Homemade Scallion Pancakes

With all this snow I have been extra inspired (read: bored) to cook lots of new things.  Late at night is when the best and worst cravings happen, usually for chinese food.  But with all this snow I feel bad about making anyone go outside, so it was time to make it for myself!  This is a really easy recipe for scallion pancakes.  It takes 3 ingredients, so easy, oh and it tastes JUST like delivery.  Try this on this fabulous snow day instead of making someone deliver to you!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup chopped scallions
  • 1/4 cup oil + 2-3 tablespoons for cooking
  • sesame seeds 1 teaspoon (optional)

For the dipping sauce:

  • soy sauce
  • rice wine vinegar
  • minced garlic or garlic powder
  • sugar
  • red pepper flakes

How to:

  1. Begin by adding the boiling water to the flour, then add the oil and sesame seeds.
  2. Using a spoon (not your hands) stir and it will form a dough.  This will be hot, but try to use your hands a little make sure all the flour is wet and form a ball.
  3. Let sit for 30 minutes covered in plastic wrap.
  4. Roll into a log and then cut into 4 even pieces (each piece makes 1 pancake)
  5. Roll out the dough into a circle on a floured surface, then add in some chopped scallions. Roll up like a jelly log and then again roll out into a flat pancake.
  6. Do this again once more.
  7. Then get a pan and heat the 2-3 tablespoons of oil to very hot (not smoking). Add the pancake in the pan facing AWAY from you, do not burn yourself.
  8. Let cook for 5 minutes on each side until golden.
  9. For the dipping sauce mix equal parts soy sauce and vinegar, and generous dashes of everything else (really easy).
  10. I tried to cook it in less oil and it wasn’t as good.  Baking was okay but frying was by far the most superior preparation.
  11. If this seemed confusing, enjoy the photo tutorial below!

I didn’t have a rolling pin, but I used a beer bottle (cleaned) and it did the job!

DSC_0024 DSC_0027 DSC_0028First round of rolling out and adding scallions

DSC_0029 rolled into a jelly roll

DSC_0031tuck in the corners to make a ball again DSC_0032roll out, add more scallions and repeat DSC_0035ready to get cooked!

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White Turkey Chili

Something I really love is when you roll over in the morning, especially a Saturday morning, and there are big white fluffy clumps falling from the sky and you have the lovely realization that you have no reason to leave the house. Ahhh, thats the best. Since I have decided to be a hermit for the day, I might as well good something delicious.  And what goes better with a cold winters day then a big bowl of chili??  This is a different kind of chili, a white chili, with turkey.  Its really good and just warms you right up!  Make one pot and eat well all week.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 2 green peppers, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 lb cooked turkey (any part, just no bones)
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can white beans (I used small navy beans)
  • 1/2 can another white beans (I used roman beans)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice (1/2 a lime)
  • hot sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • chicken base or bouillon cubes

How to:

  1. In a big sauce pot, add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and heat to a medium low heat.  Once that is hot, add in the onion, peppers, and garlic.  Season with salt and pepper and let slowly sweat for 15 minutes until tender and the onions are translucent.
  2. Drain off a little bit of the corn juice, then add to the pan.  Wash the beans then add to the pan.  Add all the spices, you may need to add more as you continue to cook, use your sense of smell and judgement to decide.
  3. Turn the heat up and add in 24 oz’s of water and 1 tablespoon chicken base. Bring to a boil.
  4. Add the cooked meat and continue to cook on high for 15 minutes.  Add in the lime juice and hot sauce.
  5. Once the water has reduced a little bit, it ready to enjoy!
  6. Eat with some cheese or sour cream and enjoy the warmth on this cold day!!

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It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere

Usually when I post a recipe I have eaten it maybe mere minutes before, but the timing is a little different when making a drink recipe.  So although I am posting this at 11 am, it was consumed at a reasonable hour.

This is my take on Brazils national drink, the caipirinha.  This drink is very simple: fruit, sugar, alcohol, and ice.  The typical caipirinha is made with the national liquor, cachaca and lime.  But I quickly found that I did not like cachaca (tastes like a tequila) and I didn’t really like the lime, so I am taking my own spin on it.  But you can make it however you want!  Thats the beauty of the cocktail!

Ingredients:

  • Fruit: I used blueberries and oranges
  • Sugar 1-2 teaspoons
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • 1-2 shots (depending on your preference)
  • Things that could also be helpful: something like a mallet to smash down the fruit and a shaker

How to:

  1. Begin by adding your fruit into the bottom of your shaker.  I use 1/2 an orange cut into wedges and 1 handful blueberries.
  2. Add in your sugar, you can vary the amount depending on the sweetness of the fruit.
  3. Start smashing up the fruit, really pulverize it, because the juice you make from the fruit is going to be the only liquid other than the liquor in your drink. If you want a bit more mixed in add a little water to the mix.
  4. Then add your alcohol and ice. And shake. Shake it real good.
  5. Pour into a glass and enjoy!  (Pour in the fruit and eat when you finish the drink, thats the best part!)

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The Whole Meal: BBQ Steak Tips with Sweet Potato Fries and Swiss Chard

Recently I have learned how to make steak at home, and now I treat myself to lovely steak dinners sometimes.  Well today was a lovely steak lunch.  Most people think that during their busy weeks they don’t have time to eat much more than a sandwich for lunch, well you are wrong my friends.  You do have time!  Because it doesn’t need to be such a song and dance to make things, plus you can make it once and then reheat it later on in the week.  This is a 3 for 1 recipe of what to make for the perfect BBQ meal.

Ingredients:

  • 1 sweet potato
  • 2 sirloin steak tips
  • BBQ sauce
  • Dash steak sauce
  • Rainbow Chard
  • 1/4 white onion
  • 2 gloves chopped garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon chicken base
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • salt

How to: STEAK

  1. You want to begin by marinating your steak in the BBQ and steak sauce.  About 20 minutes should be sufficient.
  2. Then in a cast iron skillet with ridges get it to a screaming hot temperature.  (Open the windows because this will make it smoke up), and set your oven to 400.
  3. Once you skillet is hot, add in your steak.  Cook on each side for 2-4 minutes.  If you can pull the steak away from the pan easily, it is ready to turn, if you cant, let it cook until you can.
  4. Once all 4 sides have char marks, place into the oven and cook for 5-10 more minutes.
  5. This is the trick to seeing how cooked your meat is. Feel your cheek, that is what rare meat will feel like. Now your chin, thats about medium. Then your forehead is well done.  These are the general guidelines to telling.
  6. After the few minutes in the oven, it should be all set and ready to enjoy!

How to: Steak Fries

  1. Steak fries are so easy but so delicious, especially if they are sweet potato ones.
  2. Begin by washing your sweet potato really well, seeing as we wont be peeling it you want to make sure it is extra clean.
  3. Then slice it in half the long way.  Then slice through the long way again.  The fries should be about 1/2 cm thick.
  4. I lay down foil on the pan I am cooking with to make cleanup extra easy but you do you.
  5. Then pour the oil over the fries, making sure they are all coated, you can also use pan spray for this, which would be less fat.
  6. Then salt them and throw them in a 400 oven for 30-40 minutes, flipping in the middle.  Until they are beautifully golden.
  7. DONE

How to: Rainbow Chard (or any other green could be replaced here)

  1. Begin by sautéing the garlic and onion in a pan with a little bit of oil, once the onions are translucent pour in 1/4 cup of water and 1/2 teaspoon chicken base.
  2. Then add in your chard.
  3. Cook this for 10-15 minutes until the chard is wilted and some of the water is gone.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

A restaurant quality meal for half the price and all in the comfort of your own home, the only thing that sucks about home cooking is the dishes.

 

Blackberry Cobbler

Cleaning out the freezer can uncover some delicious finds.  When we were cleaning out our freezer we found a bunch of blackberries that needed new homes… in my belly.  I went and made a quick dessert to watch with the Patriots game and not going to take credit for their win… but I am pretty sure they were motivated by the deliciousness. Motivate others with this super easy dessert.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs Blackberries (frozen or fresh) (but less can be used!!)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 splash lemon juice
  • 1 splash orange juice
  • Bisquick mix or what you need for pancakes, follow the recipe here
  • whipped cream
  • vanilla ice cream

How to:

  1. In a pot begin cooking the berries down on medium high heat with the sugar and juices. The berries are going to create a lot of juice but continue to cook it down until the juice is less than half its original start.  The juice will also be thicker now too.
  2. While this is cooking make the pancake batter and set aside.
  3. Once the berries are done, pour into a glass pan.  Add the pancake batter to the top and cook at 350 until the batter is golden and firm to the touch.  About 20-30 minutes.
  4. Eat with loads of ice cream and whipped cream. YUM.
  5. I also suggest adding in some rosemary to the mix to add some flavor and and take away some of the bitterness of the berries.

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Three Hundred and One: Remembering Where I Come From

My 300th recipe was something that went fabulously well, tasted great, looked great, and I didn’t start any fires trying to make it.  It also was not a frustrating recipe to make, which is something I strive for.  But the reason I am choosing this to be my three hundredth and one recipe is to remind me how far I still have to go.  This recipe is full of kinks and learning experiences BUT it was still delicious and I took a chance making something I never had before so I am still proud.  I have made a lot in 300 recipes, but I still am learning and improving and I love to grow and be creative.  Thank you for sticking with me, I hope to capture some of the troubles you are having and give viable solutions and recipes you can make and be proud of too when you make them.

Enough rambling. The recipe:  Stuffed chicken with spinach and sun-dried tomato with a white wine sauce.

Ingredients:

  • chicken breast
  • fresh spinach
  • sun-dried tomatoes
  • cheese (your preference)
  • garlic
  • sour cream
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • kitchen twine

How to:

  1. Begin by sautéing your spinach in the oil of the sun-dried tomato and then adding in diced sun-dried tomato and garlic.  Just until wilted.
  2. Take your chicken breasts and slice them in the middle of the breast, this is called butterflying the breast.  Then go at it with a meat tenderizer.  Getting it to be about 1 inch thickness evenly.
  3. Add in your sautéed spinach and sun dried tomato mixture to the middle, then your cheese, then a dollop of sour cream.
  4. Then carefully roll up your chicken. You want this to be tightly wrapped.  Then use the twine to secure it in place.
  5. In a pan, add 1/4 inch oil.  Get this nice and hot and add your chicken to the pan.
  6. Cook until golden on each side. About 5 minutes per side.
  7. Add this chicken to a pan and bake for another 20-30 minutes at 350 until fully cooked (check the temperature with a thermometer, eating uncooked chicken is very dangerous). DONT DISCARD THE PAN YOU COOKED IT IN
  8. Now in the pan that you cooked the chicken in add the wine.  Let this cook on medium heat until reduced to about half the size.  Then add the butter and you are done!
  9. Cut off the twine from the chicken and serve drizzled with the white wine sauce.

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White Clam Pizza: 3 Ways

Where I come from, pizza is supreme.  New Haven is known for its pizza, its actually been voted some of the best in the US.  That starts off the high standard, but my mom makes an amazing pizza and my aunt went as far as building her own pizza oven, so needless to say, my family has set a high standard in pizza making.  And then there is me.  Well, I decided to give it a go today and make a white clam pizza, which is what New Haven is known for.  And since I am indecisive I made it with 3 different toppings and did a taste test with my bestie to decide what was supreme.  The results were delicious. This is a fun different pizza recipe, that ditches the red sauce and loads up on lots of other amazing flavors.  Try this for pizza night instead and you wont be disappointed.

Ingredients:

  • pizza dough (follow the linked recipe or buy pre made)
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup sliced tomatos
  • 1/4 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 can minced clams
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 small white onion
  • 1/4 green pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (potentially more)
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • a few dashes of lemon juice
  • salt and pepper

How to:

  1. To begin, we are going to make the clam sauce which will be the sauce of our pizza.
  2. In a sauce pan sweat the minced onions, pepper, and garlic.  Cook until the onions and peppers are tender.  Depending on your love of garlic you may want to add more. This takes about 5-8 minutes.
  3. Open the can of clams and drain just a little bit of the juice (you still want that juice because that it what will make the sauce).  Add the can to the pan and increase the heat to medium.
  4. Add parsley and oregano, salt and pepper.
  5. Continue to cook for another 10-15 minutes until some of the liquid is reduced.
  6. Add the butter and continue to cook for just another minute or so.
  7. Spray a cookie sheet with pan spray, then stretch out the dough onto the cookie sheet.  It should be about 1/2 inch thick.
  8. Then spread the clam sauce over the dough, cover in mozzarella, then parmesan, then your toppings.
  9. According to our taste test, I liked the one with tomato the best and my Bestie liked the plain one the best.  We both agreed that the one with mushroom we were indifferent towards.  I also highly suggest bacon. But you do you.
  10. Bake in a 425 oven for 20 minutes until the crust is golden and should feel hollow to the touch.
  11. Slice it up and enjoy!!

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Korean Beef

Whenever I am going to donate blood I try to stock up on my iron rich foods and in my mind, that means red meat.  But there are only so many times you can eat taco meat or a hamburger before you get bored.  This Korean Beef recipe is something new and different.  It is also really easy with not many ingredients.  I made with with brown rice and steamed veggies so you get lots of flavor and a balanced meal.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon sesame seeds (or sesame oil)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper
  • 1 pinch ginger
  • some chopped scallions or raw onion
  • brown rice
  • steamed broccoli, edamame, and carrots

How to:

  1. Begin by sautéing the garlic and the sesame seeds.  Once they are lightly golden add in the ground beef and begin cooking.
  2. When it is all brown remove some of the grease from the pan.  This is important to do because otherwise it will be very greasy.
  3. Add in the brown sugar and soy sauce.  Stir to incorporate, then add in the ginger and red pepper flakes.
  4. Continue cooking another 5-10 minutes on low to let the flavors marinate.
  5. Serve over rice and veggies with a little bit of scallion on top!

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