I made an enchilada casserole for dinner and I wanted an dessert to go with it. Wife Jan loves rice pudding. Chocolate and cinnamon are classic ingredients of Mexican cuisine. I had wanted to add chilies, but the wife nixed that as too spicy.
Category Archives: California Fusion
Jan asked for Central Asian barbecued chicken—at our house this means Uyghur. However—do to the scarcity of fuel—the Uyghurs would never barbecue chicken. A signature dish of the Xinjiang region is Big Plate Chicken (Da Pan Ji). I decided to adapt the flavors of this usually wok sautéed dish into a barbecue sauce for the grill.
Wife Jan is going off to Burning Man again. Last year she broke her arm, I hope she comes back in one piece this year. As usual, I am making instant meals—just add water—for her group, the Sage Camp.
If your are unimaginative you go to REI and buy a bunch of dried food packets for $5-10 per person per meal. My wife is in a group of “poor but honest scholars”—貧窮而誠實的學者—so that is not an option. I have created a selection of gourmet box-meals to sustain them in the harsh conditions of the Black Rock Playa. Continue reading
Wife Jan is headed for Burning Man again. Last year I sent some of my four chile chili powder. This year, I thought to make a unique blend for the event. Over time, I have collected several chile powders from around the world. Balancing the heat and flavors I ended up with a six chile blend.
Since I discovered a decent canned version of Hollandaise sauce, I have been making Eggs Benedict at least once a week. While I love the version that is sold in most restaurants, I am constantly tinkering with the recipe. Today, my wife Jan wanted pancakes for breakfast, but I wanted eggs Benedict—and a new variation was born.
Since I discovered a decent canned version of Hollandaise sauce, I have been making Eggs Benedict at least once a week. To keep myself interested, I have also make several variations—1, 2 and 3. This morning my wife had picked up some bagels for breakfast. While normally this would result in lox, cream cheese, and a bagel, I wondered if I could add an egg and Hollandaise? While the thicker half bagel was a bit harder to cut up—than an English muffin—it worked quite well.
Sometimes, I want something quick and easy for a weekday dinner. Trader Joe’s has frozen chicken mini wantons that make for a good soup starter. Turning to a broth for this soup I was in a dilemma, do I make it Chinese—with chicken broth and ginger—or Japanese—with miso and dashi? My daughters’ philosophy is, “Why choose?”, so I went with both. For vegetables, I went with some of my family’s favorites—Shanghai bok choy, napa cabbage, and green onion.
The most common bok choy found in Western supermarkets are the large white stalked kind. I find this type unappealing. While there is plenty of vitamins in the dark leaves, the stalks become slimy when even slightly overcooked. Shanghai bok choy are smaller and green all over, with a better balance between stalk and leaves.
Karl’s Chicken Wonton Asian Fusion Soup
1 can (14.5 oz) low sodium chicken broth
3-4 fresh ginger, sliced into coins
2 cups Shanghai bok choy, chopped into 1 inch pieces, stems and greens kept separately
1 cup napa cabbage, sliced thick and leafy parts kept separately
3-4 green onions, sliced into 1½ inch pieces, white and green kept separately
5-7 frozen chicken mini wontons per person, about half a bag
1. Put the chicken broth, ginger, and one cup of water into a medium soup pot.
Tip: Add the Hondashi to the pot later—it changes flavor if you boil it too much.
Note: While I usually prefer to make fresh dashi, for a quick meal I bend a little.
2. Put half a cup of boiling water into a measuring cup and mix in the miso paste.
Tip: If you just add the miso paste to the pot you might end up with lumps of miso in your soup. If you blend it with water first you can make sure that you’ve gotten all the lumps out.
Note: Some miso pastes have chunks of soy beans left in it. If you do have the chunky type of miso, the dissolved miso can be strained, as you add it to the pot.
3. Bring the pot to a boil and add the stems of the bok choi, the thick parts ofthe napa cabbage, and white parts of the green onions.
4. Reduce the heat and simmer the soup for 3-4 minutes.
5. Add the wontons, bok choi greens and leafy napa cabbage parts to the pot.
6. Continue simmering for another two minutes.
7. Stir in the green onion tops and dashi.
8. Simmer the soup for another 2-3 minutes and serve.