How you doin’? Did you ever try my recipe for Texas Cowboy Casserole (Lesson #14) using Original Bisquick? Why not? Don’t be a slacker. You’re at home with the kids and baking and cooking are great releases from all the stress you are going through. Okay, I’m going to give you another chance to be a “baking hero.”
Cheddar Corn Cakes make a great accompaniment to a nice dining room dinner or an informal outdoor cookout. It all starts with a box of Jiffy Corn Muffin mix and a box of Original Bisquick. Skip the standard bake-and-serve, store-bought dinner rolls and try these quick-to-fix biscuits studded with cheddar and corn kernels. It's almost impossible to resist eating one right from the oven!
Prep time: 20 minutes
Bake time: 20 minutes
Yield: 16 to 20 biscuits
Food release spray (Pam)
1 box of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix (8.5-oz.)
1 large egg
1/3 cup milk
2-1/2 cups Original Bisquick Baking Mix
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground dry rosemary
8 tablespoons cold salted butter, cubed
1/2 can (14-3/4 ounces) cream-style corn
1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons milk, plus more for brushing the tops
1/4 cup melted salted butter for brushing the tops after baking
How you doin’? I recently heard from Spencer, our former R&D chef. Chef Spencer is now the executive chef for Chatrium Hotels in Bangkok Thailand. Chef Spencer tells us that tourism in Thailand has slowed considerably due to the pandemic, so, I guess I’m not going to be traveling to Thailand any time soon. I’m really missing great Thai food. There are only a few decent Thai restaurants in Los Angeles that have food that is even close to authentic Thai food.
A little history about the chef… We first met Chef at the Mandarin Oriental on the Chao Phraya, the major river in Thailand that flows from the north through Bangkok and out into the Gulf of Thailand—a beautiful setting. Chef Spencer is a Brit with over 30 years of culinary experience in high-end hotels, restaurants and resorts across the globe, including America, Australia, Barbados, England and Thailand which is what attracted us to him, aside from the fact he is such a very likable guy.
So, when you’re missing good Thai food and none of your favorite restaurants are open, what do you do? Create and innovate. Here is my easy recipe for a salad with an elegant Asian flair and good for even the fanciest party meal. I think Chef Spencer would approve. Most Thai noodle salads have a peanut butter infused dressing—this one doesn’t and is much lighter. It's not only a healthy alternative but is delicious. It is zesty and pairs well with some Thai barbecued chicken and a bottle of Singha Thai Beer. I like to sprinkle some additional peanuts right before serving.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Chill time: 1 hour
Yield: 4 servings
15 ounces dried Soba noodles
1-3/4 teaspoons dark sesame oil, divided
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
1 lime, zest (microplane) and juice
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons Sambal--chili garlic paste, or to taste (optional)
1 cup finely shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons green onion top rounds
2 tablespoons cucumbers, julienne cut
1/2 cup bean sprouts
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped roasted, salted peanuts
8 ounces grilled chicken breast, julienne cut (optional)
2 tablespoons crisp bacon bits (optional)
ChefSecret: What is Sambal? It is an Asian chili sauce or paste typically made from a mixture of a variety of chili peppers with shrimp paste, garlic, ginger, shallot, scallion, palm sugar and lime juice. It is native to Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Brunei, Singapore and Country Thai cuisines. It is quite spicy, so use sparingly.
What is a microplane? A Microplane grater originated as an excellent smoothing tool for woodworkers, and it has proved to be an indispensable grating tool for chefs and cooks. It is a great tool for quickly zesting citrus fruits and even grates the hardest Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
#Salad #ThaiNoodleSalad #SpencerKells #ChatriumHotels #Brunch #Lunch #PerspectivesTheConsultingGroup #QuarantineKitchen #Covid19
How you doin’? Do you have a lot of time on your hands? (Warning: If you are working from home or home schooling the kiddies, this may be too much for you to handle—Ben & Jerry’s Frozen Yogurt may be a better option and more rewarding.)
Do you want to feel that you really accomplished something beyond just pushing buttons on your Instant Pot? Well, here’s the 2020 Quarantine Kitchen Challenge—making yogurt from scratch in your Instant Pot.
As fair warning there are other, simpler ways to get your daily dose of yogurt. If you don’t mind all the sugar and additives there are plenty of brands at your local grocer. Check the labels… some may be cleaner than others.
Or, you can always purchase a single use appliance—a yogurt maker. They cost between $27.99 to a couple a hundred bucks. They are not very complicated to use. They are fairly automatic but take up a lot of room on your kitchen counters or cupboard and will eventually wind up in the same place as your juicer, automatic bread maker and slow cooker.
Let’s face it, you already have an Instant Pot that you are using for everything else, why not take a flier and make some yogurt in your trusty Instant Pot?
Here are some tips for making homemade yogurt. I do guarantee—homemade yogurt tastes so much better than the store-bought stuff. Now that you have plenty of time on your hands, give it a try.
Yogurt Making Tips
For your yogurt culture, you can use either store-bought plain yogurt with active cultures, a freeze-dried heirloom starter, or yogurt from a previous batch of homemade yogurt. A yogurt starter culture contains live bacteria that convert milk into yogurt—that’s a good thing. The bacteria feed on the lactose and convert it into lactic acid. This ferments the milk, making it thicker and giving it that tart flavor associated with yogurt. Every starter culture has its own blend of bacteria which gives the yogurt a specific taste and texture—it’s alive. Check out the internet to find the style of yogurt you prefer.
If you are using freeze-dried heirloom starter for the first time, read the directions that come with it. Instead of adding 2 tablespoons of yogurt, you’ll add the entire packet of freeze-dried starter in step 3.
Smell your Instant Pot gasket before you begin. If it carries a strong aroma of chili or curried lamb, you may want to order an extra gasket, as the yogurt can absorb those smells. Reserve the neutral gasket for making yogurt only.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 4 to 12 hours, plus chilling time (most good things take time)
Yield: about 6-1/2 cups of homemade yogurt
1/2-gallon pasteurized milk (we like organic, whole cow’s milk)
2 tablespoons yogurt culture
Hey, you did it! You made homemade yogurt for the first time in your Instant Pot. Isn’t that rewarding? I am so proud of you!
#InstantPot #Yogurt #HomemadeYogurt #PerspectivesTheConsultingGroup #QuarantineKitchen #Covid19
The first year my brother enrolled at the University of California, Davis campus my dad treated our family to dinner at the Nut Tree Restaurant, Vacaville. It was a magically wonderful experience… including the small gauge train that circled the property, and the general aviation airport (that later in life I used to fly in for a weekend brunch). Over the years the Nut Tree became one of my favorite places to stop when visiting Davis and later when driving along the heavily traveled corridor of Interstate 80 between San Francisco and Sacramento.
The Nut Tree Restaurant was an early pioneer of, what is now known as, California Cuisine, with fresh fruits and vegetables featured in their recipes. By 1978, the Nut Tree was identified as "the region's most characteristic and influential restaurant." A notable feature of the restaurant was its large indoor aviary that had glass walls extending from floor to ceiling. Nut Tree knives and cutting boards, as well as books on aviation, were sold in the gift shop.
The restaurant attracted many notable visitors including Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, Danny Kaye, Shirley Temple Black, Chuck Yeager, Peter Marino, and Bing Crosby, among others. In 1983, the Nut Tree catered a luncheon hosted by (California) Governor George Deukmejian for Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip at the State capitol.
Don Birrell was design director for the Nut Tree from 1953 until 1990. The Nut Tree's outdoor patio area was designed to loosely resemble Tivoli Gardens, in Copenhagen with unique its lighting and kiosks, and every plate was a food stylist’s dream.
The Nut Tree had a number of wonderful signature menu items… Whole Pineapple With Marshmallow Sauce, Seasonable Fruit & Sorbet Fruit Salad, Chicken Almond, Fried Shrimp, Freshly Baked White and Wheat Mini Loafs and, most memorable, Orange Nut Bread.
Because of changing times, rising property values and family squabbles the restaurant closed in in 1996. Fortunately, I managed to save one of the best recipes—The Nut Tree Orange Nut Bread.
Prep time: 40 minutes
Bake time: 45 to 60 minutes
Yield: 1 large loaf or 2 mini loafs
For the orange rind prep
1 cup, orange rind, ground (from about 2-3 medium oranges)
1/2 cup water
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
For the cake batter
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, oil or melted shortening
2 large eggs, unbeaten
1 teaspoon orange extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
3/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped, roasted
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoon raw sugar
To prepare the orange rind
How you doin’? Do you find that you have more time to test new recipes these days? Here’s one of my favorite lighter recipes from China Rose my Arlington, Texas restaurant—made with fresh American produce.
I love minced chicken lettuce wraps. They are low in carbs and I can stuff my face without any guilt whatsoever. This is the easiest, quickest, healthiest meal you could ever make. If you have good moves in the kitchen, you can easily get this on your dinner table in less than 15 minutes. Plus, it’s budget friendly, too! You can easily double or triple this recipe as needed.
Prep time: 9 minutes
Cook time: 6 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
For the lettuce cups
1/2 head of iceberg lettuce, leaves separated into cups and washed
For the Gai Soong stir-fry sauce
1 tablespoon sherry wine
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon corn starch
1/2 teaspoon chili oil
For the chicken filling
2 tablespoons peanut oil
3/4 cup chicken, uncooked, minced (thigh meat recommended; see ChefSecret)
1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1/3 cup fresh oyster or brown mushrooms, minced
2/3 cup bamboo shoots, minced
2/3 cup water chestnuts, minced
2/3 cup celery, minced
1 teaspoon red jalapeño peppers, minced
1/3 cup green onions, minced (tops and bottoms)
#LettuceWraps #Chicken #GaiSoong #PerspectivesTheConsultingGroup #QuarantineKitchen
Who is Ed Engoron?