Saturday, April 30, 2011

Eggs Goldenrod- Old Time Breakfast Dish

Okay, you know this is not a pretty dish if I choose to put the finished dish at the end of the blog, instead of the usual beginning.  This is an old family recipe that we grew up eating, but I can't remember making it myself, so it's weird that my daughter requested this on a recent visit home.  She remembered having her Grandma make it for her before.... so, I said I would.  I looked through my recipe box, hmmmm, no recipe there, called a sister (or two), called my Mom and hey guess what?  No one in the family has ever written this down!!!  I googled "Eggs Goldenrod" and found more horrifying pictures and recipes than I care to report.  As usual, when my Mom learned to make this almost 60 years ago, she took her creative license and did things a bit different! I love that about her...

This is a perfect breakfast for brunch, especially Easter Brunch with all those leftover hard boiled eggs.  But, if you're having a brunch, it's worth hard boiling some eggs, folks!!! This isn't a pretty dish, but I tell you, it will make people very, very happy once they eat it!  Tonight, I made this for our family, and made a crazy vegetarian version for two friends that happened by... think cauliflower, spinach, mushrooms, onions and celery in white sauce over toast cups- - those gals loved it!  Talk about Comfort Food.... this dish does the trick!

Serves 6-8
8 hard cooked eggs, peeled, sliced and diced
1 lb country pork sausage
8 oz mushrooms, sliced and diced
3/4 cup onions, diced
3/4 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
2 cups milk, or half and half
1 cup buttermilk, or sour cream (Buttermilk is better!)
1 tsp dry mustard
Chopped parsley

12 pieces of bread, crusts removed

Preheat the oven to 375.  Cut the crusts from the bread. In a muffin tin, put a square of bread over each muffin cup, using 2 fingers push down the bread into the hole, use your fingers to push in the other side of the bread, creating a "flower" cup.  Complete all cups needed.  Bake 10-15 minutes until they are toasted and starting to brown.  

Brown the sausage in the bottom of a medium size 6 qt dutch oven for about 5-6 minutes, or until it's cooked through. Remove sausage to a plate while you complete the rest of the dish.

Peel the eggs, and using a egg slicer, slice the eggs, one direction, and then the other, creating a small dice.

Set aside to add to the mixture at the end. Dice the onion, celery and the mushrooms.  I prefer my mushrooms cut up small and not large slices, but either works, do what you like! Saute the mixture in the butter in the bottom of a medium size 6 qt dutch oven for about 5-6 minutes over medium heat.  Add the flour and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Add the dry mustard, then slowly add the milk, or cream, stirring as you go.  Add the eggs and the chopped parsley, and gently stir.

Finally add the buttermilk, or sour cream,  and heat through and serve immediately over the toast cups.

Here's a couple other great breakfast ideas:

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Korean Pulled Pork Tacos

Another crazy fusion type dinner with Korean Tacos!  Hey, I didn't even think this up... I saw it on TV about a food truck in L.A. famous for these Korean Tacos.  I saw that and thought... that would be so easy to do at home!

These tacos were so yummy, lots of sweet, spicy, tangy and crunchy.  They were a big hit with the whole family, maybe even with people who said they didn't like kim chi!

It does take a little bit of planning ahead since the pork roast takes all day, and the cucumbers should marinate for 4-6 hours or overnight also.  You could do a couple things, 1) put it on before you head out for work, or  2) do it on the weekend to make later in the week. 

Below are a bunch of mini recipes, but I wanted to give you a list of everything I included in the taco:
  • Corn Tortillas
  • Shredded twice cooked pork (recipe below)
  • Marinated cucumbers (recipe below)
  • Kim Chi (buy at an Asian Market, or some grocery stores)
  • Shredded Asian Slaw (recipe below)
  • Fried Egg Roll slivers (instructions)
  • Wasabi mayo-yogurt sauce (recipe below)

Asian Inspired Pork Roast

In a slow cooker, add all the ingredients below and cook on low heat for 4-6 hours, until fork tender. Flip the meat over occasionally so that both sides of the roast are in the marinade while cooking.

2-3 lb pork roast
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp sesame oil
1/2 orange, or pineapple, juice
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp garlic, chopped

Here is what it looked like after it cooled and I shredded into larger chunks.  Retain the cooking liquid (now Korean BBQ sauce!) and refrigerate.  You will use it again. 

When you are ready to make the tacos, put 1-2 Tbsp of oil in a skillet and added the shredded pork in small batches.  Over medium high heat, fry the pork until the edges are starting to brown and carmelize, add 1-2 Tbsp of the retained BBQ sauce and heat through. Set aside, and fry another batch until complete.

Marinated Cucumbers and Red Onions
3-4 small Persian cucumbers (small seeds and good skin!)
1 small red onion, in thin slices
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
Cut up vegetables and add the vinegar, sugar and salt.  Cover and refrigerate, giving it a shake now and then to make sure all gets covered by the marinade.

Asian Slaw
4-5 cups shredded cabbage
1-2 cups carrots, cut into matchsticks (you can buy it already done!)
1/2 cup celery, thinly sliced (optional)
1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced (optional)
1-2 Tbsp sesame oil
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
1-2 tsp garlic powder
1-2 tsp red pepper flakes
1-2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp pepper

Add the cabbage and carrots to a large bowl, adding the celery and the green onions, if using.  Add the rest of the ingredients and toss.  Let sit for 15-30 minutes to soften and flavors to meld.  Adjust salt if necessary before serving.

Wasabi Sauce
1 tsp wasabi paste*
2 Tbsp mayonaise
2 Tbsp yogurt
1 Tbsp water

Mix all ingredients and add water to make the consistency appropriate for dribbling over your taco. 
*If you can't find wasabi paste, you could use Sriracha hot sauce.

Fried Egg roll wrapper, cut into thin strips and fry in small batches over hot oil. While this may seem a bit fussy to do, this is a crucial step to the yumminess of the taco, the crunch adds something fantastic to the complete taco.

If you liked this, here's some other recipes that you might like:
Simple Fish Tacos, with Spicy Coleslaw
Thai Chicken Nachos

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Turkey Keema Curry with Peas

Keema means minced, and traditionally this would be made with lamb. While any ground meat would work, I used ground turkey because it's way easier and I had it on hand (and in my freezer too). It's highly spiced curry with intense flavor that tastes like it's a very complicated thing to make.  Now that I have this recipe in my repertoire, I intend to make this when time is short and everyone is hungry.  

I've had this recipe for a while, but didn't have the key spice, Garam Masala, until recently.   I had to go to a bigger "gourmet" grocery store to find it. It's worth the effort, I would suggest getting Garam Masala if you like Indian food as it is a key flavor and you will use it again and again.  I'm going to make Indian Butter Chicken later this week, and it's in that recipe too!  

I made this recipe is about 20 minutes max!  It came together so quickly, the hardest part was chopping the onion! 

UPDATE- 6/12/16
We make this recipe so often, it's definitely our "comfort food" for a quick week night dinner.  The above photo is a more recent, and better shot, but I left the original photo in too. 

Serves 5-6
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 Tbsp garlic, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey
1 1/2 tablespoons garam masala*
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups fresh (or thawed frozen) peas
1/2-3/4 cup plain Greek-style yogurt
Salt, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

*Indian speciality spice mixture, better grocery stores should have this.

In a large skillet over medium-high, heat the oil. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and the ginger and cook for another minute.

Add the turkey and cook until the meat starts to brown, about 7 to 8 minutes. Add the garam masala and turmeric, then saute for another minute. Add the tomato paste and water and heat, stirring to mix, for another minute. Add the peas, then cover and cook for 2-3 minutes or until turkey meat is cooked through.

Uncover the pan, then stir in the yogurt. Season with salt, then stir in the cilantro. 

Serve over rice, quinoa or cousous. Also, it can be served on it's own with naan bread to scoop up. 

What else could you make with this?:
  • Any well chopped/minced ground meat, like lamb, pork, chicken or beef.
  • A vegetarian meatless product, like Boca, would work well too!

Here's some other ideas for ground turkey:
Larb Gai, Thai turkey salad/appetizer
Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs
Mexican Turkey Albondigas Meatball Soup

Lemon Bread

It's Easter tomorrow, and that just says LEMON to me somehow!

Spring has finally sprung in the Pacific Northwest and we are ready to embrace it.  A little Lemon bread would be a great thing to bring as a hostess gift if you are going to someone else's house, OR, a nice addition to your own Easter Brunch or Dinner.

This recipe was shared with me by a friend, the original is a famous bread served at an Inn on the East Coast.  Here is the original if you are interested.

Happy Easter everyone!

Makes 2 large loaves, or 1 large loaf and three small loaves (as shown)

3 1/3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
4 large eggs
4 teaspoons grated lemon peel
Juice of 4 lemons, about 1/2 -2/3 cup
1 cup milk
1 tsp lemon extract

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a loaf pan.
P.S. I made a double batch and made mini loaves to give as gifts!  Hey, as long as you are cooking, you might as well make some to give away too!

Stir flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat 1 cup sugar and butter in large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Add grated lemon peel.

Mix in dry ingredients alternately with milk. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake until tester inserted into center of bread comes out clean, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, combine remaining 1 cup sugar and fresh lemon juice in small heavy saucepan and stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Cool.

Transfer lemon bread to rack to help it cool while still in the pan. Gradually spoon lemon glaze over hot bread (still in the pan), adding more as glaze is absorbed. It seems like too much glaze, but be patient and give it a soaking every 10-15 minutes.  I've had best luck with making this the day before I need it and letting it soak in over night.
Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature.

What else could I make with this?:
  • Try orange juice and zest, or lime juice and zest.
  • The base cake/bread recipe would lend itself to many other flavors too... what about Rum bread with chopped pecans?  Yum...

Friday, April 22, 2011

Asparagus Rolls

Easter is Sunday, and these would make a cute little appetizer while everyone is getting ready for the big dinner. This would also make a great addition to an afternoon 'tea party' for Mother's Day.  But, as usual, there is a story involved with these little rolls...

I went to a family friend's house for a "jewelry party".... everyone knows we just go to eat, chat and drink wine!  My friend served these, and while everyone was oohing and aahing over them, she told everyone that I taught her how to make them. I did??? Whoa.... I hadn't thought of these little babies for years (...decades?). We did used to have them when we were little girls, but I had absolutely NO RECOLLECTION of ever making them!  (They say the mind is the first to go...). When I got home, I decided to whip up a batch. 

If you are one of four girls in an girl family, having "Afternoon English Tea" party is a great thing to do on a Sunday and we all loved it (even Dad!).  Mom would have us iron a certain white lacy tablecloth and matching napkins, polish the silver and deck out the table with all the china and crystal like the Queen for coming or something! We'd even have to dress up. Then the "carb fest" would begin...

Besides the prerequisite hot tea, we'd have tea sandwiches on thin sliced bread with all the crusts cut off, my favorite were always the salmon cream cheese and cucumber.  You don't even want to know how many little tea sandwiches a bunch of dressed up girls can eat...

Scones with homemade raspberry or strawberry jam and whipped cream, a cake of some sort (yeah, of course you need CAKE with your sandwiches and scones, right?), sometimes a pea salad and these fantastic little asparagus rolls (yep, you guess it, in MORE bread!).

This picture doesn't do justice to the yumminess of these rolls!

Makes about 16-20, plan on 1-2 rolls per person.

1 loaf White bread, crusts removed
1 bunch Fresh Asparagus, small spears are best
1 cup of butter, melted
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 8oz bag of cheese, grated
Garlic salt
Fresh Parmesan, for tops

***Note- I show Dijon Mustard in my picture above, but I would recommend NOT using it, it really doesn't need the additional flavor and I felt it competed with the other more subtle/sublime flavors.  I have to say my friend Kelly's Asparagus Rolls were better than mine!

First, using a bread knife, cut the crusts off the bread.
I'd save those crusts and make a Strata or a bread pudding if I was you! Cube them up and throw them in the freezer, that way they'll be ready when you want to make them.

Next, taking a rolling pin, roll out and "smash" the bread into thin sheets. This makes them easier to roll up and the appearance of the finished roll a little neater and more "refined".

Melt the butter and add 1 tsp of Garlic Salt.  Brush one side of the bread with the garlic butter.  Put the buttered side DOWN on your baking sheet.  On the TOP side of the bread, slather with mayonnaise (I never said this was low calorie or good for you...).  Sprinkle with some cheese and add a couple spears of asparagus.  Roll up, seem side down.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese on top, if desired.

***Note, I don't steam my asparagus before hand because I want it to be as fresh and still bright green, but I know Kelly and my Mom did steam their asparagus first.

Back at 350 until they are golden brown and the cheese is melted, about 20 minutes!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Whole Wheat Asian Noodle Salad

I helped a friend with a party for another friend's "landmark" birthday.  What a blast!  Great food, drink and friends to celebrate her day.  About an hour before the party, I was asked to make the Asian Noodle Salad, of course I knew I could wing it, but wanted to respect her, so asked for the recipe!  I had a laugh to see that she was using an old recipe card that we had collaborated on about 10 years ago for a marketing gimmick.  What a laugh, I haven't thought of that salad for a long time....

Anyway, she had pre-cooked the noodles, and there were a BUNCH of them.  I got her biggest bowl and started mixing... this salad just seemed to grow and grow, I joked about moving it to the bath tub soon.  Really, while you think you might want to double this for a big crowd, be careful, you may not have bowls big enough to accomodate all the salad! This recipe for one pound of noodles filled my largest bowl!

So many recipes call for some fancy Asian noodles, which depending on the day, I may, or may not have on hand.  I like these whole wheat spaghetti noodles for this dish which are somewhat like Soba noodles, and heck, really good for you too.  I bought the 6 pack of these at Costco, so I'd better think of something other than spaghetti sauce to serve with them!

I've listed a lot of different types of veggies below, and you may not have all of them, but really use what you've got!  I even used the leftover carrots I had pickling from my Banh Mi Sandwiches last week, they added an additional tang to the salad and were great in it!

Serves about 8 big eaters, or about 16 side salads
1 16oz. package of whole wheat spaghetti

1/3 cup sesame oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp garlic red pepper sauce
red pepper flakes, to taste, as needed
1-2 tsp fresh* ginger, grated

Veggies & salad add ins:
1 cup edamame, frozen & pre-shelled
1 cup celery, cut on the diagonal
1 red bell pepper, cut into matchsticks
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 cup carrots, cut into matchsticks
3 Tbsp sesame seeds
1-2 cups of shredded cooked chicken (optional)

Cook the noodles until cooked, but still firm, about 7 minutes.  Drain and rinse in cold water.  Let cool.

Mix together all salad dressing ingredients in a bowl.  This recipe does have lots of soy sauce and sesame oil in it, but it's what makes it taste so great!  You will probably not need to add any salt, but if you're worried about sodium intake, you might want to reduce the amount of soy sauce.  I used an Asian red pepper garlic paste in my dressing, but you could easily use crushed garlic and red pepper flakes.
*I also added grated ginger, I almost always have it on hand because I keep it in the freezer!  It lasts a long time and you can grate it when it's frozen!   When you buy some, just throw it in a ziploc bag and keep it frozen.  It lasts a lot longer like that, and you always have it when you need it!

Toss the noodles with the dressing and start adding your fresh vegetable ingredients and chicken, if you are using.  The salad should sit for 30 minutes or so to keep soaking in the dressing.  This is a great salad to make ahead and keeps nicely.  It also would work for picnics because you wouldn't need to keep it chilled if you were not using chicken. 

If you liked this, you might also like these:
Larb Gai, (Thai turkey salad)
Thai Chicken Nachos
Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Still have some leftover edamame?  Try one of these...

Southwestern Edamame Salad 
Marinated Tofu and edamame Salad
Edamame Succotash

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Shrimp, Cream & White Beans over Rice- Cajun Comfort Food

I love New Orleans, what an amazing combination of food, music and culture! Recently, while watching reruns of Anthony Bourdain's show "No Reservations", I noticed a dish I've never even heard of... Shrimp, Cream and White Beans over Rice.

I asked a buddy from New Orleans about a dish like this and he said he wasn't not famliar with it, and that fact coupled with very few recipes coming back when I searched online, lead me to believe that this is not a well known dish.  This recipe was adapted from one I found from a place called Cafe Reconcile's white beans and shrimp. I was thrilled to realize that this was the Cafe featured on Anthony Bourdain's show.  This is quite an amazling place that provides restaurant training for New Orlean's youth from kitchen to the front end contact with the customer... looks like a great place to check out next time I get back to New Orleans.  New Orleans is somewhere that gets in your blood and you just have to get back to...

I had a hard time deciding whether this dish was Cajun or Creole, but after doing a little research, I'm going to consider it Cajun.  The main difference that I could see that Cajun is Provincial French country inspired dishes with a Louisiana flair, while Creole was a blend of multiple cultures and more high class fare.  This dish also fits two categories to be Cajun: it has the "holy trinity" (a blend of onions, celery and bell pepper) and the "three pot" meal distinction, one for the main course, one for the rice and one for a vegetable. 

Makes 5-6 servings
2 15oz. cans of small white beans
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped bell peppers, (I used a combination of colors!)
1/4 cup chopped garlic
2 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp butter
1/2  teaspoon thyme
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/2  teaspoon black pepper
1/2  teaspoon cayenne pepper
Dash of hot sauce, to taste
2 cups half n half, or heavy cream

1 1/2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
2-3 tsp salt, to taste

Chop all the onion, celery and bell pepper in 1/4" to 1/2" dice. Saute in olive oil until softened, about 5 minutes over medium high heat, stirring often.  Add the garlic and saute for 2-3 more minutes.  Add the butter and the flour and stir, the mixture will thicken a bit as the you cook it for another 2-3 minutes.  Add the thyme, cayenne and the hot sauce.  Add the undrained beans and the chopped parsley.  Simmer for 5-10 minutes over medium heat.  Add the half and half and stir as the mixture starts to thicken again.  Add the shrimp, and cook gently until pink. Adjust the seasoning with added salt as needed.

Serve over white rice and the hot sauce on the side!

Other Comfort Food you might be interested in:
Jambalaya- Chicken, Hot Links & Shrimp
Beef Stroganoff
Moroccan Pot Roast

Beef Stroganoff

By special request of my daughter, I made Beef Stronganoff the other day.  It mystified me to some degree, because I have only made it once or twice that I can recall in her childhood, and I wasn't sure where this Stroganoff urge was coming from!?!  Nevertheless, off I went to find a great recipe.  My one rule was NOT to use canned Cream of Mushroom soup.... ick, I just wanted to make it all the way from scratch.  It was so much better than the canned stroganoff variety!

The kids and my husband loved the finished dish, so here is the best of the recipes I found online combined here.  Once again... I have to point out that Beef Stronganoff is a homely looking dish, so I apologize for the ugly food!

Serves 4-6 people  
1 1/2  pounds beef sirloin steak, 1/2 inch thick 
8  ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced (2 1/2 cups) 
2  medium onions, thinly sliced 
1  tsp garlic, chopped  
1/4  cup butter
1 1/2  cups beef broth (from 32-ounce carton) 
1/2  teaspoon salt 
1  teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 
1/4  cup flour 
1 1/2  cups sour cream 
1 Tbsp Horseradish
1/4 cup parsley, minced
4-5 cups hot cooked egg noodles 

Cut beef across grain into about 1 1/2x1/2-inch strips. Set aside.

Slice Onions in thin strips.

Don't make the mistake I made, use the biggest skillet you have, or even a dutch oven, my batch almost over flowed all over the place!

In a large skillet, cook mushrooms, onions and garlic in butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are tender; remove from skillet.

Cook beef in same skillet until brown. Stir in 1 cup of the broth, the salt and Worcestershire sauce. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 10 minutes until tender.

Stir remaining 1/2 cup broth into flour; stir into beef mixture. Add onion mixture; heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Stir in sour cream; heat until hot (do not boil). Serve over noodles and sprinkled with chopped green onions or parsley for garnish.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cake Pops- Lollipops

I'm sure you've seen these cake pops at Starbucks, they are just so darling!  I wasn't really prepared for these to taste SO good.... I'll admit I don't even like cake most days, but these are super tasty and satisfying.  It almost takes like "cake fudge"... hard to describe, but dense and yummy. The good news is that one cake pop is lots less calories and fat that a traditional serving of cake. This recipe is so ridiculously easy to make and will make a lot of people in your life, both kids and adults, happy!  I'm going to make these again for a family function or a picnic. 

There are a couple recipes for cake pops out there on the Internet that call for frosting instead of the cream cheese below, so feel free to substitute 1 cup of frosting for the cream cheese if that appeals to you.  It will make the cake pops even sweeter, so be prepared for a sugar rush if you go that route. Either way, it would be best to store these in the refridgerator before serving.

Makes 36-48 pops depending on the size.

Cake Mix, any kind, made per instructions (oil, eggs) 
8 oz cream cheese, softened
Candy Coating, available in lots of colors

Also need:
Lollipop sticks, but popsicle sticks would work too
Styrofoam block
Treat bags, if desired.

Make a 13×9 cake. Any flavor you like, just follow the instructions on the box. Let it cool. Crumble the cake into your mixer, or a large bowl and then add the softened cream cheese.  Mix on medium speed until the cake is totally incorporated into the cream cheese.  It will look a lot like playdoh or modeling clay.  Put the mixture into the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

After refrigerating, form the mixture into balls using a cookie scoop to maintain uniform size. Then place a lollipop stick into the top of each cake ball. Pop them into the freezer for about 15 minutes.

While waiting, start melting your candy melts on very low heat, or in the microwave. 

After 15 minutes in the fridge, dip and swirl each pop into your candy melt. I used a large serving spoon to swirl the pop into and to use to add coating in places where it needed it.

You will have to give each pop a couple of taps on the side of your pan to get all the excess coating off.  Don't go too fast, or you'll have the coating dripping down your lollipop sticks and that will make you crazy!!!

Once you’ve got an even coating on the cake pop, place the stick into a Styrofoam block while the candy melt shell hardens. Add the sprinkles while the coating is very wet, otherwise they won't stick.

I used little treat bags and ribbon to make sure that each one was individually packed and easy to give.  Make it cute with a little ribbon and you are ready to go!

Think how cute these would be in a basket for Easter!  Add the styrofoam block to the basket and tuck in your cake pops.  This would make a great hostess gift or bake sale item too!