Hot and Sour Soup

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Hello, it’s been a while. Lots going on in our world lately. The weather here is cold and rainy, a great prelude to what fall will be. I decided to settle down with some football and hot and sour soup. I greatly enjoyed sending pictures to my best bud in the world because I knew she would be jealous… or inspired!?

This is my PSA: This is a version that I make because I really like the extras I put in here. I absolutely hate tofu, so I omit it, but you can easily add some pre shredded chicken or pork… or tofu.

Ingredients:

  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1 leek, sliced thinly
  • 2 green onions, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 eggs, pre whisked with a dash of salt and pepper
  • 1/2-3/4 cup stemmed and thinly sliced mushrooms (I use baby bellas)
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1-3 tsp chili garlic sauce (depending on heat preference, I use 2 then add more to my bowl)
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric

How I do it:

  1. In a large pot on medium high heat, add the onions, mushrooms, carrots, stock, vinegar, soy, chili sauce, turmeric, and ginger. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer.
  2. Once everything is cooked, slowly stir in your eggs. Then mix together the water and corn starch. Add this in slowly and stir until thickened.
  3. Sprinkle on your cilantro and chow down 😉

Korean Fried Chicken

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About a week ago, I discovered KFC. I was helping a friend work a booth pouring drinks at the Bite of Seattle and she introduced me to this incredible goodness. I immediately knew I had to give this a try in my own kitchen, with a few tweaks to add my own touch. Now, for my PSA: This is rather labor intensive work. It is so messy. It is SO WORTH IT. 

I had my husband fry the chicken outside on the side burner of his grill. It is hot here in the PNW and the thought of a greasy smelly kitchen didn’t sound appealing. I am so glad we did this outside.

INGREDIENTS:

For the Sauce:

  • 1/3c Korean Gojuchang red pepper sauce
  • 4 tbs soy sauce
  • 4 tbs seasoned rice vinegar
  • 3 tbs brown sugar
  • 3 tbs honey
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • zest of one lime

For the Chicken and garnish:

  • 2 lbs chicken cut into small 1 inch pieces
  • 1 c corn startch
  • 1 c flour
  • 3 eggs well scrambled
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • 6 cups vegetable oil for frying

WHAT TO DO: 

  1. Mix together the ingredients for the sauce in a large bowl. Taste as you go, add more sweet or hot to your liking. kfc2
  2. Mis en place: Set up a station to flour your chicken, a place to move the pieces a few at a time to the egg bath, then the corn starch. I added salt and pepper to every station. Lay out a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. You don’t want the chicken pieces, once battered, to touch each other.
  3. Coat your chicken in flour, then the egg, let the egg drip off as needed, then into the corn starch. Set your pieces onto your parchment paper. You will see it turn into a film as you work and that is ok. That is just the batter setting on your meat.
  4. Heat up a heavy pan with oil to 350 degrees. Set up a spot with a paper towel to drain your chicken. I made layers with a paper towel in between so things didn’t get soggy.
  5. Begin frying your batches of chicken until golden brown. Remember to not crowd your pan. kfc4
  6. They should look like this: kfc5
  7. Toss the chicken in the sauce. Garnish with green onion and sesame seeds. Devour. kfc1

We held some chicken back from the sauce to give to our kids. They loved it dipped in ketchup and ranch. After dinner I was inspired by this chicken. Here’s an idea if you would like to give it a go before I do:

Instead of small pieces of chicken, try taking chicken tenders or a breast that is pounded out, battered and fried the same way. Coat it in the sauce. Place the chicken on a toasted bun with lemon aoli, and a coleslaw… regular or an asian sesame? Add some crispy jalapenos? Oh my head is filled with ideas and my stomach is growling….

Take a bite,

Jasmine

Stuffed Mushrooms

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I heart mushrooms. They are versatile earthy goodness that can go with almost any dish. There are so many different ways to play with mushrooms when it comes to cooking. I was at the grocery store the other day and typically I will just grab a few baby bellas because they aren’t too expensive and they are a usual addition to my risotto or eggs. What luck was it to find these bad boys on sale? I made a basic stuffing mixture, but trust me, there are some great ways to jazz these up even more. Make this a meal and stuff them with a quinoa mixture, or with salmon or shrimp…. the options are endless.

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Ingredients:

  • 6 Large mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup of cream cheese
  • 1/4c grated parmesan
  • 1/4c shredded italian cheese mix
  • fresh herbs like parsley and basil or thyme
  • 1/4c frozen chopped spinach that is thawed/cooked in microwave
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tbs finely diced onion (I used red onion)
  • 6 strips cooked bacon and crumbled
  • 1/2c bread crumbs (can use italian for seasoning)
  • 1 tbs butter

What to do: Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  1. Clean your mushrooms. Even if they look clean. Use a damp cloth or paper towel and wipe them down.
  2. Gut your shrooms. Haha. Take out the stem and using a seraded spoon (like a grapefruit spoon) take out the gills. Be careful not to break the mushroom head as this is your vessel to hold the goodness.
  3. Mix together the bacon, cream cheese, cheeses, spinach, onion, and herbs. Add salt and pepper in generous amounts.
  4. Fill your mushrooms and place them in a greased baking dish. Bake them for about 15-20 minutes. The cheese will start to bubble.
  5. In the meantime, take a skillet and melt the butter. Add the crumbs at medium heat and mix to a golden brown. Adding some salt and pepper to this for a flavor punch is also good.
  6. Place the crumbs on top of the mushrooms and then place back in the oven for another 5 minutes.
  7. Serve and devour.
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Honestly, it’s a little blurry because I was shaking with excitement. 

Pig and Veggie Omelette

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Anyone who knows me, knows that I love savory things. I prefer eggs and bacon to pancakes any day. I love eggs! They can be added to most any meal for that extra kick of protein. Their versatility is vast. My favorite thing to do with eggs? Why make an omelette of course! Here are some basic steps to making an omelette and, if all else fails, it can become a scramble.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbs butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbs milk
  • salt and pepper

To do:

  1. Heat a pan with the butter on medium heat.
  2. Whisk together the eggs, milk, s&p. Whisk it well! You want this to have some fluff.
  3. Gently pour the eggs into the pan and spread out.
  4. Let it “set”. You want to allow the eggs to cook, but not turn brown. Bubbles will form under the surface. This will tell you that you can:
  5. Gently nudge the eggs with a spatula. Allow the top runny egg get underneath to cook. This will kind of look like a giant egg pancake.
  6. Next, flip it! I use a wide spatula for this because I still suck at this part.
  7. Add your innards to one side! And carefully fold the egg pancake in half. Let it cook for another minute or so. A tip: I sometimes cover the pan but allow a vent for the steam to escape through.
  8. Eat it!

For this to be the pig omelette:

  • bacon, cut and cooked about 2 strips to 2 eggs.
  • Diced bell pepper and onion to equal a 1/4 cup sauteed
  • chopped deli ham, I’m resourceful and if we have that, I add it!
  • I add 1 tsp hot sauce to the eggs while whisking for a kick.
  • shredded cheese! As much as your heart wants. I had cheddar and topped with smoked Gouda.

Don’t stop yourself there, what other things are good to put in your omelette? Crispy hashbrowns? Maybe try a caprese omelette with roasted cherry tomatoes, mozz, and basil?

 

Take a bite!

Jasmine

Smoked Potato Salad

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For Independence Day, I was asked to bring potato salad. My husband, who is an avid potato lover, doesn’t care for the mayo version. I looked at recipes online and I just wasn’t jiving with them. I wanted something a little different. So, I give you…. Smoked Potato Salad! This is a beautiful salad that is rich in color and flavors. It’s the perfect side dish for summer.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs fingerling potatoes
  • Fresh herbs like chives, parsley, and dill
  • 3 TBS lemon infused olive oil
  • 3 TBS champagne vinegar
  • 3 TBS dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbs evoo
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 c chopped gherkins
  • 1/4c chopped roasted bell pepper (from the jar)
  • 3 TBS capers
  • 1 shallot finely diced
  • BACON! diced and cooked. About… 8 strips more if you love bacon 🙂

Instructions:

Toss the potatoes in the 2 tbs evoo and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and the garlic powder. Place on a cookie sheet.

Now, here’s the thing… we have a Traeger, hence the smoked version. We did the smoker at about 400 degrees for about 45 min to an hour. The idea is the potatoes are soft, but firm or else they will just turn to mush in the vinaigrette. If you don’t have a smoker, throw the potatoes in the oven at 425 and check them in about a half hour.

Once done and slightly cooled, chop the potatoes.

Make the vinaigrette: whisk together the lemon olive oil, dijon, and vinegar.

Mix the potatoes, capers, bacon, peppers, shallot, chopped herbs, and gherkins. Drizzle with the dressing, but reserve some of the dressing so you can add more to keep it fresh. Add some salt and pepper to taste.

Note: For an extra kick, or if you don’t have lemon infused olive oil, use regular olive oil, and add some lemon juice in the end with some zest as well. Oh. So. Good.

You can also use other herbs, but I recommend the parsley and dill at the very least. Pick on what’s available and the taste you’re going for. Fresh is best and use a lot!

 

Enjoy,

Jasmine

Bad Food Breakfast Tostada

 

 

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Take some Tums first! 

Every once in a while, I want something simple, spicy, hint of savory. I hate throwing food away, so one of my favorite things to do is make something of my leftovers. This can occasionally lead to heartburn.

Ingredients:

2 tostada shells (or 2 per serving)

Guacamole

nacho cheese sauce

2 eggs

Spicy non fat refried beans

Salsa or hot sauce

What to do:

Take your beans, however much you want, and microwave for about 1 minute

Put your shells on a plate and lather with guac

Cook your eggs over medium or over easy

Take out the warmed beans and place on the guac and tostadas

Heat up cheese sauce

Put eggs on beans and drizzle cheese sauce over

Top with your choice of spicy salsa or hot sauce

 

Ain’t no shame in my game, ya’ll. This stuff is the perfect hangover cure, I just want bad food fix, or what do I do with all of these weird things in my fridge/pantry?

 

Beef Ragu

I opened the fridge this morning and remembered I had a chuck roast thawing. Actually, truth be told, it was well thawed and on it’s way out if I didn’t do something with it today. My usual go to is a crock pot version of a shredded beef taco. We love it. The thing is, I make it all the time and I wanted a challenge. Why? I’m not sure because frankly I am incredibly worn out. I decided on a crock pot meal, but with more labor intensive ingredients.

This page contains the recipe for the sauce. I also hand made the pasta as well as the focaccia bread. I will put up more recipes as time goes on that you can do if you want the undertaking of an all scratch dinner.

INGREDIENTS:

  • beef chuck 1-2 lbs
  • 2 cans diced tomato (I get the oregano basil kind)
  • 1 can 6oz tomato paste
  • healthy dose of salt and pepper
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 1/2 red wine
  • 2 cups bone broth (you can also use beef or chicken stock)
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 2 tbs olive oil

THIS IS HOW YOU DO IT:

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  1. Place your diced onion, garlic, carrot, and rosemary at the base of your crock pot.
  2. Mix together your stock, red wine, tomatoes diced and tomato paste in a separate bowl.
  3. In a heavy bottomed skillet (to help collect heat) on medium high heat, add your oil.
  4. Salt and pepper liberally the meat.
  5. Brown all sides of meat in skillet. It takes about a minute each side.
  6. Place the meat on the goodies in the crock pot.
  7. Add your tomato mix on top.
  8. Heat on low for 4-6 hours.
  9. Pull meat out, shred. If the sauce is too chunky or runny for you, feel free to use an immersion blender to help break it down and/or transfer the sauce to the stove. Heat on medium to a simmer until sauce is thicker. I placed the meat back in and put the crock pot on high for about an hour with the lid slightly open to release some of the liquid. Replace meat and serve over cooked pasta, with polenta, or potatoes.

Some More Pictures:

And THE FINISHED PRODUCT:

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