Thursday, March 31, 2011

Hasselback Potato with Spinach Alfredo


Hasselback Potatoes are genius and delectable. I don't know why it took so long to learn of their existance. I regret only learning this technique in my 25th year of life. Regardless, I will embrace the Hasselback and attempt to share this great find with the world of eaters who just so happen to meander into 519 Kitchen.

Hasselback Potato Directions per Potato:
1 Clove Garlic, thinly sliced. 1 Potato scrubbed. Slice off thin piece of the bottom so potato cannot roll. Slice 3/4-ish way through the potato every quarter inch or so. Stuff garlic slices into potato pockets. Rub potato with salt and top potato with 1 Tbsp. butter. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake in the oven at about 400 degrees for about an hour or until tender. Baste potatoes every 15 minutes with the pan drippins. Enjoy however you darn well please. I used half a jar of prepared Alfredo sauce with added onions, garlic and spinach. It was out of this world delicious.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cookies and Cream No-Bake Cookies


Out of all the no-bake cookie experimenting that took place most recently, this particular recipe is the number one winner which will be explored and improved upon time and time again as it was far from disappointing and incredibly satisfying!

In a saucepan bring to boil: 1/3 cup butter, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup milk, and 8-10 Cookies and Cream Hershey's Kisses. Add to sauce (roughly) 2 cups of Oatmeal and a minimum of 1 cup Oreo cookie crumbs. Add enough grains to soak up the majority of the sauce as to prevent a particularly sticky no-bake cookie. Dollop onto wax paper and refrigerate for one-two hours until cookies are set. Enjoy with a couple of good friends at your favorite coffee shop. Consider doubling the recipe - you will love these, I'm Positive you will!


Peanut Butter and Almond No Bake Cookies

A continuation of (well, in actuality, the first of three cookie experiements) a night of cookie experimentation yielded a more traditional sort of no-bake cookie with only a few substitutes.

In a saucepan bring to boil: 1/3 cup butter, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup Peanut Butter, 1 handful of chopped Almonds, 1 Tbsp. Coco Powder and (roughly) 2 Tbsp. Milk chocolate pieces. Boil for about one minute and remove from heat. Add to sauce 3 cups of Oatmeal or combination of Oatmeal and Corn Flakes depending on availability. Add enough grains to soak up the majority of the sauce as to prevent a particularly sticky no-bake cookie.


Matcha No-Bake Cookies


In an effort to enjoy a little time with myself and my creative juices - I chose a night in the kitchen over a night out with friends. It was an important and crucial choice which yielded many delicious outcomes.  One such delicious outcome were these earthy and green Matcha No-Bake Cookies.



In a saucepan bring to boil: 1/3 cup butter, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup milk, 2 Tbsp. Matcha Tea Powder and (roughly) 2 Tbsp. White chocolate - I used half of a white chocolate bar and guesstimate that it'd be about 2 Tbsp. Boil for about one minute and remove from heat. Add to sauce 3 cups of Oatmeal or combination of Oatmeal and Corn Flakes depending on availability. Add enough grains to soak up the majority of the sauce as to prevent a particularly sticky no-bake cookie. Dollop onto wax paper and refrigerate for one-two hours until cookies are set. Enjoy with a couple of good friends at your favorite coffee shop.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Beef and Noodle Soup


Having the opportunity to play around with leftovers is one of my great joys. Having a few cups of the Guinness Stew leftover was a huge blessing. Into a stovetop pot I threw some water, soy sauce, oyster sauce, pepper and salt as well as 2 Potatoes, diced and half of a Carrot, diced - brought the whole thing to a boil, added the leftover Guinness Stew and some noodles, cooked the whole thing until the noodles were tender and once again we were eating a delcious and fabulous dinner!

Hoppin John Wrap

Eat poor that day, eat rich the rest of the year.
Rice for riches and peas for peace.
- Southern saying on eating a dish of Hoppin' John on New Year's Day.

I don't know when I first heard of this traditional southern US Traditional Dish and I'm not even sure much of this recipe follows closely the concept of Hoppin John. What I do know, is that when I think of Hoppin John, I think of Black Eyed Peas and a Green (in this case Spinach). So, with a growling tummy and some Black-Eyed Peas available, I made my way down the street to the local market, picked up some onions and spinach and within minutes had whipped up this nice little wrap.



In a skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. Oil. Saute 1 Onion, chopped and 1 or 2 cloves Garlic, minced. Add 2 cups drained Black-Eyed Peas, heat through. In a bowl, whisk together 3 Eggs, season with salt, pepper and cajun seasoning or chili powder. Add to skillet, scramble with peas and onions. When egg is cooked through, throw in two-three large handfuls of chopped or torn Spinach, sprinkle a bit of Nutmeg and saute until wilted. Serve mixture in large Tortillas with cheese of choice or that which is available and enjoy for the New Year or a mid-year dinner!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Lemon Blueberry Bread

Unfortunately, I cannot take any credit for this recipe but rather, must tip my hat to TheJoyofBaking for this Lemon Blueberry Bread which we recently enjoyed while watching a bit of internet TV.

The following recipe comes straight from the website and I take no credit for any part of it, other than preparing the dish and serving it in my home.

1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (outer yellow skin of the lemon)
1/2 cup (120 ml) milk
1 cup fresh blueberries

Lemon Glaze:
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter (or spray with a non stick vegetable spray) the bottom and sides of a loaf pan (9 x 5 x 3 inch) (23 x 13 x 8 cm).
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until softened (about 1 minute). Add the sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture (in three additions) and milk (in two additions) alternately, starting and ending with the flour. Mix only until combined. Gently fold in the blueberries.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 55 to 65 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the 1/4 cup (50 grams) of sugar and the 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
When the bread is done, remove from oven and place on a wire rack. Pierce the hot loaf all over with a wooden skewer or toothpick and then brush the top of the loaf with the hot lemon glaze. Cool the loaf in the pan for about 30 minutes then remove from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack. This bread is best served on the day it is made.

Makes 1 loaf.
Beranbaum, Rose Levy. 'The Cake Bible'. William Morrow & Company, Inc. New York: 1988.
Bon Appetit Magazine, August 1991 Issue.
Read more:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

French Toasted Bagels and Gravy

A few days back I whipped up these Grilled Cheese French Toasted Bagels and found the concept quite intriguing and begging for further exploration. Well, the moment came and I took another wack at the French Toasted Bagel and was not let down by the results.


For two bagels I whisked 2 Eggs, a splash of Water and some Cajun Seasoning. Dip the bagel halves in the egg mixture then throw onto a hot and oiled skillet. Let it cook on one side 2-3 minutes, then flip. (Perhaps, if you have greater patience or skill you'll feel they are well done at this point, I however always want them a little crisper and can't quite get the egg to cook all the way through) Throw the bagel halves onto a cookie sheet, top with your choice of ingredients - this round I went with slices of Bell Pepper and Onion. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare gravy on the stove top. I lucked out and had an abundance of broth left over from the Guinness Beef and Mushroom Stew so I just skimmed off about 3-4 ladels of broth and goodies, heat in a skillet, added flour and milk until I had the perfect consistency and viola - Gravy was ready! When bagels are finished in the oven simply top with Gravy and some grated Cheese, get your knife and fork ready and enjoy a hearty meal with your loved one!


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Slow-Cooker Guinness Beef and Mushroom Stew

PhotobucketIn typical Melissa fashion, I did not follow a recipe nor measure ingredients as I dumped them into the crock-pot. I did however, glean a lot of inspiration from already produced recipes such as this Beef in Guinnes with Fluffy Dumplings and this Beef, Guinness and Mushroom Pie. Taking a look at the ingredients and portions of these two dishes followed by a look at my refrigerator and energy, I whipped up the following for our St. Patrick's Day Iron Chef 'Competition' where each dish made was required to use Guinness as an ingredient.


The heart of this soup is the broth, in order to make the soup land in14 bowls of hungry English teachers, I went heavy on broth: 2 bottles of Guinnes, 2 cups Chicken Broth, (can substitue beef broth) 1 cup Water, 1-2 Tbsp. Soy (can substitute Worcestershire) 1 Tbsp. Hot Sauce, Dash of Cinnamon, Salt, Pepper and Thyme. Add to the broth sauted Mushrooms and Onions (2-3 cups). Toss 1 or 2 lbs. of Beef in 1-2Tbsp. Flour, Dash of Salt and Pepper, sear in oiled fry pan. Add to broth. Cook in slow-cooker 8-10 hours on low and serve up alongside any number of dishes which include the magic ingredient of Guinness! Enjoy! (Additionally, small potatoes and carrots would make this a much heartier dish to serve up or adding more beef, I went extremely heavy on this broth - which was fabulous - but it would be stellar, for a smaller gathering, to add some veg and meat and thicken it up)

Roast Vegetables with Cheese Sauce



Again, I've found myself using Pinterest to mark a good idea and to find inspiration. A recent inspiration from the world of Pins and Likes and Re-Pins was a 'Choose Your Cheese - Cheese Sauce". I love cheese. And I love choices and a recipe designed for making substitutes.

I won't go into details on roasting veggies, as it's a fairly self-explanatory concept. This particular dish I threw into the oven a few sweet potatoes, carrots, an onion, bell pepper and some chunks of ham. The veggies had been coated in olive oil, salt and pepper. I left the veggies and ham in the oven until they were cooked through and tender (the sweet potatoes in particular). I also served this dish with rice - Rice, Veggies and Ham, Topped with Cheese Sauce.

As for the Cheese Sauce, it was quite simple and quick to put together. Specific measurements can be found here, however, I'm notorious for simply reading an ingredient list and throwing together the amount I deem acceptable for the time being (or available at the time). Therefore, my cheese sauce looked more like this: Milk, about 1/2 cup (not sure because we were about out, so just dumped the rest of the carton in), melt 2-3 Tbsp. Butter in the milk, whisk in about 2-3 Tbsp. Flour. Heat on stove top, add shreeded cheese (Cheddar for me) about a cup or two, dash of salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and nutmeg. Ensure the cheese has melted and the sauce is your desired consistency, viola - you are finished!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Carrot Cranberry Bread


Every other week or so I've been meeting up with my dear friend Jen and we meander one of Daejeon's traditional markets, snack on street foods and grab a cup of coffee, all while relating the latest antics from our English classrooms or online Master's Program. It is pure joy and beauty. Our most recent outing sent me packing a few lovely carrots for less than a buck and less than a clue as to how I would use them. A week went by and the carrots remained in the fridge, begging for the dirt to be washed off and their greatness used in something delectable. Wanting something sweet and breakfast like, I replied to the plea of these carrots with this absolutely divine loaf of carrot-cranberry bread. Using the batter concept from a recent loaf of Banana Bread, I made a few substitutes: carrots for bananas, cranberries for walnuts and here you have it, Carrot-Cranberry Bread hot from the oven!


Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C) and prepare a loaf pan with oil. Cream together 1/2 cup Margarine and 1 cup White Sugar (or combination white and brown if the mood so strikes you). Beat in 2 eggs and 2 grated Carrots (about 2 cups). Add 2 cups flour and 1 tsp. Baking Soda. Pour batter into loaf pan and bake for approximately one hour until toothpick or metal chopstick inserted into the loaf comes out relatively clean and free of doughiness. Enjoy with a touch of butter and mug of hot tea!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Binch Smores


Hate to break it to you, but you can only enjoy a Binch Smore in South Korea ... fortunately, S'mores are not native to Korea, so you can have the same experience in the US. You will however, miss out on using Binch cookies: 50% Chocolate Bar, 50% Cookie. You'll also miss out on these mult-colored-hypnotic marshmallows I found underground in a Subway convenience store.

If you do live in South Korea - good luck finding Marshmallows, I think it was accidental on my part, but I was thrilled! Binch cookies however are an easy find.

Just bake in the oven or heat in the microwave until warm, melty and perfectly S'more like!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Spinach Pesto Pasta with Bell Pepper Fried Eggs


Briliant Idea: Use a Bell Pepper Ring to contain an egg for frying. Place said 'Bell-Pepper Fried Egg' on top of anything you like. I put mine with Spinach Pesto Pasta and it was fabulous...well, not the best combination, but I REALLY wanted to try frying an egg in a bell pepper. You will be seeing more bell-fried eggs here, I'm sure of it!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Spinach Pesto

I knew Spinach Pesto was a possibility, so I set out to find a recipe in order to use up some spinach in our fridge space. Finding a recipe wasn't difficult, so I used this recipe as my guide, and when I say guide, I mean guide. I substituted EVERYTHING in my Spinach Pesto except for the Spinach. I served half with Penne Pasta and a fried egg on top, and froze half to use later. The dish goes together quite quickly, especially with a food processor, Enjoy!


1 Bunch Spinach (2 cups, roughly) washed and dried, one handful or 1/4 cup Walnuts, Juice of 2 Clementine's plus Orange Zest from the Clementines, 1/3 cup + 2 tsp. Olive Oil, Salt, and Pepper - grind in food processor until paste like. Stir in 1/3 cup Feta Cheese and enjoy on pasta, sandwiches, as an appetizer, etc.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Freezable Cilantro Pesto


During our dumpster diving days, I came across numerous ways to make the most of 'abundance'. One fabulous idea was to create simple 'pestos' of fresh herbs, spoon them into ice-cube trays and save for later. One herb is notorious for going a little wilty before one can get full use out of in, Cilantro. In addition, cilantro is not a highly prized herb in South Korea and requires a bit of planning to acquire, so it is with everything in me that I want to make this delicious herb last as long as possible and be available for many and all future cilantro-desiring-dishes.

Following a productive Google search, I had this recipe ready for trial in 519 Kitchen and within moments had my nearly-wilty Cilantro ready to go into the freezer.


Wash and chop 1 Bunch of Cilantro (majority of stems removed). Add to a small fry pan 3 Tbsp. Olive Oil, 8 cloves Garlic finely minced or made into a semi-paste with a food processor and Cilantro, saute 2-3 minutes until aromatic and deliciously tempting. Use immediately or spoon into ice cube tray and cover with a bit of olive oil before freezing cubes for later use in soups, dips, curries, etc.

P.S. This recipe is endorsed by Lady Annyeong (the dog seen in the bottom left hand corner of the photo collage ^.^).

Friday, March 4, 2011

Chicken Noodle Soup


Having used the left-overs of Love-Day Rotiesserie Chicken to make Chicken Broth I had ample amounts of tender chicken meat and some additional broth that didn't make it into the freezer. Without hesitation, and with hopes of 'curing' an ailing husband of mine, I set about to concocting a bit of Chicken Noodle Soup.


In a sauce pan saute 1 Onion, chopped, 1 carrot, chopped and 1 clove Garlic, minced. When onions are transparent add 2-3 cups Chicken Stock + Water or Tea and 1-2 cups Chicken pieces. Bring broth and veggies to a boil. Season with Rosemary, Thyme, Salt and Pepper. Add a handful of Noodles (egg, wheat, udon, etc) and continue boiling until noodles are tender. Serve into bowls and chow down!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Grilled Cheese French Toasted Bagel with Cilantro


If you've browsed through any of my past recipes, you know I run an egg-loving houshold. So, I've had this idea to make bagels in a fashion similar to French Toast, therefore, when it was snack time on Saturday, I was all too excited to give this dish a whirl. The concept is easy and open to great interpretation/change - I know I'll definitely be playing around with the idea a bit. Regardless, here is how things started and ended:


Whisk together 3 eggs (for 2 bagels). Add seasonings: salt, pepper, garlic, fresh cilantro, etc. Dip bagel halves into egg mixture throw onto greased skillet and cook until egg is no longer runny on both sides. Remove from skillet, top with choice of ingredients (I made small cheese omelets), toast in the oven for approximately 10 minutes and enjoy!

Recommendations for toppings:
Fresh Tomato, Cucumber, Spinach, Deli-Meats, Sprouts, Cheese, etc.
Cream Cheese
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