Tag Archives: ginger

Duck Fest 2010: Duck Choo Chee (Part 1)

Deep Fried Duck

Deep Fried Duck

Deep Fried Duck

Like every woman in America I am trying to lose a few lbs.

[Note: As a I write this I do at least realize the massive ridiculousness of typing that statement under a picture of a deep fried duck…but alas].

Not a lot of weight…(thank GOD I was blessed with sympathetic genes and a 5’10” frame that allows me to, for the most part, consume what I want…if not, I would surely be 300 lbs), but a few lbs that would render me more fit, more svelte, more chic. Generally, more kick ass.

How am I going to do this, you ask?

Having determined that stress and grieving aren’t going to do the trick I figured I would head to Vashon Island for a weekend, stay with my dear friends Henk and Marina, and spend the entire time cooking, eating, drinking, napping, laughing, and talking. Clearly, this is the road to becoming a toned goddess.

And I’m not just talking regular food…we are talking Deep Fry Fest meets Duck Fest 2010. And it was awesome.

This recipe for Duck Choo Chee, which incidentally is amazing and one of those stupid things I can’t seem to find on the West Coast, is very easy and quite delicious. It did start with us deep frying a whole duck, that’s right, a whole duck…but we’ll get to that story later. In the meantime, enjoy this over brown rice with a slightly sweeter wine such as a Viognier. It’s a very pretty dish that can be made the day before, so is excellent for entertaining a crowd…presuming they can handle a little spiciness. Note, you can also certainly modify this to your spicy preference. As this is written it’s about a 2 out of 5 on the spicy scale.

Duck Choo Chee

2 TB cooking oil

2 TB choo chee curry paste (you can use red curry if you can’t find choo chee, though it won’t be quite as delicious)

2 cups coconut cream or coconut milk

2/3 cup sweet basil leaves

2 fresh kaffir lime leaves (or, 2 TB lime juice if you can’t find kaffir lime leaves)

5 red chilis, slit to release flavors, but keep seeds in, which are very spicy

2 lemon grass stalks, chopped into 4 inch pieces

4 slices ginger (big enough they won’t get lost in there)

2 tsp fish sauce (add this one tsp at a time and taste the dish as you go…some are MUCH stronger than others and there’s nothing worse than ruining a dish by overpowering it with fish sauce)

1/2 tsp sugar

2 cups cooked duck meat, in large bite-size pieces (you could also do fish or chicken)

salt and pepper, to taste

1. Heat a wok to medium heat and add the oil.

2. Add the curry paste and stir until fragrant (about 2-3 minutes).

3. Add half the coconut cream and stir until well combined with the curry paste.

Curry and coconut milk

3B. Add the basil, lime, chilis, lemon grass, and ginger and allow to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally as flavors meld.

4.Gradually add the remaining coconut cream. Pending on your spicy tolerance you may or may not need the full second cup. Add the fish sauce and sugar, and return to a low simmer.

5. Add the duck and stir gently until heated through. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 more minutes, occasionally tasting and adjusting the seasonings as you see fit.

6. Serve over brown rice (reminding your guests they probably don’t want to eat the chilis, ginger, or lemon grass) and garnish with a sprig of fresh basil and red chili.

Duck Choo Chee

Duck Choo Chee


Filed under Lactose Free, Make ahead, Uncategorized

ThaIrish Brisket

(A guest blog post by Matthew Rhodes)

As many Irish folks can attest, there’s nothing quite like a good curry after a few pints of Guinness. This flavor combination got me to thinking about other ways to mingle curry and stout and… eureka! ThaIrish beef brisket! (For all of you who are now tsk-tsk’ing my lame wordplay due to the fact that “a curry” in Ireland generally refers to an Indian curry, well, nyah-nyah. This sounded better to me.)

Summer is over. The wood has been stacked, the rains have begun, and it’s been seven wonderful years since I fist met my lovely wife in a hot tub in Vermont… so a roast seemed appropriate. Maybe it was the sound of the fall breezes in the giant tree just beyond our back yard, which we likely could have heard all summer had there not been an ice-cream truck parked in front of our house every afternoon and into the night. Maybe the roast in the bath of beer reminded me of that hot tub all those years ago.

Hard to say really.

Perusing the fridge before my trip to the ghetto grocery store and butcher I took stock of the available produce. There remained a bunch of bok choy from another meal that was still in fine shape. Celery is commonly found with roasts, and bok choy is a lot like celery when it’s coarsely chopped. I was on to something. Many roasts call for tomato paste to be added near the end as well, and as it happened, we had some red curry paste!

The market provided the basics, though as this particular market has stopped advertising the grade of the meat they sell (without other information I must assume it’s prison meat… USDA grade F) another stop at the butcher was required. I found a nice 1.75lb brisket and made my way back to the kitchen.

I chopped up a couple onions as well as appx. 1lb of carrots and 1.5lb of potatoes and set them aside. In a large casserole dish I browned the brisket in a little vegetable oil. The brisket was then removed and set aside and the oil drained. The onions were added and cooked for 3-4 minutes, followed by the rest of the veggies, which cooked together for another few minutes (you can see how exact I am with measuring in the kitchen… at least aside from when installing countertops). Next I added a couple tablespoons of flour to thicken things up and blended in the beef stock and a few swigs shy of one 14.9oz can of Guinness. The mixture was brought to a boil then removed from heat before adding a few thin slices of ginger root, brown sugar, mustard, curry paste and some salt and pepper.

The happy brisket was now returned to it’s loving bed of vegetables and stout for baking!


  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1.75lb beef brisket
  • 2 coarsely chopped onions
  • 1lb of bok choy, cut into large chunks
  • 1.5lbs of potatoes, cut into large chunks
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 can of Guinness
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 3 thin slices of ginger
  • 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • salt and pepper to taste


1.     preheat oven to 350°F

2.     heat oil in large casserole and brown brisket on all sides; remove and drain

3.     add onion and cook  until tender, stirring constantly

4.     add bok choy, carrots and potatoes and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes

5.     add flour and cook for one more minute; blend in Guinness and stock

6.     bring to a boil, stirring constantly

7.     add ginger, sugar, curry paste, mustard and salt and pepper

8.     place brisket on top and cover; place in oven and cook for about 1.5 hours or until meat and vegetables are tender


Filed under Lactose Free, Uncategorized

Coconut infused quinoa, topped with a ginger vegetable medley saute and seared wild sea scallops.

I wish I had snapped a picture of this dish because it was so tasty, so easy, and so pretty.

It actually came out of my rummaging through my cupboards and fridge trying to come up with something for dinner that wouldn’t require me to leave the house. The result? Subtly infused quinoa with coconut milk, a delicious stir-fry of vegetables, and beautiful, golden-brown seared scallops.

The trick is to make this as a three-step process so that you can essentially layer it all together in the pan you’ve used to cook the quinoa. Start the quinoa, chop the veggies, cook the veggies, once the quinoa is done add the vegetables so that they’re sitting on top of the quinoa with the lid on, and then quickly sear the scallops.

This is relatively fast to do so would be great for a weeknight dinner party. Serve with a chilled white wine with a bit of bite, such as a Vinho Verde.

Coconut infused quinoa, topped with a ginger vegetable medley saute and seared wild sea scallops.

Serves 4

2 cups quinoa

3 cups coconut Milk (lite is fine if you’re concerned about the calories)

1 cup water

4 TB Olive Oil

2 TB Ginger (minced)

5 cups chopped, mixed veggies (whatever you like is fine, I did onions, peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, chard, and scallions)

Wild sea scallops (about 4-5 per person, if smaller, do more)

Quinoa: Bring three cups coconut milk and one cup water to a boil. Stir in two cups quinoa (that has been rinsed), return to a boil, and then lower heat to simmer for 15-20 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat and leave lid on.

Mixed veggies: Heat 2 TB olive oil in a non-stick frying pan. Add the minced ginger and cook, stirring, 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the mixed veggies and cook until softened and nicely browning. Add on top of the cooked quinoa and allow to sit with the lid on, while you do the scallops.

Scallops: Heat the remaining 2 TB olive oil in the non-stick frying pan. When just about smoking add the scallops and cook until beginning to carmelize and golden brown on each side.

Serve the quinoa and the mixed vegetables in  shallow bowls and top each with scallops. Enjoy!


Filed under Health Conscious, Seafood