Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Maple Sweet Potato Puree

Maple Sweet Potato Puree

This is a very simple sweet potato recipe which I love to make year round or as long as Garnet sweet potatoes are available. Using 100% pure maple syrup instead of brown sugar makes the puree less sweet with a robust maple flavor. Do not substitute maple syrup for the imitation pancake syrup. They are not the same. I normally make a very large quantity of this recipe so that I can eat this as my lunch. I can just eat this all on its own and be satisfied. Sweet potatoes are the healthiest vegetable on the planet. Sweet potatoes are great complex carbohydrates loaded with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, iron, potassium and fiber. They are also fat-free, cholesterol-free and very low sodium.

Garnet sweet potatoes are my favorite variety of the orange-fleshed sweet potatoes because it's more starchier, moist and flavorful compared to the Beauregard and Jewel varieties. Peak season for the Garnet variety is September to March. According to the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission, Garnet "yams" as labeled in the supermarkets, are really sweet potatoes. North Carolina is the largest producers of sweet potatoes in the U.S., while China is the largest producer of sweet potatoes in the world.

5 pounds Garnet sweet potatoes
1/4 cup unsweetened fresh coconut milk or 2% reduced fat milk (2.0 ounces)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (1 ounces)
2 teaspoons organic unsulfured blackstrap molasses or any grade of your choice (0.3 ounce) (Optional)

1/2 cup 100% pure Grade A, dark amber maple syrup (5.2 ounces)
3/4 teaspoon salt

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

Scrub sweet potatoes clean under cold water and damp dry. Cut off pointy ends of each sweet potato (if you cut off the pointy ends, you don't need to prick the sweet potatoes). Wrap each sweet potatoes in aluminum foil and place on a sheet pan. Bake for about 1 to 1-3/4 hours, depending on the size, until knife tender when inserted into center of the sweet potato (start checking after 1 hour). Remove from oven and let sweet potatoes cool until cool enough to handle. Peel and discard the skin and cut into large chunks into the bowl of a food processor.

In a microwavable measuring cup or small bowl, heat the milk in the microwave for about 25 seconds on high power. Stir in the molasses, butter and maple syrup until blended. 

Add the milk/molasses/syrup mixture and salt to the sweet potatoes. Process until thoroughly combined and smooth. Transfer to a serving dish.

Yields 10 to 12 servings

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Slow Cooker 28-Bean Soup

Slow Cooker 28-Bean Soup

Yes, there are really 28 varieties of beans in this soup. Not kidding!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Soybean Sprout Bibimbap

Soybean Sprout Bibimbap with Multi-Grain Rice and Ground Turkey
Adapted from Maanghi.com

Soybean Sprout Bibimbap is a Korean rice dish cooked with meat and soybean sprouts. It is served with an egg cooked over-easy. To eat, you will break up the egg into the rice; then mix the rice mixture and the egg together with a few spoonfuls of homemade seasoned sauce (yangnyeomjang).

This dish is so amazingly delicious and healthy! The soy beans from the soybean sprouts has a nice delicate crunch and the seasoned sauce mixed together with the rice is so flavorful and addicting. You may have extra seasoned sauce when all the rice is eaten up, but there are other uses for the seasoned sauce. I actually use the remaining sauce with Baked Tofu and I'm sure the seasoned sauce will also be delicious eaten with fish, soba noodles, steamed vegetables, etc. It is amazingly delicious!!

I modified Maangchi's recipe to be cooked with multi-grain rice and replaced the ground beef for ground lean turkey. Since we love this dish so much, I doubled the recipe so we can enjoy this rice for a few more dinners.

1-1/2 cups medium-grain brown rice (9.9 ounces), washed and drained
1/2 cup Thai red cargo rice (3.2 ounces) or black medium-grain rice (3.5 ounces), washed and drained
3 cups cold water (24 ounces or 1:8.0 pounds)

Two pounds soybean sprouts
12 ounces lean ground turkey or ground chicken
1 tablespoon Bragg Liquid Aminos or low-sodium soy sauce (0.4 ounce)
1 tablespoon sesame oil (0.3 ounce)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 cup Bragg Liquid Aminos or low-sodium soy sauce (4.5 ounces)
4 garlic cloves, minced (0.6 to 0.8 ounce)
2 stalks green onions, thinly sliced (1.0 ounce)
3 tablespoons finely chopped yellow onion (1.0 ounce)
1 small jalapeno or serrano chili pepper, thinly sliced or coarsely chopped (optional)
4 teaspoons Korean coarse hot pepper flakes (0.3 ounce)
1 tablespoon agave nectar or honey (0.5 ounce)
2 tablespoon sesame oil (0.6 ounce)
2 tablespoons roasted white sesame seeds (0.4 ounce)

6 eggs (any size)

In a 6-quart stock pot, combine the brown rice, red rice and water. (Note: You can use entirely 2 cups of brown rice (13.2 ounces) if you do not have red or black rice.) Set aside to let rice soak for about 1 hour.

While rice is soaking, remove root ends of each soybean sprout and discard any discolored rotten sprouts or remove discolored rotten soybeans, but save the healthy sprouts (do this while watching your favorite television program). Wash well in several changes of water. Transfer to a large colander and set aside.

Season the ground turkey with 1 tablespoon Bragg Liquid Aminos, 1 tablespoon sesame oil and ground black pepper. Mix well and set aside.

Bring the pot of rice to a boil on high heat (do not need to change water). When rice comes to a full boil, give rice a stir and cover pot. Reduce heat to low heat. Let rice cook undisturbed for 15 minutes.

While rice is cooking, make the seasoned sauce (yangnyeomjang): Combine 1/2 cup Bragg Liquid Aminos, garlic, green onion, yellow onion, jalapeno chili pepper (optional), Korean hot pepper flakes, agave nectar, 2 tablespoons sesame oil and sesame seeds in a small bowl. Stir well to combine. Set aside.

After the rice have been cooking for 15 minutes, increase heat to medium-low heat. Add the entire soybean sprouts on top of the rice. Spread the ground turkey mixture on top of the soybean sprouts. Immediately cover pot and continue to cook on medium-low heat for additional 25 minutes, undisturbed. After 25 minutes of cooking, remove the pot of rice from the heat. Transfer the ground turkey patty to a plate. Cover the pot of rice and let the rice rest off the heat. Break up the turkey patty to smaller bite-size pieces. Return turkey pieces back to the pot of rice and give the rice mixture a good toss to evenly incorporate the soybean sprouts, ground turkey and the rice.

NOTE: You can stop at this point if you decide to make this rice early in the day or even one day in advance. The rice mixture and seasoned sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container. When ready to eat, just reheat the rice in the microwave and poach-fry your egg.

When ready to eat, either you can fry your egg over-easy the traditional way or you can follow my instructions for Poach-Fried Eggs.

For each serving, scoop one-sixth portion of the rice mixture into a shallow bowl. Place a poached-fried egg on top. Pass the seasoned sauce to be served with the rice. To eat, break up the egg into the rice. Add 2 to 3 spoonfuls of the seasoned sauce over the rice mixture, mixed everything together and it is ready to eat. You can also tear up a few sheets of Korean roasted seaweed on top of the rice and/or sprinkle with some roasted black sesame seeds. Even more delicious!

Yield 6 servings

Soybean Sprout Bibimbap served in a shallow bowl with a
Poach-Fried Egg on top.

Before you eat, break up the egg into the rice mixture.

Add 2 to 3 spoonfuls of the homemade seasoned sauce (yangnyeomjang) to the rice mixture.

 Thoroughly mix everything together.
(The rice is hot - notice the steam on the lower left of the photo.)

Now it is ready to eat!
You can also tear up several sheets of Korean roasted seaweed and place it on top of the rice mixture. The roasted seaweed adds another depth of flavor to the bibimbap.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Poached-Fried Egg

Poached-Fried Egg

I am so excited to share with you a way to "poach-fry" an egg, sunny side up. I learn this from watching The Chew. One of the host, Daphne Oz (Dr. Oz's daughter), was demonstrating how to poach an egg using a nonstick frying pan. So easy and it really works. I have already tried this method of "poach-frying" an egg twice and has not failed. Not only is it easy, but clean up is easy-peasy. To watch Daphne demonstrate this on video, watch it here and fast forward the video to 2:32. This cooking method is somewhat poaching...or steaming...or frying?!? Whatever cooking method this is categorized as, this is an INGENIOUS and HEALTHY way to poach-fry an egg! Here's how:

1 teaspoon olive oil
One egg (any size)
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons water

Place an 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium-low heat (4.0 on induction cook top) and wipe the inside surface with olive oil to sheet-coat the pan. Let the pan heat up for about 5 minutes or until hot (remember it's only on medium-low heat). Smelling the fragrant of the olive oil is another indication. Add one egg into the heated pan. Sprinkle with some salt to taste. Add the water to the pan and cover immediately. What is happening is the water will steam up and cook the egg.

Let the egg continue to cook, undisturbed, for 2 to 3 minutes or until the egg white is completely cooked, but the yolk is still runny. Transfer egg to a plate and it is ready to eat.

Repeat the same cooking process if you are cooking more than one egg.

To change note here, our dinner tonight, I "poached-fried" three eggs to be served with Soybean Sprout Bibimbap, a Korean rice dish from maangchi.com website.

Soybean Sprout Bibimbap is a Korean rice dish cooked with meat and soybean sprouts. It is served with an egg cooked sunny side up or over-easy. To eat, you will break up the egg into the rice; then mix the rice mixture and the egg together with a few spoonfuls of homemade seasoned sauce (yangnyeomjang) which will then look like the photo below:

This dish is so amazingly delicious and healthy! The soy beans from the soybean sprouts has a nice delicate crunch and the seasoned sauce mixed together with the rice is so flavorful and addicting. I'm sure the seasoned sauce alone will be delicious eaten with baked tofu, fish, noodles, etc. It is amazingly delicious!! Maangchi also has a you-tube video demonstration (take a look below):

I modified the Soybean Sprout Bibimbap recipe to be cooked with a combination of brown and Thai red cargo rice and substituting ground turkey in place of ground beef. I am real close to perfecting Maangchi's recipe to be cooked with the multi-grain rice. Brown rice takes longer to cook which makes the cooking process different from Maangchi's version so that is why I want to perfect the brown rice version before posting. As soon as my modified version is perfect, I will be posting my version using multi-grain rice, ground turkey and plus doubling the recipe since a few of Maangchi's readers have inquired whether the recipe can be doubled.

UPDATE: My doubled recipe of my version of Soybean Sprout Bibimbap cooked with multi-grain rice and ground turkey is finally posted here: Soybean Sprout Bibimbap with Multi-Grain Rice and Ground Turkey. Check it out!