Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday's Last Spoonful: Field Trip

Bonchon Chicken: Ellicott City, Md.

We are excited about this Korean-style fried chicken joint, which recently opened its doors in Ellicott City, Md. Bonchon serves chicken in a crispy fried coating that seals in juices and natural flavors. However, expect to find only wings, drumsticks, and chicken strips on the menu. Orders come in two distinct marinades: soy garlic and hot spicy. You'll taste the thoughtful preparation and special seasonings in their fried chicken. Large orders (30 pcs wings, 15 pcs drumsticks, 30 pcs strips) cost $26.95 while small orders (10 pcs wings, 5 pcs drumsticks, 10 pcs strips) cost $9.95. A combo order will get you mixed pieces at the same rate. Guests may select two side dishes with each order. There are traditional American side dishes along with Korean favorites. Look for kimchi coleslaw, french fries, sesame ginger salad, and steamed rice. Not in a fried chicken mood? You can also order bulgogi ($16.05), bull dak ($12.95), and bimbimbop ($13.95). We recommend the takoyaki ($5.95), or fried octopus dumpling, that's a unique seafood starter. We also enjoyed the daily Lunch Special - served between 11:30 am - 3:00 pm - that comes with 2 drumsticks, 2 wing drumettes, and 2 wing blades along with 2 sides for $8.95. Stop by Bonchon location nearest you to sample Korean-style fried chicken.

3419 Plumtree Drive
Suite #102
Ellicott City, Md. 21042

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thursday's Side Dish: Instant Spicy Korean Noodles

Unwrap a spicy treat

Look for several varieties of instant noodle dishes at H-Mart. We prepared this spicy COLD noodle dish in minutes by grabbing a generic Korean brand packet in the chill section of H-Mart. This one contained all the necessary components to make one large serving or two small servings. We had to boil the noodles, COOL THEM, then garnish them with pre-packed pickled radish, pre-packed hoisin sauce, and pre-packed spicy hot bean sauce. Packages retail between $6.99 and 8.99. WE TRY THEM OUT WHEN THEY ARE ON SALE. We added the hard boiled egg and baby bok-choy garnish to give it a personal touch. Feel free to add meat slices, seafood, and other veggies that you find right for this dish. Follow the English instructions that are printed on the back of the many available renditions.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wednesday's Helping: Brown Rice vs. White Rice

Grains with more nutritious bite

The Mixed Stew crew was raised on white Calrose (short grain) rice. We especially recommend switching to brown Calrose rice for its taste and texture. This particular brown rice has better flavor, more fiber, and less calories per serving compared to its white equivalent. Remember that you can also make a rustic and decently gelatinous pudding with this ingredient.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tuesday's Helping: Short Grain Brown Rice

More nutrition per bite

We bought this brown short grain rice at H-Mart.  Tsurumai brand brown rice - aka brown Calrose rice - is a healthier and more nutritious alternative to regular sticky white rice.  This rice is grown in California and is gluten free.  Each spoonful has a nutty flavor with a significant more fiber.  Cooks can actually make decent brown rice sushi with this food ingredient.  We bought a 20lb bag on sell for $9.99; however, the same amount normally costs between $15.00 and $25.00.  Also look for brown (short grain) rice by Botan, Nishiki, and Kokuho.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday's Bread Bowl: Spicy Brown Rice

Seaweed and sesame makes it worthy

We used short grain brown rice for this spiced up rice dish. The brown rice has more nutritional value compared to plain white rice. Here's the recipe:

What you will need:

1 wooden spatula
1 rice pot W/ lid
2 and 1/2 cups cups raw brown rice
5 cups water
1/2 smaill yellow onion, diced small
1 garlic toe, minced
2 tbspns olive oil
2 tbspns dried seaweed
1/2 tspn paprika
1 tbspn sesame seeds
1 tspn shrimp powder W/ chili

Cooking and Directions:

Turn on the rice pot and let it heat up. Add oil and wait 3 to 5 minutes. Toss in garlic, onion, dry seasonings. Let onion sweat until they start to turn translucent. Pour in brown rice and mix well. Next, add water while stirring with wooden spatula. Place lid on rice pot and let rice cook until done.  

Monday, August 20, 2012

On Hiatus

The Mixed Stew Crew is taking a break.  We will be back on August 27, 2012 with more food ideas and recipes.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday's Last Spoonful: Food Surfing

Labor Day Party

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.

Taste of Home provides a slew of late summertime recipes that you can enjoy at your holiday cookout. We like the Triple berry Salsa, Banana Split Fruit Salad, and the All-American Loaded Burgers.

Look for more fun recipes, like various takes on yummy sliders and fried pickles, on the food network site.
The fun never ends on evite for a bunch of Labor Day party themes, ideas for decorations, and party games.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thursday's Side Dish: Guam's Favorite Chorizos

An irreplacable sausage

We've enjoyed these dark red chorizos while growing up in Guam. Look for the trademark green packaging with gold lettering that says "Marca El Rey En Rama." The sausages come linked together in long bunches. A 3lb package ranges between $24.00 and $30.00 Expect a spicy flavor kick with a hint of vinegar in each bite. Gaumanians like to eat them with steamed rice once they're pan fried, grilled, barbecued, or even microwaved. Unfortunately, it's very difficult to find this particular brand and type of chorizos off-island (outside of Guam) or in the mainland United States. Also, these chorizos possess a high-fat content so be warned.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wednesday's Helping: Alternative Ingredients for Korean Pancakes

East can meet West

We suggest making Korean pancakes to change things up. Korean cuisine means that these cakes are usually loaded with seafood, scallions, or kimchi. What are some non-traditional ingredients you can use? Add canned luncheon meat or bacon that's been diced into bite-sized pieces. A 1/2 cup of your favorite frozen vegetable mix can make a nutritious ingredient in a pinch, too. Remember that it's also OKAY to use canned seafood if fresh is unavailable for this food item. Conversely, you can also make healthier versions using only egg whites instead of whole eggs.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tuesday's Cupful: Background on Korean Pancake

A versatile Asian nibbler

Look for variations of panjeon at your favorite Korean restaurant. Panjeon translates into savory onion pancake. Renditions can go from very simple to jam-packed depending on the recipe. Different "jeon" may contain kimchi (kimchijeon), vegetables (yachaejeon), tuna (chamchijeon). It's also known as "Korean-style pancake." The key when cooking one of these pancakes is a ensure crispy brown texture on both sides so allow enough cooking time. Koreans serve it with a spicy seasoned soy sauce for dipping. Korean pancakes tend to be lighter than Chinese egg foo young; however, they share some similar qualities. You may serve this dish as an appetizer, snack, or main course when served with steamed rice.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday's Bread Bowl: Korean Pancakes (aka Pajeon)

A hearty Asian appetizer

This dish is a combo between a traditional omelet and hotcake. Enjoy them for dinner instead of breakfast. Here's the recipe:

What you will need:

1 metal fork
1 large spoon
1 cooking spatula
1 fry-pan
1 medium-sized bowl
1 large bowl
Non-stick cooking spray
2 tbspns soy sauce
5 whole eggs, beaten
1/3 cup onion, diced
1 cup imitation crab, diced
1 green pepper, diced small
3 tbspns korean kimchi, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 cup water
Pinch of salt

Cooking and Directions:

Mix water, eggs, and flour in medium-sized bowl until smooth. Combine imitation crab, onion, garlic, green pepper, kimchi, and other sliced veggies in large bowl. Add soy sauce to crab mixture and toss well. Pour egg mixture into large bowl with ingredients. This is the batter for your pancakes. Start up fry-pan on medium-high heat. Grease hot pan with Non-stick cooking spray. Carefully pour or spoon out enough batter to make flat circles to your desired size. You can make many small pancakes or two to three large ones. Let each pancake brown for 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Serve immediately.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday's Last Spoonful: Field Trip

Bobby's Burger Palace: Hanover, Md.

Count on Bobby Flay to open an ala carte burger joint with all the works. These burgers are specialty fair -- premiumly priced between $6.50 and $9.00. Be warned that Bobby's Burgers aren't as filling (or as big proportionately) in comparison to a McDonald's Big Mac. They're more like the McDonald's McDouble. If you're game, definitely try his signature Crunch Burger ($6.75) that includes a yummy stack of potato chips between the hamburger buns. Guests have to order French fries, sweet potato fries, or beer battered onion rings if they crave a side along with their sandwich. A Bobby Blue ($7.75) has blue cheese dressing and crispy bacon. Meanwhile, order the Santa Fe Burger if you want a Tex-Mex combination of queso sauce, jalapenos, and Blue Corn chips in every bite. The food is tasty, you just need to consider that these aren't going to satisfy a very hungry appetite unless you can splurge and buy more than one. This burger joint also lists a number of beers, wine, and even margaritas. Eat at Bobby's Burger Palace the next time you're able to visit one of their locations.

7002 Arundel Mills Circle
Hanover, MD 21076
Tel: 443-661-4147

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Thursday's Side Dish: Topped Off W/ Blueberry Filling

A fruity condiment

We suggest using our blueberry filling as a topping for waffles, French toast, or pancakes in the morning. Look for the fruity flavors to take your griddle confections in a different but yum yum direction compared to plain old pancake syrup or maple syrup. Serve this berry filling with roast pork or roast leg of lamb. Lastly, we suggest serving this filling with a block of blue cheese and crackers for a quick and easy-to-make party munchie.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wednesday's Helping: Other Uses For Frozen Pie Crust

Cut, roll, or wrap and bake it

We have some neat suggestions for left-over pie crust. You can cut or even shape the leftover pastry dough into fun shapes, such as bow ties or stars. Sprinkle the "pie crust cookies" with cinnamon and sugar then bake them in the oven until crisp. Wanna make something more sophisticated? Put some iced frosting over the cookies instead of cinnamon and sugar. You can also make mini or bite-sized fruit tarts. Use regular fruit jam or jelly to fill each mini morsel then bake. Also remember that you can make hand-held meat pies.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tuesday's Cupful: Blueberry Pie Filling & Sauce

Very, very blueberry

This filling is versatile and can also be used as a topping for ice cream, pancakes or waffles. Expect tart sweetness in every spoonful.

What you will need:

1 medium-sized sauce pan
1 1/2 Pints blueberries
3 tbspns sugar
1 1/2 cup water
2 to 3 tbsns flour

Cooking and Directions:

Bring water to a boil in saucepan. Add blueberries and sugar. Lower heat and mix well. Let ingredients simmer for 10 minutes. Gradually stir flour into blueberry mixture. The sauce should thicken in consistency. Remove saucepan from stove and let it cool to room temperature.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Monday's Bread Bowl: Blueberry Turnover Bake

An ooo-eey goo-eey blueberry tart

We used frozen pie crust to make this easy-to-prepare baked turnover. Blueberries pack a fruity kick in this comfort food dessert.

What you will need:

1 cutting board
1 metal baking sheet
Non-stick cooking spray
1 (15 oz) package premade pie crust
1 batch blueberry filling
A tablespoon or two of milk or water

**blueberry filling will be featured tomorrow**

Cooking and Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Unroll pie crust. Spoon and spread blueberry filling onto 1/2 of laid-out pie crust. Be careful not to over-stuff. Smear on milk or water along the edges to help seal the pastry. Lift other half of pie crust and fold over to make top of turnover. Pinch turnover shut at edges and poke top a few times with fork for ventilation. Spray baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Place turnovers on baking sheet. Bake for 35-45 minutes until done. Turnover crust should toast to a golden brown. Ingredients are enough to make 2 turnovers.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Friday's Last Spoonful: Field Trip

Bare Bones Bar & Brewery: Ellicott City, Md.

This establishment is a local favorite among true BBQ lovers. The dining room has a very classy feel that's both elegant and comforting. We started by sampling their trademark onion loaf appetizer. Thinly sliced and breaded onion rings are deep fried together in the shape of a bread loaf. A whole loaf costs $8.99 while a half-loaf is just $4.99. The Mixed Stew crew enjoyed the barbecue pork sandwich platter ($8.59), signature barbecue ribs platter (a whole slab at $17.99), and prime rib roast platter ($12.99 for 8 oz slice). Other dishes include: Bare Bones BBQ Burger ($9.59), Maryland Crab Cakes (Market Price) and BBQ Shrimp ($14.99). Each dinner platter comes with a choice of to side dishes, such as sweet potato fries, corn fritters, apple sauce, baked potato, coleslaw or steamed veggies. Also, look for an array of specialty beers that aren't available anywhere else. If you happen to drop by Bare Bones, then make sure to bring your appetites.

9150-22 Baltimore Natl. Pike
Ellicott City, MD 21042
Phone: 410-461-0770

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Thursday's Side Dish: Maryland Crab Season

Blue crab addiction

The Mixed Stew crew enjoyed another batch of blue crabs -- a Maryland favorite. The crabs are in season until September so get'em while they're available. This season, the harvest is bountiful. We got a dozen steamed "mediums" for $15.99 at one local supermarket crabhouse. Remember to cover the dining table with old newspaper pages for easy clean up after eating. Picking crab meat from newly steamed blue crabs takes a lot of effort but true seafood lovers know it's worth it. So get out the crab mallets, metal crushers, and stock up on Old Bay Seasoning.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wednesday's Helping: Left-over Lobster

Add an extra seafood punch 

Place the meat bits into filling for home made ravioli. Also, you can make yummy lobster-stuffed mushroom caps or prepare a rich and cheesy seafood dip that's baked in the oven. A simple lobster and egg scramble makes for an enticing breakfast or brunch menu item. Meanwhile, you can set aside the cleaned lobster shells and carcass to make a seafood-flavored broth for soup or bisque.