Ground Turkey Curry


In the 21st century, most people changed their eating habits and chose to eat healthily.  However, I found that healthy foods do not taste as good as normal foods so when I introduce healthier meals to my family, I have to make sure my children will allow me to make it again.  I found this turkey curry recipe from SimplyRecipes by Elise Bauer.  I gave it a little twist to suit our tastes and it became a popular dish for my family.

Ingredients:

3 pounds Ground Turkey (93% lean)
1 White onion (chopped)
4 Medium Carrots (peeled and cut into big pieces)
6 Medium red potatoes (peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks)
5 Roma tomatoes (diced)
1 cup Frozen peas
4 cups Low sodium chicken broth
1 head Garlic (minced)
20g Fresh ginger (about 1-inch piece) (peeled and grated)
3 ½ Tbsps Curry Powder
1 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Ground coriander
1 tsp Ground cumin
1 ½ tsps. Red chili powder
1 Tbsp Light brown sugar
1 tsp Salt to taste (about 1 tsp)

Method:

  1. Heat 4 tbsps. of grape seed oil over high heat in a large pan.  When the oil is hot, add ground turkey, make sure not to crowd the meat.  With 3 pounds of meat, it’s better to split the meat into 2 portions and cook separately.  Cook turkey until it begins to brown and liquid is dried up.  Set aside.  (picture 1)
  2. Brown onion in a pan, then add minced garlic and grated ginger.  Stir for about 1 minute.  (picture 2)
  3. Return ground turkey to the pan with onion, garlic and ginger.  Stir for about 1 minute.  (picture 3)
  4. Add 4 cups of chicken broth.  (picture 4)
  5. Then add in all spices (curry powder, turmeric, cumin, coriander, chili powder, sugar).  (picture 5)
  6. Add diced tomatoes, carrots, peas and potatoes.  Add salt and mix well.  (pictures 6-8)
  7. Transfer everything to a pressure cooker and press the “Meat/stew” function, press the button to choose the cooking time to 15 minutes.   Turn the venting knob to “sealing” position.  When it’s done cooking, do a quick pressure release.  (picture 9)
  8. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can easily cook this on the stove top.  Cover the pot and simmer the curry for about 20-30 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.
  9. Serve over rice.

curry collage

Notes:

  • 3 pound of meat is enough for 2 meals for 5 people.  This dish is also very good the next day.
  • Ground turkey will release a lot of liquid when cooking.  Make sure not to crowd the meat, otherwise it will take a long time to brown the meat.

 

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Blueberry Muffins


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These muffins are so easy to make that my 13-year old can handle everything on her own.  The original recipe is from Food and Wine, however I reduced the sugar and oil amount to suit my taste.  If you have a sweet tooth, please follow the original recipe.  Although the crumb topping is a little messy, you will be very impressed with the taste and the soft texture of these muffins.

Ingredients for crumb topping:

150g All purpose flour
3 Tbsp Light brown sugar
2 Tbsp Organic cane sugar or granulated sugar
1 tsp Baking powder
Pinch of salt
85g/6 Tbsp Unsalted butter, melted

Ingredients for Muffins:

250g All purpose flour
190g Organic cane sugar or granulated sugar
2 ¼ tsp Baking powder
½ tsp Salt
2 Large eggs
75g Oil
¾ cup Milk (whole or reduced fat)
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 ½ cup Blueberries

To make the crumb topping:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. To make the crumb topping, combine flour, brown sugar, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl.  (Picture A)
  3. Stir in the melted butter.  (Picture B)
  4. Pinch the mixture until it forms pea-size clumps and set aside.  (Picture C)

collage 1.jpg

To make the muffins (12 muffins):

  1. Put eggs, sugar and oil in a mixing bowl, beat at low speed until combined.  (Picture 1)
  2. Beat in milk and vanilla extract. (Pictures 2-3)
  3. Add flour mixture (flour, baking powder and salt) to the egg batter and beat at medium speed until the batter is smooth.  (Pictures 4-5)
  4. Stir in blueberries (don’t beat it, just stir in).  (Picture 6)
  5. Line muffin pan with muffin/cupcake liners.  (Picture 7)
  6. Spoon the batter into each cup.  (Picture 8)
  7. Sprinkle the crumb topping on top of each one.  (Picture 9)
  8. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown. Insert a toothpick in the center to test doneness.

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  • Let the muffins cool in the pan before serving.
  • Blueberry muffins can be kept overnight, you can reheat it by microwaving it for 10 seconds.

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Mahi Mahi with Onion and Capers


Mahi-Mahi
I surely took a long break from blogging. During the past year, I have tried many new recipes, and many of them should be added to my collection. This Mahi Mahi recipe is so fantastic that it motivates me to come back to post. Besides getting comments of having a restaurant-quality dish, I like the fact that it is effortless. I slightly modified the original recipe (which you can find here) to suit my taste.

Ingredients:

4 pieces Mahi Mahi fillet with or without skin
1 Large white onion
3 Tbsp Capers (in brine)
3 Tbsp Water
50g Unsalted butter
3 Tbsp Fresh lemon juice
½ tsp Fresh ground black pepper
¾ tsp Salt
Chopped fresh parsley or green onions as a garnish

Directions:

  1. Thinly slice onion, set aside.  (picture 1)
  2. Rinse and drain capers, coarsely chop and set aside.  (picture 2)
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet over high heat, then add onion and cook until brown (stir frequently).  (picture 3)
  4. Add in water and pepper, cook for 1 minute.  (pictures 4 and 5)
  5. Add in butter, lemon juice and capers.  Stir and cook until butter is melted.  Remove from heat and cover the pan to keep warm.  (pictures 6 – 9)
  6. Preheat broiler.
  7. Wash and pat fish dry, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  8. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a cast iron pan over high heat, then add fish fillets to the skillet and fry for about 2 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillets.  (picture A)
  9. Flip the fillets and cook the other side for 1-2 minutes.  (picture B)
  10. Put the cast iron pan under the oven broil, about 5 inches from heat until just cooked through, about 3 minutes. (pictures C)
  11. Serve fish topped with onion mixture and sprinkled with parsley or green onions.
    collages

fish collage

Notes:

  • If fillets have skin, put skin sides down when you put them under the broiler.
  • Don’t over cover the fish, the fillets should be very moist and soft.
  • I had no onions one time, so I used red and yellow bell peppers.  It also tastes very good.

 

 

 

Fresh Fruit Tart


 

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I made mini fruit tarts four years ago.  Since it takes a long time to mould each tart with the dough, I wanted to try a regular size one.  I used the same recipe to make a big tart but the crust just fell apart.  Now I found Paula Deen’s recipe for the tart shell which got a lot of good reviews.  I made the tart today and the crust is so tasty, flaky and fresh!

Tart Crust:

60g
170g
220g
Powdered Sugar
Unsalted Butter (softened)
All Purpose Flour

Cream Filling:

1-3/8 cups
60g
15g
a tiny pinch
2
30g
1/2 teaspoon
Milk (could be a combination of milk and cream)
Sugar
Cornstarch
Salt
Egg yolks
Butter
Vanilla extract

Directions:

Crust:

  1. Combine flour, sugar and butter in a food processor and process until the mixture forms a ball.  (Picture A)
  2. With your fingers, press the dough into an 11-inch or 12-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.  Push the crust into the indentations in the sides, pat until the crust is even.  (Pictures B and C)
  3. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes.

Crust

4.  Preheat the oven to 350 F, bake for 20 minutes until it’s lightly browned.  Set aside to cool.

crust baked

Filling:

  1. In a food processor, add milk, sugar, cornstarch, salt, and egg yolks, (in that order) to blender.  Blend 10 seconds and pour into 2-quart glass microwave-safe bowl. Microwave 3 minutes on HIGH, whisking until smooth and microwave for another 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add butter and vanilla and whisk until smooth.   Remove from heat and let it cool.
  3. Place plastic wrap on top the filling without leaving any gap.  This will prevent the filling from forming a hard layer on top.  Once it’s cool, put it in the fridge.  (see picture below)

6

Assembly:

Wash all fruits, I like apples, strawberries, blueberries, grapes and kiwis.  To keep sliced apples from turning brown, you can soak them in salt water.  Fill a bowl of water and add 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

5

  1. Whisk filling before applying to the crust, especially when you make it ahead of time and keep it in the fridge.  (Picture 1)
  2. Spread filling over the cooled crust.  (Picture 2)
  3. For the first layer, place apple slices.  (Picture 3)
  4. For the next circle, place strawberry slices.  (Picture 4)
  5. For the next circle, use green grapes.  (Picture 5)
  6. Add another circle of red grapes.  Filling in any spaces with blueberries and put a couple of kiwi slices in the center.  (Picture 6)

fruit tart steps

fruit tart

Optional:

For the glaze:

1/2 cup Apple Jelly
1 Tbsp water

Directions:

  • In a small bowl, combine apple jelly and water.
  • Heat in the microwave for 15-20 seconds until the apple jelly liquefies.
  • Let it cool for a few minutes.
  • With a pastry brush, apply apple jelly to preserve the fruits.

 

Shrimp Pad Thai


Pad Thai

This is the second dish I learned from the cooking class at The Gourmandise School.  You can use chicken, pork, beef, tofu or a combination.  People may get confused with Pad Thai and Pad See Ew – Pad Thai is thin rice noodles cooked with tamarind paste and has a little sweet and sour taste.  Pad See Ew is thick rice noodle cooked with soy sauce which is similar to Chinese Chow Fun (fried rice noodles).  Both Pad Thai and Pad See Ew are very popular dishes in Thai restaurants.  Making this dish is as easy as making the Panang Curry with Chicken.

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Ingredients: (serves 4)

8 oz Thai rice stick
¼ cup Oil
2 Shallots, chopped
4 cloves Garlic, minced
½ pound Medium shrimp cut in half
½ cup Extra firm tofu, sliced (optional)
2 Tbsps Tamarind paste
4 Tbsps Sugar
2 Tbsps Fish sauce
2 Tbsps Thin soy sauce
1 tsp Ground chili flakes
2 Eggs
2 Limes
1 cup Bean sprouts
6 Scallions cut into 1 inch pieces
½ cup Roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped

Directions:

  1. Soak the noodles in warm water while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.  (picture 1)
  2. Peel the shrimp , using a small knife to cut the back of the shrimp until you see the vein.  Remove the vein carefully and cut shrimp in half.  (picture 2)
  3. Using a wok or large saute pan, heat oil over medium high heat.  Add shallot and garlic until slightly brown.  (picture 3)
  4. Add shrimp and stir fry for a few seconds until fragrant.  (picture 4)
  5. Stir in the tamarind paste, sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce and ground chili flakes. (picture 5)
  6. With your hands, pull the noodles out of the water and add to the pan.  Toss noodles thoroughly with sauce mixture until tender.  Taste a noodle, if it’s not tender, splash in a bit of the soaking water and cook until noodles soften.  (picture 6)
  7. Make a space in the middle of the pan or on the side of the pan, add the eggs and more oil if needed.  Scramble until barely set and mix in with noodles.  (picture 7)
  8. Add lime juice.  Taste noodles, if you feel that it needs more seasoning such as fish sauce, sugar, etc. add to taste.  (picture 8)
  9. Toss with tofu (optional), bean sprouts and scallions.  (picture 9)
  10. Serve on a platter  and sprinkle chopped peanuts.

Pad Thai steps

Notes:

  • I found it easier to cook this with a wok.
  • Tamarind paste is not easy to find but can be purchased at Thai supermarkets.
  • I soaked noodles in water for at least 2 hours.

 

Panang Curry with Chicken


Panang Curry with Chicken

Last week, I attended a cooking class which was arranged by my company.  It was very nice and fun learning/cooking with my colleagues.  The chef, Jamie at The Gourmandise School, taught us how to cook Thai cuisine as well as use proper cutting techniques.  I love Thai food but have never tried making it at home.  I’m surprised how easy it is to make Pad Thai and Panang Curry with chicken.  After the class, I made those two dishes again for my family and everyone loved it.  Below is the recipe for Panang Curry with Chicken from the cooking school.  I will publish the recipe for Pad Thai in my next post.

Ingredients:  (Serves 4)

1 can Coconut milk
1 Tbsp Vegetable oil
¼ cup Panang curry paste
2 Tbsps Fish sauce
1 pound Boneless skinless chicken breast
½ cup Chicken stock
2 Tbsps Brown sugar
3 Kaffir lime leaves
½ cup Thai basil leaves

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Directions:

  1. Cut chicken breast into cubes. (picture 1)
  2. Separate coconut cream and milk from can and place cream in medium saucepan along with vegetable oil and curry paste.  Heat over medium high and cook for 2 minutes.  Stir constantly. (pictures 2-4)
  3. Add remaining coconut milk, chicken stock, sugar, fish sauce and Kaffir lime leaves.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  (pictures 5-9)
  4. Add chicken and simmer until just cooked.  Taste for seasoning.  (picture 10)
  5. Slice basil leaves and add in to chicken curry.  (picture 11)
  6. Serve over white rice.  (picture 12)

Panang Curry with Chicken Steps

Notes:

  • I simmered the chicken for 45 minutes and also added potatoes.
  • I found it hard to purchase all ingredients, especially the Kaffir lime leaves.  Kaffir lime leave is highly aromatic and provides a light citrus flavor.  I would not want to omit this ingredient.  One of my co-workers has a little bush, he was nice enough to give me some leaves.
  • All ingredients can be found in Thai supermarkets.  I purchased mine in a Chinese/Vietnamese supermarket.
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This is my team

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All students in the cooking class

 

 

Egg Waffle / Bubble Waffle / Egg Puff / Gai Daan Jai (雞蛋仔)


Egg Waffles - 3

Since I mentioned in my Boot Jai Go post that one of the most popular Hong Kong street vendor’s snacks is egg waffle, I must introduce and record a recipe on my blog.  According to Wikipedia, egg waffles were ranked No.1 in a 100 most popular Hong Kong street snack listing.  There are many English names (bubble waffle, egg puff, eggettes, just to name a few), but its Cantonese name is Gai Daan Jai (meaning little eggs).  One story says the enterprising post-war generation created the egg-shaped mould to make up for an eggless batter as eggs became a luxury in China.  Grocery stores would take the cracked eggs and sell the perfect eggs to customers.  Throwing away the cracked eggs would be a waste of money, so they turned the eggs into batter and sold them as waffles.  After making the egg waffles with the semi-spherical cell pans (pan base is deeper and the cover is shallower), they look like small eggs.  I guess this is how it got its name “little eggs”.

Ingredients:  (makes 5)

210g All purpose flour
10g Baking powder
15g Custard powder
42g Tapioca starch
3 Eggs
210g Granulated Sugar
42g Low fat milk
210ml Very cold water
42g Vegetable oil
3 drops (slightly less than ¼ tsp) Vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Measure all ingredients, set aside.  (picture 1)
  2. Pour all ingredients into a blender (except vegetable oil and vanilla extract), blend until well mixed.  (picture 2)
  3. Add in vanilla extract and oil and blend until combined.  (pictures 3 and 4)
  4. Strain the batter through a sieve.  (picture 5)
  5. Warm up each side of the mould and brush a thin layer of oil on each side. (picture 6)
  6. Pour the egg batter onto the mould with a ladle and close the mould.  Hold the handles firm to keep two sides tight.   I turned the fire to medium high.  (picture 7)
  7. After 1-2 minutes, flip the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes.  You can slightly open the pan to check if the the waffle is slight brown.  (picture 8)
  8. Remove the egg waffle from the mould with a fork and place it on a cooling rack.  (picture 9)

Egg Waffles Steps

It should be served hot or warm (cold is not as good). The waffles are crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside.Egg Waffles - 2

This egg waffle mould/pan makes waffles over the stove.  For first time use, clean the pan thoroughly. The first 2 waffles should be discarded.  There are some fancy electricity-powered makers that make perfect egg waffles and you don’t need to pay too much attention to the cooking process or need any skill.   However, one owner of the waffle shop said “If the skill isn’t there, it doesn’t matter how good your ingredients are.”  IMG_9924

Note:  Some recipes say the batter should be refrigerated for at least an hour in order to make a perfect egg waffle.  To skip this step, I substituted room temperature water with icy-cold water.  The result is the same.

Yummy!Egg Waffles - 4