shichahn: (Default)
Mostly posting this recipe here so I'll have a record of it, though I'll probably make a duplicate in my recipe book. But these are the best cornbread muffins I think I have ever had. Recipe adapted from this one for masa cornbread.

1.5 c masa harina (if you don't know what this is, look for Maseca in the Latino grocery section)
1/2 c flour
2 eggs
2 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 c sugar
1.5 c milk
1/2 stick of butter, softened
1 jalapeno, finely diced
1 tsp red chili flakes
1/4 c cotija cheese, finely crumbled

Preheat oven to 400 F. Combine dry ingredients (masa, flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, chili flakes, jalapeno, cheese) in a large bowl, then add remaining ingredients to the middle and stir until well-mixed. Pour into muffin tins, filling each cup about halfway, then bake for 15-20 minutes, or until tops are browned. Makes 12 muffins.
shichahn: (Default)
So, this summer I will be going that extra step in cooking from scratch by growing my own herbs and spices (and a veggie or two). The reason being that I live in Arkansas and the things I like are totally unobtainable in grocery stores (okay, with a few exceptions). Thankfully, Amazon gift cards can go a long way when obtaining some seeds!

I'm trying not to go overboard, mostly because I will be in and out a lot this summer and won't necessarily have the time to tend to a garden daily, and because I live in a tiny apartment with no space to grow things (not even a lovely porch like Dar and Angela had in Portland). But I'm making do! My garden for this year:

Garlic (planted one sprout today!) I have two more cloves I'm trying to sprout, hopefully they do so. My plan for these is really just for the chives. I'll replant a clove or two this coming fall to try and get a whole head of garlic for the following year.

Thai basil (seeds in the mail)

Tabasco chile (seeds in the mail) - I really wanted to grow Thai bird's eye chiles, but the seeds on Amazon didn't look very reliable. The Tabasco chile seeds, on the other hand, seem to have been very successful for almost everyone, and honestly there isn't much difference as they are both little 1-2" green to red chiles that are plenty hot.

Bok choy (seeds in the mail) - these look ridiculously easy to grow. Most cabbages are. I'm getting about 250 seeds, and I'm going to plant a bunch and harvest them as they grow. I really like the young plants more than fully-grown ones anyway.

Lemongrass - I'm hoping I can find some of this in Memphis next week. I want to grow it from cuttings rather than starting from seed, just to save some time.

Kangkong - This one I'm not as sure about. Growing it would be a non-issue as it's a crazy weed that grows like 4" a day, so you can harvest it endlessly and never run out, and it grows just fine in a mix of potting soil and lots of water, so I don't really have to worry about watering it. The trouble is going to be finding some cuttings. I hope Memphis doesn't let me down, but if it does, I am going to be super sad as this is one of my favorite vegetables ever.

I have been doing some excellent cooking lately, I have to say. My favorite recent dish was last night's kadun pika on red rice, stuffed in a roasted poblano. Kadun pika is a Chamorro dish adapted from chicken adobo, so it has all of the delicious sweet and sour flavors from the original Filipino dish, combined with the Chamorro love for all things spicy. Making it is very simple. I didn't measure anything, but for those of you who wish for measurements, the following is my best guess for a single serving of the stuff.

1 Chicken breast, or 2 chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 c dark soy sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
3 tbsp rice vinegar (or coconut vinegar, if you're lucky enough to find it)
1 clove minced garlic
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 green onion, diced, separate dark green from light green/white parts
2 red bird's eye chiles (or similar Asian chile)
1 tsp sambal oelek
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 c water
1 tbsp corn starch
sesame oil

Combine all of the above ingredients, minus the corn starch, sesame oil, and dark green onion. Let the chicken marinate for at least 15 minutes, though a couple hours in the fridge is even better. Heat some cooking oil in a pan and pour in the chicken and marinade, and let it simmer until the chicken is cooked. Combine corn starch with a little bit of cold water in a separate measuring cup, mix into a paste, then pour into the cooking chicken and stir until the sauce becomes thicker. Then turn off the heat, add the rest of the green onion, and drizzle sesame oil on top. Serve on top of some cooked rice. Enjoy the ensuing foodgasm.

Like I said, the measurements here are pretty approximate. Key to a good kadun pika is lots of chile, so feel free to adjust that as needed. The above directions make something I consider the equivalent of medium hot in most restaurants. Remove the chiles and sambal entirely and it becomes more like a gingery adobo, which is perfectly fine too.
shichahn: (Feets!)
So, a couple days ago I went down to the local Mexican grocery to pick up some spices and other ingredients that could not be obtained at the Kroger or Wal-Mart (which have almost no Hispanic or Asian ingredients, but then again I'm in Arkansas). I met one of the guys who runs the place, and he convinced me to buy some dried chiles japoneses. I've been using them just about every day since then. These are the same chiles they use to make powdered cayenne, so be forewarned, they can be pretty hot.

I had a craving for mole (when don't I crave mole?) and knew these chiles would be perfect. I had also bought some dried pasillas, because my dad likes to use them to make chili, and figured I could use them in mole just fine. So I threw together the following recipe. It uses about half the ingredients of a traditional Oaxaca mole negro, and about a quarter of the time, so it's a good choice if you're home on a weekend, wanting mole but feeling too lazy to toast and grind spices all day long, but capable of minding a pot for a couple of hours. It may not have the depth of traditional mole, but it's still really freaking good so I figure it's a fine compromise.

Ingredients:

4 chiles japoneses
3 chiles pasillas
1 clove of garlic
1/2 c chopped onion
1 tsp garam masala*
1 c chicken broth
1/2 circle of Abuelita Mexican chocolate
1 chicken breast or thigh
2 c cooked squash, cubed
1 bell pepper, diced
olive oil
black pepper

*If you don't have garam masala on hand, do 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp clove

Chop, shred, or grind the chiles, whichever is most convenient. Try to make all pieces smaller than 1" square, as they will cook faster that way. Put the chiles, garlic, onion, and garam masala in a small pot, covered with plenty of water, bring to a boil, then simmer for 2-3 hours, or until chiles are soft and easily mashed and water is mostly boiled off. Do not let the water boil off too early or you will burn your chiles!

Mash stewed chiles with a spoon or fork until they form a thick paste, then add 1 c of chicken broth (or more if you want a thinner sauce) and the semi-circle of chocolate, simmer, and stir until chocolate is melted and all ingredients in the sauce are combined. The chile seeds and some of the skins will not break down fully, so don't worry too much about those. Turn the heat off, and set aside.

In a large pot, sautee cubed chicken and bell pepper in olive oil and black pepper until chicken is mostly cooked through, then pour in mole sauce and cooked squash and simmer until chicken is fully cooked. Serve over rice. Optionally, omit the cubes of cooked squash and instead pour the mole sauce into a cooked acorn squash half. Mmm delicious.
shichahn: (Feets!)
So, a couple days ago I went down to the local Mexican grocery to pick up some spices and other ingredients that could not be obtained at the Kroger or Wal-Mart (which have almost no Hispanic or Asian ingredients, but then again I'm in Arkansas). I met one of the guys who runs the place, and he convinced me to buy some dried chiles japoneses. I've been using them just about every day since then. These are the same chiles they use to make powdered cayenne, so be forewarned, they can be pretty hot.

I had a craving for mole (when don't I crave mole?) and knew these chiles would be perfect. I had also bought some dried pasillas, because my dad likes to use them to make chili, and figured I could use them in mole just fine. So I threw together the following recipe. It uses about half the ingredients of a traditional Oaxaca mole negro, and about a quarter of the time, so it's a good choice if you're home on a weekend, wanting mole but feeling too lazy to toast and grind spices all day long, but capable of minding a pot for a couple of hours. It may not have the depth of traditional mole, but it's still really freaking good so I figure it's a fine compromise.

Ingredients:

4 chiles japoneses
3 chiles pasillas
1 clove of garlic
1/2 c chopped onion
1 tsp garam masala*
1 c chicken broth
1/2 circle of Abuelita Mexican chocolate
1 chicken breast or thigh
2 c cooked squash, cubed
1 bell pepper, diced
olive oil
black pepper

*If you don't have garam masala on hand, do 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp clove

Chop, shred, or grind the chiles, whichever is most convenient. Try to make all pieces smaller than 1" square, as they will cook faster that way. Put the chiles, garlic, onion, and garam masala in a small pot, covered with plenty of water, bring to a boil, then simmer for 2-3 hours, or until chiles are soft and easily mashed and water is mostly boiled off. Do not let the water boil off too early or you will burn your chiles!

Mash stewed chiles with a spoon or fork until they form a thick paste, then add 1 c of chicken broth (or more if you want a thinner sauce) and the semi-circle of chocolate, simmer, and stir until chocolate is melted and all ingredients in the sauce are combined. The chile seeds and some of the skins will not break down fully, so don't worry too much about those. Turn the heat off, and set aside.

In a large pot, sautee cubed chicken and bell pepper in olive oil and black pepper until chicken is mostly cooked through, then pour in mole sauce and cooked squash and simmer until chicken is fully cooked. Serve over rice. Optionally, omit the cubes of cooked squash and instead pour the mole sauce into a cooked acorn squash half. Mmm delicious.
shichahn: (Default)
So, this is not the Filipino way to make champurrado. This is like... if Mexico learned of champurrado and took it over. It kind of tastes more like mole than the rice pudding it is supposed to be. Which is awesome and therefore why I made it for lunch.

Ingredients:

1/2 c cooked rice
1 c milk
3 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 fresh donne sali or 1/2 birds-eye chili, chopped (or just some cayenne powder)
drop of vanilla extract
handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips
optional extras - ginger, cloves, orange zest (I would have added all these if I had them on hand!)

Directions:

Mix it all up and boil it in a pot until the milk evaporates slightly and leaves it all thick and gooey, man. Oh, and add the chocolate chips last if you want bits of melty chocolate goodness mixed in with the rest of the chocolate.

A savory version would be awesome, I'm thinking. Cut the sugar in half, maybe, and omit the chocolate chips and vanilla, and then add garlic and onions and cooked squash and some chopped up barbecued chicken and corn kernels and put a little cilantro or salsa on top. Mmm, okay, totally making that for dinner one of these nights.
shichahn: (Default)
So, this is not the Filipino way to make champurrado. This is like... if Mexico learned of champurrado and took it over. It kind of tastes more like mole than the rice pudding it is supposed to be. Which is awesome and therefore why I made it for lunch.

Ingredients:

1/2 c cooked rice
1 c milk
3 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 fresh donne sali or 1/2 birds-eye chili, chopped (or just some cayenne powder)
drop of vanilla extract
handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips
optional extras - ginger, cloves, orange zest (I would have added all these if I had them on hand!)

Directions:

Mix it all up and boil it in a pot until the milk evaporates slightly and leaves it all thick and gooey, man. Oh, and add the chocolate chips last if you want bits of melty chocolate goodness mixed in with the rest of the chocolate.

A savory version would be awesome, I'm thinking. Cut the sugar in half, maybe, and omit the chocolate chips and vanilla, and then add garlic and onions and cooked squash and some chopped up barbecued chicken and corn kernels and put a little cilantro or salsa on top. Mmm, okay, totally making that for dinner one of these nights.
shichahn: ([Boosh] Electro poof)
Many of you know of my creation called "Everything Soup," a pan-Asian soup which holds similarities to ramen, sweet and sour soup, egg drop soup, and chicken noodle soup all at once, and also contains potstickers. Well, following in its fine tradition comes a creation known as "Everything Stew"! It is a little bit like a well thought-out stew and a lot like me throwing together a bunch of mysterious stuff I got at the farmer's market.

Everything Stew
Serves: 3-4 people (or two Angelas)

1 clove garlic
1" diameter slice of ginger
2 boonie peppers (or one Thai bird's eye pepper)
1 Chinese sausage
2 cups? whole large daikon radish
Top of said radish if crisp
3 cups? sweet winter squash such as kabocha, sugar pumpkin, or butternut squash - I used half of a kabocha about the size of an acorn squash
1 Japanese eggplant (or half an Italian eggplant, or 3-4 Indian eggplants)
2 bunches (about 1 1/2 cups) baby bok choy
1 bunch (about 1/2 cup) Chinese celery (wild American celery will also be fine, or European celery in a pinch, but make sure to use the leaves)
Chicken broth and/or water, enough to cover vegetables
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp Oyster sauce
Sesame oil
Vegetable oil
Black pepper

Dice ginger, garlic, and chiles finely. Slice sausage into 1/2-inch rounds, and chop remaining vegetables to preferred size (about 2" pieces, in mine, with the bok choy and daikon tops left in slightly longer lengths).

Heat some vegetable oil and sesame oil in a large pot. Stir-fry sausage, garlic, and ginger until sausage is lightly browned, then add squash, eggplant, and daikon and stir-fry for another five minutes. Add enough chicken broth, water, or half and half (or whatever combination you like) until vegetables are covered, then add remaining leafy vegetables. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for about half an hour, or until squash is falling apart and daikon is tender.

Mix up 3 tbsp corn starch with some water, then pour into stew and bring to a boil, stirring until thickened, then remove from heat. Season with black pepper and oyster sauce to taste. Serve over white rice, or with French bread (as I opted to do tonight).

And there you have it! Would go really nicely with some Chinese black tea, but I have to get up early tomorrow, as usual, so water it is. Potatoes would probably go well in the stew as well, but with all the squash and daikon they might just be kind of redundant. If you really want meat in quantity rather than just the bit of sausage I tossed in for flavor, I'd go for 2-3 sausages, or one sausage and a bunch of pork. Mmm, that sounds really good. Also if you like onions, totally add onions to this. They would go really well. Or shitake mushrooms, maybe. You know, if you're into that kind of stuff.
shichahn: ([Boosh] Electro poof)
Many of you know of my creation called "Everything Soup," a pan-Asian soup which holds similarities to ramen, sweet and sour soup, egg drop soup, and chicken noodle soup all at once, and also contains potstickers. Well, following in its fine tradition comes a creation known as "Everything Stew"! It is a little bit like a well thought-out stew and a lot like me throwing together a bunch of mysterious stuff I got at the farmer's market.

Everything Stew
Serves: 3-4 people (or two Angelas)

1 clove garlic
1" diameter slice of ginger
2 boonie peppers (or one Thai bird's eye pepper)
1 Chinese sausage
2 cups? whole large daikon radish
Top of said radish if crisp
3 cups? sweet winter squash such as kabocha, sugar pumpkin, or butternut squash - I used half of a kabocha about the size of an acorn squash
1 Japanese eggplant (or half an Italian eggplant, or 3-4 Indian eggplants)
2 bunches (about 1 1/2 cups) baby bok choy
1 bunch (about 1/2 cup) Chinese celery (wild American celery will also be fine, or European celery in a pinch, but make sure to use the leaves)
Chicken broth and/or water, enough to cover vegetables
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp Oyster sauce
Sesame oil
Vegetable oil
Black pepper

Dice ginger, garlic, and chiles finely. Slice sausage into 1/2-inch rounds, and chop remaining vegetables to preferred size (about 2" pieces, in mine, with the bok choy and daikon tops left in slightly longer lengths).

Heat some vegetable oil and sesame oil in a large pot. Stir-fry sausage, garlic, and ginger until sausage is lightly browned, then add squash, eggplant, and daikon and stir-fry for another five minutes. Add enough chicken broth, water, or half and half (or whatever combination you like) until vegetables are covered, then add remaining leafy vegetables. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for about half an hour, or until squash is falling apart and daikon is tender.

Mix up 3 tbsp corn starch with some water, then pour into stew and bring to a boil, stirring until thickened, then remove from heat. Season with black pepper and oyster sauce to taste. Serve over white rice, or with French bread (as I opted to do tonight).

And there you have it! Would go really nicely with some Chinese black tea, but I have to get up early tomorrow, as usual, so water it is. Potatoes would probably go well in the stew as well, but with all the squash and daikon they might just be kind of redundant. If you really want meat in quantity rather than just the bit of sausage I tossed in for flavor, I'd go for 2-3 sausages, or one sausage and a bunch of pork. Mmm, that sounds really good. Also if you like onions, totally add onions to this. They would go really well. Or shitake mushrooms, maybe. You know, if you're into that kind of stuff.
shichahn: ([RvB] Booyeah motherfucker)
Spiced oatmeal-molasses pancakes with hazelnuts and black raspberries. Topped with butter and real maple syrup. Oh my god breakfast foodgasm.

3/4 c oats
1 c milk
1/2 c flour
1 tbsp molasses
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
cinnamon
ginger
allspice
cardamom
handful of chopped toasted hazelnuts
handful of frozen berries

= about three or four pancakes
shichahn: ([RvB] Booyeah motherfucker)
Spiced oatmeal-molasses pancakes with hazelnuts and black raspberries. Topped with butter and real maple syrup. Oh my god breakfast foodgasm.

3/4 c oats
1 c milk
1/2 c flour
1 tbsp molasses
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
cinnamon
ginger
allspice
cardamom
handful of chopped toasted hazelnuts
handful of frozen berries

= about three or four pancakes
shichahn: ([RvB] Booyeah motherfucker)
Lunchtime! I had a not entirely inexplicable craving for latkes today. We haven't had any in a while, which is a shame, as my mom used to make them on occasion as they are wonderful. So imagine my dismay when I looked all over the house and not a potato was in sight! We used all of them up making mashed potatoes on Sunday, evidently. I was about to give in and reheat some leftover stir-fry (tasty, but just not what I wanted) when I came across something wonderful in the cupboard: sweet potatoes.

Time to get creative! I am sure this is not a new invention, but it is what I did for lunch, nonetheless.

Sweet potato latkes with spiced applesauce )

A NOTICE: CLOVES ARE ESCAPE ARTISTS. FIND THEM BEFORE YOU ACCIDENTALLY EAT THEM.
shichahn: ([RvB] Booyeah motherfucker)
Lunchtime! I had a not entirely inexplicable craving for latkes today. We haven't had any in a while, which is a shame, as my mom used to make them on occasion as they are wonderful. So imagine my dismay when I looked all over the house and not a potato was in sight! We used all of them up making mashed potatoes on Sunday, evidently. I was about to give in and reheat some leftover stir-fry (tasty, but just not what I wanted) when I came across something wonderful in the cupboard: sweet potatoes.

Time to get creative! I am sure this is not a new invention, but it is what I did for lunch, nonetheless.

Sweet potato latkes with spiced applesauce )

A NOTICE: CLOVES ARE ESCAPE ARTISTS. FIND THEM BEFORE YOU ACCIDENTALLY EAT THEM.
shichahn: ([DW] dalek love)
Still waiting on final inspection results, argh. The new regulations will be so awesome, when they allow falconers to inspect rather than ODFW biologists who, while well-trained in wildlife biology and ecology I'm sure, don't know falconry and thus have to take pictures of facilities and then discuss them with their supervisors. -_-;;

So, while waiting, I've created what I assume is a brand new recipe, although I'm sure it's actually a variation of something that came before and I just don't know it. I was needing Chinese food, so I came up with:

Chinese-style shrimp and black bean soup

(Now, bear with me, I don't measure things when I cook, so measurements are my best estimate, after the fact.)

Ingredients:

2 c chicken broth
1 tsp fresh minced ginger (get young ginger if you can, the skin isn't tough yet so the whole thing is edible and very fragrant)
1 tsp fresh minced garlic
1/2 of a green onion, sliced thin
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
a handful of fat rice noodles
1/2 c frozen shrimp
3-5 tbsp fermented black beans (also sold as salted black beans)

optional: (add to taste)

sriracha / chili oil / sambal oelek
lime juice
bean sprouts
cilantro

Directions (this goes quick):

Bring the broth to a simmer, add ginger, garlic, onion, soy sauce, fish sauce, oil, sriracha, and noodles. Once noodles are tender (~3 min, maybe) add shrimp and beans, heat until shrimp are thawed and soup is simmering once more. Remove from heat and serve with lime, bean sprouts, and cilantro as garnish. Serves 2, probably. I ended up with about two and a half servings but we don't usually serve half-people around here.

Yeah. That's all. Might be good if you substitute oyster sauce for the soy sauce, I dunno. It could be worth trying anyway.
shichahn: ([DW] dalek love)
Still waiting on final inspection results, argh. The new regulations will be so awesome, when they allow falconers to inspect rather than ODFW biologists who, while well-trained in wildlife biology and ecology I'm sure, don't know falconry and thus have to take pictures of facilities and then discuss them with their supervisors. -_-;;

So, while waiting, I've created what I assume is a brand new recipe, although I'm sure it's actually a variation of something that came before and I just don't know it. I was needing Chinese food, so I came up with:

Chinese-style shrimp and black bean soup

(Now, bear with me, I don't measure things when I cook, so measurements are my best estimate, after the fact.)

Ingredients:

2 c chicken broth
1 tsp fresh minced ginger (get young ginger if you can, the skin isn't tough yet so the whole thing is edible and very fragrant)
1 tsp fresh minced garlic
1/2 of a green onion, sliced thin
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
a handful of fat rice noodles
1/2 c frozen shrimp
3-5 tbsp fermented black beans (also sold as salted black beans)

optional: (add to taste)

sriracha / chili oil / sambal oelek
lime juice
bean sprouts
cilantro

Directions (this goes quick):

Bring the broth to a simmer, add ginger, garlic, onion, soy sauce, fish sauce, oil, sriracha, and noodles. Once noodles are tender (~3 min, maybe) add shrimp and beans, heat until shrimp are thawed and soup is simmering once more. Remove from heat and serve with lime, bean sprouts, and cilantro as garnish. Serves 2, probably. I ended up with about two and a half servings but we don't usually serve half-people around here.

Yeah. That's all. Might be good if you substitute oyster sauce for the soy sauce, I dunno. It could be worth trying anyway.

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