Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mandarin Orange Chicken

This is a recipe from one of my favorite Asian Cookbooks that I have posted about several times. It is called, Thai Cooking & More (Plus Chinese, Japanese & Korean). It has a ton of easy and super delicious recipes. I cut this recipe in half.

Let's gather some ingredients. Everyone asks about my pink knife and it is a Pure Komachi 2 Series 6-1/2-Inch Santoku Knife. I use it all the time and it is super light but also very sharp. Ok, lets talk about ingredients. You will need zucchini, red pepper, onion, crushed red pepper, mandarin oranges, garlic, corn starch, an orange, olive oil, soy sauce, orange juice, rice vinegar, green pepper, chicken and I think that is about it!

Chop up your garlic.

Peel your oranges, I use these Kuhn Rikon 3-Set Original Swiss Peeler, Red/Green/Yellow peelers. I am seriously loving this Amazon associates thing I set up for blogger that lets me link right to Amazon. I know the intent is for you to buy stuff and for me to get filthy rich, but really it is just an easy way for someone who is lazy to link to things that I talk about and show you.

Combine soy sauce, vinegar, oil, orange peel and garlic in a bowl.

Drop the chicken in and get it all mixed up. Pop it in the fridge for 15 minutes or however long it takes you to prep the rest of the ingredients.

So once the chicken is chilling and getting good, drain your mandarin oranges and save the juice the oranges were in.

Chop up the veggies.

Get the chicken out of the marinade and reserve it to make the sauce. Dump in the reserved juice from the oranges and enough OJ to make one cup of soon to be sauce.

Add in cornstarch and red pepper flake and mix it all up, set it aside for now.

Now we can finally cook!

Heat 1/2 tbs oil in a skillet or wok over high heat.

Toss in the chicken and stir fry for 2-3 minutes.

Get the chicken out of there!

Add in the onion and cook for one minute.

Add in the zucchini and cook for one minute. This is why having everything ready before is so important, once you start cooking you have to be able to move fast.

Add bell pepper and cook for a minute or so until they are crisp-tender.

Add in the marinade mixture and bring to a boil. Let that boil for one minute.

Add the chicken and cook just a minute or so more to bring it back up to temperature.

Add in the oranges and give it a quick stir and you are done. With all the ingredients it certainly looks like it would be a lot harder, but if you prep before you start to cook it is a simple dish.

Look how delicious it looks! I served it over some brown rice that I made in the microwave. This was super tasty and had lots of great veggies that can easily be substituted with what you like or what is in season as summer is coming!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Spinach Bacon Soup

So everyone is talking about 'Going Green' these days to save the environment. Well this recipe is so green you might have your fellow diners, or yourself, doing a double take!

This recipe comes from the book, Gourmet Cooking for Two. This is an old cookbook I picked up at an antique store not too long ago. It is by a Finnish woman named Beatrice Ojakangas.

There are not a lot of ingredients in this but it is tasty. You need some spinach, bacon, onion, milk, salt and pepper. The recipe called for rosemary also, but it just didn't make it into the photo.

Slice up the onion and your prep work is done.

Cook up the bacon and try to keep husbands and dogs out of the kitchen. Good luck with that.

Get the bacon out of the pan and hide it if necessary. Drain out all but one tablespoon of the fat. Reserve half a piece of bacon for garnish.

Throw everything in the pan. Don't freak out, the spinach will reduce down in just a couple of minutes.

Once everything is reduced and softened, it is time to blend it up.

Give it a whirl!

Look at how green that is! Add in the milk until it is your desired thickness and blend until smooth.

Get it back in the pan and check it for seasoning. Add some salt and pepper if needed.

Serve it up with the reserved bacon and admire its green beauty. Then taste it, and you will be amazed how tasty something so simple and so green can be.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Chicken with Cauliflower and Parsley

Just 2 posts after my hiatus, I am of course bringing you a dish featuring chicken thighs. I just love the things, what can I say?

The recipe is from Everyday Food magazine, one of my favorites. It serves four and since I love chicken, I just made the whole thing. It would be very easy to cut in half. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and lets get started.

You need very few ingredients for this one. Some chicken thighs, parsley, cauliflower, vinegar and capers.

Get your chicken seasoned with some salt and pepper. This is a very important step, you have to season your food for it to taste good!

Measure out the vinegar and parsley.

Break up your head of cauliflower into florets and drain and rinse your capers. If you are unfamiliar with capers they are little pickled flower buds and are quite tasty. If you cannot find capers, green olives would be an ok substitute for this recipe.

Now that we are done prepping, it is time to cook the chicken. Using an oven proof pan, put the chicken skin side down and cook it for 5-7 minutes.

Flip it over and cook for 3 more minutes or until browned. As you can see I had some issues with the skin sticking to the pan.

Add in the cauliflower and give it a little stir around so it gets some of the chicken fat and flavor on it. Don't forget to add some salt and pepper so it gets seasoned correctly also.

Pop it in the oven and let it cook for about 20 minutes. This is the perfect time to clean your prep dishes, or to check your email and hope the dishes magically wash themselves.

After the 20 minutes is up, stir in the capers, vinegar and parsley. You are now ready to eat!

It really doesn't get any easier than that. Just a few ingredients and you have a dinner loaded with flavor and tasty veggies.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Chili Mac N' Cheddar Soup

I am back! We are all moved in to the new place and I can't wait to start cooking again. I have a ton of recipes in back log for the blog, so I am back at it and you will notice everything is in my old kitchen. My new kitchen does not have a gas stove and I am so very sad about that. If anyone has any tips about cooking with lights instead of fire, please let me know. It will take some adjustment for sure.

But for now, lets get into a comfort food recipe that will be a BIG hit with everyone. Well, except my husband who doesn't eat soup.

I honestly have no idea what magazine I clipped this out of. I did not cut this recipe in half because I knew I would love it and enjoy the leftovers.

Lets gather some ingredients. You will need an onion, ground beef (I used fake meat), chili powder, cumin, milk, broth, a can of cheese soup, elbow macaronis and whatever you would like to garnish it with.

measure out your noodles, mine are in Pyrex of course. Moving all the Pyrex was quite a chore, but everything made it in one piece.

Grate your cheese. I did NOT use all of this but the husband uses grated cheese often so I went to town.

Measure out the spices.

Chop up your onion.

And measure out your milk.

Once you are all prepped we can start to cook. Saute the onions over medium high heat for about 4 minutes.

Add in the meat and cook that for an additional 4 minutes.

Add in the spices and give it a stir. Let this cook for about 2 minutes, you will smell the spices starting to get really fragrant.

Add in your milk, broth and the canned soup and give it a stir. Bring it to a boil and reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for about 3 minutes.

Stir in the pasta and you are almost done!

Cover it up and let it cook for five minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese. Cover it back up and let it sit for five more minutes or until the pasta is done to your liking.

Take off the lid and look at all that cheesy goodness.

I served mine up with some diced tomato and a couple of tortilla chips. This soup was so good and so simple.

I am so glad to be back and again ask for any tips on cooking with an electric cooktop stove.