Monthly Archives: December 2013

Hamburger Steak

Time for an old staple.  This is a southern dish updated.  Easy to make, inexpensive, low in carbohydrate, and downright delicious.  I’ve made this as a standby after work when I didn’t feel like starting something in the morning and waiting for it to finish or when I don’t have much time in the evening and just want to get something on the table.  Here I’ve plated it with a vegetable medley (broccoli, squash, bok choi, carrots, and snap peas that have been stirfried) and cauliflower and parmesan, which I will cover later.  Total prep time for this.. around 30 minutes.  Usual eating time.. 10 – tops.  This recipe is for two servings.

  • 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef – 80/20
  • worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 package of portabello or white mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of corn starch
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup beef stock

Form the beef into rough steak shapes – something New York Strip-y.  Season with worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper.  Fry on high until the meat sears, flipping to get both sides, then cover and cook on a lower temperature until cooked to desired level of doneness.  Remove and plate the steaks.

In the same pan, sautee the onion and mushrooms in the leftover fat from the hamburger.  Add wine and beef stock and bring to a boil.  Mix cornstarch and enough water to make a liquid and pour into the pan.  Immediately bring the heat to low and stir in the cornstarch and water mixture.  Once thickened, put over the cooked steaks and served.

Filipino adobo


This dish is a personal favorite.   This dish from the Philippines has as many ways to make it as the archipelago has islands.  A very dear friend of mine that I used to work with taught me how to make this.

The dish can be made with a number of meats but I make mine with pork belly or pork belly and dark meat chicken.  In order for the dish to work out, there has to be a decent amount of fat or the other ingredients can overpower it.

I always make a special trip to my local Asian grocery store – Lotte Plaza (  They have about the best boneless porkbelly you can get in this area.  They also carry the Datu Puti two pack – sugarcane vinegar and soy sauce.  I have tried other vinegars and soy sauces with varying degrees of success.  I keep these on hand – the vinegar especially is great in other recipes.

One other note – my friend is from metro Manila but is married to someone from the Czech Republic.  I think that’s why she adds paprika to hers.  I’ve done it with and without and find the dish better with it.

  • 2-3 pounds boneless pork belly
  • two tablespoons chopped garlic (I use the stuff in the jar)
  • a handful of peppercorns
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup Datu Puti soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup Datu Puti sugarcane vinegar
  • 1 cup water

Cut the pork belly into slightly larger than bite sized pieces.  You can remove the skin, but I don’t.  It makes removing any excess fat you want to get rid of after cooking easier.

In a dutch oven, lightly brown the pieces of pork belly, remove, and set aside.  There will be a small amount of pork fat at the bottom.  If you choose to use only chicken, you can skip this and substitute about 2 tbsp of vegetable oil.  In the pork fat, sautee the chopped garlic and peppercorns.  Add the paprika and allow it to bloom.  Add the pork belly back in and cover with the soy sauce, vinegar, and water.  On top, add the bay leaf.

Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover and allow to simmer for at least 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.  Remove the cover for the last 1/2 hour and allow to reduce slightly.

Serve over steamed or boiled rice.  Or pasta.  If you use pasta, don’t tell my friend.. she thinks it’s blasphemy.

Panko chicken

This recipe originated on the back of a mayonnaise bottle.  I’ve taken it and made it my own.  The one nice thing about this particular recipe is it helps what can only be called the “white chicken wall of meat”.   It also has a surprisingly low carbohydrate count.  Go figure.

  • 3 chicken breasts sliced diagonally
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup regular (not lite) mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup plain regular yogurt
  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
  • panko flakes

Mix the parmesan, mayo, and yogurts together in a bowl.  At this point you can add whatever spices you like to the mixture – I go between paprika and goya adobo.  Coat the chicken pieces in the mixture thoroughly and roll in the panko.  Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.


I started cooking as a hobby years ago.  Turned out, I’m not bad at it.   I started this as a way to share some of the recipes – mostly regular dishes, maybe a little baking – with my friends and possibly collect some new ones.  I’m going to start with chili since it seems to be a favorite around the house.


  • 2-3 pounds chili cut beef
  • 1 medium sweet onion
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can dark kidney beans
  • 2 medium size cans of colorado sauce
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp chili powder

Cut the onion fine and sautee in regular olive oil (not EVOO.  I don’t like to waste extra virgin olive oil on cooking.. and the acronym EVOO gets used far too much –  use slutty olive oil when cooking).  Brown chili cut beef.  Add paprika, cinnamon, and chili powder.  Mix until the paprika blooms.  Add both cans of beans and mix thoroughly.  Toss in both cans of the colorado sauce, and cook on low, stirring occasionally for about two-three hours.  At this point I turn the heat off and let it sit for a couple of hours before serving.  I add shredded sharp cheddar cheese on top and serve with multigrain Wasa.