Monday, March 22, 2010

Hot & Sour Soup and Pot Stickers (Vegan!)


Hot & sour soup is one of our favorites, but we don't eat it often since we don't have a very good Chinese restaurant close by. I was hesitant to try to make the vegan variety since it typically gets it's flavor from pork. Now, this is not AS good as the pork flavored stuff, but it is really, really good and a lot healthier to boot.

We used this recipe.

Since I don't know what bamboo 'fungus' is, we used bamboo shoots. You can get all of this stuff at an Asian grocery.


The pot stickers are something we've made a lot of. You can fill them with whatever you like, but we love using tofu or mock duck or something like that. Shrimp is also good and obviously pork would be delicious too.


Pot Stickers

Round wonton wrappers
1 block of tofu, diced VERY small
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 thumb of ginger, chopped
1 carrot, grated
half a cup of chopped cilantro
half a cup of green onions
a few drops of sesame oil
a splash of soy sauce

Saute everything except the cilantro and green onions together in a frying pan for about 5-10 minutes. Remove from eat and then add cilantro and onions. Put a small spoonful of the veggie/tofu mixture on top and to one side of a wonton, and then fold the other half over. Seal with a little water.

Once all of your wontons are made, heat a skillet (that has a lid) to medium high, and then add a little splash of olive oil or stir fry tea oil. Once your oil and pan are hot, add as many wontons as you can fit. Cook the wontons on that side until they start to brown a little on the bottoms. Now, carefully add about a quarter cup of water and cover your pan. Let the wontons steam for a minute or two or until they tops are transparent. Remove and eat immediately. These are great served with hoisin, sriracha, or just more soy sauce.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Baked Eggplant Stacks


Who doesn't love eggplant parmesan? It's one of my favorites, but I've rarely had it when it isn't super greasy and heavy. I wanted to make something similar, but without all that grease and without it taking all night.

Look, I realize that you can fry anything in oil and it will be totally delicious. I understand that, BUT you don't have to do that to get cripsy, tasty eggplant. The only oil used is just a little olive oil on the baking sheet and little more drizzled over the sliced eggplant. Enough to give it some crunch, but not enough for it to soak into the eggplant slices. Perfection.


For the eggplant

1 large eggplant, sliced into 1/2" rounds
1-2 cups bread crumbs
pinch of oregano
2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Season the bread crumbs with the oregano, salt, and pepper. Scramble the eggs together in a shallow and wide bowl. Dredge the eggplant rounds into the egg mixture and then into the bread crumbs. Drizzle a little olive oil on a baking sheet and spread rounds on it. Drizzle the tops with a little more olive oil. Bake for about 8-10 minutes and then turn over and bake until brown and crispy on both sides--about 8-10 more minutes.


Simple Marinara

1 large can crushed tomatoes
6-8 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 and onion, diced
1 teaspoon sugar
black pepper
olive oil

Saute garlic and onions in olive oil until onions start to sweat. Add the canned tomatoes, sugar and black pepper and simmer for 15 minutes.

To serve

Ladle some marinara sauce onto a plate. Top with one eggplant slice. Crumble some goat cheese on top of that and then some fresh basil leaves. Repeat again and then top with a third eggplant slice and finally more marinara.


Monday, March 1, 2010

Breakfast: Shrimp, Grits, and a Fried Egg


We had some leftover shrimp from the night before, so this was super simple. We just made some cheese grits, reheated the shrimp, fried an egg and served it with some salsa and lots of cilantro. Simple ingredients, but lots of flavor...

Shrimp: half an onion, 2 garlic cloves, crushed red pepper, smoked paprika


Just fill up your bowl with the cheese grits, top with the fried egg and then the shrimp and garnish!

For the fried egg, if you like yours runny, start with high heat and cook the egg on one side until the whites on top are close to solid, but still have a little transparency. Turn the heat down to low and cover and cook for an additional minute or two--until the whites are solid. No need to turn over and risk breaking the yolk!