Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Stir Fry on the Fly

Another toss it together recipe.  I enjoy stir fries because they're a good way to get a lot of vegetables, and they're fast when you're in a hurry.  Sometimes when you're really in a hurry, and even waiting twenty minutes or so on rice is more than you can spare, you can use udon noodles, as I did once before in a curry recipe.  You could also use ramen.  The list of ingredients can of course be changed around as you like it.  Just remember to think about cooking times as you add them in.  You don't need as much time for mushrooms as you do for carrots, peppers and onions, and you might like your sugar snap peas a little more cooked than I do.

2 T peanut oil
Half a red bell pepper, chopped
Half a yellow or green bell pepper, chopped
One medium onion, chopped
One cup carrot chips
3/4 lb. Chicken tenders, cut up
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 1/2 cups sugar snap peas
3 T teriyaki sauce
2 T soy sauce
Shriracha to taste
About 1 T ginger preserves
2 packages udon noodles

Heat the oil in a work, and add the peppers, onion and carrot chips.  Cook until the carrot chips are tender, 2-3 minutes.  Add the chicken tenders and continue cooking until they are opaque.  Add the mushrooms and snap peas, cook a minute or two more, then add the sauces and ginger preserves.  Mix thoroughly and fry until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are all tender.  Add the udon noodles, combine, and steam for a minute or two with a lid on the work.  Serves about 4.





Sunday, May 14, 2017

Fruit Salad

This is a really simple recipe I've been making for years.  You can really make it with practically any kind of fruit.  I usually use pineapple in it, but didn't today because my daughter has a bit of an allergic reaction to pineapple.

1 1/2 cups red cherries, pitted and halved
1 1/2 cups honeydew melon
1 1/2 cups cantaloupe
1 large tart apple, cubed
1 mango, cubed
1 1/2 cups blackberries
1/4 cup lime juice
2 T rum

Place all in a large bowl and toss together.  Serve chilled.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Tarragon Chicken with Roast Potatoes and Roast Asparagus

This is actually a diet meal.  If you wish, you can make it full fat simply by changing it up from evaporated skim milk to cream, but it's so wonderful, there's really no need.  The chicken recipe comes from the American Heart Association's Around the World Cookbook, which I bought around 20 years ago.  It's one that I come back to regularly.  The potato recipe is based on one found in Secrets of Healthy Middle Eastern Cuisine, by Sanaa Abourezk, but I changed up the seasonings to go with the French dish.  For vegetables, you could serve instead a fresh green salad, or sauteed vegetables with more tarragon, or even the green beans with bacon and onion I posted a couple years ago.

TARRAGON CHICKEN

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Vegetable cooking spray, or 1 t olive oil
10 1/2 oz can chicken broth, preferably low sodium
1 small onion, sliced
1/2 cup celery, sliced
2 slices lemon
1 bay leaf
1T dried french tarragon
Salt and pepper
1 T flour
5 oz can evaporated skim milk
Fresh parsley (optional)

Heat the oil or cooking spray in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Brown the chicken breasts about 2 minutes each side, remove from pan, and set aside.

Add the broth, onion, celery lemon, bay leaf, tarragon, salt and pepper to the skillet and bring to a boil.  Return chicken to the skillet, reduce heat, cover and simmer for ten minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.  With a slotted spoon, remove the chicken and vegetables and set aside.  Discard the lemon slices and bay leaf.

Place flour in a small bowl, and add about 2 T broth.  Stir until smooth.  Whisk in the milk.  Add the mixture to the both, still in the skillet.  Cook over medium heat until it's thickened and bubbly, about 6-9 minutes.  Stir in the parsley if you're using it.

Return the chicken and vegetables to the skillet and spoon sauce over to coat.  Reheat for about 1 minute.  Serves 4.

ROASTED POTATOES

4-5 medium  red skin potatoes
1 cup water
3T lemon juice (use the rest of the lemon from the previous recipe)
1 T olive oil
Herbs de Provence, or a mix of typically French herbs such as tarragon, thyme, marjoram, etc.  Really whatever appeals.   Don't be shy as to how much you use either.
1 clove garlic, minced

Cut the potatoes into one inch cubes and boil about 10-15 minutes, until half cooked.  Place in a baking pan.

Whisk the water, lemon juice and oil together, then mix in the herbs and garlic.  Pour this mixture over the potatoes, and marinate for one hour.  Cook in a 400f oven for 45 minutes, until golden.

ROAST ASPARAGUS

1 bunch asparagus, tough ends broken off and discarded
1 T olive oil
1 T lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Arrange asparagus on a foil lined cookie sheet and drizzle oil and lemon juice over.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cook alongside the potatoes for the final ten minutes.






Friday, March 31, 2017

Chicken with Thai Basil

This is another of my mother's recipes, this one a bit newer than the one I posted the other day.  It comes from a cookbook called Quick and Easy Thai, by Nancie McDermott.  The flavors are quite delicate and it can be served over rice or noodles.

An interesting note, regarding Thai fish sauce, an important ingredient in this recipe:  many historians consider it the closest modern seasoning to Garam, much beloved by the Romans, 2000 years ago!

3 T vegetable oil
1 T coarsely chopped garlic
1/2 cup coarsely chopped onion
3/4 lb boneless chicken, cut I to bite sized pieces.
2 T fish sauce
1T soy sauce
2 T water
2 t sugar
2 T hot green chilies
1 cup fresh Thai basil

Heat the oil. In a deep skillet or work over medium high heat and add the onion and garlic.  Toss well, and when they begin to release their aromas, add the chicken.  Toss well with a spatula or slotted spoon to help the meat Brown evenly.

Add the fish sauce, soy sauce, water and sugar and cook for 2-3 qqminutes, tossing occasionally until the meat is cooked through and the seasonings form a thin sauce.  Add the Chile's and basil and toss well.  Serve hot or warm.




Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Greek Meatballs

This is one of my mother's recipes.  She got it out of a Woman's Day magazine when she and my father were first married, so I have been eating and enjoying this recipe pretty much all my life.  Mom wants me to point out that the magazine was actually given away for free at the grocery store.  This would have been in the early 1960s.  Serves four.


1 ground beef
1/2 a medium onoin
1 t mint leaves, fresh or dried (I'd be tempted to add a bit more)
1 T parsley
2 T uncooked rice
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups beef stock
1 cup water
2 egg yolks
Juice of one lemon

Mix the beef, onion, mint, parsley, and rice.  Season with salt and pepper and add 1/4 cup beef stock.  Thoroughly mix and form into walnut-sized balls.

Bring the remaining stock and the water to a boil, and drop the meatballs into it.  Simmer 45 minutes.  Remove the meatballs from the stock and set aside.

Beat egg yolks, and add lemon juice.  Slowly add some of the hot stock to the egg and lemon mixture while continuing to beat, this will keep the former from curdling.  Stir the egg-lemon mixture into the hot stock, put the meatballs back in and let stand five minutes before serving over rice.  Steamed carrots or broccoli and or a green salad make a nice side vegetable.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

A Special Dinner for Two

It was just me and my daughter for Christmas this year, and this is what I made us.  I'm pretty sure it would also be excellent for a special night with a significant other as well.  It isn't hard to make, and it's utterly delicious!

MENU
Steak medallions with morels in a wine sauce
Roasted Asparagus
Mashed potatoes

MASHED POTATOES
2-3 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
About 1/4 cup milk
About  2 tbsp butter
Salt and pepper

Boil the potatoes until tender, drain.  Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes until fairly smooth.  I don't worry overmuch about a few small lumps.  Add milk and butter and continue mashing until all three ingredients are thoroughly mixed.  Add salt and pepper to taste.


STEAK MEDALLIONS
About 12-16 oz of good quality steak, such as tenderloin or sirloin
dried morels
About 2 cups of red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir
About 5 tbsp butter
Salt and pepper

Place the dried mushrooms and about 1/2 cup of the wine in a small saucepan, simmer until the morels have soaked up most of the wine.  Put aside.  Place the rest of the wine in another saucepan and boil down until you have about 1 cup liquid.  Add about 2 1/2 tbsp of butter bit by bit until the liquid is slightly thickened.  Meanwhile, melt the other half of the butter in a Saute pan, and add the steak cut into about 2 inch medallions.  Sear on both sides, then add the mushrooms, wine mixture, and salt and pepper to taste to the pan.  Cook until the wine has reduced just a bit more, or until the medallions have cooked to the degree that you like (I prefer medium-rare to medium).

ROASTED ASPARAGUS
1 bunch of asparagus
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Place a sheet of aluminum foil over a cookie sheet.  Break off the tough ends of the asparagus and arrange them on the cookie sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper.  Bake in a 400f oven for about 8 minutes.



Friday, December 23, 2016

Chicken Piccata

This particular recipe is based on a couple that I have made many times.  Tonight, I had some ingredients for one and some for another, so I sort of combined the two.

INGREDIENTS
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
Flour
Salt and pepper
1 tsp Italian herbs
1 tsp oregano
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/4 cup white wine
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp capers

Heat the butter and olive oil in a saucepan.  Place the flour, salt, pepper and herbs in a zip lock bag, shake to mix.  Add chicken, shake to coat.  Add chicken to the saucepan and Saute until golden brown, about 2 minutes a side.  Place chicken in an oven dish.  Add the vinegar to the pan juices and allow to evaporate.  Repeat with the wine and the lemon juice.  Add capers to sauce, and stir to combine.  Pour over the chicken, cover and bake in a 350f oven about twenty minutes or until cooked through.

Tonight I served this with couscous and a salad.  It will also go well with rice or perhaps a risotta and a steamed vegetable such as broccoli.