Char Siu Quesadillas

October 25, 2011

Whew.  Making this little recipe wore me out – literally.  I passed out for a while after eating so much.  This food was so good I literally teared up a little bit.  It’s been a while since that has happened, so I definitely needed to post on my blog and share it with the world!

Everyone knows that LA is going through a food fusion phase, aided by the movement (literally) of food trucks.  But this movement has actually been going on for a while.  This recipe for Char Siu Quesadillas* that I found in Martin Yan’s cookbook, Martin Yan’s Chinatown Cooking, was actually taken from a chef from Honolulu.  It’s quite easy and result is amazing.

You will need a slew of ingredients including Jicama, tomatoes, onion, green onions, cilantro, salt, vegetable oil, garlic, char siu (a kind of Chinese pork), roasted duck, Chinese sausage, hoisin sauce, chili garlic sauce, flour tortillas, and mozarella cheese.

Now this recipe calls for water chestnuts but uses Jicama as a substitute.  Since I have never used Jicama, I really wanted to give it a try.  In order to peel jicama, cut off the top and then use your fingers or your knife (careful!) to peel away the skin.  You don’t want to use a vegetable peeler because the skin is too tough and thick.  It’s pretty easy to peel off, though.

Now in order to make the salsa, chop up a fourth of the jicama into small pieces.  Add your chopped tomatoes, diced onions, diced green onions, minced cilantro, and salt to taste.  Mix well and set aside.  Next, you’re going to cut up your char siu, roast duck meat, and chinese sausage.

Heat a pan over high heat and add about a tablespoon of oil.  Throw in some chopped onion and 1 minced garlic and cook for about 30 sec.  Once that is cooked, add your meats and some green onion.  You will need to cook this for a little while longer because the Chinese sausage is raw.  Once all the meat is cooked, remove from the heat and stir in some hoisin sauce and chili garlic sauce.  It should look like this:

Next, you’re going to heat up a frying pan and place a tortilla on it.  This way you’ll get a nice crunchy tortilla shell.  While that is heating on the pan, place a slice of mozzarella cheese on top.  Then sprinkle the top with onions and cilantro leaves.  Add the meat filling, and then top again with another slice of mozzarella cheese and a tortilla.

Allow the cheese to melt for a little bit, then flip the whole thing over (like making a grilled cheese sandwich).  When all the cheese has melted to your liking and the tortillas have become slightly toasted, remove from the pan.

Serve with the salsa (which is decidedly refreshing and a great compliment to the warm gooeyness of the quesadilla).  Enjoy!


October 19, 2011

A few weeks ago, my sister came to town to visit me. :)  I took her all around Los Angeles – we visited the beach, as well as Little Tokyo, and we also went to Olvera Street.  It was there that she introduced me to Horchata, and once I had some, I knew I had to try to make some of my own using this recipe.* It was an extremely easy recipe, all you need is some rice, water, milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, sugar, and some patience.

You’ll need some long grain rice and some water.  Put these in a blender and blend until the rice begins to break up.  Then let this mixture of rice and water sit at room temperature for around 3 hours.

After you have left the rice water standing for 3 hours, strain the rice and keep the water.

Next, add some milk, vanilla extra, cinnamon and sugar.

Mix well, and serve chilled and or with ice.

This recipe was super easy to make – but beware, it is super sweet!


Birthday Highlights

October 17, 2011

It was recently my birthday and it was glorious and beautiful and I felt the birthday love from everyone!  Here were some highlights from my day:

Started the day off right with a power shake (golden kiwi, dragon fruit, watermelon, banana, blueberries and milk!) and a biscotti :)

Stumbled upon a used book sale!

Beautiful flowers from my friend :)

Cupcake baking :)

I LOVED this sprinkle pallet! I call it…Monster Mash :)  Thanks for the love everyone!





I love reading food blogs and when one of them featured a recipe* for home made bulgogi, I knew I had to try it.  It is really easy to make and quite tasty!

You’ll need thinly sliced pork belly, a yellow onion, a green onion, Korean red chilli pepper paste, Korean red chilly pepper flakes, soy sauce, rice wine, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and pepper!

You’re basically going to mince/chop everything and combine to make a marinade.  Then you’re going to take the pork belly slices and cut them into 1 inch long pieces.

Mix the pork in the marinade and allow to sit for at least one hour.

Then, simply pan fry.  The pork belly slices should develop a nice crust.

I also made some Korean pancake and rice on the side. :)

Penne with Shrimp and Herbed Cream Sauce

October 10, 2011

This Penne with Shrimp and Herbed Cream Sauce* is the perfect dinner for a romantic date night, or even dinner for the family.  It was super easy to make and really, really good!  A penne pasta with garlic roasted shrimp and light cream sauce? My idea of perfection. :)

You’ll need some penne pasta, olive oil, shrimp (I defrosted frozen shrimp), garlic cloves, salt, pepper, canned tomatoes, basil leaves, flat leaf Italian parsley, crushed red pepper flakes, white wine, clam juice, heavy whipping cream, and grated Parmesean cheese. :)

I defrosted 1 lb of shrimp by running it under cool water and placing it in a bowl for about 7-8 minutes.  While this was defrosting, I boiled some salted water and prepared my penne pasta.

You’ll need to chop the basil and Italian parsley, as well as mince 4 garlic cloves.  Set all of this aside.  Take the canned tomatoes and drain them.  Roughly chop those as well.

Once the pasta is done, drain and set aside.  Take a pan (I used my handy dutch oven) and heat 1/4 cup of olive oil over medium high heat.  Add the minced garlic.  Then add the shrimp, garlic, salt and pepper.  Cook and stir the shrimp (after it defrosts be sure to drain all the excess water out) so it gets cooked thoroughly and turns pink.  Once the shrimp is cooked through (the aroma is AMAZING with the garlic), remove from the pan.

In the same sauce, add the parsley and basil.  Also add the chopped tomatoes, and red pepper flakes.  Cook this for about 2 min and then add the wine, clam juice and heavy cream.  Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat a bit.  Simmer until the sauce begins to thicken.

Dump in the drained pasta as well as the shrimp.  Add Parmesan cheese and toss the whole mixture so the pasta is coated with the sauce.  Remove from the heat and add more Parmesan cheese.

Not gonna lie, I ate two bowls of this in one setting.  The sauce is perfect! So light but tasty.  And I love how the recipe uses herbs to infuse the pasta with flavor.