Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Our favorite spicy pasta

We asians love our food spicy! For me, the spicier the better (which I will be paying for dearly later on in the evening). For this particular spaghetti dish, I use thai chili peppers to give it that extra "oompf" and let me tell you...these tiny little things sure pack a major punch. One time, I was slicing these thai chili peppers into slivers and my fingertips were on fire for days. Anyway, back to this pasta. It's our absolute favorite chunky and wholesome spaghetti ever and we can't seem to go back to regular ol' pasta after this.

Spicy Eggplant and Sausage Spaghetti

- 1 large can diced tomatoes
- 1 jar of marinara or plain pasta sauce
- 1 pound of seasoned ground pork or 4 pork seasoned sausages (casing removed)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 eggplant, chopped into cubes
- 1 box of thin spaghetti (I prefer the whole wheat kind).
- 3 to 5 thai chili peppers, chopped (you can get these at any large produce store or asian grocery store). Use 3 if you want mild. I like to use 5 for a good kick.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil

1. Bring pot of water to boil for pasta. Once it boils, add pasta and sprinkle salt. Cook until al dente.
2. Add olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add minced garlic and thai chili pepper to oil and cook until slightly browned (1 minute). Make sure the garlic does NOT burn. Add sausage (out of casing) or ground seasoned pork to the skillet and cook until browned (8 to 10 minutes)
3. Add eggplant and cook until they look browned and wilted (3 to 5 minutes).
4. Add 1 large can of diced tomato and jar of marinara to the skillet. Put lid over skillet and cook for another 10 minutes, stir occasionally.
5. While sauce is cooking, drain the pasta, make sure pasta is not overcooked.
6. Heap a generous amount of chunky sauce over the spaghetti and enjoy!

tip: I also like to add an extra dash of dried oregano to the sauce while it's cooking.

Curried Rice with Shrimp

Snow, snow, go the F*&# away! Ugh...can we get anymore snow?!? Last night was a really bad night to drive out so I had to make do with whatever I had layin' around in our refrigerator. Hmmm, let's see, I had some frozen costco shrimp, carrots and onions and a bountiful amount of spices left over and decided to make curried shrimp fried rice. Turned out delicious and the husband helped himself to 4 helpings - he's got an obnoxiously huge appetite and I hate how he never seems to gain a pound from it all. Stupid metabolism.

Curried Rice with Shrimp

- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1.5 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 tablespoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 cup long-grain white rice
- Salt and Pepper
- 1.5 pounds peeled and deveined shrimp
- 1 cup chopped pineapple
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 3 stalks of scallion, chopped

1. In a rice cooker or a small pot, bring 1/2 cup of chicken broth and 1 1/2 cup of water and rice to boil. Or set to cook in rice cooker.
2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, onions, carrots and cook for 6 to 8 minutes until soft.
3. Add shrimp, pineapple and scallion and the spices and cook for 3 minutes. If the mixture seems to get dry, you can add a bit of chicken broth to the mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste and cook for about another 2 minutes.
4. Add the cooked rice to the skillet and mix until the spices are thoroughly mixed in.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Tea cookies

I made these Earl Grey and Chocolate-Orange Expresso thins for Audrey's 1st birthday...big yummy hit! And so easy to make too.

Chocolate-Orange-Espresso Thins

- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons good-quality instant espresso powder
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Coarse sanding sugar, for sprinkling

1. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and salt into a medium bowl.
2. Put butter, confectioners' sugar, orange zest, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low and gradually add flour mixture until just combined.
3. Transfer dough to a 12 by 16 inch piece of parchment paper to 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Roll up in the parchment paper into a tube. Chill at least 2 hours or overnight.
4. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Cut log into 1/4-inch-thick slices; transfer to baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Brush tops with water; sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake until set, 15 to 17 minutes. cool on sheets on wire racks. 


Earl Grey Tea Cookies

- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoon finely ground Earl Grey tea leaves (about 4 tea bags)
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest

1. Whisk together flour, tea, and salt in a bowl
2. Put butter, confectioners' sugar, and orange zest in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture until just combined.
3. Divide dough in half. Transfer each half to a piece of parchment paper; shape into logs. Roll in parchment paper to 1 1/4-inches in diameter. Roll in parchment paper in a tube shape and refrigerate for 1 hour.
4. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Cut logs into 1/4-inch thick slices. Space 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment.
5. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are golden, 13 to 15 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.

Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart's Cookies

addicted to this stuff...

Mmmm...who would have thought green tea ice cream would turn out to be such creamy perfection? There's a party going on in my mouth as I am currently hoovering this tub of goodness....

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Spicy Fried Chicken

Mmmmmm! My husband said this was the BEST fried chicken he's tasted in a long while! I will take his word for it since he and his family are from the deep south =). I made some garlic braised kale and roasted sweet potatoes to accompany this platter of greasy and super delicious buttermilk fried chicken.

(Recipe courtesy of The Neelys)