Thursday, October 2, 2008

Whirled Peas

OK, not really. But I liked the name. This recipe was a pasta dish from Real Simple October (?) but after making it I think it's better off as a side dish than over pasta. It's got very light flavor and actually makes peas taste good!

2 tbs. butter
2 green onions, chopped
salt and pepper
1 tsp. meyer lemon zest (the original calls for regular lemon but I found it to be quite bitter)
1 bag (11 oz. or so) frozen peas

Melt butter in a pan over medium heat. Add in green onions and cook until soft, about 3 min. Season with salt and pepper (maybe 1/4 tsp. each). Add in 1/2 cup of water, peas and lemon zest. Cook covered for 5 min or until the peas are heated through. It actually took awhile for the peas so keep an eye on them to avoid over cooking.

Chicken Stir Fry

This recipe is from the October (I don't know, I can never tell what dates magazines are from, it could be January 09 at this point) Real Simple magazine. I love bok choy, but never had a recipe to use it on so I was excited to try this. It's really easy and has so few ingredients that I can actually just write out the recipe for you instead of trying to find the link. I did make a change to it, I used Soy Vay Hoisin sauce instead of BBQ sauce because that's all I had. It came out great, I am definitely adding this into our chicken dish rotation.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts chopped into bite size pieces
4 green onions, chopped
3-4 bok choy things, quartered lengthwise
1/4 c. low sodium soy sauce
1/4 c. Jarred BBQ or Soy Vay Hoisin sauce
Salt and pepper
White rice

OK, cook the chicken in some olive oil over medium-high for 6-10 min. Season with salt and pepper. The recipe says 5 but my chicken must be really thick because that never works. Anyway, just cook it until it isn't pink and then set it on a plate.
Put the bok choy into the pan you just removed the chicken from, add 1/4 cup of water to the pan. Cover and cook for 3-4 min. until the veggies are soft.
Mix the green onions, soy sauce and BBQ or Soy Vay together. Pour that into the pan with the bok choy, bring to a boil. Add chicken. Cook and stir 2-4 min. until the chicken is heated up again.

Serve over white rice- or with any side you prefer.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Red Pepper Sauce

My husband had a "team building" thing for work where they learned to cook. One of the recipes was for Potato Gnocchi with Red Pepper Coulis. In my unending mission to translate "fancy" food words for the normal folk (like myself) I replaced the Coulis with Sauce since that's basically what it is.
The gnocchi recipe was great, but unless you have a few hours and a need for 1,000,000 gnocchi blobs stuck to your countertop I find the store bought kind to be just as tasty as homemade- and your kitchen won't be coated in flower and potato slime.

*note- you don't have to chop things very well, you're going to puree them before this is over

2 Red Bell Peppers (chopped, about 2 cups)
2 small white onions, the boiling kind, chopped
4 Cups of chicken broth (or vegetable broth if you prefer)
1 tsp. salt
Pinch of pepper
Olive Oil

Put some olive oil in a pot or pan, cook peppers and onion over medium heat for about 3 min. Add in the chicken broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced by about half.
Carefully puree what you have left by using a stick blender (my favorite) or a blender. Be careful, that sauce is hot! When you are done, spoon it over the cooked gnocchi. That's it!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Stir Fry Sauce

Here is a quick and easy recipe for a stir fry sauce. I used what I had on hand for a beef stir fry with bell peppers and onions. You can use any vegetables or meat you want with this great sauce.

1/2 Cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce
3 Tbs. Rice Wine Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Sesame Seeds
1 Tsp. Powdered Ginger (you can use fresh ginger if you want, maybe 1/2 tsp)

Mix this all together and set aside. Cook your stir fry and add the sauce at the end. Cook for 1 min. and serve over rice.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Long Awaited Garlic Aioli Recipe

Yeah, probably not but I said I'd post it and I am now. It's ridiculously easy, but tastes so good you'll want to have it with everything- especially freshly steamed asparagus. Mmmmmmm

3-4 Garlic Cloves finely diced
1/4 C. Mayonnaise

Add the garlic to the mayo, cover and let it sit in the fridge for 10 min. or more. Keeps for a few days, the flavor is better the longer you wait! Goes great with tuna steaks, asparagus, artichokes or anything else you can think of except maybe ice cream.

Summer Pasta

This is one of my favorite warm-weather recipes. It's perfect on a hot day because the only cooking required is boiling water for pasta.
4-5 ripe red tomatoes (big ones, like the vine ripened kind)
1/2 Sweet onion- it's important to get a sweet onion since it will not be cooked
1 small tub of mozzarella bocconcini *There are two kinds, perlini and regular. You can use either one but I find it easier to use perlini since you don't have to slice them.

2 tbs. olive oil

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper
Fresh Basil

First do all the chopping. Dice the tomatoes and onion and put them in a medium bowl. Rinse and dice your bocconcini (if you are using perlini, just rinse them and add them to the tomatoes and onion). Add the olive oil, salt, pepper and stir thorougly but carefully. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit on the counter and fester while you cook the pasta. Once your pasta is done, serve up the pasta, top with the tomato mixture and then sprinkle fresh cut basil on top. That's it! It keeps for up to 3 days in the fridge and gets better each day.

Friday, May 23, 2008

One Dish Fish

I don't remember what this was called in the latest issue of Real Simple (May 08 I think) but it was really good and dish rhymes with fish so that's what I'm sticking with.
The only things I bought for this were the sugar snap peas and ginger, 2 things which I don't normally have on hand. I also didn't use long grain white rice, I only had short grain so I just used 2 cups of rice and the same amount of water.
A note about grated ginger. Fresh ginger does not grate well. I peeled it with a vegetable peeler and then got out my cheese grater and spent about 2 minutes making ginger slime which was useless. I then tried using my zester but that was a lost cause as well. I finally cut off thin slices and then diced them into little tiny squares. That worked just fine, it still tasted great.
I had it for leftovers at lunch this week and it didn't make the microwave or kitchen at the office smell like fish so go ahead and bring it to work with you, I already used my coworkers as guinea pigs on this one.
Here's the recipe

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Fake "Fried" Chicken

This recipe is an adaptation of the Fiery "Fried" Chicken from Real Simple magazine. I'm not into spicy, and never have pineapple juice on hand so if that sounds like you, try this. It's a great way to jazz up some boring chicken breasts and it's pretty easy.

Preheat oven to 450

1 tbs. Chili Powder
2 tbs. Olive Oil
2-3 Cloves of Garlic, diced *see note below*
3 tbs. Orange Juice (pulp or no pulp, doesn't matter)
1-1.5 C. Bread Crumbs or Panko
1 tsp. Salt
2-4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts

Mix the chili powder, garlic and 1 tbs. of olive oil in a bowl. Whisk in the orange juice. This is what you will dip the chicken in for breading, so try to use a wide, shallow bowl if possible.
Mix the bread crumbs with the remaining tbs. of oil and salt, it works best to use a fork.
Wash and dry the chicken, and take one piece at a time, dip in chili/garlic mix and then dip in bread crumbs to coat. It can be difficult to get the garlic chunks to stick, so just scoop some up and paste them to the chicken with the bread crumbs. Put coated chicken on cookie sheet, I line mine with aluminum foil.
Bake at 450 for 15-20 min, depends on the thickness of your chicken. I'd post a picture, but we ate it too fast :)
** Update- the other day I made this but had no fresh garlic. I put 1 tsp. of poultry seasoning into the chili/oil mix and it was fantastic! And you don't have to worry about the garlic falling off.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Wasabi Crusted Tuna

This is a simple, easy way to spice up a good tuna steak. You only need 3 ingredients! I used this on a .5 lb tuna steak, so just add more of everything if you are doing more steaks.
2 Tbs. prepared wasabi (I use the powdered kind in the little can)
1 C. of Panko (Japanese Bread Crumbs)

Tuna Steak(s)

Mix wasabi according to instructions on can, or just squeeze out 2 tbs. into a small bowl. Add bread crumbs and mix together thoroughly. Heat pan over med-high heat with some olive oil (oops, that's the 4th ingredient).

Pat the wasabi-panko mixture onto 1 side of your tuna steak so that it's about 1/4" thick. Cook fish breaded side down first for 3-4 min. then flip (carefully) and cook the other side for 3-4 min. Cooking time depends on the thickness of your steak and how rare you like it, this one is pretty rare so use your judgement.

This goes great with garlic aioli, I'll post that recipe as well.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Beet Salad w/ Orange Vinaigrette

I went to a restaurant a few weeks ago and had a fantastic beet salad. I figured it would be pretty easy to make at home so I gave it a shot. I found instructions for roasting beets, they said to roast first, then peel. I don't know if it's easier to use a vegetable peeler or a knife because either way, your hands and everything around you will be bright pink (if you use red beets). And always wait until they are cool before you peel.
Beets, I used 4 golf ball sized red beets. You can use whatever color/size you want:
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Trim both ends of each beet, toss in olive oil in glass baking dish.
3. Cover with foil, bake for about an hour until soft.
1/2 C. Orange Juice
1 Tbs. diced green onions (not leeks, not chives)
2 Tbs. Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tbs. Dijon Mustard
1/4-1/2 C. Olive Oil
1. Heat orange juice on med-high heat until it boils. Simmer for 8-10 min. until you have about 2 Tbs. of liquid left. Keep an eye on it, it happens fast!
2. Put orange juice into a bowl, when cool whisk in green onions, vinegar and mustard.
3. Whisk in olive oil. 1/4 for stronger tasting dressing, 1/2 cup if you want a less tangy vinaigrette
4. Season to taste with salt and pepper
5. Put some baby greens in a bowl, top with beets and dressing. You can add in other veggies too, I used white mushrooms with mine.

Smokey Corn Chowder
I got this recipe from an issue of Real Simple magazine. It was great, I look forward to making it again- but I hope this time I don't spill boiling hot soup on my hands. I saved half of the bacon and green onions (not leeks, yes I'm obsessed) in a zippy bag for leftovers the next day.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Black Beans (side)

One of my favorite side dishes is this black bean recipe I got from a cooking magazine a few years ago. I've altered it to suit my taste and my pantry staples. It's quick, leftovers are great and you can turn it into soup with your blender.
2 Cans Black Beans, drained and rinsed
1 Bell Pepper (I prefer Red or Orange)
1 Diced Onion
3 Cloves of garlic, diced small
1 Tbs. Olive Oil
1 C. Chicken Broth
2 Tbs. Balsamic or Red Wine Vinegar
Salt and Pepper
Green Onions (not leeks)
1. Heat oil in pan over medium heat. Add onions and bell peppers. Cook until soft, 5-6 min.
2. Add garlic, cook for another 1-2 min.
3. Add beans, broth, vinegar and salt and pepper (to taste). Bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat down to low, cover and simmer for 10 min.
4. Serve as a side or over rice. Top with diced green onions. OR- Pour half in a blender and blend to make soup. Return half to pot, mix together. Serve in bowls, top with green onions.

Easy, healthy rice dish

So the other night I was home without DH around and instead of having my usual "breakfast for dinner" I decided to be a little creative. We've been trying to eat healthier lately so I happened to have some fresh veggies in the fridge. I put some rice in the rice cooker and when it got to the 13 min. countdown I prepared the veggies for a new spin on one of our favorites, Chicken Egg Rice. This one is Veggie Egg Rice (bad cell phone photo follows).

Here's the recipe (serves 2 as a meal):
1/2 C Rice (I use white sushi rice, if you want to be super healthy you can use brown rice)
1 tbs. olive oil
1/2 C sliced sweet onions
1/2 C sliced white mushrooms
1 handful Sweet 100 tomatoes sliced in half
2 eggs
Soy Sauce
1. Start cooking your rice, follow directions on rice or use your rice cooker.
2. While the rice is cooking, rinse and chop your veggies. You can add your favorites too.
3. When the rice is almost done (10 min. or so left) start cooking the veggies. Heat olive oil over medium heat and add in the onions. Cook until translucent, about 6 min. Add in mushrooms and tomatoes. Stir frequently until the tomato skins are just starting to come off. Put veggies aside in a bowl.
4. In same pan, start cooking eggs. I prefer Sunny Side Up, but scrambled works fine and you can just do egg whites if that's your thing.
5. Put half the rice in each of 2 bowls. Top with half the veggies, sprinkle some soy sauce on. Top veggies with egg. Sprinkle more soy sauce if desired.
You can eat it with chopsticks or a fork, the eggs help hold the rice together.