Sunday, March 17, 2013

In the Kitchen Video 01 - Green Onions (Scallions)

With the help of super director and producer Christina Colorina, I made my first instructional cooking video with green onions this weekend in celebration of St. Patrick's Day.

The video is on five way to cut green onions (scallions) for use in Taiwanese cooking.

Check it out here: S.O.F.A.T. in the Kitchen - Green Onions (Scallions)

Does it really have anything to do with St. Patty's Day? Not really, other than the scallions we used were GREEN.  It's a bit dorky, and there are a few flubs here and there, but the first time is never what you expect anyway, right? HA.  Enjoy, and leave a few comments to help improve our future clips!

Until then, let's all get S.O.F.A.T.

ML - 20130317

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Post 108: Jammin' in the Kitchen with D-Lish Jams

Elizabeth Sinanyan of D-Lish Jams in Pasadena approached me recently with a business proposal.  You blog about my jams.  You get free jams.  That was simple enough... done deal.  Well, rather than boast and gloat about the plethroa of unique jams flavors and combinations that Liz has been making for over 20 years, I thought it was a better idea to come up with some interesting uses for the jams.  After all, it is pretty easy to spread this classic condiment on our morning toast.


Liz provided me with five flavors of fruity fun: lavender strawberry, mango japaleño, mixed berries, low calorie strawberry margarita, and a classic orange marmalade.  I used the five flavors in various ways to show how dynamic this spreadable sweetner can be.  These jams got layered into a yogurt parfait, mixed in with a meat marinade, spread over crostini, drizzled over ice cream, and stirred into hot tea.

Brunch - lavender strawberry jam in Greek yogurt parfait

This is an affordable way to make your own morning parfait rather than buying the yogurt and jam combination at the store.  And it definitely beats the packaged stuff that can be bought from drive-thru windows at the fast food chains.  The floral scent of the lavender goes great with the slightly acidic Greek style yogurt, and the sweetness from the strawberry smooths the flavors out.  Don't forget the cereal or granola for a much needed crunch.

Mealtime - mango jalapeño in marinade for seared pork belly and fresh mango jalapeño salsa

The mango jalapeño jam is both sweet and spicy, which are two smart flavors to add to any meat marinade.  I added that to a Ziploc bag of light soy sauce, Worcestershire, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper, crushed red pepper, green onions stalks, sliced jalapeños, and a bit squeeze of Sriracha hot sauce.  I also added a few spoonfuls of jam to freshly chopped mango and jalapeños to help bind the salsa together.

Cocktails - lo cal strawberry margarita jam over toasted crostini with goat cheese

The happy hour platter only gets more interesting with this alcohol infused fruit spread.  Goat cheese is an ideal base for the jam because it is also sweet and tart at the same time.  A medium bodied red wine pairs great with the buttery toasted crostini.

Dessert - mixed berries jam over vanilla bean ice cream sundae

Instead of adding syrups, chocolate, or other sauces that are high in sugar, why not top off your ice cream with a healthier option instead? Granted the jam does contain sugar, but the D-Lish Jams are all natural and made without adding any perservatives.  Garnish with some toasted almond slices, a cookie, and mint for presentation.

Nightcap - orange marmalade in Earl Grey tea

The Brits have a habit of adding sugar and milk into their afternoon tea to enhance the flavor, but Asian cultures such as Chinese, Japanese and Korean refrain from doing so in order to retain the original essence of the tea.  Well, as an alternative option to both the Western and Eastern habits, may I suggest the essence of orange mamalade to naturally sweeten the tea? Koreans already have a type of tea based on mixing sweetened orange peel and pulp wih hot water, which gives a soothing feeling, especially during the cold winter season.

Ever think about how to finish that Costco sized behemoth jar of Smuckers in the pantry? Well, here are five ideas.  And when that jar is finally finished, think about visiting the D-Lish website to place a few orders of the handmade, artisan jams.  They are freshly made in small batches, come in a variety of solidly unique flavors, and are much more conveniently sized for quick consumption.  They are also sold at your local Greater LA farmers market.

It was fun jammin' in the kitchen with these creative conconctions.  Thank you Liz for the jams and the opportunity to get creative in the kitchen.  Until the next jam session, let's all get S.O.F.A.T.