Monthly Archives: November 2009

Layered Tofu Cake, Swirl Coffee Cookies. Perfect Saturday.

I can’t believe it have been raining for like one week!! how come Maryland is having so much rain this year?

as the weather gets cold, my craving for warm dishes spikes, especially for warm soups. Today I just accidentally make a realy delish soup . Yes, by accdident!

So the meal is called a steamed layered tofu cake with salmon and shiitakes …oh my. that’s a long name without any fun ! yet you have to forgive me – I have been totally brain damaged after 7 days of paper writing!

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This dish is fully packed with protein:  let me just do a quick statistical analysis:

1. Salmon: 21 g.

2. Tofu: 9g.

3. Shiitake: 12.5g.

Sounds like a perfect source of good protein meal ! So I make a layered Tofu Cake with Salmon and Shiitakes.

to be frank, I have no idea that after steaming this for 10 min, the dish will turn into a soup. But the soups just taste surprisingly good! it’s just full of the flavors from that savory salmon , and smoky shiitake..plus, the salmon is perfectly “merged” with the the silky tofu, which makes it like a real burger in some sense :-)

stacking those tofu , salmon and shiitake slides is nothing technically challenging. Well, my tips is : please please please make the tofu slices BIG enough to hold your greedy salmon input! I almost crashed one stack because I am trying to put 4-5 salmons in it!

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here is the ingredients:

1. 2 Shiitake, soaked in hot water for about 15 minutes until they are soft and soaky. Thinly slice them.

2. about 10 slices of salmon, marinade them with light soysauce and cooking wine , for about 20 mins (depends on how thin you can slice them!)

3. Silky Tofu please. that taste just much better when steamed.

stack everything together with whatever order you like ( and I don’t mind if you stack them with 5-6 layers with your super good hands).

steam them for 10 minutes. sprinkle with finely chopped basil to fresh it up.

It is such a satisfied meal !!!

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May I serve some swirl coffee cookies as well?

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They are a great pick-me-up. because, the dark part, is purely coffee …and I pour in around 1/2 cup of instant coffees, not intentionally!!! So I can only have them in the morning :-)

I guess i dont’ need time to explain how a cookie taste like. yeah, they are cookies, makes lifes so much sweeter, perfect to go with tea or coffee if you are not scared of coffine intake today.

I trust my brand cookies – I know exactly what’s in it:

1. Dough #1:  1 Cup self-raising flour + 1tsp of sugar + 1/4 of veggie oil.

2. Dough #2:  1 Cup self-raising flour + 1tsp of sugar + 1/4 of veggie oil+ 1/2 instant coffee (I guess 1/3 cup would be enough, if you don’t like the bitter flavor from coffee).

3. Knead two doughs and stack them , roll it .

4. after freezing the combination dough for about 40 min, cut it, bake them at 350 degree oven, about 20 minutes. Before it cools down, sprinkle with unsweetened coconut flakes.

Should I still call it a guilty pleasure???? come on, there is even no butter in my cookie!! :-)

Hope every one has a great weekend and enjoy cooking creations!

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Filed under Fushion Dishes, Sweet Endings

A little Adventure II: oodles of noodles_Radish noodle with Spicy Hummus

I need some fresh air

As above, so below.

Food definitely offers me pure pleasure, even if they are guilty pleasures.

so, let’s talk about food !

As the episode may remind you, the meal created these days might be extremely weird , funny, outrageous, …, taste ? so far so good!

I made a Radish noodle that absolutely carb-free, topped with Spicy Hummus!

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I keep my finger crossed that you still believe they look like noodle!

I use the food processor to create these oodles of noodles from the Radish ( white one, from Asian Market). They are pretty juicy and crisp, with a little pepper-like spicy. I love to eat them raw , and serve cold as salad.

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So the ingredients:

1. Shredded Radish ( I promise  they still look like noodles :-)))

2. 3 long green pepper

3. about 1/3 cup of hummus.

4. 1tsp of olive oil.

Blend 2 to 4 will end up with a beauty green:

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those peppers are not dramatically spicy …thank God I pick the right one!

and the hummus now just blend in more naughty flavors ! I love this sesame seed, chickpea, peppers, cumin, and extra virgin olive oil mixtures ! Looks like I am creating a spicy version of pesto as well !

I decide to throw in another “spicy hummus” picture to rigidly prove it’s greenish lovely color:

 

 

 

 

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Top the noodles with spicy hummus, and drizzle some light soy sauce. Em em., so good.

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A Little Adventure I: Taste of Cloud Nine, Hummus Stuffed Aubergine

Do I sound like writing a paper with that title “I” “II” “III”, well Maybe baby! I AM writing a paper these days – it just take over my minds and I am being seriously academia in terms of cooking too!

But I am kinda a fan of day dreaming, and needs little fantasy every now and then.  Cloud nine, was a famous bar in Tallest building in Shanghai.  The night spent there drinking and savoring delicate dessert would always be an unforgettable moment for me. unfortunately, the Bar is not there anymore. So, somehow my memory is stirred up, and somehow I’m thinking of an good old friend.

All of these name the cake even before I make it.

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Taste of Cloud Nine

The cloud is actually egg whites. and lots lots lots of Nuts, because I’m a nut person:-). and I add in the pumpkin spice to make it have the flavor of the season:

Nobody complaining how many nuts I am putting in the cake!!! Please!!!

the ingredients for cake:

1. 2 cup of self-raising flours  (being a bit lazy today :-P) +  1 tsp pumpkin spice +2 egg yolk

2. 2 egg white beaten until stiff perk foam.

3. Nuts, Nuts! 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds + 1/2 cup almond, coarsely chopped

first I bake the cake for about 15 min in 350 oven, till its half done. then I spread on the egg whites> it’s so much fun!

So here comes the result:

IMG_0101 I intended to spread the egg whites more evenly  - but as you know, model estimation never comes as you expected , so my first egg white bakery doesn’t have a perfect presentation here. BUT, the baked egg whites just taste so special – it’s absolutely crisp on the outside, and pretty airy when you actually having a bite (well I didn’t mark it as a souffle :-) In addition, there is a very tempting eggo smell in the top layer !

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if you can see this very thin and puffy layer of baked egg white :

just add a little fantasy to my pumpkin nuts cake.

with my handmixer, every time the cake comes out very soft , moist and airy.

So have a taste of cloud nine!

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ooops, seems I make the sequence flipped. My entree comes after the dessert today. sorry!

I called this series a “a little adventure”, because I am going to try out several new ingredients, make a do-over of the ways eating them, and see how it goes.  So today’s actor is Aubergine.

I’m being academic here, haha – it’s just the Thai eggplant _ but who doesn’t want a fancier name !

IMG_0065they are like ping-pong ball sized egg plant, and taste absolutely different from those purple ones! they are much more crunchy even after cooking, and enormous amount of seeds inside!

today’s adventure - hummus stuffed Aubergine

I know there is a traditional dish with meat stuffed eggplant. but I’m eating way too much meat these days, I need to cut it down a bit.

So I “geniusly” think of my hummus. (the fact is, it has been there for about 2 days!)

cut the top off, cross cut the aubergine and stuff in the hummus. drizzle a bit oyster sauce and olive oil.

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see how green they are before going in to the oven!!

Aubergine has a very unique flavor that just impossible to describe. they are smoky, subtly bitter (from those seeds), but really crunchy. Aubergine is a Persian name.

I turn to 300 degrees, a bit lower then the normal temp I bake stuff. well you may notice that every time I say something about oven temp, it’s alway 350 degree. wahaha:-) that’s just so me. as I never closely follow recipes (confess!), I am being sloppy on the oven temperature too.

maybe my way of cooking hasn’t reach a point that oven temp will hurt the delicate food flavor yet. Hooooray!

When it comes out, I am a bit confused by its greyish color . But I do find the surprise of that golden edged hummus !

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I am so happy that the glazed color from oyster sauce is still there after bathing in 300 degree oven! the salty flavor of aubergine all comes from that hummus. perfectly seasoned. and they are still very crunchy !

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I just love these egg shaped, Persian named eggplant. you don’t need to pair it with strong flavored sauce – hummus is good enough.

Bon Appetite Everyone!

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Salmonizer _Episode II. Salmon Mooncakes

Life is full of drama. It’s sunny and warm in the morning. then Thunderstorm and chill-to-the-bone at night. I tried very hard to maintain the peace and joy in mind.  Yes. keep that in mind. as always.

Let me just go into the business. Here comes the Salmonizer episode II:  The Salmon Mooncakes

Okay Okay I know I am a bit late in serving mooncakes at this point of time. but given the fact that I didn’t have chance to munching on enough mooncakes this year (the price is killing me! ) , I decide to be my biggest mooncake supplier this year. Yupp!!!

It’s a bit tricky to make these moon cakes. well, let me just admit it, it’s not merely tricky – it’s DIFFICULT! I once again have a very hard time to knead the dough. Guess what , this time I need two doughs ! (can somebody help me out here??)

IMG_9921So one dough on the top right is the “normal dough” with water, baking soda, and a bit oil.

and the dough on the top left is the “oily dough” with only vegetable oil ! ( I didn’t use the shortenings, veg oil is always a healthy option).

wrap with plastic wraps and put in the fridge for 1 hour.

Then when they comes out, your turn of labor work!!!

it’s NOT very easy (I am telling ya the truth) to knead two doughs together. The oily one had a very hard time to get along well with the normal dough. Well, I forgive you.

so, I almost give up “assimilating” these two doughs. let them be who they are. yeah. I’m fine with that.

IMG_9937And then comes the easy part:

1. make the fillings: salmon + pork + ginger + 1 tsp of soy sauce + 1 egg whites.

2. Wrap the filling and try your best to make it CLOSED and round it up with your hand – gently.

3. brush with egg yolk and sprinkle some black sesame seed.

4. Bake, at 350 degree oven, for 30 min, until you really can not control yourself any more because of that nice salmon smell and crispy wraps.

Here they are:

 

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I can’t help tried two. yupp. two. they are way too delicious for me to even think about the fatty dough. the oily dough. yeah. whatever. they are very yammy. If you love the layers of that crispy wraps, and the smell of Salmon, you would love this moon cake – salty version .

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it makes me home sicking again. I miss the days back home when we stand in lines and wait to buy those special meat mooncakes. I guess it’s just when we grow up, there are so many things out of our control.

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Bear with my photography hobby. I took quite a few of these cuties and feel obliged to share with you , my friends, when you are far away from your family, friends, beloved ones, there is only one way to make yourself stronger : understand why I am here , why I am doing what I am doing, and make all the effort worthwhile.

yeah, and of cause, having some mooncakes with me.

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Filed under Authentic Asian

Salmonizer _ Episode I. Salmon Cookies and Crunchy Glazed Salmon Steak.

I know that’s not a good name – Salmonizer – but it stuck in my head all day long , with Britney Spears voice, too.

I am not fanatic about Salmon. But when it’ on sale at 3.99 per pound, I quickly fake myself as a big fan of salmon. Thousands of recipes just pops in my mind, that make me feel obliged to write a whole episode of Salmon stories.

So today comes the episode I: Salmon Cookies and Crunchy Glazed Salmon Steak:

IMG_9920 Salmon is always so easy to cook, and, most importantly, no annoying fish bones that would stuck in throat and make me sick. seriously, I mean, really sick. I once had a fever because of that stuck fish bone. And I had been to the hospital TWICE to get the fish bone out in the last 25 years. So I’ve been quite careful , or to put it this way, I’ve been avoiding eating fish for a long time.  But after coming over to the States, I suddenly find out that I am not the only one who can not eat fish with bones . Hooray! Salmons, Tilapia, Cod, blah blah blah, they can all be majestically made with absolutely no fish bones. Yeah !

So I begin to eat fish. Not a lot though. But Salmon is my routine one that I have 100% confidence in making it delicious.

To marinate the salmon steak, I use:

1. 1 tsp of light soy sauce, 1 tsp of cooking wine, sprinkle some TJ’s seafood grill seasoning to get that fancy herbs .

2. put them in the fridge for about 2 hours, and then 300 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Don’t bake it too long – fish would dry out.

3.  The soy sauce would give it a nice red-wine like glaze . Top the steak with some finely chopped pumpkin seed, and mayo (just for fun, btw, I didn’t use light mayo :-P). sided them with greens ( I use snake bean with mayo ).

EAT !  Please!  Topping dishes with chopped nuts is a great idea  - always love that little naughty crunchiness !.

The leftover salmon goes into my Salmon Cookies. They are surprisingly good. Look at the pics first – can u guess what is it made of ?

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Well, just can’t be more simpler.

These golden-ish cookies are No Butter, No flour, No Sugar, just a bit good fat (omega 3 from Salmon of cause). and Lots Lots of Protein.

Ingredients:

1. Salmon and Tofu. Mix them really well with 1 egg, and a bit seasoning (pinch salt), and ginger.

2. No oil , No sugar, No flour needed.

3. 400 Degree oven, for about 20 minutes.

4. Sprinkle some herb seasonings to make a good presentation.

IMG_9967Aren’t they pleasantly guilt-freely delicious? Tofu is full of flavor because of salmons. They absorb all the fat and juice of that fish, plus, 400 degree oven makes them really crunchy.  Hope that satisfy your cookie cravings. Bon Appetite Everybody!!!!

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Filed under Fushion Dishes

Simply Delish. Warm Snakebean Salad. and Very Basic Scone. yes that’s its name.

I am a little bit down right now. Well, I’m pretty excited and delighted the whole day because of the fabulous weather and progress of my work.  Nice and productive day, favorite zumba class. Then I got a email from my advisor about the writing problem of my paper. He is really sincere in pointing out this problem for me. I’ve been doing pretty much match and programming all these years and didn’t involve myself with writing that much. Now I’m near the end of the program and need to be ready for the job market next year. Sometime we avoid the problem and thought we’ll get over it, well, in the end, we all need to face it. That’s my writing problem . it is finally here. I am a little bit hate myself not solving this problem earlier. On the other hand, I guess I’m really lucky to have someone bluntly raise this issue for me – hope it’s not too late and I decided to make a difference this time.

Okay, back to eats. (do I sounds really down??? sorry, I am. .)

I make some scone this morning. My virgin scone experience.  Since I need to make some really fancy ones for X’mas, this is the first small step . Also, this is the very first time I follow everything on the back of that flour package.

IMG_9888Big mess of my kitchen – never thought knead a dough would SO difficult ! it’s always so sticky !!!

I guess I use twice much flour as it instructed. whatever , finally it’s not stick to my hand !!!

Since this is a virgin-scone, I won’t bore you with the recipe . Nothing fancy in it, just flour, baking powder, salt, milk and butter.

see how fat they are??? I begin to doubt that 15-18 min instruction is enough for my big dough!!!

IMG_9901 So I leave it in the cozy oven for about 30 minutes.

First batch comes out pretty good – golden browned, buttery crisp outside , hot and fluffy inside.  Very very buttery – it says I need 1/3 cup of butter and I firmly stick with the rule.

My pinky friend is with me again today and I don’t mind share with her my scone at all!

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This is just the first version of my scones. it’s so simple and basic that I can not even think of a creative name for it. So I just name it as “VERY BASIC SCONE“.  do you mind?

I’m a bit going to extreme today – kinda depleted with my cognitive resources I guess, really being uncreative about the names. Because the food is simple. and they taste delish.

For lunch, I had a warm Snake bean Salad ( ooops, did I just go from extremely simple name to extremely scary name? )

This is a very easy to make warm salad, perfect for cold days, and rocks in its crunchiness.

IMG_9912Total cooking time is about 15 min.

1. cut tofu into small cubes , and boil them in hot water for about 2 min.

2. cut snake bean into your favorable chewy size . and boil them for about 10 min, until that funny bean smell go away :-)

3. 1 tsp of light soy sauce, 1/3 tsp of sesame oil.

4. finely chopped pumpkin seeds for the top.

Done.

Simply delicious. It’s light and crunchy. Makes me feel salad is not that bad in the cold days. huh.

Alright. Done with eats. Tomorrow I have very full schedule. Thursday, too. Friday, yes. well, all the following days, I guess I will be extremely busy. I need to fix my writing problem.

Good night every one,

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Filed under Fushion Dishes, healthy spread

A Hummus You Will NEVER get bloated!! A Sweets You will NEVER feel guilt ! :-) Eggplant Hummus and Yam Pudding

After whole day of relaxation, my Monday actually doesn’t go so well as I expected… I was really exciting to show my prof the work I did last week , but suddenly we realize that there is one critical measure I forgot to calculate. BIG oooooops. Back home and start running the model , again. Well, now I’m really get use to it. Patience, Persistent, and Passionate are now the three words I need to constantly say to myself to keep up a good attitude :-) No big deal, I can make it pretty quick.

Running the model and waiting for the result , well, I need to ease up the anxious with food related labor. Open the pantry and see my cumin ! however, I neither soak the chickpea the night before nor have the chickpea can in that pantry (oh yeah, I searched , but in vain). but I do want some hummus !  see, this is me, for food, I seldom plan ahead, since I never know what my stomach is craving for the next day!

For those of you who like me, always feel a bit bloated after eating beans, especially chickpeas, this would be a bloat-free hummus. Chickpea is a healthy food without doubt. It is low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber(50% 1cup), Protein and Copper, and a very good source of Folate and Manganese.  Yet here comes a bit annoying measures : 1 cup of chickpea have 7.9g sugar ? ?? oh yes ! and 269 cal ??? oh yes!! surprise surprise surprise !! em, now I find a good excuse not soaking those peas last night – well I intended to have a lighter hummus!

This light hummus is made with eggplant. IMG_9873 If you happen to have tahini and cumin at home, this would be a really easy dish. We need:

1. eggplant, make several slices on the eggplant

2. 1 tsp of cumin.

3. 1/4 cup of soymilk ( I replace the oil with soymilk, make it a bit lighter).

4. 2 tsp of Tahini

5. 4 Peppers- your choice of which kind.

Firstly, roast the eggplant for about 30 min to give it a nice smoky flavor: IMG_9874 see my purple queen just changes coat!!!

wait till they cool down, and peel the skin off  - oh that was nice and easy.

then, come on my food processor , do your duty of mixing ingredients 2-4 with the roasted eggplant , on high speed for about 2 minutes till its really smooth.

oh, forgot to say, we need to roast the pepper too, no need to spray on oil , just roast them at 350 degree oven with eggplant for about 20 min.

Then, Serve !

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You can either dip the pepper in the hummus, or stuff the pepper with the hummus. When the pepper is roasted, the pungent spiciness just went away, only left with a very soft texture. You may see that I didn’t cut the tip of pepper or eggplant off, since I am a firm believer of that “in defense of food” book — every food, should be eaten as a whole to maximize it’s nutrition value.

did I say that eggplant is only 35 cal per serving? (sorry I’m being a bit nerdy here :-))

IMG_9882To make it taste even better, I first time be VERY patient with food !! I put them in the fridge for about 1 hour. Hooray!! Great move! The hummus now is so cool, and the spiciness of pepper completely went away ! I stuff the roasted pepper with that fabulous hummus, -guilt free and bloat free hummus for a great mid-east dinner!

btw, I tried to eat the skin of roasted eggplant – not very easy to chew , just fyi.

Also I would end my sweet potato series dish with a Light Yam Pudding.  I’m deeply addicted to sweet potato and this addition is reinforced by many blogger’s food creations. They are in season !  (I hope this statement is correct).

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Light and Sweet.

1 egg + 1 cup soymilk + sliced potato. ( does that remind of Häagen-Dazs five Ads?)

400 degree oven, 30 minutes. Done.

when it’s in the oven, the whole apt is full of that sweet soymilk and egg smell.

I just couldn’t wait long enough to get all edges of that sweet potato browned. But they are surprisingly sweet and light, light and sweet.

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Bon appetite, my dear friends :)

I hope ya can bear with my sweet teeth.

Today’s workout:

1. power walk 40 minutes.

2. zumba 1 hour. my fav teacher is here!!! great cardio workout!

3. 8lbs *2, 10 lbs weights. 3 groups.

I just find my model estimation is done ! yeah!! go back to work now :-)

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Filed under Fushion Dishes, healthy spread, Light Delight, Sweet Endings