Friday, May 29, 2009

Sloppy Joes

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Remember these? This is a yummy retro sloppy joe recipe that is pure comfort food and no-fail. It tastes even better the second day as leftovers, and freezes well too. This recipe received a 5-star rating on Recipezaar from 433 readers and was submitted by "Hey Jude". It is flavorful, tasty, tangy and sweet. Denny loved it!

1 lb ground beef or ground turkey
2-3 stalks celery, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
1 T firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp dry mustard
Salt and pepper
1 T worcestershire sauce
1 T vinegar

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef, celery and onions. Drain off the fat and excess fluid. Stir in remaining ingredients; simmer uncovered, 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook until it's the consistency you like. Serve on toasted hamburger buns. This goes great with sweet potato fries.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Kimchi Fried Rice

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Michelle and I had breakfast at Namu's, an Asian fusian restaurant in the Inner Richmond District and I ordered kimchi fried rice with two fried eggs on top. It was so good! To make it, simply add kimchi to your favorite fried rice recipe. You can control the heat of the dish by using a hot or mild version of kimchi or adding Korean red chili paste (kochujang). This photo was taken 4 days before Michelle's due date. You can't even tell she is pregnant from the photo.

4 cups cooked rice
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 lb bacon, chopped (or SPAM, beef, pork, chicken, shrimp, duck - any leftover meat)
1 cup kimchi, coarsely chopped
1-2 T soy sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 T Korean red pepper paste (Kochujang) - optional (if you like it hot)
1-2 green onions, chopped for garnish

Fry the bacon bits and drain. Saute onion in a little canola oil over medium-high heat for a few minutes, then add the kimchi. Next, add the rice, soy sauce, salt, pepper and kochujang (optional). Mix everything together until heated. Sprinkle green onions on top. To serve, place the fried rice on a plate, top with two fried eggs, and sprinkle a little seawood (nori) on top as garnish. Yum.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Betty's Macaroni and Cheese

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Comfort food at its best! Who doesn't love macaroni and cheese? Here is Betty Yuasa's scrumptious recipe, definitely a family favorite. Pictured here (left to right) are daughter Dawn, Ryan, Anthony and Andrew with James, Betty and son Doug at their lovely home in Renton, Washington.

2-1/2 cups elbow macaroni
3 T margarine or butter
3 T flour
2 -3/4 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pepper, to taste
2 cups shredded chese (sharp cheddar and monterey jack) or any kind

Cook macaroni in boiling water until tender and drain. In a saucepan melt margarine or butter, blend in flour then gradually stir in milk. Cook until thick and add salt and pepper Use a casserole dish and layer macaroni, then cheese and continue until the dish is almost full then pour sauce over the entire dish and sprinkle additional cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes until bubbly and brown. Stir before serving.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Crispy Grilled Trout

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This is a recipe from British chef Jamie Oliver (The Naked Chef) and is originally from his granddad Ken. The trout turns out crispy on the outside and so moist and tender on the inside. The fish practically melted in our mouths. We purchased our trout from Costco, and they were huge in size. We would definitely make this dish again.

2-3 whole trout (cut the heads off)
1 lemon, sliced thin
1/4 medium onion, sliced very thin
Fresh parsley (optional)
Lemon zest

Preheat your barbecue grill to its highest heat. Slash each trout with a knife, about ten times on each side. Each slash should be about ¼ inch deep. Rub the trout with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Stuff the inside cavities with plenty of chopped parsley, onion and the lemon slices. Place the fish side-by-side on a baking rack over a roasting tray (I put the fish in a grill basket over heavy aluminum foil that was shaped into a tray). Put the lemon zest on top of the fish. Dot the trout with the butter and place it 6 inches from the heat. Cook for ~6 minutes on each side until crispy and golden. Squeeze the roasted lemon over the top of the fish.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Peanut Sesame Noodles

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This tasty recipe came from the Cooking with Trader Joe's Cookbook and is so flavorful! You can serve it at room temperature as a side dish or cold as a noodle salad. As a variation, you can add any meat to it, like leftover chicken or even tofu chunks to make it a one-dish meal. I made it early in the afternoon as a side dish for dinner, and it was so good, we ate the entire thing while sampling it. The peanut sauce really sticks to the noodles and gives it a creamy, nutty flavor. I would definitely make this again.

8 oz. spaghetti noodles
1 cup carrots, slivered or shredded
1/2 cup thinly slivered cucumber
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup roasted peanuts, chopped

Cook noodles according to package directions and drain. Mix and pour the peanut sauce over the noodles, and toss until coated. Add the carrots and cucumbers. Top with the green onions and peanuts.

Peanut Sauce:
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce (Veri Veri Teriyaki or JES brand)
1/4 cup creamy salted peanut butter
1/4 cup water
2 tsp sesame oil

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Tomato Jam

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This recipe originally came from It is so yummy! You can simply spread the tomato jam on cream cheese and serve it with crackers for a quick appetizer. It also tastes good on paninis or sandwiches in place of regular tomatoes, complementing meats and cheese nicely. It is sweet and savory. Try it in a panini with prosciutto, manchego cheese and arugula on an artisan bread. Memorable and flavorful!

1 red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper
1 cup loosely packed sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup water
2 T balsamic vinegar
2 T brown sugar
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

In a small saucepan, heat 1 T olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 7 min. until softened. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in water, sun-dried tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce and bring to boil. Lower the heat and simmer until thick, approx. 7-8 min. more. Cool and store in refrigerator.

Note: If you are using sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drain and squeeze the oil out of the tomatoes first.

Corinne's Provolone Torta

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Corinne gave me this recipe and it is truly, truly awesome! Not only does it look impressive, it tastes as good as it looks. It is a crowd pleaser and well worth the effort. It has all of my favorite flavors -- sun-dried tomatoes, pesto, garlic, cream cheese, pistachios, fresh basil and provolone cheese. I would definitely make this for my next party. You can find all of the ingredients at Trader Joe's.

1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil (drained), chopped
1 lb. thinly sliced provolone cheese
1 jar pesto from Trader Joe's
Garlic cream (recipe below)
Fresh basil leaves
10-12 (or more) roasted and salted pistachios
Cheese cloth

Garlic Cream:
8 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup roasted and salted pistachios

Cut a piece of cheese cloth large enough to line a 4" x 8" loaf pan overlapping the rim, and insert into the pan. Sprinkle 10-12 pistachios onto the cheese cloth. Add 6-8 basil leaves to form a decorative design when turned over. Cut provolone in half. While slightly overlapping slices, cover the bottom and 2-1/2" up the sides of the pan using one-half of the provolone. Divide the remaining provolone into 3 equal portions and set aside. Layer as follows:

--Spread half of the pesto on the provolone.
--Cover that with 1/3 of the remaining provolone.
--Sprinkle 1/8 cup of sun-dried tomatoes.
--Layer all of the garlic cream over the tomatoes.
--Sprinkle the rest of the sun-dried tomatoes.
--Layer another 1/3 portion of provolone next.
--Spread the remaining pesto.
--Layer the remaining 1/3 provolone on top.

Fold cheese cloth to cover, and press to compact lightly. Chill the loaf for at least 2 hours or overnight, adding weights to press. To serve, unfold cloth, invert onto a serving platter. Let sit and serve at room temperature with crackers or bread.