Friday, June 25, 2010

Something to look forward to...

Well, its been a hectic as all get out last couple of weeks...have hardly cooked a meal, and I'm having withdrawls....however there is a bright spot in my future. I have this that I pieced together and can't wait to use it. Any ideas as to what it could be?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Quick Note

Well with everything going on in the next week and a half, its going to be tough for me to get into the kitchen. Didn't want you to think I'd given up already, we will be back and hard at in soon. So keep in touch.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Fiancee's Turn To Cook: Chilled Carrot Soup and Spring Rolls

If you remember from the Mad Kitchen Chef's last blog entry, the fiancee was going to cook the next meal of Chilled Carrot Soup and Spring Rolls.  That's me, Jenifleur.  And I took the challenge and had a blast cooking, after I got through a few little bumps along the road.  Let me give you a little background.

Right now, we live between two homes.  Mad KC lives in a home with a decent kitchen full of supplies, and I live in a smaller apartment and my kitchen occassional lacks a few items we need for cooking from time to time.  Usually what I don't have Mad KC has, and we shuffle between two kitchens.  Well, we did some shuffling of supplies on Friday morning, in hopes I'd have almost everything to cook with besides a few ingredients that I was to pick up at the grocery store.  So I went to the store and picked up orange juice, chicken broth, a jalepeno, and ginger for the Chilled Carrot Soup and went home.  Later, I got a text message from Mad KC who was at work.  "Honey, I forgot to pack the hand blender for the soup!"  Oops!  Long story short, I called my mother to see if she had one that I could borrow.  Nope.  No luck.  But she told me if I bought one she'd buy it from me.  Problem solved, and off to the store I went.  I picked up a nice little Hamilton Beach Hand Blender that has two speeds and a case to store it in for a very reasonable price!  With blender in hand, I was able to finish the soup.  This was the first time I've ever used a hand blender and thought this one did the trick very well!

As for the next item on the menu.  Chicken Stuffed Vegetable Spring Rolls was another item I've never made in my life!  The recipe was easy to follow, until I got to the part where you wrap the rice paper spring roll wrappers.  How the heck do you do this?!  I panicked.  I wanted to have them wrapped by the time Mad KC was done with work so we could eat fairly soon after he arrived.  Hmm.  How about YouTube I thought.  Sure enough.  I found a great how-to video.

Once I got going on making the Spring Rolls, I rather enjoyed making them.  Lucky for me this video showed me how to wet the type of crispy rice papers we had and how to roll up the spring rolls.  Piece of cake!  To spice them up and give some extra kick, I added a bit of Sriracha (HOT Chili Sauce).  And instead of using chicken, we substituted pork because that's what we had to use. 

Yeah, but how did it all taste?  It came together well.  Both items shared one same ingredient...ginger.  After Chinese Cuisine Week this week and using ginger in most of our recipes, I have to admit that I love the taste of it.  There was a light hint of ginger with the cabbage and carrots in the Spring Rolls.  And in the Chilled Carrot Soup I could taste the hint the ginger fused with the sweet coconut milk and bit of jalepeno.  It really got the pallette going!  Overall the pairing of these two recipes did well together.  (Great thinking Honey!)   And most of all, I was happy that we didn't have to order pizza on my turn in the kitchen!

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for Mad Kitchen Chef's next recipe pick!
Jenifleur (The fiancee)

The Recipes I used for Friday:
Chilled Carrot Soup - For two people, I cut this recipe in half
Chicken and Vegetable Spring Rolls - You can substitute pork for chicken or any other meat filling, if desired.  Or leave meat and substitute other veggies or peanuts for vegetarian spring rolls!

If case you are interested in the Hamilton Beach Hand Blender...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

End of Chinese Week?

Well the last meal I had planned for the week was tonight, Ginger Beef with Beef Lo Mein. The Lo Mein reminded me of college and cheap ramen noodles, but a little better flavor to them. I needed to marinade the Ginger Beef a little bit longer than I did, could have used a solid hour or so. Also, and important lesson, I can't over load my fryers at work, but I can overload my wok on my home stove. Don't try to cook too much at one time, especially when frying...

Now I'm out of ideas for this week, however we have a little coconut milk left from Tuesday night, so my fiance is going to be using that to make a chilled carrot soup and spring rolls tomorrow evening. Should be fun and interesting. See you later....

Need an idea for next week....maybe one you would like to visit...

Oh yeah, recipes
Ginger Beef Beef LoMein

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tonight's Supper

Tonight we had Shrimp with Coconut Milk, Chinese Green Beans, and Egg Drop Soup. It was a tasty meal. The Egg Drop Soup again was something I have done before; chicken stock, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and green onions. Then as you stir it drizzle in whipped eggs. I read a three page article on egg drop soup and how they should opinion, taste is more important than the appearance. The fresh green beans stir fried with hoisin sauce, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and green onions was a wonderful Chinese flavor.

Now the Shrimp with Coconut Milk was very good, had a little tomatoes for acidity, rice vinegar, rice wine(SAKI!!!), Its just not the Chinese flavor I'm used to, I might be wrong, but when I think coconut milk flavors I lean towards Thai foods. I don't know, maybe someone out there can clear it up for me. Problem is I now have about 4/5ths of a can of coconut milk that's going to go to waste unless I can find something to do with it....Ideas???

Here are the recipes I used tonight
Shrimp with Coconut Milk
Chinese Green Beans

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Little Side Trip

Well last night I made a little General Tso's chicken, with fried rice and steamed broccoli. This was the 3rd time I've made this dish, and it gets a little easier and better each time I make it. I do like it much better than most take out that I have had, the chicken is more tender, and the sauce has a nice ginger/orange flavor with just a bit of heat. Looking forward to the new dishes the rest of this week as Chinese is one of my favorite cuisines as of now.

Now for the side trip, my Fiance had her 30th birthday today, she is just slightly obsessed with France and French things. She had been asking for a crepe pan for a while, but the only ones I've seen are about $60-80 a piece, I found a nice little one for much less. So while I was cooking last night, got out a blender and made the basic sweet crepe recipe courtesy of Alton Brown. These were fairly simple to make and tasty. We added some berries and the Whipped Vanilla Yogurt she had in the fridge. Nice, light and tasty.

Well, back to China on Tuesday with Shrimp in Coconut Milk...see ya then

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Something is missing

So Thursday night after much running around and doing stuff for our new house we finally got home and started supper. A nice light Cucumber and Onion Salad with just a little vinegar for a dressing and Tarragon Ragout over mashed potatoes. Oops, didn't have any tarragon, so just used some of the dill left over from the cucumber salad, was very nice.

I'm really starting to love the taste of shallots, have used them a few times now, and they create a nice smoky, oniony, garlicy, flavor. As a side note, I do like the flavor of dill and use it with other things, but when its in the salad, the mashed potatoes, and the meat and sauce over said potatoes, got to be a little bit of an over kill for me.

Next week is Chinese food, starting with something I've made 3 or 4 times now, General Tso's Chicken. The Shrimp with Coconut milk(sauce?), Green Beans, and my Egg Drop Soup, then Ginger Beef and Lo Mein later in the week. Might take a side trip between now and then but we'll just have to see.

No snappy catch phrase to leave ya with this time...Take care.