To Taste: Grilled Hoisin Chicken w. Truffled Mushrooms & Noodles

On Day 4 of my staycation between jobs, I whipped up an umami-packed dinner for Dre & me. On Day 2, I took an Asia Mart adventure with Sarah in search of fun ingredients for the meal. I try to be somewhat adventurous each time I go to an ethnic market, so I picked up some bunashimeji (aka beech mushrooms), fresh vegetable noodles, & a new jar of hoisin. The beech mushrooms are so tiny and too cute! I filled them out with sliced creminis and enhanced them with the depth of fresh thyme from my Slug City.

Bunashimeji, Cremini, & Fresh Thyme

I begin by sweating shallots with a bit of olive oil in a pan and added the mushrooms & thyme. I tossed them as they sauteed for about 10 min and finished it with white truffle oil. I love truffle. I love the smell. I love the taste. I LOVE TRUFFLE!

Truffled Mushrooms

While my mushrooms cooked, I heated an awesome new grill skillet that Sunshine passed along to me. I marinated some chicken breasts in hoisin, ginger, & soy and seared them for deep grill marks on both sides until cooked through. The noodles took a quick dip in boiling water and were a perfect pillow for a pile of savory truffled mushrooms. This may be one of my favorite dishes I’ve made… and 5 years ago you couldn’t dare get a mushroom near my plate!

UMAMI!

Grilled Hoisin Chicken w. Truffled Mushrooms & Noodles

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VDay Din: Fried Chicken Cordon Bleu, Tarragon Dijonnaise, & Champagne-Asparagus Risotto a la Dre <3

Dre always has a plan. He had a shopping list prepared for our grocery trip, did prep work Saturday night, and researched recipes for cooking on Sunday. I dig that kind of organization in a man.

The breakfast he made me was amazing, so I was looking forward to the dinner on Dre’s Vday menu. I was especially impressed with his ambition. Saturday night, Dre trimmed chicken breasts & marinated them in a habanero-buttermilk mixture. We both almost choked to death, not realizing how crazy hot those peppers are!

On Sunday, Dre seasoned & double-breading the breasts before frying them to perfection in my Cool Daddy. He topped them with crisped slices of prosciutto & Jarlsberg Swiss cheese, paired them with his homemade Tarragon Dijonnaise, and proudly declared it fried chicken cordon bleu!

On our shopping excursion, Dre picked up a bottle of champagne. After no mimosas for brunch, I got curious about it’s part in our Vday. Little did I know, but not only was Dre making a creamy batch of risotto, he was perfecting it with the bubbly and some fresh asparagus. I’m so proud of my Valentine!

Fried Chicken Cordon Bleu, Tarragon Dijonnaise, & Champagne-Asparagus Risotto

To Taste: Rustic Roasted Chicken & Vegetables

Last week, Philly was graced with its 2nd major Blizzard in under 6 days. The whole city pretty much shut down on Wednesday = SNOW DAY! Luckily, I also had off on Thursday as Philly is completely unmanageable under 30+ inches of snow & ice chunks. Dre still had to trudge to work and I wanted to make sure he came home to a warm house and a warm dinner! I had defrosted a whole chicken and searched for a recipe online. My first stop is to see what Kayotic Kitchen has up her sleave. Rustic Roasted Chicken? Sounds perfect to me!

I have an odd obsession with the process of butterflying a whole chicken, or spatchcocking it. I had my first adventure with it last summer for my grilled Chicken Under A Brick. It’s easier to slice & serve and makes sense if you aren’t planning to stuff it. Kayotic Kitchen’s marinade for the chicken was a beautiful crimson (in real life) and super tasty.

Marinating Chicken nestled in Raw Vegetables

I improvised the veggies and such with I had available including baby carrots, shallots, onions, Idaho spuds, green onion, smashed garlic cloves, fresh thyme, & turkey bacon to keep it straight poultry.

Fresh Thyme w/ Vegetables

The 7lb bird took about 2-2.5hrs to cook and had the house smelling delicious when Dre got home from work.

Rustic Roasted Chicken & Vegetables

I whipped up what were supposed to be fluffy cheddar biscuits to serve with the chicken. Instead, I got cheddar pancakes. What more could I expect from mix I picked up from Acme for $1. They were still tasty with some melted butter and reheated perfectly for a quick Leftover Lightning! (in the form of a yummy chicken sammie the next day!)

Cheddar Biscuits turned Pancakes

P.S. I highly suggest you click through to the Kayotic Kitchen blog. Kayleigh’s photos are beautiful and recipes are really amazing & easy to follow. I could only aspire to take ones that great. Her love for food is certainly sincere ❤

To Taste: Catfish & Shrimp Po’Boys

Last Sunday, the Colts took on the Saints for Superbowl XLIV. I wanted to cook up a dinner in the spirit of the game, but even though we were rooting for Peyton Manning to pull out a win, there’s not much to say about the cuisine of Indiana. Dre suggested a New Orleans flair and requested Po’Boy sammies. We had just gotten thru the first round of Snowpocalypse 2010 and it was a slow, slippery trip to Acme to pick up the rest of the supplies.

Thank goodness for Dre! He found the Green Bean under 28"+ of snow!

I’m still very much in the honeymoon stage with my new Deep Fryer, so I was excited to fry again! I defrosted (2) Catfish fillets & a half dozen U20 Shrimp, rolled them in Cornmeal Flour seasoned with Tony Chachere’s, dipped them in milk, and rolled them in the Cornmeal mixture again for a double layer of flavor & crisp. The Catfish & Shrimp fried up perfectly in only about 5 minutes!

Cornmeal Crusted Catfish Fillet

You can’t make a Po’Boy sandwich without a delicious Remoulade to spread on your roll. I deferred to Emeril’s recipe and pretty much followed it exactly (which is a rarity for me!). The batch ended up being WAY more than we needed for our sammies, and I certainly wished I had cut the recipe in half until I realized I’d have a delicious spread for other sammies all week. I ended up using it on a Griddled Ham, Turkey, & Swiss Sandwich for dinner Tuesday night and on a Ham, Egg, & Swiss Sandwich on a leftover long roll for my snow day breakfast. It was perfectly creamy & spicy with LOTS of flavor!

Spicy Remoulade w/ Shallots, Celery, & Green Onion

I discovered some amazing fresh long rolls from the corner store when picking up salt for the sidewalks.  They were no Louisiane French Bread, but were soft & crusty. We split them, spread them with the Spicy Remoulade, and topped them with Romaine, Roma Tomatoes, and our Fried Catfish & Shrimp. Dre prepared Zatarain’s Dirty Rice to pair with our Po’Boys for a perfect New Orleans dinner. Way to go Saints!

Shrimp on our Superbowl Po'Boy Sandwiches

CATFISH & SHRIMP PO’BOY SANDWICHES w/ SPICY REMOULADE

  • Cajun Fried Catfish & Shrimp
  • Emeril’s Remoulade Sauce
  • Romaine Lettuce, Sliced Roma Tomatoes, & Crusty French Bread
  1. Split French Bread or long roll and spread Remoulade Sauce on both sides.
  2. Add Lettuce & Tomato Slices and top with the fried Catfish & Shrimp
  3. Enjoy!

Cajun Fried Catfish & Shrimp

Prepared for (2) people

  • Catfish Fillets – (2) whole fillets – rinsed, patted dry, & cut in half
  • U20-25 Raw Shrimp – (6-8) – de-veined, de-shelled, & de-legged
  • Cornmeal Flour – (1.5) cups
  • Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning – (3) T
  • Milk – (1.5) cups – you choice on fat level & use buttermilk if you have it!
  1. Pre-heat deep-fryer or pot of oil to about 350 degrees. Set prepared Catfish & Shrimp aside.
  2. Combine Cornmeal Flour & Tony Chachere’s in a bowl and then spread evenly on a plate.
  3. Lay Catfish Fillets on seasoned Cornmeal mixture and flip to coat each side. Dip each fillet in a bowl of milk and return to Cornmeal mixture to coat again.
  4. Drop coated Catfish filets into hot oil and allow to cook for 5-8 minutes. While cooking, prepare the Shrimp with the same coat with Cornmeal then dip in milk then coat in Cornmeal process.
  5. Remove Catfish once crispy and drain on paper towels. Make sure the oil comes back up to temperature and drop in coated Shrimp. Cook for about 3-5 minutes, until crispy. Drain.

Emeril’s Remoulade Sauce

Makes about 1.5 cups from Emerils.com

  • Mayonnaise – (1) cup – prepared or homemade
  • Ketchup – (3) T
  • Creole Mustard – (3) T – I used Inglehoffer’s Original Stone Ground Mustard
  • Hot Sauce – (1) tsp – I used sriracha, but any kind you’d like works fine.
  • Celery – (1) T – julienne, then minced
  • Shallots – (1) T – minced
  • Garlic – (1/2) tsp, minced
  • Green Onion – (2) T, minced
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper – to taste
  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  2. Chill in fridge at least 15 minutes or until you are ready to use.

Catfish & Shrimp Po'Boy w/ Dirty Rice

To Taste: Red Curry Chicken Pitas & Mashed White Beans

Friday night, a blizzard was heading our way so I wanted to make a spicy dinner to warm our bellies. I drew inspiration from my Summer Feast with the ladies and decided on to make Chicken Breast marinated in Red Curry Paste & Greek Yogurt again. I whipped up a simple Tzatziki with fresh Dill, Cucumber, Scallions, Garlic, & the remaining Greek Yogurt. They combined perfectly with some Romaine & Tomatoes on Whole Wheat Pitas.

Red Curry Chicken Pitas w/ Cucumber Dill Tzatziki

I came across a recipe for Mashed Cannellini Beans on elly says opa and thought it’d be a perfect side dish for my Red Curry Chicken Pitas. I switched up the rosemary for fresh thyme and simmered the beans with Garlic & Chicken Stock. They look good enough eat even before I mashed them!

Simmering White Beans

After a few smashes with the potato masher & a dash of chili powder, the White Beans were a perfect consistency & pairing for our snowed in dinner. Next time I have to remember a splash of white truffle oil!

Mashed Cannellini Beans w/ Garlic & Fresh Thyme

RED CURRY CHICKEN PITAS w/ MASHED WHITE BEANS

  • Red Curry Chicken
  • Cucumber-Dill Tzatziki Sauce
  • Chopped Romaine Lettuce & Roma Tomatoes
  • Whole Wheat Pitas
  • Mashed White Beans w/ Garlic & Fresh Thyme
  1. Stuff Pita halves with Lettuce, Tomato, & Red Curry Chicken. Top with dollops of Tzatziki.
  2. Pair with a hearty scoop of Mashed White Beans and finish them with a dash of Chili Powder on top.
  3. Enjoy!

Red Curry Chicken

Prepared for (2) people

  • Chicken Breast – (2) breasts – rinsed, patted dry, & cubed
  • Greek Yogurt – (1/3) of a 6oz container – I prefer Fage Total 0% or 2%
  • Red Curry Paste – (1) T
  1. Combine Chicken cubes, Greek Yogurt, & Red Curry Paste in a mixing bowl and coat thoroughly. Marinate in fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Heat a saute pan on Medium and add (2) T of Olive Oil.
  3. Once the oil is glistening, add the chicken and brown each side until cooked through. Or you can kebab the marinated Chicken cubes and throw them on the grill.

Cucumber Dill Tzatziki

Makes about (1/2) cup

  • Greek Yogurt – (2/3) of a 6oz container – I prefer Fage Total 0% or 2%
  • Cucumber – (1/2) cup – peeled, seeded, halved lengthwise, & sliced thin
  • Garlic – (1) T, minced
  • Shallot – (1/2) bulb, sliced paper thin
  • Fresh Dill – (1) T , chopped
  • Lemon Juice – (2) tsp
  • S&P – to taste
  1. Put sliced cucumber in a colander and salt generously. Toss to coat and allow to rest in sink for about 5 minutes to draw out moisture.
  2. Combine drained cucumber and other ingredients in a mixing bowl and fold gently.
  3. Chill for at least 15 minutes in the fridge before using.

Mashed White Beans w/ Garlic & Fresh Thyme

Adapted from elly say opa!’s recipe

  • Cannellini / White Beans – (1) 15oz can, drained
  • Garlic – (1) T, minced
  • Chicken Stock – (1) cup – feel free to use veggie stock instead
  • Lemon Juice – (2) tsp
  • Fresh Thyme – (2) tsp
  • S&P – to taste
  1. Bring a saute pan or wok to medium heat and add about (2) T of Olive Oil. Once glistening, add Garlic and brown about 1 minute.
  2. Add beans and saute about 3 minutes.
  3. Pour in chicken stock, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer over Medium-Low heat.
  4. Once stock has almost completely evaporated (about 10-15 minutes), add Fresh Thyme and combine.
  5. Immediately turn off heat, add Lemon Juice, and mash beans with a potato masher or puree in a food processor until desired consistency. Add splashes of additional chicken stock to smooth if necessary.
  6. Serve immediately with a dash of Chili Powder on top.

Leftover Lightning! Chinese BBQ Chili Chicken & Lump Snow Crab Egg Rolls!

Dre got me an awesome deep fryer for Christmas and it took some debate on what to christen it with. Making Egg Rolls is new to me but seemed easy enough. Dre & I popped over to our local Asian market and picked up some ingredients to make the basic cabbage filler. Thank god for my Frankenberry so I could pull up some pics to discern Chinese Cabbage from the wall of greens in front of me. I love how it looks crimped when you slice it thin.

Chinese Cabbage

I added some shredded Carrot, Bean Sprouts, minced Ginger, Garlic & Shallots, Sesame Oil, Soy Sauce, and S&P. After a quick toss, it was a perfect fresh slaw to begin my egg rolls. I had some leftover Pan-seared Chicken Breast from Thursday’s dinner and leftover Snow Crab from Friday’s dinner. Both seemed like perfect proteins to add to my Egg Rolls. I chopped the Chicken and tossed it with Chili-Garlic Sauce, Chinese BBQ Sauce, & Clementine Zest. Half of the Cabbage mixture was mixed with the Chicken and we piled the fresh lump Crab Meat on top of the rest.

Chinese Chili BBQ Chicken & Cabbage Egg Roll Filler

Chili BBQ Chicken & Cabbage Egg Roll Filler

So far, so good! Rolling was easy enough as Dre took over with the crab and I rolled the chicken mixture.

Soon to be... Chinese Chili BBQ Chicken Egg Rolls

Once we got in a rhythm, we banged out almost two dozen perfect egg rolls sealed with an egg wash and love.

Egg Rolls

I heated some (very expensive!) peanut oil in my Presto Cool Daddy and dropped in batches of 2-3 egg rolls at a time. Dre whipped up a Ginger-Hoisin-Soy Sauce from scratch and poured some Sweet & Sour Chili Sauce for us to dip them in. I’m proud to see him turn into such a great kitchen helper. Once the Egg Rolls crisped, drained, & cooled, we were ready to snack!

Fried Chinese Egg Rolls

Chinese Egg Rolls ~ makes about 18-22 egg rolls

  • Chinese Cabbage – (2) bunches, shredded or sliced thin
  • Fresh Bean Sprouts – (1.5) dry cups
  • Carrot – (2) large, shredded – about 1.5 dry cups
  • Garlic – (2) T, minced – about (3-4) cloves
  • Ginger – (2) tsp, minced
  • Shallots – (1) large, minced
  • Soy Sauce – (2) T, preferably low sodium
  • Toasted Sesame Oil – (1) T
  • S&P
  • Egg – (1) whisked in a dish for an egg wash
  • Egg Roll Wrappers – (18-22) – usually in the frozen section, not be mistaken for spring roll wrappers, lumpia wrappers, etc.
  1. Toss all ingredients (except egg & egg roll wrappers) until mixed thoroughly.
  2. Add chopped protein if desired – semi-cooked shrimp, crab meat, chicken breast
  3. Lay an individual wrapper on a hard surface so it’s shaped like a diamond. Paint the edges with the egg wash using a pastry brush or back of a spoon.
  4. Spoon cabbage mixture towards the bottom point of the wrapper, I’d say what looks like about 2-3 hot dogs put together. Make sure to squeeze any moisture from the mixture before spooning on wrapper to avoid sogginess!
  5. Fold bottom point on top of mixture and roll once, tightly. Fold in each side and continue to roll and seal.
  6. Deep fry 2-3 at a time at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until crispy.
  7. Shake out oil and then drain on paper towels.
  8. Enjoy with Soy Sauce, Sweet Chili Sauce, or the Asian Dipping Sauce below.

Asian Dipping Sauce

From the Best Answer on Yahoo! Answers for an “egg roll” dipping sauce

  • Soy Sauce – (1/4) cup, preferably low sodium
  • Toasted Sesame Oil – (1/2) tsp
  • Garlic – (1) tsp, minced – about (1) clove
  • Green Onion/Scallions – (1) tsp, minced – about (1) stalk
  • Hoisin – (2) T
  • Ginger – (1/4) tsp, minced
  • White Sugar – (1/2) tsp
  1. Combine ingredients in a small bowl, cover, & chill for 1-2 hours so flavors can marinate.
  2. Serve warmed or at room temperature with egg rolls, spring rolls, wontons, dumplings, potstickers…

To Taste: Sautéed Brussels Sprouts

A tiny cabbage bloom on top of my Brussels sprout stalk.

I was pretty stoked when I came across full stalks of Brussels Sprouts! They were about 2.5 feet long with about 40 fresh tiny little cabbage heads. I appreciated their natural state and minimal packaging, plus, they’re in season! I think Brussels Sprouts  are delicious and am on a quest to erase the stigma they have.  If you’ve had them (or haven’t) and claim you don’t like them, it’s probably because they weren’t made with enough love. Many a friend can attest to me forcing my yummy Brussels Sprouts on them, and just as many will admit that they enjoyed them. I make sure to enhance my Brussels Sprouts with Worcestershire, Sauce Garlic, Shallots, Bacon, Sriracha, Fresh Ground Pepper, Chicken Stock & Love and sauté them to a tender caramelized finish.

Brussels Sprouts, sautéed & simmered

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts

  • Fresh Brussels Sprouts – about 20 or so
  • Minced Garlic – (2) T
  • Shallot – (1) bulb – peeled & minced
  • Bacon – (2-3) pieces, cooked & crumbled
  • Worcestershire Sauce – (1) tsp
  • Sriracha – (1) tsp or a quick swirl
  • Chicken Stock – (1) cup
  • Olive Oil
  • Fresh Ground Pepper – to taste
  1. Rinse Brussels Sprouts, remove any browned out leaves, & cut in half lengthwise.
  2. Heat pan on Med-Hi and coat with Olive Oil.
  3. Add Garlic & Onion and cook about 4-5 min, until tender & aromatic
  4. Add Brussels Sprouts to pan and sauté 10-15min, tossing regularly until caramelized
  5. Add Bacon, Worcestershire, Sriracha, Pepper, & Chicken Stock. Sitr & bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce to Med-Low. Simmer until liquid reduces to a minimal amount and sprouts are tender.
  7. Tell me you don’t think they’re delicious!