Archive | April, 2009

from late night to early morning

30 Apr

Here’s something to whip up in a really short amount of time for a lot of deliciousness. Last night my neighbors were cooking something that made me really want french toast, so I made a batch of my mom’s best french toast. It makes a really good midnight meal (with cold milk), and it also makes a really good breakfast. For 15 minutes, you get a snack before bed and toast and eggs the next day.

DSC_0001

Mrs. Ren’s French Toast
From my mom’s kitchen too =)

  • 4 slices of white bread*
  • 3 eggs
  • honey

Even though i used wheat, white bread works better because the honey stands out more.

Beat three eggs in a relatively wide bowl, like a soup plate. Drizzle honey to cover one side of each slice of bread. Put the slice of bread, honey side down, into the egg. Drizzle honey to cover the other side of the bread, then flip it over to coat the other side in egg.

Heat a nonstick frying pan on high heat. Put the egg-coated bread onto the pan, then turn the heat down to medium. After about a minute, gently loosen the toast from the pan, and flip it to cook the other side. After another minute, the toast should be cooked and lightly browned. If the egg is still soggy in the middle of the toast, keep on heat until it cooks.

If there’s leftover egg coating, you can turn that into scrambled eggs, but be warned: it’ll be sweet.

Length of procrastination: 15 minutes

Sweet mung bean soup (綠豆湯)

29 Apr

This is quite possibly the simplest soup you’ll ever make, short of heating up a can of Campbell’s or something. It’s perfect hot on a frigid winter morning or cold on a warm spring afternoon.

Sweet Mung Bean Soup (綠豆湯)
From my momma’s kitchen. No, really.

  • 1 small pack of mung beans (available at your local Asian supermarket)
  • sugar (preferably rock sugar, also available at your local Asian supermarket, but brown or white work as well)
  • a lot of water (roughly 1:4 ratio mung beans to water by volume)

Bring water to a boil. Add mung beans. Cover and cook until beans are soft, about 30 minutes. Add sugar to taste.

That’s all there is to it. Told you it was easy. Stick it in the refrigerator if you want to drink it cold.

Length of procrastination: 30 minutes

Ways to prolong procrastination: Pour leftover soup into an ice tray, cover with saran wrap, stick toothpicks in each compartment. Freeze, and you have yourself mung bean popsicles!

asian lettuce wraps

23 Apr

in preparation for the Columbia taekwondo tournament, many people are probably cutting weight and eating very little. here’s a way to kick the boredom of your old salad and put some spice into that leftover head of lettuce. or, you could just make these lettuce wraps because they’re so damn tasty. p.f. chang’s got nothing on us!

lettuce-wraps

lettuce wraps with furikake and rice cake crumble

ingredients
1 head of lettuce
3 mushrooms
1 medium carrot
1 celery stem
1 white onion
1 clove garlic
1 chicken breast (optional)
olive oil
sesame oil
mushroom flavored soy sauce
1 unflavored rice cake
furikake topping

Dice the carrot, celery, mushrooms and onion. The pieces should be small but can still be chunky for texture. Crush and dice the garlic. In a sautee pan, heat olive oil and brown the garlic, then add the carrot and celery Sautee until the ingredients are starting to soften, and add the mushroom and onion. Add soy sauce and sesame oil to coat all the ingredients. Cook until onion is caramelized.

lettuce-wrap-ingredients

If making chicken lettuce wraps, cut the chicken breast into chunks, and cook in olive oil. Add sesame oil, soy sauce, and salt and pepper to taste. After chicken is thoroughly cooked, remove from heat, and on a chopping board, further cut the chicken into small chunks. Mix in with the vegetable ingredients.

Crush the rice cake using a spoon in a bowl, or just using your hands.

Arrange the lettuce wraps. For each wrap, spoon out some filling into the middle of a large (contiguous) piece of lettuce. Sprinkle rice cake crumble and furikake on top, wrap, and enjoy.

lettuce-wrap-close

Length of procrastination: 20-30 minutes
Ways to prolong procrastination: Hold a charity fundraiser and serve lettuce wraps as finger food, along with pineapple skewers (recipe to come) and mushroom crescents

veggie lasagna

23 Apr

ok it’s been a while. all this time we’ve been eating nothing but salad so it’s time to catch up with a delicious lasagna. this is the same one i made for christine in order to return her apple pie container. an added bonus: this lasagna is also pretty low fat and high in nutrients. just don’t eat too much if you are lactose intolerant.

dsc_0045

Spinach Lasagna with Summer Vegetables

Ingredients
6-9 strips of lasagna pasta
2 small zucchini
2 small yellow squash
5 white mushrooms or 1 portabello cap
1 red onion
1 bag of baby spinach leaves
2-4 cloves garlic
1 jar of tomato sauce
1 medium container (8 oz) fat free ricotta cheese
1 bag of shredded low fat mozarella
olive oil
oregano
thyme
salt
pepper

Bring a pot of water to a boil, and cook the lasagna strips. Place the strips in at different angles so they don’t stick together. When the lasagna is soft, drain and put the strips into a container of ice water.

Slice the zucchini, squash and mushroom into thin layers. Dice the onion and garlic. In a sautee pan, heat a small amount of olive oil. Add in garlic, and before the garlic browns, add the onion and mushroom. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sautee until the onion is starting to caramelize, then remove from heat.

In a sautee pan, add a thin layer of olive oil, and spread the slices of zucchini and squash around the pan. When the slices start to cook through and turn transparent, flip them and cook the other side. Add some salt and pepper to taste, as well as a sprinkling of oregano and thyme if desired. Remove from heat when the vegetables are tender.

Preheat the oven for 375. I used a thin pan that is usually used to bake bread, because i find the lasagna more interesting as a loaf. Using your fingers or a paper towel, thinly coat the bottom of the pan with a little olive oil. Cover the bottom of the pan with 2 strips of lasagna. If you are using a regular cake/casserole tray, cover with three strips.

With a spoon, spread ricotta cheese over the pasta. For our fat free ricotta, it was more like dropping spoonfuls until the bottom was covered. Above that, spread the mushroom and onion, then layer squash and zucchini. Cover that with a layer of baby spinach. Finally, pour a layer of tomato sauce over all the ingredients.

Repeat with another set of pasta, ricotta, mushroom and onion, squash and zucchini, spinach, and tomato sauce.

For the top, put a third layer of pasta and a layer of ricotta cheese. On top of that, cover with tomato sauce, then sprinkle mozarella thickly over the very top. At this point, you may have to compress everything so it fits into the baking tray, so compress using a second baking tray when you put the final layer of pasta but before the ricotta cheese is put on.

Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes.

dsc_0046

Total procrastination: about 1.5 hrs

Procrastinating procrastination

5 Apr

Bobby and I have gotten procrastination down to an art. Not only do we cook to procrastinate, we also procrastinate cooking and procrastinate blogging about cooking once we’ve finally done it. Observe:
apples
March 10
C: “Let’s bake apple pie for pi day!”
B: “Okay!”

March 14
C: “I’m kinda tired.”
B: “Yeah, me too. Let’s make pie some other time.”

March 28
B: “Let’s make pie.”
C: “Okay!”
B and C: *make pie…several hours later*

March 29
C: “Let’s blog about pie.”
B: “No, you do it.”
C: “Okay, later.”

March 30
C: “We should blog about pie.”
B: Zzz…
C: “Okay, maybe later.”

April 1
C: *blogs about pie during class* Bobby, I need pictures from your camera.
B: Okay.

April 2
C: Bobby, I need pictures from your camera.
B: Okay. *uploads pictures onto his laptop*

April 3
C: Bobby, I need pictures from your camera.
B: …

April 5
C: Post!
B: Ok I’m done.

So! Twenty-one days after pie was supposed to happen, we present to you apple pie…

pie-cut

Apple Pie (Called “Bobby’s Apple Pie, Lovingly Baked by Mark and Christine” at 2008 MIT Sport TKD Winter Banquet)
Bastardized from Smitten Kitchen

Lattice Crust

  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 7 tbsp all-vegetable shortening, diced (don’t think about it…just use it)
  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter, diced
  • ~10 tbsp ice water

Apple Pie Filling

  • 5 medium Granny Smith apples
  • 1 medium MacIntosh apple (in discussing this blog post, Bobby and I realized why Apple computers are called Macs)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 crapton cinnamon (to taste; other spices including nutmeg and allspice may be used, too)
  • 1 egg white, beaten lightly

For the crust…

Combine flour, salt, and sugar in large bowl. Fold in butter and shortening using a fork or spatula until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Add ice water and knead with your hands until a dough forms. More water may be necessary, but be careful not to make the dough mushy.

Divide dough into two halves and flatten both. Place one disk in a pie tin and cover the other with aluminum foil (what we used) or saran wrap (what we should’ve used). Refrigerate for 45 minutes to an hour while you make the filling.

For the sweet and gooey…

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Peel, core, and dice all the apples. Combine apples, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon (and other spices, if applicable), flour, and salt in a large bowl and mix until all the apples are covered. Taste testing is highly encouraged. Turn apples into dough-covered pie tin.

cinnamon-apples

Cut the second dough disk into strips and make lattice crust. Smitten Kitchen has an excellent method here.

lattice
making-lattice
finished-lattice

Brush egg white over crust (we just used a fork, but if you have a paintbrush, by all means…). The remaining dough can be used creatively.

egg-and-heart

Place pie on lowest level of oven and bake until crust is golden, about 25 minutes. Lower oven to 375 degrees, rotate pie, and bake until the juices bubble, about another 30 minutes. Note that at this point, the pie filling is extremely hot. We know you want to eat it, but for the love of your tongue please let your pie cool!

pie

Serves between 1 and 8, depending on slice size and selfishness factor.

Length of procrastination: 2.5 hours

Ways to prolong procrastination: Bake the pie in a dorm kitchen instead of in Bobby’s kitchen. Run between the kitchen in the basement and Christine’s room on the third floor every five minutes to retrieve forgotten ingredients or utensils.

%d bloggers like this: