Monday, June 30, 2014

Steamed Pork Wontons

I like Chinese food, and have attempted to create many different recipes.  Today was no exception.  As a little side note, I was excited to make this and find out if our Chinese teenager liked it.  He came home long enough to say he wasn't eating with us, so much for that idea.  Anyway I was still happy that we get to eat them.  These wontons came about when I thought about different ingredients I had and putting them together.  I like stuffed food: tacos, dumplings, burritos, any food wrapped in some sort of carbohydrate rich food.  These are very simple, and I used leftovers for part of it.

 These were so yummy, a must try recipe.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups Steamed Brown Rice
3/4 lb. Breakfast Sausage
Package of Wonton Skins
2 cups Baby Spinach
4 small Green Onions
2 Carrots
2 tablespoons Oyster Sauce


 Clean the carrots and finely dice or grate.  Slice the green onions and cut the spinach.

 Mix everything together in a large bowl.

Place heaping teaspoon of filling onto the middle of the wonton skin.  Dip your finger in water and brush all the edges of the wonton skin.

 Bring up the sides, like a drawstring bag and gently squeeze.

 Place on lightly greased sheet pan.  Repeat until all the wonton skins have been filled.

Lightly grease four steam baskets.  Place the wontons on each of the layers, leave space
between them so they can be steamed evenly.

 Place all the layers in a large wok over boiling water.  Steam for 8 minutes.

All steamed up and ready to eat.

Enjoy!

Steamed Pork Wontons
Printable Recipe Found Here

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups Steamed Brown Rice
3/4 lb. Breakfast Sausage
Package of Wonton Skins
2 cups Baby Spinach
4 small Green Onions
2 Carrots
2 tablespoons Oyster Sauce

Process:

Clean the carrots and finely dice or grate.  Slice the green onions and cut the spinach.
Mix everything together in a large bowl.
Place heaping teaspoon of filling onto the middle of the wonton skin.  Dip your finger in water and brush all the edges of the wonton skin.
Bring up the sides, like a drawstring bag and gently squeeze.
Place on lightly greased sheet pan.  Repeat until all the wonton skins have been filled.
Lightly grease four steam baskets.  Place the wontons on each of the layers, leave space between them so they can be steamed evenly.
Place all the layers in a large wok over boiling water.  Steam for 8 minutes.

Enjoy!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Salmon Croquettes & Avocado Cream Sauce

On Monday night I broiled a lot of salmon, a Costco sized package.  In a trick of fate my husband wasn't home, my son's don't like what I make anyways, my Chinese teenager decided just before dinner he was now a vegetarian,  my daughters and I don't eat very much and well that left A LOT of leftover broiled salmon.  Since I had left-over salmon I decided to try my hands at croquettes.  I don't have any bread or bread crumbs in my home right now so I went a more southern route and used cornmeal.  The cream sauce was a recipe I found an amended.  This time my husband was home and we ate some of them, my daughters both tried them too.  We still have left-overs though.  I'm thinking maybe tacos, maybe?  You can use canned salmon for this recipe by the way.

 Golden crust and moist interior.  With the sauce it's over the top.


Ingredients for Salmon Croquettes:

2 lbs pre-cooked Salmon
3 Eggs
1 cup Cornmeal
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/2 a Lemon

Ingredients for Avocado Cream Sauce:

1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1 cup Avocado Oil
1 Avocado
1/2 a Lemon
2 teaspoons Lime Hot Sauce

 Remove the salmon from the skin and place in bowl.  Using a fork, gently flake the salmon.

 Add 1/2 cup cornmeal, eggs, sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, and half a lemon squeezed.

 Mix together.

 Using a 1/4 cup portion the salmon mixture.

Press the salmon into a patty and dip in the remaining cornmeal on both sides.  Place on a dish.  When all the patties have been formed refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Heat 1 inch of olive oil in a large 12 inch cast iron skillet or other pan over medium-high heat.
When a drop of water hits the oil and bubbles at enough croquettes to the pan without crowding them.

 Cook croquettes until golden brown and flip, 3-4 minutes.
Remove and place on a paper towel lined plate.

Place avocado, mayonaise, avocado oil, hot sauce, sea salt, garlic powder, and 1/2 lemon squeezed into a blender.  Blend until smooth.

 Serve the sauce alongside the croquettes.

Enjoy!

Salmon Croquettes & Avocado Cream Sauce
Printable Recipe Found Here

Ingredients for Salmon Croquettes:

2 lbs pre-cooked Salmon
3 Eggs
1 cup Cornmeal
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/2 a Lemon

Ingredients for Avocado Cream Sauce:

1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1 cup Avocado Oil
1 Avocado
1/2 a Lemon
2 teaspoons Lime Hot Sauce

Process for Salmon Croquettes:

 Remove the salmon from the skin and place in bowl.  Using a fork, gently flake the salmon.
Add 1/2 cup cornmeal, eggs, sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, and half a lemon squeezed.
Mix together.
Using a 1/4 cup portion the salmon mixture.
Press the salmon into a patty and dip in the remaining cornmeal on both sides.  Place on a dish.  When all the patties have been formed refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Heat 1 inch of olive oil in a large 12 inch cast iron skillet or other pan over medium-high heat.
When a drop of water hits the oil and bubbles at enough croquettes to the pan without crowding them.
Cook croquettes until golden brown and flip, 3-4 minutes.
Remove and place on a paper towel lined plate.

Process for Avocado Cream Sauce:

Place avocado, mayonaise, avocado oil, hot sauce, sea salt, garlic powder, and 1/2 lemon squeezed into a blender.  Blend until smooth.
Serve the sauce alongside the croquettes.

Enjoy!

Pretzel Churros

Fernando (My husbands co-worker) requested pretzel churros.  I wasn't sure if he meant churros shaped liked pretzels or pretzels dipped in cinnamon and sugar.  I decided to make churros shaped like pretzels today.  Well actually I made a test batch yesterday, scary, and repeated the process with the knowledge I gained.  I learned that churros must be prepared in a very specific manner or they will explode.  My kitchen floor, stove, and ceiling were covered in oil and churro pieces.  Yes, cleaning up was a huge endeavor, and I almost wasn't going to finish making them, but I did.  I made sure they cooked and didn't explode.  Today armed with my new churro knowledge, I made them again and delivered them to Fernando and my husband.  Churro's are a treat from our friends in Spain.  Did you know that? They are also a very common treat at my husbands office. They know where to get them and talk about them. These simple treats are easy to make if you know the rules to avoiding a big giant mess.

 Look at those beautiful sugar sprinkled fried dough goodness.  Oh yes, you want some.


Ingredients:

Oil (Vegetable, Corn, Canola, or Peanut)
17 ounces Water
1 teaspoon Salt
9 ounces Flour



This is the device I used to make my churros.  This is a cookie press with the star disk.
You may use a star tip and piping bag or if you are in possession of a churerra
(Spanish churro press) you could use that.

This disk is one of the keys to NOT having exploding churros.  That is correct, you must
use a star shape.  This is important.  DO NOT USE ANY OTHER SHAPE DISK OR TIP!
My face still hurts from the hot oil.  Do not make this mistake.  Actually I only used this disk,
so that wasn't my mistake, but it has been for other churro explosion victims.
Listen and follow this first rule.

Boil the water and salt in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat.

 Remove the pan from the heat and add the flour.

 Stir with a wooden spatula until smooth. 

 Scrape some of the dough into the cookie press, pastry bag, or churrera until filled.

Squeeze out the dough into a pretzel shape.  The dough is a little sticky so it will stick to itself.
I squeezed the pretzel shapes on sprayed aluminum foil.

Pour 1 1/2 inches of oil into a tall sauce pan.

Heat the oil to 375 Farherheit.

 Carefully pick up the pretzel shaped dough and place in the oil.  Immediately put a lid on the pan.

This is the second rule to prevent a huge exploding churro mess.
COVER THE PAN WITH A LID!
Cook the churros for 3-4 minutes.

Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar onto the hot churros.  If you want more cinnamon and sugar,
dip the churro in a container with a lid and shake the sugar all over the churro.

Enjoy!

Pretzel Churros
Printable recipe Found Here

Ingredients:

Oil (Vegetable, Corn, Canola, or Peanut)
17 ounces Water
1 teaspoon Salt
9 ounces Flour

Process:

Boil the water and salt in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the flour.
Stir with a wooden spatula until smooth. 
Scrape some of the dough into cookie press, pastry bag, or churrera fitted with a star disk or tip.  ONLY USE A STAR TIP!
Squeeze out the dough into a pretzel shape.  The dough is a little sticky so it will stick to itself.  I squeezed the pretzel shapes on sprayed aluminum foil or parchment paper.

Pour 1 1/2 inches of oil into a tall sauce pan, or dutch oven with lid.

Heat the oil to 375 Farherheit.
Carefully pick up the pretzel shaped dough and place in the oil.  Immediately put a lid on the pan.
COVER THE PAN WITH A LID!
Cook the churros for 3-4 minutes.
Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar onto the hot churros.  If you want more cinnamon and sugar dip the churro in a container with a lid and shake the sugar all over the churro.
Enjoy!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Oat Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread

This afternoon while at my friend Bridget's house, she ate some cinnamon raisin swirl toast.  I thought about that bread and decided I wanted to make it, but I wanted to include oats.  Oats, cinnamon, and raisins seems to go together I think, or maybe Quaker Oats Company taught me to believe that.  We ate instant Quaker oatmeal sometimes when I was a kid, and one of the flavors was cinnamon raisin. Truthfully I didn't like that flavor growing up.  I did like cinnamon raisin bread though, my mom would buy a bread from Costco, they were shaped like a hotdog bun and were as dense as a bagel and filled with cinnamon and walnuts and raisins.  I loved that bread toasted and spread with butter.  My point is, I wanted cinnamon swirl bread, but I didn't want to drive to Costco where Bridget bought her loaf, so I made it instead.  Last week I received a shipment of oat groats, so I was ready to make my own oat flour for my bread.  I looked for a recipe for the bread I wanted to make first.  I wanted an oat bread with cinnamon and raisins.  I wanted a swirl of cinnamon and raisins.  All the recipes I saw included the cinnamon and raisins mixed into all the dough instead of rolled into the dough like a cinnamon roll. Since I couldn't find a recipe.  I made one up, well mostly.  I used the recipe "American White Bread from "Artisan Bread in 5 minutes" as a starting point and re-worked it a lot for my own purposes.
The smell from this bread is heavenly.  You should make this bread.

Ingredients:

4 cups Oat Flour (I used my Whisper mill to grind oat groats)
5 cups All Purpose Flour
2 cups Lukewarm Water (Microwave water for 1 minute to get correct temperature)
1 1/4 cups Lukewarm Milk (Microwave 1 cup milk with the water)
1 1/2 tablespoons Active Dry Yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons Kosher Salt
1/4 cup Cane Sugar plus 1 tablespoon (white granulated sugar can be substituted)
1/2 cup Raisins
1/2 cup Golden Raisins
1 tablespoon softened Butter
1 tablespoon Cinnamon
3 teaspoons Nutmeg

Place yeast, kosher salt and 1/4 cup sugar into bowl.  Add water and milk, allow to activate and foam.

 Happy, happy, happy yeast!

 Add flours, mix with dough hook.

 Beat with dough hook for 5 minutes.

Spray the inside of a large lidded container, place dough in container.  Replace lid and put
in a warm place to rest for two hours.

 Place raisins in a bowl.   Add hot boiling water and allow to plump up.  After they have
plumped up for at least 5 minutes, drain them completely.

 It's alive! Time to make some bread.

If you happen to have super long 12 inch bread pans like I do, divide the dough in half.
If you do not, then divide the dough into 1 1/2 lb. dough balls to be baked in a 9 inch
loaf pan.  Roll the dough out on a floured surface into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle.  
This bread has a similar method to cinnamon rolls. 

Sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg on dough.  I gave measurements for the recipe but really
 you can eyeball it to see how much you want.  Sprinkle half the raisins on the dough.

Roll dough tightly to form a loaf shape.  Tuck the sides under themselves and squash if
 necessary to fit into a buttered loaf pan.

Brush with a mixture of 1/4 cup milk and 1 tablespoon cane sugar (white sugar also works).

Allow to rise until doubled, and brush again with milk mixture.

Preheat Oven to 350 Fahrenheit

Allow the dough to rise in a warm place until doubled.

Bake for 30 minutes on the middle shelf in preheated oven.

Remove bread from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.


Slice to your desired thickness and bring out the butter to spread.

Enjoy!

Oat Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread 
Printable Recipe Found Here

Ingredients:

4 cups Oat Flour (I used my Whisper mill to grind oat groats)
5 cups All Purpose Flour
2 cups Lukewarm Water (Microwave water for 1 minute to get correct temperature)
1 1/4 cups Lukewarm Milk (Microwave 1 cup milk with the water)
1 1/2 tablespoons Active Dry Yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons Kosher Salt
1/4 cup Cane Sugar plus 1 tablespoon (white granulated sugar can be substituted)
1/2 cup Raisins
1/2 cup Golden Raisins
1 tablespoon softened Butter 
1 tablespoon Cinnamon
3 teaspoons Nutmeg


Process:

Place yeast, kosher salt and 1/4 cup sugar into bowl.  Add water and milk, allow to activate and foam.
Add flours, mix with dough hook.
Beat with dough hook for 5 minutes.
Spray the inside of a large lidded container, place dough in container.  Replace lid and put in a warm place to rest for two hours.
Place raisins in bowl.  Add hot boiling water and allow to plump up.  After they have plumped up for at least 5 minutes, drain them completely.

If you happen to have super long 12 inch bread pans like I do, divide the dough in half.  If you do not, then divide the dough into 1 1/2 lb. dough balls to be baked in a 9 inch loaf pan.  
Roll dough out on a floured surface into 1/2 inch thick rectangle.  
This bread has a similar method to cinnamon rolls. 
Sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg on dough.  I gave measurements for the recipe but really you can eyeball it to see how much you want.  Sprinkle half the raisins on the dough.
Roll dough tightly to form a loaf shape.  Tuck the sides under themselves and squash if necessary to fit into a buttered loaf pan.
Brush with a mixture of 1/4 cup milk and 1 tablespoon cane sugar (white sugar also works).
Allow to rise until doubled, and brush again with milk mixture.

Preheat Oven to 350 Fahrenheit

Allow the dough to rise in a warm place until doubled.
Bake for 30 minutes on the middle shelf in preheated oven.
Remove bread from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Blackened Catfish

While doing my weekly grocery shopping, the catfish was calling my name, and I decided it was time to try and prepare it myself.  I have eaten catfish once in my lifetime I think, and since I have been preparing a different fish every week, this was the week for catfish.  Fried catfish seemed a little too much frying for me, so I decided to make blackened catfish.  My fish didn't turn out very blackened, most likely because I used fresh ingredients rather then dried.  Dried spices do blacken, hence the name. This is my personal experience speaking.  In no way am I able to accurately tell you why blackened catfish is called that, but I'm guessing it is because the spice rubbed on the catfish blackens when it is pan fried. 

 Flavorful exterior, flaky moist inside.

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons softened Butter
1 small Yellow Onion
4 cloves Garlic
1 Lemon
1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
1 1/2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2 lbs. Catfish fillets

 Peel and finely dice 1/2 of the onion.

If you have a molcajete or a mortar and pestle, bring them out, otherwise process this in a
blender or food processor.
Place onion, garlic and salt in molcajete or blender.  Grind or blend into a paste.

 Look at my paste, cool.

 Add paprika and red pepper flakes.  Grind or blend until smooth.

 Squeeze lemon juice and add olive oil.  Stir or blend until smooth.

 Brush paste onto both sides of catfish filets, allow to marinate for 15 minutes.

 Add 4 tablespoons of butter to large sauté pan over medium heat.

 Fry catfish filets until interior flesh is opaque and flaky,  3-5 minutes on each side.

Remove from pan and place on serving platter or plate.

Enjoy!

Blackened Catfish
Printable Recipe Found Here

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons softened Butter
1 small Yellow Onion
4 cloves Garlic
1 Lemon
1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
1 1/2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2 lbs. Catfish fillets

Process:

Peel and finely dice 1/2 of the onion.
If you have a molcajete or a mortar and pestle bring them out, otherwise process this in a blender or food processor.
Place onion, garlic and salt in molcajete or blender.  Grind or blend into a paste.
Add paprika and red pepper flakes.  Grind or blend until smooth.
Squeeze lemon juice and add olive oil.  Stir or blend until smooth.
Brush paste onto both sides of catfish filets, allow to marinate for 15 minutes.
Add 4 tablespoons of butter to large sauté pan over medium heat.
Fry catfish filets until interior flesh is opaque and flaky,  3-5 minutes on each side.

Enjoy!