January 30, 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!

Veggie Burritos

veggie burrito

Despite what restaurants would have you believe, a burrito (or taco, for that matter) doesn’t have to be the same boring combo of meat, rice, and beans.  Believe it or not, you can make burritos or tacos with whatever you have.  I have a great cookbook by Rick Bayless, who despite his gringo name, is one of the preeminent Mexican chefs in America.  His book has recipes for mushroom tacos, squash tacos – you name it, you can make it into burrito or taco filling.  Following his lead, I steered clear of the meat-rice-beans set-up and created my own version of the Veggie Burrito!

Of course, you can use whatever veggies you like, and please feel free to add or subtract vegetables from my recipe.  This one features toothy black beans (instead of the heavy refried beans you usually find plastered to the inside of a tortilla), onions, chopped mushrooms and sautéed kale.  Then get crazy with the accoutrements:  salsa, cheese, diced avocado, sour cream (or Greek yogurt in my case).  Need something a little more filling?  Replace the boring rice with quinoa!  You get more protein that way.

If you have leftover veggie mix, you can just heat it up and serve with a fried egg on top for a healthy breakfast, or make a burrito bowl:  veggie mix, quinoa, avocado, salsa – basically everything but the tortilla!

Veggie Burritos (Makes 2 burritos)

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 cups chopped kale, washed
  • 8 ounces mushrooms (white or cremini), sliced
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tortillas
  • salsa, grated cheese, sour cream or Greek yogurt, chopped avocado, cooked quinoa – your choice of any or all

Directions:

  1. In a large frying pan with a lid, add the butter, salt, and chopped onion.  Cook over medium for about five to ten minutes to get a little color.  Don’t let them burn!
  2. While the onions are cooking, prepare the kale – wash and spin it.  It doesn’t need to be dry, since a little water will help it steam and get tender.  Slice the mushrooms.
  3. Stir the washed kale into the onions in the frying pan and cover with a lid.  Cook for about 5 minutes.  Then remove the lid and add the mushrooms.  Cook for five to ten minutes, until most of the water has evaporated and the mushrooms are cooked through.  Add the black beans and stir for another minute.
  4. Put the two tortillas on a plate and cover with a damp dish towel.  Microwave for 30 seconds, then fill with a heaping scoop of the veggie mix.  Top with salsa, cheese, et cetera, and fold tortilla to close.

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


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

GF Brownies

GF Brownies

Guilt-free?  Gluten-free?  Girl friends?  Yes, all the above!  As usual, I have taken a recipe, tweaked some things here and there for my family, and made a treat that’s gluten-free, nearly guilt-free, and sure to please all your girl friends!  Here are my GF Brownies!

The three ingredients you’ll need to shop for are coconut flour, almond flour, and coconut oil.  You know what?  You can even trade in the coconut oil, if it’s not your thing, for half a stick of butter.  Now just pick up some coconut and almond flours, use what you need, and store them indefinitely in the freezer.  Frugal!

These are fudgy but not pasty.  There’s a difference!  They’re chewy but they don’t become glue in your mouth.  Super easy.  Let’s go!

GF Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips – the higher the cacao percent, the better!  (These were 64%)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (or use butter)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (or you could use brown sugar)
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • butter or coconut oil to grease the pan

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350*F.  Grease an 8×8 square pan.
  2. In a large pot, melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil together over medium-low heat, stirring constantly.  When the mixture is smooth, remove from heat.  Whisk in the cinnamon, vanilla, and salt.
  3. In a smaller bowl, beat the four eggs together.  Slowly whisk them into the chocolate mixture (make sure it’s cool enough so you don’t make scrambled eggs!)  Whisk in the maple syrup.
  4. A little at a time, whisk in the almond and coconut flours.  Whisk thoroughly, so you don’t have lumps.
  5. Pour the batter into the greased pan.  Bake at 350*F for 25-30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cool for about an hour.  Slice into 16 squares (2×2 each).  Hide the pan from your kids!

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


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

Toum – Lebanese Garlic Sauce

Toum

My sister had an addiction.  Drugs?  Alcohol?  Gambling?  No.  She was addicted to toum.  Toum is the thick, creamy garlic sauce she was eating at her favorite Mediterranean restaurant.  She talked about it.  She bought tubs of it to take home and put on home-cooked food.  And when she moved to a different city, she craved it.  She just sent me a recipe for it on Facebook this week, and I decided to try it.  I present to you Toum – Lebanese Garlic Sauce!

The original recipe is here, and there is a lot of information and background on the sauce.  Unfortunately, the recipe makes a huge quantity, and I didn’t want to commit to using 4 cups of oil on a recipe I’d never tried before.  So I made my own, much smaller batch, which is what I’m listing here.  There are only four ingredients, and you probably have all but one in your house right now.  Use fresh cloves of garlic, fresh lemon juice, sea salt or Kosher salt (not iodized table salt), and grapeseed oil.  Grapeseed oil is readily available and not expensive.  It is very pale in color and has a very mild taste.  (Some comments in the original recipe mentioned that olive oil can make a bitter sauce, so I think it’s best to avoid it.)

As you can see, I made it by hand with my mortar and pestle.  Whew, what a workout!  If you have a small and powerful blender, use that.  I have a large food processor that is great at mixing up dough, and not good at making small batches of anything.  Either way, it’s all about technique:  just like when you make mayonnaise, you MUST add the oil a tiny bit at a time, or else your emulsification will break and you’ll have a sad, oily mess.

This sauce is friendly and gets along with all savory foods.  Yesterday I took a spoonful, shook it up with another spoonful of olive oil, a little lemon juice, and a drop or two of honey and made a delicious salad dressing.  Last night I made a wrap with grilled chicken and lettuce, and used the garlic sauce instead of mayo.  This morning I put a dollop of this garlic sauce in my breakfast bowl of fried eggs and roasted broccoli.  Right this minute I am eating the last of the batch of garlic sauce, mixed in with leftover quinoa, chicken, and vegetables.

Quinoa with Toum

…and now it’s gone.  I think I see why my sister buys it by the tub!

Toum – Lebanese Garlic Sauce

Ingredients:

  • six large cloves of garlic
  • half of one lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup grape seed oil

Directions:

  1. Cut the hard root end off the cloves of garlic, and cut out any bruises, brown spots, or sprouts.  Get the prettiest cloves of garlic you can find!
  2. In a mortar and pestle, mash them up.  If you are using a small and powerful blender or food processor, mash them up!
  3. Add a sprinkle of salt and a little squeeze of lemon and mash some more.  Then add about a teaspoon of oil.  If you are using a blender, you can keep the blender running as you let the oil in the top, in a very fine trickle.  If you are using a mortar and pestle, add a teaspoon and mash until it’s blended in.
  4. Take it slow.  Add a sprinkle of salt, a squeeze of lemon, and a touch more oil.  Alternate oil with salt and lemon.  Slower!
  5. Eventually, it should all come together into a creamy, fluffy blob of sauce.  If it just won’t come together, or you feel like you have too much oil, you can add another clove of garlic and another squeeze of lemon.  But if you take it slow, you’ll get it.

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


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

Stuffed Cabbage Soup

Stuffed Cabbage Soup

In the dead of winter, there’s nothing better than a hot bowl of soup.  With this Stuffed Cabbage Soup, you get all the flavors of a delicious, labor-intensive meal, without all the hard work!

I based this soup on a dish your Polish grandmother might make—called galumpkis—meat, rice and vegetables rolled up in soft cabbage leaves and baked in a savory tomato sauce.  Don’t have a Polish grandmother?  Never fear!  This soup comes together in half an hour and is very forgiving.  No green onions?  Garnish with dill!  Don’t eat rice?  Serve with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt!  You can use ground beef, pork, or even turkey here.  Or do what I did and use leftover meatloaf or hamburgers.  See?  Easy!

Stuffed Cabbage Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or bacon fat
  • 4 cups thinly sliced cabbage
  • 2 cups chicken, beef, or vegetable stock
  •  2 cups water
  • 1 pound cooked ground beef (I used last night’s leftover meatloaf and broke it into small pieces)
  • 1/2 cup minced carrots
  • 1 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon toasted and ground fennel seeds (or use ground fennel or anise)
  • 2 green onions, minced
  • rice, to serve

Directions:

  1. In a very large pot, sauté the minced garlic in the oil for one minute.  Add the sliced cabbage and stir.  Cook for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the stock and the water.  Crumble the meat into the soup and add the carrots.  Stir to combine.
  3. Add the tomatoes, paprika, and ground fennel.  Turn the heat to medium-low and cover with a lid.  Cook for about 15 minutes.
  4. To serve:  Ladle soup into a big bowl.  Add a scoop of rice and sprinkle with minced green onions.  Eat hot!

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


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

 

 

Southern Cassoulet

Southern Cassoulet

I know, it’s a weird title – French and Southern food together?  But this dish makes sense once you eat it.  Black-eyed peas are a good luck food for the New Year in the South, so why not dress it up a little with this interpretation of a French classic?  I present to you:  Southern Cassoulet!

Authentic cassoulet can take several days to prepare, and involves making a duck confit.  Too expensive and time consuming for me!  Chicken thighs sub in nicely.  Cook the black-eyed peas during the day (or use canned).  To make this even quicker, use two cans of white Northern beans.  I used just plain smoked sausage, but try out a pound of whatever kind of sausage you like.  Did you get a big Le Creuset pot for Christmas?  Now’s your chance to put your new enameled Dutch oven to the test!

Southern Cassoulet

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound dried black-eyed peas (or use two cans of other beans)
  • 1 pound smoked sausage, sliced
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 3  stalks celery, chopped (use the leaves too)
  • 20 whole cloves of garlic (optional, but I thought they were delicious)
  • 1 large sprig of rosemary, minced (or use 1 teaspoon dried rosemary)
  • 4-6 large chicken thighs, skin on, bone in
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Cook the beans in plenty of water until tender.  This can take two hours or so.  If you are using canned beans, skip ahead.
  2. In a very large enameled Dutch oven, cook the sausage.  Add the carrot, celery, garlic cloves, and rosemary.  Add a little olive oil if things start to stick.  Saute over medium heat for 10 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
  3. Take the pot off the heat.  Drain the beans and add them to the sausage and vegetables, and stir to combine.  Season with salt and pepper.  On top of the bean mixture, place the chicken thighs, skin-side up.  Season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with the olive oil.
  4. Bake at 400*F for at least an hour, or until the chicken is cooked through with crispy skin.
  5. Good luck and have a Happy New Year!

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


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

Polish Sandwich

Polish Sandwich

Ladies, I’m not proud of this entry.  I mean, I AM proud of it, because this sandwich is seriously delicious!  It’s my attempt at copycatting a recipe from a hot dog chain in Southern California called Der Wienerschnitzel.  It comes pretty close to the original Polish Sandwich, with melted Swiss cheese, snappy sauerkraut, and tart pickles.  I haven’t been to Wienerschnitzel in years, yet I still found myself craving one of these babies.  (Sometimes you just gotta scratch that itch.)

But seriously, I am going to eat better next year.  No—really!  Bread will become a special treat, sugar will become verboten, and my veggie uptake will increase!  So as we finish out this year, I decided to give in to the desire for a Polish Sandwich, as a farewell to some not-so-healthy habits.  These sandwiches easy to make, and so satisfying.  You can use hot dogs or any kind of Polish-type sausage you like.  Try yellow or spicy brown mustard.  Find some good rye bread and make this sandwich.  You’ll take one bite and say Danke!

Polish Sausage

For each sandwich you will need:

  • a 5-inch piece of Polish sausage, or hot dogs, cut in half lengthwise
  • pat of butter
  • 2 slices rye bread
  • 1 slice Swiss cheese
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup Sauerkraut, warmed up
  • 1 large dill pickle, cut lengthwise into quarters
  • yellow or brown mustard

Directions:

  1. Cook sausage or hot dogs until done and hot all the way through.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large pan, heat the pat of butter.  Put both slices of rye bread down in the butter.  Top one slice of bread with the Swiss cheese.  Cook over low until the cheese melts and the bottoms of the bread are lightly toasted.
  3. To assemble:  Place the plain (non-cheese) slice of bread on the bottom and squirt with mustard.  Top with two halves of the sausage (or three halves of the hot dogs, cut side down.  In between the sausage, place as many of the quartered pickles as you like.  Cover the sausage and pickles with hot sauerkraut.  Top with cheese-y slice of rye bread.  Cut in half and eat hot.

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


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

Cornbread Stuffing with Sage and Sausage

 

Cornbread Stuffing with Sage and Sausage

How much of a recipe purist are you?   When you make a recipe for the first time, do you follow the directions to the letter, or do you start right in with the alterations?   When I make something for the first time, I like to be faithful to the source.  When I eat the finished product is when I start making changes in my mind for next time—Needs more salt.  Add cilantro and green onions.  Use more yogurt and less mayo….  So the first time I made Tyler Florence’s recipe for Cornbread Stuffing, I really liked it…but I knew I wanted to change some things and make it my own.  So here it is, just in time for your holiday parties: Cornbread Stuffing with Sage and Sausage!

This is a simple recipe that I make in two steps.  First is the cornbread, and second are the rest of the ingredients.  I even make the cornbread a day or two ahead—don’t worry if it’s a little stale, because you’ll be rehydrating it and baking it again.  Use any kind of sausage you like.   I make this with a one-pound log of plain old breakfast sausage, but you can try something spicier, smokier, or even get crazy and use chorizo!   The other thing you will want is fresh sage.  Use as much as you like – I use at least 3 tablespoons of minced fresh sage, but I think you could get crazy and use up to a quarter cup of it, if you really wanted it herb-y.  If you buy a bunch of sage, use the rest in roast turkey or chicken recipes – they’re a natural match.  (And I just saw this recipe that uses sage that looks amazing!  Replace the dried sage in the recipe for double the amount of fresh sage.)  For the cornbread, I always use Jiffy cornbread mix, because that’s what I grew up eating.  If you have a brand of mix you like better, or you make cornbread from scratch, try that.  The measurements might be a little different, but this recipe is really forgiving.  Just adjust your wet ingredients to make sure you get the right finished consistency.

Cornbread Stuffing with Sage and Sausage

Ingredients:

  • 4 boxes of Jiffy cornbread mix (or make your own cornbread)
  • 1 pound sausage, any kind
  • 3 onions, sliced into fine strings
  • 3 tablespoons (or more!) of minced fresh sage
  • 2 cups chicken or turkey stock
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • salt and pepper
  • butter to grease the pans (or use a non-stick spray of your choice)

Directions:

  1. Bake the 4 boxes of cornbread mix according to the directions on the box.  I didn’t bother with muffin tins and just made the whole batch in a 9″x13″ cake pan.  Let cool.  You can make the cornbread a day or two in advance.
  2.  In a large pot, cook the sausage.  If you are using links, slice into small half-moons.  If you are using bulk sausage, cook and break it up with a spoon so you have little chunks.  When cooked, remove from the pan to the largest mixing bowl you have.  Do not drain the pan!
  3. While the sausage is cooking, cut the onions into skinny strings.  Cook the onions in the fat rendered from the sausage (or add more butter or olive oil if there isn’t a lot in the pan.)  Cook for about 15 minutes on medium, stirring so they don’t burn, until they are soft and caramel-colored.  Remove the onions to the big mixing bowl.
  4. Using your hands, crumble the cornbread into the bowl with the onions and sausage.  Add the minced sage and mix.
  5.  In a smaller bowl, mix together the stock, milk, and eggs.  Pour it over the cornbread mixture and fold to combine.  Season the whole thing with salt and pepper.
  6. Turn the cornbread out into a large greased casserole dish and bake uncovered for about 25 minutes at 375*F.  You’ll want to let it get a little crusty and brown on top.

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


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

Rosemary Chicken and Potatoes

Rosemary Chicken and Potatoes

Once again, I’m presenting a recipe so simple, I almost hesitate to call it a “recipe.”  This takes 5 minutes to put together, and is so quick and simple you’re going to laugh if you’re not making this already.  This one pot Rosemary Chicken and Potatoes is the best!

If you don’t have a big Le Creuset Dutch oven (or something similar; I’m not a stickler for name brands), it’s time to put it on the Christmas list.  This heavy enameled pot makes stews on the stove top as well as roasted meats and veggies in the oven a snap.   The tricks to this recipe are the fresh rosemary and the bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs.  The rosemary has to be fresh, because the oils that come out of the chopped leaves are what perfume the whole dish.  The chicken skin gets crispy and keeps the chicken moist.  Make sure that you don’t use too many thighs when you make this.  You want some space between the chicken pieces, so the air can circulate around them and crisp up the skin.

Ready for the easiest and tastiest one pot meal around?  Let’s go!

Rosemary Chicken and Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound potatoes, any kind
  • 1 large  or 2 small onions
  • 1 1/2 – 2 pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (five thighs work best for us)
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 large sprig of fresh rosemary

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375*F.  Wash the potatoes and cut into bite-sized chunks.  Cut the onion into large chunks.  Combine in the bottom of a large Dutch oven.
  2. Place the chicken thighs, skin side up, on top of the potatoes and onions.  Make sure there is space between the chicken pieces – you don’t want to crowd the pan too much.  Drizzle the whole pan—chicken pieces and down into the potatoes—with olive oil; use about 4 tablespoons.  Season the oiled chicken with salt and pepper.
  3. Strip the leaves from the rosemary and mince.  Sprinkle over the chicken and potatoes.
  4. Bake for one hour.  After an hour, set the temperature in the oven to 400*F, and cook for another 15-30 minutes, until the skin is golden and crispy.  Serve hot!

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


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

Whole Wheat Ginger Snaps

Whole Wheat Ginger SnapsI saw Coleen’s post on Monday for her delicious-looking cupcakes, and I could almost taste them!  She used molasses, which got me thinking about that dark, almost smoky-sweet flavor.  I knew what I wanted – ginger snaps!  So I poked around online, found a recipe I liked, modified it for my house, and voila:  Whole Wheat Ginger Snaps!

These go great with milk for the kids, or coffee for grown-ups.  Heck, get a double dose of spicy and have these cookies with a chai latte!  There are plenty of pantry staple spices here, but the two kickers are molasses and candied ginger.  Check in the dried fruit section of the store.  I keep my candied ginger in the freezer – it will keep indefinitely (and if it’s out of sight, I won’t eat the whole bag in one sitting!)  I like to have it in the house because a big bite of it can calm a nauseous tummy.

If you have a cookie exchange this season, wow them with these boldly flavored cookies.  Your friends will thank you!

Whole Wheat Ginger Snaps

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala (or use 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves and 1/4 teaspoon finely ground pepper)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup candied ginger, minced

Directions:

  1. First, put the butter in a large bowl and let it come to room temperature.  Put the egg next to it.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour with the baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and garam masala.
  3. In a large bowl, cream the butter with the brown sugar.  Mix in the egg and molasses.  Add in the minced candied ginger.
  4. A little at a time, mix the flour mixture into the butter mixture.  Refrigerate for one hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350*F.  On a Silpat liner or parchment paper, scoop out teaspoon-sized balls of cookie dough.  These will spread out, so give them some room.  I used a melon baller and it worked well.  Bake for 13 minutes.
  6. Let cool on the cookie sheet for a minute, then remove to a wire cooling rack.
  7. Don’t let the kids see these before dinner or you will be pestered until it’s time for dessert.

Explore, experiment, enjoy! — Dana


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

 

Leftover Link-aPalooza

My girls, admiring the turkey!

My girls, admiring the turkey!

Esteemed Ladies of Girlfriends Coffee Hour, I come to you with my apron in hand.  I ask for your mercy.  I don’t have a new recipe for you on this Black Friday…this day after Thanksgiving.  Let me explain.

We moved to Austin, Texas two week ago, from sunny Los Angeles.  This was our first Thanksgiving apart from family, friends, and “home”.  I didn’t make any new recipes, and I didn’t even make anything that challenging:  mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, and pumpkin pie.  My husband made the turkey and gravy, and we bought rolls from the grocery store.  And you know what?  I was pretty happy with it!  Sometimes it’s nice to not stress over big events.  So instead of jumping through hoops to make a new recipe specifically for a blog post today, I’m just going to post links to stuff I MIGHT make.

That’s right.  I’ve got the turkey carcass on the stove already, making a delicious-smelling stock.  I’m not sure what I’ll do with the rest of the meat, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and gravy.  But here are some recipes I’ll probably be checking out tomorrow, Saturday, and Sunday.  And instead of worrying about it, I’m going to focus more on my kids, my husband, my health, and my sleep.  :)

Ready for Link-aPalooza?  Let’s go!

This is for breakfast, minus the corn, and plus a little cranberry sauce:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/danny-boome/bubble-and-squeak-with-corn-puree-recipe.html

Still more mashed potatoes?  Maybe some Colcannon!

http://frugalgirlmet.blogspot.com/2012/03/colcannon.html

Lots of leftover cranberry sauce?  Go Ikea-style!

http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/holidays/thanksgiving/leftovers-cranberry-sauce/recipes/food/views/Swedish-Meatballs-350172

Stuffing from last week’s Thanksgiving Burger?

http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/stuffing-topped-vegetable-bake-138240.aspx

And if you have extra pie?  EAT IT UP!!!

God Bless you all.  — Dana