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

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Lo Mein Noodles

This dish is made with flour wide noodles or fettuccine

bell pepper - any color

baby bok choy


snow peas

Chopped onions

Chicken or shrimp, mixed with corn starch and an egg white, marinade

Corn starch and Water slurry, as a thickener


Tamari or soy

Ginger, minced

Garlic, minced


Oyster sauce

Hot sauce

shaoxing wine


1 pound a fettuccine or wide egg noodles
bell peppers (color)
baby bok choy
Shitake mushroom caps
snow peas
Chopped onions
cabbage, shredded or slaw
Chicken or shrimp, mixed with corn star and an egg white marinated
Corn starch and water 
 slurry, as a thickener


1 tablespoon black vinegar
1/4 cup Tamari or soy
1 tablespoon Ginger, minced
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Hoisin
2 tablespoons Oyster sauce
Hot sauce
1/4 cup Shouxing wine
1 teaspoon brown sugar

Monday, February 27, 2023

Simple Spinach Salad

20 oz  
Bloomsdale Spinach
Red wine vinegar
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Cook spinach and drain well.

Add extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste and toss to coat the spinach well.

Serve either hot or cold.

Tomatillo Poblano Chile Sauce for chili rellenos


3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 Sweet onion,  chopped

2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano

1 bunch fresh cilantro

4 small tomatillos, husks removed, chopped, 2 are toasted-

             until  partially black

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups chicken broth

3 or 4 roasted Poblano  chiles, peeled and chopped

Blend in a blender, correct seasoning.

This recipe came from “Beat Bobby Flay” on a Mexican competition.

Puya Chili Peppers (Chile Puya) and Others


The puya chile is a Mexican pepper similar to the popular guajillo pepper, but smaller and hotter known for its fruity flavor and aroma. Consider using this pepper for enchiladas for a bit more heat.

 But there’s much more to the puya than being a guajillo pepper substitute. There’s a quick medium heat (5,000 to 8,000 Scoville heat units) and a delicious fruitiness that provide the puya with its own unique eating experience. It’s that fruitiness, with hints of cherry, that keep fans of the puya coming back for more. As a seasoning, puya peppers are very versatile – often used to bring that fruity spice to everything from mole sauces and chutneys to burritos and pizzas.

Other Mexican Chilies      from  


Fresh chiles often take on another name once they’ve been transformed—for example, red jalapeños become chipotle peppers once they’ve been aged to maturity, dried, and smoked. 
Dried chiles form the foundation of Mexican cuisine, but also offer nuanced flavor to pastes, sauces, and stews.

  1. 1. Ancho: Ancho chile peppers are the dried version of poblano chiles that achieve a deep red color when fully ripened. Ancho chiles vary in spiciness, but they are generally mild to medium and have a light smoky flavor that’s well-suited to marinades as part of an adobo, or chile paste. Same as the fresh poblano, anchos also carry a SHU range of 1,000 to 1,500. 
  2. 2. Cascabel: Also known as the “rattle chile,” cascabel chiles are plump, round chiles that take their name from the sound they make when shaken (the seeds rattle around inside of the shell). With a mild heat level and earthy flavor, they can be added to sauces, stews, and more; in salsas, they pair particularly well with tomatillos. Cascabels have a SHU range of 1,000 to 3,000. 
  3. 3. Guajillo: Guajillo chiles are the dried version of the mirasol chile—large thin chiles that have bright red skin and a mild kick, with some natural sweetness and a touch of earthy flavor. They are frequently used in pastes and rubs. Chile guajillo is a popular dried pepper that is versatile in its use and blends well with other chiles, and also pairs well with chocolate and soups. Guajillos range between 2,500 and 5,000 SHU. 
  4. 4. Pasilla: A dried chilaca chile, pasilla, which translates to “little raisin,” boasts—true to its name—dark wrinkly skin and a deeply sweet dried-fruit flavor. Thanks to a heat that isn’t overpowering, the pasilla chile is often used in Oaxacan mole sauces and other complex sauces, registering between 1,000 and 2,500 SHU. 
  5. 5. Árbol: Bright-red chiles de árbol are long and slender, and they’re often used to make decorative wreaths or garnishes. In cooking, they bring a serious cayenne-like spice and earthiness to salsas and sauces. You can toast or fry the chile de árbol before rehydrating it to intensify its heat and nuttiness. With a SHU level between 15,000 and 30,000, these chiles are also great in spicy salsas and hot sauces. 
  6. 6. Mulato: A fully-matured and dried poblano pepper, these brownish-black peppers are wrinkly and flat. They have a mild spice, accompanied by a smoky, sweet, and chocolatey flavor, making them great for mole sauces. Mulato chiles are also widely used in stews and salsas, and have a SHU range of around 2,500 to 3,000. 
  7. 7. Morita: A smoked red and ripened jalapeño, the morita is a common chile found in the United States. This chipotle pepper is smoked for less time, letting it retain a soft texture and fruity flavor. Morita chile peppers are great for salsas, soups, sauces, and chilis, and carry a bit more heat than the standard jalapeño—anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 SHU. 
  8. 8. Pulla: The pulla (or the Americanized ‘puya’) chile is similar in flavor to the guajillo chile, except smaller in size and much spicier. This red chile pepper turns black when ripe, and is often made into sauces after being pureed or mashed. Spicy and fruity, puya chiles can register between 5,000 and 8,000 SHU. 
  9. 9. Pequin: Pequin chiles are nutty and citrusy, and pack at least ten times more heat than the jalapeño. Pequin peppers can be found in hot sauces, but are also dried and turned into chile powder that can bring up the spice level of any dish. Pequin chiles may be small, but should not be underestimated. The smaller a pepper is, the hotter it is, and little pequin chiles can have around 40,000 to 60,000 SHU.


Aji Amarillo

The aji amarillo is a member of capsicum baccatum, one of the five domesticated pepper species, and is grown all over Peru. The aji amarillo—a ji means chili pepper and amarillo means yellow in Spanish—is considered part of the Peruvian "holy trinity" when it comes to their cuisine, along with garlic and red onion. The yellow color is quite attractive.

For a practical application see Enchildas recipes.

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Omnivore Chinese Braised Pig Trotters

The slow cook trotters are delightful, gelatinous and uncious.

From    https://omnivorescookbook.com/hardcore-chinese-braised-pork-feet/    

2 pounds pork feet , each one chopped into 6 pieces

1 thumb-sized piece of ginger , thickly sliced

1 thumb-sized piece of ginger , coarsely smashed (*see footnote 1)

1/2 cup white part of scallion (or green onion)

3 to 5 chili peppers , dried (*see footnote 2)

1 and 1/2 star anise

3 cloves

1 tablespoon crystal sugar (or white sugar)

2 tablespoons tamari

1 tablespoon dark soy

3 tablespoons Chinese Shaoxing wine 

Place pork feet and ginger slices in a large pot and add water to cover pork feet. Bring the water to a boil and continue boiling for about 3 minutes. Discard water and wash pork feet carefully.

Add pork feet into pressure cooker and add water until the pork is covered completely. Cook over high heat until rated pressure has been reached. Turn to lowest heat and cook at rated pressure for 15 minutes. (*see footnote 3)

After releasing pressure naturally, transfer pork feet to a wok (or dutch oven). Transfer pork broth from pressure cooker to wok until it almost covers the pork. Add the rest of the ingredients into wok and turn to high heat. After bringing the broth to a boil, reduce to low heat and simmer covered for 30 minutes. Stir pork feet every 10 minutes to avoid burning on the bottom. Stir more often toward the end of braising, after the sauce has thickened. Add water during the braising process if the broth becomes thick while the pork is still tough. If the pork turns very soft but the sauce is still thin, turn to medium heat and boil uncovered. Reduce sauce until desired thickness.

To cook without a pressure cooker, skip step 2 and add boiled pork, water and all ingredients into a wok or a dutch oven. Add water until it covers pork and boil for around 2 hours. If the water level becomes too low while pork is still though, add warm water, 1 to 2 cups at a time, and continue braising.


  1. To smash ginger, place peeled ginger on a cutting board, lay a wide knife on top of ginger and use palm to press against the knife to smash the ginger. No need to cut ginger.
  2. Add 3 peppers for a mild spiciness or 5 for a hotter dish. If the sauce turns too spicy, add more sugar to balance the heat at the end of braising.
  3. To shorten the braising time, I used a pressure cooker. Either an electronic or stove top pressure is OK. Every pressure cooker is different. You might need to shorten / prolong cooking time according to your cooker's specifications. If your pressure cooker has a user manual and happens to indicate a cooking time for pork, you could follow that recommendation for this recipe.


Saturday, February 25, 2023

Apricot Kings orchard cobbler

1/2 cup butter

3 - 4 cups fruit and its juices

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

 1 cup milk

Put the butter in a deep casserole at least 9 inches in diameter and place in a cold oven. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

If the fruit is not juicy, sprinkle it with some of the sugar and set aside for a while. 

Whisk together the baking powder, flour, and sugar in a bowl. Then add the milk and mix well. Mixture will be thin. When the butter has melted and the oven has reached temperature, pour the batter all at once into the dish, then pour the fruit and its juices into the center of the batter. Bake for 50 - 60 minutes, or until the batter is done and the top is golden brown. 

Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.


Lemongrass Thai fish soup

1⁄4 cup chopped lemon grass 
4  coins of ginger
3  cups fish stock or 3 cups vegetable stock 
2 (14 ounce) cans coconut milk 

1 Tablespoon paprika
3 -6 small red chilies, cut into rounds 
3  scallions, minced 
2  tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped 
3⁄4 lb white fish fillet, cut into bite-sized chunks
2  juice from 2 lime

3  tablespoons fish sauce 

Simmer  lemongrass in 1 cup of the stock for 1/2 hour. Add more liquid as necessary (you want to end up with 1 cup of stock).

In a large saucepan, simmer the coconut milk and 2 remaining cups of stock, uncovered, for 5 minutes.

Add the chiles, scallions, cilantro, and fish.

Strain the lemongrass mixture and add that liquid to the pot (you can toss out the herbs).

Simmer, uncovered, until the fish is just cooked. Remove from heat.

Stir in the lime juice and the fish sauce, adding more if desired. Add basil, chopped scallions, a fresh sprigs of cilantro

Friday, February 24, 2023

Ox tails Chinese style II

This recipe is similar to an earlier version but is less demanding and has fewer ingredients. The flavour of these oxtails are exception complex, deep and aromatic. Other than the browning of the meat, the cooking is quite simple though take a while before tender.

3 pounds oxtails

2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari

3 tablespoon dark soy

1 piece cinnamon stick

teaspoon ground cloves

4 pieces star anise

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 yellow onion, diced

4 carrots, peeled, diced

3 stalks of celery, diced fine

4 garlic cloves, sliced or minced

8 coins of unpeeled ginger, cut thin

2 teaspoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 cup Shouxing wine

4 bay leaves

1 jigger brandy

Olive oil to coat bottom of pot


Water or stock

In a large stock pot, brown all sides of the patted dry oxtails and dredged in flour, in oil. Drain on paper towel, disgarding excess oil and fat in pot.

Cook on low in a 350F oven with a tight lid for 3 1/2 hours or more until tender. All ingredients, except those used for garnish.

When cooked, garnish.

Serve over white rice.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Stir Fry Sauce


This sauce is good for many Asian dishes, has complexity, umami, and is good as a basis for variation. Chilies for instance for heat, and scallion for color. Oyster sauce for more complexity and peanut butter for flavor.

  • Soy sauce (or tamari )
  • Rice vinegar or black vinegar
  • Brown Sugar
  • White Miso
  • Cornstarch 
  • Garlic powder
  • Shousing wine

Ellie Krieger Pear Tart


1/2 cup whole-grain pastry flour or regular whole wheat flour

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

2 tablespoons lowfat buttermilk

3 tablespoons ice water


3 medium pears

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch

3 tablespoons light brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon


1 teaspoon honey

1/4 teaspoon boiling water

  1. To prepare the crust, in a medium bowl whisk together the whole-wheat pastry flour, all- purpose flour, granulated sugar and salt. Add the butter and using two knives or a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture until you get a pebbly, course texture. In a small bowl combine the buttermilk and ice water. Using a fork, gradually mix the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture. Pat the dough into a 4-inch round and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, and prepare the filling. Peel the pears, core them and cut into 1/4-inch slices. In a large bowl toss the pear slices with the lemon juice. Sprinkle in the cornstarch, brown sugar and cinnamon and toss until the pears are evenly coated. Set aside.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll the chilled dough into a large circle about nine inches in diameter. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and draping the dough over the rolling pin, transfer to the prepared baking sheet. If the dough breaks at all patch it up with your fingers.
  4. Arrange the pears in a mound in the center of the dough, leaving a 2-inch boarder. Fold the border over the filling. It will only cover the pears partially and does not need to be even.
  5. Bake the tart for 15 minutes, and then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F, keeping the tart in the oven all the while, and bake for another 40 minutes, until the pears are tender and the crust is golden brown.
  6. In a small bowl stir together the honey and boiling water to make a glaze. When the tart is done remove it from the oven and brush the honey glaze all over the top of the fruit and crust. Transfer to a plate to cool slightly. Cut into 6 wedges and serve warm or a room temperature.

Red Cook LUOSONG Soup

 teaspoon ground white pepper
8 ounces stew beef cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1/4 cup Shaoxing cooking wine 
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 carrot diced into 3/4-inch cubes
1 tomato diced into 3/4-inch cubes
1 stalk celery diced into 3/4-inch pieces
1/2 onion diced into 3/4-inch pieces
4 ounces cabbage cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 potato diced into 3/4-inch cubes
2 teaspoons salt

Bring a quart of water to a boil in a saucepan then add the beef. Par-boil the beef and scoop as much of the scum from the top of the liquid as possible. Cook for about 15 minutes or until no more scum forms on top. Drain the meat and discard the liquid.

Put the beef, three quarts water or beef stock and wine in a 4 ½ quart stock pot. Bring the liquid to a boil then turn the heat down to low. Simmer the stock for about one hour or until the beef is tender. The liquid should have been reduced to about two quarts.

Add the tomato paste and carrots to the pot and continue to simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.