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Beef, Dinner, Korean, Lactose Free, Recipes

Korean-Style Pan-Fried Beef

December 1, 2017

Korean-Style Pan-Fried Beef

If you want a quick, tasty meal, this Korean-style dish fits the bill.  The thin slices of meat marinate in a flavorful sauce for just 30 minutes.  A quick sear in a hot pan makes for perfectly cooked beef with crisp edges that are delicious served with a bowl of rice.

Gochugaru

I am a fan of Whole Spice brand Korean chili flakes (also known as gochugaru).  The chili flakes add a depth of flavor to this, and many other dishes.  Vibrant red in color, mildly spicy, slightly smoky and sweet at the same time, it’s an essential seasoning for Korean cuisine.

Asian Pear

Marinade

This meal is ready in just about 45 minutes from start to finish.  The bold flavors in the sauce are what make this dish stand out.  The key is to cut your meat in to thin slices so that it marinades and cooks quickly.

Korean-Style Pan-Fried Beef

Korean-Style Pan-Fried Beef
 
Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons grated pear
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2½ teaspoons gochugaru
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 8 ounces filet mignon, cut into thin strips (you may opt to use another cut of beef, chicken or pork)
  • canola oil for pan frying
  • sliced green onions for serving
  • Fresno pepper (optional)
  • roasted sesame seeds (optional)
Preparation
  1. Combine the grated pear, garlic, soy sauce, gochugaru, ginger, brown sugar and sesame oil in a medium bowl. Add sliced beef and toss to coat each piece well. Cover and refrigerated for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove meat from marinade and season lightly with kosher salt. Working in batches and adding more oil along the way if needed, cook meat in a single layer without moving until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Continue to cook tossing occasionally until cooked through and crisp at edges, about 1 - 2 minutes longer.
  3. Transfer to a plate and serve topped with green onions, sliced Fresno peppers and roasted sesame seeds.

 

Beans, Dinner, Lactose Free, Recipes, Soups, Veggies

Vegetable & Farro Soup

November 20, 2017

Vegetable & Farro Soup

Though the seasons change ever so slightly here in Hawaii, a warm bowl of soup is still soothing once November comes around. The days are still sunny and the beaches are full of people, yet there’s a noticeable difference in the temperature.  This soup is based on one that is served at Eataly in New York City.  It’s really quite simple to make, and it doesn’t need to simmer for hours.  The soup is brimming with healthy vegetables, beans and whole grain farro. It is light yet satisfying.

Carrots, Onion, Celery, Leeks, Peas, Beans

The vegetables are sliced thin which enables them to be cooked for a shorter period.  This soup is ready to eat in 40 minutes.

Sliced Leeks

Use only the white and light tender green parts of the leek. Slice the leek into narrow strips so that they cook up nicely in a few minutes.

Farro

It seems that only a few years ago farro could not be found at any of our local markets. I would purchase farro on my annual trips to San Francisco and bring it home to Maui.  These days you can buy farro in the bulk section at most markets.

Vegetable & Farro Soup

Vegetable & Farro Soup
 
Adapted from Mario Batali's recipe for Eataly
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¾ cup thinly sliced celery (about 2 celery ribs)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced sweet onion
  • 1 cup thinly sliced leek, white and pale green parts only (1 medium leek)
  • ¾ cup farro
  • 1½ tablespoons tomato paste
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup canned small white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small bay leaf (or half of a medium-sized bay leaf)
  • 1 heaping cup thinly sliced carrots (halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise ¼-inch thick)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh marjoram
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano (optional)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons julienned basil for serving
Preparation
  1. In a large enameled Dutch oven or other heavy pot, heat the olive. Add the celery, onion and leek and cook over moderately high heat, stirring a few times, until softened. Add the farro and tomato paste and cook, stirring until the grains are coated, about 30 seconds.
  2. Add the chicken broth and water to the pot and bring to a boil. Add the beans and bay leaf and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.
  3. Add the carrots and cover the pot. Simmer on low for 20 minutes or until the carrots are just tender.
  4. Add the peas and fresh herbs. Simmer until the peas have warmed up, about 5 minutes. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle basil over each serving.

 

 

Dinner, Lactose Free, Recipes, Salad, Side Dishes, Vegan, Vegetarian, Veggies

Chinese Smashed Cucumbers with Sesame Oil & Garlic

November 10, 2017

Chinese Smashed CucumbersI’m always on the look out for new and interesting pickle recipes. This quick cucumber pickle caught my eye because it reminds me so much of kimchi. It is savory, crunchy, salty, and the perfect side dish to serve with a bowl of rice and grilled teriyaki chicken, beef, fish, or tofu.

Keiki CukesUse thin-skinned cucumbers such as Keiki Cukes (found locally in Hawaii) or Japanese, Persian, or even English cucumbers.  Cucumbers with few seeds are what you are looking for.

Keiki Cukes

Smashed Keiki CukesIt’s amazing how the seed pockets detach from the cucumbers once they are smashed.  I use my mallet which works perfectly. You can use the blade of a large knife if you don’t have a mallet (or a small skillet).

DressingThe dressing for the cucumbers is simple to prepare.  Mix everything together in a small bowl, set aside until ready to serve.  You could also drizzle this dressing over steamed bok choy, watercress, or blanched bean sprouts.

Chinese Smashed Cucumbers

Chinese Smashed Cucumbers

Chinese Smashed Cucumbers with Sesame Oil & Garlic
 
Adapted from New York Times Cooking
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1½ pounds thin-skinned cucumbers
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt for dressing plus ¼ teaspoon for cucumbers
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil (sometimes I use avocado oil which is milder than olive oil)
  • ½ teaspoon grated garlic
  • 2 teaspoons gochugaru (medium heat Korean chili pepper flakes that have a fruity and slightly smoky flavor) or red chili pepper flakes to taste
  • Cilantro leaves
  • Toasted sesame seeds
Preparation
  1. Rinse cucumbers and pat dry. Cut crosswise into pieces about 4 inches long. Cut each piece in half lengthwise.
  2. Place cucumbers on a cutting board cut side down. Using a mallet or the blade of a knife, smash down lightly until the flesh breaks down a bit and the seeds separate. Slice pieces diagonally into bite-sized pieces leaving seeds behind.
  3. Place cucumber pieces in a strainer over a bowl and toss with ¼ teaspoon kosher salt and a few big pinches of sugar. Place a plate or bowl over the cucumbers and weigh it down with something heavy such as a large can of tomatoes. Set aside while you make the dressing.
  4. In a small bowl, combine ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon sugar, and rice vinegar. Stir until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Stir in sesame oil, soy sauce, grated garlic, and Korean chili flakes.
  5. When ready to serve, lightly pat dry cucumbers with paper towels and transfer to a serving bowl. Toss with 2 teaspoons olive oil. Stir in half of the dressing. Taste and adjust seasoning adding salt if needed. Stir in more dressing so that the cucumbers are well coated. Garnish with cilantro leaves and sesame seeds before serving.

 

Dinner, Fruit, Lactose Free, Recipes, Salad, Side Dishes, Vegan, Vegetarian, Veggies

Crunchy Cabbage & Pomegranate Salad

October 24, 2017


Crunchy Cabbage & Pomegranate Salad

The beautiful pomegranate is in season now which means it’s a good idea to take advantage of their short appearance in your local markets.  If you don’t have plans to use it right away, store the fruit in your refrigerator where it should keep nicely for several weeks.  This simple and refreshing salad is highlighted by pomegranate and is quick to put together with just a few other ingredients.  If you are not a cilantro fan you can certainly omit it, but don’t leave out the mint as it is an integral ingredient that makes this salad stand out.

Cabbage, Tomatoes, Mint & Cilantro

Pomegranate

There are many video’s on how to remove the seeds from the rather bitter membrane that securely surrounds them.  Whichever method you use, beware that pomegranate juice stains so be careful not to get it on your clothing or counter.  It’s best to work with it in the sink.  Once you remove the seeds which are known as arils, you may store them in an airtight container and use them within 5 days.

Pomegranate

Crunchy Cabbage & Pomegranate Salad

Crunchy Cabbage & Pomegranate Salad
 
Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups packed thinly sliced green cabbage
  • pinch of sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons canola or avocado oil
  • 1 teaspoon white wine or champagne vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped sweet onion
  • 8-10 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preparation
  1. Toss cabbage with a pinch of sugar and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate while you prepare the other ingredients.
  2. Combine lemon juice, oil and vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Add chopped onion, tomatoes, mint, cilantro and pomegranate seeds to cabbage. Toss with dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper before serving.

 

Chicken, Dinner, Lactose Free, Recipes

Peppadew Stuffed Chicken

September 28, 2017

Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Peppadew Peppers, Cheese and Herbs

A recipe in a recent Bon Appetit magazine caught my attention with its beautiful bright red Peppadew peppers scattered over grilled chicken skewers.  I was curious to know more about these mild & sweet peppers. Peppadew peppers are adored by many not only for their delicious flavor and vibrant color, but for their versatility in recipes.  A quick visit to the internet will reveal numerous recipes such as stuffed Peppadew peppers, Peppadew poppers, Peppadew mac & cheese, Peppadew cheese spread, and more.

I ordered a couple of jars of peppers on-line only to find out later that they are available at our local Whole Foods and Foodland Farms markets at their olive bars. Upon receiving my order I was dying to taste a Peppadew. I found  the pepper to be crisp, tangy, sweet, and quite delicious.  I’m always searching for new ways to dress up the common chicken breast.  The idea of the peppers paired with chicken sounded perfect. After a brief search, I stumbled upon this recipe at the Peppadew-USA web site. With just a few ingredients and quick preparation, I had the makings of a tasty dinner.

The recipe doesn’t note what herbs to use so I picked herbs from the garden that I thought would compliment the chicken; basil, chives, parsley, and marjoram.

Tied Chicken Breasts

After stuffing the chicken I thought it would be best to tie the chicken breasts to ensure the filling stayed put, especially the cheese.  Making a small incision in the thickest part of the breast is suggested rather than  slicing a larger incision along one side of the chicken breast which would allow more of the filling to escape while baking.

Peppadews, Herbs, Garlic & Olive Oil

Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Peppadew Peppers, Cheese and Herbs

The chicken can be marinated overnight however if you are running out of time, a few hours will suffice. The stuffed chicken is first browned on the stove top then finishes baking in the oven.  This recipe turned out to be a favorite of ours.

Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Peppadew Peppers, Cheese and Herbs

 

Peppadew Stuffed Chicken
 
Adapted from Peppadew USA website
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2½ ounces Peppadew peppers, chopped
  • 1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus more for the pan
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh herbs, chopped (basil, parsley, marjoram, chives)
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2½ ounces yogurt cheese, an ideal substitute for those looking for lactose free cheese (or gouda)
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preparation
  1. Mix half of the chopped Peppadew peppers with the olive oil, crushed garlic, and herbs.
  2. To create a pocket in the chicken breast insert a sharp knife into the thickest part of the breast and make a 2½-inch incision without going through the opposite side. Stuff chicken with the cheese and remaining Peppadew peppers. Sprinkle chicken with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Tie chicken breasts to secure filling.
  3. Transfer chicken breasts to a shallow dish and coat both sides with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium to medium-high heat in a stainless steel pan or one that can be used in the oven. Add the chicken breasts and brown on each side. Transfer the pan to the oven. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the thickest part of the breast registers 165 degrees.
  6. Serve with broccolini, a salad, or other greens and saffron rice or your favorite rice pilaf.

 

Dinner, Fish, Lactose Free, Recipes, Sauces

Pan-Seared Tuna with Avocado, Soy, Ginger & Lime

August 28, 2017

Pan-Seared Tuna with Avocado, Soy, Ginger & Lime

Finding good fresh ahi tuna has been a hit and miss endeavor until I discovered Oki’s Fish Market in the Kahului Foodland market. They always seem to have the freshest fish on a regular basis. So whenever I’m in the area, I’ll stop by to pick up a nice piece of ahi for dinner.  This Tyler Florence recipe caught my attention for a few reasons.  It’s quick, tasty, and uses lots of cilantro and avocado, two of my favorite ingredients.  Now those of you who are cringing about cilantro, don’t give up yet.  You could certainly switch out the cilantro and substitute it with a smaller amount of chives or parsley.

Ahi tuna steaks

I cut the ahi into 1-inch thick steaks but you could certainly cut yours thicker if you prefer to.

Lime, Jalapeno, Cilantro

The original recipe says to use the juice of two limes however that can mean 2 tablespoons or up to 4 tablespoons in my case.  So try the 2 1/2 tablespoons noted in the recipe first, then add more if you want to.

Avocado

Pan-Seared Tuna with Avocado, Soy, Ginger & Lime

Sometimes I serve steamed bok choy with the ahi, and other times a green salad or baked sweet potatoes and broccoli.  I always have a pot of Japanese white rice to go along with this dish.

If you prefer a little spicier sauce, use a jalapeño instead of the Fresno pepper.  I like the burst of red color from the Fresno however I have seen red jalapeños in the markets on occasion.

Pan-Seared Tuna with Avocado, Soy, Ginger & Lime

Pan-Seared Tuna with Avocado, Soy, Ginger & Lime
 
Adapted from Tyler Florence's recipe
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup lightly packed cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 Fresno pepper, thinly sliced (or ½ jalapeño)
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon grated garlic
  • 2½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 ahi (tuna) steaks, about 6 ounces each
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 small or 1 large avocado, peeled, pitted, cut into small chunks
Preparation
  1. Combine the cilantro, Fresno pepper slices, ginger, garlic, lime juice, soy sauce, sugar, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a small bowl. Stir ingredients until well incorporated. Set aside while you prepare the ahi.
  2. Place a skillet over medium-high heat and coat with remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season ahi steaks generously with kosher salt and black pepper. Sear ahi for about 1 minute on each side to form a light crust. The cooking time will depend on how thick your ahi is cut, and whether you prefer your fish to be medium-rare or more well done. Drizzle a few tablespoons of the sauce over the ahi steaks to coat the fish (once you start searing on side #2). Transfer the ahi to a platter. Top with avocado and drizzle remaining sauce over the fish.

 

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