Honey Chicken

Honey Chicken

We started keeping bees this spring and were rewarded with a bumper crop (?) of honey. Hive honey is wonderful. I searched for some recipes to put it to use. I took a recipe from recipetineats.com and made some changes. I think I might like to add walnuts to the recipe next time. This would be good with tofu or shrimp, too.

Ingredients

  • 4-6 chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup flour 
  • smoked paprika
  • 3.5 tbsp butter (or 2 1/2 tbsp olive oil)
  • 1.5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce, low sodium
  • 1/3 cup honey

Instructions

  • Sprinkle each side of chicken with salt and pepper.
  • Place flour in a shallow dish. Coat chicken in flour and shake off excess.
  • Sprinkle with smoked paprika.
  • Melt most of the butter in a large skillet over high heat – hold back about 1 tsp for later.
  • Place chicken in skillet and cook for 2 – 3 minutes until golden. Turn and cook the other side for 1 minute.
  • Turn heat down slightly to medium high.
  • Make a bit of room in the pan and add remaining tbsp of butter.
  • Add vinegar, soy sauce and honey. Stir / shake pan to combine. Bring sauce to simmer, then simmer for 1 minute or until slightly thickened.
  • Turn chicken to coat in sauce. If the sauce gets too thick, add a touch of water and stir.
  • Remove from stove immediately. Place chicken on plates and drizzle over remaining sauce.
Salmon Curry

Salmon Curry

This was an easy week night meal! It would be great with shrimp or chicken. I think it would even work with tofu if you wanted to make it vegetarian. This was inspired by a blog I like “recipetineats”. It called for some items I did not have in the pantry or could not get (like fresh lemongrass) s oI made it my own with what I had on hand.

Ingredients

  • ▢ 3 salmon fillets
  • ▢ Salt and pepper
  • ▢ 1.5 tbsp oil , separated
  • ▢ 1.5 tsp ginger , finely grated or frozen cubes
  • ▢ 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • ▢ half jar of Trader Joe’s red Curry Sauce
  • ▢ 8 oz coconut milk (I used Low fat)
  • ▢ 1 tbsp soy sauce sauce 
  • ▢ 1.5 tsp lime zest (1 lime)
  • ▢ Lime juice , to taste

Directions

  • Sprinkle both sides of salmon with salt and pepper.
  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in a non stick pan or well seasoned skillet over medium high heat. Add salmon, skin side up, and sear for just 1 1/2 minutes until golden. Turn salmon and cook the other side just for 1 minute, then remove onto a plate (should still be raw inside).
  • Turn heat down to medium low and allow skillet to cool.
  • Heat remaining 1 tbsp oil. Add ginger. Cook until garlic is light golden ~ 1 minute.
  • Add sugar and cook for 20 seconds until it becomes a caramel (see video). Then stir in chilli paste/sauce
  • Add coconut milk and stir, scraping the bottom of the skillet to dissolve any bits stuck on the base into the sauce.
  • Stir in soy sauce, increase heat to medium. Simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Place salmon into the sauce, lower heat and simmer gently for 4 minutes, or until just cooked.
  • Remove salmon, stir in lime zest and juice to taste. Adjust salt to taste with fish sauce.
  • Serve salmon over noodles or rice. .

Thai Shrimp Soup

Thai Shrimp Soup

This is a fast and easy weeknight soup. Filling, full of flavor. I used Trader Joe’s frozen Argentinian pink and their package frozen organic rice which really made it quick. The store was out of red curry paste so I grabbed a jar of red curry sauce and it worked great in a pinch. We warmed up the leftovers and the soup got thicker and was even better the next day. This was adapted from the blog DAMN DELICIOUS.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 cup uncooked basmati rice
    (or 2 packages of Trader Joe’s Organic Basmati rice, prepared using directions)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoon red curry paste or half a jar of red curry sauce
  • 1 (12-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk (full or lite)
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • Juice of 1 lime
DIRECTIONS:
  1. In a large saucepan of 1 1 /2 cups water, cook rice according to package instructions; set aside.
  2. Melt butter in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add shrimp, salt and pepper, to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until pink, about 2-3 minutes; set aside.
  3. Add garlic, onion and bell pepper to the stockpot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in ginger until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Whisk in curry paste or sauce until well combined, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in coconut milk and chicken/vegetable stock, and cook, whisking constantly, until incorporated, about 1-2 minutes.
  5. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 8-10 minutes.
  6. Stir in rice, shrimp and lime juice.
  7. Serve immediately.
Crunchy Orange Tofu

Crunchy Orange Tofu

This came together quickly on a late Friday night. We are not vegetarians but this did not make me miss the meat at all and was totally satisfying. I will add to my regular rotation of fast meals. Adapted from the blog The View From the Great Island.

For the baked tofu
(2 packages) extra firm tofu (I used Trader Joe’s Pressed)
6 Tbsp cornstarch
1 pinch salt
2-3 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbs oil for frying
1 onion sliced thin
1 Zucchini, cut in half and then sliced
1 small package white or Baby Bella mushrooms, chopped

For the sauce
4 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar or Mirin
1 tsp sesame oil
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 cup orange juice (about 3-4 medium oranges)
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated or finely minced
1 Tbsp cornstarch, dissolved in 2 Tbsp water

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

Drain the tofu and pat it try with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels, gently squeezing some of the excess moisture out.

Slice the tofu into bite sized cubes, and gently toss together with the cornstarch, salt, and oil.

Spread the tofu cubes out into a single layer on your prepared baking sheet, and bake for about 45 minutes, tossing once or twice during cooking.

While the tofu is baking, whisk together all of the sauce ingredients, except the cornstarch mixture. Set aside.

About 10 minutes before the tofu is ready: In a large pan or wok heat 2 Tbsp of oil and add the onion, stir until tender and starting to caramelize. Add the zucchini and mushrooms. Cook until tender.

Remove the tofu from the oven when it is done cooking, it should be lightly golden brown and crispy on the outside, and set aside.

Add the sauce ingredients, along with the cornstarch mixture, in a small pan, mixing to combine. Heat over medium heat until the sauce is just starting to simmer and thickens.

Add the tofu to the onion mixture. Add sauce and gently toss until coated.

Serve along with white rice, and top with sesame seeds, if desired.

Asian Lettuce Wraps

Asian Lettuce Wraps

This is a super simple recipe. Comes together in a snap. I like Butter lettuce or Boston bibb but  iceberg will work, too. I like the crunchy texture of iceberg but it is a little harder to wrap. I let the chicken freeze slightly and it is very easy to cut up into small cubes. This can also be made vegetarian by using tofu or meat alternative.

IMG_3092.jpg

IMG_3089.jpg

IMG_3088.jpg

IMG_2964.jpg

IMG_2967.jpg

IMG_3086.jpg

IMG_3091.jpg

Ingredients

  • 16 Boston Bibb, butter or iceberg lettuce leaves
  • 4 chicken thighs, boneless,skinless and cut into small cubes
  • 1 tablespoon peanut or olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger (optional)
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil

Directions

Rinse whole lettuce leaves and pat dry, being careful not tear them. Set aside.

Stir hoisin sauce, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar and ginger into a small bowl and set aside.

In a frying pan or wok heat the oil and add onions. Cook about 10 minutes or until soft and getting caramelized. Add chicken cubes and cook over medium heat until brown. Add water chestnuts and stir. Add sauce and stir to mix.

Arrange lettuce leaves around the outer edge of a large serving platter and pile meat mixture in the center.

Shrimp Pho (faux) Noodle Soup

Shrimp Pho (faux) Noodle Soup

This is “Faux” Pho – a faster, easier weeknight version that doesn’t require hours in the kitchen! Perfect for cold and rainy nights. This turns out different every time I make it, depending on the ingredients.

IMG_2561.jpg

IMG_2564.jpg

IMG_2557.jpg

IMG_2559.jpg

IMG_2560.jpg

Ingredients

8 oz rice noodles
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns or 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons ginger root minced
1/2 tablespoon chili garlic paste
1 onion, sliced thin
8 cups seafood stock or chicken broth
2 strips lemon peel (use carrot peeler)
2 tablespoons soy sauce low sodium
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon cinnamon
8 cups bok choy stem thinly sliced & leaves roughly chopped
1 lb shrimp raw

It is not traditional but a can of light coconut milk tastes really good in this!

Optional Garnishes
thinly sliced onion, slices jalapeno, cilantro, lime wedges, sriracha sauce, bean sprouts, Thai basil

Instructions

  1. Prepare rice noodles according to package directions and set aside.
  2. In a large soup pot, warm sesame oil over medium heat for 30-60 seconds until it starts to shimmer. Add ginger and chili garlic paste then stir for 30 seconds to release flavors.
  3. Add onion and cook until tender and translucent
  4. Stir in broth, lemon peel, soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, hoisin, cinnamon and spices. Bring mixture to a boil then add shrimp and bok choy.
  5. Continue to simmer until shrimp turns bright pink and bok choy wilts – about 3-4 minutes. Check for seasoning and add salt/pepper/soy if necessary.
  6. Add noodles (and coconut milk if using) to soup and serve immediately.
  7. Serve with optional garnishes.
Scallops in Jade Sauce

Scallops in Jade Sauce

I used to love to go to this little shop called “Lexington Gardens” in Connecticut. I spent afternoons there with my mom and dad on visits home. They had a wonderful little cooking and cookbook section.  I found one of my favorite cookbooks there one afternoon back in the early ’90s – Pacific Flavors by Hugh Carpenter. This lovely dish is from that book. I modified slightly over the years. This is also wonderful tossed with fresh pasta and seafood.

IMG_2087.jpg

IMG_2086 (1).jpg

IMG_2081.jpg

Ingredients

11/2 pounds large sea scallops
4 Tbsp butter cut into small pieces
salt to taste
pepper

Sauce

1 12-oz bunch of spinach
1 Bunch chives
2 Tbsp finely minced ginger
6 Basil leaves (optional)
1/4 cup Chicken stock
1/4 Cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon Chinese chili sauce
1 Tsp cornstarch

Preparation

Rinse scallops and pat dry. Rub with ginger and chill until ready to use.

Make sauce. Chop spinach, chives, basil and ginger. Mince greens to a fine consistency and add stock. Process 30 seconds more and add the cream, salt and chili sauce. Process for about 15 seconds until pureed. Chill until ready to cook.

Preheat oven to the broil setting. Season with a little salt, pepper and dot each scallop with butter. Place the scallops on a baking rack. Broil, without turning until they turn white and are just firm to the touch. Cut one in half if you are unsure.

While the scallops are broiling combine the cornstarch with an equal amount of cold water. bring sauce to a low boil and stir in a little at a time to help thicken the sauce.

Glaze the dinner plates with the sauce and position the scallops in the center. serve at once.

Creamy Zucchini and Coconut Milk Soup

Creamy Zucchini and Coconut Milk Soup

This was inspired by some leftover coconut milk, zucchini in the fridge and the “Cooking Canuck” blog. I served it hot as a first course for a dinner party.

IMG_1475.jpg

IMG_1778.JPG

IMG_1779.JPG

IMG_4802.jpg

IMG_4811.jpg

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups (packed) grated zucchini (about 2-3 depending on size)
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper (plus more to taste)
  • 2 3/4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2/3 cup coconut milk

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan set over medium-low heat. Add the onion and  and sweat (cook without browning) until the onion is soft and translucent, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for additional 2 minutes.
  2. Turn the heat to medium, add the grated zucchini and chopped mint leaves, and cook until the zucchini is starting to soften, about 4 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add broth, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove soup from the heat and let cool for about 10 minutes. I used a Vitamix but a blender will do the job.
  5. Process the soup in a blender, in two batches, until the soup is almost smooth, but with a little bit of texture. Return to the saucepan, stir in coconut milk, reheat, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve.
  6. This soup can also be served chilled.
Red Curry Tofu and Vegetables

Red Curry Tofu and Vegetables

I love red curry. I like it best with chicken and shrimp but my husband does enjoy a vegetarian meal occasional so i made this with tofu. This was fast and easy on a week night. I am not a purist on south asian food – sometimes I just go with what works. Yummy

IMG_1107.jpgIMG_1102.jpg

IMG_4520.jpg

IMG_1103.jpg

Ingredients

1 block Extra Firm Tofu, drained* and cut into large chunks
3 Tbsp Olive or peanut oil, divided
1 onion sliced thin
2 Zucchini, Julienne slices
1 can light coconut milk
1 Tbsp Fish Sauce
2 Tbsp Red Curry paste
2 Tbsp low sodium Soy Sauce

Directions

In a medium sized bowl combine Coconut milk, fish sauce and Red Curry Paste. Mix well.

In a wok or skillet heat 2 Tbsp olive oil (or peanut oil) and over high heat add the onion, stirring often about 10 minutes, add red pepper and stir quickly for a few minutes, add the zucchini and stir fry for another minute. Remove from heat to a bowl.

Heat the remaining oil and add tofu. Over high heat stir fry for a few minutes so tofu gets golden on each side. Add the soy sauce and continue to stir until golden brown. Add the Vegetable mixture back in and add curry, coconut mixture.

Serve over rice.

  • I drain my tofu, wrap in a paper towel and place a plastic covered brick on top for a few hours to make sure all the moisture is out.
Pineapple Shrimp Curry

Pineapple Shrimp Curry

I have collected James McNair cookbooks over the years and this recipe is adapted from his Southeast Asian Cookbook. It is bursting with flavor. I used fresh pineapple but you can substitute canned. If you cannot find curry paste, Trader Joe’s has a lovely Yellow Curry sauce that I have used that would work in this as well.  

IMG_4498.jpg

IMG_4494.jpgIMG_4503.jpg

IMG_4500.jpgIMG_4506.jpg

Ingredients

2 Cups light coconut milk*
2 Tbsp Yellow Curry paste or Yellow curry sauce*
2 Tbsp Peanut or olive oil
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 Tbsp Fish Sauce
1 Tbsp Palm, coconut or brown Sugar
1 red Bell pepper, cut into chunks
1 Onion, halved and sliced thin
1 Cup fresh pineapple, cut into small chunks (or use canned)
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
Whole fresh mint leaves for garnish

*If using prepared curry sauce eliminate the curry paste and coconut milk.

 

Directions

In a bowl combine coconut milk and curry paste and mix until smooth.

In a large wok or saucepan heat oil. Add the onions and cook on medium heat until golden and slightly caramelized, stirring to prevent burning. Add the red pepper.

Stir in the coconut milk/curry mixture. Add fish sauce, sugar and pineapple. Bring to a simmer and cook about 3 minutes.

Add the shrimp to the simmering curry and cook until the shrimp turn opaque.

Serve over rice and garnish with mint leaves.