How To Recipes

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Asian-Style Red Rice with Mixed Vegetables Stir-Fry Recipe

My uncle (the one who likes angel hair pasta) has been trying to convince me and Lulu to switch to red rice. Red rice is unpolished rice. It is short-grained, non-glutinous and has a maroon-red color. I've been giving Lulu brown rice with his meals for health reasons, but apparently red rice has a greater source of vitamin B, fiber and iron. 

Cooked red rice has a nutty aroma and is a lot chewier than regular white rice. Just make sure you cook red rice slightly longer than any other rice, such as brown rice.

I stir-fried the rice with some mixed vegetables to enhance the flavors. I added edamame for extra proteins. It's the perfect side dish for poultry or steamed fish.


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Cashew Pesto Radiatore Pasta Salad Recipe

Radiatore pasta look very similar to rotini shaped pasta but they're shorter, with a ruffled edge. Whenever I cook this particular shape of pasta, I know the dish will be devoured. There is just something about the shape of this pasta that kids love. And grown-ups who are like kids, like my Lulu, love it as well. 

We planned a last-minute picnic and I needed to come up with a quick and tasty dish that everyone could enjoy. Pasta salad is always a crowd pleaser and with the help of my sisters-in-law, I threw together the radiatore pasta with a cilantro lime cashew pesto sauce, with some roasted walnuts added for texture. To this, I incorporated vegetables, specifically broccoli, bell peppers, zucchini and sun-dried tomatoes. I had bought really cute perlini mozzarella balls and I added them to the dish, because who can say no to cheese?

For the non-vegetarians, there was some smoked salmon. I like smoked salmon in pasta salad because it works so well cold and is tastier than canned tuna or boiled chicken.


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Creamy Pearl Onion Gratin (Gratin d'Oignons Perles a la Creme) Recipe

Making a gratin d'oignons perlés à la crème requires two steps. First, braise the onions the way you would to cook pearl onion confit, then finish them in the oven as a gratin.

The pearl onion gratin is composed of pearl onions, crème fraîche, thyme, red chili flakes, nutmeg and parmesan. It's a nice accompaniment to poultry. I served it with the roasted pheasant stuffed with sage and Granny Smith apples I made for my 4-course French meal in honor of the movie "Julie and Julia".

One trick to making this dish look great is to use the right serving dish.  I especially like these individual serving dishes, which I got from Staub

Creamy Parmesan Pearl Onion Gratin with Picture


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Pissaladiere Nicoise Vegetarienne (Vegetarian Mediterranean-Style Onion Tarts) Recipe

In France, you can't start a proper meal without an appetizer. This recipe marks the start to my 4-course "French meal" in honor of the opening of the movie called "Julie and Julia".  I thought about making mini quiches, but I decided against it because of the vegetarians in the house who find them a bit eggy. I settled on making Pissaladière niçoise.

Pissala what, you say? Pissaladière niçoise is named after the city of Nice, located on the Mediterranean coast in southern France. The dish is composed of all the typical ingredients from the region such as black olives, onions, garlic and a bouquet garni (see tips). You can either use pizza dough or pastry dough. The only change I made is that I substituted nori for the anchovies. I know it's not traditional but none of the vegetarians in our house like anchovies. If you don't have a problem with them by all means, use them instead. They add additional flavor and complexity.


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Basil and Chive Flavored Homemade Butter Recipe

Nope, this is not ice cream. I can't believe it's butter! This recipe is ultra simple; all you need is a food processor and heavy cream. I always make butter whenever I have leftover heavy whipping cream from making desserts (usually from making cake frosting).

The flavored butter can be used as a spread for sandwiches, in pasta or as a garnish for a juicy steak; the possibilities are endless. How you flavor the butter is up to you and what you have in your pantry. I had some sweet basil and garlic chives from my garden. You'll never waste your remaining cream again.

For the more traditional method, check out the tip section.


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