Bulgogi

The name of the dish sounds funny, but the taste is nothing to joke about. Bulgogi is actually a Korean dish that just means it has been marinated. It can refer to chicken, pork, or beef. When i first found this recipe I knew all of the ingredients matched up well with our palates, heck most of them I had in my pantry. I just needed to go out and buy an Asian pear, which I highly recommend using one in this recipe. While making the marinade,  tasted it and it was deliciously sweet, but had a nice undertone to it to balance the sweetness. The result is a marinade combination that I had never tried before, but will definitely put on the rotation list a lot this Summer. This is a great meal to make for during the week. Prepare the marinade and then come home in the evening and you’ll have dinner in just a few minutes!

Bulgogi

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs. boneless rib eye steak
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1/2 Asian pear, peeled an coarsely chopped (If you can’t find, Anjou or Bartlett can be used)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sweet white wine, I use Pinot Grigio
  • 2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp honey
  •  3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 onion, cut in half-moon slices
  • 8 whole lettuce leaves, such as Boston, Bibb, or Iceberg
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced

Place steak in the freezer for 1 hour. This makes it easier to thinly slice.

In a blender or food processor, combine pear, garlic, soy sauce, wine, sesame oil, honey, sugar, and pepper and blend into a coarse mixture. Place mixture in a resealable plastic bag. Add toasted sesame seeds and onion and massage bag gently to combine the ingredients.

Slice the partially frozen steak across the grain into very thin slices. Add slices to the marinade and massage the bag to distribute the marinade evenly over the meat. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.

When ready to cook, adjust oven rack so that it is 4 inches from the heating element. Preheat the broiler to high, about 550 F. Line a baking sheet with tinfoil. Spread the meat, onions, and marinade in a single layer on the baking sheet. Broil for 5 minutes, then turn the meat and broil the second side about 3 minutes. The meat should be cooked through and slightly caramelized in spots. While meat cooks, wash lettuce leaves and pat dry.

To server, divide beef among the lettuce leaves, sprinkle with scallions, then roll up the meat in the lettuce leaves.

Serves 4

Source: Hannaford Fresh Magazine, Jan./Feb. 2012

Finding a vegetable side dish that both my husband and I enjoy is difficult. He only likes corn and peas. He likes bell peppers so I set out to find something different that would could have occasionally. These peppers were wonderful. The flavors were bright and clean. It’s such an easy side dish to whip up, but would really work well to accompany a nice steak or fish when you are trying to up the ante for a special dinner.

Sauteed Red Bell Peppers with Caper Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs red bell peppers, about 3 large
  • 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tsp white-white vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp drained capers, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp sugar

Cut each pepper into either lengthwise pieces, discarding stems and seeds. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until it shimmers, then saute peppers with 1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper until brown in spots, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to moderately low, then add water and cook peppers, covered, until crisp-tender, 12 to 15 minutes. If any liquid remains, remove cover and boil until evaporated.

Meanwhile, whisk together remaining 2 tablespoons oil, vinegar, capers, and sugar in a large bowl. Toss hot peppers with caper sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Let cool and serve warm or at room temperature.

Source: kitchendaily

 

Royal Icing

Royal Icing has always been something I’ve wanted to give a try, but there are so many other desserts out there that I just haven’t yet. For my daughter’s second birthday I wanted to give cookies as part of the children’s favors. I knew, out of all the projects I had planned, this would be the one that challenged me. Royal icing isn’t really that difficult, but it can be time consuming and you get better with practice. I’ve heard this a lot and definitely found that out! You really have to have a large chunk of time to decorate, especially if you decide your first time around to decorate little dogs with lots of features on your first go round. Why don’t I ever go easy right out of the gate?

I made these Sugar Cookies and followed Annie’s Eats tutorial. While I’m glad that this batch is done, I will definitely be looking for reasons to perfect my technique from here on out!

Royal Icing

Ingredients

  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 tbsp. meringue powder
  • 5 tbsp. water

Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Mix on low speed until the sheen has disappeared and the icing has a matte appearance (about 7-10 minutes).  Transfer the contents of the mixing bowl to an air-tight container.  This will be the stiffest consistency of the icing, and at this point it is still too stiff to use for decorating.  Add water a very small amount at a time and stir by hand until fully incorporated.  Continue until the icing has reached a consistency appropriate for piping.  (Remember, if you are having any difficulty piping, it is still too thick.  Add a little more liquid and try again.)  Using a pastry bag, pipe around the edges of each cookie.  Let stand so the icing will set.  Make sure to keep the leftover icing covered at all times when not in use so that it does not begin to harden.

Once all the cookies have been edged, transfer some of the remaining icing to a separate air-tight container.  Thin out by incorporating a small amount of water at a time, until the icing drips off the spoon easily when lifted and then smooths in with that still in the bowl.  If you go too far and the icing is too thin, add more sifted powdered sugar to thicken it again.  Once the icing has reached the desired consistency, transfer it to a squeeze bottle (or a plastic bag with a hole in one corner), and flood the area surrounded by the piping on each cookie.  If it does not completely spread to the edges, use a toothpick to help it along.  Allow to set.

Use the remaining thicker icing for piping decoration as desired.  Gel icing color is best as it does not add a significant amount of liquid.  Liquid food coloring can be used as well – add powdered sugar as needed to compensate for any thinning that occurs.

Source: Annie’s Eats, adapted from Katie of Good Things Catered

Sugar Cookies

Sugar cookies are all or nothing. Some taste great while the rest taste like cardboard. Since there are so many other great cookies out there I simply haven’t made sugar cookies before. When I wanted to try my hand at royal icing for my daughter’s second birthday I knew I had to find the perfect sugar cookie. I scoured the internet looking. There were almost too many recipes out there. Some only different by a teaspoon of baking powder. I turned to The Way the Cookie Crumbles because she always does great comparisons. Low and behold, she had one on sugar cookies and hers was the winner. I tossed all of the other recipes I had amassed and went with hers.

I knew as I made these cookies they would taste good. The batter had a hint of lemon and almond and it smelled so good. They were chewy and soft, tasted great, and held their shape when using cookie cutters.

If you are making cut-out cookies, chill your dough before you cut them out and afterwards. When you are ready to bake them, put them immediately from the refrigerator to the oven. This will make the dough hold its shape, rather than start to spread once it’s cooked. I did lots of research on that!

I am pretty happy with these cookies. They taste great even days later and are still soft.

Roll-out Sugar Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2½ cups (12 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon zest

1. In a medium bowl, mix the flour and baking powder. In a one-cup measuring cup, lightly beat the egg with the extracts.

2. In the bowl of a standing mixer (or in a large bowl with a handheld mixer), beat the butter and salt on medium speed until smooth. With the mixer running, gradually pour in the sugar; add the lemon zest. Beat on medium until fluffy, about 1 minute. With the mixer running, pour in the egg mixture and continue beating until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the mixer bowl. With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour and mix just until evenly blended.

3. Lightly knead the dough to form a ball, press it into a disk 1-inch thick, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Adjust a rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375F. If you’ve chilled the dough overnight, it’ll need to sit at room temperature for half an hour or so to soften slightly. On a very lightly floured sheet of wax paper with a sheet of plastic wrap on top of the dough, roll the dough out to ¼-inch thick. Cut cookies using a floured cookie cutter. Re-roll scraps, always using as little flour as necessary.

5. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, for 5-9 minutes, until they no longer look wet on top. The baking time will depend on the size of the cookies you’ve cut. You don’t want the bottoms to be browned, except for maybe just a bit on the edges. Let the cookies rest for a couple minutes on the sheets before transferring them to cooling racks to finish cooling. Decorate as desired.

Source: The Way the Cookie Crumbles