Seared Scallops with Lemon Glaze

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Hi everyone. As you know I have been cooking a lot with sous vide immersion cooker. Things that were normally harder to cook have all of a sudden become a whole lot easier (this is not a plug for one I swear). One of those things that I have generally had a more challenging time with before was pan searing scallops. They either didn’t sear well or came out over cooked. But, with the sous vide, it was pretty simple to sear and keep them well cooked. I made a lemon glaze to go with it and paired it with sautéed kale and crispy sweet potatoes for a perfectly easy and healthy meal.

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Ingredients

  • large scallops
  • 2 large lemons
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Red Chili flakes
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 green onion, separating green and white part
  • 4 tbsp dry wine
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 tsp honey

Directions

  • Heat water bath to 122ºF
  • Wash and dry scallops
  • Salt and pepper to taste and place them in the vacuum bag (~1lb/bag)
  • Place 2 lemon slices in the bag and seal
  • Place in water bath for 30 minutes
  • At this time, prepare the sauce by heating butter in a saucepan
  • Add the chopped white part of the green onion and chili flakes
  • remove the scallion and in another bowl combine orange juice and juice of a lemon to get 2/3 cup of liquid
  • When the scallops are done cooking, remove them from the bag and pat dry them
  • Sear in skillet over high heat with butter residue from sauce
  • remove the scallops and deglaze with dry wine
  • Add the orange and lemon juice mixture and zest of 1 lemon
  • stir in green onion and bring to a boil until glaze like consistency
  • Add honey if too sour/tart for your liking
  • Pour the sauce over the scallops and enjoy (or I placed the scallops on top of the sauce)

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Poached Cod

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So I always hear that poaching fish is a good and easy way to cook it (ok not always hear, maybe like a few times). Of course when I looked it up, it didn’t seem that hard, and all in all I’d say that it isn’t. However, if I am going to be honest, while it looks pretty in the broth and all the veggies, I probably prefer to pan sear my fish and eat it slightly crispy.  Not everything we make can always be freaking awesome you know? sometimes you strike out, and this doesn’t even qualify as striking out. There was a lot of good flavor in the broth, but I just felt that the fish was kind of bland and lacking. Maybe if I get venturous again I will give this one another shot in the future, but for now, here it is. If you change it up and it comes out tasting great, please let me know what you did differently. I would like hear!

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Ingredients:

  • 6 cups water
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • potatoes, sliced
  • onions/shallots, sliced
  • carrot, sliced
  • 1/2 lemon sliced
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 cod filets
  • 2 bay leaves
  • parsley and/or cilantro

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Directions

  • Combine all ingredients other than the cod in a pot and bring to a boil on high heat
  • Reduce to a simmer on low heat
  • When liquid is lightly simmering, add cod filets, making sure to completely cover them in liquid
  • Poach until cod is opaque and flaky (~7min?)
  • Serve….so simple right?

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Sous Vide Pork Rack

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As you know I got a sous vide as a gift, and I have been trying my hardest to use it as often as I can. Now I know it can be time consuming, but man does stuff come out good. Gone are the days of roasting things in the oven or frying things in a pan and having it dry out. Sous Vide reminds me of those “Set it and Forget it” commercials from back in the day. So I decided to sous vide a 4 bone pork rack (originally came in a rack of 8 bones, but I cut it in half, because who the heck is going to eat 8…). I made this before by roasting in the oven and it came out great, but this one came out better in my opinion. Also this recipe is not from anywhere, or based on anything, but just me experimenting, so feel free to mess around obviously. But you can try both and let me know!

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Ingredients

  • Rack of pork
  • Kosher Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 tbsp of dried oregano, thyme, rosemary
  • Olive oil

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Directions

  • Set sous vide water bath to 143º F (or oven to 350º)
  • Rinse and dry pork rack
  • Salt and pepper the pork, and add herbs as well
  • Place the pork rack into the bag, add some olive oil, and seal (alternatively place in roasting pan and drizzle oil)
  • Place in water bath for 90 minutes (or oven for 1hour)
  • Remove from water bath, pat dry, and sear in skillet over high heat for ~2-3 minutes a side (may need a little oil in the skillet)
    • if using the oven, skip this step
  • Let the pork rest, cut, serve, and enjoy!

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Sous Vide Salmon

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Hello everyone! Long time no talk/post. I recently got an immersion cooker/sous vide from Jenn. Thank you! I gotta say that it is pretty sweet. I mean it takes some amount of time to prep and wait, but I have not had a bad meal yet. In my ever lasting, but ultimately failed, quest to eat healthier, here is a recipe for a sous vide salmon I made with roasted carrots and sautéed kale (never thought I’d say that).

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Ingredients:

  • Salmon filets
  • Salt and pepper
  • Dried thyme, parsley
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • Vegetable oil

Directions:

  • Salt and pepper the salmon filets
  • Season lightly with thyme and parsley to taste
  • Place salmon filets in ziploc bag or vacuum seal
  • Add olive oil to the bags and gently squeeze around so that the filet is fairly coated with the oil
  • Seal bag and place in water bath at 110° F for 30-45 minutes
  • Take the filets out of the bag and sear in pan with vegetable oil over med-high heat, skin side down until crisp (1-2 min)
  • Flip the filet and sear for another 30 seconds
  • Blot excess oil and serve with sides (roasted carrots and sautéed kale)

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Citrus Scallops and Quinoa Salad

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As I have been doing this blog (sparingly to be honest), it has made me venture into things that I normally would not eat or attempt. This is especially true in light of the fact that I am trying to eat healthier (venturing into baking isn’t awesome on your body when you live by yourself…). Thus my foray into the magical worlds of quinoa and kale (although there is no kale in this recipe). I bought some quinoa on a whim and decided to try and make it, but man is it boring. So I thought I’d try and spice it up a bit (or in this case, sweeten), by making it into more of a citrus salad. And because I need some kind of protein, I added some seared scallops to go along with it. The result was a really good, light meal that I did not feel guilty about eating. So give it a go and let me know how it turns out for you.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked to instructions
  • 1 lb large sea scallops, washed and dried
  • 1 grapefruit, cut into slices
  • 2 navel oranges, cut into slices
  • 1 large avocado, cut into cubes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • salt and pepper to taste

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Instructions

  • Cook quinoa to instructions
  • Mix the olive oil, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper in a small bowl
  • Wash and pat dry the scallops, salt and pepper to taste
  • Sear the scallops in a large pan over med-high heat
  • Mix the quinoa and the dressing, using a fork to combine
  • Add the avocado, grapefruit, and oranges and mix again
  • Add the scallops and in my case sautéed spinach as well
  • Eat and not feel guilty!

Lemon Chicken Skewers

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Today’s dish is a super simple and easy one. It is a product of being basically broke and wanting to eat healthier. I don’t think I realized that when I started all this, how expensive eating healthy can be. These skewers don’t require a lot of time, money, or preparation though, which is definitely a plus. You can make them if you are in a pinch, like me, and have little money AND little time to cook anymore. I find myself coming home from work super late and exhausted – making the prospect of cooking a daunting task. Fear not, just prep these the night before and pop em on the grill/grill pan and you are ready to go!

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into large cubes
  • Ground pepper
  • Salt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (or garlic powder)
  • Parsley, finely minced
  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • Spinach
  • Cherry tomatoes

Directions

  • Season the chicken cubes with pepper, salt, garlic, and parsley
  • Place in a bag with lemon juice for 1 hour – overnight
  • Place chicken cubes on a skewer and grill until cooked
  • At the same time, lightly wilt some spinach with EVOO in a pan and add the cherry tomatoes and cook for a few minutes
  • Place the skewers over the bed of spinach and tomatoes and enjoy your gluten free, high protein meal!

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Poke Bowl

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Hi everyone! Seriously, long time no talk/update, but that is most definitely on me. I keep meaning to update this thing or post something, and every time I thought about it, something came up, or I forgot, or I’m not sure really. Well as life update, I moved back to the Bay area for work and started about a month ago. It’s been crazy readjusting to life here and to the prices of everything…. But one thing I noticed was that there were TON of poke bowl places…basically Chipotle for us Asian people. So, I saw that ahi tuna was on sale at the market and decided to try and make a bowl for myself. Most of these ingredients are completely optional and you can make it however you want. It ended up being a really filling and refreshing/somewhat light meal.

Ingredients:

  • Ahi tuna, cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • green onion, finely chopped
  • Brown rice
  • Cilantro
  • Radishes, sliced
  • Cucumber, sliced
  • Avocado, sliced
  • Lettuce (I used spring mix)
  • Nori, cut into strips
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp chili paste (to taste)

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Directions:

  • Mix tuna, onion, green onion, soy sauce, sesame oil, and chili paste in a bowl and let sit in the refrigerator for ~1 hour
  • In a large bowl, arrange the brown rice, radishes, cucumbers, and avocados (or whatever ingredients you are using)
  • Put some of the poke into the bowl and sprinkle with chopped cilantro and nori strips
  • Enjoy a super easy and delicious meal!

 

White Chocolate Strawberry Mousse Cake

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Hello everyone! As I have said recently, I went on a sweet/dessert making “binge,” but because of that I have gained weight, which sucks.  Thus, I have definitely cut back on the amount of sugar I eat, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it every once in awhile. Thus, I bring you a no bake white chocolate strawberry mousse cake that I made a little while back. I got the recipe courtesy of Home Cooking Adventures. While the cake in their pictures comes out a lot prettier and even, mine still tasted good, so I’ll take solace in that lol. So indulge your sweet tooth, give it a try, and let me know how it goes!

Ingredients:

  • 9 oz crushed graham crackers
  • 6 oz melted butter
  • 7 oz white chocolate chips
  • 12 oz whipping cream
  • 1/2 tbsp gelatin powder
  • 2 tbsp cold water
  • 10 oz strawberries, hulled
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp gelatin powder
  • 2 tbsp cold water
  • 7 oz whipping cream
  • Fresh sliced strawberries, for decoration

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Directions:

  • Cut the 7 oz strawberries and place in a small saucepan with sugar over medium heat until sugar dissolves
  • Pour into a blender and puree
  • Dissolve 1/2 tbsp gelatin in 2 tbsp cold water and let it swell ~5min
  • Place gelatin in saucepan over low heat until it dissolves and then mix into strawberry puree
  • Let sauce cool to room temp
  • Place graham crackers into food processor and pulse until you have crumbs
  • Add the melted butter and process until fully combined
  • Push the crust into the bottom of a 8-9″ springform pan until covered
  • Refrigerate until needed
  • Dissolve gelatin in water and let swell for ~5 minutes
  • Add chocolate and 5 oz whipping cream and melt with double boiler
  • Again place swelled gelatin over low heat until dissolved and pour into white chocolate mixture and let cool
  • Whip the other 7 oz of whipping cream to stiff peaks and mix in the white chocolate mixture until well combined
  • Pour the chocolate mousse over the crust and refrigerate for ~20 min to let set
  • Whip the 7 oz whipping cream to stiff peaks and add the strawberry mixture until well combined
  • Pour over the set white chocolate mixture
  • Refrigerate 4 hours to overnight before serving
  • Use a knife (warm) to run around the edge of the pan before springing it open, then slice it up and go to town!

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Baked Chicken with Cherry Tomatoes

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Fall is almost over, and we are headed into winter, but before we do, this is a really Fall dish I made.  It is really simple and doesn’t take that much time to be honest.  I think I have said this before, but I like chicken thighs because they are easy to bake and are more juicy and tender (not a breast fan). Also, I am kind of a sucker for the skin. I got the recipe just randomly browsing sites (not even really sure how I got there). In the end, I definitely enjoyed this one, but next time I probably won’t use as many cherry tomatoes, as it can get kind of pricey the more you use.

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Ingredients

  • 2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups of cherry tomatoes
  • 6 whole cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary

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Instructions

  • Sprinkle both sides of the thighs with salt and place in baking pan with some space in-between each thigh, skin side up
  • Cut the tomatoes in half and mix in a bowl with garlic, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar
  • Pour the tomatoes over the chicken pieces and arrange them so they fill the gaps between the thighs
  • Lay sprigs of rosemary over the tomatoes
  • Bake at 350 degrees for ~45 minutes
  • Skim excess fat/oil and serve with whatever you feel like
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Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon

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So I was at the local supermarket just browsing the produce section (that just sounds weird typing that) when I came upon a sale for brussel sprouts. This was not the first time I have seen such a sale, but this was the first time that I stopped at one. Trying to be healthier and more culinary adventurous, I decided to try my hand at them since it couldn’t be that hard right? But I knew that in order for them to be really good, I would have to combine it with bacon (obviously) so then I went to the meats section.  For my first time making these, it turned out pretty good. Definitely more enjoyable than I thought since Asian people don’t generally eat brussel sprouts I feel like.

Ingredients

  • 12-16 brussel sprouts
  • EVOO
  • Kosher Salt
  • Fresh black pepper
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Few slices of bacon (who am I to judge how many you use?)
  • Shaved parmesan
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

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Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  • Cut brussel sprouts length wise and rinse
  • In a large bowl mix the EVOO, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and garlic
  • Once the sprouts are dry, toss them with the EVOO and spices to evenly coat
  • Place them in the oven until tender (~20 minutes)
  • Meanwhile, fry the strips of bacon
  • After they cool, chop the bacon and toss with roasted brussel sprouts
  • Shave a few slices of Parmesan on top and enjoy!

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