Friday, October 30, 2009

General Tso's Chicken

I'm no General Tso aficionado, but I thought that this tasted exactly like it was supposed to. It's got a fair few ingredients, but the prep is pretty easy, and it's still a fairly quick recipe.

General Tso's Chicken
Four tablespoons cornstarch
One cup snow peas
Four cloves of garlic, minced
Two teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced
Three tablespoons brown sugar
Two tablespoons soy sauce
Half a teaspoon red pepper flakes
Two egg whites
Coarse salt and ground black pepper
One pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
Two tablespoons vegetable oil

Cut the snow peas in half and set aside.

Mince the ginger.

Dice your chicken.

In a medium bowl, whisk together one tablespoon cornstarch with half a cup of cold water until smooth.

Add the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sugar, red pepper, and snow peas. Toss to combine.

In another bowl, whisk together the egg whites, remaining three tablespoons cornstarch, half a teaspoon of salt, and a quarter-teaspoon pepper.

Add the chicken and toss to coat.

In a large skillet, heat two tablespoons vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Shake the excess coating from the chicken and add to the skillet. Cook until golden-brown, turning occasionally. Remove to a plate.

Add the snow peas and sauce and let bubble for a minute or two. Add the chicken back in and stir to combine. Serve with rice.

Feeds four.
Difficulty: 2
Takes about 35 minutes.

So hey, what are you all planning to make for Halloween dinner? My dad always made us chilli before we went out trick-or-treating. We're not trick-or-treating this year, nor are we attending any parties, but we'll probably still have my dad's chilli. What about you? It's sort of a special day, are you making anything special? I love to hear about other peoples' food choices.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hoisin-Glazed Salmon

While I wasn't wowed by this recipe, I have to give it props for being a ridiculously quick meal. Seriously. Twenty minutes, tops, if you're being slow.

Two tablespoons hoisin sauce (find it next to the soy sauce)
Two teaspoons honey
One tablespoon fresh orange juice (I just sliced an orange in half and squeezed it)

Position a rack in your oven to about 4-6 inches from the broiler and preheat it. Whisk the hoisin, honey, and orange juice together to create the glaze.

Season the salmon with salt & pepper. (When it's just me and Tim for dinner, I don't usually bother portioning it.)

Coat the salmon with half the glaze and put it in the oven. After about six minutes, pull it out and baste it with the rest of the glaze.

Return to the oven and cook until it's opaque throughout, about an additional 5-7 minutes.

Feeds as many as you need it to (for more than 4, double the recipe).
Difficulty: 1
Takes about 20 minutes.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Chicken Cutlets with Herbed Butter

Chicken Cutlets
Olive oil
Salt & pepper
Three-quarters of a cup of chicken broth or dry white wine
Two tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Two tablespoons butter, chopped in pieces
One-quarter cup flour

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat a little olive oil over medium-high heat and dredge the chicken in flour. Cook it until it browns on both sides, about 3 minutes a side.

Remove to a plate and cook until all pieces are done, using more olive oil as needed.

Chop your parsley.

Pour in the chicken broth and boil until it reduces by half, about 4 minutes.

Swirl in the butter and parsley. Add the chicken back in and turn to coat.

Difficulty: 2
Serves 4.
Takes about 30 minutes.

Vegas got cancelled, but I had a nice little birthday with my hubby, and I still got to see my bestie, albeit under unhappy circumstances. And the good news is that we're going to break ground on our house next week!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Roast Beast!

Okay, so my roommate came down with the swine flu and so I forgot to take pictures of the finished product. But hey, he lived through it, and I lived through it, so I really think it's nothing to worry about, so everyone needs to calm down about it. Sheesh.

You will need:
A two-pound top round roast
Fresh thyme
Salt & pepper
Olive oil
Three-quarters of a pound of new potatoes

So, remove the roast from the fridge about 30 minutes before you need to start cooking it and pat it dry with paper towels. Then, preheat your oven to 400F and heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Season the roast with coarse salt and pepper and brown it on all sides. Please be careful when you put the roast in the hot oil; it will splatter and burn you. I have really hideous burn welts on both arms because I was foolish. And they freaking hurt. So be careful. PLEASE.

Put the roast on a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle with two teaspoons of fresh thyme leaves.

Cut your potatoes in half, season with salt and pepper, and place on the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil.

Roast for 45 minutes, then check the temperature. It's ready to come out when an instant-read thermometer measures 150F. Let it rest for about 10 minutes, then slice.

Difficulty: 2
Takes about an hour and a half.
Serves 6.

Also, for the record, tomorrow's my birthday and on Thursday I leave for a weekend in Vegas with some friends I haven't seen in a very long time. So suck it, losers who have to stay in the cold and rainy Northwest!

Not really. I like you all. You don't have to suck it. =)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Pan-Fried Pork Chops

I'd planned to make an entirely different pork chop recipe, but it involved three cups of milk (can't have that anymore) and two hours of oven time, which I wasn't emotionally prepared for on a Monday. Sooooo, I took a leaf out of The Pioneer Woman's book and fried up some pork chops real quick. It was fast--20 minutes from the time I opened the fridge to the time I sat down--and delicious.

So anyway, here's what you need.

Thin pork chops
Seasoned salt
Red pepper
Salt & Pepper

Season the pork chops with salt and pepper.

On a plate, combine about a half a cup of flour and as much seasoned salt and red pepper as you can handle.

Heat a half cup of canola oil in a skillet over medium. Coat both sides of the chops in the flour and put them on a clean plate. Fry them three at a time for about three minutes on the first side and two minutes on the other side.

Remove to a paper-towel lined plate. Serve with applesauce. Eat them up! Yummmmm.

Mark approves.

Serves as many as you need it to.
Difficulty: 1
Takes 20 minutes.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Apricot-Glazed Chicken

This recipe is fantastically easy. With three ingredients, it's hard to go wrong!
You will need:
Chicken breasts
Apricot jam
Red pepper flakes
Also, salt & pepper, but since everyone always has them in their kitchen, they don't really count.

Preheat your broiler and adjust a rack to 4-6 inches from it. In a small bowl, combine a quarter-cup of jam and a teaspoon of red pepper flakes.
Line a baking sheet with foil and season the chicken with salt and pepper.
Put the chicken in the oven for 5-6 minutes, until it starts to turn opaque. Remove and coat with the jam.
Place back in the oven for another 5-6 minutes, until done.
Easy! Also, delicious.

Serves as many as you need it to.
Difficulty: 1
Takes about 20 minutes, start to finish.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A new recipe AND a house update!

Teriyaki Salmon & Green Beans

I made this for Tim for our six-month-iversary. He liked it. I liked it, too!

2 six-ounce salmon filets, skinned
Three tablespoons teriyaki sauce
One tablespoon sesame seeds
Three cloves garlic, minced
Four tablespoons soy sauce
One tablespoon brown sugar
One tablespoon sesame oil
Red pepper, crushed or powdered
Juice of one lime
Green beans

Remove the skin from the salmon. (Ask them to do this at the store before you buy the salmon; it's easily the hardest thing I've ever done while cooking. That said, it is quite possible to do it yourself.)

Cut the salmon into bite-size chunks and coat with the teriyaki sauce. Place in the fridge to marinate at least 30 minutes, not more than four hours.

In a small sauce pan, cook the garlic over high heat for about a minute. Add in the soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, and lime juice. Add a couple shakes of red pepper, depending on how spicy you like things. Reduce the heat to medium and allow it to bubble undisturbed for 8 minutes.

In a medium skillet, cook the salmon over medium heat. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the top.

Steam the green beans for about six minutes.

Pour half the sauce over the salmon and half over the green beans. Serve. Devour! This recipe is a winner.

Takes about 30 minutes, plus marinating time.
Serves two.
Difficulty: 3, but only because removing the skin from uncooked salmon is hard!

House update!

It's been awhile, I know. Everything was going smoothly until communication totally ceased. I'll spare you the details of the complete nightmare it was, but it sounds like the company went under and didn't bother to tell anyone. Long story short, we're back on track with a new floorplan (this one is better!) and a new designer, and if everything stays on track and people do what they say they're going to do when they say they're going to do it, we should be able to move in by mid-February, depending on what kind of winter we have. Yay life!