Buttermilk Fried Spring Onions

Every time I visit my local Mexican grocery store, I tend to shop around after devouring some tacos. I get the staples which typically include limes, cilantro, garlic, chilies, avocados, and tortillas. I my often look at the other great produce and always look at the great large spring onions. These are not your typical green onions that you find in most markets. These are the ones where the bulb is about 5 times larger than a standard green onion. They are known as spring onions, and as they look much like a scallion, they have just a bit more of a bite. This is when I decided to pick up a bunch and head home.

At first I was going to lube them up with some olive oil and salt, and toss them on the grill, but I figured my recent Mexican alambre had enough going on in terms of peppers, onions, and chilies, so I held off only to soak them in buttermilk and batter them the following day. These things were awesome, and now I know that I will be buying more of these spring onions!

Buttermilk Fried Spring Onions Recipe
Buttermilk Fried Spring Onions Recipe

Let’s get started:

  • 1 bunch of spring onions, tips and tails trimmed
  • 2 cups of buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp gochujang paste
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup of cooking oil

Start by adding the spring onions to a sealable bag. Pour in the buttermilk, seal, and let it marinate overnight in the refrigerator.  Next, add the gochujang and mayonnaise to a small bowl, and use a fork to blend the two together. Cover and place in the refrigerator until ready for use.

The following day, add the flour, salt and pepper to a mixing bowl. Give a good stir. Take the spring onions, draining them from the buttermilk, and add them to the bowl.

Give a good toss to make sure the onions are well coated, then heat up a skillet on medium heat, adding in the oil.

How to make buttermilk fried spring onions
How to make buttermilk fried spring onions

Once the oil comes to temperature, about 350 degrees, gently add in a few spring onions. Cook for a couple of minutes per side (if not fully submerged), until the batter is golden brown. Once golden, remove with some tongs and place on a paper lined plate to remove any excess oil. Season with a pinch of salt. Repeat.

To your serving plate, take the gochujang and mayonnaise mixture, and with a spoon smear it onto the center of the serving plate.

Line up the fried spring onions on top of the sauce, and serve.

My wife, who was hesitant of the mayonnaise mixture, was swiping that spring onion, and biting into the perfectly cooked onion. The onion was nice and crispy on the exterior, while warm and cooked through (not limp) on the inside, and well, the gochujang and mayonnaise mixture just took it one step further.

The only downside to this recipe is that I did not make about 4 bunches of spring onions. Now I know! Hope you enjoy!

Buttermilk Fried Spring Onions
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizers
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch of spring onions, tips and tails trimmed
  • 2 cups of buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp gochujang paste
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup of cooking oil
Instructions
  1. Start by adding the spring onions to a sealable bag. Pour in the buttermilk, seal, and let it marinate overnight in the refrigerator. Next, add the gochujang and mayonnaise to a small bowl, and use a fork to blend the two together. Cover and place in the refrigerator until ready for use.
  2. The following day, add the flour, salt and pepper to a mixing bowl. Give a good stir. Take the spring onions, draining them from the buttermilk, and add them to the bowl.
  3. Give a good toss to make sure the onions are well coated, then heat up a skillet on medium heat, adding in the oil.
  4. Once the oil comes to temperature, about 350 degrees, gently add in a few spring onions. Cook for a couple of minutes per side (if not fully submerged), until the batter is golden brown. Once golden, remove with some tongs and place on a paper lined plate to remove any excess oil. Season with a pinch of salt. Repeat.
  5. To your serving plate, take the gochujang and mayonnaise mixture, and with a spoon smear it onto the center of the serving plate.
  6. Line up the fried spring onions on top of the sauce, and serve.

 

Filipino Bicol Express

It has been weird in some ways not sharing a weekly recipe creation with all of you. Fortunately, however, my family was able to disconnect (well except for my kids and their darn devices) and take a week long road trip. Where you may ask? Tennessee, the whole state and wow was it a blast. I think, and I hope we got so much in during the week. I went down on a mission, a different one than my wife and probably kids for that matter, and that was to try some of the best barbecue and fried chicken I have ever had; hands down ever. In summary Rendezvous ribs and barbecue nachos, Gus’s Fried Chicken, Peg Leg Barbecue ribs (got the last rack and it was only noon (they opened at 11)), and Hatti B’s Nashville hot chicken. So with that said, I’m ready to share with you a great recipe, and one that has some heat to it, much like Hatti B’s!

Bicol Express is a Filipino dish that finally has some heat to it. Don’t get me wrong here, I love pretty much any Filipino dish that has come my way, but I’m always questioning in my mind ‘Do they not use any heat when cooking?’.

This is the perfect answer to that question. I love how the Filipino’s use vinegar, garlic, and lots of black pepper in some of their dishes, and that is right up my alley, but this recipe has me. It’s a stew with very simple ingredients. It’s comforting. It has the perfect heat, and is great served alongside rice.

Filipino Bicol Express Recipe
Filipino Bicol Express Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 lb pork belly, cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 4 tbsp roasted shrimp paste (this stuff stinks but brings such umami)
  • 1 whole onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 14 fresh chilies (Thai Bird, Indian Green Chile, or Serrano) of your choice, stems removed, chiles sliced in half
  • 2 cans of coconut milk
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • cooked rice, optional

Start by heating a medium sized pot (you will cook everything in this pot) on medium heat, then add the oil. Once the oil comes to temperature, add in the cubed pork belly.

Cook the pork belly, turning along the way, until all sides become browned.

Once the pork is browned, add in the onions, garlic, and ginger. Give a good stir, and continue to cook for about 3 minutes or so.

Next add in the shrimp paste. Turn on your vent on high as this stuff has some funk (good funk), and continue to stir. Toss in the chilies, stir again, then add in the coconut milk.

How to make Filipino Bicol Express
How to make Filipino Bicol Express

Bring this to a simmer, and cook for about 1 hour, on low, stirring along the way.

Before serving, taste and season with any salt or pepper.

Now you are ready to dig in. I like to serve with a small bowl of rice to the side, along with a soup bowl of the Bicol Express. This dish is rich, creamy, spicy, funky, and overall totally comforting and right up my alley. Don’t be scared of the chiles as you can eat around them. The chilies overall bring that subtle heat to the dish overall, but if you are searching for a bit of that chili punch when eating, go ahead and bite into them! Hope you enjoy, and it’s great to be back!

Crispy Fried Shallots

This past weekend I stopped by one of our local ethnic markets called Cermak. I actually like shopping at this place as the have an array of ethnic aisles and pretty good produce to boot. This particular stop actually yielded a bunch of fruit, Indian chilies, and a bunch of shallots (on sale). I typically cook with shallots throughout the week, and the package had about 8 shallots for something under a dollar! I was in. Granted I did not know what I would be doing with these shallots until I decided I would make burgers on the grill.

As I was driving my son and daughter to Sunday school, I asked what they wanted on their burgers. They stated ‘plain with slow cooked onions and mushrooms’, and ‘just cheese’. That’s when those shallots sparked. I asked them if they had ever tried crispy, thin onions on their burger, and both responded with a ‘no’. That’s when those shallots sparked by attention, and hence why my entire family devoured all of them.

These are super easy to make (just get your onion goggles on to prevent the tears), and only requires a bit of time.

Crispy Fried Shallots Recipe
Crispy Fried Shallots Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 4 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups of canola oil
  • salt

Does it get any easier than this? Also note, the oil that is leftover can be stored, and used in stir fry and various other saute’s, and one that has a great onion taste.

Start by adding the oil to a small pot. Add the shallots to the cold oil. Bring the oil to a medium-low heat, stirring along the way, and cook for about 20-25 minutes or until they get a nice light golden brown. Once you get that light golden brown, remove the crispy shallots with a slotted spoon or kitchen spider, and place onto a paper towel lined plate.

Crispy Fried Shallots Recipe
Crispy Fried Shallots Recipe

Immediately season with salt. As the shallots drain any excess oil, they will continue to cook from the residual heat and get nice and crispy.

Crispy Fried Shallots Recipe
Crispy Fried Shallots Recipe

Place into a bowl and serve alongside, or on your favorite burger. As soon as my kids tasted them, I said ‘see what I was talking about in the car?’, they were eating them like chips. Next time I will have to make double the amount! Hope you enjoy.

Indian Buttered Lentils

This past weekend, I decided to clean out our cupboard as it was just getting littered by my kids. I think that when they make their lunch, they just toss things on the mid-shelf, not realizing that it just becomes cluttered and a complete mess. Upon organizing and putting things where they should be, I came across a bag of lentils, along with some red lentils that I had used in the past.  I’m a total fan of lentils, as is my wife. Are you? There is something about them. The creaminess of them, and when cooked with awesome Indian spices, well things just get a whole lot better. As I had Indian food on my mind, and particularly butter chicken, I decided that I would take a spin on making Indian buttered lentils. These things were awesome!

Indian Buttered Lentils Recipe
Indian Buttered Lentils Recipe

This recipe uses an array of Indian spices, of which are cooked along a lot of caramelized onions, garlic, ginger, and then folded into cooked lentils, only to simmer longer making them nice and creamy.

Let’s get started.

  • 1 cup of green lentils
  • 1 cup of red lentils
  • 7 cups of chicken stock
  • 4 tbsp clarified butter
  • 1 medium sized yellow onion, diced
  • 1 medium sized red onion, diced
  • 8 cloves of garlic, finely diced, almost into a paste
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely diced, almost into a paste
  • 1 whole cinnamon stick
  • 2 whole cardamom pods
  • 3 Thai bird chilies (or serrano) kept whole
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp Spanish paprika
  • 1/4 tsp coriander powder
  • generous pinch of salt, to taste
  • 14 oz can of petite diced tomatoes
  • 6 oz can of tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup of half and half
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter
  • Warmed naan bread to serve
  • thinly sliced chili, optional

This is a bit of a process, but well worth it, trust me. My wife described it as everything comforting in her life in a bowl.

Start by adding the lentils to a medium sized bowl, and cover with water, about 2 inches above the lentils. You are going to let these soak overnight. The following day, strain and rinse the lentils. Place these into a medium sized pot, cover with the chicken stock, and bring them to a boil. Once they come to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cover, cooking for about 1 hour.

During this time, make the Indian spice mixture.

How to make Indian Buttered Lentils
How to make Indian Buttered Lentils

Start by making the clarified butter. To a non-stick, small skillet, add four tablespoons of unsalted butter. Cook this on medium heat. You will notice the butter begins to foam after awhile. Take a spoon and skim the foam, leaving as much butter in tact. Repeat this until all of the foam has removed. If you want, you can strain this through a cheese cloth, or if you are making a lot of it to be stored for later use, then you can refer to another way to make clarified butter.

Add the cinnamon stick to the lentils that are cooking, then cover again and continue to simmer.

Next, have your mise en place ready, as the rest will go fairly quick.

To a large skillet, add the clarified butter, and cook on medium heat. Add in the diced onions, and cook just until they begin to caramelize, lowering the heat if necessary as you do not want to burn the onions. This typically takes about 10-15 minutes or so.

Once the onions are browned, toss in the garlic and ginger, and cook until you get that awesome fragrance from the garlic.

Toss in the cardamom pods, chilies, garam masala, cumin, coriander, paprika, fenugreek, and bay leaf. Cook for a few minutes, getting those awesome oils from the Indian spices.

Yes, step back and smell your house. Lord I love that smell.

Indian Buttered Lentils Recipe
Indian Buttered Lentils Recipe

Remove from the heat, and place that mixture into a bowl. Now you can clean up a bit before the lentils are finished cooking.

About a hour into the lentils cooking, add the salt to the lentils, and the Indian spice mixture. Pour in the both cans of tomatoes and paste, give a good stir, cover, and continue to cook for about 30 minutes.

Now you are getting ready, and excited, to eat! A few minutes before serving, add in the half and half and and additional five tablespoons of butter. Let the butter completely melt in the lentils.

During this time, warm up your naan. Trust me, the naan is a great dipping tool.

Ladle a generous amount of the buttered lentils in a bowl, top with diced onion or chilies, if you desire, tear off some of the naan, and spoon in one hand, and naan in the other, get busy. Not only is this a super affordable meal, and one that makes a lot, it super delicious, comforting, and great for you to boot. Well, it does have butter, but what’s not to love about that? I hope you enjoy!

Indian Buttered Lentils
Author: 
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of green lentils
  • 1 cup of red lentils
  • 7 cups of chicken stock
  • 4 tbsp clarified butter
  • 1 medium sized yellow onion, diced
  • 1 medium sized red onion, diced
  • 8 cloves of garlic, finely diced, almost into a paste
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely diced, almost into a paste
  • 1 whole cinnamon stick
  • 2 whole cardamom pods
  • 3 Thai bird chilies (or serrano) kept whole
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp fenugreek
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp Spanish paprika
  • ¼ tsp coriander powder
  • generous pinch of salt, to taste
  • 14 oz can of petite diced tomatoes
  • 6 oz can of tomato paste
  • ¾ cup of half and half
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter
  • Warmed naan bread to serve
  • thinly sliced chili, optional
Instructions
  1. This is a bit of a process, but well worth it, trust me. My wife described it as everything comforting in her life in a bowl.
  2. Start by adding the lentils to a medium sized bowl, and cover with water, about 2 inches above the lentils. You are going to let these soak overnight. The following day, strain and rinse the lentils. Place these into a medium sized pot, cover with the chicken stock, and bring them to a boil. Once they come to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cover, cooking for about 1 hour.
  3. During this time, make the Indian spice mixture.
  4. Start by making the clarified butter. To a non-stick, small skillet, add four tablespoons of unsalted butter. Cook this on medium heat. You will notice the butter begins to foam after awhile. Take a spoon and skim the foam, leaving as much butter in tact. Repeat this until all of the foam has removed. If you want, you can strain this through a cheese cloth, or if you are making a lot of it to be stored for later use, then you can refer to another way to make clarified butter.
  5. Add the cinnamon stick to the lentils that are cooking, then cover again and continue to simmer.
  6. Next, have your mise en place ready, as the rest will go fairly quick.
  7. To a large skillet, add the clarified butter, and cook on medium heat. Add in the diced onions, and cook just until they begin to caramelize, lowering the heat if necessary as you do not want to burn the onions. This typically takes about 10-15 minutes or so.
  8. Once the onions are browned, toss in the garlic and ginger, and cook until you get that awesome fragrance from the garlic.
  9. Toss in the cardamom pods, chilies, garam masala, cumin, coriander, paprika, fenugreek, and bay leaf. Cook for a few minutes, getting those awesome oils from the Indian spices.
  10. Yes, step back and smell your house. Lord I love that smell.
  11. Remove from the heat, and place that mixture into a bowl. Now you can clean up a bit before the lentils are finished cooking.
  12. About a hour into the lentils cooking, add the salt to the lentils, and the Indian spice mixture. Pour in the both cans of tomatoes and paste, give a good stir, cover, and continue to cook for about 30 minutes.
  13. Now you are getting ready, and excited, to eat! A few minutes before serving, add in the half and half and and additional five tablespoons of butter. Let the butter completely melt in the lentils.
  14. During this time, warm up your naan. Trust me, the naan is a great dipping tool.
  15. Ladle a generous amount of the buttered lentils in a bowl, top with diced onion or chilies, if you desire, tear off some of the naan, and spoon in one hand, and naan in the other, get busy.