Pssst….. I wrote a Cookbook + GIVEAWAY!!

EV

Oh wait.

Didn’t I tell y’all?

Jan 21, 2013

Yup. It’s true. Pinky Swear!

Last year, I partnered with the folks at Adams Media to author the 2nd edition of the Everything Stir-Fry Cookbook.

Over several months, I developed and tested scores of recipes for the book and now it’s ready for your hot little hands!

Now before you second guess what encompasses “stir-frying”, know that my approach is less about what you think stir-fry dishes are and is more about about understanding a basic method (high heat with proper mise-en-place).

Adobe Photoshop PDF

Of course you’ll find some favorite stir-fry dishes such as Teriyaki Chicken, Mapo Tofu, Mongolian Beef and Chow Fun. But you’ll also find some unexpected delights such as Chimchurri Skirt Steak, Pork Saltimbocca, Rock Shrimp Tacos, Linguine alla Carbonara, and Cheese Steak Sandwiches. I had to put the Nam twist on the book! :)

All and all, I’m quite happy about the final results. I’m pleased with the recipes I’ve put forward and feel pretty great about the dishes I’ve styled and photographed for the book. It’s a great starting point and handbook for folks just starting off in the kitchen.

4 years ago, I would have never imagined that I would have a food blog let alone write a cookbook. But life has its funny ways of working out. And as I stare at this pile of my printed cookbooks– I can hardly believe it! CRAZY! Needless to say, it was definitely a Foodventure!

I owe my family, loved ones, and YOU a big thank you for giving me the oompf to do this. And to show my appreciation, I’m offering a fun combo giveaway of my new cookbook + a nifty The Culinary Chronicles canvas bag.

Tote

Five (5) folks will have the chance to win this combo pack—and there are six (6) different ways for you to enter! Now those are some great odds!  This GIVEAWAY is now closed. Thanks for entering!

Please be sure to leave a separate comment for each indicating which of the below you did:

  1. Leave a comment sharing what your favorite stir-fry dish is;
  2. Subscribe to The Culinary Chronicles & get automatic emails when new posts are published (If you already Subscribe, leave a comment indicating so);
  3. Like our Facebook Fan Page (If you already “Like” us, leave a comment indicating so); or
  4. Follow @CulinaryChron on Twitter (If you already Follow us, leave a comment indicating so); or
  5. Follow our boards on Pinterest (If you already Follow us, leave a comment indicating so); or
  6. Follow us on Instagram (If you already Follow us, leave a comment indicating so

The deadline to enter is Friday, July 5th at 5pm (PST) and the winners will be notified the next day.

And in case you want to give them away as gifts, you can order the book at Amazon here.

HUGE….GINORMOUS THANKS for all of the support! I hope y’all like the book and best of luck with the giveaway!

xoxo and Alohas,

Nam

Parisian Macarons with Chocolate Ganache…ooh la, la!

Parisian Macarons with Chocolate Ganache

Have I ever mentioned that I ADORE Parisian Macarons?

Oh…. maybe just once? Twice? A gazillion times?

Well …these darling meringue based cookies are just delish! Want to learn more? Click here to read my post for our friends at Safest Choice® Eggs where I share my tips for Macarons success!

Enjoy!

Bacon Egg Cups—Oh Me, Oh My!

Bacon Egg Cups

I absolutely ADORE breakfast foods but I am the grumpiest person in the morning. Which is why brunch is so fantabulous!

Check out my guest post here for our friends at Safest Choice® Eggs where I sing the praises of easy Brunch Entertaining. And the bonus? I share this delicious and no-fuss recipe for Bacon Egg Cups.

Trust me. Your guests will love you.

Happy Brunching!

My Golden Ticket to Kings Hawaiian

KH Spreads Aloha

I was always so envious of that Charlie.

Don’t get me wrong–he totally deserved it but to get FULL access to Willy Wonka’s Factory?! C’mon Now! How must have that felt? What did he do? What amazing aromas did he smell?

And then out of the blue, I got my Golden Ticket…….to the AMAZING Kings Hawaiian in Torrance, California. JACKPOT!!

KH Spreads Aloha

In 1950, Robert Taira, opened up a bakery in Hilo, Hawai’i featuring delicious baked goods inspired from his neighbor’s ONO Portuguese bread. After much determination and ambition, Kings Hawaiian has not only become the number one dinner roll in the country but also offers delicious local grindz and pastries.

So you can imagine my utter glee when I accepted their invitation to participate in their first EVER public tour!!!! Chhheeeee-Hoooooo!!

KH Spreads Aloha

After being warmly greeted with fresh floral leis, POG juice and fresh fruit, we were given an Aloha from Kings Hawaiian’s CEO, Mark Taira. Mark and the ‘Ohana, gave us an overview of the history of KH and where the organization was headed. And before the bread comatose kicks in, let me say, that the KH organization truly exudes the spirit of Aloha.

I have had the fortunate privilege to spend some time in Hilo. And unlike it’s hustle-bustle sister-city of Honolulu, Hilo is a little slower paced and focuses on communal-’ohana living. And I’m proud to say that the organization of Kings Hawaiian exudes every part of that.

KH Spreads Aloha

We were then privy to a first hand tour of the factory and OH….MY…GAWD.

Words CANNOT begin to describe the delicious aromas that filled ALL of my senses. It took EVERY ounce of will power for me to not reach over the belts and grab a roll.

KH Spreads Aloha

And lucky for us at the end of our factory tour, our group was able to sample fresh rolls that were steaming HOT right out of the ovens, pulled from the conveyer belts, and into my mouth. Good grief! Did I mention that we slathered them with butter?!

At that point, I had died and gone to heaven.

KH Spreads Aloha

We were then escorted to an amazing luncheon featuring local food trucks who used King Hawaiian products in their dishes. SERIOUSLY!?!

Lobsta Truck, Kogi BBQ, Ludo Truck, Buttermilk Truck and ONO grindz from Kings Hawaiian! Everything was so flipping ONO-LICIOUS that my only question was–Why didn’t someone tell me to wear elastic waistband pants?!?

Everything I tasted hit a note that made me do a Happy Dance.

At the end of the day, I walked away with the following:

  • What makes Kings Hawaiian stand out from the rest is their impeccable quality and TRUE Aloha Spirit;
  • Their products taste FANTASTIC with EVERYTHING;
  • Never doubt that a business model of ‘Ohana can create an AMAZING organization.

KH Spreads Aloha

Mahalo nui loa Kings Hawaiian for the wonderful day and memorable experience! Your spirit has truly inspired me.

Much, MUCH Alohas,

ps. And to the ROCKIN’ bloggers, food writers, and food lovers I met that day—let’s K.I.T.!!!

pps. Stay tuned as some RAD recipes featuring Kings Hawaiian bread will soon to follow!

My brief stint as a Hobbit…..and Green Juice

Green Juice

So here’s the thing….

A few weeks ago I went to NYC and well— went full blown Hobbit. Eating style that is.

In an effort to try and retry all the good eats the city has to offer, I had several meals a day including multiple snacks in between. 1st Breakfast, 2nd Breakfast, Elevenses, Luncheon, Tea, Dinner, Supper…….

Such goodness included…

Robataya NY

Dungeness Crab in Sticky Rice in Flushing………..

Robataya NY

A full blown traditional robatayaki style dinner at Robataya……

Robataya NY

Antipasti at Eataly, Crif Dog, Luke’s Lobster, Halal Cart goodness, Ippudo, Momofuku, Motorino, il laboratorio del gelato, smoked meat sammies, poutine, fried anchovies, organic-local popsicles, cannolis, Doughnut Plant..…..and the list goes on, and on. Did I mention I was there for barely 4 days?

NY Spring 2012 Foodventure

It was glorious dear friends, truly GLORIOUS! And I’m sure the folks from The Shire would have been proud.

But the truth is, somewhere towards the end of my trip I realized I needed to give my body a reprieve when I got home. More greens, less booze, and lighter eating. So, I kidnapped my sister’s juicer, stocked my fridge with tons of produce and got to juicing.

Fruits and Veggies

And let me tell you— it’s been delicious! Since I’ve been home I have knocked back a Green Juice everyday. Not too shabby considering I’ve been back for over 3 weeks.

Green Juice

Almost anything goes when it comes to my juices and the ingredients are usually dictated by what is on hand at my farmers market or what’s on sale at the grocery store. The recipe below happens to be one of my favorite combinations of late. They’re rough measurements but you can adjust and add depending on your preference.

I’m not sure how long I’ll stay on my juicing kick but one thing is certain…. my Hobbit-alter-ego will make a reappearance when I go back to NYC this fall. :)

Salut!

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Nam’s Fav Green Juice (for now)
Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 (Large) Bunch Kale
4 Cups Spinach
1 Cup Parsley
3 Apples (I like a mix of Fuji and Granny Smith)
4 Carrots with their tops on
1 Inch Fresh Ginger Root
Juice of 1 Lemon

Throw all the produce into your juicer and enjoy!

20 Super Bowl Recipes for Game Day

Whether you’re hosting/attending a Super Bowl bash, no game day is complete without a table of goodness to nosh on. Check out my 20 Super Bowl recipes that will have your loved ones not only cheering for your fav team but also for you—-whatever the results of the game may be!


Buffalo Wings

Buffalo Wings

Fried Buffalo Calamari

Fried "Buffalo" Calamari

Mediterranean Spinach Artichoke Dip

Oven Baked Potato Chips

Oven Baked Potato Chips

Bruschetta with Smoked Mozzarella Cheese

Bruschetta with Smoked Mozzarella Cheese


Margherita Pizza with Crispy Bacon

Margherita Pizza with Crispy Bacon

Roasted Garlic Chicken Pizza

Roasted Garlic Chicken Pizza

Sausage and Mushroom Pizza

Sausage and Mushroom Pizza

Macadamia Nut Pesto Pizza

Macadamia Nut Pesto Pizza

Shrimp and Prosciutto Pizza with Fresh Arugula

Shrimp and Prosciutto Pizza with Fresh Arugula

Fat Tire Braised Carnitas Tacos

Fat Tire® Braised Carnitas Tacos

Turkey and Bean Chili

Turkey and Bean Chili

Onion Burgers

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Rice-Cereal Treats

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Rice-Cereal Treats

At Hoc at Home Brownies

Brownies from "Ad Hoc at Home"

New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

Fat Tire Chavelas

Fat Tire® Chavelas

Mint Margaritas

Mint Margaritas

Fresh Strawberry Mojitos

Fresh Strawberry Mojito

Highlights from the 2011 Foodbuzz Food Blogger Festival

Foodbuzz Blogger Festival

I’ve been back home in San Diego for a few days now but I’m still so EXHAUSTED  from the 3rd Annual Foodbuzz Blogger Festival. And you would be too if you talked, ate, and uh—drank as much as I did!

Foodbuzz Awards Dinner

And truth be told, I’ve been racking my brain on how to accurately convey and depict all of the events and highlights that transpired over the weekend. From the Awards Dinner, Tasting Event, Gala Event, and even the delish cooking demo from Chef Tyler Florence……it was all a fabulous time!

Chef Tyler Florence

But through it all, the most fulfilling aspect of the festival was reconnecting and meeting with the talented food bloggers from all over. I reveled at meeting some writers that I have long admired and especially those who I have corresponded with but have never met in person.

And let me just say….there were some shenanigans! With that much delish food and adult beverages—how can there not be???  :)

I’ve got a huge list of folks who I now will be following and I barely met a fraction of the attendees. So many bloggers, so little time!

Foodbuzz Festival 2011

Quick shot out to some amazing folks who really MADE my time at the festival—so thankful to have connected face to facel!

There were SO many of you that I was fortunate to have connected with and I CANNOT wait to give you a big ol’ hug next year! And for those who I didn’t get to see, I’ve got my eye out for you next year!

And although the festival was jammed pack,  I did get a quick chance to snag a few goodies outside of the festival…..

La BoulangeSalad Niçoise (not shown), Macarons and a Cannelé from La Boulange Bakery

Brunch @ Namu SFFrog Hollow  Blood Orange “Bellini”, Kimchee Fried Rice with Egg and Challah French Toast at Namu SF

Dosa FillmoreSpicy Mung Bean Dosas, Chicken Roti, and Bengali Gimlet at Dosa SF

THANKS so much FOODBUZZ….until next year!

Spinach and Sausage Lasagna Rolls

Spinach and Sausage Lasagna Rolls

“I love Pasta…… I love Pasta…..I love Pasta…….Yea, yea, yea, yea!”

In case you didn’t get that….that was my “pasta song”.  I’m a horrible singer and I really don’t like karaoke.  But I just adore pastas so much that I just have to sing it out sometimes.

Spinach and Sausage Lasagna Rolls

One day I came home from work to find a box sitting at my front door. And in that box, there were PASTAS!!!!!!!

Oh yes—it was a red letter day. :)

Spinach and Sausage Lasagna Rolls

Thanks to , I had lasagna sheets and penne rigate at my disposal! They feature pastas that are lower in carbohydrates, high in fiber—and most importantly, delish!

Spinach and Sausage Lasagna Rolls

I took this opportunity to make lasagna rolls filled with spinach and sausage. Rolls are a fun way to change up traditional lasagnas and since the edges are usually my favorite part (due to the extra crispiness) rolls are the perfect way to go.

And on that note…..

“I love Pasta…… I love Pasta…..I love Pasta…….Yea, yea, yea, yea!”

Yeah….I should just stick to cooking.

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Spinach and Sausage Lasagna Rolls
Serves 4

Ingredients:

8 lasagna sheets
¼ cup shallots, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
½ pound Italian sausage
1 (10-ounce) bag frozen spinach, thawed and excess water squeezed out
1 teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon dried chili flakes
¼ cup goat cheese
¼ cup cream cheese
3 cups marinara sauce
1½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
kosher salt
olive oil

Soak the lasagna sheets in hot tap water for 8-10 minutes or boil the pasta sheets for 1/2 the time listed on the box.

In a skillet, heat olive oil and sauté shallots until they are translucent. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add the sausage to the pan. Use a wooden spoon to crumble the meat and break into small pieces.  Once the meat is no longer pink, add the spinach, thyme and chili flakes. Season with kosher salt. Remove pan from the heat and add goat cheese and cream cheese. Stir to combine.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and drain the lasagna sheets. Spread about one cup of the marinara sauce on the bottom of a baking dish. Set aside.

Spoon/spread about 3-4 tablespoons of the spinach-sausage mixture across each lasagna sheet. Carefully roll up each sheet and place the rolls, seam side down inside the baking dish. Cover the tops of each roll with a few spoonfuls of marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese.  Transfer to the preheated oven and bake for about 20 minutes.

To serve, warm up the remainder of the marinara sauce. Add a few spoonfuls to the bottom of the plate and place rolls on top.

*** I received to sample, however, all views and opinions expressed are my own.***

Tiramisu–Molto Delizioso!

Tiramisu

I remember the first time I ever tried Tiramisu.

It was on a date with my high school bf at an Italian restaurant in Orange County. At the end of the meal, our server brought over a huge dish of Tiramisu, compliments of the restaurant. Who knows…..he was probably trying to help the guy to impress me. :)

Not one to ever pass on desserts, I quickly grabbed a spoon and took a big bite. My sweet tooth was forever changed. It was rich, creamy and yet somehow light and fluffy at the same time.

So good! Then again, it could have been the rum in it that was skewing my 16 year old taste buds.

Like my previous post of Oeufs en Cocotte, you absolutely MUST use the freshest eggs possible in this dessert as Tiramisu is not cooked. The Safest Choice™Pasteurized Eggs I received were perfectly put to use in this.

The recipe below is a slightly tweaked version from Gabriele Corcos & Debi Mazar from the Cooking Channel’s show Extra Virgin. They are such a cute pair and I absolutely love watching them. Their preparation is quite simple to do and yields delish results. One thing to note is to be careful not to soak the ladyfingers too long in the liquids or else it will get way too mushy. A quick dip of just one side of the cookie does the trick.

Molto Delizioso!

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Tiramisu
Serves 8
Slightly Adapted from Gabriele Corcos & Debi Mazar

Ingredients:

2 cups freshly brewed, strong coffee (cooled)
1/2 tablespoon instant espresso powder
2 (8-ounce) containers mascarpone
5 eggs, separated
14 ounces savoiardi cookies (firm ladyfingers)
4 ounces sugar, plus 2 tablespoons or more, for the coffee
2 ounces dark rum
Pinch salt
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup shaved dark chocolate, to garnish

While the coffee is still warm, add 2 tablespoons sugar and espresso powder. Stir until dissolved and allow to cool in a shallow dish. Once cooled, stir in the rum.

Whisk the egg yolks with 2 ounces sugar, and beaut until you obtain a creamy light mixture. Work the mascarpone in a bowl using a wooden spoon, making sure you eliminate any lumps, then add the mascarpone to the sugar-egg yolk mixture and continue to mix well.

In a separate bowl, mix the egg whites, pinch of salt, and the remaining 2 ounces sugar, until they reach a somewhat firm, but fluffy consistency, then add them to the mascarpone mixture.

Quickly dip one side of each of the savoiardi cookies (firm ladyfingers) in the coffee mixture, and one by one lay them flat into a 7 by 11 pyrex tray, making sure you do not soak the cookies, as you want to make sure they maintain their firmness. Once the first layer of cookies has been laid out, spread a layer of the mascarpone cream on top, and dust with 1 tablespoon cocoa powder.

Now, again, prepare another layer of coffee-dipped cookies, cream and cocoa powder. Garnish the top of the cake with the shaved dark chocolate.

Cover the tray with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 3 hours so the flavors can marry and the tiramisu can settle.

Oeufs en Cocotte with Mushrooms

Oeufs en Cocotte with Mushrooms

 

 

Eggs.

So simple, so delicious, so versatile.

I recently got the opportunity to try out Safest Choice™Pasteurized Eggs and was excited at the chance to cook with them. In many recipes, eggs are served undercooked or even raw. For some, this can be a wary call as Salmonella (salmonellosis) is quite a serious concern. As such, it’s important to always use the freshest eggs when cooking. And eggs pasteurized in their shells is even a safer bet!

 

 

 

I’m one of those people who could eat breakfast all day long. Eggs Benedict rank among my favorite breakfast/brunch dishes—-right up there with a big ol’ plate of rice, SPAM, and an egg over easy. Now that’s some comfort food!

I definitely wanted to make a breakfast/brunch dish using Safest Choice™Pasteurized Eggs and first on my list were Oeufs en Cocotte……also known as Shirred Eggs.

 

Oeufs en Cocotte with Mushrooms

Oeufs en Cocotte are baked eggs in a water bath. The yolks are meant to remain on the runny side but this unctuousness is fabulous to dip toast into. As for the sauteed mushrooms—-well, y’all know I try to sneak mushrooms into almost everything I make :)

I opted not to add any cream to the eggs as I didn’t think it’s needed–especially because of the Gruyere. But by all means, it won’t hurt my feelings if you add a splash in. And best yet, Oeufs en Cocotte are so easy and look so fancy-schmancy that they are perfect to entertain with!

Stay tuned for Monday’s post when I share how I used Safest Choice™Pasteurized Eggs in a rich and decadent dessert!

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Oeufs en Cocotte with Mushrooms
Serves 2

Ingredients:

2 Fresh Eggs
1 Cup Mushrooms (I used a mix of crimini and shitakes)
2 Tablespoons Gruyere Cheese
1 Tablespoon Shallots, diced
1 Garlic Clove, finely diced
2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
Butter
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat olive oil in a skillet and sauté shallots until translucent. Add mushrooms and cook until tender, about 5-6 minutes. Add thyme leaves and garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Butter 2 ramekins. Place ½ of the mushroom mixture into each ramekin and top with the cheese. Carefully crack one egg into each ramekin and season with salt and pepper. Place ramekins into a baking dish and fill with boiling water until it reaches ½ way up the sides of the ramekins. Transfer the dish to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until the eggs whites have set but the yolks are still a runny.

Carefully remove from water bath and serve with toast.

* I received Safest Choice™Pasteurized Eggs to sample, however, all views and opinions expressed are my own.