Friday, May 18, 2012

Two Chicken Recipes

I have been very into "2 of __" lately on my blog posts, so I will just continue that trend for now & offer up 2 chicken recipes! Perfect for Shabbos, or even during the week. One was an accident, through which I came up with a great recipe (if I may say so myself). & the second is from my new "The Whole Foods Cookbook" (unrelated to the store) by Levana Kirschenbaum.

My first recipe is a mixture of all the flavors I love- fresh herbs, garlic, lemon, capers, & tomatoes. I accidentally opened a 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes for baked gefilte fish as I couldn't find marinara sauce. Then, I found the marinara and didn't want to use the canned tomatoes for it! So, here I had chicken on the counter waiting to be dressed up & so here it is:

Lemon Caper Tomato Chicken
-4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
-olive oil
-salt & pepper
-1/4 cup white wine
-1 28 oz. can fire roasted (or regular) tomatoes (whole or crushed, not stewed or sauce)
-8 garlic cloves, peeled, left whole
-3 tbsp. capers
-fresh parsley & dill, finely chopped
-1 lemon, halved (1/2 for juice, 1/2 for slices).

-Preheat oven to 375.
-Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and spray with pam
-Season the chicken with olive oil, salt & pepper and add to the pan skin side down when hot.
-In the meantime grease a large baking dish with Pam. Arrange the thin slices of half the lemon in the dish. Cook the chicken just a minute or 2 on that one side and then transfer to the baking dish but don't turn off the fire. Scatter the garlic cloves around.
-Immediately deglaze the pan with the white wine, & stir up all the bits. Bring heat up to high & let reduce a bit. Add juice of half a lemon, continue to stir. Add tomatoes (if they were whole, break them up in the pan), capers, herbs, & salt, pepper. Stir until it comes together into a sauce, and thickens a bit. If you want, you can dissolve a tbsp. of cornstarch in a little water to make a slurry and add that to the sauce. It will thicken it nicely.

-There are 2 options now, you can bake the chicken as is at 375 for 30 minutes (tented loosely with foil) & then add the sauce on top of the chicken and bake uncovered for an additional 30 minutes or so, or add the sauce on immediately, & bake right away for 1 hr, rotating the pan half way through. I want to try it the first way next time, as the chicken shrunk much more than usual, & I think it was because of all the acidic flavors. Regardless, it was very good. The garlic cloves roasted in the oven, & became deliciously soft & spreadable!

Chicken in a Pot (adapted from Whole Foods Cookbook)
I was a bit skeptical about this recipe at first, & I made it today so I still haven't tasted it but my awesome friend Shevy (shout out!) convinced me to do it. I needed something quick, as I had to take out new Shabbos food this morning due to a certain "leaving food out all night" fiasco. It's deceivingly easy, yet smelled so good. It's just chicken, water, some spices & literally whatever vegis you have on hand. I only had onions & celery so that was that but I am told (S!) that potatoes work wonders on the broth. Levana writes options for fennel (the one vegetable I can't wrap my head around), mushrooms, potatoes, carrots, garlic, you name it. I was reassured that it wouldn't be like boiled chicken from chicken soup. The recipe was for 2 whole chicken cut in eighths, but I obviously was only making 1/3 of that for us. I will post the original recipe though.

-2 chickens, cut in eighths
-3 cups water
-2 tsp. turmeric
-(here is my addition: chopped parsley, juice of half a lemon, salt, & pepper)

[for 2 pieces, I did 1 cup water, 1 tsp. turmeric]

-Add everything to pot, cover, bring to a boil, then reduce to medium for 1 hr (since I only had a couple pieces, I lowered it to medium-low because it was still boiling on medium).
-Remove the chicken and as many pieces of the vegis as you can, and boil the broth until it reduces to a nice sauce (you can do the cornstarch method here too. I found since I only used onion and celery, it wasn't thickening quickly, so I did it and I got a silky sauce. It will coagulate in the fridge but will be fine tonight once heated up again). The chicken had that falling off the bone look, & smelled delicious, so based on that I am vouching for it and posting it!

Hope it's good :-)

Good Shabbos!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Kani Salad x2

So.. I loooove kani. Otherwise known as "fake shrimp." Now, I feel like kani is way more popular now than it was yeeeears ago, and I've been eating this stuff from the package since forever. We first discovered it years ago at Brach's appetizing counter, "shrimp salad"- which had the fake shrimp-cubed, celery, peas, and a mayo dressing. Me & my mom used to eat it by the pound. But you can get it in the freezer section, there are a couple of brands but Dyna-Sea is the one I prefer the most. They come in "shrimp" & "lobster"- the lobster has a "fattier" taste if that makes any sense. The shrimp also comes in sticks. These 2 are the types that are primarily used in sushi. Then there's kani in the shape of shrimp. All this stuff is made with actual fish (pollock usually), but it's not raw. I love it sauteed with a tiny bit of Tamari sauce at the very end, but the options are limitless. It's popular in "sushi salad"- which is basically a deconstructed roll of sushi, with vegis, sushi rice, and shredded kani. Or, spicy kani salad at sushi places. Here I used it 2 different ways, one as an homage to the shrimp salad from Brach's, yet wayyy more updated & way less mayonnaise-y. The other one is a lettuce salad with all the components that I love in sushi (crunch by peanuts, mango, cucumber, and avocado) with breaded and lightly fried shrimp pieces.

Everything Sushi Salad
-3 pieces shrimp-shaped kani (really can use any type)
-2 cups shredded Napa cabbage
-Sesame oil
-1 tsp. sesame seeds
-1/4 cup shelled edamame
-1/4 cup frozen thawed peas
-2 small carrots, finely chopped
-1 stalk celery, finely chopped
-3 tbsp. light mayonnaise
-Sesame seeds
-1 tsp. sesame oil
-2 tsp. low-sodium Tamari sauce (preferred brand: San-J)
-1/2 tsp. lime juice
-La Choy chinese noodles, optional

-Add the cabbage to a bowl, drizzle with a little bit of sesame oil & 1 tsp. sesame seeds, & a sprinkle of salt and let sit for a couple minutes while you prepare the rest.
-Cube the shrimp into bite-size pieces and defrost in the microwave for 20 seconds
-Combine shrimp with the peas, edamame, celery, carrot & set aside
-In a small bowl, whisk together the mayo, sesame oil, lime juice (just a small squirt), and soy sauce. Sprinkle in some sesame seeds too.
-Add the shrimp mixture to the cabbage, and then pour the dressing over. With a cabbage-type salad, a little dressing usually goes a long way. If you feel like there's not enough dressing, just add some more mayonnaise, not a big deal.
-Let the flavors meld together in the fridge for a few hours (great prep-ahead salad)
-Serve with La Choy noodles, or any type of chinese noodles on top.

Warm Breaded Kani Salad
-2 kani sticks, defrosted, and cut into 4-5 pieces each
-1-2 tbsp. any kind of Italian dressing (I use pre-made "Good Seasons" balsamic dressing)- this is to coat the kani pieces before breading, so you can use an egg but I find this easier & more flavorful.
-3 tbsp. Panko crumbs
-2 tbsp. cornflake crumbs
-Salt & pepper
-Canola oil
-Cut romaine
-Baby spinach
-1 Persian cucumber
-Chopped mango
-1 small carrot, peeled & diced
-1/4 of an avocado, diced
-Honey roasted peanuts, chopped (optional) [truly any kind of nut would work just fine]

-To 1 bowl add the dressing, and to another add the Panko/cornflake crumbs with a pinch of salt & pepper
-Put all the kani pieces in the dressing, toss so all coated (add more if needed) & then transfer to the crumbs and coat with a spoon
-In a saute pan, heat a thin layer canola oil over medium-high heat.
-When oil is warm, add the kani pieces, one by one.
-Let fry a few minutes per side until golden brown.
-Prepare the salad, using more of the dressing you used for the shrimp as the dressing for the salad. Combine the lettuce/spinach, mango, cucumber, carrot, and avocado
-When the kani is done, transfer to a paper-towel lined plate
-Add warm kani to the salad
-Top with peanuts/nuts

If you never tried fake shrimp, go for it. I can't vouch for it tasting like the real stuff, but I always imagine that it does :-)

Enjoy these options!


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Jicama Salad

This salad's main ingredients is an all-time favorite vegi of mine- jicama. It looks like a huge turnip with a thick, annoying skin, but once peeled and sliced it's great. It sort of tastes like a cross between a mild radish and a cucumber, with the texture of a baby carrot. It makes for the perfect crudite, slaw, or in this case - salad. It's so simple yet so delicious... 4 main ingredients, plus the dressing... Sometimes I add in diced mango. Alternatively it can be shredded to replace cabbage in a version of cole slaw.

Jicama Salad
-2 jicamas, peeled, and cut into uniform spears
-2 (just-ripened) avocados, diced
-Chopped dill
-juice of 2 limes
-salt & pepper
-A small drizzle of olive oil

-Whisk together the lime juice, salt and pepper, dill, and stream in just a tbsp. or so of olive oil. you don't need a lot.. Just to bring this dressing together
-Combine the avocado and jicama and mix. It's okay if the avocado mushes a little into the jicama.
-Pour the dressing over and mix with a wooden spoon. Season more to taste. Ideally, the salad should sit in the dressing for a few hours to allow the flavors to meld together.

It's so simple, foolproof, & fresh, perfect for a quick springtime salad. It can go alongside pretty much anything, from BBQ to pizza.