15
Feb 12

Shaved Asparagus and Pancetta “I Love You” Pizza

Hope you all had a great Valentine’s Day whether it was with your lover or your friends…or your dog! My hubby and I are pretty laid-back in that we like to stay in…a lot! If we eat out, it takes away the cooking part, which is one of our favorite things to do together. During the weekdays, I do most of the cooking by myself before he gets home, so I can feed the hungry hubby as soon as he comes. Today was no different, and I was excited to surprise him with my  pizza in honor of Valentine’s Day. You can see a recap of our Valentine’s Day here.

Shaved Asparagus and Pancetta “I Love You” Pizza

Ingredients:

  • store bought pizza dough (I get mine from Trader Joe’s or Sprouts.)
  • asparagus
  • diced pancetta (4 oz. package from Trader Joe’s)
  • minced garlic
  • grated mozzarella cheese
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • flour
  • red pepper flakes (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven with pizza stone (if using) at 450° (if using parchment paper) or 550°. Let dough rest outside for about 20 minutes.
  2. Shave asparagus stalks using a vegetable peeler. Season with olive oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
  3. Cook diced pancetta with minced garlic and black pepper on a small pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until cooked thoroughly. Place cooked pancetta over paper towel on a dish or bowl to soak excess grease.
  4. Lightly sprinkle flour on parchment paper or pizza pan. Roll out dough into a heart shape.
  5. Assemble with grated mozzarella cheese, shaved asparagus, pancetta, and more cheese.
  6. Bake for 10-15 minutes depending on your taste. Enjoy!

This is my least favorite part (letting the dough rest), because I’m always so eager to start assembling! But this time it didn’t matter, since there was some necessary prepping of the toppings.

Hold the woody end of the asparagus and shave away. After doing this, I wonder if a Y-shaped peeler might be easier to work with. Shave as much as you think you need for your pizza. I think I shaved about 10. Oh, and I recommend getting the thicker ones. Thin ones are a pain.

When you think you have enough, toss them in a bowl with EVOO, salt, and pepper. It’s tasty as-is too!

Cook the diced pancetta thoroughly for about 5 minutes. Admire the little bits of goodness.

Place them over a paper towel in a bowl or dish unless you want a really greasy pizza. Hey, some people might.

Now flour your surface. I used Pam Spray, because my hubby used all the flour trying to bake bread, “trying” being the operative word here. I never roll the dough. That’s hubby’s job, but today I really wanted to surprise him with the heart. I know it doesn’t look like the perfect surface, but it’s harder than imagined! But the shape is pretty darn good, isn’t it?

Generously sprinkle grated mozzarella. I like to use part skim whenever possible.

Layer with shaved asparagus, pancetta, and more mozzarella. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes, if you want to spice it up.

Send the beauty off into the oven, and bake for 10-15 minutes. Hubby likes it really browned (slightly burnt).

OK, so this was my first time using parchment paper, and I’m not sure if it’s supposed to look like this. The box says that it’s safe to 420°, but I went for 450°. Can anyone give me any input on this? But at least it looks cool.

Fancy pizza cutter, isn’t it? We got it as a gift from our dear friends, Paul & Ashley, along with the pizza stone. We love them! The stone and the cutter, I mean. But we love Paul & Ashley too.

If you’ve never tried asparagus on your pizza, try it now! You don’t even have to shave it, if you’re lazy. Just cut them in half lengthwise and then into couple inches in length. I assure you will love! For a vegetarian pizza, omit the pancetta.

Doesn’t this look like art?

Shaved Asparagus and Pancetta “I Love You” Pizza

Ingredients

• store bought pizza dough (I get mine from Trader Joe's or Sprouts.)
• asparagus
• diced pancetta (4 oz. package from Trader Joe's)
• minced garlic
• grated mozzarella cheese
• extra virgin olive oil
• salt and pepper
• flour
• red pepper flakes (optional)

Instructions

1. Preheat oven with pizza stone (if using) at 450° (if using parchment paper) or 550°. Let dough rest outside for about 20 minutes.
2. Shave asparagus stalks using a vegetable peeler. Season with olive oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
3. Cook diced pancetta with minced garlic and black pepper on a small pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until cooked thoroughly. Place cooked pancetta over paper towel on a dish or bowl to soak excess grease.
4. Lightly sprinkle flour on parchment paper or pizza pan. Roll out dough into a heart shape.
5. Assemble with grated mozzarella cheese, shaved asparagus, pancetta, and more cheese.
6. Bake for 10-15 minutes depending on your taste. Enjoy!
http://cynthiakim.com/2012/02/15/shaved-asparagus-and-pancetta-i-love-you-pizza/


09
Sep 11

Dweji Bulgogi (Spicy Pork) Tacos!

Instead of carne asada tacos, and instead of rice and dweji bulgogi, I decided to mix it up and make dweji bulgogi tacos! The best of both worlds! I think I love tacos more for the cilantro and onions than for anything else.

Remember this?? *stomach growls*

All you need to do is get some veggies ready, and you’re ready to eat! I know what you’re thinking about the perilla leaves and mint. They don’t belong here. Oh, but they do! For a low-carb meal, use the perilla leaves instead of tortillas. But if you want it all (like I do), try this…

Yum yum!!! So many fragrant veggies and more importantly, so many flavors!

Taco without a perilla leaf.  Still good, but I love me some perilla leaves!

Hungry yet?

Dweji Bulgogi (Spicy Pork) Tacos!

Ingredients

◦ pork belly (pork shoulder), 1 1/2 lbs
◦ hot pepper paste, 1/3 cup
◦ onion, 1 medium sliced
◦ garlic, 4 cloves minced
◦ ginger, 1/2 tsp minced
◦ green onions, 3 chopped
◦ green chili pepper (optional)
◦ hot pepper flakes, 2 tbsp
◦ brown sugar, 2 tbsp
◦ soy sauce, 1 tbsp
◦ black ground pepper, 1/2 tsp
◦ sesame oil, 2 tsp
◦ roasted sesame seeds
For tacos:
◦ small corn tortillas
◦ onions, cilantro, mint, perilla leaves, radish, limes

Instructions

1. In a thick bottomed wok or pan, add these ingredients: 1½ pounds (600 grams) of pork belly of bite size pieces about ¼ inch thick, onion, green onions, minced garlic, minced ginger, chopped green chili pepper (optional), hot pepper paste, hot pepper flakes, brown sugar, soy sauce, black pepper, and sesame oil.
2. Heat up the pan over high heat.
3. Mix and stir all ingredients with a wooden spoon, until the pork is cooked thoroughly. It’ll take about 10 minutes, and the onion will look translucent and mushy when it’s done.
For tacos:
4. Assemble tacos by with dweji bulgogi, tortillas, and your choice of veggies.
http://cynthiakim.com/2011/09/09/dweji-bulgogi-spicy-pork-tacos/


08
Sep 11

Spicy Stir-Fried Pork (Dweji Bulgogi)

I don’t know about you, but I have a love-hate relationship with pork. I love pork and everything it stands for…like yummy, fatty, greasy deliciousness. But I feel so guilty, because it’s so yummy, fatty, and greasy! What’s a girl to do??? When in doubt, just enjoy. Life’s too short.

I usually make this when I don’t feel like making such a mess in the kitchen and can’t think of anything else. It’s super easy and quick! Almost too easy! Recipe is from Maangchi, of course. Thanks, Maangchi!

Dweji Bulgogi

Ingredients:

  • pork belly (pork shoulder), 1 1/2 lbs
  • hot pepper paste, 1/3 cup
  • onion, 1 medium sliced
  • garlic, 4 cloves minced
  • ginger, 1/2 tsp minced
  • green onions, 3 chopped
  • green chili pepper (optional)
  • hot pepper flakes, 2 tbsp
  • brown sugar, 2 tbsp
  • soy sauce, 1 tbsp
  • black ground pepper, 1/2 tsp
  • sesame oil, 2 tsp
  • roasted sesame seeds

Directions:

  1. In a thick bottomed wok or  pan, add these ingredients: 1½ pounds (600 grams) of pork belly of bite size pieces about ¼ inch thick, onion, green onions, minced garlic, minced ginger, chopped green chili pepper (optional), hot pepper paste, hot pepper flakes, brown sugar, soy sauce, black pepper, and sesame oil.
  2. Heat up the pan over high heat.
  3. Mix and stir all ingredients with a wooden spoon, until the pork is cooked thoroughly. It’ll take about 10 minutes, and the onion will look translucent and mushy when it’s done.
  4. Transfer it to a serving plate and serve with a bowl of rice, some lettuce, a few more side dishes (if you want), some soup, and kimchi.

Watch how easy this is!

I always have some pork belly in the freezer for those “in case of emergency” days. You know…those “don’t feel like cooking”/”don’t have much time”/don’t have much in the kitchen” days.

You can get the chunks of pork belly that are not sliced up like this. I like the chunks even better, but I’m just working with what I have. Plus, it was more appropriate for what I did with this dish (which will be a later post…hint hint).

I know this will be frowned upon by many of you, but I did trim the fat off of some of the pieces. Hey! I have three weddings to attend in the next month! But as you can see, there is still plenty of fatty goodness left.

These are all the veggies you need. So easy and you should have all of these in your kitchen anyways! I used a jalapeño instead of green chili pepper. And yes, I used 75% more garlic than Maangchi’s recipe calls for. But you expected that, right?

Prepare all your veggies…

And throw them into the pan with the pork.

Then add all of the other ingredients: hot pepper paste, hot pepper flakes, brown sugar, soy sauce, black pepper, and sesame oil. Beautiful, isn’t it?

Take one more look.

Mix, mix, mix over high heat continuously for about 10 minutes or until the pork is cooked. I’m so hungry now!

Transfer to a plate, sprinkle some sesame seeds, and dig in! Check back tomorrow, and I’ll show you what I did with this!

Spicy Stir-Fried Pork (Dweji Bulgogi)

Ingredients

◦ pork belly (pork shoulder), 1 1/2 lbs
◦ hot pepper paste, 1/3 cup
◦ onion, 1 medium sliced
◦ garlic, 4 cloves minced
◦ ginger, 1/2 tsp minced
◦ green onions, 3 chopped
◦ green chili pepper (optional)
◦ hot pepper flakes, 2 tbsp
◦ brown sugar, 2 tbsp
◦ soy sauce, 1 tbsp
◦ black ground pepper, 1/2 tsp
◦ sesame oil, 2 tsp
◦ roasted sesame seeds

Instructions

1. In a thick bottomed wok or pan, add these ingredients: 1½ pounds (600 grams) of pork belly of bite size pieces about ¼ inch thick, onion, green onions, minced garlic, minced ginger, chopped green chili pepper (optional), hot pepper paste, hot pepper flakes, brown sugar, soy sauce, black pepper, and sesame oil.
2. Heat up the pan over high heat.
3. Mix and stir all ingredients with a wooden spoon, until the pork is cooked thoroughly. It’ll take about 10 minutes, and the onion will look translucent and mushy when it’s done.
http://cynthiakim.com/2011/09/08/spicy-stir-fried-pork-dweji-bulgogi/


02
Sep 11

Prosciutto Pizza with Artichokes, Olives, and…EGGS!

I don’t know if you’re a fan, but I am! I’m talking about eggs on your pizza. Runny, yolky eggs! I always wanted to try it, but the hubby was not a fan of the idea. This time, I won.

Prosciutto Pizza with Artichokes, Olives, and Eggs

Ingredients:

  • Pizza dough (I buy mine.)
  • Tomato sauce, 6 tbsp (I made my own using tomato paste.)
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Artichokes hearts (can or jar)
  • Black pitted olives
  • Eggs (however many as you please)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Directions: Prepare your pizza dough. Drizzle EVOO on a baking sheet and spread evenly. Place rolled out dough on a baking sheet and then spread tomato sauce on top. Tear up artichokes and olives and scatter over pizza. Lay mozzarella slices all over pizza. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Crack eggs over pizza, and bake at 450° for 10-15 minutes. Take out of the oven, and immediately lay prosciutto slices all over. remove from baking sheet, and enjoy!

First things first. Clean your counter top (I cleaned mine so clean, you can see the clock reflection!) and let your store bought pizza dough get to room temp (about 20 minutes). I don’t make my own pizza dough. I’m not that ambitious. I used to buy mine at Trader Joe’s, but now I get it at Henry’s. They have Il Fornaio pizza dough for a little for $2. I think it rolls better than TJ’s. But that’s just me.

Oh, beautiful prosciutto. Thank you for gracing me with your presence.

This step is optional: Get a slice and eat it. It’ll make you happier.

And repeat (again, optional). Make sure you have some left over for the pizza.

Roll out your pizza dough with a pizza roller, wine bottle, beer bottle, or whatever you have around. I never bought a roller, because I don’t want a giant kitchen tool taking up space. Besides, getting an empty wine bottle is more fun. Don’t you agree?

Get your toppings ready. Slice your mozzarella. You can use shredded or fresh mozzarella logs and slice those up. I thought you had to smash the olives with a knife like you do with garlic, but it was totally unnecessary.

I had an open can of tomato paste I used for something else, so I decided to make my own tomato sauce instead of buying it. All you need to do is add about 1 1/2 to 2 times as much water, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and oregano.  Easy! Or you can skip tomato sauce altogether. I usually don’t use and red sauce on my pizzas but thought I’d try something different. In other words, I wanted to use up that open can of tomato paste.

Now, time to put the pizza together!  My favorite part! I have a round pizza pan, but I like using a baking sheet now. I feel like it looks more artsy, especially when the dough is not a perfect rectangle. Anyways, drizzle some EVOO on a baking sheet and spread it evenly with a napkin or your hands if you please. That was too much olive oil in my photo BTW. Then place your dough on the baking sheet and spread your tomato sauce. Layer all your toppings, and don’t be shy, especially with the cheese…and artichokes…and olives.

MK didn’t want eggs on the pizza. As you can see, I won.

Isn’t that so pretty? Looks like an art piece. Don’t forget the salt and pepper! I did.

Pop it in your pre-heated oven at 450° for 10-15 minutes. And this is what you get. But wait, there’s more! (infomercial voice)

If you have any prosciutto left, place the slices all over the pizza.

Now it’s complete. Match made in heaven.

Get your slicer out, and cut into squares, rectangles, hearts, whatever. Although I guess a heart would be difficult. Oh, and I couldn’t find a wine bottle equivalent for a slicer, so I have a slicer. Boo.

Try it at home this instant and tell me how good it is!

Prosciutto Pizza with Artichokes, Olives, and…EGGS!

Ingredients

◦ Pizza dough (I buy mine.)
◦ Tomato sauce, 6 tbsp (I made my own using tomato paste.)
◦ Mozzarella cheese
◦ Artichokes hearts (can or jar)
◦ Black pitted olives
◦ Eggs (however many as you please)
◦ Extra virgin olive oil
◦ Salt and pepper

Instructions

Prepare your pizza dough. Drizzle EVOO on a baking sheet and spread evenly. Place rolled out dough on a baking sheet and then spread tomato sauce on top. Tear up artichokes and olives and scatter over pizza. Lay mozzarella slices all over pizza. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Crack eggs over pizza, and bake at 450° for 10-15 minutes. Take out of the oven, and immediately lay prosciutto slices all over. remove from baking sheet, and enjoy!
http://cynthiakim.com/2011/09/02/prosciutto-pizza-with-artichokes-olives-and-eggs/


17
Aug 11

Pulled Pork Sliders with Mardi Gras Slaw

The pulled pork from the 16-hour smoking session was absolutely glorious.  I couldn’t believe how juicy and tender it was!  Actually, I can, because I’m eating it again as I write this post!  And you can really taste the honey in each bite!  Mmm mmm mmm…

Remember this?  Please hold while I take another bite…

We made little sliders with none other than King’s Hawaiian bread.  If you’re gonna make sliders, might as well take it back to the old school.  That’s how I roll. Get it?

Cut them in half, and spread the love butter.

Toast and watch the butter melt.  Take a giant whiff.  Happiness.

Whip up some Mardi Gras Slaw…so pretty, so yummy.

Top the buttered bottom (that sounds cute) with some pulled pork, coleslaw, and top half of the roll.

Now go wash it down with some frosty beer!

Take one last look.  Lovely.


15
Aug 11

Hanging with Mr. Brown: Pulled Pork

My hubby, AKA MK, loves to BBQ whether it’s for a big group of friends or for just the two of us…like all the time.  I know…I’m so lucky! So since we got a smoker a couple of months ago, we’ve been carnivores!  MK still has his heart set on the BGE (Big Green Egg), but I had to put my foot down for now.  So, we got the next best option.  Meet R2-D2!  Haha…it’s really called the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker AKA the Weber Bullet. This bad boy is a champ too!  All the competitions use this guy.  $1000 for BGE vs. $350 for R2-D2…I think this is more than excellent for our first smoker.  Sorry, honey…BGE will have to wait.

We went to Costco on Saturday and picked up a giant pork shoulder. We had to save the other half for later. But here he is (half of what we bought).  Say ‘hi’ to Wilbur.  (Sorry.)

MK’s directions for smoked pulled pork (courtesy of the Weber Bullet Forum)…which we smoked for about 16 hours this time!  It was smoking away overnight and until the next day after church and a trip to the market!  We got home and finally ate around 1 or 2 PM after all the other prep.  Can you imagine how tender it was??

Summary

  1. Purchase boneless or bone-in pork butts.
  2. Trim excess fat.
  3. Apply half of the Mr. Brown Rub and refrigerate overnight, then apply more rub just before cooking.
  4. Cook at 225-250°F to an internal temperature of 190°F in smoker with any fruit wood (we use chunk apple wood).
  5. Baste with Southern Sop during cooking (Mr. Brown rub leftover plus apple juice).
  6. Wrap in aluminum foil and hold in an empty ice chest until ready to serve.
  7. Pull meat and serve with barbecue sauce on the side.

Here’s the recipe for ‘Mr. Brown’ (spice medley) that turns into that beautiful, dark, crispy outer crust bark.

Mr. Brown

  • 1/4 cup ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 1/4 cup Turbinado sugar (aka suger in the raw)
  • 2 Tablespoons table salt
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

It’s in a baggie, because we had some left over from another BBQ.  Do you like my “Mr. Brown” label?

Finally!!  Look at that beast beauty!  Now, time to shred the bad boy!  I left that to MK.  He seems to have fun doing it.  Wait, actually, he did everything.  I prepped other stuff.

Is he making a heart with this hands?  I just saw that now.  I heart you, too.

Go ahead…take a bite.  I know you want to.  Now, you can slather with any BBQ sauce you want, but we have to do it the right way. No, we didn’t make BBQ sauce from scratch.  Try this…you’ll like it.

MK’s BBQ “Secret” Recipe

KC Masterpiece Private Stock Reserve (real sugar)
Honey
5 parts BBQ sauce to 1 part honey

He uses KC Masterpiece.  BUT, please note the following (from another forum member):

This contains HFCS (high fructose corn syrup). KC Masterpiece finally came out with a pure cane sugar version (much better for grilling/carmelizes better on meats). It’s only available at Costco, sold as KC Masterpiece Private Reserve. YUM!

Sam’s Club sells KC Masterpiece Private Stock with HFCS.

Yay for Costco!  We picked that up too.  Boo for Sam’s Club.

Mr. Honey Bear meet Mr. KC made with real sugar.  Reserve, baby.

Pour…

Mix…

Drool…

It was the…best…pulled pork…EVER!!!  I’ve never had pulled pork so juicy and tender.  I wanted to post what we did with the pulled pork, but I’m getting tired.  It’s going to have to wait until later.  Trust me…you’ll want to check back.

Stay tuned…

Hanging with Mr. Brown: Pulled Pork

Ingredients

Mr. Brown
◦ 1/4 cup ground black pepper
◦ 1/4 cup paprika
◦ 1/4 cup Turbinado sugar (aka suger in the raw)
◦ 2 Tablespoons table salt
◦ 2 teaspoons dry mustard
◦ 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions

Pulled Pork
1. Purchase boneless or bone-in pork butts.
2. Trim excess fat.
3. Apply half of the Mr. Brown Rub and refrigerate overnight, then apply more rub just before cooking.
4. Cook at 225-250°F to an internal temperature of 190°F in smoker with any fruit wood (we use chunk apple wood).
5. Baste with Southern Sop during cooking (Mr. Brown rub leftover plus apple juice).
6. Wrap in aluminum foil and hold in an empty ice chest until ready to serve.
7. Pull meat and serve with barbecue sauce on the side.
http://cynthiakim.com/2011/08/15/hanging-with-mr-brown/


11
Aug 11

Fresh Spring Rolls

One of my besties, Hannah, gave the girls this simple and yummy idea during our recent girls’ trip to Warner Springs.  I don’t know why we never thought of doing this before!  It’s so fresh, tasty, and fun!  It does take some prep time, but what doesn’t, right?

Here is her recipe…literally cut and pasted from her iPhone.

Recipe……..

Viet rice wrap (use large bowl of cool water at the table to dip dry rice discs through before adding fillings)
Vermicelli noodles (boiled and cooled)
Fish sauce (dilute w water, lime juice, touch of minced garlic)
Garlic chili sauce

Meats u can use any or all of the following:
Shrimp (just got frozen packs at hk mart)
Bulgogi
Spicy dweji bulgogi
Chicken bulgogi

Produce (pick n choose what u like) or use all for a fancy feast:

Sliced Bell pepper
Sliced White onion
Sliced jalapeño
Mint
Cilantro
Sliced gehnip
Sliced napa cabbage
Spinach
Avocado
Sook joo namool (bean sprout)

Prepped produce looks great arranged around a circular platter with noodles piled in the middle.

Here we go!

I only got the essential veggies.  And by “essential,” I mean the ones that I can’t live without.  First, rinse the easy ones (no knife necessary): sook joo namool AKA mung bean sprouts, cilantro, and mint.  No, I’m not at a pho restaurant.

Chop, chop, chop…OK, so carrots aren’t really one of my essentials, but I just added them for color since I had some sliced up anyways. But the rest are absolutely necessary (again, for me).

Next, the stars of the show: the rice noodles and rice paper wraps.  Zion market in SD didn’t have rice papers…bummer!  So I went to 99 Ranch which is, thankfully, not too far.  I’m glad though, because the selection was way better than what the Korean market here would have carried.  I forgot to snap a shot of the noodles before I tore open the bag.  Oops.

Boil and cool the noodles.  I usually limit my carb intake, but I couldn’t resist for this meal.

Next, prepare the fish sauce.  I don’t like to buy fish sauce that’s been flavored, because you end up buying a bottle that’s 75% water, vinegar and sugar.  So, I bought a bottle of straight fish sauce (be careful…it’s a stinker), and I added a lot of vinegar, some water, brown sugar, chili sauce, and…a…whole…lotta…garlic.  Oh, and I stole some carrots from the veggie prep to make it look like how it comes out at Vietnamese restaurants…except the carrots are thinly shredded at the restaurants.  But whatever.  I’m still fancy.

Now, on to the meats.  You can use any kind of meat, or if you want to keep it veggie-style, you can do that too!  But I’m a meat girl, so I got two kinds.  I normally don’t buy pre-marinated meats at the markets, because I’m pretty sure they use a ton of sugar and other stuff I don’t care for.  But I knew the prep would take too long, so I had to give in to pre-marinated Korean short ribs and spicy pork shoulder. Besides, you’re not eating much meat in quantity, if you think about it.

And there you go!  Oh, forgot to mention…the rice papers are really stiff out of the bag.  You have to dip it in a bowl of water, hence the silver pan of water. But only dip for a couple of seconds, as it’ll continue to soften on your plate!

Gettin’ my first roll on!  Looks like it’s a gonna be a fatty.  I was warned of being greedy and stuffing too much in one roll.  But I’m an overdoer when it comes to food.  Please excuse the ugly disposable plates.

Not bad for my first roll.  It looks kind of messy, since it’s see-though.  At least I garnished it with some mint!  Hubby thought it was the best meal we ever had at home.  Really??  I don’t know how I feel about that comment.

What do you think?  Would you try this at home?