Thursday, June 23, 2011

Banana Oat Muffins

Banana Oat Muffins

These banana oat muffins are made with WHITE whole wheat flour. White whole wheat flour is lighter and milder in flavor compared to regular whole wheat flour made from red wheat. Both white and regular whole wheat flour are equal in fiber and nutrition. Since white whole wheat flour is lighter then regular whole wheat flour, your baked goods will bake lighter as if you are using regular all-purpose flour. The buttermilk makes these muffins tender and moist. Using EXTRA LIGHT olive oil is a healthier choice of fat to use and flavorless enough to use in your baking goods. These muffins are moist and will become more moist with age. Store these muffins in an airtight container and place them in the refrigerator. Rewarm in a toaster oven or microwave for just a few seconds.

UPDATE: For those who came to this site because of a comment I made on Baking Bites's website regarding silicone cupcake/muffin cups, I want to inform everyone that I NO LONGER bake with the cupcake/muffin silicone cups. I was starting to notice an unpleasant rubbery, chemical taste on my muffins. I revert back to the traditional muffin tins. Besides the unpleasant taste on the muffins, the silicone cups becomes discolored the more you bake with them in which you would have to replace often if you bake with them frequently. My silicone cups are white so I noticed the dingy brown discoloration immediately.

1-1/2 cups WHITE whole wheat flour (6.0 ounces)
1 cup rolled oats (3.0 ounces)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (4.0 ounces)
2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg (1.8 to 1.9 ounces)
3/4 cup well-shaken cultured low-fat buttermilk (6.0 ounces)
1/3 cup EXTRA LIGHT olive oil or expeller-pressed canola oil (2.5 ounces)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup fork-mashed very ripe bananas, about 2 bananas (8.2 to 8.6 ounces)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Position oven rack to the center of the oven. Spray a standard size muffin pan with nonstick baking spray. Set aside.

In a large-size mixing bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir well with a whisk, using your fingers to break up any lumps of brown sugar. Set aside.

In a medium-size mixing bowl, beat the egg slightly with a whisk. Add the buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Whisk until thoroughly combined. Add the bananas and whisk until thoroughly combined.

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add the entire buttermilk mixture in center of the flour mixture. Using a wire whisk, gently stir and fold the flour mixture with the liquid mixture until just until dry ingredients are moistened and finish folding with a rubber spatula.

Divide batter among the 12 prepared muffin cups, about 3/4 filled. Bake for 19 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let muffin cool in the pan for about 5 minutes; then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Best to store muffins in an airtight container and place in the refrigerator. The muffins will become more moist as it sits out at room temperature of more than one day.

Yield 12 muffins, approximately 196 calories per muffin

BAKING OPTIONS: You can also sprinkle some raw chopped walnuts, raw rolled oats or toasted coconut on top of each muffin before baking, if desired.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Pan-Grilled Pork Loin Chops

Pan-Grilled Pork Loin Chops

I normally purchase a very large boneless pork loin roast from Costco, about 10+ pounds. I cut the two ends of the pork loin into two 4-pound cuts and freeze the two ends for another use. With the remaining center loin, I cut that piece into 1-inch thick loin chops. Not only is it more economical to cut your own boneless loin chops, but you have control to the desire thickness you like your chops. With the other two ends that I had placed in the freezer, I will use them as a pork loin roast or slice them up for more loin chops when I am ready to do so.

Today, I have five 1-inch boneless pork loin chops, weighing about 2+ pounds. I marinated with my Homemade Adobo Seasoning:
http://lemonchiffoncake.blogspot.com/2011/05/homemade-adobo-seasoning.html. I marinated the loin chops overnight and pan-grilled the loin chops on my stove top using a stove top grill pan, i.e., Le Cruset grill pan. Alternately, you can grill this on your outdoor gas or charcoal grill, but there are times when the weather restricts you from grilling outdoors. The pork loin chops turned out great and seared nicely on both sides. They were tender, juicy and delicious.

3 tablespoons Homemade Adobo Seasoning
5 tablespoons olive oil

Five 1-inch thick boneless pork loin chops

In a small bowl, mix together the adobo seasoning and the olive oil using a fork. No additional salt is necessary because there is just the right amount of salt in my Homemade Adobo Seasoning. NOTE: To use my Homemade Adobo Seasoning, I normally use a ratio of 2:3 (seasoning:oil) per 2 pounds of meat so it's better if you weigh your meat before you measure.

Rub the adobo mixture all over the loin chops. Place the loin chops in a Ziploc bag. Squeeze out all the air and seal the bag. Place loin chops in the refrigerator overnight or up to 3 days. Let the chops sit out at room temperature for 1 hour before grilling.

Brush some olive oil on a stove top grill pan. Heat the grill pan over medium-high heat until very hot. Place 2 to 3 loin chops on the heated grill pan and cook on the first side for 4 minutes. Turn loin chops over and cook the second side for additional 4-1/2 minutes. When done, transfer to a plate. Repeat cooking process with the remaining loin chops. Let the loin chops rest for 5 minutes before serving or plating.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Garlic Chive Kimchi

Garlic Chive Kimchi

This recipe is adapted from from http://www.aeriskitchen.com/. There are many types of kimchi, but the Garlic Chive Kimchi is now my favorite type of kimchi. Garlic chives are also known as Chinese chives found in most Asian stores. Do not substitute regular chives for garlic chives. The flavor are very different. Garlic chives has a sweet, garlicky flavor while regular chives have a mild flavor of green onion or scallions. This recipe is very quick and easy to prepare. I am addicted to eating this with rice every day as my lunch. I have to make sure I have a supply of Altoids with me before I consume this.

1-1/2 cups cold water (12 ounces)
3 tablespoons Mochiko brand sweet rice flour (1.0 ounce)
1-1/2 pounds garlic chives
Half of a small onion, thinly sliced on the grain and separate slices (about 5.0 to 6.0 ounces)
1 red chili pepper, thinly sliced with the seeds (Optional)
1/2 cup Three Crabs brand fish sauce (4.6 ounces)**
2/3 cup Korean coarse hot pepper powder (2.0 ounces)
2 tablespoons organic cane sugar (0.8 ounce)
4 large cloves garlic, finely minced (0.7 ounce)
1-1/2 tablespoons roasted sesame seeds (0.4 ounce)**

**These items can be purchased at a Korean market or any Asian stores that carries Korean products.

In a small saucepan, add the cold water. Gradually whisk in the rice flour until blended and smooth. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking frequently, until mixture becomes bubbly, translucent in color and thickened (about 2 minutes). Remove pot from heat and set aside to cool.

Cleaning and trimming the garlic chives: When you purchase the garlic chives, it usually comes in a styrofoam wrapped with plastic wrap, either wire-twisted or rubber-banded at the root end. Before removing the rubber band and keeping the garlic chives in one bunch as purchased, trim off about 3/4 inches of the root ends and discard. Cut the remainder of the chives into 2-inch length slices. Chives are very dirty so wash chives thoroughly in 2 to 3 changes of cold water in the kitchen sink. (Fill sink about 1/3 full of cold water, dump the chives in the water and thoroughly clean by swishing the chives in the water. Transfer chives to a colander of a salad spinner to drain and repeat this process one or two more times or until water is clear of sand and grit.) Drain chives and spin dry using a salad spinner (may do the spinning in two batches).

Transfer chives to a very large mixing bowl. Add the onions and chili pepper, if using. Set aside.

Making the hot pepper sauce: Add the fish sauce, hot pepper powder, sugar, garlic and sesame seeds to the cooled rice mixture. Whisk together until thoroughly combined. Add the entire hot pepper sauce to the garlic chive mixture.

Wearing a disposable vinyl glove, gently toss everything together with your hand until all vegetables are well coated with the hot pepper sauce. Transfer to a half-gallon size container with a tight-fitting lid. I like to use a glass jar container. Store immediately in the refrigerator.

Garlic Chive Kimchi can be eaten immediately, but I like it aged for a few hours before eating. The longer it ferments in the refrigerator, the more flavorful the kimchi. It can be kept refrigerated for several weeks. I have kept mine for 3 weeks before it was completely consumed.

Peruvian-Style Roasted Chicken with Onions and Peppers

Peruvian-Style Roasted Chicken with Onions and Peppers
Adapted from Whole Foods Market

I've been meaning to try this recipe earlier this year, but never got around to making it. Yet, this recipe is so simple to prepare. Since chicken is on sale this week, I decided to try this recipe. My Peruvian coworker said this recipe was pretty authentic and by reading through the ingredients, I can tell this dish is going to be delicious. I end up purchasing a whole chicken fryer weighing 6 pounds. I haven't been buying whole chickens in awhile so I don't recall ever seeing a chicken fryer weighing that much. Matter of fact, the smallest chicken fryer I've found is about 4+ pounds. Why are the chicken so huge nowadays? I manage to cut up the chicken into 10 pieces and removed the skin and visible fat to make this dish a lot healthier. Especially the wings--I couldn't remove the skin entirely, but I was able to remove a good portion of skin and fat from the wings and I also discarded the third smallest portion of the wing. After all that skin and fat removal, the 6-pound chicken then weighed 3:10.8 pounds. I increase the amount of ingredients for the rub paste since my chicken is a good size chicken. I also increase the amount of oil since I removed the skin from the chicken. You don't need to marinade the chicken ahead of time. Once you put this dish together, in the oven it goes. This dish is so full of flavor and comforting. The chicken was cooked perfectly, not overcook and was very moist and delicious. Make sure your roasting pan is large and wide. If your roasting pan is too small, you will be poaching your chicken and vegetables rather than roasting.

Peruvian-Style Roasted Chicken with
Onions and Peppers

2 tablespoons sweet paprika (0.5 ounce)
4 teaspoons ground cumin (0.2 ounce)
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1-3/4 teaspoons ground black pepper
8 cloves garlic, finely minced (1.3 ounces)
2 tablespoons olive oil (0.8 ounce)
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar (1.2 ounces)
2 large sweet onions, 1/4-inch thick slices on the grain
(1:4.9 to 1:9.5 pounds)
2 red and/or yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded and cut into chunks (I cut each pepper in half; then cut each half vertically into fourths; then cut horizontally in thirds) (14.6 ounces)
1 whole chicken, cut into 10 serving pieces (6 pounds at purchase; 3:10.8 pounds cut up and all skin/fat removed)
1 lemon, sliced, seeds removed

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Position oven rack in the center of the oven.

Lightly oil a large roasting pan, about an 11-3/4-inch by 17-inch size pan, and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, garlic, oil and vinegar. Stir together with a fork to make a spice rub paste.

Place onions and peppers in a large bowl. Toss with 3 tablespoons of the spice rub paste. Set aside.

Rub all chicken pieces with the remainder of the spice rub paste and place in prepared roasting pan. Then top with the onions and peppers mixture. Lay lemon slices on top. Roast, basting occasionally with the pan juices, until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender, about 42 to 45 minutes. Gently move vegetables around if beginning to char too much. Remove from oven and rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with brown rice or mashed potatoes.

Yields 6 servings

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Coconut-Almond-Sesame Granola

1 cup unsweetened wide-grated coconut (2.0 ounces)

4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (12 ounces)
1 cup raw sliced almonds (3.1 ounces)
1/2 cup packed golden brown sugar (3.5 ounces)
1/3 cup raw brown and/or black sesame seeds (1.7 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/3 cup sunflower oil (2.4 ounces)
1/4 cup honey (2.6 ounces)
2 tablespoons organic evaporated cane juice (0.6 ounces)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (0.2 ounces)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Position oven rack to the center of the oven.

Place grated coconut in a shallow baking dish (i.e, a glass pie plate). Place in preheated oven for about 8 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring frequently. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.

In a very large bowl, combine the oats, almonds, brown sugar, sesame seeds, salt and cinnamon. Give mixture a toss, using your hands, until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, combine the oil, honey and evaporated cane sugar, Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixtures comes to a simmer. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Immediately pour syrup over oat mixture and toss until well combine using your hands, lightly separating clumps of mixture with your fingers as you are tossing the mixture.

Spread granola onto a sheet pan lightly sprayed with nonstick baking spray. Bake until golden brown, stirring frequently using a fork, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately stir in toasted coconut. cool granola completely, stirring to cool evenly. Transfer to an airtight container. Granola can keep for several weeks.

Yields approximately 1:2.0 pounds
145 calories per ounce