Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday's Soft Boiled Egg


Sunday breakfast....because I'm too lazy to actually cook anything else.  Couldn't even be bothered to make little toast soldiers.  Oh well, next time. Happy Sunday!  Is it nap time yet??  

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Kabocha Squash Creme Caramel

The hubs is out of town and I'm enjoying a nice relaxing three day weekend. That means I can lounge all day in grubby clothes, not cook, and watch old TV shows on Netflix. But, not to be a total sloth I set aside two things that I had to do.

#1:  Clean out my closet. Donate any pieces of clothing that either didn't fit or I didn't wear anymore.  By some miracle, I managed to knock that chore out yesterday.  It also doubled as my exercise for the week. Check! Check!

#2:  Sort through the vacation and food pictures on my digital camera.

I was juggling between episodes of Bizarre Foods and sorting when I found my kabocha squash pics.  Actually, I found a lot of blog worthy photos that I have forgotten about.  I predict I shall be back blogging for months to come.

I found out about the kabocha (Japanese winter squash) through two of my Twitter friends sherimiya and burp_excuzme.  They are both  in California where this squash can be easily found at any store. Unfortunately for me, I had to hunt for it.  There were tons and tons of acorn and butternut squashes but no kabocha. After a long, long search and covering many miles I finally found it at a fancy "overpriced" organic health food store.  I paid $8 U.S. dollars for my beautiful little squash.  OK I finally found it.  Now what the heck was I going to do with it?  As if she read my mind, Ms. Burp_excuzme tweeted a recipe she found in the L.A. Times for Kabocha Creme Caramel.  The recipe can be found here.



It looks a lot like an acorn or buttercup squash doesn't it?  The sweetness might have been a bit stronger though.  Let me tell you I feared for my fingers.  This squash was rock hard.  I literally pounded my knife through it.  There was a lot of banging and slamming of the squash on my cutting board.  Later someone suggested I microwave it for 3 minutes to make it softer for easy slicing.


The recipe says to bake for an hour and a half.  I think mine was done at an hour 10 minutes.  I guess baking time varies with each oven.  I think any longer in the oven and the caramel would have become burnt tasting and bitter.  To me this tasted just like rich, creamy flan.  The kabocha flavor itself was very mild.  I think next time I will use more squash puree.  On another note, if you like flan but don't want all the fat, this recipe might be really handy because unlike flan, you don't need the condensed, evaporated milk, and cream cheese.  Actually, I would even consider this "health" food.  Technically you're eating a vegetable right??   Yeah, I know.  I'm stretching it a bit.  Haha!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Mussels with Chorizo

I love mussels.  It's one of my favorite seafoods.  I'd eat it all the time if it wasn't such a pain in the ass to clean.  I'll spend a good half hour at the sink scraping "stuff" off the shells and de-bearding them. No good...because I'm a lazy cook.

Normally when I make them at home, I'll stir fry the mussels in a spicy mixture of chili and oyster sauce with green onions.  I'll post the recipe after I make it again and actually write down all the ingredients and measurements.  I usually just eyeball everything and constantly taste as I go.


For dinner tonight I wanted to try cooking the mussels a different way.  I remembered seeing Sunny Anderson on Food Network cook up her mussels in wine and chorizo.

Mussels with Chorizo
Sunny Anderson

Ingredients

  • 2 (5-pound) bags mussels
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound spicy Mexican chorizo, casing removed
  • 1 Vidalia onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, slivered
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bottle dry white wine
  • Parsley, chopped, for garnish 
Directions

Working, 1 at a time, scrub any grit from shells under running water. Discard open mussels that do not close with a few taps of the finger and any with cracked shells. Put the mussels in a bowl of cold water.
Heat the oil in a large wide pot over medium-high heat and add the chorizo. Using a wooden spoon or potato masher, mash the chorizo into chunks, so it resembles ground beef. Saute until brown, about 8 minutes. Remove chorizo to a bowl. In the same pot, add the onion and garlic and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Saute 3 minutes to sweat. Deglaze the pan with the wine. Pull the mussels from bowl and transfer them and the water to the pot, do not strain, leaving behind any sand and grit that has sunk to the bottom. Stir to coat. Add the chorizo back into the pot and cover. Cook over medium heat until the mussels open, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a large serving bowl, sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.


This was so fast and easy...minus the cleaning process.  I had the chorizo on hand but no white wine.  I substituted with chicken stock instead.  I also threw in a handful of frozen corn at the last minute for a boost of color.  Really tasty!  I bet it would have tasted even better if I had the wine.  Next time!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Retro Red

This past Friday was my 32nd birthday.  It was also Superbowl weekend.  I had this nice blog post all planned in my mind.  I was going to share a kabocha squash caramel flan and chorizo potato skins I had made for the game.  Come time to type it up and my mind goes completely blank.  So much for my super post tonight.  I'm so tired for some reason.  I think I nodded off a few times at work today.  I'm going to blame all this on old age.  Haha!  Actually to be honest, I think all my exhaustion is due to the horrible eating I've been doing for the past few months.  I need to get back on the wagon and eat healthier! 

In the meantime, here's my birthday present from an old friend.  I've been wanting red shoes for awhile now.  I need some color to kick start the year.  This color is called Retro Red.   :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The New York Times' Almond Cake

I was introduced to this delicious almond cake by the queen of Twitter herself, Lovelylanvin (this chick has over 47K tweets to date).  Lovelylanvin kept tweeting about this almond cake she had baked.  I got curious and asked for the recipe.  Boy am I glad I did!!  This cake has a really nice almond flavor, soft, spongy texture, and is not overwhelmingly sweet.  With just a light dusting of confectioner sugar and a couple scoops of ice cream, it makes the perfect dessert.  The recipe comes from The New York Times and can be found here.


I had a bag of frozen raspberries in the freezer.  I thawed some out and spooned it over the cake for that extra "kick".   Mmm....not every cake needs a layer of frosting on it to be good.   :)