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Sticky Wings

These were a result of two recipes, Alton Brown’s Buffalo Wings for his two step cooking method, and Krista’s Honey Garlic wing recipe for the sauce.  The dumplings are from frozen and were steamed.I steamed the wings in two batches, about ten minutes each, because the basket was small.  The steamed wings were allowed to drain and cool on paper towels before baking on parchment paper at 375 until browned, about 40 minutes more.  Flip the wings over halfway through.Switching the paper for foil, the wings were dipped in the honey garlic sauce and baked until the sauce got bubbly, and then were re-dipped and baked again.  Two thumbs up!

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Hungarian Mushroom Soup

This soup was recommended in a comment at another blog.  I’m a big fan of mushroom soup so I dived right in.  It’s easy and delicious.  I used those brown button mushrooms in mine because they were cheap and available.  The picture on the recipe page shows a yellow soup, almost as if it was made with turmeric.  The tamari  soy sauce is in no way yellow.  This is delicious soup!

Friday Recipe Exchange: Lots of Kabobs

Kabobs

Happy Labor Day weekend. This will be a quick exchange before I run out the door. Oh, I’m not going anywhere for the weekend, we’re still working on potty training with Bixby. LOL. His latest update is here.

I decided on shish kabobs for the recipe exchange because they are a favorite for large get-togethers. I can prepare them a day ahead and then pop them on the grill when guests arrive. They cook up quick and everyone can get theirs cooked to their idea of perfection. And if you’re lucky and everyone is staying at your house, you can form an assembly line to put them together.

Pictured above is one of my go-to skewers, easy marinade and simple to assemble for a small family dinner or a big get-together. It’s equal parts vegetable oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, and toss in some crushed garlic cloves. Mix together and marinate cubed pieces of steak (sirloin works well) for at least an hour or overnight. I remove the steak pieces from the marinade and then toss the veggies with the marinade quickly before alternating meat, vegetables and pineapple chunks on skewers. The ones above really need some cherry tomatoes, too. Grill over high heat, turning frequently until steak is cooked to desired style.

Some other fun food on a stick:

Fajita Chicken and Vegetable Kabobs can be found here.

Grilled Chicken and Papaya Skewers are here.

Lamb Kabobs recipe is here.

And a variety of other Marinades can be found here, to create any number of skewers to grill.

What’s on your plate for the weekend? Grilling anything tasty?

For tonight’s featured recipe, I thought it would be fun to make sure dessert was included in the mix.

Spicy Fruit Kabobs

You can substitute or add any fresh fruit you’d like in this recipe. 

  • 1 cantaloupe or honeydew melon, seeded
  • 2 pears, cored
  • 2 apples, cored
  • 2 bananas, peeled & quartered
  • 8 wooden skewers, soaked in water
  • ½ cup warmed honey
  • ½ cup warm water
  • ¼ cup limejuice
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded & chopped
  • 1 to 2 tsp chili paste

13×9 glass baking dish, blender

Cut fruit into large chunks, alternate fruit on skewers, ending with banana chunks to hold fruit in place. Place in baking dish. Blend together honey, water, lime, jalapeno & chili paste until smooth. Pour over fruit. Let set during dinner (approximately 30 minutes at room temperature. Grill over low coals 5-7 minutes, basting with marinade. Serve immediately.

Banana Split Kabobs

(serves 4)

  • 12 fresh large strawberries, hulled
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 bananas, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 12 fresh pineapple chunks
  • pound cake, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • chocolate syrup
  • shredded, unsweetened coconut

4 long bamboo skewers, 4 dessert plates

Roll strawberries in sugar, coating lightly. Alternate fruit and cake on the skewers. Place on plates and drizzle with chocolate syrup and garnish with coconut. Serve with additional syrup for dipping if desired.

That’s it for this week. Have a safe and fun holiday weekend.  – TaMara

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Weekly Dinner Menu: Seared Ginger Tuna with Mint-Papaya-Pineapple Salsa

I love tuna steaks. I live in a land-locked state. This is when it’s good to have a relationship with your butcher, because he’ll let you know when some really good tuna arrives.  I don’t make this every often, but enjoy it when I do. It very simple. I’ve also grilled it instead of pan-searing, which adds a depth of flavor. Remember to preheat the grill and oil the grate well before placing steaks on to cook.

On the board tonight:

  1. Seared Ginger Tuna
  2. Rice*
  3. Mint-Papaya-Pineapple Salsa
  4. Tossed Salad
  5. Sliced Apples w/Caramel dipping sauce

Seared Ginger Tuna

  • 4-4oz tuna steaks
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fresh minced ginger, or 2 tsp dried
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste

skillet

Heat oil in skillet over medium high heat. While pan is preheating, rub tuna with 1 tbsp lemon juice, season with a little salt & pepper. Cook tuna for 1-2 minutes on each side, depending on thickness, and remove from pan. This will cook it rare (it will be cool pink in the center). Remove and place on serving platter. Turn heat down to medium and add remaining lemon juice & the rest of ingredients to pan and cook for 1 minute.  Season with salt and pepper. Pour over tuna and serve immediately.  Serves 4

Mint-Papaya-Pineapple Salsa

  • 1 papaya, cut in small cubes
  • 8 oz pineapple chunks, canned or fresh
  • 1 cup fresh mint – chopped
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • chili pepper flakes to taste

serving bowl

Combine all & stir well.  I know it’s called salsa, but it’s a nice fruity side, or serve it over the rice. Serves 4

*Rice:  Change things up a bit and try a different style of rice – Jasmine, Aborio, Basmati or Brown rice, each one brings its own flavors.

Shopping List:

  • 1 lb tuna steaks
  • 1 small fresh ginger root
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 small white or yellow onion
  • 1 papaya
  • 8 oz pineapple chunks, canned or fresh
  • 1 bunch fresh mint (enough for 1 cup)
  • 1 oz white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup rice
  • Salad fixings of your choice
  • 4 apples
  • Caramel Dip

Also: olive oil, lemon juice, soy sauce, chili pepper flakes

Originally posted September 2009

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Too Hot To Cook: Polynesian Ribs Dinner Menu

Polynesian Ribs 3a

It’s been much too hot to cook over the last two weeks and with the fairly consistent afternoon showers, grilling is out. So I pulled out the slow-cooker and have been making some nice main courses. I had a craving for a roasted chicken (can you imagine?! It’s 101 degrees out and I want to roast something!), so I put thighs (bone-in, skin on) in the slow-cooker, on high, with some seasoning and in 4 hours had nicely ‘roasted’ chicken. Served with a fresh salad and tomato slices.

After that, I decided that a slow-cooker meal would be a nice idea for this week’s dinner menu. This one is full of exotic flavors and fresh vegetables. I put green beans on the menu, but whatever catches your eye in the garden or farm stand would do just as well.

And if you have peaches available, use them instead of tropical fruit cocktail.

On the board tonight:

  1. Island Ribs
  2.  Marinate overnight, Slow-Cooker
  3. Pineapple Pilaf
  4. Green Beans
  5. Tropical Fruit w/coconut and ginger ale 

Island Ribs

Slow-Cooker

  • 5-6 lbs pork ribs
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tbsp lemon or lime juice
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 to 3 tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ to ½ tsp red pepper flakes (opt)

Slow-Cooker

Night before, rub salt and sugar on pork ribs and refrigerate overnight.  In the morning, put ½ cup water in slow-cooker along with ribs.  Mix together remaining ingredients and pour onto ribs.  Cook according to manufacturer’s directions (usually 8-10 hours on low) until meat is tender and pulls from the bone.

Note: Depending on your slow-cooker size, you may have to cut the ribs into sections that fit.

Pineapple Pilaf

  • 1 cup rice
  • drained pineapple juice and enough water to make 2 cups
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 8 oz pineapple chunks, drained

saucepan, skillet

Add rice and liquid to saucepan, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer until all water is absorbed.

Heat butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, walnuts, raisins, salt & ginger; cook and stir 2 to 4 minutes or until onions are tender. Add rice and pineapple; stir and heat thoroughly. Fluff with a fork before serving.

Tropical Fruit w/coconut and ginger ale – drain fruit then toss with ginger ale and coconut.

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Copyright 2014 What’s 4 Dinner Solutions Cookbook: Spring Edition

Friday Recipe Exchange: En Papillote


Final
Let’s start with a few housekeeping tasks: First, stay safe today if you’re in the snow path (SNOWMYGAWD!) and second, the latest Katie-on-the-run update is here.  In the shadow of the Rockies we are expecting about 4 inches of the white suff Saturday.

So Valentine’s Day. I’m not a fan. I’m not anti-Valentine’s Day anymore than I’m anti-New Year’s Eve. But I am of the opinion that going out to a restaurant on Valentine’s day is a recipe for disaster: so-so food and rushed service, even at the best restaurants.  Instead, I like to cook – ok, I guess that’s nothing new.  One of my favorite menus for the big day is here. This year I was looking for something new. I’d been thinking for a while about testing out a recipe “en papillote”, quite literally, in parchment. I thought this would make for a special dinner.

I tested out two types of parchment – the first was a parchment bag and the second was parchment lined foil. Below you’ll find detailed instructions and a couple of simple recipes.

But first, what are your plans for Valentine’s? Do you go out, do you cook and most importantly, is there chocolate?

1Parchments styles

In any of these recipes you can use plain parchment, as well. With the parchment paper – plain or foil lined, you start by cutting it into a heart shape. I cut it at 16″ long, but it probably would have been ok at 12 inches.

I focused on chicken, but the technique is often used for fish. Kirk Spencer has a lovely stuffed fish recipe here.  You can adapt any of these recipes to fish or chicken. The key is to make sure you have enough liquid and you make a tight seal in order to poach/steam the ingredients.

The recipes were pretty simple. In the parchment bag, I placed carrot and zucchini sticks, a chicken breast and drizzled with lemon butter, garlic, rosemary and sage. I added a bit of butter and lemon slices on top.

1Parchment Bag

On the parchment I put cooked rice, vegetable curls (using the vegetable peeler), chicken breast and drizzled with soy sauce and rice vinegar.

Foil Parchment

Then fold up the edges and seal tightly. I really like the foil for this, it was easy to roll up and seal.

Foil Parchment closed

While you’re putting everything together, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and heat a baking sheet. Place the sealed packets on the heated baking sheet. Bake for about 15-18 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

Cooked Packets

You can serve it on the plates in the packets or plate it up. I like having the packets.

All in all, I think I  preferred the parchment with the foil back. It was as easy to deal with as the parchment bag, a bit easier to arrange the ingredients, it sealed better and I think the presentation is prettier.

Final 2

The best part of this cooking method is that it was easy, quick, no clean-up and made a fun plate.  Leaves plenty of time to make the fancy chocolate dessert.  Have a happy Valentine’s Day!

Thursday Recipe Exchange: Grilled Chicken

Photo by JeffreyW

I had a request to do some grilling and picnic recipes for the next few weeks (thanks Yutsano). We’ll traverse the table: meats, vegetables, side dishes and desserts. By July 4th we should be covered.

Tonight we’ll start with grilling chicken. I have a stockpile of marinade and grilling recipes for chicken breasts. I may be in the minority, but when it comes to many chicken dishes, including bbq and fried chicken, I prefer thighs. They have more flavor and are moister. The introduction of boneless thighs was like a culinary miracle as far as I was concerned.

When I am using marinades, though, I actually prefer boneless breasts. Similar to pork loin, they take on whatever flavors are introduced and cook up quickly. When using a marinade, I think their blandness proves more of an asset than a deficit; they are kind of like a blank canvas for introducing flavors.

And for busy weeknights, nothing is quicker and easier than pulling marinated chicken breasts out of the refrigerator, doing a quick stir-fry or grilling them and serving with rice and a salad. I have three recipes to get us started:

Cranberry Grilled Chicken (recipe here) is one of my favorites and anyone who has read this blog, knows I LOVE cranberries.

And Sunrise Chicken (recipe here) is a great citrus based marinade.

Tonight’s feature recipe is a marinade that is meant for grilling. Grilling gives the marinated breasts a nice crust. It can also be used on pork loin or boneless pork chops, though I prefer apple cider or cranberry juice to the grape juice in that case.

So what do you look forward to the most at a picnic? What’s your favorite thing to grill?

Fruit Juice Marinated Chicken Breasts

  • 4 chicken boneless breasts
  • ½ cup grape or cranberry juice
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup wine
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic

zip lock bag or sealed container

Add all ingredients into zip lock bag and thoroughly coat & let marinate overnight. Grill 15 minutes each side, 165 degrees internal temp.

When grilling, to avoid drying chicken out, sear on each side (about 5 minutes each side), cook 5 additional minutes for each side, baste with marinade if desired, then move away from high heat for rest of the cooking time. The thickness of the chicken breasts makes a difference here, so adjust accordingly.

You’ re on your own tonight. I’ve been asked to film a drumming on Sunday and tonight is going to be a trial run. Should be fun.

Mmm… sticky chicken

I did something similar not too long ago.  The wings were cooked in a crockpot that time but that was overkill so I roasted these in a similar marinade in my trusty toaster oven.   I finished the thighs I used this time on the stove top in a non stick pan after separating the fat from the marinade and cooking juices. These spent some time in the pan over medium low heat but they never got to the sticky as glue stage.  I decided I wanted sauce more than a crusted glaze so I added some stock with a bit more soy and oyster sauces along with more grated ginger root and minced garlic.  Yummy stuff.  Made fried rice to accompany the chicken.

Tropical Menu

 

Let’s start the new year right. Give the winter blahs the old heave-ho with something a bit tropical.

Chicken in Plum Sauce

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 boneless breasts
  • 4 boneless thighs
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (opt)**
  • 2 tbsp plum sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp pineapple juice, (reserve pineapple chunks for pilaf)

skillet or wok

Heat oil in wok, quickly stir fry chicken until browned, about 5 minutes. Add onion and sauté quickly (I know, backwards, but keeps the onion from scorching). Reduce heat, mix together plum sauce, soy sauce, pineapple juice, red pepper flakes and add to chicken,  let simmer 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

**This is very sweet, so I like to add some heat to it. You can add it to individual servings if preferred.

Pineapple Pilaf

  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 6 sliced green onions
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 8 oz pineapple chunks, drained

saucepan, skillet

In saucepan, add rice & water, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and let simmer until water is absorbed about 20 minutes.

Heat butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, walnuts, raisins, salt and ginger; cook and stir 4 to 5 minutes or until onions are tender. Add rice and pineapple; stir and heat thoroughly.

Mmm…fried dumplings

And stir fried green beans with a side of fried rice.  Lazy again, the dumplings were from frozen, bought in a bag at the Asian food store the other day.  I’ve had these steamed, but I think deep frying them is the way to go.  The dipping sauce was quick but good:  regular soy sauce, sweet soy sauce, a spoonful of chili paste, two crushed garlic cloves, a splash of rice vinegar and a little Splenda for sweetener, topped with a sprinkling of sesame seeds.

The green beams were fresh, stir fried in hot chili oil then finished with a sauce made from soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, and peanut butter.  Yep-peanut butter, a teaspoon or so.  Also has some black sesame seeds, I should have used the regular instead.  Mrs J reminds me that I should have used regular oil instead as well, there was a bit of a bite from the hot chili oil.

The fried rice?  Just the usual, has some ham, a few peas and shredded carrot, a beaten egg stirred in, a tablespoon of oyster sauce for a bit of flavor.  It was good.

Enjoy!

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