Monday, March 31, 2014

Monday’s Bread Bowl: Japanese-Style Spaghetti

Sweet –n- Sassy

The Mixed Stew likes Japanese spaghetti and enjoyed several versions of it while growing up.  Here’s the recipe:

What you will need:

1 stock pot w/ lid
1 long wooden spoon
3 tbspns butter
1 small yellow onion, chopped small
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 large carrots, diced small
2 lbs pork sausage or Italian sausage, loose
1 lb ground beef
3 bacon strips, sliced into bite-sized pieces
1 (24 oz.) jar spaghetti sauce
1 lb spaghetti noodles, cooked al dente
Pinch of salt and pepper

Cooking and Directions:

Heat stock pot on medium-high heat.  Melt butter in pot then add onion, bacon, garlic, and carrots.  Allow ingredients to sauté until onion turns translucent.  Next, gradually add pork sausage and ground beef.  Return lid.  Let meat brown (10- 12 minutes) then crumble with wooden spoon.  Add spaghetti sauce.  Mix well.  Return pot lid.  Lower heat to medium and let pot’s ingredients simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.  Remove pot from stove top once cooking time is done and serve over spaghetti noodles.  Serve with sour cream and Japanese Furikake. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Thursday’s Side Dish: Ichiban Shio Ramen

A special oldie but goodie

The Mixed Stew crew is very happy that it found this unique ramen noodle selection that’s made by Sapporo ICHIBAN.  What makes it a big deal?  Shio Ramen has a cleaner broth compared to regular or “ORIGINAL.”  Shio translates from Japanese into “salt” and that ingredient serves as the main flavor enhancer for this variation of ramen noodles.  Meanwhile, soy sauce acts as the main ingredient in regular Sapparo ICHIBAN.  The clear broth can be refreshing and crisper to anyone’s palette.  We purchased a package of 5 servings for $3. 99 at Great Wall Supermarket.   Also check Lotte Plaza for this variety of instant ramen noodles.    

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wednesday’s Helping: Tis the spices when wrapping w/ bacon

Hot, hotter, hottest

What else can you do to spice up this recipe?  Try rolling the pork loin in paprika, chili powder, or even dried cayenne pepper to increase the heat factor.  We also suggest a light marinade or dipping in any store-bought sauce, such as buffalo, teriyaki, or even simple barbecue.  Remember that bacon tends to be a tasty combination with sweet ingredients.  So a simple drizzle of honey, molasses, and maple syrup provides a strong punch in flavors that contradict each other.   Lastly, we recommend drenching the loin in cocoa powder, before wrapping in bacon, for a savory and chocolatey meat dish.    

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Tuesday’s Cupful: Pork Loin Revisited

A cut above the rest

This cut of pork packs a heavy punch in terms of flavor without a lot of fat.  DO NOT OVERCOOK PORK LOIN!!!  You want preserve its natural juiciness.  Pork loin is also known as a very tender cut compared to other pork pieces available from any butcher.  We suggest roasting, grilling, and searing pork loin then letting it rest for best flavor results.   This cut is basically one of the leanest pork selections, too.  Look for 3 basic segment of pork loin: blade end, sirloin end, and pork top loin chops. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Monday’s Bread Bowl: Seared Pork Loin in Bacon Strips

Smokey Tenderloins

Have a hankering for bacon?  This recipe is worth the simple effort to have meaty servings of roasted pork with bacon flavors sealed into every bite.  Here’s the recipe:

What you will need:

1 baking pan
1 wire rack
Foil wrap
1 cutting board
Cooking Oil Spray
4 pork loin filets
12 bacon strips
3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
Green onion, julienned into 3 – 4 inch pieces
Mustard powder
Pinch of coarse salt and pepper

Cooking & Directions:

Preheat oven at 350 degrees.  Line baking pan with foil.  Season pork loins with mustard powder, paprika, pepper, and salt.  Rub pork with garlic pieces.  Carefully wrap pork loins w/ green onion in bacon strips.  Approximately 3 strips per pork filet.  Place wire rack in baking pan.  Spray foil and rack with cooking spray.  Position wrapped pork on rack.  Place baking oven in preheated oven.  Bake for 40 to 50 minutes.  Remove pork from oven.  Let meat rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.    

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Thursday’s Side Dish: Manna Buttered Toast

Crunchy sweet squares

The Mixed Stew crew recommends this super sweet and crunchy snack item.  MANNA Buttered TOAST constitutes a Philippine staple.  Filipinos fondly call them “Biscocho.”  Each golden toasted square has a rich buttery taste that’s enhanced by sugar.  They evoke flavors of The Mixed Stew's childhood in Guam.  Real cane sugar goes into making these “little bread slices” sweet and heavenly.  Laura’s Food Products Corporation has outdone itself with this inexpensive food item.  We suggest dipping them into your hot morning coffee or cold milk.  Please note that this is not meant for anyone on a diet. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Wednesday’s Helping: Oysters Rockefeller Options

Instill Creamy Flavors

What else can you do change things up in our recipe?  We suggest adding a spike of wasabi, kimchi sauce, or plain Tabasco sauce to add a hot sting in every serving.  If you need more interesting flavors, add chopped Thai basil, cilantro, or a sprinkle of coriander. Remember that you can use chopped kale or even diced turnip greens if don’t have spinach.  Conversely, use medium-sized clams or even mussels instead of oysters.     

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tuesday’s Cupful: Background on Oysters Rockefeller

Scrumptious seafood bon bons

This dish has roots in American folklore since, based on different stories, it was invented in New Orleans back in 1899.  Antoine Alciatore and his family purportedly served this dish using snails but then switched to oysters and the “Oyster’s Rockefeller” was born.  “Rockefeller” was borrowed from John D. Rockefeller who happened to be the wealthiest man at the time.  The richness of the sauce was reason enough to call it “Oysters Rockefeller.”  The Alciatore family’s recipe remains a secret but many “knock-offs” exist to this very day.  Oysters Rockefeller consists of oysters on the half-shell that are topped with a tasty filling and finished off with a butter sauce and bread crumbs.  The dressed shellfish then get baked or broiled in a hot oven until golden brown.  The Alciatore family’s restaurant remains the oldest in America and the signature dish is still on the menu.  Many recipes call for fresh parsley and chopped green veggies – especially spinach.           

Monday, March 10, 2014

Monday’s Bread Bowl: Cheesy Oysters Rockefeller

Chuck’em and Roast’em

This cheesy Oysters Rockefeller rendition is meant for special occasions.  Here’s the recipe:

What you will need:

1 small bowl
1 convection oven/ toaster oven
1 metal spoon
1 toaster oven w/ baking pan
Aluminum foil
10 raw oysters, on the half-shell
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup spinach, diced small
2/3 cup green onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped small
½ cup Panko bread crumbs
Sprinkle of paprika

Cooking & Directions:

Preheat toaster/ convection oven at 350 degrees.  Combine onion, garlic, mayonnaise, sour cream, cheese, paprika, and spinach in bowl.  Mix well.  Arrange raw oysters on foil lined baking pan as shown.  Carefully spoon in liberal amounts of cheese mixture over oyster flesh in oyster shells.  Top with Panko bread crumbs.  Place oysters in oven.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until cheese filling bubbles.  Raise the baking temperature to broil for another 5 minutes to scorch the bread crumbs.  Finally, remove oysters from oven.  Serve immediately.        

Friday, March 7, 2014

Friday’s Last Spoonful: Food Surf

Porchetta’s Rhapsody

Food Surfing will feature fun food links from around the Blogosphere, including leads to hardcover helpers. These recommended links may give you other interesting ideas for making your life taste better. The Mixed Stew crew likes hunting through cookbooks for a good recipe or three.

The Huffington Post has what it calls “All the PorchettaRecipes You Could Ever Want.”  The Porchetta Piereno and the Asian-Inspired Porchetta look so appealing. 

Chef John’s Porchetta and Porchetta Italiana come from allrecipes.  Take at gander at their intricacies.

Lastly, StarChefs provides a long primer on authentic Porchetta.  This site shows the whole swine so be warned.  It looks delish. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Thursday’s Side Dish: ONO Hawaiian Seasoning

A Pacific Spice Blend

The Mixed Stew crew likes this “Hawaiian Seasoning” that’s also marketed as a “Flavor Enhancer.”  What makes it unique is the addition of Alae Salt.  This line of products is proudly produced in the Hawaiian Islands.   We suggest seasoning meat dishes with this spice blend.  Alae Salt (aka Hawaiian Salt) is sea salt that’s been naturally spiked with volcanic clay.  There’s a pinkish or reddish tint to Alae Salt.  The clay also adds a source of iron, which helps bring oxygen to every cell in the human body.  Look for green and red versions of ONOHawaiian Seasoning while visiting Hawaii or order it online from various web vendors.   An 8 oz. jar will run $ 5.99 and up so shop around for the best price.             

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Wednesday’s Helping: Different ways to toast it

Original or extra smoky

There are different options when it comes to preparing this Filipino specialty.  If you want a lot of smoky flavor, we suggest roasting the pork belly over an open fire or in a barbecue pit.  Just be careful not to scorch or burn this fatty piece of pork.  Yes, the open flame technique tends to slightly “cure” and flavor the roast.  Meanwhile, roasting in the conventional oven is the easier option.  There won’t be a smoky flavor in the end result but the meat will be juicy and succulent if done right.  The Mixed Stew crew recommends broiling the pork belly roll for the last 10 or 15 minutes to create a golden brown crust in the oven.        

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Tuesday’s Cupful: Pork Belly Roll History

Roasted pork crispiness

Filipinos call this delicacy “Lechon Liempo” and there are varying recipes due to regional taste.  The Mixed Stew crew used a cradle-shaped wire rack and bamboo skewers to prop the pork belly slab into place.  Meanwhile, some cooks roll the slab and secure it tightly with string.  The crispy skin and moist meat make it extremely appetizing.  Anyway you do it…the trick is to stuff and smother the center with seasonings and goodies, such as green onion, lemon grass, and Thai Basil.  Filipinos reserve this dish for special occasions and celebrations. 

Please also note that Italians have a variation known as Porchetta.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Monday’s Bread Bowl: Lovely Pork Belly Roll

A crispy twist to cut into

We decided to try making a variation on Mama Rosa’s Filipino Pork Belly Roll.  Here’s the recipe:

What you will need:

1 wire rack
Aluminum foil
1 cutting board
1 baking pan

2 shish kabob skewers
1 wire rack (cradle style)
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 green onion stalks, cut to place inside roll
1 (2 ½ - 3 lb) pork belly slab
Coarse salt and black pepper to taste

Cooking and Directions:

Preheat oven at 350 degrees.  Rub pork belly slab on each side with garlic.  Next, season slab on both sides with salt and pepper.  Roll pork belly as shown and pin with skewers into place on wire rack.  Roll green onion and garlic inside to season meat.  Place rack on baking pan.  Place in the oven for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Remove from oven once done.  Let roll rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.