March 26, 2013
Five-Spice Tilapia with Broccoli
I know Lent is drawing to an end - but it is always good to have nice fish options in our cookbook. I have enjoyed eating Tilapia done well, but I have not be thrilled with the way that I have been cooking it at home. I have been carrying around this recipe for Five-Spice Tilapia a long time. I have this folder that goes back and forth with me to work - waiting for inspiration or something. Well tonight, I took this recipe and played with it a great deal. I loved the way it came out. It was really a great taste with the Chinese Five-spice and soy sauce based sauce. The other thing I am excited about was using my paella pan. I have had this forever, and have not used it. When I discovered that I needed a big pan for four pieces of fish with the veggies, using the paella pan made great sense. I did not put it in the oven, but it gave me all the surface area I needed. If you do not have a paella pan, you can use a large skillet. This dish came out amazing and I will definitely make these again!
Ingredients (4 servings):
1 lbs Tilapia fillets
1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
6 tbsp Soy sauce
2 tbsp Light brown sugar
1 tsp Garlic, chopped (or one clove)
2 tbsp Peanut oil, divided
2-3 cups Broccoli florets (2 crowns)
1 8oz can, Water chestnuts (sliced)
1. Sprinkle one sides of tilapia fillets with half the five-spice powder (reserve the other half tsp).
2. Combine soy sauce, brown sugar, and garlic in a small bowl.
3. Heat one tbsp of peanut oil in a large skillet or paella pan over medium-high heat. Add broccoli and water chestnuts and saute for 5 minutes (stirring often). Push the broccoli and water chestnuts off to the side of the pan and add the other tbsp of oil.
4. Add the tilapia (spice side down) and cook for about 2 minutes. Meanwhile, sprinkle the other half tsp of Chinese five-spice powder on the tilapia while it cooks.
5. Reduce heat to medium, turn the fish over & cover with the soy sauce mixture. Cook for 3 minutes more and remove from heat.
Serve with rice! Enjoy!
March 17, 2013
Chicken with Asparagus
OK - I was going to give this an awful name - I won't share it - it is that bad. This is based on a recipe I found in Cooking Light for Chicken Yakitori Rice Bowl. I love Chicken Yakitori and was happy that there was a good healthy option for making it. I was playing a bit with the recipe and think this is a winner. I added some items that we like a lot and it was a hit tonight for dinner. I am going to try to make a more traditional Chicken Yakitori down the road - but for now - this is a great addition to my stir-fry options.
Ingredients (serves 4)
1/3 cup Soy sauce
1/3 cup Cooking sherry
3 tbsp Brown sugar
2 tbsp Rice vinegar
1/4 cup Chicken broth
4 tsp peanut oil, divided
3 Chicken breasts, skinless and cut in half (to make two thin pieces)
1 bunch Asparagus tips (around 4 inches long)
1 bunch green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 oz Mung bean sprouts
8 oz Mushrooms caps, sliced
1. Combine first five ingredients (soy sauce, cooking sherry, brown sugar, rice vinegar, and chicken broth) in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and then simmer 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
2. Heat 2 tsp peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add chicken breasts in a single layer and cook for 5 minutes, then flip and cook 4 more. Transfer to a cutting board; cool slightly & cut into (1/4") strips.
3. Add remaining peanut oil (2 tsp) to the wok and add the asparagus, stir-fry 2 minutes; add green onions and bean sprouts, stir-fry 1 minutes; and add mushrooms, stir-fry 2 minutes.
4. Add chicken and sauce to the wok and cook for 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat.
Enjoy with rice!
March 15, 2013
Mediterranean Chicken Stew
I have wanted to make this recipe for some time and finally did tonight! I loved the way that it came out and I made some changes to the original recipe to make it a bit healthier. The inspiration was from the Rachel Ray recipe for Spanish Stewed Chicken Thighs. Rachel Ray suggested that it is best served with bread (twist my arm) for mopping up the liquid during the meal. This was a completely great touch and it made for a great dinner. Everyone loved it - which is the best news of the evening. We will definitely make this again!
2 tbsp Olive oil
4 Chicken breasts, skinless and boneless, cut in half or thirds (depending on the size)
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
1/2 pound Turkey Italian sausage, casings removed and broken up
1 Red or yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 Green bell pepper, chopped
1 Onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Cooking sherry or white wine
1 (14.5 oz.) can Diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
3 tbsp Parsley, dried
1/4 cup sliced pimiento-stuffed olives
1. In a large skillet or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper; add to the skillet and cook, turning once, until browned, about 5 minutes as side. Transfer to a plate using a slotted spoon or thongs (leaving the liquid in the pan).
2. Add turkey sausage to the skillet and cook for 2 minutes. Add the peppers, onion, and garlic. Cook until the vegetables are just softened, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in the sherry and mix thoroughly - stirring up any browned bits in the pan.
3. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, dried parsley as well as the cooked chicken to the pan. Lower the heat to low, cover and simmer for around 15 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and stir in the olives.
March 14, 2013
Chicken Tamale Casserole
One of the dishes I really love when I eat Mexican Food are tamales. I know they are not really good for you - but man they taste great. So I was really excited when I saw this recipe for Chicken Tamale Casserole from my favorite magazine - Cooking Light. I made this the first time and just loved it. I tweaked it a bit to match my favorites and my tastes. I am going to make this again and this it would be great for any event where I have a dish to share.
Ingredients (serves 6)
1 cup Shredded 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese, divided
1/3 cup Fat-free milk
1 Large egg
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch of Coriander
1 (14 3/4 oz.) can Cream-style corn
1 (8.5 oz.) box Corn muffin mix (such as Jiffy or Martha White)
1 (4 oz.) can Chopped green chiles, drained (choose mild or hot to taste)
1 (10 oz.) can Red enchilada sauce (such as Old El Paso)
2 cups Cooked chicken breast, shredded or thin sliced
1/2 cup Green bell pepper, diced
1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Combine 1/4 cup cheese, milk, egg, cumin, black pepper, coriander, cream-style corn, corn muffin mix, and the green chilies in a large bowl, stirring just until moist. Pour mixture into a 13 x 9–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.
3. Bake at 400° for 18 minutes or until set. Pierce entire surface liberally with a fork; pour enchilada sauce over top. Top with chicken and green peppers and then sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese.
4. Bake at 400° for 16-18 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes.
5. Cut into 6 or 8 pieces and enjoy!
March 13, 2013
Mustard Chicken with Broccoli and Mushrooms
So here is the dilemma....I had chicken, I had broccoli and I wanted to make dinner. But I did not want to make another stir-fry (though they are quite good). So I could not find a recipe I really wanted to try - and low and behold, I decided to try one out from scratch. Well, maybe it was not completely from scratch - but a little bit here and there. And as is often the case - with Old Time Radio in the background, I started marking up a recipe. I was going to use honey - but I could not find it. So I added the maple syrup instead - and I really liked the little bit of sweetness it gave. Best of all, though I do not have the nutritional values - this appears to be pretty healthy. We only use 5 tsp of olive oil - so I have to feel pretty good about it. It had a really nice taste and it was different than a lot of things I make. So it is a great addition to the repertory. Enjoy this healthy dish with rice or potatoes.
Ingredients (served 3-4)
5 tsp Olive oil, divided
1/3 cup Dijon mustard (you can go up to 1/2 cup if you want)
1 tsp Tarragon, dried
1 tbsp Maple syrup (or honey)
3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
Kosher salt (to taste)
Black pepper (to taste)
2-3 cups Broccoli florets
8 oz Mushroom (stems removed)
2 tsp (or cloves) Garlic, chopped
Cooking spray or olive oil spray
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a small bowl, mix together 1 tsp olive oil, Dijon mustard, tarragon and maple syrup with a whisk. Set aside.
3. Cut chicken breasts in half and season with kosher salt and pepper to taste.
4. Heat 2 tsp of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook for 4 minutes and then flip and cook on the other side for 3 minutes.
5. Coat a baking pan with cooking spray or olive oil. Place chicken in the center of the pan and spoon mustard sauce on top. Cook for 7 minutes.
6. While the chicken is cooking for the first 7 minutes in the oven, add broccoli, mushroom caps, garlic, the remaining olive oil, kosher salt and pepper (to taste). Mix gently. At the end of the 7 minutes, add the broccoli mix to the pan along the sides and put back in the oven for an additional 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and enjoy!
March 06, 2013
Thai Sober Noodles
Drunken Noddles have been a very favorite dish of mine and one that I have wanted to make. I probably did not push trying this before my son became enamored with this dish. Since I was making it for the whole family, I wanted to tweak the recipe to create a lower-heat version that we all could enjoy. I found this recipe on the Martha Stewart site that looked great. I supplemented it with some Thai cookbooks and worked on making it less spicy to match the tastes of family. I really liked the way it came out. I might play with it a bit - but for now - this is a really nice recipe for people who do not want something so spicy.
16oz Rice Noodles (large size - though it is not that critical)
1 tbsp Olive oil
1 tbsp Peanut oil (add more as needed)
2 tsp Garlic, chopped (or 2 cloves)
1 Green bell pepper, chopped
2 Chicken breasts, thinly sliced
1/2 cup Soy sauce (low-sodium)
1/4 cup Fish sauce
2 tbsp Oyster sauce
1 Red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
4oz Bean sprouts
1 bunch Basil, cut into strips (around a 1/2 cup)
1. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add rice noodles and submerge in the boiling water. Remove from heat and add 1 tbsp of olive oil. After 5 minutes, drain.
2. Add 1 tbsp peanut oil (or canola oil) to a non-stick wok or large saute pan over medium-high heat.
3. Add green bell pepper and garlic and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.
4. Add chicken and stir-fry for 3 minutes.
5. Add soy sauce, fish sauce and oyster sauce and cook for 4 minutes.
6. Add red peppers and cook for 3 minutes.
7. Add drained rice noodles and bean sprouts and cook for 2 more minutes.
8. Remove from heat and add the shredded basil to the pan. Mix thoroughly and serve.
March 04, 2013
Healthier Stuffed Mushrooms
One of the things that we love to do on Oscar Night is to have appetizers and enjoy a fun dinner that way. We have some fun foods in store for this evening, but I wanted to make a nice healthy stuff mushrooms because that could be a nice way to meet these types of events in the future. I figure that I will come up with a few of these over the next few years - as we play with ingredients. This is my first stab at this and it was adapted from the excellent looking Skinny Spinach and Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms. These came out amazing and I will definitely make these again!
8 oz Mushrooms, stems separated
2 tsp (or cloves) Garlic, chopped
2 cups Baby spinach, loosely chopped
5-6 slices ham, finely chopped (around 1/4 cup)
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1 tbsp shredded (or grated) Parmesan cheese
Pinch of kosher salt and black pepper.
Cooking spray or olive oil spray
1-2 tbsp shredded Mozzarella cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly spray a foil lined baking pan with cooking spray.
2. Remove stems from mushrooms and mince fine.
3. Add olive oil to a skillet and heat over medium heat. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add ham and minced mushroom stems and saute for 2 minutes. Add spinach and saute until it is wilted (around 2 minutes). Remove from heat.
4. Empty the content of the pan into a mixing bowl and add bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and a pinch of kosher salt and pepper. Mix until well blended.
5. Fill mushrooms with spinach mixture, rounding tops off. Place on the lined baking sheet and lightly spray the tops with olive oil or cooking spray. Sprinkle lightly with shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake 15-17 minutes and enjoy!