Thursday, February 25, 2010

Take-out - of the freezer

Good things.....

Some times.....Just sometimes super tasty things CAN come out of the freezer case. This is one of those oh so special times! On a recent trip to Korea Town, I picked up a few things that I usually have at the sushi restaurant, one of which happens to be gyoza. I had my doubts about this product.....about how tasty frozen dumplings could be...about if the sauce I picked up would even come close to what they serve at the restaurant....about how maybe ...just maybe this packaged stuff was aimed at us poor saps who can't get enough of everything they serve in the sushi place nor can recreate it on our own... at home.

Repudiating those thoughts, I shout loudly and sing the praises of gyoza from the freezer and the "spot on" sauce that is sold in a bottle,....that I'm sure the sushi place has a huge one of in the back cellar!

This "Cookin' Mama" didn't make this....but I sure ate it!! LOL

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Chicken & Broccoli Bam!

With this dish I officially declare the opening of Valles Garden!.....or Mom foo's as the kiddos call it! LOL!

Here is my (I must say AWESOME) version of one of my favorite Chinese dishes! Thanks to my recent shopping trip, I finally have the ingredients to make it.

What you need

• 1½ lb chicken breast (skinned & DE-boned)
• 2 medium eggs (whites only)
• 1 tablespoon cornstarch
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• ½ cup oyster sauce (or more if you like)
• 2 tablespoons regular soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon water
• 1 pound broccoli (I use florets or baby)
• Salt
• 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
• 4 garlic cloves
• 3 oz stir-fry oil
Cook it up!

Velvet the chicken.....
slice the chicken up into strips. Combine egg whites, 1 teaspoon corn starch, and two pinches of salt in a bowl....then add mixture to the chicken slices and store in a container with a tight fitting cover for 30 minutes. Next heat the wok to high and add 2oz of oil, stir fry chicken until it is white then promptly remove and place chicken on a plate or in a colander with paper towels to absorb moisture. Clean out the wok.

Place the broccoli in a microwave safe container, add ½ cup water and cook on high for 3 minutes (more or less depending on how firm you want your broccoli to be). drain and set aside.

Make the sauce by combining 2 tablespoons soy, oyster sauce, and water in a small bowl. In another small bowl, mix 2 teaspoons cornstarch and water.

Heat wok and add a few tablespoons of oil (more if needed). Add the broccoli and the velveted chicken, stirring and tossing to cook the chicken through. Add the sauce and cornstarch mixture, stir quickly to thicken. Mix everything together and serve hot rice.

All done!

*To add a spicy zip add a tiny dollop of Huy Fong chill sauce!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Lucky me!

With the thoughts of better homemade Asian fair in the back of my mind, An impromptu trip to K-Town (A strip of Korean stores & restaurants in Manhattan) turned into a super cool shopping trip!

When I walked into the little market I didn't expect to be visually assaulted by the humongous array of Asian food products! I'm sure some of you are wondering why I was so excited.......I mean it's just food right? Well for me it is exciting when I can walk into a market, and find Asian food other than soy sauce and ramen noodles! It's not like I live near a store that carries even 1/100th of what they had there so naturally I went nuts. I think I looked at everything they had in the store from pots to frozen pork patties, to dried anchovies and shitake mushrooms! they had it all........or maybe most of it..LOL!

On the list of goodies picked up by me were a few of my favorites! Shumai, red bean ice cream, gyoza and something else I can't remember without getting up and looking in the freezer..... :-p
Now with that said you know some super tasty food is coming your way soon!

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Next stop Italia!

On the menu .......a little Italy. I've always said I would try making some Italian inspired fare. It's always fun and its hard to go too wrong. This is my version of S&P, enjoy.

What you need......

  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 7 sweet Italian sausages cut into rounds.
  • 1 onion, Julienne cut
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and Julienne cut
  • 2 green bell peppers, seeded and Julienne cut
  • 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (I left this out)
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
Ingredient notes......
*drain the tomatoes....(I didn't, but like it this way but on the other hand the extra liquid thinned out the sauce and may have necessitated the need for the Bertolli)
* 1/4 cup Bertolli sauce. It thickens up the sauce.

Cook it up!

In a large pan heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook until brown. Add the onions, garlic, basil,fennel seeds, oregano, salt, and pepper and sauté until the onions are translucent. Next add the peppers and tomatoes, simmer 30 minutes. After cooking, if there is a lot of fat floating on the top skim and discard (I didn't have this issue but it really depends on the sausage you buy).

All done!

You can serve the dish with flaky/crusty Italian bread, or with pasta like I did.

I was afraid that it wouldn't taste good that way, but we all liked it. My little son Ryan is big on Italian food and after he tasted the dish he said "Mom! this is good!", My oldest, Aaron said (with a full mouth - "This is good mom!"). So according to the little experts, This dish is a success!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tools of The Trade 2

Have you seen a super happy cook lately?? Well.....LOOK NO FURTHER!!!! I received my WP (Wolfgang Puck) cooking gear this week! It's everything I thought it would be!!

Tools tools, tools.....How I love thee. The second best thing about cooking is using some kick ass cookware to create...or attempt to create amazing tasty dishes! The worst thing is not having the right tools for the job. I saw this set of pots, knives and a blender that I just HAD to have! I fell in love with them right away and know that I can kick out some tasty eats with them in tow.

I just opened the huge box of pots so I didn't get a chance to set everything up, but I took pictures of my favorite pieces. Every time I make something with a WP piece, I'll make sure to showcase the cookware as well.

I grated some cheese!

The Cooking Gods Smile Again

After a most unfortunate accident I am fully back and ready to COOK!料理を作ろう!

So I guess it's catch up time....I don't really know where to begin...... One thing I did want to post about was my son's birthday cake.

Ryan requested a snow themed cake. I wasn't too sure what to make him so I improvised and did my best. I ended up making a white cake that had a pecan/cream filling, along with a whipped cream icing. Despite my best efforts, it is very hard to work with whipped cream....I tried putting in stabilizers after the peaks formed, but it was still a tad thin for me. It also turns out that I didn't make enough icing (or the cake layers were too big) so i just iced the sides thin, and covered them with coconut flakes. Dad made the design on the cake. I asked him to put something "Michael Jackson-ish" on it because Ryan really loves his songs now. it looked ok, but tasted wayyy better than it looked. Not too sweet, fluffy cake with a awesome filling everyone enjoyed. To be honest I thought thia cake was going to bomb out, and I was all ready to run to the store and buy something....but "everything turned out ok!"-cloudy with a chance of meatballs

I should have taken more & better pictures of the cake...But I was hosting the party.

This is a picture of the filling being put on (pecan &cream)

Monday, February 1, 2010

First injury of the year!

I wanted to post about the cake I made my now seven year old son for his birthday this weekend, but while cooking dinner tonight I've burnned my hand very badly. I will be back as soon as i can type comfortably again......
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