Salmon and Shrimp Phad Thai – กุ้งและปลาแซลมอนแผ่นไทย

905679_779815561696_389662409841940469_oSalmon and Shrimp Phad Thai

Ingredients
1 dozen Shrimp, peeled, de-veined
1 8oz Salmon filet, skinned, de-boned, cubed
1 Leek, sliced in 1/8″ rounds
1 cup Red Cabbage, sliced
1/2 cup Carrot, diced or julienne
1 quarter’s width worth of Rice Pasta or Linguini
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Egg, beaten
2 Tbsp Ginger, minced
2 Tbsp Tamarind Paste
2 Tbsp Fish Sauce
1 Tbsp Hoisin Sauce
1 cup Bok Choy, chopped or Bean Sprouts
1/2 cup Peanuts, crushed
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
Juice of 1 Lime
Salt & Pepper to Taste
Cilantro for Garnish
Lime Wedges for Garnish
1-2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Directions

  • If using Linguini: In a large pot bring water to a boil. Add salt for seasoning. Add the Pasta and cook till al dente, drain. Toss in olive oil and set to the side.
  • If using Rice Noodles, soak in lukewarm water for 45 minutes to an hour.
  • In a wok or wide skillet, heat the Olive Oil and add the Leek, Cabbage, and Carrots. Toss until tender.
  • Stir in the Egg.
  • Add the Garlic, Tamarind Paste, Hoisin Sauce, Fish Sauce, and Lime Juice.
  • Add the Salmon, Shrimp, Cayenne Pepper, Cumin, and Crushed Red Pepper. Toss over heat until cooked.
  • Toss in the Pasta, Peanuts, and Bok Choy/Bean Sprouts until all is well coated.
  • Add salt and Pepper to taste.
  • Plate and garnish with Cilantro and a Lime Wedge.

Makes about 4 servings

NOTES: Pad Thai ผัดไทย is a common Thai dish that means “fried Thai style”. It usually consists of rice noodles, a sweet sauce, scallions, a protein, peanuts, and bean sprouts, but can also have scallions, cabbage, and other ingredients. This version is my variation, with a little heat added in the form of Ginger and Cayenne Pepper. I also varied by using Leeks instead of Scallion and offering Bok Choy and Linguini as substitutes for ingredients.

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Spiced Lentil Soup

Spiced Lentil Soup

Spiced Lentil Soup

Dedicated to my fellow parishioners at the Episcopal Church of St. Luke in the Fields, Greenwich Village, NYC

IngredientsVegan
7 cups Vegetable Broth
2 cups Red Lentils, dry, rinsed
3 cloves Garlic, minced
2 cups Sweet Yellow Onion, diced
2 cups crushed Tomatoes
1/2 cup flat-leaf Parsley, chopped fine
1 cup Celery, diced
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp ground Cumin
1 tsp Zaatar
1/2 tsp Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp ground Marjoram
1/2 tsp ground Coriander Seed
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tsp Pepper
1/4 tsp Turmeric
1/4 tsp ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Lemon Zest
1/4 tsp Salt

Lemon wedges

Directions:

  • In a gallon size pot on medium heat, combine the Onion, Salt, Pepper, and Olive Oil; cook until the onions softens.
  • Add the Garlic, Lemon Zest, Lemon Juice, and Celery. Continue to saute until the Celery starts to soften.
  • Add all the other spices, and mix well so that the spices get into the oil and juices in the pot.
  • Add the Tomato, Vegetable Broth, and Lentils; bring to a boil, stirring often so that nothing sticks.
  • Reduce to a simmer, add the Parsley, and let cook until the Lentils become tender.
  • Taste, and adjust the seasoning and spices to your preferred tastes.
  • Garnish with a Lemon Wedge. Squirt the juice on the Soup.

Makes about 6 servings

NOTES:Lentil Soup is eaten in various parts of the world. This recipe utilizes spices from Northern Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. Zaatar a spice blend used in North Africa, especially Egypt and Libya, often added to meats or rubbed in olive oil on flat bread. It is made up of Sumac, Oregano, Sesame Seed, often with other spices.

Lentil soup can be modified to your prefered tastes and needs. You can add chopped spinach or kale, or diced carrots or sweet potatoes. Keep in mind if you add additional starches, you may need to add additional spices. This meal is vegan, however one can add meat like chicken or lamb to it–or even sausage. It is also common to garnish with sour cream or yogurt.

Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya with Quinoa

Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya with QuinoaShrimp and Sausage Jambalaya with Quinoa

Ingredients
1 lb jumbo Shrimp, peeled, de-veined
4 cups Chicken Stock
2 cups Quinoa
2 cups Andouille Sausage, sliced
1 Tbsp Butter
1/4 cup Green Bell Peppers, chopped
1/4 cup Red Bell Pepper, chopped
1/2 cup Yellow Onion, chopped
1/2 cup Celery, chopped
3 cloves Garlic, minced
3 Bay Leaf
2 tsp Thyme, fresh, chopped (if dried 1/2 tsp)
2 tsp Oregano, fresh, chopped (if dried 1/2 tsp)
1 Tbsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper, Ground
Tabasco Sauce to taste

Directions:

  • In a large dutch oven, melt the butter and brown the Andouille Sausage.
  • Add the Bell Pepper, Yellow Onion, and Celery, and saute until it is soft.
  • Add the Garlic and stir for another minute or so.
  • Add all Herbs, Shrimp, and Chicken Stock and bring to a simmer.
  • Add the Quinoa and cook, covered for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add Tabasco Sauce to taste–some like it hotter than others.

Makes 4-6 servings

NOTES: Jambalaya is a traditional dish from Louisiana made from rice and akin to Paella. I thought it would be fun to try this dish with Quinoa instead since I’m not a big fan of Rice. I must say I was quite pleased with the result.

You can add Chicken to this recipe, as most Jambalaya recipes do include chicken. It would be cooked at the same time as the Andouille. Some Jambalaya, especially that near New Orleans is known as “Creole” vs. “Cajun”. The only big difference I’ve been able to note, other than mild spice variations, is the use of Tomatoes in the Creole version. I chose to go with the Cajun style, lacking the tomatoes since it is the Cajuns that are my familial cousins.

Curried Turkey Stuffed Peppers

Curried Turkey Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients:
1 lb ground Turkey
4 Bell Peppers, large
4 cloves Garlic, minced
2 Shallots, minced
3 Jalapeno Peppers, minced
1-2 Tbsp Ginger, minced
1 Tbsp Chives
1 Tbsp Cumin
2 Tbsp Curry Powder
2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp ground Coriander Seed
2 tsp Salt
1 cup Chickpeas
1/2 cup Bread Crumbs
1 Egg
Water for Baking
1/4 cup Greek Yogurt for garnish
Paprika for garnish

Directions

  • Preheat the Oven to 375°F
  • Fill a baking dish with water, 1 inch deep. The baking dish should ideally be able to be covered with a lid, and large enough to hold the Peppers.
  • Remove the top of the Peppers and all the inside seeds.
  • Combine all other ingredients in a large bowl and mix well by hand.
  • Divide the stuffing into the Peppers, and place them in the baking dish with the topside up.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Top with the Yogurt and sprinkle with the Paprika.

Makes 4 Peppers.

NOTES: This is a super simple but flavorful dish. Do not forget the Salt–it is important for bringing out the flavors. My first batch, I left it out and so it was hot but not flavorful–bland even with the Chickpeas. You can also add some seasoning to the Yogurt if you like–it acts as a cooling effect if the Jalapenos prove too spicy. This is an original recipe–inspired by Indian flavors. I hope you enjoy.

Shrimp and Lobster Scampi

Shrimp and Lobster Scampi

Ingredients:
6 Rock Lobster Tails, shelled, meat cut in large chunks
1 lb Shrimp, shelled, de-veined
1/2 cup Butter
2-3 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
6-8 cloves Garlic, sliced thin
2/3 cup Vermouth
Juice of 2 Lemons
2 cups Broccoli, cut in bite-size pieces
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Salt
2 cups Water (for steaming)

Directions

  • Bring the water to boil and place the Broccoli in a Steamer.
  • Sprinkle liberally with Salt, and drizzle the Olive Oil over them.
  • Close and steam for 3-5 minutes or until the Broccoli begins to turn bright Green. Set to the Side.
  • Pat the Shrimp and Lobster meat dry, and sprinkle the rest of the Salt, as well as the Cayenne Pepper on all sides of the meat.
  • Melt the Butter in a large skillet, and when the bubbles die down, carefully add the Shrimp and Lobster.
  • Cook thoroughly in the Butter on all sides, about 5-7 minutes on high heat, stirring often.
  • Carefully remove the Lobster and Shrimp to a bowl, leaving the Butter in the skillet. If there are small remnants of Lobster, that is ok.
  • Add the Garlic, Vermouth, and Lemon to the Butter. Be careful in case the flame rises.
  • Cook stirring for about 6 minutes, until the sauce begins to thicken.
  • Toss in the Lobster, Shrimp, and Broccoli.
  • Heat for another 3 minutes, tossing well.
  • Serve as is, or over Pasta or Rice.

Makes 4 Servings, 6 if you use over Pasta or Rice.

NOTES: I love this type of buttery, velvety, lemony, goodness of a dish. I would love to know from where in the world it really came from. In America, we tend to say it is an Italian dish, but so much of our Italian dishes are really in the “spirit of Italy”. In England, Scampi is a bar food made from a Prawn that is battered and fried–nothing like the dish we think of. The name Scampi is Italian in origin, though it refers not to the method of cooking, but rather to a lobster-like curved (ref. scampo) crustacean. The American version of Scampi uses Shrimp, though one often can find “Chicken Scampi”, suggesting that in America, we’ve lost the meaning of the word and use it to refer to the method of cooking it in a garlicky, lemony, butter and wine sauce. Nothing new there.

Blackened Chicken with Grilled Fruit

Blackened Chicken with Grilled Fruit

Ingredients:
3 Chicken Breasts, boneless, skinless, butterfly cut
3 Tbsp Butter, melted
1/2 – 1 Tbsp Olive Oil

Blackened Seasoning
2 1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Onion Powder
2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Allspice
1/2 tsp Coriander Seed
3/4 Tbsp Paprika
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
1/2 Tsp Black Pepper ground
1/2 Tsp White Pepper ground
1/2 tsp Thyme dried
1/2 tsp Oregano dried
1/2 tsp Fennel Seeds dried

Grilled Fruit
1 Papaya, skinned, cut in chunks or slices
1 Pineapple, skinned, cut in chunks or slices
1-2 Mangoes, skinned, cut in chunks or slices
1-2 tsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper ground
1/2 tsp Cinnamon

Directions:

  • Prepare the Fruit and place on Skewers.
  • Brush with Olive Oil.
  • Sprinkle with Salt, Pepper, and Cinnamon.
  • Place on a hot grill or in the Broiler for 5 minutes per side. Set to the side, or cook while you prepare the Chicken.
  • Put all of the Ingredients of the Blackened Spice Rub in a Mortar and rub with the Pestle to mix well and open up some of the spices and herbs. Place to the side.
  • Begin heating a cast-iron skillet on high with the Olive Oil. You do not need to use all of it, just enough to coat the skillet. You do not want a puddle of oil.
  • Dredge the Chicken in the melted Butter, and then coat with the Spice Rub on all sides.
  • Place in the Skillet, and cook both sides. They will blacken because of the Butter and herbs. Each side should be about 5 minutes. Because the Chicken was butterfly cut, it will cook all the way through.
  • Plate the Chicken and cover with the Grilled Fruit (on or off the skewers, your choice).

Makes 3 Servings.

NOTES: Blackening is a technique of cooking often associated with Cajun cooking. I have read some places that attribute it however to a modern chef named Paul Prudhomme (who specializes in Cajun cooking). Whether an old technique, or a modern one, it extremely flavorful. I recommend playing with the amounts of spices–some like it hot, some don’t like it as hot–but Blackened is intended to be Spicy. If you are wanting to cheat, pick up some Hot Shot instead of the various types of Peppercorns, but do not skimp on the flavors. A lot of folks seem to want to avoid using Butter in the recipe–it is essential for true Blackened food, as the milk solids are part of the Blackening process. If you want a spicy chicken on the grill with the rub, great, but it’s not truly Blackened… just spicy ;-).  

Also, just a note, this Blackened Spice Rub can be used on Fish (it’s original intention), as well as other forms of protein.

Baja Shrimp and Jicama Salad

Baja Shrimp and Jicama Salad

Ingredients
1 lb Shrimp, shelled and de-veined
1 Jicama root, skinned, diced
2 Mangoes, diced
2 Avocados, diced
1 small Yellow Onion, diced
6 cloves Garlic
3 Jalapeño Peppers
1 tsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
Juice of 2 Limes
2 Tbsp fresh Cilantro, chopped coarsely

Directions

  • In a skillet, on medium heat, toast the whole cloves of Garlic and whole Jalapeño Peppers. As each side begins to brown, turn them. Do not let them over cook–you are just toasting them. Remove from heat and let cool.
  • Add the Shrimp to the skillet with the remaining Olive Oil. Toss in the Spices and let each side cook until the Shrimp are pink and cooked through. Toss them as you cook them to help coat them in the oil and Spices. Remove and set to the side to cool.
  • When the Garlic and Jalapeño Peppers are cool to touch, mince them (de-seed the Jalapeño to lower the heat). Set to the side.
  • When the Shrimp are cool to touch, chop them into bite-size pieces. Set to the side.
  • In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, and toss well. Adjust the spice level with more Cayenne Pepper if need be.

Makes about 6-8 cups.

NOTES: Jicama is one of my favorite root vegetables. It is sometimes referred to as a Mexican Turnip–but it tastes NOTHING like a Turnip. Jicama originated in Mexico and derives its name from the Nahuatl name xicamatl. If I were to describe the flavor, I’d say it is a cross between a Pear, a Potato, and a Carrot–think of it as a mildly-sweet watery root vegetable. This salad showcases it with sweet Mango, creamy Avocado, and spicy Shrimp.  I also used employed toasting Garlic and Peppers–a common Mexican cooking style that awakens the flavors.  You can use this salad as  a side dish, or as a salsa over grilled fish or chicken.

Jicama is also a great addition to any Crudités platters.

Caribbean Chickpeas

Caribbean Chickpeas

Ingredients
4 cups reconstituted Chickpeas
1/2 cup Black Olives, sliced
2-4 cloves Garlic
1-2 Jalapeño Peppers
4 Green Onions, diced (just the lower 2 inches), reserve the Green part
1 tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Curry Powder
2 tsp Turmeric
2 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp ground Coriander Seed
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 Tbsp Olive Oil

Directions

  • Heat a Sauce Pan on medium heat, and add the Olive Oil, Garlic, Scallion, Jalapenos, and Salt. Sweat the mixture for 1 minute, not browning anything.
  • Add the Chickpeas, and mix well. Heat thoroughly, about 2 minutes.
  • Add all remaining ingredients, and mix well. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  • While it is cooking, take the reserved Green part of the Green Onion, and dice for garnish.
  • Plate the Chickpeas, and garnish with the fresh Green Onion.

Makes 4 servings.

Orange Turmeric Cornish Hens

Orange Turmeric Cornish Hens

Ingredients:
2 Cornish Hens
2 small Oranges (Clementine or Mandarin are fine)
5 cloves Garlic, sliced length-wise in half
1 cup Greek-Style yogurt
1 tsp Turmeric
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/4 tsp Coriander Seed, ground
1/4 tsp Cardamom
1/2 tsp Cilantro, dried
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Orange Zest

Directions:

  • Slice 1 Orange in half. Leave the other Orange alone for now.
  • Divide the Garlic between the two Orange halves, and poke them into the flesh of the Orange. You should have five slivers of Garlic per Orange half.
  • Place each Garlic-studded Orange into a Cornish Hen, garlic-side down.
  • In a small bowl combine the Yogurt, Spices, Herbs, Seasonings, and Zest, and mix well.
  • In a large bowl or pan, cover the Hens with the Yogurt mixture. Make sure to get the bottom of the Hens. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Heat the oven to 400°F
  • Place the marinated hens in a shallow baking dish, and place in the oven.
  • Bake for 45 minutes, then increase heat to 500°F for an additional 15 minutes.
  • Slice the remaining Orange into rounds (1/8″ thick) and use as a bed for the Hens to set upon for serving.
  • Remove the Hens and place on the Orange bed.

Makes 2 Servings.

NOTES: You can increase the spices to give it a kick, or add some crushed red pepper. This dish was one of those happy accidents–I wanted something with some flavor, some citrus, and Cornish hens were on sale. I was so pleased with the turn out I had to share it. If I were to assign an ethnicity to the food, I’d probably say it is reminiscent of a Tandoori-style chicken in Indian cuisine. A true Tandoori would use a Marsala spice mixture (which does include cayenne pepper). Additionally, tandoori chicken is cooked in a clay oven called a Tandoor.

Cheese Straws

Cheese Straws

Ingredients:
1/2 cup Butter, room temperature
2 cups Cheddar Cheese, shredded, room temperature
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp House Seasoning
1 1/4 cups All-Purpose Flour
1-2 Tbsp Milk

Directions:

  • Preheat the Oven to 350F.
  • Combine the Butter, Cheese, Cayenne Pepper, and House Seasoning in a Food Processor, and pulse to combine. Batter should be somewhere between clumpy and grainy. You should not be able to distinguish pieces of cheese.
  • Slowly add the Flour to the mixture, pulsing each time.
  • Lastly start adding the Milk, and the dough will clump together.
  • Fill a Pipping Bag or Cookie Press fitted with a Star Mouth with the Batter. It is essential that the batter be room temperature to do this, or you will kill your arms.
  • Slowly pipe the Dough in strings on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Take a knife or pizza cutter, and score the strings every 2 inches.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until begins to lightly brown.
  • Remove to cooling racks.

Makes about 5-6 dozen (depending on the size of the Star mouth piece)

NOTES: Cheese straws are a real Southern appetizer food. The first time I had them was when I worked at Kanuga Conferences–they were a staple item for their mixers. I love the crunchy cheesy warmness with the Cayenne bite after taste.

Camarones Pimentón y Judías Verdes – Paprika Shrimp and Green Beans

Camarones Pimentón y Judías Verdes

Ingredients:
1-2 Shallots, chopped
5 cloves Garlic, minced crudely
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp ground Coriander Seed
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 lb Shrimp, cleaned (shells, veins removed)
3 cups Green Beans, cut in 1-1 1/2″ pieces
1/2 cup Sherry
Juice of 1 Lemon
2 Tbsp fresh Parsley, chopped fine
Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Heat the Olive Oil on medium heat in a large skillet until hot.
  • Add the Shallots, Garlic, Paprika, Cumin, Coriander, and Cayenne Pepper to the oil. Stirring constantly, heat for 1 minute to release the oils from the spices.
  • Add the Shrimp and Green Beans and toss in the Oil.
  • Cook for 4-6 minutes, stirring constantly. Make sure to flip the Shrimp to ensure both sides are cooked.
  • Stir in the Sherry, Lemon Juice, and Parsley, and cover for 2-4 minutes.
  • Add Salt and Pepper to Taste.

Serves 4.

NOTES: This is a flavorful dish from Spanish cuisine. You can kick it up a notch by adding more Cayenne Pepper. I prefer this as a festive side dish, however you can serve this as a main dish with a side of Yellow Rice or Quinoa.

Steak Spice Rub

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp dried minced Garlic
1 Tbsp dried mined Onion
1 Tbsp Salt (Sea Salt or Kosher)
1 Tbsp coarse ground Black Pepper
1/2 Tbsp Fennel Seeds
1 tsp Coriander Seeds
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp dried Thyme, crushed
1 tsp dried Rosemary, crushed
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/4 tsp Caraway Seeds (optional)

Directions:

  • In a mortar and pestle, combine the Salt, Pepper, Fennel, Coriander, Thyme, Rosemary, and Caraway; grind to release the oils.
  • Combine with the remaining ingredients and mix well.

NOTES: This is a great spice rub for Grilling and Broiling. I also use it over roast or steamed vegetables. You can utilize it with Butter and give a kick to baked potatoes. I’ve even sprinkled it on steamed shrimp.

The benefit of making your own Steak Rub is that you can control the Salt–and you may choose to omit the salt altogether, and still have plenty of flavor. The important part of releasing the flavor is the Mortar and Pestle which release the oils.

To store this, keep it in an air-tight container that does not allow light, and store in a cool dark place. It will keep for a while… but not years! (Old spices do get bland).

General Tso’s Chicken – 左宗棠雞

Ingredients:
3 lb Chicken Thighs, boneless, skinless, cut in bite-size chunks
1 cup & 2 Tbsp Corn Starch, divided
1-3 tsp Cayenne Pepper
2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1/4 cup Shaoxing Rice Wine 绍兴酒
1/2 cup and 1 tsp Soy Sauce, divided
1/4 cup Rice Wine Vinegar
1/2 cup Chicken Broth
3 Tbsp Honey
1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
4 cloves Garlic, slivered
1 Tbsp Ginger, minced
8-12 Dried Tiānjīn Red Chili Peppers 天津辣椒
2 Scallions, cut in pieces
4 cups Broccoli, cut in bite size pieces
2 cloves Garlic, minced
Juice of 1 Lemon

1 1/2-2 cups Brown Rice
3-4 cups Water (or more)

Directions:

  • Cook the Brown Rice according to the directions on the bag and set aside
  • In a seal-able plastic bag, combine 1 cup Corn Starch and the Cayenne Pepper, mixing well.
  • Pat the Chicken pieces dry with a paper towel, and add to the bag. Seal and shake, coating the chicken in the powder.
  • Bring a wok to high heat and add 1/2 of the Vegetable Oil.
  • Remove the chicken from the bag and saute in the oil until browned on all sides.
  • Drain the chicken on paper towels.
  • Blanch or Steam the Broccoli spears and set to the side.
  • In a glass, whisk together the Rice Wine and remaining Cornstarch.
  • Heat the wok again, and add the Rice Wine/Corn Starch mixture, 1/2 cup of Soy Sauce, Rice Wine Vinegar, the Honey, Chicken Broth, Ginger, slivered Garlic, and Crushed Red Pepper, mixing well.
  • Heat until the mixture begins to bubble.
  • Add the Scallions, Tiānjīn Red Chili Peppers, and Chicken and coat well.
  • Pour the Mixture into a serving dish.
  • In another sealed bag, combine the remaining Soy Sauce, minced Garlic, and Lemon Juice.
  • add the Broccoli Spears and mix well.
  • Garnish the Chicken with the Broccoli or serve in a separate dish.

Makes 4 servings.

NOTES: So I was inspired to make this dish because of a very awful version that I ordered in from the local take-away. This version should be more flavorful, slightly spicier, and not as unhealthy as the heavy batter, deep-fried kind.

General Tso’s Chicken is believed to have been created in New York City in the 1970s as an attempt to introduce the spicier Hunan cuisine to what was generally Cantonese cuisine in the city. There are two chefs who are attributed as possible inventors of this dish, Chef Peng Jia of Peng’s Restaurant formerly of E 44th St and Chef T. T. Wong of the Shun Lee Palace restaurants. I have also found claims of invention by a chef in Taiwan about the same time. As far as I can tell, the Peng Jia seems to be the most widely accepted, though no one seems to know for sure.

General Tso’s Chicken is named after Zuo Zongtang (左宗棠, 1812–1885), a Qing Dynasty general from Hunan Provence. I cannot find any reason or rational as to why the dish is named after him. Another source suggests that the name is really a mis-translation. Eileen Yin-Fei Lo states in her book The Chinese Kitchen that the dish originates from a simple Hunan chicken dish, and that the reference to “Zongtang” in “Zuo Zongtang chicken” was not a reference to Zuo Zongtang’s given name, but rather a reference to the homonym zōngtáng 宗堂, meaning “ancestral meeting hall”. As one who is completely ignorant to Chinese languages, I’ll have to take her word for it. Also regionally, in the US, there are various spellings of used…Gua, Tsao, Tsa, Cua, Zuo, etc… reflecting how poorly we Americans transliterate Chinese.

Shrimp Scampi

Ingredients:Shellfish Alergy Warning:
2 lbs Shrimp, shelled and deveined.
1/4 cup Olive Oil
3-4 cloves Garlic, minced
6 Tbsp unsalted Butter
1-2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tsp Cornstarch
1/2 tsp Salt
1/3 cup Vermouth or Dry White Wine
3 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1/2 cup Parsley, chopped fine

Directions:

  • Heat the Olive Oil in a large skillet and cook the Shrimp and Garlic on low heat.
  • In a bowl combine the Butter, Cayenne Pepper, and Cornstarch.
  • Add the prepared Butter, Vermouth, Lemon Juice and Salt to the pan.
  • Simmer for 2-5 minutes.

NOTES: This is an Italian-American recipe and should be differentiated from English Scampi which consists of breaded Lobster tail meat.

Serving Suggestions:

  • As an Appetizer
  • On top of Pasta or Rice
  • On a Salad

Tuna Casserole – Tuna Mornay

Ingredients:
1 pkg Egg Noodles, cooked al dente, drained
4 cans Tuna, flaked
4 cups Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 1/2 cups Sweet Peas, (best to use thawed frozen variety)
3 cups Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 Tbsp Parsley, chopped
2-3 cups Potato Chips, crushed

Directions:

  • Preheat the Oven to 350°F.
  • In a large casserole dish, combine Tuna, Peas, Egg Noodles, Parsley, Cayenne Pepper, and 2 cups of the Cheese, mixing well.
  • Pour the Cream of Mushroom Soup over the mixture.
  • Top the dish with the last cup of Cheese, and sprinkle with the Potato Chip crumbs, liberally.
  • Bake in the Oven for 30 minutes.

NOTES: If on the go, and using canned soup, use 2 cans of it, and add 2 cups Milk, as the canned soup is generally condensed.

Tuna Mornay, is the Aussie version of this same dish, where a Béchamel Sauce is utilized in the same manner as the Cream of Mushroom Soup.

This was one of my favorite meals when I was a child.

Steak Sauce

Ingredients:
1 cup Tomato Paste
3 cloves Garlic, minced
3 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1/2 large Yellow Onion, minced
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
2 Tbsp Malt Vinegar
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Prepared Mustard
3 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 cup Water
1 tsp Black pepper

Directions:

  • In a pot, combine all ingredients.
  • Bring to a boil, and stirring constantly. Let cook for at least 5 minutes at a boil.
  • Remove from pot to Blender, and puree.
  • Remove, cool or bottle in sterile jar.

See Also:
Worcestershire Sauce

Hollandaise Sauce

Ingredients:Vegetarian
4 Egg Yolks
1 cup unsalted Butter (16 Tbsp)
4 tsp Lemon Juice
1/8 tsp Salt
1/8 Cayenne Pepper

Directions:

  • In a sauce pot, melt the Butter over low heat with the Cayenne Pepper, careful not to burn.
  • Make a double boiler, over low heat. Add water to fill 1/8″, or low enough that the top pot does not touch the water.
  • In the top pot, off the heat, beat the Egg Yolks.
  • Whisk in the Lemon Juice and Salt.
  • Move the bowl to the boiler, and while whisking, carefully and slowly add the melted Butter.
  • Continue whisking until the Sauce thickens sufficiently.

NOTES:
If the heat gets too hot or too cold, there may be separation and curdling. If this happens. Save the mixture, and repeat in cleaned bowls, substituting the separated mixture for the melted Butter. If available, use clarified butter. Keep warm before serving. If Sauce begins to cool or become too thick, whisk in a few drops of warm water.

Suggested Uses:
As a Sauce for Vegetables

Eggs Benedict (and variations)

Published in: on August 30, 2009 at 8:32 am  Comments (1)  
Tags: ,

House Seasoning

Ingredients:Vegan
1 1/2 Tbsp Kosher Salt
1 1/2 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Onion Powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp rubbed Sage
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients together in a bowl.
  • Store in an air-tight container.

NOTES: I use seasoned salt for quick sauteing and grilling hamburgers. It is also useful to add to breadcrumbs or flour when dredging.

Curry Chicken Salad on Mesclun Greens

Ingredients:
1 whole roasted Chicken
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Jalapeño Pepper, minced
1 cup Yellow Onion, diced
1 cup Celery, thinly cut and diced
1 cup White Grapes, diced
1 Tbsp Curry Powder
1 Tbsp Rosemary, minced
1 Tbsp Mint, minced
1 Tbsp Cilantro, minced
1 tsp Coriander
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Ginger powder
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
8 cups Mesclun Greens
1 cup Cherry Tomatoes
4 hard boiled eggs, cut into wedges

Directions:

  • Prepare the chicken ahead of time. If you cannot roast your own, get a store-bought rotisserie chicken. Avoid using Canned Chicken – YUCK. Set aside. To prepare, remove the chicken mean from the bones, cartilage, and skin. Dice the chicken meat-if for sandwiches, I recommend baby-bite size pieces.
  • Combine with Garlic, Onions, Jalapeño Pepper, Celery, and Grapes.
  • In a Mortar, add the herbs and spices and crush with Pestle.
  • Add the Mayonnaise to the herbs and spices, and mix well.
  • Incorporate the herb mayonnaise into the chicken mixture, and stir well.
  • Serve upon Mescaline Greens, garnished with Tomatoes and Eggs.

Variations:
One could use the same amount of Roasted Turkey. Here are some additional recipes below that one could employ:

Curry Chicken Tea Sandwiches
Curry Chicken-Stuffed Endives

Mango Chicken

Ingredients:

2 skinless, boneless Chicken Breasts, butterfly cut
1 Tbsp Paprika
1 tsp chopped Parsley
1 cup Bread Crumbs
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tsp Corn Starch
1 tsp Salt
1 medium size Yellow Onion, diced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
2 Jalapeño Peppers, minced
2 Mangoes, skinned and cubed
1 cup chopped Cilantro
juice of 1 Lime

Directions:

  • In a large freezer bag, combine Paprika, Parsley, Bread Crumbs, Black Pepper, Corn Starch, and Salt. Mix the powder mix thoroughly. Add each chicken piece, seal the bag, and shake so that it coats the chicken.
  • In a large skillet, coat with Olive Oil and saute the coated chicken pieces about 5 minutes a side on medium heat. Remove and place on paper towel to absorb oil.
  • In the same skillet, combine Onions, Garlic, and Jalapeño Peppers, and Mangoes, sauteing about 5 minutes. If the mangoes are not real ripe, you can cook longer and add a tsp of Honey.
  • Squeeze the Lime Juice over the mix, and add the Cilantro. Toss the mixture, and remove from heat.
  • Plate the chicken pieces and cover with Mango mixture.