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Baked Flounder & Asian Lemon Garlic Pasta August 14, 2010

Posted by Deniz Olcay in Asian Dishes, Healthy Eats, Italian Dishes.
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I’ve been out of commission for a while with the blog due to my new job, but I’m hoping to make it up to my audience with this brand new recipe! If you ever go out fishing this summer, and get to take your catch home, this recipe will certainly honor your catch with deliciousness. Enjoy!

You will need for marinating the fish:

1 Tablespoon of Cajun Fish seasoning
2 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon of Chopped Parsley
2 Tablespoons of Honey
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1/4 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes

You will need for pasta sauce:

1 Tablespoon Chopped Parsley
1 Teaspoon Grated Lemon Zest
1 Tablespoon of Lemon Juice
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Cajun Fish Seasoning
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Red Pepper Flakes
1 Teaspoon chopped garlic
2 Tablespoons of Vermouth (or White Wine)
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese
Fresh Ground Pepper
(optional: 1/2 Teaspoon Thai Chilli Garlic Paste)

Fresh Flounder From The Sea!

1. First, we must gut and skin the flounder. (Graphic images were removed to keep my blog attractive looking 🙂

Chop the head and remove the guts

2. Chop the head off with a sharp and sturdy knife. The guts should also come out if you twist out the head. Rinse the chopping board and the fish with cold water.

To skin the fish, cut an incision around the edges of the fish

3. Cut a slight incision around the edges of the fish, just enough to cut through the skin.

Slowly peel back the skin and cut with your knife to release the skin from the flesh

Peel back the skin by cutting the ligaments that hold the skin to the flesh

4. Use your knife to slowly peel back the skin from the flesh. This takes practice and patience, don’t give up!

Marinate the fish fillets in the sauce prepared

5. Combine 1 Tablespoon of Cajun Fish seasoning, 2 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice, 1 Tablespoon of Chopped Parsley, 2 Tablespoons of Honey, 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce, 1/4 Cup Olive Oil and 1/4 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes in a baking pan and place the fish fillets inside. Preheat the oven to 400F and cook for 10-15 minutes.

Prepare the pasta sauce while you cook the pasta

6. Boil some water in a pot, add some olive oil and cook the spaghetti.  While pasta is cooking, combine 1 Tablespoon Chopped Parsley, 1 Teaspoon Grated Lemon Zest, 1 Tablespoon of Lemon Juice, 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce, 1 Tablespoon Cajun Fish Seasoning, 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Red Pepper Flakes, 1 Teaspoon chopped garlic, 2 Tablespoons of Vermouth (or White Wine) and 1/4 Cup Olive Oil in a small container.

Enjoy the catch of the day!

7. When pasta and fish are both cooked, place the pasta on a dish and toss with the pasta sauce. Then, place the fish next to it for presentation. Liberally apply fresh ground pepper and some Parmesan cheese!

A different angle


Crispy & Juicy Chinese Pork Dumplings March 22, 2010

Posted by Deniz Olcay in Asian Dishes.
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I’ve always loved dumplings, and I owe that pleasure to my mother’s delicious cooking. When I was a child, she used to cook home-made dumplings on special occasions, and give Chinese cooking lessons. I always used to help her make the dumplings, and I suggest that you tackle this dish with one of your friends or loved ones as well. It is very labor intensive, and can demoralize you if it is your first time making it alone. Towards the end of this recipe, I was hungry, tired and dying for a bite of that delicious, juicy and crispy goodness. The dumplings were finally cooked at 9:30 PM, I was so happy that I managed to persevere through the hard work. This is a lot of work, but the reward is so tasty, you will definitely make it again.

The reason this recipe yields 40-45 dumplings is because you can actually freeze some of the dumplings in the freezer that you do not eat right away. I managed to eat 24 with my lovely sous-chef, but you might not be as hungry, and that’s fine! Just put the uncooked dumplings in a ziplock bag, and place in the freezer for later.

As far as dipping sauces go, there are plenty of variations people use. I have listed a recipe for a basic dipping sauce,  just mix the ingredients below and enjoy. You can either change this recipe or just use plain soy sauce if you prefer.

You will need for the filling (Yields approximately 40-45 dumplings)
2 cups of blanched and finely chopped cabbage
1 pound of ground pork
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
2 teaspoons of finely chopped ginger
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 tablespoon of rice vinegar
3 tablespoons of soy sauce
1/2 cup of finely chopped spring onion
Liquid chicken broth in a can or carton

You will need for dough
2.5 cups of flour
2/3 cup of boiling water, and 1/3 of cold water

You will need for dipping sauce (just combine ingredients and enjoy)
6 tablespoons of soy sauce
2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
Some finely chopped spring onion
Some red pepper flakes

1. Prepare an ice bath for the cabbage. Fill a medium bowl with cold water and add some ice

Prepare ice bath for cabbage

2. Bring some water in a medium pot to a boil, and place approximately 10-12 leaves of cabbage, and boil for 1 minute

Boil cabbage for 1 minute

3. Place cabbage into the ice bath until cool

Cool the cabbage in the ice bath

4. Chop the cabbage as thinly as you can, and place 2 cups of it into a medium bowl for the filling.

Chop cabbage as thinly as you can

5. Chop 1/2 cup of fresh onions (comes out to approximately 4 sprigs), and place into the same bowl for the filling

Chop the fresh onions

6. Use a garlic press to mash 2 cloves of garlic into the bowl with the dumpling filling. Also add 2 teaspoons of finely chopped ginger to the bowl

Use garlic press to mash garlic

7. Add 1 tablespoon of sesame oi, 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar and 3 tablespoons of soy sauce to the dumpling filling bowl

Add sesame oil, rice vinegar and soy sauce

8. Finally, add 1 pound of ground pork to the bowl and mix with your hands. To recap, you should mix 2 cups of cabbage, 1/2 cup of fresh onion, 2 teaspoons of ginger, 2 cloves of mashed garlic, 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar and 3 tablespoons of soy sauce in the bowl.Let this rest for an hour in the fridge, covered with cling film

Mix ingredients and let rest for an hour in fridge

9. Now it is time to make the dough. Place 2.5 cups of flour in a bowl using a sifter (to make sure it is not clumpy), and separate a hole in the middle with your hands

Sift flour in a bowl, and separate a hole in middle

10. Boil some water in a kettle, and slowly pour 2/3 cup of boiling water in the middle of the bowl. Stir with a fork, and add an additional 1/3 cup of cold water to the bowl

Add 2/3 cup boiling water, and 1/3 cold water and mix

11.  Knead the dough for 4-5 minutes. Now place a damp cloth over it (to make sure it does not get crunchy), and place in the fridge for about 30 minutes

Knead dough for 4-5 minutes, place in fridge with damp cloth over it

12. Once the dough and filling have rested in the fridge, separate a walnut sized piece of dough. Use a flat surface with plenty of flour.

Use a walnut sized piece of dough at a time

13. Feel free to sprinkle more flour if rolling the dough gets tough or sticky. Roll the dough until it is thin

Use rolling-pin to flatten dough

14. Use a cup or glass to cut a circular piece of dough, from which we will make a dumpling

Use a cup or glass to cut a circular piece of dough

15. Place 1 tablespoon of filling in the middle, and fold shut

Place 1 tablespoon of filling in the middle

16. Pinch the edges of the dumpling to seal it shut. Use some water to close it shut if the flour is making it not seal. Repeat this process until you have used up all the filling and dough. Make sure to keep a damp cloth and a large serving platter handy. Place the prepared dumplings on the serving platter and cover with a damp cloth. If you leave it in open air, it will get dry and crispy, we don’t want that!

Pinch edges with your fingers and shape it

17. Heat a pan with some vegetable oil in it over medium-high heat. Place 6-7 dumplings in the pan, and brown the bottom of the dumplings (should take 1 minute!)

Place 6-7 dumplings on a non-stick pan with hot vegetable oil

18. This part can get quite tricky, and you need to be very careful. Pour 1/4 cup of chicken stock into the pan and quickly cover with a lid. If you do not cover quickly, the oil will spatter everywhere and you might burn yourself! Please be careful!

Pour 1/4 cup of chicken stock or water in the pan, and quickly cover with a lid

19.Uncover the dumplings after 2 minutes, and cook for 2 more minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated, and the dumplings start browning and getting crispy

Cook for 2 more minutes uncovered, until liquid evaporates

20. Serve with soy or dipping sauce and enjoy!

Serve with soy or dipping sauce!