Skip to main content


Showing posts from January, 2011

Delicious Chocolate Chip Cookies

What is it about chocolate chip cookies that make everything seem better?  I have yet to meet a person that doesn't like this type of cookie.  One remembers those chipwiches from childhood or the store bought "soft batch" that tasted so good to us.   I know people who only like thin and crispy chocolate chip cookies or those who only like soft and chewy ones.  Personally, I like any chocolate chip cookie as long as it's made with good ingredients.  This particular cookie is soft, puffy and chock-full of chocolate morsels.  The other wonderful aspect about this recipe, is that you can pop the cookies into the oven as soon as you've completed your dough.  There is no need to chill it beforehand.  These will not spread much and burn around the edges like other recipes.  Have a look. The oven should be preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit . You should have several cookie sheets lined with parchment or silpats. Ingredients: 2 1/4 cups all purpose

Cleaning Your Wok

Whenever you use a carbon steel wok, it is so important to clean the pan soon after you are done.  When you've plated your food, take the wok to your sink and wipe off any oil, sauce or food residue with a paper towel.  No food or oil should go down your drain.  Do be careful when handling it from the stove because the wok will be quite hot.  Turn on your hot water and begin scraping your wok thoroughly.  Whatever you do, DON'T use any soap or detergent to clean the wok.  Doing so will remove the nonstick seasoning.  As soon as you're done, wipe the wok dry and return it to your burner.  Turn your flame on to high and let the wok get totally dry.  This should take less than a minute.  Now you can turn your flame off and add a teaspoon or so of the same cooking oil you used.  Wipe the entire surface of your wok and let it sit until it cools off.  If you follow these simple steps at the end of your wok use, there won't be any need to worry about the pan getting r

Duck Fried Rice

I made roast duck a few weeks ago for a special occasion and had leftover leg meat.  The duck was purchased from D'Artagnan  and let me just say that it was perfectly delicious.  I thought of ways to use up the remaining duck, such as making a duck pot pie or a duck confit, but then it hit me.  Why not make fried rice out of this?  The ingredients are few and the technique isn't too hard.  The results?  Utterly delicious. You'll notice that I'm using a well-seasoned carbon steel wok, but this can also work with a 12" nonstick frying pan. Make sure that all of your ingredients are premeasured, precut and waiting.  When you're stir frying, everything goes rather quickly.  This will give you 4 generous servings.       Here's the duck.  Unfortunately, I didn't document the actual roasting, so I will have to do that in the future.    My leftover roasted duck being deboned of all that tender meat. Using a small, sharp paring knife makes

Perfect Chinese Rice

Rice is a must on any Chinese table .  Many people seem to be intimidated by the idea of cooking rice, but this shouldn't be so if you follow a good recipe.  The type of rice typically served at Chinese meals is completely different from the type of rice that one would eat at an Italian, Mexican, French or say a Japanese table.  The rice has to be of the extra-long grain variety and must remain toothsome in order to be truly Chinese. This makes enough for 4 servings (if it's only 2 people dining,  cut the recipe in half & proceed).  I find this my go to recipe whenever I make a stir fry or if I need cooked rice for a fried rice .  Here's how I do it.   In a sieve, add 2 cups of extra long grain rice & rinse thoroughly under cold water. Use your hand to move the rice around in the strainer; this removes all that starch.  Initially you'll see white, cloudy water coming through the strainer & then it will clear up once it's ready.   Leave your

Double Strength Vanilla

This is a very simple idea that I've been doing for years.  It gives my baked goods just the right amount of boost and a well rounded flavor.  The key is not to use inferior ingredients.  Buy the best vanilla extract and vanilla beans you can find.  Once you've made this double strength vanilla, there will be no going back to the plain kind.  The ingredients: -1 vanilla bean -pure vanilla extract Split your vanilla bean in half, lengthwise. There is no need to scrape out the seeds. I tuck the vanilla bean into a small apothecary jar that will hold the extract. Pour carefully through a funnel & fill your jar. Make sure the vanilla bean is submerged. I like to "cure" this vanilla for a week or 2 before I start using it. The dark, rich double-strength vanilla. Places will sell you a "double strength" vanilla, but they're expensive.  Doing it yourself at home is much easier and less costly.  You don't absolutely need an apothecary

Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin bread is something I like to start baking a few weeks leading into the holidays.  It's wonderful to give as gifts to loved ones, but it's also great to have on hand because it is so tasty.  Don't think, however, that I limit myself to baking this delicious bread only around this time of the year.  I've been known to whip up a batch of these loaves well into March if the mood strikes me.  Although the original recipe I use is a classic, I've changed bits here and there over the years and I think that this final version is my favorite.  The recipe makes 4 large 9x5x3" loaves, but can be cut in half if you wish to make only 2.  Let me show you how I make them. Large bowls from my yellowware collection. The Ingredients: 3 sticks room temperature unsalted butter 2 cups granulated sugar 1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar 8 large room temperature eggs 1 1/3 cups orange juice (cranberry, apple or pomegranate can be used) 4 cups pumpkin puree (not the s