Thursday, January 29, 2015

KA Lime and Spice Fajitas

Another KA quickie! This is quick. This is easy. You will love it. What else is there to say?
OK, I do have a few things to say. Thank you to Jaden Hair and her great Craftsy class for reminding me of the beauty of cooking wok-style. I don’t have a wok, but I do have a nice big saucepan, and the techniques work almost as well (I think!). And thank you to Park Street Pantry for having tasty spicy salts. They are pretty awesome for adding a bit of spice to any dish, be it as a finishing touch or while cooking. Do take care with the ghost pepper salt, though…

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into long pieces
High-heat oil, such as canola
4 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 onion, sliced
1–2 red bell peppers, sliced
Granulated garlic
Granulated onion
Lime juice
Cayenne pepper powder
Chili pepper powder
Spicy salts (got mine from Park Street Pantry)
Shredded cheese

1. Put a dollop of oil into your saucepan or wok and heat over high heat. When hot, add the chicken chunks. Season with some of the above spices—don’t worry if you can’t get everything on the chicken. You will be adding spices in layers via the other ingredients that are coming later. Do be sure to squeeze in some lime juice, though. Turn over the chicken pieces after a few minutes to make sure both sides get nicely cooked. Push the saucepan so it is slightly off the heat—shove the chicken to that part of the pan.

2. If necessary, add a bit of oil. Add the onions to the pan. Sprinkle on some more spices. Squirt on some more lime juice. Stir fry for a couple minutes, until the onions change to a softer texture. Push them against the chicken.

3. Repeat the last step with the mushrooms. They will take 4 to 5 minutes. Push to the side.

4. Last stir-frying step! Add the peppers. Spice, etc., stir. We like our peppers to be warmed through but still have a texture, so I only do 2-3 minutes here. 

5. Mix everything together in the pan and remove from heat.

6. Serve on tortillas with a light sprinkling of cheese on top. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Gyudon: AKA Awesome Japanese Beef and Onions in Wine Broth over Rice

This is an adaptation of one of my favorite recipes from my favorite cookbook (Let’s Cook Japanese Food!). It is easy. It is delicious. It has alcohol in it. It is Japanese. What else could one want?

2 lb thinly sliced beef
3/4 C soy sauce
1 C wine (any will do—I used merlot)
1 C sake
1 T ginger juice (removed from a jar of grated ginger)
1 t ginger (somewhat inevitable when fishing the juice out of the ginger jar)
1/2 C sugar
2 onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T salt
Beef broth or hot water to fill
2 C rice
4 C water

1. Put everything in your crockpot. Put on high for 3 hours.
2. After the beef is done, make the rice. Put the rice and water into a covered pot over high heat. When the water boils, turn the heat to low or medium (whatever works to keep it simmering). After 15 minutes, turn off the heat. Allow the pot to sit, covered, for another 15 minutes.
3. Serve in a bowl—a scoop of rice, topped with some of the broth and a scoop of the meat and onions. Enjoy!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Rosemary-Honey Chicken with Penne and Roasted Broccoli Sauce

While browsing the Web, I found this random site for mail-order meatballs, pasta, and sauce. I thought to myself… “Self, what about making a GREEN sauce for pasta? This seems like a good idea. Red is nice, white is nice, but what about a change?” After speaking thusly to myself, I got some broccoli and made this. I like the toasty flavor of the roasted veggies, but I have to admit that the sauce is more brown than green. If you want a vivid green color, steam the broccoli instead of roasting it.

Ingredients for sauce puree
2 heads of broccoli (this is forgiving—but I used medium to large size heads)
6 cloves of garlic
3 onions
14.5 oz can chicken broth
S+P to taste

Ingredients for chicken
Chicken thighs (I had 4, weighed about 2 pounds total)
1/2 orange
1-1/2T honey per chicken piece
1T rosemary per chicken piece
1 head of broccoli (small), separated into edible pieces.
1 onion, sliced
4 oz baby bella mushrooms, washed and sliced in half if large

1A. Prep the roasted veggies. Put foil on a baking sheet and lightly oil with a high-heat oil (I used a canola blend). The veggie prep is easier because everything (mostly) is getting pureed later. Smash and peel the garlic; leave whole. Peel and cut the onions into eighths. Separate the 2 heads of broccoli into larger florets than you would normally find comfortable to eat. Arrange on baking sheet, top with S+P, and roast in a 350-degree F oven for 40-50 minutes (or until it looks good and roasty to you).

1B. Prep the chicken. Rinse off the chicken pieces and arrange in a casserole dish over the sliced onion. Top each chicken piece with the honey and rosemary. Add mushrooms and broccoli to the dish. Cut the half-orange into pieces and squeeze over everything, then throw them on top. Pop into the same 350-degree F oven for about an hour.

2. After the stuff has been in the oven about 35 minutes, get a pot of water boiling for the penne. When it boils, add the penne and set a timer for about 10 minutes. When the pasta is done to your liking, drain it and mix a bit of oil in to keep the pasta from sticking together.

3. When the veggies hit 40-50 minutes, remove from the oven and pop them in your favorite blender or food processor. Tongs are very helpful for this process. Add in the chicken broth (about half the can worked for me) and process those veggies until they’re nice and smooth. Taste the sauce. What do you think? How is the texture? If you want the sauce to be thicker, pour it into a saucepan, mix a bit of flour into a small cup of hot water, and add to the sauce. Personally, I found the sauce to be fine without adding any thickeners.

4. When all is done, serve penne with the “green” sauce on top, next to a chicken thigh with the roasted veggies nearby. I suggest topping with parmesan…always nice. Looks good! Tastes awesome, too. Enjoy!