Saturday, May 2, 2009

Three Cups Swiss Chard, Modified (plus extra pictures)

A couple of weeks ago, I read a recipe for Three Cups Chicken on Appetite for China. It looked quite tasty and easy, so I saved it for future reference - it's a Taiwanese recipe that involves braising chicken in equal parts sesame oil, rice wine, and soy sauce. Then today, I picked up some great-looking red chard at the market, and was fishing for a way to season it up. I decided to try the three cups seasoning, although I remembered it as using rice vinegar instead of rice wine. So I tossed some ginger and garlic in a hot pan, then added the chard to wilt it quickly, added soy sauce, vinegar, and oil, covered the pan for about ten minutes, and the results are below. It was delicious! The vinegar taste balanced out by the slight sweetness of the sesame oil, and the soy sauce just added a slight earthiness to the whole dish.

This next picture is of a quick stir-fry I cooked up last week when I needed dinner on short notice. I don't remember exactly what was in it, but it was definitely at least onions, green onions, cilantro, garlic, and some seasoning sauces.

On to baking! These are some beautiful corn muffins I made, based on my mom's recipe. Here's my version:

1 cup AP flour (160 grams)
1 cup or 190g cornmeal
1/3-1/2c or 100-130g sugar depending on how sweet you like it
2-3 tbsp or ~70g vegetable oil
1 egg
1c milk or water (~240g)
2-3 tsp baking powder (12-18g)
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a bowl. Beat the egg and mix with the oil and milk/water. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, mixing until they're just combined - lumps are fine. Don't overmix. Fill six muffin cups evenly and bake for 20-25 minutes depending on the consistency of your oven - start toothpick-testing at 20 minutes.

Up next: scones! This is a recipe I made just as Baking Bites' recipe described*, so go there and check it out! They were fantastic - slightly crumbly but moist, and very peanut-buttery.

*One addition I made: I stirred an extra tablespoon of peanut butter in after adding all the liquids. It made for an almost-swirl of peanut butter in the finished scones, since it wasn't completely incorporated, and it was a very good flavor boost.

The last recipe is matzah brei! The recipe I used is almost ridiculously easy, and here it is:

Two pieces matzah
One egg
Brown sugar (optional)

Crumble the matzah into small pieces and soak in cold water for a few minutes. It should be soft but not disintegrating. Drain the matzah by picking it up in clumps and squeezing as much water as possible out of it. Beat the egg and combine with the matzah, using a fork to mix them together evenly. Heat 2 teaspoons or so of butter in a pan and add the matzah-egg mixture, then pat it evenly into the pan with a spatula. You're trying to end up with a matzah brei cake like in the picture below. Slicing the cake into the pieces in the pan will make it easier to flip - brown the cake on both sides and you're done! Garnish liberally with brown sugar and salt. :)

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