Chorizo Mussels Recipe

Guess what everyone? I’m starting a freelancing job! It will be at an ad agency in the city, and I’ll be working part time, 3 days a week for now. It’s been a year and one month since I quit my last job (oh how time flies). Thankfully my time off hasn’t been wasted because I started this blog! If you’ve been following along, you know that I’ve been working on a bunch of house projects.

I am ready to go back to work though to stimulate my brain again! So grateful that it’s part time for now so I can slowly ease myself back to work. Excited for the opportunity! And don’t worry, I’ll still be posting on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

As promised, today’s post will be my chorizo mussels recipe. Remember that osso buco recipe? The leftover broth becomes so flavorful, and it’s perfect for this meal.

It takes less than 15 minutes to prep and 10 minutes to cook.

Chorizo Mussels

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 pounds of mussels (Costco to the rescue)
  • 2 packs of chorizo (10 ounce packages)
  • Bread for serving

Directions:

1. Clean mussels by running through cold water and debeard (pull out the little fuzzies/stringy bits that are stuck on the shell). Throw away any mussels that have open/broken shells.
2. Boil the osso buco leftover broth, then add the chorizo into the pot and boil for 5 minutes. Once you’re ready to eat, put the mussels unto the pot and cook until shells open (about 5-8 minutes).
3. Serve with bread and enjoy! 

Mussels

Pretty awesome that you can make two meals with one pot! Plus, this meal basically is prepped and cooked in less than 30 minutes. Can’t ask for an easier dinner!

Do you like mussels? How do you like them prepared? Is this something you can cook at home?

Have a great weekend,
Jay

  

Beef Osso Buco (Jay’s Way)

A friend came over once and made me osso buco. It was an amazing meal (though my kitchen was a disaster afterwards. Boys leave such crazy messes in the kitchen)! I couldn’t stop thinking about how yummy and tender the meat was, how creamy the polenta tasted, and how the amazing sauce tied it all together. Even better, the leftover pot of broth! I made chorizo mussels with it for dinner the next day. Two meals from one pot? Hell yes.

Both meals in one dinner? Double hell yes. I had a dinner party for 8 during Christmas time and this was the perfect meal! Get this, I had salad for the first course, osso buco for the second, mussels with bread for the third, and then dessert.

Osso buco is an Italian dish of braised veal shanks. Perhaps I’m in an Italian state of mind since I’ll be going to Italy in 2 weeks!

I’ll post my osso buco recipe today. On friday, come back for how to make chorizo mussels in the same broth!

This recipe is how I cook it, but others may prepare on a stove and then oven.

Done

Ingredients:

  • 4 – 6 pieces of veal shanks (about 3 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup diced carrot
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1-2 cups beef stock
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can of diced tomatoes
  • Flour
  • Butter
  • Salt and pepper for tasting

Essential Cooking Tool: Pressure Cooker

Invest in a pressure cooker and I bet you’ll never use your crock pot again!

Directions:
1. Dust the veal shanks lightly with flour. Heat up butter in your pressure cooker until melted, and brown the veal shanks on medium/medium-high heat. Set veal shanks aside.
2. Add chopped garlic, carrots, and onion to the pressure cooker, and stir until onion is tender. Add the wine and scrap up all the browned bits in the cooker. Simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Pour in the tomatoes and beef stock, and add thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Then add the veal back into the pressure cooker.
4. Cook the veal in the pressure cooker for 45 minutes (according to your manual’s instructions).
5. Once cooked, serve with mashed potatoes or polenta.

Polenta directions: Bring 6 cups of water to a boil, add 2 teaspoons of salt, and whisk in 1 and 3/4 cups of cornmeal. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the mixture thickens and the cornmeal is tender. Stir often. Turn off the heat, and add 3 tablespoons of butter until combined and melted.

Dusting

Broth

Dinner

It’s a great meal to make when you have guests since you can easily make a huge pot of food. It’s also a fancy meal that will leave your guests impressed.

Have you ever had osso buco before? Where and did you like it? Is this a recipe you can recreate?

Remember to come back on Friday for my chorizo mussels using leftover broth from the osso buco.

Love,
Jay

  

Chinese Steamed Ground Pork

Yay! It’s Friday!

and Yay! It’s a continuation of my Chinese dishes. There were many challenges growing up as a Chinese girl in Texas. I wanted the blond hair and blue eyes. I wanted to look like the dolls that I played with. As I grew older, I had to juggle Chinese traditions with American traditions. Try explaining why Chinese New Year isn’t the same as January 1 (I still can’t really tell you how that works, haha). But I’m so proud of my background now, and I wouldn’t change it for anything. I love being able to say I’m Chinese, I love having the inside knowledge of Chinese food, and I love that I have American and Chinese traditions all intermingled together.

For the longest time after I moved to the Bay Area, I missed my mom’s homecookin, specifically Chinese foods. I frequently called her for recipes so that I could satisfy some of my Chinese food cravings. One of the dishes we often had at home was this steamed pork recipe (now I know why because it’s so easy to make!). It’s also full of flavor because there are bits of seafood. Yummyyy!

The egg dish from Wednesday was a comfort food in many Chinese homes. This steamed pork recipe is same in that it’s another comfort food! It’s rare that my family and I would order it at the restaurants, but it’s definitely one of those things when you see on the menu, you want it. Another plus, it’s delicious with rice, which means it’s a dangerous dish. Eat with caution because when something pairs well with rice, I always overeat until my belly is bloated and screaming at me. My friends and I call this “miserably angry” because you’ve eaten to the point you’re feeling unwell… maybe it happens a lot and we needed a term for the feeling of a full belly but an angry digestive system!

Title

Chinese Steamed Ground Pork

Ingredients:

  • 8 pieces of dry shrimp
  • 2 pieces of dry cuttlefish
  • 8 oz ground pork
  • Soy sauce
  • Sesame oil

Directions:

1. Dice up the dry shrimp into tiny pieces. Peel off the cartilage from the cuttlefish (easier to do under running water), and dice up the cuttle fish.
2. Mix the seafood into the ground pork (I like to use my fingers to mix). Then mix in 1.5 teaspoons of soy sauce and a teaspoon of sesame oil. Combine well.
3. Now flatten the meat evenly onto a steaming plate, and steam for 20 minutes. Serve alongside rice for a delicious meal.

Seafood
You can find these items in any Chinese grocery store. I know, I know… it’s kinda weird but this adds so much flavor!

Diced

Mix
Mix well ^^^

Flattened
On the steaming plate!

Steaming
See how clever I am??? I’m steaming pork and egg, and that’s my meal right there!

Dinner
With a simple veggie side, dinner is served!

Have you had steamed ground pork before? What do you think of it?

What kind of Chinese comfort foods do you love and do you have a request for any simple Chinese recipes?

Have a great weekend,
Jay
—–
You can purchase my steamer from Amazon here

  

Chinese Steamed Egg

You’re in for a treat this week! I’ll be featuring Cantonese-styled Chinese dishes. These recipes are near and dear to me because I grew up eating this stuff. Today’s post will be a recipe for steamed egg, and Friday I’ll post a recipe for steamed pork. These are Chinese comfort foods, cheap to cook, and easy to make. It’s one of those dishes you order at authentic Chinese restaurants. Honestly, only someone that is well-versed in Chinese food would get it.

This dish is a staple steamed egg dish. If you didn’t grow up with it, it’s just egg to you. You don’t necessary think to order it at a restaurant, but when you see it on the menu, you want it! But it’s not just egg. To Chinese families, it’s beyond that. It’s childhood memories. It’s knowing that steamed egg goes great with rice. It’s also a craving. It’s like being able to bake french fries at home, but isn’t it so much better buying it from McDonald’s?

Anyhoo, I got this recipe off a friend who posted their dinner on Facebook. Once I saw his picture of the steamed egg dish, I private messaged him because I had to know how to make it for my husband. Egg is one of his favorite foods, and ice cream…  and steak… and pizza… and Snickers… I digress. Egg!

This recipe is super easy! Let’s do this!

Chinese Dinner

Chinese Steamed Egg Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 4 large eggs (straight from the fridge)
  • Half a can of chicken broth
  • Teaspoon of oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of soy sauce
  • Chopped green scallions or cilantro for garnish (optional)

Cooking essentials: Steamer, steaming plate, whisk

You can makeshift a steamer by simply adding 1-2 inches of water in a large pan, something to raise your plate (a towel, a metal stand) and then place your steaming plate on top. Basically you do not want water in your steaming plate.

Directions:

1. Beat your eggs thoroughly in your steaming plate and add half the can of chicken broth. Whisk until combined well.
2. Cover the plate with plastic wrap to prevent bubbles from forming due to the condensation.
3. Steam the eggs on medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes, until mixture is not runny.
4. In a pan, heat up oil and soy sauce.
5. Once the eggs are cooked, remove the plastic wrap and sprinkle the chopped green scallions. Finally drizzle the oil and soy sauce onto the eggs.

Pro-status: If you loooove clams with this dish (a-to-the-men for whoever came up with this). Steam the clams first until they are half open. Then pour the chicken broth and egg mixture onto the clams and follow directions 2-5.

Plastic Wrap

Egg

Dinner

My father in law loves this dish. And MG, he is able to eat just this for dinner and he would be happy. It’s not just egg. It’s the joy you get from eating it, a happy belly! It’s the childhood memory of your mom letting you beat the eggs for this dish. It’s about the family dinners where everyone had time to sit around the table to enjoy dinner.

Have you had this dish before? What are your thoughts?

Stay tuned on Friday for my steamed pork recipe,
Jay
—–
Special thanks to Ernest for the recipe
You can purchase my steamer from Amazon here

  

Simple Broccoli Salad

Last week it was rainy and chilly. This week is a whole different story! It’s so warm out, reaching 80°F in the afternoon and low 70’s in the evening. We actually have our air conditioning on!

I’m still running and training for my half-marathon (happening in August). It’s such a love/hate relationship. During the first two miles I’m always questioning “Why!! Why do you do this to yourself? How am I going to continue?” Then the next two miles are usually pretty easy going. After the run, I love running and think to myself “Seriously a great work out. I can certainly do this again!”

Surely, the entire thing happens all over again, day after day! Now it’s so hot out that I can’t even run during lunch time. Evening running is great though! It’s a bit cooler, more people are out and about, and it’s right before dinner so I can be super hungry after running (yup, food is my motivation for running). No judgement.

Since we’re running in the evenings now, it’s important to make a quick and easy dinner to end the night. I’ll grill/pan-fry meat, and we’ll also have a salad. Today I’ll share with you a delicious and scrumptious broccoli salad recipe. It’s so easy; simply get the ingredients and mix it all together!

Title

Simple Broccoli Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium broccoli crowns
  • 1 apple, diced*
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup bacon bits
  • 1/4 cup poppy seed dressing

*Substitute candied walnuts for the sweet-tooth

Directions: Cut the broccoli crowns into bite-sized pieces. Toss in the remaining ingredients and combine well.

Tossed

Served

Perfect bite^^^ The perfect bite

It’s extremely easy and extremely delicious! It’s also a great salad to make for potlucks because you can prepare in large quantities at a cheap cost. If you love crunch, then this is the perfect recipe for you!

Is this something you can make? What are some of your favorite salad recipes?

Crunch crunch,
Jay

  

Leftover Enchilada Casserole

It’s almost time for the weekend!

This week has been dragging along… The week started with a 5 mile run and 2 hot yoga classes, so I was proud of what I accomplished. Then MG and I got into a huge fight, he flew to Chicago for work, and I just ate a lot of carbs to make me feel better. And then surprise! MG sent a delivery of flowers while he was on his work trip. I’m spoiled by him, I really am. I’ll make him a scrumptious dinner tomorrow night, and we’re probably going somewhere fun this weekend.

Flowers

I have another delicious recipe for you today! It’s one of those recipes that are my clean-out-the-fridge dinners. I’ll whip up this enchilada casserole after we have “taco night” and an abundance of leftovers. During make your own taco night, there’s usually no more meat left, but lots of beans, tortillas, and a package of shredded cheese. Is that the same with you?

When my friend wouldn’t take the leftovers, I challenged myself to use the ingredients so it wouldn’t go to waste. With some enchilada sauce, ground beef, garlic, and onions, I created my leftover enchilada casserole. 

Title

Leftover Enchilada Casserole
servings: 8

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • 6-8 medium tortillas, cut into stripes
  • 1.5 pounds of ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups of enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup of black beans
  • 1-2 cups of sour cream
  • 2 cups of grated cheese (I used cheddar and Monterrey Jack)
  • Salt for tasting

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Cut the tortillas in a half and into strips. Drizzle olive oil on a skillet over medium heat, and cook a few of the tortilla strips until crisp on each side and set aside on a plate lined with a paper towel. You may need to do cook the tortilla strips in batches until all remaining tortillas are cooked.
3. In a large pan, add olive oil and fry the onion and garlic for 2 minutes. Then add the ground beef and stir fry for 8-10 minutes. Drain the stir fry to remove drippings.
4. Now take a 9×13 casserole dish, and spread 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce to coat the bottom of the dish.  Then add slices of crispy tortilla as the second layer, slightly overlapping. Layer on ground beef/garlic/onion mixture evenly, then another layer of enchilada sauce. Spread on sour cream and sprinkle cheese.
5. Repeat layers! Layer on the rest of the ingredients to your desire but end with cheese. Mine goes something like this: enchilada sauce, tortillas, beef, sauce, cheese & cream, tortillas, beef, beans, sauce, cheese & cream, sauce, beef, tortillas, cheese.
6. Bake in the oven until cheese has melted (about 20 minutes).

Cut

Torillas

Ingredients

Layers

Baked

Done

One great thing about this casserole is that you can make this recipe and freeze it so that the leftovers do not go bad. Once prepared, wrap it up in aluminum foil and stick it into the freezer. The night before you want to make the casserole, put it in the fridge to defrost, and simply bake before you eat it. Baking time may be a bit longer so that all layers are thoroughly heated (approximately 30-40 minutes). 

Another awesome thing, use whatever ingredients you like – beans, lettuce, tomatoes, whatever you’ve got! Like I said, use your leftovers and clean out your fridge.

Such a great way to finish up leftovers, and also a great dinner idea if you have friends/neighbors/family members come over on a whim. Who says you can’t serve a guest leftovers!

What are some of your favorite clean-out-the-fridge/leftover meals?

Have a great weekend!
Jay
—–
Pro-tip: I always keep ground beef and chicken breast in the freezer. These are very versatile ingredients with lots of dinner options. Just throw them into the freezer, defrost day-of, and use it for dinner!

  

The Legendary Steak

Who doesn’t love a nice piece of meat?

Steak with butter

If you’ve ever been to our house, you might have been lucky enough to have MG’s fricken awesome steak. After having this for dinner, I honestly don’t care to go to steakhouses. We’ve been to a few restaurants for steak since, but I still compare it to the one we eat at home.

I’m finally willing to share the recipe with you! If you follow these steps, your steak will turn out amazing every time.

First off, get a nice piece of meat. I love bone-in ribeye – it has a good texture and enough fat for a flavorful steak. If you’re willing to splurge, get the Prime cut at Costco. If you’re really willing to put some money down, find a butcher for a dry-aged piece of meat. Whole Foods sells their dry-age ribeye for ~$22/lb. Five Dot Ranch has mind-blowing cuts of meat, you can find them at the Oxbow market in Napa Valley, ~$25/lb for dry-aged, but totally worth the cost.

Whole Foods - Steak^^^ This is at Whole Foods

Let’s get started! Preheat the oven to 500° F.

As you’re pre-heating the oven, sprinkle McCormick’s Grill Mates Montreal Steak seasoning onto the steak, not too much because you want to still taste the meat flavor. I also love Gibson’s Seasoning Salt (a steakhouse located in Chicago), but for this recipe, we’ll stick to McCormick’s.

Favorite Seasonings
^^^ My two favorite seasonings

Sprinkle

Once the oven hits 450° F, heat up your cast iron skillet on high. Get it as hot as you can (if this is a used skillet, the previous oil residue will start to steam, which is a good indicator that it’s hot).

Once the skillet is hot, hot, hot, add a slice of butter onto the pan. When the butter is melted, place the steak onto the skillet. Sear each side for only 30 seconds. Searing helps to keep all the juices in.

Melt the Butter

Sear the Steak

Other Side

The oven should be at 500° F at this point. Place the entire skillet into the oven. Bake the steak 2 minutes on each side (this is for 1 inch steaks only). If the steak is thicker than 1 inch, place the steak in the oven for 3 minutes on each side.

Baking

Last step, after taking the steak out of the oven, let it rest for 5 minutes. Basically this lets the steak soak up all the juice. And yes, a juicy steak is where it’s at! This is the hardest step since your house probably is filled with mouth-watering smells of steak.

SteakLook at that char!

Now savor every bite of steak because it’s probably amazing, and juicy, and flavorful, and all kinds of goodness. As I’m typing this, I feel like I can smell the deliciousness.

Delicious Steak

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served

Few tips:

  • A cast iron skillet is best because it allows you to sear the steak with some char, which adds some crispiness to the texture.
  • This is a little trick I learned from an outdoors man that I used to work with. Poke at your thumb nugget to gauge how well done the meat is.

Doneness of Steak

  • Wine? Pshhh… I love eating steak with milk. The milk is so sweet, and steak is the perfect match. Anyone else like to do this?
  • To clean your cast iron skillet, soak up the oil with a paper towel. Simply use hot/warm water and scrub off residue. Add some salt and scrub to get stubborn food remains. Do NOT use soap. You want your cast iron to become “well-seasoned” to prevent rust.

Washing the cast iron

What do you think? Is this something you will try?

Are you hungry now? Cause I am!
Jay
—–
I have the Le Creuset Cast Iron Skillet in Caribbean from Macy’s

  

Make Your Own Ramen Burger

THE RAMEN BURGER.

It’s the new food craze, and I get it! It is amazing!

A Juicy patty. Crunchy noodles. A kick of spice. The peppery taste of Arugula. And a runny yolk flowing onto your tastebuds. Have I sold you yet?

You can totally make it yourself! I’ll teach you how.

Ramen Burger

Ingredients:
1 Ramen pack (can make 4 ramen buns)
Ground beef burger patty (marinated with soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic salt, and pepper)
Cheese (Whatever you like, I used cheddar)
Arugula
Green onion – cut lengthwise into 2 inch slivers
Egg
Sriracha
Ketchup
Oil for pan frying

Instructions:
1. Cook the ramen as the pack tells you. Then drain out the soup in a colander.
2. Heat up a teaspoon of oil in a pan over medium heat.
3. To shape the ramen buns, put ramen into a bowl that is wide enough for the patty. Layer the bottom of the bowl evenly until there is no empty space, and slowly pour the ramen into the hot pan, keeping the circular shape. Do this again for the other ramen bun. Pour some oil onto the ramen buns.
4. BE PATIENT. If you move the ramen buns too early, the shape will not stay. Let the ramen buns cook for at least 5 minutes on one side. Move the ramen buns around with a spatula. If it is moving in one whole piece, you can carefully turn the bun over. If not, continue to let the ramen bun fry. Fry the other side of the bun. The bun is ready when you can pick up the entire thing in one whole piece, no loose ramen. Take it off the heat.
5. Cook the beef patty and place the cheese on top to melt.
6. Fry the egg, sunny side up or over easy.
7. Mix the Sriracha with the ketchup. More Sriracha for a spicier burger.
8. Now combine the ingredients! Spread the spicy ketchup on the bottom ramen bun, put a handful of arugula, add your delicious patty with the melted cheese, then place your fried egg on top. Place some cut green onions, and put the other ramen bun to top it off.
9. Admire your work of art, and then eat it!!!

How to Make a Ramen Burger

Then stuff this baby into your face hole!

Delicious

Yum

You know it's good
You know it’s delicious when you use multiple napkins and all 10 fingers are greasy!

What do you think of this food craze? Have you eaten it at a restaurant? Do you think you’ll be recreating it yourself?

Get in my belly,
Jay