Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Juicy Roasted Chicken with Potato & Onion

I made another dish from this book. I really like this cook book. (click here for another dishes from this cook book which I made)

This time, I made what it called "Ludi's Chicken" in this book on P359.

Ludi is what the author of this book call her sister and this roast chicken is her recipe.

Roast chicken is easy to make and chicken is sometimes cheaper when you buy whole so I used to make roast chicken sometimes.

Lately, I found Costco's $4.99 roast chicken so I hadn't made it on my own for a while.

This is how it came out. It looks pretty good, isn't it?

This was so easy to make. You just need to add chicken, potato, onion, garlic and pour over the sauce which you make with mustard, olive oil, oregano, lemon and so on. Add some water and then to the oven. (You add some white wine also in the middle of roasting)

This is how it looked before roasting.

And this is after roasting.

Potatoes and onions are tender and also juicy!

The chicken was so juicy and tender. It is lemony but also rich and tasty. I loved it! I think this might be the best roasted chicken I ever made. I know that I will be making this roast chicken sometime soon again!

By the way, I would love to get a bigger roasting pan. The one I have is OK but when you add potatoes and onions, it is a bit too small. I think I need something like the one you use when you roast turkey (The one with handles). Like these.
Well, those thing take up some space so maybe I don't want it right now but someday I would love to have one of these and make lots of roast chicken!

Maybe two chickens at once!

When I eat roast chicken, I always make chicken stock from its bones. Homemade chicken stock makes a huge difference in cooking, I think. (Here is how I make my chicken stock)

This time, I forgot that I had lemon and garlic inside the cavity of chicken so the chicken stock became lemony. Oh well, it might be good also with a hint of lemon flavor :-)

Yesterday, Japan lost the game on World Cup. I was disappointed because it was so close!! However, I think everybody played very well and I enjoyed watching the game. Now, the U.S. and Japan are gone, I will be cheering for Germany! They will have a game on Saturday. It will be an another exciting (screaming and jumping up and down) morning with my husband this Saturday morning :-)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Grilled Chicken Salad with Cilantro Dressing

Some people love Cilantro and some people hate it. I love Cilantro so I used it quite often for my cooking also.

When I go to Cheesecake Factory, I always order "Tostada Salad". I think dressing for this salad is cilantro dressing. It taste so good. This is how it looks. (It's huge)

I went to Trader Joe's the other day and bought cilantro salad dressing. Every time I go to Trader Joe's, I have to get this dressing because it is so good. Since it was really hot that day, I decided to make a crisp fresh salad for dinner using this cilantro dressing.
To volume things up, my husband grilled chicken breast on a grill outside. I marinade this chicken in lemon juice. It came out really tender and juicy. My husband is getting very good at grilling.

I mixed romaine salad, tomato, cucumber, corn and cilantro dressing topped with grilled chicken. Grilled chicken and cilantro dressing goes so well together. Its colorful and tasty.

Maybe I should try making this cilantro dressing on my own. It has cilantro, garlic, some kind of vinegar, olive oil and maybe heavy cream or something. I should give it a try.

By the way, I think kids are in summer break now. I remember that I had to do lots of homework during summer break when I was a kid. I didn't mind doing homework much and one of my favorite homework was book report. Many people hate it but I kind of like it because I like reading.

If I like a book, I would sometimes read more than once. It is rare to find that kind of book but when I find it, I get really excited and happy. Isn't it strange? or do you also read your favorite book over and over? If you have a book which you read over and over, please let me know!

Speaking of summer, there are many blockbuster movie coming out in summer. I realized that they made a movie from the book "Eat, Pray, Love" . Julia Roberts is starring. I would like to watch this movie because I read the book. I didn't like the main character of the book too much and in the beginning I didn't really understand why she has to go abroad to find herself but now I think sometimes it helps to place yourself in strange place, different people and different culture to find who you are.

Here is the trailer for the movie.

By the way, below is the movie which my husband want to watch. It is called "The Last Airbender". I am not sure about this one...  What do you think?

Monday, June 28, 2010

A Day in Manhattan (Vietnamese Sandwich & Shack Burger)

On Saturday, we (my husband and I) had a concert from 7:00pm at Madison Square Garden so we decided to go early to Manhattan and watch 2:30pm U.S. vs Ghana World Cup game at a sports bar in Manhattan.

There are so many sports bars but most of them were packed! We found one which is not too packed but quite many people and stayed there to watch the game. As the game progress, there are more and more people and I felt dizzy probably from bad air. I went outside to get fresh air and kind of missed the last part of the game.. Well, it was unfortunate that the U.S. couldn't make it to the next match...

After the game, we went to have an early dinner before the concert. Recently, my mind was occupied with "Bahn Mi"(Vietnamese Sandwich). There are many Vietnamese sandwich places in Manhattan and I found one close by the bar we were at so we bought one Vitnemese Sandwich and went to Madison Square Park.

This is my favorite! "Bahn Mi" Vietnamese Sandwich. It has some port, picked carrots and cilantro etc on a french baguette. This Sandwich is so good!!!! and it is quite big but just $5.00.

In this park, there is a famous hamburger place called "Shake Shack".

Their hamburger is very famous and people normally line up more than one hour for it. When we got there, there was a short line so we decided to try this famous hamburger. We got one shake burger and shared.

This hamburger was really good. The meat was really juicy and taste like good beef. It was very beefy.
No wonder people line up for this. I would come here again!

After dinner, we stated a the park for a while, resting from all the walk. It was such a hot day and many people were having picnic at the lawn under some tree.

Then, we walked to Madison Square Garden. It was bit early for the concert so not many people were there yet. Madison Square Garden is huge.

The concert we went was "Maxwell" the R&B singer. I like him at lot and this is my second time going to his concert. The whole audience was singing along and it was such a great feeling. I had so much fun.

On Sunday, we watched Germany vs England game at home. It was an exciting game. (Though I felt bad for that one goal which was not counted for England) I think Germany played very well.

I had another great weekend! Next weekend is 4th of July already! Time flies!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Easy and Spicy! Thai Green Chicken Curry for a Hot Summer Day

When I don't feel like cooking too much, I make Thai curry using Thai curry paste. I always keep Thai curry paste and coconut milk at home for those kind of days so if I have chicken and some kind of vegetable, I can make this curry in a short time and effort.

Yesterday was green curry. I normally use the brand called "maesri" for curry paste. I love their curry paste.
                                  Here is the recipe.

Thai Chicken Green curry

Maesri green curry paste      1 can (114g)
Chicken breast                      1lb
Coconut milk                       2 cans (400ml for 1 can)
Carrots                                 2
Green Bell Pepper               1/2
Red Bell Pepper                   1/2
Yellow Onion                     1/2
Bamboo Shoots                   1 can (227g)
Basil                                    about 20 leaves
Fish Sauce                           2 table spoons
Vegetable Oil                      2 table spoons

1. Heat a large frying pan with vegetable oil. Add curry paste and saute for a bit then add vegetables and saute.

2. Add chicken and saute until it turns color.

3. Add coconut milk and bring to boil then turn the heat down and let it simmer.

4. When the meat is cooked through and vegetables are soft, turn the heat off and serve with Jasmine rice.

My husband love Thai curry so he was happy to eat this last night. This is such an easy meal and I get lots of compliments and appreciation in return. Isn't it great?

It was really hot yesterday and this curry was really hot so we were sweating and our nose was running. It is OK while we are eating but once we stopped, we could feel all the spiciness in our mouth. But I always use one whole can of curry paste. It is spicy but it's so good!

Enjoy your weekend and enjoy watching World Cup if you are into it :-) I am sure I will :-)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Korean Beef Dish, Bulgogi

I had very thinly sliced beef in the freeze which I bought in a Japanese supermarket so I decided to make "Bulgogi" Which is a Korean dish with beef and vegetables. I like this dish and I eat this sometimes when I go to Korean restaurant but I had never made it myself. It came out really good!

My secret ingredients in this recipe was apple. I heard somewhere that koreans use pear to marinade meat. I didn't have a pear at home but I had an apple so I decided to use this for marinade.

Here is the recipe

Very Thinly Sliced Beef    0.75lb
Carrot                                 1
Bell Pepper                        Half
Green Onion                      10
Yellow Onion                    1 1/2
Shiitake Mushroom           5
Apple                                1/2
Garlic                                2 clove
Soy Sauce                         4 Table spoons
Japanese Sake                   3  Table spoons
Sesame Oil                        2 Table spoons
Sugar                                 1 Table spoons
Vinegar                             3 Table spoons
toasted white sesame        2 Table spoons

1. Grate 1/2 Apple, 1/2 Yellow onion and 2 garlic cloves into a large bowl. (I grated apple with skin on so there are some red stuff in it)

2 In this bowl, add meat, vegetables and all the spices.

3. Mix them very well with your hand so all the ingredients gets marinade.

4. Cover with plastic wrap and keep it in the fridge for a few hours.

5. Then, take it out from the fridge. Heat some vegetable oil into a frying pan and add all the mixture into the pan.

6. When the meat is cooked through and the vegetables are soft, it is done. Serve it with rice.

This was really good. Maybe the grated apple and onion I used for the marinade was a good idea for this  dish. I like the sweetness from the apple. If you like something spicy, you can add some chili paste or something but I like it this way, sweet and salty.

After eating this dish, I asked my husband if he can guess the secret ingredients. He couldn't guess it  but he liked the taste.

I have been watching some of the World Cup games. Yesterday, Japan had a game against Denmark. Japan won! It was a great game. I heard that lots of Japanese were watching this game despite the time difference. I think the game started at 3:30am Japan time. I even saw some photo of Japanese cities with bunch of people watching a huge screen together this early morning.

It was a great game for them. I am very proud of them. I was very surprised that Italy couldn't make it to the next round. When I saw one of the Italian player cry after the game, I start crying also for some reason. I don't know why I did. I think as I get older, I cry easily than I used to :-)

Anyway, tomorrow is the U.S. game! They always have dramatic games and I am very excited about it. Maybe I should go to a sports bar or something and enjoy this game with other supporters!

I think many people are watching U.S. game tomorrow. Enjoy! I hope they will win :-)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

World Cup & Chicken Casserole & Ramen Noodle Salad

Are you watching World Cup? Did you watch the U.S. game yesterday? Oh my goodness! It was amazing game. I was so excited and moved by this game. It tells us that you should never give up till the end if you really want something :-) My friend couple live in South Africa and they were at the game. They called us to share their excitement. It must have been so exciting to be at the stadium for this game.
The American team did a great job! Even though, I also like the goalie from Ghana "Kingson" I think he is good goalie.

Also I heard that there was a record breaking Tennis match at Wimbledon. American player and French player had a match for over 10 hours and it was suspended and will continue today again. That's crazy. They must be so tired after playing tennis for more than 10 hours non-stop. I really admire their stamina.

We also have Japan soccer game today. I have to cheer for them also :-)

Anyway, enough of sports talk. I would like to talk about food :-)

One of my favorite blog is called "A Twist Of Spaghetti" and in April, she had a post about this easy casserole which uses the onion soup mix and cream of mushroom soup. I wanted to try this recipe and finally was able to try it the other day.

It was super easy and yummy! My husband and I liked it a lot. Thanks chef Amiee for sharing this recipe. This is a great dish for a busy night! For recipe, please visit her blog. Click here to go to her blog for the recipe.

I also made salad on the side. Do you know ramen noodle salad? When I first came to the U.S., I had this salad a few times at pot luck party or something. I haven't seen this salad for a while. Maybe it was popular during 80's and early 90's and people don't make this anymore. For some reason, I remember this salad the other day and wanted to make it myself. I searched for a recipe on line and found one.
This is the recipe I used. Click here for the recipe. I didn't have sunflower seeds so I omitted that and I used less sugar.

I like the crunch from the ramen noodle. It is fresh and crunch salad. I liked it :-) I have been making lots of different kind of salad lately. Salad is great for a hot summer day like today! It is going to be hot today in NY! Enjoy your day! :-)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Finnish Meatballs with cranberry sauce, Greek Potato Salad and Crunchy Salad from Costa Rica

As I have mentioned before, I have a few cooking books which I borrowed from the library. I wanted to make some dishes from these books. There are so many recipes which I want to try from those books, I have post-it the recipes which I want to try but there are so many. I am not sure if I can try everything before my return due date. I might have to extend them.

Anyway, one of the books which I really liked was this book called "Falling Cloudberries"

This Author has Finnish mother and Greek-Cyprus Father and this book is collection of the recipes which she gathered from her relatives on both sides.

By the way, it is one of my favorite things to look at recipe books in bed before I go sleep. And yesterday, I was looking at this book called "Twelves" which my mother-n-law gave me a few years ago. This cook book is all about Tuscan food and it also have many beautiful photos.

I looked at authors name and realized that it was a same author! Tessa Kiros! What a coincidence. When I borrowed this book from the library, I wasn't paying any attention to the author's name and I didn't remember the author's name from the book I had so I didn't know until last night! This is great!

Anyway, I decided to make finnish meatball with cranberry sauce and greek potato salad from this book this time. "Finnish meatball with allspice, sour cream and lingonberry"(p33) It is very similar to Swedish meatballs. I guess since they are both nordic country, they eat very similar food.

It took a while to make a small ball one by one. Since there were lots of them, I froze half of them for later use.

The end result was really good. I was so happy that I made this. The sauce is pretty simple by using the pan you fried meatball, adding water, flour and sour cream. It is delicious.

And, you have to have lingonberry or cranberry sauce with this. I wanted to make the sauce myself but I couldn't find any fresh or frozen lingon/cranberries so I just bought a canned cranberry sauce. It was actually pretty good.

I had Swedish meatball for the first time right after I came to the U.S. First, I thought it is strange to eat meatball with this sweet cranberry sauce. The combination was pretty shocking to me. Then, I tried it and found that it goes very well. Since then, cranberry sauce is something I have to have with swedish meatballs.

One more dish I made from this book was "Boiled Potato Salad" (p123). This dish was in Greek section of the book. It has black olives, red onion and capers in it. It is very Greek ingredients potato salad.

I loved everything I made this day. I wish I could make the cranberry sauce myself but the can was quick and good. I really like this book! There are a lot more I want to make from this book. Maybe I should buy this book :-)

The next one is from a different book on a different day. I introduced this book a few days ago and this one is called "World Food Cafe". This is a vegetarian cook book which features many vegetable dish from all over the world.

For the weekend lunch, I made this salad called "Crunchy Salad with Lime Juice"(p164).

This salad was in Costa Rica section of the book.

It has mango, avocado and had a Caribbean feel to it.

I was supposed to use watercress but I couldn't find them in our supermarket so I used Arugula (Rucola) instead.

It is very refreshing summer salad!

By the way, speaking of Swedish meatballs, the Swedish princess Victoria got married the other day. It was such a beautiful wedding and seems like everybody was happy for her. I wish her a great married life!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Healthy yet Delicious! Tofu Hamburg

I was reading a Japanese magazine called "Thank you!". I have two of these magazines and I read these two magazine repeatedly. Since I have read only two of these magazine, I am not sure if they always have same type of topics but the ones I have focus a lot of how to save money.

Many people in Japan try to save money and they share lots of tips in this magazine. They also show some of their money saving recipes and many of them uses tofu and bean sprout everyday because they are very cheap in Japan.

Many people make hamburg with some meat and tofu so you don't have to use much meat. I had some ground pork and tofu so I decided to try making my own Tofu Hamburg.

Here is how I made it.

Tofu Hamburg (about 7)
Tofu  (Firm)                                 1
Ground Pork  about                    12oz
Yellow Onion                              1 (chopped)
Egg                                              1
Panko (Japanese bread crumbs)  1/2 cup
Salt & Pepper                              for taste
Shiso (Japanese basil)                 10 leaves (optional) (chopped)
Vegetable Oil                              1 table spoon

1. In a large bowl, combine ground pork, chopped onion and tofu with some salt & pepper. Mix well with hand.

2. Then, add egg, panko (Japanese bread crumbs) and Shiso (optional) and mix well with hand.

3. This is how it looks after mixing well.

4. Make large balls with this mixture. I made 7 out of this but it is depends on how large you want your hamburgs. (I froze three of them)

5. In a frying pan, heat vegetable oil and saute hamburg on both side.

6. When it is cooked through all the way, serve it with some rice. (You don't need to have sauce but if you would like to have some sauce, I just mixed ketchup and Worcestershire sauce in a frying pan after taking our the hamburg)

This is pretty good and healthier. Here in the U.S., tofu is not as cheap as in Japan so I am not sure if this is a money saving recipe but it is definitely healthier alternative.

I used Japanese basil (Shiso) but you don't need to use this if you don't have it. You can also use parsley instead or you can try with other herbs or vegetables.

Since it is not just tofu, it is very satisfying yet healthy. To make it healthier, I cooked half white and half brown rice.

I hope you will enjoy Tofu Hamburg!

Monday, June 21, 2010

BBQ at our Landlord's Place

On the weekend, my husband and I were invited for a BBQ at our landlord's place. It was a beautiful day and they have a nice back yard so it was a wonderful BBQ.

First, we had chips and dip as an appetizer. The dip was chili cheese dip and it tasted really good! I definitely would like to try making this at home sometimes. (I forgot to take picture of this dip, though..)

Then, we had salmon with avocado tomato salsa. The salmon was perfectly cooked and the salsa goes really well with the salmon and it looks pretty. I think this is a perfect summer dish! I lover it.

Then, of course you have to have hamburger and hotdog for BBQ.

We also had two different kinds of salad and corn. My plate was so colorful!

After BBQ, we enjoyed talking and had dessert. I brought banana pudding and they liked it so I was very pleased. They made apple cake and this apple cake was the best apple cake I ever had. It is very moist inside but outside was little crunchy and was perfect. They told me that this is a family recipe. They let us bring some of the cake home so I had it again for next morning. It was delicious! I have to ask her for the recipe of this apple cake.

After dessert, I was so full and they brought out this liquor called Sambuca. It is a liquor from Italy and they say that drinking this help you to digest. So I tried. It was little bit like liquorice but very sweet so it is easy to drink. I ended up having three glasses. (It was a small glass!!)

It has been four and half years since we started to rent the house we live right now. When we moved to NY, we went to see many apartments in the area but didn't find anything we liked. However, when walked into this house, we just fell in love with it  and we immediately liked the landlords from the first time we met them. We are lucky to live in this house and have such a nice landlord. We have our get together a few times a year and every time we have meal together, it is always great time.

They are such a great story teller and we just can't stop laughing with their stories. Especially, we like when we talk about their childhood memories growing up in Brooklyn and Queens. It is very interesting and always very funny. I am happy that we have a good relationship and I look forward keeping this great relationship with them :-)