post

Spicy Malaysian Beef Jerky

The most moist beef jerky you will ever have can be found at Ling Kee’s Beef Jerky shop in Chinatown, NYC. The shop is not too far from the Hester St flea market on the less traveled side of Canal St. Now that it’s starting to warm up around here I will be making a few more trips!

ling-kee-shop

Here you’ll find Malaysian style BBQ jerky made with chicken, pork or beef and their more spicier versions. You can watch the shop owners make the jerky right on the spot and there’s a variety to choose from as well. My favorite is the spicy beef jerky pictured below and spicy chicken. It delivers a slow burn that continues to build long after you’ve polished a few strips. This jerky is peppery and always fresh which is a nice surprise for jerky. I’ve had plenty of jerky that are hard and so rubbery you can chew for days but not Ling Kee’s jerky. I don’t know of many places where you can get jerky this tender and delicious. Get yourself down there and sample a few. The jerky is sold by the pound but I’m sure you’ll walk away with more than that!

spicy-beef-jerky

Are there great jerky spots near you? Chime in and let me know!

Advertisements
post

Happy Easter!!

Hope you and yours are having a wonderful Easter Sunday!

happy-easter

post

Tacos 24 Hours a Day

I’m on a mission to get back to Florida. They’ve been having great weather since I left! Hate that! A few days before I got there the temps were in the 80s but it was downhill from there. So another trip is in order to get a little sun, some beach time and some kick-ass tacos! Nothing fancy here at Tacos Al Carbon in West Palm Beach Florida but what you will get is authentic Mexican food. That simple and that good.

Tacos-sign

Tacos for $2? I’ll take it!

takeout-menu

Tacos Al Carbon is also open 24 hours so when you’re starving at 3AM after a night of hanging out there are several locations to check out.

tac-signage

This one is on Lake Worth Ave and has a huge outdoor seating area.

outdoor-patio

Love the smell of roasted corn! Sprinkle a little chile pepper, crema cheese and you’ll never have plain corn on the cob again.

roasting_corn

The tortilla chips are homemade and they’re pretty thick so watch your teeth!

tacos-chips

The steak, chicken and al pastor tacos were well seasoned and so good that I forgot to take photos of them all! The guacamole is creamy and well-balanced flavors so you have to try that as well. Check them out if you’re in the area, you’ll thank me later.

steak-tacos2

post

St Patrick’s Day Jalapeno and Cheddar Cornbread Muffins

Happy pre – St. Patrick’s Day!! Celebrate with these jalapeno and cheddar cornbread muffins for a spiced up morning. They’re playful, fun, easy to make and would look cute on your breakfast table. During the baking process the jalapeno slices transform into little shamrocks!

jalapeno_muffins_02

Just slice an extra jalapeno and top each muffin before baking.

muffin_pan

The cornbread muffins will be just a little spicy since the fat in the cheese helps balance the heat.

jalapeno_muffins_03

Perfect with a mug of coffee!

jalapeno_muffin_coffee

I used regular cornbread mix which works for me! Its quick, it’s easy but if you have your own special corn muffin recipe go ahead and just mix in the jalapenos and the cheddar. Adjust your recipe if you add salt since the cheddar adds it’s own saltiness. Also, adding the cheese makes this recipe much more moist than a traditional cornbread recipe.

Enjoy your St. Patrick’s Day and may the road always rise up to meet you!!

St Patrick’s Day Jalapeno & Cheddar Cornbread Muffins

1 box Jiffy cornbread mix
2 jalapenos, 1 diced & the other sliced
1/4 cup white cheddar cheese
1 egg
1/3 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl mix all ingredients except the sliced jalapeno.

2. Grease a muffin pan and pour cornbread mix into molds. Top each muffin with a jalapeno slice and bake for 20-25 minutes.

3. For a sweeter option, drizzle a little honey over the tops as they’re cooling.

post

A Smorgasbord of Mexican Foods in a Southern Florida Flea

I was in the West Palm Beach area a couple of weeks ago and found a little gem of a place off of Forest Hills Blvd. If you’re in the area make sure you stop by the Sunshine Flea Market for great authentic Mexican foods like tacos, tostadas, tamales, pozole, menudo, you name it, they have it. It’s a typical flea market of steeply discounted clothes, jewelry, Mexican sweets, and other services but I came for the Michelada. I was told Juanita’s had one of the best in the area and they weren’t kidding! A Michelada is made with beer, spices, tabasco sauce and served in a salt rimmed glass. If you haven’t had one yet put that one on your list.

michelada

I picked up a bowl of spicy roasted corn with a squeeze of lime, crema, cheese, ground chiles and drizzled with hot sauce, the perfect street food.

roasted_corn

street_spicy_corn

Even though there was great looking food around, I was on a hunt for spicy candy and found plenty of it! Mexican candy is spicy, sweet, tart and addictive! Here are a few you can find here at the flea.

tamarind_candy

tamarind_candy2

spicy_lollipops2

The sales lady laughed when I asked if this was a chicken flavored lollipop! I don’t get why this wrapper has an image of a roasting chicken but this was my favorite. The right blend of sweet, sour and spicy…and no chicken!!

spicy_lollipops

These spicy mango lollipops were a little too sour for me but you might like them. They’re coated with chile powder too!

mango_lollipops

The flea market is in a nondescript strip mall area which cannot be seen from the street but it is next to El Bodegon supermarket. If you go during the weekend be prepared to deal with the crowds and kids running everywhere. People go there to shop but also go there to hang out with their families, surely for the food, candy and snacks! So if you go on a Sunday looking for pozole, get there early, if not I’m sure you’ll find some other delicious treat!

post

Comfort Foods: Spicy Soups from Around the World

Five spicy soups I’ve been wanting to make and now is the time! The weather here has been a little strange which has become the norm these days. One day its in the 20’s then it shoots up to 60 then back down to the 30s! Who can dress for this weather? Well one thing is for sure, Winter is here to stay for a while so stock up on your veggies and spices and let’s take a world soup journey. First up is an American nod to Mexico, then a tour of Asia and finally a pit stop in the sunny Caribbean…we can dream can’ t we? So get comfy in your over-sized sweater and thick wool socks and curl up to these awesome spicy soup recipes.

1. Spicy Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup from A Beautiful Mess. I can just taste the silky smooth sweet potato balanced with the spicy, smokey chipotle and looks so easy to make!

Spicy Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup

2. Indian Spiced Chicken Turmeric Soup from Spicie Foodie. I love Indian spice flavors and this soup is healthy and good for you. Studies show that turmeric has cancer fighting properties so get your fill here.

Indian_Spiced_Turmeric_Soup04

3. Yunnan Beef Stew from Lady and Pups. Just look at it, how can you resist this delicious bowl of short ribs, ginger, garlic, lemongrass and mint? Soul soothing!

4. Korean Spicy Green Onion Beef Soup, Yuk Gae Jahng from Week of Menus. This is my go to soup when ever I go to little Korea in NYC. This soup is peppery, bold and heart warming.

spicy_Korean_soup

5. Jamaican Pepper Pot Stew from My Wooden Spoons. This soup is gorgeous and just waiting to be devoured! Add a scotch bonnet pepper to the pot for extra heat!

jamaican_pepper_pot

post

Meatless Monday: Buttery Pan Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Brussel sprouts! They used to be the vegetable I avoided until a friend of mine made me try them years ago. I always thought they would taste like cabbage, which I’m not a fan of, but they were surprisingly different and only resemble cabbage in appearance. Brussel sprouts are nutty, buttery, nutritious and so filling. They are the perfect accompaniment to grilled meats and seafood but can also be enjoyed alone. They are also one of the healthiest of vegetables, packed with all sorts of nutrients.

roasted_brussel_sprouts

Brussel sprouts are high in protein and fiber, low in calories and loaded with anti-oxidants to help protect against heart disease and cancers. Also, according to doctors and nutritionist, adding a little extra kick from spices will also help rev up your metabolism.  Sometimes I will have these after getting home late from a good work out at the gym. They are light, and quick and easy to make. They are so tasty there is really no reason not to add them to your diet.

Spicy Roasted Brussel Sprouts

1 lb brussel sprouts
1-2 tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
dash of salt & pepper

1. Rinse the brussel sprouts in water and peel off a layer or two and cut each in half. Heat up a cast iron skillet or heavy bottom pan on medium heat and add butter. As butter is melting toss in brussel sprouts and stir.

2. Add the garlic, pepper flakes and the salt and pepper to taste. Stir and cook for about 8 minutes until the brussel sprouts are tender and nicely browned.

Enjoy in a bowl with a glass of white wine!

post

A Refreshing Blood Orange Cocktail

It’s cold outside but warm indoors and sometimes you just want to kick back, have a refreshing cocktail and just dream of summer. It’s also a great time to take advantage of seasonal citruses like blood oranges and spruce up a classic margarita cocktail. This sweet and tart fruit gives the margarita that extra tang and the spicy merken will just make you want to lick all around the rim! It’s all very simple, just squeeze a blood orange, a lemon and lime…

citrus_cocktail

Wet the rim your glass with a lime and dip in Merken spice…

blood_orange_margarita2

Get some good tequila, ice, simple syrup, lime slices, stir, sip and transport yourself to a sunny beach with warm sand at your toes, hear for the waves crashing in the distance and just breathe…

blood_orange_margarita

post

Spicy Hot Cherry Chocolate Martini for your Valentine

Happy Valentine’s Day! Hope you are all having a super spicy hot day today and if not don’t sweat it, you will be after this spicy martini. It’s sweet, spicy and chocolatey with a touch of cherry. Perfect if you’re making it a girls night in or if you’re with your loved one.

spicy_cherry_chocolate_martini

Spicy Hot Cherry Chocolate Martini
1 serving

2 oz jalapeno infused Vodka
1 1/2 oz Godiva Chocolate Liquor
1 oz light cream
1/2 oz triple sec
1 tsp maraschino cherry juice
1 maraschino cherry

Add ice to a martini mixer, then add the rest of the ingredients except for the cherry and shake it hard. Pour into a chilled martini glass.

post

Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja: Spicy Shredded Beef Over Rice

We got over a foot of snow here in Jersey on Friday and heard the Connecticut area got it far worse than us with over three feet of snow! I can’t imagine having to dig out of all that snow! I went out to shovel during the storm just to get a head start so shoveling the next day wasn’t too bad. This is some serious back breaking work but the best part is coming back inside to warm up and relax to a warm and hearty meal. I have always loved snowy days for this, knowing my Mom would have a hot meal for us after a day of snow angels, igloos and snowmen. Today I still want to play in it but instead do the necessary clean up, clear the car, slush around the city in my comfy boots and puffy coat, watch my dog hop around like a little bunny (he hates the snow!), then come back inside for an awesome meal. And I can do all this with my awesome slow cooker without having to fuss too much in the kitchen.

ropa_vieja4

So while you’re out playing, shoveling, organizing your cupboards or what ever you do when you’re snowed in, make this wonderful spicy dish popular in many Latin American homes. Ropa Vieja, or old clothes, is a well spiced, boldly flavored shredded beef dish served over white rice. It’s the comfort food I crave during cold, snowy days like these. This isn’t a dish that’s high on the heat index and most restaurants will serve a hot sauce on the side but I like mine spicy and have turned up the heat in this recipe.

This is one easy recipe where you pretty much just toss everything in and let the slow cooker do its thing. Before you do that though add the onions first. Having the onions on the bottom helps “prop” up the beef and ensures it does not stick to the bottom of the cooker and burn.

chopped_onions

I used this older slow cooker because my roast was only two pounds but the more modern cookers may have a built-in rack. If that’s the case then you don’t need to add the onions first. Add the remaining ingredients and set the slow cooker on high until the meat is fork tender.

ropa_vieja1

The meat will release a lot of juices but will eventually burn off during the cooking process so if you are like me and like a saucier dish, just add a little water and tomato paste. Just make sure you taste it to ensure the seasoning is right for you.

ropa_vieja2

Once the beef has finished cooking, remove from the slow cooker and onto a cutting board for shredding. After you have shredded the meat with a fork just add it back to the slow cooker and stir well.

ropa_vieja3

You can serve the beef over rice, have it with plantains or make a sandwich, this is a dish that will pretty much go with anything. Any leftovers can be frozen if you are not planning on having it within a week.

ropa_vieja5

Ropa Vieja (Old Clothes) – Spicy Shredded Beef

2 lbs chuck roast or flank steak, cut in half
4 small onions, quartered
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
1/2 cup cilantro
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup tomato paste
4 oz can tomato sauce
2 chipotles in Adobo sauce
1 tbsp Adobo
1 tsp oregano

1. Turn on your slow cooker and add the onions to the pot.

2. Rinse the chuck roast and add to slow cooker so it rests on top of onions. Cutting roast in half will speed up the cooking time. Add all the remaining ingredients and cover the slow cooker

3. Cook on high setting for 4-5 hours or until the beef is tender enough to pull apart with a fork.

4. Transfer the roast to a shallow pan or cutting boarding and pull the meat apart with a fork.

5. Add the meat back to the slow cooker and mix well with the remaining juices. If meat isn’t saucy enough you can fill the 4oz can with water and add to meat. Add a little more Adobo seasoning if needed to adjust to your tastes.

6. Serve shredded beef over cooked white rice.

%d bloggers like this: