Geek Chef

I cook, I talk, I geek

So good, yet so bad January 21, 2009

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 5:01 pm
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walnutprawnHere is a quick and really easy recipe for Chinese Walnut Prawns. It’s really tasty and really easy to make, but not the healthiest dish I’ve brought you.

Enjoy

Walnut Prawns

1 lbs Shrimp, peeled and cleaned
1/2c cornstarch
1/2c walnuts (candied are best)
1/4c mayonnaise
3 tbsp honey
3 tbsp condensed milk
1-2c chopped cabbage or lettuce

Peel and clean the shrimp and lightly salt. In a wok or frying pan, heat up enough oil to fill up about an inch of the pan. While oil is heating, mix the mayo, milk and honey in a bowl and set to the side. Dredge the shrimp in cornstarch and drop into the hot oil, cook only long enough for it to start curling and change color. Remove and drain on a piece of paper towel, the shrimp will cook a little further while sitting. After you have removed the excess oil off the shrimp drop it into the mayo mixture and toss.

Serve it on a bed of greens and top with walnuts.

See, easy!

 

Menu for my housewarming August 3, 2007

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 9:54 am
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It’s a potluck, but I think it’s customary for the host to provide some munchies, usually the main course. I was thinking lasagna, I make a damn good lasagna, but I’m kinda tired of it. So I was thinking tapas. And since this is happening during a meteor shower, it seems fitting that all of the items I will serve look like little meteors (lumpy balls, tee hee).

Here is the menu… doncha wanna come and play?

Walnut and Blue Cheese-Coated Grapes / Dates

Recipe courtesy of Gourmet Magazine and then altered a bit

1 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

6 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

8 ounces crumbled Cabrales (Spanish blue cheese), Roquefort or Gorgonzola may be substituted

6 ounces cream cheese

20 loose seedless red grapes (about 1/4 pound with stems)

½ lb dates

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. On a sheet pan spread out the walnuts and toast in the oven for 7 to 9 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Melt butter and add sugar, when sugar has melted pour in the toasted walnuts and toss. remove and spread out again on the cool sheet pan.

In a bowl with an electric mixer, cream together the blue cheese and the cream cheese until smooth. Put one tablespoon of the cheese mixture in the palm of one hand and in it roll a grape, shaping the mixture around the grape to coat, repeat the process for the dates. Cover the grape and date balls and chill on a sheet pan for 15 minutes.

While the balls cool, chop the candied walnuts into smaller pieces, you can also use a rolling pin and break them into peices. Roll the cheese-coated balls in the walnut mixture to cover completely and chill for 30 minutes or until coating is firm.

Spanish Meatballs baked in tomato sauce (adapted from the Albondigas recipe)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 can of tomato sauce
1 bouillon cube and 1 cup water
1 zucchini, cut into large chunks
1 large carrot, sliced
1/2 lb of string beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 pound ground turkey
1 cup of cooked white rice
1 raw egg
1/2 cup of chopped fresh mint leaves
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Dried oregano, crumbled
1 tablespoon of brown gravy mix
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Prepare meatballs. Mix rice into meat, adding mint, gravy mix, salt and pepper. Add raw egg. Form beef into 1-inch meatballs. Return soup to gentle simmer. Add meatballs and remaining veggies to soup. Cover and let simmer for 1/2 hour. Add a few pinches of oregano, cilantro and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Place meatballs in a dish and prepare sauce.

Heat oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and minced garlic and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Sauté veggies until tender, add tomato sauce, onion and garlic mixture and broth. Pour mixture over meatballs and bake until meatballs are brown.

Plantanos Rellenos

1 plantain, very ripe
1 can black refried beans
corn starch

crema fresca
cilantro
diced onion
cajota cheese

Mash Plantain, place some mashed plantain in hand and spread into palm. Drop a small amount of black bean into the middle and wrap plantain mixture around the beans. Drop balls into corn starch and then deep fry.
Serve with crema, crumbled cajota, diced onion and chopped cilantro.

 

Ah! Nuts.

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 9:43 am
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I noticed a lot of activity in the corner of the garden this morning. The squirrels seemed to be congregating to one tree in particular, which made Elgie and me very interested and a little confused.

We went in for a closer look and DONK! I was hit in the head with a shelled walnut. Apparently, one of the trees in the yard is walnut! I doubt I’ll be able to harvest many – with the large family of squirrels already camped out in the area. But I am very excited with the notion of having edible plants on the property. BTW, I am really fascinated with found fruit and veggies – I even wrestled an ostrich for some fresh mangoes. 🙂

Here is a recipe plucked from the foodnetwork, inspired by my newfound source of walnuts.

Blue Cheese Cheesecake with Baby Greens and Candied Walnuts  in Pear Vinaigrette

3/4 cup toasted bread crumbs
3/4 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 pound good-quality blue cheese, at room temperature
1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
4 eggs
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Baby greens for serving
Pear Vinaigrette, recipe follows
Candied Walnuts, recipe follows

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine bread crumbs, walnuts and melted butter and process until thoroughly combined. Press the mixture on the bottom and partially up the sides of an 8-inch springform pan. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl combine blue cheese and cream cheese and mix until smooth. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper and combine well. Using a spatula, transfer cheese mixture to the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the cake is golden brown and not loose in the center.

While the cake is baking, make the Pear Vinaigrette and Candied Walnuts.

When the cake is puffed, golden brown and not loose in the center, transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool at least 30 minutes before serving.

Serve the cake warm, with a salad of baby greens tossed with the Pear Vinaigrette, garnished with the Candied Walnuts.

Pear Vinaigrette

1 (4-ounce) firm-ripe pear, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons green onions
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Combine the pear, Champagne vinegar, shallots, sugar, rosemary and black pepper in a skillet and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the pears are tender, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a blender or food processor.Add the mustard, soy sauce, kosher salt, and green onions, and puree on high speed. With the motor running, add the oil in a thin stream and process until emulsified. Remove from the blender and refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to serve. (The vinaigrette will keep for up to 1 week refrigerated.)

Yield: 1 generous cup

Candied Walnuts

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup walnut halves
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the walnuts and cook, stirring, until golden brown and toasted, 3 minutes. Add the sugar and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Transfer to a piece of waxed paper to cool.Yield: 1/2 cup