Saturday, August 31, 2013

Bibimbap - mixed rice



I think this is one of my favorite things to make. I haven`t made it exactly like I have seen recipes online, mainly because the first time I made it, I didn`t have time to look for the special ingredients, and since I really enjoyed it, I haven`t bothered to look. I will get around to it though eventually, don`t worry.

Traditionally, this is served with beef. The first time, we did have beef. I made it again with pork, then chicken, and then again with beef.  Beef is definitely my favorite, but the others were good as well. I also started with some of the vegetables mentioned in my original recipe. I have now moved on to making it with whatever I happen to have on hand.
You can use:
bean sprouts (mungsprossen)
zucchini
yellow squash
mushrooms
carrots
onion
bell pepper
spinach
cucumber

What you need:

This will vary with what vegetables you like, choose 3 or 4 from the list above.
Beef, chicken or pork. Shrimp if you like (I used 300 g of beef, and it is enough for 3 small or 2 good sized servings)
Rice - I used basmati as that is what I had, but use your favorite. I use 1/3 to 1/2 cup cooked rice per serving
eggs - 1 for each person

Marinade ingredients
1 Tbls soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp rice wine - I have used dry sherry and sake for this, both taste good
2 cloves minced garlic
1 Tbls chopped green onion (scallion)

Mix the marinade ingredients in a bowl large enough for your meat. Add the meat and refrigerate at least 20 minutes. I do this part whenever I have time during the day so that it is ready when I am.



Cook your rice so that it is ready.

Begin cooking your vegetables. Slice them into thin strips and cook one group at a time with a little olive or sesame oil.






Cook your meat in a separate pan. No need for oil in this one.


As I cooked my vegetables, I lined them up on a plate to keep them separate.



When you have everything cooked, cook your eggs. You want them sunny side up, so a little bit runny. Each person will get an egg on top of their bowl.

First, add your rice

Then your vegetables and meat


Finally your egg, and some finely chopped green onions.


My husband likes to add Sriracha

 

If you have a stone bowl, perhaps a dutch oven, and want to serve family style, you can heat the bowl and then add the rice so that it gets a bit of a crunch. Add your vegetables and meats. Right before serving you can mix it up.

Or, you can do like I did and use regular bowls and let everyone mix their own. The last time I made this, as I was using different vegetables for different people, I put one set in one pan and the other in another and just mixed everything as I cooked. I did cook the meat separately though.



It was faster, but doesn`t look quite as nice. Still tastes great though!

Enjoy, however you decide to make it :-)



Friday, August 30, 2013

Chicken skewers


These are super simple skewers with a great flavor. The picture above is unfortunately the only one I remembered to take at the end, and I`m not sure where some of the others are hiding, so I`ll have to make this again soon. Darn. :-)

You can make this the day before and then just let it marinate until you are ready to grill. Great for parties. Also, I had been planning to see how it handled freezing, but they were so good there were none left. I will try it next time though.

If you do have any leftovers, they are great with either hummus or greek yogurt in a pita pocket or tortilla for lunch. Throw in some greens and you have something yummy and filling.

I found the original recipe online while looking for something new to do to my chicken. They had a chutney with it, which I left out, but if it sounds interesting, check it out.


What you need:

400-500 g of chicken. Either I used the precut pieces to save time, but normally would use tenders
150 g greek yogurt (or regular, plain if you can`t find any)
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 to 1/3 cup diced onion
1 tsp grated fresh ginger. If you don`t have any, you can use 1/8 tsp of ground
1 tsp ground cumin (Kreuzk├╝mmel)
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp turmeric (Kurkuma)
2 Tbls lemon juice

Either cut your chicken into bite size pieces, or use the pre-cut.

Get a large zipping bag and put it inside a bowl (to help hold the shape while you add things)

Add the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic and onion. Squeeze the bag to mix well (or if you prefer, pre-mix everything in a bowl. I try to do everything as compactly as possible in my small kitchen)



Add the chicken to the bag


Mix the spices in a small bowl and then add to the bag



Seal and mix around to coat. Place in the fridge at least 4 hours, or overnight.


For the skewers, make sure you soak them in water at least 20 minutes before adding the chicken.

Grill.

That`s it, easy, right? :-) Serve with a salad, pita and hummus (I also did vegetable skewers)


Monday, August 26, 2013

Perfect Pita



I made this pita bread about 5 years ago. I used US ingredients to do it and I remember thinking that it was easier just to buy the already made pita bread in the store. This weekend, I tried again, but used Swiss ingredients. It was much easier than I remembered, and the taste, with the hummus that I previously posted, was fantastic. I also made chicken skewers that I stuck inside with the hummus. I`ll post that recipe later this week.
One of the best things about this recipe is that after you make it and it rises, you can stick it in a bag and put it in the fridge. Just tear off as little or as much as you want and you can have fresh pita for every meal. How fantastic is that??

What you need:

3 cups of flour, plus extra for rolling and kneading (maybe a cup)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
1 package yeast, 7 g
1 tsp sugar
1-2 Tbls olive oil






Now, the reason why I thought this was so easy, is that the back of my package of yeast says I can just mix it in with the flour, so there was none of the waiting like with other yeasts. If yours doesn`t say that, you may want to check the original recipe which states you need to mix the yeast, sugar and 1/2 cup of water and let sit for 15 minutes.

Mix the yeast, sugar and 1 cup of warm - not hot- water together. Add the flour and salt.


Mix until well combined. 


Take the dough out of the bowl and then add a tablespoon or two of olive oil to coat the inside of the bowl and prevent sticking. 


Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let sit for 3 hours. After the dough has risen, sprinkle some flour on a hard, clean surface and then knead the dough for 5-10 minutes.


If you are going to cook the pita now, then tear off into small balls. I got 13 out of this. Do fewer if you would like larger pitas though. Let the balls sit for 10 minutes. 


At this point, I decided I wanted to make them fresh the next day, so I put them in a zipping bag and stuck them in the fridge. 


If you would like to continue on to cooking, set the oven to 230 C.

Put some flour on a hard surface and roll the dough out into a rough (or perfect if you can manage it) circle.

Place on a baking sheet and put in the oven. I think this next part was the hardest. You have to let it cook for 3 minutes, then flip it over and cook for another 3. I forgot with the first batch, so they got a bit browner than I was expecting.


Then, just remove from the oven, stack up and serve. Nothing better than warm pita and homemade hummus for an appetizer, or lunch, or dinner, or snack...

Enjoy!


You can see the bottom ones were the ones that got extra love in the oven :-)

Hummus




Ok, technically, this one isn`t from me. My husband made it. It is the most fantastic hummus. When he doesn`t have time, I buy it from the store - along with store bought pita - and it`s fine. It`s not great, but I`ll eat it. Yesterday, my husband made the hummus, and I made pita from scratch. I don`t know if it was the combination or what, but it was fantastic. I really don`t want to go back to store bought now.

Normally, he uses smoked garlic, but I couldn`t find any this time, so we used the regular garlic. Experiment to see which you like best!

What you need:

1 can of chickpeas (remove 3 or 4 for garnishing if desired)
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup Tahini (I get mine at Sihlcity)
1/4 cup greek yogurt
4 large (5-6 small) cloves garlic (try smoked if you can find it)
5-6 fresh mint leaves
3 sprigs parsley



Make sure you stir the tahini very well as it tends to separate into  oil on top and paste on the bottom. This may take a few minutes.

Use a garlic press for your garlic.

Put all the ingredients into a food processor (we just have a little one so make one batch at a time). Blend well.


If your mixture is too thick, then add additional lemon juice to your mixture. Do not add above 1/4 cup of extra lemon juice, instead switch to water if you find it necessary. The hummus should be thick - you just don`t want it to be solid :-) It needs to be able to stick to pita or veggies.

The blending will take about 6-8 minutes to reach a smooth consistency. Stop occasionally to check the consistency and mix with a spoon to insure that all the parts are well incorporated.

Once fully blended, pour into a serving bowl, add a few tablespoons of olive oil over the top (don`t mix in), add your extra chickpeas and maybe a sprig of mint or parsley.

Watch it all disappear quickly!





Saturday, August 24, 2013

Baked Chicken in Hummus



Are you looking for something really quick for dinner, but with a fantastic taste? This is the meal for you. I think it took me about 5 minutes to prepare..and then about 20-25 in the oven. That`s it. Can`t get much easier ( though I will tell you how) Here is the original recipe that I changed a bit.

What you need:

Your favorite easy to cut or out of a frozen bag vegetables. I used zucchini and yellow squash

3/4 of a cup of hummus, store bought or homemade
4 chicken breasts
lemon juice
sumac or smoked paprika to sprinkle








First, slice your vegetables and lay them in a baking pan. Or use thawed frozen vegetables of your choice.


Next, spread some hummus on one side of the chicken, lay it on top of your veggies (hummus side down) and spread over the top. I used about 1 Tbls of hummus per piece of chicken. Make sure your chicken is completely covered.


Drizzle a little lemon juice over everything - I just used the bottled lemon juice and zigzagged it over the dish.


Next, sprinkle with sumac, or smoked paprika (which I haven`t tried)


Place in the oven at 230 C for about 25 minutes. You should have a nice brown crust over your chicken.



Enjoy!



Sunday, August 18, 2013

Margarita...Cupcakes?!




A few months ago, for Cinco de Mayo, we made fajitas. What goes with fajitas? Frozen margaritas! Unfortunately, I don`t have a blender, and until recently, we didn`t have enough room to even make ice, so that was out. Luckily, last year, while looking for Cinco recipes, I stumbled upon a website with the most fantastic cupcakes ever. Margarita cupcakes. Adult only. I did make the kids pinata cookies though, so no one was left out. These are fantastic. You can change the content of the tequila in the icing to make it stronger or weaker, so no worries. Also, if possible, I would buy your tequila in Germany as I ended up paying 25 chf for a small bottle. Sad, but I also needed it for a marinade, so all was not lost.

Here is where I found the original recipe. Her pictures are gorgeous. This is the second time I had made them and since it was just us this time, I was more interested in the eating of them than making them look beautiful. Check out her page. I also changed the recipe the second time, but did follow hers the first.

What you need:

1.5 cups flour
1.5 tsp of baking powder (backpulver)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup room temperature butter
1 cup sugar
2 room temperature eggs
zest and juice of 1.5 limes
2 Tbls tequila
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk + 1 tsp lemon juice OR 1/2 cup buttermilk

For the frosting:
3 Tbls powdered sugar with 1 1/2 Tbls tequila. This will make a thick icing. See the original recipe for another frosting option

For extra tequila flavor, before icing the cupcakes, brush them with some more tequila (about 1-2 Tbls total)

I used a silicon muffin pan, if you don`t have one, make sure to use cupcake or baking cups.

In a bowl, mix together the flour, backpulver and salt.



In another bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.


Add the eggs, mixing in between. Add the lime zest, juice, vanilla and tequila. Mix well. If it looks like curdled milk, you`ve done it right.



Add the flour mixture, alternating with the buttermilk (or milk and lemon). Mix only lightly. Once everything is blended, stop.



Pour the batter into the muffin pan, cook at 160 C for about 25 minutes. Stick a toothpick in the muffin to tell if they are done. If it comes out wet, add another 2 or 3 minutes. If dry, you are done.



Let the cupcakes cool. If you wish, brush the tops with tequila and then add the icing once they are completely cool. If you won`t be using them all immediately, it is easier to just ice the ones you need as you can seal the rest in a bag of dish.

To ice, put the powdered sugar in a small bowl and add the tequila. Mix until incorporated. You want it to have enough liquid to spread easily, if you end up with it too runny, just add a bit more sugar. You can use a spoon/knife to spread the icing, or an icing bag if you would like it to look more decorative. Next time I make these I will do that to show you. (And take a few better pictures)

That`s it, enjoy!