Corned beef rice skillet with olives, mushrooms, and kimchi

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Corned beef rice skillet with olives, mushrooms, and kimchi

   Uncategorized   April 17, 2018  7 Comments

Chicago Tribune food and feature columnist, Bill Daley, shared a 2012 column, “Ham-it-up skillet Hamming it up with a childhood favorite,” on Facebook recently.

The column was about a childhood meal his mother cooked to satisfy the family’s tastes and food boredom. According to Mr. Daley, she found the recipe in the Minute Rice recipe booklet. The recipe used cubed leftover Easter ham.

Through the 20th Century, many food companies put out cookbooks. Betty Crocker, Duncan Hines, Pillsbury, Campbells, and more.

There were recipes on the backs of cans, jars, boxes, and bags of food items. One of the best and easiest bread recipes I have comes from a bag of flour. Another recipe I used to cook, sweet and spicy pork stir fry came from an advertisement from the pork producers.

Hershey’s Cocoa recipe for Perfectly Perfect Chocolate Cake.

One of the best-known recipes for cake is Hershey’s Perfectly Perfect Chocolate Cake™. For over 80 years the cake and frosting recipe has been on the back of Hershey’s Cocoa can.

Many of these recipes, like the one Bill Daley’s mother found were creative uses for leftovers. Where do you think creations like Turkey Tetrazzini or corned beef hash came from?

Bill Daley, with the help of a Tribune recipe tester, decided to reinvent the Ham-it-up skillet for 21st-Century tastes. You can find the version here.

I left a comment on Facebook that I had cubed leftover corned beef in the freezer and I would try the recipe with that instead of ham. Mr. Daley responded, go for it.

There was a challenge here. Since corned beef and olives are salty, I needed to be judicious with seasoning the rest of the ingredients.

I put my own twist on this recipe and to save time, I cooked the rice ahead.

Since the recipe used corned beef, one must have cabbage. In a nod to the 21st Century and fusion, I added caramelized kimchee.


1 pound or more corned beef cubed

1 small to medium onion

1 small leek (Optional)

1 pound sliced mushrooms (Optional)

2 cups cooked rice*

Chopped pimento stuffed olives


Salt to taste

Crushed ground black pepper

Caramelized kimchi (Optional)**


Brown corned beef over high heat

Add onion and leek (Optional). Cook until translucent.

Add mushrooms. Cook until tender.

Stir in rice. Cook until warm.

Stir in olives and capers. Cook for one minute.

Plate and serve with caramelized kimchi on the side.

You can substitute cooked sauerkraut for the kimchi.

* If you want to prepare the dish in the traditional manner, after the onions, leek, and mushrooms are cooked stir in one cup of rice and two cups of chicken stock. Cover and cook for 20-25 minutes until rice is cooked.

** Caramelized Kimchi recipe.

1 pound kimchi, drained and liquid reserved

1/3 cup sugar

Heat a pan over high heat.

Toss kimchi and sugar together in a bowl.

Add to pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid the kimchi releases evaporates and it starts to brown.

Add the reserved liquid. Cook until the liquid becomes syrupy or sticky.

Note the kimchi will reduce by 1/3 to 1/2.

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