Archive | fried

Pan-Fried Eggplant with Lemon-Soy Sauce Dip

Hmm…so much for Fuss-Free Fridays! How about Too Lazy Tuesdays? Hahaha.

I used to be a picky eater as a young child. It’s not that I won’t eat vegetables or that I will only eat burgers (McDonald’s burgers were actually a rare treat because it wasn’t a place we .). The thing is, when I likes something in particular, could you just please cook it for me everyday until I tire of it? I had a lot of phases: fried chicken, corned beef, Mah-Ling, Spam, tomatoes, green beans, peas, broad bean, mung beans, etc. My blood was also half soy sauce and calamansi juice because I will dip almost anything in that sauce. Take for example, one of my favorite Filipino dish,  Pritong Talong (PREE-tong Ta-LONG; talong = eggplant; prito = fried). It’s as simple as what the name suggests: Fried. Eggplant. No salt. No pepper. Just wash, cut, and fry in oil.

Our Philippine eggplants are long and slender, similar to the Chinese and Japanese ones, and they’re cut in half lengthwise and crosswise, leaving you four pieces per eggplant. You can also use the much plumper variety, American globe, for frying, just cut them across, about a third of an inch in thickness.

Now depending on who’s cooking, it can be very oily, and that’s one thing I avoid. The older I get, the more naturally averse I am to oily food. What I do instead is to fry them in little oil and then steam by adding a small amount of water, just like when you cook potstickers.

The Method: Put enough vegetable oil on a frying pan, just enough to coat it. Heat on medium. Place eggplant slices (about 1/3 of an inch thick) sliced side down and cook until it it begins to turn brown on the edges. Flip to the other side, and wait until the edge starts to brown. And then quickly add about a tablespoon of water per slice of eggplant in the pan and quickly cover the pan until all the water evaporated. Transfer eggplants onto a plate. Coat pan with oil with every batch of eggplants cooked.

The sauce is just soy sauce with calamansi juice, lemon or lime juice. The salty and tangy sauce with the slightly sweet eggplant is a match made in heaven. Filipinos are huge rice eaters, and the fried eggplant is one of rice’s concubines. Give me plain steamed rice with fried eggplants for breakfast and I’ll be happy. Unless you make me some Tortang Talong (Eggplant Omelette), which I also love. I’ll be posting about that soon!

What about you — How do you cook your eggplants?

Posted in Asian dish, Filipino dishes, fried, healthier choices, vegetables, vegetarian6 Comments

Fry-Baked Tilapia

I forgot to mention that this is part of my efforts to “Eat Down The Fridge“, which simply means that I try to finish the food that I already have in the fridge and pantry before moving on to buying more. You know how we sometimes just accumulate food? Well, that’s the point of this experiment with Kim O’Donnel of The Washington Post’s A Mighty Appetite.

As a child, my absolute favorite food aside from fried chicken, was fried tilapia. I sure loved my fried stuff. When I didn’t know what to eat or our maids didn’t know what to feed me, they’d cook this because it’s sure to make me eat a lot. See, when I was younger than ten years old, I was so skinny and underweight. It wasn’t that I didn’t eat. I just need to eat more.

Everyone had their own theory as to why I was not gaining weight. My favorite and most remembered was my grandmother’s (mom’s mom) hypothesis that all the nutrients were going to my then very long hair. Ha ha.

Honestly, if I was served fried chicken and fried tilapia, I would just continue to eat until I was fat. Unfortunately (well fortunately!) I didn’t really gain weight until I was in college and that’s the time you don’t really want to gain any weight. Hahaha. I still continue to eat and enjoy tilapia, though.

Similar to the fry-baked chicken, I cooked this with the same methods but with different flavors. I went for something very (cliche?) Asian: ginger and green onions.

Fry-Bake Tilapia

Somebody told me that people don’t like looking at fish heads at the market and/or when cooking or eating. Uhm, do some people really think that the fish they eat are headless?

Ginger Tilapia

The tilapia was so darn good! Trust me, I’m a tilapia connoisseur from many years of first hand taste tests. ;-)

Fry-Bake TilapiaDownload the print-ready PDF file

Ingredients
•    1 med-large tilapia
•    1 onion (halved, sliced)
•    3 stalks of green onion
•    3 thin slices of ginger
•    1/2 cup chicken broth
•    1/2 cup dry white wine
•    1/2 tsp salt
•    3 cloves of garlic, mashed
•    olive oil

Preparation
1.    In med-high heat, heat olive oil and wait for it to ‘ripple’ in a frying pan. Fry the  fish about 2-3 minutes each side until golden brown. Here’s the cooking test I use as a guide: It’s good to flip once the skin doesn’t stick to the frying pan anymore.
2.    Transfer the fish into a rectangular glass baking dish. Preheat oven to 375°F.
3.    In the same pan, saute the sliced onions until they become dark brown on the edges, then add on top of the fish.
4.    Still using the same pan, pour the wine and allow to boil until it’s reduced to half. Add ginger slices and chicken broth cook for a couple of minutes. Turn off the heat and transfer everything in the pan to the tilapia in the baking dish. Put fresh ground pepper on top of fish. Cover the glass dish with aluminum foil with 2 edges opposite each other is open (i.e. there is a vent).
5.    Place in the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil, put green oonion, and cover again for 5 minutes before transfering on serving plate.

Posted in Asian dish, baking, dessert, experiments, fried, healthier choices, original Gourmeted recipe, reviews, seafood8 Comments

Crispy Basa Fish Fillet Sticks

Don’t forget to join in the fun to win a MixMyGranola gift certificate! There’s still time! Contest ends March 3, 5PM PST. :)

Here’s a quick, easy and tasty recipe for those of you out who like fried fish fillet. As a child, I remember feasting on crispy fish fillets during our summer outings to various tourist locations in the Philippines. My grandfather played host to these trips for the international students (mostly Koreans) in the school he used to head and I, of course, would not miss any of it. And some of these students have children my age. It was so funny in the beginning because us kids could not understand each other — they were still learning English and so we were all just nodding, smiling, laughing, playing and eating! The language barrier did not keep us from enjoying each others company.

So where was I.. yes the fish! One of my favorite packed lunch order at the Korean restaurant that catered for us was the spicy fish fillet with steamed rice. I have distinct memories of tastes of food from childhood and this is one of them. I have been so desperate for decades to find this taste or replicate it until I stumbled upon the basa fish and this simple concoction. It sounds ridiculous that I have been craving this for more than 10 years! I’m so relieved to “find” it once again and be able to satiate this craving. I cooked and ate this two days in a row! It was that bad.

I have to tell you something else: it tastes so close to McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets! I promise I was not hallucinating. So FYI, this could be a good alternative McNuggets fix.

Here’s another accidental discovery that accompanied this dish: I ran out of flour and resorted to using cornstarch for dredging. It gave a really nice, crackly-crispiness that I have been looking for a very long time. Perfect!

As for the fish, you might be wondering how in the world I decided to pick basa fish. I didn’t know this fish until it called out to me at the Chinese supermarket. This was sold frozen and although I don’t usually buy frozen fish, I was curious to try it. The meat is white (compared to the orange-coral-red-ish color of salmon) with thick flakes, compared to the finer tilapia meat. It keeps its shape during pan frying and is not as delicate as some fish fillets. I makes perfect sense for making fish sticks. It won’t fall off your fingers or fork as other fish varieties would.

You can also try the following recipe with the fish of your preference. Don’t forget to let me know if it worked out for you! Continue Reading

Posted in dessert, experiments, fried, original Gourmeted recipe, quick & easy, seafood14 Comments

Making Pot Stickers from Scratch

Do you have those moments when you think you should know (how to do) something by default as a result of your ethnicity (or perhaps last name, family, affiliation, etc.)? And then you refuse to seek guidance because “it’s in you”. It’s like assuming that as an Asian I should know how to cook rice perfectly without any measuring tools or timer.

That’s exactly what was going on in my mind when I embarked on this Pot Sticker Adventure. I was pretty confident I could pull this off by channeling my inner 1/minisculeth Chinese. A book I’m reading says this is what artists are prone to do — Wing It. Did I ever wing it. I just wanted to use what we had in the kitchen, including kale.

I think I added shredded kale, chopped carrots, green onions, salt, pepper to the ground pork. I can’t remember. I wrote down the ingredients but I could not find that piece of paper anymore.

Pot Stickers

I made the wrapper with equal parts boiling water and flour. [Please don't ask me what got into my head.] The sealing/folding left something to be desired, but it still resembled what it should look like. Somewhat.

In the end, my first pot sticker experiment tasted REALLY good for something that’s based out of nothing. Dan and I were more surprised than anything. The wrapper was not so good, so I’ll stick to pre-made ones next time. Other than that…yummy!

The dipping sauce, if you’re curious, was a mixture of light soy sauce, white vinegar and smashed whole clove of garlic. It’s a Filipino dip that’s normally used for roasted pig but I tried it with the pot stickers to balance the saltiness. Dan loved it. :)

What have you experimented/concocted lately? Share your links if you blogged about them.

Posted in appetizer, Asian dish, dailies, dips and sauces, experiments, fried, original Gourmeted recipe, vegetables12 Comments

Chicken Piccata

I love Chicken Piccata — so much that get it each time when we’re at the Cheesecake Factory. Or Maggiano’s. As much as I like it, I’ve never made it before this. Yup, first time. It’s bound to happen somehow, eh? And I had my Duh Joy! moment when I realized how easy it was to make. My ‘sign’ was in the free, promotional issue of Cuisine at Home, right there on page 8. Did you get this magazine in the mail, too? All I know is that these marketers sure know who to lure. We are practically magazine haven and I shouldn’t admit that because I’m trying to be more environment-friendly, remember? Having a collective of magazines to rival a salon’s is shameful. But I digress. Here’s the short of this long story:

Chicken Piccata

It was delish but it could’ve been better if the reducing wine didn’t burn. I was struggling to open the chicken broth can when it was a minute before I needed to pour it in, and it wouldn’t budge. Oops. That’ll teach me to get that out of the way before cooking.

On the subject of Lemons, there was a feature on the news the other night about the lemons you get from restaurants. They tested them and one sample had salmonella! Others had fecal bacteria. Atrocious! Watch out for those lemons when you eat out!

Of course, after grossing you out I’m giving you the recipe to the Chicken Piccata. Classy me. Enjoy the dish!

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Posted in dailies, fried, poultry, quick & easy7 Comments

Hungry Man’s Dinner: Spicy Sesame Chicken with Linguine

I’m here in Phoenix all by myself until the end of the month, so that means I need to feed myself. The first thing I was thinking of was a spicy chicken dish and noodles. Instead of trying to find a real receipe, I thought I’d try making something of my own. You may try this recipe if you want, but I assure you, I have some warnings.

Spicy Sesame Chicken with Linguine

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Posted in experiments, fried, original Gourmeted recipe, poultry14 Comments

Steaks with Mushroom-Madeira Sauce

Do you plan your menu for the week? Do you have your grocery list down to the last ingredient? We rarely do. We couldn’t even stick to it because our taste and craving for food change so much. Our grocery shopping and cooking philosophy is: buy what looks good and fresh, is in season (and, therefore, has a good price), and we’ll think of something to make with them. This works well especially for its surprise factor, and creative and culinary freedom. We often decide what to cook once we’re right in front of the stove. Sometimes we see a sign on the street, a TV commercial, or a picture on a magazine, that would inspire the next meal. Our dishes really almost always starts from there.

That’s how it was for this meaty plate. The March 2008 Gourmet issue arrived the week we got some nice thin steaks. I saw the recipe for blade stakes with mushroom-madeira sauce and was lured by its simplicity: short cooking time and few ingredients. Sounds perfect for a weeknight!

I made this one night after we came home from our 90-minute Bikram yoga class. If you’ve ever been in one, I think you’ll understand what I mean when I say that there would be times when you’d want to eat — no, scarf down — a big plate of food immediately afterwards.

This was our delicious ‘reward’ after a long arduous workout:

Steaks with Mushroom Madeira auce

Yummy, yummy, yummy. We almost licked the plate clean. What’s more, it looked and tasted like it took a lot more time and effort than it really did. You can make it when you have guests over and not break a sweat. Love it!

The thin steak slices cut down the cooking time even more (such a bonus if you’re starving). We had leftover madeira, thanks to the herb crusted fillet of beef that we cooked for Christmas. I used fresh crimini mushrooms and white onion (instead of shallot). If you can believe it, these are the only main ingredients that you really will ever need. The madeira we have is decently priced (less than $10) and it works beautifully. You don’t have to get the priciest thing on the shelf, unless you have too much extra dough or feel like feeding the queen.

** Madeira substitutes: According to The Cook’s Thesaurus [bookmark that site, it's good for you], you can use port (especially a dry port), Marsala, dry vermouth or sherry (especially a dry sherry), or stock (Either beef or chicken stock works well in meat-based sauces).

If you want some good-tasting steaks with sauce in less than 30 minutes, try making this. [Sorry, there's no step-by-stop photo because we were in a mad rush to cook and eat.] Here’s the recipe:

Thin Steaks in Mushroom-Madeira SauceDownload the PDF recipe for Steaks with Mushroom Madeira Sauce
[adapted from the Gourmet March 2008 recipe, page 84.]

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pound beef eye of round steak , patted dry & cut into 1/4-inch to 1/3-inch thick slices
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup chopped white onion
  • 7 crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup Madeira wine** (we used rainwater Madeira, medium dry)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Procedure

1. Sprinkle meat slices salt and pepper. Toss together.

2. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoon oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Place meat in the skillet and cook 1 to 2 minutes on each side, depending on thickness. Transfer to a plate and keep warm, covered.

3. Add the remaining oil into the skillet, and onions. Sauté for 30 seconds. Add mushrooms and sauté until golden, 3 to 4 minutes.

5. Add the wine, 1/4-teaspoon salt, and 1/8-teaspoon pepper and briskly simmer for 2 minutes. Mix in water and any meat juices from plate. Boil for 2 minutes.

6. Prepare cornstarch mixture, add to the skillet with mushrooms and simmer until thickened, about 1 minute. Pour sauce over the steaks before serving.

Posted in beef, dailies, dips and sauces, fried, liquor, quick & easy15 Comments

Pancake Breakfast with the Help of The Scale

Over the weekend, Joy and I had our share of visiting friends. When I was waiting for her at the local outlet mall, I decided to pick up a digital kitchen scale. If it were not for Alton Brown and his several episodes about weights and volume and the flour test, I would have been none the wiser to the value of this contraption. My brother-in-Law’s brother uses his scale to measure out his meal portions and he says he’s sticking to it. So I picked one up and then I realized what the first meal prepared with this scale would be. Breakfast.

It was 12:05 on Sunday afternoon, so you know what that means; its breakfast time! Please join me and my assistant Teddy in making this breakfast perfect.
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Posted in baking, breakfast, dailies, dining, fried, kitchen tools and gadgets, reviews6 Comments

Teddy’s Weekly Roundup: Feb 24 to Mar 1

We hope you’re all having a good Sunday. It’s bright, and warm and sunny here at our end.

If you’ve missed something, here’s a recap of what we had this week:

Also, I mentioned last week that we’ll be featuring recipes that we like, admire, and want to bookmark for future reference. It’s easier than trying to remember where to get them when we need the recipe. Go have a look at these delicious creations:

A peek at this week’s ‘menu’ at Gourmeted:

  • Cocoa Brownies

  • Beef Stir-Fry
  • Lengua Estofada (Braised Beef Tongue)
  • We’re kicking off the series on How We Take Food Photos - from discussing the basic equipment, setting up your camera for taking step-by-step photos, to dealing with kitchen and dining table lighting, and more! A few people have asked about how we do things here, so we’re going to do a continuous series on food photography, and hopefully we can all learn from each other.

Posted in Asian dish, baking, beef, cheese, chocolate, coffee buddy, cookies, dailies, dairy, dessert, fried, healthier choices, meme5 Comments

Ham and Cheese Omelette

Thursday night was an interesting night for me. I did not feel like cooking too much and really did not feel like getting something from a local fast food place. Joy suggested I make an omelette. So I did.

But I have never made an omelette before, so I hit up good old Google for advice: WikiHow for the perfect omelette. Please follow along with feasting eyes.

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Posted in breakfast, cheese, fried, fun1 Comment