Thursday, August 19, 2010

Shoyu Chicken

Yesterday I was laid up and in need of some comfort food. R and I decided this was just what we needed. We made this delicious chicken while watching SciFi's "Tin Man," which was a super awesome rendition of "The Wizard of Oz." Especially enjoyable if you have a girl crush on Zooey Deschanel like yours truly.

This recipe is courtesy of my love's mother. She is a very good cook. Her mom is Chinese and her dad is Hawaiian, and people in Hawaii LOVE shoyu chicken. This recipe is fantastic! I could have drank the extra marinade. Please enjoy!!

Shoyu Chicken

1/2 c shoyu (which is soy sauce, you sillies!!)
1/2 c water
3 T brown sugar
1 star anise
1 slice ginger, crushed
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 t thick soy (optional)
1 cinnamon stick (also optional)
sm strip orange zest (also optional)
3 whole cloves (again, optional)
3-4 # chicken

Marinate chicken (whole or pieces...we ended up using much less chicken, and used breast tenders, because that's what we had in the freezer) in all ingredients.

Bring everything to a boil in a pan then simmer, covered, 25-30 minutes. Turn the chicken over once while cooking to brown evenly.

Cool, then chop into small pieces and arrange on platter. Top with chopped green onions if desired.

Here's what we did differently, besides the chicken amount: I used candied ginger, since my ginger went bad, so I reduced the amount of sugar to 2 1/2 T and used turbinado instead of brown since we are out of brown. We included the cinnamon stick, but left out the other optional ingredients, mostly because we don't have them right now.

Next time I want to be sure to have ALL ingredients (optional included) and I want to use boneless skin-on thighs because I think it will taste much more fantastic, and R informed me that he likes to eat the skin. Weirdo.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Thai Red (Chicken) Curry

I love Thai food. I didn't get into it until I lived in Portland, and now it's an almost insatiable love. I love all types of Thai food. The noodle dishes AND the curries. I haven't delved into the making of noodle dishes yet (Thai Kitchen still gets a fair amount of my money...especially for the jungle noodles...fantastic) but this curry recipe is easy!!

I make this recipe about monthly, when the mood strikes. It's much cheaper than going out, and with the Fresh Rolls, which I'll post soon, it's a perfect Thai meal AT HOME! You can eat in your pajamas!

I modified this recipe from one I found online. I'll just write how I made it, and you can make your own adjustments!

2 tbsp butter
2 tsp red curry paste (Thai Kitchen brand is def GF)
1 cup chopped peppers (I've used mini peppers and bell peppers--both are good!)
1 can bamboo shoots
1 can coconut milk
1 lb chicken breast, cubed
10ish basil leaves
1/2 lime (juice and zest)
salt to taste

1. Heat a wok or pan on medium heat.

2. Melt butter (sometimes I do half butter, half olive oil), mix in curry paste, brown a bit. Add peppers and a little bit of salt, cook until softened.

3. Stir in coconut milk and bamboo shoots, bring to a boil, then add chicken and basil leaves.

4. Reduce heat and simmer (I let it cook about 35 minutes, while the rice cooked) until chicken is cooked through.

5. Add lime juice and zest. I added a bunch of Sriracha sauce because we like spicy food.

I served it with brown rice.


You can also use shrimp. And of course you can always use white rice as well. 

Alaska's Red Gold...

One of the greatest thing about living in Alaska is the access to fresh and fantastic salmon. There is nothing better than grilling salmon the same day you catch it--except, perhaps using the leftovers to make Salmon Melts.

My Favorite Uncle (a self-chosen name...though he is fantastic) went dipnetting last week on the Kenai River. Their trip was relatively unsuccessful, since they only caught 7 red salmon between 5 people. Favorite Uncle caught 4 of them, I believe, and since my Grandma was in town, he cooked some up the next night (the plan was to have them the same day, but my Aunt already had moose sausage spaghetti sauce in the crockpot, and we were concerned it would clash--plus Favorite Uncle needed to rest and not fillet fish). Unfortunately, I wasn't feeling well, and didn't eat any of the fish at dinner, so I brought some home with me. Thanks, Mom.

It sat in my refrigerator until today. I walked with Jared, my 30-lb 16 month old, 4 miles, carrying him in a fantastic REI baby backpack. I was exhausted and sweaty when I got home, and since I had only eaten some multigrain Wheat Thins, a wedge of Laughing Cow cheese, some chocolate Silk and some Knudson Morning Blend juice for breakfast, I knew I needed something fantastic.

Enter Salmon Melts.

I make mine like I make my tuna, usually. I am not a fan of mayo, so I use ranch dressing instead. Today was a little different, though.

Salmon Melts

2 slices wheat bread, buttered
1 cup cooked salmon
1 1/2 T ranch dressing
1 1/2 T dijon or stoneground mustard
a dash or two of cumin, one of my favorites spices (thank you, Turkey)
a dash of garlic powder
2 thick slices of Tillamook medium cheddar cheese

1. Heat oven (I use our countertop oven a LOT) to 350 F

2. Combine salmon, ranch, mustard and spices in a bowl.

3. Spread the salmon mixture onto the two slices of buttered bread, lay a thick piece of cheddar on top for good measure.

4. I baked them for about 8 minutes then broiled for a couple minutes to get the cheese nice and bubbly.

I cut up a tomato and sprinkled each slice with salt and pepper (the best way to eat a fresh tomato, bar none) and filled a shot glass with dry roasted almonds for a delicious accompaniment.

It was nothing fancy, but it was fantastic after a long, hard walk!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Peanut Butter Dip

I love apple slices with peanut butter. If I'm too lazy to slice my apple, I'll cut it into sequentially smaller fourths, leaving the core, and spread peanut butter on each piece. Today, however, I came across an idea for something so marvelous I could scarce contain my excitement. Instead of plain old apples and peanut butter, which is alone delicious, I discovered that mixing peanut butter with yogurt makes an equally--if not more--fantastic dip, which adds calcium and live cultures to an already healthy snack! It's easy:

Peanut Butter Dip

1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1 small container or about 6-8 oz yogurt

Mix together in a bowl, and serve with apple slices or whatever else you want to dip into it! Strawberries, grapes, graham crackers, etc. I used Natural peanut butter, as that's what I had on hand, as well as a cup of custard-style vanilla yogurt. It was fantastic.

The picture is what was left after I consumed it with an apple.


I maintained a blog for a while, but it has fallen by the wayside, and many undesirables know and likely visit the url. I've decided to begin a new and improved blog, focusing a bit more on food and family, and less on whatever else. This will be a food blog of sorts, though at times I'm sure I'll deviate and digress.

Briefly, I am a mother of two children at the moment. I live in beautiful Eagle River, Alaska with a fantastic man. I work in the education field, with children who have special needs, specifically autism. I love Alaska, and all its ups and downs. We have overpriced groceries and a challenging supply of produce, but we make do. I hope you find something worthwhile here, so welcome!!