Archives for category: Pasta

Wontons are a perfect appetizer for dinner parties. They’re easy to make and you can stuff them with practically anything from seasoned ground pork with vegetables, cheesy mixtures to fruit fillings. Our recipe of these savory cheesy fortune bags are great served with a citrusy sauce like raspberry puree, made from cooked raspberry with sherry, cinnamon, sugar and water. Cool the sauce, puree and pour into a squeeze bottle (see recipe below.) The wontons freeze well, so you can store the extra ones you’ve made to enjoy later. Dust the pie tins or dinner plates with flour before lining the wontons to prevent sticking. After the wontons are frozen, take them off the plates and store in heavy duty freezer bags. If you think 100 wontons are too much, scale down to 50 and just cut all ingredients to half. Happy Chinese New Year of the Dragon to all!

2 cups Mascarpone cheese
2 cups cream cheese
1 package fresh wonton skins (about 80-100 sheets)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium pumpkin
3 large red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
5 leaves sage, finely minced
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons Tabasco sauce
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Juice of 1/2 lemon
A pinch of sugar
Oil for frying
Kosher salt
Freshly cracked black pepper

Half the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds. Place the pumpkin on a baking sheet cut side up, drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, sprinkle kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool, scoop out the roasted pumpkin and set aside.

In a sauté pan. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and throw in the diced onions and minced garlic. Season with salt & pepper and a pinch of sugar. Sauté until onions are caramelized and fragrant, about 6 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, add the pumpkin, sautéed onions, minced sage, cheeses, cayenne, Tabasco, Worcestershire, lemon juice and salt & pepper to taste. Mix all ingredients well together.

Wrap filling in traditional Chinese wonton skins. Deep fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towel and serve immediately.

Raspberry Sauce:

2 cups raspberry (fresh or frozen)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup sherry
1 2″ cinnamon stick
2 cups water

In a sauce pan, bring all ingredients to a boil then immediately turn down to a very small simmer. Reduce to half, about 35 minutes. Watch it closely so you don’t burn the sauce.

Cool the raspberry sauce and purée in a blender. Pour the sauce in a squeeze bottle. Decorate the sauce over the plate in whatever fashion you’d like.

We love a steamy bowl of mac & cheese! Our version has an addictive garlicky flavor and a little cayenne heat. All of the ingredients can be found at Ole’! super market at Grand Gateway in Xujiahui. We made a big batch so to heat left overs back up the next day, just mix in a little milk and grate extra cheese on top. Enjoy ^.^~

1 package tiburon or macaroni, 250g
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
4 cups milk
2 cups loosely packed sharp cheddar, grated
2 cups loosely packed Gruyere, grated
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
A small pinch of nutmeg
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Cook the tiburon pasta according to the package directions, about 6 minutes. Drain well.

Warm the milk in the microwave for 3 minutes. Heat 3 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan, add the minced garlic and flour and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. Lower the heat and while whisking, pour the hot milk in. Continue to whisk until smooth and thickened. Simmer for 5 minutes to cook out the raw flour flavor.

Take the saucepan off the heat, add the cheddar and Gruyere, kosher salt to taste, cayenne and nutmeg. Put back on the stove with a very low heat. Add the tiburon pasta and stir until combined with the creamy cheese sauce.

Ladle mac & cheese into a bowl and serve immediately.

Here’s an authentic recipe for you. It was handed down from my Shandong Grandmother who grew up in Beijing. She was a wonderful cook who taught my Mother everything she knows about Chinese food and I learned from the both of them. Thank you Grandma and Mom ♥!

For these fresh thick noodles, you can find them at Jiashan Market (328 Jianguo lu near Taiyuan lu. 嘉善菜场, 建国西路328号近太原路.) If you’re looking at 2 noodle stalls, it’s the one on the right. Pick the thickest noodles she has on display. They have the toothsomeness (al dente) you’ll want for this dish. Happy Cooking!

1 1/2 pound pork, coarsely grounded
1 cup canola oil
1 cucumber, julienned
1 carrot, julienned
2 scallions, julienned
1 small bunch young pea shoots or bean sprouts
1 package soybean paste (Green Food brand 葱伴侣豆瓣酱 150g)
1 package sweet bean paste (Green Food brand 葱伴侣甜面酱 150g) *Please note, the package says “Hoisin Sauce”, but it’s not. It’s sweet bean paste. Sweet bean paste is a condiment used in northern China such as for Peking duck, pancakes and noodle dishes. Hoisin is Cantonese for seafood. Both are sweet, black in color but has two very different flavors.
1 piece 2″ ginger, minced
1 bunch scallions, minced
2 red chilies, minced
2 medium ripe tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoons rock sugar
2 tablespoons rice wine
2 cups water
1 bunch hand spun thick noodles (Northern style)

Heat a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add canola oil, ginger, scallions, chilies and saute until fragrant.

Add the ground pork, stir fry until cooked through. Deglaze with rice wine then add the soybean paste and sweet bean paste. Turn heat down to a simmer and stir to combine. Make sure the ingredients are fry-boiling with small bubbles. “Zha jiang” in Chinese, means fry the sauce. The sauce is meant to be fried to bring out the fragrance of the bean pastes, about 15 minutes. It looks like a lot of oil, but you need it to “fry” the sauce. Stir occasionally and cover.

Add the tomatoes, rock sugar and water. Simmer until tomatoes are completely dissipated.

Boil the noodles until al dente, strain and place in a large bowl. In the same boiling water, add a pinch of salt and flash boil the pea shoots or bean sprouts, about 5 seconds. Strain the vegetable.

Top the fresh cooked noodles with the zha jiang sauce, pea shoots, julienned carrots, cucumbers and scallions. Mix and serve immediately.

We invited our good friend Reynaldo over for dinner Sunday night. Reynaldo ate four plates of this clam pasta.
Chinese clams are sweet and delicious. The secret is not to cook them too long, as they will shrink and get a bit rubbery. For the live clams, we get them from Jiashan wet market and the address is 328 Jianguo lu near Taiyuan lu. 嘉善菜场, 建国西路328号近太原路。Happy cooking!

1 pound live round clams
1 pound live razor clams
8 medium ripe red tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 tablespoons good olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 package spaghetti
Parmigiano Reggiano
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Wash the clams with plenty of water, drain and set aside. Discard any opened clams.

In a medium sauce pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil on medium-high heat, throw in the onions and saute until translucent. Add the tomatoes, half of the garlic then turn heat down to a simmer. Add salt & pepper to taste and a pinch of sugar if the sauce is a bit acidic. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

In the mean time, boil spaghetti until al dente according to package direction. Drain and set aside.

In a large saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil on high heat. Add garlic and saute until fragrant. Add in the clams, toss and season with salt & pepper. Cover and cook until the clams open, about 2-3 minutes. Dish the clams into a large bowl.

In the same saute pan, add the cooked pasta, tomato sauce, clams, about a half cup of clam juice from the clam bowl and toss to coat. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley and grated Parmigiano Reggiano.

This is an easy recipe and very tasty. The ingredients are fresh and popping with flavors. I can’t stress enough how good this was. You’ll just have to try it. The entire cooking time is just 15 minutes. We picked up most of the ingredients from the Avocado Lady down the street. The dried red chili peppers we always have in our kitchen. The jar of roasted red peppers came from the States, but you can easily find them at Pine’s or City Shop. For the granulated chicken powder, they are available at any Chinese supermarket. The brand Weimeisi (味美思) is our favorite. Happy Cooking!

1/2 package spaghetti (but you can use any pasta that you like)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
6 dried red chili peppers (stems cut off)
1 leek, thinly sliced
1 medium tomato, diced
3 roasted red peppers, thinly sliced (jar type)
1 tablespoon granulated chicken powder (味美思鸡精)
Grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Clean all vegetables and pat dry. Dice the tomato, thinly slice the garlic, leek (white part only) and roasted red peppers.

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon granulated chicken powder and 1 teaspoon salt to the water and cook pasta until al dente.

3 minutes before the pasta is done. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium saute pan on medium-high heat. Throw in the garlic and saute for about 30 seconds. Toss the chilies in, cook for another 10 seconds – garlic slices should be golden brown at this point. Throw in the leeks, saute until fragrant and golden. Now toss in the roasted red peppers and tomato, add a teaspoon balsamic vinegar. Cook for 30 more seconds.

Drain the pasta, it should be al dente. Add the pasta to the saute pan, toss ingredients together and salt & pepper to taste. Top with grated Parmigiano Reggiano and serve immediately.

*Note: to make dry chilies, lay fresh chilies out on a paper towel. Let air go through them in a dry spot in your kitchen, otherwise there will be too much moisture and mold will form.

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