Monday, August 23, 2010

Trying not to be a fatass: Turkey Meatloaf and Cauliflower Mash

It's been awhile since I've updated (and I say this every time) - I've been consumed with working out and losing weight which is pretty much the arch enemy of my life long goal to deep fry all my food. For those of you who haven't seen me in forever, I have been crutching around Manhattan in a boot and children's crutches since I fractured 5 bones about 2 months ago. I just got the boot off a few weeks ago so now I'm raring to go and have 4 upcoming races I'm training for! That being sad, shaving of the old LBs will certainly help my time so I've been exploring less fatty fat ass things to eat while not starving myself.

To date I've lost 13 lbs since I've gotten on the starvation train - I'm hoping I can maintain it with fake comfort food like this Turkey Meatloaf and Cauliflower Mash. The meatloaf is really delicious and pretty healthy (nutritional info can be found below the recipe) and the cauliflower mash is pretty good too (although not nearly as good as real mashed potatoes) - you can find many variations of the recipe that taste better but in my experience better taste means more cheese and butter. I mean, you might as well just eat real mashed potatoes at that point. My version has about 29 calories per serving and is pretty low-carb. Enjoy!

Healthy Turkey Meatloaf

Serves 6

3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup skim milk
1 medium onion, peeled
2 pounds ground turkey breast
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a small bowl, stir together the oats and milk. Thinly slice 1/4 of the onion and set aside. Finely chop the remaining onion. In a large bowl combine the turkey, oat mixture, chopped onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, salt and a few grinds of pepper. Mix just until well combined.
3. Transfer the mixture to a 9 by 13-inch baking dish and shape into a loaf about 5 inches wide and 2 1/2 inches high. Pour the tomato sauce over the meatloaf and sprinkle with the sliced onions. Bake for about 1 hour or until an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees.F.
Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 to15 minutes before slicing.

Cauliflower Mash
Serves 6

1 1/2 lbs of cauliflower, cut into florets
3 Cloves Peeled Garllic
2 cans (14 oz ea) Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth
2 TBS chopped Fresh Chives

Salt and Pepper to taste

1. In a large saucepan, combine cauliflower, garlic and broth. If cauliflower is not completely covered by broth, add water until just covered
Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium low.
Let simmer for 12 mintes, or until cauliflower is tender.
Drain; reserve 2TBS of liquid.
In food processore, pulse cauliflower and garlic until smooth; add 1-2 TBS of reserved liquid if mixture is dry.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving stir in chives. Serve warm
7. Optional: Serve with Cheese or other goodness to make it more tasty!

Nutritional Info:

Turkey Meatloaf:
Calories per serving: 233
Fat: 9.2g
Carbs: 15.2g
Protein: 23.4g
Dietary Fiber: 2.1g

Cauliflower Mash:
Calories per serving: 28.5
Fat: 0.2g
Carbs: 5.1g
Protein: 2.9g
Dietary Fiber: 2.1g

Monday, March 1, 2010

Helpful Hint: Mincing Garlic

Saw this on the Kitchn and had to post this helpful little tidbit. Mincing garlic with a fork? Genius and wish I had thought of it!

Kiew Family Eggrolls Recipe REVEALED!

Our family has been serving these eggrolls ever since I was born 27 years ago (ugh). The recipe combines pork with imitation crab meat for a deliciously flavorful and texturally interesting appetizer.

This is a Kiew Family recipe that I'm probably supposed to take to the grave but for the sake of my readers and foodies everywhere, I will post it. I'll also go over some good techniques for rolling eggrolls and eggroll-like things that will help you in the future.

Rolling Eggrolls:
First and foremost, you need to make sure to get good wrappers. I typically go to Chinatown and browse in the freezer section of the grocery stores. You want a square wrapper (it should be about 8x8, give or take) that isn't too thick or thin. The consistency of the wrapper will definitely affect how the eggroll cooks and tastes so make sure to try out a few different ones if you don't get it the first time out. If you live in the NYC or Bay Area (Cali), ask me and I can give you a few helpful hints.

Secondly, make sure to defrost the wrappers in the fridge for a few hours beforehand. Trying to separate them out if their still frozen is going to result in a bunch of tearing and unhappiness. It's also important to keep the wrappers from drying out while you're working with them. I like to dampen a paper towel with cool water and lay it on top of the them so they don't end updried out. you can also do the same for the completed pre-cooked eggrolls to keep them from hardening.

To roll, start with the filling on the a corner of the wrapper. Make sure to put about a tablespoon of filling, no more and no less, otherwise your roll may end up misshapen or worse, exploding in
the frying process. Step 1 of the rolling process should look like this:

Fold up the same corner where you just put the filling. fold in the sides towards the center of the wrapper. The roll should now look like an envelope:

The most important part of the process is to make sure you roll the filling in tightly. If it's too loose, the eggroll will probably come apart during the cooking process. Keep it airtight also helps the eggroll crisp up and cook evenly. At the end of the process, you'll end up with this:

As you'll notice, a little flap is still hanging out, waiting to be dealt with. Separate an egg white out and put it in a shallow bowl. Dip the little flap into the bowl (no need to go nuts, a little bit will do) and use it as an edible adhesive to seal off your eggroll. Tada! You're done!

Kiew Family Eggrolls

1/2 lb lean ground pork
1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 large carrot, shredded
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon oil
3 cloves garlic
Imitation crab meat to taste

To Wrap:
Eggroll wrappers (30)
1 egg white

To Prepare:
Vegetable Oil (about 3 cups), for deep frying

1. Heat oil in a large frying pan, add garlic
2. Add ground pork until browned but not fully cooked through
3. Add onion, cook until translucent (about 4-5 minutes)
4. In a separate bowl, mix all sauce ingredients together (soy sauce, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce) - add a tiny bit of water to loosen the mixture slightly.
5. Add sauce to the stir fry, mix well

7. Taste - add additional sauce as needed until desired level of saltiness
8. Add crab meat - cook for no longer than 1 minute
9. Transfer mixture to a bowl and cool in fridge for 1/2 hour
10. Wrap eggrolls as directed
11. Heat up vegetable oil in a small sauce pan - you'll know the oil is hot enough when you stick a chopstick in and bubbles form around the stick.
12. Deep fry eggrolls until golden brown (usually around 5-7 minutes). Be sure to not crowd the saucepan and check frequently to make sure the rolls are not burning.

13. Transfer to a paper towel to drain and cool
14. EAT!!

I hope you guys get as many years of joy out of this recipe as I have. Just don't forget that deep fried food goes directly to your ass...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Separation Anxiety from my favorite childhood food - Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup

When I decided to move to NYC, I had no doubt in my mind that I was making the right decision. It was something I had wanted all my life and even though I had no job, I felt like I was really living the life. I never had ANY anxiety about moving there with the exception of one small thing - what about the foods I like to eat? I have to leave them? The thought of leaving behind all the flavors and tastes I had become accustomed to was similar to breaking up with someone. It was absolutely heartbreaking and I think I had to enter a 12 step program although I'm not entirely sure since I blocked out that entire time period.

If you ever had any doubt that I am addicted to food and an incredible fat ass, I hope I've been able to put your mind at ease.

I have been going to a small restaurant in San Jose, CA called "Li Hwa" since I was maybe 5 years old. It's a complete hole in the wall, next to a Radio Shack and a Hush Puppies store in a vast Target parking lot. The owners were fresh of the boat (probably less fresh now since its been like 20 years) and everything about the restaurant seemed authentic and it was nice to see these new immigrants be able to cook food they were familiar with and be able to build a better life because of it.

I am a creature of habit and enjoy eating the same foods over and over and over again. You could say that their Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup was my equivalent of comfort food. While some like Fried Chicken or Meat Loaf, I like to slurp up a big, hearty bowl of this beefy broth.

While this dish can be served in many different ways, ranging from oily to spicy to mild, I like mine hearty, rich, and a tad bit spicy. The soup is not an appetizer, but a filling main course, with tender pieces of beef floating in it. It's typically served with pickled greens, but for this particular recipe, I chose to just take on the challenge of the soup for now.

I found the recipe on Eat Drink and Be Merry and almost rejoiced. The hardest thing about finding Chinese recipes is trying to figure out what the "Americanized" name for it might be. I spent a lot of time with Google before I figured it out. Turns out, typing in the phonetic name, or Niu Ro Mian", helped tremendously. I made some minor modifications - for example, it's usually served with thick wheat Chinese noodles, but I've also liked it with bean thread noodles (or mung bean noodles) - I think it gives it a little more "oomph" and fills you up more than other noodles.

Try this recipe on a winter's day... like now? In the Snurricane?

Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup (Niu Ro Mian)

??? water
2 lbs. of beef shank, cubed
2 cloves of garlic
5 slices of ginger
2 green onions (smashed the white part with my knife)
Shaoxing rice wine
soy sauce (used for flavoring)
dark soy sauce (used for coloring)
star anise
five spice powder (wu xiang fen)
salt & white pepper

To Serve:
Bean Thread Noodles (Mung Bean), soaked and ready to cook
Chopped scallions to garnish

1) Add Salt and White Pepper to cubed shank meat. Mix in a little Shaoxing rice wine, dark soy sauce, sugar, and a little bit of oil (olive oil is fine). Let it marinate in the fridge for 15 minutes.
2) Heat up a medium pot until its smoking hot. Add oil, garlic, ginger slivers, and green onions - cook until slightly browned (about 1 minute).
3) Add in marinated beef and cook until dark brown.
4) Fill up the pot with water (about 1-2 inches from the brim) and boil on high heat. Reduce to medium once it comes to a full boil. You will see impurities float to the top - skim off as needed to remove.
5) Add soy sauce, star anise, and five spice powder to taste.
6) Let simmer for at least 3-4 hours. If you have a cast iron pot (like a Le Creuset), you can usually put the soup on very low heat overnight, about 6-8 hours. Feel free to add water as needed, depending on how you like your soup (thicker, more watery, etc)

This is a hard recipe to give exact measurements for because it's really served to your liking - I've had the same dish a million different ways, but I still keep going back to Li Hwa for my favorite.

I feel like I can rest easy now that I have a lot of my favorite "home" recipes figured out. If anyone can give me the recipe for Panda Express' Orange Chicken, I will be your best friend forever.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hainanese Chicken Rice : Give your chicken a poach

I have never been a chicken fan. If I had to pick from the poultry family, I would go with a delicious and sleep inducing Turkey. I think the reason I tend to avoid chicken is because it more often than not, it comes out dry. Dry chicken reminds me of being a diet I desperately want to quit - I absolutely can't stand it.

That being said, one of my favorite recipes includes Mr. Chicken ( i guess Ms. Chicken would be more accurate). Hainanese Chicken Rice has been in our family for years and I've finally mastered it and am able to whip it up sans recipe. That's always an amazing feeling. Anyway, the reason why this chicken passes my test is because it's always moist. The poaching method that's used in this dish ensures a tender and succulent bite, every time.

Since this is a Kiew family specialty, I hope you don't tip off the paparazzi. The key to this dish is really in the rice preparation, and the sauces. You'll use a whole chicken in this, so don't be afraid to spend a little extra for an organic, young bird - this dish is so minimalistic that the quality of the meat really counts.

Hainanese Chicken Rice

Whole Chicken (preferably Ranch or Yellow)
Ginger, coarsely chopped
1 stalk Scallions, coarsely chopped
4-5 Cloves Garlic, Peeled

Chicken Rice:
1 1/2 cups Jasmine Rice
Chicken Stock (from poached chicken)
5-6 Garlic Cloves, peeled and smashed
Rendered Chicken Fat (from chicken)

Special Dipping Sauce:
2-3 Tablespoons Sambal Olek
Cilantro (to taste)
Chicken Stock (from poached chicken)
Lemon juice (to taste)


1) Remove bag with giblets, etc - trim any visible fat and set aside later for Chicken Rice
2) Stuff Chicken with Garlic, Scallions, and Ginger
3) On stove, boil a pot of salted water - make sure the pot is big enough to submerge the entire chicken (I used a stock pot)
4) When the water is boiling, submerge enter bird, breast down, into the water. Turn down the heat so chicken is being poached, not boiled (usually the low setting). Cover and cook for 40-50 minutes, depending on the size of the bird.
5) Remove from Stove - retain chicken stock for Rice and Dipping sauce.
6) Submerge Chicken into Icy Bath for approximately 10 minutes to stop cooking process and cool
7) Remove bird from Icy Bath and de-bone, slicing into serve-able pieces - serve with Rice and Dipping Sauce.

Chicken Rice:
1) Take Chicken Fat removed from bird in step 1 above and put into a very hot pan on the stove. Fat will render within a few minutes - take the fat out and set aside.
2) Wash/Rinse Jasmine Rice
3) Put Rice into Rice Cooker - add oily part of chicken stock to cover about 1 inch above the rice. Add in rendered chicken fat and whole garlic cloves. Cook until ready.

Special Chili Dipping Sauce:
1) Using a food processor, mix all ingredients for about 20 seconds to taste. Serve with chicken.

Here are the pics of the results. Did I mention this tastes amazing with an ice cold ginger ale?

Oh also if you love garlic, you can combine some minced deep fried garlic to the chili sauce. I usually make it on the side with some olive oil - just mince 4-5 cloves of garlic and fry it in a pan with about 4 tablespoons of oil. The crunchiness and kick will add some deliciousness to the dish. Just don't make out with anyone after...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I'm back because of a poached egg

I've been meaning to blog but it's kind of embarrassing to have a "comeback" when no one knows that you even left. Hey to my maybe one reader!

I started having more time to read the food blogs and it reignited my passion for cooking. I know I love food because the very mention of a poached egg drives me into a tizzy.

I've also been reading a lot about Cathy Erway and her book "The Art of Eating In" and it really speaks to me. I am the queen of take out - yeah, I love food. And I love to cook. But something about the hunting and gathering of ingredients I don't have, coupled by the cramped cooking quarters, and then hindered by my emotionally crippling need to avoid thinking of myself as a "single gal" (i.e. cooking a recipe meant for 4 and having to tupperware up the rest of the meal) makes me want to throw up. I cook when I have company, on rare special occasions, and if there is something I'm craving that I can't get from a restaurant. That's pretty much the long and short of it.

Regardless, looking at this helpful step-by-step guide on The Kitchn reminded me that I love to try cooking techniques when I'm actually doing it. I just forget sometimes when I'm busy watching a Breakfast in Bed marathon on Soapnet. I never regret picking up a pan, or eating a delicious meal that I've created. I just started personal training so I'd like to be held a little more accountable for what I put in my mouth (that's what she said). Might drop some lbs and regain a long lost hobby at the same time.

To cap off my entry, here are the poached egg instructions for your reference:

What You Need

1 or more eggs
White vinegar

Small saucepan
Measuring cup with a handle, or a teacup
Slotted spoon
Plate lined with a paper towel or clean rag


1. Bring a small saucepan 3/4-full of water to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to low and bring the water back down to a low simmer. There should just be a few bubbles hitting the surface.

2. Add about a tablespoon of white vinegar to the water.

3. Crack the egg into a measuring cup or a small teacup.

4. Slowly lower the cup into the barely simmering water, and tip the egg out into the water.

5. Set the timer for 4 minutes. The egg white should be immediately coagulating in the water.

6. Use the slotted spoon to carefully arrange the egg white into a more compact shape, if you desire.

7. Keep an eye on the water's heat; make sure it doesn't come back up to a rolling boil.

8. After 4 minutes, turn off the heat and remove the egg with the slotted spoon. Place it on the plate lined with a paper towel and gently blot it dry.

Additional Notes:

• The 4-minute time will give you a gently cooked poached egg, with a gooey yolk that still has a liquid center. Adjust the time if you want it more cooked.

• We find that the vinegar is really essential in helping cook the egg reliably and neatly; it helps coagulate the egg white quickly, so everything stay in place! If you have no vinegar, then the juice of about half a lemon will also do the trick, but it isn't quite as reliable as vinegar.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Cookin' for America - TC Style

So episode three – sorry guys. I shit the bed on Episode two. And then I read Eater’s recap and my mind felt tainted. I didn’t want to give you guys any regurgitated jokes. I’m thinking of my fellow readers here.

Anyway, the episode starts with Jesse talking about being on the bottom every single time – she really wants to prove herself. Oh yeah? That’s really original. I don’t think I’ve heard that at least once on every single episode of Top Chef in the last 6 years.

In the quickfire challenge, Padma, Mark Peel, and a mountain of potatoes great us. Mmmm Starch…

The Challenge is to create a dish featuring the potato that is “out of this world” - hold on, where is the Vegas twist on this? Is it Potato roulette? Penn & Potato? Ringling Potatos? Also no chip for $15,000 dollars.

The cheftestants start cooking - Ron compares himself making potatoes to Bob Marley and music. I would say Ron is to potatoes as Bob Marley is to pot brownies, but that’s just me.

Preeti wants to show the judges she can “do something” by putting green asparagus next to yellow potatoes? How is this proving anything other than maybe she’s not color blind? This is Top Chef, not Top Color Coordinator. This chick/dude isn’t going to last. I’m actually starting to think she has no brain cells b/c she accidentally puts her asparagus in Ashley’s pot of boiling water. (Sidenote, Preeti pronounced Gnocchi as “No-key” – this group needs to take Food Pronunciation 101). Ashley freaks the fuck out (similar to her stance against gay marriage) and I continue hating her.

Other highlights include Mike I. making a potato risotto and getting shot down by Mark Peel for it’s excessive saltiness. Ha! Take that asshole.

Jesse keeps making retarded mistakes this time for putting a ton of cayenne in her soup. This girl does not learn. Remember her overcooked chicken?

On the bottom are Eli, Ron, and Jesse. On the top are Jennifer, Ash, and Ashley… the winner? Freaking Jennifer - aka my enemy aka cevich! I don’t know why she bothers me but she does. I feel like she’s gonna win this year, which is even more infuriating. Mike I gets bent out of shape (what else is new) and says it’s favoritism. Literally he is the worst person alive. Sexist bastard

For the Elimination Challenge the Chefs must report to an airforce base to prepare a meal for 300 airmen – working as one team. Uh-oh – this should be good. Padma alludes to the fact that they don’t know what they’re cooking with and what their ingredients are. Oh, don’t bait me Top Chef and then go to commercial break.

At home, the Cheftestant convene to discuss strategy and teams. Kevin says him and Eli bond on a fat kid level so they are going to work together. God I love those two. I’m also hoping the brothers work together but they don’t. Booo.. Bryan ends up working with Mattin and Brother Michael works with Mike Asshole.

They get to the kitchen the next morning and find a bunch of canned food like Spam, Kidney beans, etc. Mattin, being a snotty Frenchmen, is not comfortable working with cans. What kind of Chef specializes in can? Chef Boyardee?

Preeti tells a retarded story about how 9-11 was the defining moment in her career. Basically she was like “ the nation suffered a terrible tragedy and the only thing that made sense was to cook”. God, I hate him/her. I know with all these crazy anecdotes focusing on him/her that he/she is probably going to be on the bottom three. This is obviously not my first episode of Top Chef.

Ron discusses his dish though I can’t understand anything he says – I wish they had subtitles like they did for Stefan last season.

Ashley is making a chocolate brioche and custard – she says “Everyone loves custard!” Well Ashley, I don’t love custard. I am offended you make me watch you make custard when I don’t love custard and custard I can’t legally get married.. Wait.. what?

Bryan is yelling at Mattin to hurry it up is kind of hot. I think I’m in love. Xoxo.

They set up and the judges arrive – along with 300 servicemen and women.

Laurine and Preeti make a pasta salad that I could have bought at Costco. Gail thinks they did a half ass job – the dish is not creative and not inspired. I mean, I could have done that. Other than that comment, I’m not sure what the judges are thinking. They either LOVE the dishes or they are like whatever.

The Cheftestants are in the stew room – Padma calls in Mike, Michael, Eli, and Kevin – clearly these are people on the top. No duh that when Kevin’s name is called, you know this is the winning group. He really can do no wrong.

Another side note, I think Tom may have a crush on Brother Mike – he was talking very enthusiastically about his bacon/pork belly dish.

They announce that Brother Mike wins the challenge with his Lettuce Taco – xoxo. I bet Tommy C. had something to do with that decision.

They ask the winning group to send in the losing group - Preeti, Laurine, and Asshole Mike … wait what? They call him back for the elimination round since his shrimp salad was disgusting. Yikes. He is super pissed. I may or may not be enjoying this too much.

Mike said he was not 100% on serving the dish and Padma tells him shouldn’t have – it was bland, not flavored, texture was weird, etc. I’m so happy and Mike is so mad. Just as it should be.

Laurine and Preeti’s pasta salad falls flat – Preeti defends her dish saying it was better than most and she thought it tasted good. Laurine says she made the dish cause she forgot about the competition. That is possibly the worst answer ever. The judges are getting aggravated. They send them out to discuss.

When the losing Cheftestants come back in, the judges announce… “ Preeti – please pack your knives and go” - she didn’t know why her food was gross and I guess that’s worse than forgetting you were in reality competition or making bland shrimp. Look at it this way – at least now we don’t have to figure out what she/he is.

Until next time! Can’t wait to see more of Beardy Kevin and Brothers. Yessssss..!!