Tag: black pepper

Trader Joe’s Enchilada Sauce Copycat

Trader Joe’s Enchilada Sauce Copycat

I SO miss Trader Joe’s Enchilada Sauce. I have tried a few other canned varieties but they taste like, well, can. I tried the powdered packets and found one brand that was almost passable, but I had to add tons of spices and I thought 

Spinach and Broccoli Cheese Pie – Starbucks Hong Kong copycat

Spinach and Broccoli Cheese Pie – Starbucks Hong Kong copycat

Olivia and I love the Starbucks spinach and broccoli cheese pie, which for some reason, has disappeared from the local Hong Kong outlets over the last few weeks.  This savory, bright and comforting treat became our go to item at the Hong Kong airport, or 

Ribollita – Tuscan Bean and Vegetable Soup

Ribollita – Tuscan Bean and Vegetable Soup

Ribollita

Clearly the translation will not sound appealing, as Ribollita means reboiled. Who would like a bowl of reboiled for dinner? Doesn’t sound quite as appealing when translated.  Even better, the consistency of this “soup” is thicker and well, more mushy than soup, so who would like a bowl of reboiled mush for dinner?

If you’ve been to Tuscany, you may have had this dish as it is one of the regional specialties.  Traditionally, Ribollita contains dark kale (cavolo nero), leftover bread, beans and vegetables.  I first tried Ribollita in Siena, Italy.  I spotted it in the ready made section of a deli, packed in a rectangular plastic take away box, not typical soup packaging.   I was willing to eat it cold, but thankfully the shop owner heated it up in the microwave, popped the lid off, drizzled olive oil and a sprinkle of parmesan on top.   I loved the thick garlicky richness of the creamy white beans mixed with the greens and vegetables.

Upon my return to the US, I turned to Lidia Bastianich for inspiration.  I continue with her tricks for smashing garlic cloves and leaving them whole, adding a Parmesan heel to the soup and serving with a drizzle of olive oil.   Instead of Cavolo Nero, I use chard, which is plenty hard to find in Hong Kong.   I use canned beans since I was never able to get dried beans to soften while soaking overnight.  My secret for Ribollita is not stale bread, but rather garlic rubbed toasted baguette.  When making the garlic rubbed toasts, I have to make a double batch as Shane eats half of them before I have a chance to add them to the soup.

 

 

 

Lemony Garlic Chicken

Lemony Garlic Chicken

The zing of lemon and garlic plus a few shallots and spices work together to create a bright and smoky marinade for grilled chicken.  We currently lack access to a barbecue, or backyard for that matter, so we cook the chicken on a stovetop grill 

Red Soup – White Bean & Pasta Soup

Red Soup – White Bean & Pasta Soup

This minestrone-like veggie, bean and pasta soup gets its red color from tomato paste.   Jackson coined the name for this soup at age 3, which is admittedly easier than veggie-white bean-pasta soup…so it stuck.