Jan 31, 2011

Mushroom Bacon Risotto

My friend Ran has made me risotto twice. Both times were so good the food went away in one night. Recently, I bought some portabella mushrooms from sam's club and some bacon. They lived in my fridge for a while until yesterday when I decided to try making risotto on my own.

For this recipe you'll need:

1 (8-16 oz) bag of grated cheese (italian varieties would do best)
1 package bacon
5-6 cups rice
3-4 large portabella mushrooms (diced)
3 quarts stock (chicken or beef, i went with chicken)
3 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 onions (1 red, 1 white, diced)
salt and pepper
olive oil

Put stock in pot. Add white onion diced and portabella mushrooms. Add some pepper and maybe olive oil for flavor. Don't worry about salt for now. Let simmer until broth is nicely brown and taken up flavors of mushrooms. Take out mushrooms and onions. Broth is ready.

Take bacon, cut slices into one inch strips and toss into a frying pan (nonstick, ideally). Turn heat to med to med high. Fry until bacon fat leaks out of bacon into the pan. Take out bacon, place into bowl. Leave fat. Take rinsed rice (ideally mostly dry) and toss into bacon fat. Coat all of rice and cook slowly over heat. When everything looks dry, ladle/spoon in 1/2 - 1 cup of broth. Stir into rice. Cook until all broth gone. Repeat with another 1/2-1 cup of broth. You want just enough that every bit of rice get a little but not so much that you're rice turns mushy. It's very important your rice stays fairly dry and simply sucks in the moisture.

Note: During the cooking processes my friend Ran is often heard yelling at the rice, "Thirsty aren't you? Well, you're not getting any water. Wait wait. Ok, fine, here's some broth. But mwahahahah! You don't get enough! Yes, nice and dry and you're cook nicely." Well, something like that. He tends to sound a bit more bad-ass and less crazy.

Anyway, back to the recipe. Once the rice is cooked through (taste it to see if it feels right? should be sticky but have individual kernels and not too mushy),we can add the other stuff. If you have too much broth left, you can make another batch of rice (use olive oil since you don't have bacon fat, but bacon fat proves better flavor). If you run out and the rice isn't cooked, you can add some water or stock to cook it more. When adding the remaining ingredients, toss in the mushrooms and cooked onions first. They can afford to be soggy since they already are. Cook off excess moisture. Then, crush the bacon and add it to the rice followed by the nicely diced red onions, garlic, rosemary, and thyme. Lastly, stir in cheese until the risottos makes your mouth water. Scoop out onto bowls and serve.

Not really sure how many this serves. I think it depends on how hungry people are. :D Hope you enjoy! I think the batch I made is enough for 5-6 meals on my own. I hope.


P.S. I think maybe this can be called Ran-paging Mushroom Risotto. Or something like that. Ran's random nicknames make me laugh. 

Jan 19, 2011

Country White Bread

Back in October, I was in Seattle and my best friend took me to this french bakery. It had the most amazing white bread! It was all nice and soft and crusty and chewy with good yeasty flavor. Ever since then, I've CRAVED good white bread, well kneaded, perfectly chewy.

I looked at many places and I couldn't find a bread that was both wonderfully sweet and chewy and not dry. So, what did I do? I tried to find a recipe online. This was the recipe I found:

2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast (4 teaspoon does the trick if you're like me and have yeast in bulk)
2 cups warm water (110 degrees to 115
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon salt
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil (maybe 1/2 cup, the other 1/4 cup for oiling the dough to prevent it from sticking)
6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (you might need 7 when you add what you use for kneading)
In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add sugar, salt, eggs, oil and 3 cups of flour; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 to 8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch dough down. Divide in half and shape into loaves. Place in two greased 9-in. x 5-in. x 3-in loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to cool on wire racks.

Jan 16, 2011

Banana Bread

I made banana bread yesterday! :D

I really like my banana bread recipe. I found it online 3 years ago and no longer remember where I got it. I can't even find it anymore. Anyway, the first time I made it was when I wanted to get rid of a bunch of old bananas. I had enough to make a double batch, so I tried to do that. When I was making it, I remembered to double everything except the flour and didn't realize it until I decided to make the recipe again. After some experimentation, I came up with the following recipe:

Mad Hao Guru's Banana Bread Recipe :)
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
3-5 large  ripe bananas, mashed (the more bananas the better the flavor; I like black bananas unfrozen that I mush by hand)
1 – 1.5 cups all-purpose flour (I use 1.25 when I make a double batch, but it really doesn’t matter THAT much, try to scale it in proportion to the bananas when you find a good ratio)
1 teaspoon baking soda (sometimes I add just ½ per loaf because it makes it a bit more dense)
1/2 teaspoon salt

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease an 8x4 inch loaf pan.
2) In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Beat in the egg and mashed bananas. Mix in flour, baking soda and salt just until combined. Pour into prepared loaf pan.
3) Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. If top begins to brown too quickly, decrease heat slightly. Center should be soft and chewy, while the outside, crisp and crunchy.

Jan 10, 2011

In Winter, In Our Garden

One of my favorite things about going home to my parents' house is their garden. Growing up, my parents always complained how veggies from the grocery stores were just  not as tasty as home grown veggies. I listened to them, only half believing. At that time, we lived in some apartments near the university where my dad received a PhD in paleontology. Over the years of my childhood, we would move twice, each time to a larger apartment within a block or so of the previous one. Back then, my parents talked about good fresh food often and as a family we dreamed of having a back yard.

My dad called having a small piece of land for a veggie garden his American Dream. That was all he asked for: a piece of land to grow his food and enough room to make home made sausages and dried meats. I'm glad he got that after so many years of living in a crammed apartment -- mostly for my sake.

When I'm home, I like to look though the breakfast area windows at the garden. I like how I can see the tool shed where my parents put the pork to chill overnight before we make the sausages. I like focusing my eyes on the screen and taking in the blur of colors from the garden. Sometimes I would think about rain hitting those windows. I insisted we get window seats so I could sit and read on rainy days.

Jan 1, 2011


I got bored today and randomly started following JK Rowling on twitter. Utterly disappointing because she doesn't ever tweet. However, I did visit her webpage and came across this:

Uric the Oddball was known for wearing a JELLYFISH on his head... It's a bit too amazing not to share and the main reason I'm blogging right now at all.

That reminds me of someone I know:

Is it so weird that I wear an octopus on my head? He makes me more photogenic, I swear! Anyway, this picture was taken about 4 or 5 years ago. I still have the octopus, he still sometimes sits on my head. Go figure.

Anyway, I think this is the best time to explain the name of this blog. I think it is clear why I consider myself mad. "But, what's with the guru thing?" you ask.

It's rather simple. Hao rhymes with Cow; I say Moooo all the time; and cows are awesome (and delicious). Not to mention something about the cows with guns flash video made me happy. I especially like the line about the great cow guru. I liked the sound of MadHaoGuru and realized it wasn't too self important because the acknowledging madness negates the prideful use of the word guru. Also, who else is better at explaining Mad Haos than Mad Hao herself? Hence, I am the MadHaoGuru. :)


Reverb10 (31)

December 31 – Core Story
What central story is at the core of you, and how do you share it with the world? (Bonus: Consider your reflections from this month. Look through them to discover a thread you may not have noticed until today.)

Honestly? I think the most interesting story and the story that partially really explains a lot of who I am is my relationship with my parents. I share it with people who I think need to know by talking about it and talking through things. I share, but usually in spurts and pieces. I don't know if it's something I'm willing to post on a public blog like this one.

Anyway, enough with answering questions.