Tuesday, November 13, 2012

umami gravy

another key thanksgiving dish is gravy...turkey can get easily dry (even if you're the best cook/chef), so a great way to add some depth and flavor is by making a delicious gravy.  my umami-infused gravy recipe is super yummy with hints of soy sauce and garlic.  making gravy seems like a hassle, but it's totally worth your time and energy; plus, it's a perfect condiment to make while you let your turkey sit for a few minutes before serving it!

- roasting pan of your turkey
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup white wine
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 5 tablespoons flour
- s&p

- remove your turkey from your roasting pan
- remove pan juices from the pan into a cup or separater; remove the top layer of fat/oil
- put roasting pan on 2 stoves and heat it up over medium heat; add pan juices (minus the fat)
- add 1 cup chicken broth and wine to pan; deglaze and remove all the delicious bits from the bottom of the pan
- add rest of broth, soy sauce and garlic
- lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes; remove from heat
- in a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat
- add flour and stir constantly until you make a roux
- add stock mixture from roasting pan into saucepan; stir well until completed incorporated and thick (but not lumpy!) - about 10 minutes
- flavor with some s&p...then serve with your thanksgiving meal!


Thursday, November 8, 2012

candied citrus-infused cranberry sauce

personally i think cranberry sauce is one of the most important thanksgiving dishes, second to the turkey of course.  i really love the flavors of fresh cranberries candied in a sugary sauce with hints of orange...it's a must-have!  please do me a huge favor and don't buy some store-bought can of cranberry sauce (ew!)...just make some with this super easy and amazing recipe!

- 12 ounces fresh cranberry
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 cup freshly squeezed oj
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon orange zest

- heat a saucepan over medium heat
- dissove white and brown sugar in oj in saucepan
- add cranberries and cook until they all pop, about 10 minutes
- add orange zest, mix
- remove saucepan from heat and let sauce reach room temperature, then serve!


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

focaccia stuffing with chestnuts and pancetta

i first started making this recipe a few years ago...and since, it's been a HUGE hit with family and friends (and it won the top chef trophy a couple years ago at stila!)!  although i'm not a huge fan of stuffing (like that super soggy stuff people serve!), this recipe is a must-try!  the combination of chestnuts, rosemary, garlic and pancetta is amazingggg.

- 3 tablespoons butter
- 4 ounces pancetta
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 jar roasted chestnuts (7 ounces or so) - available at whole foods or bristol farms
- 1/8 cup parsley, chopped
- 1/2 pound day old focaccia (or ciabatta), cut into 3/4 inch cubes
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1 egg, beaten
- s&p

- preheat oven at 350 degrees
- generously butter a baking dish
- melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium heat
- add pancetta; saute until golden and crisp, about 8 minutes
- with slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to a paper towel-lined large bowl
- add remaining butter to skillet and cook onion, celery, carrot, rosemary and garlic, about 10 minutes
- stir in chestnuts and parsley (save about of tablespoon of parsley for garnish) and cook for another minute
- remove paper towel from bowl; add cooked vegetables to the bowl
- add focaccia cubes and parmesan to bowl and toss everything until bread is coated
- slowly add chicken broth until moistened (no need to use all of the chicken broth...you don't want super soggy stuffing!)
- add egg and mix slowly, trying super hard not to break apart focaccia cubes
- add everything into the baking dish, cover with buttered foil (buttered side down, duh)
- bake for 35 minutes, remove foil, then bake for another 10-15 minutes until top layer is crisp and golden
- sprinkle with some parsley and serve hot!


Thursday, November 1, 2012

super creamy pumpkin pie

rob LOVES pumpkin pie...so i make sure it's super delicious every time i make it :)  here is my go-to recipe for super creamy, melt-in-your mouth pumpkin pie. hope you and your family love it this thanksgiving!

- 1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups canned pumpkin, mashed
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg + 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
- 1 cup half & half
- 1/4 cup melted butter, slightly cooled
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 frozen pie shells

- preheat oven to 350 degrees
- cover each pie crust with foil and bake for 10 minutes
- remove foil and bake for another 5 minutes until it's slightly golden; set aside
- in a large bowl, beat cream cheese with a hand mixer for about 2 minutes
- add pumpkin and beat until combined
- add sugar, salt, eggs and egg yolks, half & half, butter; beat until combined
- add vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg; beat until combined
- pour filling into warm pie crusts; bake for 50 minutes or until center is set
- cool to room temperature; serve with ice cream or whipped cream yeah!


Friday, September 28, 2012

amazing caramel apples

i'm obsessed with caramel apples...obsessed.  and since i got some really beautiful granny smith apples via farm fresh to you, i decided to make some yummy caramel apples!  this recipe is soooooooo easy to make...and the apples are fun to decorate for halloween or to share with friends and family during the holidays.  please enjoy!

- 4 apples (i like to use granny smith apples)
- 14 ounce bag of caramel, unwrapped
- 2 tablespoons vanilla ice cream (or 2 tablespoons of milk)
- 4 wooden sticks (i like to use chopsticks hahaha!)
- toppings...chocolate shavings, pecans, almonds, tj's sugar chocolate coffee bean grinder (which i LOVE!)

- in a large bowl, microwave the unwrapped caramel pieces and vanilla ice cream for 2 minutes
- meanwhile, either butter a baking sheet or dust it with a coat of sugar 
- remove the stems from the apples and push the wooden sticks through the top until secure
- once the caramel is melted, mix carefully
- coat one apple at a time with generous amounts of caramel; set on prepared baking sheet
- add toppings by either rolling or patting down...enjoy!


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

rob's amazing chili

i was never a big fan of chili (maybe because i don't really like beans) until i tried rob's chili!  just typing out this recipe makes my mouth water!  rob based his recipe on guy fieri's chili recipe, but used less beans and added key ingredients like green onion :)  this recipe is perfect for football season!  GO TROJANS FIGHT ON!!!!

- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 red bell peppers, diced 
- 2 jalapenos, minced
- 3 Anaheim chiles, roasted, peeled, chopped
- 3 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, chopped
- 2 yellow onions, diced
- 1 entire garlic, minced
- 1 pound boneless chuck, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 2 pounds ground beef, coarse grind
- 1 pound spicy Italian sausage, removed from casings
- 4 teaspoons granulated garlic
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- 1 cup tomato paste
- 12 ounces lager beer
- 1 cup low sodium chicken stock
- 2 15.5-ounce can pinto beans, with juice
- 1 15.5-ounce cans kidney beans, with juice
- 2 bunches green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 cup shredded cheese
- dallops of sour cream for garnish

- in a large stock pot, add butter and oil over high heat
- add bell peppers, chiles, onion and garlic and cook for 5 to 6 minutes
- add cubes of beef and brown; then add ground beef and sausage and brown for about 8 minutes
- add granulated garlic, chili powder, paprika, cumin, coriander, cayenne, s&p 
- as you stir the ingredients for a couple minutes, make sure you get the good stuff on the bottom of the pot for extra flavor
- add tomato sauce and paste and stir for another couple minutes
- slowly add in beer, chicken stock, and beans, gently stir again, lower heat and simmer for about 2 hours
- serve hot with green onions, cheese and sour cream on top!  enjoy and fight on!


Friday, May 4, 2012

edamame soba salad with grilled salmon

i first had this amazing medley at clementines in century city (one of my fave places in la).  this salad includes 3 main ingredients: soba (super good-for-you, antioxidant-rich, gluten-free japanese buckwheat noodles), edamame (young soybeans that are super rich in antioxidants and fiber) and salmon (also very good for you!).  the dressing is super delicious with a yummy tartness, perfect for the summer.  this recipe is a MUST TRY!!!!!

- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
-  lemon wedges (1 for dressing and a couple for the salmon)
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 1 tablespoon finely minced shallots
- 3 green onion, finely diced
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 1/2 teaspoon sriracha
- 3 tablespoon soy sauce
- 6 oz soba noodles
- 1/2 pound salmon fillets
- 1 12oz bag of frozen shelled edamame

- boil a pot of water and cook the soba noodles until al dente; rinse over cold water, drain and set aside
- boil another pot of water and cook the edamame for 4 minutes; rinse over cold water, drain and set aside
- grill the salmon until cooked through; squeeze a lemon wedge over salmon fillets
- remove the skin off the salmon fillets; set aside
- in a super large bowl, mix the rice vinegar, vegetable oil, sesame oil, honey, juice of 1 lemon wedge, salt, pepper, carrots, shallots, green onion, cilantro, sriracha and soy sauce
- add soba noodles and edamame to the bowl
- fork apart the salmon into pieces; add to bowl
- mix the salad carefully then refrigerate for at least an hour...then enjoy!


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

grilled corn and heirloom tomato salad with basil vinaigrette

i love grilled corn...and with fresh basil and heirloom tomatoes, it's an amazing combo!  this recipe is great for bbqs, get togethers and picnics; the flavors and fresh, bold and tasty.  enjoy!!

- 6 ears of corn in husks
- 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or champagne vinegar
- 1 garlic glove, finely minced
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2/3 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 pound of assorted heirloom tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/2 in pices
- 1 10-ounce container of small heirloom cherry tomatoes
- s&p

- fill a large bowl with cold water and a teaspoon of salt; add corn and soak for 1 hour
- in a separate large bowl, whisk the vinegar, garlic and extra virgin olive oil
- mix in basil and soy sauce
- add in the tomatoes; set aside
- over medium-high heat, grill the corn in husks for about 30 minutes until the outside is charred and corn kernels are tender
- cool corn; remove husks, cut kernels off the cob then add to bowl
- toss the ingredients then season with salt and pepper...enjoy!


Thursday, April 19, 2012

amazing autostrada panini

when i used to work at la brea bakery, my favorite panini was the autostrada because it was so intense in flavor, spicy and just so delicious with all my favorite cured meats.  since i no longer get the "kara gets everything free" discount at la brea bakery, i put together an autostrada recipe...so please try it and enjoy!

- 8 slices sourdough bread (i recommend la brea bakery's sourdough!)
- butter at room temperature
- 8 slices aged provolone 
- 8 slices mortadella 
- 8 slices coppa 
- 8 slices dry salami or soppressata
- 4 slices prosciutto 
- 3 jarred marinated cherry peppers, finely chopped and blended into a paste with a back of a wooden spoon

- preheat panini grill to medium
- generously butter each slice of bread 
- layer a couple slices of provolone, mortadella, coppa, salami and prosciutto on four slices
- spread the cherry pepper paste to the other four slices
- assemble the cherry pepper slices on top of the meats
- grill on the panini for about 5-8 minutes or until golden and crisp
- serve immediately and enjoy!


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

chicago's avec-inspired chorizo stuffed dates wrapped in bacon

rob and i had a chance to eat at avec in chicago a couple months ago.  although the food was ok, the chorizo stuffed dates were amazeballs!  for the holidays this year, i am making this recipe nonstop for everyone who comes over because it's delicious and so easy to make!

- 12 medjool dates
- 1 good quality mexican chorizo
- smoked bacon, 6 slices cut in half
- toothpicks
- your favorite tomato sauce
- a few basil leaves, chiffonade

- preheat oven to 375 degrees
- gently remove pit from dates and a little bit of the fruit inside (so you can add more chorizo!) with a small spoon; try not to cut the date as much as possible
- fill dates with chorizo, either via cutting the corner of a ziploc bag and using it as a filler or making mini balls out of the chorizo and filling the dates
- wrap each date with a bacon half and secure with a toothpick
- bake the dates, bacon seam down, for about 30 minutes until chorizo is cooked through and bacon is crisp
- meanwhile, gently heat your favorite tomato sauce
- assemble your plate with some sauce on the bottom, dates on top, and some basil chiffonade on top...enjoy!