Japchae (Korean Glass Noodle Stir Fry)

 

 

My daughter loves the band BTS, I can really get behind that. They send a positive message and every time I mention the band she lights up. We were watching BTS together on Youtube; an episode of them cooking and preparing for a celebration. They made the Korean dish Japchae. It looked really tasty so I researched and found a recipe. My daughter and I made it the same night. It was great cooking with her and the dish was delicious. This recipe comes from the website mykoreankitchen.com. I have modified it to make it a bit simpler.

Ingredients:

  • 250g/8.8 oz Korean sweet potato starch noodles
  • 100g/3.5 oz rib eye fillet, cut into strips
  • 1 carrot, rinsed, peeled and julienne
  • 110g/3.9 oz baby spinach
  • 1/4 red bell pepper, julienne
  • 1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 100/3.5 oz fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 4 TBS toasted sesame oil
  • 5 TBS soy sauce
  • 1 tsp rice wine (mirin)
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 TBS honey
  • 1 TBS brown sugar
  • 1 TBS toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 extra large egg (optional)

Directions:

Place the beef strips into a bowl and marinade with 1 TBS soy sauce, 1 tsp rice wine, 1/2 tsp minced garlic, 1/4 tsp black pepper and 1 tsp toasted sesame oil; set aside.

Julienne and slice all vegetables. Marinade the mushrooms with 1 TBS soy sauce, 1 TBS honey, 1 TBS brown sugar, 1 TBS toasted sesame oil and 1/8 tsp black pepper; set aside.

Blanch the spinach for 5-10 seconds (place in a rolling boil). Drain the water and cool it down by running under the cold tap. Squeeze the spinach to remove excess water and place in bowl. Mix 1/4 tsp sea salt, 1/2 tsp minced garlic and 1 tsp toasted sesame oil with spinach and set aside.

Boil the noodles for about 6-7 minutes, rinse with cold water and set aside.

Add the remainder of the oil to a saute pan. Start with sauteing all the vegetables, including the marinading mushrooms. Once they have become tender (3-5 minutes), place the strips of steak in the pan and cook until medium rare (time will depend on how the strips of steak are cut). Now scramble the egg and cook that with the vegetables and meat. Lastly, add the noodles and cook until warmed and well coated with all the goodness in the pan. Finish the dish with a bit of sesame oil and seeds to garnish. Serve over rice if you please.

** Note: This dish wasn’t spicy so we garnished with the Thai chili sauce we had on hand. After more research I discovered there is a Korean chili paste called Gochuchang that I will add next time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salsa Verde Cruda

 

This recipe is from Gabriela Camara teaches Mexican cooking on Master Class. From the Master Class cookbook “different salsas serve different purposes and speak to different traditions. Each region has its own specialty salsa based on the local ingredients and local palates. This raw, creamy salsa is simple to make. It packs medium heat and a lot of fragrance. You can use hearts of romaine instead of little gem lettuce here, the idea is to add freshness and crispiness to the mix. Seek out a very ripe avocado. It should offer no resistance when touched lightly from the outside and be soft enough to press a spoon into.” Ingredients are all in grams, I just eyed everything and added to taste.

Ingredients:

  • 860g small tomatillos
  • 20g white onion, roughly chopped
  • 35g cilantro leaves
  • 2g garlic cloves, cut in half
  • 20g chiles serranos, de-stemmed
  • 20g little gem lettuce
  • 165g avocado
  • 140ml water
  • salt to taste

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.Taste for seasoning and add more salt if necessary.

 

 

 

Ramsey’s Chicken Supreme

 

I purchased the Master Class series; I don’t regret it. I’ve been watching many of the cooking classes and this is the first dish I made from the series: Gordon Ramsey’s Chicken Supreme. He made it with root vegetables but I opted for potatoes and raw carrots. The problem I usually encounter with a boneless chicken breast is that they are easy to overcook and turn out tasting dry. This method produced a very tender chicken breast. My daughter took a bite and said “thank you Gordon Ramsey.” So I would also like to say “thank you Gordon Ramsey” I know he will never read this but I appreciate his teaching methods.  I will use this method moving forward.

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless, skin-on chicken breast
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 TBS grape seed oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • fresh thyme
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 shallots
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 3/4 cup veal demi-glace (or chicken broth)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place a large skillet over high-heat and add grape seed oil. Lower the heat to medium and add garlic and thyme. Place the chicken breast, skin side down, in the pan. Don’t move chicken until skin releases and browns on the edges, about 4 minutes. Tilt the chicken to the edge of the pan, searing the sides, about 10 seconds per side. Flip the chicken and add 6 TBS butter. As the butter melts, carefully and continuously spoon it over the chicken, basting the skin until golden, about 3 minutes. Flip the chicken back to skin side down and transfer the pan into oven for 10 minutes, until golden brown and juices run clear. Remove from oven and transfer to a plate to rest. Drain the excess fat from the pan into a small bowl.

Place the skillet back over medium heat. Add shallots and remaining 2 TBS butter. Transfer garlic and thyme back into the pan. Stirring frequently, continue to cook until shallots caramelize, about 4 minutes. Lower the heat and carefully pour the brandy in. Be cautious of the flambe caused by the alcohol burning off. Scrap the bottom of the pan, add broth, salt and pepper. Cook a few minutes then pass through a sieve into a small pot. Push the shallots and garlic into the strainer through the sieve. Place back over heat and reduce for about 5 minutes. Drizzle sauce over chicken but be careful not to moisten crispy skin.

 

 

 

 

 

Spanish Rice

 

I need to get this recipe on the site before I lose the tiny slip of paper with the directions. This recipe comes from my friend Nathaniel. I came home from work one night and my boyfriend and Nathaniel were making fajitas. Homemade Pico de gallo and Spanish rice included. I’ve tried to replicate it a couple times but I do need to invest in rice cooker. For now, I make it the old-fashioned way with a pot on the stove. Note to self: do not use sushi rice for this dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can chicken broth (I used 1 cup because I but it n cartons)
  • 1 can water (again, I used 1 cup)
  • 11/2 cups rice
  • 1/2 can tomato sauce (1/2 of a 14.5 oz can)
  • 1 TBS garlic powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a pot, bring to simmer and cover until rice is tender (20-25 minutes); garnish with cilantro.

Lemon Cupcakes

 

Time for some quarantine baking. This pandemic is no laughing matter. Although, making the best of it by baking some delicious lemon cupcakes may make you feel better. This recipe was found on the website tasteandtell.com. I scored some Meyer lemons from my boyfriend’s neighbor and was really craving lemon cupcakes. I like how these are glazed instead of covered with frosting; makes them a little lighter.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup + 1 TBS unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs

Glaze:

  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 TBS fresh lemon juice

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use the 1 TBS butter to grease the insides of each muffin tin.

In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt, set aside. In another bowl mix together buttermilk, vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice.

In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar then add the eggs one at a time. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, 1/2 the buttermilk mixture, 1/3 flour mixture, remaining buttermilk and flour until well mixed.

Place in prepared muffin tins and bake in center of oven for 20-25 minutes. Cool before glazing.

Place some parchment paper under the cooling racks, or something equivalent to avoid the big mess when glazing. Whisk the powdered sugar and lemon juice together and pour over the cupcakes. Let the cakes sit for 30 minutes before serving.

Quinoa & Sweet Potato Skillet Meal

 

Happy Saturday! I made this dish last night and my daughter, her friend and myself really liked it; it has incredible flavor profiles. The recipe is from a cookbook my boss gifted me for Christmas. It is written by the Canadian Chef, Greta Podleski. Fun fact you may not know, my mom is Canadian and lives in Canada, however, I was born and raised a California girl. The book is titled Yum & Yummer and focuses on healthy recipes. I have made several recipes from this book but this is the one that truly stands out. It is vegan but we made it vegetarian by adding a dollop of sour cream as a garnish. There is a lot of spices. If you want to make it less spicy do not add the jalapeno and cayenne pepper. Its really easy to make.

Ingredients:

  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions (I used yellow)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 2 cups peeled, cubed sweet potato, uncooked
  • 1 TBS chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1-14 oz can diced tomatoes, fire-roasted if you can find them
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup whole-kernel corn (thaw first is using frozen, I used fresh and cooked prior to measuring and adding)
  • 2 to 3 TBS minced fresh cilantro
  • Sliced avocados for garnish

Directions:

Use a 10 inch skillet, non-stick with a lid. Heat oil in skillet and add onions, garlic and jalapeno. Cook until tender. Add sweet potatoes and all the spices. Mix well.

Stir in tomatoes with their liquid, broth and quinoa. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Stir in beans and corn, cover and let mixture stand off heat for 10 minutes (do not omit this step). Stir in cilantro just before serving. Garnish with avocado and sour cream using.

I am counting calories now so If there is a calorie count included I will start including them.

Makes 4 meal size serving; 367 calories per serving.

 

Thai-Spiced Rice Bowls

Asian food is one of my favorites. Thai and Japanese are at the top of my list. I have made this rice bowl twice and each time added more spice to the broth. Still, not spicy enough for my mom…she likes it super spicy. Next time I will knock it out of the park. The original recipe was found on cookieandkate.com, but as usual, I have altered it to my taste buds. The original recipe called for no proteins. I have added chicken and a poached egg. Shrimp would be a good addition as well. If you are a vegetarian, you can use vegetable broth and tofu. The choices are abundant.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked rice
  • salt
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Fresh ginger, thumb tip sized, peeled and minced
  • 1 TBS Thai red curry paste (or more, if you want it spicier, start tasting once its all mixed)
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 can, 14 oz, light coconut milk
  • generous squeeze of honey

Garnishes to your liking:

  • 1 cup matchstick carrots
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced and seeded
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry-roasted peanuts, chopped
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • Rotisserie chicken, shredded or chopped
  • Poached egg
  • Shrimp, sauteed

Directions:

Cook the rice as directed. Make the broth by heating the oil, garlic and ginger in a saucepan over medium for about 30 seconds. Add the red curry paste, soy sauce, peanut butter, broth, coconut milk and honey. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce and simmer while you prep the garnishes. Chop all your garnishes. To serve, place rice in a bowl, top with broth and garnishes.

 

Poached Pear Phyllo Triangles

 

Merry almost Christmas. I wanted to share another dessert, because it is the season to eat desserts after all. The funny thing about this recipe is I accidentally bought Phyllo dough instead of puff pastry when I made it. The original recipe called for puff pastry and was pretty difficult. I ended up making poached pears wrapped in phyllo dough and worked with what I had. It was delicious. This is the version I created:

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle dry white wine
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
  • 1 star-anise pad
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, scrap out seed and reserve
  • 4 to 5 Bosc pears, peeled and halved and cored
  • 1 package phyllo dough, thawed
  • Butter, 1/2 cup (1 stick), melted

Directions:

Combine first 6 ingredients and heat over high heat until sugar is dissolved, about 1-2 minutes. Add pears and assure they are completely covered in liquid. If not, add a bit of water until covered. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low. Cover with a piece of parchment paper, pressing it directly on top of pears. Simmer until tender when you pierce with a fork (20-30 minutes). Transfer pears to a bowl and set aside. Heat liquid to high and boil until reduced to 2 cups. Pour liquid over pears, refrigerate until cool (30 minutes).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Once pears are cool, work with the phyllo dough by taking 2-3 sheets at a time, cut into 4 equal strips and butter the surface. Place approximately 2 TBS  pears 1 inch from the end of each strip. Fold into a triangle by placing one end over and over until complete. Lightly butter top of triangle. Place seam side down on baking sheet and bake 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Serve with vanilla ice-cream.

 

 

 

 

 

Spiced Apple Cake

 

Christmas is upon us. It is my favorite holiday. I love everything about Christmas; family gatherings, decorations and especially delicious food. I decided to start baking some new desserts and this cake was first on my list. Found in Martha Stewart’s Living magazine and on marthastewart.com, it is delicious and could be a great sweet side to accompany Christmas breakfast.

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butted, melted and cooled slightly, plus more at room temperature for brushing
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/4 inch rounds, seeds removed
  • 2 TBS fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup apricot jam

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Brush a 9 X 13 inch baking dish with butter. Line bottom and 2 long sides with parchment paper, leaving a 2 inch overhang. Butter parchment paper.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, all the spices, set aside. Whisk eggs until pale and foamy. Whisk sugar and vanilla into egg mixture until combined. Add 1/2 of flour mixture, then 1/2 of butter and sour cream, repeat with remaining until all combined (do not over mix). Transfer batter to prepared pan and smooth top with spatula.

Toss apples with lemon juice and place on top of batter evenly.

Bake for 40-45 minutes. Apples should be tender and toothpick inserted should come out clean.

Warm jam in saucepan until brush-able consistency, immediately brush on top of cake when it comes out the oven. Let cool completely on wire rack. Lift cake form pan when cooled.