Spicy Broccoli Chicken Stir-fry

We’ve reached that point in our summer when all my adventuring kids start wandering home, looking for some delicious home-cooked meals. I keep running out of food! I was actually trying to use up elderly vegetables in my fridge when I created this delicious Broccoli Chicken Stir-Fry. Ideally, I’d serve it over rice, but well….I ran out of rice!

Spicy Broccoli Chicken Stir-fry

Broccoli Chicken Stir-fry

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 T. minced garlic
  • 3 T. soy sauce
  • 3 T. orange juice
  • 2 T. sesame oil
  • 1 T. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. cilantro, finely chopped
  • ½ t. red pepper flakes (I used Aleppo pepper but cayenne would also work for this optional ingredient)
  • 2 T. cornstarch
  • 2 red or yellow bell peppers (oh, okay, you can use green if that’s all you have) sliced into strips
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 zucchini, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 2 c. broccoli florets
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 inch cube of fresh ginger, minced or grated
  • olive oil

Directions:

Whisk together minced garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, orange juice, brown sugar, cornstarch, cilantro and pepper flakes. Add to chicken cubes and toss to coat completely. Let the chicken marinate in this sauce for about 30 minutes.

Spicy marinade for Broccoli Chicken Stir-FrySaute Broccoli Chicken Stir-Fryin this Broccoli Chicken Stir-fry

Meanwhile, slice all your veggies up into a bowl and set aside.

Veggies for Broccoli Chicken Stir-Fry

Heat up a large skillet (if you’re so fortunate as to have a wok, this is the time to use that) with some olive oil. I added a scant teaspoon of sesame oil to the olive oil for flavor. When the oil is just starting to smoke, dump in the marinating chicken. Stir a few times and put the cover on for about 2 minutes. Stir some more. Cover again. Keep doing this until the chicken is cooked. It won’t take long because the pieces are small. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside in a clean bowl. (Don’t re-use the bowl they were marinating in…that bowl needs to be washed before it’s used again.)

Don’t clean out the pan. Add a little more olive oil and reheat until it’s very hot again. Dump in all your veggies, including the minced garlic and ginger. With the burner on a high setting, stir the veggies constantly until they start to get cooked just a bit. The broccoli should still be bright green and the peppers should still be fairly crunchy.

Stir fry peppers, broccoli, zucchini, and onions for this Spicy Broccoli Stir-fry

After about 6 minutes of sauteing those veggies, dump in the cooked chicken and whatever juices have accumulated in the bowl. If you need to add a little water or chicken stock, you can. Give the mixture a couple of good stirs and then put the lid on the pan. Turn off the burner. Peppers, zucchini, and onions add to this Spicy Broccoli Stir-fry

 

If you’re cooking on a gas stove, you can just leave the pan on the burner. If you’re cooking on an electric stove, move the pan to a different burner. Let the pan sit, tightly covered, for about 10 minutes before serving. If you think this dish tastes like it needs salt, add some at this time. Remember that the soy sauce has a lot of salt in it already. Definitely salt to TASTE.

As I mentioned above, this would be delicious served over some basmati or jasmine rice. I didn’t actually serve it that way because I had run out of rice! It was still perfectly delicious. I also meant to sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds over the top of this dish, just to make it prettier, but I forgot. Probably because it smelled so delicious and we just couldn’t wait to eat it!

Spicy Broccoli Chicken Stir-fry

Peppers, zucchini, and onions add to this Spicy Broccoli Stir-fry

 

Barb

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Spicy Broccoli Chicken Stir-fry

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Yield: Dinner for 2 - 3

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 T. minced garlic
  • 3 T. soy sauce
  • 3 T. orange juice
  • 2 T. sesame oil
  • 1 T. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. cilantro, finely chopped
  • ½ t. red pepper flakes (I used Aleppo pepper but cayenne would also work for this optional ingredient)
  • 2 T. cornstarch
  • 2 red or yellow bell peppers (oh, okay, you can use green if that's all you have) sliced into strips
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 zucchini, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 2 c. broccoli florets
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 inch cube of fresh ginger, minced or grated
  • olive oil

Instructions

Whisk together minced garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, orange juice, brown sugar, cornstarch, cilantro and pepper flakes. Add to chicken cubes and toss to coat completely. Let the chicken marinate in this sauce for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, slice all your veggies up into a bowl and set aside.

Heat up a large skillet. When the oil is just starting to smoke, dump in the marinating chicken. Stir a few times and put the cover on for about 2 minutes. Stir some more. Cover again. Keep doing this until the chicken is cooked.Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside in a clean bowl.

Don't clean out the pan. Add a little more olive oil and reheat until it's very hot again. Dump in all your veggies, including the minced garlic and ginger. With the burner on a high setting, stir the veggies constantly until they start to get cooked just a bit. The broccoli should still be bright green and the peppers should still be fairly crunchy.

After about 6 minutes of sauteing those veggies, dump in the cooked chicken and whatever juices have accumulated in the bowl. If you need to add a little water or chicken stock, you can. Give the mixture a couple of good stirs and then put the lid on the pan. Turn off the burner.

Salt to TASTE.

http://www.mysisterskitchenonline.com/2012/07/31/broccoli-chicken-stir-fry/

 


 

 

 

In Which We Confess to Being Serious Rick Bayless Groupies

All right, I’ll confess. We are shamelessly besotted with Rick Bayless, television chef. Actually, to be precise, with his recipes. A few weeks ago, my husband was in the Chicago area for business and ate at Frontera Grill twice and XOCO’s a few more times because the food is just.that.good! Finding good Mexican food is like….well, not like anything else. It’s just an amazing thing. Eating in Bayless’s restaurants has inspired Dave to do his own experimentation in the kitchen with recipes he’s discovered on Bayless’s site.

Yesterday I came home from a two-day workshop on food fermentation (yes, I’ll be writing a LOT about that over the next few weeks!) to a fabulous dinner of Ceviche. Initially, I was a little hesitant; I’m not a huge fan of sushi or steak tartar  simply because raw meats make me a little nervous. Bayless does a great job of explaining how the lime juice in Ceviche actually cooks the fish without heat. Once I overcame my hesitation, I was overwhelmed with fabulous, mind-bending flavors and, yes, textures.

Two types of Ceviche recipes from Rick Bayless

My favorite was Herb Green Ceviche. This fabulous recipe includes lime juice, cilantro, chilis, garlic, cucumbers, and scallops among other things. Pretty much ALL my favorite foods! I was stunned by how COOKED those scallops seemed, in their texture, after they’d been playing in lime juice for a couple hours.

Herb Green Ceviche

Coming in a close second was Frontera Grill’s Now-Classic Ceviche. We made ours with tuna and it was just delicious! Again, my fears of raw fish were allayed when I saw how thoroughly the tuna was “cooked” by the lime juice. We loved the spiciness of both of these dishes, which we ate with tortilla chips. It wouldn’t be hard to scale back the heat by using fewer chilis in the prep.

Two types of Ceviche

 

Check out some of the other great recipes on Rick Bayless’s site. This guy knows how to make good food!

Two spicy versions of Ceviche make a great appetizer

Of course, we’ve only just begun to explore some of these great recipes at our new favorite food site. Because we can never just follow a recipe, I’m sure we’ll do some creative innovating as we explore these delicious foods. Join us as we PLAY!

Barb

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Homemade Salsa in 5 minutes

We’re on the countdown to Cinco de Mayo and all the delicious Mexican food that holiday can involve.  We’re also picking up speed as we move towards graduation…and this year I have TWO graduating.

So I’m looking for quick and easy recipes. This salsa comes together in about 5 minutes and it’s a tasty homemade alternative to buying salsa. If you add in an avocado, you can also expand the scope of this recipe to get another type of salsa altogether!

Mash avocado and add this 5 minute salsa  to make a tasty Cinco de Mayo treat

Quick Homemade Salsa

  • 1 can fire-roasted tomatoes (you can use fresh tomatoes if you roast them first)
  • 4-6 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1/4 c. cilantro
  • 1/4 medium white onion
  • 10-15 toasted arbol chilis
  • Salt to taste
Roasted garlic for quick salsaDried arbol chilis for roastingFire-roasted diced tomatoes in a can give this quick salsa it's flavor

Toast the chilis by placing them in a dry cast iron skillet. Flip them over with tongs. Don’t burn them, and they WILL burn easily. You want the skin to just start to blister.

Roasted arbol chilis give this quick homemade salsa its heatRoasted arbol chilis give this quick homemade salsa its heat

You’ll be using your blender or your food processor to make this salsa.

Open the can of fire-roasted tomatoes and dump it into the blender. (You CAN roast your own tomatoes by putting some fresh tomatoes in a shallow baking dish and broiling them until the edges start getting just a little bit black.)

A can of fire-roasted tomatoes provides the base for this quick homemade salsa

Add the toasted chilis, garlic, and onion. Whir the blender or processor until the ingredients are as fine or coarse as you want them. Add the cilantro last. Add the salt last to your taste.

Blend the arbol chilis with the tomatoes for a quick homemade salsaAdd the roasted garlic cloves to this quick, easy salsaWhir all the ingredients of this quick salsa in a blender or food processor

Taste this salsa on a tortilla chip. Mmmmmmmm. SO much better than a jar of store salsa!

Now to create yet another tasty item for your table, mash up an avocado. Pour about 1/2 c. of this salsa over the top of the avocado and stir. You can dip your tortilla chips into this too. Ah, DEEEEElicious!

Mash an avocado and add some salsa to make avocado salsaMash an avocado and add some salsa to make avocado salsa

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that using fresh tomatoes instead of canned ones make a much better salsa, but this one has a couple of things to commend it. First, it’s easy to keep a stash of canned tomatoes in the cupboard for emergency hospitality situations. Second, it’s an inexpensive appetizer. Even using canned tomatoes, this salsa tastes like fresh, homemade salsa.

Add avocado to this 5 minute salsa to make a delicious appetizer

Enjoy!

Barb

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Homemade Salsa in 5 minutes

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 1 pint of salsa

Ingredients

  • 1 can fire-roasted tomatoes (you can use fresh tomatoes if you roast them first)
  • 4-6 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1/4 c. cilantro
  • 1/4 medium white onion
  • 10-15 toasted arbol chilis
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

Toast the chilis by placing them in a dry cast iron skillet. Flip them over with tongs. Don't burn them, and they WILL burn easily. You want the skin to just start to blister.

You'll be using your blender or your food processor to make this salsa.

Open the can of fire-roasted tomatoes and dump it into the blender. (You CAN roast your own tomatoes by putting some fresh tomatoes in a shallow baking dish and broiling them until the edges start getting just a little bit black.)

Add the toasted chilis, garlic, and onion. Whir the blender or processor until the ingredients are as fine or coarse as you want them. Add the cilantro last. Add the salt last to your taste.

http://www.mysisterskitchenonline.com/2012/05/01/homemade-salsa-in-5-minutes/

 

 


 

Roasted Tomatillo Chipotle Salsa

 

I love it when my husband sets his sights on creating something delicious in the kitchen. He researches and experiments and chops and dices and tastes…and inevitably, something fabulous gets served. I’ve written about his Southwestern Chili and his Chile Verde, both of which are practically staple foods in our freezer during the winter.

Dave’s current passion is finding new recipes for homemade fresh salsa. Our roots are in the Southwest and we LOVE a good salsa. We’ve been making Pico de Gallo for years but this past weekend, Dave decided that we need to expand our homemade salsa horizons. Oh. MY.

My favorite, the Roasted Tomatillo Chipotle Salsa, is really spicy. This salsa doesn’t contain tomatoes, cilantro, or lime juice, resulting in a real different type of salsa. (You can always tone down the heat by using fewer chiles if you need something milder.) I’ve already resolved to keep a jar of this in the fridge at all times. You know, in case of emergencies.

Roasted Tomatillo Chipotle Salsa

Roasted Tomatillo Chipotle Salsa

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds of roasted tomatillos
  • 8 dried chipotle chiles (if you prefer very mild foods, start with only two chiles and adjust from there)
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 8 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1 ½ t. salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 t. sugar

Directions:

Roast tomatillos by peeling the paper off the outside, slicing them in half, and roasting them in a 400° oven until browned. This is also a good time to roast your whole garlic cloves as well. You can toss them in a little bit of olive oil and spread them out on a small baking dish. Roast until brown and mushy.roasting tomatillos for Roasted Tomatillo Chipotle Salsa

Meanwhile, heat up a small cast iron skill on the stove and place the dried chipotle chiles on it. The goal is to toast these chiles and soften them up, NOT to blacken them. This toasting won’t take long, so keep a close  eye on them. After you start smelling their smoky aroma, plop them in a bowl of warm water to rehydrate for about 45 minutes.

Slice your onion and put it into that small cast iron skillet. Put it under the broiler for a few minutes until the edges start to blacken.

Put all your ingredients except for salt and sugar into a blender, add a cup to a cup and a half of water and blend until smooth.

Blended tomatillos for Roasted Tomatillo Chipotle Salsa

The salsa is quite green before you add the dark red chipotle chiles.

Add the salt and adjust to taste if you need to. Then add sugar. The sugar won’t sweeten the salsa, per se, but it will bring out flavor and balance all the different tastes out. Be sure you taste the salsa both before and after adding the sugar so you know what I’m talking about.

Made with 8 chipotles, this salsa is HOT! If that makes you nervous, then start out with one or two chiles and work up from there. Be aware that 24 hours later, the flavors develop and mellow. This salsa isn’t nearly as hot today as it was yesterday.

We use dried chipotle peppers from Penzey’s spices. You can also find chipotle peppers in jars in the Mexican food aisle of the grocery store. You won’t need to rehydrate the chiles if they come out of a jar. I LOVE chipotles, even though it’s very easy to get the heat cranked up way too high on foods when I use them. Their rich smoky flavor just changes EVERYTHING.

Of course this salsa is delicious with chips, but it will also make a great base for simmering pork or chicken in all day long. Stir some into plain yogurt or sour cream to make a spicy sauce to pour over your enchiladas or to dip your chips in.

Roasted Tomatillo Chipotle Salsa

Even though this salsa doesn’t have tomatoes, cilantro, or lime juice in it, it’s a flavor you won’t soon forget!

Barb

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Roasted Tomatillo Chipotle Salsa

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 2 Quarts

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of roasted tomatillos
  • 8 dried chipotle chiles (if you prefer very mild foods, start with only two chiles and adjust from there)
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 8 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1 ½ t. salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 t. sugar

Instructions

Roast tomatillos by peeling the paper off the outside, slicing them in half, and roasting them in a 400° oven until browned. This is also a good time to roast your whole garlic cloves as well. You can toss them in a little bit of olive oil and spread them out on a small baking dish. Roast until brown and mushy.

Meanwhile, heat up a small cast iron skill on the stove and place the dried chipotle chiles on it. The goal is to toast these chiles and soften them up, NOT to blacken them. This won't take long, so keep a close eye on them. After you start smelling their smoky aroma, plop them in a bowl of warm water to rehydrate for about 45 minutes.

Slice your onion and put it into that small cast iron skillet. Put it under the broiler for a few minutes until the edges start to blacken.

Put all your ingredients except for salt and sugar into a blender, add a cup to a cup and a half of water and blend until smooth.

Add the salt to taste. Then add sugar. The sugar won't sweeten the salsa, per se, but it will bring out flavor and balance all the different tastes out.

http://www.mysisterskitchenonline.com/2012/04/10/roasted-tomatillo-chipotle-salsa/

 


 

Getting ready for St. Patrick’s Day food

With a name like Kelley, how can I not revisit this topic of St. Patrick’s Day recipes every year?

 

I  want to share those recipes with you again, just in case you’ve misplaced them.

Here are our favorites:

St. Patrick's Day grocery list

Black-n-Tans

Reuben Sandwiches for lunch

Irish Lamb stew

Baked Corned Beef

Fried Peppered Cabbage

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Coffee

Irish Cream Fudge

The one thing that I HATE about St. Patrick’s Day is the pinching, so I work really hard at wearing green! Everything else about St. Patrick’s Day? LOVE.

St. Patrick's Day Dinner 051

Barb

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