My tomatoes are finally turning red! They’re beautiful! Oh yeah.. a little stray, late blooming strawberry got in there 🙂
So what do I do with all these tomatoes? The cherry tomatoes are sweet, delicious and healthy snacks, though I still can’t figure out how to get my daughter to eat them. The beefy tomatoes are sweet too. I usually cut them up and mix them in my salad or sneak them into my daughter’s omelette, but since I have a few of them, a couple went into my dinner this week: Chili Prawns.
Now.. this recipe is something I made up. The authentic recipe involves lemongrass, shrimp paste, and tamarind juice, I think. I like easy and fast to cook recipes and this recipe is both of those.
- 1 lb large white shrimps, shelled and deveined
- 1 package firm tofu, sliced into short strips
- 2 medium tomatoes. roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 Thai chili peppers, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoon sweet soy sauce, or to taste
- sugar to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons oil
- In a bowl, mix 1 clove of the finely chopped garlic and 2 teaspoons soy sauce with the shrimps. Set aside.
- Optional: Deep fry the tofu strips and set aside. You don’t have to deep fry them, which is probably healthier but I like them deep fried better. You can also get creative and use fried/baked tempeh in this recipe. I used tofu because I bought a box of 4 from Costco so this is one of the ways I’m using them.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok. When shimmering, add the shrimps to flash fry them. Remove from wok and set aside. This is also an optional step but I like the brown color of the sear on the shrimps.
- In the same wok, heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Add garlic and the Thai peppers. If you’re cooking for kids like I am, I recommend using no more than 1 Thai pepper. If you and your kids can tolerate spicy food, then add as many as you want. Add tomatoes and simmer for a few minutes to break down the tomatoes.
Mash the big chunks with your spatula. This is what you’ll end up with.
- Add your seasonings to taste: sweet soy sauce, sugar, salt and pepper. Then add the shrimps and tofu, and coat them completely with sauce.
- If you didn’t pre-cook your shrimps or deep fry your tofu, don’t add them all at once. Add the shrimps first and let them cook for a few minutes, then add the tofu and cook again for a few minutes. Remove and serve.
I like to eat this shrimp dish over rice. So good! Hope you’ll like it too!
If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and love crabs, you’re probably familiar with the An Family restaurants: Thanh Long and Crustaceans. My family usually makes Thanh Long one of their dinner stops when they’re visiting and I don’t blame them. They make the best Garlic Roast Crab. It’s a whole Dungeness crab, roasted to perfection in buttery garlic sauce.
It’s a bit of a trek for me to go to either restaurants so I usually go only when I have out of town guests. Since that tends to happen only once a year, what am I to do other than make my own Garlic Roast Crab at home? 🙂 All you need is 5 ingredients and you can also taste that delicious, firm and flaky crab meat any time you want.
- 1 whole Dungeness crab, live preferred
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), more or less to your taste
- 5 cloves garlic, more or less to your taste
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Boil a pot of water and put the crab in it when it has reached a rolling boil. Cover and boil crab for 7-8 minutes. If you’re boiling multiple crabs at the same time, you may need to extend the time to 10 minutes.
- While the crab is cooking, finely chop the garlic. I suggest starting with 5 cloves. If you feel that’s too much garlic, then reduce the quantity. If you’re a garlic lover, feel free to add more.
- In a large wok, melt the butter in medium low heat until the foam subsides. Add the chopped garlic and let the garlic flavor meld into the butter. Don’t let the garlic turn brown. Add salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste.
- Remove the crab from the boiling water. Remove the shell and gill when it’s cooled enough to handle, then cut into quarters.
- Add the crab pieces to the garlic butter sauce and coat well.
- Put the crab and the garlic butter sauce in a roasting pan. Cover the crab pieces using the crab shell then bake for 15 minutes. I use the shell as a cover to keep moisture in the crab meat while it’s roasting in the oven.
- Remove from oven and serve.
I served my crab with garlic noodles which An Restaurant is famous for too. My garlic noodles use the same ingredients as the Garlic Roast Crab. Melt butter in medium low heat and add the chopped garlic as you did for the crab, but in smaller amounts. Add salt and fresh cracked pepper.While the garlic flavor is melding with the butter, boil your fresh egg noodles. Drain and add to the garlic butter. Mix well.
I love kitchen tools. I have too many of them but I can’t resist them. This is why I sometimes refer to my garage as my personal Sur La Table.
Nowadays, I look for kitchen tools that can do multiple tasks. One tool that I didn’t have yet in my garage was a pressure cooker. I’ve had my eye on a particular one because it boasts of having 7 functions in one pot. It’s a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, saute/browning, yogurt maker, steamer, and warmer.
When I saw it for $40 off on Amazon on Prime Day, I bought it. Last night, I used it for the first time to make pulled pork and it performed beautifully! I suspect I’ll be using this kitchen tool quite often because it does everything in the same pot!
Here’s the recipe I used for the pulled pork.
- 3-4 lbs of pork butt (or shoulder), cut into big chunks
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Season the pork chunks with the onion powder, garlic powder and paprika.
- Heat oil in pot and brown pork chunks on all sides. Remove from pot and set aside.
- Add onions and garlic into pot and saute until onions are soft.
- Add water and BBQ sauce to the pot and de-glaze the pot.
- Put the pork chunks back into the pot. The liquid won’t completely cover the pork chunks. That’s ok.
- Pressure cook at high psi (about 15) for about 60 minutes. This is what they look like when done.
- Remove the pork chunks carefully and shred with a pair of forks.
I made quesadillas with my pulled pork last night. They were soooo good!
You can adapt this recipe to make Mexican Pulled Pork too.
Here’s the ingredients for the simmer liquid instead of using water and BBQ sauce mix:
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon dry oregano
- 2 tablespoons juice from 1 lime
- 2 cups water
- 1 medium orange, halved (without the rind)
You would also need to add ground cumin to the pork rub.
It’s officially Summer! Summer means an abundant supply of delicious summer fruits and vegetables. This year, I decided to plant corn and squash in addition to my normal staple of tomatoes and peppers. Both my corn and squash plants are doing well. I only planted 2 squash plants but they’re doing so well that I’m harvesting at least 2 every other day.
So what do I do with all these squash? Short Ribs Pasta Sauce!
This recipe is from a good friend of mine and it’s chock full of vegetables, perfect for kids who aren’t vegetable fans. Another reason why I like this sauce is because it can be frozen and defrosted without a sacrifice in quality. When I make a batch of this sauce, I usually freeze a couple of quarts for those nights when I don’t feel like cooking.
The long list of ingredients may make this recipe seems a bit intimidating but it’s really easy but worth the preparation effort.
- 2 lb boneless short ribs (You can use boned-in short ribs too, but you’ll probably want to increase the amount)
- 4 squash (I use either yellow squash or zucchini – whatever is on sale at your store)
- 4 carrots
- 1 bell pepper
- 1 large onion
- 1 large can of tomatoes (whole, diced, crushed – whatever is on sale at your store, or you can cut up fresh tomatoes too)
- 1 14.5oz-can low-sodium chicken broth
- 16 oz button mushroom (or crimini mushrooms), sliced
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped
- A few sprigs of fresh thyme
- 4 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon pepper flakes, or to taste
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon, or to taste
- Worcestershire sauce
- Brown sugar
- Balsamic vinegar
- Red wine, optional
- 1/4-1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, optional
- Salt and pepper
Note: All seasoning measurements are approximate so please adjust to taste.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Season short ribs with salt and pepper and sear all sides. I used beef short ribs chuck steak in this picture since I couldn’t find boneless short ribs at the store that day.
- Cube squash, carrots, bell pepper and onions, set aside.
- In a large dutch oven, heat 3 tablespoons of oil until shimmering, then add 4 cloves of chopped garlic, onion, thyme from a few sprigs, pepper flakes and a teaspoon cinnamon. Stir fry for a few minutes until the onion is soft. Cinnamon may sound like a weird ingredient to add to pasta sauce for some of you, but it really does make a difference.
- Add cubed vegetables and cook for a few minutes. Scrape brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Add tomatoes, chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, cinnamon (if more is needed), and red wine.
- Bring to a boil then nestle the short ribs back in the sauce.
- Cover and place in oven for 2-3 hours to “roast”.
- Remove short ribs from sauce carefully and shred using 2 forks.
- Puree the sauce, then place the shredded meat back in the sauce. Stir to mix well. I use an immersion blender to puree the sauce.
- In a separate pan, saute garlic and mushrooms in a tablespoon of oil. Season with Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Add it to the sauce and meat.
- Add Parmesan cheese to the sauce. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
Now boil your favorite pasta to al dente and pour this sauce over it. Enjoy!
It’s been 3 1/2 years since my last post. My sincere apologies for the long drought. There has been a lot of changes in my life, most of it attributed by our now 3 year old daughter. One thing remained constant, and that is, I’m still baking and cooking, though not as frequent as I used to.
Tonight’s post is what I made for dinner tonight. I needed something that can be made quickly since I came home late. Fish is always a good option to cook in a pinch.
- 2 fish fillet – I used Basa fillet, but any fish fillet will do.
- 4 tablespoons sesame oil
- 4 tablespoons light soy sauce – I like using the Pearl River Seafood Soy Sauce.
- Ginger, julienned or sliced
- Scallions, cut into 2-inch pieces
- Bell pepper, carrots – You can use any leftover vegetables you have in your fridge
- Prepare foil packets on a baking sheet. Preheat oven to 375F.
- Slice bell peppers and carrots and place on the prepared foil packets.
- Rub 2 tablespoons of sesame oil on each fillet and place it on top of the vegetables.
- Sprinkle the ginger and scallions over the fish.
- Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce over the fish. Don’t be tempted to add more even though it may look like you didn’t add enough and it looks dry. The fish will release liquid during baking.
- Next, enclose the fish in the foil. Bring the long edges together and fold to seal so it won’t release during baking. Fold the short edges up and seal. Ensure that any liquid released during baking won’t be able to escape. Now you’re ready to bake them!
- Place in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and unwrap the foil.
Here’s a close-up of the fish. It came out juicy and flaky. Enjoy!
Li’l Puffs is proud to announce that we’re now listed on Goodies For Gifts directory of delectable goodies!
Goodies For Gifts is a site dedicated to anyone who is looking for unique edible gifts to ship anywhere in the country. Browse their website to find and learn about amazing tasty treats that you can buy, share or send as gifts to your loved ones.
Who doesn’t love food? I do!
I’ve had the pleasure of working with Love With Food a couple of times this year. I love that they donate a meal with every deal that they sell. I’ve been blessed with opportunities so I always look for ways to give back and working with Love With Food is a great way of doing so.
Love with Food recently launched a new Best Bites subscription program. For $14 a month (shipping is FREE), you get to discover 5 to 6 gourmet bites. Then, you’ll enjoy exclusive discounts to all the full-sized products featured in your box! How great is that?! And what I love most, for every box purchased, Love With Food will donate a meal to No Kid Hunger.
December tasty box included:
- Li’l Puffs Peppermint Marshmallows
- White Chocolate Amaretto Filled Wafer Cookies
- Cranberry Ginger Biscotti
- Madecasse Mini Square
- Chocolate Dipped Nutter Butter
- Truffle Pig-Dark Hazelnut
For those of you who purchased or received a box, don’t forget. You get exclusive discounts to the full-size products featured in the box until January 9, 2012.
Don’t wait! Go to Love With Food to reserve your January box now. It features healthy new year nibbles 🙂