Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Smoked Baby Back Ribs

These smoked baby back ribs are tender and finger licking yummylicious!

My husband bought a new smoker and we have been enjoying it to the max! It's only been 2 months since we bought it and we have been entertaining non-stop and showing off our cooking skills. If you are thinking of buying one, Master Built is the one to get!

After trying out different home made rub recipes (wet and dry), I think the dry one is the best to use for smoking meat. I finally made use of all the dried herbs I bought and some actually were given to me as gifts. I just started mixing whatever I have in the pantry (got some ideas from other bloggers and the show Grill Master) and added some surprises. 

I hosted a BBQ lunch for one of my girlfriends' birthday this past weekend and they loved the ribs I smoked. I paired 3 racks with grilled vegetables (Red Okras, Purple Cauliflower, White Eggplants and Yellow/Green Zucchinis) and some heirloom tomato salad.

Start grilling and enjoy the rest of the summer!

3 Full Rack of Ribs


6 Tbsp brown sugar
4 Tbsp sea salt
4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 Tbsp garlic powder
4 tbsp cayenne pepper
4 tbsp dried oregano

4 tbsp dried cumin
4 tbsp dried celery seeds

Mix salt, brown sugar and spices together. Set aside
Turn spare ribs back side up and remove membrane.
Sprinkle half the seasoning mix all over the top of the ribs and gently rub or press the mix into the meat so that it adheres well. Place the meat in a plastic bag or container and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. The longer time in the fridge, the more the seasonings penetrate the meat, which will result in more flavorful meat!

Preheat your smoker to 225-230F and start the smoke going.
Place ribs in the smoker and smoke for about 5-5.5 hours. At this point the ribs should be close to being ready. Take the ribs out, generously brush with BBQ sauce and smoke for additional 30-40 minutes or serve without the BBQ sauce and give your guests a variety of sauces to choose from. 

Boiled Corn With Mayo, Pepper Flakes & Oregano

My new favorite way to enjoy the corn on the cob this summer!!!

I've been so busy at work and spending too much time on social media, I have neglected my food blog! I hosted a BBQ lunch for one of my BFFs last weekend and she asked me why I haven't posted in a while but she keeps seeing my delicious and beautiful posting of food I prepare everyday on FB and Instagram. Well, I should get busy!!

Corn on the cob is ONE food I must have a lot of! I can live with just corn every day. There's so many ways to eat corn. I've been seeing a lot of dressed up corn lately on Instagram, I decided to make my own this week. I bought 10 ears of corn (5 for $2) from Safeway and cooked half of them today. As usual, I looked inside my pantry and just grabbed whatever I have to dress the corn. I also picked some fresh oregano from my herb garden.

The corn turned up SO GOOD - SO SWEET - SO BEAUTIFUL - SO YUMMY!


5 ears of corn, husks removed
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons oregano
1/4 teaspoon pepper flakes
Salt and pepper, to taste

Boil corn cobs on stove top and cook for 30 minutes. In a medium bowl, combine mayo, butter, oregano, pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Spread the butter over the corn cobs.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Pork Chops with Sweet And Sour Glaze

You can have this tasty pork chops in less than 20 minutes!

Honestly, these are the easiest pork chops you will ever have to make in just 20 min from start to finish. The sweet and sour balsamic glaze is very tasty. You’ll seriously want to guzzle it down. But be sure to save some for the pork chops because they are an absolute match made in heaven.

6-7 pork chops, bone-in, 1/2-inch thick
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons unsalted butter


1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
6 tablespoons honey
4 cloves garlic minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried or fresh basil


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Season pork chops with salt and pepper, to taste.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add pork chops and sear both sides until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Place into oven and roast until completely cooked through, about 8-10 minutes.

To make the sweet and sour glaze, combine balsamic vinegar, honey, garlic, oregano, basil, in a small saucepan over medium heat; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
Serve pork chops immediately with sweet and sour glaze.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Roasted Curry Cauliflower Steaks

I love cauliflower raw or cooked. I enjoy it in salads, soup, stew, stir fry, saute etc.  I came across a recipe on FoodNetwork that looked and sounded really good but I was more enticed with the photo of the cauliflower cut like a steak! It was actually my first time seeing it sliced like that.

The cauliflowers were on sale today at 99 Ranch and I bought 2 heads. I have a couple of other recipes in mind that I will share and post later.


1 head cauliflower
1 tablespoon dried safflower
1 tablespoon lemon grass powder
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablesoon Himalayan Pink Salt or any regular salt
Extra virgin olive oil

Mix all the dry spices in a bowl. Trim the base of the core from the cauliflower, and then cut the head into 1-inch-thick slices. Cut any florets that fall off into 1-inch pieces and set aside for cooking another dish later.

Arrange the floret steaks on a flat baking pan. Drizzle each florets with the olive oil. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of the mixed spices over both sides of each floret.

Preheat oven to Roast/Bake 350 degrees F. Roast the cauliflower steaks for 25 minutes. Serve warm by themselves or as a side to your favorite meat.

Butter Garlic Steamed Prawns (Cantonese Style)

I stopped by 99 Ranch today after work to buy fruits and as usual, I bought many other items that caught my eyes. I passed by the fresh seafood section and the live shrimps were on sale!!!! I immediately thought of making the dish I had at my favorite Chinese restaurant (R&G Lounge). I bought 3 lbs of these babies and I couldn't wait to go home and prepare the dinner. I also bought 2 heads of cauliflower to pair with the shrimps as a side dish which I will post as well separately.

This classic Cantonese steamed shrimp with garlic and butter dish takes a little bit of work - mostly for slicing each shrimp in half - butterfly style. The rewarding taste of fresh shrimp in rich garlic steamed to perfection is well worth it! The shrimps are sweet and tender.

I also made this dish a while back. You can check out the same recipe here


Serves 2-3

2 lbs live Shrimp (butterflied)
1 large fresh garlic bulb (finely minced)
1 stick butter

In a small pan, melt the butter and stir the garlic in it for about 1 minute. Do not let the garlic turn brown. Turn off the heat

Rinse the shrimps thorougly. Split the shrimps in half by cutting them from the back meat side. Make sure that your knife is really sharp otherwise, the shrimps will be mushed. Arrange the shrimps in a round pie platter or large plate.

Heat the wok or steamer or a large pan and add water. Put a bowl upside down in the middle of the wok. Put the plate of shrimp on top of the upside down plate and make sure its evenly in the middle just to make sure that the plate is not submerged in the water. Sprinkle the melted butter and garlic all over the shrimps. Cover and steam for about 8 minutes or until the shrimps have turned bright pink. 

Enjoy with rice and a veggie side. Or serve as an appetizer.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Cumin Sweet White Corn and Kale

Tonight, I decided to make something different for dinner. I wanted to experiment and use some of the spices that I haven't used in a while. I'm so motivated to cook again every night so on my way home while stuck in traffic, my chef brain was bring creative. I immediately thought of the 2 frozen veggies I have in the freezer. Of course, I always know what I have in my freezer/fridge ahead of time.

This side dish was paired with butter fried cajun spiced breast of chicken. It turned out to be a nice simple dinner. The cumin seeds went very well with the corn and kale. Yummylicious and easy breezy to make!!!


Serves 3

3 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 cup frozen white sweet corn
1 cup frozen chopped kale
salt and pepper to taste

Heat medium frying pan and add sesame oil (don't let it burn). Add cumin and saute for 1 minute. Add kale and corn and stir well. Cover, turn down heat and cook and steam for 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve with your favorite meat.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Manila Clams & Basil Soup

If you love clams, you will love this soup. It is quite delicious and so easy to make. Make sure you get fresh clams from the Asian supermarket because I prefer those than the frozen or canned ones. Its usually served with rice or bread but I like it by itself (less carb).

I was craving for a good soup since the weather has been cold in the bay area. I did not want the usual rice porridge or chicken noodle soup! So I stopped by my favorite Asian supermarket - 99 Ranch and while I had my eyes on the Dungeness crabs and mussels to make my soup, I decided to buy the manila clams. They were as fresh as you can get them because they were still moving in the water!

Of course, I also bought a couple of the crabs since they are still in season and I devoured those the following day. You can say I love all kinds of shellfish and I don't mind eating them everyday. I just need to make sure I don't overdose myself LOL. Well, enjoy this recipe as much as I enjoy it each time I make it.


1 lb fresh manila clams
1 thumb size ginger root thinly sliced
6 minced fresh garlic cloves
1 diced large tomato
1 bunch fresh basil leaves
3-4 chopped bok choy
2 cups of water
2 teaspoon oil
salt & pepper to taste

Use a large pot. On medium heat, saute ginger and garlic until medium brown. Add clams and stir thoroughly until the ginger and garlic covers the clams. Cover pot and steam for about 5 minutes until clams open. Add diced tomato and 2 cups of hot water and bring to boil and let all clams open more. Add the basil and bokchoy, salt and pepper to taste. Bring back to boil and turn off heat. Enjoy!