Sunday, June 30, 2024

Bulgogi Style Pickled Eggs and Sausage

Boy, oh boy do we love pickled eggs. Everyone in the house adores them. The Spud would fight you for pickled eggs. She'd go Cool Hank Luke on pickled eggs. I've made them several different ways without a miss. I figured everyone in the house enjoys bulgogi, so I would use many of the same ingredients in making this batch. You really need to let these sit (IN THE FRIDGE) for minimum two weeks before the flavor really gets in the eggs. Throw these on the next charcuterie board to make a statement. Turn them into so diabolical deviled eggs. Or just pound them straight from the jar. Enjoy!


Bulgogi Style Pickled Eggs and Sausages
Ingredients

  • 2 dozen eggs
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons gochujang
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce 
  • 1 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 large white onion, halved and sliced
  • 1 pack (12-16 ounces) smoked sausage, cut into 1" slices
  • 2 empty sanitized quart jars with lids (or one half gallon jar if you have one)
Directions
  1. Boil and peel the eggs using whatever method you think works best (regardless of the method used, 30% of my eggs always look like they were peeled with a shotgun).
  2. In a pot, combine everything but the onion and sausage and bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
  3. In each jar, start by putting down a layer of 3-4 eggs. Then add a layer of onion and sausage pieces. Repeat until about 1/2" from the top of the jar. (There is a very real possibility you won't be able to fit a full dozen eggs in the quart jar. I think we were able to get 10-11 eggs per jar. We lost a couple during boiling and The Spud stole at least one. However, you will be guaranteed that only the best looking eggs go in.)
  4. Carefully pour the liquid into the jar until everything is submerged. Put on the lid and let cool. 
  5. Once the jar has cooled, store in the refrigerator for at least two weeks before eating.
Good Times!


Thursday, June 6, 2024

Clear the Fridge Pasta Salad

There comes a time in life when you get the call.  The call from a neighbor asking inviting you over for a cookout. Well, not one to ever show up empty-handed, I asked if he wanted me to bring anything. He said no. I said, that's not an option, please choose between mac & cheese or pasta salad. He went with the salad. So naturally I made six hundred pounds. It was pretty tasty and will make a solid addition to any cookout, picnic or pot luck. If you don't like Basalmic vinaigrette, feel free to swap in Italian or any dressing like that. I suppose you could even go totally wild and use ranch or Caesar dressing for a real gastric bludgeon. As always, if you try it, let me know what you think unless you don't like it. Then I don't want to hear about it. As always, notes are in blue.

Clear the Fridge Pasta Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs elbow macaroni
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded carrot 
  • 1 cup roasted red/orange/yellow pepper, chopped (feel free to use jarred roasted peppers if you don't want th extra work)
  • 1 can black olives, drained and halved
  • 3 ounces green olives, halved
  • 1 jar (12 ounces) marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 6 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes
  • 6 ounces pepperoni, diced
  • 1-1/2 cups Basalmic vinaigrette dressing (we originally used a from scratch recipe then realized the bottled stuff was fine, Start with 1 cup of the dressing, then adjust to taste if you want more)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Directions
  1. Cook pasta according to directions, but stop and drain a minute before the suggested time. 
  2. In a big foil pan, throw in everything and toss the living shit out of it.
  3. Give it a taste. If you want more dressing or salt and pepper, add it. If you want less, you're screwed.I guess you can add more of everything else?
Good Times!


Monday, May 13, 2024

Renaissance Faire Garlic Mushrooms

 Back in the day, The Wife and I used to visit the Bristol Renaissance Faire in Wisconsin annually. Life has since gotten in the way. We moved a few hours away and have not made it back in over 15 years. We would go in costume and everything. One of The Wife's favorite treats there was garlic stewed mushrooms. I am not a fan of mushrooms, but she adored these. I have on and off attempted to approximate those mushrooms and this is the closest I've gotten. This does have a lot of liquid in it, so you could probably double off the mushrooms and onions and still be fine. Alternatively, have a good piece of crusty bread on hand and just dip in in the liquid. Either way, it's a fast and easy recipe for mushroom lovers. Just have a mint handy when you're done because these will give you breath that can slay a thousand elves.

Renaissance Faire Garlic Mushrooms

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced thick (or leave them whole if you really want. That's how they were at the faire)
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup beef stock (or vegetable stock if you don't do meat)
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked Cherrywood salt (in the event you can't find this, just throw in 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a few dashes of Liquid Smoke)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch slurry (1/2 teaspoon corn starch, 1/2 teaspoon water, mixed)
Directions
  1. In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter. 
  2. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are translucent. 
  3. Add the mushrooms, cook 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the stock, salt, garlic pepper, and Worcestershire sauce.
  5. Bring to a simmer and let simmer for 5-7 minutes. 
  6. Remove from the heat and mix in the slurry. 
Good Times!


Monday, April 8, 2024

One Pan Chicken and Rice

Certain recipes evoke core childhood memories. This is certainly one of them. Chicken and rice in a pan with some random veggies and pasta sauce. My mom used to make this regularly. She had no real printed recipe for it. Things just got thrown in a pan and heat was applied. Often, some of the rice would be crunchy and underdone. Other sections of the rice would be big clumps. However, it tasted good and was filling. The green olives were an odd addition, but they added a nice bit of zing to the flavor. 

Core Childhood Memory

It this gourmet? No, not at all. I use canned sauce here. I almost never used canned sauce. Everything in this recipe was about getting a meal together and on the table as quickly and easily as possible. This is comfort food, plain and simple. As always, notes are in blue.

One Pan Chicken and Rice

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts, about 2 lbs. (bone in or out, it doesn't really matter. You can even use thighs if you prefer. In any case, make sure they are skinless)
  • 2 cups white rice
  • 3 cups water or chicken stock
  • 1 onion, cut into about 1" pieces
  • 1 bell pepper, cut into about 1" pieces
  • 1 can mushrooms (6.5oz), drained.
  • 1/2 cup green olives
  • 1 can (24 oz) pasta sauce (we used Hunt's Garlic & Herb)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning.
  • Grated parmesan cheese
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F (190C, Gas Mark 5)
  2. In a 9x13 baking dish add the rice and water/stock
  3. Lay the chicken on top of the rice. 
  4. Sprinkle the garlic and Italian seasoning over the chicken.
  5. Distribute the vegetables around the pan. 
  6. Pour the pasta sauce over the top of everything.
  7. Cook uncovered for about 1 hour, or until the chicken and rice are both done. (a little bit of charring on the veggies is normal)
  8. Garnish with parmesan cheese.
Everything benefits from a bit of cheese.
Good Times!


Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Slow Cooker Chicken and Potatoes in Garlic Cream Sauce

I have a love/hate relationship with my slow cooker. I love the convenience of being able to just set and forget a meal. I hate the fact that much of what comes out of it tastes much like anything else that comes out of it, and the fact that much of what comes out is not visually appealing. Did that make sense? Probably not. In any case, it seems I can get a slow cooker dish to TASTE good, but not to LOOK good. This one is no exception. It also requires a little stovetop work as well, which is usually a deal breaker for me. I just didn't think throwing raw onion would work here, though. That said, this dish smelled AMAZING and tasted really good. If it's not garlicky enough, throw some garlic powder in there. Go nuts. This is a pretty forgiving recipe. Some of you nicer people said it looked fine, but to me it looks like it was shaken out of a diaper.  And with that ringing endorsement, enjoy. As always, notes are in (blue.)

Slow Cooker Chicken and Potatoes
in Garlic Cream Sauce

Ingredients

  • 6 potatoes (about 2 pounds), cleaned and quartered. (use whatever potatoes you want. We went with plain old russets. If you want to peel them, feel free. We generally don't.)
  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 can (14.5 ounce) cream of broccoli soup
  • 1 envelope (1.2 ounce) Herb/Garlic soup mix
  • 1 block (8 ounce) cream cheese, softened (we use neufchatel to keep the fat down)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce of choice (or red pepper flakes. Or nothing if you're a big baby.)
  • Olive oil
  • Smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper
Directions
  1. In a pan, heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil to medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until they turn golden.
  2. In a bowl, add the onions, cream cheese, soup, soup mix, Worcestershire and hot sauces. Whisk until the cream cheese is completely incorporated. 
  3. Rub the chicken with some paprika and salt and pepper. 
  4. In a 5 quart slow cooker, put in the potatoes first. Then lay the chicken breasts on top of that. Pour the sauce over the chicken.
  5. Cook on HIGH for about 4-1/2 hours. If you do LOW, probably go with 7-8 hours.
  6. Keep an eye on it. You're wanting the potatoes to be done and the chicken cooked through. If it looks like it's starting to dry out at the halfway point, add a splash of water (or chicken stock, or even dry white wine if you're feeling rowdy.)
  7. Give everything a gentle stir at the end to make sure the sauce is covering everything before serving.
Good Times!


Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Fruity Marshmallow Cereal Bars

Ah, the Rice Krispie treat. One of the true classics of snacking. It was one of the first things we learned to make in Home Ec. back in middle school. It is such a simple recipe. As such, it begs to be messed with. Different cereals, bonus mix-ins, perhaps some toppings? Anything goes and usually works. This particular iteration came about due to the fact that I had a bag and a half of fruit flavored marshmallows slowly congealing in my pantry. I also had a half a box of Froot Loops looking for a home. I also had a HUGE back of shredded, sweetened coconut that I bought for reasons that have now escaped me. I combined them all and came up with a gem. These things are colorful and sweet as hell, but the fruit flavor and addition of coconut level things out a bit. If you don't like coconut, leave it out. I'll never know.  However, you'll still end up with a slightly different take on a classic snack. Let me know what you think as long as it's positive. As always, notes are in blue.


Fruity Marshmallow Cereal Bars

Ingredients

  • 5 cups fruit flavored mini marshmallows (Kraft makes these, as do a couple other companies. They should be available at most grocery stores or online)
  • 5 cups Froot Loops cereal (feel free to try this with other fruit flavored cereals, like Fruity Pebbles or Oops, All Berries.)
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
Directions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together cereal and coconut.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment and grease the parchment. 
  3. In a double boiler, at the butter and let it melt. Once the butter is melted, add the salt.
  4. Add in the marshmallows one cup at a time, allowing them to completely melt.
  5. Once the marshmallows are all melted, pour them into the mixing bowl and stir to get all the cereal and coconut evenly mixed into the marshmallow.
  6. Pour out the mixture onto the baking sheet and level evenly. (we leveled ours to about 1" thick)
  7. Allow to cool for a few hours, ideally in the refrigerator. 
  8. Cut them into the shape of your choice and eat!
Gööd Times!


Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Cranberry-Apple Kugel

Kugel is one of those dishes I remember fondly from childhood. My grandmother would make it occasionally and it was always a treat. I took her recipe and changed it up to make it a little more Winter seasonable. The end result is a sweet and tart kugel that is the perfect end to most meals. The bonus of this recipe is that you can fine every ingredient at ALDI. The Fried Apples may be a problem outside of the fall/winter season, but there's workarounds. If you've had kugel before, this is a nice change from the raisin/pineapple you may be used to. If you've never had kugel before, you're in for a treat. As always, notes are in blue.

Cranberry-Apple Kugel

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. wide egg noodles
  • 4 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) ALDI Fried apples with cinnamon. (this may be tough to find, especially out of season. If you can't find it, use an equal amount of canned apples, or in a pinch, apple pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 lb. small curd cottage cheese
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F (191C, GasMark 5)
  2. Cook noodles 1 less minute than suggested on the package. Drain and set aside.
  3. Chop cranberries (if you have a food processor, just save yourself the anguish and pulse them a few times in there) Throw the cranberries in a large bowl. Add sugar and mix. Let that sit for a few minutes.
  4. Add the apples, butter, eggs and cheese to the cranberry mixture. Stir to mix it all up. 
  5. Add the noodles and toss to make sure everything is evenly incorporated. 
  6. Dump it all in a greased 13x9 baking dish. Make sure it's distributed in an even layer.
  7. Cook for 40 minutes or until the noodles on top start to get brown and crisp.
  8. Remove from oven and let sit at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Good Times!