November 27, 2014

About Dana Kim

Dana Kim – Blog Contributor
Dana currently lives in Hollywood, California, with her husband and two children. She is currently learning to cook traditional Korean food, to teach her daughters about their heritage and culture. She loves trying all different kinds of recipes and is happy to share those recipes here!

Thanksgiving Burger

thanksgiving burger

If you’re anything like me, Thanksgiving is one of your favorite times of the year.  The best food, the best company (family, friends, fortuitous strangers), and the best traditions.  If you can’t wait for that one day a year, make this Thanksgiving Burger!

The secret ingredient is a box of bread stuffing mixed in with the turkey.  It adds moisture and the unmistakeable seasonings that really make this burger special.  Your toppings can vary—add gravy, sweet potatoes, whatever you like!  I made mine easy, with a quick smear of mayo, cranberry sauce, and lettuce.

Ready to taste the season before the day gets here?  Let’s give thanks!

Thanksgiving Burger

Ingredients:

  • 1 box bread stuffing mix (I used Stove Top)
  • 20 ounces ground turkey
  • 1/8 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 can cranberry sauce
  • for each serving:  1 hamburger bun, mayonnaise, a few leaves of lettuce

Directions:

  1. Prepare the stuffing mix according to the directions on the box.  Let cool a little.
  2. Combine 1 cup of prepared stuffing with the turkey.  (Refrigerate the rest of the stuffing and eat it later, or use it on top of casseroles!)  Form four 5-ounce burgers, and refrigerate for at least an hour so they firm up a little.
  3. Fry the burgers in a non-stick pan.  Use a little oil of your choice, and cover the pan with aluminum foil.  Cook on medium heat for about 6-8 minutes, until done on one side with a little crust.  Flip, cover, and cook again.
  4. To serve:  give a light coating of mayo to both top and bottom hamburger buns.  Add a couple teaspoons of cranberry sauce to the bottom bun, then the lettuce.  Top with the burger and the top bun.  Serve hot!

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


To view even more of Dana’s unique recipe, you can visit her at Frugal Girlmet!

CrockPot Black Bean Soup

I love my Crockpot. I have found, however, that almost all the recipes in my Crockpot cookbooks are for meat-based entrees. That’s all well and good, but there are some times you want something lighter, or vegetarian (or that isn’t made with a can of cream of chicken soup!) I ordered a book on Amazon.com, hoping to find something new and different, and I did: “Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker” by Robin Robertson.

The recipe for Black Bean Soup was easy to follow, and I had everything I needed for it already in my pantry and fridge – and I’m betting you do, too. This came out better than I expected!  The texture was both chunky and smooth after I used my immersion blender (you can put your soup in the blender or food processor and pulse lightly, or even use a potato masher to get your desired consistency.)
Serve this with chopped green onions, cilantro, sour cream, shredded cheese, salsa, tortilla chips—any or all of the above.  Terrific!
 
(Sorry about the photo. It’s bean soup, and it’s delicious and nutritious, but there’s just no way to make it look glamorous in a photo!)
gchdanablackbeansoup
 
Black Bean Soup
(recipe courtesy “Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker” by Robin Robertson)
 
Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1/2 green (I used red) bell pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cans (15.5-ounces each) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, left undrained
  • 4 cups stock (I used less, probably closer to 3 cups)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (optional)
Directions:
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, bell pepper, and garlic; cover and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Transfer the cooked vegetables to a slow cooker, add the beans, tomatoes and their juice, stock, bay leaves, cumin, thyme, and cayenne, and season with salt and black pepper. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours.
  3. Remove and discard the bay leaves and taste to adjust the seaosonings.  Just before serving, stir in the lemon juice, if using. To thicken, puree at least 2 cups or up to one half of the soup solids with an immersion blender used right in the CrockPot, or ladled into a regular blender or food processor and returned to the CrockPot.  Serve hot.

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


To view even more of Dana’s unique recipe, you can visit her at Frugal Girlmet!

Spinach Salad with Sundried Tomato Vinaigrette

Spinach Salad with Sun-dried Tomato Vinaigrette

This recipe, Spinach Salad with Sundried Tomato Vinaigrette, came from one of those happy accidents we all sometimes have.  Serendipity!  (Does anyone remember those books?) I was in the middle of  making a Caesar salad for dinner one night, and realized I was out of both eggs and anchovy paste!  I had half of a vinaigrette made, so I looked in the refrigerator for something to make it pop, worthy of a dinner salad.  There—far, far back on the shelf—was a nearly empty jar of sun-dried tomatoes.  Hmmm….

I put the ingredients for the dressing I’d already mixed in my food processor and emptied the jar of sun-dried tomatoes right in on top. I had about 2 tablespoons of sun-dried tomatoes and almost a quarter cup of sun-dried tomato-flavored oil. Whiz, whiz!!  And taste – amazing!  Tart and tangy but it needed something a little creamy and fatty to offset it.  Aha!  Avocado and goat cheese!  Now, if you don’t have fresh herbs, just use small pinches of dried…or skip it, no biggie.  Dinner is done!  Et tu Caesar?  Who needs ya?!

Spinach Salad With Sun-dried Tomato Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves (I use the flowers from my plants, too)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • splash of balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, plus as much of the oil as you can get out of the jar
  • olive oil
  • 1 bag of baby spinach leaves (wash again, no matter what the bag says!)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 2 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled
  • cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

Directions:

  1. In your food processor, buzz together the mustard, garlic, herbs, and vinegars to combine.  Make sure the garlic and herbs are well broken down.
  2. Add the sun-dried tomatoes along with as much oil as you can get out of the jar; and salt and pepper.  Combine again.  Check the consistency and add olive oil if you’d like to thin out the dressing.
  3. Assemble the salad – a big bed of spinach, with bell pepper, sliced avocado, goat cheese, and cherry tomatoes on top.  Apply dressing liberally!

To make it a meal, you can add black olives and leftover cooked chicken (come to think of it, grilled shrimp might be good on this too!)  Serve with crusty bread and a white or rosé wine.

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


To view even more of Dana’s unique recipe, you can visit her at Frugal Girlmet!

Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff GCH resizeThis recipe is one of my favorites in the “Comfort Food” category.  Beef Stroganoff is easy and filling, especially if you serve it over rice or noodles.  We just eat it straight from the bowl, paired with a salad or roasted vegetables.

Now before you think I’m crazy for using so much wine in a stew, remember that all the alcohol cooks off. You will not get tipsy from your entree, I promise!  Make sure you use a wine that you will want to drink, because this recipe leaves you enough for a glass or two with dinner.  You can use red – like cabernet sauvignon, merlot, or pinot noir – or white – like pinot grigio or chardonnay.  Don’t use anything sweet, though.  Nice and dry is the secret.  And if you are really, really opposed to wine…you can use beef broth instead.

This recipe also calls for dried mushrooms.  I get big bags of dried, sliced shiitake mushrooms at the Korean supermarket.  Any Asian grocery store should carry dried mushrooms for cheap.  If you can’t find them, you can use fresh button or cremini mushrooms.  The difference will be the cooking time – you’ll need to sauté them for longer so that you can cook most of the water out of them.  Just experiment until it looks right – it’s not rocket science.

Ready for a fall stew that will warm your belly and delight your tastebuds?  Let’s go!

Beef Stroganoff

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 cup dried, sliced mushrooms (or use one pound fresh mushrooms, sliced)
  • 2 cups dry red or white wine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh snipped dill (or use 1/2 teaspoon dried dill)
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional, but nice)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup whole milk yogurt (or use sour cream or creme fraiche)

Directions:

  1. If using dried mushrooms:  In a bowl, pour in one cup of the wine.  Microwave for about a minute so it’s hot, or at least very warm.  Add the dried mushrooms to the hot wine to rehydrate them.  Place another bowl on top so the mushrooms stay submerged in the wine.  Let steep until Step 3.
  2. In a large pot, brown the ground beef.  You don’t need to add any extra fat, since the fat will melt out of the meat.  When brown, remove beef with a slotted spoon to a bowl.  Leave the fat and juices in the pot.
  3. Add the sliced onion to the pot and sauté over medium.  If using fresh mushrooms, add them together with the onion.  If using dried mushrooms, add the mushrooms AND the wine they were soaking in when the onion starts to turn golden, about 8 minutes.
  4. When the mushrooms and onion are soft and golden, add the beef back to the pot, along with the other cup of wine, the dill, paprika, and mustard.  Cover with a lid and turn the heat to low.  Simmer for 5 minutes to combine.
  5. Turn off the heat, stir in the yogurt, and serve hot.

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


To view even more of Dana’s unique recipe, you can visit her at Frugal Girlmet!

Pumpkin Chia Pudding

Pumpkin Chia Pudding resize

It seems like when we turn the calendar page to October, we all mysteriously start craving PUMPKIN!   I am not immune.   However, I didn’t want to make a big sugar bomb, so I searched around for something to satisfy the pumpkin craving and not spike my insulin.  Bingo:  Pumpkin Chia Pudding!

If you’ve never made chia pudding, now’s your chance.  I love it – the texture is a crazy blend of creamy and crunchy—like tapioca with attitude!  I make it with coconut milk, but you can try another nut milk or soy milk if that’s your thing.  This was ready to eat in an hour, and tastes just like pumpkin pie.  What more can you ask for?!

Pumpkin Chia Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 can pumpkin puree (about 1 cup, or use one cup of roasted and mashed pumpkin)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or combine cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds

Directions:

  1. In a blender or food processor, blend the coconut milk, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, and honey together.
  2. Pour into a Tupperware container with a tight-fitting lid, or a very large jar with a lid.  Add the chia seeds and Shake!  Shake!  Shake!
  3. Refrigerate.  After another hour, shake again!  If it’s cold, go ahead and eat it!  Garnish with a little whipped cream if you like.

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


To view even more of Dana’s unique recipe, you can visit her at Frugal Girlmet!

Barley Shiitake Risotto

Barley Shiitake Risotto resize

Sometimes I have to peek in my pantry and decide, “Enough is enough!”  Time to use up those odds and ends of things.  I had about a cup of barley left in a bag, so I went in search of a recipe for it.  I found one, made some tweaks, and now I present to you:  Barley Shiitake Risotto!

Barley has a fantastic texture:  firmer than rice, closer to a chewy and delicious wheat berry.  It is wonderful in stews and soups, but it is strong enough to be a star on its own.  This recipe calls for dried mushrooms.  You can use any kind of dried mushroom.  I buy dried shiitake mushrooms at the Korean market, and they’re much cheaper there than what you’ll pay for dried mushrooms at a regular grocery store.  For the broth, I made bone broth…but you can use any kind—chicken, beef, or even vegetable broth, that you like.  The original recipe called for grated parmesan, which I didn’t have.  I used a very hard white cheddar.  You can use any hard cheese you like – if you can grate it, you can use it here!

This is not a forget-it-type recipe.  You do need to stir it every few minutes to get the right texture.  Just start this on the stove while you’re making a salad or prepping the rest of your dinner and it will all work out…I promise!

Barley Shiitake Risotto

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried shiitake mushrooms (or other dried mushroom)
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup barley
  • 4-5 cups broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup grated hard cheese (parmesan, very firm white cheddar, or other cheese)

Directions:

  1. Put the dried shiitake mushrooms in a bowl.  Pour over the white wine.  Put another bowl on top of the mushrooms so that they remain submerged in the wine and microwave for 30-60 seconds.  Let the mushrooms rehydrate while you work on step 2.
  2. Mince the onion fine.  In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the olive oil, and add the onion.  Stir over medium heat.  You want the onions to turn golden.  Meanwhile, in a smaller pot, heat the broth to a simmer.  Keep it simmering over low heat.
  3. Mince the garlic, and add garlic and barley to the pan with the onions.  Stir to combine, cooking for 3 minutes.
  4. Squeeze the mushrooms over the bowl and chop.  Add the mushrooms and the wine from the bowl to the barley.
  5. When the wine is almost all absorbed, add a ladle-full of broth.  Stir to combine.  Repeat this process, adding more broth every five minutes or so, when the last addition of broth is nearly absorbed.  You don’t want the pan to get dry, but you don’t want to make soup either.  This should take about 30 minutes for all of the broth to be added, stirred, and absorbed.
  6. After all the broth is added, taste a bit of the barley.  It should be firm and chewy.  If it’s still dry and not al dente, add more stock or water.
  7. When barley is done—chewy and al dente—season with salt and pepper.  Stir in grated cheese and serve hot. (Garnish with extra cheese and take a photo – optional.)

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


To view even more of Dana’s unique recipe, you can visit her at Frugal Girlmet!

Cheesecake Baked Apples

Cheesecake Baked Apples resize

I love baked apples.  They’re tender yet sturdy, and you can fill them with lovely loads of raisins, spices and nuts.  Since my girl is allergic to nuts, I needed to find something different.  Ta-da!  Cheesecake Baked Apples!

I used Gala apples, and I would suggest you use either Galas or Fujis.  You can top these with whatever you like – nuts, crumbled cookies, or even ice cream!  We kept it simple and added some whipped cream.

You know a dessert is a winner when it suddenly grows quiet in the dining room.  My girls were so serious eating these healthy treats they stopped their near-constant girl chatter.  Try these easy baked apples today!

Cheesecake Baked Apples

Ingredients:

  • 6 apples (use Gala or Fuji)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (I added a little ground nutmeg, too)

Directions:

  1. Slice off the top of the apples.  With a knife, cut out the core and scoop out the apple flesh. You want to leave at least 1/4 inch of apple “wall.”   Make sure you don’t cut through the bottom!
  2. In a bowl, blend together the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, egg, and cinnamon.  If you like, you can add a little bit of the scooped-out apple flesh; just chop it up and stir it in.  Fill the apples about 3/4 full.
  3. Bake for about 20 minutes in a 350*F oven.  Remove and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


To view even more of Dana’s unique recipe, you can visit her at Frugal Girlmet!

Maple-Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

Maple-Roasted Chicken and Vegetables resize

This recipe is one of those great finds:  Nutritious?  Absolutely…and Paleo too (if that’s your thing).  Easy?  You bet!  It’s a one-pot masterpiece with a quick prep time and easy clean-up.  Delicious?  Incredibly!  My family ate it all and there were no leftovers.  What is this delightful dinner?  Maple-Roasted Chicken and Vegetables!

For this recipe, you need chicken thighs with the bone and the skin still on.  Rubbed with a little olive oil, the skin crisps up and keeps the meat tender.  You can use whatever root vegetables you like.  I used baby carrots, Korean sweet potatoes (red skin with white flesh) and onions.  You could also try parsnips, turnips, butternut squash, apples, or even beets!  This recipe also calls for smoked paprika, which gives it a little smoky bite but not a lot of heat.  If you don’t have it, try a sprinkle of dried herbs instead, or even some curry powder!  Ready?  Let’s go!

Maple-Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds chicken thighs, bone-in, skin on
  • 1 cup baby carrots
  • 3 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into baby carrot-sized fingers
  • 1 onion, cut into small wedges
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 400*F.  Use a large Dutch oven or large baking dish.  On the bottom of the pan, toss together the baby carrots, sliced sweet potato, and sliced onion.  Add one tablespoon olive oil and toss with the root vegetables.  Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Place the chicken thighs on top of the vegetables, skin side up.  Pat the skin dry with a paper towel.  Drip a little oil onto the thighs and rub it in with your fingers.  You want a thin coating of oil over all the skin.  Drizzle the maple syrup over the chicken, then season with salt, pepper, and the paprika.
  3. Cook uncovered for one hour or more, until the chicken registers at least 165*F on a meat thermometer.
  4. Serve with the vegetables.

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


To view even more of Dana’s unique recipe, you can visit her at Frugal Girlmet!

Kimchee Jjigae (Kimchee Stew)

Kimchee Jjigae resize

My blog is called The Frugal Girlmet, because I like to use everything I can in the kitchen and do my best to make sure nothing goes to waste.  Kimchee Jjigae is the Korean embodiment of this principle.  A little background:  Kimchee is a fermented, spicy cabbage dish that, together with rice, is the backbone of Korean cuisine.  Traditionally, Korean families made kimchee in the summer, in gigantic clay pots.  They buried the pots in the ground to preserve them, and the family ate the kimchee over the course of the winter.  Winters are very cold in Korea, so that helped preserve the kimchee…but it still got old.  What to do with overripe kimchee – throw it away?  NO!  Koreans use every last bit of their resources, which is how Kimchee Jjigae came to be.  They made a stew out of the last of their kimchee, adding  meat to make it more filling, and served it with rice for a complete and frugal meal.

The only ingredient you MUST use in this stew is kimchee.  Everything else can vary by region, resources, or personal taste.  One of the most common varieties has pork as the protein component, and this is the way I make it.  You can cut up a few pork chops, or use any leftover pork you have.  I made a pork roast in the crockpot the night before and reserved about 2 cups of meat for this stew.  Other types of Kimchee Jjigae use canned tuna, tofu, other seafood or fish, and even Spam!  During the Korean War, American GIs brought Spam with them, and Koreans adopted it too.  Another variation that was born in the Korean War is called Budae Jjigae, which translates to “Army Stew.”  American soldiers made their own version of Kimchee Jjigae by adding ramen noodles, meat, seafood, and other vegetables to make their rations last longer.

If you like spicy foods, you will love this.  If you feel a cold or sinus infection coming on, this will clear it right out (it’s loaded with Vitamin C and probiotics)!  If your family likes chili, you should really give this Kimchee Jjigae recipe a try.  Feeling brave?  Feeling frugal?  Read on!

Kimchee Jjigae

Ingredients:

  • 1 small onion, sliced fine, or one bunch of green onions, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil (or other oil)
  • 2 cups pork (see note above)
  • 2 cups kimchee, preferably old kimchee
  • about 1/2 cup kimchee juice (that red pepper water in the bottom of the jar!)
  • 2 cups water
  • rice to serve
  • sesame seeds, dried seaweed, or sliced green onions for garnish

Directions:

  1. In a large pot with a lid, add the sliced onions and oil.  Cook over medium heat for a minute or two.
  2. While the onion is cooking, chop the pork.  If you are using raw pork, you have two options:  you can add it in whole and then remove it when it’s cooked and chop it up.  You can also slice it thinly and add it now.  I think it’s easiest to use leftover pork that you can quickly chop or shred.
  3. Add the pork, kimchee, kimchee juice, and water to the pot.  Adjust the heat so the stew simmers.  Cover with a lid and cook for 30 minutes.
  4. Serve with rice, and garnish with sesame seeds, dried seaweed, or green onion tops.

Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for about a week.

 

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


To view even more of Dana’s unique recipe, you can visit her at Frugal Girlmet!

 

Chicken and Rice

 

Chicken and Rice resize

This is a recipe I learned when I was in 7th grade Home Economics. (Do they still offer that in schools?)  I liked it so much, I brought the recipe home and asked my Mom if I could make dinner for the family for the first time.  I did – and it was a success!  How’s that for boosting your kitchen self-confidence?  Your kids can make this too:  Chicken and Rice!

There are any number of variations you do make:  add onions or garlic to the rice.  Sauté the mushrooms in wine and herbs before you add them to the casserole.  Marinate the chicken in Italian dressing first.  Parboil brown rice and use that instead of white rice.  The sky is the limit, or you can keep it simple.  I made it like this last night and my whole family loved it.  Yours will too!

Chicken and Rice

Ingredients:

  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can of milk (see below)
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, chopped
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375*F.  In a large casserole or baking dish, spray some cooking spray on the bottom and sides.  Evenly place the six chicken thighs in the dish.  Season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large bowl, empty the can of cream of mushroom soup.  Fill that empty can with milk and mix with the soup.  Add in the rice.  Chop the mushrooms and add to the soup mixture.  Add salt and pepper, stir, and pour over the chicken.  You want the rice mixture to be evenly distributed in the dish.  Depending on the size of your dish, that may mean it nearly covers the chicken, or not even halfway.  Just spread it out so it lies pretty flat.
  3. Cover the dish with foil and bake for an hour.  Check for doneness – you want the thighs to be 175*F.  Serve hot!

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


To view even more of Dana’s unique recipe, you can visit her at Frugal Girlmet!