Looking for a fast, healthy dinner option on a busy night? This Taipei chicken recipe is just the thing. You have the choice of either using chicken thighs or breast -- thighs offer a more moist piece of chicken because this area is typically covered with skin at the grocery store -- but use whatever is your preference. Same with basil. Thai basil is a bit richer in flavor, but any fresh piece of basil is good basil, in my opinion. Serve this dish over rice or rice noodles and enjoy!
2 pounds boneless chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces (breast, thighs)
12 cloves garlic, peeled
3 Tbs sesame oil
12 small pieces ginger root
4 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces (green tops and white ends)
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 Tbs brown sugar
1/2 cup rice wine
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 cups fresh Thai or regular basil leaves, washed, stemmed, and roughly chopped
- Over high heat, fire up a wok or large pan, and allow pan to fully heat up.
- Once hot, add 2 Tbs of the sesame oil. When oil starts to shimmer, add ginger, garlic, green onion, and pepper flakes, cooking until the smells meld together and cause you to get really, really hungry (about 2 minutes).
- Leave these ingredients in the pan, but move to the side of the pan, then add remaining sesame oil and the chicken. Cook the chicken, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is browned (even a bit crispy). This can take between 5-8 minutes.
- Add brown sugar, rice wine, and soy sauce.
- Stir all ingredients together, bringing to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and allow the sauce to reduce (it may take between 10-15 minutes).
- Once sauce is thickened, turn off heat and stir in basil leaves.
- Want crunch? Add chopped peanuts!
- Serve over hot rice or rice noodles.
What is buttermilk pie? You may have heard it called 'chess pie' by older generations (but a true chess pie recipe uses cornmeal - this one doesn't). It's a custard-y pie, originally from the United Kingdom, and now a staple on many dessert tables in the South. A very basic recipe consisting of a filling made with sugar, butter, eggs, buttermilk and wheat flour, buttermilk pie is smooth, creamy, and just right after a heavy main dish meal. This recipe came from JustAPinch.com, and is one of my favorites.
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
3 Tbs flour
pinch of salt
1 stick butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Mix all ingredients together and pour into a nine-inch, unbaked pie shell.* Sprinkle the top lightly with nutmeg.
- Bake 15 minutes.
- Reduce oven to 350F and bake for 45 minutes.
- Cool on a rack to allow filling to set.
* Not a fan of your homemade pie crust, or are short on time? Here's a link to an interesting review of 10 different store-bought pie crust brands. Take your pick.
These longer days mean summer is not so far away, and that also means fishing season will soon be upon us.
Alaska's king salmon are considered the "best of the best" when it comes to a high oil content, firm flesh, and a beautiful color. That same oil content also makes it perfect for grilling, and that's why I love this miso and sake version. Simple, succulent, and perfect for Valentine's Day (guys, that's today).
1/3 cup white miso (fermented bean paste)
1/3 cup mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
1/3 cup sake
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
3 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs chopped green onion (for garnish)
4 nice chunks of king salmon, about four ounces each
In a nonreactive bowl (glass or plastic), mix the first five ingredients.
Pour mixture into a large zipper bag, and add fish pieces.
Knead the bag gently to coat salmon evenly, and place the bag into the refrigerator for at least three hours (and up to six hours).
Fire up the grill to medium heat. Grill your fish for three to four minutes per side, or until salmon flakes easily with a fork. Do not overcook!
Plate and top with chopped green onions.
Have a case of the Mondays? Here's a delicious recipe sure to cheer up everyone in the house. Ragu Bolognese is a rich, red sauce that originated in, of course, Bologna, Italy. It's a meat-based sauce that packs a punch because it also takes some time to prepare, allowing ingredients like white wine, pancetta (pork belly), half-and-half, and a few vegetables to blend flavors and create a thick, creamy sauce. Serve it over your favorite pasta accompanied by a green salad and crusty bread.
Ragu Bolognese (serves 4)
3 Tbs butter
4 Tbs olive oil
1 clove garlic, sliced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 can tomato paste (8 oz)
1 cup half-and-half
1/4 lb pancetta (or bacon if you must), ground**
1 lb ground veal (find it at Butcher Block 9 in Anchorage)
1 lb ground pork (same place)
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese to top the dish
Heat butter and olive oil in 8-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and celery, and saute' until translucent. Add pork, veal, and pancetta or bacon, and turn heat to high. Heat until meat is browned, stirring only so that the meat is broken up.
Add the half-and-half, tomato paste, and wine. Simmer 1 to 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Season with salt and pepper, then remove from heat.
Serve over your favorite pasta, and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
** How do you grind bacon or pancetta? You ask your butcher, or give it a few pulses in a food processor. Dice the pancetta or bacon, put on a cookie sheet and freeze for about 30 minutes until firm. Place in the food processor and grind.
It's January (almost February) in Alaska, and while the days are definitely longer, it's still a dark, cold time of year. So much so that Alaskans often take this time to fly somewhere tropical, lounging in warm sunshine, sipping drinks with little umbrellas in them, and tasting fresh, fruity flavors.
These little skewers are easy, fast, and taste really good with grilled meats like pork and chicken. Serve them up when you need a little bit of "island time" in your life. ~TFC
Grilled Pineapple Skewers (serves 4)
Ingredients and procedure:
- Fresh pineapple, cut into 3-inch inch planks (or cube pineapple, just make sure it is large enough to withstand a skewer and the grill)
- 1 1/2 cups simple syrup *
- Soak wooden skewers in a bowl of water to keep them from burning, or use metal skewers
- Place pineapple into large, zip-type bag and pour simple syrup all over it, allowing pieces to be covered. Let sit for a few minutes.
- Preheat grill, and be sure to oil or spray the grill rack to prevent sticking
- Place pineapple on skewers, then on grill, for 2-4 minutes (depending on sizes of pineapple), turning to make sure pineapple doesn't overcook, but so that the natural sugars can become caramelized
- Serve immediately while still warm
- Variations include adding a bit of heat with pepper sauce, or some spice with cinnamon. Make it your own.
*Simple syrup is just like it sounds; simple, but a great way to infuse sugar into a recipe, especially drinks or marinades. Pour equal parts water and sugar in a saucepan, and stir slowly over medium heat. Sugar dissolves into water, so one cup of sugar and one cup of water will make about 1 1/2 cups of syrup. Store extra in the refrigerator.
The annual contest between football powerhouses is coming up, and every confident Super Bowl host needs to have a few tricks up his or her sleeve. These whiskey-based drumsticks are just the thing for hungry guests, and I guarantee, they'll lick their fingers. Double or triple the recipe depending upon who shows up at your house.
Serve with ranch sauce, carrot and celery sticks, and your favorite cold beverage.
Goooooo (insert your favorite team, here)
WHISKEY DRUMSTICKS (serves 4) *NOTE: This recipe requires time for marinating. Best started the day before.
8-10 chicken wings and/or drumsticks (this also works for full-size drumsticks - kids love 'em too)
3 Tbs Dijon mustard
1/2 cup whiskey
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp (or to taste - careful there) cayenne pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
Rinse chicken and pat dry, then place in bowl or zipper-type bag.
Place remaining ingredients in a blender and puree until well-mixed.
Pour the puree into the bowl or bag; if using a bowl, cover. If using a bag, seal tightly.
Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight to let that goodness soak into the chicken.
Grill over an indirect heat (important - you don't want these beauties to burn).
Ensure an internal temperature of 165F is reached, or the juices run clear when pierced with a knife.
Serve with plenty of napkins.
Who brings baked beans to a holiday potluck? The Flying Chef does; because everybody always brings the same things, and he hates to do things the way everyone else does! These beans have a rich flavor, thanks to all the favorite ingredients: bacon, brown sugar, and whiskey.
Serve in a big crock or deep baking dish, and with a large serving spoon. You'll be the hit of the party.
Also, fun fact: The Irish/Gaelic cultures spell the word "whiskey," the Scots (aye!) spell it "whisky." Both are correct, depending upon family heritage and how many glasses you may have consumed. Cheers!
WHISKEY AND MOLASSES BAKED BEANS
The Flying Chef®
4 strips bacon
1 large onion chopped
1 green pepper chopped
2 cans Rotel brand diced tomatoes with chilies
½ cup molasses
1 small can tomato paste
½ cup whiskey
¼ brown sugar
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
1 can black beans
1 can white kidney beans
1 can red kidney beans
Cook bacon until crisp in a large skillet. Set aside, cool and crumble. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat.
Add onion and green pepper to skillet and sauté for about 8 minutes until soft and translucent.
Stir in the tomatoes, paste, molasses, brown sugar, mustard, salt, pepper, and whiskey. Bring to a boil. Stir occasionally and then simmer for about 3 minutes.
Add beans and crumbled bacon, mix.
Pour into a shallow baking dish and cook at 350 degrees in the oven for 45 minutes.
Serves four. You may want to double for larger groups of hungry holiday guests.