Thursday, December 30, 2010

Auld Lang Syne

Happy New Year from the Mixed Stew Crew!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wednesday's Helping: Mustard Glazed Ham

The Mixed Stew is on hiatus for the holiday. We are serving up oldies but goodies (re-runs) for the whole week. Happy New Year!

Post from April 19, 2010

A meaty presentation with a sweet touch

Succulent only begins to describe this dish. It’s a feast for the senses when one prepares a regular shoulder ham with a sweet, tangy, and tasty mustard glaze. The flavors of the glaze enhance the ham’s smoky flavors. The Mixed Stew crew really enjoys making and eating baked ham for special occasions. Adding pineapple chunks ensures an appetizing presentation. Here is our favorite rendition of mustard glazed ham:

What you will need:

1 large baking pan
1 wire rack to raise the ham off the bottom of the pan
aluminum foil
1 (8-10lb) ham
½ cup mustard (generic yellow mustard is fine)
¾ cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons honey
1 sharp knife
Pinch of black pepper
1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks in juice
Several toothpicks

Cooking and Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place rack inside baking pan. With the fat and skin side up, ham should be placed on rack inside pan. Drain juice from can of pineapple into bottom of pan. Cover ham in pan with foil and seal well. Based on roast’s size, bake at 20 minutes per pound. Remove ham from oven 1 hour before cooking time is complete to dress with glaze. Score the skin and top surface of roast with knife. Top and glaze ham with mustard, brown sugar, and honey. Don't worry about mixing the ingredients beforehand just pour and/or pat them on one at a time. Our ham cook has just added the ingredients in layers and pulled off an excellent roast. Skewer pineapple chunks onto several toothpicks and poke into the outside surface of the ham. Try to have the pineapple chunks in contact with the ham’s glazed surface but also wedged where the cuts have been made for scoring. Let extra pineapple chunks fall to the bottom of the baking pan. Return uncovered ham to hot oven until done. Take ham out of oven and let meat rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tuesday's Cupful: Pork with Lemongrass

The Mixed Stew is on hiatus for the holiday. We are serving up oldies but goodies (re-runs) for the whole week. Happy New Year!

Post from October 11, 2010

A hot Vietnamese entree

The spicy flavors of grilled pork, fish sauce, sugar, and lemon grass combines for this Asian entrée. Vietnamese tend to eat this meal with steamed rice or rice vermicelli. The grilled pork ends up with a slight smoky taste and an unmistakable fish sauce taste. Here is our recipe:

What you will need:

1 fry-pan
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 medium-sized bowl
1lb pork, sliced thin
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
1 shallot, chopped small
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 hot chili, seeded and sliced lengthwise
1 or 2 lemongrass stalks, mashed then chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped

Cooking and Preparation:

Place pork, shallots, garlic, lemongrass, sugar, and fish sauce in bowl. Toss well. Let meat marinade in bowl for 1 hour. Heat pan on medium-high heat. Once hot, add oil. Place meat in pan. Let meat brown on one side for 5-7 minutes and then turn to brown the other side for same amount of time. Remove pan from heat and serve immediately. Garnish with fresh cilantro.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Monday's Bread Bowl: Roast Chicken with Black Olives

The Mixed Stew is on hiatus for the holiday. We are serving up oldies but goodies (re-runs) for the whole week. Happy New Year!

Post from September 20, 2010

Dishing up a taste of the Mediterranean

We’re offering up this unique and light rendition of roasted chicken. The olives gradually release natural oils that mingle and flavor the chicken thighs. The tomatoes add color and a tangy taste that complements the salty olive flavors. Here is our recipe:

What you will need:

1 wooden spoon
1 large bowl
1 small bowl filled with 1 cup water
1 baking pan or casserole dish
4 garlic cloves, minced
6-8 chicken thighs
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
¾ cup Kalamata olives, pitted
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon coarse salt
Pinch of black pepper
1 cup ripe tomatoes, seeded and quartered or 1 cup cherry tomatoes

Cooking and Preparation:

Combine garlic, olive oil, marjoram, salt and black pepper in bowl. Add chicken and coat in ingredients. Let chicken marinade for at least 3 hours. Meanwhile, soak black olives in small bowl of water for 5 minutes to remove excess salt. Add olives to chicken marinade during the last hour of marinade process. Mix well. Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Next, carefully position chicken pieces on baking pan or casserole dish with the skin side up. Add olives and wedged tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes) to the baking pan before placing in the oven. Bake for 1 hour. Remove chicken from oven. Let chicken rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Friday, December 24, 2010

It's Christmas all over the world

The Mixed Stew crew is taking a break to celebrate with family. Seasons greetings and happy holidays!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thursday’s Side Dish: Spam Kelaguen

Mash the meat, then add to it for a treat

We’ve discussed chicken kelaguen in a previous post. Now, we’re showing off—another Guam favorite-- Spam kelaguen. A version of the traditional recipe calls for the juice of 2 lemons, some diced red onion, black pepper, and 1 (12 oz) Spam loaf that been roughly mashed with a fork. Also, add two diced hot peppers and mix well. It’s a yummy Guamanian treat with an all-American twist. The tangy lemon juice and black pepper enhances the savory meat’s flavors. If you prepare this dish, let it chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or even overnight. Kelaguen tastes better with extra time for the flavors to combine and mature. We also suggest serving Spam kelaguen with corn or flour tortillas.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wednesday’s Helping: Honey

Pouring on nature’s golden sweetener
The Mixed Stew Crew has to give props to honeybees for this all-natural and super sweet food ingredient. Honey has a flavor that’s unmistakably unique to only this golden and viscous substance. Glucose, fructose, and water are the three major components of honey. A chemical reaction between the collected nectar of flower blossoms and the honeybees’ saliva produces honey. Colors range from nearly black, dark amber, to light gold and pale water-white. Darker colored honey tends to have a stronger flavor while lighter-colored varieties tend to be sweeter. The color and flavor of honey depends on the nectar source or the majority of blossoms, such as clover, that the bees choose to visit. A general rule of thumb means that lighter-colored honey is more expensive; for example, sage honey (with a light golden color) is more sought after than amber-colored clover honey. More than 300 varieties of honey can be found in the United States. Health studies suggest that consumption of honey can help improve liver function and maintain a healthy liver.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tuesday’s Cupful: SPAM

A can of porky flavors

Opening a can of the stuff will present you with a pink-colored mystery meat. Hormel’s SPAM (short for spiced ham) mainly contains cooked and processed pork shoulder and ham. This food item first appeared on the market in July 1937. Some would describe it as one of America’s most visible brands. U.S. forces brought and passed out the meat product in the U.K. and other war-torn regions during WWII. This may be why the canned meat is a staple food in Hawaii and Guam.

Today, this tasty meat product has become a pop-culture icon. Most of this canned meat is produced and manufactured in Austin, Minn., and experts estimate that roughly four cans are consumed every second in the U.S. Look for a soft meat consistency and a gelatinous coating to the rectangular meat loaves. It can be eaten right out of the can; however, aficionados usually fry slices and serve them as a breakfast meat or in sandwiches. Meanwhile, Hawaiians love their SPAM Musubi.

This food item has always been a convenient, savory, and tasty canned meat product that also has a very long shelf-life. The canned meat is available in 12 oz cans or 7 oz cans at most major supermarkets. The only other ingredients are water and sodium nitrate, which preserves the pink color and prevents the growth of bacteria.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Monday’s Bread Bowl: Baked Spam

Roast canned meat treat

Yes, we’re giving this luncheon meat its due since The Mixed Stew crew grew up eating Spam, which is a staple in Guam and Hawaii. We suggest taking this canned meat and seasoning it with honey and a bit of pepper for a tasty treat. If you wanna go a step further, prepare more than one Spam loaf and place sliced pineapple or pineapple chunks on top. The sweet ingredients will caramelize and seal in the savory juices.

What you will need:

1 small oven-safe baking pan
Non-stick cooking spray
1 small bowl
1 metal spoon
1 (12 oz) can Spam
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoon brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Cooking and Preparation:

Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Coat baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Combine honey, brown sugar, and black pepper in small bowl. Mix well. Put whole Spam loaf in baking pan. Pour and glaze loaf with honey mixture. Next, place Spam in preheated oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Let baked Spam rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving. We suggest serving Spam with steamed rice.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday’s Last Spoonful: Food Surfing

Here’s a holiday rip current

Food Surfing will feature fun food links from around the Blogosphere and Internet. These recommended links may give you other interesting ideas for making your life taste better.

Bummed over your usual holiday side dishes? The foodieview blog features a recipe roundup of different and yummy side dishes that are definitely unusual.

If you wanna spice up your holiday beverages, what to Drink has a primer and suggestions for your holiday libations.

Now, that we’ve given you advice on what to consume, we’d also like to remind you of these two movie classics that everyone can enjoy after the feast.

It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946)

Miracle on 34th Street” (1947)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thursday’s Side Dish: Stuffed Dates

Tart, pungent, nutty bites

Yes, the sweet date fruit – despite their wrinkly appearance – can serve as the foundation for a great appetizer. The Mixed Stew Crew picked up a crumbly and white Mexican cheese at H-Mart to stuff inside dates with whole almonds. It’s a tasty contradiction of salty and sweet. The whole almond in each piece gives every bite a nutty and crunchy texture. Meanwhile, the white cheese also adds a rich and salty flavor to contrast slightly creamy feel that sweetened by the date’s natural sweetness. Many recipes call for gorgonzola or blue cheese -- so you get the idea of what kind of flavor we're talking about. Some cooks may go further and wrap these three ingredients in bacon, but the stuffed dates are just as tasty without the extra fat there’s no greasy mess with our rendition of this yummy dish.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wednesday’s Helping: Date Fruit

Concentrated sweetness, naturally

Try the fruit from the phoenix dactylifera, or date palm, and you’ll taste a morsel that’s all-natural and super sweet. Date fruit, like honey and raisins, are one of nature’s sugary gems. Look for their dark-reddish brown and wrinkled skin with a waxy coating. The fruits grow in clusters just right under the palm’s sprawling leaves. The date palm’s fruit aka dates have an oval shape and usually average 1 ½ inches long. The plant originated in the Mediterranean region where it has been cultivated for centuries. Select dates that are plump and have a uniform color. Avoid dates that appear dried out or have crystals on the outside. Dates are a good source of fiber, calcium and copper.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tuesday’s Cupful: Fudge

A super sweet treat

We like sampling fudge at some of the local sweets shops. Fudge is a dense candy confection that’s usually comprised of four main ingredients -- chocolate, butter, milk, and a lot of sugar. Chocolate may be the most popular flavor but other varieties, such as peanut butter and butterscotch, are also available. Fudge is a heavier variant of fondant. Commercial makers of fudge can keep consumers wanting more by adding chopped nuts, crushed candy canes, or mini marshmallows. We made regular peanut butter fudge yummier with chopped dates but you can substitute them with dark chocolate bits crushed cashew nuts.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Monday’s Bread Bowl: Peanut Butter-Date Fudge

Ooey, gooey, deliciously chewy

We can’t keep our hands off this sweet peanut butter fudge. Preparation and cooking are very simple since all it takes is a bit of time in a microwave. The addition of dates gives our peanut butter fudge more oomph and at least the premise of a healthy element. Here is our recipe:

What you will need:

1 metal fork
1 medium-sized bowl that’s microwave safe
1 (8 x 8 inch) baking pan or 1 (9 x 5 inch) loaf pan
1 cup creamy peanut butter
½ cup dates, chopped
1 lb powdered sugar
1 cup butter, plus a bit more for greasing pan
wax paper

Cooking and Directions:
Prepare the pan for use later by buttering surfaces. Place 1 cup butter in bowl. Microwave on high for 2 minutes until melted. Next, add peanut butter and microwave for another 2 minutes. Add powdered sugar, date pieces, and blend well with fork. Pour into buttered pan lined with wax paper. Some recommend buttering the waxed paper once it is placed in the buttered pan. Once fudge is poured into pan, place a second piece of wax paper on top of fudge and refrigerate until cool. Cut into pieces, and it will keep for one week.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday's Last Spoonful: Food Surfing

Here’s another high tide

Food Surfing will feature fun food links from around the Blogosphere and Internet. These recommended links may give you other interesting ideas for making your life taste better.

If you’re tired of potato chips, Feast and Fotos has a unique recipe for kale chips. They’ll be the talk at your next party if you dare to serve them.

Here’s a mint chocolate cupcakes recipe that’s just right for the holiday season. Read Head Recipes also suggests making these cupcakes for St. Patrick’s Day.

Check out Straight Up Good Food and their holiday recipe series, which is themed around the 12 Days of Christmas.