Archive for July, 2008

mom’s chicken salad

I think I’ve mentioned it before that I’m not a big fan of the veggie. However, there’s a few salads I’ll eat. My mom’s chicken salad hapens to be one of them. Although I love the chicken salad on a sandwich, my mom usually cooks up some elbow pasta for an awesome macaroni chicken salad. I wanted to make lunch for this week and had some extra chicken laying around, so ta da…chicken salad!

Ingredients: (for a good week long supply)

  • 3 boneless/skinless chicken breasts (i ended up using 1 part chicken thigh bc it’s what i had around)
  • 3 tbsp. miracle whip
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (the mayo and miracle whip can be replaced with the light or fat free stuff)
  • 1/4 cup mini diced carrots
  • 1 8oz can of pineapple chunks (drain the juice as much as possible)
  • 2 tsp. sweet relish
  • 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • salt & pepper to taste

Let’s start off with boiling the chicken. I let it cook until it was not pink or red at all in the middle, continuously checking. While that cooks, go ahead and dice up your carrots and cut your pineapple chunks into thin slices. Add the carrots, pineapple, and sweet relish into a large mixing bowl.

Once the chicken is done boiling, remove from boiling water and let the chicken cool. Don’t go burning your fingers off trying to shred the chicken. I did this by hand, bc it brings back that childhood feeling of helping my mom in the kitchen with this. You could always chop it up with a knife, but what fun is that?

I had way more chicken than that, but if I added it all, I wouldn’t have the cute photo op (heh). Now, add the remaining ingredients…the mayo, miracle whip, & sugar. Mix it all up nice and great. Add salt & pepper to taste. I believe I used about 1.5 tsp of salt and about .5 tsp of pepper. If you feel you’d like more mayo or miracle whip, go ahead and add it. I won’t tell. *wink wink*

This is great on a sandwich, great alone, and fantastic with elbow pasta. Here’s to lunch for a week!

–chelle (i’m on a roll. 2 in a week. woo!)

July 30, 2008 at 3:29 am 1 comment

treebeard’s butter cake

There’s this restaurant in town called Treebeard’s (http://www.treebeards.com) and I tend to go there for Friday lunch with the coworkers, because Friday is pot roast day. Oh yes, their pot roast is spectacular, but that’s not what this post is about. Today is about their butter cake. It’s a sweet lil moist piece of heaven that I get every time I go. So I search online and found the recipe. This is my 3rd attempt at this recipe and I think I’m finally happy with it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box Pillsbury yellow cake mix (the one with pudding in the mix)
  • 1 stick of butter (melted)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp. of vanilla
  • 1 8oz. package of cream cheese (softened)
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp. white sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, mix the yellow cake mix with 1 egg and the melted butter. You should mix until it has a dough like consistency.

In a 9×13 rectangle baking pan, grease the pan with butter and sprinkle the white sugar around. I say 1tsp of white sugar, but make sure it’s enough to thinly cover the bottom of the pan. Place the mixture in the pan and flatten, being sure to distribute the “dough” evenly.

In another bowl, add the softened cream cheese, vanilla, and start off with 1 egg. Mix on medium speed until all ingredients are incorporated. Add 1 cup of confectioners sugar and mix again until smooth. Add another egg and another cup of confectioners sugar, mix until smooth and repeat one more time with the last egg and last cup of confectioners sugar

Pour mixture over flattened “dough” in pan. Place in the oven and bake anywhere from 30-45 minutes, depending on your oven. When removed, the top should be a light brown and look a little flaky. Also, the middle should look like it sunk in. Let cool, cut and enjoy!

It felt really good to bake again.

–Chelle

July 28, 2008 at 3:52 am 4 comments

Scallion pancakes

Well it’s less like a pancake and more of a crispy flat savory pastry. I got the recipe from Basil and Ginger, with excellent pictures and instructions. It’s really good and relatively easy to make (and I usually dislike anything requiring rolling). I used organic shortening, and rolled it very thin (as thin as I can get before all the scallion pieces poke out). I cooked it extra crispy and browned.

July 28, 2008 at 2:16 am 4 comments

Green Tea Cat’s Tongues

I finally bought some matcha for baking. It’s a much richer flavor than the finely ground sencha I’ve been using. The original recipe calls sifting of the flour and salt but I never do it, so I’m leaving it out. And I use a ziploc bag to pipe out the batter instead of a pastry bag (I don’t have one), but make sure you only snip a tiny bit off the corner or else it’ll be very messy. To make it easier transferring the batter into a bag, put the bag in a mug, folding the bag’s edge over the rim before filling.

 Green Tea/Matcha Cat’s Tongues (adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cookies)

  1. Preheat to 375º. Cream together the butter and confectioners’ sugar.
  2. Add in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  3. Mix in the matcha and salt, then the flour.
  4. Transfer batter into pastry bag fitted with 3/8in round tip.
  5. Pipe the batter into 3/8in x 2 3/4in strips on parchment lined baking sheets spacing them about an inch apart (I did mine a bit thicker and it affected the baking time, needing a few more minutes to make sure it’s not too soft). 
  6. Bake 10-12mins till the edges turn golden (brown).
  7. Cool on baking sheets for 3mins before transferring to wire racks (but if it’s humid or if you think the cookies are still on the soft side, leave on the baking sheets to cool all the way thru).

Kind of messy here, some look like dividing single cell organisms.

Matcha or Kryptonite… powdered.

-L

July 28, 2008 at 12:52 am 4 comments

Turkish take-out

To deal with heat wave recently, I’ve been ordering out a bit more. My new favorite place for take-out; 86 Turkish Mediterranean Food Court 2180 86th St. Brooklyn, NY 11214.

We went to eat there once and it’s pretty bare bones looking, but the food was amazing. To get you hands on the pitas while hot, alone is worth a trip. When they are fresh, it’s ridiculously good. Perfectly crispy and crusty with sesame seeds outside, the mostly hollow inside is light and chewy. Even something mundane as fried calamari was excellent when we were there, delivery can’t preserve the freshness but is still very good. They have a huge menu, we don’t eat meat but the kebobs and gyros looked really great. We stick to the cold appetizers, we love the ‘shepherd’s salad’ (tomatoes, cucumbers, onions with sumac), the ‘eggplant salad’ beats the ‘babaghonush’ in flavor, and the ‘hummus’ is decent. ‘Piyaz’ was a nice surprise, it’s a salad of white and red beans that’s much better than the description implies. ‘Stuffed grape leaves’ are elevated by the addition of pine nuts and currants.

I tried the yogurt drink ‘ayran’ once. The bottle states it’s Kosher, made with hormone free milk and salt. I don’t hate it, I like strong tangy yogurt flavors and salty things (and it was quite salty), but combined I wasn’t sure how it went with the food. I would’ve finished it but it’s also really high in fat.

edit 7-28-08: I recommend the ‘lebne’, thick yogurt mixed with herbs and walnuts. But the shepherd’s salad (this time) wasn’t as good with the addition of olives and the lack of acidity. I’ll try it again later, hopefully they go back to the old recipe. I also had the mushroom salad, found it too heavy and greasy. The spicy salad wasn’t too exciting but I’m willing to eat the leftovers later. Surprisingly the hummus has gotten better.

-Lina

July 21, 2008 at 6:20 pm 2 comments

Scallion bread

As lovely as the rosemary bread was, I think this is even more awesome.

Chop one stalk of scallion, mix with 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of black pepper. Knead half (or more) of the scallion mixture into a large ‘grapefruit sized’ piece of dough, place on a floured surface and top the dough with the rest of the scallion. Let dough rest for 20mins, cut slits (I shaped it just like the rosemary bread), and I baked it in an enameled cast iron pot (preheated with oven to 450º for 20mins), baked with lid on for 20mins and another 15mins lid off till it was the color I wanted. It taste heavenly, so savory and aromatic. Where as rosemary loses it’s intensity when baked, scallion becomes even more flavorful.

-L

July 11, 2008 at 12:00 am 14 comments

Egg (nori) roll

I was inspired by Japanese ‘big rolls’, which are usually large (1 + 1/2 sheets of nori to wrap around) with an omelet center and other stuffing. This is a smaller, quicker, lazier version with all the fillings cooked together as one. Making nori rolls gets easier with practice and bamboo rolling mats. Also remember to use plastic wrap on the bamboo mat to help keep it clean.

Nori Egg Roll (3 rolls)

  • 2 cups cooked sushi rice (1 cup raw)
  • 3 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar (if unseasoned, add 1 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp salt)
  • 3 sheets of nori
  • 3 eggs
  • oil for pan
  • 1 1/2 cup raw baby spinach
  • 4 shitake mushrooms
  • 2 tsp mirin
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • sesame seeds (optional)
Prep:
  1. Mix rice vinegar into warm (cooked) rice, set aside. Beat the eggs with half the salt in a bowl, set aside.
  2. Cut mushrooms into thin strips and roughly chop up the spinach if the leaves are large.
  3. Heat up a small pan (cast iron or nonstick 6-8in) medium high, add oil (2 tsp), then mushrooms, spinach, mirin and salt; cook until spinach is wilted.
  4. Pour spinach mixture into bowl of beaten eggs and mix to combine.
  5. Heat pan up again medium high, add more oil to coat pan. Pour eggs into pan, spread out the spinach and mushrooms.
  6. When edges set after a minute or so, fold 2 opposite sides towards the center, ending with something rectangular in shape.
  7. Turn heat low and finish cooking till it’s no longer runny in the center. You can try to flip it over or just put a lid on it for a minute or so. Cut egg into 3 equal long strips.
  8. Spread 1/3 of the rice on 3/4 of the nori sheet.
  9. Put a strip of egg on the part of the sheet with no rice.
  10. Roll it up starting from the egg end, using the bamboo mat to roll and press.
  11. Cut roll up into 6 or 8 pieces, and sprinkle on sesame seeds.
I don’t think you need any soy sauce, everything is already seasoned.
-L

July 10, 2008 at 10:18 am 7 comments

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