Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Recipe: Foil-Wrapped Ginger Chicken

I have to say this recipe has been hanging on my fridge for months and months. My family likes chicken and I have found a few yummy ways we like it cooked. However I am always trying new chicken recipes. This is a super easy recipe to prep and the results are very tender and delicious. My husband told me to keep this recipe, as it was a true keeper. You can cook a rice on the side, or potatoes would go very well with this chicken recipe.

Foil-Wrapped Ginger Chicken

The brown sugar and soy sauce marinade tenderizes the meat and cooks down into a sticky, delicious savory sauce.

1 Tablespoon each soy sauce (regular) and white granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon crushed crystalized ginger
8 chicken breast tenders
4 green onions, cut into 2 inch strips
Freshly ground black pepper

In a medium size bowl, combine the soy sauce, white sugar, and ginger.

Add chicken, toss to coat, cover, and chill for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

Preheat tthe oven to 375 degrees.

Lay out 3-4 pieces of aluminum foil, 6 to 8 inches long.

Put 1/8 of the marinated chicken in the middle of each.

Top chicken with green onions and sprinkle with black pepper.

Fold 1 side of foil over the chicken to cover it, fold opposite side of foil over first fold, and then fold in each end once to seal and create a little packet.

Lay packets on a foil or parchment paper rimmed baking sheet (packets will leak while cooking, and the marinade is difficult to clean up once it cooks onto a pan).

Bake until chicken is cooked through and marinade is reduced and starting to caramelize in each packet, 45 to 60 minutes.

Serve hot or warm.

Make 4-6 servings

Recipe adapted from Sunset magazine April 2008
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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Recipe: Penne and Cauliflower with Mustard Breadcrumbs

8 ounces penne rigate (2 1/2 cups)
5 cups small cauliflower florets
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups fresh whole wheat breadcrumbs made from crustless country-style bread
3/4 cup (packed) freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus additional (for serving)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add cauliflower.

Cook until cauliflower is tender and pasta is tender but firm to bite, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes.

Drain pasta and cauliflower, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.

Return pasta and cauliflower to pot.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

Whisk in Dijon mustard.

Add breadcrumbs.

Cook until breadcrums are golden and crisp, stirring to break up clumps, 7 to 8 minutes.

Transfer breadcrumbs to medium bowl.

Add 3/4 cup grated Parmesan, cream, lemon peel, and 1/2 cup cooking liquid to pasta mixture in pot.

Toss over medium heat until sauce simmers and coats pasta, 2 to 3 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer pasta to wide shallow bowl.

Sprinkle with breadcrumbs.

Serve, passing additional Parmesan cheese alongside.

Makes 4 servings.

To make fresh whole wheat breadcrumbs, cut off the crust from country-style bread. Tear the bread into two-inch pieces and grind in the food processor until the breadcrumbs resemble very coarse sand.

Recipe came from an unidentified magazine
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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Recommended Restaurant: Tea Leaf II Chinese-Mandarin Restaurant Cuisine. Lacey, WA

There are many times when I just crave a good Chow Mein or a Beef with Broccoli meal. There are a few Chinese places in the Olympia area we have tried, but nothing that makes us want to come back. My family and I were headed out for dinner one evening and didn’t have a specific place in mind to go. We were feeling a little adventurous wanting to try a new place to eat.  A friend had told me about this Chinese restaurant that was good, so we decided to try it. It was so unbelievably good we eat there about once a week. The kids love their Mushroom Chicken, Vegetable or Chicken Chow Mein, Cashew Chicken, and Beef with Broccoli. Although I have tried numerous items on their menu I always go back to their amazing Mongolian Beef, as does my husband. We also can’t get enough of their Hot and Sour Soup.

To begin they bring a teapot of hot tea and sometimes a bowl of egg flower soup (which my son gobbles up and will eat his sisters bowl too). The staff is very friendly. The food comes to you quick and steaming hot. The food, especially the vegetables, taste very fresh. The restaurant is nothing spectacular but the food is amazing! It is by far the best we have found in town for Chinese food. We find the prices to be very reasonable for dinner, considering the quality of food and amount of food that is served to us.

The name of the restaurant is Tea Leaf II Chinese-Mandarin Restaurant Cuisine. The address is: 4646 Pacific Ave SE, Lacey, WA 98503. They do dine in or take out. They also have a big banquet room for special events.

In our recent winter storm here in the Northwest of lots of snow, and ice storm on top of all the snow, and 300,000 people without power, Tea Leaf remained opened for a hot meal to enjoy!
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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Food Fact: Red-Pepper Flakes

Red-Pepper Flakes are best known as a seasoning for pizza, these dried crushed chiles add heat to more than just a Sicilian slice.

A Hot Spice. It is made up of crumbled dried chiles and their seeds, red-pepper flakes can pack a lot of heat. The type of chile used (such as ancho or cayenne) can vary by brand, so test the level of spiciness before adding to a dish.

Flavor Enhancer. Chiles get their heat from capsaicin, a compound which also help accentuate other flavors in food. Red-pepper flakes add zest to egg dishes, soups, stews, and vegetable sautes. You can also use them in spice rubs or marinades. They are a popular spice in Italian cooking - you can cook them briefly in olive oil with minced garlic, then drizzle the spicy oil over polenta or use it as a base for pasta sauces.

Buying and Storing. This spice is often labeled "crushed red pepper." Look for bright red flakes that haven't begun to brown and seeds that are pale yellow. Store in a cool, dry place and buy often (every 6 months or so) as the spice tends to lose its pungency quickly.

Martha Stewart Everyday Living Magazine (date unknown)
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