Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Korean BBQ Beef Burritos

This whole heatwave business is really cramping my style in the kitchen.  Actually it's forcing me to cook differently and I should start appreciating that.

The Korean BBQ beef cooks up in the slow cooker which is perfect because that means no oven and no standing over an open flame. Score 1 for the heatwave victims who refuse to turn on the air conditioner!

Korean BBQ Beef Burritos
From Pinch of Yum

2 lb top sirloin
2 pears, peeled and cut into chunks
1 2 inch knob of ginger (I used some ground)
4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp sesame oil

greens: basil, parsley, green onions, lettuce (that's all I had I threw some dried basil and parsley into the slow cooker)
kimchi (I quick pickled shaved carrots with some rice vinegar)

1. With a blender or food processor mix the pears, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sugar, and sesame oil.  Save yourself some time and use the immersion blender right in the slow cooker! Plop the beef in and cook it on high for 3-5 hours.
2. Shred that beef up and make yourself some burritos with the rice, and the greens, and the sriracha, and the pickled carrots (or kimchi if you can find it!)

Just ate some of the leftovers in a quesadilla...yum!!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Cucumber Mint Lemonade

This cucumber mint lemonade is just what you need this summer since the 90 degree days don't seem to be coming to an end any time soon.

I first had cucumber lemonade at an Asian restaurant.  I came home and scoured the internet for a recipe.  Then as luck would have it, cucumber lemonade was featured in Cook's Country magazine.  

Then, I decided not to follow a recipe. Ha! Cool story, right?

Cucumber Mint Lemonade

powdered lemonade mix for 2 quarts, follow package directions for measurements (I used Country Time)
1/2 cucumber sliced thinly
a handful of mint leaves

1. Using a potato masher, smash half of the cucumbers, mint, and lemonade powder for about 3 minutes.
2. Strain cucumbers and mint leaves using a fine mesh strainer, letting the liquid drain into a large pitcher.
3. Mix cucumber lemonade powder mixture with 2 quarts water.  Add remaining cucumber slices and refrigerate.

This is the perfect refreshing summer drink!

I can't wait to make another batch of this lemonade.  It was so easy and sounds totally fancy :)

Monday, July 18, 2016

Pizza Burger (way better than that one Domino's is selling in India...)

Ok fellow internet-ers, many of you might have see the headlines about Domino's new pizza burger in India.  The lament of the writers seemed to be why oh why isn't this available in the USA.  To me I just didn't understand the idea, mainly because there is no actual hamburger involved here.  No patty at all in fact.  It's really a pizza grilled cheese sandwich.

From Dominos/Facebook
So naturally my brain started churning, how can we have pizza + burger become a reality without Domino's getting involved.  Perhaps sliders on Bagel Bites? Maybe I could make tiny pizza with actual pizza dough? But really this is a disgustingly unhealthy idea, it needs convenience and frozen ingredients.

Enter Mama Celeste and a burger patty.

I sliced one personal cheese pizza in half and did the same to my burger patty.  Laid the patty side by side on one half of the pizza and topped it with the other pizza half.

Voila! Pizza + burger in it's most simple form.

This, my friends, is what dreams are made of.  You are an adult now so you can eat whatever you want for dinner!

Don't worry we also ate a salad.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Spicy Sesame Cauliflower

Spicy sesame cauliflower has all the wondrous flavors of sesame chicken, but without the take-out menu and msg intake. Victory!

You know those Tasty videos everyone shares on Facebook? I feel a little strange about it, but this recipe is from one of their videos. I don't know how I saw it, but I'm glad I did because it was fantastic!

Spicy Sesame Cauliflower
From Tasty

1 head cauliflower, cut in to florets 
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp garlic powder
oil for deep frying
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp sriracha
1 tbsp cornstarch and water slurry
sesame seeds, for serving

1. Heat a large vessel with a couple inches of oil for your deep frying (I use a dutch oven).  Mix flour, milk, garlic powder, baking powder in a large bowl. Toss cauliflower florets to coat.  When oil reaches 350 degrees, cook cauliflower until golden brown.  Drain on a wire rack or paper towels.
2. To make the sauce, mix sesame oil, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and sriracha.  Bring sauce to a boil in a large non-stick skillet.  Add cornstarch and water slurry, stir until sauce thickens.  Toss cauliflower to coat.  Top with a sprinkling of sesame seeds, serve over rice.

This was really incredible.  I was really blown away.  This dish perfectly captures everything you desire when you pick up the phone to order Chinese food.  You can imagine it's a healthy choice since it's made with cauliflower.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Carrot Lox

Want to dazzle your brunch guests this Sunday? Try some carrot lox!  All the smokey flavors of salmon lox, but more make-at-home friendly (vegetarian and wallet friendly too!) with carrots!

Carrot Lox
From Food52

1 lb carrots
2 tsp smoked sea salt (I used regular salt and put a splash more liquid smoke)
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp liquid smoke (I used a dash more to make up for the lack of smoked salt)
2 eggs beaten
zest of 1 lemon (I used a dash of lemon juice)
1 tbsp olive oil

1. Peel and thinly slice carrots.  You don't want the carrots to be too thin (if you use a vegetable peeler) so use a mandolin or just slice it to the best of your ability with a knife.  I found the mandolin too difficult to use with carrots.
2. Mix salt, sugar, pepper, and liquid smoke in a bowl.  Toss carrots with this mixture and let sit at least 30 minutes.
3. Remove carrots from bowl.  Discard liquid and spices left at the bottom of the bowl. Beat eggs and lemon zest, add carrots and toss to coat. 
4. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and brush with olive oil.  Lay carrots flat in pan, overlapping to fit. Brush with remaining egg mixture in bowl. 
5. Cover dish tightly with foil and bake for 30-35 minutes at 350.  Keep covered and allow carrots to cool completely before serving.

I served my carrot lox on a bagel with scallion cream cheese..and the next day on an English muffin...and the day after that.... I was so happy with the results I ate my "lox" for days in a row.  Delicious, fun, and different recipe. I highly recommend it!