So Loco for Loco Moco


Last summer a group of friends and I rented a house on the Oregon Coast for a weekend. Naturally,  we had late nights and a generous amount of drinking planned. After a long drive, a late dinner and a few beers at the local brewpub, My friend Traci said Loco Moco sounded good for breakfast the next morning.

“Huh? What’s that?” I asked. I had never heard of it before. Apparently I was missing out on something serious–something that could cure hangovers, extreme hunger, crankiness…and possibly even depression. We already had most of the ingredients on hand: hamburger patties, eggs and rice. The only thing that was missing was gravy. The little market in town was closing in 5 minutes, and Traci was determined to get there in time.  We had barely finished paying our dinner bill, and she was already speeding down the street to buy packages of brown gravy. Or maybe I was driving…so I guess I sped down the street while she jumped out of the car and into the store before they locked the door and our hope for Loco Moco would be lost forever.

Anyway…

Loco Moco is a Hawaiian dish that can be made in a variety of ways using bacon, spam, ham…the possibilities are endless. The basis of the dish is a big pile of white rice, topped with a hamburger patty, topped with a fried egg (best when slightly runny in the middle), then topped with a generous helping of brown gravy. Genius, I say! GENIUS! Why hadn’t I tried this before?! So simple yet so versatile. It’s excellent for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Or an afternoon snack. Or maybe even dessert because it’s just that good.

After months of talking with Traci about Loco Moco and how we were going to have them “immediately,” and photo messages sent to my phone of Loco Mocos she was enjoying around town without me, I finally got invited over to Traci’s for dinner. And let me tell you, I ate white rice like I never ate white rice before. And I smothered it in that gravy, alternating bites of macaroni salad with bites of gravy-hamburger-egg-rice. I don’t think I slept well that night. And the next day, I ran 9 miles. But it was worth it.

If you really want to, you could try healthifying this a bit by using brown rice; and we used 93% lean ground beef. If you’re a runner like me–I assure you–you will have bounds of energy for your run the next day after this meal.

Thank you, Traci, for a great dinner and being my “guest chef” for this blog post!

Try it out and let me know what you think!

LOCO MOCO

Makes 4-5 servings

Ingredients:

Cooked white rice (About 1 cooked cup per person, which would be about 2-3 cups of uncooked rice. It’s good with a lot of rice, but that’s just me…)

1 pound ground beef

4-10 eggs (you need at least one egg per person, but some might want two or more)

1/4 of a medium onion, finely diced

A few dashes of Montreal steak seasoning (optional)

32 ounce carton of beef broth (or about two cans)

1 cup water

1/4 cup flour

olive oil or butter for frying eggs

salt and pepper

1 teaspoon of worcestershire sauce

In a large bowl mix ground beef, diced onion, steak seasoning and a little bit of salt and pepper.

Form into patties.

Over medium heat, fry hamburger patties until they are cooked through. Set aside.

Add beef broth to the pan that you cooked the hamburger patties in, making sure to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add worcestershire sauce and bring to a light boil. Turn down heat to medium low.

Mix some of the water and flour together, making sure it’s not pasty or thick. The flour should dissolve in the water. Don’t use the whole thing at once. We started with about a half cup of water with a few tablespoons of flour mixed in well, and added it to the beef broth. Let the sauce simmer for a few minutes and see if it thickens. If it still isn’t thick enough, mix a few more tablespoons of the flour and water together and add to the gravy until you get the desired consistency. You may need more or less of the flour and water called for in this recipe. Once the gravy reaches your desired consistency, add pepper to taste.

In another small pan, fry eggs in a drizzle of oil and/or butter to your desired doneness. We fried the eggs over easy so the yolk could ooze over the meat and rice. Not everyone likes it that way. Your call.

Assemble. Put hamburger on top of rice, then the egg on top of the hamburger, and gravy over the top.

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

Serves 4-6.

Recipe adapted from: http://www.inspired2cook.com/2009/09/30/hawaiian-macaroni-salad/

Ingredients

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

about half of a 1 pound box of macaroni or ditalini noodles

1 carrot, grated

1 celery stalk, chopped finely

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup milk

1 tsp of brown sugar

handful of shredded cheddar

3 boiled eggs, thinly sliced

salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package instructions. Meanwhile, chop celery and shred carrot.

Add carrot and celery to pasta and toss together. Mix in vinegar. Add half of the egg slices.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, milk and brown sugar. Add to pasta and mix in well. Add salt and pepper to taste, and top with remaining egg slices.

Serve, and pig out!

Bravo, Traci, Bravo! 🙂

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Spicing up Monday with Spiced Oat Bran Muffins


Happy Monday!

Not.

These are my least favorite words to hear each week, and should you ever say them to me, I will likely hate you (Especially this particular Monday, because I watched Paranormal Activity last night and ended up awake all night in fear that demons were going to get me).

Today also happens to be Halloween, a day that is supposed to be filled with excitement and lots of candy. Halloween=exciting, Monday=not. Monday + Halloween=fun? I’m not certain that sort of equation is possible.

In an effort to sort of meld the two together and make Monday=fun and exciting, I coordinated a day of good eats with my coworker. She agreed to make a chicken tortilla soup for us to share at lunch, and I agreed to bring the homemade bread, a salad with as many toppings as possible to up the “exciting” factor, and spiced oat bran muffins for breakfast.

I chose to make oat bran muffins because 1. They’re healthy and will cancel out the loads of candy I’ll likely eat tonight, and 2. Novin bought about 1oo pounds of oat bran and decided after about a week that he didn’t like it anymore. (Novin, maybe it’s because you eat it dry out of a plastic beer mug as you’re driving to work and inhale the flakes by accident? Just a guess…)

It’s still too early in the day to tell how this Monday will pan out, and I’m not sure the muffins alone can save the day, but if nothing else–at least I had a good breakfast.

Can you even find the muffin on my desk of shame?

Ingredients

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup honey

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

3/4 cup white flour (I used bread flour, but all-purpose flour should work fine)

1 1/2 cups oat bran

2 tsp baking flour

2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 egg

1 cup applesauce

4 T canola oil

1 tsp cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp ground ginger

1 1/2 tsp ground orange peel

1/4 tsp ground clove

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 cup soy milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, add dry ingredients and spices. Mix together well. Then add honey, egg, applesauce, vegetable oil and soy milk and mix until well blended.

Line a muffin tin with muffin cups, and spray with non-stick. Fill muffin cups 2/3 of the way full with batter and bake for 15 minutes or until cooked through and golden brown.

Serve with a smear of honey, your favorite jam, nut or pumpkin butter or just plain. Enjoy!




KitchenAid mixer test run…with Breakfast Zucchini Bread


My birthday present from my boyfriend

Tomorrow is my 25th birthday, but my boyfriend (Novin) decided to give me my present a week early. I opened it with excitement, knowing full well it was a KitchenAid mixer–he’s so predictable (Just kidding, baby!).

There it was, shiny, lime green and beautiful, just as I had imagined it. We immediately brought it downstairs, plugged that baby in, and–nothing but a disappointing grinding sound. The beaters would not spin (I guess that’s my punishment for opening my present early). After Novin made a few annoying calls to KitchenAid and a late-night trip to Macy’s, I now have a working mixer just in time for my birthday.

Naturally, after purchasing a brand new, $200+ mixer that didn’t work, Novin now has doubts about the quality of the mixer. (At least it’s pretty!) He keeps stressing that I “need” to follow the manual and “must NOT” exceed the power levels indicated in the manual or it will, in fact, exhaust the motor and break. So, I’ve decided to test out Mixey with something easy, to strengthen his muscles so one day soon, he should be prepared to mix thick bread doughs and pizza crusts. You can do it, Mixey!

Novin walks in the door just as I’m getting started, and begins consulting “the manual.” “Don’t go past speed 6,” he says. Awww…poo.

Since I’m up to my eyeballs in zucchini from our garden, and I somehow inherited human head-sized zucchini from my grandfather’s garden, I thought a zucchini bread recipe would be appropriate for my first blog.

This zucchini bread is great for breakfast since it contains flax seeds and wheat bran to keep you going through the morning. You can also add pecans or walnuts for protein. This recipe contains half the amount of oil of a typical zucchini bread, replaced with applesauce.

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup wheat bran
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 1/2 cups raw cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups grated zucchini
Directions
  1. Generously spray two 8 x 4 inch pans with non-stick spray. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. Sift flour, wheat bran, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
  3. Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and flax seeds until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  4. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.