Three Cup Tofu

Saturday, June 8, 2013

There’s this pretty well-known Taiwanese dish called Three Cup Chicken. The flavorful dish of dark meat chicken is flavored with sugar, soy sauce, and sesame oil with a strong dose of Chinese/Thai Basil.  My mom came up with a vegetarian version, Three Cup Tofu with the same flavor profile and it’s even easier to make. I was planning on posting Three Cup Chicken first, since it’s the original dish. That would have made more sense but alas, my body was just not willing to work with me on this…

Three Cup Tofu 3

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posted by jessica at 05:02 PM

My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

For as long as I’ve been baking, or cooking at all, I’ve been baking chocolate chip cookies. Isn’t it one of the first things kids learn to do in the kitchen? Warm chocolate chip cookies just minutes out of the oven have always been a favorite treat of mine. Even the simple original Nestle recipe on the back of a bag of chocolate chips hits the spot. That recipe got a lot of use in my college days and even when I moved on to using better chocolate and dark chocolate, I still used that basic recipe for years. Then I started trying tons of different chocolate chip cookie recipes, some fancy, some not, with and without nuts. I enjoyed them all, truly. Yet, I think I’ve found my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, as hard as that is to admit.

My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie

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posted by jessica at 10:40 PM

Basic Wontons (with Video)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Boy, have we come a long way since 2008. Some of you have been with us since we got married and we’re about to celebrate our Five-year Anniversary! Since then, we’ve definitely moved away from doing as many restaurant reviews (though worthy ones will still appear) and focused strongly on the recipes. It seemed that’s what you, our readers wanted. As we continually look to improve I sometimes backtrack to important recipes like this one where I feel compelled to improve the content. I originally posted this basic wonton recipe on October 29, 2008 and all I wrote was this:

“The traditional basic wonton is made with a pork filling and I decided to do just that, nothing fancy or inventive, just a good basic wonton.”

Basic Wontons title pic

…and of course the recipe followed, which I left basically unchanged (just a little wording adjustments and changed pics). I still use this exact same recipe all the time. It’s a classic. I wanted to update the old photos as I often do and more importantly, I needed to add a video to better illustrate how to fold a wonton. The video is so much better than words in this case!

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posted by jessica at 07:55 AM

Shrimp & Peas

Saturday, May 4, 2013

I enjoy making somewhat elaborate dinners nightly, though that really doesn’t happen every night. Lunch is a different story. I try to maximize Caya’s morning play time (in the park, a class, or play space). We usually rush back just in the nick of time to allow five minutes to prepare lunch before she needs to eat; because soon after, it’s nap time.  I’m confident that having a kid is not required to have a limited lunch time.  Also it likely doesn’t take being two years old to have a short window between hungry and about to cry. It’s a daily stressor.

Shrimp & Peas is one of my saving dishes. It helps that Caya loves shrimp so much, we call her little shrimp monster. Do you see this plate of shrimp?  Try to count the pieces… I got to eat exactly one piece; Caya devoured the rest. You’re going to love the heck out of this dish too, especially when you realize that it could be the fastest, easiest, least clean-up dish you now know. If you buy already cleaned shrimp, this couldn’t take you more than three minutes to make. You don’t even need a knife or cutting board. How crazy is that?

Shrimp & Peas

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posted by jessica at 10:32 PM

Red-Cooked Pork Belly and Baby Cuttlefish

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Very early readers may remember that I was a professional figure skater in my early life. (Lon too! I swear. Isn’t that crazy?) In my early 20s, I joined a hip-hop and breaking crew. My 30s seem to be shaping into my partner dancing era. I am in love with Argentine Tango and I also enjoy some salsa, bachata, cha and cha, and hustle. Just last night, I went to a workshop for BachaTango and it was wild! You dance on the count for Bachata with Tango moves thrown in. In the beginning, it was a little bit of a mind game for me not to switch to one or the other but once I got the hang of it, it was super fun. It seems to be growing in popularity in Europe and I hope I see more of it here.

BachaTango reminded me of this lovely Red-Cooked Pork Belly and Baby Cuttlefish dish because it fuses two elements, a surf & turf of Chinese sorts. Red-Cooking is a classic Chinese cooking method. In a very basic sense, it’s a sauce base of soy sauce and rock candy. How can that go wrong, right? Nearly anything can be red-cooked if you ask a Chinese person. We’ve done a Red-Cooked Picnic Shoulder in the past, a traditional dish called Tee Pong, and we’ve even done a Red-Braised Pork Belly on FoodMayhem. Don’t be surprised if you see more in the future! Here, we’re Red-Cooking rich little chunks of pork belly with plump baby cuttlefish. Double the textures, double the fun!

Red-Cooked Pork Belly & Cuttlefish 3

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posted by jessica at 10:41 PM

Creamy Homemade Ricotta from “Homemade with Love” by Jennifer Perillo

Sunday, April 14, 2013

As soon as my friend Jennifer Perillo’s book, “Homemade with Love” was available on Amazon, I pre-ordered it. I always wanted to know her secret to Risotto, which isn’t in the book Jennie! I still want to learn that one day, but I’ll forgive her for now because this book has quickly become one of my favorite cookbooks, full of simply amazing and totally do-able recipes. It doesn’t hurt that this book is also gorgeous. It could stand alone as a coffee table book. The colors, the fonts, the photos by Penny De Los Santos, and the soothing voice of Jennie, as if she was just guiding you in the kitchen. I truly love it.

I’ve tried four recipes from the book so far and every one was a hit. Fluffy is a modest description for the Buttermilk pancakes. The DIY granola uses ingredients I already have in my pantry. The Lentil “Meatball” recipe is a serious must-have for anyone who entertains a vegetarian. All the meat-eaters at my table loved it too and I really appreciate how it looks just like the meat version. Perhaps the most valuable find for me so far is the Creamy Homemade Ricotta.

Creamy Homemade Ricotta title pic

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posted by jessica at 09:20 PM

Move to E-mail

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

With the impending closure of Google Reader and the possibility of Google shutting down Feedburner, we are lining the clouds with silver by setting up a real e-mail list for FoodMayhem! I’m actually glad I got this push as FoodMayhem should’ve moved to e-mail long ago. Now I’ll be able send you a picture (and more customized emails about posts in general)!

The move will happen by the next blog post so expect an e-mail from me in the next several days, please make sure to add us ([email protected]) to your address book so it doesn’t get flagged as spam. I hope you’re as excited as I am!

If you manually signed up for e-mail on our site in the past you should continue to receive emails without a problem. (cross your fingers).  If you didn’t please sign up now so you stay in the taste loop.

If you’re a new reader, sign-up for e-mails now so you never miss anything delicious!

posted by jessica at 10:34 PM

Triple Mushroom, Lotus Root, and Soybean Skin

Friday, April 5, 2013

I kind of really fell off the planet for almost two years. Becoming a first time mom is tough, at least it really kicked me in the butt. It took me a long time to get back in the game (I hope you’ve noticed the new regularity in posting!) and then I realized: things had really changed since my “maternity leave”. What are all these new social media platforms? Panic! It was really daunting at first, especially because there was so many. I stalled several times yet once I did it, it quickly became habitual to take pictures of Caya on Instagram and plan out future home reno projects on Pinterest. And, thanks to the encouragement of Jackie and Blanca, I’m on Google+ now too. (I’m still a little lost on G+ but Chef Dennis Littley has a very helpful Community Education Series). So follow me on Instagram and Pinterest, and circle me on Google+. I’m back from the dead!

New social media platforms can seem scary to approach at first and so can unfamiliar ingredients. This beautifully earthy dish has some not-so-standard ingredients. Don’t fret; I’m here to walk you through.

title picture: mushrooms, lotus root, soybean skin

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posted by jessica at 08:39 PM

Cous Cous with Kale and Preserved Lemon

Thursday, March 28, 2013

When I had extra Meyer lemons to use up, I decided to preserve them. My intention was to try that famous Moroccan chicken dish with olives and preserved lemon. Well, life got in the way, and that has not happened yet. It will.

Something even better happened though! The Moroccan inspiration was definitely in mind one night when I threw together a last-minute meal for some friends. I had a beautiful leg of lamb that had to be eaten before we left for a trip, so I called some friends and said my friends’ favorite five words, “please, come eat my food.” That’s the kind of generous friends I have. In a pinch, they’re always ready to lend a helping stomach.  I needed a side-dish and out of my head popped Cous Cous with Kale and Preserved Lemon. Of course, having kale that I also wanted to use up guided my inspiration. The dish worked so well though that I immediately tried to replicate it when we got back from Sanibel and Captiva.

Cous Cous with Kale and Preserved Lemon 5

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posted by jessica at 09:55 AM

101 Taiwanese Cuisine

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Good Taiwanese food has always been a fleeting category. Great restaurants and chefs have come and gone throughout my whole life in New York City. It is because of this that I am almost always more excited about finding a Taiwanese eatery than say, a great Cantonese restaurant. My expectations were set high when I heard that Chef Guo, a well-known chef from Taiwan, was now here at 101 Taiwanese Cuisine 135-11 40th Road, Flushing, NY 11354. My mom set-up a ten person banquet style dinner.

Chef Guo with Title

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posted by jessica at 08:36 AM