Saturday, May 27, 2017

Layered Tres Leches Cake
























Easy but fancy dessert. Perfect for summer dinner parties and potlucks.

5 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar, divided into 3/4 and 1/4
1/3 cup milk (2% or whole)
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 can evaporated milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk

 1 cup heavy cream
2-3 tablespoons sugar, to taste
fresh chopped strawberries (or other berries)

Preheat oven to 350. Generously spray 2 - 8 or 9 inch round cake pans with cooking spray. Beat egg yolks and ¾ cup sugar on high until pale yellow. Transfer to large bowl and stir in milk and vanilla. Stir flour, baking soda, and salt together and add to the yolk mixture, stir to combine. Beat egg whites until soft peaks, add ¼ cup sugar and continue to beat on high until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in egg whites to rest of batter until just combined. Gently spread into the two pans. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until golden brown and inserted toothpick is clean. Remove from oven, let cool and poke holes all over each cake with a fork. Combine evaporated and sweetened condensed milk and pour evenly over each cake. Let cakes sit for about 20 minutes or until all the milk is absorbed. Meanwhile, beat heavy cream and sugar on high until stiff. Spread layer of whip cream between the two layers and on top. Sprinkle chopped strawberries over the whip cream. Serve immediately at room temp. Can also make the cakes one day in advance, cover and refrigerate, and assemble the layers prior to serving. 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Pad Thai
























This baby of mine has been a long time coming, but I finally have it perfected. This is one of my favorite Thai dishes and now I can make it at home! It requires a good amount of prep work but it only takes a short time to put it all together at the end. Most of the ingredients can be obtained from any grocery store. You may have to go to an Asian store to find the tamarind concentrate or order it online. I use a food scale to measure some of the ingredients in this recipe, but I put the approximate volume equivalents in here too for those that don't have one yet. Serves 2-4 people. Adapted from shesimmers.com.



Prepare Noodles
7 oz Thai Kitchen Brand Stir-Fry Rice Noodles* (½ of box, can find at Walmart)

Bring large saucepan of water to boil. Remove from heat, add noodles, cover with lid and let soak for 2 minutes. Drain off hot water and cover noodles with room temp water. Cover with lid and let soak for 20 minutes. Drain off water, rinse noodles with cold water, and set colander of noodles aside. Noodles should be soft but not mushy.

Sauce - makes ⅔ cup*
60 grams Kikkoman soy sauce (reduced sodium is best) (¼ cup)
80 grams white sugar (5 ½ T)
40 grams brown sugar (3 T packed)
50 grams tamarind concentrate (2 ½ T) (I use this brand)

Bring to boil in small saucepan, stirring until sugars are dissolved. Cover and set aside.

Prepare ahead or while noodles are soaking, and set aside
4 tablespoons canola oil
1 large carrot, julienned
¼ small onion, minced or grated
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 eggs, scrambled and chopped
100-200 grams small extra firm tofu cubes* or 4 oz of cooked cubed or shredded chicken
large handful freshly chopped cilantro
large handful of chopped or crushed peanuts
lime wedges or lime juice

Final Steps
Add 4 tablespoons of canola oil to deep nonstick skillet (mine is 3.5 quarts) or wok . Heat over medium heat until piece of onion sizzles. Add onion, garlic, and carrot, reduce heat to medium low or low (if garlic starts to burn), stirring frequently for 5 minutes. Onions should be tender and carrots should be at least half cooked.

Raise heat to medium and add noodles, sauce, eggs, and tofu/chicken. Stir frequently over medium heat for 3 minutes. Serve immediately. Garnish individual servings with chopped cilantro, chopped peanuts, and a squeeze of lime juice (optional).

Notes
*Be aware that not all rice noodles cook the same, my instructions are specifically for this brand
*Optional - increase amount of sauce to serve extra on the side.
*To prepare tofu, dry with towels and brown in a little bit of oil over medium heat in a non stick skillet. It can take awhile to get the moisture out.