Archives for posts with tag: weekday dinner


Most of the time when I cook, I like sticking to the recipe. It’s only recently that I’ve been feeling more comfortable playing around with an established recipe to fit to my own taste. Growing up in China, one of the things I LOVED was grilled lamb skewers from street vendors. Thinly cuts of undesirable pieces of lamb is threaded on long metal skewers, dusted with a fiery hot chili pepper and curry powder, most likely to hide the taste of old/ half spoiled meat, and grilled on a long hibachi style grill over hot coals… I always had a hard time convincing my mom to buy me some since she always thought they were unsanitary but boy did I love those skewers. Food is always better with a bit of excitement, and in this case it’s the thrill of the possibility of upset stomach, kind of like Russian roulette but with spoiled lamb meat. Read the rest of this entry »


Smoked roasted almonds are one of the most versatile ingredients that I use. They are great on salads or alone by themselves, however, with very little work, they can actually be used as a healthy spice and flavor enhancer that can bring complexity to simple dishes. Read the rest of this entry »


Roy Choi is a Korean American chef who is famous for his Kogi dogs, a korean style hotdog served from his food truck in LA. I’m rarely a fan of food trucks unless it’s 2am and there is nothing open. I always associate spending quality time with the food and the company you are with in a sit down restaurant setting, and the idea of getting food from a truck seems so rushed and impersonal, unless you are going to the food truck everyday, and develop some sort of relationship with your vendor. Read the rest of this entry »

Cooking for two people is always a challenge. When I crave for a dish I’ve made before, often times it’s something I made for a crowd, and sometimes it’s just too much to do for a simple weekday dinner. There was a great recipe for pork loin braised in black grapes that I remembered from a dinner party a while back, but I didn’t want to make the whole thing on a weekday. Fortunately I found this simple pork chop recipe made with grapes and tarragon.

To make the pork chops, the chops are seasoned on both sides and seared for about 3 minutes on each side, 6 minutes total, until it’s almost cooked.

The chops are taken out, and grapes are added to the pan until lightly browned. Then sugar and shallots are added and cooked.

The pan is deglazed with vinegar, and wine and broth are added to the pan. After the stock is reduced about half way, the pork chops are added back into the pan, and simmered until cooked through.

The chops are removed and kept warm in the oven. The grapes and the stock is cooked on high until thick and syrupy…and tarragon leaves are added.

The sauce is spooned over the chops.

To go with the pork chops, I sautéed up some sliced shiitake and crimini mushrooms, and added them to cooked wild rice, dried apples, and chopped parsley.

To complete the meal, I made ginger-lime carrots from a recipe by Richard Blais, the winner of Top Chef Allstars. Carrots are blanched and then sauteed in a pan with ginger and cinnamon. Broth is added and reduced by half.

The dish is finished off with butter, lime juice, and sriracha, and after plating, seaweed flakes are sprinkled on top.

Pork with Grapes and Tarragon Recipe:
Ginger-Lime Baby Carrots Recipe: