Tag Archives: sriracha

WEEKEND CHEF! Hot Wings With Festive Rice (serves 4)

 I married a man who can’t cook but always wished he had learned the basics early on. Everything is so much harder to grasp when you are older (you know, like learning Japanese or ice skating!). Well, I am determined that this doesn’t happen to my kids, at least when it comes to cooking. It would be sinful not to teach them a little of what I have learned over the years, and keeping children out of the kitchen because they make a mess is a poor excuse when you think that one day they could make a dinner like the one my 14-year-old son made for us all this weekend!

Chef Special

Chef Special

Granted he needed a nudge to get going, and he thought because he had watched me for so long he would magically be able to dice an onion into minute uniform squares. He soon realized the only way to learn is by doing it over and over again. My two children have always helped doing “jobs” in the kitchen (my son’s favorite being to chop herbs to a fine powder!), but the other night when I looked at my son as he towered above me I had this vision of him four short years from now in some college wondering how to make good basic dishes to sustain him – panic!

The inspiration

The inspiration (The Sriracha Cookbook)

The two of them certainly know a lot about food and they know how most basic dishes are made (stews, curries, noodle dishes, sauces, stocks, soups etc), but this year I want my son to be our Weekend Chef. This past Saturday his job was to grab any cookbook magazine or food idea, tell me what it was and I would give him free reign in the kitchen (with me of course hovering to impart any wisdom I might want to force upon him). He loves Asian flavors (and sriracha hot sauce) and decided on Hot Wings from a new cookbook (present for my husband which he will probably never open!) and a rice dish I make variations on quite a bit.

uhi

Squeezing lime juice into his sauce (He told me it was “harder than it looked” – “isn’t everything!” was my reply.

He did an amazing job and from watching him I am pretty confident that in the next few months he will be slicing and dicing better than me. He was very specific about his rice and when he tasted it, he only added a little mirin to the end result because he wanted a little “sweetness to balance the fire from the Hot Wings Sauce” We didn’t fry the wings as in the recipe. I think it is a tad dangerous and the risk of crisping them up too much was a factor. He argued that cooking them in the oven would not get the same effect but then seeing the result was happy enough with the crisp skin. I also told him the quantity of sauce was way too much for the amount of wings so he halved the recipe (again arguing with me) and it turned out to be an ample amount of sauce for everyone. He’s already learning that cookbooks should be a guide-book not a Bible.

Last night (as I cooked dinner) he came by to help - see, it's working already!

Last night (as I cooked dinner) he came by to help – see, it’s working already!

He tried to be cool about the whole “making dinner” thing but when we all thanked and complimented him he got to feel the pride and satisfaction that comes with doing something for someone besides yourself. There will be star meals and bombs made over the next year of Saturdays, but I can’t wait for each and every one.

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Hassle-Free Wings:

3 lbs chicken wings – tips removed (demo picture below)

2 tbs olive oil

1 tsp salt

Method:

Preheat oven 400*

1 – Prep wings (see picture below) and place in big bowl with oil and salt. Mix everything together to coat the wings with oil.

iuyg

Take a wing, chop off the tip (discard or keep to use in a homemade stock). Cut the rest of the wing in two. you’ll get the hang of it after a couple of tries.

2 – Place a cooling rack or some sort of oven rack into a baking tray (it will keep the wings separated from the dripping fat) and add the wings in an even layer. Place in oven for between 40 to 50 minutes, or until the wings look nice and crispy.

place wings on rack

place wings on rack

Remove to a bowl and coat with half of the hot sauce (recipe follows)

Coat crispy wings with hot sauce

Coat crispy wings with hot sauce

Hot Sauce for Wings:

1 stick unsalted butter

1/3 cup sriracha sauce

1/4 cup honey

1 tsp salt

1/2 lime – juiced

Method:

Add butter to a pot set on low heat and dd the sauce

Add butter to a pot set on low heat and add the sriracha sauce

Add the honey, lime juice and salt

Add the honey, lime juice and salt

serve warm beside wings or coat wings with sauce

serve warm beside wings or coat wings with sauce

Festive rice Just For You (serves 4-6)

This recipe should be tailored to veggies you like and what you have available in your kitchen. In other words, treat everything as optional, except for the rice!

You will need:

Basmati Rice – stove top made rice: 2 cups (16oz) and follow package instructions and for Rice Cooker: 3 cups in rice cooker measuring cup and follow rice cooker instructions (my ratio is 1 cup rice to 1 cup water)

2 to 3 tbs olive oil

Pick up to three or four of the following:

1 onion – diced (can be sweet, yellow, white or purple)

2 ribs celery – diced (optional)

1 cup diced or Julienned carrots (optional)

8 oz mushrooms – thinly sliced (can be any kind of mushroom)(optional)

2 small yellow squash or zucchini or 1 of each – diced (optional)

4 cups spinach or kale – chopped (optional)

2 large cloves garlic – roughly chopped (optional)

1 to 2 tbs various chopped fresh herbs (optional)

1 to 2 tsp spice (curry powder, mix of cumin, ginger and coriander or anything else you like when it comes to spice flavors) (optional)

Method:

1 – Put rice on to cook and then set aside.

Pari Basmati Rice

Pari Basmati Rice

2 – Put a big saute pan on medium heat and add 2 tbs of oil. When it has heated up a little add the veggies that will take the longest to cook, ending with the veggies that cook quickly. So, add things like onions and garlic first for 3 minutes, next the mushrooms, and then the carrots and squash, and ending with quick cooking things like the chopped greens.  Add more oil if necessary.

Add long-cooking ingredients forst

Add long-cooking ingredients first

2 – So, add things like onions and garlic first for 3 minutes, next the mushrooms, and then the carrots and squash, and ending with quick cooking things like the chopped greens.  Add more oil if necessary. Everything should be cooked within 10 minutes. 

keep adding veggies

keep adding veggies

3 – If going to use herbs and spices, add after the base ingredients like the onions and garlic.

Add rice

Add rice

4 – Add cooked rice and stir. Keep warm until ready to serve.

My son served this to us this past Saturday night!

My son served this to us this past Saturday night!

An A+ Soup with Chinese Noodles (chicken, spinach, lime) – Serves 8

I got home at 7pm last night and we were eating this soup in 45 minutes (granted I worked in the kitchen like a speed demon!). This was another case of knowing I would be home late but not wanted to waste money ordering out (not to mention the food wouldn’t be as good and all of that paper and plastic waste from containers, utensils and napkins!).

A+ Soup

A+ Soup

This is an amazing meal and satisfies all kinds of hunger, from the person who wants lots of food to the person who has a longing for something restorative and healing (like my daughter who was getting over a tummy bug).

A few ingredients made this dish stand out for me: lime juice, thin vegetable-laden broth and the addition of fresh Chinese-Style noodles (below).

These Chinese Style Noodles worked great with this soup

These Chinese Style Noodles worked great with this soup

I try my best to keep fresh wonton skins, egg-roll wrappers or these noodles in my fridge. They can be found in the cold fridge in the veggie section of most supermarkets. They are fresh, floury, light, and delicious for all kinds of dishes. They have an expiration date so I always grab a packet from the back with the longest expiry date. Last night they were the perfect thing to bolster the thin broth.

If you decide to make this, and have some leftover, keep the noodles in a container separate from the soup and add to the reheated soup cold, (the residual heat will warm them up nicely). At least that is what my plan is for lunch today!

Just wanted to show you more of what is growing in my garden at the monent: lovely chives

Just wanted to show you more of what is growing in my garden at the moment: lovely chives (they would also make a great garnish for this soup)

* This is a very good Blood Type A Diet recipe. if you are very strict or a sensitive “A” omit the cayenne pepper flakes*

You will need:

3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

1 lb chicken breast, very thinly sliced

1 medium onion (sweet or yellow)

2 celery ribs, including leaves, diced

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 sprig fresh rosemary (left whole)

1 cup shredded or matchstick carrots

1 bunch scallions, including green part (green onions), sliced

10 or so medium shiitake mushrooms, caps thinly sliced

4 cups baby spinach leaves (or regular spinach – chopped)

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper flakes

10 cups veggie or chicken broth (or 12 good quality bouillon cube and water)

juice of 1 lime (or about 3 tbs)

sea-salt to taste

Method:

1 – Put large soup pot on medium heat and add the oil. when it has warmed, add the onions, garlic and celery and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the pepper flakes.

Saute onions and celery, add chili flakes

Saute onions and celery, add chili flakes

2 – Add the carrots and rosemary and continue to cook for another 3 minutes.

Add carrots and rosemary

Add carrots and rosemary

3 – Next add the sliced mushrooms and scallions and continue to cook for another 3 or so minutes.

add mushrooms and scallions

Add mushrooms and scallions

4 – Add the broth (or water and bouillon cube) and turn heat to high. When the liquid comes to a boil, add the chicken and stir.

add liquid, then chicken

Add liquid, then chicken

5 – Add the spinach leaves (or chopped spinach) and bring back to a boil. When it begins to boil, turn the heat down and bring soup to a slight simmer. Cover with lid and simmer for about 12 minutes. Turn heat off and add the lime juice. Taste for addition of salt or pepper. Stir and replace lid. Let the soup sit for about 10 minutes before serving.

Add spinach

Add spinach

6 – While the soup is sitting put a big pot of water on to boil (boils faster with a lid!) and when it is boiling cook fresh noodles according to instructions. Drain and rinse well with cold water and set aside.

*this brand says it takes 3 minutes to cook, but I found they were cooked in 2 minutes. I’d advise checking the noodles earlier than the cooking time stated in the instructions*

Put some noodles into bottom of bowl

Put some noodles into bottom of bowl

To serve, place a portion of noodles in the bottom of a soup bowl (as much or as little as you like) and ladle the soup over them.

Add Soup

Add Soup

Some of us add a swirl of sriracha sauce to the soup which gave it an additional bite of heat.

Add hot sauce if you like (we like Sriracha Sauce)

Add hot sauce if you like (we like Sriracha Sauce)

Blackened Asian-Style Salmon with Yummy Rice

This was another one of those dinners that was held together flavor-wise by my trusty bottle of soy sauce! Soy sauce is an all around champion in the kitchen if you want a big flavor but don’t want to spend any time trying coax it out of your main ingredients.

Serve

A Great, Fast & Easy Dinner

Take salmon for example…it’s not my most favorite fish in the world, and unless you whip it right off of your fishing line or get it when the boat comes in, I think a lot of the flavor gets lost by the time it is presented to you on a bed of crushed ice in the display case of your supermarket. This is why I always treat salmon to a robust dousing of something strong like soy sauce. Here I let it sit in a sweet and salty concoction and then cooked it fast on high heat.

It sealed in the flavors and gave every bite a crusty zingy taste which everyone raved about. The rice was the perfect partner and the zucchini soaked up the rest of the marinate like the absorbent sponge that it is – a totally yummy dinner which was enjoyed to no end the other night!

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*This is a great Blood Type A Diet Recipe with the main ingredients being beneficial (salmon, soy, onions, garlic) and the rest being neutral*

You will need:

4 salmon fillets (about 6 oz per piece)

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup mirin (find this in the Asian or international section of supermarket or specialty shop)

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp finely granulated sugar

2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

1 sweet onion

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 cup shredded or matchstick carrots

2 medium zucchini, diced

4 to 6 cups cooked basmati rice

Method:

*If you have leftover rice, take it our of the fridge ready for use. If cooking rice, do so first. For stove-top use two cups raw and follow package instructions. if using rice cooker, use 3-cup rice cup measure and follow instructions*

mix marinade

Mix marinade

1 – Mix the soy, mirin, sesame oil and sugar in a shallow bowl or dish and add the salmon. Turn a few times to coat and set aside in the fridge while you prep the rest of the ingredients.

prep veggies

Prep veggies

2 – Chop veggies!

3 – Put large saute pan on medium to high heat and let the pan warm up. Add the oil and when it is hot, add the salmon, shaking off the excess marinade as you go (reserve marinade to be added later to the rice). The fish should be un-crowded, so if your pan is small, cook two at a time. Cook fish for about 4 minutes, disturbing as little as possible. Flip and cook for another 3 or so minutes, until cooked through. Transfer to a plate and keep warm on low heat in the oven.

fry salmon

Fry salmon

4 – Add a little more oil to the pan and add the onions and garlic. Cook for 4 or 5 minutes until they begin to soften. Add the zucchini and continue to cook for another 4 or 5 minutes.

saute veggies

Saute veggies

5 – Add the rice and when it is just hot, add enough of the leftover marinade to color the rice. Taste rice and add more marinate to suit you.

add rice

Add rice

Serve a piece of fish with a serving of rice. an optional garnish (not for blood type A’s or diary-free diets) of a dollop of sour cream is great here, with a splash of sriracha sauce.

garnish with sout cram & chili paste, topped of with a flourish of parsley

Serving option: Garnish with sour cream & chili paste, topped with a flourish of parsley (on its own or along with rice)

Fabulous Pork Stir-Fry Using Pork Tenderloin (serves 4)

I find that most people use pork tenderloin for a quick roast dinner. They may rub a few herbs on it, or wrap it in bacon (all delicious methods by the way), as well as it being a popular choice for a summer barbecue.

Pork Stir-Fry

I like it for a different reason. It is the meat I turn to as an alternative to say chicken or beef in a stir-fry. It is mouth-wateringly tender, and cooks in lightening speed when sliced thinly.

The trick to thin slices is to cut the meat when it is semi- frozen

When you have little time to get dinner on the table, as was the case with me the other night,  (ordering Chinese was discussed), a 1lb piece of pork tenderloin can be a very handy item to have in your freezer. Actually, the fact that it was frozen was the reason I choose to make this stir-fry in the first place (look at caption on picture above).

There was not much else in the fridge (a few mushrooms, a bag of green beans that were a little sad-looking, and an onion), so having a couple of key ingredients on hand saved me from ordering sub-standard take-out. I hate spending money on bad food just because of poor planning.

I anticipate my bad housekeeping by having some things in the kitchen with a long shelf life, namely: olive oil, soy sauce, salt, onions, some long-lasting green vegetable (frozen peas work for me), tofu, and some quick-thawing or quick-cooking meat in the freezer. So the other night when it was crunch time, I made use of all of my standbys, making me look like a very organised head-of-household indeed.

This pork stir-fry was hailed as one of my very best, so I definitely recommend you to try it!

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You will need:

4 tbs olive oil (or whatever oil you usually use for stir-frying)

1 pork tenderloin (about 1 lb), very thinly sliced

3 0z pancetta or 3 slices of streaky bacon, diced (I use a scissors for this job)

1 med/lrg onion (yellow or sweet), diced

3 cups chopped green beans (about 1″ pieces)

2 cups white mushrooms, sliced

3 tbs soy sauce

3 tbs mirin (sweetened sake: find it in the ethnic section of your supermarket)

1 tsp sesame oil

6 cups cooked basmati rice (more on this in recipe)

*It will prove to be very helpful if you stick your pork tenderloin into the freezer for about an hour before you slice it. (even freezing it while you are prepping everything will help). Do this with any meat you are required to slice thinly*

*If you have leftover cooked rice you can certainly use that. If not, cook 2 cups of rice using stove-top method or 3 cups using a rice-cooker. Put the rice on immediately and let it cool slightly (or it can be cold before adding to final step in the dish)*

1 – Prep all veggies and meat before you begin. In a small bowl combine soy sauce, mirin and sesame oil.

prep all ingredients before you turn on your pan

2 – Place big pan or wok on medium/high heat and add about 2 tbs oil. When it is hot, add the onions and cook for about 3 minutes.

saute onion

3 – Next add the green beans and continue to saute for another 5 minutes (until the green beans soften but are still toothsome). Remove veggies from pan to a plate or bowl.

add green beans

4 – Add more oil if necessary and add the mushrooms. Cook until beginning to brown (about 3 or 4 minutes). Next add the diced pancetta or bacon and cook for another 4 or so minutes (bacon will need a little more time than pancetta).  Add to the rest of the cooked veggies.

fry mushrooms with pancetta

5 – Turn pan up to high and add more oil. Add the pork and cook in an even layer. Do not stir or turn for about 3 minutes. Toss around for another couple of minutes until cooked (about 5 or so minutes in all. Yes, it cooks very quickly!).

quick fry pork slices

6 – Turn heat down to medium and quickly return the cooked veggies to the pan and stir. Add the rice and continue to mix quickly until incorporated.

add cooked ingredients to pork

7 – Add the mirin, sesame and soy mixture and stir. Turn off heat.

add rice

Serve immediately in warmed shallow bowls or plates. Pass hot sauce such as Sriracha if you like.

ready to eat