Posts tagged “chicken”

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Bullet Pesto

Carrie made something to eat recently, and I thought it was my duty to share. You know how it goes. She made a pesto chicken salad. Intrigued? You should be. It was what we call DELICIOUS.

And it was ridiculously easy as well. A few years ago we got one of those Magic Bullets for a gift, and since then we have not bought any salad dressing at all. We’ve made it all ourselves, on the spot, on demand, as needed for each individual salad. You want to know how? Yes, you do. So, here:

INSTANT PESTO CHICKEN SALAD

What you’ll need:

    FOR THE PESTO:

  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • A handful of basil leaves
  • A palmful of grated parmesan cheese
  • A palmful of pine nuts
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste
    FOR THE SALAD:

  • 1 big chicken breast, raw
  • Some sort of mixed greens, whatever you have on hand (please don’t do iceberg lettuce, though I suppose romaine would be okay)
  • Spinach or baby spinach
  • Gorgonzola or Bleu Cheese in crumble form
  • Grape or smaller cherry tomatoes
  • Pecans, cashews, slivered almonds, or any other nut you happen to have on hand
  • Broccoli stalks (not the tops, just the stems)
  • White or Crimini mushrooms
  • 1 carrot
  • Salt & pepper & garlic powder (or garlic salt) to taste

What you’ll do to make it:

    THE SAUCE:

  • Add the garlic to the magic blender. Pulse it until it’s nicely chopped up. Doesn’t have to be too fine or anything; just get rid o’ the chunks.
  • Toss in the basil, cheese, and nuts. Pour in some olive oil. No, I can’t tell you how much because we never actually measure it. Pulse to combine it all until it starts to smooth out a bit.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste, then pulse some more until it gets relatively smooth.
    THE SALAD:

  • Put a li’l bit of olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Season both sides of the chicken breast liberally with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Pan fry that chicken breast until both sides are golden brown and it’s cooked all the way through. Put it aside to cool.
  • Thinly slice up the mushrooms. Turn the pan down to medium or medium/low. Add a tiny bit more oil or butter to the pan and add your mushrooms. Cook them until they’re nice and soft and cooked. You’ll know when they’re done.
  • While the mushrooms are cooking you prep your salad ingredients. Thinly shred your broccoli stems lengthwise so that they form really thin pieces, like coleslaw. Do the same with your carrot. Slice the tomatoes in half.
  • Once the mushrooms are done, take them off the heat and put them aside to cool. Add the mixed greens in a large bowl. Tear your spinach into it (or just use baby spinach), and add the tomatoes, nuts, Gorgonzola, carrot slaw and broccoli slaw.
  • Dice your cooled chicken breast into 3/4″ cubes. Add it to the bowl. As soon as the mushrooms have cooled down a bit add them as well.
  • Pulse the pesto sauce a couple of more times just to make sure it’s all mixed up, and dump it all over the salad in the bowl. Toss to combine.
  • EAT IT

IT’S DELICIOUS! Here’s a tip to save time: At Trader Joe’s you can buy little bags of pre-shredded broccoli/carrot slaw that is quite good. You can add any other ingredients to the salad if you like. The cooked mushrooms add a really unexpected flavor and texture to the salad, but I suppose you could put them in raw if you like. All the nuts in the recipe can get pretty pricey if you don’t already have them on hand. But you can substitute pretty much any other nut (I don’t recommend peanuts) for the pine nuts in the pesto.

Anyway, not only is it delicious but it’s low-carb if you care about that sort of thing. It’s actually pretty danged healthy, unless you have something against olive oil. There’s quite a bit of olive oil in the pesto, and the chicken and mushrooms are cooked in olive oil. But ask someone from Greece if olive oil is bad for you, and then duck when they try to punch you in the mouth for speaking blasphemy. Dare ya!

Categories: Cooking.

Friday, 30 January 2009

Good Greek Cooking (or How To Fake It)

I’ve been kinda craving Greek food for a while now, and I live much too far away from Taki’ s Mad Greek to make casual trips there for some good Greek cooking.  So last night I decided to cook my own Greek food, or at least fake it good enough. 

Y’know how to get stuff to taste Greek, right?  You need basically three ingredients: 

  1. Olive oil (xtra virgin = best)
  2. Lemon
  3. Fresh Mediterranean Oregano 

So here’s what I did:

Ingredients:

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • a bunch of little white or gold potatoes
  • lemons
  • fresh Mediterranean oregano
  • fresh rosemary FROM MY BACKYARD
  • ¼ to ½ red onion
  • ½ of a big cucumber
  • bell pepper (any color)
  • spinach or romaine lettuce
  • cherry or grape tomatoes
  • Feta cheese
  • tahini in a jar
  • cayenne pepper
  • garlic cloves
  • olive oil 
  • soy sauce
  • salt & pepper

Potatoes:
Take a bunch of little white or gold potatoes, cut them in half so there are enough to line the bottom of a corningware dish. Liberally apply olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and finely-chopped fresh oregano, and toss it all together so it’s all evenly distributed and all the potatoes are coated.  Take some garlic cloves, smash ’em up and distribute them amongst the potatoes.  Put the potatoes in a 400-degree oven and cook ’em until they’re done (about 30-40 minutes probably).  

Salad:
While those potatoes are cooking, dice up your cucumber, red onion, and bell pepper.  Slice your tomatoes in half.  Tear up your spinach or lettuce.  Toss it all together with some crumbled feta cheese.  

Dressing:
Scoop a big spoonful of tahini into a food processor and squeeze a bunch of lemon into it.  Pour in a gloop of olive oil. Add a dash or two of soy sauce and as much pepper as you want.  Smash up some garlic and toss it in, and add just a pinch of cayenne pepper.  Whirr it all up until it’s a nice, smooth consistency like salad dressing, which is exactly what it is.  You can adjust the thickness by adding more tahini (to thicken it up) or lemon juice or olive oil (to thin it down).  

Chicken:
When the potatoes are about 10 minutes from being done, take some chicken breasts and liberally apply olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, finely-chopped fresh rosemary, and finely-chopped fresh oregano, and toss it all together so it’s all evenly distributed and all the chicken is coated.  Heat a pan on med/high and sear the chicken in it until it starts to turn golden on the outside and is cooked all the way through, about 4-5 minutes per side depending on how thick your chicken is.  Squeeze more lemon juice all over those suckers during their last minute of cooking.  Squeeze lemon juice all over the potatoes as well and remove them from the oven.  

Plate the chicken and the potatoes and sprinkle some leftover fresh oregano over them.  Toss the salad with only enough dressing to lightly coat it.  The dressing also tastes excellent on the chicken and the potaotes.  Partake and enjoy.

I must admit that I didn’t make everything; Carrie concocted the dressing.  It all tasted quite excellent accompanied with wine and Animal Crossing.

Categories: Cooking.

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Katsu Kraziness

This story kinda starts a while back, quite a ways before Christmas.

I was up in Seattle hanging out with Tangetnbot‘s wife, waiting for him to get off work. She was prepping a dinner of pork katsu with panko bread crumbs and tonkatsu sauce. It ended up being delicious.

Then in her Christmas stocking(s), Carrie received both a bottle of tonkatsu sauce and a package of panko.

So a while after Christmas Carrie & I made chicken katsu for dinner with equally delicious results. The sauce and the crumbs were both from the inimitable Uwajimaya up in Seattle. I love Uwajimaya, but Seattle is just a bit too far away for a casual jaunt out to get some Japanese foodstuffs. So I started wondering if there were any Asian markets closer by.

A quick search told me that there was a place called East Asia Super Market (note “Super Market,” not “Supermarket”) just a stone’s throw across I-5 from us. Tacoma Mama gives it a sterling review (Tacoma Mama is, by the way, a great resource for things in Tacoma), so I’m curious to go check it out sometime soon. I doubt it can be anywhere near as cool as Uwajimaya, but at least it’s something, eh?

By the way, Tangentbot is posting some tasty recipes on his site if you wanna make some good food. He hasn’t posted a katsu recipe yet, though, so here’s what Carrie & I did!

Chicken Katsu 

INGREDIENTS
Chicken cutlets (or chicken breast halves, pounded until they’re as thin as cutlets)
All-purpouse flour
1 egg, beaten
Panko bread crumbs
Salt & Pepa to taste
Tonkatsu sauce
DIRECTIONS 

  1. Set up three shallow dishes: 1 with flour in it, 1 with a beaten egg in it, and 1 with the panko in it.
  2. Season the chicken to taste.
  3. Dredge the chicken through the flower to coat, then through the egg, and then through the panko until it is thoroughly coated with bread crumbs
  4. Heat about ¼” of oil in a pan over medium to medium-high heat. Fry the chicken in the oil 3-4 minutes per side (until golden brown and cooked through)
  5. Let the chicken rest for several minutes, then slice on a diagonal (like you’re julienning a carrot).
  6. Serve on a bed of steamed white rice and drizzle with tonkatsu sauce (you can add purple cabbage to the rice for even more authenticity)

Categories: Cooking, Japan, Links.