Thursday, April 15, 2010

Vegetarian Jap Chae

Tried making some Korean noodles, Jap Chae. This usually has meat in it but went vegetarian with spinach, mushrooms, carrots, and onions. The noodles, glass noodles, kinda remind me of shirataki (Japanese yam cake noodles). I was hoping this dish to be very flavorful but it was kinda on the bland side, even with adding more sesame oil, soy sauce, salt, and pepper. I was kinda surprised to see that everything is tossed together rather than cooked together. The glass noodle doesn't absorb the flavors much. I've never had it before so I'm not sure if that's how it was supposed to taste. Looks pretty though. Recipe by Dr. Ben Kim.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Friday, April 2, 2010

DB March 2010 Challenge--Orange Tian

The 2010 March Daring Baker’s challenge was hosted by Jennifer of Chocolate Shavings. She chose Orange Tian as the challenge for this month, a dessert based on a recipe from Alain Ducasse’s Cooking School in Paris.
I wasn't quite sure what to expect of this month's challenge, never even heard of an Orange Tian. I haven't really been a fan of citrus desserts (except lemon bars ^_^) so I proceeded without high hopes. This thing was like an upside down orange cream cake. It had many little steps, not too difficult. The bottom layer (which becomes the top) is a layer of orange segments that had been soaked in an orange caramel sauce. Oh, this was really good it could easily be a dessert on it's own, maybe with a dallop of whipped cream... The next layer is whipped cream with a little orange marmalade folded in. And then a layer of homemade marmalade, which was something I had never made before. It was quite simple and very delicious. I think I'll make it again sometime. And then, the last layer was a Pate Sablee. Kinda like a shortbread/butter cookie.

Rather than make individual rounds, I made it family-style in my 8x8 pan. This dessert ended up being really good. Light, refreshing, and tasty. I'll probably re-visit this one again. Next time I'll double the whipped cream and omit the marmalade layer. I enjoyed it but it was a little too strong in flavor for the kiddos. Check out the recipe here.

Flax Seed Crackers

Lately, the Raw Food Diet has been catching my interest. So I picked up a book called, "Raw Foods for Busy People" by Jordan Maerin. In it was a recipe for Flax Crackers I gave a try for it looked simple and I needed to use up my flax seeds. I wasn't bad for something with only flax seeds and water. Very healthy tasting and quite brittle so it wouldn't be a good cracker for dipping. Next time I might try their variations for more flavor. Here's the recipe:




Try this experiment: Soak 1/4 cup of flax seeds in 1/2 cup of water for 3 hours. Stick your finger in it. Now you know why flax crackers are so easy to make: It's the goo!


2 cups flax seeds

4 cups water

Salt, spices or vegetables (see below)

1/2 cup sesame or hemp seeds (optional)


For a blender-free version, soak flax seeds as described above, spread the flax seed goo onto solid dehydrator sheets, and sprinkle with you choice of salt, garlic powder, Italian seasonings, cayenne, or Chinese 5-spice.

For more complex flavors, you can use a blender to liquefy the veggies and spices of your choice in the water, before adding to the flax seeds for soaking (see below). If using wet vegetables, like tomatoes, reduce the water to 3 cups.

Dehydrate for 8-12 hours, and then move crackers to slotted trays and dehydrate for 4-8 hours more, or until crisp.

A stiff spatula works well to spread the flax goo onto the dehydrator sheets. If you don't have enough solid dehydrator sheeds for all the goo you've got, you can spread the goo onto pieces of waxed paper. If you use waxed paper, however, you must watch your drykng time carefully and remove the crackers from the paper after about 3-4 hours. If the crackers are left on waxed paper for too long, they'll be stubbornly stuck together.


Sample Variations:

Mexican Flax Crackers: Blend water with gfresh tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice, peppers, garlic and salt.


Italian Flax Crackers: Blend water with tomatoes, zucchini, garlic, Italian seasoning, fresh basil, olives, bell peppers, and salt.


Asian Flax Crackers: Blend water with Nama Shoyu, lemon juice, cilantro, peppers, garlic and Chinese 5-spice.
(Since the recipe didn't say at what temperature to set the dehydrator, I set it at 135*F and it ended up drying in half the time stated.)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Cream of Broccoli Soup

Right when it's starting to feel like spring, we're hit with a really cold day. So it was time to make some soup! I tend to stick with my usual set of soups, ones that I have memorized, but the other day I found a recipe for the Best Cream of Broccoli Soup that caught my eye because it had just the basic ingredients. So here it is... served with some homemade croutons and focaccia bread. The only chages I made were to add some potatoes and garlic. It was very simple and delicious.