A personal kitchen diary. I try new recipes and make notes on what works and what doesn't. Sometimes I can things, and sometimes I dry herbs. This is the story of my kitchen.

Month: June 2016

Shaved Asparagus Salad

Shaved Asparagus Salad

This is hardly a recipe.  I saw it on Smitten Kitchen awhile back, and it’s one of my favorite things to do during asparagus season. http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2011/05/ribboned-asparagus-salad-with-lemon/ I guess I should have looked at the Smitten Kitchen post today as I forgot about using Parmesan.  That […]

Pesto! Pesto!

Pesto! Pesto!

Last year I never had quite enough basil at one time either from my herb pot or from my CSA.  This week I scored a big bunch of basil from my CSA, and pesto was happening in my kitchen. I did have to use a […]

Braised Bok Choy

Braised Bok Choy

I had a head of Bok Choy in my crisper.  I was looking for my pesto recipe (because I also have a big bunch of basil, but that was not in the crisper) and I came across a recipe for braised Bok Choy that I had bookmarked.

http://www.tastehongkong.com/recipes/braised-bok-choy-a-simple-shanghainese-dish/
The Bok Choy wasn’t getting any fresher, and it looked fast and easy so I decided to make it for lunch.
It would be more correct to say I was going to make my version of the recipe…the recipe is really for baby Bok Choy, doesn’t contain garlic, doesn’t call for sesame oil, and I don’t think adding a bit of chili sauce at the end is authentic.  But I like those flavors, and I didn’t have any baby Bok Choy.
Boy, was it fast though!  The longest part of the recipe was letting the Bok Choy soak in water for awhile to get the dirt and sand out.  Because you don’t cut or pull the stalks completely part, you need to do the soaking and rinsing to get the dirt out.  I quartered this large bunch, and put them in water to soak.
Meanwhile, I made the sauce.  I used dark soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, brown sugar, salt, minced garlic, and water.
I whisked it all together in a small sauce pan and brought it to a boil.  If I had been able to just make this in all one go, I probably would have just done it in the larger pan that I used to braise the Bok Choy.
I drained and rinsed the Bok Choy some more, checking to be very careful that there was no remaining  dirt, then let it drain.
I returned after my conference call and poured the sauce into the large pan, brought it to a boil, and placed the quarters in the sauce, cut side down, pressing to make sure the quarters were flat against the bottom.
Then it was a matter of covering the pan, lowering the heat, and letting it cook for 7 minutes.
 I checked it for tenderness, and removed to a plate, pouring the sauce over the top.
I really liked the flavor, but did decide it needed a little more something, so added a little Sambal Oelek when I ate the Bok Choy.
This is a recipe that will go in the files.
Braised Bok Choy
 
1 large bunch Bok Choy or several baby Bok Choy
2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 minced garlic cloves
1/2 cup water
Rinse the Bok Choy, and quarter if it is a large bunch, halve if they are baby Bok Choys.  Submerge in water and let them soak for up to 30 minutes.
Measure out the sauce ingredients and mince the garlic.  Whisk together in a large pan or wok, until the sugar dissolves.
Remove the Bok Choy from the soaking water and rinse again, checking to see there is no remaining dirt.  Let drain.
Bring the sauce to a boil over medium high heat in the large pan.  Place the Bok Choy cut side down and press down to make sure all the cut sides are flat against the pan bottom.  Cover, and lower the heat to simmering.  Cook 7 minutes (maybe 5 if baby Bok Choy) and check for tenderness by inserting a knife tip into the stalk.  Don’t stir them around as you might break apart the stalks.
When the Bok Choy is tender, remove to a serving plate and either pour the sauce over it or serve on the side.
The Best Grilled Hamburgers Ever

The Best Grilled Hamburgers Ever

A RECIPE?!  For burgers?!  Sounds crazy, right?  Look, a grilled burger can taste great just seasoned and tossed on the grill.  But following the directions below the flavor is just so good, the burgers are always moist, and it is just a guarantee that the […]

Coconut Chickpea Curry Soup with Tat Soi

Coconut Chickpea Curry Soup with Tat Soi

That’s right, more recipes using CSA products.

We get tat soi, an Asian green, during the spring season.  I usually use it in stirfrys, but thought I would look for something different.  Using Yummly, I entered tat soi in as an ingredient and it brought me to this recipe:
http://dishingupthedirt.com/recipes/soup/chickpea-tatsoi-coconut-curry/
As so often happens with the meals I cook, first I started up the rice cooker.  I got the basmati rice cooking and turned my attention to the soup.
It was fun to also use my own dried red chiles.  I don’t keep vegetarian broth on hand, but I think the Knorr vegetarian boullion cubes are good.  Using the veggie boullion kept this all vegetarian.
It started with sautéing the onion in olive oil over medium heat. The recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of coconut oil but I didn’t have any, and only used probably a tablespoon of olive oil.
Meanwhile I slice up one of my dried chiles, measured out curry powder, minced the garlic, and drained the chickpeas.
I didn’t brown the onions, just slowly cooked them over the medium heat until they were soft, then added the garlic, chile, and curry.
It smelled so good!  In went the coconut milk and veggie broth, followed by the chickpeas. I used full fat this time, but I think light coconut milk would probably be fine.
While that simmered, I trimmed and roughly chopped the tat soi, and squeezed some lime juice.
The lime juice and tat soi gets added at the end, and cooked just until the tat soi wilts.  The tat soi is really sturdy, and holds up well in the soup.  I think the recipe called for 1 tablespoon of lime juice, and I used two.
The recipe recommends to serve it with a scoop of basmati rice, and so I did.
The whole dish was so fragrant.  It’s definitely one I will make again.  I’d probably use a little more garlic, and maybe even a little more curry.
Creamy Garlic Vinaigrette with Frisée

Creamy Garlic Vinaigrette with Frisée

Obviously there is a consistent theme of recipes using CSA produce during the summer! I always look forward to receiving frisée in the share, and I think a creamy garlic vinaigrette is perfect with this.  And I don’t add anything else. It’s simple: 1 clove […]

Asian Style Lettuce Wraps

Asian Style Lettuce Wraps

A few weeks ago I had mentioned to some online friends that I was thinking of making lettuce wraps.  A friend posted this link from Epicurious and I made it tonight. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/member/views/asian-ground-beef-lettuce-wraps-with-special-dipping-sauce-50082065 I started by gathering ALL the ingredients.  There were a lot!  I didn’t […]

Pomegranate Molasses and Date Syrup Roasted Chicken Drumsticks

Pomegranate Molasses and Date Syrup Roasted Chicken Drumsticks

This month the cooking challenge I participate in has us making recipes using date syrup.  When I started looking around at recipes, most of them seemed to be for sweets and desserts.  Then I found this one for chicken and thought I would give it a try.

Since last month’s cooking challenge used pomegranate molasses, I thought this recipe was meant to be.
It was incredibly simple.  The marinade is just pomegranate molasses, date syrup, olive oil, kosher salt, and soy sauce.  I almost forgot the soy sauce!  Before I added the soy sauce, I could have eaten that marinade with a spoon.  The Pom molasses and date syrup together was delicious.
The recipe calls for marinating the chicken for 30 minutes.  I made sure to turn it a few times.
First the chicken goes into a 425 degree oven for 5 minutes, then the temp is turned down to 400 Fahrenheit.
I turned the chicken a few times to ensure it was coated well, and then checked the temperature at 40 minutes to make sure it had reached 170 Fahrenheit, took it out and covered with foil to let it rest for 10 minutes.
The end result was gorgeous.
The thing is, it was only just okay.  It was easy enough to make, but the flavor really didn’t seem to get into the meat.  And the incredible flavor of the marinade before cooking just wasn’t there after cooking.  I don’t know if I would try it again, and what might make a difference.  I’m on the fence with this one.
The recipe can be found here:
Ottolenghi’s Charred Broccoli with Chilis and Garlic

Ottolenghi’s Charred Broccoli with Chilis and Garlic

There’s more to broccoli than eating it steamed, with cheese sauce, or with Hidden Valley Ranch Dip (although all of those are good). This recipe from Ottolenghi is simple, and simply delicious.  All you need is broccoli, Chilis, garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper. […]