Thursday, April 29, 2010

Turon with coconut ice cream

these are like filipino dessert spring rolls served with homemade coconut ice cream. top them with some hot chocolate and you have a little bit of heaven in your bowl. need i say more?

From Food pics
(this photo doesn't do it justice)

for the turon
lumpia wrappers (available at an asian grocery store)
a couple of bananas
canned jackfruit (also available at the asian market)
brown sugar

1. let the lumpia wrappers thaw according to package instructions (this could take up to 2 hours, so plan ahead).

2. carefully separate them. they are very, very thin so be careful not to tear them.

3. slice the bananas into quarters (slice it longways once, then cut each of those in half). Also prepare the jackfruit so you have the same size pieces. dip the bananas in the jackfruit syrup and place 1 piece of banana next to 1 piece of jackfruit on the top center of the lumpia wrapper (about 1/2 of the way down on the wrapper). sprinkle a little brown sugar on the fruit.

4. to roll, fold the top of the wrapper over the fruit, then fold either side towards the center. roll the fruit over a couple of times in the wrapper, so you are left with what looks like a spring roll. dip your fingertips in water to seal it.

5. in a pan, heat about 1/4 inch vegetable oil. fry each turon until they are golden brown on each side.

6. once you're finished, drain most of the leftover oil from the pan. place the turon in the pan (if you took them out) and sprinkle them with brown sugar. flip them over and sprinkle more sugar (so the sugar gets on all sides). saute for a few more minutes, until the sugar melts.

for the ice cream
4 eggs
1 cup white sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 cups coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp coconut extract

1. place the eggs and sugar in a blender and process 2 minutes. they should get kind of thick and almost fluffy.

2. pour this mixture in a double boiler (or put some water in a medium saucepan and put a smaller saucepan on top of that, and put the egg mixture in the smaller saucepan - just be careful not to get water in it). Heat, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes. it should thicken and start to look like custard.

3. put this in the fridge to chill.

4. once the egg mixture is chilled, take the whipping cream and whip it (whip it good). stiff peaks should form. fold in coconut milk, extracts, and finally the egg mixture.

5. place in freezer for at least 8 hours.

Serve the turon hot, drop on some chocolate sauce, and eat with ice cream.

From Food pics

Maffeo-Style Stromboli

These aren't really a stromboli and they aren't really a calzone, but they ARE delicious. When I make these, ej and I have to show some major self control not to eat them all at once. The one featured here was made with spinach, pesto, feta and cheddar cheese, but there are endless combinations of ingredients. Try the veggie pepperoni from Smart Deli with some cheddar cheese and marinara sauce - mm!

Stromzone? Calzoni?

1 pkg active dry yeast (not rapid rise)
1 cup warm, but not hot, water
1 tbsp sugar
3 cups (more or less) flour
1 tbsp salt
olive oil
about 3 cups fresh spinach
about 1/4 cup pesto
about 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
about 1/2 cup feta cheese

1. proof your yeast. dissolve your sugar in the warm water. add the yeast and give it a light stir. set aside 5-10 minutes.

2. meanwhile, prepare a bread pan for the dough to rise in. drizzle about 2 tsp olive oil in the pan and use a napkin to grease the inside it.

3. after a few minutes, check the yeast to see if it has proven itself. you'll know it has if it starts to get frothy. if it hasn't, give it more time, but if after 5 minutes there is no foam, start over with new yeast.

4. in a large bowl, combine your salt and 1 1/2 cup flour. Add the yeast mixture and oil. Combine and keep adding flour until it is really hard to stir with a wooden spoon. at this point, dump the whole thing out on a very clean and floured counter top.

5. Work on kneading in more of the flour with your hands. you should have to keep adding more. don't let the dough get too stiff though - knead for about 5 minutes once its no longer sticking to your fingers.

6. Roll the dough out roughly into the shape of a triangle. It should be about 1/2 an inch thick and even. Spread with pesto, cheese, and spinach (or whatever else you feel like!).

From Food pics

7. Roll it up carefully so you don't rip it, and so you keep all the insides, well, inside.

From Food pics

8. place the dough in the prepared bread pan. try to arrange it to its as even as possible.

From Food pics
(ok, so this one's not that neat)

9. Cover with a damp towel and let rise at least an hour, until it has noticeably increased in size.

10. preheat oven to 350. bake for about 25 minutes, until the top is golden brown. check the inside to make sure it has completely cooked as well. slice up and enjoy!

From Food pics

Quinoa-Stuffed Avocados

This salad actually makes a lot of food. I usually only buy a couple of avocados and stuff those, then eat the rest of that salad from the bowl. If you've never had quinoa (keen-wah), you should definitely make it a staple in your diet. It has super high protein for a grain, and is very low fat. Some people call it the super food. You can get it in any health food store, and most grocery stores carry it, possibly near they organic flour/grain section.

Quinoa-Stuffed Avocados

To make the quinoa:
Measure about 1 cup dry quinoa and add to about 2 cups boiling water. I actually don't measure this, but you should make sure the quinoa is completely submerged. Once the water is boiling, reduce heat to low and cover for 10-20 minutes. After 10 minutes, give it a stir. If its still liquidy, put the cover back on and give it some more time. If the water is gone and it has a cous-cous consistency, taste it to make sure its cooked. If it still tastes hard or chewy, stir in some more water and cover (keep on low heat).

for the salad:
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cups cooked quinoa
1/2 red onion, diced
1 cucumber, diced
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/3 cup fresh parsley, minced
1/3 cup fresh mint, minced

1. combine everything in a large bowl and toss.

for the dressing
4 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced very well. you could also grate them
2 tbsp dijon mustard (i like stone ground).

2. Whisk ingredients together in a small bowl. Pour over quinoa salad and add salt and pepper to taste.

3. You probably have more salad than will fit in a couple of avocados, unless you are about to throw a dinner party. One rule of thumb about avocados is that once they're peeled, you pretty much have to eat them right away, so don't cut more than you will eat.

Once you have figured out which avocados you are going to use (they should be kind of squishy when you give them a light squeeze), you need to half them. I take a knife and cut from top to bottom all around the pit. Carefully take the two halves of the 'cado apart. One half will have the pit - take it out and toss it. Use a spoon to scoop out a little more of the meat so you have more room to add the salad.

4. Spoon the salad into the 'cado half. I added a little bit of greens to the side to eat with the pieces of the avocado that were scooped out, and i drizzled some balsamic vinegar over it.

From Food pics

Friday, April 23, 2010

Bento Bowl

Is it just me, or does food taste better when eaten with chop sticks? I don't know why that is, but making this dish over and over again forced me and ej to finally go out and get a set of our own...which we use all the time. This dish is super easy and healthy - it can be thrown together as a last minute dinner or can be dressed up to serve to guests. Don't forget the chop sticks!

Japanese Bento Bowl:

1 pkg firm or extra firm tofu, drained and then cut into long, thin strips
1 avocado, sliced
1 carrot, shredded
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 white onion, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 cup brown rice
**add any other veggies you might like - just saute them with the onions. Baby bok choy and spinach are my greens of choice.

about 1/4 cup sesame seeds

about 2 tbsp soy sauce
about 2 tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 greek yogurt (or other plain yogurt)
**i'm writing this recipe from memory, so the amounts of ingredients are approximate. Add more or less of anything to give it a new flavor!

1. Cook rice according to package instructions. the ratio is usually about 2 water:1 rice, but brown rice always needs more water. Add salt and garlic powder to the water to give the rice a little more of its own flavor.

2. In one pan, saute garlic in water for 1 minute. Add onion and saute until onion is translucent, but do not overcook. Add more water if needed.

3. In another pan, spray some cooking spray (or just drizzle some oil if that's what you have), turn heat to med-high, and add tofu. Toss with spatula every minute or so to allow all sides to brown. Once browned on all sides, remove from heat.

4. Prepare marinade: mix together all ingredients with a fork until combined. Combine tofu with onions and garlic, add marinade, sesame seeds and toss well.

5. In each serving bowl, put about 1/2-1 cup cooked rice. Sprinkle with soy sauce. Add several strips of tofu, making sure to get the onions too, and top with avocado and carrot. Toss some sesame seeds on top and you have yourself a meal.

From Food pics

From Food pics