Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Spent Grain Pancakes

Spent grains are becoming increasingly conquerable and perfect for any and every bread-like, breakfast dish. Pancakes were no exception.

As is common in 519 kitchen, measurements were not to acurately kept but rather, I based everything on consistency of the pancake batter which I like to be thin enough to spread but thick enough to hold enough shape that my pancakes cook up to be thick and hearty.

For this batch specifically, I used Bisquick - following the directions on the back of the box, adding a cup of damp spent grains and adjusting consistency with milk, eggs, or additional Bisquick/flour depending on how things look.  From here, consider a tsp. of Vanilla, a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg or allspice, some chopped walnuts or almonds or a mashed banana or two.

Griddle the dough up til golden brown and serve with your favorite pancake toppings.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Sweet Potato, Onion and Mushrooms in Balsamic Vinegar with Pasta


This is truly, simply one of those recipes that comes out of nothing except necessity to rid the refridgerator of foodstuffs before a weeklong vacation to a nearby foreign land.


Peel and chop 3-5 sweet potatoes and begin frying in a heated skillet with a touch of olive oil. (I've recently discovered that covering the skillet a) speeds up the process, obviously and b) results in perfect cooked and crisped potatoes...maybe everyone else in the culinary world knows this, if not, try it out). Meanwhile bring to boil sufficient water for a cup or so of dry pasta. (Try out this Kitchen Trick so you don't have to focus to heavily on that boiling pot.) Next, chop up an onion and a cup or two of mushrooms. Add onion to the potatoes and saute until translucent then add a Tbsp. or two of butter and the mushrooms and saute. Once the pasta is nearly finished and each veggie is cooked as desired throw in a 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar and simmer for a couple minutes before throwing the pasta and the veggies together in a bowl with additional olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper - each to taste. Enjoy with friends and if feeling particularly hungry feel no shame in going to pick up a pizza or calling on in for delivery.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Pork Fried Rice


Spring must be around the corner since I'm a bit anxious lately to 'clean things out' - I've really been taking to my freezer since I have all those pre-made frozen dishes that were intended to get me through the end of my MAED course, which they did.  But so did cheap Korean food.  So, there's still a lot of frozen dishes which have proven a blessing, but also a challenge, I like cooking completely fresh, I'm not a busy mom, so once-a-month-cooking isn't a must...not to mention, cooking is a sort of outlet for me. If I don't cook/bake regularly things get rough, or as rough as they ever do for me and the mild-mannered man.

Anyway, I used up a good bit of frozen pieces in this fried rice, so it was a quick dish to make, which is always nice.


Prior to making the rice, prepare some vegetables in this fashion, I did bok choy once again.

Also consider roasting some tofu as suggested and directed here.

In a large skillet, wok or whatever you can fit all required ingredients into, heat some olive oil. Meanwhile, whisk 2-3 eggs with a splash of soy sauce and some minced garlic. Scramble egg and remove from the pot. Next add a touch of oil if needed and throw in 2 cups of shredded pork and three cups of day old or frozen rice and soy sauce to taste, mix and heat thoroughly. Add prepared vegetables and egg, mix and season to taste with soy sauce, serve alongside roasted tofu and enjoy!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Black and White Chili

I've been talking up White Chicken Chili to a Korean friend of mine here.  She then told me it was necessary I make this dish for her. And because she's a true gem, she kept on me and when I finally invited her over she decided to invite a couple of her friends that I'd been wanting to meet.

(I realize this may seem obnoxious to some folks, but truly, I love her for her boldness in these matters. I also love having my home filled with new people. AND considering the fantastic friend that she is, I'm always eager to meet those whom she describes with affection and joy, so I was thrilled to have more than a couple mouths to feed.)

But, here's the other part of that story. I only have one of two bags of white beans left in my kitchen and I didn't buy them in South Korea, nor can I buy them in South Korea, so I brought them from the states. And I'm a little selfish with these sorts of things. Black beans however, are available in Korea. So, I opted for a Black and White chili which was just as satisfying to my friend and prevented me the sadness of using up a treasured food item, heaven forbid.


Inspired by this post at Black Girl Chef's Whites

In a large stockpot heat about 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil.  Add to heated oil 1 Onion, chopped, saute 5-7 minutes. Meanwhile, mince 3-5 Garlic Cloves and chop 2-3 large Mushrooms (between 1-2 cups), add to sauteing onions and oil (I also like to add 1-2 Tbsp. Butter anytime I cook with Mushrooms, just a habit). Stir to coat additions in oil before adding 2 Tbsp. Chili Powder, 1 tsp. Oregano (or basil if desparate), 1 tsp. Salt, and 1 tsp. Cumin - saute and heat until spices are aromatic.  Next add 3 cups of shredded or ground meat (I used 1 cup pre-cooked Chicken and 2 cups pre-cooked Pork) cook thoroughly if not pre-cooked. Add 2 cups Chicken Broth, 2 cups White Beans and 2 cups Black Beans and water if necessary for proper consistency.  Add seasonings as you see fit for your palate as well as a can of diced green chiles (or fresh roasted green chiles, I often roast a large batch, even a mix of peppers, throw them into a food processor with olive oil and garlic, spoon into ice cube trays and then use these to spice up my soups, but that's primarily because when I buy peppers in Korea I get a couple dozen for about a dollar...but never need that many at once) and a handful of fresh cilantro (or ice cubed, frozen cilantro pesto, another trick I've acqured thanks to Korea).

Serve this soup with grated cheddar cheese and a few corn bread muffins and you've got yourself a hearty, winter meal.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Rice Pudding

I'm not sure why I waited so long to make a pot of rice pudding. I'm quite ashamed that I have made it to the ripe age of 26 without taking in the pleasure of this quick comforting treat on a more regular basis. Not to mention, rice pudding is just screaming to become the playground of numerous experiments and additions (I'm thinking Peanut Butter, Nutella, S'more Ingredients, etc.) I'm eager to play around with this basic recipe and to enjoy it at it's most simple and delicious.



In a small pot combine 1 1/2 cups cooked Rice, 1 1/2 cups Milk, 1/3 cups Sugar (I used brown, most recipes call for white) and 1/4 tsp. Salt.  Cook over medium heat until thick and creamy, 15-20 minutes. Stir in an additional 1/2 cup Milk, 1 Egg, beaten and 2/3 cups Raisins ...or Craisins or Nothing...Cook an additional minutes. Before serving remove from heat and stir in 1 Tbsp. Butter and 1/2 tsp. Vanilla.
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