Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wednesday’s Helping: Alternate Ingredients for Mondongo

It’s appreciated ‘round Latin America

The hearty dish is more stew than soup.  The Mixed Stew added even more grit with the addition of red beans.  Omit the beans for a more traditional take on mondongo.  We suggest using shredded cabbage, napa cabbage, or chuy sum instead of baby bok choy.  Some variations use pork intestines, salted pork feet, or pig tails instead of beef tripe.  Note that Menudo is a close relative of mondongo.     

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tuesday’s Cupful: Background on Mondongo

Bite into tripe (or pork intestines)

What’s not to like in sopa de mondongo?  Well….the tripe takes an acquired taste so be patient when serving this dish to younger humans.  People from the Dominican Republic claim sole ownership of this soup made with the cow’s stomach.  Mondongo has all the trappings of a meal item from yesteryear.  Imagine a father or mother trying to stretch pantry and kitchen resources by making this rich soup from scratch.  The braising and long cooking time ensure the tender pieces of tripe feel like they’re melting on the tastebuds.  Look for different variations in Latin America, the Philippines, and the Caribbean.  Some recipes call for pork intestines instead of beef tripe.  The range of vegetables included in this soup also varies from region to region.      

Monday, October 27, 2014

Monday’s Bread Bowl: Mondongo

Serving up tripe, again

Mondongo is a rustic stew that you’ll never forget once you sample it.  The beef tripe within it lends an acquired but quite satisfying taste and texture to this dish.  We altered the traditional recipes to our liking.  Here’s the recipe:

What you will need:

1 large stock pot w/lid
3 cups water
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 yellow onion, chopped small

2 garlic cloves, diced
2 lbs beef tripe, sliced into bite-sized pieces
1 lb beef shank or ox tail (We used beef neck bones.)
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (16 oz.) pack red beans, pre-soaked
2 cups water
2 (14 oz.) cans beef broth
2 large carrots chopped into small cubes
1 tablespoon annatto/ achiote powder dissolved in 1 cup hot water
1 small to medium-sized zucchini, seeded then diced  
1 bunch baby bok choy, cleaned and cut into bite-sized pieces
¾ cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cooking & Directions:

Heat stock pot at medium-high heat.  Add cooking oil, pepper, salt, onion, and garlic. Sautee ingredients until onion turn translucent.  Add beef soup bone cuts.  Let the meat cuts brown.  Add beans, tripe, broth, and water.  Reduce heat to medium and cover with lid.  Let ingredients reach a constant simmer and cook for 30 minutes.  Next, stir in canned tomatoes, achiote mixture, and cherry tomatoes.  Return lid.  Lower heat to medium-low.  Let ingredient braise for another 40 to 45 minutes.  Mix in zucchini, and carrots then let pot simmer for another 25 minutes on low heat.  Throw in bok choy about 15 minutes before cooking time ends.  Serve warm or hot.  The tripe should be tender, too.           

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thursday’s Side Dish: Nature Valley Breakfast Biscuits

Breakfast on-the-go best

The Mixed Stew recommends this food item for anyone who that has a difficult time waking up in the morning.  Nature Valley brand name breakfast biscuits contain 26 grams whole grain in each crunchy serving of biscuits.  They come in blueberry and honey but watch out for the possibility of newer flavors being issued.  An 8.85 oz. box comes with 5 individual servings of 4 biscuits.  We purchased 1 box for $2.50 at our local Giant.  Look for them at your favorite grocery chain.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wednesday’s Helping: Alternative Ingredients for Burger Cheese Mac

No fancier cheeses means no problem

If you’re feeling a pinch in the wallet, then we suggest using less expensive cheese varieties compared to gouda and gruyere.  Regular American, cheddar, and even mozzarella don’t the pungent cheesy taste.  Pricier cheeses, such as asiago, may take some getting used to because of their pungent flavors.  Popular cheeses also come more readily available in low-fat and non-fat versions.   Using American and cheddar tends to be a favorite with the kids, too.  Substitute the heavy cream with light cream, sour cream, or even whole milk if you wanna lower the fat content.  Lastly, remember that the bacon can be eliminated to also lower the calorie count.     

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tuesday’s Cupful: Background on Cheeseburger Mac –N-Cheese

Oomph it up with melted cheese and beef

This dish is really two All-American staples in a casserole.  The Mixed Stew crew thought of our previous chili mac and macaroni and cheese offerings as we developed this recipe.  We recommend serving this instead of the same ol’ burgers and fries.  The quartet of gouda, gruyere, asiago, and parmesan cheeses melt then meld into ooey-gooey servings of a yummy mac –n-cheese.         

Monday, October 20, 2014

Monday’s Bread Bowl: Cheeseburger Mac –n- Cheese

It's beef-n-cheese time

This version of mac –n- cheese is one that we’ve wanted to share for some time.  It’s one cheesey dish to cut into that you’ll wanna add to your list of faves.  Here’s the recipe:

What you will need:

1 wooden spatula
1 large mixing bowl

1 large stockpot
Olive oil
Cooking oil spray
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 (12 oz.) packs of elbow macaroni, cooked al dente
4 slices bacon
1 cup gouda cheese, grated
1 cup gruyere cheese, shredded
1 aluminum baking pan
1 collander
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 tablespoons bread crumbs
1/2 cup asiago cheese, grated
1 onion, chopped small
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup milk
1 pint heavy cream
3 small chile peppers, minced
¼ Dijon mustard
1 lb ground beef, cooked and crumbled

Cooking and Directions:

Heat stock pot on medium-high heat.  Pour in olive oil, onion, garlic, and bacon.  Let ingredients sautee until onion turns translucent.  Gradually stir in all-purpose flour and milk.  Let the flour cook while constantly stirring.  This should form a slurry or rue.  Let the rue turn brown, which means the flour is cooked.  Add pepper, mustard, ground beef, and cream.  Continue to stir constantly.  Mix and pour in cheeses.  This should form a cheesey sauce.  Add the macaroni while tossing well.  Quickly remove pot from stove top.  Grease baking pan with cooking spray then add macaroni and cheese.  Spread out until level in pan.  Preheat oven at 350 degrees.  Pour bread crumbs over mac-n-cheese.  Place baking pan in heated for 30 minutes.  Let bread crumbs form golden crust.  Remove mac-n-cheese once ½ hour has elapsed.  Let cheesey mac rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.  Enjoy.