Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon

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So I was at the local supermarket just browsing the produce section (that just sounds weird typing that) when I came upon a sale for brussel sprouts. This was not the first time I have seen such a sale, but this was the first time that I stopped at one. Trying to be healthier and more culinary adventurous, I decided to try my hand at them since it couldn’t be that hard right? But I knew that in order for them to be really good, I would have to combine it with bacon (obviously) so then I went to the meats section.  For my first time making these, it turned out pretty good. Definitely more enjoyable than I thought since Asian people don’t generally eat brussel sprouts I feel like.

Ingredients

  • 12-16 brussel sprouts
  • EVOO
  • Kosher Salt
  • Fresh black pepper
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Few slices of bacon (who am I to judge how many you use?)
  • Shaved parmesan
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

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Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  • Cut brussel sprouts length wise and rinse
  • In a large bowl mix the EVOO, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and garlic
  • Once the sprouts are dry, toss them with the EVOO and spices to evenly coat
  • Place them in the oven until tender (~20 minutes)
  • Meanwhile, fry the strips of bacon
  • After they cool, chop the bacon and toss with roasted brussel sprouts
  • Shave a few slices of Parmesan on top and enjoy!

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Glass Noodles with Pork

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I have been posting a lot of meat recently, well it seems that way anyway. So today I made a simple Chinese dish that my mom showed me how to make – glass noodles with minced pork. They are also referred to as cellophane noodles and are usually made of starch or beans and water.  I had a package of these glass noodles laying around from before and I know you can get them at most Asian markets, but I don’t know about regular grocery stores. I have never actually looked, but I assume they would be cheaper at Asian markets anyways. So this recipe comes courtesy of my mom and she gave me ingredients but no measurements, so nothing is exact as I am purely guessing/approximating what I used. But all in all, its fairly fast and easy and makes a nice side dish.

Ingredients

  • 8oz pkg of glass noodles
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp chili paste/chili oil or to taste
  • 3/4 cup dark soy sauce, separated
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 4 cups of water or until softened
  • 3 green onions, chopped

Recipe:

  • Marinate the ground pork in 1/2 cup of dark soy sauce
  • Saute the pork with the garlic and chili paste in a wok or large sauce pan over medium heat
  • Add the glass noodles to the wok and add ~3 cups of water, 1/4 cup soy sauce, salt, white pepper, and sesame oil
  • Add more water if the noodles are still absorbing it (they soak up a lot)
  • Top with green onions and enjoy

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Classic Grilled Cheese Sandwich

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So I decided to try a Meatless Monday thing and made a classic grilled cheese sandwich, that I paired with a tomato bisque soup and basic salad with balsamic vinaigrette.  Who doesn’t love a good grilled cheese sandwich?  There is just something nostalgic and comforting about it.  But in the past and growing up, I always made it with slices of American cheese. Now don’t get me wrong, I actually love American cheese and think its delicious, although others might feel that it’s too processed, which I can understand.  This time, I tried to be slightly more sophisticated and used parmesan and mild cheddar cheese.  I read somewhere that it is better to use 2 different types, with one being saltier (parmesan). So I kinda went with it, and actually it turned out pretty good. Although, I don’t think you can eff up a grilled cheese unless you burn it super bad, but even then, there’s a market for that.

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Ingredients:

  • Bread (whatever kind, I just used regular good old fashioned white bread)
  • 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Directions:

  • In a small mixing bowl, toss the 2 types of cheeses together and blend them together
  • In a skillet over medium heat, melt 1/4 tbsp of butter and add the slices of bread
  • When slightly toasted, flip the bread and add the cheese blend to both slices
  • When the cheese begins to melt, flip one slice on top of the other
  • After a few minutes, flip the sandwich to finish melting the cheese and toasting the other slice of bread
  • Cut and enjoy like your inner kid wants to

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Stuffed Bell Peppers

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So the other day I decided to try something that a year ago I would never have done – a stuffed bell pepper.  1) because I never stuffed anything before and 2) I never really ate whole bell peppers – just wasn’t my thing.  I can’t even tell you what got me thinking to do this, I just decided to I guess…weird.  It was a simple meal with limited ingredients and turned out decently.  It could also be an appetizer now that I think about it. Could have probably used more cheese and salt though.

Ingredients

  • Large bell peppers, halved
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 2 cups cooked rice (brown/white/your choice)
  • Shredded cheese of your choice (amount of choice too)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Paprika

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Instructions

  • In a large sauté pan, add a little oil and cook the ground pork
  • Salt and pepper generously and continue to cook
  • Add the cooked rice into the pan and continue to mix and cook (you don’t have to add all the rice, your choice)
  • Add more salt and pepper as needed
  • Place the bell pepper halves on a large baking sheet
  • Fill the halves with the pork/rice mix to desired fill
  • Top with as much cheese as you want
  • Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 10-15 minutes
  • Top with a dash of paprika, and then eat it, duh

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Chili and Cast Iron Corn Bread

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We had the slow cooker out from making the hummus and decided to use it again to make chili. What goes well with chili? Cornbread of course! Corn bread made in a cast iron skillet to be exact. So we put everything in the crock pot before going to work and came home to an apartment filled with the smell of chili, and in no way was that disappointing. Then we whipped up the cornbread and ate a terribly unhealthy, but terribly delicious meal. Got the recipe for the cornbread from here.

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Ingredients for chili (semi made up from a hodgepodge of other recipes Ive seen in the past)

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • dash of pepper
  • 3 cans of stewed/diced tomatoes
  • Shredded cheddar cheese and chopped onions for serving

Directions

  • In a large pan on medium heat, cook the onions and season with salt until soft
  • Add the garlic and chili powder and stir for a minute
  • Add the beef and cook until brown
  • Drain the majority to almost all of the oil and transfer to a slow cooker
  • Cook the chili in the slow cooker on low for 8 hours

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Ingredients for corn bread

  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups finely ground yellow cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk

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Directions for corn bread

  • Heat oven to 450 degrees
  • put 2 tbsp butter in a cast iron skillet and set aside, melt the other 6 tbsp of butter in a small dish
  • Whisk cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl
  • Whisk eggs in a large bowl until frothy, then mix in the buttermilk
  • Pour egg mix into the flour/cornmeal mix and stir until dry streaks are incorporated (easier if you use a rubber spatula), but careful not to overmix
  • Fold in the melted butter and let stand for 5 minutes
  • When the oven is hot, place the skillet with the 2 tbsp butter in for 5 minutes
  • Remove the pan and coat the bottom of the pan with the melted butter
  • Pour the batter into the skillet and bake until golden (~15 minutes)
  • After removing the pan from the oven, let it rest for about 5 minutes
  • Cut and enjoy

This meal was pretty damn good. It was hearty and nostalgic, but on the downside it lacked any form of real vegetables whatsoever. The chili was pretty oily in the cooker, so before we mixed and served it, I spooned out most of the oil that had risen to the top. I also added a little bit of cornstarch to the chili to thicken it up. The cornbread turned out perfectly, but next time we might add some cheddar cheese to the mix, and maybe some jalapeños too.

Crab Cakes

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So I made crab cakes a few times awhile back and have been meaning to make it again and post it here. It took a lot longer than I expected to get around to it, but I finally brought myself to do it (mostly because I happened to have most of the ingredients already on hand). I followed the recipe from here, and they turned out pretty good. They aren’t that hard to make and the most challenging thing is probably trying to keep them together when you put them in the frying pan. Other than that, pretty simple.

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Ingredients

  • 1 lb crab meat (I used canned crab b/c I am cheap and lazy)
  • 1/3 cup crushed Ritz crackers
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • Flour, for dusting

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Directions

  • Mix all the ingredients, besides the flour, in a bowl
  • Form the cakes and dust with flour
  • Add oil to large frying pan/skillet and place on medium heat
  • When the oil is hot, add the cakes (being careful to keep their shape) and cook until brown
  • Serve with sauce

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I made a roasted red pepper sauce using jarred roasted red peppers, mayonnaise, and a dash of salt. I placed the ingredients in a food processor and pulsed a few times until the peppers had blended with the mayo. I placed the cakes on a bed of greens and served with the sauce. The crab cakes turned out well, but were a tad on the salty side. This may be due to using canned crab, but next time I will definitely use a touch less salt.  Hope you enjoy!

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Strawberry Fields Salad

Strawberry Fields Salad

I haven’t been doing my part in our joint blog so Nate coerced me in writing this one or else he wasn’t going to post anymore. 😛 Nate and I threw an intimate dinner and game night about a week ago so I’m deciding to share a small piece of what chef Nate had prepared. Today, I will be presenting a super easy quick recipe that is perfect for summer. It’s a strawberry balsamic salad with feta cheese. I’ve actually been eating this salad for several days since it was so yummy (mostly because I can’t cook). It’s really great for lunch or as an addition to a main course.

Main Salad Ingredients

  • Spring Mix
  • Walnuts
  • Strawberries
  • Feta Cheese

Salad Dressing Ingredients

  • Lemon
  • 1/2 cup EVOO
  • 1 tbsp Strawberry Balsamic
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Dash of Pepper

Recipe

  • To make the salad dressing, mix all the ingredients listed above in a small bowl.
  • Cut the lemon and squeeze the juice into the dressing. Mix well.
  • Slice the strawberries thinly for the salad
  • Mix the spring mix, strawberries, and walnuts together
  • Now add the strawberry balsamic dressing to the salad
  • Add fresh feta cheese as desired

That was pretty easy right? I don’t even think I needed the steps for the recipe. The feta cheese wasn’t too overpowering since it was balanced well by the sweetness of the strawberries. Overall, it was an awesome start to the meal and was our only veggie for that night. Bon appetit! 🙂