Beef · Vietnamese

Saigon Cheesesteaks for the WIN-NGUYEN!!

Saigon Cheesesteaks
Sometimes I like to do C-R-A-Z-Y things…..

You know – kooky things like mashing up Philly Cheesesteaks with the comforting Vietnamese Thịt Bò Xào.

Say Whaaat???? I know, but just hear me out.

Thịt Bò Xào is a quick beef stir-fry we used to eat weekly growing up and we all loved it. It was hearty, garlicky, and well–beefy! The added bonus is the wonderfully rich sauce it created that we use to spoon over our rice bowls.

So freaking good.

Saigon Cheesesteaks
The other night I was about to make up a pan of Thịt Bò Xào when I caught a glance of leftover hoagie rolls sitting on the counter. And that’s when I got struck with a bit of genius! Or madness!

Sometimes it’s a blurry line with those two characteristics.

Why not throw the Thịt Bò Xào inside a roll and top it off with cheesy goodness?

Ain’t nothing bad about that!

Saigon Cheesesteaks

So I rolled the dice and gave it try!

I stir fried some ribeye beef and veggies, added a few slices of pepper jack cheese, stuffed it inside the hoagie and topped it with some bright cilantro leaves.  And no surprise here–it was AWESOME!! The beef had the same type of richness like the beloved Philly Cheesesteaks but the Asian flavors combined with that luscious sauce I had mentioned was a definite game changer!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking the Philly Cheesesteak because I’m one of its biggest fans! But this is a fun twist and I do love variety!

And since this weekend kicks off College Football Season (FINALLY!)–it gives me the perfect excuse to whip up these Saigon Cheesesteaks again as I cheer on my beloved ❤ Trojans as they take on Crimson Tide!

Fight On, ‘SC!

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Saigon Cheesesteaks
Makes 2

Ingredients:

½ pound thinly sliced ribeye beef
1 tablespoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ yellow onion, sliced
5 ounces mushrooms, sliced
2 ripe Roma tomatoes, cut into wedges
2 tablespoons Maggi or Soy Sauce, more to taste
4 slices cheese (pepper jack, provolone, Swiss, etc.)
2 hoagie/sub rolls, sliced and toasted
red chili flakes
fresh cilantro to garnish

 

In a small bowl, mix together the beef, garlic, cornstarch, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and black pepper. Set aside.

Heat the remaining vegetable oil and butter in a large wok or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Swirl the pan around until the butter melts. Add onions and mushrooms and cook until both have softened and become lightly browned, approximately 4-5 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Push the items to the side of your wok/skillet (or remove to a plate if your wok/skillet is not large enough) and add the beef. Turn the heat up to medium-high and quickly stir fry the beef for 1-2 minutes or until lightly brown. This should not take a long time since the beef is so thin.  Mix the onion/tomato/mushroom mixture together with the beef. Stir in Maggi (to taste) and additional cracked black pepper if desired. Pull the pan off the heat.

Keeping the mixture in the pan, divide it into two. Place the cheese slices over each of the portions and cover with a lid until the cheese melts. Open each roll and add half the meat mixture inside. Sprinkle the tops with red chili flakes and cilantro.

Serve immediately.

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Beef

Celebrating Mom’s Birthday with a Rosemary Garlic Ribeye Steak!

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Today we celebrate the birth of a 4’9″ firecracker of a Vietnamese woman who was fiercely loyal, an original hustler, an extraordinary cook, a diehard fashionista, was wholeheartedly stubborn, and a true “Jill of all trades”--our Mom. ❤

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It’s always a bittersweet time of year for us as Mother’s Day always falls so close to Mom’s birthday. Our emotions vacillate between sadness to laughter, from deep remembrance to joy, mourning to celebration—and of course, love.

This December will mark the tenth year since since her spirit departed for her next adventure. And although it’s hard to believe that the years have passed so quickly, my siblings and I can attest that she is still so greatly missed.

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There are so many things I wished I asked her, so many stories I wished I had recorded her telling, so many things I wished she would have taught me—and good grief, I miss that woman’s cooking to no end.

So I talk to her all the time–and I believe a few of my siblings do, too. Especially when I’m in the kitchen–bustling around like she did so many times during her life. I have a large portrait of her hanging in my kitchen and I’ll jibber-jabber about everything and anything. Because Mom was a total Chatty-Cathy, a trait that my seester T and I definitely inherited –and I am certain she would be amused by our ramblings.

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When Mom was still with us, we all cooked and prepped with her in the kitchen. But, I for one, definitely deferred to her and leaned more towards on the baking side of the house. But when she passed, cooking became our way of keeping her spirit with us. And since she was the original Foodie, I think we all deep down inside, aim to excel in the kitchen to create elaborate things that we know she would have loved.

You can best believe that I often imagine her scolding us if she saw half the stuff we did in the kitchen. We probably weren’t cutting things right, adding too much salt and likely drinking too much wine/cocktails while cooking. Ok…maybe the latter would be focused at some of us more than others. And yes, those “some” would likely be T and I.

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With that said, it’s no wonder that my rituals for Mom’s birthday all surround food. Like every year, I started this morning off with an early brekkie at Panera Bread inhaling her favorite Spinach and Bacon Egg Souffle. It’s like a rich quiche but with a puff pastry/croissant-like crust. So sinfully caloric to start a day off with but hey–it’s Mom’s Birthday!

And if you’ve read my previous birthday posts for Mom, you know that this little woman loved her some steaks!!! Filet Mignons and Ribeyes all day, everyday! Ok, maybe not everyday—but she would have wanted to at least. In years past, I’ve celebrate her birthday with:

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The filet mignon cuts weren’t looking that great when I was at the market but the ribeyes were gorgeous! So for this year, I’m honoring Mom’s birthday with this Rosemary-Garlic Ribeye Steak. I mean, take a gander at this beauty!!!

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I took the steak, seasoned it with some S&P, and threw it in a resealable bag with some rosemary springs, crushed garlic, and olive oil. It hung out in my fridge for several hours for the flavors to infuse the beef.

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Next came the decision to either grill the steak or cast iron that baby.

I chose the cast iron method because I LOVE how the beef beautifully sears and crusts in the skillet and it gave me the opportunity to bathe the steak in butter while it seared.

Aaaaand…..I also live in a condo where I’d have to hike downstairs to the common area to use the grill.

So that settled that debate.

Aaaaand…..let’s not talk about how that “hike” is actually a 2 minute walk from my front door.

Steak and Potatoes
Did I mention that the steak gets repeatedly spooned over with infused herb butter/oil? Bathed, I tell ya – BATHED!

Now that’s the way to go…..

Grilled Steak
After a quick sear (and bath) on the stove, I threw the entire thing in the oven for a few minutes to finish it off. Depending on the thickness of your cut, as well as desired cook on your steak, you may need to adjust the timing by a few minutes. But a meat thermometer should do the trick.

And if you’re feeling real naughty, after the steaks rest, you can drizzle the leftover infused butter/oil from the skillet over the beef.

HELLO!!!

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I’m quite certain Mom would have loved this steak—because she loved them ALL! But really, I think she would have just loved that I made it for her and she needn’t lift a finger.

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Happy Birthday Mama!

Wherever you are, I hope you’re enjoying a big ol’ steak today!

We love and miss you!

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Rosemary Garlic Ribeye Steak
Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 16-18 ounce ribeye beef steak or two 8-9 ounce ribeye beef steaks
kosher salt
fresh cracked black pepper
3 large garlic cloves, smashed
4-5 sprigs fresh rosemary
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
flaked sea salt, optional

Season the steak with kosher salt and black pepper. In a resealable plastic bag, add the garlic, rosemary sprigs, olive oil and steak. Rub the marinade all over the beef. Squeeze out as much air as possible and then seal the bag. Refrigerate for at least 4-5 hours. Halfway through the time, take the bag out of the fridge and massage the marinade into the beef.

 

Remove the steak from the plastic bag. Use paper towels to dry off some of the marinade—do not discard the rosemary or garlic. Allow the steak to sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes.

 

Place a cast iron skillet on the middle rack of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. After the cast iron skillet has heated in the oven for 15-20 minutes and the steak has come to room temperature, carefully remove the skillet and place on a burner over medium-high heat.

 

Add the butter, oil and allow it to melt together before carefully placing the steak in. Add the sprigs of rosemary and crushed garlic from the marinade bag. Sear the ribeye for 1-2 minutes on each side. While the beef sears, repeatedly spoon the butter/oil over the tops of the meat to baste. Once both sides have seared, transfer the skillet with the steak back into the oven.

 

Roast the ribeye at 400 degrees F for 3-4 minutes or until the internal temperature

reaches 135 degrees F for medium-rare. Allow the steak to rest for 5-10 minutes and sprinkle the tops with sea salt to finish (optional). You can also drizzle a few spoonfuls of the herb infused oil/butter from the skillet over the steak as there is a TON of flavor it in it. Serve warm with roasted potatoes, veggies or sides of your choice.

Sunday Family Dinner

A Belated Sunday Family Dinner

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The other weekend we celebrated February in March.

Or more accurately, we had February’s Sunday Family Dinner in March. February was totally hectic with the Lunar New Year, the family being up in San Francisco for our cousin’s wedding and just a bunch of random events that caused the delay for dinner.

But the thing is, we couldn’t actually “skip” a month—because once you start doing that, those “monthly dinners” can continue to get pushed back and eventually become “every few months family dinners”.

And that’s No bueno.

Plus, February was Maya’s birthday and we couldn’t skimp out on birthday celebrations for this cutie! So per her request, we made a menu around some of the favorite things she loves — steak and cake!

A girl after my own heart….

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That day we decided to enact a new rule — unless you’re taking pictures of each other or food (which is more likely), everyone has to stay off their iPads and iPhones. Which, if you have teenagers and wee ones, can be torture!

But if the point of us having monthly family dinners was to spend quality time with each other, being glued to phones and tablets (darn you Snapchat and Minecraft!) kind of defeated the purpose. So I went around and collected all their devices and didn’t return them until dessert – which is pretty darn good if you know our munchkins!

Without his iPad, Lucas had to resort to one of his other favorite obsessions — Nerf guns. Here he is intensely loading up on ammo. Afterwards, he spent a good hour running around the house, hiding behind columns and banisters as he went on full assault mode with his uncle.

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Those two have always been thick as thieves–ever since Lucas was a wee-bitty-baby. I used to think it was because he and my sister had two daughters and no sons—but I really think it’s because my brother-in-law definitely has a “kid at heart” gene.

Feb 2016 Fam Din

The girls decided to spend a considerable amount of time with Maya’s latest obsession – FIMO clay. The clay can be molded into whatever your imagination conjures up–then you bake it to harden your design.

She has a TON of them in all different colors filling tackle boxes, tupperwares, and wherever else she can store them.

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They’re quite talented with it too!

They made a golden snitch, macaron, marshmallow, a cat(?) and my favorite–a cast iron skillet with an egg and bacon!

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Then it was cocktail time!

The adults sipped on Raspberry-Lemonade Sparklers….and by “sparklers”, I mean prosecco.

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We always need to nosh on a few things before dinner is served or else my “cute” family turn into a tribe of gremlins.

And that’s not a pretty sight.

Trust me….I’ve seen it.

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Big seester made these adorable little Tartlets that were like mini-quiches filled with bacon, gruyere, and custard all in a savory crust.

Perfect bite sized snacks!

I had about 30 or so……

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Since birthday girl wanted steaks, she got STEAKS!

These were the beautiful boneless Ribeyes seestrah picked up. She simply seasoned them with lots of kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper. And oh that lovely marbling!

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They were then handed over to the boys to grill.

I must have a gajillion pics of R and C posing like this by the grill over past few years…. But hey–they like to grill so we put them to work!

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Sizzle, sizzle!

And no, I didn’t mean The Sizzler.…..but oh that cheese bread!

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The grilled steaks were brushed with some herb butter while they rested which now gives me a great opportunity to talk about the sides!

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Maya loves salad–usually odd for small kids but she does have a mature palate. We put together a tray of colorful Wedge Salads because nothing makes veggies more healthy than dousing it with a creamy dressing and tons of crispy bacon bits.

MMMMmmmm….bacon……

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And since Nina helped with making it, I made her pose with the tray.

Think the kids will be traumatized by all the pics I make them take holding food?

Nah…they make good profile pics, right?

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Next up, colorful Roasted Potatoes that were marinated in tons of garlic, rosemary, chili flakes and Dijon mustard before being blasted in a high heat oven.

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We also had a side of slowly Sauteed Crimini Mushrooms that were drizzled with truffle oil and fresh thyme.

Total mushroom goodness.

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There may have been a few bottles of vino too…..

And yes, that’s me in the bottle’s reflection…

Hiiiiii!!!

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Beef-a-licious!

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Here’s my plate with a little bit of everything…. OH! And I forgot about the Dirty Rice seester made as well! It’s cooked with onions, lots of butter, beef consomme, and a few other secret stuff.

What’s the secret?

No idea…I never pay attention when she makes it but I am more than pleased to shovel it down by the large spoonfuls.

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After dinner, we tend to try and clean up a bit before dessert.

And by “clean up”, I mean “take pictures”.

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Cake time!

When I asked Maya what kind of cake she wanted, all she said was a chocolate and peanut butter combo.

Told you the girl had good taste!

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I started off with a wonderful chocolate cake by Brown Eyed Baker.

I have to tell y’all, that crumb was oh-so-lovely! Super dense, moist and oober chocolaty! And there were three layers of it! I also used her version of peanut butter buttercream that was so lip smacking good!

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But this was for Maya and things had to be OVER THE TOP! Although the chocolaty cake was frosted in the peanut butter buttercream, I added chopped mini-peanut butter cups in one layer and Girl Scouts Peanut Butter Patties in the next!

Now, I had intended to frost the entire cake with that luscious buttercream and then do a drippy, drizzle layer of chocolate ganache like Brown Eyed Baker did for her Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cup Overload Cake.

But I totally biffed it by making the ganache too thick and instead of making that whimsical-purposely drippy look, it turned into a gloopy mess. AGH! So I took seester’s advice and decided to frost the ganache out into a thin layer—and I actually kind of loved the marbling effect it had.

PHEW!

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cake
To top the cake I added more Peanut Butter Patties, mini-peanut butter cups, 3 different types of gold sprinkles and wait for it–freshly made Chocolate and Peanut Butter Macarons.

Wait–did I say I baked macarons just to top the cake? I SURE DID!!! Because Miss Maya LOVES macarons and I promised her an OVER THE TOP cake.

Here’s a quick peek inside of the cake…..and let me just tell you, a tall and icy glass of milk would go perfect with it!

Except I can’t drink milk…..TMI?

So I had it with red vino instead.

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cake
All in all, I think birthday girl forgave us for having her dinner so late—though, she’s such a sweet tempered kid that I don’t think she really minded at all.

HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY MAYA LOVE! ❤

Feb 2016 Fam Din

This Month’s Family Dinner Menu

Cocktails: Raspberry-Lemonade Sparklers
Appetizers: Bacon Gruyere Tartlets
Entrees: Grilled Ribeye Steaks
Sides: Wedge Salads, Rosemary-Garlic Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Sauteed Mushrooms, Dirty Rice
Dessert: “Over the Top” Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cake

Beef

Slow Cooker Pot Roast Sandwiches

Pot Roast Sandwiches

Are your Twitter-Facebook-Instagram feeds full of Thanksgiving posts?

Because mine are overflowing with them!

And at first, they’re wonderful because they spark deliciously new ideas and give some great tips to face the big feast.

Pot Roast Sandwiches
But if you’re like me, you’ve already had your dishes planned out for weeks…….So the constant barrage of new ideas started freaking me out!

Should I use hazelnuts instead of pistachios?

My standard potato gratin or that deconstructed one from Pinterest?

Do I make my pie the regular way or try out one of those braided crusts or leaves-patterns?

It’s all too much!

Pot Roast

For my own sanity, I’m stepping away from Thanksgiving dishes today to share with you something that I know you’re going to SWOON for–especially after all of the laborious cooking and shenanigans that you’ll be enduring over the next couple days.

SLOW. COOKER. POT. ROAST. SANDWICHES.

<pause for dramatic effect>

These beauties are what dreams are made of. Juicy, tender beef—dripping with wondrous goodness. All piled up on a soft potato bread bun with melty cheese and sweet caramelized onions.

Sorry—-did I just drool over the computer?

Pot Roast Sandwiches

And guess what? Your slow cooker does all the work!

All you need to do is sear the beef a bit and then throw it in the cooker. Once done, the beef just falls apart…..kind of like how I will be after all of the shopping we do on Friday.

So although you may have a ton of turkey and ham leftovers, do yourselves a favor and throw a seared chuck roast in your slow cooker Thursday night. You’ll wake up to the most scrumptious aromas and will have plenty of sustenance ready to tackle post-festivities clean-up, Black Friday sales, and lingering family members.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING FOLKS! ❤

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Slow Cooker Pot Roast Sandwiches
Make 6-8 Sandwiches

Ingredients:

1 boneless, beef chuck roast (approximately 2½-3lbs.), trimmed and cleaned
black pepper
kosher salt
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
½ cup all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup dry red wine
1¼ cup beef stock, divided
6 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 yellow onions, thinly sliced to about 1/8 inch thick
2-3 dashes balsamic vinegar
6-8 potato bread buns (or bread of your choice)
2 cups shredded cheese such as Provolone, Swiss, Havarti, Gruyere, etc.

 

Heavily season the beef with kosher salt and black pepper. Rub the garlic powder and onion powder over the beef. Roll the chuck roast in flour and dust off any excess. Heat the oil in a dutch oven or other heavy bottom pot. Once the oil reaches medium heat, sear each side of the beef until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes each side. Once browned, remove and place the beef inside the bowl of your slow cooker.

Carefully pour the wine into the dutch oven. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the bits off the bottom of the pot and allow the wine to boil and reduce by half. Pour the reduced wine with browned bits and 1 cup beef stock over the browned beef. Add the thyme sprigs and place the lid on your slow cooker. Cook the beef on low until the meat falls apart and can easily be shred apart with two forks—about 8 hours depending on the weight of your chuck roast and your slow cooker.

When your pot roast is nearly done and you’re almost ready to serve your sandwiches, start caramelizing your onions. This can take about 40-50 minutes and shouldn’t be rushed or else the onions will burn. Melt the butter into the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onions and stir to ensure they’re well coated. Stir the onions every few minutes to ensure they do not burn—lower the heat if necessary. Continue cooking, stirring low and slow until the onions become deep brown. Add the remaining beef broth and use a wooden spoon to stir the onions and scrape up any goodies that have formed on the bottom. Once the broth has evaporated, taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and remove the skillet from the burner.

Once the pot roast has cooked and essentially falls apart, take two forks and shred the beef into bit sized pieces. Allow the pan juices to soak into the beef. Taste and add additional salt as needed.

Assemble each sandwich by placing a large mound of shredded pot roast with the drippings on the bottom half of a potato bread bun (or bread of your choice). Top with a few spoonfuls of caramelized onions and shredded cheese. The heat from the shredded beef should start melting the cheese but if not, place under the broiler for a bit. Place the other half of the bun on top and serve with hot sauce, chips, fries, etc.

Enjoy!

 

 

Appetizers/Small Plates · Beef · Sponsored

Kimbap – Korean Seaweed Rice Rolls

Kimbap – Korean Seaweed Rice Rolls

We have been non-stop grilling this summer and it has been fantastic!!!

Burgers (all types!), skewers, seafood, ribs, veggies……

And with this crazy heat and humidity we’ve been having these past few weeks it’s been the perfect way to escape the hot kitchen.

Kimbap – Korean Seaweed Rice Rolls

Most of our BBQs have been in the backyard so I’ve been sorely missing out on all of the summertime beach and park picnics. Delish sammies, salads, and fried chicken. SOOOO GOOD!

But if you’re anything like me, I often can’t decide what I want to make to bring for picnics. I strive to fix up dishes that are a bit out of the norm but still delish at room temperature. And since they’re outdoor events, I try to think of items that don’t have ingredients that will spoil easily.

Kimbap – Korean Seaweed Rice Rolls

Thank goodness that onigiris and seaweed rice rolls are ALWAYS a hit when I bring them out. Onigiris (also often referred to as musubis) are a Japanese treat consisting of sticky rice shaped into balls or triangles and wrapped in toasted seaweed. They often are filled with seafood, pickled veggies or meat.

What’s my favorite onigiri? SPAM MUSUBIS!!!!!

Yes, the all-caps were a must.

Kimbap – Korean Seaweed Rice Rolls

As for seaweed rice rolls — think of sushi maki rolls. But, if you opt to make them for outdoor events or if you don’t plan on serving them right away, I’d recommend staying clear of filling them with raw seafood. Korean style seaweed rice rolls, Kimbap, are perfect because of it.

Kim = Seaweed

Bap =  Rice

Ever since I was first introduced to kimbap in elementary by my Korean friends, I have been inhaling these little buggers like crazy. There are so many variations but the standard filling usually consists of bulgogi (or seasoned protein of your choice), shredded carrots, cooked spinach, strips of cooked eggs and danmuji (pickled daikon). However, you can really use just about anything you have in your fridge. I often swap out the daikon for cucumbers and use leftover meat I may have such as grilled chicken, shrimp or imitation crab.

The other distinct difference between kimbap and Japanese maki is the rice. Normally, kimbap will only have sesame oil seasoned rice whereas Japanese sushi rice will have sake, rice wine vinegar and some sugar. But since I like the flavor, I use a combo of sesame oil and rice wine vinegar for my kimbap.

Kimbap – Korean Seaweed Rice Rolls

So for my latest contribution to the  Safest Choice™ Darling Dozen I thought I would share with you a basic version of Kimbap. Once you get all the pieces together, assembly takes barely any time at all. And since you don’t have to serve it right away, you can make it the morning of a picnic or outing and have it on hand whenever you’re ready for it.

I’ve also included my recipe for the bulgogi marinade below but feel free to use a store bought marinade as there are TONS of great ones out there as well. However, keep in mind one note about the preparation of the eggs or “omelet”. Cook the eggs low and slow so that it doesn’t brown and retains its bright yellow color.

Much thanks to our friends at Safest Choice™ and to learn more about them and their pasteurization process to eliminate salmonella, please click here.

HAPPY PICNICKING!

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Kimbap – Korean Seaweed Rice Rolls
Makes 4 rolls

Ingredients:

½ cup bulgogi marinade, homemade* or store bought
¼ pound thinly sliced ribeye beef
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
3 large Safest Choice™ pasteurized eggs, beaten
2 cups cooked short grain-sticky rice, heated
½ tablespoon sesame oil
½ tablespoon rice wine vinegar
4 toasted seaweed sheets
½ cup finely julienned carrots
½ cup danmuji – Korean pickled daikon (or cucumbers), cut into long strips
½ cup blanched spinach

In a small bowl, mix the bulgogi marinade and beef together. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Heat a small nonstick skillet with ½ tablespoon vegetable oil over medium-low. Pour in the beaten eggs and turn down the heat to low. Cook the eggs until they have just set on top and you see tiny bubbles forming over the surface. Carefully flip over the “omelet”. Allow the eggs to cook for an additional minute and slide the omelet onto a cutting board. Cut the omelet into long strips approximately ½ inch wide. Set aside.

Use a damp paper towel and wipe the interior of the nonstick skillet. Heat the remaining vegetable oil over medium high. Add the marinated beef to the skillet and stir-fry until the meat has browned and cooked through. Set aside.

In a medium size bowl, combine the rice with the sesame oil and rice wine vinegar.

Place one piece of toasted seaweed (shiny side down) on a bamboo sushi mat or piece of parchment paper. Dip your hands into a bowl of water (to help keep the rice from sticking). Spread and press ¼ of the rice mixture into an even, thin layer on top of the seaweed. You’ll want to leave about 2 inches from the top and bottom of the seaweed sheet uncovered.

Place ¼ of the beef, eggs, carrots, daikon, and spinach horizontally along the center of the rice. Hold the bottom of the bamboo mat (or parchment), and use an upwards motion to roll the kimbap. As you’re rolling, you’ll want to gently squeeze the kimbap to ensure that it’s firmly sealed and enclosed into the shape of a log. Unroll the bamboo mat (or parchment) and set the rolled kimbap aside. Repeat the process with the remaining ingredients.

Using a sharp knife, cut each roll into ½ inch pieces. You may need to wipe down the knife periodically as the rice can cause the blade to become sticky. Serve the kimbap at room temperature.

*To make your own bulgogi marinade, add the following ingredients into a food processor/blender and puree. Makes approximately 1 cup.

1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey or agave
1 tablespoon mirin
juice of one small orange
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon Gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper powder)
½ teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ tablespoon brown sugar
½ small Asian pear, quartered
2 large garlic cloves
1 inch piece fresh ginger
2 scallions, cut into 2 inch pieces

NPE_DarlingDozenBadges

*DISCLOSURE: As a brand ambassador for the Safest Choice™ Darling Dozen, I was compensated for the creation of this recipe and post. However, as always, all opinions are my own.*

Beef

Korean Inspired Ribeye Steak – Happy Birthday Mom!

May 10th

It’s May 10th which means it’s not only Mother’s Day but also, our Mom’s Birthday!

She would have been 74 this year (eek! She’s probably yelling at me for disclosing that!) but I’m quite certain she would have looked no older than maybe 55….ok, may 60 🙂

May 10th

The woman had some crazy good skin! She would often tell me when I was growing up to always use upward strokes when applying facial lotion to go against gravity.

But come to think of it….how does one say “gravity” in Vietnamese again? Eh, I must have just known what she was talking about.

May 10th

Today started off very much like it has for the past few years on Mom’s birthday. As I’ve written in her birthday posts before, it kicked off with a delish breakfast that I picked up at Panera Bread. When Mom and Dad moved to Florida, they went crazy for Panera Bread and would go weekly for French onion soup and their fantastic egg soufflés.

Luckily, I was able to snag the last Spinach and Bacon Egg Soufflé which was decadently wonderful.

May 10th

After brekkie I started going through old pics of Mom for this post and couldn’t help but smile.

I mean, the woman was a serious F-A-S-H-I-O-N-I-S-T-A….and I’m talking all the way back to when she was a kid.

May 10th

Neither her family or my dad’s were wealthy but she someone how managed to rock it out in the countrysides of  Việt Nam with Sophia Loren style sunglasses, patent leather pumps, itty-bitty mini-dresses and beautifully tailored & formfitting áo dàis.

May 10th

And this sense of style never waned through the years.

To this day, I wonder if Dad ever knew how often Mom would hide her shopping loot in the car or in the back of the closets only to tell him days later when she was wearing the new item that it was actually years and years old.

Sneaky woman.

May 10th

And as you know, Mom was an incredible cook.

I think most people say that about their moms but for reals, ours was awesome.

May 10th

When I shared my Vegetarian Chap Chae recipe a couple of years ago, I talked a little bit about how Mom and Dad went through a major Korean phase. They would watch Korean soap operas/dramas, buy Korean cookbooks, make and jar their own types of kimchees, and of course–go to town on Korean BBQ.

May 10th

Since I make a steak every year on Mama’s birthday (she was a carnivorous steak-loving 4’9″ woman), I decided to take a Korean spin. When grilling up (or pan-cooking) steaks, I rarely will use a marinade. I think the straight up taste of beef with some salt and pepper can’t be beat.

But this is for Mom and a little variation from time to time is good for you.

Korean Inspired Ribeye Steak

I opted for a ribeye cut (my fav) and doctored some of my go-to Korean BBQ beef marinade. It’s filled with all kinds of goodness like soy, ginger, garlic, fresh OJ, and of course–grated Asian pear. The latter is for some added sweetness and the acidity helps tenderize the meat.

If you want to add a kick of spice, add a few dollops of gojuchang — Korean fermented chili paste.

Korean Inspired Ribeye Steak

I chose to use a cast iron skillet to cook the steak instead of using a grill because I prefer how the meat caramelizes on the skillet.

But hey– if you prefer, fire up the grill!

Korean Inspired Ribeye Steak

I like my steak on the medium to medium-rare side and served it up with a bed of rice and bok choy. I threw the marinade used for the steak in a small sauce pan, cooked and reduced it down, and then drizzled it over the beef.

I’ve got to tell ya. It was dang good and quite the lunch to celebrate Mama. There’s no doubt that she would have loved it.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY AND MOTHER’S DAY MAMA!

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 8 years since you’ve been with us but not a day goes by where we don’t think of you! We miss your feistiness, strength, stubbornness, laughter, and COOKING!!

_________________________________________

Korean Inspired Ribeye Steak
Serves 2

Ingredients:

¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey or agave
1 tablespoon mirin
juice of one small orange
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon Gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper powder)
½ teaspoon toasted sesame seeds (more for garnish)
kosher salt
black pepper
½ tablespoon brown sugar
½ small Asian pear, finely grated
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
½ inch piece fresh ginger, finely grated
2 scallions, chopped (more for garnish)
1 16-18 ounce ribeye beef steak or two 8-9 ounce ribeye beef steaks
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
shilgochu (Korean red pepper chili threads)

Prepare the marinade. In a bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, honey, mirin, orange juice, sesame oil, gochugaru, sesame seeds, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, brown sugar, grated pear, garlic, ginger and scallions.

Rinse the steak with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Pour the marinade into a large resealable bag. Add the steak and rub the marinade all over. Squeeze out as much air as possible and then seal the bag. Place the bag in a shallow dish and refrigerate for at least 4-6 hours.

Remove the steak from the bag and pour the marinade into a small saucepan. Use paper towels to dry off the steak and allow the beef to sit out for about 10 minutes until it becomes room temperature.

Place a cast iron skillet on the middle rack of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F.

After the cast iron skillet has heated in the oven for 15-20 minutes, carefully remove the skillet and place on a burner over medium-high heat. Add the butter, oil and allow it to melt together before carefully placing the ribeye steak in the skillet. Sear the steak on the first side for 1-2 minutes. Flip the steak and allow to sear for 30 seconds before placing the whole skillet into the oven. Allow the steak to roast in the oven for about another 2-3 minutes for medium rare (depending on the thickness of your steak). Remove the steak from the skillet and place on a plate or cutting board. Cover loosely with foil for about 5-7 minutes to allow the steak time to rest.

While the steak rests, simmer the marinade in the saucepan until it thickens and reduces by half.

To serve, slice the steak. Plate with steamed rice, sautéed bok choy and drizzle the reduced marinade over the top of the beef. Garnish with additional chopped scallions, sesame seeds and shilgochu. Enjoy!

Beef

Guinness Braised Pot Roast… Sláinte!

Guinness Braised Pot Roast

Hiccup!

Oh! Excuse me!

Hiccup! Burp! *blush*

Guinness Braised Pot Roast

Sorry Gang….I’ve spent the past weekend tinkering around the kitchen with Guinness. I HAD to because today is St. Patrick’s Day and I just couldn’t let y’all down. I needed to share something so deliciously wonderful —that was of course, made with Guinness.

Guinness Braised Pot Roast

But what was I to make with the thick, wonderfully rich and chocolatey stout?

Tacos? Ribs?

So many options yet so few hours in a weekend.

And finally, despite the crazy 90 degree heat wave we were having in San Diego, I cranked on the oven to make pot roast.

I figured the sauna-like environment I had created would let me sweat off at least 10 pounds.

Win-Nguyen situation.

Guinness Braised Pot Roast

I settled with a fairly straight-forward method for the pot roast. Quick sear of the beef, browning of aromatics, added some liquid and then braised it all in a dutch oven for a few hours.

But the kicker?

Guinness Braised Pot Roast

The GUINNESS of course! Plus, the coriander seeds with tomatoes added another level to the flavors that were then punched up with brightness by the fresh parsley and lemon zest to finish it all off.

Guinness Braised Pot Roast

Serve it with mashed potatoes, parsnip puree, polenta –heck, or even as a sammich’! SOOO GOOD!

Guinness Braised Pot Roast

And with that dear friends, have a HAPPY ST.PATRICK’S DAY! Sláinte!

___________________________________

Guinness Braised Pot Roast
Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

 

1 beef chuck roast (approximately 3-4lbs.) trimmed and cleaned
black pepper
kosher salt
½ cup all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cups diced celery
2 cups diced carrots
2 cups diced white onion
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
3 cups Guinness or other Stout of your choice
2 heaping tablespoons minced garlic
8-10 sprigs fresh thyme
8-10 sprigs fresh parsley
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
3-4 dried bay leaves
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
zest of one lemon

Heavily season the beef with kosher salt and black pepper. Roll the chuck roast in flour and dust off any excess. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a dutch oven or other heavy bottom pot that is oven proof over. Once the oil reaches medium heat, sear each side of the beef until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes each side. Once browned, remove the beef to a large plate.

Add the remaining olive oil to the pot. Add the celery, carrots, and onions and cook over medium heat until softened but not browned, about 7-8 minutes. Add in the garlic, red pepper flakes and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Stir in 1 teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, can of tomatoes with its juices and bring to a simmer. Pour in the Guinness (or other Stout) and allow the liquids to come to a boil.

While the liquids come to temperature, take kitchen twine and tie the thyme and parsley together into a small bundle. Create a sachet with a small piece of cheese cloth and place the black peppercorns, coriander seeds and bay leaves in the center. Bring the corners of the cheese cloth together and use additional kitchen twine to tie the sachet together.

Once the liquids in the pot have come to a boil, place the beef roast back in along with the bundle of herbs and sachet of spices. Allow the liquids to come back to a boil, cover the pot with an oven proof lid and place into a preheated 300 degree F oven. Cook the beef for 3-3½ hours until the meat is fork tender.

Carefully remove the roast to a large plate and cover with foil. Remove and discard the bundle of herbs and sachet of spices. Skim off and discard as much oil/fat from the surface of the vegetables. Using an immersion blender, puree the vegetables until it becomes a fairly smooth sauce. Taste and adjust with additional salt or pepper as needed. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a standard blender or food processor.

Slice the beef – it should be very tender and could be pulled apart with forks. Plate the beef and spoon the sauce over it. Top the beef with chopped parsley and lemon zest. Serve with mashed potatoes, polenta, etc. Enjoy!