Kate's Cuisine

Oct 20 2016

Go Lo Yuk (Sweet and Sour Pork)


I had no idea what yuk meant in Cantonese speak before doing this recipe, but I could only assume that it meant pork, or at least, sweet, or maybe even, sour. I mean, it can’t actually mean the same thing it means in English. Who would name a dish after that?! But, this is a sweet and sour pork recipe, so it only makes sense that  yuk would mean at least one of those things, right? Well, it doesn’t.

In Cantonese, yuk actually means “roast meat”, which is odd, since this meat is actually deep fried, like most other sweet and sour pork recipes.  After deep-frying, you can leave the meat as is to keep its crispy, crunchy texture, and serve the sauce on the side for dipping; but I like to throw the meat right into the sauce for that truly Chinese take-out element. Also, doing it that way lets me cook the pork in the morning and just warm it through in the sauce at dinnertime. And those make-ahead meals that can be pulled together right at dinnertime are some of my favourite kinds.

For the sweet and sour pork batter:

  • 1 pound boneless pork loin, cut into 1″ pieces $5.89
  • 2 large eggs, beaten $0.40
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch $1.08
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour $0.03
  • 1/4 cup water Free, with your water bill!

For the sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons water Free with your water bill!
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup $0.09
  • 1 small can of pineapple pieces, with juice $1.99
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar $0.05
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce $0.08
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce $0.05
  • 2 tablespoons sugar $0.02
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced $0.02
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced $0.05


  • 1 red bell pepper, cut in a large dice $0.71
  • 1 orange bell pepper, cut in a large dice $0.71
  • 2 cups vegetable oil, for frying, plus 1 tablespoon $2.25
  • Coarse salt, for sprinkling $0.01

Total cost $13.43
Cost per serving $3.35

1.) Prepare the batter.In a medium bowl, stir together the eggs, cornstarch, and flour. Add the water slowly, and add just enough that you get the batter to a consistency that will coat the pork. Add the pork and stir gently to coat. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes.

2.) Prepare the sauce. In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the water, ketchup, pineapple juice, rice vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and sugar. Set over high heat and bring to a boil then, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sauce is reduced slightly, about 15 minutes. Set aside.

3.) Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven (or a wok) over medium-high heat until it reaches a temperature of 350 degrees Fahrenheit (or until bubbles form along a wooden spoon that’s held in place in the oil). Working in 2 or 3 batches, place some pork cubes into the hot oil and fry until golden brown on the outside and the pork is cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the pork using a slotted spoon and place on paper towels. Sprinkle lightly with coarse salt. Continue with the remaining pork.

4.) Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large wok or frying pan set over medium-high heat. When hot, add the bell peppers, sprinkle with salt, and stir-fry for about 5 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for another 20 seconds. Add the pineapple and the sauce and stir to coat the vegetables.

5.) Let the sauce simmer for 2 to 3 minutes to allow the pineapple to become tender. Return pork to the frying pan or wok with the sauce, and stir to coat. Leave in the pan for a few minutes, just so the pork can warm through.

6.) Serve and enjoy!

Oct 17 2016

Harvard Beets


Harvard beets are a funny thing. They’re kind of like pickled beets, but instead of being simmered in a pickling liquid and served cold, they’re quickly run through a warm gastrique and served hot. I spent some time trying to find out why these particular beets are known as Harvard beets, but my search was in vain. I still don’t know how this dish got its name, but I can only guess it’s because some Harvard genius served pickled beets warm one day and, rather than admit their mistake, simply gave them a new name. What I do know is that they’re damned good!

  • 4 beets, scrubbed and trimmed $1.00
  • 3/4 cup white sugar $0.15
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar $0.27
  • 1/4 cup water Free, with your water bill!
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil $0.18
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch $0.27
  • Salt, to taste $0.01

Total cost $1.88
Cost per serving $0.47

1.) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

2.) Toss the beets with the olive oil and a bit of salt. Individually wrap each beet with aluminum foil and, when the oven is hot, place inside and bake for 45 minutes to one hour, until the beets are fork-tender. When beets are finished, unwrap the foil and let cool for just a minute or so. When cool enough to handle, slip the skin off the beets. If you wait too long, as the beets cool, that skin will tighten up and cling to the flesh once again so it’s easiest if you do this as soon as you can.

2.) Once the beets are peeled, slice them about 1/4″ thick, if using large beets or, slice in half if using smaller beets.

3.) Place the water in a medium-sized saucepan and add to it the sugar, vinegar, cornstarch, and a pinch of salt. Whisk to mix and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and let simmer until the sauce is thickened.

4.) Add the sliced beets to the sauce in the pan and stir to mix through. Cook for another 5 minutes or so, just until the beets are heated through.

5.) Serve and enjoy!

Oct 12 2016

Bruschetta Stuffed Peppers


Peppers were on sale at the grocery store the other day. A huge bag of about 8 or 9 peppers sat right beside a bag of about 3 or 4. While reaching for the smaller bag, a produce worker saw me and suggested I opt for the bigger bag – it’s a great deal after all! No, no, I insisted, I only need the small bag. But, I wasn’t strong enough. She talked me into the bigger bag, convincing me I simply didn’t have a brain if I didn’t choose that one.

I wasn’t sure about the purchase, and only became more unsure as I took the bag home and stared at it, wondering what in heck I was going to do with all these peppers. Then, in what can only be described as a stroke of genius, I had it! Stuffed peppers, of course! But I already had my main all set for the night, and stuffed peppers are a bit much for a side dish. Ah, of course! Don’t stuff them full of rice and meat, but instead, use something lighter, like say, a beautiful bruschetta mix? Perfect. I guess I should give into produce pressure a little more often.

  • 4 bell peppers $2.80
  • 4 medium-sized tomatoes, chopped $1.20
  • 1 onion, finely diced $0.47
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves, chopped $1.99
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced $0.03
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil $0.09
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese $0.75
  • Salt $0.01
  • Pepper $0.01

Total cost $7.35
Cost per serving $1.83

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice peppers in half and remove ribs and seeds.

2.) In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, basil leaves, garlic, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, taste, and adjust seasoning if necessary.

3.) Place a small handful of the bruschetta mix into each pepper, filling them up as much as you can. Sprinkle a bit of Parmesan cheese over top of each pepper and bruschetta mix, and place in the oven.

4.) Bake stuffed peppers for about 30 minutes, until peppers have slightly softened and bruschetta mix is hot throughout.

5.) Serve and enjoy!

Oct 06 2016

Salted Caramel Popcorn


Is there anything better than caramel? I mean, really, I’d argue that it’s even better than chocolate. After all, we don’t try to get our roasts and vegetables to chocolatize now, do we? No, we want them to caramelize, because only then do you get the buttery, sugary tastiness that only comes from caramel and almost-burnt sugar.

Making salted caramel popcorn is a bit of work, but it’s so worth it. And it’s really more time-consuming than it is manual labour, but at the end of it all you’ll be able to sit back and munch away on a huge bowl filled with salty/sweet snacks. Caramel popcorn balls also make for great teacher’s gifts; not to mention that Halloween is coming up, for those who need to bring party treats. If you want your popcorn to be more caramel-y than salty, just leave out the dusting of salt at the end, and reduce the salt in the caramel sauce to just half a teaspoon.

  • 10 – 12 cups popped popcorn $1.82
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter $1.50
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar $0.19
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract $0.03
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt, divided $0.02
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda $0.01

Total cost $3.57
Cost per serving $0.44

1.) Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2.) Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Mix in the sugar and stir until the sugar is slightly moistened. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, boil for 3 – 4 minutes, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the pan to ensure the mixture does not burn.

3.) Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the vanilla, 1 teaspoon of salt, and baking soda. The mixture will likely bubbly violently at this point, just keep stirring carefully until a smooth, glossy sauce is formed.

4.) Place the popcorn into a large bowl and pour the caramel sauce over top. Using your hands (if the sauce is cool enough) or two large spoons, stir the popcorn to ensure it gets completely coated with the caramel sauce.

5.) Distribute the popcorn evenly between the two baking sheets. Place in the preheated oven and bake for about one hour, stirring every now and then to break up any clumps.

6.) Remove popcorn from oven and immediately sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir to thoroughly combine. Let popcorn cool completely before serving or storing in an airtight container for up to one week.

7.) Serve and enjoy!

Oct 04 2016

Prime Rib with Yorkshire Pudding and Au Jus


Okay, so I over-cooked the Prime Rib in this recipe. Trust me, I was much more disappointed than you. Luckily, I already have Prime Rib on the site (just follow the link to see that I can cook it properly!) and so this post was really to focus on the Yorkshire Pudding and Au Jus – two things that any Prime Rib dinner needs.

Before this, I had made Yorkshire pudding before. Or rather, I had made the batter for Yorkshire pudding before – every Thursday morning at the restaurant. Chef Rob was always the one to actually make them, I think he liked the show they put on when they all bubble and sizzle away as you pour the batter into that piping hot pan. When I made mine at home (and was able to enjoy the show myself,) they didn’t rise as much as I would have liked, but they were very tasty and I still think they turned out better than this particular Prime Rib did.

For the prime rib:

  • 1 standing rib roast, about 4 ribs $23.50
  • Lots of salt $0.01
  • Lots of freshly ground black pepper $0.01

For the Yorkshire pudding:

  • 4 large eggs $0.80
  • 1 1/2 cups milk $0.44
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt $0.01
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour $0.21
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, or beef drippings $0.12

For the Au Jus:

  • 6 cups beef stock $3.00
  • 1/2 cup red wine $2.50
  • 1 onion, halved $0.47
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed $0.03
  • 2 sprigs thyme $0.50
  • Salt $0.01
  • Pepper $0.01

Total cost $31.62
Cost per serving $5.27

1.) Remove the prime rib from the fridge and leave wrapped at room temperature for about 3 hours. This ensures that the entire piece of meat will come to room temperature, which will ensure even cooking.

2.) Make the Yorkie batter at least two hours before you’re going to make the Yorkies. You can even make it two to three days ahead of time. The point is that the batter needs to be very cold, so that when it hits the hot pan, the Yorkies puff up. To make the batter, place all of the Yorkie ingredients (except for the vegetable oil or beef drippings) into a blender. Blend to fully incorporate all ingredients, scraping down the sides, if necessary. Place the blender pitcher into the fridge and leave for two hours. I recommend just leaving it in the blender, as this will make it easier to pour later.

3.) Preheat the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and generously sprinkle roast with salt and pepper. Place the prime rib, fat side up, in a roasting pan and place in the oven.

4.) Allow the prime rib to cook in the extremely hot oven for 15 minutes and then, without opening the door, turn the heat down to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Roast for 15 – 17 minutes per pound for medium-rare, and 13 – 15 minutes per pound for rare. Remove from oven after cooking time, cover with foil, and let rest for about 20 minutes to half an hour.

5.) When the prime rib is finished resting, carve the meat off the bones and slice as you normally would.

6.) After the prime rib is finished cooking, turn the heat on the oven up to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and place about divide the vegetable oil or beef drippings evenly among the 12 cups in a muffin tin. Place in the hot oven and let the fat get very hot (almost to the point of smoking).

7.) While you’re waiting for the oil to get hot, place all of the ingredients for the au jus into a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until it’s reduced by half. Strain and discard vegetables and herbs before serving.

8.) Open oven door and pull out the entire oven rack holding the muffin tin for the Yorkies. Pour the Yorkie batter into the muffin cups, filling them about 3/4 of the way full. The batter will sizzle and hiss – that’s exactly what you want.

9.) Gently slide the oven door back in and bake the Yorkies for 15 – 20 minutes, until they are golden, crispy, and puffy. Do not open the door while the Yorkies are cooking, or they could collapse. Treat them as you would a souffle and only take peeks through the door!

10.) Serve and enjoy!

Oct 02 2016

Tammy’s Chicken Tortellini Soup


So this week I’ve brought you a couple of recipes that I got from friends – check out Sheila’s Fancy Potatoes and Jaime’s French Onion Pork Chops in case you missed them. So today, I thought I would bring some family in to join in on the fun.

My sister-in-law, Tammy, gave this Chicken Tortellini Soup recipe to me via Recipebook. Uh, I mean Facebook, but hasn’t it turned into just one big recipe exchange? (Something I’m all for, by the way). The soup actually calls to be cooked in the slow cooker, but since I had no chicken stock in the house, I had to make that first and that took up most of my slow-cooking time. I also used chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts, as the day I went to the grocery store they were trying to squeeze $20 out of us for 4 chicken breasts. $5 for a raw piece of chicken?! It’s a good thing everyone in my family prefers dark meat to white anyway.

And it’s a great thing that Tammy’s my sister-in-law! Not only do I get some awesome recipes, but she’s pretty cool, too.

  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, chopped into bite-size pieces (about 3/4″) $7.75
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil $0.03
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced $0.51
  • 3 stalks celery, diced $0.33
  • 1 onion, diced $0.47
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced $0.03
  • 6 cups chicken broth $3.00
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme $0.25
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary $0.33
  • 2 bay leaves $0.32
  • 2 cups cheese tortellini $2.99
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped $0.30
  • Salt $0.01
  • Pepper $0.01

Total cost $16.33
Cost per serving $3.26

1.) Preheat a large Dutch oven or stock pot over medium-high heat. When hot, add the oil and after a few seconds of letting the oil heat up, add the chicken thigh pieces. Let chicken cook for a about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2.) Add the carrot, celery, and onion to the chicken in the pan, along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for about 3 minutes, then add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.

3.) Add the chicken broth, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper and bring the soup up to a boil. Once the soup is boiling, turn heat down to medium-low and simmer for about 20 minutes.

4.) Add the tortellini at the end of cooking time (this will help prevent it from turning to mush) and cook for about 15 minutes.

5.) Remove bay leaves and thyme and rosemary sprigs. Taste soup and adjust seasoning if necessary. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and stir through.

6.) Serve and enjoy!

Sep 29 2016

Jaime’s French Onion Pork Chops


I told you my friends give me good recipes, didn’t I? This one came to me from my good friend, Jaime, who’s just as crazy about food as I am, and is one of those people that takes pictures of their food and puts it up on Facebook. Just like I am!!!

When she posted these French Onion Pork Chops, my mouth started watering and I knew I had to make them. The recipe Jaime gave me wasn’t anything like I suspected it would be, but I did follow it to a tee and I suggest you do, too. It’s scrumptious and comforting, and everything a pork chop recipe should be.

  • 4 – 5 boneless pork chops $7.15
  • Big chunk of butter (I think I used about 1/4 cup) $0.22
  • 4 – 5 medium-sized potatoes, sliced thinly as you would for scalloped potatoes $1.05
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced $0.47
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.02
  • 1 package dry onion soup mix $2.39
  • 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded $2.50
  • 2 cups water Free!

Total cost $13.80
Cost per serving $3.45

1.) Melt butter in a frying pan set over medium-high heat. Place pork chops in and fry for about 3 minutes on each side, just until they get nicely seared. Remove from frying pan and place on a separate plate.

2.) Add the potato and onions slices to the same pan and toss, cooking for about 2 minutes. Add the garlic, stir, and cook for another 30 seconds.

3.) Spread the potatoes out evenly in the pan and place pork chops over top of them. Sprinkle soup mix over top of all contents in the pan and add water to the pan (I tried not to splash it over the pork chops so that the seasoning stayed on them).

4.) Turn heat to low and simmer until pork chops are completely cooked through, and potatoes are soft.

5.) Turn heat off and distribute the cheese evenly between the pork chops. Let sit until the cheese is melted (I placed a lid over my pan just to help speed along the melting process).

6.) Serve and enjoy!

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