Saturday, March 24, 2007

Chicken Marbella

One of my co-worker made this dish once and brought it to work. I loved it so much I asked her for the recipe and made it for a dinner party a few weeks ago. It is super easy to make and it's suppose to taste better as leftover. Unfortunately my friends enjoyed it so much, we didn't have any left overs. :)

This dish is good hot or at room temperature. If you want to serve it as hors d'oeuvre then use small drumsticks and wings instead. This is the recipe for 10 - 12 servings. I adjusted the recipe and used less chicken since I was only serving for 6.

4 chickens, 2/1/2 pounds each, quartered
1 head of garlic, peeled and finely pureed
1/2 cup dried Oregano
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup pitted prunes
1/2 cup pitted Spanish green olives
1/2 cup capers with a bit of juice
6 bay leaves
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white wine
1/4 cup Italian parsley or fresh coriander (cilantro), finely chopped

1. In a large bowl combine chicken quarters, garlic, oregano, pepper and coarse salt to taste, vinegar, olive oil, prunes, olives, capers and juice, and bay leaves. Cover and let marinate, refrigerated, overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3. Arrange chicken in a single layer in one or two large, shallow baking pans, spoon marinade over it evenly. Sprinkle chicken pieces with brown sugar and pour white wine around them.

4. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, basting frequently with pan juices. Chicken is done when thigh pieces, pricked with a fork at their thickest, yield clear yellow (rather than pink) juice.

5. With a slotted spoon transfer chicken, prunes, olives and capers to serving platter. Moisten with a few spoonfuls of pan juices and sprinkle generously with parslety or cilantro.

6. To serve Chicken Marbella cold, cool to room temperature in cooking juices before transferring to a serving platter.

I served this dish with sides of Collard greens and brown rice.

~ Mina

My mom's Salmon dish

My mom tries to expose us to different types of cuisine and when she cooks, she likes to add her own twist. Like pan-fried Salmon for example -- instead of just serving a plain pan-fried salmon, she serves it with an egg mixture made of hard boiled eggs and Japanese mayo. It surprisingly goes really well with the rich flavor of salmon.

I made this Salmon dish recently as my husband really enjoys Salmon and liked my mom's version. I served the dish with stir-fried purple cabbage. Have you ever had purple cabbage other in salad? It's actually quite good when you cook it with garlic, salt and a dash of white wine vinegar.
Personally I had a hard time platting this dish as I thought the colors of the fish and the cabbage did not really compliment each other. While they tasted great, to me it just didn't look very appetizing.

~ Mina

Chicken Curry - Prima Mix

We brought back a bunch of Prima Mix from Singapore and I've so far tried the Mee Siam, Laksa and Chicken Curry. Here's the Chicken Curry dish I made with the Prima Mix. I had some left over eggplants so I tossed that in and Kabocha (Japanese Pumpkin) for something different. I really liked the taste of the curry with the right amount of spiciness and the instruction was super easy to follow. My only complain is I didn't like the coconut mix. I actually like how the curry tasted without the curry but I think next time I'll buy the coconut milk instead of using their powder and see if it'll make a difference.

~ Mina

Seafood Hor Fun

I made the following dish a few months ago when we had friends over for dinner but I kept forgetting to post it. I actually tried the receipe from Teczcape's Wat Dan For posting

It turned out really great and really easy recipe to follow. The only thing I did differently is I added some fish sause for seasoning. My friends never had anything like this dish before and loved it so much that they wanted the recipe. :)

~ Mina

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Dumplings and More

Although I have to get on a 20-hour flight for good Singaporean food, delicious Taiwanese food is only a 20-minute drive away--in San Gabriel Valley. My cousin Esther is Taiwanese and she's always has great recommendations for Chinese food. Tonight was pan-fried xiao long bao.

The dough was slightly thicker than regular xiao long bao, but the meaty broth definitely hit the spot! I also liked the crispy bottom.

We had the meat pie, which tasted like a flatter, crispier version of the pan-fried xiao long bao.

I was distracted with the expansive menu and will probably be back here very soon.

Kang Kang Food Court
27 E. Valley Blvd.
Alhambra, CA 91801



I just remembered I still have two fresh avocados. Better use it before it goes bad. I made a really simple guacamole: 2 avocados, 1/2 lime, garlic, cilantro, and salt to taste.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Corn with Bacon

It's too early for corn season, but I'm craving some. I have a bag of frozen corn in the freezer so I decided to whip up a Top Chef winner recipe: Corn with Bacon. The recipe is simple. First fry up some bacon, and remove when it's crispy. Using the bacon fat, stir fry a bag of corn and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Fresh corn would definitely make this dish even better.

I also used some leftover bacon and made myself a bacon, avocado, gouda cheese sandwich. It's a nice simple dinner for a hot winter/spring/summer day.


Monday, March 12, 2007

Ravioli with kielbasa and tomatoes

I made this up, and it turned out pretty good. It's very simple: olive oil, garlic, kielbasa, ravioli, spinich, diced tomatoes, basil. Stir fry and serve with fresh grated parmasan cheese.



Look at this beautiful bulb of fennel. I've never had it before, and I heard roasting it brings out the flavors even more. I tried a simple Giada recipe.

Fresh bulbs of fennel
1/2 teaspoon salt
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Clean and cut the fennel bulbs: cut them horizontally into 1/3 inch thick slices and reserve the fronds.
Take the reserved fennel fronds and chop enough of them to make 2 teaspoons; set aside.
Spray the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch glass baking dish with olive oil.
Lay the fennel slices in the dish, making sure that all the pieces are touching the bottom so that they roast rather than steam when they're cooking.
Sprinkle with the salt and pepper, then with the Parmesan.
Drizzle with the olive oil and bake for 45 minutes at 375 degrees F, until the fennel is tender and the Parmesan is golden brown.
Transfer roasted fennel to serving platter, sprinkle with the 2 teaspoons chopped reserved fennel fronds, and serve.


Sunday, March 11, 2007

Farmers' Market

As much as I love my husband, I'm secretly happy when he has to travel for work. I adore vegetables, but he hates them. Unless it's peas or string beans, or lettuce doused in dressing, he's not interested. He's leaving for Austin on Tuesday, so I'm taking advantage of this time to stock up on fresh produce. I went to the Hollywood Farmers' Market today and came home with tons of juicy tomatoes, ripe avocados, herbs, fennels (never tried before), and a giantic pomelo. I'm going to try some new veggie recipes this week.


Saturday, March 10, 2007

Food Bytes

One of my favorite scenes in "Pretty Woman" is not when Vivian goes back into the snotty boutique and said, "Big mistake. Big. Huge. I have to go shopping now. " Nope. My favorite scene takes place the morning after Vivian and Edward met, and he ordered one of every breakfast item from the hotel menu, and she picks up a big fluffy croissant. For some reason, I always think of that scene when I order croissant. Needless to say, I'm a huge fan of the French pastry.

Last week, my cousin suggested La Dijonaise for brunch. I had a delightful Croissant Sandwich, with eggs, cheese and sausage. The croissant was buttery and flaky.

We also had a Pain Perdu, or French toast, made with baguette. It was just ok. A little too eggy for me.



I was inspired by teczcape's "Meatballs on Steroids" post and made my own mini meatballs. The broth was delicious with the sweetness of the napa cabbage. I made it without the noodles.