Monthly Archives: July 2013

Vegetarian Side… Pok Choy with a bit of teriyaki sauce

Guyanese Style Pok Choy

I love vegetables. Simple with no meat or additives. Just seasoned right. Pok Choy or Bok Choy as it is commonly known to non Guyanese, is one of those vegetables that you don’t want to over cook, or over do (as we Guyanese say). It is best enjoyed in a simple flavorful dish, where you can truly taste the crunchiness of the leaves and deliciousness of the pok choy. The recipe below, is quick and simple and highlights the flavors of the pok choy.

Start with about 4 bundles of fresh pok choy.

Start with about 4 bundles of fresh pok choy.

Cut off the head (part holding leaves together), then wash the leaves individually to remove sand.  Be sure to wash white stalk thoroughly.  Then chop into small pieces.

Cut off the head (part holding leaves together), then wash the leaves individually to remove sand.
Be sure to wash the white stalk thoroughly.
Then chop into small pieces.

Then in a saute pan, cook 1/2 onion (diced), 4 cloves of garlic (finely chopped) and 3 roma tomatoes (diced).  You can use about 2 tbsp olive oil to cook the onions, garlic and tomatoes. Cook until tomatoes are soft and onions are slightly brown.

In a saute pan, cook 1/2 onion (diced), 4 cloves of garlic (finely chopped) and 3 roma tomatoes (diced).
You can use about 2 tbsp olive oil to cook the onions, garlic and tomatoes.
Cook until tomatoes are soft and onions are slightly brown. Add a bit of salt and pepper to increase flavor.

Add the pok choy and toss together.

Add the pok choy and toss together.

Then, add about 1/4 cup of teriyaki sauce. The one I am using is by LeChoy and is actually a marinade and is not as sweet as some teriyaki sauce can be.

Then, add about 1/4 cup of teriyaki sauce. The one I am using is by LeChoy and is actually a marinade and is not as sweet as some teriyaki sauces.

Add salt and pepper to taste, mix together and continue to cook for about 5 minutes.

Add salt and pepper to taste, mix together and continue to cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and enjoy.

Serve with your favorite starch (roti or rice)!

I had mine with rice and fried fish.

I had mine with rice and fried fish.

Pok Choy with a bit of teriyaki sauce (serves 4)

Ingredients:
4 bundles of pok choy
3 roma tomatoes (diced)
1/2 yellow onion (diced)
4 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
1/4 cup of teriyaki sauce
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil

Directions:
Cut head from pok choy bundles. Separate leaves and wash individually to remove sand and mud. Chop into small pieces and set aside. Add oil to a saute pan on medium heat. When hot, add onions, garlic and tomatoes. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until tomatoes are soft and onions are brown. Add chopped pok choy. Toss together, then add teriyaki sauce and remaining salt and pepper. Mix together and cook for about 5 minutes, or until whites of the pok choy stems are a bit tender. Remove from the heat and enjoy with your favorite starch (rice or roti).

Tips and Ramblings:
1. Sometimes you are unfortunate to find Pok Choy that has more white that green on the stems. You will need to throw away or save for stir fry, most of the white part of the stem. You need to have a good balance between the white and green of the stem or the dish will taste watery and less flavorful.
2. I get my Pok Choy from the Asian markets. They seem to have them in a wide variety.
3. If you are using a really sweet teriyaki sauce you can reduce the amount to just about 2 tbsp.
4. If you don’t have teriyaki sauce but you have cassareep, you can use about 1 tbsp of cassareep and 1 tbsp of brown sugar. The flavors will net out to be just about the same.

Happy Cooking!

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Cheesecake… New York Style Strawberry Cheesecake

New York Cheesecake

I’ve made this cheesecake too many times to count. It’s an Emril Legassie recipe from FoodNetwork.com. It’s quick and easy (the mixing part that is, the baking and cooling takes time). The topping however, I created after several tries. Now I think it is just right. My husband loves cheesecake, it’s one of the first desserts I made after we got married and he’s been hooked on it ever since. I hope you like it as much as we do.

Add 1 1/2 lbs cream cheese to a stand mixer. Beat with a paddle attachment until cream cheese is light and fluffy.

Add 1 1/2 lbs cream cheese to a stand mixer. Beat with a paddle attachment until cream cheese is light and fluffy.

Add a cup of sugar to the cream cheese (1 tbsp at a time) and continue to beat on a low speed.

Add 1 cup of sugar to the cream cheese (1 tbsp at a time) and continue to beat on a low speed.

Add about 1 tbsp of orange zest and continue to mix on a low speed.

Add about 1 tbsp of orange zest and 1 tbsp lemon zest (not shown) and continue to mix on a low speed.

Add 1 tsp vanilla essence, 1 tbsp heavy cream, 2 tbsp flour (not shown) Then add four large eggs one at a time until incorporated into the mixture.

Add 1 tsp vanilla essence, 1 tbsp heavy cream, 2 tbsp flour (not shown)
Then add four large eggs one at a time until incorporated into the mixture.

At this point the filling is pretty much ready. Now for the crust. I tried the crust from Emril’s recipe but it always comes out crunchy, so I improvised and this one seems to work perfectly.

Add 1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs to a mixing bowl.  Then combine 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, 1 tsp ground cinnamon and 1/2 cup of melted butter with the graham cracker crumbs.  Mix together to form of crumbly, some what wet consistency.

Add 1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs to a mixing bowl.
Then combine 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, 1 tsp ground cinnamon and 1/2 cup of melted butter with the graham cracker crumbs.
Mix together to form a crumbly and some what wet consistency.

Grease the sides of a small spring form pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Add graham cracker mixture to the pan.

Grease the sides of a small spring form pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
Add graham cracker mixture to the pan.

Using the back of a spoon, press graham cracker mixture firmly into bottom of pan and about 1/2 way up the sides.

Using the back of a spoon, press graham cracker mixture firmly into bottom of pan and about 1/2 way up the sides.

Pour batter into the graham cracker lined pan and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Pour batter into the graham cracker lined pan and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees, or until cheesecake is firm but still jiggly in the center.

Remove from oven and let cool until cheesecake sets. This can take up to 6 hours.  Disclaimer: My husband likes his cheesecake dense so I like it bake until its a bit brown and the center is firm.

Remove from oven and let cool until cheesecake sets. This can take up to 6 hours.
Disclaimer: My husband likes his cheesecake dense so I let it bake until its a bit brown and the center is firm. This also reduces the setting time.

 

Now for the strawberry topping…

You will need about 1 1/2 lbs of fresh strawberries. Wash, remove stem and cut strawberries in halves.  Add 1 cup of water and 1/2 cup of granulated sugar to a small sauce pot and bring to a boil. Boil until all the sugar has evaporated.  Add the juice of 1 orange and continue to boil for about 5 minutes.  Add strawberries and cook for about 3 minutes. You want the strawberries to be cooked but not too soft.  Remove 1/2 the strawberries (enough to cover the top of the cheesecake) and let cool. Continue to boil the remaining strawberries until they are completely mushy. Remove from the heat, and using a hand blended or potato masher, crush the strawberries until a somewhat jam consistency is formed.  Return to the heat and cook down until sauce it thick and jam like.  Strain to remove the tiny strawberry pieces, leaving a lovely thick syrup.

You will need about 1 1/2 lbs of fresh strawberries. Wash, remove stem and cut strawberries in halves.
Add 1 cup of water and 1/2 cup of granulated sugar to a small sauce pot and bring to a boil. Boil until all the sugar has dissolved.
Add the juice of 1 orange and continue to boil for about 5 minutes.
Add strawberries and cook for about 3 minutes. You want the strawberries to be cooked but not too soft.
Remove 1/2 the strawberries (enough to cover the top of the cheesecake) and let cool.
Continue to boil the remaining strawberries until they are completely mushy.
Remove from the heat, and using a hand blender or potato masher, crush the strawberries until a somewhat jam consistency is formed.
Return to the heat and cook down until sauce it thick and jam like.
Strain to remove the tiny strawberry pieces, leaving a lovely thick syrup.

This is the strained syrup.

This is the strained syrup.

Using the strawberries you had set aside to cool, cover the top of the cheesecake.

Using the strawberries you had set aside to cool, cover the top of the cheesecake.

Then pour the strawberry syrup over the the top of the cheesecake.  And there you have it. Strawberry cheesecake. Yummy!!!!

Then pour the strawberry syrup over the the top of the cheesecake.
And there you have it. Strawberry cheesecake. Yummy!!!!

New York Cheesecake

New York Style Strawberry Cheesecake with a graham cracker crust.

New York Style Strawberry Cheesecake with a graham cracker crust.

This recipe is taken from foodnetwork.com. Follow the recipe for the cheesecake only. My strawberry topping recipe will follow below.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/new-york-cheesecake-with-caramelized-big-apple-topping-recipe/index.html

Ingredients
Graham Cracker Crust:1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons melted butterCheesecake Filling:

1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Apple Topping:

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1 stick unsalted butter
2 cups peeled, cored, and thinly sliced Granny Smith apples (about 4 apples)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a bowl, mix together the crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon. Add the butter and mix well. Using the back of a spoon, press evenly into the bottom and slightly up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake until golden, about 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool before filling.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, or with a large, heavy wooden spoon until creamy and smooth. Add the sugar a few tablespoons at a time, and when well incorporated, add the flour, lemon peel, orange peel, and vanilla extract. Add the eggs and heavy cream, beating on low speed just until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl to incorporate all the ingredients.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the middle of the oven until set, but the center is still slightly soft (but not wobbly), about 55 minutes to 1 hour and 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, loosen the outer ring, and let cool in the pan on a wire rack. Refrigerate the cake, loosely covered, for 6 hours or overnight.

Remove the cake from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature.

To make the topping, in a heavy, medium saucepan, combine the 1/2 cup sugar and water, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Continue cooking until amber in color, 7 to 10 minutes, swirling the pan occasionally. Add the butter, stir, and cook over low heat until the butter is melted and evenly incorporated. Add the apples and stir to coat with the caramel. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until the apples are tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool before topping the cheesecake.

Top the cheesecake with the caramelized apple topping and serve.

Strawberry Topping:

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs fresh strawberries
1 large orange (juiced)
1 cup water
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Directions:
Wash strawberries. Then remove stems and cut into halves. Set aside. Combine water and sugar in a small stock pot on high heat. Stir until sugar dissolves completely. Then bring to a boil. Add orange juice and continue to boil for about 5 minutes. Add strawberries, and continue to boil for about 3 minutes, or until strawberries are cooked but not too soft. Remove 1/2 the strawberries, set aside and let cool. Continue to cook the other half, until really soft and mushy. Remove from heat. With a hand blender or potato masher, crush strawberries until a jam like consistency forms. Return to the heat and cook down until a thick sauce forms, for about 10 more minutes. You may need to stir constantly to prevent sticking. Strain strawberry sauce to remove chucks of strawberries, leaving a nice thick sauce. The strawberries you set aside before will be used to top the cheesecake followed by the sauce.

Tips and Ramblings:
1. You can make this recipe without the crust. Just remember to grease the pan and line all the way around with parchment to prevent the cheesecake from dripping out the sides of the spring form pan.
2. For a lighter, fluffier cheesecake, bake at 325 for about 110 minutes. This should also prevent it from getting as brown as mine did.
3. You can top your cheesecake with any kind of fruit. In fact I wish I lived in Guyana and had access to gooseberry cause gooseberry jam would probably make a great cheesecake topping, or even pineapple jam.
4. Sometimes my cheesecake cracks after or during cooling, I’m not quite sure why this happens or how to prevent. But it gets covered up with the topping. If any of you bakers out there know how to prevent this, do share.

Happy Baking!

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I’ve got some ‘splaining to do…

Hi all. There’s no recipe in this post, but I feel like I owe you guys a quick explanation as to why you haven’t heard from me in a while. The truth is, I haven’t been managing my time very well. I’ve been choosing to take naps with my little one, cause I’m getting old and tired, instead of doing the things on my to do list. Okay, okay, let’s back up a bit cause I feel like y’all gotta hear me out before you start judging.

My little man turned one and we had a huge birthday party for him (picture collage at the end). Family and friends visited from out of town and stayed at my house. I planned, cooked and did everything for the event myself (with the help of my family and friends of course), with the exception of his magnificent cake. So after it was all said and done, I was pooped. I think I am still recovering, actually. Ha.

Did I tell y’all that my little guy is walking? Oh man, more like running and getting into all sorts of trouble. Between swim lessons (yes, y’all we’re training the next Michael Phelps – bows head, with sly smile), park trips, and daily walks I can’t even think about blogging. Not that I haven’t been cooking. I have. And taking pictures and editing. I just can’t seem to sit down to put them together. So today, instead of napping I am here typing up a few posts and hoping to get caught up.

A lot of you have requested recipes here and videos on youtube. As soon as I get back into some sort of schedule, I promise I’ll post a recipe per your request (of course, as long as I can find the ingredients).

I’m also schedule to be on an official family vacation for three weeks mid August, so there will definitely be a break in posts again. I’ll let you know when this happens and apologize in advance.

Finally, thank you all for subscribing to my blog. I feel so happy when I get a new subbie. Those of you on instagram check out my page @metemgeeblog, I post often there and sometimes share what I am making for dinner (things that don’t make it on the blog).

Now for the birthday pic….

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