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.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Easy Paleo Buffalo Chicken Wing

Today has been a hot day and I had raw chicken drumsticks sitting in my fridge. Usually I would baked them in the oven, but it was too hot to heat my oven up...and it would not be a smart idea in this heat. I needed to find a recipe that I can pan fry these drumsticks. I was checking out and I found this easy HEALTHY recipe and delicious!

  • 1 lb Chicken Wings
  • ½ c almond flour or brown rice flour (I used brown rice because that's what I had in my pantry)
  • 1 tbsp Ranch Seasoning
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tbsp duck fat or preferred cooking fat for frying
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 tbsp hot sauce
  • 2 tbsp coconut milk (canned)
  • 1 tbsp Ranch Seasoning
  1. Preheat your oven to 350. Mix together the almond flour and ranch seasoning in a small bowl, and have the egg beaten in another.
  2. Dip each chicken wing in egg, then almond flour mixture, and set aside on a plate.
  3. Heat frying pan on medium and add duck fat. Place chicken wings in pan and fry on each side for about 10 minutes total. Watch them so they don’t burn!
  4. Let them cool while you mix together the last 4 ingredients in another small bowl. Dip each wing into the sauce, coating, and then place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes, flip, and bake another 5 – 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and enjoy.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Banana chia bites

I was a bit skeptical about these muffins. I made many healthy recipes without sugar and butter and it was a disaster, I tell you! However, these "muffins" are moist and tasty. Can we really call them muffins, because muffins are known to have tons of fat and sugar. And these are total opposite of that.
I really enjoyed it and I enjoyed it even more because I know it's gluten-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free WHAT! That's right. A grain, gluten and sugar free banana muffin made with chia seeds. What a perfect way to start the day.
Serves: 10-12 mini muffins
  • ¾ cup almond meal
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 large ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk (or other milk)
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a mini-muffin pan.
  2. Combine almond meal, coconut flour, chia seeds, cinnamon, salt & baking soda in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk together remaining ingredients (besides nuts if using) in a small bowl.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine.
  5. If using the nuts, fold into the batter until evenly distributed.
  6. Spoon batter into mini-muffin pan and bake for about 15 minutes until tops start to turn golden brown.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Vietnamese Style Chicken Wings

Simple recipe. Just what I needed because I had a lot of reading to do for school. It seems like I can't find enough time to do the things I enjoy anymore. But I have to continue cooking. I just have too!

 That's why I made these babies today. These chicken wings are slightly sweet and spicy. Have it with rice and cucumber and you have a completed meal. Enjoy!

Tip: cut the tip of the chicken wing so it doesn't get burnt like mine.

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup Zsweet sugar or regular sugar
  • 1/4 coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp lime juice (~1 lime)
  • 2 tbsp chili sauce (such as sriracha) or to taste
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 pounds chicken wings, rinsed and pat dry
  1. Simmer the water and sugar in a sauce pan over medium heat until it turns a deep amber, about 10 minutes.
  2. Mix the fish sauce, water, lime juice, chili sauce, and garlic and carefully add it to the pan, then heat until the caramel dissolves.
  3. Marinate the chicken wings in the sauce for 30 minutes to overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.
  5. Place the chicken wings on a rack, on a foil lined baking sheet and bake in the oven until golden brown and crispy, about 30 to 40 minutes. Every 10 minutes brush wings with additional marinade.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Healthier Lemon Cheesecake with almond vanilla wafer crust

I was browsing my friend's pictures on Instagram and came across a picture my friend Kenny posted. He posted a picture of the cheesecake he made and provided the recipe. He mentioned he used greek yogurt and stevia. This inspired me to make my own cheesecake.

I did not have greek yogurt but I definitely have stevia since I am trying to cut down on sugar. I also replaced greek yogurt with ricotta cheese. For the crust, I wanted to cut down the sugar so I added almonds in the food processor with the vanilla wafer cookies. I pretty much wing this recipe. I decided what I wanted to add and how much. It turned out a little dry for a cheesecake, but the flavors were good. My bf and I ate it all up in a few days. :) What can I say...we love cheesecake!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

vietnamese lemongrass porkchop with vietnamese dipping sauce

Today was an extremely busy day for me. Even though I finished my grocery shopping early at 9:30 am, I had other things I needed to get done by today. My new cabinet.

Yesterday, my bf and I went to Ikea. We finally got a new cabinet for our dining room. See the pictures below. So my project today was to organize the dining room and kitchen. I am so happy with the cabinet, it has plenty of storage and it’s nice to look at too J.


During the time my bf was assembling the cabinet, I took the time to start on the marinade for this pork chop recipe. It was delicious and that is why I am posting this recipe. Enjoy!

Vietnamese Grilled Lemongrass Pork Chop (adapted from Viet World Kitchen)

  • 4 pork chops, bone-in, about 1 inch thick
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons garlic
  • 3 tablespoons shallot
  • 1 1/2 stalks lemongrass, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Using a mini food processor, pulse the sugar, garlic, shallot, and lemongrass to a mince-like texture. Add the pepper, soy sauce, fish sauce, and oil, and process to combine well.

Place the pork chops in a large zip-lock bag, and pour the marinade to coat. Squish the marinade around to coat the pork chops evenly. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, up to 24 hours. Allow the pork chops to rest at room temperature, about 30-45 minutes, before grilling.

Over medium-high heat, pan fried the pork chops 2-3 minutes each side.

Serve with brown rice, cucumber and vietnamese dipping sauce.

Roasted Whole Chicken

Wow! I had never cooked a whole chicken before. Do not shy away from cooking this chicken, it's huge I know, but it's EASY! A whole organic free-range chicken for just $10. It does not get any better than that...oh does! My friend, this chicken is the most moist delicious chicken I ever had, and I made it!  My boyfriend is requesting me to make this once a week, but I think it's way too much chicken for us. Next time, I will freeze the rest and you can use left over chicken to make tacos, soups, sandwiches, enchiladas, salads, fried rice, the ideas are endless . Please please try this. You will not be disappointed.

  • 4 lb Organic free-range brine chicken (without giblets)
  • 1/4 cup soften butter
  • 1 lemon juice (1/4 cup) and zest (about 1-2 tsp lemon zest)
  • 1/3 cup garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup onion powder
  • 3 TBSP pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 onion. chopped into 4 cubes

Preheat the oven at 220°C – 425°F.Have your ingredients ready. Soften the butter in the microwave and then add the lemon zest in the butter. Mix all the dry ingredients from garlic powder to the thyme.
 Place the chicken in a roasting pan and the chopped onions around the chicken.Take a butter knife and slide it underneath the skin from the chicken breast, we are loosely seperating the breast meat and the skin. Apply the butter generously underneath the skin (between the breast meat and skin), then apply it all around the chicken, and then apply the dry ingredients all over the chicken. Lastly, pour the lemon juice all over the chicken.
Roast in a preheated oven at 220°C – 425°F for the first 15 minutes, then decrease the temperature to 180°C – 350°F and roast for a further 12-15 minutes per 450 grams – 1 pound. Your chicken will be ready when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F – 84°C (or when the juices run clear when you pierce the chicken between the leg and thigh).

Let it rest for approximately 30 minutes covered loosely in foil before serving it.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

2 ingredient pancake

2 ingredient Healthy Pancakes (gluten, grain and dairy free, no added sugar)
This was a simple and delicious pancake recipe. When I was making the batter, I was a little skeptical about it because the batter was really wet, but when I pan fried it on my cast iron pan, it really did shape up like a pancake. Amazing with what you can do with 2 ingredients.

Basic Batter:
  • 1 large banana, mashed (should be around 1/3 to 1/2 cup when mashed)
  • 2 eggs
optional add ins:
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder (I strongly advised to add this)
  • 2 tbsp nut butter, pb2/peanut flour, almond flour or coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • Peel and mash the banana, stir in the egg. Mix in any of the add ins that you want.
  • Heat a non stick skillet and lightly spray with oil. Tun the heat down to medium-low.
  • Pour a circle of batter into the pan (I used about 2 tbsp of batter per pancake). Cook until golden brown on the underside (around 1 minute) , then use a metal spatula to flip and cook until golden brown on the other side (30 seconds to 1 minute). Serve warm with whatever you want. I like mine just the way it is..simple but delicious.

Hot and Sour Soup

I am so sorry that I’ve been absent for such a long time from blogging. It’s not that I have not been cooking, I was overwhelm with school, homework, projects, long hours at work, and on top of that taking care of Yogi and the bf.

It’s been so stressful that at one point I got really sick. All I wanted was something warm or hot in my tummy. Since I was not feeling too well, I had lack of energy, so I was looking for something that was fast and simple. I made hot and sour soup for the first time. If you have all your ingredients in hand, this is very easy to make.

As always, you can always substitute the ingredients to make it your own. You can use vegetable stock to make it vegetarian, or tamari to make it soy-free. However, please do not substitute with black pepper; white pepper makes a big difference in this soup.


  • 6 dried Chinese black fungus
  • 6 dried wood ear, black, cloud, straw, or shiitake mushrooms, or one bunch of fresh enoki mushrooms
  • 5 dried lily buds (found at the Asian market)
  • One can of bamboo shoots ( thinly sliced into strips)
  • 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
  • 4 cups of chicken broth (use gluten-free broth for gluten-free version)
  • 1/2 block of soft tofu, diced into small cubes
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • 3 scallions, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of finely ground white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of chili oil (optional)
  • Cilantro (optional)


1 Pour boiling water over the mushrooms until the mushrooms are covered and allow them to soak for 20 minutes, turning the mushrooms over occasionally. It may not seem like a lot but they will grow quite a bit. After soaking remove any woody ends with a knife. Cut mushrooms into strips. Reserve 1/4 cup of the liquid and mix with the cornstarch. (If using fresh enoki mushrooms set aside as they do not need to soak).

2 Pour boiling water over the lily buds until covered and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Cut the buds crosswise then tear them up into a few bunches.

3 Mix the vinegars and soy sauce together and set aside. Open the can of bamboo shoots, drain well, and cut the shoots lengthwise into strips.

4 Place the chicken broth into a bot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the tofu, mushrooms, lily buds, bamboo shoots, vinegar mixture, and cornstarch mixture. Mix and bring back to a boil. Once it comes to a boil remove from heat. While stirring the soup slowly pour the egg into the broth in a small steam while stirring the soup allowing the egg to instantly cook and feather into the soup.

5 Add the scallions, white pepper, sesame oil, and chili oil if using. Taste and adjust white pepper, vinegar, and salt to taste. Add cilantro to garnish and for added flavor. Serve immediately.

Yield: Serves 4