Saturday, June 18, 2011
Salad Bowl, Melting Pot, whatever, American culture and cuisine is a special mixture, a fusion of various flavors and cultural inspirations. Think Tex-Mex, think Cajun, think even seemingly ordinary styles like Barbecue or Soul Food...
For me, someone who appreciates complements and contrasts in food, Honey-Jalapeño Chicken hits all the bases. Spicy, sweet,light and yet rib-stickingly satisfying thanks to the soba noodles, this dish is a family favorite and almost a weekly meal in my house. And to add to its praises, it's also pretty damn easy to make.
You can buy Soba (buckwheat) noodles at any Korean/Asian market.
- 1 rotisserie chicken, meat pulled
- 1 bunch cilantro, trimmed
- 2 jalapenos, seeded and halved
- dash each of Ginger, Curry Powder
- 1/4 to 1/3 c honey
- 1/3 c vegetable broth
- 1 vidalia onion, sliced thin
- 4 scallions, sliced thin
- 2 tbsp pickled ginger, minced
- splash of soy sauce
- soba (buckwheat) noodles
Pull meat from chicken, saving the skin, and set aside. In a skillet, saute onions with Jalapeño halves until the peppers are just soft. Remove peppers and place them in a blender with Cilantro, vegetable broth and honey and puree. Add sliced chicken skin to onions and cook until crispy, then add chicken and then the cilantro/jalapeño puree. Season with ginger powder and a little bit of curry and let simmer until hot.
In another pot, boil water and cook the soba noodles. Drain and return noodles to pot and toss with soy sauce, then portion into bowls. Top noodles with the chicken and sauce and, garnish with pickled ginger and scallions, and enjoy with healthy doses of Sri Racha chili sauce.
variations: I make a veggie version of this with Quorn cutlets. Steam cutlets in microwave for 2 minutes with 2 tbsp Mirin (sweet sake) and a shake of powdered ginger. Pan-fry on each side, then cut into pieces and stir into sauce before serving
- leftover steamed cauliflower, chopped
- 3 eggs (3 whites, 1 yolk)
- dash Curry powder
In a bowl, whisk eggs with a dash of curry until well mixed and fluffy. Coat a skillet with cooking spray and brown cauliflower on both sides. Push cauliflower to center of pan to make a circle or shape of your fancy, then pour on eggs. With a spatula, scrape in the sides of the cooking egg to keep the circle shape, continuing until eggs are almost totally cooked through, spray top with cooking spray and flip carefully till brown on the other side and cooked completely. Serve with Onion Chutney, or better yet, serve Onion Chutney with Egg-Fried Cauliflower...
Friday, June 17, 2011
Brown shallots and mushrooms in a skillet, then add sherry and saute until liquid is absorbed. Set aside.
Garnish meatballs with fresh-grated romano cheese and minced parsley and serve alongside herby-mushroom couscous and lemon-garlic asparagus... and as always, a bottle of good wine really tops it off.
Coat a skillet with cooking spray, toss in Asparagus, and saute/brown briefly on all sides. Add vegetable broth and pressed garlic and cover, so that the Aspargus becomes tender. When the liquid is evaporated, add lemon juice and salt, toss with tongs, remove from heat, and serve.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
While this is more of a cold weather dish, I am always cold, so it's good whenever (also equally as tasty eaten cold as leftovers as it is hot out of the oven), and it's also good for you and good for the planet, being a plant-based meal. Notice a recurring word here?
Since I had leftover Cauliflower-Leek Puree, I used that instead of potatoes for the topping, and the results weren't good... they were GREAT!
I don't care if you're vegetarian or not, this meal hits the spot and keeps on hitting! Give it a try, it just might change your life.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Pan-Seared Halibut with Red Beet Vinagrette
- 1 1/2 lb. Halibut or other meaty white fish
- Spices (Lemon Pepper, Sea Salt, Garlic Powder)
- 2 whole roasted or boiled Beets, chopped
- 4 sprigs fresh Thyme, minced
- 3 tbsp minced Shallots
- 1 tbsp Mustard Powder or Stone Ground Mustard
- 1/4 tsp White Pepper
- 1/3 c Red Wine Vinegar
- 2 tbps Cassis liquor
- 3 to 4 Cornichon pickles, sliced very thin
Make vinagrette ahead of time so that flavors have time to combine.
In a small food processor, blend Beets, Shallots, Fresh Thyme, Mustard Powder/Mustard, Pepper, Vinegar and Cassis until smooth, adding extra Vinegar and Cassis based on texture and desired flavor. Pour into a jar, stir in thin-sliced cornichons, and let sit.
Dust top of fish pieces with spices (Lemon Pepper, Sea Salt, Garlic Powder) and cook in a hot pan, skin side down until almost completley cooked (should be white throughout). Spray top of fish lightly with cooking spray and flip carefully onto seasoned side, cooking until just crispy. Plate pieces of fish ontop of a pile of Garlic Spinach and topped with a spoonful of the vinagrette. Serve with Cauliflower-Leek Puree on the side.
Drink some wine, and enjoy.
- 1 head cauliflower, chopped
- 1 large leek, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 wedges spreadable cheese (french onion or swiss flavor)
- 1 tbsp butter (optional)
Boil Cauliflower, Leeks, and Garlic in water until tender. Strain and blend in a food processor with cheese, butter if desired, and any spices you want to add until smooth or your desired texture. Transfer back to pot, heat, and enjoy.
Friday, June 10, 2011
While Indian restaurants and their delicious, affordable buffets are ubiquitous here in Philly, it's always more fun to do it yourself, and thanks to companies like Seeds of Change and their line of Indian simmer sauces, preparing your own Indian feast is now really really easy!
Shrimp Tikka Masala
- 1 jar Tika Masala Sauce
- Fresh Shrimp, peeled (enough for 4)
- 1 medium Onion, chopped
- 1 medium Eggplant, peeled and chopped
- 1 c frozen peas
- Onion and Garlic Powders
- 2 tbsp Greek Yogurt
In a pot, saute Eggplant in oil until it begins to soften, then add Onion and sprinkle with salt. Add onion and garlic powders, stir, and cook until onions are translucent. Add sauce and broth and simmer until it comes to a boil. Add shrimp and peas and reduce to a simmer until the shrimp are pink on the outside. Turn heat off, stir in Greek Yogurt and let sit covered for 5 minutes before serving.
- 1 c Jasmine Rice
-1 1/2 c water
- Pinch of Saffron
- 4 thin slices of Lemon
Boil water, and then stir in rice with a tablespoon of oil. Add the Saffron and let simmer until all of the water is absorbed. Turn heat off, arrange lemon slices on top of rice and let sit covered for 10 minutes. Fluff rice with fork and serve alongside Tikka Masala Shrimp with Onion and Mango Chutneys on the side.
variations: use any kind of jarred simmer sauce (curry, jalfrezzi, korma...), swap out shrimp for chicken or tofu or seitan, and add any veggies that come to hand (zucchini, mushrooms...)
What are you waiting for?
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 2 cloves pressed garlic
- 1/3 c apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 c Chili Sauce
- 1 tsp each: Onion Powder, Curry, Cumin, Corriander, Chili Powder
Mix Chili Sauce with spices. In a small saucepan, heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil and then add onions. Stir constantly to prevent onions from cooking too much and add onion powder and a dash of salt and then the vinegar. The vinegar should evaporate fast, and you don't want to cook your onions much - they should still be crunchy. Turn heat off and stir in your Chili Sauce mixture, transfer to a jar and let cool before capping and refridgerating. This should keep for weeks.
Monday, June 6, 2011
- 1/2 c cooked Quinoa
- 1/4 c Vanilla Almond Milk or Milk
- Sweetener (sugar, honey, maple syrup)
- 1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
- ground Ginger
- Handful of Blueberries
Spray small saucepan with butter-flavored cooking spray and add Quinoa, stirring constantly to prevent from burning. Mix in Almond Milk, sweetener of choice, Vanilla Extract and Ginger. Stir in Blueberries, cook until Berries are about to burst, transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with Cinnamon. Add salt or butter to taste.
Jerk Bacon and Broccoli Omelet
- 3 eggs (1 yolk)
- 1 slice Turkey Bacon, diced and browned in a pan
- 1/2 c steamed Broccoli, diced
- Cheddar Cheese
Whisk eggs together, and pour into a hot pan. Once eggs are about halfway cooked, sprinkle on Bacon and Broccoli and once eggs are almost cooked through, add cheese and fold Omelet in half, cooking briefly on each side. Top with Jerk Sauce or ketchup, salt to taste, and dig in.
Ginger Honey-Mustard Carrots
- 2 Carrots, shredded
- 1 tbsp Honey-Mustard salad dressing
- ground Ginger
- Lemon Pepper
Shred carrots, mix them with salad dressing, and spoon them onto your plate. Sprinkle with ginger and lemon pepper. Enjoy.
variations: go vegetarian and swap out the Turkey Bacon for fake Bacon or Veggy Sausage
Saturday, June 4, 2011
This time, I decided to make spiced turkey burgers with an herby cheese filling, and topped it off with an onion and sun-dried tomato compote that complimented the meat very well.
Cheese-Filled Turkey Burgers
- Ground Turkey
- French Onion spreadable cheese
Season the meat with the paprika, lemon pepper, salt and half of the fresh sage, mixing with your hands until well combined. Form into patties, twice as many as the amount of burgers you want to make. Mix 2 to 3 wedges of spreadable cheese with tarragon, dill, and the rest of your sage, and then put a small spoonful on the middle of half of your burgers. Top each cheese-topped burger with another burger, pinch the edges shut, and form into a ball. Throw them on the grill and serve topped with the onion compote.
- 1 Vidalia Onion, sliced thin
Sun-Dried Tomato Onion Compote
- 1/2 package of Sun-Dried Tomatoes, julienned
- White Wine
- Spices (onion powder, thyme, pepper, mustard powder)
I served these burgers with Garlic Spinach and Roasted Eggplant and Parsnip Fries, and a couple bottles of wine, of course...
Soak the Sun-Dried Tomatos in White Wine for 20 minutes. In a frying pan, saute onions until translucent, then season with onion powder and salt. Add in the Sun-Dried Tomatos and season with pepper. Then add between 1/2 to 3/4 c of cooking Sherry, season with ground thyme and a couple dashes of mustard powder, and simmer until most of the liquid is dissolved.
It Was Awesome...
Roasted Eggplant and Parsnip Fries
- 1 large Eggplant, peeled and sliced into thin strips
(serves appx. 4)
- Garlic Cloves (the more the better), sliced thin
- 2 bags Baby Spinach
In a pan, brown saute garlic until just beginning to brown, then toss in your spinach and sprinkle with salt. Use tongs to toss the spinach as it cooks, cooking till it is just wilted and still light green. Serve immediatly.
variations: add a little bit of sherry in for a nice winey flavor
Friday, June 3, 2011
The plan was to serve the chicken with another family favorite, Cheesy Cauliflower-Leek Puree, hailing from the days of my father's trials with the Atkins Diet, but after sauteing the cauliflower, we discovered that our leek had gone bad! What to do??? Well, I got creative; threw in some onions, some spices, a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, and threw it under the broiler for a few minutes. The result was a savory, crispy, oniony cauliflower dish, that along with some Lemon Green Beans that I whipped up, rounded out a deliciouse summer meal.(for the chicken, just marinate in the peanut sauce for a couple of hours, throw it on the grill, and charr a bit on each side)
Broiled Parmesan Cauliflower
- 1/2 head Cauliflower, chopped
- 1/2 Vidalia Onion, sliced thin
- Spices (onion + garlic powders, thyme, smoked paprika)
- Parmesan Cheese, grated
- Vegetable Broth
In a cast iron skillet saute the Cauliflower in Olive Oil until tender, then add a splash or two of veggie broth. Put your thin-sliced Onions on top, then sprinkle on the spices and cover, letting the steam cook the onions. Stir occasionally, trying not to mash the cauliflower too much, and when the liquid is gone, sprinkle on the Parmesan and stick it under the broiler until the top is brown and crispy. Top with chopped chives.
Lemon Green Beans
Steam green beans until al dente. Then throw them in a skillet with a spray of Olive Oil or a little butter. Cut a wedge from the lemon, squeeze the juice over the beans and throw the wedge into the pan. Season with Lemon Pepper and Salt and saute until heated through, but don't overcook the beans!!!!!!!!!
Thursday, June 2, 2011
- 1 whole wheat wrap