Category Archives: Ethnic and spicy

Korean beef bowls and impromptu perfection 

Summer is in full swing in this house! Not sure where your peeps are in the school year but here in Cajun mama land we are done. Peace out, 2016-2017 school year!! And my kids are glad for it. They are taking full advantage of the whole summertime thang. 

Yes, they are in the pool with clothes on. Because summer…lol

They are also like ravenous monkeys several times a day and I am not gonna lie…I am already struggling to keep up. My kids would love, love, love to eat fast food or at restaurants 3 meals a day. I, of course, do not allow that. We cannot even hang with that lifestyle. Big Daddy started a new job a few months ago and it’s been tight over here. Big Daddy will likely fuss when he reads this asking why would I even mention that but you know…being real is my thing. I am always real with y’all and that is a major thing that has happened in our lives. So eating out a whole bunch with a family of 6 is not in the plan. I assume most of you realize this is why I cook so much (and I love it) but if not please consider this my newsflash…I cook to save money a good bit of the time. Not to mention, we are trying to teach our kids about that eating out every day is not the norm and that there is nothing wrong with cooking. And when you can cook your own food, you can be self sufficient. 

In that same vein, I adore cooking things that my kids enjoy and they resent that it is not our favorite Chinese takeout a little less. Cooking at home is a necessity for many of us, but it does not have to be boring! So in comes this meal. Korean beef bowls.  Oh sweet spicy morsels of beef this is good stuff. And every last one of my kids absolutely devoured it. Also, it is not expensive to make. So perfect. As perfect as the other day was. Woke up to a loud boom at 5:45. Yep, transformer blowing. No power in sight. So I told the kids to load up we were headed to Tyler, TX to go to the Caldwell zoo. We had the best time. The weather was unseasonably perfect. Not the sauna that it usually is. The high was in the 70’s! In May!!! And I ran into 2 friends while at the zoo. These Korean beef bowls were perfect like that.  Unexpected, came out of nowhere, born from lacking, and crazy low expectations. You will love it!!! 

Me and my bebes during our impromptu zoo visit.

I found this recipe on http://www.damndelicious.net. I am so happy I stumbled across it. It is recipe gold, my friends.

Korean Beef bowls 

Stuff you need~

1 pound lean ground beef 

Canola oil 

2 teaspoons minced garlic (or more)

1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce 

1/4 cup packed brown sugar 

2 teaspoons sesame oil 

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger *

2 Sliced green onions, green and white parts 

Slicd green onions and Sesame seeds for garnish (optional) 

Cooked white rice 

*I used the McCormick spice stuff and it was fine. Next time I’ll try the squeeze tube produce section ginger just to see if it enhances the flavor. 

What to do with the stuff~

Drizzle some canola oil In skillet. Warm over medium heat then add garlic. Sauté on medium low until fragrant, about a minute or 2.  Add ground meat to skillet. Brown until no longer pink and then some. Drain if necessary. 

While browning meat, combine the sesame oil, brown sugar, soy sauce, red pepper flakes and ginger in a bowl. Whisk together.  When ground beef is browned and drained, add the soy sauce concoction and some sliced green onions. Cook on medium low for a minute or 2. The smell will be amazing and your mouth will water!! 


Serve this over hot rice. Prepare to be so glad you stayed at home and cooked for your family. It is HEAVEN! 

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Tikka masala, basmati rice with peas and minted cucumber salad…I am in love with this Indian inspired meal!!

This meal right here. This is the one. I make many meals, I try new kinds of foods and I can honestly tell you all that this is one of my favorites thus far. No kidding. Dead serious. I had to make big daddy sign in blood that he really loved it and enjoyed it before I would share the leftovers with him. Ok I did not make him take a blood oath but I grilled him pretty hard. It’s not hard to make really but I did not double the recipe and I was so sad when it was gone. I usually send leftovers to his office the next day but not this time. Not because I don’t love his coworkers (I totally do ) but because I was not a quite certain they would APPRECIATE the wonder that was this meal. Because it is Indian food some people might be a little (or a lot…I am looking at you, Chris Flowers) leery of such a new experience. Let me say this. I am making this again this week and doubling the recipe. The leftovers were even better because the fantastic melee of flavors had a chance to commingle and make friends with one another. My mouth is watering just thinking of having this meal in front of me again. If you have always wanted to try Indian food but felt intimidated by the notion, don’t be. This is super simple, easy peasy. The ingredients are not even that far fetched. It just requires quite a few spices. Now, I had all of them but I cook a lot. I ordered the ghee off of amazon and it was here in a flash. I imagine world market might have it and you can make it yourself if you are so inclined. It’s essentially clarified butter and can be made at home. The ghee and some of the spices will be the main thing you might have to buy that is out of the norm, but please don’t let that stop you . Anyway, this is absolutely doable for anyone who wants to try Indian food. I have never eaten at an Indian restaurant but I know tikka masala is a very popular dish. The rice and salad are both pretty standard dishes that are pretty commonly served with Indian main dishes. I found the naan at target and it was absolutely fantastic. I saw it at Brookshires as well. It was a perfect accompaniment to this meal. Let me know what you think if you decide to try this. As I said, it is on my top 10 list of most delicious meals I have cooked. Cajun mama went to India and she liked it. Traveling while I stay in my own home…that’s right up my homebody ally. I would love to hear from any of my readers who live in India. Does this vary greatly from how you make it? I know I have a few readers located in India, so feel free to chime in. How close is this to an authentic meal in your country? What’s different?

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ghee = clarified butter in a jar

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I need more of this in my life. I ❤️ tikka masala

Ok first off I am going to tell you how I would prepare this meal to be most efficient. I made it on a weeknight and the heat was on…literally and figuratively. Lol. So first off, get your rice going. Here is what you need…

Basmati rice with peas (adapted from Pioneer Woman’s blog)

stuff you need~

2 cups basmati rice
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon turmeric
4 cups water
1/2 cup frozen green peas

what to do with the stuff~

Add all ingredients except the peas to your rice cooker. Give it a stir and then turn on rice cooker and let it cook. Do not mess with it. If you don’t have a rice cooker (why?!!), then just cook it in a pot but same thing…let it cook and don’t mess with it. After it’s done, stir in the peas. Mine were frozen and defrosted as they were warmed up by the cooked rice.

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check out how the turmeric turned the rice a nice yellow…this is before the peas

Ok now…the minted cucumber salad can be prepared ahead of time and it gives the flavors a chance to meld together. Just a suggestion. The coolness of the salad from the cilantro and mint is an excellent counterpart to the slight spiciness of the tikka masala. Excellent combo.

minted cucumber salad (adapted from http://www.blueapron.com

stuff you need~

1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
1/2 purple onion, sliced up or cut into mini chunks
A bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped
A bunch of mint, roughly chopped
The juice of one lemon
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
Olive oil for drizzling

what to do with the stuff~

Add sliced cucumber and the purple onion to a bowl. Toss in half of the cilantro and mint. Drizzle with olive oil and toss in the lemon juice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Give it a stir and taste. Add more salt and pepper if needed. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Before serving, add a little more mint and cilantro. To be honest I used it all at once and I was not sorry. The freshness of the mint and cilantro with the cucumber and onion is a thrill ride. Enjoy.

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simply beautiful and so tasty

Now…for the star of our show! The most fragrant, full of lovely flavors, just spicy enough and fit for an Indian prince…tikka masala to the stars!! I mean…some stars might have tried this recipe, who am I to say they have not?! I have not ever tried another recipe for this but I can say it fulfilled every expectation I had. I will look no further! I had a friend who tried one and it was fancy and it left her hanging. So I think this one is a winner. I found it on http://www.allrecipes.com. Tikka means “little bits” and masala means “spices”. Sure enough! This dish smells so heavenly when it is cooking. My biggest piece of advice is to double the recipe. Just saying.

Curry Stand Tikka Masala

stuff you need~

2 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 (14 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons paprika
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 tablespoon cooking oil
4 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon white sugar, or to taste

what to do with the stuff~

Warm ghee over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the onions and cook until they are translucent. Stir in the garlic and cook another minute or so. You know the drill…when the garlic is fragrant, you are golden. Stir in 1 teaspoon of salt, the cumin, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, and cayenne. Cook for about another 2 minutes or until fragrant. This will make you salivate and you will know why I love this recipe. Good things are happening ya’ll. Ok…now, whisk in the tomato sauce. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat.

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Simmer for about 10 minutes and then whisk in the whipping cream. Stir in the paprika and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Bring this luscious concoction back to a simmer and allow it to simmer another 10-15 minutes, or until thickened. While this is simmering, heat the cooking oil in a separate skillet over medium heat. Stir chicken into the hot oil and sprinkle with curry powder. Working in batches if necessary, cook until browned but still has some pink on the inside. This won’t take long I allow it to cook on one side for a few minutes and then use a spatula to sort of flip the chicken. This gives it a stir fried effect that I like. Do the next batch and then done. Transfer the chicken to the simmering sauce (say that 3 times) and allow it to simmer in that highly fragrant sauce until chicken is no longer pink inside. Adjust flavor by sprinkling in more salt and sugar as necessary.

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mouth. Watering.

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I could eat this at least once a month. Maybe more.