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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grillades with Cheese Grits and a Poached Egg

 

 

My favorite part of my recent trip to New Orleans was my cooking lesson at the New Orleans School of Cooking. This was the main dish we made. We used veal but the recipe calls for round steak and I have used chicken upon returning home. The recipe is served on cheese grits and topped with a poached egg; both recipes follow. I don’t usually eat veal and probably will not use it for this recipe moving forward but it was delicious. Use the protein of your choice. Vegetarians could use tofu and vegetable stock. Over the years I have learned that any recipe can be manipulated to your own desire, it will change the flavors but it can still be amazing.

Grillades

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lb round steak
  • 1 TBS Joe’s Stuff seasoning (or your own seasoning, see note*)
  • 1/2 cup flour + 2 TBS
  • 2 TBS vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup white onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 celery, chopped
  • 1 TBS sliced garlic
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup tomato, chopped
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 TBS sliced green onion
  • hot sauce to taste (optional)
  • additional Joe’s Stuff to taste

Directions:

Pound out round steak to about 1/4 inch thick. Julienne the beef into 1/2 inch thick strips. Combine flour with Joe’s Stuff and dust the pieces of meat in the flour, shake off excess flour. Heat the oil and brown the pieces of meat on each side; remove and set aside. Lower heat and add onion, bell peppers and celery until translucent. Stirring constantly, add the remaining 2 TBS flour and cook on medium heat until flour starts to brown. Add garlic, bay leaf, Worcestershire sauce, tomato and stock. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and add meat. Cook 30-45 minutes until beef is tender. Add hot sauce and seasoning to taste.

Serve over warm grits and garnish with a poached egg and green onions.

Poached Eggs

Ingredients:

  • Water
  • 1 TBS white vinegar
  • 4 large eggs

Directions:

Bring water and vinegar to a boil. Crack eggs gently into a large spoon or ladle and bring the boiling water to a swirl. Lower egg into simmering liquid. You may need to ladle the egg out to test that the whites are down and the yolks are not over cooked.

Tips:

  1. Poach 2 eggs at a time to not overcrowd pot.
  2. Use very fresh eggs at room temperature
  3. Pour a small amount of whites out prior to lowering into pot.

Cheese Grits

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup stone ground grits
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup Romano cheese, grated
  • 1 TBS cream cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

Bring water, milk and salt to a boil. Slowly whisk grits into the pot. Reduce to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent scorching. Before serving, add Romano cheese and cream cheese. Stir until melted.

*Link to buy Joe’s Stuff seasoning:

http://store.nosoc.com/joes-stuff-4-5-oz/

You can make your own with salt, dehydrated garlic, paprika and dehydrated onion. I am sure they put some type of secret ingredient in there that I can’t give you.

 

Filet Mignon with Green Peppercorn Sauce

IMG_3606

Cooking the perfect steak is not an easy task. Getting the temperature just right takes practice. I spent many years of my life as a vegetarian and now that I am eating meat again, filet mignon is my favorite cut of beef. Medium rare is the temperature I strive for. I found this technique on floatingkitchen.net under the how to cook the perfect filet mignon heading, and she isn’t joking around, it is perfect. However, I did add the butter and an extra 4 minutes cooking time in the pan.

Picture above from a restaurant in Florence, Italy, one of my best meals there; filet mignon with green peppercorn sauce, sauce recipe below. Picture below a perfectly cooked filet mignon.

Ingredients:

  • 2 filet mignons, approx. 2 inches thick
  • 1 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 TBS butter

Directions:

Remove the steaks from the refrigerator and let them get to room temperature, approx. 20 minutes. Set oven to 425 degrees. Season steaks with salt and pepper. Heat a large oven-proof sauté pan to medium-high heat (I use a cast iron). Add olive oil and let it heat up.

Add steaks an let cook undisturbed for 4 minutes. Flip them over and cook on the other side for another 4 minutes. Place 1 TBS butter on each filet and immediately place in pre-heated over. Cook for another 7 minutes or to your desired temperature.

5 minutes=rare

6 minutes= medium-rare

7 minutes= medium

Transfer steaks to a plate and let rest for 5-10minutes while tented with foil.

Green Peppercorn Sauce

Original recipe found on http://www.thespruceeats.com, I have made minor modifications to directions.

Ingredients:

  • Fine Sea Salt
  • 4 TBS dried peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup cognac, brandy or Marsala wine
  • 1/2 cup cream

Directions:

Coarsely grind 3 TBS of the peppercorns with a mortar, blender, food processor….whatever you have. Spread the coarsely ground peppercorns onto both sides of fillets before cooking. Cook the fillets as described above.

Add the cognac to a skillet and stir well over medium heat. If you are using the same skillet you cooked the fillets in its a bonus. I use a cast iron and transfer my fillets to a cooking pan for the oven. Add the cream and remaining TBS of peppercorns. Salt to taste. Let the sauce thicken slightly then spoon over fillets.

Beef Stew in Red Wine Sauce

 

How can you go wrong when a piece of meat simmers in a bottle of delicious red wine all day? This recipe is Jacques Pepin’s and found on http://www.foodandwine.com. Cooked this one many times and it always tastes delicious. This is the 2nd beef stew recipe on this website. The first one is cooked in beer.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds trimmed beef flatiron steak or chuck, cut into 8 pieces
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
One 750-milliliter bottle dry red wine
2 bay leaves
1 thyme sprig
One 5-ounce piece of pancetta
15 pearl or small cipollini onions, peeled
15 cremini mushrooms
15 baby carrots, peeled
Sugar
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, melt the butter in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Arrange the meat in the casserole in a single layer and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, 8 minutes. Add the chopped onion and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, 5 minutes. Add the flour and stir to coat the meat with it. Add the wine, bay leaves and thyme, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pot.
2. Cover the casserole and transfer it to the oven. Cook the stew for 1 1/2 hours, until the meat is very tender and the sauce is flavorful.
3. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, cover the pancetta with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Drain the pancetta and slice it 1/2 inch thick, then cut the slices into 1-inch-wide lardons.
4. In a large skillet, combine the pancetta, pearl onions, mushrooms and carrots. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/4 cup of water and a large pinch each of sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer until almost all of the water has evaporated, 15 minutes. Uncover and cook over high heat, tossing, until the vegetables are tender and nicely browned, about 4 minutes.
5. To serve, stir some of the vegetables and lardons into the stew and scatter the rest on top as a garnish. Top with a little chopped parsley and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Robust, dark-fruited Cabernet Sauvignon

Taco Salad

I’ve tried every diet out there. After I had my children I had 20 lbs to lose after each one. The only diet that worked, with exercise of course, was the Suzanne Somer’s diet. In the process I bought 2 of her books and still make a handful of her recipes. This particular recipe is found in her book, Eat Great, Lose Weight. You can make taco salad or tacos if you want the carbs.

Ingredients;

  • 2 TBS vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
  • 1 head lettuce, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 6 oz cheese, grated
  • 6 TBS sour cream
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • Salsa

Directions;

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Turn up heat to high and add beef. Cook until browned. Drain excess fat. Lower heat and add all spices, water and tomato paste. Bring to a boil, reduce and simmer for 10 minutes. Assemble salad.

Braised Short Ribs

 

 

This is a recipe from one of my co-workers. We have lost touch so hopefully he doesn’t mind me sharing it with you. I’ve made it several times and my children say it makes the house smell like Thanksgiving. Rich and delicious in flavor.

Ingredients;

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 TBS paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 3 to 4 pounds beef short ribs
  • 3 to 4 TBS unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup thick bacon slices, diced
  • 2 large white onions, sliced
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 2 stalks of thyme
  • 4 shallots, quartered
  • 1 pound mushrooms
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced
  • 2 cups or 1/2 bottle red wine
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 2 to 3 oz tomato paste
  • 8 oz canned chopped tomatoes

Directions;

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Combine flour, paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Add short ribs, coating them lightly in flour mixture.

In a large dutch oven or deep oven proof pot over medium heat, melt butter until golden. Add the ribs, shaking off excess flour and sear until brown. Remove and set aside.

In same pot, sauté the bacon for 2-3 minutes then add onions, shallots, mushroom, celery, and carrots and sauté until golden. De-glaze the pan with the red wine, adding a little at a time. Let reduce over high heat for 1 minute. Replace ribs in pot with thyme, rosemary, canned tomatoes, remaining wine, tomato paste and beef stock. Bring to a simmer.

Cover and cook 2 to 3 hours, taste and adjust seasoning.

Strain liquid and reduce to make gravy with a roux.

Basic Stew Recipe

I was sick last week and craving comfort food the entire time. One night I was craving stew so I broke out Jamie’s Food Revolution cookbook again and tried his basic stew recipe with my boyfriend’s favorite beer, Newcastle. Beef and beer really taste good cooked together. Here is his easy and delicious recipe.

A Note from Jamie;

“You are going to love this slow-cooked stew recipe, because it’s so simple and gives consistently good results. The meat should be cut into approximately 2cm cubes. Packs from most supermarkets are normally about that size. In stew recipes, you’re often told to brown off the meat first. But I’ve done loads of tests and found the meat is just as delicious and tender without browning it first, so I’ve removed this stage from the recipe.”

Ingredients:

  • 2 stalks celery
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 carrots
  • Olive oil
  • 1 heaped Tbs all-purpose flour
  • 1 14oz can of diced tomatoes
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 fresh or dried bay leaves
  • 1 pnd diced stewing beef
  • 2 cups brown ale, Guiness or stout

Directions:

If using the oven to cook your stew, preheat it to 350ºF. Trim the ends off your celery and roughly chop the sticks. Peel and roughly chop the onions. Peel the carrots, slice length ways and roughly chop.

Put a casserole pan on a medium heat. Put all the vegetables and the bay leaves into the pan with 2 lugs of olive oil and fry for 10 minutes. Add your meat and flour. Pour in the booze and tinned tomatoes. Give it a good stir, then season with a teaspoon of sea salt (less if using table salt) and a few grinds of pepper.

Bring to the boil, put the lid on and either simmer slowly on your hob or cook in an oven for 3 hours. Remove the lid for the final half hour of simmering or cooking. When done, your meat should be tender and delicious. Remember to remove the bay leaves before serving, and taste it to see if it needs a bit more salt and pepper. You can eat your stew as it is, or you can add some lovely dumplings to it.

Beef Bourguignon

One of the reasons I bought Julia Child’s book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, was for this recipe. I finally decided to try it and although it is a lot of work, I would have to agree with Julia Child that it is one of the most delicious beef dishes concocted by man, or maybe a woman concocted it. Regardless, its worth the effort. I recommend a pan that is stove top and oven adaptable. I used a stock pot for cooking and served in a casserole dish.

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz chunk of bacon
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 3 lbs lean stewing beef
  • 1 sliced carrot
  • 1 sliced onion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbs flour
  • 3 cups of a full-bodied, young red wine such as Chianti
  • 2-3 cups brown beef stock
  • 1 Tbs tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, mashed
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • A crumbled bay leaf
  • 18-24 small white onions, brown braised in stock (recipe follows)
  • 1 lb quartered fresh mushrooms sauteed in butter (recipe follows)

Directions:

Remove rind, and cut bacon into lardons (sticks, 1/4 inch thick and 1 1/2 in long) Simmer rind and bacon for 10 minutes in 1 1/2 quarts of water. Drain and dry.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Saute the bacon in the oil for 2-3 minutes, remove to side dish. Saute the beef in bacon fat until nicely browned on all sides, set it aside with bacon.

Saute the carrots and onion in the same fat then pour out the sauteing fat. Add the beef and bacon to the vegetables and toss with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the flour and toss to coat. Set in oven uncovered, middle rack, for 4 minutes. Toss again and return to oven for 4 more minutes. Remove and turn down oven to 350 degrees.

On the stove top, stir in the wine, stock, tomato paste, garlic, herbs, and bacon rind. Bring to a simmer then cover and set in lower third of oven for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Assure the meat if covered with liquid at all time and it’s simmering slowly.

While the beef is cooking prepare the onions and mushrooms. Set aside as needed.

Brown Braised Onions

Ingredients:

  • 18-24 peeled white onions about 1 inch in diameter
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 1 1/2 Tbs oil
  • 1/2 cup beef stock, wine, or water. (red or white wine is fine)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • A medium herb bouquet: 4 parsley sprigs, 1/2 bay leaf, 1/4 tsp thyme.

Directions:

When the butter and oil are bubbling in the skillet, add the onion and saute over moderate heat for about 10 minutes. Pour in the liquid, season to taste, add the herbs. Cover and simmer for 40-50 minutes.

Sauteed Mushrooms

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 1 Tbs oil
  • 1/2 lb fresh mushrooms

Directions:

Heat the butter and oil and as soon as it starts to foam add the mushrooms. Toss and shake the pan for 4-5 minutes. As soon as they have browned lightly remove from heat.

Back to the Bourguignon:

When the meat is tender pour the contents into a sieve over a saucepan. Return the beef to pan and distribute the cooked onions and mushrooms over the meat. Skim fat off the sauce and simmer down until a consistency you like. Pour sauce over meat and simmer 2-3 minutes. Serve

Scottie’s Fatty Cheese Lasagna

This is my boyfriends’s lasagna recipe and it is super cheesy and delicious. He changes it up each time but this is the basic recipe. The difference from many lasagna recipes is that you slice, not shred, the cheese. Also, you add Monterey jack into the mix and there is lots of cheese.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 yellow and 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 jars of your fav spaghetti sauce or make it homemade
  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 1 pound Monterey jack cheese, sliced
  • 1 pound part-skim ricotta
  • 1 small can black, pitted, olives, sliced
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Italian seasoning
  • 1 pnd lasagna noodles

Directions:

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Heat olive oil and sauté onion until tender in large sauté pan. Add ground beef with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Cook until browned. Dispose of grease and add spaghetti sauce. Meanwhile, boil noodles as directed on package. Mix ricotta cheese with olives and season to taste. Layer the lasagna by starting with sauce, noodles, a layer or ricotta mixture, noodles, sauce, mozzarella cheese slices, noodles, sauce, Monterey jack cheese slices, noodles, sauce…..until lasagna is complete. 

Cover with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes, uncover and bake for another 25 minutes.