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Teriyaki. Simple & easy. So why does everyone screw it up?

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I’ve been making Teriyaki sauce for years now.  I learned it from my old roommate Lisa.  We were living together when she was in college and she used to make all kinds of amazing food.  Thanks to her and her fried rice, order Spam will forever have a place in my pantry, along with Panko.  I used to watch her in fascination as she took ordinary ingredients and turned them into amazing meals.  In a way it helped reignite my love of cooking.  I got disenchanted for a brief moment when I went vegan.  At that time soy products sucked.  So I left my Veganism behind and dove back into carnivore land.  Just in time to enjoy some Hawaiian/Japanese comfort food.  There was was Ramen with an egg dropped in, Spam fried rice, Coroke, and my favorite Chicken Teriyaki.  I have been making these dishes ever since, especially the Chicken Teriyaki.  It has become a staple in my dinner party cannon.

Once you try this you will never order it in a restaurant again.  I have ruined many a persons teriyaki experience with this recipe.  In a good way.  You can change it to your taste, sweet, salty, garlicky, gingery.  What ever way you want to go.  I tend to go heavier on the soy sauce and ginger and garlic.  I don’t like super sweet teriyaki sauce.  When I make for friends I make it how I want it and they usually have that moment of, why does everyone make such a sweet sauce? So here is what I do.  Be adventurous and don’t be scared it’s easy.

Ingredients:

Soy Sauce

Brown Sugar

Garlic(fresh)

Ginger(fresh)

I start with soy sauce and add brown sugar (remember we want a savory sauce so more soy then sugar).  I then add chopped garlic and chopped ginger.   Simmer for a few minutes to thicken and then place the chicken in a baking dish, add sauce on bottom of dish and on top of the meat and bake for 45 minutes turning a couple of times.   I use chicken thighs, they soak up the sauce best.   Cook rice and some veggies and you have an amazingly easy dinner.

 

 

 

 

Pork Shoulder with Fennel Slaw

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So I came up with this recipe one night when we had some friends come over and convinced them to stay for dinner.  We were already three hours into making a pork shoulder but hadn’t decided what else to go with it.  I looked around the kitchen as I usually do to see what we need and I found a fennel bulb and thought, medical hmmmmmm what can I do with this?  I was already making and Asian inspired pork shoulder, for sale   Why not continue that theme with a fennel coleslaw?  So here is the recipe for both!!!

Asian Pork Shoulder with Fennel Slaw
Author: 
Recipe type: Main and Side
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 3-4 pound pork shoulder
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup rice wine vinegar
  • ½ cup fish sauce
  • ½ cup dark agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • SLAW
  • 1 medium to large fennel bulb
  • 1 large carrot
  • ¼ quarter of red bell pepper
  • 4 green onions
  • Dressing
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ tablespoon of fish sauce
  • ¼ tablespoon of white wine vinegar
  • Sprinkle of red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Score shoulder
  2. Smash garlic and place cloves in scored pork
  3. Combine all other ingredients in a bowl
  4. Place shoulder in plastic bag
  5. Add marinade
  6. Refrigerate from 6 hours to 24 hours
  7. When done marinating preheat oven to 400
  8. Place shoulder and marinade in roasting pan
  9. Cover with parchment paper and aluminum foil
  10. After 30 minutes lower heat to 300
  11. Cook for 4 hours
  12. Take off parchment and foil
  13. Cook for another 20-30 minutes for crispy skin
  14. Check with meat thermometer, should read 185 degrees when done.
  15. Remove from oven cover with foil again and let sit for 20 minutes before serving.
  16. FENNEL SLAW
  17. Julienne fennel bulb, carrot and red pepper.
  18. Chop onion
  19. Toss in bowl
  20. Mix dressing and pour over slaw
  21. Toss slaw to coat with dressing
  22. Salt and pepper to taste
  23. Serve immediately at room temperature.
Notes
Cooking time and temp varies with each oven. Keep an eye on your roast and baste the shoulder with juices. I like to check and baste every 30minutes or so. You don't want a dry shoulder. Dressing for slaw - taste and add more fish sauce or vinegar for your preference. Prep time does not include marinading time. If it's already too hot for you to have the oven on for 5-6 hours then use a crock pot for the roast. Just cut the fat off and pierce the meat then put the garlic cloves in the holes before you marinade. Also since you've cut off the fat, keep a good eye on it so it doesn't get dry. Cook on low for about 4-6 hours. You will know when it's done, it should fall off the bone.

Good for What Ails You

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What Ails You Chicken Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 chicken
  • 1 bouquets garnis
  • 3-4 quarts of water (enough to submerge a chicken)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 ribs of celery
  • 3 carrots
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, diagnosis peeled and chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Take out bag of innards from chicken
  2. Rinse the chicken and take any extra feathers off
  3. Place in pot with water
  4. Add salt, information pills pepper, garlic and bouquets garnis
  5. Bring to boil, then lower heat to medium
  6. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes
  7. Meanwhile peel and cut carrots into ¼" slices, set aside
  8. Chop celery and onion, set aside
  9. When chicken is done remove and let stand and cool
  10. While chicken is cooling off put veggies in the broth
  11. Bring to boil then simmer for 10-15 minutes
  12. When chicken is ready to handle, peel the skin, chop it up and set aside
  13. Strip chicken of all meat, tear into desired size pieces, set aside.
  14. Add chicken and skin when veggies are done.
  15. Bring soup back to a slow simmer and serve.
Notes
You can add rice, noodles, or barley, just make sure you cook these before adding them. I like to cook them just under the desired time so they finish in the soup. Bouquets Garnis is Oregano, Thyme and Savory wrapped up in Bay Leaves tied with kitchen string. I use this in all my stocks and soups. It is a great time saver and adds the perfect amount of flavor. You can make these yourself or get them at http://www.oliviersandco.com/ or at one of their stores.

Image01052013152900 chickensoupstuff

Chicken broth and chicken soup are said to be good for what ails you.  So with the Flu being particularly bad this year, and Jason being struck down by it, I decided to make chicken soup.  Years ago I got a tip from a mother from Catalan Spain.  She said to boil a chicken with one or two cloves of garlic.   Strip the chicken of it’s meat and put back in the pot.  Then serve.  She also pointed out that the skin must be in there also.  It supposedly has healing properties.   Being one who does not argue with mothers, especially when they come from my ancestral homeland,  I nodded my head and said yes ma’am.  Of course I asked if I should add anything else?  Salt and pepper, nothing else was her short but firm answer.  Keep it simple, it’s what the body needs.  Well, if you know me, then you know I can’t help but tinker with a recipe.   I have added a few things, like bouquets garnis, onions, celery, carrots  etc.  I’ve also been known to throw in some ginger, barley, rice, cilantro and even alphabet noodles.   Now I understand the reasoning for keeping it simple, it makes sense, and I have made it that way and it is very good.  What I find when I am asked to make chicken soup  is that everyone has something special they like in it.  This last time was the alphabet noodles.  Whether you like it simple or complex, there is one thing that does seem to cure or at least make being sick bearable, that’s homemade chicken soup.  I feel the most important healing thing about making this soup isn’t just fresh ingredients, but the care that comes with it.  Maybe that’s what the healing properties are.

It all started with Meatballs

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balls potatoballs riceballs onionschicken

It started as a possible trip to IKEA for meatballs.  Then we realized we had some in the freezer, cure all we needed was the gravy.  A quick search on the internet and presto we had the recipe.  I then started to look at what else we had to go with these delicious round balls of meat.  We had left over mashed potato’s, rice, veggies, kimchi and beets.  It was beginning to look like things were shaping up. I had a flashback to when I lived in LA and my roommates and I had watch the movie Mermaids one too many times and started to have appetizer nights.  We called this a mermaid dinner.  If you’ve seen the movie you’ll understand.  If not, then watch at your own risk.  I started to imagine our dinner was all round and how fun that would be and what a challenge it would be with the ingredients we had.  So we started with the potatoes and took the left over onions and peppers and made Coroke,  a side dish a different roommate I had back in San Bernardino used to make.  Usually you would make them into small patties with meat and onion and fry them, but tonight it was veggie rounds.   I also had made Teriyaki chicken a couple night’s before(also a recipe from the same roommate) and used the chicken, added some ginger, red onions, garlic, egg and presto fried rice.  We used our  microwave egg poacher(more on that in another post) to make them.  Next the ice cream scooper and a spoon were perfect for the kimchi.  We now had everything, put it all together and  had a great time being silly, making our evening well rounded.