Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Korean Tacos


The Korean tacos I'd been preparing for were really good. There are a couple tweaks I'd make, but let's start with the highlights.

The Korean Marinated Flank Steak was flavored exactly as I'd hoped. The flank steak was tender but not mushy, and Korean flavors were evident. The Korean-Style Spicy Slaw, well, the slaw was simply amazing.

Unfortunately, the steak and slaw did not combine well in a taco. It was as if they were both jumping up and down, waving their report cards, each listing perfect scores. That said, the beef needs tweaking. Again, the flavors were excellent, but the cut was just not quite right. Next time, I'll forgo the flank stank and opt for bulgogi. I think the smaller pieces, more toward caramelized, will lend itself a better fit for a Korean taco than the sliced flank.
 
The slaw? I will not move away from that. It really is perfect.


Mission Brand White Corn Tortillas, Super Size


I said once that I stopped buying corn tortillas because they came in packs of 36 and those corn tortillas were wasted like crazy in this apartment. Mission must've heard me. While a larger size than typical corn tortillas, and honestly a little more flour-like than I'd anticipated, they were a better sub than straight-up flour tortillas.

Available at Stater Bros, $1.99 for a pack of 10.

Korean-Style Spicy Slaw


I selected this recipe to dress my Korean tacos. What I didn't realize was that I'd end up eating the slaw directly from the mixing bowl as I stood in the kitchen because it's so freaking good!

Korean-Style Spicy Slaw
from Week of Menus

1/2 head of cabbage, thinly shredded
2 Persian cucumbers, julienne
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1/4 c chopped green onions
2 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped (optional)

Dressing
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp sesame seed
2 tbsp Korean red pepper flakes (gochugahloo-고추가루 )
1 tbsp crushed garlic tsp garlic powder
3 tbsp Vietnamese fish sauce
2 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil

Mix all the ingredients of the dressing together. It'll get really thick and pasty.


Place the vegetables in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and carefully mix the dressing into the vegetable until combined. Serve.



This slaw is totally tip-top. I love it. Should I ever run into Joanne Choi, I will kiss her feet hand. The recipe took just minutes to put together and the julienne efforts, which I typically abhor as my knife skills suck, were worth it. English cucumber was a doable substitute for the Persian cucumber. And the garlic powder turned out to be a decent replacement of the crushed garlic. I was concerned about the garlic powder, but had used all of my fresh garlic to make the potatoes the other day.

Cost:

  • cabbage: $0.69
  • English cucumber quarter: $0.17
  • white onion half: $0.27
  • green onion: $0.33
  • cilantro: $0.12
Total: $1.58 plus a $1 SWAG for the dressing makes it $2.58 or $0.65 for each of four servings.


Korean Marinated Flank Steaks, Bagged and Ready to Freeze


As I'd purchased about $18 worth of flank steak from Costco to make Korean tacos, and they are all for me, I figured I'd bag the other three Korean Marinated Flank Steak halves in quart-sized freezer Ziplocs and stow them for later. I did it while my first flank was broiling.

It was easy: place a marinated steak half in each of three bags, prop the bags upright in a large bowl for ease, tuck in some green onions, and divide the marinade among the three bags. Express the air as much as possible and throw the bags in the freezer.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Korean Marinated Flank Steak

A little too done, but this Korean Marinated Flank Steak will do the job when it comes to making some tacos!

Since I had Kim's tacos, I've been hell-bent on making them at home.

Korean BBQ Flank Steak
from Week of Menus

3-4 lbs flank steak
1/2 c soy sauce
1/2 c white sugar
1/2 c water
1/4 c sesame oil
1/4 c sake
2 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp black pepper
1 bunch of scallions

Prepare marinade by combining soy sauce, white sugar, water, sesame oil, sake, garlic, sesame seeds and pepper in a large bowl.


Rinse the flank steaks and divide each in half lengthwise, across the grain.

Submerge each flank steak half in the marinade completely; place in a long storage container.

Layer in green onions as you place the flank in the storage container. Pour remaining marinade over the beef.


Cover beef and refrigerate overnight, turning flank halves half-way through marinating time to ensure each steak has been completely marinated.

When you do this, you'll see that the steaks are still pretty red and not at all marinated where they were touching each other.

24-hours later, the flank steak looked like this:


Broil flank steak 12 minutes, turning half-way through cooking time.


 
Remove from heat and let stand before slicing thinly across the grain.


The marinade smelled so good as I prepared it and the beef smelled exceptionally good when broiling. The steaks were simple to prepare and certainly worth doing again.  12 minutes under the broiler was too long; in the future, I think maybe I'll do 8 minutes to achieve more of a medium or medium-rare.

As for the time invested to do this, I'm going to estimate 30 minutes for the marinade/steak prep and 15 minutes to cook.

Cost:
  • beef flank steak: $17.51
  • scallions: $0.33
  • everything else, SWAG: $1
Total: $18.84 or $0.59 for each of 32 tacos.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

PW's Roasted Garlic and New Potatoes


Roasted Garlic and New Potatoes served with PW's Pan-Fried Chops and steamed broccoli

PW's Roasted Garlic and New Potatoes
from The Pioneer Woman Cooks

20 small new potatoes
5-7 garlic bulbs
1/3-1/2 c olive oil
1/3-1/2 c Noilly Prat
Kosher salt, to taste
fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Quarter new potatoes and set on a large rimmed baking sheet. Lop off the very top of each garlic head and arrange the garlic throughout the potatoes.

Drizzle olive oil over the tops and bottoms of garlic as well as the potatoes; do the same with the wine.

Generously season the potatoes and garlic with salt and pepper. Toss potatoes to coat.

Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.

Remove foil and continue baking for 20 to 30 minutes until nice and golden.

After 20 minutes, the potatoes didn't look roasted enough. I tossed them around a bit and put them back in the oven for another 10 minutes.

Transfer potatoes into a large mixing bowl. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves over the potatoes and toss to combine.

I'm not sure how I obtained the first of the two photos immediately above. That's how the potatoes really looked as opposed to the fake-light yellow-looking potatoes in the second other images.

The potatoes were awesome, an excellent side to accompany the chops. I think I'm in love with roasted garlic. It is so amazingly tasty. Reminds me of that time I made Roasted Potatoes and Green Beans that had the garlic butter I liked so much, except this time I didn't have green beans.

The chops and potatoes combo was nice in that I wasn't trying to utilize the oven for both main and side dish, a pair I'll certainly do again. The potatoes didn't require much in the way of prep and once in the oven it was pretty much out of mind, which allowed focus on prepping the chops and broccoli. 

Overall, a simple, yet delicious, side and meal. 

Cost:
  • red potatoes: $1.92
  • garlic: $0.30
  • oil, salt and pepper, SWAG: $0.50
Total: $2.72 or $0.68 per each of 4 servings. 


PW's Pan-Fried Pork Chops


Pork chop prepared from Pioneer Woman's recipe, served with Roasted Garlic and New Potatoes with a side of steamed broccoli

While at a store with a friend, I spied some bone-in pork chops and before I knew it, had them in hand. I browsed around online to see the various ways to prepare them and saw this recipe. The only thing I changed was to cut everything down to a quarter of the original recipe.

PW's Pan-Fried Pork Chops
from The Pioneer Woman Cooks

2 thin-cut bone-in pork chops
1/4 c all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp seasoned salt
1/4 tsp black bepper
cayenne pepper, to taste
½ c canola oil
1 tbsp butter

Salt and pepper both sides of the pork chops.


Combine all dry ingredients.


Dredge each side of the pork chops in the flour mixture, then set aside on a plate.

Heat canola oil over medium to medium-high heat. Add butter.


When butter is melted and butter/oil mixture is hot, cook 3 pork chops at a time, 2 minutes a side.



Allow chops to stand a few minutes before serving.



Freaking delicious and so fast! The chops were done in just a few minutes and came out so tender and juicy. The bones were excellent for gnawing as well.  By the time I started in on a chop, I regretted that I'd only picked up two of them.  I know better for next time.

Cost:
  • pork chops: $1
Total, including a SWAG of $1 to cover flour, butter and oil: $2 or $1 per chop.


Food Plan and Grocery List, 112810

Considering how crappy I've been feeling lately, I wonder how much of that has to do with the all of the take-out I've been eating. While browsing around for a pork chop recipe, it dawned on me that since I've fallen head-over-heels in love with Korean tacos, I should give them a spin.

The line-up:

  • Pan-Fried Pork Chops
  • Roasted Garlic and New Potatoes
  • Korean Flank Steak Tacos

So I bought:

Vietnamese Grocery at Beach and Edinger in Westminster:
  • pork chops, 2: $1.99/lb

Costco:

  • tortilla chips: $3.21/3 lbs
  • unsalted butter: $9.79/4 lbs
  • beef flank: $17.51/3.5 lbs
  • TOTAL: $30.51
HMart:

  • pineapple: $2.99 ea
  • large eggs: $1.99/12
  • roasted seaweed: $3.99/3.5 oz
  • panko bread crumbs: $3.49/8 oz
  • frozen frog legs: $7.73/1.5 lb
  • kimchi: $4.69
  • white onions: $1.07/1.55 lb
  • cabbage: $1.37/1.99 lb
  • red potatoes: $1.92/1.49 lb
  • broccoli: $0.90/1.01 lb
  • Fuji apples $4.01/4.05 lb
  • Asian pears: $0.83/1.68 lb
  • garlic bulbs: $0.93/0.31 lb
  • cilantro: $0.25/bunch
  • scallions: $0.66/2 bunches
  • English cucumber: $0.69 ea
  • TOTAL: $37.51
......................................................................................................
112910, Stater Bros.:

  • corn tortillas: $1.99
  • olive oil: $10.99
Grand Total: $82

Friday, November 26, 2010

Hottie's Pizza, the Femme Fatale



While my brother asked yesterday if I wanted to take a plate home after Thanksgiving dinner (main course of Bacon-Wrapped Turkey!), I figured he, his roommate and my nephew would be able to kill the remaining turkey no problem, and since I was so stuffed, I declined.

What the friggidy frack was I thinking?

Tonight would be pizza delivery. From a place called Hottie's. Honestly, I was sort of skeptical about this place because of the name and the names of their pies. Blond Bombshell's, Call Girls, etc. But I'm not about judging a book by it's cover and was quite happy to find they would deliver to me.

I ordered the Femme Fatale, located under the Modern Beauty section of the pizza menu, because it comes with red sauce, mozzarella, sausage, pepperoni, Canadian bacon, roma tomatoes, onions, green bell peppers and black olives. Isn't that what makes the world go round?

My Femme Fatale showed up in this ubiquitous box.


And the pie was topped with all of the promised ingredients and came with little cups of cheese and crushed red pepper. I love that!


I pulled a slice from the pie and look, it's not all that soggy. And sort of thinnish.


The ingredient:ingredient ratios were good as well as the ingredient:cheese ratio. It reminded me a little bit of Al's New York Cafe #3 Combo.


Not too shabby. And they deliver!

Large (15") Femme Fatale, aka The Works, $20.84 + $5 toke for the driver (who I suspect also took my order based on her bubbly voice which contrasted starkly with the looks on her face) on the Visa.