Bulgogi (불고기 Korean Marinated BBQ Beef)

September 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

This is probably one of the most popular Korean dishes and one of the easiest to make.

1. Probably best to marinate for at least 1 hour, overnight is ideal but 1 hour will still be pretty delicious.

2. This can completely be vegetarian-friendly if you make the sauce for some mushrooms, onions, cabbage, whatever vegetables you’d like, and then grill the same way! I like to marinate some of my onions in the sauce. Another quick and easy snack, served with rice!

3. This can be great for a jungol as well, please see my other post!

Stephanie’s Bulgogi Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2.5 – 3 lbs of thinly sliced rib-eye or beef brisket
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 10-15 minced garlic cloves (around 3 heaping tablespoons)
  • 1/4 cup mirin (rice wine)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 3-4 green onions, minced
  • 2 onions, sliced thinly
  • 1 carrot, sliced thinly at an angle * optional
  • mushrooms, sliced thinly * optional
  • 2 hot green peppers, sliced thinly * optional

Directions

  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl and taste. If you like your sauces a little sweeter, add a little more honey or sugar to your liking.
  2. Add your beef, onions, and green onion. Toss gently to combine with your hands, that’s the best way. Add other veggies if wanted.
  3. Marinate for at least one hour (up to overnight), and then grill and cook until the beef is cooked through. (Only a few minutes.)
  4. Serve with rice and some kimchi, the best combination.
  5. Enjoy!!
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Coffee Cake (The Best Ever.)

September 6, 2011 § 2 Comments

Happy week everyone!

I just came back from a beautiful, relaxing weekend away in Martha’s Vineyard, which is one of my favorite places on earth. My friend and I took the ferry directly from NYC to Oak Bluffs, which was surprisingly lovely. Yes, the two hours of choppy ocean-waves are a bit too much to stomach at times, but it’s nothing that a few glasses of wine can’t cure! My dearest friends from college and I went to our favorite places, picked up some great end-of-summer deals, and ate delicious food. It wouldn’t have been the worst thing in the world if we “accidentally” missed our ferry back… 🙂 Thanks again to my lovely Protrap. 😉

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend as well!

Coffee cake:

1. Surprisingly has zero coffee in it! It’s called coffee cake because it goes so dang well with coffee.

2. This coffee cake is actually sinful. It’s so good. And you might eat the whole thing by accident.

3. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.

Ridiculously Delicious Coffee Cake, The Best Ever Perhaps Recipe

From the Pioneer Woman

Ingredients

  • FOR THE CAKE:
  • 1-1/2 stick Butter, Softened
  • 2 cups Scant Sugar
  • 3 cups Flour, Sifted
  • 4 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1-1/4 cup Whole Milk
  • 3 whole Egg Whites, Beaten Until Stiff
  • _____
  • FOR THE TOPPING:
  • 1-1/2 stick Butter, Softened
  • 3/4 cups Flour
  • 1-1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 cup Pecans, Chopped

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat egg whites and set aside.

Cream butter and sugar. Add flour mixture and milk alternately until combined. Don’t overbeat. Fold in beaten egg whites with a rubber spatula. Spread in a well-greased 9 x 13 (or LARGER!) baking pan. A cake pan with higher sides would be best.

In a separate bowl, combine topping ingredients with a pastry cutter until crumbly. Sprinkle all over the top.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until no longer jiggly. Serve warm—delicious!

Chili Lobster (Hurricane Lobster Party)

August 27, 2011 § 3 Comments

I am sorry, poor lobsters. 😦 Your sacrifice, due to my horrific murderous actions, was much-appreciated. Thank you!

One of my favorite restaurants in NY is Fatty Crab. Their pork-belly watermelon salad is AMAZING. But the “piece de la resistance” is undoubtedly their chili crab. It is SO delicious. Mop up that sauce with their huge pieces of buttery toast…mmm…mmm….mmm….

But since I am implementing austerity measures, I decided I would try to make an adaptation of the infamous chili-crab  recipe at home. With lobster. I think lobster is a little easier to eat because while still-messy, less messy than crab. And it was on sale for $5.99/lb, which is basically a steal. And once, at Fatty Crab, I tried the Chili Lobster instead one day, which was just as amazing as the crab.

Notes:

1. Yes, 4 tablespoons of sriracha does seem like a lot, but I really couldn’t taste that much spiciness! Feel free to start off with 2 (bare minimum) but be liberal, I would actually do 5 next time.

2. Since I couldn’t bring myself to breaking down the lobsters while they were alive, I decided to steam them first and then break them apart. But I am sure if you have more guts than I do, you could break them apart while they are alive and then cook them in the sauce, which might make the meat more flavorful. I actually didn’t mind the light flavoring, especially since I had a lot of sauce that I could dip my lobster-meat into.

3. The original recipe called for some cornstarch, but my sauce was pretty thick so I didn’t put it in. But I’m guessing that this will help the sauce coat the lobster better, so I suppose you could always give it a try!

4. This was really good, doesn’t really remind me of Fatty Crab’s too much (in a league of their own) but it was still super delicious! I will absolutely make this again and again.

5. Stay safe from the Hurricane everyone!

6. I hope I don’t lose too many visitors after this post…I truly did feel bad for those little guys. But they tasted pretty damn good…

Stephanie’s Hurricane Chili Lobster

Adapted from NY Times

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons sriracha
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Golden Mountain seasoning sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons rice-wine vinegar (or 2 tablespoons mirin, 1 tbsp rice vinegar)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cups chopped shallots (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch* optional
  • 2 tablespoons water* optional
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 3-4 1 3/4-2 lb lobsters, steamed, cleaned and split, large claws slightly cracked
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • cup chopped scallions for garnishing

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, with a steamer. Be careful not to let the water level be higher than the steamer, just-touching is fine. Bring the water to a boil, and then carefully drop those lovely lobsters into the pot and close the lid immediately. :*( Then steam for about 18-20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. After cooled, break them apart, taking the claws, tail, and legs off and reserving the head for soup stock if desired. Remove the gills and innards (greyish/greenish yucky stuff) and roe (orange/red stuff). Crack the claws and segment the tail carefully. Set the lobster pieces aside, you can do this up to one night before.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the sriracha, soy sauce, sugar, Golden Mountain sauce, rice-wine vinegar, tomato paste and sesame oil with 1 cup of water and set aside.
  3. Place the shallots, garlic, ginger and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture becomes a smooth paste. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water.
  4. Heat the peanut oil in a wok over high heat, and when it shimmers, add the shallot paste and fry for 2 minutes until very fragrant. Add the chili sauce, and when the liquid simmers, continue to cook for 5 minutes on medium low heat (it may start to splatter, lower heat if this happens).
  5. Add the lobster and coat well with the sauce, keeping the heat at medium.
  6. Add the cornstarch paste if you want your sauce to be thicker, now, and cook for 2 minutes.
  7. Add the egg yolk to the sauce and stir immediately into the sauce so it is a smooth consistency. Coat the lobster pieces.
  8. Turn off the heat and serve the lobster with lots of rice or toast, and a LOT of napkins!
  9. Enjoy!!

Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting (Perfection!!)

July 20, 2011 § 4 Comments

I found it. FINALLY. The perfect vanilla cake-recipe.

I’ve had some disappointments in the past – the recipes I tried were a little too dense, a little too coarse, a little too dry, etc. But this, everyone, this is the absolute perfect combination of moist, light, and fluffines that will blow your mind.

Cupcakes are my major weakness. I immediately want one even after I hear the word “cupcake” being said, so the other day when I ordered 3-dozen cupcakess from Billy’s Bakery for our best-selling book’s Publisher, I knew I had to satisfy my need.  And I did. (A little too much.)

I am a fan of most bakery’s cupcakes in the city – Magnolia, Buttercream Bake Shop, tbsp, and Sugar Sweet Sunshine. I want to try all of them!

Frosting:

1. I love a light, whipped frosting so I highly recommend this one. I’m also a little paranoid lately about all the artificial chemicals in food-coloring so I made my own using crushed cherry-juice.  I think it was worth it and looks decent!

2. I know there’s an insane amount of pictures, but it’s because I think cupcakes are so dang cute.

Stephanie’s Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

Makes 18 Cupcakes

Total preparation and cooking time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 heaping tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 (1 1/4 cup) sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/4 cup of milk

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a large bowl, combine your dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until nice and fluffy, around 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add vanilla, mix 1 minute.
  5. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each one. Mixture might look curdled, it’s all good!
  6. Add milk and oil, mix well.
  7. Add flour mixture in 2-3 installments, and mix until JUST combined. Over-mixing = death of a light, moist cake.
  8. Line your cupcake pans with cupcake liners, and add around 2 heaping tablespoons of batter to each.  They should look around 2/3-3/4 full.  Don’t put too much batter or else it will spill out of the pan.
  9. Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes, mine took 19 minutes exactly.
  10. COOL COMPLETELY BEFORE FROSTING OR ELSE YOU WILL HAVE A FROSTING DISASTER!

Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Adapted from Billy’s Bakery 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 stick butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Juice of 1 crushed cherry (optional)

Directions

  1. In a stand-mixer, cream butter until smooth – around 3 minutes.
  2. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, milk, and vanilla. Mix until desired consistency.
  3. I frosted half with white frosting, and half using the crushed-cherry-tinted ones. Go crazy!
ENJOY!!!*
*I sure did…

Ice Cream Mania – Earl Grey, Green Tea, and Coffee Ice Cream

July 11, 2011 § 5 Comments

Earl Grey Ice Cream Recipe

Adapted from MAC&CHEESE Review

Ingredients

  • 1 cup reduced fat 2% milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 8 Earl Grey Tea Bags
  • 5 large egg yolks

Directions

  1. Warm the milk, cream, and sugar in a saucepan. Remove from heat, place tea bags in the pan, cover and steep at room temperature for an hour. Squeeze them so that the excess flavor is released. Remove tea bags.
  2. Rewarm tea-infused milk. Whisk egg yolks together in a separate bowl.Slowly pour the milk mixture into the bowl with egg yolks, whisking constantly.
  3. Return the milk and egg mixture to the saucepan, and cook over medium heat, stirring and scrapping the bottom of the pan constantly until the mixture thickens to a custard and coats the spatula. (About 8-10 minutes.)
  4. Cool the mixture by refrigerating overnight.  Freeze in your ice cream maker the next day, and then put into a freezer-friendly container and let it chill in the freezer for at least two hours (preferably overnight). Enjoy!

Green Tea Ice Cream Recipe

Adapted from David Lebovitz

Ingredients

  • 1 cup reduced fat 2% milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 teaspoons green tea (matcha) powder
  • 5 large egg yolks

Directions

  1. Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. Pour the cream into a large bowl and whisk in the matcha. Set a mesh strainer on top.
  2. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
  3. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula.
  4. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream, then whisk it vigorously until the custard is frothy to dissolve the matcha.
  5. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Enjoy!

Coffee Ice Cream Recipe

Adapted from David Lebovitz

Ingredients

  • 1 cup reduced fat 2% milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups whole coffee beans or ground coffee (decaf unless you want the caffeine in your ice cream)
  • 5 large egg yolks

Directions

  1. Heat the milk, sugar, whole coffee beans, salt, and 1/2 cup of the cream in a medium saucepan until it is quite warm and steamy, but not boiling. Once the mixture is warm, cover, remove from the heat, and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour. If using ground coffee, strain through a cheesecloth into a large bowl.
  2. Pour the remaining 1 cup of cream into a medium size metal bowl, set on ice over a larger bowl. Set a mesh strainer on top of the bowls. Set aside.
  3. Reheat the milk and coffee mixture, on medium heat, until again hot and steamy (not boiling!). In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks together. Slowly pour the heated milk and coffee mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly so that the egg yolks are tempered by the warm milk, but not cooked by it. Scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
  4. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof, flat-bottomed spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula so that you can run your finger across the coating and have the coating not run. This can take about 10 minutes.
  5. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Press on the coffee beans in the strainer to extract as much of the coffee flavor as possible. Then discard the beans. Stir until cool.
  6. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  7. Enjoy!

Thai-style Chicken with Coconut Milk Sauce – Iron Chef-Style!

July 1, 2011 § 3 Comments

Have you ever opened up the pantry and refrigerator, simply at a loss of what to make or eat? And then, reach into that very-same pantry, and pull out a package of ramyun and resign yourself to an extremely satisfying but unhealthy supper?

I grabbed that package of ramyun, and I heat the water for it. I was actually really looking forward to savoring those delicious, al dente noodles while reading THE HUNGER GAMES (freaking…AMAZING!!!) and having a relaxing night in. But then, I thought, “Stephanie, let’s have a challenge. Let’s try to make something interesting using the ingredients you have on hand.” I shut off the heat for my boiling water and looked inside my pantry and refrigerator again.

I found: a can of coconut milk, some chicken bouillon, S&B Curry, chicken breasts, garlic, green onion, an onion, leftover napa cabbage-hearts, ginger, sriracha, and peanut butter. I started to think, what could I possibly make using these, and the answer was pretty obvious – a Thai-inspired coconut chicken curry!

Then I got really excited.  Challenges are good.

I was a little disappointed that I didn’t have any Thai red-curry or green-curry paste on hand (come on, doesn’t EVERYONE have this in their pantry? ;)) so I was a little wary of using my go to curry-rice S&B cubes. I decided I would save those for the very last, and only put them in if everything else turned out horribly. But this was my only “set-back”.

And after a mixture of this, and a little bit of that, I ended up with a chicken coconut “curry” (no “curry” went into the final dish, but it just sounds better) that was really delicious. I WILL TOTALLY MAKE THIS AGAIN! And perhaps I’ll even pick up some red or green curry paste next time, but I’m happy knowing that I don’t need them to make this taste phenonemal.

Thai Chicken Coconut Curry-less Curry

From my very own mind

Approximate cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1.5-2 lbs chicken breast, sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 TB mirin (rice wine)
  • 1/2 TB grated ginger
  • 1/2 TB coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 TB Golden Mountain sauce
  • 1 TB soy sauce
  • 4 TB minced garlic
  • 2 TB vegetable oil
  • 1 TB sesame oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • Any vegetables you want, thinly sliced (*recommended: bell pepper, bok choy, mushrooms, broccoli, napa cabbage, etc)
  • 2 TB Sriracha sauce
  • 1 13.5 ounce-can coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup chicken broth/stock
  • 1/2 TB grated ginger
  • 3 green onion stalks, thinly sliced
  • Curry paste or 1/4 S&B curry cube * COMPLETELY OPTIONAL, in fact, only put it in if you don’t like how everything above tastes at the end
  • Juice of 1 lemon * Also optional, cuts through the richness of the sauce a little

Directions

  1. Marinate chicken in rice wine, salt, pepper, ginger, Golden Mountain sauce, soy sauce for 15 minutes.
  2. Heat large pan with vegetable and sesame oil on high heat, add 2 TB of garlic and saute until fragrant (5-10 seconds).  Add chicken and cook until golden brown.
  3. Remove chicken from the pan, and set aside in a bowl.  Add more oil if necessary, turn the heat to medium, and add the onions and other vegetables.  Cook until tender, and then add the chicken back into the pan. Stir to mix all the ingredients together, and add the sriracha. Turn off the heat.
  4. In a bowl, mix together the coconut milk, chicken broth, ginger, 2 TB garlic, and pepper. Whisk together.
  5. Turn the heat back on to medium, and carefully add the coconut-milk mixture.  Mix together, and then taste.  Add salt if necessary. If you’d like, you can add about 1/4 of one of the cubes of curry, but again, completely optional.
  6. Add green onion to the sauce, and turn off the heat.  Serve with rice. Garnish with a wedge of lemon or lime.
  7. ENJOY!

Potatoes au Gratin – Pommes de terre gratin

June 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

Potatoes are easily one of my favorite foods. They are remarkably versatile – they’re good fried, boiled, mashed, steamed, baked, stuffed…just about anything!

So when you put potatoes – milk – butter – cheese – and more butter together…it’s pretty much a recipe for AMAZING.

The only thing that I think makes my version of potatoes au gratin a little more special is that I like to slice my potatoes razor-thin, using a mandolin. If you don’t own one, no worries, just slice them as thinly as possible, but it’s definitely easier on your fingers and the slices come out much more uniformly if you use a mandolin. The delicacy of the thin layers makes this extra-delicious. (And I believe every kitchen needs a mandolin…they’re SUPER handy.)

I used golden, purple, and red potatoes because they’re what I had on hand, but feel free to use russet. I also added gruyere cheese because that’s my favorite.

Potatoes au Gratin Recipe

adapted from allrecipes.com

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs assorted potatoes, sliced into razor-thin slices using a mandolin
  • salt and pepper to taste, season liberally
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Butter a 1 quart casserole dish.
  2. Layer the potatoes into bottom of the prepared casserole dish. Season liberally with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. In a medium-size saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Mix in the flour and salt, and stir constantly with a whisk for one minute. Stir in milk. Cook until mixture has thickened. Stir in cheese all at once, and continue stirring until melted, about 30 to 60 seconds. Pour cheese over the potatoes, and cover the dish with aluminum foil.
  4. Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven. Optional if you like a golden crust: remove aluminum cover 15 minutes before you take out the gratin.

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