About Mastering and Enjoying Home Cooking. Drink, Cook, and Live Well!

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Fried Rice any style

You can make any type you want but the salient facts remain the same. 

You need day old white long grain rice. The best results come from using long grain and jasmine rice. The jasmine enhances the flavor and aroma of the cooked rice. Use oyster sauce for most of the salt. Use a good portion of Chinese cooking wine for aroma and flavor. Use tofu to add more protein.I prefer extra firm tofu for frying cut into small pieces. Ginger, garlic, bean sprouts, finely shredded cabbage like Napa, shallots, scallion, carrots, peas, mukimame (shelled edamame), water chestnut cut up, chicken or pork or shrimp or a mixture of one or more of these, Marin and sugar for sweetness, white pepper. Some chefs use turmeric to add color, but there is plenty of things that have color. Each of these must be quickly stir fried in a hot wok, the set aside to be added once everything is added. All ingredients must be ready to be used. The rice needs to be separated from big chunks into free kernels. The best tool is slightly wet hands. Whip the eggs. Add liquid ingredients to a bowl. Fish sauce and sesame oil (hot) are often used for extra flavor. To the oyster sauce, add rice wine so it’s not forgotten, Marin, Fisk sauce, sesame oil. It’s okay to add the sugar to the liquid!

2 cups Day old rice ( jasmine or long grain)
3 Shallots
4 scallions
1/2 cups finely chopped carrots
1/3 cup frozen baby peas (can’t get fresh)
1/2 cup mung bean shoots
1/2 cup very fine chopped cabbage
Shaoxing wine
Fish sauce
Sesame oil, hot
Oyster sauce (about 1/4 cup to start, use more for added salt)
Thumb of Ginger
2 or more cloves of garlic 
A few fermented black beans
Eggs, farm fresh, scrambled, three or more
Pepper, white
Tamari( for saltiness)
Pork, chicken or shrimp (protein) pork should be pork butt, chicken prefer dark meat like thigh, shrimp should be peeled, can use small octopus, small clams shelled, lobster, or scallops or some combination of one or more of them. If using a combination of these, cook them separately, so each cooks at their own rate which will be different!

Cook each in a hot wok, and set aside
Cook the whites of the scallion. Save the greens, to add lastly.
Cook eggs in a bit oil (hot is  better)
Cook meat or shellfish, one at a time.
Cook shallots
Cook ginger, garlic, black beans then add carrots, mung bean, cabbage, mukimame
Cook rice then add all liquids including all sauces and hot oil.

Combine all cooked ingredients. Adding in all, eggs, shallots, meat, shellfish, vegetables mixture, rice with all liquids. Add pepper, green’s of the scallions. Correct the seasonings! Toss to combine all ingredients and serve.

1. Use jicama radish or water chestnuts in lieu of bean sprouts to minimize the chance that the sprouts have bacteria bad for human consumption.
2. If adding tofu, use the firm type that has been first fried in order to make taste better.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Sweet & Sour Pork Belly

This dish is loved by Americans even if it’s not really from China.. This is inspired by Marion.

Green Bell pepper, cut uniform 1 1/2 by 1 inch
Red Bell pepper, cut uniform 1 1/2 by 1 inch
White onion, cut uniform 1 1/2 by 1 inch
Fresh pineapple
2 scallions, cut 1 inch 
1 thumb of ginger, cut up super fine
1 garlic clove, cut up super fine
Pepper and salt as required
Peanut oil

1 cup  Dole pineapple juice 
3/4 cup light brown sugar (packed)
1/3 cup rice vinegar 
3 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari)
3 drops red food coloring 

Soak the skinless pork belly for 15 minutes.  Add the pork to a bowel of corn starch to coat. Shake all pork belly to remove excess corn starch. Cook well until crisp. Do multiple batches to avoid crowding. 

Then cook it in a hot wok, cook the pineapple til browned a bit. Next cook the onion and bell pepper til done. Add all the pork belly, vegetables, ginger and garlic, and prepared sauce. Cook 1 minute, add scallions and serve. If you do not like raw scallions, cook I minute more. Correct seasoning before serving.

Best Sweet & Sour Sauce

1 cup  Dole pineapple juice 
3/4 cup light brown sugar (packed)
1/3 cup rice vinegar
As needed, corn starch
3 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari)
3 drops red food coloring 

Egg Fu yung

This is basic goodness.

  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 garlics, minced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 10 medium shrimps, peeled and deveined
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup home made chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoon corn starch

Friday, April 24, 2020

Pastilla Leaves from Moroccan Cusine

Pastilla leaves

A glass and a quarter of flour
A glass of water
2 pinches of salt
Make the slurry free of lumps.

Put in blender,a make  a slurry. 

Cook with a pastry brush  a Teflon pan  over boiling water until the pancake begins to lift from the edges. This will keep them supple and easy to peel.

Before layering , Coat these with a brush with a brushing. These Mini pastillas with fish and seafood by wrapping the later around the food.

of oil.
Pastilla (Moroccan Arabicبسطيلة‎, romanized: basṭīla) is a traditional Moroccan dish in the form of a sweet, savory meat pie or spicy seafood pie with werqa (ورقة), leaves of dough similar to phyllo. It is said to be of Andalusi origin and is historically documented to be consumed in Morocco, and more recently introduced to Algeria, and Tunisia.[1][2] It has more recently been spread by Moroccan emigrants to FranceIsrael, and North America. Pastilla is said to be "uniquely Moroccan, intricate and grand, fabulously rich and fantastical

Baked patatoes

They are the best baked potatoes I’ve ever had! Thanks to Cook’s Illustrated for creating such a simple yet genius recipe.
A few simple steps are what turn a good baked potato into the best baked potato.

The best varieties include russet, Desiree, Estima, King Edward and Maris Piper.

  • A quick salt brine. It adds great flavor to the skin and even seeps into the potato a bit in the areas where pierced.
  • Using high heat. That 450 degree F temperature prevents leathery skin.
  • Taking the temperature with an instant read thermometor. Taking the temperature of a potato? Yes, 205 degrees is the ideal temperature for a fluffy interior (then you’ll baste and add just 10 more minutes to that).
  • A light basting of vegetable oil crispens up the skin. But only add at the last 10 minutes or you’ll end with soggy skin. (The brine and basting is why you need to use that baking sheet and and wire rack).
  • Cutting the potatoes open immediately after baking. Otherwise they’ll sit and steam inside and become heavy. The fluffy interior is everything, I’m telling you.

Baked Potatoes Ingredients

If you’re serious about cooking baked potatoes perfectly every time, here’s what you’ll need:
  • 4 (7 – 9 oz) potatoes
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 Tbsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp peanut  oil (don’t use olive oil or it will smoke at this high heat)
  • Desired toppings, such as butter, pepper, cheddar, chives, bacon, sour cream

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Chicken Afridafa

Chicken Afritada or afritadang manok is a type of Filipino chicken stew with tomato based sauced. It is a simple dish that can be cooked on regular days. It is perfect for lunch and is better when eaten with warm white rice.

  • 1 ½ lbs. Chicken cut into serving pieces
  • 2 piece potato cubed
  • 1 piece carrot sliced
  • 1 can of tomato paste (small)
  • 3 pieces polish sasauge
  • ½ cup green peas 
  • 3 pieces bay leaves
  • 1 piece red onion chopped
  • 2 teaspoons garlic minced
  • 3 cups homemade chicken broth
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons  extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste


  • Heat the oil in a cooking pot. Saute onion and garlic until the onion softens.
  • Add chicken. Cook for 30 seconds. Turn it over and cook the other side for another 30 seconds.
  • Pour tomato paste and chicken broth. Cover. Let boil.
  • Add dried bay leaves. Cover the cooking pot. Continue to cook in medium heat for 30 minutes.
  • Add sasauge and carrot. Cook for 3 minutes.
  • Add potato. Cover the pot and cook for 8 minutes.
  • Add green peas (frozen). Cook for 2 minutes.
  • Season with salt and ground black pepper

Eggs Benedict

We’ll sort of. This recipe is actually better because it uses cold smoked salmon( lox) instead of tuff Canadian bacon and the English muffins are cooked in butter instead of toasted so the come out easy to cut (easier to eat than toasted).

Two poached farm fresh eggs
Two English muffins cooked in melted butter
Two tablespoons Myer Lemon juice
1/2 Cup of melted sweet butter
Two farm fresh egg yolks
Two generous portions of lox

Prepare Hollandaise sauce by wishing lemon juice, two yolks, a tablespoon hot water and melted butter over medium heat until it forms a sauce. Crooked English muffins in butter in a shallow pan. Top muffins with lox, a poached egg, and top with  hollandaise.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Twice Cooked Pork

Twice cooked pork is really pork belly and is a loved dish that is very popular.

  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp of ginger strips
  • 5 ounces of leeks
  • 3 green chilies and 1 red chili
  • Peanut oil
  • Get a nice piece of pork belly. Make sure it has the clear layer. That will ensure your pork turn out juicy and flavorful.
  • Prepared a pot with water. Bring it to a boil. Add in few slices of ginger, 2 pieces of leek, 1 tbsp of Sichuan peppercorn, 2 tbsp of Chinese cooking wine, 1/2 tbsp of dark soy sauce. Then put your meat in.
  • Turn the heat to low and let it cook for 30 minutes. Twice cooked pork – That means we need to cook the pork twice. So this is the first time.
  • Test the pork with chopstick after 30 minutes. If the chopstick can go through easily, that means it is ready.
  • Pop the pork in the fridge. It will help to cool down the pork faster, also, will dry out the surface of the pork and lock the juice inside so when you cut it, there won’t be water splash everywhere.
While waiting, you can prepare your vegetables:
  • Ginger, slice it. Then cut it into strips.
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peel it then roughly chop it.
  • Leeks( scallions) cut it into short strips.
  • Chilies, roughly cut it into small pieces.
Now you can take the pork out of the fridge and cut it into thin pieces:
  • Let’s start cooking. Heat up your wok. Add a little bit oil in it and put in your pork. Try to separate the meat so most of the pork touches the bottom. Let 1 side cook for about 20 seconds and then give it a mix. Separate it again and cook it for another 20 seconds.
  • After 3 minutes, you should see the fat is coming out from the pork. If you don’t like that much fat you can take some oil out. I don’t mind it so I didn’t take it out.
  • Now it is time for the seasoning. 1.5 tbsp of Chinese cooking wine, 1.5 tbsp of the broth that we cooked the pork with, 1 tsp of sugar, 1 tsp of sweet bean paste, 1.5 tbsp of Dou ban jiang. Dou Ban Jiang is the most common sauce in Sichuan, if you like Sichuan food, you should store 1 bottle in you kitchen.
  • Mix the pork with all the seasoning. Keep cooking this on medium heat. You can tell it is ready by the color.
  • Then you can add the rest of ingredients. The garlic, the ginger, the leeks and the chilies. Give it a mix and turn the heat to high. Stir this for 2 minutes until the chilies are getting a little soft and everything is well combined. Take it out and you are done!

Pot roast

The is something very satisfying about a pot roast that is cooked with wine that makes it that much better. This is a good one.

1 (4 to 5-pound) prime boneless beef chuck roast
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour
Good extra virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped carrots (4 carrots)
2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
2 cups chopped celery (4 stalks)
2 large potatoes cut up
2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 to 4 leeks)
5 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 cups good red wine, such as Burgundy (pinot noir)
2 tablespoons Cognac or brandy
1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes in puree
1 cup chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 chicken bouillon cube
3 branches fresh thyme
2 branches fresh rosemary
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Pat the beef dry with a paper towel. Season the roast all over with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Dredge the whole roast in flour, including the ends. In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the roast and sear for 4 to 5 minutes, until nicely browned. Turn and sear the other side and then turn and sear the ends. This should take 4 to 5 minutes for each side. Remove the roast to a large plate.
  • Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the Dutch oven. Add the carrots, onions, celery, leeks, garlic, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper and cook over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender but not browned. Add the wine and Cognac and bring to a boil. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, bouillon cube, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Tie the thyme, fresh sage, bay leaves and rosemary together with kitchen string and add to the pot.  Add potatoes. Put the roast back into the pot, bring to a boil, and cover. Place in the oven for 2 1/2 hours, until the meat is fork tender or about 160 degrees F internally. Turn the heat down to 250 degrees F after about an hour to keep the sauce at a simmer.
  • Remove the roast to a cutting board. Remove the herb bundle and discard. Skim off as much fat as possible from the sauce. Transfer half the sauce and vegetables to a blender or a food processor fitted with the steel blade and puree until smooth. Pour the puree back into the pot, place on the stovetop over low heat, and return the sauce to a simmer. Place 2 tablespoons flour and the butter in a small bowl and mash them together with a fork. Stir into the sauce and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring until thickened. Add a jigger of sherry and a jigger of port.
  • Taste for seasonings. Remove the strings from the roast, and slice the meat. Serve warm with the sauce spooned over.