Monday, March 15, 2010

Eggplant and Bell Pepper Lasagna


1 long Japanese eggplant or 3 small Italian eggplants, cut lengthwise into 1/3-inch-thick slices

1 green or red bell pepper, cut into strips

2 cups spaghetti sauce

1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes

Salt and pepper

9 3-by-6 1/2-inch lasagna noodles

2 cups low-fat cottage cheese

1 large egg

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese and some extra to sprinkle on top.
1. Preheat the oven to 400°.

2. Grill or pan fry eggplant with 4 tablespoons oil until soft and set aside.
3. Grill or pan fry bell pepper with oil until tender and set aside.

4. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the noodles, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain the noodles and rinse with cold water.

5. Combine spaghetti sauce with diced tomatos.

6. Combine egg, cottage cheese, parmesan cheese and mozarella cheese.
7. Layer 3 noodles on bottom of baking dish. Layer half of the cottage cheese mixture, half of the eggplant, bell pepper slices. Spoon 1/3 of tomato sauce mixture over and top with 3 more noodles. Layer with the remaining cottage cheese mixture and eggplant and bell pepper, 1/3 of the tomato sauce and the remaining 3 noodles. Spread the remaining tomato sauce on top and place tin foil to cover the lasagna.

6. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and 2 tablespoons parmesan on top and bake until bubbly, about 10 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Monday, March 8, 2010

To be made Rice Pudding

When you have leftover rice..


  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds
  • 3 1/2 cups cooked medium or long-grain rice, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground fennel seeds


In a bowl, place the raisins and cover with the water. Let sit until plumped, 5 minutes. Drain.
In a skillet over medium heat, toast the almonds until golden and fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
In a large saucepan, combine the rice, milk, cream, sugar and salt. Bring to a simmer, stirring, over medium heat. Reduce the heat slightly to maintain a low simmer and cook uncovered, stirring frequently, until the mixture starts to thicken, about 30 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally to prevent the rice from sticking, until a spoon is just able to stand up in the pudding, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the raisins, almonds, and remaining ingredients.

Home-made Fish Cake


5 fish filets
2 eggs
1 end bread slice
1 handful string beans
1 handful of cilantro
2 green onions
1 handful of chives
2 cups panko bread crumbs
3 tablespoons of Thai red curry paste

1. Hand chop the fish filets, string beans, chives, cilantro, green onion into bits. 
2. Mix together fish filets, string beans, cilantro, green onions, chives. 
3. Add egg, red curry paste to mixture.
4. Blend bread slice and add to mixture.
5. Form fish patties by molding in your hand.  
6. Coat the fish patties in panko bread crumbs. 
7. Pan fry fish patties in hot oil. Cook on one side for 4 minutes and flip over to other side and cook for another 3 min. 
8. Serve warm with Thai chili sauce.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Braised Ground Pork

1/2 lb ground pork
1/3 cup sliced shallot
2 tbsp minced garlic
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup chinese rice wine
4 cups water
1/2 cup dried shallots or dried onions
2 tbsp sugar
2 star anise
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder (If you don't have star anise and ground cinnamon, then substitute with 1 tsp Five spice powder)

1. Heat oil, saute chopped shallot and garlic until fragrant.
2. Add star anise and ground cinnamon, stir well.
3. Add in ground pork and stir quickly to break the meat into small bits.
4. Add soy sauce, sugar and rice wine, once the meat has changed color.
5. Pour 4 cups of water and cover the pan, let it simmer for 15 min.
6. Uncover the pan and simmer for 1hr.
7. You can add mushrooms, lotus, tofu, edamame to the mixture if you like.

I love lotus roots!

1 pound fresh lotus root
1 tablespoon each soy sauce and white vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sesame oil

1. Peel lotus root, discard both ends, and cut in 1/8-inch-thick slices.
2. Place in cold water to prevent discoloring, but drain before cooking.
3. Bring a pan of water to boiling. Add lotus root and cook for 3 minutes. Lotus root should be crisp-tender.
4. In a plastic bag, mix the soy, vinegar, sugar, salt, and sesame oil.
5. Place drained lotus root in the bag and seal.
6. Refrigerate, turning bag occasionally to distribute marinade, for at least 1 hour or as long as 8 hours.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Homey Chicken Soup

1. 2 quarts chicken stock*
2. 3 stalks celery
3. 2 large carrots
4. 1 teaspoon honey
5. 1 bay leaf
6. 2 thyme sprigs
7. 1 large garlic clove, crushed
8. salt and ground pepper
9. 1/2 cup Roux
10. 1 cup shredded chicken
11. 1/8 cup minced chives
12. 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
13. Potatoes, peeled and cut into bite size pieces.

1. Peel celery stalks with a peeler. Cut each stalk into 1 inch long pieces.
2. Cook celery in a pot of boiling salted water until just tender.
3. Cut carrots lengthwise into quarters and then crosswise into bite size pieces.
4. Put carrots into sauce pan, add honey, bay leaf, thyme, garlic, and pinch of salt and pepper, cover with cold water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until carrots are tender.
5. Boil potatoes until soft when pierced with fork.
6. Bring soup base to a simmer and whisk in the roux a little at a time. Simmer for 30 minutes.
7. Add chicken, carrots, celery, potatoes, and chives to the soup and heat through.

Chicken Stock:
1. 2 quarts canned chicken stock
2. 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3. 1 cup thinly sliced carrots
4. 1 cup coarsely chopped celery
5. 1 cup coarsely chopped onions
6. 1 cup coarsely chopped leeks
7. Salt

1. Add canned chicken stock to the vegetables and bring to a simmer.
2. Simmer for about 30 minutes, then strain the soup base into another pot and discard the vegetables.

Fried Chicken adapted from French Laundry chef

1. One 2 1/2 to 3 pound chicken

For Dredging and Frying:
1. Canola oil for deep- frying
2. 1 cup buttermilk
3. Salt and ground black pepper

1. 3 cups all purpose flour
2. 1/8 cup garlic powder
3. 1/8 cup onion powder
4. 2 teaspoon paprika
5. 2 teaspoon cayenne
6. 2 teaspoon salt
7. 1 teaspoon ground pepper


1. Cut the chicken into 10 pieces: 2 legs, 2 thighs, 4 breast quarters, 2 wings. Pat dry with paper towels and let rest at room temperature.
2. If you have 2 large pots (about 6 inches deep) and a lot of oil, you can cook the dark and white meat at the same time. If not, cook dark meat first, then turn up the heat and cook the white meat.
3. Fill up pot with 2 inches of oil and heat to 340 F. The oil should not be more than 1/3 of the way up the sides of the pot.
4. Combine all the coating ingredients in a large bowl.
5. Pour buttermilk into a separate bowl and season with salt and pepper.
6. Just before frying, dip the chicken pieces into the bowl of coating, turning to coat and patting off excess; dip them into buttermilk; then dip into the bowl of coating again. Transfer to plate.
7. Carefully lower the chicken pieces into the hot oil. Fry for 2 minutes, then carefully move the chicken pieces around in the oil and continue to fry thighs and breasts for 11 to 12 minutes, wings for 7 minutes, until the chicken is a deep golden brown, cooked through and very crisp.

8. Place on cooling rack skin-side up and let rest while frying the remaining chicken.
9. Place chicken in 400 F oven to re-heat and continue cooking for 10 minutes if not cooked through.

The simplest and yummiest roast chicken

1. One 2- to 3-pound farm-raised chicken

2. Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3. 2 teaspoons minced thyme

4. Dijon mustard


1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
2. Rinse the chicken, then dry it very well with paper towels, inside and out. The less it steams, the drier the heat, the better.
3. Salt and pepper the cavity, then truss the bird. When you truss a bird, the wings and legs stay close to the body; the ends of the drumsticks cover the top of the breast and keep it from drying out. Trussing helps the chicken to cook evenly, and it also makes for a more beautiful roasted bird.
4. Now, salt the chicken, so that it has a nice uniform coating that will result in a crisp, salty, flavorful skin (about 1 tablespoon). Season to taste with pepper.
5. Place the chicken in a sauté pan or roasting pan and, when the oven is up to temperature, put the chicken in the oven. Roast it until it's done, 50 to 60 minutes.
6. Remove it from the oven and add the thyme, if using, to the pan.
7. Baste the chicken with the juices and thyme and let it rest for 15 minutes on a cutting board.
8. Serve with mustard on the side and, if you wish, a simple green salad.