Saturday, June 24, 2017

Banana Fritters

I've been thinking about breakfast recipes a lot lately. So sick and tired of pancakes, waffles, and French toasts. Want something different.

Then I came across Bobby Flay's Banana Foster Beignets recipe in his brunch cookbook. Since I had 2 ready to bake bananas, I decided to make banana fritters for breakfast.

When I reread Bobby's recipe, I was wondering why he didn't add an egg. I mean beignets are usually yeast dough. But without eggs, I don't think they will turn out fluffy. Kinda strange.

So I modified his recipe by adding an egg. I ran out of large eggs or I went with extra large. I'll try large egg next time and see if the texture makes a difference. I also added less sugar because I knew my kids would sprinkle a lot of powdered sugar until their fritters look like they are covered in snow.

When I think of beignets, I'd think of deep-fried yeast dough. You know the New Orleans beignets. I renamed this dish to a fritter because it has that doughnut taste to them. Well, whatever its name, my kids enjoyed them with cold glasses of goat milk. I had mine with morning coffee. Good life.

Banana Fritters
serve 3-4
adapted from Brunch at Bobby's Banana Foster Beignets

2 ripe bananas (7 oz.)
1/4 cup (3 oz.) granulated sugar
3 Tablespoons (1 oz.) coarse sugar
2 Tablespoons (1 oz.) coconut cream
1 extra large egg (2.1 oz.)
1 cup (4 oz.) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch ground nutmeg
cooking oil for deep frying
powdered sugar for serving
  1. Place a cooling rack over a baking pan. Set aside.
  2. Pour cooking oil (about 2 inches deep) into a heavy bottom pot.
  3. Heat the oil until the candy thermometer registers at 350F.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together bananas, sugars, coconut cream, and egg.
  5. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  6. Whisk the flour ingredients into the banana ingredients until there are no lumps.
  7. Using a small scoop, drop about 4-6 scoops into the oil.
  8. Deep fried until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes.
  9. Take the fritters out of the oil and on to a cooling rack to let them drain.
  10. Serve warm with a lot of powdered sugar. Enjoy!!!

Allergy Info: These banana fritters are free from dairy, egg, corn, legumes (peanuts and soy), nuts (not coconut) and fish. 

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Strawberry Banana Spinach Smootie

It's one of those days when goat milk is about to expire. Why do I always have this "about to expire" dilemma? With frozen strawberries and bananas, I asked my kids, "You guys want strawberry banana smoothie?" SURE!!!

My friend, Krissy, told me many times to add spinach to smoothie since they don't have any taste while they are health. So I added a few leaves into their smoothie. I asked my kids if they could guess the secret ingredients.

My kids couldn't tell. Camden drank half of his smoothie then sauntered into the kitchen to ask me what the secret ingredient was. After I told him it was spinach, he said he felt sick from the smoothie and could not finish it because of the spinach. I pointed out that he already drank half of it.

The point is... some kids (even grown ups) have some sort of psychological issue when it comes to food. I bet Camden would finish his smoothie if he didn't realize spinach leaves were added in. But I honestly tell my kids what they are eating. Why not. They need to know what they eat. If they like or dislike what they eat, then they can decide if they want them again next time.

Strawberry Banana Smoothie
serve 2-3

1 cups organic strawberries, frozen
1 medium banana, frozen
5-7 organic baby spinach leaves, stemmed
goat milk
agave to taste
  1. Add strawberries and banana into blender.
  2. Turn the blender on low while adding milk to the preference consistency.
  3. Add agave to taste.
  4. Serve with more frozen sliced strawberries. Enjoy!!!

Allergy Info: This smoothie is free from dairy (not goat), egg, corn, wheat, legumes (peanuts and soy), and fish. Look for frozen fruits without added additives like citric acid. For bananas, peel and cut into big chunks and free them for future smoothie.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Scrambled Eggs

Apparently, I didn't know how to scrambled eggs. Yeah, seriously!!!

Last week, I watched The Kitchen on Foods Network. Chef Zakarian taught a lesson on how to properly scramble some eggs. He showed a bowl of "incorrectly" scrambled eggs and... hmmm... that could have been my scrambled eggs.

His basic tip was low heat and slow. He added a lot of dairy (butter and sour cream). Two ingredients that I don't often have at home because... well, we don't eat cow's products. I didn't even bother to find substitutes for them though. I mean, scrambled eggs should just be scrambled eggs, right?

I tested Chef Zakarian's proper scrambled eggs technique, using a wok instead of a pot. The thing is... all of my nonstick pans are no longer nonstick, so I have been using a wok for pretty much everything. So use whatever you can get your hands on... a pot or a pan. Just make sure it is big enough to accommodate the amount of eggs you want to scramble.

So I thought the proper scrambled eggs' texture was rather creamy... reminded me of a thick pastry cream. Brek didn't like it. He preferred firm texture. But Camden luved it. So you see... there is no such thing as THE proper scramble eggs. However, I do like the low heat and slow cooking method. For some reasons, the eggs didn't turn out gamey. Since Brek prefers firm texture, I cook the eggs a little longer. Easy peasy for my two food critics.

Even though I suggested sea salt, ground black pepper, and fine chopped herbs to taste, I don't add sea salt to my scrambled eggs. Just because we eat so much salt else where, especially snacking on sea salt chips. Mine usually has ground black pepper and herbs to my scrambled eggs. Brek has his scrambled eggs with only ground black peppers, and Camden prefers them naked. Still easy peasy!!!

Scrambled Eggs
make as many as you like
inspired by Chef Zakarian's The Proper Scrambled Eggs

as many eggs as you like
1/2 Tablespoon cooking oil
sea salt, ground black pepper, and/or finely chopped herbs to serve (optional)
  1. Heat a pan, a pot, or a wok in a very low heat.
  2. Drizzle a little bit of oil, about 1/2 tablespoon.
  3. In a bowl, whisk the eggs until smooth, about 30 to 60 seconds.
  4. Add the eggs into the pan. If the pan sizzles, turn down the heat.
  5. If using a whisk, continuously whisk the egg mixture until creamy. If using a spatula, continuously bring the partially cooked eggs from the edge to the center then turn once.
  6. Plate the scrambled eggs then add salt, ground black pepper, and/or herbs to taste. Serve them next to your fabulous breakfast options such as a slice of sour dough bread, hash brown, and BACONS!!!
Allergy Info: Scrambled eggs are free from everything except eggs. If you cannot have chicken eggs, see if you can tolerant duck or quail eggs. They both are available at the Asian groceries.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Nut Milk

If you're like me, you would want to purchase certain thing prepackaged. Save time to do other activities. Like almond milk.

For the life of me, I thought nut milk was difficult to make. After searching on line and reading variety of cookbooks, the recipes were pretty much the same. Nuts and water. Yeah, no kidding.

The idea is to soak the nuts until they get pretty soft. Then whirring the soft nuts with water in a blender. That's pretty much it. And the best thing about making my own nut milk is what I add in the blender is what I get.

Check out the prepackaged nut milk where a lot of other ingredients are added, like oil. I have no idea why would oil needed in milk. I mean, do you add oil to a bowl of cereal? I certainly don't want it in mine.




Nut Milk
makes as much milk as you like

1 part preferred nuts, such as hazel, cashew, or almonds
3 parts filtered water

For example, 1 cup of cashew to 3 cups of water would make 3 cups of cashew milk.
  1. In a large container, soak the nuts in the water.
    NOTE: Rinsing the nuts before soaking them is optional.
  2. Put the container in a fridge overnight.
    NOTE: There is no need to cover the container.
  3. The next day, add nuts and its water into the blender.
  4. Blend the nuts until creamy white, about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Put the strainer over a large container.
  6. Pour the nut milk over the strainer.
  7. Using the back of a spoon, press out the nut milk, scrapping the bottom of the strainer to get the nut cream.
  8. Nut milk is ready to enjoy as is. Add a little sweetener, such as agave or honey, is optional.
STORING: Keep nut milk in a container in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Allergy Info: This nut milk recipe is free from dairy, egg, corn, wheat, legumes (peanuts and soy), and fish. When buying nuts, be sure to read the label carefully as some packaging will have a fine print of "manufactured in a facility that processes... (dairy, wheat, eggs, etc.).

Monday, January 9, 2017

Congee

Happy New Year!!!

It's been super cold the past few days. The coldest was 27F. Brrr... But I'm luving the cold if I can stay home. Plus, it's a nice change to the hot Texas heat.

So last Friday (January 6th), I happened to check the radar since it was pouring out. Then I saw it... snow in Sugar Land? Really? I was excited and Camden was too. We decided to venture out... in the cold... in the rain... in search of... SNOW!!!

It was about 45 minutes drive and once we got there, it was nothing but rain... sleet. Bummer. We stopped by Whole Foods instead and bought some pastries for treats and manchego cheese for future dinner. Still was a good trip. Just wish we saw snow flakes.

Since the temperature was dropping, I decided to put my slower cooker to good use. Thursday was making the chicken broth. Friday was cooking congee. After I posted the congee photo on my Facebook page, a lot of my friends asked what it was. Think of it as porridge. Creamy with no cream or milk added. It's an Asian dish with variation of added garnishes. I ate a bowl with pieces of fish with peanuts once and didn't care for the taste. Congee with ground pork was pretty tasty. The one I made last Friday was just chicken broth with Jasmin rice and cauliflower. Just because I've been wanting cauliflower soup for awhile now.

I was told to blend cooked rice in broth in a blender to make it creamy so no slow cooker is required. But the whole point of using a slow cooker is to spend less time in the kitchen. I prefer the dump-it-and-forget-it recipes. Easy pleasy. For my congee, I set the slow cooker on HIGH at around 9am. As soon as I saw the congee bubbling, around noon, I turned it to LOW until 5:30pm dinner.

And be creative with the garnishes and added proteins. My kids ate their congee with grilled hot dogs and potato chips. The top photo was my breakfast congee... over easy egg, scallion, cilantros, fried onions with a lot of hot sauce. Because I like my savory dishes spiceee.

Congee
serve 4-6

6-8 cups chicken broth
3/4 to 1 cup uncooked Jasmin rice
half cauliflower head, roughly chopped
1 inch peeled fresh ginger or 1-3 teaspoons ground ginger (add more for spicier taste)
1 teaspoon black peppers

Garnishes
fried onion
fried garlic
thinly sliced scallions
roughly chopped cilantros
fish sauce
hot sauce

Protein Options
fried or over easy eggs
shredded cooked chickens
crumbled cooked bacons (crunchy and in bits)
thinly slice beef
  1. Add all of the ingredients into the slower cooker.
  2. Set it on LOW for 6 hours or on HIGH for 4 hours.
  3. Stir and serve congee with garnishes and protein options. Add fish sauce and hot sauce to taste.
Congee is extremely hot right out of the slow cooker. Be careful when serving to kids. I spoon my kids' congee in bowls and let them sit out for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Allergy Info: My congee recipe is free from or can be made without dairy, egg (if not garnish with fried egg), corn, wheat, legumes (peanuts and soy), or nuts. If you have fish allergy, use sea salt to taste. If you can have legumes, soy sauce is a good alternative. Read the ingredients listed for pre packaged garnishes such as fried onions or hot sauce, as it may contain soy oil and/or corn derivatives. Or thinly sliced onions or garlic in hot oil until crispy. No hot sauce, no problems. Sprinkle ground hot peppers.