Chicken with Peanut Sauce

We have a couple of jars of peanut butter that I brought home for Mom. Not being to crazy with peanut butter, this was sitting in the pantry for the longest time that I thought try cooking with it in a regular dish. I know there are a few dessert recipes that I can use this with... maybe the next posting...

This dish is pretty interesting and very quick to do. I thought the sprouts brought an interesting texture and the ginger gave it zing. Instead of using noodles just as the original recipe called for,  we had this over rice and it tasted pretty good. Let me know what you think.

1 Tbsp. cooking oil (vegetable or canola)
1 medium red bell pepper, julienned
4 spring onions, sliced diagonally into 1/5 inch width
150 grams bean sprouts, cleaned (the original only required 60 grams)
500 grams (1 lb) chicken fillet, cubed
2 tsps. soy sauce (the original required 2 tbsps., I reduced it because I find it too salty)
140 grams smooth peanut butter (about 8-10 tablespoons)
1 to 1 1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
110 ml (4 fl oz) chicken stock

In a hot wok, place 1/2 tbsp. saute chicken until the juices run clear and all sides are cooked. Do not over cook the chicken else it might become dry. Set this aside. In the same wok, add the rest of the oil and saute pepper, bean sprouts and spring onions until tender but still crunchy. Set this aside.
Mix soy sauce, peanut butter and ginger in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add the chicken stock and mix well and heat through. Add chicken and veggies and toss to coat. Pour over cooked (250 grams) Chinese noodles or hot steaming rice.


Shrimp Alfredo Sauce

I have been boarding with a co-worker last year in New Jersey who is into pasta. So I went ahead and prepared this dish as requested by another co-worker. I thought it would be a good deal to have a small get together and this would be my contribution. I made 2 batches - one to share among friends and the other with my roommate.

1 lb shelled and deveined shrimps
3 - 4 tbsps. butter
1 pint heavy cream
1 stick butter
2 tbsps. cream cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 tsp. grated powder
1 box spaghetti or fettucini noodles

Cook raw shrimp in 3 - 4 tbsps. butter until pink. Set aside.
Combine cream cheese, heavy cream and butter. Simmer and mix well. Add parmesan cheese and garlic powder. Simmer for 15 - 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Mix the sauce with the cooked noodles and top with cooked shrimp.

To add color, i sprinkled it with chopped parlsey.


Beef Short Ribs Stew

Went to the grocery and saw a good batch of beef short ribs. Normally we would prepare this into Korean Beef Stew. I though what other things can we do with this for a change. So I went to the net and saw this simple recipe with ingredients that can be easily found in the pantry. I had steak seasoning, ribs, bacon, onions beef broth, cider vinegar, cabbage and apple juice.
After preparing the beef and seasoning it with the steak seasoning, I started to prepare the other ingredients. To my disappointment, the apple juice wasn't the regular apple juice. It was a mix of apple-peach. I ran out of cider vinegar and found red cane and white vinegar. As a result I ended up substituting the ingredients and waited for the result.

The Original Recipe:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
steak seasoning blend or other seasoned salt blend
5 pounds beef short ribs, about 8 short ribs
6 slices bacon, diced
1 large onion, sliced
1 1/2 cups apple juice
1 cup beef broth
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 head cabbage, cut into wedges

Heat oven to 325°.
In a large Dutch oven or kettle, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Rub ribs all over with the seasoning blend then sear on all sides, about 2 minutes on each side.

Remove the ribs and set aside. Add bacon to the pot and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until cooked but not crisp. Add the onions and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the ribs back to the pot and add apple juice, beef broth, and cider vinegar; bring to a simmer. cover tightly and bake for 2 hours. Add the cabbage, cover, and continue cooking, basting occasionally, for about 30 to 45 minutes longer, or until cabbage is tender.

My Version:
I replaced the following ingredients:
1 tbsp. vegetable to 1 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 cup apple juice to 1/2 cup apple wine with 1 cup water
1 cup beef broth to 1 cup water with 1 beef bouillon cube
3 tbsps.  cider vinegar to 2 tbsps. red cane vinegar with 1 tbsp. brown sugar

Instead of baking the dish, I used a crock pot.
Sear each side of the beef ribs in the 1 tbsp. olive oil. Set aside.
Saute bacon until cooked but not crisp. Add onions and saute until soft and tender or has slightly caramelized. Return the ribs to the pot and add all the liquids together. Once it boils, lower the heat and let it simmer for 2 hours or until tender. Add the cabbage slices and simmer of 10-15 minutes.

Initially, I didn't add the brown sugar but when I tasted the broth, it was to acidic for my taste. The sugar balanced out the acidity.
Once the beef was tender, I took the beef out and placed the beef stock in a container. I let it sit in the refrigerator until the fat solidified. I removed the fat and returned the stock with the beef in the pot. The cabbage was added until cooked. Remove the beef and cabbage and placed into a serving dish. The stock was reduced until only 1/2 - 3/4 cup was remaining. The sauce was then poured over the beef ribs.


Beef Spinach Curry

Love curry but Mom can't handle the heat. This doesn't stop us from having a bowl once in while on the kitchen table :)

1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsps. mild curry paste
500 grams ground beef
1 grated onion
1 peeled and grated carrot
2 crushed garlic cloves
1/2 cup rough chopped parsley
3/4 cup water
150 grams baby spinach leaves

Mix ground beef, onion, carrot, garlic and parsley. Set aside.
Heat oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add the curry paste and stir until browned. Add the beef mixture, cook stirring to break up the lumps for 5 minutes until brown.
Stir in water and bring to a boil. Lower heat to simmer for 15 minutes or until the beef is cooked through. Add spinach and cook for a minute or until just wilted.
Serve with hot basmati rice and pappadums*.

*Note: Pappadums are thin-like crackers or flat-bread that are common in Indian cuisine. You can buy this from Indian grocery stores.


Honey Ginger Pork with Noodles

I have been quiet and in hiding again for the longest time - almost a year.
Things have been busy with moving from one place to another, getting re-adjusted with the environment and trying to find friends and comfort zone. Now that I am back home to where everything began, I can write again. Of course, in the span that I have been gone, I have tried a number of recipes which deserves sharing... I will of course in due time write everything down else I may forget. Besides, this beats bringing along tons of cooking books and magazines for reference. :)

So allow me to start with this sweet, gingery tender pork with taste rice noodles. I am now challenging myself to use the opened bottles/cans of sauces or what not that have been ignored in the refrigerator. So for this challenge, I had to use the sweet soy sauce. It turned out pretty good thanks to a recipe came across online. Of course, I didn't follow everything to the letter. So here is my version:

2 tbsps. honey
1 1/2 cm piece ginger, peeled and minced or grated
4 large cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1 tsp. sesame oil
1/4 cup kecap manis or sweet soy sauce
500g pork fillet, trimmed, sliced into 1/8" wide strips
4 tbsps. canola
1 onion, peeled and sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into strips
1 large chayote, peeled and sliced into 1/4" wide sticks, blanched.
250 grams rice noodles (in this case, I used bihon)

Marinate pork strips in honey, ginger, garlic, sesame oil and kecap manis for atleast 4 hours. (I prefer to marinate it overnight to have a more flavorful meat).
In a wok, place 2 tbsps. oil and stir fry the marinated pork. Reserve the marinade and set this aside. Stir for about 3 minutes until the pork is seared through.  (If you are not sure if the pork is cooked, add about 1/2 cup water and let it simmer with a cover. Let the liquid dry up.) Set this aside once done.
Pour remaining oil in the wok and add in onions, bell pepper, marinade and noodles. Add enough water to cook the noodles through. Mix in the pork and chayote. Serve hot.

Pork can be replaced with chicken or beef.


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