Thursday, May 10, 2012

Whole Fruit Limeade

Make a pitcher of fresh limeade in two minutes flat! Because it uses the whole lime, it has an edge of bitterness to it that I think is really refreshing. But, don't be like me and drink two tumblers-full before bed. You'll get a stomach ache!

You can substitute a lemon, if you'd rather. This would also be excellent with sweetened condensed milk instead of sugar, for a Brazilian-style limonada.

Original recipe from here.

2 small limes, washed and quartered
1/2 to 1 cup sugar (to preference)
8 cups water, divided

In a blender, blend limes, sugar, and 4 cups of water for 1 or 2 minutes. Strain into 2 quart pitcher and add remaining 4 cups water. Serve over ice- this is best super cold.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Scallops in Black Bean Sauce

I found a half-full bag of scallops in the freezer this afternoon, and decided to serve them for dinner. Lo Gung (my husband) and I love scallops, but I try not to make them too often, so they don't lose their mystique. I pulled out my favorite asian cookbook (aptly named...The Asian Cookbook) and found this recipe. We love black bean sauce, so this was a no-brainer! I served it to my husband, and sister, and we all agreed....I didn't make enough scallops. It was that good. You get sweet, from the sugar and the scallops, cut with the floral notes from the rice wine, and umami from the soy sauce and black bean sauce. Yum!

(Psst...hey, guys? Just because I love this cookbook THAT much, I did some research.  I found my copy of this book at the student bookstore of the Culinary Institute of America, in New York. You, though, can get your copy online! There are a few copes available here, at If you are interested in Chinese, Thai and Indian cuisines, this is hands-down my favorite cookbook. Everything is just delicious.

(PS - Do you know what I also love? Most books, including this cookbook, are about $4, and shipping is free. )

(PPS - Thriftbooks doesn't know I'm mentioning them here, but a friend is one of the owners, and it's just all-around an awesome resource for really inexpensive used books.

Scallops in Black Bean Sauce (Si Jap Chaau Dai Ji)
Adapted from The Asian Cookbook, from Parragon Press

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1/4" fresh ginger, minced
1 Tbsp. Black Bean & Garlic Sauce (I like Lee Kum Kee brand, available in most Asian markets, like this)
18 good sized scallops (I used previously frozen scallops, and thawed them ahead of time)
1/2 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. rice wine
1 tsp. sugar
3-4 green onions, chopped (just the green part)

In a wok or dutch oven, heat your oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry those for about 1 minute, or until they are fragrant (but not burnt!). Add the black bean sauce, stir to combine, and then add the scallops. Stir-fry those for 1 minute, to get some color on them, then add the soy sauce, wine, and sugar.

Lower the heat and continue to cook for 2-4 more minutes, or until the scallops are cooked to your preferred done-ness. Stir in the chopped green onions, and serve immediately. Serve over rice.