Monday, July 25, 2016

Oxtail Soup

Print Friendly and PDF
This one tastes exactly like the one we had in Hawaii. I used my new Fagor Multi-cooker, and it took only 45 minutes to prepare using the pressure cooker setting.  The meat was so tender and flavorful.

Ingredients:
32-oz. chicken broth
1 package oxtails
1-2" piece of ginger, finely diced
4-5 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
Mustard greens, nappa cabbage or boy choy, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/8 tsp red chili flakes
Cilantro, chopped green onions and grated ginger, as garnish

Season the oxtails with salt and pepper, then brown the oxtails in a little oil. Add the broth, bring to a boil, then simmer for 2-3 hours. Skim the fat from the broth. Add the mushrooms and greens and cook until wilted.  Season with additional salt and red chili flakes. Serve over rice. Garnish with chopped green onions, cilantro leaves and grated ginger (optional) on the side.



Mapo Tofu

Print Friendly and PDF
Denny really enjoyed this version of mapo tofu which has a Japanese twist...the addition of red miso. There are a lot of ingredients in this recipe, but each ingredient contributes nicely to the overall flavor.

Ingredients:
1 T canola oil
2 shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped 
1 T garlic, minced
1 T ginger, minced
1 T green onion/scallion, finely chopped 
1 T celery stalk, chopped
12-oz. ground turkey, ground beef or ground pork
1 cup chicken broth
1 T red miso
1 T Chinese garlic chili sauce or garlic black bean sauce
1 T sugar
1 T soy sauce
2 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 1 T water
1 block of tofu, cut in small cubes
1/2 cup peas, optional

Sauté in the oil, the garlic, ginger, shiitake, scallions and celery.  Add the ground meat and cook for a few minutes until no longer pink. Add the broth, miso, garlic chili sauce, sugar and soy sauce. Thicken the meat sauce with the cornstarch dissolved in water.  Add the tofu and peas last and mix until heated thoroughly.  Garnish with chopped green onions, if desired. Serve over hot rice.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Sharon Brooks' Miso Lemon Salmon

Print Friendly and PDF

This recipe comes from cousin Sharon pictured above with her daughter, Mollie. She "poaches" her salmon in a toaster oven. It's really simple and no mess. You can add dill, parsley or furikake to this recipe. 

Ingredients:
1 salmon filet or salmon steak
2 T miso
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper, to taste

Mix the miso and lemon juice together.  I added a little olive oil to thin it down a bit. Place the salmon on a piece of foil. Add salt and pepper to the fish. Baste the salmon with the miso sauce. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Wrap up the salmon in the foil, sealing it completely, but like a little tent. Bake for 15-20 min. So yummy!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Oven Steamed Rock Cod

Print Friendly and PDF
Here's a great recipe for Chinese-style steamed fish. It is so delicious, turns out moist and is easy to make. It is going to be my go-to recipe for steamed fish. Just wrap it in foil, and steam it in the oven. I used a rock cod, but this recipe would work for red snapper or tilapia.

Ingredients:
1 whole rock cod, approximately 2 lbs.
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup peanut oil
1 T sesame oil
3-4 T finely chopped fresh ginger
Green onions, chopped, as garnish
Cilantro, chopped, as garnish

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Rinse off the fish, and pat it dry with paper towels. Place it on a large piece of foil on a cookie sheet. Cut three diagonal slits on each side of the fish. Mix the soy sauce, peanut oil, sesame oil and ginger, and pour over the fish. Carefully wrap the fish and sauce in the foil, sealing the foil packet tightly.  Place it in the oven for 25 minutes. Top with cilantro and green onions before serving.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Crunchy Granola

Print Friendly and PDF
My family and I are addicted to this granola recipe. You can customize it to your taste using whatever nuts, seeds and dried fruit you desire. I can find all of these ingredients at a Trader Joe's store.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup coconut oil
4 T unsalted butter
3/4 cup agave syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 T kosher salt
1 T vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
5 cups rolled oats
1-1/2 cups sliced blanched almonds
1 cup unsweetened coconut strips
3/4 cups pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 shelled pistachios
1/2 cup walnut pieces
1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries

In a glass or ceramic bowl, combine coconut oil, butter, agave syrup, brown sugar and salt. Microwave for 1+ minute until the oil becomes liquid and brown sugar dissolves. Mix in the vanilla, cinnamon and ginger. In a large bowl, combine the oatmeal, nuts and seeds Add the oil/sugar mixture and stir together. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, and spread the granola on it. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes, stirring once while baking.  Let cool on baking sheet. Add the dried fruit. Store in an airtight container up to a month.




Corinne's Chocolate Cake

Print Friendly and PDF


My amazing long-time friend from 7th grade has done it again.  This is Corinne's ultimate chocolate cake, silky, moist and rich in flavor.  She is pictured above with her talented daughter and chef, Sydne, who was visiting her from Brooklyn, NY during the holidays. While I was visiting Corinne, Sydne made me the most awesome breakfast sandwich with her homemade sausage and gluten free English muffins. Joy and happiness!

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

2 cups sugar + 2 cups water
4 oz unsweetened chocolate
6 T unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs

Set oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour two 8" round cake pans. Line the pans with waxed paper. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.  In a medium saucepan, heat the sugar and 2 cups water to a boil.  Pour into a large bowl and add the chocolate and butter, let sit until melted. Add the vanilla. Beat the eggs into the chocolate mixture until combined. Add the dry ingredients all at once and blend until smooth. Pour into prepared pans. Bake 25 min. Cool in the pans for 25 min., then invert onto racks to cool completely. Frost with chocolate frosting.

Chocolate Frosting:
1-1/3 cups heavy cream
1-1/2 cups sugar
6 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1 stick plus 2 T unsalted butter
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt

In a medium saucepan, over medium-high heat, bring the cream and sugar to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer about 6 min.  Pour into a medium bowl, add the chocolate, butter, vanilla and salt. Let the mixture sit until the chocolate and butter melts.  Set the bowl in a larger bowl of ice water. Using a hand-held mixer, beat the frosting on medium speed, until thick and glossy.  This may take 5 minutes or longer as the frosting must cool thoroughly before it gets thick.


Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Soup

Print Friendly and PDF
Here's an easy soup recipe that is so flavorful.  I've seen versions of this recipe for Weight Watchers and Paleo diet with and without rice added.  It has most of the ingredients found in traditional stuffed cabbage rolls with a shorter prep time.  I will definitely make this one again.

Ingredients:
1 to 2 lbs. lean ground turkey or beef
1 T extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small cabbage, chopped
2 cans (14.5 oz each) diced tomatoes
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt

Saute the ground meat and onion in olive oil until meat is browned and onion is tender.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.  Add the cabbage, tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, pepper and salt. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until cabbage is tender.


Thursday, March 24, 2016

California Donburi

Print Friendly and PDF
While we were vacationing in Ko'Olina, Oahu, we tasted this dish at a local restaurant. It was so good that we decided to re-create it.  Just take the ingredients found in a California sushi roll, and layer it on a platter of sushi rice -- colorful and easy to make.

Ingredients:
Sushi rice:
3 cups of Calrose medium grain rice
1/3 cup rice vinegar or white vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Toppings:
3/4 cup -1 cup imitation crab (flake style) or fresh crab
1/4 lb. baby shrimp, optional
2-3 T mayonnaise, to taste

1-2 Persian cucumbers, diced (leave skins on)
2 avocadoes, diced
Furikake, any kind
Seasoned seaweed, cut in tiny strips

Make the rice according to package directions.  Microwave the vinegar, sugar and salt for 1 minute until the sugar is dissolved.  When the rice has cooled to warm, add the vinegar mixture to the rice. Place the rice mixture on a large platter.  If using imitation crab, break up the individual pieces so they are flakey. Mix the crab, shrimp and mayonnaise together. Layer the crab, cucumbers and avocadoes. Top with furikake and seasoned seaweed.




Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Stephen and Megan's Chocolate Pavlova

Print Friendly and PDF


What a treat!  On Christmas eve, Stephen and Megan baked this delicious double chocolate pavlova. It has become my favorite dessert, a light, airy chocolate meringue covered with mascarpone whipped cream. To die for!

Ingredients:
6 egg whites (use jumbo or extra-large size eggs)
pinch of salt
1-3/4 cup superfine sugar
3 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. red wine vinegar
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1 cup (8oz) mascarpone cheese, chilled
1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

1-1/2 cup fresh raspberries
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, grated

Pre-heat your oven to 300 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Draw a 9" circle on the parchment paper.  Turn the parchment paper over so the drawn part is underneath.  Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and salt until foamy soft peaks form, about one minute.  Increase the speed to medium-high and slowly add the sugar, beating for another 8-9 minutes until stiff peaks form.  The whites will look glossy.  Next, using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the cocoa powder, vinegar and chopped chocolate.  Mound the mixture onto the parchment paper inside the circle and spread to fill the circle.  Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until it looks puffy and crispy all over.  After baking, leave the meringue in the oven to cool with the oven turned off and door propped open for 30 minutes. Separate the meringue from the parchment paper and place on a large platter.  

Beat the whipping cream, mascarpone cheese and vanilla until combined. Add the powdered sugar and beat until soft peaks form.  Spread the whipped cream on top of the meringue. Top with fresh raspberries and grated chocolate.


New Year's Day 2016 at the Obatake's

Print Friendly and PDF
We were so fortunate to attend another delicious New Year's Day feast at Hide and Reiko Obatake's house.  Our holiday trip to Seattle would not be complete without it.  It was truly a feast for the eyes and palate.  Hide is a talented, gifted and extraordinary chef.  Every dish was perfectly crafted, looked beautiful and tasted delicious.





















Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Eggplant and Tomato Stacks

Print Friendly and PDF

Here's a way to serve eggplant as a salad, stacked with pesto, fresh tomatoes and mozzarella.  You bake the eggplant first, then stack it with the other ingredients.  It is so colorful and makes an attractive first course.

Ingredients:
1-2 eggplants, medium size, sliced 
1-2 large tomatoes, sliced
Pesto
Mozzarella cheese (the soft kind), cut in rounds
Fresh basil, chopped fine
Extra virgin olive oil
Balsamic syrup

Cut the eggplant into 1/2" round slices.  Baste with olive oil, kosher salt and pepper.  Spray a baking sheet with PAM, and roast the eggplant in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes, turning once at 10 min. Set aside to cool.  On an serving plate, drizzle some balsamic syrup first, then layer the eggplant, pesto, tomato slice, mozzarella and eggplant. Sprinkle basil on top. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Jan's Pimento Cheese Sandwich

Print Friendly and PDF


For a taste of the south, try this pimento cheese sandwich recipe which comes from my Jazzercise buddy, Jan Roberts.  It was her mother's most requested dish at church potlucks.  You can mix the ingredients in a food processor or mix it with a spoon.  The sandwich tastes good at room temperature, refrigerated or grilled as a toasted cheese sandwich.  It is the perfect little sandwich for afternoon tea.

Ingredients:
1 cup of cheddar, shredded
3 T of mayonnaise (Hellman's/Best Foods)
2 oz (small jar) of diced pimentos

Mix the ingredients together. Spread on your favorite bread. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Sharon's Spicy Cucumber

Print Friendly and PDF



Cousin Sharon took me to Din Tai Fung restaurant at South Coast Plaza Mall on my recent trip to Southern California. As we were eating the spicy cucumber salad, Sharon shared her recipe for them. Of course, I had to make them when I returned home. They are so flavorful with just the right amount of heat in them. Thanks, Sharon for sharing!

Ingredients:
4-5 Persian cucumbers
Kosher salt
1 T sugar
1 T Japanese vinegar
1 T chili oil
Sesame oil

Cut the Persian cucumbers in 3/4' to 1" chunks (as pictured above). Sprinkle a generous amount of kosher salt on the cucumbers, and set aside for 20 minutes. Rinse the cucumbers in cold water, drain and pat dry with paper towels.  In a small glass bowl, mix the vinegar and sugar and microwave for 20 seconds until the sugar is dissolved.  When it has cooled down, pour it over the cucumbers. Refrigerate for 2 hours. When ready to serve, place the cucumbers in a serving dish. Heat the chili oil in the microwave for 15-20 seconds until hot, and pour over the cucumbers. Drizzle sesame oil on top.

If you cannot find the chili oil at the grocery store, you can substitute it with 1 tablespoon of peanut oil mixed with 2 tsp Sriracha hot sauce (the one with the rooster label).

Friday, August 7, 2015

Robin's Heavenly Halibut

Print Friendly and PDF
So delicious!  This recipe can be found all over internet and was referred to me by Alaskan friend, Robin Forsi. It has a rich, cheesy topping that complements the fish perfectly.  You will want to scoop up the baked sauce remaining in the pan with a piece of crusty bread.

Ingredients:
2 lbs skinless halibut fillets
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 T mayonnaise
2 T lemon juice
3 T chopped green onions
1/4 tsp salt
1 dash Tabasco sauce

Lightly grease a baking dish. Mix the parmesan, butter, mayonnaise, lemon juice, green onions, salt and Tabasco together.  Put a thick layer of the sauce on the fish fillets.  Bake at 425 degrees for 12-14 min. depending on thickness of the fish.
Pictured here are the Forsi's, Powell's and Denny in Alaska.

Jennifer's Asian Grilled Salmon or Halibut

Print Friendly and PDF

I got this fish marinade recipe from my buddy, Jennifer Powell, while she was in Alaska.  It's an Ina Garten recipe that she has modified with the addition of grated ginger.  I chose a different method of cooking it, by baking it in the oven, adding reserved marinade for extra flavor. We will definitely make this one again!

Ingredients:
Fresh salmon or halibut fillets
2 T Dijon mustard
3 T soy sauce
6 T extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
1/2 - 1" piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated

Mix the marinade ingredients together.  Reserve 1/4 of the marinade for later use.  Marinate the fish for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator in a large Ziploc bag.  Place the salmon on a lightly greased baking pan.  Baste the rest of the marinade onto the fish.  Bake at 425 degrees for 12-15 min. depending on thickness of the fish.  

Friday, July 24, 2015

Lidwin's Eggplant Salad

Print Friendly and PDF


This salad recipe comes from my Jazzercise friend, Lidwin Serpanchy. It is truly refreshing and delicious.  You fry the eggplant cubes first, drain it on paper towels to remove the excess oil, then mix it with the other ingredients, lemon juice and salt and pepper. In the one pictured above, I used crisp Persian cucumbers and heirloom tomatoes which were in season.  Lidwin arranges her tomatoes which have been sliced, rather than chopped, around the perimeter of the bowl with the rest of the dressed ingredients in the middle, so that the tomatoes don't get soggy from the salt.

Ingredients:
1 medium eggplant, cut in cubes
Canola oil
1 cucumber, cut in cubes
1-2 tomatoes, cut in cubes or slices
Red onion, cut in rings
Cilantro
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
1/2-1 lemon, juiced

Saute the eggplant in canola oil for several minutes until the eggplant is cooked.  Since the eggplant absorbs a lot of the oil, drain the eggplant on paper towels to remove some of the oil.  Set eggplant aside to cool to room temperature.  In a large bowl, mix the eggplant, cucumber, tomatoes, red onions and cilantro.  Squeeze lemon juice over all. Season with salt and pepper to your taste. Serve immediately.