Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Shrimp Delight

Shrimp Salad

I can’t believe tomorrow is already April…Fool me…March left all of a sudden and I am playing catch up game but never can get ahold of the tail ends.
No fuss rule enforced (not really) for weekly meal and the shrimp salad is super quick to fix and refreshingly delightful. The modified recipe and the edible pot idea from Peter Callahan author of bite by bite. If you want to make potted shrimp salad, go to the edible pot instruction first. DSC_6264
Aren’t they Springy and darling? Perhaps great for Easter Sunday Dinner!

Ingredients and Instruction for two servings (Print Recipe here)

  • 10-12 shrimp cooked, peeled, deveined and tail removed  Note: I
  • used frozen shrimp, cooked in salted (1 teaspoon ) boiling water for 30 seconds or until shrimp turned to bright orange, drain and cool.DSC_6251
  • Mango fresh chopped in chunks
  • 3 inch length cucumber thinly sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 1-2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh chives
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/8 teaspoon of sea salt
Put shrimp, mango and cucumber in medium bowl. Toss with olive oil and white balsamic vinegar, chives, lemon zest and salt. Chill for 30 minutes in refrigerator.DSC_6260
Making edible pot -  enough to make 6 - 2 inch terra cotta pots
Necessary equipment : terracotta pots (I used 2 inch diameter pot and 1 inch pot), dried beans about 1 cup, parchment paper, rolling pin
  • 1-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 6 tablespoons(2/3 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons solid vegetable shortening
  • Non stick pan spray
  1. Using a food processor, pulse the flour and paprika together. Add the butter and shortening and pulse until the mixture resemble sand.DSC_6226DSC_6230
  2. With the motor running, add 3 Tablespoons water until the the dough comes together. The dough may be crumbly and dry.
  3. Flatten the dough on a large piece of plastic wrap, make a disk and wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  4. Take dough out of refrigerator, leave on counter for about 10 minutes (to make it easier to roll out dough). Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly coat terra-cotta flower pots with nonstick pan spray.
  5. Unwrap the dough and place it between two sheets of parchment paper. Roll until it is 1/8 inch thick, remove top layer of parchment and slice the dough according to your terracotta pots. Use the scraps to make balls.
  6. Place 1 strip in each pot so it runs around sides of the pot. use your fingers to press the dough flat around the edges. Drop a ball of dough inside the pot and press down to make the bottom. Line pot with small piece of parchment paper (the picture showed I forgot to line and the beans stuck to the sides of the pot) and fill with dried beans and place the pots on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until the dough is set, about 25 minutes.DSC_6242
  7. Remove from oven and let them cool completely. Take out beans and tap gently on the bottom to release the pastry pot.DSC_6248Cut up salad and fill in pot. Insert edible flower. I used lavender.DSC_6279

This is shrimp salad in 1 inch pot – you need itsy bitsy fingers…just kidding!IMG_3265
I loved this Today’s TAPAS instagram post (#todaystapas) – Agedashi tofu.IMG_3196
My husband and I were on hands and knees to do the weeding on our lawn last Saturday…remembering the quote by Margaret Atwood
In the Spring, at the end of the day,
you should smell like dirt.

Wishing you a Happy April! (The picture above is our gumi tree)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Kalua Pork

Hawaiian Style Smoked Pork

DSC_6197Despite the calendar saying that Spring is here, the not so spring like weather dampens the (sprit of the) barbeque grill. My husband braved the rain to go out and light the first of many barbeques to come .

No hole in the ground nor banana leaves required for Cook's Country’s Kalua Pork recipe, took about 5 hours to complete (excluding the 24 hour dry rub marinating time). Salty meat is great companion for hot cooked rice, OK let’s have Luau night…I wish that Jake Shimabukuro was entertaining us with his Jimmy Hendrix like ukulele awesomeness (He got a gig in Portland, Oregon on 3/16 which we couldn’t get tickets to)!

Ingredients and Instruction for approximately 4 servings  (Print Recipe Here)

Equipment: charcoal grill or gas grill, disposable aluminum pan, heavy–duty foil

  • 3 Tablespoons green tea leaves Note: I used decaffeinated teaIMG_3197
  • 2 - 3 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon baked brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 - 3 pounds boneless pork butt roast
  • 6 cups mesquite wood chips, soaked in water for 15 minutes.
  1. Combine tea, salt, sugar and pepper in bowl. Dry pork with paper towel and rub with tea mixture.Wrap meat tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6 to 24 hours
  2. Prepare wood chips – wrap 2 cups soaked chips into heavy duty foil. repeat process to make 2 more wood chip packets for a total of 3 packets. Cut several vent holes in each packet. Set aside.
  3. Place pork in a disposable aluminum pan then cover the pan loosely with foil. Poke lots of 1/4 inch vent holes (20 or so) in foil.DSC_6163
  4. Ready for charcoal grill – Open bottom vent halfway. Light large chimney starter three-quarters full with charcoal briquettes. When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour into steeply banked pile against side of grill. Place wood chip packets on coals. Set cooking grate in place, cover and open lid vent halfway. Heat grill  until hot and wood chips are smoking about 5 minutes. Go to step # 6
  5. Ready for a gas grill  - Place wood chip packets over primary burner. Turn all burners to high, cover and heat grill until hot and wood chips are smoking about 15 minutes. Turn primary burner to medium–high and turn off other burners. Adjust burners as needed to maintain grill temperature at 300 degrees
  6. Place pan on cool part of grill. Cover and cook for 2 hours. See that wood chips are charred black.
  7. Position the oven rack to lower-medium. Heat oven to 325F Remove pan from grill. Cover pan tightly with new sheet of foil, put in the preheated oven and bake until tender about 2 hours. Let pork rest, covered for 30 minutes. Unwrap and when meat is cool enough to handle, shred into bite-size pieces.
  8. Strain the juice through fine mesh and pour juice the over meat. Serve with rice. (pork can be refrigerated for up to 3 days).DSC_6184DSC_6196

I was excited when I received 1st place prize of Chocolate Lover’s Recipe Contest from Marcela. The macaron making kit was really neat!IMG_3147Ta-da! Looks professional, ya? Thank you fabulous blogger friend!IMG_3157

I saw this on Youtube, ‘Frozen fried egg’.  I challenged it too and posted it on instagram. #todaystapas – this is tempura egg.
IMG_3135Amazing right? Loaded with calories for sure.IMG_3146

Also on #todaystapas - Inspired by amazing blogger Angie’s Recipes…I didn't have the right ingredients like black quinoa though my compromised version was not bad. The coral color tulip I nipped from backyard. IMG_3046

Our backyard weeping cherry tree…blooms last only a week., this is where I get melancholy…everything moves so fast..wait! Why don’t you stop and smell the roses or somethin…IMG_3182

Enjoy the Spring!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Steak Irish Pie

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


DSC_6148-2My part Irish husband and I celebrate this day by wearing green outfits, maybe listen to his favorite Irish music from Enya, Gaelic Storm, Corrs, Great Big Sea…while having dinner consisting of corned beef, cabbage and potato. Perhaps do River Dance afterward…just kidding!

But this year, out of normalcy, I bought a bottle of beer to made the Irish pie! It seems there is no good substitute for beer…Oh heck!  Standing in front of a specialty beer refrigerator for several minutes at a super market, I was totally lost.

Luckily, a gentleman beside me pointed me in the right direction…you need stout beer? Stout means dark beer…let me see… yep, that’ll work.

Whew…that was awkward. Next year, we’re having corn beef, cabbage and potatoes.DSC_6122

Ingredients and Instruction for 1 deep dish pie (Print Recipe Here)

Recommend equipment: Electric pressure cooker

  • 2 pounds steak, cut into chunks
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil
  • 8 slices bacon  chopped
  • 2 large onions mincedDSC_6100
  • 10-12 fresh mushrooms sliced
  • 12 ounce Irish stout beer
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 package double-crust frozen pie pastry, thawed – I made from scratch using Barefoot Contessa/ Ina Garten’s pie crust recipe.
    First step - chilling all the ingredients in refrigerator – Perfect!


  • Egg wash (1 egg and 1 Tablespoon water, beat well)
  1. Place meat on a large plate and sprinkle with flour or put meat and flour in a zip-lock bag bag, close tight and shake to coat. Set aside.DSC_6105
  2. Set pressure cooker on brown mode then pour in oil, add bacon and sauté until bacon starts to sizzle. Add steak and continue to sauté till browned.DSC_6106
  3. Transfer bacon and steak with slotted ladle to a same plate (#1), leaving juice and fat in the pan.
  4. Put onion and mushroom in the pressure cooker, cook and stir occasionally until onions are lightly browned and mushrooms are tender.DSC_6112
  5. Put meat and bacon back in the pressure cooker. Pour in the beer, add parsley. Set the pressure cooker on low pressure mode and cook for 30 minutes then switch to simmer and cook for 2 hours until gravy has thickened.DSC_6113
  6. Heat oven to 400F.Line a deep-dish 9 inch pie plate with a pie crust and bake in the preheated oven until crust is partially cooked and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. ( I poked several holes then lined with aluminum foil and put pie weights in then bake for 10 minutes first. Remove pie weights and bake for additional 3-5 minutes). Remove it from oven. Keep the oven on.
  7. Spoon cooked steak filling into the baked pie crust. Cover with another crust. Press the top crust and *bottom crust to seal tightly.* bottom crust is hot so handle with care.
  8. Brush top with egg wash. Place pie pan on the rimmed cookie sheet to prevent spillage and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown. Serve with sour cream if you like. Variation: Add 1-2 Tablespoons of raisins for little sweetness.DSC_6133

My husband made beer bread using the rest. It resembles brioche. DSC_6142

As you know March 14th 2015 (3-14-15) was Pie Day. IMG_3025

Today’s TAPAS (#todaystapas) also I posted pies made with left over pie dough.  Happy Birthday Einstein!IMG_3017

3 more days to official Spring!IMG_3014