Crispy Coconut Curried Devils

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Today is about food. I know it’s been awhile. Moving forward the blog should mirror real life. Lately, real life is less about obvious grief and more about cooking, baking, photography, gardening and that little jelly bean better known as my grand-daughter. Make no mistake. My son is my first thought when I open my eyes in the morning, the last when I close them at night and many moments in between. I celebrate William in all that I do. Like grief, his inspiration is never ending. Enough said. Let’s move on. More food and less grief. I NEED it to be this way.

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Do you like deviled eggs? How about Crispy Coconut Curried Deviled eggs? I created this recipe for a contest sponsored by Eggland’s Best. As many of you know (because you have been voting for my entries non-stop) the contest theme is “foodtography” and I was lucky enough to have 3 of my food photos accepted. One, my smoothie bowl cake, made it to the final 4 (woot woot). While voting for the deviled eggs many of you asked for the recipe. Today, I am happy to be able to share it with you.

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Crispy Coconut Curried Devils

6 Eggland’s Best Eggs, hard-boiled, cooled and peeled

¼ cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon sweet Asian chili sauce

½ teaspoon curry powder

1 tablespoon finely chopped flat leaf parsley, plus additional for garnish

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Vegetable oil for deep frying

1-cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs

½ cup flaked unsweetened coconut

1/3 cup all purpose flour

1 Eggland’s Best Egg, lightly beaten with 1-teaspoon water

1 scallion, finely chopped

Slice hard-boiled eggs in half lengthwise. Press yolks through a strainer into a bowl. Add mayonnaise, lemon juice, chili sauce and curry powder; blend well. Stir in parsley and salt and pepper to taste; set aside. Heat 3-inches of vegetable oil to 350°F. In another bowl, mix panko and coconut. Dredge each egg white half in flour. Dip in egg wash to coat and then dredge in panko-coconut mixture. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels. Pipe or spoon yolk mixture into hollows of egg whites. Arrange on serving platter. Sprinkle with parsley and scallions.

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Saltfish Egg Roll Appetizers

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So a week has gone by and I know I said I wasn’t going to post this egg roll recipe, but husband and daughter convinced me that the world would be a much better place if I did. Basically, they said that everyone needs to try a saltfish egg roll because it is so delicious. Crispy on the outside and jam-packed with a flavorful Asian inspired saltfish filling these egg rolls can even be prepared ahead of time, frozen and then simply reheated. Let’s get this party started.

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The filling is super easy to prepare because it all gets buzzed up in the food processor. Then all you do is wrap and roll……..

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….and fry until golden brown and crispy

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Serve with your favorite dipping sauces and dig in. Delicious and party perfect.

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To prepare saltfish: soak it in cold water in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours changing the water 3 times.

Saltfish Egg Roll Appetizers

8 ounces Buena Ventura Salted Pollock Filets, prepared

3 cloves garlic

2 cups shredded napa cabbage

¼ cup shredded carrot

1 green onion, chopped

1 teaspoon grated ginger

3 tablespoons sweet Asian chile sauce

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon white pepper

12 egg roll wrappers

vegetable oil for shallow frying

Cook fish in a pan of boiling water for about 2 minutes or until the fish flakes. Using a slotted spoon transfer fish to a cold water bath to stop the cooking. When fish is cool transfer to paper towels; pat dry. In a food processor, with processor running, drop garlic through feed tube to mince. Stop machine and add cabbage, carrot, green onion, ginger, chile sauce, cilantro, salt and pepper; pulse until blended. Add fish to food processor; pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped and well combined. Working with 1 egg roll wrapper at a time, lay wrapper down on work surface with a point facing you. Using your finger, rub the edges of the wrapper with water. Place scant 1/3rd cup of filling across lower middle of wrapper. Bring bottom edge of wrapper tightly over filling and fold in sides. Continue rolling to opposite point, pressing to seal. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling. Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Working in batches, add egg rolls to skillet and fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until evenly golden brown on all sides. Transfer to a rack. Serve while hot with your favorite dipping sauces. Makes 12 egg rolls. Note: fully cooked egg rolls can be refrigerated for a week or frozen for a month and then reheated in a 350F oven when needed

611Store locations include: Cousins, H-Mart, Jetro, Price Chopper, Price Rite

For more information and recipes check out these social media links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BacalaoCFE/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bacalaoCFE

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/bacalaocfe/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bacalao_cfe/

And here is a tip for those of you who also love gyoza or Asian dumplings. Replace the egg roll wrappers with wonton skins, pan-fry and then add some water, cover and steam. Another delicious appetizer. The saltfish filling is so versatile.

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The saltfish filling can also be used to make Asian pan-fried & steamed dumplings

 

 

 

Han & Spring Chicken Stew

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As one who grieves the loss of a child I find my vocabulary limited in describing just how I feel on a day-to-day basis. Often described, as a rollercoaster of emotion or waves of ups and downs, grief seems to be somewhat of a mixed bag of sadness and hope. While I get the ebb and flow analogy it is something so much more.

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Will at his favorite store, Cabelas

In conversation with my friend Sonya who was born and raised in Korea I learned of the word “Han”. Han is an important and beautiful part of the Korean culture. Difficult to translate into English here are my thoughts. Han is an integral part of our being something so deep inside that it shapes and defines who we are. It is born of injustice. Like an evolutionary process it takes the best of hopeful and positive and the worst of sorrow and negative and weaves it into our DNA.

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We all love our children. Most likely we love our children more than we love ourselves, but you don’t REALLY know how much you love them until they are gone. That is Han emerging. It’s my Han telling me how grateful I am for having him for 23 years and it’s my Han telling me how deep my sorrow goes that he is gone. That interwoven hope and sadness is an integral part of my being every single day. It is intense. It is extreme. It’s a dull lingering ache in the soul that can’t be controlled. Han is the word for one who has lost a child. For those who have lost a child I think you understand and for those who have not I hope you never will.

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Like Han, Korean flavors go deep, too. Lately, I have been studying authentic Korean cuisine with two young ladies. Teaching cooking lessons with them has been a real joy as both are open to exploring new and sometimes scary things like sweet potato noodles, bell flower root and soused briny shrimp. We are stepping out of our comfort zone.

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the shrimp eyes are a bit creepy

The first dish we made is a Spring Chicken Stew based on a recipe in Noh Chin-hwa’s book Healthful Korean Cooking.The stew is easy to prepare, but very complex in flavor. Thankfully, when I opened the scary jar of salted shrimp the aroma simply reminded me of the ocean. My students liked it, too. The shrimp marinade lends the dish an incredible depth of saltiness without being at all fishy. The peppers, aromatics and sesame add layers of fresh and nutty flavor for a most pleasant beginning to the spring season.

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Oriental markets are main stream these days and I am happy to have several nearby. These same ingredients are most likely available on-line, too. As far as fresh produce goes feel free to use any peppers you prefer. Longhots are the perfect substitution for spicy Korean peppers.

Korean Spring Chicken Stew

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

¼ teaspoon salt

1 whole chicken

1/3 cup soused, salted shrimp

5 tablespoons chopped green onions

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 tablespoon grated ginger

1-tablespoon sesame oil

Black pepper

5 Korean red peppers, seeded, diced

5 Korean green peppers, seeded, diced

1 onion, diced

Grind sesame seeds and salt together. Cut chicken into pieces (2-inch pieces); mix with shrimp and seasoning and let stand 15 to 30 minutes. Fry chicken in sesame oil. Pour in ½ cup water; cover and simmer on low heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken is just cooked through. Remove cover. Cut onion and peppers into ¼-inch squares. When liquid has evaporated add vegetables and stir-fry briefly.

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