I love to cook and would like to share the recipes I am trying and making each week!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Lao Eggplant Dip

Makes appx 1.5 to 2 Cups

This is a dish very common in Laos.  Some traditional ingredients have been replaced by ones found more commonly American or European markets, but the taste is very similar. 

1 Large Eggplant
8 Drops Worcestershire sauce
4 Ts Lemon
1/4 Ts Salt
1 Ts Chili Powder
1/2 Ts Black Pepper
2 Ts Coriander (Fresh is Preferred)
3 Ts Scallions (Chopped)
3 Cloves Garlic

Mortar and Pestle

Roast eggplant until it is dark brown on all sides and the skin is easily removed.  Allow the eggplant to cool and then remove the skin and then pulverize the pulp in the mortar and pestle. 

After the eggplant flesh has been pulverized, add the Worcestershire sauce, lemon, salt, chili, and the pepper.  If the coriander is fresh, chop it finely and then add it to the mixture.  The same should also be done with the scallions.  For the garlic, make sure that all of the skin has been removed, crush the cloves with a kitchen knife and then add them to the mixture. 

Use the mortar and pestle to incorporate the garlic.  You should be able to completely pulverize the cloves so that the garlic is completely incorporated into the mixture.

Allow the mixture to cool in the refrigerator for a few hours. 

This dish is traditionally eaten with balls of sticky rice, but would be tasty with chips or crackers as well.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Makes 1 Dozen Spudnuts

1 Large Potato
4.5 Cup Flour
1/3 cup+ 1 Tb Sugar
2/3 Cup Milk
1 Ts Lemon
1/3 Cup warm Water
1 Sachet of Yeast
2 Eggs
Pinch Nutmeg

Oil for cooking

Peel potato, cut into small pieces and boil until soft.  Drain the water and puree the potatoes in a blender.  After the potato is pureed, put it off to the side and allow to cool.

In a glass, mix the yeast with a Tb of sugar and 1/3 cup warm (but not hot) water.  Allow the yeast to bloom and the liquid to foam at the top.  This will take 5-10 minutes.  Place the yeast off to the side while it is blooming.

In a saucepan, heat the milk on low.  Add 2/3 Cup of sugar to the milk and allow it to dissolve.  Once the sugar is dissolved in the milk, turn off the heat.  Once, the sugar is dissolved, place the mixture off to the side.

In a mixer or kitchenaid add the flour, then the potato, eggs, sugar/ milk mixture, yeast/ water, lemon and nutmeg.  As you are adding the ingredients, mix on low.

Allow the ingredients to form a dough and then allow the dough to rise in a warm location for 60 minutes.

After the dough has risen, roll it out in batches on a flat surface.  The thickness of the dough should be about 1 cm.  Use a dinner glass to cut out the doughnut and a cap from a plastic soda or water bottle to cut out the hole.  Excess dough can be reused.

Fry the dough in a frying pan on medium low heat.  There should be about 1 inch of vegetable oil in the pan.  Spudnuts will take about 4 minutes to cook (2 minutes of each side).

After the spudnuts have cooled and dried, you can add a glaze.

A delicious and effective glaze can be made with these ingredients:
3 Tb Butter
6 Tb Sugar
6 Tb Milk
1/2 Ts Vanilla
1/2 Ts Corn Starch

Glaze Directions:
Melt the butter.  Once the butter is melted, add the sugar.  When the sugar is dissolved, add the milk.  Lastly, add vanilla and corn starch. 

Briefly simmer of medium.  Allow the glaze to cool and then dip each spudnut into the glaze.

After the spudnuts are glazed, briefly allow them to cool and  then you are ready to eat!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Scallion Pancakes

Makes 5 Pancakes

2 Cups flour
120 Ml Warm Water
1/2 package of yeast
10 Scallion stalks
1 Ts Brown Sugar
1/2 Ts brown sugar
1 Tb Salted Butter
10 Ts Butter

Combine the water, 1 ts sugar and yeast and let it bloom for about 5 minutes.  After 5 minutes,
in a mixing bowl, combine the liquid with the 2 cups of flour.  Mix the two thoroughly and let the 
newly created dough rise for 20 minutes.  

While the dough is rising, clean and mince the scallions and combine the minced scallions with
1 Tb of butter and 1/2 Ts brown sugar.   

After the dough has risen, separate it into 5 same sized pieces.  One at a time, roll the dough out
on a floured surface into a disc with approximately a 4.5 inch diameter. Evenly apply 1 Tb of the 
scallion/butter/brown sugar mixture to the top of the dough and then roll the dough up.  Then, take the roll
and roll it a second time, lengthwise.  Lastly, roll the dough back out into a disc with a 4.5 inch diameter.

The purpose for the rolling is the a) evenly distribute the scallions and to b) create layers within the dough.

Cook your scallion pancake in a frying pan on low.  Fry the pancake with butter (Approximately 2 Ts for each
 pancake).  Cook both sides until they are golden brown.

After your pancake is cooked on both sides you are ready to eat. Make sure to eat it warm and fresh!


Serves 5 People

4 Small/ Medium Sized Potatoes
400 grams of flour
1 Egg
1/2 Ts Salt

Boil the potatoes on medium heat until they are fork tender.  Once they are soft and cooked,
remove them from the burner, drain the water and let the potatoes cool.  When the potatoes are cool,
peel all of the skin from the potatoes.

Next, place your peeled potatoes into a food processor and blend them until they are smooth.

After the potatoes are pureed you can add your egg.  And, after the egg is added, you can start
to add the flour.  Make sure that the food processor is running on low and add the flour in small 

Remove the dough from the food processor and place it on a floured surface.  The flour will help
prevent any sticking.  On the floured surface, roll your dough out into a rope (or ropes) which has 2 cm in diameter. 
After rolling out your dough, cut pieces from the rope(s) at 2 cm intervals.  

Before each piece cut can truly be considered gnocchi, they need to be shaped.  Make sure that each piece has 
an ovular shape and that the top is indented with the back of a fork.

To cook, place the gnocchi in boiling water.  When the uncooked pasta is first added to the water it will sink.
When it is almost cooked, it will rise.  The rising is a good indication that you are almost done.  The cook
time will probably be about 4 minutes, but be certain that your gnocchi is totally cooked through.

After the Gnocchi is coked, you can combine it with your favorite sauce and you are ready to eat!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Macanese African Chicken


Chicken (2Lb) 

Tb Shallots (Chopped)
Ts Chinese 5 Spice
5 Garlic Cloves (Crushed)
Pinch Salt
Ts Chili (Crushed)
Ts Oil
Ts Italian Spice
Ts Paprika

5 Tb Shallots (Chopped)
1/2 Cup Coconut (Shredded)
2 Tb Peanut Butter
1.5 Tb Chili (Crushed)
1 Red Bell Pepper (Sliced into 1 inch slivers)
1 Tb Paprika
Ts Tobasco
1/4 Cup Chicken Stock
5 Cloves Garlic (Crushed)
1/2 Ts Lemon Juice

2 Tb Oil for cooking

Combine the chicken with the marinade.  Place the spiced chicken in the refrigerator and allow it to rest for up to 24 hours.  A note on the chicken: you can use any cut, but I used half thigh and half leg meat.

Next, sautee the red bell pepper until it is soft.  Then, place it off to the side.

In a mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the sauce and stir until the sauce is smooth and consistent.  Again, place this off to the side.

You now have the red bell pepper and the sauce placed off to the side.

In a large, deep frying pan heat approximately 2 Tb of cooking oil to cook your chicken.  Add the chicken pieces one at a time and brown the chicken on medium high heat.  Cook the chicken until it is brown on each side.  After it has browned (but not necessarily cooked through), add the sauce to the pan.  Reduce the heat and allow the chicken to cook in the sauce for approximately 30 minutes.   Just before cooking comes to an end, you can add the red bell peppers.

Because the sauce is a bit thick, you need to make sure that you stir occasionally.  Also, make sure that the sauce does not render down too far while it cooks with the chicken.

After the the chicken and sauce cook together for 30 minutes, you are ready to eat. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Fresh Ricotta

Before beginning this recipe, I must admit that the ingredients and steps here actually, officially, make a "queso fresco".  Ricotta is normally made by "recooking" whey, but the difference between using this easy to make cheese in lieu of store bought ricotta or a more labor intensive recipe (with the whey) is almost negligible.

Makes approximately 3/4 pound of Ricotta Cheese.

1 Half Gallon (2 Liters) of fresh whole milk
1/4 Cup of Vinegar
1/2 Ts Salt

Cheese Cloth

Before starting this recipe you should take a large piece of cheese cloth and place it in a large bowl and put it to the side.  When your milk/ cheese is ready to be strained you will need to pour the liquid into the lined bowl to separate the ricotta from the whey.

Heat the milk in a large pot on medium heat, stirring from time to time.

When the milk starts to steam, add the vinegar, stir and remove the pot from the heat.

Allow the pot to sit for approximately 2 minutes while the milk separates.

Using a ladle or measuring cup pour the contents of the pot into your lined bowl.  Continue to do this until all of the liquid from your pot has been poured into your lined bowl and is being strained.

Allow the cheese in the cheese cloth to drip and drain for 10-15 minutes.

 After it has drained, you are ready to eat, use your cheese.

Chicken Marbella

Serves 5

2 Lb of Chicken pieces (I used a mix of breast and small drumsticks)
1/8 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
4 Garlic Cloves (Crushed)
2 Bay Leaves
8 Prunes (Scored)
8 Green Olives (Halved)
Pinch Salt
Pinch Oregano
1/8 Cup Olive Oil
Splash of Olive Juice
1/3 White Wine
1/8 Cup Brown Sugar

Marinate the chicken overnight with everything except for the wine and brown sugar.

The next day, remove the chicken from the refrigerator and pan sear the pieces, in a large, deep welled frying pan (with some vegetable oil) until they are brown on each side.  I would suggest that when you sear the chicken that you transfer as little marinade as possible into the pan with the chicken.

Then, after the chicken has browned, lower the heat on the burner, and add the brown sugar and wine.  Also add any marinade left over in the bowl.  Partially cover the pan and allow the chicken to braise and the liquid to cook down for approximately 20-30 minutes. 

When the liquid has cooked down by approximately 3/4 you are ready to eat.