Grilled Plantains with a Brown Sugar Butter Glaze

I bought some plantains a little over a week ago and finally got around to making something with it today.

Unless you grow plantains in your back yard (which I don’t), you will usually buy them from the grocery store when they are still green and unripe.  There are lots of great ways to cook green plantains, but I prefer to eat them when they are sweet and ripe.

This is what they looked like when I first bought them.  Notice how green most of them are.

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The photo below shows what they look like several days later.  Plantains are ripe when the skins are a dull yellow and there are several dark brown (even black) spots on them.  The plantains below were sweet, but if I let them sit for a few more days (when there will be even more black spots), they’d be at the peak of ripeness.  I didn’t want to wait that long, however, especially since I’d planned on grilling them — I needed the plantains to be sweet but still firm enough to hold up to the heat without turning to mush.

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At this stage of ripeness, the plantains are perfect for grilling, making golai åppan aga’ (cooked with coconut milk and sugar), or making madoya (battered, fried bananas)

I’m making madoya tomorrow for breakfast (be looking out for my recipe) with a couple of the plantains.  I’m going to make golai åppan aga’ later this week with any remaining plantains.

But for tonight’s dessert, I decided on grilling them, then topping them with a brown sugar, butter and honey glaze (oh, so delicious!).

This is such a simple recipe to make.  Give it a try and let me know how you like it.  🙂

 

GRILLED PLANTAINS WITH A BROWN SUGAR BUTTER GLAZE

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 ripe plantains
  • Vegetable oil (about 4 tablespoons)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (this brings out the sweetness, believe it or not!)

DIRECTIONS:

1.  Slice the ends off the plantains then cut each plantain into thirds.  Slice each third in half, lengthwise, then remove the peels.

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2.  Place 2 tablespoons of oil in a grill pan over medium heat.  Place the plantains in an even layer on the heated grill.

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3.  While the bottom of the plantains are grilling, brush the tops with the remaining vegetable oil.  Grill for about 3 minutes, or until nice grill marks form (you can peek to check).  Flip the plantains over and grill the other side for another 3 minutes.

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4.  Meanwhile, melt the butter and honey in a microwave-safe bowl.  Stir in the brown sugar and apple cider vinegar. Top each plantain with the brown sugar-butter mixture.  Remove from the heat when the brown sugar-butter mixture starts to melt and drip down the sides of the plantains.

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5.  Serve while warm.  Top with vanilla ice cream (optional).  ENJOY!

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Shrimp Patties

Hi everyone!  This is Hannah, Annie’s daughter.

I made some delicious shrimp patties for lunch one day. My version is somewhat different from the “regular” recipe most people have.

What’s different about my version? I don’t use any eggs. It started out as a mistake one time when I was making shrimp patties and forgot to put eggs in the batter. However, I liked how it turned out. The inside was nice and fluffy, and my shrimp patties were nice and round (my neighbor called them “shrimp balls”) and not flat.

Give my recipe a try. Let me know how you like them. My family loves them; I hope you do too!

SHRIMP PATTIES

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup thinly sliced fresh green beans
  • 2 cups peas
  • 1 cup chopped onions (about 1/2 a medium onion)
  • 3 cups corn kernels (I love lots of corn in my shrimp patties)
  • 4 cups shrimp, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 cans evaporated milk
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 5 tablespoons Dashida seasoning (the seafood flavored kind)
  • 1 teaspoon Accent
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Oil, for frying

 DIRECTIONS:

1.  Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Do you know how to tell if the oil is hot enough and ready? My mom taught me a great trick.  Use the tip of a wooden spoon (I used a wooden chopstick) and dip it into the oil.  If little bubbles start to form around the wood, then the oil is hot and ready. Make sure the wood is clean and dry first; you don’t want hot oil to splatter and burn you.

Here is a short video clip. You can see all of the little bubbles form around the tip of the wooden chopstick. This tells you that the oil is hot and ready for frying.

2.  While you’re waiting for the oil to heat up, mix all of the ingredients (except for the oil, of course) in a large bowl.

3.  Drop spoonfuls of batter into the hot oil and fry until golden brown. Note: I used a small ice cream scoop that holds 1 1/2 tablespoons. This is also what makes the shrimp patties nice and round like doughnuts. (Maybe that’s why my neighbor calls them shrimp balls, LOL.)

 

I added a lot of photos below to show you the process.

Enjoy, and I hope you like them!

~ Hannah

 

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Place the shrimp and vegetables in a large mixing bowl.

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Place the flour and other dry ingredients in a smaller bowl.

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Add all of the dry ingredients to the bowl of shrimp and veggies.

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Pour the evaporated milk into the mixing bowl.

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Mix, mix, mix! 🙂

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Check to see if the oil is hot. Scroll up and watch my video that shows what to look for.

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When the oil is ready, use a small cookie scoop to drop the batter into the oil. This makes the shrimp patties nice and round.

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Don’t put too much into the oil. You want to leave enough room to allow the shrimp patties to cook evenly, plus overcrowding might make them stick together when you drop the batter into the oil.

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The shrimp patties usually turn on their own, but if they don’t, turn them occasionally to ensure even browning.

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Fry until nicely browned.

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Place in a colander or strainer to drain the excess oil.

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The small cookie scoop I use makes shrimp patties that are a little bit bigger than the size of a ping pong ball. I think it’s the perfect size — not too big, not too small.

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The inside is nice and fluffy.

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Pile on the goodness! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guyuria

Guyuria (pronounced gu-ju-ree-ah) is another traditional Chamorro cookie (Rosketti is another).  Some of my friends call them jawbreakers because of their rock-hard texture.

This cookie is not baked, however, it is DEEP FRIED and glazed in a thick sugar syrup that hardens when dry.

Wait…I had you at DEEP FRIED, didn’t I?   🙂

 

These cookies keep for a long time, if stored properly.  Keep them sealed in a ziplock bag or a resealable container.

My recipe can be easily doubled, but since they are so easy to make, you don’t have to.  Just make up a fresh batch every time the craving hits you–which will be often, once you try these cookies.  Trust me.  Fry up a batch today.  You’ll be glad you did.

Enjoy!

GUYURIA

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Ingredients:

DOUGH:

  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter (use 3 tablespoons for a softer cookie)
  • 1 3/4 cups coconut milk

GLAZE:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/8 cup Water

OTHER:

  • Oil, for frying

Directions:

1.  Make the dough:  Mix the flour, salt, and teaspoon of sugar together. Cut the butter into the flour mixture (as if you are making pie dough).

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2.  Add in the coconut milk and knead until a dough forms.

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3.  Roll the cookies:  Pinch off small pieces of dough, the size of a small marble. Press the dough onto the back of a fork; slowly roll it off the fork, shaping it into the traditional guyuria shape. OR: roll out the dough and cut into small pieces.  Set the formed cookies aside for a few minutes to dry slightly.  I find this helps when frying the cookies.

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4.  Heat the oil to about 350 degrees.  Here is a tip on how you can tell if the oil is hot enough.  Dip the tip of a wooden spoon (I use a wooden chopstick) into the oil.  If little bubbles start to form around the wood, then the oil is hot and ready.  Make sure the wood is clean and dry first; you don’t want hot oil to splatter and burn you.

This is a short video clip I made that describes what I stated above. You can see all of the little bubbles form around the tip of the wooden chopstick. This tells you that the oil is hot and ready for frying.

Fry the cookies until golden brown; drain well on paper towels or in a colander.   For crispier cookies, fry until the cookies are a dark golden brown.

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5.  When all the guyuria is fried and cooled slightly, place them in a large bowl.  

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6.  Prepare the sugar syrup glaze.  Place the cup of sugar in a small sauce pan.  Add the water to the sugar.  Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves and a syrup forms. Remove syrup from the heat; allow to cool to thicken slightly.

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7.  Pour the sugar syrup over the guyuria, tossing gently to coat all the cookies.

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8.  Let the sugar syrup thicken then pour out the cookies onto a baking pan (pour any excess syrup over the cookies). Spread the cookies out in an even layer; let them sit for a few minutes to allow the glaze to harden.  Ensure the glaze is completely dry and hard before storing the guyuria in a ziplock bag or resealable container.

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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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Yaki Mandu

Have I mentioned that I love Korean food?  No?  Okay then — I LOVE Korean food.

I have lots of favorites when it comes to Korean cuisine, but this easy appetizer stands out, not just for its flavor, but because of how simple it is to make.  Why buy the frozen stuff when you can make these right in your very own kitchen?

I use ground pork in my recipe, but you can easily substitute the pork with ground beef or chicken, shrimp, or even tofu.

Give my recipe a try — it’s delicious, I promise!

Enjoy!

YAKI MANDU

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Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds ground pork
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced thinly
  • 6 shiitake mushrooms, diced
  • 2 tablespoons Dashida Korean beef seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon accent, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • About 50-75 wonton wrappers

Directions:

1.  Place the pork in a small mixing bowl.

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2.  Wipe any dirt off the mushrooms using a damp paper towel.  *Do not rinse fresh mushrooms.  (If using dried shiitake mushrooms, soak in hot water until soft.)  Slice/dice the mushrooms then add to the mixing bowl.

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3.  Thinly slice the green onions then add them to the mixing bowl; mix together.

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4.  Add the garlic, black pepper, sesame oil, Dashida, and soy sauce.

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5.  Place a scoop of filling in the middle of the wonton wrapper.

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6.  Moisten the edge with water.  Fold over, squeezing any air pockets out.  Press the edges together to seal.

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7.  Add a little bit of vegetable oil to a skillet; place over medium heat to heat the oil.

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8.  Turn the heat to medium low.  Fry the yaki madu in the heated oil, turning after a few minutes to ensure even browning.  Fry for about 10 minutes on each side to ensure the raw pork filling is cooked.  Cooking over low heat is key to ensure they don’t burn.

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9.  Drain on paper towels and ENJOY!

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