Rigatoni carbonara

IMG_2667Amber’s recipe, learned in a cooking class on her Phillippines-Vietnam trip

I love fettuccine or linguine (pasta lunga) best, but we only had pasta corta (short pasta) in the cupboard. Amber had a hankering for this as we had all the ingredients and had been eating my grandmother’s cooking for several meals by now (food is equal to love, for Chinese families — accept the gifts of food and be grateful).

Ingredients:
400 g pasta of your choice
2 eggs
75 g Parmigiano-Reggiano (aged three years), grated
3-4 strips of bacon (if only we had guanciale or pancetta!)
black pepper
100 g peas, frozen
2-3 cloves of garlic

Directions:
Bring a pot of salted water to boil, while you do other things. Fry the bacon until crisp but not too overdone. Beat the eggs, and mix in the cheese. Season this with some salt and pepper. Mince the garlic. Saute the garlic until fragrant. Add the peas to cook them a little bit, or cook them in the pasta pot of boiling water for one minute like Jamie suggests.

When pasta is al dente, drain and make sure you reserve some pasta water (we did not, sadly). Toss the pasta, peas, and bacon all together in your pan. Season with fresh cracked pepper if you have a grinder. Now, make sure the pan isn’t too hot, or the eggs will scramble. Slowly add the cheese-egg mixture so the heat of the pasta cooks it, tossing all the while. Jamie also suggests adding pasta water to thin the sauce if need be. Garnish with some more freshly grated Parmigiano and slivered basil (we took a few leaves from the window herb “garden”).

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~Jessica

Pi Day Special – Shepherd’s Pie

3/14, that most special of days! For those who aren’t quite as nerdy, it’s Pi Day, celebrating π, that mathematical constant usually used for calculating areas and volumes of circles – 3.1415926535… Okay, fine, it’s basically just an excuse to celebrate pies in all shapes and forms! So in honor of this day, I’m crashing Jessie’s blog to share a recipe that I prepared myself for Pi Day!

Since we are in the middle of Winter Storm Stella (STELLLLAAAA!) here in New York, I thought rather than a sweet or dessert pie I’d prefer something a little more hearty, to get me revved up for all the snow removal we would be doing later on. Shepherd’s pie, with its fluffy mashed potatoes atop savory ground beef filling, was the perfect solution.

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Shepherd’s Pie

Adapted from allrecipes

Ingredients

  • 4 large potatoes, cubed and peeled
  • 1 tablespoon butter (alright… I used 1.5, cuz more butter makes mashed potatoes so good!)
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheese (I used provolone, which I had on hand)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (peas, corn, carrots, beans mix)
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • Melted butter to brush on top of mashed potatoes

Directions

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to boil and add the potatoes. Cook until tender and easily pierced by fork, around 15 minutes. Drain in colander and mash in large bowl with butter and shredded cheese until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large frying pan. Add onion and cook until starting to turn transparent, around 3 minutes. Add celery and continue cooking for 3 more minutes. Add mixed vegetables and cook 5 more minutes. I cooked until the water from the frozen vegetables had evaporated. Set aside vegetables and clean pan.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In the clean frying pan, add a small amount of oil. Add ground beef and brown, around 8-10 minutes. Drain of excess fat and reintroduce the vegetable mixture. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add ketchup and beef broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Spread the ground beef mixture in an even layer in a 2 quart casserole dish. Top with mashed potatoes and spread in an even layer. Brush melted butter on top of mashed potatoes.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. If the potatoes aren’t golden brown, you can put them under the broiler for 5 minutes or until they are browned, I like to watch it to make sure it doesn’t get burnt!
  7. Enjoy the delicious fruits of your labor! I hope you enjoyed this recipe, and if you would like to visit my blog please feel free (shameless plug over).
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a messy plate of shepherd’s pie, living life on the edge… of the table.

~Peggy

Garlic pea shoots

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Dau Miu / dòu miáo (豆苗)
Adapted from steamy kitchen

1/2 lb. pea shoots
vegetable (peanut?) oil
2 cloves of garlic
rice wine
sesame oil

Saute garlic in vegetable oil until fragrant on medium-low heat in a wok. Stir-fry pea shoots until barely wilted. Remove from heat. Season with wine and sesame oil to taste.

~Jessica

Chinese fried rice

Adapted from Rasa Malaysia and China on Site and steamy kitchen.

~1 lap cheong (Chinese sausage), diced small
180 g baby shrimp
200 g  frozen peas-corn-carrot, defrosted 15 min (I had 300 g)
2 stalks of scallions, sliced thin
2 garlic cloves, minced
fresh ginger, grated
3-4 cups Jasmine rice, leftover
4 glugs of peanut oil
2 eggs, beaten
pinch of black/white pepper
fish sauce
soy sauce
sesame oil
splash of cooking wine
1 skinless and boneless chicken breast (optional)
100 g salted fish (optional)

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egg omelette

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blurry stir fry wok

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plated

Heat oil in wok. Fry Chinese sausage and shrimps over low heat until done. Remove from heat. Stir-fry frozen veggies until done. Set aside. Heat oil in wok. Quickly stir-fry scallions, garlic, and ginger until fragrant. Add back the sausage and vegetables. Stir-fry quickly. Scramble eggs separately and add. Add rice; stir to mix. Add in soy sauce, fish sauce, wine, and white pepper, stirring. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with scallions and (toasted) sesame oil. Serve.

~Jessica

P.S. My mom’s version:

fried-rice

Matar paneer

Matar / mutter paneer is my favorite Indian dish, mostly because I like the paneer, but also the peas’ bursts of flavor. Squeaky fun to chew paneer!

Adapted from Spice Up The Curry and Edible Garden

400 g green peas, boiled 2-3 min (I used frozen)
175 g paneer, cubed (I used smoked tofu instead)
1 lemon
ghee (if you have it, otherwise I used butter)
2 large onions
2.5 cm ginger, grated
1 garlic, minced
chopped, ripe tomatoes
2 small green chilies, chopped

Spices
1 pinch of kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) — I didn’t have
garam masala, cumin, turmeric, red chili, coriander
salt to taste

Garnish
1 spoonful of cream
cilantro
50 g Cashews, soaked in water for 30 min.

Fry any spices (that you have whole) and chilis in oil/butter. Saute onion, ginger, garlic until fragrant. Season with salt. Add tomatoes. Add your powdered spices now and cook until the liquid evaporates. Grind soaked cashews into a paste with some water. Fry the paneer separately, then add this to the sauce with the peas and cashew paste. Add the cream and cilantro. Serve hot.

Smoked tofu is extra-firm and ideally smoked in tea leaves, but I don’t taste it much. Very similar to dry tofu, but lighter in flavor. Serving suggestions: Mater paneer masala can be served with roti, paratha, or naan; if served with plain rice, thin the sauce.

~Jessica