Category Archives: Cooking At Home

Char Siu or Chinese Bar-B-Que Chicken

Since moving to the ‘Middle Of The Desert’, I have been looking for ways to make dishes and/or ingredients that I use in dishes inspired by Hawaii.  One dish or ingredient that I’ve been experimenting with is Char Siu or Chinese Bar-B-Que. I’ve made mention that I’ve tried acoupla different sauces or dry mixes that season the meat to achieve the desired flavor.

[photo credit to Walmart.com]

On this go `round, I tried Lee Kum Kee Char Siu Sauce.

My favorite Green Grocer had lovely little Organic Chickens on sale and you know me already, a light bulb went off over my head  💡 … let’s try Char Siu Chicken.  I was going to make it Huli Huli Style but the Monsoon storms finally started and they can be very unpredictable, so I  tossed the birdie in the oven in stead.

I marinated the deconstructed whole Chicken in a half jar of the Lee Kum Kee sauce for three days and then roasted it off at 375° until the breast meat reached 165° and the dark meat got to 175° … DONE!  I mean come on man, how ONO  (delicious in Hawaiian 😉 ) does that look?!

Looks pretty, but the taste isn’t quite there, for me nor DH anyways.  So, what to do with all of this Chicken you ask?

Fried Rice! 

Mise en place or everything in place before you start is always a good bet.

HEH!  What happened to the photograph of our finished product?

OOPS!  Sorry, I got so excited, I forgot that part of this story, but you know how it all goes, right?

WHOA! That’s alot of Fried Rice

[File Photo]

I packed up some of our trial run Char Siu Chicken Fried Rice to share with the gals in our Community’s Office and then we had the rest for our lunch.  DH wasn’t all that thrilled with this version, “I like Char Siu Pork!  Stick with tradition!” 😀

 

 

 

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Auntie Doni’s Somen Salad

In Hawaii, there are many cultures that have influenced the cuisine there.  Japanese-style dishes are just one of them that I really enjoy. Since it’s already starting to heat up here in My Kitchen In The Middle Of The Desert, this recipe came to mind recently and I thought I’d share this lovely cold salad to add to your Summer menu.

 

Auntie Doni’s Somen Salad

Serves 3

Salad Ingredients:

½ of a package of Somen Noodles

1 C. Lettuce, shredded

½ C. each, Carrots, Char Siu or Chinese BBQ Pork, Kamaboko or Steamed Fish Cake, julienne

1 C. Hot House Cucumbers, julienne

1 Egg

1 pinch each, Dashi Powder and granulated Sugar

2 stalks of Green Onion, sliced finely

1 tsp. Sesame Seeds

 

Prepare the Noodles, following the directions on the package; drain well and set aside.

Beat the Egg along with the Dashi Powder and Sugar.  Cook up as a flat omelette, cool and julienne finely; set aside.

[I always use Aloha Brand Shoyu in all of my recipes]

Dressing Ingredients:

⅓ C. Chicken Broth

1 Tbsp. each, Rice Vinegar, Soy Sauce, granulated Sugar, Sesame Oil

Heat the Broth in the microwave for 30 seconds or less, just enough to dissolve the sugar.

Combine as of the Dressing ingredients in a tightly sealing jar; set aside.

Now that you have everything together, or what’s called your Mise en Place, it’s time to assemble our salads.  Be sure that all of the ingredients are well chilled.

I like to make individual salads, but you can combine all of the above as one big Family-style salad and let everyone serve themselves.  Dress your salads just before serving though.

Now this is just how I do it, you put yours together how you feel is best.  I like to start with the shredded Lettuce in a bowl, with the Noodles next; then artfully arrange all of the “goodies”.  

You could stop at this point, cover, stash them in the `fridge and serve later.  This is a great make-ahead dish for dinner or even a potluck.

When your ready to eat this gorgeous looking creation, spoon the Dressing over the top and combine everything well.  I find that using my hands works best, but it’s up to you.

This is quite a refreshing salad and it’s also surprisingly filling.

The toppings of the salad can be whatever your family craves.  What about Shrimp or Crab; some folks use cooked Spam®, Deli Ham, Cilantro, Mung Bean Sprouts, or even go Vegetarian and use Tofu — you decide.

Our family likes loads of goodies, no matter the kind.

ENJOY!

Aloha Shoyu Brand Guava Pineapple Teriyaki Glaze

I had seen this new-ish product put out by my most favorite Soy Sauce Company from Hawaii; it took me awhile to find it, but I did when we were in Peoria at Lee Lee’s.

I also stocked up on my favorite Shoyu or Soy Sauce as you may call it, YEAH!!!

So let’s get cookin’ …

I marinated Boneless-Skinless Chicken Thighs in the Glaze for a good 24 hours, and then grilled the meat.

I had bought a fresh Pineapple and chunked it for snacking on, and thought that It would make a tasty side to the Guava Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken.

Never have I ever  made Grilled Pineapple before, really!  It was ONO!

I served it all up with some Fried Rice and called it

DELICIOUS!

If you can’t find Aloha Shoyu Brand Guava Pineapple Teriyaki Glaze in your market, try here:

Guava Pineapple Teriyaki Glaze – 20 oz

ENJOY!

Turkey Breast En Cocotte Ala ATK

I have to admit that I do not have a subscription to America’s Test Kitchen, but I do watch their shows, streaming on our Smart TV.  If I see a dish that I think would get a thumbs-up at our table, I grab a pen and note pad to write it down as they go along.

This one’s a keeper for sure!

Turkey Breast En Cocotte

serves 3-4 people

1 Fresh split Turkey Breast (don’t get Turkey that’s been ‘enhanced’ with Salt Solution)

Salt and Pepper to taste

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

1 small Onion, rough chopped

1 Large Carrot, peeled and rough chopped

1 rib of Celery, rough chopped

6 Garlic Cloves, crushed

2 sprigs of fresh Thyme

1 Bay Leaf

Wash and pat dry the Turkey and then season well with Salt and Pepper, all over.

In a Dutch Oven, heat the Oil over medium-high heat, place the Turkey skin side down; sprinkle in the veggies all around the meat along with the Thyme and Bay Leaf.  Brown the Turkey on all sides, this will take anywhere from 10-15 minutes, stirring the veg too so that they don’t get over done.

Once the Bird is nicely golden, turn it skin side up and cover the pot tightly with foil to get a good seal and trap in all the moisture.  Cover the Dutch Oven with its lid and roast the Bird in a preheated oven at 250° for 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 hours, or until the Turkey registers 165° internal temperature.

Remove the Turkey Breast to a board and tent with foil to keep it warm.

Place the pot back on the stovetop over medium heat and reduce the Turkey juices and veg for 15 minutes.

Now comes the gravy, and isn’t that the best part about eating Turkey?

Gravy

1/4 C. All Purpose Flour

4 C. Chicken Broth

Sprinkle the Flour over the now reduced juices and veggies, stirring constantly and cook for 2-5 minutes, until the Flour turns nice a toasty-brown.  Slowly pour in the broth, whisking all the while.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the gravy for 10-15 minutes, until it reduces down to about 2 1/2 cups.  Pour the finished gravy through a sieve and remove the vegetables.

Serve it up how your family likes, we like some Mashed Potatoes, Corn, Stuffing Casserole and Pillsbury Crescent Rolls.

This Turkey is the most moist, juicy, delicious I’ve ever made, really!

Oven Roasted Brocolli

Have you ever had a big stalk of Broccoli and thought to yourself, meh, not so much.  My husband really likes Broccoli, me, I could take it or leave it.  I was trying to think up another way to prepare this veggie so that I would enjoy them too.

Now, I oven roast Potatoes, so why not Broccoli too?  Let’s try this …

This may sound very elementary, but I’d never thought to do this before, really!

I lined a half sheet pan with Tin Foil, broke that huge bunch of Broccoli down into manageable pieces, tossed it all with good Olive Oil and Miners Mix Steak & Veggie Seasoning & Rub and a bit of Black Pepper.  I had already pre-heated the oven to 400°, so in it went for about 20 minutes, give or take … check for doneness by piercing the stalk with a sharp knife.

Can you see those nice bits of brown goodness, that equals flavor?!

YUM!

Embrace your vegetables, try cooking them in a different way, maybe, just maybe you’ll enjoy them more.

Chicken and Snow Pea Stir-Fry

I’ve been thinking a lot about Cheap & Friendly Family Meals lately.  So many households need quick and inexpensive meal ideas; may I humbly suggest this one?

Auntie Doni’s Chicken and Snow Pea Stir-Fry

serves 4

3 B/S Chicken Thighs, diced

1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil

8 oz. package Fresh Snow Peas

2 Garlic Cloves, thinly sliced

3 Green Onion, chopped and divided

1/2 Tbsp. fresh Ginger, grated fine

1/4 tsp. White Pepper

1/4 C. Low Sodium Soy Sauce (you know we like Aloha Shoyu best!)

1/4 C. Chicken Broth

1/2 Tbsp. Corn Starch

1/2 tsp. Sesame Oil

 

In a large fry pan over medium-high, heat the Oil just til you see wisps of smoke. Sauté the Chicken until it get a little brown.  Now goes in the Snow Peas, Garlic, Ginger, half of the Green Onions and White Pepper, toss them with the Chicken and add maybe 2 tablespoons of water and cover.  Steam the veg to crisp-tender, this should take like 1-2 minutes, tops.

Combine the Shoyu, Broth and Corn Starch in a small bowl or measuring cup; pour over the Chicken and Veg and stir to combine.  The sauce will thicken and coat everything nicely.

Remove the pan from the heat and drizzle the Sesame Oil and sprinkle the remaining Green Onions over your finished dish.

Serve with Steamed Rice, Noodles or just by itself.

Here’s the break down of this dish:

Chicken $2.00 + Snow Peas $2.98 + everything else $1.50 = $6.48/4 servings = $1.64

WOW!!   😮

As always, a recipe is simply some else’s idea, you take it and make it your own.  Change out the protein and/or the veg, like Shrimp and Asparagus or Beef and Broccoli, the sky’s the limit.

 

**Cook’s note: if you like a saucier dish, double the Soy Sauce, Broth and Corn Starch.

Kielbasa and Cabbage

I was poking around again at Walmart and found this

We’ve eaten at Dickey’s BBQ Pit before and I thought that their Smoked Sausage wasn’t bad, hmmm

What if I made a Kielbasa and Cabbage dish with this?

YUM!

That was delicious !!  Oh, maybe I should write this down  😀

 

Auntie Doni’s Kielbasa and Cabbage

4 servings

1 Kielbasa (Dickey’s BBQ Smoked Sausage), sliced

2 C. Onion, chopped

2-3 C. Cabbage, chopped

2 Garlic Cloves, minced

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

1 tsp. Smoked Paprika

S & P to taste

 

In a Dutch Oven, heat 1 tablespoon of Olive oil over medium-high; sauté the Sausage until just crisp, remove to a plate and set aside

Add the remaining Oil and sauté the Onions until just starting to brown

Next add the Cabbage, Sausage, along with the Garlic and Paprika, give it all a good stir; turn the heat down to medium-low and cook until the Cabbage is crisp-tender.

Season to taste and serve

I like to serve this dish over wide Egg Noodles and maybe a nice piece of bread.

This is also a cheap & friendly family meal!  Here’s how I figure it:

Dickey’s Smoked Polish Sausage $2.98

Cabbage, Onion, Garlic, Spices $2.17

Wide Egg Noodles $0.50

Total $5.65 divided by 4 = $1.41 per serving, WOW!!   😮 

And as always, remember that a recipe is simply someone else’s idea, you take it and make it your own

ENJOY!