Saturday, September 24, 2016

Oyster bar- Pan Roast 
Prep Time:10 Min Cook Time:40 Min Total Time:50 Min

If you've been to Palace Station in Las Vegas, I'm sure you had their infamous Pan Roast. It's a Cajun style, rich, creamy, tomato based bisque. Depends what you like - you get a choice of seafood, chicken and sausage in the dish, and your prefer level of spiciness. I love seafood so that was an obvious choice for me :)

This is one of my favorite dishes so of course I had to re-make this at home. And this recipes is pretty close to home. It really hit the ball park, bon appetit!


Tomato Cream Sauce
  • 28 oz can of San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp Louisiana style hot sauce (Frank's Red Hot, Louisiana, etc)
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp madras curry powder (optional)
  • ½ cup half & half or heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp corn starch
  • 2 cups jasmine rice
  • 2 cups water

  • Seafood Stew
  • 1 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 cups shallots, chopped or 1 sweet yellow onion, diced
  • 1½ cups celery, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 package of seafood blend or any seafood of your choice (crab, shrimp, calamari, mussels, clams, etc)
  • 2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 2.5 tsp cajun/creole seasoning (Tony's or Slap Ya Mama)
  • 1 tsp pepper, freshly ground
  • ¾ cup white wine (Riesling)
  • ½ cup Brandy or Pernod
  • 1 cup fish or vegetable broth or water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups okra, sliced into 1/2 inch chunks (optional)
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped
  • Kosher or sea salt to taste
  • 1
    1. Rinse rice with water about 3-4 times, prepare in rice cooker with a 1:1 ratio of rice to water. Add saffron if desired.
  • 2
    2. In a blender or food processor, empty the San Marzano tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, half & half, honey, curry powder, & starch. Blend until smooth. The color should look like a light pink sauce; set aside.
  • 3
    3. In a large saucepan on medium low heat, add oil. Flick a drop of water into the pot to see if it'll sizzle. Sweat shallots for about 2-3 minutes until translucent. Add celery & bell pepper, occasionally stirring until softened. Stir in garlic & cook for about 8-10 minutes.
  • 4
    4. Turn the heat up to medium high, melting the butter & cooking seafood blend along with all the spices. Stir together to evenly coat the spices all over the seafood. Cook for about 2 minutes.
  • 5
    5. Add the brandy, white wine, fish broth, & bay leaves to the seafood. Bring to a boil & stir in the tomato paste.
  • 6
    6. Finish up the Pan Roast by slowly stirring in the tomato cream mixture. Bring the stew to a boil & add the okra.
  • 7
    7. Garnish the Pan Roast with a nice heap of rice & fresh parsley flakes.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Sweet Sriracha Chicken Wings with Pickled Vegetables

If you want an easy chicken wing recipe that requires no down time for marination, then these babies are what you are looking for. It's easy and delicious. You must have these with the pickled vegetables to cut the sweetness from the chicken wings. Enjoy!

Sweet Sriracha Chicken Wings (makes 4 servings)

  1. 3 lbs chicken wings (tips cut off)
  2. 2 TBSP grape seed oil
  3. 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  4. 2 TBSP Sriracha sauce + 1 tsp garlic chili sauce
  5. 3/4 cup agave sauce
  6. 1 tsp garlic powder
  7. 3 TBSP lemon juice + lemon zest
  • Preheat over to 400°
  • Oil the chicken wings and bake for 15 minutes in a baking pan
  • Combine the next 4 ingredients in a bowl, and pour sauce over the baked chicken wings
  • Lower the heat to 375° and bake uncover for an hour, flipping the wings over at the half way mark. The sauce should be thick and caramelize
  • Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Add the lemon juice and lemon zest over the chicken wings. Serve with pickled vegetables and rice.

Pickled Vegetables (makes 4 serving)

  1. 3 cucumbers, cubed
  2. 4 shallots, cubed
  3. 5 carrots, cubed
  4. 2 thai or birds eye chili
  5. 2 garlic cloves
  6. 2 tsps kosher or sea salt
  7. 1 cup white vinegar
  8. 3/4 cup sugar
  9. 1 cup water


Wash the vegetables and placed the chopped vegetables in a mixing bowl and sprinkle with salt to make it crispier. Set aside and let it sit for 5 minutes.

Heat the vinegar, salt, sugar, and water together until the sugar dissolves. 

Place the vegetables in a jar large enough to fit them all and pour the pickling liquid into the jar so that all of the vegetables are submerged. Store them sealed in the jar in the refrigerator for 5 days for best flavor. You can eat these after a couple hours of pickling.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

We went to our friend’s Super bowl party, and they made these delicious chicken wings. When I took a bite of it, I presently surprised by the crunch of the coriander seeds and really enjoyed it. It took the chicken wings to another depth of flavor. Enjoy!

Spicy Sriracha Coriander Chicken Wings

Serves 10
·        10 pounds chicken wings, split
·        1/4 cup coriander seeds, crushed
·        1 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed
·        1 teaspoon cinnamon
·        2 tablespoons kosher salt
·        1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
·        3/4 cup Sriracha chile sauce
·        1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
·        1/2 cup chopped cilantro
·        Finely grated zest and juice of 3 limes
·        3 quarts vegetable oil, for frying

1.     In a very large bowl, toss the wings with the coriander and cumin seeds, cinnamon, kosher salt and olive oil. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
2.     Preheat the oven to 375°. Spread the wings on 3 large rimmed baking sheets and roast for about 30 minutes, until firm but not cooked through. (At this point, if you don't want to fry the wings, you can roast them for 1 hour longer, until crispy and golden.) Wash out the bowl. Add the Sriracha, butter, cilantro, lime zest and juice.
3.     In a deep fryer or a very large saucepan, heat the vegetable oil to 375°.
4.     Fry the wings in 4 or 5 batches until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes per batch; drain, shaking off the excess oil. As each batch is finished, add the wings to the sauce and toss well. Transfer the wings to a platter, leaving the sauce in the bowl for the remaining batches. Serve hot.

Have you been to a steak house called Houston's? They have the best prime rib and Hawaiian rib eye. My fiance and I had our first date at Houston's, and we made it our ritual to visit Houston's every year on our anniversary. However, we made these Hawaiian rib eye, and OMG tasted exactly like Houston's rib eye. Now I will not be ordering the rib eye at Houston's no more! 

Copycat of Houston's Hawaiian Rib eye 

  • 2 thick cut rib eye steaks
  • 1cup low sodium soy sauce 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 cup brown sugar
  • 6 ounces pineapple juice
  • 13 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced

  • mesquite charcoal (optional)

1.      Add soy sauce, garlic, brown sugar, pineapple juice and apple cider vinegar to a small pot. Bring to a boil then simmer over low heat for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and pour the marinade into a large shallow dish (to marinate steaks later). Set aside until it’s cooled, or to speed up the process, cover and place it in the fridge until it’s cool.
2.     Add steak into the dish with marinade. Cover and place in fridge for 1 hour. Flip sides and cover for another 1 hour in the fridge.
3.     20 minutes before starting the grill, take dish with steaks out (still covered) to cool to room temperature. Heat grill.
4.     Heat grill to high and grill steaks for 5 minutes. Flip and continue to grill for 4 minutes (for medium-rare to medium). Use an internal thermometer (135F for medium-rare and 140F for medium). Transfer steaks to a platter and tent with foil to let rest for 5 minutes.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Salsa Roja for Pork Tamales


  • 1 teaspoon minced, rehydrated chipotle pepper, packed¹
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) orange juice
  • 12 tablespoons (21 grams) olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground coriander seed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 – 3 12 pound boneless pork butt, cut into 4 – 5 big pieces
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) whole garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 cup (227 grams) water

    In a 1-gallon zip-top bag, combine chipotle through cumin; squish bag until mixed. Add pork and shake/squish until it’s evenly coated. Seal bag and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 1 day. Remove pork from fridge about 30 minutes before braising and preheat the oven to 325°F.
    Place marinated pork in a small (2 – 3-quart) Dutch oven. Sprinkle smashed garlic over pork and pour water down the sides of the pan. Cover pan with lid and place in the preheated oven. Braise for 3 hours or until very tender.
    Discard garlic and remove pork pieces to a large, heatproof dish to cool. Strain braising liquid through a mesh sieve, separate and discard fat, and reserve 1 cup of the liquid (if needed, add water to make 1 cup). Once pork is cooled to room temp, shred with hands or two forks; cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
    DO AHEAD: Meat can be braised several days in advance — I highly recommend doing so!!


  •      3 ounces (about 8 whole) dried Guajillo  chiles, stem, seed, rinse and tear into several pieces each
  •      3 cups water Guajilloed braising liquid from pork (more info in instructions below)
  •      14 12 ounce can diced tomatoes
  •       12 teaspoon ground cumin
  •  1 12 teaspoons Kosher salt


In a medium pan (4-quart) combine chiles, water, reserved braising liquid, tomatoes, cumin and salt. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce to low and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the ingredients are soft.
Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor (make sure to cool it off before blending). I have a hand mixture blender and that allows me to blended it while hot without any issues. Blend until smooth; set aside. 
Mix shredded pork with 2 cups (454 grams or 16 ounces) of the sauce. Set remaining sauce aside to serve with tamales.
DO AHEAD: Sauce can be made several days in advance, but only after the pork is braised (you need the reserved cooking liquid). Toss with pork as instructed, and store remaining sauce in a separate container.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Lime jalapeño chicken wings

  • 3 pounds Chicken Wings
  • ½ medium Onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 Jalapeno Peppers, seeds removed
  • 3 Garlic cloves, peeled
  • Zest and Juice from 2 Limes
  • ½ bunch Cilantro
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  1. Put 3 pounds of wings in a big ziploc bag.
  2. Coarsely chop half an onion, de-seed 2 jalapeno peppers, pull out 3 cloves of garlic, zest and juice 2 limes, and break ½ a bunch of cilantro into smaller pieces.
  3. Combine salt and pepper, fish sauce, soy sauce and oil in a blender.
  4. Toss in your onion, jalapeno, garlic, lime zest and juice, and cilantro.
  5. Blend until it's all mixed into a smooth puree.
  6. Pour the mix over your chicken, close the bag, and squish the chicken around so each piece is coated with the marinade.
  7. Let marinate for 30 minutes.
  8. Use this time to preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  9. Line a baking sheet with foil. Remove the wings from the bag and place on a wire rack. If you don't have a wire rack, put the wings right on the foil. They won't be as crispy as if they were on a rack, but they will still taste delicious.
  10. Bake for 30 minutes.
  11. Flip them over. You can use any extra marinade to baste the wings once you've turned them over.
  12. Bake for another 30 minutes and serve.
Calories: 600 Fat: 43Carbohydrates: 6 Sugar: 2Sodium: 1294 Protein: 47

Vietnamese braised pork belly and hard boiled eggs in coconut juice (Thit Heo Kho Trung)

My mom would make this dish often and uses simple ingredients. I practically grew up eating this dish but never took the time to try to make it myself.


• 1 lb pork belly, chopped into 2-3cm cubes
• ~ 1.5 cups of coconut juice (from 1 young coconuts)
• 2 small red chillies, deseeded
• 4 whole hard boiled eggs, shelled
• fish sauce (1 1/2 tablespoons)
• light soy sauce (3/4 tablespoons)
• dark soy sauce (1 tablespoons)
• 3/4 tablespoons coconut sugar
• salt and pepper to taste


Par-boil the pork – put the pork pieces into a pot of boiling water and simmer for 1-2 minutes until partially cooked. Rinse pork under cold running water and drain well.

Add the coconut juice, chillies and 1 tablespoon of fish sauce into a pot and bring to a simmer. Then add in the pieces of pork.

(1) Bring to a boil and then simmer on low heat for around an hour, stirring occassionally or pressure cook for 10 minutes

(2) Then add in light soy sauce, dark soy sauce and 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce. Simmer on low heat for another hour, stirring occassionally or pressure cook for 10 minutes.

(3) Test the flavour and adjust with fish sauce or sugar if required and add in a pinch of salt to balance. Add in the hard boiled eggs and simmer for another 30-45 minutes to flavour the eggs and for the sauce to reduce.

Note: I pressure cooked this dish for a total of 20 minutes, divided into two 10 minute periods. The last step of cooking does not require pressure cooking.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Bread machine - White bread


Bread flour = 3 Cups or 14 3/4 oz
Salt = 1 1/2 tsp
dry milk = 1/1/2 TBSP
butter = 1/1/2 TBSP
sugar = 1/1/2 TBSP
water = 1 1/4 C
dry yeast = 1 tsp

Slow Cooker Maple Glazed Short Ribs

Short ribs looks so fancy, but really it is so easy to make. Seriously! You just season the ribs, throw them in the slow cooker, pop them in the broiler for a few minutes just to caramelize the maple syrup and ta-da! Dinner is serve.  Also, did I mention it tastes delicious. Simple + delicious. My kind of recipe.

  • 8 meaty beef short ribs 
  • 3 tbs Taste of Inspirations Maple & Sage Rub*
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup

  • Alternate rub if you cannot get Taste of Inspirations:
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground sage
  • 1 tsp ground thyme
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp maple extract
  • pinch of nutmeg

If making alternate rub, mix all ingredients in a small bowl.

Rub each beef rib well with the rub.  Place (preferably) in a single layer in a 5-7 quart slow cooker.

Set cooker to HI and cook for about 4-5 hrs or LOW for 8 hours.  Glaze ribs with maple syrup and pop under a preheated broiler (optional) for about 3 minutes to crisp.

Serves 4

Friday, June 28, 2013

Lobster Bisque

  Lobster bisque. A very elegant dish and quite sexy might I add. This soup is creamy, full of flavor, and looks gorgeous in pictures. I cannot take full credit for making this bisque. It was actually the BF’s idea. That’s why it tasted incredibly good because he would not let me cut down the fat nor the salt!

Just in case you don’t know what a bisque is, it’s a French dish and is typically made with seafood stock, pureed vegetables, and top off with cream at the end. 

My first time having bisque was the time I was at Alaska. I had a crab bisque. It was one of the best soups I ever had in my life up until this lobster bisque. So I say you should definitely give this is try.

Lobster Bisque
Adapted from Cuisine at Home
Makes 6-7 cups; can easily be doubled
2 lobster tails (10 oz. each), split in half
4 cups water
1 Tablespoon sea or kosher salt
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cups dry white wine
3 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup fennel, chopped
1/2 cup shallot, chopped
1 cup fresh tomato, peeled, seeded, diced
2 Tablespoons brandy
2 Tablespoons raw white rice
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 bay leaf
1 thyme sprig
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

You will need 2 lobster tails (about 10 oz. each). You can use frozen tails if fresh are not available. Make sure they are completely thawed out. Split the tails in half with a sharp knife starting at the fan and slice the knife down and through the meat.

Devein the split tail. Look for the vein along the edge of the shell, between the shell and the meat.
Steam the lobster tails, shell-side down (the shell protects the meat from the intense heat of the steam) in 4 cups salted (sea or kosher) water. Using a regular steaming basket works perfectly. The salted water imparts a minimal but not insignificant taste to the bisque; you will use this water later as a base. Steam the tails for 5-7 minutes and reserve the steaming water for the stock.

When cool enough to handle, remove the tail meat with a fork to pull out the steamed tail meat in one piece. Chill the lobster meat until ready to use.

Sauté lobster shells in 2 Tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat for five minutes to release the flavors.

Deglaze the pan (with shells present and scraping bits at the bottom) with 2 cups dry white wine (Chardonnay works well), 3 cups chicken stock and reserved lobster water from the steaming of the tails. Simmer until reduced to 6 cups; about 45 minutes. Then strain the shells from the stock.
While the stock is simmering prepare the rest of the ingredients. You will need a cup of diced tomatoes, peeled and seeded. The easiest way to peel tomatoes is to place them in boiling water for about 45 seconds. The skin will instantly pull away. Cut the tomato in half and scoop out the seeds and dice.

Sauté fennel and shallot in 1/4 cup unsalted butter, about 5 minutes.
Stir in strained lobster stock, diced tomato, brandy, raw white rice, tomato paste, paprika, cayenne, bay leaf and thyme sprig; simmer 45 minutes. Remove bay leaf and thyme sprig.

You do not need an immersion blender to make this...a regular blender works fine and is what I always use to puree the final liquid. I wanted to try using my immersion blender which worked fine but left the final liquid a little thicker. The blender version is a bit smoother.

Let's talk safety and pureeing hot liquids -- Pureeing hot liquids can be dangerous because steam causes pressure to build inside the blender. It's crucial to puree in batches and work from a low to a higher speed.

When using the blender, I puree in two batches and return the bisque to the pot.
Stir in heavy cream and fresh lemon juice to finish off the bisque.
When you are ready to serve the bisque, sauté the lobster meat in 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter over medium-high heat, just until warmed through. Slice tails into the size of your choosing for serving and arrange in bisque. Serve immediately.