Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wednesday’s Helping: Rustic Alfredo Surprises

Creamy and chunky pasta fare  

The Mixed Stew suggests substituting ground beef we used for ground pork, ground pork sausage, or even Italian sausage.  Wanna more of a smokey flavor?  Try adding sliced andouille, kielbasa, or linguica instead of ground meat.  Seafood suggestions include calamari, clams, or even mussels.  Remember that you can also make a light cream sauce using 1 ½ cups of half-n-half and at least 2/3 cups of your favorite shredded cheese.  Lastly, substitute the rotini with penne, farfalline, or penne rigate.   

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tuesday's Side Dish: Background on Cheesy Beef Cauliflower Rotini

A beefy spin on Aflredo…sorta

The Mixed Stew crew created this more rustic spin on classic Alfredo in a pinch.  It’s also a twist on this ol’ favorite.   The ground beef provides a hearty main ingredient that compliments the weightier rotini pasta noodles to a tea.  The bits of cauliflower, mushroom, and cherry tomatoes cut through the heftier ingredients while providing wholesome nutrition.  Lastly, a jar of Ragu Four Cheese Sauce binds everything together in a beefy but also veggie-laden pasta goulash.      

Monday, April 28, 2014

Monday’s Bread Bowl: Cheesy Cauliflower Beef Rotini

A Very Veggie Pasta Dish

The Mixed Stew created this dish on the fly.  It’s a great alternative to the routine tomato sauce laden pasta fare.  Here’s the recipe:

What you will need:

1 large skillet w/ lid
1 wooden spoon
1 (16 oz) package wheat Rotini, cooked al dente
3 tablespoons, olive oil
 1 yellow onion, diced small
2 garlic cloves, chopped
 2 lbs ground beef
1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 jar Ragu Four Cheese Sauce
1 cup spinach leaves
1 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
½ cup cherry tomatoes
Pinch of pepper and salt

Cooking & Directions:

Heat skillet on medium-high heat.  Add olive oil, garlic, and onion to pan.  Sautee ingredients until onion turns translucent.  Crumble ground beef into pan.  Allow ground beef to brown (10 – 15 minutes).  Mix well.  Add cauliflower and mushrooms.  Let veggies cook through.  Pour in jar of cheese sauce and stir well.  Lastly, mix in spinach and cherry tomatoes.  Spoon cheesy meat sauce over rotini.          

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Thursday's Side Dish: Ravioli Revolution

Ravioli in different flavors

There’s a real Ravioli Revolution unfolding in Washington, D.C.  Two bros, Michael and Daniel Parzio belong to an Italian family and grew up on macaroni in Upstate New York.  Maybe, it's second nature that they're now making gourmet ravioli. Now, The Parzios are very proud of their “artisan pasta” series of products from the Ravioli Revolution.  The Mixed Stew crew has been lucky to get its hands on a (8 oz.) pack of their Hawaiian Braised Short Rib Ravioli via Hometown Harvest.  This specially-made ravioli is spiced with hot Gochujang sauce and sesame seeds.  Other flavors include: Maryland Crab & Corn, Truffle Artichoke& Herb, and Shrimp ‘n Polenta.  You need to pre-order since their ravioli is made in small batches from choice ingredients.    

Union Kitchen
1110 Congress St NE
Washington, DC 20002
Tel: (571) 882 - 2219

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wednesday’s Helping: Flavorful Sesame Roast

Ponzu and more does it right

Try this recipe for another Asian twist on roasted chicken.   Remember that the chicken can also be barbecued or grilled instead of roasted.  Combine the juice of one lemon or lime with regular soy sauce if you cannot find Ponzu.  We suggest adding chopped lemon grass, cilantro, or Thai basil to if you wanna cut through the soy sauce.  Meanwhile, dice up one or even up to three hot chili peppers to heat things up.  You can also substitute the chicken parts with pork spare ribs, pork loin, or pork chops.  

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tuesday’s Cupful: Background on Ponzu Sesame Chicken

Mild Teriyaki Spin w/ Peanut Butter

Yes, the Mixed Stew crew poured in a whole shot glass of sweet pear vodka to add some extra zing to this milder interpretation of teriyaki chicken.  Remember that the alcohol will cook out during the baking process.  The Ponzu sauce also lends a slight lemony twist with pungent taste of soy sauce.  Meanwhile, the creamy peanut butter adds some extra nutrition.  Let the chicken legs marinade overnight if you want a stronger flavor.      

Monday, April 21, 2014

Monday’s Bread Bowl: Ponzu Sesame Roasted Chicken

Delish sweet and savory

The mixed Stew created this yummy baked chicken recipe that’s a milder spin on teriyaki chicken.  Here’s the recipe:

What you will need:

1 baking pan
Aluminum foil
1 wire rack
1 large bowl w/ lid
4 – 6 chicken legs
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 garlic toes, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon green onion, chopped
1/3 cup Ponzu sauce
1 shot glass, sweet pear vodka/ substitute with mirin aka rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter

Cooking and Directions:

Combine chicken parts, Ponzu sauce, sugar, black pepper, sesame seeds, vodka, peanut butter, garlic, and green onion in large bowl.  Mix well and set aside.  Let chicken marinade for at least 1 hour.  Preheat oven at 350 degrees.  Wrap and line baking pan with aluminum foil.  Position wire rack on pan then arrange chicken parts on rack.  Place chicken in oven and bake for 55 to 75 minutes.  Allow chicken to turn a golden brown color.  Remove chicken from oven then let pieces rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.  

Monday, April 14, 2014

Spring Cleaning!

The Mixed Stew is going on hiatus.  Hope y'all have a Happy Easter, too.  We will return on April 21, 2014 with new food recipes.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thursday’s Side Dish: Whole Wheat Tortillas

Making for healthier wraps

What’s better than tacos in a pinch?  We were able to pick up a package of MISSION brand whole wheat tortillas.  Each light brown tortilla contains more fiber than traditional tortillas made from white flour or corn flour tortillas.  Warm some up and make healthier tacos, burritos, and enchiladas.  Use them instead of starchier bread to make healthier sandwich wraps.  A (16 oz.) package has a count of 10 wraps.  Look for this new food item at most major grocery stores at a fair price.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Wednesday’s Helping: Wrap up cod with more zing

Try more seasonings

What else can you use to season the banana-leaf wrapped cod?  We suggest adding combination of a drizzle of soy sauce, seaweed nori, and sesame oil instead of using butter.  You can also try olive oil, paprika, dill, cardamom for a more Middle Eastern taste in the result.  Otherwise, try adding horseradish, garlic, and a drizzle of Worcestershire sauce.  The banana leaf will always leave its trademark earthy and green flavor essence on whatever is wrapped inside it.  Plain foil or taro leaf can substitute if you cannot find banana leaf.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tuesday’s Cupful: What about Cod fish?

A whitefish stand-by

Cod has been a prized food source since roughly 800 A.D. when the seafaring Vikings caught it, cleaned it, and dried it for consumption.   Today’s seafood lovers and food experts classify cod fish as “mild” in seafood flavor and taste.  These fish belongs to the Gadidae family so they’re related pollock and haddock.  Expect dense, white and firm texture from cod.  Meanwhile, cod livers are processed to make cod liver oil, which are consumed as a nutritional and vitamin supplement.  The fish and “cod liver oil” contain Vitamins A, D, and E.  Promote a healthier heart and circular system by serving this fish often.  Cooks recommend that cod be baked and broiled instead of frying.  Also look out for baccalau that’s salted cod.  

Monday, April 7, 2014

Monday’s Bread Bowl: Banana Leaf Roasted Cod

Monday’s Bread Bowl: Banana Leaf Roasted Cod

Island-style roasted fish

The banana leaf wrap helps infuse the steamed cod with an extra green flavor that compliments this typically bland white fish.  Here’s the recipe:

What you will need:

1 cutting board
1 toaster oven/ convection oven w/ baking pan to fit
Aluminum foil
3 (10 inch) banana leaf sections
3 cod fillets
1 lemon, cut in half and sliced
3 table spoons fresh cilantro, loose leaves
¼ cup carrot, cut into bite-sized pieces
¼ cup cherry tomato, sliced in half
½ cup green onion, roughly sliced into 3 inch pieces
3 teaspoons, dried dill
1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces  
Coarse salt and pepper

Cooking and Directions:

Set toaster oven at 350 degrees.  Line baking pan with aluminum foil.  Set and center cod fillets on their own banana leaf.  Arrange lemon slices, cilantro, green onion, carrot, tomato, and butter over fillets.  Next, season with salt, pepper, and dill.  Wrap fillets in banana leaf and seal.  Place wrapped fish on baking pan and position in oven.  Let fish bake for 20 25 minutes.  Remove cooked fish from oven and let them rest for 10 to 15 minutes then serve.    

Friday, April 4, 2014

Friday's Last Spoonful: Food Surf

Calamansi Relief

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.

Yummy features several recipes that call for this mini-lemon. The Calamansi Cupcakes and the Asian Mojito are a blast!

Meanwwhile, the examiner has a primer on Calamansi that’s not to be missed.

Pinterest provides more than its share of calamansi recipes.  The calamansi coconut risotto is sure to wow you.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Thursday’s Side Dish: McSpice Calamansi Seasoning

Sprinkle on sweet mini lemons

Get ready for this!  Clamansi lemons are a mainstay in Guam where the Mixed Stew crew grew up.  That’s why we recommend McSpice brandCalamansi seasoning.  Just a sprinkle or more of this will enhance any mixed drink or cocktail with real lemony flavor that’s reminiscent of real calamansi juice and lemons.  McSpice also suggests adding this to marinades and dipping sauces.  Lastly, add a dash over servings of pancit noodles, Japchae, or Chop Suey.  The Mixed Stew crew purchased a .81 oz (23 gram) jar for $1.39 so it’s fairly inexpensive.  Remember that a little goes a long way with this ingredient.   Look for McSpice Calamansi seasoning at your favorite Filipino Foods Market.   

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Wednesday’s Helping: Asian Spaghetti Fixings

Top it off or cook it into the sauce

We have more suggestions from Japan and even the Philippines to change things up in your traditional spaghetti recipe.  Try adding a swig of sake, soy sauce, or even or okonomi sauce.  Japanese also like using shrimp, shellfish, or squid instead of red meat.  Cod roe is also a very popular ingredient in some Japanese pasta dishes.  Meanwhile, cooks in the Philippines like adding sliced hot dogs – yes regular wieners - to their renditions of spaghetti.  Filipinos also add up to one cup of Velveeta or plain shredded cheddar cheese so the result resembles and tastes like lasagna.           

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tuesday’s Cupful: Background on Japanese Spaghetti

Sweethearts in Japan

There is one huge trend in “Japanese-style Spaghetti.”  Most Japanese people love their spaghetti sauce on the sweeter side compared to Americans.  What does this mean?  Look for Japanese Spaghetti and Tomato Sauce recipes that may call for bits of carrot, celery, and even bell pepper.  In fact, numerous variations ask only for ketchup, which is sweet, as the main ingredient for the tomato-based sauce.  Japanese cooks may also add slivers of seaweed nori, bits of bacon, and maybe even a drizzle ofsoy sauce.