Soy Ginger Tilapia

Tilapia is a great choice when you’re looking for a quick and easy (healthy too!) meal. With just 8 simple ingredients (including the fish), you can have this dish on your dinner table in less than 30 minutes!

For a healthier alternative, use low sodium soy sauce in place of the regular soy sauce and oyster sauce if you want to cut back on sodium.

Give my recipe a try. I think you’ll like it. 🙂

Soy-Ginger Tilapia

Ingredients:

16 small tilapia filets (I buy them frozen, skinned and deboned)

1 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

3 tablespoons oyster sauce

3 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon grated ginger

1 bunch green onions (about 7 stalks), thinly sliced

Directions:

Prepare the tilapia:

I buy my tilapia frozen. They come about 16 small filets to a bag, with each filet individually wrapped. If you buy the fish frozen like I do, thaw them out, then remove each filet from the wrapping. Rinse the filets then place them in a shallow baking dish. I use two 9×13″ baking pans, placing 8 filets in each one. It’s okay of the filets overlap a bit.

Now that you’ve prepared the fish, make the soy-ginger sauce.

It’s also a good time to preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.


Make the Soy Ginger Sauce:

In a small microwave-safe mixing bowl, combine the soy sauce, red wine vinegar, oyster sauce, honey, garlic, and ginger. Microwave the mixture for one minute — you want to heat the mixture so that you can easily dissolve the honey. After heating, stir with a fork to combine all the ingredients.

Add the green onions; stir to combine.

Pour the mixture over the tilapia filets. It may look like too much sauce, but trust me, you want the filets covered in the mixture so that it soaks into the fish during baking. That, and you’ll want some of the extra sauce to pour over your rice! 🙂

Bake the fish at 375 degrees F. for 12 to 15 minutes. This fish cooks fast, so check for doneness at the 12-minute mark. The fish is white, and flakes easily with a fork when done.

Serve with hot white rice, and don’t forget to pour some of the delicious soy-ginger sauce over the rice too!

ENJOY!

 

Incredibly Soft and Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls

Soft and Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls with sweet, creamy Cream Cheese Frosting…need I say more? 😉

These cinnamon rolls are so easy to make that you’ll never have to buy those rolls popular in shopping malls.

If you’re not too sure about making yeast breads, read my step-by-step instructions (complete with photos for each step) then take a leap of faith in yourself and give yeast-baking a try.  In fact, my two daughters (one is a teen, the other is 11) made the batch you see pictured below.  If they can do it, YOU CAN TOO! :

I promise you this: these are one of the best cinnamon rolls you’re ever going to eat. Well, that’s what I think of them, anyway.

Give my recipe a try. I know you’ll love it! 😀

Incredibly Soft and Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Dough Ingredients:

  • 4 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (or one packet) rapid rise yeast
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk powder
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 large eggs, beaten lightly
  • 3/4 cup warm water (heated to 105 degrees)

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Dough Directions:

Place all but 1/4 cup of flour into the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Save the extra flour for use later.

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Add the sugar to the mixing bowl.

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Add the rapid rise yeast.

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Add a pinch of salt.

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Add the buttermilk powder.

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This is what the container of buttermillk powder looks like. You can find it in the baking aisle of your grocery store. If you can’t find buttermilk powder, substitute the powder and warm water with regular (liquid) buttermilk (found in the dairy section). Heat the buttermilk as you would the water, adding the warmed buttermilk at the same time you add the melted butter and eggs (see below).

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Using the paddle attachment of your stand mixer, mix on low speed to combine.

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Add the melted butter to the mixing bowl.

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Add the beaten eggs.

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Add the warm water. Make sure the water is 105 degrees; I recommend using a thermometer to ensure you have the right temperature. You can find instant-read thermometers in most grocery stores nowadays. It’s fairly inexpensive, about $5.00. It’s worth the investment.

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Mix until a soft dough forms.

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It doesn’t look like much at this stage, but this sticky dough will soon become 12 super-soft, fluffy, giant cinnamon rolls that rival those over-priced buns you buy in malls.

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As soon as all of the flour and other dry ingredients are mixed in with the wet ingredients, remove the paddle attachment and attach the dough hook.

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Using the dough hook, knead the dough for 5 minutes. If the dough is still sticking to the side of the bowl, add a spoonful of the remaining flour to the bowl and continue kneading for a couple of minutes. The photo below shows a lot of the dough still sticking to the side of the mixing bowl; adding a spoonful more of flour should do the trick.

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Keep adding flour, a spoonful at a time, until the dough leaves the side of the mixing bowl.

I added just one additional spoonful of flour. After adding a bit more flour, the dough is tightening up and leaving the sides of the bowl.

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The dough is still a bit sticky, but once you see the dough begin to ball up around the dough hook with the sides of the bowl clearing off, STOP adding more flour.  You WANT the dough to be a little bit sticky.

It’s okay if the dough sticks to the bottom of the bowl, however. Again, do NOT add more flour once the dough begins to clear the sides of the bowl. Finish kneading the dough at this point; the total kneading time is about 10-12 minutes using your stand mixer. If kneading by hand, knead for about 15 minutes (oil your hands instead of adding flour if the dough is too sticky to handle while kneading).

After the kneading time is complete, spray a large glass bowl with butter flavored cooking spray.

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Place the dough into the glass bowl.

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Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel. Place in a warm place to rise until the dough has doubled in size.

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Depending on how warm or cold your rising place is, this step could take about 2 hours. A trick I learned is to place the glass bowl into a cold oven, then turn the oven on to 400 degrees–keep the oven on for EXACTLY ONE MINUTE then turn the oven off. After 30 minutes, check to see how much the dough has risen. If you need to, reheat the oven (turn it on to 400 degrees for precisely one minute then turn the oven back off). I did this “heating trick” a total of two times — once when I first put the bowl into the oven, and once more after 30 minutes. After one hour, my dough doubled in size quite nicely.

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Oh, I should mention that when my kids made these rolls, it was about 22 degrees outside with a bit of snow coming down. So, don’t let the outside temperature dissuade you from making these delectable rolls.

While you wait for the dough to rise, make the frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar (no need to pre-sift)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

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Frosting Directions:

Place the cream cheese and butter into a small mixing bowl.

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Using a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together until creamy.

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Add the powdered sugar to the mixing bowl. Mix on low speed until the sugar and cream cheese-butter mixture is combined.

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Add the vanilla extract to the mixing bowl. Mix on medium speed until creamy. Set aside.

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Resist every temptation to eat the frosting with a spoon. Licking the beaters are okay, however. 😀

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Set the frosting aside and prepare the cinnamon-sugar filling.

Cinnamon Sugar Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 5 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter

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Filling Directions:

Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Set aside.

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Keep the butter at room temperature to soften.

After the dough has doubled in size, it’s time to roll and fill the dough.

Roll the Dough:

Punch down the middle of the risen dough. You only need to punch it once; the goal is to deflate the dough, not beat it senseless.

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Flour the surface of your countertop then place the dough on top of the floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll out a rectangle, roughly 12×17 inches, give or take an inch or two.

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Now comes the fun part. Take the butter that’s been softening at room temperature and spread it all over the surface of the dough, stopping about an inch from the edges.

Go on…get your impeccably clean hands in that butter….

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Evenly sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar filling over the buttered portion.

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Starting at the long edge, roll the dough, jelly-roll style.

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We’re going to make a dozen cinnamon rolls, so using a dough scraper, sharp knife or unflavored and unwaxed dental floss, cut the rolled dough into 12 pieces.

An easy way to do this is to first the the log in half.

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Cut each half into halves.

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Slice each quarter piece into thirds.

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Continue slicing each piece until you get 12 pieces.

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These rolls will have to double in size again, and believe me when I tell you that they will DOUBLE in size. And this is BEFORE baking–the rolls will “grow” even larger while they bake!

For this reason, a “normal” 9×13-inch pan will be too small to hold these yummy rolls. I use a half-sheet pan to bake these beauties.

Prepare the pan by lining it with aluminum foil. You don’t have to do this; however, it makes clean-up so much easier!

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Place the rolls onto the pan. Space them out quite a bit–like I mentioned above, these beauties will RISE!

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***NOTE***

If you want to have these rolls for breakfast, hot out of the oven, STOP HERE.  Cover the rolls with plastic wrap (I recommend using the Press-N-Seal brand so that it sticks to the metal tray) and place the entire tray of UNRISEN rolls in the refrigerator OVERNIGHT.  Don’t worry–the rising process will slow waaaaayyyy down in your refrigerator’s cold environment.  You can keep the rolls in the ‘fridge for 12-16 hours, no problem.  In the morning (about 90 minutes earlier from the time you want to eat these rolls) — take the tray of rolls out of the refrigerator.  Remove the plastic wrap and let the rolls sit at room temperature for one hour.  After an hour, preheat your oven and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Let the rolls cool before frosting.

The implied task is that you start making these rolls at night, or late afternoon, so that you can refrigerate them for the requisite 12-16 hours prior to baking them in the morning.

***If you DO NOT WANT TO WAIT OVERNIGHT to enjoy these fantabulous rolls, finish the process by following the remaining steps below.*****

Okay, now where were we….  Oh yeah…we need to make those rolls rise.

Using my “heating trick” mentioned above, create a warm place for the tray of rolls to rise by turning the oven on to 400 degrees for EXACTLY one minute, then turn the oven OFF.  Place the tray into the warm oven. Let the rolls rise for about 30-45 minutes.

Look how much these babies GREW! Oh, they grow up so fast, don’t they?! Don’t blink or you’ll miss it! LOL 😀

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Look at the size of each roll, compared to the size of a pomegranate (which was the size of a softball).  And this is the size BEFORE baking.  Wait ’till you see the size these beauties become AFTER baking!

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Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the rolls for 20 minutes. These rolls are meant to be a light golden brown when done.

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Let the rolls cool before frosting. Generously frost each roll then serve and enjoy! The rolls will stay fresh for about 4 days (if they last that long!). Cover any uneaten rolls with aluminum foil or place the rolls in an airtight container.

ENJOY!

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Fried Rice with Spam, Bacon and Chorizos Españot

My daughter calls this Meat Lover’s Fried rice, maybe because there is a ton of meat in it. And yes, Spam is meat, so don’t be a hater. 🙂

Despite all of the spam, bacon, and chorizos in this recipe, there are ways you can cut back on the fat content. Use Spam Lite (less fat and sodium) instead of regular spam, and pre-cook the bacon and chorizo to melt out much of the fat.

Give my recipe a try. I think you’ll like it. 🙂

Fried Rice with Spam, Bacon and Chorizos Españot

Ingredients:

  • 5 large eggs
  • 4 links Chorizos Españot (or use your favorite sausage)
  • 1 package bacon
  • 1 can Spam (use Lite Spam to cut down on fat and sodium)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Dashida seasoning (more or less, to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 cups cooked rice
  • 1 bunch (about 5 stalks) green onions, thinly sliced

Directions:

1. Heat a wok over medium heat. If you don’t have a non-stick wok, spray cooking spray to coat the wok. Crack the eggs into the heated wok. Use a large cooking spoon to stir the eggs, scrambling them. As the eggs cook, use the spoon to break the eggs up into small pieces. Remove the cooked eggs from the wok; set aside.

2. Prepare the Chorizos Españot. This is how I get rid of a lot of the fat in these delicious sausages. Cut the sausage links in half lengthwise. Peel the outer casing off. Place the links, cut-side down, on a paper towel-lined plate. Microwave the sausages for about a minute. These before and after photos show how much fat melts away when you heat them up.

After the sausages cooled off for a bit, hold each sausage half in between a paper towel and give it a good squeeze. This gets out a whole lot more of the thick orange fatty stuff. Cut the sausages into small pieces and set aside.

For those of you who may not know what Chorizos Españot is, it’s a type of dried sausage–sort of like pepperoni. The brand is Marca El Rey. Here’s a photo of the packaging — Chamorros can spot the telltale green bag with a picture of a king on the front from a mile away!

3. Cut the bacon into small pieces then place in the hot wok. Cook the bacon until it’s as crisp as you like it and most of the fat has melted off. Drain as much of the fat from the wok as you can. When the bacon is done, remove from the wok and place into a bowl lined with paper towels to soak up any remaining hot melted fat.

4. Add the spam to the wok. Cook for a few minutes, just long enough for the spam to begin to brown slightly.

5. After the spam has browned, add the diced onions, garlic, dashida, and black pepper to the pot. Stir to combine. Cook for a couple of minutes.

6. Add the bacon and chorizos to the wok. Stir to combine.

7. Add the cooked rice. GENTLY stir to mix the rice with the rest of the ingredients (you don’t want to mash the rice or you’ll end up with a mushy mess).

8. Add the cooked eggs and green onions. Gently stir to combine. Cook for a couple of minutes then remove from the heat.

Serve and ENJOY!

Perfect Soft-Boiled Eggs

How do you like your eggs? Depending on my mood, I like them in an omelet, fried over-easy, or one of my favorites — soft-boiled.

It’s tough to get the timing right for the perfect soft-boiled egg. Sometimes the eggs are undercooked, with the whites still runny (I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to eat raw egg whites). Or, sometimes the eggs are boiled too long and you end up with hard-boiled eggs.

Follow my directions below and you’ll get perfect soft-boiled eggs, every time.

Perfect Soft-Boiled Eggs

You’ll Need:

  • A small pot or sauce pan
  • Eggs
  • Water
  • Salt, pepper, soy sauce, Tabasco Sauce, or your favorite condiment to enjoy these perfect eggs with

Directions:

1. Fill a small pot half-full with water. Bring the water to a boil. I use hot tap water so that it comes to a boil quickly.

2. Once the water comes to a boil, CAREFULLY place the eggs into the pot. I use a large cooking spoon to lower the eggs into the boiling water.

3. Set your timer for EXACTLY 6 minutes.

4. After the 6 minutes has elapsed, IMMEDIATELY remove the pot from the stove and run cold water into the pot until the pot is completely filled with cold water.
5. It’s time to eat! Crack then peel off the top half of the egg shell. The egg white will be firm but the yolk inside will be thick and creamy–just perfect!
I like to peel the shell off the entire egg then place it in a small cereal bowl. This way, I can enjoy this perfectly soft-boiled egg the Chamorro way — with fina’denne and Tabasco sauce! 😀
ENJOY!

Baked Salmon with Mushroom Cream Sauce

Salmon is one of my favorite varieties of fish. I love it anyway you prepare it — grill it with my teriyaki sauce, make fresh salmon kelaguen, or bake it in my creamy mushroom garlic sauce — I love it all.

This is a super simple recipe to make. It took minutes to prepare, and since salmon cooks quickly, you can have this dish on your table in minutes!

You can lighten up my recipe by using half and half or light whipping cream instead of heavy whipping cream. Here is an approximation of the percentage of fat in half and half, light cream, and heavy whipping cream.

  • Half-and-Half: 12% fat
  • Light Cream: 20% fat
  • Light Whipping Cream: 30% fat
  • Whipping Cream: 35% fat
  • Heavy Cream and Heavy Whipping Cream: 38% fat

On a separate note, I’ve been asked before where you find heavy whipping cream. You’ll find it in the dairy section of your grocery store, usually next to the refrigerated coffee creamer and milk. This is what the box looks like.

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Another healthier — and delicious — alternative to heavy whipping cream is to use coconut milk. Just watch the salmon as it bakes — don’t cook it to where the coconut milk begins to boil (boiled coconut milk tends to break down and separate). I recommend adding only enough of the sauce over the salmon to cover it. Set the remaining sauce (unbaked) aside until the salmon is done. Bake as directed then pour the reserved coconut milk and mushroom sauce over the cooked salmon. This way, you don’t have to worry about the coconut milk separating should it boil during the baking.

Give my recipe a try.  I think you’ll like it. 🙂

THM NOTE:

For THMs, this recipe makes about 6 servings, with about 2g of carbs per serving, making this an S meal.

Baked Salmon with Mushroom Cream Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 2 salmon filets (about 4 pounds)
  • 4 cups sliced mushrooms (this sounds like a lot, but it cooks down to half this amount)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or butter)
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons Dashida seasoning OR 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream

Directions:

Rinse the salmon filets and remove any bones that you can see or feel. Place the salmon, skin side down, in a 9×13 baking dish.

Prepare the mushroom cream sauce.

In a medium sauce pan, place the mushrooms, olive oil, garlic, Dashida (or sea salt) and black pepper.

Cook over medium high heat, stirring occassionally, until the the mushrooms have reduced in volume and have browned nicely.

Stir in the green onions.

Pour in the heavy whipping cream; stir to combine.

Cook the cream sauce for about a minute then remove from the heat.

Pour the sauce over the salmon filets.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes, or just until the salmon is done (when the salmon flakes easily with a fork). Do not over cook.

This version below was made with half coconut milk and half heavy cream, and cooked in one pan on the stovetop.  In a large skillet, prepare the mushroom cream sauce as directed.  Add the salmon filets to the pan, skin slide down, making sure the sauce almost covers the filets.  Scoop up the mushrooms and place them on top of the filets.  Cook over medium low heat for about 30 minutes, periodically scooping some sauce and pouring it over the filets as it cooks.

Serve with rice, over pasta, or with a large side salad and enjoy!

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