Monday, September 21, 2015

Chicken Teriyaki with Mushrooms and Green Beans

A family friendly 20 minute meal! Chicken, shiitake mushrooms, and green beans are stir fried in an easy teriyaki sauce and served over steamed rice.

Chicken teriyaki is one of those safe Asian dishes that just about anyone likes - especially children! It's savory, flavorful, and doesn't have any spice to worry about. While I love just about all Asian dishes, teriyaki is one I can't easily pass up!

This version is super simple, especially thanks to a couple of pantry staples. Since you get to toss in shiitake mushrooms and green beans, too, it becomes an easy, one pan meal.

Chicken Teriyaki with Mushrooms & Green Beans
1 pound boneless/skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced on the diagonal
4 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons mirin or dry sherry
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
3/4 pound green beans, trimmed and halved crosswise
2 tablespoons stir-fry oil or high-temperature cooking oil, such as peanut oil
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
Cooked white rice, for serving

In a large, deep skillet, bring 2 inches of salted water to a boil.

In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with 2 tbsp. teriyaki sauce and set aside to marinate. In a second medium bowl, combine the remaining 2 tbsp. teriyaki sauce, the chicken stock, mirin, cornstarch, and cayenne to make the sauce.

Once the salted water is boiling, add the green beans and cook until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the green beans to a bowl of ice water and let cool. Drain and pat dry. 

In a large nonstick skillet or wok, heat 1 tbsp. oil over high heat. Once it ripples and begins to smoke, add the chicken in a single layer; stir-fry until browned, 2 to 3 minutes, and transfer to a plate. Add the remaining 1 tbsp. oil and cook the mushrooms until browned, about 3 minutes. Add the green beans and cook until they blister, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger. Toss for 1 to 2 minutes, then add the sauce and toss again. Return the chicken to the skillet and toss to combine. 

Serve with cooked rice.

Source: adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Apricot-Basil Chicken with Tricolor Quinoa

A quick and healthy dish that's perfect for busy school nights! Everyone's favorite boneless skinless chicken breast is paired with a Marsala wine & apricot sauce and served over a bed of tricolor quinoa. Top it off with basil and serve!

This morning was hard to face, wasn't it? A 3 day weekend, like we had here in the states, throws Tuesday into a tailspin for me. I actually started my weekend with illness and ended it with pink eye. Thank you, Minute Clinic for your abbreviated holiday hours so I could come into work today! Since I was mostly stuck inside all weekend, I did some cooking + watched WAY too much Netflix.

Sometimes I think of how much more productive I would be if Netflix didn't exist.

After months of near constant activity, it was lovely to be forced to just be... if only for a few days :)

Now that I'm facing another busy week, I find myself reaching for those easy weeknight meals that keeps us out of the drive through. This meal is loaded with flavor, healthy, and done in about 30 minutes! While the quinoa cooks, you can whip up the rest of dinner and have it all finish at the same time. I love those kind of recipes! Pair it with a salad or steamed green beans to save yourself too much work :)

Any type of grain would really work here. The original recipe calls for freekeh which was impossible for me to track down so I picked up some tricolor quinoa in the bulk bin at my local health store. I loved the added color and I knew we liked the flavor. The verdict is still out on freekeh because I can't find it!

Not a fan of quinoa? Try couscous or rice!

Apricot-Basil Chicken with Tricolor Quinoa
2 1/4 cups chicken stock, divided
1/2 cup dry Masala wine
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
salt and pepper

Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer (or line your strainer with a cheesecloth) until the water runs clear. Transfer to a medium pot and add 2 cups chicken stock, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until tender and the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.

Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1/4 cup stock, Marsala, and apricots in a small bowl and set aside.

Season both sides of each piece of chicken with salt and pepper. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and, once hot, add the oil to the pan; swirl to coat. Add the chicken and cook about 4 minutes on each side, or until cooked through and golden brown. Add the apricot sauce to the pan and cook 2 minutes. Stir in the butter and remove from heat. 

Serve a piece of chicken over quinoa with a spoonful of sauce. Top with basil before serving. 

Source: adapted from Cooking Light

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Steak Fingers with Roasted Jalapeno Cream Gravy

Tender strips of cube steak are dredged, pan fried, then served with creamy gravy that's flavored with roasted jalapenos and garlic. In other words, a plate full of Texas.

I've found a fix for Tex Mex here in Charlotte but have failed miserably in getting my chicken/steak fingers and gravy habit fed. Back home, it seems like every place serves cream gravy alongside chicken fingers for dipping. And the really good ones have steak fingers on the menu, too!

Steak fingers are just strips of chicken fried steak but they are made for dipping and eaten with your hands, just like a chicken fingers. They are tender, flavorful, and, when loaded up with gravy, make your eyes roll back in your head.

This twist throws some roasted jalapeno in the gravy just for kicks. It's not spicy but adds a nice flavor in the background. If you aren't a fan of jalapeno, you can easily leave it out. Either way, the whole pan is downright drinkable.

If you've never tried steak fingers and gravy, add this to your menu!

Steak Fingers with Roasted Jalapeno Cream Gravy
For the gravy:
2-4 jalapenos, stemmed, seeded, and halved lengthwise
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons bacon grease or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1.5 cups whole milk

For the steak fingers:
2 pounds cube steak
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
2 eggs
1 cup whole milk or buttermilk
salt and pepper
oil, for frying

Place the jalapenos and garlic on a baking sheet and place until the broiler for 5 minutes, or until blackened. Remove from the oven and rub off the blackened skin from the jalapeno and then dice. Mince the garlic. 

In a large heavy skillet (preferably cast iron), heat the bacon grease or oil over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour and cook until fragrant and lightly browned, about 1 minute. Slowly pour in the milk and whisk until thickened, about 2-3 minutes.

Turn off the heat and stir in the jalapenos and garlic. Add salt to taste. If gravy is too thick, add more milk until desired consistency. Set aside - you can reheat on low before serving.

Slice the cube steak into strips and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 200 and line a baking sheet with paper towels.

In a shallow bowl, mix together the flour, cayenne, about 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. In a second shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk.

Dredge each strip first in the flour, then the egg/milk, then back into the flour. 

In a large heavy skillet (preferably cast iron), heat 1/2 inch of oil over medium-high heat. After about 5 minutes of heating, stick a wooden spoon into the oil. If oil bubbles around the spoon, it should be hot enough.

Add the prepared strips to the pan, being careful not to crowd them, and cook until you see red juices bubbling on top of the meal, about 2-3 minutes. Using tongs, carefully flip them over and cook another 2-4 minutes until lightly browned. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and slide into the oven to keep warm while you continue cooking the rest of the strips.

Once ready to serve, warm the gravy over low heat and serve alongside the strips.

Source: adapted from The Homesick Texan's Family Table

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