Thursday, February 23, 2012

Shrimp Scampi


1 1/2 pound jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 cup dry white vermouth
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest


Put the shrimp on a large pie pan or plate and pat them completely dry with a paper towel. Arrange the shrimp so they lay flat and are evenly spaced. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Add the butter to the skillet. When the foaming subsides, raise the heat to high, and invert the plate of shrimp over the pan so the shrimp fall into the pan all at once. Cook the shrimp, without moving them, for 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Turn the shrimp over and cook for 2 minutes more. Transfer the shrimp to a bowl.

Return the skillet to the heat and pour in the vermouth and lemon juice. Boil the liquid until slightly thickened, about 30 seconds. Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Stir the zest and parsley into the sauce. Pour the sauce over the shrimp, season with salt and pepper to taste and toss to combine.

Divide the shrimp among 4 plates or arrange on a platter and serve.

*Recipe from Food Network

Monday, February 20, 2012

NYC style Halal Chicken and Rice

Recipe from

For the chicken:
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 cup light olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat (6 to 8 thighs)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil

For the rice:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain or Basmati rice
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce:
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

I made the recommended sauce and also made some tatziki. I cooked the chicken twice. After doing a rough chop add the extra chicken mixture and pan fry for a few minutes.

I also added cumin to the chicken marinade.

Super yummy!

Homemade Pretzels

I must say they look and taste yummy. We polished these guys in one day. :)


2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees)
1 cup bread flour
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter, softened
Vegetable oil, for bowl and baking sheets
1/4 cup baking soda
1 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon water
1 tablespoon course grain Kosher salt

In a mixing bowl, whisk together yeast, salt, sugar and water in a small bowl until sugar and salt dissolve. Leave the mixture alone until foamy, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add butter and flour. Knead until no longer sticky, about 5 minutes.

Transfer dough onto a floured surface. Use the same mixing bowl and coat with Olive Oil. Cover bowl with plastic and let the dough rise in a reasonably warm place, until doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Turn out dough onto a rolling surface, and cut into 12 equal pieces. Roll each into an 18-inch rope and shape into a pretzel (as dutifully described in photos above). Place onto an oiled baking sheet, covering with plastic to keep from drying out while you finish the rest. Let rise for 20 minutes and 
preheat oven to 475 degrees.


Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add baking soda and 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar. Boil pretzels in batches of 3-4 until puffed, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Drain on a wire rack and return to the oiled baking sheet. Make an egg wash by whisking together 1 teaspoon water and egg in a small bowl. Brush tops of pretzels with the wash and sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Chinese Style Steamed Tilapia Fillet

Chinese Style Steamed Tilapia Fillet

1 fish fillet (I used Tilapia)
1-1/2 tbsp. of light soy sauce
1 tsp. fish sauce
1-1/2 tbsp. of rice wine (sake or mirin may be substituted)
1 tsp. of sesame seed oil
2 tbsp. of finely sliced ginger
1/2 tbsp. crushed garlic
1/2 bunch of spring onion (thinly sliced)

Mixed soy, fish sauce, rice wine, sesame seed oil and garlic. Mix and pour over fish. Top with ginger and spring onions.

I used my bamboo steamer and wok. Steam for 20 minutes. 

I also made some Steamed Bok Choy with Oyster Sauce. So easy to do. Using a wok add some sesame oil to the heated pan throw in your crushed garlic (don't burn) and add sliced bok choy stalks and add leaves last cook for 2 minutes. Add a mixture of oyster and soy sauce and cook for a minute. Transfer into a bowl and place on top of the bamboo steamer. Steam for 3 minutes on high. Serve with the steamed fish.

That's it!

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Cuban Style Black Beans and Rice

Grilled Pork Tenderloin
Got the marinade recipe from I tweaked the recipe and added some Tequila and brown sugar. Instead of pouring the reduced sauce I brushed it while grilling the tenderloin.

Homemade Cuban Style Black Beans & Rice
2 Tbsp Olive oil or vegetable oil
2 C long grain white rice
1 1/2 C chicken broth

1 small can diced tomatoes (I love the flavored ones you get at the store)
salt and pepper
1 can of black beans (heat according to packaging and serve over rice)

Heat oil in a skillet. Add the rice. Stir frequently and slightly brown the rice (more like, make it tan) over a medium high heat. Add the chicken broth. Add the tomato juice. Add some salt and pepper. Stir thoroughly. Reduce heat to simmer and cover tightly with a lid. (I ‘stir’ the mixture several times while it’s cooking by just shaking/moving the skillet back and forth so that I don’t take the lid off.) Simmer/cook for about 20 minutes, until the liquid has been absorbed. Once the liquid has been absorbed, turn off the heat and leave mixture alone with the lid on it for another 10-15 minutes or so.

Salad (I always get this little side when I eat out and I think it works well with this dish)
Romaine lettuce (sliced into strips)
2 teaspoons of sour cream
1 pinch of finely chopped cilantro

Note: Let the marinade sit overnight. It's totally worth it. I made the rice after the boys got up from their nap. They were busy playing together and I sneaked out and made the rice. :) Hehehe


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Cookies for Breakfast for my sweet peeps on Valentine's Day

There's nothing sweeter than waking up early morning and whipping up some heart shaped short bread cookies for your loved ones. Boys were busy playing in the living and these cookies didn't take a long time to make. I think I might just do this every year. I could prepare the dough day in advance but as usual there were too many things happening in our little household.

Shortbread Cookies (adapted from Food Network)

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. fine salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup strawberry jam (no seeds)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl.
  3. In another bowl, whip the butter and the sugar until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla until just combined. Slowly beat in dry ingredients in 2 additions, mixing just until incorporated.
  4. Divide dough in 6 parts and roll out and use a heart shaped cookie cutter. Flip and coat with sugar crystal and place on the mat with the sugar facing up.
  5. Bake for 12 minutes.
  6. Store cookies in a tightly sealed container for up to 5 days.

Huge hit from the boys. 

It feels like Christmas around here but it's only Valentine's and we get to enjoy some sugar cookies for breakfast. Yummy!

He's never done this before. He actually smiled for me. 

Ryan loved it too!

Pink fingers from the sugar crystals. 

We also made some Strawberry Thumbprint cookies for Dada. I just used the extra dough

Dada's card from the boys. :)

I made a cake from scratch. Never done this before. I might just bake our cakes from now on. It was pretty good. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Yellowtail Tuna with Crispy Wonton Wrapper

My contribution for my neighborhood Christmas party. Seared Yellowtail Tuna served with crispy wonton wrapper, layered with avocado, mango, cucumber, sprouts and Wasabi cream for garnish. Mark and I sampled a few pieces.

Sear seasoned tuna 2 to 3 minutes per side. I seasoned it with salt, pepper, garlic powder and ginger powder and some black and white sesame seeds. Slice thinly and served on top of crispy wonton wrapper with the layered salad. It's so easy and fast. :)