Friday, December 31, 2010

Mushroom appetizer and Wings

I felt like doing something different last night. Supper was my brother Kens buffalo wings, his SUPER GOOD mushroom appetizer. I served celery sticks with ranch dressing and we had some spinache dip served with tortilla's. It was like a mix of appetizers. Since, I'm going back to eating healthy after the new year, I figured I should splurge a little this week. : )

There was another batch of wings cooking when I took this picture.

1. Cut up a bunch of portabella mushrooms.
2. Heat up pan and melt butter and olive oil.
3. Cook mushrooms. They should cook for at least 12-15 minutes
4. While cooking add paprika, salt, pepper and garlic
5. When done, add some heavy cream and KIKKOMAN Terriaki BASTE and GLAZE. Just enough to be like a little gravy for the mushrooms.

Serve with toothpicks or eat with a spoon. You can use 1/2 and 1/2 if you don't have cream.

For the WINGS.

1. Buy the party wings, since there smalller
2. Fry them in oil or bake them. It doesn't matter, although some say frying is best if you want your wings nice and crispy
3. Use 50%/%50 KIKKOMAN TERRIAKI BASTE and GLAZE and any kind of hot sauce. My brother says Crystals is the best, but I can't find any around here.
4. Heat up and pour over wings. You can also just pour some into an individual bowl and dip wings in sauce.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Crab Cakes and Broccoli Soup

The other night, I was watching one of the cooking channels and watched Emeril make some crab cakes. I notice later that he has made many version over the years, but this one really looked good and simple. Here is the recipe. I didn't bother with making the sauce. I ate my crab cake like a sandwich in a big romaine lettuce leaf. It is important to note that it's a loose crab cake, meaning when you flip it over it's a bit on the loose side and that is how it was done when I watched him make it on TV. He even mentioned how it doesn't always have to be neat and they ate the crab cakes with a fork. Here is the crab cake recipe:

I served that with my new favorite VERY EASY to make creamy brocolli soup. I actually got that recipe from Gordan Ramsay. I was bored one night and was watching different cooking videos he has out there. Plus, It was really interesting watching how he cooks and how he trys to teach people to cook. He is really good at making simple dishes taste really good. I heard he entered this into a competition where the other person had like 20 ingredients in there broccoli soup and his was better.

You would NOT believe that the soup is pretty much only 2 ingredients. Brocolli and the water the brocolli was cooked in. However, if you really want to spiff it up - take some goat cheese or cream cheese and put on the bottom of a bowl. Pour hot brocolli soup over it and it will melt into it giving it a yummy creamy texture. Little salt and pepper and even a few drizzles of some olive oil. Recipe is below:

Gordan Ramsay's Broccoli Soup
Black pepper
2-3 heads of Broccoli very fresh
Olive oil optional, for garnish


Cut the florets off the heads of broccoli. Cut the stems into similarly sized pieces. Add all of the broccoli -- florets and stems -- into a pot of rapidly-boiling, salted water (2 tablespoons salt in 5 quarts of water). Cover. Cook 3.5 to 4 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, put the cooked broccoli pieces into a blender. Fill blender about halfway with the cooking liquid. Make sure you use the water the brocolli cooked in. Blend carefully since it's hot. Add more cooking liquid as necessary to achieve the desired consistency. Add some salt and pepper.

Extra Note* Be double careful because when you blend hot liquid and the cover is not on tight - it can make a mess. You could also pulse a few times to get it going first too.

If desired, add cheese (goat cheese or cheddar cheese) to the bottom of the bowl before pouring the soup in. Serve, drizzled with olive oil if desired.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Gravy - A Proud Moment

I've made decent gravy's in the past. Sometimes it seems like I have good luck and other times, I don't. I haven't been good about taking notes. What really urks me is when I have a decent gravy and than I swear I do the same thing a few months later and it isn't good anymore. Hmmmm. In addition, I'm always inquiring about how people make there gravy and at times, I've watched some videos online watching people make gravy. As with a lot of things, there are many ways to making gravy and it seems everyone has there own way of making it.

Recently I saw one video that really caught my attention. I thought it was good at highlighting some important aspects of making gravy. I had VERY GOOD luck with it today. Here are the basic steps outlined.

1. Cook chicken in oven. In this case, I only cooked 2 chicken legs and I used a very small shallow pan - there wasn't much room in the pan for anything else other than the legs. I just baked them in the oven until done. Prior to putting them in the oven, I used salt, pepper, olive oil and some fresh thyme. There were actually some juices on the bottom of the pan from cooking the chicken. I'm going to try this method when roasting a whole chicken and post the results. Obviously the pan will be bigger and some of the amounts may change.

2. Pour off any grease and juices from pan and take everything out of the pan.
3. Put pan on the stove and turn heat on. Remember my pan was really small and fit on one burner.
4. Put a tablespoon of butter into the pan along with a small spoonful of tomato paste. Mix and let cook a little. It should be a slight orange color. I did sneak in a little of the pan juices back in. I didn't bother trying to separate any fat, since it was such a small amount of pan juices.
5. Add some flour. Enough to suck up the grease. In my case, I added 2 small spoonfuls.
6. Add water or chicken broth. I added homemade chicken broth. I only ended up added a cup. This helps release the drippings on the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil.
7. I let cook on low for a good 5 minutes. I happen to be using my high heat burner so when it's on low - it's definetely higher than a simmer. I didn't mix it constantly, but did keep an eye on it and I mixed often. Usually when I checked on it, it would be at a fair boil.
8. Add a little cream, a tiny butter, salt, pepper, and some thyme. The cream helps smooth it out. The butter will add a nice shean to the gravy and give it more flavor.
9. I also personally added a few drops of gravy master.

I didn't quite fill the entire gravy bowl, but it came close to filling it up.

Here is the video that gave me the inspiration to try this.
My gravy didn't come out that dark, but it came out VERY GOOD and finally thick enough for my likings. Yeah Me!!!!

Video that inspired me.

It's a 3 part series, so you just go to the one before it and the one after it to see the whole thing. I linked to the 2nd part, which was the main part.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Chicken Noodle Soup

I spend one day concentrating on making the broth. Than the next day, I make the soup. I like spending an entire day concentrating on the broth because the longer you simmer it, the more it will reduce, get darker and become very flavorful.

PART #1/DAY #1:

1. I took a small carcass from the freezer from a bird I roasted in the near past. The birds we buy are small, so the carcass was small. I usually also use some chicken parts. I sometimes will just add left over chicken bones and a few times, I added two legs and two thighs including the chicken.

2. To the pan, I added the following: carrots, onions, parsnips, red onions, celery, chives, 2 bay leaves, 2 tablespoons of salt and 1 tablespoon of peppercorns. You can add anything you want. Sometimes I add Bok Choy and Leeks. Throwing in some fresh herbs if you have them is an excellent idea.
Some people sometimes add cloves and/or Cinnamon Sticks for a different twist.

4. Add water to the pan. I usually fill it close to the 8 quart mark.
5. Bring to a boil. That took awhile. : )
6. Put back down to simmer and cooked with cover on for a good 2 hours.
7. Cooked with cover off for another 3-6 hours. This is where it's suppose to reduce and darken and intensify.
8. Strain, cool off and put in refrigerator. From what I understand, since this broth was cooked for so long - nothing in there has any or much flavor since all the flavor is in the YUMMY BROTH. We are not talking about cooking broth for 2-3 hours, we are talking about a good 6 hours or more. SO after straining everything gets discarded. Some would try to save the chicken and do something with it, but you'd have to mix it with a lot of salsa or mayo for example for it to be any good.



1. Take layer of fat off the best I could the next morning.
2. Heated 2 tablespoons of butter and a few tablespoons of oil in a pan.
3. Add chopped onions and let cook for about 5 minutes. Add some salt and pepper.
4. Add some garlic and cook for a minute. I than add my new secret ingredient - 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of tomatoe paste.
5. Chop and peel carrots and potatoes. Add those to the pan. I like to cut everything nice and small. Let cook until carrots and potatoes start feeling tender.

*Note*. Of course peeling and chopping the onions, carrots, and potatoes ahead of time is highly advised.

6. Add broth from the night before. Throw in one peeled and leafy celery.
7. Bring to boil.
8. Once it's boiling - add some pasta if you'd like. I like adding Orzo. Be careful about putting in too much pasta. I have made that mistake many times. It will eat up your broth if you put too much in. Cook as long as it takes for the pasta to be done and your pretty much done at that point.
9. Add some parsley and/or Thyme depending on your tastes and more salt and pepper. 10 You can also add some frozen corn and/or peas toward the end.
11. Lastly, add pre-cooked and chopped chicken. Left over chicken from your roast where the carcass came from would be great. If not, any left over chicken.

You want to add enough broth in step #6 to handle the pasta and all the food, because some of it will reduce from the boiling and the pasta and vegetables will swell a little.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Five spice braised chicken

This recipe is a BIG keeper. Thanks Chez Pim.
The recipe is served with egg noodles, but I used rice instead. I cooked some rice directly in the juices after taking the chicken out. WOW. My husband said he liked the rice the best. : ). I'm happy that I was able to learn a new way to cook chicken. I didn't have as much chicken as it called for, so I decreased some of the ingredients just a tad.

Recipe here

As you know from previous posts, I'm without a camara. I don't want to not blog at all, so I'll have to come back and post pictures later. The camera I'm interested in is $350.00 and I don't have the money for one right now. I'm hoping family can pool resources together for a combo Birthday/Christmas gift. : )

Friday, September 3, 2010

Mini SpareRibs braised in black bean sauce

Mini SpareRibs braised in black bean sauce:

I made this prior to a camping trip I went on this summer. Than I just heated up the ribs on the grill and heated up some of the extra sauce in a pan - on the grill.

WoW, this is really good. Strong flavors and the ribs were so good. This is something I would think about making for company. It's really impressive. The only down-fall was it cost a pretty penny to buy the ribs all cut up like that from the butcher. where I got this recipe is another website I have on my favorites. I did try her sesame noodles and cooling off with cucumber recipes, which were good. I thought the cucumber was too strong from the soy sauce though. Anyways, back to the ribs. Some-day when I make them again, I'll have to remember to take a picture. For now, my blog is getting too outdated and I'm falling behind with sharing some awesome recipes. So here is my boring picture-less blog entry for Dragon Lady's Mini Spareribs braised in black bean sauce.

I also - tried cooking with black bean sauce for the first time, so that was kind of neat. Bonus: Since I picked up baby bok choy from the farmer this summer - I found another way to use the black bean sauce. See recipe here and very simple and very!! good.

Bonus Recipe:

Chorizo and Chickpea Stew

I'm really falling behind with posting oh so yummy recipe's on my blog. It doesn't help that my camara died when I dropped it in the river back in July. I've been using my blackberry camara, which actually isn't too bad. Here is a link to a recipe I tried. My husband and I absolutely loved it. Needless to say, we gobbled up this recipe before I got a chance to take any pictures. Of course rushing to eat my supper every night so I can tend to the needs of my kids contributes toward me forgetting to take pictures. I will make this again, so I'll update this later with a picture.

Back to the recipe: When I made this, I also happen to have a real yummy batch of homemade chicken stock, which I'm sure helped make the recipe yummy. I didn't have enough of the homemade chicken stock for what the recipe called for, so I used 1/2 of that and 1/2 broth from the cans.

I also just mixed in bacon (instead of perchuitto) and the hard boiled egg into the entire soup at the end, instead of individually.

Thank you Claire from foodjunta


I'd also like to note that food junta is one of my new favorite blog sites. I feel comfortable using there site and I've tried a few recipes from the site already.

Each person who contributes tells a nice story, the pictures are great and most of the recipes look really good, some nice and simple too.