Monday, April 30, 2012

Spring Break

The Mixed Stew Crew is taking a week off for some Spring cleaning.  We will be back on May 7 with more food for thought and satisfaction.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday's Last Spoonful: Pillsbury Grands Biscuit Dough

Soft pastries in a jiff
Cracking open a can of biscuit dough has its perks.  Pillsbury brand makes a whole line of premade and carefully portioned biscuit dough.  A (16.3 oz) Grands Biscuit dough canister makes 8 large biscuits.  Expect fluffy soft and flaky baked biscuits each time you use this food item.  Other nifty alternative uses for this product include quick pizza crust, monkey bread, shortcut siopao, quick breads, or quick calzones.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A day on hiatus

Pardon The Mixed Stew Crew.  The day just got away from us.  We'll be back tomorrow.  

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wednesday’s Helping: Meatless Filling for Siopao

Load’em with veggie flavor

Presenting vegetarians with a plate of these steamed buns can be a real treat for their appetites. We suggest fillings made with equal parts diced shitake mushrooms, blanched carrot cubes, and blanched cabbage slices. Toss in a minced garlic clove and minced scallions to bring out all the subtle flavors. Wanna be more daring? Add a dash of kimchi sauce or premade kimchi to add extra spice to the mix. Other veggies you can add: diced radish, chopped water chestnut, and sliced Chinese broccoli.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tuesday’s Cupful: Pork Filling for Siopao

Spicy and juicy pork in each bite

Combining lightly seasoned pork sausage with soy sauce and fish sauce gives this recipe an Asian twist. You can make siopao filling or serve this seasoned pork over steamed rice. Here’s our rendition:

What you will need:

1 wooden spoon
1 skillet
2 lbs loose pork sausage
½ yellow onion, diced small
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsns cooking oil
2 tbspns soy sauce
1 tsp fish sauce
Pinch of salt and pepper

Cooking and Directions:

Heat up skillet at medium-high heat. Add oil. Wait 2 to 3 minutes then toss in garlic, salt, pepper, and onion. Stir well. Let onion turn translucent then add pork sausage. Brown pork sausage for 10 to 15 minutes while crumbling with wooden spoon. Add soy sauce and fish sauce. Mix well. Remove from stovetop and set aside.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday’s Bread Bowl: EZ Short-Cut Siopao

Steamed buns in a flash

We recently learned of this quick method for making Chinese/ Filipino steamed buns. Frozen and precut biscuit dough is the secret ingredient. We thank and offer our hats off to for this technique. Here’s the recipe:

What you will need:

1 wooden spoon
1 baker’s rolling pin
1 cast-iron skillet
1 cutting board
wax paper cut into 5" squares
1 double boiler steamer W/ lid
3 cups water
1 (16.3 oz) can Pillsbury Grands Big Biscuits
1 batch spicy pork filling for siopao * recipe will be posted tomorrow

Cooking and Directions:

Break open pack of prepared biscuit dough. Separate individual round pieces. Flatten each with rolling pin. Individually spoon and stuff roughly one tablespoon of prepared pork filling into middle of each piece of dough while pulling up like a cloth sack, and pressing tight, sealing in filling into a round-shaped bun.

Add and pour in 3 cups water. Cover with lid. Set heat at high and bring water to a rolling boil. Place and arrange uncooked buns on piece of wax paper and place them into steamer. Let buns steam for 10-12 minutes. Buns should fluff-up and grow in size.

Friday, April 20, 2012

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 Mountain Country Cooking by Mark F. Sohn for food lovers looking for tastes of Mountain Region of the United States. Look for homey recipes, such as Fried Bacon, Stuffed Cabbage Rolls, and Pinto Bean Cakes.

John Martin Taylor’s The New Southern Cook has yummy recipes from areas below Mason-Dixon Line. We like the Fried Soft-Shell Crab and Blue Cheese Burgers.

Lastly, Pacifica Blue Plates by Neil Stuart offers up a fusion of spicy and continental fare in its pages that come from the Asian-Pacific Region. Take a bite out of their Seared Hawaiian Ahi, Smoked Salmon Jerky, or Maui Onion Fritters.

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

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thursday’s Side Dish: Raw Oysters

Slurp’em up

A dozen of these can be mighty refreshing and satisfying. We prefer ocean caught varieties. Unless they are from a bay, raw oysters have a strong ocean taste that The Mixed Stew crew craves – even more so than any other fish or seafood. Raw oysters are widely known as a delicacy so expect to pay a premium price. We recommend spiking raw oysters with Tabasco, lemon juice, and either horseradish or tangy cocktail sauce. What to look for in good raw oysters? Look for oyster meat that’s plump, opaque, and submerged in a small amount of seawater. Spicier toppings include srirracha or Asian chile sauce.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wednesday’s Helping: Linguine

A flat pasta with grit
Look out for this pasta that’s heartier than spaghetti but less weighty than fettucine. The name translates from Italian into “little tongues.” This specific pasta-shape originated in Northeast Italy in the Liguria region. We recommend preparing linguine-shaped noodles for hefty tomato sauces and thicker white sauces since they have more bite. Traditionally, Italian cooks like pairing linguine with seafood, such as clams or mussels.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tuesday’s Cupful: Canned Clam Sauces

Tasty flavors off-the-shelf

Sun of Italy’s canned clam sauces work in a pinch. Sun of Italy makes red and white varieties for pasta lovers. Expect to pay between $2.99 and $4.00 for each 15 oz. can of these premium sauces. A diced red tomato, chopped onion, and garlic help lend a homemade twist to our recipe but cooks can add chopped parsley, hot pepper flakes, or even capers to make these sauces all their own. If you really wanna make it spicy, several squeezes of sriracha sauce can add more zing to every bite.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday’s Bread Bowl: Quick Linguini in Clam Sauce

Another pasta dish to love

Preparing this seafood dish takes mere minutes compared to more complex pasta dishes. Al dente linguini noodles provide hefty bites in every serving. Here’s the recipe:

What you will need:

1 wooden spoon
1 large stock pot
1 large skillet
1 colander
3 tbspns olive oil
1 (12 oz) package linguini, cooked until al dente
1 (15 oz) can Sun of Italy brand white clam sauce
1 large tomato, diced
3 garlic cloves, chopped small
½ Spanish onion, chopped
6 cups water
Pinch of salt and pepper

Cooking and Directions:

Heat skillet on medium-high heat. Add oil, garlic, and onion. Sautee ingredients until onion turns translucent. Add diced tomato and stir well. Next, add white clam sauce. Let sauce simmer for 8 to 10 minutes. Empty colander of cooked linguini into skillet and mix well. Remove skillet from stove and serve immediately, adding grated parmesan cheese on top if desired. Serve with garlic toast.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Easter Break

The Mixed Stew crew is going on break for the holiday. We'll be back on April 16, 2012. Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Thursday’s Side Dish: Pineapple Baked Beans

A sassy and tangy combo

The Mixed Stew crew made this sweeter rendition of baked beans. The addition of pineapple enhances the flavors in every bite.

What you will need:

1 (9 X 13 inch) casserole dish
Non-stick cooking spray
1 (28 oz) can baked beans
½ yellow onion, diced small
1 garlic clove, minced
3 pineapple slices
¼ cup Italian bread crumbs
Pinch of salt and pepper

Cooking and Directions:

Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Spray casserole dish with non-stick cooking dish. Pour canned beans into dish. Stir in onion, garlic, pepper, and salt. Top with bread crumbs and pineapple. Place dish in oven and bake for 45 minutes.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wednesday’s Helping: Pre-salting Eggplants

Makes it more palatable
Eggplants can possess a very bitter taste so we suggest cooking them in strong flavors or try pre-salting these nightshades before inserting them in your favorite recipes. The Mixed Stew crew slices these fruits into rounds or wedges (depending on the shape) then sprinkles them with coarse salt. Allow the salted eggplant pieces to sit for 15 to 20 minutes. What will happen? The salt draws out juices and some of the natural bitterness of the eggplant. Remove the salt with a water bath or light rinsing. Next, prepare the eggplant as usual in any recipe calling for them.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tuesday’s Cupful: Sour Cream

A smooth dairy ingredient
A dollop of this cream usually adds extra richness and dimension to Mexican dishes. Lactic acid is the primary ingredient that gives sour cream its zing. Traditional sour cream contains 15 to 20 percent butterfat. The fermenting process allows the cream to thicken and “mature” in flavor. Also, look for non-fat and light sour cream varieties. Sour cream can be used as a thickening agent for different sauces while some cake recipes also call for this food item. Remember that crème fraiche and Crema Mexicana are similar ingredients to sour cream.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Monday's Bread Bowl: Eggplants in the bake

Spruce up this nightshade

Take a rather bland eggplant and turn it into this satisfying and tasty casserole. We also removed some of the natural bitterness with a light pre-salting and water bath before baking. Here’s the recipe:

What you will need:

1 wooden spoon
2 medium-sized bowls
1 stock pot
6 cups water
1 (9 x 13 inch) casserole dish
Non-stick cooking spray
1 large eggplant, diced into cubes
3 tbspns cheddar cheese, shredded
3 bread slices, toasted and chopped into cubes
2 tbspns sour cream
2 tbspns butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1 tbspn coarse salt
Salt and pepper to taste

Cooking and Directions:

Slice eggplant into round circles. Salt on both sides with coarse salt and set aside for at least 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat 3 cups water in stockpot on high heat until boiling. Carefully rinse-off eggplant in a cold water then drain. Chop eggplant into small cubes then blanch in boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes then drain. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put blanched eggplant into large bowl. Add ingredients and blend well being careful not to mash the eggplant. Coat casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Pour blended ingredients into dish. Bake for 25 minutes then remove from oven. Let baked casserole rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.