Category Archives: Leftovers

Ground Beef Stroganoff

I haven’t had Stroganoff in forever!  Mainly because my husband does not like Sour Cream, “It’s too creamy, EWWW!”  Me, I love sour cream or anything creamy for that matter.  Most times, I refrain from buying it because they don’t make a small enough container for me to be able to use up before it goes bad.  But for some reason, I can’t remember why at this moment, I got some sour cream and had a coupla tablespoons leftover.  What to do, what to do, HMMM.  Heh!  I also had a bit of browned Ground Beef and a handful of Mushrooms too.

ground-beef-stroganoff-over-rice

MMM!

I kinda, sorta followed the recipe from Betty Crocker, served it over some steamed White Rice that was also leftover and I was in heaven!  I found a plate of Spaghetti and Meatballs in the `fridge as well for DH and he was happy too.

ENJOY!

Taco Tuesday, At Home

I think that I’ve talked about Taco Tuesday out and about with friends a coupla times now, but we like Tacos for dinner at home too.

Tacos can be made with just about anything, shredded Beef, Chicken prepared how you like, Seafood of any manner or even Vegetarian.  The one common denominator to all of these different Tacos is the seasoning.

But wait, did I hear you say that you still purchase those seasoning packets, why? Making your own seasoning blends are simple; you’ve probably got the ingredients in your cupboard, AND  you’ll know what’s in it, no preservatives, no artificial this or that.

It’s is so easy to make, here’s all you need:

 Auntie Doni’s Taco Seansoning Mix

1 Tbsp. Chili Powder (any style and degree of heat that your family likes)

¼ Tsp. each, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder and Dried Oregano

½ tsp. each Smoked Paprika, Dried Cilantro and Ground Cumin

1 tsp. each Salt and Black Pepper

Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and store in a Spice Jar or any air tight container.

Why buy it when you can make it!

Why buy it when you can make it!

Tacos are a personal type of dish.  When I was growing up, my Dad was the Taco maker and he made “hard shell” tacos with corn tortillas.  They were topped with spiced Ground Beef (because back then it was less than a dollar per pound), grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese, diced Tomatoes, Onions, sliced Black Olives, Sour Cream and Salsa… What we all referred to as elbow drippers.

For my non-mexican-food-loving Husband, I stick to pretty simple tacos.

Let’s assemble:

Brown your choice of meat on medium heat; drain off any excess grease.

Lower the flame.

Sprinkle 1-3 Tablespoons of Auntie’s Taco Seasoning Mix (depending upon how hot you like your Tacos) and combine well.

Dust your meat mixture with ½ tablespoon of flour; stir well and cook for about 1 minute to get that raw flour taste off.

Add 2/3 – 3/4 cup water, broth, stock, beer, whatever liquid you like and allow to perk away until it’s thick (make your Taco filling as soupy or as dry as you want).

Serve your now beautiful Taco filling in the vessel of your choice, lettuce cup, hard corn taco shell, warmed flour or corn tortilla, or what about a Taco Salad, MMM!

Lean Ground Turkey Tacos on warmed Flour Tortillas

Tonight’s Tacos are on warmed Flour Tortillas with seasoned Ground Lean Turkey (ssshhh, don’t tell DH that this was kinda sorta healthy, he thought he had Beef), leftover Green Salad (you know the kind that comes in a bag) from lunch out, sliced Radishes (hard to see, but they’re there alright, gives a nice crunch), and some Salsa.

Mighty tasty grub, AND  my husband asked for MORE!

Remember, recipes are just someone else’s ideas, run with them and as always …

ENJOY!

Choi’s Family Restaurant In Honolulu Hawaii

My husband would eat at Choi’s a lot when he was still working, due to a multitude of reasons, but the main was the proximity to his old office location.  He would take me there on our days off together, which weren’t often, but we never had a meal we didn’t like, nor could finish.  We love Korean food!

On each of our visits back home, we make a point of stopping in for a bite and a chance to say hello to Momma Choi, the owner-chef, she always remembers us.  “Eh, where you been?”  And the feast begins.  Momma brings out the typical Korean accompaniments: a tofu and seaweed soup, kim chee, a bowl of steamed rice, daikon, my husband’s favorite, and Spinach Tofu Salad with this wonderful sweet-spicy Korean pepper dressing, WOW!  I eat the tofu and DH eats the spinach (sorry I didn’t get a photo of it, but you get the idea).

We ordered a #4 (Kalbi, Meat Jun, Fried Man Doo) and #5 (Kalbi, Chicken Katsu, and Fried Man Doo) plates that we shared.

Okay, so, now you’re asking yourself, what is all of that?

Kalbi is Korean BBQ Beef Short Rib, with the ribs cut flanken rather than English style.  Meat Jun is super thin beef dipped in an egg mixture and then pan fried, oh and a lovely dipping sauce too.  Chicken Katsu, we’ve talk about here in the past, it’s chicken cutlets breaded in Panko Crumbs and shallow fried.  The Fried Man Doo is simply a pork dumpling that’s fried, but Momma makes her own wrappers nice and thick, they have a great bite to them, also dipped in its own sauce, MMM.  Each plate is served up with Bean Sprouts and Cabbage, both are blanched and seasoned, think of them as your salad.

This visit to Choi’s was no different than any of our others, we had almost enough food left from our two plates to make another meal for both of us, OH WAIT, we did!  I just made a fresh pot of rice and that’s dinner.

Ft. Ruger Market, FISH!!

Here’s something that we don’t get In The Middle Of The Desert,

We went over to Fort Ruger Market, one of our old favorites for Poke.  MAN!  Can you see the prices?  But this stuff is so fresh, I mean, straight off the fishing boats this morning.  The Smoked Tako or Octopus was like eating Beef, really tasty.  The Ahi or Tuna Poke has super fresh, as in plucked from the Ocean this morning, as well as the Limu or Seaweed.  I asked for a dash of Shoyu on the Tako Onion and Ahi.  Before you freak out too much and say, ‘I can’t eat raw fish’, the Octopus is cooked.

We took our booty back to the apartment and had dinner el fresco on our lanai, overlooking Diamond Head.

Shoyu Chicken, assorted Poke, Cucumber Kim Chee and steamed Rice

 

I had some leftover Shoyu Chicken, Cucumber Kim Chee and some steamed Rice.  WOW!!

Menu Board at Ft. Ruger Market

 

I thought about getting us some Opihi, but, GEEZ!!  That’s okay, I’ll pass.  A quarter pound container would be $15.25 before tax (yes, Hawaii taxes EVERYTHING!).  That stuff is like gold.

Ft. Ruger Market

 

So if you every make it to Oahu, do rent a car, do try the different local foods, do go to Ft. Ruger Market and get some fish and maybe even a six-pack of beer to wash it all down.

ALOHA!

Fried Saimin, My Kind Of Beach Food

Oh My GRAVY all over my two scoops rice (that’s OMG! in my world)… I re-read this post and I realized that I forgot one of the key ingredients… DASHI. I add it to taste, maybe a teaspoon all the way to a tablespoon, depending upon how much noodles your making, but I don’t care for it as the predominate flavor of the dish. The soup base package that comes with commercial saimin will do fine, but if you’re using yakisoba noodles, as I did, you can find dashi sold by itself. I use the leftover packettes for my deluxe won ton mein, but that’s another post : https://mykitcheninthemiddleofthedesert.wordpress.com/2013/01/11/noodle-bowls/
ENJOY!

My Kitchen In The Middle Of The Desert

I could eat Fried Saimin any time of day or night, it’s so ONO (delicious). WHOA! Did you hear that? That was my stomach, that’s how much I like this dish. I never thought to make it myself; back home in Hawaii you can get it even at the gas station. I know, I know the jokes about gas station food, but in Hawaii there’s a company that only makes grab-n-go foods for gas stations, and they are very good.

On our last trip home, every day we went to the beach, duh! And on the way I made DH stop to get something to take with us on our long days of baking in the sun; it was a tough job, but someone had to do it. A favorite place for me is Zippy’s, a family restaurant with take outs and at most locations a full service restaurant and…

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Paniolo (that’s Hawaiian for Cowboy) Chili

The weather has started to turn and my thoughts drift towards big pots of tummy warming goodness.  This is my favorite cooking time of the year.  One pot wonders, soups, stews and chili that sit on the stove smelling so delicious.  This is just one version of Beef Chili that I make.  Sometimes I use a hunk-o Chuck (blade is cheaper) roast and butcher it down myself (that’s cheaper too) to small bite sized pieces to make this same recipe.

Portuguese sausage from Hawaii

It’s the Portuguese Sausage or Linguica that really makes it though.  If you can’t find it in your neck of the woods, try Italian Sausage for a Buterro Chili.

 

Paniolo (that’s Hawaiian for Cowboy) Chili

1 lb. Ground Beef

1 lb. Portuguese Sausage or Linguica, diced small

4 strips of Bacon, chopped fine

1 medium Onion, rough chopped

4 Garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbsp. Chili Powder

1 tsp. Cumin Seeds, toasted and ground

1 tsp. Coriander Seeds, toasted and ground

1 tsp. Smoked Paprika

1 tsp. dark instant Coffee or Espresso (we like Starbucks Via)

1 tsp. Oregano

1/8 tsp. ground Chipotle Chile Pepper

2 15oz. cans diced Tomatoes

1 Tbsp. Brown Sugar (light or dark is fine)

¼ C. Hatch Chiles, chopped (any green chile will do)

2 C. Beef broth

¼ C. dark Beer (any brand you would drink)

S&P to taste

1-2 Tbsp. Corn Muffin Mix (I like Jiffy brand, it’s cheap and friendly)

 

Heat a large pot over medium-high, cook the bacon until just crisp and transfer to a paper lined plate and pour off the rendered fat, keep it though.

Spoon 1 tablespoon of the drippings back into the pot and brown the beef well; transfer to a bowl.  Sauté the sausage until colored, it’s a smoked sausage, so it doesn’t take as long to cook as pork sausages.  Transfer the sausage to the bowl with the beef; drain off the fat and discard.  Take a paper towel or two and wipe out the pot.

Add in another tablespoon or two of that beautiful bacon grease to the pot and cook the onions until they are about to brown around the edges.  Add the garlic and stir until fragrant.  Sprinkle the dried herbs and spices over the onions, stirring for about a minute.

Puree one of the cans of Tomatoes in the blender, food processor or with a handheld stick blender (immersion blender, that’s what I have).

Put the meats back into the pot along with the remaining ingredients, excluding  the corn muffin mix, that’s for later.  Cover and bring to good bubble; reduce the heat to a simmer, cover partially and let it go for about an hour.

Let’s talk about beans.  Some folks don’t care for them, me, I love them.  Especially if they are cooked from dried beans and added in at the last 20 minutes of cooking.  I find canned beans too mushy and that’s what I think turns people off to beans in general, like my DH.  I add about 1-2 cups of cooked Red Kidney beans to this pot of chili and he gobbles it up.

But back to the chili.

At this point you need to decide if you want your chili thicker or not.  We like ours on the thick-ish side, so I took a trick from Cook’s Country.

Spoon out about a quarter of a cup of the hot liquid to a small bowl with 1 tablespoon of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix; stir until smooth and add to the pot that you have brought back to a rolling boil.  Stir for a few minutes to incorporate and begin the thickening process.  If you want an even thicker batch, repeat this step.  Taste for seasoning, S&P probably, it depends, that’s why I hold that til the end.

Like most soups, stews and chilis, they are much better if allowed to sit in the `fridge for a day or two.  We like to eat chili with steamed white rice, chopped raw sweet onion and grated cheddar cheese on top.

Paniolo Chili and Rice

ENJOY!

*Tip: I keep that box of Jiffy Corn Muffin mix in a zip-top bag in the refrigerator for later use. And if you’re not a beer drinker and need just one bottle of beer, try Trader Joe’s.  Buy one that has a screw off-on bottle cap and keep it in the `fridge too, it won’t go bad.  It doesn’t matter that the beer goes flat, it’s just for the flavor.

How Do You Soup?

It looks like ole’ man winter has a pretty good grip on most of us. So maybe now would be a great time to start talking about soups again. My DH, as I may have mentioned before, is American-Italian and adores his Minestrone soup. This is really just a vegetable soup, but sshhhh, don’t tell him that. Since we are limiting our pasta consumption, I opted for a different approach this time around.

The cast of characters for homemade Minestrone Soup

The cast of characters are as follows:

Cooked from dried-cannellini beans in homemade chicken broth

Fresh Kale

look at that chicken broth, yum

Homemade chicken broth, I mean come on man, look at the schmaltz. You just don’t get that unctuous mouth feel of chicken fat from a box or can.

make your own chicken broth

Take a minute and make your own broth by saving the cooking liquor the next time you poach some chicken along with some aromatics.  But I digress, let’s continue with the Minestrone…

Any veggies you like; `member, a recipe is just someones idea. I used:

Fresh Green beans

Fresh Zucchini

Fresh Carrots

Fresh Red Bell Peppers

Minced Garlic

Diced and Sautéed Pancetta

Flat leaf Italian Parsley

Diced Potatoes and Sautéed Onions

Chuck everything into a big pot and simmer until the potatoes of cooked through and the veg is crisp tender.

Minestrone Soup

Grab a bowl and a spoon and dig in.

Stay warm out there!

Aloha