Photos on Fine Fettle Kettle are originals taken by Miriam Latour and under copyright protection.
Recipes are the creation of Miriam Latour, unless otherwise indicated.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Shao Mai

My sis-in-law, Yu-ting Tung Thompson, is my guest chef this week. She is from Taiwan and loves to cook. Like me, she hardly ever makes the same dish twice. I had a great time watching how precise she was in the kitchen, working with all her senses to make some fabulous food.

Shao Mai
2 chicken thighs
8 shrimps
4-5 dried shitaki mushrooms
1/4 cup bamboo shoots
1 teaspoon corn starch
wonton wrappers
some split peas for garnish

oyster sauce 1 tablespoon
sugar 1 teaspoon
soy sauce 1 teaspoon
pepper to taste
sesame oil 1 teaspoon
minced ginger about 1 teaspoon or more
minced green onions about 1 teaspoon or more

dipping sauce:
some thin-sliced ginger
soy sauce
sesame oil
rice vinegar
chili oil

Soak the shitaki mushruooms in hot water.

Peel and devein the shrimp

Chop the chicken until it is roughly ground (or use food processor). Dice the bamboo shoots and cut the shrimp into pieces. Dice the mushrooms. Mince the green onions and ginger.

Blend the chicken, shrimp, vegetables and seasonings. Using your hands work the cornstarch into the mixture.

Work a pocket in the wonton wrappers through your fist. Place a small amount of filling into the pocket and create a flower shape and place on a plate coated with flour.

Place one pea on top of each flower for decoration.

Boil water in a pot. Place cabbage leaves in the water until slightly soft. Arrange the leaves on the bottom of a bamboo steamer.

Place the shao mai on top of the leaves. Fix the bamboo steamer over the boiling water in the pot. Allow to steam for about 15 minutes or until the filling is cooked through.

They are done!

Combine dipping sauce ingredients and serve with shao mai.

Bonus Dish: Trout with ginger, onions, and shitaki mushrooms

Julienne ample amounts of ginger root, shitaki mushrooms, chili pepper, and green onion. Place trout in a steamer (or we used a baking pan in the oven). Cover with sesame oil, rice wine, and soy sauce. Cover and steam (or bake) until done.

Fun shopping and cooking:

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Ukrainian Borscht

When people ask if there is any food I don't like, I've always answered with "beets". For years I've tried to love them, because they are just so beautiful to look at, but to no avail. Yet... now I've found a recipe that I LOVE which traditionally gets it's color from beats. It's a wonderful, mild dish with full, but not too powerful, flavors. The seasonings are simple: fresh garlic, salt and pepper. The flavor comes from the tomato, beets, onion, and cabbage and is fabulous!

16 oz meat (your choice) I used stew beef but pork sausage or lamb is good too
2 T Olive oil
3 beets, peeled and shredded
3 carrots, peeled and shredded
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 onion, diced
6 oz tomato paste
1/2 head of cabbage, shredded
8 oz diced tomatoes in juice
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt & pepper to taste
1 tsp white sugar, (or to taste)
Sour cream for topping
Parsley for garnish

Cook the meat in oil until just brown. Boil 2 quarts of water in a large pot and add the meat. Add beets and boil until they lose their color.

Add carrots and potatoes garlic and onions to the pot. Cook for about 20 minutes or until tender. Add cabbage, tomato paste, diced tomatoes in juice, salt & pepper, and sugar to the pot and cook another five minutes or so.

Serve topped with sour cream and garnished with fresh parsley

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Old Fashioned Forgotten Cookies (Meringues)

I tried to find some history to tell you about meringue cookies, but everything on the internet that included "meringue" was about the dance. Maybe you can dance the meringue while waiting for your Forgotten Cookies.

These are not super healthy, but they do have protein and are low in fat and maybe better to snack on once in a while than some sweet treats. Most people have probably made or eaten Forgotten Cookies. I'm not sure where the recipe originated, but my mom used to make them and for some reason, knowing they were in the oven for hours and hours made them seem mysterious and exciting. The crisp meringue melts in your mouth and the rich chocolate surprise in the center is wonderful!

Mine are not so pretty. If you want beautiful meringues, leave out the chocolate chips and pipe them with a large cake-decorating tip.

2 egg whites
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup semi-sweet (dark) chocolate chips

Heat the oven to 350ºF. Turn off the oven. Whip the egg whites, salt and sugar together until stiff. Fold in the chocolate chips and vanilla.

Plop by spoonful on a cookie sheet (if you want you can line it with wax paper).

Put the cookies in the oven and leave them there for at least six hours or overnight. When they are extremely dry and crisp, they are done. If they stick to the pan it is because they are still too gooey. Let them dry completely. Store them in the open air or cover with a paper towel.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Irish Parsnip & Apple Soup

To celebrate the Irish-American holiday, St. Patrick's Day, this month, I'm posting an Irish soup that is sweet and light. Irish Parsnip & Apple Soup works great served as first course or along side a main dish. I love to combine it with a sandwich for lunch.

1 lb parsnips
1 lb turnips
3 Granny Smith apples
2 T olive oil
Salt & Pepper
2 cups apple cider
1 T butter & another 2 T olive oil
2 onions
3 leeks
1 potato
6 cups broth (vegetable or chicken)
thyme to taste
2/3 cup milk (or cream)

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Peel and cut the parsnips, turnips, apples, and potato into 1-inch pieces. Place the pieces in a 9x13" baking dish.

Pour 2T olive oil and apple cider over the root and apples. Bake in oven for 30 - 40 minutes.

Thinly slice the leeks and onions. In the bottom of a large pot, cook the onions and leeks in remaining olive oil and butter until soft.

Add broth to the pot. When roots and apples are soft, remove from the oven and add them to the pot.

Add millk or cream to the pot. Stir over heat until hot.

Blend in batches until smooth. Serve hot.