Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette

Adapted from Ina Garten's Back to Basics

Serving Size: 6-8


  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and 3/4 inch diced
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 4 oz romaine lettuce, washed and sliced finely
  • 1/2 cup walnut halves
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees. 

In a small mixing bowl add 2 tbsp of olive oil, the maple syrup, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper. Toss squash in mixture.

Place squash on sheet pan and roast for 15-20 minutes, turning once until tender. Add cranberries to the pan for last 5 minutes.

While squash is roasting combine cider vinegar, mustard, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper in a small bowl. 

Cut romaine lettuce in fine strips.

Place lettuce in large salad bowl and add roasted squash mixture, walnuts, and grated Parmesan. Spoon just enough vinaigrette over salad. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Optional: Add cherry tomatoes

Crisp Silken Tofu in Tomato Sauce

Adapted from eatlittlebird.com

Serving Size: 4-6


  • 1 lb silken tofu (4 oz)
  • 1/4 cup cornflour
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 medium size tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • cilantro for garnish

Cut tofu in 3cm pieces.

Add the cornflour to a bowl and coat the tofu in the cornflour.

Heat oil in a wok or small sauce pan over low-medium heat. Deep fry tofu pieces for a few minutes until they are crispy and lightly colored. Place tofu on plate lined with paper towel to soak excess oil

In another saucepan, heat 1 tbsp of oil over medium heat. Add garlic and red onion. Cook for a few minutes until mixture is fragrant.

Add tomatoes, sugar, salt, and fish sauce. Cook for 5-10 minutes over medium-high heat until tomatoes have softened and sauce has thickened.

Arrange tofu over plate and spoon sauce over it. Add cilantro for garnish. 

Optional: Serve with steamed white rice.

Sesame-covered Salmon

My cousins drove down here from Washington and brought an icebox of fresh-caught salmon with them. With the freezer packed with fish I decided to cook salmon at least twice a week. I found one recipe adapted from  Food & Wine that I particularly enjoyed.

Serving Size: 4


  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp mirin (I actually used maggi seasoning sauce and thought it tasted better)
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp plus 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 egg white
  • 4 salmon fillets (8 oz each)
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

In small bowl whisk soy sauce, maggi seasoning sauce, broth, sugar, and garlic.  In another small bowl dissolve 2 teaspoons of cornstarch in water.

Whisk the egg white and remaining 2 tablespoon of corn starch in a small bowl. 

Brush the skinless side of the salmon with this mixture.

Dip in sesame seeds and press gently to coat.

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is hot place salmon in, sesame side facing down. Cook for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Turn over and cook for 5 more minutes.

Heat soy sauce mixture in small sauce pot over low heat until it simmers. Whisk in cornstarch-water mixture and stir until sauce thickens. Serve the sauce alongside or underneath the salmon. I think pouring the sauce underneath the salmon allows the salmon to soak up the flavor and gives a stronger taste. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Pineapple and Banana Bread Pudding

One night my dad came home from work with five loaves of bread-white, wheat, sourdough, bagels, and pita. So I decided to make bread pudding with a slight twist since there were some bananas and pineapple lying around.

Serving Size: 8-10


  • 13 slices of sourdough bread
  • 1 cup of butter, melted
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 can (20 oz) pineapple, drained
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or half & half
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place bread on cookie sheets and bake for 4 minutes on one side and 4 minutes on the other side.

In a medium mixing bowl blend eggs together until smooth.

Add brown sugar, white sugar, vanilla extract, heavy cream, cinnamon, nutmeg, pineapples, and bananas.

Arrange one layer of sourdough bread on the baking pan.

Pour half of the melted butter onto the first layer of sourdough.

Add the banana egg mixture on the first layer of bread

Add the second layer of bread and pour the rest of the melted butter onto the bread.

Add the final layer of the banana egg mixture.
Optional: You can sprinkle some cinnamon and nuteg on the top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Corn Salad

Serving Size: 6-8

Ingredients (adapted from Ina Garten's fresh corn salad recipe)

  • 5 ears of corn, shucked
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • handful of basil, chopped
Remove the husk of the corn. 

Cook the corn for 5 minutes in a large stockpot of boiling salted water. Drain and immerse corn in ice water.

When corn is cooled, cut the kernels off the cob and add to a large serving bowl.

Toss the rest of the ingredients in the serving bowl. Add the basil last. Serve cold or at room temperature.