Soy Chorizo Carbonara

This is the first time I used soy chorizo. Having cooked with pork chorizo in the past, I didn’t notice a difference in texture or in taste. I liked using the soy chorizo because I didn’t feel sluggish after eating it like I do when I eat pork.

This recipe was inspired by Serious Eat’s Chorizo Carbonara. I loved how this tasted and it left plenty more servings so I can feast on it during the week. I added a few pieces of arugula in the picture to make it look prettier.


5 ounces whole wheat spaghetti, linguine, or other long pasta
1 tablespoon canola or olive oil
1 cup soy chorizo
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy cream
Black pepper

Add the pasta to a large saucepan of well-salted boiling water and cook until al dente.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the chorizo and fry briskly for about 10 minutes, until crisp and cooked through.

Beat the egg yolks and cream together.

When the pasta is done, drain thoroughly and immediately return it to the hot pan. Tip in the crisp chorizo, followed by the egg mixture. Use 2 forks to mix the eggy cream into the hot pasta. It will cook in the heat of the pasta, coating each strand in a light, creamy sauce. Serve right away, with a final grinding of black pepper on top.


Wilted Arugula Salad With Balsamic And Mushrooms

Serious Eats had a great recipe up for Steak Salad with Balsamic and Wilted Arugula and I decided to do a vegetarian-friendly version of it. If you skip the parmesan cheese for garnish, it’s vegan-friendly! This was easy to make and tasted great.


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 small shallots, cut into ribbons
4 cloves of garlic, sliced
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
3 cups sliced mushrooms, preferably porcini, trumpet, or chantarelles
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, plus more for garnish
6 ounces baby arugula, washed well
Shaved parmesan, to garnish

In a large (14-inch) skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium until shimmering. Add the shallots, garlic, and rosemary and cook until translucent. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and cook until soft and beginning to caramelize.

Take off the heat. Add the balsamic vinegar, tossing well to coat. Add the arugula, tossing until just starting to wilt, then transfer to plates. Top with shards of shaved Parmesan and more balsamic vinegar, if desired.

Gong Bao Tofu

I found this recipe for Gong Bao Chicken on Serious Eats and I decided to do a vegan version of this by using tofu instead of chicken. It was pretty simply and it came out very tasty. For added spiciness, serve with some garlic chili paste toss in. Soooo good!


1/3 cup unsalted peanuts
1 12 oz extra firm tofu, drained and roughly torn apart into chunky pieces
1 tablespoon cornstarch
8 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons unroasted peanut oil or other neutral oil
1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 garlic cloves, peeled and very thinly sliced
1-inch knob ginger root, peeled and very thinly sliced
4 scallions, trimmed and roughly chopped
Cooked brown rice, for serving

Combine the tofu, corn starch, and half the soy sauce in a small bowl. Toss the tofu until it’s well-coated in the mixture, and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat a large, dry skillet or wok over medium heat. Add the peanuts and cook, gently tossing occasionally, until they’re golden brown and fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.

Heat the oil in the skillet or wok over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the tofu,  Sichuan peppercorns, and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring continuously, until the tofu turns a light brown in color.

Add the garlic, ginger, scallions, and peanuts. Continue cooking until the tofu is golden dark brown.

Remove from the heat, pour the remaining soy sauce over the tofu, and serve immediately with rice.

Greek Salad

I found the recipe for this incredible salad on Serious Eats. The dressing is fantastic and makes more than enough to make this salad repeatedly.
For Salad

1 large Spanish or sweet onion, thickly sliced
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
1 large head iceberg lettuce, sliced paper-thin
4 small fire-roasted red bell peppers, home-roasted or store-bought, cut into strips
3/4 pound English cucumber, peeled, halved, seeds scooped out, and thickly sliced
8 whole scallions, thinly sliced
1 red onion, sliced paper-thin
1 tsp of dried dill weed
1/2 cup small, picked sprigs parsley, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon dry Greek oregano
About 50 mixed green and black olives, brined and/or oil-cured, pitted and halved
2/3 cup fat free feta cheese
4 pepperoncini (pickled yellow peppers), sliced

For Red Wine Vinaigrette
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 small onion, sliced and grilled
6 basil leaves
1 teaspoon picked thyme
1/4 cup fat free feta cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
6 garlic cloves, pressed
2 shallots, thickly sliced
2 tablespoons dry Greek oregano
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon coarsely cracked black pepper
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For Salad
Brush the onion slices with olive oil and season with kosher salt and pepper. On a griddle pan or in a cast-iron skillet, grill the onion until tender. Separate into rings.

In a large bowl, combine all of the remaining ingredients except the Red Wine Vinaigrette, feta, and pepperoncini. Toss.

Drizzle the vinaigrette and toss the mixture aggressively with clean hands. Scatter with the feta and pepperoncini.

For Red Wine & Feta Vinaigrette
In a food processor, combine the vinegar, onion, basil, thyme, feta, mustard, garlic, shallots, oregano, salt, and pepper. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil until smooth.

Cook the Book: Greek Salad


Chinese Kasha Varnishkes

I have been so M.I.A. Life has been incredibly busy and I regret neglecting this blog for so long. I enjoy doing this and I have been taking pictures and notes on what I’ve been making but haven’t been posting. I suck. I have a lot of stuff that will be coming up here soon.

As for this recipe, I love it. So easy and delicious. I love the chili garlic sauce with it.


8 ounces dried bowtie pasta
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
Kosher Salt
1 cup kasha (buckwheat groats)

For the Dressing:
1 bunch scallions, finely sliced, about 2 cups, divided
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons Chopped cilantro
Chinese garlic chili paste or hot chili oil for serving

Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. Drain and toss with 2 teaspoons oil. Set aside. Bring 2 cups water to boil and add kasha. Simmer for 15 minutes, then turn off heat and let sit covered and undisturbed until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes longer.

Meanwhile, make the scallion oil: Set aside 1/4 of scallion greens for garnish. Cook remaining scallions in remaining oil in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the slivers of scallions are browned and sweet, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, add soy sauce and sesame oil, and stir to combine. Add pasta, kasha, scallion oil, reserved sliced scallions, and cilantro to a large mixing bowl and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt. Serve with garlic chili paste or chili oil.

Chinese Kasha Varnishkes

Drunken Macaroni and Cheese with Sausage and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

What’s drunken macaroni and cheese? It’s mac ‘n’ cheese with booze, of course! This recipe if primarily based off of Martha Stewart’s Macaroni and Cheese recipe with additional awesomeness: sausage, sun-dried tomatoes, and ale.


8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for dish
6 slices wheat bread, crusts removed, torn into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces
5 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
4 1/2 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese (about 18 ounces)
2 cups grated Gruyere cheese (about 8 ounces) or 1 1/4 cups grated Pecorino Romano cheese (about 5 ounces)
1 pound elbow macaroni
1/2 cup ale (I used Stone Brewery’s Arrogant Bastard)
1 lb mild Italian sausage
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, sliced into strips 

Heat over to 350 degrees. Place sausage links on baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake on one side for 8 minutes, flip and cook for an additional 8 minutes. Allow to cool and then cut links into thin slices.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish; set aside. Place bread in a medium bowl. In the microwave, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Pour butter into bowl with bread, and toss. Set breadcrumbs aside.

In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, heat milk. Melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Cook, whisking, 1 minute.

While whisking, slowly pour in hot milk. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.

Remove pan from heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 3 cups cheddar cheese, 1 1/2 cups Gruyere or 1 cup Pecorino Romano, 1/2 cup of beer; set cheese sauce aside.

Fill a large saucepan with water; bring to a boil. Add macaroni; cook 2 to 3 minutes less than manufacturer’s directions, until the outside of pasta is cooked and the inside is underdone. (Different brands of macaroni cook at different rates; be sure to read the instructions.) Transfer macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce. Add sausage and sun-dried tomatoes.

Pour mixture into prepared dish. Sprinkle remaining 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup Gruyere or 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano, and breadcrumbs over top. Bake until browned on top, about 30 minutes. Transfer dish to a wire rack to cool 5 minutes; serve hot.

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

I made this for my girlfriend’s Lorraine birthday party on Sunday. She said that she wanted satay and here’s what I made.


For the Peanut Sauce
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup hot water
2 tablespoons lime juice from 1 to 2 limes
2 tablespoons Sriracha
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro leaves
1 medium garlic clove, minced
2 scallions , white and green parts, sliced thin

For the Satay
2 lb of chicken breast meat, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
1/8 cup fish sauce
1/8 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons Sriracha
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
4 scallions , white and green parts, sliced thin
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

Whisk peanut butter and hot water together in medium bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients for the peanut sauce; transfer to serving bowl and set aside.

Put chicken cubes in a glass casserole and combine the fish sauce, oil, chili sauce, brown sugar, cilantro, garlic, and scallions with the chicken. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour. After marinated, weave chicken onto individual skewers. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place skewers on the foil. Coat skewers with marinade that’s left over.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook chicken for about 6 minutes, flip over and cook for an additional 6 minutes. Transfer to a platter, sprinkle with cilantro, and serve with the peanut sauce.

Grilling: Beef Satay