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Taiwanese Style Fried Pork Tenderloin

22 Mar

Browsing Foodgawker, I came across these fried pork things. Having been to my share of Chinese banquets, I must admit that these things are really tasty, but I don’t know what they’re called. 

Comments: This recipe is very straightforward and was easy to make. While I was at Whole Foods I saw that the tenderloin was about $20 and almost didn’t make it, but then I had to make a trip to Trader Joe’s and I lucked out with tenderloin for only $5! Hurrah for TJ’s, they’re really quite awesome. As for taste, my mama brought home leftovers of some of the same thing from a restaurant that night and I preferred my homemade version.

recipe from Tamarind and Thyme

Raspberry Teacake

22 Mar

Originally I was making this for a friend’s bday, but turned out someone else was baking the cake. So I brought this pretty teacake to work. 

(recipe from Inn Cuisine, adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Baking, 2008)

1 (12 ounce) package frozen raspberries
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup cold butter, sliced into thin pats
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10″ round pan that has a removable bottom; set aside.

Raspberry filling: in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine raspberries, sugar and cornstarch over medium heat; cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat. Push raspberry mixture through a fine, mesh sieve, discarding seeds and pulp. Set filling aside to cool slightly; alternatively you may store airtight, refrigerate and use within 3 days.

Tea cake batter: Stir together flour and sugar. In a food processor, combine the flour/sugar mixture with butter. *Measure and set aside 1/2 cup of this flour-crumb mixture and reserve for crumb topping. In a bowl, combine the remaining flour mixture with baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir well to combine. Make a well in the center of flour mixture to accept wet ingredients.

In a small mixing bowl, beat egg; stir in buttermilk until combined. Add all at once to the well you just created in the center of the flour mixture. Stir gently until just moistened; batter will be thick. Spread two-thirds of this batter over the bottom and up 1″ of the sides of prepared tart pan, using fingers to pat into place if necessary. Next, carefully spread the prepared raspberry filling on top of this batter, tilting pan if necessary to cover surface area. In many small, irregular mounds, drop remaining batter on top of filling, spreading ever-so-gently with fingers or back of spoon if necessary. Allow mounds of batter to rest atop raspberry filling without pressing into bottom layer of batter. Sprinkle entire cake with the *reserved flour-crumb topping.

In the center of a preheated oven, baked tea cake at 350 degrees F for approximately 30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. The cake should appear lightly browned. Cool on wire rack for 15 minutes. When time has elapsed, remove cake from tart pan and place on cake stand or serving plate.

Comments: I love my food processor, especially when making crusts/crumb. Mixing by hand or using a hand-mixer are both such time consuming and painful activities, food processing cuts down both of these to mere seconds! I really enjoyed making this cake. It was made for a tart pan, but since I don’t have a springform tart pan, I just used a round springform. I found it difficult to press the batter to the pan since it was greased and didn’t want to stick. Somehow I made do. The raspberry filling was easy to make but I wish it had a more concentrated raspberry flavor. Putting the batter on top of the filling was a bit tricky in that I had to make quarter-sized dollops of batter placed closely together, again not the easiest to spread. If I made this again I would prefer this cake to use almond flour instead of all-purpose flour and Perhaps raspberry jam or almond marzipan would have been a nice touch.

recipe from Inn Cuisine

Belgian Waffle #2

16 Mar

Waffles take 2 🙂 My coworker loves waffles as much as I do and this is her go-to recipe.

Buttermilk Waffles
Yields: 4 waffles

3 large eggs, separated
Pinch cream of tartar
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons butter plus 1 tablespoon, melted
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Beat the eggs, cream of tartar, buttermilk, vanilla and 2 tablespoons melted butter.
Into a large bowl stir together the flour, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon. Combine with the wet ingredients and mix until incorporated. Grease the waffle iron. Ladle batter onto the waffle iron and cook until golden brown.

Comments: So the eggs were supposed to be separated with the whites folded in afterwards, but my coworker told me she usually skipped that step. The resulting waffles were light and fluffy, but not crispy. However, when I reheated a frozen leftover waffle in the toaster, it crisped up, so maybe I can just eat these as frozens.

Recipe adapted from Foodnetwork

Nutella Oatmeal Thins

16 Mar

World Nutella Day passed recently and I had to a craving for nutella, thus the birth of these cookies. Really now, where do you go wrong with Nutella sandwiched by two Nutella cookies? You don’t.

Nutella Oatmeal Thins
Yields: About 24

Original recipe can be found at Baking Bites

1 cup + 2 tbsn. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup butter, room temp
6 -7 tbsn. Nutella
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup of quick cooking oats
Preheat to 350 F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl cream the butter, nutella, and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg and egg yolk, then the vanilla. Gradually blend in the flour mixture and the oats, slowly. Drop teaspoonfuls of batter onto the baking sheet, at least 2.5 inches apart to allow them to expand. Bake for 10 minutes, and let cool completely. Enjoy!

Comments: These cookies are super-easy to make. Mix, mix, bake, BAM—delicious. I love that the cookies don’t obviously taste like nutella and that they are very thin, but not crunchy. Since Michelle at Une-deux Senses posted that she made sandwich cookies, I tried it out too. Amongst my coworkers, seems like some people like plain and some people liked the sandwiches, so it’s up to you which you make.

Recipe from Une-deux Senses

Sausage and Fire Roasted Tomato Soup

16 Mar

From my many days of buying gross, but usually yummy soup down in the Dairy, I have realized that I cannot live without soup. Or crackers. I actually can’t decide which I love more. The soup is lacking without crackers, but I don’t like soggy crackers that soak up the soup flavor, moreso the half-crispy, half-soggy consistency that you get after waiting a minute after throwing them in. Either way, I had to make soup and I found this on Foodgawker.

Adapted from Cooking Light 
Yield: 4 servings

1/2 tsp of olive oil
1 small onion
1 clove of garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (omitted b/c of spicy chorizo)
8 ounces pork sausage (I used spicy chorizo, casings removed)
2 1/2 cups chicken broth (I used 1 box aka 2 cups of reduced-sodium)
1 (14.5-ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
3/4 cup uncooked small shell pasta (Couldn’t find small shells, so I used mini wheels)
1 bag (~2 cups) baby spinach leaves
2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan or Romano cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil to the pan. Add onion to the pan and cook until translucent. Add sausage, garlic, pepper, salt and red pepper to pan, and cook about 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble.

Add broth, tomatoes, and pasta to pan, and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until pasta is done. Remove from heat; stir in spinach until wilted.

Sprinkle each serving with cheese and basil.

Comments: I love soup, but this turned out to be more like pasta. Of course I never actually measured how much pasta I put in and I didn’t use as much chicken broth as I should have. When I reheated my leftovers, I always added more water to the broth to create more broth. I should have added more spinach b/c I love spinach. Overall, I was happy with the results.

recipe from Elizabeth’s Edible Experience

belgian waffle #1

16 Mar


I love belgian waffles. I love them so much that I splurge purchased a Waring Pro WMK300 Belgian Waffle Maker off of Craigslist. 🙂 Now I can eat all the waffles I want!

Yields: 4 waffles

4 eggs
1 Tbsp sugar
1/4 (1/2 stick) butter (I always use unsalted when cooking)
1 cup milk (whole is ideal, but I used 2%)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Beat the yolks and sugar in a bowl until lightened in color. Beat in the milk, vanilla, and melted butter. Beat in the flour, salt, and baking powder, stirring as little as is necessary to incorporate it–if you overdo it, the waffles will be tough.

Meanwhile, using a mixer, whisk the egg whites until stiff. Gently fold this into the thick batter. Take care not to beat the air out of the fluffed egg whites.

Spray the waffle iron with cooking spray like PAM (VERY important! waffles stick like crazy). Make your waffles. Your waffle iron should come with a measuring cup telling you how much to pour in and ought to have its own doneness gauges.

Comments: Crispy, yummy, filling, a little bit dense (I don’t think I over mixed the batter). Since this recipe doesn’t use yeast, it’s a good recipe when you want waffles in a pinch. I like the fact that you can make a whole batch of waffles and freeze the leftovers so that you can have homemade frozen waffles as opposed to Eggos for breakfast.

recipe from Mike’s Table

Home on the Range cookies

22 Feb

Home on the Range cookies

You really can’t go wrong with these cookies. I’ll post the recipe later, but I got it from Catherine, my coworker. In my version I use oatmeal, chocolate chips (semisweet and/or milk) and coconut. Catherine has used and subbed in craisins, white chocolate and nuts for her own version occasionally and it tastes great too. This will forever be my fall-back chocolate chip cookie recipe since I love oatmeal paired with chocolate.

chicken marsala + fettucine

22 Feb

chicken marsala + fettucine

Alex’s mama told me she had chicken marsala for dinner last week and while I was at the wine store today, I saw marsala wine. Obv I had to make the dish sometime, so I bought the wine and ended up making chicken marsala for a late dinner.

recipe adapted from from: Food Network + Emeril Lagassi

all-purpose flour
salt, pepper, oregano
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in halves and pounded thin
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
3 cups sliced mushrooms
1 cup Marsala
1 cup chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Sprinkle salt, pepper and oregano on the chicken halves. Coat entire chicken breast in flour.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter and cook the chicken breasts until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Add 1 tablespoon of the remaining butter to the pan and add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are golden brown around the edges and have given off their liquid. Add the Marsala wine and bring to a boil, scraping to remove any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. When the wine has reduced by half, add the chicken stock and cook for 3 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened slightly. Lower the heat to medium and return the chicken breasts to the pan and continue to cook until they are cooked through and the sauce has thickened, about 5 to 6 minutes. Swirl in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, add salt and pepper, to taste.

comments: I didn’t use 3cups of mushrooms because I’m not the biggest fan of them, but after making this dish I realize I should have used that many mushrooms. I learned that once mushrooms cook, they shrink A Lot. Oops. This was a tasty meal, although not as time efficient as I’d hoped since I had to thaw the chicken and make the pasta.

chicken tortilla soup

22 Feb

chicken tortilla soup

I am a soup junky. I love soup. I also love the saltine crackers that usually accompany a good soup. I think I may even love the crackers as much as the soup. So I’d never made soup before and decided it was about time I tried.

olive oil
small onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, diced
red pepper flakes
1 28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
1 carton (or 4 cups) low sodium chicken broth 
1 tsp. cumin
juice of 1-2 limes
8 corn tortillas, cut into strips
1 rotisserie chicken, shredded off the bone
2 cans of beans of your choice (I use black)
small container of frozen corn
shredded mexican blend cheese
sour cream

In a medium to large soup pot, heat olive oil (just enough to cover the bottom).  When oil is heated, add in onion and garlic, and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.  Add in salt and red pepper flakes, and let cook for 2 minutes.

Add in canned, whole tomatoes. Add chicken stock, and let come to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, for about 15-20 minutes. Add in cumin, lime juice, and tortilla strips. Let simmer for about 3 minutes more. Using an immersion blender, blend soup until smooth. If you don’t have one, you can blend the soup in batches using a regular blender. Add chicken, frozen corn, and beans. Bring everything back to a simmer, so that everything is heated through.

Can be served with shredded Mexican cheese, sour cream and cilantro on top.

recipe from: picky eatings

comments: I love soup and this one did not fail me… except for the fact that I made it too thick and it ended up being more like chili than soup. It was really easy to make (although I always time my cooking poorly and end up taking twice as long as I think it will take. I must work on estimating time it takes liquids to reduce or boil). I used flour tortillas for my soup b/c corn tortillas were sold in 30 tortilla packs, far too many for my needs. However I forgot along the way that flour tortillas are bigger. and denser. and this is how my soup ended up too thick. I would suggest only using 4 flour tortillas if I remade this dish. I also had trouble blending the soup because for some reason the tomatoes and tortillas, or maybe the temperature of the ingredients, made my blender go crazy and the lid would start to fly off. So I had to grab a towel and hold down the lid with all my might. Beware of blending also because the between the ingredients phase and the blended phase is the “looks like puke” phase, which can be a little repulsive. But this was still a great soup/chili and I’d make it again

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Raspberry Curd

22 Feb

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Raspberry Curd

the cake in “notes from my food diary” was absolutely gorgeous and the name of the cake sounded delicious so i had to make it. 

Serves 8 to 10

2 1/3 cups cake flour
2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seed
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup whole milk
5 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Raspberry curd (recipe follows)

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
3 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Fresh raspberries for garnish

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degree F.  Butter and flour two 8-x2-inch round cake pans.

To make the cake:  Whisk together the flour, baking powder, poppy seed, and salt in a medium bowl.  Pulse 1/4 cup of the sugar with the lemon zest in a food processor until the zest is finely ground.

Beat the butter and the zest mixture with an electric mixer on medium-high speed in a large bowl until light and fluffy.  Add the remaining 1 1/4 cups sugar and beat until smooth.  Add 1/4 cup of the milk and beat until just blended.  Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture alternately with the remaining milk in 3 batches, beginning and ending with the flour, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as necessary, and beating just until blended.

Beat the egg whites with clean beaters on medium speed in a large clean bowl until foamy.  Add the cream of tartar, increase the speed to medium-high, and beat just until the egg whites for stiff peaks when the beaters are lifted.  using a whisk or a rubber spatula, fold one-quarter of the whites into the batter, then continue to gently fold in the whites one-quarter at a time, being careful not to deflate the mixture.  Divide the batter evenly between the pans and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the centers comes out clean.  Cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Run a table knife around the inside of each pan and carefully turn the cakes out onto the rack.  Turn them righ side up and cool completely.

Hold the palm of one hand against the top of each cake layer and, using a long serated knife, cut it horizontally in half.  Place 1 of the layers on a serving plate.  Spread the top with a scant 1/2 cup of the raspberry curd, leaving about a 1/2-inch border around the edge.  Place another cake layer on top and spread it with a scant 1/2 cup raspberry curd in the same way.  Repeat with another layer, using the remaining raspberry curd, and top with the remaining layer.

To make the frosting:  Beat the butter and zest with an electric mixer on medium speed in a medium bowl until light and fluffy.  Gradually add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy.  Add the lemon juice and beat for 1 minute longer.

Frost the cake with lemon butter frosting.  Cut into wedges and serve with the raspberries on the side if using, or store in a cool place until ready to serve.

Raspberry curd:
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
Two 1/2-pints ripe raspberries or one 12-ounce package frozen raspberries, thawed
5 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
2 to 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the raspberries, egg yolks, sugar, and salt and cook, mashing the berries and stirring frequently at first and them constantly at the end, until thickened, about 10 minutes.

Pour the mixture through a coarse strainer set over a bowl, pressing hard on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible.  Cool to room temperature; the curd will continue to thicken as it cools.  Stir in lemon juice to taste.  Refrigerate, covere, until ready to serve, or for up to 1 month.

Source:  adapted from Luscious Berry Desserts by Lori Longbotham, found at notes from my food diary

thoughts: in my haste that night and trying to make two of these cakes, and using 8×8 square pans, my cake ended up too dry. I also forgot to cut the top of the cakes off of one of my cakes so i ended up with a lopsided looking cake. there’s probably some really simple/accurate way to level and split cakes in order to have a gorgeous result, but it eludes me at the moment. i think if this cake was moist it would have been delicious. i really enjoyed making the raspberry curd, especially since i’d never made curd before. it was surprisingly easy and really tasty. i don’t know how to frost a cake either so i had a bit of trouble there too. all in all, one day i will remake this cake and do it justice by making it correctly.