Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hoisin Garlic Beef Roast

A few days ago, I got an email from my friend Ann, asking me how to make a beef roast using Asian ingredients.  I sent  her my Hoisin Garlic Beef Roast, a recipe  which I developed for a client  a few months ago.

So today she called back telling me how the roast "sealed her fate".  She said her boyfriend thinks she's a keeper...LOL!

"Why don't you have that posted in your blog" she asked.

"Because I still have to take a better picture" I said.

"No, you must post that today"  she insisted.    I will attest that it's a roast to impress"

So upon Ann's suggestion, I am posting this "roast to impress"...  The picture may not say so, but I was compelled to post it anyway as she suggested.  I hope you give it a try  and tell me if it does  the same magic as it did to my friend Ann.

Hoisin Garlic Beef Roast


7 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp oyster sauce
3 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
2-3 lbs. sirloin roast


Wash the roast and pat to dry.
Make a slit on the sides of the roast, and insert garlic cloves.
Mix  the first three ingredients and rub a generous amount around the roast.
Refrigerate for an hour or at best, overnight.

To cook evenly, the roast must be at room temperature. Let it stand for about 3 to 4 hours at room temperature. This is a great way to cook the roast evenly.You don't want your roast to be well done on the sides then raw in the middle. Another valuable tip is to tie the roast around.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Use a heavy stainless steel roasting pan and place the roast. 
Put the oven temperature at 450 degrees F to sear the rib roast. This will take about 15-20 minutes.
Then turn the oven to 325 degrees F for the rest of the cooking time,
Cook until  roast reaches an internal temperature of 130-140 degrees F. Make sure to check the internal temperature by inserting the thermometer right in the center of the rib.
Remove from oven and let the roast sit approximately 15 to 20 minutes covered with foil before serving.

Slice the meat across the grain with  your desired thickness.  Serve with blanced bok choy on the side.  No dipping is necessary as the beef is succulent and very flavorful. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

adobo wrap with pineapple vinaigrette

Between unpacking boxes, exploring the new city and adjusting to a new job, forging new friendships is one of the daunting tasks associated with moving.  So when we learned of a wine tasting event at the lobby of our loft, my husband and I knew it was a good way to meet new friends.   It's a little awkward not knowing anyone. You navigate around people and it feels like speed dating! But once you get a connection, and say the words " Really? me too!" a potential friendship begins.

So after that evening of wine tasting, I received a text message the following day.  And thanks to my four semesters of  studying French , I was able to give my phone number in French to Emily, mon nouvel amie.

Would you like to join us for a ladies' evening? We will watch the season opener of Desperate Housewives came the text message.

Before I could even realize that I never watch the series,  I typed in Y-E-S then pressed sent.

Great was the reply.  I will have some pizza and drinks but feel free to bring some food.

While I was deliberating on what food to bring, I saw a note on my Facebook wall from Divya,  the daughter of my dear friend Nimmi B from Florida. On her note, Divya asked me how I make my adobo. Ta-dah... there it was an A-HA moment!  I remember how we met the B's: Both of our families just moved to Florida at that time, met in a church event, had some "Really, me too!"  connections then  our friendship flourished through constant get togethers. Filipino dishes like adobo were prepared on my end and warm nan along with her spicy curry dishes at their house.  With that in mind, I was convinced that  bringing Adobo wraps to Emily's place will be the start of a new friendship in a new place. Thank you Divya for the inspiration!

Adobo Wrap with Pineapple Vinaigrette 

For the adobo: (and Divya this is specially for you!)
 There are so many variations in making adobo.  I like to keep mine simple.  Also, adobo is better as it sits longer, so I usually make a big pot of adobo and hang on to the left-overs.  To get an authentic adobo taste, I would advice using  Filipino vinegar and soy sauce.  You could buy them from any Asian Store.

 2-3 lbs. pork/chicken
3/4 c vinegar
1/2 c soy sauce
4 cloves of garlic (minced)
3 bay leaves (crushed)
3/4 c water (you could add more as needed)

In a saucepan, combine all the wet  ingredients and crushed garlic together. Let it simmer.  Add black pepper and crushed bay leaves.  Allow the ingredients to fuse in together for a few more minutes then you are ready to add the pork/ chicken. Cook for about 30 minutes. (For Divya, you stop here. Adobo is cooked and ready to be eaten... that simple.  But for this particular wrap, please continue) Drain the pork and set aside the sauce as you will need it later on for the romaines. Let it cool.   Slice the cooked adobo into cubes (bite size)

1/2 c pineapple juice
1/2 c apple cider
2-3 tbsp rum (optional but highly recommended as this was suggested by my friend Basil, and it definitely added the zing!)
salt and pepper to taste.
1/4 c white sugar (you could add more if you want it a little sweeter)
2-3 tbsp olive oil

In a separate pan, combine all ingredients and let it simmer, Continue to stir until the sugar dissolves.  Let it cool.. Pour the sauce mixture in a bowl.  Add 2-3 tbsps of olive oil.  Whisk it together.  This will serve as your dressing.

For the wrap we need:
Boiled eggs
Pineapple chunks
Romaine (hand torn)
Tomatoes (sliced)

In a bowl, toss the romaine with the adobo sauce. Layer all the other ingredients, tomatoes, sliced boiled eggs, pineapple chunks, grapefruit slices and cashews. Drizzle a generous amount of the Pineapple/Vinegar/Rum dressing.  On a flat surface. lay a piece of tortilla wrapper.  Put the tossed ingredients in the middle, add  adobo cubes  and roll it tightly to make a nice wrap... Enjoy!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Taste of St. Louis: My Gateway to the City

As I told you in my previous post, when we arrived in St. Louis last week the sky glowed with the Annual Balloon Race held right across the street from where we live at Forest Park.  I was enthralled to say the least because of the festive mood of the evening, and to see the groups of people walking towards the park.  So this weekend there is another event to attend:  the award-wining Taste of St. Louis.  It's a weekend celebration of food, music, art, and did I say FOOD?  Oh yes indeed, as there is a collection of FOOD tents pitched on a street (Restaurant Row) covering 4 city blocks.  I was so concentrated on food, I didn't realize that there are other activities going on around me.  It includes the Chef Battle Royale held at the Culinary Stage sponsored by Lumiere Place and River City Casino, the Art & Wine Walk held just north of Restaurant Row, the Charter Marketplace - with vendors displaying their products and interactive presentations, and Andy's Seasoning Showcase Stage and Dining Area with culinary showcases and artist demonstrations. 

Well you can't blame me, this is my first time, I didn't know what to expect and I didn't know that they shut down a few blocks of downtown and not just one street... hahaha.  Lesson learned: I should look at the Event Map, or better yet, read more about the event before riding the train and heading off.  I could still swing by today to take part in the other events. Also, my hubs wants to go watch the English Beat playing tonight.

So, I won't keep you waiting as here are the photos I took yesterday.  It was a lovely Saturday (I guess we brought the San Diego weather haha!) and hopefully will be the same on Sunday.

see the smoke?  we followed a few as if they were smoke signals...

...and the first smoke trail took us here!

the line was looong... but we lined up just like the rest.

they are pig crazy here...

and PIGged out!

after 25 minutes, comes the reward...

BBQ Ribs + Beer = PIGfect!
the huge stage where bands played all day... Fitz and the Tantrums played Sat. night

...the crowd is getting bigger 
the Drunken Fish was another tent with long lines... 

more BBQ Ribs: Rib City and we also tried Roper's Beef Brisket sandwich. It was so good!

It did get crowded around late afternoon.

Ethiopian food...

Coming from Cali, this sign seems odd...

... the map was there, how could have i missed it?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Bacon-Covered Lamb Musubi

I love being in an airport. To me, the airport is like a big space of live entertainment. Nothing beats the real-time drama of a son hugging his mom goodbye. Nothing beats the real-time thrill of passengers running to catch their flights, or the excitement of a little girl with her own backpack marching towards her plane along the tarmac, or the joy of seeing an elderly couple holding hands while waiting to board.

During a recent trip, my flight was delayed due to bad weather in the northeast. With less than 20 minutes to spare, I had to run from Concourse A to Concourse C to catch my connecting flight. Now if you've been to the Detroit Metro Airport, you know that bridging that gap is a tight close right? But the stewardess repeatedly announced that our connecting flight was informed of the delay and so the passengers who were supposed to be on that flight were likely to make it to the gate. Taking her lead, I grabbed my carry-on bag, and amidst all the passengers who were all cheering for us to run and make our flight in the background, dashed to the next concourse like I've never run in my life before! In between breaths, my head was spinning, my back aching, but my feet took me away! Driven by my fellow passengers' cheers of "yes, we can make this flight," I really believed that we were going to arrive on time and that the plane would wait.

But alas, the three other passengers and I never made it to our connecting flight. Supposedly, the plane took off even before the gates from my plane opened. Thankfully, I was given a hotel accommodation and meal vouchers for the night. Instead of getting angry at the airline, I focused on the positives. In my experience, airlines don't offer perks like free food and housing for your inconveniences anymore. So for me, I had no complaints.

For this long Labor Day weekend, I imagine that there are a lot of people traveling. As you encounter roadblocks or delays (or maybe you won't; let's stay hopeful here, after all!), treat your travels as an exciting experience. Have a warm bath, enjoy the fresh white linens in your room, and drink a margarita! Happy long weekend, everybody!

For this long weekend, I'm going to share with you my Bacon-Covered Lamb Musubi, my take on the famous Spam Musubi that is popular in Hawaii.  This is a part of my lamb series that I made for Meat Livestock Australia. But unlike the salt-saturated spam, the star of this dish is quite the quality meat. Enjoy!

Bacon Covered Lamb Musubi

8 strips Turkey Bacon
1 lb ground Lamb
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp mayonnaise
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Nori Wrapper

Mix all the ingredients gently in a bowl.  Form rectangular shaped patties.
Wrap patties with 2 strips of bacon

Prepare two pans. Put the first pan on high heat, and the other on medium.  Grill patties on the high heat pan for 2 minutes on each side.  Transfer it on the second pan for another 2 minutes.  The first pan sears off the patty but prolonging it there will burn the surface of your patty therefore the second pan is needed to further cook the meat.  Repeat the process on all patties. Set aside.

Press rice together and mold it into a rectangular shape.  Set aside.

Cut the nori wrapper according to desired size. I divided mine into 3 and used a corrugated knife to cut it. Place the nori wrapper on a flat surface. Add the patty and  molded rice. Wrap the nori wrapper around it. Enjoy!

Another tip: Keep your hands wet while wrapping the musubi.  This will make it easier to handle the rice and the nori wrapper from sticking to your hands.

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