Archive | November, 2012

Chicken Teriyaki

30 Nov

I have made chicken teriyaki before…if cooking chicken and pouring bottled teriyaki sauce over it counts. This time, I decided to make my own. I got this recipe here.

Ingredients:
– 4 chicken legs, skin on
– Ginger, grated
– Salt and pepper
– Vegetable oil
– 1 tbsp honey
– 1 tbsp mirin (Japanese sweet cooking wine)
– 2 tbsp sake (I used the cheapest bottle I could find)
– 1 tbsp shoyu

Directions:

1. The original recipe calls for you to have the chicken deboned. I don’t know how to do this. I just bought four chicken legs.

NOTE: If I was to make this for future use, I think I would use chicken breast. Leg/thigh meat is definitely more traditional, but its just too fatty and has cartiladge in it – not my favorite. I rather eat chicken breast. But, back to the directions…

Rub grated ginger and salt into the chicken skin for about 30 minutes. Once it has marinated, wipe off the ginger and pat the skin dry.

2. In a pan, pour some vegetable oil and place your chicken legs in the skillet. Let the skin get some color, but keep this on about medium-high heat because you don’t want to have a burnt outside and raw on the inside.

3. Pour about a tablespoon of sake in the pan and then cover the skillet. This helps to steam the chicken and have it cook. Because I didn’t think my chicken was done after the five minutes on the original recipe, I kept adding some sake and keeping this on rather low heat to get the chicken cooked through.

4. While the chicken is cooking, prepare your teriyaki sauce. Mix together the honey, sake, shoyu, mirin, salt, and pepper until combined. I kept adjusting this flavor until it is where I wanted it.

5. In the skillet with your chicken, soak up the excess oil that may be in your pan and then add the teriyaki sauce. Continue cooking the chicken in the teriyaki sauce until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has become like a glaze over the chicken.

6. Once the chicken was done, I shredded the chicken off the bone — part of why I think this would be easier with chicken breast. Then, serve over a warm bowl of white rice and pour a little extra teriyaki sauce on top. Enjoy!

Also, since I made this only for lunches, I forgot to take a picture of the final product. Whoopsie.

The Boyfriend Rates It:4

I’m definitely not a cook by any means, but this dish seems like one I could easily make myself, meaning that there’s not much technique involved, meaning its hard to mess it up. The teriyaki sauce was tangy and sweet and the chicken was cooked to perfection. I’ve eaten teriyaki many time’s before and this one was definitely good, but it was just missing something to put it over the top. Maybe bacon!! j/k 🙂

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New England Clam Chowder

27 Nov

Hmmmm…remember I said I wanted to make lots of soup? Well, I made a french onion soup that was a total BOMB. Goodness. But, then I made my favorite soup of all time – New England Clam Chowder. I felt it was appropriate since I recently bought my ticket home to Washington for Christmas and every time I go home, I must have Ivar’s clam chowder. This recipe is adapted from Ivars clam chowder recipe, as said by the Seattle Times. My adjustments will follow.

Ingredients List:
– 2 6oz. cans of clams
– 4 stalks of celery, chopped
– 1 onion, chopped
– 4 cloves of garlic
– 4 red potatoes, cubed
– 4 slices of bacon, chopped and crispy
– 4 cups half and half
– 3/4 cup butter
– 3/4 cup flour
– Onion powder
– Garlic salt
– Salt and pepper
– Dash of sherry vinegar

The adjustments I think I would make next time:
This soup is very thick. Which is great, I loved it. However, in thinking about one change I would make next time….reduce half and half by one cup and increase clams by one can. Not that this is lacking in clams, but I would have liked the clam juice to get a stronger flavor broth.

Directions:

1. I started off by cooking the garlic, onions, and celery in some butter until fragrant.

2. Add your potatoes, clam juice, and enough water to cover everything. Let this cook until the potatoes are tender – about 15 to 20 minutes.

3. While the potatoes and veggies are cooking, I chopped the bacon into bacon bite chunks and then cooked till crispy. Isn’t everything better with bacon?

4. In a separate pan, create a rue. Melt your butter (it is soooo much butter, I know) and then add the flour.

Use a whisk to constantly stir. Once the rue is done, slowly start adding your warmed half and half. Stir for about 5 minutes until it has a smooth consistency.

6. Add your cream mixture to the veggie mixture. Mix in your clams. Add your salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic salt, and a pinch of sugar to taste. Then, add just 2-3 dashes of sherry vinegar.

Note: If your soup is very thick and you want it thinner, this is where I would follow my advice above about substituting some of the cream for the clam juice. If you’ve already come to this step, you can continue to add clam juice or water to your consistency preference.

7. Top with a little of the bacon and chopped parsley. Serve with sourdough bread and enjoy!

Seriously, my favorite soup. And it is a pretty good rendition of Ivar’s clam chowder, if I do say so myself. I will probably make this at least once more with the changes I listed above before the season is over.

The Boyfriend Rates It:3.5

I didn’t grow up eating clam chowder. As a matter of fact, the first time I remember eating it was on my first trip to Seattle in 2011, so I probably am not the best judge of clam chowder. With that being said, thick and creamy and the bacon definitely gave it a pick me up. I believe that it could have used a little more flavor though. Maybe more seasoning or more some kind of veggie broth or something.

Butternut Squash and Potato Au Gratin

26 Nov

I am seriously in love with butternut squash. I keep trying to find new recipes that allow me to cook this squash in different ways. The other day, I stumbled across this recipe. Like always, I wanted to make it but didn’t have the exact ingredients so my version is slightly different….but oh.so.delicious.

My ingredient list:

– 1 small butternut squash, sliced thinly
– 4 small red potatoes, sliced thinly
– Ridiculous amounts of Gorgonzola cheese
– Olive oil, salt, pepper
– 1/4 c. whole milk
– A handful (or two) of Parmesan cheese
– Chopped flat-leaf parsley

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray your casserole dish with olive oil or PAM.

2. Have your boyfriend use a mandolin (they are dangerous for someone as clumsy as me) and slice the squash and the potatoes as thinly as possible. The thinner they are, the faster they will cook. Toss the sliced vegetables with some olive oil, salt, and pepper.

3. Due to the fact that the squash slices came out a little thicker than the potato slices, I had to make some adjustments about how I distributed them into the dish. I decided to do one layer of the butternut squash, then the potatoes, and then the top layer as the squash again. The potatoes were in the center because they were going to cook faster than the bottom and top layers.

As you lay out each layer, season with salt and pepper and a good dose of the Gorgonzola cheese. Repeat this with each layer — veggies, s&p, cheese.

4. Pour the milk over the entire dish and the top with the Parmesan cheese.

5. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for about 30 minutes. At the end of the thirty minutes, remove the foil and increase temperature to 400 degrees and bake for about 15 more minutes until the top is nice and crispy.

(Ignore the shadows of my hand in that picture)

And see those crispy edges? Boyfriend LOVES them. He kept peeling the off and eating them as I was serving our plates. When I packed his lunch for the next day, I scraped all the sides and gave it to him. Sounds gross. He loves it.

6. Top with chopped parsley leaves and enjoy! I served mine with a simple chicken breast, broccoli, and cucumber salad.

The Boyfriend Rates It:5
This dish is absolutely delicious! The sweetness of the butternut squash went perfectly with the tangy-ness of the Gorgonzola, and who doesnt like potatoes. Ladies definitely make this for the guy in your life if you want to reward him with a great tasting dish 🙂

Steak with Chimichurri Sauce & Brussel Sprouts

25 Nov

A few weeks ago, my Tia was in town and boyfriend and I took her and friends to one of our favorite restaurants — Wet Stone Wine Bar in San Diego. This place is delicious. It is very simple food, but with fresh ingredients and cooked perfectly. It is also served small plate style – a way I love eating. While there, we enjoyed a few flatbread pizzas, goat cheese and beet salad, bruschetta, queso fundido, and whole lotta wine. One of the flatbreak pizzas we ate had steak on it. It was delicious. At home, I tend to cook a lot of tofu, veggies, chicken and shrimp. It is a rare day when I make steak. This is mainly because I don’t cook it – boyfriend does. And the days that boyfriend spends in the kitchen are rare occasions. But after our dinner at Wet Stone, we wanted to make a dish that we’ve made for happy hour a few times – steak with chimichurri sauce. To accompany this, I decided to make brussel sprouts. Brussel sprouts are one of those veggies that are very new to me, but I like more and more as I eat them.

Ingredients:

For the steak:

– 1/2 pound steak – Although known for being cheap, I love flank steak. I typically buy this and then freeze the leftovers. I don’t know what type of steak boyfriend bought for this, but I recommend flank steak.
– A few good pours of beer
– Juice of one orange
– worcestershire sauce
– Salt and pepper

For the chimichuri:

– One bunch of parsley (sometimes I do half parsley and half cilantro)
– To taste – olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes
– 2 tbsp chopped onion
– 2-3 cloves minced garlic

For the brussel sprouts:

– Brussel sprouts
– Salt and pepper
– Olive oil
– A few dashes of balsamic vinegar
– If you have it, I would definitely add blue cheese. I didn’t have any in the fridge, so it didn’t make it this round but balsamic vinegar and blue cheese is the perfect combo for brussel sprouts.

Directions:

1. Prepare the chimichurri sauce. Finely chop the parsley, cilantro, and onion and combine in a bowl. Mince the garlic and add to the bowl. Then, to your taste, add olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, and the red pepper flakes. Combine well and then refrigerate to marinate the flavors while you prepare everything else.

2. Have your boyfriend cook the steak. He first marinates the steak with salt, pepper, and the worcestershire sauce. Then, as he is cooking, he drinks , I mean, adds a few dashes of beer. He also adds the juice of the orange and cooks until about medium well done. I don’t take part during this time. Our kitchen is so small, I watch the news and drink a glass of wine until he is done.

3. For the brussel sprouts, rinse them in cold water and then halve them. Season with salt and pepper. Then, in your skillet, drizzle with olive oil and then add the brussel sprouts cut side down.

4. Cook until they begin to soften and caramelize on the cut side. Continue to season with salt and pepper and add more olive oil if they start to stick to the bottom of the pan. When almost done, add the balsamic vinegar. Once you remove from the heat, I would add the blue cheese. I wish I had some when I made this.

5. Then, plate up and enjoy! This is a very easy and quick dinner to make with lots of flavor.

The Boyfriend Rates It:4
I’ve made the steak for this before and that time I would have rated it a 5. But this time the meat was a little fatty and tough, but it did have good flavor. The chimichurri definitely saved the day on this, as is is absolutely delicious. It’s flavorful and refreshing. And there’s nothing to not like about fresh brussel sprouts cooked in balsamic vinegar, but they probably could have benefited from some blue cheese.

XMas Cards

23 Nov

So…you can ignore this. But I get $10 free from Shutterfly if I post this. But ignore the card, please. I am going to mail them. Don’t spoil it for me.

Stationery card
View the entire collection of cards.