Saturday, February 27, 2010

Chicken Teriyaki Stir-Fry

I haven't made very many Asian themed dishes in my lifetime, but this turned out quite well. I tend to buy grocery items that I've never really cooked with before or that I've seen used somewhere else to incorporate into some new dish (for me) to make. My friend Amanda was in town this weekend and before coming she mentioned that she wanted me to cook for her and it to be featured on the blog. I took the chicken out and put it in the marinade on Saturday with intentions of having it for dinner that night, but of course things never work out as planned. Our meal together almost didn't happen, but it was great as a Sunday lunch right before she left for her bus back home. But a good result of this was that the chicken was in the marinade for a lot longer...

  • sesame oil
  • teriyaki sauce
  • ground ginger
  • crushed red pepper
  • garlic powder
  • 1 boneless skinless chicken breasts (sliced)
  • red and orange bell pepper (julienned)
  • 1/4 red onion (sliced)
  • 1/2 pint of mushrooms (sliced)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 box of whole wheat spaghetti
  • black sesame seeds

Marinade the chicken in a about 1/4 cup of sesame oil, 1/2 cup of teriyaki sauce, 1 tsp of crushed red pepper, 1/2 tsp of ground ginger, and 1/2 tsp of garlic powder (these are all approximations of course - feel free to taste it before putting the chicken in to make any adjustments). Saute the chicken in a large skillet and add the vegetables when the meat is 1/2 - 3/4 of the way done. Season with a little salt and pepper. Once the chicken is done and the veggies are tender, add in the freshly cooked pasta and toss everything together. Add some extra teriyaki sauce to help flavor the pasta. When serving, sprinkle the top with black sesame seeds.

I just used the vegetables that I had in my refrigerator, but you can feel free to add whatever you want to it to make it your own!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Guest Chef: Zo Mama's House

Today we have a guest chef that goes by the name of Zoe Julian. She has been inspired to share with us some of her culinary travels throughout the land known as her kitchen. Along the journey, she first ventured into the land of chocolate chip pumpkin pancakes (try saying that five times fast), an egg crepe stuffed with spinach and cheese, and fresh strawberries.

She then took a detour to the isle of BBQ burgers with goat (haha... inside joke) cheese and a salad of mixed greens, dried cranberries, toasted almonds, and what else? That's right - goat cheese. The dairy product pulled a double shift in this meal. I hope it doesn't think that it's getting paid any overtime in this economy.

(Looks like somebody got a little hungry...)

If you would like to be featured as a guest chef, then simply cook something and send me a picture! (Accompanying recipes also accepted, but not required.) And now back to our regularly scheduled program...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Herb Marinated Pork Chops

Marinate the pork chops in a combo of canola oil, thyme, parsley, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Cook on each side for a few minutes until you get the color seen above and below. Then BAM! It's as simple as that (and oh so delicious.)

Monday, February 22, 2010

My Take on Creamed Spinach

  • 1 box of frozen chopped spinach
  • milk
  • nutmeg
  • salt
  • pepper
  • parmesan cheese
  • butter
First, defrost and drain the spinach (I didn't quite drain it completely when I made it...oops). Saute the spinach in a tablespoon or so of butter. Add a dash of salt, a sprinkle of pepper, and a nice dose of nutmeg (but not too much because I've heard that it can be toxic in large quantities - but you's need a LOT to get anywhere close). Add some milk or heavy cream (maybe 1/2 - 1 cup or so) and as much or as little cheese as you want.

Now you may be thinking, "isn't nutmeg used for apple pie?" Yes, but it also goes wonderfully with dark greens.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Oven Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

  • fingerling potatoes
  • bacon fat (it was leftover from breakfast, but you can just use some sort of oil or butter)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • thyme
Just toss the potatoes in the fat and sprinkle with salt, pepper and thyme. Then put them in a 400 degree oven for 30-40 minutes. Ta-da! It's a easy as pie...err...potatoes.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Preview of What's to Come...

Pan-seared pork chops with roasted fingerling potatoes and creamed spinach.

Monday, February 15, 2010

French Toast with Fried Bananas

French toast may be my favorite breakfast food. There's nothing better than a nice plate of French toast drizzled with syrup for a weekend brunch. Today I made it a little special by topping it with a banana that needed to get used. I had a little trouble with my French toast this morning because the bread broke apart for some reason. Maybe it was the bread I used or maybe the bread was starting to get old. So it isn't exactly the prettiest it can be, but it still tasted great.

Ingredients (makes 3 or 4 pieces):
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 3-4 slices of bread
  • butter
  • 1 banana
Combine the eggs, milk, vanilla and cinnamon in a dish (all of the measurements are approximate). Then dip the bread in the batter and let it coat each side. Fry in large skillet with about 1/2 a tablespoon of butter until each side is golden brown.

For the banana, I just peel and slice into about 1/2 inch pieces and then fry them in a tablespoon of butter. The banana I used was very ripe and therefore quite sweet. The ripeness of the banana is just something to keep in mind when deciding how much syrup you want to add and how sweet you want your plate to be. If it is less ripe then you can caramelize the banana by adding some brown sugar to the pan that you fry them in.

I topped the French toast with the bananas and drizzled with syrup. Yum!

Note: You may notice that nutmeg and sugar are absent from my French toast batter. Nutmeg would be a great addition, but I don't have any currently. As far as the sugar goes, I think there's enough sweetness from the syrup and bananas that you don't really need it. If you want, you can try using almond extract or amaretto instead of vanilla extract for a slightly different taste.

Chorizo and Black Beans with Basil Infused Rice

  • 1/2 tablespoon of chopped basil
  • 1 mug of rice
  • 1/2 lb of chorizo
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1/4 red onion (diced)
  • salt
  • cumin
  • paprika
  • red chili flakes
  • chili powder
  • oregano
In case you couldn't tell already, I like making 1 (or maybe 2) pot meals that are quick and simple. I actually took note of the clock this time and this delicious meal only took about 20-25 minutes. (Take that Rachel Ray!)

For the rice, I started by toasting it for a few minutes in the pan to bring out a little nuttiness. Then add your two mugs of water and the basil. (I wanted to do something slightly different than your everyday plain white rice.)

In a large pan, brown the chorizo in about a tablespoon or two of vegetable oil. Add the diced onion and let it soften. Sprinkle with salt, and add maybe a teaspoon or so of each of the other seasonings. Stir in the beans and then taste it to see if you need to add anymore flavor.

Spoon over the rice and I served it with a nice dollop of sour cream and some tortilla chips on the side. The chips make a nice edible spoon to get the food to your mouth. I had it for lunch at work the next day without the sour cream and it was still quite tasty. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Oven Roasted Squash Medley

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 green squash (zucchini)
  • 1 yellow squash
  • olive oil
  • coriander
  • rosemary
Dice the squash into about one inch pieces. Toss in olive oil, rosemary and coriander. When I cooked it, it was for about 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven (I made it with the turkey below). going forward I would have increased the temperature to 400 and cooked for about 30 - 4o minutes. You can use butter in addition to or as a substitute for the olive oil for a slightly richer taste. Also, a sprinkle of salt could enhance the vegetables.

Gobble Gobble!

Herb marinated turkey breast. I almost forgot to take a picture of it...

  • turkey breast
  • basil vinaigrette
  • rosemary
  • basil
  • oregano
Coast the meat in the ingredients and let it sit for a couple of hours (more or less depending on how much time you have). Then cook until done. My turkey breast was about two pounds. I cooked it for about 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven, but it still wasn't done. So I finished it off at 400 degrees for another 15 minutes. The best way to check if the meat is done is with a meat thermometer. If you don't have one, then you can always just cut it open and see (although this is less ideal of course).

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Penne with Sausage, Onions and Musrooms

  • 1 box of whole wheat penne
  • 1 lb of sweet italian sausage
  • 2 shallots (rough chop)
  • 1/2 red onion (sliced halved - I want you to know you're eating onion)
  • 1/2 pint of button mushrooms (rough chop)
  • 28 oz can of chunky tomato sauce
  • italian seasoning
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil
  • serve with some parmesan cheese
Brown the sausage in a large skillet with some olive oil. Add the shallots, onions, and mushrooms. Allow the onions to get tender, then add the tomato sauce. Season with the herbs, salt, and pepper. Toss with the freshly cooked pasta and serve.

Spicy BBQ Beer Chicken and BBQ "Baked" Beans

You can have BBQ any time of the year without having to mess with a grill!

Spicy BBQ Beer Chicken

  • 1 bottle of your favorite beer (I used Brooklyn Winter Ale)
  • 1 teaspoon of red chili flakes
  • 1 tablespoon of pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup of your favorite bbq sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray's)
Combine the beer and seasonings in a large bowl or dish. Add the chicken and then put it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to let it marinate. Place the chicken in a baking dish and put in a 375 degree oven. Take the leftover marinade and put it in a sauce pan on the stove over a medium flame and add the bbq sauce. Allow the sauce to cook down and baste the chicken with it about every 10-15 minutes for 45-60 minutes. (More or less time depending on what piece of the chicken you use.)

BBQ "Baked" Beans
  • 1 can of pinto beans
  • 1 can of red beans
  • 1 shallot (diced)
  • 1/2 cup of bbq sauce
  • 1/2 brown sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • vegetable oil
In a large sauce pan, saute the shallots in a little bit of oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the beans, bbq sauce and sugar to the pot. Let it simmer for about an hour (or until it reaches the desired consistency).

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Chorizo and Potato "Tacos"

  • 1/2 lb of chorizo
  • some of the leftover fried potatoes from my brinner post
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can of corn
  • 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 1 good squirt of ketchup (or you could use tomato paste if you have some)
  • salt (to taste)
This was really quick and easy (especially since I had the potatoes already cooked). Just cook the chorizo first and then toss everything else into the pan and let it simmer for a few minutes. Serve with your standard taco fixings and chow down.