Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Chocolate Covered Bananas

I was bugging Chris one night  to find us a snack. I usually have only one rule when it comes to snacks: it must always involve chocolate. One night we were almost completely out of chocolate (yes, my world was coming to an end) and Chris came up with this quick and simple snack.

1 banana
2 tablespoons of Nestquick chocolate milk powder

  1. Split the banana in half long ways and place it on a plate
  2. Sprinkle the banana with the chocolate powder
  3. Place the banana in the freezer for 15 minutes until chilled. 
The first time we made this we froze the banana competly and it was to hard to bite into. We have also tried it without putting it in the freezer and came to the conclution that 15 minutes is just enough to chill it.

Enjoy. This is a quick, simple and not too unhealthy snack.

Skillet Spaghetti

Spaghetti is one of the easier items to make while you are in Korea. I found all of the ingredients at Lotte Mart. Here are some tips to save money. First decided which sauce you want to use. I didn't care for the flavor of the Korean spaghetti sauce so I bought the American one. The difference is about 3,000 won. So try the Korean sauce and see if you like it. I also tried Hines Original Spaghetti sauce in a packet and it was very plain. I tried it because it was only 1,000 won. I like the Rinaldi Sauce the best. I find it ironic that it is what I use in Korea, because I used to buy it in America and it was the cheapest jar. Now it is the most expensive. Another way so save money on sauce is to buy the Costco giant-sized plastic container of Prego Sauce. It is large enough for about three meals. This works if you have the freezer space for the left overs.

You can make your spaghetti right from the jar. Sometimes I use the jar and add some of my own seasonings like oregano and fennel. You can also make your own spaghetti sauce in the Crock pot. I will post a link when I decide to make that version of it. I only recently found canned tomatoes. They don't have them at Lotte Mart but I found them at Home Plus. I will have to check out the prices and see if it is worth making your own.

For the meat you can buy the hamburger at LotteMart or you can get it at Costco. It is cheaper to buy it at Costco. We buy a large pack sperate it into 1/2 lb servings, place them in individul zip lock bags, put all the smaller bags in a larger freezer zip lock and place them in the freezer.

1 jar of Spaghetti Sauce
1 package of spaghetti noodles
1/2 lb of hamburger
1 tbs oregano (optional)
1 tbs fennel (optional)
1 onion diced (optional)
1 tbs garlic minced (optional)
1/2 tbs salt (optional)
1 tbs olive oil (optional)

  1.  Brown the hamburger until it is no longer pink
  2. Add the onion and cook until soft
  3. Add the jar of spaghetti sauce and the remaining ingredients. 
  4. You can serve it right away over noodles or let it simmer for a whole day. The longer you let it simmer the better it will taste. If you don't add your own seasonings don't worry about simmering it.
  5. To cook the pasta bring a large pot of water to a boil. 
  6. Add the desired amount of noodles. You can break them in half to help them fit in your pan.
  7. Cook until desired doneness. About 10 minutes.
  8. You can add olive oil to the pot to keep the noodles from sticking. 
  9. When the noodles are done serve them with the spaghetti sauce over it. 

Skillet Fried Rice

I love fried rice. This is one of those dishes where you open up your refrigerator and pantry and see what you can throw into the pan. It is great if you have left over white rice.

2 cups of cooked white rice
2 Tbs of butter
2 eggs

The following items are optional:
1 can of corn
1 can of spam, ham, cubed chicken or bacon
Mushrooms of your choice
1/4 cup of white or green onions
Any left over vegatables you might have
Sea salt or salt
  1. Heat the butter in a large skillet on medium heat
  2. Add the rice and fry
  3. Add all other ingreadents except the egg and cook until soft
  4. Beat the eggs in a bowl
  5. When all other items are cooked create a well in the middle of your skilllet and scramble the eggs.
  6. When the eggs are cooked mix them with the rest of the mixture. 
  7. For flavoring you can add a little soy sauce or season salt. 
You can make this for any meal or use it as a side dish

Skillet Salmon (Quick)

When I first started making salmon I tried all kind of recipes from different cook books. I added different spices and tried it BBQed and even in foil packets. Finally not long after we were married Chris admitted that he just preferred his salmon cooked plain. So here is the world's simplest salmon recipe.

We try to eat salmon once a week. When we were in America we bought indually frozen packets of Atlantic salmon from Costco. Unforutally due to import taxes the price is doubled at the Costco in Korea and we could no longer justify purchasing it. Not long after this disappointment I found the seafood section at Lottemart. They have fresh salmon steaks for reasonable prices.

2 large fresh salmon steaks
Season salt

  1. Sprinkle an unheated skillet with season salt
  2. Place salmon steaks on top of the season salt
  3. Turn the burner on medium
  4. Sprinkle season salt on the top side of the steaks
  5. Cook for 5 to 7 minites until the salmon is cooked 3/4 of the way on the edge then turn it
  6. Cook on second side for about 4 to 6 minutes
  7. Serve with rice. We sometimes sprinkle the leftover salmon juice on white rice. 
This is great served with Green Beans and Mushrooms click here for the recipe.

Skillet Ramen Noodles with Steak

Growing up I often enjoyed packages of ramen noodles for lunch. When I went away to college I started to learn all kinds of variations and ways to fancy up this bacholor meal. Ramen noodles are very popular in Korea. I am amazed at the large selection of different types of ramen packages that you can find in Korea. My husband created the following recipe. Why? Well if any recipe does not have meat in it Chris finds a way to add it.

2 packages of instant Ramen noodles of your choose
2 slices of steak or cut up beef in cubes
Salt or season salt
2 Tbs of butter

  1. Open the ramen package and set aside the season and dried vegetable packets.
  2. Cook the noodles for about 7 minutes or until the desired doneness. Do not overcook them or they will be soggy.
  3. While the noodles are cooking heat a large skillet.
  4. Add the cubed beef to the skillet and sprinkle with season salt or regular salt
  5. Cook stiring constantly until the meat is brown and no longer pink inside. 
  6. When the noodles are done drain the water from them. 
  7. Toss the noodles with butter and the seasoning packet in a bowl. 
  8. Add the meat to the noodle mixture and enjoy. 
We have made this recipe with several variations. Sometimes we do not buy cubed steak. Instead we buy regular steaks cook them and eat the noodles with butter as a side dish. When we were in America we made a similar dish and also added frozen vegetables.

We do not use the extra dried vegetables packages that come with Korean ramen. Since we drain the water they do not get soft enough. I save them to put in soups later.

Chris likes the spicy noodles and I like the mild ones. To solve this problem we boil the two packs of noodles together and them mix them with the spice packets separately.