Tag Archives: shallots

Mee Hoon

You may know this dish as pancit. Depends on what kind of restaurant you visit or where you’re from. It’s difficult memorizing the names of all the foreign dishes you like unless you eat out a lot…or you cook them yourself. I honestly didn’t even know the name of this dish until I was an adult trying to duplicate something my mom had cooked on occasion while I was growing up. I had to ask her, describing it as best I could not knowing the name of mushrooms she used but only how they crunched in my mouth; the noodles by how she prepped them before cooking.

It doesn’t have the exact same flavor as my mom’s cooking it myself, but I’m able to leave out the ingredients I didn’t like, especially onions, and replace them with shallots while choosing other vegetables I like.

This time I used Napa cabbage, shredded carrots, and shallots…

Also, rice noodles and frozen shrimp whereas traditionally, you use dried shrimp.

Having a variety of colors adds to the culinary experience.

Here’s some of the prep: soaking the noodles, chopping the shallots, washing/drying the cabbage. Similarly to https://cookingupuneecrivaine.wordpress.com/2017/03/29/classic-fried-rice/ , you make sure everything that needs to be cooked is cooked and then combine everything, including sauce, to heat through. Very simple.



Cincinnati Chili

Did somebody say chocolate?! Until I saw this recipe, I had only heard of chocolate added to mole in a savory dish. This was surprisingly fantastic! I’m not sure if it was the cocoa or if it was the right balance of spices, but this may be may favorite chili yet.

Begin, of course, with sautéing the shallots and browning the and ground turkey.

Add the spices and seasoning, tomatoes…

Toss in the cooked ground turkey and shallots.

Mmm…can’t wait!

All those spices and seasoning, yes!

Crock-Pot Slow Cooker Recipes binder, p.120

Lemon Chicken Piccata

I love finding a variety of recipes with the same main ingredients. It just takes a simple change in seasoning to make a recipe different, and seasonings keep well throughout the year if stored properly, so if you cook as much as I do, it’s worth having an assortment of dried herbs and spices in your kitchen. I also have a small garden of our most used herbs growing fresh in the backyard. The pint of cream I bought for this recipe, I split to also use for the Zuppa Toscana so as not to waste the cream which is not a common item in my kitchen. So, on with the show…

There’s an Italian grill chain restaurant that makes a piccata which is actually my favorite dish to order making this recipe that much more satisfying to be able to cook at home. I absolutely love cooking and love knowing exactly what is in my food.

I think I want to make double the recipe next time! There just wasn’t enough leftovers.

Here’s the sauce with all the yummy bits from browning the chicken. Add heavy cream.


Add capers and lemon juice. *I’ve made this over and over, and the milk can curdle easily, so adding before serving tastes just as good as the recipe calls for it and saves you from that. Unless you’re a pro at cooking with milk and cream, I would recommend it at the end which also gives you that fresh taste.

The chicken breaded and browned a nice golden brown. Remove from pan to finish the sauce. It has a nice crust of parmesan and flour with salt and pepper.

I actually cheated and cooked frozen chicken in the crockpot for four hours on High. It always comes out perfectly cooked and tender that way. Cold from refrigerating it the night before, I then breaded it and browned it on the skillet with olive oil. I think there’s less chance of it drying out if you start with cold chicken since the breading doesn’t take long to brown. It came out perfectly delicious.

Creamy Lemon Parmesan Chicken (Piccata)

Zuppa Toscana

Doesn’t that look scrumptious and satisfying? It is. I feel like I can say that because I didn’t make up this recipe. It is supposed to be a copy-cat of a popular chain Italian restaurant. The link to the recipe is at the end of this post.

This was much more flavorful than I expected. Eight ingredients, but very well chosen. The  Italian sausage is perfectly seasoned to balance the mild veggies in this recipe.






Saffron Rice


I can’t believe how easy this was! I used my rice cooker. Replacing the water to cook the rice with more flavorful chicken bouillon to pair with Chicken Korma from the slow-cooker, this felt like an accomplishment I’ve been waiting for for a very long time. Saffron being one of the culinary world’s most expensive ingredients. Along with fresh-made hummus, this meal was something I am very proud to add to my cooking portfolio.


Rice in the rice cooker along with chicken bouillon, chopped shallots, dried chopped onion (which I would leave out next time and just use more shallots, personal taste), and saffron. I made a pot-full.

3 cups of dry rice, rinsed

4 cups of chicken bouillon

1 shallots, chopped

3 tablespoons of dried, chopped onions (personally, I would replace this with another shallot since I don’t like the crunch of onions!)

1/4 teaspoon of crushed saffron or 1 pinch for each cup of rice

Cook in rice cooker or as you would cook rice on stove-top.


I found this dried saffron at Costco, of all places. Not the same as the high-end restaurants would use, but a great introduction to this fine ingredient for me.

Shepherd’s Pie

I crushed in pretzel crackers to give it the crunch you would normally get from roasting this with mashed potatoes on top.

Traditionally made with lamb meat and a mashed potato crust, I will be using ground turkey for Shepherd’s Pie. Since it’s called Cottage Pie if you use beef, maybe we should rename it to whatever protects the turkeys. Pen Pie. Not so appetizing. Remember the story that ends with a blackbird pie? Can we find something that hints at the ingredients? Free-range pie? Ha ha. Playing with collective nouns, Rafter Pie. I like it. Enough of that, let’s get to the food!


Here again, we start with the culinary trinity. Carrots, celery, and I’ve replaced onions with shallots. Add potatoes which would be the “crust” if you cooked this in an oven.

I’ve added the ingredients I would use to make a cream of mushroom soup. Butter, mushrooms, dried thyme, flour, garlic, salt and pepper, chicken bouillon, and water.

Add the rest of the ingredients for Shepherd’s Pie; green beans and ground turkey.


In the pot:

1 pound ground turkey, browned in skillet with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper, garlic powder (½–1 teaspoon each, depending on your taste)

1 shallot, chopped

1 medium carrot, chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

6 red potatoes, chopped

8 oz sliced fresh mushrooms

10 oz frozen green beans

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup chicken bouillon (1 teaspoon Better than Bouillon, plus one cup water used here)

4 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon dried thyme

Salt and pepper, about ½ teaspoon each used for the veggie layer as well as the meat layer

Stir together. Cook on High for 4 hours. Top with crumbled, crispy, butter crackers or pretzel crackers.


Pork Pozole

Not your grandmother’s pork pozole. This is the experience without the guilt. I have been hearing the names of Mexican dishes more and more over the past two years but not your ordinary taco or burrito names, so me, I have to look it up and how to make it. I am finding that Mexican food is much more exciting than the corner fast-food joint and so much more satisfying! Horchata, champurrado, elote, chiles rellenos…mole! A few that you have to try to understand the variety available. Of course, chili powder is a common seasoning in whatever meat you choose which can be used for so many recipes, but why limit yourself? This pozole is hearty and full of flavor. You can make it traditional by adding shredded cabbage before serving with warmed tortillas. A quick internet search will tell you any common Mexican topping will also go well with this; queso fresco, sliced avocado, sour cream, for example.

One pound pork tenderloin, sliced into ½-inch discs

One large shallot, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

Two cups of enchilada sauce (homemade, recipe below)

One can of hominy (15.5 oz)

Two small bay leaves

1/4 teaspoon of cumin

1/4 teaspoon of oregano

salt and pepper

Everything in the slow cooker on Low for 6 hours.

I suggest doubling the seasoning and veggies in the future. The sauce only made enough for two servings. I would also take the meat out at the end and cut it into 1-inch cubes. Leaving it in large pieces while cooking helps it retain moisture. Waiting to cut it into small pieces will help keep the pork tender.

Enchilada Sauce, makes about 3 cups

1 ½ cups water

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup chili powder

1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce

2 tablespoons flour

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix or blend together. Add to crock-pot with recipes calling for enchilada sauce. Stores nicely in the refrigerator. This is uncooked, so the flour will not thicken the sauce (and the flavor burn off) until heated thoroughly.



More Sweet Bread Sliders

Take your pick. Mushroom Swiss Turkey Burger or Chicken Parmesan. Either way, a nice variety to add to your collection of fun, yet fancy, finger foods.

Mushroom Swiss Turkey Burger with Potato Salad. Photo by M. Sandoval
Chicken Parmesan

For Chicken Parmesan

Two chicken breasts, cooked and shredded

Marinara Sauce to coat (about 1/3 cup)

Fresh mozzarella to cover chicken, fresh basil

Top buns.

Add 3 cloves minced garlic, 4 tablespoons melted butter, 2 tablespoons basil, 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese mix…

Bake 350°F for 20 minutes.

This reminded me of a caprese salad with the fresh mozzarella, basil, and marinara; yet it was very Chicken Parmesan with the roasted chicken, crispy, buttery sweet rolls, melty mozzarella, Parmesan, and marinara. My tastebuds teetered with the flavors but were very much pleased. The fresh ingredients lent to the overall sandwich having a very mild flavor, very appropriate for kids, but with the garlic giving it a kick (you could just pour the garlic mix over half of the rolls but be sure to brush all of them with butter). This definitely satiates a craving for Italian food. We will be making this again!

There was video where I saw these recipes (link at bottom). One of the ones on the video was for a classic cheeseburger. Right away, I already knew I would be substituting ground turkey for ground beef, but I also thought about what we like on our burgers. When I get a gourmet burger at restaurant, I hope they have something new and innovative for me to taste and eventually attempt at home. For example, Broderick’s has a burger they add mac ‘n cheese to called the Gold Rush. It seems simple enough, but there’s also bacon and garlic aioli added it…flavor explosion in your mouth!

Trying to tune it down a little, though, keeping the calories down but not just having the old lettuce and tomato, I figured mushrooms and what goes great with mushrooms—Swiss cheese. I added chopped shallots for another layer of flavor. It kinda went along the lines of a cheesesteak (if you’ve ever added mushrooms to your cheesesteak). Well, in Las Vegas anyway, there was a Philly cheesesteak shop called Pop’s that served cheesesteaks with whatever veggies you wanted on them; peppers, onions, mushrooms, other. I just remember the meat being so tender whereas previously, I had been turned off by cheesesteaks, the meat being too chewy or having to much fat chunks. Pop’s was the only place I would eat cheesesteaks. I digress.

For Mushroom Swiss

8 oz sliced mushrooms, one chopped shallots

One pound ground turkey shaped to match sweet bread package, bake 350°F for 20 minutes, drain

Assemble burgers, ending with 4 tablespoons melted butter drizzled over top.

More cheese next time or add an aioli! The turkey meat dried out slightly from going back into the oven, but the bread, butter, shallot, mushroom, swiss combo was delicious!


Sweet Bread Sliders

Philly Cheesesteak Sweet Bread Sliders
Sweet bread was something I ate at nearly every potluck back home in Hawai’i. It was usually part of the build-your-own Kalua Pork sandwich. Packages of Kings Hawaiian Sweet Rolls piled up beside large trays full of Kalua Pork for you to load onto your plate and stuff into sweet bread, or if you preferred just eating it with rice, that was available, too.

Cuban-style Sweet Bread Sliders

I rediscovered it in France as Brioche. It tasted the same to me anyway, but it was definitely fresher in France. It was available for breakfast to spread the butter and confiture on; one of the many parts to my breakfast. I looked for it everywhere when I returned to the States and left Hawai’i. That was nearly 20 years ago; now, sweet bread is everywhere. Thank God!


I couldn’t find any strip streak or cut beef you might use in stir-fry, so I picked up this chopped beef, no slicing required!

I browned it together with the chopped shallots.

Using the same pan to help de-glaze it, I cooked the chopped peppers and then added them to the mix.

From the fridge to the microwave, the butter took only 30 seconds to melt.

The butter seeped nicely in between the rolls.

I couldn’t wait to try this!

Photo by M. Sandoval


I picked a “deli ham” without nitrates and junk.

And same with the cheese!

The pickles were a little trickier. Cuban food calls for dill pickles, from what I read, but since I wasn’t going to be using the entire jar, I picked some I knew my kids would snack on. These are large sandwich chips (meant for burgers) and the couple of slices that were leftover from a previously opened jar of pickles. The space without pickles is for me to taste this sandwich! I’ve been having a reaction to foods high in acid.

Top buns…

Butter, garlic, mustard mix.

I really liked how these came out! I never before had pickles on a hot sandwich that I could remember (except burgers). These were unexpectedly good! I would make these for a potluck! Crowd-pleaser, for sure.

Photo by M. Sandoval


Philly Cheesesteak: https://youtu.be/M2zhm_NQEBQ

Cuban Sliders: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/cuban-sliders

For next time! https://youtu.be/uRU7d0WjC3A