10 Tbsp Chicken Stock or Water

Method

Heat the oil in a wok and cook the garlic on low heat. Remove the garlic when they are fragrant and golden in color.

Turn the heat on high. Cook the prawns briefly and toss in the ginger ,broccoli and garlic. Stir-fry for about 2 minutes and add in the sauce. Bring it to a quick boil and season with sea salt. The sauce should be thickened and the broccoli are cooked but still firm. Serve immediately.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sweet Potato Ice Cream


Okay, this is the first time I'm using sweet potatoes to make ice cream. I bought some purple color sweet potatoes earlier. So, I decided to use them instead of the usual orange color ones. The end result? Just delicious, tastes like sweet potato pie filling; but, frozen and creamier in this case. If you like sweet potatoes, do give this recipe a try.



Recipe adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

Sweet Potato Ice Cream

Ingredients

1 lb (450 g) Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 Cup plus 2 Tbsp (280 ml) Whole Milk
2/3 Cup (140 g) Packed Light Brown Sugar
1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
Pinch of salt
A few drops of freshly squeeze lemon juice

Method

Place the cubed sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for 20 minutes, or until tender when poked with a sharp knife. Drain the sweet potatoes and let cool to room temperature.

Pour the milk into a blender and add the brown sugar, sweet potato pieces, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt. Puree until very smooth, at least 30 seconds. Add lemon juice to taste. Press the mixture through a mesh strainer, using a flexible rubber spatula.

Allow the mixture to cool thoroughly, then freeze it in an ice cream maker.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Chocolate-Mint Ice Cream


Chocolate-Mint ice cream is the ultimate flavor ice cream, according to my kids at least. They just love it. You can either use store-bought peppermint patties, as suggested by the book, or mint-flavored chocolate instead. I chose to use the latter here. Yummy!


Recipe adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

Chocolate-Mint Ice Cream

Ingredients

2 Cups (500 ml) Heavy Cream
3 Tbsp (21 g) Unsweetened Dutch-process Cocoa Powder
5 oz (140 g) Bittersweet or Semisweet Chocolate, chopped
1 Cup (250 ml) Whole Milk
3/4 Cup (150 g) Sugar
Pinch Of Salt
5 Large Egg Yolks
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Cups Peppermint Patties, crumbled or 150 g Mint Flavored Chocolate bar, chopped
1/8 tsp Mint Oil or Extract

Method

Warm 1 cup (250 ml) of the cream. Whisk in the cocoa powder thoroughly until the cocoa are well bended. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer at a very gentle heat for 30 seconds, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate, stirring until smooth. Then stir in the remaining 1 cup (250 ml) cream. Pour the mixture into a large bowl, scraping the saucepan as thoroughly as possible, and set a mesh strainer on top of the bowl.

Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in the same saucepan. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the chocolate mixture until smooth, then stir in the vanilla. Stir until cool over an ice bath.

Then chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator and freeze it in your ice cream maker
. (If the cold mixture is too thick to pour into your machine, whisk it vigorously to thin out.)

To make Chocolate-Mint Ice Cream, stir 1/8 tsp Mint oil or extract into the custard before freezing, then fold in the crumbled peppermint patties or chopped Mint chocolate.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Lychee Granita


I’m going to share a few more frozen treats recipes for this week. Okay, this is a Lychee granita. Lychee is in season now and they are sweet and juicy. I have tweaked one of the granita recipes from The Perfect Scoop cookbook by David Lebotvitz.


Lychee Granita

Ingredients

500g Fresh Lychee
300 ml Water
6-8 Tbsp Sugar
1 tsp Lime or Lemon Juice

Method

Peel the lychee and remove the pits. Blend lychee, water, sugar and lime juice until completely smooth. Press the mixture through a mesh strainer.

To freeze granita, pour the mixture into the dish and place in the freezer. Begin checking it after about 1 hour. Once it begins to freeze around the edges, take a fork and stir the mixture, breaking up the frozen parts near the edges into smaller chunks and raking them toward the center.

Return the dish to the freezer, then check the mixture every 30 minutes afterward, stirring each time and breaking up any large chunks into small pieces with a fork, until you have a beautiful, fine crystals of homemade granita. If any time the granita freezes too hard, simply leave it out at room temperature for a few minutes until it softens enough to be stirred again with a fork, and rake it back into crystals. Then return it to the freezer.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Bang Bang Chicken


Bang Bang Chicken, otherwise known, as Bon Bon Chicken or Strange-Flavor Chicken is a popular Sichuanese dish. Basically, it’s cold shredded chicken dressed with a salty, sweet, sour, nutty, hot, and numbing sauce. The recipe calls for Chinese sesame paste; but, I have used Tahini instead. The crushed roasted peanuts and cucumber are optional ingredients; but, I think the dish actually tastes better with them.



Recipe adapted from Sichuan Cookery by Fuchsia Dunlop

Bang Bang Chicken

Ingredients

300-400 g (about 1/2 a chicken) Cold Chicken Meat
6-8 Scallions (Spring Onions), white parts only
1 Tbsp White Sugar
Sea Salt to taste
1 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Chinkiang or Black Chinese Vinegar
3 Tbsp Well-blended Chinese Sesame Paste
1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
2 Tbsp Chili Oil with Chili Flakes
1/2-1 tsp Ground Roasted Sichuan Pepper
3 tsp Toasted Sesame Seeds
50 g Roasted Peanuts, crushed (optional)
1 - 2 Medium Size Cucumber, shredded (optional)


Method

Cut the chicken, with any remaining skin, into slivers about a centimeter wide. (If you want to be really authentic, hit it a few times with a rolling-pin to loosen the fibers and then tear the flesh into shreds by hand.)

Cut the scallions into sections and then slice these lengthwise into fine slivers. Put them into a bowl of cold water to refresh.

Dissolve the sugar and salt in the soy sauce and vinegar. Gradually stir in the sesame paste to make a smooth sauce. Add the other ingredients except the sesame seeds and mix well.

Shortly before serving, drain the scallions and pile them neatly in the center of your serving dish. lay the chicken slivers on top of them. Pour over the prepared sauce.

At the last minute, sprinkle with the sesame seeds and pean
uts.


Note:
Cucumber can be used instead of scallions - it's best to sprinkle the pieces lightly with salt at least 30 minutes before you need them, to let some of their water drain away. The cucumber should be cut into thin strips to complement the chicken slivers.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Grilled Corn With Shrimp Salad


In season now, fresh sweet corns are just great whichever way you choose to cook them. Naturally yummy and they are packed with lots of goodness in those plump and juicy kernels when cooked. So, I got my grill fired up to grill some sweet corns to make this nice Grilled Corn With Shrimp Salad. They were superb, just what I needed for a light and easy to prepare weekend lunch. So, do try this delicious recipe.



Grilled Corn With Shrimp Salad

Ingredients


1 lb (454 g) Small Shrimps, shelled and tail intact
4 Ears of Corn, husked and silk removed
1 Packet (400 g) Grape Tomatoes, halved
1/2 Red Onion, diced
1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
2 Red Chilies
1/2 Cup Chopped Cilantro
2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Dressing
2 Limes, juiced
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3/4 tsp Ground Cumin
Sea Salt to taste
Some freshly ground Black Pepper

Method

Combine all the salad dressing ingredients and whisk well. Set aside.

Charred red chilies and place them in a small bowl and cover with a microwave safe plastic wrap for about 10 minutes. Peel the chili skin and discard the seeds and chop finely.

Set the grill on high and grill the corn for about 20 minutes or until they are fully cooked and slightly charred. When cool, remove the kernels from the corn.

In a large bowl, mix the shrimps with olive oil, sea salt and black pepper. Heat the grill on high and grill the shrimps for about 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Toss shrimps, corn kernels, onion, bell pepper, tomatoes, and chilies with the salad dressing. Season the salad with sea salt and black pepper. Lastly mix in the chopped coriander. Let it rest for couple of minutes and serve at room temperature.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Stir-Fry Garlic Spears With Prawns


Garlic Spears are the flower tops from Elephant Garlic. When cooked, they have a very mild garlic flavor with a texture and taste that fits somewhere between asparagus and artichokes. The whole spear can be eaten - as is. You can steam or boiled them and dress it with some salad dressing, or simply stir-fry them as shown in this post.


Stir-Fry Garlic Spears With Prawns

Ingredients

1 Bunch (about 360 g) Garlic Spears, trimmed
200 g Prawns, shelled
2 Cloves Garlic, smashed
1 tsp Grated Ginger
1 1/2 Tbsp Peanut Oil
Sea Salt to taste

Sauce
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Oyster Sauce
1 tsp Corn Flour
1/2 Cup Chicken Stock or Water

Method

Heat the oil in a wok and cook the garlic on low heat. Remove the garlic when they are fragrant and golden in color. Set aside.

Turn the heat on high. Cook the prawns in 2 or 3 batches and set aside. Then, toss in the ginger and garlic spears. Give it a quick stir and add in the garlic and prawns. Stir-fry for about 2 minutes and add in the sauce. Bring it to a quick boil and season with sea salt. The sauce should be thickened and the vegetables cooked but still firm. Serve immediately.


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