Steamy Kitchen Recipes | RSS Feed http://steamykitchen.com Steamy Kitchen Food Blog: fast recipes, simple recipes, with fresh ingredients to create delicious meals. Fri, 01 May 2015 15:39:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.1 Guinness Corned Beef with Cabbage http://steamykitchen.com/14556-guinness-corned-beef-with-cabbage-recipe.html http://steamykitchen.com/14556-guinness-corned-beef-with-cabbage-recipe.html#comments Sat, 14 Mar 2015 13:13:27 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=14556 Guinness Corned Beef with Cabbage Recipe with step by step photos.

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What you’ll learn:

  • Using Guinness beer or an Irish Stout instead of water dramatically increases the flavor of the corned beef. The resulting sauce is dark, rich, complex flavor.
  • Beef brisket is usually packed in a solution of salts and preservatives – discard the solution and rinse beef before cooking.
  • Cooking in the oven, low and slow guarantees moist, flavorful, incredibly tender corned beef recipe.
  • Cooking the vegetables separately prevents the vegetable from overcooking and becoming mushy.

For several years, I used to work for Guinness, based in the San Francisco offices. Actually, I worked for their parent company, Diageo, working on a top-secret technology project and then moving on to their wine portfolio, helping them build their Internet strategy.

One of the perks of working for Diageo, was a trip to Scotland and London, and being immersed in the world of Guinness – from culture to dozens of recipes featuring Guinness as an integral ingredient. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to make a side trip to Dublin, but perhaps in the near future, with my family.

Since that time, I’ve learned to use Guinness in place of water, stock and wine in recipes. It adds a deep, rich, earthy flavor profile to the dish. Naturally, Corned Beef with Cabbage featuring Guinness was a no-brainer to test.

We normally associate eating Corned Beef with Cabbage during St. Patrick’s Day, and ironically, the dish isn’t distinctly Irish — it’s more an Irish-American tradition, something we made up to go great with copious amounts of beer.

So I thought it would be fitting to braise this Corned Beef in Guinness Beer, instead of water or the “stuff” that the brisket is magically suspended in inside the package.

The “stuff” is a solution of salt, seasoning and other preservatives that I really don’t care for. It’s also incredibly salty. I always rinse the corned beef well, getting rid of the solution and then pat dry.

Why is it called “Corned Beef”?

After all these years of enjoying Corned Beef several times a year, I finally had the bright idea to actually look up why it was called “corned” beef.  Is there corn involved in the pickling process? Did a “Mr Corned” exist and it was named after him?

It turns out after a simple search, it’s an easy explanation. The beef brisket used in making Corned Beef is salt and pickle cured and the salt pellets used resemble corn kernals.

Okay, that makes sense.

How to Cook Corned Beef Recipe with Guinness and Cabbage

For the Corned Beef – you’ll need dark brown sugar, 2 bottles of Guinness, pickling spice (only if it doesn’t come in your corned beef package, onion, garlic and of course the corned beef meat that’s been rinsed very well and then patted dry.

This recipe works well either on the stove, oven or slow cooker.

Cut the onion and the garlic in half lengthwise. You’ll just need these halves.

In a large pot, combine the brown sugar and the Guinness.

Add the pickling spice, either that you’ve purchased (recommended) or the packet that comes with the meat.

Add the onion and garlic.

Then slide and snuggle in the beef.

Look at that beer froth!

We’re going to slow cook the Corned Beef in the oven, but first, let’s give it a head start on the stove and bring the beer to a simmer. Keep an eye on this – beer easily bubbles over and it’s a pain to clean. Of course, you could completely skip this route and throw this baby in the slow cooker.

After the liquid begins simmering, we’ll cover and slip it into the oven at 300F for 4-5 hours. Low ‘n slow.

I flip the meat once during the half-way point.

For the vegetables, here’s what you’ll need: cabbage, red potatoes, carrots and *whispers* Mangalitsa Pig Lard!!! Okay, you don’t need Mangalitsa Pig Lard — you could use bacon lardons (a la Michael Ruhlman, which I’ve borrowed his technique for the cabbage). But if either option just seems over the top, regular ol’ cooking oil will do just fine.

Why not throw the vegetable in with the corned beef? Well, two very good reasons:

1) The vegetables really don’t need that long to cook – I want my carrots to taste like carrots, not overcooked corned beef sauce.

2) Vegetables cooked with the meat always end up looking all brown and sad. I want my carrots to look like carrots!

Cooking them separately allows me to cook the vegetables perfectly. I add in some of the corned beef sauce to flavor the vegetables – just enough for nice flavor.

Cut the cabbage into 8 wedges, the potatoes and carrots into 3/4-inch chunks.

You’ll brown the cabbage wedges on each side. Medium heat, just a few minutes per side.

Then flip to brown the other side.

Next add the potatoes and the carrots.

Pour in 2 cups of the Corned Beef cooking liquid into the pot. The liquid is incredibly flavorful and will do wonders for the vegetables. I promise you, this is way better than just boiling cabbage in water!

Cover and cook for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the cabbage (it should be done by now) and leave the carrots and potatoes to cook for another 5-7 minutes, until they are cooked through. You can check by piercing with a paring knife or fork.

The last step is to sprinkle with freshly minced parsley.

Slice the corned beef and serve with the vegetables. Spoon some of the cooking liquid over the meat.

 

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Guinness Corned Beef with Cabbage Recipe

Servings: 6 Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 4 hours
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Normally, brisket for corned beef is packaged suspended in some kind of brine loaded with preservatives and may come with a small pickling spice already. You want to make sure you rinse the brisket well, removing the thick brine. Pat very dry. You can use the small seasoning pickling spice in the package, or you can use your own spices.

You can use a slow cooker instead of cooking in oven.

Ingredients:

For the Corned Beef
2 bottles Guinness beer (or other stout beer)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 1/2 pound uncooked brisket for corned beef, rinsed well and patted dry
1 tablespoon pickling spice
1/2 onion
1 head garlic, halvedFor the Vegetables
1 head cabbage
1 tablespoon cooking oil
4-5 carrots, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
1 pound of red potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
2 tablespoons freshly minced fresh parsley

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 300F. In a large pot, whisk together the beer and the brown sugar. Snuggle in the brisket, it should almost be completely covered by the beer (see photo). Add the pickling spice, onion and the garlic. Bring to a simmer on the stovetop, uncovered is best so you can keep an eye on it. Boiled-over beer is no fun to clean.

2. Once it begins simmering, cover the pot and place in oven to roast for 4-6 hours, flipping meat once during halfway point. Remove from oven. Spoon out 2 cups of the corned beef braising liquid to cook the cabbage.

3. To make the vegetables, cut the cabbage into 8 wedges. In a separate large, wide pot, heat up oil on medium-high heat. When hot, add the cabbage wedges and cook until browned, about a 3-4 minutes. Turn to brown the other side. Add in the carrots and potatoes. Pour in the reserved corned beef cooking liquid, bring to a simmer and cover the pot. Turn the heat to low and let cook for 10-15 minutes. Use tongs or a large spoon to carefully remove the cabbage and reserve. Continue cooking the carrots and potato another 5-10 minutes or cooked though (pierce with fork to check doneness). Sprinkle with parsley and plate up with the cabbage.

4. Slice up the corned beef and serve with the cabbage and vegetables. Pour a bit of the sauce over the corned beef just before serving.

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Pad Thai Zoodles Recipe http://steamykitchen.com/37769-pad-thai-zoodles-recipe.html http://steamykitchen.com/37769-pad-thai-zoodles-recipe.html#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 18:23:41 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=37769   Before I get into the recipe, I wanted to give you a quick peek at the Daytime TV studios where I tape cooking segments at. It’s a show that’s syndicated in nearly 200 markets in the US with hosts Cyndi Edwards and the incredibly funny Jerry Penacoli (formerly of EXTRA.) My cooking segments are around 4 minutes-ish long. We tape ...

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Before I get into the recipe, I wanted to give you a quick peek at the Daytime TV studios where I tape cooking segments at. It’s a show that’s syndicated in nearly 200 markets in the US with hosts Cyndi Edwards and the incredibly funny Jerry Penacoli (formerly of EXTRA.) My cooking segments are around 4 minutes-ish long. We tape the segment and then it gets aired 2 or 3 days after that, depending on the market.

The studio is HUGE. This is just a picture of the back half.

 

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Here’s another angle. I’m fascinated by the ceiling – every available inch is covered by cables that hold up lights, speakers and I have no idea what else is hidden up there.

 

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This is from the kitchen, looking out towards the cameras. There are 3 cameras, but I pretty much don’t look straight at the camera, except for at the beginning (intro and saying hi) and at the end (saying goodbye.) My focus is on the food and cooking alongside and chatting with the co-host.

The cooking segment is divided into 4 parts:

Hello
Demo/Cook
Taste
Goodbye

 

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But just because I’m not LOOKING at the camera, doesn’t mean that I ignore them! Quite the contrary. I always know with my peripheral vision which camera is on (see that red light on top of the middle camera?)

When I’m cooking and need to show something, I have to keep in mind to stop, make sure the camera gets it and hold my hands still while I’m still talking and cooking. That prevents you, the viewer, from getting all dizzy trying to follow my hands!

Whether or not my cooking is done, time over is time over! Daytime doesn’t like to re-record or “cut” – we go with the flow and do it all in one take. Unless there’s a oopsie with a camera. Even if *I* make a mistake or don’t finish cooking in time – there’s no re-do!

That’s what I love, though. Learning to tape cooking segments this way has trained me to let go of perfection. In fact, if you happen to see the segment tomorrow or Friday, you’ll see that not only did I forget an ingredient (cilantro) but also made a MASSIVE mess trying to get the Pad Thai Zoodles on the stupid plate! LOL. The co-host, Cyndi and I laughed about it on-camera and just let it slide.

It makes the show a lot more natural, less “scripted” (nothing is scripted and there is no teleprompter other than the intro and the exit.) I’ve also trained myself to mentally walk through the recipe backwards to see what I have to prep or cook beforehand, so that we end up perfectly on time. For this recipe, I had to pre-cook the tofu. I also pre-spiralized the “zoodles” so we had a batch ready to go into the wok. So I started cooking while Cyndi was zoodling away with the zoodle-maker, called the Paderno 4-Blade Spiralizer magical machine.

If for some reason, Rob waves his 2-minute fingers at us, and there’s NO WAY that I’ll be done in those 2 minutes, I’ll either:

  • Cut out steps or some ingredients, just get something to taste*
  • Freak out

Just kidding. I don’t freak out. One time, the chicken was not cooked through, it was obvious that it wasn’t cooked through, but time was up and it was the “taste” time. I ended up saying, “So Jerry, we are running out of time, the chicken needs to cook for another couple of minutes. Here. take a fork and give the vegetables and the sauce a try!” We proceeded to dip into the pan (it was a one-pan dish) and tasted NOT-CHICKEN. This way, Jerry had something to say about the flavor for the camera. I hope I didn’t give him salmonella or gastroenteritis.

Sooooo, enough about the TV! What about the food that I came here for????

This was the recipe I made on-air, but I had to re-create it for the photo shoot on a little camping stove in my backyard (Less than 1 week before I get a real kitchen back!)

By the way, my cilantro looks very parsley-ish, We grow both. I wonder if they cross-pollinate and now I’ve just created Cilantrey or Partro. Or, as my friend, Cheri, would call it, “You-Ruined-The-Parsley.”

PAD THAI

 

The JERF Analysis

JERF is “Just Eat Real Food”

JERF

Tofu
Eggs
Green Onion
Garlic
Ginger
Carrots
Zucchini
Lime
Peanuts
Cilantro

Not-JERF

Thai Kitchen Pad Thai Sauce (though we are only using 3 tablespoons of the sauce)

__

 

*I haven’t done enough research on cooking oils yet to put them in a category.

I don’t mind using Prepared Pad Thai Sauce – or any shortcut sauce as long as the JERF column is significant. This recipe serves four, so 3 tablespoons of the sauce isn’t a deal-breaker. HOWEVER, if you want to stay JERF, go check out Todd and Diane’s version of Pad Thai Zoodles! They make their sauce from scratch, with ketchup, fish sauce, vinegar, etc.

The Zoodle Machine a.k.a. Spiralizer

This is what I used to make the zucchini noodles: the Paderno 4-Blade Vegetable Spiralizer

paderno-4-blade-spiralizer

 

I had previously done a video review of the Paderno 3-Blade (earlier model) and other options – here’s the Spiralizer Review Video. This new 4-Blader is even better – extra blade to cut angelhair sized zoodles and a metal rod so that you can make those carnival-style potato chips on a stick.

The Paderno 4-Blade Spiralizer price is $49.95 on Amazon. It’s a must-by if you plan on making a lot of zoodles. If you think it’s a once-in-a-while thing, you might want to consider one of my most-used tools in the kitchen – the Oxo Julienne Peeler for $10 – it’s smaller, fits in a drawer, cheaper.

 

How to cook Pad Thai Zoodles

I’m a crispy-crunchy tofu-lover. To make sure they stay crispy-crunchy, you have to cook them separately and remove the tofu from the pan so that they don’t drown in the sauce or vegetables.

Toss them in a little oil, add to hot pan, Brown on each side. This takes 1-2 minutes per side. But it’s worth the wait.

 

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Remove them from the pan

Next up, the eggs! Look how beautiful our hens’ eggs are. The yolks are so bright, vivid, vibrant.

 

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Give ’em a good scramble. Then remove them from the pan.

 

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Why remove the eggs? Good question:

1. I like my eggs to be perfectly cooked, firm, separate from the rest of the stir-fry.

2. If I cook the eggs first, and then add everything else, the eggs will be overcooked. Plus, the “everything else” will be drowned by the wetness of the eggs. I want the “everything else” to have its own time in the wok, its own chance to fry in the cooking oil. Eggs are oil-hoggers.

3. If I cook all the vegetables first, then add the egg, then the raw egg will just “coat” the vegetables, making giant, soggy mess.

4. I could do this: Cook the aromatics (ginger, garlic, green onion), then cook the carrots, then zucchini. Then make a nice big hole in middle of wok, dribble in just a bit of cooking oil. Add eggs and scramble the eggs in that empty space. Once the eggs firm up, thoroughly mix all of the stir fry together and incorporate the cooked eggs.

HOWEVER – zucchini noodles cook way too fast. They are best cooked 80% of the way so that you still get some nice texture and bite. Soggy, overcooked zucchini becomes watery. Bad.

So to be on the safe side, I cook the eggs separate. You’ll see when I add them back into the pan later.

Once eggs are out, use a paper towel and just do a couple of swipes to clean the wok. Swirl in the remaining cooking oil, just a tiny bit, and add in the aromatics: ginger, garlic, green onion. Let that stir fry in the oil until crazy fragrant. This takes about 15-30 seconds.

 

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By the way, the reason we only use 3 tablespoons of prepared Pad Thai sauce (and not the entire jar) is because we’re amping up the “aromatics” and flavor with the garlic, ginger and green onion.

Add in the carrots to the pan and stir fry. *NOTE I didn’t use the Paderno Spiralizer to cut these carrots (I chose to just buy a bag of matchstick cut carrots to save time) – because in order to use the spiralizer effectively, the carrots have to be FAT. My store carries wimpy organic carrots. The carrots from our garden are too skinny.

 

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Cook for a minute or so – carrots take longer than zucchini to cook, so I add carrots in first. The secret to wok-cooking is knowing when to add ingredients. If I had added in the zucchini at the same time as the carrots, the zucchini would be overcooked while waiting for the carrots to catch up.

Now add in the zucchini zoodles.

 

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Toss very well, let it stir fry for a bit until you start seeing the zucchini change color from opaque to just beginning stages of slightly transluscent. Zucchini cooks fast, so this doesn’t take long.

Add in the Pad Thai sauce – I use Thai Kitchen Pad Thai Sauce (gluten free, dairy free, but it does contain fish sauce, so not vegetarian.) It’s on the sweet side, so if you feel like you need more salty flavor but not sweetness, try adding a few sprinkles of fish sauce or soy sauce.

 

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Add in the tofu and the eggs. Toss! Toss! Toss!

 

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To finish, squeeze in some fresh lime juice. (Toss again), Top with peanuts and cilantro. Serve with more lime wedges and some hot sauce!

On the TV segment that I taped, I used a new product that I just got from Rodelle. Sriracha Seasoning!!

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It is like an explosion of spice, garlic, salty, sweet, tangy. When we did our “taste” on air, both Cyndi and I said, “WOW!”

The good: Adds a POW of flavor. Ingredients that I can pronounce: sugar, salt, spices, garlic, vinegar powder (maltodextrin + distilled white vinegar), citric acid, soybean oil.

The bad: Sugar is the first ingredient, but since it’s a spice, you’re only using 1/4 teaspoon per serving.

I can’t wait to try this as a dry rub for shrimp on the grill, well….anything on the grill. I’m sure it will be wonderful on a roast too!

What I used to make Pad Thai Zoodles

Thank you for using my affiliate links! :-)

The magical Paderno zoodle machine. See my video review of different spiralizers here

The highly recommended Oxo Julienne Peeler that I love, love, love

The Sriracha spice blend:

My favorite wok:

Pad Thai Zoodles Recipe

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Pad Thai Zoodles

Servings: 4 Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes
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The prepared Pad Thai sauce is sweet. Start with 3 tablespoons of the sauce and if you feel like you need more salty (but not sweet), add a teaspoon of fish sauce or soy sauce. If you enjoy more sweet, add another tablespoon of the Pad Thai sauce.

Ingredients:

8 ounces extra firm tofu, cubed
2 tablespoons cooking oil, divided
2 eggs, beaten
1 stalk green onion, cut into 2" lengths
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1 cup matchstick cut carrots
3 large zucchini, cut into noodle spirals
3 tablespoons prepared Pad Thai sauce (or more, depending on taste)
1 lime, halved (use 1 half for step 5, cut other half into wedges for serving)
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
sprigs of cilantro, minced

Directions:

1. Pat the tofu very dry with paper towels. Toss just 1 tablespoon of the cooking oil with the tofu. Heat a wok over high heat. When hot, carefully slide the tofu (be careful of any splatters). Brown all sides of tofu, about 1-2 minutes each side. Remove tofu to plate and set aside.

2. With a paper towel, wipe the wok clean. Swirl in just half of the remaining cooking oil and turn the heat to medium-high. When hot, add in the eggs and scramble. Remove the eggs to to the tofu plate and set aside.

3. Return wok to medium-high heat. Swirl in the last of the cooking oil and turn heat to medium-high. When hot, add in the green onion, garlic and ginger. Cook for 15 seconds, until fragrant.

4. Turn heat to high and add in the carrots. Toss and stir fry for 1 minute. Then add in the zucchini noodles. Toss well and when zucchini begins to soften (about 1 minute), then stir in the Pad Thai sauce. Add in the eggs and the tofu. Toss, cook for 2 minutes. Taste and add additional sauce if desired.

5. Squeeze a little lime on top, top with chopped peanuts and cilantro. Serve with additional lime wedges.

 

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Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Orange-Almond Sauce http://steamykitchen.com/34185-vietnamese-spring-rolls-with-orange-almond-sauce-from-the-blender-girl-recipe-video.html http://steamykitchen.com/34185-vietnamese-spring-rolls-with-orange-almond-sauce-from-the-blender-girl-recipe-video.html#comments Wed, 07 May 2014 11:45:54 +0000 http://www.steamykitchen.com/?p=34185 I very rarely veer off my “tried and true” basic recipe for Vietnamese Nuoc Cham (dipping sauce with lime juice, fish sauce, chili peppers, sugar, water) for Vietnamese Spring Rolls. It’s easy, predictable and I can make the sauce just by taste without measuring anything! But just because I *LOVE* something doesn’t mean that my entire family loves it too. My fish-fearing ...

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spring rolls with orange almond sauce recipe-1663

I very rarely veer off my “tried and true” basic recipe for Vietnamese Nuoc Cham (dipping sauce with lime juice, fish sauce, chili peppers, sugar, water) for Vietnamese Spring Rolls. It’s easy, predictable and I can make the sauce just by taste without measuring anything!

spring rolls with orange almond sauce recipe-1654

But just because I *LOVE* something doesn’t mean that my entire family loves it too. My fish-fearing husband won’t touch it….and therefore my kids won’t dip in it either. Sigh. I keep telling the kids that, “Buddha is a happy eater (see his belly!?) and he would want you to eat like Mama, not Dad.”

Screen Shot 2014-04-21 at 2.38.56 PM

My friend, Blender Girl (okay, her name is really Tess) just came out with a cookbook called The Blender Girl: Super-Easy, Super-Healthy Meals, Snacks, Desserts, and Drinks–100 Gluten-Free, Vegan Recipes.

I found a recipe for Orange Almond Sauce for Vietnamese Spring Rolls. Big massive hit all around. It’s creamy, light and made with almond butter and fresh citrus juices for something a little different.

If you vow to cook a little healthier this summer – take a look at Tess’ book with 100 recipes that are good for you. The blender does all the hard work! The book features smoothies you’d expect from a blender book – as well as sauces, soups, marinades, dressings and desserts.

The book is currently #3 cookbook on Amazon!

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Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Orange Almond Sauce Recipe Video

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Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Orange Almond Sauce Recipe

Servings: Makes 16 rolls Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes
spring rolls with orange almond sauce recipe-1654

You can make these rolls up to a day ahead. Here's what you need to remember: Place the rolls on a clean, dry plate in a single layer. If you want to stack multiple layers, place a sheet of plastic wrap between each layer. This prevents the rolls from sticking to each other. When all rolls are done, make sure you cover everything with plastic wrap - this prevents the rice paper from drying out in the refrigerator.

If you can't find almond butter - you can use any type of nut butter.

OPTIONAL: Soak the matchstick carrots and julienned cucumbers in 3 tablespoons of seasoned rice vinegar. It will add the amazing "zing" that you'll love!

Recipe adapted from The Blender Girl by Tess Masters

Ingredients:

FOR THE SPRING ROLLS
6 ounces dried rice vermicelli noodles
16 large dried rice paper wrappers
8 large lettuce leaves, preferably soft ones, halved and hard ribs removed
1 cup, matchstick cut carrots
2 cucumbers, julienned
1-2 avocado, pitted, peeled and sliced
1-2 bell pepper, cored, julienned
1 cup loosely packed cilantro
1 cup loosely packed mint
1 cup loosely packed basil




FOR THE ORANGE ALMOND SAUCE
1/4 cup water, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup raw almond butter
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon honey or coconut nectar
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon wheat-free tamari or soy sauce
1 teaspoon roasted sesame seeds

Directions:

Soak the noodles in hot water for about 20 minutes, until soft. Drain.

To assemble the rolls, fill a shallow dish half full with hot water (hot to the touch but not boiling. and submerge one rice paper wrapper for 5 seconds, let excess water drop off.  Place wrapper on a clean, dry surface and fold in half to form a half-circle. The wrapper should still be a bit stiff, but will soften by the time you've finished filling with vegetables.

Place a lettuce leaf in the middle of the half-circle and top it with a forkful of noodles, and then add a bit of each of the vegetables and herbs.  Carefully roll up the Vietnamese Spring Roll and set it on a dish, seam-side down in single layer. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling. If not serving immediately, chill in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap. 

To make the dipping sauce, throw all of the ingredients into your blender and puree on high for about 1 minute, until well combined. You may want to add an additional tablespoon or two of water to thin out the sauce. Stir in sesame seeds. Serve alongside the rolls.

 

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Cod in Garlic-Ginger Broth http://steamykitchen.com/24195-cod-in-garlic-ginger-broth-recipe-video.html http://steamykitchen.com/24195-cod-in-garlic-ginger-broth-recipe-video.html#comments Mon, 14 Jan 2013 16:00:00 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=24195 I first met Melissa d’Arabian in Iowa during the winter. Why would a flip-flop wearing Florida gal travel to Iowa in January? It was a meeting to discuss bacon. I never miss meetings about bacon. Even in Iowa during winter! On the way home, Melissa and I sat across from each other on the plane. We were so engaged in animated ...

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Melissa d'Arabian's Ten Dollar Dinners on AmazonI first met Melissa d’Arabian in Iowa during the winter. Why would a flip-flop wearing Florida gal travel to Iowa in January?

It was a meeting to discuss bacon. I never miss meetings about bacon. Even in Iowa during winter! :-)

On the way home, Melissa and I sat across from each other on the plane. We were so engaged in animated conversation — it turns out we both talk not just with our hands, but apparently our entire arms, shoulders and head, too, because we kept bumping into the beverage cart!

Her Ten Dollar Dinners Cookbook came in the mail a couple of weeks ago and I love her approach to budget meals. Each meal for a family costs $10 or less.

We made the Cod in Garlic-Ginger Broth with Shiitake Mushrooms with a few tweaks. It’s light, healthy and the broth is warm and gingery.

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cod in garlic ginger broth recipe video

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Cod in Garlic-Ginger Broth

Servings: 4 Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes
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Dashi is a Japanese broth, used in place of chicken or vegetable broth, and is made of dried bonito flakes and kelp. It's the basis of most Japanese soups, sauces and braises. If you like miso soup, then you'll love dashi, as it's a what's used as the broth base! There are 2 ways to make dashi: the long way and the 30-second way. I choose the easy route - and use instant dashi, which comes in a concentrate form or granules that dissolve in water. Look for dashi in the Asian section of the market. If you don't want to use dashi, substitute with vegetable broth in the recipe.

Ingredients:

1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
1 1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger (use a rasp grater)
1 garlic clove, through a garlic press
1 teaspoon cooking oil
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
3 cups dashi (see note above) or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 (12-ounce) piece cod, skin removed
8 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps thinly sliced
1 carrot, peeled and sliced into thin matchsticks (or 1 handful of matchstick-cut carrots)
3 scallions (white and green parts), finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

Directions:

Heat a wok or large saute pan over medium-low heat. Immediately add in the onion, ginger and garlic. Stir constantly and cook slowly for 3 minutes, until the onion is softened and all the aromatics are fragrant. Take care not to burn them!

Stir in the soy sauce, dashi and lime juice. Place the cod fillet in the wok and turn the heat to medium. Cover and let the fish cook slowly, making sure that the broth stays at a bare simmer. Cook for 8 minutes. Uncover and stir in the shiitake mushrooms, carrots and green onions. Cover again and cook an additional 2 minutes or until cod flakes easily at thickest part. Top with cilantro and serve immediately.

 

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Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Slow Cooker Pork http://steamykitchen.com/23642-vietnamese-spring-rolls-slow-cooker-pork-recipe.html http://steamykitchen.com/23642-vietnamese-spring-rolls-slow-cooker-pork-recipe.html#comments Wed, 10 Oct 2012 19:41:35 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=23642 (Video) Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Slow Cooker Orange Coriander Pork. Simple slow cooker recipe! Watch step by step video on how to roll Vietnamese Spring Rolls.

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Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Slow Cooker Pork Recipe

I’ve been waiting MONTHS to share this video with you! We shot a series of cooking videos in Seattle back in June, when I was in town speaking at the BlogHer Food conference and tickling oysters.  The videos were produced by the National Pork Board and Costco, featuring pork and a few of my blogger friends – Sandy & Paul (Reluctant Entertainer), Diana (Eating Richly), Jenny (Picky Palate), Jessica (The Novice Chef), Lauren (Lauren’s Latest), Amanda (Kevin & Amanda).

I wanted to create a magical day for the gals, so we arranged to have a B-I-G stretch limo pick up all of us.

The limo was complete with sparkling disco lights, rockin’ music, lava lamps (all we were missing was a stripper pole in the middle).

Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Slow Cooker Pork Recipe

Prior to shooting the video, each of us went through hair, makeup, food styling and video talent coaching. Some of the gals had never been on camera before, so it was important to get some tips and guidance from an industry pro.

Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Slow Cooker Pork Recipe

So um, what does a video coach teach you? Well, uh….

Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Slow Cooker Pork Recipe

You don’t realize how much you use these filler words until you tape yourself. I tend to use these fillers when I’m transitioning between finishing one sentence and not knowing what my next sentence would be quite yet.

Coach’s advice to me?

Now.

Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Slow Cooker Pork Recipe

Honestly, I don’t remember what he said. Something about NOW.

Next up, hair and makeup. This is what it takes to make me “camera-ready.”

Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Slow Cooker Pork Recipe

HOLD STILL, JADEN! | That’s the lovely Diana, who’s expecting a BOY!

Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Slow Cooker Pork RecipeVietnamese Spring Rolls with Slow Cooker Pork Recipe

Since we were shooting 5 different recipes with multiple bloggers, we also had a couple of food stylists help us cook, prep and pretty up the food. Each dish had to be planned out, including colors of napkins, the type of platter and what ingredient goes where.

Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Slow Cooker Pork Recipe

And…..ACTION! (look closely! It’s an iPad!)

Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Slow Cooker Pork Recipe

The cameras and lights can be a little intimidating if you’re not used to them. There were 3 cameramen, a sound guy, a lighting guy, a producer, food stylists, PR reps, the Pork team and then all of us.

Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Slow Cooker Pork Recipe

In between takes, hair and makeup sneak in to touch up.

Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Slow Cooker Pork Recipe

Put 8 food bloggers in a room, turn on a video camera, and you’re sure to get some bloopers! See end of post for the blooper reel!

Big thanks to Pork Board and to Costco for producing these videos! My dish that I made with pork was Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Slow Cooker Pork. I used Sirloin Tip Roast – a very lean and flavorful cut perfect for roasting and slow cooking. It feeds a big crowd on a small budget! Enjoy the recipe!

Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Slow Cooker Pork Recipe

How to roll Vietnamese Spring Rolls

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Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Slow Cooker Pork Recipe

Servings: 8 to 10 Prep Time: 10 minutes for the pork + 25 minutes for assembly Cook Time: 3 3/4 hours
Vietnamese-Spring-Roll-Pork-Recipe-feature-16

Please watch the video for detailed wrapping instructions. For the dipping sauce, purchase Sweet Chili Sauce, usually found in regular supermarkets, in the Asian section. It's sold in glass bottles and is bright orange/red in color. The Sweet Chili Sauce is sweet, and not too spicy. Alternatively, you could use other sweet sauces like "Duck Sauce" or "Sweet Plum Sauce".

If you don't have a slow cooker - roast the pork in the oven, 275F for 4 hours.

Ingredients:

FOR THE ORANGE CORIANDER PORK
2 pound boneless pork sirloin tip roast
1 teaspoon ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 onion, cut into thick slices
1 orange, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds (do not peel)
1 cup orange juice
1 cup canned chicken broth
2 tablespoons fish sauce or soy sauce
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
6 garlic cloves, smashed under a knife & peeled

FOR THE ROLL ASSEMBLY
one 8-oz. package (8-inch-diameter) rice spring roll wrappers (22 wrappers)
2 cups matchstick cut carrots
1 cucumber, cut into matchstick (English or Japanese cucumber preferred)
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into matchsticks
2 cups packed baby spinach leaves
sprigs of fresh mint and basil leaves
1 cup prepared Sweet Chili Sauce

Directions:

FOR THE SLOW COOKER PORK
Season pork roast with coriander, salt and pepper. To the slow cooker, add orange juice, broth, fish sauce, garlic and ginger. Scatter half the onion and orange in the slow cooker, top with pork, then add remaining onion and orange on top of the pork. Cover and cook on low until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the pork registers 160F, about 3-4 hours. Transfer the pork to a carving board. Rest for at least 15 minutes.

FOR THE ASSEMBLY:
Slice pork across the grain into very thin slices. Divide into 22 portions. Half-fill a wide bowl with warm water. For each roll, dip 1 wrapper for 5 seconds. Shake
off the excess water from the wrapper and place on clean and dry surface. The rice paper will still be a little stiff, but don't worry, it will soften up. Fold the rice paper in half to make half-moon shape. Place 1 portion of pork at the bottom of the wrapper and top with carrot, cucumber, bell pepper, spinach leaves and herbs. Roll up the wrapper tightly. Place roll on a platter and cover with a barely damp towel to keep moist. The rolls can be made and refrigerated up to 2 hours ahead. Serve chilled with the Sweet Chili Sauce for dipping.

Our Blooper Reel!

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Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe http://steamykitchen.com/22276-chinese-spring-rolls-with-chicken-recipe.html http://steamykitchen.com/22276-chinese-spring-rolls-with-chicken-recipe.html#comments Wed, 11 Jul 2012 05:20:00 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=22276 Light, airy and crispy Chinese spring rolls - recipe from my Mom.

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Chinese Spring Roll Recipe with Chicken

How authentic Chinese Spring Rolls* should be: smooth, light, crisp-crackly skin and small enough to enjoy in 4 bites. The filling is also light, full of tender-crisp vegetables and you should be able to taste and distinguish every single ingredient in the filling.

Unfortunately, the only time you can find really awesome Chinese spring rolls are when you make them at home, Chinatown restaurants or at my Mom’s house :-)

*Spring Rolls or Egg Rolls? Well, either one is fine. Some people call these crispy fried rolls “Spring Rolls” and others, like my Mom, refer to them as “Egg Rolls.” I use both terms. There is no official English term. What are summer rolls? I refer to the uncooked Vietnamese rolls wrapped in rice paper as Summer Rolls, but Diane and Todd call these Spring Rolls! So confusing, right?  

I’ve seen too many Chinese-American takeout joints feature massive spring rolls the size of a soda can, a thick, chewy, bubbly textured skin and wet, soggy filling. That’s not good eats.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe

My Mom’s Chinese Spring/Egg rolls are absolutely on the list of top 5 favorite foods of all time. It’s not something I make often, the deep frying and the time it takes makes it an indulgence. But when I do make spring rolls, I try to make a TON of them because they freeze perfectly and go direct from freezer to fryer.

We’ve made many variations of egg/spring rolls, from pork, shrimp, crawfish, seafood, beef, vegetarian and even with tofu (yum!) I’m sharing my Chinese spring rolls with chicken recipe version with you, which is my boys’ filling of choice.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe

I’ve got lots of technique tips and step by step photos to help you master the very best spring roll that my Mom would be proud of!

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe

How to make Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken

The vegetables I’ve chosen to use for this Chinese Spring Roll with Chicken recipe are cabbage and carrots.

TIP: Do not use a box grater to grate the vegetables, grating releases too much liquid/water. Use either a food processor with thin slicing attachment, a mandoline like I’ve used here (I LOVE this one by Oxo for $15) or shred by knife.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Shred Cabbage

You can julienne cut carrots by hand or use mandoline like this to first get thin slices.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Julienne cut carrots

After slicing thin with a mandoline, use knife to thinly slice further into very thin matchsticks. Notice how many times I’ve purposely used the word, “thin.”

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Julienne cut carrots

Whisk together marinade ingredients for the ground chicken.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Whisk marinade ingredients

Mix with ground chicken.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Mix marinade with ground chicken

Saute the ground chicken with just a bit of oil. Then, remove chicken to a bowl and set aside.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Saute ground chicken

Next wipe the wok clean and stir fry the vegetables along with ginger, garlic and green onion.

TIP: Meat and vegetables are cooked separately. This ensures that the meat browns well – and prevents everything from being an overcooked, soggy clump. Meat will taste like meat, and the vegetables will have a crisp, clean flavor.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Stir fry veggies

Add the meat back into the wok.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Mix chicken with veggies

Add in oyster sauce.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Add oyster sauce to filling

Toss! Toss! Toss!

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Toss filling

Let cool on a baking sheet.

TIP: Let the filling cool. Hot filling = steam = makes wrapper wet = not good

TIP: Tilt the baking pan on one side. This lets any extra liquid/juice dribble down, away from the filling, Discard the liquid. Liquid = makes wrapper wet = not good. The drier the filling, the better. You can also blot the filling with a wad of paper towels to get rid of any excess oil.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Let the filling cool

Spring Roll Recipe WrappersHere’s my favorite brand of wrapper. It comes frozen, so you’ll have to defrost.

TIP: The best 2 ways to defrost spring roll wrappers: 1-overnight in the refrigerator 2-on the counter for 30 minutes. Once the wrapper are defrosted, open the package and immediately cover with a barely damp towel or paper towel to keep moist. The wrappers will dry out and crack quickly if left uncovered.

TIP: If the wrappers dry out and are stiff, you can put a few wrappers on a plate, cover with a damp towel and microwave on medium for 10 seconds. The wrappers will soften up.

TIP: Good spring roll wrappers are found in Asian markets. These are thin, fry up to a shatteringly thin crispy spring roll. Do not buy spring roll wrappers that you find in regular supermarkets near the produce section (usually refrigerated, next to the tofu). Those “pasta sheets” are way too thick and fry up to a chewy, thick, bubbly, hot mess.

TIP: Keep the spring roll (or egg roll) sheets under barely damp cloth or paper towel. They dry out very easily. If they dry out, they break apart.

See how thin this is? Almost paper thin.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Super thin wrappers

TIP: For the truly fanatical, there are 2 sides to the spring roll wrapper – but you have to look very very carefully. One side is smoother than the other. The smoother side should be outward facing. It’s really not absolutely necessary to even pay attention to this tip unless you a) want to have the very best looking spring roll and b) have good eyesight because the difference is really minor. The smoother side fries up just a tiny bit nicer looking. It’s purely aesthetics. Something my Mom taught me, so I’m teaching you.

Place wrapper like diamond, as shown, on a clean, dry surface. Place 1 tablespoon of filling near corner. No more than that!

TIP: Less filling, the better. Overstuffed spring rolls break apart in the oil. 1 tablespoon is all you need!

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Less filling, the better

Fold over the corner. Roll tight.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Roll wrapper tightly

Fold over left side.

TIP: Leave no space or air pockets. Air pockets = oil seepage = oily egg roll.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Fold wrapper tightly

Fold over the other side. No air pockets!

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Fold wrapper tightly

Here are examples of the WRONG WAY TO WRAP.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Wrong way of wrapping

WRONG: See the right side of the wrapper, how it’s skewing out? See next picture to see how it rolls.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Wrong popped out corner

WRONG: That right side that skewed out rolls up like this – giant air pocket will let oil seep in, filling fall out.

The right way: Imagine if you were Martha Stewart folding up her bedsheets. Or a clerk at the Gap folding t-shirts. Or the abs of male Olympic swimmer. Nice, tight and even.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Ready to seal

Paint a little cornstarch slurry along the edge – just as if you were lickin’ an envelope. But don’t lick it. Finger paint.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Cornstarch Seals It

Close it up. See how nice and neat the egg roll is wrapped? No holes, no air pockets. Very Martha Stewart.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Neat and tidy

Place them seam side down (helps secure the corner so that the corner doesn’t pop out)

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Place rolls seam side down

Keep them all covered with plastic wrap to prevent drying out. They dry out easily.

TIP: Single layer only. If you put them on top of each other (without layer of plastic wrap between them, they will stick together. You can put another layer of spring rolls on TOP of the plastic wrap (but don’t’ forget to cover them too).

TIP: If you want to freeze spring rolls – freeze them just like this. If you don’t have a freezer this big, then line up the spring rolls on a plate, with plastic wrap between each layer. Freeze. Once frozen, gather up all the spring rolls and put them in a freezer safe plastic bag. They have to freeze in a single layer, not touching. Otherwise, they’ll all stick together. Once they are frozen, you can store them however you want.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Can be frozen

When you’re ready to fry, heat up 1 1/2″ of cooking oil (canola, vegetable, rice bran, corn, peanut) to 350F.

TIP: For deep frying, the wider the pot, the more oil you’ll need. But too small of a pot, you’ll only be able to fry a couple of egg rolls at a time. Woks are perfect – the round shape, concave shape means less oil is needed to fill wok.

TIP: Ancient Chinese secret: Stick a wooden chopstick straight down in the oil just like this. If the oil bubbles around the wood, it’s hot enough. If no little bubbles around the chopstick = not hot enough. Mom taught me that. But make sure it’s wood or bamboo chopsticks – plastic ones melt. If you don’t have a wood chopstick, use end of a wooden spatula.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Heat 1 1/2 cup cooking oil

Carefully SLIDE the spring rolls in. Inspect each spring roll for corners that have popped open. Fix with more cornstarch slurry if needed.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Carefully slide rolls in wok

Fry a few at a time.

TIP: Wide deep woks or skillets are good. Because of the shape of the wok, you’ll end up using less oil. Buy a wok. (wink!)

TIP: Don’t over-crowd the sprng rolls in the pan. They won’t cook evenly.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Leave room in wok

Keep turning ’em to brown evenly. Once they are golden brown, they are done.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Cook til Golden Brown

Place them on a rack to drain.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Drain rolls on rack

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe

More Recipes to explore

Red Lantern Crisp Parcels (Cha Gio or Spring Rolls) (Steamy Kitchen)

Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Orange-Almond Sauce (Steamy Kitchen)

My Mother’s Famous Chinese Egg Rolls (Steamy Kitchen)

Vegetable Spring Rolls (Egg Rolls) (Steamy Kitchen)

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Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe

Servings: Makes 50 egg rolls Prep Time: 1 hour Cook Time: 30 minutes
Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice wine (or white wine)
freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 pound ground chicken
2 tablespoons cooking oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 stalk green onion, chopped
1/2 head of small cabbage (about 8 ounces), shredded
2 carrots, thin julienne cut
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup water
50 spring roll wrappers, defrosted
oil, for deep frying (about 1/2 liter to 1 liter)

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, combine the soy sauce, wine, pepper and cornstarch. Add in the chicken and mix well. Let marinate for 10 minutes (or up to overnight in the refrigerator).

2. Heat a wok or large saute pan over high heat. When hot, swirl in just 1 tablespoon of the cooking oil. Stir fry the ground chicken until browned. Remove browned ground chicken from wok to a bowl and set aside.

3. Wipe the wok clean and turn heat to medium. When just starting to get hot, swirl in the remaining cooking oil. Add in the green onion, garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds. Take care not to burn these aromatics. Add in the carrots and cabbage. Stir well and turn the heat to medium-high. Stir fry the vegetables for 2 minutes, or until the carrots have softened. Add the cooked chicken back into the wok, stir well. Add in the oyster sauce and toss again. Spread the mixture out on a baking sheet to let cool. Prop up the baking sheet on one end so that any liquid collects on the other side. When the mixture is cool, discard the liquid.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water. This is your slurry. Open the egg roll wrapper package, cover with barely damp towel to prevent drying out.

5. Add 1 tablespoon of filling to egg roll (see photos for instructions) and roll up. Secure with cornstarch slurry. Keep rolled egg rolls covered with plastic wrap to prevent drying.

6. When ready to fry, heat 1 1/2" of oil in a wok or deep, heavy skillet to 350F (see tip in photos if you don't have thermometer). Carefully slide in the egg rolls, a few at a time, to the oil to fry. Turn the egg rolls occassionally to brown evenly and fry for about 3 minutes. Let cool on rack. Repeat with remaining.

 

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Split Pea and Ham Soup http://steamykitchen.com/21252-split-pea-and-ham-soup.html http://steamykitchen.com/21252-split-pea-and-ham-soup.html#comments Tue, 10 Apr 2012 15:27:26 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=21252 Usually sometime during the holiday, we’ll bake an entire bone-in ham. Split pea and ham soup is so surprisingly easy, especially in a pressure cooker. It takes about 3 minutes of chopping, 4 minutes of pressure cooking time and then 20 minutes to just let it sit. My friend, Wendy taught me her version, which actually comes from the back ...

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Usually sometime during the holiday, we’ll bake an entire bone-in ham.

Split pea and ham soup is so surprisingly easy, especially in a pressure cooker. It takes about 3 minutes of chopping, 4 minutes of pressure cooking time and then 20 minutes to just let it sit. My friend, Wendy taught me her version, which actually comes from the back of the package of split peas!

No soaking necessary (which makes the recipe even simpler!)

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Split Pea and Ham Soup Recipe

Servings: serves 4 Prep Time: 5 mins Cook Time: 25 mins
pressure-cooker-split-pea-ham-soup-recipe-5649

Split pea and ham soup is so surprisingly easy. It takes about 3 minutes of chopping, 4 minutes of pressure cooking time and then 20 minutes to just let it sit.

Ingredients:

1 pound split peas
3 cups diced ham
bone from ham or smoked ham hock (optional)
3 carrots, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (or 1 teaspoon dried parsley)
2 teaspoons kosher salt (or 1 teaspoon table salt)
freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 quarts water

Directions:

Rinse peas and drain. Pick out anything that's "not-pea" :-)

Place all ingredients into pressure cooker, set on high for 4 minutes. When cooking is done, leave the pressure cooker to sit for an additional 15-20 minutes to let pressure and steam escape.

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French Carrot Fennel Salad http://steamykitchen.com/20939-french-carrot-fennel-salad-recipe.html http://steamykitchen.com/20939-french-carrot-fennel-salad-recipe.html#comments Mon, 05 Mar 2012 17:10:15 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=20939   I’ve known Béa, author of La Tartine Gourmande blog, ever since I first started blogging. The first time I saw her blog, I was just blown away – every photo made me daydream that I was on some kind of gorgeous picnic in heaven! (they do have picnics in heaven right?!) All these years of corresponding with Béa via ...

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French Carrot Fennel Salad Recipe

 

I’ve known Béa, author of La Tartine Gourmande blog, ever since I first started blogging. The first time I saw her blog, I was just blown away – every photo made me daydream that I was on some kind of gorgeous picnic in heaven! (they do have picnics in heaven right?!)

All these years of corresponding with Béa via email, blog, twitter and facebook, it was only last year that I finally got to meet her in person. We were both in London to speak at Food Blogger Connect – Béa brought her family along and I got to squeeze the baby toes of sleeping Lulu. Sweetness!

 

Béa just came out with her book, La Tartine Gourmande Cookbook and it’s every bit of picnic in heaven as her blog. There are so many fresh and healthy recipes that I want to try: Beet and Quinoa Tabouli, Potato Nests with Gingered Crab and Crustless mini Quiches, just to name a few. All the recipes are gluten-free.

The dish I chose to make first is crazy simple – French Carrot Salad is grated carrot tossed with lemon juice and olive oil. I’ve added fresh shaved fennel from my garden and plucked a few fennel fronds to add to the salad.

It’s absolutely refreshing. Picnic in heaven food.

French Carrot Fennel Salad

Fennel in my garden:

fennel bulb: French Carrot Fennel Salad Recipe

Have a taste of the fennel fronds (the green stuff) and it’s amazing – AH-MAZE-ING raw in salads. Don’t throw it away! In fact, I grown the fennel in the garden specifically for the fronds. Every time I make salad, I just pinch one little stem off and mince for the salad.

The bulb, shaved and added to a salad gives an nice crunch and light anise flavor.

French Carrot Fennel Salad Recipe cutting fennel

Slice the bulbs very thinly – I used a mandoline, but feel free to just use a sharp chef’s knife.

French Carrot Fennel Salad Recipe shaving fennel

Whisk together the dressing ingredients – lemon juice, salt, pepper, olive oil, fresh parsley and a few pinches of fennel fronds.

dressing French Carrot Fennel Salad Recipe

Toss with grated carrots and fennel bulb.

add dressing French Carrot Fennel Salad Recipe

 

final dish French Carrot Fennel Salad Recipe

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French Carrot Fennel Salad

Servings: 4 Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 0 minutes
French Carrot Fennel Salad Recipe

From La Tartine Gourmande Cookbook by Bea Peltre

Ingredients:

1/2 fennel bulb + fennel fronds
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
sea salt and pepper
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
1 garlic clove, minced
6 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 large carrots, peeled

Directions:

1. Pick a few fennel fronds to make 1 tablespoon. In a bowl, whisk together the fennel fronds, parsley, salt, pepper, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil. Set aside.

2. Use the large holes of the box grater to grate the carrots. Use a mandoline to shave the fennel bulb (or slice very thinly with chef's knife).

3. Toss together the carrots, fennel bulb with the dressing.

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Leftover Turkey Recipe: Turkey Gumbo http://steamykitchen.com/19344-turkey-gumbo-leftover-thanksgiving-turkey-recipe.html http://steamykitchen.com/19344-turkey-gumbo-leftover-thanksgiving-turkey-recipe.html#comments Wed, 16 Nov 2011 14:00:42 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=19344 Use your leftover Thanksgiving turkey to make this simple Turkey Gumbo Recipe!

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I know it’s a little early to think about Thanksgiving leftovers, but believe me, time goes by so crazy fast! Once the big meal is over, even after the late-night refrigerator raid (you sneak in and pick at the turkey in the refrigerator too, right?!), we’ll always have more than enough leftover turkey for Turkey Gumbo.

Since Thanksgiving is such a big, heavy dinner, I created this recipe with restraint in mind.  It’s a lighter, milder version of gumbo than what you may be used to, a little more broth-y and no mouth-burning cayenne pepper or hot sauce, since the little kids will be enjoying this too (but feel free to douse your version with as much hot chili pepper as you like!)

While the ingredient list may look long, it is ingredients that you’ll probably have on hand anyways from cooking Thanksgiving meal. Leftover turkey meat is stirred into the gumbo at the end, just to heat through. The slow-simmered, richly flavored Turkey Gumbo served over steaming hot rice may just break the monotony of leftover turkey sandwiches this year for you too.

Making the Roux for Turkey Gumbo

Roux is cooking fat+flour over low heat to create a nutty thickener used in much of Southern cooking. It’s a simple, essential step for the gumbo, but takes a little patience as you have to cook the roux over low heat and stir frequently.

Traditional recipes call for 1:1 ratio of fat to flour, but I’ve found that I could use less fat and still achieve the same results, though I think Paula Deen would heartily disagree with me.

I like using butter as my fat, it’s the the most flavor — uh — unless you want to use bacon drippings (yay!) or even lard (double-yay!).

4 tablespoons of butter + 6 tablespoons all purpose flour. For gluten-free version, many have recommended using potato starch or rice flour.

Use a heavy-bottomed pot for best results. Thin pots = more likihood for burned roux. Once the butter starts bubblin’ a bit, sprinkle in the flour and stir.

Stir until the flour is totally incorporated. I use a silicone rubber spatula – here’s why: I’m not patient enough to stand over the stove constantly stirring nonstop. So I leave the silicone spatula in the pot – it doesn’t burn nor does it get hot. Every 30-40 seconds or so, I’ll stir. In the meantime, I’m choppin’ vegetables on a cutting board right next to the stove.

After a nearly 10 minutes, it will look smooth and the color of peanut butter. This is where I stop. By this time not only am I bored to tears, but a lighter roux makes a lighter gumbo. Feel free to keep cookin’ the roux if you have nothing else to do!

I’ve got onions, celery, green pepper, smoked sausage and whatever bits and pieces of vegetable I have in the refrigerator, basically any unused vegetables (like carrots, red bell pepper) from cooking Thanksgiving dinner.

Everything gets s simmered with a can of tomatoes and chicken broth for an hour or so.

In goes the frozen (no need to defrost) or fresh okra

and at the end, stir in the cooked, leftover turkey

Serve over rice. Isn’t this Turkey Gumbo better than your 48th turkey sandwich!?? Serve over rice!

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Turkey Gumbo Recipe (with leftover Thanksgiving turkey)

Servings: 8 Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour
Turkey Gumbo Recipe

Don't worry about the long ingredient list, most of the ingredients are things you'll have in your refrigerator anyways, from cooking Thanksgiving feast! For gluten-free Turkey Gumbo, use rice flour, corn flour or potato starch in place of the flour.

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 bell peppers, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon each: dried oregano, dried thyme
One 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 pound kielbasa, smoked or polish sausage, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 quart chicken or vegetable broth
8 cups water
2-3 cups frozen or fresh okra
2 cups cooked, shredded leftover turkey
salt and pepper to taste
small handful fresh parsley, chopped
cooked rice

Directions:

Heat a large stockpot with the butter over medium heat. When the butter begins to bubble a bit, use a whisk or wooden spoon to add in the flour, a little at a time. Continue stirring for a 2 minutes, until the flour is fully incorporated into the butter. Turn the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds or so, until the roux has turned into the color of peanut butter. Make sure that the roux does not burn - stay close by!

Return heat to medium and add in the bell peppers, celery and onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook another minute or so until fragrant. Add in the bay leaves, oregano, thyme, tomatoes, smoked sausage, broth and water. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 1 hour.

Add in the okra, cook 2 minutes, then add in the cooked turkey. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Stir in chopped parsley. Serve over cooked rice.

The post Leftover Turkey Recipe: Turkey Gumbo appeared first on Steamy Kitchen Recipes.

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Roasted Carrots with Sesame Ponzu Vinaigrette http://steamykitchen.com/18590-roasted-carrots-with-sesame-ponzu-vinaigrette-recipe.html http://steamykitchen.com/18590-roasted-carrots-with-sesame-ponzu-vinaigrette-recipe.html#comments Wed, 21 Sep 2011 12:16:55 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=18590 On Monday, I celebrated the completion of our brand new raised bed garden that my rockstar husband built for me (and as a bonus, he also made a organized compost heap thingy too. oh yes, this man is definitely a keeper) by planting 48 onion seeds and 48 carrot seeds. It seemed like a good idea at the time, we’re ...

The post Roasted Carrots with Sesame Ponzu Vinaigrette appeared first on Steamy Kitchen Recipes.

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On Monday, I celebrated the completion of our brand new raised bed garden that my rockstar husband built for me (and as a bonus, he also made a organized compost heap thingy too. oh yes, this man is definitely a keeper) by planting 48 onion seeds and 48 carrot seeds.

It seemed like a good idea at the time, we’re experimenting with Square Foot Gardening after having bought this book which instructed me to spant 16 seeds per square foot (this only works with carrots and onions, and of course I’ll go into more detail with loads of photos in an upcoming garden post).

But it didn’t occur to me until a few hours later that all 48 carrots and 48 onions would be ripe for plucking at the same time. I’m thinking that many other novice gardeners, in their bright-eyed eagerness, also make this same mistake.

What will I do with 48 carrots? One can only drink so much carrot juice before their skin starts turning a hue of an autumn sunset. But these roasted carrots with a sesame ponzu vinaigrette is definitely on my list.

Six ingredients and a two-liner recipe. Simple yet so different from your normal repertoire of carrot offerings. I promise you that you’ll love the Sesame Ponzu Vinaigrette so much, you’ll be searching for reasons to use it. Fortunately, it goes with everything, including stirring it just plain boiled noodles.

How to make Roasted Carrots with Sesame Ponzu Vinaigrette

Slice your carrots just like this, I like going on the diagonal. Toss ’em with just a bit of olive oil or cooking oil. Then roast in the oven.

The Sesame Ponzu Vinaigrette is just 4 ingredients: sesame oil, ponzu sauce, sesame seeds and green onions.

Ponzu sauce is like the fun-loving sister to soy sauce. It’s a light, tangy, citrusy version of soy sauce, which makes it perfect for any type of dipping sauce (especially for dumplings!), salad dressing recipe or simple way to dress any steamed vegetables. I’m working with client Mistukan, who makes the very best ponzu sauce in the market, to develop simple, everyday recipes using their products.

Other recipes I’ve created for Mitsukan:
Asian Slaw with Ponzu Dressing
Chicken Satay Recipe
Steak Teriyaki Recipe 

Just whisk everything together.

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Roasted Carrots with Sesame Ponzu Vinaigrette

Servings: 4 Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes
Roasted Carrots with Sesame Ponzu Vinaigrette Recipe

This Sesame Ponzu Vinaigrette is so versatile - use it to jazz up grilled tofu, chicken or fish.

Ingredients:

1 pound carrot, peeled and cut into ¾” thick diagonal pieces
2 teaspoons cooking oil or olive oil
1 tablespoon ponzu sauce (I prefer Mitsukan Ponzu Sauce)
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon chopped green onions
½ teaspoon roasted sesame oil

Directions:

Roast the carrots until just tender but slightly crunchy at 375F for 15-18 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients. Toss with the cooked carrots.

 

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