Friday, October 23, 2015

Banh Mi Chow Chow, Antioxidant Extraordinaire!!!

This recipe idea came about when I had a bunch of radishes remaining after a meal one night.  I wanted to utilize the phytochemical and sulforaphane* rich gems in a manner with ease of access and diversity.
I decided to create a pickled type condiment using most of the same ingredients as you would in a Banh Mi.  I enjoy that particular combination and I totally enjoy foods and condiments that are sweet but sour, spicy and tangy at the same time.
This chow chow starts with toasting a bit of pickling spice in a dry non stick pan and proceeding with the other pickling ingredients; salt, sugar, water and vinegar.  A pinch of hot pepper flakes bring on the heat.  Lots of small cloves of smashed garlic add depth and character to this version, and the cilantro and sweet peppers bring brightness and more flavor.
This recipe is crazy versatile and addictive.  It is not a sweet relish per se, but more on the lines of Saurkraut, with its acidic notes. During trials,  I enjoyed this on a regular hot dog with chili, a cheddarwurst dog, and even on a corned beef sandwich, which was spectacular!!!
My tasters included three of my sisters and mom, they rated it from liked to loved!  This recipe would pair excellently on a smoked brisket sandwich.  I am pleased with the outcome of this recipe because I consumed more radishes in 2 days, than I had in my life thus far...Score one for team eat more veggies!
2 c. radish matchsticks
1 c. thinly sliced mini sweet peppers, yellow, orange and red
1 tbsp. fresh petite cilantro leaves
1 c. water, divided
1/2 c. white distilled vineger
1/4 c. seasoned rice vinegar
5 very small cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. pickling spice
pinch of red pepper flakes
scant pinch of celery seeds
In a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat, lightly toast the pickling spice.
Add 1/2 c. water, SEASONED rice vinegar, garlic, sugar, salt, pepper flakes and celery seeds.
Turn heat to medium high.
Stirring constantly, bring up to a boil for about 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and let cool for several minutes.
Add remaining water and distilled vinegar at this point to aid in cooling. Stir.
Toss radishes, peppers and cilantro together.
Add veggies to an air tight jar or container with lid.
Once liquid is completely cooled, pour over veggies.
Turn vessel several times to distribute spices.
Let stand for about 10 minutes or let sit overnight in refrigerator for more developed flavors.
Use a fork to remove from container so it may drain and make sure you remove the larger pieces of pickling spice before each serving.
Makes about 1 quart.
*Sulforaphane is an antioxidant compound which  is suggested to help stave off certain cancers like prostate, breast, ovarian and colon.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Apple Cheddar Stacks, Military Style

Okay, so this beach trip was quickly approaching and I felt the need to lose a few extra pounds.  I had only about a week until departure, so I enlisted the aid of the surefire Military Diet to expedite my goal.  One  of the meals includes one small apple, a 1 oz. piece  of Cheddar cheese and 5 crackers.  At face value, the trio was a bit boring, so being the resourceful person that I am, I tweaked the ensemble just a bit.
Since the diet is calorie based, I could add the dollop, which is a Chile Garlic Sauce, no fat, no calories. I ended up with a rather tasty treat, interesting enough for your next super snack in less than 5 minutes. I used a mandolin to slice the cored apple. This process really added a sense of volume to the snack.   I stacked the slices into even piles.
 Coring provided the well for the cheese (which I grated and filled in the centers) and I microwaved them for about 35 seconds.  I garnished each with a tiny bit of the Chile Garlic Sauce and SPST for a sweet and savory, crunchy and chewy, slightly stretchy and spicy, satisfying snack/meal.
1 small apple of choice, I used Gala
1 oz. Cheddar cheese
5 saltine crackers
Slice off top and bottom of apple.
Core the apple.
Using a mandolin, slice the apple and make equal piles of them on a microwave safe dish.
Grate the Cheddar and fill the wells created by stacking.
Offset the base apple slice to aid in stabilizing the cheese well.
Microwave until the cheese just starts to melt, about 35 seconds.
Top crackers with Apple Stack.
Garnish with fresh cracked pepper and  Chile Garlic Sauce if desired.
Serves 1.