Archive for the ‘Grill & Bake’ Category
I have so many recipes that I want to try out but when it is time to choose one I usually can’t decide. Then also comes that inner me asking myself should I go buy all those ingredients? Who is going to help me eat it? How many times can I handle the leftovers? Will I ever use those other ingredients or is it just a one time deal? With these kind of questions running inside my head this is why you don’t see me sharing many American or Italian dishes. I don’t have milk, cream or cheese handy. Nor do I have tomato sauce or dried Italian herbs and noodles in my small pantry. It is currently occupied with bottles of fish sauce, different types of soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and oyster sauce. On the other end it is filled with aromatic spices like star anise, dried kaffir lime leaves, dried shitaki mushroom, tamarind base powder, all sorts of dried noodles like mung bean thread (glass noodles), rice noodles in various shapes and egg noodles. For this reason, I tend to stick with Asian recipes just because most of the ingredients are readily handy. Perhaps one day in the near future when I have a large enough pantry I can stock additional ingredients from other parts of the world.
Cambodian grilled pork salad, ញុំាសាច់ជ្រូកអាំង (Ngorm Sach Jrook Arng) is just one of those quick and easy things to put together. The only thing I had to run to the store for was to get the meat. All others I stock on a regular basis. You can substitute pork with either chicken or beef. You can even use left-over grill meats for this. But because the spicy garlic dressing that accommodate this salad is a bit strong I would not recommend marinated grill meat unless you tone the dressing down a bit. Everything in this recipe can be prepared in advance hence ‘quick & easy’. Asian Mint or Vietnamese Mint is now one of my favorite herbs to pair with Cambodian salad but you can always sub it out for other fresh herbs such as basil, fish-wort, or even cilantro. Just go with what you like. You can also enjoy this salad as is, but do increase the amount of shredded cabbage or as part of a meal with rice and other dishes. Another alternative is to eat it as a wrap. For this you will omit the shredded cabbage and use lettuce instead to wrap everything. Add some rice noodles in the wrap for a fulfilling meal. Prepare the dressing but use it as a dip instead.
Cambodian Grilled Pork Salad
(Ngorm Sach Jrook Arng) ញុំាសាច់ជ្រូកអាំង
1 tablespoon palm sugar
3½ tablespoons lime juice, about 2 limes
1½ tablespoons fish sauce
7 garlic cloves, minced
10 bird’s eye chili, chopped (adjust amount to your liking)
¾ lb. pork, season with salt & pepper to taste
1 cup shredded cabbage
a couple Asian Mint stems or use your favorite fresh herb
sliced lime rings for garnish
Grill pork until fully cook. Then slice about ¾ in. thick and set aside.
To make the dressing add palm sugar, lime juice, and fish sauce in a bowl. Whisk until the sugar dissolves.
Whisk in minced garlic followed by the chili peppers to complete the dressing. Taste and adjust to your liking. It should be sour and garlic-ky.
Add in the sliced pork and toss gently to coat.
To serve, arrange the shredded cabbage on one side and the tossed pork on the other. Pour any remaining juices on top. Garnish with fresh herb and lime rings. Alternatively, you can toss the shredded cabbage, and the herb (using the leaves only), into the salad bowl. ENJOY!
I LOVE LOVE Cambodian Kroeung! I can pretty much eat or at least try anything that is made using Khmer Kroeung. Kroeung is used in one my most favorite food in the WWW (world wide world) which is Stir Fried Lemongrass___, ឆារគ្រឿង __, (Cha Kdov (Kroeung) ___.) Fill in the blank with your choice meat. It’s such a delicious dish that I can seriously go off my diet streak if I make it often. YES, it’s that BAD, in a delicious way of course. Another popular favorite among Cambodian is the Sour and Spicy Beef Soup with Water Spinach, សម្លម្ចូគ្រឿងសាច់គោ (Somlaw Machew Kroeung Sach Ko).
For my love of Kroeung I do try to create new dishes utilizing this fragrant spice mixture. However, Cambodian Lemongrass Stuffed Game Hen isn’t so new since I’ve shared with you my recipe for Cambodian Grilled Lemongrass Chicken, សាច់ម៉ាន់អាំងប្រឡាក់គ្រឿង (Sach Mon Arng Prolak Kroeung) and Cambodian Stuffed Chicken Wings, ស្លាបម៉ាន់បោក (Slab Mon Baok) in previous post. What’s new in this recipe is the ingredients I used to make the stuffing. It might sound like too much to accompany rice but then the thought of stuffed turkey with mash potatoes and gravy all in one meal came into mind. That isn’t much right? 😀 Come to think about it if I have a date this Thanksgiving this might just be the ideal Cambodian Thanksgiving Dinner or two.
I decided to go with mushroom and bean thread noodles as the stuffing. These two ingredients works like a sponge and will soak up all the flavorful juices. They do not take long to cook which is perfect since game hen are fairly small and doesn’t require long roasting time. Enoki mushroom was used because that’s what I had sitting in my fridge at the moment. It’s also very affordable at only $0.49 a package! You can definitely upgrade to fresh shitaki or king oysters mushroom if you want.
Cambodian Lemongrass Stuffed Cornish Game Hen (make 2 servings)
(Mon Doat Ngort Kroeung) មាន់ដុតញាត់គ្រឿង
1½ lb cornish game hen with giblets inside removed
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon white pepper powder
1 teaspoon cayenne or paprika pepper powder, optional
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2-3 tablespoons Khmer Kroeung
1 pkg (3.5oz) enoki mushrooms, cut off bottom 1½-2 inch and rinse gently. Squeeze excess water.
1 bunch bean thread noodles, it comes in the pink netting (glass noodles), soak in warm water until soften
1 cup holy basil leaves
leafy green for garnish
Rinse Cornish game hen thoroughly inside and out. Pat dry with kitchen towel and set aside.
To make the marinade combine brown sugar, fish sauce, white pepper powder, paprika (if using), sesame oil and Kroeung in a bowl. Mix well to incorporate all the ingredients.
Spoon 2 tablespoons of the marinade and pour it on the Cornish game hen then rub all over. Tip: Put the chicken inside a freezer bag and pour the marinade on top. Use you hand and rub the marinade on the chicken from the outside of the freezer bag.
To make the stuffing add mushroom, bean thread and holy basil leaves into the remainder of the marinade and mix well.
Cover the chicken and allow to marinade in the fridge for at least 1 hour or overnight. Cover the stuffing and store it in the fridge until it’s time to roast.
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Stuff the chicken with the prepared stuffing and use toothpicks to sew the skin together so that it does not spill out during roasting. One diagonally and one across.
Place the breast side down on a rack and roast for 30 minutes. Then carefully flip to roast on the other side for another 20 minutes or until the juices run clear when you pierce the inner thigh with a fork. For a crispy golden brown skin crank up the heat to 450 degrees and continue to cook for another 5-10 minutes.
Remove and tent with foil. This is extremely important if you want a tender juicy meat. If you start cutting through now the meat is still hot and the juices will just flow out. You don’t want a dry meat do you? Be patient and let it rest for 15 minutes or so. In the meantime you can clean up or set the table.
Split in half to reveal the mouthwatering stuffing and arrange on a platter with some garnish.
Serve with hot steam rice and some soup. ENJOY!
What do you picture when Khmer beef sticks is mentioned? For me the memories of Khmer New Year or friends and family gathering comes into play. Cambodian beef sticks is sort of like Hot Dogs to the Americans. Almost no Cambodian events is left without, especially if it involves barbecuing. It makes outdoor entertaining fun and festive. They can be easily assembled ahead of time and grilled to perfection in minutes!
There are many different variations to the marinaded and after a couple of test I think I’ve discovered my best. My Cambodian beef sticks uses fresh, tender and juicy boneless chuck steaks. These comes with a bit of fat which prevents the meat from tasting dry and chewy. The beef is then sliced thinly and marinated with a combination of my Mother’s Lemongrass Paste (Kroeung) and a few of my ingredient picks such as the coconut milk which add this awesome aroma when the beef sticks are grilled. Serve with either my Cambodian Pickled Green Papaya or Pickled Carrots and Daikon.
Khatiya’s Cambodian Beef Sticks (makes 15 beef sticks)
(Sach Ko Ja’kak Roboss Khatiya) សាច់គោចង្កាក់របស់ខត្តិយ៉ា
2 lbs beef (chuck steak boneless)
1 dried red pepper, pre-soak in hot water until soften, then discard liquid, stems, and seeds)
¼ cup Lemongrass Paste (Kroeung)
2 tablespoons water
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon crushed peanut
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
15 bamboo skewer/sticks, soak in water 20-30 mins to prevent from burning while grilling
Slice beef about ¼ inch thick and set aside in a large mixing bowl.
In a blender add dried red pepper, Lemongrass Paste (Kroeung) and salt. Mix until smooth. If necessary add water in small amount just to get the blender going. Blend until smooth. Makes about ½ cup.
Transfer blended mixture to another bowl followed by coconut milk, crushed peanuts, fish sauce and sugar. Mix all these ingredients together to form a marinade.
Pour marinade over meat and mix thoroughly. You may wish to wear gloves to avoid stains from the lemongrass paste and red pigment.
Thread beef onto bamboo skewer and cover with plastic wrap. You can allow it to marinate on the skewer in the refrigerator for 4 hours, or overnight. Or you can marinate it first then thread it onto the bamboo skewer.
Allow meat to reach room temperature to remove the chill.
Preheat the grill to hot; grill the skewered beef on both sides until browned. Alternatively you can cook the meat on a hot barbecue grill. Serve with my Cambodian Pickled Green Papaya or Pickled Carrots and Daikon.
It’s been two days since I returned from my trip to Decatur, GA. I had a great time there. Toured many great places (will post pictures and video later) and had a chance to visit three different states while there. One of the highlights of this trip was cooking and eating with friends. We whipped up a lot of classic Cambodian dishes. If you were following me on twitter you probably saw my up-to-the-minute photos of those dishes. However, when I got back I was craving for something different, seafood. Unsure what triggered this craving but I was very happy when I picked up my mail and see that fresh oysters were on sale this week for only .50 cents each! It’s been a long time since I had grilled oysters.
Growing up in Stockton, CA my sister had a lot of gatherings with families and her friends. Oysters were pretty affordable there and they would buy them by the bag. I don’t know how many pounds there were but there were a lot in those bag. My Mother would sometime grill them and other times steam them. Some guest had their own way of making the sauce but my most favorite sauce to paired with grilled or steamed oysters in the shell is this spicy lime sauce. This sauce is very versatile and you can pair it with many grilled meats and seafood. It’s similar to the lime sauce that usually accompany Marinated Beef with Lime Sauce (aka Beef Lok Lac). The base is the same with a few extra ingredients added on. I’ve had it as dipping sauce as well where I simply grill some steak (un-seasoned), slice it thinly and wrap it in lettuce, cucumbers and fresh herbs then dunk it into the spicy lime sauce. DER-LICIOUS!
Grilled Oysters with Spicy Lime Sauce (for 10 oysters)
(Kjong Ang Tuk Jroluk Marech Kroach Chma)ខ្យងអាំងទឹកជ្រលកម្រេចក្រូចឆ្មារ
10 fresh oysters in their shell
½ cup lime juice
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
½ teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
a handful of fresh chopped herbs (such as cilantro, basil, green onions, Asian mint)
Video Tutorial to make Spicy Lime Sauce:
Prepare the grill and meanwhile clean the oysters. Using a stiff brush scrub the oyster under cold running water. Make sure you scrub around the opening edges well. Rinse off any dirt off the shell.
Place the oysters on the grill so that none are overlapping. Place oysters so that they’re resting on their deeply curved halves of their shells so their juices don’t run out.
Grill for about 5-7 minutes or until the oysters starts to open. Carefully remove from grill.
To make the spicy lime sauce, in a bowl combine all remainder ingredients and mix well. Taste and adjust accordingly. If you feel that the lime is too strong for your taste you can dilute it with a couple teaspoons of water.
Some oysters might not open as wide as others therefore, you can use a fork to pry them open. Be careful, use kitchen towel if necessary. Serve on a half shell with some spicy lime sauce.
I enjoy cooking but I have my lazy days as well. The other day I picked up a bag of frozen wings section because I wanted to make Buffalo Wings. While the wings were in the oven, I came online to catch up on blogs that I follow. One of my favorite food writer is Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen. She specializing in Asian cooking–recipes that are fast fresh and simple enough for tonight’s dinner. She also has her own cookbook called The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook currently available online and many bookstore shelves, sadly I can’t afford it so I sat in a corner and read it through. I love her writing style and the personal stories she adds to the recipes. One of her recent blog post featured the octo vinaigrette from Momofuku Cookbook by David Chang and Peter Meehan, which I do not own, again for the same reason. David Chang is the owner of not one but apparently three restaurants! I’ve never been to any of them, yet. Many of the food blogs I follow mentioned David Chang or Momofuku every now and then but it was at Steamy Kitchen Chicken Wings, Momofuku Style, where I found the recipe for the octo vinaigrette. That day the Buffalo Wings sauce was replaced with the octo vinaigrette. It was so easy to make and taste so good! I was too eager to test the wings that I didn’t get a chance to snap a shot.
This evening I decided to grill a small one pound Cornish hen (game hen) with octo vinaigrette again. A bit of butter was rub to achieve that extra crispy skin. I did tweak the octo vinaigrette a little to suit my taste bud. The thought of 2 tablespoons full of oil in a vinaigrette sort of frightens me. Instead I only use 1 tablespoon of sesame oil. Also I ran out of red bird’s eye chili so I used the leftover green ones instead, seed and all. I did however, add chopped red bell pepper for color and a little extra crunch. Lettuce leaves were used as garnish but they end up as wrappers for the chicken and dipped into the vinaigrette, or in this case a sauce? 😀 Perhaps next time I might just add some rice noodles in the mix. 😛
1 Cornish hen, 16 oz/1 lb
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh garlic
2 tablespoons chopped peeled fresh ginger
7 bird’s eye chili (use less, omit, or remove seeds to reduce the heat)
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
¼ cup light soy sauce
1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
1 ½ tablespoons sugar
freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped red bell pepper (optional)
Split hen in half with a sharp knife or poultry shears, cutting through the breast bone and back bone. Wash and rinse chicken, pat dry with paper towel. This can be done in advance and allow the chicken to dry in the fridge with a paper towel.
Cut up 1 tablespoon of butter into small pieces and rub it all over the chicken. Insert some pieces under the skin too. Grill with skin side up for about 20 minutes then flip to grill on the other side (skin side).
Meanwhile make the octo vinaigrette by combining all the ingredients and mixing them well.
Once the henis grilled remove from heat and allow to rest for about 5 minutes.
Lay lettuce leaves on a platter and arrange hen. Drizzle octo vinaigrette on the top and also reserve on the side for dipping .
This year Valentine’s Day also happen to coincide with the Chinese New Year, year of the Tiger Grrrr. 😀 While many might be out celebrating I wander into the kitchen at 8:30PM and began pulling out my flour and muffin pan in attempt to try and make Num Doat Toorain នុំដត់ធុរ៉េន durian muffins, a recipe adapt from my Banana Nut Muffin which was originally adapt from Foodnetwork.com.
My first attempt failed. It was after everything was combined when I realized that I had used self-rising flour and used a tablespoon to measure out baking powder instead of a teaspoon. I reduce the amount of sugar thinking that the durian probably is too sweet already. I also notice that the batter was stiff, so very different from my Banana Nut Muffin batter. Then comes my shortage of muffin pan. I had a 6 muffin pan and didn’t feel like baking them twice so I over-fill them intentionally. Nevertheless, I continued on and hope for the best. Well, the outcome was not good. The muffin was a bit under-cooked. I could still taste the flour even after it pass the toothpick test. What went wrong? I end up shaving the bottom of the muffins off and sort of pick and eat the muffin top because I had fill them with some durian pulp.
I was contemplating whether I should try again last night. The wait for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics prime-time pair figure skating to air was too long so in between I took my time and measured my ingredients carefully. I made a couple of adjustments – use less baking powder, up the sugar to ½ cup, add ¼ cup milk to thin out the batter. spread it to 12 muffins instead of 6. Again, fingers-crossed once it was in the baking oven.
The sweet aroma smell filled my house and I instantly smiled because it didn’t happen the night before. I had hope this time. When 25 minutes was up, I carefully sneak and peek and see that the edges had brown beautifully so I promptly removed it and allow it to rest. It wasn’t for long because I was too anxious to do a taste test. Then it was “eyes opened wide” and jaw dropping moment followed by “WOW”! It taste amazing! It reminds me of my Mother’s Bai Domnub Toorain បាយដំណើបធុរ៉េន Sticky Rice with Durian Pudding. I am using frozen durian for this recipe. If you have access to fresh durian then by all means, use it. If using frozen durian like me then allow it to defrost first.
Durian Muffins (makes 12 regular size muffins)
(Num Doat Toorain) នុំដុតធុរ៉េន
1 cup flour, sifted
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup milk
1 lb (16oz) durian meat, divided
Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Use non-stick muffin pan or arrange baking cups in a muffin pan.
Mash half of the durian with a fork in a small bowl so they still have a bit of texture. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl add sifted flour, baking powder and sugar. Combine well.
Next make a well in the middle and add melted butter, vanilla extract, egg, milk and the remainder durian meat. Beat the ingredients with an electric mixer for 3 minutes or until all ingredients are mixed together.
Spoon the batter into each of the baking cup and fill about halfway. Give them a tap on the counter to get any air bubbles out.
Scoop out some durian pulp was was set aside and top it off.
Note: Another method is to fill the batter a little on the bottom, then add a scoop of the durain pulp in the middle and continue to fill it with batter. This method will cause the muffin to rise a bit higher since there is no durian pulp weighing it down.
Bake for 25 minutes. The beautiful aroma will fill your kitchen. The sides will turn brown. Allow to cool before diving into them.
**** Happy Thanksgiving everybody! Who’s cooking what this year? Please do share. I will contribute some dishes Asian-American style; roast turkey seasoned with some Asian spices, roast pork belly, and New York style cheesecake topped with fresh berries. This will be my very first Thanksgiving tackling so many dishes and I hope they turn out decent or edible. LOL ****
Who knew that something very simple can yield A-M-A-Z-I-N-G flavors! I bought a butternut squash for a Cambodian recipe I wanted to try which is Stir-Fried Pork with Butternut Squash but haven’t had a chance to make that. Since I will be spending time with my family in Stockton, CA this Thanksgiving holiday (for 4 days) I did not want my beautiful butternut squash to go bad while I am away. My light bulb moment came as I recall a recipe from the Food Network Channel by Paula Deen. Paula made Baked Acorn Squash with Brown Sugar and Butter with a splash of maple syrup. I tweak the recipe a bit. I sub the acorn squash with my butternut squash, reduce the amount of maple syrup and add about a teaspoon of ground cinnamon. My whacked gas oven end up baking it at 400 degrees for 1.5 hours! Do the toothpick/fork test about 40 minutes into baking as your oven might be of better quality than mine, hence doesn’t take as long.
I took a bite and OMG, it was SO GOOD! It was after I finish eating one half that I went back to take some pictures. 😀 The flavors reminded me of a Cambodian dessert my Mother used to make called Pumpkin Dessert (Num Lapov) នំល្ពៅ made with kabocha or butternut squash with coconut flesh and milk, wrapped in banana leaves and steam. If you prefer a more sweeter version, then increase the sugar or syrup however do keep in mind that squash comes with it’s natural sweetness.
Baked Squash with Brown Sugar and Butter
(Lapov Doat Jear Muy Skaw Nung Buer) ល្ពៅដុតជាមួយស្ករនឹងប៊ឺ
adapt from Recipes courtesy Paula Deen, 2007
1 (1½ lb) butternut squash, cut in halves lengthwise
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
a pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Meanwhile cut squash lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and remove stringy pulp.
Combine sugar, butter, syrup, cinnamon and salt.
Rub all over the cut side of squash.
Use aluminum foil to lightly cover the cut size and bake with cut side up for about 40 minutes until the squash is tender when pierced with a fork. Then remove aluminum foil and switch broil for an additional 5-10 minutes to get that nice brown caramelize color.
Remove an allow to rest for about 5 minutes. Serve warm.