Thursday, May 29, 2014

Thursday’s Side Dish: Classico Basil Pesto

Pesto time saver

Count on the good people at Classico for providing a safe bet if you need authentic pesto and flavors.  The Mixed Stew crew suggests trying their Traditional Basil Pesto Sauce & Spread for those Italian food lovers out there.  Basil, garlic, and olive oil are mixed into every 8.1 oz jar of this gourmet food item.  We also like the fact that it needs no refrigeration so you can keep it handy.  Remember that a little goes a long way with any pesto.  Expect to pay between $ 2.70 and $ 5.00 for this product so shop around for the best price.  Also, look for Classico’s Sun-dried Tomato Pesto.        

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wednesday’s Helping: Changing up the Smore

More than chocolate and marshmallows

What else can you add to this unbeatable combo?  We suggest including other dry ingredients, such as pretzels, granola, and even roasted peanuts.   Meanwhile, dried mango, dried banana chips, and even apple chips can add some naturally sweet fruit flavor and a healthy bite.  These ingredients will help create “double decker” and “triple decker” smores.  Use Reese’s Peanut Buttercups, Hershey’s w/ Almonds, and KitKat to provide extra crunch without too much extra fuss.  Lastly, substitute the graham crackers for vanilla wafers, gingersnaps, or even plain Oreo cookies in a pinch.        

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tuesday’s Cupful: Background on S’mores (aka smores)

Enjoy 'em camping out

This treat can inspire thoughts of sitting ‘round campfires and summer vacation. A S’more consists of a toasted marshmallow and chocolate, which are pressed between graham crackers.  S’mores aka smores gained popularity in the early 1900s.  The inventions of puffed marshmallows and the generic chocolate bar were the precursors of this sweet graham cracker sandwich.  “S’more” is short for “Some more for me.”  The Girl Scouts even featured a recipe in their 1927 Handbook.  National S’mores Day is celebrated every 10th of August in the U.S.A.  

Monday, May 26, 2014

Monday's Bread Bowl: Old Fashioned Smores

Gooey Chocolate Wonders

No, you don't have to be on a camping trip to enjoy this unbeatable sweet snack. Here's the “to do.”

What you will need:

1 dozen skewers
1 (24 oz.) bag jumbo puffed marshmallows
1 (14 oz.) box graham crackers
3 – 4 (1.55 oz.) Hershey chocolate bars
1 small serving plate

Cooking & Directions:

Lay-out all ingredients. Break chocolate bars into 3 to 6 smaller pieces and set aside. Poke individual marshmallows with individual skewers at “pointy” end. Turn on gas stove til' open flame is strong. Hold marshmallows over the open flame. Allow marshmallows to roast and char on all sides. Carefully press melting marshmallow between two graham crackers and pieces of chocolate bar. The chocolate should melt and glue s'more together – making a cracker sandwich. Serve immediately and enjoy.  Warning: Be careful not to burn wooden skewers.  Metal skewers may be best to prevent incident injury.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Thursday’s Side Dish: Dean’s Spicy Sriracha Dip

Cream Cheese Hottie            

This dip will throw you for a loop with its rowdy mix of cold and hot.  Dean’s Dairy brand name dip now offers Sriracha Spicy ThaiChili.  This store-bought dip contains real jalapenos, onion, and red chili pepper.  Crack open a tub and you’ll find delicately whipped cream cheese dip that’s perfect for poatato chips, crackers, or veggies.  Dean’s Dairy Dip also contains no trans fats and is made with skim milk.  The dip comes packed in 8 oz. and 16 oz containers.  Expect to pay between $ 2.50 and $ 5.99 for this yummy dip.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Tuesday’s Cupful: Background on Thai Beef Salad

A marriage of red meat and fresh veggies

The Mixed Stew crew thinks that Thai Beef Salad is reminiscent of Chamorro Kelaguen Expect to find different recipe variations of this dish in books or on the internet.  Thai Beef Salad usually serves as a light lunch or snack.  Otherwise, it’s usually served as an accompaniment to main dishes in Thai households.  The pervasive seasoning ingredients consist of lemon or lime juice, fish sauce, soy sauce, and sugar.   Thai Basil, cilantro, and mint leaves are also thrown in to enhance the sweet and salty ingredients.         

Monday, May 19, 2014

Monday’s Bread Bowl: Thai-Style Beef Salad

Dress it sweet and tangy

This cool veggie salad has a load of beef flank steak that’s seasoned just right to refresh your palette.  Here’s the recipe:

What you will need:

1 cast-iron skillet
1 large salad bowl. glass
1 medium-sized bowl, glass
1 cutting board
Plastic wrap
Non-stick cooking spray
2 cups broccolini, chopped into bite-sized pieces 
Juice of 2 lemons
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced into bite-sized pieces
1 large cucumber, seeded and chopped into small pieces
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 flank steak cut, 1– 1 ½ lbs
½ habanero pepper, minced
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
Pinch of salt and pepper

Cooking & Directions:

Heat skillet on medium-high heat until hot.  Spray pan’s cooking surface with non-stick cooking spray.  Season flank steak on both sides with salt and pepper.  Place flank steak cut in pan.  Allow meat to brown and sear on each side but do not cook meat until well done.  Remove steak and set aside to rest.  Next, combine broccolini, cucumber, onion, and cilantro in mixing bowl.  Toss well and set aside.

Carefully shred or thinly slice the flank steak on cutting board.  Combine fish sauce, lemon juice, habanero, and sugar in medium-sized bowl.  Mix well.  Add beef to lemon juice mixture and toss well so that meat can absorb flavors.  In fact, let meat marinade for at least 15 - 20 minutes in sugar solution.

Now, add ingredients in medium-sized bowl to larger bowl of veggies.  Toss well.  Cover salad with plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours.  Serve chilled.         

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Wednesday’s Helping: Other fixings for Double Patties Cheese Steak

Sandwiched between the beef

The fun with this dish stems from the mechanics of making somewhat of a “sandwich” from two ground beef patties.  The melted Longhorn cheese possesses the dense and gooey texture necessary to properly glue the grilled patties together.  The Mixed Stew suggests throwing in a handful of diced chives, mushrooms, or plain green onion between the patties.  If don’t like the ground beef, we suggests using ground turkey patties or even firm tofu to change things up.  Some diced hot pepper can also add some hot zing between the beef patties.  

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Tuesday’s Cupful: Background on Double Patties Cheese Steaks

Cut into beef and cheese

Our dish was inspired by the American classic -- SalisburySteak.  The plain and store-bought stack of hamburger patties meant some creative cooking on our part.  The addition of Longhorn cheese provides a sharp cheddar flavor.  The “double-decker” grilled patties go well with the ooey and gooey melted cheese.  It’s just another nifty way to tweak the regular ol’ hamburger patty.  Yes, you can eat it like steak since the portion is twice the yum yum.        

Monday, May 5, 2014

Monday’s Bread Bowl: Double Patties Cheese Steaks

Stacked Melted Cheese and Burger Steaks

Everyone craves a hamburger patty from time to time.  The Mixed Stew tweaked the standard beef patty to make this main dish item.  Here’s the recipe:

What you will need:

1 cast-iron skillet
1 metal spatula
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
12 standard (prefab) hamburger patties
6 slices Longhorn cheese, roughly cut
1 cup mushroom, sliced
1 purple onion, thinly sliced
Pinch of salt and pepper

Cooking and Directions:

Season hamburger patties with salt and pepper on both sides and set aside.  Heat pan on medium-high heat until well-heated.  Add cooking oil.  Place 4 patties in pan.  Let patties brown on both sides and cook through until done.  Immediately stack individual cheese slices between hot and cooked patties.  The cheese should melt between freshly cooked beef patties.  Repeat cycle until all patties are cooked.  This makes six hamburger and cheese steaks.  Sautee onion and mushrooms in pan’s drippings then serve.      

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Thursday’s Side Dish: Sausage Craft Chorizos, etc.

Lovely Specialty Sausages

It’s a shame that Chris Mattera’s yummy sausages are not available for special order.  He’s the founder of SAUSAGE CRAFT, which makes over 1 dozen unique meat sausages, in Richmond, Va.  Mr. Mattera’s cooking background includes time spent studying under a traditional butcher in Italy.  The Mixed Stew crew was lucky to get its hands on their Chorizo but this sausage company makes other really funky sausage links!  The Full Miniato consists of pork spiced with garlic, peppers, and even real truffle shavings.  Meanwhile, the Pork Belly Sausage is made from shoulder and belly cuts that are seasoned with red wine and rosemary.  Ground pork is flavored with hot Sriracha and beer in The Saturday Nite Sausage.  Look for sausages by SAUSAGE CRAFT in the Maryland/ DC and Virginia area.

Sausage Craft
2004 Dabney Road
Richmond, VA 23230