Thursday, October 4, 2012

Pan-Seared Chicken with Mushroom Sage Sauce

     WOAH! I cannot even begin to explain how delicious this recipe was! The flavors were so.... delicious! I can barely form words remembering back to how much I really liked this recipe! I will say that part of what made this dish so exquisite was the Basil Pearled Cous-cous that I accompanied with the chicken. The flavors together were just so scrumptious! I will definitely only make this dish with the Near East Basil Pearled Cous-cous from now on! This dish was so creamy and delicious! Of course I used extra mushrooms because I like to have some mushrooms with every bite! I definitely recommend this dish!
     There is a little alcohol used in this dish. My husband doesn't like dishes that incorporate alcohol so I made sure to allow the alcohol flavor to cook off for a while longer than the recipe suggested, so my sauce wasn't necessarily as sauce-y as compared with where I got the recipe from, but I thought it made it richer and more flavorful. And, score!, my husband said he really couldn't taste the alcohol much at all, which he is particularly nit-picky about and able to pick out even when I haven't mentioned that there is alcohol in a dish, so for him to say that was huge. Also, if you would prefer not to use alcohol at all, I would just substitute it out for some chicken broth and it would be just as tasty.
     So, here we go!

3 T butter
1/2 C chopped shallots, or minced onions (I couldn't find my shallots until I finally relented and used onion, cause of course that's when you find what you're looking for!)
10-12oz mushrooms of your choice (I used button)
1 t fresh parsley
1 C dry white white or dry vermouth (I know others would kill me, but I just use the cooking wine that can be found by the vinegar in the store. We don't drink so I don't have bottles of wine on hand.)
2/3 C heavy whipping cream
3 T fresh sage
1 T olive oil
2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded out to 1/3 inch or so
salt and pepper


In a medium saucepan, melt the butter on medium heat. Add onions and sweat for a minute. Add the mushrooms, parsley and a pinch of salt and saute for approx. 10 minutes or so until they begin to get all soft and yummy-butter filled.

Add the wine and deglaze the pan with a wooden spoon by scraping the bottom of the pan to get up all the yummy bits from the onions and mushrooms. Add the cream (make sure your heat isn't too high so as not to curdle the cream, you want to slowly bring it to a higher heat). Now, bring it to a low boil and cook the sauce down for approx 10-15 minutes to allow it to thicken (You want it to be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon).

White the sauce is reducing, begin the pearled cous-cous in a small sauce pan.
Then, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and add to the pan and sear chicken on each side for 3-4 minutes, do not disturb while it cooks. It will gain a lovely caramelized color from the hot pan.

Now, back to the sauce. Add the chopped sage to the sauce, along with a pinch of salt and pepper (make sure you taste the sauce first to see how much salt you actually need to add).

I served this dish by first putting a scoop of pearled cous-cous on each plate, and topping it with the lovely seared chicken breast, and topped it off with a healthy scoop of the mushroom sage sauce. Then, garnish with a pretty sprinkle of parsley!

Then, fall out of your chair as the flavors burst in your mouth! Then, get back up and finish the rest of your dinner! You're welcome!

Recipe Adapted from: Simply Recipes

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Asparagus and Red Pepper Beef Stirfry

     I found this recipe a while back while looking for the perfect stirfry. I wasn't that enthused by the recipe, considering there weren't that many ingredients, but I was pleasantly surprised at how flavorful the sauce was! It actually became our favorite stirfry recipe and I made it most nights that week; I'm not ashamed.

     What's great about this recipe as well, is that it doesn't take long to go from prepping to the dinner table; as most stir fry's. I also love that I don't have to worry about side dishes with this one! I can never remember to plan for vegetable side dishes, which is why I love stir frys: the vegetables are already included!

3 T vegetable or peanut oil
1 bundle of asparagus, bottoms trimmed and sliced into thirds*
1 lb flank steak, sliced into thin strips
1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
Slurry: 2 tsp cornstarch whisked into 3 T water
3 T soy sauce
1 tsp ginger (I use the jarred version)
1 clove garlic (again, I use the jarred version, crushed garlic)
1 scallion, chopped
1/2 tsp chili oil (or Sriracha** if you don't have chili oil)

Prepare your rice and set for 10-12 minutes.

For the asparagus, I have tried two methods here and both worked great, just choose whichever you'd prefer. Since you aren't going to cook the asparagus for very long, this step is going to help make the asparagus tender and not hard and woodsy.
     *1. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the bottom half outer layer of the asparagus off (Obviously, do this before you cut the asparagus into thirds otherwise this step will be a bit difficult).
       2. Bring a small pot of water to a boil and cook the asparagus pieces for several minutes and drain.

Prepare the sauce: Stir together the soy sauce, ginger, garlic, scallion and chili oil or Sriracha (**I didn't have chili oil the first several times I made this dish and used Sriracha instead. This time I did use chili oil, and I must say, I preferred the Sriracha. The Sriracha gives the dish a bit of heat and a bit more flavor).

Begin the stirfry: Add 1 T of oil. Start with the asparagus and cook on high heat for a few minutes until browning. Remove and set aside.

Add 1 T of oil to the pan and stirfry the beef strips in 2 batches for 1 minute on each side (2 minutes total); don't cook the beef any longer even though you might be tempted to. By the time the dish is ready, the meat will be so tough and dried out. Trust me, it might not look done, but just go with it.
Then, add all the beef to the pan along with the bell pepper and cook another 2 minutes to allow pepper to soften.

Give the slurry one more stir to make sure the cornstarch is incorporated into the water and pour into the pan with the stir fry sauce. Allow to thicken for 1 minute. Add the asparagus and toss to combine all the ingredients.

Serve over white rice.

Recipe adapted from: Simply Recipes

Friday, September 7, 2012

Thai Green Curry Coconut Shrimp

      This dish was so outstanding! I was really surprised at how delicious and flavorful it was considering it took less than 15 minutes to make and there weren't many ingredients involved! Definitely make this one! I know that the fish sauce might kinda throw some people off, but just trust me... if you're careful with it and use it sparingly, it adds such depth and flavor. This was a perfect dish for two, we like lots of shrimp though! Do it!


1 tsp peanut oil
4 scallions (green onions) diced, with the white and green parts separated
1 Tb Thai Green Curry paste
2 cloves Garlic, crushed
1 lb shrimp
10 oz light Coconut Milk
6-8 dashes of Thai Fish Sauce (use sparingly and taste as you add)
2 T fresh chopped Basil
salt to taste


Prepare 1 C dried rice and set for 10-12 minutes.
Begin to peel and de-vein shrimp if necessary.
Chop scallions and basil.
In a 10 in skillet over med heat, add oil and let heat for 30 seconds or so.
Add white scallions parts and curry paste and allow to cook for a minute or so, stirring to combine.
Add garlic and stir to combine.
Add shrimp and allow to cook for several minutes until the shrimp begin to turn pink.
Add coconut milk and fish sauce* and stir to combine, allow to simmer 2-3 minutes to heat thoroughly.
Turn heat off and add the green scallions parts and chopped basil and mix together.
Serve over white rice.
Be amazed at the deliciousness!

*Please, please, please be careful with the fish sauce. I just know that people are going to put a lot in and then hate me for suggested this recipe when the smell eminating from this dish makes you want to vomit, and it's so salty and fishy tasting. Fish sauce is super tricky: if you put too much, it can completely ruin a dish. If you put just the right amount in, it adds so much depth and flavor and you cannot taste fishiness at all. I promise. My husband would not eat it if he could taste it.

     (I remember the time I followed the recipe and put 1/2 C fish sauce in a dish and that was the first time I refused to allow my husband and I to finish the dish past one bite. We ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner instead. That meal will go down in history as the worst dish I've ever made. So just DON'T do it.)

Be very careful. I accidentally added a dash too much in this dish, and compensated by adding more coconut milk and it was perfect! I ended up really liking the extra sauce that it provided for the rice, so I've written in the addition to the recipe here. After each dash or two, taste the sauce to see if it's right.

Recipe adapted from: Gina's Skinny Recipes

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Grilled Chicken Week

     This week came about because we are trying to be healthier; like everyone else, when aren't we? Grant wanted to do something a little simpler, well, wanted ME to do something simpler for dinners, like grilled chicken. I was totally up for that, but of course, I couldn't just make the same recipe every night, I had to find some fun recipes that were also easy-ish and not defeat the whole purpose of the plan.

     I found some recipes online in various places and the result was pretty awesome! These recipes are originally for various amounts, and different types of chicken. I have changed each recipe for our liking: dinner for two. You may also click on the link to each recipe to see any changes I've made to the recipe or to the amounts.

     A friend gave me some pretty good tips for grilling chicken, so I thought I'd just do an introductory post to explain the specifics of how I'll be grilling the chicken so I won't need to do it for each post.

Grilling Tips:

1. I'm using medium sized chicken breasts which are about the size of my palm (roughly 6 inches long). And I'll be grilling them for approx. 6-7 minutes on each side. If you have larger ones, you'll need closer to 10 minutes per side.

2. Preheat grill on high. Then when you're ready to put the chicken on, turn down to med-low.

3. Spritz the grate with cooking spray several times so you're chicken is less likely to stick (Don't just spray the whole thing b/c you'll get major flare ups, just spritz it). Also, many people dip a paper towel in olive oil and using tongs, brush the grate with the paper towel. I myself haven't used this method, but most recipes will have you do this. I just find it easier to use Pam.

4. Place your chicken on the grill. If you want to give it that extra punch of prettiness, put it at an angle so you'll get cool grill marks. I place the large side of the breast closer to the middle of the grate since it's thicker and will need more time to cook. Close the lid and walk away.

5. Look at your watch (clock on your cell phone) and check the time so you know EXACTLY when to come back and check the chicken.

6. Flip your chicken to the other side. Close the cover, walk away again. Again, check your watch.

7. If basting, here's where you wanna do it. One thing I've learned is that if you put your chicken on the grill with a very sugary sauce on it (BBQ), it will be more likely to burn and char. You might like that, my husband, however, does not. It is better for me to wait and put it on the chicken at the end and cook the chicken for another minute to adhere the sauce to the chicken.

8. Plate your chicken and take it inside and let it rest for 5 minutes to allow the juices to settle. If you cut right into it, all the juices will flow out of your chicken leaving you with dry chicken, and no one ever said "MMM" while eating a dry piece of chicken. Never. Don't do it. You'll be tempted... but you'll be mad at yourself.

A lot of people have been requesting these recipes.
Here are some pictures of this weeks dishes:

Day Four: Mustard Grilled Chicken with Creamy Polenta

     I was blown away by this dish. First off, I don't like dijon mustard. Second, I've never cooked with polenta before, nor mascarpone cheese. I was in for a real treat with this one! I was so pleasantly surprised by this recipe! My husband and I both really enjoyed this one; I'll definitely be making this again! 

     The one thing I'll do differently next time is to actually get quick cooking polenta. Since I'd never cooked with polenta before, I had no clue that it came in any other way than what I'd already seen before: a tube. So, a tube I used. Now, don't get me wrong... it was extremely delicious; but because it was in tube form it was pretty solid, and took quite some time to get it to break down into a smooth consistency. It would just be easier with quick cooking polenta. They also didn't have any plain polenta at the store, so I was forced to use a sun dried tomato flavored polenta; no complaining on this end. I was worried how it would taste combined with the ingredients I was going to add to it, but it was just scrumptious! My husband said the polenta reminded him of corn chowder, which, who doesn't like a thick creamy bowl of corn chowder!? Here I'll explain exactly how I made the polenta, but I would probably use the quick cooking kind next time.
     That, combined with a delicious piece of mustard grilled chicken... just outrageous flavors! I must say that one thing I really liked was that the dijon wasn't overpowering, so if you're looking for very intense mustard flavor, maybe add some dry mustard into the mix. But for me, it was perfect, just mild and tasty! Get ready!

3 scallions, finely chopped
1/4 C dijon mustard
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic (again, I find it easiest to use jarred crushed garlic, about 1 tsp)
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Olive oil
3 C water
1 tube polenta (or get quick cooking polenta and follow the directions on the bag, which I'll do next time)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 ear corn, kernels shaved off
1/2 C mascarpone cheese (this is similar to cream cheese, and typically comes in a container)

In a resealable bag, add scallions, mustard, lemon juice, and garlic and mix. Add chicken to the bag and seal. Refrigerate for 6-8 hours. 

30 minutes before dinner, begin polenta. Bring water to a boil in saucepan. Slice tube of polenta into 1/2 inch chunks and whisk into water. You'll need some muscle for this step. Add salt, sugar, and continue to whisk that polenta until it begins to melt down to a smooth consistency. It will seem to take quite some time, but just stick with it, it'll get there (10-15 min). As it begins to form a smooth consistency, you can decide the texture you want it to be by adding more water. I started out with 2 cups and slowly added more along the way, and ended up with around 3 cups water.

Preheat your grill, lightly spritz grate with cooking spray. Place chicken on grate over med-low heat and grill for 6-7 minutes per side for 6-7 oz medium chicken breasts. Allow chicken to rest for 5 minutes.

Add fresh corn kernels to polenta and cook a few minutes more (5-10 mins). Stir in mascarpone cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste. It should now be a creamy chowder type consistency. 

To serve, place chicken breast atop a generous bed of creamy, delectable polenta and enjoy!


Recipe Adapted from: Serious Eats

Day Three: Huli Huli Chicken with Pineapple and Coconut Lime Rice

     Many of the recipes I've chosen to do during this grilled chicken week calls for whole chicken, which I chose not to use, as I'm cooking for only my husband and myself. Therefore, I've adapted the recipes to just using 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts. If you would like to see the recipe for the whole chicken, please see the link at the bottom of the recipes. 

     This Huli Huli chicken is Hawaiian inspired with the pineapple juice and has a good punch from the soy sauce. This is really tasty! I also cut up a fresh pineapple to grill along with the chicken... so scrumptious! You could probably get away with using canned pineapple rings, which I've done in the past, but if you can find fresh pineapple in season, definitely go the extra step with the fresh... totally worth it! I also served this with a coconut lime rice.
     This recipe is a little bit more involved, but not difficult in the least, and definitely worth the extra few steps! The extra steps involve making a brine. More people are familiar with brines now since it's become this huge thing to bring turkeys at Thanksgiving (which if you haven't, you MUST try it! There is absolutely nothing like it! For a wonderful Turkey brine, try Alton Brown's.) For those that are still in the dark about brines, basically it's a flavored liquid that you marinate your lean meats in (it's not technically marinating, but we'll just use that word for now), in order to create more moist and flavorful meat. Usually, most brines will include water, salt, sugar, and other flavoring agents. Your biggest issue with brining is finding a container large enough, but for this recipe, since we're only doing a few chicken breasts, we'll just use a resealable plastic bag. 

2 C cold water
1/2 C soy sauce
1 tsp vegetable oil
1-2 cloves garlic
1 t fresh ginger (I have the jarred ginger, and it makes cooking with ginger much easier)
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

9 oz pineapple juice (I used a pineapple coconut juice)
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 T C soy sauce
2 T ketchup
2 T rice vinegar
2 cloves garlic
1 T fresh ginger
1 t Sriracha

1 C dry rice
1 C coconut milk
1 C water
1 lime

1 fresh pineapple, cut into spears*

*Slice the top and bottom off the pineapple, and stand it up. Using a sharp knife, very carefully saw down the pineapple taking the rind off. Go back around, taking any leftover rind off and then slice the pineapple long ways down the middle. Slice each half in half again. Stand each quarter up, and carefully slice the hard core off. Then cut into spears for this recipe, or chunks for salads, stir fry, or snacks. It's kinda difficult at first, but after several tries, it becomes super easy.

For the brine, add vegetable oil to a small saucepan over med high heat. Add garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and add water and soy sauce and stir to combine. Add liquid to a plastic bag and add chicken. Refrigerate for up to 8 hours. (I did this step in the morning, so it was ready to go by dinnertime. 

30 minutes before you are going to eat, prepare your glaze. Combine pineapple juice, sugar, soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, garlic, ginger, and Sriracha in small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, for 25-30 minutes, or until thick and syrupy. Remove half of glaze to a separate bowl for serving (This is the step I forgot, and I seriously regret it. Once you put that glazing brush in the bowl and then the chicken, all is lost).

These pictures aren't the best, sorry bout that.

Once you've got your glaze pretty much done, you're ready to start your chicken. Preheat your grill. Lightly spritz the grate with cooking spray, and make sure heat is med-low. Place your chicken on the grate and cook away, undisturbed. For large chicken breasts cook 9-10 minutes on each side; for small-medium (6-7oz) sized breasts, cook 6-7 minutes on each side. Then add your pineapple spears to the grill and watch carefully so they don't burn to a crisp. But definitely get some good color on there and allow them to caramelize a bit.

Now that you put your chicken on the grill, lets get the rice started. For just the hubby and I, I make 1 C dry rice for our dinners. Here's what I did. Heat 1 C coconut milk in saucepan with 1 C water. Add the juice of 1 lime and 1 C rice. Allow to come to a boil and turn down heat to very low. Set that timer for 10 minutes and wait for super delish rice (Time and heat may vary, but I find I get perfect rice on my frustrating stove this way). 

When the rice has started go turn your chicken, and brush some glaze on the top. When the other side has had it's 6-7 minutes, turn the chicken and add more glaze. I let the chicken cook for just another minute or so to let the glaze kinda cook into the meat a bit. Plate your chicken and take it inside with you to rest while you finish up your rice. 

To plate, place pineapple over a bed of coconut lime rice, served alongside chicken. Serve with reserved glaze on the side. Ooh and aah over these delish flavors!

Recipe Adapted from: Serious Eats

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Day Two: Greek Chicken with Tzatziki

     We really enjoyed this dish! The flavors were so strong and exotic! It was super flavorful! I served this with Near East's box of Mediterranean couscous and it was just the perfect match for the chicken and tzatziki! I was about to make Mediterranean couscous from scratch, but I just so happened to have a box in my pantry. I will definitely be making this again! Super tasty, and super easy! 

1/2 t turmeric
sea salt
1/4 c Greek yogurt
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
sea salt
Oregano for garnish

Olive Oil
1 red onion, sliced into rings
1 red and 1 yellow bell pepper sliced into eighths

Tzatziki sauce:
1 C Greek yogurt
1/8 C fresh dill, chopped
1/8 C fresh mint, chopped
1 lemon, juiced
1/3- 1/2 English cucumber, peeled and finely chopped*

*If using a regular cucumber, make sure to seed the cucumber before dicing.

Combine turmeric and a pinch of salt with the Greek yogurt in a plastic bag. Add chicken and toss to coat. Marinate in refrigerator for 2 hours.

Preheat grill. Spritz grill with Pam and place chicken breast on the grate. For small to medium breasts, grill 6 -7 minutes per side. For large chicken breasts, grill for 9-10 minutes per side.

Drizzle vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place on grill at the same time as chicken and turn with chicken. Watch closely so the vegetables do not burn, but only slightly begin to char; or let them burn, whatever you like!

Start couscous. Make according to box directions. Add ingredients to pot, bring to a boil, add couscous and remove from heat and allow to sit for five minutes before fluffing with a fork.

While chicken is grilling, make tzatziki sauce. Combine yogurt with the fresh dill, mint, lemon juice, cucumber. Season with salt. Refrigerate.

Serve chicken on top of couscous with a dollop of tzatziki sauce. Serve grilled vegetables alongside chicken. Be amazed at your awesome skills!

Recipe Adapted from: Food Network

Monday, July 16, 2012

Day One: Grilled Chicken with Pepper Peach Relish

For the Chicken
1/4 t salt
1/8 t each of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts; roughly 6 oz each

For the Glaze
1/4 C peach preserves
2 T lemon juice
1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes

For the Relish
1 medium peach, peeled and finely chopped
1/3 C red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/3 C yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
1 green onion (scallion), finely chopped
2 T fresh mint, minced

Prep and Heat the grill to medium.

Combine the spices and rub onto chicken; set aside.

Combine ingredients for glaze; set aside.

Combine ingredients for relish; set aside.

Spray grill lightly with cooking spray (careful with this, spray in spurts so as not to attract huge flareups). [Alt. Using tongs, brush the grate with a paper towel coated in oil].

Place chicken on grill and cover; cook for roughly 6 minutes on each side. Baste frequently with glaze.

Serve with pepper peach relish.

I served this with an orzo side dish.
I cooked 1/2 C of orzo, tossed it with 2 T olive oil, 1 T fresh basil, and some salt and pepper.

     This was pretty delicious. The relish gave this a great pop of flavor. Very simple to make, especially if you make the glaze and relish earlier in the day (which would probably make it more flavorful anyways). I also thought that it might be really good to add some jalapeno to the relish next time I make it. I will definitely make this one again; we both really enjoyed it!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Saltine Toffee

     This stuff.... there are hardly words to describe how delicious this little treat is!

     Several years ago we were gathered at my grandparents house in Riverside, CA preparing a holiday meal together when my uncle told us about this little dessert/treat he was going to make us. He said that his friend brought it to work one day and it was so addicting and everyone loved it, so he got the recipe to make for us. We were all excited... until we heard the ingredients: saltine crackers mixed with chocolate and a caramely sauce. Now, the chocolate and caramel sauce sounded great... but we were all a little skeptical about it being paired with saltine crackers. But, we told him we'd give it a shot.

     Boy oh boy were we ever so wrong. This is seriously addicting. We all pretty much stuffed ourselves with this rich and tasty treat that we weren't really too hungry when dinner came around. Whoops!

     Now, years later, I remembered the recipe and wanted to try it again, when I searched online for it... everyone was referring to it as "crack" because of how addicting it is... which made me laugh. It is pretty addicting. Therefore, you must go try it! It's super simple and easy to make with very few steps for a super big tasting treat! So, go, right now, and find these items to make this... I'll wait.

30-50 saltine crackers, depending upon how large your cookie sheet is, I used 48 for my large pan
1 C butter (add another 1/4 C if you are using more than 40 crackers)
1 C brown sugar (again, more if you're making a larger batch)
2 C semisweet chocolate chips
*optional: add crushed nuts to the top, or even crushed pretzels would be good... but I'm a purist, just chocolate for me please!

Preheat oven to 400°.

Line cookie sheet with foil and allow extra to fold over the edges for easy clean up.

Line the foil with the saltine crackers, covering the whole sheet, allowing for no space between each.

I have a Paula Dean Jelly Roll pan which is something like 12x17

In a saucepan, allow your butter to melt and add your sugar. Bring to a boil, and boil for 3 minutes, stirring continuously. Reduce heat and continue to simmer for a few minutes more until thickened.
**Be SUPER careful on this step. This is turning into a caramel type sauce and if you touch even a tiny bit it WILL burn you... I say this from multiple experiences. 

Pour this mixture over your crackers, taking care to try and make sure that it is evenly distributed. You don't want to leave any poor cracker out of this step, or you'll hurt its feelings.

Bake this for 5-6 minutes and remove from oven. Sprinkle the crackers with chocolate chips. Let sit for 1 minute or so (to allow the chocolate to get soft and melty), and then, using an offset spatula, spread the chocolate over the top to evenly coat.
**Again, if you do not have an offset spatula... GET ONE! They're not expensive at all, and it will make your cooking life so much easier. I have used it for SO many things.

If you're using nuts or pretzels, now is the time to add them, while the chocolate is still warm and not hardened.

Allow to cool completely. I let it cool on the counter for a while, 30 minutes or so, and then put it in the fridge to further cool down.

Take it out, break it into pieces and enjoy!
Break it into toffee type pices, on the diagonal, etc. This last time I went to break it into pieces and they just all came apart in the squares of the cracker, which worked perfectly fine too.

Recipe Courtesy of: My Uncle's friend, unknown to me, but super awesome for having this great recipe!

Thai Chicken and Pineapple Stir Fry

     Grant and I LOVE Thai food. There's this great little place in Bakersfield called the Thai House on Ming that we were introduced to a while back courtesy of Grant's previous occupation. We love to go there and get their Tom Yum Goong soup (spicy and sour soup with shrimp, straw mushrooms, carrots, and cilantro), Grant loves their Pad Kee Mow (drunken noodles with chicken and bell peppers, extra spicy), and my favorite the Yellow Curry Fried Rice, which is chicken with rice and lots of curry powder... yum! My dream is to recreate that dish at home sometime! 

     I've been in a bit of a Thai cooking frenzy lately. Last week I think three of our dinners consisted of Thai dishes. What I love about it is that they were all Thai dishes, and yet all so distinctly different. I love the sweet, spicy, and salty combinations. I love the hint of citrus in some of the dishes. It's all just so great! 

     This dish is great. I loved the addition of pineapple, it added such a brightness to the dish. 

1 lb chicken breast, cut into 1 inch chunks
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp oil, divided
1 tsp garlic
1 tsp ginger
2 C bell pepper cut into 1 inch chunks (whatever color you like)
1 serrano chili pepper, chopped (if you don't want the heat, just take out the seeds and ribs)
1 can pineapple chunks, 1/4 C juice reserved
1/2 C Sweet and Spicy Chili dipping sauce *Next time I'm going to attempt to make my own Chili sauce!

Combine chicken and fish sauce in a bowl. Add the cornstarch and stir to coat. Set aside.

Heat 1/2 tbsp oil in skillet, add chicken and stir fry for 5 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from skillet to a bowl or plate and cover to keep warm. 

Heat 1/2 tbsp oil in large skillet over med high. Add garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds or so; be careful not to burn garlic. Add peppers, serrano pepper and pineapple and continue to cook for another 3-5 minutes until peppers are close to the texture you want. Add the Chili dipping sauce and reserved pineapple juice; cook a few more minutes until it begins to thicken. Add chicken and toss to coat.

Serve over white rice and garnish with a sprinkling of cilantro. Then enjoy and make yummy noises!

Recipe Courtesy of: Gina's Skinny Recipes

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Parmigiana Spinach Chicken Rollatini

     Don't be thrown off by the fancy title of this dish... it's really not a complicated dish at all. When you're finished though, it will look very pretty, maybe even restaurant worthy... if you're not serving it on cheap plastic Lego dishes like I am.

5 thinly sliced breast fillets (or you can just use a breast and pound it down to make it very thin)
1/2 C Panko breadcrumbs
1 tbsp Italian seasonings
1/4 C grated Parmesan cheese, divided in half
5 tbsp egg whites, lightly beaten
5 oz frozen spinach, squeezed dry
4 tbsp part skim ricotta cheese
6 oz part skim mozzarella (get the fresh block instead of the grated or sliced mozzarella)
1 C marinara sauce
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 450°. Spray your 9x9 baking dish with non-stick spray.

Mix together the breadcrumbs, Italian seasonings, and  half of the grated Parmesan in one bowl.
In another bowl, lightly beat 4 egg whites.

Shred 1.5 oz mozzarella cheese (slice the rest into 5 even slices and set aside) and combine with the rest of the Parmesan, spinach, 1 egg white, and ricotta cheese.

With your breast fillets lined one a cutting board, sprinkle with salt and pepper and spread 2 tbsp of the spinach cheese mixture onto each one. Roll them up and keep seam side down.

Dip each chicken breast fillet into the egg whites, then breadcrumbs, and place seam side down in your baking dish. Spray with a little olive oil spray.

Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and top each with a nice hefty scoop of marinara sauce and then a slice of mozzarella cheese.

Continue to bake until the cheese is melted, another 5 minutes.

Recipe Courtesy of: Gina's Skinny Recipes