Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Carne Crudo

I have to start this out with two apologies. First, I’m sorry I haven’t posted in awhile. A project at work is keeping me busy, and when I’m not busy, I’m out of town. This isn’t likely to change in the next month or two either. And second, I’m sorry that this recipe isn’t very good. In fact, it’s barely a recipe at all. I wasn’t going to even post it, but this blog is supposed to be about failures as well as successes, so here goes.

My work took me to Birmingham, Alabama a few weeks ago. Not really a mecca for great food but we were able to find a couple decent places to eat. At one of these restaurants, Bottega, I got the Carne Crudo. Now, I am a big fan of raw beef and tend to get steak tartare or beef carpaccio any time I can. I know that not many people are fans, so I don’t expect this to appeal to everyone who reads this. Anyway, while my companions weren’t pleased with their meals, the crudo was fantastic! Lemony, without hiding the meat. Just salty enough. And served with microgreens and crostini to make the perfect little bites. It was so good, in fact, that I decided to try to recreate it at home so my husband could try it.

Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out that great. It was a little too lemony, and although the first few bites tasted ok, it got saltier and saltier the more we ate. I think because we used kosher salt, it melted as we went. Anyway, we ate as much of it as we could, and then vowed to leave it to the restaurants from now on.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Asian Peanut Noodles with Chicken

Ever since I learned about Gina's awesome website, I peruse it just about every day. Recently she posted this Asian Peanut recipe. I thought it sounded really delicious. Well, I was right. I made this dish tonight, and man was it good. It was very spicy thanks to the siracha, and so flavorful. It didn't take that long to make; around an hour. I had all the ingredients already since I went to Whole Foods this weekend and stocked up in preparation for making this entree. I didn't use the peanut butter that Gina suggested. I just used regular reduced-fat crunchy peanut butter. Be prepared to have left-overs unless you are feeding a big family. It makes a ton. Also, I didn't use the asian noodles. I didn't know what they were, and when I asked someone at the store he said the Asian Sticks would work. As you can probably tell from my picture those "sticks" are really tiny. Smaller than Angel hair noodles. I didn't mind it, but I definitely want to get the right noodles next time. Enjoy!

Light Peanut Sauce Ingredients:
14.5 oz fat free chicken broth (vegetarians use vegetable broth)
5 tbsp better'n peanut butter
1 tbsp Sriracha chili sauce
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp soy sauce (use Tamari for gluten free)
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced

Chicken Marinade:
16 oz chicken breast, cut into thin strips
salt and pepper (to taste)
1 tbsp Sriracha chili sauce (more or less to taste)
juice of 1/2 lime
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tbsp soy sauce (use Tamari for gluten free)
1/2 tbsp sesame oil

Additional Ingredients:
8 oz. Asian Noodles
3/4 cup green onion, chopped
1 1/4 cups shredded carrots
1 1/4 cups cup shredded broccoli slaw
1 cup bean bean sprouts
2 tbsp chopped peanuts
1 lime, sliced
cilantro for garnish (optional)

First, I took out my dethawed chicken and pounded it till it was about 1/4 inch thick. I cut the chicken into thin strips. I seasoned it with salt and pepper. Next, I took a whole lime and squeezed out the juice into my bowl. I added the siracha, soy sauce, grated ginger, crushed garlic, and sesame oil into the same bowl. I then placed the chicken into the bowl and stirred together. I set this aside. Next, I combined the ingredients for the peanut sauce which consists of: siracha, peanut butter, soy sauce, minced garlic, honey, and grated ginger into a sauce pan. Heat this over medium low heat for 5 to 10 minutes. Stir. Set aside. Next, take your chicken and sautee it in a pan heated with 1/2 tbsp sesame oil over medium-low heat. Took about 10 minutes. While the chicken was cooking, I took a pot and added water. I heated the water and added my asian sticks. I covered the pot and turned off the heat. This cooked for about 10 minutes. I just followed the directions on the bag for this. Once the chicken is cooked; remove the chicken from the pan. Then add your veggies to the same pan. This is when I wished I had a wok. My veggies were flying all over the stove. Cook for 5-10 minutes until heated thru. I took about 2 tbsp of peanuts and chopped. Set aside. I grabbed about 1/2 cup of cilantro and chopped. Set aside. Next, I took my pot of noodles and poured them into a strainer. I grabbed a big bowl and added the peanut sauce to it. I dumped the noodles into the bowl and stirred together. I added the chicken to the bowl and stirred together. Then, I added the veggies and stirred together. I added the chopped peanuts and chopped cilantro. Enjoy!

(Click here for printable recipe)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Rosemary Ranch Chicken

I haven’t posted in awhile because we’ve been making a lot of our old favorites that are already on the site. I’ve been busy at work and so not able to spend my typical hours poring over recipes. Last night we made one of our favorite meals, and I assumed I had written it up for The Dinner Club, but was shocked to see that I hadn’t. Time to right that wrong! Or write that wrong, I guess. Oy, bad puns.

One of the hardest things about making chicken is not letting it get dry. That’s the best part about this recipe—it makes the juiciest chicken around. It also imparts a lot of tasty flavor. However, it’s not exactly healthy. I know, I know, you’re not surprised, since this is coming from me. But if you have it just every once in awhile and not every week, it should be ok. I found this one on allrecipes.com.

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup ranch dressing
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

First, cut your chicken into bite-sized cubes. We actually like to use tenderloins because they are already small so half the work is done for you already. In a medium bowl, measure out the olive oil. If you do this first, you can use the same measuring cup for the ranch and it will all come out, instead of sticking in the cup. The last time I made this I cut the oil in half, and it was still good, but slightly less juicy. So, add all the ingredients into the bowl and mix it up until it’s fully combined. Then put in your chicken cubes and cover them with marinade. You can let this sit for as little as a half hour, or up to an hour.

We cooked ours on skewers, but we’ve also cooked them in the oven and that’s good too (just make sure to take them out of the sauce). If you’re grilling, it should take about 8 to 10 minutes for them to get done through. Make sure you throw away the excess sauce. In the past, we’ve also thrown in chunks of sweet onion and put them on the skewers as well, and that’s pretty tasty if you are an onion fan. Enjoy!

(Click here for printable recipe)