Sunday, February 27, 2011

Prawn Cocktail With Marie Rose Sauce


Marie Rose Sauce adapted from Jamie Oliver’s COOK With Jamie (pg 264)

Prawn Cocktail With Marie Rose Sauce

Ingredients

1 Packet (400 g) Cooked Pacific White Prawns, thawed
1 Bunch Romaine Lettuce
1 Avocado, halved and quartered
1 Ripe Mango, diced
Lemon Wedges

Marie Rose Sauce
3 Heaped Tbsp Mayonnaise
1 Heaped Tbsp Ketchup
A Splash of Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tbsp Brandy
Lemon Juice to taste

Method

Combine the Marie Rose Sauce ingredients; mixed well and refrigerated.

To assemble, divide the prawns, lettuce, avocado, and mango into 4 plates Squeeze a little lemon juice over the prawns mixture.

To serve, spoon over the Marie Rose Sauce and drizzle some lemon juice, if desired.

Serves 4


Friday, February 25, 2011

Roasted Red Pepper Soup


This is my favorite Roasted Red Pepper Soup recipe, it’s smoky and sweet with a hint of spiciness. The soup goes very well with some sourdough bread, and if you like a bit more heat, just sprinkle some smoked paprika into the soup for that extra oomph! Anyway, when you pick-out the peppers, look for fleshy medium to large sized ones that has smooth, firm, and unblemished skin. The fleshier peppers are more flavorful and they are great for broiling.


Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Ingredients

8 (about 1 kg) Red Peppers, whole
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 (450 g) Medium Yellow Onion, peeled and diced
2 Cloves Garlic, chopped
2 (250 g) Large Potatoes, peeled and diced
6 Cups Chicken Stock
Sea Salt to taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
Pinch of Smoked paprika (optional)

Method

Roasting Fresh Peppers (Broiler): Line a large baking pan with aluminum foil. Place the whole peppers on the foil and brush lightly with olive oil. Broil, turning as needed, until blackened on all sides. Once they are charred, place all the peppers in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave it for about 5 minutes, scrape of the skin with a knife or your hand. Remove the top, seeds, cut away the membranes, and coarsely chop the peppers. Reserved any juices in the bottom of the bowl.

Heat the olive oil in a large pot, cook the onions with a big pinch of sugar. Cook the mixture until soft and translucent. Then mix in the garlic and cook for another minute.

Then add the potatoes and roasted peppers and continue to cook for about 2 to 3 minutes. 



Add the reserved liquid and chicken stock into the mixture. Bring it to the boil and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes. Allow the soup to cool slightly before you puree it with a handheld blender. Bring the soup back to the boil; mix in the butter, and season with some salt and pepper. Serve warm with a pinch of smoke paprika, if desired.


Serve 4 to 6

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Queen Of Sheba


Recipe adapted from Bittersweet by Alice Medrich (pg 109)

Queen Of Sheba

Ingredients

6 oz Bittersweet Chocolate, coarsely chopped
10 Tbsp (1 ¼ sticks) Unsalted Butter, cut into pieces
3 Tbsp Brandy
1/8 tsp Pure Almond Extract (optional)
1/8 tsp Sea Salt
½ Cup (2 ½ oz) Unblanched Whole Almonds
2 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour
4 Large Eggs, separated, at room temperature
¾ Sugar
1/8 tsp Cream of Tartar
Powdered Sugar for dusting (optional)
Lightly Sweetened Whipped Cream

Equipment: An 8 by 3 inches Spring form Pan, or cheesecake pan with a removable bottom

Method

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375˚F/190˚C. Line the cake pan with a circle of parchment paper.

Place the chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Stir occasionally until nearly melted. Remove from the heat and stir until melted and smooth. Or microwave on Medium (50%) power for about 2 minutes, then stir until completely melted and smooth. Stir in the brandy, almond extract, if using, and salt. Set aside.

Meanwhile, pulse the nuts and flour in a food processor until mixture has the texture of cornmeal. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks with ½ cup of the sugar until well blended. Stir in the chocolate mixture. Set aside.

In a clean dry bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar at medium speed until soft peaks form when the beaters are lifted. Gradually sprinkle in the remaining ¼ cup sugar and beat at high speed (or medium-high speed in a heavy-duty mixer) until the peaks are stiff but not dry. Scoop ¼ of the egg whites and all of the nut mixture on top of the chocolate batter, and, using a large rubber spatula, fold them in. Scrape the remaining egg whites onto the batter and fold together. Turn the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it level if necessary.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted about 1-½ inches from the edge emerges almost clean but a toothpick inserted in the center is still moist and gooey. Set the pan on a rack to cool. (The cooled torte can be covered tightly with plastic wrap, or removed from the pan and wrapped well, and stored at room temperature up to 3 days of frozen for up to 3 months.

To serve, slide a slim knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the cake. Remove the pan sides and transfer the cake, on the pan bottom, to a platter, or invert the cake onto a rack or tray, remove the paper liner, and invert onto a platter. Using a fine-mesh sieve, sift a little powdered sugar over the top of the cake before serving, if desired. Serve each slice with a little whipped cream.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Chickpea, Potato, And Leek Soup


Chickpea, Potato, And Leek Soup

Ingredients

4 Medium Leeks, halved, cleaned, and sliced
2 Cloves Garlic, peeled and chopped
1 Yellow Onion, peeled and diced
2 Yellow Wax Potatoes, peeled and diced
1 ½ Cup Canned Chickpeas
4 Tbsp Olive Oil
6 Cups Chicken Stock
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Method

Heat the olive oil in a large pot; add leeks, garlic, and onions with a pinch of salt. Cook the mixture until soft and translucent but not brown.



Then add the potatoes, chickpeas and continue to cook for about 2 to 3 minutes.



Add the chicken stock, bring it to the boil and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes. Allow the soup to cool slightly before you puree it with a handheld blender.

Bring the soup back to the boil and season with some salt and pepper. Serve warm.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Maryland Crab Cakes


Maryland Crab Cakes

Ingredients

1 tsp Mustard
2 Tbsp Mayonnaise
1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
2 Dashes of Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 Large Egg
1 Red Chili, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
4 Sprigs Italian Flat Parsley, finely chopped
1 Scallion (white part only) finely chopped
450 g Lump Crabmeat, picked over to remove cartilage
40 g Saltine Crackers, crush into fine crumbs
Sea Salt to taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Oil for frying (peanut or canola oil)
Lemon Wedges
Tartar Sauce

Method

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the mustard, mayonnaise, Old Bay seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, large egg, a pinch of sea salt, and some pepper.

Gently fold in the chili, parsley, scallion, crabmeat, and cracker crumbs with a rubber spatula until just combined.

Shape the crab mixture into 10 to 12 pieces patties (about 45 to 50 g each patty).

Heat the oil in a large cast-iron pan or non-stick pan until hot. Lower the heat to medium and shallow fry the crab cakes for about 2 minutes on each side. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels and serve warm. Serve warm with some lemon wedges and tartar sauce, if desired.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Cream Puffs-Profiteroles With Vanilla And Chocolate Pastry Cream & Happy Valentine's Day


I am glad my daughter persuaded me to help her bake these tasty Cream Puffs for this Valentine’s Day. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to make these versatile Cream Puffs. You need to apply a bit of strength to stir the dough; but, the result is well worth the effort! They baked beautifully to a golden colored cream puff in the oven pretty quick. We baked several batches of these puffs. So tasty and versatile, you can fill it with pastry cream, ice cream, or a savory filling of your choice. I should disclose that prior to this, I’ve never had any cream puffs before. Never cross my mind to include it to my “to bake” list, embarrassing. Anyway, better late than never I suppose. In the end, we decided to fill the cream puffs with vanilla and chocolate pastry cream. Whichever filling you choose, I urge you to give this recipe a try! A very Happy Valentine’s Day to all!


Recipe adapted from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan

Cream Puffs-Profiteroles With Vanilla And Chocolate Pastry Cream

Cream Puff Dough (pg 502)

Ingredients

½ Cup Whole Milk
½ Cup Water
8 Tbsp (1 Stick) Unsalted Butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 Tbsp Sugar
½ tsp Sea Salt
1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
4 Large Eggs

Method

Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 425˚F. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.

Bring the milk, water, butter, sugar, and salt to a rapid boil in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over high heat. Add the flour all at once, lower the heat to medium-low, and immediately start stirring energetically with a wooden spoon or heavy whisk. The dough will come together, and a light crust will form on the bottom of the pan. Keep stirring-with vigor-for another minute or two to dry the dough. The dough should be very smooth.

Turn the dough into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or into a bowl you can use to mix with a hand mixer or a wooden spoon and elbow grease. Let the dough sit for a minute, then add the eggs one by one and beat, beat, beat until the dough is thick and shiny. Make sure that each egg is completely incorporated before you add the next, and don’t be concerned if the dough falls apart-by the time the last egg goes in, the dough will come together again. Once the dough is made, it should be used immediately.

To bake the puffs: Using about 1 Tbsp dough for each puff, drop the dough from a spoon onto the lined baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches of puff space between the mounds of dough. (The dough can be frozen for up to 2 months.)

Slide the baking sheets into the oven and immediately turn the oven temperature down to 375˚F. Bake for 12 minutes, then rotate the pans from front to back and top to bottom. Continue baking until the puffs are golden, firm, and, of course, puffed, another 12 to 15 minutes or so. Allow the puffs to cool on the baking sheet.

To fill the puffs: Using a serrated knife and gentle sawing motion, you can simply cut off the top quarter or third of each puff, fill the puffs, and top them with the little caps. Or, if you’re using a very creamy filling, you can fill a piping bag fitted with a small plain tip with the filling, then use the tip to poke a hole in the side of each puff and squeeze in the filling.

Vanilla Pastry Cream (pg 505)
2 Cups Whole Milk
6 Large Egg Yolks
½ Cup Sugar
1/3 Cup Cornstarch, sifted
1 ½ tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
3 ½ Tbsp Unsalted Butter, cut into bits, at room temperature

Method

Bring the milk to a boil in small saucepan or in a microwave oven.

Meanwhile, in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the yolks together with the sugar and cornstarch until thick and well blended. Whisking without stop, drizzle in about ¼ cup of the hot milk-this will temper, or warm, the yolks-then, still whisking, add the remainder of the milk in a steady stream. Put the pan over medium heat and, whisking vigorously, constantly, and thoroughly (make sure to get into the edges of the pan), bring the mixture to a boil. Keep at a boil-still whisking-for 1 to 2 minutes, then pull the pan from the heat.

Whisk in the vanilla extract. Let stand for 5 minutes, then whisk in the bits of butter, stirring until the butter is fully incorporated and the pastry cream is smooth and silky. Scrape the cream into a bowl. You can press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the custard to create an airtight seal and refrigerate the pastry cream until cold or, if you want to cool the custard quickly-put the bowl with the pastry cream into a larger bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water and stir the pastry cream occasionally until it is thoroughly chilled, about 20 minutes.

Chocolate Pastry Cream (pg 506)
2 Cups Whole Milk
4 Large Egg Yolks
6 Tbsp Sugar
3 Tbsp Cornstarch, sifted
Pinch of Sea Salt
7 ounces Bittersweet Chocolate, melted
2 ½ Tbsp Unsalted Butter, cut into bits, at room temperature

Method

Bring the milk to a boil in small saucepan or in a microwave oven.

Meanwhile, in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the yolks together with the sugar, cornstarch, salt until thick and well blended. Whisking without stop, drizzle in about ¼ cup of the hot milk-this will temper, or warm, the yolks-then, still whisking, add the remainder of the milk in a steady stream. Put the pan over medium heat and, whisking vigorously, constantly, and thoroughly (make sure to get into the edges of the pan), bring the mixture to a boil. Keep at a boil-still whisking-for 1 to 2 minutes, then pull the pan from the heat.

Whisk in the vanilla melted chocolate. Let stand for 5 minutes, then whisk in the bits of butter, stirring until the butter is fully incorporated and the custard is smooth and silky. Scrape the cream into a bowl. You can press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the custard to create an airtight seal and refrigerate the pastry cream until cold or, if you want to cool the custard quickly-put the bowl with the pastry cream into a larger bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water and stir the custard occasionally until it is thoroughly chilled, about 20 minutes.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Budini-Baked Chocolate Pudding


Recipe adapted from Bittersweet By Alice Medrich (pg 120)

Budini-Baked Chocolate Pudding

Ingredients

6 oz (170 g) Bittersweet Chocolate, coarsely chopped
8 Tbsp (1 Stick) Unsalted Butter
1 ½ Tbsp Brandy or Rum (optional)
3 Tbsp Semolina Flour (optional)
3 Large Eggs
2/3-Cup Sugar
Pinch of Sea Salt

Equipment: Six 8 to 16 oz ramekins or ovenproof bowls
Vanilla Ice Cream (optional)

Method

Note: You can bake the Budini now or later in the day. Simply refrigerate, covered, until about 30 minutes before you want to serve the

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375˚F/190˚C.

Combine the chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl set in a wide skillet of barely simmering water, and stir frequently until completely melted and smooth. Or microwave on Medium (50%) power for about 2 minutes, then stir until completely melted and smooth. Remove from the heat. Stir in the liquor and semolina flour, if using.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, and salt with an electric mixer at high speed until light and fluffy and the consistency of softly whipped cream. Use a large rubber spatula to fold one third of the eggs into the chocolate mixture, then scrape the chocolate butter over the remaining eggs and fold until blended. Divide the batter among the ramekins or bowls.

To bake the budini: Place them on a cookie sheet. Bake until puffed, crusted, and deeply cracked but still gooey inside when tested with a toothpick, about 20 minutes, or 25 minutes if they have been refrigerated. Serve hot or let cool, but they will puff up again when reheated in a 375˚F/190˚C oven for about 10 minutes.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Fish Fingers With Fresh Mango Chutney


Fish Fingers With Fresh Mango Chutney

Ingredients

2 Pieces (350 g) Tilapia Fillet, cut into 5 long strips for each fillet
All Purpose Flour
1 Large Egg, lightly beaten
Panko (Japanese Breadcrumbs)
Peanut or Canola Oil for frying
Lime Wedges
Sweet Potato Fries (optional)
Fresh Mango Chutney

Marinade
1 Tbsp Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
3 Tbsp Finely Chopped Coriander
1 Green Chili (Jalapeno or Serrano), seeded and minced
1 Scallion, minced
1 Clove of Garlic, minced
1 tsp minced Ginger
1/8 tsp of Sea Salt
¼ tsp Chili Flakes
1 Tbsp Peanut Oil

Method

Add the fish strips to the marinade and turn to coat well. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.

Toss the marinated fish strips with the flour, dip into the beaten egg, and coat with Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs).

Heat the oil in a large cast-iron pan or non-stick pan until hot. Lower the heat to medium and shallow fry the fish strips for about 2 minutes on each side. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Serve warm with the fresh mango chutney, lime wedges, and sweet potato fries, if desired.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Fresh Mango Chutney


Fresh Mango Chutney

Ingredients

1 Medium Ripe Mango, pitted and diced
2 Tbsp Chopped Red Onion
1 Tbsp Chopped Coriander
½ Red Chili, seeded and finely chopped
1 Tbsp Lime Juice
4 Tbsp Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
1 tsp Sugar
¼ tsp Cumin Powder
¼ tsp Sea Salt or to taste
Ground Black Pepper to taste

Method

Place the mango, red onion, coriander, red chili, lime juice, orange juice, sugar, and cumin powder in a blender, and blend to a coarse puree.. Season the chutney with freshly ground black pepper, refrigerate and served chilled.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Chestnut Torte


With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I’d like to share an easy, sure success cake recipe that I have baked many times now. Besides being an easy recipe, there are couple of other reasons why I like this recipe. The first is that I can decrease the amount of sugar required and yet the cake will still turn out moist and decadent. The other reason is that my family really enjoy this no fuss Chestnut Torte! To serve, I would deck-out a slice of the cake with some fresh berries and several sifts of Varlhona cocoa powder. Here’s a suggestion, as, why not give this recipe a try? Enjoy.


Recipe adapted from Bittersweet by Alice Medrich (pg 116)

Chestnut Torte

Ingredients


4 Oz/115 g Bittersweet Chocolate, coarsely chopped
8 Tbsp (1 Stick) Unsalted Butter, cut into pieces
¾ Cup (about 6 oz/170 g) Unsweetened Canned Chestnut Puree
1 Tbsp Rum or Brandy
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Pinch of Sea Salt
4 Large Eggs, separated, at room temperature
½ Cup Sugar
1/8 tsp Cream Of Tartar
Powdered Sugar for dusting (optional)
Powdered Chocolate for dusting (optional)
Whipped Cream (optional)
Mixed Berries (optional)

Method

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375˚F/190˚C.

Line the bottom of the cake pan (8 x 3 inches springform pan) with a circle of parchment paper.

Place the chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl in a wide skillet of barely simmering water and stir occasionally until nearly melted. Remove from the heat and stir until melted and smooth. Or microwave on Medium (50%) power for about 1-½ minutes. Stir until completely melted and smooth.

Stir the chestnuts, rum, vanilla, and salt into the chocolate. Whisk in the egg yolks, along with 6 Tbsp of the sugar. Set aside.

In a clean, dry bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer at medium speed until soft peaks form when the beaters are lifted. Gradually sprinkle in the remaining 2 Tbsp sugar and beat at thigh speed (or medium high speed in a heavy duty mixer) until the peaks are stiff but not dry. Scoop ¼ of the egg whites onto the chocolate batter. Using a large runner spatula, fold them in. Scrape the remaining egg whites onto the batter and fold together.

Turn the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it level if necessary. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the pan still has moist crumbs clinging to it.

Set the pan on a rack to cool. (The cooled torte can be covered tightly with plastic wrap, or removed from the pan an wrapped well, and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Bring to room temperature before serving.)

To serve, slide a slim knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the cake. Remove the pan sides and transfer the cake, on the pan bottom, to a platter, or invert the cake onto a rack or tray, remove the bottom and the paper liner, and invert again onto a platter. Using a fine-mesh sieve, sift a little powdered sugar or chocolate over the top of the cake before serving, if desired. Serve each slice with some mixed berries or whipped cream, if desired.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Spicy Chipotle Chicken Wings & NFL Super Bowl XLV Party Snacks


I’m looking forward to the NFL Super Bowl XLV this weekend. To many sports fans, including myself, enjoying any major sporting event is all about having some good food, drinks, and great company. Cheering for your team with near zero disruptions, however, requires you to prepare as much as possible ahead. So, I have rounded up some simple and yet delicious snacks recipes here that you can cook-up beforehand to serve this Sunday. I also highly recommend you consider making these Spicy Chipotle Chicken Wings. The chicken wings are spicy, sweet, sticky, and finger licking good. Yum! Have a Super Sunday all, hope your team win! For those that are not football fans, I hope you will try making these snacks anyway. Enjoy!


Spicy Chipotle Chicken Wings

Ingredients


16 – 18 Chicken Wings (about 1.2 kg) tips removed
Lime Wedges

Marinate
2 Tbsp (21 g) Chipotle Rub Mix
4 Tbsp Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
3 Tbsp Brown Sugar
½ tsp Garlic Powder
1 ¼ tsp Sea Salt
2 Tbsp Pounded Roasted Peanuts
2 ½ Tbsp Hazelnut or Peanut Oil

Method

In a medium bowl, whisk together the Chipotle rub mix, lime juice, brown sugar, garlic powder, sea salt, peanuts, and hazelnut or peanut oil. Marinate the chicken pieces for about 3 hours, or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 425˚F/220˚C.

Line a large baking pan with parchment paper. Arrange the chicken pieces in the pan and bake for about 30 minutes. Then set the oven on broil and bake the chicken for another 3 to 5 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked. Serve warm with some lime wedges.


Baked Tex-Mex Potato With Pico De Gallo


Prawn Cakes


Spicy Garlic Hot Wings


Grilled Lemongrass Chicken


Grilled Honey, Lemon, And Soy Chicken Wings


Lemon, Lime, And Garlic Shrimps


Orange Chicken


Tex-Mex Potato Skins


Prawns And Salsa Tostadas


Spicy Pork Ribs-Dwaeji Galbi


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Tortilla Soup


Whenever Whole Foods Market has fresh sweet corn available, I like to make this Southwestern and Mexican Tortilla Soup. This is one of my favorite corn based soup which is hearty enough as a simple lunch or a light dinner soup. I usually serve it with fresh avocados, grilled corn kernels, cheddar cheese, cilantro, and topped with crispy tortillas.


Recipe adapted from Live, Love, Eat! By Wolfgang Puck (pg 30)

Tortilla Soup

Ingredients

3 ears Fresh Corn, shucked
5 Cloves Garlic, peeled
1 Medium Yellow Onion, peeled, and quartered
1 Jalapeno Chili, trimmed and seeded
2 ½ Tbsp Corn Oil
3 Corn Tortillas, cut into 1-inch squares
2 Large Tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
2 tsp Ground Cumin
7 to 8 Cups Chicken Broth
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Garnish
3 Corn Tortillas
1 Ripe Avocado
1 Large Whole Chicken Breast, cooked, boned, and skinned
½ Cup Grilled Corn Kernels (optional)
½ Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
¼ Cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro Leaves

Method

Using a large, sharp knife carefully cut the kernels off the corncobs. Set the kernels aside and reserve the cobs.

Put the corn kernels, garlic, onion, and jalapeno in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse the machine until the mixture is coarsely chopped. Set aside.

To make the soup: In a large pot, heat the oil over low heat. Add squares of tortilla and cook until they are slightly darkened in color and a little crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the chopped corn mixture and sauté just until the vegetables are coated with the oil, about 1 minute. Do not let them brown.

Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and cumin and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is very aromatic, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, heat the stock or broth. Slowly pour the stock into the vegetable mixture, add the corncobs, and simmer over low heat until the soup is reduced by one-third, 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove and discard the corncobs. In a blender or food processor, puree the soup in batches until smooth, taking care to avoid splattering. At this point, if you’d like a finer consistency, you can pass the soup through a fine strainer. Return the soup to a clean pot and season to taste with salt and pepper.

To prepare the garnish: Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Cut the tortillas into thin strips and arrange on a small baking sheet. Bake until the strips are crisp, 10 to 15 minutes. Peel and dice avocado. Cut the chicken crosswise into thin strips.

To serve, add the chicken or grilled corn (if using) and avocado to the soup and rewarm over low heat. Ladle the soup into 6 to 8 warmed soup bowls and garnish with baked tortilla strips, Cheddar cheese, and chopped cilantro. Serve immediately

Serves 6 to 8


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Chili Dungeness Crabs Dip


To all my readers, I would like to wish you all a very Happy Chinese New Year! Gong Xi Fa Cai! May the lunar new year of the rabbit bring you lots of joy, luck, health, and prosperity!

I am sure many of my readers in North America must be looking forward to this weekend’s big event, the NFL Super Bowl XLV! Just like the divisional playoffs, I have another great snack recipe that you can prepare ahead before the big game. This is a really delicious, and addictive, Chili Dungeness Crabs Dip. The slightly sweet, sour, and spicy sauce is accompanied with lots of chunky crabmeat. This dip will complement just about anything you throw at it, whether it’s baked potato skins, wedges, fries, chips, or just some toasted bread. Try it and enjoy the game this weekend!


Chili Dungeness Crabs Dip

Ingredients

350 to 380 g Dungeness Crabmeat, from 2 Large Dungeness Crabs (reserved shells) 

4 cloves Garlic, chopped

1/2 inch Ginger, chopped

1 medium Yellow Onion, diced

8 to 12 Thai Birds-eye Chilies, finely chopped

2 Eggs, lightly beaten

Peanut oil
Sea Salt, to taste



Sauce

2 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
8 Tbsp Ketchup

3 Tbsp "Maggi" brand Chili Sauce
1 Tbsp Sugar
1 tsp Corn flour
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Dark Soy Sauce

1 ½ Cup Water

Method

In a large wok over high heat, add enough oil (about ½ cup) and stir fry the crab shells for about 10 minutes or until the oil is aromatic. Strain the oil and discard the shells.

Add 4 Tbsp of the aromatic oil into the wok and set over medium-high heat. When hot, toss in the garlic, ginger, yellow onion and chilies. Stir and cook the mixture until fragrant and golden delicious in color. 



Then mix in the prepared sauce and bring it to a boil.



Now add the crabmeat and give it a quick stir, and simmer gently for about 1 minute. Then add the eggs and stir until all the eggs are cook and well combined. Season with salt, if necessary and serve warm.

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