Friday, September 30, 2011

Quick & Easy Tuna Pate

This post is about my favorite savory spread of all time: pašteta od tune, a.k.a tuna pate.

Okay, another story about my trip to Croatia...
(By the way, I never get tired of talking about this trip, so just bear with me. Thanks. Carry on.)

This is probably what I ate the most during my stay in Croatia. Back home I never really noticed pate, but it was in almost everyone's fridge over there. According to Wikipedia, "In the former Yugoslavia, pašteta (a thinly pureed pâté) is a very popular bread spread usually made from chicken or less commonly tuna or salmon." There were pork pate, beef pate, chicken liver pate, turkey pate, etc. I tried them all. I was hooked. When I returned home, I came back with my carrier full of canned pašteta.

So that's how it all began.
Anyhow, I love pate of all kinds, but tuna pate is my favorite type of pate. It is super easy to make at home and also a good way to use up canned tuna when I have too many of them in my cupboard.

I made my tuna pate based on this recipe by Đuro Rapaić on (It's in Croatian, but there's a video on this which is quite helpful even if you don't understand what he's saying.)

This is a really quick and simple recipe that literally takes only 5 minutes.

Ingredients :

2 cans tuna, drained and flaked
1 Philadelphia Mini Cream Cheese Spread or 1 The Laughing Cow Spreadable Cheese Wedge
3 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon mustard
2 tablespoons pickle relish
Lemon juice (from 1/2 lemon)
Some olive oil
A pinch of salt and pepper


1. Put all the ingredients in a food processor and blend them well.
If you want a creamier paste, add more oil or mayonnaise and blend for a longer time.

That's it! See, it only takes a few minutes to prepare and make.
The key point of this recipe is blending the mixture very well until it becomes a nice, creamy consistency. The paste is not spreadable unless it's creamy. (Been there, done that.)
I usually chill them in the fridge before serving.

Mmm...yummy. Serve with bread or crackers. Om nom nom.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Galbi (Korean BBQ)

I love my mom's galbi! (Well, LA galbi to be specific. There are a few other types of galbi, and this is my favorite.) I've not seen anyone who doesn't like it. I'll write down her recipe and post it here someday. Someday...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Restaurant Review: Saladang Song

(Image from             

My first restaurant review! Well, this is more like an "I ate there" kind of post.
Anyhow, a couple days ago my friends and I went to a Thai restaurant called Saladang Song near Old Town Pasadena. (Saladang Song, not Saladang. They are right next to each other. Saladang Song is Saladang's more expensive counter part.)

What we ordered:

Fried calamari

We couldn't find it on the menu so we asked the waitress...
It was okay, but not great. Not something I would order again.

Pad Thai

I thought it was alright. I don't really have much to say because this isn't what I usually order at a Thai restaurant anyway. (And maybe also because I don't know so much about Thai food.) It wasn't that good enough to make me suddenly fall in love with Pad Thai, but it was pretty good. Nothing special, though.

Pad See Ew

This is usually what I order when I go to a Thai restaurant. It was my favorite. Again, it was good but not like "oh wow this is so great."

The atmosphere was very nice for its price but the food was just okay. Not bad, but nothing special in my humble opinion. Very reasonable prices. I think I'd come back, but not just for the food, though.

I give this place 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Basic Stuffed Peppers

I simply love, love, LOVE stuffed peppers.

Since getting back from the trip to Croatia several years ago, I began to appreciate peppers, thanks to punjene paprike, a.k.a. stuffed peppers. After a few failed attempts, I finally managed to figure out a simple way to make them. This is how I do it.

Ingredients (4 servings):
4 large bell peppers
2 eggs
1 pack (1.3 lb) ground beef
1 cup rice (I used cooked rice this time because I had too much leftover cooked rice, again)
1/2 cup diced onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 bay leaves
Tomato sauce/juice


1. Prepare the peppers: cut off the tops and clean out the seeds.
2. In a large bowl, mix the ground beef, rice, onions, garlic, and eggs.
Add a little bit of salt and pepper. If you have dried herbs, you can also add them a little.
3. For me, this is the fun part.
Stuff the peppers. Stuff, stuff, stuff! But be careful not to overstuff them because the stuffing will expand a little as it gets cooked.

4. In a large pot, place the peppers and pour the tomato sauce or juice. (This time I used 3 cans of V8 vegetable juice and added 1 cup of Prego tomato sauce.) The peppers should be completely covered. Add some water if needed to. (You can add a couple tablespoons of flour if you want to thicken the sauce). Add salt. You can also add a couple stems of parsley and celery if you have them.
5. Bring to boil and then simmer for 1-2 hours.
When the peppers are all soft, serve them on the plates and pour plenty of sauce over them.
I like to serve them with bread, mashed potatoes and yogurt (or sour cream).
Dobar tek!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I Scream Ice Cream! Extreme Moose Tracks

One of our guests brought 2 tubs of ice cream.
The other one is butter pecan flavored and I still haven't opened it.

When I read "moose tracks" somehow I thought of moose droppings. Hmm. Well, there are little chunks that sort of resemble moose droppings, but don't you worry, they're actually little tiny fudge-filled cups and fudge. There are lots of them. It's really, I mean, extremely chocolatey. Om nom nom!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Quick & Easy Curry Rice

Another very basic and delicious recipe to serve with leftover rice!
This is not the original Indian style curry. I guess it's Japanese/Korean, and it's known as "kare."
It's thick and not too spicy.


Curry powder
Olive oil
Meat (optional, if you want to go vegan)
Shiitake mushrooms (optional)


1. Chop chop chop! Chop all the ingredients.
For the meat...I prefer pork, but beef is fine as well.
This time I only had sausages. They're okay but they can be a little salty, though.
By the way, it's pretty optional but I really like to add shiitake mushrooms.
I love the texture and I think they just give it a little more flavor!

2. Heat a generous amount of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat and add the ingredients.

2.  While they're being cooked, mix curry powder with some water. Mix them well!
Don't add too much water yet.
I bought my curry powder at the Korean market.
(I can't really tell the difference in taste between Japanese and Korean curry. I just know that Korean curry is yellow and Japanese curry is brown...)

3. When the ingredients are fully cooked, add the mixture. Add more water to adjust thickness.
Add more curry powder if needed. Let it simmer for a few minutes.

4. Now just get the cooked rice ready,

pour the curry over rice, and serve!

Since I'm Korean I think it's best served with kimchi. Or something similar.

You may (and you will) end up with a lot of curry.
When I was little my mom would make a big pot of curry and it would be on our table for days...
But it's really good and I never get tired of them!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Quick & Easy Bread Pizza

This is a great way to use leftover bread.
I usually make them when I'm running out of time, and my family loves it!

These 3 ingredients are ALL YOU NEED:

Bread (just about any kind, as long as it's not too soft)
Grated cheese (preferably mozzarella, but I used cheddar & jack mix and it also works great!)
Tomato sauce (I used Prego® Traditional Pasta Sauce)

It's super easy to make and the pictures are pretty self-explanatory, but just in case...


1. Preheat oven to 400°F. (I used an electric mini oven. Perfect for baking a small amount.)
Spread tomato sauce on each slice of bread.
Don't put too much because the bread will get soggy, especially if it's soft.
3. Add grated cheese.
(Optional: you can also add any topping of your choice. I like to add sliced mushrooms.)
4. Pop them in the oven for 5-10 minutes.

That's it! Om nom nom.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Swedish Meatballs @ IKEA

They are called köttbullar. I may have some trouble pronouncing the name, but I have absolutely no problem eating them. They're so darn good! IKEA food courts are awesome. Inexpensive and yummy.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Quick & Easy Salmon Patties

I was cleaning out the kitchen cupboard, and there were just too many canned foods.
I'm going to start using them up, starting with the canned salmon.

Ingredients (8 patties):

2 cans salmon
3 eggs
1/2 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon garlic & herb powder
1/2 cup bread crumbs
Olive oil



1. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the olive oil and mix well.
2. Shape the mixture into 8 small balls.
3. Heat a generous amount of olive oil on a pan.
Place the balls on the pan and gently press them.
4. Cook until brown.


Now it's ready to serve!

With 2 cans of salmon, I made 8 patties, which is enough for a family of four (2 for everyone).
Well, some families may need more than that, though.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Quick & Easy Sausage Risotto

(If you're in a hurry, skip to the quick summary.)

I still had a lot of cooked rice left even after making the rice balls.
Seems like I just never run out of rice!
Well, it's one of the things that will never run out in an Asian home...

Anyhow, making risotto is another great way to use up leftover rice. It's quick and easy, too!
You don't have to cook for too long when using the rice that has been already cooked.

So I searched my kitchen and found carrots, onions and some leftover sausages.
Oh, and also a can of tomatoes.

First, I heated up some olive oil on a saucepan and added the onions and carrots.

When they got pretty soft, I threw in the sausages and the rice and stirred together.

And then I added the whole can of tomatoes (chopped, with juice) and stirred.

I brought it to a boil and let it simmer for a few minutes.
Then I added salt and pepper to taste and stirred again for a little.

I could find some dried herbs so I added them a little. (It's pretty optional, though.)

Now it's ready to serve!


Alright, so here's the whole recipe in a short summary, for those who are in a hurry.

Ingredients (for 4 people):

2 links cooked sausage
3 cups cooked rice
1 onion
1 carrot (or any vegetable of your choice)
1 can tomatoes, whole peeled or diced
2 tablespoons of olive oil
A pinch of salt and pepper to season
Some herbs, dried or fresh


1. You know the drill. Chop chop chop!
Peel and finely chop the onions and carrots. Cut the sausage into small chunks.
If you don't have crushed or diced tomatoes, chop them too.
2. Place a saucepan over medium heat, then drizzle with the oil. Sauté the veggies.
3. Add sausages and rice and stir a little.
4. Add the tomatoes and the juice from the can. Bring to a boil, then simmer for a few minutes.
Stir and add some water if needed.
5. Add some herbs (optional) and serve.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Quick & Easy Rice Balls

I had a lot of leftover cooked rice and wanted to use it up for lunch,
because I just HATE letting food go to waste!
So I decided to make rice balls with some of the ingredients in my fridge.


Cooked rice
Dried roasted seaweed
Cooked ham
Finely grated carrots
Hard-boiled eggs
Sesame oil
Sesame seeds

(Rice is the main ingredient for this recipe. Others are optional.
Which means, you need a lot of cooked rice and a little bit of other stuff,
and you can replace them with whatever ingredient you prefer.)


1. Prepare the ingredients! Quickly fry the grated carrots on a saucepan.
Finely dice the ham. Crumble the seaweed mercilessly.
Just smash the hard-boiled eggs or chop them into little tiny bits.
2. In a large bowl, mix cooked rice and all other stuff together.
Add a little bit of salt, sesame oil and seeds as you mix.
3. Shape the mixture into little balls and serve.

That's it! Easy breezy.
I think they could have looked better if I chopped the ingredients into smaller bits. Oh well.

And these are the rice balls I made about a week ago.
I used fewer ingredients (no carrots and eggs) so it took me even less time.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Beginning

(El Pato Tomato Sauce & The Hungry Duckies)

The duckies have arrived today. I'm so happy!