Monthly Archives: March 2014

Baked Fish Topped with Fresh Salsa & Served with Roasted Poblano Rice (serves 6)

Some of us wanted salad this past Friday, while others craved fish (me!) so my compromise was to make a fish with the feel of something raw and fresh-tasting. This was the perfect solution and gave us all the feeling of warmer days ahead!

yf

Baked Fish with Salsa and rice – very refreshing and zesty dinner

I think salsa can be added to so many dishes to give it crunch and zestiness. The key is finding good Roma/plum tomatoes, and I was lucky this time around. The other key is cilantro, which I used in abundance! I did not add diced red onion to this salsa (which I normally do) as I was pairing it with fish. Fish and onion:  yucky combination I’m afraid.
tf

Cilantro and Lime in my salsa

The rice would have been fine on its own but I added some smokey poblano peppers to tie the salsa and rice together and  it did wonders for the mild-tasting fish.
Poblano pepper

This is a Poblano pepper and it is said to hail from Puebla in central Mexico. It has a thick, dark-green skin and is generally mild to medium-hot with a lovely smokey flavor

Try this out next Friday and see if you can’t taste the arrival of Spring!
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* to make this a Blood Type A diet recipe, make the following changes: omit the pepper and put chopped up cilantro or parsley into your cooked rice. Do not use tilapia, only cod for baking fish. Omit butter and dot with olive oil instead. Top fish with a mixture of mashed Avocado, lime juice, cilantro and salt to taste*

You will need:

for baked fish:

3 lbs firm white fish (cod, haddock, sole, tilapia, scrod – can be mixed fish)

salt and pepper for fish seasoning

1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 1/2 tbs unsalted butter

for the Fresh Salsa:

6 Roma tomatoes – halved, cored & seeded  (and discarded) and flesh finely diced

1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro

2 tbs lime juice

1 jalapeno pepper – finely minced (remove the seeds and inside veins if desired, but not necessary

3/4 tsp coarse salt or sea salt flakes

for the rice:

6 or so cups cooked Basmati rice (if using a rice-cooker: use 3 cup measure of rice and water and cook according to instructions. If using stove top: use 2 cups of rice and follow instructions)

2 or 3 Poblano peppers (if small, use 3, if large use 2)

Method:

1 – Put rice on to cook and roast poblano pepper.

Wash and dry Poblano and place on a baking sheet. Place close to the grill in the oven and grill until all sides are charred. you will have to check every 3 or so minutes and turn peppers to get the whole thing charred.

grill poblano

grill poblano

2 – After you char the peppers, place in a brown paper or zip-top bag and close. Let them steam and cool for about 15 minutes. Remove from bag and pull the skin off. It should come off in good-sized stripes. Do not rinse under water as this washes away the flavor.

seed, de-vein adn dice

seed, de-vein and dice

3 – Cut the Poblano in half and remove the seeds by scraping with a knife. Dice peppers. When rice is cooked, mix peppers into rice. Set aside and keep warm.

mix rice and peppers

mix peppers with rice

Make Salsa:

1 – Prepare the tomatoes and place in a bowl, along with the chopped cilantro, minced jalapeno, lime juice and salt. Taste and add more salt and lime juice if you think it needs it.

dice Roma tomatoes

Dice Roma tomatoes

Make Salsa and set aside in fridge

Make Salsa and set aside in fridge

Bake fish:

Preheat oven 450*

1 – Put washed and dried fish on large baking sheet in a single layer. Dot with butter and season with some salt and black pepper. Toss the cilantro leaves over the whole dish and then cover tightly with tin foil.

place fish on baking sheet with seasonings

place fish on baking sheet with seasonings

 2 – Place the fish in the oven and bake for about fifteen minutes.

Bake fish for about 15 minutes

Bake fish for about 15 minutes in a 450* oven

 Serve fish with some of its juices and a portion of rice topped with a big spoonful of salsa. A little Greek yogurt or sour cream as a garnish is also a nice touch!

Serve

Serve

Roast Duck in Remembrance (serves 4)

We were invited to dinner yesterday, (the 22nd of March to be exact), to our friend’s house, and I told my friend Celine that of course we would come, but that I had to bring a duck. “But I have a chicken”, she said. I told her that this duck had to be cooked because I had promised a friend that I would cook it as a token to him to honor the 30th anniversary of his mother’s death.

A surprise of sweet crocuses amidst the rubble of winter

A surprise of sweet crocuses amidst the rubble of winter

I feel the passage of time acutely when there is an anniversary of a significant event. The ritual of remembrance of that exact day and time of an event, brings the thing that happened back in a way that makes you feel close to that day all over again. It is on this date that we acknowledge that person or occasion anew, and usually try to do something to honor the day and make it special. It can be happy or sad, or a mixture of both depending on the importance of the milestone and how long ago it happened.

The river Barrow at Milford, County Carlow

The river Barrow flowing through Milford, County Carlow (where I’m from)

I was reminded that the 22nd of March was special to, and by, a very old and dear friend. Some of us would not talk about our very first “real boyfriend” like this, but I am one of the lucky ones who doesn’t cringe with regret and mortification when I think back to my first real attempt at a relationship. Suffice is to say that decades later, (I gulp when I think how many) I am the better for still knowing him. Perhaps living on two different continents doesn’t hurt either (that was a joke!)

Roast Duck with Sage and Bread Stuffing

Roast Duck with Sage and Bread Stuffing

He told me in an email ten days earlier that the 22nd was the 30th anniversary of his mother Margo’s death. I could tell it was a date he had on his mind and he told me that he and his siblings were going to do something special together in her memory. This is such a lovely and wonderful thing that we humans do for our dead. We remember them. When my kids tell me (and it sounds morbid when I say this out loud, but really it doesn’t feel like that) that they will miss me when I am gone, I always say, “I will miss you too” I really mean it, and perhaps when I am dead, and my children get together to think about me specifically for a few hours, it will feel like happiness is in the air for all of us.

 first foal of the year in Mount Juliet's Ballylinch Stud.

First foal of the year in Mount Juliet’s Ballylinch Stud. (photo by Dave, who loves horses and the Horse Races!)

So yesterday, when Dave and his family were together to remember “Mum” I was trying to tie myself to the moment in a very small way by cooking something that Dave said he would like me to cook if he ever popped over for dinner. Okay – I roasted a duck and I was nervous about the whole thing because I really wanted it to turn out delicious. It is easy to mess up roasted fowl, as people tend to dry it out by being nervous about undercooked meat. So, I went extremely traditional and by the book. It worked.

jyg

Winter Woods in Thomastown, the place Dave lives (photo by Dave )

I thought about the fact that Dave’s mother may have cooked duck and thought about how she might have gone about it. Thinking about that made me remember that one night I had cooked something quite “game-y’ in her kitchen, a hare, that was a complete disaster. I remember being freaked out about the wildness of it all, and the strong smell in the kitchen. I was more used to the ordinary “farmer” diet of beef and pork. Dave’s house had the air of the “gentleman farmer” about it, mainly because his brother went out regularly to shoot things like pheasant and other birds that were not chickens! I also remember opening the fridge one time and seeing a giant cow tongue sitting on a dinner plate. Yes, I was full sure that duck may well have been an ordinary dish in Mrs. Donohue’s house.

A peek at the garderns of Mount Juliet

A peek at the gardens of Mount Juliet (where those lucky horses live!)

I figured that stuffing it with a simple sage and bread stuffing and then roasting it would be the most appropriate. In trying to stay traditional, I took the neck, giblets, kidneys and heart and made a stock from which I made the gravy. After it came out of the oven and rested, it was the moment of truth. I tasted the meat with a little stuffing and a little swipe of gravy, and, it was amazing; tender, juicy and not a bit of the wildness that may have made me winch and remember that God-awful hare I cooked decades earlier. I brought it over to our friend’s house and as we ate and I thought about the significance of the day, I hoped that there was an extra bit of happiness in the air, just for sweet Margo.

How

Happy Spring

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You will need:

for the bird and stock:

1 5 lb duck (save innards for stock)

1 medium carrot – diced

1 medium onion – quartered

1 small celery rib – sliced

1 bay leaf

2 or 3 sprigs fresh thyme

4 or 5 black pepper corns

stuffing:

3 tbs unsalted butter

1 sm onion – finely diced

1 tbs fresh sage leaves – finely chopped

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 tbs freshly ground black pepper

2 cups breadcrumbs

for the gravy:

3 tbs unsalted butter

3 tbs all-purpose flour

21/2 cups duck stock (or canned chicken stock if you are not making the stock form the duck giblets).

salt and black pepper to taste

Method:

*If you are going to make stock from the innards for your gravy, you need to do this step 3 hours earlier (maybe in the morning, or the night before, or just put it on 4 hours before you plan to serve)*

1 – Put the innards from the duck, onion, carrot, celery rib and peppercorns into a saucepan and cover with water (about 3 cups). Bring to a slow boil and cover with lid. Turn heat down to a simmer for about 3 hours.

;oih

Make stock for gravy

2 – Strain stock through a fine sieve and reserve the stock for making gravy.

srtain solids from liquid

stain solids from liquid

Preheat the oven to 350* (180 celsius).

Make stuffing:

1 – Put butter in saute pan on medium heat and add onions. Cook for about 7 minutes.

cook onions in butter

cook onions in butter

2 – Add sage and cook for another minute before adding the breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Stir everything together and transfer to a bowl and place in fridge to get cold.

sage and bread stuffing

sage and bread stuffing

3 – When stuffing is cold, wash and dry the duck and place in snug roasting pan. Stuff the bird with the sage and bread stuffing and tie the legs together loosely with kitchen string.

stuff and truss duck

stuff and truss duck

4 – Place in oven for 1 hour and 50 minutes. Halfway through cooking baste the bird with the collected juices and fat and continue to cook for the remainder of the time. Remove from the oven and rest for 20 minutes before carving.

rest cooked duck for 20 minutes before carving

Rest cooked duck for 20 minutes before carving

Make gravy:

Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary..

Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary..

1 – Put a saute pan on medium heat and melt the butter. Add the flour and mix to a paste. Cook for about 30 seconds before adding the stock 1 cup at a time. Stir and cook until the gravy thickens. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. *When I tasted my stock, I thought it tasted a bit bland so I added about 1/2 a good quality bouillon cube to my gravy, which added the layer of flavor I was looking for. Just letting you know so you can “doctor” your gravy up until you get it right.

Serve the duck, stuffing and gravy with whatever you want: mashed potatoes and a green vegetable like peas or green beans, or serve with another starch like pasta and some sautéed greens such as spinach or kale.

the river Nore, Thomastown

The river Nore, Thomastown (photo by Dave)

A QUICK LUNCH FOR TWO – Chicken With Spaghetti and Caper Sauce

If I had to choose when to go out to eat, it would be lunch time. I have plenty of reasons for not wanting to be in the kitchen (my favorite place in the world to be at dinner time!) right smack in the middle of the day when I am in the throes of all sorts of activities. Whether it is the weekend or some other day when the whole family is about, I might be grocery shopping, or cleaning my house, or doing laundry, or helping with homework, or out weeding or watering the garden, or perhaps at a movie or just plain old having fun with my kids or friends….I could (and have) go on and on about what kind of spanner is thrown into the works when I have to come to a grinding halt to make lunch!

kug

Fast, Furious and Fabulous!

The worst is when I am on my holidays somewhere magnificent and we have to leave the museum or castle, or some majestic landscape to eat a midday meal. That why, when I was in Ireland for the Summer, I started taking lunch along ( like HERE and HERE to name but two great lunches on the go).

fry Capers..

Capers are such a great pantry item to have on hand. They pack loads of flavor and are great in so many dishes

So when the groan went up for lunch a few weekends ago, I sprung into action to get it over as quickly as possible. When I began to see how good it was turning out, I quickly grabbed my camera and a notebook to make sure I would remember to make this again – and I have, several times actually.

It is not only fast, it is also pretty darn good!

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You will need:

2 tbs olive oil

2 scallions – chopped

2 cloves garlic – peeled and finely chopped

1 chicken breast – cut in half lengthways and very thinly sliced

2 tbs capers

2 tbs caper juice

1/2 cup heavy cream

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1/3 lb spaghetti pasta (or what you would use for two people in your household)

1/4 cup reserved hot pasta water (scooped out of pot before draining pasta water)

Method:

*Put pot of water with a good teaspoon of salt on to boil for your pasta. cook according to instructions, reserving a 1/2 cup of pasta cooking water before draining. son not rinse pasta before adding to your final dish*

1 – Put saute pan on medium heat (large enough to hold the finished dish) and add the oil. When it warms up, add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds before adding the scallions. Cook for 2 minutes.

jyg

2 – Add the chicken and turn heat up slightly. Cook chicken for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the capers and caper juice and cook for another 3 minutes.

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Add chicken, then capers and caper juice

3 – Add the cream and when it comes to a simmer, cover and cook (lower the heat) for about 1 more minute. Taste and add some salt or more caper juice if you think it needs it.

jhkg

Add cream

4 – At this point your spaghetti should be cooked. Add the reserved pasta water, followed by the cooked spaghetti and toss everything together.

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Add the pasta water and pasta right before serving

Bright Lamb Sauce With Exotic Spices & Pasta (serves 6-8)

If you are looking for a rich meaty bolstering dinner, then here it is!

I found some great Australian ground lamb on sale and snapped it up. Some people find lamb too rich, but when you simmer it with complimentary spices and add some good toothsome pasta, the richness feels right.

jygkuyg

 A fabulously hearty lamb dinner

If you have a crowd coming over for dinner and don’t want to kill yourself cooking, then this is a pretty great way to go. It is not a bit laborious and you can sit down at the same time to eat as everyone else.

And for dessert, go with something  equally simple: Oranges and Cream!

Refreshing finish to dinner..

Refreshing finish to dinner..

So call up a few friends and make it happen!

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3 to 4 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

1 large onion – large dice

4 cloves garlic – chopped

1/2 lb mushrooms (what ever you have or like) – sliced

2 lbs ground lamb (you could also try turkey or beef or combination of whatever you have on hand)

1 1/2 cups grated or matchstick carrots

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp dried oregano

1 1/2 tsp hot smoked paprika (regular paprika will do in a pinch – hot or sweet

1 tsp chili flakes

2 tsp lemon zest

1 tsp salt (more to taste)

1/2 cup tomato paste

2 cups chicken stock

1 lb rigatoni or other large pasta like calamarata

1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt (more for garnish)

1 tbs lemon juice

Method:

1 – Put large saute pan or shallow casserole on medium heat (large enough to hold completed dish) and add about 2 tbs olive oil. When it has warmed up, add the onions, mushroom and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 or so minutes.

Saute mushrooms and onions

Saute garlic, mushrooms and onions

2 – Add all the spices (oregano, paprika, cumin, chili flakes, salt, lemon zest) and continue to cooking for another 5 minutes. Turn up the heat a little if you need to.

add spices

Add spices

*Put water on for pasta, adding salt to the water*

3 – Add the lamb and break it up and incorporate into the spice mixture. Turn the heat up to high and cook the meat, stirring often, until it begins to brown all over.

add lamb

Add lamb

*start cooking the pasta. reserve a cup of the pasta cooking water before draining – may need later*

4 – Add the carrots and the tomato paste and stir. Cook for another 3 to 5 minutes, letting the flavors meld. Add the stock and when it comes to a bubble, turn down to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 12 to 14 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more salt to your taste. Add the lemon juice.

Add carrots, then tomato paste

Add carrots, then tomato paste

5 – Add the drained cooked pasta directly into the sauce and stir. Stir in the yoghurt and add some of the pasta cooking water if you want a looser sauce.

Add pasta, then yogurt

Add lemon juice, then pasta and stir in Greek yogurt 

Serve family style in a big serving bowl in the middle of the table with a nice crispy salad and more yogurt, and possibly hot sauce for anyone wanting some extra zing.

Serve alone

Serve alone

Or divide between warmed bowls or plates and let everyone add a condiment or garnish according to what they like!

or with a dollop of yoghurt (and a little hot sauce if you feel the urge!)

or with a dollop of yogurt (and a little hot sauce if you feel the urge!)

THIS IS DISGUSTING!!! (and parents give it to their children in their lunch boxes!)

When I opened my daughter’s lunch bag last night to stick her food thermos into the dishwasher I found this!!!! Someone as a joke had put it in her lunch bag (or maybe they were hiding it to pretend they had eaten their lunch!)

Smuckers Uncrustables???

Smuckers Uncrustables???

I really do not want to sound righteous, or smug, or snobby or cruel, truly I don’t, BUT SERIOUSLY; do parents really put this in their kid’s lunch bag??? I also don’t want to write a thousand words on how gross this round and spongy looking thing appeared, or how easy it is to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich – isn’t it obvious to anyone. Let’s not even comment on how awful the name of this packaged junk is!

Lunch time!

Lunch time!

I am going to make my argument practical and straightforward. We all agree that we love our children, and want to give them the very best nutrition money can buy; yes. Two things come to mind right there; good nutrition and money. I will stick to that, and even up the ante and use ALL ORGANIC INGREDIENTS for the sandwich I am going to compare this pre-packaged sandwich to, (by the way, Smuckers tout that it comes frozen and you pop it into the lunch bag in its frozen state and it is all thawed by lunchtime).

Organic ingredients are a luxury as far as I’m concerned, BUT, maybe you can afford organic after all!

Below I have broken down the ingredients and price per lunch serving of a Smuckers Uncrustable Peanut Butter and Honey Spread Sandwich and a Peanut Butter and Honey Sandwich made by Mom/Dad

Ingredients

What a list!

 LUNCH FROM SMUCKERS: $2.10 (2 uncrustables totaling 4 oz)

Ingredients

WHEAT BREAD: UNBLEACHED WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, WATER, WHEAT GLUTEN, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP,  SOYBEAN OIL, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: SALT, DOUGH CONDITIONERS (DISTILLED MONOGLYCERIDES, SODIUM STEAROYL LACTYLATE, DATEM, ENZYMES [WITH AMYLASE, LIPASE, ASCORBIC ACID,  CALCIUM PEROXIDE, AZODICARBONAMIDE, WHEAT STARCH]), YEAST.

PEANUT BUTTER: PEANUTS, DEXTROSE, SUGAR, MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES (PALM AND/OR SOYBEAN OIL), CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: FULLY HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OILS (SOYBEAN AND/OR COTTONSEED AND/OR RAPESEED), SALT, MOLASSES.

HONEY SPREAD: CORN SYRUP, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, WATER, HONEY, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: PECTIN, NATURAL FLAVOR, CITRIC ACID, POTASSIUM SORBATE (PRESERVATIVE), CARAMEL COLOR, CALCIUM CHLORIDE.

ujh

 I took a bite of this Uncrustable to see if it tasted as bad as it looked. it turned into a gummy wad of gluey paste in my mouth – not pleasant.

slice bread

Good bread like this is the same price as a loaf of junky bread. If you worry that it goes stale faster than your regular bread – (this is because this type of bread has no gross preservatives added to it) – all you have to do is slice it and freeze in a sealed plastic bag. It is perfect just thawed or toasted)

LUNCH FROM MOM/DAD: $1.02 (made with 2 pieces of bread cut in half)

Ingredients

ORGANIC WHEAT BREAD: ($3.99  – $o.26 per slice)

Ingredients: Organic Whole Wheat Flour, Water, Organic Cracked Wheat, Organic Brown Sugar, Organic Wheat Gluten, Organic Wheat Bran, Yeast, Organic High Oleic Sunflower/Safflower Oil, Sea Salt, Organic Vinegar, Organic Oat Flour, Organic Molasses, Cultured Organic Wheat Starch, Organic Barley Malt, Ascorbic Acid, Natural Enzymes.

ORGANIC CREAMY PEANUT BUTTER: ($3.99 for 16 oz jar – $o.28 per serving)

Ingredients: Organic Peanuts, Organic Palm Oil, Organic Sugar, Sea Salt.

ORGANIC HONEY: ($4.99 for 16 oz jar – $0.22 per serving)

Ingredients: 100% organic honey

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To break it down a little further; if you used the whole loaf of bread to make peanut butter and honey sandwiches for lunch, you would be able to make 7.5 sandwiches costing $7.74. You would STILL have HALF of the peanut butter and honey LEFT (so all you would have to do is buy another loaf of bread and you are good for 7.5 more!)

For 7.5 servings of Smuckers Uncrustables, the cost is $15.75

Even if your argument is that you don’t have time, look at the rest of the equation. Mom’s sandwich is ALL ORGANIC AND NATURAL and the alternative sandwich is LOADED with ARTIFICIAL INGREDIENTS AND CHEMICALS! And the sad part is, you are paying twice the amount of money for that! Maybe, people don’t think too deeply when it comes to the morning rush, but it sets a trend of bad eating habits and lines the pockets of people who couldn’t care less about your kids, (except how much money they can generate from them). If you cannot change the habit of giving your kids convenience foods for lunch, at least try to find something healthier and more edible, and stop conditioning your kids to like processed food. It will start them down the wrong road for life. I’m kind of tired of the “you don’t understand my life” debate – I could go there too.

Enough said.

New Menus On LAUSD Lunch Trays
The celebrity chef Jamie Oliver is passionate about teaching children healthy eating habits. His website is a fantastic resource if you need help educating yourself and your children, and it is loaded with recipes, and ideas. Please check it out!

https://www.jamieoliver.com/us/foundation/jamies-food-revolution/school-food

CRISPY TOFU AND SALT-LACED EDAMAME’S FOR DINNER; OH SO GOOD! (serves 2 as main course – 4 as appetizer)

Sometimes I need medicine instead of dinner, and this dish acted as both.

This is a double dose of soy in two very different forms and this was my much-needed, super high protein dinner, a few nights ago.

My lovely dinner

My lovely dinner

Edamame beans are soy beans and nowadays can be found in most any supermarket. They are super high in protein and addictive. We cook them just to snack on if we are ravenous before dinner and they really keep us going and curtail any hunger-insighted grumpiness. They are great with salt, like in this recipe, but are also delicious with a drizzle of soy sauce.

If you are positive you are not a tofu lover, I dare you to try this and change your mind. Also, if you have never cooked or eaten edamame beans; now is also the time!

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*This is the ultimate Blood Type A diet recipe, full of all beneficial ingredients – only use olive oil. The panko crumb could be substituted (I don’t go to this trouble as it is not so much bread and really not particularly hurtful to my system – also the panko crumbs are too good to give up) for bread from your Type A food list. You will need to make bread crumbs in the food processor and then spread the crumb on a baking sheet and put in a low oven until it dries out. Turn every so often while cooking. *

You will need:

for tofu:

1 block firm or extra firm tofu (pressed – method below)

1 large egg

1 tbs hoisin sauce (found in Asian or Ethnic section of supermarket or specialty shops)

1 tsp mirin

1 1/4 cups (have more on hand) panko bread crumbs (this super-dried out crustless bread crumb is a Japanese ingredient found in Asian or ethnic section of your supermarket or specialty shop)

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

oil for frying (olive oil, safflower, vegetable, canola)

for dipping sauce:

6 tbs soy sauce,

4 tbs mirin,

2 scallions – finely chopped or minced

1 tsp sesame oil (optional)

for edamame’s:

10 oz bag frozen edamame beans in pod (if they are in season, by all means, use fresh – they are easy to grow too!)

1 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

1 to 2 tsp sea salt flakes (I use Maldon salt – completely worth having in your pantry!)

Method:

1 – Press moisture from tofu by putting the block of tofu on a plate and stacking carefully with plates. Adjust plate if they start to tilt (I haven’t broken a plate yet!). Pour off collected water every five minutes. do this for about 20 minutes (longer is fine too).

2 – On a dinner plate or shallow bowl whisk the egg with the hoisin and mirin. place the panko on a dinner plate and flour on another plate.

tofu stacked with dinner plates!

tofu stacked with dinner plates!

3 – Slice the tofu into 1/2 inch slices. Coat the slices first with flour, then dip in egg to coat and then press each side into the panko crumbs and place on a plate or board until ready to fry.

Fry on one side until crispy adn browned

Fry on one side until crispy and browned

4 – Put large saute pan (or whatever you have) on medium/high heat and add about 1 1/2 tbs of oil. When it is hot, add the tofu in an even layer and fry until crispy on both sides – about 3 minutes per side (see picture above and below). You will need to add more oil as you go and adjust heat if necessary. Set on wire rack or plate as you go.

fry until crispy-looking

Turn and fry other side until crispy

Make the dipping sauce (recipe under picture)

make dipping sauce

Make dipping sauce: Combine all the dipping sauce ingredients in a bowl with a little whisk.

Boil the edamame beans according to instructions, drain and place in bowl, tossing with the oil and salt. (These beans should be added to the water when boiling and covered when cooking. They take about 4 to 5 minutes to cook)

jygku

Toss drained beans in 1 tbs extra-virgin olive oil and salt

Serve!

jkygkuyg

Serve a portion of ingredients on each plate or put both ingredients and dipping sauce in serving bowls and eat Family Style.

“ROASTED” Stir-Fry: Chicken and Vegetables with Delectable Noodles (serves 6)

This dish was a resounding success on so many levels – hurrah!

It is winter and roasted vegetables is one of the pleasures of being in a cozy kitchen when it is freezing cold outside. I found some great bone-in, skin-on chicken breast but wanted some kind of Asian-spiked noodle dish. I didn’t want a basic stir-fry, but I wanted something like that, only a little richer, more home-y.  I was in the mood to experiment and this is what I came up with; true deliciousness!

yfyj

My “Roasted” Stir-fry!

The components were cooked separately and then all thrown together in a big bowl right at the end. It is dead simple to make, but the resulting dish has layers and layers of flavor and complexity. Definitely something to try!

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*This is a great Blood Type A diet recipe with beneficial veggies (green beans and carrots), as well as neutrals like the chicken and mushrooms. You can substitute tofu for the chicken if you like and use the same marinade and just cook it in big cubes with the roasting veggies*

You will need:

for the chicken:

3 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts

1/4 cup, plus 1 tbs soy sauce

1/4 cup mirin (sweetened rice wine found in the Asian or ethnic aisle of your supermarket)

3 tbs soft brown sugar

for the Roasted Vegetables:

4 cups green beans – left whole

1/2 lb shiitake mushrooms – quartered or thickly sliced

3 cups baby carrots – halved or quartered lengthways depending on the size

1 tbs olive oil

3 tbs soy sauce

3 tbs mirin

2 tbs brown sugar

1 tsp sriracha

Noodles and extra drizzling sauce:

good quality egg noodles for six people (I used Blue Dragon egg noodle nests; one 1 oz nest per person).

Mix together in a little bowl or shake in a lidded jar, the following:

3 tbs soy sauce

2 tbs mirin

1 tsp sriracha sauce

1 tbs soft brown sugar

Method:

1 – Mix the ingredients listed in the chicken marinade together in a shallow dish or bowl. Add the chicken and marinate for at least 20 minutes in the fridge, turning every now and then to get the whole piece coated with marinade. (You can do this ahead of time and leave it in the fridge until ready to roast).

Preheat the oven to 425*.

2 – Place the chicken pieces in a baking dish and cook for 40 minutes, (you can cook the vegetables at the same time – method below). Remove and when cool enough to handle, remove the skin and shred the meat into large bite-sized pieces. Mix 1 tablespoon or mirin, 1 tbs soy sauce and 1 tsp sugar in a bowl (mix well) and pour over shredded chicken and toss. Set aside.

yf

Marinate chicken

Roast Vegetables:

You can cook the veggies on the bottom rack at the same time (or if you have room, cook side by side on middle rack)

1 – Put all the prepped vegetables into a large bowl and mix the roasting liquid together in a small bowl and then mix into the vegetables, coating everything well.

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Toss vegetables in bowl with roasting liquid

2 – Place a large baking sheet in the oven with 3 tbs oil (olive, canola, safflower) and leave for 4 minutes. Remove and immediately spread the vegetables into the sheet in an even layer. lace in oven for 12 minutes. Remove from oven, toss and place back into oven for another 10 minutes.

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Roast veggies

Toss the shredded chicken with the roasted veggies in a large serving bowl. Cover and place the bowl in the cooling oven to keep food warm, and to heat up the bowl which can be used to serve the final dish.

Assembly:

Put water on for noodles right when you take the chicken out of the oven . Cook noodles according to instructions.  Try to time the noodles to be done when the meat is shredded and it has been mixed with the veggies in the serving bowl. When noodles are cooked, drain and toss into the bowl with the chicken and veggies. Pour in about half of the drizzling sauce to the dish and toss gently.

Asian Roasted Chicken and Veggies with the best Egg Noodles

Asian Roasted Chicken and Veggies with the best Egg Noodles

Serve, passing the hot sauce (sriracha) and a little drizzle of sauce if you need it.