Chili Garlic Fried RIce

Garlic Chili Fried RIce There is a lot that goes into a perfect fried rice. How do you tell? First thing you want to judge of course would be the rice itself. Not mushy, clumped together or soggy looking.

It’s “fried rice”. Each grain of rice should be nicely separated from each other while cooking in a high heat cooking equipment with soy sauce distributed evenly amongst every grain to a dark brown color. Best rice to use would be rice that has already been slightly or all the way cooled. Never freshly made rice because more then likely it is still very hot and has a lot of moisture in it still.  Using that will result in a soggy outcome.

Typically made in a large hot wok and you really want it hot. I like to cook my eggs first, crack it in there and instantly stir it around like you’re making scrambled eggs. Right as the eggs come to 70% of being fully cooked, add the rice . Have all your ingredients pre-cooked and ready (in this case I had pre made the bacon) then you can just throw whatever amount of things you want in with the rice, season with herbs, spices and soy sauce. Finish with freshly sliced green onions

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Not your average salad.

Not your average salad.

Doing private catering has opened my eyes to a lot of things. So much you can create and put on a plate.

Here we have a composed salad with a bouquet of bibb lettuce & mixed greens. Garnished with heart of palm, avocado, tomato, green olives and layered red beets with goat cheese. Putting the lettuce in a bouquet form just makes the dish more elegant especially for this private plated dinner. Shows that you really put some thought and time into something as simple as a salad.

Very lovely presentation with the beets cut in half and the color combinations make each item really stand out.

Lemon Zest Blueberry Cheesecake

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I must say this has been the best cheesecake I have made yet.
My best friend had a baby boy shower and this was quite fitting for the occasion. I had made enough for at least 80 people and then some. A lot more.. Enough to share with more friends.
Which I’m happy about because honestly it’s a really good recipe and turned out really good.

However, this recipe was influenced by Tyler Florence “The Ultimate Cheesecake” which is just a plain cheesecake. Took that and tweaked it a little bit and added my own flare. That’s what cooking is about right?

This cheesecake is basically three of my favorite things in one!!! What more could I ask for.
The cheesecake itself I threw in a bunch of lemon zest which I think is what does it. The blueberry compote I also added lemon zest which adds a lot more flavor and brightens up the blueberries and the compote all together. All of it eaten together is just delicious. This is a must make.

Caramel Popcorn Pumpkin Cheesecake.

Popcorn Pumpkin Cheesecake.

Pumpkin cheesecake with whipped cream & caramel chipotle popcorn.

These were really fun and easy to make. Made these for my birthday last year & with it being in the fall it was perfect. Made miniature ones for my party and it turned out nicely. Got the popcorn from a food show I had went to and it worked out pretty well.

Standard cheesecake recipe with pumpkin puree added to it. Made some special ones too which were tasty.

Crabby Crab Cakes.

Little Crabby Crab Cakes. I’ve come across a variety of crab cakes through out my work. But recently doing some private catering I discovered a really good recipe that hold up with a little extra boost and I got a chance to make it as well. Doing private catering for small parties is excellent because you can showcase different menu items you have to offer and make them how you want. Crab cakes at all locations will most likely be different anywhere you go. But your standard crab cake will and should at least have the crab, mayonnaise, dijon & worcestershire sauce. I’ve seen people add leeks, eggs(more for the binding aspect), hot sauce, old bay, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, capers, bread crumbs, crackers, panko, and the list is endless. Whatever you want to have in it is all you. But if you want to step up your crab cake game but keeping it simple as well then take a stab at this. Try adding some shrimp to the crab cakes. Not just chunks of shrimp but a smooth shrimp mousse folded into lump crab meat.

Different play, not your average crab cake and people will definitely not expect it. The shrimp mousse will give it that extra hold and seafood flavor that people love. Simply take shrimp and throw it in a robot coupe being careful to not over process it. Add in freshly chopped garlic, onions, old bay, paprika, lemon juice,  salt and lemon pepper. This way no extra binder of any type of gluten is really needed; might be slightly loose at first when forming the crab cakes but will hold once they start cooking. Portion them out and dip them in panko bread crumbs when searing them for extra crunch and browning.

Quick Comfort.

Quick Comfort.

Noodles are a staple in Asian cuisine. Whether it’s rice, flour or egg noodles the the combinations are endless. From udon, ramen to spaghetti noodles; there’s no escaping. I grew up eating all sorts of noodles but mainly Asian style noodles. Typical Asian soup & noodle dishes are garnished with a couple proteins and vegetables.

Spam is a great accommodation if you’re up for that type of stuff. Fry an egg along with it and garnish it with some green onions and cilantro and you have yourself a quick snack. Or sear up some flank steak or Chinese BBQ roasted pork.

For a really quick broth; in the water you are cooking your noodles with just add spices and different flavoring. Have all these ingredients and your broth ready to go before you drop your noodles in so while the noodles are cooking it absorbs all the flavor that’s simmering in the broth.

My quick Asian style broth: Soy sauce, dash of sesame oil, pepper, ginger, garlic, mushrooms (for some earthy flavor) and my favorite and secret ingredient Togarashi (Japanese product with a mixture of chili pepper and couple other ingredients. Good for soups, flavoring meats and other proteins as well). With this quick broth you can add any type of noodles and even dumplings to enjoy something warm and comforting.