Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Thai Cucumber Salad w/ Chicken

Thai Cucumber Salad w/ Chicken

Salad dressing:

7 T. seasoned rice vinegar

2 T. water

1 tsp. ground chili paste

(I add 2 - 4 pkgs of Splenda to this dressing.)


2 English cucumbers, peeled & halved lengthwise, sliced thin

1/2 sm. yellow onion, thinly sliced (I use Walla Walla sweets)

2 Roma tomatoes, halved, seeded, thinly sliced

10 fresh mint leaves

6 sprigs fresh cilantro, chopped

2 T. roasted peanuts, chopped, for garnish (I don't use - bleh, peanuts!)

Combine dressing ingredients in a bowl, toss. Set aside for 15 min. Top w/ peanuts if desired. Serves 4.


1/2 chicken breast

1 T. fish sauce

1/2 tsp. chili paste

2 T. canola oil

2 pkg Splenda

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

Cut chicken breast in 1/2 lengthwise and then in strips. Put all ingredients in large zip bag and mix together, add chicken and marinate 15 - 20 min. Cook on bbq grill til done. Serve w/ cucumber salad. Add more roma tomatoes if desired.

Does this recipe sound weird to you? Don't think it is... give it a try. Remember - my kids give it a 9 out of 10 w/ 10 being the best. :)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Street Corn

Street Corn

From the episode: Supper From South of the Border

Serves 6

If you can find queso fresco or Cotija, use either in place of the Pecorino Romano.

  • Vegetable oil for cooking grate
  • 1/4 cup regular or light mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 medium garlic clove , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 4 teaspoons juice from 1 lime
  • 1 ounce Pecorino Romano cheese , grated (about 1/2 cup) (see note)
  • 4 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 6 large ears corn , husks and silk removed
  • 1. Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal (6 quarts, about 100 briquettes) and allow to burn until coals are fully ignited and partially covered with thin layer of ash, about 20 minutes. Arrange all coals in even layer over half of grill, leaving other half empty. Position cooking grate over coals, cover grill, and heat grate until hot, about 5 minutes; scrape grate clean with grill brush. Dip wad of paper towels in vegetable oil; holding wad with tongs, wipe cooking grate.
  • 2. While grill is heating, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, cilantro, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon chili powder, black pepper, cayenne (if using), lime juice, and cheese in large bowl; set aside. In second large bowl, combine oil, salt, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon chili powder; add corn and toss until coated evenly.
  • 3. Grill corn over coals, turning occasionally, until lightly charred on all sides, 7 to 12 minutes total. Remove from grill and place in bowl with mayonnaise mixture; toss to coat evenly. Serve immediately.
From America's Test Kitchen

Mexican Pulled Pork (Carnitas)

Mexican Pulled Pork (Carnitas)

From the episode: Supper From South of the Border

Serves 6

We like serving carnitas spooned into tacos, but you can also use it as a filling for tamales, enchiladas, and burritos.

  • 1 (3 1/2-to 4-pound) boneless pork butt , fat cap trimmed to 1/8 inch thick, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 small onion , peeled and halved
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons juice from 1 lime
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 medium orange , halved
Tortillas and Garnishes
  • 18 (6-inch) corn tortillas , warmed
  • Lime wedges
  • Minced white or red onion
  • Fresh cilantro leaves
  • Thinly sliced radishes
  • Sour cream
  • 1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Combine pork, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, cumin, onion, bay leaves, oregano, lime juice, and water in large Dutch oven (liquid should just barely cover meat). Juice orange into medium bowl and remove any seeds (you should have about 1/3 cup juice). Add juice and spent orange halves to pot. Bring mixture to simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Cover pot and transfer to oven; cook until meat is soft and falls apart when prodded with fork, about 2 hours, flipping pieces of meat once during cooking.
  • 2. Remove pot from oven and turn oven to broil. Using slotted spoon, transfer pork to bowl; remove orange halves, onion, and bay leaves from cooking liquid and discard (do not skim fat from liquid). Place pot over high heat (use caution, as handles will be very hot) and simmer liquid, stirring frequently, until thick and syrupy (heatsafe spatula should leave wide trail when dragged through glaze), 8 to 12 minutes. You should have about 1 cup reduced liquid.
  • 3. Using 2 forks, pull each piece of pork in half. Fold in reduced liquid; season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread pork in even layer on wire rack set inside rimmed baking sheet or on broiler pan (meat should cover almost entire surface of rack or broiler pan). Place baking sheet on lower-middle rack and broil until top of meat is well browned (but not charred) and edges are slightly crisp, 5 to 8 minutes. Using wide metal spatula, flip pieces of meat and continue to broil until top is well browned and edges are slightly crisp, 5 to 8 minutes longer. Serve immediately with warm tortillas and garnishes.
From America's Test Kitchen

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Best French Onion Soup

Best French Onion Soup

From the episode: French Classics, Reimagined

Serves 6

Sweet onions, such as Vidalia or Walla Walla, will make this recipe overly sweet. Be patient when caramelizing the onions in step 2; the entire process takes 45 to 60 minutes. Use broiler-safe crocks and keep the rim of the bowls 4 to 5 inches from the heating element to obtain a proper gratinée of melted, bubbly cheese. If using ordinary soup bowls, sprinkle the toasted bread slices with Gruyère and return them to the broiler until the cheese melts, then float them on top of the soup. We prefer Swanson Certified Organic Free Range Chicken Broth and Pacific Beef Broth. For the best flavor, make the soup a day or 2 in advance. Alternatively, the onions can be prepared through step 1, cooled in the pot, and refrigerated for up to 3 days before proceeding with the recipe.

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter , cut into 3 pieces
  • 6 large yellow onions (about 4 pounds), halved and cut pole to pole into 1/4-inch-thick slices (see illustration below)
  • Table salt
  • 2 cups water , plus extra for deglazing
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (see note)
  • 2 cups beef broth (see note)
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme , tied with kitchen twine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Ground black pepper
Cheese Croutons
  • 1 small baguette , cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 8 ounces shredded Gruyère cheese (about 2 1/2 cups)
1. For the soup: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Generously spray inside of heavy-bottomed large (at least 7-quart) Dutch oven with nonstick cooking spray. Place butter in pot and add onions and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, covered, 1 hour (onions will be moist and slightly reduced in volume). Remove pot from oven and stir onions, scraping bottom and sides of pot. Return pot to oven with lid slightly ajar and continue to cook until onions are very soft and golden brown, 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours longer, stirring onions and scraping bottom and sides of pot after 1 hour.
2. Carefully remove pot from oven and place over medium-high heat. Using oven mitts to handle pot, cook onions, stirring frequently and scraping bottom and sides of pot, until liquid evaporates and onions brown, 15 to 20 minutes, reducing heat to medium if onions are browning too quickly. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until pot bottom is coated with dark crust, 6 to 8 minutes, adjusting heat as necessary. (Scrape any fond that collects on spoon back into onions.) Stir in 1/4 cup water, scraping pot bottom to loosen crust, and cook until water evaporates and pot bottom has formed another dark crust, 6 to 8 minutes. Repeat process of deglazing 2 or 3 more times, until onions are very dark brown. Stir in sherry and cook, stirring frequently, until sherry evaporates, about 5 minutes.
3. Stir in broths, 2 cups water, thyme, bay leaf, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, scraping up any final bits of browned crust on bottom and sides of pot. Increase heat to high and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 30 minutes. Remove and discard herbs, then season with salt and pepper.
4. For the croutons: While soup simmers, arrange baguette slices in single layer on baking sheet and bake in 400-degree oven until bread is dry, crisp, and golden at edges, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
5. To serve: Adjust oven rack 6 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Set individual broiler-safe crocks on baking sheet and fill each with about 1 3/4 cups soup. Top each bowl with 1 or 2 baguette slices (do not overlap slices) and sprinkle evenly with Gruyère. Broil until cheese is melted and bubbly around edges, 3 to 5 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

From America's Test Kitchen

French Chicken in a Pot √

French Chicken in a Pot

From the episode: French Classics, Reimagined
Total prep/cooking time, approximately 3 hours
Serves 4
The cooking times in the recipe are for a 4 1/2- to 5-pound bird. A 3 1/2- to 4 1/2-pound chicken will take about an hour to cook, and a 5- to 6-pound bird will take close to 2 hours. We developed this recipe to work with a 5- to 8-quart Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid. If using a 5-quart pot, do not cook a chicken larger than 5 pounds. Use the best chicken available, such as a Bell & Evans. If using a kosher chicken, reduce the kosher salt to 1 teaspoon (or 1/2 teaspoon table salt). If you choose not to serve the skin with the chicken, simply remove it before carving. The amount of jus will vary depending on the size of the chicken; season it with about 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice for every 1/4 cup.
  • 1 whole roasting chicken (4 1/2 to 5 pounds), giblets removed and discarded, wings tucked under back (see note)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt or 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion , chopped medium (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 small stalk celery , chopped medium (about 1/4 cup)
  • 6 medium garlic cloves , peeled and trimmed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 medium sprig fresh rosemary (optional)
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon juice from 1 lemon
1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 250 degrees. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat until just smoking. Add chicken breast-side down; scatter onion, celery, garlic, bay leaf, and rosemary (if using) around chicken. Cook until breast is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Using a wooden spoon inserted into cavity of bird, flip chicken breast-side up and cook until chicken and vegetables are well browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove Dutch oven from heat; place large sheet of foil over pot and cover tightly with lid. Transfer pot to oven and cook until instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees when inserted in thickest part of breast and 175 degrees in thickest part of thigh, 80 to 110 minutes.

2. Transfer chicken to carving board, tent with foil, and rest 20 minutes. Meanwhile, strain chicken juices from pot through fine-mesh strainer into fat separator, pressing on solids to extract liquid; discard solids (you should have about 3/4 cup juices). Allow liquid to settle 5 minutes, then pour into saucepan and set over low heat. Carve chicken, adding any accumulated juices to saucepan. Stir lemon juice into jus to taste. Serve chicken, passing jus at table.

From America's Test Kitchen

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Best Grilled Chicken Breast

* 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each), trimmed
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

* 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
* 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
* 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
* 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
* 1 teaspoon honey
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1. Prepare the grill for medium-hot direct-heat grilling (see note below).

2. To prepare the chicken, lightly pound the chicken to an even thickness using a meat mallet or the heel of your hand. Toss the chicken with the oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Set over the heat on a grill rack that has been coated with oil. Grill for 5 to 6 minutes per side or until the chicken is well marked and a thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 165°F.

3. To prepare the sauce, combine the basil, vinegar, shallots, mustard, honey, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk in the oil to combine. Spoon over sliced grilled chicken breasts.
Click here to find out more!

Recipe Notes
To coat the grill with a thin layer of oil, which will help prevent sticking, crumple a ball of foil, drizzle with a teaspoon of vegetable oil, and rub onto the surface of the grill with a pair of tongs.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Thai Crunch Salad

California Pizza Kitchen Thai Crunch Salad

Servings: 4

Lime-Cilantro Dressing:
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1/4 cup minced red bell pepper
1/4 cup honey
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons lime juice
2 cloves garlic
dash salt
dash ground black pepper

Spicy Peanut Sauce:
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
6 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon chili sauce (or chili-garlic sauce)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1/2 cup water

2 to 3 cups vegetable oil or vegetable shortening
8 wonton wrappers
handful bean threads
4 small skinless chicken breast fillets
1 cup cooked edamame
1 cup lightly salted cocktail peanuts
12 cups chopped napa cabbage, chopped (1 large head)
2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
2 cups shredded or julienned carrot
1 cup julienned cucumber
4 green onions, chopped (green part only)

Make lime-cilantro dressing by combining all ingredients in a blender on high speed for 20 seconds, or until cilantro is chopped fine, but not entirely pureed. Cover and chill. Make spicy peanut sauce by combining all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium/low heat. Heat until sauce is hot, but not boiling, and sugar is dissolved. Pour mixture into a blender and blend for about 20 seconds. Cover and chill. Flatten chicken breasts by covering them with plastic wrap and pounding them thin with a kitchen mallet. Rub oil on each breast, sprinkle each with a little salt and pepper, and grill for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until done. Wrap and chill the cooked chicken.

Make crispy wontons by heating 2 cups of vegetable shortening or oil in a medium saucepan to 375 degrees. Slice a stack of 8 wonton wrappers into 1/4-inch wide strips. Slice those strips in half. Fry them in hot oil for about 30 seconds or until light brown Drain on paper towels.

Fry a big handful of beans threads in hot on "for about 10 seconds or until they float to the top of the oil. Drain on paper towels. Cook edmame following the directions on the package. If the soybeans are in the pods, remove them and chill the beans after they have cooked. Toast the peanuts by heating them up in a skillet over medium/low heat for 3 to 4 minutes or just until starting to brown. Immediately remove them from the heat so that they don't burn.

Now you're ready to build the salads. For each serving, combine 3 cups napa cabbage, 1/2 cup red cabbage, 1/2 cup carrot, 1/4 cup cucumber, 1/4 cup edamame, 1/4 cup toasted peanuts, 1/4 cup crispy wontons, and a couple tablespoons of chopped green onion in a large bowl. Thinly slice a cold chicken breast into bite-size pieces and add it to the salad. Pour 4 to 5 tablespoons of cilantro-lime dressing over the salad and toss well.

Carefully pour tossed salad onto a serving plate. Sprinkle about 1/2 cup crispy bean threads on top of the salad. Spoon spicy peanut sauce into a squirt bottle and squirt the sauce in a sweeping motion over the top of the salad. repeat for remaining salads.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Olive Oil-Balsamic Dipping Sauce


  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Makes 6 servings

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Chicken Parmesan

2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 t Italian Seasoning
1/4 t black pepper
1/4 t kosher salt
1 T olive oil
1 beaten egg
sliced mozzarella cheese
favorite jarred marinara sauce

The Directions:

spread the 1 T of olive oil into the bottom of your crockpot stoneware insert
whip the egg with a fork in a separate bowl
mix the bread crumbs with the seasonings and the parmesan cheese in another separate dish
dip the chicken into the egg, then into the bread crumb mixture, coating both sides with crumbs, cheese and seasonings
place the chicken breast pieces in the bottom of the crock
layer 2-3 slices of mozzarella cheese on top


--cover with entire jar of marinara sauce
--close lid and cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 3-4. If your chicken is still frozen, it will take longer.
Serve with your favorite pasta. We chose penne brown rice pasta from Trader Joe's.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Homemade Ranch Dressing

  • 1 clove (to 2 Cloves) Garlic
  • Salt To Taste
  • ¼ cups Italian Flat-leaf Parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Chives
  • 1 cup (real) Mayonnaise
  • ½ cups Sour Cream
  • Buttermilk (as Needed To Desired Consistency)
  • White Vinegar (optional, To Taste)
  • Worcestershire Sauce (optional, To Taste)
  • Fresh Dill (optional, To Taste)
  • Cayenne Pepper (optional, To Taste)
  • Paprika (optional, To Taste)
  • Fresh Oregano (optional, To Taste)
  • Tabasco (optional, To Taste)
Preparation Instructions

Mince the garlic with a knife and then sprinkle about an 1/8 to ¼ teaspoons of salt on it and mash it into a paste with a fork. Chop the parsley, chives and any of the optional herbs very finely and add to the garlic.

In a bowl combine all ingredients, adding other optional ingredients as you wish, tasting frequently and adjusting seasonings as needed. Chill for a couple of hours before serving, thin with milk or buttermilk if desired.

(Don’t overdo the garlic or you’ll be up all night, emailing me about your heartburn.)


Crash Hot Potatoes

  • 12 whole New Potatoes (or Other Small Round Potatoes)
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt To Taste
  • Black Pepper To Taste
  • Rosemary (or Other Herbs Of Choice) To Taste
Preparation Instructions

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add in as many potatoes as you wish to make and cook them until they are fork-tender.

On a sheet pan, generously drizzle olive oil. Place tender potatoes on the cookie sheet leaving plenty of room between each potato.

With a potato masher, gently press down each potato until it slightly mashes, rotate the potato masher 90 degrees and mash again. Brush the tops of each crushed potato generously with more olive oil.

Sprinkle potatoes with kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper and fresh chopped rosemary (or chives or thyme or whatever herb you have available.)

Bake in a 450 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.


Cheesy Chicken Muffins


  • 1 can Pillsbury dough
  • 1-2 cups Shredded Chicken
  • 3/4 cup Cream Cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Dried or Fresh Chopped Onion (optional)
  • 1/2 Finely Diced Red Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Milk
  • 1/4 tsp Dried Thyme
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
  • 1 Tablespoon Parmesan Cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Cut dough into squares and place in muffin tin that has been covered with cooking spray.
  4. Put a large spoonful of mixture inside and seal by twisting the top shut.
  5. Spray or brush with butter sprinkle parmesan cheese and thyme on top.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes.