Spaghetti alla Carbonara

November 13, 2011 § 2 Comments

Recently, I found myself craving carbonara. Not the peas, bacon, and cream-kind, the legit egg-yolk infused Parmesan-deliciousness.  At first, I wanted to try two different recipes and see which one I liked better. But after making the first one, there was no need to try another recipe because it was so fantastic. I made some variations on Tyler Florence’s original recipe below.

Notes:

1. Use pasta water to thin out the sauce a little bit.  I used about 1/2 cup.

2. Make sure you take the pan off the flame when adding the egg/cheese mixture so the eggs don’t get scrambled.

Spaghetti alla Carbonara Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dry spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces pancetta or slab bacon, cubed or sliced into small strips
  • 4 ounces of prosciutto, sliced thinly into ribbons
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Prepare the sauce while the pasta is cooking to ensure that the spaghetti will be hot and ready when the sauce is finished; it is very important that the pasta is hot when adding the egg mixture, so that the heat of the pasta cooks the raw eggs in the sauce.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender yet firm (as they say in Italian “al dente.”) Drain the pasta well, reserving 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water to use in the sauce if you wish.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium flame. Add the pancetta and saute for about 3 minutes, until the bacon is crisp and the fat is rendered. Add the ribbons of prosciutto and saute for 1 minutes. Toss the garlic into the fat and saute for less than 1 minute to soften.

Add the hot, drained spaghetti to the pan and toss for 2 minutes to coat the strands in the bacon fat. Beat the eggs and Parmesan together in a mixing bowl, stirring well to prevent lumps. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the egg/cheese mixture into the pasta, whisking quickly until the eggs thicken, but do not scramble (this is done off the heat to ensure this does not happen.) Thin out the sauce with a bit of the reserved pasta water, until it reaches desired consistency. Season the carbonara with several turns of freshly ground black pepper and taste for salt. Mound the spaghetti carbonara into warm serving bowls and garnish with chopped parsley. Pass more cheese around the table.

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Kimchi Jjigae 김치찌개

October 18, 2011 § 3 Comments

There are a million different ways to make Kimchi Jjigae 김치찌개, and I think I’ve tried about 999,999 of them. 🙂 THIS, however, is the most foolproof, most simple, most delicious kimchi jigae ever, and I really hope you try it since it’s the easiest thing to make.

Notes:

1. You can use either pork or beef, but pork definitely imparts a more velvety-flavor that goes hand in hand with kimchi. Mmm….

2. Pork belly is also great for this, but perhaps a little more fatty (is this a bad thing?)

3. If you are using the last of your kimchi, don’t just throw away the jar! Pour some water in there and pour the little juices/spices into the stew. The more flavor, the better.

4. Must eat with rice.

5. Feel free to add tofu or vermicelli noodles!

Kimchi Jigae Recipe – Kimchi Stew

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp vegetable/canola oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 lb pork belly, loin, or rib, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 4 cups ripe kimchi
  • 3 1/2 cups water (use around 2-3 tbsp kimchi juice from container)

Directions

  1. Heat oil in heavy-pot on medium-high.  Add sliced pork, salt, and pepper and saute until nice and golden, 3~4 minutes.
  2. Add 4 cups of ripe kimchi to the pot and stir-fry with the pork around 5 minutes.
  3. Add 3 1/2~4 cups of water (or until kimchi and pork are JUST covered) and simmer on medium heat, covered, for 40-45 minutes.
  4. ENJOY!!

Tomato Basil Mozzarella Salad

October 4, 2011 § 2 Comments

My first salad on COZYBOGIE! Which strikes me as a little odd because I eat salad quite frequently…but oh well. 🙂

I wish I could say that I concocted this amazing mixture myself, but again, I have to give credit where it’s rightfully due to my darling Amanda. (She will be on SOON for a delicious guest-post!)

Notes:

1. You can use marinated mozzarella or plain Bocconcino for this, just don’t add as much salt when you use the marinated mozzarella.

2. Heirloom tomatoes taste best with this! But in a pinch grape or cherry tomatoes will do.

3. This is SUPER FAST (20 minutes max – and 15 minutes of that is just waiting) and delicious.

4. I like the ratio of 1 cheese to 2 bites of tomato. But of course, you can switch it up.

Tomato Basil Mozzarella Salad Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 lb heirloom tomatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces if they are too big
  • 1 small container of marinated mozzarella or bocconcino
  • 1/4-1/2 coarse sea salt (start with 1/4 teaspoon, add more to suit your taste)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded basil leaves

Directions

  1. Rinse and wash the tomatoes and basil. Place tomatoes in a large bowl for mixing.
  2. For bite-sized pieces, halve or quarter the cheese and place into the bowl with the tomatoes.
  3. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and olive oil over the tomatoes and cheese and mix gently so that all is coated.
  4. Top with the fresh basil leaves, I like to tear them by hand but for a prettier presentation it’s fine to slice them. Mix a few times and let it stand for 15 minutes for the flavors to combine.
  5. Enjoy!

Basil Fried Rice with Beef

October 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

I have been on a Thai-kick lately! I mean, really, what’s more satisfying than a plate of spicy, delicious, rice/noodles/curry?

I used my creative thinking cap the other day to come up with this dish. Do you ever feel strangely proud when you’re able to use your imagination, past the age of 10? I remember when I was little, I could literally spend hours creating this magical world with my friends or by myself, and only recently realized that it is much harder than it seems! Whenever I babysit or look after little kids and they ask to play or tell them a story, I start getting a little nervous because nothing seems quite as cool or fun as the stories I used to make up. So HUGE kudos to the parents and nannies that have to do it every day. 🙂

Notes:

1. You don’t have to use an expensive cut of beef. I think the one I used was just chuck/stew meat, but the KEY THING IS to cut it as thinly as possible AGAINST THE GRAIN.  Then it’ll be nice and tender and easy to chew. To make it easier to slice, you can freeze the beef a little for 1 hour before use.

2. I like a lot of egg in my fried rice, but if you don’t like it as much, you can cut down the number of eggs.

3. Depending on how spicy you like your rice, adjust the hot chili peppers accordingly. I put 3 in, with the seeds, but it wasn’t spicy at all! I think next time I will put in 5.

4. Use day-old rice, preferably chilled. It will be easier to mix.

Basil Fried Rice with Beef Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb chuck stew meat, sliced thinly against the grain
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced finely
  • 3-5 jalapeno peppers, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Golden Mountain seasoning sauce (or substitute 1 tablespoon soy sauce)
  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4-5 cups of day-old cooked rice
  • 1 cup of loosely packed basil leaves, rinsed
  • 2-3 eggs, scrambled with 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • Sriracha *optional

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a large wok on medium heat. Add garlic and chili peppers and cook until fragrant and lightly browned, about 30 seconds.  Add onions. Cook 30 seconds.
  2. Increase heat to high. Add the beef, and stir until it is well mixed with the garlic, onions, and chili peppers. Then add the fish sauce, seasoning sauce, black pepper and oyster sauce, and cook until beef is cooked through, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. After the beef is cooked through, add the rice and break apart clumps and incorporate well into the beef and onions.
  4. Scramble the eggs in a separate saucepan and mix into the rice after they are just-cooked through.
  5. After the rice is well mixed and hot, turn off the stove and immediately add your basil leaves. Mix well, and serve! Enjoy. You can add sriracha on top if it’s not that spicy.

Mango Sticky Rice – Thai-style Dessert!

October 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

Happy October everyone!

Back with a vengeance, and starting it off is a delicious Thai dessert – Mango Sticky Rice, or Kow Neuw Mamuang. This is one of those dishes that I always saw on my local Thai restaurant’s menu, but never really got a chance to try. Finally, one extremely hungry day, I ordered my noodles and this dessert and I am so glad I did because it is SO good.

It’s not too sweet, very fresh and light, and overall super satisfying. I looked up some recipes online and decided it didn’t look TOO challenging to try at home, and it definitely wasn’t.  I highly encourage you to try this, this is a really beautiful dish and has a lovely presentation (perfect for those dinner parties!).

Though this is super simple, it does require some planning because you need to soak the sweet rice in water overnight to get that perfect chewy texture when it comes time to assemble the dish.  Other than that, it takes about thirty minutes to prepare the rest of the dessert.

Notes:

1. Depending on how sweet your mangoes are, adjust your sugar level to your likening.  I don’t like overly-sweet desserts so a little less than 1/4 cup was perfect for my tastes.

2. You must use glutinous sticky rice, you cannot use regular rice with a lot of water.

Mango Sticky Rice

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups sticky rice (I used short-grain, you can use any type of glutinous rice for this)
  • 1 13.5 ounce can of unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ripe mangoes

Directions

  1. Rinse the rice a few times and soak it in water, overnight. In a bind, you can probably get away with soaking for at least one hour, but steaming for much longer.
  2. Rinse the rice one last time and drain carefully. Place in a steamer lined with a cheesecloth and steam for 20-25 minutes.
  3. While the rice is steaming, stir one cup of coconut milk and 1/4 cup of sugar and salt together in a small pot, on low heat until the sugar is dissolved.  Turn off the heat.
  4. Once the rice is finished, taste to see if it is chewy and to your liking. If it is undercooked, it will taste crispy and gross. Transfer to a large bowl that has a lid.
  5. Pour the sweetened coconut milk mixture into the bowl with the rice and mix well so that all the rice is coated. Cover and set aside for 20 minutes for the rice to soak up the milk.
  6. With the remaining coconut milk, heat on a low simmer with two tablespoons of sugar until the liquid evaporates by one half.
  7. Peel mangoes carefully and cut into two big halves. Slice each half very thinly, around 2-3 mL thick so that you can make cool shapes with it easily when you plate.
  8. Using a small custard mold, pour a tablespoon of the sauce into it and coat the inside, then pour out the remaining sauce. Add a few tablespoons of rice to the mold and pack it in, and then carefully transfer the mold of rice onto your serving plate.  Then, add your mangoes in any shape you’d like!
  9. Enjoy!

Bulgogi (불고기 Korean Marinated BBQ Beef)

September 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

This is probably one of the most popular Korean dishes and one of the easiest to make.

1. Probably best to marinate for at least 1 hour, overnight is ideal but 1 hour will still be pretty delicious.

2. This can completely be vegetarian-friendly if you make the sauce for some mushrooms, onions, cabbage, whatever vegetables you’d like, and then grill the same way! I like to marinate some of my onions in the sauce. Another quick and easy snack, served with rice!

3. This can be great for a jungol as well, please see my other post!

Stephanie’s Bulgogi Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2.5 – 3 lbs of thinly sliced rib-eye or beef brisket
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 10-15 minced garlic cloves (around 3 heaping tablespoons)
  • 1/4 cup mirin (rice wine)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 3-4 green onions, minced
  • 2 onions, sliced thinly
  • 1 carrot, sliced thinly at an angle * optional
  • mushrooms, sliced thinly * optional
  • 2 hot green peppers, sliced thinly * optional

Directions

  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl and taste. If you like your sauces a little sweeter, add a little more honey or sugar to your liking.
  2. Add your beef, onions, and green onion. Toss gently to combine with your hands, that’s the best way. Add other veggies if wanted.
  3. Marinate for at least one hour (up to overnight), and then grill and cook until the beef is cooked through. (Only a few minutes.)
  4. Serve with rice and some kimchi, the best combination.
  5. Enjoy!!

Coffee Cake (The Best Ever.)

September 6, 2011 § 2 Comments

Happy week everyone!

I just came back from a beautiful, relaxing weekend away in Martha’s Vineyard, which is one of my favorite places on earth. My friend and I took the ferry directly from NYC to Oak Bluffs, which was surprisingly lovely. Yes, the two hours of choppy ocean-waves are a bit too much to stomach at times, but it’s nothing that a few glasses of wine can’t cure! My dearest friends from college and I went to our favorite places, picked up some great end-of-summer deals, and ate delicious food. It wouldn’t have been the worst thing in the world if we “accidentally” missed our ferry back… 🙂 Thanks again to my lovely Protrap. 😉

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend as well!

Coffee cake:

1. Surprisingly has zero coffee in it! It’s called coffee cake because it goes so dang well with coffee.

2. This coffee cake is actually sinful. It’s so good. And you might eat the whole thing by accident.

3. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.

Ridiculously Delicious Coffee Cake, The Best Ever Perhaps Recipe

From the Pioneer Woman

Ingredients

  • FOR THE CAKE:
  • 1-1/2 stick Butter, Softened
  • 2 cups Scant Sugar
  • 3 cups Flour, Sifted
  • 4 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1-1/4 cup Whole Milk
  • 3 whole Egg Whites, Beaten Until Stiff
  • _____
  • FOR THE TOPPING:
  • 1-1/2 stick Butter, Softened
  • 3/4 cups Flour
  • 1-1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 cup Pecans, Chopped

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat egg whites and set aside.

Cream butter and sugar. Add flour mixture and milk alternately until combined. Don’t overbeat. Fold in beaten egg whites with a rubber spatula. Spread in a well-greased 9 x 13 (or LARGER!) baking pan. A cake pan with higher sides would be best.

In a separate bowl, combine topping ingredients with a pastry cutter until crumbly. Sprinkle all over the top.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until no longer jiggly. Serve warm—delicious!

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