I wish I’d gone with the white bowl for this, I really thought there would be more contrast. This is a copycat recipe, as far as I know, nowhere does it indicate it’s an actual Panera recipe. I stayed right with the recipe as written except I added an extra handful of shredded Parmesan I had out for the garlic toast. I can say that it’s a damn good soup, we both gave it two thumbs up.I couldn’t resist making a sammich out of the leftovers.
I bought a bottle of sour orange juice so I could more closely replicate the mojo marinade needed for a proper roast pork Cubano sandwich. I haven’t done that yet, but a recipe for mojo marinated roast chicken caught my eye. A mojo sauce is mostly olive oil with garlic, citrus, and oregano. I used fresh oregano instead of dried in mine. The lemon and lime juices in the recipe are intended to get to the sour/bitter taste profile of the sour orange juice when sour orange isn’t available and regular orange juice is substituted. Lacking a rotisserie on my grill I used the beer can roaster gadget with good result.A recipe for Cuban style black beans and rice worked well and fit the general theme of the plate. I have no Idea if broccoli plays much part in the Cuban diet but I like it so I steamed some florets and gave them a squeeze of lemon. I picked the green pepper and a couple of sweet banana peppers from my container garden to make the bean dish. The addition of a splash of red wine vinegar to the beans right before serving them really made the dish. I never would have thought to do that but it works!
Mrs J called for pizza and because it’s been a while since we had a white pizza, this broccoli/chicken/roasted garlic pie was just perfect. I rolled some string cheese into the edge of it and made a sauce from Monterey jack and a basic white sauce. I added two heads of roasted garlic to the sauce and troweled it on then added the par-boiled broccoli and the grilled chicken breast. Brush some olive oil on the crust and add a good sprinkling of kosher salt. It spent about 17 minutes in a 350 oven while in the pizza pan but still wasn’t quite there. I managed to get it out of the pan and onto a peel without mishap for transfer to the pizza stone that pretty much lives on the bottom rack on my oven. I kicked the dial up to 500 and kept an eye on it, giving it an additional 5-7 minutes.A cheese crust seems like overkill, given the cheesy nature of the sauce but I find myself eating the crusts apart from the rest of the pizza, saving them for the last. They eat like a big soft pretzel – a cheese stuffed pretzel.I placed the uneaten slices back into the pan for flash freezing in the big box. When they’re frozen solid I’ll vacuum seal the slices, they make great lunches for Mrs J to haul with her to the shelter on her volunteer days.
This was going to be maple mustard glazed chicken but I used my leftover cranberry sauce instead of the mustard. It was a last minute call influenced by my extreme desire to not waste anything. I’ve been looking at the cranberries stuck way back there in the fridge ever since the holiday and decided now or never. The mustard will keep. It went down just like in the linked recipe. The chicken was juicy and tasty but I don’t know if I’d go with the maple syrup again. Honey would work. I have a big box of dried cherries and this is giving me ideas.
Don’t ever ask me what my favorite meat is when I’m eating a nice juicy cheeseburger but at most any other time I’ll answer that with a “hmm… chicken, I guess”. These are chicken enchiladas with jack cheese in a tomatillo sauce. Yummy!I made some beans to go with them, and added a daub each of guacamole and sour cream. I like the chips for the crunch they add.I ordered in a bucket of duck fat after a search turned up a source that wasn’t asking an arm and a leg for it. I have the tub broken down into smaller containers and most of it is frozen save for about a half pound in the fridge. I read all kinds of good things about it and am really looking forward to some turkey leg confit. I did use a spoonful of it when I browned these thighs and really got a nice color on them. I braised the thighs in stock and squeezed in the juice of a lemon and added capers at the finish to make a nice lemon sauce. It was good on the steamed broccoli, too.The rice is a box mix that works well for me – Zatarain’s is a good brand. I really like their wild rice mix.… and a puppeh! I love the expression on his little puppy face. Mrs J says he is a chihuahua terrier mix and was adopted today. Yay!
I could have easily called it lemon garlic ginger honey sticky chicken because all of those played a role in the dish. This started with boneless thighs and a couple of lemons and evolved from there. I started thinking sticky chicken because I have done that and had good luck. Mix the juice from two lemons, the zest of one lemon, a couple good squeezes of honey, grated fresh ginger root, grated garlic, some brown sugar, and a slug of soy sauce and use it as a marinade for the chicken. I chopped the chicken into one inch pieces but it would be fine to leave them whole. Let it marinate for an hour then array the chicken on a foil lined baking tray and let it brown in a 400 degree oven, about 30 minutes. Turn once to brown both sides.
While the chicken is cooking, add more lemon juice, honey, and soy sauce to the remaining marinade in a small sauce pan, heat to boiling, turn down to a simmer, and thicken with a cornstarch slurry. I added a couple tablespoons of chili garlic paste to add some zing. When the chicken is nicely browned toss with the thickened sauce and serve over rice. I added steamed broccoli for this dish but it can be served on the side.
These may be my favorite pizzas. For today, anyway. I roasted three heads of garlic and squeezed them into the white sauce along with fresh grated pecorino. The dough used up 3-1/4 cups of bread flour so there was plenty for a 14″ pie. The edges puff up so that they are like soft pretzels, especially when they are brushed with butter and sprinkled with kosher salt. I rolled string style mozzarella into the edge to make it a cheese crust. I gave the crust five minutes in a 400 oven before I added the toppings. I’ve done it both ways, par-baked and not, and I have yet to decide which method works the best, my practice hasn’t really been rigorous enough and the time between pies is playing a role.I par-boiled the broccoli for a couple of minutes and cooled it in running water prior to assembling the pie, the chicken was sauteed to just barely done as well. The completed pie baked for about 12 minutes then finished under the broiler until it looked good enough. I like to see a little crust on the cheese topping and the edge should be browned nicely. Let the finished pie sit for a few minutes before slicing to give the cheese time to settle a bit.I have to wait to get my slice to the plate before I can add the red pepper flakes. I usually give it a grind of black pepper, too.
Wikipedia tells me that “lo mein” translates from the Cantonese to “stirred noodles”. This dish had chicken breast chunks and shrimp with broccoli, onions, and carrots along with rehydrated mushrooms that I bought dried. I’ve learned to simmer them for at least an hour before they are anywhere near tender enough to eat, and don’t try to save the stems. I simmered these with the dried cayenne peppers, and used the broth from that in making the brown sauce. I ran across a good discussion of brown sauces here. Mine has dark soy, oyster sauce, Chinese cooking wine, chicken paste in that mushroom stock, a little chili paste, tamari, and a lot of garlic. I sweeten ours with Splenda but sugar is more common.