June – Teriyaki Chicken with Coconut Rice

June – Teriyaki Chicken with Coconut Rice

Teriyaki sauce has four main components: soy sauce, sake (or mirin, if you’re taking it easy on the booze), sugar and ginger. It’s your your basic Asian seasoning/marinade. However, commercial teriyaki sauce often has all kinds of added nasty ingredients, including MSG, as well as the basics. Here’s the good news, it’s easy to make your own. You get to control what goes into it.

Sugar is one of the essential ingredients, but what if you are avoiding cane sugar? I suggest replacing it with dates. It produces a thick sauce which is also delicious as a condiment on any Asian inspired rice bowl. Another version of teriyaki sauce uses maple syrup plus coconut sugar instead of case sugar. It’s a thinner sauce, good for dipping or marinating as well as drizzling. Both are delicious.

I first published the date sugar teriyaki sauce in April of 2015 in Teriyaki Salmon with Spring Vegetables. I had completely forgotten about this sauce until a kind reader commented on it. It’s time to revisit it.

Salmon Steaks in Teriyaki Sauce

Salmon Steaks in Teriyaki Sauce

Medjool Dates

Medjool Dates

Teriyaki Sauce with Medjool dates

Ingredients:

  • 15 Medjool dates, pitted and soaked in 1/2 cup of very warm water for 30 minutes
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce, regular or low sodium
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced or grated
  • Optional – pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Optional – 1/4 cup sesame oil

Method:

  1. Soak the pitted dates in the hot water
  2. Dump the dates and rest of the ingredients (including the soaking water) into your blender and blend until very smooth.
  3. Pour into a container until ready to use.

This will keep in the fridge for at least a week, we found it got “hotter” and spicier the longer it sat.

It can also be used as a marinade and sauce for teriyaki chicken.

Teriyaki Chicken

Teriyaki Chicken

It’s what I call a non-recipe for teriyaki chicken:

  1. Marinate chicken with the teriyaki sauce for 30 minutes to an hour.
  2. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Bake the chicken for 30 to 45 minutes, until done to your liking.
  4. Serve extra sauce as a garnish

For the coconut rice, I just replace half the water in your regular recipe for cooking rice with coconut milk. Place a couple of slices of ginger on top and cook as usual.

The second option using maple syrup as a sweetener was first published in February of 2015. I must have been on a teriyaki kick that year. It was just titled Teriyaki Sauce, you will find the post here.

Teriyaki sauce with Maple Syrup

Teriyaki sauce with Maple Syrup

Here it is served on the Best Ever Crisp Chicken Wings, another post from 2015 (and also one I had forgotten about). For crispness without frying these use baking powder and a two temperature bake.

Chicken wings with Teriyaki Sauce

Teriyaki Sauce with Maple Syrup and Coconut Sugar

  • 3 cups of sake
  • 1 cup of mirin (try to get one that has only water, rice, koji, and salt as ingredients)
  • 1 cup of organic soy sauce or shoju
  • 2 cups of coconut sugar or succcanat
  • ½ cup of pure grade B maple sugar or honey
  • 10 slices of ginger
  • 2-4 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly (our family likes garlic)
  • 1 tablespoon of arrowroot, dissolved in a bit of water
  1. In a large saucepan, bring all the ingredients (except the arrowroot) to a simmer.
  2. Simmer for 1 hour until slightly thickened.
  3. Stir in the dissolved arrowroot and cook until it thickens.
  4. Strain and let cool until ready to serve.

 

This will keep several weeks in the fridge.

 

 

 

 

June – Cauliflower Cutlets with Arugula Salad

June – Cauliflower Cutlets with Arugula Salad

The inspiration for this cauliflower cutlet (or pancake or fritter) recipe came from G. Daniela Galarza at The Washington Post. As written it is vegetarian, gluten, and dairy free. I’ve modified it slightly, adding more seasoning and using fresh riced cauliflower rather than frozen. I will include instructions for both using both fresh and frozen cauliflower. I like the addition of some soft goat cheese but that is entirely optional, the original recipe did not call for it.

The ingredients are mostly pantry staples; rice or chickpea flour and frozen riced cauliflower. I’ve made them with both brown rice flour and chickpea flour. Chickpea flour produces a tender, meatier fritter; brown rice flour fries up crispier. These cutlets or patties or fritters make a perfect lunch dish out on the patio now the weather has warmed. Or make them for a light supper. Or as a side for a BBQ. Or simply put a poached egg on top and call them savory pancakes.

Leftovers are good the next day in a sandwich with some sharp mustard, lettuce and slices of summer tomato.

Cauliflower Cutlets with Arugula Salad

Cauliflower Cutlets with Arugula Salad

Ingredients for about 10 cutlets:

  • 1 (10 oz) package of frozen cauliflower rice or measure 10 oz of fresh cauliflower (about 1/3 of a large head), chop into chunks and pulse in your food processor until you have finely chopped bits or 10 oz of already riced cauliflower from the store.
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, grated
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely minced or grated
  • 3/4 cup (about 3-3/4 oz) of rice flour or (2-1/2 oz) of chickpea flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • optional: 1/2 cup of fresh goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 avocado or grape-seed or canola oil plus more if needed

Salad

  • I small cucumber, sliced or chopped
  • 1/2 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 radishes, sliced into coins
  • 1/2 can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 – 3 handfuls of arugula or mixed greens
  • 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons of wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup of flavorful olive oil
  • kosher salt to taste
  • optional: chopped fresh parsley, crumbled fresh goat cheese

Method:

  1. Make the cauliflower cutlets: If using frozen – microwave the cauliflower on high for 3 minutes until partially steamed. If using fresh from a head – chop about 10 oz into chunks (about 1/3 of a large head) and process in your food processor until the texture of rice, steam in the microwave about 3 to 4 minutes on high. If using fresh already riced – Steam in the microwave for 3 – 4 minutes. In all cases, cool before using.
  2. Line a tray with a cooling rack or paper towels, set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until frothy. Whisk in the grated onion, garlic, rice or chickpea flour, salt, spices and goat cheese if using. Stir in the riced cauliflower.
  4. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat with 1/4 cup of oil. Add a large spoonful of the batter, spreading into an oval.
  5. Flatten into an even thickness and cook until the bottom is golden brown and small bubbles appear on the top. Gently flip and fry until the other side is golden brown.
  6. Remove to the tray to cool slightly.
  7. Repeat as needed until they all are cooked, adding more oil if needed.
  8. In a large salad bowl combine the dressing ingredients. Add the tomatoes, cucumber, garbanzo beans and radishes tossing to coat them with the dressing. Add the arugula and toss again.
  9. Serve the fritters warm, with the salad and optional goat cheese on top.
Cauliflower Cutlets with Arugula Salad

Cauliflower Cutlets

Cauliflower Cutlets with Arugula Salad

Cauliflower Cutlets with Arugula Salad

I am taking this dish to Fiesta Friday #383, hosted by Angie and cohosted this week by myself. Please come on by to read blogging posts about cooking, gardening and crafts.

May – Green Eggs

May – Green Eggs

A jar of pesto in my fridge is a given, as ubiquitous at mayo. In addition to its obvious use as a sauce for pasta, try it on grilled cheese sandwiches or a baked potato or grilled vegetables or sliced summer tomatoes.

It’s not quite basil season here yet but I can recommend the basil pesto from Costco as an out of season substitute. It is actually quite good although missing some of the wonderful aroma you get when you make your own. But, it’s very handy to have a jar in the freezer or fridge and it keeps very well.

Pesto

Basil Pesto from Costco

This is such a simple recipe that I will tell it to you in pictures…

Melt a couple of generous spoons of pesto in a non stick skillet.

Melting Basil Pesto

Melting Basil Pesto

Crack in your desired number of eggs.

Green Eggs

Green Eggs

Sprinkle with some flaky salt

Green Eggs

Green Eggs

Cover, I like one I can see through

Green Eggs

Cook to your preferred state of doneness.

Serve on toasted bread or an English muffin, drizzling some of the pesto over the egg

Green Eggs

Green Eggs

Green Eggs

Green Eggs

Yum.

You could also add a slice of ham as well, then you would have green eggs and ham. Enjoy!

Have a wonderful Memorial weekend everyone.

 

May – Sweet and Salty Cream Cheese Tart

May – Sweet and Salty Cream Cheese Tart

If you have been reading my blog for any length of time you will notice something, there are not many recipes for desserts. In fact I could probably count the number on less than one hand.

Looking backward in time…

In June of 2015 there was Lavender Nut Cake.

Lavender Nut Cake

Lavender Nut Cake

In February of 2015 there was a Panettone Bread Pudding. It was a wonderful way to use up the leftover holiday Panettone.

Panettone Bread Pudding

Panettone Bread Pudding

In December of 2014 there was Raspberry Streusel Bars. They were delicious if I do say so myself, very ‘more-ish’.

Raspberry Streusel Bars

Raspberry Streusel Bars

And lastly (my first blogged dessert recipe) in November of 2014,  a recipe for Pot of Chocolate. This one is special for a couple of reasons. First, it was my mother’s secret recipe and second, it was the first recipe of mine to be featured on Fiesta Friday. I was a very new blogger at the time and it was Fiesta Friday #41. It’s now Fiesta Friday #382 and here I am, still part of the party . You can find the link to Fiesta Friday here. It’s a virtual (aren’t most things now) party, a collection of posts hosted by Angie. Come on over to read a collection of blogs about cooking, gardening, decorating and crafts.

Pot of Chocolate

Pot of Chocolate

I am shocked to realize that I haven’t posted a dessert recipe in six years!

Here is number 5, now I have a full handful.

This recipe is by Alison Roman and comes from her cookbook Nothing Fancy. It appealed to me because it’s not too sweet and has a salty component. Salty things are my weakness. Although it is essentially a variation of cheesecake, it’s not cloyingly sweet or rich. That’s especially true if you use labne instead of cream cheese as I did.

Sweet and Salty Cheese Tart

Sweet and Salty Cheese Tart

Sweet and Salty Cream Cheese Tart

Ingredients for the crust:

  • 5 ounces Ritz crackers or Nilla wafers (the Ritz crackers add the salty part). See notes below.
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Pinch of kosher salt

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 1 pound full fat cream cheese at room temperature, or 2 cups labne
  • 1 cup sour cream or full fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons of fresh grapefruit, lemon, lime or orange juice
  • Flaky sea salt
  • Fresh fruit for serving

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Make the crust. Pulse the crackers in a food processor until they are a fine crumb but not powder. Transfer to a bowl and add the brown sugar and butter, then the salt. Use your hands and mix until the crumbs are evenly coated and texture is like that of wet sand.
  3. Press the crust into an unlined 9-inch tart or springform pan, or cake pan lined with parchment. Using the bottom of a glass or small bowl, press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the pan.
  4. Bake until golden brown on the edges, 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Make the filling. Combine the cream cheese (or labne), sour cream (or yogurt) and sugar in the bowl of the food processor and process until very smooth and well blended, scrape down the sides as needed to combine everything. Add the eggs, fruit juice and a pinch of salt. Keep processing until even smoother and creamier.
  6. Pour the filling into the baked crust and bake until set and it no longer jiggles when tapped, about 25 to 35 minutes. It won’t brown, that’s ok.
  7. Turn the oven off and open the oven door a crack. Let the tart sit in the cooling oven for another 15 minutes or so, then transfer to a wire rack on the counter to cool completely. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. This process should prevent cracks but did not in my case. Simply disguise it with fruit, it doesn’t make any difference to the flavor.
  8. To serve, sprinkle with a little flaky sea salt and put some fresh fruit on top or the side.

Note: She says she has not tested off brand crackers or vanilla wafers, she has only used Nabisco brands.

I used labne (sometimes also spelled labneh) which is often (though not always) more strained than Greek yogurt, so it’s ultra-thick and spreadable, almost like cream cheese. It can replace cream cheese in some recipes although it is much more tart. I also used grapefruit juice, another tart flavor although often more sweet as well.

If you use cream cheese I might recommend using Greek yogurt instead of sour cream if you would like to retain some of the tartness.

Sweet and Salty Cream Cheese Tart

Sweet and Salty Cream Cheese Tart

You can make this up to 3 days ahead but wrap it tightly so it doesn’t pick up any off flavors from the refrigerator.

 

 

 

 

May – Chile-Roasted Chicken with Honey, Lemon and Feta (Plus Carrots and Croutons)

May – Chile-Roasted Chicken with Honey, Lemon and Feta (Plus Carrots and Croutons)

Another long title this time but I wanted to include it all as a description. The inspiration came from one of my favorite cookbook authors, Mellissa Clark from the NY Times. This is another sheet pan dinner. I’ve added a few things to make it a full meal, and simplified it as well. All you need is something green to complete it. We loved an arugula salad with a mustard and lemon dressing.

The original did not include the carrots or the croutons. I had a couple of bunches of multi-colored carrots from the recently opened farmer’s market and wanted to include them. They made a perfect ‘rack’ on the sheet pan and roasted to perfection under the chicken thighs. The croutons were added near the end of cooking time along with the feta. The irregularly shaped chunks became crispy on the edges and absorbed the wonderful cooking juices.

You could use another vegetable or even potatoes instead of the carrots, make sure they have a similar cooking time. Brussels sprouts would work, thick slices of cauliflower as well.

Chile-Roasted Chicken with Honey, Lemon and Feta (Plus Carrots and Croutons)

Chile-Roasted Chicken with Honey, Lemon and Feta (Plus Carrots and Croutons)

Chile-Roasted Chicken with Honey, Lemon and Feta (Plus Carrots and Croutons)

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 bone-in, skin on chicken thighs (or breasts)
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 – 8 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely grated or smashed into a paste
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • Zest and juice of one lemon, Meyer if possible
  • 1/4 teaspoon of red-pepper flakes, plus more for serving
  • 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 1 lemon (Meyer if possible) sliced thinly
  • 2 ounces feta, crumbled into large pieces
  • 3 thick slices of ciabatta or brioche, torn into pieces about 1 – 1 1/2 inch pieces for the croutons
  • chopped mint or parsley for serving

Method:

  1. Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper. In a large bowl, mix together garlic, honey, olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon pepper flakes. Add the chicken and toss with your hands, spreading the paste all over the chicken. Add the rosemary sprigs and lemons slices, toss again to combine. Let marinate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or in the fridge for up to 8 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment or foil.
  3. Spread the carrots on the sheet pan, spread the chicken over the carrots with the skin side up, tuck in the rosemary spreads and lemon slices. Cook for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove the sheet pan from the oven and tuck in the croutons around the chicken. Sprinkle the feta on top.
  5. Continue to bake for another 20 minutes until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees F.
  6. Sprinkle with chopped herbs and additional red pepper flakes for serving.
Chile-Roasted Chicken with Honey, Lemon and Feta (Plus Carrots and Croutons)

Chile-Roasted Chicken with Honey, Lemon and Feta (Plus Carrots and Croutons)

It’s Fiesta Friday #382 and I am taking this easy sheet pan dinner to the party . You can find the link to Fiesta Friday here. It’s a virtual (aren’t most things now) party, a collection of posts hosted by Angie. Come on over to read a collection of blogs about cooking, gardening, decorating and crafts.