Archive for the ‘Appetizer’ Category

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I bought Michel Richard’s Happy in the Kitchen book a few months back, and while I can gleefully tell you that its my favorite eye-candy boyfriend cookbook, I have only attempted to…

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What did we eat to celebrate Husband being ranked one of top 10 mid-stakes online poker players world-wide?

can you guess?

answer here at my new home at www.steamykitchen.com/blog

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Xiao Lung Bao

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Peking Chicken with Steamed Bun

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Baby Eggplant

Look what I found at the market yesterday! These were so darn cute, about 4 inches in length – I just had to take some of these bright, shiny baby aubergines home with me. Eggplant season generally starts in June, but one of the perks of living in Florida is that we get produce a little earlier in season due to the warmer weather.

The babies were practically begging to be roasted as an appetizer. I just so happened to have a jar of Sicilian Caponata, which is a relish of chopped eggplant, tomatoes, capers and olives, all magically blended into a sauce perfect for pastas, quick bruschetta, or even eating straight out of the jar (me, guilty).

Roasted baby eggplant

I simply sliced the baby eggplants in half lengthwise, put them on a roasting pan, drizzled olive oil and in the oven at 375 degrees. 10 minutes later, I checked on them. Perfect timing! I then brushed a little more olive oil on top and set the broiler on high for 2 minutes to get a little more carmelization on the top. Serve a quick sprinkling of sea salt, a spoonful of Caponata, chopped parsley and freshly grated Pecorino Romano.

The eggplant is dreamy, delicate and sweet. One bite and the velvety flesh just melts into your mouth. Since they haven’t matured, they do not have any of the bitterness that the adult variety contains. No need to salt to extract the bitter compounds.

These babies were just the perfect size for a finger food. Their indigo skins looked so perfect on a white platter! Can you imagine serving these cute things wearing the perfect hostess apron?! (HUSBAND click on this link)

Roasted baby eggplant

You don’t have Caponata? Try these toppings:

-Pesto sauce with chopped parsley, roasted pinenuts and shaved parmesan

-Chunky marinara sauce with chopped basil

-Slices of roasted bell peppers and good olives

-Diced tomatoes with a garlicy Tzaziki sauce. Top with chopped, fresh dill

-Crispy fried basil leaves (deep fry the leaves)

-Whipped mashed potato mixed with curry powder

Do you have any other topping suggestions?

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These are my Mother’s famous Egg Rolls. I think every cook should have a dish they perfect and be known for! We grew up in North Platte, Nebraska in the ’70s, and these babies were the talk of the town. My Mom, who spoke no English, made friends through feeding people Chinese food. Now, we’re talking about an itty bitty town where “gourmet” was the restaurant inside the local airport. Chinese food back then was “Egg Foo Young” and “Chop Suey.” To this day, our friends who still live in North Platte still remember my Mom’s famous Egg Rolls….

I’ve moved!! Come read the rest of this post and my Mom’s secret recipe over here at my new home!

(plus lots of new recipes added)

xo, jaden

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After that luxurious hamburger dinner last night, I needed to feel healthy today. I had some leftover corn tortillas and pantry ingredients to make a spicy hummus. The kids love it too!

The Smoky Hummus recipe includes a spice blend from www.spice-appeal.com called “Vindaloo” – its an Indian spice blend that contains mustard seeds, cumin seeds, peppercorns, fenugreek, cloves, coriander seeds, and other spices. You can just omit the Vinadloo seasoning, or for a variation, use Curry Powder. The bright orange/red Smoked Sweet Paprika is the spice that gives that smoky punch to the hummus.

Hummus with Baked Tortilla Chips

Baked Tortilla Chips

1 package of 8″ Corn tortillas (or flour tortillas)

Cooking spray


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Stack the tortillas and with sharp scissors, cut them into wedges.

2. Take a baking sheet and spray evenly with cooking spray. Place tortillas on tray in single layer. Spray tops of tortillas evenly with cooking spray. Bake 12-15 minutes until golden & crisp, flipping the chips halfway through. Immediately salt while the chips are hot.

Smoky Hummus

1 can organic Garbanzo beans,drained

1/4 cup organic Tahini paste

1 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp Smoked Sweet Paprika

1/2 tsp Vindaloo Seasoning blend (optional)

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 T lemon juice

1/4 olive oil

1/4 cup water

1. Puree all ingredients in food processor. Add more water if you want a thinner consistency. Sprinkle a little Smoked Sweet Paprika on top.

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This is a great way to have a fun, hands-on dinner. You can substitute the ground pork with ground turkey or minced shrimp for an even healthier meal.

Baby corn is sold in cans – by itself, the taste is bland, however it adds a great texture to your dish. The corn can be eaten raw (in a salad) or cooked.

Hoisin sauce is the Asian version of BBQ sauce. It is thick, Sweet and made of lots of different spices and ground soybeans.

Lettuce Wraps with Minced Pork, Mushrooms & Baby Corn

1 head Iceberg lettuce, whole leaves separated
3/4 lb Ground pork
1 cup Baby corn, cut into ½” pieces
½ cup Water chestnut, drained and minced
½ cup Frozen carrot dice
3 stalks Green onions, minced
1 t Ginger, grated
1 t Garlic, minced
½ cup Canned straw mushrooms, split in half lengthwise

Cooking Sauce – combine ingredients below and set aside
3 T Hoisin sauce
2T Soy sauce
1 T Dry sherry (or other cooking wine)
¼ t Hot Chili Paste (optional)
1 t Sesame oil
1 t Sugar

1T Cornstarch dissolved in 1T water in separate bowl
¼ c Hoisin sauce for the table

1. Heat wok or sauté pan over medium-high. Cook the pork, ginger, garlic and green onions until pork cooked through. Add the baby corn, water chestnut and frozen carrots. Stir until heated through.

2. Add the cooking sauce. Stir fry for 30 seconds.

3. Add the cornstarch mixture. Stir fry until sauce thickens, about 30 seconds.

To serve, take a lettuce leaf, spread about ¼ tsp of hoisin sauce in the center of each leaf. Add about 3T of the minced pork mixture. Eat!

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