Archive for MEAT

Ham Hocks with Mongo (Mung) Beans

Ham hocks and beans go so well together.  For those who’ve never heard of it before, a ham hock is the pork knuckle and is usually salt-cured and smoked. It’s typically cooked long and slow until tender, with added beans and broth for the ultimate comfort food.

The Chamorro way to cook this is with mongo (or mung) beans and coconut milk. (Read below for what my grandmother and mom think about this addition. 😁)

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

HAM HOCKS WITH MONGO (MUNG) BEANS

 

You’ll need:

Mongo Beans:

  • 1 bag mung beans
  • 1 tablespoon Dashida seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Water (initially, 2 inches above the level of beans)

 

Ham Hocks:

  • 1 package ham hocks (smoked, if you can find it), about 3-4 large pieces in a package
  • Water
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 package achote powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke (omit if you are using smoked ham hocks)
  • 1 can coconut milk

 

You can find my full, printable recipe at the bottom of this page.

 

The first thing we need to is prepare the mung beans.  Ideally you’ll do this the day before you intend to cook your ham hocks.

Place the dry beans in a medium sized bowl.

 

Add water and soak overnight.  Make sure to add enough water to go at least 2 inches above the beans.

 

The next morning, pour out the soaking water, if any is left. Rinse once more and drain.

Look how plump the beans have become after soaking in all that water overnight.

 

Add the mung beans to a medium sauce pan. Add more water, enough for it to reach about 2” above the beans.  Stir in the dashida, onion powder, garlic powder, and black pepper.

 

Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low.  Simmer (covered) until the beans have softened, about 1 hour, stirring periodically. Add more water if required (you don’t want the beans cooking “dry”). Note: you should not need to add more water if you’ve soaked the beans overnight.

This is what the beans look like after one hour of cooking.  Remove the pot from the heat and set the beans aside.  The beans will not be not fully cooked at this point.  It will continue cooking with the ham hocks later.

 

Place the ham hocks in a large pot.

Note: Smoked ham hocks are usually what’s used for this dish.  However, I could only find “regular, uncooked/raw” ham hocks.  I will make a note of recipe adjustments where required for when using smoked ham hocks.

 

Add water until the ham hocks are submerged.  

 

Bring to a boil and cook for 30 minutes. Drain the water, being careful not to burn yourself.  Don’t worry about seasoning the water at this point since the intent is to cook off a lot of the fat beneath the skin as well as to tenderize the meat.

 

Repeat the previous step once more (add water, bring to a boil, cook, drain).

 

After you’ve drained the cooking water, this is what the ham hocks should look like.  This is optional, but I like to cut the ham hocks into smaller pieces and discard the thick skin.  Place the cut pieces back into the pot.

 

Add the diced onions, soy sauce, vinegar, black pepper and liquid smoke.  If you’re using smoked ham hocks, omit the liquid smoke.

 

Cook the ham hocks as if you’re cooking estufao.  Cook until the liquid has reduced—you want a relatively dry pot (no or not too much gravy/kådu).  This should take about 10-15 minutes over medium-low heat.

 

When the liquid has dried down, add more water (as much water for the amount of kådu you want, but keep in mind that you’ll be adding coconut milk and the cooked mung beans got the pot as well).  I added 3 cups of water.

 

Turn the heat up to medium; cook for a few minutes, just long enough for the water to heat up (achote powder dissolves better in hot liquid).  Add the achote powder, stirring until it dissolves in the liquid.

 

Add the partially cooked mung beans to the pot.  Taste and adjust your seasonings at this point.  I added a tiny bit more salt as the ham hocks I used were not smoked and needed a bit more flavor.

Turn the heat down to low.  Simmer for 45 more minutes to one hour, or until the ham hocks are tender.  If you want to cut down on the cooking time, you can transfer the mixture to a pressure cooker at this point.  I like to cook this the slower stovetop method as I can periodically check to see if I need to add more water if it’s drying down too much.  Speaking of which, if your mixture is drying down too much during this last hour of cooking, add some water, about a half cup at a time.  Don’t forget that toward the end of the cooking time, you’ll be adding more liquid in the form of coconut milk.

 

When the ham hocks are tender enough to your liking, stir in the coconut milk.

My grandmother and mother never added coconut milk to their ham hock kådu.  My grandmother always said you don’t eat pork with coconut milk.  I rather like it myself. 😉

 

Serve with hot steamed rice and enjoy!

 

Ham Hocks with Mongo (Mung) Beans
 
Author:
Ingredients
Mongo Beans:
  • 1 bag mung beans
  • 1 tablespoon Dashida seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Water (initially, 2 inches above the level of beans)
Ham Hocks:
  • 1 package ham hocks (smoked, if you can find it), about 3-4 large pieces in a package
  • Water
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 package achote powder
  • ½ teaspoon liquid smoke (omit if you are using smoked ham hocks)
  • 1 can coconut milk
Instructions
Mongo Beans:
  1. Place the beans in a medium sized bowl. Add water to 2 inches above beans and soak overnight. The next morning, pour out any remaining soaking water. Rinse the beans and drain.
  2. Place the soaked beans in a medium sized pot. Add more water, again up to 2 inches above the beans. Bring to a boil then simmer (covered) for one hour. Add more water if required. Note: you shouldn’t need to add more water if you’ve soaked the beans overnight.
Ham Hocks:
  1. Place the ham hocks in a large pot. Add water to cover the ham hocks. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 minutes. Drain the water.
  2. Repeat once more (add water, cook 30 minutes, drain).
  3. Cut the ham hocks into smaller pieces and return to the pot.
  4. Add diced onions and garlic to the pot, as well as the soy sauce, vinegar and black pepper. Add liquid smoke if you are not using smoked ham hocks.
  5. Cook over medium-low heat until the liquid has dried down.
  6. Add more water (add as much as you’d like for a soup) to the pot (I added 3 cups of water). Cook for a few minutes to allow the water to heat up.
  7. Add the achote powder; stir until the powder dissolves in the water.
  8. Add the mung beans to the pot. Taste and adjust your seasonings.
  9. Reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 45 minutes to one hour, or until the ham hocks are tender. Add water periodically if the liquid is drying down too much.
  10. Stir in the coconut milk when the ham hocks are tender.
Serve with steamed rice and enjoy!

 

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Chicken Thighs with Honey Mustard Garlic Wine Sauce

Hafa Adai!  I know, I know…it’s been a while since I added a new recipe.  But this one is worth the wait, trust me.  I made this with skin on, bone in thighs, but you can use boneless, skinless thighs as well, just reduce the cooking time by half. 

 

I’ll get right to it then.

Mix all the sauce ingredients together then set aside.  You can use any white wine you like to drink. I had just enough moscato leftover from Thanksgiving (leftover moscato…what? 😂) so I used that.

Heat 4 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. (Note: don’t overcrowd the chicken; use two pans if needed.)  Cook the chicken skin side down for 12 minutes (do not turn it while cooking; you want the skin to brown and crisp).  Season the other side of the chicken thighs with salt and black pepper. 

If you’re using boneless, skinless thighs, cook it smooth side down, or what would have been skin side.  Cook for 5-8 minutes or until a nice brown crust has formed on the surface.

After 12 minutes, flip the chicken over. If you have a large enough pan, fit all the chicken into one pan. Otherwise, split the sauce between the two pans.  Cook for 2 minutes over medium high heat then pour in the sauce. 

Turn heat down to medium.  Simmer for 10 minutes or until the sauce has reduced, the alcohol has cooked out, and the thighs are done. 

Spoon the sauce all over the chicken. Serve with rice or potatoes, and/or steamed vegetables. 

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

Enjoy!

 

Chicken Thighs with Honey Mustard Garlic Wine Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Serves: 5-8
Ingredients
  • 1 pkg (10 pieces thighs with skin and bone)
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
    Sauce:
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup stone ground mustard
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
Instructions
  1. Mix all the sauce ingredients together then set aside.
  2. Heat 4 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. (Note: don’t overcrowd the chicken; use two pans if needed.) Cook the chicken skin side down for 12 minutes (do not turn it while cooking; you want the skin to brown and crisp). Season the other side of the chicken thighs with salt and black pepper.
  3. After 12 mins, flip the chicken over (they may all fit in one pan now). Cook for 2 mins over medium high heat then pour in the sauce.
  4. Turn heat down to medium. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the sauce has reduced, the alcohol has cooked out, and the thighs are done.
  5. Spoon sauce all over the chicken. Serve with rice or potatoes, and/or steamed vegetables.

 

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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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Tender and Juicy Burgers

I love grilled ribs and steaks, but occasionally I crave a really good, juicy burger.

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I’m not talking about those flat, plain, frozen patties you can buy in bulk, and taste like cardboard after cooking.  Rather, I’m talking about thick, juicy and tender burgers packed full of flavor.

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My family and I are trying to eat healthier, so I created this burger that added quality (and healthy) ingredients without sacrificing flavor.

You can find my complete recipe at the bottom of this post.  For THMs, this is an “S” recipe.

To start off, I used lean grass-fed beef.  Now, this can be a bit pricey, so if this is not an option for you (or if you can’t find grass-fed beef in your grocery store), use “regular” ground beef.  I also used 98% lean beef in this recipe.  Now, I know what you’re thinking — how can beef that lean make juicy burgers?  Well, read on and I’ll tell you.  In the meantime, place the ground beef into a large mixing bowl.

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Most people start off with beef that’s no less than 85% lean (that means that 15% of what you buy is GROUND FAT).  Additionally, something called a panade — a mixture of bread and milk used to keep the cooked meat tender — is also added to the mixture.

Not in my kitchen.  Some fat is okay, but I still stick to no less than 95% lean when I buy ground beef.  98% lean is even better.

The juiciness come from my secret ingredient (shhhh…don’t tell anyone).  I add low-fat, part skim mozzarella cheese…yes, cheese…to the mix.  Don’t worry…if you’re mentally counting the fat and carb numbers in your head right now, I’ll save you the trouble.  Adding part skim mozzarella cheese to my recipe only adds <1g of carbs and 4.5g of fat per serving (one burger). 🙂

I like adding lots of flavor in the form of herbs, spices and vegetables.  I usually use whatever is in my fridge and pantry at the time, but the staples are diced onions (I used red here, but white or yellow onions are fine), garlic, black pepper, and an egg (use one egg for two pounds of beef).  Today, I also added onion powder, Italian seasoning, and rather than salt, I used a few tablespoons of powdered beef bouillon (look for one that has <1g of carbs per serving).  I also added a finely diced yellow bell pepper.

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There’s no good way to mix this using a utensil, so wash your hands, use that elbow grease and get right in there.  Mix, mix, mix.

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Separate the mixture into eight large meatballs.

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These are ready right now, as is, to flatten and cook.  However, by my count, I’ve added just a little more than 2g of carbs per burger with the addition of part skim mozzarella and beef bouillon, so I’m thinking we can afford one more gram of carb per burger.

Can you guess what that’ll be?  Yes!!  MORE cheese!  (I love cheese, if you haven’t figured that out yet.)  Not just ANY cheese, mind you, but Creamy Light Laughing Cow brand cheese.  It adds just one more teeny, tiny gram of carbohydrates to the burger, so we’re up to 3g now…still within “safe” numbers per serving (and these make HUGE burgers).

Take one meatball and make an indentation in the middle with your thumb.

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Make the indentation large enough to fit one wedge of Light Laughing Cow cheese.  Don’t make the bottom or sides too thin or the cheese will ooze out when you cook the burger.  You can leave the wedge like this but I recommend pressing it and spreading it out within the indentation you just made.

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Cover the cheese with the mixture, smoothing all around the sides to ensure the cheese is well-sealed within.

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Because of the low fat content in the ground beef, these burgers don’t shrink much during cooking.  However, slightly flatten it before cooking.  Cook on a hot grill pan over medium-high heat, about 5-8 minutes on each side.

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The burgers are done when clear juices start oozing out.  Do NOT poke or stab the burgers to check for clear juices…that will make your burgers dry out.  Slightly press the top of the burger with your finger; it’s done if the burger feels slightly firm when you press on it.

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Top with your favorite burger add-ons such as sliced avocado, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, mayo, mustard, and bacon (hey, we cut back on fat so a little bacon won’t hurt). 🙂

Dig in and ENJOY!

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In case you’re wondering what type of bun that is in the photo above, it’s my gluten free, “Bun in a Bowl”.  You can find my recipe for it here.  For THMs, it’s an “S” recipe.

 

Tender and Juicy Burgers
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds 98% lean ground beef
  • ½ red onion, finely diced
  • 1 bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 cup finely shredded, part skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 3 tablespoons powdered beef bouillon
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 8 wedges Light Swiss Laughing Cow Cheese (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place the ground beef into a large mixing bowl. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, mozzarella cheese, Italian seasoning, onion powder, beef bouillon, black pepper, and egg. Mix well. Separate into eight large meatballs.
  2. Make a small indentation in the middle of one meatball. Place one wedge of Laughing Cow cheese. Smooth the meat mixture around the cheese, sealing it in. Repeat for the remaining meatballs.
  3. Slightly flatten each ball into a burger patty. Cook in a grill pan over medium-high heat, about 5-8 minutes on each side, or until nicely browned all around.
Serve with your favorite burger add-ons and ENJOY!

 

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Thai BBQ Pork

My Thai BBQ Pork is one recipe you’ll definitely want to try.  The secret is really in the marinade and basting sauce.  Cilantro, soy sauce, lots of garlic and fish sauce form the base for this yummy marinade.  Lime juice not only adds wonderful flavor to the meat, but the acid also serves to break down the meat, allowing the marinade to work its magic.

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The basting sauce, a mixture of rich coconut milk and some of the reserved marinade mixture gives you an added layer of flavor.  The heat from the grill caramelizes the basting sauce as the meat cooks, creating beautifully browned and juicy pork with a slightly sweet and savory coating.

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Now that I’ve got you drooling, here’s how to do it.

Place the cilantro (leaves AND stems) and garlic in a food processor along with the soy sauce.  You’ll need the liquid in there to help break down the cilantro.

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Pulse or grind the mixture until your mixture looks like the photo below.  You want the cilantro chopped as finely as possible.

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Place the cilantro mixture into a large bowl or pan.  Add the rest of the marinade ingredients to the bowl, stirring to combine it all.

Remove about 1/4 cup of the marinade mixture; place it into a small bowl along with coconut milk. This will be your basting sauce.

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Place the pork into the marinade.  Use your favorite cut of pork, but make sure you use something that has some fat; lean pork will dry out too quickly for this dish.  I like using pork shoulder or pork butt, cut into strips or cubes (for shish kabobs).  Let the pork marinate for 2 or 3 hours, longer if desired.  Keep the mixture refrigerated if you don’t plan on grilling this right away.

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To make shish kabobs, place several pieces of cubed pork onto a skewer.  I have metal skewers so there’s no soaking required.  If you use bamboo or wooden skewers, be sure to soak the skewers for several hours (overnight is good too) before grilling.

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Skewer the meat AFTER it’s been marinated.

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Place on a hot grill and baste immediately.

Grill the meat over relatively high heat.  I have a Traeger grill that has a temperature gauge built into it.  I grilled this at 325 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours, basting and turning every 15 minutes.

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Turn the meat over occasionally, basting each time.

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The coconut milk mixed with the reserved marinade caramelizes into a lip-smacking coating that will have you oooh-ing and ahhh-ing (trust me, it’s that yummy). 🙂

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I know some people who absolutely won’t eat charred BBQ, but that little piece of charred goodness in the photo below was TO-DIE-FOR-delicious!!!

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Mmmmmm…soooo good served with hot steamed white rice and fina’denne’.

The next time I make this, I’m going to make just a little bit more marinade, reserving some to use as a dipping sauce when the pork is done.

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

 

Thai BBQ Pork
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup fish sauce (I like Three Crabs brand)
  • ½ cup lime juice
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 4 pounds pork (preferably boneless pork shoulder), cut into strips or cubes
Instructions
Make the Marinade:
  1. Place the cilantro, soy sauce and garlic in a food processor. Pulse until well blended. Pour the mixture into a large bowl or pan.
  2. Add the brown sugar, fish sauce, and lemon juice to the cilantro mixture. Stir to mix the ingredients together.
Make the Basting Sauce:
  1. Remove ¼ cup of the marinade mixture and place into a small bowl. Add the coconut milk; mix to combine and set aside.
Grill the Meat:
  1. Place the meat in the marinade mixture. Let the meat marinate for 2 to 3 hours (longer if you like, but refrigerate the mixture).
  2. Place the meat on the grill. Immediately baste with the reserved coconut basting sauce. Turn the meat occasionally, basting each time. Stop basting when
  3. Grill until the meat is done and nicely caramelized.
Serve and ENJOY!

 

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