Fried Rice by Hazel

This fried rice was a hit with my family and is super easy to make. The secret to this rice is that when you go to fry the rice, you do so in the bacon grease. Definitely not for the vegetarian.

Ingredients:

  • White rice, cooked (amount depends on how many people you are feeding)
  • 4-5 slices bacon, cooked and cut up into small pieces, reserve bacon grease
  • Bunch of green onion, chopped
  • Soy sauce to taste
  • 2 eggs
  • Pepper to taste

Directions:

Make white rice, fry bacon and reserve grease, chop onion, scramble eggs and set aside. Place white rice in bacon grease to fry, add bacon and onion, make some space in the pan and add eggs, scramble those eggs and combine. Begin adding soy sauce and pepper to taste. Do not use salt due to soy sauce having a lot of salt in it. Be sure not to burn rice while frying because it will dry out.

Sweet and Sour Rib’s by Hazel

Another recipe from my best friend’s mom. I had never made homemade sweet and sour sauce before and was surprised by the amount of vinegar, but it worked and it is delicious. Georgette advised me to double the ingredients so that is what I have listed below to assure you have plenty of sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 4 TBS soy sauce
  • 4 TBS Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 can pineapple chunks in heavy syrup
  • Ground ginger to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Oil
  • 1-2 red, yellow or green peppers, sliced
  • 1 onion, cut up in big chunks
  • 5-6 stalks of celery, sliced
  • A slab of ribs, type is your choice

Directions:

Cut ribs into individual pieces. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and ground ginger. Heat oil in a pan and brown ribs. Set aside. In same pan saute vegetables until softened. Mix ketchup, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and combine with vegetable, return ribs to the pan. Add juice only of pineapple, save pineapple to add later. Cover and simmer until ribs are tender. Add pineapple chunks at the end.

 

Butter Coffee Cake by Hazel

Georgette and I grew up together. She is one of my closest and bestest friends. I met her in Junior High School back before they called it Middle School. We had some crazy times together. Memories of her mom’s delicious food are nostalgic and wonderful. This is one of Georgette’s mom, Hazel, recipes. Hazel was from the South so do not be surprised by the high calorie ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package yellow cake mix
  • 1 small package vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp butter extract flavor (see pic below, this is an ingredient I did not even know existed)

Filling ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Frosting ingredients:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp butter extract flavor
  • Milk to thin

Directions:

Butter a bundt cake or angel food pan. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Place all ingredients other than filling into a mixer and mix for 8 minutes.

Mix filling ingredients in a separate bowl, save some nuts for cake topping.

Starting with wet cake ingredients begin layering cake mix, then filling, alternate until finished.

Bake for 55 minutes.

Remove from pan onto a plate and pour frosting over cake, sprinkle with remaining nuts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hungarian Goulash

 

My mom use to make this meal throughout my childhood. When she made it my dad would talk about how he grew up eating this dish and how his family had a Hungarian lineage. In fact, he would speak of memories of his mom making Hungarian Goulash for him when he was young. Unfortunately, his mom died when he was nine-years-old so I never had the chance to meet her. I have fond childhood memories of this dish and will continue to improve the recipe. My mom didn’t really have a go-to recipe so I found one on an authentic Budapest website called budapestbylocals.com. The picture above from the left, my dad, his mom, and his brother in 1936.

Ingredients:

  • Tender cut of beef, cubed
  • 2 TBS oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed or chopped
  • 1-2 carrots, diced
  • 1 parsnip, diced
  • 1-2 celery leaves
  • 2 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped, or 1 TBS tomato paste
  • 2 fresh green peppers, diced
  • 2-3 medium potatoes, sliced
  • 1 TBS Hungarian paprika powder (sweet)
  • 1 tsp caraway seed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste

     

    Directions:

Heat oil in a pot and braise the onion until soft and golden, set aside. Add the beef cubes and saute them until browned. Return onions to pot and sprinkle beef and onions with paprika. Stir well as to not burn the spice. Add the garlic, caraway seeds, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Pour in broth to cover contents and let simmer on low heat for 1 1/1 hours, add water if necessary.

Add carrots, parsnip, potato, celery leaf, tomato and salt and paprika to taste. Continue to simmer until all vegetables are tender.

Add green peppers at the end for crunch.

You can serve this with bread of choice, eat solo or make the authentic Hungarian noodles called Csipetke. I will make those next time and add them to the site if they are successful.

 

Sweet Potato Fajitas

 

This is the second Hello Fresh meal kit I received. I wanted one to be vegetarian and I was not disappointed. I am a sweet potato fan and mixing them with the spices cut through the sweetness perfectly. With the meal kit came the ingredients and directions to include pickled jalapeño, fresh salsa and lime sour cream. Everything was super yummy but needed more heat so add some jalapeños to everything if you like the heat. I forgot to take a picture of the finished meal because everyone was so hungry. Above is a picture of the direction card from Hello Fresh.

Ingredients:

  • Sweet potatoes (the amount depends on how many people you are cooking for)
  • 2 jalapenos (1 to pickle and 1 for the salsa)
  • 2 red onions (1 for fajitas and 1 for the salsa)
  • 2 long green peppers, core and thinly sliced
  • 2 tomotoes
  • Pepper jack cheese (or any cheese you prefer)
  • 3 limes
  • Cilantro
  • Sour cream
  • Tortillas (flour or corn, whichever you prefer)
  • Olive oil
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp white sugar + 1/2 tsp for pickled jalapeno
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Directions:

Make the fajitas first: Adjust your oven rack to top position and heat to 425 degrees. Cut sweet potato into 1/2 inch thick wedges, place in a bowl and drizzle with oil and all spices listed. Roast until tender and lightly crisped 30-40 minutes.

Make the pickled jalapeños: Thinly slice the jalapeños into rounds, place in small bowl and add juice of 1 lime and 1/2 tsp sugar with a pinch of salt, set aside.

Make the veggies: Heat some oil in a pan and add 1 onion and green pepper, both thinly sliced. Cook until softened and lightly charred. Season with salt and pepper

Make the salsa: chop the tomatoes, cilantro, 1 diced onion, juice of 1 lime, salt and pepper and chopped jalapeño for heat.

Add the zest of a lime and squeeze some lime juice into sour cream

Heat your tortillas and enjoy.

 

 

Salmon in a Creamy Dijon Chive Sauce

I decided to give the meal kit delivery service Hello Fresh a try. I had a $30 off coupon and I knew it would give me a few new ideas for dinners. This is one of the two meals I tried. Verdict: all ingredients were fresh, the salmon recipe was delicious, the potato and zucchini recipe was bland so I will not include those. Also, the pieces of salmon were quite small and not enough to feed my family of five. They only have the choice of 2 or 4 servings. The kids really liked the sauce.

Ingredients:

  • Salmon fillets
  • Bunch of chives, minced
  • 2 lemon
  • 1 cup vegetarian broth
  • 1-2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 8 TBS sour cream
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 1 TBS olive oil

Directions:

Cook the salmon fillets by patting dry with paper towel then season all over with salt and pepper. Heat 1 TBS butter and 1 TBS oil in pan over medium heat. Add salmon skin side down and cook until skin is crisp (5-7 minutes). Turn salmon over and cook until it is cooked through (1-2 minutes). Remove from pan and set aside, cover with tin foil to keep warm.

Use the same pan for the sauce. Add stock, 1 tsp mustard, and juice from 1 lemon and simmer until slightly thickened. Stir in the sourcream, 1/2 the chives and 1 TBS of butter. Season with salt and pepper and serve over your salmon. Garnish with remaining lemon and chives.

Chicken Enchilada

It’s been awhile since my last post.

Along with all the craziness in the world I decided to go back for my Master of Arts degree so I have less time to share recipes.

Chicken enchiladas is always a crowd pleaser. You can make these vegetarian if you wish by omitting the chicken.

I am lucky to have a BF that likes to cook and is really good at it. I came home to these yummy enchiladas a couple months ago and wanted to share the recipe. Full disclosure, neither of us can find his original recipe so I found this one on thepioneerwoman.com website and, as always, changed it with some tweaks. I will update as I continue to improve this recipe. 

Ingredients:

  • 16 corn tortillas
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast (you can get a cooked rotisserie instead)
  • Cumin
  • Chile powder
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cans enchilada sauce (red or green, I prefer red myself)
  • 3 cups of cheddar and/or Monterey Jack cheese (more if you prefer)
  • Sliced black olives
  • Cilantro

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425F. Season chicken breast with cumin and chili powder. Heat oil and place chicken in skillet, do not disturb for 4-5 minutes. Flip chicken over, place a TBS of butter on each breast and baste for a couple minutes then place in over for 10-15 minutes until juices run clear. Set aside and let it cool.  Turn oven down to 350F.

Saute diced onions in same skillet and cook until caramelized. Remove from pan and set aside. Pour enchilada sauce in skillet and warm through. Shred the chicken.

Pour two cups of the sauce into a 9 x 13 niche dish. To assemble, heat each tortilla over stovetop burner to brown slightly (about 30 seconds per side). Fill tortillas with cheese, chicken and onions. Roll up tightly and place seam side down into dish. 

Pour the remainder of the sauce over the enchiladas and sprinkle a good amount of cheese. Add the sliced olives and some chopped cilantro to the top. Give it a final sprinkle of chili powder.

Bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted. Let is sit for 15-20 minutes before serving. 

Serve with sour cream and diced tomatoes if you like.

 

 

 

 

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.