Singapore Mai Fun

Mei Fun? Mei Fan? Mai fan? Seems like there are a million ways to spell this, and I have NO idea which is right! I would guess “Mai Fun”, but the restaurant I usually order this at, it’s “Mai Fan”. Ack!

No matter how you spell it, this is my very favorite Asian takeout dish of all time. I’ll never forget the first time I had it – it was at a little restaurant called “Magic Wok” in St John’s Newfoundland, over a decade ago. I’d made the mistake of ordering it “hot”, and… I’ve never been in so much spice-related pain in my life. My mouth was burning, and I SWEAR my tears had fire in them, also. It took hours to dissipate.

… holy crap, was it EVER good, though!

From then on – til I moved to Minnesota, anyway – whenever, wherever I ordered it, I asked for “medium” heat. (In Minnesota, “hot” means something very different than the rest of the world, and you basically have to specify “Hot-hot, not “Minnesota hot”, LOL!). SO good.

Feeling too lazy to go out one day, I decided to make my own “wing it” version. While this won’t leave you in pain for hours, this version is full of flavor and sure to become a favorite for any fan of the dish.

Enjoy!

Singapore Mai Fan

1 package mai fan noodles
Pan spray
2 large eggs
1 Tbsp, plus 1/2 tsp hot curry powder – divided
pinch salt
2 Tbsp olive or vegetable oil, divided
1/2 – 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bute sized pieces
1/2 -1 lb lean pork, trimmed and cut into thin strips
1/2 lb raw shrimp, shells removed.
1 small onion, cut into strips
2-3 ribs celery, cut into thin slices on a diagonal
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
1 tsp+ dried hot pepper flakes
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1/2 cup chicken stock or broth
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
3 green onions, sliced thin on a diagonal

Place mai fan noodles in a pot or heat safe bowl. Cover with very hot water, allow to soften for 10 minutes. Drain well, set aside.

Spray a LARGE pan (or wok) with pan spray. Whisk eggs, 1/2 tsp curry powder, and salt together. Pour into frying pan, cook until solid enough to flip. Flip, heat until cooked through. Transfer to a plate, cut into chunks.

Heat 1 Tbsp oil in frying pan. Cook the chicken and pork together, until almost cooked through. Add shrimp, cook just until shrimp is fully cooked (pink). Remove from heat, add to plate with egg.

Heat another 1 Tbsp oil in the frying pan. Saute onion and celery together for about 1 minute. Add bean spouts, remaining curry powder, hot pepper flakes, and ginger – toss to combine.

Add drained noodles, chicken stock, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and salt, toss to combine. Cook until almost all liquid is absorbed. Add egg, chicken, pork, and shrimp, continue cooking until everything is heated through and liquid is fully absorbed – about another minute. Remove from heat, stir in green onions, and serve hot!

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Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

Tiger Tail Ice Cream Recipe (AKA Tiger-Tiger Ice Cream Recipe)

“Favorite ice cream flavors” was recently the topic of discussion among a group of friends. Once again, I had to lament the lack of “Tiger Tail” availability in the USA. It was my favorite flavor as a kid, and one of the uniquely Canadian food stuffs that I miss. It’s orange flavored ice cream with a black licorice ribbon running throughout – You might recognize the flavor from the Tiger Tail Cake recipe I created, inspired by it.

Well, not being one to just whine about what I can’t have, I created a recipe for a homemade version. Much like the Honey Garlic Cooking Sauce Recipe I created for the same reason… this really hit the spot. The appearance AND flavors were just right, and the licorice ribbon was just perfect.

As a kid, I used to eat the ice cream from around the thickest parts of ribbon, leaving the best for last… and this homemade version did NOT disappoint, on that front. Truth be told, I kind of shocked myself! I know I can create recipes for pretty much anything, but I thought for sure that the sweet, sort of sticky, kind of crystalline texture of the ribbon would take some serious trial and error to perfect. Nope!

Now, while I realize that this recipe will be heartily welcomed by many of my Canadian readers, I also realize that it will sound weird – or outright disgusting – to most of my American readers. If you don’t have anything against black licorice, I encourage you to give it a try! It may sound a little whacky to people who haven’t been exposed to it, but seriously – even kids love this stuff back home.

Enjoy!

Orange Ice Cream:

8 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups milk
2 cups / 1 pint heavy cream
2-3 tsp orange extract (or blood orange essential oil!)
Orange food coloring

Licorice Ribbon:

1/3 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
3 tsp Anise Extract
black food coloring

First, make the custard for the orange ice cream:

In a large pot, beat egg yolks together with sugar and salt until fluffy. When thoroughly combined, add a little of the milk at a time, whisking until fully incorporated and smooth – you don’t want any unblended chunks of egg mixture. Add remaining milk and heavy cream, whisk until well combined.

Heat just to the boiling point, whisking constantly. Once mixture begins to boil, remove from heat. Add orange extract, stir to combine. Color to desired tint with food coloring, and allow to cool.

Next, make the licorice ribbon sauce:

Combine water and sugar in a medium sized pot. Bring to a boil, allow to simmer just until it starts to take on a golden color. Remove from heat, add butter carefully – it will steam and may boil up. Stir until completely melted and well combined. Add milk and anise extract, stir to combine. Tint to deep black with food coloring, allow to cool.

Once both the ice cream mixture and the ribbon mixture are cooled to room temperature, move them to the fridge to chill overnight.

Prepare orange ice cream according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. Once ice cream is finished processing, it’s time to create the striping effect:

Place a few scoops of ice cream randomly in whatever container you’ll be storing it in. Drizzle a scoop of licorice ribbon mixture over it, alloing it to pool in a few areas. Add a few more scoops of ice cream, pressing down lightly in a few areas to remove air pockets. Drizzle some more licorice ribbon, add more ice cream, etc. Continue to use up the rest of the ice cream – you’ll likely have some licorice ribbon left over.

Cover and freeze your ice cream container for at least a few hours, to firm up.

Store any leftover licorice ribbon in the fridge – pour it over ice cream, or save it or your next batch.

Enjoy!

Enjoy my recipes? You should check out my cookbooks

With 2017 being Canada’s 150th birthday, it’s about time I wrote the Canadian cookbook I’ve been planning for YEARS.

“More than Poutine” will be a Canadian cookbook like no other – written by a Canadian living away, it includes both traditional homecooking recipes, as well as homemade versions of many of the snacks, sauces, convenience foods, and other food items that are hard to come by outside of Canada!

High quality gluten-free versions of most recipes will be included.

The Kickstarter for “More Than Poutine is live, here. Please consider backing, and sharing the campaign with your friends!

Interested in Gluten-free cooking and baking? You’ll LOVE Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

How many times have you come across a gluten-free recipe claiming to be “just as good as the normal version!”, only to wind up with weird textures, aftertastes, etc? Most gluten-free recipes are developed by taking a “normal” recipe, and swapping in a simulated “all purpose” gluten-free flour… whether store bought, or a homemade version. “Beyond Flour” takes a different approach: developing the recipe from scratch. Rather than swapping out the flour for an “all purpose” mix, I use various alternative flours as individual ingredients – skillfully blending flavours, textures, and other properties unique to each flour. Supporting ingredients and different techniques are also utilized to achieve the perfect end goal … not just a “reasonable facsimile”. Order your copy here.

Looking for even MORE fantastic gluten-free recipes? Beyond Flour now has a sequel: Beyond Flour 2: A Fresh Approach to Gluten-Free Cooking and Baking!

Imagine gluten-free foods that are as good – or better! – than their traditional, gluten-filled counterparts. Imagine no longer settling for foods with bizarre after-tastes, gummy consistency, and/or cardboard texture. Imagine graham crackers that taste just like the real thing. Crisp, flaky crackers…without the sandy texture. Hybrid tortillas that: look and act like flour tortillas, with the taste of fresh roasted corn! Imagine chewy, delicious cookies that *everyone* will want to eat! Imagine BAGELS. If you’ve cooked from “Beyond Flour”, you already know that these fantasies can be reality – it’s all in the development of the recipes. Order your copy here.

Rum Runners – Cocktail Recipe

I’ve been meaning to post today’s recipe for a long time … ah, procrastination!

Anyway, as I’d mentioned in last year’s Rum Runner Trifle post, this cocktail is one of my all time favorites. I’m a fan of rum, I’m a fan of really sweet “girlie drinks”… in my eyes, there’s nothing NOT to love in this cocktail!

Here’s the thing: It’s called “rum runner” for a reason – There’s a lot of booze, and it sneaks up on you. Much like the ‘rum runners” from back in the prohibition days, this drink does a really good job of concealing the alcohol! If you’re up for it, you can also pour another oz of rum over top – dark rum, ideally! Personally, I like it without the optional dark rum float.

This is a really great drink to make larger volumes of, for parties. By the pitcher, by the cooler… just be sure to have some designated drivers on hand!

Rum Runner Cocktail Recipe

1 oz Amber rum
1 oz light rum
1 oz creme de banane
1 oz blackberry brandy
1-2 oz orange juice
1-2 oz pineapple juice
Splash of grenadine
Splash of Rose’s Sweetened Lime Juice

Fill a cocktail glass* with ice – ice should come just above the edge of the glass.

Measure ingredients into a shaker. Shake, then pour contents into the cocktail glass. Garnish with a pineapple wedge, orange and/or lime slices, and/or a maraschino cherry.

(That’s how you’re supposed to do it. Honestly, I skip the shaker and just pour the ingredients straight into the glass!)

To make this for large groups, forget the “oz” measures, go for “parts”. 1 cup of each ingredient will yield about 8 servings… and I recommend using 2 parts of each of the juices, unless you want a really quick drunkfest!

* I like to use fancier tall glasses for this, usually some variation on a hurricane glass.

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Combining liqueurs with more traditional baking ingredients can yield spectacular results.Try Mango Mojito Upside Down Cake, Candy Apple Flan, Jalapeno Beer Peanut Brittle, Lynchburg Lemonade Cupcakes, Pina Colada Rum Cake, Strawberry Daiquiri Chiffon Pie, and so much more.

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How to Make Proper Queso Dip… (AKA: Velveeta is Not Fit For Human Consumption!)

I remember the first time I ate “American” cheese. I was visiting the USA, and went to have supper at Perkins. I ordered the exact same salad that I always ordered at home, expecting it to be, well, the same.

When I took my first bite, though… I was horrified. What I thought was shredded cheddar cheese was something… not cheese. I was informed that this was called “American cheese”, and was actually – at least partially – an oil product. Could have fooled me – I thought I was eating plastic! Either way, it was not 100% milk, as I’d always known cheese to be. As much as I loved that particular salad before that night, I’ve never ordered it since. The memory of it was forever scarred!

It would be a few years before I’d get another shock from eating a “cheese” product. Somehow, I ended up trying the premade Velveeta Shells and Cheese. I managed two bites, before I realized that it felt like the inside of my mouth was being plastinated. Was Velveeta used in the plastination process for Bodyworlds? I don’t know, but that was the first and last time I was gonna subject myself to it!

Every summer since, of course, I’ve had to gag at the commercials about making Velveeta / Rotel “queso dip”. As I visualized the damage this stuff must be doing to the innards of those poor unsuspecting bastards in the commercial, my husband would inform me that – if one grew up with Velveeta – it’s not as horrible as it comes across to my fresh, unplastinated palate.

They must put minute amounts of Rohypnol in that crap, for him to come away with THAT sort of view, on such a horrific thing.

Anyway. Yes. Velveeta is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever come across in my life. That it’s marketed as food should be *criminal*.

I admit, though – there’s a certain attraction to the idea of making super easy cheese dip, per the commercial. I’ve been meaning to post my recipe for proper cheese dip for awhile now. It’s really easy, and honestly doesn’t take much more effort than poisoning people with making it with Velveeta.

So… here it is. This is a great basic recipe, feel free to play with it. Toss in some chopped chilis (after adding the corn starch), maybe some chopped cilantro (after the cheese is all melted and smooth). It’s very adaptable!

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Low Country Boil, aka Frogmore Stew

Everyone’s heard variations on the saying “The cobbler’s kids go barefoot”, and it’s not all that different around here at times. Sure, we have great meals on a regular basis.. but when things get super busy, we tend to lose all creativity and drive, and slap together one of our go-to meals. Easy, little effort, and very satisfying. In winter, that usually ends up being chili.. but in summer, we love our low country boil.. not a common thing here in Minnesota, but it is SO freaking good! It’s also pretty much the ideal meal for getting together – and would be great for a rehearsal dinner or small, casual wedding dinner.

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Pina Colada Bundt Cake

This was my first foray into the world of boozy baking, combining my bartending skills with my love of baking. The result was amazing, and a huge hit whenever I serve it! (more…)