Tag: spices

Falafel- Israel

Falafel- Israel

Now, I’m not saying falafel is a strictly Israeli dish. Or that Israeli falafel is the best falafel. I’m just saying Israeli falafel is MY favorite falafel*. I’ve never made falafel before, and I was a little bit afraid I’d have to deep fry it. […]

Thai Green Curry

Thai Green Curry

I don’t know how many times I’ve tried to make Thai curry at home. Red, green, panang, massaman- I’ve tried and failed to make them all. I didn’t know what I was doing wrong! Well, yes I did. I was using Japanese and Chinese ingredients […]

Shaky Beef

Shaky Beef

I had shaky beef in a DC restaurant a long time ago. It’s a classic Vietnamese dish of lemongrass flavored beef and vegetables. It’s my favorite Vietnamese dish. Well, except for bahn mis. And pho. And Bo luc lac. Fine, so I can’t choose my favorite. But shaky beef is definitely up there! It’s really easy to make at home- you just need good lemongrass. I love using jarred lemongrass, because every time I get fresh lemongrass (which isn’t very often), I feel pressured to make something amazing with it, and nothing is ever good enough, and I end up having to throw away spoiled lemongrass. Less pressure with the jarred stuff! I’d recommend marinating the beef, but I’m sure the world wouldn’t end if you didn’t*!

 

INGREDIENTS

 

2 sirloin steaks (flank works well too!)

3 baby bell peppers

1 onion

1 tablespoon jarred lemongrass

1 teaspoon sesame oil

2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon ginger powder

4 garlic cloves

Start by peeling and slicing the vegetables. Please don’t peel the bell peppers. The thought of peeled bell peppers makes me extremely uncomfortable.

Slice up the steak, too,

nd then make the marinade/sauce/thing. Start by spending 10 minutes looking for a mason jar so you look artisanal. When you can’t find one, use an old pesto jar. Throw in the lemongrass,

sesame oil, sugar, ginger powder, and chopped garlic

Give it a good shakey shakey. I could’ve made this in a bowl, but then I wouldn’t be able to do any shakey shakey. If you want to make extra, just double or triple the recipe and keep the jar in the fridge. Throw it into beef, chicken, tofu, fish, or vegetables for an extra shot of flavor.

Now grab a zipper bag (if you’re marinating it), and throw in the peppers, onion, and beef.

Pour in the marinade/sauce/thing,

seal the bag, and give it a shakey shakey. Marinade it anywhere from 2-24 hours.

When you’re ready to make it, heat up some oil in a wok. You want it to be screaming hot when you add the beef!

I like to cook the beef first, and add the vegetables later. Sear the beef briefly (or beef-ly), just long enough to get some color on both sides. It’s medium rare now, which is perfect for me, but you can cook it more later if you’re one of those philistines who likes beef well done.

Remove the beef from the wok,

and throw in the vegetables.

Cook them on high, high heat- this will get them nice and crispy, and get rid of any bacteria from the raw meat. If you like, add the beef in now and shake the wok around to cook everything (that’s where the name comes from!).

When everything is cooked to your liking, serve it on top of rice, garnished with plenty of cilantro!

*Allthoseinflavor.com and the snarky proprietor behind it are in no way, shape, or form responsible for the world (or any world) ending as a result of not marinating the beef

Baleadas- Honduras

Baleadas- Honduras

I was raised on quesadillas. Whole wheat tortillas, a Mexican cheese blend, and some refried beans were a staple in our house. Baleadas are pretty similar to that! They’re sold as a street food in Honduras, and I can see why- they’re quick, easy to […]

Baked Eggs

Baked Eggs

Another guest post by my mama! Baked eggs have been Christmas breakfast in our house for as long as I can remember- usually accompanied by a gingerbread house (storebought- I tried to make one from scratch last year, with disastrous results), and coffee for my […]

Cake Mix Cake (But Don’t Tell Anyone)

Cake Mix Cake (But Don’t Tell Anyone)

Right. Here’s how it went down. I, the ultimate food snob, made a cake mix cake. It wasn’t on purpose. It was going to go bad! And I wanted cake without putting any real effort into it. Holiday stress is getting to me. Well, my stress isn’t really caused by the holidays, but if I’m stressed out around Christmas, you bet I’m calling it holiday stress. Anyways! I needed cake. So I made a yellow cake. From a box. I got out a bowl. Dumped in the mix. Added some eggs, oil, and water. Poured it into a cute pan (makes 6 cakes, each one looks like a little house!). Baked it. I was too ashamed to take pictures. Eventually, my pride got the better of me, and I started making sauces and icing to cover up the shame cake. If you have neither the time nor the inclination to make cake from scratch, some fancy icing (that is also very low effort) will make people think you’ve put hours into it, when in reality you’ve been binge watching Friends and panicking about least squares regression lines, the economy, reading Kurt Vonnegut, and questioning your entire existence! Tis the season.

 

INGREDIENTS

 

Basic Buttercream:

 

1 cup powdered sugar

1 stick butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Buttercream Flavoring

 

1 teaspoon instant coffee

 

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground ginger

 

5 peppermint candies

 

Caramel Sauce

 

(http://allthoseinflavor.com/mexican-chocolate-caramel-cake/)

 

Chocolate Ganache

 

½ cup dark chocolate squares

3 tablespoons butter

Start by making the buttercream. The butter should be completely softened- soft enough to smush it around like this. 

Throw in the powdered sugar in two halves, and mix it in.

It’ll look all crumbly and dry at first, but as you keep mixing, it’ll get nice and smooth. PSA: don’t use a whisk to make buttercream. It’s a no no. Use a rubber spatula. That’s how you go from the crumbly to the smooth.

Once you’ve reached the aforementioned smooth stage, pour in the vanilla. Mix that in, and you’ve got a pretty dang professional buttercream. Alternately, just use a store bought buttercream. What’s the point of trying? What’s the POINT?! Sorry. I’ve been reading a lot of Nietzche.

Anyways! Pour ½ tablespoon of water each into the coffee and spices. I’ve never made a coffee buttercream. Or a spiced buttercream. I was bored. Happens.

Divide the buttercream into three bowls, set the coffee and spices aside,

and then unwrap the peppermints, and throw them into a Ziploc. Grab a rolling pin, and whack them into pieces. You don’t want a fine powder, but you also don’t want anyone to break their tooth on a large chunk. Or maybe you do. I don’t know your life. You do you.

Throw the coffee, spices, and peppermint into their respective bowls, and mix them in.

 

Et voila!

 

 

Now, you can stop here, or you can be a little bit extra. Guess which one I did. Making ganache is really simple- just melt chocolate and butter over low heat. You can use a double boiler, and chop the chocolate, and make your own butter, and fashion the pot in your smithery, but I was running a little low on time. Entirely up to you! I also made a caramel sauce, but didn’t take pictures. Why? I have no idea. I imagine that’s the president’s response to questions about, well, everything. Foreign policy? The economy? Diplomacy? The pot I made the ganache in could probably give a better answer. Because it’s a pot, and it can’t talk, and I think we can all agree that silence is better than spewing a pile of racist, absurd tripe. Once you have all your sauces and icing and condiments (I’m not going to judge you for putting ketchup on your cake. Well, I am, actually, but I’ll do it quietly), go to town!

 

 

You can pipe the frosting on, make decorations, or just slather it on. Knock yourself out!

JCD Part 1- Fried Chicken

JCD Part 1- Fried Chicken

JCD stands for Japanese Christmas Dinner. I like abbreviating things. Acronymizing? For someone who spends an hour every day on AP English Lit, I’m not very eloquent. Anyways! The traditional Japanese Christmas dinner is, well, KFC. Nothing wrong with that. I’d never admit I like […]

Orzo Stuffed Fennel

Orzo Stuffed Fennel

I. Love. Fennel. It may not be in season anymore, but I don’t let little things like that bother me. I will find fennel. And so help me, I will stuff it and bake it. Today, it’s a Mediterranean orzo salad. Tomorrow it could be […]

Nyembwe- Gabon

Nyembwe- Gabon

It’s 80 degrees in October. I don’t care, I’m making stew. It was a good stew! Really simple to make, and it has pine nuts. I’m into whatever has pine nuts. Does anyone know if they actually come from pine trees like pinecones, or are they just imposters, like pineapples? I don’t know. I just like eating entire bags.

 

INGREDIENTS

 

1 chicken breast

2 tomatoes

1 onion

1 head of garlic

8.5 oz chicken broth

1 vegetable bouillon cube (I discovered these when I was making a stew for Chad a few months back. Changed my life)

2 oz thyme

1 dried chili pepper

3 tablespoons pine nuts (I forgot this. Oops)

 

Start by heating up some oil in a pan.  Cube and throw in the chicken,

and crumble in the bouillon cube.

Sear them over high heat- you just want to get some color on them, you don’t need to worry about them being cooked through. Remove them to a bowl or plate (I personally get a huge kick from using stainless steel bowls for everything. Makes me feel professional),

and then deglaze the pan with some vegetable broth. You only need to pour in about a tablespoon- you really just want to let the liquid reduce into a flavorful glaze.

Pour the liquid into a cup, and set it aside.

Scrape the bottom with a spatula to get some of the dark specks, that’s where all the flavor is!

Now chop up the veggies. Don’t turn the heat off under the pot! Keep it on low, and right before you throw in the veggies, turn the heat to high. You want the pan to be screaming hot!

Stir around the veggies, and let them get nicely blackened.

Remove them from the pan,

and deglaze it one more time. I love deglazing. There’s something about the sizzle and smoke that’s very entertaining!

By now, we’re done deglazing.

Put the pine nuts in a mortar and pestle, and crush them up just a bit. Could you get the same result by chopping them? Yes! Would it be as much fun? No!

Now throw the chicken, veggies, pine nuts, broth, and thyme into the pot.

Bring it to a boil,

and then reduce the heat to low, put a lid on it, and let it cook for about 3 hours. Stir it occasionally to prevent sticking. By the time it’s done, it will be dark, flavorful, and nicely mushy. Serve it with rice, crackers, or on it’s own!

Papusa and Slaw- El Salvador

Papusa and Slaw- El Salvador

If you liked the Bruneian Murtabak, you’re going to love this. These are a popular street food in El Salvador- and I think they’re going to become a staple here. Usually, papusa are served with a cabbage and jicama slaw, but I couldn’t find jicama […]