Siracha Lime Chicken For Some Salad Daze…

A sure sign of spring for us is when the farmer’s market opens up outside.  Despite the overcast skies and two women “entertaining” us with folk songs there was an energy in the air and a happiness to see everyone again.  The market had loads of local meats that I snapped up for future dinners.  Fresh chicken isn’t in season yet, we’ll have to wait a few more weeks but I’ll be stocking up as I need the bone for chicken stock.

Our dogs were super excited to head over there.  They remember the smells, the water bowls, and if they are lucky the dog treats.  They are more than happy for me to take my time figuring out what to buy.  There is one booth that loves dogs.  The woman loves to take pictures to post on her Facebook page.  I think there are more pictures of dogs than her chutney!

I came across a recipe for chicken skewers that used honey, siracha, and lime.  I thought this would be perfect for a salad.  This is my take on that recipe.  The prepping and the cooking is less than half an hour.  How long you marinate for is up to you.

For the marinade I added 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, 3 tablespoons of low sodium soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of honey, a couple of tablespoons of lime juice, 2 tablespoons of siracha sauce, salt and pepper to taste, fresh chopped cilantro, and some red pepper flakes.  The recipe called for garlic and I spaced on that.  Next time I’ll add some.  Mix it well then add the chicken breasts to marinate.

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When you are ready to put everything together fire up the grill and grill the chicken.  I threw together a quick salad of greens, bok choi, tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers.

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When the chicken is done slice it and top the salad with it and a bit of shredded cheese.  I did up a quick dressing of olive oil, lime juice, cilantro leaves, siracha, salt and pepper.

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The bit I would change is to add more siracha and red pepper flakes.  The marinade itself had heat and I didn’t want to scorch the kids but once cooked it wasn’t as spicy.  So I would dial it up so we’d get more of that on the chicken.

Time to Banish the Cold with Spicy Thai Curry

We’ve been experiencing what would be in normal times unbelievable frigid temps.  But it is positively balmy compared to the Midwest.  It’s mind blowing the temps they are experiencing.  Walking our dogs in all our winter gear trying to stay warm and watching the dogs get what we call flat tyres with their paws lifted off the ground left me wondering what we would do if that type of cold made it to us. You can’t not walk the dogs.  I’m thinking we should be looking into getting coats for them but what are the chances?  I would have thought zero until this past week and the polar vortex.

I was actually wondering last night what we had for old winter coats that could be used in case the cold hits us.  I think the dogs would fight us on that one!  I can just imagine trying to zip them up.

Because it’s cold and I still have that cold going round I thought I would make a spicy dish for my husband.  A knock your socks off, make Texas stand up and take notice, evict the cold dish.  That was the plan.  I thought it was spicy while my husband thought it had a lovely mild heat.  I put a habanero and two serranos in the dish!

Before I begin the recipe please excuse the photos.  Something is going on with my camera and I have to figure it out.  Suddenly in the kitchen the camera has slowed down on the shutter speed.  When I do it manually the pictures come out dark as can be.  Plus it keeps thinking there is a memory card error or it thinks the card is full.  It works fine in natural light as I tested it this morning.  The lights in the kitchen overhead are now all fluorescent instead of a mix, could that be an issue?  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Back to the food!

In a skillet brown some chicken and when they are nearly cooked add sweet pepper and garlic.  To that add about a cup of plain tomato sauce and grated ginger (about an inch square though you can add more).

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Simmer for a couple of minutes then add about 7 or 8 oz of coconut milk, a bit of lime juice, cilantro, and a couple of spoonfuls of red thai curry paste.

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While this is simmering I diced up a habanero pepper and two serranos.  I use gloves to do this as the pepper oil sticks on me for days and it burns.  Add the peppers to the dish a long with a good handful of chopped scallions.

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I let the mixture reduce a bit to concentrate the flavours.  I did add more of the curry paste to kick it up a bit.  Serve over rice of your choice.

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This would have knocked the kids back.  I felt the heat.  And my husband enjoyed it.  🙂  The beauty of this dish is you can make it as hot as you would like.  I wonder how many peppers I would have to add for my husband to go Whoa!

 

Make Your Taste Buds Stand Up – A Spicy Stir Fry

This morning is much quieter compared to the last 24 hours or so.  A long line of thunderstorms rolled through.  It was like Mother Nature was using a cricket bat to squash an ant and she kept missing and kept trying.  The house shook quite a bit.  Guinness, who normally could care less about storms, looked like he wanted to hide.  He was out of sorts!

A few of my friends faced flooded back gardens and they were keeping an eye out on the reservoir dam above the town.  Fortunately that didn’t overflow as it’s up on a hill and there are a lot of homes below it.  They wouldn’t be destroyed so much as badly damaged and with winter coming it’s something that definitely wants to be avoided.  But despite the crazy storm the town was fine and we’ll dry off at some point.  More rain today.

At the beginning of all on Wednesday I decided to do a spicy stir fry.  That day was extremely hot and humid so all the A/Cs were going and I didn’t want to do a heavy dinner.  As it was just my husband and I a stir fry seemed like a good choice.

A very easy and quick meal to make.  I chose to do a vegetarian dish with hot peppers.

As everything gets cooked at the same time I prepped the rice noodles first.  One way to make them is soak them in hot water for about 8-10 minutes.

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I then chopped up all the veg I wanted to use.  I love stir fries with all the colours.  The fresh ginger really makes the flavours pop as well.

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In our wok I heated up some peanut oil and once hot I tossed in all the veg and stirred it.

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I added two heaping spoonfuls of chili garlic paste, this will wake you up!  A bit of lime juice, soy sauce, and cilantro completes the dish.

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Once it is nearly finished I toss in the noodles to coat and then serve.

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Garnish with peanuts and hot peppers over and above the hot peppers used in the dish.  Had a great kick to it!

 

Fire Roasted Salsa

As I was up to my elbows in food prep yesterday I got a little notice from WordPress saying Happy Anniversary!  A whole year has passed in a blink.  A year ago I took a deep breath, threw caution to the wind, and became an official blogger. I had no idea what to expect but I remember doing my first post and then wondering if anyone would read it.  To my surprise I quickly got a comment, and then another, and I got to discover some amazing bloggers out there and find out what a wonderful community it is.  So a big thank you to all who take the time out of your busy schedule to read and comment on my posts.  It means a lot.  🙂

We had another round of harvesting a ton of tomatoes so it was the salsa’s turn to be made.  We first made my husband’s salsa which is a raw salsa and great for a quick dish before heading to a party.  To make his we processed tomatoes, sweet peppers, hot peppers, onion and peaches.  It is seasoned with salt, pepper, lime juice, and cilantro.  For his we used the grinder on the Kitchen Aid then we drained the salsa a bit to thicken it.  It is always a hit whenever we bring it to BBQs.  Something about fresh out of the garden veg to make this so tasty.

That only took a portion of the harvested tomatoes so I wanted to try a new salsa with similiar veg but a different technique.  Richard from REMCooks posted this salsa and I thought I would take his technique and apply it to the ingredients I wanted to use.  It is not a hard salsa to make but given the volume of veg I had it took me all afternoon as I had to stage various ingredients and process them in stages but I got there in the end!

I started with the tomatoes first and instead of roasting them on the grill I had to do it in the oven as the cookie sheet was much bigger than my grill pan and even then I had to do two batches.  I heated the oven to 350F/ 177C.  On the large cookie sheet I did one layer of tomatoes and drizzled them with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper.

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I roasted the tomatoes until they looked like this:

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I like Richard’s tip about roasting the garlic in the skins on the grill so I gave that a shot.  Per his advice I started those first then about halfway through I added the onion.  For this I used one very large red onion.

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Remove and set aside.  While the onions and garlic were cooking I gathered the peppers from the garden and the peaches from the co-op.  Found some nice white peaches.  The peppers I used were cayenne from the co-op and hot wax, jalapeno, poblano, and sweet peppers from the garden.  I sliced the hot peppers lengthwise and cleaned them to prep them for the grill.

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While I was roasting them on the grill I got out a large bowl and chopped the onion and put that in the bowl.  I also chopped up the sweet peppers and put them in the bowl.  I left them uncooked for a bit of texture.  I then put together the food processor and put in the first batch of tomatoes, half the garlic (skins removed), a handful of cilantro and set aside for the peaches and hot peppers.

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When I went out to check on the peppers I discovered I ran out of gas.  My first thought this was now going to be a two day process but my daughter reminded me the cast iron griddle has a grill side to it.  Thank goodness!  I got that heated up and brought the peppers in to finish.

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Once they were done I took the smaller hot peppers and added them to the food processor and then chopped the rest of the larger hot peppers and added those to the bowl.  The trick is to have a bit of heat but make it so most people can eat it.  I wanted the hotter peppers to be evenly distributed through the salsa.

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The last ingredient to grill was the peach.  I love grilled peaches and will have to make some as a dessert as my daughter requested some soon.  They impart a lovely flavour.

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Add half to the to the food processor and process until it’s a bit chunky.  Repeat with the second half of the ingredients and add all to the bowl.  Then add lime juice to taste.  If it needs a bit more salt add that as well and then stir it all together.

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We like to have our salsa with lime flavoured tortilla chips.  We also had some last night with tacos.  It was pretty yummy!

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My 9 year old son’s take on this was that there was a punch of heat but it didn’t take away from all the flavours.  🙂

Tomato Ginger Chicken

Last week I came across this wonderful looking recipe from Karista’s Kitchen.  It was for Slow Cooked Red Ginger Chicken and I knew I wanted to do something like this.  But I didn’t have a lot of time and it was cold and I was tired but I wanted the flavour.  So I took inspiration from her recipe and came up with this.  I do plan at some point to follow hers when I have a chance.

This recipe is served on a baked potato so you’ll need to get that cooked while this is being prepared.

I took a chicken breast and cubed it then sauteed it in olive oil, salt, and pepper.

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While that was cooking I finely chopped several cloves of garlic and peeled a chunk of fresh ginger.  The ginger was about 1 1/2 inches by 1 inch by 1 inch or so.

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I tossed in the garlic and added 1 cup of my homemade tomato sauce.  As that started to simmer I used a zester to finely mince up the ginger and added it to the mixture.

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I added maybe a 1/4 cup plus of soy sauce.  I prefer to use the low sodium kind.  We are growing cilantro (coriander leaves) so I had some fresh leaves to chop up and add to the dish.

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I added a splash of lime juice to taste and let it simmer until the chicken was fully cooked.  Slice the baked potato open and top with the chicken and sauce.

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I loved the brightness of the ginger in this dish.  It was a great comfort food meal without being heavy.  Overall a pretty healthy meal.

 

Coconut Curry Soup

Once in awhile as a treat for my husband I tell him I would like to make a special meal of his choice for him.  Whatever he wants.  This time he picked out a Thai soup.  I found this on pinterest here Coconut Curry Noodles. The base of it looked good but as I saw in the comments it was a bit bland for some so I decided to make it my own to make sure it had some zip to it.  It isn’t hard to make and you have control with the level of heat.

For the rice noodles, I just follow the directions on the box.  Boil for 4-6 minutes then drain.

To start I chopped up some carrot and scallion from our garden and chopped up a few cloves of garlic.

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I saute these for a few minutes in olive oil then I add a few tablespoons of Thai red curry paste.

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Next I add a bunch of peppers.  I got to use our frozen peppers from the garden for the first time and I have to say I was pleased with the result.  I don’t like mushy veg and I didn’t get that with this soup.

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Next I add about 1 1/2 cup of veg broth and bring to a simmer.

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Then I add a can of coconut milk.  I have to say, as this was the first time I used this, it was weird!  It separates in the can so the solids are at the top.  So much so I could turn the open can upside down.  I wasn’t expecting that.  I mix in the coconut milk and a handful of chopped cilantro.

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It was at this point I had to get creative as it was bland.  I added a bit of salt, more curry paste as we like the heat, and a bit of soy sauce.  It still needed more.  So I added a few splashes of lime juice then grated a good amount of fresh ginger.

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I have to say the ginger was the right way to go.  It really added a great dimension to the flavours.  I chopped up a bunch of peanuts and threw half into the soup while cooking.  To serve put the rice noodles into the bowl.

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Then pour the soup over the noodles.  Top with peanuts.

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I will definitely be making this again.  I loved how it turned out.  A few days later we had a little for leftovers so I sauteed up some chicken and then reheated the soup to have together.  That worked really well and this would be perfect with prawns.

Quesadillas

Sometimes we don’t feel like cooking.  Gasp!  I know, hard to imagine.  Sometimes we just want the food fairy to show up for us.  She doesn’t but it’s good there are a few meals that are super easy and delicious to make.  Quesadillas are one of them.

I dice up some onions, peppers, and mushrooms and saute in some olive oil.

I add a bit of lime juice, chilli pepper, cumin, and adobe seasoning.  I then toss in some frozen corn.  I cook it until corn is cooked.

I take a tortilla and top with the veg mixture.  I liberally apply cheese (world would not be a good place without cheese!) and add another tortilla on top.  I place in the toaster oven and toast until the cheese is melted.

I use a pizza cutter to slice and then it is ready to serve.  Add sour cream and salsa and you have a filling, quick meal that is really tasty.  This only took about 20 minutes to make.

Ceviche with Avocado Salsa

My daughter and I love seafood while my husband and son don’t.  So if we do seafood it is usually on the grill.  But my daughter wanted to try ceviche and I found this ceviche and thought I could try it out.  Because hers looked a bit too spicy for a kid’s palette I changed it a bit for our family.

I bought flounder as it was wild caught and fresh.  Turns out tilapia is only farm raised.  I avoid that as I don’t like all the antibiotics they use.

I chop them up into small cubes and put in a bowl.  Then cover with lime juice.  Do this for at least 45 minutes.  Next time I make this I will probably do a blend of citrus juices as pure lime juice is overpowering for me.

Chop up some onion, garlic, and tomato.  Mix in cilantro and a bit of lime juice.  Instead of hot peppers I added chili pepper and adobe seasoning.  Stir well and set aside for a bit so the flavours mix.

Then chop up an avocado and add.  If you aren’t going to serve for awhile add the pit to the salsa to keep the avocado from browning.

For my husband and son I served the salsa before I added the fish.  Add the fish and serve.  A nice accompaniment to this would be lime flavoured tortilla chips.

This is easy to make and the prep time is minimal.  The length of time is primarily waiting for the fish.