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Archive for the ‘Entree’ Category

Honey-Sesame Baked Chicken

This is one of those recipes that’s pretty hit or miss.  Don’t get me wrong. It is savory, sweet, tangy, crunchy, meaty, and hits all the right notes.  When you’re in the mood for an Americanized take-out Chinese imitation.  And only then.

A hit with Rice Kernel, my little girl would have nothing to do with it!  Guess I haven’t properly exposed her to Food Court Chinese food yet!

Note: The marinade would fare equally well on extra firm tofu, for a vegetarian option.

Honey-Sesame Baked Chicken

honeysesamechicken

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 3 eggs
  • salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • Sauce:
  • ¾ cup honey
  • ¾ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 t sesame oil
  • 1 t minced garlic

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cut chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and season with salt and pepper.
  2. In separate bowls, place cornstarch and slightly beaten eggs. Dip chicken into cornstarch then coat in egg mixture. I have also found that you can put the chicken pieces in a gallon size bag and shake to coat.
  3. Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook chicken until browned. Place the chicken in a 9 x 13 greased baking dish.
  4. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and minced garlic. Pour over chicken and bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes to coat sauce evenly.
  5. Optional: garnish with green onions and/or sesame seeds.

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Pork and Tomatillo Stew

Over the last year or so, I’ve discovered Rice Kernel loves pork.  Shredded, fried, grilled, pounded-thin chops and, of course, cured pork products… you name it, my son will eat pork any which way and prefer it to other varieties of meat.  Having successfully started off stew season with a rich, earthy beef stew, I laid eyes on this Mexican-inspired, peppery, warm stew.  With a mild amount of heat, we added a cup of fresh corn kernels and half a head of roughly chopped cabbage for some vegetables and sweetness.  I also added a cup of dark beef to the broth, which fortifies the flavor of the stew.

We served the stew with rice, but I think some cornbread would be even better.

Pork and Tomatillo Stew, recipe from Food & Wine

(Picture courtesy of Rice Kernel himself, minus cabbage, as he requested.)

 

porkandtomatillostew

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Rice kernel, my formerly vegetarian child, has been going through a “meat” phase in the last year.  As we sit down to dinner, I frequently hear “Mmm. I want meat. I want more meat.” Minutes later, “more meat please.” I have to remind him that vegetables and starches are accompanying his meal.  To white he responds, “I know, I know. So I can have more meat?”
While I rarely delight in beef, the boys really enjoy stew. The weather is just barely turning cool in our area, so after scratching my head for recipe inspiration, I figured it is that time of year for stew.  For the less-beef-minded in our family (Claire and me), I threw in a healthy amount of shiitake and cremini mushrooms for a similar “meatiness” and a half a head of sweet cabbage, cooked al dente.  Serve alongside some bread for dipping, it is something the entire family can warm up around.
Mushroom and Cabbage Beef Stew
 20131007_163003 (1)
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds Beef Stew Meat (sirloin Cut Into Cubes)
  • 2 Tablespoons Flour
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 4Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 10 ounces, weight Cremini, Shiitake, White Button Mushrooms (or any you like)
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 1/2 cup Red Wine
  • 1/2 can Beef Stock
  •  Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 2 sprigs Fresh Thyme
  • 2 Tablespoons Flour
  • 1/2 head of Cabbage, roughly chopped in large chunks
  • Bread, pasta or rice to serve

Instructions

  1. Sprinkle flour over meat. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
  2. Drizzle olive oil in heavy pot. Sear meat over high heat in batches; remove to a plate when brown.
  3. Add onions and garlic to pan (without cleaning); saute for 2 minutes over medium-low heat. Add mushrooms and carrots and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in wine and stock.  Add salt and pepper to taste, and stir. Bring to a boil, then add back into the mix the browned meat. Reduce heat to low. Add thyme sprigs to pot.
  4. Cook and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. After that time, mix 2 tablespoons flour with a little water and pour into the stew. Allow to cook and thicken for ten more minutes. In the last few minutes, add cabbage.

Serve with bread, pasta or rice.

Note: You can easily cook this is a slow-cooked.  Sear the meat and vegetables, then place in slow cooker.  Cover with wine and stock (maybe some water so that the meat is submerged).  Cook for 4-6 hours.  In the last 5-10 minutes add cabbage.

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Mac and Cheese

Sad, but true, I’ve never made mac and cheese.  I’ve never had the boxed stuff either.  Just not my cup of tea, or FHE’s.  Rice Kernel has tasted it a few times.  He seems excited by the prospect, but never takes more than a few bites. Recently, there was a PJ party at his school and the only thing left to sign up for – you guessed it, mac and cheese.   I choose Ina Garten’s version – how could you go wrong with butter, pasta, and cheese?  I made it a bit healthier with less butter, but it was still decadent.  The Mom in me wanted to sneak in butternut squash.  My son wouldn’t be the wiser, but I thought of the other kids and I knew better =)

macncheese

 

Recipe here.

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The kids have been sick recently – moreso than I’d care to admit. Rice Kernel had an ear infection and pneumonia and Claire had a terrible cold.  Rice Kernel is a pretty easy-going, energy-filled sick patient so he’s the easy part.  But my little one? She doesn’t sleep well when her nose is drippy and her throat coarse, and that makes for many blurry nights and days for the rest of us.  I’d go so far as to say this has been the most difficult stretch of parenthood since Claire’s birth – it was easier with a newborn.  Thankfully, I think we’re slowly getting over it…. and there’s nothing like a comforting meal when appetites return.  A healthier, flavorful meatball baked to perfection with a light coating of Rice Kernel’s favorite Italian-spiced Japanese panko breadcrumbs.  Who says fusion doesn’t work?

Meatball recipe here.

 

 

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Greek Chicken Burgers

As much as FHE loves old-fashioned beef hamburgers, I don’t make them often.  I’m not the biggest beef burger fan and neither is Rice Kernel.  Instead, our go-to ground meat is chicken.  It’s lean and its inherently subtle profile easily absorbs whatever flavors suit you.  Today we spiced the burgers with flavorful Greek seasonings, which not only produced moist burgers but also colorful ones.

Greek Chicken Burgers

Ingredients

1 pound ground chicken
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup frozen spinach, chopped
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley (or 1 -2 tablespoons fresh)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (or 1 tablespoon fresh)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
A few cranks of freshly ground pepper

Panko, for coating, optional
Yogurt, cucumbers, tomatoes, optional, for serving

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine all of the burger ingredients and mix together. Form into four patties. The mixture will feel pretty wet.  Seems to be the nature of ground chicken, but it will firm up as it cooks. 
  2. If you like a crispy coating (like my son), coat the burgers gentle in panko.
  3. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add a little oil and burgers. Cook about 6-8 minutes per side or until internal temperature reads at least 160 degrees in the thickest part of the burger.
  4. Serve on buns with optional sauce, lettuce and tomato.

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Sure, you could buy blackening seasoning.  But, if your curious, this is a fresher, inexpensive way to create your own.

Blackened Chicken with Potatoes and Brussels

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for grill
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons ground pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 garlic clove, minced
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves, preferably organic (2 1/2 pounds total)

  1. In a bowl, combine paprika, ground pepper, salt, cayenne, oregano, thyme, garlic, and oil; rub on chicken.
  2. Place a grill over medium heat (or a saute pan over medium-high heat).
  3. Grill chicken, skin side down, directly over heat source until skin is browned, about 4 minutes. Flip chicken; move to cooler side of grill. Cover grill and cook chicken until cooked through, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a platter and tent with foil. Let chicken rest 10 minutes.

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