Candied Ginger

Recently I visited a local grocery store in town called Cermak. I’ll state that I pretty much love this place, especially their produce section. You can pretty much get anything you want at this place as it is also an ethnic market. On this recent trip I ended up buying, among other things, a huge chunk of ginger. At that time I had no idea what I was going to make with it.  At first I thought I was going to make a ginger paste and use if for a bunch of Indian cooking I’ve been doing lately, but that’s when I decided to change gears and try to make a candied ginger. Good idea? Yes.

Candied Ginger Recipe
Candied Ginger Recipe

This stuff is not only way too easy to make, but it lends for a spicy, and sweet snack. I’ve minced it up and put it in sauces, marinades, and even smoothies. Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • About 3 cups of thinly sliced ginger, peeled
  • Water to cover
  • 1 generous pinch of salt
  • Reserved ginger water
  • 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
  • Wire rack

You get a couple of win wins on this recipe. Once you get to reserve the ginger water, which can be used in drinks, or smoothies, and you get the ginger simple syrup. What’s not to love about that!

Start by peeling your ginger. This is probably the only time intensive part. You can use the back of a spoon to accomplish this, or a pairing knife. I’ll let you decide. Once you have the ginger peeled, take a sharp knife, and slice the ginger into very thin slices. Try to be consistent on this process. I went with about a 1/4 inch.

Take the sliced ginger and place them into a pot, covering them with water. Add in a pinch of salt for good luck.

Bring this to a simmer, and cook to tenderize the ginger for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, or so, take out about 1/2 cup of the water and set it to the side. Strain the water (feel free to reserve it for later drinking or mixing into drinks), and return the sliced ginger back to the pot.

Add in 1 cup of the sugar and reserved 1/2 cup of water. Bring the pot to a medium-low heat and cook for about 45 minutes. This is where things will get interesting, allowing the sugar to dissolve and meld into the ginger. It’s fun to say the least.

Candied Ginger Ingredients
Candied Ginger Ingredients

Strain the ginger once again, and reserve that syrup for later use as well. It’s golden and delicious and is perfect to use in your summertime cocktails. Here is the next time intensive (not really) process. Lay out a baking sheet, placing a wire wrack over it. Take each slice of ginger and lay it on the rack to cool. This takes about 1 hour or so.

Take the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and place it into a mixing bowl. Take the slices of slightly cooled ginger and add them to the bowl, shaking, and coating the ginger along the way. You want full coverage here. Return the sugar coated ginger back onto the rack, and let them air dry overnight, or at least 4 hours.

Now you are ready to store. I store mine in a large mason jar that can be sealed, and placed into my spice cabinet. Feel free to eat them freely, or use them in sauces, baked goods, etc. They last for a few months, and that is always great when you are looking for that sweet heat from ginger. Hope you enjoy!

Candied Ginger
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • About 3 cups of thinly sliced ginger, peeled
  • Water to cover
  • 1 generous pinch of salt
  • Reserved ginger water
  • 1½ cups of granulated sugar
  • Wire rack
Instructions
  1. You get a couple of win wins on this recipe. Once you get to reserve the ginger water, which can be used in drinks, or smoothies, and you get the ginger simple syrup. What’s not to love about that!
  2. Start by peeling your ginger. This is probably the only time intensive part. You can use the back of a spoon to accomplish this, or a pairing knife. I’ll let you decide. Once you have the ginger peeled, take a sharp knife, and slice the ginger into very thin slices. Try to be consistent on this process. I went with about a ¼ inch.
  3. Take the sliced ginger and place them into a pot, covering them with water. Add in a pinch of salt for good luck.
  4. Bring this to a simmer, and cook to tenderize the ginger for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, or so, take out about ½ cup of the water and set it to the side. Strain the water (feel free to reserve it for later drinking or mixing into drinks), and return the sliced ginger back to the pot.
  5. Add in 1 cup of the sugar and reserved ½ cup of water. Bring the pot to a medium-low heat and cook for about 45 minutes. This is where things will get interesting, allowing the sugar to dissolve and meld into the ginger. It’s fun to say the least.
  6. Strain the ginger once again, and reserve that syrup for later use as well. It’s golden and delicious and is perfect to use in your summertime cocktails. Here is the next time intensive (not really) process. Lay out a baking sheet, placing a wire wrack over it. Take each slice of ginger and lay it on the rack to cool. This takes about 1 hour or so.
  7. Take the remaining ½ cup of sugar and place it into a mixing bowl. Take the slices of slightly cooled ginger and add them to the bowl, shaking, and coating the ginger along the way. You want full coverage here. Return the sugar coated ginger back onto the rack, and let them air dry overnight, or at least 4 hours. Shake off any excess sugar before storing.
  8. Now you are ready to store. I store mine in a large mason jar that can be sealed, and placed into my spice cabinet. Feel free to eat them freely, or use them in sauces, baked goods, etc.

 

Ham, Bacon, and Potato Quiche

Are you like me, and love a good hearty breakfast? Well if you are, then this one is going to be right up your alley. I love a good quiche because it is something that not only is great for breakfast, but it makes for a great item for brunch, lunch, or dinner. It wasn’t long ago when I decided to come up with this recipe as I was the first one to awake on Sunday morning, and get things going for breakfast. I figured I would make this ham, bacon, and potato quiche and get a good hearty breakfast in for my wife and kids. I knew that most likely my oldest, which was true, would not even consider this as he does not like eggs, but the others would most likely devour it.

Ham, Bacon, and Potato Quiche Recipe
Ham, Bacon, and Potato Quiche Recipe

This whole recipe really started from the idea of cooking bacon, and crisping up thinly sliced potatoes in that bacon fat. Sometimes that is all it takes. Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 6 slices of bacon, cooked until crisp, chopped
  • 1 russet potato, skin on, thinly sliced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup of deli ham, chopped
  • 1 cup of 1 cup peas

Start by cooking your bacon on medium heat in a large skillet. The beauty about this one is that everything is done in the skillet. Once the bacon is cooked to your liking, remove the bacon and chop it. Reserve half of the bacon fat. Add in the ham, onions, and cook for a few minutes. Remove the ham and onions from the skillet with a slotted spoon, and set aside.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Return the skillet to the heat, reserve any leftover bacon fat, and add the butter. Lay down the thinly sliced potatoes, covering the bottom of the skillet.  Cook the potatoes, lifting them up from time to time, until they are nice and crisp.

During this time, beat the eggs with the heavy cream. Add in the crumbled bacon, onion, ham, peas, and cheddar cheese. Mix gently with a fork, then add to the top of the potatoes in the skillet.

Place the skillet in the oven and cook for about 35-45 minutes or until the eggs are cooked through and lightly browned on top.

Slice the quiche into pie like slices and dig in. This is definitely a hearty meal, and one that is packed full of flavor. You can eat this warm, or even at room temperature, which also lends to be great for leftovers, and what is not to love about any of that! Hope you enjoy.

Chicken Boti

Recently my coworker and I have been eating at a place called Anmol, in Milwaukee. I have only been a few times now, but every time this places delivers in terms of great food. On a recent return, my coworker stated with excitement that he had stopped at one of the local ethnic grocery stores nearby Anmol, and decided to pick up a couple of the sandwich wraps for dinner. With enthusiasm, he said it was a must try, and hence why we decided to head back and try one of their wraps. They offer a handful of different ones, but the one I tried was called chicken boti roll in a paratha. Think of this as the Mexican burrito of Pakistan food. It’s the bomb, and I mean ultra delicious with just the right amount of heat. So what was a man to do? Well, head to the store to pick up some frozen paratha and knock out a chicken boti recipe.

Chicken Boti Recipe
Chicken Boti Recipe

The ingredients are simple and the flavor results are out of this world. Plus, the paratha, well I figure you will stock up on those as well.

Ingredients:

  • 10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup of plain yogurt
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp garlic ginger paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili flakes (more if you want it really spicy)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tbsp salt, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp red food coloring, optional
  • roasted shallots, or red onions
  • paratha, warmed (optional but recommended for a sandwich)

Start by adding everything but the chicken, shallots, and paratha to a mixing bowl large enough to hold the chicken. Give this a good mix, then add in your chicken thighs. Massage the thighs into the mixture, covering all of the thighs in the marinade. Cover and place in the refrigerator, for 4 hours, or overnight (which I did).

The following day, or same for that matter, take the bowl out of the refrigerator, and set it on the counter, letting it come to room temperature.

Chicken Boti Ingredients
Chicken Boti Ingredients

Fire up your grill, or preheat your oven to 375 degrees, It’s up to you.

Place the chicken on the grill, and cook over indirect heat for about 20 minutes, then over direct heat to finish them off until the chicken is nice and tender and cooked through.

During that time, roast off your onions. There is something about those onions that pair perfectly with this chicken. Trust me.

Take the chicken off of the grill (or oven), and chop it up into thin, bite sized pieces. The goal is to shove this chicken boti into a warm paratha, or your favorite wrap, along with some onions, and dig in.

Seriously the result is super tender, a bit spicy, but something you cannot stop eating. These fed my family of five multiple servings and gets even better the following day. What’s not to love about that! I hope you enjoy.

Chicken Boti
Author: 
Recipe type: Poultry
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
 
Ingredients
  • 10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup of plain yogurt
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp garlic ginger paste
  • 1½ tsp chili flakes (more if you want it really spicy)
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • 1½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tbsp salt, to taste
  • ¼ tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp red food coloring, optional
  • roasted shallots, or red onions
  • paratha, warmed (optional but recommended for a sandwich)
Instructions
  1. Start by adding everything but the chicken, shallots, and paratha to a mixing bowl large enough to hold the chicken. Give this a good mix, then add in your chicken thighs. Massage the thighs into the mixture, covering all of the thighs in the marinade. Cover and place in the refrigerator, for 4 hours, or overnight (which I did).
  2. The following day, or same for that matter, take the bowl out of the refrigerator, and set it on the counter, letting it come to room temperature.
  3. Fire up your grill, or preheat your oven to 375 degrees, It’s up to you.
  4. Place the chicken on the grill, and cook over indirect heat for about 20 minutes, then over direct heat to finish them off until the chicken is nice and tender and cooked through.
  5. During that time, roast off your onions. There is something about those onions that pair perfectly with this chicken. Trust me.
  6. Take the chicken off of the grill (or oven), and chop it up into thin, bite sized pieces. The goal is to shove this chicken boti into a warm paratha, or your favorite wrap, along with some onions, and dig in.

 

Korean Style Cast Iron Potatoes

There’s one cuisine I wish I knew much more about and that is Korean. There are a couple of places in town but I have yet to visit. I’m familiar with some of the dishes, especially kimchi, as well as one of my favorite condiments lately, and that is gochujang. If you have never had gochujang, go out and by a small container of it, and I guarantee you will love it. It’s a funky fermented paste that is so addictive. Mixed in mayonnaise makes you wonder where it has been all of your life. I’m trying to get my wife and kids to enjoy it as much as I do, and this was another attempt. I know they all love crispy potatoes, so I decided to serve these Korean style cast iron potatoes with some grilled meat and see if I could persuade them to love it as much as I do.

Korean Style Cast Iron Potatoes
Korean Style Cast Iron Potatoes

These potatoes are way too easy to make and are packed with awesome flavor, plus they are great for leftovers if you are looking for some great crispy hash of sorts.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 3 yukon gold potatoes, quartered, and chopped into large chunks
  • 2 tbsp gochujang paste
  • 2 tbsp water
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • cilantro to garnish, optional

Start by parboiling your potatoes, and boil them just until they become fork tender, but not mushy. Once tender, strain the potatoes.

During this time, take the gochujang paste and water, and stir to make a smooth mixture.

Heat a skillet on medium-high heat. Add in the oil, give it a good swirl in the pan. Next add in the potatoes, and cook until they get nice and crispy on the exterior, stirring along the way. Add in the gochujang mixture, and give a good toss. Cook for about 2-3 minutes or until the gochujang has been warmed through and coats all of the potatoes.

Shower the potatoes with cilantro, and taste. If you want some salt, which I think potatoes always needs, add it.

Serve immediately. The end result is a great smokey, funky, addictive taste that had me coming back for more. Did my wife and kids love them? That is debatable, but at least they tried. I’ll get them to love this stuff one day, I guarantee it! Hope you enjoy!