Monday, August 2, 2010

Ketchup or Catch Up

However you say it, I'm in need of both. Welcome to the world of blogging! I'm talking to myself by the way. I feel the need to constantly remind myself that every dish I make is worth blogging about, regardless if it turns out edible or not. Most of the time it is....I swear. Again, talking to myself.

Sigh, I digress. Okay....*deep breaths* HELLO READERS.

After much debate on which recipe I wanted to share I've decided to quickly bring you up to speed on the progression of past dishes. I've slowly worked my way from pulling dinner meals out of my butt (caution: do not try and visualize this image) to adopting others' recipes and simply adding my distinct twist. Oh, and by the way, I've started baking. Can you believe it? The fat kid is really bursting out of me now! I mean, I went from being the uber rolley poley, to a slim jim (goddamn puberty and boys) and then back around, inching my way (literally), into a potato bug. What can I say, I love food and I LOVE homemade food.

Some quick photos:

Meatloaf with scallion potatoes and lime fresh green beans with roasted almonds

Tomato & Mozzarella Salad and Steamed Clams

Mixed Greens with Bacon Pieces and Citrus

Spicy Marinade Chicken with Creamy Mashed Potatoes and Garlic Herb Brussel Sprouts

Cesaer Salad with Grilled Chicken

TADA! * Cartwheel * Backflip * into the ** SPLITS

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Return of the Mac..N Cheese

Hello friends. After a quasi-sabbatical, I'm back! Luckily, I haven't experimented or dabbled in new cuisines, until recently. So, let's bring it up to speed and put the peddle to meddle. (Burn some dust here, eat my rubber [clark griswold--anybody? anybody?])

Since I've started at Autonomy, the glory days of hip hop and rap have hippity hopped back from a memory long forgotten. Does anyone remember the jam, "Return of the Mack" by Craig Mack? If you don't, don't worry about it. I'll forgive you. Someday.

In honor of our music theme, I'm dedicating this food post to you, Craig Mack. This my shot out to: Return of the Mac...N Cheese.

1 Spicy Chicken Sausage, chopped
2 tbs minced shallots
Penne Rigate
1 cup Gruyere Cheese
1.5 cups Fontina Cheese
1. 5 cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese
2 tbs Butter
1 quart Heavy Cream
1.5-2 tbs of flour


1. In a medium-large sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat add minced shallots
2. Cook until soft. Add sausage and cook for 3-5 minutes.
3. Add cream and flour.
3. Mix in cooked penne.
4. In baking dish, butter the bottom and pour in penne inserting layers of cheese in between.
5. Place in preheated oven at 400*. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until cheese is melted.

If you're like me, you'll include an extra cup or two of cheese. Nothing like clogging up the pipes.


Thursday, June 25, 2009


Here's a photo of my recent soup attempt: Creamy carrot soup with fresh ground pepper

It's always a shame to find that a blog hasn't been updated on a consistent basis.  I, for one, am deeply disappointed in my sad attempt to post weekly, instead it appears that I'm on a month to month relationship with my blog.  "I promise I'll try harder".  

Soup is, hands down, my all time favorite food.  It never fails to lift my spirit and satisfy my appetite.  The thought of that warm liquid that awakens the back of my parched throat into my lonely stomach tends to immediately produce an uncontrollable drool effect.  No matter how warm or spicy the soup may be, like a moth to a flame, I keep going back for more. 

Noodle soups are a staple in many Southeast Asian countries.  In Vietnam it is common to find that noodles soups are served as a breakfast dish.  Pho (pronounced "fuh") is the Vietnamese noodle soup that I am happy to say would eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  A memorable reminiscence of my high school days would surely justify my previous comment.  

Also, on  my list of favorite soups:

- tomato bisque
- crab and corn soup
- Maryland Blue Crab Soup (my fiance makes THE best)
- lobster bisque
- creamy vegetable soup
- carrot dill soup

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Baked Halibut with Fresh Mango Salsa/Moroccan Spiced Quinoa Stuffed Bell Pepper/Summer Squash Delight

It's been over a week since my last post and I must say that I'm glad that I have a camera because Zeus only knows how forgetful I am. Last week I had mentioned that I would experiment with Quinoa (which I did) and I'm happy to report that it was a success. Wednesday's dinner consisted of Baked Halibut with Fresh Mango Salsa, Moroccan Spiced Quinoa Stuffed in a Red Bell Pepper with Aged Manchego Cheese and a Vegetable Medley with Fresh Corn and Summer Squash.

Before I spill the beans I have to stress the importance of fresh ingredients. I, for one, am a huge fan of farmer's markets and of course, Ranch 99 (the grocery mecca for Asian folks). Ranch 99 has fresh seafood from fish to crustaceans. Although for you squirmish friends this may not be so appealing as live fish are clobbered, gutted and fried (with their heads still attached) for your eating pleasure. Carrying on...they sell exotic fruits that I used to devour so frequently when I was a wee roly poly, like the Manila Mangos and proportionally unfathomable papayas.

*Quick Note: On a trip to Morocco I picked up their infamous Ras al-Hanut (a Moroccan spice blend). Inquiring about the availability of this pungent spice, my lovely Egyptian-Arabic girlfriend, Peri, had advised that it surely can be bought here in the states, but in specialty Middle Eastern markets. If for some reason you can't get your hands on this blend, here are the primary ingredients (I am not certain of the exact amount incorporated into the mix): cinnamon, tumeric, freshly ground pepper, freshly ground nutmeg, freshly ground cardamom seed and freshly ground clove.

Baked Halibut with Fresh Mango Salsa


Salt & Pepper

2 Manila Mangos
1 tbs Cilantro
1 small Red Onion
dash of Paprika
dash of Salt
dash of Cayenne
1 lemon


1. Lightly layer salt and pepper on both sides of halibut
2. Bake at 400 degrees F for 45 mins or until cooked thoroughly

1. dice mangos, dice red onion and chop cilantro and add to bowl
2. add paprika, salt and cayenne
3. squeeze 1/2 to 1 lemon for taste

Moroccan Spiced Quinoa Stuffed Bell Pepper


10 Fresh Shrimp
1 Red Bell Pepper
1 Onion
1 Scallion
5 Cloves of Garlic
2 Tbs of Cilantro
2 Stalks of Celery
2 Tbs of Ras al-Hanut
1-2 Cup of Chicken Broth
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Manchego Cheese Pieces

3 Red Bell Peppers (hollowed out)

1. cut and hollow out red bell pepper and place on baking sheet
2. cook 2-3 cups of quinoa in rice cooker or pan
2. in pan add evoo, minced fresh garlic, minced scallion, and minced onion - cook until translucent
3. add red bell pepper and celery - cook 2-3minutes
4. add shrimp cook until orange-hue
5. add cooked quinoa and a Tbs of EVOO and stir
6. add Moroccan blend and chicken broth
7. bring to high heat - mix well - let sit on low/med heat for 5 mins
8. add stuffing into bell pepper and finish with Manchego cheese
9. place in 400 degree oven for 10-15 mins

This post is dedicated to Lady Katie. Thanks for the wonderful idea!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Quinoa - Recipes anyone?

I received a rather inquisitive email from my friend, Katie, this afternoon.

"cooking question for you: have you cooked much with quinoa? i had it out recently and LOVED IT!! just not sure how to prepare it..."

Not only was I stumped by the question, but I was completely dumbfounded. My initial reaction was that is was some sort of couscous, but what did I know. Hence, my research of quinoa began...

Cultivated for of thousands of years in the lush Andes Mountains in South America, this grain- like seed was held scared by the Incas of Peru, Bolivia and Chile. Said to be a strong contender of the animal kingdom, this daunting plantae member contains an abundance of calcium and high amounts of protein along with all the 8 amino acids essential for humans and categorizing this unparalleled crop as a uniquely complete, protein source. A healthy alternative for vegetarians and vegans, many restaurants here in San Francisco serve quinoa. Check out Herbivore!

As for my friend, Katie's, "food for thought", this weekend I'm determined to play with this new found idea. Thanks for the inquiry! I've been desperately trying to find meaning of this life of mine..JK but honestly, I've looking to try a new recipe and just like nature intended, organically what will be, will be.

Thanks Katie! :)

Stay tuned as I'm thinking of spicing this quinoa with a Moroccan flair.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Rainy Days II

Part II. Food + cooking + eating + eating = Rochelle on a rainy day.

A couple years back Steve and I visited Thailand. Hands down, these were the sweetest and nicest people I've ever met. Unlike those ancient-crazed Chinese women in Chinatown (god bless their tiny little selves) Thai people are accommodating, helpful and the least bit pushy. While out there, we were lucky enough to be offered a private cooking lesson by our hotel management staff. Who could pass that up?

With over half a dozen kitchen employees providing all necessary ingredients, 5 different recipes and the utmost AWESOME one-on-one tutorial it would have been a travesty if we failed to remember any of it. Here are photos of the dinner prepared for this evening. Although I won't share the recipe tonight, I look forward to sharing them down the road. If you have any questions or would like to hear about them.....let me know. Otherwise, here is corn & crab soup, vegetable with prawn green curry and snow peas in sweet chili sauce.

Rainy Days

Rainy days make me want to stay in, be lazy and eat all day. As I sit here and stare out my window and into my garden I wonder, 'what shall I eat next?'. Currently growing in my garden are tomatoes, red bell peppers, squash and some herbs. I'm hoping by mid-fall they'll be ready for the picking, but who knows. This is my second attempt in harvesting vegetables. Last year was a complete failure. Like the moron that I am, I germinated and planted the seeds late last Fall. Not brilliant. Oh well, live and learn.

As I digress, tiny speckles of water fall from the sky. For lunch (wishing I had my garden vegetables to include) I made a grilled cheese sandwich with sauted onions and summer squash hugged by Jarlsberg and aged cheddar. Earlier in the day--pre-lunch I made homemade spicy hummus (I guess you could say it was brunch as it is Sunday...but according to my girlfriend Kimberly 'brunch' is typically noon or one, which I have seemed to mistake as 9-10 am one early morning).

Grilled Cheese Recipe

1 onion (sliced)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
2 small squash (chopped)
2-3 tbs butter
cheddar & jarlsberg cheese
1 tomato (sliced)
1 tbs oregano
1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
fresh french bread

1. slice bread and lightly butter top and bottom
2. add cheeses and sliced tomato sprinkle salt and pepper put in pre-heated oven at 400*
3. in pan add butter, garlic and onion--cook until transparent
4. include squash and cook on medium for 8-10 mins
5. cook on high for 5 mins or until onions brown, add lemon and oregano
6. place vege mix on top of the toasted cheese bread and enjoy!

Once again I would have had a picture of the sandwich but right now there is less than a bite left on Steve's plate; half of it holds on for dear life on his face. I consider taking his photo, but as he begins to snore I decide not to.