Grilled Peaches with Balsamic Syrup

To finish off my yummy dinner tonight I grilled some fresh peaches for dessert. Although I am a HUGE chocolate lover, having fruit for dessert is a healthier alternative :( Well, I guess if you skipped dessert entirely that would be best, but that aint gonna happen...sorry lobster. I was trying to be good and not have too many sweets before the wedding, but we ended up going to yogurtland after for some fro-yo...num!

The photo doesn't do this dessert enough justice. I was too impatient to try and take a nice picture b/c all I wanted to do was eat what I was photographing. For some reason the photo also came out vertically instead of horizontally...don't know how to fix it...newbie blogger error :) Clearly, if you are visiting this site it is not for the beautiful photography, but for the yummy recipes. Anyway, I'll try and brush up on my skills for future pics. I adapted the recipe from this site. I have never grilled fruit before, however I've always seen it demonstrated on the food network. Now I must say, I am a firm believer in grilling fruit. Grilling the fruit caramelizes the juices and makes it sweeter and the balsamic glaze adds another hit of tangy sweetness. I also topped them with a granola cereal and that added a great crunch and different type of sweetness to the dessert. Try it, you'll definetely enjoy this one!

Grilled Peaches with Balsamic Syrup - 4 servings
4 peaches (cut in half and stoned)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (any cheap kind is fine)
2 tablespoons of honey
Granola to sprinkle

Grill the peach with the cut side down until soft, about 3-5 minutes depending on ripeness of fruit then flip over for about a minute or so
Simmer the balsamic vinegar and honey until it thickens to a syrup consistency, about 5-10 minutes. Add more honey if you think it is too tangy. The more it reduces though, the sweeter it gets
Serve the peaches cut side up drizzled with the balsamic glaze and top with the granola

Easy Peezy Bruschetta-eezy

I'm trying out a new recipe tonight on the lobster and my brother's clan. It's the famous roasted chicken recipe from Zuni's Cafe in San Francisco. Lobster, myself, and the soon to be mother-in-law enjoyed a fabulous dinner there not too long ago. If you're ever in San Francisco, you shouldn't miss the opportunity to dine at this restaurant. The restaurant itself is so warm and inviting. We sat in front of the open brick oven and threw back some oysters and french fries while we waited for the famous was well worth the wait. The chicken was so flavorful and moist and the bread salad underneath absorbs all the juices from the is just uh-may-jing!! Hopefully my trial tonight will be just as num. Anyway, for an appetizer I'm serving herbed goat cheese bruschetta. This has to be the easiest appetizer ever made. But then again, I could live off cheese and bread for the rest of my life...also not to mention my obsession with cereal.

For this recipe I chose to use goat cheese. It's lower in fat then most cheeses however a lot of people do not enjoy the taste b/c it's kind of tangy. But I just luv it. I used Lara Chenel's Chevre, chabis and herbs goat cheese. I imagine this would taste even better if you slice a garlic clove and rub it on the bread when it comes fresh out of the oven. You also MUST season the bruschetta with salt and FRESHLY ground black pepper in the end or else it tastes too bland. I'm a peppering freak so the black pepper really gives it a nice extra kick of heat in the end. Therefore the store bought ground pepper junk in a container will not suffice. Enjoy...nummm!!!

Oooh, I also took my first photo for the blog. You likey? Not too shabby, even with my rinky-dink camera. You can even see the cracks of pepper...I'm so excited!! Hopefully I'll remember to take a picture of the roasted chicken tonight :) Apparently I seem to becoming more of a nerd the more I post to this blog.

Easy Peezy Bruschetta-eezy - 5 to 6 servings

1 Multi-grain baguette
5 oz Herbed goat cheese
5 Roma tomatoes

Cut the bread on a bias into 1/2 inch thick slices
Chop tomatoes into small dice
Toast bread underneath broiler for about a minute on the first side then thirty seconds on other side
Spread herbed garlic bread on bread
Top with tomatoes
Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper

닭도리탕 Dahk Doh Li Tang (Spicy braised chicken)

This is one of my all-time favorite korean dishes. I always ask my mom to make this for me because it is num num. This is a great one pot meal and has so much flavor. Most Korean foods are very healthy. We rarely keep the skin on anytime we are cooking with chicken unless of course it's fried chicken. Even fried chicken is skinless most of the time as well. Eventually I will attempt to make REALLY spicy marinated chicken wings from one of my favorite restaurants that serves the best fried chicken. It has a really crisp coating and I'm guessing it's b/c it's fried twice so when you take a bite it's like an explosion of flavors in your mouth and it's soooooooo nummmmmmmmm. I'm getting excited just thinking about it...oh well, I'll have to wait to eat it after the wedding :) Anyway, if you like chicken and spicy food you should definetely try this. The chicken is pretty much boiling in the ko chu kah loo sauce the whole time so it gets a great flavorful thick coating in the nothing like a stew. Try this...nummmm

Yet again, I forgot to take a photo so i found a picture of what this dish somewhat looks like on this blog. The original dish would have more red broth around it, however not as much as a soup would. The photo doesn't do it enough justice...oh well, I'll just have to make it again soon :)

닭도리탕 Dahk do li tang - 6 servings
3 large bone in chicken breasts
9 drumsticks
Ko chu kah loo (Korean red pepper flakes)
1 jalapeno
Sesame oil
Soy sauce
2 heads of garlic
3 inch piece of ginger
5 medium size russett potatoes skin off
3 onions
1 jalapeno with seeds
1 1/4 tablespoon of brown sugar
5 green onions cut into 2-3 inch pieces

Take skin off all of the chicken and then cut slits into the drumsticks so they can absorb more flavor
Cut breasts into 2 inch pieces
Set large dutch oven on medium high heat and put all the chicken inside
Pour a good drizzle of sesame oil to coat about half of the chicken
Pour soy sauce over chicken so it coats all the chicken - then mix the chicken around to get it all marinated
Move chicken around so the outside starts to get brown...not searing it though
If bottom of pan begins to brown add water then put cover on it and cook it half way through (should have a decent amount of liquid on bottom of pan (goong mool) if not then add a little more water
Put in potatoes, garlic, ginger and jalapeno, 1 1/4 tbs brown sugar, sprinkle the top layer of chicken with red pepper and black pepper and cover again
Then taste it to see if it tastes good...if needs more flavor then add salt
If it looks colorless then add more red pepper (should be a good red hue...if it doesn't have enough red pepper it will look more on the paler side) and keep moving the chicken around then put cover back on and cook for about 10 more minutes.
Add in onion and green onions and cook for another ten minutes with cover

매운탕 (Spicy Rock Cod fish soup)

So before I head off to get hitched I have been learning how to cook every week with my mom. I'm Korean so she has been teaching me her authentic Korean dishes she learned from her mom. Everyone in her family is a great cook so even when I go to my hal muh ni's (grandmother) house halfway across the world in Korea, it tastes just like my mom's cooking since she learned from the master herself. I've seen on other blogs people using different ingredients that aren't used in a traditional Korean dish. Not to worry, here you'll find truly authentic Korean dishes straight from my mom's kitchen...who is the best cook EVERRRR!!!
She even makes her own kim-chee...who still makes their own kim chee now-a-days?! I remember a story she told me about when we used to live in Virginia, she would dig in the snow and plant a bottle of kim-chee in it. Very clever that woman is, making her own kim-chee fridgey in the snow. My fondest memories are waking up to the sounds of pots and pans clanging in the kitchen which meant my mom was slaving away in the kitchen. She worked a full time job but we always had a home cooked meal every night while we were growing up and NEVER had take out...that would be sacrilegious for Chin suk.

Although my mom is the best cook, the only problem is that anytime she makes anything, she cooks for a village even if there's only two of us. She also eyeballs EVERYTHING, so these measurements are not exact, but good enough. This recipe is my mom's yummy meh oohn tang which is basically spicy rock cod fish soup with lots of hearty veggies. It takes less then an hour to prepare, it's great any time of year and healthy too.
Oh, FYI, we had to look up the english translation for the herb my mom used for this soup. Apparently, chrysanthemum according to my mom helps the soup smell not so fishy from the cod. Interesting I thought, I had never known...just a little bit of trivia for ya.
Since I keep forgetting to take pictures of my food, I copied the photo from this blog.

매운탕 (Meh Oohn Tang) - 10 servings

2 lbs rock cod (can use mixture of 은대구 and 대구) cut into 6-8 oz pieces
1/2 cup of 고추장 (Korean red pepper paste)
1 head of garlic
2 medium size of 무 (Korean radish)
1 large onion
2 medium size 호박 (zucchini)
1 jalapeno pepper
16 oz soft tofu
5 thick scallions
2 packs enoki mushroom
1 bunch of 쑥갓 (chrysanthemum)
S&P and Korean red pepper flakes for seasoning

In large pot put 6 cups of water and red pepper paste in pot over high heat
Cut radish into one inch thick pieces and two inches long and put in water as well
Put cover on and cook until radish is half way cooked
In the mean time get two large bowls to prep remaining ingredients in
Cut 호박 (zucchini) into same size as 무 (radish) and put in a bowl
Then cut onion in half crosswise then across into three slices
Cut jalapeno into slices
Mince one head of garlic and put garlic and all above ingredients in same bowl
Chop up remaining ingredients as follows and put in second bowl
Then cut scallion, cut white parts down the middle and then slice into one inch pieces
Then take one bunch of 쑥갓 (chrysanthemum) and cut off ends and pull out any old brown pieces
Cut tofu in half lengthwise then four slices across
Cut bottom ends off mushroom and separate and rinse under water
After radish is half cooked put fish in pot
After fish is half cooked put in ho bahk, onion, jalapeno, and can add more water if it doesn't seem like there's enough. You want water to cover just above vegetables.
After zucchini and onion are half cooked and water comes back up to a boil then put in remaining ingredients and cover and wait for it to come back up to a boil
Then season with salt, one pack of dah shi dah and if needed add more Korean red pepper flakes
In the end make sure that radish is cooked all the way through

Roasted eggplant dip

This is a yummy go-to recipe I serve to my friends from the Barefoot Contessa on Food Network. It has great flavor and is very easy to make. The best part about this dip is that you can make it ahead and the longer it sits the better it gets. Serve this dip with toasted baguette slices and it's the perfect contrast in texture. Best served hot out of the oven or at room temperature.

Roasted eggplant dip
6 to 8 servings
1 medium eggplant
2 red bell peppers, seeded
1 red onion, peeled
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut the eggplant, bell pepper, and onion into 1-inch cubes. Toss them in a large bowl with the garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread them on a baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes, until the vegetables are lightly browned and soft, tossing once during cooking.
Cool slightly.

Place the vegetables in a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add the tomato paste, and pulse 3 or 4 times to blend. Taste for salt and pepper

Wild Mushroom Risotto

I made this meal one winter night for me and the lobster. Although risotto does take a lot of time, the end result is absolutely delicious. I found this photo and recipe on cooking light's website and you would never know it's a "light" recipe. Although it is a bit heavy to eat on its own, you should eat it with a nice grilled halibut or any other type of white fish. I substituted the sherry wine for white wine, bought pre-sliced shiitake mushrooms and added a bit of parmesan cheese in the end and it was fabulous.

Wild mushroom risotto - 8 servings (serving size: 3/4 cup) – 255 cal
**Please refer to my Risotto 101 tips before making this dish

· 1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms (about 1/2 ounce)
· 1/2 cup boiling water
· 1 1/2 cups water
· 2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans vegetable broth
· 2 teaspoons olive oil
· 2 garlic cloves, minced
· 2 1/2 cups sliced shiitake mushroom caps (about 6 ounces)
· 2 teaspoons dried thyme
· 1/2 teaspoon salt
· 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
· 1 pound uncooked Arborio rice or other short-grain rice (about 2 1/2 cups)
· 1/2 cup dry sherry

Combine porcini mushrooms and 1/2 cup boiling water in a bowl. Cover and let stand 15 minutes or until tender. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving liquid.
Combine reserved liquid, 1 1/2 cups water, and broth in a medium saucepan (reserve 1 cup of broth mixture if making ahead). Bring remaining broth mixture to a simmer (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add shiitake mushrooms, and sauté 2 minutes or until tender. Stir in porcini mushrooms, thyme, salt, and pepper. Add rice; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Add broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of the mixture is almost absorbed before adding the next (about 20 minutes total). Taste the risotto. If it is still chewy, continue stirring, adding more broth, and tasting until you have reached your desired consistency. This could take another twenty minutes. When the risotto is almost finished stir in the sherry, and cook for 2 minutes or until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Serve immediately.

Pork Tenderloin with Chimichurri Sauce

I saw Tyler Florence make this recipe on Tyler's Ultimate and knew I had to make it. I'd never heard of chimichurri sauce before but it looked delicious on TV. Since I love trying recipes from different regions of the world, I thought I'd give it a go and this did not disappoint. I made it for my friends and they ate it all up. They even started dipping their bread into the sauce it was that good.

There are a few things he mentioned on the show that they neglected to put in the recipe. Make sure you marinate the pork for thirty minutes max because the vinegar in the marinate will begin to actually cook the pork. I did not cook these on an outdoor grill but used my grill pan on the stovetop, browned it on all four sides then threw it in the oven until my temperature gadget started beeping when it hit the set temperature. (Best purchase ever!!) The pork was tender, not dry what-so-ever, packed full of flavor and muy delicioso.

Pork tenderloin with chimichurri sauce
Serves 4 to 8

6 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (can substitute with basil)
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh oregano leaves
3 limes, juiced
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
2 pork tenderloins (about 1 pound each), trimmed of excess fat, patted dry (tell butcher to take off fat cap)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
Lime juice, for drizzling
Parsley sprigs, for garnish

Combine the garlic, jalapeno and vinegar, parsley, oregano, and lime juice, olive oil and season with salt and pepper. (throw in blender and mix) Mix well and set aside at room temperature to allow the flavors to marry. (taste sauce to make sure tastes good)

Reserve 1/2 cup of the chimichurri to serve and marinate the pork in the rest. Grab the pork and marinade in a sealable plastic bag and set aside in the refrigerator for 30 minutes

Preheat an outdoor charcoal grill or oven broiler to high.
Remove the pork from the marinade, wiping off any excess and pat dry, leave on some marinade but not too much, just not soaking…let it come to room temperature for 10 minutes. Season both sides with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and place on the grill. Grill the pork on the hottest part of the barbecue for 4 minutes per side, until well charred, keep flipping on all 4 sides 4 minutes each. Allow the tenderloin to rest for about 5 minutes prior to slicing. Should read 138 on pork with instant thermometer at diagonal angle.

Cut on a slight angle about 1 inch and spoon some chimichurri over the meat, drizzle with lime juice, garnish with parsley, and serve with the remaining sauce at the table.

Strawberry Shortcake with Mascarpone Cream

I found this recipe and photo on Baking Bites a couple years back and it was soooo good. I made it for my sister and the roomie. They both agreed it was YUM!! As good as this was, I could only remembering what it tasted like because with ALL the recipes I've compiled over the years, I couldn't find it. BUT have no fear! I finally found it and now I can see how useful this blog will be because it will always be RIGHT HERE now...YAY!!!! I'm so excited...can you tell I'm a newbie :)
This is a very easy recipe even though it requires making your own dough. Usually I freak out anytime I see a recipe where you have to make the dough from scratch (don't know why) Anyway, I did change a few things in the recipe a bit. I omitted the poppy seeds and also substituted vanilla for the almond extract. The mascarpone filling wasn't sweet enough for me so I had to add more confectioner's sugar...but then again I am a sweet freak so I'm sure this will differ for everyone. Also, I think the temperature in my oven is set a little higher then what it says, so the bottom of my biscuits got a little too brown. I'm sure I could have prevented this if I cooked these on a silpat liner. Anyway, it's light, sweet and nummm.

Strawberry Shortcakes with Mascarpone Cream
4 servings

1 cup plus 2 tbsp all purpose flour & 2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp poppy seeds (optional)
2 tbsp butter, cold
1/2 cup light cream (half & half)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and poppy seeds. Add butter and rub in to flour mixture, creating coarse crumbs. In a small measuring cup, combine cream, vanilla extract and almond extract. Add to flour mixture and stir with a fork until a ball of dough forms. Add an additional tablespoon of milk, if necessary. Divide dough into four and place on a baking sheet. It is not crucial to shape the dough, but it’s better if your shortcakes are on the round side, for presentation. Bake at 400F for 15-18 minutes, until lightly golden and somewhat firm to the touch. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
Mascarpone Cream Filling
12-ounces mascarpone cheese, cold
1/4 cup light cream (half & half)
4 tbsp powdered sugar, or to taste

Beat all ingredients together with a whisk until soft peaks form. If you want to make the filling sweeter, then add a bit more sugar. You might have to add a little more cream to keep the filling from getting too stiff.
Strawberries, diced
Split cakes horizontally in half and spread on mascarpone filling. Top mascarpone cream with strawberries and, if desired, more cream.