Winter Meals

The perfect meal to accompany watching LOST or Survivor, or just to kick those winter blues!

Hawaii Fish:
4 Whiting fillets (you can also use ma-hi ma-hi, but I’m a very frugal chef. You won’t taste the fish anyway)
1 8-oz package dried shredded coconut
1 16-oz can mixed tropical fruit in juice
2 tbsp peanut oil

Preheat oven to 400. Thaw fish if frozen, and paint with peanut oil before rolling in coconut. Place in glass baking dish. Pour fruit with juice over fish. Bake for 20 minutes or until fish is flaky on the outside. (Please monitor closely. My oven is strange, and I’m not entirely sure of the time.)

Comfort Food Mashed Potatoes:
5 cups mashed potatoes
1 tbsp nutmeg

Stir these ingredients together. This can be pretty strong with the nutmeg, so taste as you add it to be sure it’s not too strong for you.

Bright vegetable salad:
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/2 yellow pepper, diced
1 cucumber, diced
1 tomato, chopped finely
cilantro to taste
1 tsp olive oil

Combine ingredients.

*
Because the fish will be sweet, I will not add a dessert recipe. But, if you must, I do suggest a chocolate-raspberry lava cake, which I usually make from a mix.

Source:

  1. Winter Recipes – Allrecipes.com
  2. Weeknight Dinners Winter : Food Network

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How to Make a Quick Banana Icecream Topping

Are you looking for a quick and easy dessert that you can have on the table in under ten minutes? Look no further, try this recipe for an excellent tasting caramelized banana ice cream topping.

Ingredients:
1 Banana, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch disks
Brown Sugar
Butter

Please note that the amounts for each ingredient have not been included. Mix the ingredients by eye. I have included descriptions of what to look for throughout the cooking process. This is a very simple recipe to eyeball and throw together.

Start by putting a frying pan over medium-low to medium heat. Melt several slabs of butter into the frying pan until the bottom of the pan is coated. Keep stirring the butter to avoid burning it. Sprinkle brown sugar lightly into the pan, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens up to the consistency of a warm maple syrup. If the sauce is light and runny add more brown sugar, if it starts to get too thick or starts clumping then add more butter. Arrange the banana disks around the frying pan and cook for several minutes. When the bottom of the banana starts to caramelize, or starts changing color to a deeper yellow almost clear color, flip the bananas and do the same to the other side. Scoop several scoops of ice cream into your bowl, but be sure not to put too much, keep the ice cream below the rim of your bowl. (The reason for this is because you will soon be adding the banana sauce which will start melting your ice cream. You want plenty of room in the bowl for your ice cream, bananas, and the melt.) Now that both sides of the banana are caramelized, take the banana and sauce off of the heat for about a minute. Carefully pour the bananas and sauce onto your ice cream and enjoy!

Please be careful while eating this dessert. The caramel sauce can stay hot in your ice cream for several minutes. Also, the hot/cold contrast only serves to enhance the flavor of this dessert, but can be uncomfortable to people with sensitive teeth. Lastly, be careful not to overload your bowl with ice cream and topping because it is sure to spill over the edge and cleanup is messy. Enjoy!

Source:

  1. How To Make Creamy Ice Cream with Just One Ingredient …
  2. Quick banana ice cream | BBC Good Food

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Green Eggs and Ham how to Prepare Make Dr Seuss

The book ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ by Dr. Seuss is one of the most popular children’s books of all time. People find it rather odd about his choice of food and wonder how to make such a weird dish.

The Ham

The ham is the type of ham families buy for Christmas and other holidays, not the simple ‘pre-cut’ ham you find in a simple grocery store. It looks moldy and disgusting in the book, as if someone left it out for months, however, many believe, do not knock it until you have tried it.

How to Make It

First, start out with preparing the ham; thaw it out if you have not already done so. If it is a relatively small ham, put it in a pan then cook for 2 to 3 hours on 350 degrees, if it is a large roast, cook for around 30 minutes per pound, you don’t have to weigh it, you can just make a rough estimate. (Be sure not to burn it.) Once the ham looks like it has been cooked properly, take it out of the oven.

(This is an optional step.) Take a syringe and get the juices back on the ham for more flavor. Let it cool down for roughly 30 minutes. After it is done, just add little drops of food coloring around every square inch, but if you want to have it inedible, but have that ‘look,’ just leave it out for a couple months and hopefully you will get that special color.

The Eggs

The eggs in the story look most likely ‘Sunny Side Up.’ This will be especially hard because the albumen (the white part) is still white but the yolk (the part that is usually yellow) is green.

How to Make It

Heat up your frying pan. Put a little butter, margarine, or nonstick spray in the pan so the egg doesn’t stick to the bottom. Crack the egg. Cook the egg until the albumen (the white part) is completely white. Put some green food coloring on top of the yolk, while putting a paper towel over the albumen to make sure no green gets on the white. (This may not work for some people, so if you can inject the food coloring without popping the yolk, that can be an alternative.)

Serve your green eggs and ham on a plate and have fun digging in!

Source:

  1. Green Eggs and Ham – Seussville
  2. How To Make Green Eggs And Ham For Dr. Seuss' Birthday: 4 …

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Tips for Baking Potatoes

This recipe from www.ReluctantGormet.com is the best baked potato I have ever had.

Use US # 1 Russets only, Idaho or Oregon are the best.

Don’t store below 55F or the starch will turn to sugar.

Wash and scrub well. 3M makes a green scrubby that works well.

Pat dry.

Prick the ends with a fork to let moisture escape during baking. This will make the potato fluffy instead of gummy.

Oil or butter lightly. I like butter for flavor but will use bacon grease if available.

Season lightly with kosher salt and a few twist of the pepper mill on all sides.

Place on baking sheet, spaced 1/2″ apart and bake at 400F for about 1 hour, depending on size. Potato will yield to pressure when done.

Cut open in wave shape with paring knife and squeeze ends. Serve immediately.

In a restaurant, you want to cook the potato 80%, keep it out of the heat and fire as the orders come in. They will take 8-10 minutes to finish and be just like a freshly baked potato. Potatoes that have been baked/steamed in aluminum foil and are being kept warm all day are the ultimate culinary derailment.

The potato should be crisp on the outside and mealy/fluffy on the inside. This will make for a baked potato where you will like the outside better than the inside and that is where the vitamins and flavor are anyway.

Reference:
1. How To Bake a Potato: Three Easy Methods — Tips from The Kitchn …
2. Baked Potato Tip – How to Make a Perfect Baked Potato | Good Life …

The necessary Spices in a well Stocked Kitchen

Here’s a handy guide to the most important herbs and spices to have on hand when you start putting a kitchen together with the intention of cooking. You can always add more over time, but these are the ones that are guaranteed to tickle your taste buds and woo your guests! I’ve included some conversational tidbits about the history of some of these spices,too.

Garlic comes first. I like to have some fresh garlic on hand. Buying it already minced in a jar is fine. I also keep garlic powder on hand. If you enjoy Chinese, Italian and Mexican foods, garlic is a must. The spice originated in central Asia and there are references to suggest that is has been around more than 5000 years. The Egyptians worshiped it and fed it to their pyramid builders. The Greek athletes even ate it, believing it gave them strength.In the U.S. it was first grown by French settlers around New Orleans, but it was the missionaries to took it to California, the main grower of garlic in the U.S. today. Stock up. You’ll never have enough.

Second to garlic, onion. Fresh, granulated, powdered. They all add a lot to even the simplest dishes. Again, have some fresh onion on hand, but always stock some powdered onion as well. It was good enough for King Tut (they found some in his tomb!), so it should certainly be on your shelf, too. Even Christopher Columbus wouldn’t travel without it and brought a stash with him to America.

Salt. Period.

Pepper. There are so many kinds, but if you’re starting out with spices I’ve got two suggestions. Black pepper is an essential spice. It’s actually the berries that are grown on vines that can reach ten feet tall! Most of the growing goes on in parts of Asia, especially India. There’s white pepper, green and pink peppers, but black is your basic, tasty add-to-everything pepper. What a history its got,too. Alexandria and Venice are said to attribute much of their economic success to pepper, and in the Middle Ages pepper was used to settle debts, It was exchanged as a currency in rent and dowry transactions,too. As a second, extra tasty pepper, I would recommend chipotle. It has a rich, smoky flavor that just rolls around in your mouth.

Dill is another must-have. Though its indigenous to the Mediterranean and southern Russia, today it is grown in the U.S. and India. The word comes from the Norse word “dilla” which means “to lull”. Its been used in places such as Scandinavia to lull colicky babies to sleep.Wonderful for fish dishes, anything with cucumbers, dips, sauces,etc.

Cinnamon is great to have on hand. Not only is it used in most desserts (puddings, pies, muffins, cakes), but you’ll be surprised to see it show up in soup and stew recipes,too.Originating in China, the Egyptians stepped in here,too, and started importing it. At times it was also regarded as a major motivator for exploration. And Nero put down his fiddle when his wife died and burned a year’s supply of the valued spice at her funeral.

Oregano is fairly new to the U.S. Actually it was barely known here until the advent of pizza after World War II. Soldiers who experienced the joys of a good pizza pie while overseas came home singing the praises of both the pie and the spices. As you might suspect, it originated in Greece and Italy and is used in any dish that needs a little Mediterranean boost such as sauces and soups, as well as marinades of all kinds. Any other Italian herbs and spices that smell good to you, belong on your shelf…basil, rosemary, thyme,etc. They may not be as essential as oregano to start with, but you’ll grow into them as your cooking expertise increases.

I always recommend keeping some bay leaves on hand. Anything that has to simmer for a while, like a soup, sauce or stew, can only taste richer after letting a few bay leaves float around in the mixture while it cooks. Bay leaves come from the Bay Laurel tree. It was the laurels from this tree that the ancient Greeks and Romans used to crown their victors. The Romans also thought it had certain powers and that it would protect them against plagues.

Then there’s Vanilla. Even the word is yummy. The Aztecs, back in Mexico, knew what they were doing when they added it to their chocolate drinks. It remained in Mexico until the Emperor Montezuma shared his little secret with the explorer Cortes who took it back to his native Spain in the 16th century. I dare you to find a cookie recipe that doesn’t need vanilla.Frankly, any time I make anything sweet, I add some vanilla whether it’s in the recipe or not! I’ll use any excuse to open that precious bottle and take a whiff. I even had a friend who wore it as perfume, and why not?

If you want to add a few more little joys to your spice collection, you might consider a Cajun or jerk seasoning. Any fish or chicken recipe will thank you. Also, gumbo file is great and relatively unknown. It’s made from crush sassafras leaves and has special powers. Anytime you’ve got something soup-y and you want to thicken it a bit, add about a teaspoon of gumbo file and your soup-y mixture will soon turn into a yummy sauce-y mixture.

A few last thoughts turn to suggesting a steak-related mixture of spices. It can tun a mediocre piece of meat into an upscale tasting delight. You’ll find these mixtures in catalogs, such as Penzey’s, as well as on the supermarket shelf. And lastly, for the adventurous palate, I suggest an ethnic blend of spices. I like a good Greek or Turkish blend. They can be used on meats or chicken, as well as in soups and sauces. It adds a bit of the unusual and will have your guests marveling at your expertise in the kitchen.

Start out with these suggestions and try experimenting. I always suggest tasting a bit of what you’re preparing, then smelling one of the spice/herb jars. If the two go together in your head, they should go together in your mouth as well. You’ll be amazed at the fun you can have with your mysterious little jars and bottles of spices and herbs.

Reference:
1. Basic Spice Checklist | Real Simple
2. What are the Top 25 Spices Every Kitchen Should Have – Spices Inc

Chicken Fried Chicken

I have come out with a dish that defines, chicken-fried chicken. My version of chicken-fried chicken simply about taking chicken meat and stuffing it inside a chicken! Hold on, I know it sounds wacky but trust me, you will be in for a treat. I assure you on that. Although this dish takes a bit of time to make but it will be worth it. It is a great dish for parties too. You can serve this from a range of kid’s party to even cocktail party. It will be a definite hit.

Here is the ingredients that you need

Note: This dish serves for 12 people. You may vary the ingredients according to the number of people you are serving too

100g gram of minced chicken

1/4 cup of finely diced carrot (optional)

1/4 cup of finely diced spring onion

1 teaspoon of garlic powder (optional, you may subtitue this with nutmeg)

1and 1/2 table spoon of light soya sauce

12 piece of chicken wing (use mid joint chicken wing without the drumstick)

white pepper

salt

Let’s make our chicken-fried chicken, shall we?

1) Wash the chicken wings and then prepare to debone the chicken wing

2) This is going to be tricky but you will get the hang of it! Firstly, loosen the skin around the mid joint. Next, carefully loosen the bone in the mid joint by twisting and turning the mid joint bone. Take out the meat in the mid joint out as well. Once you get the bone and the meat out, the chicken wing is ready to be stuffed.

3) Chop the mid joint meat

4) Put the 100g minced meat, chopped mid joint meat, 1/4 cup of diced carrot, 1/4 cup of spring onion in a bowl

5) Mix the ingredient well as add garlic powder, light soya sauce, white pepper and salt to season the mixture. Combine well.

6) Take the chicken wing and open the skin pocket that you made earlier on and stuff with the filling that you have made earlier

7) Salt the chicken and fry them until they are golden brown

And there you have it! Chicken-fried chicken. You can serve this with Thai chili sauce or you can simply chopped red chili and mix it with mayonnaise or simply have it own its own with a squeeze of lime juice. Either way, its delicious!

Source:

  1. Chicken Fried Chicken Recipe – Allrecipes.com
  2. Chicken-Fried Chicken With Cream Gravy Recipe | Serious Eats

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