Cheesy Chicken Breakfast Whole Wheat Burritos

中文菜谱: 鸡丝奶酪全麦卷饼

I am a firm breakfast believer, which means I believe breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  T provides nutrition and energy for us to through the day.  And I never skip breakfast without a really good reason.  

One of my frequently homemade breakfasts is cheesy chicken burritos.  They are super easy and fun to make.  Just gather all the ingredients you need; lay them out on the countertop; and then wrap them up one by one.  You can even recruit little young children to do it together.  It is never too early to inspire a young chef, isn’t it?  O(∩_∩)O~

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These cheesy burritos melt beautifully in double sided griddle skillet or a Panini machine.  

ingredients:

1 rotisserie chicken 
1 to 1.5 lb mozzarella cheese or any of your favorite shredded cheese
6 to 8 large eggs
1 cup crumbled bacon
2packages of whole wheat tortillas (16 to 20 in total)
freshly ground black pepper
salt to taste
3 to 4 tablespoons oil for making scrambled eggs

Directions:

Debone the whole rotisserie chicken.  Use your fingers tips to shred the chicken as finely as possible.

Heat a wok over medium high heat.  Add oil and eggs.  Cook the egg just until they settle.  Season with salt and black pepper.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool down to room temperature.

Add chicken, cheese, scrambled eggs, and crumbled bacon to a large bowl.  Season with salt and black pepper, and gently toss everything together.

Grab a handful of the chicken cheese filling.  Add to the center of a whole wheat tortilla.

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Roll and wrap it up.

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Seal each burrito with plastic wrap, which will help them to stay in shape and easier for storage too. 

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Pack any extra burritos in large Ziploc bags.  Freeze for later use.

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Preheat a double sided electric griddle skillet.  Add burritos with seam side down.  Grill until they are golden brown and cheese is melted inside.  

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If you don’t have a double sided electric griddle skillet, a Panini machine will work just fine too.

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The outside is crispy and crunchy, and the inside is moist, cheesy, gooey and loaded with tons of delicious flavors.  Yum!

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With a cup of coffee or soy milk, you have a perfect breakfast!  O(∩_∩)O~

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Mini Goledn Egg Dumplings with Pork Filling

Febrary 4th is the date for traditional Chinese New Year in 2019.  On this day, most Chinese families get together from all over the places to celebrate the beginning of a new year.  It is kind of like Thanksgiving in America, but longer and more festival. 

On the last evening of lunar year, it is also a tradition to make serve a marvelous feast which could take up to weeks’ preparation.  

Now since we are living in the United States, we still celebrate Chinese New Year, just on a smaller scale.  I still make some traditional Chinese food on this day.  Egg dumplings are one of them.

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Egg dumplings are a must for New Year’s feast.  The beautiful golden color resembles gold and more money incoming in the New Year.  The shape of flower means good luck and blessing in the New Year too. 

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Ingredients:

180 g ground pork
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 to 2 teaspoons rice cooking wine
1/2 teaspoon oyster sauce
2 to 3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 cup chicken stock/ water
5 large eggs
salt to taste
vegetable oil for cooking

Directions :

Add ground pork to a medium bowl, along with ground ginger, rice cooking wine, oyster sauce, soy sauce, ground white pepper, and salt.  Whisk clock-wise with a pair of chopsticks.

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While whisking, add a tablespoon chicken stock/ water.  Whisk until the liquid is absorbed before adding more.

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Add a pinch of salt to the eggs and beat them until smooth.

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I use a cast iron pancake puff pan to make egg dumplings.  It is super efficient because I can make 7 of them at a time. 

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Heat the pan over medium low heat.  Spray with oil.  Add a couple teaspoons of beaten eggs to each hole.  Swirl around a little bit.

Add teaspoon ground pork filling to each of them.

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Fold them over.

Once egg dumplings can hold their half moon shape, remove from pan. 

Repeat the process until all done.

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Assemble all egg dumplings in a plate like a big flower. 

Add to a steamer.  Steam dumplings over high heat for about 6 minutes.   The steaming time may vary with dumplings’ sizes and shapes.

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They can be served hot or cold.  Aren’t they pretty?

The rest of our New Year feast also includes boiled free range chicken with dipping sauces.

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med bass with ginger and oyster sauce

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Purple daikon salad

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Cucumber salad

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Spinach and tofu salad

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Steamed sweet rice with nuts and red beans paste

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Braised Duck Necks in Spicy Soy Sauce

中文菜谱: 辣卤鸭脖

For the foodies who have culinary adventurous spirits, I recommend soy sauce braised duck necks as a meaty, healthy and very satisfying snack when watching Super Bowl on this coming Sunday.  For those who think it is too bizarre, all I can say is that you have no idea what you are missing O(∩_∩)O~  

A lot of Asian countries have long history of eating ducks.  I mean like all parts of ducks.  When food was scarce, nothing edible would go waste.  At first, people eat duck necks because they couldn’t afford expensive meat.  And now people are still eating it because of it is so tasty and flavorful.

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Ingredients:

2 lbs duck necks (sold in Asian grocery stores)  
3 to 4 tablespoons Pixian chili paste
a handful dried chili peppers
1/4 to 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
2 to 4 tablespoons dark soy sauce
2 to 3 tablespoons rice cooking wine
1 to 2 teaspoons sugar
3 to 4 star anises
1 small piece cinnamon bark
2 to 3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon Sichuan pepper corns
3 to 4  pieces dried sand ginger
5 to 6 cloves
1 black cardamom pod
2 cloves of garlic
1 small piece of fresh ginger root, sliced
salt to taste  
3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil for cooking
water
1 cup of *“old soy sauce” (opitonal)

(* old soy sauce is the remaining braised sauce that has been boiled, drained and preserved in freezer.  Add old soy sauce to the broth can enrich its flavor, improve the braised meat texture and give everything a better taste.  Think about the old dough used in the bakery.  They pretty much work the same way. *)

 

Directions:

Gather all the needed spices in a small plate.  Don’t they look pretty together?

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Clean and rinse duck necks under running water.  Trim any extra surrounding fat or tissues.

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Blanch duck necks in boiling water for about 5 minutes.

Rinse them with hot water.  Set aside.

Heat a cast iron wok over medium heat.  Add vegetable oil along with all the spices.

Sautee for several minutes until you can smell intense aroma from the spices.

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Add Pixian chili paste.

Add soy sauce, dark soy sauce, rice cooking wine, sugar, and old soy sauce.  Continue to sauté for a couple minutes.

Add water.  Turn up the heat to high.  When it comes to boil, add duck necks.

Wait for the broth to boil again.  Cover with lid and reduce the heat to simmer for about 1 hour.  Extend the simmering time if you prefer softer meat texture. 

15 minutes before simmering time is up, do a quick sample taste.  Add salt to taste.  

When the hour is up, turn off the heat.  For maximum flavor, leave the duck necks soaking in broth for another hour or so.

When the duck necks cool down, dice them with a sharp cleaver. 

They are best when served cold beer together! O(∩_∩)O~

Roasted Chicken Hocks Braised in Soy Sauce

Chicken hock is the part between drumstick and foot, also known as “ankle joint”.  It has very unique texture because it is mostly just skin, tendon and bone.  After being stewed or braised for a while, chicken hock could be tender and soft.  Just like pork and beef hock, chicken hock has gelatinous texture once properly cooked. 

As for the flavor, it is just pretty mild chicken flavor.  It is all about the texture in this dish. 

Bizarre food? Maybe.  Delicious? Definitely!

Ingredients:

1 package of chicken hocks (weighs about 2 lbs)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1 to 2 tablespoons rice cooking  wine
1 to 2 tablespoons rock sugar
1 piece of ginger root, smashed  
1/2  teaspoon oyster sauce
1 spice & herb bag, recipe followed
water for cooking and simmering
salt to taste
cayenne pepper powder
ground cumin
roasted white sesame seeds
chopped green onion

 

Ingredients for spice & herb bag:

3 to 4 star anises
1 teaspoon Sichuan pepper corns
1 black cardamom pod, smashed
4 to 5 cloves
3 to 4 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried ginger
a handful of dried red chili peppers, cut into pieces
1 small piece of cinnamon bark
1 clove of garlic

 

Directions:

Add star anises, Sichuan peppercorns, cardamom, dried ginger, cloves, bay leaves, chili peppers to a piece of coffee filter paper.  Wrap and tie it up to be a spice bag.

Rinse the chicken hocks under running water.  Cook in boiling water for 5 minutes.  Discard the water and fill the pot with fresh clean water and add the chicken hocks along with spice bag, rice cooking wine, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, rock sugar, oyster sauce and ginger. 

Cook over high heat until water boils.

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Cover with lid.  Reduce the heat to simmer for 40 to 50 minutes.  And cooking time may be adjusted according to personal preferences of chewyness.

This Le Creuset 4 3/4 quarts soup pot is perfect for braising.  More importantly it is a beautiful pot too. O(∩_∩)O~

Season with salt and continue to cook over high heat until there is no extra liquid in the pot. Stir with wooden spoon from time to time.

Preheat a toaster oven to 425F/218C.  Transfer chicken hocks to a cast iron pan lined with parchment paper

Roast for about 15 to 20 minutes.  The golden brown color darkens a bit.  The meaty flavor is more intense. 

Continue to roast for another 10 to 20 minutes or until the meat is golden brown.

Sprinkle with cayenne powder, ground cumin, roasted sesame seeds and chopped onion.

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Sichuan Style Pickled Chili Peppers and Chicken Feet

中文菜谱:

泡椒凤爪

The NBA games between Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors are going on!  We instantly transform into coach potatoes when the game starts.  Plus cold beers and good snacks make the game night more fun!  O(∩_∩)O~

Our favorite snacks for game night are chicken wings, popcorns, roasted peanuts, roasted sun flower seeds, hot and spicy duck necks, and pickled chicken feet.  Some of them sound exotic and bizarre?  Not at all!  They are all widely popular in Asian countries for a really long time.  You have to try them yourselves to see how tasty they can be.

For chicken feet boiling:

2 packages of chicken feet (weighs about 4 lbs; sold in Asian grocery stores)
1 to 2 tablespoons rice cooking wine
1 large piece of ginger root, smashed
3 to 4 star anises
1 teaspoon Sichuan pepper corns
1 black cardamom pod, smashed
4 to 5 cloves
3 to 4 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried ginger
a handful of dried red chili peppers, cut into pieces

 

For pickling:

1 bowl of Sichuan style pickled chili peppers
1 cup of pickle juice
2 to 3 cups of icy water
granulated sugar to taste
rice vinegar to taste
sea salt to taste

Directions:

I make my own Sichuan style pickled peppers from scratch.  They taste better when they are homemade together with a variety of vegetables and spices.  But you can always find them available in Asian grocery stores.

Finely chop the peppers and set aside for later use.

Add star anises, Sichuan peppercorns, cardamom, dried ginger, cloves, bay leaves, chili peppers to a piece of coffee filter paper.  Wrap and tie it up to be a spice bag.

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Rinse chicken feet under running water.  Remove nails with a sharp knife or a pair of kitchen scissors.

Add to a soup pot, along with water, spice bag, ginger root and rice cooking wine. 

Cook over high heat until the water boils.  Reduce to medium heat and continue to cook for another 10 to 15 minutes.

Discard the spice bag and ginger.  Rinse chicken feet under running water again for a few minutes.

With a sharp cleaver, cut each chicken into halves. 

Add chicken feet to a large bowl, along with pickle juice, vinegar, sea salt, sugar, icy water and chopped pickled peppers. 

Mix well with a large spoon.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  Just like regular pickles, it will take a couple days for pickled chicken feet to taste best.   

Remember to stir the chicken once in a while so that every chicken foot will be pickled and seasoned more evenly.

Don’t forget it will take a couple days to pickle.  Feel free to make them ahead of time.  The longer they sit in the fridge, the better the flavors will be. 

I buy some beers made in Czech from Central Market.  They taste mild and smooth, just like a regular American beer.

Interested in more Sichuan style pickles?  Here are some more:

Stir-fried Sichuan Style Pickled String Beans and Ground Pork