Monday, June 30, 2014

Independence Day

Hope your family has a great 4th of July!  The Mixed Stew is taking a vacay for this week.  We will be back on July 7th with more food ideas.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Thursday’s Side Dish: Hawaiian Host Macadamia Nuts

An islandy staple

We recommend these chocolate covered macadamia nuts to anyone with a hankering for chocolate and macadamia nuts.  Hawaiian Host has been producing these special confections for over 80 years.  Each bite is rich and creamy.  The spirit of Aloha characterizes every box of their chocolates.  An 8 oz. box of 16 pieces will cost $8.99 and up depending where on you purchase this product.  Look for these chocolates at Hawaiian-themed store outlets and select food stores.  

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wednesday’s Helping: Options for Chili Mac

Elbows and more

This macaroni dish is more rustic compared to others.  We suggest substituting the elbow macaroni for bow ties, shells, or even penne.  If you want to reduce the salt-content, then take out the chicken broth and use water instead.  We also suggest making this dish using shrimp and fish stock to give it a seafood twist.  Lastly, substitute the ground beef with ground turkey for a different yum experience.    

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tuesday’s Cupful: History of Chili Mac

Where’s the beef?

Look for different variations of chili mac on the internet.  The dish may be described as a cross between sloppy joe and classic spaghetti.  The main components of this American staple are a tomato-based beef chili combined with elbow macaroni that’s cooked until al dente.  Food folklore credits Cincinnati-style chili as the strongest possible inspiration for traditional chili mac.  The Mixed Stew also gave our version more oomph with a beefy and cheesey-gravy that translates into classic comfort food.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Monday’s Bread Bowl: Fancier Cheesy Chili Mac

Elbows can be dressed, too

This dish is actually fun to make.  The kids will love it.  Here’s the recipe

What you will need:

1 large skillet w/ lid
1 large mixing container
1 wooden spoon
3 tablespoons cooking oil
4 bacon strips, cut into bite-sized pieces
½ large yellow onion, diced small
3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
1 ½ lbs ground beef
1 (16 oz.) box, elbow macaroni that’s cooked al dente
1 (12 oz.) container, chicken broth
1 cup shredded cheese, Monterey Cheddar
1 (15 oz) can of diced tomatoes
1 (15 oz) can, whole kernel corn
1 bunch broccolini, chopped into small pieces
2/3 cup sour cream
Pinch of salt and pepper

Cooking & Directions:

Heat up large pan at medium-high heat.  Pour in cooking oil.  Add onion, garlic, and bacon.  Sautee until onion turns translucent.  Crumble ground beef into pan.  Stir well.  Let meat brown.  Pour in chicken broth and diced tomatoes.  Cover pan with lid and lower heat to medium-low.  Let ingredients simmer for another 20 minutes while occasionally stirring.  Next, gradually add corn, sour cream, cheese, and broccolini to pan’s ingredients.  Return cover and let pan simmer for another 15 minutes.  Lastly, add veggies and beef to the elbow macaroni.  Toss well then serve.          

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Thursday’s Side Dish: Brookside Dark Chocolate Goji

A unique chocolate experience

Lookout for Brookside brand chocolate confections at your favorite grocery store.  Brookside, a snack company from British Columbia, has been in the business of producing select candies and snacks for over 50 years.  This item, with Goji berry, comes in Raspberry, Pomegranate, and Blueberry flavors.  A (7 oz.) package is fairly priced at $ 3. 50 +.  We suggest shopping around for the best price.  These trademark candies consist of intense berry- flavored centers, which are drenched in a shell of creamy and smooth dark chocolate. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wednesday’s Helping: Alternative Ingredients for Mole Ribs

Season’em just right

The baby back ribs in this recipe can be substituted for regular pork spare ribs, beef spare ribs, or even a rack of lamb.  Meanwhile, remember that more traditional mole recipes call for cinnamon instead of paprika.  If you wanna make things spicier, we suggest adding dried cayenne pepper, diced jalapeno, or even smoked chipotle pepper.  Lastly, try adding coffee espresso instead of or to the cocoa powder mix for a slightly different mole flavor kick.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Tuesday’s Cupful: Background on Mole Ribs

Healthier Chocolate Eating

Baby back ribs provide a yummy centerpiece for this week’s dish.  Meanwhile, the cocoa powder forms a non-traditional flavor element in the seasonings.  Remember that chocolate contains antioxidants, so it’s healthy for you…especially servings of dark chocolate or unsweetened chocolate.  We skimped on the sugar but feel free to make it sweeter if like ‘em sweet.  Chocolate also reacts with the human body’s serotonin levels, which means it tends to be a natural antidepressant. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Monday's Bread Bowl: Baby Back Mole Ribs

Cocoa is in the rub

The Mixed Stew crew had a hankering for Mexican Mole flavors w/ baby back ribs for this dish.  Here’s the recipe:

What you will need:

1 large bowl w/ lid
1 rack of pork baby back ribs (membrane removed and separated into groups of 3 – 5 ribs)
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 cast-iron skillet
Aluminum foil
½ tablespoon dried oregano
½ tablespoon paprika
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon sugar
12 oz of white wine or champagne
Pinch of salt and pepper

Cooking & Directions:

Combine cocoa powder, paprika, onion, garlic, sugar, oregano in large bowl.  Season pork ribs with salt and pepper on each side.  Then place ribs in large bowl.  Rub ribs thoroughly with ingredients inside bowl.  Then add wine or champagne into bowl.  Cover bowl with lid and allow ribs to marinate in bowl for at least 1 hour. 

Preheat oven at 350 degrees.  Line cast-iron skillet with aluminum foil.  Place soaked ribs in cast-iron pan and cover top with foil.  Poke aluminum foil cover with toothpick to allow steam from baking ribs to vent.  Position skillet in oven and bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes. 

Remove baked ribs from oven and let meat rest for at least 20 minutes then serve.     

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Thursday’s Side Dish: Sunrise Crunchy Vanilla

Cereal that rocks vanilla

This cereal has it all in terms of healthy fare.  Nature’s Path brand Sunrise Crunchy Vanilla maintains bragging rights to being “Gluten Free,” “Low Fat,” and “Whole Grain.”  We got our hands on Crunchy Vanilla flavor but also look for Maple Pecan, Red Berry, Cinnamon, and even Pumpkin Raisin.  A 10.6 oz. box runs a little under $5.00 or more so do shop around for the best price.  The Crunchy Vanilla also contains lesser known whole grains, such as buckwheat, amaranth, and even quinoa.  Best of all though – a single serving of Crunchy Vanilla boasts 3 grams of fiber.   Look for this cereal at your favorite major grocery store.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Wednesday’s Helping: Alternative Ingredients for Balsamic Short Ribs

Try other cuts

The short ribs in this recipe can be substituted with a chuck roast, pot roast, or even brisket.  The key is a long cooking time so that the meat braises and ends up soft and tender.  If you don’t have balsamic vinegar, remember that you can use wine, cider vinegar, or palm vinegar.  The granulated sugar can be switched out with brown sugar, molasses, or honey.  Lastly, we suggest adding potato wedges and carrots cubes to make it a rustic but sauerbraten-style stew.     

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Tuesday’s Cupful: Background on Balsamic Braised Short Ribs

Based on Ol’ fashioned Sauerbraten

The Mixed Stew crew created this recipe based on German Braised Short ribs aka Sauerbraten.  The varying recipes usually call for a chunk of meat that’s soaked and seasoned in red wine, white wine, or vinegar then slow-roasted or braised.  Sauerbraten literally translates into “sour roast meat.”  Germans usually make this staple dish with beef but be on the lookout for venison, pork, and lamb variations.  The Mixed Stew substituted the wine with balsamic vinegar and diced tomatoes in our recipe.   Historically, recipes actually incorporated horse meat and meant several days of soaking the meat in the seasoned liquid.   Meanwhile, gingersnap cookies or ginger bread cookies are crushed into the roast’s drippings to help thicken the gravy.  Germans love this dish so much that it’s considered a national dish.     

Monday, June 9, 2014

Monday’s Bread Bowl: Balsamic Braised Short Ribs

Thick gravy and tender ribs

The Mixed Stew likes this balsamic-vinegar based version of German Braised Short Ribs.  Here’s the recipe:

What you will need:

1 large stew pot w/ lid
1 wooden spoon
1 large yellow onion, chopped small
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large serving plate
1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup water
1 ½ - 2 lbs short ribs, flanken-style cut
1 -2 teaspoons dried red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon, mustard powder
4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 (14 oz.) can tomatoes, diced
1 (12 oz.) can chicken broth
½ tablespoon coarse salt

Cooking & Directions:

Combine pepper flakes, flour, and mustard powder on serving plate.  Blend well.  Season short ribs with salt on both sides then drench in flour mixture.  Set ribs aside.  Heat pan on medium-high heat.  Add olive oil, onion, and garlic.  Stir well.  Sautee ingredients until onion turn translucent.  Place short ribs in pan and brown on both sides.   Then pour in tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and chicken broth in pan.  Cover with lid.  Lower heat to medium.  Let ingredients braise for 40 minutes. Occasionally stir and flip ribs.  After 40 minutes, dilute sugar in water.  Mix well then add to pan’s ingredients.  Throw in sliced mushrooms, too.  Return pan’s lid and let ingredients simmer for another 20 minutes.  Serve once ribs have reached desired tenderness.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Friday's Last Spoonful: Chocolate Dipped Rice Cakes

The Mixed Stew is featuring "Old time Summer Faves" this week.  We will be back on June 9, 2014 with new food recipes.

A lighter and chocolicious alternative

These treats can satisfy those cravings for heavier sweet snacks or desserts. Rice cakes provide a hearty crunch. The process changes plain rice cakes into specially prepared confections. Here’s our recipe: 

What you will need: 

1 wooden spoon 
1 medium-sized bowl 
Wax paper 
1 flat cookie sheet or cutting board 
6 to 8 (4 oz) rice cakes, unflavored or apple cinnamon 
8 ounces, chocolate chips 

Preparation and Directions: 

Place piece of wax paper over cookie sheet or cutting board. Pour chocolate chips into bowl. Place bowl in microwave and zap for 30 to 45 seconds or until chocolate melts. Stir well with wooden spoon. Next, carefully dip each rice cake into melted chocolate on one side. Position dipped rice cakes with chocolate side up on wax paper. Let rice cakes cool until chocolate hardens. You can serve these immediately and store leftover in an airtight container.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Wednesday's Helping Broccoli Salad w/ Ramen Noodles

The Mixed Stew is featuring "Old time Summer Faves" this week.  We will be back on June 9, 2014 with new food recipes.

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.   

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Tuesday's Cupful: Pork Stew w/ Peas

The Mixed Stew is featuring "Old time Summer Faves" this week.  We will be back on June 9, 2014 with new food recipes.

Rich meat with a little splash of color

Mmm... go ahead. Be brave. If you haven't tried pork belly, this recipe is a fine introduction to the rich, buttery, decadent cut. The cooking process draws out the luscious qualities of the fat. The sweet flavor of peas enhances the tasty flavors of the savory ingredients that constitute this yummy entrée.

What you will need:

1 wooden spoon
1 frying pan with lid
3 tablespoons cooking oil
2 lb pork belly, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 cup water
2 teaspoons tapioca starch
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1 (16 oz) bag frozen peas
1 medium-sized yellow onion, chopped
2 whole garlic cloves, peeled
Salt and pepper to taste

Cooking and Directions:

Heat pan on medium-high heat. Add oil. Next, toss in salt, pepper, onion, and garlic. Stir and let everything cook until onion turns translucent. Add in pork belly. Then, toss in ginger. Let meat brown for 3-4 minutes while stirring. Now, pour in water. Cover and let ingredients braise for 35-40 minutes. Empty bag of peas into pot. Return lid and let everything simmer for another 10 minutes. Finally, add tapioca starch to liquid while constantly stirring. The sauce should thicken to a gravy-like consistency. Serve immediately.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Monday's Bread Bowl: Fried Green Tomatoes

The Mixed Stew is featuring "Old time Summer Faves" this week.  We will be back on June 9, 2014 with new food recipes.

Golden juicy and tangy medallions

Every bite is a yummy combo contradiction of a flaky crust and a young tomato’s tart flavor. Fried green tomatoes can make a very good appetizer or satisfying side dish, even for breakfast. This is classic American comfort food that even captured the spirit of a Hollywood movie. Here is our rendition:

What you will need:

3 medium-sized green tomatoes, sliced into ¼ to 1/3 inch circles

1 fork

1 frying pan

1 big dinner plate

¼ cup cooking oil

1 cup cornstarch

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste

Cooking and Directions:

Combine cornstarch, garlic powder, salt, and pepper on dinner plate. Mix well. Heat frying pan on medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes. Next, take tomato slices and dredge on both sides in cornstarch mixture. Heat frying pan on medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes. Add cooking oil to hot pan. When oil is hot, Now, place dredged tomato slices in oil. Let tomatoes fry on each side for 3-5 minutes. The fried green tomatoes should have a light and golden brown crust. Serve immediately. Try it with our dijon mayo chive spread on the side or thousand island dressing.