Crest Cottage Creations

Food, Family, and Fun in our little cottage…

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More Hyssop Fun!

After the success of the last hyssop recipe, I decided to try and experiment a little.  We received radishes and asparagus in our CSA, and I saw a recipe for a cool salad using both. 
First, I chopped and steamed a bunch of asparagus.
While that was cooking, I mixed up the dressing.  It was rice wine vinegar, olive oil, nama shoyu (which is like soy sauce), salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and a splash of sesame oil.  Sesame oil is strong!  
Once the asparagus was done and chilled, I mixed it into the dressing along with lots of scallions, leftover chicken, and chopped up radishes.  Then I thought about the hyssop.  It is kinda like anise, which is the flavor of the Lebanese liquor Arak.  Arak is often enjoyed with radishes, so I thought the hyssop might work well in the salad. 
It did!  It was so light and perfect for a hot day.

This post was shared with Real Food Wednesday and Fight Back Friday!

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Stir Fry with an Unexpected Side

Hey, that title kind of rhymes!  A nice change from my love of alliteration.  Anyway, the stir-fry is pretty boring, the real star is the side dish.  
The stir fry is just:
Red Pepper
Bok Choy
… All cooked up together in nama shoyu, rice wine vinegar, and ginger.
The REAL star of this meal was the side dish.  Roasted sweet potatoes and pineapple!!
The were cut into bite-sized pieces, tossed with salt and olive oil, and roasted at 425* until they were lightly browned.
They were a delicious complement to the main dish. 


Chinese Food Take-Out Chicken ::UPDATE::

After trying to make the Chinese Food Take-Out Chicken last week, I decided I wanted to try it fried.  You know, see how close it was to the real deal.  
I coated the chicken with an egg, flour, cornstarch mixture.  
Then, I fried it in coconut oil.  
When it was done, I let it drain and then tried it.
This was it.  It was a more delicious version of take out Chinese Food.  It had a crispy outside and a moist, amazing inside.  
The sauce I used was nothing to write home about, so I will not be sharing it.  The chicken without the sauce could have used some salt, but soy sauce has enough as it is, so if you are using a soy sauce-based sauce, don’t salt it!


Chinese Food Take-Out Chicken

After I made the veggie lo mein, I got a little ambitious.  I decided that Chinese Take-out chicken would be a great next experiment.  I wasn’t sure what type would be a good idea.  Sesame Chicken is my favorite, but I liked the looks of this recipe.  General Tso’s Chicken is a little hot for me, so I just toned it down a bit.  
First, I chopped up some chicken thighs into bite sized pieces.  Then, I mixed together 2 eggs, 2 T corn starch, and some salt.  
Then, I mixed in the chicken pieces and cooked them in a pan full of butter…. YUM!
When they were done, I set them aside to prepare the sauce.  
I mixed together 1 T cornstarch, 1/2 cup water, 4 finely chopped garlic cloves, lots of grated ginger, 3 T brown sugar, 2 1/2 T soy sauce, and a FEW sprinkles of red pepper flakes.  
I mixed it all together and let the flavors melt together.  
After a bit, I mixed it in with the chicken.  
It was great!  The chicken was moist and juicy.  Since I didn’t fry it, it didn’t have that take-out crunchiness.  Maybe next time I will fry it.  
I served it with the lo mein and ginger carrots.  YUM!


Veggie Lo Mein

One of my favorite take-out foods is Chinese.  In fact, part of our New Years Eve tradition is ordering in Chinese take-out.  Unfortunately, now that our bodies are no longer used to junk, and it wreaks havoc on our digestive systems.  I have made it my mission to make it at home, and make it well.  
The first thing on the list?  Veggie Lo Mein.  
This recipe looked like a good starting place. 
I needed to make enough for us to have for lunch, so I doubled the recipe right off the bat and cooked a full box of spaghetti.  While that cooked, I started cooking up the veggies that would take the longest (celery, onion, garlic).  
When they were partially cooked, I added in the faster cooking veggies (red cabbage, scallions, mushrooms).
While that cooked up, I made the sauce. 
1 cup soy sauce, 2 t. sesame oil, 2 T rice wine vinegar, and 2 T Coconut Oil.
I poured it into the pan with the veggies and mixed it in with the spaghetti.  
While it didn’t taste like take-out Lo Mein, that wasn’t a bad thing.  I really enjoyed it, and it reheated well.  I liked that I can adapt it based upon the veggies I have around the house. 


Ginger Carrots

Another fermenting success!  YAYYY!!!!
I went on a bit of a fermenting spree last weekend.  The ginger carrots are first thing that was ready, so here they are!!
First, I shredded up a few carrots in my food processor.  
Then, I added 4 tablespoons of whey, 1 tablespoon of sea salt, and some ginger to the carrots.
I mixed it up, and then mashed it down to let the juices flow!
After it was stuffed into a jar…
I filled it nearly to the top with filtered water and let it sit for 3 days.  
Now, after 2 days, I noticed that there were quite a few bubbles.  By the third day, the the lid was starting to bulge up a little.  When I pressed on it, I could feel that there was a build up in pressure under it.  I knew it was ready at that point.  
 I didn’t know just HOW ready it really was!
It kept rising, spilling over the top of the jar!! I hope all my other things turn out this well!
Oh, by the way… Taste wise?  It is yummy!!

This post was featured on Fight Back Fridays at Food Renegade!


Teriyaki Salmon with Noodles

So, this recipe?  Kind of a fail.  Not a HUGE fail, like this or this… or this, but a fail nonetheless.  Part of the problem, I think, was the marinade.
You see, I was sort of following a recipe and it called for marinating salmon in teriyaki sauce with extra ginger and scallions.  I was happy because I wanted to finish up the teriyaki sauce we had since it had some ingredients I wasn’t crazy about. 
So, I threw the salmon on a dish and covered it with teriyaki marinade, some grated ginger, and some scallion-ish things.
Then, since I didn’t read the directions, I cooked it just like that.  I baked it.  In the oven.  With all the sauce.  
Then, I read the directions and found out that the marinade was supposed to turn into the sauce.  Oops.  Lesson learned?  Read the recipe and retain it before you begin. 
So, I had to use more of the teriyaki sauce to make the sauce itself.   I added ginger, soy sauce, rice vinegar, scallions, and some garlic to the teriyaki and brought it to a simmer.  
 Next, the yummy step!  I shredded up some cabbage and carrots and added it to the sauce with peas!
Yayyyy!!!!!!!  Hahaha, sorry I was just excited about something working!  Anyway, that deliciousness got mixed together with some macaroni.
Ehh.  It was okay.  The sauce was too thin even after I thickened it up with some corn starch.  

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Thai-ish Peanut Noodles

I love to make Asian food at home.  Fried rice, egg rolls, soups, you name it.  This past week I made some extra yummy peanut noodles, a nice spin on our traditional Macaroni Monday fare.  It is really quick to make, and can include all kinds of veggies, depending on what you have on hand.  Our produce bin was looking quite bare at this point, so I only used carrots and frozen peas.  No matter, it was still delish!
I gathered all the ingredients up first, to make sure I had enough of everything.
In a pan, I combined a few cloves of garlic, 1/4 t red pepper flakes, 1 T of brown sugar, and tons of ginger (I love ginger) with some butter and let the flavors heat up together.
When the pan smelled good, I added in 5 T soy sauce, 4 T rice wine vinegar, 4 T creamy peanut butter, and 1 T maple peanut butter.
As it heated up, it was all stirred together.
In the meantime, I cooked up a box of whole wheat spaghetti, and shredded up a few carrots.  They were added to the sauce, along with frozen peas.
I mixed it together and covered up the pan to defrost the peas.  When it was done?  YUM!
This post was featured at Meatless Mondays hosted by Midnight Maniac