Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Thinly sliced steak over white rice

So, as a college student, it's pretty annoying to cook in the kitchen. Sometimes, all you really want to do is have some delicious meal ready in a couple of minutes. No wonder we eat out all the time... BUT, I'm going to introduce a quick and easy recipe that definitely satisfies your tummy: thin slices of marinated steak over white rice. Mhmm it's oh-so-yummylicious! =)

Sadly, I did not take a picture of my creation, but I'm sure I'll be making it again very soon so I'll upload a picture then! And sorry, I didn't take any measurements for this recipe. Just experiment and you'll get it right! :)

Steak, thinly sliced

1. Make desired amount of rice in the electronic rice cooker.
2. Cook slices of steak in a pan. No oil is necessary.
3. As the steak is cooking, pour about 2 tablespoons of soysauce into the pan.
4. Sprinkle some sugar into the pan.
5. Put rice into a bowl.
6. Once the meat is thoroughly cooked, place the slices of steak over the rice and pour the leftover sauce in the pan into the rice bowl. Enjoy!

The cooking process literally takes less than 10 minutes. It's quick, simple, easy, and utterly satisfying. Trust me, this dish is way better than buying some fastfood meal.

P.S. I made this dish again, this time with sautéed, diced onions. The flavor of the dish is intensified with this additional ingredient! The onions draw out the juices of the meat even more!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The much anticipated trek to Shake Shack

I have been craving a burger from Shake Shack for quite some time now. In fact, it's been a little under a year since my last visit to the burger haven. Just under a year since I first had a taste of the succulent and flavorful burger, the "In-n-Out" burger of the east coast. My memory was quite hazy about the specific flavor of the burger, but all I remember was that it was good, reeeeal good.

I always wheedled to Joe to go to Shake Shack with me, but with the biting wind in New York City, it's been rather difficult for us to make the trek to the burger joint in Madison Square Park. After all, Shake Shack is just a shack with seatings only available outside, exposed to the harsh weather.

Finally though, spring has come to New York City, and I finally convinced Joe to make the pilgrimage. And we did not regret it at all.

Shake Shack is known for its lengthy lines, with people often having to wait typically around 20 to 30 minutes. Last time I wanted the popular burger, I had to wait a little over an hour! Some say it's not worth it at all, and I must admit sometimes, the line does seem quite daunting, but if you're waiting around with a bunch of friends, it's really not so bad. Plus, the wait makes the appeal of the burger that much greater.

Joe got the double cheeseburger while I got the classic shackburger, composed with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and the shack sauce. We both got an order of fries with our entrees.

The shackburger was just as good as I remembered it to be. Juicy, moist, and savory, the ground beef was cooked to perfection. The bun was soft and slightly moist from the shack sauce and added the perfect complement to the juicy beef. The lettuce added a slight crunch to the burger while the tomato released a burst of its juice that gave the shackburger an overall effect of freshness. The shackburger definitely hit the spot.

The fries were perfect with the shackburger. They exhibited that golden yellowness that one often expects for fries, and they tasted just as good as they looked: warm, crunchy, and potato-ey. As someone who likes to crunch on things, it's hard to find fries that give both the crunch factor and lots of potato starch. I hate fries from Burger King or McDonalds because if they're not crunchy, they're too soft with too much potato, or vice versa, they're too crunchy with not enough potato. But these fries from Shack Shack were just amazing. Definitely make sure you get fries with your burger if you ever go visit Shake Shack yourself!

Joe didn't say much about his burger except that it was "pretty good." For someone who often describes food as "It's alright" or "It's okay", I knew that meant the burger definitely satisfied him as well! We both agreed at the end of our meals that Shake Shack handed out some good burgers. I definitely know this is not going to be my last visit!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

My first recipe: a Spring Pasta Salad

With the coming of spring, or should I say, avec le commencement du printemps hehe, everyone wants to eat something fresh, light, and healthy. So I'm thinking, what's fresher than a bowl of salad? My mom used to make me this chicken salad all the time in high school... very easy and simple to make. I decided to take her recipe and mold it into one of my own creations. Why not after all, since I am taking a foods class as well? =)

This recipe is rather basic and extremely easy to make, but if you're a poor college student like me, then it's perfect for you. It's cheap, quick, and quite delicious!

2 cups of pasta (I used Rotini)
2 large celery stalks diced
2 large carrots diced
1chicken breast (cooked)
3 cups balsamic vinaigrette
2 cups romaine lettuce
a handful of honey roasted peanuts

1. If you haven't cooked the chicken breast, simply fill up a pot of water and submerge chicken breast into it. Cook until the chicken is done (the color of breast turns almost white, and your fork should slide out easily when you poke it into the breast). This takes around 15 to 20 minutes depending on the size of chicken breast.

2. Meanwhile, fill another pot with water and flavor with salt. Add in one box of pasta and cook until al dente (around 11 to 12 minutes).

3. Dice up your vegetables (carrots and celeries).

4. Once the pasta is al dente, strain through running water and place into a large container. Add in about 1 cup of vinaigrette and mix well

5. Once the chicken is done, remove from heat source and run under cold water. Once cooled, shred pieces of chicken and toss into the container with the pasta. Add in your diced vegetables as well.

6. Stir in another cup of the vinaigrette and mix well. Cover container and place into the refrigerator for at least an hour.

7. Put romaine lettuce into a bowl and add in desired amount of pasta salad on top. Pour in 1 cup of vinaigrette and mix. Toss in some honey roasted peanuts and serve!

What's great about this recipe is that it doesn't require a lot of time and money, and the best part is that it's delicious! The honey roasted peanuts add a little crunch to the salad along with the diced celery and carrots as well as a sweet taste that leaves you pining for more. It's a healthy and tasty dish that can be served as an appetizer or a meal. Enjoy! =)