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5 Step Pasta Salad

13 Nov

Step 1: Cook pasta of your choice, but ensure its not linguine, spaghetti, or spaghettini, use a penne, rigatoni, tortilglioni, or some of the other million different other types of bite sized pasta.

Step 2: Dice tomatoes, celery, onions.

Step 3: Cool pasta, combine vegetables, pasta, salt, and dressing of your choice (I used a Japanese Citron Sesame) into a container.

Step 4: Shake the container and mix it all together.

Step 5: Eat.

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Chicago Style Hot Dog & Home-made Coleslaw

5 Sep

So it may not be a poppy seed bun, and it may not have the sport peppers, but here’s my take on a Chicago Style Hot Dog, complimented with some easy to make home-made cole slaw. For this dish you’ll need:

Hot Dogs/Smokies

Buns

White onion (diced)

Red onion (diced)

Green onion (chopped)

Sweet Peppers

Dill Pickles (Sliced)

Tomato (Sliced)

Red Cabbage

White Cabbage

Eggs

Celery Seed

Paprika

Vinegar

Best to start off making your coleslaw first, as this will need to cool in the fridge for some time. Add vinegar, sugar, salt, paprika, celery seed, ground mustard or a heavy spoonful of real mustard in a sauce pan. Separate a few egg yolks and add them in as well, pour a little water in and let the mixture simmer as you mix or whisk it all together. While that’s happening time for the main component in any cole slaw; cabbage. You can now chop up your cabbage, or use a grater and shred it depending on how you like it, I used red and white cabbage, but your free to use what you like. Once ready, you can add your sauce you just made and mix it all together, this is where I added in some green onion as well. And your done, easy right? Make sure to get the coleslaw in the fridge to let it chill.

Now everyone knows how to make a hot dog, but here’s a few key ingredients to get that Chicago style taste. Slice up dill pickles, tomato’s, and prepare your onions as well. Grill the hot dogs on the BBQ, and prepare your buns. If you have poppy seed buns great, if not I used large sesame seed buns. Garnish your bun with sweet peppers, tomato, red and green onion, relish, and the king of all condiments; mustard, and please, refrain from using ketchup! Finish with a small pinch of celery salt and your ready to chow down.

Coupled with your home-made coleslaw, some chips, and a beer, you’ve got a fantastic meal that is sure to please everyone. Enjoy!

BBQ Corn? Of Course!

5 Jun

If you are thinking of what to make for lunch or supper, why not pick up some corn husks and fire up the BBQ? These are some great summer idea’s that can easily all be done on the BBQ.

For a delicious meal of sweet chili corn, BBQ chicken, and oregano lime seasoned sweet potato grilled fries, try getting these items together:

Corn in the Husk

Chicken

Sweet Potatoes

Butter

Sweet Chili Sauce

Lime Juice

Olive Oil

Oregano

Curry Paste

Mayonaise

The key to using the BBQ to cook your corn is to let the husks soak in cool water well in advance of putting them on the grill. This will prevent dried out corn and husks that instantly go up in flames, so get that corn in the sink with some water right off the bat (preferably hours before you plan to start cooking).

Next prepare the sweet potatoes, start off by setting a large pot on the stove and begin boiling water. Wash the sweet potatoes and cut the pointy ends off, and begin to cut them into wedges or slices, the size will affect the cooking time, but don’t be afraid to cut them a little big.

While you wait for your water to boil you can prepare the seasoning. Mix oil, lime juice, and oregano in a small bowl and mix it. This will be the basting sauce when they are on the BBQ. Once your water is boiling you can toss your sweet potato slices in the water and let them cook for about 10 minutes. The goal here is to get them partially cooked before going on the BBQ, so get them soft, but not too soft that they fall apart.

Now to make some sidekicks that will really set this meal off, start by making a dip for those sweet potato fries. Please leave the ketchup in the fridge, in Europe mayonnaise is the french fries compliment of choice and we’re gonna build of that. Dish some mayo in a mixing bowl, and add lime juice from 1 lime, or squirt in some from the bottle, don’t be shy with this. Next add about a teaspoon of curry paste, this you can be shy with as it really has some kick. Mix together and add more mayo or curry paste to taste. Keep mixing until you get a well blended mixture with nice color.

Next scoop some butter in another mixing dish, now you can make your own chili addition, but I find that sweet chili sauce is just as good. Pour in the sweet chili and really mix it in well with the butter, give it a taste to check the amounts, and keep mixing until you get a whipped butter texture.

You can now place those corn husks on the BBQ, pull the sweet potatoes out of the water and get them on the grill as well. These items will take longer to cook so get them on while you get your chicken ready. You can begin brushing the basting sauce on your fries continually as they cook (Tip: You can lather the fries in egg to ensure they are crispy). Turn the corn a few times, as well. For this dish, the features were the corn and the fries, so just simple boned chicken on the grill with some BBQ sauce was an easy addition to round out the meal.

Pull everything off the grill, pull the husks off the corn, and start eating! Make sure your friends get some mayonnaise mix for their fries, and lather that corn on the cob with your sweet chili butter. Yum!

Bok Choy Salad

20 Feb

So if you’re in a situation like me, and you have some left over bok choy from a recent dish you made, you might be scratching your head on what to do with the left over greens. Fortunately you still have options, and one of those options is to prepare a delicious salad with it. Unlike lettuce, bok choy has a very distinct taste, which gives it a little bit of kick. So the key to using it in a salad is to mix it in with a variety of other greens so that kick isn’t a little too strong.

I tossed mine together using the following:

Bok Choy

Tomatoes (Diced)

Red Onion (Diced)

Green Onion (Chopped)

Cucumber (Sliced and Halved)

Grated Gouda Cheese

Sweet Onion Dressing

After I tossed the vegetables together I grated the gouda over the top, and finished things off with the sweet onion dressing. It made for a delicious and different salad than the norm, and is a great way to use that left over bok choy. Enjoy.

Shrimp+Cashews=Yum

10 Oct

After whipping up a delicious dish the other night, I thought I’d share what it was all about. This is a pretty quick dish which only takes about 15 mins to make.

Here is what I used in this stirfry:

Shrimp, Cashews, Celery, Romain Lettuce, Ginger, Garlic, Honey, Canola Oil, Soy Sauce, Ketchup, Chili Peppers, Rice.

First things first, I cut up all my veggies into decent portions, remember that if your cooking lettuce it shrinks alot, so dont break it up too small. I then thinly sliced up the ginger and pressed the garlic, and put them both in the pan with some oil. You can start to slowly simmer your ginger and garlic while you prepare the sauce.

For the sauce, I read online about the use of ketchup, so I gave it a try. But before starting, you can put your shrimp and cashews in the pan and let them start to warm up. As thats going, I put a little bit of ketchup in a bowl, added, soy sauce, honey, canola oil, some water, and some chili peppers. I mixed this all together with a little bit of cornstarch to thicken it up.

I was using precooked shrimp so I didnt need to wait long to start adding everything together. I added the lettuce and celery, and then poured all the sauce into the pan. Keep your heat on medium and keep stirring it all together, and after about 5 more minutes, your done!

Served it all over some rice, but you could also serve this over noodles if you like. Time to eat!

Home

7 Oct

I just finished watching a documentary called ‘Home’. It’s a film about our home, not the roof over your head but the planet you live in, earth. I sat in my dark living room learning about our planets extraordinary beginnings, and its progression through its own life. Then came humans, you and I, and as the music and images build tension, you start to lose faith in the role of mankind. The film paints a gloomy picture of the effects of humans on the planet, and it builds up to a climax where you think the film couldn’t get any more depressing. But luckily there is a turning point in this film, as the good things that mankind has done, and can do are outlined, leaving you with a spark of hope in a dreary mind.

Here is some of the good and the bad, according to the film:

Over 50% of the grain traded around the world is used as livestock feed or biofuels.

13 million hectares of forest disappear every year.

100L of water produces 1kg of potatoes, 4000L produces 1kg of rice, 13000L produced 1kg of beef.

Since 1950, fishing catches have increased from 18 million to 100 million metric tonnes per year.

The average global temperature in the last 15 years is the highest on record.

1 in 10 rivers in the world no longer reach their delta’s for months at a time due to heavy irrigation.

95% of soybeans produced in Brazil are used to feed livestock and poultry in Europe and Asia.

3/4 of the varieties of crop developed through mankind’s history have been wiped out.

Antarctica has immense natural resources which no country can use for themselves.

2% of the worlds territorial waters are protected, not much, but thats 2 times more than 10 years ago.

13% of the continents of the world are covered in natural parks.

South Korea restored 65% of its depleted forests through reforestation.

The U.S, China, India, Germany and Spain are the biggest investors in renewable energy.

Although the dialogue and text may be a little rough around the edges, the imagery is stunning, and the message is important and clear. We must change.

Milk Tea

29 May

If you havent had the chance to taste this refreshing and delicious drink, you have definetly been missing out. Milk Tea dates back to the british colonial days in Hong Kong, where afternoon tea was modified into the present day beverage. Milk Tea, and its Iced Milk Tea sister are widely popular through-out asia, but have yet to grab hold in western culture. As such, I have always had trouble finding it whenever I returned home, which brings me to today’s blog entry, ‘How to Make Milk Tea!’. I had some much needed help from my friend Joey in HK when first making it, so much props go out to her!

Luckily Milk Tea is really easy to make, and needs only a few ingredients.  There are two items you need to pick up from the grocery store, the first is Liptions Yellow Label Black Tea, I find this tea gives me the best taste that reminds me of Hong Kong, although you can use any black tea. The second ingredient is either condensed milk, or evaporated milk, you can find these in the baking section usually.

Making it is easy, start out by putting a pot of water on the stove, then add at least 2 tea bags, and let the water boil. You need the tea to be strong, so leave the bags in for a long time, getting a rich tea smell.

Once the tea is ready, I use condensed milk, and add a few spoonfuls to the pot, slowly stirring it up until its a light creamy color. Condesnsed milk is sweet already, but if your using evaporated milk you will need to add sugar. I add a little sugar to mine regardless.

You have now just made hot milk tea, you could pour yourself a cup, but I prefer iced milk tea, so you have a couple options, you can fill a glass with ice, and pour the tea into the glass, or you can chill the entire pot of tea. I usually chose to chill it all, as icecubes tend to dilute the flavour.

Once cold, pour yourself a smooth creamy glass of iced milk tea, and enjoy!