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‘main dish’ Category

  1. Adobo Chicken

    August 7, 2016 by Dan

    Chicken adobo has become one of our go-to dishes over the past few years. It’s a simple recipe that can be quickly whipped up on the stove top but is also an excellent use for our slow cooker.

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    In The Adobo Road Cookbook, Marvin Gapultos describes ‘adobo’ as “the Filipino method by which any meat, seafood, fruit, or vegetable is braised in a mixture containing vinegar, bay leaves, garlic, black pepper, and salt.” In most cases today the salt is provided by a soy sauce, which for us is tamari. Much to our delight adobo is an extremely flexible recipe that encourages variation and experimentation. That is, mistakes are generally tolerated and we can vary things up.

    The following is our slow cooker version adapted from the Adobo Road Cookbook.

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  2. Jun Jiu Kao (Pearl Balls)

    May 10, 2012 by brett

    Pearl Balls

    Some days are meant for sitting on the sofa and eating bon bons. While I admit bon bons are incredibly tasty (I had them just once and even made it a point to sit on the sofa while eating them), more often than not, I’ll make jun jiu kao when I’m in need of a comfort food fix.

    Jun jiu kao, or pearl balls, are savory steamed pork meatballs coated with a layer of glutinous rice (rest assured, it’s gluten-free) that is chewy and satisfying. These tasty mouthfuls are also a nice dumpling-type alternative when I want a dumpling but don’t feel like rolling out wrappers. Jun jiu kao are easy to make, easy to make ahead, and easy to reheat. They are great eaten hot, warm, or at room temperature. They’re not too shabby straight out of the fridge, too! Pearl balls make a great snack but can also be served as part of a larger meal. They make for popular party finger food as well. (more…)


  3. Chicken Tofu Gumbo Ya Ya

    May 3, 2012 by brett

    Chicken Gumbo Ya Ya
    Yup, you read right — gumbo with tofu. Now before ya’ll get started with me, let me start off by saying that if you’re allergic to soy, if tofu isn’t your thing, or if you believe in all that crazy hype about soy being bad for you, please, by all means, leave out the tofu. The gumbo will be just as tasty, though it will miss the added textural dimension and surprising “pops” of flavor provided by the deep-fried tofu, which soaks up the savory broth like nobody’s business.

    OK. Who’s still with me? (more…)


  4. “Catfish” Tofu

    April 6, 2012 by brett

    Catfish Tofu
    Tasty, easy, and fast, “Catfish” Tofu — which contains no catfish — is my primary go-to dish on nights when I’m too tired to do anything but am having one of those gotta-get-dinner-on-the-table-NOW-or-else-hungry-toddler-is-gonna-have-a-meltdown nights. (more…)


  5. Har Gow (Crystal Shrimp Dumplings)

    March 28, 2012 by brett

    Har Gow / Ha Gow / Crystal Shrimp Dumplings
    If you’ve been to a dim sum restaurant, you’ve probably had har gow (a.k.a. ha gow, crystal shrimp dumplings). When done right, har gow can be a revelation: shrimp, paired with bamboo and/or water chestnut/jicama, enveloped in a thin, chewy, yet luscious, translucent wrapper that teases and leaves a person craving more.
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  6. Italian Sausage

    March 19, 2012 by brett

    Pizza
    I love this sausage recipe, which comes from Jeff Smith’s wonderful cookbook, The Frugal Gourmet, a companion to his PBS cooking show, which I grew up watching. I use this sausage primarily as a pizza topping, but it would be great over rice, in a red sauce — whatever strikes your fancy. The above is a photo of a pizza I made that incorporates the sausage as one of its many toppings. (more…)


  7. Chicken Kelaguen

    March 19, 2012 by brett

    Kelaguen can be made with other protein sources, but chicken seems to be the favorite at the various fiestas, barbecues, and parties I’ve attended. Traditionally, the chicken is barbecued first, but to save time, I boil the chicken and then brown it in a dry skillet to achieve a similar effect. I picked up this tip from Annie, a great chef by all accounts and a member of our gracious “host” family in Saipan. (more…)


  8. Caramelized Shrimp with Garlic and Shallots

    January 20, 2012 by brett

    Caramelized Shrimp with Garlic and Shallots

    This is a great recipe for home cooks who are short on time but happen to have frozen, deveined shrimp on hand. Get a pot cooking with rice, boil some greens in water seasoned with salt and oil (or peel and slice up fresh cucumbers and serve raw), cook this shrimp dish, and viola! Instant balanced meal.

    The distinctive combination of caramelized sugar, fish sauce, and shallots as well as the use of raw herbs to finish the dish alerts you of this dish’s Vietnamese heritage. The cooking technique is clearly Chinese.

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  9. Cardamom Sweet Potatoes

    January 19, 2012 by brett

    Cardamom Sweet Potato Stew

    When our neighbors give us fresh purple yams from their farm, this recipe is what instantly comes to mind. Served over rice, this is one of the easiest and fastest meals possible. (more…)


  10. Thyme Lime Chicken

    September 25, 2006 by brett

    A family favorite, this no-salt-added dish is especially good for people who don’t have much time to cook, don’t want to hunt for unusual ingredients, must watch their salt intake, or all of the above. You basically put the chicken pieces in a pan, add three marinade ingredients on top, and put the whole thing in the oven. That’s it! (more…)