Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Egg Fu Yung - It's what's for dinner

Tonight I had to come up with another creative dinner to use up pork roast.  I was leaning towards Chinese, since we went Mexican last night.  It popped into my head that I remembered seeing an Egg Fu Yung recipe in my Mom's recipe box, and I remember her making this on occassion and really enjoying it as a kid.  So I went about searching for her recipe, and somehow, somewhere I have lost it.  I really hope it shows up, because I'd like to try her version.  Instead I proceeded to search the internet for inspriation.  I discovered that this is a great recipe to use up leftovers, and there's a great sauce to disguiese all those leftover flavors you're tired of eating. 

Egg Fu Yung (there are many different spellings) is pretty much an American food created by American Chinese chefs.  I've read that it's based on an authentic Chinese dish, one of which is called Fu Yung Egg Slices which is from Shanghai.  The name itself is Cantanese.  (I just love the Chinese, their food has so much history - I think they should start teaching food history like they teach art history).  My personal history with the dish, is it was something my Mom would make when I was a kid, and I remember loving it.  When I think back, I think it was one of those easy fast food dishes she made when she didn't feel like cooking, and it was a great way to use up the leftovers from the Chinese take home food we occassionaly had.  A great way to use up her leftovers, and a kid friendly dish, and dad would eat it too. 

Since I couldn't find her recipe, I did some research and came up with my own Egg Fu Yung.  I scrambled together 8 eggs (for 4 people, intending to have leftovers for lunch).  Then I cut up about 1/2 cup of leftover pork roast (you could use shrimp, chicken, ham, steak, etc) 1/2 cup of bean sprouts, 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms, 1/2 cup onions, 3 scallions, and one garlic clove.  I sauteed all the vegetables except the garlic for just under a minute, then added the garlic.  Then I added a mixture of 1 tbsp of soy sauce and 1 tbsp of corn starch, and the meat,then sprinkled it all with 1 tsp white pepper and 1 tsp salt. 

Then I made the sauce.  4 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp saki, 2 tsp corn starch and I cooked until thickened.  Then I stirred in a couple tsp of oyster sauce. 

I put about 1/2 cup of the scrambled egg in a small pan and added about a 1/4 of the vegetable/ meat mixture.  I cooked until it was pretty much cooked through and browned on one side, then flipped it and cooked it long enough to brown on the other side.  I served it with a small smear of the sauce (it's pretty strong - it's good, but a little goes a long way). 

A little side of raw sugar snap peas, and we had a quick, easy and healthy dinner for the night. 

Yoga Journal - Yoga Food - All You Can Eat

Yoga Journal - Yoga Food - All You Can Eat

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Monday, December 28, 2009

Pork Tacos

Well, I still haven't posted my Thanksgiving leftover recipes.  I hope to soon, since they could be useful for Christmas leftovers as well.  Speaking of leftovers, I was lucky enough to come home with some leftover pork roast from my in-laws.  I didn't have to cook Christmas dinner this year.  My sister's in law had that honor and did a fantastic job.  They did give me the honor of allowing me in their mom's kitchen long enough to bake an apple pie, which my father in law said was one of the best he's ever had.  That was my best Christmas present ever.  (Especially since it was my mom's recipe - I send a thanks to my mom in heaven.)

The huge meal the SIL's put together left far too many leftover's for my father in law and mother in law to deal with, so they were kind enough to send us home with a few things, including the rest of the pork roast.  The first thing I thought of was TACO's.  I found this great recipe at For the love of cooking: Pork Tacos with Fresh Pico de Gallo and Gaucamole and modified it to my needs.  I sliced up 4 of the chops off of the rib roast into bite size pieces.  I sliced up a quarter of a large red onion and sauteed it until it was soft.  I added the pork and about a half teaspoon each of cumin, smokey paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, and onion powder and some salt and fresh ground pepper.  I added a half can of black beans and let it simmer while I made a pico de gallo consisting of 2 large tomatoes, a little over half a large red onion, a chopped garlic clove, a couple tablespoons of chopped cilantro, one chopped fresh jalapeno, 4 finely chopped radishes, some salt, the juice of half a lime, a sprinkle of chili powder and a sprinkle of smokey paprika.  I then made a sweet salsa for my kids consisting of one mango, 2 tablespoons of cilantro, 2 tsp on chopped onion, 1/4 cup of chopped bell pepper, a tsp of sugar ( the mango was quite tart), a pinch of salt, a pinch of chili powder and smokey paprika, and a squeeze of lime juice.

I then attempted to make my first homemade corn tortillas.  They were not a success, but not a complete failure either.  I used 1 cup of masa flour combined with 1/2 tsp salt.  I combined that with 1/2 plus 1/8 of boiling water that had 1/2 tsp of lard melted in it.  I had to add about 3 more tablespoons of hot water to get it to what felt like the right texture.  I formed it into 6 golf ball size balls and covered it with seran wrap.  Here is where I went wrong.  I let it sit a little too long and it got dry, so when I fried them, they were a little too dry, and not useable for tacos, but still tasted quite good.  I don't have a tortilla press, so I put the balls between two pieces of plastic ( cut from a gallon size freezer bag) and I rolled them out with a roller.  I also needed to roll them a bit thinner to get a manageable tortilla.  One thing I did realize. This is doable.  This could be a short learning curve and it won't be long before I have good homemade tortillas.  I will be practicing this process again soon.

Fortunately I bought corn tortillas as a backup (they worked better, but didn't taste quite as flavorful as the homemade ones).  I heated them, topped them  with the meat and bean mixture and the salsa of each person's choice.  I also put some fresh avocado on each, some cojito cheese, some pickled jalapeno on mine, and some sour cream on the kids.

This turned out to be a flavorful way to use up leftovers, as well as a nice change from what we'd already enjoyed on Christmas.  You just can't go wrong with pork tacos!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Great Christmas gift idea for the foodies in your lives

Friday night I rented the movie Julie and Julia.  I LOVED it!  This would be a great Christmas gift for any foodie in your life.  Meryl Streep does an amazing job as Julia Childs!  I found myself relating very much to Julie's character, as did my husband to Julie's husband.  Just a fun movie all around.
You still have time to order this movie from Amazon and receive it by Christmas.  But you better get on it today!
Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukka, and Happy New Year to everyone!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Oswald Thanksgiving 2009
Brined and Smoked Turkey
Fennel , Prosciutto and Pine Nut Stuffing
Yams Braised with Cream, Rosemary and Nutmeg
Mashed Potatoes and Celery root
Giblit Gravy Supreme
Green Bean and Lemon Casserole
Cranberry Sauce With Port and Dried Figs
Store bought dinner rolls
Pumpkin Pie Cake with Whipped Cream

The recipe for the Turkey I found last year on About.com.  This is our adaption of the recipe:

1 11 lb turkey
2 quarts apple juice
1 lb brown sugar
1 cup kosher salt
3 oranges, quartered
approximately 4 oz ginger sliced
15 whole cloves
6 bay leaves
6 cloves of garlic crushed
hickory chips

Combine apple juice, brown sugar and salt in a large saucepan.  Bring to boil and continue heating until sugar and salt dissolve.  Skim off any foam that forms and let cool.  In a large stock pot or similar container combine apple juice mixture, 3 quarts water, oranges, ginger, cloves, bay leaves and garlic.  Wash turkey, be sure to remove the giblit bag, and place in the brine mixture and refrigerate for 24 hours.  Make sure the turkey is completely submerged. Place hickory chips in water and prepare grill for indirect grilling on a medium heat.  Remove turkey from brine, rinse and pat dry.  Brush turkey with vegetable oil.  Place on grill away from direct heat with a heavy guage foil pan underneath to capture the juices of the turkey (hickory chips will go on the coals).  After 30 or so minutes you may want to wrap the wings in foil to prevent them from burning.  Brush with vegetable oil occassionally.  If the breast gets too brown cover with foil.  The turkey will be done when the internal temperature reaches 175 degrees F.  in the thigh or 165 in the breast.  12 to 14 minutes per pound.  When done, remove from the grill and rest for about 15 minutes before carving. 

Mashed Potatoes and Celery Root

 This is a recipe I discovered in Martha Stewarts Living Magazine back in November of 2001.  Celery root is a delicious addition to mashed potatoes. 
For 6 people
2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes
1/2 lb celery root
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tbsp unslated butter
 1/2 tbsp coarse salt 1/8 tsp pepper

Peel potatoes and cut into 1" pieces.  Peel celery root using a paring knife.  Cut into 1/2 " pieces.  Place potatoes and celery root in a small stockpot with enough water to cover, and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce to a simmer, and cook unti tender, about 10 minutes. Drain, return to pot; place over low heat to dry out.
Combine cream, butter, salt, and pepper in a small saucepan, and place over medium heat until butter is melted and mixture comes to a simmer.  Pour over potato mixture, and combine, using a potato masher, until fluffy and smooth.

Fennel, Prosciutto and Pine Nut Stuffing

I found this recipe in a 1998 Bon Appetite Magazine and have adopted it to feed a family of four.
1/2 to 3/4 lb round sourdough bread, crust trimmed, cut into 3/4 " cubes (about 5 or 6 cups)
3 to 4 tbsp butter
3 cups thinly sliced green onions
2 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed, and coarsely chopped
1/2 tbsp fennel seeds, coarsley ground
4 oz prosciutto, chopped
3/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
3/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1/2 tbsp fresh chopped marjoram
3/4 tsp grated lemon peel
3 large eggs beaten to blend

Canned checken broth

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place bread on a large baking sheet and bake until slightly dry, about 10 minutes. Cool and transfer to a large bowl.
Melt butter in large skillet over high heat.  Add onions and fennel bulbs and seeds; saute' until onions soften but fennel bulbs are still crisp-tender, about 8 minutes.  Remove from eat.  Mix in prosciutto, pine nuts, parsely, marjoram and lemon peel.  (Bread and fennel mixture can be made 1 day ahead.  Cover separately.  Store bread at room temperature; refrigerate fennel.) Add fennel mixture to bread.  Season with salt and pepper.  Mix in eggs. 
To bake in the turkey (which I did not do)
Loosely fill main turkey cavity with stuffing.  Add enough broth to remaining stuffing to moisten lightly (about 1/4 to 1/2 cup, depending on amount of remaining stuffing).  Generously butter glass baking dish.  Spoon remaining suffing into prepared dish.  Cover with buttered foil, buttered side down.  Bake stuffing in dish alongside turkey until heated through about 25 to 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake until top is slightly crisp and golden about 15 to 20 minutes.
To Bake in baking dish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Generously butter 13x9x2 inch glass baking dish.  Add enough broth to stuffing to moisten (about 3/4 cup).  Transfer stuffing to prepared dish.  Cover with buttered foil, buttered side down; bake until heated through, about 30 to 35 minutes.  Uncover and bake until top is slightly crisp and golden about 20 to 25 minutes longer.

 Green Bean And Lemon Casserole

This is a great Nigella Lawson Recipe.  Simple and British.  You really need to pull up her recipe and read it.  It cracks me up, she says things like this: "Strictly speaking, I don't think of this as a casserole, but I know that this is the traditional nomencalutre; and, besides, I do sometimes serve the beans in one so it seems silly to quibble." (I like to read that outloud in a British accent - it cracks me up)
Ingredients for 4 to 5:
1 lb green beans
6 tbsp unsalted butter
few drops of olive oil
1/2 lemon
sea salt and fresh pepper
Bring a bit pot of water to boil, trim the beans.  Once the water is boiling, salt it and cook the beans about 6 minutes.  Strain the beans and put the pot back on the stove over low heat with the butter and olive oil.  Chop up the lemon.  Slice off each end and just enough to remove skin and pith, then cut downwards turning the lemon to peel the fruit.  Squeeze the fruity peel over the pan.  Cut half the lemon up on the board.  Add the pieces and all the juice that collects to the melted butter and stir well with a wooden spoon, add the drained beans. 
Stir the beans and the lemony butter, add salt and pepper, remove to a warmed casserole.

I, unfortuantely, did not get pictures of my yam's or my cranberries.  They were very good though. The Yam recipe is from my November 1998 Bon Appetite and the Cranberry recipe I found on Epicurious.  It is from the 2003 Conde'Net magazine. 

4 servings:
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1 1/4 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 1/2 lbs yams (red skinned sweet potatoes) peeled cut into 1/2 inch thick rounds
1/2 cups +2 tbs canned chicken broth
1/4 cup whipping cream
fresh ground nutmeg
Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots an minced rosemary and saute' until tender, about 3 minuets.  Add yams and broth to skillet and bring to boil.  Cover skillet, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until yams are almost tender, about 10 minutes.  Add cream and sprinkle lightly with nutmeg.  Simmer uncovered until yams are very tender and liquid thickens and coats yams, about 4 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  This can be mad a day ahead, which I did and it came out great.  Chill in a microwave safe container until it's time to rewarm in the microwave.

Yields 1 3/4 cups:

1/2 +1/3 cup ruby port (I can't always find that here and have found Tawney Port works fine)
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1/8 cup (packed) goden brown sugar
4 dried black Mission figs, stemmed, chopped
1 3" spring fresh rosemary
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/2 12 oz bag fresh cranberries ( cranberries freeze very well - seal the rest up and throw int he freezer)
3/8 cup sugar
Combine first 6 ingredients in medium saucepan.  Bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.  Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes.  discard rosemary.  Mix in cranberries and 3/8 cup sugar.  Cook over medium heat until liquid is slightly reduced and berries burst, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes.  Cool. Transfer sauce to a bowl and chill until cold.  This can be prepared up to a week ahead. 

Giblet Gracy Supreme
I'd post a link, but can't find it.  This is from my November 2008 Sunset Magazine (a recipe originally published in Sunset back in 1968).
Serves 12 (4 cups)
Giblets and nect from 10 to 24 lb turkey, rinsed
About 5 cups chicken broth
1 1/4 cups dry white wine or chicken broth
1 onion quartered
2 carrots (1/2 lb) sliced
3/4 cup sliced celery
4 parsley springs
1/2 tsp fresh marjoram leaes or 1/4 tsp dried
About 1/2 tsp each salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Fat skimmed from turkey
In a 5 qt pan over high heat, combine giblets, neck, 5 cups broth, wine, onions, carrots, celery, parsley, marjoram, and 1/2 tsp each salt and peper.  cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until all giblets are very tender when pierced, about 1 hour.
Toast flour in a large frying pan over med.high heat,stirring, until deep golden brown and smells richly toasted, but not scorched.  12 to 15 minutes.  Pour into a bowl
Pour broth through a fine strainer into a bowl, reserving pan.  Discard vegetables (sae giblets and neck if you like).  Measure broth. If you have more than 4 cups, boil to reduce; if you haveless, add more chicken broth.
If using giblets and neck, pull meat off neck; discar bones.  Finely chop meat and giblets. 
Whisk about 1 1/2 cups simmered broth into flour.  Pour into the 5 qt pan and add remaining broth.
Add drippings from turkey.  Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring; lower heat and simmer, sitrring often, about 5 minutes.  Add giblets; ifyou like (and I do like!), and stir 1 to 2 minutes more.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Make ahead tip:  Up to one day ahead, make through step 5, cover and chill.  To reheat, add turkey drippings and warm over low heat, stirring often. 

Pumpkin Pie Cake
This is a recipe my Mom gave me and I believe she got from my Uncle Paul (my dad's brother).
1 lg. can Libbey Pumpkin Pie Mix (I used 4 cups of fresh pumpkin I had harvested and frozen last year).
1 cup light brown sugar.
4 tsp pumpkin pie spice ( used a combination of dried ginger, allspice, and nutmeg)
1 large can of evaporated milk
3 eggs slightly beaten
Mix all ingredients toghether.  Pour into greased 9 x 13 pan.  Sprinkle one box of yellow cake mix over the top.  Melt 2 cubes of butter (mom's calles for margerine, but I can't bring myself to recommend synthethetic food - that's your choice) Pour over the cake mix, top with chopped walnuts. Bake 55 minutes at 350 degrees.  Serve with whipped cream. 

Last note of the evening.  Be careful suiting up your kids with fancy aprons and handing over the whipping cream and a stand mixer to them.  That whipped cream you're looking forward to going on top of that pumpkin pie cake?  Well, it's going to be a nice sweet butter when they get done. 

Oh well!  It's still pretty damn delicious!

Hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving and will find something useful here for next year.  I hope to be back posting a lot of leftover recipes soon.  I had some good ones this year and managed to use everything up without anything going to waste.  And I can't wait to see what kind of tasteys Christmas brings!