Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Hainanese Chicken Rice - and a variation :-)

I enjoyed my first taste of Hainanese chicken in Vancouver about ten years ago.  I don't remember the name of the restaurant but I do remember the great taste of this chicken dish.  It was really nice to enjoy it at home.

This dish is easy to prepare.  You can easily multitask - while your chicken is cooking, it helps to prepare the ingredients for your dipping sauce and rice. Both of these are usually assembled after the chicken is done because they require the chicken broth, but you can get started washing and soaking the rice, chopping the garlic and ginger. In this recipe, all of the poaching broth is reserved -- some is used in the rice, a small amount is used in the chili sauce, and the remainder is saved to be heated and served as a simple soup to accompany the chicken.  This broth is delicious...

To serve six.

Korean Bulgogi Bolognese - a marriage of Korean and Italian.

I am always on the lookout for great cooking websites.  The New York Times cooking section is one of the top ones.  What I especially love are the comments from cooks who have tried and "tweaked" the recipes.  I also tend to ignore those who have lots to say about a recipe they never tried.

The Korean Bulgogi Bolognese intrigued me.  It is a mashup of my two favourite cuisine.  This is a great dish! Oh, and I forgot to buy egg noodles so I just had to make them from scratch bringing the dish to another level- delicious!
Served with homemade spinach and red pepper egg noodles.
To serve four.

Monday, February 17, 2020

General Tso's Chicken- a take out favourite made at home

I've had my share of General Tso chicken over the years- it's a staple on all the takeout menus.  This home version is easy and fairly quick to make and oh so much better than the takeout versions.  They are coated with corn starch for lighter batter and pan fried (then air fried) instead of deep fried.  Your family and friends will love it!
General Tso's Chicken served with stir fried sweet peppers and steamed broccoli.

To serve four.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Thai Vegetarian Curry

Sometimes you just want vegetables.  This is a healthy, delicious Thai curry.  Great comfort food and easy to make.  Serve over basmati rice or noodles.

 1              13 1/2-ounce can coconut milk (do not shake can)
½  cup      vegetable stock
4  tsp         soy sauce or tamari soy sauce
4  tsp         brown sugar
6  tbsp      Thai green curry paste
½  cup      diced (1/2 inch) onion
⅔  cup      diced (1/2 inch) red bell pepper
⅔  cup      diced (1/2 inch) zucchini or other summer squash
⅔  cup      diced (1/2 inch) peeled sweet potato
⅔  cup      sliced bamboo shoots, rinsed and drained
1  cup       green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 inch lengths
⅔  cup     diced (1/2 inch) Asian eggplant
1  lime
8  large    basil leaves, cut into thin chiffonade


Open the can of coconut milk without shaking it. Spoon 6 tablespoons of the coconut cream from the top of the can into a medium saucepan. Pour remaining contents of can into a medium bowl, and mix well. In a medium bowl, combine vegetable stock, soy sauce, and palm or brown sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Place saucepan of coconut cream over medium-high heat until it begins to bubble. Add curry paste and reduce heat to medium-low. Stir constantly until very fragrant, about 3 minutes; adjust heat as needed to prevent burning. Add onion, red pepper, zucchini, sweet potato, bamboo shoots, green beans, and eggplant. Stir until vegetables are hot, 2-3 minutes. Stir in coconut milk, bring the mixture to a boil, and reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

Add the soy sauce mixture and a generous squeeze of fresh lime juice to taste; you may use the juice of an entire lime. Stir and mix well. Add up to 1/4 cup water if the curry seems too thick.

To serve, place the curry in a warm serving bowl and garnish with the basil chiffonade. If desired, serve over jasmine rice.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Beer braised bratwurst and sauerkraut

Bratwurst, a german sausage perfect for a backyard BBQ, served with a delicious topping of sauerkraut.  I simmered by sausage and sauerkraut in hard apple cider.  Oh, and my sauerkraut was homemade, after three weeks of fermentation, it still had some crunch.  In the winter, I serve my bratwurst on a bed of sauerkraut, with mashed potatoes.  A great opportunity to use homemade beer mustard.

And, in the summer, grill these beautiful sausages.

To serve four

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Hungarian Beef Goulash

This classic east European dish features melt in your mouth beef,  slowly simmered in a rich broth.  I added potatoes for more body and served it on a bed of egg noodles.  Wonderful!

To serve four...

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1.13 kg stewing beef lean, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 tsp pepper or to taste
  • 2 large onions roughly chopped
  • 2 medium  potatoes, cubed
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds ground
  • 1 tsp oregano dried
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 122.5 ml tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp parsley chopped, for garnish


Heat a large deep skillet or Dutch oven over high heat then add the olive oil.
When the oil is hot add the stewing beef. Season with salt and pepper and sear the beef until it starts to brown. The beef will release liquid so continue searing on high heat, and the liquid will evaporate.
Add the onions and garlic to the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes until the onions soften and become translucent. Turn the heat down to medium-high.
Add the paprika, caraway seeds, oregano, bay leaves and brown sugar to the skillet. Stir everything together and cook for 30 seconds. 
Add the tomato sauce, balsamic vinegar, beef broth and stir. Bring to a boil, then cover and cook on low for about 2 hours or until the beef is fork tender, stirring occasionally. The liquid will reduce down a lot as the beef cooks, so feel free to add more water as needed.
Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper if needed.
Garnish with chopped parsley and serve over noodles.

Irish Beef and Guinness Pie

Who doesn't love a home-made pot pie.  A quintessential winter comfort food.  Add a little Irish stout and you have a PIE!  The meat is marinaded in beer, then slowly simmered on the stove top for a couple of hours along with mushrooms, carrots and potatoes.  If you could only smell the aromas in my kitchen.  This recipe will make one large pie for four or four individual pies.