Sunday, October 6, 2013

Fried Nori Wrapped Ahi



Fried Nori Wrapped Ahi with Wasabi Aioli and Sriracha sauce.
1 Fresh Block of Ahi
1 sheet of Nori (dried seaweed)
1/2 cup egg wash
1/4 cup of flour
1/4 cup panko
Oil for frying
Wasabi
Mayonnaise
Sriracha sauce

1) wrap in nori (seal the end with water if needed).
2) dip in egg wash.
3) drench in flour.
4) dip in egg wash again. 

5) cover with panko. 
6) quick pan fry in oil in medium high heat, about 30 sec to a minute per side but ensure the crust is golden brown (need some practicing) , transfer to paper towel to absorb oil. 
7) cut them into thin slices, plate.
8) mix wasabi with mayo to your liking, drizzle on side of plate. 

9) drizzle sriracha sauce on top. 
10) serve immediately!

Softshell Crab & Italian Sausage Pasta




This pasta is more than just softshell crabs and Italian sausage. It has mushrooms, olives, spinach, bacon, all tossed in garlic oil.
 
2 servings of pasta (pictured is whole wheat spaghetti)
4-5 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 softshell crabs
1 Italian sausage
4 button mushrooms (sliced)
1 bacon (chopped)
1 cup of fresh spinach
1/8 cup olives (sliced)
 
1)  Cook pasta in a pot of water until cooked thru (or slightly under)
2)  While pasta is cooking, place olive oil and garlic in a large pan, set on medium heat to lightly cook the garlic (do not let garlic brown)
3)  Reduce heat to low, place cleaned softshell crabs in the large pan with garlic and olive oil, cover, and let simmer for about 10 minutes or until crab turns orange (turning once)
4)  While softshell crab is cooking, in a small pan, cook Italian sausage and bacon, slice up the Italian sausage and set sausage and bacon (with it's dripping) aside
5)  Remove softshell crabs and cut them into pieces, place them back into the large pan
6)  Add in pasta, Italian sausage, bacon (and its dripping), spinach, olives, and mushrooms
7)  Turn heat to medium high and toss often
8)  Add in salt & pepper to taste
9)  Plate and serve
 
The "poaching' of softshell crab allows the crab juice to go into the garlic oil. The softshell crab and bacon gave a bit of crunchiness which worked exceptionally well in this dish!
 
Mr. P really likes the dish....minus the softshell crabs (he end up finishing the entire plate anyway), but I LOVE this dish because of the softshell crabs!
 
This dish is pretty versatile, you can add more meat/veggies, or remove any of them if you wish. It's like making fried rice!! LOL!!



 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Okinawan Sweet Potato Stuffed French Toast

Photo Courtesy of KHON2

I have recently gotten the honor to cook like a MasterChef! It was part of KHON2's community contests. The contest is open to home cooks with no professional cooking backgrounds, winner will be flown (for free) to the audition of the Master Chef season 5, bypass public auditions and go straight to the producers of the show. The criteria is you have to submit a 100-word or less essay, explain why you wanna be on MasterChef, and what entree and dessert you will make if you are selected to do a live one-hour cook off. Lil P saw the commercial and told me I should do it so...I did! I thought long and hard of what I want to make, I have a crazy idea that I should not cook something that I have done before, wanted to make something with a local twist, something that stands out but yet tasty and true to what I love. So...I went with:

Wasabi Peas Furikake Crusted Ahi and Okinawan Sweet Potato Stuffed French Toast

I got the nerve wrecking call 2 days before the cook off and I was in on the run!! They said they went thru 3 rounds to select just 2 competitors to do the cooking throwdown, and I am soooo honored to be one of them!

Today I am going to share with you my recipe for my dessert: Okinawan Sweet Potato Stuffed French Toast (I have a link to the Ahi dish at the end of this post):

Ingredients:
1 medium size okinawan sweet potato
4 tbs evaporated milk
1 heaping tbs of condense milk
1 loaf of french bread
Eggs
Milk
Coconut Chips
Honey
Oil for light frying

1) Boil sweet potato in water until fork tender (about 20 mins)
2) Set oven to 300 degrees, toast coconut chips for a few minutes, toss, then in for a few more until nicely toasted (watch carefully so they don't burn), set aside
3) While sweet potato is cooking, heat oil in a pan.
4) Slice french bread
5) In a separate bowl, mix together beaten eggs and milk (depends on how much french toast you make)
6) Dip sliced french bread into egg/milk mixture
7) Fry bread on each side until golden brown, drain, then keep warm in oven at 170 degrees.
8) When sweet potato is soft, run sweet potato with water and quickly remove the skin under running water
9) cut it up into pieces, drop it into a food processor
10) add in evaporated milk and condense milk
11) pulse sweet potato filling until well-blended (you may add more evaporated milk if you want the filling to be less thick)
12) Let filling cool, then place filling a ziplog bag
13) place a french toast on a plate, snip the corner of the ziplog bag then pipe in sweet potato filling, sprinkle with toasted coconut flakes
14) repeat for a 2nd layer
15) drizzle honey all over the stuffed french toast

VOILA!

I would LOVE to add haupia to this but there's no way I could make it in an hour so I nixed the idea. But after speaking with the chefs, they said I could have added a haupia sauce over the french toast to make it into breadpudding-like dessert. Wow, that is why they are chefs because they've got great ideas!! They did give me a bonus for creativity!

All in all, I had a great time on the competition. Win or lose, the experience in itself was just uncomparable! I would like to give a shout out to Lil P for encouraging me to take on the challenge, Mr. P for all his support and providing me the kitchen of my dreams so I can cook the way I want, all my friends who provided me feedbacks, suggestions, and words of encouragement. I would also like to thank all the sponsors that made this contest possible: KHON2, Ferguson Honolulu, Hawaii Gas, and Anthology Marketing Group. Best of luck to Amanda Price as she represent Hawaii on the real MasterChef Competition!

Please refer to my Facebook page for my Wasabi Furikake Crusted Ahi recipe!


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Chinese Roast Pork



All my life I thought roast pork is something that you have to get at a chinese restaurant or a chinese roasting market. Who would have thought this actually can be done at home?!

1 large even layer pork skin with fat and meat (my trial was without meat - used the meat for kalua pork)
garlic salt
five-spice powder

1) Par-boil the pork in boiling water, about 10 minutes
2) Remove and rinse pork, discard the hot water
3) Wipe pork dry with paper towels
4) Prick the pork skin with something sharp. (If you have a meat pricker, use it. I didn't so I used a toothpick, it broke in half, then I used both sharp ends but it got dull, so I end up using a sharp knife and stab it all over the skin)
5) Use a knife and score the skin lightly (score = make diagonal cuts across the skin)
6) Rub the pork skin with garlic salt and five-spice powder, generously if desired
7) Refrigerate the pork with skin side up uncovered overnight (this will help dry the meat further)
8) Remove pork and place it on top of a rack on an oven safe tray, skin side up.
9) Bake pork at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes.
10) Turn bake to broil until the skin bubbles and turns to golden color, maybe another 25-40 minutes. (I recommend you watch it...if it's your first time, just for fun. It was pretty fun seeing the skin bubbles!)

 how do you like my disposable rack?


11) Remove from oven, let cool enough to the touch, chop them up into pieces.



Yes, chop....as in butcher knife chop if you have one. I didn't have one and end up using my palm to pound that thing down, it was pretty sore.

All in all, I really enjoy making this. I don't think I had this much fun watching the oven!

Taste testers gave me the thumbs up! Now it's your turn!!

Have you find me on facebook yet?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Spinach Ambrosia Salad



I was craving for this last night. Although this recipe doesn't call for dijon mustard, generally the dressing would include that which I didn't have at the time.

2 slices of bacon
3 cups of spinach
3 mushrooms, sliced
1/4 of an onion, thinly sliced
feta cheese (to your liking)
5 tbs red wine vinegar, more if desire
pinch of sugar, salt, and black pepper

1) Cook bacon on skillet, remove bacon and cut into pieces, set aside. Reserve bacon oil.
2) On low heat add to bacon oil red wine vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper until well blended.
3) Pour warm bacon dressing over a bed of spinach, sliced onions, sliced mushrooms, and chopped bacon topped with feta cheese.
Optional: Can substitute onions with pickled onions for an even more tangy taste.

I made myself a small bowl last night. Yummers! Saving the rest for today's lunch. Putting this on What's for Lunch Wednesday - I haven't done this in a long long time...

Friday, March 8, 2013

Cupcakes Galore!

 






















Lil P's birthday came and went. No dinosaur party, no nerf gun party, no star wars party this year. Just good ol' family get together. No birthday parties doesn't mean no cake! So I made an assortment of cupcakes for the festivity: Vanilla, Peanut Butter, Oreos, and Nutella.

Cupcakes
1) Prepare the cake batter by following my moist cupcake recipe here, except replace chocolate cake mix and chocolate pudding mix with yellow cake mix and vanilla pudding mix. For vanilla cupcakes, follow the rest of the recipe's direction completely. For oreos, peanut butter, and Nutella, do the following:

2) Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
3) Pour 1/3 to 1/2 of the batter into each cupcake liner.

For Oreos cupcakes
4a) Place an oreo on top of the batter, push the cookie down to the bottom so the batter rises up

For Peanut Butter or Nutella cupcakes
4b.1) Use a cookie scoop to scoop out peanut butter or Nutella, place each scoop on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper, then place them in the freezer for 5-10 minutes.
4b.2) Take one semi-frozen scoop of peanut butter or Nutella and place on top of the batter, push it down to the bottom so the batter rises up.

5) Pour additional 1/4 batter on top, use a knife to move the batter to cover the oreo cookie, peanut butter, or nutella completely.
6) Bake for 35 minutes.

Frosting

1 cup powdered sugar
1 stick of butter (soften)
1/4 stick of shortening

My super lazy, yet effective version
1) Place all of them in a sandwich ziplog bag, get all the air out then zip it.
2) kneed them so they're completely combined.

For vanilla, oreo, and peanut butter frosting
3a) Cut a slip at the corner of the ziplog bag, pipe the frosting directly on the cupcake

For Nutella frosting (or you can do that with the peanut butter too if prefer)
3b) Open the bag of frosting, add in a couple tablespoons of room temperature nutella (or peanut butter), kneed to combine, add nutella (or peanut butter) to taste. No need to add toppings since it is already Nutella frosting. =)

Toppings
For the vanilla cupcakes: just cut a vanilla straw in half, then affix on top of frosting.
For the Oreos cupcakes: coarsely cut oreo cookies into small pieces, then pile them on top of the frosting.
For the Peanut Butter cupcakes: coarsely cut reese's peanut butter cups into small pieces, then pile them on top of the frosting.

Here is a picture of how the Nutella cupcake looks like someone says this taste like there is a truffle inside the cupcake.














The peanut butter and the oreos cupcakes were devoured before I get a chance to cut it in half to show to take a pic!

Just so you know, I made 6 of each (24 cupcakes total with one patch of cupcake/pudding mix, and with that measurement of frosting. (I had to mark the pans so I know which 6 is what so I don't put the wrong frosting on the wrong cupcake!) If you like more frosting I would recommend you double it up. It got a bit messy for me when I had to transfer the vanilla frosting to another uncut ziplog to add in the nutella before piping...but overall, I am super duper happy with the results.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Cinnamon Pull Apart Muffuns

Todayis the end of 2012! This year have flew by soooo fast!

I have been extremely busy juggling many different things. I have been cooking my usual, so I haven't had anything new to post. Last night we got kids sleeping over so I knew I had to make them breakfast quick! I looked on Pinterest as well as searching thru the internet for a french toast recipe using pillsbury biscuit dough that I currently have on hand...but no luck. I thought about attempting it on my own but I don't want to spend too much time on it in the morning. So I decided to just pull a couple of recipes together to make this. So it's kinda like a monkey bread, but it's kinda like a cinnamon pull apart bundt bread. Well, I'm calling this cinnamon pull apart muffin. lol. It's super easy!




















1 can Pillsbury Grand Buttermilk Biscuit Dough
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon
2-3 tbsp butter (melted)
2-3 tbsp brown sugar

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2) In a large ziplog bag, pour in sugar and cinnamon, toss until combined.
3) Open the can of biscuit dough, cut each piece (comes in 10) into quarters, you should have 40 small pieces.
4) Toss the small pieces into the ziplog bag, seal, then toss the pieces with the cinnamon sugar until evenly coated.
5) Place them in a greased muffin pan. I did 3 in each muffin hole, you can do 4, or 2 would work too. I end up having 2 in one of the holes, and the other hole is empty, i filled the empty hole with water 1/2 way full (this is supposed to help distribute the baking...so I have read a long time ago).
6)  Combine melted butter with brown sugar in a small bowl, then using a coffee spoon, drizzle brown sugar/butter mixture on top of each muffin.
7) Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
8) Remove and serve!

Hope you guys had a great 2012! Happy New Year and may your 2013 be exciting and fresh! I am hoping to have more posts on here!