Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Satayday Night Fever

And once you've tasted it you're gonna want to rock the disco!  It's an amazing satay chicken recipe from a couple of crazy canucks!  Janet and Greta Podleski from their new book The Looneyspoons Collection.  I have their other 3 books (which are now out of print) and they are FANTASTIC.  I got the new one, The Looneyspoons Collection for Christmas.  I've tried several recipes from it already and they've all been excellent.  Kinda wanted to do the whole Julie & Julia thing and cook a recipe a day and blog about it but really where am I gonna find that much time?  If anyone wants to volunteer to pay me to do it I will quit my day job to accommodate you...    Anyway you should buy this book, the recipes are healthy, the ladies give great health tips along side the recipes, the recipes are fun and yummy AND they all have silly names like Satayday Night Fever.  Next on my list to try are the Jerry Springer Rolls.

So check it out for yourself:

4 chicken breasts (they say cut into cubes, but that's too much work, later you're supposed to put them on skewers, I don't have time for that, so I just cut them into strips, chicken finger style.)
2 Tbs. reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbs. honey
1 Tbs. lemon juice
2 tsp. grated ginger root
1 tsp. minced garlic

Marinate chicken strips in above concoction for at least 2 hours or over night.  Over night is best!

Grill for about ten minutes, turning often to cook all sides.  Or you can cook under the broiler, 4" from heat for 8 minutes total, turning often.  I broiled mine and they were delicious!  I would have liked to grill them on the BBQ, however today in Saskatchewan it was -52 Celsius with the wind and so venturing outside was not an option!  Global warming my ass!  While the chicken is grilling or broiling you gotta make the sauce...

Peanut Dipping Sauce:
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 Tbs. light peanut butter (I used the crunchy kind, cuz I love the texture of the extra nuts.)
3 Tbs. grape jelly (I know it sounds weird and you're already thinking it's gonna be gross, but just TRY IT!)
1 Tbs. reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
1 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes  (I put in a bit extra cuz I like it spicy!)

Combine these items in a small saucepan.  Heat over medium heat until mixture is bubbly and has thickened.

Serve hot skewers or "fingers" with dipping sauce.

And sorry, no photos, once we tasted them there was no time to get the camera!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Aces of Bases

Lately, a lot of the recipes I've been making use a cup of two of some kind of broth.  Beef broth, chicken broth, vegetable broth.  And I'm not really one for making my own broth. It's something that I just don't do.

Not that I'm overwhelmed by the taste of store-bought broth. And I'm not lazy in the kitchen, but I draw the line at making my own broth.  So it's to the store I go.  I've been avoiding the canned and packaged carton broths lately.  I just don't think they have enough flavor.  So I've been investigating various alternatives.


Better Than Bouillon

I like this one. It comes in a concentrated paste in a glass jar.  They have a whole line of organic and vegeterian soup bases.  I've found that it makes a flavorful, rich and hearty soup base even if I use slightly less paste/water ratio.  Most of these pastes/cubes/packets could use a little more water than they suggest.

Knorr Homestyle Stock

Comes in a four-pack of little tubs of paste/gel.  Each tub makes around 4 cups of broth.  This one is also good to use as a flavor boost for skillet dishes and the like.  Tasty and hearty.  Much more so than the canned stuff.  Very convenient to store in the pantry as well.

Bouillon Cubes

Has anyone else noticed that bouillon cubes look a lot different than they used to?  And not just the packaging. The cubes themselves are a bit moist.  Not nearly as dry as I remember from my youth.  Even so bouillon cubes have usually been my last resort when it comes to broth.  But I've found a few that have changed my mind.

Rapunzel Vegetable Bouillon 

They makes a Vegan Vegetable Bouillon that is damned good.  I would assume that all vegetable stock is vegan, but what do I know.  100% organic, as that is there gig.  I bought the batch with sea salt and herbs added, but you can buy it without that as well.  Made a nice veggie broth.

Knorr Caldo de Tomate

That's a tomato bouillon with chicken flavoring.  Yeah, the "chicken flavoring" kind of scares me too.  But it makes a really interesting and different broth.  Tomato based, yet you can still tell it's a chicken broth.  This one is non-organic and it has some MSG in it.  But it will do in a pinch.  Especially for Spanish or Mexican food recipes.  I make a chicken tortilla soup that I could see using this as the base. 

So what do you use as a stock/broth/soup base when you don't feel like making it yourself?