Thursday, August 27, 2009

Chicken Stir-Fry

According to Wikipedia I made stir-fry tonight with a combination of steaming. Sergio does not dig Spinach and I know that that is not a typical ingredient anyways but I love making dishes my own. To this I added cilantro for my own spin. I can proudly say that this one is definitely straight from my imagination. Since it was such a hit with him I will write this post out more like a recipe card so I can look back on it later. I hope you all get a chance to make it or be inspired to make something similar.

Ingredients:

2 tbsp vegetable oil (or any other high smoke point oil like peanut oil or lard)
3 garlic cloves - finely chopped
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (each cut into halves and then chopped into bite-size pieces)
1/4 c rice wine vinegar
1/4 c light soy sauce (that's the only kind I had on hand)
1 onion- julienne d
1 red bell pepper - julienne d
1 pint of button mushrooms - stemmed and roughly chopped
1 c (handful of cilantro) - roughly chopped

Heat your wok or largest skillet to high heat and then add the oil. Add the garlic and bell peppers and stir frequently so garlic doesn't burn. Add the onions, soy sauce and vinegar and continue to stir. Add the chicken and cilantro and cover with a lid or with foil and lower heat to medium. If I were to use beef I would add that first and then remove it to add the veggies and then return it so it doesn't dry out. Since the chick was thinly sliced and then chopped the moisture from the liquids and the really watery vegetables will help cook the chicken through. After about 5 to 7 minutes add the mushrooms. I served the dish over white rice. I added a Serrano pepper to my rice and water for some heat while it cooked, it wasn't too hot at all, yummy!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Carmelized Onion Burger



Speaking of loving onions, I decided to keep it going today by making a burger topped with loads of thm. To avoid a dome shaped patty, Bobby Flay recommends shaping the patty with a small "well" or "indent" into the middle of the burger. I also grilled two ears of corn in their husks for about 30 minutes. Hello chile y limon!
Today I walked to the Monrovia library, 3 miles round trip, it wasn't hard but it was hot today. It makes me feel a little better about eating the hamburger buns.

Monday, August 10, 2009

I love my griddle

Why is it that when I cook on my cast iron griddle the meal feels healthier? Today I decided to cook some boneless, skinless chicken thighs on the griddle. I cut off the excess fat and seasoned with garlic salt and Jamaican jerk seasoning. I sprayed my griddle with PAM, let it get hot and then put them on the grill. I think the secret is making sure the griddle is hot enough and not messing with it once it's down.
The griddle I use is large enough to lay across to burners. The center of the griddle gets hot too but not hot enough to cook protein, in my opinion. In the center I grilled red and yellow onions sliced 1 inch thick until they had beautiful grill marks and where soft and sweet. I served the chicken with the onion "patties" and a side of what I call Italian salad. It has red onions (raw and sliced thin), cucumbers (seeded), and tomatoes (seeded) tossed in balsamic vinaigrette.

As I started writing this I remembered I was supposed to take a picture! In the words of Charlie Brown "ARGH!"

By the way, my chicken was so super juicy and Sergio claims he could give up all candy if he could get sweet grilled onions instead.

summer calabasas with tilapia

Calabasa is the Spanish word for pumpkin but it refers to both squash and zucchini. I bought both this Friday at the weekly Monrovia farmer's market. I julienne d one zucchini, one yellow squash, and one red onion and let them sweat together with help of olive oil. I seasoned with garlic salt and black pepper and then added the tilapia right onto the vegetables and covered the pan. I had two think piece so I flipped them after about 7 minutes and then cooked for another 5 minutes. I served the meal over white rice with a squeeze of lime, it was so pretty. I really need to remember to take pictures, maybe next time.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Crock Pot saved my BF

Before leaving, for three days to San Diego, I threw together a crock pot for Sergio. An onion, red bell peppers, carrots, beef (already cubed from Costco), 2 cups of chicken broth, a can of tomato sauce and some salt along the way. It was too easy and I felt better that he wouldn't be eating fast food for three days. I used to look up recipes online, but have now just use combinations that are to our tastes.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Infuse that oil

I can't say I discovered it, as in inventing it, but I did discover it in that I love this technique. I didn't realize I was always infusing my oil by adding garlic or onions, but now that I know and I can really get creative. I made a dish that I call Spicy Shrimp Pasta. I heated evoo (extra virgin olive oil) and added a handful of dried chiles de arbol, and 4 whole garlic cloves smashed with the side of my knife. Meanwhile, I boiled and salted water for my angel hair pasta ( I've made this with whole wheat pasta too and it was fabulous). Once the aroma of the chilies fills the kitchen I turned off the heat and added the oil, garlic and half the peppers into a blender. Here it depends on your taste, I'm a wimp, so six of these bad boys is enough for me. When the pasta is a minute away from being ready turn off the heat, drain and shock the pasta in ice water, but keep 1 cup of the water it was cooked in. Return the blended mixture to the pasta pot and then add the protein of choice, or large mushrooms, or firm tofu whatever! I use the pasta water to help cook the protein through quickly and then return the pasta for a minute or two to let it finish cooking and so it can absorb all the flavors of the infusion.