Archive for the ‘Evening’ Category
Two weeks ago, I was asked if I would cook for Ascencia again, and I said yes, what day? The date was the same as my birthday, February 16, 2013, and also the same day as the Golden Dragon Parade in downtown Los Angeles. What a perfect thing! Birthday, Parade and Cooking – all in one day!
Since I was going to the parade, I thought it would be a good idea to celebrate the Chinese New Year by making Asian food for the folks at Ascencia. I knew there were two large pork roasts and a mess of chicken wings already in the freezer, and lots of rice. No problem, all I needed was the stuff to make fried rice, and an Asian coleslaw to go with it.
The secret to good fried rice is that the rice has to be a day old. Why? Because freshly cooked rice is already full of moisture and will not absorb the flavored oil in which it is fried. What can you do if you don’t have day old rice, and you’re just going to die if you don’t have fried rice? Well, you can get a package of precooked rice that you would heat up the microwave, and use that instead. It’s not quite the same, but will do in a pinch.
Recipes in this Post
Sometimes, you need a little Christmas, right this very minute. That’s why we love ham steaks, because you satisfy your craving for a good piece of ham, without having to cook a whole ham. If you’re lucky, you even get to have the bone with the luscious marrow.
When I make a whole ham, I usually make a glaze of Russian mustard and Sour Cherry preserves. It’s sweet and a little hot, and definitely wakes up the ham. One of the traditional gravies for ham steak is Red Eye gravy, which has, you guessed it, coffee in it. I wanted to incorporate both.
Since The Good Plate is all about deconstructing packaged foods, and one everyone likes a lot is Rice-a-Roni. Rice-a-Roni is rice pilaf, but with way too much salt and other preservatives. There’s no need to use the box, just get the ingredients together and make it from scratch – you know what’s going in it, and you can add whatever you want.
Over the weekend, I made a salad with a new dressing. It was fresh dill and lime, and Amber absolutely loved it. She asked for it again tonight, so I’m including the recipe for it here.
Remember, if you’re having a ham steak, and you don’t want your bone, just give it to me!
Chicken Cordon Bleu is one of my favorite dishes. Usually, it is flattened chicken breast rolled around ham with cheese, breaded, and fried. An American dish, it has its roots in the Schnitzel from Switzerland and Chicken Kiev from Russia. Cordon Bleu means Blue Ribbon, not to be confused with the famous cooking school of the same name.
Beer Can Chicken has wonderful flavor, but does not lend itself to small pieces of chicken.
I try to not deep fry things too often, and I don’t like breading that much. I had chicken tenders, black forest ham, Swiss cheese, and a can of beer. I thought I could combine them and make Gussied Up Beer Can Chicken. Perfect!
My small 4 quart Nesco Roaster oven was the best appliance to use for this, just simply fill the well with some of the beer, and let it cook. Beer Can Chicken all gussied up.
This is a really simple dish to make. If you don’t have a Nesco, then you can use a baking dish, a cake rack, some foil and your oven. It might not turn out quite the same, but it will still be good.
This recipe calls for Lavender mustard – if you can get it, wonderful, if not, use Dijon.
- Bacon Wrapped Dates
- Avocado Fries
- Chipotle Lime Sauce
- Beer Battered Fish and Onion Rings
- Red Pepper Sauce
I don’t eat a lot of fried food, but sometimes, you have to fry. I wanted to make Avocado Fries, and considering that there was already going to be a pan of hot oil, why not throw some other things in as well?
My friend, Amber Lewis, chief cook and bottle washer, and event planner extraordinaire at Cool Dreams, makes these wonderful Bacon Wrapped Dates and Artichoke Stuffed Wontons. She suggested we make fried onions to go with our other appetizers, and I said we should make beer battered fish to go with it.
|One Corn Tortilla||One Flour Tortilla|
Recipes in this Post
I love to find uncommon cuts of meat on sale. I found a flank steak that I was planning on stuffing, and put it in the refrigerator, hoping that it would get cool enough to warrant heating the kitchen to cook it.
Alas, that did not happen, and to prevent that meat from getting freezer burn, I decided to make tacos out of it.
I won’t use taco seasoning packets, they are full of fillers, salt and preservatives. Why pay for that stuff when you can make it at home – without all the nasty fillers and preservatives.
The great debate about tortillas. When Hernán Cortés invaded the Aztecs, they were using corn tortillas. Wheat tortillas are a relatively recent import. Their popularity was driven by the low cost of inferior grades of wheat flour and by their ability to keep and ship well. Wheat tortillas don’t have much flavor, and are probably popular because their appeal to bland American taste buds. But, those taste buds need to change, as corn is a lot healthier than wheat, as you can see in the comparison table.
When I was a little girl living in Germany, my mother used to get frozen crab cakes. I loved them. A few years ago, I found a package of Zatarain’s crab cake mix, and I made it with imitation crab. Yup, you heard me right – imitation crab.
Here’s my thoughts on imitation crab. What is imitation crab? Imitation crab is made from surimi, a concoction of fish, usually pollock, a binder and flavoring. I never think of imitation crab as crab, I think of it as Krab.
I went to the market yesterday, and stood there thinking about what to make for Friday Food. Krab was on sale, and there was a nice package of small bay shrimp on sale as well. Since I was going to be making this for Amber’s family as well as mine, I got both, and thought I would mix them together.