Tag Archives: cooking

kelseydo cooking with mom

One of the best things to do during the holidays is to spend time in the kitchen with friends and family. My kitchen at home is so small that Nick and I are always elbowing each other when we both want a snack. I hardly ever cook at home, Nick is an amazing chef and is constantly stocking the freezer with homemade breakfast burritos and preparing gourmet dinners for me.

I always thought the BCL’s Taste magazine had some delicious looking recipes and finally decided to give some a go. Luckily I had my mom’s expertise and incredibly large kitchen to work with!

We made two recipes: Chili Shrimp and Cauliflower ‘Couscous’

The Cauliflower ‘Couscous’ is a mediterranean style dish which replaces the grain of the dish with cauliflower. I like the cauliflower substitute trend- for mashed potatoes, pizza crust and especially Kraft Dinner (Smart?) .

You start by adding 1/2 a teaspoon of cumin seeds and red chili flakes to some oil in a pan, once you smell their nice aroma start browning the onions in the same pan. Add red peppers, apricots, raisins and cauliflower. Raise the heat and stir, lightly browning the cauliflower. Sprinkle with Sumac ( we used lemon pepper & paprika), pistachios, mint and cilantro. Mix well and serve warm.

Red Pepper and Cumin Seed

Saute cumin seeds and red chili flakes until fragrant

ingredients

Use a food processor to get the cauliflower looking like couscous, or just chop finely like I did here. Apricots, raisins and red peppers mellow out the spicy flavors of the red chili flakes.

Frying cauliflower

Raise heat to medium-high and turn often until cauliflower is lightly browned

For the Chili Shrimp we let the pound of prawns sit in 3 cups of water with some salt for an hour then drained them and placed them on the paper towel. In a small bowl mom mixed 2 tsp Sriracha sauce, 2 tbsp of ketchup, 3 tbsp soy sauce and 1 tsp of sugar. I heated up the pan so it was piping hot and put in a little oil. Add the shrimp and cook til just pink.

Cook prawns 1 min

Toss in a splash of sake and then remove the prawns from the pan to a nearby plate. Add a bit more oil to the pan and then fry a couple cloves of minced garlic and 2 tablespoons of chopped ginger.

Garlic and ginger

Now you had that Sriracha mixture and the prawns back into the pan. Cook for one minute, remove from heat and top with parsley to garnish.

Sauce and prawns

You can add other things like red peppers, green onions or jalapeño peppers.

My co-chef (mom) and our guinea pig (dad) trying the goods

My co-chef (mom) and our guinea pig (dad) trying the goods with a bottle of Gewurtztraminer (recommended in TASTE)

Presto

The final product! Chili Shrimp and Cauliflower ‘Couscous’

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kelseydo yakisoba

Yakisoba is a fried noodle dish that is super easy to make, really cheap, nutritious and delicious. Also, the grocery store near my house: Gyomu, practically caters to making this dish with its perfect packaging and  great deals. It’s also something I can easily make once I return home to remind me of Japan! It’s not a very authentic way to make it but it’s still really delicious.

Ingredients

Ingredients

I like to use eggplant, spinach and red pepper to get a lot of colour in the dish since the soba noodles are kind of a dull brown colour. Soba noodles are made of buckwheat, which despite the name, is not made of wheat at all-it is more closely related to sorrel or rhubarb. It’s safe for people to eat who have celiac disease or gluten allergies. 

It comes in these really convenient one portion bags and it is already partially cooked so its ready-to-fry. You can also buy raw soba noodles and boil them for a few minutes before adding them to the mix but they are finicky to get cooked right for this dish. The bags are 15 yen so it’s actually a lot cheaper than buying the raw soba noodles.

Soba

Soba

I fry the chicken first, in sesame oil with some garlic powder and chili powder. Once it’s cooked on all sides I throw in the chopped up vegetables.

Frying up some goods

Frying up some goods

Once the vegetables are almost cooked I add the noodles straight from the bag. The trick is to add two heaping tablespoons of Tonkatsu sauce on top of the noodles before you mix them in so that the noodles don’t stick together too much. You might also want to turn down the heat a bit when you first add the noodles as well. Once the noodles are cooked, only after a few minutes, it’s done! Whew, that was easy.

Add some sesame seeds on top. It tastes good, it’s healthy, and it always makes a dish look pro.

Voila

Voila

This isn’t really the most beautiful looking dish but it really is delicious. AND did I mention cheap?

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kelseydo chicken stock

As I’ve mentioned earlier, my boyfriend Nick is the chef around these parts. He makes dinner every night. Sometimes I help by making salad or shredding cheese or drinking wine. He is an amazing cook and the food he makes is always so inspired and delicious. How am I supposed to compete with that? The answer is, I don’t. I just let him cook.

Nick's Chick

For instance, check out this roasted chicken he just made- it’s magical. He doesn’t even the google the recipe (the only way I make ANYTHING). He just finds stuff around the kitchen and shoves it in the chicken. This chicken has a whole pear shoved up its ass- genius! A little rosemary from the garden, and some lemon juice, salt and pepper. Maybe this sounds easy and obvious to you but for me this IS like rocket science.

I watched my mom make her own chicken stock and then some chicken + quinoa soup last week so I feel like I have the confidence to do it myself. ITS EASY she says. EASY FOR YOU I say.

Last time I made soup it was french onion. I burned the onions but decided they were still good (no they’re not). I put them in the soup with the cheesy croutons and I thought it looked pretty good. Nick took one taste and said ‘Did you burn the onions?’, I told him they might’ve been a little crisp. He wouldn’t eat the rest of it and I don’t blame him. My pride got the best of me in the moment and I ate that whole damn bowl of burnt onion soup.

Later on we were talking in bed and I smelled something burning…it was my breath.

Nick once convinced me that french onion soup takes four months to make. He explained that it was discovered somewhere in the south of france when some vagabonds came upon a cottage where the homeowner had died in the middle of making soup and had been dead for nearly half a year. The vagabonds tasted the soup and it was the most delicious thing they had ever tasted. The end.

I am very gullible. Nick is a big fat liar.

ANYWAYS- chicken stock is easy. You just throw a whole chicken carcass into a big pot and cover it with cool water.  Then you chop up celery, onions, carrots and throw them in the pot. Add some salt and pepper to season. Bring it all to a boil and then simmer for 4 hours.

Now you have chicken stock…and you can do whatever you want with it (AKA get your boyfriend to make you dinner with it).

kelseydo soup

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