Korean-inspired Pizza

Well I’m back, and I want to apologize fo my long hiatus.  But as you can imagine, I was on winter break and preoccupied.  This recipe actually comes somewhat from an experience I had while I was traveling to India this past December.  We always take Korean Airlines to India which means that we have a layover in Seoul, South Korea.  During our 3 hour layover there, my dad convinced me to get a kimchi noodle bowl.  It was just about the best thing I have ever put in my mouth.  Don’t get me wrong, I have definitely had kimchi before, but this just reminded me how much I loved it.

Then after coming back from India, I had my wisdom teeth out and was in front of the TV for a week which obviously meant I watched the Food Network.  On one show, a restaurant’s specialty was a Korean pizza.  It then clicked in my head that kimchi would taste delicious on a pizza with a few other ingredients, and I decided to make it as soon as my mouth was healed enough to enjoy it!

So with all that in mind, here is the recipe for Bacon Kimchi Pizza:

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Ingredients
  • 1 ball store-bought pizza dough
  • Organic tomato sauce (about ½ of a 15 oz. can)
  • Freshly grated low-moisture mozzarella cheese (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup kimchi, coarsely chopped
  • 4 strips crispy cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 3 scallions, root ends trimmed
  • drizzle of sesame oil
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 500°F and place a rack in the lowest possible position. Lightly grease a pizza pan or rimmed baking sheet with non-stick spray or olive oil OR if you own a pizza stone, place it in the oven before you turn it on, and let it heat up.
  2. Stretch pizza dough into a round shape large enough to fit your pizza pan or to fit on pizza stone. Use flour or cornmeal to make the dough easily slide from the wooden pizza board to the stone in the oven.
  3. Start by spooning on the tomato sauce. Using the back of the spoon, spread the tomato sauce evenly over the dough. (Less is more when it comes to tomato sauce.) Next, sprinkle cheese then chopped kimchi and crumbled bacon over the pizza. Thinly slice white and light green parts of each scallion and scatter on the pizza. Thinly slice remaining dark green stalks on a bias and reserve.
  4. Transfer pizza to the preheated oven and cook until the crust is golden brown (on a pizza pan about 11 – 13 minutes, on a stone 5-6 minutes). Remove pizza from the oven and let cool for a few moments.
  5. Finish with a sprinkling of sliced scallion greens and a small drizzle of sesame oil. Cut pizza into even slices and serve hot.

Recipe adapted from kitchenkonfidence.com

Hope this encourages some of you to use delicious ingredients in new ways!  It certainly made me think out of the box! Enjoy!

Shrimp, Mushroom, and Asparagus Risotto

Rice is a staple food in many cultures and is a very versatile ingredient.  Growing up with an Indian (and jewish) background, we had a lot of rice with our meals.  But surprisingly it wasn’t until college that I actually made rice by myself.  It’s a pretty easy process, and if you have a rice cooker (which I have not yet invested in) it’s even easier.  It’s a great grain to eat with sauces too because it soaks it right up.

Risotto is also a type of rice (Arborio Rice) but unlike many other types of rices, it is much more starchy.  This scared me a little because I wasn’t sure what that mean cooking-wise.  I had only really eaten risotto in restaurants before this, so I was cautious around the idea of making a risotto dish.  But my roommate Liz seemed to know the basic process, so I decided to give this recipe a try.

Here is the recipe for Shrimp, Mushroom, and Asparagus Risotto:

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Ingredients

  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound white mushrooms, chopped
  • 10-15 spears of asparagus, chopped
  • 12 oz uncooked shrimp
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • sea salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a saucepan, warm the broth over low heat.
  2. Warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the mushrooms and asparagus and cook until mushrooms are soft, about 3 minutes. Add shrimp and cook until barely firm.  Remove all contents from pan and set aside.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to skillet.  Add rice, stirring to coat with oil, about 2 minutes. When the rice has taken on a pale, golden color, pour in wine, stirring constantly until the wine is fully absorbed. Add 1/2 cup broth to the rice, and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. After the rice is done, turn heat to low and add the mushrooms, asparagus ,and shrimp back to the rice.  Cook for about 3 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat, add salt and pepper, and serve.

This recipe ended up being a lot easier than I anticipated.  It took a little longer than regular rice, but because of the chicken broth, the rice was a lot more flavorful then I expected.  This is now one a go-to recipe for Liz and I because the steps and ingredients are simple and the result is delicious! Enjoy!

Not-Your-Typical Mac and Cheese

I have always loved cheese.  Growing up, cheese and crackers were a regular snack in my family.  Now that I’m in college, I can’t exactly go out and buy all those nicer cheeses because I just don’t have the money, so I try and find other ways to fit it into my eating habits.

Traditional boxed mac and cheese is a college staple.  All you have to do is heat up some water, add it to the pasta, and pour in the cheese powder.  But…CHEESE POWDER?? That is definitely not what I want to be eating.  If I am going to be eating cheese, it should at least be real and not have orange food coloring in it!  So this recipe is my solution.  Yes, it takes a little longer than instant mac and cheese, but it is so worth it.  It has other ingredients like broccoli and chicken that make you feel better about what you are eating too.  You also get REAL cheese in your macaroni, not some fake powdered nonsense.  So get rid of your boxed college food, and get cooking with some real cheese!

Here is the recipe for the Broccoli Sundried Tomato Mac and Cheese

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Serves 4

Ingredients:
8oz large macaroni noodles
3 cups small broccoli florets
2 large chicken breasts (about 1lb), cut into bite-sized pieces
salt & pepper
2 teaspoons oil (I used oil from the sun-dried tomatoes)
6oz Laughing Cow Lite Cheese Wedges (I used Garlic & Herb)
3/4 – 1 cup milk
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

Directions:

  1. Cook macaroni noodles in a large pot of salted, boiling water. Add broccoli to the pot 3 minutes before noodles are done cooking, then drain well and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, season chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add chicken and cook until no longer pink. Remove to a plate and set aside. In the same skillet, add cheese, milk, sun-dried tomatoes, salt, and pepper, then stir until cheese is melted, and sauce is thick. Add cooked chicken, noodles, and broccoli to the skillet then stir well to combine. Add more milk if sauce isn’t creamy enough, then serve.

Recipe Courtesy of http://iowagirleats.com/

For this recipe, I thought that Laughing Cow was a great idea because it is creamy, lite, and it is a really good melting cheese.  It also does not cost too much, and to top it off, only 35 calories a wedge! Enjoy!

EXTRA! Here is a little example of the prep process!