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stovetoproastchicken.jpgA rare easy and fairly quick (~30-40 minute) recipe from Cook's Illustrated. True to form, the chicken is cooked in a three step, sear-steam-crisp process, but in happens pretty fast and with only one pan. The pan sauce only takes a few minutes and is well worth it.

Chicken:
3 1/2 lbs bone-in, skin on chicken pieces (breasts, thighs, and/or drumsticks)
salt and pepper
1 tbs. vegetable oil, divided
1 c. low sodium chicken broth
Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tsp. oil in a 12" nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add chicken pieces skin-side down and cook without moving until golden brown, 5-8 minutes.
Flip chicken skin-side up. Reduce head to medium-low, add 3/4 c. broth to skillet, cover, and cook until thermometer in thickest part of chicken reads 155 degrees for breasts and 170 degrees for legs and thighs, 10-16 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate, skin-side up.
Pour off liquid from skillet into 2-cup measuring cup and reserve. Using tongs, wipe skillet with paper towels. Add remaining tsp. oil to skillet and heat over medium-high heat until oil is shimmering. Return chicken pieces skin-side down and sook undisturbed until skin is deep golden brown and crisp and it reaches 160 degrees for breasts and 175 degrees for legs and thighs, 4-7 minutes. Transfer to serving platter and tent loosely with foil.

Lemon-Herb Sauce:
1 tsp. vegetable oil
1 medium shallot or small onion, minced
1 tsp. flour
1/2 lemon, juiced (~1 tbs.)
1.5 tbs. fresh parsley, minced (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
1.2 tbs fresh chives, minced (or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves)
1 tbs. butter (optional)
salt and pepper
Skim fat from reserved cooking liquid and add enough broth to measure 3/4 cup.
Heat oil in now-empty skillet over low heat. Add shallot (or onion) and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 1 minute. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds. Increase heat to medium-high, add reserved cooking liquid, and bring to simmer. Simmer rapidly until reduced to 1/2 cup, 2-3 minutes. Stir in any accumulated juices from resting chicken, return to simmer and cook 30 seconds. Off heat, whisk in lemon juice, herbs, and butter (if using). Season with salt and pepper. Pour sauce around chicken and serve.

Derived from Cook's Illustrated, Nov-Dec 2008

falafel_sm.jpg

These homemade falafel made with canned chickpeas, onion, and fresh herbs are easy, delicious, and healthy. The mix can be made ahead of time, and the patties cook up quickly in a frying pan with a little oil or baked in the oven. Adjust the red pepper to taste: even 1/4 tsp was fairly spicy to me.

1 15 ounce can garbanzo beans
1 small onion, finely chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
pepper to taste

Serve with: pita bread, cucumber, hummus, lemon-yogurt sauce, lettuce and tomato

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans. Put in a medium sized bowl and smash with a fork. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Form into small balls, about 1 1/2″ in diameter and slightly flatten.

To bake: Place onto an oiled baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes on each side, until nicely browned (since it's baked, only the part actually touching the pan will be browned and crispy).

To saute: Heat 1 tsp. olive oil in a large frying pan over med-high heat. Add falafel, cook until brown and crisp on both sides.

Makes about 18 patties.

Original recipe


lemonhoneychicken.JPGHoney, lemon, and garlic flavored dark meat chicken, goes well over rice with some green vegetable on the side. 
 

8 - 10 dark meat chicken pieces
salt and freshly ground pepper to season
1 tbsp olive oil
4-5 slices of ginger
1 head of garlic, all cloves peeled and crushed
few thyme sprigs
2 tbsp white wine
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp honey
1 cup chicken stock
1 lemon, finely sliced
Season the chicken with salt and pepper.

Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan. Brown the chicken pieces on each side over high heat for 2-3 mins until golden brown. Remove from pan.

Add ginger, garlic and thyme to the pan. Stir fry lightly.

Add white wine to deglaze the pan. Drizzle over the soy sauce and honey.

Pour in hot water, add the lemon slices and drumsticks. Lower heat to medium high, let the liquid bubble until it becomes thick, about 10 minutes or until the drumsticks cook through. Add spoonful water at a time if the sauce becomes dry.

Original recipe

A simple summer recipe with fresh tomato & corn salad. Not earth-shattering, but good and pretty quick to put together.

Chicken:
1  tablespoon  olive oil
1 1/2  teaspoons  ground coriander
1/2  teaspoon  salt
1/2  teaspoon  ground cumin
1/4  teaspoon  chili powder
1/8  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
1/8  teaspoon  black pepper
4  (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
Salad:
2  cups  cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4  cup  sliced green onion tops
2  tablespoons  thinly sliced fresh basil
1  tablespoon  balsamic vinegar
1  teaspoon  olive oil
1/4  teaspoon  salt
1/8  teaspoon  black pepper
1  (7-ounce) can whole-kernel corn, drained or 4 corn cobs
optional: arugula

To prepare the chicken, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Combine coriander and the next 5 ingredients (coriander through 1/8 teaspoon black pepper); rub evenly over both sides of chicken. Add chicken to pan; cook 5 minutes on each side or until done.

To prepare salad, combine tomatoes and remaining ingredients, tossing well. Slice chicken; serve over salad.

Optional: Use fresh corn on the cob, if in season. Roast corn under broiler for ~18 minutes until golden, turning cobs every so often.

4 servings (serving size: about 4 1/2 ounces chicken and 3/4 cup salad)     

Calories: 296 (23% from fat)
Fat: 7.4g (sat 1.3g,mono 4g,poly 1.1g)
Original recipe

One of Daniel's easy improvised recipes. Comfort food fast and simple.

1 small onion, chopped
1 package portobello mushroom caps, chopped
1/2 lb. ground beef
2 cans diced tomatoes with oregano
2 boxes wild rice mix (Uncle Ben's)
Italian seasoning
Cook rice according to directions. Meanwhile saute onion and mushrooms a few minutes until soft. Add beef and cook until browned. Add canned tomatoes, simmer until rice is done. Add rice, mix, and serve.

If you've ever seen the anime TV series Samurai Champloo, the characters always seem to be eating soft, round 'dumplings'. This is the closest thing I've found to approximate them. These need to be started 1 1/2-2 hours ahead of time because the yeast dough needs to rise an hour. The filling can be made early and refrigerated until needed. It's quite a bit of work, but the buns come out soft and pillowy from the steam and the filling is basically Chinese barbecue with hoisin and five spice. Also would probably be good with Korean bulgogi style filling (?).

Filling:
1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
1 pound ground pork
1 cup thinly sliced green onions
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dough:
1 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (about 14 2/3 ounces)
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

To prepare the filling, brown ground pork with 5 spice powder. Place pork in a medium bowl. Add onions and next 7 ingredients (through 1/4 teaspoon salt); stir well to combine. Cover and refrigerate.

To prepare dough, combine 1 cup warm water, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add flour, oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to yeast mixture; stir until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes).

Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.)

Punch dough down; let rest 5 minutes. Turn dough out onto a clean surface; knead in baking powder. Let dough rest 5 minutes.

Divide dough into 10 (or more, for smaller buns) equal portions, forming each into a ball. Working with one dough ball at a time (cover remaining dough balls to keep from drying), roll ball into a 5-inch circle. Place 1/4 cup filling in center of dough circle. Bring up sides to cover filling and meet on top. Pinch and seal closed with a twist. Repeat procedure with remaining dough balls and filling.

Arrange 5 buns seam side down, 1 inch apart, in each tier of a 2-tiered bamboo steamer. Stack tiers; cover with lid.

Add water to a large skillet to a depth of 1 inch; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Place steamer in pan; steam 15 minutes or until puffed and set. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

Yield: 10 servings (serving size: 1 bun)
Nutritional Information
Calories: 259 (21% from fat)
Fat: 6.1g (sat 0.9g,mono 3.2g,poly 1.5g)
Original recipe

A sweet, nutty tofu dish with a nice texture from the saute-steam cooking method.

2 cups diced tofu, extra firm
3 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup white sesame seeds
1 Tbsp peanut or olive oil
1 lime, juiced
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp honey
1/2-1 tsp red pepper flakes (or cayenne) (optional
3 garlic cloves, grated or chopped
garnish: chopped cilantro and fresh chopped ginger/garlic
Chop tofu into cubes or thin slices and marinate in 3-4 tbsp soy sauce soy sauce and 2 Tbsp water for five minutes (while you do the first saute above).

Add oil, garlic, ginger, peanut butter, agave syrup, lime juice and a pinch of sesame seeds to a frying pan. You might need to add a bit of water to keep from sticking, but don't worry if it's thick.
Saute on medium-high heat for a minute.

Add tofu to pan with the peanut mixture.
Stir/toss well over high heat for a minute to coat tofu.

Turn heat to medium. Cover pan and allow steam and heat to cook tofu for a few minutes.Constantly move covered pan around, to preventing burning.
Uncover pan and check for doneness of tofu. It should be fluffy from the steam and cooked through.
If the mixture looks dry, add a Tbsp of water and a tsp of soy sauce and re-cover to steam.

Once the tofu looks fluffy with a few browned edges, turn heat to medium-low. Sprinkle in red pepper flakes and toss tofu a few times-gently.
Pour in sesame seeds. Allow the seeds to stick to tofu. Add more or less if necessary to coat about 1/2 of the total surface area of the tofu.
Saute sesame crusted tofu for a few minutes- uncovered. Sesame seeds should be crusted and lightly toasted.
Garnish with garlic/ginger/cilantro.

Original recipe
An Asian twist on the typical tuna salad sandwich with a chili sauce kick and tons of vegetables: peas, celery, green onion, and radish.

2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 clove of garlic, minced, or 1/2 teaspoon jarred minced garlic
1 teaspoon Thai chili sauce
2 (5 ounce) cans of tuna, drained
1 cup peas, fresh or thawed from frozen
1 cup celery, finely chopped
1/4 cup green onion, sliced green tops
1 radish, finely chopped
2 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted
ground black pepper to taste
lettuce leaves
whole wheat tortillas

In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, soy sauce, garlic, and Thai chili sauce.
Add tuna, peas, celery, green onion, radish, and slivered almonds, and mix well. Add black pepper if desired (salt too, if you want).
Original recipe
orangetempeh_sm.jpgMy absolute favorite way to eat tempeh: sauteed until golden, and glazed in a tangy, sweet orange sauce. I always seem to forget how thin the sauce is starting out, but don't worry, it will thicken as it cooks.

1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (3-4 large juicy oranges) (I usually just use bottled)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons mirin - Balsamic vinegar can be substituted for a tangier version
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 small garlic cloves, crushed
roughly 10 ounces of tempeh (or extra-firm tofu)
1 tablespoon olive oil
optional:
1/2 lime
a handful of cilantro leaves
Put the orange juice in a small bowl. Add the soy sauce, mirin (or balsamic), and maple syrup, ground coriander, and garlic. Mix together and set aside.

Cut the tempeh (or tofu) into thin-ish, bite-sized pieces, and if working with tofu, pat dry with a paper towel.

Put the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the tempeh and fry for 5 minutes, or until golden underneath. Turn and cook the other side for another 5 minutes, or until golden. Pour the orange juice mixture into the pan and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced to a lovely thick glaze. Turn the tempeh once more during this time and spoon the sauce over the tempeh from time to time.

Serve the tempeh drizzled with any remaining sauce and a squeeze of lime, with the cilantro scattered on top.

Original recipe



There are few fried foods that are truly worth the fat and calories to me. This is one of them. The filling can be made ahead of time for convenience, assembly is best done with multiple helpers. Serve with soy sauce and/or apricot jam for dipping.

1 lb. ground pork
1 pkg. shitake and/or portabella mushrooms, chopped
½ c. diced water chestnuts
1 ½ c. bamboo shoots
2 c. napa cabbage-add last
chives
shredded carrot
garlic
2 tbs. soy sauce
1 tbs. cornstarch
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 pkg. eggroll skins
1 egg
vegetable oil
Cook pork, drain. Add onion, chives, veggies, spices, cornstarch towards the end of cooking.
Use 2 tbs. filling per eggroll, roll up, seal with beaten egg. Fry in hot oil and drain
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