Chili Dog Chili

27 Jan

I call this Chili Dog Chili because it’s like the stuff you put on chili dogs. It is also similar to the Texan ‘bowl of red’ chili aka chili con carne, though I added beans so it’s not truly related. In fact, chili enthusiasts would yell at me for even insinuating that they’re similar so let’s just not go there.

This chili is very different from the usual chili I make as it is more cooked down and less hearty. However, it’s still very rich and is very satisfying on a cold winter day, especially if you eat it with corn bread or even tortilla chips like I did. And as I mentioned before, it’ll be perfect for chili dogs or even nachos – make it for the superbowl!

Chili con Carne

Ingredients:

1.5 lb ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes (mine had basil)
1 (14 oz) can red/pink kidney beans
2 cups chicken stock
2 squares (0.7 oz) of bittersweet or dark chocolate (I used Godiva 72% dark chocolate) or 1 tsp cocoa powder

Instructions:

1. Brown and crumble beef in a large heavy pot. Use a paper towel to remove some of the fat or drain the fat.
2. Add the onion, garlic, chili powder and chipotle pepper. Cook for 2-5 minutes.
3. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, beans and chocolate. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about an hour or until liquid has reduced and it has reached desired consistency.

Moroccan Lamb Stew

20 Jan

You may have noticed that I tend to blog in the summer when I have lots of free time and then trail off never to be seen again till next summer. This Moroccan Lamb Stew was so good that I had to post it so I don’t lose the recipe. It’s perfect for the cold winter days. NYC is expected more snow tonight!

The stew is savory with sweet undertones and rich flavors. It’s not truly Moroccan but inspired by recipes I found online. I cooked this in the pressure cooker but you can do the whole thing in a dutch oven. I hope you enjoy it.


Moroccan Lamb Stew

Serves 5-6.

Ingredients:

2.5 lbs lamb leg with bone and skin or ~1.5-2lb stewing lamb, cut into 2″ pieces
1/2 kobocha squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1″ pieces
1 cup pearl onions (frozen from Trader Joe’s), defrosted
1/2 cup chopped dried dates (I used Empress dates)
1/2 cup crushed tomatoes with basil (from can)
1 3/4 cup water
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp honey
salt and pepper

1-2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

Directions:

1. Preheat a large frying pan and add lamb to hot pan. Cook until sides are seared brown; you don’t need to fully cook the lamb.
2. Move the lamb to your pressure cooker.  Add onions to the pan and toss around for 1 minute. Add some of the water to the pan to deglaze. Pour the onions and water into the pressure cooker.
3. Add the remaining ingredients except for fresh cilantro into the pressure cooker and stir.
4. Seal your pressure cooker as usual and cook for 25 minutes on high.
5. Let sit for 10-15 minutes while the pressure cooker calms down, then stir in fresh cilantro and serve.

If using a dutch oven, brown the meat in the dutch oven then add the remaining ingredients, except for the cilantro, and cook, covered, until lamb is tender (approximately an hour?). Stir in cilantro before serving.

Grilled Peaches

29 Sep

It’s no longer summer but this was a tasty summer treat that can still be enjoyed if you can find some peaches. It’s super simple. Peal and slices peaches into wedges. Toss with some honey and cinnamon. Grill on medium heat until caramelized (light grill marks). Enjoy warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

look at them glisten

Spicy Korean Pork Belly

23 Sep

Maangchi posted a Spicy Stir-Fried Pork (Doejibulgogi) recipe recently and I knew that I had to try it out. The pictures were making me drool! It was such a simple recipe and the only ingredient I had to buy was the pork belly. *Warning – pork belly skin is ridiculously hard to cut.* Make sure you have sharp knives. Freezing the pork before cutting also helps. If you don’t like eating all that fat, go for the leaner pork shoulder.


I’ll re-type the recipe here the way I made it. By leaving out the hot peppers and pepper flakes, the heat is mild but still there. Check out the link above for her video!

Spicy Korean Pork Belly
adapted from Maangchi

Ingredients:
2 lbs pork belly, sliced into 1/4″ pieces
1 onion, sliced
3 scallions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1/3 cup Korean hot pepper paste
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp toasted sesame oil

toasted sesame seeds
lettuce leaves for wrapping
cooked rice

Instructions:

1. Place all ingredients except for the sesame seeds and lettuce in a large, deep pan or wok.
2. Cook over high heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring to combine with a wooden spoon. Stir occasionally until pork is cooked through and onions are softened.
3. Serve with rice and use lettuce to wrap pork.
4. Eat!

Bacon Waffles

20 Sep

I saw Stresscake’s bacon waffle recipe and had to try it. She wrote it for her friend’s blog, Waffleizer. It’s an interesting concept; go check it out.

Bacon waffles are delicious with syrup. You get the sweet, salty, and crunchy all in one go. This one doesn’t actually have as much bacon as it could. Put more for a better bacon flavor.


Of course, I had to try it with fried chicken as the typical soul food chicken and waffle dish. Popeye’s chicken is the best! The combination was interesting and really filling. I think it’s a little too much meat and carbs for one sitting so this combo won’t be happening often but I’m definitely going to make more bacon waffles.

Chocolate and Lemon Tarts

13 Sep

This summer was a tart filled summer. Tarts are surprisingly easy to make and turn out pretty fluted edges with no effort. You can make all types of tarts because there are so many types of crusts that be used. Flaky butter pie crusts for sweet or savory tarts and graham, shortbread or cookie crusts for sweet tarts. Plus, most of the time you only need to bake the crust and not the filling so it’s very easy. The pan I used in California was a scratched up 9″ aluminum pan I got for $2 at the thrift shop. I have a non-stick 10″ pan with a removable bottom at home in NY. I totally recommend the latter. It was a Christmas gift purchased from Crate and Barrel in my annual Cousins Secret Santa. Thanks Lisa!

Sour Cream Lemon Tart

I made a lemon tart following this recipe. It’s basically a pudding thickened with corn starch and egg yolk with lemon juice and sour cream stirred in. It’s really simple to make, especially if you use a store bought refrigerator pastry crust like I did. The result was tasty but didn’t look amazing. The zest is visible and it was difficult to smooth out the filling. It also didn’t set well at all. We drove this to the final destination and one hard stop caused the filling to shift out of the crust. Tasty but not very presentable.

after the car ride

I made the chocolate satin tart for a friend’s birthday party. I let him pick a dessert and he said anything with chocolate! It’s kind of funny because chocolate would have been the last thing I would have chosen but I have to accommodate the birthday boy! It took me a long time to decide what to make because it had to be a chocolate dessert that was portable and would survive a hot car ride to New Jersey. Chocolate cake/cupcakes would have been too fragile, cheesecake/mousse/puddings would have melted, and brownies weren’t special enough.

The recipe I used turned out to be perfect because the filling was very sturdy. That’s probably because it’s mainly chocolate! It’s almost like a firm chocolate ganache tart. The crust was made from shortbread cookies, butter and sugar. The recipe is very easy. The only thing I changed was to replace the rosemary/mint for a tablespoon of instant coffee granules. Coffee brings out the rich chocolate flavor.

The birthday boy loved the dessert. He also got a store bought cappuccino birthday cake but this 10″ tart was able to serve ~14 people. Since it’s so rich, a smaller slice is preferable. Milk is highly recommended!

What chocolate dessert would you have chosen to make?

Aloha Festival in SF

9 Sep

Here’s another old event that never got posted. Bear with me, still procrastinating uploading of new pictures because I don’t have my card reader. We went to the Aloha Festival in the beginning of August! I have always wanted to go to Hawaii when I was little and I still do. The opportunity to go hasn’t come yet so I settle for learning more about Hawaiian culture and Hawaiian FOOD. So many things to try! Plate lunch? Mochiko chicken? Real shaved ice? Desserts?! Someone take me to Hawaii!

How about some teriyaki chicken on a stick?

Or a bowl of loco moco? Loco moco is hamburger patty and fried egg over rice liberally doused with gravy. I’ve seen it described as heart attack in a bowl.

The Flavor Station for shaved ice looked fun but they were all “American” flavors.

I went for the more authentic flavors at a different stand.

I got a mix of guava and li hing mui (misspelled on the menu). The ice wasn’t shaved fine enough so the syrup pooled to the bottom and the top half of the ice wasn’t sweet enough. It was better once it melted down quite a bit. Not a great idea to have shaved ice on a chilly day in SF.

I tried some other Hawaiian food from an authentic Hawaiian grocery, Takahashi Market, that ships food fresh from Hawaii into San Mateo, CA. I got the Kalua Pork Quesadilla, which was tasty. The dish was basically kalua pork and LOTS of cheese grilled inside tortillas with chipotle sauce and scallions sprinkled on top. It could have been improved by adding some veggies (peppers and onions) or simply had more scallions as the cheese was slightly overwhelming.

This is not very traditional Hawaiian food so I’m looking forward to going back for their plate lunches next time I’m in California. I also tried some lilikoi iced tea and li hing mui sour applemelon candy. I didn’t think the lilikoi iced tea was anything special but that candy was addicting! Turns out I really like li hing mui flavored stuff. Li hing mui is a dried sour plum (see wiki link above) and they sell it in powder form! I wish I got some from this market because it’s great sprinkled on popcorn.

I took a lot of pictures of the Hawaiian dancers at the Aloha Festival but they’re on Brian’s camera. Sorry I can’t share! ;)

Do you know of any Hawaiian restaurants or groceries in NYC?

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