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Posts Tagged ‘thai’

I needed to use up the rest of the coconut milk I had from the other night so I decided to use it as a marinade for some chicken. I really wanted to grill the chicken, but the wind kept putting out my burner, one of the downfalls of a gas grill. If I ever have a metal balcony instead of a wood one I’m getting me one of those big green egg grills! No worries though, I just threw the chicken in the oven as that sure beats raw poultry.

For the marinade I had about 1/2 cup left of the coconut milk. I poured it into my blender and added two chopped up lemongrass stalks (just the non-fibrous center), 2 tablespoons of sriracha, 1 tablespoon of fish sauce, 1 garlic clove, and 1 tablespoon of ginger. I blended it all up and poured it over 2 pounds of skin-on bone-in chicken thighs. Prior to pouring the marinade over I did score the skin with three slashes so that the marinade would penetrate the skin nicely. I covered it and let it sit in the fridge for about 4 hours. I took it out about 45 minutes prior to cooking and cracked a little black pepper on top just before going under the heat.

 

Since the wind didn’t cooperate with me last night I heated my oven to 425 degrees and cooked the chicken on the upper 3rd for about 15 minutes. Then, I turned the oven to the broiler setting and let the skin get nice and crisp for about 5 more minutes.

For my side I made some Thai flavored asparagus. For the flavoring I used 1 teaspoon of cane sugar, 1 inch of ginger cut into slivers, 1/3 red bell pepper small diced, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 3 cloves of garlic minced (didn’t make it into the pic) and 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds. First, I mixed together the sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce and 3 tablespoons of water. I set that aside.

In a skillet large enough to handle the asparagus in one layer I heated up 2 tablespoons of sesame oil and added the garlic, ginger, and sesame seeds. I let them sizzle for about a minute or two and then added the asparagus and red pepper. I rolled it around to make sure the asparagus was completely coated with all of the flavors. After 4 or 5 minutes I poured in the liquid and let that boil off for about 3 minutes. That’s all I did for this side.

I also made some miso soup. In a pot I poured in about 4-5 cups of water and brought it to a boil with 1/2 an onion sliced, the rest of my shiitake sliced, and a few pinches of dashi-no-moto. I let it boil for about 15 minutes until the onion was softened. Then I threw in a large handful of baby spinach and let that boil for another few minutes. Finally, I took two large tablespoons of shiro miso and mixed that in.

Besides the asparagus and miso soup I served some Thai Red Rice instead of regular white rice.

While this was one of the tastiest marinades I’ve whipped up in a while I did forget two things. I wanted to squeeze some lemon juice on the chicken as soon as I took it out of the oven and I wanted to garnish with some cilantro. I guess I’ll use that lemon and cilantro some other time.

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Alright, back in the kitchen. The one thing about traveling in the Grand Circle area is the lack of quality Asian food. We did find one really good Thai place near Zion Canyon, but Yuki was craving Japanese flavors and simple white rice. So, being the absolutely wonderful husband that I am, I made some chicken teriyaki with vegetables and white rice.

First thing I had to do was make the teriyaki sauce. In a small sauce pan I put in 1 tablespoon of sugar with 7 tablespoons each of soy sauce, mirin, and sake. I also added a few fresh rosemary needles just to add one more element. I let that come to a slow boil for just a few minutes until the sugar was dissolved. Then I set it aside and let it cool to room temperature.

Once the sauce was cooled I marinated some bone-in skin-on chicken breasts in it for about an hour at room temperature.

Then I cut up all the vegetables. Half of a sweet onion was sliced, one carrot into matchsticks, 7 good-sized shiitake mushrooms sliced, a handful of green beans cut in half, and half of a small napa cabbage head sliced.

I turned the oven on to 400 degrees. I took my baking pan and lined it with foil and then laid a rack inside it. I laid the chicken thighs on the rack, sprinkled them with some pepper and a few rosemary needles, and threw them in the oven. I strained the reserved marinade back into the small sauce pan and boiled it for about 15 minutes until it reduced into a BBQ sauce consistency. Then I took the chicken out and glazed it with the thickened teriyaki and threw it back into the over for another 15 minutes.

While the sauce reduced I sautéed the vegetables. I started by throwing a couple of diced garlic cloves into some hot olive oil. After a minute I added the onion. A few minutes later the carrot. Then I added the green beans followed by the shiitake. I let it all come together for about 5 minutes and then seasoned with very little salt, some pepper, and about 2 tablespoons of soy sauce. I covered the pot and turned the heat way down to low. The vegetables at this point were mostly cooked, I just wanted them to finish off by steaming a little in the soy sauce.

I steamed the napa cabbage. That only takes about 4-5 minutes, so I waited until the chicken was just about done.

That’s it. A pretty simple meal to make but full of flavor and very healthy.

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Back porch garden

I wish more people would utilize their outdoor spaces more efficiently. I know that outdoor space is precious in cities like Chicago, but look here at what my wife and I did. Our space is only 3.5 feet by 5.5 feet. Since it’s also one of two exits there must be a clear path according to fire code. That didn’t stop us from planting a few veggies and a few herbs to enjoy throughout the summer (come winter we can move the herbs onto our window sills). We have three types of basil; Thai, Spicy Globe, and Sweet. We also have Juliette Tomatoes, Japanese Eggplant, and Rutgers Tomatoes.

So far we’ve enjoyed basil almost every day. I swear those things grow like weeds! It’s just too bad we can’t grow any “weeds” in our makeshift garden. We already have one eggplant that’s almost mature and a dozen little eggplants on the way.

Eggplant

The Rutgers Tomatoes are growing better than the Juliettes, but we’ll get a nice yield from both. It shouldn’t be too much longer before we’re enjoying our tomatoes.

Tomatoes

The best part about all of this is that we used all-natural organic soil free of pesticides and chemicals. We keep them watered accordingly and the fruits should taste much better than anything storebought. There’s also some satisfaction in eating something that you grew yourself. I just wish everyone took advantage of little opportunities like this. You’ll end up helping the environment in numerous ways; less produce bought from Big Ag, a notorious pollution machine. It also saves money as purchasing seeds or sprouting plants along with soil costs a lot less than produce at the supermarket. Using organic soil also ensures that your plants will obtain full nutrient capacity. It just makes sense people!

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