Sunday, November 28, 2010

Nanking sweet potatoes


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Saturday, November 27, 2010

nanking sweet potatoes quest

11/27/2010: So Beckey bought some sweet potatoes for T-Day, and I'd been hankering to make the ones that I've had with the sesame chicken at the House of Nanking in San Francisco.

Years ago, I found a book of San Francisco recipes that listed how to make these. I remember making them at my mom's for Chrismas, I think, with Beckey, but they turned out just OK, maybe too much soy sauce.

So I tried two different versions this evening. Both were pretty good, but not exactly Nanking-style.

Here are the two versions; the basic procedure is the same, just the sauce recipe varies.

Nanking-style Sweet Potatoes V1

1/2 large sweet potato, sliced somewhere between 1/8" - 1/4" on mandoline
4c. canola oil

1 tsp sesame oil

1 green onion, sliced, for garnish
Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)

  1. Combine all sauce ingredients in small saute pan over high heat. Bring to a boil, let reduce for 5 minutes, and turn off heat.
  2. In small batches, fry sweet potatoes at 350-375F for 1 minute, then remove onto paper towels to drain and cool.
  3. When first fry is complete, heat oil to 375F, and fry potatoes again in batches, for about 1 minute, remove and drain.
  4. When complete, reheat sauce to boil, add potatoes to sauce, toss.
  6. Serve at once, garnished with green onions and sesame seeds.
Sauce V1

1/4c. light soy sauce
1/4c. rice wine vinegar
1/4c. white sugar
1 tsp worcheshire sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp homemade pickled ginger (or fresh ginger)

Sauce V1 Results
  • A bit too sweet and too salty
  • Also a bit too much ginger
  • Nice caramelization, I cooked for 10 minutes, maybe too caramelized, very thick and sticky

Sauce V2

3 tbsp light soy sauce
1/4c. rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp white sugar
1 tbsp mirin
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp worcheshire sauce
1 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp homemade pickled ginger (or fresh ginger)
1 pinch red chili flakes

Sauce V2 results
  • Better balance
  • A bit spicy; omit chili flakes next time
  • Still maybe too garlicky
  • Less soy sauce (2 tbsp)
  • Add chicken stock (1/4c) and let reduce
  • Try re-adding worcheshire?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Just out of the oven, 450f for 40 minutes, broiled on hi for 3 min

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The bird is the word

2010 bird, 19-20 lbs

Note timer, came out after about 3 hours, at 165 for thigh.

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2010 holiday stuffing/dressing

This is my girl's family recipe, like her grandparents made and her mom continues to make. Plenty to stuff a 16 lb bird. Originally wrote it down in 2008, while her mom was making it at home.

Makes a large mixing bowl full, probably 12-15 servings, maybe more!

Prep time: about 70 minutes

2 bags of Pepperidge Farms Herb Seasoned Stuffing (Note: 12oz? Cubbinsons comes in two 6oz bags, so 12oz?)
3 medium apples, any kind of RED apple (Gala), peeled and rough chopped
2 medium yellow onion, chopped
1/2 bunch (5 stalks?) celery, chopped
1 lb of large white mushrooms, rough chopped, about 12-15 count, stems removed
1 lb Jimmy Dean Pork Sausage
3 eggs
2 sticks of butter
2 tbsp dried basil
1 tbsp dried oregano
2 tbsp dried parsley
1 tbsp fresh rosemary
1 tbsp fresh thyme
2 tbsp fresh parsley
1 tbsp fresh sage
2 cans chicken broth (24-28 oz) (OMITTED THIS TIME)
1/2 box Bell's Seasoning (I USED 1 WHOLE BOX)
1 tbsp black pepper

No salt (stock, stuffing mix and other has salt already, Jackie doesn't add salt)


(I've changed them slightly from the original version, to make it easier to do).
  1. Pulse stuffing mix until small dice, like breadcrumb. Set aside in large bowl.
  2. In batches, grind celery, apple, onion, and mushroom in the food processor until uniform.
  3. Add both cans of broth and eggs to food processor. Add all fresh and dried spices except Bell's. Pulse some more. Add to breadcrumb bowl.
  4. In a large skillet, melt butter and brown the sausage in it.
  5. Pour entire butter/sausage mixture over stuffing.
  6. Add boiling water (probably 2-4 cups) and stir to combine to moisten the mixture.
  7. Knead, squeezing thru your fingers to make sure there are no lumps and mixture is uniform and even, 3-5 minutes.
  8. Add Bell's seasoning, "until it smells right". She used approx 1/2 of a new box. (I used a whole box this time)
  9. Add more warm water to make the mixture very moist. At night it will be very wet, because it will soak up water.
  10. Should look as wet as a meatloaf. Sprinkle a little Bell Seasoning over the top.
  11. Bake at 450F for 40 minutes, and broil for 3 minutes. (Most everything is cooked except the egg, so shouldn't take too long).
My girl's mom (Jackie) stuffs it in the bird, bakes the leftovers.

  • Nice thin crust, pretty moist inside (could've probably gone for 1 hr @ 450).
  • Not enough salt!! Aaack!!! Probably because I left out the chicken stock. Still, would've been better to cook a small patty and taste it for salt.
  • Perhaps too much Bell's, tastes strongly

2010 turkey

20lb, 16-17min/lb, so 5.33 to 5.66 hours estimated cook time

one 20lb turkey
2 carrots, peeled and rough chopped
2 onions, peeled and rough chopped
2 celery stalks, rough chopped
1/2 stick softened butter (or leftover butter from last year)
10 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp rosemary, minced
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 extra rosemary branch
1 lemon, split in 1/2
Kosher salt
  1. Mix softened butter, garlic, parsley, 2 tbs rosemary, and a pinch of kosher salt
  2. Preheat oven to 500F
  3. Get roasting pan with rack; spray rack with canola cooking spray (or wipe with canola or vegetable oil)
  4. Remove giblets (or giblet pack) from's there! If it's not in the body, check the neck cavity!
  5. Rinse turkey well, place on roasting rack breast side UP, pat inside dry with paper towels.
  6. Add vegetables and giblets to roasting pan
  7. Work skin loose with fingers
  8. Put 1/2 butter/garlic mixture under skin
  9. Stuff turkey with lemon, rosemary branch
  10. Truss legs and tuck under
  11. Pat skin VERY DRY
  12. Rub remaining butter/garlic mixture over skin.
  13. Season skin very liberally with salt
  14. Roast at 500F for 30 minutes
  15. Reduce heat to 350F
  16. Cook for remaining time, until thigh temp hits 161F (it's about 16-17min/lb).
  17. Remove and let rest at least 30 minutes before carving.
NOTE: in at 445pm; initial timer time 4 hrs.

Cook time: about 3 hours to get to 165F in thigh. Removed and let rest for 30 minutes.

Golden brown skin
Very well-seasoned; breast meat was infused, likely from high salt on skin
Breast was still moist
Thigh meat was nice, tiny bit of blood around thigh sockets, but otherwise fine.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

blue cheese 3?

Made chicken wings tonight. Used the Beacon-style fry method: 350 for 2 min, then 375 for 7 minutes. It's like the skin was lacquered, very very crispy. I did dust the skin in a bit of cornstarch, flour, garlic powder and paprika, but not really even noticeably so.

I like the blue cheese dip I made tonight. The yogurt adds nice tang.

3 tbsp mayo
3 tbsp plain nonfat yogurt
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp dried parsley
4 tbsp crumbled blue cheese

Mix with fork to really mash those blue cheese nuggets.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

blackened wings with creamy remoulade

So we're going to a Cajun/Creole dinner tonight with friends in L.A.

Decided to make chicken wings in a Cajun way: with blackening spices! And made a remoulade sauce to go along. Problem was (shoulda thought of this) the blackening spice might conflict with the remoulade, which is spicy (woulda been better to make very plain wings and serve with spicy remoulade!) Solution: the creamy remoulade! Still a bit of spice, but creamy, and should cut whatever heat there might be from the wings.

NOTE: as it turns out, the wings weren't that spicy by themselves, despite the "blackening", so the regular remoulade worked better anyways.

2 pkg chicken wings (about 24-30 pieces)
  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Season wings with blackening rub on both sides.
  3. Place wings on a cooling rack, on a sheet pan lined with aluminum foil.
  4. Bake for 35 minutes.
  5. Remove, and fry at high temp (375) for 3 minutes.

Blackening Rub

4 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Creamy Remoulade

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup plain yogurt, non-fat
4-6 tbsp remoulade, to taste

1/4 c. creole or wholegrain mustard
1/4 c. white wine vinegar
2/3 c. vegetable oil
2.5 tbsp horseradish, drained
2.5 tbsp dill pickle, minced
2 tbsp scallion greens, minced
1.5 tsp cayenne* (maybe less!)
1.25 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper