Rice, Rice, Baby

I looked up a bunch of recipes for Omurice, a Japanese and Korean comfort food, and then devised my own recipe based on what I researched. This was the result.


Cricket-Style Omurice

1 tbl toasted sesame oil

1 small bunch of scallions, diced

1 lb lean ground beef (you can use ground chicken or pork here as well, any will work)

2 bags of steam in the bag brown rice

1 tbl grated ginger (I always have a jar of fresh grated ginger on hand, but powdered would work too, just use maybe a tsp or two of powdered)

generous squirt of low-sodium soy sauce

generous squirt of seasoned rice vinegar (I used a roasted garlic variety)

decent shake of garlic powder

generous pinch of gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes…though you can use any red pepper if you wish, or none at all)

1 bag of your favorite frozen mixed veggies (I prefer the traditional mixed veg of carrot, peas, green beans and corn)

1/4 – 1/3 cup of ketchup (I prefer the natural no fructose kind)

beaten eggs


Add sesame oil & diced scallions to a well heated wok pan. Saute for 10 minutes before adding ground beef. Crumble well and add soy sauce, ginger, vinegar, red pepper flakes and garlic when it is almost completely browned. Add steamed rice and mix well, sauteing for another 10 minutes until most of the moisture has cooked away. Add steamed veggies & ketchup, mix again. Remove from heat.

Add one to two beaten eggs to a well oiled omelet pan and allow to cook on both sides.

Serve generous scoops of rice mixture topped with an omelet and additional drizzle of ketchup. It’s fun to use the bottle to draw ketchup designs on the omelet too.

Makes 8 portions. (This is even better the next day, just reheat the rice and make a new omelet)



Leather Britches Banmal

So I dried some Dragon Tongue long beans a while back. They started out looking something like this:dragonbeans

and end up looking something like this:


Today I decided that they had hung next to my computer desk long enough and it was time to see if those hillbillies were right about how delicious these beans are supposed to be, so I created the following recipe.

Wash beans well


and add to a stock pot. Cover with water, add a large bay leaf


and bring to a boil. Once the pot starts boiling, reduce heat, cover and simmer for an hour. Go play a PC game, paint your nails, watch some Korean drama…whatever. Just leave the pot alone for an hour. Once the hour is up, drain the beans well, remove the bay leaf and dry out the pot.


Return pot to the stove and turn the burner to medium. Add 6 slices of center cut bacon (diced) and allow the fat to render well. Once the bacon starts to crisp and you have a nice amount of fat, add half of a diced red onion


Saute for 5-10 minutes until the onions start to caramelize then add two small cloves of minced garlic and a tablespoon of grated ginger. Saute for another 5 minutes before adding the drained beans plus the bay leaf, 2 cartons of unsalted chicken stock and 2 cups of water. Bring back to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for another hour.

Remove pot from the heat and taste to see how salty it is, it should be fairly bland at this point. Next add 1/3 cup of seasoned ssamjang (I like the garlic & sesame stuff) and a tiny dollop of gochujang (you can add more here if you wish, I just cannot eat things too spicy), a drizzle of honey…not too much honey, you don’t want it too sweet, and finally a splash of seasoned rice wine vinegar. Easiest way to add the ssamjang and gochujang is to put them both in a 2 cup sized dish then add some of the hot broth to them and mix well before dumping in the pot.


Simmer for another 10-20 minutes before serving with some kind of hearty bread or rice crackers.


Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Since I can no longer eat potatoes on a regular basis, I decided to give cauliflower a whirl as a potato sub. It seems to work well for mashed potatoes and potato salad, so why not soup? I didn’t use a recipe, but instead just tossed everything into my instant pot and hoped for the best.

1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets

1 vidalia onion, diced

3 cloves of garlic

1 tbl unsalted butter

1 tbl extra virgin olive oil

3 tsp of dried thyme

drizzle of white wine vinegar

24 ounces of low sodium chicken stock (this is a weird number, but I used most of a carton minus 8 oz…to use up the carton I had in my fridge.)

1 cup of water

1/3 cup of crumbled bacon

1 cup of 2% milk

salt & pepper

Arrange cauliflower and whole, unpeeled cloves on a foil lined baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Spray more cooking spray over the cauliflower and garlic and sprinkle on 1 & 1/2 tsp of the thyme. Roast in a 425 degree oven for 25-30 minutes, turning as needed so the veggies don’t get too brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool, peeling the husks off the garlic when you can safely touch them. (I forgot to snap a pic after they were roasted. OOPS!)


Set your instant pot to sauté and add the tbl of butter and olive oil. Add the diced onion and the rest of the thyme and sauté until the onion softens and begins to caramelize. Deglaze with a drizzle of white wine vinegar (regular white wine would work here too, I didn’t happen to have any).

Turn off the sauté and spoon in the roasted cauliflower and garlic. Don’t worry about the whole cloves of roasted garlic, they will melt into the soup as it pressure cooks. Cover with the chicken broth & water.


Make sure your steam vent is closed, cover and cook on manual pressure for 6 minutes. When it beeps, vent and open, add the milk and bacon, salt & pepper to taste. Stir & serve with grilled cheese sandwiches.

Korean BBQ Tofu

So I have subbed us to a meal service, but one of those that sends you the ingredients and you cook the food. After researching several services I settled on Green Chef. I like the vegetarian options they have, they don’t use a lot of fillers (IE pastas or breads in most of the meals), the menus were delicious sounding, and the price was perfect ($80.94 for 3 meals that feed 4 people each a week…which comes out to about $6.75 per person per meal*). I chose this as a way to not only get more vegetarian food in us, but also as a way to expand my wheelhouse vis-à-vis veggie cooking.

In light of this occurrence, I have decided to blog about each recipe I make and include ratings for the meals. Ratings will be based on how complicated or easy the recipes were to prepare and how tasty they are. My rating system will be based on chocolate crickets, 5 being the best.

Our first set of 3 meals arrived today, and it was like Christmas for me. I unpacked the boxes and, of course, started snapping photos. I was pleasantly surprised at how neatly everything was packaged and that all the items were color coded with the recipes. I don’t like to think of myself as an amateur in the kitchen, but I can see how this would help someone who is. One thing to remember, each box contains all the meals for 2 people…so if you have 4, you need to double the recipe amounts listed…like for water or oil, etc.

Basically I just followed the recipe directions (mostly) and served dinner. Recipe can be found here. The menu sheets were clear and concise (other than you needing to remember to double certain things) and having the ingredients pre measured and in their own containers really saved a lot of time IMO. Perfect for mise en place!

It took a little time to prepare and cook, but on most days I would prep what I could ahead of time…today that was just not possible. Taste-wise it was fantastic, the portions were a little on the large side I thought, and the boys were meh on this particular recipe, but Spouse & I were pleased.

Rating: miniminichococricketminiminichococricketminiminichococricketminiminichococricket


*And this is an erroneous amount. Apparently I received a discount on the first week of meals for some reason…one that wasn’t clearly indicated. The cost is much more…I had to cancel

Instant Potted Roast

I have looked up various pot roast recipes for the Instant Pot pressure cooker, and have yet to try any of them. This one looks super promising and I plan to try it sometime, but this one seemed to best fit what I want to make tonight with the boneless chuck arm roast of beef I have. Naturally I have made some changes. Basically I looked at that recipe for the cooking time, heh.

Pot Roast

1 Boneless Chuck Arm Roast of Beef (I think mine is 2-3 lbs…size matters not with a pressure cooker)

1/2 of a vidalia onion sliced in rings

1-2 tbl extra virgin olive oil

2 bay leaves

1 small can of low sodium V8 juice

1 V8 juice can of water

your favorite meat rub (I used a Trader Joe’s Coffee & Garlic BBQ rub)

drizzle of worcestershire sauce

Drizzle roast on both sides with worcester sauce and rub on liberal amounts of your favorite meat rub. Let sit in the fridge for a couple of hours to let the flavors sink in.


Sorry it is so dark, I struggle with that. Readjust and adjust my camera all the time. Must be the florescent lighting.

Add olive oil to the pressure cooker pan and set to Saute. It should get hot fairly quickly and you can sear the meat on both sides. I had to cut mine in two pieces to accomodate my pan, but it will all cook the same.


Mmmmm Maillardy goodness

Set the meat aside and toss in the onions, let cook until they just start to get soft and get some color on them.


How I wish I could include smell here. WOW!

Turn off the Saute and place the seared meat chunks on top of the onions. Place one bay leaf on each chunk of meat (or just lay both on top if you did not have to cut) and pour the V8 all over the meat. Pour the can of water around the beef in the bottom of the pan.


You need liquid for the pressure cooker anyway, and this cut of meat works best when braised…WIN!

Cover and set manual (high pressure) for 70 minutes…making sure you have the vent closed. When it beeps, vent and serve with the roasted veg.


fork tender and absolutely delicious


Citrus-Garlic Roasted Root Veg

3 medium sized yukon gold potates, peeled & cubed

5 medium sized carrots, peeled and cubed

drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

pinch or two of sea salt

2 cloves of garlic, rough chopped

the juice of one fresh clementine

Preheat oven to 400

Arrange cubed veg in a baking dish, sprinkle on the chopped garlic. Drizzle on the olive oil then squeeze the clementine all over the whole mess.


I was planning on using lemon for this then at the last minute I realized I am out of lemons…BAD HOME COOK!

Roast until things start getting browned and crispy, about 45 min to an hour.


mine don’t look so roasted on the top, but they did get some color on the bottom

Fun With Fruit

AKA I had some shit I needed to use up fast so this is what I created.

Indeed, I had some pears and apples languishing about in the fruit bowl, threatening to become wine, so I chopped that shit up and this happened.

3 apples & 3 pears, cubed with the skin on (any kind would work here, but I think I had Gala and Bartlett respectively…you could also peel yours if you wish, I wanted that extra fiber.)

1/3 cup of 100% juice no sugar added apple juice or water (cranberry juice – not cocktail, but the 100% all juice no sugar kind – would have been interesting here too)

juice of 1/2 of a fresh squeezed lime

fresh ginger – about 1/2 tbl

cinnamon – about 1-3 tsp depending on your level of cinnamonyness (say that three times fast)


this handy gadget makes coring and slicing easy as pie…or cake

Add fruit, spice, rhizome and juice to the instant pot. Set on Manual High for 4 minutes.


all mixed up and awaiting their pressurization

When it beeps, vent the baby dragon, open the lid and either mash roughly with a potato masher or blend with an immersion blender. You can also ladle the mixture into a blender and puree that way. Basically obliterate to your comfortable level of smushedness. I went for the chunky-style.


complete with a little blast of steam

The flavor of this is completely amazing and it needs absolutely no sugar. I would recommend adding pears that are just at the prime level of ripeness, IE they are slightly soft to the touch. They are generally sweeter and juicier this way. That added sweetness will really help the sauce flavor profile.

Flat Out Bread

After watching two episodes of Michael Pollan’s Cooked on Netflix, I have been inspired to cook even more of our food myself. Bread has always been a nightmare for me, all the touching/kneading…totally not my cup of chai. I did find a couple of really good no knead sandwich bread recipes though, one from Food 52 and another I found today (I have discovered that the second recipe is actually the same as the Food 52 one, the author just changed a few things and called it her own without linking back to the Food 52 one or even acknowledging it…BAD FORM!). The Food 52 one I have made myself a few times and it’s awesome. I found this recipe and decided to try it. I subbed a little flax meal for part of the flour and also added a touch of sugar and onion powder to sweeten and flavor it a bit.


just rested ball of flaxy dough

It was easy enough to make with my stand mixer and my new cookware is almost like cast iron so I just used my medium skillet to cook. This also gave me a chance to use my tapered french rolling pin. I bought it ages ago and then left it in the packaging until today.


I am winning at making this one quite circular

I didn’t have my pan hot enough so mine took longer than 1 minute per side to cook for the first couple.


shockingly, this was the last one I rolled, and my rolling pin fu had clearly left me. I cooked it first so I could eat the evidence of my failure

I then decided to watch the video and realized I needed my temp higher. Seriously people, if you make a recipe to post online, make sure all your instructions are written in the post as well as on a video…IF you make videos of your recipes.


the final products happily resting on the counter

This was so easy to do that I plan to make flatbread to go with soups from now on. I can make them while the soup simmers and the recipe is perfect for our family of four. I can also attest to the yumminess of said recipe as I am currently snarfing the misshapen one which I spread with a little spicy pepper chutney some fresh baby spinach leaves and a little crumbled feta. NOM.

*UPDATE* I have made this bread a second time and used All-Purpose instead of bread flour (which is what I used the first time). I think I like it better with the All Purpose. It goes together so fast that it’s not like the gluten has much time to form anyway with the Bread Flour.