Monday, July 18, 2016

Stir Fried Noodles with Pork


















Ingredients

16 oz pork loin
1 cup bean sprouts
2 scallions
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon red vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon shaoxing wine
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
8 ozs Hong Kong Style Egg Noodles
3 tablespoons peanut oil


Directions

Mix one tablespoon of the soy sauce with the mirin and red vinegar.
Cube the pork loin into bite size pieces and marinate it in the soy sauce mixture for one hour
Bring two quarts of water to a boil and boil the noodles in it for 1-2 minutes.
Drain the noodles, rinse them and reserve
Heat a wok to high temperature and add 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil
Stir fry the pork for two to three minutes or until cooked through.  Set aside
Mix the other tablespoon of soy sauce with the dark soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, sugar, wine and white pepper.  Set aside
Add the rest of the peanut oil to the wok and stir fry the scallions (diced) for a minute.
Add the noodles and stir fry until they begin to crisp a bit.
Add the second soy sauce mixture and stir fry for another minute
Return pork to wok and heat through
Add the bean sprouts to the wok and serve immediately.


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Smoked Salmon Mousse in Mold





















Those of you that visit An Eat'n Man regular like may have noticed we favor a retro sort of theme here in a lot of the artwork featured on the blog.  Well, I'm also a fan of old school, retro food dishes, and like to feature some of those from time to time.

Well, nothing says retro like a molded, savory gelatin dish.

Such things were all the rage back in the 50s and 60s, and they sort of freak people out a little today.  For instance, check out these two period ads:


Yes, that's lime jello and tuna.  I know, weird.

Anyhoo, this salmon recipe I'm offering may look like it deserves to be condemned to history with these other molded dishes, but I have to tell you, it is surprisingly good.  I'd been telling the wife that I'd wanted to try a molded salmon mousse for a while, so last Christmas she got me a mold as one of my presents.




Doesn't everyone need a fish-shaped mold.  Of course they do.

Anyway, with mold in head I tried a salmon mousse recipe from one of my old retro cookbooks, enhancing it a bit by adding some smoked salmon, dill and capers, and it came out dyn-O-mite!  great salmon flavor.  I made it again recently for a party, and it was a hit.  This is one retro recipe that deserves a place her in the present.



Ingredients


2 tablespoons butter
1.5 packets unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons onion, minced
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons fresh dill
3 tablespoons capers
15 oz salmon
4 oz smoked salmon
1 cup heavy cream

Note, I've using some high quality salmon in this recipe, such as the stuff that comes in the foil packets, which is tasty, healthy and bone free.  If you're tempted to save a buck and use the canned stuff, like this,



Don't.  The canned stuff is much lower quality and is chock full of bones, which you'll either have to pick out or serve to your guests--neither a good option.  Finally you can use fresh salmon if you have it available, but be sure to pick out those pin bones.



Directions

Grease a 6-cup fish mold with butter.

Mince the onion:



Add regular and smoked salmon to a food processor:



And pulse this until the fish is well broken up into small granules.

Soften the gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water.



Add 1/2 cup boiling water and stir until the gelatin has dissolved.



Add the mayonnaise,



and the lemon juice, onion, hot sauce, Worcestershire, paprika, and salt and mix well.



Fold in the salmon and capers and dill.



Add the whipped cream



and continue folding until everything is well combined.



.



Pour the mixture into the prepared mold.



Smooth everything out:



Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 8 hours.

Delicately invert the mold and onto a platter, tapping it to release the mousse.  You can then garnish the platter with more dill or similar.  I also like to decorate the fish by using some lemon peel slices to make tail fins and a mouth, and use an olive slice for an eye.



.



You can also sprinkle a little more smoked paprika on the midsection for a tasty, decorative effect.



Until next time,


Chris




Saturday, May 28, 2016

Penne Pasta with Vodka Sauce



























Vodka sauce is quite the trendy sauce these days--perhaps because vodka itself has become so trendy of late.  But you may ask yourself, "the best vodkas are basically colorless, odorless and tasteless...how could they be contributing any flavor to a tomato based sauce?

Well, the key is basic chemistry.  Now, I'm no chemist, but here's what I've gathered in doing a little research.  Tomatoes, those wonderful little red balls of deliciousness, have what you might call some untasteable flavors that are hidden away within.  Just cooking the tomatoes isn't enough to bring out these flavors--they require a catalyst--in this case alcohol, because those flavor compounds are alcohol-soluble, meaning they show up for duty when we add a little booze to the sauce.

Now, folks have been doing this for centuries by adding wine to their tomato dishes, and that works great--but wine also adds flavor compounds of its own, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, if that's the flavor your going for, but if you want, dear friends, the most prefect, unadulterated tomato flavor experience you've ever had, make some vodka sauce.  Your taste buds will be slap-happy with tomato goodness.



Ingredients

1 cup vodka
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion
3 oz prosciutto
1 large garlic clove
2 tablespoons fresh basil
28 ounce crushed tomatoes
28 oz tomato sauce
1 cup heavy cream
salt
pepper
8 oz Penne Pasta



Heat the olive oil in a skillet.

Dice your onion...



And julienne your prosciutto...



and sauté them both in the oil until the onions are starting to clear and turn golden.



mince basil and add it to the skillet



mince garlic and add that to the skillet as well



add crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce



add the vodka



let simmer covered for 20 minutes.  The bulk of the alcohol with boil away, but in the process it will bring out those alcohol-soluble tomato flavors.

add heavy cream







And cook a few more minutes to heat through.



cook the pasta according to package directions while the sauce is cooking.  Serve the sauce over the pasta with some Parmesan and a little more basil if you like.



Until next time,


Chris



Monday, May 9, 2016

Greek Lemon Chicken w/Dill Sauce























Ah, Greece!  I've been fortunate enough to travel there a few times over the years, but nothing matches my first visit, way back in 1994.  I was a young pup then, barely out of college, and our Greece stop came at the tail end of a world wind tour of Europe that started in England and wound its way down through France, Switzerland, Italy and then finally the land of Apollo and Athena--Greece.




The Eat'n Man, with friend, at the Parthenon in Athens, Greece, June 1994  

We spent a week on the Greek Island of Poros, a sort of backwater of the Aegean Sea, but relaxing enough after our travels.   There was a little grill located at our so called 'resort,' but we never found it that satisfying.  Luckily there was a single, sleepy little town on the island where we could dine on some better fare.

My memory is hazy from then (the Ouzo flowed freely) but if I recall correctly, it was there that I had a delicious lemon chicken dish with dill sauce.  I've tried to recreated it here.  It may not be exact, but it's pretty close.

Ingredients

Lemon Chicken

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon Cavender's Greek seasoning
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper


Dill Sauce

1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped
1 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 garlic clove, minced
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper


Directions

Cube your chicken breasts into 3/4 to 1 inch cubes.



Place them in a large freezer bag.



Mix 3 tablespoons lemon juice with the red wine vinegar and 1 tablespoon olive oil.
Crush two cloves of garlic and add these to the mix.
Stir in the oregano and Cavender's Greek seasoning, salt and pepper.
Add this mixture to the chicken, toss to coat and marinate in the fridge for for three hours.

Fire up your charcoal grill with a medium fire and arrange the marinated chicken onto skewers.



Grill Chicken over medium fire until cooked.



Garnish with a little chopped fresh parsley if you like. Serve with dill sauce.


Dill Sauce:



For the sauce, chop your fresh dill, leaving out the thicker stems.



Add the fresh chopped dill to the yogurt, juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 minced garlic clove.






Mix thoroughly.



Let sauce rest in fridge one hour before serving.


So that's it, a delicious yet simple dish that hearkens back to that Hellenic Hot Spot, Greece.

Until next time,

Opa!

Chris





Thursday, April 28, 2016

Parmesan Ranch Pork Chops



















Who remembers Shake 'n Bake, that unique if not silly little product that brought so much fun and flavor to family life in the 60s and 70s?  It was even touted as a health food, as it was meant to be a substitute for frying pork or chicken.  Adverts of the day joyously hawked Shake 'n Bake as they showed mothers and children blithely preparing dinner, and it couldn't be any simpler.  The commercial would usually end with the child uttering the catchphrase "And I helped," sometimes in such a painfully bastardized Southern accent that it grated on my true Southern ears.



Well, last I checked, S&B is still around, and I must admit that before I got into gourmet cooking I used it a time or two as an adult.  I actually never got to utter that phrase 'And I helped," vis a vis Shake 'n Bake, as my mother never bought it.  She was more into frying things like pork chops and chicken anyway, but otherwise was too frugal to shell out whatever they charged for S&B back in the 60s and 70s.  She probably figured "why pay 39 cents for something I can make with breadcrumbs and some seasoning?"

Well, with Shake 'n Bake running a few bucks a box these days, that logic couldn't be any sounder.  Plus, you can make something much better in minutes than what comes in that S&B box, and avoid things like high fructose corn syrup and Thiamin Mononitrate (whatever that is),

So, anyhoo, this really isn't a Shake 'n Bake clone recipe--there's no shaking involved, just dredging, and we also have a marinating step in Ranch Dressing.  I like to make my own Ranch (homemade is always better these days, no?) but it only lasts a few days since there are no preservatives, so this recipe is a great way to use it up before it turns.  Otherwise, store-bought is fine for this recipe, so don't fret.



Ingredients


2 Pork Chops
1/2 Cup Ranch Dressing
1 Cup Panko Breadcrumbs
1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
1 Teaspoon Rubbed Sage
1/2 Teaspoon Salt


Directions

Pat Pork Chops dry.  I'm using boneless here, but bone in would be fine--just remember there's a bone in there under all that coating when you're done.  Pour Ranch Dressing in plastic bag and add pork chops.



Toss to coat chops.

Let chops marinate for a few hours in the bags inside your fridge


Preheat oven to 450F

Mix remaining dry ingredients in a bowl.  Dry sage is fine here.  Make sure to use Panko breadcrumbs instead of regular--they'll make a much better breading.



Dredge the ranch-coated pork chops in the breading...





...until it is well-coated with the cheese/breadcrumb mixture.



Bake for 20 minutes at 450F, then reduce heat to 350F and continue to bake until pork chops are done (140F on a meat thermometer)



Note, I'm using pretty thick chops in this recipe, about 3/4 to 1 inch, so the cooking time shown above is merited for that thickness.  If you use thinner chops, such as those really thin 'family value' chops grocery stores sometimes sell, check the temp sooner, like at 15 minutes.  If you don't have a meat thermometer, watch for the juices to run clear as a sign of doneness.  (you really should have a meat thermometer, though!)

Anyhoo, serve them up with some hearty sides, like the green beans and mashed potatoes we've served here.



Until next time,


Chris