April 21, 2015

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!

Oven-Roasted Pork Chops with Lemon-Caper Sauce

Pork Chop with Capers

Where others have a sweet tooth, I have a sour tooth. I’ve been known to use only vinegar, and skip the oil, when dressing my salad. I eat cornichons like other people eat bon-bons. So when I saw this recipe for Oven-Roasted Pork Chops with Lemon-Caper Sauce, I knew I was going to like it.

Using a recipe from my Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook (which I highly recommend!), I made a few changes to work with what I had.  If you don’t have a shallot, feel free to use a red onion – just mince as finely as possible.  These pork chops are easy, quick, and nearly fool-proof.  They were tart and tangy (but not pucker…so if you are not a sour-lover like me, you won’t be put off.)
Oven-Roasted Pork Chops with Lemon-Caper Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 4 pork chops, about 1 1/2 inches thick, trimmed of excess fat
  • 2 tablespoons oil or bacon fat for cooking
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 3 tablespoons butter

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450*F. Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat, and brown the pork chops on one side, for about 2 minutes. Flip and brown the other side, another 2 minutes.
  2. Transfer the chops to a foil-lined baking sheet or large, wide baking dish (so they aren’t crowded or touching each other.) Roast in the oven until the internal temperature reaches 140*F on a thermometer, about 15 minutes, turning them over halfway through cooking time.  Remove from the oven, place on a platter, and cover with aluminum foil.  Let the chops rest for about 5 minutes, and check to make sure the internal temperature has reached 150*F.
  3. While the chops are in the oven, add the shallot to the skillet you cooked the pork chops in, and cook over medium heat until softened, about 30 seconds (about 2 minutes if you are using a red onion.)
  4. Increase the heat and add the broth, stirring to scrape up any bits stuck to the pan.  Add the lemon juice and the capers and cook until the sauce reduces to about 1/3 cup, about 4 minutes.
  5. Off the heat, whisk the butter into the sauce, and pour over the pork chops.

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


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

Egg and Olive Salad

Egg Olive Salad Leaf

This was my favorite lunch when I was a kid: an Egg and Olive Salad sandwich on wheat bread, maybe with a leaf or two of lettuce, and some fruit. If your fridge looks like mine, you still have a few hardboiled pink and purple eggs in there from Easter!  What better way to use them up with this unusual spin on plain old egg salad!

This recipe is pretty bare bones, and that’s how I like it. Like any other salad, people like to add different things; please feel free to doctor this as you see fit. If you are watching your carbs or are cutting out refined and processed foods, skip the bread and serve on lettuce leaves – either in little bundles in butter lettuce leaves, or down the middle of a romaine leaf.

Egg Olive Salad Plate

Egg and Olive Salad

Ingredients:

  • 4 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1/4 cup green olives (preferably with pimentos)
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • salt and pepper (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, use two knives to roughly chop the eggs. Don’t mash it, but don’t leave the chunks of egg too big. Mix in the mayo and mustard. Check for consistency – you may want a little more mayo, it’s up to you.
  2. Chop the olives and mix into the egg salad. Taste – you’ll probably want to add some pepper, but it might already be salty enough from the olives. Serve on bread or lettuce leaves.

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


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

Braised Beef Shanks with Gremolata


Braised Beef Shanks with Gremolata

 

…otherwise known as “Osso Buco”.   I didn’t use veal, so I’m calling it something else.  When you’re the boss in the kitchen, you can do that!  These Braised Beef Shanks with Gremolata would be perfect for Easter or any other lazy Sunday afternoon.  Make them now, before spring heats up and you don’t want to have your oven on for three hours!

Yes, I said three hours, but the prep is pretty easy.  Then you just pop this dish in the oven letting the low and slow cooking turn something pretty plain into magic!  Look for thick cross-sections of shank (the leg) with a large bone in the middle, or ask your butcher.  The meat will fall off the bone, the marrow will soften and become delicious, and you top it off with a bright and flavorful gremolata.  Serve with roasted potatoes and vegetables and eat like a king!

Braised Beef Shanks with Gremolata

Ingredients:

  • 4 pounds of cross-cut beef shanks (or ask for ‘osso buco’ cut)
  • 1/4 cup flour, seasoned with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 1 stick celery, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt (or plain salt)
  • 1 can of tomatoes (I used fresh tomatoes – just dice them, about one cup)
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 lemon, zested (or peeled, and mince the peel)
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small handful parsley, minced

Directions:

  1.  Preheat oven to 300*F.  Place the seasoned flour in a wide bowl or pie plate, and dredge all the shank pieces.  In a very large pot, heat the oil and butter together, and brown the meat.
  2. When browned, remove the meat to a plate, and add the diced onions, carrots, celery, and celery salt to the pan.  Sauté for about five minutes, or until starting to soften.  Add the tomatoes, wine, and water, then  simmer for five minutes.
  3. Add the meat back to the pan, and make sure it is submerged in the vegetable and wine mixture.  Cover with a lid and bake for 2.5 – 3 hours, or until done and very tender.
  4. Remove the meat from the pot and return the pot to the stovetop.  Stir the juices and vegetables over medium heat and let it reduce while you make the gremolata.
  5. To make the gremolata:  mix together the lemon zest, minced garlic, and minced parsley.  Stir to combine.
  6. To serve:  Spoon some veggies and juice into your bowl.  Place a shank on top, and garnish with a spoonful of gremolata.

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


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

 

Protein Banana Bread Breakfast Bars

Protein Banana Bread Breakfast Bars

I found this recipe on a website called PaleOMG.  I love their photos on Instagram, and they have great ideas for healthy snacks and things to give your kids.  I changed the recipe a bit, just subbing a few things here and there, and now I present to you:  Protein Banana Bread Breakfast Bars!

That’s a mouthful.  These PBBBBs are just like banana bread, but not cloyingly sweet.  They are made with almond flour and whey protein powder, so you’re getting a good dose of protein in your sweet treat.  These were easy and delicious!  I’m storing mine in the fridge, and hope there is enough left for me to enjoy one with my morning coffee tomorrow!

Protein Banana Bread Breakfast Bars

Ingredients:

  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2/3 cup almond flour
  • 1/3 cup whey protein (vanilla, but I used cinnamon!)
  • 1/4 cup tapioca or arrowroot flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup cacao nibs (I used mini chocolate chips)
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds (I used sesame seeds)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F.  Grease an 8×8 square pan.
  2. Mix all the ingredients together, except for chocolate chips and almonds.  Then fold in cacao nibs or chocolate chips.  Pour into the prepared pan, and cover the top with the almonds or sesame seeds.
  3. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the middle is set.  Cool for 10 minutes before cutting.
  4. I cut mine into 1″x4″ bars, so I had 16 servings.  Store in the fridge, covered.

 

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


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

Bacon B.O.M.B. Jam

Bacon BOMB Jam

You read that correctly:  B.O.M.B.  This stuff will blow you away!  Bacon Onion Maple Bourbon Jam is an out of this world condiment you will want to smear on everything!

This is easy and amazing.  I ate some of this bacon jam on my baked salmon.  Next I’m going to try it on a cracker, maybe with a little goat cheese, or as part of an olive and cheese tray.  And I may just go off the rails and slather it on bread with cheddar and sliced apple and make the best grilled cheese sandwich I’ve ever had!  This recipe yields a cup and a half of jam.  Let’s see how long it lasts!

Bacon B.O.M.B. Jam

Ingredients

  • 3/4 pound bacon (I used 7 slices), diced
  • 2 large onions (try sweet onions, if you have them), sliced
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • 1/4 cup coffee (or use water if you like)

Directions:

  1. In a heavy pot with a lid, cook the bacon over medium heat.  You want all the fat to render, but you don’t want the bacon to get really crisp.  Remove the bacon from the pan, and pour out all but one tablespoon of bacon fat.  (I keep mine in a jar in the refrigerator, and use it to pan fry.)
  2. Add the sliced onions to the bacon fat in the pan.  Cover and cook on medium low for 15 minutes.  Stir, making sure nothing is burning, and cook another 10 minutes.
  3. Add the bacon, maple syrup, bourbon, and coffee; stir, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan (use a wooden spoon).  Cover with the lid, cook another 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the lid and cook uncovered for 15 minutes.  I sort of mashed the jam with my wooden spoon to get a smoother consistency.  You can do that or you can leave it chunky.  You could even put it in a food processor and pulse a few times to get it even smoother.  Taste it and see how you like it.
  5. Refrigerate the leftovers and eat within a week.

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


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

Chimichuri Sauce

Chimichuri Sauce

Here’s the thing:  You probably cook for your family a lot.  Or maybe you’re cooking a chicken breast for one.  Doesn’t matter.  What matters is:  Sometimes, you overcook the meat.  I know, it happens to the best of us.  (Okay, especially me, since I have a fear of giving my kids undercooked meat that gives them food poisoning.)  So what do you do?  Trash the whole thing?  NO WAY.  I’m frugal.  I scrape the black off toast.  So when you get dry chicken – or fish or beef or pork or even tofu – you sauce that thing.  Enter Chimichuri Sauce.

It sounds spicy, right?  It’s not.  It’s a milder, slimmer cousin to pesto.  Aside from being healthy for you (olive oil, parsley, garlic, and vinegar are all great for your health) – this sauce is mild enough to dress up any protein, and macho enough to save the day.

This photo is of my Chimichuri Sauce over chicken thighs.  (Yes, I cook A LOT of chicken thighs.)  Try it on beef (like the Argentinians do), chicken breasts, or the salmon filet I may or may not have just overcooked in the oven for dinner …

Chimichuri Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup parsley
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian herbs (or just dried oregano)
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar (or use lemon juice in a pinch)
  • optional:  hot sauce, diced jalapeño, or chile powder, to taste

Directions:

  1. In a food processor or blender, combine all ingredients.  That’s it!  Serve cold or at room temperature over protein of your choice.

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


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

Easy Chicken Mole

Easy Chicken Mole

The first time I had mole (say moe-lay) it was at a small but very well-regarded Mexican restaurant in Los Angeles, La Loteria.  I had heard of mole poblano before and decided to take a chance.  Que rico!  What a glorious taste!  It was rich, a tiny bit spicy, a little bitter, and a little fruity.  It was really a savory fiesta in my mouth.  However, when I went home with the intent to find out more about this magical dish and how to make it, all the recipes I saw were 40 ingredients long and took days to make.  No me gusta – I just didn’t have time to mess with that.  So after some more research, I came up with this recipe – my Easy Chicken Mole!

The two ingredients that most moles share to give them such depth of flavor are dried chiles and chocolate.  Really!  Buy the darkest chocolate you can find.  You can use baker’s unsweetened chocolate, but that will make it bitter, and you’ll probably want to bring it back around with some added honey or brown sugar.  I used bittersweet chocolate, 63% cacao.  I think it worked well, and next time I might even add a little more.

As far as the chiles go, it gets a little confusing.  Oftentimes a chile will have one name when it’s fresh and a different name when it’s dried (I guess kind of like grapes vs. raisins.)  To be honest, I think I bought ancho chiles, but I’m not sure – there were two kinds and neither were labeled!  You want chiles that are a very dark reddish-brown—like the color of dried blood—and about fist-sized.  I used two but I may use three or even four next time.  I removed the seeds, and that’s where the heat resides, so you only get the smoky, fruity flavor of the chiles and not the spiciness.

Try this recipe.  If you’ve never had mole, this is a great place to start.  If you are a mole aficionado, go ahead and tweak my recipe to get the taste you like.  Either way, I bet you’ll say, Que sabor!  (Or if you don’t habla espanol, ‘So tasty!’)

Easy Chicken Mole

Ingredients:

  • 2-4 dried chiles (use ancho, pasilla, or guajillo)
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds (or use pepitas, peanuts, or almond butter)
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup brewed coffee
  • 2 slices bread
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or use breasts, up to you!)
  • diced avocado, cilantro, sesame seeds to serve
  • rice or tortillas to serve, optional

Directions:

  1. Put the dried chiles in a bowl and cover with boiling water.  Put a plate over the bowl and let the chiles soak for about 15 minutes.  When they have softened, remove the stem and seeds and roughly chop.  Discard the stem, keep some seeds if you want some heat.
  2. While the chiles are soaking, cook the onion in the butter in a very large pot or Dutch oven.  Stir to make sure they don’t burn.
  3. Add the chopped chiles, minced garlic, and sesame seeds.  Stir and cook for 3 minutes.
  4. Add the chocolate, raisins, cinnamon, salt, and oregano.  Stir to combine and cook for another 2 minutes.
  5. Add the chicken stock and coffee.  Crumble in the bread.  Cover the pot with a lid and simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. CAREFULLY transfer sauce to a blender and blend until pretty smooth.  You could use an immersion blender, too.
  7. Return the sauce to the pot and add the chicken thighs.  Tuck them into the sauce and stir.  Make sure the chicken is covered in sauce, then cover with the lid.  Let simmer for about 25 minutes.
  8. The chicken is done when you can shred it with forks.  To serve, ladle the chicken and lots of mole into a bowl.  Garnish with lots of avocado, cilantro and sesame seeds.  You can also eat this in tortillas – just serve with less sauce if you are making tacos.  You can also serve it over rice to soak up the sauce.

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


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

Strawberry Shortcake (Gluten-Free)

Strawberry-Shortcake-Whole-300x199This is a recipe I shared here on GCH 2 years ago.  I love it and plan on making it soon.  Spring can’t come soon enough for me, and I look forward to farmer’s markets brimming with fresh berries!  If you can’t wait either, read on for my Gluten-Free Strawberry Shortcake!

Strawberry-Shortcake-Cut

 

Strawberry Shortcake (Gluten-Free)

Ingredients:

  • 12 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (or butter), softened
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (or regular milk)
  • 1/4 cup honey (or more, if you like)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 2 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced thin
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • optional – 1 or 2 teaspoons sugar (I didn’t use them, since my berries were really sweet. If your strawberries aren’t as sweet as you’d like, add the sugar to the whipping cream)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350*F. Grease two 8-inch round cake pans, and then cut a circle of parchment paper for the bottom of each pan, and grease that too. (You can do this without parchment paper, but you will need to be really liberal with the coconut oil / butter / cooking spray on the bottom of the pan. The cake stuck the first time I made it, so the next time I used parchment paper, and it was perfect!)
  2. In a very large bowl, using a stand mixer or a hand mixer, beat the eggs until frothy. Beat in the softened coconut oil and milk, blending well. Mix in the honey, vanilla, orange zest and orange juice. Beat until foamy again.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together the coconut flour, baking powder and salt. Then, a little at a time, blend the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Mix well, making sure there are no lumps.
    Divide the batter between the two prepared pans and bake for 35-40 minutes. When a toothpick comes out dry, remove from the oven and cool for ten minutes. Remove from pans, and finish cooling on a rack.
  4. While the cake is cooling, place the beaters of your hand mixer and a metal mixing bowl in the freezer for half an hour. Slice the strawberries and put back in the fridge until ready to use.
    When the beaters and bowl are very cold, beat the whipping cream with the vanilla (and optional sugar) until stiff peaks form. To decorate: spread a very thin layer of whipped cream on the top of one cake. Make concentric circles of strawberry slices (use half the strawberries, saving the other half for the top), then cover with a thick layer of whipped cream. Place the other cake on top of this, cover with the rest of the whipped cream and the rest of the strawberries. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

This is not a very sweet cake, since it relies on the berries for sweetness. If your berries are not sweet enough for your taste, you can add more honey to the cake, and the optional sugar to the whipped cream.

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


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

Italian Vegetable Cheese Soup

Italian Vegetable Cheese Soup

 

I remember my Mom made a version of this dish probably 25 years ago, and it was FANTASTIC.  It was one of those things that was so rich and luxurious that the memory stayed with me for a quarter century!  I asked my sister, who is now in possession of my mother’s recipe box, to find the recipe, but to no avail.  After some hunting online, I think I found something close.  As is my modus operandi, I tweaked it and made it my own, and now I’m sharing with you:  Italian Vegetable Cheese Soup!

It’s a very simple recipe, and of course, I always encourage you to make it how you and your family will like it best.  Feel free to add more vegetables to the soup.  This recipe is pretty basic, but please keep the zucchini, lots of onions and garlic, and the garbanzo beans.  I guess you could sub in another bean – Great Northerns would work – but I like the firm texture of dried garbanzos that have been cooked just to al dente.  Do NOT skip the wine in this recipe.  You only need half a cup, but it adds so much flavor.  As for the cheese, I used a combination of cream cheese, goat cheese, and a very sharp white cheddar.  You use what you like – maybe some Asiago would be nice, and Fontina would definitely be delicious.

This is not diet food, but a small bowl will fill you up, so it’s okay!  Eat this for lunch with a green salad and enjoy!

Italian Vegetable Cheese Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound dried garbanzo beans (or use one can of garbanzos)
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 zucchini, sliced into half-moons
  • 1 can crushed or diced tomatoes (I used fire-roasted with peppers, and it added a welcome spicy kick!)
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs (or use a combo of dried oregano and basil)
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 ounce goat cheese (or more!)
  • 2 ounces sharp cheddar or other cheese (parmesan, mozzarella, fontina, gouda, asiago…)

Directions:

  1. If you are using dried garbanzos, pour them into a pot, cover with a  few inches of water, and simmer for about an hour.  If you are using canned, skip to step 2.
  2. In a large pot, cook the onions in the butter for about five minutes until soft.  Add the zucchini and garlic and cook for another 3 minutes.  Drain the water from the beans and add to the vegetables.
  3. Add in the can of tomatoes and the dried Italian herbs.  Add the wine, cover the pot and let simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the milk and cheeses. Stir to combine and cover, over medium low heat.  Let simmer for five minutes, then stir again.  Don’t let the cheese stick to the bottom of the soup!
  5. I like it thick, but you can thin this out more with either milk or wine.  Serve hot!

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


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

 

Almond Joy Chocolate Bark

Almond Joy Chocolate Bark

What’s Valentine’s Day without some chocolate?  This is pretty healthy stuff though, so as long as you don’t eat the whole batch in one sitting, you can have a treat and not be naughty.  Almond Joy Chocolate Bark is the way to go!

I love dark chocolate and I use the darkest I can find in the grocery store.  Here I used a bag (11.5 oz) of 63% cacao Guittard chocolate chips, but feel free to use whatever dark chocolate you like.  I also used roasted, salted almonds because that little bit of salt really offsets the sweet and makes the flavors pop.  If you want a sweeter bark, you can use “Angel Flake” coconut that has sugar added.  I used unsweetened coconut flakes and it’s quite yummy!  I also used 2 tablespoons of coconut oil.  I like that it makes the chocolate a little smoother, and I think it tastes great too.  You can leave it out if you don’t have it.

Give some to your sweeties, treat your friends at work, or just nibble on this chocolate bark and enjoy some quiet time.  Happy Valentines Day!

Almond Joy Chocolate Bark

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips (use the darkest chocolate you can find, with the highest percent of cacao)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 cup whole, roasted, salted almonds
  • 1/3 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut

Directions:

  1. In an oven-safe bowl, microwave the chocolate and coconut oil together for 30 seconds.  Stir very well with a rubber spatula, then microwave again.  Keep doing this until your chocolate and coconut oil are smooth and blended.  Mine took 3 blasts of 30 seconds each.
  2. Line an 8×8 baking pan with plastic wrap.  Pour in 1/3 of the melted chocolate and spread over the bottom of the pan.
  3. Spread the almonds over the chocolate layer and sprinkle with coconut.
  4. Pour the rest of the chocolate over the almonds and coconut and lightly spread to cover.  Put in the freezer for about 2 hours until solid.  Cut or break into 2″ pieces.

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


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