Friday, January 17, 2020

Chicken Chow Mein

I’m a huge fan of Asian cooking. All my life we’ve eaten Chinese Food, as I have gotten older, I’ve developed a fondness for Japanese food, Vietnamese and Thai.  Only recently have I tried Pho for the first time. I know, strange huh? And I LOVED it!

Anyhow, I always like to go back to what I would consider “the basics”. While I don’t usually follow a recipe, as I get a feel for the flavors I want and just go from their. Craig always asks me to write down what I do, or change in case he really likes it and wants me to make it again. So here is my version of Chow Mein.  

made with Tofu

Chicken Chow Mein 

Ingredients

Sauce and Marinade

2 tablespoons oyster sauce oyster sauce
3-4 tablespoons light soy sauce (not low sodium)
1-2 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon corn starch
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon low/no sodium rice wine vinegar 
1/8 teaspoon ground schewan pepper
1-2 tablespoons sambal Oleck
1 tablespoon water or more as needed to thin out sauce

For the noodles
6-8 ounces fresh chow mein or egg noodles
One boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs about 1/3 lb., cut into 1” chunks
2 tablespoons cooking oil
2 garlic cloves minced
½ teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 cup shredded Napa cabbage mixed cabbage slaw, bok choy or snap peas would work as well
1/3 cup shredded or julienned carrots
2 green onions cut into 2-inch length
1 can sliced Waterchestnuts, drained
1 can baby corn, cut
Sesame seeds for garnish

Instructions

In a medium bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce. Measure out 1 tablespoon and drizzle over chicken in a separate bowl. Meanwhile, prepare noodles according to package instructions and set aside.

Heat oil in a non-stick pan or wok over medium high heat. Add chicken and stir-fry for 4-5 minutes or until lightly brown. Add garlic and ginger and sauté for about 1 minute. Add cabbage and carrots and cook for 1-2 minutes or until wilted but still slightly crispy.

Add the noodles into the pan; give the reserved sauce a quick stir then pour over noodles. Use tongs to toss noodles to coat with sauce. Season with more salt, pepper or Sriracha and add more water to thin out sauce, as needed.

Stir in green onions, stirring for 30 seconds to combine then dish out and serve hot topped with sesame seeds.

For meal prep - divide into even portions in containers and store in fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat any leftovers in microwave or on stovetop.

Recipe Notes

*Chicken can be swapped out for turkey, beef or tofu.

*Broccoli, spinach, snap peas or bok choy can be used instead of cabbage

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Cuban Chicken

We’ve all heard of Cuban sandwiches, right?  That delicious bread, with pulled pork, ham and Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard. Makes my mouth water just thinking about. But of course, anything with a tart pickle and mustard just gets me. 

So when I saw a recipe for Cuban chicken, I needed more info. Imagine all this flavors, stuffed in a chicken breast and baked to perfection. Now, Craig doesn’t eat ham or pork, so I had to modify one a bit for him. Either way it was delicious. 

I served with air fryer cooked French fries, which were a perfect fit. 


Cuban Chicken

Ingredients 

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2/3 c. yellow mustard
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 slices ham
  • 6 Slices swiss cheese
  • 2/3 c. dill pickle chips, halved

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400º. Place chicken on a cutting board and make 5 slits in each breast, being careful not to cut through completely.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together mustard, honey, and garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper and rub all over chicken breasts.
  3. Place breasts on a medium cooking tray and stuff each with ham, cheese, and pickle chips.
  4. Bake until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink, 25 minutes. Serve.



Friday, January 10, 2020

Frittata Breakfast Sandwiches

I love a quick breakfast, well any meal for that matter. Traveling for work make me figure out alternatives to fast food breakfasts, and make something that can be microwaved. 


Recently while I was on the road, I tried a premade breakfast in a cup, you know where you just crack an egg. But I took and split it in two and made it a sandwich by adding an English muffin. PERFECT. I’m not so sure about healthy, but healthier than a sausage McMuffin for sure. 


Well, I got home, I was like, “I’m sure I can recreate this”!  So here is it is:



Frittata Breakfast Sandwiches

(Makes 2)

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon frozen diced O’Brien hash browns (this has peppers and onions)
  • 1 tablespoon shredded cheese
  • 2 English Muffins, split and toasted 

Optional alternatives:

  • 1 tablespoon prediced onions and peppers, frozen. 
  • 1 tablespoon diced ham (prediced and frozen) or diced/crumbled bacon (you can omit if you are putting bacon or a sausage patty on the sandwich)
  • 4 strips of bacon (optional)
  • 2 sausage patties (optional)
  • 2 slices of cheese (optional)

Instructions:

  1. In a larger Ramekin, place hash browns and cheese and crack the eggs. Add salt and pepper as needed. (At this point you can add the additional optional items, if desired). 
  2. Microwave on high for 30-45 seconds. Remove and stir. Microwave again for 90 seconds. When complete, ramekin will be hot. Touch the top of the eggs, if firm remove. If not firm, microwave for another 30 seconds. 
  3. While eggs were cooking toast English Muffin and heat sausage patty, if adding. 
  4. Remove eggs from microwave and turn ramekin upside down on cutting board. Allow to cool slightly. 
  5. Split eggs in half sideways to make two egg patties. Place one on each half of English Muffin. Add sausage, bacon and or cheese if desired. 

Note:

  • On my sandwich I used a sausage patty and omitted the ham in the frittata. 
  • To make things quicker in the morning, pre-dice the optional items and freeze them in a ziplock baggie, flat. Once partially frozen break them up so you don’t have a block to deal with in the am. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Sheet Pan Pizza

Recently I saw a pizza with curled up pepperoni, and was like.....that’s what I want for dinner!!

So I took my Focaccia recipe and made Sheet pan pizza, you know the kind (my mom) the lunch ladies would make at school?  

Now to get the pepperoni curled.....well, I didn’t want the thicker cut “pre-cut” pepperoni, and the deli counter pepperoni was to large, when I came across a long skinny pepperoni stick. Not the pepperoni sticks we all love to snack on...one that I could take home and cut on my mandolin. Craig doesn’t like meat, so I made Sheet Pan Margarita Pizza, for the boring one. Hahaha. 



Focaccia Sheet Pan Pizza


Ingredients

  • 1-3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 packet (2-1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast (not instant active dry yeast or rapid rise yeast)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 5 cups all purpose flour, plus more for kneading
  • 1 tablespoon + 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil for bread
  • 1/4 cup olive oil for pan, 
  • plus more oil for oiling the bowl
  • Tomato paste
  • Dried oregano 
  • 1 lb Fresh mozzarella, cut to torn into pieces
  • 1 stick (Boar’s Head) pepperoni, very thinly sliced
  • 1 heirloom tomato, thinly sliced
  • Basil, thinly sliced 

Instructions

  1. Combine the warm water, yeast and sugar in a small bowl; stir to dissolve the honey and yeast. Let sit about 10 minutes, until the mixture is foamy. (This is called proofing the yeast, or making sure it is active; if it doesn't foam, it's not fresh and won't work.)
  2. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour and 1 tablespoon of kosher salt. Mix briefly on low speed to combine. Add the yeast mixture and 1/2 cup of olive oil; mix on low speed until the dough comes together, then turn the speed up to medium and continue to knead for 5 to 6 minutes, until the dough becomes smooth and soft. Sprinkle with a bit of flour if the dough is really sticky and tacky.
  3. Transfer the dough to a clean, very lightly floured surface. Knead by hand briefly until the dough comes together into a smooth ball.
  4. Clean the mixer bowl if necessary (sometimes the dough will come out entirely but sometimes a bit of dough might stick), then coat the inside of the bowl with about 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Return the dough to the bowl, flipping once so that both the top and bottom of dough are lightly slicked with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a warm, draft-free place until the dough has doubled in size, 1-2 hours. (Hint: the warmer the spot, the faster it will rise.)
  5. Coat a 12" x 16" rimmed baking sheet with 1/4 cup of olive oil. (It will seem like a lot, but that's what makes the bottom crispy.) Plop the dough onto the prepared pan and begin pressing it out with your hands to fit the size of the pan. Turn the dough over a few a times to coat both sides with olive oil. Continue to stretch the dough to fit the pan. Once the dough is stretched, spread your fingers out and make impressions almost all the way through the dough (don't poke holes, just press down to the bottom of the pan). Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in the warm, draft-free spot until the dough has puffed up and doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  6. While the dough is rising a second time, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Set the oven rack in the middle position.
  7. Sprinkle the top of the focaccia with the remaining 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt then lightly drizzle 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil on top so it pools in the indentations. Bake until lightly golden brown, about 12 minutes. Remove the focaccia from the oven and let it cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 15 minutes. 
  8. At this point I cut the focaccia in half, so the meat side didn’t touch the Margarita side (you make accommodations, right?)
  9. Spread the potato paste, sprinkle with dried oregano, the top with torn mozzarella and pepperoni, or tomatoes.  Lightly salt and pepper the top of the tomatoes.
  10. Return to the oven and back for 8-10 minutes, until mozzarella is melted and pepperoni is CURLED!!!
  11. Transfer the focaccia to a cutting board, top with sliced basil and slice into squares.







Saturday, January 4, 2020

Roasted Red Pepper Pita Pizza

A few months ago my Husband came across this recipe and asked me to make it. I filed it in the “to be made” file. (Those who know me know that I have TONS of files in my notes section of my phone/iPad)  so this past week I was bored with the menu ideas and decided to search the to be made file and came across this recipe. I recent was given a couple Stonefire pizza crusts, so I decided to use those. Also I didn’t have pine nuts so I subbed pistachios. 


I served it with a delicious Greek Tomato Salad!



Roasted Red Pepper Pita Pizza

Ingredients

  • 1 jar (12 oz.) roasted red peppers, drained and patted dry
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (subbed pistachios)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 4 pita flatbreads (or 2 pack of pizza crusts)
  • 1 can (14 oz.) quartered artichokes hearts, drained
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved 
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped

Directions

  1. Place roasted red peppers, Parmesan cheese, nuts and garlic in the bowl of a food processor; process until well blended.
  2. Heat oven to 425°F. Place pita on baking sheet.
  3. Top each pita with red pepper pesto, artichokes, olives, feta and parsley.
  4. Bake 12-15 minutes until pita is crisp and cheese is softened. Refrigerate leftovers.