Archive | dips and sauces

Slow-Roasted Beef with Red Wine Sauce

Slow roasting at low temperatures is the best way to tame a not-so-tender cut of beef. The chuck is the best ‘cheaper’ cut for this recipe, but I’ve tested it even on a bottom round cut roast and achieved great results. So have some good, homemade roast beef any day of the week without blowing your budget!

Busy weekend here. I’ve some spillover work, and Gourmeted-related things to finish (aka The Newsletter), plus I’m helping out a friend with her wedding invitations. You’ll know just how busy I am just by the scarcity of my tweets.

Before I disappear into the haze, I’d like to leave you with this must-keep-on-hand recipe for slow-roasted beef. Pick up some beef and get cooking!

Slow Roasted Beef

It tasted even better than it looks. It was so juicy and yummy!

Have a great weekend!

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Posted in beef, dips and sauces, main dishes7 Comments

4th of July Munchies

I rarely make lists as posts, so consider this a treat.I didn’t even make one for Canada Day! Shame shame. Anyway, if you’re still looking for ideas for the weekend, here are some easy peasy suggestions, ye American neighbors.

Here are recipes for dessert (or snack) that require a little more work, but you will get a lot of love from the people who will enjoy it:

Or if you want to bake something that’s easy and still be good, try these Eggless Chocolate Cupcakes or Honey-Cheese Corn Muffins.

Yes, it’s true, when you come to my party you won’t see the usual fares. :p

Happy Independence Day weekend, friends!

Posted in appetizer, chocolate, dessert, dips and sauces, events, frozen treats, fruits, healthier choices, original Gourmeted recipe, poultry, quick & easy, salads, sweets0 Comments

Baked Garlic Rhubarb Wings with Sweet & Sour Sauce

Up until a week ago, I was a Rhubarb Virgin: the kind who’s never cooked with rhubarb, let alone taste it.

Now that the collective pause, dropped jaw, raised eyebrow, and “No way!” has been released into the ether…yes, it’s very well true and possible. I didn’t grow up here or anywhere near North America and only celebrated my 10th year in the pacific northwest and the mere mention of rhubarb 5 years ago won’t even incite any mental image. Is it a root? A fruit? You could smack me with a stalk and I wouldn’t recognize my first meeting with a rhubarb.

So I finally decided to try it.

I ordered a couple of stalks from Spud.ca with my fresh harvest box when I tried their service, then I got four more at Granville Island after seeing how incredibly cheap they were. For a few days I was well-stocked with rhubarb with no idea what to do with them. I didn’t even know what they tasted like. I read they were sour. Having no reference of the taste, I cut up a slice and tasted it raw. Indeed. Who needs sour candy?

Here were the few things I knew about rhubarb before experimenting with them:

  • eye-squinting sour when raw.
  • apparently good made as a compote
  • popularly combined with strawberries for pie (although it was unimaginable to me at the time)

After initially cooking it in simple syrup, I’ve found them incredibly good to use as a substitute for pineapple in salads, and they easily become mushy when cooked even further. I strained it out to use in my tuna-beet-rhubarb salad and saved the rosy pink for later use, I was sure something will come out of it!

That rhubarb syrup and more rhubarb made it into this chicken wing experiment and I must say that it yielded the best results out of all my exploits with this once-foreign-to-me sour stem. I was hankering for a good “treat” after yoga last night and thought of Hawaiian-inspired (i.e. with pineapple) chicken wings, but I didn’t have pineapple, so I used rhubarb instead. And here it is:

Garlic Rhubarb Chicken Wings

It’s quite possibly the tastiest and most delicious wings I’ve ever made! I’m stunned at the results, to be honest with you.

Thank you rhubarb! Thank you adventurous self! Don’t you just love it when you risk making something completely new and it ends up being one of your best dishes? :-) I was a very tired but very happy and well-fed yoga bum.

Here’s the recipe:

Baked Garlic Rhubarb Wings with Sweet & Sour SauceDownload the PDF recipe

Ingredients for the Wings

•    1.8 lbs chicken wings
•    2 tbsp smashed and finely chopped garlic
•    1/3 cup ketchup
•    1 tsp hot sauce (tweak to your taste)
•    2 tbsp soy sauce
•    1 tbsp coconut oil (you can substitute with another oil of your choice)
•    3 tbsp finely chopped rhubarb
•    3 tbsp rhubarb syrup (from cooking rhubarb in simple syrup, or just use 1 tbsp brown sugar, honey, or agave nectar)
•    ¼ tsp salt
•    ½ tsp fresh ground pepper

Ingredients for the Sauce
•    2 tbsp brown sugar
•    2 tbsp water
•    ½ tbsp lemon juice
•    3 ½ tbsp chopped rhubarb
•    4 tsp soy sauce
•    1 tbsp honey
•    1 tbsp ketchup
•    1/8 tsp salt
•    1/8 tsp pepper
•    3 tsp whole milk
•    1 tsp cornstarch mixed in 3 tsp water

Preparation for the Wings

1.    In a big bowl, mix all the ingredients except for the wings. Taste and add more salt, pepper and hot sauce as you wish until you are satisfied with it.
2.    Toss the chicken wings in the big bowl, cover and let it sit in the fridge for 15 minutes as you pre-heat the oven to 425°F with the tray on the upper third portion.
3.    Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil for easier cleaning later on.
4.    Once your oven is preheated, place the chicken wings on the lined cookie sheet, but keep the remaining mixture in the bowl. Bake for 20 minutes. Make the sauce.
5.    Take the cookie sheet out of the oven and turn the wings over using a pair of tongs. Using a spoon or a brush, put on the remaining mixture on the wings. Bake for another 13 to 18 minutes depending on how ‘dry’ you want the wings to be. 13 minutes is best if you want a lot more juicy meat to eat with rice, for example. 18 minutes would make it really nice and brown.
6.    Take out of the oven, turn the wings to prevent the top from drying up, and let it cool for 5 minutes before transferring on your serving plate. Enjoy!

Preparation for the Sauce

1.    In small saucepan, heat water and sugar in low-med heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. There’s no need to stir.
2.    Add lemon juice and chopped rhubarb and cook until rhubarb softens. With a heat-safe spatula, press the rhubarb against the bottom of the pan until you get a paste.
3.    Add the soy sauce, ketchup, honey, milk, salt and pepper. Let it simmer for a five minutes and turn off the heat. Stirring the cornstarch-water mixture to make sure the cornstarch hasn’t settled at the bottom of your small bowl, pour to the hot sauce and stir. You can keep it on the stove (turned off) while the wings are cooking.
4.    Serve with the wings.

Posted in appetizer, baking, dips and sauces, experiments, healthier choices, original Gourmeted recipe, poultry23 Comments

Lasagne of Emilia-Romagna

I like a good challenge and whenever I see those lovely food blogs with results from the Daring Bakers Challenge, I’m in awe and envy. When I finally got around to joining the group, I froze when I saw my first challenge for March 2009: Lasagne of Emilia-Romagna (Lasagne Verdi Al Forno). I was expecting to make dessert or bake cakes — something for my insatiable sweet tooth…something easier. But no, it turns out my “initiation” into the Daring Bakers would be a very laborious one. I was as scared as I was decades ago when the swimming instructor asked us to jump into the pool at the 6″ feet mark on our first class. Are you serious? What did I get myself into?!

THIS, dear readers:

YUMMMMMMM. As with life’s big challenges, this challenge has great rewards. This lasagna melts in your mouth. There’s homemade lasagne, and then there’s memorable homemade gourmet lasagne. I could not believe how delicious it was! I can still remember the taste of the ragu, the nice tenderness of homemade pasta, the rich bechamel sauce.

This lasagne marks a few firsts for me:

1) Very first lasagne. You read that right: I’ve never made lasagne in my entire life. It just looked like it was too much work. Yeah, look what I ended up doing! Haha.

2) Bechamel sauce.

3) Handmade pasta and without the aid of a machine, too. Oh, dear, this is a biggie. The whole thing was a workout.

4) Ragu sauce. I don’t think I’ve ever spent more than two hours to make a pasta sauce. No sir.

Woohoo!

Would I make it again? YES! But not without a pasta machine. ;-) The challenge did not require us to buy one, but god, I wish I had. Oh well, that’s done. I can now say that the very first lasagne I made entailed a back-breaking 2-hour manual pasta rolling ordeal. No wonder I put it off for more than a week! I had to muster enough courage and strength to get the ball rolling. Literally. This started out as a dough ball that you flatten with your rolling pin if you do it by hand. It has a gorgeous green color because of the spinach.  I used frozen chopped spinach and this is an egg pasta.

I dried it as cut sheets for 24 hours before cooking. I dared not to take photos of the transformation of our dining room into a pasta drying area with the sheets hanging on freshly cleaned table cloth-covered chairs.

It’s more delicate than store-bought pasta, understandably. I had some tears here and there. It looked very pretty as I assembled the dish. This is how one layer looks like, beginning with the spinach lasagna sheet overlapping each other:

Rich and creamy bechamel sauce:

The MMMMM-inducing ragu sauce:

More bechamel on top of the ragu sauce.

Topped with grated parmigiano reggiano cheese:

And this is the topmost layer of my lasagne, with a generous amount of bechamel and grated parmigiano reggiano cheese:

Our kitchen smelled amazing while it was cooking:

Here, the fruit of my labor:

I started making this 4pm (for the pasta sheets) and we ate this at 11pm the next day. It’s no walk in the park, but I’m glad I did it! WHEW!!!!!!

I will post a PDF recipe tonight. :)

The March 2009 challenge is hosted by Mary of Beans and Caviar, Melinda of Melbourne Larder and Enza of Io Da Grande. They have chosen Lasagne of Emilia-Romagna from The Splendid Table by Lynne Rossetto Kasper as the challenge.

Posted in baking, cheese, Daring Bakers, dining, dips and sauces, featured, make-ahead, pasta, vegetables55 Comments

Oven-Roasted BBQ Turkey Legs

Y’know, I have to say, I have great timing sometimes. (I’m typing that out with a load of sarcasm. :D) And I’ll tell you why: not only did I miss the Canadian elections (for which I tried to vote via fax, btw) in October, I also missed Thanksgiving here because I was in the US. Come November, I’m in Vancouver and where’s Thankgiving? In the US. Brilliant. Needless to say, I was in turkey-envy delirousness. In spite of the fact that the American Turkey Day coincided with the worst day in my weeklong saga of sickness, I forced myself to get out of bed and make this. I shall not be deprived and will take matters into my own hands.

My brother, who’s also in Vancouver with me right now, bought turkey legs the weekend before. I thought he was thinking of Thanksgiving when he got that; but in reality he picked it over the chicken because they were a lot cheaper. He is learning the ropes –haha. What he wasn’t prepared for was finding out that they take longer to cook. He thought he can just fry it quickly like chicken. Uhm.

I was craving for bbq turkey legs from the fair. But we don’t have a grill here, and even if we did, I wouldn’t use it because it’s cold outside. So I thought I’d just cook them in the oven. Next hurdle? There was no barbecue sauce. I just made something by thinking of the taste in my mouth and tried to figure out what would give that flavor and what was available in the kitchen: ketchup, soy sauce, honey, chicken broth powder, cayenne pepper, salt. Don’t ask me how that came about. Heh. All I know was that it tasted good before I put it on the legs. It’s just like when making ice cream: if it doesn’t taste good while it’s in liquid form, it won’t taste any better after it’s churned.

I was very afraid of under cooking it (I’ve battled with learning to cook bone-in chicken legs) so I actually fried the turkey legs before roasting ‘em for fear of feeding my brother something raw.

They sat in the oven for an hour and a half here’s what they looked like after I took them out and I put the last breathe of the soy sauce mixture on them. I swear these are real, but they look like those fake food in the Japanese takeout window/counter.

They came out SO lovely:

Please don’t misconstrue this as me trying to toot my own horn — but it really was SO GOOD. It surpassed all my expectations. It was the perfect taste for me and the extra kick from the cayenne was perfecto. I made homemade mashed potato with a couple of potatoes, butter, heavy cream, salt and pepper to eat with it. The bread is a Filipino bread called “Pandesal” Or “Pan de sal” from the Chinese supermarket.

Not bad for a flu-induced make-shift thanksgiving dinner eh? Sometimes, experimenting with cooking from scratch produces positive results. And so, that is one other thing I can be thankful for.

Make this. You won’t be disappointed. They’re so flavorful and tender and make for leftovers — if there were — you can look forward to. The one leg left was even better the next day!

Here’s the recipe: Continue Reading

Posted in dips and sauces, experiments, original Gourmeted recipe, turkey3 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

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

Linguine with Beef and Mushroom Cream Sauce

The trend here in Casa de Gourmeted as of late is that the no-thought-to-it experimental recipes get the higher thumbs up from the other half. Could it be because the flavors are kept simple and there is no chance to overdo it?Hmmm.

I quickly put this together for lunch last week and had one serving left after I finished my big plate of it. Dan brought it to work the next day. That afternoon I got this message — “Your pasta was AWESOME.” You’re welcome, hon.

Linguine with Beef Mushroom Cream Sauce

One of the benefits of keeping a food/cooking blog is that you get in the habit of keeping notes of what you make in the kitchen . If I hadn’t typed down the recipe last week, I probably wouldn’t be able to replicate this. The photos help me remember the procedure, too:

And here’s the recipe. Enjoy! Continue Reading

Posted in beef, dailies, dairy, dips and sauces, original Gourmeted recipe, pasta, quick & easy4 Comments

Churros the only way I know how to enjoy it — with Chocolate

Fried light dough shaped like a teardrop outline dunked into thick bittersweet chocolate in little espresso cups — this is the churros I was used to. I love these, but they seem impossible to find. Whenever I order churros here it’s always the big brown ones drowning in cinnamon sugar that make my teeth hurt just looking at them. Where’s my chocolate? Where’s the simplicity of my fried dough and enjoying the flavor of rich cacao? Nowhere to be found! I guess I am reacting the same way as carbonara purists react to their beloved spaghetti alla carbonara being cooked with cream.

I don’t think I would ever find this here, so Fine, I’ll make it. And this will be the death of me because I will keep eating them. You know what else? They remind me so much of Sunday brunches with my parents after church, which I looked forward to [well not only because of the churros]. :-)

I was surprised at how easy they were to make. I’ve always been intimidated with dough, but I’m slowly overcoming my kitchen fears. And my taste buds are happier for it. And I’m sure your taste buds will thank me for churros with chocolate. Try it!

Oh, but before you do, a li’l plug for those who haven’t voted yet [thanks for those who voted for us!] –

Please register and Vote for Gourmeted between February 4 and 8. Won’t you please, please — vote for the newbie on the block?
We’ll all have a chance to win a trip to Napa Valley for the annual Death by Chocolate Festival. We’ll take you there with pictures and send you postcards from beautiful Napa, if you want. ;-)
It’s a win-win situation! What are you waiting for? Go vote!



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Posted in chocolate, dessert, dips and sauces22 Comments

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Spinach and Artichoke Dip
It’s the big game. The big game means big eats. I knew coming into the party that my parents were hosting that Portillo’s Hot Dogs and Italian Beef would be served. It’s a staple in the family to prepare it at least once a year. Thankfully this year it was at one of the greatest games around. We wanted to bring something for everyone to enjoy. Taking from a dish at our nearest dinner spot, I decided to make a spinach and artichoke dip.

When it was completed and every one had a taste, there were requests for the recipe all around. By popular demand, I present the recipe. However, in the Gourmeted fashion, no recipe is ever replicated.

Please register and Vote for Gourmeted between February 4 and 8. Won’t you please, please — vote for the newbie on the block?
We’ll all have a chance to win a trip to Napa Valley for the annual Death by Chocolate Festival. We’ll take you there with pictures and send you postcards from beautiful Napa, if you want. ;-)
It’s a win-win situation! What are you waiting for? Go vote!

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Posted in appetizer, cheese, dailies, dairy, dips and sauces, quick & easy, snacks1 Comment