Category: ASian


I bought wrappers in a hurry yesterday, intending to make potstickers when I got home, without realizing I had grabbed egg roll wrappers instead of won ton wrappers.  I googled to see if I could make potstickers out of the egg roll wrappers.  Conflicting information as to how well it would work to use egg roll wrappers to make potstickers made me decide to make egg rolls instead.  I had already made the filling mixture for potstickers, so the filling is more meat and less veggies than I would have used if I’d planned egg rolls from the start.

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1 package Nasoya egg roll wrappers

2 lb. ground turkey

1 large sweet onion, chopped finely

1 package chop salad

2 Tbsp. fresh ginger

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 Tbsp. oil

1 tsp. salt

1tsp. five spice mix

Cook onion in oil until softened.

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Sprinkle with salt and five spice.  Add in chop salad.  Cook over low heat until softened.

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Place veggies in colander lined with paper towels to drain off excess moisture.

At this point, I added the veggies to the meat and stirred in the ginger and soy sauce for the potsticker filling and refrigerated it.  Then I realized I was going to make egg rolls instead, so I cooked the meat mixture and broke it up and cooked the turkey through.  I drained the meat and refrigerated it to cool enough to make the egg rolls.

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I used my mini ice cream scoop and put two scoops on each wrap.  I followed the instructions on the package of how to fold it.  Point down, place filling on center.  Place bottom point up over the filling, then fold in the sides, and roll.  I placed them on a baking sheet brushed with oil.

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Spray top of the egg rolls with cooking spray or brush with oil.   Bake at 400F for 15 minutes or until golden.

These were great!  Not as much work as potstickers either.  Daniel said they were like potsticker egg rolls.  Makes sense.

These would be a good way to use up leftovers.  The wraps are flaky and crispy.  I have another package and can’t wait to try another variation!

 

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I again made a batch of veggie burgers and veggie meatballs in anticipation of Molly and Lein coming for a visit.  We had the meatballs in General Tso sauce over vegetable fried rice/quinoa.  Adding kimchi and/or banh mi veggies on top gave it a nice crunchy fresh texture.

Gen Tso Meatballs

The veggie burgers and meatballs are quite a bit of work, I’ll admit, but well worth the effort!  This is a double recipe to make two night’s meals of either burgers or meatballs.  I more or less doubled the original recipe I found.  The variations are endless, but basically, I use a grain (rice or rice mixture), oatmeal, beans, beets, celery, carrots, mushrooms, onion, and then a liquid, like the balsamic glaze and vinaigrette last time.  This time, I had some beet chutney on hand, and that served as the liquid.  This is the variation I tried this time.  Remember – this is a big batch – enough for 2 meals.

Something interesting I learned at Chef Jean-Pierre’s cooking school.  He asked “how do you know what size to dice something if the recipe doesn’t specify?”  The answer – it depends on how long your cooking time is.  The longer it will cook, the larger the pieces so they don’t disintegrate.  Which makes perfect sense.  The veggies in this recipe are going through a meat grinder.  I used a medium dice on the onion and celery.

6 cups cooked brown rice/wild rice mixture (I can’t wait to try other grains!)
1 cup packed oatmeal
1 can black beans (I will soon be trying this with Cannilini)
4 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 cups diced onions
1 small can cubed beets
1 cup julienned carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup button mushrooms cut in 1/4 -inch slices
1 tablespoon garlic
1 small jar beet chutney  (The original recipe called for sweet soy sauce)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1. Drain and wash beans. Drain beets. Place all ingredients in large plastic mixing bowl and mix well.
2. Run ingredients through a meat grinder. Refrigerate mixture for 1 hour.
3. Portion into patties or balls, shaping them how you will be baking them on a baking sheet lined with foil and brushed with olive oil in the fridge and refrigerate at least overnight. I used my standard ice cream scoop.  (I’ve kept them up to 5 days and they were still delicious).  This keeps the burgers from falling apart. (Patties must never get above 40 F or they will fall apart.)  If you don’t have an extra fridge like I do, you might want to put them in a tupperware with waxed paper between layers.

Bake in 400F oven 40 minutes for the burgers, 25 for the meatballs, if you are going to bake them a second time with a sauce, like I do.

I used a bottled sauce (Fusia brand), which was surprisingly low in sodium and  delicious.

After the meatballs are baked, I placed a little of the sauce in the bottom of a 13 x 9 baking dish sprayed with coconut oil, and then topped them with the rest of the sauce.  I then baked them for another 15 minutes

The fried rice was actually rice cooked in a rice cooker that I tossed with some stir fried broccoli slaw.  No egg this time.

 

I had some frozen crispy breaded chicken breasts on hand and decided to make chicken and biscuits.  We all love the banh mi style veggies, so I was inspired to fuse a southern classic of chicken on biscuits, and top it with sriracha aioli and banh mi pickled veggies.  The result was better than I could have imagined!  I baked the biscuits first, and then baked the frozen chicken patties and cubed potatoes tossed with oil, salt and pepper.  All was done at the same time and was yummy.  I made the banh mi veggies before work this morning, so they would be ready for tonight’s dinner.  We’ll do this again!

Banh mi fusion

Banh Mi Style Veggies:

1 hothouse cucumber, sliced thinly

1 bag carrot matchsticks

1 sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced

1/2 c. sugar

1/2 c. water

1 c. vinegar (I used white vinegar, but rice wine vinegar is better)

Heat sugar, water and vinegar until sugar dissolves.

Pour over veggies and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.  This gets better every day and is amazing on sandwiches, salads, and as a crunchy topping for most anything!

 

General Tso Chicken

Still on my Asian kick. Tonight’s super easy dinner was also yummy!  Boneless chicken breast baked in General Tso sauce while veggies cooked on the stovetop and rice cooked in the rice cooker.

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For the sauce (most jarred sauce have tomatoes so are a no-no for me):

2 Tbsp. oil

6 Tbsp. minced garlic

1/4 c. minced ginger

1 c. sugar

3/4 c. soy sauce

1/2 c. rice wine vinegar

1/2 chicken stock

Cook garlic and ginger until fragrant.  Add in remaining ingredients and simmer over low heat until slightly thickened.  Pour over boneless chicken breasts and refrigerate up to 24 hours.

Bake 350F 40- 45 minutes meanwhile cooking rice and sauteeing stir fry vegetables.  I used chop salad, my go to for stir fry.

When chicken is done, cut into bite size pieces and toss in sauce.  Add rice to sauteed stir fry.  Serve chicken over rice.

 

 

As you can see, I’m still on the Asian food kick!  I had some leftover pulled pork from the Banh Mi meal, and decided it could use a Korean BBQ sauce and be recreated into an, as it turned out, quite delicious casserole!

Korean BBQ take 3

3-4 C. pulled pork (chicken and ground meats would work well for this too)

3-4 C. cooked rice (I used a wild and brown mix that was – oh yeah – leftover)

1 can Cannelloni beans (always in my pantry, but any beans such as garbanzo or black beans would work too!)

2 C. assorted vegetables (I used celery, carrots, and onions, that I softened in a little oil, butter, and garlic and had in the fridge ready to use.  They also freeze well.)

1/4 C. Korean BBQ sauce (homemade or store bought) – a mix of soy, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, rice wine vinegar, and chile.

1 C. shredded cheese (I used mac and cheese mix for one dish and Daiya shreds for the other, since I have a son who can’t have dairy.

Combine pork, rice, beans, vegetables, and Korean BBQ sauce.  Place in 13 x 9 baking dish sprayed with coconut oil.  Top with cheese or shreds.  Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes until cheese is golden, meanwhile roasting any vegetables you want to have on the side!

We used “Pickled” cucumbers, onions and carrots as a topping – also from the Banh Mi meal.  (Mostly cucumbers, since my kids and grandkids attached the onions and carrots first!)

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Roasted cauliflower and brussel sprouts on the side were prepared by my cousin, who came over with my 90 year old uncle for dinner.

 

I ran across a killer sale on some Asian sauces and chicken at Target.  Jackpot!  Super easy dinner in no time.  My grandsons got a kick out of eating the chicken off the skewers.

I marinated the chicken in store bought sauce and then baked in a jelly roll pan while rice cooked in the rice cooker.  Since the rice takes about 45 minutes,  I cooked the chicken at 300F and turned it off after 30 minutes.

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I cooked a pork butt in the crock pot that had been rubbed with eelsauce and 5 spice.  Yum.  I pickled cucumbers carrot matchstick and thinly sliced onion in 1 c. Rice wine vinegar mixed with 1/2 c each water and sugar.  The only disappointment was the bread which had to be toasted as it was not crunchy enough.  It was a great success!  I can’t wait to try non pork alternatives.

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Pickle the veggies about 30 minutes ahead of serving.  Spread sirracha aioli on bread and assemble.  Enjoy!!

I am crazy about Asian food.  Last night we had Korean Barbecue Chicken and a Rice Melange.  It was delish!

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3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts marinated in Korean BBQ sauce

Sauce:

1 C. soy sauce

3/4 c. brown sugar

2 Tbsp. minced garlic

1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar

1 tsp. each ginger and sesame oil

1 Tbsp. each water and corn starch (in a slurry to thicken)

Bring to a boil in a small saucepan.  Add slurry and turn down to low.  Slowly simmer till it thickens.  Pour over chicken in 13 x 9 baking dish sprayed with coconut oil.  (I have bought a bottled Korean BBQ Sauce (Kalbi Bulgogi) from a company called Ajumma Republic and it is really good).  You can marinade the chicken overnight or even freeze it in the sauce for future use.  Once defrosted, bake for 35-40 minutes.  Chop into bite-size pieces with kitchen shears, stir around in sauce, and bake for another 5 – 10 minutes.

Rice Melange:

1 box Near East rosemary garlic brown rice and quinoa (I have found that one packet of seasoning from these boxed rice mixes goes a long way, so no additional seasoning was added to the rice)

1 c. Lundberg Wild Blend Rice

1 c. brown rice

3 c. broth (I used unsalted chicken)

2 1/2 c. water

3 Tbsp. butter

Place in rice cooker.  The rice cooker knows its done when it runs out of liquid, so unplug and remove from heat as soon as the rice cooker clicks over to warm.  Add into the cooked veggies to serve.

Veggies for Rice Melange:

Heat oil of choice in large pot with a little butter.

Saute veggies of choice over low heat.  I used what I had on hand:

1 bag riced cauliflower

1 carrot, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 yellow squash, diced finely.

1 can Cannelloni beans, low sodium

1 tsp. seasoning blend of choice.  I used an Asian inspired one to stay on theme.

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After about 25-30 minutes over low heat, add in one can of beans.  I added Cannelloni because they are our favorite and I always have them on hand.  This way, anyone wanting to stay vegetarian (if you use veggie broth instead of chicken) can eat the rice melange.

 

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I was recently treated to a local restaurant called YOLO for a lunch with my boss and his daughter and girlfriend to celebrate Christmas.  Having been well-trained in the past to read all menus from right to left and respectfully order a reasonably priced item, I chose the moderately priced Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwich.  Wow!  A love affair has begun.  The flavors were intoxicating.  I began trolling the internet for recipes and discovered that there are so many variations, we can have a “Banh Mi” type sandwich on a regular basis, since the ingredients usually used are non-shadetree (good for my arthritis) and I love, love, love freshly pickled onions and the like.  For New Years, since pork is traditionally considered a good luck meal, I’ll be trying out my own first Bahn Mi using pork.  Even though I don’t have pictures yet, I decided that working through the planning process by blogging it might be fun.  I’m also potentially going to do a side that includes, what else, black-eyed peas.  The picture above is from Martha Stewart, and the pictures below from Taste of Home, sites I visit regularly for ideas.  Another favorite of mine is Damn Delicious.  Food Network also provides a good cross section of styles.  I also love America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Country.  My love of cooking was also enhanced by Lidia’s Italy and Fort Lauderdale’s own Chef Jean Pierre of Sunshine Cuisine.

The first step is deciding on the pork portion of the recipe.  Alton Brown (who I love) uses ground pork in his recipe.  As a devoted sale shopper, I will likely be opting for whatever good quality pork is on a great sale, and cooking it in the crock pot.  It will likely be a loin or roast.  I will thinly slice or shred, depending on the meat’s texture.  The internet is full of variations using steak, chicken, fish, you name it.  The idea is a crusty bread, tasty protein, pickled veggies, and a spicy condiment.

The bread is important too.  YOLO used a super crusty baguette.  The words “bahn mi” actually mean baguette or bread in Vietnamese.  My thoughtful daughter gave me a gift card to Lucky’s so I can sip and stroll, and they have freshly baked baguettes on sale most of the time.  It’s a good bet I’ll get my bread there.  They also have a killer produce department, so the veggies to be pickled can be bought there.  Depending on what the sales are next weekend, I may be able to one-stop shop!!

Almost all the recipes called for a sriracha or spicy style mayonnaise or aioli.  This I will likely make myself, since I always have sriracha and mayonnaise in the fridge.  Let me clarify, however, that for some people on a shade tree free diet, sriracha is a big no no because of the hot peppers used to make it.  However, I seem to still be able to have sriracha with no pain.  Ketchup and pizza sauce have proven to not be something I will be eating anymore, though.  My pain returned within an hour of very small amounts of both.

The juices from the cooked pork should also be cooked down for a dipping sauce, so this is kind of like a Vietnamese “French Dip”.

Writing this has helped to build enthusiasm for food again.  After a huge Christmas Eve of Ham, Bacon-Wrapped Carrots, and Roasted Squash, followed by an even bigger Christmas feast of turkey and all the usual trimmings.

We all love empanadas at our house.  With my new no nightshade diet, I decided to search for sauces that are safe.  Korean BBQ Sauce from Ajumma Republic fits the bill.  Soy sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, ginger, pear, pineapple, sesame oil, and sesame seeds, all adding up to yum!

empanadas

1 lb. ground meat

1 lb. hot sausage, casing removed

1 large sweet onion, chopped

2 Tbsp. oil (I used avocado/sunflower blend)

2-3 Tbsp. Korean BBQ sauce

2 Packages frozen empanada dough (large size) – this thaws at room temperature in about an hour.  We prefer El Sembrador brand, but any will do

1 egg for egg wash

Brown meat and onion in oil.  Break up into small pieces.  Add BBQ sauce and simmer 5 minutes.

Thicken with a little bread crumbs.  I used about 3 Tbsp.

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Spray two large cookie sheets with coconut oil.  Assemble empanadas right on the sheet pans.  Place 2 heaping Tbsp. of filling on dough.  Wet edges with water to seal.  Press with a fork.  Brush with beaten egg.NOTE:

It will take about 30 minutes to assemble 20 of these.

Bake 10 minutes, switch racks.  Bake 10 minutes more.  They are ready when they are golden.

The filling gets really hot, so let them sit about 5 minutes before serving, and be careful not to burn your mouth!

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