Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Coconut Rice

I posted a curry and suggested you try coconut rice with it, but never gave a recipe. So here are a couple that I use.

Casandra's Coconut Rice

One day I decided to put coconut milk in my rice instead of water and I loved it! So this is my recipe:

Ingredients:

2 cups rice
3-4 cups coconut milk*
1 tsp salt

*Usually I put the milk in an inch above the rice.

Instructions:

Wash rice off with water then put in a saucepan.

Add salt and coconut milk to rice and begin to boil over medium heat.

Let rice boil for 15 minutes. Take off heat and cover for 5-10 minutes to continue cooking.

You'll have moist, coconut rice for dinner in less than 30 minutes!





The other rice recipe is a copy cat version from a restaurant that I like to eat at occasionally. I found this recipe and had to try it!



Ingredients:

2 cups long grain white rice
2 1/2 cups water
1 (14 oz) can coconut milk
1/2 TBS sugar
1 can red beans (drained and rinsed)

Instructions:

Combine water, coconut milk, and sugar in a saucepan.

Stir in rice and beans. Bring to a boil over medium heat.

Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 18-20 minutes, until rice is tender.


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Spanakopida

Making this, really made me miss our neighbor from Australia, Georgia. She is from Greece and while we were down in Australia, we always traded food. One of my favorites was her Spanakopida. It's a spinach pie with feta, dill, and other herbs and spices. When we left, she gave me a "Women's Weekly Greek Cooking" cookbook. I was craving some of Georgia's food, so decided to make this. It did NOT taste like hers, but it was ok. I did not have enough spinach and I think that made a big difference, so don't cheat with the spinach.


Preparation Time: 35 minutes
Bake Time: 20 minutes

Note: This recipe is a more difficult recipe. You will need to thaw your fillo dough out for a day prior to making this. Also when working with fillo dough, you need to take one sheet off and place a damp cloth on the rest to prevent the dough from drying out. You could probably use puff pastry if you don't want to work with fillo dough. 

Ingredients:

1.5 pounds (.75 kg) silver beet, chopped (I just used spinach)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium brown onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 oz (110 grams) feta cheese
1/8 cup chopped fresh mint
1/8 cup parsley
1/8 cup fresh dill
2 green onions, chopped finely
8 sheets fillo pastry
2 ounces (60 g) butter, melted or olive oil
sesame seeds

*I halved the recipe to fit in an 8 by 8 pan. If you double this, it will make a 9 by 13 pan full. 

Instructions:

Microwave spinach (with a tablespoon of water and plastic wrap over it) until just wilted. Squeeze out excess moisture and drain on a towel. 

Heat oil in small frying pan and cook brown onion and garlic until onion is soft. Add nutmeg and stir until fragrant. 
Combine feta, herbs, and green onion with onion mixture and spinach.
Preheat oven to 350*F (180*C) and grease bottom of pan.

Place one fillo sheet in the pan. Brush the sheet with butter or olive oil (or spray with butter flavored cooking spray) and lay another sheet on top. DON'T SKIP THIS STEP. Your dough will not cook. Repeat the process for four layers.  

Add spinach mixture. Place fillo sheet on top and repeat the process above for four layers.

Butter the top and sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
Bake for 20 minutes or until browned lightly. 
Sorry I didn't take too many pictures, I kind of got caught up in the process of it. I thought I would let you know that I found fillo dough in the frozen foods isle where the cool whip and pie stuff was. Same place as the puff pastry.



Friday, May 9, 2014

Chicken & Mango Curry

I didn't grow up eating curry. For one, there weren't too many places to get it where I am from and for two, I just thought it was super hot sauce with lots of stuff that I didn't like in it. The first time I had curry was at college when my roommate made it (I then requested it for my birthday dinner meal I liked it so much!). I realize now that there are so many different kinds of curries! There's Indian curry, Chinese curry, Thai curry, Japanese curry, dry curries, wet curries, the list goes on. I saw this recipe in a magazine in Australia and wanted to try it out, so I ripped it out of the magazine and brought it home with me. I don't know what country you would classify this curry under, so we will just not complicate things by categorizing it this time.


Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 lb (750g) chicken cut into bite size pieces*
1 (200g) brown onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder*
1/2 teaspoon ground chilies*
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon chicken stock powder*
1/2 cup (125 ml) boiling water
1/2 cup (125 ml) coconut milk
1 small mango chopped*
roasted unsalted cashew, to serve
cilantro leaves (coriander leaves), to serve
steamed rice, to serve

* Wow! Lots of asterisks on this one. First the chicken: Sometimes, I use less meat than it calls for and I just grabbed 3 pieces of chicken out of a bag (I am guessing it was 3/4-1 lb). Second, the curry powder: I totally got messed up and put in 1 1/2 Tablespoons instead of teaspoons, you'll notice that in the pictures. Just thought I should let you know. Third, the chilies: I didn't use them. I wasn't feeling like a spicy curry. Forth, the chicken stock powder: I couldn't find it, so I substituted 1 chicken bullion cube for the stock powder (I didn't look too hard though, so if you know where to get it, let me know please). Finally the mango: We LOVE mangos, so I used 2 medium sized ones :)

Instructions:

Start your rice so it can be done when your curry gets done. Sometimes I like coconut rice, so that's what I made for this curry.

Heat oil in large frying pan over high heat, then cook the chicken until it is browned. When it's done, remove from the pan.

Reduce heat to medium, add the onion and garlic to the pan. Cook, stirring until softened. Stir in the curry powder, chili, turmeric, and cinnamon. Cook and stir for 2 minutes.
Notice how there is heaps of curry powder...














Dissolve the stock powder (bullion cube) in the boiling water; add to the pan along with the coconut milk. Stir mixture until boiling.













Return the chicken to the pan and simmer over low heat for 3 minutes.













Serve the curry over rice and top with mango, cashews, and cilantro leaves.













We'll definitely make this again! Fast, simple, and Delicious!!!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Cheng's Dumplings

So remember this post about my Chicken fried rice? Well after eating Cheng's dumplings that night, I really wanted to put them on the blog. He was so kind to come over and make them again with me so I could jot down the recipe and so we could enjoy them again :)


Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb (.5 kg) ground/minced pork*
3 chopped green onions
2 cups finely chopped cabbage
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp soy sauce
1-2 tsp salt
1/2 cup corn (optional)
1 egg
oil
dumpling skin

* I don't know about you, but we can't go to our supermarket and pick up ground pork. If your store offers that, Awesome! If not, just ask someone at the meat counter for some ground pork and they will be happy to ground some for you.

Instructions:

Mix pork, onions, cabbage, garlic powder, soy sauce, salt, corn and egg together.













Take dumpling skin, add about a 1/2 spoonful of meat to the middle. Dip you fingers in water and wet the edges of the dumpling skin. Fold in half pressing the sides together and fold to insure that the seal is tight.














This process might be a little confusing, so here is Cheng himself showing us how it's done!
video

There are two ways you cook these. Cheng is from Taiwan and he says they like things fried, but boiling them also works.

Method One (Frying)
Heat oil on medium in a frying pan. Add the dumplings to the pan and let them get brown (3-5 minutes). Put some water in the pan and cover for 5 minutes (or until water is evaporated). Turn the dumplings over to brown on the other side (3-5 minutes). Serve hot :)


Method Two (Boiling)
Boil water. Add dumplings to pot. Boil for 10 minutes (or until all dumpling have raised to the top). Serve on a platter (so they don't stick to each other)



.










My husband prefers his dumplings fried. I like them both ways. Boiling them does give them a smooth texture. I also like the dumplings with or without the corn. The corn does give the dumplings a sweeter taste, but I didn't notice that big of a difference. The first time we ate them, we just put soy sauce on them.
This time Cheng made a special sauce with soy sauce, sesame sauce, and minced garlic. It was really good! It had a very savory taste. I recently got some sweet chili sauce (my favorite from when we lived in Australia!) and tried it on them. Boy, was it yummy! So just experiment with whatever sauces you have at home and Enjoy!
Thanks for helping me Cheng!