Monday, April 21, 2008

Cooking: Shrimp Toasts and Partying Pics

On Saturday, C and JTT invited me over for a game night of Pictionary. I wanted to make something different to snack on rather than my usual BBQ pork pastries. Since we now get BBC on cable, I've been watching F-Word. On a particular episode, Gordon Ramsey shows how to make an easy appetizer of shrimp toasts. You basically grind up some raw shrimp, add flavorings that you like, spread it onto slices of bread and coat the shrimp with sesame seeds. Easy enough, now to find a recipe that I like online. I found a Thai mother and daughter video that shows how to make authentic Thai food. You can see the video here:

I was worried about making these and transporting them to the party since they are deep fried. However, when I brought them to the party, people devoured and loved them! I was really happy with how they came out and I'm definitely adding them to my list of things to make for parties. Here are a couple pictures of them.

The party was fantastic and I enjoyed spending time with this particular group. They're so full of energy! We played Pictionary and sipped on wine throughout the evening and ended up playing some weird Mario board game on the N64 system. I didn't get how to play and the wine was swimming in my head. I don't think we went to bed until 3am! That's the latest I've stayed up in a long time. Thanks goes to C and JTT for inviting me over for an awesome weekend! You guys rox0rz my b0x0rz!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Cooking: Sweet & Spicy Pork Noodles

Today, Justyn was supposed to go eat Mexican food with his friends so that meant that I could have whatever I wanted for dinner. He doesn't exactly like eating aZn food twice in a row, so I decided to either hunt down a recipe or go out for Vietnamese food. The thing is that I needed dryer sheets so I opted to cook. I found a Ming Tsai recipe online by searching for pork noodles. Sounds good to me!

I picked up some serrano chilies (they didn't have Thai bird chilies), a couple shallots (the red onions were too big), 1 1/2 lb. of ground pork, black bean garlic sauce (they didn't have fermented black beans), and some stir-fry noodles (they didn't have egg noodles). So as you can see, I went to Lucky instead of Marina to get my groceries. I was a bit down because they didn't have all the ingrediants I wanted, but I also went in knowing they wouldn't.
I started by boiling water for my noodles and chopping up the vegetation. I combined the black bean garlic paste with grated ginger, minced garlic and serrano peppers. I also did a fine dice on the shallots and chopped up some scallion that I had leftover from yesterday's recipe. Do you like my froggy cup? Hehe..

I stir fried the ground pork until it was fully cooked and then seasoned it with salt and pepper. I didn't understand why the recipe said nothing about seasoning it to begin with so I used common sense here. I removed the cooked pork to set it aside.

Next, I added the serrano peppers, garlic, ginger, shallots and black bean garlic paste. Delicious, mouth watering aromas filled the kitchen immediately. My stomach growled but I had to finish in order to eat! Then I added a 1/3 of a cup of Chinese rice wine and let that reduce. Aw shit... I forgot to get Hoisin sauce. Grrr... Instead I used oyster sauce which I already had on hand. I know for a fact that Hoisin is sweeter than oyster sauce, so I added some honey to sweeten it up.

The pork went back into the mix along with 1 cup of chicken stock. Now, the recipe says to let it simmer until the mixture thickens, but I let it go for 5 minutes and it wasn't getting thicker.

So... I added cornstarch slurry to thicken it up. I let it simmer a bit and then added my chopped scallions.

Oh yeah and somewhere in between all that, I cooked an drained the noodles.

Plating time! I put the noodles at the bottom of the bowl and then topped it with the pork. A little garnish with some more green onion and you got dinner! It's such an easy recipe for another weeknight dinner and really delicious. There are so many different flavors going on. I've even got some for tomorrow's lunch! Justyn had a bit to try it and he didn't really like it, but then again, he didn't have a clear reason for it. Whatever... he wasn't supposed to be eating it anyway. On a side note, it turns out that his dinner plans got cancelled so it looks like he'll be eating last night's leftovers for dinner haha!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Cooking: Thai Chicken Saute

Ah.. what to do for dinner? I need something quick, Asian flavored and somewhat healthy. Hmm... Well, while I was doing my daily drive-by at, I stumbled upon a picture that caught my eye. Thai Chicken Saute. Sounds good.... let's click on the picture to get the recipe. Ohh, it was from Cooking Light too. Perfect! I'm making it.

I go to Lucky to grab my ingrediants. Chicken tenders, broccoli, cilantro, limes, onion, ginger, garlic, Sriracha and coconut milk. I was supposed to get light coconut milk, but whatever.

I started by cooking some Thai white rice in the rice cooker and then prepped my ingrediants.

I also boiled some water so that I could quickly blanch some broccoli florets for a quick and easy side dish.

After that, I sauteed the chicken tenders in a little canola oil. By the way, they marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, cornstarch and a touch of honey. The recipe says to use fish sauce, but the kind I had on hand is too salty and not a lot of depth in flavor.

I put the cooked chicken on the side and sauteed my onions, garlic and grated ginger.

The chicken goes back in....

And then you add the sauce mixture of coconut milk, lime juice, sugar and Sriracha.

I plated it up with a bowl of rice, broccoli and the chicken. Flavor wise, it could've used a touch bit more soy sauce but I didn't want the sauce to overpower the chicken. It had tartness from the lime juice, sweet from the coconut milk and honey and deep flavor with the onion, garlic and ginger. Yum! I'll definitely be making this again.


PS - Blogger is pissing me off. Look at the format!! Ugh... on top of that, I can't upload more than one picture at a time.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Finally! New Camera and Party Pics

I finally got my new camera (SD1000) from The best thing about this camera so far is that it only cost me $156.08 + free shipping. I still have to play around with the settings to get pictures the come out the way I want, but here's a comparison shot of some BBQ pork pastries that I made a couple weeks ago, and some I made yesterday morning.

We arrived at Jason's house to meet everyone up for Golfland. People had already started drinking, but I wanted to take it easy so I wouldn't pass out before everyone else hehe. Golfland was fun although it was a bit too warm outside. I'll post up some pictures from Golfland later. I didn't bring my camera there.

When we got back to Jason's house, the debaucheries began. Well not quite. Me, and a couple others helped Jason prep ingrediants for his falafels. He had a huge pot of lamb stewing away. It smelled divine. I still need to get that recipe from him. He also had some ground beef, cucumber tzaziki sauce, fennel and some other fixins going. For starters, he also made hummus with veggies and pita bread.

Oh yeah, and he also had this bacon brittle he made. Suprisingly, it works. Actually, I wasn't very suprised that it worked because people always mop up leftover maple syrup with their bacon. At least, I do that.

I had put out my BBQ pork pastries so that everyone could try ONE piece. Yeah, that didn't go so well. People who ate one piece kept on going back for more and those that didn't get to try one, lost out. I received tons of compliments for these puppies so that made me feel good :) Thanks again to Tigerfish for the recipe!

Dinner was finally ready and everyone was starving. It was served buffet style and the line was long but well worth the wait. I sampled some of the lamb bones that had been stewing for several hours and they were really unctuous. The falafels were really good too albeit a little crumbly. I went back for seconds mmm.... (OK, to be honest, this isn't the most flattering picture of the food, but that's the only picture I had of the food plated.)

My sister came by with my nephew Oscar. I had forgot to bring Oscar's present (a puppy towel from but it was good to see them.

Justyn and I were tired from being in the sun for most of the day so we left around 10:30pm. Thanks to Jason and Dave for having us over again! Their parties are always so much fun, but being old timers, we can't party as much as we used to hehe. Here are just some random pics throughout the weekend. Oh yeah and if some of the pictures look weird, it's because I took them upside down hehe. I got bored at work and uploaded them one at a time. Ugh...