January 31, 2018

Low Country Boil

Fill a large pot of water so that about 2 inches of the bottom of the pot
is filled with warm-hot water. Add a cap full or about 5 TBSP of old bay right
into the pot.  Here is a suggestion of what items to out into your pot. I say
suggestions because it's really what your group likes. Typically it's going to
be seafood, sausage and root veggie friendly.  Once your pot starts to boil,
add your ingredients from heartiest to least heartiest.
eg: add the potatoes and carrots first, then mussels, crabs along with
other items with shrimp being last, when the shrimp changes color -
you know it's time to roll out that brown paper or even newspaper.
It's going to be about 30 minutes but it depends on how much you are low boiling.

Here's a list of starters: (again, it's your group's preference)
1 lb of beef sausage
2 onions cut in half for flavor
1-2 lbs of shrimp, with shell on for best flavor (yes, you peel them at the table)
1-2 pounds of baby potatoes cut in half or in quarters
1 lb (1 bag) of baby carrots
1-2 bell peppers for flavor
1 corn on the cob per person
    (cut in half or thirds for easier eating and quicker cooking)
1-2 lbs of mussels
1-2 lbs of clams
desired amount of crabs
3-4 lemons cut in half for the acidity and flavor
mini hot dogs to make it a little more kid friendly

Here are some pictures of different low country boils I've done.

Zestfully,  private party chef Yoon

Wonton Egg Drop Soup

Wontons are often described as irregular dumplings.
Here is a recipe to make wonton soup Or egg drop soup OR
you can go all out and make wonton egg drop soup together in one!

2 carrots cut in half or whole
3-4 celery stock cut in half
1 medium onion cut in half
1-2 cinnamon sticks
3 TBSP of soy sauce OR 1-2 teaspoon of salt (your desired amount of salt)
2 garlic cloves cut in half OR (1 teaspoon) of garlic powder
1 TBSP of sesame oil
let it come to a low boil and then turn the heat down on a medium simmer 
to add the wontons, eggs or both!

(be sure to take out all of the items that help create the light flavorful broth
before gently dropping the wontons and adding the egg towards the end.
The carrots, celery and all above ingredients are to just create the broth
and are meant to be taken out by a strainer, or ladle, large spoon or tongs etc...)

half pound of ground pork OR chicken
1/2 bunch of cilantro cut into 1/2 inch pieces OR chopped fine (to your liking)
pinch of salt OR drizzle of soy sauce to coat the ground protein
2 garlic gloves minced or chopped fine
1 TBSP of hoisin sauce
1 TBSP sesame oil
1 TBSP of rice vinegar 

Egg drop portion:
take 2 eggs, crack them, whisk and add 3-4 TBSP of water
drizzle over a fork right into the stock to get long ribbons of egg
(it will cook instantly)

Scallions are a nice way to garnish at the end, right into your bowl

Zestfully,  private party chef Yoon

Papaya Salad

Papaya Salad is a crunchy, crisp, briny, delicious slaw salad
made from shredded green papaya, tomatoes, carrot and acidic seasonings.

Traditionally, you will see many recipes that have green beans
and dried shrimp. Over the years of teaching cooking classes,
people have commented that they don't care for the dried shrimp powder
or whole dried shrimp along with raw green or string beans
so I simply took those out, left the fish sauce (made from anchovies)
in there for the earthy brininess and have never turned back. 
Here is LCF's simplified Papaya Salad recipe:

1 whole GREEN papaya shredded
   (it will be green on the outside and not soft, you want it to be unripe,
   the mature ones will be soft & have the coral color inside)
2 limes (the juice of) - squeeze it by hand or your desired gadget
3 TBSP of sugar (or grate some apple or pear for natural sweetness)
   (sugar is optional)
1 TBSP of fish sauce (any fish sauce brand is ok, don't substitute oyster sauce)
2 cloves of garlic minced or chopped fine OR garlic powder (sprinkle desired amount)
1 TBSP of vinegar
1 medium ripe tomato or heirloom tomatoes for color
   (cut into strips or diced)
1 handful or desired amount of peanuts whole OR crushed (it's to your liking)
1 carrot shredded

Mix all together by bare hand OR with an easy throw away glove
for easy clean up. Ideally you want to let it infuse/marinade for at least
40 minutes for the flavors to have the utmost best mixed in flavor but
right away is going to be ok....  if you must.  :)

Zestfully,  private party chef Yoon

January 26, 2018

Vietnamese Sticky Wings

Chicken wings (fresh if possible) your desired amount, start with 1.5 pounds
1-2 TBSP of fish sauce (to your liking; remember it is potent, briny & strong)
4-5 cloves garlic minced or chopped
2 TBSP of sesame oil  (veggie, grape seed, avocado, peanut, canola or corn is ok too)
TBSP chopped cilantro OR scallions (for those that don't like cilantro)
TBSP chopped peanuts  (or to your liking)
1 TBSP of sugar  (optional)
heavy drizzle of hoisin sauce (enough to coat like a bbq glaze)

marinade the wings, (ideally you want to let it marinade & sit
for at least 30 minutes), place them in an oven safe pan or cookie sheet
with aluminum foil or a cast iron skillet
bake for 30 minutes on 350 degrees,
move from the center of the oven to the top shelf right under the broil setting
to get a little crispy char for an additional 5-7 min.

Zestfully,  private party chef Yoon

January 24, 2018

Manhattan style Clam Chowder

1 medium onion diced
3 stalks of celery chopped
2 carrots diced small
1-2 garlic cloves minced or pressed or 1 teaspoon of garlic powder (to your liking)
3-4 strips of bacon cut into small pieces
1 cups of water
2 cups of tomato sauce (to you liking; crushed, stewed, diced or sauce)
2 lbs of fresh clams or 1 can of clams  (to your liking and convenience)
~ clam juice (you can make your own clam juice by steaming fresh clams
and using the liquid from the steamed clams  *note- don't stir the liquid around after steaming to prevent getting sand in your ladle. 

1. Start with sauteing the bacon right in a medium size sauce pot (ultimately the pot you will use to cook the chowder
2. Once bacon has started to brown add, all the veggies and saute until half cooked
3. Add the garlic, then the water, then the clam juice, then the clams
and after everything is sauteing nicely in the pot for about 7-10 minutes, add the tomato sauce and put a lid on the pot so it doesn't bubble all over.
4. Let everything simmer and once all the veggies are soft (check a carrot because it is the hardiest)  the Manhattan style clam chowder is done!
optional garnish - chopped fresh parsley or dried Italian seasonings

Zestfully,  private party chef Yoon