Tin Tuirtle Design

Beef Tenderloin w/Prawns over Brussel Sprouts and Potatoes

clock November 19, 2011 04:39 by author Bald Turtle

I have wanted to go to Ruth Chris for a long time but have just never made it there. Now it is more of a chain restaurant and has lost some of that appeal for me. But I still wanted to try a steak prepared in that style so a few days ago I prepared an extremely nice piece of beef tenderloin for Annie and I. The beef was done very similar to how I do all of my grilled steaks. I marinade in soy sauce for about 30 minutes and then rub them down with salt, fresh pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and cumin. Then a light olive oil is applied to completely seal the beef and this creates a paste that coats the meat. Then they sit until I get the grill heated up. Charcoal is best but since its November I grill them inside over gas for 7 minutes each side. For this dish I pulled them off and then fried them in a hot skillet with olive oil and butter.

The prawns were soaked in lime juice for about an hour and grilled for 3 min each side just prior to serving. The brussel sprouts were ran through the food processor to get a really thin slice. They were sauteed in olive oil. I had 3 types of small gourmet potatoes. Red, white and blue/purple. These were cut in small wedges and boiled in water with sea salt. I took one carrot and used a peeler to get a small bowl of super thin carrot slices. These were tossed in boiling water for about 3-4 minutes.

The key was timing everything which really wasn't that hard. Potato first on the plate, then brussel sprouts, then carrots, then steak and finally prawns. And critically of course, the Stone Brewing Levitation Ale, gold medal winner at the 2007 Great American Beer Festival. Awesome beer, awesome meal

Peach Cobbler

clock July 31, 2011 14:00 by author Bald Turtle

So I tried using some more of those Beijing peaches. This was baked in a 8 cup souffle pan using my version of a Paula Deen recipe. Some of the changes I make are to cut the sugar in half, use nutmeg in the syrup and cinnamon over the top. I also add about 1/4 of a cup of rum to the batter.

Peach Chicken, Edamame Rice & Grilled Veggies

clock July 29, 2011 14:35 by author Bald Turtle

Peaches are everywhere in Beijing right now, and they have these huge ones that look really nice. They are different from the peaches in the U.S., they are much firmer, almost like an apple but they still taste like peaches. Because of this texture it opens up some possibilities for trying some new things (like grilling them). I did some experimenting with a Rachel Ray dish that uses peaches, peach preserves, hot sauce and some other things to make a great chicken dish. I served this with a different version of my usual basic baked rice, instead going for a lighter rice with edamame. This was plated with grilled eggplant and zuchinni. It was very good, and I look forward to using some other fruits (mango etc) in the same way, or perhaps mixing them to develop this further. The plating wasn't that good, as always I need to work on presentation.

Louisiana Roast Beef, Potato Salad w/ Hard Boiled Egg Hot Pepper Dressing

clock July 12, 2011 15:14 by author Bald Turtle

I am still trying to find a way to prepare a decent pot roast here in China. I think the only way to get it the way I want is to find a slow cooker (one of the few things I failed to bring to Beijing). This meal consisted of a roast I purchased at Schilling and prepared from Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen. The color was a perfect, very light pink when finished but not very tender. Almost all of the roasts I have attempted here have turned out this way. The sides were a potato salad I made using Hard Boiled Egg and Hot Pepper Dressing - from the same cookbook. This was placed along with steamed broccoli and freshly grated parmesan cheese. Not a bad meal - just not a great meal.

Braised Pork Ribs and Italian Sausage

clock June 21, 2011 17:18 by author Bald Turtle

I decided to make some "man-food" and for that you can always count on Guy Fieri for a good recipe. I was in the Schindler's branch located inside the Lohai in Central Park and saw some nice pork ribs (i.e. baby back). I was nosing around FoodTV's site for a good bbq recipe and happen to see Guy's recipe. I made a few changes by reducing both the amount of pork ribs and italian sausage (by half), and adding additional tomato to increase the amount of sauce. All other ingredients remain the same.


Pork Ribs: (1lb - 460 grams)
Italian Sausage: (3/4 lb - 400 grams)
Peeled Tomatos: (4 1/2 cups)

This was plated over fresh pasta from my Imperia pasta maker. The side dish is grilled egg plant served with Hot Pepper Vinegar from Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen.

"New" Okra and Meat Gumbo

clock June 20, 2011 16:58 by author Bald Turtle

After a couple of weeks of either eating food from restaurants or not eating at all I found myself craving some gumbo. This recipe is from Paul Prudhomme's Fork in the Road (page 54). I did not have access to flank steak in Beijing, so I used 450 grams of beef tenderloin. One of the great things about this recipe is the cooking method that gives you a great tasting dish but in a very healthy way. A one cup serving has the following when served with one cup of rice:

Calories: 332
Protein: 20g
Fat: 8g
Carbohydrates: 44g
23% of calories from fat

The only problem with gumbo is I have never figured out a way to plate it so that it looks special. For this plate I used a measuring cup (1 cup size) to mold the rice and then spooned approximately 2 cups of gumbo. I tried putting some flat parsley on top to make it look better, but it really didnt help and the flavor of the parsley was not a good match. But an ice cold London Pride beer was a great match.

Tomato Chicken Salad and Zucchini Bread

clock May 25, 2011 13:08 by author Bald Turtle

I love good salads but for the most part I will not eat them in China. If the prep includes rinsing the greens in tap water you are screwed, and I've been sick way to often to just invite a free incident. There are a few exceptions to my self-imposed salad exile and one of those places is LMPlus. I am not sure how Mass is making the dressing, but it is incredibly good. I suspect the key is a very, very good olive oil. I use quite a bit of olive oil so I will probably have to keep one for general use and one very good one for dressings. I am just not an expert on olive oil, so I need to look into how to pick something out that is suitable for dressing.

I have been trying to work with chicken to create more healthy alternatives. For this salad I grilled chicken breast and then ran it through the food chopper to get a fine grind. This went on top of a bed of greens and then I stacked chopped tomato on top so the chicken would be nice and moist. I want to create some type of chicken salad but avoid the use of mayo. Other ingredients for this include a red pepper gouda cheese, cucumbers, shredded zucchini and capers.On the side of the salad are slices of fresh zucchini bread. I had to make mine without chopped walnuts because they are very expensive here. It literally adds between $7 - $10 to the cost of making 2 loves of bread. Forget using pecans, I can only find them in the spring and summer and their cost is more then the walnuts.

Cookie Thursday

clock May 11, 2011 19:31 by author Bald Turtle

I managed to find a day when I could bake mom's chocolate chip cookie recipe. Thursday was it, and I did a batch of those plus a batch of the Jubilee Jumbles (Applesauce variation). The chocolate chip were as awesome as when I was a child. The fun ones were the Jubilee Jumbles because they get brushed with Browned Butter Glaze.... tasty. I ended up with 70 plus cookies and most of those were boxed and sent to Annie's office. I need to get out of the baking mode because my blood sugar is really getting out of wack.

Chcolate Chip Cookies

Applesauce Jubilee Jumbles w/Browned Butter Glaze

Southern Cal Chicken dishes

clock May 6, 2011 15:43 by author Bald Turtle

It is maddening when I talk to people in China and they find out I cook American cuisine - the first response is always "hamburger?", "sandwich?". Aaaaaaaagh. It is not that I do not like hamburgers and sandwiches, because I love them. But 90% of sandwiches in Beijing are horrible. And I mean truly horrible. The choices in hamburgers are slightly better. If you feel the craving coming on (and some days I do) then the best place I know of is The Blue Frog in Sanlitun. There are other places that do a passable job,, but The Blue Frog will get you pretty close to Red Robin. But if you want grilled forget it.

But this isn't really about burgers, mainly because I have not been able to locate a bun that is worth a damn. Instead it is about avocado. I happen to love avocados and there is so much you can do with them. I have been trying to get more on a healthy kick as I really need to lose some weight, but as you can tell I really do not have much self-control. Last night I only had about an hour to make dinner so I knocked out two nice chicken plates with a southern Cal flair. The first is just a basic chicken salad with avocado, sprouts, cucumbers etc and some fresh grated parmesan. The dressing was a chicken stock reduction from the saute pan mixed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Fresh croutons with olive oil on the side.

The sandwich is on a fresh french roll from Symphony bakery in Central Park (same loaf was used for the croutons). I spread a nice layer of the Green Onion Salad dressing from a couple of nights back, then fresh lettuce, sprouts, tomato, cucumber and avocado. Add some hot chicken breast slices, fresh parmesan and you are good to go. A small salad on the side with more of the dressing and cherry tomatoes. That is a nice B grade sandwich. Americans make awesome sandwiches and there are so many to choose from, there must be thousands of great ones out there. Luckily I bought two french rolls so I can have another one for lunch :)

Pork Tenderloin, Asparagus Stuffing & Vegetables

clock May 5, 2011 13:20 by author Bald Turtle

I am working on the pork tenderloin trying to develop a more asian dish. The marinade is the key to getting this right, and so far I am not satisfied with the flavor. The pork is good - but is does not taste special or asian. The asparagus stuffing was nice but a bit too moist. I have been trying different types of stuffing ideas - some with egg, some without egg but with chicken broth, etc. I have been thinking that I can work on some bread ideas and then use the leftovers to develop stuffings. The edamame was a nice touch, and the baby carrots complimented the pork.

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