Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thursday’s Side Dish: Molinari & Sons Hot Salami

A savory meat offering

The Mixed Stew Crew highly recommends Molinari & Sons brand name spicy and hot salami for special occasions.  The Molinari family has been making and selling their finely cured sausages since 1896.  Their HOT Salami rolls are made from a combination of pork cuts and a secret recipe of seasonings.  A little goes a long way in every (15 inch x 2.5 inch) roll that weighs 3lbs.  Expect subtle nutty and peppery flavor tones in this cured salami that comes studded with marbling.  Each big roll costs $25.50.  We order several rolls at once in order to stretch savings on shipping and handling.         

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wednesday’s Helping: Sweet Beans

Legumes can carry a dessert

Tired of fresh fruit being the only option for more nutritious desserts?  Remember that fully cooked black beans and other softened beans (such as azuki beans) can form the base ingredient for several sweet dishes.  Mooncakes, red bean ice cream, or buns stuffed with sweet bean paste are popular in Asia.  Meanwhile, look for several variations of Habichuelas con dulce aka sweet cream of beans in the Dominican Republic and Central America.  Lastly, try making dessert hummus using natural sweeteners like honey and peanut butter.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tuesday’s Cupful: Mixing Up These Brownies

Spice it up 

We have several suggestions on how to add more options in flavoring these brownies. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes or powdered red pepper into the mixture before food processing to add heat and heighten the flavor profile of the original recipe. Conversely, adding a few drops of vanilla, hazelnut, or almond extract to a batch can add an extra layer of taste in each bite. Try adding ½ a tablespoon of freshly chopped mint or peppermint leaves. Finally, sprinkle on a tablespoon or two of crushed pretzels instead of walnuts for topping the cooked brownies.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Monday’s Bread Bowl: Guiltless Brownies

A healthy dose of sweetness

We tried this rendition of healthier brownies that calls for black beans and canned pumpkin.  Here’s the recipe:

What you will need:

1 medium-sized bowl

1 (8 X 11 inch) baking dish

1 baking spatula

1 food processor

Non-stick cooking spray

2 whole eggs

1 (29 oz) can of black beans, drained

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree

¾ cup cocoa powder

1/3 cup flaxseed

2/3 cup agave syrup

Pinch of salt


1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

½ cup walnuts, crushed

Cooking & Directions:

Preheat oven at 350 degrees.  Combine dry ingredients, pumpkin, syrup, and black beans in food processor.  Pulse and puree until ingredients become a smooth batter.  Add eggs and pulse again until smooth.  Spray baking dish with non-stick oil spray.  Pour batter and level out with spatula.  Place in oven to bake for 35 to 40 minutes until knife through the center comes out clean after insertion.  Remove baked brownies from oven then top with chocolate chips and crushed walnuts.  Let brownies cool to room temperature before serving.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday’s Last Spoonful: Field Trip

Honey Dumpling: Catonsville, Md. 

A new Lotte Plaza recently opened in Maryland if you’re in search for Asian/ International food items. The Mixed Stew crew noticed that one fun and yummy food vendor is conveniently located within supermarket. Honey Dumpling serves eight flavors of steamed rice cake buns. Each bun is carefully stuffed (almost overstuffed) and handmade. You can even watch the staff make the buns, too. Each one costs $2.00 each. Spicy flavors include pork, chicken, curry, and kimchi. An order comes with light and sweet soy sauce for anyone needing an extra taste drizzle.

Honey Dumpling (inside Lotte) 
6600 Baltimore National Pike 
Catonsville, MD 21228 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thursday’s Side Dish: White King Puto

Fluffy buns in a jiff

We recommend White King brand Puto for the taste and texture of authentic Filipino Puto. Look for this convenient food item at Hmart or your favorite Filipino foods market. Each (400 g) box contains enough mix and ingredients to make several servings of Puto. You just have to mix in measured amounts of water, sugar, and cooking oil to White King’s premixed ingredients. Prices range between $ 2.19 and $ 5.99 so shop around for the best pricing.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wednesday’s Helping: Puto Fillings

Meaty or sweet renditions

The Mixed Stew crew used chorizo for our puto buns but you can use an endless list of ingredients.  We suggest using regular chopped hotdog franks or even luncheon meat in a pinch.  Also, try adding tasty veggies, such as chopped spinach or diced sundried tomatoes.  Add chopped egg omelet pieces and shredded cheese to make a breakfast nibbler.  What about sweet puto?  Sprinkle in some cinnamon for a rice cake twist on cinnamon buns.  Try sweet beans or coconut flakes. Finally, adding sliced dates and crushed walnuts to puto can make for yummy sweetness and crunch in every bite.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tuesday’s Cupful: Background on Puto

Soft and moist buns

We had a bit of fun making these steamed buns.  Puto is a staple in the Philippines with different variants found throughout China and Southeast Asia.  The Filipino word “puto” literally means rice cake.  The traditional process from rice grains to actual serving of puto takes over two days.  Look for different preparations - depending on specific regions - throughout the Philippines, too.  Rice flour and water are the two main ingredients of this food item.  Meanwhile, puto is traditionally cooked through steaming.  Filipinos like to serve puto with Dinuguan as a heavy afternoon snack or with coffee in the morning.  Lastly, puto possesses a soft, sticky, and light texture.  We suggest serving puto instead of steamed rice in a pinch if you’re out of rice.