Well, at this point I might as well up and move to Chengdu (the capital of Sichuan): here’s yet another dish with that ma la (“hot and numbing”) flavor. This stir fry involves fermented broad bean paste (available in most Asian markets), which alone would make for one of the most flavor-packed quick meals you’ll have made in quite a while. And I also use Chinese black vinegar for an added funky flavor and Sichuan peppercorns (available online or in Chinese markets) for that mind-opening, mouth-numbing touch.
As with the typical stir fry, the sauce really stands alone as something of its own dish, and the protein and vegetable can be subbed more or less interchangeably. Here I went with head-on shrimp for that authentic Chinese flavor, snow peas and water chestnuts for taste and crunch, and scallions for sweetness and aroma. But you can use whatever you like.
The Magic Bullet does a great job of bringing together the sauce quickly and easily.
Sichuan Shrimp Stir Fry
- 1 cup chicken broth
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp fermented chili bean paste
- 1 Tbsp corn starch
- 1 Tbsp mirin
- 1 Tbsp black vinegar
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp. fresh ginger (jarred or peeled)
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 1 lb shrimp
- 2 cups snow peas
- ½ can water chestnuts
- 5 scallions, sliced
- Vegetable oil
- Blend all the sauce ingredients in the Magic Bullet.
- Heat a dash of vegetable oil over high heat in a wok or large skillet. Add stir fry ingredients except for the scallions and cook until everything is just cooked through, about four minutes. Lower heat to medium-low and add sauce and scallions. Cook until everything is heated through and sauce begins to thicken, about two minutes.
- Serve with rice.
There are some dishes that are great because of balance: sweet and sour, fresh and rich, salty and tangy… you get the idea. This is not one of those dishes. This “salad” (if something that’s a combo of grains and brussels sprouts can be called a salad) has strong flavors that all but whack you in the face. I use high heat on brussels to get them good and crispy, a vinaigrette of fish sauce and lime (from David Chang of the Momofuku empire in NYC), and my newest favorite grain, farro. This whole dish is really good, but the vinaigrette is truly something special: sweet and funky and tangy, your dinner guests will be saying, “What is that?” Nobody will call this dish unassuming.
If you haven’t tried farro, you’re in for a treat: nutty and substantial, high in fiber, it’s like brown rice that developed superpowers and is suddenly ready to win the game. I get it in the bulk bins at Whole Foods.
Brussels-Farro Salad with Fish Sauce Vinaigrette
- 2 lbs brussel sprouts, trimmed and halved
- 1 cup farro
- ½ cup fish sauce
- ¼ cup water
- 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
- juice of 1 lime
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 2 dry hot chile peppers, or use flakes
- Roast brussel sprouts in oven at 450 degrees until crispy, about forty minutes.
- Boil farro in heavily salted water until tender, about thirty minutes.
- Meanwhile, chop garlic in Magic Bullet. Add all remaining ingredients and blend.
- Drain farro and mix with brussels and sauce in a bowl. Serve warm, hot, or cold.
A stir fry is a great dinner project for a fun evening in. This one is easy, fairly quick and very tasty. Because we’re making our own peanut butter here, the Magic Bullet comes into use multiple times throughout this recipe. If you’d prefer or are pressed for time, you can use store-bought peanut butter and skip the first step.
Peanut Stir Fry
For Peanut Sauce:
- 1 cup of peanuts (or ½ cup of peanut butter)
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 garlic clove
- Ginger powder, to taste
- 2 ½ Tbsp oil (peanut, canola or sesame)
- 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 1/3 cup water
- Red pepper flakes, to taste
For Stir Fry:
- 3/4 onion
- ½ pepper
- 1 carrot
- 1 head of broccoli
- ½ roast chicken
- 3/4 package of rice noodles
I’m making my own peanut butter in this recipe. If you’re using store-bought peanut butter, skip the first step.
- Combine peanuts, 1 Tbsp of oil and a pinch of salt in Magic Bullet and blend until creamy.
- In Magic Bullet, with peanut butter, add soy sauce, rice vinegar, 1½ Tbsp oil, slightly chopped garlic clove, ginger powder and red pepper flakes to taste, water and blend until smooth.
- Chop onion, pepper and carrot. Shred chicken.
- Add carrots, peppers, broccoli and oil to wok or large frying pan and sauté.
- Once the vegetables have reduced, add peanut sauce and chicken, with more oil as necessary.
- Add in cooked rice noodles bit by bit.
A perfect meal for a dinner party, fun night in, or for making the following day’s lunch. Serves approximately 3 to 5.
Do you remember loving fudge popsicles during those hot summer days as a kid? Or was it only me? Either way, you are going to love how easy and delicious this fudge popsicle recipe is to make at home with the Magic Bullet. No need to make a mess with melting chocolate, this recipe only requires cocoa powder for a rich, fudgy taste. Only natural ingredients here and no preservatives or artificial colorings. The hardest part is waiting for them to freeze!
- 1 1/3 cups milk
- 1 1/2 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 4 Tbsp sugar
- 1/2 Tbsp butter
- Add all ingredients to your Magic Bullet cup except for the vanilla and butter and blend until well mixed.
- Pour into a small pot and heat over medium heat until the mixture begins to thicken, stirring occasionally to prevent scalding.
- Stir in the butter and vanilla, then remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
- Pour into 4 popsicle molds and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.
Makes 4 popsicles
There are some times when you want unadorned, perfectly-cooked steak, with a crispy salty crust and a warm medium-rare center. And then there are times when you get a little bored of simply cooked steak and want something a little more complex. This is for those other times: a salty, savory, tangy, funky umami sauce to top your perfectly cooked steak (or chicken or pork).
If you’ve never used miso before, this sauce is a great place to start. Miso (fermented soybeans) is a great way to provide salt and depth of flavor without too much else to distract you. Lately, I’ve even seen miso in the Asian section of my regular grocery store. And it takes particularly well to steak, which is sometimes aged and fermented itself to bring out meaty, umami notes. Lime zest also provides a complex, vaguely beguiling layer of flavor.
I’d highly recommend taking advantage of low-sodium versions of soy sauce and butter here, as the miso itself is pretty salty. You can also vary the butter up and down as much as you like; if company is coming, I’d recommend the full-butter version, but I’ve tried it with as little as one-third as much butter and it’s still delicious, albeit less luxurious.
The Magic Bullet does a great job of blending everything together and you can even take advantage of its microwave-safe properties (without the blade attached!) to heat everything up.
Miso Lime Steak Sauce
- 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup miso
- 2 tsp. dry mustard powder
- 1 tsp. brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp. pimento (smoked paprika, or use regular paprika)
- Zest of 1 lime
- 12 Tbsp unsalted butter, cubed and chilled (or use ess)
- Add all ingredients except butter to Magic Bullet. Attach lid without blade and shake. Microwave on high heat for two minutes.
- Add a few cubes of butter and attach blade. Run Bullet until well-blended, then add a few more cubes of butter and repeat.
Everyone loves ice cream. Everyone also loves cookies. Instead of sprinkles, this recipe lets you top your ice cream off with a crumble of your favorite cookie brands. This is also a great opportunity to tidy up a bit by using the remainder of all those almost-empty boxes of cookies in your cupboard – I know you’ve got them.
Super Easy Cookie Crumble
- A collection of your favorite cookies
- Combine cookies into Magic Bullet and blend. Proportions of cookies are based on personal preference
Pack it into a small tupperware after you’re through for future desserts! A small amount of cookies goes a long way with this recipe.
This Peaches ‘n Oats Smoothie is one of my favorite breakfast smoothies! It must be the oats; I love eating them in the morning for breakfast because they’re so filling and keep the hunger away for hours. I like to sprinkle some oats on top when it’s all done.
If you like your smoothies to have more of a chilled, slushy texture, freeze the fresh peaches for at least 45 minutes (or overnight) before adding them to the Magic Bullet cup. With a breakfast smoothie recipe this quick and easy, there is no excuse not to start the day off right!
Peaches ‘n Oats Smoothie
- 1 peach, pitted and sliced
- ½ cup plain yogurt
- ¼ cup milk
- ¼ cup oats
- 1 tsp honey
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- Freeze the peach slices for at least 45 minutes (optional).
- Add all of the ingredients to a Magic Bullet cup and blend until smooth.
- Sprinkle a pinch of oats on the top.
Makes 2 smoothies
Have you ever tried grinding your own spices? I never have before, because I didn’t think I had the appropriate equipment for grinding spices. I have a coffee grinder, but then I’d have spices all over my coffee grinder. It’s a shame there isn’t a blender-like device that’s easy and even dishwasher-safe. Oh, wait.
This is my first foray into Bullet-ground spices and I decided to go for a recipe that really takes advantage of the fragrant flavors of fresh grinding: Sichuan-spiced roast chicken. Sichuan food is one of the world’s most unique and flavorful cuisines, full of interesting and unusual spices. Here, I use pantry staples plus Sichuan peppercorns (available at Chinese grocers or online), toasted in a pan and then ground in the Bullet, for a dish that is spicy and incredibly fragrant and flavorful.
The original recipe over at Serious Eats uses chicken wings, but I found the same flavorful combination worked well with chicken legs for a more dinner-appropriate option. This was a real star: anisey, slightly mouth-tingly from the peppercorns, mildly spicy from dried chili pepper, and bright and citrusy from cilantro and scallions. If you like extra crispy skin, you can do the baking powder step; still great either way.
Sichuan-Spiced Roast Chicken
Adapted from Serious Eats
- 4 chicken legs
- 1 Tbsp baking powder (optional)
- 1 Tbsp whole cumin seed
- 1 tsp. whole fennel seed
- 2 dried red chili peppers (or use 1 Tbsp flakes)
- 1 Tbsp whole Sichuan peppercorns, seeds removed
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- small bunch cilantro, chopped (leaves and stems)
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced
- kosher salt
- Optional: the night before, cover chicken with baking powder and kosher salt and leave uncovered in the fridge overnight. (If you don’t do this, just cover the chicken with kosher salt before roasting it.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. When hot, put chicken on a broiler pan and cook for twenty minutes. Flip and cook until cooked through, about twenty more minutes
- Meanwhile, combine spices in a small pan over medium-low heat. Cook until fragrant, about one minute, then add to Magic Bullet and blend just a few times until everything is roughly ground, but not too fine.
- When the chicken is done, toss everything in a big bowl and serve.
There’s no contest: roasted cauliflower and broccoli are far superior to their raw counterparts. So why not combine them in a delicious roasted mash? To sweeten the mash, I’ve included roasted apple, as well, for a delightfully unexpected twist.
Broccoli Cauliflower Apple Mash
- 1 head of Cauliflower
- 1 head of Broccoli
- 1 apple
- Chop broccoli, cauliflower and apple. Add to baking tray with oil and salt.
- Roast in oven at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, or until brown.
- Combine in Magic bullet and blend.
Enjoy as a healthy alternative to mashed potatoes, or just as a new and unique side dish!
This spinach dumpling recipe is a fun way to sneak your greens in! I easily get bored with eating vegetables plain and I’m always looking for new ways to get them in my diet. These spinach dumplings use a lot of spinach, but you’d never know it!
One large bag of fresh spinach makes about 20 small dumplings, which is a one person serving. The fresh spinach leaves are wilted in a pan on the stove, then the excess water is squeezed out before they are blended with bread crumbs, flour, cheese and egg and boiled into dumplings. You can serve them with just about any sauce you like, or drizzle some olive oil over the top and dust with sage.
- 8 oz (1/2 pound) fresh spinach leaves
- 2 Tbsp water
- 4 oz ricotta
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp. pepper
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- Olive oil for garnish
- Sage for garnish
- In a skillet, bring the 2 Tbsp water to a boil and add the spinach. Turn the heat to low and stir occasionally until the leaves are wilted.
- Use paper towels to squeeze out all of the water – it is very important that all of the water is squeezed out of the spinach!
- Add the spinach, ricotta cheese, egg, bread crumbs, flour, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg to a Magic Bullet cup or pitcher and pulse a few times until you get an even mixture. Do not over-blend.
- On a heavily floured surface, roll handfuls of the dough at a time into logs and cut into small pieces.
- Bring a pot of salted water to boil, then add the dumplings and cook for 3 minutes, until they float to the top.
- Dry on a paper towel and sprinkle with olive oil and sage.
Makes 1 cup