Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Hawaiian Grilled Chicken

I've discovered that I have a love for all things coconut.  I want to make a public apology to my family who is subject to the food I make.  I will try to not go so far that we're eating it for breakfast lunch and dinner, but I fear it may be too late even for that.

Ok, now that my conscience is clear let me share with you my new favorite chicken recipe that not only has coconut in the marinade, it's served with coconut rice! YUM!

Starting with the rice. I use plain white rice, but I have a few tricks to make it super yummy.

For this recipe I have 2 c rice in a medium sauce pan with 1 can coconut milk plus 1 cup water and a pinch of salt.  Give it a stir, place lid on and place over medium heat.  When you hear it coming to a boil give it another stir, replace lid, turn heat to low.  I don't have a cooking time, I just watch it.  When the liquid is all soaked up I turn the heat off and let it sit with the lid on until ready for dinner.  But I get a head start on the rice because it'll need to sit off the heat for about 20-30 minutes before it's ready to eat.  If your just making white rice then use all water, about 2 3/4 cup for 2 cups rice.

Now for the chicken, I mixed the marinade in a ziploc bag, making sure to leave the onions and garlic pretty large so that when I grill the meat it doesn't stick to the meat.  We're just looking for flavor, not to have the veggies in the finished dish.  Then cut up the chicken and place in marinade over night.

To cook place a grill pan on medium heat (because of the sugar in the marinade you don't want to cook it too hot) with some canola oil.  Blot the chicken to remove the excess marinade and grill for a couple minutes on each side, til cooked through then place on a platter.

Hawaiian Grilled Chicken
adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything

2-3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken
1/2 c soy sauce
1/2 c water
3/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c onion, chopped large
1 garlic clove, smashed- not chopped
1 t sesame oil
1 c coconut milk (freeze leftovers or use in rice)

Mix all ingredients in ziploc bag and refrigerate over night.  To cook, warm an oiled grill pan over medium heat, grill chicken for 2-3 minutes or til cooked through.  Place on platter to serve.

Coconut Rice

2 cups white rice (not minute rice)
1 can coconut milk
1 c water
pinch salt

Combine all ingredients in medium saucepan and cover.  Cook on medium heat til begins to boil, stir and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer til all liquid is absorbed.  Turn heat off and allow to rest for at least 20 minutes before serving.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Hoisin Marinated Tri Tip Roast

I have just discovered tri tip roasts.  As a rule (and someone who is slightly weird about meat) I buy meat that is hormone/steroid free.  Because natural meat is higher in price I stick to the cuts that are less expensive, hamburger, stew meat, pot roasts, etc.  A few times a year I will make fajitas with skirt steak, mmm so good.  But as my boys, and their appetites, grow I'm finding that I'm more and more conscience about how much I spend on meat.  So when I came across this recipe for hoisin marinated tri tip I was fully prepared to buy a less expensive cut in place of tri tip.  To my surprise tri tip is not THAT much more than other cuts of beef I gravitate to.  In addition, it's very low in fat, does not take long to cook and because of it's triangular shape everyone can have the wellness they prefer (skinny end well done, wide end medium:)

The night before mix the marinade in a gallon ziploc.  Rinse, pat dry and add the tri tip to the marinade and chill overnight.

About 30 minutes before you cook the trip tip set it out on the counter to take the chill off.  The roast will be more tender by doing this.

To cook, pat the meat dry with a paper towel.  Heat a large oven safe pan over medium high.  Add olive oil and brown meat on both sides.  Pour the marinade into a small sauce pan and bring to a boil for several minutes, til sauce is thickened.

Place a temperature gauge in the thickest part of the meat, making sure it doesn't go through the other side and place in the oven til desired doneness, about 20 minutes for medium rare.

When meat is done place it on a large cutting board and cover with foil to rest for 10-15 minutes.

Slice thin against the grain and serve with the reduced marinade.

Hoisin Marinated Tri Tip Roast
adapted from Chow

1/4 c hoisin sauce
1/2 t ground ginger
1/4 t ground garlic
2 T rice vinegar
2 T soy sauce
fresh ground pepper
1 tri tip roast
2 T olive oil

The night before combine all ingredients into a ziploc bag.  Seal and refrigerate over night.  30 minutes before cooking set roast on counter.  Heat oven to 375F.  Heat olive oil in a large oven safe skillet.  Brown meat on both sides.  Place a temperature gage in thickest part of meat and place in oven to finish, 20-25 minutes.

Remove from pan and cover with foil for about 10 minutes.  Cut into thin slices and serve with reduced marinade.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Asparagus

The kids are back at school and I've (almost) fully recovered.  I'm getting caught up on life and am finding little moments here and there to sit down, make some grown-up food and enjoy the peace and quiet...ahhh.  So, this ones for me!

You know how it is to take your kids grocery shopping? You get the list (can't count on memory for these trips), you make sure the kids have full bellies (that's mommy 101- never takes kids on an empty stomach!) and you give them the pep talk on the way there (good manners, be helpful, watch for other people, on and on and on).  Then you get there, race through while negotiating what junk food to cave in on, break up fights for who gets to choose the cereal and remind countlessly to look out for the little old lady behind them, in front of them, no where near them because somehow you just know she's going to be taken out and you'll look like the oblivious mom who "didn't teach her children how to behave".  There's no checking for prices, no seeing what's on special, and forget about any sort of inspiration or stopping to see what's fresh in the produce section. I count it a win if we get out of there and we're still speaking to one another!  So this week I went to the grocery store...by myself...and you won't believe what I found...peace. And asparagus.  Lovely little pencil thin, super sweet and bright green asparagus, for a decent price- bonus!  Now since none of the other members of my family like or will even eat asparagus I was inspired to make- for myself- a quite girly quinoa salad with these little beauties.  A girls still got to eat right?  I thought so:)

Starting with the quinoa, it takes longer to cook, I'm using red and white -because it's pretty, this is for me remember? Give it a rinse and allow to drain.

Add it into some onion that I sautéed til translucent in color and allow to cook for a couple minutes, stirring occasionally, just to get toasted.

Add in chicken broth and bring to a simmer.  Cover and cook for about 20 minutes.

While the quinoa is simmering preheat your oven to 450F, give the asparagus a good rinse and dry it with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels.

Cut into 1" pieces and place it on a cookie sheet, toss with olive oil and kosher salt.

Roast for 5-10 min or til it just starts to brown, check it often because it'll burn easily.  I could eat the whole pan just like this, it's so delicious, kind of buttery tasting, mmm.

The quinoa is done when all the liquid is absorbed and it has sprouted a little curly q- cute!  Allow both the asparagus and quinoa to cool a bit.

Then combine in a large bowl along with some slivered almonds.

Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan on top and enjoy!

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Asparagus

1 bunch fresh asparagus, chopped into 1" pieces
1 c quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 onion, finely diced
2 T butter
4 T olive oil, divided
2 c chicken broth
1/2 c slivered almonds
parmesan for garnish

For the quinoa:

In a large saute pan (that has a lid) cook the onion in butter, 2 T olive oil and some salt over medium heat.  When translucent in color turn heat to med-high and add in the quinoa and cook for about 3 min.  Add in the chicken stock and bring to a simmer.  Cover and turn heat to low for 15-20 min, til liquid is absorbed and quinoa has sprouted.  Turn heat off and let sit with lid on til cooled down a bit.

For the asparagus:

Preheat oven to 450F.  Wash and dry asparagus and cut into 1" pieces, making sure to remove the tough bottom portion.  Place on a cookie sheet and toss with remaining 2 T olive oil and kosher salt.  Spread out to make a single layer on cookie sheet and roast for 5-10 minutes, til asparagus just begins to turn brown and a bit crispy on the tips.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.

In a large bowl combine the quinoa, asparagus and almonds.  Taste to adjust seasoning.  I added some fresh black pepper.  Serve with a garnish of parmesan cheese, enjoy!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Pad Thai

Oh Pad Thai, how have I lived so long without you?  Thankfully not anymore! While my hubs and I have a favorite place to get our Pad Thai fix I have come up with a home version that is delicious...

...AND all the ingredients are found in the regular grocery store, yay!

Let 's start with the peanut sauce.  In a medium sauce pan over medium heat warm a can of unsweetened coconut milk.

When that reaches a gentle boil add thai chili sauce, simmer for about 1 minute.

Next add in the peanut butter and stir til completely dissolved.

Reduce heat to low to add in the brown sugar, stir to dissolve completely.

Turn off the heat and add the soy sauce, stir to combine.  Place a lid on the pot and set aside while preparing the noodles and stir fry.

Here are the rice noodles I use.  At my store they come in 1 mm width and 3 mm width.  You can see they say Rice Stick on the right hand side.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil, then turn off the heat.  Place the rice noodles in the hot water, give a gentle stir and let sit for about 5 minutes for thin noodles.

Here are mine after 6 minutes.  At this point they'll get mushy very quickly.  Reserve 1 cup of the water and drain the noodles in a large colander, rinsing with cold water to stop the cooking.  They can sit while you prepare the veggies.

Now for the stir fry.  I have red pepper, sugar snap peas, carrots, water chestnuts, cilantro and peanuts.  You can vary the stir fry veggies to your liking.

Get them chopped, shredded and diced before you begin the cooking, this part will go fast.

In a large saute pan heat up 2 tablespoons of canola oil with a touch of sesame oil.  Begin sautéing the veg that will take the longest to cook, here I have red pepper.

Then add the next and the next til it's all in.  As I added my shredded carrots I put a splash of soy sauce to flavor the veggies.

Last I'm adding some chicken that I've cooked and chopped ahead of time, along with the water chestnuts.  Turn the heat to low and allow the chicken to warm through.

When ready to serve add in some of the peanut sauce and toss to coat.  To warm the noodles up place them back into the pot along with some of the reserved water and turn to medium heat.  Cover with the lid for just a few minutes.  Rice noodles can turn mushy really fast so don't forget about them.

To eat place noodles on plate, top with stir fry, cilantro and peanuts and a wedge of lime on the side.  Enjoy!

Pad Thai

Peanut Sauce:
1- 14 oz can unsweetened coconut milk
2 t thai chili sauce, or to your liking
1/3 c unsweetened peanut butter
7 T brown sugar
4 T soy sauce

In a medium saucepan over medium heat bring coconut milk to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally.   Add in chili sauce, stirring for 1 minute.  Add in peanut butter stirring to dissolve, about 1 minute.  Reduce heat to low and add in the brown sugar, stirring to dissolve.  Remove from heat and add soy sauce, stir to combine.  Cover and set aside.

To prepare rice noodles bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  When water reaches a rolling boil remove from heat.  Place noodles in the hot water and allow to sit.  1 mm noodles will take about 5 min, 3 mm noodles will take about 15 minutes.  Check every 5 minutes til soft.  Once noodles are soft reserve 1 cup of the cooking water and drain the noodles.  Give them a cold water rinse.  Let drain til ready to serve.  When ready to serve place the noodles back in the pot with some of the reserved cooking water.  Place lid on pot and turn to medium heat for a few minutes, not too long.

For the stir fry, prep all veggies and place on a plate or cutting board.  In a large sauté pan heat 2 T canola oil with a splash of sesame oil over medium high heat.  Add veggies, cooking and stirring just for a few minutes.  Turn heat to low, add in cooked chicken to warm through.  When ready to serve add in some peanut sauce.  Serve over rice noodles with fresh cilantro, chopped peanuts and a lime wedge.  Extra peanut sauce on the side is a good bet, I just can't get enough of that!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Meatballs with Gravy on Rice

It must be a Norwegian thing.  I didn't grow up eating meatballs with cream gravy over rice.  Meatballs- to me- seem to go with spaghetti and marinara, garlic bread, parmesan cheese, etc. But it's one of my husbands all time favorite dishes, so after having it many times over the years at his family's house, I decided I needed to make it, too.  Now it's also one of my favs...as for the kids, well, it'll grow on 'em ;)

Begin with sautéing a small onion in olive oil, butter and pinch of kosher salt in an oven safe pan.

When translucent turn off heat and allow to cool.

In a large bowl I have hamburger, panko breadcrumbs (use whatever you have, that's what I had), 1 egg, heavy whipping cream, worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper and the now cooled onions that I sautéed.  (set the pan to the side, you'll need it in a minute.) Mix this with your hands, don't work it too much or the meatballs will turn out tough.

With a small ice cream scoop, scoop your meat and roll into a ball in your hand and place back in the pan that you cooked your onions in.

Pour a cup of chicken broth in with the meatballs and place in a 375F oven for about 30 min, or til cooked through.

Here they are coming out of the oven, place the meatballs into a serving dish and cover with foil.

Put the sauté pan back on the burner and turn to medium-high heat.  Add in the remaining cream and whisk to incorporate.

The sauce will thicken as it cooks, no need to add flour.  If you don't have enough gravy you can add more chicken broth. Taste it to check for seasoning, add salt or pepper to your liking.  Serve over white rice and enjoy!

Meatballs with Gravy

1-2 T butter
1-2 T olive oil
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 1/2 lbs hamburger (I always use extra lean- 9%)
1 egg
1/3 c dry bread crumbs
2 T worcestershire sauce
1 c heavy cream, divided
salt & pepper
1 c chicken stock (my favorite is Better Than Bouillon)
cooked white rice to serve

In a large oven safe saute pan melt butter and olive oil over med heat.  Cook onion with a pinch of salt til translucent.  Set aside to cool for a few minutes.

In a large bowl combine hamburger, egg, bread crumbs, worcestershire sauce, 1/2 c cream , cooled onions and salt and pepper.  Shape into walnut sized meat balls and place back into the sauté pan.  Bake in a 375F oven for about 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and place meat balls in a serving dish, cover with foil and set aside.  Place pan with broth back onto med-high heat.  Add in remaining cream and whisk, picking up any bits from the bottom of the pan.  Cook at medium-high til sauce begins to thicken.  Taste for flavor, adding salt and pepper if needed.  Serve over white rice.