Wednesday, February 16, 2011

DARING KITCHEN CHALLENGE: Tempura and Cold Soba Noodles

Reading blogs, specifically food blogs, has become a hobby of mine over the past few months. During the first couple of months I noticed that every few weeks I would see a title called 'Daring Kitchen Challenge' on almost all of my favorite blogs.

"What the hec is this?" I asked myself. And why don't I know about it.

Was it some kind of super secret private cooking club that only special food bloggers can be a part of. Do you have to be invited to take part in this super secret Daring Kitchen society? Why wasn't I invited?

How rude.

I like my recipes. I think my pictures are kinda good. Why can't I know about these challenges.


These are all of the thoughts that went through my head, before I finally decided to Google 'Daring Kitchen', and VOILA, I found out the secret!

Which is not a secret at all, by the way. Anyone can join.

So much for my conspiracy theory, huh?

So I joined, got approved, and finally completed my first Daring Kitchen Challenge. YAY!
The challenge was Tempura and Cold Soba Noodles. I must say, I do not cook a lot of Japanese food. If you read the 'about me' section of my blog you all know that I absolutely LOVE Asian food, but more so the Indian, Malaysian, etc...type of Asian food.

Well after completing this challenge, I might try to cook Japanese food a little more often. It was delicious. The tempura was so easy to make, I don't know why anyone would buy pre-made Tempura Mix. It's a me. The soba noodles take 10 minutes from start to finish.

I was glad that this challenge was not time-consuming because I had a very busy week. I Made some scrumptious food for my clients this past week, including Jerk Chicken with Shrimp Fried Rice, Braised Short Ribs with Creamy Polenta, and Seafood Etouffe.


Can't wait to do more Daring Kitchen Challenges.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sweet Soy Glazed Scallops w/Roasted Fennel and Baby Vidalia Onions

Edit post
These past two weeks have been so hectic for me. I have barely had time to think about anything else other than work, work, and more work. My business is getting busier. Booked some more clients for my personal chef services. It's so nice being able to help families eat healthy, freshly cooked meals.

No more McDonald's for my clients!

I have finally had some days off. Some time to relax. And you know what I did?

I slept. Slept. And slept some more. I feel so rejuvenated

The weather has been gray and sleepy. Perfect sleeping weather.

I got up early and went to the farmers market to buy some groceries for my clients. While I was there, I saw so many beautiful fruits and vegetables that I had to get something for myself. I found the cutest baby vidalia onions and gorgeous fresh fennel. I thought they would be lovely roasted."

As I'm walking over to the meat section, I pass the seafood, and what do I see?

The biggest, juiciest Sea Scallops I've ever seen. Who could resist?

Not me. I used to hate scallops (Ha! Yet another food I despised. Man I was picky)!

Anyways, I bought some. I was excited to cook them with my roasted vegetables.

I hope you enjoy the recipe. I cook the scallops using a combination of chili oil and sesame oil, but you can use one or the other, or even olive oil. Sweet soy sauce has a distinctively different taste from regular soy sauce, but I know it can be hard to find in grocery stores. I don't know what this recipe will taste like if you try to use regular soy sauce, byt you can definitely try and let me know how it turns out!

Also, I thought about making videos for every post, but it is extremely time consuming! So maybe I will make a video every other post. I am already working on the one for next week.

Sweet Soy Glazed Scallops w/Roasted Fennel and Baby Vidalia Onions
2 servings

Soy Glaze:
2 tablespoons sweet soy sauce
1 teaspoon sweet thai chili sauce
2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 dash of fish sauce (optional)

Fennel and Vidalia Onions:
1 head of fennel
2 baby vidalia onions
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tablespoon whole coriander
2 teaspoons sweet soy sauce
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

5-7 Sea Scallops
1 tablespoon chili oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon ground coriander
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Cut the tops of the fennel off, cut in quarters and remove the core. Cut the tops off of the baby vidalia onions, as well of the rough root on the bottom. Cut the onions in half, or quarters (whichever you prefer).

Toss the fennel and onions with the garlic, sweet soy sauce, whole coriander, salt, pepper, and olive oil.
Place on a baking sheet and roast for 25-30 minutes.

Heat skillet on medium heat. Make sure the scallops are completely dry. I blotted mine with a paper towel to remove any moisture. The scallops will not get that lovely golden brown crust if they are wet. Season them with ground coriander, salt, and pepper.

Add oil to the pan and sear scallops. Do not move the scallops for at least 1-2 minutes to ensure that they get nicely browned. Turn scallops over and brown the other side. Scallops should be done in about 4 minutes (2 minutes per side), depending on their size. I do not suggest cooking scallops for much longer because they will become tough and chewy.


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