Archive for MEALS

Easy Homemade Chorizos

I made pancakes for my kids’ breakfast this morning, but the hubby and I wanted something heartier. Here’s my version of homemade chorizo. It’s delicious with eggs and rice!

Here’s how it’s done:

 

Brown the ground beef and drain off excess fat.

Add all the remaining ingredients. Stir to mix well.  Cook an additional 5 minutes.

 

Add more hot pepper to taste.

 

Stir to combine.

 

Serve and enjoy!  I especially love this with hot steamed white rice and a fried egg.

 

 

Easy Homemade Chorizos
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 packet achote powder
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar (Apple Cider vinegar or white distilled vinegar)
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon Donne dinanche (crushed pepper), more or less to taste
  • *I also added 1 teaspoon fennel seed, and 1 teaspoon ajinomoto, but this can be omitted.
Instructions
  1. Brown the ground beef and drain off excess fat.
  2. Add all the remaining ingredients. Stir to mix well.
  3. Serve and enjoy!

 

 

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Shrimp Pasta in Sundried Tomato Cream Sauce

Hafa adai, everyone!  It’s been quite a while since I added a new recipe.  What can I say?  Life happens. 🙂  Let’s see…since my last post, I retired from the Army (after 23 years and some change), my oldest graduated from high school and went off to college, my youngest started high school and is a budding artist, I got a new full-time job as a defense contractor, and I’ve re-discovered an old passion for knitting and crocheting.  See–my creativity doesn’t just reside in the kitchen. 😀

Despite all that, I’ve been accumulating a lot of recipes to share, so be on the lookout for new posts.  This is the first of many new favorites that I’m sure you’ll enjoy as much as my family does.

Let’s get to it then, shall we?

As you probably know from some of my other recipes, my family loves pasta.  This is a super easy dish to make.  While we love traditional spaghetti sauce, I love making a sauce using cream, sun-dried tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese.  You can add a variety of other ingredients such as mushrooms, basil, and spinach leaves to take it to a whole new level.  The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

I added baby portobello mushrooms, basil paste and fresh spinach leaves to this recipe.  See below for the type of sun-dried tomatoes I used.  I use the ones packed in oil.  I use the flavored oil to saute the mushrooms, which enhances the flavor of the whole dish.

If you’re a follower of my recipes, you know one of my signature ingredients is a powdered beef seasoning called Dashida.  You can find this any Korean market (or most Asian markets).  If you can’t find Dashida, use beef bouillon, or add salt to taste.

Start by slicing the mushrooms. Set them aside for now.

In a LARGE skillet over medium high heat, saute the shrimp with the seasonings (see my full recipe below).  I use a 17-inch skillet; if you don’t have one this large, you may want to use a large pot as we make the sauce and add the pasta and shrimp all together midway through.

Set a pot of water to boil while you prepare the shrimp. When the water is boiling, add the pasta to the pot (you can a couple of teaspoons of salt to the water as well). Only cook the pasta partway, about half the recommended cooking time suggested on the package.  The pasta will finish cooking in the sauce later, so you want to make sure you don’t overcook it now.

Cook the shrimp for about 5 minutes, stirring to ensure even cooking on both sides.  Remove the shrimp from the pan and set them aside for now.

To the same pan, add the mushrooms and some of the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes.

Cook the mushrooms until they reduce in volume, then add the sun-dried tomatoes to the pan.  Cook for another 2 minutes or so.

Add the remaining seasonings to the pan as well as the heavy cream.

Add the grated cheese to the pan.  Stir to combine all the ingredients.

The pasta should be ready by now.  Drain the pasta then add it to the sauce.

Add the basil paste and spinach leaves to the sauce.

Stir to combine all the ingredients.  The heat up to medium high; cook for a few more minutes, just until the pasta is done.  Look how good it looks already, and we haven’t even added the shrimp back in yet. 😀

Add the shrimp and any liquid that may have accumulated in the dish back to the pan.

Stir to get all that delicious shrimp mixed in.  Cook for a minute or two to reheat the shrimp.  Oh my….are you drooling yet?

Serve and enjoy!!

<span class="mceItemHidden" data-mce-bogus="1"><span></span>Shrimp Pasta in Sundried Tomato Cream Sauce</span>
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
For the Shrimp:
  • 2 pounds shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1 teaspoon Dashida
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
For the Sauce:
  • 8 oz. baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 8.5 oz. sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
  • ¼ cup oil from the sundried tomatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 Tablespoon Dashida beef seasoning (you can sub with salt, to taste)
  • 2 pints heavy whipping cream
  • 8 oz. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons basil paste
  • 5 cups baby spinach leaves
Pasta:
  • 1 pound box uncooked penne pasta
Instructions
Cook the Shrimp:
  1. In a large skillet, saute the shrimp with seasonings.
  2. Cook over medium high heat for 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Cook the Pasta:
  1. Place a pot of water to boil according to the instructions on the box of pasta.
  2. Cook the pasta for half of the recommended cooking time. The pasta will finish cooking in the sauce.
Make the Sauce:
  1. Turn the heat to medium high.
  2. Add the mushrooms and sun-dried tomato oil to the same pan used to cook the shrimp. Cook until the mushrooms soften and reduce in volume.
  3. Add the chopped sundried tomatoes. Cook an additional 2 minutes.
  4. Add the remaining seasonings to the pan; stir to combine.
  5. Pour in the heavy whipping cream.
  6. Stir in the grated Parmesan cheese.
  7. Reduce the heat to medium low.
Finishing:
  1. Add the partially-cooked pasta to the sauce.
  2. Turn the heat back up to medium-high. Cook for a few more minutes, just until the pasta is done.
  3. Add the basil paste and spinach leaves to the pan. Stir to combine.
  4. Add the cooked shrimp to the pan. Stir to combine. Cook for 1-2 minutes to reheat the shrimp.
Serve and enjoy!

 

 

 

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Crepes

Life is short…have dessert for breakfast.  😀

Okay, this is not really a dessert, but it could be.  In fact, crepes are one of those versatile foods that can be sweet OR savory (cheese, mushroom, spinach, and chicken crepes are a favorite!).

My family loves fruit-filled crepes with a sweet cream filling.  We have it for breakfast, as snacks, and they’re a special treat for dessert.

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My youngest loves filling hers with Nutella and strawberries, but add some sliced bananas (oooh, and maybe some peanut butter too) for an Oh-My-Goodness flavor experience!

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These crepes and tender and sweet all on their own, and do not taste eggy like the ones served in some restaurants.

Speaking of restaurants, I used to think that crepes were an indulgence we could only have at those popular breakfast restaurants.  Not anymore.  Crepes are really quite simple to make.

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Have I tempted you enough to make some for yourself?  No?  How about now? 😀

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So what are you waiting for?  Head into that kitchen and get started.  Here’s how to make it.  (If you’re new to my blog, you will always find my complete recipe at the bottom of my post.)

For the batter, you’ll need the same basic ingredients you use to make pancakes — eggs, sugar, butter, milk, and flour.  I also add a pinch of salt and vanilla extract my batter.

Place the eggs into a large mixing bowl.  Beat it slightly with a whisk.

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Add sugar to sweeten it a bit.  If you plan on making savory crepes, I recommend decreasing the amount of sugar or omitting it completely.

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Vanilla extract gets mixed in next.  You could also use lemon extract, or some lemon zest instead of vanilla extract, but remember that a little goes a long way.

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Add a pinch of salt to the mixture.  Did you know that salt is a natural antioxidant?  Salt also adds taste and helps bring out the flavors present in the flour and other ingredients.

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Melted butter gets mixed in next.  The butter serves two purposes in this recipe.  It adds flavor, but it also helps the crepes not stick to the pan during cooking.

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Whisk in the milk.

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Next comes the flour.  It may seem like you’re adding way too little flour for the amout of liquid.  However, unlike pancake batter, the ratio of milk to flour is 2:1 for crepe batter, which makes a very thin batter.

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Whisk until you get a smooth batter.  A few tiny lumps of flour left in the batter are okay.

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Set the batter aside while you heat up your pan.  I recommend using a non-stick skillet.  I use a well-seasoned cast iron skillet.

Lightly spray the pan with butter-flavored cooking spray (just to be on the safe side to ensure your crepes don’t stick to the pan).  Pour 1/2 cup of batter onto the heated skillet.

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Cook the crepe over medium-low heat; you may need to adjust the heat as you go along, turning it down or up, depending on how quickly the crepes cook.

Use a spatula to gently lift the edges. If the crepe feels like it is still stickng to the pan, let it cook for a little while longer.  A telltale sign the crepe is ready to be flipped over is when you see it start to “wrinkle.”

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Flip the crepe over to lightly brown the other side; this should only take a minute or less.

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Continue making crepes until all of the batter is used up.  This recipe makes 8 crepes (more if you use less than 1/2 cup of batter per crepe).

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So now that the crepes are done, it’s time to make the filling.  This recipe is for a sweet filling.

Cream together softened cream cheese and a bit of powdered sugar.

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It should resemble cream cheese frosting at this point.

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To lighten it up, mix in whipped cream.  I use Cool Whip to make things easier.  Hey, I’m all about making things from scratch, but sometimes semi-homemade is just fine. 🙂

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Okay, so let’s see where we are in this endeavor.

Crepes — CHECK.

Sweet cream filling — CHECK.

All that’s left to do is fill the crepes with filling and your favorite fruit.  We like — okay, we LOVE — fresh berries in ours.

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Spread some filling down the middle of a crepe.

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Add fruit, as much as you like.

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Fold each side over the middle, sprinkle with powdered sugar, and ENJOY! 😀

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Scroll down for my complete recipes.

 

 

Crepes
 
Author:
 
Tender crepes filled a sweet cream; it's perfect for breakfast or served as a dessert.
Ingredients
Crepe batter:
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup flour
Filling:
  • 8-oz cream cheese
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 8-oz cool whip
  • Fresh berries
Other:
  • Powdered sugar
  • Butter-flavored cooking spray
Instructions
Make the crepes:
  1. Place the eggs in a large mixing bowl; beat slightly with a whisk.
  2. Mix in the remaining ingredients for the batter. Whisk until smooth.
  3. Pour ½ cup of batter onto a heated skillet. Cook over medium-low heat until lightly browned on one side. Flip the crepe and cook the other side until lightly browned.
Make the filling:
  1. Place the cream cheese and powdered sugar into a small mixing bowl. Use a hand mixer to mix until creamy.
  2. Mix in the Cool Whip.
Assemble the crepes:
  1. Spread some cream filling down the middle of a crepe.
  2. Top with fresh fruit.
  3. Fold the sides over the middle. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
ENJOY!

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Salmon Cakes

Salmon cakes are my take on one of my favorite seafood dishes — crab cakes.  These savory patties are crisp on the outside, thanks to a quick pan-frying, and moist and flavorful on the inside. To finish it off, top with a dollop of lemon-garlic aoili and a sprinkling of green onions. Mmmm mmmm mmmm…these are soooooo good!

Salmon cake

I usually make this for a meal, but you can easily make these into appetizer-sized portions.  This recipe makes between 10-12 salmon cakes, depending on how big you make them.

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This is a quick and easy version, using canned salmon. I’ve also made this using fresh salmon.  To prepare fresh salmon, bring about 2 cups of broth (seafood or chicken) to a boil in a small saucepan.  Add boneless, skinless salmon pieces to the boiling broth.  Cook until done, about 6-8 minutes, depending on the size of the salmon pieces.  Let the salmon cool then use a fork to break the salmon apart into small chunks.  You’ll need about 1 1/2 pounds of fresh salmon for this recipe.

This is an easy recipe that your kids can help with.  There is something about forming the patties that appeal to kids, or at least it appeals to my kids.  Maybe it’s because they get to “play” with food. 😉

You can find my complete recipe at the bottom of this post.  Give it a try.  I’m sure you’ll like it. 🙂

Start out by making my super-simple lemon-garlic aioli.  Mix all of the aioli ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

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Once the aioli is prepared, start making the salmon cakes.  Place all of the ingredients for the salmon cakes into a medium-sized mixing bowl.

Salmon cake

Use a spatula to fold the ingredients together.  Be gentle…the salmon breaks apart easily.  You want to still see small chunks of salmon after mixing.

Salmon cakes

The mixture will be a little “wet.”  This is perfectly okay and is key to creating tender and juicy salmon cakes after frying.

Place the remaining panko bread crumbs into a small bowl.  Form patties out of the mixture then generously coat in bread crumbs. Place the coated salmon cake on a plate or tray; finish forming/coating the rest of the mixture.

Because the mixture is quite moist, I find that refrigerating the coated salmon cakes for about 30 minutes BEFORE frying makes them easier to lift from the plate to the frying pan.

Salmon cakes

When you’re ready to fry the cakes, place a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil on a heated non-stick skillet.  I actually prefer to use a cast-iron skillet when I make this.

Pan fry over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and crisp.

Serve with garlic aioli and ENJOY! 😀

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Salmon Cakes
 
Author:
Serves: 10-12 patties
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Savory salmon patties seasoned with cajun seasoning, topped with a delicious lemon-garlic aoili
Ingredients
Cajun Garlic Aoli
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Salmon Cakes:
  • 3 cans boneless salmon (6-oz each)
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs
  • ½ cup mayo
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 stalks green onions, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
Other:
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs, for coating
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
Instructions
Make the Aoili:
  1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside.
Make the Salmon Cakes:
  1. Drain the water out of the cans of salmon then place into a mixing bowl.
  2. Add the ingredients for the salmon cakes to the bowl. Fold the ingredients together until combined.
  3. Form the mixture into patties, coating each one with the remaining 2 cups of bread crumbs.
  4. Heat a non- stick or cast-iron pan over medium high heat. Lightly coat the pan with vegetable oil (a couple of tablespoons will do). Pan fry the salmon cakes for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Add more oil to the pan if needed.
Serve with aioli and enjoy!

 

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Baked Sushi Casserole

My family loves, LOVES, LOVES sushi.  We love both the sushi with cooked ingredients (especially those with tempura shrimp — YUM!) as well as the ones with raw fish (spicy tuna is a fave).

We especially love the sushi that is either baked or fried and is served piping hot with the saucy filling practically oozing out of the wrapper.  OMG — I’m drooling as I type this.

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Rather than make one sushi roll then bake sliced pieces, this recipe is made casserole style in a 9×13 baking dish.  Serve the baked casserole with sushi wrappers and you have a quick and easy — not to mention inexpensive (or at least not as expensive as buying sushi at a restaurant) — and delicious dish.  This is also great for potlucks too.

While you can use the large sushi wrappers with this dish, my family prefers serving it with the “snack sized” seasoned seaweed wrappers (pictured below).  You can find the smaller wrappers in the Asian aisle of most grocery stores.

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Very little preparation is needed to make this yummy casserole.  Step-by-step instructions and photos follow.  See my complete recipe at the bottom of this post.

First, chop up some imitation crab meat.

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Pre-cooked salad shrimp also cuts on the preparation time.  I prefer to chop these up as well, but you can certainly use them whole since they are rather tiny.

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Place the chopped imitation crab and shrimp into a large mixing bowl.

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Add sour cream, mayo, and furikake to the bowl.

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Furikake is a seasoning consisting of chopped seaweed, sesame seeds, sugar, and a few other spices.  It comes in different flavors; I use the “regular” furikake pictured below.  You can find this in the Asian aisle of your grocery store as well.

furikake

Stir to combine the ingredients for the shrimp and imitation crab mixture.  This is good just as it is, but sometimes I mix in a little squeeze of Sriracha sauce, or if you have it, some Kimchee Base as well to kick it up a notch.

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I love a lot of “meat” in this dish, so into the bowl goes real lump crab meat.  Sometimes the can of crab meat has a few crab shells in it, so if you see any, be sure to pick them out and discard them.

Fold the crab meat into the shrimp and imitation crab mixture.

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As I mentioned above, I love a lot of filling in this dish.  I don’t like using too much rice as I think it detracts from the deliciousness of the filling.

I cooked just two cups of rice for this recipe then spread it in the bottom of a 9×13 pan.  The rice layer is pretty thin — just how my family likes it.  If you like having more rice, by all means, cook more, and create a thicker layer.

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The entire bowl of the shrimp and crab mixture gets spread on top of the rice.  It may seem like too much, but trust me, it’s the PERFECT amount.

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Add more real crab meat to the top of the shrimp and crab mixture.  Hey, I did say I loved a lot of “meat” in this dish. 😉

If you prefer, you can add more salad shrimp instead of crab meat, or splurge and use both! 😀

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More furikake goes on top of everything.  Because I didn’t season the rice or shrimp-crab mixture, the seasoned furikake is where most of the flavor and seasoning comes from.  Do not skimp on this or your casserole will taste quite bland.

Bake for 20 minutes in a 375-degree oven.

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After baking, add as much or as little roe as you like.  We use capelin roe, or masago.  One of my children LOVES extra roe on hers.  She loves it so much that her serving looks completely orange with all the roe she adds.

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This is the brand of Capelin roe or Masago that I buy.  It’s sold frozen in our local Asian supermarket.

Masago

Serve the piping hot casserole with seasoned seaweed and ENJOY!

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Baked Sushi Casserole
 
Author:
Serves: 8
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Ingredients
Crab Mixture:
  • 12 oz imitation crab meat, finely chopped
  • 12 oz cooked salad shrimp, chopped
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup furikake
  • 1 cup real lump crab meat (I use lump claw meat)
Other Ingredients:
  • 2 cups medium grain rice, cooked
  • ½ cup real crab meat (I use lump claw meat)
  • ¼ cup furikake
  • ¼ cup seasoned capelin roe
  • Packages of seasoned seaweed wrappers, for serving with the casserole
Instructions
Make the Crab Mixture:
  1. Place the chopped imitation crab meat and chopped shrimp into a large mixing bowl. Add the mayo, sour cream, and furikake to the bowl. Stir the ingredients together.
  2. Fold the lump crab meat into the shrimp mixture. Set aside.
Layer the Sushi Casserole:
  1. Spread the cooked rice in the bottom of a 9x13 pan.
  2. Spread the crab and shrimp mixture on top of the rice.
  3. Spread the remaining lump crab meat on top of the crab-shrimp mixture.
  4. Sprinkle more furikake on top of the lump crab meat.
Finish it up:
  1. Bake the casserole for 20 minutes in a 375 degree oven.
  2. Top with roe.
  3. Serve with seasoned seaweed wrappers.
ENJOY!

 

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