Archive for August, 2013


Sweet n’ sour fish

Tien Shuen Yu

This meal starts with sliced carrots, By the way a fav recipe that I have not made in some time. I substituted frozen paella fish mix pieces for the fish , originally calls for one and one half pounds of fish fillets.  Batter and fry fish , a bit labor intensive but good results. Ok, back to the carrots, about 2 carrots sliced and brought to boil with one half cup of water. cover and cook until crisp, tender.


While the carrots are cooking to “crisp, tender”, prepare a sauce, combining the following, 1\2 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup vinegar (the sweet and sour), 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, (thickener), and last but not least 2 tablespoons of soy sauce.


Mix the ingredients and throw it in with the carrots, when they are crisp, tender. Reduce heat.


1 green pepper is next, cored and chopped, about 1 inch pieces or so. That goes in with the carrots and sauce.


Now the original recipe calls for pineapple, none in the house so a can of Mandarin oranges was added, you get the idea, some sweet fruit added to the sauce. You can adjust the mix at this point with some lemon juice, brown sugar or vinegar to get to the sweet sour ratio you like. Bring the mix to a boil and let the cornstarch do it’s thing. Set aside to keep warm.


Next up we will be battering and frying fish, I just used a sauce pan with about 1 inch of oil, the pieces are frying, keep them moving and flip if necessary, cook till golden brown. it wont take more than a few minutes for each batch.

The batter recipe is 3/4 cup water, 2\3 cup flour, 1 and 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder.


Coat and fry the fish pieces, if you have fillets cut them into 1 inch pieces, the small pieces of fish  had took longer to fry all the individual pieces.


A combo of clams, tiny shrimps, surimi , octopus and squid.


Battered and fried.


Rice can be cooked while the other components are being prepared. Keep the fish separate from the sauce until plating so it won’t be soggy.


Place the fish over the bed of rice. Top with a heap of the sweet sour sauce veggie mix.


Chopsticks anyone ?

recipe credit, a variation of “Sweet And Sour Fish, Betty Crocker’s International Cookbook”, 1980 by General Mills, Random House Publication,


Sausage n’ spinach pizza

Just going through a few pictures I taken in the past but not posted.

The typical pizza here , thick crust with parm, under the spinach, topped with sausage pieces. Excellent with a brew. (there may be a few pieces of broccoli in there).




Lamb shoulder chops

Wow I haven’t posted in a while , is it sheer laziness or just uninteresting recipes, who knows, possibly the the summer weather has made cooking less attractive or the fact that I have not documented my cooking as it may be a repeat of previous recipes. That’s until lamb entered the picture

One of my favorite cuts of meat is the lamb shoulder chops. I don’t have these that often so they are a treat. Aside from the more famous lamb chop, the shoulder cut has a more interesting composition and flavor. It is not entirely meat, but some stratified fat included. Excellent for broiling, grilling and stewing in a sauce. Broiling was the way to go.


On the bottom of a broiler pan, actually one from the toaster oven, add some sliced veggies, onions of course and I happen to have some orange sweet peppers. drizzle with olive oil.


Broil them till they are about halfway to your liking.


add the broiler rack and place the shoulder chop on top, you get the idea ! the juices from the chops will drip on the veggies underneath. of course the chop is salted and peppered.

Now place under the flaming broiler….


broil and flip the chop, Mine’s slightly medium rare…. note the caramelizing of the veggies. yes a few are blackened, i don’t mind.


Plate up, fellow WordPress people ! A side of barley with veggies completes this meal. The lamb flavor was very mild in this particular cut, as far as taste, could be close to a beef rib. Very tender, not the least bit tough.


Served with double wide fresh made noodles and tomato, green pepper,and onion sauce.



RedBeans and Rice

Red beans and rice

Canned diced tomato
Canned red beans

A large can of red beans from the warehouse club makes this  (practically) an instant meal.

Freeze the remaining beans in small portions for later use.

Prepare 2 cups of raw rice.

This time I cooked the rice stove top versus microwave.


Sauté the onions and garlic

Season as necessary, hot red pepper flakes, and/or hot pepper sauce, fresh parsley, cumin seed, cilantro, coriander seeds, fennel seeds etc.

Add the canned diced tomato, about a 14 ounce can,

Add red kidney beans and diced celery

Adjust seasonings as necessaryphoto Plate up some of the rice.

20130812-184534.jpgSpoon the bean mixture over the rice



Some frozen thawed fish pieces to be broiled.


Top the bean and rice mixture with the broiled fish.




Sweet and sour rib(s)

Sweet and sour ribs

I have a recipe for sweet and sour sauce that calls for ketchup, this recipe caught my eye , while reading the likes from some of my blog postings as I have (now had) the ingredients.

You can always vary the sugar to vinegar ratio to suit your taste.

A recipe mod from
Thanks for the idea !

1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce

20130805-210106.jpgI would also add some heat at this point, red pepper flakes etc.

Other ingredients:

2 cloves garlic
1 country style rib , bone in
Snap peas

While the rib defrosted in the microwave, the ingredients for the sauce was combined and simmered in a saucepan.


In a skillet, one cup of rice was added to 2 cups of water , a bit of salt and olive oil. Boil, then simmer and cover till the rice is done.



The defrosted rib was cut into pieces, keeping one piece with the bone.

Salt and pepper, placed on a small broiler pan and broiled , for me broiling was faster than browning in a pan.

Broil both sides till some crispness is apparent. Add olive oil if necessary


Add the crisp rib pieces to the bubbling sauce , cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. Throw in some smashed cloves of garlic.


20130805-211516.jpgUncover the rice when completed and remove from heat to dry any remaining water while the ribs and sauce simmer.

Microwave some snap peas.


Arrange a bed of rice for the rib pieces, cornstarch and cold water will thicken the sauce.

20130805-211935.jpg Pour the thickened sauce over the rib pieces and side with the green snap peas. I’m fresh out of sesame seeds! Pineapple here would be a good addition or other fruit.



E N J O Y ! Thanks for visiting …….



Recently purchased flour tortillas were on the counter, what to do? , enchiladas were on my mind, a search resulted in many recipes but I used the as a guide for technique. They turned out great.

Enchiladas Sauce

Vegetable stock
Tomato juice
Tomato paste
Hot sauce
Smoked dried hot red peppers
A bit of dry rub

Make a roux with stock, butter and flour, was a start and technique I wouldn’t think of using for a hot type tomato sauce, sort of a spicy tomato soup made by adding tomato juice to the roux. Short on juice that was drained from a can of diced tomatoes, tomato paste was added. Season and spice a s required, bottled hot sauce, some Jalapeño sauce that was gifted to me, brought up the level of the heat in combination with the hot red pepper flakes. Alone the sauce is good !


Now raid the fridge for some fillings, you at least have to have cheese, the meat would be some kielbasa, and of course sautéed onions , garlic , sweet peppers and diced tomato. Left over corn on the cob was found in the fridge.

Diced kielbasa
Sweet red pepper
Red beans
Diced onions
Diced tomato
Sauté the above
Also for the filling American and feta cheese and Parmesan


Slightly fry the tortillas, I have large flour tortillas available, in a slight amount of oil in a fry pan just to soften them up so they absorbe a bit of oil, place on paper towelled rack.


In the fry pan, cooled, place a small amount of the enchilada sauce, place the tortilla in the pan , flip the tortilla so it is coated with the sauce. If you ever wallpapered a room, this is like coating the wallpaper with paste, only with the tortilla, it’s on both sides. This is one step I never did before so that’s why my enchiladas previously were more like a baked taco.


Place the coated tortilla on a large enough plate and run you fillings down the center, roll and fold however you proceed, (I only rolled) and place the soggy tortilla in a baking casserole type dish that has a small amount of sauce on the bottom. Repeat till the dish is full.



I ran out of the filling I prepared so the last two were just plain with red beans and cheese.


Top the panned tortillas with more sauce, this recipe it was the remainder of the sauce as I didn’t make a measured amount. Some grated Parmesan is what I had available for the top. Some herbs and seeds were thrown in for good measure .

Off to the oven at 350 degrees.


I should have made a double batch !!!!
Excellent even the next day cold for lunch.


Rice with Spinach and Seafood

Rice with spinach and seafood

Two items that make this an easy meal are a large bag of frozen chopped spinach and frozen seafood pieces (paella mix) from the warehouse club.
Using plain white rice and boiling stock, this doesn’t take long to cook.

Chicken/vegetable stock
1/2 an onion
2 cloves garlic
1 cup rice , plain white rice
About a cup of frozen spinach
Frozen seafood pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated hard cheese.

Put about 2 cups or so of the frozen seafood mix in a measuring cup and defrost in the microwave. Set aside.

Bring about 2-3 cups of stock to a boil then simmer.
In a large cast iron skillet sauté some onion and garlic, diced of course, salt and pepper to taste.
Add the rice and stir till rice is coated with oil for several minutes.
Add some butter also.
Add a good amount of the stock and boil the rice over medium high heat.
As the stock is absorbed, add more keeping the rice covered with liquid and stir often.
Add the frozen spinach, stir to break up the frozen spinach, again add more hot stock as necessary.
In another frypan, yes, this involves 3 pans, in a bit of oil and butter, cook the fish paella mix , I often call this deck sweepings as it’s a mix of squid, octopus ,scallops, tiny shrimp and the compressed fish that has the orange color, simulated crab meat or what ever you call it, delicious to me. Cook and stir over high heat till the water from the fish dissipates and pieces fry slightly. Be careful, the fish will get rubbery if it cooks too long.

Just when the rice is just short of desired doneness, add the fish pieces and stir a bit till most of the liquid I’d absorbed.
Turn off the heat and let stand several minutes.
Plate it up And grate cheese over the top. Crushed red pepper flakes also if desired.
This went together easy and only one photo.



August 2013

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