Chinese Food Night.

This past Saturday the hubby and I took Nick to the Asian market in White Plains. It. Was. Awesome. Just look at this mountain of ginger!

We were all ready for our General Tso Chicken and Fried Pork Dumplings (which were much easier to make than I remember from cooking school). I started on the pork dumplings first since they’re so time consuming. For the filling:

1 lb Ground Pork

4 large shiitake mushrooms

1 large scallion, chopped

1T fresh ginger, minced

1T garlic, minced

2T dark soy sauce

1/2 T Sirracha

1/2 T Hoisin sauce

Salt & Pepper

Mine looked like this before the blades got to it:


Can I just tell you how insane this smelled? I swear I could sniff ginger for hours. Pulse this bad boy until everything is combined. Set up your assembly line for the making of the dumplings! You will need: a cup of water, dumpling wrappers, a lightly floured surface, and the pork mixture. Form your dumplings! To remind myself how to form the little effers I watched a nice lady on YouTube show me how to do it.








Heat canola oil in a large frying pan and add dumplings. Once the bottom of the dumpling is nicely browned add water (I put in enough to come 1/3 of the way up the dumpling). Cover and steam 5-7 minutes. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

So this chicken that I made turned out not-so-much like General Tso chicken but it was gooo-ood. Next time I would make it with more sauce.

I’ll call this Admiral Tso Chicken:

1/2 C Chicken stock

3T Sugar

2T Rice vinegar

1 1/2 T Hoisin sauce

1 1/2 T Sesame oil

2t Cornstarch

1 1/2 T Soy sauce

2 lb chicken breast, in cubes

5 stalks scallions, cut in thirds

1T ginger, minced

1T garlic, minced

10 shiitake mushrooms, sliced

Egg and flour/cornstarch chicken bites and deep fry until deep golden brown, set aside.

Heat some canola oil in a wok and stir fry ginger, garlic, scallions and shiitakes until soft. Add sauce mixture and boil until just thickened, toss in reserved chicken bites. Now serve that!




Mango Sorbet

A few months ago I found an old hand-crank ice cream maker hidden away in my in-law’s basement (along with a number of other random things). My mother-in-law told me that she had gotten it for Christmas in the early ’90s. Amazing! This poor guy just sitting in the cabinet unused for DECADES! I am now picturing a Toy Story-esque movie about all those totally unused, forgotten kitchen appliances. Is there any way I can use this in the future when Pixar comes out with a movie just like that? I’d watch it. Anyway… after I opened the beast up I made grapefruit sorbet, pineapple sorbet, strawberry ice cream… I went nuts. The only one that wasn’t a total winner was blueberry. It was eh, not really much of a taste, but gorgeous in color! Mango sorbet is the only one I’ve made so far that I’ve documented so here it is:

Peel and chop up the mango (I used 2)







Process in a blender


















After I strained the mango puree I added 1/2 C of water and 2T of simple syrup.

Pour into ice cream maker and freeze!








Last Minute Potato Soup

This is what happens on days when I do 37,305 loads of laundry, clean Nicky’s room, my room, the bathroom…… Time to find whatever we have stashed away, lying around or what is “about to turn” (thank you Waiting). Almost time for dinner and I have to figure something out! Grab 2 slices of bacon, one leek, a half of a small onion, 4 medium cloves of garlic, one can of College Inn chicken broth, and 4 small-medium sized potatoes.







First, render the bacon until it’s crispy, take it out and add a little more canola oil, maybe a half a tablespoon or so. Add the leeks and onions and saute those bad boys until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and saute until you can really smell it then add the chicken broth, 2 cups of hot water and potatoes, boil until the potatoes are nice and soft.



Once the potatoes are nice and soft add 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of half & half that have been heated! You don’t want to stop your cooking process! Bring this to a boil, put heat on low and puree soup (I used a hand or immersion blender, you can use a regular ole blender) until it’s nice and smooth. Keep warm. We served this soup with grated cheese and a small dollop of sour cream.






Short Ribs for dinner!

A few weeks ago at our local indoor farmers market we picked up these amazing grass-fed beef short ribs from Kiernan Farm. These were some mamma-jammas! I cleaned them up and salted & peppered them.






Look at those! Nice, thick bone-in beauties. I actually let them sit in their vacuum packaging for just over a week before I cooked them. In a big enamel pot I heated canola oil and started to sear these short ribs.






It takes a while but is so totally worth it. While these were searing I diced up onion and carrot to be ready for after searing the short ribs.






After all that searing the meat had to rest for a little bit while I started the serious gravy that is probably 60% of the deliciousness of braised short ribs. Out goes the used oil and in goes about a tablespoon of fresh canola oil and after that onions and carrots!






I cooked them until lightly browned then added about two tablespoons of tomato paste and let that go on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Before adding two cups of some random Merlot we had in the mess of bottles on the counter I cranked up the heat to high. Love hearing that sizzle when I add liquid to a super hot pan! Let the wine reduce by half before adding the short ribs and any drippings back into the pot. Cover with beef stock, add one bay leaf and a few sprigs of thyme.







Cover and let it go low and slow! These short ribs started braising at 3:30 and were fork tender at 7.






Bubbling away!

I found these crazy Royal Purple potatoes at the Rye Brook Indoor Farmers Market and HAD to get them because they’re freakin gorgeous!







I love em! They’re just so irregular looking! I decided to make a Royal Purple and Yukon Gold potato gratin with roasted garlic and Parmesan. I peeled and sliced the potatoes and look how AWESOME these mothers look on the inside:






Perrrrty. So, sliced all the potatoes and let them sit in some water while I made the heavy cream mixture to bake the potatoes in.

For an 8×8 baking dish:  2 1/2 C heavy cream; whole head of roasted garlic, mashed; handful of grated Parmesan cheese; salt & pepper to taste. Layer the Yukon gold then the Royal Purple until all potatoes are used. Pour heavy cream mixture over, just enough to cover. Cover the dish with foil and bake at 350F until you can easily insert a knife. This can be made a day in advance. Mix together 2/3 C Panko bread crumbs and 2 T melted butter. Sprinkle evenly over the potatoes and bake until heated through and bread crumbs are toasted at 350F.









And our finished plate!

My first post! Yay!

A few weeks ago I got an email from my sister. In it? A link and “Found it on Pinterest. Get on it.” The link was to Jacques Torres’s Secret Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe. The pictures of the finished cookie looked freakin awesome so, as my sister suggested, I got on it. This is a bit more complicated than my go-to favorite Toll House recipe but the results of the Jacque cookie are worth the time. I used a 5 quart mixer for this recipe and it was mega full at the end, so if you’re using anything smaller than a six quart I would halve the recipe.

Jacques Torres’ Secret Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
Makes twenty-six 5-inch cookies or 8 1/2 dozen 1 1/4-inch cookies (I made the 1 1/4-inch cookies, they took approximately 9 minutes in my oven)

1 lb   unsalted butter
1 3/4 C   granulated sugar
2 1/4 C   packed light-brown sugar
4   large eggs (room temperature)
3 C + 2 T   pastry flour
3 C   bread flour
1T   salt
2 t   baking powder
2 t   baking soda
1 T   pure vanilla extract
2 lb bittersweet chocolate (I used 2 bags of Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips, they’re large but super good!)







Prepare cookie dough:
1.   Cream together butter and sugars. Scrape bowl to make sure you get everything mixed well.





2.   Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Scrape that bowl!





3.   Reduce speed to low and add both flours, baking powder, baking soda. If you have the patience scrape the bowl after each addition.
4.   Mix in chocolate. Cover bowl and let it hang in the fridge for a while, I did the suggested 24 hours.





5.   Preheat oven to 350F. Scoop dough 2 inches apart on a greased or lined sheet pan. Bake until lightly browned, but still soft, anywhere from 9 to 15 minutes.









6.   Try to at least let the cookies cool a little before you eat. De-freakin-licious.