Dim Sum and then Some

April 21, 2010

My good friend and fellow foodie blogger Kristi, signed us up for cooking classes at Hipcooks, here in West LA. We chose Dim Sum from their large variety of classes available because it sounded like the most challenging since we were both clueless on where to  start with all these flavors! Since then, we’d anxiously been looking forward to stuffing our faces with wontons, dumplings, pork puff pastries and more!

We had a TON of fun learning to make Chinese food with our teacher Jessie and were both surprised with just how easy she made it all seem! I cant wait to try making these in my own kitchen, and then sharing them with you.  Here’s a look at what went on in the Hipcooks kitchen…

The menu:

  • Steamed shrimp wontons

  • Chicken cabbage dumplings

  • Chinese-style green beans

  • Seared sesame beef in rice paper

  • Lotus Flower Pork Puff Pastry

  • Sweet Wontons with orange, walnuts and dates

We also enjoyed 4 types of Chinese tea, seared scallop lo mein and even scallion pancakes! Stay tuned for video of me attempting my very first pan flip while making those really delicious scallion pancakes.

If you’re looking to hone in on your Chinese culinary skills, check out Hipcooks. Can’t wait for my next class!

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Stoneware vs. Cast-iron

April 16, 2010

I had previously purchased a lovely Le Creuset pot, on sale! $65. Thats a steal, right?! So just to make sure I was getting the correct tool I needed, I explained to the sales girl that I wanted the one  you can use on the stove top and then transfer into the oven. The best invention ever. I got a clear “YES! this is the one” and after a couple more “Are you sure?? cause it’s really inexpensive for a Le Creuset pot” she assured me that I would love my new pot . So,  I left dreaming about all the wonderful dishes I would make with my new purchase.

Too good to be true 😦 I started with a little rice on the stove top, less than 2 minutes later… IT SHATTERS! Luckily, no one was hurt.

Lesson to be learned:

There is a difference between Stoneware and cast-iron. Stoneware is for baking. cast-iron is the one I want and costs hundreds more. Lesson learned.  And don’t worry, I returned that shattered pot and got my money back; im saving up for that shiny cast-iron one.

What better way to celebrate Tax day as well as my very first recipe post than by sharing my Moms beloved Taco recipe with everyone? Thanks again Mom for the inspiration!
 
Ingredients:
4 tbsp Canola Oil
1 package tortillas
Cotija Cheese
Shredded lettuce
Chopped Roma Tomatoes
 
Beef & Potato filling:
1 lb Ground beef I prefer ground sirloin 95% lean (Less fat, more beef!)
2-3 Chopped potatoes (regular baking are fine)
2 tbsp Tomato paste
1/2 Onion
2 Cloves garlic
3/4 cup Jalapeño juice (from your ready supply of jarred jalapeños, of course!)
Cilantro
Chili Powder
Salt
Pepper
 
Super simple taco salsa:
1/2 can tomato sauce
1/2 cup jalapeño juice
dried cilantro (dry works best)

 Start by simmering your meat. Once it looks thoroughly cooked, drain excess fat and add your chopped potatoes and tomato paste.  Chop your onion, garlic and cilantro and add that to the mix. Season with salt, pepper, and chili powder. Add jalapeño juice, cover and simmer on medium heat for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are fully cooked.

Making your taco:
 
While its easiest to just purchase your taco shells pre-made it really doesn’t taste, look and feel like a traditional Mexican taco. I’m all for great time savers  but this recipe is all about that fried filling and yummy crunchy taco shell made together.  Nothing beats it.
So heres the tricky part…Heat up some Canola oil in a small frying pan.  Test heat with a sprinkle of water, you don’t want it too hot. Put about 2 tbsp of your filling in the center of your tortilla (or layer two for EXTRA crunch). Carefully place the base of your taco in the oil and hold the ends together until its standing on its own. Take turns slowly turning the taco on each side without letting the filling completely spill out.
 
 
Drain on a paper towel then fill it up with your toppings.
 
And Enjoy!

About

April 14, 2010

 

These photos crack me up!  They were taken in the San Francisco ferry building where you can find some of the most unusual flavors in town. They basically describe a lot about me: Always eating, thinking and talking about food.  I generally try to not have food in my mouth when a picture is being taken, but I seem to have a lot of photos of me eating. Food makes me happy. I don’t eat to be happy, im generally a happy person; but I have been told that I genuinely “light up” when a plate is set before me. Can you blame me?

I was born and raised in Los Angeles into a large Mexican family that I adore. My dad dared me $20 when I was 6 to eat an entire Jalapeño and I’ve loved spicy foods ever since. I guess my love for food stems from my mom who made the best homemade dinners every night when my sisters and I were growing up. Now that im on my own, I like cooking for others and sharing what I learn in the process.

Kitchen237  is where I reside and where most of my eating, learning and discussing of food takes place. Feel free to share your thoughts, suggestions or opinions on any of my posts and if you have any questions feel free to comment.

Welcome 🙂