Archive for category Test Kitchen

Test Kitchen: Italian Wedding Soup

2013-10-15 15.34.46Just trying out a recipe from another food blogger!

Thanh Rasico’s recent Italian Wedding Soup recipe post sent me into an immediate “I gotta make that” mode. It wasn’t a matter of “if” it would happen, but “when.” Well, that ended up being tonight.

I’m a big fan of Thanh’s blog, mainly because her recipes are simple, beautiful, and delicious. She also happens to be a big fan of two ingredients I just adore—ground pork and fish sauce. This soup recipe includes both.

Her Italian Wedding Soup is also at-home fusion coming at its finest, marrying Italian and Asian flavors into one perfect bowl of soup. I made just a few modifications to the recipe: substituting chicken stock for the broth (on Thanh’s suggestion) and baby kale for the more traditional mature kale. No real reason for the kale substitution, other than it looked good at the store. I will say I ended up enjoying the flatter, more tender baby kale leaf.

This turned out to be such an easy recipe to make. I ended up using a melon baller to form the meatballs; I then rolled them quickly in both hands before dropping the meatballs into the boiling broth. The chopped green onions and fish sauce helped make the meat so moist and flavorful. The kale and carrots provided the healthy elements to the dish…and the best part, the kids didn’t mind either ingredient.

Props to Thanh! This recipe is a winner.

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Test Kitchen: Stir Fried Sticky Rice Cake Sticks

We try out a recipe from a fellow food blogger!

Admittedly, the Test Kitchen section of this blog is one I’ve let slip over the past several months. That’s really a shame because checking out new blogs and testing recipes is truly one of my favorite aspects of food writing.

But here’s the thing: most bloggers just don’t have much time to follow other blogs. They’re too busy writing their own.

I know…woe is me.

But one of the blogs I’ve really carved out time to follow is called Red Kitchen Recipes—a site mainly comprised of Asian recipes. Thanh, who runs the site, is a local Little Rock foodie and a recent cyber friend of mine. She does an amazing job of bringing her readers uncomplicated, user-friendly recipes with straightforward directions and spectacular pictures.

And there’s a personal added bonus: she lives fairly close to me and thus, we shop at the same markets. Having that connection can at times make a huge difference. It did when I stumbled upon her Stir Fried Sticky Rice Cake Sticks and noticed that Thanh gets her ingredients from K Oriental on Bowman.

Have you ever cooked rice cake sticks? This was a first time for me and I must say…I’m hooked. These little, soft pillows are a tad chewy and prove to be a perfect match for Thanh’s delicious sauce concoction.

You’ll find the sauce thickens up to a nice, gravy-like consistency (from the cornstarch), with a wonderful balance of flavors. And the best part of all…that minced fresh ginger. I always add twice as much as the recipe calls for.

I substituted some sweet Chinese sausage for the shrimp (due to my wife’s shellfish allergy), and I added some chopped cabbage, so the dish would eat more like a meal, rather than a snack. Success!

It’s just a matter of time before I dive into Thanh’s arsenal of other recipes. In fact, got my eye on her Duck Gumbo!


Test Kitchen: Sweet Stuffed Chicken

Each week, we find another food blogger’s recipe and test it out!

I absolutely love stuffed chicken recipes.  When I was jumping around on Small Boston Kitchen….I came upon this one. I quickly checked out what ingredients I had around the apartment and then ran over to Trader Joe’s for the rest.

It’s very easy, looks beautiful, and is sure to please. I’ve found that anytime I serve stuffed chicken to guests, it always comes off a lot fancier than it really is.

And this recipe is no different. Why? The prosciutto! You could wrap a boot with prosciutto and your guests would start dancing in the street. Do it, you’ll see (note: first, deep cured meat in cocaine to get desired dancing in the street).

I didn’t have the recommended raspberry jam on hand, but I did have some blueberry. It worked great. What a combination of flavors…especially the goat cheese and jam. My entire family loved the recipe and it was easy to make.

SBK’s Sweet Stuffed Chicken will be making a return visit soon!

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Test Kitchen: Pork Fat Roasted Chicken

On Tuesdays, we try out a recipe from a fellow food blogger from around the country. Check out The Mighty Rib!

You read right. Check out The Mighty Rib! Tuesdays are now dedicated to Test Kitchen, and what better way to get back into the swing of things than with TMR’s very own Vivek (via Vivek’s Epicurean Adventures). Yes, we usually highlight another blogger’s recipe from around the country.  But this one was just too good to pass up.  Vivek’s latest Higher Learning contribution was this Pork Fat Roasted Chicken.

If you’re not familiar with how to hack up a whole chicken…become familiar. It’s one of those things you need to know. If you’re a pansy-ass and don’t like to touch poultry, pay double, and get one already cutup.  Loser.

The rest is very easy. Browning the chicken on each side takes only a total of 12 minutes.  And once you transfer everything to the oven, expect about another 20 minutes of cook time. This is certainly a dish you could make on a weekday.

The finished product is phenomenal! The crispy chicken skin just sucks up the lemon juice and all flavors from the fresh herbs. The meat is super moist and well seasoned. Added bonus…your apartment/house will smell of roasted bacon for about two days. Is that such a bad thing? Hell no.

Make this recipe! Now.