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Monday, February 28, 2011

Moroccan Chicken

Moroccan Chicken
Adapted from Bon Appetit
1 4 1/2-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces, skin removed
Salt and pepper
Flour, for dusting
1 Onion, halved, thinly sliced
2 Garlic cloves, pressed
1 TBS paprika
2 TSP ground cumin
1 TSP ground cinnamon
1 TSP ground ginger
2 Cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 Lemons
1/2 Cup green olives
1/2 Cup sliced almonds

My co-worker is taking a trip to Spain and Morocco in a few weeks, so I'm taking a culinary trip to the region to ease my travel envy. This is a great budget-friendly dish too, since bone-in chicken pieces are usually much cheaper and most of the other ingredients are cabinet staples. I'm serving this dish with some left over white rice, but cous cous, brown rice or quinoa would be great alternatives.

Pat the chicken pieces dry, season with salt and pepper, then lightly dust in flour. Heat 1 TBS of oil in a large pan. Brown the chicken in batches 2-3 minutes per side. Remove and set aside. Cut 1 lemon into 8 wedges. Squeeze 2 TBS of juice from second lemon; set wedges and juice aside. Heat remaining TBS of oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sprinkle with salt and pepper; sauté until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and spices and stir 1 minute. Add broth; bring to boil. Add chicken to skillet with lemon wedges. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until chicken is cooked through, turning occasionally, 25-30 minutes. Transfer chicken to platter. Add olives and 2 tablespoons lemon juice to skillet. Increase heat to high; boil uncovered to thicken slightly, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. as needed Pour over chicken and rice and top with almonds.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Korean BBQ Night

Korean BBQ Ribs
Adapted from Quick & Easy Korean Cooking by Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee
2 Small onions, diced
10 Cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2/3 Cup soy sauce
1 Cup sugar
2 Cups pineapple juice
4 TBS sesame oil
5 LBS beef short ribs

Sauteed Spinach
Adapted from Quick & Easy Korean Cooking by Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee
1 Package baby spinach
1TBS sesame oil
1 Clove garlic, minced
1 Green onion, sliced thin
1 TBS sesame seeds (plus more for serving)
Salt to taste

Spiced Poached Pears
Adapted from Quick & Easy Korean Cooking by Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee
2 Bosc pears
10 Cups water
1 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced thin
3 Strips of lemon zest
1 TBS whole black peppercorns
6 Whole cloves
1 TBS sugar
Vanilla ice cream for serving

We were in VT for the holiday weekend, and Saturday we stopped in a popular BBQ joint, Laney's. Naturally, we ordered the ribs with all the fixings (which were delicious). I had never attempted to make ribs before, but I was inspired.

I'm putting an Asian twist on these with a spicy-sweet marinade with tons of garlic, onion and pineapple juice from a Korean cookbook I recently purchased with some fabulous recipes. I found beautiful short ribs at the market, but you could also use this marinade for pork ribs too. And since I have the luxury of time, I'm cooking my ribs low and slow so they'll be extra tender. I'm making extra marinade, so I can turn it into a glaze for later. To go with my ribs I'm making sesame spinach, steamed rice and poached pears for a sweet finish.

Mix the half of the onion, garlic, soy sauce, sugar, juice and sesame oil in a bowl. Place ribs in a large shallow dish, and pour marinade over. Let sit in the fridge for several hours, or overnight. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Place ribs a roasting pan with a 1/2 cup water. Discarding marinade. Cover tightly with foil and cook for 2 hours. In the meantime bring the other half of the onions, garlic, soy sauce, pineapple juice and sesame oil to a boil in a sauce pan. Lower the heat and let reduce by half. Brush the sauce onto the meat after 2 hours, letting cook for another 20-30 minutes more uncovered.

Steam the spinach in 1/4 cup of simmering water for 4-5 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water. Squeeze dry then toss in a bowl with the garlic, green onions, sesame seeds and sesame oil. Season with salt as needed. Serve along side of the short ribs, warm rice and plenty of sambal sauce.

For the pears. Simmer the water, ginger and lemon peel for 30 minutes. Strain the water, discarding the lemon and ginger. Add pears, cloves, peppercorns and sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce and let simmer for 15 minutes, or until soft. Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Winter Hash

Winter Hash
Adapted from The New York Times Recipes for Health
1 1/2 LBS butternut squash
1 LB brussels sprouts
2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1 Bunch scallions, sliced thin
2 Garlic cloves, minced
Salt and fresh ground pepper
2 TSP paprika
2 TBS tomato paste, dissolved in 1/4 cup water
1 cup cooked red quinoa
Poached eggs for serving (optional)

I love breakfast for dinner, so while browsing through the Times yesterday this recipe caught my eye. Not only is this dish a nice departure from the usual, but it's also healthy! I also just happened to find perfect brussels sprouts in the market. The original recipe calls for black rice, which I couldn't find, so I'm using red quinoa instead. This would make for a fabulous brunch dish too.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Dice squash into 1/2 inch pieces. Cover a baking sheet with foil, and lightly oil. Bake 30 to 40 minutes until fork tender. Remove from the heat,and set aside.

While the squash is in the oven, trim bottoms of the brussels sprouts and cut into quarters.

Heat the oil over medium-high in a large, heavy skillet. Add the brussels sprouts. Cook until just tender and the edges are light brown, about five minutes. Add salt to taste, and stir in the scallions and garlic. Stir together for a few minutes until fragrant. Add the squash. Cook, stirring often, until the squash has caramelized lightly, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and stir in the paprika and dissolved tomato paste. Continue to cook, stirring, until the liquid has evaporated and tomato paste has caramelized, about five minutes. Stir in the quinoa. Heat through, and serve with a poached egg if desired.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Avenue Sandwich, A Tribute

Zesty Blackened Chicken
1/2 TSP paprika
1/8 TSP salt
1/4 TSP dried oregano
1/8 TSP ground black pepper
1/8 TSP cayenne
1/8 TSP garlic powder
Vegetable oil
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (4 if pieces are thin)

The Avenue Sandwich
Semolina bread, sliced cross-wise into 6 inch pieces, then halved length-wise
Mozzarella, cut into 1/2 inch slices
Roasted Red Peppers, sliced thin
3/4 Cup mayonnaise
1 TSP lemon zest
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
8-10 Basil leaves

One of Rich's favorite sandwiches is "The Avenue" from Thataways in Greenwich. It may seem like a simple sandwich with chicken, roasted red peppers and mozzarella, but the key to this is all in their chicken. I may never be able to perfectly replicate their succulent and flavorful blackened chicken, but here is my first attempt. Serve with basil mayo (or smother on the BBQ sauce like Rich).

Mix the first 6 ingredients in a bowl. Pat chicken dry then lightly brush each side with oil. Coat each side with the spice mixture. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. When grill pan is very hot, sear chicken for 1 minute per side. Place on baking sheet and place in oven for 5 minutes, or until cooked-though. Set aside, covered with foil.

Toast the bread by either placing in the oven for 5 minutes, or using the bagel setting on the toaster. To make the mayo combine mayonnaise, basil, lemon juice and zest in a blender. Blend until smooth. To assemble, spread the mayo on both pieces of bread then layer on the mozzarella, chicken and roasted peppers.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Very Hungry Valentine's

Valentine's Day is a great foodie holiday, not only because of the chocolate, but it's also a chance to dine somewhere special with the one(s) you love. Rich and I splurged on very special eight-course tasting at Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Tarrytown, NY. If you every have the chance to partake in this, be prepared to eat...a lot. The setting is very romantic, so it's perfect for Valentine's Day or any special occasion. The food is spectacular, and I really admire their locavore approach. There's no menu, they only serve what's fresh and in season from the farm. We had some excellent dishes featuring beets (the best I ever ate), fresh ricotta cheese and butter, parsnips, pork, and more. We were able to sneak a pic of one of our favorite bites, the mini beet burger (sesame seeds on the tiny bun included)!

Have a sweet Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Make Once, Eat Twice!

Red Quinoa With Tofu, Mushrooms and Kale
2 Cups cooked red quinoa
1 Small onion, sliced thin
2 Cloves garlic, sliced thin
1 Package of mushrooms
1 Cup of kale, cooked
1 Package extra-firm tofu, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
Salt and pepper to taste

Since I knew I was going to be pretty busy for the rest of the week, I wanted to make sure I had dinner on hand, and ready to go. Make a large quantity of a basic dish, then use the leftovers to re-create a totally new dish by building on the flavors. You can pretty much do this with any dish consisting of a grain, proteins and veggies.

Heat oil in a large saute pan. Add tofu and saute until browned. Add onions and mushrooms, season with salt and pepper. Once the onions and mushrooms begin to soften, add garlic. Cook for one more minute, then toss in cooked quinoa and kale. Heat through. Set aside half the quinoa (or whatever you're not going to eat right away) and store in the fridge once it cools.

Dinner #1
Add fresh grated parmaggiano-reggiano and fresh herbs.

Dinner #2
Reheat leftovers with vegetable stock, sesame oil, soy sauce and rice wine vinegar. Serve with chili paste.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Udon Soup

Vegetable Broth
2 1/2 Cups light vegetable broth, homemade or good-quality canned
3/4 Cup water
1 OZ dried shiitake mushrooms, rinsed
2 TBS thinly sliced peeled fresh ginger
4 Cloves garlic, smashed
2 3-Inch lemongrass stalks, outer dark layers removed, all but bottom 4 inches cut off and discarded
2 Dried Thai chilies
2 TSP soy sauce
1 TSP unseasoned rice vinegar

Red Pepper, sliced thin
Green beans, trimmed and cut in halves
Japanese-style udon noodles
Sliced green onions
Tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (optional)
Sambal oelek (chili paste)

Last weekend we stopped by a Japanese market the next town over, and it was so much fun! The shelves were packed with weird and exotic items. And of course, all the labels were in Japanese, so there were some things we couldn't even identify! But you couldn't mistake the sushi rice, nori sheets and beautiful sashimi-grade fish. I stocked up on noodles and sauces like sambal oelek (a delicious spicy chili paste, which like sriacha, I can put on everything). In honor of this adventure, I'm making a quick vegetable udon soup. This broth recipe I adapted from Bon Appetit is quick and easy. You can either serve right away, or make a day ahead. You can use pretty much any vegetables you like for this dish, and you can even add slices of steak or shrimp instead of tofu.

Bring broth and water to simmer in large pot over medium heat. Add mushrooms, ginger, lemongrass, garlic and chilies. Cover; simmer until mushrooms are tender, about 30 minutes. Using tongs, remove mushrooms and set aside (if using whole, remove stems and slice). Strain broth through fine-mesh strainer into another large pot; discard solids in strainer. Add soy sauce and rice vinegar. Keep warm.

In the meantime bring a pot of water to a boil. Sprinkle with salt. Cook green beans until crisp-tender. Remove and set aside. Add noodles; cook until tender but still firm to bite, stirring often. Drain and rinse.

Divide noodles among bowls. Divide mushrooms, red pepper, green onions and tofu among bowls, each in separate mound. Ladle broth over and serve with sambal oelek.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Vegetarian Green Curry With Coconut Rice

Vegetable Green Curry
1 Package of extra-firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 Cup green beans, trimmed and cut in half
1/2 Medium onion, thinly sliced
1 TBS vegetable oil
1 TBS minced garlic
1 TBS grated ginger
2 TBS Thai green curry paste
1-2 Dried Thai chilies, minced (optional)
1 Small package of shitake mushroom caps, sliced
2 Small potatoes, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons
2 Small eggplants, Halved lengthwise, and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons
1 (14-oz) can unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup water
Juice of 1/2 a lime
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

Coconut Rice
2 TSP vegetable oil
1 Small onion, diced
1 Cup basmati or jasmine rice
1 1/2 Cups Cold Water
1/2 Cup thick coconut milk
1/8 TSP white pepper
3/4 TSP Kosher salt

This green curry is loaded with veggies, potatoes and baked tofu for added texture. This dish is perfect for coconut-infused rice. However, it would by equally delicious on noodles, or by itself.

Pre-Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cube the tofu and place on baking sheet with cooking spray. Bake, until browned, about 20-25 minutes. Set aside, and let cool.

For the rice, heat oil in a pot. Sauté diced onions until translucent. Add the rice to the onions and sauté for a few minutes until the rice is coated in the oil and is also slightly translucent. Add water, coconut milk, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then simmer on low heat, covered, for about 20 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

While that's cooking, bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook the green beans for 2-3 minutes, then shock in ice water. Drain and set aside. Sauté onion in oil with salt and pepper in a large skillet over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes. Add the shitake mushrooms and sauté for a minute more. Stir in garlic, ginger, dried chilies and curry paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add potatoes and eggplant, coconut milk, and water and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are almost tender, about 3 minutes. Add green beans and baked tofu and simmer, uncovered, until sauce is slightly thickened. Squeeze in lime juice and stir in cilantro.

Serve with the rice, and a lime wedge.

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About Me

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The Hungry Yuppies, Annie and Rich, are a young couple from CT who are self-proclaimed foodies. Annie is the chef, and Rich is her willing taste tester. Juggling a full time job in the city wasn't going to get in the way of Annie's love for cooking. It's about eating well whether you have just 30 minutes on a Monday night, or all day on a rainy Sunday.