Monday, November 29, 2010

Bitter Melon and Beef Stir Fry

The following is my mom's recipe which she learned from her Chinese father. Be warned though, Bitter melon is not to everyone's liking.  It is an acquired taste. Its bitterness is what gives this vegetable character. My husband is German/Swedish and he loves this dish!

1/2 lb. strips of Sirloin beef (you can substitute pork)
1 large Bitter melon (cut in half, remove seeds and pith, and slice into 1/2 " thick slices)
1 Medium onion, sliced
2 large garlic cloves, minced

Marinate for the beef: 
1 TBSP Soy sauce such as Kikkoman
1/4 salt and a pinch of pepper (preferably white pepper)
Pinch of sugar
1 Tsp. Corn starch

Brown Sauce:
3 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
1/2 cup water
1 heaping TBSP of corn starch
Pinch of salt, pepper and sugar

Blend well and set aside.

Heat a wok or large cast iron skillet over high heat.

Add approximately two tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil to hot wok/skillet.  Stir fry the sliced bitter melon for a couple of minutes and finish up by adding a teaspoon of water to steam the vegetables.

Remove to a bowl and set aside.

Add a teaspoon more oil if needed.  Add the garlic and fry until golden brown, then add the onion slices and beef.  Stir fry the beef until nicely brown and cooked thoroughly.  Return the Bitter melon slices to the wok/skillet and add the brown sauce.  Bring to a boil and the sauce is thickened.

Serve immediately over with cooked white rice.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dill Pickles

I made Dill Pickles for the first time today. I used the technique in the video below but I used the Better Homes and Garden book recipe. Here is a recipe you can use that I found online.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Blessing Basil Leaf in Honour of the Holy Cross

Today I learned from Father Mark Kirby that the basil plant has long been associated with the Holy Cross. The Blessing of the Basil Leaf

Somehow, on this the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, I was prompted to prepare a dish using my excess Basil leaves, for lunch.

Aji Amarillo y Albahaca con Papas Sancochadas (Peruvian Yellow Hot Pepper and Basil with Boiled Potatoes

1 Bunch of fresh Sweet Basil leaves - approximately 2 cups, not packed (washed and excess water removed)
1/2 tsp Aji Amarillo Paste (Jalapeno can be substituted if there is difficulty obtaining Peruvian Aji)
Approximately 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Approximately 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon or lime juice (1/2 lemon or lime)
3 green onion stalks (minced)
Salt and pepper to taste.

You can process all the above ingredients except the green onions, which should be used as a garnish.

Serve with boiled Yukon gold potatoes

Serves 4

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fried Imitation Crab Won tons (Crab Rangoons)


1 package of fresh won ton skins (approximately 50)
1 cup shredded imitation crab
3 stalks minced green onions
1/4 cup cream cheese or any shredded cheese
3 tablespoons mayonnaise

Mix the above ingredients (except the wonton skins) thoroughly.

Place approximately 1 tsp. of the mixture in the center of the won ton skin.  Lightly wet the edges with water and fold into won tons.  The following is a video to help you.  The way I fold them is similar to the lotus flower described in the video.  Except, I do not roll it once.  Instead, once I have the triangle shape, I bring the two corners together from behind.

Heat a deep saucepan or "Fry-Baby" with clean vegetable oil until oil is smokey and you know it is very hot.

I used a copper saucepan.  Its size only permitted me to fry 2 won tons at a time.

Fry until golden brown. You may have to turn the won tons over so that they fry uniformly.

Place fried won tons on a paper-towel covered plate and continue frying until all of them are golden brown.

Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.  But may I suggest Thai sweet chili sauce.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Friday, April 30, 2010

Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon

I finally did it.  I finally attempted to make Boeuf Bourguignon.  Not only did I try to make it, I used Julie Chef's recipe!  I think I followed it pretty well, considering I am known for taking shortcuts when possible.  I did have to modify the recipe a bit because I am still using most of the ingredient that can be found in refrigerator or pantry.

I used my Julia Child cookbook I bought at the library's book sale for about a dollar.  It contains recipes from her old television show.  This cookbook contained her famous recipe for Boeuf Bourguignon.

I also found the recipe online and I will be sharing it here with you:

Knopf Doubleday's Julia Child's Boef Bourguignon Recipe

The two modifications are as follows:

I used Merlot wine.

I used baby portobello mushrooms.

The smell that was filling our home on Sunday when I made it was incredible! It took a long time to prepare and to slowly cook in the oven. But it was worth it!

We ate this dish with buttered noodles and romaine lettuce hearts and radishes

Friday, April 23, 2010

Reducing Food Waste With the Freezer

My Story: My Freezer

I just wish I had a bigger freezer.

Eating Cheaply

Picture source

This article has very good ideas on how to stretch your food budget and still eat well.

Check out #1:

Fast Food. Look for stuff that is fast and easy to make, like sweet potatoes (stab, bake, eat). They are cheap eats, massively good for you and filling. And one of my favorite fast foods? Soup! Yes, soup!

Cheap Eats

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dinner Tonight was a Rachael Ray Recipe

I did not take a picture of mine because I thought Rachael had one of her website. She only has the video.

Bucatini with Bacon, Cherry Tomatoes and Spring Onion Sauce

I modified this recipe a bit. I used turkey bacon which is 50% less fat than regular bacon.

I used half as much cherry tomatoes because I am the only one who ends up eating all those tomatoes anyway.

I was lucky enough to find spring onions at the farmer's market. The taste of the onions really made the dish, I think anyway.

I used spaghetti instead of Bucatini.

I served this dish with a fruit salad instead of tossed salad because of all the fresh ingredients in the recipe.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Latin Style Beef and Rice

I did not shop for tonight's meal. Again, I used what was handy at home.

Recipe for 4 Servings

2 cups cooked rice
1 lb. ground beef, preferably lean
2 Goya Sazon packets
Goya Adobo Seasoning (or salt and pepper) to taste
1 onion chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 cup frozen cut green beans
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

In a heavy skillet that has been pre-heated, add olive oil, garlic and onions. Add the ground beef and brown well. Season with Adobo and Sazon. Add the riced and blend until rice is orange uniformly. Add the green beans and cover. Cook over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes.

I served this dish with friend ripe plantains and a cucumber salad that was seasoned with lemon juice, salt and olive oil.

Chicken and Mushooms with Marsala Wine

Sorry no photos for this dish.

I am trying to use up ingredients I have in the pantry, refrigerator or freezer to plan dinner meals.  This dish's tastiness surprised me!

Recipe for 3-6 Servings

6 Chicken thighs
8 oz package of white mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 small onion, diced
2 tablespoons extra virgin oil
1/4 cup Marsala wine
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat a heavy skillet. Add the olive oil. Add the chicken thighs and brown on both sides over medium high heat. Be sure to sprinkle one side lightly with salt and pepper. Add the onions and cook for a few minutes. Add the slices of mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Be sure not to over salt and pepper. Cover and lower heat to medium low. Cook for approximately 20 minutes or until mushrooms have wilted down and chicken is cooked thoroughly. Add the wine and boil liquids in pan for a few minutes more.

Serve with white rice.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Friday, March 26, 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Meatless Meal: Zucchini Parmesan and Angel Hair Pasta


2 large zucchini's cute in half and then sliced into 1/4" to 1/2" slices
3 cups marinara sauce If you have extra sauce, reserve to serve on top of the Angel Hair pasta. When using this recipe, do not add mushrooms.
1/4 cup flour
Olive oil for frying
1/2 cup parmesan cheese (you can substitute mozzarella if you prefer) shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat a heavy skillet. Add 4 tbsp. olive oil. Salt and pepper zucchini slices lightly. Coat each slice with flour. Add to hot oil and fry golden brown, over medium, on both sides.

Place fried slices on paper towel to absorb excess oil.

Fry until all the zucchini slices are done.

Place approximately 1/4 cup of sauce in a baking dish. Place one layer of the zucchini slices and add 1/2 cup of the sauce. Alternate until all the zucchini slices are in baking dish. Be sure to end with the marinara sauce on top. Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top of marinara sauce.

Cover with foil paper and place in hot oven to bake for approximately 1/2 hour.

Serve with cooked Angel Hair pasta.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Meatless Meal: Linguine With White Clam Sauce

When I was in New Jersey, I made this dish for my mom. You can tell that the clams were Jersey clams (Cherrystones) because of their large size.

Picture Source

Picture Source

In Hawaii, the only fresh clams available are the tiny Manila clams.

The following is the recipe:

Photo by Esther G.


2 cans of minced or chopped clams
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup white wine
1 dozen Cherrystone clams or 24 Manila Clams (washed and ready to cook)
1/4 cup minced Italian parsley
Salt and Pepper to Taste
1 lb. Linguine, cooked and hot
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and garlic. Brown the garlic, making sure not to over-brown or burn. Add the clam broth from both cans to the skillet, along with the white wine. Simmer until it boils. Add the minced or chopped clams and the fresh clams. Cover and simmer over medium heat until the fresh clams open. Discard any clam that do not open after a few minutes in simmering sauce. Season to taste and add the parsley. Serve over cooked linguine. Serve immediately.

4 Servings.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Chinese Fried Rice


Cold cooked rice made from 2 cups long grained rice
1/2 can of SPAM, cut into small squares -or- 6 slices of bacon -or- combination: fry until brown and crispy but be careful not to burn
4 eggs, scrambled
1/2 cup minced green onions
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
Salt, white pepper and MSG (optional) to taste

Heat a wok or large skillet.  Add approximately 2 tablespoons vegetable oil.  Add the rice and fry until rice is hot.  Add the browned meat, eggs, peas and stir quickly. 

Finally, season with salt and white pepper. 
Garnish with green onions.

Egg Drop Soup


NOTE: This recipe is being revised because I forgot an ingredient and to make it quicker to make.

6 cups chicken broth made from fresh chickens
2 eggs beaten
1/2 minced cooked chicken gizzards (optional)
Salt, white pepper and MSG (optional)
Minced green onions for garnish
1 can creamed-style corn

Add the gizzards to the broth and bring the chicken broth to a gentle boil.  Add the corn.  Simmer until soup comes to a gentle boil. Drizzle the egg and stir with a fork to make the eggs threads in hot broth.  Season to taste and garnish with green onions.

Serves approximately 4 persons.

Making Jam Today

Strawberries went on sale today.  $2.50 for a pint of strawberries from the USA, isn't a bad price for Hawaii.  I was able to make a dozen jars of jam with 2 1/2 pints of fresh strawberries.  I will let you know how they turn out tomorrow.  I used Sure Jell this time.  Last time, I use another brand and the jam came out better than I expected...considering it was my first time making cooked jam.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Lenten Meal: Pesto with Macadamia Nuts

Just a little Hawaiian variation on the classic Genovese Basil Pesto Sauce.

2 Cups fresh sweet basil leaves, washed, dried and packed
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated or shredded
3 large garlic cloves
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup roasted chopped Macadamia Nuts
Salt and Pepper to taste

Process all the above in a food processor until smooth.  Serve over hot cooked pasta such as linguine or spaghetti.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Lenten Meal: Blog with Meatless Recipes

Check out The Pious Sodality of Church Ladies for tasty little recipes you can use this Lenten season.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Lenten Meal: Greek Pasta

This recipe shared by Barbara must about made my mouth water.

Bless Us O Lord: Greek Pasta Recipe

Lenten Meal: Recipes from the Diocese of Honolulu

In this week's Hawaii Catholic Herald, meatless recipes were shared by staff members. Check them out here

Lenten Meal: Kale, Orzo and Garbanzo Bean Soup

There is a traditional Italian soup made with escarole and Cannellini Beans. Check out Giada's version here.

However, this Lenten season, I am trying to plan meals around the ingredients already in the freezer, refrigerator or pantry. I had frozen kale in the freezer, cooked garbanzo beans in the refrigerator and orzo in the cupboard. Well, those ingredients reminded me of the aforementioned Italian soup.

My dear mother was given the task of making the soup with these ingredients and she came up with a wonderfully satisfying soup.

This recipe is enough for 4 servings but you can duplicate it.

1 cup chopped Kale or collard greens
3 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups water or vegetable stock
1/2 cup Orzo or less if you prefer thinner soup
1 cup cooked garbanzo beans
Salt and Pepper to taste.
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

Heat a saucepan, add olive oil and garlic. Brown garlic but be careful not to burn the garlic. Add the water or vegetable stock and greens. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium low. Cook until desired tenderness is acquired. Add the garbanzo beans and orzo. Cook until orzo is cooked. Salt and pepper to taste.

New Blog Added to the Sidebar - Kathleen's Catholic: Food for Fridays

Just what I was looking for in a blog...meal time suggestions during Lent.

Food for Fridays

I look forward to see what recipes Kathleen may be sharing.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Dining With the Saints - St. Valentine

I found an interesting post for St. Valentine's Day Dining with the Saints. You can find a recipe for Tagliatelle with Black Truffles, Vaucluse Style. That recipe sounds very delicious. However, when I checked the prices of fresh black truffles on Amazon, I decided that this will have to wait until we hit the lottery ;-)

Saturday, January 2, 2010