Monday, October 16, 2017

Thai Peanut Sauce Chicken Pasta

This is one of my favorite recipes - my family discovered it years ago when it was published in the Dallas Morning News.  It is really easy to make and really good - if you like spicy Asian food, you'll love this.

  • Peanut Sauce
    • 4 cloves fresh garlic (or 1/2 tsp. garlic powder)
    • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
    • 1/2 cup peanut butter
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 1/4 cup soy sauce
    • 1/4 cup ketchup
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 2 tbsp. peanut oil
    • 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
    • 1 tbsp. onion powder
    • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
    • 4 tsp. ground ginger
    • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 2 grilled chicken breasts, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 2 cups cooked pasta (I used penne this time)
  • sliced green onions
Yield: 4 servings

Gather all the peanut sauce ingredients and place them near the blender. Drop the cloves, one at a time, into the blender while it is on. Turn the blender off. Place the lemon juice, peanut butter, water, ketchup, soy sauce, brown sugar, peanut oil, ginger, vinegar, onion powder, sesame oil, and red pepper into the blender container. Pulse at high just until combined (5-10 seconds). Turn off. Scrape down the sides of the blender with a spatula, and pulse again until well blended.

Pour the peanut sauce into onto the drained pasta. Add the chopped grilled chicken and green onions. Stir and serve immediately.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Chocolate Cheesecake

For my sister's birthday dessert, she chose chocolate cheesecake. My mom and I made her cheesecake using this recipe from The New James Beard.

It was really delicious and is a perfect dessert for a special occasion. A note about the cream cheese - it is really worth it find a natural cream cheese to use as opposed to the kinds that contain bean gum. The recipe recommends it, and it makes the cheesecake lighter and taste better.

  • Crust
    • 2 cups graham-cracker crumbs
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • Filling
    • 4 eggs, separated
    • 2/3 cup sugar
    • 1 pound cream cheese, cut into cubes
    • 12 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • 1/2 cup hot strong coffee
    • 2 tbsp dark rum
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/8 tsp salt
  • Whipped Cream
    • 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
    • 2 tbsp sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Yield: 1 cheesecake

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch spring-form pan.

Melt the 1/2 cup butter for the crust.

Blend the crust ingredients in a bowl.

Pat the crumb mixture into the bottom and sides of the pan.

Set aside while preparing the filling.

Beat the egg yolks and 1/3 cup sugar in an electric mixer until thick and lemon-colored.

Beat in the cream cheese and continue beating until smooth.

Melt the chocolate chips in the top of a double boiler over hot, but not boiling water.

Blend in the hot coffee, rum, vanilla, and salt.

Beat this mixture into the cream cheese mixture.

 In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they hold soft peaks.

Gradually beat in the remaining 1/3 cup sugar until you have a stiff meringue mixture with glossy, upright peaks.

Fold this gently into the chocolate mixture.

Pour into the prepared crumb crust.

Bake at 350ºF for 1 hour.

Turn the oven off, but leave the cake inside until it is completely cooled (we left it in overnight).

When ready to serve, carefully remove the sides of the springform pan.

Make the whipped cream by beating the heavy whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla extract with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form (about 1 minute).

Spread the whipped cream on the cheesecake. And enjoy!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

For my sister's birthday dinner, she chose steak and garlic mashed potatoes. The potatoes turned out really good - if you like garlic, you've got to try these.

  • 4 medium Russet potatoes
  • 1 garlic bulb
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • salt
  • pepper
Yield: 4 servings

Peel and cut potatoes into small pieces. Boil potatoes until soft (about 10-15 minutes).

Cook the garlic cloves in the butter until they are soft and slightly browned.

Blend the butter and garlic in a food processor.

Mash the potatoes using a potato masher.

Add the butter and garlic mix to the potatoes.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Whip the potatoes in an electric mixer. Add cream gradually until the potatoes become fluffy.


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes

My sister's birthday was a couple weeks ago, and she picked lemon poppyseed pancakes for her birthday breakfast. We first had lemon poppyseed pancakes at Kerbey Lane Cafe in Austin and loved them - if you're ever in Austin, I highly recommend stopping there! We decided to start with this recipe for, which we modified some. They were really good - if you like citrus, this is definitely a pancake recipe to try.

  • Pancakes
    • 1 1/2 cups milk
    • 2 tbsp vinegar
    • 2 tbsp lemon juice
    • 2 eggs
    • 4 tsp butter, melted
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 2 cups flour
    • 4 tbsp sugar
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 2 tsp poppy seeds
    • 2 tsp lemon zest
    • cooking spray
  • Lemon Glaze
    • 2 cups powdered sugar
    • 4 tbsp butter
    • juice from 2 lemons
    • zest from 2 lemons

Yield: 4 servings

Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, poppy seeds, and lemon zest until well combined.

Stir the milk, vinegar, and lemon juice together and let stand for 10 minutes.

Whisk in the eggs, butter, and vanilla extract.

Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture.

Whisk a few times until the batter is mostly free of lumps.

Set the griddle to medium heat (or heat a skillet over medium heat) and spray with cooking spray. Pour 1/4 cup of batter per pancake onto the griddle (or into the skillet) and cook until bubbles appear on the surface, about 2 minutes.

Flip the pancakes over with a spatula and brown the other side, about 2 more minutes.

They should be light and fluffy.

To make the glaze, melt the butter and then add the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest.

Stir together over low heat until the glaze thickens.

Top the pancakes with the glaze and enjoy!