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The easiest side dish ever

4 Aug


Avocado, tomatoes, feta, olive oil, salt and pepper.

The tricky thing is remembering to squeeze lemon or lime on the avocado so it doesn’t go brown, and getting the OG to cut and plate nicer.


Duck Legs and Cherries

4 Aug


Yeah, blurry, I need to use my real camera

You want duck but you don’t have a lot of money. Duck wings and legs are your answer. Far cheaper then the breast (why are the breast so expensive?). The wings are gamey and closer in taste to the breast. The legs are rather light tasting, good for the person that is afraid to try duck. You get more meat on the legs. But wings are really tasty. Nice and ducky. I paid less than $3 at the local Asian Mega Mart for my package of wings. It was enough for two people with no leftovers.

In a heavy bottom pan add 3-4 cloves of crushed garlic, the wings, salt and pepper. Then add the cherries. I used about a 1/2 pound. You can pit them or not. I got lazy 1/4 of the way trough and stopped pitting them. Put the pan on a medium high burner and cover until done. It will depend on the meatiness of the wings.  I left mine go for about 40 minutes. It’s pretty hard to over cook.

Using Leftovers: Char Siu

14 May


Trying to use up leftovers is usually a failure for me. Which is why I try not to cook more than we need. This week was different. The only pork I found on Monday was a large piece. So, there were leftovers, and lots of them. Plus I had a pound of sauce to use. So large was the only way to go.

Now that there is a mountain of pork in the freezer I have to use it.

First way: An uninspired stir fry! Also a great way of using veggies that are, well on life support.

A hunk of frozen pork was taken out of the freezer and thinly sliced. Then it was re-marinated in soy sauce, sambal and hoisin. Just for kicks and giggles. Once defrosted and at room temperature it was ready to cook.

For veggies I used cabbage, carrot, onion, long hot green pepper, ginger, burdock, diakon and peas.

The marinade for the pork is enough liquid. If you feel like you need more go ahead and add more!

I used quinoa in lieu of rice. You know, because it’s healthy.

My char siu

10 May

I need a real camera

Char siu is just a roast or cooked over an open fire pork. It’s a pretty adaptable thing. Which is nice because it can usually be made with things on hand. Now I do buy a pre-made sauce for mine.

This is what I use. Get it here or at your local Asian mega mart.

I use a picnic ham because I’m a cheap fatty. This is not a lean piece of meat.

Now the canned sauce I use is a bit on the funky fishy side. It’s pretty much just fish, shrimp and some sort of bean (soy?). Not being a huge funky fishy fan, I don’t use the whole can. Only half of it. Yes I throw away the other half. I will never use it. There is a vegetarian version, but I find it doesn’t taste the same. I doctor up the marinade to mask the funky fishy smell and add to the flavor.

My marinade is as follows:

1/2 can of funky fishy bbq sauce

soy sauce, Chinese cooking wine, sugar and five spice powder to taste, er,  smell

The pork needs to marinate a long time, I’m talking 4 to 48 hours here. So plan ahead.

Cooking the pork is either fun or dangerous. I find it fun. When you build your fire build it on one side of the grill. That way you can control the flames. Because the pork will fame.  It also takes a while to cook depending on the size of the pork, so start early. Give yourself 1 to 3 hours to cook.

Start cooking the pork on the fire less side of the grill. This way the drippings will not catch on fire. Flip it over every 30 minuets. Move the pork directly over the fire during the last few minutes of cooking. That will give you a crust without burning.

More food I didn’t take pictures of: Stuffed Cabbage

10 May

picture from

It didn’t occur to me to take a photo of mine. Bad blogger, bad.

For the sauce I used 1 can of tomato sauce and 1 can of crushed tomatoes, plus 1 can off water. I dumped those into the rice cooker and seasoned to taste. For seasoning I used ginger, all spice, sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon. I let it all cook till the rice cooker click off. Since the rice cooker stays on, the sauce continues to cook only at a lower temperature. It will never burn!

For the filling I used ground beef. Shocking. But you can use any gorund meat of tofu or quorn. Does qourn still exist? After cooking the beef I drained it and cooked 1/4 of an onion and 1 tbl of garlic in the fat. Then the beef was retutrned to the pan. I then seasoned it all spice, cinnamon, salt and pepper. All to taste. I then added some barley and some of the sauce. Mix and cook until the barley was partly cooked. Remember to taste and adjust or seasonings! Let cool.

To soften the cabbage I used a ziplock bag and a pot of boiling water. You simply do the whole boil in a bag thing for a couple of minutes. The cabbage needs to be soft enough to roll, but not too soft. If it’s too soft it will get really slimy.

Then I stuffed the cabbage! The sauce was poured on top. Pretty easy.

This was meal for a friend, which is why I didn’t cook the barley all the way and left the cabbage a bit crunchy. I knew she would reheat it in a microwave, thus cooking it all the way. This bypassed the steaming or oven baking that would normally take place.

Chicken, Brussels Sprouts and Green Beans

29 Mar

This is a one pot meal, easy preparation, easy clean up. I used chicken thighs like normal, you can use what ever part of the chicken you like. I’m just not a huge fan of skinless breasts. You can also use whatever vegetables you would like, just keep in mind the cooking times.

In a heavy bottom pan heat a bit of olive oil on high and brown the chicken. After the chicken has browned add some sliced garlic, I used four cloves. Reduced the heat to medium and added the Brussels sprouts. I covered the pan and let it cook for 25 minutes. Then I added some parsley, thyme, mustard powder, black pepper, smoked salt and a bit of white wine. Stir every thing around and then put in the green beans, let them cook for 10 minutes.  Then serve. That’s it. Really thats it.

Grilled Vegetables and Beef

23 Mar

I marinated the beef all day in some store bought Korean BBQ sauce that I added a bit of orange juice, chinese cooking wine and aji amarillo to.  The beef cooked in a hot pan on the grill with some fresh shiitake mushrooms, pea shoots and some leftover konnyaku.

The vegetables are pretty self explanatory.  Oh, and there were some dumplings.