Tuesday, April 17, 2007

crispy fried sampler

More goodies from the freezer.

assorted tempura
This is leftover from Dr. M's birthday party in January. His mom sent us home with some leftovers. It's a mix of fried shrimp, mixed vegetables, and steak. Crisped up in the toaster oven, with our dipping sauces, it made for a quick, if not necessarily light, working dinner.
[tempura, rice, dipping sauces]


I guess this isn't particularly traditional (my apologies!), but it sure was tasty.

mole quesadillas
We had just enough leftover pork and mole to put into a quesadilla. Plus the added bonus of smoked mozzarella from Gioia Cheese Co. courtesy of Alhambra R&D. I had intended to make guacamole from my last avocado, but again, I waited too long and it was black inside. So a basic salsa had to do.
[quesadilla: flour tortilla, stewed pork, smoked mozzarella, mole. salsa: onions, tomatoes, cilantro, garlic, lemon juice, salt ]

Sunday, April 15, 2007

guest chef series #4: sushi

I should make sure I document this particular guest chef more frequently...

inari, hamachi, & rolls
This guest chef is...my mom! I've been remiss in not documenting her awesome cooking more frequently. But last night we went over for my brother's birthday celebration (we haven't celebrated his birthday together in over ten years as he's been living in the UK), and got the treat of hamachi, inari, and unagi/avocado rolls. Lucky me got the leftovers.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

an excess of pork

There's a pork shoulder-shaped hole in our freezer now.

carnitas (sort of)
Technically carnitas is pork stewed in lard, but I just couldn't bring myself to really know what that looks like cooking in my own kitchen. So this is more like "carnitas lite". I stewed the pork in water with onions, garlic, and spices. It took 5 hours to get it to the proper tenderness, but it was worth it. Served in the photo with rice, zucchini, and mole from Guelaguetza (which had also been stored in the freezer).
[pork shoulder, water, onions, garlic, chili spice rub, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, cloves]

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


I had a rough design day so I decided to do something that I know I can do well: eat brownies. Of course, I had to make them first...

light brownies
We only had half a stick of butter in the house (I may be doing too well in my pantry-cleaning endeavor), so I checked my The Best Light Recipe cookbook. Only 2 tablespoons of butter needed! The amazing thing is that you don't really miss the fat. Of course, I, um, enhanced the brownies with the addition of nuts and chocolate chips (Ghiradelli 60% cacao).

Light Brownies
Be sure to use semisweet chocolate and not semisweet chips. The additives in chips will result in a drier, squat brownie. To ensure moist, fudgy brownies it is important not to overbake them. Be sure to check the brownies for doneness several minutes before the specified baking time has elapsed.

-1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (2 1/2 ounces)
-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
-2 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder
-1 tablespoon warm water
-1 tablespoon vanilla extract
-3/8 teaspoon instant espresso powder
-2 tablespoons unsalted butter
-3 ounces semisweet chocolate chips , chopped fine
-1/2 cup sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
-1/8 teaspoon table salt
-1 large egg, lightly beaten

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch square metal baking pan with parchment paper, or foil lightly coated with vegetable oil spray.

2. Whisk the flour and baking powder together in a small bowl; set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk the cocoa, water, vanilla, and espresso powder together; set aside. Microwave the butter and chocolate together in a medium microwave-safe bowl on 50 percent power until melted, about 1 minute; whisk until the mixture is smooth. Whisk in the sugar and salt until completely incorporated. Whisk in the cocoa mixture, then whisk in the egg. Stir in the flour mixture until just incorporated (do not overmix).

3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking (do not overbake). Cool completely on a wire rack, about 1 hour, lift the brownies out of the pan by grasping onto the parchment paper, and cut into 12 brownies.
Recipe from The Best Light Recipe.

[PER BROWNIE: Cal 130; Fat 5 g; Sat fat 2.5 g; Chol 25 mg; Carb 19 g; Protein 2 g; Fiber 1 g; Sodium 55 mg]

Monday, April 02, 2007

"things that never go bad" pasta, version 2

Still clearing out the pantry...

smoked oyster pasta
What do you do with smoked oysters? I have a few cans left over (I was a little enthusiastic when I bought them) from a stuffing I once made. I decided to try them in a pasta. Not bad, but probably not the best use of them. Well, one can down, two more to go... Plus the bonus of using up a half-package of pasta. (TJ's organic pasta is really good, by the way.)
[pasta, canned tomatoes, zucchini, onions, smoked oysters, garlic, salt, red pepper, sugar]

Sunday, April 01, 2007


Work's been crazy busy so we've been eating out a lot, and the meals I cook at home are recaps which I didn't think were worth boring you all with. But, for anyone who's interested:

more butternut squash gnocchi (from the freezer)
top ramen (pantry)
hummus (pantry)
ma-po tofu (freezer, and G's goodbye fridge) + green salad