Monday, January 20, 2014

Beef keema

This is so easy and yummy. I made a few changes--coconut milk instead of yoghurt and milk and cayenne pepper. Serve with Basmati rice and garlic naan (Trader Joe's has a great frozen naan).

Vegetarian version - substitute cauliflower for beef, not for potatoes.

Serves 4
  1. 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  2. 1 large onion, chopped
  3. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
  5. 1 pounds ground beef or ground lamb
  6. 1-2 Roma tomatoes, diced (optional)
  7. 2 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  8. 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  9. 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  10. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  11. 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  12. 1/2-1 tsp cayenne
  13. 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  14. 1 pound boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces or cauliflower flowerets
  15. 1 can coconut milk
  16. 3/4 cup frozen petite peas
  17. 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  18. 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  1. In a large deep frying pan, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the onion and cook until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook 1 minute longer. Add the beef and cook until no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Drain off any fat.
  2. Add the diced tomato. Add the coriander, cumin, pepper, turmeric, cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon of the salt to the pan. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the potatoes or cauliflower and coconut milk. Bring just to a boil. Cover the pan. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Uncover the pan and simmer for 5 minutes longer.
  3. Stir in the peas and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Simmer until the peas are just done, about 2 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and the cilantro.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Roast pork belly buns from Momofuku

This is crazy good! It is super easy to do, although it takes a little time.  I made the buns, and they turned out good. Next time, i'll probably just buy them frozen at the Asian market.

If your butcher doesn't have fresh pork belly, the Asian market probably will. If you have a Sunshine Market in your area, it is fabulous.

Special equipment-steamer for buns, parchment paper

To serve 4-5 as an ample appetizer
Pork belly

1-3lb pork belly, skinless
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar

If needed, remove the skin from the pork belly with a sharp knife.  Then place it in a dish and cover it with the salt and sugar. Cover, refrigerate for 6-24 hours.  

Heat oven to 450. Line a roasting pan with heavy duty aluminum foil, and place belly in the pan.  Roast for 1 hour, basting halfway through. Turn oven down to 250 and cook 1-1 hour and 15 minutes more.

Let cool, remove from pan and refrigerate til cold. You don't have to do this, but you get nicer slices this way.  When cold, slice into 1/4-1/2 inch slices and reheat in oven before serving. 

If you're making the buns, pour the fat through a fine sieve and reserve. The word bun makes me think of a rounded mound of bread like a hamburger bun, but these are flat, folded over, half-moon shaped buns. 

You can make these ahead, cool and reheat in the steamer or freeze and reheat, or you can buy them 
And make your life infinitely easier.

For about 20 Buns
2 tsp active dry yeast
3/4 c water at room temp
2 1/8 cup bread flour
3 tbl sugar
1 1/2 tbl nonfat dry milk powder
1/2 tbl kosher salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3 tbl pork fat or crisco, plus more for shaping buns

Dissolve yeast and water in mixing bowl fitted with dough hook. Add everything else and mix on low for 8-10 minutes. It should come away from the sides of the bowl to form a neat, not too tacky ball. Turn this into an oiled bowl, cover, and let stand in a warm place til doubled in size. 

 Remove, cut dough in half. Cut each half into 5 pieces. Cut each piece into 2. Roll each one into a ball and place on a cookie sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 30 minutes in a warm place.  

Cut 20-4" squares of parchment paper.

Flatten each ball into an oval and roll into a 4 inch oval.  Put a chopstick into the pork fat, and lay the chopstick down in the middle of the bun.  Fold the bun over the chopstick, and pull the chopstck out, place on parchment paper square, and put on cookie sheet. When done, cover with plastic wrap and let rest/rise for 45 minutes in a warm place.  

Let the water come to a boil in your steamer and place buns (still on parchment squares) into steamer without crowding.  Let steam 10 minutes. Momofuku says to remove the parchment, but it's easier to reheat if you leave them on.

Quick cucumber pickles
1 English cucumber, sliced into 1/8" slices
2 tbl sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tbl rice wine vinegar
Mix all together, let stand at least 1 hour.

To serve

Hoisin sauce
Siracha sauce
Quick pickled cucumbers

Open the bun, smear on hoisin, fill with 1 or 2 slices pork, cucumber, and add Siracha or kimchee to taste. Repeat until it's all gone!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Chinese Chicken Salad

Chinese Chicken Salad
Slightly adapted from Cook’s Country

1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
3 Tablespoons fresh, grated ginger
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon Asian chili-garlic sauce
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, extra fat trimmed off
2 hearts of romaine lettuce, whole
1/2 small head napa cabbage
2 red bell peppers
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 cup salted dry-roasted peanuts, finely chopped


1) Make the base marinade: add the orange juice, vinegar, soy sauce, grated ginger, sugar, and Asian chili-garlic sauce into a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Take a 1/2-cup measure of the sauce and transfer it to a 12-inch skillet. Make the vinaigrette with the remaining liquid in the bowl by adding the vegetable and toasted sesame oils and whisking to thoroughly combine.

2) Cook the chicken thighs: Bring the base mixture in the 12-inch skillet to a boil, then add the chicken to the skillet in one layer, minimizing overlap as much as possible. Reduce the heat to medium and cover, and simmer. Turn the chicken over after 7 minutes, then continue to cook, covered, until the chicken are cooked through and reach 165-degrees on a meat thermometer. Transfer the chicken to a plate to rest. Add the reduced cooking liquid to the bowl containing the rest of the vinaigrette.

3) Make the salad: Cut off the hard stem of the romaine lettuce and wash the leaves thoroughly. Chop the romaine hearts along the short edge, forming roughly equally-sized chunks. Cut the core out of the cabbage, then slice it evenly. Chop the cabbage slices into pieces roughly the same size as the romaine lettuce. Cut off the top and stem of the bell peppers, then slice in half. Remove all of the seeds and tough white ribs along the inside. Cut each half into slices, then into 1-inch pieces. Wash the cilantro leaves and roughly chop as well.

4) Combine all the salad ingredients in a large bowl, then toss with the remaining with the vinaigrette to evenly coat. Distribute portions onto plates, and top with chicken. Serve immediately.

Spanish-style Pork Chops with Garbanzo Beans

This is an easy, 1 dish, weekday meal. I made fresh kale to go with it, but any frozen greens or a fresh salad would be good.

Serves 2

1-3 tbl olive oil
2 boneless loin pork chops
Garlic salt
Black pepper
3 tsp Smoked paprika
Pinch of saffron
1/2 onion, chopped
2 garlic gloves, chopped fine
1 banana pepper, seeded and chopped
1 Roma tomato, chopped
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
2-4 red potatoes, halved 
1/2 cup chicken stock

Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add 2 tbl olive oil.  Season pork chops with garlic salt, black pepper, and 2 tsp smoked paprika. Brown pork chops on either side and remove to plate. Reduce heat to medium low, add 1 tbl olive oil, onion, pepper, garlic, and saute until onion is translucent. Add garbanzo beans and tomato and saute another 2 minutes.  Add chops, potatoes, chicken stock, and another tsp of smoked paprika and the saffron. Bring to a boil. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.  Cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Let cook 30 minutes, add more liquid if needed to keep it moist.  When done, remove chops to serving platter and reduce liquid if necessary. Pour tomato, onion mixture over chops and serve.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Pork paprikash from flipboard

This sounds like a great winter dish. I'm going to try it soon.


  • 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder
  • Kosher salt
  • Cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground caraway
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small red pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 pound egg noodles, cooked


  1. 1

    Season pork liberally with salt and pepper and place in the slow cooker. Add paprika, caraway, onion, garlic, red pepper, broth, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, and thyme, and stir to combine. Season with additional 1/4 teaspoon of both salt and pepper.

  2. 2

    Turn on low and cook 8 to 10 hours, until tender. Discard thyme. Shred meat, add sour cream and stir to combine. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if needed. Serve on top of egg noodles.