Welcome Fellow Food Enthusiasts

Saturday, February 27, 2010

toasted sesame candy chicken.

{recipe from white lotus cooks}
serves 6

2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 4 fillets)
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
toasted sesame seeds
cooked rice
sliced scallions (optional)

In a pan, pour about two inches of oil and heat on medium heat till hot. Cut chicken on the diagonal into thick strips, about two inches wide. In a bowl, beat eggs. In another container, place flour.

Coat chicken strips in egg mixture first, then generously pat with flour, covering all sides. (I will often give it a couple of coatings) There should be a thick layer of batter on the chicken pieces.

When oil is hot, fry chicken pieces (about 3 minutes on each side) till golden brown. Remove chicken, and let rest on a paper towel to drain the oil.

To make candy sauce, place soy sauce and sugar in a bowl and mix together, about 30 seconds. The sugar will not completely dissolve, but the mixture should be thick, and not grainy. Add sesame seeds and mix to incorporate.

Dip chicken in sauce, covering all sides. Repeat, till all pieces are covered. Serve with rice, drizzle remain sauce over chicken. Garnish with sliced scallions.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Oven Roasted Broccoli

(excuse the blurry photo, my food stylist and photographer was not home from work yet.)

I really really love oven roasted veggies. I think they taste way better than steamed, and are pretty healthy too. Sure steamed veggies have less fat, but what good is a vegetable if no one wants to eat it? Here's one of my favorite recipes for broccoli from Alton Brown:

1 pound broccoli, rinsed and trimmed (drain water really well or broccoli won't get as crispy, I use a salad spinner)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan or Sharp Chedder

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Cut the broccoli florets into bite sized pieces. Cut the stalk into 1/8-inch thick, round slices. Place the broccoli into a mixing bowl and toss with olive oil, garlic, kosher salt and pepper and set aside.

Spread the panko into a 13 by 9 inch metal cake pan and place into the oven for 2 minutes or until lightly toasted. Remove the panko from the oven and add to the bowl with the broccoli mixture. Toss to combine. Remove the mixture to the cake pan, place in the oven and roast just until the broccoli is tender, 8 to 10 more minutes. Remove from the oven, toss in the cheese and serve immediately.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Easy and Delicious Chicken Enchiladas


1 lb chicken breast
1 can green enchilada sauce
1 can green chilis
1\2 cup salsa
1 package flour tortillas
1 cup grated cheese

How To:

You could do this two ways:

I love my crock pot and love making meals with it.

The crock pot way is to put the chicken, enchilada sauce, chillies and salsa in the crock pot on high for 4-6 hours. Once cooked, shred the chicken.

Or you could cook the chicken in a skillet with a teaspoon of olive oil. Once chicken is cooked, shred with a fork. Add the sauce, chillies and salsa into the frying pan with chicken. Let simmer for 3o minutes.

Scoop 1\4 cup of the chicken and sauce and place in the middle of a flour tortilla. You can sprinkle cheese into the mixture if desired. Fold over and place seam down into a baking dish.

After you have prepared all your enchiladas, take remaining chicken mixture and pour on top of the tortillas. Sprinkle cheese on top if desired.

Bake at 375 for about 25 minutes

This recipe made about 8 enchiladas. Serve with salsa or sour cream

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Chinese Chicken Salad and Chinese Cookies

Happy Chinese New Year!
Today marks the start of the new year, the year of the tiger.
So as the ever so popular Tony the Tiger would say,
I hope your new year will be "grrrrreeeeaaaat!!!!"

So I belong to a family who celebrates Chinese New Year. I'm pretty sure it's because we love playing Mah Jong together. But I also think we love to devour all the yummy though very bad for you, thus only eaten once a year, fried Won tons and Crab Rangoons my aunt makes. My yearly assignment, this yummy Chinese Chicken Salad that joined our family at least twenty years ago. OK, so it's not a recipe handed down for generations, but it has been handed down a generation. You gotta start somewhere right?

Chinese Chicken Salad
The Salad (or as we say, The Weed)
2-3 chicken breasts, cooked (boiled) in water, ginger and then shredded. ( I like lots of Chicken, I think the original recipe just calls for 1 breast)
Won ton skins – about 1/3 of the package. Cut and fried. (these freeze well, so don't feel like you have to use the whole package so as not to waste. Just freeze the rest.)
1 head lettuce
8 stalks green onion
4 T sliced almonds
4 T toasted sesame seeds
Mix everything together, but the won tons so they don't get soggy, when ready to serve.
4 T sugar
2 t salt
1 t pepper
6 T vinegar (this year I used Apple Cider Vinegar, it was so good, and you don't need as much sugar. I only used about 1 1/2 T sugar)
¼-1/3 t sesame oil
½ c olive oil

Mix the dressing really well.

Pour the dressing on the salad and toss and then add the won tons just before serving.

*Some of my tricks. I cook and shred the chicken, mix the dressing and slice the green onions the night before. I put all the chicken and the onions in a bag. Shake it to mix them, and then add maybe a 1/3 of the dressing and shake it up well so as to get all the chicken (you may need more, you may need less dressing.) I allow it to sit overnight and all day. Then when I make the salad, I only pour about half the remaining dressing onto the salad and toss the salad really well. Because the chicken is already seasoned, I don't really need all the dressing, though you can put the rest on the table in case your family or guests like a "wetter" salad.

And then the cookies. These aren't cookies per say, but they are yummy. Though this one has passed along two generations - my grandma, to my mother, to me...

Chinese Cookies (for lack of a better name)

1 - 12 oz bag Butterscotch Chips
1 - 12 oz bag Chow Mein Noodles
1/2 - 1 c peanuts

Line 2 cookie sheets with wax paper (or just on really long sheet or two sheets of wax paper on the counter.
Melt the butterscotch chips (I use a double boiler to do this)
Add the peanuts
Stir in the noodles (I start with half the package and then gradually add the rest, stirring to be sure they are all coated well.)
Spoon out clumps of the coated noodles, what ever amount looks sufficient for your desired cookie size, and set on the wax paper to cool.

They'll look like little haystacks...

A yummy combination of sweet and salty.

Friday, February 12, 2010

♥ tortilla hearts.


i am serving these with my chicken tortilla soup for valentines day ♥

use cookie cutters to cut uncooked flour tortillas into heart shapes. bake on middle rack at 400 degrees for 5-6 minutes, until golden brown & puffed up. let them harden for a few minutes before serving. they stay puffed up and look so cute! you could also brush them with oil and lightly salt them before baking. {mine are going into a flavorful soup, so i didn't bother.}

have a lovely valentines day!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Catenzaro Italian Spaghetti & Sausage

Here it is. The coveted Catenzaro spaghetti. This is the real deal. My husband's grandfather brought this recipe with him from Italy and it is a Catenzaro family favorite, requested by many. I'll be shot and hanged for posting the recipe, so you better appreciate what I'm doing for you. Just kidding. :)

Don't be surprised by how easy the recipe is, and how few ingredients there are. In speaking with people who have lived in Italy (I'm not one of the lucky ones), American-Italian food is much different from real authentic Italian food. Americans may call real Italian food 'bland.' However, do not fret. This spaghetti is scrumptious. Enjoy!


1 pkg (or 2!) Granato's Hot Italian Style sausage (imported from Italy)
12 oz tomato paste
2 cans tomato sauce + 1-2 cans water
1 can diced tomatoes
1.5-2 pkgs of spaghetti noodles
Preheat oven to 190.
Brown sausage links in a skillet. Do not cook, just brown. Remove browned sausage links from skillet and slice 1-2 inches in thickness (see pic). Add to dutch oven. Add tomato paste, sauce (+ water), and diced tomatoes. Stir. Place dutch oven in 190 degree oven. Cook for 4-5 hours.
Add cooked noodles. Serve with hot garlic bread. Mmmm.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

lemon cream cupcakes.


these were so lemony delicious. all of you lemon lovers need to try this one!

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sour cream

3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
2 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 tablespoon milk

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add lemon peel and vanilla; mix well. Combine dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream (batter will be thick). Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups with 1/4 cup of batter. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. For frosting, cream butter and sugar in a small mixing bowl. Add lemon juice, vanilla, lemon peel and milk; beat until smooth. Frost cupcakes.

{makes 30 cupcakes}

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sweetheart Jell-o Jigglers

2 3 oz cherry flavored jell-o
1 cup boiling water
1 package instant vanilla pudding
1 cup milk

Mix milk and vanilla pudding together in a small bowl.

Dissolve jell-o mix and boiling water in a seperate.

Combine jell-o mix and the pudding mixture into the same bowl.

Whisk together until all clumps are gone.

Pour into a greased, small baking dish, and put in refrigerator for up to three hours or until set.

Use heart shaped cookie cutters if desired, or cut into squares


Monday, February 1, 2010

Sunday Best Part Two

I love Ina Garten. I love her cooking style, I love that she uses real food and makes things from scratch. She loves cooking for people and it makes me want to cook for people too! This is a lovely side dish that I served with a roasted pork tenderloin. The Gruyere cheese is mild but very flavorful and accompanies the zucchini beautifully. It is so good, try it today!

Zucchini GratinRecipe courtesy of The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for topping
1 pound yellow onions, cut in 1/2 and sliced (3 large)
2 pounds zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick (4 zucchini)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup hot milk
3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs (I use panko bread crumbs)
3/4 cup grated Gruyere

preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a very large (12 inch) saute pan and cook the onions over low heat for 20 minutes, or until tender but not browned (*Do not caramelize the onions. I accidentally did, and while it still tasted great, it made the whole dish take on a slightly tan color. Not as pretty as I think it could have been). Add the zucchini and cook, covered, for 10 minutes, or until tender. Add the salt, pepper, and nutmeg and cook uncovered for 5 more minutes. Stir in the flour. Add the hot milk and cook over low heat for a few minutes, until it makes a sauce. Pour the mixture into an 8x10 baking dish.

Combine the bread crumbs and Gruyere and sprinkle on top of the zucchini mixture. Dot with 1 tablespoon of butter cut into small bits. Bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbly and browned.

Sunday Best Part One

This is my favorite recipe for company because it is not too complicated to make and it seems impressive! My dad has borrowed my camera so I was unable to photograph my actual results but I have borrowed some pictures from the food network website which is also where these recipes came from.

*The one disclaimer that I will give is that you MUST use a meat thermometer in order to cook the tenderloin properly. My oven runs hot so I cut the roasting time nearly in half but I had to experiment with this a bit the first time I made it to figure it out. Everybody's oven is different so the cooking time is not an exact science. The meat thermometer will save you and your tenderloin!

Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin
Recipe courtesy of Paula Deen

1 (4 pound) boneless pork loin, with fat left on
1 tablespoon kosher salt (this is too much for me, I use a little under one tablespoon)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme or 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon dried basil or 2 teaspoons fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon dried rosemary or 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
(I usually use dried thyme and basil, but always fresh rosemary. I love fresh rosemary!)

Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.
Place the pork loin on a rack in a roasting pan. Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. With your fingers, massage the mixture onto the pork loin, covering all of the meat and fat. Position the pork loin fat side up on the roasting rack and place in the oven.
Roast the pork for 30 minutes (I do 20 minutes here, again hot oven) then reduce the heat to 425 degrees F and roast for an additional hour (I check it at 30 minutes and it's usually reached the right internal temperature). Test for doneness using an instant-read thermometer. When the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees, remove the roast from the oven.

Cover the roast with foil and allow to sit for 20 minutes before carving. It will continue to cook as it rests and allowing it to rest will make it really juicy.

Serves 6-8