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Friday, August 01, 2008

Recent Recipes

I haven't posted recipes in a long time, so hopefully this post will partially make up for that.

Thai Basil Fried Rice
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 cup peanut oil for frying
4 cups cooked brown rice, chilled
6 large cloves garlic clove, minced
2 jalapeƱo peppers (or Serrano peppers), coarsely chopped
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into thin strips
1 bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 cups sweet Thai basil leaves

1. Mix the oyster sauce, fish sauce, and honey together in a bowl. It will smell strange to your Western nose. You might even be tempted to throw in the towel at this point. Please be patient and trust me. The end result does not taste like this mixture smells. Thankfully.
2. Heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and hot peppers, stirring quickly. Add the chicken, bell peppers, onions, and the foul-smelling fish sauce mixture. Continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through.
3. Raise the heat to high and add in the rice. Stir fry until the rice is well-incorporated. Turn down the heat and add in the basil leaves. Stir just a few moments, then remove from heat. Enjoy!

Review: This would be excellent with beef or pork instead of chicken, or even with tofu, eggs, or no meat. It was not too spicy, but it has the advantage of having the large pieces of hot pepper for the eating pleasure of those who enjoy some extra burn. Of course, adding the peppers to the hot oil does make the whole dish a bit spicy, even if you don't ever eat one of the hot peppers. If you can't find Thai basil, you can substitute 2/3 cup peppermint and 1 1/3 cup sweet basil. We enjoyed this so much that I'm making it again this week and doubling the recipe! The original recipe fed our family of two for two days.

Ginny's White Wheat Bread (original recipe can be found here; my take on it is below)
2 cups hard white wheat berries
1/4 cup bread enhancer
1 tsp salt
1 1/3 cup water
1 Tbs honey
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs yeast

Grind the wheat berries. Add all ingredients to the bread machine in the order recommended. Run the dough cycle. Divide the dough in half and place in loaf pans (or pans that are somewhat similar to loaf pans, for those of us who only have 1 real loaf pan!). Stab the dough several times with a knife. Place the dough in the oven to rise for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes is up, turn the oven on to 350F and set the timer for 30 minutes. Turn out to cool on wire racks.

Review: This tastes a lot like my mom's old no-knead bread recipe, but the texture is totally different. This bread is much less dense (due, I'm sure, to the kneading) and has a light springiness to it. So for those who love my mom's bread recipe and want a fresh-ground-grain alternative (*cough* Laura *cough*), this is the recipe for you. I love that it makes two smaller loaves, because I think the bread stays fresher the longer it remains a whole loaf. You could also freeze the second loaf, which is a great idea. I love it, Ginny! We'll be making it again.

The Cheese Ball that Wasn't a Ball
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 (8 ounce) package finely shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 pinch cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 of a SMALL jar roasted red pepper, drained and chopped

Mix all the ingredients together. This should have formed a ball, but I just put it into a container and used it as a dip. ;-) A bit too much garlic, maybe, but otherwise it was a huge hit.

Pasta Primavera
3 carrots, peeled
2 medium or 1 large zucchini
2 yellow summer squash
2 bell peppers
1 onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbs dried Italian herbs
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp ground black pepper
1 lb pasta (such as farfalle or rotini)
15 cherry tomatoes, halved
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 450F. Cut the carrots, zucchini, squash, and peppers into thin strips about 2" long. On a large, heavy baking sheet toss the vegetables with the onion, oil, herbs, salt, and pepper. Spread half the vegetables on another baking sheet, and roast the vegetables for 20 minutes, stirring after the first 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions. Reserve about 1 cup of the cooking liquid before you drain the pasta. In a large bowl, toss the pasta with the roasted vegetables and the halved tomatoes. Add some of the cooking liquid (enough to moisten), and stir in the cheese. Serve.

Review: This is from Giada De Laurentiis's Everyday Italian Cookbook. We just love her recipes. Everything we've tried of hers (except her lasagne) has been excellent. This is no exception. You should try it! It's a great way to use up all that summer garden produce.

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4 have poured out their souls in electronic text:

  • Ginny

    I'm glad you tried the bread and messed with the recipe to make it your own. :-D And I'm glad you liked it. Did it work for sandwiches?

    I think I am going to try that fried rice recipe. I LOVE fried rice.

    Thanks!

  • Laura

    Maybe I missed this, but what's bread enhancer?

  • Harmony

    Ginny - I haven't tried it in sandwiches yet, but when I do I'll let you know.

    Laura - dough enhancer has soy lecithin, gluten, and some other goodies in it to help the bread turn out better. Ginny's original recipe called for 1/4 cup gluten, but that was the closest we had.

  • CappuccinoLife

    Yum, yum!! We had pasta primavera a few nights ago...minus the pasta. :) It was still great. I was reveling in all the seasonal veggies I had, and realized that recipe was perfect!