Dry-Fried Green Beans

Dry-Fried Green Beans

A Sichuanese recipe involving blistering beans in a shallow dry fry method is a quite new technique to me; but the result is quite outstanding.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 15 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From: Chinese Soul Food

Ingredients
• ¾ pound green beans (haricots or regular)
• 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp vegetable oil
• 4 ounces unseasoned ground pork or ground beef
• 1 stalk green onion, finely chopped
• 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
• 1 large garlic clove, finely minced
• 2 tbsp soy sauce, plus more as needed
• 1 tbsp water
• 1 ½ tsp sugar

Assembly
1. Trim green beans and cut them in half.
2. Line a baking sheet with a few layers of paper towel and set aside.
3. Preheat wok over medium-high heat until smoke rises from the surface.
4. Add oil and heat for 30 seconds to a minute, or until it starts to shimmer.
5. Cooking in batches add beans in a single layer and quickly stir-fry until beans start to blister.
6. Once beans look wrinkled remove with a slotted spoon and place on baking tray.
7. Repeat until all green beans are cooked.
8. Add the remaining 1 tbsp of oil and ground pork until cooked though

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I had never heard of the term dry-frying yet I think this is the way all green beans should taste and look. The slightly blistered green bean carries quite the punch. This makes a great carb-free dish or remove the ground meat and you have a vegetarian dish. A little salty a little savoury all umami.

Ginger Crème Caramel

Ginger Crème Caramel – Candy Coated Culinista

Ginger fans need to try this Crème Caramel or as I call it flan from my Filipino friends.

Yield/Serving: 8-10
Prep Time: you will need to start 2 days ahead of time
Cook Time: 90 minutes
Difficulty level is: Easy; but time consuming

From Sweet by Ottolenghi & Goh

Ingredients
• 3 ¼ cups whole milk
• ½ cup heavy cream
• 2 ¾ inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled send coarsely grated
• ½ vanilla pod, sliced in half lengthwise and seeds scraped
• 2 cups granulated sugar
• 6 large eggs
• 1 tsp vanilla extract

Assembly
1. If you are infusing the custard with ginger, you will need to start this recipe two days in advance.
2. Place milk, cream, ginger and vanilla pod and seeds in a medium bowl or measuring cup and whisk to combine.
3. Cover with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for at least 6 hours, or ideal 24 hours, to infuse.
4. When you are ready to make the crème caramel preheat oven to 325°F.
5. Place baking dish in the oven to keep warm until needed as heating the dish will make it easier to coat it with the hot caramel.
6. Add 1 cup of the sugar to a large pan or skillet and place over medium heat.
7. Cook for about 5 minutes, resisting the urge to stir; but tilting and swirling the pan instead, until the sugar has melted and begins to brown around the edges.
8. Continue this process until the sugar has turned into a dark amber caramel.
9. Remove the hot baking dish from the oven and immediately pour the caramel using a kitchen towel to protect your hands from the hot dish.
10. Tilt the dish around so the caramel coats the entire base and rise halfway up the sides of the dish.
11. Place the dish in a deep baking pan and set aside for 15 minutes. The caramel doesn’t need to become rock hard; but it should be firm enough that pouring the custard over top doesn’t disturb it.
12. Boil some water and set aside.
13. Place eggs in a large bowl with the remaining 1 cup of sugar and vanilla extract.
14. Whisk until smooth and then strain the infused milk-cream mixture into the eggs through a fine mesh strainer. Discard ginger pieces and whisk the mixture until well combined; but not frothy.
15. Pour mixture into the caramel-coated dish and place the baking pan (with the crème caramel dish inside) in the oven.
16. Pour some recently boiled water into the baking pan so the water reaches halfway up the pan.
17. Bake for 90 minutes and the top of the caramel should be a golden brown, while the middle is still wobbly. However, a skewer inserted should come out clean.
18. The wobble will firm up in the firm; but cooking time can vary depending on dish size and the material it is made out of. So it could take up to 2 hours depending.
19. Remove baking pan from oven and carefully transfer the crème caramel to a wire rack.
20. Set aside and allow to completely cool and then cover with plastic wrap and keep in fridge overnight (or up to 3 days) to allow the caramel to pool and the custard to firm up.
21. If the custard part of the crème caramel is stuck to the sides of the dish, carefully run a small knife along the edges to release it.
22. Then place a large plate (larger than the baking dish to catch the caramel) and turn out, ensuring your holding the plate and baking dish firmly and flip quickly.
23. Slowly remove the baking dish to reveal.
24. Slice and serve.

Tips
• Use a 10” ceramic or glass baking dish with a fluted edge. A metal pan will work just as well as long as the base isn’t removable.
• You can skip the ginger infused custard if you are short on time. The custard will still require to be baked a day in advance though as the caramel needs to chill in the fridge overnight.
• Will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This turned out exactly like the recipe. The crème caramel was custardy and was perfectly infused with ginger. I have never made a crème caramel and have always stayed away when it was offered at a Filipino event. I had a little difficulty getting it to come out cleanly; but otherwise this was a simple dish. This really isn’t a consistency I enjoy to be honest and then there is the caramel aspect; but if you love crème caramel/flan I believe this one would be a great one to try. The ginger really adds another level to it.

Sweet & Sour Chicken

Sweet & Sour Chicken - Candy Coated Culinista

Sweet & Sour Chicken – Candy Coated Culinista

This is a classic Chinese dish for Chinese restaurant in Western countries. Sometimes I wonder if this is even made in China, but it’s tasty and if you make it yourself you know it’s good and with no MSG.

Yield/Serving: 4
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• Pineapple juice from 1 tin
• 1 ½ tsp brown sugar
• 4 tbsp corn starch.
• Water
• 1 Red pepper, cut into large pieces
• 1 Green pepper, cut into large pieces
• 1 onion, cut into large pieces
• 2 Carrots
• 1 tbsp sesame oil
• 3 boneless chicken breast, cut into cubes
• 1 tin of pineapple chunks
• 3 cups white rice (if desired)

Assembly/Method
1. In a saucepan over medium-high heat and add the pineapple juice, brown sugar, cornstarch and water.
2. Mix well and let reduce until mixture thickens up.
3. Cut the red pepper, green pepper, onion and carrots and set aside in a bowl with the pineapple chunks.
4. Cube the chicken breasts.
5. Pour sesame oil into a wok on medium-high heat, and cook cubed chicken through.
6. Once chicken is cooked through, remove from wok and set aside on some paper towel.
7. Place all the veggies in to wok and fry for a few minutes. Ensure the vegetables are still crunchy.
8. Add the chicken back along with the vegetables and stir in the sauce.
9. Serve with sticky rice.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I love this dish and I forgot how much I like pulling out my wok and making Asian food.

*** I also tried a sweet & sour shrimp with a cherry sauces as an alternative protein option.

Sweet & Sour Shrimp - Candy Coated Culinista

Sweet & Sour Shrimp – Candy Coated Culinista

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