My apologies, you awesome dudes & dudettes! This entry has been moved to my other site –>FiestaFriday.net. Please follow the link to get the recipe. I promise, it’s a good one!
It’s a laid back Sunday for us. Bypassing breakfast, we went straight to lunch. A simple meal was in order. After days of eating restaurant food, this one seemed necessary. I very quickly picked a few things from the garden. (By the way, it’s looking like a jungle out there.)
Back inside, I rinsed, chopped, blanched, and tossed. Sabo grilled skewered chicken on the deck.
Do you see repeating pattern?
We ate our lunch quietly, missing our visitors but were glad that hectic daily schedule was behind us. Next week, school starts. And most likely, hectic schedule will resume. But for now, we’re enjoying a quiet relaxing day, 2 parents and 2 children. It’s quite perfect. I wouldn’t mind for this day to repeat.
Grilled Skewered Chicken (Yakitori)
A staple in our house, yakitori seems to get our kids excited to eat. Is it because of the bite-sized pieces or is it because of the skewers? I suspect both aspects make this dish very appealing to the very young.
Boneless chicken thighs or breast, cut up into 1 inch cubes (about 2 lbs)
Green onions, cut up into 1 inch sticks
For the sauce
5 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp sake (I used white wine instead)
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp sugar
Mix all the ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Set aside 1 tbsp of sauce, to drizzle over chicken prior to serving.
1. Soak the bamboo skewers in warm water for 1 hour prior to using.
2. Soak green onions in cold water for 1 hour prior to grilling.
3. Dip chicken pieces in the sauce and thread on to skewers, alternating chicken pieces with the green onions.
4. Grill on medium heat, brushing chicken with the remainder of the sauce frequently.
5. Drizzle more sauce over chicken prior to serving.
Green Beans Goma Ae
Goma ae is a Japanese dish made of vegetables and sesame seeds dressing. Goma means sesame. Most of the time, spinach is used, although any variety of vegetables can be used.
Green beans, trimmed and cut, about 3 cups
3 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1 tbsp sugar
1 ½ tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp dashi soup stock
1. Boil green beans for 2-3 minutes or until desired softness is reached.
2. Remove beans and soak in ice-cold water to stop the cooking process, then drain well.
4. Put toasted sesame seeds in a mortar and grind them with a pestle.
5. Add sugar, soy sauce, and dashi stock. Mix to form a paste.
6. Toss green beans with the sesame paste/dressing.
I got strawberries.
I got spinach.
I even got mesclun.
Any one of those alone is enough for me to rejoice. Strawberries, spinach, and lettuce are all listed in the “dirty dozen,” produce with the most pesticide. So, anytime I can feed my family the organic homegrown version of them, it is cause for celebration.
But, really, it was cilantro that ruled the kitchen this past week. The plants were all bolting. I kept some growing, for green coriander seeds (thank you fellow bloggers, for the idea), but harvested most of them.
Cilantro starred in my kitchen this week.
Oh, I started a new batch from seeds, but it remains to be seen how long I can keep them going before they, too, will bolt. The weather is getting warmer and cilantro doesn’t like heat.
Cilantro is one of those herbs that I don’t think will freeze well, although I have never attempted it. I’d like to be proven wrong here. Please let me know if you have successfully preserved cilantro.
It doesn’t keep in the fridge for long, either, so when you have a glut of it from the garden, you want to use it in a liberal manner without having its flavor overwhelming a dish. I had to look up several cookbooks for cilantro recipes, but most only asked for a sprig here, a sprig there.
By the way, I noticed that cilantro used to be called Chinese parsley in older cookbooks. I’m not sure why. I hardly ever see cilantro appear in Chinese food. I’m more likely to encounter it in Indian, Mexican, Thai, or Vietnamese cuisine.
Aside from using it in the obvious and often served pico de gallo and tacos or the less often served sopa de lima, cilantro didn’t see a lot of creative usage in my kitchen. It was time to give it its proper due.
That was when I came up with this Thai-inspired chicken. I won’t say it’s an authentic Thai recipe, but the flavors and ingredients used are typical of Thai food. I hope my Thai readers/friends will forgive me for this. This recipe was conjured up only because I love Thai food so much.
3 chicken breasts, sliced thinly
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp minced lemon grass
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp cooking oil
1/2 cup chicken broth
Dash of pepper
1 tsp soy sauce
Lots of minced cilantro, at least 1/2 cup
1 tbsp butter
Pickled wild garlic or capers (optional)
1. Mix lemon grass, ginger, lime juice, and fish sauce.
2. Marinade chicken in the mixture, for 30 min.
3. Heat a wok or skillet on high heat, add 1 tbsp oil.
4. Cook chicken for 2-3 min. on each side, or until golden brown. They will splatter, so be careful. Transfer chicken to a plate.
5. In the same wok/skillet, sauté garlic and onion until onion is transparent, with the remaining oil.
6. Add chicken broth, and let simmer for 2 more min.
7. Add sugar, a dash of pepper and soy sauce (to taste here, but be careful, the fish sauce used earlier for the marinade is salty.) Add minced cilantro. Stir to distribute cilantro. Then add the chicken back.
8. Add butter and toss. (Authentic Thai food doesn’t use butter, of course. But I’m telling you it added so much flavor to the dish. If you consider it a heresy, then use corn starch to thicken the sauce.)
9. I added my supply of pickled wild garlic during the last seconds of cooking, about 1 tbsp. It added another layer of flavor to the dish. But it was already delicious without it. Or try capers, instead.
As a side note, I’ve never weighed anything I harvested before, but Annie’s Granny shows how fun and satisfying it can be to tally up your harvests. Plus I was plain curious.
Imagine my shock when I found out my spinach harvest registered at more than half a pound on the scale! The grocery store scale, so it should be accurate, right? Yes, I smuggled them in for a weighing, since I didn’t have a kitchen scale that worked.
Nobody could have accused me of stealing those spinach leaves from the store; they were enormous! For once, my organic vegetable looked like it was on steroid compared to the one in the store, instead of the other way round.
As much as how proud I am of my “professional-looking” spinach (it really is the best spinach I’ve grown), I’m pretty sure it’s nothing compared to other harvests from other gardens. See them for yourself, tomorrow on Monday, at Daphne’s Dandelions, where gardeners around the globe show off their harvests for a Harvest Monday blog hop.
First real harvest, of sorts. From overwintered herbs and a few bolting vegetables. Not much, but it was a harvest nonetheless, and beggars can’t be choosers. They made it into these meals:
Sage in Ravioli di Magro, for a quick after-school lunch (or early dinner) with the kids. It had to be quick; piano and martial arts lessons within the hour. Thank goodness they both like this one. TG is not a vegetarian, but she eats very little meat. She won’t touch anything with ground meat in it, e.g., hamburgers, sausages, meatballs, etc. So Ravioli di Magro is perfect since it doesn’t contain any meat, but there is still cheese in it for protein.
Ravioli di Magro
So easy to make, especially if you use purchased ravioli. We’re lucky to live in an area with abundant access to excellent ready-made Italian food. You get extra brownie points if you make your own ravioli. Look here for instructions: http://m.wikihow.com/Make-Ravioli
1 package (13 oz) frozen cheese or vegetable ravioli (Magro means thin or lean in Italian. In this dish, it translates to “without meat.”)
1 large clove garlic, sliced thin
2 tbsp butter
12 sage leaves, cut into chiffonade (They were small leaves. You may need less if your leaves are big. Sage is a strong-flavored herb. A little goes a long way, especially if you use dry sage, in which case you would need about half a tsp.)
A splash of cream or milk
Grated Parmesan cheese
1. In a soup pot, boil water, add a little salt. When it starts boiling hard is when you drop your ravioli in. Fresh ravioli takes just a few minutes to cook. Frozen a little longer, but still very quick. When they start floating to the top is when you remove them, because they are cooked then.
2. While the ravioli is boiling, make your sauce. Heat butter in a sauté pan, on medium high. Add garlic and cook til garlic is golden and butter no longer foams. Add the chiffonade of sage. Remove pan from heat. Add cream or milk. Then add the ravioli.
3. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese.
Later in the week, when everybody had time to sit for dinner, together, I made this roasted chicken, with the oregano. Served with sautéed kale flowers.
Many other herbs would work here, not just oregano. Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme (anybody singing yet?) would be good with the chicken.
8 chicken thighs & drumsticks
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped
Lemon zest from 1 lemon
Salt & Pepper
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Mix together all the ingredients for the marinade and pour it over chicken, making sure all the pieces are coated with it.
3. In a heavy skillet over medium-high heat, brown chicken until golden brown. Transfer chicken to a sheet pan, skin side up.
4. Roast chicken in oven until cooked through, about 30 minutes.
You can make sauce for the chicken if you like, by deglazing the skillet. First remove any burnt small pieces that were left by the browning chicken, then add white wine or chicken broth or both. Let it reduced by half, then stir in butter. Tadaa….you’ve got sauce! We ate our chicken with roasted potatoes and sautéed kale, no sauce.
Parsley was starting to bolt, but still tender and good, so quite a bit was used in Linguine Vongole. Such a simple recipe. Such a delicious dish!
1/2 lb linguine
1 can (6.5 oz) chopped clams. You want to use live clams? Even better!
2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
1 tbsp butter
1. Boil linguine according to the directions on the box.
2. In a sauté pan, heat olive oil on medium-high, add the garlic and cook til garlic is slightly golden in color.
3. Drain the juice from the clams and add the clams to the pan. It will splatter a bit, but that’s ok. It’s part of the cooking process.
4. Add the white wine. Hopefully by this time, your linguine is at ” al dente” stage, which means you need to drain it and add it to the pan. Then toss it around to absorb the sauce. (If you’re using live clams, cover the pan and let clams cook before adding linguine, about 5 minutes. Clams are cooked when they open up. If you see clams that are not opened, then they’re bad clams and you need to throw those out.)
5. Add the butter. Toss some more, then sprinkle the parsley, and toss again. If the pasta looks too dry, add a little of the boiling water used for cooking the pasta. I hope you saved some.
6. Drizzle a little olive oil before serving.
I didn’t put any parmesan cheese on our linguine because according to an Italian friend it’s a big no-no to add cheese to a seafood dish. Prior to that knowledge, I routinely did. I’d say if it tastes good to you, by all means!
Daphne hosts Harvest Monday. Go to her site and check out other harvests from around the globe.