Monday, January 24, 2011

Coconut Garam Masala Crab

I love crab and I can eat them everyday if I want to! I'm always trying to find other ways to cook them. Tonight, I decided to prepare them using my Indian spices. This is another simple recipe that anyone can enjoy. I took pictures step by step so that you can easily follow the cooking instructions. Prepare to get your hands dirty! This is one messy delicious meal!

Ingredients and Preparation:
1-2 serving

1 large fresh dungeness crab cleaned, legs and body chopped
1 cup of coconut milk
1 tbs garam masala powder
1/2 tsp ground red chili pepper
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 cup of fresh basil leaves
6 cloves of fresh minced garlic
1 medium sliced yellow or white onion
3 tablespoon of vegetable oil

Pre-heat the wok and add the oil; when the oil is hot, add the garlic and fry until golden brown

Add the onion and stir fry for about 3 minutes until they are limp

Add the garam masala, stir and cook for about 1 minute

Add the cumin seeds, stir and cook for about 1 minute

Add the coconut milk

Stir well and cook for about 2 minutes

Add the crab pieces and coat well with the mixture

Add the basil leaves, stir, cover and cook in low heat to prevent from burning. Cook and let it steam by not removing the cover for about 25 minutes.

The crab is ready to be served with some hot steamed rice! Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Oatmeal Cookies

As I mentioned before in this blog, I don't have a sweet tooth but my husband and my kids are a big fan of anything baked sweets! I have been experimenting a lot lately with all kinds of ingredients to come up with a recipe that I can also enjoy. One night, my son asked me if I can bake some cookies for a change instead of a cake. My daughter arrived a few hours later and I asked her what kind of cookies she prefers. Her response was a question! "Have you ever heard of cookies with sweet potatoes?" My son heard that and said "EWWW! I hate sweet potatoes! Please just bake chocolate chip cookies." Then my husband made his own suggestion. He requested oatmeal cookies.

After a few minutes of listening to their request, I decided to search online and found exactly what they all want in one cookie! I showed them the recipe but they did not like the idea of combining the 3 main ingredients into one cookie. Well, I did not want to take a chance of wasting some of my ingredients and did not feel like making a trip to the store so I decided to make 2 types of cookies to please everyone. The classic chocolate chip and sweet potato oatmeal. I took some of the information from the recipe I found and made some substitution of the spices. I  used allspice instead of ground cardamom and I added more ground cinnamon in place of nutmeg. I also omitted the chocolate chips and nuts but I doubled the amount of pureed sweet potato. I was quite surprise on the outcome of the sweet potato oatmeal concoction. The cookies are very moist! It's like a cake cookie. This is one cookie I can truly enjoy with the family. Try the recipe for yourself!

Ingredients and Preparation:

1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
 3/4 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup sweet potato puree
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups quick cooking rolled oats
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Peel, cut in half and boil 2 large sweet potato. When they are soft enough to mash, take them out of the boiling water and mash in a bowl. Set aside and let cool.

In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and the sugars until fully incorporated. Beat in the egg, followed by the sweet potato puree and vanilla extract. Working by hand or a large flat spatula, stir in the flour mixture, then mix in the oats thoroughly.

Drop tablespoonfuls of the dough onto the baking sheet with parchment sheet. Bake for 15-18  min, until cookies are set. Let cool on sheet for 3 or 4 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve immediately  or store in an airtight container to enjoy later.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Mini Vanilla and Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake with Caramel Sauce

After watching Food Network all day, I felt inspired to bake something yummy again and surprise my husband and kids tonight. I saw a few recipe and noted them down but I was too lazy to go to the store and get the ingredients. I decided to check my pantry and grabbed what I have and searched for a recipe online that consist the ingredients in front of me. I found a simple recipe and I modified it a little by adding a few more ingredients in it. You really can't go wrong with chocolate chip morsels!!

Ingredients and Preparation:
6 Mini Bundt Cakes

- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup whipping cream
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chip morsels
- pinch of salt
- Caramel Sauce or Chocolate Syrup or other glaze

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the eggs and the sugar in a bowl and mix with an electric mixer on high speed for about 8 minutes or until it is fluffy and has volume. Slowly add the cream, salt and vanilla extract in the mixture. Finally, slowly add the flour. baking powder and the chocolate chips. Beat well until all ingredients are incorporated. Scoop the dough with a 1/3 cup measuring spoons and pour into the non stick mini bundt molding pan. Bake for 20 minutes. After they are cooked, let them cool before unmolding. When you are ready to serve them, unmold and glaze them with caramel sauce or with melted chocolate syrup or just top with fresh fruits and whipped cream. ENJOY!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Classic Lemon Bars

We have 2 meyer lemon tree in the backyard. Sometimes I get overwhelm with them because they litter the yard. They bear fruits all year round so we always have lemon in the house. When I have more than enough in the house, I give some to the neighbors or take some to work. I also use them for cooking and the kids makes fresh lemonade whenever they feel like having one.

I'm a big fan of lemon cake, lemon cookies and lemon bars. I have been itching to make them from scratch with all the fresh lemons I have around but I never get around to it. I finally had the time and made these beautiful and delicious classic lemon bars. I found the simple recipe on foodgawker. I decided to blog it on my site because it is worth sharing!

Note: The most important part of this recipe is cooking time, all ovens and pans are different, so it's really hard to tell how long to cook something; the best thing I can do is to tell you what to look for. Make sure when you're only cooking the crust that you don't let it get too dark (it will take away from the flavor if it cooks too long) and if its undercooked, they'll be harder to keep intact, and they'll be more gooey than anything. Same thing goes for when you're cooking the bars with the filling; you want a golden color around the edges, nothing too dark, or they'll be too stiff, and if undercooked, too gooey.

Ingredients and Preparation: (20-25 bars)


2 cups flour (sifted)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup unsalted butter (firm)


2 cups sugar
2 lemons,  juiced and rind grated
4 tablespoons of flour
4 eggs beaten
pince of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour and powdered sugar together in a big bowl. Mix in the butter in pieces and mash with hands thouroughly or use a blender if you have one. Do not over mix. Pat mixture into bottom of a greased 9x13x2 baking pan or a non-stick pan.

Bake for 25-30 mins until lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes.

To make topping mix flour and sugar, add to beaten eggs; add lemon juice and salt. Mix thoroughly. Pour topping over crust, return to oven for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Let cool before cutting into squares.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Chicken Muamba/Apritada

Chicken, chicken and chicken! We just can't have enough chicken to eat. There's so many chicken recipe and I always find myself cooking it adobo style, baked, broiled, tinola or jamaican jerk. Today, I defrosted about 10 pieces of chicken drum stick and I started searching for a simple recipe that I could experiment with. I found 2 that were interesting enough and I knew I had all the ingredients in my pantry. The first one was Chicken Asado/Apritada which is a Filipino dish and it reminded me that it was one of my favorite dish back home. The other one was Chicken Muamba which is an African dish (Angola/Congo) and it is very similar to the Filipino dish. The only difference is one vegetable ingredient. One has potatoes and one has okras. Well, I didn't have potatoes in my pantry but I had a bag of fresh okras and everything else. So, I decided to call it Muamba/Apritada! It is delicious and very satisfying. I almost ate 2 servings today!

Ingredients and Preparation
5 servings

10 pieces of chicken legs
1 14.5 ounces can dice tomatoes
1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
4 tablespoon soy sauce
3 tablespoon vinegar
1 medium onion chopped or slice very thin
6 cloves of galic chopped
3 dried bay leaves
1 lb fresh okra (ends removed)
6 tablespoon olive oil
salt and black pepper for seasoning

Heat the oven to 450 degrees

In a large frying pan, add olive oil and heat it up. Add the garlic and onion and sautee for about 3 minutes or until onion is limp

Add the chicken and mix with the onion thoroughly

Add the salt and pepper and season all over, cover and brown the chicken

When the chicken is brown and somewhat cook (about 10 minutes), transfer it in a baking pan

Add all the remaining ingredients - diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, soy sauce, vinegar and bay leaves

Add the okra and cover with foil. Bake for 1 hour

Serve hot with steamed rice and enjoy!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Chipotle and Citrus Baby Back Ribs

I had planned to bring ribs to a family gathering for new year celebration but we ended up not having it due to everyone's schedule. Well, I bought the ribs already so they ended up in the freezer. A few days later, I decided to marinate one slab and try a recipe that I was putting together in my head. The recipe turned out perfect and the ribs are absolutely tender, juicy and tasty. I have a feeling that this is going to be one recipe to be repeated every summer for gatherings.

Ingredients and Preparation
Servings 2

1 slab of baby back ribs (about 10-12 pieces of ribs)
1 fresh valencia orange
1 fresh lemon
1 tablespoon of Ground Chipotle Chili Pepper seasoning
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
2 cups of water
Sweet Banana sauce for dipping (Philippine Ketchup)

NOTE: Marinate meat overnight for better tasting

Drizzle the salt, black pepper and chipotle seasoning on both sides of the ribs. Cut the slab in 2 section (5-6 ribs each slab) and put inside a 1 gallon ziplock. Slice the valencia orange and lemon in half and squeeze the juice inside the ziplock covering all parts of the ribs. Close the bag tightly and shake it a bit. Open the bag again and release all the air and zip it tightly. Marinate in the fridge overnight or at least 6 hours.


Set the oven to bake for 425 degrees. Arrange the ribs in a shallow baking pan and pour all the liquid from the bag in the pan. Add 2 cups of water. Seal and cover the pan with heavy duty foil and bake for 2 hours. It might seem long but this is slow steam cooking and it will give you off the bone tender licking good ribs!

Dip the ribs with sweet banana ketchup or your choice of barbeque sauce. I prefer the banana ketchup because it goes well with the chipotle seasoning spice. Sweet and Spicy = yummy!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Crab w/ Coconut Milk and Ghost Pepper

There is an abundance of crab this season and I have had my share of this delicious crustacean. Crabs are my favorite shellfish. My grandfather on my father's side was a fisherman in the Philippines and I remember the days when he used to come home along with other local fishermen carrying their bounty. Fresh crabs, fish and shrimps every day!

I've had baby crabs, mud green crabs, blue crabs, alaskan crab and dungeness crabs. I think that my favorite is still the mud green crabs. They are very fatty and sweet. Most of the time, I will just boil the crab with salt and then eat them with steamed rice and dip the crab with vinegar. Lately, I have been experimenting on how to prepare my crabs to make them feel special and make my meal more tastier! I've been trying all types of peppers to come up with a spicy recipe. I'm so blessed to be living in the San Francisco bay area where you can find dungeness crab for as cheap as $2.99 a pound! I can totally eat these babies every day :)

Here is what I prepared today and I think it will be a great recipe to repeat on every crab season! I think that the Ghost Pepper made a difference because it is suppose to be the hottest pepper in the world! WHOA!!! My mouth was on fire but it was absolutely delicious with the coconut milk and thai basil.

Ingredients and Preparation:

Serves 1

1 Dungeness Crab Fresh or Pre-Cooked
1 Ghost pepper or 5 Sereno peppers (cut in half)
1/2 tablesoon ground black pepper
1 can of coconut milk
3 cloves of chopped garlic
3 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup of fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup water

Clean the crab well and chop it into pieces. Save the green and juicy stuff in the shell and set aside. If you don't like that part of the crab, toss it but I prefer to incorporate it because it will taste better with it.

Heat up your wok or large frying pan or pot and add vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and brown by stirring frequently. Then add the crab pieces and water and do a quick stir. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes.

Uncover and add the coconut milk, basil, blackpepper and ghost pepper or your choice of hot pepper. Stir, cover and cook for about 15 mins in medium heat. Enjoy this dish with steamed rice.