Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Bunuelos: Fried Sugary Fun!


Crispy, addicting, sweet, and comforting- Bunuelos, pronounced "boon-whey-Lows" are traditionally made and served on New Year's. The dough is similar to flour tortilla dough, which is rolled out super thin, fried, and then sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. i used to make these every year with my grandma when i was a kid. She would always call me specially to help her out, because it can be tricky to fry and sugar bunuelos all at once.

1/2 cup +2 TBS Flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
1 TBS Shortening (or coconut oil)
1/4 cup hot water
1/2 egg white
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    plus additional flour for rolling dough
    plus oil for frying, such as vegetable, peanut, or coconut

Whisk together flour, salt and baking powder. Add shortening and water, mix slightly, till water has cooled a bit. Add egg and mix well till it comes together into a dough ball. turn out to a lightly floured board and knead a few times to make a smooth cohesive dough. Press dough into a flat even disk, cut in half. Cut one of the halves in half, then cut each of those pieces into even thirds. Repeat with other Half of dough, forming 12 evenly sized pieces of dough. Now is a good time to get everything ready for cooking. Heat your pan with oil, medium high heat. Get cooling rack and place it over a plate this will drain off excess oil and catch excess sugar (You can also use a plate with paper towels). Mix you sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl and put a small spoon in it. Okay, now your ready to roll. Knead a piece of dough into a small ball. Flour rolling surface lightly and rolling pin. Roll out as thin as possible. If i am doing these with out help, i like to roll out 2 or 3 before i begin cooking to give myself a head start. Fry till brown and crispy on both sides. Remove from oil, place on rack. Allow oil to drain a few seconds ( Place next round into oil), then sprinkle with sugar on both sides. Shake off excess sugar, and place on a plate. Roll another round, and continue. Keep in an airtight container for 3-5 days, though i doubt they will sit around longer than 1 day.

SERVING SIZE:  Two 4"disks. Serves 3.

OTHER FLAVORS: Though it is not something my grandma ever did, these are also traditionally served with a drizzle of honey. Which sounds good, i'll let you know when i try it.

CHEAPER: This is as cheap as it gets, folks. 

FASTER: hmmm. i am not sure there is a Quick way to fry a bunch of bunuelos. Sorry.

HEALTHIER: Fried foods are NOT health foods. This is a special treat!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Spicy Ramen: Ramen With Intensity!

Today's Feature is....

Spicy Ramen!


We are back in action with my new camera i got for my birthday! i hope you all are excited! i have so many new things to share with you! I will be cooking from my "Mock Kitchen" i set up in my cabin in Sequoia National Park, which is complete with a Mini Fridge, Double Burner Hot Plate and a Kick ass Deluxe sized Toaster Oven! (i know it's not an ideal setting, but i still make magic happen!).

Anyhow, about the recipe:
     This is a recipe i came up with after having a lot of trouble finding "Ramen" Packages That did not contain MSG and suited my taste. This recipe is inspired by a Korean Soup i like a lot called Yuk Gae Jang, Which is a spicy beef broth with shredded beef and mung bean sprouts. I did not have sprouts on the day i shot this, so it is missing that, but it still tasted fantastic.

Feel free to change this recipe in any way you like. 

1 quart (4 cups) water
4 cloves fresh garlic or 2tsp granulated
Spice Mix:
1/2 tsp Cayanne
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
1 TBS Soy sauce + more to taste (Soy is used rather than salt in this recipe)
2 tsp vinegar (Cider vinegar shown, but you can also use rice or white.)
1 TBS sake or Mirin
2 Tsp Chicken Paste or enough Bouillon for 2 cups

1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup cubed tofu
1 cup Mung Bean Sprouts

1 block Ramen

Set pot on stove and heat to high. Pour in water. Press or slice garlic (Slice for milder garlic flavor, press for stronger flavor) and add to water. Measure out spices and add to soup. Add Mushrooms and spouts. Allow to simmer 1 minute. add cubed tofu and ramen. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, till ramen is soft. (other brands of ramen noodle may require less cooking time. start with 3 minutes and taste every minute if you are not sure.) Serve hot! Top with Sliced Green onion if you like.

1 Bowl, This recipe serves 2.5 or so.

This recipe is easy to modify how ever you like. here are some ideas that i have tested.

Milder Ramen:
Substitute you favorite chili powder for cayanne.

Chicken Ramen:
Substitute Black pepper for Cayanne and leave out chili flakes.
for veggies, use 1/2 Cup Canned or frozen corn (if using can, add water from can to enhance flavor of broth) and 1/4 cup frozen peas.

Japanese Style recipe:
Substitute 1 1/2 tsp Bonito Dashi Powder for Chicken paste, omit cayanne. Top with Saute'd shrimp or fried egg.

CHEAPER: Dude, this recipe is cheap already, but if you must, you can make just soup with ramen and top with a fried egg instead of cooking veggies and tofu.

FASTER: if you like this recipe and want to make it all the time, you can double or triple the spice mix and mix it into a paste, and stir it into hot water with ramen later on to save time. i have not tried this, but i thought about it, this recipe is fast enough for me as is. if you try it, lemme know how long that lasts.

HEALTHIER: This soup is super healthy, it can be a tad high in sodium, so that would be the only thing i would cut back on. ( think soy sauce and chicken paste.)

Omit chicken paste, and this is the perfect vegetarian lunch.

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