Archive for Lunch

Corned Beef with Corn and Tomato Sauce

Chamorros love canned corned beef!  It’s called Latan Kåtne (canned meat) in Chamorro. Corned beef can be prepared many different ways, depending on the ingredients you have on hand.

I love to gisa (in Chamorro, this means to stir fry) corned beef with onions, garlic, and eggplant.  For another variation, try adding cabbage or fresh green beans.  My dad used to grow winged beans–this is delicious with corned beef too.  The options are virtually endless!

This is a photo of winged beans, in case you’ve never heard of them before.  Just slice them into small pieces and saute them with a can or two of corned beef; add some onions and garlic and you’ve got yourself a yummy meal.  Serve with hot white rice, of course. 🙂

winged beans

My recipe below calls for canned corn with tomato sauce.  A slight variation to this is to omit the tomato sauce entirely (follow the directions below, and omit the part where you pour in the tomato sauce).  My husband actually prefers it this way, without the tomato sauce.

Either way you make it–with or without tomato sauce–it’s delicious.

Give my recipe a try.  I think you’ll like it. 🙂

Corned Beef with Corn and Tomato Sauce

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cans corned beef
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cans whole kernel corn (15.25 oz. each), drained
  • 2 small cans tomato sauce (8 oz. each)

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Directions:

To make it easier to open, pierce the top of the corned beef can.  *Make sure to rinse the top of the can first — there can be lots of dirt or dust on it from sitting on the grocery store shelf.

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Place the corned beef into a medium sized skillet; sauté over medium high heat.

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Add the onions to the skillet.

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Add the garlic powder and black pepper.  Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.

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Add the corn.  Stir to combine.

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Pour in the tomato sauce.

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Stir to combine, then cook for a couple of minutes, just to heat the sauce and corn.

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Serve with hot white rice.  ENJOY!

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Beef Stir Fry with Mushrooms, Tomatoes, Bell Peppers and Onions

I posted a recipe a while back for another version of Beef Stir Fry (with mushrooms, onions, broccoli, eggplant and bean sprouts).  Here is another version — this time I added mushrooms (we LOVE mushrooms in our house), bell peppers, onions and diced grape tomatoes.

I didn’t make this version spicy because one of my daughters doesn’t like to eat spicy food.  However, if you like pika (hot) foods, by all means, add your favorite hot pepper to this–even dried pepper flakes are good in this.

Give my recipe a try.  I think you’ll like it.   🙂

Beef Stir Fry

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Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds thinly sliced beef
  • 1 cup diced cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 package fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Dashida beef flavored seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • Hot pepper flakes, optional

Directions:

1.  In a large frying pan, place the beef, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, bell pepper, garlic, and seasonings.  Cook over high heat until the beef is cooked.

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2.  Mix together the water, cornstarch and soy sauce.

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3.  Pour the cornstarch mixture into the frying pan; bring to a boil.  It is only when the liquid comes to a boil that the cornstarch will start to thicken.  Stir frequently, cooking until the sauce thickens.

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4.  Remove from the heat and serve over hot white rice.  ENJOY!

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Lasagne al Forno

I first made this lasagne years ago, when I lived in Germany (yes, Germany, not Italy).  There was this small family run Italian restaurant in the little German town we lived in.  Aside from the restaurants and cafés in Italy, that little Italian restaurant in Germany is the best I’ve ever been to.  It’s been over 15 years since I’ve been there, yet I have not yet found any Italian restaurant to compare to that one in Germany.

This recipe is my take on one of my favorite dishes served there.  The blend of the tomato and bechamel sauces take this pasta dish to a whole new level.  Give my recipe a try.  I think you’ll like it.  🙂 

LASAGNE AL FORNO

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 box no-bake lasagne noodles (have a 2nd box on hand in case you use a large pan)
  • Meat sauce (see below)
  • Bechamel sauce (see below)
  • 1 bag (1 pound) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan-Romano cheese blend

Lasagne al Forno ingredients

Meat Sauce:
    • 1 pound mild Italian sausage
    • 1 pound lean ground beef (you can omit this if you want your sauce less meaty)
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
    • 2 tablespoons Dashida beef flavored seasoning
    • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
    • 6 leaves fresh basil, chopped into small pieces
    • Black pepper, to taste
    • 2 29-ounce cans tomato sauce
Directions to make the Meat Sauce:

1.  Brown the sausage and ground beef.  Drain any excess fat and liquid.

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 2.  After the meat has browned, add the Dashida, onions, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and basil.

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3.  Cook until the onions are translucent. 

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4.  Add the tomato sauce to the ground meat mixture.  Stir to combine.  Simmer for 5 minutes then turn off the heat.  Set aside.

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Bechamel Sauce:
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 5-ounce bag grated Parmesan cheese
Directions to make the Bechamel Sauce:

1. In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter.

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2.  Add the flour (all at once) to the melted butter.

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3.  Use a whisk to mix the flour and butter together.  Cook over medium low heat for about 2-3 minutes.  Whisk constantly to prevent burning.

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4. Slowly whisk in the milk and cream.  Whisk vigorously to ensure there are no lumps. 

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5.  Add the grated Parmesan cheese to the milk mixture.  Turn the heat up to medium high. Continue whisking; cook until the cheese melts and the sauce thickens.

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You know the sauce is thick enough when you dip a spoon into it, run your finger down the spoon, and you leave a line down the spoon that doesn’t disappear with runny sauce.

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6.  Add the grated nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste.  Turn the heat off and set the sauce aside.  NOTE:  This sauce is EXCELLENT for fettuccine alfredo.  🙂

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Assemble the Lasagne al Forno:

1. Using a large lasagne pan, or a deep dish baking/roasting pan, spread a thin layer of meat sauce on the bottom of the pan.

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2.  Add a layer of noodles.  Don’t worry about filling in the spaces with noodles; these no-cook noodles will expand during the baking process.

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3.  Pour some bechamel sauce over the noodles, just enough to cover the noodles.

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4.  Sprinkle shredded and grated cheese over the bechamel sauce.  Top with another layer of noodles.

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5.  Repeat the layering process — meat sauce, noodles, bechamel sauce, cheese, noodles — until you’ve used up all of your sauce and/or noodles.  The last layer (on top) should be bechamel sauce topped with cheese.

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6.  Heat the oven to 375 degrees.  Place the pan of lasagne on top of a large baking sheet.  Cover the pan of lasagne with aluminum foil.  Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. 

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7.  After 25 minutes, remove the aluminum foil.  Turn the oven to Broil — continue to bake the lasagne for 5 more minutes to brown the cheese on top.

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8.  Once the cheese has browned, remove the pan from the oven.  Before serving, let the lasagne sit for at least 15 minutes (don’t worry, it will still be hot) to allow the sauces to set.  If you serve immediately after removing the lasagne from the oven, the sauces will run all over the place (it will still taste delicious, but your presentation won’t be as “pretty”).  Serve with your favorite crusty bread and ENJOY!  🙂

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Homemade Beer Chili

Homemade chili such a versatile dish that can be changed up depending on the ingredients you add.

My family’s favorite is chili made with ground beef, but we also love white chicken chili and chili made with ground chuck (or cut into small pieces) and cooked in a pressure cooker.

It’s not only versatile in how it’s prepared, but how you serve it too.  Of course, being Chamorro, we love eating steaming hot chili with freshly cooked white rice.  We also love it served with chips–our favorites being Doritos or Fritos–or heaped onto a baked potato with a generous amount of shredded cheddar cheese sprinkled on top.

However you serve it, it’s delicious.

My recipe contains some unusual ingredients–my “secret” ingredients.  (Shhhh….don’t tell anyone.)  🙂

Among my treasure trove of secrets in this recipe, I add an entire 12-ounce bottle of beer–YES, BEER.  I like using ale in this recipe, but by all means, use your favorite beer or whatever you have on hand.  Don’t worry, though–all of the alcohol gets cooked out, leaving behind only a hint of beer, imparting a new dimension of flavor that will leave your friends wondering what you put in it.

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I also add about a cup of crushed tortilla chips.  This serves as a thickening agent without adding flours or starches to the chili.  Add more chips for a thicker chili.  I think I used about 5 or 6 handfuls of chips to get a cup’s worth of crushed chips.  Just put the chips in a bowl and smash it with your hands.

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Give my recipe a try–I think you’ll like it.  🙂

Click on the thumbnail photos below to open up a full-sized photo.

Homemade Beer Chili
 
This is a hearty and very tasty chili that contains my "secret" ingredients that are sure to make you come back for more!
Ingredients
  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 6 tablespoon Dashida beef flavored seasoning
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 12 oz beer
  • 3½ tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 can (28-oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (28-oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup crushed tortilla chips
  • 2 can (15.5-oz) white kidney beans
  • 2 can (16-oz) dark red kidney beans
  • 4 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • salt and black pepper
  • jalapeño peppers
Instructions
  1. Place the ground beef in a large pot. Add the Dashida; stir.
  2. Add the onions to the pot.
  3. Cook over medium high heat until the meat has browned. I like using this utensil from Pampered Chef -- it's used to break up the ground beef into smaller pieces as you cook it (I switch to a cooking spoon after the meat has browned).
  4. Pour in the beer. I like using a good ale, but you can use your favorite beer. Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil. Stir occasionally. Keep the heat on high until the liquid in the pot has dried down and the alcohol has cooked out.
  5. Add the chili powder. Stir to combine.
  6. Add the paprika. Stir to combine.
  7. Add both cans of tomatoes (crushed and diced) to the pot. Stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium.
  8. Add the crushed tortilla chips to the pot. Stir to combine.
  9. Add the beans and stir. Keep the heat at medium; cook, uncovered, until the mixture returns to a boil. The crushed chips should have softened and dissolved into the mixture by now, thickening it up quite a bit.
  10. Add the Parmesan cheese; stir. I like adding grated cheese to this recipe. It adds a bit of saltiness and gives it added depth of flavor.
  11. Add the brown sugar; stir. The brown sugar adds another layer of flavor in my recipe. I find it also balances the saltiness from the Dashida and grated Parmesan cheese, as well as compliments the spiciness from any added chili peppers (optional).
  12. At this point, you can stir as much hot chili peppers you like. My kids don't like spicy chili so I don't add it.
  13. Serve over hot rice, or in a bowl with a side of your favorite chips (we like Fritos or Doritos with this). Enjoy!

 

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Japchae (or Chapchae), Korean Stir-fried Noodles with Vegetables

I love Korean food.  Japchae is one of my favorites because it has noodles, beef, and a lot of my favorite vegetables like mushrooms, onions, carrots and spinach leaves.

During my first tour to Korea (I served there twice), I remember ordering Japchae and rice from the Korean place on base.  About 15 minutes after placing my telephone order, I’d listen intently for the revving of the Adashi’s moped as he tried to climb the hill to my BOQ (Bachelor Officer’s Quarters).  The sound of the overworked moped meant dinner was about to be served!

This is a quick dish to make, but as my former Korean nanny told me, there is an art to putting it together.  The ingredients must be layered, then gently mixed (by hand) to evenly distribute them without mashing anything.  This is how I make my japchae all the time–cooking each type of ingredient separately (the meat is cooked separate from the vegetables) then layered and mixed.  It is, after all, how Ajima did it, and that’s how it shall be done.

The japchae pictured below was actually cooked by my teenaged daughter.  She whipped it up so quickly that she forgot to take photos of the step-by-step process.

We WILL make this again, however.  When we do, I’ll be sure to take photos of each step and update this recipe.

Don’t let that stop you from making this dish.  It’s so easy–if my teenager can do it, so can you.  Give it a try.  I know you’ll like it.

ENJOY!

JAPCHAE

Japchae

Japchae

 

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 pounds beef, sliced thinly
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 small bag of carrots, pre-cut into strips (or 1 large carrot, julienned)
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 package button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 package shitake mushrooms, sliced (see note below)
  • 1 bag of fresh spinach leaves
  • 10 stalks green onions, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 bag Korean vermicelli (sometimes called starch noodles, glass noodles or sweet potato noodles), called Dangmyun in Korean

This is what one brand of Dangmyun looks like:

dangmyung

I also use this brand a lot:

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NOTE:  If you’re using dried shitake mushrooms, soak them in a bowl of warm water until soft.  Squeeze all the water out of the rehydrated mushrooms then slice thinly.

 

DIRECTIONS:

1.  Fill a large pot half-full with water and bring to a boil.  Add the bag of vermicelli noodles.  Cook for 4 minutes or until the noodles are soft. Drain then place in a large mixing bowl.

2.  In a large pan or wok, place the beef, sugar, soy sauce and 2 tablespoons sesame oil.  Stir fry over medium heat until the meat is done.  Stir often to prevent scorching.  Remove the meat from the pan when it’s cooked through; place it in the large mixing bowl, on top of the noodles.  Leave any sauce or drippings in the pan.

3.  Add 2 tablespoons of sesame oil to the pan.  Add the carrots and onions.  Stir fry over medium heat until the carrots are slightly wilted and the onions have begun to caramelize.  Once done, remove from the pan and add to the mixing bowl, on top of the cooked meat.

4.  Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sesame oil to the pan along with both types of mushrooms.  Stir fry for a couple of minutes until the mushrooms have wilted and browned.  Add in the spinach leaves and green onions.  Cook for another couple of minutes, just until the spinach leaves have wilted slightly.  Remove from the pan and add to the mixing bowl, on top of everything else.

5.  Using your impeccably clean hands (I wear cooking gloves–you can buy this in any drug store; they’re the thin, plastic, disposable kind), mix all of the ingredients together.

6.  Do a taste test — if you think it needs more soy sauce or needs a little more sugar, add it in at this time, then mix some more.

7.  Serve as a meal, or alongside Korean BBQ Short ribs (or Galbi, in Korean).  Enjoy!

Japchae

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