Recipe: Stir Fry Cucumbers

Ingredients

2 pounds cucumbers (about 3 large cucumbers), partially peeled to create alternating peeled and unpeeled vertical strips, seeded, and cut on the bias 1/4 inch thick
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

For the Marinated Pork:
1/2 pound ground pork
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine
1 teaspoon canola or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon Asian fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

For the Sauce and Stir-Fry:
2 teaspoons water
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon canola or vegetable oil, divided
1/2 to 1 teaspoon of chili flakes, to taste
1/2 head of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
Cooked white rice, for serving

Directions:

1.
Place cucumbers in a large bowl and add the salt. Mix and toss until the cucumbers start to release a little bit of water, about 1 minute. Let stand for 30 minutes.

2.
Meanwhile, For the Marinated Pork: In a small bowl, combine ground pork with the soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, oil, fish sauce, and cornstarch. Mix well and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.

3.
For the Sauce and Stir-Fry: In a small bowl combine the water, soy sauce, sesame oil, and cornstarch. Mix well and set aside.

4.
Drain cucumbers and rinse under cold running water. Drain well, then pat dry with paper towels.

5.
In a wok, heat 1 teaspoon canola oil over high heat until smoking. Add marinated pork, spreading it out with a spatula so that it makes a thin layer. Let cook undisturbed for 30 seconds. Using the spatula, break the pork into small pieces. Add chili flakes to taste and continue stir-frying until the pork is cooked through and golden brown. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

6.
Wipe the wok clean and add the remaining 1 tablespoon canola oil and heat over high heat until smoking. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 10 seconds. Add cucumbers and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Return pork to the wok and stir well. Mix the sauce with a spoon or chopstick and pour it into the wok. Continue cooking and stirring until the cucumbers begin to look glossy, about 30 seconds. Transfer cucmbers a plate and serve with rice.

Recipe: Steelhead (or Ahi Tuna) Poke

Steelhead Poke (recipe from Zupan fish monger)

Ingredients

1.5 pound steelhead steaks
1/4 cup gluten free soy sauce
3 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon sweet sriracha (to taste), or 1/2 tsp. red chili flakes (to taste)
1 scallion, thinly sliced
Scant 1/4 cup sweet onion, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp. salt
Some water
2 teaspoons black sesame seeds, toasted (optional)

Equipment

Glass bowl
Sharp chef knife
Plastic wrap

Instructions

Using a sharp knife, cut fish into cubes. Place in a large bowl. Combine all ingredients:  soy sauce, sesame oil, sweet sriracha sauce, scallion, onions, some water, and salt. Gently mix into fish until thoroughly combined. Cover the poke with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours, or up to 2 days.

Recipe: Macau Almond cookies

Macau Almond Cookie Recipe  澳門杏仁餅
(makes approx 30 cookies, depending on the size of your cookie mold)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup mung bean flour 綠豆粉 (with skin off) (100g) (see our homemade mung bean flour recipe here)
7/8 cup whole almonds (or 1 cup almond flour) (96g)
3/4 cup icing sugar (94g)
5 1/2 tbsp lard (or shortening) (70g)
1 tbsp water
1 tsp almond extract

Directions:

Oven preheat to 300F
If using whole almonds grind with icing sugar together in food processor until fine smooth flour is formed.
Mix mung bean flour, almond/icing sugar flour in bowl until thoroughly combined.  Cut up lard into small cubes and drop into the flour mixture.  Use your fingers to crumble and rub in the lard until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs.  Add all the almond extract and then the water bit by bit until the mixture comes together and holds when pressed.  (Add more or less water as you feel is necessary.)
Dust the cookie mold with icing sugar until lightly coated all around.  Pack the cookie mixture into the mold lightly but firmly, making sure that all the crevices and corners are packed.  The firmer you pack the cookie, the better it will keep its shape.  The lighter you pack your cookie the more tender and melt in your mouth it will be.  Smooth out the top (or future bottom) of your cookie by a gentle rubbing motion to get rid of excess cookie mixture.
Bang the cookie mold flat on the table to remove the cookies.  Put onto a parchment lined baking tray and bake for 25 mins or until just golden brown with the oven door slightly open.  Switch off heat and close oven door for 5 more minutes to finish off.  Let cool on rack completely.
Store in a air tight container for up to 2 weeks.

Recipe: Slow cooker baby back ribs

Ingredients:

1 rack baby back ribs
3 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
Salt and pepper

Directions:

Rub some salt and pepper on ribs.  Mix ketchup, hoisin sauce, brown sugar, and vinegar in bowl.  Apply glaze to ribs with a brush.  Place ribs into two quart crock-pot and cook on high for one hour, set to low and cook for another 6 hours.

Recipe: Charlie’s Spareribs

Ingredients:

1.5 cups ketchup
1.5 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup frozen orange juice concentrate
1 sliced up orange (with the peel)
3 tablespoons chili powder
Minced ginger to taste
No salt needed, as ketchup and soy sauce should be sufficient

Coat spareribs with sauce, cover well with foil, add 1/2 cup water to the pan.  Cook at 300°.  Flip ribs over after 1 hr.  Cook another hour.  Flip again, add sauce.  Heat at 400° for 10-20 minutes (watch to prevent burning).

Recipe: Butternut Squash Soup

CLASSIC BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP
– Whole Foods –

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oi
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 onion, diced
4 cups cubed butternut squash, fresh or frozen
½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Heat oil in a large soup pot. Add carrot, celery and onion. Cook until vegetables have begun to soften and onion turns translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in butternut squash, thyme, chicken broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until squash is fork-tender, about 30 minutes. Use an immersion blender to purée soup. Alternatively, let the soup cool slightly and carefully purée in batches in an upright blender

Recipe: Carrot Bisque

Carrot Bisque

Makes 6 servings in less than 30 minutes.  Carrot Bisque will delight even the pickiest eater and impress the gourmet at your table, too.

Ingredients

1 quart vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 large (1 pound) russet potato
8 medium-large (1 1/2 pounds) fresh carrots
1 small onion
1/2 cup 2 percent or whole milk
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and white pepper to taste

Instructions

In 4-quart or larger Dutch oven or soup pot, combine broth and water. Bring to a boil over high heat. While broth is heating, peel and cut the potato, carrots and onion into bite-size pieces and add to the pot as you chop. When all the vegetables are in the pot, reduce heat to medium-high and cook for 10 more minutes, or until the largest vegetable pieces are tender.

Remove from heat. Using a handheld immersion blender, process the soup until smooth. Stir in milk, ginger, nutmeg and garlic powder, and adjust seasoning with salt and white pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

(Cook’s Note: If you don’t have an immersion blender, divide the soup into portions and use a blender to process until smooth.)