Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wednesday’s Helping: Alternative Ingredients for Avocado Salad

Let the avocados bind everything

Yes, that’s how to let this salad become a hit at the dining table.  Therefore, we suggest adding ingredients that can easily be cut into bite-size pieces.  For example, we suggest adding corn kernels, chopped tomatoes, or even chopped bell pepper.   Wanna play with textures?  We suggest adding chickpeas, chopped hard boiled egg, or even sliced okra.  Lastly, add chopped ham or bacon bits if adding meat is not a restriction.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tuesday’s Cupful: A salad you can eat like dip

A crisp sensation

What do we like about this dish?  Basically, it’s versatile.  The cucumber constitutes an extra touch that’s also a substantial veggie serving.  The diced cucumber creates a crunchy bite that’s a yummy juxtaposition in comparison to the smooth flesh of the ripe avocados.  You can serve this dish, like guacamole, with a spread of corn tortilla chips at the next party.  Otherwise, serve it as an accompaniment salad to a main course or other courses.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday’s Bread Bowl: Avocado/ Cucumber Salad

A refreshing taste and flavor

This cool salad makes for a neat respite from traditional leafy green salads.  Here’s the recipe:

What you will need:

1 wooden spoon
1 medium-size bowl, glass
Plastic wrap
2 ripe avocados, mashed
2 large cucumbers, seeded and chopped small
1 tablespoon cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon green onion, sliced thin
Pinch of salt and pepper

Preparation and Directions:

Combine ingredients in glass bowl.  Serve immediately or cover with plastic and chill.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Friday’s Last Spoonful: Food Surf

Best Korean restaurants ‘round the corner

Food Surfing will feature fun food links from around the Blogosphere, including leads to other interesting sites. These recommended links may give you other interesting ideas for making your life taste better.

Count on the folks at CNN Travel to identify the top 10 Korean restaurants in Seoul, South Korea.  Wet your whistle with this list.

If you’re traveling to NYC, FOOD REPUBLIC featured profiles of 7 Korean restaurants that serve food that’s more than just traditional.

Visiting the west coast anytime soon?  EATER has an updated list of the best Korean restaurants in Los Angeles. California. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Thursday’s Side Dish: Korean Hot Pepper Paste aka Gochujang

A staple so good it’s a side dish

Look for loads of this food item on store shelves in HMart and Lotte Plaza.  Gochujang is one of the most popular food ingredients and seasonings among Korean households.  This paste usually has a deep red color, pungent flavor, and slight scent of fermented soy beans.  Gochujang contains glutenous rice, soy beans, chili peppers, and salt.  The combined ingredients are then fermented outdoors in large clay pots.  The result is a viscous and spicy paste that’s used to season many authentically Korean dishes, such as bimbimbap, jae yook bookum, and tteokbokki.  A 16 oz jar or container will run for $6.99 and up so do shop around for the best price. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wednesday’s Helping: Other Ingredients for Spicy Korean Pork Stir-Fry

Cut in something extra

Wanna make things healthier?  We suggest substituting the pork in this dish for chicken, shrimp, or even white fish.  Try cooking oil spray instead of tablespoons of vegetable oil to lower the fat content in the end result.  Meanwhile, use diced tofu, sliced mushrooms, or even chopped eggplant instead for a yummy vegetarian rendition.  You can also incorporate almost any variety of frozen vegetable medley if the fresh vegetables supply and prep time are limited. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tuesday’s Cupful: Background on Korean Spicy Pork Stir-Fry

Korean comfort food

The Mixed Stew gained inspiration for this dish from traditional Jae YookBokum aka Spicy Pork Stir-Fry.  Expect to find different variations but main ingredients always include: pork loin, pork, Gochujang (red pepper paste), garlic, onion, and veggies.  Carrots, peppers, green beans, and nappa cabbage are popular veggies for this dish.  Feel free to substitute veggies as the different seasons may allow.  Our version is very rustic compared to more complex recipes.  For example, some recipes also call for soy sauce to augment the red bean paste.  The sheer heat and spiciness of this dish means first-timers should sample it with care.  We recommend having ice-cold beverages on hand.               

Monday, July 22, 2013

Monday’s Bread Bowl: Spicy Korean Pork Stir-Fry

A hot and spicy sautee

The Mixed Stew crew recommends this dish for anyone who needs a break from the norm.  Spicy Korean bean paste makes all the difference.

What you will need:

1 large wok
1 wooden spatula
3 tbspns cooking oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 medium-sized bowl
1 yellow onion, sliced thin
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 bunch bok choy, leaves cut and separated
1 and ½ lbs pork, chopped into bite-size pieces
3 tbspns spicy and red Korean bean paste
Pinch of salt and pepper

Cooking and Directions:

Combine pork, onion, garlic, and spicy bean paste in medium-sized bowl.  Mix well.  Let ingredients marinade for at least 15 minutes to 3 hrs.  Then heat wok on medium-high heat.  Add oil to wok after 2 minutes of letting temperature rise.  Toss in pork, garlic, and onion.  Ingredients should cook for 8 to 12 minutes (depending on thickness of your meat cuts) while constantly stirring.  Let meat brown.  Next, add bok choy and bell pepper to wok’s ingredients.  Wait another 3 to 5 minutes until veggies cook through.  Remove wok from stove.  Serve stir-fry with steamed rice.         

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Thursday’s Side Dish: Pizza is just right for fusion

Different tasty and fusion possibilities

The Italian staple aka pizza makes a great foundation for fusion cuisine.  Our Buffalo Chicken Pizza, for example, is a fusion combo that’s hot and spicy to boot.   Why not try non-traditional toppings for a fusion kick?  Add sliced Cajun andouille sausage, Greek gyro meet, or even julienned hot dog wieners as pizza toppings for a change.  Wanna go Tex-Mex?  We suggest adding minced cilantro, chopped chorizos, and sliced jalapenos to a store-bought or frozen cheese pizza.  Use your imagination.         

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wednesday’s Helping: Bringing together elements

A fusion food standout

We suggest that cooks make some room for trial and error when creating or trying fusion recipes.  Our Broccoli salad w/ Ramen noodles made sense to our palettes but the dynamite combo – a fusion one – was merely just an idea until we tried it out for ourselves.  Remember how we recommended adding crushed Ramen noodles to regular cabbage coleslaw for an extra crunch?  This week’s dish evolved from that recipe.  The Asian noodles add a consistent nutty crunch to every bite of an otherwise traditional American veggie salad.  Plus the noodles tend to absorb and enhance this salad’s flavors.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tuesday’s Cupful: What is fusion food?

Two or more sexy cuisines

If you’ve heard the phrases “fusion food” or “fusion cuisine” and become perplexed then you’re in good company.  The Mixed Stew crew understands that mixing cuisines can be a hit or miss depending on the different combinations.  Fusion food encompasses using methods and ingredients of two or more ethnic or regional cuisines.  The style of cooking has roots in the 1970s when it caught on in popularity with renowned chefs.  Wolfgang Puck, for example, is famous for his Eurasian dishes that combine Asian and European cooking techniques or ingredients.  Likewise, this week’s Broccoli salad is an All-American salad with the addition of Asian Ramen noodles.  Pacific Rim and Tex-Mex dishes are now two main branches of fusion food.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Monday’s Bread Bowl: Broccoli Salad w/ Ramen Noodles

A fun fusion recipe

We added a crunchy twist to traditional broccoli salad with Ramen noodles.  Here’s the recipe:

What you will need:

1 large mixing bowl
1 wooden spoon
1 small mixing bowl
1 large serving bowl
¾ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon sugar
½ cup milk
2 heads of broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
½ cup craisins, chopped small
3 slices crispy fried bacon, crushed
1 tbspn sundried tomatoes, chopped small
1 large bell pepper, roasted and chopped small
3 tablespoons green onion, sliced thin
2 hard boiled eggs, minced
1 package uncooked Ramen noodles, crushed
Pinch of black pepper and coarse salt

Preparation and Directions:

Blend mayonnaise, sugar, and milk in small mixing bowl to make dressing.  Set aside.  Next, combine broccoli, craisins, egg, onion, sundried tomatoes, and bell pepper in large mixing bowl.  Toss well.  Pour in dressing and toss again.  Finally, sprinkle in black pepper and salt to taste.  Chill for at least 3 hours.  Add crushed noodles to salad and mix just before serving.   

Friday, July 12, 2013

Friday’s Last Spoonful: Field Trip

Joe’s Crab Shack: Hanover, Md.

Where can you go to sample seafood and experience a real crab crackin’ good time?  Joe’s Crab Shack will satisfy any cravings that you and your family have for fresh seafood.  The restaurant chain started in Texas during 1991.  Their menu includes several signature items, such as steamed crab pots, buckets of crab, and classic shrimp and fish platters.  For example, Joe’s Classic steam pot contains Dungeness crab, Snow crab legs, boiled shrimp, and smoked sausage.  We paid $29.99 for a steam pot that’s listed for 2 people (but portions were actually enough to feed 3 people).  Meanwhile, the Crab Daddy Feast bucket contains Snow crab, Dungeness crab, and King crab with sausage and new potatoes.   If you’d rather sample a dinner platter, we recommend the Shrimp Trio that includes crab stuffed shrimp, Malibu shrimp, and coconut shrimp.  Joe’s Crab Shack encourages its patrons to strap on a bib and get crackin’ so visit one today.

Joe’s Crab Shack – Anne Arundel
7051 Arundel Mills Blvd.

Hanover, MD 21075

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Thursday’s Side Dish: Chung Jung ONE Korean Pancakes

Instant Korean Delights

Don’t wanna make classic Korean pancakes from scratch?  Look for this food item in the frozen section of HMart or Lotte Plaza.  Chung Jung ONE provides kimchi and seafood pancake varieties.  The kimchi one comes studded with spicy pepper, green onion, and other veggies.  Meanwhile, the seafood contains imitation crabmeat and slices of calamari.  There’s no oily frying pan or mixing required to prepare these savory pancakes.  Home cooks just need a microwave.  Each package contains one frozen pancake with all the trimmings.  The Mixed stew crew paid $2.99 per package.      

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wednesday’s Helping: Variations of Poke

Freshness and versatility make all the difference

The recipe ingredients for poke present an endless array of spices and seasonings.   We’ve enjoyed poke that’s flavored with mustard, brown sugar, a pinch of coarse salt, and sliced yellow onion.  Also, try black pepper, salt, and minced cilantro.  Chopped nori and avocado cubes can also be yummy additions.  The simple ingredients will go far so don’t be surprised.  The other key is to make sure that the fish incorporated is as fresh as possible.  Therefore, the fish should not smell or possess discoloration.  Fresh tuna and red salmon appear to be used commonly but we’ve also heard of shrimp poke.        

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tuesday’s Cupful: Background on Hawaiian Poke

A Hawaiian delicacy

Yes, this dish may be an acquired taste for people who’ve never sampled it.  Poke (Poh-kei) translates into “cut meat” or “slice.”  Hawaiians have prepared different fresh fish, such as Ahi or Salmon, in this fashion for generations.  Look for several variations of Poke in supermarkets throughout Hawaii.  Sam Choy – a world renowned chef – is credited with poke’s resurgence and newfound popularity in Hawaii and areas outside the islands.  He inaugurated the Sam Choy Poke Festival in 1991.  Mr. Choy also opened several Hawaiian/ Pan-Asian themed restaurants that serve his trademark Ahi Poke in cities nationwide.  Poke reminds the Mixed Stew crew of Japanese Sashimi. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Monday’s Bread Bowl: Hawaiian Poke

A fresh fish delicacy

This dish pops up a lot on The Mixed Stew crew menu.  Fresh fish and simple seasonings make for a unique but unforgettable meal item.

What you will need:

1 wooden spoon
1 medium-sized glass bowl
Plastic wrap
1 lb fresh salmon, sliced into bite-size cubes
1 tbspn green onion, thinly sliced
1 tbspn sesame oil
2 tbspns rice vinegar
Juice of ½ lemon
Pinch of coarse salt and pepper

Preparation and Directions:

Combine ingredients in bowl.  Toss well.  Serve immediately or allow ingredients to marinade overnight before serving.    

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Fourth of July Holiday

The Mixed Stew crew is celebrating the 4th of July!  We''ll be back on July 8, 2013.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Wednesday’s Helping: Kicking up Mediterranean BBQ Beef Ribs

Add more yummy flavor to these ribs

What can you do to these ribs to make them more flavorful?  The Mixed Stew crew suggests adding warm spices, such as paprika, cayenne, or cardamom.  Add some brown sugar, regular sugar, or canned chipotle sauce for some sweet and tangy zing.  If you wanna add extra taste with sauces, try adding more Worcestershire, steak sauce, tomato paste, or even ketchup.     

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Tuesday's Cupful: Background on Mediterranean BBQ Beef Ribs

Olives make all the difference

This recipe is actually inspired by typical olive oil and rosemary marinades that are usually applied to roast or BBQ chicken.  The Worcestershire sauce and vinegar provide semisweet and tangy zing flavor components.  Meanwhile, the olives serve as a salt and earthy flavor counter balance against the tangy ingredients.  The beef ribs end up infused with spices and seasonings that enhance the beef ribs’ natural flavors and texture.  The Mixed Stew crew especially likes the fact that this rendition of BBQ Beef Ribs doesn’t require soy sauce or tomato ketchup.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Monday’s Bread Bowl: Mediterranean BBQ Beef Ribs

Meaty ribs done right

We wanted to try taking a rack of BBQ beef ribs in a different direction besides the usual tomato or soy sauce based flavorings.  We think you’ll like the results.  Here’s the recipe:

What you will need:

1 large food container w/ lid
1 pair metal tongs
1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped small
1 rack of beef ribs, thawed
6 tbspns worcestershire sauce
1 cup green olives, chopped
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tbspn ground coriander
Salt and black pepper to taste

Cooking and Directions:

Place ribs in container along with other spices and ingredients.  Rub spices and seasonings onto surface areas and slabs of beef ribs.  Cover and let ribs marinade for at least 6 hours or longer.  Place ribs on nicely prepared and hot bbq rack.  Brown and cook on both sides until ribs are cooked to your taste.