Posts tagged ‘Asian’

The Slow-Cooker As Mama’s Best Friend

The dinner hour has turned into two or three hours of baby care… Thomas eats between 4:30 and 5, which takes half an hour to an hour, and then we have a little play-and-digest time, and then we have bath time, and then bedtime takes a half an hour or so, which means from 4:30 to 7 or so I’m not in the kitchen cooking.

This leads to many a dinner of leftovers from weekend cooking marathons, jazzed-up frozen pizza, scrambled eggs, or 8 p.m. mealtimes. But when I remember the slow cooker, or when Real Simple runs a slow-cooker recipes article, we get a fresh hot meal that needs hardly any attention between 4:30 and 7.

The last two slow-cooked suppers both made use of organic boneless skinless chicken thighs from Costco. Slow-Cooker Chicken Pot Pie, and Slow-Cooker Soy-Glazed Chicken & Butternut Squash with Stir-Fry Greens. I’ll post the chicken pot pie recipe later, but here is the Soy-Glazed Chicken. It’s based on a recipe from the February 2012 issue of Real Simple; I’ll post their original as is, and note my changes in parentheses.

1/2 c packed light brown sugar (I had dark)
3 T low-sodium soy sauce (I used my organic wheat-free tamari)
3 T fresh lemon juice
2 T Asian fish sauce (finally, keeping that on the condiment carousel pays off!)
1 T grated fresh ginger (I’m sure I used a bit more, since I love ginger)
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (I just did several squirts of Sriracha while I was on my condiment carousel)
1-1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, about 8 (I used about a pound; it was the third packet from the three-pack of organic ones from Costco)
(1 butternut squash, or 2 if they’re small like mine was, or even 3 if they’re as small as some others that have come in my produce box; peel and cube)
1 c long-grain white rice
1 T canola oil
(here is where I diverged 100 percent; Real Simple stir-fries a bunch of good vegs, and I saute greens)
3/4 lb snow peas, trimmed
2 heads baby bok choy, leaves separated
1 red bell pepper, diced
4 scallions, cut into 2-inch lengths
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
black pepper
(I used mustard greens, turnip greens, komatsuna and mizuna; wash them well)

1. In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, mix together sugar, soy sauce/tamari, lemon juice, fish sauce, ginger, and crushed red pepper (Sriracha). Add chicken; turn to coat. (Add butternut squash cubes; work into the sauce for coating also. I had less chicken than the recipe called for but as much sauce, so I had enough; you might want to do just a little extra sauce.)

2. Cover and cook until chicken is tender, 7 – 8 hours on low or 4 – 5 hours on high (mine wound up being about 3 hours on high and then another hour on warm).

3. Twenty minutes before serving, cook rice according to package directions.

4. Meanwhile, transfer chicken and butternut squash to a plate, reserving cooking liquid/sauce.

5. Real Simple says to stir fry the vegs. Here’s where I heated the oil and sauteed my greens instead. Real Simple says to drizzle the cooking liquid over the finished rice/chicken/veg when you serve; I poured the cooking liquid over the greens once they had wilted down, let them bubble for a few minutes, drizzled a tiny bit of Steen’s over for depth, and sprinkled a little cornstarch over to thicken at the end. With the soy-glazed chicken and squash, this was GREAT. Just typing it in makes me wish I had a crisper drawer full of greens again.


January 19, 2012 at 8:13 pm Leave a comment

Fish, Veg, Veg, Veg

Menu: baked wrapped tilapia again * eggplant relish again * three-tomato salad * tilapia-influenced coleslaw

I don’t usually re-run recipes quite so quickly, but we enjoyed the baked wrapped tilapia from my first post so much that I went ahead and did it again. This time instead of the chile garlic sauce, I used fresh hot peppers from this morning’s farmers market run, but otherwise it was unchanged.

I used a few of the ingredients … the wasabi oil and chopped garlic … to make a dressing for shredded cabbage for slaw… I added some chile garlic sauce, a little bit of Steen’s cane syrup for sweetness, Steen’s cane vinegar, a splash of mirin, and finally a spoonful of Miracle Whip light to finesse the line between creamy slaw and vinegary slaw.

For the eggplant relish, again, I roasted two small heirloom ivory eggplants from the farmers market in the same 400-degree oven with the fish packets and a red bell pepper. I chopped the peeled pepper and eggplant together and stirred in a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. That was it.

Finally, I sliced three kinds of heirloom tomatoes purchased at the market this morning, ground fresh sea salt over, and sprinkled a chiffonade of basil over.

I would definitely do it again.

June 22, 2008 at 12:36 am Leave a comment

Fish, Noodles, Salad

Menu: salmon with hoisin-chili sauce * soba noodles with mushrooms and spinach * cucumber salad

Last night, I was really looking forward to the leftover Accidentally Amazing Black Beans. This afternoon, swamped by work, I forgot about that, and compiled a grocery list. On the way home, I stopped at our new H-E-B and picked up two nice little salmon filets. I knew I had the rest of a large tub of fresh spinach leaves, and while I was wandering around H-E-B thinking about what to have with salmon and spinach, I came across an end-cap freezer display of Central Market “Exotic Mushrooms in Cream Sauce” and remembered that there was a packet of soba noodles in the pantry.

(Central Market is the Whole Foods concept of H-E-B, our terrific Texas grocery chain. Central Market has specialty and organic groceries, but you can also buy Splenda and Coke. Central Market just absolutely rocks, as does H-E-B, whose community involvement should serve as a role model for businesses everywhere. Meanwhile, H-E-B has started marketing Central Market-brand products in its regular stores. Perfect cycle.)

Hoisin Salmon
2 salmon filets * 2 T hoisin sauce * 1 tsp chili garlic sauce * 1 tsp soy sauce
Preheat oven to 450. Put filets in oven-safe pan, skin-side down. Mix remaining ingredients; spoon over, and spread across surface of fish. Bake 10 minutes per 1-inch-thickness of fish (tonight I did it for about 7 minutes).

Soba Noodles with Mushrooms and Spinach
Exotic Mushrooms in Cream Sauce mix (includes Nameko mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, and oyster mushrooms; heavy cream, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper)
Fresh baby spinach leaves
1 bundle soba noodles

Cook mushrooms according to package. Boil noodles according to package directions. Drain noodles; add to mushrooms in large saute pan. Add spinach; cook and mix. Splash in a few shakes each of soy sauce and sesame oil, and a drib of juice from a jar of pickled ginger. Stir; let simmer or stay warm on low.

Cucumber salad
1 pickling cucumber, sliced thin * Drew’s Thai lime salad dressing

Cook’s sustenance
Vodka-tonic (really really must pick up that Plymouth)
wasabi rice crackers

Cook’s soundtrack
Coldplay, “Clocks”
Jack Constanzo, “I Love Paris”
Bill Lloyd, “All at Once You Unzipped”
Fountains of Wayne, “It Must Be Summer”
XTC, “Happy Families”
Shuggie Otis, “Island Letter”
Journey, “Separate Ways”
Patsy Cline & The Jordanaires, “Always”
Alejandro Escovedo, “Velvet Guitar”
Bananarama, “Robert DeNiro’s Waiting”
Coldplay, “Proof”
Caetano Veloso, “The Man I Love”
Derek & The Dominoes, “Bell Bottom Blues”
Zero 7, “Distractions”

How did it turn out?
Delish. The salmon done at the higher temperature was moist and tender (until now, I had been cooking it longer at a lower temp). The soba noodles were terrific, and I could imagine that they would also be good cold.

Would I make it again?
Yes. I make salmon frequently and will do it at the higher temperature for the shorter time from now on. And the soba noodles were tasty and should be good left over. I’ll be tussling with M to see who gets the last leftover Accidentally Amazing Black Beans and who gets the soba.

June 12, 2008 at 1:41 am Leave a comment

Some of my cookbooks

In no order except for how they appear in my LibraryThing cookbook catalog: True Women Cookbook: Original Antique Recipes, Photographs, & Family Folklore, Janice Woods Windle (1997) * Made in Texas; H-E-B's 100th Anniversary Cookbook (2005) * The Texas Cowboy Cookbook: A History in Recipes and Photos, Robb Walsh (2007) * The Silver Palate Cookbook, Julee Rosso, Sheila Lukins (1982) * In the Land of Cocktails: Recipes and Adventures from the Cocktail Chicks, Ti Adelaide Martin & Lally Brennan (2007) * Braise: A Journey Through International Cuisine, Daniel Boulud (2006) * Moosewood Cookbook : Recipes from Moosewood Restaurant, Mollie Katzen (1977) * Crescent City Cooking: Unforgettable Recipes from Susan Spicer's New Orleans, Susan Spicer (2007) * Saveur Cooks Authentic American: By the Editors of Saveur Magazine, ed. Colman Andrews (1998)

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