Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting


If you're a pumpkin lover then you have got to try this recipe.  This sweet treat comes out moist and fluffy and this recipe makes plenty to share with loved ones who will love you all the more for sharing!  The recipe comes from my friend Ali Eisenach's cookbook, When Life Gives You a Garden

By the by, I have a new found love for cupcake stands.  I found this one at a local shop but you can also find it online at Glitterville.  It has become one of my favorite things that I own and it will probably appear in many more foodie pictures in the future. 

But back to the Pumpkin Bars!

Ingredients:
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 2/3 c sugar
  • 1 c oil
  • 16 oz can pumpkin
  • 2 c flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t salt
Directions:

Beat eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin until fluffy.  Add dry ingredients and mix well.  Pour into a greased 15x10x1 inch pan.  Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes.  Cool and frost with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 c butter, softened
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 3 c powdered sugar
Combine ingredients in a bowl and mix until smooth.


Saturday, February 8, 2014

Vietnamese Braised Pork and Eggs. Thit Heo Kho Trung.

It's Vietnamese New Years (Tet) in our home.   As a child I remember my mom involved in Vietnamese new years parties at our home.  I'm sure that every Vietnamese person would come to these parties...  I loved receiving the "red envelope" from "aunts and uncles" with money inside.

Now that I have my own family I try to carry on the traditions of my mother's culture.
Started decorating the house last year


 This year I printed out my own banner and found some year of the house signs to print and place in photo frames..






 I found some inexpensive decorations at Oriental Trading such as the red envelopes, chop sticks, paper fans as gifts, Chinese take out boxes, lanterns, and more.



Here's my son Aiden helping me put up the mini lanterns.


I don't know why I didn't think to take a picture of this year with everyone at the table... maybe because I was busy eating... someone even had to remind me to take a picture of my plate of food.

I made a Coconut Curry Seafood Soup which is in the previous post.  We also had Vietnamese Chicken Salad.  Manapua or BBQ pork buns and egg rolls.  The egg rolls and pork buns would have taken too much time to make in my busy schedule so i was fortunate to find some at our local Safeway grocery store.

Now I know BBQ pork bun is not the tradition Vietnamese steamed bun (banh bao) the filling is more  like ground pork with a hard boiled quail egg in the middle.

like this:
 

but I like the Cha sui bbq pork version better.

And I know the Safeway brand is not the tradition Vietnamese egg roll (cha gio).  If you want to make the traditional stuff here's link our recipe 

Here's a picture of my dinner plate.

So what you're really here for is the Vietnamese Braised Pork and Egg recipe, right?  Sorry it's taken me so long to get to this point.  This is my all time favorite Vietnamese dishes it's tender sweet and salty goodness braised in coconut water.  You're probably thinking why the boiled egg.  The boiled egg compliments this dish especially if you take a a bite with a little rice, pork, and egg with each fork full.  It's a traditional Tet dish.  The downside to this dish is that I have a hard time not overeating.

Vietnamese Braised Pork and Eggs. Thit Heo Kho Trung.


 INGREDIENTS (serves 8)

2 pounds boneless pork shoulder (most of the fat trimmed off)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 small onion, diced
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
8 hard-boiled eggs, shelled
3 cups coconut water
2 Tbsp oil for stir frying.
8 cups cooked steamed rice

DIRECTIONS

Cut pork into about 1 inch serving pieces.  Place in a large bowl and season with garlic, onion, fish sauce, and sugar.  Let stand for 10 minutes.

Heat oil in large 5 quart soup pot and brown pork lightly.

Add half the coconut water and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the remaining coconut water and boiled eggs, continue to simmer for about 45 minutes until liquid has thicken and pork is fork tender.

Serve over rice.


I hope you enjoy it as much as I do,







Saturday, February 1, 2014

Coconut Curry Seafood Soup

This is a delicious coconut curry seafood soup with a lot of ingredients common in Vietnamese and Thai cooking.



INGREDIENTS:
1 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons grated ginger
2 tablespoons pureed lemon grass
2 tablespoons curry powder
6 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon tamarind soup base  (or 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice at the very end)
2 (13.5 ounce) cans coconut milk
1 teaspoon chili oil
1 pound medium peeled and deveined shrimp
1 pound hardshell clams
8 ounces mussels
8 ounces halibut (cut into 1x1 inch pieces) or fresh Alaska king crab meat
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
cooked jasmine rice about 4-6 cups
Siracha Chili paste (optional to add heat)

DIRECTIONS:
Heat oil in large pot over medium heat.  Cook and stir in ginger, lemongrass, and curry powder in oil for 1 minute.  Pour in chicken broth over mixture and stir continually to incorporate irall ingredients.  Stir in fish sauce and brown sugar; simmer for 15 minutes.  Stir in tamarind soup base and coconut milk.  Add shrimp, clams, mussels and halibut and cook till no longer translucent about 5-8 minutes.  Serve in a bowl with 1/2 cup of rice and garnish with cilantro.



Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tender Charred Pork Roast

If you are looking for a moist sweet and savory fall-apart tender pork roast... this is it!

I made this pork roast for a Sunday dinner gathering, it was so good that 3 weeks later we had to have it for Christmas dinner too.  

Scroll down for the recipe.


Ingredients

1 (8 to 10 pound) pork shoulder blade roast
2 tablespoon Lawry's Seasoning Salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 large yellow onion, quartered
1/4 cup Yoshida's Teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce


Directions

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Pierce the roast all over with the tip of a paring knife Sprinkle on all sides with seasoning salt, garlic powder, and paprika and rub into the meat.  Place roast in a shallow baking dish (I used a 9x11 ceramic baking dish) preferably fitted with a roasting rack (though not necessary).  
Refrigerate seasoned roast uncovered overnight or at least 8 hours.  Remove from refrigerator and bring roast back to room temperature (30-60 mins).  Rub all sides of roast with Yoshida's Teriyaki sauce and Worcestershire sauce.  Put roast back on rack in baking dish with fat side up.  Add the quartered onion and enough water or chicken broth to come 1-inch up the sides of the baking dish.   Bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes.

Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and loosely cover roast with aluminum foil tent. Continue to cook until very tender, about 4-5 hours total cooking time.  Approximately 30 minutes per pound or until internal temperate reads 160 degrees F with a meat thermometer.  Remove from oven and let the roast rest for at least 30 minutes before carving.


Serve with a mushroom gravy or cranberry sauce.
 
Left overs are great for pulled pork sandwiches just add your favorite barbeque sauce, hamburger buns, and some coleslaw.  Hope you enjoy this roast as much as we did.

Friday, November 29, 2013

BEST TURKEY RECIPE EVER!

Citrus Chinese Spiced Turkey

This is the best turkey recipe ever!  Well at least in my opinion. Possibly even better than my Photastic Vietnamese Turkey recipe.  This turkey was so juicy and tender.  There is a lot of prep work but you will end up with an amazing turkey that your guests will rave about.  I started off with a Citrus Chinese spiced brine and glazed the turkey with a hoisin glaze. 


Ingredients:
  • 1(16-20-pound) fresh turkey, rinsed & patted dry, with neck & giblets reserved for stock.
 For the Chinese Spiced Brine:
  • 12 cups (3/4 to 1 gallon) apple cider
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 whole bay leaves
  • 8 whole star anise pods
  • 3 Tablespoons whole black peppercorns
  • 1 Tablespoon allspice berries
  • 1 Tablespoon Chinese 5 spice powder
  • 3 4-inch cinnamon sticks
  • 12 cups (3/4 to 1 gallon) chilled water
For the Citrus Onion Aromatics:
  • 2 large oranges, cut into wedges with rind intact
  • 2 large lemons, cut into wedges with rind intact
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges with rind intact
  • 2 medium yellow onions, cut into wedges with skin intact 

 For the compound butter:
  • Zest from one large Orange
  • 1/2 cup soft butter 
For the Hoisin glaze:
  • 3 Tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice powder
Equipment:
  • 1 12-quart stockpot, with lid
  • 1 large roasting pan, without lid
  • 1 large brining bag
  • 1 meat thermometer
  • aluminum foil

Preparation:
Prepare the Chinese Spiced Brine: In a large 12-quart stock pot, bring (12 cups) apple cider, salt, garlic, herbs and spices to a boil. Stir occasionally to dissolve salt. Remove from heat. Add (12 cups) chilled water to cool liquid slightly. 

Prepare the Brine with Citrus & Onion Infusion: After the Chinese Spiced Brine has cooled somewhat (no longer very hot, but still very warm), squeeze citrus wedges into the liquid adding each rind after expelling juices. Next, add onion wedges and stir. Cover stockpot and allow the brine to steep. Cool to room temperature. (This will take a few hours.) If preparing brine the day before brining turkey, chill brine in refrigerator until ready to use. 

Assemble the Turkey & Brine in Brining Bag: Open zip-top brining bag wide and insert into large roasting pan with high sides. Using a large liquid measure (I use my 2-cup glass measure), scoop some of the brine and place it into bottom of large brining bag. Insert the turkey over the brine breast side up. Using a slotted spoon, place some citrus and onion wedges into the cavity of the bird and continue to add the remaining brining liquid over the turkey in the brining bag. Carefully close zip-top and expel as much air as possible. (It helps to have two sets of hands at this point.) Gather top of brining bag and twist. Secure brining bag at the top so that brine covers entire turkey, tie bag closed. Transfer roasting pan, with turkey and brine in brining bag, to refrigerator. Soak turkey for at least 12 hours or up to 2 days. 

Prepare the Turkey for Roasting the Night Before: The night before you plan to roast your turkey, remove it from brining solution; discard brine and brining bag. Pat the bird thoroughly with paper towels to dry completely inside and out.  Loosen skin on breast of turkey being careful to not break the skin evenly smooth compound butter over turkey breast under skin, refrigerate it overnight uncovered in the roasting pan.

Roasting: Preheat your oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit.  Loosely place onion and orange wedges (use your zested orange) into turkey cavity. Place a loose foil tent on top of turkey.  Roast turkey till internal temperature reaches 170 degrees at it's deepest point (part of the thigh, nearly to the hip joint, but taking care not to touch the bone).  Remove turkey from oven, remove foil tent and baste with hoisin glaze.  Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees. Place uncovered turkey back into oven and cook for another 10-15 minutes.  Reglaze if necessary and cook for another 10-15 minutes.  Let turkey rest for at least 1/2 an hour before carving.



Enjoy!

Apple of Roses Cream Pie

I found a beautiful pie on Pinterest and created my own recipe inspired by a lady named Yoli from Bulgaria.  I had to translate her recipe to english, change some measurements, and used substitutions. I made this pie for Thanksgiving and it was a huge hit.


 For the dough:
  • 1/2 cup soft butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup finely ground almonds (almond flour)
  • 1 cup flour
For the cream:
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 5-6 apples
  • apricot jam
Directions:
  1. Beat soft butter with powdered sugar, vanilla, and orange peel. Add egg and ground almonds. Add flour gradually to make a soft dough.
  2. Dust a 9 inch greased round pie pan with flour. Spread the dough evenly in it. Place in refrigerator while preparing the cream.
  3. For the cream, in a sauce pan mix the flour with vanilla and orange peel. Add yolks and a little milk. Stir until smooth. Pour in the remaining milk and apple cider. Bring the cream slowly to a boil, stirring constantly until thickened, then let it cool.
  4. With a vegetables peeler cut the apples in long strips.
  5. Wrap the strips into apple roses.
  6. Pour the cream on top of the dough and arrange the apple florets close to each other.
  7. Glaze the roses by lightly brushing them with the warmed apricot jam. Bake pie in preheated oven at 300 degrees farenheit until the dough is baked and apples become golden.  
  8. Let pie fully cool before serving.

 This pie is so delicious and light tasting too. Enjoy!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Hoisin Glazed Salmon



As always, I love combining my Vietnamese heritage with the Alaskan ingredients that my sister and I grew up with.  I am a lover of Hoisin Sauce, as my mother would disapprovingly tell you since she has witnessed me dump copious amounts of it into my Phở since I was a little girl.  Hoisin Sauce just makes it better!


So check out this amazing Hoisin Glazed Salmon recipe and see just how good it is!

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 whole salmon fillet, divided into 4-6 individual portions
  • sesame seeds to garnish
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray it with a non-stick spray.
  2. Place the salmon fillets on the baking sheet, skin side down.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Bake for 10 minutes.
  3. Whisk together the hoisin sauce, maple syrup, rice vinegar, lime juice, and ginger powder to create the glaze.
  4. Remove the salmon from the oven and spoon the glaze over the fillets.  Return the salmon to the oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the salmon is cooked through.
  5. Sprinkle on some sesame seeds to garnish and enjoy!