Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Roast Pork Vegetable Stew

Over the past 4 years my love for pork has evolved because my partner loves anything pork except bacon...we enjoy turkey bacon more, though pork bacon some might say RULES and I agree it's the real thing. Aside from that, there's nothing (in my opinion), like a good pulled pork or slow roasted pork recipe. Pork is very popular meat among the Asian community but pulled pork is making waves and made its way onto the menus of high end restaurants and even fast food joints as pulled pork sandwiches, and even on pizzas.

BTW, if you have never tried pulled or roasted pork in a sandwich and pizza, and you eat pork, let me strongly encourage you to go get yourself some:) 

Today, it all about taking left over roast pork to create a healthy stew with some South American flava, and with fall season closing in, it's that time to get your stews, chili, and soup recipes ready.
Tip I find works every time - to create amazing stews or sauces, use a home made stock, and if you don't have any handy, then pick up a good brand (low sodium) at the grocery store.
Trust me, a good stock is advantageous to stews and sauces that pops!

Roast pork vegetable stew
What you'll need:

About 3 cups of left over roast pork (fat trimmed and cut into chunks)
1 large red pepper cup into chunks
1 large sweet potato peeled and cut into cubes
1 package of bok choy
! large onion cut into chunks
5 cloves of garlic crushed
2 tbsp. grated ginger
A handful of fresh cilantro
3 cups of stock
1 tsp each of nutmeg and cinnamon or 1 tbsp five spice
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste

Putting it together:
Over medium temperature heat oil in a large pot
Add onions, garlic, ginger and spices and saute for about 4 min
Add pork and sweet potato, stir all ingredients to incorporate flavors, then add stock, bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer for 20 min
Add peppers, bok choy and cilantro and let simmer for 5 min.
Add additional salt if required, remove from stove and serve hot.

If you have any pork creations or tips you'd like to share I'd love to hear from you.

To your health and enjoyment!

Friday, July 19, 2013

It's final - crab is not my thing

Last week-end me and my partner visited our local fish wharf and came home with fresh salmon, prawns and live dungeness crabs. Fresh seafood hands down is a home run, we were stoked to shell out some cash for this amazing catch, and the cost was a steal. We made the hour drive to pick up salmon and prawns, and the crabs were a last minute buy; a crowd of anxious customers around the boat that just arrived along with the size of the crabs was the pull.

Now, let me just say that I enjoy eating crabs when it's shelled for me - hey, my dad always showed his love by doing the work, cooking, cracking, and I ate it. My first question to Maria was "do you know how to cook crab?" and I was assured, positively yes. In my mind I am thinking - if she knows how to cook em, she certainly knows how to crack em:)

Right to play not applicable to this crab

 Once the crabs were cooked, I decided to get involved in the whole experience - after all, this was my first time cooking crab, and I figure it was time I grow up and do my own crab cracking. You have to really love crab meat to enjoy the long slow process of cracking claws, digging out the meat and if you're fortunate like I was to have the juice from the crab sprayed all over your glasses and shirt when I cracked a claw - priceless. 
Ready for the cracking

What was my take away from that crab experience? Though I wasn't crabby about it, I realized it's just not my thing, and no, not because I had to do my own cracking either.  

To your health and enjoyment!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Slow Roasted Tomatoes

That is...if you're a lover of tomatoes. I've always liked tomatoes, but my love for this delicious fruit grew when I met my partner 4 years ago, and I've since discovered so many ways to prepare and serve this sweet fruit or vegetable, whatever you prefer to label it as - it is delicious and here's a recipe I picked up from watching the TV show - "The Chew".  
Tomatoes ready for roasting

The flavours are phenomenal - like a fun party in your mouth, great in sandwiches, delicious with pasta; especially ravioli, and if you have enough self control to ONLY taste one piece and resist the urge to keep eating, then bravo to you:) oh, and did I mention it's easy to make and guarantee to be a hit. You cannot mess this recipe is so simple. 

Roasted Tomatoes

You'll need a large baking dish, about 10 large tomatoes (any kind works), sliced lengthwise  not thin , fresh basil or your favourite herb, salt, black pepper, finely chopped garlic, and olive oil. In a large bowl add all the ingredients, mix with hands, and layer the tomatoes in baking dish; it's OK to stack them on top of each other.
Do not pour the remaining juice on the tomatoes. Drizzle a bit more olive oil on the finished product, and bake for 3.5 hours; yes you read that right - at 275 degrees. Set the timer and leave it alone.
This is one dish you do not want to rush, it's the slow roasting that makes it a winner.

This can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 weeks in an air tight glass jar , or freeze for up to 8 months..not that it will last two weeks anyway:).
And, with tomato season upon us, it's the perfect time to try this recipe and stock up on a very inexpensive, tasty, healthy, and versatile dish.

If you have another great tomato recipe I'd love if you won't mind sharing it with me.

To your health and enjoyment!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Slamin' T Bone Sandwich

Ever get tired of eating the same ole tuna, salmon, egg and processed meat sandwiches? and tied of over paying for a mediocre sandwich? I hear ya, and I'm about to share a simple recipe with the wow factor.
First, I have to say my all time favourite sandwich bread is sourdough. I like it for the sourness, size and the texture; perfectly toasted in either a frying pan or a flat skillet - forget the toaster.
Me and my partner had a T-bone steak dinner a few weeks back, and with too much steak (if there's such a thing:), we froze what we couldn't eat. 
I took it out of the freezer and just stared at it - didn't want it with veggies and I stared, then walla, I decided on a sandwich and my creative juices started to churn, and this is what I came up with.

A hot sandwich that's wickedly delicious.
Now tell me if that picture isn't inspiring you to make one - right now! Well, here's what I created and let me tell you's slamin!

Slamin' T-Bone Sandwich
What you'll need:
2 slices sour-dough bread (or your favorite, but try sour-dough you'll be hooked)
Thinly sliced medium well T-bone steak
3 thinly sliced onions
2 tbsp mayo
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
Hot sauce (optional)
Thinly sliced cheese (stay away from processed)
Dash of Worcestershire sauce

Putting it together
Sauté onions in a bit of olive oil, add sliced steak and Worcestershire sauce, stir and let sit on low-medium heat.
Slightly add margarine, butter, or coconut oil to the outside of bread
Place buttered side on heated pan (medium heat), and add the mayo mix, then a layer of cheese
Place the steak on top add the remaining cheese, top with the other slice of bread with the mayo spread.
Using a spatula press the sandwich down - you should hear it sizzle:)
Once the side is brown and cheese melted, flip and brown the other side.
Remove from pan, cut in half, grab a cold beer and devour.

Send me your comments when you tried this beauty.

To your health and enjoyment!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Delicious is an understatement

If you've spent any time reading my posts, you'll know that I am a huge fan of anything made with flour. Yeah, I'm hooked, and I think it stems back to my childhood.  You see, I had an amazingly close relationship with my dad and he taught me how to bake bread - no, not with a bread machine...are you kidding me?  Aside from that connection, rest assured that every Saturday like clock work, there's bread baking in the oven at our home. 

I said all that to talk about this scrumptious looking sandwich. I've tried making a lot of different variation of sandwiches, but this one flew off the richter scale big time, and the best part is - it's a new born creation. Full of fresh, healthy ingredients to awaken your taste buds, and provide a full 100% satisfaction guarantee.   

Al-right, don't be fixated with the picture, see the recipe below and go make yourself one; oh, and share your thoughts with me after.
Toasted vegetarian sour-dough sandwich 

What you'll need:
2 slices sour-dough bread
1 tbsp Coconut oil, or margarine or butter
1/2 avocado mashed
3 slices tomato
Old age cheddar cheese (or your preference) 
2 Tbsp cilantro finely chopped
1 thin slice of sweet onion

Putting it together:
Warm frying pan just below medium heat
Apply coconut oil or margarine or butter evenly to the outside of bread
Place the buttered side in heated pan and spread the avocado onto the bread. 
Put the remaining ingredients on top.
Top off with other slice of bread (with the buttered side facing up)
Press down with a spatula, and flip after 2-3 minutes or once the bottom is brown and the cheese begins to melt.
Complete the browning process, remove from pan, slice and devour.

Here's the thing, this sandwich doesn't need mayonnaise or meat to make it yummy. Go ahead give it a try.

To your health and enjoyment!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

My cinnamon bun saga

I've a confession to make-I have a massive obsession with this breakfast/lunch/dinner/dessert any-time food named cinnamon bun.  Whoever created it is a genius in my books, however, it is not just any ole recipe that does this to me. The cinnamon bun that affects my senses and weakens my knees are the ones that is soft to the touch with multiple layers, a good portion of ooey gooey stickiness sitting at the bottom of the pan; smothered in pecans, or the top with a slight coating of cream cheese icing. 

OK, OK, I know that is enough calories to cover a days' worth of meals, snacks, alcoholic beverages and dessert, but come on, to indulge once per week is so worth the extra lap around the block...make that mmm two? Now, don't post any lecturing comments, cause I'm sure you have your own obsessive indulgence that isn't all healthy either.

My rant today is about trying various recipes to make the ideal C buns, but coming up short, short on ah, everything; from the taste to texture. I've tried four recipes so far, and my big problem is not the dough, but the syrup at the bottom somehow gets observed into the bun, and the finished product is void of any goo. Yes I know I can visit the Laughing Bean Cafe and pick up their amazing C bun, but I want to make my own. If you love to cook and bake you do not give up when a recipe gets an "F" grade, heck no, determination rises to improve and perfect until you are completely satisfied with the taste-just the way you've envisioned it.

Not one to toot my own horn, but I usually "get" a recipe after a few tries...not this one:( , and the worst part about this is, it's a big favourite of mine. I can't shake it, and please don't tell me to let it go.
If you can provide me with any tips or suggestion; especially if you've made this goodness before and it's the cat's meow, then please share, I appreciate it very much.

Tell me about a recipe that has stumped you to a F and how you came back with A grade.

To your health and enjoyment!

Friday, January 4, 2013

South American Fav. Fruit

Let me first extend best wishes to all my readers for a super prosperous 2013 and apologize for not posting weekly - I was away to my homeland in Guyana, South America and planned on posting to my blogs, but unfortunately I encountered problems accessing the net.

Guyana is full of colorful, fresh and tasty fruit, vegetables and seafood. My all time favorite fruit, which was in season and flowing in abundance during my trip - Mangoes, and on the plus side...a healthy, fruitful mango tree was producing sweet like suga, juicy mangoes right in my back yard.

Plum Mangoes Ready for Picking

Fresh picked mangoes ready for eating

Green mangoes with salt and pepper - a child hood favorite

Anytime during the night or wee hours of the morning, aside from the crowing of the roosters, I was awakened to the sound of ripe mangoes dropping from the tree unto our zinc roof. From that moment, it was a race to beat the hens and roosters from pecking at the dropped mangoes. You can always tell when the mangoes are ripening on the tree - the smell, and a slew of birds finds their breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack.

On an average, we gathered anywhere from 28-58 mangoes a day in the month of December,   a quick wash and bite on the bottom, peeling away the skin to reveal firm, rich, juicy inviting flesh which was devoured right to the large seed, then unto the next one.

Mangoes can be eaten green or ripe, and used in a variety of cuisines from different cultures.
Green mangoes are used to make a pickle that's called chutney, or sour that's used to accompany savory dishes.  
Ripe mangoes are used to make jam, it's also dried and preserved for a longer shelf life for world wide distribution, and can be dried and grind into a powdered form to flavor drinks like protein powders, milk shakes, or process into syrup for alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

If you're now interested in trying this fruit, here are a few things to check before checking out:

  1. Make sure the mango is firm all over - avoid the ones soft to the touch
  2. Smell the fruit at the head, you should be able to smell that distinctive "mango smell":) - even exported fruit still has its original smell.
  3. There are different types of mangoes as is the color - if you're looking for a "ripe" mango avoid the ones that are all green.
Two different ways to peel  mango:
  1. Use a sharp knife and start from the head and peel as you would an orange then slice off the flesh.
  2. Slice the mango from the bottom side as close to the flesh, then repeat the other side. Cut cubes in the flesh and push up the skin to expose the flesh and remove from skin.
Enjoy and to your health.