Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Caramelized Chicken with Lemongrass and Chilies

3/4 cup of thin ringlets of lemongrass
1 pound chicken breasts or chicken thighs with skin, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper, plus more to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic, divided (about 4 to 5 cloves)
1 large yellow onion, halved and cut into thin crescents along the grain
3 red Thai chilies, cut into rounds
2 teaspoons fish sauce, or to taste
Chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
Chopped green onions for garnish

In a medium bowl, season the chicken with salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and toss together with 3 tablespoons of lemongrass flakes. Set aside.
In a large skillet (if possible, use a pan with a light interior such as stainless steel so you can monitor changes in color), heat the oil over medium-high heat until it becomes runny and starts to shimmer. Add the sugar and stir continuously. After 1 to 2 minutes, the sugar will start to clump together then melt into syrup. After another 2 to 3 minutes, the clear syrup will thicken into a gooey caramel-brown liquid suspended in the oil. You will also smell a pleasant burnt sugar aroma. Watch the caramel closely during this process as it can burn very quickly. If the caramel starts to turn black and smell acrid, pull the skillet off the stove for a few seconds before continuing.

Stir in the remaining lemongrass, onions, and 1 tablespoon garlic, and cook and stir until the ingredients turn golden brown and fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the chicken and raise the heat to high. Toss the chicken in the caramel sauce for about 1 1/2 minutes. If there isn’t enough sauce to evenly coat the chicken, carefully add water, 1 tablespoon at a time. If the mixture starts to sputter aggressively, pull the skillet off the stove until it ceases. Throw in the chilies and keep stirring until the chicken is no longer pink, about 2 to 3 minutes.

When the chicken is just cooked through, add the fish sauce and remaining garlic. Stir with a couple more flourishes to mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired.

Remove from the heat and transfer to a serving platter. Sprinkle with black pepper to taste and garnish with chopped cilantro leaves and green onions. Serve with freshly steamed rice.

Chicken with Tangerine, Honey, and Chipotle Glaze

1 cups fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoons finely grated tangerine peel or orange peel
2-3 teaspoons minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce*

1 cup fresh tangerine juice or orange juice
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
3 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons finely grated tangerine peel or orange peel
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

For glaze:
Boil juice, honey, and soy sauce in heavy medium saucepan until reduced to 2/3 cup, about 20 minutes. Mix in grated peel and chipotle chiles.

For chicken:
Whisk first 9 ingredients in 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish to blend. Add chicken; turn to coat with marinade. Cover; chill at least 2 hours and up to 1 day, turning occasionally.

Spray grill rack with nonstick spray and prepare barbecue (medium-low heat). Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Sprinkle chicken lightly with salt. Grill chicken until cooked through, turning and repositioning occasionally for even cooking, about 20 minutes. Brush chicken all over with glaze; grill 2 minutes longer on each side. Transfer chicken to platter. Serve, passing remaining glaze separately.

Rosemary Chicken with Orange-Maple Glaze

  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup REAL maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Bring orange juice and wine to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat slightly, but keep high enough to continue a low boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in maple syrup and continue boiling for another 5 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently, until glossy and just slightly thickened. Set aside.

  2. In a small bowl mix together the rosemary, salt and pepper. Rub mixture on both sides of chicken breasts, and set aside.

  3. Melt butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken breasts, cover skillet and saute for about 5 minutes on each side until lightly browned. Pour orange-maple mixture over chicken (mixture will boil and bubble). Reduce heat to simmer; cover and let cook for another 10 minutes, basting occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and sauce has turned into a rich, thick glaze.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Thai Inspired Chicken Thighs

4 Chicken Thighs, skin removed
1/2 cup Chicken Stock
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger root
1/4 cup chopped peanuts or cashews
Chopped fresh cilantro

  1. Place chicken thighs in slow cooker.
  2. In a bowl combine stock, peanut butter, soy sauce, cilantro, lime juice, chili pepper and ginger. Mix well and pour sauce over chicken.
  3. Cover and cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours, until juices run clear when chicken is pierced with a fork.
  4. Serve garnished with chopped peanuts and additional fresh cilantro.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sloppy Joes

The trick to this recipe is to brown the meat well, on high heat. Don't crowd the pan, work in batches, and don't stir the meat until it is well browned on one side. It helps to use a large cast iron pan, or an anodized aluminum pan, as these pans can handle the heat and are relatively stick-free.

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion (about 1 medium onion)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt
  • 1 1/4 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 cups tomato sauce (or 1 15-ounce can whole tomatoes, puréed)
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 turns of freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 hamburger buns
  1. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Add the carrots and sauté for 5 minutes. (If you are using bell pepper instead of carrots, add those at the same time as the onions.) Add the chopped onion and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally until onions are translucent, about 5 more minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for 30 more seconds. Remove from heat. Remove vegetables from the pan to a medium sized bowl, set aside.
  2. Using the same pan (or you can cook the meat at the same time as the vegetables in a separate pan to save time), generously salt the bottom of the pan (about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon). Heat the pan on high. Crumble the ground beef into the pan. You will likely need to do this in two batches, otherwise you will crowd the pan and the beef won't easily brown. Do not stir the ground beef, just let it cook until it is well browned on one side. Then flip the pieces over and brown the second side. Use a slotted spoon to remove the ground beef from the pan (can add to the set-aside vegetables), salt the pan again and repeat with the rest of the ground beef.
  3. If you are using extra lean beef, you will likely not have any excess fat in the pan. If you are using 16% or higher, you may have excess fat. Strain off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat.
  4. Return the cooked ground beef and vegetables to the pan. Add the ketchup, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar and brown sugar to the pan. Stir to mix well. Add ground cloves, thyme, and cayenne pepper. Lower the heat to medium low and let simmer for 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Serve with toasted hamburger buns. Serves 4.

Americanized Sweet and Sour Chicken


  • 1 pound of boneless and skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1" chunks
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (1/2 teaspoon table salt)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 10-ounce can pineapple chunks (reserve juice)
  • 1/4 cup juice from the canned pineapple
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (1/2 teaspoon table salt)
  • 2-3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cooking oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  1. In a bowl, combine the chicken with the egg white, salt and cornstarch. Stir to coat the chicken evenly. Let sit for 15 minutes at room temperature or up to overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. In the meantime, whisk together the pineapple juice, vinegar, ketchup, salt, and brown sugar.
  3. Heat a large frying pan or wok over high heat until a bead of water instantly sizzles and evaporates. Pour in the 1 tablespoon of cooking oil and swirl to coat. It's important that the pan is very hot. Add the chicken and spread the chicken out in one layer. Let the chicken fry, untouched for 1 minute, until the bottoms are browned. Flip and fry the other side the same for 1 minute. The chicken should still be pinkish in the middle. Dish out the chicken onto a clean plate, leaving as much oil in the pan as possible.
  4. Turn the heat to medium and add the remaining 1 teaspoon of cooking oil. Let the oil heat up and then add the bell pepper chunks and ginger. Fry for 1 minute. Add the pineapple chunks and the sweet and sour sauce. Turn the heat to high and when the sauce is simmering, add the chicken pieces back in. Let simmer for 1-2 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Timing depends on how thick you've cut your chicken. The best way to tell if the chicken is done is to take a piece out and cut into it. If it's pink, add another minute to the cooking.

Taste the sauce and add more brown sugar if you’d like.

Serves 4.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Lemon-Herb Chicken with Roasted Potatoes and Easy Caesar

  • Juice of 2 lemons (about 1/3 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 3/4 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil

  • 14 ounces small red potatoes, quartered
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary

  • 2 slices whole-wheat bread
  • 3 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 8 romaine lettuce leaves, cut into bite-size pieces
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Mix lemon juice, basil, oregano and garlic. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Cook chicken 8 minutes; turn and cook 5 minutes more. Add lemon-juice mixture and stir up anything stuck to skillet. Reduce heat and cover; simmer until cooked through, about 6 minutes.

Heat oven to 450°F. Toss all ingredients in a roasting pan and cover with foil. Cook 20 minutes. Remove foil; cook 20 minutes more, stirring once.

Toast bread until very crisp, then rub each slice with 1 teaspoon garlic. Beat remaining 1 teaspoon garlic with anchovies, lemon juice, oil and salt with a fork in a salad bowl until well emulsified. Add lettuce; toss to evenly coat leaves. Grind black pepper over salad. Dice garlic toast and add croutons to salad. Toss again to mix well. Serve salad immediately.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Billy's Parmesan Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves 1/4 cup and seasoned bread crumbs 1/4 cup french fried onions (crushed) 
4 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese 
1/2 tsp dried basil 
1/2 tsp parsley 
3 tbsp butter or margarine 
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil

1. Flatten chicken to 1/4-in. thickness. 
2. Melt 1/2 the butter in a small saucepan; add garlic and saute until tender. Remove from heat.
3. In a shallow bowl, combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, basil and parsley. 
4. Dip chicken into garlic butter, then coat with crumb mixture. 
5. In a large skillet, brown chicken in the rest of the butter and oil over medium heat for 3-5 minutes on each side or until juices run clear.

Thai Garlic Shrimp

1/2 lbs Shrimp (shelled & deveined)
3 Cloves Garlic (crushed)
2 tbsp cooking oil (peanut) 
¼ tsp white pepper powder (Prik Thai) 
1 tbsp fish sauce 
1 ½ tbsp palm sugar
2 tbsp Cilantro(minced)
1 tbsp Golden Mountain Sauce
1 cucumber (sliced) 

1. Heat oil at high heat in a wok or skillet. Wait till the oil starts to smoke. Add garlic, white pepper powder and golden mountain sauce. After garlic becomes golden brown and fragrant, add the shrimp and fry till color changes to pink.

2. Add the fish sauce, sugar, and cilantro and mix well for 30 seconds.

Sesame Chicken

2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup toasted sesame seeds, divided
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into chunks
3 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/3 yellow onion, cut into wedges
1/3 cup green bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon honey

  • In a large resealable plastic bag, combine flour, 1/2 sesame seeds, black pepper, five-spice powder, and red pepper flakes. Place a few pieces of chicken at a time into the bag, and shake to coat. Remove to a platter.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Place chicken into skillet, and brown on both sides, about 5 minutes. Remove chicken, and set aside. Stir onion wedges and bell pepper slices into skillet; cook until slightly browned, about 2 minutes. Remove, and set aside.  
  • Return chicken to skillet, and reduce heat to low. Mix in teriyaki marinade, remaining sesame seeds, and honey; stir until sauce thickens. Return onion and bell pepper to the skillet. Warm through, and serve.

Korean Steak

1-1/4 pounds thinly sliced chuck eye steaks
1/3 cup soy sauce
3 tbsp and 1 tsp white sugar
1 tbsp and 2 tsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp and 1 tsp sesame oil
1 medium onion sliced
1-1/3 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tbsp and 1 teaspoon mirin (Japanese sweet wine)

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the soy sauce, sugar, sesame seeds, sesame oil, onion, garlic, and mirin. Add the meat, and stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Fry the meat for 5 to 10 minutes, or until no longer pink. Serve with fried rice.

Tomatillo Salsa Verde

1 pound tomatillos, husked
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 tsp minced garlic
1 serrano chile peppers, minced
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste

  1. Remove papery husks from tomatillos and rinse well. Cut in half and place cut side down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place under a broiler for about 5-7 minutes to lightly blacken the skin.
  2. Place tomatillos, onion, garlic, and chili pepper into a blender. Season with cilantro, oregano, sugar, lime juice, cumin, and salt; carefully puree the tomatillos and water in batches until smooth. 


Thai Basil Chicken

Ingredients for 2 servings:

2 cups "already cooked" jasmine rice or long grain rice (Make sure to use leftover, day old rice when making fried rice. Freshly made rice will make a fried rice that's soggy/mushy.) 
3 big cloves garlic (crushed)
1 to 2 Thai red and green chili peppers or 1 to 2 Serrano peppers (crushed) 
2 tbsp cooking oil (peanut)
1 lbs chicken meat (cut into bite sizes)
1 ½ tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
¼ tsp white pepper powder (Prik Thai)
½ - 1 tsp palm sugar 

1 medium size red bell pepper (julienne) 
1 cups fresh sweet basil leaves 
1 cucumber ( cut into bite sizes)
¼ cup cilantro sprigs for garnish

Pound chili peppers and garlic in a mortar and pestle (don't over-pulverize them). Heat oil at high heat in a wok or skillet. Wait till the oil starts to smoke. Add garlic, Thai chilies/Serrano peppers, and white pepper powder. After garlic becomes golden brown and fragrant, add the chicken and fry until cooked. Add fish sauce, oyster sauce (optional) and sugar. Fry for just a few minutes (or less). Add already cooked rice. Stir quickly until sauces are blended with rice (a couple of minutes). Stir in red bell peppers and basil leaves and keep stirring for few seconds. Turn the heat off. Garnish with sliced cucumbers and cilantro. The dish is often served with a fried egg on the side. If you would like egg in the dish you need to cook it before you add the rice.