Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Crack Slaw

10641082_10152890728091663_7226816134170495745_nSo a friend of ours (hi Heather!! Big wave!) posted a picture and recipe for a dish called Crack Slaw. It looked like a simple and delicious dish so we decided to give it a try.  Heather said that it’s one of those dishes that you adjust the amounts to make it your own and that’s just what we did.  Here is our delicious version of Crack Slaw10644845_10152890728001663_5973961366070589563_nCrack Slaw

In a large skillet brown the ground beef and season with the fish sauce and ground pepper.  Remove from pan and set aside.  In the same pan, heat the sesame oil and sauté the garlic, green onions, ginger & red pepper flakes until fragrant.  Add the coleslaw mix and cook until desired tenderness. (I like it so that it still had a bit of crunch.)  Stir in the coconut aminos and the vinegar and add back in the reserved beef and any accumulated juices.  Serve hot or cold, great either way!.


Sunday, November 9, 2014


10678822_10152845884056663_4140512940248326507_n First batch of kombucha with original “mother” Scoby.

Something new for us, brewing our own kombucha.  What the heck is kombucha?  Well, kombucha is a slightly effervescent fermented drink made with a combination of sweetened black and/or green tea.  It is produced by fermenting the tea using a SCOBY, Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria Yeast.  Kombucha is not only delicious but it is used as a functional food as it contains b-vitamins, enzymes, probiotics and a high concentration of acetic, gluconic, and lactic acids, which all have numerous health benefits.

10698604_10152868696531663_2869971191490309204_nAfter two weeks a beautiful new baby SCOBY has formed on the surface, almost ready to drink or to go for a second ferment with fruit flavorings.

Many people know, that other than from whole, unprocessed fruits, we have removed all sugar and sweeteners, real and artificial, from our diet.  So, you may be wondering how we can make a drink which begins with sweetened tea.  When making kombucha, the sugar is used to feed the SCOBY and once fully fermented, the sugar is used up.

1911800_10152890918641663_7767147175992873123_nDelicious kombucha after second ferment, (l to r) plain, cherry almond, and mango.

To add some sweetness and extra effervescence to the drink, a second fermentation is done using whole fruit, which then also helps to add wonderful new flavors to the kombucha.


Initial fermentation:

  • 4 tea bags each of black tea and green tea (for loose leaf, 1 tsp = 1 bag of tea)
  • 1 cup white cane sugar
  • One healthy SCOBY
  • 1 cup starter liquid (kombucha from bottle or previous batch)
  • purified, spring, or ionized water

Boil 2 cups of water and add the tea.  Allow the tea to steep for 20 minutes.  Remove the tea bags and stir in the sugar until it’s dissolved.  Add approximately 4 cups of room temperature water to the tea to cool it to room temperature.  In a glass, one gallon vessel (which has been cleaned with vinegar, not soap) add the tea and then fill the vessel with water, leaving 1-2 inches at the top.  Add the mother SCOBY and the 1 cup of starter liquid.  Cover with a cloth and secure the cloth with a rubber band.  Set the container in a warm, darker place where it will get plenty of air flow and can stay undisturbed.  For the next 7-10 days give your brew lots of encouragement and love but don’t move or disturb.  At the 2 week mark there should be a nice thick baby SCOBY on the surface.  Taste your brew by carefully removing the cloth and using a straw, slide the straw down the side of the vessel and gather some liquid by placing your finger over the end of the straw to hold some liquid in there and remove the straw and taste.  If the brew is still sweet, cover and let is continue fermenting for a few more days, tasting each day until it has the flavor desired.  Follow directions below.

Second fermentation, if desired:

  • fresh, dried or frozen fruit
  • 100% fruit juice
  • flavorings of your choice, extracts, fresh ginger, herbal fruit teas, etc.

Once the kombucha has reached your desired flavor, remove the baby and mother SCOBY to a glass plate or container and cover to keep clean and insect free.  Strain the kombucha through coffee filters or multiple layers of cheese cloth to remove any particles floating in the liquid.  Place the desired flavorings in glass bottles which have air-tight lids and then fill to 1/2 to 1-inch from the top.  Do not leave too much headspace otherwise it will not carbonate properly.  Seal the bottles and place in a warm dark place.  As there is a chance the bottles could pop or explode, a cooler or box is a good choice to prevent a possible mess. At least once, if not twice a day, burp the bottles to release the accumulated gas.  Allow the bottles to ferment for 3 – 7 days tasting after the third day, until it reaches desired flavor.  Place the bottles in the refrigerator to stop the fermentation process.  I choose to keep the fruit in the bottles but if desired, the fruit can be strained out. 

Important info:

  • Sanitize all equipment with hot water and vinegar, not soap.
  • Air flow is important.
  • Keep kombucha out of direct sunlight.
  • If you see mold, throw the SCOBY and all liquid away.
  • Other than when steeping your tea, do not use metal around the kombucha or SCOBY.
  • Give your kombucha lots of love, it’s a living organism and like plants, feels the energy in the room.


Monday, November 3, 2014

Chicken Satay with SunButter “Peanut” Sauce

1798783_10152874444621663_2347171758484762787_n Is it just me or does 2014 seem to be passing at warp speed?  Maisie’s 9th birthday has come and gone, Halloween with our adorable fart-gun-toting minion has passed and today marks the 8 year referral-versary of the first time we laid eyes on a picture of our A-Maisie-ing Maisie, and though Thanksgiving is still over three weeks away, all the stores have decked the isles with all things Christmas.  Today is also Secret Recipe Club reveal day!  This month for SRC we were assigned Jess’ blog, Inquiring Chef.  Jess, her husband and adorable 6 month old twin girls live in Bangkok so her blog is filled with the sights, sounds and recipes of Thailand…and other interesting travels and tastes too!  I’ll bet that time is flying for Jess too as it was just a few months back, when her cutie-patootie girls were just a mere 6 weeks old, that she cooked from our blog, making one of Maisie’s favorite treats, Oatmeal, Cashew & Chocolate Granola Bars

We here in the Cook Lisa Cook home adore Thai food so there were dozens of recipes that we wanted to make.  Many of Jess’ recipes, though a bit different, mirrored ones that we’ve already made. Jess has a Tom Yam Gung (Spicy Prawn Soup) similar but different to my Tom Yam Ghoong (Spicy Shrimp Soup), My Red Curry Chicken is almost identical to Jess’ Red Curry Salmon (going to have to try this as we adore Red Curry Chicken and know it would be delicious on salmon!)  Then there are the variations on another soup, my Thai Chicken Noodle Soup and Jess’ Thai Style Chicken Noodle Soup.  We both also enjoy tasty drinks with Jess’ Mango Lassi and my slightly spicier Mango Lassi.  How we would love to live and eat at Jess’s home as there were so many other delicious looking and sounding recipes which totally enticed us.  We looked at making Jess’ Thai Chili Eggplant, Thai Shrimp Salad, and her Thai Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps and we really must try making some Nam Prik Pao instead of always buying it.  Oh, and don’t her Chocolate Banana Tarts just look divine!!  In the end we decided to make one of our favorite treats, which we’ve never made at home, Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce.

10271591_10152874444591663_3853995278277607541_n I of course made a couple of changes to Jess’ recipe to put it more inline with our dietary restrictions, the most notable was using SunButter in place of peanut butter.  Our other small changes included, replacing the sugar with a whole Medjool date, subbing Coconut Aminos for the soy sauce and roasted cashews for the peanuts.  Jess presented her Chicken Satay with two dipping sauces but we chose to omit her Sweet & Tart Thai Dipping Sauce, though delicious, it’s predominantly sugar so better for us to avoid.  Following Jess’ recipe was easy and the taste was… well, I was going to say just as good, but honestly it was SO much better than any Chicken Satay we’ve had previously.  All of us gobbled the chicken and sauce up with the only complaint being that we all wanted more!  A couple of notes if you plan to make this at home.  Sometimes finding fresh galangal and fresh turmeric can be difficult so when we do find it, we purchase extra, wash and dry it, and store it in a sealed bags in the freezer.  Then when needed for a recipe we easily grate it right from frozen.  If you can’t find galangal feel free to substitute fresh ginger and if needed, dried turmeric for fresh.   

10612692_10152874444691663_3461340370640592316_nChicken Satay with SunButter “Peanut” Sauce  (Adapted from here)


  • 2 small skinless, boneless chicken breast (about 8 oz.)
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, bottom 2 inches only (discard top green stalk)
  • 2 1-inch pieces of fresh turmeric, peeled (substitute 2 tsp. ground turmeric if preferred)
  • 2 peels of fresh lime zest
  • 1 tsp. fresh grated galangal (or fresh ginger) 
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin 
  • 1 Medjool date, pit removed  
  • 1 TBS. Coconut Aminos 
  • 3 TBS. full-fat coconut milk 
  • 6 whole roasted cashews

Thinly slice chicken into equal strips, about ¼ inch thick and several inches in length.  Except for the chicken, combine all the remaining ingredients in a food processor  and pulse until mixture becomes a paste and only small pieces of the ingredients remain. Transfer the paste to a bowl and add the chicken, stirring to evenly coat. Refrigerate and allow the chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 5 hours.

Thread a bamboo skewer through each piece of chicken. Grill the chicken skewers on an outdoor grill or a grill pan, until cooked through. Serve immediately with the dipping sauce, recipe below.

SunButter “Peanut” Sauce:

In a blender, place 1/4 cup of the coconut milk and add the Medjool dates, process to a smooth paste.  Heat the remaining 3/4 cup of coconut milk until boiling, stirring continuously to prevent it from boiling over, and allow it to boil for 1 minute.  Reduce the heat to a low simmer  Add the coconut milk/date mixture and all remaining sauce ingredients. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.


My previous Secret Recipe Club Recipe Posts: 

Asian Pork Chops 
Mango Salsa 
Pomegranate Molasses Salad Dressing 
Beef Keema  
Roasted Grape Tomato, Garlic & Poblano Ragu
Mexican Feast: Cream of Ancho Chile Soup, Roasted Poblano Burger with Chile de Arbol Guacamole & Pork Crusted Baked Poblano Fries 
Zesty Zucchini Skillet 
Garlic Seafood in Coconut Milk 
Lamb & Eggplant with Chiles
Fijian Ceviche
Carrot & Sweet Potato Pancakes   
Chicken Burgers with Spinach & Mushrooms 
Paradise Mango Curried Shrimp 
Laura Goodenough’s Apple Coffee Cake 
Loaded Potato Soup
Lemon Almond Biscotti 
Creamy Mints 
Thai Peanut Noodles with Chicken 
Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings 
Fried Green Tomatoes 
Chicken Satay Noodle Salad 
Double Chocolate Mousse Cake 
Candied Popcorn
Fruit, Nut & Poppy Seed Chicken Salad 
Broiled Sushi 
Health(ier) Peanut Brittle 
Crunchy Fudgy Heart Bites 
Texas Chicken with Lime Butter 
Pork Belly Soup with Collard Greens 
Thin Mint Irish Coffee 
Levain Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies 
Welsh Cakes 
Nutella Crêpes 
Cilantro Lime Chicken 
Holy Guacamole 
Home Style Chicken Curry

Check out the new SRC blog for more exciting recipes from past reveals

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