Stuffed Artichokes

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Ready to cook – Bought three Artichokes today… tried a new recipe called Stuffed Artichokes… It’s actually a pretty easy to make dish.. but requires lots of patience. Took me about 1.5 hours to prepare it.
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Ready to serve – garnished with chopped red bell pepper. This dish was rich and very flavorful, Alan and I shared one and we were really stuffed.

This dish is great for parties, interesting and tasty, the most important… it can be cooked ahead then warmed up before serving.

I basically followed a recipe from Epicurious.com, the original recipe was for making 8 Artichokes, I made 3, so I reduced the amount of ingredients, I also used extra sharp Cheddar cheese and Provolone cheese as substitutes to Parmigiano-Reggiano, Kielbasa substituted to Soppressata.

Here is the link to the original recipe: Stuffed Artichokes Recipe from Epicurious

P.S… Alan says he doesn’t like the photo of “ready to serve”.. he says it’s like snow falling on brown rocks.

… boy… I think he was traumatized by many years of living in the New England’ Winters.

Sautéed Frog Legs with White Choy Sum

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I remember long time ago, my father’s relatives in Hunan province (a province in Central China, about the location of AR in USA map) mailed us a jar of spicy frog leg jerks. They were salty and tasty, and chewy.

The other day, I saw some frozen frog legs in an Asian market, quite expensive.. 5 dollars for 5 pair of legs. But those legs are twice larger than the ones I had before. I bought one package.. to give it a try.

How did I make this dish?

1. thaw, marinate those frog legs with ginger powder, salt for 2 days in refrigerator.

2. heat the wok, eyeball of oil, sauté with finely chopped garlic and few pieces of fresh ginger for few minutes.

3. turn up temperature, add in frog legs, brown both sides for a couple of minutes, add in 2 handful of White Choy Sum (nai you cai), 1TBS dried hot pepper, salt & pepper, stir fry for one minute, cover for few minutes..

4. uncovered.. oops.. overcooked.. the forelegs were fell, hey.. but it’s safer than undercooked.. because frogs might carry parasite.

5. done.. arrange the legs in a plate.. pour the sauce over.. garnished with White Choy Sum’s flowers.

This dish was flavorful and tasty.. frog legs’ meat was very tender.. even Alan had a few pieces.

Looks That Kill

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This Spotted Hyena, a native African killer, stared at me behind a thick glass enclosure, his looks made me chilled from the head to toe already. What’s in his mind when he was staring at me? he definately sees me as a potential food sauce, if looks could kill.. he already had killed me and digesting in his stomach…. yummy yummy .. he would comment..

Lionfish Blossom

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A theme unusual to be seen…a school of Lionfish! I was lucky to be there…right place, right time. This photo was taken at SeaWorld in Orlando, FL.

Image Size: 8×12 inches at 300dpi

P.S. We had a record cold weather in the last a couple of days, below 30F at night, killed several of our plants, including a mango tree in our backyard. Too bad, I was dreamed to have endless mangoes on our table. But maybe.. it’s a fate… I shall not to eat mango anymore, since last time I was poisoned badly by mango caused allergy.

Garlic Chive Omelette

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Those fresh garlic chives were picked from our vegetable garden. I got nearly 2 lbs of it this time.

Here is how I made this simple and delicious Omelette,

1. mix well of 3 eggs with a handful of chopped garlic chives, a pinch of salt

2. sauté a handful of ground pork (no oil needed to add in), break meat to tiny pieces, eyeball of salt, pepper, wine, finely chopped 2 cloves of garlic, 1 small bright yellow sweet bell pepper (optional)

3. may add a bit oil at this step… pour in 1. low heat cook till eggs are almost set, flip once, done when it looks golden outside.

5 Hours Galumpkis – Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

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It’s my first time of making this well known Polish dish, found a recipe online (will give you the link at the end of this post), followed with it step by step, took me about 5 hours from beginning to finish. This photo took before I put it into the oven to bake.
stuffed_cabbage_rolls_galumpkis_out_of_oven
Out of the oven, ready to eat…
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Cut it open and look close…

Alan says I did a wonderful job. Several days later, I had my Polish friends over for dinner, I made this dish again, they were surprised and liked it, this time, I added some chopped sausage in the fillings.. stronger taste than the first time. :D

The recipe I used was found from here:stuffed cabbages recipe

Ingredients:

1 (3-lb.) head green cabbage
¼ cup butter or margarine
1 small onion, chopped
1 lb. lean ground beef
1-½ lbs. lean ground pork
1-½ cups cooked long-grain white rice
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3-½ cups Beef Broth or bouillon
1 (6-oz.) can tomato paste
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Directions:
With a sharp knife, remove core from cabbage. Carefully remove wilted or decayed outer cabbage leaves; discard. In a large saucepan, boil enough salted water to cover cabbage. Immerse cabbage in boiling water. Cook over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes. With fork or tongs, gently remove leaves as they become tender. Drain well; let cool. Trim main leaf stems.
Preheat oven to 325°F (165°C). Melt 1 tablespoon butter or margarine in a small skillet. Add onion; saute over medium heat until golden brown. In a large bowl, combine sauteed onion, beef, pork, rice, salt and pepper.

Spread a cabbage leaf flat. Depending on leaf size, place 2 to 3 tablespoons filling on cabbage leaf near base. Fold bottom of leaf over filling, then fold sides toward center. Roll tightly. Repeat with remaining tilling and cabbage leaves.

Heat 1 tablespoon butter or margarine in a large skillet. Place filled cabbage leaves, seam down, in skillet. Cook over medium heat until browned, 8 to 10 minutes, turning once with a spatula.

Arrange cabbage rolls, seam-side down, in a medium roasting pan. Add 3 cups broth or bouillon. In a small bowl, combine ½ cup broth or bouillon and tomato paste. Pour over stuffed cabbage. Cover and bake 40 minutes or until fork-tender.

In a small skillet, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter or margarine. Stir flour into butter or margarine until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until golden brown. Ladle 1 cup broth or bouillon from stuffed cabbage into flour mixture; blend. Pour mixture over stuffed cabbage.

Cook, uncovered, until liquid bubbles and thickens slightly. Place stuffed cabbage on a large platter. Pour pan juices into a serving bowl. Serve hot with pan juices. Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Grilled Jumbo Shrimp

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Having friends over for dinner, Alan and I made this colorful and tasteful dish.. Grilled Jumbo Shrimp with Mango and sweet peppers. He also added about 1/2 cup of crashed hot chill peppers while in marinating, but it wasn’t as spicy as you would think, the fruity mango flavor was the main theme in this grilled dish, the essence was enhanced by the final touch of the hot spice.

P.S. I ate all the left over mangoes, then at the night, my mouth started to swell, then one hour later.. my face was swell to a balloon. I was hit unexpectedly by Mango allergy. In the next two weeks, I was so ugly looking that I couldn’t even walk out of the door.
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In preparation.