Korean Spicy Chicken Stew

KoreanThis is basically a spicy chicken soup. It’s really quite wonderful.

It’s really quite easy.

It’s a crock pot recipe.

I have to tell you I don’t do a lot of crock pot cooking. I have a few recipes that I find it works great for, but I don’t think I will be making a cake in mine anytime soon.

It’s like the microwave, it has it’s place in the toolbox but it’s not the only tool.

Stews I think are great crock pot recipes.

This one is spicy but you can adjust that as you wish.

Nothing can be much easier than throwing everything into a pot and coming back four hours later to a ready meal. Just some rice and you are done!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 pounds bone-in chicken parts, cut into small pieces (excess fat remove
  • 10 ounces potatoes, cut into big chunks
  • 2 carrots, cut into big chunks
  • 1/2 large onion, cut into big chunks
  • 4 – 5 plump garlic clove
  • 2 -3 thin slices of ginger
  • 2 tablespoons Korean red chili pepper flakes (gochugaru)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine
  • 1 tablespoon honey or corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons Korean red chili pepper paste (gochujang)
  • pinch pepper
  • 2 scallions, sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 tbsp sesame seed oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place the chicken and vegetables into the crock pot.
  2. Mix the ingredients from pepper flakes through pinch of pepper together, and then pour over the chicken and stir to coat.
  3. Cook on high heat for 4 hours.
  4. Stir in the scallions, oil and seeds right before serving.

SERVES: 6

NOTES: adjust the heat as much as you like. And you can use any type of chicken you wish. Boned or boneless is fine too.

SOURCE: Korean Bapsang

 

 

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Whole Meal Mac and Cheese

FancyMac7CheeseMacaroni and cheese is real comfort food. This recipe really comforts I tell ya.

I adapted it (changed it very little actually), but it is chock full of stuff, and everyone knows that lots of stuff makes mac and cheese even better.

I suspect the average kid will enjoy this every bit as much as your hulking tough guy husband. It’s not a namby-pamby recipe.

So roll up your sleeves and get ready to surprise your horde of hungry eaters today. This is a great pot luck recipe which is sure to send you home with an empty serving dish.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 16 oz mushrooms, thickly sliced, nice and chunky
  • 8 slices bacon (thick cut is best) cut into 1″ pieces
  • 2 medium-sized onions, sliced fairly thinly
  • About 5 tbsp of butter
  • 1/2 c Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 c Fontina cheese
  • 1/2 c Gruyere cheese
  • 4 oz. goat cheese (chevre)
  • 16 oz macaroni
  • 1/4 c flour
  • 2 c milk
  • 1/2 c cream
  • 2 eggs, beaten

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Fry up the mushrooms in a couple of tablespoons of canola oil until wilted and fairly cooked through. Set aside in a bowl.
  2. Fry the bacon until crisp. Set aside in a separate dish.
  3. Saute the onions slowly until well caramelized in some of the bacon fat (discard excess).
  4. Boil the macaroni until al dente
  5. In the mushroom pan, melt 4 tbsp of the  butter, add the flour and whisk until a roux is made. Cook for a couple of minutes.
  6. Add the milk and continue to whisk and bring up to a slow boil until it thickens.
  7. Add the cream and stir in.
  8. Pour a bit of the white sauce into the beaten eggs and whisk, tempering the eggs, and warming them, before dumping all that back into the white sauce, and stirring well.
  9. Add all the cheese (grated of course) and stir until mixed.
  10. Dump in the macaroni and mix well.
  11. Take a large baking dish 9 x 13 at least.
  12. Butter it.
  13. Place half of the onions and half of the mushrooms strewn evenly over the bottom.
  14. Place half of the macaroni and cheese over that.
  15. Repeat.
  16. Sprinkle with the bacon.
  17. Bake in a 350° oven for 25 minutes or so, until bubbly.

SERVES: 8 as main course

OVEN TEMP: 350°

COOKING TIME: 25 minutes

SOURCE: Adapted from PioneerWoman Cooks.

NOTES: You can substitute other cheese if you wish of course. Or just use one, just make up the difference in the amount so you end up using a good 2 c overall.

 

Bluey Berry Pie Squares

BlueberryPieBars4Okay, let me admit it right from the start.

I eat these for breakfast.

I mean, blueberries are a proper breakfast fruit right?

So, just because they are surrounded by some sugar and flour, should that make them a dessert? I mean they have YOGURT in them, and EVERYONE knows that’s a breakfast food.

I mean really.

But you COULD eat them as a dessert.

If you were, you know, uptight or something.

Anyway, I got this recipe from My Baking Heart, and didn’t change much, except to use real sugar and not Splenda , which I don’t use.

INGREDIENTS:

For the Crust:

  • 1  1/2 c flour
  • a generous 1/4 c sugar (mounded)
  • pinch of salt
  • 12 tbsp of cold butter, cubed

For the Filling:

  • 2 lg eggs
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 c plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 c + 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 c blueberries

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° and grease a 8 x 8 baking dish.
  2. Whisk together the dry ingredients for the crust, then cut in the butter until a crumbly consistency.
  3. Reserve 1  1/2 c of the resultant mixture for the topping.
  4. Press the remaining into the bottom of your baking dish evenly.
  5. Whisk the eggs until mixed, then add the sugar and yogurt and extract. Mix well.
  6. Add the flour and stir until incorporated.
  7. Fold in the blueberries carefully.
  8. Pour into the crust, smoothing it evenly.
  9. Sprinkle the topping over that.
  10. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Top should be a golden brown.
  11. Cool, and cut out in squares.

SERVES: 9-12 depending on how much of a glutton you are.

NOTES: I think this recipe would work well with other fruit. I’m thinking bananas, peaches for sure. Strawberries and other berries in general should be fine as well. Let me know if you try something else and how it turned out.

Kitrusy Key Lime Pie

Key-Lime-PieOh this pie is so good.

It was nice and bright and citrusy, and at the same time, smooth as silk.

It is a perfect pie in the summer.

Or in the winter.

Or, well, you get my point.

And that Key lime thing? Forget buying those tiny little thing and squeezing a kazillion of them to get enough juice. Taste-testing has proved that nobody can tell the different. So use regular limes and the work is virtually nil.

This recipe came from Cook’s Illustrated, one of my bibles, and it was simply perfect.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 recipe of graham cracker crust.
  • 4 lg egg yolks
  • 4 tsp grated lime zest
  • 1/2 c lime juice (about 5 limes)
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Make the graham cracker crust in a pie plate, as directed. Crust should remain “warm” while awaiting the filling.
  2. Whisk the egg yolks and the zest for about two minutes, until the yolks take on a tinge of green.
  3. Add the can of milk and whisk that in.
  4. Add the lime juice, and whisk again.
  5. Set the mixture aside for about 30 minutes. (It will thicken)
  6. Preheat oven to 325°.
  7. Pour filling into the crust.
  8. Bake for between 15-20 minutes. The filling should be jiggly but firm.
  9. Cool on wire rack for about an hour and then refrigerate for until thoroughly cold.
  10. Add whipped cream to top if desired.

SERVES: 8

NOTES: I didn’t bother with the topping. You can decorate with curls of lime zest or a slice on the top for company.

Crab Cakes Come-ON!

crab-cakes-mOh my gosh. Crab cakes.

Oh goodness.

What food for the gods is this?

Crab is expensive and thus this is not something you have all the time, but do have it once in a while.

Make sure that every ingredient is the best.

Make sure that all the surrounding sides are impeccably perfect.

Feast! You are worth it.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup homemade mayonnaise.
  • 2 tbsp minced cornichons (baby gerkins will work fine)
  • 1 tbsp minced capers, rinsed and chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 lb crab meat (the best you can afford)
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 4 tbsp fresh minced parsley
  • 1 tbsp finely minced onion
  • 4-6 tbsp fresh bread crumbs
  • 4 tbsp butter

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Make your mayonnaise. (reserve 2 tbsp) Add the cornichons and capers to it. Mix and place in the fridge to keep until ready to serve.
  2. Lightly beat the egg, and add to it the crabmeat, reserved mayo and all the rest, except the breadcrumbs and butter. Mix gently.
  3. Form into patties.
  4. Roll in the breadcrumbs, patting gently to get them to adhere.
  5. Fry in the butter on medium, browning and then turning carefully. These are fragile, so handle with care. Brown both sides well, to make a nice crust. This will take 3-5 minutes.
  6. Serve with the tartar sauce.

SERVES: 4 (assuming 2 per person)

NOTES: This recipe comes from Serious Eats. I have modified it slightly

Multiples of Marvelous Mayo

mayoAs more of us get more concerned about the quality of our food, simple things that we have taken for granted can become foods we worry about. One of them is mayonnaise.

A lot of folks are leery of genetically modified foods, and you can find lists of companies that use such things in their food products. I was distressed to find that my favorite mayonnaise is on the list as being one of those companies.

Now, I’m not here to pitch for how you should eat, but really homemade mayo is something special. At least for some things, might you consider using it instead of what can live on a shelf unrefrigerated until opened? (I’m always suspicious that the seal isn’t good).

Making mayonnaise is simple, and once you know how, you can abandon the standard recipe and do it by sight. And better yet, you can add so many things that will give your food a real kick. I’m cutting and pasting from a NYTimes article that lists some possible alternatives.

As I said, the basic recipe is pretty much the same everywhere.

The only difference is whether you use a full egg or only the yolk. I use the latter.

So indulge yourself and your family and make some of the real stuff.  Either a food processor or a blender will do the job. You can do it by hand, but it’s a lot of very hard whisking and unless you are a professional, your arm probably can’t last.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lg egg yolk at room temperature
  • 2 tsp lemon juice (real please from an actual lemon–this works out to about half of a large lemon, give or take.)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard (again, like the lemon juice, you are looking to approximate. You want this to be easy)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cold water
  • 3/4 c oil (canola or safflower–you want something that is basic without flavors)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place the egg, lemon, mustard, salt and water into your blender or processor and whir up until well mixed and a bit frothy.
  2. With the motor running, pour in a slow steady stream, the oil. Watch the magic happen as it emulsifies into a thick gorgeous smooth creation.

SERVES: 1 cup

NOTES: Once you have the basic recipe down, you can vary it with the following:

OLIVE OIL MAYO: Substitute extra virgin olive oil for all, or at least 1/2 cup, of the neutral oil.

GARLIC AIOLI: Finely chop 2 garlic cloves and mash with a pinch of salt until it forms a paste; mix with egg yolk before adding oil. Substitute extra virgin olive oil for at least half of the neutral oil.

ROUILLE: Combine a large pinch of crumbled saffron threads with 2 teaspoons boiling water. Let mixture cool completely. Whisk saffron water with 1 egg yolk, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 2 finely chopped garlic cloves, 1/2 teaspoon tomato paste, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a pinch of cayenne. Whisking constantly, dribble in 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil and 1/4 cup neutral oil until mayonnaise is thick and oil is incorporated.

LIME PICKLE MAYO: Whisk in 2 tablespoons finely chopped lime pickle at the end. (Lime pickle can be found in Middle Eastern and Asian markets.)

SRIRACHA MAYO: Whisk in 1 1/2 teaspoons sriracha, or more to taste, at the end.

ANCHOVY MAYO: Whisk in 4 minced anchovies at the end.

WALNUT MAYO: Substitute 1/3 cup walnut oil for an equal amount of the neutral oil.

OLIVE OR CAPER MAYO: Whisk in 2 tablespoons chopped olives or capers at the end.

SPICY CHIPOTLE MAYO: Whisk in 2 to 3 teaspoons chopped chipotle chile in adobo sauce at the end.

ROSEMARY BLACK PEPPER MAYO: Whisk in 2 teaspoons chopped rosemary leaves and 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper at the end. If you like you can add 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest and a minced garlic clove, too.

SMOKY CHILE BACON MAYO: Fry 3 strips of bacon until crisp; chop and set aside. Pour the fat from the pan into a heatproof liquid measuring cup and add enough oil to make 3/4 cup total. Make mayonnaise, omitting mustard and using bacon fat-oil mixture. Stir in chopped bacon and 1/4 teaspoon hot smoked paprika at the end.

Copycat Outback Alice Springs Chicken

Alice Springs ChickenThere seems little honor among recipe collectors, especially those that post on their own blog. I got this recipe from a place called Favorite Family Recipes, who claimed they got it from Top Secret Recipes, but “modified” it.  The exact same recipe was other sites with no mention of where they got it. I’m not sure where it comes from, but it seems to be fairly common.

In any event, I never eat at Outback, so I sure didn’t create it.

But it is good. I did modify it somewhat mostly because the instructions were less than instructive if you get my drift. Basically, if you get the ingredients together fairly right, it will all turn out pretty darn good.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 half chicken breasts, pounded just enough to even out the thickness
  • 2 c sliced mushrooms
  •  canola oil for frying (about 2 tbsp)
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked and drained on paper towelling
  • 1 c shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 c shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 c chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper

MARINADE FOR CHICKEN:

  • 1/2 c honey
  • 1 c mayonnaise
  • 1/3 c Dijon mustard
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Mix the marinade up and whisk until smooth. Reserve about 1/3 of a cup and refrigerate that. Place the chicken in a bowl, pour remaining marinade over, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a couple of hours.
  2. Cook up your bacon and set aside.
  3. Saute the mushrooms in a bit of canola oil until they are done, and set this aside.
  4. Using an oven proof saute pan (if you have one. Otherwise you will switch from the pan to a baking dish for the final phase), use remaining Canola oil and bring to a shimmer. Salt and pepper the chicken and remove to the saute pan and brown on both sides. Continue cooking on lowered heat for about 10 additional minutes, or until just barely done.
  5. Brush the chicken with the reserved honey mayonnaise (not the marinade–it is contaminated!). Remove to a baking dish if using one, place 1/4 of mushrooms on each  breast. Then top with 2 slices of bacon each. Divide the cheese similarly between the four.
  6. Place in a 375° pre-heated oven for about 10 minutes, or until cheese has melted.

SERVES: 4

NOTES: You can take any reserved marinade and warm and then serve on the side at the table, but frankly, I don’t think it’s necessary.