Monthly Archives: August 2012

Kheema ( Indian spicy ground beef )

The other day was just browsing on the web and found this recipe , super easy , simple and since me and my family love indian dish . This would be one to try . The only other indian dish that i can make was Tikka Masala , now i can say i can make Kheema . I used extra lean ground beef , i am sure you can try using chicken or lamb too . The rest is just all the spices in the recipe , i hope you have some spice collection or else you’ll spend some money buying the spices . There are quite a bit of spices used in this recipe , that’s why it’s so good though !

Direction : 

1 lb of extra lean ground beef

1 medium onion , finely chopped

5 cloves of garlic , minced

1 inch of ginger , minced

2 tsp. of ground coriander

1/2 tsp. of smoked paprika

1/2 tsp. of  paprika ( or if you just have paprika , you don’t have to use smoked paprika )

1 tsp. of ground cumin

1 tsp. of cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp. of garam masala

salt and pepper

2 medium tomatoes

3/4 cup of frozen peas

1 cup of water

1/4 cup of cilantro , chopped

2 tsp. of apple cider vinegar

1. In a skillet , heat vegetable oil , about 2 tbsp. Add the onion , cook until golden , then add ginger and garlic , cook for a minute . Then add in the spices . Cook for a minute . Add the ground beef , cook until it’s no longer pink .

2. Throw the tomatoes in , and add water , bring to boil , then add frozen peas , and simmer , covered partially , for about 10 minutes or so .

3. Stir in the apple cider vinegar and cilantro . Serve with naan or pita bread .

Maple Dijon Brown Sugar Glazed Salmon

I think i have mentioned before that i am not so fond of cooking fish . My husband does the fish and they ALWAYS turn out delicious . Lately though , since we’ve moved down south , the temporary place we’re living , don’t have that much kitchen space . I think that’s why i cook most of the time , we usually enjoy cooking together , but due to the small space of the kitchen , i will have to handle 99% of the cooking .

This time , i ended up choosing fish . The past several times i’ve been cooking fish , my family loves it . So i thought why not throwing in seafood , fish in particular in the menu , twice a week . Beside it’s healthy ! So now , let’s talk about salmon . This maple dijon glazed salmon is to die for !! If you are not fond of salmon , you will change your mind . I found the recipe online , but i altered it here and there , and i thought the glazed was delicious .You can always broil the salmon in the oven , but this is kinda risky , because it gets really hot , if the fillet is thick on one side and thin on the other side , you’ll risk to burn the salmon . Or under cook it .. yuck . Or you can always grill it , which is a great choice in my opinion . If i had my grill i would have chosen that , but my grill is in the storage still . Now , i ended up with 1 choice only , i used skillet , non stick skillet to cook this salmon fillet . You have to becareful not to cook it with too high heat , slow cooking is the perfect way to cook this salmon , and they turn out flaky and moist . Who wants dry flaky salmon ? LOL ..

Direction : 

About 2 lbs of salmon fillet , cut into 4 pieces .

Salt and pepper the fillet generously . Set aside , Now let’s make the glaze :

2 tbsp. of butter

3 tbsp. of brown sugar

1 tbsp. of maple syrup

Bring these ingredients in the small pot , medium heat to melt it , boil for 1 minute . Remove and add :

1 tbsp. of minced ginger

2 tbsp. of soy sauce

2 tbsp. of olive oil

1/4 cup of good dijon mustard ( i used grey poupon )

Mix together , and brush it on the salmon while you’re cooking it



Fried Potatoes with Caramelized Onion

The recipe was called McAlister Potatoes , i don’t know why they call it mcalister , but i like to call it fried taters .. 😀 I’ve made this a while ago , the only thing with this potatoes , you need to choose some small gold yukon potatoes . I love yukon potatoes , it’s basically the potatoes that i usually buy , either red or gold yukon . I don’t care so much for russet potatoes unless i need to make potato salad . Otherwise , boiling , steaming , baking , to me , needs to be red or yukon .

Mashed potatoes gets boring after a while , the same with baked or steamed or boiled . So this is a change to serve potatoes as a side dish with my dijon salmon , and this def. is a yummy side dish !

Direction : 

About 5 small yukon gold potatoes

Boil these potatoes , covered with water , boil until it’s tender , try to use your fork , if it goes in just fine , Then it’s time to drain the water and let it cool slightly .Then using kitchen towel , wrap your potato one by one and smash it with your palm . Be ready to fry it later on.

Meanwhile , caramelize onion and bacon on a skillet .

1 cup of chopped onions

about 3-4 slices of bacon , diced

Cook these , until the onions are caramelized , under medium heat . Set aside , do not throw away the fat on the skillet , add few tbsp. olive oil in the skillet to fry the potatoes. Fry them until it’s crispy on both side .

Remove and topped with caramelized onion and bacon .Serve warm.

Blackened Tilapia with Corn Stuffed Poblanos

I love anything blackened , be it , fish or chicken or whatever , blackened spices has a really great taste . I usually use it for chicken , using boneless chicken breast or thighs and flatten them up with the mallet , and then i would sprinkle / rub it with blackened spices .. then i would grill it . Perfect !

This time i bought tilapia , and i mixed my own blackened spices and this was a super quick easy dinner , you can always serve this with rice or potatoes or other veggies , i happened to serve it with corn stuffed poblanos . They’re not too bad either , just taking the time baking the pepper and corn . If you’ve tried mac and cheese stuffed poblanos , this is almost like that one too .

Direction for Blackened Spices : 

1/2 tbsp. paprika

1/2 tbsp. smoked paprika

2 tsp. garlic powder

2 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. sugar

2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1 heaping tsp. cayenne pepper

1 tsp. oregano

3/4 tsp. cumin

Mix all the ingredients together , shake it to well blended , and store in a jar .

For the tilapia , i used 1 lb of tilapia , and rub the spices all over the fish . You can either grill it or cook it on a skillet with very little oil . 2 minutes on each side .

Direction for Poblanos 

6 small poblanos

4 ears of corn

monterey jack cheese

1 bunch of green onion chopped

chopped cilantro

juice from 1 lime

1. Preheat oven to 450 F , wash the pepper , dry well . Then toss with salt , cumin and 1-2 tbsp. of vegetable oil , until it’s all coated well . Bake about 20 minutes , turn half way . Take it out ,let it cool , you can either remove the skin or just leave it . Then cut a slit , and remove the seeds .

2. Brush the corn with vegetable oils , sprinkle with salt and cumin , bake for 10 minutes , turn , bake another 10 minutes . Then remove , and let it cool . Then scrape off the corn with knife . Add in the chopped green onions , cilantro and lime juice . Salt and pepper to taste .

3. Spoon the corn into the poblanos , sprinkle with cheese on top .Broil , until cheese is melted .

Buttermilk Cornbread

I usually just buy store cornbread , Kroger has a really yummy corn bread i must say . The other day i thought about trying this , i have everything on hand , even the yellow cornmeal that’s been sitting since i used it not too long ago . I had to corn meal for something , but i only ended up using it very little . So yellow corn meal was in the cabinet , waiting to be used sometime . And that time was finally came .. although i still have plenty leftovers .

Corn bread is not really hard to make , from what i heard , the southern style cornbread is not as sweet as the north or midwest corn bread . How true is this , i am not quite sure . The only time i had corn bread was at cracker barrel , which originated from the south .. i think it started in Florida . ( not 100% sure either ) . The cornbread at cracker barrel wasn’t sweet either , in fact it was a little salty than anything else . And we used to eat it with butter and jam . It was always served with butter and jam .

Now the corn bread that i bought from the store , Kroger , it is sweet and i loved them . I like it just the way it is , i don’t even bother to butter them up . So , this corn bread i made my own , although not as sweet as store made , but it has perfect amount of sweetness , you could always tweak the sugar if you want it sweeter . Either way it’s yummy , and not hard to make at all . It was quick !

Direction : 

1 stick of unsalted butter

2/3 cup of sugar  or more if you like it sweeter

1 cup of all purpose flour

1 cup of yellow corn meal

1 cup of buttermilk

2 eggs

1/2 tsp. of baking soda

1. In a small pot , melt the butter , remove from the heat . Whisk in the sugar until well blended , then add the eggs and whisking well . Add buttermilk , and finally add the flour and yellow cornmeal and baking soda .

2. Pour the batter in a 8 inch square pan , buttered or lined with parchment paper , bake for about 30-40 minutes , or until tooth pick inserted comes out clean .

Garlic Ginger Chicken Soup

A few months ago i’ve tried a korean recipe called Samgyetang , which means , Ginseng Chicken Soup . You see , ginseng is not something that is cheap , i tried the recipe and they’re delicious . The hens that i used , wasn’t the problem , the expensive stuff is the ginseng , i believed it was almost $10.00 for barely any weight there .

So , i came up with this version of chicken soup , i can’t really say this can replace ginseng chicken soup , no , but this of course different ingredients , and different taste . Who can compare ginger and ginseng ? Even the price is like heaven and earth .. LOL . This is a great alternative for budget friendly meal . My 7 years old loves this , and american husband loves this too . And i love making it , because it’s super easy !

Direction : 

Cornish hens ( depends how many people in your family , i have 3 people in mind , so i usually buy 2 , 1 for my husband , and then my little one can share with me , but i am sure as he gets older , i will have to buy 1 just for himself )

2 garlic cloves for each cornish hens

1 dried date for each cornish hens

1 inch of ginger for each cornish hens

About 1/4 cup of rice ( or sweet rice whatever you want ) for each cornish hens

1. Wash and pat dry the cornish hens inside outside with paper towel . And then stuff the garlic , ginger , date , and rice into the cavity .

2. Place the chicken in a pot ( i use earthen ware that i bought from korean market ) , then add water to submerge the chicken . Bring to boil , and scoop any floating bubbles / fat , and discard those  . Simmer for a good hour , the cornish hens should be very tender by then .

3. Sprinkle with little sesame oil and chopped green onion . Serve warm !

My mom’s Beef Steak

When i was younger , this was one of my favourite dish , though she didn’t make it too often . But i always loved it when she cooked this beef steak . Indonesians don’t call this beef steak instead they called it Bistik . It does sound almost the same . Mom used to add the carrots in the pot itself to be cooked with the steak , but after cooking the steak for so long , the carrots become too mushy , and i don’t like mushy carrots . Mom also used to add hard boiled eggs , then we ate this dish with rice . Indonesians eat rice with everything , morning , day and night 🙂

Now , years and years later , i tried to figure out , what did she put in there . She always wanted to teach me how to cook , but i have always said no , i rejected the idea having to touch meat to cut meat , basically , to cook . I finally figured it out after a conversation with my aunt , the closest one to my mom . Turned out the dish was super easy , and it’s like you can cook this with a blind eye !! I don’t have an exact measurement for this recipe , but you just have to use your instinct . I serve it with home made potato chips , instead of rice , and i steamed the carrots , and i blanched the green beans . Or if you choose to cook the carrot in the steak , just add the last 10 minutes of cooking the steak , because you don’t want to cook those carrots for 1.5 hours !! Blanching green beans , meaning you boil the water , and cook the beans for 4-5 minutes , it’s that quick .

Direction :

1.5 lbs of sizzle steak

1 can ( 8oz ) tomato sauce

sweet soy sauce ( kecap manis ABC )

freshly grated nutmeg , or ground nutmeg

salt , pepper and sugar

2 tsp. vinegar


1. Slice the steak , about 1.5 inches. Then add vinegar , salt , pepper , sugar , nutmeg , and sweet soy sauce . Mix them well with your hands , place in the fridge , let it marinade for at least an hour or so .

2. In a pot , melt margarine , and then place the meat and it’s juices into the pot , add little more sweet soy sauce , and tomato sauce , at this point mix it , the mixture will be thick , then add little of hot water to make it a little runnier . If you don’t add water , it will be too tomato-ey . Which is not that good .. The sauce will be a little runny , and it will be reddish brown in color . Bring to boil , cover with lid , and simmer for 1.5 hours or until the beef is very tender . 10 minutes before you turn the heat off , add the carrots in .

3. Home made chips : slice potatoes thinly then deep fry . Blanched green beans :bring water to boil , then add green beans , cook for 5 minutes , take the beans out . Then make hard boiled eggs , bring water to boil , add eggs , cook for 12 minutes , remove and peel .

4. When you’re ready to serve , mix water and cornstarch , to make the sauce thicker . Serve with home made chips , eggs ( not pictured i forgot )  , carrots and green beans with the beef .



Fresh Thyme and Garlic Broiled Catfish

Our family likes to cook something pretty easy during the weekend , occasionally , we like to make something complicated , just because everyone can pitch in and help . But not today , we chose to cook something simple , easy and quick . So we landed our choice to broiled catfish . Seafood is so cheap over here , and it’s kinda nice to be able to eat more seafood !!

This broiled catfish doesn’t take long to prepare , doesn’t take long to cook either . I partly broiled the catfish then baked it . It was pretty yummy , my 7 years old demands me to cook this more often ! LOL  I served this with steamed potatoes , and collard greens .

Direction : 

4 – 6 oz. catfish

fresh thyme

4 garlic cloves , minced

4 tbsp. of olive oil , plus few more for later on

bread crumbs , from 2 slices of bread

1 fresh lemon

salt pepper

essence of emeril

1. Line the cookie sheet with aluminium foil , rub the fish with essence of emeril and sprinkle with salt and pepper .

2. In a small bowl , mix the olive oil , with thyme , and garlic . Then dab the fish with the garlic oil mixture , make sure you dab it evenly all over the fish .

3. Sprinkle with some fresh lemon juice .

4. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs , ( 2 slices of bread in food processor , pulse until it’s crumbly ) . Then sprinkle with little olive oil .

5. Broil for 5 minutes , if it get burn quick , turn off the broiler , and turn the oven to 350 F , bake for 15 minutes .

Collard Greens

I never had collard greens , though i’ve heard that southern people like collard greens . But living in Indiana , you hardly seen greens being sold at the groceries , other than green beans , lettuce , corn , spinach , those kind of stuff . Even kale is sometimes hardly available , let alone mustard greens , collard greens .. I guess living down south has its own advantages , such as , plenty and cheap vegetables ! So i took that advantage today too , by trying collard greens . I thought how hard can this be to cook anyway ? It’s vegetable , couldn’t be any difference than making saute bok choy , mustard greens .. those stuff . I thought garlic , onion , bacon will do the work for the collard greens . I did my research before jumping into it , and most of them ,instead of sauteeing the collard greens , they simmer the greens with ham or hock .. around those area . I did slightly different , but i took a bite and tried it .. I LOVED IT .. i was warned by my husband’s uncle that it might have a slight bitter taste like mustard greens , but mustard greens was so bitter for me ! Thank God that this wasn’t as close as that mustard greens .. Collard greens will def. be cooked more often in our household !

Direction :

1 bunch of collard greens , remove leaves from the stem , then cut the leaves into 2 inches strips .

4 garlic cloves , minced

1/4 cup of chopped sweet onion

1 tbsp. red pepper flakes

4 strips of bacon , chopped

1 cup of chicken broth

1 tsp. of sugar

1. In a skillet heat up vegetable oil , then add the onion , garlic and red pepper flakes , cook for a minute or two , add bacon , cook about 3 minutes .

2. Add the collard greens , stir until wilted , then add 1 cup of chicken broth and sugar . Bring to boil , simmer for 30 minutes . Serve .

Cheese Crackers

Normally i would just use parmesan cheese for these home made cheese crackers , but the other day i saw Edam cheese was on sale at the grocery store . I picked  up Edam cheese , i hardly use Edam cheese . The only thing i know that they don’t have stinky smell like most cheese does , and they have a slight nutty flavour , similar to Gruyere cheese , and usually we use Edam cheese for dutch cheese cookies ( Kaastengel ) . I though it wouldn’t hurt just to try using Edam cheese for these crackers . Turned out i have probably few tbsp left for the parmesan cheese . Instead of using 100% Edam cheese , i probably ended up using 80% of edam cheese and the rest would be the leftover parmesan cheese . The result , was yummier crackers . But if you are into cheese so much , probably it would be best to use 100% of parmesan cheese , instead of mixing it with Edam . Like i said Edam has a slightly milder flavour compared to parmesan .But if you don’t like things that are too cheesy , mix it with Edam , you will like it . For me personally , i don’t mind both of them . In fact it tastes similar to Kaastengel , the dutch cheese cookies that was very popular back in Indonesia .

You need :

1 cup of edam cheese ( or you can mix it with little parmesan or replace the whole edam cheese with parmesan cheese if you like strong cheese flavour )

1 stick of unsalted butter

1/2 tsp. of kosher salt ( if you use regular salt , i would decrease it by half because kosher salt has bigger grains than regular table salt )

1/4 tsp. of ground black pepper ( optional )

1 tbsp. of chopped fresh thyme ( optional )

1 1/4 cup of all purpose flour

1 tsp. or more water

In a large bowl , cream the butter , about a minute or so , then add in the cheese . Beat until mixture combined . Add the salt , black pepper and the thyme , and then add the flour . The dough will be crumbly and dry , if it’s way too dry , add 1 tsp. of water , you can add more by tsp. if you think the dough won’t hold together still . Pat the dough , and if it stays and won’t crumble , then it’s ready to be roll into a 9 inch log  , and refrigerate for at least an hour , you can freeze it too ( for future use ) . When you ready to bake , slice the log into 1/2 inch thickness ,  preheat oven to 350 F and bake for 22 minutes . Should make about 24 crackers .