Chicken Chow Mein

A simple, quick, filling recipe. There are enough textures to keep things interesting, the ingredients are simple enough to make a cheap week-night option and the left overs (all the left overs. So many left overs) reheat beautifully.

Ingredients:
2 chicken breasts
1/4 cup + 1 table spoon Chinese stir fry sauce
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small cabbage
1 bag of chow mein noodles
1 cup carrots, shredded or julienned
1 bunch of green onions
Couple of handful of bean sprouts
Peanut oil
ingredients

***

1. Cut the chicken into cubes. Pour 1 table spoon of sauce over the chicken. Stir to coat and set aside to marinade.
chicken

2. Rinse the cabbage and remove the outer leaves. Cut in half and remove the core. Cut each half in half, and then slice thinly.
cabbage

3. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Drop the noodles and cook for about 5 minutes.
noodle

4. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
noodles2

5. In a large skillet or wok, warm some of the peanut oil. Add the minced garlic until just fragrant.
garlic

6. Add the marinated chicken and allow to color (1-2 minutes)
chicken2

7. Add the white part of the green onions and the cabbage.
cabbage2

8. Once the cabbage has started to wilt, add the carrots.
carrots

*. Optional step: acknowledge that your cabbage is never going to wilt enough and transfer everything to the pot used to boil the noodles

9. Add the noodles.
noodles3

10. Add the 1/4 cup of stir-fry sauce and 1/4 cup of water. Stir to coat.
sauce

11. Add the green parts of the green onions and the bean sprouts.
sprouts

12. Stir well to combine, allow 1-2 minutes for the flavors to mingle.
combine

13. Serve warm.
serve

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Potato Papillote

A quick side-dish that goes with anything. Easy to do on the grill or, if it’s raining, in the oven.

Ingredients
6-8 small new potatoes
2 garlic scapes
1 bundle of green onion
a few springs of oregano
olive oil
salt and pepper

ingredients

***

1. Brush the potatoes under running water. The skin might flake off, that’s fine. Don’t bother peeling them.
potatoes1

2. Quarter the potatoes. Place on a large piece of foil.
potatoes2

3. Chop the garlic scapes and green onions. Add to potatoes along with the oregano.
aromates

4. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Close the papillote tightly.
season

5. Cook for 30 minutes or so, or until the potatoes are tender.
cooked

Orzo and tomatoes salad

A nice summer dish, Perfect for a potluck, for a pic-nic or to make easily carried lunches for the office.

Ingredients
500g orzo pasta
1 cup green peas (frozen)
3 bell peppers (varied colors)
1 bundle of green onions
1lb heirloom tomatoes (varied)
1/2 a bundle of parsley
1/4 cup grape seed oil
1/4 cup + 2 table spoon olive oil
2 table spoon red wine vinegar
1 table spoon dijon mustard
salt and pepper
water
ingredients

***

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Pour the pasta into the water, stirring to avoid clumping. Cook for 15 minutes or so.
pasta1

2. In the last 2-3 minutes add the frozen peas.
pasta2

3. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.
drain

4. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the 2 table spoon of olive oil and allow to cool fully.
cool

5. While the pasta is cooling, cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds. Grill until softened and nicely charred.
I kept the skin on for a bit of the smokiness, but you can remove it at this stage.
grill

6. Combine the grape seed oil, olive oil, red wine vinegar and dijon mustard.
dressing1

7. Shake well to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
dressing2

8. Thinly slice the green onions, both white and green parts and add to the pasta.
green-onions

9. Cut the peppers into a large dice. Add to the orzo.
peppers

10. Chop the parsley and throw it in with the rest.
parsley

11. Cut the tomatoes into quarters (or into eighth if they are on the larger side). Remove the core and add to the bowl.
tomatoes

12. Mix in the dressing in two times to coat evenly.
mix

13. Plate and eat up.
As a side dish would probably feed 10.
As a main meal made for 6 large meals.
plate

Thaï style salad with chicken

I’ve been sick as a dog and I wanted something light but filling for dinner. This was perfect and will probably be joining a heavy rotation this summer.

Ingredients:
2 boneless chicken breast
1 tea spoon curry spices of your choice
1/3 cup cashew
2 cups bean sprouts
1 cup snow peas
1 red bell pepper
1 bunch of green onions
1-2 ripe mangoes, to taste
2-3 tablespoon fish sauce
1 table spoon soy sauce
1 tea spoon sambal olek (or chili sauce of your choice)
2 tablespoon brown sugar
juice of 2-3 limes
1-2 table spoon peanut oil
Sesame oil (to taste)
Thaï basil (optional)
ingredients

***

1. In a small dry skillet, roast the cashew over medium heat until fragrant. Set aside to cool.
cashew

2.  In a larger skillet, heat the peanut oil.
Cut the chicken into thin strip and add to the skillet along with the curry spices.
chicken1

3. Once the chicken is cooked fully, set aside
chicken2

4. Rinse the bean sprouts and discard any flaccid of off-color sprout.
beans

5.  Slice the snow peas on a 45 degree and add to the bowl.
peas

6. Peel the mango and slice into sticks. Add to the bowl.
mangoes

7. Slice the red pepper into sticks and add to the bowl.
red-pepper

8. Slice the green onions (white and green parts) and add to the bowl.
green-onions

9. Mix the rest of the ingredients together to make the dressing. You’ll have way more dressing then you need. I used maybe 5 tablespoon for the whole bowl?
Keep the rest in the fridge for later use.
dressing

10. Toss the salad together and portion out into bowls.
I had some Thaï basil in the fridge so I added some as a garnish, no big deal if you don’t have any.
portion

11. Add the chicken and cashew to the bowls. Enjoy!
serve

Eggplant & Pork

An easy and versatile dish. Re-heats well, easy to put together on a week-night and very flavorful. The pork comes out very tender, the eggplants soft and silky and the heat is just right.

Ingredients
2 pork loins
3 tea spoon sesame oil
3 tea spoon rice vinegar
3-4 table spoon sambal oelek
3-4 table spoon peanut oil
1 table spoon fresh grated ginger
2 bunches of green onions
* sesame seeds (for garnish, optional)
ingredients

****

1. In a small bowl, combine the sesame oil, rice vinegar and sambal oelek. Set aside.
sauce

2. Slice the eggplant in coins about 1/2″ thick and cut those in 9 pieces. Don’t worry if they are uneven.
eggplant

3. Slice the green onions in segments about 1/2″ long.
onions

4. In a large, deep skillet, heat 2 table spoon of peanut oil until very hot. Add the eggplant and cook, stirring often for 3-4 minutes or just until they start to soften.
toss-eggplants

5. Toss in the green onions and the ginger and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Pour the vegetables in a bowl and set aside.
add-onions

6. Cut the pork into chunks about the same size at the original eggplant cubes. It helps at this point if your pork tenderloins are partially frozen (thrown into the freezer for about 20 minutes)
cut-pork

7. Add some oil back into the skillet. Working in batches, color the pork on all sides. Work over high heat and stir frequently.
cook-pork

8. You want the meat to be colored on all sides and almost but not quite cooked through.
colored-pork

9.  Once all the meat has been colored, throw everything back into the skillet. Add the sauce, mix well to coat and allow to cook together for 3-4 minutes.
combine

10. Serve warm, over some rice and with sesame seeds as garnish (seen here)
Or stuff inside a fajita with some tzaziki for an easy lunch.
serve

Grain and butternut squash salad

I made decadent cupcakes yesterday. I mean it… these are good but so darn rich. So I made a grain based salad for dinner tonight, to make myself feel less guilty.

Ingredients
8 oz farro
4 cups chicken stock
1 butternut squash
1 pack of turkey breast strips
1 bunch green onions
juice of one lemon
small handul italian parsley
2/3 cup apple juice sweetened dried cranberries
1/4 tea spoon smoked paprika
salt and pepper
1 tea spoon honey
8 table spoon olive oil
ingredients

***

1. Pre-heat the oven to 400F.
Peel the butternut squash. Cut in half and remove the seeds. Then cut into cubes.
cut-squash

2. Toss with 1 to 1 1/2 table spoon of olive oil and a good sprinkle of salt and pepper. Put on a baking tray in a single layer.
raw-squash

3. Put in the oven until tender but still holding it’s shape, about 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool.
cooked-squash

4. Mean while, combine the farro and chicken stock.
raw-farro

5. Bring to a boil then lower the heat. Cook, uncovered until all the liquid is absorbed, stirring once in a while. It took me about 30-35 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool.
cooked-farro

6. Cut the turkey into cubes. Heat 1/2 table spoon to 1 table spoon oil in a skillet. Cook the turkey with the smoked paprika and a bit of pepper.
turkey

7. Roughly chop a small handful of Italian parsley and add to the cooled farro.
add-parsley

8. Add the cranberries.
add-cranberries

9. Finely chop the green onions and add to the salad.
add-green-onions

10. Add the cooked turkey.
add-turkey

11. And as much of the squash as you care for. I added about half of the baking sheet.
add-squash

12. In a different bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and honey. Add the remaining 6 table spoon of olive oil in a drizzle while whisking.
dressing

13. Add the dressing to the salad and mix well to combine.
done2

Jerk Chicken Wings

Because I wanted something spicy and easy to share. You can use the jerk marinade with pretty much any cut of chicken. The recipe is simple, but to compensate I took way too many pictures. You have been warned.

Ingredients
3 bundles of green onions
1/4 cup lime juice
6 table spoon AllSpice (ground)
3 Caribbean laurel leaves
1 whole nutmeg (grated)
1 table spoon kosher salt
10 springs of thyme (fresh)
4 habaneros
12 whole chicken wings.

ingredients2

***

1. Wash the green onions, remove the roots and cut into chunks so that they will fit in a food processor.
green-onion

2. Wash the thyme and roughly chop the sprigs. Add to the food processor along with the Caribbean laurel.
herbs

3. Ground the allspice. You want to turn it into a fine powder. I tend to use a cheap-ish coffee grinder for this, rather then a mortar and pestle.
all-spice1b allspice2

4. Add the ground allspice to the food processor and grate the nutmeg.
spices

5. Juice the limes. It helps if the limes are room temperature rather then cold, and roll them under your hand against the work surface before cutting them to release the juice.
lime

6. Add the lime juice and the salt to the food processor.
salt-and-lime

7. While wearing gloves, cut the habaneros in half and remove the white placenta and the seeds. Add to the food processor and carefully discard the gloves.
heat

8. Blend until everything is incorporated. The marinade will freeze well at this stage.
blend

9. Separate the chicken wings. Discard the wing tips (or freeze to make stock later). Put the wings in a larger freezer bag.
trim

10. Add the marinade to the bag and massage a bit to ensure all the wings get coated. This is the part when this will look dubious and weird… It turns out tasty, I swear. Put in the fridge and allow to marinade over night.
goo

11. Oven bake at 400F for 30 minutes or so or grill the wings, if you have a grill available.
cook