Zucchini Ribbon Salad


Zucchini Ribbon Salad

This is the perfect salad for summer and is one of my all time favorite salads, I never get tired of making it.  This recipe is very simple, but peeling and grilling the zucchini ribbons could be time consuming if you make for a party.  I just made it yesterday for dinner for 2 people, it only took me 20 minutes.

Ingredients:  2 servings

2
5 oz
7
2 Tbsps
Zucchini
Spring mix (baby lettuce, baby spinach, Argula, Radiccho)
Roasted almonds (chopped)
Feta cheese

Dressing:

50 ml
30 ml
1 Tbsp
1 tsp
½ tsp
1 tsp
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Red wine vinegar / red rice vinegar
Dried oregano
Salt
Pepper

Directions:

  • Cut off the ends of the zucchini, then use a vegetable peeler to slice the zucchini into thin ribbons.  Peel down four sides until you hit the seeds.

Zucchini

  • Heat a cast iron pan (on stove top) or an outdoor grill over medium high, lightly coat with olive oil.  Line zucchini ribbons on the grill pan and grill for about 30 seconds and turn.  Make sure they cool completely before adding them to your salad.
  • In a small bowl, whisk olive oil, balsamic vinegar, red rice vinegar, dried oregano, salt and pepper.

dressing

  • Toss zucchini and spring mix with the dressing, sprinkle with roasted almonds and feta cheese.  Serve immediately.

Note:

1.  If you don’t have a grill, make sure to use a cast iron pan.  It will enhance the flavor.

2.  You can use the remaining parts of the zucchini for another dish.

 

Green Onion Pancakes (Scallion Pancakes) 葱油餅


Green Onion Pancake

Whenever we visit a Chinese dumpling restaurant, we always order green onion pancakes.  When served hot, these flaky and savory pancakes are crispy outside, and chewy and soft inside.  Many people like them, even though they are not fond of green onions.  Most restaurants make good scallion pancakes, but occasionally we had some doughy and thick ones which my kids didn’t even touch.  If you never tried Green Onion Pancakes, just remember they are not pancakes at all as they are not made out of a batter.  They are more like crispy, multi-layered flat bread filled with green onions.

Ingredients: (Makes four 6” pancakes)

260g (2 Cups)
120 ml (½ Cup)*
50 ml (¼ Cup)*
2-3 stalks
All purpose flour
Boiling water
Room temperature water
Green onion (minced)
More flour for dusting

*  I used milligram (ML), it’s more accurate as 1/4 cup is about 60 ml, then the water amount is a little too much.

Ingredients for oil mixture:

2 Tbsp
1 tsp
3 Tbsp
All purpose flour
Salt
Cooking oil

Directions:

  1. Place 2 cups of flour in a mixing bowl, add ½ cup of boiling water, mix well.  Then add ¼ cup of room temperature water and mix well (when adding cold water, do not pour in all water at once, you will need to feel the dough when kneading.  It should not be too hard or too sticky) . (Picture 1)
  2. Knead the dough until the surface becomes smooth and is no longer sticky.  If the dough is too dry, add 1 Tbsp of water to the dough; if the dough is too wet, add a Tbsp of flour to the dough.  Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest for 20-30 minutes.  (Picture 2)
  3. In the meantime, prepare green onions and oil mixture – Cut green onions into small pieces.  Set aside.  (Picture 3)
  4. Put 2 Tbsp. of flour, 1 tsp. of salt and 3 Tbsp. of cooking oil into a small bowl and mix well.  (Picture 4)
  5. Divide dough into 4 portions.  (Picture 5)
  6. Working with one dough ball at a time.  Place the dough ball on a lightly floured work surface and roll the dough to a thin disc with a rolling pin.  (Picture 6)
  7. Apply a thin layer of oil mixture to the disc.  (Picture 7)
  8. Sprinkle green onion to the disc but leave one edge open for sealing.  (Picture 8)
  9. Start to roll the dough into a cylinder.  (Picture 9)
  10. Flatten the log a little and coil it up like a sneak.  (Picture 10)
  11. Turn the dough so that the swirl side is facing up.  (Picture 11)
  12. Flatten the dough out with a rolling pin.  (Picture 12)
  13. Repeat steps 6-12 for the rest of the dough. 

green onion pancakes

  1. Now the dough is flattened, add a tablespoon of cooking oil into a skillet over medium heat.  (Picture A)
  2. Transfer the pancake dough onto the pan and cook until both sides are lightly brown (keep flipping the pancake).  (Picture B)
  3. Scrunch up the pancake a little bit by using serving tongs or two wooden spoons/turners.  (Picture C).  Serve immediately.

Green Onion Pancake

See how flaky the pancake is.  It’s crispy outside and soft inside.

Green onion pancake

Pizza


Pizza

It was Super Bowl night.   Super Bowl Sunday still holds the record for most pizza delivered in a single day.  Studies showed that 1.25 billion chicken wings would be consumed and 29 million slices were projected to sell on Super Bowl Sunday.  I’m not surprised as almost 95% of Americans planned to watch the Super Bowl.  Today, I joined the party (not to watch the game but make my own pizza)!  The pizza dough and pizza sauce were made from scratch.  The sauce recipe was adapted from KitchenTreaty and was made with fresh tomatoes.  I can taste its freshness.

Ingredients (Pizza sauce) (about 3 cups sauce):

1 Tbsp
4 cloves
1 tsp
2 pounds
1 tsp
1/2 tsp
Oil
Garlic (minced)
Dried oregano
Tomatoes
Brown sugar
Kosher salt
Black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Dice tomatoes and set aside (picture 1).
  2. In a medium sauce pan, heat oil over medium high heat.  Add minced garlic and cook until aromatic.  Add tomatoes, dried oregano, sugar, salt and black pepper.  Keep stirring (picture 2).
  3. Leave over medium heat, stir occasionally, until boiling.  Reduce heat to low and simmer UNCOVERED for 45 minutes or until sauce is thickened (picture 3).
  4. Allow the sauce to cool and blend the sauce in a food processer (picture 4).
  5. Pour sauce into a bowl and let it cool (picture 5).

Pizza Sauce

Pizza sauce

Ingredients (Pizza dough) (make about 5 small pizzas):

2 tsps
1 cup
3 cups
1 1/4 Tbsp (4 tsps.)
2 tsps
1 1/4 Tbsp (4 tsps.)
Active dry yeast
Warm water
Bread flour
Sugar
Salt
Olive oil

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients (except dry yeast) inside the pan in the breadmaker.  Fill the yeast dispenser with dry yeast (usually it is on the top of the breadmaker).  Select the “Pizza dough” mode (refer to manual of your breadmaker to select the dough program).  After the kneading process, allow the dough to rise in the breadmaker for about 1 1/2 – 2 hours.
  2. Deflate the dough, bunch it back and divide it into 5 pieces – You can use the dough at this point, but for a finer and nicer texture, after deflating and punching the dough, roll it into a ball and put it back into an airtight container and refrigerate overnight.  About 2 hours before you are going to make your pizza, remove the dough from the fridge, deflate again, and split into 5 equal portions.  Roll each portion into a ball and cover with plastic wrap.  Let them sit at room temperature for 2 hours.

Assembling Pizzas:

Ingredients (pizza toppings):

Pepperoni, thinly sliced
Italian sausages, cook ahead
Mushrooms, thinly sliced
Red onion, thinly sliced
Yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
Red bell pepper, thinly sliced
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Mild cheddar cheese, shredded
Fresh basil leaves, chopped
Cornmeal (to slide the pizza onto the pizza stone)

** I made my pizzas with the above ingredients, of course you can add anything you want to your pizza, such as ham, BBQ chicken, even Kimchi.

Directions:

  1. In a small sauce pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the oil.  Add red onion and cook until it is slightly tender.  Transfer onion to a paper towel-lined plate.  (Picture 1)
  2. In the same pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon oil.   Add the bell peppers, stirring frequently, until just softened.  Transfer the peppers to the same paper towel-lined plate.  (Picture 2)
  3. Now warm 1 tablespoon oil.  Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook (stirring occasionally) until softened.  Transfer the mushrooms to the plate with the peppers and onion.

Pizza

  1. Preheat oven to 500 ºF and heat up the baking stone (or baking pan) in the oven.
  2. Using a rolling pin to roll out your dough ball, flatten disc into an 8-inch circle.  If you don’t know how to shape your pizza dough by tossing it in the air, simply start at the center and work outwards, use your fingertips to press the dough to 1/2-inch thick.  Stretch the dough until it will not stretch further.  (picture 1)
  3. Lightly sprinkle your pizza peel with corn meal.  Transfer one prepared flattened dough to the pizza peel.  If the dough has lost its shape in the transfer, lightly shape it to the desired dimensions.  (picture 2)
  4. Top dough with a layer of sauce.  (picture 3)
  5. Then sprinkle with cheese, and place your desired toppings on the pizza, sprinkle more cheese on top at the end.  (picture 4)
  6. Slide the pizza off of the peel and on to the baking stone in the oven.  Bake pizza one at a time until the crust is browned and the cheese is golden, about 10 minutes. (picture 5)
  7. You can use the pizza peel or a stainless steel spatula to remove the pizza from the pizza stone.  Serve immediately (picture 6)
  • pizza

Potato/Mushroom Gratin


Potato/Mushroom Gratin

For the longest time, I thought potato au gratin and scalloped potatoes were the same thing. I was told they were slightly different – gratin is baked with a layer of cheese (or breadcrumbs) on top until it turns golden brown, while scalloped potatoes never includes cheese.  Both dishes are equally yummy!  This side dish is very easy to make, it may take some time to thinly slice the potatoes, but after putting the dish into the oven, you are completely done!  I put cheddar cheese on top since my kids like cheddar, but you can use any cheese you want.

1 Tbsp
1
2 lbs.
10 ozs

1
2/3 cup
2/3 cup
6 ozs

Butter
Garlic clove, crushed
Potatoes, thinly sliced
Mushrooms, sliced

Egg, beaten
Non-fat milk
Heavy whipping cream
Gruyere cheese or Cheddar cheese (grated)
Salt and Pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F, rub an oven-proof dish with butter and garlic.
  2. Thinly slice the potatoes (picture 1).
  3. Start with a layer of potatoes on the bottom of your dish (picture 2), then add a layer of sliced mushrooms (picture 3).
  4. Sprinkle salt and pepper, then repeat steps 2 and 3 to add another layer of potatoes and mushrooms (pictures 4 and 5).
  5. After seasoning with salt and pepper, top with remaining potatoes (picture 6).
  6. Mix together eggs, milk and cream and pour over vegetables (picture 7).  Bake for an hour.
  7. Remove the dish from oven and sprinkle cheese over top (picture 8).
  8. Bake 25 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden and vegetables are tender (picture 9).

potato gratin steps

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