February 11, 2012


Delicious Spring Rolls can be made with just about anything like Chicken, Pork, Beef, Shrimp or all Veg.  The key to a delicious Spring Roll is to use flavorful ingredients like Chinese 5 Spice (found in most Markets these days) which is a blend of aromatic and spicy flavors like no other.  Fresh Ginger is also important because it provides an Amazing background flavor that is unmistakable in Spring Rolls.  The secret ingredient in my Chicken Spring Rolls is creamy Peanut Butter.  Yes, Peanut Butter.  It gives a flavor component that compliments all of the Spices and Veg perfectly without tasting like Peanut Butter.  Your guest may ask what is that unique flavor.  When you are Cooking The Amazing a secret ingredient will make your Chicken Spring Rolls the best you've ever eaten.

Here is the recipe.

25  Spring Roll Wraps, Thawed
6 c  Finely Shredded Green Cabbage
1/2 c  Finely Diced Carrot
1/2 c  Finely Diced Green Onion
1/2 c  Finely Chopped Fresh Cilantro
2  Finely Chopped Cloves Of Garlic
3 T  Soy Sauce
3 T  Grated Fresh Ginger
1 T  Chinese Five Spice
1/2 c  Creamy Peanut Butter
1 lb  Ground Chicken
2 T  Olive Oil
1 t  Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Vegetable Oil For Frying
Water For Sealing Spring Roll Wraps

Makes about 12 Spring Rolls

1.  Thaw out your frozen Spring Roll wraps , if frozen, in the refrigerator.  Finely grate the fresh Ginger after peeling it first.  Prep and chop/dice all of your Veg, Herbs and measure all of your Spices, Peanut Butter and Soy before touching the Chicken to avoid contamination.  Set all prep aside.
2.  Over medium high heat put 2 T Olive Oil in a large pan.  Once the Olive Oil is hot add the Ground Chicken and cook all the way through using a spoon to break it up into small pieces.  This takes about 7-9 minutes.
3.  Once cooked, reduced the heat to medium and add everything but the Cabbage and Spring Roll wraps.  Stir well cooking for 3 minutes distributing the Spices, Peanut Butter, Ginger, Veg and Herbs together with the Chicken.
4.  Add all the Cabbage and incorporate with the Chicken and Veg mixture and stir constantly for 5 minutes while the Cabbage cooks down.  The Cabbage should still have some crispness to it.

5.  Taste and correct for seasoning adding Salt or more Spices to suit your tastes.   Set aside to cool some.

6.   Use 2 Spring Roll Wraps for each Roll because 1 is too thin and not strong enough.  Lay 2 Wraps stacked on each other flat on a board or the counter.  Have a small dish of cold Water next to where you are working.  Dip your fingers into the Water and run it along the entire outer edge of the Wrap.  Moisten about a 1 inch border all the way around.

7.  Spoon about 1/2 c of the cooled (but still warm) Chicken and Cabbage mixture onto the lower 1/2 of the Wrap leaving about 3 inches from the lower edge.
8.  Roll up the lower 1/3 rd of the Wrap over the mixture holding it in place with your fingers.
9.  Fold in both sides about 2 inches toward the middle of the roll and hold them in place.  Moisten underneath the folded sides with Water so the sides will stick to the roll.
10.  Tightly roll towards the top of the Wrap.  Use your fingers and dip them into the Water and apply a small amount of Water to the top of the Roll that will meet the end of the Wrap to help form a seal.

11.  Complete by rolling to the edge and place sealed edge down on a platter or plate and continue to roll the rest of your Spring Rolls.

12.  Add enough Vegetable Oil to come 3/4 way up the sides of your Spring Rolls to a deep pot or deep fryer.  Preheat the Oil to 375 degrees.  Be sure your oil is hot before adding Spring Rolls or they will soak up Oil and be greasy not crispy when done.  Fry for 3 minutes on one side then flip and fry the other side for 3 minutes more.  Don't over crowd the pan or this will reduce the temperature of the Oil.  Fry in 2-3 batches depending on the size of your pot or fryer.

13.  Remove the cooked Spring Rolls and drain on paper towels and allow to cool just a little before eating. 

COPYRIGHT (c) 2012

February 9, 2012


Kale is one of the super foods that is so good for you and happens to taste delicious especially when sauteed with fresh Lemon and Garlic.  A little Bacon doesn't hurt either.  Kale can be served with most Meats like a roast Pork Loin or eaten as a main course if pared with a starch to balance it like Creamy Mashed Potatoes or Polenta.  Be sure to use fresh Lemon and Garlic to bring out the best flavor of the Kale because they are the dominate flavor enhancers and that plastic bottle of Lemon Juice or Garlic powder will only make your dish taste dull.   You can cook healthy and tasty when you are Cooking The Amazing.

Here is the recipe.

1 lb. Fresh Chopped Kale
5  Strips of Bacon
2 T  Bacon Fat
3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
3 T  Shallot, Minced
1/4 c  Water
3/4 t  Fine Grain Sea Salt
1 t  Fresh Black Pepper
1 T  Red Wine Vinegar
1 T  Fresh Lemon Zest
1 T  Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice

1.  Chop the Kale into 2 inch pieces removing any tough stems.  Some tender stems near the leaf top are fine to chop and use.  Zest a Lemon and reserve 1 T of Zest and juice 1 T of Lemon Juice to use in the end of the recipe.  Set aside.
2.  Use a large pot that is big enough to hold all of the Kale.  Cook Bacon until crisp over medium heat and reserve 2 T of Bacon fat in the pot.  Set the Bacon aside to use later.  
3.  Over medium heat add the minced Garlic and Shallot and cook for 1 minute in the Bacon Fat.
4.  Add the Kale, in batches if your pot is too small to take it all at once, to the hot Garlic and Shallot and toss coating with the Bacon Fat and Garlic and Shallot.
5.  Add the Water and cover with a lid and cook over medium heat for 6 minutes.  Remove lid after 6 minutes and stir well.
6.  Add Sea Salt and Black Pepper and stir well.  Allow any Water to evaporate if it is pooling in the bottom of the pan and continue to cook for about 2 minutes more.  Move the Kale to one side of the pan and allow the Water to pool and cook off on the cleared side.
7.  Add the Red Wine Vinegar, Lemon Zest and Fresh Lemon Juice and stir in well.  Cook for about 1 minute more then taste for seasoning adding Sea Salt or Pepper or more Vinegar or Lemon Juice as needed.  Season to your taste.  Crumble the reserved cooked Bacon and sprinkle on top and serve immediately.

COPYRIGHT (c) 2012


Fortune Cookies are an American invention and something you won't find in China.  This is not so much a recipe as it is a fun edible project with a lot of possiblities.  I've made these and topped Cupcakes with them and also used them as party favors.  You simple buy premade Fortune Cookies and remove the message they come with and add your own message.  Then dip them in Chocolate or White Chocolate and decorate with Candies or colored Sugars.  These would make great wedding favors with special messages inside or for a kid's birthday party.  Maybe you could even give one to someone you want to ask to marry?  When you are Cooking The Amazing your fortune is only a bite away.

Here is the recipe.

15  Fortune Cookies
12 oz.  Chocolate Chips (White or Semi-Sweet)
15  Custom Fortunes Printed
Decorating Sugars and Sprinkles

1.  Use tweezers to remove the fortunes from your Fortune Cookies that were inside already and discard.
2.  Print out on your computer your own fortune or sayings and cut them to fit inside.
3.  Insert the fortunes you made into the Fortune Cookies.
4.  Melt in the microwave in a medium bowl the Chocolate Chips in 30 second intervals stirring with a spoon until melted.  Watch for burning.  The Chips will melt quickly.

5.  Dip 1/2 of the Fortune Cookie into the melted Chocolate and then sprinkle with decorations of your choice.  Allow to dry on wax paper until Chocolate is set.

COPYRIGHT (c) 2012


Polenta is an Italian side dish that has become a great American favorite being served along side delicious main courses like Italian Pot Roast.   Parmesan Polenta is creamy and has an earthy taste that compliments other dishes that have heavy Sauces well.  Use high quality Cheeses for the best flavored Polenta.  Grits and Mush are also basically the same thing as Polenta, boiled Cornmeal.  Call it Polenta and you can charge more the Cornmeal makers figured out.   Bob's Red Mill brand has a good coarse ground Cornmeal that works well in this recipe.  Call it what you want, Polenta is delicious when you are Cooking The Amazing.

Here is the recipe.

5 c  Water
2 t  Fine Grain Sea Salt
1 1/2 c  Coarse Grind Corn Meal (Polenta)
2 c  Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 1/2 c  Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
4 oz  Cream Cheese
1 Stick Of Butter
1 1/4 c  Heavy Cream
1 t  Dried Oregano
1/2 t  Fine Grain Sea Salt
1 t  Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Shaved Parmesan To Garnish

1.  Over high heat bring 5 c of Water to the boil and add 2 t of Sea Salt and stir until dissolved.

2. Add the Corn Meal and stir immediately to avoid lumps.  Turn the heat down to medium-low as soon as you begin to stir.  Stir until the Polenta becomes thick, about 5 minutes.
3.  Continue to cook on medium-low while stirring continuously until the Polenta is soft and cooked, about 7-10 more minutes.
4.  Once soft turn off the heat and stir in the Cheeses, Cream Cheese, Butter, Heavy Cream, Sea Salt, Black Pepper and Oregano until well combined.

5. Taste for seasoning and add more Sea Salt or Pepper as needed.  Serve immediately with shaved Parmesan over the top.

COPYRIGHT (c) 2012