Archive for MEAT

Chicken ala King

Chicken ala King is a classic comfort dish.

Growing up, chicken ala king was usually served at rosaries, after the prayers were completed, of course.  It was chicken ala king, beef vegetable soup with glass noodles or long rice, rosketti, and custard pie that I remember being served most often after rosaries.

Now you don’t have to wait for those somber occasions to enjoy this comfort meal.  My recipe and step-by-step photos show how easy it is to prepare yourself.

My daughter calls it chicken pot pie without the crust.  I wouldn’t say it’s quite like chicken pot pie, however.  I think it’s BETTER than chicken pot pie.  Who agrees with me?  Give my recipe a try and I think you’ll agree too.  🙂

CHICKEN ALA KING

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MAKE THE FILLING:

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INGREDIENTS FOR THE FILLING:

    • 2 chicken breasts
    • 5 tablespoons butter
    • 1 medium onion, diced
    • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
    • 3 to 4 tablespoons powdered chicken bouillon, more or less to taste
    • 2 cups flour
    • 3 cups water
    • 2 cups heavy cream
    • 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
    • 2 16-ounce bags frozen corn
    • 2 12-ounce bags frozen peas and carrots
    • 4 hard boiled eggs, chopped

This is what heavy cream looks like. You can find it in the dairy section of your grocery store.

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DIRECTIONS:

1.  Cut the chicken breasts into very small pieces then place into a large soup pot.

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2.  Add the butter, garlic and chopped onions to the pot.  Cook over medium high heat until the chicken is done.  Add in the powdered chicken bouillon.  Stir to combine.

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This is the powdered chicken bouillon I use.  You can find it in most grocery stores.

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3.  Reduce the heat to medium.  Add the flour all at once; stir.

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4.  Pour in the water, stirring vigorously to prevent lumps from forming — the mixture should be very thick at this point.  Mix in the heavy cream and evaporated milk.  Keep stirring until there are no more lumps.

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5.  Stir in the frozen corn, peas and carrots.  Bring the mixture back to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Cook over medium high heat until the mixture has thickened once again.

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6.  After the mixture has thickened, stir in the chopped eggs.  Pour the filling into the pastry shells and enjoy!

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MAKE THE SHELLS:

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INGREDIENTS FOR THE SHELLS:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

DIRECTIONS:

1.  In a shallow bowl, beat the two eggs.  Mix in the milk and water.

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2.  Mix in the flour, corn starch, sugar, salt and garlic powder.

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3.  Whisk until there are no more lumps.  The batter should be the consistency of pancake batter.

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4.  Place the molds in the oil while the oil is heating up.

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5.  When the oil and molds are hot, lift the molds out of the oil.  Let as much of the oil drip off as possible (if you still have oil on the molds, the batter won’t stick to it).  Dip the molds into the batter, but careful not to submerge the molds.  Dip the molds only to just below the rim (if the batter goes over the rim, it won’t release into the hot oil).

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6.  Lift the molds up out of the batter.  Allow any excess batter to drip off.

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7.  Place the batter-covered molds into the hot oil.

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8.  Keep the molds submerged in the oil for about a minute or so — the shells/cups should drop right off the molds all by themselves.  If they don’t drop off by themselves, use a chopstick or fork to nudge the shell/cup off the mold.

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9.  Lift the molds out of the oil.  Fry the shells/cups until golden brown.  Remove from the oil and place in a metal colander to drip off any excess oil.

NOTE:  The molds must be hot before dipping them in batter.  If the molds have cooled off (while you’re waiting for a batch of cups to fry), dip them back in the hot oil to reheat then repeat the process again.

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10.  Let the shells/cups cool then fill with Chicken ala King and enjoy!

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“Crack” Chicken

When I was stationed in Korea a few years ago, my family and I used to frequent a fried chicken place that served the most delicious chicken wings.

The menu included spicy (mouth on fire) wings, plain, but our favorite had a garlic-soy glaze on it.  They were so good (and addicting) that my friends and kids nicknamed it “crack chicken”.  🙂

This is my version of those wings.  A word of warning — it’s HEAVY on the garlic (just the way I like it).

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

“CRACK” CHICKEN

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INGREDIENTS FOR THE FRIED CHICKEN:

  • 5 pounds chicken wings (I like drummettes)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup corn starch
  • 4 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup water
  • oil, for frying

INGREDIENTS FOR THE SAUCE:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 cups loosely packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped (use 10 cloves if you LOVE garlic like I do)
  • 4 tablespoons corn starch
  • Optional: Pepper flakes

Cooking Instructions:

Make the Sauce:

1. Place the sauce ingredients (except for the cornstarch and 1/2 cup of the water) into a medium sized sauce pan; whisk to combine. Optional: Add pepper flakes (omit if you do not want your sauce to be spicy).

2. Cook over medium high heat until the mixture begins to boil. Reduce the heat to low; continue to cook at a low simmer, about 15 minutes. Turn the heat off and set the sauce aside.

3. When the chicken wings are done, reheat the sauce, bringing it back up to a boil. Mix together the cornstarch and 1/2 cup water; whisk into the boiling sauce. Bring the sauce back up to a boil; the sauce should begin to thicken. Cook for an additional 2 minutes then pour over the fried chicken.

Batter the Chicken:

1. Rinse the chicken. Place in a large mixing bowl.

2. Into the mixing bowl, add the ingredients for the fried chicken: salt, black pepper, eggs, garlic powder, flour, corn starch, and water. Using your hands, mix the chicken and the rest of the ingredients together. After mixing, the chicken should be fully covered in a thick batter.

Fry the Chicken (1st Frying):

1. Place the oil in a large frying pan or wok. Heat the oil over medium high heat, to about 375 degrees.

2. Carefully drop the chicken into the hot oil. Do not overcrowd the pan (the chicken needs room to cook).

3. Let the chicken cook for about 5 minutes on each side.

4. For the first frying, fry for a total of 10 minutes. Remove from the oil and drain in a metal colander. Set aside and continue to fry the remaining chicken. After all the chicken pieces have been fried for the first time, it is time for the 2nd frying. The 2nd frying will make the wings extra crispy and golden brown.

Fry the Chicken (2nd Frying):

1. This step goes much quicker. For the second frying, it’s okay to overcrowd the pan. Place as many chicken wings into the hot oil as can fit. My pan fit about 12 wings for the first frying; for the second frying, I placed about 18 wings into the pan.

2. For the second frying, fry for about 8 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oil and drain in a metal colander. *See the difference in coloring between the first and second frying in the photo attached to this recipe.

3. When all the wings have been fried for the second time, place in a large mixing bowl. Pour the prepared sticky sauce over the chicken.

Garnish and Serve:

1. After pouring the sauce over the chicken, gently stir to ensure each wing is generously coated with the sticky sauce.

2. Optional: sprinkle pepper flakes and toasted sesame seeds over the chicken.

3. Serve with hot rice and ENJOY! It’s so good, you’ll be addicted to it!

 

The photos below illustrate my step-by-step process.  I hope this makes it easier to understand.  Give it a try and let me know how you like it.  🙂

1 - Crack Chicken

2 - Fried Chicken Ingredients

3 - Sauce Ingredients

4 - Make the Sauce

5 - Batter the Chicken

6 - First Frying

Oops!  # 4 (above) should read, “fry for a total of 10 minutes” (not 8).

 

7 - Second Frying

8 - Garnish and Serve

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Korean Lettuce Wraps (Ssambap)

When my family and I lived in Seoul, we had a favorite restaurant that was nestled along the Han River.  Like many Korean BBQ restaurants, this one served the popular dishes, Ssamgyeopsal (BBQ pork belly), Bulgogi, Galbi, Denjang Chigae, Yukejang, Kimchi Chigae, and another one of my favorites — Ssambap, or lettuce wraps, or what foreigners call Beef and Leaf.

This is delicious with just the lettuce leaf stuffed with rice, the meat of choice (I’m using bulgogi in this recipe), and ssamjang, but it’s also delicious with a piece of grilled garlic, a slice of grilled hot green peppers, and a piece of kimchi all wrapped in a neat little package — or as little as you can make it with all of that stuffed into the lettuce leaf.

During my first tour to Korea over a decade ago, a Korean officer told me that to be “polite”, one must never wrap more than what can be stuffed into your mouth in one bite-sized serving.

But to do that, you can’t wrap as much “stuff” (kimchi, garlic, pepper, meat, rice, etc) into it without having your cheeks bulge out for being so full.

Try as I might to make these into small lettuce wraps, I always end up taking two or three bites with one little package.  I guess this is okay if you’re making this at home.  And make this at home is a must — it’s so delicious that you cannot overlook this dish.  A word or warning, though.  If you add grilled garlic to this, I advise you to make this on a Friday so that you have all weekend to get the smell out of your pores by the time you have to go to work on Monday.

It’s either that or invite your entire office staff to your house for dinner so that you can ALL smell the same for the next couple of days!  🙂

All kidding aside, this is a very simple dish to make.  Give it a try — I know you’ll like it.  🙂

Enjoy!

 

KOREAN LETTUCE WRAPS (SSAMBAP)

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INGREDIENTS:

Bulgogi:

  • 2 pounds lean beef, cut into strips
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic

Ssamjang:

  • 1/2 cup Korean pepper paste, or Gochujang
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Sesame seeds
  • Optional:  1 stalk green onions, sliced thinly

 Other Ingredients:

  • 1 head of green, leafy lettuce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil, for stir frying the bulgogi
  • Cooked white rice
DIRECTIONS:

1.  Place the beef into a ziplock bag.  Add the rest of the ingredients.  Seal the bag; allow the meat to marinate for a couple of hours.

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2.  Place 2 tablespoons sesame oil into a large skillet.  Add the contents of the ziplock bag — the meat and marinade together.  Cook over medium high heat until the meat is done and the sauce has thickened.

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3.  In a small bowl, mix together all of the ingredients for the ssamjang.  Set aside.

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4.  Separate and rinse the lettuce leaves.  Dry with a paper towel.

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5.  Assemble the lettuce wraps.  Place a lettuce leaf on a plate.  Add rice, bulgogi, and ssamjang.  Optional:  add a piece of kimchi.  Roll up into a little package or wrap, eat, and ENJOY!

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Musubi

I am so happy to be FINALLY writing this post!  Not just because I love musubi, but because it’s my inaugural SPAM post!!!  (Applause, applause, LOL)

I love SPAM!  If you’re from Guam, chances are you love spam too.  If not, well, don’t criticize until you try it.

This reminds me of a time when I was a young Army Captain several years ago.  I was an instructor at the time, and our unit took the students out for a week-long field training exercise.  Being the good Chamorro that I am, I did NOT pack any MREs (meals, ready to eat).  Instead, I packed some pan-de-leche and SPAM!  🙂  My students knew I brought Spam to the field.  Their reaction was, “Ewwww!  Spam!  No thank you!  Never in a million years would we eat SPAM!  They wouldn’t dare corrupt their bodies with SPAM!”  I told them they didn’t know what they were missing.  My NCO (non-commissioned officer) brought along a field stove and later that evening, we fried up some spam and made sandwiches with the pan-de-leche.  As the spam was cooking, we heard some trampling in the bushes–soon, a couple of our students showed up, asking what it was they were smelling.  I asked why–they replied, “It smells GOOOOD!!”  Of course, being the good instructor I was, I told them I wouldn’t DARE corrupt their bodies with my delicious fried SPAM……….and my NCO and I promptly ate the last few sandwiches in front of them.  😉

Now, back to the important stuff…MUSUBI!

Musubi is a popular snack, not just on Guam, but in Hawaii as well.  Sometimes you’ll hear it referred to as Spam Sushi.

It’s made of a slice of spam that’s been grilled, then topped with rice and wrapped in nori seaweed wrapper.

I like to soak the fried spam in a sweet soy sauce mixture before assembling the musubi.  The sweet-saltiness of the spam takes this to a whole new level.

The photos below show my step-by-step process for making Spam Musubi.  If you’ve never tried it, now’s the time.

I just remembered ANOTHER story about Spam…one where I won a radio contest…but I’ll save that for another Spam recipe post.  In the meantime, make some Musubi.  Or, just fry up some Spam and serve it with hot white rice, fina’denne’ and some kimchi.  Mmm Mmm Good!

SPAM MUSUBI

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My OFFICIAL TASTE TESTER, my 11 yo daughter, Alyssa.  🙂

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Be creative!  You can make Musubi with any type of filling.  I used Chicken Kelaguen to make the musubi pictured below.

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Beef Stir Fry with Eggplant, Mushrooms and Bean Sprouts

Beef…it’s what’s for dinner.  🙂  I love that commercialized tag line.

Beef stir fry is another one of those versatile dishes that you can change by adding different vegetables.  I like using whatever looks freshest at the grocery store.  Use whatever vegetables you like, or modify this further by substituting the beef with chicken, pork, or even shrimp!  You can even make this a vegetarian dish by stir frying firm tofu in place of the beef.  The options are virtually endless.

Beef Stir Fry

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds thinly sliced beef
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon accent (or aji), optional
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into small pieces
  • 2 medium Japanese eggplants, sliced
  • 1 package sliced mushrooms, about 2 cups
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 4 tablespoons Korean seasoned soybean paste (see note)
  • 1 bag fresh bean sprouts

Directions:

1.  In a large pan or wok, brown the beef over high heat along with the sesame oil, black pepper, accent and garlic.

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2.  When the beef is browned, add the onions, broccoli, eggplant and mushrooms. Cook over medium high heat until the eggplant and mushrooms have wilted slightly.

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3.  In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and Korean seasoned soy bean paste. NOTE: If you can’t find the soybean paste, substitute with like amounts of hoisin sauce. Add the soy sauce mixture to the pot; stir to combine all the ingredients.

4.  Add the bean sprouts. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes until the bean sprouts have wilted only slightly.

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5.  Serve with hot rice and enjoy!

This makes enough for about 8-10 servings.

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