9/20/16 ChefElla's Hawaiian Fried Rice with Spam Cakes

I am not Hawaiian, but last year I was at a Hawaiian dinner and I was impressed with how fresh the food tasted.  I will admit that I am more than a little skeptical about their broad use of Spam.  While Spam may seem a little old fashioned and the butt of many jokes, it is a part of the Hawaiian culture.  For this recipe you can substitute other ground meats, but if you like ham you might want to try this recipe with Spam and get in touch with your Hawaiian side.  If Spam cakes are just not your thing, skip it and make the fried rice.  It is a wonderful addition to any meal.

1.     Wash your hands.

2.     For this recipe you will need measuring cups and spoons, a wooden spoon, a knife and cutting board, a large scooper, a food processor, a large sauté pan, the stove, a cookie sheet and the oven.

If you are not allowed to use a knife, the oven, stove, or food processor by yourself you can ask an adult for help.

ChefElla’s Hawaiian Fried Rice with Spam Cakes (4-6 servings)

Spam Cakes

24 oz.         Spam (2 – 12 oz. Cans, I used the original but you could use Turkey or Low Sodium)

¼ Cup         Green Onion, The White Part, Thin Sliced (About 6 thin pieces)

       -Reserve the green part of the onion for later.

1 Cup           Panko Bread Crumbs

2 ea.             Egg, Large

¾ Cup           BBQ Sauce (Hawaiian Style, Honey BBQ, or your favorite kind)

1 tsp              Garlic, Fresh (1 large clove)

Hawaiian Fried Rice

4 Cups           Jasmine or Basmati Rice, Cooked

-For fried rice, it is best to cook the rice the day before, and let it cool uncovered in the refrigerator overnight so that it is a little dried out.  If you are not able to make your rice ahead of time it is ok to make when you need it.  Your fried rice will taste great anyway.  You can use pre-cooked rice in the pouch for this recipe also.

1 Cup              Pineapple Pieces, Plus 4 Tbl. reserved pineapple juice

          -Canned Pineapple in water or juice is ok for this recipe.

¼ Cup             Green Onion, The Green Part, Sliced Thin

½ Cup             Carrot, Shredded

4 Tbl.              Teriyaki Glaze or Sauce (Do not use the teriyaki marinade with the water like                                     consistency)

2 Tbl.               Soy Sauce

½ tsp               Garlic, Fresh, Minced

2 Tbl.                Vegetable Oil

½ tsp                Black Pepper

3.     Preheat your oven to 400F.

4.     Cut your spam into chunks and place in the food processor.  Add all of the remaining ingredients.  Pulse the food processor until all of the ingredients are mixed well and there are no large chunks of Spam.  Small pieces the size of a corn kernel are ok.  *If you are using ground meat for your recipe simply mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl.  You will not need a food processor.

5.     Line your cookie sheet with aluminum foil.  Using your scooper scoop the Spam cakes onto your pan.  About 4 tablespoons per scoop.  Bake the Spam cakes in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until they have a golden color. 

6.     When the Spam cakes have 15 minutes left to cook heat your sauté pan on the stove on medium high heat.

7.     Add 1 tablespoon of oil and the carrots to the pan and cook stirring frequently for 2-3 minutes.  Add the garlic to the pan and mix well.  Add the rice to the pan and mix well with the carrots to coat the rice with the oil.  Turn the heat to medium and stir occasionally to let the rice begin to brown a little and heat up.  Cook for 4-5 minutes.

8.     Add the soy sauce and teriyaki glaze to the pan and mix well.

9.     Push all of the rice to one side of you pan and add 1 table spoon of oil to the empty side of the pan.  Crack your eggs into a bowl, do not mix, and pour into the side of the pan with the oil.  Scramble the eggs quickly in the pan.

10.  Mix the rice and cooked egg together and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Add your pineapple, green onions, and pineapple juice to the pan and mix well.  Turn off the heat.

11.  Top your spam cakes with a little more BBQ sauce and serve with your fried rice.

You can add or substitute different ingredients to your Hawaiian Fried Rice with Spam Cakes.  Try adding different vegetable to your fried rice or different meats or sauces for your Spam Cakes.

Enjoy,

ChefElla

Ella’s Helpers

ChefElla’s helpers can help by:

Measuring the ingredients

Adding the ingredients to the food processor

Mixing the dry and wet ingredients

Scooping and shaping the Spam Cakes

Older helpers can help by:

Cutting the vegetables

Setting the oven temperature and timer

Sautéing the fried rice

 

5/10/16 ChefElla's Japanese Carrot Ginger Dressing

One of the best things about food is that there is always something new to try.  I ordered a salad while visiting a sushi restaurant recently and it came with the best Japanese Carrot Ginger dressing.  The dressing was so fresh and flavorful, I knew instantly that I needed to make it, and share the recipe with you.  While my carrot ginger dressing was served with simple greens I have shared a few more ideas for this dressing that can turn it from just a topping to the star of your meal.

1.     Wash your hands.

2.     For this recipe you will need measuring cups and spoons, a knife and cutting board, and a blender or food processor.

If you are not allowed to use a knife, blender or food processor by yourself you can ask an adult for help.

ChefElla’s Japanese Carrot Ginger Dressing (4-6 servings)

8 oz.                 Carrots, Peeled and Rough Chopped

¼ Cup               Light Soy Sauce or Gluten Free Tamari Soy Sauce

¼ Cup               Rice Vinegar

¼ Cup               Vegetable Oil

3 Tbl                Ginger, Fresh, Rough Chopped (About 1 inch piece of ginger)

-Peel the thin tan skin off of your ginger using a potato peeler or scrape with the edge of a teaspoon.  Slice the ginger into thin coins and then rough chop.  If you are using pre-minced ginger will want to change the amount in the recipe to about 2 Tbl.

2 tsp                 Garlic, Minced (about 2 cloves)

Meal Ideas for your Carrot Ginger Dressing

Salad:     1 large head of romaine or Boston Bibb lettuce chopped, 1 small cucumber diced, 3 green onions sliced thin, bean sprouts, 16 oz. shrimp, pulled chicken, sliced pork belly, or tempeh, 2 hardboiled eggs diced, 1 avocado diced.  Top your salad with the Carrot Ginger Dressing.

Banh Mi Sandwiches:  4-6 romaine or Boston Bibb lettuce leaves, 1 small cucumber cut into matchsticks, red onion sliced thin, 16 oz. shrimp, pulled chicken, sliced pork belly, Seitan, or tempeh, 1 avocado sliced, 4-6 soft rolls or 1 large French bread.  Top your Banh Mi with the Carrot Ginger Dressing.

Cold Noodle Salad: 1 package of Cellophane or Soba noodles, ½ cup edamame, ½ red pepper sliced thin, 3 green onions sliced thin, 2 oz. red cabbage sliced thin, 2 Tbl. black or white sesame seeds, 16 oz. shrimp, pulled chicken, sliced pork belly, Seitan, or tempeh, Mix ½ of your Carrot Ginger Dressing into the salad.  Add more as needed.

Summer Rolls: Rice Paper Wrappers, 1 small cucumber cut into matchsticks, 4-6 lettuce leaves with the rib removed, 2 green onions sliced thin, 3 Tbl Peanuts Chopped, 2 Tbl. sesame seeds, 8 oz. shrimp, pulled chicken, sliced pork belly, Seitan, or tempeh, 6 oz. cellophane noodles, ¼ cup cilantro leaves chopped, 1 Avocado sliced thin, Mix 4 Tbl. of your Carrot Ginger Dressing into your cellophane noodles.  Add more as needed.

3.     Add all of your dressing ingredients to your blender or food processor.

4.     Blend for 1 – 2 minutes seconds until the dressing is smooth and there are no carrot pieces left.

Store your dressing in the refrigerator for up to a week.  Follow any of my optional salad, sandwich, or roll ideas, or use the dressing to make one of your own favorite recipes.

Enjoy,

ChefElla

Ella’s Helpers

ChefElla’s helpers can help by:

Measuring out ingredients

Adding the ingredients to the blender

Older helpers can help by:

Peeling the ginger and carrot

Chopping the ginger and carrot

Running the blender or food processor

8/18/15 ChefElla's Beef Banh Mi Sandwich

In Vietnam the word Banh Mi just meant bread.  For many years the country of France had many of its people living in Vietnam.  A funny thing happens when one group of people lives with another group of people, they always end up sharing their foods with each other.  After many years the word Banh Mi has changed to describe a particular French bread, the baguette, and while the French baguette can be quite crusty the Vietnamese baguette is softer and great for sandwiches.  In the United States Banh Mi is the name of a sandwich made with soft French bread and Vietnamese ingredients.  It may sound odd to serve Asian food on bread, but you will be surprised by how tasty it is.  While there are traditional recipes for Banh Mi it is very versatile and great for creating your own special sandwich.

1.     Wash your hands.

2.     For this recipe you will need measuring cups and spoons, a rubber spatula, a knife, a cutting board, a small bowl, and a large bowl.

If you are not allowed to use a knife by yourself you can ask an adult to help.

ChefElla’s Banh Mi Sandwich (Yield 4 sandwiches)

8oz.        Roast Beef, Cut into strips

-I used Beef for my Banh Mi sandwich, but there are many other fillings to choose from.  Turkey, chicken, meatballs, sausage patties, smoked ham, seasoned tofu, Mock Duck (Seitan), bacon, pulled pork, pork belly, or even vegetables.

-I made my Banh Mi sandwich cold but another great way to serve this sandwich is to warm the meat and the bread.  Top with the cold salad ingredients and serve.  This gives the sandwich a great flavor and nice contrast of hot and cold when you eat it.

1 Cup       Cucumber, Seeds Removed, Matchstick or Julienne Cut

1 Cup        Carrots, Matchstick Cut or Shredded

½ Cup       Red Onion, Julienne (about ½ small onion)

¼ Cup       Cilantro Leaves, Minced (Measure leaves and then mince)

1/8 Cup    Thai Basil Leaves, Minced (Measure leaves and then mince)

                   -You can use regular basil as a substitute, 4-5 large leaves.

1/8 Cup    Mint Leaves, Minced, 6-8 leaves (Measure leaves and then mince)

1 ½ Tbl.     Rice Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar

1 ½ Tbl.     Cane Sugar

¼ tsp         Salt, Kosher or Sea

½ Cup       Mayonnaise (I use Olive Oil or Canola Mayonnaise)

2 tsp         Sriracha Sauce (If you do not have Sriracha you can substitute 1 tsp hot sauce)

2 tsp          Soy Sauce

4 ea.      Soft White French Bread (1 large loaf cut into 4 pieces, or 2 – ½ loaves cut in half, or 4 large soft sub buns.)

3.     In a large bowl mix vinegar, sugar, and salt.  Mix well until the sugar is dissolved.  Add carrots, cucumber, onion, cilantro, Thai basil, and mint.  Mix well and place in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.

4.     In a small bowl mix mayonnaise, Sriracha, and soy sauce.  If you do not like spicy food leave out the Sriracha.

5.     Take the mayonnaise mixture and spread on the top and bottom of each of the buns.

6.     Add ¼ of the beef to each sandwich.  Take the salad mixture out of the refrigerator and mix again.  Add ¼ of the salad mixture to each sandwich and serve.

Be creative with you Banh Mi sandwich.  If you like spicy food, add some jalapeno to your salad mixture.  If you enjoy fish sauce, substitute fish sauce for vinegar in your recipe.  Try different vegetables, or meats, try it hot or cold, and if you prefer vinaigrette to mayonnaise try my Thai Dipping sauce from 2/5/15 ChefElla’s Thai Broccoli & Chicken Salad.

Enjoy,

ChefElla

Ella’s Helpers

ChefElla’s helpers can help in the kitchen by doing any of the following:

Measuring out the ingredients.

Mixing the vegetable salad.

Mixing the mayonnaise sauce.

Building the sandwiches.