Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Quick Chicken Veggie One-Dish Bake

Sometimes it's downright discouraging to come home after a workday, craving a healthy scrumptious home-cooked meal, only to realize I have no leftovers and no inclination to undertake anything too involved.

This recipe for Chicken Stir-Fry Sheet Pan Meal on Kalyn's Kitchen looked tempting and quick to put together. Prep took all of 5 minutes. I made a few changes in the recipe and loved the results. So did the Mister, whose commute generally puts him on the doorstep around 8pm with an appetitie.

Quick Chicken Veggie One-Dish Bake
feeds 3-4
Ingredients
2 lbs. skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into large chunks
2-3 red bell peppers, sliced lengthwise
1/2 lb. asparagus, stalks cut in half
for the sauce:
1/3 c. Bragg's Liquid Aminos (available at our local natural food store)
1 T maple syrup
1/2 t garlic powder
1/4 t onion powder
2 T black sesame seeds (I added some white sesame seeds too)

Directions
  1. In a 9" x 13" glass baking dish or something comparable, distribute the chicken thighs.
  2. Add the veggies on top.
  3. Mix the remainder of the ingredients and pour the sauce over the whole thing. 
  4. Bake at  375 degrees, uncovered. Check occasionally to make sure everyting is baking evenly and use your tongs to mix it up so both the meat and the veggies have a chance to simmer in that sauce.
  5. Here's the critical part: bake it until the chicken is done and the veggies are al dente. I guesstimate around 30 minutes. I admit, I did not time it. 
I'm still a lousy food photographer, but here's the view of my bowl.

Monday, July 04, 2016

The Mister makes Orange Sauce


Disclaimer 1: Orange Sauce does not include oranges.
Disclaimer 2: This is a copycat recipe.

That said, this sauce is yummy enough to warrant a post. And relatively simple to make.

Backstory: The Mister received a bottle of orange sauce from a friend. The sauce is made and bottled by La Victoria Taqueria. We've never eaten there (and are not likely to, as all of their locations are 45-60 minutes from our home). However, after tasting this sauce, we considered stopping by the next time we were in town.

Then the Mister was gifted another bottle of the orange sauce.  We were hooked.

Then the Friend sent the Mister a link to this copycat recipe. Today he made a batch.

First impressions:
  • his: too spicy, not enough garlic, tastes "fresher" than the bottles
  • hers: just wow, what wonderful flavor; sometimes when ingredients meld, the effect mellows
After a couple of hours chilling in the fridge, said sauce was drizzled on leftover meatloaf. Our verdicts:
  • hers: in the garlic department, about the same as the restaurant. can't believe how great it is on the meatloaf.
  • his: this is good. I concur.
Here is his final response: "Having rested in the fridge for a couple of hours, the spiciness has dialed back and I'm perfectly happy with the recipe."


If you are trepidatious, I suggest that you cut the recipe in half and give it a try and let us know what you think.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Jambalaya

David and I discussed whether to use filé in the jambalaya. I referred him to this article which clarifies the difference between gumbo and jambalaya, and why some cooks use filé in gumbo. I did not use it in tonight's dish.

Two things to know up front: 1) I cook the rice separately because I don't like mushy rice. 2) I prefer to cook everything else in the same pot, partly because I'm a lazy dish washer but also because the browned bits on the bottom of the pan add flavor to the broth.

Jambalaya
Ingredients
  • 1 lb shrimp, cleaned
  • 1 c chopped cooked ham
  • 3 hefty Italian sausages (or whatever spicy sausage you prefer), sliced
  • 1 c chopped each: red bell pepper, onion, celery
  • shishitos or padrons (optional), up to a cup (they were in season!)
  • several cloves of garlic, smooshed
  • 3 strips thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 6-8 boneless chicken thighs, cubed
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes with juice (I use canned diced tomatoes)
  • 1 c chicken broth
  • 1 T. each fresh oregano, thyme (or 1 t. each if dried)
  • 2 T paprika
  • 1/4 - 1 t. cayenne powder
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)
  • cooked rice for serving
Directions
  1. A large high-sided skillet or stock pot is going to be your canvas. Be sure it's large enough to welcome all the ingredients, so you can stir without spilling over the sides of the pan.
  2. I start with sauteing the sausage and bacon. Once enough fat is rendered, I add the veggies, including the garlic, and chicken.
  3. When the onions soften and the chicken is slightly browned on the outside, turn the heat down to medium-low.
  4. Add the tomatoes/their juice, chicken stock** and the seasonings. Simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the chicken is completely cooked, turn off the heat.
  5. The jambalaya is still steaming hot, so I add the shrimp, cover the pan and let it sit until the shrimp turn pink, so as to avoid overcooking.
  6. We served this over a wild rice blend and topped with scallions, with hot sauce on the side, as my son likes it spicier than I do. 
  7. Indulge!
** Add enough liquid for a hearty soup. I prefer a brothy jambalaya.