Thursday, May 31, 2012

Thursday's Side Dish: Better Spaghetti Ingredients

Getting healthy without losing flavor
We’ve talked about the benefits of healthier pastas, such as multigrain and whole wheat noodles.  How about healthier flavor and taste ingredients for your spaghetti?  Some would recommend using poultry cuts instead of fatty ground beef or pork sausage.  We recommend using leaner turkey bacon or turkey ham instead of regular to make a smokey-flavored and leaner carbonara.  Of course, there’s always the option of dicing up pieces from deboned smoked turkey wings or legs.  Also, keep the calories at a minimum by using etra-virgin olive oil instead of traditional olive oil.  Lastly, remember that freshly chopped herbs, like oregano and basil, can go a long way towards flavoring any meatless pasta dish.   

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wednesday's Helping: Big Meatballs Aint All That

Roll with ‘em in Spaghetti

Italian pasta comes in all shapes and sizes from rigatoni to zite.  Cooks can pick from a huge assortment of pasta varieties.  Conversely, we decided to change up the way we make our traditional spaghetti W/ meatballs by making the meatballs bite-sized.  The results mean more servings and tastier spaghetti flavors sans maneuvering and cutting into large pieces of meatballs.  The trapped onion, garlic, and breadcrumbs have been sealed into the cooked meat.  Plus the bite-sized meatballs add a rustic charm that will please even your toughest critics . . . the kids.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tuesday's Cupful: Spaghetti and Smaller Meatballs

A way to lock in flavor

We like this dish since it’s a yummy change-up.  Cooking and preparing smaller meatballs has its advantages, such as sealing in the flavors of the chopped onion and minced garlic.  Here’s the recipe:

What you will need:

1 fry-pan W/ lid
1 wooden spoon
1 large bowl
1 cutting board
½ yellow onion, chopped small
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbspns canola oil
1 jar spaghetti sauce
2 lbs ground beef
1 lb Italian sausage
¼ cup milk
3 toasted bread slices, cut into small cubes
½ tbspn oregano
1 egg, beaten
1 box spaghetti noodles, cooked until al dente
Salt and black pepper to taste

Cooking and Directions:

Combine ground beef, onion, garlic, milk, bread, beaten egg, oregano, salt, and black pepper in large bowl.  Mix well.  Next, roughly divide and shape small meatballs (about 1/2 – inch to 1 inch in diameter).  Set aside on cutting board.  Heat fry-pan on medium-high heat and pour in cooking oil.  Gradually place meatballs into hot pan and return lid.  Let meatballs brown on each side for 8 to 10 minutes then flip or turnover with wooden spoon.  Once meatballs are done then add spaghetti sauce.  Let pan’s ingredients reach a slow simmer and let ingredients braise for 15 to 20 minutes.  Finally, crumble Italian sausage into pan while stirring well then let ingredients simmer for an extra 10 minutes or more until sausage is fully-cooked.  Remove pan from heat.  Serve with al dente pasta.      

Monday, May 28, 2012

On Holiday

Happy Memorial Day to all our faithful readers.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday's Last Spoonful: Baked Spam

We're celebrating summer's arrival with some Oldies but Goodies.  We'll be back on May 29, 2012 with new food ideas.

Post from December 20, 2010

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.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Thursday's Side DIsh: Coconut Milk Corn Soup

We're celebrating summer's arrival with some Oldies but Goodies.  We'll be back on May 29, 2012 with new food ideas.

Post from January 3, 2011

 A dish that is like a warm, island hug

We’ve been making this style of corn soup for years in our family. Rich coconut milk and sweet corn really do complement each other in this hearty soup. You can use regular chicken, like we’ve done here, or give it more oomph with shrimp, crab, or clams. We also suggest using a combination of canned cream-style corn and frozen corn to give each spoonful a chunkier bite of corn flavor. Here is our recipe:

What you will need:

1 wooden spoon
1 large stock pot with lid
1 yellow onion, chopped small
2 potatoes, diced into cubes
3 garlic cloves, chopped small
2 tablespoons cooking oil
3-5 medium to large chicken thighs, deboned and diced into bite-sized pieces
1 (16 oz) package frozen petite sweet corn
1 (15.25 oz) can of golden sweet corn (Add whole can to soup and do not drain.)
1 (14.75 oz) can of cream-style corn
1 (13.5 oz) can of coconut milk
1 whole egg, beaten
5 cups water
Salt and black pepper to taste

Cooking and Directions:

Heat pot on medium-high heat and pour in cooking oil. Add garlic, onion, salt, and pepper. Let onion turn translucent. Next, add in chicken and let meat brown for 5 to 7 minutes. Add frozen corn, potatoes, canned corn and mix well. Lower heat and let corn and chicken braise for 20 minutes. Pour in water and coconut milk. Cover with lid, and return heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil while stirring occasionally. Lower heat again to medium-low, cover with lid, and let soup simmer for another 15 minutes. Finally stir well while adding beaten egg liquid. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wednesday's Helping: Latiya

We're celebrating summer's arrival with some Oldies but Goodies.  We'll be back on May 29, 2012 with new food ideas.  

Chamorro Custard Cake

This is a Guam favorite that’s sure to please anybody with a sweet tooth. A light but creamy yellow custard is poured a top a rich and yellow butter cake. Then it’s flavored and decorated with ground cinnamon before serving cold or at room temperature. Here’s the recipe:

What you will need:

1 wooden spoon
1 wire whisk
1 medium-sized sauce pan
1 can (or 12 oz) evaporated milk
1 2/3 Cup water
¼ Cup cornstarch
5 tablespoons sugar
Plastic wrap
1 large platter or serving tray
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons butter
2 whole eggs, beaten
ground cinnamon
yellow cake (or store-bought pound cake)

Cooking and Directions:

Slice yellow cake or store-bought pound cake into ¼ inch thick by 3 inch pieces. Arrange slices on to platter so that rectangular pieces overlap and slices have straight cracks between them. Completely cover platter with cakes slices and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside.
Place sauce pan on medium heat. Pour in 1 1/3 cups water and bring to a slow boil. Add evaporated milk and sugar while stirring. Mix remaining water with cornstarch and vanilla extract. Gradually pour in cornstarch mixture while continuing to stir with wooden spoon or whisk. Be careful not to burn the custard.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tuesday's Cupful: Cold Kimchi Noodles

We're celebrating summer's arrival with some Oldies but Goodies.  We'll be back on May 29, 2012 with new food ideas.  

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.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday's Bread Bowl: Shrimp Patties

We're celebrating summer's arrival with some Oldies but Goodies.  We'll be back on May 29, 2012 with new food ideas.  

Post originally from December 12, 2011. 

These are a Guam favorite. They’re a seafood counterpoint to the traditional BBQ ribs or chicken at most island parties. The addition of baking powder ensures a soft and light consistency. Here’s the recipe: 
What you will need:

1 baker’s spatula
1 metal tablespoon
1 large bowl
2 ½ cups canola oil
1 fry-pan
1 baking pan with wire rack
1 lb raw shrimp, deveined, sliced small, and mashed
1 (12 oz) package mixed vegetables, thawed and drained
1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1 beaten egg
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ large yellow onion, chopped small
Pinch of salt and pepper

Cooking and Directions:

Combine mixed veggies, shrimp, salt, pepper, onion, garlic, milk, beaten egg, and baking powder in large bowl. Mix well. Gradually pour in flour while stirring constantly with spatula. Look for and expect a wet batter consistency. Heat canola oil in fry pan on medium-high heat for 3 to 5 minutes or until a small amount of batter begins to fry or float in heated oil. Scoop tablespoon portions of prepared batter into fry-pan while being careful to space them out. Let patties brown and fry on each side for 8 minutes. Patties will eventually float while frying in hot oil. Remove fried patties once they reach an even golden brown color on all sides. Place patties on wire rack to drain and cool.

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Late Spring Break

The Mixed Stew crew is taking a much needed break to work on final school projects.  We will be back on May 21, 2012 with some yummy "Oldies But Goodies."

Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday's Last Spoonful: Domino Demerara

A lighter shade of brown
Look for this specialty sweetener next to the regular sugar products and baking items.  A 24 oz. package retails for $3.00 and up.  We recommend Domino Demerara washed raw sugar cane for anyone craving a slight molasses flavor.  The label explains that the contents are “washed raw cane sugar.”  Also, expect a subtly larger than usual granule compared to regular sugar and traditional brown sugar.  There’s an extra crunch in every serving or sprinkling of this special sweetener.     

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Thursday’s Side Dish: Cranberry Seasoned Smoked Salmon

A fruity twist in every bite

We recently picked up a nice piece of specially smoked salmon flavored with dried cranberries from NEOPOL Savory Smokery.  Lovers of smoked food items can find a yummy array of smoked seafood, such as trout, rockfish, and shrimp.  Also, look for unique flavor varieties – like candied ginger, Thai rub, and caramelized onion.  NEOPOL charges a premium price per pound for their smoked treats. It's $25 per lb. for their smoked salmon so we treat ourselves sparingly. The cut shown here was a little over a quarter lb. and cost $10.  Non-seafood items include NEOPOL’s smoked bacon, turkey breast, and even smoked salads.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wednesday’s Helping: Sweet Fillings for Quesadillas

Something oooey and gooey
Need a way to enjoy smores with less mess?  Try placing mini-marshmallows and chocolate chips between two tortilla layers before grilling them to make sweet, rich, and neater quesadillas.  Nutella and plain peanut butter make for yummy ingredients for sweet quesadillas.  We also suggest using fruit bits, such as sliced bananas, chopped strawberries, and mashed raspberries along with cream cheese.        

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tuesday's Cupful: Dried Cranberries

Toss some into the mix
A handful of these are better than a serving of potato chips or other junk food snack items.  Dried cranberries come with so much sweet tart flavor and quite a bit of chewy goodness.  Look for them next to the raisins, prunes, and in some trail mixes.  We suggest keeping a bag or two in your kitchen since they go well with fresh greens or salads.  Toss a bunch of dried cranberries into your usual dressing or turkey stuffing recipe at Thanksgiving to sneak more nutrition into every bite.   Dried cranberries also add a touch of fruity flavor dimension to bread or cookie recipes.  Meanwhile, they’re a source of dietary fiber and antioxidants.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Monday’s Bread Bowl: Sweet Quesadillas

A dessert with Mexican flair

The savory version of this food item tends to be a favorite for lunch and dinner.  Here’s a luscious dessert rendition:

What you will need:

1 metal spoon
1 metal spatula
1 chef’s knife
1 medium-sized bowl
1 cutting board
1 fry-pan or skillet
1 serving plate
2 large flour tortillas
½ cup cream cheese
1 ripe banana, thinly sliced
½ cup dried cranberries
3 tblspn honey or maple butter
1 to 2 teaspoons cinnamon, ground

Whipped topping

Cooking and Directions:

Layout one flour tortilla on cutting board.  Smear and spread cream cheese on one-half and one side of tortilla.  Then add a layer of dried cranberries, sliced banana, sprinkled cinnamon, and honey (or maple butter).  Fold over clean tortilla flap to form quesadilla.  Press down firmly.  Heat up skillet at medium-high heat.  Add a pat of butter to skillet and grease bottom of pan.  Next, carefully position quesadilla into skillet.  Let quesadilla cook on each side for 1 to 3 minutes until nicely browned.  Repeat process for second tortilla.  Cut cooked quesadillas into wedges with chef’s knife and serve with whipped topping.