Chinese Chow Mein

This is great served as a side dish for Kung Pao chicken or on it’s own as a full meal by adding stir fried chicken, pork, beef or shrimp.

Chow Mein

8 oz steamed chow mein noodles

1 tbsp finely minced ginger

3 garlic cloves, finely minced

1/2 cup finely shredded cabbage

1/2 cup finely sliced celery

1/2 cup snow peas

Steam chow mein noodles until tender, or soak in cool water until tender.  Be careful not to leave them in water too long or they will get soggy.  :o(

SAUCE

1 tsp corn starch

2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce

2 tbsp oyster sauce

1 tsp sugar

2 tbsp water

 

cooking oil

scallions

toasted sesame seeds

In a small mixing bowl mix sauce ingredients and set aside.

Heat wok, add cooking oil and lightly saute cabbage and celery – add ginger and garlic.

Remove from wok to a bowl – add sauce to bowl and bring to a boil, allowing it to thicken and become glossy.  Add noodles and stir fry quickly just allowing them to soften and absorb the flavor of the sauce.  Return sauted vegetables to wok and quickly stir through.

Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.

If you want to make a meal in one – stir fry any type of protein you choose in the wok and add it to the chow mein – so versatile with any number of vegetables.  Go ahead and experiment – let me know what you try and how you like it!

Four Star Focaccia

I would give it 5 stars, but I am well known for being humble ….

hot focaccia with fresh rosemary, carmelized red onions, garlic slices - topped with maldon sea salt and freshly cracked pepper

hot focaccia with fresh rosemary, carmelized red onions, garlic slices – topped with maldon sea salt and freshly cracked pepper

2 tsp rapid rising dry yeast

1 cup warm water

2 tbsp sugar

3 1/2 cups flour

1 tbsp coarse salt

1/4 cup olive oil

This recipe is designed for a standing mixer – but you can easily adapt it to do by hand.

Warm the bowl of your standing mixer by letting it sit filled with warm water for a few minutes.  Drain, put in the 1 cup warm water, add 2 tbsp sugar, stir well and add in the yeast.  Give a light stir and let sit for at least 3 minutes, until you see the yeast starting to foam.  Turn on the stand mixer – low setting, and dissolve the salt in a cup with 2 tbsp hot water – when dissolved add to yeast mixture with the olive oil.  Gradually – in a steady but slow stream – add the flour.  Start with 3 1/2 cups of flour, and add a wee bit more if it is too sticky.  Once the dough is holding together, turn the mixer up to medium and allow it to knead for 10 minutes.

Turn onto a lightly floured surface and hand knead it a few times, until you have a smooth, soft, pliable dough.  Grease a bowl lightly, turn the dough to coat and allow to rise in a warm place – covered with a damp tea towel or saran.  When it has doubled in size (aprox 45 minutes) turn onto a clean surface and stretch it lightly to be about 1/2 in thick and an oblong shape.  Allow to rest for a few minutes, and then put that on to an oiled baking sheet (I like clay).  Cover with saran and allow to rest for 15 minutes.

Give the dough a gentle massage with good quality olive oil, and with your fingertips gently press indentations in the surface, then cover with seasonings to complement the rest of your meal:

fresh rosemary

sliced garlicP1100268

carmelized red onions

fresh herbs

parmesan cheese

Then sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and large flake salt.

 

For this batch I doubled the recipe, and stretched it to be about 3/4-1 inch high before allowing it to rest. 

Bake at 400 for around 15-20 minutes.

This makes the best focaccia I have ever had – the dough is a fantastic texture, and gets so nice and crispy on the outside with the olive oil coating.  Use your imagination with toppings, and it will soon be a hit in your house too.  So easy to make!

Red Curry Corn on the Cob

When the corn from the garden is fresh in season I usually love it best with just butter and salt.  Today the corn got picked for the first time when I was making dinner inspired by Thailand.  This red curry butter was incredible on freshly picked, steamed cobs of tender sweet corn – next time I will try it on grilled corn!

Freshly steamed corn ready for the red curry butter.

There are lots of fool proof methods of boiling corn on the cob.  Use your family’s method, or mine…. which is pretty forgiving.

Bring a pot of water to boil, with enough space for the cobs to bubble around a bit in the boiling water.  There are lots of people that prefer to add sugar to the boiling water, but I like a bit of salt.  Allow corn to boil gently for 10-12 minutes depending on the size of the cobs.  Remove from heat and allow them to remain in the hot water until serving time so they don’t dry out.

Dare I tell you how easy the red curry butter is?

Soften 1/2 cup butter, add 2 -3 tsp red curry paste – depending on your family’s love of heat.  Taste and add a bit of salt and pepper if necessary.  Allow butter to harden up enough for the curry and butter to be well incorporated when you mix them.

Serve with your fresh corn – so yummy……..as an added bonus any leftover curry butter is amazing tossed with popcorn.

Asparagus with lime, feta and almonds

There is nothing like asparagus season!  During that brief time we eat it most days … for our Fathers Day Mexican Fiesta I wanted to give it a Mexican twist – complimented our main of Pork in Salsa Verde –  just the way we wanted it to.

Asparagus – break off woody parts at the end

lime

feta cheese

extra virgin olive oil

kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

juice of 1/2 a lime

Asparagus is best if you dress it after it has been grilled or roasted.  If you are able to grill it – so much the better.  Just grill on the surface of your grill until just fork tender.  This does, of course, require a grill master – someone who actually stays with the grill and looks after it!  If you don’t have either that luxury or the weather – preheat an oven to 375 and then roast it for about 20 minutes – just until fork tender – do not overcook.

When you take it off the heat, arrange on serving dish, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, then sprinkle toasted almonds and feta cheese over top – finish with a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

Delicious!

Roasted Cauliflower

Tonight I wanted cauliflower that would allow me to relax with family  and would taste great with my Mexican Fiesta themed Father’s Day dinner – this was perfect!

Preheat oven to 375

I head of cauliflower, broken into florets

3 tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil            

1 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

1 heaping tbsp grainy mustard

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

juice of 1 lemon

Garnish with cilantro and scallions (green onions)

In a ziplock bag, combine all ingredients and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes.

Turn vegetables onto baking sheet – I love my clay baking sheet – no matter what I roast on it we get the perfect color and roasting carmelization.

Roast for about 30 minutes – this will depend on the size of your florets, so at 20 minutes, poke them with a fork or sharp knife … nobody likes overcooked cauliflower!

When they are just fork tender, turn into serving dish and sprinkle with roughly chopped cilantro and green onions.

Mexican Fiesta

Wow.  Sometimes I even surprise myself.  

Check out this Mexican Fiesta for Fathers Day …

Pork in Salsa Verde

Spanish Rice

Mexican Black Beans

Nationalist Guacamole

Roasted Cauliflower

Roasted Asparagus with lime, feta and almonds

It was amazing!  Try out the recipes and let me know what you think …