Thursday, October 27, 2011

Debdoozie's Blue Ribbon Chili

There's nothing better than a good bowl of chili on a cold fall day. A Home-made chili. I'm not taking about that hot red or green chili but this is a spicy stew. A dish that is enjoyed in many homes in America today and in many different ways.  

Chili used in other dishes :

  • Chili dog  - a topping over a hot dog
  • Chili Burger - burger topped with chili (usually without beans)
  • Chili Cheese Fries - added to fries and cheese
  • Chili Rice - chili served over white rice
  • Chili Mac - addition of macaroni or some other pasta
  • Frito pie - Frito corn chips with chili poured over the top.
  • Chili stuffed baked potato - stuffed chili with cheddar cheese, butter and chopped onions or green onions

I found this delicious recipe in Allrecipes. As mentioned by Ms Deb, " This is the tastiest, easiest chili recipe you'll ever find.". She's right about that. :)

Ingredients: Serves 8
2 pounds ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic salt
2 1/2 cups tomato sauce
1 (8 oz.) jar salsa
4 tbsp chili seasoning mix
1 (15 ounce) can chili beans, drained (the recipe called for kidney beans, I don't like kidney beans so I used chili beans)

In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the ground beef and the onion ans saute for 10 minutes, or until meat is browned and onion is tender. Drain grease, if desired.
Add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well, reduce heat to low and simmer for at least 1 hour. 
Serve warm with a toast or crackers.

Original recipe can be found here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Vietnamese Deep Fried Spring Rolls ~ Cha Gio

When I came back from Singapore last month, I had made a pit stop to visit my girlfriends in Anaheim and Santa Monica, CA, before flying again to TN. While I was there, we went to an Asian store close to my girlfriend's home. I bought a few items (making sure not too many because I was not willing to pay for the access baggage.. hehe) and a package of Vietnamese deep fried spring roll wrapper was one of the them. 

Vietnamese Deep Fried Spring Rolls are wheat-free. Serve them as appetizers or as snacks. To eat, each person puts a spring roll on a lettuce leaf, adding some of the herbs. Roll them up and dipped in the sauce before eating. Delicious!

7 1/2 oz very thin bean thread noodles (in small skeins, also known as cellophane or mung bean noodles)
2 oz dried wood ear mushrooms
1 medium shallot
2 garlic cloves
2 cups shredded carrots (4 to 5 carrots)
1 lb ground chicken
1/4 cup Asian fish sauce (preferably from Phu Quoc)
1/4 cup plus 1 tsp sugar
2 1/2 tsps black pepper
2 tsps salt
1 lb cooked crab meat, picked clean or coarsely chopped raw shrimp
25 pieces rice paper 
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
About 6 cups vegetable oil

Prepare filling:
Put noodles in a large bowl and cover with hot water by several inches. Soak, pulling noodles apart and stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Drain noodles and cut into 2- to 3-inch pieces (you should have about 3 cups), then transfer to another large bowl.

Put mushrooms in a bowl and cover with hot water by several inches. Soak 15 minutes. Drain and rinse mushrooms thoroughly, then drain again. Trim off and discard any hard parts from mushrooms. Finely chop mushrooms. (You should have about 2 cups.) Add to noodles.

Pulse shallot and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped, then add to noodles along with carrots, chicken, fish sauce, sugar, pepper, and salt. Pulse shrimp in processor until coarsely ground. (Do not overprocess or it will become pasty.) Add shrimp to noodle mixture. Mix with your hands until well combined. Chill filling, covered with plastic wrap, until cold.

Assemble rolls:
Line 2 trays with wax paper.

Transfer one fourth of filling to a small bowl and keep remainder chilled, covered. Wet the rice paper in a bowl of water. Allow a few seconds for it to get pliable and then put in the filling. Do only one at a time. If you try to moisten them all at once, they will get mushy by the time you get to wrapping them. (lesson learnt!! My first few was mushy.. LoL!). Put about 2 tsp of the filling across the wider part of the wedge rice paper, or across each round rice paper, placing it about 3cm from the bottom edge. Roll the edge over the filling, then fold over the sides of the rice paper and roll up tightly. Place the seam side down on the wax paper. Do not stack the rolls.

Put the heat on medium-high so that the wrappers can puff up and become flaky, then they'll turn golden. By the time wrappers are crispy golden, the filling should be cooked. Fry rolls in batches of 5 or 6, keeping rolls apart during first minute of frying to prevent sticking, until golden brown and cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes.
Drain on a brown paper or paper towel and drain the rolls upright 2 to 3 minutes before serving.

To eat, wrap hot or warm rolls in lettuce leaves and tuck in mint and cilantro leaves. Serve with dipping sauce.

## I made some changes from the recipe that I used. Read more from epicurious.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Croissant and chocolate bread pudding

  • Bread and butter pudding is one of Britain's oldest traditional family desserts. This is one of our favorite dessert too because it is delicious and simple to make. Making bread pudding is also a good way to use up day-old bread. 

  • I've used croissants instead of white bread for yesterday's bread pudding. It is a wonderfully take on the classic. Croissants is also easy to get in many groceries store. Here is the recipe that I used to make my croissant and chocolate bread pudding. :)

  • Ingredients: 
  • Unsalted butter for the baking dish
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • croissants, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1 pound)
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into chunks, (I used mini chocolate chips)

  • Heat oven to 375° F. Butter an 8-inch square or other shallow 2-quart baking dish.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, milk, cream, sugar, vanilla, salt, and nutmeg. Add the croissants and chocolate and mix to combine.
  • Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and bake until set and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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