Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Chicken Satay

Here is the version of chicken satay that Sal and I enjoy at home!
I'm not sure how authentic this is when compared to real Thai, but we've had satay at a few restaurants, and it is similar enough. My favorite is hard to can get it as an appetizer from Bangkok 96, the best Thai food you can get in the Metro-Detroit area!

Apparently this is Thai-food week for us...we got take-out on Sunday, made the Thai chicken quinoa, and now this. This was actually supposed to be our meal a while back, I just got very busy and didn't end up fitting it in, so here it is now, conveniently with the others. Unlike the quinoa dish, this is not spicy. I'd say it is predominately curry and nutty tasting.

4 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup lemon or lime juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (Sriracha)
3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips

1. Combine and mix soy sauce, lemon/lime juice, brown sugar, curry powder, garlic and hot pepper sauce.
2. Melt peanut butter and add to marinade. I melt via microwave on medium heat for about 30-40 seconds.
3. Once the chicken is cut, place the chicken breasts in the marinade and refrigerate. I just toss everything into a quart-sized ziplock and every now and then (when I think of it) I mush everything in the bag around and flip over so everything is getting the marinade.
4. Let the chicken marinate at least 2 hours, overnight is best.
5. Grill!--Preheat a grill to high heat (outdoor or kitchen, here is the one we use). If on outdoor grill, weave the chicken onto skewers, then grill for 5 minutes per side. Indoor grills vary depending on type, so please consult your manual. For me, it usually takes a little bit longer (7 min per side) and I don't put the chicken on skewers unless they are all exactly the same thickness (and they usually aren't).
If you do not own a small grill, there are also cast iron grill pans (something like this) that are less expensive and would make for a good investment so you can grill inside when you need to. :)

Best served over a nice bed of brown rice!

1. Remember, anytime you are handling raw chicken, make sure you wash your hands before you touch anything else. You will deal with it a few times here...and when you flip the raw chicken with a utensil, make sure you use a different one when you actually remove the cooked chicken from the grill.
2. After you have grilled both sides, check to verify the chicken is cooked completely by making a cut in the thickest piece. If it is done, the rest probably are. If it is not, wait 1-2 minutes and check the next thickest piece.
3. If using an indoor grill, it is likely you will have more chicken than room on your grill. Once you remove a batch, put it in a small dish lined and covered with aluminum foil to help keep the chicken warm while you finish cooking the rest. Before adding the next round of chicken to the grill, fold together a few paper towels and dampen entirely with room temp/cool water. Carefully wipe the marinade that has inevitably stuck to the grill to have a fresh surface for the next grilling.

If you want, you can also purchase various sauces for dipping. We own a Thai peanut dipping sauce. You can find this in the world food's section of your local grocery store.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Thai Chicken Quinoa

Today in recipe-land, I bring you to thai chicken quinoa!
I am not exactly sure how I stumbled upon this little gem, but my husband and I love "thai" and "chicken" and "quinoa", so I found it necessary to give this a shot! Be careful, if you aren't a fan of hot(ish) spice, this dish may not be for you.

The recipe is from: here . I will definitely be saving this blog for future recipe reference!

Ingredients  (for 2):
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
2 chicken breasts
1/3 cup chopped carrots
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce (we used Sriracha)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon canned coconut milk
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon creamy peanut butter (it mixes in easier if it's melted, FYI)
1 garlic clove
1/2 lime, juice
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

Shred the chicken! Essentially...
1. Cut fat off of the chicken breasts, and pound even. Hint! Cover the chicken with plastic wrap on the cutting board, so when you pound the chicken flat it doesn't spray raw chicken all over the kitchen. EW.
2. Boil water and add chicken breasts, boil for ~20 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink. Don't over cook so it doesn't get all rubbery!
3. Allow to cool a little, then shred.

4. Prepare quinoa according to directions, which will most likely call for 1 cup of liquid. I prefer to use low-sodium chicken stock, so use it if you have it.
5. While quinoa is cooking, combine all of the sauce ingredients together in a bowl and whisk well to combine.
6. Once quinoa has absorbed all of the liquid, stir in the sauce and toss well to coat.
7. Add in chicken, carrots, and green onions, stirring to combine. Taste and season with a little salt and pepper if needed.
8. Toss in half of the peanuts and cilantro and mix, then serve and top with remaining peanuts and cilantro.

If there are other ingredients commonly used in Thai meals that you'd like to add, say edamame (the original recipe calls for this. there wasn't any at the grocery store when I was there, so I didn't include here) or peas, I'm sure they would fit in perfectly well!

A side that I love to include with asian dishes (goes well with chicken teriyaki as well) is onion and zucchini. I will post a recipe for that soon (it's ridiculously easy).

It was delicious!!! 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (thick and chewy)

I go back-and-forth when it comes to blogging, and especially here! I find myself in the same position as most people...with too much to do besides maintaining a blog. I do make new recipes almost weekly, but don't have time or the extra energy to photograph and write-up. It's hard enough just to keep up with the priorities!

Also, I was thinking that since most of my recipes are just from other sites, I *could* still post here more often, but leave the write-ups to the original site, or some mix in between. If it involved me just taking a snapshot of the finished product and letting you know my opinion, while linking you to the recipe, that should be good enough, right? haha. I will definitely post any originals when they arise, but without having much time to think in the kitchen this season of my life, that's not very likely to happen anytime in the next few weeks or months.

Today I am going to post a very simple recipe made with things I already had at home from a site I admire.  Brown-eyed Baker (no, not me lol) is a really cool place for some awesome treats.

I am a fan of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, but prefer them to be more like regular chocolate chip cookies in that they are soft, moist, and thick, as opposed to thin and crispy. Aaaaand...I found this wonderful recipe :) Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
^^ That is the original, but I will display her recipe + my tweaks below because I feel like she made the baking a little too complicated for my liking, and mine turned out just perfect. I also cut the recipe in half. (baking for only 2!)

INGREDIENTS: (for 1/2 of full batch)
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Optional (my addition): a few tbsp powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl; set aside.
3. Cream together the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg (if increasing recipe, add them one at a time) and then mix in the vanilla.
4. Stir in the flour mixture, then stir in the oats and chocolate chips.
5. Using ~2 tablespoons per cookie, roll the dough into balls and place on the cookie sheets, spacing them at least 2 inches apart. Sprinkle a little powdered sugar on top of each, if you want.
6. Bake until the cookie edges are just turning golden brown, but the middles are still quite pale, about 12 to 14 minutes.
7. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack (or mouth! ohmygoshYUM).

The cookie dough might be a little sticky when you make it; that's fine. But if you chill it in the fridge it'll become less, and I noticed that when I take the left-over dough out to make a fresh batch for a treat after dinner, the cold dough seems to bake very nicely...I still bake the same time, but the cookies stay a tad thicker.