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Mongolian Hot Pot, version 2

2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces flank steak, cut into 1 1/2-inch wide strips and thinly sliced

6 cups stock (4 beef and 2 chicken is optimal)
2 cups water
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2-4 whole cloves  (about 1/4 teaspoon ground clove)
3 star anise  (or 1 teaspoon fennel seed)
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick, broken (about 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 (3-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger, halved
3 garlic cloves

1 Tbsp peanut or canola oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
6 cups thinly sliced bok choy (about 1 pound)
1 cup (about 2 ounces) shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 cup carrot, sliced
1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp hoisin sauce
4 ounces uncooked soba (buckwheat) noodles
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 1/2 tsp dark sesame oil, divided

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag, and seal. Marinate in refrigerator 2 1/2 hours, turning bag occasionally.

Combine the next 9 ingredients in a large stockpot over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes covered. Strain broth through a sieve into a large bowl; discard solids. Return broth to pan; keep warm.

Heat oil in a small Dutch oven over high heat until it begins to smoke. Add beef mixture to pan; stir-fry 1 minute or until browned. Remove beef mixture from pan; set aside.

Add sliced yellow onion to the pan and cook until tender and starting to color. Add bok choy, mushrooms, carrot, and green onions to pan; stir-fry 2 minutes or until bok choy begins to wilt. Add prepared broth mixture and hoisin sauce. Stir in noodles. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes or until noodles are done. Stir in beef mixture and vinegar. Ladle 1 1/2 cups soup into each of 6 bowls; drizzle each serving with 1/4 tsp sesame oil.

Pumpkin Spice Cake

4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
15oz can pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 pan and dust with flour.

Beat together eggs, sugar, brown sugar, oil, pumpkin, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, sat, and pumpkin pie spice. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Add batter to greased pan and bake 30-35 minutes, or until middle is cooked.

Lentil and Sausage Soup

1 lb. hot Italian or garlic turkey sausage
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, rough chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
2 cups dry lentils
1 (15 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
2 cups kale, rinsed and torn into small pieces
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
black pepper
salt, to taste

In a large soup pot, cook sausage over medium-high heat, breaking it into chunks, until browned (about 6-8 minutes). Remove sausage with a slotted spoon.

Add olive oil to pot and reduce heat to medium. Add onions, carrots, and celery, cook and stir until tender (about 5 minutes) being sure to scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pot. Stir in garlic, oregano, basil, thyme, bay leaf, cumin, and coriander; cook for 2 minutes.

Stir in lentils, broth/water, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until lentils are tender (varies, but usually 30-40 minutes). Add kale in the last 10 minutes of cooking (optionally, spinach can be added in the final minute). Check seasoning and add vinegar.

Sausage and Broccoli Pasta

1 pound pasta (orcchiette, penne, fusilli, etc)
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound italian sausage, casings removed
1 head broccoli (about 3/4 pound)
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, minced
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (about 1 can)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup grated parmesan

Prepare pasta in boling water, but stop cooking a minute or two early when the pasta is very al dente. Set aside.

In a large, heavy skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add sausage and break it up while cooking until well browned (about 7 minutes). Remove cooked sausage with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add broccoli florets to the hot pan and leave un touched for 2 minutes, until they begin to brown. Toss the broccoli, add in a couple tablespoons of water and cover for 2 minutes until al dente. Remove lid. Add garlic and shallots, cook for 1 minute.

Add chicken broth, scraping browned bits from the bottom of the pan, and add the seasonings. Bring to a boil. Return pasta and sausage to the pan, stir til combined and simmer for 1-2 minutes, when the sauce thickens. Add the parmesan and toss before serving.

Goat Cheese Ice Cream

2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons corn syrup
4 ounces goat cheese

Prepare an ice water bath. Bring the cream and milk to a boil. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar and slowly pour in some of the hot cream to temper the eggs. Pour the tempered egg mixture into the cream and continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes while whisking, or until the mixture coats the back of a spoon and steam rises from the top. Remove from heat. Mix to combine the corn syrup and goat cheese and then whisk this mixture into the warm cream mixture until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and chill over the ice water bath. Freeze in an ice cream machine per directions (usually 25-30 minutes). Transfer to a dish and keep frozen until ready to use. Makes approximately 3 cups.

 

Fresh Strawberry Topping

1 pint strawberries, cleaned and stemmed
1/3 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Chop the strawberries into desired bite size, set aside about 1/3 of strawberries. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine remaining 2/3 strawberries, sugar, and vanilla. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat. In a blender, puree about 1/2 of cooked strawberry mixture. Combine fresh, cooked, and pureed strawberry mixture. Store in refrigerator.

Garlic Chicken Stir Fry

2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice, optional
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 cup sliced cabbage
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 cups sugar snap peas
1/2 cup chicken broth
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon garlic chili sauce

Toss chicken with 1 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice and 1 tablespoon soy sauce and set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon peanut oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. When oil begins to smoke, add chicken and stir fry until cooked, about 5 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and set aside. Return pan to heat.

Add 1 tablespoon peanut oil to pan over medium-high heat and quickly stir in onion, garlic, and ginger root. Stir fry until onion becomes translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add chicken and stir until opaque, about 3 minutes. Add green onions, cabbage, bell pepper, peas and cover for 2 minutes. Remove lid, return chicken to the pan and stir fry until vegetables are cooked.

In a small bowl, mix the 1/2 cup broth/water, soy sauce, sugar, garlic chili sauce, and cornstarch. Add sauce mixture to wok/skillet and stir until chicken and vegetables are coated with the thickened sauce. Serve immediately, over hot rice if desired.

Kale Chips

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 bunch Kale (about 3 large handfuls), torn into 2-inch shreds
1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Line a non insulated cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Mix Salt, Paprika, and Garlic together in a small bowl. With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems (discard stems) and tear leaves into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner. Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt, toss in a mixing bowl until well combined. Spread kale on foil-lined baking sheet. Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, 12 to 15 minutes (tossing halfway through).

Sautéed Collards

1 bunch collard greens, torn into pieces
1 Tbsp olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp vinegar or lemon juice, optional

Rinse collard greens and tear into small sections. Boil in lightly salted water until wilted (5-10 minutes). Drain in a colander and press with the back of a spoon to release excess moisture. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and garlic in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add greens and cook 1-2 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. As an option, you can add 1 teaspoon vinegar or lemon juice.

Bok Choy, Beef, and Soba Noodle Stir Fry

3 ounces soba noodles, cooked
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1-pound tri-tip steak, trimmed and cut across the grain into long, thin strips
4 cups baby bok choy, chopped
2 cups broccoli slaw
1 cup scallions, chopped
1 cup snow peas
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon chile paste with garlic

Cook noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain. Combine noodles and sesame oil, tossing well to coat.

While noodles cook, heat peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add steak, and sauté 5 minutes or until done. Remove meat with a slotted spoon. If needed, add more oil to the pan. Add bok choy, broccoli slaw, scallions, and snow peas; sauté 3 minutes or until vengetables are slightly tender. Add the ginger and garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Combine soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, oyster sauce and garlic chile paste in a bowl. Add cooked noodles, cooked beef, and sauce mixture; cook 1 minute or until noodles are thoroughly heated, stirring constantly.

Escarole and Fennel Soup

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1.5-2 cups)
1 cup thinly sliced fennel bulb, fronds reserved
2 tablespoon minced garlic
6 (3.2-ounce) links sweet turkey Italian sausage, casings removed
2 tsp fresh thyme
2 tsp fresh rosemary
2 tsp leftover fennel fronds
4 (15-ounce) cans lower-sodium chicken broth
2 (15-ounce) cans no-salt-added cannellini beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained
6  cups chopped escarole
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add sausage, stirring frequently to crumble, and cook until browned (about 8 minutes).  Remove sausage and set aside.

Add onion, fennel bulb, and garlic; sauté 5-7 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add broth, 1 cup water, herbs, and beans; return sausage to pan. Cover; bring to a boil, and cook 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in escarole; cook 4 minutes or until escarole wilts. Serve garnished with a sprinkle of Parmesan.