Gazpacho

So I was standing there, chopping veggies to make chopped salad (see previous example here), and wondering what to do with all that reserved tomato juice I had saved from the salad plus the lomi lomi salmon. Suddenly, a word popped into my noggin: Gazpacho! Oooh, I hadn’t had *that* in a while.

I like tomato-based soups, and gazpacho is one of my favorite variations of tomato soup, with that spark of spicyness from the raw garlic. A chilled soup would go along great with the chopped salad. So I went over to Epicurious and found this recipe

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Gazpacho-239209

It’s a pretty simple recipe, but one ingredient that was new to me was smoked Spanish paprika. And what do you know, we actually happened to have a package of that, that we purchased at the Penzey’s Spices store in Houston!

This was one of the best gazpachos I’ve made. It’s not too spicy, as I held back on the pepper and the raw garlic. That smoked Spanish paprika made the dish, I thought. Our friend raved about it, saying it was better than the one he had tasted in Italy that got him hooked on gazpacho in the first place.

This recipe is a keeper. I’m gonna make it again soon (of course, using only Annie’s homegrown tomatoes)!

Aloha, Nate

Hokkien Prawn Mee

When you talk of Hokkien Mee, you have to qualify yourself: do you mean KL-style Hokkien Char Mee, or Penang-style Hokkien Prawn Mee? The two couldn’t be more different. KL-style means thick, yellow noodles braised in a thick, dark soy sauce with pork, squid, fish cake and cabbage and, if you’re lucky, some crispy pieces of lard. Enjoy it with some pickled chile peppers for a spicy-vinegary kick.

Penang-style Hokkien Prawn Mee is a soup-noodle dish, using both egg and rice noodles. The broth is made from lots and lots of prawns, plush pork and / or chicken bones. The noodles come laden with prawns, fish cake, pork, and crispy fried shallots.

Annie adapted this Hokkien Prawn Mee recipe off of the Rasa Malaysia website. She made a stock from shrimp shells and pork bones with some rock sugar for sweetness. Egg and rice noodles go on the bottom, followed by shrimps, pork, and a hard boiled egg. Ladle on the rich broth (great, unctuous mouth-feel with little bits of pork fat floating in it), then top with fried shallots. Serve with a spoonful of chili sauce made from blended chiles, shallots, garlic, and oil.

Our shrimp stock is not as dark as Rasa Malaysia’s because we used mostly shells and not enough prawn heads. Next time, more heads!

Aloha, Nate

Sweet and Savory Biscuits

When I was growing up, we used to always have a can or two of Pillsbury biscuits in the fridge. They were just so convenient – just pop the can (always a lot of fun to see how far you could peel back the label before the internal pressure split the cardboard), lay out the biscuits on a tray, and bake them in the toaster oven. We would eat them with our spaghetti dinners, sopping up the sauce.

Annie recently had a little inspired moment with a can of Pillsbury biscuits. After baking, she split them, spread on some Nutella, added sliced strawberries, then topped with fresh whipped cream. At first it tasted weird to me because I felt the biscuits should have been served with something savory. But actually the slightly salty, buttery biscuit flavor went very well with the sweet fillings.

This is more along the lines of what I was thinking of making with those Pillsbury biscuits: ham, egg and cheese. I really like the flaky layers of these biscuits, as opposed to the wetter, crumbly ones you find at say KFC.

What’s your favorite way to eat biscuits?

Aloha, Nate

Cage Free vs Regular eggs

We go through a lot of eggs in the House of Annie, thanks to all the baking and cooking she does. We used to buy our eggs at Costco but recently have started buying them at Trader Joe’s. We find that they are actually slightly cheaper by the dozen at TJ than Costco.

One night, we noticed that the “cage-free” eggs were on sale for about the same price as the regular eggs. It must have been a misprint, as the cashier at first rang them up at a higher price before we insisted a runner go back and verify the lower price. Cage-free eggs are usually 2 to 3 times more expensive than regular eggs, but we managed to get them for the lower price that night. I’m sure they changed the sale price sign soon after.

What is the whole deal with “cage-free” vs regular eggs anyway?

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About Us

My Photo Annie is mistress of the kitchen while Nate is the master of the grill and smoker. We cook the homestyle Asian and Hawaiian foods of our younger days while also exploring the wider worlds of Western foods.

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