loco moco (part ii)

after last time‘s loco moco fiasco (no runny eggs!!!), cam and i went to L&L’s to get some food. it looked good…

l&l's

and while the chicken katsu was very crispy and nice, my eggs weren’t runny again!!!! 🙁 so sad. gotta go get some of the real thing in hawaii. i know i’ve have runny loco moco’s at L&L’s before though, so i’ll probably give them another chance some time. and next time maybe i’ll make my own! gotta find the perfect gravy recipe…

cooking class BONUS CLASS

we were in for a treat because we got an extra SEAFOOD class! originally, NPR was going to come to film us or something so tom bought $1000+ of seafood for us to cook on a saturday. then they cancelled at the last moment, but we had the class anyway. there were some other students at tom’s house having a meeting about interhouse with national geographic. apparently they’re going to film the big party? so they ate some of the food, not that there was any shortage of food.

we didn’t get official recipes since tom kind of made up everything and told the TAs, so you can just mostly drool at the pictures. 🙂

here’s some pictures of the tables of fresh seafood we had (before cooking):

seafood!
5 lb. lobsters, several types of crabs (dungeness, king, blue, some others), potatoes

more seafood!
shrimp, clams, fish

the first thing we made was an enormous pot to steam a bunch of different seafood. at the bottom was a layer of clams with a layer of water. then were potatoes, then i think there was shrimp, king crab legs, and some other stuff. on top was some spices and herbs. it steamed for about an hour i think. here it is before and after:

big pot before
before

big pot after
after

we also steamed some crabs:

crabs
“what’s going on?” “we’re getting steamed.” “mmm… we’ll be so delicious!”

we also made some yummy shrimps suitable for cocktails. we boiled a big pot full of herbs and some greens and spices. then we threw in the shrimp for a couple minutes and put them in ice water. here they are resting:

shrimp
shrimps resting in ice water

then, since we had more time, we made a crab souffle! first, harrison made the meringue:

harrison and meringue
harrison, meringue expert

then, we made a broth from some veggies and lump crab meat.

fresh tomatoes
ooh… fresh grown tomatoes from tom’s garden!

then we strained the broth and mixed it with the meringue and some lump crabmeat.

souffles
delicious crab souffles ready to be baked

time to eat! check it out:

oh damn
lots of crabs and shrimp

here’s my plate:
yum-o!

happy delicous souffle, fresh clam chowder that tom (?) made for us, seafood, grilled corn, fries, fish is in the paper bag
but don’t forget the lobster! (boiled, 1 for each team)

lobster!
“i am delicious.”

it was a very yummy meal. there were also some buffalo burgers and hot dogs for the people not in the cooking class. the lobster was, of course, really delicious. especially dipped in butter. ditto for the corn. butter is the best. the fish turned out a little dry :(. the souffle was great. i didn’t love the steamed crabs. i like the chinese way of cooking crabs with the green onions and stuff. but it was still tasty.

cooking class #9

cooking class #9 was desserts! while we were making delicious desserts, nancy/TAs/kitchen staff were making us some stuff for dinner. here’s what we had for dinner:

dinner
going clockwise from top: lettuce wrap with a yummy chicken stir fry, DINOSAURS!!!!, mini quiches, sushi and inari, mini egg-roll, really tasty eggrolls that nancy made for us, and in the middle: baklava

mmm… tasty! anyway, here’s what we made for dessert:

dessert
angel food cake with fresh strawberries, lemon meringue pie, coconut macaroons, hot chocolate souffle and bananas foster (not pictured)

here’re the recipes:

lemon meringue pie
prep time: 40 minutes
inactive prep time: 2 minutes
cook time: 40 minutes
yield: 8-10 servings

pie crust:
1 (8-inch) frozen pie crust, thawed
dried beans, for pie weights

lemon filling:
5 lemons, juiced (about 7 tablespoons)
4 large eggs
1/2 C unsalted butter
1/2 C sugar
2 lemons, zest grated

meringue:
5 large egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 C sugar

make the pie crust: preheat the oven to 350. line the pie crust with aluminum foil and fill it with dried beans. bake the crust for 20 minutes. remove the beans and foil and continue baking until golden brown, about 10 minutes. transfer the pie crust to rack to cool.

raise the oven to 375

make the filling: in a heavy saucepan, combine the lemon juice, eggs, butter, and sugar and whisk over medium heat until the mixture thickens.

strain the filling through a sieve into a bowl. stir in the lemon zest. let the filling cool slightly.

spoon the filling (it should still be warm) into the cooled pie crust and smooth over the top with the back of a spoon.

make the meringue: place the egg whites and cream of tartar in a bowl and beat until they form soft peaks. gradually drizzle in the sugar while beating until the mixture reaches stiff peaks. spread the meringue over the top of the pie, forming occasional peaks. (the meringue should be slightly thicker in the center than at the edges).

bake the pie until the meringue browns slightly, about 10 minutes. let the pie cool on a rack. refrigerate the pie for at least 2 hours before serving.

comments: we tried the filling after making it, and it tasted quite good, but when we actually ate the pie, i thought it was a bit too sour. next time i guess i’ll make sure it’s sweet enough. we also had fun with the meringue. harrison and cameron spent a LONG time working on meringues the whole night. they are meringue experts now though.

angel food cake:
prep time: 20 minutes
cook time: 35 minutes
yield: 10 to 12 servings

1 3/4 C sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 C cake flour, sifted
12 egg whites (the closer to room temperature the better)
1/3 C warm water
1 tsp orange extract, or extract of your choice
1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar

preheat over to 350.

in a food processor spin sugar about 2 minutes until it is superfine. sift half of the sugar with the salt and the cake flour, setting the remaining remaining sugar aside.

in a large bowl, use a balloon whisk to thoroughly combine egg whites, water, orange extract, and cream of tartar. after 2 minutes, switch to the hard mixer. slowly sift the reserved sugar, beating continuously at medium speed. once you have achieved medium peaks, sift enough of the flour mixture in to dust the top of the foam. using a spatula, fold in gently. continue until all of the flour mixture is incorporated.

carefully spoon the mixture into an ungreased tube pan. bake for 35 minutes before checking for doneness with a wooden skewer (when inserted halfway between the inner and outer wall, the skewer should come out dry).

cool upside down on cooling rack for at least an hour before removing from pan.

cook’s note: since they’re easier to separate, use the freshest eggs you can get.

comments: mmm.. this cake was so light and airy. and tom bought several flats of super sweet super juicy strawberries. we just cut them and sprinkled them with sugar, which made their natural juices ooze out into a sweet syrup. these were delicious together!

coconut macaroons
14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
14 oz. coconut flakes (5 1/3 cups)

preheat oven to 325. line baking sheets with foil; grease and flour foil. set aside.

in a large mixing bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, and almond extract. stir in coconut. drop rounded teaspoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets; with a spoon slightly flatten each mount (you can dip your fingers in some water and reshape them that way as well).

bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. remove from baking sheets and let cool on wire racks.

note: while they are still hot you can press chocolate kisses into the top of each macaroon if you want.

comments: i like the chewy texture of macaroons. we made way too many of these, as usual. 🙂 but they were pretty good.

hot chocolate souffle
yield: 4 servings

3 tbl whole milk
5 1/2 tsp sugar
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate
2 egg yolks
3 egg whites
confectioner’s sugar

preheat oven to 375. butter and sugar souffle mold. combine 3 tsp sugar plus milk (stir until sugar is dissolved).

stir in chocolate in milk mixture and cook until chocolate is melted. transfer to a large mixing bowl, cool for 5 minutes, then beat in egg yolk (do not make an omelet with the yolks).

make a meringue with the egg white, add the remaining sugar and whisk until firm peaks.

gently whisk 2/3 of the meringue into the chocolate mixture and then fold the remainder of the meringue.

bake souffle and serve with confectioner’s sugar on top as a garnish. this can be served with sauces (raspberry sauce, creme anglaise, chocolate sauce, etc.)

comments: we quadrupled the recipe so…

chocolate souffles
lots of cute little souffles!! and…

giant souffles
GIANT souffles!

these were, of course, delicious. so chocolaty. i mean, we used like one pound of chocolate. rich but fluffy. and tom made a yummy raspberry sauce that complemented the souffle very well.

bananas foster
yield: 4 servings
4 tbl unsalted butter
1/2 C packed brown sugar (3 1/2 oz)
4 tbl dark rum
2 large bananas, peeled and sliced
1 pint vanilla ice cream, divided among 4 bowls

place butter, sugar, and 1 tsp rum in a heavy-bottomed skillet. turn heat to medium-high and cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is thick, about 2 minutes.

reduce heat to medium and add the bananas, spooning sauce over each piece. cook until the bananas are glossy and golden on the bottom, about 1 1/2 minutes. turn and continue cooking bananas until soft, but not mushy.

slide skillet mostly off heat and tilt away from the flame. add remaining rum and tilt pan towards flame to ignite. when flame subsides, divide mixture among the four bowls of ice cream and serve.

comments: our group had trouble lighting the bananas foster, so we kept adding more rum. i think it’s ’cause we used the wrong pan. but it was just more rummy… yummy! so perfect with ice cream.

thanksgiving

i am very behind on posting things, so here is my thanksgiving dinner.  there were about 15 people (my parents, students, me). my mom made most of the food, and it was really yummy (as it is every year).  mmm… so tasty.
thanksgiving

cooking class #8

cooking class #8 was mexican night. to be honest, i didn’t think i would like this night that much, but it turned out to be one of my favorite or my very favorite cooking class. overall there was a lot of variety to the food we made, A LOT of food (i mean, this one even left southern night in the dust), a good balance of veggies to meat, and some really great flavors.

check it out:

lots o' food
lots o’ food (about three tables worth i think). here you can see the chili verde on the way left and next to it the picante pincos and rice. beyond that is all the hard and soft tacos i think.

more food
more food! (one of the other tables)

here’s my delicious plate:

cooking class 8
in the bowl on the right: garden gazpacho. in the plate going clockwise starting at the bottom: soft taco with pork, picante pintos and rice, chile verde, chile rellenos casserole, fiesta beef enchiladas, black bean quesadilla, double duty taco in the middle next to some classic guacamole.

here are the recipes:

fiesta beef enchiladas
Makes 8 servings

16 oz. 93% lean ground beef
1 C sliced green onions
4 tsp fresh minced or bottles garlic
2 C cold cooked white or brown rice
3 C chopped tomato, divided
1 1/2 C frozen corn, thawed
2 C (8 oz.) shredded reduced-fat mexican cheese blend or cheddar cheese, divided
1 C salsa or picante sauce
24 (6-7 inch) corn tortillas
2 cans (10 oz.) mild or hot enchilada sauce
2 C sliced romaine lettuce leaves

1. preheat oven to 375. spray 13×9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. set aside. cook ground beef in medium nonstick skillet over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. add green onions and garlic; cook and stir 2 minutes.
2. combine meat mixture, rice, 2 cups tomato, corn, 1 cup cheese and salsa; mix well. spoon mixture down center of tortillas. roll up; place seam side down in prepared pan. spoon enchilada sauce evenly over enchiladas.
3. cover with foil; bake for 20 minutes or until hot. sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese; bake 5 minutes or until cheese melts. top with lettuce and remaining 1 cup tomato.

comments: i like enchiladas. so i liked this.

garden gazpacho
serves 6-8

2 3/4 C vegetable juice cocktail (V8)
1 medium cucumber, cut into chunks
3 medium tomatoes, cut into chunks
1 tbl sugar
1/4 C red wine vinegar
1/4 C olive oil
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, diced
2 green onions, chopped (green parts only)
1 zucchini, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 C cilantro, chopped and additional sprigs for garnish
7-8 drops hot pepper sauce
salt and pepper to taste
croutons and sour cream for garnish

1. in a blender or food processor, combine 1 1/4 cups vegetable juice cocktail, 1/2 the cucumber, 1 tomato, sugar, vinegar and olive oil. blend until smooth.
2. pour mixture into a large bowl and add remaining tomatoes, remaining cucumbers, red onion, celery, green onions, zucchini, green pepper, cilantro, pepper sauce, salt and pepper. stir to blend.
3. serve well chilled with croutons, a dollop of sour cream and cilantro sprigs.

comments: quite refreshing. we mixed all the group’s gazpacho together though, so i think one group put in way too many onions or something because that red onion was overpowering. when we were making it and i tried ours, it was perfect. maybe use more hot sauce though.

classic guacamole
makes about 4 cups

8 tbl finfely chopped white onion, divided
2 tbl plus 3 tsp coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, divided
2-4 fresh serrano or jalapeno peppers* (seeded and fully chopped)
1/2 tsp chopped garlic (optional)
4 large soft avocados
2 medium tomato, peeled and chopped
2-4 tsp fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp salt
corn tortilla chips or packaged corn tortilla chips
chilies and cilantro sprig for garnish

*serrano and jalapeno peppers can sting and irritate te skin; wear rubber gloves when handling peppers and do not touch eyes. wash hands after handling

1. combine 4 tbl onion, 2 tbl cilantro, peppers and garlic, if desired, in large mortar. grind with pestle until almost smooth. mixture can be processed in blender, if necessary, but it will become more watery than desired.
2. cut avocados lengthwise into halves; remove and discard pits. scoop out avocado flesh; place in bowl. add pepper mixture. mash roughly, leaving avocado slightly chunky.
3. add tomato, lime juice, salt and remaining 4 tbl onion and 3 tsp cilantro to avocado mixture; mix well. serve immediately or cover and refrigerate up to 4 hours. serve with corn tortilla chips. garnish, if desired.

comments: mmm… guacamole. tom said the secret is the mortar pestle step to combine all those flavors. very tasty.
guacamole

double duty tacos
makes 8 servings
serving suggestion: serve with refried beans or spanish rice

mexicali chili rub
1/4 C chili powder
3 tbl garlic salt
2 tbl ground cumin
2 tbl dried oregano leaves
1/2 tsp ground red pepper

tacos
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
3 tbl mexicali chili rub
3/4 C water
2 tbl tomato paste
16 packaged crispy taco shells
2 C (8 oz) shredded monterey jack or taco seasoned cojack cheese
2 C shredded lettuce
1 C chopped tomatoes
1 C diced ripe avocado
1/2 C light or regular sour cream
prepared salsa

1. for rub, combine chili powder, garlic salt, cumin, oregano, and ground red pepper in small bowl. mix well. transfer to container with tight-fitting lid. store in cool dry place up to 2 months.
2. cook beef and onion in large deep skillet over medium-high heat until no longer pink. pour off drippings. sprinkle chili rub over beef mixture; cook 1 minute. reduce heat to medium. add water and tomato paste. cover; simmer for 5 minutes.
3. spoon beef mixture into taco shells; top with cheese. arrange lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, sour cream and salsa in bowls. serve tacos with toppings desired.

comments: this is your kind of classic hard taco recipe. pretty good. but at heart i am a soft taco person so i found the next recipe more up my alley.

soft tacos with pork
makes 8 tacos

8 (6-7 inch) corn tortillas
2 tbl butter or margarine
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 C shredded cooked pork
1 can (4 oz) diced green chilies, drained
2 tbl chopped fresh cilantro
1 C (1/2 pint) sour cream
salt
black pepper
1 1/2 C (6 oz) shredded monterey jack cheese
1 large avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
green taco sauce

stack and wrap tortillas in foil. warm in 350 oven 15 minutes or until heated through. melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. add onion, cook until tender. add pork, green chilies, and cilantro. cook 3 minutes or until mixture is hot. reduce heat to low. stir in sour cream; add salt and pepper to taste. heat gently; do not boil. to assemble each taco, spoon about 4 tbl pork mixture into center of each tortilla; sprinkle with 2 tbl cheese. top with avocado; drizzle with 1-2 tsp taco sauce. sprinkle tacos with remaining cheese. roll tortilla into cone shape or fold in half to eat.

comments: i loved these tacos. i think this pork was cooked for like 5 hours by tom/kitchen/TAs so it was nice and soft and tender. meanwhile, i am completely crazy about green chiles. i love the sourness and flavor they have. the sour cream also made them nice and creamy and delicious. this dish and the chile verde were my favorites (i talk about that near the end).
now here a bunch of salsa recipes. each group made one of the recipes.

classic salsa:
makes about 2 1/2 cups
4 medium tomatoes
1 small onion, finely chopped
2-3 jalapeno peppers or serrano pepper*, seeded and minced
1/4 C chopped fresh cilantro
1 small clove garlic, minced
2 T lime juice
salt and pepper to taste

*serrano and jalapeno peppers can sting and irritate te skin; wear rubber gloves when handling peppers and do not touch eyes. wash hands after handling

cut tomatoes in half; remove seeds. coarsely chop tomatoes. combine tomatoes, onion, jalapeno peppers, cilantro, garlic and lime juice in medium bowl. add salt and pepper. . cover and refrigerate 1 hour or up to 3 days for flavors to blend.

chunky fresh tomato salsa
makes 2 cups

1 garlic clove
2 serrano chiles or 1 jalapeno chili, stemmed and halved
2 medium-large (about 1 lb total) ripe round tomatoes
1/3 C (loosely packed) roughtly chopped cilantro
1 large green nonion, roots and wilted outer leaves removed, chopped into small pieces
1 T fresh lime juice (or light-flavored vinegar)
salt

drop the garlic and chile pieces one at a time into a running food processor, letting each get finely chopped before adding the net. turn off the processor and remove the lid. cut 1 tomato into quarters and add it to the food processor, along with the cilantro. pulse 4-6 times, until you have a coarse puree. scrape the mixture into a bowl.

cut the other tomato into 1/4 inch pieces and add to the bowl, along with the green onion. taste and season with lime juice (or vinegar) and salt, usually a generous 1/2 tsp. this salsa is best if eaten within an hour or two, but it will keep for a number of hours in the refrigerator.

rustic roasted tomato salsa:
makes about 2 cups

2 fresh jalapeno chiles (or 4 serranos, 1 or 2 habaneros or practically any fresh chile)
3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1/2 C finely chopped white onion
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes in juice (preferably fire-roasted)
1/3 C loosely packed roughly chopped cilantro
a teaspoon or so of fresh lime juice or cider vinegar (optional)
salt

set a small skillet over medium heat. lay the chiles and garlic in the skillet and dry-roast until soft and blotchy black in spots, about 10 minutes for the chiles, about 15 minutes for the garlic.

while the chiles and garlic are roasting, scoop the chopped onion into a strainer and rinse under cold water. shake off the excess water and pour into a medium bowl.

pull the stems off the roasted chiles and peel the papery skins off the garlic. scoop them into a food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped. add the tomatoes, with their juice, recover and pulse a few more times, until the mixture is as coarse or smooth as you want your salsa to be.

pour the tomato mixture into the bowl with the onion. add the cilantro and stir thoroughly. thin with a little water if necessary to give the salsa an easily spoonable consistency. taste and season with the lime juice or vinegar, if using, and salt, usually about 1/2 teaspoon. if not using within an hour or two, cover and refrigerate

note: if you’re not planning to use the salsa within a few hours, wait until you’re ready to serve to add the onions and cilantro.

fresh tomato salsa
makes 1 1/2 cups
4 medium (about 8 oz total) tomatillos, husked, rinsed and quartered
1 large garlic clove, peeled and quartered
hot green chiles to taste (2 serranos or 1 jalapeno), stemmed and roughly chopped
1/2-2/3 C (loosely packed) roughly chopped cilantro
salt

combine the tomatillos, garlic, chiles and cilantro in a blender jar or food processor. add 1/4 cup water and a generous 1/2 tsp of salt. process to a coarse puree; if using a blender, begin on low, at first pulsing to get the mixture moving evenly through the blender blades. pour into a salsa dish and thin with a little more water if necessary to give salsa an easily spoonable consistency. taste and season with additional salt if you think necessary. serve within an hour.

comments on salsas: i think our group made the rustic salsa. that one is pretty spicy but in a really yummy way. i didn’t get a chance to try all the salsa since i was distracted by all the other yummy food. i’m sure they are all delicious though.
ok, i’m tired of typing. in our packet we also have a fajitas recipe (not made) and several recipes that the TAs/kitchen staff made for us (black bean quesadillas, chili rellenos casserole, picante pintos and rice, chile verde). if anyone wants those recipes, write me a comment and i’ll post it. or if i try out some of these in the future i’ll post the recipes.

anyway, i just want to say i have a very special place in my heart and stomach for the chile verde:

chili verde

i love this recipe sooooooooooooooo much. in fact, i took home two containers of this stuff, but look how much there was still left after everyone had eaten and taken leftovers:

leftovers
so much left!!!! this class is craaaaazy!
i love green chiles, and this chile verde had such awesome flavors. tom/the kitchen/TAs cooked the pork for 7 hours so it was super tender and yummy. then the sourness of the chiles was perfect, and the beans went well with all of it. this may be my favorite dish of the class (even though we didn’t even make it).

all the food was really really great for mexican night. my favorite night!