Posts Tagged Kanchana Rubino

Home-Made Mango Jam

So with the weather getting nicer and nicer these days- especially when¬†this comes from a Southern Californian, it means REALLY nice weather. Like, totally! ūüėČ There are¬†lots of fresh ripe fruits to enjoy. With eyes bigger than the belly, sometimes, you might end up with lots of mangos like I did.¬†¬†I love eating them on their own. If I have leftovers, poof! they become mango lassi. It is the best breakfast ever.¬†Super¬†yummy and rich in nutrients. The¬†other best thing to do with extra mangos is making home-made mango jam. I have the recipe for you below, as well ideas¬†on how to enjoy this lovely jam.

Here are a some ideas how to enjoy mango jam.

1. Straight on a piece of toast.

2. Brie en croute.

3. Bruscetta with goat cheese and mango jam. (This is particularly¬†yum for h’ors d’oeuvres!!)

Ingredients:

6 cups of ripe mango, peeled, stoned, cut and mashed (I love the Kent variety.)

1.5 cups of sugar (or 1 cup agave nectar, or 1 cup honey)

1 pouch powder pectin (gives it the spreadable consistency)

1/2 Tsp. lime zest

3 limes, juiced

Directions:

1. Prepare the mango as mentioned above, peel, stone, cut and mashed. Use caution- it can be slippery.

2. Mix pectin with 1/2 cup of sugar to help prevent from clumping once in the fruit mixture. If you are not using sugar, you just have to make sure to stir really well, so the pectin doesn’t clump up.

3. In a large pot, add the prepared mango, lime juice and zest, and cook on medium heat. Add the sugar and pectin mixture. Stir well.

4. Bring to a rolling boil. Then, add the rest of the sugar and stir well. Cook for 8-10 more minutes. Stirring consistantly.

5. Ladel into pasteurized jars. Let sit and cool at room temperature for 24 hours. Once opened, stays refrigerated for upto 3 weeks.

This recipe tastes very tropical with the addition of lime juice and zest. I am going to try and add some Thai chili peppers to it next time, so it can be used on savory foods as well.  

Yummmm!

Mango and Lime.

LOVE the color!!

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Little Saigon – Foodie’s Paradise

Where do I buy all of my intimidating/exotic/God-knows-what-it-is¬†ingredients for the classes and recipes I share with you?? I go to a few places- 99 Ranch Market off of Jeffrey (5 freeway), Little Saigon in Westminster, and Laguna Niguel Farmer’s market¬†which I posted a blog about earlier this month. Although, it might seem daunting to take on this challenge and go shopping for Thai ingredients in the beginning, you will slooooowly start to recongize things and become more open to the adventure of what you might find each time. Come on, give it a Thai! ūüôā (I’m just enjoying the Thai-try play on words too too¬†much!!)

Live crab in a tank

Does it get fresher than this? ūüėČ

Jasmine tea.

These, my friends, are banana blossoms… I know whatcha thinkin’. They are kind of exotic. ūüėÄ

An alternative for our same old latte. ūüėČ

If you have taken my class, I don't want you anywhere near these! You know how to make them from scratch!

Some of my groceries. Fresh fruits and veggies are mmm mmm good!

Always remember, Thai it, you’ll like it! ūüėÄ

Ciaociao!

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Step by step – how to clean cilantro roots for Thai cooking.

Cilantro is a fragrant herb that can light up a blah dish. The leaves are delicate and are usualy used for garnishing. Did you know that the roots have even stronger aroma but have the strength to withstand mashing and heat and deliver that aroma to many of your culinary creations? A good example, if you make your own chicken stock, try using the roots when you add the celery, onion and carrot for the mirepoix. The mashed roots will take the stock to another level. Cilantro root is good excellent for killing fishy smells. So next time you marinate fish, try a root in your marinate. Your fish will smell like roses.. Just kidding. They will smell noticably fresh.

In superstores, cilantro comes with their roots chopped off. If you buy it at your local farmers market, you will have better luck. See the following pictures on how to clean them up. The good news is that they freeze so well, that you can store them for months of usage.

As always, Thai it, you’ll like it!! ūüėČ

Cut them about 4 inches from the base of the stems.

See the dirty roots? That's what we're cleaning.

Run a pairing knife up and down the surface of the roots. That is my attempt to make it look like I am moving. ūüėõ

See the difference??

Repeat until finish and rinse well. Then, dry on a kitchen towel. Store in a zip top bag and freeze.

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Hidden Gem- Laguna Niguel Farmers Market

If you know me, you have heard me talk about this market tons of times. ūüėÄ Instead of rambling, I will¬†tell you¬†my top¬†2¬†favorite shops I love at this market and I will just post some pictures for you. They will say a thousand words- each.

Asian vegetable stand: You don’t know this, but this stand is very very¬†dear to my heart.¬†They have¬†6-8 kinds of basil ALONE. They have the freshest herbs, vegetables, and lots and lots of dark leafy greens; bok choy, kale, arugula, Chinese broccoli, mustard greens, and so much more. So super good for you,¬†at pretty inexpensive prices, too. I recommend getting here early-9 am- to get the first dibs of all the goodies. They run out of certain popular herbs if you get there late- say noon. The¬†owners are very friendly. They are originally¬†Hmong, which is North of Thailand. So some of them actually speak Thai!!! ūüėĬ†Sweet!¬†

This week, I bought Thai sweet basil (for green curry & chicken and basil leaves), pepper basil (stir fry dishes), dill (potato and dill), cilantro, mint (for mojitos!), and red lettuce leaves. Yumm!

Another one¬†is Mangi Con Amore:¬†Mamma Stella¬†sells Italian home-made¬†pasta, sauces, spreads, cookies¬†and oh, fresh home-made cannolis!! They are sooooo soooooo good!!!¬†Everything¬†is home-made.¬†You can¬†visit her website and see for yourself at www.magiconamore.com. Stella is so lively and charming, you will be greeted with her fully Italiano¬†Buongiorno and a big smile. Her warmth makes you feel like you are not buying food from a shop, but¬†imagine¬†your loving¬†aunt giving you food to take home with you. This week, I bought Spinach ravioli and Salamoia (herbed salt.) She tells you how to cook the pasta and what sauces go well on each of them. Gulp!!! You’ll love Mangi Con Amore. So totally bellissima, my friends.¬†ūüėČ

As promised, I will stop right here and share the pictures of this wonderful market I highly recommend for you to visit. It is at the corner of La Paz and Pacific Park Drive in Laguna Niguel- near Henry’s Market. Sundays 9 am – 1 pm.¬†¬†

Perfect tomatoes.

Perfect tomatoes.

Rainier cherries.

Rainier cherries.

Strongly onionated!

Strongly onionated!

Lemongrass

Lemongrass. They grow the best I have ever come across.

More fresh stuff!

Stella, the brightest star in the farmers market ūüôā I heart her.

Pluot, blueberries and cherry monster! Is this killer cute or what?!

Flowers selection is huge here.

Pomegranate and apple jelly. Been eyeing this for a while!

Pomegranate and apple jelly. Been eyeing this for a while!

I opened the jar so you can smell the herbs. ūüôā

Yummy herb and lemon salt.

So, that is it, my friends. Take advantage of the beautiful weather with fresh fruits and vegetables. You will love it, I promise. ūüėÄ

See you there next Sunday!

Ciao bellissima! ūüėÄ

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Best Thai Grilled Chicken Recipe by Kanchana Rubino

Quick¬†Thai lesson for today: ‘chicken’ is called Gai, and ‘to grill’- Yang.¬†¬†

So I wanted to share with you my Gai Yang recipe today. I have been meaning to post it for quite a while now, so I am glad I could do it finally! As it is getting sunnier, warmer and beautiful¬†here in Southern California (as it is most of the year!), it is time to¬†get serious about¬†BBQ again. This recipe is a part of the menu of¬†my Thai cooking lessons. However, it is not¬†so widely known yet and is not requested often as much as I like to share it. It is quite easy to make and above all, the flavors explode with every single bite you take. The secret is in the Cilantro roots, which you can find if you buy your cilantro at a farmer’s market. I usually buy cilantro there and what¬†I do is cut off the stem with the roots and clean the dirt off with a pairing knife under the sink. scrub off as much dirt as you can. Then, pat them dry, put them in a zip top bag and freeze. They last months in the freezer. You can also use it when you make home-made chicken stock for a great aroma. Very mmm mmm good!¬†¬†

Your friends and family will absolutely love this recipe, I promise! I probably cook this for¬†gatherings at least 20 times a year. And it is still exciting! So here is the recipe and I have pictures step-by-step. I hope you will try it when you have a chance to.¬†¬†DISCLAIMER: I didn’t have a free hand to take pictures of the end product, since I was busy turning the chicken wings. Be sure to use medium heat¬†and to turn¬†them often for crispy skin and evenly cooked meat!!

Black pepper corn to be freshly cracked.

Garlic & cilantro root

Mash garlic with the cilantro roots.

Black pepper, garlic and cilantro root paste.

Make a paste from pepper, cilantro root and garlic.

Fish Sauce

Add fish sauce(1/4 cup) and sugar (1/2 tbsp) to the paste.

 
Sauce & chicken wings.

Add the marinate to the chicken.

 
Marinate

Marinate at least 4 hours before grilling

So, I hope you will like this recipe. It is super easy and tastier than any other chicken marinate I have ever used myself and I think you will agree with me once you have tried. 

Thai it, you’ll like it!

Kanchana Rubino – http://www.sweetbasilinc.com – twitter @kanchanarubino

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