Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Creamy Tuscan Garlic Chicken

This is easy to make. And it’s as delicious as can be. I ddn’t have chicken breasts, but I did have several three-packs of skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs in the freezer from a former sojourn to Costco. So I substituted them and they were perfect for this dish!

I didn’t change anything else, and the dish was a big hit with the family. I served it on linguine, which pairs very well with creamy sauce.

  • CHICKEN BREASTS, 1½ pounds, boneless, skinless, thinly sliced
  • OLIVE OIL, 2 Tablespoons
  • HEAVY CREAM, 1 cup
  • CHICKEN BROTH, ½ cup
  • GARLIC POWDER, 1 teaspoon
  • ITALIAN SEASONING, 1 teaspoon
  • FRESH SPINACH, 1 cup, chopped

  1. In a large skillet add olive oil and cook the chicken on medium high heat for 3-5 minutes on each side, or until brown on each side and no longer pink in center. Remove chicken and set aside on a plate.
  2. Add the heavy cream, chicken broth, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and parmesan cheese to the pan.
  3. Whisk over medium high heat until it starts to thicken.
  4. Add the spinach and sundried tomatoes and let it simmer until the spinach starts to wilt.
  5. Add the chicken back to the pan and stir.
  6. Serve over pasta if desired.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Japanese Vegetable Soup

This hearty soup is called “Kenchinjiru” by the Japanese. This is a subtly delicious, hearty soup for a chilly day. A bowlful will definitely satisfy even the heartiest of appetites. Excellent for vegans.

Ingredients: Dashi (Broth)
  • KONBU (DRIED KELP), 4" X 4" square
  • WATER, 5 cups for konbu, 1 cup for mushrooms

Ingredients: Soup
  • FIRM TOFU, 7 ounces
  • KONNYAKU, ½ package
  • DAIKON, 2" chunk
  • CARROT, 1 medium-large
  • SATOIMO (taro roots), 3 large
  • GOBO (burdock root), ½ root
  • TAKENOKO (bamboo shoot), 4 thin

Ingredients: Seasonings 
  • SESAME OIL, 1 tablespoon 
  • SAKE, 3 tablespoons 
  • SALT, ½ teaspoon
  • SOY SAUCE, 2 tablespoons

  1. Wipe the konbu clean with a damp cloth (don't remove the white powder) and soak overnight in five cups of water. When ready to make the soup, bring the konbu water to a boil, take the pot off the heat and discard the konbu (or make "matchsticks" to add to the soup).
  2. Soak the shiitakes in a cup of water until rehydrated and pliable. Cut off the stems and discard, then quarter the mushrooms. Set aside, saving the liquid and straining it through a fine sieve.
  3. Wrap the tofu in a paper towel and sandwich it between two plates to gently remove some of its moisture.
  4. Cut the konnyaku into bite-sized pieces, using a spoon to increase and roughen surface area for better flavor absorption. Boil in water for 2-3 minutes, then drain.
  5. Cut the daikon, carrots and bamboo shoots into thin slices. Peel and cut the satoimo into ¼” slices.
  6. Soak it in water for a couple of minutes to reduce sliminess, and drain.
  7. Peel and thinly slice the gobo on the diagonal. Soak for a couple of minutes and drain.
  8. Heat a large pot and add the sesame oil. Sauté the konnyaku, daikon, carrots, satoimo and optional konbu matchsticks until they are coated with the sesame oil.
  9. Add the shiitake mushrooms and the tofu, using your fingers to tear the tofu apart (for better flavor absorption. Sauté until all ingredients are coated.
  10. Add the konbu dashi and shiitake liquid and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, skimming off the surface foam solids.
  11. After 10 minutes, add the sake and salt. Cook until the vegetables are tender, then add the soy sauce.
  12. Stir and serve, adding the green onions on top as garnish.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Bacon & Onion Foil-Packet Potatoes

Do you like bacon? Do you like potatoes? Do you like easy? Well, have I got a recipe for you!

  • ONION SOUP POWDER, 1 packet
  • BABY RED POTATOES, 10-12, thinly sliced
  • BACON, 12 slices, cooked and crumbled
  • ONION, 1 small, thinly sliced and diced
  • CHEESE (Optional), 1 cup cheese
  • SALT and PEPPER, to taste
  • BUTTER, 3 tablespoons
  • SOUR CREAM (optional), for serving

  1. You will need 2 to 3 sheets of heavy-duty foil; Spray each sheet of foil with cooking spray.
  2. Top each piece with equal portions of potatoes, bacon, 1 packet onion soup powder and mix.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to each serving. Wrap securely.
  5. Grill for 20 to 30 minutes. Or you can bake it in the oven, at 350° for about 35 minutes or till done.
  6. Let stand 10 minutes before serving in the foil, topped with sour cream if desired

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Steamed Korean Pork Hash

When I lived in Los Angeles, we used to go to a small Chinese restaurant just up the street from our apartment.

Occasionally, the cooks would come out and have lunch at one of the tables.

They would bring a “cake” of steamed pork hash and pick at it with their chopsticks, dip a piece into soy sauce, and gobble it up with rice.

I thought about that the other day and got the hungries to make my own version—pork hash with chopped-up kim chee in it. That makes it Korean, doesn’t it?


  • GROUND PORK, 1 to 1½ pounds
  • SHRIMP, 3-4, peeled, deveined, finely chopped
  • KIM CHEE, ½-¾ cup, minced
  • EGG, 1 large
  • WATER CHESTNUTS, 1 can chopped
  • GREEN ONIONS, ¼ cup sliced (reserve some for garnish)
  • GINGER, 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled & finely chopped
  • (Alternate), GINGER PASTE, 1 tablespoon
  • GARLIC, 1 clove, minced
  • OYSTER SAUCE, ¾ tablespoon
  • SOY SAUCE, 2 teaspoons

  1. Combine all ingredients except the watercress and mix well. Place the mixture in a bowl and shape it so it creates an even layer in the bowl.
  2. Place the bowl in a large pot and pour 1 inch of water in the pot (not on the pork). Bring water to a simmer and cover pot. Steam for 30-40 minutes until the juices run clear.
  3. Remove from pot carefully. There will be some water and coagulation in the center. Remove it.
  4. Serve over the watercress, garnish with green onions and some kim chee.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Pineapple Shrimp and Zucchini Pasta

This is easy and it tastes great. You can add other ingredients, such as halved American olives from a can, sweet green and/or red peppers, mushrooms.

This recipe will feed 4; you can adjust the veggies and pasta to increase the quantity.

  • SHRIMP, 12 to 16
  • ROTINI PASTA, half cup
  • GARLIC SALT, to taste
  • BUTTER, 2 tablespoons
  • ZUCCHINI, 1 large 
  • CARROT, 1 medium
  • ONION, 1 small, cut in chunks
  • CRUSHED PINEAPPLE, 1 small can
  • KETCHUP, 2 tablespoons 
  • SUGAR, 2 tablespoons 
  • CIDER VINEGAR, 1 tablespoon

  1. Boil the rotini in water flavored with garlic salt until al dente.
  2. Shell and devein the shrimp, set aside.
  3. Slice the zucchini into ½” half-rounds.
  4. Thinly slice the carrot at an angle.
  5. Cut the onion into chunks, separating the layers.
  6. Make a sweet-sour sauce with the ketchup, sugar and vinegar; combine with the pineapple.
  7. Sauté the onion in the butter and some olive oil over medium until barely crunchy, then add the zucchini, carrots and pasta to the pan.
  8. Moisten with pasta water, then stir and cook the vegetables and pasta until the liquid bubbles.
  9. Add the shrimp, stir, turn off the heat, cover and let stand for five minutes or until the shrimp are just cooked.
  10. Serve with steamed rice.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Classic Louis Salad Dressing

For a classic Seafood Louis Salad, serve this dressing with a plateful of shredded lettuce, thinly sliced (diagonally) celery, wedged tomatoes, halved hard-boiled eggs, pitted American olives, and cold shrimp and/or crab meat.

Make a lot of the dressing, more than you need. If you have any left-over, use it another time. It's great as a tartar sauce substitute. This recipe makes about ¾ pint.

  • MAYONNAISE, 2 cups
  • CHILI SAUCE, ½ cup
  • WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE, 1½ teaspoons
  • GREEN ONION, 2 tablespoons, minced or grated
  • FLAT LEAF PARSLEY, 2 tablespoons, finely chopped
  • PREPARED HORSERADISH, 1½ teaspoons

  1. Blend everything together until smooth and well-combined.
  2. Refrigerate a few hours until well-chilled.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Stuffed Tofu

This is a tasty dish that's simple to make.

But ... I did have trouble stuffing the tofu triangles; the sides kept breaking. I eventually sliced the triangles open from the peak to the base, allowing for more of the stuffing to be inserted.

Otherwise, go gettum! The tofu adheres to the pork stuffing as it cooks, kind of preventing it from breaking apart.

Oh, and if, like me, you end up with lots of extra stuffing, do what I did: use it to make steamed pork hash (recipe next time).

  • FIRM TOFU, 2 10-ounce blocks
  • SHRIMP (MINCED), GROUND PORK, either or both, 10 ounces total
  • GINGER PASTE, ½ teaspoon
  • GARLIC, minced, ½ teaspoon
  • SALT, 1½ teaspoons
  • RICE WINE OR DRY SHERRY, 2 teaspoons
  • WHITE PEPPER, 1/8 teaspoon ground
  • CORNSTARCH, 1 teaspoon
  • CHICKEN STOCK, 1½ cups
  • SOY SAUCE, 2 tablespoons
  • GREEN ONION (white and green parts), 1, cut into 2"-3" pieces

  1. In a medium bowl, combine and mix the shrimp and/or pork, ginger, garlic, salt, rice wine or sherry, white pepper and cornstarch well.
  2. Cut the block of tofu along a narrow side to form 4 squares, each about 3 x 3 x 3/4 inches. Cut each square from corner to corner in an X-shape to from 4 triangles. Repeat with the remaining squares, making 16 triangles in all. Pat the tofu dry with a paper towel.
  3. Cut out a thin pocket along the long side of the triangle (see my remarks above).
  4. Place 2 teaspoons of the filling into each pocket, being careful not to break the tofu.
  5. Bring the chicken stock and soy sauce to a boil in a nonstick skillet, then reduce to a simmer.
  6. Place the tofu into the skillet, cover and cook for 5-6 minutes.
  7. Add the green onions, stir, cook for an additional minute, and serve with additional soy sauce.