chicken legs with forty cloves of garlic


…more or less. Actually, I used 3 bulbs of garlic, the big kind called elephant ears. I adapted the recipe from one I found on Food 52 which itself was adapted from a James Beard recipe.  I cooked this chicken the way the Thais cook with cilantro, with the root. In the end, the chicken was seasoned just right, aromatic with garlic, celery, and the cilantro. We ate the drumsticks with thick slices of fresh whole wheat Farmer’s Bread that had the cooked garlic rubbed into it like a paste. You would think that the  garlic would have a pronounced flavor but it was mild compared with raw garlic.  Now you can have your garlic and enjoy it too.

Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic
8 whole chicken legs
1-2 teaspoons kosher salt (if using bouillon cube, reduce salt)
40 cloves garlic (3 bulbs), peeled
1 cup Chinese celery, stripped of leaves, chopped into 2 inch lengths
2 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly ground nutmeg
4 sprigs cilantro with the roots, washed well
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup chicken stock made from 1/3 of a bouillon cube
Crusty bread or toast for serving

  1. Heat the oven to 375ºF. Season the chicken legs all over with the salt. To cut calories, I stripped the skin off 4 of the legs. Arrange the chicken legs in a single layer in an ovenproof baking dish with a tight-fitting lid.
  2. Scatter the garlic and celery into the gaps between the chicken pieces, and then drizzle everything with the olive oil. Grind some black pepper and a bit of nutmeg over the chicken and vegetables and arrange the parsley on top. I used cilantro with the roots still attached.
  3. Pour in the wine and the chicken stock. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and put on the lid. Bake the chicken for 45 minutes to 1 hour, without removing the lid until the 45-minute mark. When the chicken is really tender, and the garlic is soft enough to spread, remove the dish from the oven.
  4. Serve the chicken in shallow bowls with plenty of the fragrant sauce; spread the softened garlic on the bread and then dunk it into the sauce as you eat your chicken~Merrill Stubbs, Food 52.

danish aebleskiver pancake balls with banana


Aebleskiver pronounced “able-skewer” refers to both the pancake ball and the griddle it is cooked in. The basic recipe below came with the griddle, s. The pancake balls turned out light and fluffy, not too sweet, and very addictive! You can’t have just one.

Banana Aebleskiver Pancakes (based on Great Grandma’s Danish Aebleskiver)a heavy iron pan with seven shallow cup

Basic Recipe
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups sour milk (2 tablespoons white vinegar topped up to 2 cup line)
3 eggs, separated

Filling (optional)
Mashed ripe banana, about 1/3 cup

Special Equipment
Aebleskiver, a cast iron griddle
Metal Chinese soup spoon, bamboo skewers, or teaspoon

  1. Sift together flour, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. Add sour milk and egg yolks. In another large bowl, beat egg whites until light and fluffy, until soft peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into batter. Put the batter into a small pot with a spout, e.g. a teapot; a measuring cup; or a large squeeze bottle, the kind used in commercial kitchens.
  2. Heat aebleskiver griddle on medium heat. Grease each cup with melted butter, oil, or vegetable oil cooking spray. Reduce heat to low. Then fill each cup half full. If using filling, fill the cup only half full with batter and place a small amount of fruit in each cup. Top with batter.
  3. On low heat cook for approximately 8 minutes on the first side or until golden brown on the bottom. When the top starts to look shiny and have bubbles, it’s close to time to flip. Look for the batter to pull away from the sides. It will be easier to flip when the bottom is cooked. Don’t be tempted to flip them too early for they’ll stick to the sides and tear. Flip using a metal Chinese soup spoon. This kind has a thin edge around the rim and is useful for getting under the bottom of the pancake to flip. If you don’t have a metal soup spoon, you can improvise with skewers or a teaspoon; scoop up the edges and turn. Cook the second side for 2-4 minutes or until the bottom is cooked through and slightly browned. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until all the batter is used up.
  4. When both sides are done, serve with confectioner’s sugar or cinnamon sugar for rolling the pancakes, or honey or maple syrup for dipping. Also,  try this chocolate-y Nutella thinned with milk to the desired consistency. Best eaten warm.

Cook’s Notes: I used an Oxo salad dressing mixer to pour the batter into the aebleskiver griddle. Try using a dome lid to cover the griddle during cooking. It will speed up the cooking of the pancake balls and contribute to overall browning.

Yields 35-56 pancake balls


    • Mix chopped apple and mashed banana together with brown sugar. Yum.
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poached egg and grilled pork on a rice burger patty


We haven’t been to Somtam restaurant in months, so we went last night and brought home our leftovers:  grilled pork and sticky rice. I like these leftovers. They make a great breakfast the next day.

Heat about 2 teaspoons oil in a skillet over medium heat until it shimmers.

To make the rice burger patties, I pressed the sticky rice in the bottom of a ramekin, to make a patty about 1 inch high. If the rice is too dry, pour about a teaspoon of water on it and nuke it for about 20 seconds or until it is soft. To unmold the rice, run a sharp thin blade around the edges and shake it out upside down into the skillet with the hot oil. The rice will sizzle. Fry each patty about 3-4 minutes per side or until golden brown and crispy.

Meanwhile, crack an egg on the counter and open the egg in a clean ramekin.

To poach the egg, heat 2/3 pot of water in a small sauce pan. Add about 1 tablespoon vinegar to the water and let it boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer. Using a silicone spatula, swirl the water and slip the egg from the ramekin  into the center of the eddy. Swirl a little bit more, being careful not to break the yolk. The vinegar helps the egg yolk and egg white to combine while the swirling eddy helps to shape the cooking egg  into a round. Cook 3-4 minutes depending on how runny you want your egg yolk.

To remove the egg from the sauce pan, I use a spider. This is a spatula with a round head that has holes instead of slits. Drain the poached egg well and put it on top of the rice burger patty.

To assemble, put the  patty on a plate. Top with a piece of ham, or in this case, grilled pork, and  of course, the poached egg. Garnish with Sriracha sauce, if desired. Other garnishes: minced onion or scallion and chopped fresh cilantro.

Herbed Pan-Fried Pork Chop

Reblogged from More Than One More November 13, 2010.

I always like to try new recipes. This one is from America’s Test Kitchen, which seldom disappoints. It had good flavor without being either too salty or too oily. The only question I had was, what do I do with the crisp bacon bits?

Blended spices (or use your own blend)
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon rosemary
1/4 teaspoon sage
pinch of ground fennel seed
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup flour
3 strips of bacon, chopped
4 center cut, bone-in pork chops
1/4 to 1/2 cup vegetable oil

Make the spice blend. Pour blended spices in a shallow pan or pie plate. You may find you will need to make another batch after two pork chops. I did. Pour flour into another pan or pie plate.

Season the pork chops. Dip each chop in the spice blend, then lightly dredge in the flour. Let the pork chops rest in a plate for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, fry up the bacon in a large 12 inch skillet. When crisp, remove the bacon to drain but reserve the bacon fat. Start wth 1/4 cup of oil to the fat and heat until just smoking. Add more oil if necessary.

Fry the pork chops. Put each pork chop in the hot oil. Fry for 3-4 minutes on each side. Mine came out over done so I would reduce that to 2-3 minutes per side instead. Drain on a greased wire rack set over a baking tray in a warm oven. Don’t discard the pan drippings.

Still no idea what to do with the bacon bits but since I was making pan fried asparagus with tomatoes and black olives, I decided to dress that up with the bacon. Ta-dah!

Pan-fried Asparagus with Tomatoes and Black Olives (and bacon bits)
2 pounds thick asparagus spears, ends trimmed
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup black olives, chopped
2 -4 garlic cloves, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (optional)
1 tablespoon bacon, chopped and fried until crisp, drained (optional)
4 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped (optional)

Trim the asparagus. Hold up one spear and snap off the end. Cut all the other spears to the same length.

Make the tomato-black olive dressing. Use the pan drippings from the pork chops to make the dressing. Over medium heat, fry the garlic in the pan drippings until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and olives. Cook until the tomatoes “spring” water and become wilted. Pour the dressing into a bowl, cover with foil, and reserve.

Cook the asparagus. Rinse out the skillet and dry it with paper towels. Heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil. Lay half the spears in the pan in one direction. Lay the other half in the opposite direction. Cover and cook over medium heat until the asparagus turns a bright green, about 2-4 minutes. Remove to a serving dish and pour the dressing on top. Top with cheese, basil, or bacon bits.

Crunchy Baked Pork Chops and Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Reblogged from More Than One More Day, Sunday September 26, 2010

Simple avocado and lettuce salad, pasta with etc. and the crunchy pork chop

Like any good foodie, I went to check out the new Trader Joe’s that opened at 72nd and Broadway. Looking for what America’s Test Kitchen calls “a hearty white bread” I chose this one as a likely candidate. In the package the slices were 1 inch thick and were substantial, without that Wonder Bread softness. When the cashier told me it makes excellent French toast I knew I was in the neighborhood. The menu tonight was entirely from America’s Test Kitchen. I had to make some adjustments since Fairway, just 2 blocks up Broadway from Trader Joe’s, does not sell center cut pork chops 2 to a pack but 3 to a pack. This recipe requires you to make your own breadcrumbs but after that, the pork chops cook very quickly in less than 20 minutes. In this recipe you must soak the meat in brine before baking.

Crunchy Baked Pork Chops
3 center cut boneless pork chops, 3/4 to 1 inch thick, trimmed of excess fat

4-6 teaspoons table salt (down from 1/4 cup)
4 cups water
1 gallon size ziploc bag

Dipping Mixtures:

breadcrumb mixture
3 slices of “hearty white bread”, shredded into 1 inch pieces
1/4 cup onion
3 large cloves garlic
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped (parsley in the original recipe but I like cilantro)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme

1/4 cup

egg white mixture
6 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
3 large egg whites
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

3 lime wedges for garnish

Combine all the brine ingredients in the gallon ziploc bag. Put the pork chops inside, close it, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove from the bag and pat dry. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350˚F.

While the pork chops are brining, prepare the bread crumb mixture. Pulse the bread pieces in a food processor or blender until you get coarse crumbs. If using a blender, do a handful at a time. Spread the bread crumbs on a tray. I like onion and garlic, so I increased the amounts from 2 tablespoons onion to 1/4 cup, and I used 3 large cloves instead of 2 medium. Pulse the onions, garlic, and oil together, about 6 times.

Add the onion mixture to the breadcrumbs and mix well. Bake until golden brown and dry, about 20 minutes, stirring twice. Remove the breadcrumbs from the oven but do not turn it off. Let the breadcrumbs come to room temperature. Toss the crumbs with Parmesan, thyme, and chopped cilantro. Transfer to a pie plate and set aside. In another pie plate, pour 1/4 cup flour and set aside. In a third pie plate, add the egg whites, mustard, and 6 tablespoons flour. Whisk until there are pea sized particles.

Increase oven temperature to 425˚F. Spray a wire rack with cooking spray and put it in a baking tray. Dip each pork chop in the following sequence: flour, egg mixture, and breadcrumb mixture. Place about 1 inch apart on the prepared wire rack. Bake 17-25 minutes. I baked the 3 chops for 17 minutes and they came out juicy and slightly pink but cooked through. According to ATK, the internal temperature should reach 135˚F. Then let the chops rest 5 minutes until they reach an internal temperature of 150˚F. Now ATK did not say resting inside or outside the oven, but I turned off the oven and left the chops inside for 5 minutes. They were indeed crunchy, as promised, and not at all salty.

Here’s the recipe for the pasta. Now, when I cook, I don’t run and and buy everything exactly as the recipe says for one very simple reason: economy. I make substitutions especially if they won’t alter the taste or the appearance of the finished product. Instead of pasta shells, I used an open package of elbow macaroni from my pantry cupboard.

Pasta with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Ricotta, and Peas
2 cups pasta shells
1 cup frozen green peas
3 large cloves garlic (up from 2 cloves)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (I didn’t increase this because these pepper flakes are potent–they’re home-made by my sister-in-law’s cook in Bangkok)
1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
1 8.5 oz. jar sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, drained, rinsed, and chopped coarsely
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
2 teaspoons fresh mint, chopped thinly
salt and black pepper to taste

Boil the pasta according to package directions. In the last 15 seconds, add the frozen peas. Drain and return to the pot.

In a small skillet, heat the garlic, oil and pepper flakes until sizzling but not browned. I accidentally browned the garlic, but I think it tastes better that way. I like the strong burned flavor. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, ricotta, Parmesan cheese, mint, salt and pepper to taste, and the garlic oil mixture. Add to the pasta and peas and mix thoroughly.

spicy sweet corn, zucchini, and ricotta fritters with fresh tomato salsa


I was thinking again how much these fritters remind me of shrimp fritters. The first time I made them, I followed the original recipe. This time around, I changed things up. So I added more flour, lots of black pepper, and some fresh chilies. The chilies add flavor to the fritters, but if you want more heat, leave in the seeds. I like a tomato salsa with these fritters, and I prefer to make my own as the store-bought tends to be salty and sour. And fresh tastes better anyway!

Spicy Sweet Corn, Zucchini, & Ricotta Fritters (adapted from
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 16-20 minutes

1/2 cup milk
2 large eggs
1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese
2 cups self rising flour, plus more for thickening
2 1/2 cups fresh corn, about 2 medium ears
2 1/2 cups grated zucchini, about 2 medium
1 small green sweet pepper, seeded and chopped
3 scallions, chopped
2 tablespoons black pepper, coarse ground
3-4 red chilies, seeded and chopped
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed

Fresh tomato salsa, for serving
Baby cos lettuce (romaine lettuce), for serving

Whisk milk and eggs together. Add ricotta cheese and blend well. Add flour gradually, blending it in, stirring constantly so there are no lumps and a smooth batter forms. Add corn, zucchini and pepper. Stir in the scallions, black pepper, and the chilies. Season to taste with salt. The batter should be thick. Because the zucchini springs water, add more flour as needed. Test it—the batter should mound when dropped from a spoon. If it doesn’t, add more flour a tablespoon at a time.

Heat oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat until oil shimmers. Using a 1/4 cup measure, mound three scoops of batter into the skillet and fry until golden on one side, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and do the second side for another 2-3 minutes. If the heat is too hot, and the fritters fry up too quickly, turn down the heat a little. Do a second batch, adding more oil as needed. When you do, you will have to let the oil heat up again. Continue until all the batter is used up.

Drain fritters on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking tray. Serve with a fresh tomato salsa and baby cos leaves. Makes about 24 fritters.

Fresh Tomato Salsa (adapted from Eating Well)
• 1 large tomato, diced (or 2 medium)
• 1/4 cup scallion, minced
• 1-2 chilies, seeded and minced
• lime juice (half a small lime)
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
• Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Serving Suggestion: Serve fritters with Tzatziki Sauce.

chicken kebabs with oven-roasted vegetables, lemon dressing, and tzatziki sauce


We ate Chinese twice this weekend. To change things up, I made chicken kebabs that had been marinated in yogurt and paired them with oven-roasted vegetables. Since the vegetables cook at different times, I parboiled them. That is to say, I cooked them in boiling salted water so that they could roast in the oven at the same time. The caveat to this recipe is not to marinate the chicken more than 6 hours because the yogurt tenderizes the meat; any longer and the meat turns to mush. Marinated for 3 hours, the grilled chicken turned out moist and tender and so savory. To serve, all you do is sprinkle the lemon dressing on the meat and eat with tzatziki sauce on the side.

Chicken Kebabs
Prep time: 20 minutes
Marinating: 3 hours
Cook time: 10 minutes

1 boneless skinless chicken thigh cut into strips 2 inches wide
3 cups chicken tenders cut into thirds
1/2 cup plain low fat or fat free yogurt
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 small onion, quartered
1/2 cup sweet bell pepper cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
6 shiitake mushrooms, whole
6 small tomatoes, whole
6-8 metal skewers

Lemon Dressing
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Sugar, optional (only if the dressing is too tart)
1 teaspoon dried rosemary

Tzatziki Sauce
2 cups cucumber, sliced
1/2 cup plain low fat or non fat yogurt
1/4 cup green pepper
1/4 cup onion, quartered
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 heaping tablespoons each fresh herbs, e.g. mint, dill, cilantro
2 tablespoons white vinegar, plus more if it’s not tart enough
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Sugar, optional (only if the sauce is too tart)

  1. Make the lemon dressing and the tzatziki sauce. Whisk the lemon juice and olive oil together until they emulsify. Stir in the garlic and rosemary, and season to taste. Put all the ingredients for the tzatziki sauce in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is chunky and season to taste.  Refrigerate the dressing and the sauce until ready to eat.
  2. Marinate the chicken in the yogurt mixture and refrigerate. Take it out of the refrigerator and thread 2-3 pieces of meat on the skewer, leaving a little space in between. Top the end of the skewer with sweet pepper, onion, mushroom and tomato. Repeat process until the chicken is finished. It makes about 8-10 skewers. Discard the marinade.
  3. Grill in a 200˚C/450˚F oven for about 10 minutes or until the edges of the meat and vegetables become slightly charred.

Oven-Roasted Vegetables
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 22 minutes, 30 seconds
Roasting time: 20 minutes

1 daikon, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
2 carrots, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
1 large potato, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
2 cups broccoli florets
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Heat the oven 200˚C/450˚F. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.

Boil a pot of lightly salted water. Cook the daikon 5 minutes, the carrots 7 minutes, and the potatoes 10 minutes. Dunk the broccoli in the water for just 30 seconds or until they turn bright green.

Shock the vegetables in an ice bath to stop the cooking and set the color.

Drain the vegetables and pat dry. Put them in a large bowl. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Put vegetables in a single layer on the tray. You may need 2 trays to do this. Roast vegetables in oven about 20-25 minutes or until they begin to brown.

Aunt Gloria’s Shrimp Fritters


Reblogged from, Sunday July 18, 2010

The nicest thing about visiting Calgary is finding out what family foodies are cooking and eating! This recipe is full of shrimp and flavor. The egg, which is optional, adds additional leavening. The tomato helps keep the fritter moist. At my dad’s request, my sister-in-law Lorraine made these fritters for a Calgary Stampede breakfast at home. Our guests requested her recipe because they loved these fritters so much. Lorraine uses very little measurements in her cooking but I like to be scientific so these amounts, except for the shrimp, are approximate.

3 lb. (6 cups) large frozen fresh shrimp, thawed, shelled, deveined, cut into 4 pieces each and sprinkled with 1 teaspoon salt (optional)
2 1/2 cups self-rising flour, plus more as needed (omit salt or use very little if using self-rising flour)
1 egg (optional)
1 large tomato seeded and chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons black pepper (use less if preferred)
2 cups water, plus more as needed
1 cup scallion, chopped finely  (about 1 bunch),
1  1/2 cup cilantro, chopped finely (about 1 1/2 bunches)
1-3 “country peppers” (scotch bonnet or habañero), seeded and chopped finely (discard seeds or use them if a hotter fritter is desired)
1 inch of oil in a heavy skillet for frying.

In a large bowl, mix the flour and black pepper. Add shrimp, egg (if using), tomato, water, scallion and cilantro. Mix well. The batter should be thick, not runny. There are two ways to test this. First, dip a spoon in the batter and drop it on the surface.  If the batter mounds and doesn’t spread, the batter is thick enough. The second way is the traditional method.  Lorraine dips a wooden chopstick in the batter and pulls out the stick.  If batter runs off the chopstick, it needs more flour. If it drips in clumps, it’s thick enough. Add a bit more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the batter is too thin. If the batter is too thick, add up to 1/2 cup more water, one tablespoon at a time. Add the chilies to the batter and stir to combine.

For the next part, put on a kitchen apron in case the oil spatters. Heat 1 inch of oil in a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Lorraine dips a wet wooden chopstick in the oil; if it sizzles then it is hot enough. Drop batter in rounded kitchen spoonfuls in hot oil, each fritter about 3 inches in diameter. Fry until golden, about 2-3 minutes on each side. If the fritters get brown too quickly, reduce the heat to medium. Fry just 3 fritters at a time. Drain well on paper toweling. Cool slightly. Serve warm as an appetizer or as a snack.