Monday, March 26, 2012

Chicken and Poppy Seed Dumplings

I have been eating this dish since I was a child, my mother use to make it often and it was always delightful.  I love how it is a thicker version of the typical recipe you would find for it and the poppy seeds are a great touch!  Since this recipe is unique and dear to my heart I cannot give it to you, but you can always ask me to make it for you.  The process is a little taxing but well worth the effort.  So while the weather is still cold with some sunny days think of hearty yummy dishes and let these photos inspire you to make chicken and dumplings!

Thursday, March 22, 2012


I have been wanting to make this dish for many years.  It is the most perfect and hearty vegetarian meal with so many wonderful flavors.  I adapted the recipe from this website and when I make it again there are some things I will change even more than I already did, but don't get me wrong this recipe is very good.  When I've had this dish at restaurants it is perfection, so saucy but chunky at the same time, this recipe definitely achieves this level.  And if you are living in Portland this is a perfect warm dish for our snowy nights that we are STILL having.  On an other note how was everyone's St. Patty's day? This is the first year in a long time that I didn't cook a single thing for the celebration, while at first I was a little sad about it I got over it quick because I attended a celebration that my boyfriend's family had and the food was AMAZING!  How did I forget how good slow cooked corned beef and cabbage are? yum!

Serves 4

The Ingredients
5 eggs
2 14oz cans of diced tomatoes with juice
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, chopped
Olive Oil
Salt and pepper to taste

The Process
1.  Heat olive oil (about 1 tablespoon) in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  When hot add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes or until onions begin to soften.

2.  Then add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Next add the red pepper and cook mixture for 7 minutes.

3.  Then add tomato paste, tomatoes, spices, and sugar (no salt and pepper yet).  Then let simmer over medium heat for 7 minutes.

4.  Then add salt and pepper to taste.  Next crack eggs one at a time over the mixture so that they all are spread out, around the edge of the pan and then one in the middle.  Cover and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes, if you want over easy simmer for less time.

5.  When done simmering sprinkle parsley over the top and serve.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Chili Lime Pork Chops

I don't know about the rest of the world but I get tired of making pork chops the same way every time.  I usually sear them up in a pan with some seasoning and veggie broth and it is very very good but I need new flavors often so that I don't get bored with my food.  Yesterday I came across a recipe for a chili lime pork loin and I used the marinade in the recipe but created pork chops instead.  We paired the pork with a fresh salad and a simple baked potato, was a perfect and healthy dinner.  Also I am excited for this weekend because I am headed down to Eugene with my boyfriend and his sister and fiance to celebrate several family birthdays and St. Patty's day.  I went to college at University of Oregon so whenever I go to Eugene I am overwhelmed with nostalgic feelings, and it has been too long!  Here is to a great weekend and enjoy the pork!

Serves 5

The Ingredients
5 thin lean pork chops
1 medium lime, juiced
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced into rings
1/4 white wine

The Process
1.  In a bowl whisk together lime juice, chili powder, garlic, soy sauce, and 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.  Then put pork chops in large ziploc bag and pour in the marinade and refrigerate for an hour.

2.  When pork is done marinating take out of fridge and cut up the onion.  Then preheat the stove over medium high heat.  Put in 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and put onions in pan.  Cook for 3 minutes and then add white wine and cook for 2 more minutes.

3.  Then add the pork chops to the pan and cook each side for about 2-3 minutes or until done.  They are thin chops so they don't take long.

4.  Serve with onions on top of chops.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Eggplant & Potato Indian dish (Aloo Baingan)

I am always up for cooking new recipes and I don't cook enough Indian food so this was an attempt and great success.  This meal was not only vegetarian but very healthy too, it is nice to have a dish that is warm and hearty enough for the winter but doesn't make you feel too full or slow you down with too many carbohydrates.  The recipe has a lot of steps to the process so I would suggest that you make it on a night when you have a little extra time.  I also added a little more yogurt so definitely taste it and see what you like.  And I topped the dish with feta cheese which was tasty but I bet it would be even better with paneer. I didn't want to rewrite the entire recipe because of it's length so I will post the pictures I took and here is the link to the original recipe:

Aloo Baingan

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Scallion Steak Rolls (Beef Negimaki)

I found this recipe in my normal daily search for fun new things and if you haven't already notice I tend to prefer many different Asian inspired foods.  This recipe at first kind of seemed odd to me, I wasn't sure if it would be too salty or hard to eat, but it was delightful.  I personally made it as an appetizer but the following recipe is enough for 2 people.  Might I also add that I had a wonderful weekend, it was my boyfriend's birthday so we went to The Grand Lodge to celebrate.  We watched a free screening of Princess Bride, relaxed in the soaking pool, played pool, and ran around the grounds of the eerie and lovely old building.  The main building use to be a masonry lodge and then was turned into a mental institution and then The Grand Lodge.  I will say we definitely had some odd things happen and they had a whole book of documented ghost activity that we browsed.  If you love getting away and want a somewhat spooky and relaxing adventure I would suggest checking this place out. On to the recipe.

Serves 2

The Ingredients
1 pound thinly sliced beef
2 bunches of scallions
1 tablespoon canola oil

For Marinade:
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sriracha
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 tablespoons brown sugar

The Process
1.  In medium bowl combine the marinade ingredients and set aside.

2.  Trim all but a couple scallions to 6 inch pieces.  Then take all of them, rinse them and wrap in a paper towel and put them in the microwave for 30 seconds.

3.  Next take your beef and you can cut it according to your preferred size, my strips were about 3 x 6 inches.  Take beef and steamed 6 inch pieces of scallions and put a little at the end of each meat piece so that when you roll it up the scallions are in the center.

4.  When all beef rolls are ready then tie each with the one of the several long scallions that you kept aside, make sure they are tied tight.

5.  Next place rolls in the marinade and put in fridge for about an hour to let soak.  Make sure to turn the rolls if needed.

6.  When done marinating heat up a medium skillet over medium-high heat and add oil.  When hot add the steak rolls and cook about 4 minutes on each side for rare, cook longer if you prefer.

7.  While these rolls are cooking add the left over marinade to a saucepan and bring it to a boil and then simmer it for about 5 minutes.

8.  Serve steak rolls with sauce drizzled over them.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Lime-Coconut Tofu Soup

I am always looking for recipes that are not the same old boring dishes, and I love when I find a really good vegetarian recipe.  It is nice to not eat meat once in a while, but don't get me wrong I loveeeee meat.  I adapted this recipe and added some ingredients of my own.  As I followed the original recipe and tasted it I felt that even though it is a lime soup it was a little too limey, so I added some extra ingredients that I felt balanced the soup out very well.  I made this meal for my mother and best friend and they also loved the soup.  I served an appetizer as well which you will see as my next post, and it was so so so good.

Serves 4

The Ingredients
4 1/2 cups vegetable broth (I used better than bouillon)
2 inch piece fresh ginger, cut into 1/4 inch round pieces
1- 13.5 oz can of unsweetened coconut milk (low fat)
2 cups cremini  mushrooms, sliced
1 14oz package of firm tofu, cut into bite size pieces
6 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced
3/4 cup fresh cilantro

The Process
1.  In a large pot combine veggie broth and ginger, bring to boil over high heat, then reduce to medium heat and cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

2.  Add coconut milk to broth and bring back to a simmer.  Stir in tofu and mushrooms and cook for about 4 minutes or until mushrooms are tender.

3.  Then add lime juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, honey, jalapeno, and most of the cilantro.  Cook for 1 minute and serve up.  Garnish with a little cilantro.