I love Costco (maybe not as much as my mom). My mom loved Costco so much that when they changed from accepting Discover to American Express, she also changed from Discover to American Express. She said she wanted to make sure she was able to pay for all of her Costco purchases. Many of our Costco purchases were well over $500. My mom likes to carry cash but even she sometimes did not have enough cash to cover the purchase.
Why was our bill so high? My mom purchased almost everything (except for the Asian food) for a family of five Costco. She purchased toothbrushes, toilet paper, mayonnaise, peanut butter, Eucerin lotion, frozen Foster Farms chicken corn dogs…the list goes on and on. I, of course do not spend as much as Costco but it is still a very dangerous place. I walk in with the intention of buying tortillas and end up with a set of down pillows.
On one of my trips to Costco I decided to buy the Ojai Cook Carne Asada Marinade. I’ve been eyeing this marinade for a while because they had it on demo and it was delicious.
2 pounds chicken tenders (also purchased at Costco) 2 cups of Ojai carne asada marinade 1 onion, sliced oil 2 stalks green onions sliced tortillas
1. Rinse chicken tenders and pat dry. Marinate the chicken in marinade for a few hours or over night. 2. In a sauté pan or large skillet, heat a little oil and sauté onions until soft. Add the chicken tenders and sauce and cook through. 3. Shred the chicken. (I shredded it in the pan). Top with green onions and serve with tortillas. This makes great a great filling for tacos, burritos and enchiladas. I served with tortillas, Mexican rice and beans.
This recipe is part of Barbara Kingsolver’s book “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life.” I remember reading Barbara Kingsolver’s books in AP English. She was Mrs. Philips’ favorite author. This book chronicles the year that Kingsolver and her family decided to move away from Tucson, to a small farm, and ate only the food they grew. The book is pretty long and it is all about food! Barbara Kingsolver describes her book as, “part memoir, part journalistic investigation.”
Barbara Kingsolver’s daughter developed (or at least wrote down) the recipes in the book. I decided to make a dish called “Chicken Recuerdos de Tucson.” I’m not sure what it means but if I had to guess it probably means something along the lines of Memories of Tucson Chicken. The dish does have many southwest influences. The family was probably trying to recreate the dishes they were used to eating in Tucson while they lived on the small farm in Virginia's Applachian mountains.
The dish is very delicious even though I did not make it with the food I raised or grew on my own. The only ingredient from my garden was the basil. This recipe makes a large pot (about 4 quarts). I wanted to try this recipe for a while now but have always put it on hold because the bf has an aversion to zucchini and squash.
So when I was trying to decide on a dish to make for some friends who just had a baby. I decided this was a great dish to make. I kept a small container for myself and packed the rest of for my friends. Below is a link to the recipe (and the other recipes in the book) but of course I diverted from it a bit.
I'm just outlining the steps in the recipe (the way I did it). You'll have to go to Barbara Kingsolver's website (or book) for the actual recipe. I didn't completely follow the recipe but I think the recipe is pretty forgiving and you can use what is in season or what you have on hand.
1. Brown chicken in batches. (I used 3.5 pounds of chicken thighs because I feel they do better than breasts in a dish like this one. The recipe said to use a whole chicken, thighs, or drumsticks.) Remove chicken and set aside. I didn't add olive oil because there was enough fat left in the pot. Add the onions and garlic and saute. (Okay I forgot to take a picture.) 2. Add the tomatoes, spices and the broth (or water). Return the chicken to the pot and bring to a low simmer. Cover with a lid and let simmer about 20 minutes or so until chicken is almost cooked through.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients, cover and simmer until chicken and veggies are cooked. I seasoned with salt and pepper even though the recipe didn't list salt or pepper. I also skimmed a lot of the fat out because I used skin-on chicken thighs.
Ingredient Note: The recipe lists green chiles. I used one roasted and diced poblano. The recipe also list one red or green bell peppers. I think I the next time I make this I will omit the bell peppers and used more roasted green chiles or poblanos instead.
We like to make large quantities of burritos and freeze them for quick meals. The frozen burritos have become quite a hit with many of the new mommies I know. The next time you’re trying to figure out what you can make for new parents, you should think about making burritos for their freezer. The burritos take just a few minutes in the microwave and are easy to eat with one hand.
I usually make breakfast burritos but a coworker took my frozen breakfast burrito idea and decided to make a healthier version. (What!?! Pork butt, bacon, sausage, eggs, and potatoes are not healthy?)
The flavors come together really well. One Monday morning, she handed me a burrito. I heated it up and took a bite. I immediately wanted the recipe. So here it is with a few minor adjustments.
Lindsay’s Healthy Mango Habanero Chicken Burritos
1 pound ground chicken breast Olive oil 3 tablespoons Archer Farms Mango Habanero Sauce (maybe a little more) 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into ½ inch cubes 1 heirloom tomato, diced (on the greener side) 3-4 poblanos, roasted, peeled and diced 1 onion (red or sweet) 3 cloves garlic 1 mango, peeled and cubed (discard pit) 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed squeeze of lime juice (optional) plain Greek yogurt (optional) dozen wrap-size tortillas shredded cheese (cheddar or jack)
1. Roast the poblanos on an open flame (on your burner if you have gas or on a grill) or under the boiler. (I won’t get into the details about roasting peppers, sticking them in a plastic bag (or in a covered bowl), peeling and dicing. 2. In a large sauté pan, brown chicken in olive oil. Add garlic and about 3 heaping tablespoons of mango habanero sauce. Add diced sweet potatoes and tomatoes. Cover and cook until sweet potatoes are tender. (You may need to add a little water to help cook the sweet potatoes.) Add the onions, cubed mango, black beans, and poblanos. Cook a few minutes longer. Add a little more mango habanero sauce and plain Greek yogurt to thicken (if necessary). Add lime juice if you want a tangier burrito. 3. Let mixture cool a bit then wrap in tortillas with a little shredded cheese in each burrito.
To store: 1. Wrap the burritos in microwave safe wax paper (or parchment paper) and then in aluminum foil. 2. Place wrapped burritos in a plastic bag and freeze.
To reheat: Remove aluminum foil and recycle. Microwave burrito for about 2 to 3 minutes.
Here are the ingredients. I realized I left out the sweet potatoes and the Mango Habanero Sauce.
This is the sauce I used. You can find it at Target, in the "Hispanic Foods" sections.
The bf requested potato salad as a side dish for his turkey burgers. The night before he said, “I like onions and celery. I don’t like yellow okay? Make it white.” I looked at him and said, “what the hell are you talking about?” You see he randomly spurted all that out of nowhere. He believes I can read his mind. He had conversations in his mind and then spurts out a random thought and it leaves me going WTH?
The bf wanted regular old potato salad. He didn’t want mustard potato salad. So I made a non-yellow potato salad.
7 medium potatoes 5 large eggs, hard-boiled and chopped 1 large yellow sweet onion, finely chopped 3 ribs celery, finely chopped 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard 1 cup Best Foods mayo salt pepper flat leaf Italian parsley, chopped (use a handful) 8 petite kosher dill pickles, finely diced ¼ cup sweet relish 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1. Place whole potatoes with skins in a large stockpot. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Boil until potatoes are fork tender (about 20 minutes or so but don’t go by my timing since water boils at a lower temperature here at 5,280 above see level.) 2. Place eggs in pot, cover with water, cover with lid, bring to a boil and then turn off heat. Leave the eggs covered. 3. Once the potatoes are cooked, let them cool enough to handle. (This is when I leave to go shopping.) Peel and dice potatoes. 4. Mix the rest of the ingredients together and chill.
I believe this is a northern Thai or Laotian dish. I found a recipe on Joy’s Thai Food website but I didn’t follow her recipe. I don’t recall having this soup with lemongrass so I put something together using my memory.
This soup uses a different variety of basil called bai mang luk. I believe there are three main varieties of basil used in Thai cooking: Thai basil (bai horapa), holy basil (bai krapow), and lemon basil (bai mang luk). I believe bai mang luk is similar if not the same as lemon basil. (I’m not the expert on Thai herbs.) I have a lemon basil plant on my balcony right now. I am convinced that the fragrance is very similar to the bai mang luk plants that my grandma grows in her garden. I really should get some of her herb seeds. She has a wonderful variety of cilantro that is a thousand times better than the variety sold in most grocery stores. The seeds origins are from southern China. I think she brought it with her from China.
Spicy Sour Bamboo Soup 1 boneless chicken breast, sliced or 1 pound chicken drumsticks or thighs 1 slice dried galangal root 2-5 thai chilies 1 jar sour bamboo (I think I used a 24 ounce jar) salt pepper MSG handful of lemon basil leaves 2 green onions, roughly chopped
Method: In a medium stock pot, bring about four cups of water to a boil. Add chicken, galangal root and thai chilies. (I like to roast the chilies over an open flame first but it is not necessary.) Simmer until chicken is cooked. Add the rest of the ingredients and return to a boil. Serve with jasmine rice.
Maybe it is a glitch in their system but if you click the link below you will find the 5.5 quart Le Creuset round dutch oven in red for $119.99 from Williams-Sonoma. At first I thought that perhaps Le Creuset was discontinuing this shade of red so I went to Williams-Sonoma to look. The pot is still on display at the regular price. If you navigate to the page from the Williams-Sonoma home page, the dutch oven is shown at the regular $220.00 price.
This is a pretty awesome deal. Yes you can probably find it at the same price or even cheaper at the outlet or a discount store such as TJ Maxx but you are buying factory seconds. I'm not sure if Le Creuset has the same 99-year warranty on factory seconds. http://www.williams-sonoma.com/pr...ectURL=Yes
I wasn't sure if Williams-Sonoma would actually honor the purchase. I went all the way through and placed my order but I didn't get an immediate email confirmation. I checked my account and I was charged for the purchase. Today I received the confirmation email with a status that the item was available for immediate shipping.
I cannot take credit for this recipe. One of my dear friends makes this gazpacho every summer. I love it but I never make it because this makes a HUGE batch and I am the only one that will eat gazpacho. The bf doesn’t like gazpacho. Whenever I crave it I will stop by Whole Foods and buy a little container of their gazpacho.
This last weekend we got together to cook a few things for our dear friend that just had a baby last week. We made Whole Foods tuna cranberry salad, Whole Foods egg salad, Israeli couscous soup, fresh baked bread, breakfast burritos (for their freezer), and gazpacho.
2 hothouse cucumbers 1 each red, yellow, and green bell peppers, cored and seeded 12 plum tomatoes 1 red onion 1 bunch green onions 1 bunch flat leaf parsley 6 garlic cloves 64 ounce bottle of tomato juice ½ cup white wine vinegar ½ cup good olive oil kosher or sea salt, to taste freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For Garnish: Avocado slices (not pictured above because I forgot to slice up the avocado)
Roughly chop vegetables so that they fit easily in food processor chute. Process each vegetable separately into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until all vegetables are coarsely chopped. (I prefer a my gazpacho with a little more texture. You can blend everything for a more liquid gazpacho.)
After each vegetable is processed, transfer them into a very large bowl and add the tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well and chill before serving. You want to let it sit for a little while for the flavors to meld.
I find that the gazpacho will last a few days in the fridge. Some people will eat it even after week. I rarely eat leftovers but this is one dish that I will eat even after sitting in the fridge for three days.
Wow it has been a rough few weeks. After returning from vacation, I spent the next week packing and then the next two weeks moving. We've been in the place for over two weeks but we are not entirely unpacked. It is a slow and ongoing process. I wanted to blog but I wasn't cooking much of anything. When I did cook, I cooked the same dishes I've blogged about before. When I cooked something new, I couldn't locate my camera. When I found my camera and was able to take pictures, I couldn't locate the camera cable to transfer pictures. (I have a Sony camera so it used to be really nice when I could simply remove the memory stick and insert it into my Sony Vaio. Sony was very proprietary until they developed another version called the memory stick duo. I was able to insert the card (with the adapter) in my Toshiba PC. Now that I have the Mac I have to use the USB cable to transfer my pictures.) So after searching high and low, I found both camera and camera cable. Now the post.
Many of the Thai restaurants in Denver have a dish on their menu called Moon Harbor. I’m not sure if it is a Thai dish because many of these restaurants are not strictly Thai. They serve Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, and almost every other Asian cuisine. For example we love a restaurant called Blue Moon. The bf always orders the chicken drunken noodles and I sometimes order the sushi. Moon harbor is almost always on the menu at these “Thai” restaurants.
Moon harbor is very similar to chicken pad krapow. I’m sure every chef makes pad krapow a little differently. I’ve only had Thai food at Thai restaurants in America so I’m not sure which version is authentic. I’m not even sure if I have even had an authentic version of pad krapow. I think this moon harbor dish is Denver’s version of pad krapow. I’m not sure if it should be called pad krapow since I’m not sure if the restaurants use holy basil. It is not pad krapow if krapow leaves are not used. I think some restaurants substitute holy basil leaves with thai basil. In that case the dish should be called pad horapa.
Holy basil is very difficult to find in even the most well-stocked Asian grocery store in a large metropolitan with a large Asian population. It is virtually impossible to find in Denver. Maybe I will attempt to grow some next year. For this dish I used Thai basil from my miniature garden and some Vietnamese balm leaves. Vietnamese balm has a nice fragrance that is a cross between mint and basil. This dish tastes great with regular sweet basil or even mint.
1 pound chicken breast or tenders, coarsely chopped 3 cloves garlic, minced MSG 2 tablespoons canola oil 1 red bell pepper, diced (the restaurants use a variety of color but I prefer red bell peppers) 1 onion, diced 1 tablespoon Maggi sauce 1 tablespoon fish sauce 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce (I like the Pearl River brand) 1 tablespoon sugar 1 large handful of Thai basil, holy basil, sweet basil, Vietnamese balm, or mint
1. Coarsely chop chicken breast or tenders and mix with minced garlic and MSG. Let sit about 30 minutes in refrigerator. 2. Heat a wok or stir-fry pan and add canola oil. When oil is hot, add the chicken mixture to the pan. Stir-fry until chicken is cooked. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook about five more minutes or bell pepppers and onions are slightly tender. 3. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.
It is a very quick and easy dish to make. I think I had dinner on the table in a matter of minutes. I don't know how to classify this dish because I don't think it is Thai and I can't say it is Vietnamese just because I used Vietnames balm. I should have a generic "Asian" category.