Chicken Adobo

So I mentioned recently how much I prefer chicken breasts to chicken legs or thighs. Every once in a while though, I try to convince myself that I actually do like dark meat, because there’ll be an awesome sale on it that I just can’t resist, and it’s regular price is always sooooo much cheaper! A couple of months ago there was an awesome sale on thighs and legs, and I picked up a bunch. The price was just too good to resist. I used a few, but the remaining chicken went into my freezer where it has lingered for a while now. Since I am still on “Operation Clean Out the Fridge” I knew I needed to use up those thighs and legs… but what should I make? Chicken adobo popped into my mind. I made it probably over a year ago, and it was delicious, so I decided it was the perfect recipe to make. It’s one of only a few ways I’ve actually enjoyed eating chicken thighs…. and bonus, I had all the ingredients!! It’s amazing how only a few ingredients which are already staples in my pantry, can make such a flavorful and delicious meal. Soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, water, garlic, and pepper, and of course the chicken, are all you need.  I served my chicken over rice to take advantage of the delicious sauce! Yum!

Chicken Adobo

Chicken Abobo

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1/2 cup soy sauce (I used reduced sodium soy sauce)

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1 cup water

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

3 lbs chicken thighs (or a combination of thighs and legs)

Directions:

1. Place a large skillet or crockpot over medium-high heat, and add all the ingredients except for the chicken. Bring to a boil. Add the chicken in a single layer, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 30 minutes, turning chicken halfway through.

2. Preheat the broiler, and place one of the racks 3-4 inches from the heat. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. When the chicken is done, place on the baking sheet, leaving the sauce in the skillet or Dutch oven. Broil the chicken for 5 minutes on each side. Meanwhile, place the skillet or Dutch oven with the sauce back on the stove over high heat. Bring to a rapid boil, and cook until the sauce is reduced to about a cup. Serve the chicken with the sauce.

Source: All Day I Dream About Food

Advertisements

Roasted Vegetables with Quinoa

Another of my favorites from week 2 of the Whole Living Action Plan, these roasted vegetables were so filling and flavorful! Seriously guys, this dish was so good! I love butternut squash and Brussels sprouts already, and roasting them is definitely the way to go, but tossing them with smoked paprika gives the vegetables another amazing layer of flavor. Smoked paprika has to be one of my favorite spices ever, but I don’t cook with it nearly enough. The sauce that is mixed with this dish, and then served on top is also a wonderful thing! Who would have thought the combination of tahini, apple cider vinegar and some herbs could be so wonderful. I love all those flavors separately, but I never would have thought to put them together. Definitely a winning dish!


Roasted Vegetables with Quinoa
Serves 2

Ingredients:
3 cups butternut squash, diced
2 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
2 Tbsp melted coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 clove garlic
2 Tbsp tahini
3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp water
1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 cup cooked Quinoa
2 1/2 cups baby spinach, divided

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and on the baking sheet toss together the butternut squash, olive oil or coconut oil, salt, pepper. and smoked paprika. Roast for 25-30 minutes, until cooked through and golden brown.
2. To make the sauce, add the garlic, tahini, vinegar, olive oil, water, chives, parsley and cilantro to a food processor. Pulse together until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. Toss the roasted vegetables, Quinoa and 2 Tbsp of the sauce together in a large bowl.
4. To serve, toss each serving with 1 1/4 cups baby spinach. Drizzle with remaining sauce, to taste.

Source: Whole Living, January/February 2013

Smoked Paprika previously: Grilled Shrimp and Sausage Skewers with Smoky Paprika Glaze

Tomato and Almond Gazpacho

One of my favorite dishes that I cooked (well, I use the term “cook” loosely here!) on vacation was this tomato and almond gazpacho!  It is so summery and refreshing, and has such great texture from the addition of the almonds.  They also make this soup feel so much more substantial and satisfying than gazpachos I’ve had in the past (although I like those too).  Even my brother who is not the biggest fan of soup enjoyed this recipe (well, at least that’s what he told me and I don’t think he was just being polite… hopefully).  This is the first gazpacho I’ve ever made, and it definitely makes me want to experiment more!  Since summer has unofficially ended though, the experimentation is probably going to have to wait until Memorial Day.  In fact, I had a beef and mushroom stew simmering on the stove just yesterday… perfect for fall!  
Speaking of fall, it rivals spring for my favorite season, and includes one of my favorite holidays, Halloween(!!), so hopefully I’ll be getting back to being a good blogger, and making some delicious seasonal recipes, I do love the flavors of fall dearly- I’m ready for pumpkin, apples, squash, and lots of soups and stews!


Tomato and Almond Gazpacho
from Martha Stewart Living, August 2011
Serves 4

Ingredients:
2 pounds tomatoes (about 4), cored and coarsely chopped
1/2 English cucumber, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
1/2 onion, coarsely chopped
1 small garlic clove
2 ounces almonds (scant 1/2 cup), toasted (blanching the almonds prior is optional)
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp cider vinegar
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Directions:
1. Place the tomatoes, cucumber, onion, garlic, almonds, water, vinegar, oil, and 2 1/4 tsp of salt in a blender, and puree until smooth.  Then season with pepper.
2. Refrigerate the gazpacho for at least 45 minutes. 
3. To serve, season with salt and pepper to taste right before serving, ladle into bowl, and drizzle with olive oil.
Notes:
  • I did not take the time to blanch the almonds when making this gazpacho, but it was delicious regardless, and the texture was great, so I’d say that’s entirely optional.
  • As I was working with limited cooking implements and ingredients as one is apt to do on vacation, I substituted cider vinegar and non-extra virgin olive oil in my gazpacho.  The original calls for extra-virgin olive oil, and sherry vinegar.  Either way you go it’ll still be wonderful, so if you don’t have sherry vinegar in your pantry, feel free to make a substitution.

Grilled Pizza

Hey guys, long time no see!!!   I’m so sorry for the lack of posting recently.  It’s not that I haven’t been cooking, I definitely have, but I guess I’ve been lacking the drive to sit at the computer.  I’m going to blame the heat the last few weeks… easy excuse, right?  Anyway, I thought that tonight I’d post one of the delicious recipes I’ve made lately from my new favorite cookbook- Gourmet Today.  I’ve found so many great recipes so far, and I’m dying to make many many more.  There are seriously hundreds of recipes that jumped out at me when I read through the cookbook.  I am going on vacation tomorrow, down to Virginia, but when I get back I am hoping that my relaxing vacation reinspires me to jump back into blogging.

As you know from the title, this is a recipe for grilled pizza.  Before I made these, I’d never made any kind of pizza, but after seeing how awesome these came out I’ve been dreaming up many more pizza combos I’d love to try out.  I used the basic dough recipe from Gourmet Today, but obviously cooked it on the grill instead of the oven, and while I’d describe it more as “flatbready” I suppose, it was super-awesome.  I made 4 mini-pizza with 2 types of toppings- the first, a caramelized onion and mushroom pizza was amazing, and the second, a BLT pizza was just as good, but more of a summery pizza.  The caramelized onion and mushroom I’d consider a year-round pizza.  Both were incredible.

Basic Pizza Dough

Ingredients:
1 (1/4-ounce) package (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
About 1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading and dredging
3/4 cup warm water (105-115 degrees)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
Directions:
1. In a measuring cup, stir together the yeast, 1 tbsp flour, and 1/4 cup warm water.  Let sit about 5 minutes, until the surface appears creamy- if this doesn’t happen, discard and try again with new yeast.)
2. In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/4 cup flour and salt.  Add the yeast mixture, olive oil, and remaining 1/2 cup warm water.  Stir until smooth.  Stir in enough of the remaining 1/2 cup flour so that the dough comes away from the side of the bowl.  
3. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface, with lightly floured hands, for about 8 minutes, until the dough is smooth, soft and elastic.  If the surface, or your hands become sticky, add more flour.  Form the kneaded dough into a ball, place in a lightly floured large bowl, dust the dough with flour, and cover loosely with plastic wrap.  Leave to rise in a warm, draft free place for 1 1/4 hours, until the dough doubles its size.
4. Once the dough is risen, carefully dredge in flour to coat, and transfer to a lightly floured work surface.  **Do not punch the dough down**  
5. At this point, you can either make one large 14-inch pizza, or smaller individual ones- I made 4 mini-pizzas.  Either way, carefully hold the dough with the bottom surface touching your work surface, and move the dough around with both hands as if holding a steering wheel, letting the weight of the dough stretch into a round.  Once to your desired size, place the round on a lightly floured surface, and work the edges with your fingers to get it to the desired size.
6.  Once formed, your dough is ready to top, bake or grill, depending on which recipe you are using for toppings.
** To grill, heat grill to medium-high heat.  Oil the grates well!  Brush the pizzas with olive oil on each side.  Place on grill over indirect heat (not over the coals- they’ll burn fast!).   Cook about 3 minutes, covered, until the dough begins to have large bubbles on the surface, and the underside is cooked.  If you are going to be putting on a topping that will warm up/melt cheese, remove the dough round to a clean surface with the cooked side facing up, and place your cheese/toppings on.  Return to grill and cook, covered for 4-6 minutes, until the dough is cooked, and the toppings/cheese are ready.  If you are putting a topping on that does not need to be cooked (like the BLT pizza), just flip the dough round over, and cook, covered for about 4 minutes.**  (Grilled pizza instructions adapted from Annie’s Eats)
Notes:
  • You can leave the dough to rise up to a day, covered and refridgerated.  Bring it to room temperature before you shape it.
  • After rising, the dough can be frozen up to 1 month.  Thaw and bring to room temperature before shaping.
  • My pizzas were definitely not round, but they were still tasty- this is a recipe where only practice will make perfect!
  • Watch your dough closely, as it can burn quickly.  My pizzas had a little char to them, but the smokiness just added some more delicious flavor.  Too much though, and it would probably overwhelm.

Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Pizza
Makes one 14-inch pizza, or 4 individual pizzas

Ingredients:
5 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound yellow onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced lengthwise
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound white mushrooms, or mixed wild mushrooms (such as shitake, cremini and oyster), trimmed if   necessary and sliced
1 tsp red wine vinegar
2 3/4 cups coarsely grated Swiss Emmental cheese, or Gruyere (about 8 ounces)
1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
Basic Pizza Dough (recipe above)
Directions:
1. In a 12-inch heavy skillet heat 3 tbsp olive oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking.  Add the onions, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper.  Cover directly with a round of parchment paper.  Cook until the onions are softened and golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 18-20 minutes.  Transfer the onions to a bowl.
2. To the same skillet, add the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil, and heat until hot but not smoking.  Add the mushrooms, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and red wine vinegar, and cook about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are browned and any liquid is evaporated.  Remove the mushrooms from the heat. 
3. Cook one side of your pizza dough on a grill preheated over medium high heat (as detailed above).  When done, remove to a clean surface.  Top the cooked side of the dough with the Emmental or gruyere cheese.  Scatter onions and mushrooms on top, and sprinkle with Parmesan.  
4. Place back on the grill over indirect heat, and cook, covered, 4-6 minutes, until the dough is cooked, and the cheese is melted.  Sprinkle with fresh thyme.
Notes:
  • The original recipe calls for Swiss Emmental cheese, but I had some gruyere left over so I used that instead, and it turned out wonderful.  Any type of Swiss cheese would probably do just fine, depending on how strong or mild you like it. 
  • I omitted the thyme because I thought I had some, but when I went to make the pizzas realized I didn’t, but I didn’t miss it at all.  I’m sure it would’ve been good, but I don’t think it’s necessary.
  • I halved this recipe to make 2 individual pizzas.

BLT Pizza
from Annie’s Eats, dressing from Annie’s Eats and Alton Brown via foodnetwork.com
Makes 4 individual pizzas

Ingredients:
Basic pizza dough (recipe above)

For salad topping:
4 cups green leaf lettuce, or mixed greens
1 tomato, seeded and diced
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (drippings from cooking reserved for dressing)
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
For bacon vinaigrette:
1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp bacon drippings
1 1/2 tsp brown sugar (preferably dark)
1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
Directions:
1. Combine the ingredients for the bacon vinaigrette in a small bowl, or salad dressing bottle, and whisk (or use handy emulsification device) to combine.
2. Combine the lettuce, tomato and onion in a large bowl, and toss to combine.  Add 1/4 cup of dressing to the salad, and toss gently to coat.  Add the bacon and feta to the salad, and toss gently to combine.
3. Make your grilled pizzas (recipe above), cooking both sides.  Top your cooked pizza dough with some of the salad mixture, and serve!
Notes:
  • This salad is great on it’s own, so if you don’t want to make pizza, or if there is leftover, eat it plain!
  • You can also use the vinaigrette to dress any salad…. In Alton Brown’s original recipe he uses basically double the amount, and tops 2 quartered heads of radicchio.  For quantities for his recipe go here!
  • This is one of the most refreshing summery pizzas I’ve ever had, and although topping a pizza with salad may seem a bit unusual, I can’t wait to make some other summery salad pizzas.

    Butterbeer

    Butterbeer is one of those things that I’ve wanted to try since reading about it in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.  I knew it obviously was a fictional drink*, but much like I wanted the magical world of Harry Potter to be real, I also wanted the treats from the books to be real as well.  With the final movie just having been released, there has been a proliferation of Harry Potter inspired treats making their way around the internet which has awakened my craving, and since The Wizarding World of Harry Potter made Butterbeer real, I knew it was something that I just had to make…. it’s taken me this long, but I have finally lived the dream!!  Now, since I’ve never been to the theme park (which hopefully I’ll remedy someday relatively soon!!), I have no idea whether this version tastes like theirs, but I have to say that it is still incredibly delicious, and very much like how I imagined butterbeer tasting- namely, butterscotchesque.  This drink is fizzy, creamy, sweet and very easy to make.  This is a non-alcoholic version, but you can spike the drink as well.

    *Apparently Buttered Beer was a real drink in ye olden times consisting of beer, sugar, eggs, nutmeg, cloves and butter, and another old recipe calls for liquorish root and anise seeds to be added….. muy interestante!

    Butterbeer
    from The Pastry Affair, originally adapted from The Huffington Post
    Makes 4 drinks (*if you want to share, that is)

    Ingredients:
    1 cup brown sugar
    2 tbsp water
    4 tbsp butter
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp apple cider vinegar
    3/4 cup heavy cream, divided
    Four 12-ounce bottles cream soda, chilled
    Directions:
    1. Combine brown sugar and water in a small saucepan.  Heat on medium, and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.  Cook until mixture reached 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer, or if you don’t have one like me, bring to a gentle boil, and cook for about one minute, then remove from the heat.
    2. Once removed from heat, add butter, salt, vinegar and 1/4 cup heavy cream.  Stir until the mixture is smooth, and then cool to room temperature.
    3. Once the brown sugar mixture is cooled, beat together 2 tbsp of the mixture with the remaining 1/2 cup heavy cream until it forms soft-peaks- this will make some really delicious whipped cream!
    4. In your serving glass, combine 1/4 cup brown sugar syrup with 1/4 cup cream soda, stir until combined.  Top with remaining cream soda, and then with some whipped cream.
    Notes:
    • The original recipe in the Huffington Post includes 1/2 tsp of rum extract stirred into the brown sugar syrup along with the butter, salt vinegar and cream.  I didn’t have any rum extract in my pantry, but if you do, and want to try that, go for it!