Saturday, October 20, 2007

Lily's Mi-Fen Soup

I'm posting this recipe for Manda. I won't be able to put any measurements or amounts on it for a number of reasons. It depends on the package size of mi-fen (rice noodles) you have, and, well, I tend to make large portions. At any rate, here are the ingredients of the most recent version I made. Oh, and by the way, for lack of any imagination, I don't have an exotic or fun title for this soup yet.

Lily's Mi-Fen Soup


mushrooms (ready-cut makes my life much easier)
shittake mushrooms
firm tofu
opa (or opo; I have trouble remembering the spelling because I know this vegetable by it's Taiwanese name) squash
diced tomatoes (canned is acceptable)
bamboo shoots (canned)
wood ears
chicken breast
chicken broth
onion / garlic
a package of mi-fen
soy sauce

As the soup base, I use mostly water and a good amount of chicken broth. Everything, except the chicken breast and mi-fen can go into the soup.

In a pan, put in some onion or garlic with some olive oil. Do not turn the stove on high heat. It does something unhealthy to the olive oil. Medium heat will do. Once you can smell the onion or garlic, stir fry the chicken breast. When the chicken breast is well cooked, set it aside.

Once everything in the soup pot is boiling, add the mi-fen. Be careful not to overcook the mi-fen. If it is overcooked, it breaks apart VERY easily. It's hard to tell exactly how long the mi-fen needs to cook. When the soup is brought to a boil after the mi-fen is added, use a utensil to see how pliable it is. If it's rather tough to break, it needs to cook a bit longer. When the mi-fen is just about ready, add in the chicken breast, followed by the salt and soy sauce.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Tortilla pie

I developed this recipe from the June 2007 issue of Parents magazine (p. 198). I think this serves five people (going back for seconds). So, here's my version of the recipe:

Tortilla Pie

2 small cans of black beans, rinsed & drained
2 cans (10 or 11 oz. each) of whole-kernel corn with red & green peppers, drained
1 jar (16 oz.) chunky mild salsa
1 package of chicken breast, cut fajita style
10 10" flour tortillas
shredded Monterey Jack cheese
shredded Mexican cheese (a medley of three different cheeses)

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Cook the chicken in a pan. Once the chicken is done, add the black beans, corn, and salsa; bring to a boil.

3. Spray the bottom of the baking pan with vegetable cooking spray (NOTE: I used a baking pan made of stoneware. Usually I ignore the instructions to spray the bottom of the pan, and usually that's fine. But, this was an exception. The tortillas stuck to the pan).

4. Place one tortilla in the coated pan. Top with a thin layer of the chicken/bean mixture and a good helping of shredded cheese. Layer one more time, finishing with a tortilla on top.

5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Today, I made this to eat for the first time ever. It was a hit! Definitely a keeper.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


This is a spin off of a recipe Manda was so kind to pass my direction. Made it just now. The fragrant aroma coming from the soup reminds me of being at Manda's, since she made this quite often for the Friday night group.

2 cans of diced tomatoes (2 28 oz. cans)
1 can of pinto beans (27 oz.)
1 small can of yellow corn (don't know the size (15 oz.?)
2 packages of dark, ground turkey
1 package of corn chips
chunks of garlic (this is up to your preferences; we love garlic, so I put in half a head)
2 packages of Texas Chili Seasoning Mix (2 1.25 oz. packages)
shredded Cheddar cheese
shredded Mexican blend cheese

Cook the ground turkey first. I pan fried it. Drain the fatty juices. In a large pot, dump in the ground turkey, diced tomatoes, pinto beans, and seasoning mix. Once boiling, drop in the corn. Salt to taste.

When ready to serve, in the individual bowls, add avocado, cheese, corn chips (and sour cream if preferred).

Monday, March 12, 2007

California rolls

This recipe is complements of my friend, Junko Terada, who makes fantastic sushi. She has shared deliciously tasty sushi she's made, many a time with me. Here's her recipe.

WARNING: If you're making sushi for the first time, you may not consider this a quick or easy make.

California rolls

Preparing sushi rice

3 cups of Japanese rice

A strip of kelp called ‘konbu

Vinegar mixture (1/3 cup of rice vinegar, 3 T. of sugar, 2 t. of salt)

Wash rice and drain 30 min before cooking. Put rice in a rice cooker and add water to the water line. Put kelp and start cooking, Right before it gets boiled remove the kelp. The time will vary according to the cooker. (It takes about 20 minutes to get boiled.)

When rice is cooked, add vinegar mixture and put it out in a wooden bowl. As you mix, fan the rice vigorously. The fanning will make the rice look shiny!

What to put in California Rolls

Imitation crab meat

Rolled eggs

To make rolled eggs mix 3 eggs, 1T.sugar, a pinch of salt, 1T sake (Japanese wine) and white pepper. Panfry this mixture to make a roll by adding the mixture little by little.(Could be scrambled.)

Leaf lettuce



White sesame seeds

Seaweed (yaki-nori)

How to roll

Place a sheet of seaweed cut in ¾ lengthwise on a bamboo mat, putting shiny side down. Spread sushi rice on seaweed by wetting fingers with vinegar water. Be careful not to press rice too much while spreading gently. Remember to put your fingers in the water plus vinegar mixture (1:1) each time as you work with your sticky rice.

Sprinkle white sesame seeds over rice and flip this over on the mat. Add an inch more rice on the far end. Put small amount of sushi rice in the middle part of the seaweed part in order to hold the ingredients. Put the above ingredients on top and start rolling by pulling the bamboo mat against you. Press it when you rolled half way through and keep rolling till the end.

How to cut the rolls

Clean the knife with wet towel each time you cut the roll. This will eliminate having the knife from getting sticky and messy.

Turkey and Mushroom Lasagna

I've made lasagna a number of times, but I never bothered to write down how I made it. Various dishes, with which I am comfortable making, I don't make the same exact way twice. Alas, last night, I made ground turkey and mushroom lasagna for my husband's birthday dinner, per his request. It was such a hit that each one of us (four) went back for seconds. I had a third helping (the last piece) before the night was over. Not a bite of lasagna was left over. Everyone kept moaning throughout the meal, the lasagna was so good.

Turkey & Mushroom Lasagna

serves 4-8 (in our case last night, it served four people; we all went back for seconds).

one package of mushrooms.
one package of ground turkey (approx. 1 pound).
a few cloves of garlic.
1 2/3 containers (16 oz. per container) of cottage cheese - I used organic.
1 package of shredded mozzarella cheese.
1 package of Mexican blended cheese.
lasagna noodles - eight pieces.
2 2/3 jars (26 oz. per jar) of pasta sauce.
1 cup of water.

In a pan, stirfry the ground turkey on medium heat on the stove until no longer pink. Once the turkey is cooked, add in the mushrooms, a cup of water, and pasta sauce. After all the contents are boiling, add the garlic, minced or cut in chunks.

Cover the bottom of a 9x13 pan (preferably made of stone; it makes a HUGE difference in taste of the final product; I love all of my Pampered Chef stoneware with roughly 1/3 to 1/2 cup of the pasta sauce. If you're not using stoneware, spray the dish with cooking spray. Then place 3 to 4 lasagna noodles over the bottom, slightly overlapping. Spread at half to a container of cottage cheese and a generous portion of the mozzarella cheese and Mexican blended cheese over the nooldes and cover with half of the meat sauce. Repeat the layers once. Layer the very top with some shredded cheese.

Bake the lasagna for 45 minutes total, at 375 degrees (make sure to preheat the oven to 375 before putting in the lasagna), uncovered. In the last 15 minutes of baking the lasagna, add shredded mozzarella cheese, covering the top with it.

NOTE: Thanks to Manda for the following tip. You do NOT have to boil the lasagna noodles ahead of time, and there's no need to buy special "no boil" noodles. That's just a gimmick to get you to spend more money. Just add a cup to a cup and a half of water to the pasta sauce. The lasagna does not take longer to cook if you don't boil the noodles first.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Tortilla Soup Giraud

My dear friend, Manda, borrowed the recipe for this soup from Cooking with Texas Highways; and she turned it into something scrumptuous. Manda's concoction is totally mouth-watering delicious. I haven't tried cooking her soup, yet, but here's the recipe:

Tortilla Soup Giraud

Serves many...can be stretched far!!

1 1/2 medium onions, diced
1 green pepper, diced
vegetable oil
2 carrots, sliced in thin rounds (I dice these...they cook faster that way)
1/4 bunch celery
2 potatoes, diced (Yukon Gold works well)
3 1/2 qt. chicken stock, heated
2 T. chili powder (more)
2 T. ground cumin (more)
1 tsp. white pepper
1 tsp. granulated garlic
3/4 C. garbanzo beans (which is about half the can, but I use the whole can)
1 lb. cooked and boned chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro
salt to taste (a tablespoon?)

tortilla chips (Tostito's Gold work best...they don't get soggy as quickly)
thinly sliced lime
Mexican blend cheese

I start this one by poaching 2 lbs. of chicken breasts in my big stock pot (about half full of water). I add some salt and a few bouillon cubes with the chicken. When the chicken is done, remove it to a cutting board so it will cool. When it's cool-ish I roughly chop and shred it with a sharp knife and a fork into bite sized pieces.

While the chicken is cooking:
Saute onion and green pepper in a small amount of oil 1 minute. Add carrots, celery, and potatoes; saute 2 minutes. Then add to hot chicken stock and add your spices; simmer 5 to 10 minutes or until veggies are tender.

Stir in garbanzo beans, chicken and cilantro; heat an additional 5 mins. or until ready to serve. Ladle into warm bowls and garnish with tortilla chips, lime, cheese and avocado.

Chicken breast & garbanzo beans with olives and capers

I found this recipe in the February 2007 issue of American Baby. Here's my version of the recipe. By the way, the addition of capers and fresh olives is my idea or contribution:

Chicken breast & garbanzo beans

Serves 4 or more (I make large batches of food and am a poor judge of exactly how many people my food will serve).

olive oil
chicken breast (a package of 10 oz., roughly)
can of 15 oz. of garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
ready-to-eat bite size carrots
fresh olives of different kinds (pitted)
nonpareil (sp.?) capers

Heat a bit of olive oil and diced garlic in a pan or skillet (with olive oil, don't turn the heat on the highest). Once the garlic starts to sizzle and smell, add in the chicken breast cut into small pieces. Cook until the meat is no longer pink. Add the garbanzo beans, drained. Add in 1/2 cup to a cup of carrots. Add chicken broth if you want the dish to be a bit more soupy. Add some salt for flavor. Add chopped olives and capers when the dish is just about ready. Leave the dish covered for a minute or two, after adding the olives and capers, before turning the stove off and serving.

Serve the dish over couscous or rice.