Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Call Me Baby

Baby Back Spare Ribs

DSC_8168I recently realized that I was singing with wrong lyrics on Carly Rae Jepsen ‘s catchy hit song Call Me Maybe?  I sing loud and sometimes dance to the song - Call me baby – instead of maybe and this is crazy! I’m relieved to know that no one heard it, because I mainly sing in my car.

The above paragraph has nothing to do with the recipe. I just remembered it because of baby back ribs. Still too cold for barbeque outside, so I grilled it in the oven but if I ask my husband to barbeque he definitely would do it…even in the rain, wind… Hey, shut the door! Where you think you’re going, baby?  

Ingredients for 3 to 4 people

Equipment: steamer pan with lid

  • 1 package of pork baby back ribs at least 18 ribsDSC_8116
  • Sake about 1/4 cup
  • Salt 2 teaspoons
  1. Cut ribs to fit in your steamer rack but don’t put it in there yet.
  2. Sprinkle sake and salt over ribs and rub it in. Leave it for 10 minutes.DSC_8129
  3. Pour about a 2 cups of water in the steamer and put the lid on to boil water at medium high. 
  4. When the steamer lets out steam then place ribs in the rack. Snuggle up to each other to fit.
  5. Put the lid back on and steam for 40 minutes or so, check the water level half way through –add more hot water if necessary.

Make sauce and complete cooking  Note: This sauce is on the salty side, adjust miso paste and soy sauce for your liking.

Equipment: Line a 1 inch rimmed cookie sheet with foil; pastry brush

  • Ketchup 4 Tablespoons
  • Oyster sauce 4 Tablespoons
  • Soy sauce 2 Tablespoons
  • Miso paste 1 Tablespoon
  • Tabasco 1 teaspoon or less
  • Sesame Oil 1 Tablespoon
  • Brown sugar 3 tablespoons (optional)
  • Water 4 Tablespoons
  1. Mix every thing well in a small bowl. Reserve 1/3rd of sauce in an another small bowl.
  2. Heat oven to 400F
  3. Glaze the steamed meat all over with 2/3rd of sauce using the pastry brush.
  4. Bake it for 5-6 minutes. Glaze again with sauce and put it back in the oven.
  5. Switched to Broil setting, broil or 2-4 minutes until edges get charred. DSC_8153
  6. Cut meat along side of bone. Serve hot with reserved sauce.DSC_8170DSC_8167I grilled sweet potatoes and romaine lettuce too.


By the way, I like this part of the lyrics the best.

Before you came into my life
         I missed you so bad
 And you should know that        
    I missed you so, so bad

And I got the kick out of this video. Thank you troop for your service!!!

My son is deep into cooking now. He made bean burger which taste better than garden burger.
DSC_8090The oven baked cornmeal crusted cod was mighty fine!DSC_8099Cinnamon rolls were father and son efforts.DSC_8084DSC_8087


We three went to downtown Portland for ramen – new The House of RamenP1030033We liked it!P1030028

Then we stopped for a cup of drinking chocolate at CACAO.P1030041Text me, maybe? You took your time with the call.P1030038P1030039I never go home empty handed. I’m so, so bad!DSC_8158I like the white chocolate with spicy passion fruit filling – spicy and sour.DSC_8162DSC_8160The smoky blue cheese chocolate spread. This is crazy! It’s hard to look right but this one is either sweet or savory. Yummmm.

DSC_8164These caramels are what my son wanted. I’m spoiled, I only eat Hokkaido caramel.

Then I checked out YO Vintage shop across the street from CACAO. The vintage Lizwear for $23, now you’re in my way!DSC_8118

Whole Foods on the same street (13th street) has a special feel to it. P1030049Hello gorgeous..I looked to you as it fellYour stare was holdin’ . P1030044

I have many left over strawberries from other projects. I needed to address it before the spoilage.DSC_8106This is strawberry sauce. So very easy to make and not overly sweet. Put on yogurt or…DSC_8114…on the cornbread my husband made the other day instead of jam.DSC_8147

Strawberry sauce

  • Strawberries 400g Wash, remove stems and cut in half or quarter.
  • Water 100cc
  • Sugar 60g or more/less depending on your preference
  1. Cook strawberries and water in a sauce pan at medium heat. Stir and crush the fruits with wooden spoon, 3-4 minutes.
  2. Scoop off white foamy scum when it appears on top of the surface. Repeat as necessary This step is rather important for better tasting sauce. Approximately 8 minutes.
  3. Add sugar and cook more until the fruits loose shape. About 10 minutes.
  4. Strain through sieve and put in a clean jar/container. Keep in the refrigerator and use within 2 weeks.

If you have a question, here’s my number, so call me, maybe?



Tuesday, February 19, 2013

International Affaire

Spicy Beef Fortune Cookies

DSC_8062Planning Valentine’s Day dinner is a delightful part of this special day. I called  to cancel painting class so that I could dedicate the whole afternoon cooking (and cleaning up) for someone special. Isn’t that nice?DSC_8078

The ‘bite by bite’ cooking book is packed with absolutely darling tiny appetizers and finger foods.The book’s forward is by Martha Stewart - that means that author Peter Callahan is one of the already well regarded elite food creators. He must have dainty fingers or elf assistants.DSCN1715Getting ready for Valentine’s Day.

I chose to make spicy beef fortune cookies from the book for starters. To copy his style, I stopped at a craft store to get Chinese take out boxes. I requested my son to make paper strips of fortunes that says ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’ and he goes – how big?, how many?, what kind of font do you want? Behind schedule and frustrated, I pointed at the photo in the book and said ‘That!’.

Ingredients for 2 dozen fortune cookies (I made small changes)

  • 1/2 pounds ground beef (20% fat)
  • 2 green onions, white and green parts, finely minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 Tablespoon red miso paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tobanjan paste
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 –1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1/4 (or less) teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 24 Gyoza skin ( I was able to make a few more)DSC_8036
  • Peanut oil for frying about 6 cups

Prepare paste (act as glue) – whisk 3 Tablespoon of water and 2 Tablespoon of flour in a small  bowl, 2 paper towels, large plate, moistened dish towel for cover

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, green onions, garlic, miso, tobanjan, soy sauce, ginger, cayenne, and some salt and black pepper.DSCN1705DSCN1707
  2. Place three gyoza skins on a paper towel, use another paper towel to wipe your fingers as necessary. Put about 1 teaspoon of meat mixture in the center of wrapper then moisten all around the edge of wrapper with paste using your finger or the other way round, moisten the wrapper first then add the meat mixture. Fold in half like a half-moon shape and seal tight. Bend the tips of the half moon together to shape into a fortune cookie shape, make a few at a time so that gyoza skin won’t dry out. Cover them with a moist towel.
  3. In a heavy large pot, heat oil to 350. Prepare a large plate lined with a couple paper towels. Fry the fortune cookies a few at time, turning them often with a slotted spoon or a frying spider until golden brown. Reduce heat if they brown too quickly. Set fried fortune cookies on prepared paper towel to remove excess oil.DSC_8060

DSC_8082Butter lettuce is not just for looks, lettuce wrapped fortune cookies is deliciouso! Sweet chili sauce is my choice for dipping this but it’s optional. Now,

can you say I love you in Chinese? Wo ai ni

The second course is Mexican –Tortilla soup. The color is well suited for Valentines.Te quiero to someone you love. Ole!DSC_8004

Italian was the main squeeze– supposedly lobster and spinach lasagna but substituted with shrimp. Although not enough white sauce and slightly dry, it was still good.Ti amo to you!DSC_8001

Fabulous French for dessert. Declare your love in French, Je t’aime!DSC_8009DSC_8011DSC_8024The dessert took the longest time but I could only make 4 cakes and I rejected one (it didn’t measure up to my standards),1 each for my husband and son, 2  for me. Oh, okay I will take the rejected one too if you insist. DSCN1703Blessed to have so many flowers at this time of year.DSC_8050DSC_8033DSC_8025DSC_8028

I felt like I was cooking non-stop Monday through Thursday last week. My son made clam chowder from scratch on Friday. What a relief! So…is this a New Englander?
DSC_7939DSC_7985愛してるよ(aishiteruyo) to my American and a mix。