Single-serve Garlic Fried Rice recipe

I kept reading through my notes but I really can’t find the original recipe I wrote for this, though I’m positive I wrote it down somewhere. So now I had to recreate it 3 times (hence the different color of garlic chips, and FYI, I prefer light golden) to get as close to the original as possible. But I honestly think there is something else missing or something needs to be changed, like instead of low sodium soy sauce maybe in the original I used Filipino soy sauce. Or maybe I added garlic powder in addition to garlic-pepper. Really can’t remember. But no worries, this one is good, too. I just really wanted to find and share the original because I made it after we came back from our second vacation in the Philippines where my older sister cooked garlic fried rice for breakfast every morning and my husband said it was better than my sister’s. And my sister is a very good cook!

It is almost a must to serve garlic fried rice with fried eggs, but even better if you serve it with some kind of a salty meat like spam, and garlic-vinegar dipping sauce. Now when I say fried eggs, I mean sunny side up, over easy, or over medium. That runny yolk is tasty mixed in with the rice!

I know it says single-serve but I actually shared this with my kid. So I guess it just depends on your appetite.

Single-serve Garlic Fried Rice

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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ingredients:
• 1 cup cooked day-old rice
• 1 tbsp grapeseed oil (or any neutral oil such as canola)
• 1 tbsp unsalted butter
• 4 garlic cloves, chopped
• ¼ tsp kosher salt
• ¼ tsp garlic-pepper seasoning (McCormick Salt Free)
• 1 tsp low sodium soy sauce
• 1 scallion, sliced for garnish

instructions:
1)  Mix rice with salt and garlic-pepper; set aside.
tip: Use a silicone spatula.
2)  Add oil, butter, and garlic in an 8-inch cold skillet. Turn the heat on to low and fry garlic until golden, about 7 minutes, stirring often especially in the last 2 minutes of toasting. When golden, turn the heat off and let garlic cool for 1-2 minutes. This cooling period will also help rid most of the bubbles. Scoop garlic out into a small dish, leaving all the grease in the skillet; set garlic aside.
3)  Pour off 1 tbsp of grease into another small dish and set aside. This reserved grease is for frying eggs.
4)  Return skillet to stove and turn the heat on to medium-low. When skillet is hot, add rice, quickly toss it around to coat with the grease, and spread it in a single layer. Cook for 1 minute, undisturbed.
5)  Add most of the fried garlic, toss around and spread rice in a single layer again. Cook for 1 minute. Add soy sauce and toss around 30 seconds. Off the heat.
6)  Transfer fried rice to a plate, top with the remaining fried garlic and sprinkle with sliced scallions.
tip: Serve with fried eggs with a runny yolk.

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No-Bake Mini Nutella Cheesecake Pie recipe

First post of 2017! Why not start the new year off with something sweet? And it’s an easy one, too!
Last year’s first post: Crab and Shrimp Bucatini.

I first had a taste of chocolate cheesecake when I was working as a medical receptionist. The drug ladies aka pharmaceutical sales reps would bring us treats and goodies in hopes that our facility would buy whatever they were selling. I never really liked cheesecake but this one time they brought in the chocolate version! Chocolate is one of my weaknesses and I had to get a bite. A bite turned into two, then a slice.

We had a pack of mini graham cracker crusts in the pantry and a jar of Nutella. Oddly enough, we also had cream cheese in the fridge. Odd because we don’t usually buy cream cheese and I don’t even remember why we had it in the first place. Well, I had to do something with that cream cheese and the mini crusts (which I remember we bought around Christmastime), and chocolate cheesecake came to mind. This recipe won’t have a strong Nutella taste, just a hint. My husband isn’t a big fan of Nutella even though he’s Italian. Now let’s get started.

FYI, I know the picture shows 5 mini pies but the filling actually makes 6. My kid and I may or may not have had one too many filling taste-test  😉

No-Bake Mini Nutella Cheesecake Pie

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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ingredients:
• 1 6-pack mini Keebler Ready Crust Graham
• 1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
• ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
• ¹⁄3 cup Nutella
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• ¹⁄8 tsp fine sea salt
• ¾ cup powdered sugar
• 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
• whipped cream for garnish, optional

instructions:
1)  Add cream cheese, butter, Nutella, vanilla extract, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat with a hand mixer until well combined and the color becomes lighter.
2)  Gradually add powdered sugar, in three batches, making sure the mixture is well blended after each batch. Add cocoa powder and mix until smooth.
3)  Spoon ample amount of filling into each mini crusts. Using a small offset spatula or butter knife, press the filling down and either smooth out the top or make a dome-shaped top. Transfer the mini pies to a sheet pan and into the freezer for 3 hours.
tip: Line the sheet pan with foil or wax/parchment paper for easy clean up.
4)  Transfer the sheet pan to the fridge until ready to serve.
5)  Top with whipped cream for garnish, if desired.
tip: Topping the mini pies with berries such as raspberries and strawberries is always a nice complement. A drizzle of dulce de leche is also a nice touch.

Shrimp Alfredo recipe

Thanksgiving is coming up and I’ve been trying to perfect my recipe for green bean casserole. It’s not quite ready yet so here’s a substitute to fill in. Even if I nail it this week I probably wouldn’t be able to post it in time for Thanksgiving. Forgive me.

I think I’ve only specified what size shrimp to use only once in my past recipes — it’s the Lemony Garlic and Herb Shrimp. Just like with that recipe, I think it’s better to use larger size shrimp for this one as it looks better on the plate. Jumbo size shrimp count is typically 21-25 per lb.

Shrimp Alfredo

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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For the Pasta
ingredients:
• ½ lb fettuccine or linguine pasta
• 1 tbsp kosher salt
• water

instructions:
1)  Bring a pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add salt and pasta, give it a stir. Cook to al dente according to package directions. Before draining pasta, save ¼ cup of pasta water; set aside.

For the Sauce
ingredients:
• 1 lb jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 4 tbsp unsalted butter
• 8 oz white button mushrooms, sliced
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• ½ cup heavy cream
• ¼ cup whole milk ricotta
• 1 egg yolk, beaten
• 1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated
• 1 tsp kosher salt, divided use
• ¹⁄8 tsp + ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
• Italian flat-leaf parsley for garnish

instructions:
1)  Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add shrimp, season with ¼ tsp salt and ¹⁄8 tsp pepper. Toss shrimp around then arrange in a single layer. Cook each side just until it starts to turn pink, about 1 to 1½ minute per side. Transfer shrimp to a plate.
2)  Add mushrooms to the same pan and cook for 3 minutes, tossing occasionally. Add garlic, continue to cook for 1 minute.
3)  Add butter, heavy cream, and ricotta. Stir around until butter and ricotta are melted. Turn off the heat.
4)  Temper the egg yolk by gradually adding a little bit of the alfredo sauce to the yolk while whisking constantly. Add the tempered yolk to the sauce. Turn the heat on to low and stir around.
5)  Add the shrimp and half of the cheese, stir until cheese is melted.
6)  Add pasta, ¾ tsp salt, and ½ tsp pepper; toss to coat. Add the rest of the cheese and reserved pasta water, continue to toss until everything is well combined. Turn off the heat.
tip: Do not toss for too long. Once the sauce/cheese starts to get stringy, turn off the heat.
7)  Garnish with parsley leaves and serve.

Chashu Pork recipe

What’s the first thing that came to your mind when you saw the title? Ramen?! Gosh, great minds think alike! I haven’t had the time to make my tonkotsu broth because it takes a really long time to make. But hey, if you’ve got a good ramen recipe then simply top it off with this chashu pork!

This is actually my easier and quicker version of chashu pork. My original one is a slab of pork belly rolled and tied with kitchen twine that simmers for more than 4 hours. Someday I’ll share that one with you 😉 But I know you’ll appreciate the quicker prep and cooking time, so let’s get started!

Chashu Pork

  • Servings: varies
  • Difficulty: easy
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ingredients:
• 1.5 lbs sliced pork belly
• 1 cup water
• ½ cup low sodium soy sauce
• 2 tbsp sake
• 1 tbsp mirin
• 1 shallot, halved
• 5 garlic cloves, smashed
• 2 scallion, cut to big pieces
• 1 tsp grated ginger, packed
• 3 tbsp light brown sugar

instructions:
1)  Place pork belly in a zip top bag over a plate. Mix the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and pour this marinade over the pork. Massage the marinade into the meat then squeeze as much air out of the bag as you can and seal it. Refrigerate for 6 hours to overnight.
2)  When ready, take the bag out of the fridge to let pork come to room temperature for 30 minutes, then transfer all of the contents of the bag into a wide, shallow pan. Arrange the slices into a single layer. Turn the heat on to medium-high to bring it to a simmer. Once at a simmer, reduce heat to low and put the lid on. Simmer for 2 hours, turning the pork halfway through.
3)  After 2 hours remove the lid and continue to simmer for 15 minutes. Turn the heat off and let pork cool in the sauce for 30 minutes to 1 hour, turning halfway through.
4)  Transfer pork to a paper towel-lined plate and pat dry with another paper towel. Heat a skillet with a little bit of oil or nonstick spray over medium-high heat. Sear the pork on both sides until the edges are little bit charred. Alternatively, you may place the slices of pork under the broiler.
5)  Serve chashu pork on top of ramen, in a lettuce wrap, or simply with rice.

Seasoned Home Fries recipe

Well, hello there! You know what I’m craving for at this very moment? Those cheese fries I had in the Philippines! It’s french fries dusted with cheese powder. Does that sound weird? No, you’re weird! And those cheese-dusted fries are delicious!

But this recipe isn’t that of the cheese-dusted fries I speak of, unfortunately. Sorry to burst your bubble. I enjoyed it. Just kidding! Let’s forget what just happened.

Seasoned Home Fries

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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ingredients:
• ¾ lb Yukon gold potatoes, peeled & diced
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 1 tbsp unsalted butter
• ½ tsp seasoned salt (Lawry’s Less Sodium)
• ¼ tsp kosher salt
• freshly ground black pepper
• about 5 grinds smoked sea salt
• ½ tsp garlic powder
• ½ tsp smoked paprika
• 1 tbsp chives, chopped + more for garnish
• ¼ tsp rosemary, minced
• Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated

instructions:
1)  Wash potatoes in cold water, drain well, then pat dry with paper towels.
2)  Transfer potatoes in a bowl and add seasoned salt, kosher salt, pepper, smoked sea salt, garlic powder, and smoked paprika; toss to coat.
3)  Heat oil and butter over medium heat.  When butter is all melted and the pan is hot, add the potatoes in a single layer. Cook undisturbed for 8 minutes.
4)  Flip the potatoes and arrange them in a single layer, then reduce heat to low; cook for 5 minutes undisturbed.
5)  Sprinkle the herbs and continue to cook for 1 minute before tossing everything around.
6)  Sprinkle freshly grated cheese to cover the top and let that melt for 1 minute.
7)  Off the heat. Serve with a garnish of chopped chives and more grated cheese, if desired.