The story of Sebastian the crab

Tien posted the recipe for chilli crabs and I’ve been dyin to try it! So I’ve been on a quest (in my limited time) going to one grocery store to the next trying to find Dungeness crab or blue crab. Regular grocery store in CO doesn’t really carry them on normal basis – yeah shocking! The asian market is almost a sure bet to have them but it’s 45 minutes away.

Finally, just a day before my family from WI came over I went to the Asian store and saw those little crabs in a huge bucket and they’re on sale! One drawback – at least for me – it’s all alive! I don’t have the guts to kill them! I ask the store clerk if they can maybe put them to “sleep” for me cause I’m too scared. After the guy finish laughing he told me they don’t have any steamer or boiling water to do so and that by the time I get home they should all be dead. Hmm.. reassuring.

But my willingness to cook it and serve it to my hubby and the family overcome my fear and I bought 4 huge one. Well, at least I thought it will overcome my fear, it didn’t. Those suckers are still alive by the time I get home! So I sat down and research the internet on how to put them to “sleep” in the most humane way. Finally a friend told me that if I put them in the freezer for just 30 seconds it should kinda numb them so that when we “prepare” them they won’t feel a thing. Okay.. that sound humane – right?

So, finally I get myself mentally ready to do this. I made all the preparation and then I put them all on the kitchen table. At the same time my Tyra came down the stairs and squeals in delight.. “Mommy you got me a pet!!!! Thank you Mommy Thank you!!! Ok, this is Sebastian the crab, this is Ouya, this is ……” Her voice just slowly disappear from my head…  Now, how do I tell them that they are not pets and that they’re actually dinner for tomorrow?

My “Hmong” recipe

As you all know my husband is Hmong and beside fallen for him (ahem..) I also fall in love with some of Hmong food. In all honesty when it comes to food it really doesn’t take much to impress me. 🙂

I can actually master few of Hmong recipe – that’s better than my man who can only made one – water and rice! – ok, if you’re not Hmong you didn’t really get the joke… 🙂 anyway.. but really I can make good enough Hmong food to be consider as an “ok” nyab (daughter in law) by my in law. For example, I can make a really good papaya that in most of ever gathering I was in charge of making them – until lately cause I’m getting lazy – .

Remember few weeks ago I was in a cooking frenzy? One of the food I cook that day was one of my husband’s favorite Hmong dishes, it’s called Kaphong – I probably butcher the spelling – it’s a curry noodle soup. It can be made with any meat you wish. The weather is colder makes it a perfect time to make it. I was in the mood of having a noodle soup dish-like but I wasn’t craving a heavier broth type of food. So I’ll try to make this dish but forgo the coconut milk… a little scare, this can either make me or break me – in term of my husband liking it. 🙂

He ate it…. and…. he like it! Even have second serving.. phew… now, for anybody who knows me I’m not the type that asking for my husband approval, but this is his favorite dishes and I since I twitch it from the original recipe I’d like to get my opinion…

Here’s my lighter version of Hmong dishes Kaphong or Kaphoon…

My version of Kaphong

It’s very simple to make – much simpler than the original recipe. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • Boneless chicken breast – cut in cube
  • Garlic – 4 crush or chopped
  • Shallot 2 or 3 depending on the size – chopped
  • Gallangal roots 2 inch
  • Lemon Grass – 1 stalk
  • Lime leaves – 5
  • Bamboo shoots – 1 can
  • Red Curry Paste – half of small can
  • salt n pepper
  • Tomato – around 5 cherry tomato
  • 1 cube or dry chicken stock
  • Fish sauce for taste
  • Limes
  • Chopped cabbage
  • Cilantro

Boil the water in a medium pot add the lemon grass and gallangal roots. Dice up chicken Breast. In saute pan, heat cooking oil and brown the shallot and  garlic then add the meat. after all cooked, add the curry paste. Add them all to the boiling water, add fish sauce, salt and pepper to taste and chicken stock. At the very last, add the lime leaves, bamboo shoots and choped up tomato.

Serve in a bowl over rice noodle with chopped cabbage, cilantro and a squirt of lime.  Enjoy! 🙂

My husband loves my muscle!

I don’t really have a muscle; I have lots of baby fat though… :). I was talking about my weekend cooking extravaganza. As promise here’s the first recipe. Muscle in basil sauce.

The ingredients are very simple and easy to find – I’m not good at measurement I just add things accordingly. So sorry.

  • Muscle. I use 1 lbs in this recipe (Note, if you don’t like muscle, you can use any other seafood you like, such as shrimp, crabs or maybe lobster..)

Muscle

  • Garlic – about 2 – 3 clove depend on the size
  • Tomato – I use 3 (big) cherry tomato.
  • Jalapeno – optional, I use 1 and I took the seed out
  • Basil – I use a bunch and chopped.

The ingredients

And the sauce..

The sauce

  • Soy sauce – around 2 table spoon
  • Oyster sauce – around 2 table spoon
  • Fish sauce – optional, I only use 1 table spoon cause my husband love the taste on every food.

And oil for sautéing, little bit of water and salt, pepper to taste.

Wash the muscle and scrubs it really good. Put it aside.

In a pan, heat up couple table spoon of oil (I use olive oil) and sauté the chopped garlic, just few seconds until you can smell it then add some chopped jalapeno, I took the seed out so Tyra can eat it too, you can leave the seed if you want to or not use it completely – up to you.

Step 1 - saute the garlic and jalapeno

Step 2 - add tomato & half of the basil

Step 3 - add all the sauce

Diglaze the pan

I use a tiny bit of water just to deglaze the pan. I guess to make it more flavorful you can use broth or wine..? At this point, I also taste it for saltiness. Honestly, when I make this, I didn’t have to add any salt or pepper because the sauce is already rich in flavor and the jalapeno add a bit of a kick already.

Bring it to boil and reduce the heat…

Add the muscle

Muscle is very quick to cook, as soon as the clams stared to open up, it’s done!  Just make sure you mixed it thoroughly to get the entire muscle coat in the sauce evenly…. and you are done!!

Enjoy!

Muscle in basil sauce

Beeyotch in the kitchen

It started innocently. Came home Friday night after weekly grocery shopping and can’t find a space in the fridge! Crazy! I have a fairly decent two door fridge plus one more in the garage and still running out of space??? We just have too much food! This is why I’m fat! 🙂

So I vow to myself to re arrange it the next day and for the moment just stuffed my recent grocery in every space I can find. Luckily I mostly purchase dry items.

Come Saturday morning, I did my promise! Seriously, rarely happen! I rearrange the fridge. I threw away a bunch of questionable stuff and clean it. It didn’t stop there, because I was in the mood, I decide to re arrange the freezer too.

I discover that I have too much meat store in my freezer. I keep on buying stuff when it’s on sale not realizing I already have way too many at home. So, I started having all these ideas in my head of what to cook that day and crazy as it sounded, I actually did it!

The whole weekend, between Tyra’s piano class and Arabic school, I manage to make 6 entrées and side dishes. I would love to share the recipe and I will on my next post because everything tastes so yummy and everything is so easy to make!

On top of that, I also cook three dishes for my friend, who will undergo a surgery this Wednesday, my hope is she can freeze it up and heat them up so she doesn’t have to worry about cooking for her family while in recovery. Bummer because of the snow I can’t deliver it today as I was plan to. Hopefully the weather will clear tomorrow.

Below is some picture of the food I cook over the weekend, I will post the recipe separately.

Happy weekend!!

My take on healthy chicken fingers