Turkey Congee in the Instant Pot

After Christmas dinner was done, the remains of an 18 lb turkey were begging for some inspiration. Being a little lazy and needing a meal that could cope with frozen leftovers, turkey congee seemed like a suitable choice. I sort of defrosted the turkey carcass in the oven (at the same time roasting it) and it turned out beautifully.

Prior to roasting the turkey, I dried brined it for a few days and threw some kosher salt, black pepper and lemons into the cavity. I didn’t have to season the congee much after it was done cooking, as all the wonderful flavours from inside the carcass and the umami from roasting the bones did the job.

It seems to be, like all congee that I’ve made in the Instant Pot, a little thick. To make it less thick, add some hot water prior to serving or cold water before reheating in the microwave or on the stovetop.

My toddlers were begging for seconds. I knew then, it was a winner!

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Roasted turkey
Roasted turkey congee
Roasted turkey congee

 

Print Recipe
Turkey Congee in the Instant Pot
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 90 minutes
Passive Time 75 minutes
Servings
cups
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 90 minutes
Passive Time 75 minutes
Servings
cups
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Add rice to pot.
  2. Roast turkey carcass in the oven at 400 F for 30 minutes or until aroma develops. Let cool and break it up into pieces to fit the pot. Add to pot.
  3. Peel and julienne ginger. Add to pot.
  4. Add water and sesame oil.
  5. Cover and set to porridge for 40 minutes. 15 minutes NPR and then vent if preferred or NPR until float drops.
  6. Remove the carcass. Peel the meat off and add back to pot if desired. Stir in the extra turkey meat. Add salt to taste. Mind the bones that might be left!
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Spaghetti Cafe Prairie

I keep a low profile as a food blogger. Only because I don’t have much time these days to pursue my passion. I was surprised to receive an invite from the restaurant owner to visit his cafe. I couldn’t visit in person, so I ordered from Skip The Dishes.

Food trends come and go all the time. Some have staying power, like ramen. Noodles for me are always a classic, never out of style.  Asian cuisines doing a take on western cuisine is not new. But this is the first that I have heard of Japanese spaghetti. Intriguing. I’m all for fast, good quality and affordable food.

I ordered the Japanese chicken spaghetti, with a salad and the carrot and lemon zest soup. The spaghetti tasted like roasted chicken with a slightly asian style soy sauce flavour. Like home cooked food. The carrot and lemon zest soup had vibrant flavours and color. Pasta was done al dente. Hubby had the spaghetti carbonara. I had a taste, it was good. The portions are really generous and it is good value for the price.

I could see my old, super active self hitting this place after a session at the climbing gym or day out in the mountains. Now I can see myself halving the portion and saving it for lunch the next day.

I like it. I’ll be back. Thanks for the invite, Takeshi!

Spaghetti Carbonara
Spaghetti Carbonara
Japanese Chicken Spaghetti, Carrot and Orange Zest Soup, Salad
Japanese Chicken Spaghetti, Carrot and Orange Zest Soup, Salad

Spaghetti Cafe Prairie Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ikemen Ramen Bar

It feels like it has been ages since I’ve been down to Kensington. Oh, it’s probably been just over a month now, but since then several new places have opened. One that I have been eager to try is Ikemen Ramen Bar. It has been open for about three weeks now. They were still putting the stickers on the windows.

I love ramen. Traditional, fusion, and even my homemade attempts. All good. Ikemen has sprung up where the old Tandoori Hut used to be. They have a small selection of traditional and fusion ramen. We started with the age dashi tofu and gyoza. I had the green curry seafood ramen and my sister-in-law the dynamite roll. The tofu was simmered in a delicious broth. Our server asked us to to describe the dish as she had not yet tried it. I said the broth was rich with overtones of dashi and bonito. With the bonito flakes blowing in the breeze.

I really enjoyed my ramen. The green curry was a tad on the medium spicy side, but full of flavour. They could have been more generous with the seafood, as it came with a whole shrimp, mussel and a couple of scallops. SIL had the dynamite roll which was beautifully presented. For dessert, we shared the organic corn ice cream which was on their daily special board. It tasted of sweet corn and vanilla. An interesting combination. Worth a return trip!

Daily specials
Daily specials
Age dashi tofu
Age dashi tofu
Green curry seafood ramen
Green curry seafood ramen
Dynamite roll
Dynamite roll

Click to add a blog post for Ikemen Ramen Bar on Zomato

303 Fusion Kitchen

I had a chance to go out with my family for lunch. Five of us went to 303 Fusion Kitchen. I’ve always been interested in trying the few Taiwanese restaurants in town. This one caught my attention as a friend seems to visit frequently. Chinese food isn’t just one thing; there are many different areas in China with a subculture. Taiwan is one of them. My parents had visited Taiwan long ago, and still hold fast to memories of being there.

First up was the yam fries. For the sauce, a plum sauce from Taiwan was used. Crsip and sweet, the sauce went with the fries quite well. Next came the calamari, equally crisp and with a nice change up: tentacles instead of rings.

I wondered what the crystal dumplings were. They were pork and ginger potstickers pan fried in a flour paste to make the bottoms look extra crisp.

The oyster pancake was soft and fluffy with a rich gravy over top. Mom recalled that the oyster pancakes in Taiwan weren’t sauced, so this must be the fusion aspect.

The fried tofu with salted pork was really nice. I love how tofu can be accented with the taste of anything. The pork belly rice was full of flavour too.

All of the above were their specials. Next time I come back, I’ll have to try the beef noodle soup.

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Sweet Yam Fries with Plum Spice

 

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Calamari

 

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Crystal Dumplings

 

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Oyster Pancake

 

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Pork Belly Rice

 

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Mongolian Style Beef
Tofu with Salted Pork
Tofu with Salted Pork

 

303 Fusion Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Goro + Gun

I went to Goro + Gun a while ago. Just a little behind on my blogging. Located in the former West Restaurant and Bar location, it is definitely the largest ramen serving restaurant in Calgary. It’s not exclusively ramen; there are other Japanese influenced Asian dishes on the menu.

Hubby and I started with the okonomiyaki. It is a traditional Japanese savoury pancake. I quite liked the taste and concept.  There was pork belly topped with ginger, bonito flakes, mayo, and teriyaki style sauce over a fried green cabbage batter. It was a fairly substantial appetizer and something that I have not tried before.

I went with the Miso ramen for my main. The noodles are what I would expect with ramen; yellow, slightly curly with a chewy texture. The broth was tasty and more like creamy tonkotsu if compared to Shiki Menya’s.  I liked the added flavour of the black garlic oil.

Hubby and I shared the dessert which was a black sesame creme brulee. It was served with what tasted like a rice cracker on the side and topped with what seemed to be deep fried crispy noodle. It was a very interesting and unique dessert. I love the richness of black sesame, which works well in this case.

Lovely wine rack
Lovely wine rack
OKONOMIYAKI green cabbage, green onion, pork belly
OKONOMIYAKI
green cabbage, green onion, pork belly
MISO RAMEN  bbq pork, kikurage mushrooms, red ginger, green onions, shio
MISO RAMEN
bbq pork, kikurage mushrooms, red ginger, green onions, miso
Sesame Creme Brulee with Rice Cracker
Sesame Creme Brulee with Rice Cracker

Goro + Gun on Urbanspoon

Thai Pork Burgers

This is a recipe that I’ve been meaning to post for some time, and have finally gotten around to it. The burgers come out nice and moist. It is a summer staple on my grill.  You can’t have just one!

Thai Pork Burgers

1 lb ground pork, regular not lean
1 heaping tsp pureed ginger
1 heaping tsp pureed garlic
2 tbs fish sauce
1 tsp shrimp paste
1 egg, beaten
1 tbs or more to taste Dried Thai basil
1 tbs or more to taste chopped fresh or dried cilantro
Handful bread crumbs for consistency
Dash black pepper

Combine all ingredients except for bread crumbs. Add bread crumbs just enough to get the mixture to hold together. Use ¼-1/3 cup to make large meatballs. Slightly squish onto cookie sheet. The burgers should be slider size. Ensure the burgers are at room temperature before heating; otherwise they will stick. Preheat grill on high. Grill for 5 minutes at 350F, flip and grill for another 6 min.

Serve with your choice of dinner roll. They are the perfect slider size. I served them with flax seed buns as pictured below. It doesn’t need condiments, but a dab of sriracha, or sweet chili sauce will liven it up. Ketchup, relish and grainy mustard are all good too.

Slider sized burgs
Slider sized burgs
Slider with strawberries, blueberries and spring greens with chili balsamic dressing
Slider with strawberries, blueberries and spring greens with chili balasmic dressing

myTaste.com

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bao

After my visit to the St Laurent Cake House last week, I decided to make some adjustments to my bao recipe. I used the recipe from Honey and Spice Blog. This time, I actually followed the recipe to the letter, including the overnight proof.

The dough had a different consistency than my normal bao dough. Like what I saw at the bakery, it was soft, pliable, and stretchy. The dough was very easy to handle and naturally formed a uniform round shape.  The water added to egg wash makes for a smoother topping.

The peanut butter paste was made with lentils to obtain the paste consistency texture so familiar with bao.  Chocolate chips can be used, but I prefer the unsweetened, natural flavour of the cacao nib. These are heavy on the protein; great for a snack if you are active.

Peanut Butter Paste

½ C green lentils

2 C water, plus extra

¾ C creamy peanut butter, peanuts only

2 Tbs sugar

Soak lentils in water for an hour. Cook lentils until tender. Puree. Add peanut butter and mix by hand. Add a little more water if too thick to stir. Add sugar. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Bao

Follow Honey and Spice Blog’s recipe for the dough. For the second proofing in my oven at 100F with a pan of hot water.  Add 1-2 tbs of the peanut butter paste. Throw on top a few chocolate chips or some cacao nibs. Add 1-2 tbs of water to egg wash to thin it out. Change baking temp to 360F and time to 16 minutes.

20140419_152940 (640x412)

Stretchy, pliable dough
Stretchy, pliable dough
Filling the bao
Filling the bao
Soft and chewy bao
Soft and chewy bao

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bao

After my visit to the St Laurent Cake House last week, I decided to make some adjustments to my bao recipe. I used the recipe from Honey and Spice Blog. This time, I actually followed the recipe to the letter, including the overnight proof.

The dough had a different consistency than my normal bao dough. Like what I saw at the bakery, it was soft, pliable, and stretchy. The dough was very easy to handle and naturally formed a uniform round shape.  The water added to egg wash makes for a smoother topping.

The peanut butter paste was made with lentils to obtain the paste consistency texture so familiar with bao.  Chocolate chips can be used, but I prefer the unsweetened, natural flavour of the cacao nib. These are heavy on the protein; great for a snack if you are active.

Peanut Butter Paste

½ C green lentils

2 C water, plus extra

¾ C creamy peanut butter, peanuts only

2 Tbs sugar

Soak lentils in water for an hour. Cook lentils until tender. Puree. Add peanut butter and mix by hand. Add a little more water if too thick to stir. Add sugar. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Bao

Follow Honey and Spice Blog’s recipe for the dough. For the second proofing in my oven at 100F with a pan of hot water.  Add 1-2 tbs of the peanut butter paste. Throw on top a few chocolate chips or some cacao nibs. Add 1-2 tbs of water to egg wash to thin it out. Change baking temp to 360F and time to 16 minutes.

20140419_152940 (640x412)

Stretchy, pliable dough
Stretchy, pliable dough
Filling the bao
Filling the bao
Soft and chewy bao
Soft and chewy bao

Black Sesame Lentil Bao

I love making bao. So I decided to try something a little different for the Canadian Lentil Recipe Revelations Challenge. I used the Asian flavours of black sesame, and combined them with green lentils to make a filling for my bao.

I used the bao recipe from my red bean paste buns post.

For the sesame paste mixture, I used a sweetened black sesame powder. This can be homemade or bought at an Asian grocery store. I say sweetened as this would be the base for black sesame soup.

Black Sesame Lentil Filling

3/4 C  sweetened black sesame powder

1/2 C   green lentils

2 C      water

Pre-soak the lentils in water in a pot for at least an hour. Bring the water to boiling and cook lentils until tender. Puree the lentils in a blender or immersion blender. They will be a little liquid, that’s ok. Gradually add the black sesame powder. The mixture should form a thick paste. If too watery, add more powder. If too dry, add more water. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature before using.

Follow the recipe for making bao as listed above. For steaming, place the bao on parchment paper in a steamer basket. Boil the water and steam until the texture changes to a glossy sponge. You can’t overcook these.

Sweetened black sesame powder and green lentils
Sweetened black sesame powder and green lentils
Pureed green lentils
Pureed green lentils
Filling the bao
Filling the bao
Steamed bao
Steamed bao
Baked bao
Baked bao

Peanut Butter Pulled Pork

I love slow cookers. They give you time when you don’t have time. I got inspired to make this dish by someone microwaving their lunch at work. It smelled like peanut butter. I love peanut butter. I found this recipe via A Year of Slow Cooking blog. The recipe can be gluten free, if GF soy sauce is used.

The smell of peanut butter overwhelming my house was too much to bear, I kept on sneaking samples as it was cooking. It goes really well with a vinaigrette coleslaw. I didn’t need the bun; I could have ate it on its own. It has a strong peanut flavor, with satay undertones.  Be sure to use the peanut butter that only contains 100% peanuts. No sugar or other additives for a natural taste.  I used blade roast and shoulder butt instead of tenderloin. I shredded it in my Bosch Kitchen Machine. It was doing ok, until it got the parts covered with the connective tissue. I pulled those by hand. It is really moist and tender.

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Ready to shred
Ready to shred

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Pulled pork slider with cabbage slaw and pineapple
Pulled pork slider with cabbage slaw and pineapple