Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Chinese Sesame Chicken

Sesame Chicken
    The next couple weeks I will be posting recipes that I have found and recreated from other food posts. I was craving some good Asian food and decided to try my hand at homemade Sesame Chicken. One of my favorite Chinese take-out items and one I had never tried before. So I researched some of my favorite Asian cuisine sites, one of which is RasaMalaysia, followed her recipe and viola! Sesame Chicken.
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 egg whites
  • 4 tbs cornstarch
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs rice vinegar
  • 4 tbs sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Toasted sesame seeds

1. Combine soy, vinegar, sugar, water, garlic, and 2 tbs cornstarch in a bowl and set aside.

2. Dice up chicken into bite size pieces.

3. Combine egg whites and 2 tbs cornstarch into a paste in another bowl.

4. Toss the chicken in the cornstarch paste and in wok over medium high heat with enough oil to fry, drop into oil and brown on both sides until golden. I did about 4 at a time. Remove and let drain on paper towel.

5. Remove oil from wok and reserve for later use. In same wok saute the garlic just until fragrant. Pour in the sauce mixture and stir just for a few seconds as it will start to thicken up. Toss in the chicken and coat. Sprinkle in the sesame seeds and toss. Serve over rice or your favorite lo mein dish.

Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 15-20 min
Serves: 2

Tasted just like the take-out version but better. Thanks RasaMalaysia!

Original post

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Thai Prew Wan Burger

Thai Burger
     I am slightly obsessed with Thai food. I mean I will go out of my way to just have some of my favorite dishes in a Thai restaurant. I have been known to travel an hour or so just to sit and have a simple Thai dinner. My obsession can almost border on the line of creepy, (Just kidding), but I do love the combinations that Thai cuisine offer. Spicy alongside sweet. Fragrant and herbal alongside savory and smoky. I love them all. This dish came to mind when I had just had some Thai food in the city and was still craving another hit of it. The weather was starting to break and I also wanted to grill a juicy hamburger.........BAMM! It hit me. Why not combine the two into one delicious lip smacking dinner. Thai meets American. Here we go. My Thai Prew Wan Burger, (or Thai sweet and sour meets American backyard classic).
  • 1 lb burger.
  • Brioche buns
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 8 oz can crushed pineapple
  • 1 small bundle green onion
  • 1 1/2 tbs soy
  • 1 1/2 tbs oyster sauce
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1/4 cup  ketchup
  • 1 tbs Thai chili sauce
  • Salt/pepper
1. Salt and pepper the ground beef and separate into 4 equal parts. Roll up and press between wax paper with a plate to make about 6 inch in diameter burger patties. Sit aside.
2. Meanwhile dice up the cucumber and tomato into chunks. Combine in a bowl with the crushed
pineapple. Dice up the green onion and combine.
3. In a wok over medium high heat saute the cucumber, tomato, pineapple, and onion in a little oil until tender.
4. Combine the soy, oyster sauce, sugar, ketchup, and chili sauce into a bowl. Mix well and pour into wok.
5. Stir together until combined and remove from wok. Sit aside.
6. Now grill the burgers to your taste.
7. Serve mixture on top of burger patty. Top with Brioche buns.
     This burger was sooooooooo damn good. I saved a few for my friends and they loved it. Give it a try.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Serves:  4

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Roasted Lamb and Mint Sauce

Roasted Lamb with Mint Sauce

     I'm again transported back to that little pub in Ireland. Hardwood floors, dark walls, pints of beer clinking along the bar top, and soft Celtic guitar music playing all around me. Laughter is happening amongst the locals and they joke on in that all too familiar Irish accent.

     "So you from the States?" he says as he pours us another pint of stout.

     "We get plenty of you traveling through here. Great people, from at least what we've seen and met. Do you want to try the roast lamb today? Comes with mashed and a roasted potato in a wonderful brown sauce with a little mint sauce on the side. You will love it. True Irish cuisine at its best."

      We agree and within a few minutes it seems the lovely dark haired waitress is bringing out these beautiful plates from the kitchen behind the bar. The smell is amazing and the presentation too. I lean forward and gently take in a small dose of the aroma coming off the plate. The lamb has been gently sliced into medallions and placed lovely on the plate amongst the sauce, potatoes and the mint sauce. The barkeep comes by and recommends we dip a piece into the brown sauce and then into the mint sauce. We gladly take his suggestion and then it happens. The most amazing flavor combination comes to life in our mouths. The juiciness from the lamb, the addition of the spiced brown gravy followed by the sweet but sort of tangy flavor of the mint sauce all dancing an Irish jig in our mouth. Priceless. It has been years since I had this dish while traveling on the Emerald Isle and it was about time to recreate it. So here goes, just in time for St. Patrick's Day; Roasted Lamb and Mint Sauce.


  • 1 leg of lamb steak
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp thyme powder
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • salt/ pepper
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 tbs flour

Mint sauce
  • 3 tbs mint chopped
  • 3 tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbs hot water
  • 1 tbs sugar

1. Take zest of lemon, rosemary, thyme, garlic, and olive oil and combine in a bowl. Rub all over both sides of the lamb steak.

2. In a Dutch oven over high heat drizzle some olive oil and sear the lamb on both sides. Pour in the beef stock and cover and place in a 300 degree oven for roughly 20-30 minutes or until done to likeness.

3. Meanwhile in a small bowl combine the mint, red wine vinegar, water, and sugar to make the sauce. (I used a food processor to combine all ingredients as well).

4. Remove lamb from oven and place on cutting board to rest. In Dutch oven over medium high heat pour in the red wine and bring to simmer with the left over broth and juices that have collected in bottom. Whisk in flour to make a thick brown sauce.

5. Slice lamb into strips. Serve with the brown sauce and mint sauce.

This dish was so simple and all the flavors combined well. The aroma in the kitchen was fantastic. Brought back so many memories of Ireland.

Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 30 min
Serves: 2-3

Original dish

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Taproom Trout

Taproom Trout

     This was one of those dishes that just came to me one night while at work. Myself and another coworker were sitting, rolling silverware, pondering what to eat for dinner. I mentioned wanting to come up with a great trout dish. We wracked our heads together and agreed on this taste combination. Think about it, you walk into a pub and what do you see? Beer on tap and probably some sort of bowl of pretzels or nuts awaiting and tempting you to munch on which in turn causes you to drink more.  The combination is priceless. So, why not combine those great flavors into one dish? So here goes, a delicious, light and flaky pretzel crusted trout with an orange ale sauce. Taproom Trout.


  • 2 trout filets split
  • 2 cups pretzels
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 bottle of ale of choice
  • 1 orange
  • 4 tbs butter
  • Salt/pepper

1. Take pretzels and blend them in a food processor. Combine with cornmeal and spread onto a plate.

2. Take trout filets and press meat side down into the pretzel cornmeal mixture.

3. In a large skillet melt 2 tbs of butter and brown the trout on meat side.

4. In a 350 degree oven place the trout filets skin side down on a baking dish and bake for roughly 8 minutes.

5. Meanwhile in a sauce pan pour in the 1/2 bottle of ale and simmer until reduced.

6. Zest the orange and place in the pot. Juice half of the orange and also place into the pot.

7. Drop in 2 tbs of butter and simmer until the sauce thickens and becomes shiny. Salt to taste.

8. Remove trout from oven. Place on plate and drizzle some of the orange ale sauce over.

     This was an amazing trout dish. I had my cousin over for dinner and she loved it. Pretty sure you will too.

Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 10-15 min
Serves: 2

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie
     Here is another one of those classic American dishes that is synonymous with "comfort" food that we as Americans sort of take it's origin for granted. Is it based on traditional meat pies of Europe, Britain, Africa, etc.? Is it based on the Cottage or Shepard's pie of Ireland/England but with a crust? Who knows. I am sure it has its bases in one of many cultures that immigrated to the United States, however we lay claim to this classic comfort food. Such a delicious meal it is. A savory filling of meats and vegetables surrounded by a flaky crust. A complete meal in its own carry-on baggy. Chicken Pot Pie.
  • 2 medium boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 stalk celery chopped
  • 1/4 white onion diced
  • 1/4 cup carrots chopped
  • 1/4 cup frozen corn
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 1 tsp thyme powder
  • Olive oil
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 2 ready to bake puff pastry sheets
1. In a medium to large skillet over medium high heat brown chicken on both sides in some olive oil and remove.
2. In same skillet saute chopped celery, onion, carrots until onion has become translucent and tender.
3. Stir in the flour and mix around until blended. Cook for about 2 minutes until the flour has become
4. Stir in the chicken broth and bring to a low simmer.
5. Stir in thyme, peas and corn.
6. Stir in cream, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes until the carrots and other vegetables have
cooked through. Stir back in the chicken that you dice up into chunks.
7. Meanwhile after thawing out the pastry sheets, I took three 2 cup rameken bowls and lightly sprayed them. Spread the pastry dough down into each one creating the pie bottom and sides.
8. Pour in the creamy chicken and vegetable mixture.
9. Take more of the pastry dough and spread on top to create the top of the pie crust.
10. Bake in 350 degree oven for roughly 35 minutes or until pastry is cooked through and browned on top.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Serves: 3