who can imagine a more romantic meal than…

a LOCO MOCO!!!! heart-stopping goodness. how appropriate!

loco moco

i am behind on posting stuff, but i was really excited about making loco mocos today so i am posting the deliciousness now.

i’ve been meaning to make this for a while since after winter break cameron got a hamburger recipe from his mom, and we found a gravy recipe online.

hamburger
from better homes cookbook

1 beaten egg
2 tbl milk or water
3/4 cup soft bread crumbs (1 slice) or 1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs
2 tbl chopped onion or 1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tbl prepared mustard or 1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 clove garlic, minced, of 1/8 tsp garlic powder (optional)
1 lb. ground beef, ground pork, ground veal, or ground lamb

1. in a mixing bowl combine egg and milk or water. stir in bread crumbs; onion; mustard; garlic, if desired. 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper.

2. add meat, mix well. shape meat mixture into 4 3/4-inch thick or 6 1/2-inch thick patties.

hamburger patties

3. place patties on the unheated rack of a broiler pan. broil 3-4 inches from heat for 15-18 minutes for 3/4-inch patties (10-12 minutes for 1/2-inch patties) or until no pink remains. turn once. serves 4-6.

hamburger patties

comments: we used ground sirloin (cameron’s mom told us to), and i put extra onions. yum. really easy, but very tasty.

gravy
from big island grinds

gravy

1 can good beef broth
flour for thickening
dash of worcestershire sauce
1 tbl butter

1. Pour a little broth into the same pan and incorporate the yumyums, then pour in the rest of the broth.
2. Bring to a boil and let reduce for about 3-5 minutes or so, depending on taste, for a more potent gravy.
3. Turn down heat to a simmer.
4. Add couple dashes of worcestershire sauce.
5. In a seperate bowl, mix flour with some water.
6. Using a whisk, slowly whisk in the flour/water mixture until gravy is nicely thick & smooth.
7. Turn off heat and mix in the butter until well blended.

comments: the reason i used this recipe is because i trust this man james. if you read his blog, he is a loco moco connoisseur. he even has a whole rating system for loco mocos! this gravy was also really easy and fast, but delicious.

assemblage:
first, a nice layer of rice

rice

patty

then the egg (with yolk intact and runny)

rice + patty + egg

then GRAVY!!!

loco moco

then, attack!

loco moco

mmm, that is truly delicious stuff. and the egg was nice and runny :)

techno gummi bears!

techno bears

when jen was here for christmas, she told me that you can buy 5 lb. of gummi bears on amazon. i couldn’t find the normal haribo gummi bears, but i did find techno bears (don’t accidentally buy the sugar free gummi bears! that is nasty). they are similar to the normal ones, but they have a metallic shimmer and more exciting flavors. plus, you can get super saver shipping!

techno bears unite
they are also much more empowered than the normal ones.

my favorite flavor is the red one, which i think is watermelon. so far we think the other flavors are lemon for yellow, raspberry for blue, grape for purple, and green is some mysterious tasty thing. these are highly recommended. thanks for the tip, jen!

irish beef stew

a couple weeks ago, lena showed me the food blog awards at wellfed.net and then we seriously spent like two hours looking at delicious food and finding good food blogs. the one i fell most in love with was simply recipes, which won for best food blog overall. this site is updated almost daily with recipes elise makes, and there are good photos to go along with them. the recipes are also mostly very simple but delicious looking. some other food blogs i found had gorgeous pictures and food, but i can’t see myself making such fancy things.

also, now that i subscribe to ten food blogs, i want to say that i love google reader.

the first recipe i tried from elise’s site is the irish beef stew. i had 2.5 pounds of beef stew in the freezer that i was going to use for chili, but then i discovered vegetarian chili, and now i’m too lazy to make meat chili.

irish beef stew

irish beef stew
(from simply recipes)

1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/4 pounds stew beef, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 large garlic cloves, minced
6 cups beef stock or canned beef broth
I cup of Guinness beer
1 cup of fine red wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 7 cups)
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled carrots
Salt and Pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add beef and sauté until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add beef stock, Guinness, red wine, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, then cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

beef simmering

2 While the meet and stock is simmering, melt butter in another large pot over medium heat. Add potatoes, onion and carrots. Sauté vegetables until golden, about 20 minutes.

veggies

3 Add vegetables to beef stew. Simmer uncovered until vegetables and beef are very tender, about 40 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Tilt pan and spoon off fat. Transfer stew to serving bowl. Sprinkle with parsley and serve. (Can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. Salt and pepper to taste. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before serving.)

beef stew

Serves 4 to 6.

comments: this was a tasty and easy stew to make. i used some california red wine i found at ralphs, and i used foster’s beer instead of guiness. i didn’t want to buy a whole 6-pack of guiness, so i paced around the beer section a long time trying to figure out which other beer would be a good substitute. that was kind of useless though since i don’t have any idea how all the beers compare in taste. so i finally decided to do the asian thing and buy the cheapest one. the foster’s seemed to work just fine, and the stew had some really nice flavors. after i made it, i still had a lot of liquid though, so i took out most of the liquid and cooked that down for a little while, and also spooned off more of the oil. i also added celery and turnips, and used red potatoes instead of russets because i like them, and they were pretty cheap. i used more meat too, but i had A LOT of potatoes and veggies, so it was still pretty well-balanced. conclusion: this stew is great.

sunday brunch

lena found a waffle maker in the house, and then found a recipe called “waffle of insane greatness,” so last sunday the roomies and i made a big, delicious sunday brunch. it was a lot of fun and tons of food. i think everyone food coma’d after that meal.

lena made the waffles…

lena and waffles
lena, the waffle maker, and her beautiful waffle

waffle of insane greatness
Recipe courtesy Aretha Frankensteins
from food network ($40 a day with rachael ray – chattanooga, TN episode)

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk or buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Butter and syrup, for serving

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; mix well. Add the milk, vegetable oil, egg, sugar and vanilla and mix well. Let the batter sit for 30 minutes.Preheat a waffle iron. Do not use non-stick spray on the waffle iron; the oil in the batter will allow the waffle to release easily. Follow the directions on your waffle iron to cook the waffles. Serve immediately with butter and syrup.

waffles

comments: mmm… these waffles were really delicious. nice and crispy on the outside, softer inside, and delicious all over. lena bought some maple syrup for the waffles. we also put nutella on them.

wei decided to make crepes…

sweet crepes
Recipe courtesy Dave Lieberman
from food network (good deal with dave lieberman)

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons salt
1 cup milk (preferably whole)
2 eggs
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon melted butter, plus more for cooking crepes
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Serving suggestions:
Jam
Honey
Sugar
Chocolate hazelnut spread (recommended: Nutella)
Peanut butter
Sliced bananas

Put the flour and salt and in a large mixing bowl. Gradually whisk in the milk. Whisk in the eggs, 1 at a time, and then whisk in the sugar, melted butter, and vanilla. Cover and let rest in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.

Heat an 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Melt a small pat of butter in the pat and swirl around so that it lightly coats the surface.

Add 1/3 cup of the batter and move your wrist in a circular pattern to coat the pan with thin even layer of batter. Cook for about 1 minute or until the first side browns lightly, then flip and cook 45 seconds to 1 minute longer. Remove to a plate and repeat with remaining batter.

Fill with jam, honey, sugar, chocolate hazelnut spread, peanut butter, bananas – anything sweet that you enjoy from your pantry.

crepes

comments: wei’s crepes turned out really well too. lena and i thought wei was pretty ambitious to try making crepes, but wei said it was easy, and they turned out very tasty. i think wei doubled the recipe, so she made ~15 crepes i think. wei also cut up some bananas and kiwis. i had a couple banana and nutella crepes. soooooooooooo good.

shelley made some tasty potatoes…

potatoes

comments: shelley said she used garlic and butter to season the potatoes, and then she baked them for a while. they were nice and crunchy on the outside. yum!

i decided to make eggs benedict (because i love hollandaise)…

eggs benedict

first i made the hollandaise sauce that we made in cooking class. it was pretty easy to make. just keep that whisk moving. mmm…
buttery goodness

hollandaise

then i poached the eggs. i found a recipe on the food network site.

poached eggs

poached eggs
from food network (emeril)

3 cups water
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil with the vinegar and salt in a small saucepan over high heat.Crack an egg into a cup and slide the egg gently into the water. Crack another egg into the cup and while the water returns to a boil, slide this egg into the water as well. Repeat with the third egg. When the water returns to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the eggs are set. Watch carefully and remove the eggs when the yolks are still soft, about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. (Test by lifting an egg slightly out of the water on a slotted spoon and gently pressing the center with your finger; the yolk should be soft and the white firm.)

Drain on paper towels. Poached eggs can be made ahead and immersed in a bowl of water in the refrigerator. Reheat by immersing briefly in simmering water.

i microwaved the turkey ham we bought, and then toasted the english muffins and assembled. mmm… so tasty. look at the RUNNY EGG. WHY CAN’T MY LOCO MOCOS HAVE RUNNY EGGS???

yumminess

we also made some bacon:

wei and bacon
wei cannot deny her love of bacon.  no one can.
i like taking pictures of bacon.

yum bacon
bacon

so, here’s all our delicious food:

lots o' food

and my delicious plate:

brunch

yay for brunch! we had six people, and then we brought sam in to help the cause. it was a great brunch.

royal hawaiian bbq madness!

cameron and i were searching online for hawaiian bbq’s in the area, and we discovered this website, where there’s a list of southern california plate lunch locations. we found one called royal hawaiian bbq (158 w. foothill, monrovia), which is not too far, and we found some good reviews on it.

ok, so i cannot deny the deliciousness of plate lunches, but i don’t like to eat them too often because they are super bad for you and kind of nasty if you think about it too much. if they had more vegetables and less macaroni salad maybe they would a little better. although everything is still fried. but so tasty…

anyway, when bingus came to visit, we kind of promised him we’d take him to eat some hawaiian food. and somehow cameron convinced me that the two of us should take royal hawaiian bbq on a test run before we took bingus there. so somehow we ended up eating there TWICE in one week. i think i’d be more disgusted by this if weren’t so DELICIOUS.

round one:

someone who wrote about this place online said the kalua pork was really good, so i got that. plus it has cabbage, and vegetables make me happy. it was very tasty. the kalua pork has that nice pulled pork consistency, and the seasonings were also yummy. the saltiness of the pork balanced by the cabbage was really good.

kalua pork

cameron had the honey garlic chicken. apparently “the mainland” doesn’t offer much garlic chicken, unlike hawaii, where it is a staple. cameron thought it was quite delicious, and i agree.

honey garlic chicken

after trying the food, i asked cameron how he would rate royal hawaiian bbq. he said he would give it an 85/100. compare this to the 35/100 he would give L&L’s! he said the rice was nice, the macaroni salad was quite good, and the main part was very good. i think this is the only macaroni salad i actually like. usually it is too mayo-y and nasty, but i ate mine all up this time.

round two:

round two almost didn’t happen because bingus was pretty booked, and cameron and i were kinda busy too. then we decided to go on a week night, but then we couldn’t find anyone so it was just me and bingus. and he was all like, “maybe we shouldn’t go since there’s only us two, and it is kinda far.” but then i was like, “let’s just go! it is delicious!” i think i’ve gone insane.

then we relied on the fact that other people would hopefully help us eat because we got a lot of food…

madness!

bingus has no self control. i had to stop him from ordering even more food. and afterwards he was like, “we should have ordered more!” we also tried their spam musubis, but we were really hungry so we ate them in the car.

okay, so we got two orders of kalua pork. then, we tried the fried mahi mahi,

fried mahi mahi

the hawaiian mix (?), which had bbq chicken, pork, beef, and kalbi ribs i think,

bbq mix

the chicken katsu and bbq beef (special of the day),

katsu and beef

and finally, OF COURSE, the loco moco.

loco moco

it was pretty tasty stuff. except when we got back no one was home… but eventually people came to eat with us, and we devoured all the food. the only disappointing thing was the eggs weren’t runny again!!! so sad. maybe next week we’ll have time to make our own loco mocos, which will have very runny eggs. besides that, the loco moco (and all the other food) was quite tasty. extreme close-up!

loco moco extreme close-up

conclusion: royal hawaiian bbq is a winner. in addition, it is located by WING STOP. one day i will go there and buy 1000 wings for $500.