Thursday, September 15, 2011

Asian Chicken Salad

Asian Chicken Salad

Originally my wife found this recipe off The Food Network.
This is Paula Deen's recipe.

Now there is 1 thing I figured out while attending cooking school,
every once in a while you have to change a recipe.
Sorry Paula Deen but this recipe needed a little tweaking.

Although I liked the recipe which called for chicken and vegetables
with an Asian dressing, the oil was too much, and there was not
 enough flavor in the dressing.
I had to bump up the amount of soy sauce and sugar and add
sesame tahini for a pea nutty taste to the dressing.

Here is the original recipe:

4 cooked skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 1/4 bean sprouts
1 1/2 cups of snow peas
1/4 cup of chopped scallions
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
5 tsp. of soy sauce
1 tsp. of ginger
1/8 tsp. pf salt
1/8 tsp. of fresh ground pepper
1/8 tsp. of sugar
1/4 cup of diced celery
1 8oz. can of sliced water chestnuts

Combine the chicken, bean sprouts, snow peas
and scallions.
Make the dressing with the oil,
soy sauce, ginger, salt, pepper, and sugar.
Add to the chicken mixture. Add celery and water chestnuts.
Serve chilled.

Here's my change to the recipe:

I par broiled 4 chicken breasts in a glass baking dish.
I seasoned the chicken with a dash of salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning.
Cooked in a 350 degree oven for 15 -- 20 minutes.

Combined the chicken, bean sprouts, and scallions.
Substituted baby green peas for snow peas.
I don't like snow peas !
(You can use frozen baby green peas - just defrost in microwave 
in a safe microwave dish with a tbsp. of water. )
Added a can of drained baby corns. ( They look like small corn on the cob.)
Now for the dressing:
I reduced the oil from 1/4 cup to 1/8 cup.
Increased the sugar to 1 tsp from 1/8 tsp.
Increased the soy sauce from 5 tsp. to 5 tbsps.
And finally, added 1 tsp. of Joyva sesame tahini.
( Joyva sesame tahini is a creamy puree of roasted sesame seeds.)
It looks like creamy peanut butter.
You can find it in the Asian / Indian aisle of your grocery store.

and here is the dish:

Thanks to Paula Deen for the original recipe from Food Network, 
and to my wife for changing up the dinner plan.
Nice to have a little change of plans.
Even if its just a recipe.

Enjoy !

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Macaroni & Egg Salad

There is just something special about macaroni.
Maybe because I always loved it as a kid and it was easy to make.
Don't you just love how spaghetti sauce just hides inside the little tube shapes?
Same goes for eggs.
Fried, scrambled, hard boiled. I love eggs.
Eggs may be the only reason for me to try and bake.
Need to get more eggs and practice, practice, practice...
Now macaroni and eggs together. Hmmm..... sounds like a plan.

Macaroni and egg salad.
1/ 2 red onion finely diced into cubes
1 / 4 cup of pickled relish
3 cups of mayonnaise
1 tbsp. of Worcestershire sauce
4 celery stalks finely diced in proportion to the onion
12 medium eggs (hard - boiled )
2 lbs. of macaroni (usually 1 box ) elbows or substitute with penne
1 tsp. or more of hot sauce ( depending on your tolerance for pain )
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot , boil water, add pasta and cook roughly for 10 minutes or more.
I like mine al dente.
Strain pasta and cool.
In another large pot, place eggs in boiling water, cook for 10 minutes.
Remove from heat, cover, and let eggs sit for 5 more minutes.
When eggs are cool, peel eggs and chop the same size as the onions and celery.

Mix the eggs, pasta, relish, mayonnaise, onions, celery, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce,
and salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate.

This may be the perfect picnic item. Great for a summer day.
You can make this low fat and healthy by using wheat pasta and low fat mayonnaise.

Good for kids. My daughter is the perfect taste tester.
Besides, she loves pasta and eggs like her dad.
She loves her daddy and knows he is a pretty darn good cook.

Macaroni and eggs. It's like love and marriage.
They just go well together.

Love to eat,

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Zucchini Bread

Zucchini Bread

Back on the Carbs.
Well, not exactly.
I love fried zucchini. Anything fried even a Twinkie.
Include vegetables.
Here is something just as good only a little lighter and less fattening.
Zucchini Bread.
I remember as a kid we used to make Pepperoni Bread.
Can you imagine?
Meat and bread. Almost as good as meat and potatoes.
Beats that meat quiche !
You can make bread out of anything.
I have blogged about making Brown Bread, Irish Soda Bread, and more...
Here is Zucchini Bread.
Just think of it as "Bread and Veggies."
What a concept!
Getting your kids to eat 2 food groups.
Zucchini Bread:

2 cups of sugar (or substitute with 1 cup of Splenda)

1 cup of canola or vegetable oil

3 tsp. of vanilla extract

1 tsp. of baking soda

3 cups of flour

2 tsp. of cinnamon
1 tsp. of salt
3 eggs lightly beaten
1/4 tsp. of baking powder

1/2 cup of chopped nuts
( you can use walnuts, pecans, almonds, pine nuts)

2 1/2 cups of shredded zucchini

Mix all the ingredients. Place the mixture in a pre-greased aluminum cooking pan
or baking pan.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees and cook for approximately 1 hr. until lightly browned.

Eat your veggies. And your bread.
Maybe, Steven will give you a dessert recipe...

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Curry Cheese Rye Rounds

Curry Cheese Rye Rounds

Always 1 of my favorite appetizers.
Takes only minutes to prepare. Great snack for football season.
Ideal appetizer for late night parties.

Here's what you will need:

2 cups of cheddar cheese
(for me the sharper the better)

1 can of diced black olives

1 cup of mayonnaise

1tsp. of curry powder

 4 green onions finely chopped

1pkg. of rye rounds
If you can not find rye rounds,
cut rye bread in 2 1/2'' squares

Mix all the ingredients and spread curry cheese mixture on rye squares (rounds.)
Place under high temp broiler for 2 - 3 minutes.

Snack and enjoy!

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Banana Bread

Banana Bread
If you are like me, you hate it when you spend $$$$ on food and it goes to waste.
Fruit, if not eaten within a few days will spoil.
Here is a way to save and eat that fruit.

Banana bread.
Yes, I know, not low on carbs. But for me, I never had to worry much about my waistline.
Plus, my daughter and I both have that sugar tooth.

1 cup of sugar, you can substitute with 1/2 cup of Splenda.

1/2 cup of butter

1 tsp. of baking soda

3 tbsp. of hot water
3 overly ripe mashed bananas

1tsp. of salt
2 cups of flour

Dissolve the baking soda in the water. It forms a slurry.
Mix all the ingredients with the slurry until all
the ingredients are fully incorporated.
Place in a baking pan or aluminum foil pan.
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees.
Cook for 1 hour or until golden brown.
You can check to see if if is fully cooked
by placing a tooth pick in the center of the bread.
If the tooth pick comes out easy and clean,
the bread is done.

For added measure, try mixing in  a 1/4 cup of
chopped walnuts to the bread mixture and sprinkling a tsp. of
sugar on top of the bread before baking.

Like my daughter always says to me after watching the "Regular Show"
on the Cartoon Network:
"Give me some SUGAR"

Here you are Kierann,
Love Daddy.

P.S. Eat your bread.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Simple Made Easy

Simple Made Easy.
What does that mean?
The simplest recipes are always the easiest when you do not over think them.
You only need a few ingredients to make it SIMPLE, EASY, and taste GOOD.

Herb Butter:
Just try using soft butter.
3 - 4 cubes or Tbsps. softened at room temp
or melted in the microwave. My microwave takes 20 seconds.
Add 1 Tbsp.of chopped Basil.
You could add other herbs: dill, cilantro, parsley.
Even red pepper flakes, although not an herb would be nice in butter.
No need for salt since most butter comes pre-salted. Add pepper?

Here's herb ( parsley and basil ) buttered corn that I prepared for my daughter.
I used some of the corn for my wife's corn salsa. (See at bottom of blog.)

Just slice it down the middle of the underbelly side of the shell.
Cook on the barbecue over medium heat roughy 4 minutes each side.
That includes the shell side until the lobster turns pink.

I added herb butter to the lobster.
Always shop for fresh lobster.
Even I make the mistake of buying frozen lobster and it is
not as soft and sweet as it should be.

Speaking of sweet, my wife made a simple, easy light corn salsa.
1 can of rinsed black beans.
Rinsing removes any sediment in the can and additional starches.
1 red onion diced
1 each red and orange bell pepper diced.
Both are sweeter versions of the green peppers.
1 diced green onion (scallion).
1 ear of corn, roasted on the barbecue or grill pan, shaved off the kernels
3 - 4 Tbsp. of Red Wine Vinegar
3 -4 Tbsp. of Extra Virgin Olive oil.
Mix all the ingredients and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Simple. Easy. Light.
Most importantly, cooking with your family, including my daughter,
known for her Mis en Place skills.
Simple Makes Easy.
Which makes it Fun, Delightful, and good for the soul.

Bon Appetit !
Comments or suggestions:

Friday, September 2, 2011

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Sticky Toffee Pudding
I guess you would think it is an old English Classic.
Sounds like an English romance / comedy.
I think of it as 1 of the richest and best desserts.

Sticky Toffee Pudding Sauce:
6 oz. of Brown Sugar
4 oz. of butter
3 oz. of chopped pecan nuts
6 Tbsp. of heavy cream

3 oz. of butter
5 oz. of granulated sugar
2 large eggs
6 oz. of flour
6oz. of chopped dates
6 oz. of boiling water
1/2 tsp. of vanilla
1/2 tsp. of ground coffee
1/4 tsp. of Baking Soda

Place chopped dates in a bowl of the boiling water.
Add coffee, vanilla and baking soda.
Let the mixture rest for a couple of minutes.
Whip together butter and sugar until mixture is fluffy.
Gradually add the eggs 1 at a time.
Fold in the flour to the mixture.

Place the mixture in 8 greased or lightly oiled ramekins.
Place ramekins on a baking tray and cook for
20 minutes in a pre-heated 360 degree oven.

For the sauce: place all the ingredients
(sugar,butter,nuts,and cream) in a saucepan
 and heat until the sugar melts.
Pour the sweet mixture over the puddings.
Bake for 5 minutes under the broiler.

Sticky Toffee Pudding.
Definitely better than what I had for lunch: rice and beans.
Bollocks !

Keep things sweet....

Hot Pepper Jelly Dip

Hot Pepper Jelly Dip

Now that our good friend Katie Sheehy has moved to the cold North,  (yes the same Katie
that gave you the Bourbon Glazed Salmon,) we wanted to give her a shout out to her
for her Hot Pepper Jelly.

May the warm memories of her friendship keep all of warm this winter.
Her hot pepper jelly recipe is warm enough to lift your spirits and keep us thinking of her.

A delightful dip with just enough zing as a "pick me up"

Here goes Katie:

1/2 jar of pepper jelly
(available at Sur La Table:)

8 oz. of softened cream cheese (such as Kraft:)

2 cloves of minced garlic

5oz. of sharp cheddar cheese (such as Cabot:)

and 1 medium sized egg

Combine all ingredients.
Spray a medium sized baking dish (such as: Le Creuset)

with a cooking spray (such as PAM:)

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Serve over your favorite crackers.
I like Nabisco Stone Wheat Crackers

Thanks Katie for some warm memories.
May the warm pepper jelly that warmed our stomachs,
spread the joy of love when we cook for others.