February 15, 2017

Easy Asparagus Tart



This asparagus tart is very easy to make. If you can't get fresh asparagus, frozen ones will work fine. Pair with a salad, or a nice juicy piece of steak.

INGREDIENTS:

1 sheet of puff pasty
1 box (5.2 oz) Boursin cheese (Garlic & Fine Herb)
1 bag of frozen asparagus spears (you can also use fresh ones)
PAM butter cooking spray
Lemon zest
Black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F. Thaw puff pastry.

Unroll and spread Boursin cheese on top of the pastry. The cheese spreads much easier when it is in room temperature.


Leave about half an inch on each side.


Arrange asparagus spears on top of the cheese. You can arrange the spears in alternate orders.


Continue arranging the asparagus spears until you have covered all the cheese.


Fold the sides and tuck them neatly to form a square tart. If the edges are not sticking, try using some water to moisten the dough and then crimp them. Spray PAM Butter cooking spray evenly on top of the tart. A quick dash of black pepper on top of the asparagus.



Bake at a 400°F for 20 minutes. Add lemon zest on top once the tart finished baking. Serve warm.



Vegan Stuffed Peppers


These stuffed peppers are easy to make and the filling can be quite versatile. You can swap out different veggies or add different types, but these are my husband's favorite. To make ones with meat, use 2 cup of browned ground chicken, turkey, or beef. I like to use Trader Joe's Beef-less Ground Beef for this recipe but you can use your favorite vegan ground beef, as long as they hold up when cooking. I like to use stale brown rice for this recipe. I freeze brown rice that I get from Chinese take out and use them for this recipe. 

INGREDIENTS:

6 bell peppers (use different colored ones for a colorful presentation)
1 cup chopped onions
2 cups chopped mushrooms 
1 packet (12 oz.)Trader Joe's Beef-less Ground Beef (or 2 cups of browned ground chicken, turkey, or beef)
2 tablespoon oil
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tbsp paprika
1 cup brown rice
1 cup vegetable stock (or chicken, turkey, or beef stock)
2 cups tomato sauce

I recommend using this, but you can also use your favorite ground meat substitute

Mix vegetable stock with tomato sauce. Set aside for later use.

Cut the top of the bell peppers, take out all the seeds. Wash thoroughly.
You can either keep the top of the bell pepper to be cooked with the stuffed peppers, or you can chop them up and use as stuffing. I like the former because it has a better presentation.

In a pot, saute onions with oil in medium heat until it starts to brown. 


Add in garlic and continue cooking until onions and garlic are browned.


Add in mushrooms. Continue to cook in medium heat.


Sweat your mushrooms. Use the liquid to scrape up the brown bits on the bottom of the pot. Saute until liquid almost dries out.


Add in the Trader Joe's Beef-less Ground Beef (or browned ground meat). Stir evenly.


Add 1 cup of the vegetable stock and tomato sauce mixture into the pot. Add in oregano, basil, and paprika. Stir evenly.


Stir in brown rice. At this point, your brown rice should soak up most of the liquid. If it is too watery, you can leave it in the stove for a few more minutes.


Turn off the heat and let mixture cool for a few minutes.


In a casserole dish, stuffed and arrange your peppers neatly so they do not tip when you transfer them into the oven. Pour in the remaining of the vegetable stock and tomato sauce mixture. Bake for 30 minutes at 350°F.


February 8, 2017

Valentine's Day Oreo Truffles


Make some yummy truffles for your loved ones this Valentine's Day. It's quick, easy, and definitely will score you major points. All you need is 3 ingredients and you'll have some scrumptious truffles. This is perfect for those that are culinarily challenged ;-)

NOTE: I made these for Valentine's Day so I'm going for the red/pink/white color palettes. You can use regular Oreo and add some red food coloring to achieve the dark red hue that you'll get from crushing Red Velvet Oreo (pictured).

Red velvet Oreo. I think these are only available during Valentine's Day

You can use regular Oreo and any types of chocolate (milk or dark), as well as coloring the white chocolate to suit your color palettes.

INGREDIENTS:


1 package Oreo (18 oz) [any flavor, I used Red Velvet]

1 box cream cheese (8 oz)
1 bag white chocolate (to be melted to coat truffles)
Truffle decorations : nonpareils, chocolate sprinkles, sanding sugar, etc.


In a food processor, process the Oreo into crumbs. Add in cream cheese and mix well.

Oreo crumbs

Add cream cheese into the crumbs and mix well

Leave the mixture inside your fridge for at least 2 hours. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Roll mixture into 1 inch balls. Return them to the fridge until you are ready to dipped them in chocolate.

Refrigerate mixture for at least 2 hours

Roll mixture into balls

Line another cookie sheet with wax paper. In a double boiler, melt chocolate. Dip truffles into chocolate and let them set on the lined cookie sheet. Decorate with nonpareils, sprinkles, sanding sugar, etc. Refrigerate until chocolate is set. Enjoy!

Dip in melted chocolate and decorate with sprinkles on top



November 23, 2016

Chunky Cranberry Orange Sauce


This easy homemade cranberry sauce will wow your guests and perfume your kitchen with a lovely smell of orange and cranberry. Make a day or two ahead and refrigerate before serving. When heated, the combination of sugar and pectin (from the cranberry) will thicken the sauce. There is also an easier raw version of this recipe here: Easy Cranberry Sauce. Do you know that cranberry sauce is typically cooked and sweet while cranberry relish is typically raw and more on the tart side?

INGREDIENTS:
2 bag cranberries (24 oz.)
1.5 cups sugar
1 orange (juiced)
Orange zests (from the orange you juiced)




Wash, rinse, and drain the cranberries. In a food processor, chop half of the cranberries. You can also chop all of the cranberries if you don't want whole berries in your relish.



I'm using chopped and whole cranberries for this recipe.


Zests and juice orange. Add into a pot or saucepan along with the cranberries. Juice your orange cut side up so seeds won't fall into the mixture.



Add sugar and mix. Cook mixture on medium heat until sugar dissolves.


Once the mixture bubbles, turn the heat to low. Let the cranberry sauce simmer for about 15 minutes, covered.


Stir occasionally to prevent burning. Turn heat off after 15 minutes.


Let the cranberry sauce cool completely before storing in the refrigerator. Serve with your turkey or Meatless Meatloaf. Or even ice cream!


April 22, 2016

Matzo Icebox Cake


Here's tasty way of using matzo to celebrate Passover. Turn it into a dessert! This icebox cake is easy to make and almost hassle free. This recipe is inspired by Living Sweet Moments but I have tweaked it a little bit.

The cake is quite sweet so you can also opt to using 1/2 cup sugar instead of 1 cup. Or consider using bittersweet chocolate instead of semi sweet. Consider using sprinkles or chopped nuts to decorate the cake if you want.

Happy Passover. Chag Pesach Sameach!



INGREDIENTS

For Chocolate Cream
2 Sticks Butter (8 oz), softened in room temperature
1 Cup Sugar
2 Eggs
6 oz Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
2 Teaspoon Milk
1 Teaspoon Instant Coffee

For "Cake"
1 Box Matzos (plain)
1/2 Cup Kosher Wine (I can only find Kedem but you can use Manischewitz etc.)

To make chocolate cream:


Whisk butter, sugar and eggs until creamy, for about 5 minutes.


Melt chocolate with milk and coffee in a double boiler.


Pour chocolate mixture into the butter mixture and whisk until smooth.



To assemble the cake:


Use a cookie sheet fitted with a baking rack to catch any drippings.
Place matzo on the cookie sheet and brush with wine. (I realized that I only probably need 1/2 cup of wine instead of 2 cups. But that's wine, I drank the rest of it :P )


Let it sit for about a minute before spreading a little of the chocolate cream on top of it. 
Be aware that if matzo is still wet from the wine, the cream will not stick to the matzo but that's fine.


Continue building your cake with the remaining matzos, wine, and chocolate cream.


Top with the rest of the chocolate cream and cover the sides.


Place in the fridge overnight for cake the set.


Slice and serve! Maybe with the remaining wine, he he.