Korean Style Quick Pickles

For dinner this week, I made a big bowl of my family’s favorite salad. It is basically grilled chicken, bow tie pasta, croutons, mozzarella cheese, and sliced cucumbers. It’s very basic, but it is not only great, but it is one that both of my non-salad eating boys devour. With that said, I had a bit of an English cucumber leftover that I was not going to let go to waste. At first I thought I would just slice it and put it in a salad for the next day’s lunch, but then it occurred to me to make a quick pickle, but Korean style.

Korean Style Quick Pickles

In the last couple of years, I have been a huge fan of a Korean fermented red chili paste known as gochujang. You can find gochujang in any Asian market, or online for that matter. It has this savoriness and spiciness that is so well balanced that it almost becomes addicting. I’ve been using it in stews and braises, and I can tell you it is now one of my top five ingredients. This is when I thought of making a Korean style quick pickle to be eaten for dinner the following day.

These pickles are so good, you will probably become addicted to them. Unlike a dill, or ‘butter’ style sweetened American pickle, these are balanced with sweet heat that just go so well with pretty much anything.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 English cucumber, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 3 tbsp gochujang
  • 1/2 cup mirin, or rice wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp dark sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Add everything but the sliced cucumber to a small mixing bowl, and stir to incorporate. Add in the sliced cucumber, and gently mix to distribute all of the ingredients into the cucumber.

Korean Style Pickles

Cover and refrigerate over night.

The cucumbers will soften slightly the following day. When you are ready to serve, place them as a side dish on the table.

Korean Style Quick Pickles

These Korean style quick pickles are so well balanced, and again, addicting. They pack this sweet heat, along with just that perfect bite of garlic that they have you going back for more. So go find yourself a tub of that gochujang and start exploring the many dishes you can add it to. Did I mention how good this stuff is in soup?

Korean Style Quick Pickles
Author: 
Recipe type: Sides
Cuisine: Korean
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • ½ English cucumber, cut into ¼ inch rounds
  • 3 tbsp gochujang
  • ½ cup mirin, or rice wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp dark sesame oil
  • ¼ tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Add everything but the sliced cucumber to a small mixing bowl, and stir to incorporate. Add in the sliced cucumber, and gently mix to distribute all of the ingredients into the cucumber.
  2. Cover and refrigerate over night.
  3. The cucumbers will soften slightly the following day. When you are ready to serve, place them as a side dish on the table.

 

Read More

Loaded Pizza Rolls

The weekends around my house always yield a few things. Time with the kids, creative and fun cooking, and laundry. As we recently wrapped up football season, I decided to make a fun appetizer that I knew would be a hit with my wife, and possibly my kids. In the past I have made these stuffed pepperoni rolls which are so incredibly addictive, and with that in mind, I decided to take those, or at least the concept to another level. This recipe uses simple, frozen bread rolls and stuffed with an array of ingredients. The cool thing about making these is that you can make them how you would want your pizza, and to me, that’s pretty awesome.

Loaded Pizza Rolls

These are perfect bites, not only for a football game, but heck, any Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Did I mention how easy they are to make?

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices of bacon, chopped and cooked until crisp
  • 1/2 cup pepperoni, diced, and cooked until slightly crisp
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup shredded colby jack cheese, to finish
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 stick of unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Rhodes dinner rolls, thawed
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour

Again, you have options here for your stuffing, so go with what you love. You want mushrooms and onions? Go for it. That’s the beauty of cooking.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Melt the butter in a bowl along with the Italian seasoning and garlic powder. Once melted, give it a good stir, and set to the side.

Start by dusting a work area with flour. Take one of your thawed dinner rolls, place it onto the work surface, and gently roll it out with a rolling pin. You want it about a 1/4 inch thick or so.

How to make loaded pizza rolls

Next, take a bit of everything, enough where you think it will fit, and then fold over the bread and pinch to seal them. Some of them may open up. Don’t worry, it’s OK. When they bake it just gets even better.

Add the stuffed pizza bread to a baking dish, and continue with however many you would like to make. I made eleven of them.

Drizzle all of the rolls with that butter mixture, then top with the colby jack cheese.

Bake in the oven until the cheese is super bubbly and the bread is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.

Dig in. It’s almost like monkey bread which always works in my favor, but loaded with everything pizza in a roll form. Super yummy, fun, and perfect for watching a game. My wife and I loved these, but the kids, well, they saw that bell pepper and turned away. Their loss. Hope you enjoy!

Read More

St. Louis Style Pizza

I’ve always been a big fan of making pizza for my family. If I could have it my way, I would probably eat pizza on a daily basis. I love it that much. The great thing about pizza is you can make it your own. Everything from the dough to the sauce to the toppings. That’s what I truly love about it. I’ve been trying to master my artisanal dough for some time now, and I think I am getting really close, but recently I found out about a pizza dough that was no mess, no fuss, and it’s coined as St. Louis style pizza. I was intrigued, and pleasantly surprised.

This dough has a few simple ingredients; flour, salt, water, oil. No yeast. I love blooming yeast, but no yeast, no rise? I’m in. This time.

St. Louis Style Pizza Recipe

Let’s get started. By the way, my wife really liked this crust. That’s always a good sign, and well, so did I.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of unbleached, self-rising flour
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Approximately 3/4 cups of water
  • parchment paper
  • Pam cooking spray
  • 1 cup white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 slices of baby swiss cheese
  • 1 cup smoked provolone cheese, shredded
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • Your favorite pizza sauce
  • Your favorite pizza toppings
  • Pizza sheet

Start by making your dough. To a mixing bowl, add the flour, water, salt and mix until you have a somewhat slightly smooth dough, nothing too tough. Add a bit more water at a time until you get a somewhat smooth consistency.

Let the dough rest in the bowl, for about 20 minutes or so.

During this time, get your prep work done. Get your pizza ingredients ready, and more importantly, if you cannot find shredded cheeses, like I could not (especially in Wisconsin!), then you will need to add the cheeses to a food process, and pulse down until all is shredded.

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

Divide your dough into 2 balls.

Get 2 sheets of parchment paper out, large enough to roll out the dough into about 1/4 inch thin. The thinner the better.

Spray each sheet of parchment paper with the PAM cooking spray, or lightly lube with oil.

Lay a ball of dough down, then top with the other sheet of parchment paper, lube side facing down, and lightly roll the ball with a rolling pin. Gently roll into a circular shape, going thin.

st-louis-style-pizza-ingredientsSpray the pizza sheet with the cooking spray as well, enough to cover the dough.

Place the thinly, rolled out dough onto the cooking sheet, then slather on the pizza sauce. Shower the sauce with the Italian seasoning, cover with the cheese, and your favorite toppings. Add a bit more cheese to hold things together, then place into the oven and cook for about 18-20 minutes or until the crust is a nice, golden brown and the cheese is melted.

The goal here, with St. Louis style pizza, is to cut into squares. That’s St. Louis style, along with that cheese blend, and that pizza dough. Keep that in mind.

Once cut, dig in.

The result is pretty darn awesome. Super crispy, not heavy, and in my book, really comforting and quick. I’ve done tortilla pizzas in the past, but this throw together dough probably has me hooked. My wife was hooked as well, and in my book, that is always an awesome thing.

 

Read More

Spicy Beef and Kimchi Tacos

Recently I made a stop at one of my favorite taquerias in town, El Rey Supermercado, as I normally do, and decided to shop around for a few minutes after I had a delicious taco lunch. Often times when I go there, I load up on limes, chilies, avocados, and corn tortillas, but this time around I loaded up on fresh fruits, and meat. I can say I get a bit intimidated when ordering from their butcher as my ten years or so of Spanish is a bit weak, but heck, I give it a try every single time.  One thing that stood out to me while I was browsing was these great beef ribs that we thinly sliced.

When I arrived home that evening, I decided to come up with a kimchi style beef rib, only to be slow cooked overnight, and chopped into a killer beef for tacos.

Spicy Beef and Kimchi Tacos

If you have never had beef that is cooked with peperoncinis, well, that is a must, but cooking beef with kimchi just elevated that whole recipe. Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs beef short ribs
  • 6 sport peppers
  • 2 cups spicy kimchi
  • 1/2 cup water
  • flour tortillas
  • 1 jalapeno chili, thinly sliced
  • 1 shallot, minced

This recipe is so easy, only because you can do this in your slow cooker. You could braise this in your oven if you would like, but who doesn’t love a slow cooker, right?

Start by adding the water, beef short ribs, sport peppers, and kimchi to your slow cooker. Give a gentle stir, then cover, and cook for 8 hours.

When you are ready to prepare your tacos, carefully remove the beef short ribs from the slow cooker and place them on a large platter. Your goal here is to remove all of the bones. As you can see in my photo, there are plenty of bones to remove.

How to make Spicy Beef and Kimchi Tacos

Trim any excess fat, then chop the beef ribs. Once chopped, add the beef back to the kimchi mixture, and give a good stir.

Heat a skillet on medium heat. To another skillet, lightly toast the flour tortillas, just until they get a bit of  char, the place them on a place, and cover them to keep warm.

To the skillet, add some of the beef mixture, and get a nice sear on the beef, then place the beef mixture into each tortilla and top with the shallots and jalapeno chili.

Dig in. The flavors will blow you away. Not overly spicy, but you get this great, almost sweet, flavor from that kimchi. No one would know, but you, if there was even kimchi in this dish as it mellows out in the cooking process. These tacos might be one of my favorites now, and if you know me, I love tacos. So the next time you are near a Mexican supermarket, stop in, look around, and pick up some beef short ribs! Hope you enjoy!

Spicy Beef and Kimchi Tacos
Author: 
Recipe type: Tacos
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs beef short ribs
  • 6 sport peppers
  • 2 cups spicy kimchi
  • ½ cup water
  • flour tortillas
  • 1 jalapeno chili, thinly sliced
  • 1 shallot, minced
Instructions
  1. Start by adding the water, beef short ribs, sport peppers, and kimchi to your slow cooker. Give a gentle stir, then cover, and cook for 8 hours.
  2. When you are ready to prepare your tacos, carefully remove the beef short ribs from the slow cooker and place them on a large platter. Your goal here is to remove all of the bones. As you can see in my photo, there are plenty of bones to remove.
  3. Trim any excess fat, then chop the beef ribs. Once chopped, add the beef back to the kimchi mixture, and give a good stir.
  4. Heat a skillet on medium heat. To another skillet, lightly toast the flour tortillas, just until they get a bit of char, the place them on a place, and cover them to keep warm.
  5. To the skillet, add some of the beef mixture, and get a nice sear on the beef, then place the beef mixture into each tortilla and top with the shallots and jalapeno chili.
  6. Dig in. The flavors will blow you away. Not overly spicy, but you get this great, almost sweet, flavor from that kimchi. No one would know, but you, if there was even kimchi in this dish as it mellows out in the cooking process. These tacos might be one of my favorites now, and if you know me, I love tacos. So the next time you are near a Mexican supermarket, stop in, look around, and pick up some beef short ribs! Hope you enjoy!

 

Read More