Monday, July 18, 2011

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Spicy Korean BBQ Pork

As you might expect, I love all kinds of Asian food. I also love barbecue and what tastes better than combining the two into – what else? – Korean barbecue. The Korean name of this dish is Daeji Bulgogi. Bulgogi means “meat fire” and it’s traditionally made with beef. In this case I added daeji, which means “pork,” so we end up with “pork meat fire.” Now, in barbecue terms that’s just about all you need to know.

This is a mildly sweet and spicy dish that is served with either lettuce for wraps, or with steamed rice. It also typically calls for pureed or grated Asian pear (a natural meat tenderizer), but I came up with a substitute of applesauce and pineapple juice.

Spicy Korean BBQ Pork

2 lb. lean pork (I used sirloin tip)
6 scallions, quartered widthwise
2 scallions, chopped to ¾ “ (for garnish)
1 large yellow onion, cut into eight wedges
Toasted sesame seeds
Canola oil spray

¾ cup Pineapple juice
½ cup Applesauce (natural)
½ cup Soy sauce
¼ cup Light brown sugar
4 cloves Garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. Mirin (or 1 Tbsp. honey and 2 Tbsp. water mixed)
2 Tbsp. Oelek sambal (Thai chili paste)
1 Tbsp. ginger, grated
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 Tbsp. fish sauce (optional)

Note: You'll need a grill wok or a wire rack to sit on top of your grill grate. You can also stir-fry this in a wok or cast iron skillet on the stove top.

To aid in slicing, put the pork in the freezer for about 30-45 minutes. Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a large bowl and whisk well. When the pork is partially frozen, slice it across the grain to about a quarter inch. Add the pork, onions and quartered scallions to the bowl and stir to combine. Cover the bowl and marinate in the refrigerator for 3-6 hours.

Start your grill and prepare for direct cooking at medium-high heat (350-375º). While your grill is heating, with a slotted spoon remove the pork, onions and scallions from the marinade to a platter or baking dish, draining the excess marinade. Reserve one cup of the marinade.

Spray your grill wok or wire rack well with canola oil spray then set it on your grill grate and let it preheat for 2-3 minutes. Grill the pork and veggies in the wok or on the rack direct for about four minutes per side.

While grilling, bring the reserved cup of marinade to a gentle boil in a sauce pan over medium heat and let boil for five minutes.

Remove the pork and veggies to a platter and drizzle with the cooked marinade. Garnish with the sesame seeds and chopped scallions.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Blueberry Pie Bars

Want to avoid rolling out pie crust? Make a pie bar. A what?! Pie bar. It’s a buttery, shortbread crust with fresh toppings on top – in this case, blueberries. Seriously. They’re good. Really good. And they’re impressive. So good, I don’t think they even need an introduction.

Blueberry Pie Bars

Crust and Topping:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups (3 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into cubes
Zest of two lemons

Blueberry Filling:
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup sour cream
¾ cup all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
2 (16-ounce) packages frozen blueberries, defrosted and drained

To make the crust and topping:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch backing pan with butter or cooking spray and set aside. Zest two lemons. Measure out the sugar onto a clean work surface. Rub the lemon zest into the sugar with a bench scraper or the back of a spoon. Rubbing the zest into the sugar will release oils from the zest and create a lemon scented sugar.

Combine lemon sugar, flour, salt and butter in an electric mixer fit with a paddle attachment. Beat the ingredients on medium speed until the mixture looks dry and crumbly.

Reserve 1 ½ cups of the crust mixture to use as the topping. Press the remaining mixture into the bottom of the pan. Bake the crust for 12 to 15 minutes until it is golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes while you make the filling.

To make the filling:

Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Add the sugar, sour cream, flour and salt. Gently fold in the blueberries. Spoon the mixture evenly over the crust. You may have to distribute the blueberries evenly around.

Sprinkle the reserved crust mixture evenly over the filling. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes until the top is lightly browned. Cool for 1 hour before slicing.

**If you’re using frozen berries, be sure to defrost and drain the excess liquid. Place the frozen berries on a plate in the refrigerator overnight. They’re defrosted and ready for bar baking!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Caramelized Pork Bánh mì

This is probably one my favorite pork sandwiches. The caramelized pork could be a recipe all its own, but you will absolutely love it in this sandwich. Most bánh mì are made with a rich and fatty ground pork but this seasoned tenderloin gives the sandwich character. Make sure you use a light, airy toll with a crisp crust - bánh mì is all about the interior.

Caramelized Pork Bánh mì
Serves 4 to 6

1-1.5 pound pork tenderloin
3 tablespoons Fish sauce
2 tablespoons Maple Syrup
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
½ teaspoon sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 slice ginger, minced
1 green onion, sliced thinly
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 loaf sweet French baguette (thin) or French bread sandwich rolls
Red leaf lettuce
Pickled carrot and radishes (see below)
Sliced jalapeno chili peppers

Cut tenderloin across the grain of the meat into ½ inch pieces. Flatten each piece to an even ¼ inch between two pieces of saran wrap using a meat pounder, rolling pin, or large bottle.

Mix ingredients from fish sauce to black pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning – it should be sweet and savory so add more soy, salt, or sesame oil as you like. Add marinade to the meat and use your hands or large spoon to make sure all pieces of meat are coated in marinade. Marinate for 10-30 minutes.

You can cook the pork on the grill outdoors (best) or indoors using a grill pan or cast iron pan, something that you can get very hot. Heat grill or grill pan to high and turn on that vent fan! Add vegetable oil to meat and stir to coat. Sear first side of meat until very dark brown on one side, then flip and sear on the second side. Be careful not to overcook it. The meat is thin so it cooks quickly, one or two minutes on each side.

To assemble sandwiches, slice baguette and spread mayonnaise on one side. Add lettuce, meat, pickled vegetables, cilantro and peppers. Dig in!

Pickled Carrots and Radishes
¼ pound baby carrots, peeled
1 bunch red radishes, preferably breakfast radishes (daikon is more traditional. I just think red radishes are beautiful.)
½ cup water
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar

Slice carrots and radishes into quarters (or sixths for thicker guys) lengthwise. Mix all ingredients together. Taste for seasoning. Let stand as little as an hour or up to overnight. They keep for several days.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Grilled Chicken Taco Pizzas

This recipe tastes as good as it looks. Simple and delicious, this is one dish the kids will love. Make it a family affair and get them to help you in the kitchen. The more kids are involved with the cooking process, the more they’ll try what they’ve made. It’s a win-win situation.

Grilled Chicken Taco Pizzas
Makes 3 individual pizzas

For the pizza:
1 packet taco seasoning
½ cup canola oil, plus more for brushing
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 16-ounce tube pizza dough
All-purpose flour, for dusting
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar

Avocado Mixture:
1 avocado, halved, pitted and flesh diced small
1 lime, juiced
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon finely diced red onions
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Prepare the pizza: Mix 2 tablespoons of the taco seasoning and the canola oil in a shallow bowl. Pound the chicken between 2 pieces of plastic wrap to 1/4 inch thick. Add the chicken to the bowl, turning to coat, and marinate 30 minutes.

Preheat a grill to medium high. Grill the chicken until cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Let cool, then cut into bite-size pieces.

Divide the dough into 3 pieces. Roll out each on a floured surface into an 8-inch round. Brush with canola oil, sprinkle with taco seasoning and grill until crisp, 3 to 5 minutes per side; remove from the grill.

Mix the cheeses in a bowl, then sprinkle on the crusts and top with the chicken. Return the pizzas to the grill, and cook until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the avocado, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, red onion, and salt and pepper to taste. Top the pizzas with the avocado mixture, salsa, sour cream and cilantro.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Peanut Butter Granola Balls

Here’s one of my all-time favorite snacks and, of course, it has one of my favorite ingredients – peanut butter! These Peanut Butter Granola Balls are easy to make and only take a few ingredients – which I’ll bet you already have in your pantry. You will need oats, rice crispy cereal, honey, peanut butter, butter, dried cranberries and chocolate chips. That’s it!

Peanut Butter Granola Balls
Makes 24 granola balls

1/3 cup honey
¼ cup natural peanut butter
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup crisp rice cereal
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
¼ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup chocolate chips

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine honey, peanut butter, and butter. Stir until melted and smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cereal, oats, and dried cranberries. Let the mixture cool for about two minutes and stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop mixture by the tablespoon into mini paper cupcake or candy liners. Place on a rimmed baking sheet, and refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Triple Espresso-Walnut Bundt Cake with Kahlua Glaze

There is no shortage of croissants, scones, macarons and other assorted carbohydrates to accompany your morning beverage of choice. Look around and you’ll find that every bakery, grocery store and Starbuck’s is crammed full of these delectable bites. But for me - I love a good Bundt cake with my chai latte. Bundt cakes are homey, comforting treats and the perfect pair to my latte.

Triple Espresso-Walnut Bundt Cake with Kahlua Glaze
Serves 14 to 16

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup espresso powder or finely ground espresso beans
12 ounces PHILADELPHIA cream cheese, softened
¼ cup butter, softened
4 extra-large eggs
2 cups sugar
¼ cup canola oil
2 tablespoons coffee extract
2 tablespoons brewed espresso or strong coffee
1 cup walnuts, lightly toasted and chopped

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons Kahlua, or other coffee flavored liqueur

Place rack in center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9 to10-inch Bundt pan with cooking spray.

To make the cake, in a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and espresso powder.

In a separate medium bowl, add cream cheese and butter. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed beat until creamy. Add the eggs, sugar, canola oil, and coffee extract and beat until just incorporated. Add the dry ingredients to the wet in small batches, beating after each, until just incorporated. Stir in the walnuts. Pour batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a cake tester inserted deep into the center comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a rack to cool for 10 minute before unmolding. Cool at least 30 minutes before glazing.

To make the glaze, whisk confectioners’ sugar and Kahlua in a bowl until smooth and thin and it clings to the back of a spoon. Drizzle glaze over the cake.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tandoori Grilled Chicken

This Tandoori Grilled Chicken is one of our all-time favorite meals. The Indian-inspired chicken breast is great on sandwiches, but would also pair beautifully with Bush’s Bourbon and Brown Sugar Grillin Beans. What wouldn’t pair well with Bourbon and Brown Sugar Beans?

Tandoori Grilled Chicken
Serves 2 to 4

3 large boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 cup plain yogurt
⅓ cup cider vinegar
¼ cup canola or vegetable oil
3 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground ginger (or 1 tablespoon grated ginger root)

Add all of the ingredients except the chicken to a Ziploc resealable bag (or whisk together in a flat baking dish.) Set aside.

Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels and lay out flat on a cutting board. Holding a large, sharp knife parallel to the cutting board, cut the down the length of the chicken breast, dividing it into two evenly thick pieces. This is easiest if you press your other hand down flat on the chicken breast to hold it steady.

Transfer the chicken breasts to the Ziploc bag containing the marinade. Seal the top and squish the bag around gently to coat the chicken evenly. Place the bag in a bowl to catch any leaks and stash in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours but preferably overnight prior to grilling.

When you’re ready to cook the meat, preheat the grill, with the cover down, to high. Oil the grill racks very well as the chicken has a tendency to stick. Remove the chicken from the marinade, shake off excess and place on grill racks. Don’t move the chicken around once it’s on the grill. Give it a chance to develop a nice crust.
Cook, covered for 4 minutes, flip the chicken breasts and continue cooking, covered until the internal temperature of the chicken breasts reaches 160 degrees F. It’ll have charred bits on it and look delicious.

Transfer to a platter and tent loosely with foil until ready to serve.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Red, White and Blue Scones

Looking for a festive 4th of July breakfast treat? Try these Red, White and Blue Scones. They are perfect for the Fourth! The sweet cream scones are filled with fresh blueberries and strawberries. You can’t go wrong with berries on the 4th of July. After the scones are done, drizzle them with white chocolate (since the red and blue are already in the scones). Plus, you can’t go wrong with a good white chocolate drizzle. They’re a great way to kick-off the holiday!

Red, White and Blue Scones
Makes 12 scones
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
½ cup fresh blueberries
½ cup fresh chopped strawberries
1 large egg
¾ cup cold heavy cream, plus extra cream to brush the tops
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling on top of shortcakes
½ cup white chocolate chips, melted-for drizzling
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.
Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Drop in the butter and, using your fingers, toss to coat the pieces of butter with flour. Use your fingers or a pastry blender, cut and rub the butter into the dry ingredients. You will have some small pea size pieces of butter and that is fine. Gently stir in the blueberries and strawberries.
In a small glass measuring cup or bowl, whisk together the egg, heavy cream, and vanilla extract. Pour mixture over the dry ingredients and stir with a spatula just until the dough comes together. Carefully knead the dough by hand, just until the dough comes together.
Lightly dust a work surface with flour and turn out the dough. Pat the dough into a circle. Gently roll out the dough. You want the dough to be about an inch thick. Cut the dough into star shapes using a cookie cutter. Place the scones on the prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Lightly brush the scones with cream and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer shortcakes to a rack and cool to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, drizzle each scone with white chocolate. Let stand until chocolate is dry.