Thursday, October 31, 2013

Thursday’s Side Dish: Filipino Turon

A sweet lumpia - style dessert

Take a look at these!  What makes turon so special?  Turon aka banana lumpia or lumpiyang saging is the sweet counterpart to savory lumpia.  Filipinos enjoy this snack as street food.  Cooks take a banana and wrap it inside a spring roll wrapper.  The whole thing is then deep fried to a golden brown.  Some variations are made with jack fruit or include the extra step of rolling the banana in sugar before wrapping.  The deep frying brings out the fruit’s naturally sweet flavor.  Also, expect to find turon at your favorite Filipino food market.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wednesday’s Helping: Flavorful Suggestions for Liver

Try it out

Can’t find beef liver?  The British actually prepare lambs’ liver using this method.  Remember that chicken liver and pork liver are also available in the U.S.  The liver, no matter what animal, always has an acquired taste that many people initially find off-putting.  Some recipes call for soaking the liver in lemon juice for hours.  We suggest adding a sprinkle of paprika, red pepper flakes, or even chili powder.  These “warm spices” can help cut into the “metallic” liver flavors.  Try substituting the yellow onion for leeks or scallions in a pinch.  The addition of chopped chives is also a tasty bet.             

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tuesday’s Cupful: Background on Liver and Onions

A duo in many countries

Look out for different variants of “Liver and Onions” throughout the globe.   Food historians believe, however, that this dish has origins in the United Kingdom.   The acquired flavor of the cooked liver is somehow made yummier thanks to the sweet and tangy onions.  The Mixed Stew crew has seen it on more than one or All-American diner menus.  The British like serving it with boiled or mashed potatoes.  Traditional recipes call for thinly sliced liver pieces with giant onion slices.  The recipe items are cooked together or separately.  If you choose not to separate the ingredients while cooking, we recommend dicing the liver into bit-sized pieces.  Be careful not to overcook the meat or else it becomes inedible.     

Monday, October 28, 2013

Monday’s Bread Bowl: Seared Liver & Onions

A tasty and gritty offering

This dish is a popular item on many more restaurant menus than you would initially imagine.  Here’s the recipe:

What you will need:

1 cast-iron skillet
1 serving plate
1 medium-sized bowl
3 tablespoons cooking oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 large yellow onion, sliced in rings
3 garlic cloves, whole
3 bacon strips, sliced into bite-sized pieces
1 ½ - 2 lbs beef liver
3 large banana peppers, sliced into rings
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cooking and Directions:

Rinse liver pieces until water runs clear.  Place pieces in bowl and add lemon juice.  Set aside to marinade for 3 to 6 hours.    

Heat fry pan on medium-high heat.  Add bacon, onion, garlic, and pepper.  Let onions sear to a golden brown.   Remove all ingredients from flavored pan to serving plate.  Set aside.  Place liver pieces in pan.  Allow meat to brown for 4-6, depending on thickness of meat minutes on each side then remove.  Return bacon, pepper, onion, and garlic to pan and heat through.  Pour reheated ingredients over cooked liver.  Serve immediately.      

Monday, October 21, 2013

On Break

The Mixed Stew crew is taking a vacay.  We will be back on October 28, 2013 with new and yummier recipes.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Thursday’s Side Dish: Somen Noodle Dressing

A great accompaniment in a pinch

This Japanese food product is also referred to as “soy sauce for noodles.”  Each bottle contains unique ingredients, such as bonito and cooking (sweet) sake.  A (10 oz) bottle costs $3.99 and up depending on the brand.   In traditional Japanese cuisine, diners dip cold somen noodles into this sauce to make the noodles more palatable for any meal.  We suggest substituting buckwheat noodles, yellow egg noodles, or even rice vermicelli in a pinch.  Somen tyusu can serve as the flavor base (or dressing) for an Asian-inspired noodle salad.   Look for this item at H-Mart, Lotte, or your favorite Asian foods grocery store.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wednesday’s Helping: Mixing Chili Con Queso Up...A Bit

Adding different texture and substance

What else can we do with our Chili Con Queso recipe?  We suggest adding regular fresh corn, hominy, or even canned corn in a pinch.  The corn adds a sweet and nutty crunch to the dip.  If you wanna heat things up, we suggest adding chopped Jalapenos, diced serranos, or even sliced banana peppers to increase the heat index.  Meanwhile, minced cilantro, some diced red onion, or sliced tomatillos can add more zing.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tuesday’s Cupful: Background on Chili Con Queso

An American mainstay now

We dare you to try our recipe for simple and pure gastronomic delight.  The creamy cheese loaf and meaty chili (right out of the can) form the crux of this dish.  Meanwhile, the fresh tomatoes and chopped green onion cut through the main ingredients so there are little goodies to enjoy in each and every bite.  The tangy flavors of the onion and tomatoes also add some refreshing flavors, too.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Monday’s Bread Bowl: Chili Con Queso

A hearty snack for the game

This simple snack is great to dip into at any informal party.  The melted cheese loaf makes all the difference.  Here’s the recipe:

What you will need:

1 microwave safe bowl, medium-sized
1 plastic cover made specifically for microwave cooking
1 (8 oz.) Velveeta cheese loaf, cut into small pieces
12 oz. ripe tomatoes, chopped into bite-sized pieces
½ cup green onion, chopped small
1 (15 oz) can Hormel Chili

Cooking and Directions:

Arrange cheese, tomatoes, chili, and onion in bowl.  Place bowl in microwave oven w/ lid and heat for 3 to 4 minutes.  Pull out bowl once majority of cheese has melted.  Let dish rest for 2 to 3 minutes.  Serve w/ tortilla chips or veggies, such as broccoli spears or carrot pieces.      

Friday, October 11, 2013

Friday's Last Spoonful: Food Surf

Sausage Fixings

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. provides a brief but informative primer on different types of meat sausages.  If you’re looking for fresh, smoked, or cured – this site has the details.

Americans serve ‘em up in different ways around the country.  REAL SIMPLE illustrates 7 different ways that hot dogs can temp you’re tastebuds.

Finally, Yahoo provides a gallery of 80 styles of hotdog madness on their site. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Thursday’s Side Dish: T.O. Williams Virginia Smoked Link Sausage

A porky item that’s hot, too

We admit to getting a hankering for smoked sausage on more than one occasion in the course of a month.  This food item caught our attention during a recent visit to the grocery store.  T.O. Williams brand Virginia Link HOTSausage A 16 oz package 8 links comes reasonably priced at $2.99 and above so do hunt around for the best price.  They’re really produced in Portsmouth, Virginia.  Look forward to seeing their “red color,” which is a trademark.   The Mixed Stew Crew likes having these sausages for breakfast as a serving of meat instead of the usual bacon or true breakfast sausage.  We also suggest chopping it up and placing it in baked beans, gumbo soup, or even fried rice.  Yes, the heat will get you so eat with caution.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wednesday’s Helping: Substitutes for BBQ Beef Stir-Fry

Beef is not the only one

You can make this stir-fry using other ingredients, such as chicken, turkey, fish, or even pork.  Actually, it’s a also leaner dish if you use poultry or fish.  The key is to make sure that the main ingredient has been precooked in a grilling, barbecuing, or smoking procedure.  We used eggplant but feel free to use green veggies, like broccoli, baby bok choy, or even snow peas.  Feed a larger crowd by adding mung bean noodles, canton noodles, or rice vermicelli.  Lastly, make this dish vegetarian with barbecued firm tofu as the main ingredient. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tuesday’s Cupful: Background on BBQ Beef Stir-Fry

Give leftover beef new life

Why should you try making this dish?  Well, the barbecuing process provides added smokey flavor in every bite.  We actually were reminded of restaurant-quality and authentic Mongolian Barbecue while eating this main entrĂ©e.  Remember that the grilling process also renders out a major amount of animal fat.  It’s also a nice departure from the usual stir-fries since the meat has been infused with unique flavors.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Monday’s Bread Bowl: BBQ Beef-Stir Fry

Spruce Up Left-Over BBQ Beef

This dish is worth making in its own right.  The double-cooking preparation brings more smokey flavor to the end result.  Here’s the recipe: 

What you will need:

1 large wok
1 wooden spoon
3 tablespoons cooking oil
1 medium-sized yellow onion, chopped small
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 ½ - 2 lbs left-over BBQ Beef, chopped into bite-sized pieces
3 Asian eggplants, chopped small
3 tablespoons soy sauce

Cooking and Directions:

Heat wok on medium-high heat.  Add oil, garlic, and onion.  Sautee until onion turn translucent.  Add beef and toss well.  Allow ingredients to stir-fry for 3 – 5 minutes.  Add eggplant.  Let ingredients cook for another 10 minutes.   Make sure to stir constantly.  Remove stir-fry from heat and serve immediately.   

Friday, October 4, 2013

Friday's Last Spoonful: Food Surf

Crab Cakes Supreme

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.

LA Weekly featured the restaurants with the top crab cakes in Los Angeles.  

Meanwhile, dig into the top crab cakes in Baltimore from The Sun.

These fancy crab cake recipes from Coastal Living will satisfy any crab lover's appetite. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Thursday’s Side Dish: Geisha Crab Meat

A great stand-by in a bit

The price for premium seafood can really place consumers on a budget in a bind.  That’s why we recommend and suggest using Geisha brand canned crab meat The Mixed Stew crew purchased a 6 oz can at the cost of $3.99 per unit.  Use this food item for making a quick seafood ceviche, an easy-to-prepare seafood bisque, or even mini-crab cakes.  This product provides a touch of class to any dish at a reasonable price.  Also, remember that crab meat is healthier than red meat. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Wednesday’s Helping: Handy Ingredients for Quick Soups & Chowders

Other substitutes in a pinch

If you need to make a rich soup, such as a bisque or chowder, in a matter of minutes instead of hours then we suggest stocking up on canned essentials.  Store-bought stock, broth, or soup bullion can work wonders in quickly adding flavor.  Keep a can or two of evaporated milk on hand to make creamy dairy-based soups.  We suggest doing the same with canned stewed tomatoes for tomato-based soups.  If canned crab doesn’t make the grade, we suggest keeping 1lb of frozen shrimp in the freezer at all times.  These are all little steps toward making a rich and hearty soup in a flash.  Can you think of other suggestions?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tuesday’s Cupful: Background on Crab Bisque

Thick –n- creamy in a pinch

Try it and we think you’ll like it—A LOT.  This soup is flavored with bits of real crab meat that gives it a real ocean flavor.  Meanwhile, the coconut milk and evaporated milk combine to form a dense but smooth texture.  We also added a good portion of creamed corn, which delivers a sweet accent.  Lastly, the chunky mixed vegetables lend a nutritious and chunky bite to every serving.