Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Arroz Chaufa

Chaufa is a term used in Peruvian cuisine when a rice dish is Chinese-influenced. Arroz Chaufa (or Chinese Fried Rice) is more  of a Chinese based rice dish rather than Peruvian. But it certainly shows how big Chinese cuisine is in Peru.

I first had Arroz Chaufa de Pollo (Chicken) at a local Farmer's Market and really enjoyed it. Recently, I had a taste of it, once again, in the form of beef. As usual, I made it a goal to try to replicate the dish at home. And so I did a quick search online and modified this recipe from about.com. I'm not sure if there is a difference in cooking styles between Arroz Chaufa and regular Chinese Fried Rice, but this dish was delicious, nonetheless. Another great way to use up leftover rice.

1/2 lb. beef, chicken or pork, sliced into strips
1/4 cup plus 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
4 Tbsp. vegetable or sesame oil
4 eggs
1 bunch green onions, sliced (separate the white ends from the green)
1 cup bean sprouts
4 cups cooked rice
salt and pepper to taste

1) In a medium bowl, combine 1/4 cup soy sauce, brown sugar, half of the minced garlic, and 1/2 tablespoon of grated ginger. Add meat and marinate for at least an hour.

2) Whisk together eggs and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoon of oil over medium heat  in a wok or large frying pan. Pour eggs into pan and allow to cook without mixing. Turn the egg pancake over to finish cooking. Remove egg from heat and coarsely chop. Set aside.

3) Add remaining oil in pan. Add the white parts of the green onions and the remaining ginger. Saute for 2-3 minutes.

4) Remove meat from the marinade and add to pan. Saute for a few minutes until cooked through. Add bean sprouts, the remaining green onions, and remaining soy sauce. Continue sauteing until heated through. Add rice and continue stirring until well incorporated and rice has heated through. Mix in prepared eggs and serve hot.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Warm Toasted Marshmallow S'mores Bars

This recipe came up on my Facebook feed from Betty Crocker. My daughter had been wanting to bake with some mini marshmallows we bought at the grocery store. I first wanted to incorporate them into brownies and make S'mores brownies. But when this recipe for S'mores bars appeared, I thought to make this first.

This recipe could not be any easier. The ingredients and assembly is real simple. The result is this warm, gooey, and messy treat. I should warn you that you should cool the pan for at least 30 minutes for the chocolate to firm up a little bit for a cleaner and easier way to cut into bars. Otherwise you'll end up with a gooey mess. But hey, isn't s'mores supposed to be messy?

1 pouch sugar cookie mix
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup butter, melted
3 cups chocolate chips
4 1/2 cups mini marshmallows

1) Preheat oven to 375 deg F.

2) In a large bowl, combine cookie mix and graham cracker crumbs. Stir in melted butter until fully incorporated and dough forms. Press dough on a 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until set.

3) Immediately sprinkle chocolate chips evenly on top of crust. Allow to sit for 3-5 minutes or until chocolate begins to melt. Spread chocolate evenly over crust.

4) Set oven to broil. Sprinkle marshmallows evenly on top of melted chocolate. Broil for 20-30 seconds  until marshmallows are toasted (Watch closely. Marshmallows will brown quickly). Cool for 10-30 minutes for the chocolate and marshmallow to firm a bit. Then cut into bars. Serve warm. Store remaining bars in an airtight container.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Let's introduce ourselves, shall we?

I've noticed from my Feedjit counter lately that I've been getting a lot of readers from all over the United States and quite a few international readers as well. Yay! What a great feeling to know that I've somehow touched the life of someone from a different place. I installed the feedjit to my blog because I was curios to know if anyone other than me was actually looking at my blog. To my surprise, people were actually viewing it. So, thank you so much for visiting my blog. Oftentimes, I feel like the only audience I have is me, myself, and I. And occasionally, I get a few hits from hubby.

I've always said that the intent of this blog was to chronicle recipes I've made for my daughter to refer back to when she's old enough to understand. But this blog has grown to be more than that. And now I can honestly say that its also grown to be a way to meet people from different places.

A few people I know in real life (IRL) have told me that they've tried some recipes from this blog and wanted to leave comments on the post but found it difficult to.  I have since fixed that problem and it is now much easier to leave comments. I would really love to hear from all of you, so please feel free to leave a comment on any of my previous posts or leave a comment here, even to just introduce yourself. Otherwise, I'm probably still just talking to myself again :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Kelsey's Chicken Cacciatore

I'm always on the lookout for great one-pot, easy recipes. I was watching Kelsey's Essentials on the Cooking Channel one morning and Kelsey was featuring one-pot meals that included
this recipe for Chicken Cacciatore. I already have an Easy Chicken Cacciatore, but I'm always up for trying out newer classic recipes.

This recipe tasted a little different than my go-to recipe because of the use of red wine rather than white wine. Both recipes taste great. But deciding on which recipe to use will depend on what kind of wine I have on hand. Serve this with some crusty Italian bread or your favorite pasta to complete the meal.

1/4 cup all-purpose flour, for dredging
2 tsp. salt, plus more for seasoning
2 tsp. black pepper, plus more for seasoning
1 (3-4 lb.) chicken, cut into pieces, rinsed and dried
3 Tbsp. olive oil
10 ounces mushrooms, quartered
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes in juice
4 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 cup fresh basil, chiffonade for serving

1) In a shallow dish, combine flour with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Season chicken pieces with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Working in batches, dredge chicken in the flour mixture. Turn to coat and shake off excess flour.

2) In a large pan or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Brown chicken in the pan, a few pieces at a time to avoid overcrowding. Cook chicken for 5 minutes on each side. Remove and transfer chicken to a plate and brown remaining chicken.

3) In the same pan, add mushrooms, onion, red bell pepper and garlic and saute just until tender. Add wine and simmer until reduced by half. Add broth, tomatoes, and oregano. Return the chicken to the sauce and turn them to coat in the sauce. Add thyme and bring mixture to a simmer. Then lower heat to medium low and cover. Continue simmering for 40 minutes or until tender. Season with more salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh basil and serve with pasta or crusty Italian bread.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

I recently learned from the Brown Eyed Baker that there is a cookbook out there totally dedicated to my love of all things cookie dough, The Cookie Dough Lover's Cookbook. I. Must. Get. This. Cookbook. After learning of said cookbook, I have been craving for some cookie dough treats. I have saved up this recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies I found from, again, the Brown Eyed Baker, for emergency situations like this. Cookie dough and brownies. Genius.

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate chips
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups light brown sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour

1) Preheat oven to 325 deg F. Line a 9x13 pan with foil with enough to hang over all four sides. Butter foil and set aside.

2) In a medium, microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate in microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after each increment, until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

3) In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and brown sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in melted chocolate until well combined. Reduce speed to low and slowly add flour. Mix just until combined (do not over-mix).

4) Spread batter into prepared pan and bake for 25-35 minutes, until toothpick test comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.

Cookie Dough Spread
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. whole milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup mini chocolate chips

1) In a medium bowl, cream butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add milk and vanilla and beat until combined.

2) Reduce speed to low and slowly add flour. Mix just until combined. Using a rubber spatula, stir in chocolate chips.

3) Evenly spread cookie dough over cooled brownie. Refrigerate until cookie dough is firm, about an hour. Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut the brownies. Store brownies in an airtight container at cool room temperature or in the refrigerator.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Chocolate Frosting

It's my brother's birthday today. The other day when I was picking up my daughter from my parents' house after work, I guess my brother was hinting to my daughter by asking her what cupcake she would make for his birthday (because everyone knows that my she always bakes with me). I guess he wants us to make him some cupcakes. So she asked him what kind of cupcake he wanted and he said to surprise her. On our way home that afternoon, I asked my daughter what kind of cupcake she wanted to make for her Ninong, and she said chocolate. Perfect! I have been wanting to try out this new recipe for a basic Chocolate Frosting from Annie's Eats. And keeping with the tradition of making chocolate cake for my brother on his birthdays, it was perfect timing.

I used my go-to Chocolate Cake recipe to pair with this frosting and I think this combination fared better than the frosting I normally make with the chocolate cake. It was creamier and more indulgent. I think I'll be using this frosting more often.

9.5 oz chocolate chips (bittersweet, semi-sweet, or milk chocolate chips)
6 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
4 Tbsp. cocoa powder
pinch of sat
2/3 cup sour cream

1) Melt chocolate in a heat-proof bowl set over pot of simmering water (double boiler). Set aside to cool until just barely warm.

2) In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and butter over medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Gradually add in confectioner's sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Beat in melted and cooled chocolate and then sour cream. Continue beating until mixture is smooth and well blended. Frost cupcakes immediately before chocolate hardens and frosting sets.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Baked Korean (Fried) Chicken

As promised, I finally tackled the task of making my favorite Korean Fried Chicken. However, this recipe isn't technically fried. I used my recipe for Baked Crispy Chicken Wings instead of double frying the chicken to obtain the extra crunchy texture I love about Korean Fried Chicken, but a little healthier. And I used the Roasted Garlic Soy Glaze recipe I found from Food Republic as the glaze for the chicken. The result is this crunchy, garlicky, finger-lickin' goodness. This recipe uses a ton of garlic. So if you don't like garlic, or are worried about kissing someone after this meal, this isn't for you. But if you really want to ward off some vampires and love Korean Fried Chicken, you have to give this a try. This makes a lot of sauce, so you can use whatever you need for your chicken and save the rest in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for use whenever you want to feed your Korean Fried Chicken craving.

prepared Baked Crispy Chicken wings, keep warm
1 cup pureed roasted garlic (see note below)
3/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup soy sauce
2 cups chicken broth
toasted sesame seeds for garnish

1) Dissolve sugar in white wine. Pour wine mixture, soy sauce and chicken broth in a medium saucepan. Whisk in pureed roasted garlic. Bring mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Once it begins to simmer, lower heat to medium-low. Continue simmering until the sauce has reduced to about half and has thickened a bit, about 45 minutes to an hour. Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 5 minutes.

2)  Take about 1/4 cup of the sauce and toss with the prepared chicken wings to coat. Let sit for about 2 minutes for the chicken to absorb the sauce. Sprinkle sesame seeds for garnish and serve immediately. Store remaining sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

**Note: To make roasted garlic, cut off about a quarter of the top of the bulb of garlic. Drizzle oil on exposed garlic cloves and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Wrap garlic bulb loosely in foil and roast in the oven, preheated at 400 deg F, for 20-30 minutes. Allow to cool for a few minutes and then squeeze the cloves out of its casings. 

This recipe requires about 10-12 bulbs of garlic. 

Monday, June 4, 2012


"I'm Debbie Dooley. How ya doooen?"

If you're like me and my daughter, you'll know that that line came from the Disney show,  Good Luck Charlie.  My daughter will even recite that whole scene to a T for you. That line came out of an episode where the mom, Amy Duncan, was imitating her neighbor, Debbie Dooley, while making Snickerdoodles. My daughter and I (and secretly, so does hubby) love that show. But I don't think I've ever had a snickerdoodle before.

On our way home from a trip to Palm Springs this weekend, my daughter asked if we could bake cookies. First she asked for Chocolate Chip Cookies, then she asked for sugar cookies. But I kind of wanted to try out a new cookie recipe. So I agreed with sugar cookies. With a twist. Why not make a Snickerdoodle like Debbie Dooley did?

A quick search to my go-to blogs lead me to this recipe from Brown Eyed Baker. Snickerdoodle is a supped-up version of a sugar cookie with a cinnamon flavor. And it is delicious, especially right out of the oven. Its also a great cookie to use for ice cream sandwiches. Soft and chewy, just the way I like my cookies. Mmmmmm!!!!

2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
3 Tbsp. sugar

1) Line baking sheets with parchment paper and chill in the refrigerator.

2) In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

3) Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Gradually add in the flour mixture, beating on low speed just until the flour is blended. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes.

4) Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Mix sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl.

5) Using a small ice cream/cookie scoop, scoop chilled dough and roll in the cinnamon/sugar mixture to coat. Place on cookie sheet, spacing the dough balls about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes. (Chill cookie dough and baking sheets between batches). Cool cookies on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes. Transfer on a cooling rack to cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container.