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Vegetables

Chicken with asparagus in wine & butter

I love cooking with wine.  Most of it makes it in the pan.  Here’s another dish, great for entertaining or just dinner.  This took me about 20 minutes to make and five seconds to eat.  You can make a healthier version by grilling, but we’re talking spring in the Pacific Northwest people.  It’s in the 40’s out there!  For today, we are pan searing indoors.

Ingredients: 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, thawed.  2  cups white wine (I used pino grigio, but any white wine will work, even riesling). 4 tbsp butter.  1 tbsp olive oil.  1 bundle or about 1 lb. asparagus.  About 1 tsp salt.  About 1 tsp pepper.

Wash the asparagus, cut the bottom off.  To know how much to cut off, take the end of the asparagus between your thumb and forefinger and bend until it breaks.  Discard the bottoms and cut asparagus in half, place in a dish where you can soak it in 1/2 cup of wine.

Cut up chicken in strips.  Size and shape is up to you.  The smaller the pieces, the quicker it cooks.  Set heat to medium high.  Place chicken and 1 & 1/2 cups wine in pan and cover.  It should start boiling in about 5 minutes.  Mix it around and add salt and pepper.  I don’t measure.  I use rock salt and peppercorn and crank the grinder over the pan to sprinkle some on the chicken.  So 1 tsp. of each may not be enough, or too much.  Use your best judgement according to your taste and health requirements.

Mix, then cover for another 2 minutes.  Chicken should be cooked by now and wine should be almost gone (if the pan is dry and the chicken is not yet cooked, add another cup of wine for the chicken to cook in).

Increase heat to high.  Add the butter, olive oil and asparagus (with the wine it soaked in).  Mix around and cover for about 2 minutes.  Take lid off.  Sauté to mix flavors around and burn off the wine while charring parts of the chicken and asparagus (takes less than 5 minutes).  That’s it.  Plate, serve and manja!

I’ve used this as an appetizer, but I’ve also used it as a main dish with some pasta, pesto and marinara.  Either way, everyone enjoyed it.


Curry Potatoes with Garlic Pita

This dish is not only easy to make, but is also a party favorite!

Servings: 8-10
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: Less than an hour!

Ingredients for Curry Potatoes: 1 can coconut milk (approx 13.5 fl oz), 1/2 stick of unsalted butter (1 whole is better, but not if you’re watching your weight), 2 lbs. red potatoes (cut each potato into 8 pcs, leave skin on), 1 bunch spinach (cut stems off and then into 3 strips), 4 stems of fresh thyme (each stem about 5 inches), 1 cup chicken broth, 4 cubes curry paste (See samples of curry paste below).  You can choose the spice level.  I usually get the mild one and offer spices to my guests to add the extra kick.  Medium is also safe.

Now let’s cook!  Wash everything (Potatoes, spinach & thyme… not the butter).  Set heat on medium high, use any kind of pan that will hold your ingredients.  Start with the butter and thyme.  Once butter is melted and the thyme has been swished around in it for a minute, add the potatoes.  Mix it around on high to coat the potato, then pour in the chicken broth.  Your kitchen should start smelling good.  Cover for 5 minutes, leaving it on high.  Make sure it does not burn, adjust your heat down to medium if needed or slide the pot back and forth over the heat while keeping it covered.  We are trying to infuse the flavor of the stock into the potato.  Next, add the coconut milk.  Every time you add a new ingredient, mix everything around.  If the thyme leaves have fallen off by now, carefully pull the stem out of the pot, if not then it’s ok to wait till the end.   Cover for 5 minutes, leaving it on high.  Next, add the 4 cubes of curry paste.  They usually come with 8 cubes.  Scatter the 4 cubes in the pot and push it under the sauce.  Cover and leave on medium for 15 minutes stirring every now and then.  Now add the spinach, stir then cover and leave on medium for 5 minutes.  Let it simmer for an additional 20 minutes on low.  Best served hot off the stove.  Make sure all curry paste cubes have dissolved and stir very well to ensure good distribution of flavor.

Garlic Pita Recipe
Ingredients: A pinch of sea salt, Pita bread (5 pcs of the 7″ rounds), 1/4 cup olive oil (extra virgin is best), 3 cloves of garlic (freshly peeled, not the bottled kind) and 5 big leaves of fresh basil.

Let us begin!  You can do this while cooking your curry.  Crush garlic (a good way to get your aggression out) and put in a small bowl.  Add the pinch of salt and 1/4 cup olive oil.  Mix around.  Now fold the basil in half and cut off the its spine and stem, then slice it up into little strips (no thicker than 2 pennies).  Add basil to the bowl, mix it around ad let it sit for a few minutes.  Then spread it on the pita using a spoon or marinade brush or even with your hands.  Pre-heat oven to 325 once you set your stove to low for your curry to simmer. On a cookie sheet, place the greased pita and let sit while the oven is pre-heating for 10 minutes then cook it in the oven, middle rack for 10 minutes.  To serve, cut into 8 pieces (like little slices of pizza).

You can pour the curry in a bowl and place it on a bigger plate so you can spread the pita slices on the plate for easy dipping access.  Enjoy!

PS… I will not be held responsible, if your friends start to frequent your house for this app…. just a warning!


California Salad

California Salad

This is the best way to eat cauliflower!  Served cold as a salad / appetizer, you will surprise your guests with the flavors and texture of the combination in this nice treat.  You will enjoy it!

Ingredients:

The Bulk: 2 bunches broccoli.  2 bunches  cauliflower.  1 bunch green onions.  2 packs of bacon.  1 cup sunflower seeds.  6 oz. craisens.  2 cups parmesan cheese.

The dressing: 1 cup mayo.  1 – 2 tsp sugar.  a dash of salt and pepper. 

Prep:Cook bacon to a crisp.  crush and set aside.  Chop all veggies to penny or smaller size.  I recommend hand plucking the tips of the broccoli & cauliflower.  Put veggies in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl mix the mayo, salt, pepper and sugar to taste.  Pour dressing in the bowl of veggies and mix till veggies are coated.  Add the cheese, chopped green onions, sunflower seeds and craisens.  Mix everything and refrigerate.  Mix in the bacon and serve.

Ellen… thank you for sharing your recipe!


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