Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tuesday's Cupful: Live Maine Lobster

Look for the claws

Yes, this is the supreme crustacean and most popular, too. Lobstermen harvest Maine Lobster or American Lobster from waters off the coast of New England up into Canada. We've seen how back-breaking the work can be from movies and television. This year, lobsters are plentiful. We found the shellfish selling for $5.49 a pound at the nearby Korean supermarket. Unbelievable! The shell goes from dark brown to deep red when cooked. Specimens can grow larger than 20 inches and can also weigh more than 40 lbs. A pair of largest claws in the crustacean family distinguishes this sea floor crawler from is relative -- the European Lobster or Common Lobster. The industry is regulated in the United States. Lobstermen must release small lobsters back into the ocean if it's not larger than 3 1/4 inches long. Select lobsters that are still lively and respond to stimuli. Tails should be straight (not curl under the lobster's body). Expect a healthy lobster to try to defend itself with its claws. Avoid live lobsters with limp claws and limbs. Maine Lobsters are available year-round.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday's Bread Bowl: Fresh Lobster

A red seafood delight

Here's the priciest type of seafood that can be prepared by anyone. Cooked lobster has a sweet and succulent flavor that's almost always a hit with seafood lovers.

What you will need:

12 cups water
1 large stock pot W/ lid
3 lobsters, 1 lb to 1 1/2 lbs each
2 tbspns coarse salt

Cooking and Directions:

Bring water to a rolling boil. Place lobsters into boiling. Let them cook for 17 minutes. Lobster should turn completely red in color. Serve immediately.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday's Last Spoonful: Food Surfing

A bunch for avocados

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.

Browse through the Pink Avocado Blog for fun recipes and also look at another foodie's ideas for eating and cooking in the kitchen.

Health.com features 8 great avocado recipes that are yummy alternatives to guacamole. The Southwestern Salad caught our eyes.

Finally, avocadorecipes.net has a tasty list of avocado recipes. The Avocado Crab Soup and Avocado Lime Pie are our frisky favorites.  

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thursday's Side Dish: Shin Ramyun Black

A spicy instant ramen

We bought this instant Ramen noodle soup after spotting it on sale at H Mart. Shin Ramyun Black is actually a South Korean premium brand instant noodle soup. Each package contains dried ramen noodles, soup base, dehydrated veggies, and a spicy seasonings packet. All one needs to add is 2 1/2 cups of steaming hot water to make a very yummy bowl of ramen noodle soup. Look for a family pack of 4 individual servings (or 4 individual packages) to run between $3.99 and $6.99 at your favorite Asian Foods grocery store.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wednesday's Helping: Avocados done differently

Don't mash 'em up

We think of making guacamole whenever we purchase avocados, but there is the underlying urge to try making something different. What do we suggest? Remember that pureed avocados and heavy cream (or half-n-half) can make a rich soup stock that's to be served cold. Add cooked seafood, such as shrimp, crab meat, or imitation crab to the soup. Garnish with sliced green onion, diced cucumber, corn kernels, and minced cilantro. You can also make antipasti with avocado wedges for a change.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tuesday's Cupful: Cooking with Zucchini

Jazzing up this bland veggie

As veggies go, a zucchini can be boring. What are its culinary strengths? A ripe zucchini has subtle nutty or earthy flavors. The slight crunch and crisp texture of this veggie is also a plus. We suggest dicing up zucchini into small cubes and adding them to any mixed vegetable medley. You can also add diced zucchini to traditional soup recipes like minestrone or chicken noodle. Julienned zucchini goes well in any Asian stir-fry. Lastly, sneak some blanched zucchini slices to any cheesy potato au gratin to make it more nutritious.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday's Bread Bowl: Fresh Avocado Salad

A crisp summer veggie dish

This salad has an appealing contrast in textures and flavors. Smooth avocado combines along with crisp zucchini pieces. Here's the recipe:

What you need:

1 medium-sized bowl
1 measuring cup
1 large metal spoon
2 baby zucchinis, chopped small
2 ripe avocados, diced into small cubes
1 large ripe tomato, diced
1/4 cup yellow onion. sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tbspn paprika
Pinch of coarse salt and black pepper
1/2 tbspn granulated sugar

Cooking & Directions:

Mix olive oil, sugar, salt, black pepper, and paprika in measuring cup. Mix well. Combine onion, avocado, zucchini, and tomato in bowl. Add seasoned olive oil dressing. Toss well. Serve immediately.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday's Last Spoonful: Food Surf

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

We recommend
Ratatouille. This film has so much family appeal plus the animation makes it a winner for kids of all ages.  Remy is a rat that with a penchant for cooking while Linguini is an aspiring French chef. Get ready to laugh about these characters. Adults will forget they're watching an animated feature.

Also, Waitress has a lot of heart.  Keri Russell makes great pies based on her own life. No really. The film speaks to everyone going through life's everyday twists and turns. Cut yourself a slice of this very good movie.

Fianlly, check out Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Johnny Depp takes on the role of Willy Wonka in this reinterpretation of the beloved book. It's not a remake with Tim Burton's influence found throughout the work.  

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

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thursday's Side Dish: Ghirardelli Brownies

A chocolate lover's dream

Have you seen and sampled these brownie mixes by Ghirardelli? Yes, the company makes more than just fine chocolate. We recommend the Dark Chocolate flavor if you need a deep and luscious chocolate fix. You can even add a 1/4 cup of your favorite crushed nuts to give each serving more nutrition with a nutty kick. Expect to pay a between $4.99 and $6.50 for a box. Or be like the Crew and wait for them to go on sale! Other flavors include chocolate supreme, caramel turtle, and ultimate fudge.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wednesday's Helping: Variations on Very Berry Salad

A sweet offering of blends

The canned cherries and fresh blueberries make for a very tart taste sensation. What substitutions can be made instead of a very berry salad? We suggest combining pineapple chunks with pineapple-flavored JELL-O. Also try peach pie filling, fresh peach slices, along with peach-flavored JELL-O. Feeling frisky? Really mix flavors up with different favor combinations. For example, combine lime JELL-O, fresh strawberries, and canned blueberry pie filling for a change.  

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tuesday's Cupful: Marshmallow Sour Cream Frosting

A rich dessert top-off

Sour cream adds extra zing to this smooth frosting. Melted marshmallows provide sweetness and lightness.

What you will need:

1 baking spatula
4 cups mini marshmallows
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups sour cream
1 medium-sized pirex bowl
1 medium-sized sauce pan
2 cups water
Pinch of salt

Cooking and Directions:

Heat up sauce pan filled with water on high heat. Let water reach boiling point then reduce heat to medium-high. Place pyrex bowl over boiling water so that you have a "double boiler." Pour in milk and let it steep. Gradually pour in marshmallows while stirring. Fold melting marshmallows into hot milk. Add vanilla extract then remove from heat. Let mixture reach room temperature. Mix in sour cream with pinch of salt. It's best to pour over a Jell-O dessert or cake in a pan and let it cool for a few hours to set.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday's Bread Bowl: Cherry Berry Gelatin Salad

A tart and berrylicious treat

Here's a very sweet and fruity side dish or tart dessert. Rasberry and cherry-flavored gelatin form the tasty foundation for this dish. Meanwhile, fresh blueberries add extra bite and chew in each serving. Here's the recipe:

What you will need:

1 large spoon
1 wire whisk
1 large bowl
2 cups boiling water
1 sauce pan
1 medium-sized pyrex bowl
1 (9 X 13 inch) rectangular pyrex baking dish
1 (3 oz.) package raspberry gelatin mix
1 (3 oz.) package cherry gelatin mix
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 (21 oz) can cherry pie filling

*Look for cream frosting recipe tomorrow. *

Cooking and Directions:

Bring 2 cups water to a boil in sauce pan. Stir in fresh blueberries and let them cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Next, combine gelatin powder, berries, boiling water, and pie filling in large bowl. Pour into glass baking dish and chill in fridge for 2 hours until set. Follow directions and prepare marshmallow cream frosting then pour over and top gelatin layer. Return newly frosted dish to fridge for at least 3 hours. Serve chilled.

Friday, July 13, 2012

A life saver in epic proportions

A life saver in epic proportions

Canned baked beans in bulk may not get praise from you, but it could be an asset under the right conditions. Keep this whopper - sized can of seasoned baked beans. This food item is perfect for the "eleventh hour" potluck or "done at a moment's notice" family picnic. Yes, you can feed a LOT of hungry people in just one shot with Bush's Baked Beans Bean Pot. We also suggest that you add personal touches to your liking by adding measured amounts of ingredients such as ketchup, dry mustard, ground pepper, or even tabasco. Look for the Bean Pot at Sysco or other food retailers that sell bulk items.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Thursday's Side Dish: Cantabella Melons

A hybrid variety

This rare and gentically engineered melon possesses crisp and refreshing qualities in flavor and texture. It's so new that we can't find a thorough and detaled write-up anywhere on the internet. Look for light yellow and orange flesh that's really sweet in a typical ripe cantabella melon. These melons are a hybrid cross between charente melons and cantaloupes. They're in season right now through the hot summer months. Substitute one for your usual the grapefruit or banana at breakfast time.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wednesday's Helping: Different Little Sausages Dishes

Making each piece count

Small links like JFC Berkshire Pork Coarse Spicy Sausage, Vienna Sausages, or Little Smokies can really become fun nibblers at a party. We suggest using them in mini pigs in a blanket using Pilsbury crescent rolls dough or puff pastry dough. Also, chop up leftover little sausages for use in cheesy potatoes au gratin, mac 'n' cheese, or cream of broccoli soup. Finally, we suggest a smaller chop for topping fresh veggie salads with something other than bacon bits or ham.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tuesday's Cupful: JFC Berkshire Pork Sausage

Spicy little links

Expect a smokey flavor with a unique and spicy twist from JFC Berkshire Pork Sausages. An 8 oz pack of eight links runs for $ 4.99 Look for the hot red and yellow packages in the chill section at your favorite Asian foods market. These sausages are comparable American brand little smokies. In fact, we recommend substituting them in recipes calling for little smokies or more traditional smoked sausages.  

Monday, July 9, 2012

Monday's Bread Bowl: Spicy Slow Cooked Sausage and Beans

A hearty party accompaniment

Saucy canned beans and spicy pork sausage are the pivotal ingredients in this dish.  Here's the recipe:   

What you will need:

1 large crockpot W/ lid
1 wooden spoon
1 medium-sized onion, chopped small
3 garlic cloves, minced small
1 can (Bush's Baked Beans) Bean Pot 
3 Berkshire Pork Coarse Coarse Spicy Sausage links, sliced into bite-sized pieces
2 tbspns cooking oil
1 small frying pan
1 spatula 
Pinch of salt and pepper

Cooking & Directions:

Pour canned beans in crock pot and cover with lid.  Sprinkle in salt and pepper.  Set cooking level at 6 hours (Or medium - high heat depending on the crock pot model.). Cover with lid.  Next, heat up frying pan on medium-high heat.  Add cooking oil and warm up. Then add onion, garlic, and sliced sausage.  Sautee ingredients until onion turns translucent.  Stir.  Add fried ingredients to beans and let bean pot cook until timer switches to "keep warm" before serving.  You may stir crockpot ingredients occasionally.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Make it Red, White, and Blue

Happy Independence Day!  The Mixed Stew Crew will be back on July 9, 2012 with new food ideas.  : )