Peter Aitken's Recipe Collection

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cooking recipes kitchen food 12

Miscellaneous

Boston Baked Beans

1 lb dry navy beans
1 medium onion
6 oz bacon
3 TB molasses
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 c ketchup
1 TB Worcestershire sauce

Cook the beans according to package directions until just tender. Drain and reserve the cooking liquid. Dice the bacon and onion and add to the beans. Put the remaining ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring. Add to the beans and mix well. Transfer the beans to a heavy baking dish, one that's not too wide so the beans don't dry out. Add enough bean liquid to just cover the beans (or plain water if you run out of bean liquid). Cover and bake at 325f for 3 hours. Every hour or so check the beans and add more liquid if needed. If needed, adjust oven temp 5 degrees at a time to maintain the beans at a slow, even simmer. Remove the cover and continue baking for an additional 2 hours, adding liquid as needed.


Grilled pizza

Pizza

From my son Benjamin - an unusual and tasty way to do pizza. You may not get this just right the first time - it takes a little practice to get the temperatures, timing, etc. just right.

1 recipe pizza dough (see below)
1 large tomato, sliced
Sliced mozzarella
Olive oil
Other toppings as desired. The pizza in the photo has fresh basil, sliced Italian sausage, and dried oregano. You'll probably want some salt. Toppings that need cooking, such as sausage, should be cooked ahead because they won't get a lot of time to cook in the grill. But, experiment!

Make the pizza dough and let rise as usual.

If the tomato slices or the cheese are juicy, put between paper towels for a few minutes to remove the excess liquid.

Roll, press, or twirl the dough to the desired size. Ideally it will be thin in the middle and thicker at the edges to give you a combination of crispy and chewy.

Pre-heat your gas grill on high. Make sure the grate is clean to prevent sticking.

Put the prepared dough on a peel and brush the top lightly with olive oil. Oil the grate and quickly flip the dough onto the grill, oiled side down, and close the grill. At the same time, put the tomato slices on the grill next to the dough. Cook for about 2 minutes. You want the bottom of the dough to be browned with grill marks, but not blackened except in a few small spots (see photo).

Open the grill. If the dough has bubbled up, press the bubbles down with a spoon or spatula. Brush with olive oil and flip the dough over. Put the cooked tomato slices on the dough and smoosh them around with a spoon or spatula. Quickly add the other toppings and close the grill. Cook until the cheese is melted and the bottom of the dough is browned, perhaps another 2-3 minutes (depends on grill heat, of course).

Basic pizza dough

You can use the dough cycle of a bread machine for this.

2.5 c all purpose flour
1c water
1 TB olive oil
1 TB sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dry instant yeast


Pear butter

4-5 lbs ripe pears
2 whole star anise (available in Chinese groceries) or the equivalent in pieces
6 whole cardamom pods or 1 tsp ground cardamom
1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1c lemon juice (3 to 4 lemons)
2 tsp lemon zest
3c sugar
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Chop the pears into chunks - no need to core or peel - and put in a large heavy bottom 8 quart pot with the lemon juice, ginger,and star anise. If using cardamom pods, crush them a bit and add to the pot. Bring to a simmer - you may need to add a little water if the pears are not juicy. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until the pears are completely softened, half an hour or more. Remove and discard the start anise. Put the mixture, liquid and all, thru a food mill, using the fine blade if you have a choice. Wipe out the pan and return the puree to it along with the sugar, nutmeg, lemon zest, and (if using) ground cardamom. Bring back to the simmer and cook uncovered over medium heat, stirring frequently. As the mixture thickens you will want to lower the heat and stir more often. Cook until the pear butter is about as thick as applesauce. A way to test is to put a teaspoon of the butter on a cold plate and tip the plate - if no clear liquid runs off, it is ready. The cooking down can take 1-2 hours or more and can be stopped and continued later. Pack into 1/2 pint canning jars and, when cool, freeze.


Ginger-orange cranberry sauce

Cut a 2 inch piece of fresh ginger (no need to peel) into 5 or 6 lengthwise slices, then use a heavy jar to partially crush each slice. Use fresh cranberries and follow the recipe on the package, substituting orange juice for the water and adding the ginger slices at the beginning of the cooking. When the cooking is complete, remove and discard the ginger.


Chinese pot stickers / gyoza

These are easy to make if you buy the wrappers, and they freeze well.

1 lb ground pork
1/2 lb nappa cabbage
2 TB Shoaxing rice wine
2 tsp sesame oil
4 scallions, white and most of the green, finely minced
1 tsp ground white pepper
1-1/2 tsp salt
2 packages gyoza wrappers*

Blanch the cabbage leaves in boiling water for about a minute. Drain and refresh with cold water. Using your hand, squeeze out as much of the water as you can and chop finely. Put in a large bowl.

Add 1/4 of the pork (still raw) to the bowl along with the chopped cabbage, salt, pepper, scallions, sesame oil, and 1 TB of the wine.

Cook the remaining pork in a wok or fry pan until separated and just cooked through, adding the remaining 1 TB wine and 1/2 tsp salt during the cooking. Let cool a bit and add to the bowl and mix well.

In 2 batches, put the mixture in a food processor and zap once or twice, for no longer than a couple of seconds total. The ensures the mixture is well blended and gives it a slightly finer texture.

Place a wrapper on a flat surface and put a spoonful of mixture in the center (the "teaspoon" that you typically use for tea or coffee). Do not overfill - you'll get a feel for the amount of filling to use after making a few. With a wet finger, moisten the edge of the wrapper 1/2 of the way around then fold it in half and press the edges together. Try not to trap air inside. As you make the gyoza, place them on a wax paper-lined cookie sheet, not touching each other. Place in the freezer, uncovered, to freeze and then transfer to zip-loc bags for storage..

* Available frozen in all oriental groceries. These are thin disks of dough about 2-1/2 inches across, about 50 to a package. Thaw overnight in the fridge before use.


Red beans and rice

This Cajun-inspired dish is not only deicious but also a real budget-stretcher.

1 lb dried kidney beans
2 smoked ham hocks or the equivalent in smoked pork neck bones
1 large onion, peeled and chopped coarsely
1 large green bell pepper, seeded and chopped coarsely
1 large or 2 small jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
3 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 16oz can diced tomatoes, not drained
3 bay leaves
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp ground allspice
Salt & black pepper to taste

Rinse and pick over the beans - no need to soak them. Place in a soup pan with enought water to cover by azbout 1 inch and bring to a simmer. Add the meat and simmer for an hour or more, until you estimate the beans are about 1/2 hour from being tender. During this period add water as needed to keep the beans and meat just covered, but no more. Remove the ham hocks or neck bones and when they have cooled enough use your fingers and a fork to pull all the meat off the bones. Return the meat to the pan and discard the bones.

Saute the onion, peppers, and garlic in a little oil or bacon fat until limp and just starting to brown. Add to the beans along with all the remaining ingredients. Simmer slowly, stirring occasionally, until the beans are very soft. Add water as needed to maintain the consistency of a really thick soup.

Serve over plain white or brown rice.


Lo Mai Gai (Lotus leaf wraps)

 

These are a dim sum favorite, consisting of various savory goodies encased in sticky rice, wrapped in a lotus leaf, and steamed. All the flavors meld and the lotus leaf adds a wonderful fragrance. If you can find the lotus leaves, these are easy to make at home. Many oriental groceries carry them, dried. They are really cheap and keep forever. Here's a dried lotus leaf with the stem end at the top, it's about 14-16" across.

Lotus leaves are bright green on the top and much duller on the bottom (the photo shows the bottom of a leaf). They usually come in pairs with the top surfaces stuck together. If a "leaf" is the same color on both sides then it is 2 stuck together; you can separate them after soaking (see below).

You also need sticky rice, also called sweet rice, as shown here. It is a short grain rice and cooks up very sticky, just what you want for this recipe.

Now for the recipe:

3c sticky rice (also called sweet rice, although it is not sweet)
4 lotus leaves cut in half from the stem end
4 Chinese dried mushrooms (dried shitake)
4 ounces of raw boneless chicken breast or thigh
2 Chinese sausages (lop cheong)
1 large garlic clove, finely minced
1 TB peanut or other oil

As needed:

    Soy sauce, light and dark
    Chinese cooking wine
    Sesame oil
    Corn starch
    Ground white pepper.

Soak the rice for 1 hour or more, then drain. Do not rinse - after all, you want it to be sticky! Steam the rice for 20 minutes for relatively firm rice, up to 30 minutes for softer rice. I do this by draining the rice in a large strainer then simply putting the strainer in a pot of the right size, with 1" or more of water in the bottom, and covering with foil. When the time is up, remove from the heat and keep warm.

Soak the lotus leaves in warm water for at least 1 hour.

Cut the chicken into 1/2" pieces and mix with 1/2 tsp salt, 1 TB Chinese cooking wine, and 1 tsp cornstarch. Let marinate for 30 minutes or longer.

Soak the mushrooms in hot water for at least 30 minutes. Remove the stems, squeeze out excess water, and cut into medium dice.

Cut the sausage into 1/2" dice.

Mix 1 TB light soy sauce, 1 tsp dark soy sauce, 1 TB Chinese cooking wine, 1/2c of the mushroom soaking liquid, and 1 TB cornstarch.

Heat a wok over medium high heat and add the oil. Add the garlic and stir until just starting to color. Add the chicken and its marinade and stir until the chicken has lost its pink color and is almost cooked thru. Add the mushrooms and sausage and stir for about 30 seconds. Stir the sauce mixture and add, stirring until thickened. Add ground white pepper to taste, perhaps 1/2 tsp, and 1/2 tsp sesame oil. Remove from heat and let cool.

Lay a lotus leaf half on your work surface, dull side up. If the stem end is stiff and inflexible, cut it off. Put some rice in the middle, patting it out to make a layer about 4" wide and 3" deep and 1/2" thick. Put 1/8 of the filling on top of the rice. Add more rice on top and press so the filling is more or less encased in the rice (but don't be too fussy). Fold the bottom edge of the leaf up and over the filling, fold the two sides in, then roll the whole assembly away from you to complete the wrapping. Set aside, seam side down, while you complete the others.

The wraps should be fairly tight but not so much that the leaves rip. The main thing is to portion out the rice and filling so that each of the 8 wraps contains about the same amount. But don't be too fussy, it's going to taste great even if they are not all pretty or equal!

At this point you can finish the wraps by steaming for 20 minutes. Or, you can refrigerate them for up to a day and then steam, adding some extra time because they are starting out cold.


Savory onion and cheese pie

Adapted from a recipe in The Vegetarian Epicure. Makes a very rich side dish or a great main course for a vegetarian meal.

Two frozen 8" pie shells (or make your own)
8 oz imported gruyere cheese
8 oz Emmenthal or other "Swiss" cheese
3 large onions (softball size)
2 or 3 large firm tomatoes
3 TB flour
3 TB butter
3 TB olive oil
1 TB chopped fresh basil
3 large eggs
1 c heavy cream

Slice the onions and cook in the butter and oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium low heat, stirring regularly, until starting to turn golden brown (30-40 minutes). Remove from pan. Slice the tomatoes and cook for 1-2 minutes per side in the remaining butter until slightly softened and heated thru. Grate all the cheese and mix with the flour. Beat the eggs and cream together.

Take about 1/3 of the cheese and spread over the bottoms of the pie crusts. Spread the onion over the cheese and top with overlapping tomato slices. Sprinkle on the basil, add the remaining cheese, and pour the cream/egg over all. Bake at 350f for about 40 minutes, until browned and slightly puffed. Remove from oven and let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.


Wild rice salad

1c wild rice
1/2c dried currants, cranberreues, or other fruit
1/2c chopped pecans
4 scallions
2TB olive oil
1TB lemon juice
2TB orange juice
Salt & pepper to taste

Cook the rice according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again. Slice the scallions, the white and part of the green, into thin rounds. Plump the dried fruit in hot water for 10 minutes or so, then drain. Toast the pecans in a small nonstick pan over medium heat, shaking often, for 5 minutes or so. Allow to cool. Mix all ingredients and add S&P to taste.


Zucchini-rice salad

An unusual and refreshing salad, great with grilled meats.

2-3 medium zucchini (1 or 1-1/2 inch diameter, 6-8 inches long).
1 c basmati or other long grain rice
1/2 of a large onion
2-3 TB lemon juice or rice vinegar
1/4 c vegetable oil
1/4c olive oil
1/2 cup minced parsley

You want young, fresh, tender zucchini for this. Trim the ends, cut in half lengthwise, and slice into 1/8" slices. Put in a large bowl. Slice the onion into thin 1/4 rounds. If it's a harsh onion, soak in warm water for 10-15 min and drain. Add to bowl. Make a dressing using the lemon juice or vinegar, oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring 2 qts of salted water to a boil and add the rice. simmer for 8-10 min or until the rice is done. Drain in a strainer and rinse with cold water. Set aside to drain. When the rice is drained, add to the bowl along with the dressing and parsley. Toss well and refrigerate for 1-4 hours before serving.


 

Freezing shrimp

We are fortunate to be able to go to the North Carolina coast, a few hours drive away, and get fresh-off-the-boat large shrimp for less than $5 a pound. A few times a year we bring back 10 or 15 pounds, so we needed to find the best way to freeze them. Here's what we have found to be the best way to preserve that fresh taste and texture.

1. Keep the shrimp ice-cold at all times, but do not allow them to soak in water.
2. Remove the heads (see Recognizing Fresh Shrimp) but leave the shells on. If desired use the heads to make shrimp stock.
3. Pack the shrimp into Tupperware-type containers.
4. Cover with water that has 1 tsp salt dissolved per quart.
5. Put the lid on the container and freeze as quickly as possible.


Nadine's granola

This is by far the best granola I have ever tasted. It is from our friend Nadine.

4c quick or regular oatmeal (not instant and not steel-cut)
1/2c chopped almonds
1/2c chopped pecans
1/4c sunflower seeds
1/4c flax seeds
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/3c flax seed oil
1/2c honey
1/2c grated unsweetened coconut

Mix thoroughly all ingredients except coconut. Spread in a thin layer on non-stick baking sheets or on parchment paper on regular baking sheets. Bake at 300 degrees for 15 minutes in a conventional oven, or at 270 degrees for 12 minutes in a convection oven. Sprinkle coconut over then continue baking for 10 (conventional) or 5 (convection) oven. Watch carefully - coconut should just start to turn golden. Cool, then add dried fruits: apricots, dates, craisins, golden raisins, etc.


Bread and butter pickles

I love good bread and butter pickles, and they are certainly easy enough to make. However I was not satisfied with any of the recipes I found - the flavor balance was not quite what I wanted, or the pickles were too soggy. After some experimenting I came up with the following recipe which provides what I think is the perfect balance of flavors as well as relatively crisp pickles.

Medium size pickling cucumbers, no more than 1-1/2 inches in diameter, as fresh as possible.
Vidalia onions
1/2c coarse kosher or pickling salt
4c white sugar
1c dark brown sugar
5c cider vinegar
1/2 TB celery seeds
2TB yellow mustard seeds
1/2 TB turmeric

Wash the cukes and slice approximately 1/4 inch thick. You should have about 4 quarts. Peel and slice the onions the same thickness, you should have about 1-1/2 quarts. Mix the cukes, onions, and salt and place in a large non-reactive pan or bowl. Cover with several trays worth of ice cubes and put a weighted plate on top. Let sit for 3 hours then drain and remove unmelted ice cubes. Add 2 cups of water, mix, and drain again to remove excess salt. Add remaining ingredients and heat, stirring frequently, until just about to boil. Pack into pint jars and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.  


Iced tea

Forget iced tea mixes and instant, they all taste awful. It's not hard to make great iced tea. Here's my recipe, you can adjust the sugar as per your taste. This makes a slightly sweet tea. In my experience Red Rose tea bags are a lot better than other brands such as Tetley and Lipton. Even their decaf makes a great glass of tea. This recipe makes 2 tall glasses of tea.

1 pint of water
2 regular size tea bags, preferably Red Rose
4 measured teaspoons of sugar

Boil the water in a glass, enamel, or stainless steel container. Remove from heat and add tea bags. Let steep for 2 minutes for mild tea, 3 minutes for normal tea, and 4 minutes for strong tea. Remove tea bags. Add sugar and stir to dissolve. Add a handful of ice cubes (about 8) and stir until they melt. Fill 2 tall glasses with ice cubes and pour the tea over. Garnish with lemon or mint.


Boudin blanc

This is a wonderful French sausage, one of my favorites. It is very different from the equally good Cajun sausage of the same name. You can put it in casings or simply make patties. It can be frozen but it is best eaten fresh.

1/2 lb lean pork
1/2 lb skinned boneless chicken breast
1/2 lb pork fat*
1/2 c chopped onion
1 TB butter
2/3c heavy cream
1/2 c good quality white bread, crusts removed, cut into small pieces
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/2 TB salt
1 large egg
1 egg white
about 3 feet hog casings

sauté onion in butter until translucent, then cool. Scald cream and pour over bread, stir in salt and spices, then cool. Grind pork, chicken, and fat using the coarse grinding disk. Mix all ingredients.

* Plain pork fat can be difficult to find. A perfectly good and widely available substitute is fatback. Because fatback is salted, it should be rinsed, cut into finger size pieces, and soaked in cold water for half an hour, then drained before grinding. There will still be some residual salt so you'll need to reduce the recipe's added salt. In my experience  you'll need 1/3 to 1/2 of the salt called for in the recipe if you use fatback. To be safe, make the forcemeat without any added salt, pan fry a small patty and taste for salt, then add as needed.


Onion chutney

This recipe was the fortuitous result of my attempts to duplicate a chutney that is served at a local Indian restaurant. 

1 tennis-ball sized yellow onion, minced
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp sugar
2 TB cider or other vinegar
large pinch salt

If onion is very strong, soak it in 1 quart hot tap water for 10 minutes, then drain. Put vinegar and sugar in a small bowl and heat in microwave. Stir until sugar dissolves. Mix with onion and other ingredients. Let sit for at least an hour, stirring now and then. 


Tempura batter

This recipe makes a light and crispy coating.

2c self-rising flour
1c cornstarch
2-1/3c ice water
pinch salt

Shortly before using, mix all ingredients until smooth. Dip individual items in batter, remove with chopsticks, and transfer immediately to the hot oil before the batter drips off. 


Chicken stock and demi-glace

Good chicken stock has a multitude of uses, and when reduced to a demi-glace it becomes very versatile for adding that extra touch of flavor to sauces, gravies, and what have you. This recipe is admittedly rather extravagant, but it makes a delicious stock that reduces to a demi-glace very well. This makes about 1 gallon of rich stock.

Technically this is not a true demi-glace which has more to it than just reduced stock. It serves the same purpose, however.

10 lbs skin-on chicken legs, separated into thighs and drumsticks, rinsed and dried
2 tennis-ball size onions, coarsely chopped
2 TB vegetable oil
4 bay leaves

In a large stockpot, heat the oil and cook the onion over medium heat until it is softened and just starting to brown. Remove to a large bowl. Add enough chicken pieces to loosely cover the bottom of the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken has lost its pink color and is just starting to brown. Remove chicken to bowl. Repeat with remaining chicken in batches. When the last batch is done, return all the chicken and the onions to the stock pot. Cover and cook on low heat for 20-25 minutes. At this time the chicken will have produced a lot of juice. Add the bay leaves and enough boiling water to cover the chicken by a couple of inches. Cover and cook at the barest simmer for about 2 hours. DO NOT BOIL!! Boiling will incorporate fat and scum into the stock and while it will taste fine it will not be clear. Toward the end of cooking stir now and then, breaking up the now-overcooked pieces of chicken to extract as much flavor as possible. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a while. Note: I do not add salt, preferring to do this when I use the stock.

The next steps are to clarify and de-fat the stock. How you do this will depend on the equipment you have available, but here's the procedure I follow:

1. Ladle most of the fat off the top of the stock. Use a fat separator to separate the fat from any stock that came along with it, and return the stock to the pan. You are not trying to get all the fat at this point, just most of it.

2. Strain the stock through a coarse colander (like used to drain pasta). This will remove the bones and large chunks.

3. Strain the stock through a strainer lined with several layers of cheesecloth. This removes all the fine particles. 

4. Repeat step 1 to remove the last traces of fat. If you are going to use the stock for soups, etc., you can leave some fat as you prefer. For demi-glace, however, you should remove it all.

If you are going to use or freeze the stock, it is ready. For demi-glace, you will need a heavy, medium size saucepan that is wider than it is deep, preferably (this is where an expensive copper evasee will earn its keep!). Fill it half full with stock and bring to a simmer, uncovered. Do not try to hurry things with a wider pan, as it makes it more likely that you will scorch the sauce. Put the pan slightly off-center on the burner. This will cause any remaining impurities and fat to collect at one side, where they can be skimmed off. Allow to simmer until the volume is reduced by a third or so, then add more stock to return the level to the half way mark. Continue until you have reduced the desired amount of stock by a factor of about 2/3. In other words, 3 quarts of stock will reduce to 1 quart of glace. This is not an exact formula, as the results depend on the richness of the stock. 


Roasted garlic

Roasted garlic has many uses. It's delicious spread on bread, it can be used in soups, and some people just eat it with their fingers! It has a different taste that raw or sautéed garlic, very mellow and rich.

Remove as much of the papery skin as possible from 4 heads of garlic, but do not break the heads apart. Place in a small baking dish with 1/2c water and drizzle 1/2TB olive oil over each head. Cover tightly and bake at 375f for 30 minutes. Baste the heads with the liquid in the pan, cover again, and bake for a final 30 minutes. Remove the soft pulp from each clove by squeezing it.


Fried rice

6 cups cold cooked white rice *
2 eggs
1/2c slivered country-style ham or diced Chinese sausage
4 scallions, green and white parts, cut in 1/2 inch lengths
1/2c frozen peas, thawed and drained
soy sauce
sesame oil
oyster sauce
peanut oil

Beat the eggs with 1 tsp each soy sauce and sesame oil. Heat 1/2TB oil in a wok, swirling to coat the sides. Add the eggs and swirl to form a "pancake" that is 8-10 inches in diameter. When set, remove to a plate. Wipe out the wok and heat another 1/2 TB of oil. Stir fry the ham or sausage for 30 seconds or so, then remove. Add 4 TB oil to the wok and heat over medium heat. Add the rice and stir continuously, breaking up clumps and exposing all the rice to the hot oil. This will take about 5 minutes. Add the peas and scallions and stir fry for another couple of minutes. Add the ham, eggs, and 2TB each soy sauce and oyster sauce, and stir thoroughly, breaking up the eggs. Check for salt and serve.

* For best results the rice should have been refrigerated overnight.


Home style tofu

This is one of my favorite Chinese dishes. There are many ways to make it, with the common threads being the tofu and the ground meat. I have developed this version from several cookbook recipes.

1 lb firm tofu
1/2 lb ground pork
Marinade:
    2 tsp soy sauce
    2 tsp Chinese cooking wine
    2 tsp cornstarch
3 scallions, green and white parts, sliced thin
1 TB finely minced ginger
1 TB finely minced garlic
2 tsp fermented black beans, rinsed and chopped, or 2 tsp black bean sauce from a jar.
Sauce:
    1c chicken or other stock
    2 TB soy sauce
    1 TB Chinese cooking wine
    1/2 tsp sugar
    1/2 tsp salt
1 TB hot bean paste
2 tsp sesame oil
1 TB cornstarch mixed with 2 TB water

Mix the pork with the marinade and set aside.

Mix sauce ingredients and set aside.

Cut the tofu into 1/2 inch slabs and freeze (no need to cover or wrap). They can be used as soon as they are frozen thru, or left for up to a week. Thaw in hot water and gently press as much water out as possible between your palms. The freezing gives the best texture, but an alternative is to place the tofu slabs between paper towels under a weight for a while to expel water. Cut the tofu into 1x1/2x1/3 inch pieces (approximately) and fry in 1/4 inch peanut oil in a flat fry pan until light golden brown on all sides. Set aside but do not refrigerate.

Heat 2TB peanut oil in a wok. When hot add the pork and stir fry vigorously until it has lost its pink color. Add scallion, ginger, garlic, hot bean paste, and black beans; stir fry for 30 seconds. Add the tofu and sauce, stir to mix and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Add the cornstarch and stir until the sauce is thickened. Taste for salt and add some more if needed. Stir in the sesame oil and serve.


Goat cheese and spinach pizza

This makes enough for one large or two small (12") pizzas.

2 lb fresh spinach
8 oz fresh (soft) goat cheese
2 eggs, beaten
6 TB olive oil
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
4 cloves garlic minced

Wash the spinach and drain. Remove tough stems and chop coarsely. Sauté the garlic in 4 TB of the oil until just starting to color. Add the spinach and cover the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the spinach is wilted. Remove cover and continue to cook until almost all of the liquid is gone. Let cool to lukewarm and stir in the eggs, cheese, and nutmeg, as well as salt and pepper to taste. Spread remaining oil on uncooked pizza crust and add the topping. Cook on a preheated pizza stone at 450f for about 20-24 minutes.


 

 

 

 

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