Monthly Archives: May 2010

Chicken in Pesto Cream Sauce over Broccolini

I wanted a simple cream based pasta dish; however, I didn’t want it to be too creamy (the wife doesn’t care for a thick cream sauce) so there is the one I came up with.

Needed:

1/2 lb of sliced chicken breast

3/4 cup of heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup chicken stock

1/2 tsp salt, cracked pepper, basil

2 minced cloves of garlic

8 oz cooked farfalle

A bunch of Broccolini

Let us get started

1 – In a large pan, over a medium heat, add your chicken stock and minced garlic. Bring to a slow simmer.

2 – Add chicken, salt, pepper and cook for roughly 6 to 8 minutes. Stir frequently.

3 – While the chicken in cooking, in a separate pan, add a half cup of water and your broccolini and cover. Steam until the broccolini is bright green. Remove from heat and drain.

4 – After the chicken reached the 6 yo 8 minute mark, add your heavy whipping cream and basil.  Raise heat to medium high, stir.  At this point we want the sauce to thicken slightly. When it is at your desired thickness you are done.

There you go.  Plate over your broccolini, add a bit of Parmesan cheese and you are good to go.

Chicken in Tomato and Fenugreek Sauce

I picked up an Indian Cookbook over the weekend and opened to a random page for my next experiment.  Wouldn’t you know it, I landed on Chicken in Tomato and Fenugreek Sauce.

Of course, I seeing that I like to do things my own way I altered the recipe but you get the idea.

Needed:

1 lb of cubed chicken (I strongly suggest dark meat. I only used white as that is what I had in the freezer)

3 tbsp of lime juice (left over from the last dish)

4 tbsp of olive oil

1 white onion, diced

2 tsp ginger paste

2 tsp garlic paste

2 1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp chili powder

1 tbsp coriander

15 oz can of diced tomatoes

1 tbsp fenugreek powder

1/2 garam masala

Handful of chopped cilantro

4 diced green chiles

1/2 cup warm water

Ready to go?

1 – Toss your diced chicken into a bowl, add 2 tsp of salt and your lime juice. Cover, shake and let sit for 30 mins.

2 – In a large skillet over medium heat, add your oil and onion. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Stir.

3 – Add the ginger, garlic paste and continue to stir for roughly a minute.

4 – Toss in your turmeric, chili powder, coriander and stir.  Heat for roughly one minute, then reduce your heat to medium-low.

5 – Add your tomatoes and cook for roughly 5 minutes. Check the taste, if needed add the additional 1/2 tsp of salt.

6 – Place in your chicken (juice and all), raise the heat to high, and cook for 5 minutes.

7 – Add your half cup of water, reduce heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken up.

8 – Add your fenugreek, cilantro leaves (save a few for the final plating), garam masala and chilis  and cook for a few minutes, until the chilis become a bit tender.

9 – Plate over rice, add some cilantro and serve!

This is full of flavor and taste.  It doesn’t have too much kick, as some may expect, and the cilantro pulls everything together. I hope you enjoy.

PS – Did anyone notice the cost of Chicken going up a rather large amount recently?

Lime Chicken Fajitas with Cilantro Rice

Folks, this is a very easy recipe that does not fall short on flavor.  With as little as 15 mins prep time, 15 minutes or marinade, and 10 minutes of cooking you can have an outstanding little meal.

Needed:

1 lb. thinly cut chicken breast, sliced into strips

1 bottle of lime juce

2 tablespoons of garlic salt

1 tablespoon of chili powder

2 red jalapeño peppers, thinly sliced

1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons of olive oil (for searing the chicken)

flour tortillas

1 cup of cooked white rice

Diced Cilantro

Ok, like I said, this is really easy… take your sliced chicken and place it into a small air tight container and pour enough lime juice to just cover the chicken. Add in your garlic salt and chili pepper.  Place a lid on and shake. Put in the fridge and repeat 3 times (roughly every 5 minutes).

Add your olive oil to your cast iron pan, heat her up and remove roughly 4 to 5 strips of chicken from the marinade. Sear the meat on each side for 2 minutes or until it get brown. As the chicken is thinly sliced it will cook very quickly. Remove from the pan, place in a fresh bowl and repeat until you have cooked all of the chicken.

Using the same pan, quickly heat up your peppers.  While the jalapeño peppers may be hot for some, the bell peppers should counter act the capsaicin when eating together.

With the peppers and chicken complete, take your chopped cilantro and mix with your white rice.  Assemble your plate and you are done!

Homemade Veggie Pizza

The other day, the wife asked me to make a dish with Kale (because she so enjoyed Eileen’s dish) and I thought… hmm… what could I do that would be unexpected?  Well, I ended up going with Pizza!

Thanks to JT, I started with this dough recipe. For this you’ll need:

3 1/2 cups high gluten flour

1  cup warm water

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast

1 1/2 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

So, you’ll want to mix add the water, oil, yeast, salt, and sugar in a mixer with a dough fitted with dough hook until yeast has fully dissolved. Then add flour and mix on low speed until the flour and water have mixed and a stiff dough ball forms. Place in a bowl and cover… you’ll end up with something like this:

Let the dough rise in the fridge for 24 hours… and you get this…

This will allow you to make 2 twelve inch pizzas.

Toppings were…

Broccoli

Red bell peppers

Green bell peppers

Kale

Spinach

Tomatoes

Red onions

Mushrooms

The sauce consisted of:

28 oz. can pureed tomatoes

2 tsp of sugar

2 diced jalapeños

1/2 clove diced shallot

1 tbsp minced garlic

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon salt

At this point, you’ll want to heat your oven to 500. This will heat up while you toss your puree into a pan over a medium low heat. Make sure to stir in everything and let simmer for about 20 minutes once you are finished, you are ready to roll out your down and top.

I used mozzarella and sharp cheddar.   Tossed it in for 10 minutes….

And it was ready to go…

Some outstanding stuff, easy to make… and above all, healthy!

Van's Big Burger with Peanut Sauce and Homemade Cajun Fries

As I sat in the office this afternoon I had an overwhelming urge for a “5 Guys” burger… then a sense of guilt kicked in. Why buy a burger when I could make my own that will taste just as good, if not better. So, I give you “Van’s Big Burger” which will yield two servings.

For the burger you’ll need

1 tsp freshly chopped Oregano
1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 shallot minced
1 1/4 lb ground sirloin

At this point, simply mix your oregano, shallot, salt, pepper, turmeric and sirloin. Create two evenly sized patties, wrap in plastic wrap, place in a freezer bag and… you guessed it (if you’ve been following my recent cooking method) cook with sous vide method. I wanted the burgers to be medium rare when they came out, so I cooked them at 135 degrees for an hour.

On to the Homemade Cajun Fries!

4 large potatoes of your choosing, cut French fry style (I did two russet, two sweet)
1 tbsp Paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 cayenne pepper
peanut oil for deep frying

Here are the potatoes, ready to take their bath…

Cut and Ready To Go

Place your oil into a pan, over a medium high heat, and wait until it starts to shimmer. At that point, place them in the oil…

Fry, Baby, Fry!

As the fries are taking their bath, mix your seasoning… and place into a container that you can use to “sprinkle” on the fries when they come out of the oil. Make sure you fry for roughly 7 minutes… if you go over that you really risk your fries becoming soft. When you’ve reach your mark, place the fries into a colander and sprinkle with seasoning, shake to ensure coverage, and repeat until you are done with your fries.

By now, your burgers should have been in for roughly 35 to 45 minutes. Now it is time to mix up your peanut sauce…

For the Sauce

1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup warm water
2 tsp soy sauce

Start with mixing your peanut butter and warm water. Rather quickly the peanut butter will break apart. Once this happens and the brown sugar and continue to mix, then add your soy sauce.

Right about now (the funk soul brother… sorry, Fatboy Slim popped into mind) your burgers will be read to take out. Remove from the water and toss into a frying pan to sear each side for roughly a minute or two… you can use your peanut sauce (my choice) or olive oil. Add your cheese (if you so desire). I did Colby Jack.

Now you are ready to garnish. I did spinach, a slice of red pepper, green pepper, and a thin cut of red onion and a bit of the Peanut Sauce.

Here is the full view…

The Dinner, the Full View

And your obligatory close up, food porn worthy picture…

Pure heaven… wonderfully juicy, full of taste and supported by the homemade fries. For some extra flavor add Stone-Ground Mustard to the meal.

Totally worth your effort… even if you are just a frozen dinner kinda person.

Tilapia with Endive and Roasted Potatoes

The other evening I  wanted Tilapia, so I thought it was time to do a baked dish…

For this you’ll require:

10 to 12 red potatoes, quartered
2 fresh Tilapia fillets
Fresh oregano
Fresh Dill
Freshly cracked black pepper
Sea Salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 head of Endive (also know as Escarole), torn
2 tsp of lemon juice

Here you go:

1. First, heat your olive oil in a medium pan. When it starts to shimmer, add your red potatoes. Add dill, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste sauté until they begin to brown, then remove and place in a bowl.

2.  Pre-heat your oven to 365. While your oven is heating, put your Endive in the pan you did your potatoes in, cover, and sauté over medium heat for roughly 5 minutes. Add your oregano, salt and pepper to taste.

3. Now add the tilapia fillets and lemon juice and heat on each side for no more than a minute.

4. Place foil on a cookie sheet, on one side place your tilapia and on the other side mix your endive and potatoes and bake for roughly 10 minutes. Keep your pan for the next step!

5. Remove from the oven, add salt and pepper to your pan (no need for additional oil, you should be ok to accomplish what is needed) and over a very high flame quickly brown the tilapia on each side.  This will sear in the pepper/salt taste, giving you a nice brown color, with drying out the fish.

6. Plate and Enjoy!

Tilapia ready to go!

The garlic, endive and potatoes all play well together, and the lemon pulls the entire dish together! Very enjoyable and very quick to do.

And the next dish? Well, Tuesday we’ll have Kale Pizza!