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.

 

Cookies, Dessert, Lactose Free, Recipes

Salted Chocolate Chip Tahini Cookies

July 3, 2017

Salted Chocolate Chip Tahini Cookies

I was intrigued by this chocolate chip cookie recipe after David Lebowitz raved about it on his blog.  A chocolate chip cookie made with tahini?  This was a recipe I needed to try for myself.  I love tahini and have often used it in savory recipes such as hummus or dressing. After doing a bit of research I found that it is not uncommon to use it in desserts as well.  These cookies are the best of both worlds.  They are delightfully rich with just a hint of tahini and lots of chocolate in every bite. The fleur de sel is the “icing on the cake.”

Chopped Semisweet Chocolate

David recommends using chocolate chunks.  I bought chocolate bars and chopped them into pieces larger than regular chocolate chips which are fairly small and tend to get lost in a cookie. David’s recommendation was spot on. Who wouldn’t want more chocolate in every bite?!

Salted Chocolate Chip Tahini Cookie Dough

I used a cookie scoop but you can certainly use a tablespoon and form the cookies with your hands.

Salted Chocolate Chip Tahini Cookies

Salted Chocolate Chip Tahini Cookies

Salted Chocolate Chip Tahini Cookies
 
Adapted from David Lebovitz's recipe
Author:
Serves: 24 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) Earth Balance Buttery Sticks at room temperature
  • ⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon tahini, well stirred
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chocolate chips
  • Flaky sea salt such as fleur de sel or Maldon
Preparation
  1. Beat the Buttery Stick, tahini, granulated sugar and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed for 2 - 3 minutes, until fluffy. (The dough can also be made in a large mixing bowl stirred wth a spatula).
  2. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides. Add the whole egg, egg yolk, and vanilla. Continue to mix for another minute, stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Be sure the eggs are well incorporated.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and kosher salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks. Cover and refrigerate the dough until well chilled, at least 6 hours or overnight.
  4. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Form the cookies into rounds using a medium sized (#40) cookie scoop. Place them evenly spaced on the baking sheets, about 3 inches apart (they spread a lot). Bake one pan at a time on the middle rack of the oven rotating the pan from front to back midway during baking. Bake cookies for about 14 minutes until the edges are golden brown. Remove the cookies from the oven and sprinkle with a bit of fleur de sel or Maldon sea salt. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for at least 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack. Continue to bake the remaining cookies.

 

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.

 

Dessert, Lactose Free, Recipes

Baked Sour Cream Donuts with Chocolate Frosting

May 22, 2017

Baked Sour Cream Donut with Chocolate Frosting

Homemade donuts in 30 minutes?  With no deep frying involved, these baked sour cream donuts are incredibly easy to put together.  It takes less than 10 minutes to mix up the batter and pipe it into the donut pan, 10 minutes for the donuts to bake, and 5 minutes to dip them into a delicious chocolate frosting.  A tasty homemade donut brings a smile to everyone’s face.

Sour Cream Donut Batter

I bought my Wilton donut pan from Amazon for less than $10 and have put it to good use.  I have already placed an order for another pan so that I can make a dozen donuts at a time. The donuts freeze beautifully which means I am able to have a sweet treat any time.

Baked Sour Cream Donuts

Even though this is a non-stick pan be sure to coat it with non-stick cooking spray because the wet batter has a tendency to stick to the pan.  Once baked, the donuts will be lightly browned on the bottom with a very light golden color on top.

Baked Sour Cream Donuts with Chocolate Frosting

Sprinkles add color and a bit of crunch to the donuts however if you prefer a smooth chocolate frosting you can skip the sprinkles.  I make some of each and let everyone choose their favorite donut.

Baked Sour Cream Donuts with Chocolate Frosting

Baked Sour Cream Donuts with Chocolate Frosting

Baked Sour Cream Donuts with Chocolate Frosting
 
Donut recipe adapted from the Semisweet Sisters blog Frosting recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • For the doughnuts:
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup Green Valley lactose free sour cream (or regular sour cream)
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • For the frosting:
  • ½ cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance Buttery Sticks (or regular butter)
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 6-cavity donut pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the oil, sour cream, egg, vanilla extract and sugar. (Measure the oil in a 1-cup measuring cup then transfer it to the bowl. Use the same measuring cup for the sour cream. The oil coats the measuring cup so the sour cream releases easily). Stir in the flour, baking soda and salt. Mix to combine ingredients well.
  3. Transfer batter to a quart sized bag. Snip a very small piece off of the corner of the bag. Pipe the batter into the donut pan filling each cavity about ¾ full. You may not use all of the batter. If there is too much batter in the pan the donut holes will close up as they bake. Bake for 10 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick. If the donuts need to bake longer set your timer for another 1 -2 minutes. The donuts will be browned on the bottom side and very light golden on the top. Allow donuts to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. Combine all of the frosting ingredients in a pan and heat over medium-low heat until everything is melted. Whisk the frosting to ensure it is smooth. Remove from the heat and transfer to a small bowl, just wide enough to dunk the donuts in. I usually let the frosting cool for about 15 minutes before I frost them. You may also melt all of the ingredients in the microwave (stop and stir often).

 

Bread, Breakfast, Dessert, Lactose Free, Recipes

Amazing Whole Grain Muffins

May 8, 2017

Whole Grain Muffins with Tart Cherries

These little beauties are my favorite mid-morning snack.  They are 100% whole grain muffins that have the perfect texture and flavor.  Sometimes I add dried tart cherries to the batter but they are just as good without adding any additional ingredients.

White Whole Wheat Flour & Wheat Bran

Whole wheat flour and additional wheat bran make this a very nutritious muffin.  I take one to work each day and enjoy it with my morning cup of coffee. They are low in calories, high in fiber and protein, and just plain delicious.

Apple Bananas

A very ripe banana helps to moisten the batter as well as improve the flavor. These are not tall domed muffins.  The batter makes just enough to fill a dozen standard 12-cup muffin pan.  Use a spoon to fill each muffin cavity 1/2 full then divide any leftover batter between the 12 cups.

Whole Grain Muffins

Whole Grain Muffins with Tart Cherries

I love to split the muffins and toast them until they are nicely browned and crisp around the edges. Slather some Earth Balance Buttery Spread and homemade lilikoi jelly over the warm muffins and serve them for breakfast with cheesy scrambled eggs and bacon.

Toasted Whole Grain Muffins with Lilikoi Jelly

 

Whole Grain Muffins
 
Adapted from Cooking Light
Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 6 ounces white whole-wheat flour (about 1⅓ cups)
  • ¼ cup wheat bran
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ scant teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance Buttery Sticks, melted
  • ¾ cup plain 2% lactose free yogurt
  • ¼ cup lactose free sour cream
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large ripe banana, mashed (1/2 cup)
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped dried tart cherries, optional
Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly butter the cups of a 12-cup muffin pan (I use a non-stick pan lightly buttered)
  2. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.
  3. Combine flour, wheat bran, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt in a large bowl. Stir with a whisk to combine ingredients.
  4. Combine 2 tablespoons melted Buttery Sticks, yogurt, sour cream, sugar, vanilla, banana, and egg in a bowl. Add yogurt mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until combined. Divide the batter evenly among 12 muffin cups (fill each cup ½ full then divide the remaining batter between the 12 cups)
  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

 

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