Browsing Category

Dinner

Chicken, Dinner, Lactose Free, Recipes

Peppadew Stuffed Chicken

September 28, 2017

Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Peppadew Peppers, Cheese and Herbs

A recipe in a recent Bon Appetit magazine caught my attention with its beautiful bright red Peppadew peppers scattered over grilled chicken skewers.  I was curious to know more about these mild & sweet peppers. Peppadew peppers are adored by many not only for their delicious flavor and vibrant color, but for their versatility in recipes.  A quick visit to the internet will reveal numerous recipes such as stuffed Peppadew peppers, Peppadew poppers, Peppadew mac & cheese, Peppadew cheese spread, and more.

I ordered a couple of jars of peppers on-line only to find out later that they are available at our local Whole Foods and Foodland Farms markets at their olive bars. Upon receiving my order I was dying to taste a Peppadew. I found  the pepper to be crisp, tangy, sweet, and quite delicious.  I’m always searching for new ways to dress up the common chicken breast.  The idea of the peppers paired with chicken sounded perfect. After a brief search, I stumbled upon this recipe at the Peppadew-USA web site. With just a few ingredients and quick preparation, I had the makings of a tasty dinner.

The recipe doesn’t note what herbs to use so I picked herbs from the garden that I thought would compliment the chicken; basil, chives, parsley, and marjoram.

Tied Chicken Breasts

After stuffing the chicken I thought it would be best to tie the chicken breasts to ensure the filling stayed put, especially the cheese.  Making a small incision in the thickest part of the breast is suggested rather than  slicing a larger incision along one side of the chicken breast which would allow more of the filling to escape while baking.

Peppadews, Herbs, Garlic & Olive Oil

Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Peppadew Peppers, Cheese and Herbs

The chicken can be marinated overnight however if you are running out of time, a few hours will suffice. The stuffed chicken is first browned on the stove top then finishes baking in the oven.  This recipe turned out to be a favorite of ours.

Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Peppadew Peppers, Cheese and Herbs

 

Peppadew Stuffed Chicken
 
Adapted from Peppadew USA website
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2½ ounces Peppadew peppers, chopped
  • 1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus more for the pan
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh herbs, chopped (basil, parsley, marjoram, chives)
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2½ ounces yogurt cheese, an ideal substitute for those looking for lactose free cheese (or gouda)
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preparation
  1. Mix half of the chopped Peppadew peppers with the olive oil, crushed garlic, and herbs.
  2. To create a pocket in the chicken breast insert a sharp knife into the thickest part of the breast and make a 2½-inch incision without going through the opposite side. Stuff chicken with the cheese and remaining Peppadew peppers. Sprinkle chicken with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Tie chicken breasts to secure filling.
  3. Transfer chicken breasts to a shallow dish and coat both sides with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium to medium-high heat in a stainless steel pan or one that can be used in the oven. Add the chicken breasts and brown on each side. Transfer the pan to the oven. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the thickest part of the breast registers 165 degrees.
  6. Serve with broccolini, a salad, or other greens and saffron rice or your favorite rice pilaf.

 

Dinner, Fish, Lactose Free, Recipes, Sauces

Pan-Seared Tuna with Avocado, Soy, Ginger & Lime

August 28, 2017

Pan-Seared Tuna with Avocado, Soy, Ginger & Lime

Finding good fresh ahi tuna has been a hit and miss endeavor until I discovered Oki’s Fish Market in the Kahului Foodland market. They always seem to have the freshest fish on a regular basis. So whenever I’m in the area, I’ll stop by to pick up a nice piece of ahi for dinner.  This Tyler Florence recipe caught my attention for a few reasons.  It’s quick, tasty, and uses lots of cilantro and avocado, two of my favorite ingredients.  Now those of you who are cringing about cilantro, don’t give up yet.  You could certainly switch out the cilantro and substitute it with a smaller amount of chives or parsley.

Ahi tuna steaks

I cut the ahi into 1-inch thick steaks but you could certainly cut yours thicker if you prefer to.

Lime, Jalapeno, Cilantro

The original recipe says to use the juice of two limes however that can mean 2 tablespoons or up to 4 tablespoons in my case.  So try the 2 1/2 tablespoons noted in the recipe first, then add more if you want to.

Avocado

Pan-Seared Tuna with Avocado, Soy, Ginger & Lime

Sometimes I serve steamed bok choy with the ahi, and other times a green salad or baked sweet potatoes and broccoli.  I always have a pot of Japanese white rice to go along with this dish.

If you prefer a little spicier sauce, use a jalapeño instead of the Fresno pepper.  I like the burst of red color from the Fresno however I have seen red jalapeños in the markets on occasion.

Pan-Seared Tuna with Avocado, Soy, Ginger & Lime

Pan-Seared Tuna with Avocado, Soy, Ginger & Lime
 
Adapted from Tyler Florence's recipe
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup lightly packed cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 Fresno pepper, thinly sliced (or ½ jalapeño)
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon grated garlic
  • 2½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 ahi (tuna) steaks, about 6 ounces each
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 small or 1 large avocado, peeled, pitted, cut into small chunks
Preparation
  1. Combine the cilantro, Fresno pepper slices, ginger, garlic, lime juice, soy sauce, sugar, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a small bowl. Stir ingredients until well incorporated. Set aside while you prepare the ahi.
  2. Place a skillet over medium-high heat and coat with remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season ahi steaks generously with kosher salt and black pepper. Sear ahi for about 1 minute on each side to form a light crust. The cooking time will depend on how thick your ahi is cut, and whether you prefer your fish to be medium-rare or more well done. Drizzle a few tablespoons of the sauce over the ahi steaks to coat the fish (once you start searing on side #2). Transfer the ahi to a platter. Top with avocado and drizzle remaining sauce over the fish.

 

Bread, Dinner, Lactose Free, Recipes, Sandwiches

Persian Flatbread

August 13, 2017

Persian Flatbread - Nan-e barbari

An article in Food and Wine magazine about flatbreads from around the world caught my attention not only because of the beauty of the breads but also the simplicity of making them.  This particular recipe makes two oval flatbreads known as Nan-e Barbari.  This is the Persian version which is known for being one of the thickest flatbreads.  The first time I made this I followed the recipe closely and was very impressed.  I noticed its similarity to focaccia and elected not to stretch the dough so thin next time and the result was fabulous multi-use bread.  Though the dough was very wet, so much so that I worried how it would turn out, it worked out beautifully.

Persian Flatbread/Focaccia

The bread has a wonderful crumb with large air pockets that when sliced in half create the best nooks and crannies for your sandwich spreads.  If you’re not splitting the bread for a sandwich serve it warm with salads, soups, feta & cucumbers, or grilled chicken.

Persian Flatbread/Focaccia

Persian Flatbread dough - Nan-e barbari

At this point the bread has been brushed with the glaze (also known as roomal) which results in a beautiful golden crust.

Persian Flatbread/Focaccia Sandwich

The bread is delicious on its own but makes a fine sandwich.

Persian Flatbread- Nan-e barbari

 

Persian Flatbread
 
Adapted from Food & Wine magazine
Author:
Serves: 2 loaves
Ingredients
  • Dough:
  • 4 cups bread flour, plus more for kneading
  • 2¼ teaspoons rapid rise yeast (bread machine yeast)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1⅔ cups water
  • sesame seeds
  • nigella seeds (optional)
  • coarse or flaky sea salt such as fleur de sel or Maldon
  • Glaze:
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vegetable oil
  • ⅓ cup water
Preparation
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, yeast, salt and water. Mix on medium-low speed until a loose dough forms. (You may also mix the ingredients with your hands or bread machine if you don't have a stand mixer. The dough will be very wet). Increase the speed to medium-high and mix until the dough is supple and smooth, about 5 minutes. If the dough seems too wet, add a teaspoon or so of flour. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky so resist the temptation of adding too much flour. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead for 1 minute. Place the dough in a large oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with lightly oiled plastic wrap and set aside until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
  2. Gently deflate the dough and divide it into two pieces. Shape each piece into an oval about 9" long. Transfer ovals to a lightly greased baking sheet and cover with a sheet of oiled plastic wrap. Let rise for 30 - 45 minutes.
  3. While the dough is rising, heat the flour, sugar, oil, and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook the flour paste over moderate heat, whisking constantly until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. The glaze will easily coat the back of a spoon. Set aside to cool.
  4. Place a rack in the lower third of the oven and set a pizza stone on top. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  5. Cover two large cookie sheets with parchment paper and dust very lightly with flour or fine semolina. Working with one piece at a time, gently deflate the dough on the cookie sheet. If making flatbread shape the dough into a 14"x5" rectangle. Using your fingers (floured) press 5 deep, lengthwise ridges into the dough. Brush half of the glaze over the top and sprinkle with sesame seeds, nigella seeds if using, and a little course salt. Slide the dough with the parchment paper on to the pizza stone. If you do not have a pizza stone, bake the bread on the baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for about 15 - 18 minutes until the top is golden brown. If you are making focaccia rather than flatbread, shape the dough into a long rectangle that you can later cut into sandwich-sized pieces. (Try not to stretch it too thin). Bake for 15 - 18 minutes. Transfer bread to a wire rack to cool before slicing.

 

 

Chicken, Dinner, Lactose Free, Recipes

Middle Eastern Herb & Garlic Chicken

July 11, 2017

Middle Eastern Herb & Garlic Chicken

Once upon a time, I thought the only part of the chicken worthy of my attention was the breast.  However, I have since learned that there’s something to be said about chicken thighs and how moist and tender they remain after cooking.  This herby, garlicky grilled chicken is a perfect example.  It doesn’t hurt either, that it marinates in olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and lots of herbs for a few hours rendering it even moister.  It’s a quick and delicious meal, and because the thighs are boneless, they cook quickly on high heat and that gives it a nice char and extra flavor.

Fresh Herbs from the Garden

Our garden has seen tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers come and go with the seasons however the herbs are true blue.  They tolerate the hot weather we have and rarely do they get bothered by disease or pesky insects.

Ground Sumac

The sumac bush grows in the Middle East where the berries are dried and crushed and used in numerous dishes.  It has a lemony tart flavor that goes well in salad dressings, kabobs and rice dishes. It is a main ingredient in one of my favorite spice blends, za’atar.  I had never heard of it until a few years ago but now I see it frequently used both by chefs and home cooks.

Middle Eastern Herb & Garlic Chicken

This recipe comes from Melissa Clark at the New York Times.  She serves the chicken with a yogurt sauce that adds a creamy tanginess and compliments the chicken perfectly.

Middle Eastern Herb & Garlic Chicken Sandwich

Some of the leftover chicken was sliced and used in a sandwich with a little melted cheese.  It’s a good recipe to double so that you have leftovers for the next few days.  Use it in salads, stuffed in pita bread, or in sandwich as I did.

Middle Eastern Herb & Garlic Chicken

Middle Eastern Herb & Garlic Chicken
 
Adapted from Melissa Clark's recipe
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 1½ - 1¾ pounds)
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, grated on a Microplane or minced finely, divided (reserve ½ teaspoon for yogurt sauce)
  • juice and zest of 2 lemons (more for the marinade if the lemons are very small and if you prefer a more tangy marinade)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh marjoram (or oregano)
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds + extra for yogurt sauce
  • ¾ teaspoon sumac (optional)
  • 1 6 ounce container whole milk plain yogurt
Preparation
  1. Trim chicken thighs and combine with garlic (reserve ½ teaspoon for yogurt sauce), zest and juice of 1 lemon, olive oil, parsley, mint, thyme, marjoram, salt, sesame seeds and sumac (I use a Ziploc bag). Marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for 6 - 8 hours.
  2. Heat your grill and cook chicken over high heat until charred in spots, about 4 - 6 minutes. Flip pieces and continue grilling until just cooked through, another 4 minutes or so.
  3. While the chicken is cooking, combine yogurt with ½ teaspoon reserved garlic, lemon zest & juice. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the top. Serve chicken with yogurt sauce on the side.

 

Chicken, Dinner, Dressing, Lactose Free, Recipes, Salad, Side Dishes, Veggies

Chinese Chicken Salad

June 19, 2017

Chinese Chicken Salad

There are a number of stories told about the origins of Chinese Chicken Salad and it appears that none are definitive although most agree that it all began in the ’60s.  Wikipedia states that it became especially popular after Cary Grant asked the chef at Madame Wu’s in Santa Monica to add it to their menu after Grant had the salad at another restaurant. Whatever the case might be, it is one of my favorite salads too.  Now, there are so many variations on this salad you could make a different version every day for months.  Some poach their chicken breasts, others use rotisserie chicken. Some use mandarin oranges (no thanks!) or nuts such as peanuts and almonds.  I prefer to use leftover Granny’s teriyaki chicken and when we make it for dinner we plan for leftovers.  The salad ingredients and dressing are quick to put together, and though it does take 15 minutes or so to fry the won ton strips, it is worth the effort.

Napa Cabbage

Napa cabbage, Chinese cabbage, won bok, however it’s labeled it’s all the same cabbage.  It has beautiful ripply leaves, a crunchy texture and mild cabbage flavor with just a hint of pepper.  Whatever other ingredients you choose to use in your Chinese chicken salad, please don’t leave this out.

Blanched Snow Peas

I love crispy snow peas.  All they need for this salad is a quick 10 second blanch in boiling water. Drain in an ice bath and pat dry before slicing.

Chinese Chicken Salad Vegetables

Won Ton Pi

There are many brands of won ton pi at the markets. I just grabbed this locally made brand at Foodland.  Since you won’t need the entire package for the salad, slice the extra pieces up into larger strips and fry them up for a snack.  They are a favorite Island treat.

Fried Wont Ton Pi Strips for Salad

Fried Wont Ton Pi Chips for Snacking

I used the extra won ton pi for chips. Some of them puff up as they fry, making them light and crispy.  Salt the chips as you take them out of the pan.

Chinese Chicken Salad

Chinese Chicken Salad
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • Salad:
  • 2 grilled teriyaki chicken breasts, sliced thinly (or baked teriyaki chicken)
  • 8 cups chopped napa cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 3 ounces snow peas, blanched and sliced thin (optional)
  • 4 green onions, sliced thinly
  • won ton pi cut into thin strips about ⅓" wide (I used about 4 ounces from the 10 ounce package for the salad and the rest I used for larger chips)
  • Dressing:
  • ⅓ - ½ cup rice vinegar, depending on how tangy you like your dressing (unseasoned)
  • 2 tablespoons sweet mirin
  • 2½ tablespoons soy sauce (not light or less sodium)
  • 3 teaspoons sesame oil
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1½ tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • ground black pepper to taste
Preparation
  1. Toss together the shredded napa cabbage, red cabbage, carrots, sliced snow peas and green onions. Keep chilled in the refrigerator until ready to use (either in a bowl or Ziploc freezer bag).
  2. Deep fry the won ton strips until golden brown. I use a medium-sized pot and fry the won ton strips in batches. They cook quickly so watch them closely. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle a little salt over each batch. The won ton strips can be made a day in advance (store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator).
  3. Place all of the dressing ingredients in a jar. Shake well.
  4. When you are ready to serve the salad, toss the vegetables with some of the dressing. Divide salad into 4 bowls placing chicken strips to one side. Scatter won ton strips over the salad. Serve with extra dressing.

 

Beans, Dinner, Dressing, Italian, Recipes, Salad, Side Dishes

Chopped Salad with Oregano Vinaigrette

June 5, 2017

Chopped Salad with Oregano Vinaigrette

This salad is one you will never get bored with.  Crunchy lettuce, tart pepperoncini, wholesome chickpeas, and savory peppered salami, all tossed together with a refreshing oregano vinaigrette makes this a perfect lunch.  I love serving it with slices of hearty sourdough bread or avocado toasts.  There are many fine chopped salad recipes but this one created by Nancy Silverton and published in The Mozza Cookbook is by far my favorite.  This beautiful salad will bring much satisfaction to whomever you share it with.

Iceberg Lettuce, Radicchio, Pepperoncini, Onion, Chickpeas, Tomato, Salami & Cheese

Peppered Salami

There are so many different types of salami however I always reach for the peppered version. The slightly peppery crust adds an extra level of flavor to the salami.  Leftover slices are perfect in a sandwich or served with slices of extra sharp cheddar cheese.

Oregano Vinaigrette

Don’t hesitate to use lots of dried oregano in the vinaigrette. It really makes the dressing stand out and goes well with the chopped salad.

Chopped Salad with Oregano Vinaigrette

Chopped Salad with Oregano Vinaigrette
 
Adapted from Nancy Silverton's Chopped Salad Recipe
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • Vinaigrette:
  • 2½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 medium garlic clove, crushed + 1 small garlic clove, grated finely
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (or more to taste)
  • Salad:
  • 1 medium head iceberg lettuce cut into ribbons ⅓" wide
  • 1 small head radicchio cut into ribbons ¼" wide
  • ½ small sweet white onion cut into thin strips
  • ¾ pounds diced tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes)
  • 1 15 ounce can chickpeas rinsed and drained
  • 6 ounces yogurt cheese sliced into ¼" wide strips (you may substitute with provolone)
  • 6 ounces peppered salami sliced into ¼" wide strips
  • 5 medium pepperoncini sliced into rings
Preparation
  1. Combine all of the vinaigrette ingredients in a jar and shake to combine. Set aside.
  2. In a large salad bowl toss the lettuce, radicchio and onions together. Add tomatoes, chickpeas, cheese, salami and pepperoncini. Spoon dressing over the salad and toss well so that all ingredients are well seasoned with the vinaigrette. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and more vinaigrette. You will not need all of the dressing. Store leftovers in the refrigerator and use within a week. Serve the salad with some good sourdough bread on the side.

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: