Saturday, January 31, 2009

Grilled Veggies with Pesto Spaghetti

For the past couple of days, we've been dining on hubby's wonderful barbeque'd ribs. We had some friends over last Friday (a former officemate who wanted to sample Bill's BBQ Ribs for a long time). So Hubby grilled about 5 kilos of pork (large ribs, baby back ribs and tenderloins). I made garlic fried rice, veggie kebabs, potato salad, mashed potatoes and buttered corn.

After several meals of grilled porky delight, I wanted something different. I remembered that we had some sticks of veggie kebab leftovers. In the kebabs, I've skewered zucchini rounds, oyster mushrooms and red & yellow bell peppers. The mushrooms, the oyster kind, kinda dried out because of the grilling. So I took those veggies out of the fridge, spied a jar of pesto and took that out too.

While my pasta was cooking, I added the mushrooms to a half a cup of simmering water in a deep pan. When the mushrooms reconstituted, I thinly sliced the zucchini in half-moon shapes and chopped the bell pepper. I added those to the pan too. Then I saw the water was almost gone so I added another half cup of water to the pan. Then I took my trusty pesto jar and added 2 tablespoons of pesto to the pan. I swirled everything around to get the veggies get well-coated with pesto.

By this time my pasta was cooked and I thoroughly drained it. I just dumped the pasta in the pan and mixed everything up. Then I ladled half of it on a plate and sprinkled grated Parmesan cheese all over the hot pasta. First taste was a bite of savory goodness. The mushrooms were tender and there was a hint of smoky aftertaste in every bite. It didn't take long for me to finish the plate. And the great thing is that I have half a pan of leftover for snacking tonight. :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Eating from the grill...

Tonight's dinner was a pretty easygoing affair. I bought about a pound of sliced pork steaks from our local Hanaro grocery store last weekend. The steaks were beautifully marbled with fat (ok, who else but a Filipino would wax poetic about fat?).

Anyway, we have an electric grill pan that we bought a year ago for a huge discount. The store owner said that they were selling the Tefal grill at more than half the price since they lost the original packaging box that came with it. Which was cool since we paid kust about $40 for the grill. And we've been loving it since.

Here's Billy manning the grill tonight.

The perks of manning the grill is that you get to "taste-test" if the food has cooked.

"Okay, Mom. That's enough pictures. You can put the camera down now."

We would grill our tenderloin steaks, korean pork bacon (samgyeopsal), hotdogs, fish, etc.

And Billy giving the thumbs-up sign for a great pork dinner. :)

Monday, January 26, 2009

How to Cut a Chicken (Daddy Bill-Style)

Wanna learn how to cut up a chicken in just over a minute. Actually, hubby does it in less than a minute but he slowed it down a bit for me. Here's a video of Daddy Bill cutting up a chicken (the way butchers do in the US). Click on the link below.

Dumpling Recipes (Chinese and Japanese)

Dumplings are a favorite of many. They come in different shapes and sizes. Filipinos have their "siomai" (from our chinese past - in pork, chicken and beef), Koreans have their "mandu" (in meat or spicy kimchi filling), Japanese have their gyoza (fried and them steamed, or vise-versa), and the Chinese with their 1000 and 1 versions of the dumplings (savory and sweet).

Here are my recipes.

Shrimp and Chives Dumplings (Chinese Dumplings)
1/2 cup of fresh shrimp, peeled
1 bunch of chives (maybe a cup and half)
1/2 medium onion, minced
1/2 kilo (1 pound) ground pork
1 egg
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tbsp flour
*dumpling wrappers

1. Wash the chives very well, drain and then chop into inch pieces. Put in a large mixing bowl.

2. Coarsly chop the shrimp and add to the mixing bowl as well.

3. Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the dumpling wrappers. Mix very well.

4. Put a tablespoon of filling on a wrapper, wet the edges of the wrapper, fold and seal the dumplings into a half-moon or make pleats into the edges to make it pretty.

5. Have a steamer ready and steam the dumplings for 20 minutes. Note: to make the dumplings not stick to the pan, line the steamer with cabbage leaves and put the dumplings on top of it.

6. Serve the hot dumplings with soy sauce as a dipping sauce. For variations, you can mix the following to the soy sauce [a little vinegar, chili oil, a squeeze of lemon, etc].

Japanese Gyoza Dumplings

1/2 chinese cabbage, washed and shredded
1/4 cup salt
1/2 kilo ground meat (chicken or pork)
1/2 carrot, coarsely grated
1/2 medium onion, finely minced
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 egg
2 tbsp cornstarch
*oil for frying

1. In a large bowl, mix cabbage with salt and set aside for 30 minutes. You will see that the salt will cause a lot of water to come out of the cabbage.

2. Dump the cabbage into a colander, wash under running water and with your hands, grab a handful and try to squeeze most of the water out. Do this with the rest of the cabbage until you have used up the entire lot. Put the squeezed cabbage in a large mixing bowl.

3. Add the ground meat, grated carrot, minced onion, oyster sauce, salt & pepper, oyster sauce, egg and cornstarch. Mix the filling very well.

4. Make the dumplings, (see the video of Billy making one in my previous post).

5. To cook the dumplings, heat some oil on a frying pan. Add some dumplings and fry for about a minute, when one side of the dumpling is golden-brown, turn over and fry it for about a minute. Add 1/2 cup of water to the pan and immediately cover the pan. Let the dumpling steam-fry until all the water evaporates.*

6. Take out the cooked dumplings and serve with soy sauce as dipping sauce.

*Another way to cook this is to steam the dumplings first and then fry it later. I do this to the dumplings I have frozen in my fridge and they taste just as great.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

How to Form a Gyoza Dumpling...

By Billy Householder...

A couple of days ago, I decided to make Shrimp and Chives Dumpling. Today, I had extra ground pork, veggies and dumpling wrapper, so I decided to make Japanese Gyoza dumplings. I'll share my recipe later when I have enough brain cells awake.