Monday, March 29, 2010

Korean Style Barbecue

I have blogged before about the fact that I purchase my beef in bulk from a local farmer. I purchase Piedmontese Beef,which is range fed and free roaming. This beef is naturally lean and cooks much faster than typical beef. I have absolutely loved this beef, and have had great success with it. I will say however, that I had a bit of an issue with the short ribs last time I cooked them....yes I have issues with food...pretty regularly. When I cooked them last time, I braised them with wine, carrots, celery, onion (you get the idea), and they were not super tender and they lacked in taste...they were just boring. So, for the last couple of months, every time I have looked in the freezer and have seen the other package of short ribs, I have pretty much pretended they were not there.
I remembered having short ribs at a Korean restaurant, and just loved them...so I thought I would try to recreate those flavors.
Kalbi or galbi is a Korean dish made with marinated short ribs. The marinade usually consists of soy sauce, sugar and garlic. This dish is a slight variation on the traditional version. Instead of marinading the ribs, they are slow cooked in the sauce. It is very similar a barbecue sauce. If you would rather, you can marinade the ribs in the sauce for 24 hours and then grill them on medium heat for an hour. The results are not as fall off the bone tender, but the marinade does make them flavorful and tender. If you do choose to prepare them the traditional way, be sure to cook the marinade down to a thick barbecue to serve along side.

Tonight's short ribs were served with garlic mashed red potatoes and honey wasabi glazed peas and carrots....deeelish.
KOREAN STYLE SHORT RIBS

8 short ribs
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup onion chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons garlic, minced
1/4 cup bell pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt

In a heavy skillet, brown the ribs in the vegetable oil. Meanwhile, combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl.
Place Ribs in a crock pot, and pour the sauce over them. Cook on Medium high for four hours. Ribs should be tender. The only issue I have with crock pot cooking, is that the juice tends to be a bit excessive for me, and because there is sesame oil in the marinade it does have an oil skim on the top.However, the ribs come out very tender and flavorful.
Typically, when you order Kalbi, it is rolled up in a crisp lettuce leaf with some rice, like a taco, with kimchi on the side.
Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Fasta Pasta

I spent the day yesterday cleaning up flower beds and making room for the hyacinths and tulips forcing their way towards the sun. It was so beautiful, and it wasn't long before I had stripped off my jacket and was working in short sleeves. When I finished cleaning up and went inside, the sun disappeared behind the clouds, and before long it was raining...sleeting...lightly snowing...and I again was freezing. But it's all good, because this morning, the sun is shining and once again the temperature is rising, indicating what we are all anxiously awaiting...SPRING.
I thought you might enjoy this yummy recipe for Spring Pasta. Something about an abundance of vegetables makes me think of spring. You can substitute shrimp for the chicken or leave out meat all together. Although it has a cream sauce, it is lightened up by the lemon and fresh tomatoes on top. It, like the warm weather yesterday, is a hint of the good things yet to come.

2 chicken breasts, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 1/2 cup broccoli florets
1 1/2 cup asparagus, chopped
1 cup carrots, sliced thin
1 cup corn
1 cup tomato, seeded and diced
1/4 cup white wine
4 Tablespoons butter
2 cups skim milk, or cream
1/2 cup provolone, shredded, or Parmesan
zest and juice of half a lemon
salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
one package of capellini pasta (angel hair), cooked al dente

In a heavy saute pan, over high heat, saute the onion, garlic, carrot, and chicken with the olive oil. Cook until chicken is just cooked, about eight minutes or so. Douse the pan with white wine, and cook for one minute more. Remove contents from pan and set aside.
Reduce heat to medium. Make a simple white sauce by melting the butter in the same pan and whisk in the flour. After the flour has cooked for thirty seconds or so, add the milk slowly, whisking constantly until sauce is smooth. Cook while stirring constantly for two minutes and then stir in the cheese. Do not let mixture come to a boil, but rather keep at a simmer. Add the chicken mixture back in as well as the broccoli, asparagus and corn. Add the spices and lemon and then toss with the pasta.
Top with fresh tomatoes.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Kiss me I'm Irish...not

Although, there is not a lick of Irish Check Spellingcoursing through my veins, my family has always celebrated St. Patrick's Day. Of course, we wear green so we don't get pinched, and I color the milk green before I pour it over my kids cereal...but I most look forward to dinner time. Corned beef and cabbage may rate as one of my top five meals. I absolutely love it. There was a time I failed to understand why some people don't enjoy this tradition...but then I had some bad versions. Now I understand. My husband cringed the first time I announced we would be having corned beef, until he tried my version. Now, I can't guarantee you will love it...but you should give it a try.... it is a far cry from the boiled and flavorless recipes that so many grew up on.
4 pound corned beef brisket
1 can Guinness beer
2 bay leaves
2 Tablespoons mustard seed
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon allspice
1 cup carrots, diced
1 cup onion, diced
Thoroughly wash the prepared brisket. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a heavy baking dish, place the corned beef fat side up. Pour the beer over the meat and put the rest of the ingredients in. Cover with foil and place in oven. Reduce temperature to 325 degrees. Bake for four hours until the meat is tender. Remove the meat from the dish and pour the contents of the dish into a heavy stock pot. Turn the oven back up to 400 degrees.

6 medium white potatoes or Yukon gold
1 cabbage cut into sixths

Place the potatoes in the stock pot whole and add just enough water to cover. Bring potatoes to a boil for ten minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add the cabbage. Cover the pot and let cook for ten minutes. Remove from pot and serve with the brisket.

3 tablespoon stone ground mustard
3 Tablespoons orange juice
¼ cup brown sugar

Meanwhile, place the meat back in the baking dish fat side down (or you can remove the fat cap). Pat the brown sugar onto the top of the brisket. Mix the mustard and orange juice together and spread over the sugar. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for five minutes before slicing.
I like to drizzle a bit of malt vinegar over my cabbage and eat my Corned beef with a bit of Dijon. It is salty and sweet and tender as can be. I hope you give it a try. Enjoy!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Soup's On!

March came "in" like a lamb this year, but today proved it was a Lion. It has gusted, it has blown, it has dribbled, drizzled, sleeted, and snowed...and it is soooo cold! The ground is covered in inches of beautiful snow. But our consolation is that it is a spring storm and the sun will melt it all away tomorrow.
But for tonight, I will leave you with a warm and fuzzy soup. One that will fill your belly and keep you warm until spring is here to stay.

Baked Potato Soup
4 large potatoes, baked
6 slices bacon, chopped
1 cup onion
1 Tablespoon garlic
4 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
3 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 can diced chilies
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
In a heavy bottomed pot, saute the bacon until cooked but not crisp. Next, add the butter, onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes. Add the flour and mix in completely, stirring over medium heat for a minute before adding the milk and sour cream. Next, add the vegetable stock and stir until creamy and smooth. reduce heat to a simmer and add the cheeses.
I usually just cook the potatoes in the microwave, unless i have baked potatoes earlier in the week and then I just throw a couple extra in. Cut the potatoes in half and scoop out the centers into the cream. Don't break up the potato too much. Add the remaining ingredient and simmer for an additional fifteen minutes. Serve with shredded cheese and fresh bread.

How easy was that! Enjoy...and stay warm.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner......BERTOLLI

I don't know about you, but the months after the Holiday season are a bit depressing for me. Of course I love the frills, trees, food, and festivities...but my favorite part of the season is the mailbox. Seriously, I can barely wait to trudge through he snow to be met by all colorful greeting from around the world. It's like getting a little visit from those I love. So, when January comes around...I am sad. I am met with junk mail and bills.....
When the doorbell rang the other day, I was surprised to find the FedEx man standing there with a package. OOOOh Happy Day!!! I ran to the kitchen and quickly opened the box to find this waiting for me:
Cool packaging hugh? Bertolli! The package was part of the Bertolli and the Foodbuzz Tastemakers program. As part of the program, I sometimes get to try out cool new flavors from Foodbuzz's partners. Click on the Foodbuzz window to the right--}} and join...if you do, you can hang out with me and tons of other talented foodies virtually! And when you join, be sure to go to the Bertolli page and become a fan.
A beautifully packaged bottle of Four Cheese Rosa and Arrabbiata pasta sauces. I was so excited by the Arrabbiata sauce, as it is a spicy tomato and red pepper sauce. We all know how much I love a little kick in the pants! I could barely wait to try out these new sauces. So I called a few friends and had Friday Pizza Night. I made my home made pizza dough that rised so beautifully in the oven. The recipe for the dough is at the bottom of the post.Now the Arrabiatta sauce screamed sausage to me, so I answered the call..and threw in some red onion, fresh red peppers, black olives, and fresh buffalo mozzarella. I used a spicy Italian sausage...yummy.
The second pizza, I made for my little brother, Andy....at least that was my intention. He loves a chicken pizza with white sauce. So I topped the Four Cheese Rosa with spinach, green olives, black olives, artichoke hearts, bell peppers, mushrooms, buffalo mozzarella, and chicken tossed with fresh pesto.
And in the oven they went.....


The Four Cheese Rosa,was decadent, I'm not much for creamy pasta sauces, but this will be an exception. That pizza I made for my brother....well, I kind of ate more!The sauce is a creamy rose colored sauce...pretty. It consists of tomatoes, fresh cream, Romano, Aged Asiago, Parmesan and Ricotta cheeses. I would have enjoyed all of the pizza's ingredients tossed with the sauce and served over pasta just as well. I am going to name this pizza THE BLUSHING CHICKEN
The Arrabiatta, was wonderful. Don't be worried that it is too spicy...it's not. I still added pepper flakes to the pizza. If you love roasted peppers and tomatoes, you will love this sauce...the flavors were rich and complimented the sausage perfectly. I am going to name this on THE DIABLITA
Now, I know some of you are surprised that even used a bottled pasta sauce, as I typically don't. I really do cook pretty much everything from scratch. But, when I do find something that tastes fabulous and can cut a bit of time...I make some exceptions. I have enjoyed other flavors such as the Tomato Basil sauce and the Vodka sauce.
Pizza night was an absolute success. There wasn't a crumb of pizza left over.

PIZZA DOUGH
1 cup wrist-temperature water
1 package (2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
pinch of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of olive oil (plus extra for the bowl)
1 ½ cups unbleached white flour
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
OR
3 cups unbleached four
1 Tablespoon Italian herbs
Extra flour for kneading
Cornmeal for the baking tray


Place the water in a medium-large bowl. Sprinkle in the yeast and sugar, and stir to dissolve. Let it stand 5 minutes, or until the mixture begins to bubble.
Stir in 1 cup of flour, the salt, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Beat for several minutes with a wooden spoon.
Add the spices and remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, mixing after each addition. The dough will be soft but should not be sticky.
Turn out onto a floured surface, and knead for several minutes. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let the dough rise until doubled in bulk. This will take about 1 hour.
Punch down the dough, and return it to the floured surface. (This is the point at which you can freeze the dough for future use.)
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Roll and stretch the dough into one large pizza round or 6 small pizzas. If you want to make a pizza bread sticks that will work too. Reduce heat to 450 degrees and bake 10 minutes.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Picture not so Perfect

So...there are some things I am fabulous at, some things I am moderately competent at, some things I am just barely good at, and some things I just plain stink at.....I have come to accept that I cannot take good photos. I used to blame my old camera (the kind with film) and then I got one of those new fangled digital cameras. But alas, the pictures were none the better. Years passed and many terrible photos were taken and I blamed the camera. For my birthday, I received a brand new, top of the line, any idiot could use digital camera! But unfortunately, when they created this particular camera they didn't consider me.

EXHIBIT A:

I need to point out the fact that it was not snowing when I took this picture.

EXHIBIT B:

Extra points if you know what this picture is of. Moving target too fast for me.


EXHIBIT C:

Darling moment of my little cowgirl at a horse show...out of focus of course.

EXHIBIT D:

Totally cool bug....ended up being a totally buggin' picture instead.

The point I am trying to get to is that I am not a good photographer. I do try...I just am not good at it. So unfortunately, the food is the victim. The picture below of this delicious Mexican Lasagna just doesn't do it justice. But don't take it out on the lasagna..it's not it's fault. This is a yummy recipe for lasagnas south of the border cousin. I prefer to make it with chicken but you can make it with ground beef or even without any meat. Try it out, let me know what you think.
MEXICAN LASAGNA


3 cups chicken, cooked and chopped
OR
2 pounds ground beef, browned
1 cup cottage cheese
1 ½ cups pepper jack cheese, shredded
Corn tortillas
1 cup corn kernels
2 cups black beans
1 cup onion, diced
1 cup green pepper, diced
1 can diced tomatoes
½ cup taco sauce
½ cup diced chilies
½ cup sliced olives
¼ cup cilantro
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large baking dish with cooking spray. In a bowl, combine the meat, corn, onion, peppers, tomatoes, chilies, black beans, taco sauce, cottage cheese, salt, pepper, and cilantro. Spoon in enough of the mixture to cover the dish. Layer with tortillas and then cover with 1/3 meat mixture and 1/3 shredded cheese. Continue layering. Top with olives and additional chilies. Cover with aluminum foils and bake for 30 minutes. Let rest for a few minutes before serving.

I really did try to take a decent picture. I will keep practicing, if you keep reading!
By the way, it's not to late to weigh in on Monday's post, I have really enjoyed hearing what you have to say about how you you were fed, and how you feed those you love.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Well you must not be very hungry then.....

Dinner time. These two words can strike fear in the heart of any woman. As if feeding your significant other isn't enough...some of you just might have to feed kids....aaaaaagh! I saw this commercial this morning and I was a little tweaked by it...

If I ever pulled that kind of crap at the dinner table, I wouldn't have even had the chance to finish my statement....my mother would have removed me from the table faster than I could say broccoli. You see, dinner time in my childhood home was a fine tuned orchestra. Mom always made dinner...we didn't eat out two or three times a week...we didn't even eat out once a week. Maybe the parents would go out, but it was special for us to get to go as well. Mc Donald's was a special occurrence as well. We would all pile in the station wagon and dad would drive us a few blocks to Mc Donald's and order a bag of hamburgers and fries. No Happy Meals, no Cokes, no Chicken Mc Nuggets. Then, he would drive us all home to eat. He would slice fresh tomatoes and cheese and top off the hamburgers. Mom would plate the hamburgers and fries on actual dinner ware and pour cold milk into glasses. We would eat it around the dinner table as a family. That is how our family would eat fast food.
With the exception of a few meals out, we would eat at home, around the same dinner table. My father would come home at 7:00 just about every night. But just before he walked in was when the magic really happened. Whatever chaos was taking place, around six...it all stopped...and we knew it. If we were dirty, we cleaned up...and then we helped prepare the dinner and set the table. And then we all sat down together. Mom prepared one meal, and we all ate it....of course the children had smaller portions....but we all ate exactly the same meal. No one ever questioned what was on their plate...I'm not sure why, maybe just because my mom was consistant. And of course, there was always ketchup...you can fix most things with ketchup!
I'll never forget having dinner at my great grandma's house....she made the two of us liver and onions. I was like seven years old...I did not like liver and onions, but I wasn't about to tell her so ...I covered it with ketchup....and I ate it and claimed it was one of my favorite meals. I always prayed when I would go over there that she wouldn't make it ever again...and she didn't. Grandma was no dummy, I'm sure she knew I didn't love it.
A few months ago, one of the gals in my cooking class asked me a question that surprised me. She asked me: "How many different meals do you prepare each night?" "What do you mean?," I replied. She then told me that she prepared a separate meal for her husband and herself than her children. She told me that she couldn't get her children to eat anything other than mac and cheese and chicken nuggets. I was floored! I do in fact have troubles with my girls at dinner time, but I handle it much the same as my mother did. My grandmother would say, "If they're not going to eat it, they must not be very hungry." Dinner is usually around 6:30 in our home. there is absolutely no snacking after 3:45...this really does help. I do not put too much food on their plates or my own- I always encourage them to ask for more if they are still hungry. Everyone stays at the table until the last person finishes their meal. The same rules apply to the dinner table as would if the President was having dinner with us.
So, I pose these questions to you...because I am curious.
First: How many meals do you prepare for dinner?
Second: What are your dinner time rules?
Third: What will your children or yourself absolutely not eat?
Please feel free to answer, there are no wrong answers. Right or wrong, we are all trying to do our best.
Alright, I will quit rambling...and get on with today's recipe. Jambalaya! Rice, chicken, shrimp, sausage...YUMMY. Creole Jambalaya originates from the French Quarter of New Orleans, in the original European sector. It was an attempt by the Spanish to make paella in the New World, where saffron was not readily available due to import costs. Tomatoes became the substitute for saffron. As time went on, French influence became strong in New Orleans, and spices from the Caribbean changed this New World paella into a unique dish. In modern Louisiana, the dish has evolved along a variety of different lines. Creole Jambalaya, or red Jambalaya as it is called by Cajuns, is found primarily in and around New Orleans, where it is simply known as "Jambalaya." Creole Jambalaya includes tomatoes, whereas Cajun Jambalaya does not.

This recipe is so simple..of course. It is super filling and an excellent one dish meal. I hope you enjoy it.

JAMBALAYA

2 cups shrimp
2 cups chicken, diced
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Combine above ingredients and let sit

1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup green pepper, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup kidney beans
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons Worcestershire
2 teaspoons hot sauce, Tabasco-ish
2 cups andouille sausage, sliced
2 cups rice
3 cups chicken stock

In a heavy stock pot, fry the onion, celery, garlic, peppers, and carrots. Add all remaining ingredients excluding the sausage, rice and stock and heat to a bubble. Add the rice and get really hot, adding the chicken stock a half cup at a time, and bringing to a bubble each time. Reduce and let simmer, covered for 10 minutes. Add the shrimp, chicken, and sausage and cook for 15 minutes.

By the way, I have silenced the immediate play of "Que Sera Sera," as you enter my blog, although the song is cute and fitting to the post, I know it can be a bit annoying. But how great is Doris Day?