Archive | Men Who Cook RSS feed for this section

Chinese New Year Inspired Dumpling Soup

3 Feb

by Deanne

When I was seven, I experienced my first Chinese or Lunar New Year celebration.  I think it was coincidental as I observed the festivities from a distance. Our family lived near San Francisco and often went to my dad’s office in the city on weekends.  I remember hearing noise and arriving at the window in time to see a colorful dragon as it streamed below us on the street. 

I cherished this memory enough to take my own kids to see a very small Lunar New Year celebration in 1989. It was at a local Chinese restaurant near our home in Louisville, Kentucky.  The kids were too small to remember but perhaps Francine was influenced because she actually lived in China twice as an adult.  Luke had a chance to visit her and travel in China.Photo of Dumpling Soup

This last Friday evening Steve and I set about to make something in honor of the new year celebration.

Chinese New Year Inspired Dumpling Soup

Filling for Dumplings:  (Makes about 30)

1 carrot

2 celery stalks

1/4 head green cabbage

1 cup spinach

1 and 1/2 inch ginger-minced

3 green onions – diced  (reserve green tops for garnish)

5 oz. tofu cut in 1/4 inch cubes

1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons diced cilantro

1 egg

1 package won ton wrappers  (we used square wrappers)

Start by cutting the tofu in 1/4 inch cubes and fry in about 3/4 inch of  vegetable cooking oil in a frying pan until golden brown. While tofu cubes are cooking you can dice the carrot, celery, cabbage, spinach, and onion. 

In a saute pan sweat onions, carrots, and celery.  Add cabbage and cook until softened. Add spinach and ginger and cook until spinach is wilted. Pull off heat. Combine diced cilantro, soy sauce, and sesame oil.

Mix together with 1 egg and the drained tofu.

Set each won ton wrapper on a flat surface and use a bowl of water to wet two edges of the wrapper with your finger. Use about a teaspoon of the filling placed in the center of the won ton. Fold in half diagonally and press edges together.  

Gently boil in vegetable broth for vegetarian or (chicken broth if you prefer) for about 3-4 minutes. Serve with broth and garnish with reserved diced green onions. We cooked about 3 to 4 dumplings at a time. 

Does your family celebrate Chinese or Lunar New Year?  San Francisco is one of the best places in the US to experience Chinese New Year. It is not too late to participate in the February 15th celebrations.


Advertisements

What if… Everyone Had Knife Skills?

29 Jan Photo of Knife Skill Teaching
by Deanne

The “What if” question for last week involved encouraging people to cook at home.  If we want to cook at home we can save ourselves a lot of time and money in the kitchen by developing our skills with a chef knife. 

For some reason I  never developed the practice of using a chef knife until we opened our restaurant in 2008.  Steve and Luke both taught me how to use one. In fact our home kitchen didn’t have one until my sister-in-law noticed and gave us one as a gift.  I don’t think I am alone based on the number of people I have talked to about cooking at home.

This video does a pretty good job of teaching the basics.  

I have also included a video from Luke’s cooking series on the chiffonade technique for cutting greens and making things look pretty.

If you want to select some other knives besides a chef knife, here is a good article that can help when picking out knives.   Let us know your thoughts on our what if…..real food Wednesday questions.

Just Right: Oatmeal Apple Pancakes

27 Jan

by Deanne

I have been working on this recipe for awhile.  I found a recipe online but it made the pancakes too rubbery.  I liked the recipe because there is no added sugar.  The sweetness comes from the apples. With a few adjustments I knew I was on the right track and then Sunday morning Steve and I tried them again. They were delicious! Photo of Oatmeal Apple Pancakes

You will find this to be a super easy wheat-free recipe that doesn’t have any special gluten-free flour or any of the gums usually added to gluten-free flour.   If you are sensitive to gluten, you know the drill by now, to purchase oats that were processed in a gluten-free facility. 

Oatmeal Apple Pancakes  (makes 5 medium to large pancakes)

2 apples, peeled, sliced and cored

1 1/2 cup oat flour*  (156 grams)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 eggs

1 cup milk  (we used coconut milk)

Start by cooking the apples in a pan over low heat.  The apples will  get soft and you can mash them and continue cooking.  If you use a low enough heat you will not need to add any water. 

Combine  oat flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon mixture in a bowl. 

To the dry mixture add the cooked apples, mix in eggs and milk.  Mix away!

If you’ve made wheat flour pancakes in the past you have been told to not over mix the batter. (Like in this recipe by Alton Brown) The reason for this caution is that the gluten in the flour will start to develop to the point of making the pancakes tough.  For this batter you can mix it as much as you like since there is no gluten to develop. So when making pancakes with kids this would be a good recipe to use.

Heat a dry non-stick skillet and spray with a pan release product before you cook your first pancake. 

*How to make Oat Flour

Making oat flour is as easy as taking old fashioned oats and pulsing them in the blender.  If you make extra you can use in other recipes like the Oatcake recipe we did in the past.   Thanks, Francine for teaching me that. :)

Fiery Corn and Black Bean Salsa

3 Sep
by Deanne

Yesterday in our garden tour  post, we showed pictures of our abundant tomatoes.  Here’s a delicious way to use them up and practice your knife skills at the same time! In his most recent GamerKitchen episode, Luke makes a great tasting salsa that can double as a snack or dinner-sized salad.

Luke used one Serrano pepper – the heat was just right, but I’m sure one jalapeno would be good too.

What heat level do you think you’ll choose?

Vietnamese BBQ Pork with A Rice Noodle Salad

5 Jul
by Deanne

Francine and I are thankful that the cooking chores in our family are shared among the men in our clan.  Both of our husbands are creative and talented in the kitchen. We also have Luke, our talented blog photographer and son/brother.  He is an amazing chef at the family restaurant and  always coming up with super flavorful dishes.  After we eat what he cooks, we crave that dish the entire next day.

We are excited to share the latest episode from his online cooking show.  Luke explains how easy it is to create great, restaurant-quality  Vietnamese BBQ Pork with A Rice Noodle Salad. (This dish is SO good you guys!!) 

Here’s how he explains the dish…

“In this episode of GamerKitchen, we are making Bun thit nuong, which is rice vermicelli mixed with fresh vegetables and topped with barbecued pork served with a lime dipping sauce (nuoc cham). It fits in well because grilling season is upon us and this dish makes a perfect recipe to share with friends for an afternoon barbecue or get together.”

Is your mouth watering yet?