Mimi’s Chinese Chicken

This was one of my childhood favorites. If I wasn’t feeling well, I would drink the broth. I loved the tenderness of the chicken after being boiled. There was a ton of flavor! And I used to love pouring the sauce over rice as I really disliked the texture and blandness of white rice.  Thank you Mimi for teaching me one of my faves!

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 drumsticks (may be frozen or thawed)
  • 5 star anise
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice
  • One Thai Chile or red pepper flakes
  • One small dab of honey or agave (very small)
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • One bag of Asian spice pouch (either brand found at the Asian market) — see pics below


DIRECTIONS:
1. In a 3 quart sauce pan, place drumsticks in water (just enough to cover the drumsticks). Cover pan and bring to boil (med-high heat). 

2. Once boiling, skim off fat before adding spices. 

3. Add all spices. Stir well to make sure all ingredients are mixed. Water should still be boiling at this point. Boil one minute longer after all ingredients mixed well. 


4. Decrease temperature to med-low for 30 minutes (if frozen or until chicken meat looks like it’s almost falling off the bone). Keep lid on (do not lift lid to check on meat). 

5. Turn off heat after 30 minutes. 

You may use liquid as broth. It’s great for soup, broth to drink, rice topper, seasoning of veggies, etc. 

THE FINAL PRODUCT

Restaurants tackled on the World’s Top 50 restaurants

World’s Top 50 resties — 2014

It took me about 5 years to build up this list.  The amount of work and attention to detail that these restaurants perform is incredible.  In the same trip, I ate at Geranium and Noma.  At the time, Geranium was #50 and Noma was #1.  The two were almost indistinguishable.  2 fave restaurant in the US: Per Se and Alinea.  Bravo to the chefs and staff.  My culinary journey was nothing short of a blessing.

The 2016 World’s Best Restaurants list and with my updated dining list from 2015-2016:

  • (6) Mirazur
  • (7) Mugaritz
  • (10) Asador Extebarri
  • (12) Quintonil
  • (16) Azurmendi
  • (17) Piazza Duomo
  • (21) Arzak
  • (25) Pujol
  • (31) Nihonryori RyuGin
  • (46) Combal Zero

Spicy Thai curry

Cleaning out the fridge before my vacation:

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Serves 7!

Ingredients:

2 yellow bell peppers
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 white onion
3 green onions
1 shallot
1 clove garlic
1 large handful cilantro
1 package tempeh
Red chili flakes
1 large handful bean sprouts
1/2 bottle Trader Jo’s red curry sauce
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons sesame oil

1/4-1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce

1) Chop bell peppers and white onion into cubes.  Dice shallots, roughly chop cilantro.  Chop green onions.  Set aside.

2) Heat up a large skillet on medium heat with coconut oil.  Place shallot and garlic in pan.  Break up 1 package of tempeh into ground pieces.  Place in skillet.  Add soy sauce and sesame oil and red chili flakes.  Stir until tempeh slightly browned

3) Add bell peppers, white onion. Simmer until al dente.  Add TJ’s red curry sauce.  Coat evenly.  Add green onions and bean sprouts.  Simmer.

4) Serve over rice (here’s a recipe I enjoy for Coconut Rice).  Garnish with cilantro and mint (optional)

5) Watch it be a real crowd pleaser!  🙂  Kick back and sip on a lovely pinot grigio or riesling… the spice and sweet together makes for a nice combo.

Coconut Curry Flounder

This recipe was adapted from this one here.  I didn’t have lemongrass or mussels…. so here’s my take on that recipe.

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Ingredients

  • 2 flounder fillets (I used flash frozen since I had it available)
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped in cubes
  • 1 thai chili, finely chopped (can substitute good pinch of chili flakes)
  • 3 teaspoons of ginger, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of curry powder
  • 1/2 cup of chicken broth
  • 1 can of coconut milk (13.5 fl. oz.)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Kelp noodles
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass, chopped into four pieces and smashed (I didn’t have lemongrass, so I squeezed 1 small lemon)
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves* (optional) — didn’t have this either
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Lime wedges

Method

Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion and stir for a few minutes until they become soft and slightly translucent. Add the chilies, ginger, and curry powder and stir for a minute until fragrant.

2  Add the chicken broth and reduce half. Add the coconut milk, salt, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves if using and bring to a boil. When boiling, drain and set aside in a separate bowl/container.

3 Boil kelp noodles in boiling water.  Drain when slightly soft.

4  Season fish with salt and pepper.  Add some oil.  Place fish fillets in skillet.  Add some garlic for flavor.  Reduce heat to medium and cover.  Cook for 3-4 minutes until the fish is cooked.  Place kelp noodles in a bowl and top with the cooked fish.  Spoon previously made sauce over the kelp noodles and fish. Garnish with chopped cilantro and juice from lime wedges.

Coconut Curry Mussels

And to truly finish off any craving I have for curry, coconut, and mussels…. I will shock all by attempting to make this dish!  🙂

Coconut Curry Mussels

Coconut Curry Mussels Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs of mussels, cleaned and debearded
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 thai chili, finely chopped (can substitute good pinch of chili flakes)
  • 3 teaspoons of ginger, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of curry powder
  • 1/2 cup of chicken broth
  • 1 can of coconut milk (13.5 fl. oz.)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass, chopped into four pieces and smashed
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves* (optional)
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Lime wedges

*Kaffir lime leaf: a key ingredient in Vietnamese, Thai, and Hmong cuisine; can be found in Asian Markets, though many markets now carry them in the produce aisles with other fresh herbs. The taste is very distinct and can’t be substituted. However, you can make this dish without the leaves and the mussels will still taste great.

Method

1 Place mussels in a bowl of cold water so the mussels will spit out any sand or mud. Let them sit for 10 minutes. Drain and repeat. Toss any mussels that are open as these are dead. Debeard the mussels, pulling out their byssal threads (aka: their “beards”) and place them in a bowl of cold water until ready to use.

2 Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion and stir for a few minutes until they become soft and slightly translucent. Add the chilies, ginger, and curry powder and stir for a minute until fragrant.

3 Add the chicken broth and reduce half. Add the coconut milk, salt, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves if using and bring to a boil. Drain and add the mussels, reduce heat to medium and cover with a tight fitting lid. Cook for 6-7 minutes until the mussels open. Discard any that are closed as these were dead before cooking. (Some may only be slightly open, if you have to debate on whether it’s good to eat or not, toss it.) Spoon mussels into bowls and pour over with broth. Garnish with chopped cilantro and juice from lime wedges.

Yield: Serves 4.