Sunday, January 27, 2013

Slow Cooker French Onion Soup

Week four of the challenge is to cook something inspired by music. All I kept thinking about was "Rock Lobster" by the B-52's. Alas, rock lobsters aren't easy to find in Maryland, in January. After doing a little googleing, I decided to use "The Onion Song", by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell as my inspiration. It's also a super cold day here, so I really want some soup for lunch.

Here is the cast of characters...

3 small yellow onions, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 tbsp of butter, cut into chunks
1 tsp cooking sherry
1 tsp Worcestershire
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1 bay leaf
bread for croutons
shredded mozzarella cheese

Slice the onions and place them on the bottom of the crock.( I used my small slow cooker for this because I'm the only one who is going to be eating this. If you have a lot of onion soup lovers in your house, double or triple the recipe and use a large slow cooker.)

Peel and mince the garlic and sprinkle that on top of the onions. Then add the butter. Set this up to cook on high for about four hours, stirring every hour. The onions will get nice and caramelized.

After four hours, add the sherry, Worcestershire, thyme, parsley, and bay leaf. Continue cooking on high for 2 hours.

Ladle the soup into a bowl, then top it with your croutons and some mozzarella cheese. Usually, you should broil this for a few minutes to get the cheese nice and brown. I didn't do that because I don't know if my bowls are oven safe and I didn't want it to break.
I made this Tuesday when it was super cold outside. I wished it had more flavor. It was good, but it lacked the richness you usually want in French Onion Soup.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Beef Bulgogi

This week I was really excited for the challenge. Korean. I have made this a few times before, but this was the newest recipe I developed, and I liked this better than the others I have made.

 For the marinade:
1/3 cup soy sauce (I used low sodium)
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp tahini (Sesame seed paste)
2 tbsp honey
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1-2 tbsp minced ginger

1.5 lbs ribeye, sliced very thin
1 bunch of scallions
about 2 tbsp vegetable oil

Mix all the ingredients listed for the marinade with a whisk. Put the beef, marinade, and about half of the scallions, very thinly sliced, into a large baggie. I marinated mine for about ten hours, but you could go as long as 24 or as little as one.

Put the vegetable oil in a wok and set it to about medium high. Once the oil is nice and hot add the beef. Discard any unused marinade. This will cook pretty quickly, but you want to keep mixing it up so that it cooks evenly.

I served this with some brown rice and snow peas. It was yummy.

Apple-Bacon Coleslaw

Apple-Bacon Coleslaw. Yes, you heard me right. And it's amazing!!! I saw a recipe for it, but the girl's blog was down when I actually went to put it together, so I improvised. Here you go...

1/2 head of cabbage, sliced very thin
1 lb bacon, cut into small pieces and fried
1 apple, skin on, sliced and diced (I used Honey Crisp because that's my favorite)
Juice from one lemon
1/2 red onion, sliced thin
1/4 cup of Gulden's Spicy Brown Mustard
1/4 cup mayo
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
salt and fresh ground pepper

Just gather all the ingredients, put them all together and mix well. I made it a day before I wanted to eat it to let it marinate and think about just how awesome it wanted to be. This was a side for pulled BBQ pork. I also made potato salad because the weird old man that lives upstairs won't eat cabbage.

Edit: This was so seriously delicious, but after some discussion with my husband we have decided that next time I need to use two apples, and chop everything a lot smaller. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Mint Iced Tea

I hate to say it, but it's week two and I'm already lacking inspiration. This week's challenge is mint. I really feel like I should be making savory things and not sweet, since it's cooking, not baking. Alas, I do not like savory mint dishes. I hate lamb, or maybe I just haven't had it prepared well. I also thought about lots of dishes that have a mint-yogurt sauce. Too bad I hate yogurt. Some friends gave me some interesting ideas, but nothing I was really excited about. The only thing I could think of all week was mint tea, so I decided on a sweet iced tea with fresh mint sprigs.

I have one of those Mr. Coffee iced tea makers and I love it. In about five minutes you can have a huge pitcher of fresh iced tea. For this I used five regular tea bags and five mint tea bags. Once the tea was brewed I added some simple syrup (about a quarter cup), and garnished my glass of tea with a sprig of fresh mint from the pot on my front porch. This tea is also really good with a little vodka in it. It's not much of a recipe, but it's all I could think of. I promise something much better for next week, as I am really excited about the theme.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Coconut Shrimp with Pineapple-Jalapeno Sauce

Okay, so here I go again, promising to be a better blogger. Yada yada yada. It's a new year, so I'm going to try again. With the new year there is a new 52 weeks of cooking challenge. Week one is appetizers. I've been meaning to make this for so long, so I finally have something to push me.

So here's what you need for the coconut shrimp...

1 lb large shrimp, shelled and de-veined
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
honey/water mixture, about 1 tbsp of each mixed together
parchment paper

Peel and de-vein your shrimp...
Mix the honey and water together...
Mix the coconut, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder together...
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Then set up an assembly line.

Dip each shrimp in the honey-water mixture, then coat with the coconut mixture. Set each coated shrimp on the parchment lined cookie sheet.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 8-10 minutes, then flip them over and bake for another 8-10 minutes.

While they are cooking mix together the pineapple-jalapeno sauce.

Here's what you need for the sauce...

1/2 cup pineapple preserves
1/2 jalapeno, minced
juice from 1 lime

Serve the shrimp with the sauce and enjoy!