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Friday, December 31, 2010

Homemade Ricotta

More cheese! I love ricotta and over the past couple of years I've been splurging on 'homemade' ricotta from the two Italian specialty shops here in Davis Sq. It makes such a difference - it's creamier, softer, and just has an overall marshmellowyness that the grocery store brands don't even come close to. The problem is - it's ridiculously expensive...and, it's not quite 'homemade' when it's made in someone else's home!

So, this is Barbara Lynch's recipe - it's incredibly easy, just takes a watchful eye.

**You need a candy thermometer for this - they're about five bucks at the grocery store or hardware store. You also need cheesecloth.

1 gallon of whole milk
3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
1 tb salt

1. Line a footed colander with two layers of cheesecloth and put it in your kitchen sink.

2. In a pot (spaghetti/pasta pot is the right size), combine all three ingredients and clip the thermometer to the pot.

3. Heat over medium-low heat and stir *continuously* until the temperature climbs to 140 degrees. Don't rush this by turning up the heat! It takes about 20 minutes. Not much will happen, just keep stirring!

4. When temp reaches 140, stop stirring and let sit until it reaches 175 degrees. This will take another 10-20 minutes. When temp reaches 175, immediately take off the heat - and don't let it get above 180. At this point, the curds form.

5. Gently scoop off the curds with a large spoon and put in the colander. Let it drain in the sink for about an hour until it's soft and spreadable. The longer you let it sit, the thicker it will be.

Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate. It will keep for up to a week.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Pear and Scallion Ravioli

I recently took a cooking class at the Elephant Walk in Cambridge. It was fabulous. Nyep, the owner, is an incredibly interesting woman with a remarkable story. She brought us back into their kitchen and let us loose with a few of her delicious recipes. This sweet and savory ravioli was particularly tasty as it's a great appetizer or party nibble.

2 medium pears, unpeeled, cored, and diced into 1/4 cubes
2 TB olive oil, plus 1/4 cup of olive oil for frying
3 scallions, white and green parts finely chopped
1 pack of wonton wrappers
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp water

1. Heat 2-3 TB of olive oil in a large sautee pan until hot. Add diced pear and a pinch of salt and sautee until soft - about 5 min. Add the scallion and sautee for another 10-15 min. until soft but not mushy. Remove from heat.

2. Beat the egg and the water to make an egg wash.

3. Put one small spoonful of the pear mixture onto each wonton and fold over, forming a triangle. Brush a bit of egg wash on the edges to seal.

3. Put the sautee pan back on the heat and coat with olive oil. Heat to medium high and fry each of the raviolis until they are crispy and golden on each side.

4. Place them on paper towels to drain the extra oil.

Prosciutto and Fontina Pinwheels

Yes, it's fontina again, my most beloved cheese. Now that it's the holiday season, it's always good to have a few very easy and quick nibbles on hand. These are good as a snack or as an appetizer, great for parties and totally addictive.

One package of puff pastry - thawed but still cold
About 6 slices of prosciutto
1 cup shredded fontina (you could use asiago, parmesan, romano...)
1 egg beaten with 1 1/2 tsp water

Heat oven to 375.

1. Roll out the puff pastry on a floured surface to about 10 x 15in rectangle. Halve it lengthwise.

2. Top the pastry with prosciutto and then the fontina, leaving about 1/2 in. border on the far edge (you'll need this extra pastry edge to seal the roll).

3. Carefully roll up the pastry from the long side (you'll get about 2-3 times around (if you roll from the short edge, they'll be huge). Roll the dough as tightly as you can.

4. Brush the end border with the egg wash and seal.

5. Wrap in plastic and put in the freezer for a half hour so that it firms up.

6. Remove from fridge/freezer and plastic and slice 1/4 in. rounds. Place each spiral on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until golden.

Ooey Gooey BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

There are dozens of bbq sauces in the grocery store, but it's surprisingly easy to make! Use this recipe as a base and change it up according to what you're in the mood for - sometimes I use fresh ginger to brighten it up, more or less vinegar changes the zing factor, and additions such as Worcestershire or A1 are good too!

BBQ Sauce:
3 TB ketchup
1 TB cider vinegar
1 TB mustard
1 TB molasses
3/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/8 tsp ground ginger

Leftover roast chicken, pulled from the bone...amount depends on how monstrous you like your sandwiches. You can always save the leftover bbq sauce for something else.

Dill pickles - sandwich or round cut.
Bulky sandwich rolls
Cole slaw

1. Put the bbq sauce ingredients into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Throw in the chicken and let it bubble for about 10 minutes.

2. Assemble your sandwiches with the pickles on top.

BONUS FLAVOR: add cole slaw into your sandwich. Don't have any?? Mix 3 cups of shredded, bagged cabbage with 1/4 cup mayo, 1 TB cider vinegar, salt and pepper. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes, or until the cabbage softens and absorbs some of the juices. The creaminess of the cole slaw goes great with the bbq!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mushroom and Fontina Quiche

This quiche is always a hit. I think it's the fontina, one of my most favorite cheeses. There are few things easier to make than a quiche and they always seem much more sophisticated than they really are. It's especially easy if you use a store-bought frozen crust. I won't say anything about those (a-hem!), so I'll refer you to my fool proof crust recipe...just cut it in half: Fool Proof Crust

1 pie crust (refrigerated store-bought, or homemade rolled out and ready to go)
2 TB (1/4 stick) butter
2/3 cup chopped shallots (I don't like using onions - they overpower the quiche)
5 cups sliced assorted mushrooms (use shitakes - no stems! and baby bellas if you can)
4 large eggs
1 cup milk (use at least 2% if you can)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp nutmeg (if you have it)
1 1/2 cups grated fontina

1. Preheat oven to 450.

2. Place crust in dish (use a deep dish) and poke a few holes in the bottom with a fork. Place in the oven and bake until golden brown. **REDUCE heat to 325.

3. Melt butter in a skillet and add shallots. Saute until softened and then add the mushrooms. Cook until tender and beginning to brown. Transfer to a plate and cool slightly.

4. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper and nutmeg. Stir in 1 cup of the fontina and add the mushroom/shallot mixture. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

5. Pour filling into crust and bake for about 45 minutes until puffed, golden brown and just set in the center.

Coconut Layer Cake

Have I mentioned lately that I love all things coconut? I'm all over anything that smells like a bottle of suntan lotion. And coconut + cake? Even better! Here's a simple cake recipe that actually takes a fraction of the usual layer cake time. The secret is in the very thin cake layers which allow for quick cooling. And more layers = more opportunities for frosting. Everybody wins!

*This recipe makes about three 1-inch cake layers. Add to make more!

Vanilla Cake

1 1/2 cups self-rising flour (don't have self-rising flour? Use 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus 2 1/4 tsp baking powder, plus 1/4 tsp salt)
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour (still needed even if you use substitution above!)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs at room temperature
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Lightly butter three round cake pans. Nonstick pans come in very handy since the cake layers will be thin and fragile. (If you only have two, you can reuse one once the first two are out of the oven, it won't take long!)

3. In a medium bowl, combine the flours (and other dry ingredients if you substituted). Set aside.

4. In a large bowl, cream the butter until smooth with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each.

5. Add the dry ingredients to the butter/egg mixture, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until ingredients are incorporated, but don't overbeat!

6. Pour a third of the batter into each cake pan. You should have a very thin layer (1/2 inch or so).

7. Place the cakes in the oven and watch them! They will only take 5-10 minutes depending on thickness and your oven. Have a toothpick ready to test - they're done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. When baking thin layers like this, they'll likely bubble a bit like a pancake. Remove when just cooked through or else they'll come out like crunch cookies :)

Cream Cheese Coconut Frosting

2 8oz packages of cream cheese, softened and cut into smallish pieces
6 TB unsalted butter, cut into pieces and softened
2 tsp vanilla
5 cups confectioners' sugar
2 cups shredded coconut

1. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth on medium speed. Add the vanilla and beat well. Gradually add the sugar, 1 cup at a time until smooth and creamy. Taste as you go, the sugar can be cut or added depending on preference. Add 1 1/2 cups of the coconut and mix to blend.

2. Ice your cake and sprinkle the remaining coconut on top.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Spicy Crab Cakes - the real deal

Ok, so a few months ago I posted cod cakes. They're great and a cheaper alternative to crab, which will empty your wallet and only leave you wanting more. The cod cakes are greek and yummy - these are CRAB, asian style, and unreal. Another Ming Tsai specialty. When I realized that Wilson Farm sold small gold nugget containers of wonderfully fresh lump crab, I lost it. I shamefully admit that we have eaten crab cakes more in the past couple of months then ever in my life combined but they are quite possibly one of the best foods on earth. Here's a great recipe, and they're spicy because, why not!?

Sauce:
2 TB chili garlic paste
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 TB chopped chives
1 tsp honey
Juice of 1 lime

Cakes:
1 lb lump crabmeat (is your mouth watering yet!??)
1 cup flour for dredging
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup panko
2 TB oil

1. In a small bowl, mix half of the chili garlic paste, half the mayo and half of the chives and refrigerate.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the remaining chili paste, mayo and chives with the honey, lime juice, and crabmeat. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Place the flour, eggs, and panko in three separate dishes. Form small patties of the crab mixture and then dip into the flour, eggs, and panko and set aside on a dish. They will be very fragile and you may need to keep squeezing to hold them together. Once their in the pan, they'll firm up.

4. Heat a large pan over medium high heat. Add the oil. Add the cakes and sear on both sides until they brown and crisp, about 3 minutes per side. Remember, the crab is already cooked so you're just creating a crust.

5. Serve with the sauce drizzled either on top or underneath. Great with salad!!

Asian Pesto Chicken Salad

For my mom's 60th birthday this year, I got us tickets to go see Ming Tsai cook an elaborate meal. We sat right in front of him, we were his guests for dinner, complete with yummy cocktails, great wine and unbelievable food. He showed us how to do it all and it was undoubtedly one of the most exciting event my mom and I have attended in a very long time. We love this guy! I bought one of his cookbooks and I've been quickly making my way through it. Most of the recent recipes are his and are definitely worth trying -they're easy and great for summer eating...

Asian Pesto
1 jalapeno
2 garlic cloves
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 TB minced ginger
1/2 cup peanuts
Zest of 1 lemon
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup packed basil leaves
1/2 cup packed mint leaves
1/4 cup packed cilantro leaves
salt and pepper

Chicken and Orzo
1 cup uncooked orzo
2 boneless chicken breasts
3/4 cups Asian Pesto
1 pt cherry tomatoes, halved
Juice of 1 lemon
1 package of baby spinach

1. Salt and pepper the chicken breasts and either grill (this is highly recommended) or broil in the oven until cooked. When done, cut into small cubes

2. Bring a large saucepan of water to boil and cook the orzo until just tender (about 10 minutes). When done, drain and rinse with cold water.

3. Combine the first 6 ingredients and half of the olive oil in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add the basil, mint and cilantro and blend while slowly adding the rest of the oil. Blend until a thick puree is formed and add salt and pepper.

4. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, orzo, tomatoes and pesto. Add the lemon juice and mix well.

5. Serve on a bed of baby spinach.

Crusty Cod with Spicy Mango Salsa

I'm not always into mixing meat/fish with fruit but this is wonderful...and a great excuse to buy mangos. They're delicious and remind me of my days living in Mali where les mangues were abundant and a crucial part of every day living. This is a great summery dish and very easy for entertaining. We had our friends Leila and Danny over recently and served this with white rice with cilantro and a big salad with lots of avocado. I also made a white sangria...that night remains a bit of a blur but it went great with the meal!
**Make sure to plan this a couple of days in advance - you'll most often need to wait a good 2-3 days to let your mangos ripped - they're rarely sold ripe in the US.


Serves 4:

2 lb cod fillets (halibut or haddock would also work great for this)
1 1/2 cups panko
4 green onions
2 eggs, beaten

3 large, ripe mangos (make sure the flesh is tender) diced
1 red onion, minced
1 jalapeno, minced
1 TB minced ginger
1 TB garlic chili paste
1/4 cup lime juice
salt and pepper to taste.

1. To dice the mango, slice the mango vertically on both sides of the pit, keeping the skin on. Hold the half with the skin palm side down and with a sharp knife, slice 1/4 in. rows vertically and horizontally. Scoop out the squares with a spoon, digging all the way down to the skin. Repeat with other half so that you have a bowl of mango cubes.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well.

3. Dry your fish fillets with a paper towel and salt and pepper them. Set aside a plate with the panko and sliced green onions and a bowl with the beaten eggs. Dredge the fillets in egg and then in the panko mixture and coat well.

4. Heat a pan to medium high and add a bit of canola oil. Fry the fillets until done - cooked through and panko lightly browned (stick under a heated broiler if they are very thick fillets).

4. Serve with rice and the mango salsa on top.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Berry Tart

I tried this for the first time the other day for some friends and it was delicious! I prefer to use mostly strawberries on top with either blackberries or blueberries but you can really make this with any fruit.

Crust:
9 graham cracker sheets
2 TB sugar
2 TB melted butter
4 tsp water

Filling:
5 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Topping:
6 cups small strawberries
2 cups blackberries or blueberries
2/3 cups sugar
1 TB cornstarch
1 TB lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. To prepare crust, put the graham crackers in a food processor and pulse until crumbly. Add the melted butter, sugar, and water and pulse until just moist.

3. Spray a tart pan or a shallow baking dish with cooking spray and spread the crust so that the bottom is covered. Bake for 10 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned. When done, cool completely in the dish on a wire rack.

4. To prepare the filling, combine cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Spread the filling over the crust.

5. To prepare topping, place 2 cups of strawberries in a food processor and process until smooth. Combine the puree, sugar, and cornstarch in a small saucepan over medium high heat and stir with a whisk. Bring to a boil stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low, cook for 1 minute and then remove from heat. Cool to room temperature and stir occasionally.

6. Cut the tops off the rest of the strawberries and toss with the lemon juice. Arrange the berries, sliced side facing down in the filling, on top of the filling leaving a little room in between them for the black or blueberries. Scatter the black and blueberries into the spaces.

7. Spoon the glaze over the berries making sure it seeps into all the spaces between them. Cover and chill for about 3 hours.

Chicken Mole

That's Mole as in the sauce, not the rodent. And what makes this sauce incredible? CHOCOLATE. If you've never tried mole, you need to and making it is simple...once you get past the scariness of adding chocolate to your chicken.

2 tsp cumin
2 chicken breasts
1 TB olive oil
1 cup chopped red onion
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 TB bittersweet chocolate chips
3/4 tsp chipotle chile in adobo sauce
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp orange zest
*flour tortillas, shredded jack and/or cheddar cheese, baby spinach (see #1)

1. You can prepare the chicken and use the sauce in a number of ways. Season the chicken breasts with 1 1/2 tsp cumin and salt and pepper. I like to either grill the breasts and then serve them sliced or cut the breasts into slices and cook in a skillet. (I like to roll the cooked slices in warm flour tortillas with mushrooms, cheese and baby spinach and serve the mole on top).

2. Add tomatoes, broth, chocolate, chipotle, cinnamon and 1/2 tsp cumin to pan. Heat on medium until the chocolate chips are melted. Add the orange zest and season with salt.

3. Puree the sauce in a blender until smooth. Serve on top of chicken with a side of rice and veggies.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Cod Cakes (poor woman's crab cakes)

I love crab cakes, but I don't love the price of crab. These fish cakes are a great alternative and make for a yummy dinner. These have become one of our top favorite dinners!

Cakes (for 4 people or cut in half for 2):
4 cups 2% milk
2 lbs cod fillets, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 cup panko
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 TB finely chopped onion or shallots
2 1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
3 large eggs
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil

Sauce:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 TB chopped parsley
2 tsp chopped dill
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp lemon juice

To prepare the sauce:
1. Combine all sauce ingredients in a small bowl.

To prepare the fish cakes:
1. Bring milk to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Add fish, cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Drain well.

2. Mash up fish and combine with 1/2 cup panko and next 7 ingredients (through garlic). Stir in 2 TB lemon juice.

3. Make patties with the fish mixture slightly smaller than the size of the palm of your hand. Dredge in the rest of the panko and place on a plate.

4. Coat a large pan with olive oil and heat to medium-high. Add the patties and cook for 4 minutes on each side or until crispy and golden. Remove from pan and place on a plate with paper towels.

Eggplant Parmesan Rolls with Swiss Chard

This is eggplant parmesan without the frying and breadcrumbs. I made it the other night for the first time and it was delicious. A nice alternative to lasagna...

2 medium eggplants, trimmed and cut lengthwise into 1/4 slides (use a mandolin if you have one)
Salt
Olive oil
1lb bunch of swiss chard, center ribs removed
2 large eggs
1 15oz container of ricotta
1 3/4 cups grated parmesan
1 15-16oz can of tomato sauce
1 8oz ball of water packed mozzarella, thinly sliced into discs

1. Layer the eggplant slices in a colander, sprinkling each layer with a generous amount of salt. Place over a bowl for 30-60 minutes. The salt will sweat the water out of the eggplant.

2. Wipe the eggplant slices with a damp paper towel to remove the salt. Then dry well with dry paper towels.

3. Turn on the oven broiler to medium high. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment and lay the slices in one layer. Brush with olive oil and broil one sheet at a time for 3-4 minutes per side or until the eggplant slices are slightly browned on each side. Remove from oven and let cool.
Turn the oven on to 350.

4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add chard and boil until just tender, about 2 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water. Squeeze chard dry and squeeze again through a paper towel until very dry. Chop until in small pieces.

5. In a medium sized bowl, whisk eggs and mix in ricotta with a pinch of salt. Stir in chopped chard and 1 cup of parmesan.

6. In a large baking dish, pour enough tomato sauce to lightly coat bottom. Taking one piece of eggplant at a time on a clean surface, spoon some of the cheese mixture into the middle of the eggplant and roll up enclosing the filling. Place in the dish, seam side down until all eggplant slices are used.

7. Spoon the rest of the sauce on top of the eggplant rolls and place the mozzarella on top. Scatter the parmesan on top. Cover with tin foil and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove foil and cook until cheese bubbles.

Halibut with Spicy Mint-Cilantro Chutney

This is a nice light dish that's full of flavor and takes minutes to make. It's great with basmati rice and peas.

1 serrano pepper, halved (jalapeno would work too)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup Greek plain yogurt
4. teaspoons of cream cheese
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp minced ginger
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp cumin
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 TB chopped fresh mint
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp salt
4 halibut filets
1 TB butter
1TB canola oil

1. Remove seeds from half of the pepper and leave the seeds in the other half. Place both halves in a food processor and mince. Add cilantro and next 9 ingredients (through garlic) and process until smooth. Stir in mint.

2. Heat a large pan to medium high heat. Combine garam masala and 1/4 tsp salt. Sprinkle evenly over fish.

3. Add oil and butter to pan and melt. Add fish to pan and cook 3 minutes per side or until done. Serve with chutney.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Tupelo Gumbo

There's a fairly new southern restaurant in Inman Square. I went with Kel and Reba right after it opened about 6 months ago and I had the gumbo. I LOVED it, and I've been wanting to go back ever since. Luckily, my most recent Food & Wine magazine featured Tupelo and included their gumbo recipe. Now we can all make it and save our money for dinner out somewhere else.

1 cup flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 large onion, diced
3 celery ribs, diced
3 cloves minced garlic
6 cups chicken stock
6 oz andouille sausage, thinly sliced
2 bay leaves
1 TB jerk seasoning
1 TB dried thyme
1 TB paprika
3/4 lb fresh okra, thinly sliced
Handful of cooked, shredded chicken (good use of leftovers from a roast chicken!)
Salt and pepper
Steamed rice (1 cup dry makes the right amount)

1. In a large dutch oven or cast iron casserole, whisk the flour and oil until smooth and until it forms a paste. Cook over moderatly low heat until deep brown (this will take close to an hour).

2. Add the onion, celery and garlic and cook over moderately low heat until soft - about 20 minutes.

3. Gradually add the stock and whisk until smooth. Add the sausage, bay leaves, jerk seasoning, thyme and paprika and bring to a simmer. Cook over low heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Add the okra and simmer in the soup until tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the chicken meat and season the gumbo with salt and pepper.

5. Serve in a bowl over a scoop of rice.

Shrimp & Cheese Stuffed Poblanos with Rice

Chiles Rellenos is probably my favorite Mexican meal. This is a great version and it's fast and easy to make.

1 cup basmati rice
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 onion, diced
1 TB tomato paste
3 poblano peppers
1/2 lb shrimp
handful of mushrooms sliced
3 cloves minced garlic
1 TB flour
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded queso blanco or Monterrey Jack
2 TB chopped cilantro

1. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add onions and cook until soft. Add tomato paste and stir well. Add the rice and broth and bring to a boil. Cover and turn the heat to low.

2. Turn your broiler on high and place the poblanos into the oven. Keep an eye on them and turn as they begin to char. Cook until all sides are bubbly. When done, remove the poblanos and place them in a sealed ziplock bag for about 5-10 minutes.

3. Remove the poblanos from the bag and deskin them. Carefully cut the tops off and remove the seeds.

4. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil to the pan to coat and then add the shrimp and mushrooms and cook until shrimp is done - about 3 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside

5. Add the garlic and the red pepper to the pan and saute for about a minute. Add the flour and stir until it forms a paste with the oil.

6. Add the milk and stir for about a minute. Remove the pan from the heat and add the cheese. This should form a thick sauce. Add more cheese if you need to thicken it. When the cheese is melted, add the shrimp and cilantro and salt and pepper.

7. Scoop the cheese and shrimp mixture and fill each of the poblanos. Place on a lined cookie sheet and put back in the oven for about 2 minutes under the broiler.

8. Serve with rice.

Bibimbap


When I lived in Senegal, the most common rice dish was cooked so that the rice crisped and hardened at the bottom of the pot. Those chewy bits were the best and you were given a little as an added bonus, especially if you're a guest at someone's house. Well, Bibimbap isn't a West African dish, it's Korean. But it known for its brown, chewy, crispy cooked rice that forms a layer on the bottom of the pan. I love it. When you order it in a Korean restaurant, it's served in a red hot pot at the table. Need an excuse to eat veggies? You can substitute almost any veggies - bean sprouts, zucchini, mushrooms, etc. Here it is...

Ingredients:

1/4 cup soy sauce
4 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp grated ginger
2 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1/4 lb thinly sliced pork tenderloin or beef - sliced as thinly as possible (note, this is a great use of leftover roast pork or beef that's been in the freezer - half frozen meat is a LOT easier to thinly slice)
2 green onions, chopped into thirds and thinly sliced, vertically
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 carrot sliced into matchsticks
1 bunch of kale, stems removed and leaves chopped/shredded
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 cups cooked sushi rice (substitute jasmine rice if needed)

1. Mix 1/4 cup of soy sauce, 2 tbsp garlic, the ginger, and brown sugar in a medium sized bowl. Add the meat and mix well. Marinate for about 1/2 hour (or while you're preparing everything else).

2. In  a small bowl, combine the vinegar, 1 tbsp sesame oil, and green onions. Add salt and pepper, mix and set aside.

3. Heat a large cast iron pan on medium high heat. Add the vegetable oil and when hot, add all of the rice and press down firmly with a spatula. Turn heat to medium and let cook for 15 minutes, until it gets brown and crispy on the bottom.

4. In a medium skillet, heat 1 tbsp sesame oil. Add the carrots and cook until slightly softened. Remove from pan and set aside, covered to stay warm.

5. In same pan, add 1 tbsp sesame oil, 2 tbsp garlic, and the kale. Saute until just soft. Remove from pan and set aside with the carrots.

6. In same pan, add the meat and meat and cook until heated through. Remove from pan and set aside with the carrots.

7. Finally, in same pan, fry the two eggs, keeping the yolks runny.

8. While the eggs cook, spoon the rice into bowls. Add some carrots, kale, green onions, and meat. Put the fried eggs on top.