Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wednesday’s Helping: Bihon Noodles

Another Asian staple
We recommend adding or using these noodles to stretch many traditional stir-fry recipes. Bihon noodles or rice noodles can also come in handy as a serving foundation for spicy or saucy dishes. Basically, spoon a portion of seasoned ingredients on top of quickly* cooked or softened rice noodles for a delicate substitute to steamed rice. Again, this food item absorbs any flavors, seasonings, or sauces. These noodles are also known as rice vermicelli or rice sticks. Remember not to confuse rice noodles with cellophane noodles or mung bean noodles.

*Follow cooking instructions on the package carefully so as not to overcook the noodles.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesday’s Cupful: Bean Thread Noodles

A gluten-free alternative
This food item is a staple in Asian Cuisines. They’re also known as mung bean noodles, cellophane noodles or glass noodles. Expect an appearance and consistency that’s very similar to rice vermicelli. The best cellophane noodles are tasteless and come made from green mung bean, but also be aware of cheaper varieties made from wheat. Cooks must soak the dried and packaged noodles in steaming hot water for several minutes to make them soft, pliable, and more apt to soak up flavors in stir-frys, soups, or salads. These bland noodles are popular for their ability to absorb spices, sauces, and added seasonings in different dishes.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday’s Bread Bowl: Cold Kimchi Noodles

A sweet and tangy kimchi dish

This is a hot and spicy noodle salad that The Mixed Stew crew has enjoyed at a Guam restaurant for many years. The combination of chilled noodles and hot kimchi spices provides a contradiction of taste sensations that means having more than one serving at a time for the Mixed Stew crew. Here’s the recipe:

What you will need:

1 spatula
1 large bowl
6 cups water
1 medium bowl
1 colander
1 stock pot
1 package bean thread noodles
At least 1/3 cup sugar or more to taste
8 oz kimchi base
1/3 cup sesame oil
½ cup green onion, chopped small
¼ cup palm white vinegar


Sliced daikon radish

Cooking and Directions:

Heat water in stock pot until boiling point. Place dried bean thread noodles in large bowl. Next, pour hot water into bowl with noodles until submerged. Let bean thread noodles soak and soften for 2 to 3 minutes then drain in colander. Return cooked noodles to large bowl. Combine kimchi base, sugar, vinegar, and sesame oil in medium bowl. Add kimchi dressing to noodles and toss well. Finally, add green onion, cucumber, and sesame seeds then chill in fridge for at least 3 hours before serving.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thursday's Side Dish: Tasty Tomato Sandwich

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

Post from June 21, 2010

A cool and refreshing healthy bite

The Mixed Stew thinks this yummy sandwich is just right for the hot summer months with tomatoes in season. We’ve selected the freshest ripe and red ones for this sandwich. There’s a hearty spread that is a blend of mayo, sliced chives, and Dijon mustard to enhance the tangy tomato flavors in every bite of this refreshing sandwich.

What you will need:

1 butter knife
1 small cutting board
1-2 tablespoons Dijon mayo w/ chives
2 multi-grain bread slices (hearty bread recommended because of moisture from tomatoes)
4-5 ( ¼ inch wide) slices, ripened tomato
Salt and pepper to taste Preparation and Directions:

Lay out both bread slices for building a sandwich. Spread Dijon mayo (w/ chives) on both slices. Next, pile tomato slices on top of spread mayo, so that the mayo is completely covered with tomato. This guarantees that there’s a slice tomato in every bite. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Finally, close sandwich.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wednesday's Helping: Raisin Swirl Grilled Cheese

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

Post from November 8, 2010

Sweet and salty sandwich delight

Here’s another souped up sandwich that’s tasty. Switch out the American cheese and replace the whole wheat or bland white bread with two sweet slices of the Pepperidge Farm raisin cinnamon swirl loaf that’s available at most major supermarkets. This bread is well worth the extra dimes at $3.49 for a 16 oz loaf. The added raisins and cinnamon make for a tangy and sweet combo in every bite. The toasted bread’s sweetness really enhances the usually mild sharpness of the melted Swiss cheese. Here’s our recipe:

What you will need:

1 cutting board
2 slices of Pepperidge Farm Raisin Cinnamon Loaf
1 spatula
1 cast iron skillet or non-stick frying pan
1 tablespoon melted butter
2 slices Swiss cheese

Cooking and Preparation:

Heat pan on medium-high setting. Place slices of Swiss cheese between two bread slices and set aside. Take butter and throw in pan. Spread melted butter with spatula to evenly coat pan’s surface. Carefully position the built sandwich in frying pan. Let the sandwich brown for 2-3 minutes on both sides. Serve immediately. Wanna make it extra hearty? Try adding a slice of ham between the pieces of bread before heating.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tuesday's Cupful: Bacon Marmalade

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

Post from September 9, 2009

An extra-fancy toasted sandwich

The Mixed Stew highlighted a kids' favorite yesterday and now would like to talk about a more grownup treat. Bacon and marmalade on toast raises the bar in sandwich enjoyment. The combination of sweet and tangy marmalade with crispy smoked bacon makes for a tasty experience. This is a sandwich that’s way beyond elementary school recess. Do you happen to be in the Big Apple? Adults may pamper themselves by eating this sandwich (on pumpernickel) at Prune in NYC’s East Village. Otherwise, buy all the ingredients and make a late-night snack. Just don’t forget to toast the bread. We suggest a firm variety of bread as opposed to regular soft white or wheat. Oh, and if marmalade just isn't your thing, Nelly suggests substituting apricot preserves.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday's Bread Bowl: Chipotle and Avocado

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

Post from September 24, 2009

Get a grip of this sandwich

We told you about the Bacon and Marmalade sandwich. Here’s another gourmet sandwich. Take pork (from our Chipotle and Pork Stew), pull it apart, and lay it out on a hearty roll. Add slices of ripe avocado and julienned yellow onion. Dress with cheddar cheese and some mayonnaise. The spicy pork and creamy avocado work well together as far as flavors and texture and just might intrigue your taste buds with every bite. Balducci’s has served a version of this sandwich at its gourmet deli.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday's Last Spoonful: Food Surf

Three more good reads

Food Surfing will feature fun food links from around the Blogosphere, including leads to hardcover helpers. These recommended links may give you other interesting ideas for making your life taste better. The Mixed Stew crew likes hunting through cookbooks for a good recipe or three.

We recommend America’s Most Wanted Recipes by Ron Douglas for food lovers looking for recipes of their favorite dishes from popular restaurants.

Aaron Sanchez’s Simple Food, Big Flavor has yummy Mexican fusion recipes and food ideas to fill your weekly menus with spicy meals. Look out for hot recipes, such as mini chorizo and potato tortas or roasted lamb with pomegranate-tamarind sauce.

Lastly, we like everyday FOOD, which is a Martha Stewart food magazine, since it provides simple “dressed down” dishes and recipes

Note: If you order via the links above, The Mixed Stew creators will get a tiny referral fee.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thursday’s Side Dish: Campbell’s Chunky Chicken Corn Chowder

Chicken, potatoes, and corn in a pinch
The Mixed Stew crew added this ready-made chunky chicken chowder to our latest Monday’s Bread Bowl to add a flavor kick to our homemade and hearty soup. Campbell’s Chicken Corn Chowder also makes for a filling lunch at work and at the office. We suggest that you keep a can or two on hand for those cold days or for when you need a warm and filling bowl of soup to chase the sniffles away.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wednesday’s Helping: Slimming Down Soup Recipes

Get the skimming done beforehand

Don’t think that all bowls of soup are healthy alternatives to full meals. Creamy soups, such as clam chowder or corn chowder may be loaded with calories from fat-laden dairy cream, half-n-half, or coconut milk. We suggest using skimmed milk to prepare or ensure healthier servings of creamy soups or chowders. If that’s not an option, try waiting for a batch of soup to cool to room temperature and then letting it chill in the refrigerator overnight. The chilling process will allow the fatty liquids and solids to separate or float to the top and surface of the batch of soup, so you can skim it with a metal spoon before serving.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tuesday’s Cupful: What is Masa Harina?

Not just any ol’ corn flour

The Spanish literally translates into “dough flour.” This is a specially processed corn flour that’s used to make Mexican tortillas, tamales, and other Latin American food items. The preparation involves soaking dried corn in a mixture of water and lime, which makes the corn more palatable or easier to digest. The wet corn dough gets ground into a powder that’s sold as masa harina. Cooks cannot substitute regular corn flour for masa harina and vice versa. Adding water to masa harina creates the new dough necessary to make tortillas, enchiladas, etc. Have you ever tried to cook with masa harina?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday's Bread Bowl: Chicken Corn Soup With Masa

Another yummy corn soup

This corn soup calls for some corn flour and coconut milk to thicken the chicken stock. Consequently, expect a stronger corn taste in every spoonful. We also added some canned corn chowder to enhance the flavors. Here’s the recipe:

What you will need:

1 wooden spoon
1 large stock pot with lid
1 (18 oz.) can Campbell’s (chunky) corn chowder
2 tablespoons cooking oil
8 cups water
4 to 6 chicken leg quarters
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 to 1 and ¼ cup Masa Harina or corn flour
2 (15 oz) canned corn, drained
1 (14 oz) bag frozen corn
1 can of coconut milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Cooking and Directions:

Place chicken legs in stock pot just enough water to cover pieces and bring to a boil over medium-high to high heat. Let chicken boil until thoroughly cooked -- 30 minutes or so. Allow ingredients to completely cool to room temperature. Debone the chicken and then shred and/or chop the meat into small pieces.

Return stock pot to stove and add oil, salt, pepper, garlic and onion. Stir well and let ingredients cook until onion turn translucent. Add in loose chicken meat and fry for 5 to 8 minutes. Add 6 cups of chicken broth along with canned corn chowder then bring covered pot to a boil. Next, lower the heat to keep ingredients at a slow simmer. Combine 2 cups remaining chicken broth with Masa harina. Gradually add mixture to the pot’s ingredients while stirring to prevent lumps. Add corn. Cover pot. Let ingredients heat up to a slow simmer and gradually stir in coconut milk. DO NOT allow coconut milk to boil. After 10-15 minutes, turn off heat. Let soup rest for another 15 to 20 minutes. Finally, add salt and pepper to taste.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veterans' Day!

The Mixed Stew is on a break to celebrate Veterans' Day. We'll be back on November 14, 2011 with more yummy food ideas.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thursday’s Side Dish: Spicy Roasted Delicata Seeds

A nice alternative to unhealthy nibblers

We made this light treat as a substitute for potato chips. Delicata seeds have a natural nutty crunch and flavor. A shake of paprika and salt provides the yummy tastes that snack lover will enjoy. Here’s the recipe:

What you will need:

1 large bowl
1 baking sheet
Non-stick cooking spray
Delicata seeds from 2 pieces of squash
2 teaspoons paprika
Sprinkle of salt
Aluminum foil

Cooking and Directions:

Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Season and toss Delicata seeds in large bowl with paprika and salt. Spray foil-lined baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Place baking sheet into oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool and serve.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wednesday’s Helping: Squash vs. Pumpkin

Carve one but not the other

What’s the difference between a squash and a pumpkin? Generally, a pumpkin can be carved while a squash usually is too small in size or cumbersome in shape to carve. Pumpkins can grow to large girths compared to squashes. Types of pumpkins can also acquire the typical orange color associated with Halloween. Both fruits grow on vines, but a wide majority of pumpkins tend to possess thick and woody stems while squashes tend to have softer stems. Remember that squashes and pumpkins belong to the biological family known as Cucurbita.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tuesday’s Cupful: Delicata Squash

An elegant lady

We recently stumbled on to this lovely squash. Look for the striated green and yellow skin with and an oblong shape. The biological name for this squash is Cucurbita pepo. Cutting into a ripe specimen of this winter squash reveals deep yellow and orange flesh that’s firm yet buttery and smooth. Once cooked, it has a sweetness that isn't overbearing at all. Other names of for this squash are peanut squash, sweet potato squash, and Bohemian squash. Delicatas contain beta-carotene, manganese, and vitamin C.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Monday’s Bread Bowl: Spicy Sweet Roasted Squash

A homey sweet and salty combo

We’re thinking about serving this dish on Thanksgiving. We seasoned Delicata, aka sweet potato, squash with brown sugar and coarse sea salt. The result is a salty sweet taste that enhances the natural flavors and smooth texture of baked squash. Here’s the recipe.

What you will need:

1 baking sheet
Aluminum foil
Non-stick Cooking spray
3 to 4 Delicata squashes, *seeded and sliced into ¼ inch pieces or half-rings
1/3 cup brown sugar
2-3 tbsp of sea salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons paprika

Cooking and Directions:

Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Prepare baking sheet by lining with foil to cover bottom and secure at sides. Spray with cooking spray. Arrange squash pieces on greased foil. Sprinkle liberally with salt, paprika, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Place in oven and bake for 45-60 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven and serve immediately or let cool and freeze for reheating and serving at a later date.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday's Last Spoonful: Beat the Chill

Craving hearty soups and stews

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.

Cold November days mean it’s time to warm things up. has soup recipes, ideas for soups, and nifty ways to salvage any soup recipe gone awry here. focuses on a whole variety of soups from the thin and runny to the thick and chunky.

This successful and prolific series of Soup for the Soul books can’t be beat for anyone into more literary soul searching.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thursday’s Side Dish: Banquet Brown ‘N Serve Sausages

Best for meat lovers on the run

If you’re ever in a rush but still want to satisfy cravings for pan-fried breakfast sausage, then we suggest you pick up a box or two of Banquet’s Brown ‘N Serve sausages. Just zap a few in the microwave and they always turn out perfect and ready for placing in a bread roll. They’re also a great accompaniment for hardier fare, such as pancakes or sunny-side up eggs. The Mixed Stew crew has even added sliced Brown ‘N Serve pork sausage to breakfast fried rice.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wednesday's Helping: Making Leaner S.O.S.

Creating leaner alternatives

How can you make this homey dish safer to eat for the diet conscientious? The Mixed Stew crew suggests making creamed beef with ground turkey, which has enough taste to make it yummy. Another idea is lowering and restricting the fat content by selecting leaner ground beef or slicing thin pieces of lean beef, such as flank steak or skirt steak. If you choose to make a leaner chipped beef, we also suggest using beef broth instead of regular water to compensate for the lack of natural juiciness in lean beef cuts.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tuesday’s Cupful: Background on Beef S.O.S.

A U.S. military tradition

This austere dish was invented by and for personnel serving in the U.S. military. Some recipes may refer to it as Chipped Beef, Creamed Beef, or Beef S.O.S. Meanwhile, sources mention that the dish has been around since the 1930s. Basically, this dish is comprised of cooked, dried, and shredded beef or ground beef that’s creamed in thickened-white gravy. S.O.S. stands for “Sh—on-a Shingle.” or “Stew on a Shingle.” Again, creamed beef usually gets served on a piece of toasted bread with a fried egg placed on top or served on the side. Beef S.O.S. became a staple since it’s easy to cook massive amounts to feed a crowd or large group of hungry soldiers. Recipes vary from simply seasoned to ones calling for bouillon and chopped parsley. Have you ever tried creamed beef on toast?