Posts Tagged by how to
|October 30, 2014|
A while ago, I visited Koreatown for the first time in Los Angeles with a bunch of other food bloggers in the area. Christina of Christina’s Cucina was our tour guide for this food crawl. It was my first time ever in a Korean market and boy was I glad Christina was our tour guide. There were so many things that I’d never seen before or never cooked with before. By the time our crawl ended, I had a full bag of groceries and somewhat of an idea on how to use them…
What I learned was…
1. Most food packaging is not in English, but most still have the ingredients and nutrition listed in English.
2. Watch out for MSG. It’s in a lot of products offered at a Korean supermarket.
3. When they have jerky-like fish samples… it’s not jerky. It’s meant to flavor broth.
4. You can buy SO MUCH MORE in terms of produce. It’s a lot cheaper. Even organic food is cheap!
5. I love buckwheat noodles. They have a similar texture to normal noodles but have protein in them! Great way to sneak in extra protein on those cheat days when I eat carbs.
6. Bibimbap is actually a pretty healthy lunch option, as are many Korean food items.
7. It’s official. I can’t resist the milk tea and boba… No wonder why I rarely go to a mall. The boba calls to me.
8. Kimchi (or Kimchee) is really cheap and easy to make. Save yourself the $ and just make it yourself.
Easy Kimchi (Kimchee) with Sriracha
- 1 head of napa cabbage (about 2 pounds)
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
- 1/3 cup white rice vinegar
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 1/3 cup sriracha
- 1 bunch of scallions
Quarter cabbage lengthwise, then chop into pieces. The size of your chop depends on how little or big you want each bite. I chopped 2 to 3 inches each piece.
In a large bowl, toss with 1/2 cup of kosher salt and let stand for 2 hours at room temperature. Toss occasionally (about every 20-30 min) while it sits. Drain excess water as needed when tossing.
Rinse cabbage with water & drain. Squeeze out all the excess water with your hands and transfer to a large bowl. Tip: I used a colander during this process. It makes it much easier to rinse & drain.
Purée garlic and ginger with vinegar in a blender & pour over cabbage. Add scallions and sriracha. Toss until the cabbage is evenly covered.
Put it in a jar and let it marinate overnight in the fridge & enjoy!
Note: The longer you let the flavors marinate in the jar, the better you’re kimchi will taste. If you have the patience, wait a week before eating it.)
Storage: The best type of containers to store Kimchi is in a glass container. The red juice can stain plastic containers. Keep it in the fridge. It should last you a while because it’s fermented. Mine lasted me about 2 months before I ate it all (and it wasn’t bad yet). I have no idea how long it actually will last because I ate mine before I could find out.
>> If you keep yours longer for 2 months, let me know and I’ll update this to let other readers know how long it lasts.
|June 14, 2013|
Let’s talk chili. It’s probably one of the easiest things you will ever make (microwave food excluded) but to me, it was one of those things that seemed tough and a little intimidating. There are so many ingredients and most recipes are made to slow cook, what if I add too much of something and then when it’s time to eat my chili is inedible?
Seriously. I have nightmares about making food for a party and ruining it and everyone at the party goes hungry and starves and it’s all my fault … I am a strange one.
Anyways, back to my point: chili is one of the easiest things you will ever make. Put it in a pot and leave it there all day. Come for dinner and it’s ready!
Slow-Cooker Chicken Chili
- 1 cup dry black beans (cooking directions below) OR 2 cans black beans, drained
- 24 oz boneless chicken breast (about 3-4 breasts)
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 chopped red onion
- 1 chopped jalapeño
- 1 small can of chopped green chilies
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 2 cloves chopped garlic
- 1 can of corn
- 3 chopped roma tomatoes
- 2 cups of chopped Okra (20 oz.)
- 1/2 cup cilantro (about 1 handfull)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbs cumin
- plain greek yogurt to top it off with
Put all the ingredients together in a slow-cooker, excluding the Greek yogurt. Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 3 hours. You may need to add extra water to your chili depending on your slow cooker. Temperatures can vary, making the required water amount vary. Once it’s done, pull the chicken breasts out of the slow cooker and shred the meat. Put the shredded meat back in the pot and stir. Serve and top with a dollop of Greek yogurt – it makes a great sour cream substitute!
Also, chili is so easy to play around with and change things up. If you don’t like okra or want things a little more spicy, this is the dish to experiment with. Feel free to substitute things or add more of what you like and less of what you don’t. It really is harder to mess up chili. As long as you have the right seasonings you are good to go!
**if you want to use pre-cooked chicken, instead of doing 2 1/2 cups of water, use 1 1/2 cups chicken broth and 1 cup water. A lot of the flavor is coming from the chicken, and if yours is already cooked, the chicken flavor wont seep into the chili as much as needed for flavor.
How to Make Your Own Beans
Forget the canned stuff. Yea, you can use it – but making your own is SO much cheaper. A couple pounds of beans cost just as much as a couple cans (generally). So I opt to making my own beans. Another plus is that it doesn’t have all the preservatives that canned beans have.
First, measure the beans. My chili recipe calls for one cup, so that’s where you’d start.
Then you sort the beans. Most of the packaging that beans come in have cooking directions. But “sorting” is where most package directions fail to include or explain. Sorting beans is something you have to do by hand. I think the easiest way to do it is by pouring some of the uncooked beans onto a large cutting board or tray making it easy to see all the beans. It’s even easier if the tray or cutting board is the opposite color of the beans. For instance, it was very easy to see the black beans on my white cutting board.
Then section by section, I drag the ‘normal-looking’ beans off the cutting board, into my colander. The beans you don’t want in your colander are the ones that look deformed or misshapen and rock/dirt clumps. Yea, those rock-like clumps are dirt. If you get it wet and then mush it between your fingers, it turns to mud. GROSS! That’s why we sort the beans. You don’t really need to worry about beans that are halved like some of them in my pile above, but I like to get them out just because I figure I am already going through all the work, I might as well. But most people let those be.
Next, rinse the beans in colander. Rinse them well … we did just pull some dirt out of the pile after all.
Then pour the beans in the pot with the 4 cups of water (1 to 4 ratio). The water doesn’t really need to be exact. You generally just need to make sure the beans have plenty of water to soak up. You always want there to be extra water in there so if you don’t want to measure (I don’t normally measure) just be sure to check on the beans every so often to make sure they have plenty of water.
Bring the water to a rolling boil and let it boil for 2-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 1 – 2 hours until it’s reaches the desired softness or put it in the fridge overnight. When you’re ready to use the beans, drain and rinse the beans again.
You might be asking yourself, do I need to drain the beans? Can I cook with that water? (or at least I asked myself that)
Soaking the beans allows some of the indigestible sugars to be released from the beans themselves. You know why people say beans give them gas? If you drain them after soaking, there’s less of those sugars to give you any digestion discomfort. – Also found out, your plants will LOVE this water. So if you don’t like to waste, introducing your new plant food.