Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Chicken Stir Fry

I had to pick a new winner for my EB Mine Brunch giveaway!  Carol, today's you're lucky day, please email me by Friday with your contact info and I'll get goodies sent your way :)

While I don't make a lot of stir fries, I've learned that it's best to be prepared.  Have everything chopped before you start because things move fast!  Mise en place, as they say.  Once everything is chopped, the meal comes together quickly, making it perfect for a weeknight dinner (especially if you do the chopping ahead of time!).

Chicken Stir Fry
adapted from allrecipes
Serves 4

You should use whatever veggies you might already have in your kitchen, and also feel free to switch up the protein (tofu, beef, even tempeh would work well).

1T vegetable oil
1/2T toasted sesame oil
4-5 cloves of garlic, pressed or minced
2 chiles, minced (I used 1 serrano and 1 Fresno)
1 bell pepper, thinly sliced (red, orange or yellow)
1.5lbs chicken breast, cut into 3/4" cubes
3c cooked brown rice, chilled (I cooked up 1 1/4cups using this method)
6oz sliced baby bellas (or white mushrooms)
1 1/2T fish sauce
1 1/2T reduced sodium soy sauce
1T brown sugar
1/3c sliced scallions
2T fresh chopped basil
scant 1/2c chopped fresh cilantro

Prepare all your vegetables and measure out the fish sauce and soy sauce (together is fine).  If you don't want to dirty a lot of dishes, try using a large bowl and working backwards.  Cut up those that will be added last (scallions, cilantro and basil here) and add them into the bowl.  Separate them from veggies that need a little more time to cook (mushrooms) with a layer of saran wrap and continue on.  That way they'll be ready to go when you need them!

Preheat a large wok or skillet over high heat.

Add the vegetable oil and sesame oil and once heated, add garlic and cook for a few seconds until golden.  Add the peppers (chiles and bell) and chicken, and stir-fry until almost cooked through.  Add the mushrooms and stir.

Once the chicken is cooked, add the rice, fish sauce, soy sauce and brown sugar.  Break up the rice and continue to cook until the rice is heated through.

Add the scallions,and herbs and turn off the heat.  Mix well and serve!

Thursday, March 15, 2012


I'm still looking for my EB Mine Brunch giveaway winner!  Marcie, please send me an email with your mailing address by Sunday or I'll have to pick another winner.

A couple of weekends ago, my roommate left me a bunch of parsley and cilantro when she went out of town.  Added to my 2 bunches of parsley and 1 bunch of cilantro already hiding in the fridge, I was determined that none of them go bad.

Image Source

I took to twitterfacebook and Food Blog Search for some suggestions.  Pesto.  Tabbouleh.  Thai.  Chimichurri.  Chimi...what?  I'd heard of it before, but never tried it.  An Argentinian parsley sauce, chimichurri is traditionally used to top grilled meat.  Using 2 packed cups of herbs, chimichurri it was!

Since it was the middle of "winter" and we don't have a grill, it wasn't going to be used the traditional way.  Instead I roasted some teeny tiny potatoes and kale (olive oil, salt and pepper, potatoes roasted at 400deg for 20min then add kale and cook another 10min), topped that with a simply seared tuna steak (seasoned with salt and pepper, cooked in a hot pan a ~4min each side for med-rare), and topped it with chimichurri and a squeeze of lemon.

Over the top.  One of the best meals I've eaten recently, this was so full of flavor I'd highly recommend you add this to your menu this weekend!  I've already stocked up on parsley again :)

adapted from Herbivoracious

Feel free to use a combination of cilantro and parsley instead of all parsley if you like, or add in some oregano.

1 lg garlic clove, pressed/minced
2c lightly packed parsley
1t sea salt
1/4t freshly ground black pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes, if desired
1T white wine vinegar
1/3c extra virgin olive oil
1/4c minced shallot

Add parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes (if using), vinegar and oil to the bowl of a food processor (I used the small bowl of my 12c bad boy).  Process until the parsley is well minced, with just a bit of texture.  Transfer to a small bowl and mix in the shallot.  Let sit for a bit, then adjust the salt, pepper and vinegar to taste.

Have you ever tried chimichurri??

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pistachio Cherry Pesto

I'm not sure that this can even be called a pesto.  I've gone beyond nuts and herbs, and didn't even add any cheese!  The horror!  What I can say, is that this is tasty.  And unique.  A little savory-sweet action going on, which should come as no surprise.  I'm going to spare you the photo I took of the pesto on its own, because, well...  it doesn't look appetizing ;)

Pistachio Cherry Pesto w/Pasta & Broccoli
adapted from these two recipes
Yield:  ~1c pesto
Serves 2 with extra pesto

I used the starchy pasta cooking water to help bring the pesto together.  If you want to make the pesto by itself, just use some vegetable stock or more oil.

6oz whole wheat pasta (I used penne)
1 head broccoli, cut into florets

For the pesto:
1/2c pistachios, lightly toasted
1/2c dried tart cherries
3 cloves of roasted garlic
1 meyer lemon
1 pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2c packed basil
1/2c packed parsley
2T extra virgin olive oil
1/4c or more broth

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add a hefty dash of salt, then add the pasta.  A minute or two before the pasta is al dente, add the broccoli.  Once the pasta is cooked, SAVE 1c of the cooking water (use a measuring cup) and then drain the pasta and broccoli.

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the pesto.  In the bowl of a food processor, add pistachios, cherries, roasted garlic, the zest and juice of a meyer lemon, red pepper flakes, basil, parsley and olive oil.  Process until it becomes a paste.  Add 1/4c of the pasta cooking liquid and continue to blend until smooth, adding more liquid as necessary to achieve a pesto-like consistency (thick but spreadable).  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add the drained pasta and broccoli back to the pot, along with 1/2c pesto and ~1/4c of the pasta cooking liquid.  Stir to combine, and adjust as needed-- you may want a little more pesto, or need more liquid based on your own preferences!

I would try adding the rest of the pesto to some roasted brussels sprouts, a la Chef Todd.  Or perhaps as a sandwich spread, with goat cheese (of course), chicken and arugula.  Mmmm.

What do you like to add to your pesto??

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Marmalade Jellies

First things first, the winner of the EB Mine Brunch giveaway.  Random.org says the winner is #9, Marcie!  Marcie, shoot me an email with your mailing address and we'll get those Eggland's Best goodies sent your way :)

After my first foray into jam-making this past summer, I was so excited to receive this cookbook for Christmas!  It's a great cookbook, full of information about the ingredients and process, in addition to some fantastic recipes, organized by season.

I wasn't quite sure if I was into marmalade, which is usually what happens to the citrus fruit that is plentiful now.  Given my love of meyer lemons I decided that I would try a Meyer Lemon Kumquat Marmalade first.

(Don't mind the tangerine in this picture...  I used all my kumquats!)

After acquiring enough lemons and kumquats for a half batch, I started the three day process of marmalade making.  Don't let that scare you--it's mostly hands-off!  Things were going well until it was time to test the jam.  I must've decided to test a little late, as my marmalade started to burn while my testing spoon was in the freezer.  Gone was my plan to can the marmalade.  I couldn't bring myself to toss it, so I lined a 9x13 pan with parchment paper and poured in the slightly over-cooked marmalade.  After a few hours in the fridge...  it worked!  I had marmalade candy! 

Like a little gummy candy, I scored small pieces using a pizza cutter and wrapped them in small pieces of parchment paper.  Friends and co-workers were none the wiser and enjoyed this sweet treat.  I'll call that a success :)

Have you had a recipe disaster you've been able to salvage into something tasty??

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Horchata Cupcakes

When Elina, Kerstin and I started planning dinner a few weeks month ago, we settled on a Spanish theme and I wound up responsible for dessert.  I thought about going the traditional route, but decided to use the prominent components (almond, caramel, rice, cinnamon) in a different way.

Horchata, as it turns out, is originally from Valencia.  While the traditional version uses tigernuts, I used my creative license and used brown rice.  Remembering the cupcakes from the first Foodbuzz Festival, I based my creation off of those!

Horchata Cupcakes
slightly adapted from Mission Mini's
Yield:  10-11

1 1/4c white whole wheat flour
1/2c evaporated cane juice (or granulated sugar)
1/2t baking soda
1/2t salt
1 1/2t cinnamon
2/3c neutral-flavored oil
1/2c fresh horchata
1 lg egg, RT
1/2t white vinegar
1t vanilla extract.

Preheat oven to 325deg.

Sift together dry ingredients (flour through cinnamon) into a medium bowl.

In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining (wet) ingredients.  Add the dry ingredients and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.  Divide batter evenly among lined cupcake tins so they are 2/3 full (I did this with a cookie scoop).

Bake in oven for 15-20min, turning the pan halfway through.  Test with a toothpick to check for doneness, it should come clean with a few crumbs attached.  Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

Once my cupcakes had cooled, I filled them with cajeta (bought in Mexico) and topped them with almond cream cheese frosting (from Sky High, which you can find here).  A sprinkle of cinnamon would've been a nice touch, but I forgot!

What's your favorite Spanish dessert?
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