Slow Cooker Hawaiian Ribs

I do need to apologize for the photo quality on this post;  it’s embarrassing to post this photo, but with my limited ability I am not able to work magic nor would I want to alter the photo to make it look like what it’s not.  However, I do want to say that this is an awesome recipe!!  It reminded me of Korean rib stew “galbi jjim – 갈비찜” – we really enjoyed eating this with short grained rice, just love it when the rice soaks up the sauce, yum!  I altered the recipe from here (if you want to see a good photo, check her photo, it looks very delicious!) to adjust to our “Asian” palate 🙂  This is a really simple dish to make (no prior braising or any of that), it’s basically “throw all the ingredients together” type of a dish.

Slow Cooker Hawaiian Short Ribs (2)

  • 2 lbs. boneless beef short ribs
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1/8 cup regular soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 (6-8 ounces) canned crushed pineapples; drained
  • 3 Tbsp. pineapple juice, saved from the canned pineapple
  • 6-7 minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese 5 Spice powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Slow Cooker Hawaiian Short Ribs (1)

  • Spray slow cooker with cooking spray.
  • Evenly distribute rib meat inside slow cooker.
  • In a small bowl, combine 2 soy sauce, brown sugar, honey, drained crushed pineapple, pineapple juice, minced garlic, Chinese 5 Spice powder, and black pepper;   stir until evenly combined. Dump over rib meat.
  • Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

** I added bok choy into the slow cooker about 1 hour before the ribs were done.  If you want your bok choy to have more vibrant green color either sauté or steam them, but since time was an issue for me I just put them inside the slow cooker. 

My opinion: Oh so yummy!! Melt in your mouth beef ribs and delicious sauce that just soaks into the rice.  I’m a bit of a rice snob, and I do recommend you cooking short grained rice (love the consistency and the ability to really soak in the sauce).  Even though the bok choy came out dull looking I think they also absorbed the sauce and had a wonderful flavor.  This is such an easy slow cooker recipe; you have to try it!  I’m itching to make this again, but since I don’t want to eat too much red meat I’m patiently waiting to cook this again 🙂

Loco Moco

I think I’m finally catching up (I think…).  Now it feels like Spring has finally arrived and in the midst of ups and downs with families, friends and relatives I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel (sort of).  I am posting one of our favorite food “Loco Moco”!!  My husband requested this for his birthday dinner in mid-February (yes, I’m about 2 months behind with my post) and I happily agreed since it’s been ages since I made this.  Loco Moco is one of the Hawaiian specialties – with Japanese style hamburger patty placed over hot steaming rice, sunnyside up egg on top of the hamburger with generous amount of gravy; a true comfort food.  Read the history of Loco Moco here.

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It’s been such a long time since I made this; I lost the original recipe I had 😦   I searched online to see if I can find a similar recipe and this came the closest and it tasted pretty darn good!

Serves 4:

Rice:

2 cups (rice measuring cup) short or medium grain white rice

Hamburger Patties:

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 cup onion, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs for sunny side up or over easy

Gravy:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 quart beef broth
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Cook the rice according to your rice cooker manual (or how you are used to cooking).

Make the gravy. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add flour and continually stir for 5 minutes or until the mixture turns golden-brown. Whisk in the beef broth, ketchup, soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Keep whisking and bring sauce to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes or until desired thickness is reached, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside and keep warm.

In a large bowl, mix beef, onion, one egg, panko, salt and pepper. Divide in four and make flat oval patties. Heat oil in a pan and grill patties over medium heat for 5 minutes then flip and grill both sides until cooked through.

Fry eggs sunny side up or over easy.

When rice completes cooking, place in serving plates and top with the cooked hamburger patties. Ladle the gravy and top with a fried egg.

My opinion:  I always loved Japanese style hamburgers while growing up, so naturally I fell in love with Loco Moco (which adopted this Japanese style hamburger).  I don’t know how else to describe this, just a pure comfort food.  You have to try this!!

Beef and Yorkshire Pudding Canapes

I am behind posting few blog posts… In fact, I don’t want to think how many I’m behind – I think I’m in a major procrastinating mood nowadays.  February 15th was my husband’s birthday and I have 2 recipes to post from that, on February 17th I hosted a Downton Abbey finale party and I have few recipes from that, and few isolated recipes… oh boy.  Anyway, before I ramble on I will get right to it and post one of the recipe from the Downton finale party – this Beef and Yorkshire Pudding Canape was so delicious and simple to make!  Perfect finger food for any ocassion; my only advice is to get a really good cut of roast beef.  We got our roast beef from the Whole Foods Market and asked them to thinly slice – about 1-1/2lbs of sliced roast beef for 4 dozen canapes (plus some left over to make some sandwiches).

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Makes at least 24

Yorkshire puddings:

1 cup flour

1/4 tsp. salt

1 cup milk

2 eggs, beaten

 Horseradish cream:

1/2 cup non fat greek yoghurt or non fat sour cream

2 tbsp. prepared horseradish (we love extra hot to give a burst of flavour)

salt and pepper

 Mustard cream:

1/2 cup non fat greek yoghurt or nonfat sour cream

2 – 3 tbsp. Dijon mustard (we love grainy and spicy)

salt and pepper

For the filling:

12 slices of thinly shaved roast beef

flat leaf parsley, to garnish

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  • Add a very thin layer of vegetable oil in each cup of a 24 mini muffin tins and heat in the oven.
  • To make the Yorkshire puddings, blend the four and salt, gradually whisk in the milk to ensure no lumps, then add the eggs.
  • When the tray is hot, spoon in the batter in each muffin tin and return to the oven.  Watch carefully, and cook for about 8-10 minutes until the mixture has puffed up and has browned. Then let cool on a wire rack.
  • To the make horseradish cream, simply mix the ingredients together. To make the mustard cream do the same.
  • Tear each slice of roast beef in half.  Loosely wrap into a rose shape and pile on each of the baby Yorkshire pudding. Add a dollop of horseradish cream to half of the canapés, mustard cream to the other.  Decorate all with a sprig of flat leaf parsley, tray and serve at room temperature.

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My opinion:  If you want to indulge a bit, use bacon drippings instead of oil when making yorkshire pudding.  I usually save bacon drippings in a container and keep it in the refrigerator.  The muffin tins will have to get really hot (in fact when the oil starts smoking a bit take the tins out of the oven) and immediately pour in the batter.  You’ll see the batter puff up as they bake, but once the pudding is done baking and allowed to cool they’ll shrivel down so don’t be alarmed.

I only made horseradish cream because I love horseradish (and used sour cream) – so yummy!!

Japanese Style Ginger Pork (Buta no Shogo Yaki) and Rice with Green Peas

Today’s post will be a quick one since I’ve been busy cleaning up our soon to be newly renovated bathroom!  Growing up in Japan my mom used to make this (but not frequently enough).  When I came to America at the age of 16 I completely forgot about this dish until now.  I would occasionally remember, but didn’t have to energy to think about exactly which ingredients went in and the quantity until I came upon Harumi Kurihara’s “Japanese Home Cooking”.  This is quite simple and so very delicious!!

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Trim the ends of the bean sprouts.

Mix together the soy sauce, mirin and grated ginger and dip the pork slices into this marinade briefly just before cooking.

Heat a little oil in a frying pan over medium heat.  Remove pork from the marinade and add to the pan, making sure it cooks evenly and doesn’t stick together or curl up.  Turn over after a couple of minutes and cook until both sides are browned.  Don’t leave the pork for long, as it cooks pretty fast, but make sure it’s cooked through.

In a separate pan, heat a tablespoon of oil over a high heat.  Add the sliced garlic.  When the aroma is released, add the bean sprouts and stir-fry.  Season with salt and pepper.

Put the bean sprouts onto a serving dish and then lay the slices of pork on top.  Pour any remaining juices from the frying pan over the pork.

Rice with Green Peas: serves 4

1-1/2 cups uncooked short grain rice

1-3/4 cups water

1-1/2 cups green peas

1 Tablespoon sake

1 teaspoon soy sauce

Mix all the ingredients together and cook the rice.

My opinion: One of my daughter is not a huge meat eater nor a meat lover; she especially don’t care much for pork, but guess what?  She had healthy servings of both pork and bean sprouts and didn’t complain once, in fact she said she really liked it!  I had enough left overs (because I made enough for 8 servings!) my husband is so thrilled to take this for his lunch tomorrow 🙂   Ginger is not overpowering, but blends so very well with the pork, soy sauce and mirin.  Bean Sprouts amazingly go very well with this pork.  If you don’t want to bother with the rice just make plain brown or white rice, but I think you should try this green pea rice just once.

Lomo Saltado

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I have been sick for the past 2 weeks and my kids have been taking turns getting sick also.  For some reason I have not been able to shake this virus or whatever it is I have – maybe I’m not getting better fast because of my age!!  Oh well, anyway, I have been craving this Peruvian dish called “Lomo Saltado” – it’s basically a Peruvian stir-fry you eat with homemade fries and rice.  I first had lomo saltado while we vacationed in Peru for a month last summer.  It was love at first sight!  Don’t get me wrong, I loved all the food I tasted in Peru (from different Peruvian fruits and vegetables, fresh ceviche, pisco sour, grilled guinea pig and other meats, Chifa, etc.), but lomo saltado was one dish I kept on craving in Peru.  I don’t know what it is, maybe I fell in love with the tender beef sauteed with onions, peppers and tomatoes, or maybe it was the homemade fries made with Peruvian potatoes.  Don’t get me started with Peruvian potatoes! They taste phenomenal!  I believe Peru has about 4000 varieties of potatoes, and their corn too (with over 55 varieties of corn), oh my gosh, so good!

Peruvian cuisine is largely influenced by the Chinese, who immigrated to Peru in the mid-1800’s (in fact, they were actually brought over as laborers).  This Chinese-Peruvian cuisine is called “Chifa” and you see many Chifa restaurants all over Lima and its surrounding districts.  It’s almost like the Chinese-American takeout places here in America, but you can find Chifa in all price categories.  We’ve eaten at a hole in the wall Chifa where we got a huge order of lunch special of fried rice and stir-fried vegetable for $2.00 to very nice sit down Chifa restaurants.

Lomo Saltado isn’t exactly Chifa, however, it does use soy sauce. Another main ingredient is typical Peruvian pepper called “Aji Amarillo“.  As the name indicates, it has a yellowish color and it’s used in Peruvian cooking.  I have not found fresh aji amarillo here in Philadelphia, but I heard that you can get some in and around Miami area.  What you can find in larger Latin American markets are the marinated aji amarillo and the paste kind.   I love using aji amarillo paste especially in my empanadas!   You can find quite a few lomo saltado recipes, but only a few have either fresh aji amarillo or paste in the ingredient list.  I’m very lucky, because my lomo saltado recipe came from a book given to me by my sister-in-law in Peru (yes, she’s Peruvian).  It is a humongous and expensive book, perfect as a coffee table book, but I refuse to just let this book sit pretty on my coffee table!

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Here’s my favorite aji amarillo paste:

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Since I have been waiting to make this dish, I did splurge and bought a really good piece of sirloin meat.  I will not disclose how much I paid, but I wasn’t about to skimp on my favorite dish!

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So, seriously, at this point in my sickness with a major lomo saltado craving, and no decent Peruvian restaurants in sight what was my choice?  I could have just ignored my craving or just make it myself… well, I chose the latter 🙂  I had to alter the recipe a bit because there was no way I was able to get fresh aji amarillo, so I added the paste and bell peppers instead.  Homemade fries would have been great, but you know, I wasn’t up to spending more time cooking so I used organic frozen fries (which was pretty darn good).

4-6 Servings:

1-1/2 to 2lbs best beef tenderloin (or any cut you prefer), sliced

2 medium onions,sliced

2 bell peppers, thinly sliced

3 medium tomatoes, each sliced into 8 wedges

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

3 Tablespoons red vinegar

4 Tablespoons soy sauce

3-4 Tablespoons Aji Amarillo paste

Salt and pepper, to taste

4-5 Tablespoons beef broth or water

Over a high flame, heat the oil in a frying pan (or a wok) until it begins to smoke; add the meat and saute well for 3 minutes or done.  Set aside.

In the same frying pan saute the onion, bell peppers and tomatoes.  Pour the vinegar, soy sauce and aji paste; add salt and pepper to taste.  Add the cilantro and beef broth or water.  Mix together to blend the flavors.

To serve:  scoop rice at the one corner of a plate, spread fries and pour the beef mixture with sauce over fries. Here’s a little rice mold I bought in Lima, Peru.

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My opinion:  I know it’s going to sound cocky saying this about my own cooking, but this was DELICIOUS!!  My family loved it too!  Love to eat the crispy fries soaked with the beef sauce and mixing together with rice (well, at least that’s the way I like to eat this).   Truly delicious:)

Downton Abbey, anyone?

Yes, I am one of them… I am one of those dedicated American fan of this bigger than life British period drama.  Please don’t hate or judge me for this; seriously after all the trashy reality shows we have here in America this is such a beautiful welcome change.  Few months before each new season starts I wait in anticipation, and after just a mere month or so of watching the season I go into mourning stage; then another very long months of waiting… sigh…

Anyway, past Sunday was the premier of Season 3 here in America.  My youngest daughter (age 12) caught up with all of Season 1 & 2 and we wanted to do something special for this premier.  I wanted to make some dishes from the Edwardian era and start this season with a bang. Did you know that there’s a Downton Abbey cookbook? I had to restrain the urge to buy it, but instead  I found this very addicting website called Downton Abbey Cooks.  There are tons of Edwardian recipes including the menus served on the Titanic.  I decided to choose handful of recipes from here to make my dinner.

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For this post I will not write down the recipes, but I will add the recipe links to Downton Abbey Cooks.

Here, I have Roast Beef with Yorkshire Pudding, Creamed Carrots, Parmentier Potatoes, Treacle Tart and Mincemeat Cake.  For those of you from the UK, please forgive me for my feeble attempt at re-creating these Edwardian style dishes, but they tasted delicious!

Roast Beef & Yorkshire Puddinghttp://downtonabbeycooks.com/2012/01/15/sunday-roast-beef-dinner-with-yorkshire-pudding-downton-abbey/

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Creamed Carrots & Parmentier Potatoes: http://downtonabbeycooks.com/2012/04/02/downtontitanic-cookery-vegetables-should-be-seen-and-not-heard/

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For Roast Beef, instead of making the sauce from the beef fat from the pan, I made Rosemary Cream Sauce – Rosemary Cream Sauce: Drain fat from the roasting pan. Place pan over medium heat and add 1 tsp (5 mL) EACH olive oil and butter; add 1 shallot (minced) and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until softened. Stir in 1 cup (250 mL) beef or chicken broth and 1/4 cup (50 mL) dry white wine, stirring up any browned bits from bottom of pan. Heat until liquid is reduced by half. Add half a sprig fresh rosemary; heat through. Stir in 1/4 cup (50 mL) whipping cream; heat until desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste; remove rosemary to serve.

Treacle Tart: http://downtonabbeycooks.com/2012/09/25/tea-tuesday-downton-abbey-season-3-launched-with-treacle-tart/

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Mincemeat Cake: http://downtonabbeycooks.com/2012/12/11/tea-tuesday-enjoy-simply-mincemeat-cake-for-the-holidays/#more-5011

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My opinion:  This was such a decadent Sunday dinner meal!!  It was like preparing a Christmas meal!  Was it worth going through all the preparations and effort?  YES!!  Roast beef was tender and juicy (I really liked the Rosemary Cream sauce); Yorkshire pudding was delicious served like a muffin!  I made this in a larger pan before, but I think I’ll use the muffin tins from now on.   Creamed carrots reminded me of pumpkin pie, except the sweetness came from the carrots, and Parmentier potatoes were a huge hit with the kids; Treacle tart will not be treacle tart without our favorite Golden Syrup (we dab this syrup on our breakfast toast and it is yummy!) – with a hint of lemon and ginger this sure is a sweet winner!  Mincemeat cake was moist and another delicious reminder of Christmas.  All in all a very wonderful meal, and I cannot wait to make another Edwardian style dish!  I am waiting in anticipation for the next episode of Downton Abbey coming Sunday!!

Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff is one of my favorite “Western” food; don’t misunderstand me, I enjoy eating many Western foods, however, I really really like beef stroganoff.  My husband used to cook some good beef stroganoff when my children were little (that is until I sort of banned him from the kitchen for leaving my kitchen looking like an aftermath from a tornado…). 

If you are interested in the history of Beef Stroganoff, please check here.  As you know, there are many variations of this recipe, but for the last few times I have been using this recipe from Fine Cooking.  When I make this I always double the recipe, in that way we can still enjoy this deliciousness the next day!

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Serves 4-6:

Kosher salt
1-1/2 lb. beef top round or shell steak, sliced 1/4 inch thick, slices cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
Freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs. canola oil
3 Tbs. unsalted butter
10 oz. white button mushrooms, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (4 cups)
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion (about half a medium onion)
1 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1 cup lower-salt beef broth
1 cup full-fat sour cream, at room temperature
1 12-oz. package wide egg noodles
1 Tbs. thinly sliced fresh chives

**You may be tempted to use low fat sour cream, but it will most likely curdle. 

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat.

Season the beef with 1 tsp. salt and 3/4 tsp. pepper. Heat 2 tsp. of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Add half of the beef and cook, stirring often, until the meat is just browned, about 1 minute; do not overcook. Transfer to a plate and repeat with 2 tsp. of the oil and the remaining beef.

Remove the skillet from the heat. Add 1 Tbs. of the butter and the remaining 2 tsp. oil to the skillet and stir until the butter melts. Put the skillet over medium heat and add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms release their liquid, about 5 minutes. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated and the onions are beginning to soften, about 3 minutes more.

Sprinkle the mushroom mixture with the flour and stir for 15 seconds. Stir in the broth and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits in the skillet with a wooden spoon. Add the sour cream and whisk until the sauce is smooth. Add the beef and any juices from the plate to the skillet. Cook, stirring often, until the sauce is barely simmering. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to the package directions in the boiling water until barely tender. Drain and return to the pot. Off the heat, add the remaining 2 Tbs. butter and stir to melt. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve the beef Stroganoff over the noodles, sprinkled with the chives.

**The only change I made in this recipe is to sprinkle some nutmeg right before it’s done. 

My opinion: My family likes to eat beef stroganoff in a traditional way – that is with the egg noodles, however, I like to eat with rice so that the sauce just gets absorbed into the rice.   I also have made this with chicken, which is equally delicious!

Cowboy Casserole

Today is the Father’s Day, and sadly, my desire to cook has gone away as the Summer quickly approaches.  We don’t like going out to eat during these “special” days, because most good restaurants are crowded and some even jack up the price during these special days!!!  What to do, what to do??  I don’t feel like cooking, but we don’t want to eat out either?!! 

Dear readers, if you know me by now, I’m not the preachy type.  However, throughout my blog I have made my preference to use and eat organic, locally grown produce, food with no GMO, preservatives, etc, etc  known to you fairly clearly.  I never pushed my desire on you, I may have encouraged you to choose your food source wisely, but never forced you.  I am ashamed to admit to you that I have truly fallen from my standards today.  Out of desperation to cook something (and believe me, when I’m not in the mood to cook I become really picky about what I want to cook), I have chosen a recipe that I would usually avoid.  But a slight sin is allowed once in a while, right??  You will love this  Cowboy Casserole if you love American diner type of food.

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  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 1 can (8-3/4 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained (I used frozen peas)
  • 2/3 cup condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/3 cup 2% milk
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups frozen Tater Tots
  • In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink. Stir in the corn, soup, 1/4 cup cheese, milk, sour cream, onion powder and pepper.
  • Place 1 cup Tater Tots in a greased 3-cup baking dish. Layer with beef mixture and remaining Tater Tots; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly. Yield: 2 servings.

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My opinion:

This tastes a lot like the Shepherd’s Pie, but with tater tots.  Truly a comfort food and we all enjoyed eating this (despite feeling guilty just for a short while).  Ofcourse, I add to increase the quantity to make a 9×13 pan.   I like this so much I’m going to try up with a slightly healthier and less guilty version of this once the weather becomes cooler.

Barbecue Beef Cups

I don’t know how working moms manage everything;  I know they’ll say “that’s the problem, I don’t manage everything and I can’t do it!!”  No matter what you say  I have the greatest respect for working moms out there, especially with little children. 

I think most of the recipes on my blog are pretty straightforward and easy (that is if you prepare and organize).  Here’s a recipe I had for years in my menu folder;  I don’t even remember where I got it from.  For working moms out there, or moms who have young children,  this recipe is truly easy and kids looooove this recipe!!

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Yields usually about 10 (depending how many biscuits come in a container):
3/4 pound ground beef
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
3-4 green onions, finely chopped
(1) 16.3 ounce can refrigerated biscuits
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a skillet, brown the beef over medium heat; drain off excess fat once cooked. 

Remove from heat and stir in barbecue sauce, brown sugar and green onions. 

Grease a 12 cup muffin pan and place a piece of biscuit dough in each cup (stretching the dough up the sides). 

Divide the beef mixture among the biscuit cups, sprinkle each with cheese. 
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Bake in a pre-heated 400F oven until golden, about 10-12 minutes.
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My opinion:  Simple, simple, simple and yummy!!  It’s been a while since I made this (probably close to 2 years).  My children always loved this when they were little, and they still love this.  Last night when I made these beef cups my tween and teen daughters were really excited, they even took some for their school lunches today!

Another great thing about this recipe is its versatility.  Instead of using ground beef, you can use ground turkey, lamb or chicken (pork maybe a bit overbearing).  You can use Indian spices, Middle Easten spices, or whatever other spices or sauces you want.  

What makes it simple is the use of refrigerated biscuits.  Just make sure to check the ingredients and buy the ones with less trans fat, partially hydrogenated oil and other unhealthy ingredients.   If you want to take an extra time, you can get a refrigerated pizza dough (or you can go to a pizza parlor and buy a dough, or make your own) and use that as the biscuit.  Also, you can easily make this into an appetizer menu!!

Rillettes

Rillettes, rillettes, rillettes… Such a beautiful name and equally beautiful tasting (if you can describe taste as beautiful). 
This was rather simple, but time intensive.  I was so afraid of the result, but well, let me show you some photos and the recipe first.  The recipe is from the Les Halles Cookbook from my dear dear Anthony Bourdain.

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This will serve 8-10

2 pounds pork belly, cut into 2 inch (5cm) cubes
1 pound pork shoulder, cut into 2 inch (5cm) cubes
4 cups water
1 bouquet garni ( 1 sprig flat parsley, 2 sprigs fresh thyme, 1 bay leaf – all tied with a string so it’s easy to remove later)
1 teaspoon salt
1 pinch black pepper
1 pound pork fat, cut into thin slices

Place the pork belly and pork shoulder in a heavy bottomed pot.  Add water and the bouquet garni and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally. ( I cooked in crockpot and turned out wonderfully).

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After 6 hours, stir in the salt and pepper and remove from the heat.  Discard the bouquet garni.  (With crockpot, I probably cooked it for about 8 hours).

Once the meat is cooled enough to handle, transfer it to a mixing bowl, using forks, shred the meat (not mush, “shred”). 

Divide the mixture among several small containers.  Top each portion with a slice or two of pork fat to completely cover it, fold the mixture together a bit then wrap each container in plastic wrap. 

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Place in the refrigerator and let them sit for 3 days before serving.  DO NOT cheat on the 3 days, because it just gets better as the flavors marry up!!

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My opinion:  what a difficult 3 day wait it was… but I promised myself not to disturb rillettes, and it rewarded in a wonderful way!!  As you can see from my photo, I didn’t cut the pork into cubes.  I usually prefer to slow cook a big chunk of meat versus cutting them into pieces.  Took this over to my cousin’s house for a mega birthday bash – we sliced baguettes into thin slices, transferred some of the rillettes in a bowl to bring it up to room temperature, spread rillettes onto baguette slices and topped off with alfalfa sprouts. 

What a luxurious taste it was!!  Nothing porky about the taste – bouquet garni did a wonderful job of infusing herbal flavors into the pork.  I have to say that the alfalfa sprouts paired very well  with rillettes (aka pork jam!!).