Tag Archives: ginger

Triple Ginger Cookies

10 Sep

I first made these cookies a decade ago, back when I was in high school, and was blown away by how good they are!  They pack a punch with lots and lots of ginger flavor.  I actually messed up baking these (used something that was not powdered ginger) but they still taste pretty good despite the potential garlic-onion in there.  Sounds pretty gross but the molasses and fresh ginger and crystallized ginger sort of hide the strange savory notes.  I also have old baking soda so the cookies didn’t rise as much as they should’ve.  Oops.

Anyways!  They’re even better without any onion flavor in them!  I highly recommend these.  I already had everything I needed to bake a half batch in my pantry; we like keeping crystallized ginger around to chew on if we have a stomach ache.

If you were running a Scottish daycare but didn't have enough enrollment, maybe you'd put up a sign saying "SPACE FOR MO LADDIES AND MO LASSES"

If you were running a Scottish daycare but didn’t have enough enrollment, maybe you’d put up a sign saying “SPACE FOR MO LADDIES AND MO LASSES”

It generally helps to have slightly softened butter when you start baking cookies, to easily cream the butter and sugar together.  You don’t want it too soft, just to have been out of the fridge for half an hour or so.  In this case I took butter out of the freezer an hour earlier, and it was still a bit too hard to beat.  Thank you extremely strong Kitchen Aid stand mixer– it did a great job beating up the butter.  Cream the brown sugar in, then add the molasses.  Normally you have a pretty fluffy butter-sugar base for cookies, but the liquidy molasses makes it look a little grosser with clumps of butter suspended in the molasses..

If your lawn is dying and you start to see things that look like huge anthills appearing, take another look.  You might see some creatures scuttling down into the holes, and you'll catch a glimpse of some mole asses

If your lawn is dying and you start to see things that look like huge anthills appearing, take another look. You might see some creatures scuttling down into the holes, and you’ll catch a glimpse of some mole asses

Then mix all your dry ingredients, as usual.  Flour, powdered ginger, salt, baking soda.  Toss those in with the wet and mix.  Finally, chop up the crystallized ginger (this is difficult if it’s very dry) and grate some fresh ginger, and mix those in too.

I have fairly large eyes for an Asian person, while my best friend has short eyes.  My other friend is named Chris.  If he were a redhead I could refer to him as Chris-tall-eyed Ginger

I have fairly large eyes for an Asian person, while my best friend has short eyes. My other friend is named Chris. If he were a redhead I could refer to him as Chris-tall-eyes Ginger

I just learned all about the Kuna, and their traditional garments.  Mola says "give us our autonomy!"

I just learned all about the Kuna, and their traditional garments. Mola says “give us our autonomy!”

After you’re all mixed, toss the dough into the fridge for a while.  I’m not usually a good recipe-follower and I don’t often chill my cookie dough, but it helps these ones hold together (that tricky molasses!).  They’re particularly nice if you roll them in sugar before baking, but I skipped that this time.

What if all the "l"s of the world were suddenly replaced by "r"s?  Directions would be so muddled.  We'd all be stuck in crazy morasses.

What if all the “r”s of the world were suddenly replaced by “l”s? Dilections would be so muddled. We’d all be stuck in  sticky molasses.

A pretty quick bake (10 minutes) and they’ll be done!  These are soft chewy cookies, not crispy.  Again, pardon my old baking soda in the next photos.  The original recipe makes massive cookies, but I like them smaller.  So i did a half batch (original says makes 18) and I got out 27 cookies.  Up to you!  Surprisingly, smaller cookies bake in almost the same amount of time (9 minutes v 10)

20150909_083431 20150909_084449

Triple Ginger Cookies (half-recipe from allrecipes) Makes 27 cookies.

6 TB butter

1/2 c brown sugar

1 egg

2 TB molasses

1 C + 2 TB flour

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp baking soda

pinch salt

1 TB grated fresh ginger

1/4 c chopped crystallized ginger

  1. Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, then mix in the molasses.
  2. Stir together flour, ground ginger, baking soda, and salt.  Add to the wet ingredients and mix.
  3. Add the grated fresh ginger and crystallized ginger, and mix thoroughly.
  4. Chill the dough in the fridge for awhile.  (I did overnight)
  5. Preheat oven to 350.
  6. Roll heaping teaspoons of dough into small balls, then roll in sugar.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet, and bake for 9 minutes.
Advertisements

Easy ga kho gung (Vietnamese braised chicken with ginger) [based on my mom’s recipe]

23 Jul

Slow-cooked chicken with ginger, garlic, and onions.  I love this recipe.  It’s one of those classic home-cooking recipes that you aren’t likely to see at a restaurant, but every family makes it.  In fact, when I was in Vietnam several years ago I made some friends and visited their village for one night.  They showed me how to grow rice in their paddy, and we walked around the village, and practiced driving a motor scooter while trying to avoid the water buffalo that hung out on the roads.  At night their mom made us a big feast for dinner, consisting of rice from said paddy, rau muong xao toi, and this braised chicken (freshly killed from their neighbor).  Very traditional, very delicious.

I also ask my mom for it every time I make it, so I thought I’d blog it so I could stop bugging her.  I’ll tell you how I do it and also make notes for where my mom takes more time and makes it more delicious than I do.  Also, it’s made with items that you probably have in your pantry (we buy garlic from Costco and always have onions and ginger and frozen chicken parts).

This is a RAW file.  I'm just kidding it's a jpeg.

This is a RAW file. I’m just kidding it’s a jpeg.

If you don’t have fish sauce in your pantry and you’re interested in making Vietnamese food ever, then you should buy a bottle.  If you aren’t, then I’m not sure why you’re reading this post.  I like using coconut water/juice (I always keep it around because it’s all I drink when I’m sick), but water or chicken broth work great too.

My mom always soaks chicken in salted water for half an hour before cooking it, “to get rid of the smell.”  Brining does keep the chicken super moist, but I’m always too lazy to do it.  It’s good if you feel like it though!

Also, traditionally the chicken parts are chopped up into bite-size pieces for this dish.  Part of that is frugality and part of it is flavor- more surface area to soak in more of the sauce.  Plus it’s fun to bust out your cleaver!  I generally make the pieces baby-fist sized (so three or four bites) because I am lazy.  You could also not chop them.

I guess they had to give that suburban sitcom star a nickname instead of just calling him by his last name.  Then it'd sound like a serial killer sitcom instead of a family one: Leave it to Cleaver!

I guess they had to give that suburban sitcom star a nickname instead of just calling him by his last name. Then it’d sound like a serial killer sitcom instead of a family one: Leave it to Cleaver!

Next, chop up some garlic, onion, and ginger.  A few thoughts on this: for our wedding someone gave us a mortar and pestle, and it is AWESOME for garlic.  I don’t even peel or smash the cloves, I just throw them in and smash them a couple times.  The paper falls off and you can pick it out.  This isn’t great if you care about uniform sizes, but if you want a ton of garlic quickly smashed into smallish pieces, this is definitely the way to go.

If the actress from Young Frankenstein comes up to you and wants to fight, try to walk away.  You'll get Teri Garr-licked in no time.

If the actress from Young Frankenstein comes up to you and wants to fight, try to walk away. You’ll get Teri Garr-licked in no time.

I am a total sucker for those stupid “17 life hacks that will change the way you sit on a couch!!!” articles.  I’ve seen “one weird trick” a few times for peeling ginger: use a spoon.  Unfortunately, this one actually works!  Especially if you have a fairly smooth/not-too-knobby piece of ginger.  Just push the spoon tip in at one end of peel, eating side facing the ginger, and pull down while pushing into the ginger.  I can’t believe this worked and now I’ll go nail polish my keys so I don’t mix them up and save my bread bag close-things to label cords.

I actually have naked ginger in my house a lot (my baby is a redhead!)

I actually have naked ginger in my house a lot (my baby is a redhead!)

You’ll want diced onion, smashed pieces of garlic, and matchsticks of ginger.  Throw that in with your chicken (if you brined it, toss the brine), along with sugar and salt, and let it marinate for at least 15 minutes.

Just like in the human world, in horse races there are far more males than females.  I've been to exactly one horse race in my life, and it was almost all stallions, but there was one lane with a female.  There was a mare in eight.

Just like in the human world, in horse races there are far more males than females. I’ve been to exactly one horse race in my life, and it was almost all stallions, but there was one lane with a female. There was a mare in eight.  [I just told my husband this caption, and his response: “our kid is going to love you.”  Not even a chuckle from him!]

My mom first browns the chicken in a little bit of oil, then adds in the garlic, ginger, onion.  I actually marinated it in the pot, and just put the pot on the stove and turned it on.  Like I said, super easy.  Put it on high, add some fish sauce for flavor, and then your liquid (I used coconut water).  Bring it to a boil, then turn it down and simmer for as long as you have.  The longer you simmer, the richer the flavor.  The chicken will be cooked after about 15 minutes so if you’re in a rush just eat it then.

How cute would it be if we called every adult animal like we call chickens?  Kittenens?  Puppyens?  PUPPY YENS?!?!

How cute would it be if we called every adult animal like we call chickens? Kittenens? Puppyens? PUPPY YENS?!?!

A few minutes before you want to finish it, I like to add some cornstarch to thicken it.  To avoid lumps, put the cornstarch in a small bowl/ramekin and spoon some of the hot liquid into it, then whisk that til smooth.  Add the mix to your pot, and stir.  Then bring it back to a boil.

'don, sob', some', shiratak': these are all rame'kin.

‘don, sob’, some’, shiratak’: these are all rame’kin.

Serve this with rice and plain boiled vegetables to soak up as much of the sauce as you can.

20150715_192202 20150715_192554

Easy ga kho gung:

Bone-in chicken pieces (I like thighs, but drumsticks or a whole chicken are also great) [Enough for the number of people you are serving]

1/2 head of garlic (just a lot of garlic.  Like 7 cloves at least)

1 thumb-sized piece of garlic per 4 servings

1/2-1 onion

2 TB sugar

2 TB fish sauce (nuoc mam; we always get Three Crabs brand)

salt, pepper

2 C water or chicken broth or coconut juice

2 TB corn starch

Chop chicken into pieces.  If desired, brine in salt water for half an hour.

Dice onion, smash garlic, and peel and matchstick ginger.  Add to chicken (drain brine, if using) with sugar, and salt and pepper to taste (about 1 TB of salt should be fine, you can always add more fish sauce later).  Stir, and marinate for at least 15 minutes and up to overnight.

If desired, heat 2 TB of oil over medium-high, and brown chicken pieces, 5 minutes.  Then add marinade, and proceed.

If you didn’t brown, just cook the whole thing over medium high.  Add fish sauce and liquid of choice, bring to a boil, stirring a few times (at least two or three times).  Lower heat and simmer at least 15 minutes, or for an hour.

Five minutes before you want to eat, place corn starch into a small bowl.  Spoon in some of the hot liquid, and whisk until smooth.  Add corn starch mix to pot, and incorporate and bring back to a boil.  Boil for one minute while stirring, then turn off stove.

Serve with rice and boiled vegetables.

Molasses cookies

19 Jan

You guys.  I know it’s been two weeks but NOT EVEN MY FAULT.  I had a whole blog post prepared, and the internet at Caribou coffee decided to conk out sometime while I was writing.  So I kept these two sentences from a previous draft:

“We’re having a holiday party tonight so I decided to make mulled wine and chewy gingerbread cookies.  I’m sipping the wine right now!”

And that was last weekend.  Quick recipe for mulled wine because it’s so easy and so delicious:

Peel the rind off an orange or three (here’s where the vegetable peeler from the fruitcake is so APPEALING).  Toss the rind, the juice from the oranges, a few cinnamon sticks, a spoonful of whole cloves, and some chopped up bits of fresh ginger in a pot.  Pour in a bottle of white wine and two bottles of red wine, and DO NOT BOIL but lightly heat that sucker for an hour or so.  Stir in to dissolve a handful (1/3 cup or so) of brown sugar.  Delicious hot, or with a splash of brandy!

After we finished the first three bottles, we poured in a few more with all that stuff that was still in there; it was still so good (or maybe just tasted that way after three bottles…)

Okay, so on to the main event.  I just started a recipe without pre-reading it (another thing NOT to do), and was stunned when I added FOUR CUPS of flour.  FOUR.  This recipe apparently makes six dozen cookies, which is many more dozen than I usual go for.  Luckily I had all the ingredients (more or less…) in my pantry already, so no going out into this twenty-degree weather for molasses.

In-greedy-ents for TONS OF COOKIES

In-greedy-ents for TONS OF COOKIES

First thing you do is melt the shortening.  I ran out of shortening, so I used butter.  Except I also didn’t have enough butter, so I threw in some applesauce too.  I’m very precise with my baking, guys.

IMG_20130112_180013_493

One cup of butter is half a block. The real question is, do you see the block as half empty, or half full?

While that guy’s melting (don’t let your butter brown), whisk together your dry ingredients.

Then realize that you were supposed to have cloves and you only have those whole ones from your delicious mulled wine that you’ve been compulsively sipping on.  So throw some cloves into your butter and hope the flavor infuses (I have no idea if it did or not.  But these cookies were damn tasty.)

Those forkin' cloves... always getting in the way

Those forkin’ cloves… always getting in the way

Once the fats are melted, fish out the cloves, and mix in your sweeteners and eggs.

I tried to make a happy face out of molasses for you.

I tried to make a happy face out of molasses for you.  No pun intended.

Then mix those dry ingredients into your wet pot.

Flour power!

Flour power!

The original recipe (from allrecipes) tells you to then throw this in the fridge for three hours.  Clearly not going to happen with me.  But I did chill the dough for half an hour while I cleaned up for the party.  If you’re curious, this has a pretty good explanation for why one should chill dough.  There’s a lot of discussions out there, but as far as I’m concerned, chilling makes it MUCH easier to work with cookie dough.  Otherwise all that melted fat just gobs up everything and you drop all the dough and the cats eat it and then everyone is sad.

SO.  Once you’ve left the dough in the fridge as long as you can (it also keeps the cookies from spreading too much), you roll it into a ball, roll it in a plate of sugar, and put it on your silpat.

A ball in the hand is worth two in the bu... wait.  Wrong idiom!  Tsk tsk, Yen.  Gotta keep your EYE ON THE BALL.

A ball in the hand is worth two in the bu… wait. Wrong idiom! Tsk tsk, Yen. Gotta keep your EYE ON THE BALL.

You’ll want to keep these guys a few inches apart because they spread like eagles.

IMG_20130112_185835_419

We ate all 70-some cookies in two hours of the party.  They are SO GOOD.  Make sure to bake EXACTLY ten minutes.  9 minutes, they’ll be too soft, and 11 minutes, too crisp.  Ten gives a perfect slight crisp outside and gooey inside.

By the way, that fruitcake is DELICIOUS AND ADDICTING now.

Recipe from this post, adapted from allrecipes:

Melt:

1/2 c shortening

3/4 c butter

1/4 c applesauce

Then mix in:

2 c sugar

1/2 c molasses

2 eggs

Whisk in another bowl:

4 c flour

4 tsp baking soda

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground cloves or allspice

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp salt

Mix dry ingredients with wet, chill for three hours.  Roll tablespoons of dough into balls, then roll in sugar.  Bake at 375 for exactly ten minutes.

%d bloggers like this: