Monday, March 26, 2012

Chop Suey

My family has made chop suey for years, in fact it was my parents traditional Christmas Eve dinner. Perhaps it was my dad's tribute to Christmas Story and how they go out for Chinese food when the next door neighbor's dogs eat their turkey. But I doubt it, more than likely it was because you can make a huge pot of chop suey for very little cost.

I took my family recipe added more vegetables and cut a lot of sodium out of the recipe. In fact I took the recipe down from 1 bottle to 1 tablespoon of soy sauce. Changed the meat from a pork roast to a pork tenderloin.

Chop Suey doesn't photograph well because the soy sauce turns everything a washed out brown color, so sorry about the photos. Out of curiosity can you notice anything different about the photos?

Chop Suey
1 tbs canola oil
1 pork tenderloin, sliced in to medallions and each medallion cut into 1/4
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
1/2 onion, finely diced
1/2 red pepper, finely diced
4 oz white mushrooms,  cut into quarters
1 can bamboo shoots, drained and rinsed
1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained and rinsed
1 can bean sprouts, drained and rinsed
chicken stock, enough to cover meat and veggies by 1/2 inch
1 tbs Soy Sauce

In a large pot heat the oil over medium heat. When oil is hot add the onion, celery, pepper and mushrooms. Cook until onions start to soften and become translucent. Add the pork and brown it. Add the remaining ingredients. Cook until meat and veggies are cooked through. About 1/2 hour. Serve over rice.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Bratwurst Sliders

 My wife comes from a Polish family, both mother and father. In fact her family has more ski's in it than the winter olympics. One of her comfort foods is bratwurst, so every once in a while she gets the craving for them. When we lived in Michigan this was not a big deal, but in North Carolina it is hard to find a good brat. So every so often we go looking for brats. We found some this week that were about the size of a hot dog, a good one is more like an Italian sausage. Since we had leftover slider rolls from last week Scallop Slider I decided to go with the brat slider. Just sauté up a little onion and peppers give them a squirt of yellow mustard and you are in business.
Brat Sliders
1 Brat for every 2 sliders, cut in 1/2 through middle then cut each 1/2 length ways about 90% through so it opens like a book
2 buns for every Brat
2 tbs onion, finely chopped, for 2 brats
1 tbs red pepper, finely chopped, for 2 brats
1 tbs canola oil
Yellow Mustard, to taste

Heat oil in pan over medium heat. When oil is hot add the onion and peppers. Cook until onion and peppers are soft. Remove from heat and sit aside. Add the brats and cook until they take on a good brown color. The brats can be grilled if you prefer.

Place brat on bun, top with onion and peppers and then mustard. These really beg for a beer to be served with them.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Scallop Sliders

A few weeks ago I made fun of using bacon where it doesn't belong and sliders. This week I made a slider for a reason I will get to in a minute and I included bacon. I do not consider bacon out of place with scallops as that is a classic flavor combination. As a person who has always struggled with their weight I don't believe in sliders. Sliders are smaller so they are lower in calories, but when you eat the portion you are served you almost always get more calories than if you would have ordered the regular item instead of the slider. People also tend to order more because of the smaller size and perception that they are lower in calories.
On recent trip to a restaurant my wife ordered scallop sliders. She got a large bun with one scallop on it. The bun also had a piece of lettuce and a tomato slice and a big spoonful of tartar sauce. Not a good tartar sauce but mayo with relish mixed in and a squeeze of lemon. The scallop was over cooked and had a nice rubbery texture to it. Being the foodie that I am I knew I had to make this dish and right the wrongs that the restaurant served.
As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program I am from time to time given product to test and write about if I decide to. Today the ciabatta rolls I used were purchased with a coupon provided by Alexia Foods. Alexia also gave me a Calphalon pot holder and an apron. Alexia is currently running a Reinvent a Classic contest where they are selecting a new flavor of french fries. I wanted to use my coupon to try one of the french fry flavors but I checked with 2 grocery stores 2 weeks straight and they were both out of the fries. I guess that means that the fries are excellent. If you would like to try them go to and you can get a $1 off coupon.
This recipe is based on making 4 sliders. You can adjust accordingly to make as many as you want.

Remoulade Sauce
2 tbs light mayo
1 dash of hot sauce
1 dash worcestershire sauce
1/8 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 green onion, green part only finely chopped
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp lemon juice, fresh squeezed

2 tsp smoked paprika, for color
Mix all of the ingredients together and refrigerate until scallops are ready.

4 Alexia Ciabatta rolls
4 scallops
2 slices of bacon
1 tsp canola oil
1 leaf lettuce torn into 4 pieces to fit bun
1 plum tomato, sliced into 4 slices
Turn frying pan on medium then add the bacon. Cook bacon until it turns crispy. Remove bacon from pan and add the oil. Turn heat to medium high. When the oil is shimmering add the scallops. Cook until the scallop takes on a nice brown color and then flip them over and cook until the second side turns light brown.

Cut Ciabatta rolls in half. Put lettuce, tomato and bacon on roll. Top with sauce. Then put scallop on top of that.