Tag Archives: cooking

Site Update!

8 Jul

I’ve finally launched my re-designed site! ¬†You’ll still find our best recipes at http://www.chewoutloud.com, and you can follow me there now ūüôā

Happy looking, cooking, and… chewing!!

-Amy

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Smoky BBQ Pulled Chicken

3 Jul

Is anyone else in disbelief that the Fourth of July is already upon us? ¬†In these midwestern parts, it seems to have jumped straight from winter’s end to Independence Day. ¬†The kids are beyond ecstatic that tomorrow is the day they get to stay up waayy past dark. ¬†All bright eyed, and mesmerized under the night sky ablaze with vibrant fireworks. ¬†We’ll pay for it the following morning, but we gotta live life on the edge once in awhile ūüėČ

Smoky BBQ Pulled Chicken

Like countless others, we’ll be firing up the grill and everything else that comes with an outdoor BBQ splurge. ¬†With the welcome sunshine comes the motivation of cooking our grub mostly sans oven. ¬†We plan on pulling out the Brown Sugar Baked Beans and maybe our favorite Red¬†Potato Salad¬†Ranch Salad¬†without mayo!

Smoky BBQ Pulled Chicken 2

This Smoky BBQ Pulled Chicken is one of my favorite ways to add to the cookout feast. ¬†No oven and no competing for grill space. ¬†This pulled chicken, like our no-fail¬†Perfect¬†Pulled Pork, is fully done up in the slow cooker. ¬†Yes. ¬†It could not be easier. ¬†Toss it all in your slow cooker, let it go carefree, and voila! ¬†You’re rewarded with the most flavorful, tender, juicy, and barbeque-y pulled chicken. ¬†Chicken that’s sweet, savory, tangy, and smoky. On the bun, in a salad, or in a wrap. ¬†This stuff is awesome.

Smoky BBQ Pulled Chicken 3

I love foods like this. ¬†Super delicious, crowd pleasing, and incredibly easy. ¬†I actually prep mine the night before, and just turn the slow cooker on the next morning. ¬†I can focus on other things (i.e., the grill) and just a few hours later, we’ve got a mouthwatering dish of pulled chicken, hot and ready to serve up. ¬†Does it get better than that? ¬†We think you’ll love this Smoky BBQ Pulled Chicken. ¬†It’s perfect for all those summer BBQ cookouts.

Happy 4th of July, Everyone!

Enjoy ūüôā

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RECIPE (8-10 servings)

4 lbs skinless boneless chicken thighs (breasts can be mixed with thighs, but thighs turn out more tender)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
5 cloves minced garlic
2 tsp oregano
1 1/2 tsp table salt (fine)
1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
6 TB packed brown sugar
2 tsp onion powder
2 TB worcestershire sauce
2+ ¬†cups Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey BBQ Sauce (my favorite choice; brand of sauce matters!)
1 – 1.5 TB liquid smoke
Buns or sandwich rolls to serve
Pickles to serve

DIRECTIONS

Combine all ingredients except chicken in a bowl.  Mix sauce ingredients well.  Sauce can be made well ahead of time and kept in fridge.  Thoroughly dry chicken pieces with paper towels.  Combine chicken with sauce and place in slow cooker.

Cook on high about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.  Carefully remove chicken from slow cooker with tongs.  Keep slow cooker lid on and keep sauce warm.  Pull chicken apart/shred with forks.  Return shredded chicken into slow cooker.  Toss well to make sure chicken is fully coated in sauce.  At this point, add bit more BBQ sauce if needed.  Cook on high another 30-45 minutes.  Turn down to warm setting, and keep warm until ready to serve.

Toast buns or sandwich rolls and serve with pickles, if desired.

Source:  Chew Out Loud

Avocado Coconut Smoothie

27 Jun

It’s been heating up around here. ¬†After the intensely endless winter we just had, I’m not complaining. ¬†Not one bit. ¬†We can finally enjoy those refreshingly cool treats of summer. ¬†I am rediscovering the wonders of smoothies. ¬†Mostly because they’re a foolproof way to get all my kids to eagerly gulp down a glass full of healthy nutrients. ¬†This Avocado Coconut Smoothie was a result of housing too many avocados that needed to be eaten. ¬†Or slurped.

Avocado Coconut Smoothie 2

We’ve been loving on avocados this year. ¬†We frequently indulge in our favorite healthy snack, Fresh ‘n Chunky Guacamole, which is so delish that I make double batches to keep up with the demand. ¬†Our Creamy Avocado Pasta is a fab dinner for warm summer days. ¬†Now this Avocado Coconut Smoothie is definitely going into our warm-weather drink/treat rotation.

Avocado Coconut Smoothie

Avocados are quite popular as a sweet treat in many Asian countries.  Often, avocados are blended with sweetened condensed milk for a buttery, sweet milkshake-like treat.  I used unsweetened coconut milk in lieu of sweetened condensed milk, for a much healthier smoothie.  The coconut milk lends a wonderfully tropical flavor, balancing out the avocado beautifully.  Because my coconut milk is unsweetened, I used honey for just the right amount of syrupy sweetness.

Avocado Coconut Smoothie 5

I always try to sneak in extra antioxidants into my smoothies, so I included baby spinach leaves in this one. ¬†You can’t taste the spinach at all, and it offers both color and nutrition to the smoothie. ¬†The overall result is a rich, indulgent, healthful treat that you can sip through a straw, enjoy with a spoon, or slurp straight up.

20130626-165147

This stuff is not only delicious, nutritious, but it’s also all-purpose. ¬†Breakfast, absolutely. ¬†After exercise, of course. ¬†Afternoon pick-me-up, yes. ¬†Dessert, totally.

Enjoy!

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AVOCADO COCONUT SMOOTHIE
(Makes 2 large or 4 small servings)

INGREDIENTS

1 large, just ripened avocado
1 cup whole Greek yogurt (vanilla or honey)
6-8 TB honey or agave nectar, depending on desired sweetness
1 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup baby spinach leaves
1/2 – 3/4 cup crushed ice, optional

DIRECTIONS

Combine all ingredients except ice in blender.  Blend until smooth.  If desired, add crushed ice and blend until desired smoothness.  Serve immediately or chill serve.  If serving later, place cling wrap directly over surface of smoothie to prevent any turning of color.

Source:  Chew Out Loud

Brown Sugar Baked Beans with Bacon

14 Jun

Here’s one of my favorite side dishes to take to summer potlucks and barbecues. ¬†These brown sugar baked beans with bacon are beyond easy. ¬†The kind of easy that seriously simplifies your day. ¬†They are so yummy that I always make extra. ¬†Because it’d be a bummer to run out of these sweet beans.

Brown Sugar BBQ Baked Beans 2

Everyone loves these savory yet sweet baked beans. ¬†They will think you slaved in the kitchen all day, soaking and cooking those beans. ¬†Little do they know that this bean dish took you about 3 minutes to assemble (yes, assemble) and just a bit of time in the oven. ¬†Let’s not tell ’em the secret.

Brown Sugar BBQ Baked Beans 3

This perfect BBQ side dish consists of canned beans, brown sugar, and just enough real bacon to give it that extra yum factor. ¬†This bean dish is a favorite side, as it’s sweet, salty, and a little bit smoky all at the same time. ¬†It’s the perfect accompaniment to burgers, more burgers, chicken, or whatever you’re grillin’ up. ¬†It’s awesome next to a super easy and delish potato salad.

Brown Sugar BBQ Baked Beans 4

Even my kids will eat up these baked beans, and kids aren’t known to be bean-a-holics. ¬†People who aren’t bean fans will come back for more. ¬†And it only takes a few minutes to get this dish on the table. ¬†I seriously don’t know if I’ll ever be able to post another recipe with such teensy directions. ¬†Happy cookout season.

Enjoy! ūüôā

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BROWN SUGAR BAKED BEANS WITH BACON
(serves 15-20 side dishes)

INGREDIENTS

2 cans (29 oz each) of good quality baked beans (Bush’s Country Style is great)
4 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
3 TB brown sugar
2 tsp mustard powder
3 TB ketchup
2 TB onion powder or dried minced onion
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

Set oven to 350F.

Combine all ingredients, except for bacon, in a serving dish of your choice.  Stir to fully incorporate ingredients.  Sprinkle crumbled bacon evenly on top.  Cover and place in oven for 15-20 minutes or until dish is hot.  Serve warm.

Source:  Chew Out Loud

Cheesy Potato Breakfast Casserole

30 May

Another school year is about to end, and celebrations abound. ¬†There are end-of-year lunches and brunches to celebrate the year’s achievements, big or small. ¬†Ushering in the welcome summer and contemplating what lies ahead.

Cheesy Potato and Sausage Bake

Any festivity that involves brunch is a happy thing. ¬†I love brunch food. ¬†If it isn’t something sweet, then it’s got to be something deliciously savory… and cheesy. ¬†One of my favorites is this Cheesy Ham ‘n Hash Brown Casserole.¬† But I made that for our last brunch event, so I did a different cheesy bake for this round.

Cheesy Potato and Sausage Bake 2

This Cheesy Potato Breakfast Casserole is uber cheesy.  Three kinds of cheese, eggs, potatoes, and browned sausage for excess yum factor.  It is wonderfully easy to whip up the night before.  Let it sit in the fridge overnight, and it bakes up into a crowd-pleasing dish the next day.  We love make-ahead dishes around here.  It helps hectic mornings run a little smoother.

Cheesy Potato and Sausage Bake 3

This Cheesy Potato Breakfast Casserole is smooth, robust with flavor, and an instant hit with both little people and grown-ups.  I made an extra dish of this for the boys, who requested it again for dinner.  I indulged them.  It is, after all, the end of their school year.

Enjoy!

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CHEESY POTATO BREAKFAST CASSEROLE (one 9×13)

INGREDIENTS

1 large onion, chopped
1 pound bulk sausage
4 cups (20 oz) plain frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
9 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups shredded extra sharp Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
1 1/4 cups shredded Swiss cheese
3 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp table salt
1 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350F. ¬†Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish and set aside.

Heat heavy large skillet over medium heat.  Cook sausage and onion, stirring often and breaking up the bulk sausage into small pieces.  Cook until sausage is browned throughout.  Drain and set aside.

In a very large bowl, combine potatoes, eggs, Cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, Swiss cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.  Add cooked sausage mixture.  Stir to combine well.  Pour entire mixture into prepared baking dish.  Can tightly cover and refrigerate overnight, if desired.

Bake in preheated oven 50-60 minutes or until eggs are set and cheese is melted.  If casserole sat in fridge all night, it may need to bake a bit longer.  Watch and cover with foil if the top starts browning too much in the oven.  Let stand at least 10 minutes before serving.

Source:  Chew Out Loud, adapted from allrecipes

Steel Cut Oatmeal ‘n Blueberry Muffins

22 Jan

January has one thing in common with September. ¬†Both are “Back to…” months. ¬†It’s “back to school” for September. ¬†For January, we’re all “back to healthy.” ¬†At least, in theory. ¬† ūüôā

Steel Cut Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins 2

Though my beloved family would agree that we enjoy our share of indulgent-worthy foods, we absolutely include lots of good-for-you stuff. ¬†You know… just to even things out a bit. ¬†Because we all adore oatmeal, we have a stash of various types of oatmeal. ¬†My favorite is Steel Cut. ¬†They are whole grain and minimally processed, so they’re more nutritious than other types of oatmeal. ¬†They are also super delish!

Steel Cut Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins

Ever make just a bit too much oatmeal? ¬†I do that almost every time. ¬†Oatmeal leftovers are…well, they aren’t exactly the same the next day. ¬†No worries, because Steel Cut Oatmeal Muffins are here!

These are fantastic. ¬†Steel Cut Oatmeal Muffins are tender, moist, and overflowing with good things! ¬†You’ll feel great about these muffins first thing in the morning. ¬†These are lightly sweet, chock full of blueberries, infused with warm cinnamon, and the best way to use up leftover oatmeal!

Steel Cut Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins 3

I have only made these using steel cut oatmeal, so I can’t attest to how the muffins would turn out using other kinds of oatmeal. ¬†If you haven’t tried Steel Cut oats, it’s SO worth the try! ¬†Steel Cut oats are heartier and chewier, with delicious nuttiness and oatiness (not a real word.)

You might never go back to the old stand by, once you’ve had Steel Cut oats. ¬†Enjoy!

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RECIPE (12 large muffins)

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
2 TB dry flax meal
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp table salt
1 TB ground cinnamon
2 large eggs, room temp
1/3 – 1/2 cup white sugar (depending on sweetness of berries)
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 TB vanilla extract
1 cup leftover, cooked steel cut oatmeal
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (if frozen, do not defrost)
Turbinado or coarse sugar for topping

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350F, positioning rack to middle or lower middle.  Oil or line 12 muffin cups.

Sift together the wheat flour, all purpose flour, flax meal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  In separate bowl, beat together eggs and sugar until well incorporated.  Add buttermilk, olive oil, maple syrup, and vanilla, and mix well.  Mix in cooked oatmeal until incorporated.  Quickly fold in the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.  Just gently fold from bottom up, until flour is no longer visible.  Do not overmix.  Some small lumps are okay.  Lastly, very gently fold in the blueberries.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling all the way to the top, as full as possible.  Sprinkle with coarse sugar.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out almost clean, with a few tender crumbs still attached.  Remove from oven and cool at least 10 minutes before removing from muffin tin.  Finish cooling on a rack.

Source:  Chew Out Loud, inspired by NY Times

Note:  These can keep a couple of days in airtight container at room temp.  They can also be frozen in airtight container for up to a month or two.

Hearty, Chunky Chili

17 Jan

We’re bracing ourselves for an insane cold front, scheduled to arrive in a couple of days. ¬†The anticipation of well-below-zero¬† afternoons brings on a certain amount of trepidation. ¬†My favorite remedy against frigid temps, besides curling up by the fire? ¬†Food, of course ūüôā ¬†Something big and hearty, like this chunky Chili.

Hearty Chili

This could be dubbed Super Chili. ¬†It’s a man’s chili. ¬†Whatever that means. ¬†Superbowl food? ¬†This makes a huge batch, so it definitely would feed a bunch of hungry guys. ¬†Bottom line: ¬†This is our favorite chili of all time, and we’ve had many a chili. ¬†I got this recipe from my good friend Tiffany, known as Auntie Tiff to my kids. ¬†She generously shared her famous chili recipe with me, and I have never looked for another. ¬†Thank you!

Hearty Chili 2

I’ve tweaked this Chili recipe a bit over the years, but it’s still the same delicious hot bowl that your peeps will love to sit down to after coming indoors on a cold winter day. ¬†A warming dinner, perfect after a long day at work or at play. ¬†This hearty chili is almost enough to make you feel you’ve defeated that dreary blizzard outside. ¬†Not really, but it is¬† pretty phenomenal.

Hearty Chili 3

I often use ground turkey in lieu of beef, but either works great.  The savory turkey or beef is mixed with chunky veggies like sweet bell peppers and tomatoes.  The heat is up to you.  Top it off with shredded cheese and watch that yummy cheese melt into your hot bowl of chili.   Sweet corn muffins are deliciously moist and go perfectly with chili, every time.

Enjoy, stay warm, and feed some hungry friends!

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RECIPE (10-12 servings)

INGREDIENTS

2 lbs. lean ground turkey or beef
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp fresh round black pepper
1-2 TB light olive oil
32 oz good tomato sauce (I love Premium Hunts Pasta Sauce for thickness and flavor)
16 oz can Italian diced tomatoes, with juices
16 oz can kidney beans, drained
16 oz can black beans, drained
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 green bell peppers, seeded and chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
2-4 tsp chili powder, depending on desired amount of heat
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
Dash of cayenne
Dash of Tabasco sauce
Dash of allspice
Shredded Cheddar or Jack cheese for topping

DIRECTIONS

Mix uncooked ground meat with 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp kosher salt, and 1 tsp pepper.  Mix together well.  Add olive oil in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven and cook meat until browned, breaking it up while you cook.

In same heavy pot or Dutch oven, add in the rest of ingredients to the browned meat.  Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.  Immediately reduce to simmer and cover.  Simmer, covered, for 4 hours until flavors are infused.

Top with shredded cheese and serve with sweet corn muffins.

Source:  Chew Out Loud

Note:  Chili can also be done in a slow cooker.  Cook on low for up to 7 or 8 hours, but not longer.

Homestyle Chicken Chow Mein Noodles

14 Jan

Chow mein is one of those popular staples at any Chinese restaurant. ¬†But…just like no two burger joints make a burger exactly the same way, every restaurant does their chow mein a little bit differently.

Homestyle Chicken Chow Mein

We’re a family that’s fond of all things pasta, so we’ll happily nosh on most¬†varieties of chow mein. ¬†Thin noodles, thick noodles, noodles galore. ¬†It’s all good, as long as the “chow mein” is actually comprised of said noodles, and not a mountain of sprouts and crunchy stick things.

Homestyle Chicken Chow Mein 2

Of course, most dear to my heart is the homestyle variety… the kind of Chicken Chow Mein noodles my parents would make at home. ¬†The kind I often throw together in my own kitchen and my kids devour. ¬†The kind that quickly gets chowed down if taken to potlucks.

Homestyle Chicken Chow Mein 3

This homestyle chicken chow mein is chock full of chewy noodles, julienned carrots, broccoli florets, mushrooms, and chicken. ¬†All good things, embellished with garlic and savory flavors. ¬†Use whatever veggies and protein you like, and you’ll have a dish you love.

Homestyle Chicken Chow Mein 4

Try it and you’ll quite possibly never look at Chinese take-out chow mein the same again. ¬†It’s super easy to cook up and reheats really well. ¬† And…add those crunchy sticks if you must ūüôā ¬†Enjoy!

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RECIPE (makes 4-6 main dish servings)

INGREDIENTS

Peanut or light olive oil
6 garlic cloves, chopped and divided
1 head fresh broccoli florets, cut to bite size
1 cup carrots, peeled and julienned
8oz button or rehydrated Shitake mushrooms, sliced thinly
14.5 oz dried spaghetti
Asian oyster sauce
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
Optional:  Chopped scallions or cilantro for garnish

For the Chicken Mixture:
1 lb chicken breast, skinless and boneless
3 TB rice cooking wine (not vinegar)
3 TB regular soy sauce (not light)
1 TB Asian pure sesame oil, typically brown in color
2 TB sugar
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp ground ginger
3 garlic cloves, minced

DIRECTIONS

Do Ahead:  Dry chicken breasts and cut into bite size pieces.  Mix chicken with all of Chicken Mixture ingredients, making sure all chicken pieces are in contact with marinade.  Marinade at least 2 hours or overnight.

Start boiling a large pot of salted water for the pasta.

Heat 2 TB oil in large heavy skillet or wok.  Cook chicken with marinade until chicken is no longer pink in center.  Do not overcook.  Transfer cooked chicken with juices to a large bowl and set aside.

In same skillet/wok, heat 2 TB oil and cook half of the chopped garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add broccoli florets and julienned carrots.  Cook on medium high until just tender, adding dashes of water as needed to keep veggies from drying out.  Add 2 tsp kosher salt,  1 TB oyster sauce, and 1/2 tsp black pepper.  Stir fry another minute.  Add sliced mushrooms and cook just until soft.  Transfer veggies to the bowl with cooked chicken.

Cook spaghetti noodles just until al dente – not more. ¬†Drain in colander; don’t rinse. ¬†Heat 3 TB oil in large pot or wok with rest of chopped garlic, cooking just until fragrant. ¬†Add back the cooked noodles. ¬†Add 2 T Asian sesame oil and 4 TB oyster sauce. ¬†Stir fry the noodles on medium about 3 minutes (easier with chopsticks.) ¬†Add salt/pepper to taste, if needed.

Stir in desired amount of cooked veggies/chicken mixture with juices (use all of it, or save some to go with rice the next day.)  Stir fry thoroughly a few more minutes, until well incorporated.

Garnish with chopped scallions or cilantro if desired.  Serve warm.

Source:  Chew Out Loud

Chicken Florentine Pesto Pasta

10 Jan

Chicken Florentine Pesto Pasta. ¬†That’s a mouthful. ūüôā ¬†But don’t let the lengthy moniker fool you. ¬†This tasty pasta dish is deliciously simple. ¬†Bonus: ¬†it’s good for you!

Chicken Florentine Pesto Pasta

Chicken Florentine Pesto Pasta boasts players like chicken breast, garlic, spinach, and pesto. ¬†We love making easy homemade pesto, which tastes fresh and super delish. ¬†You’ll love making your own pesto, which also stores well in the fridge. ¬†I haven’t tried store bought pesto, but it’ll probably work in a pinch.

Chicken Florentine Pesto Pasta 2

This Chicken Florentine pasta dish is light and perfect for keeping up all those healthy New Year resolutions. ¬†What this dish isn’t light on is flavor. ¬†It is absolutely savory and yummy. ¬†My family loves this pasta, and my 3 year old actually chomps away happily at the spinach! ¬†(Now, if I can get the older siblings to do the same.)

Chicken Florentine Pesto Pasta 3

Serve up this pasta with a nice crisp Sauvignon Blanc, and you’ve got a fabulous dinner! ¬†Make it a delicious weeknight supper for the family or weekend dinner with guests. ¬†Either way, this Chicken Florentine Pasta is phenomenal. ¬†Enjoy!

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RECIPE (6-8)

INGREDIENTS

16 oz dried penne pasta
4 chicken breast pieces (about 1 1/2 lbs total)
kosher salt and table salt
freshly cracked black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup crisp white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
9-10 oz bag of fresh baby spinach
1/4 cup cream
1/2 cup prepared pesto
1 cup freshly grated parmesan

DIRECTIONS

Boil a large pot of well-salted water. ¬†Cook penne until al dente. ¬†Drain (don’t rinse.) ¬†Toss drained penne with some olive oil to prevent sticking. ¬†Keep warm.

While pasta is preparing, make the chicken:  Put cling wrap over each piece of chicken on a cutting board.  Pound each piece evenly thin (about 1/4 inch thickness.)  Sprinkle each chicken piece lightly and evenly with kosher salt and pepper, on both sides.  Heat 2 TB of olive oil in a large skillet and brown two of the chicken breasts on both sides over medium high heat.  Cook just until chicken is cooked through; about 2-3 minutes per side, depending on how cold and thick the chicken is.  Repeat with remaining pieces.  Slice chicken breasts into strips and set aside.

Put chopped onion and garlic into skillet with 2 TB oil.  Saute 2-3 minutes until fragrant.  Add the white wine and 1/2 tsp table salt.  Boil vigorously until liquid is reduced by half, about 2 minutes.

Add fresh spinach and saute on medium-low, stirring often, just until spinach begins wilting.  Turn heat to low.  Add cooked chicken, cream, and pesto, stirring to combine and warm up, about 1 min.  Remove from heat.

In a large serving bowl or dish, combine cooked penne with the chicken/spinach mixture.  Season with more kosher salt and pepper to taste.  Mix in fresh parmesan, reserving some for garnish.  Serve immediately.

Wine Pairing Note:  This pasta dish is perfect with a crisp, light Sauvignon Blanc

Source:  Chew Out Loud, adapted from Simply Recipes 

Asian Sticky Rice

7 Jan

We grew up on sticky rice.  Sometimes it was beautifully wrapped in ti leaves, steamed to a soft and savory perfection.  Other times, the sticky rice was served grub-style, in a big pot and ready to fill up hungry bowls.

Sticky Rice 3

Hubby’s grandmother was especially skilled at creating Asian treats, both sweet and savory. ¬†For Lunar New Year (aka Chinese New Year), she would begin her kitchen magic before dawn. ¬†She alone cooked up a roomful of mouth-watering goodies that kept her big family jubilant throughout the Lunar holiday.

Sticky Rice 2

Hubby and I are very “watered down” when it comes to Lunar New Year celebrations. ¬†Even though we honestly don’t remember the date each year, we still love the food. ¬†I do make a mean sticky rice, at least.

Sticky Rice

Our sticky rice is definitely of the grub variety. ¬†No fuss; goes from pot to bowl, easy and delish. ¬†Since we’re on a mostly preservative-free lifestyle, I sub out the Chinese sausage with with fresh ground meat. ¬†I use ground turkey, which is delicious in this sticky rice. ¬†If you’re adamant about doing it with the traditional Chinese sausage, go for it! ¬†You’ll find it at Asian markets.

Sticky Rice 4

My kids love, love, love sticky rice. ¬†They down huge helpings of it. ¬†Hubby devours sticky rice, one of his favorite Asian dishes. ¬†We think you’ll enjoy it, too. ¬†It’s a breeze to whip up, and so good as either a main or side dish. ¬†It keeps well and reheats wonderfully. ¬†Enjoy!

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RECIPE (about 10 side servings)

INGREDIENTS
3 cups short-grain glutinous rice (not sushi rice)
1 cup dried Shitake mushrooms
1 TB vegetable oil
1 TB finely minced, peeled fresh ginger
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
1/3 cup Chinese rice wine
4 TB regular soy sauce
3 TB Asian oyster sauce
4 tsp Asian pure sesame oil (typically brownish in color)
1/2 tsp white pepper
2 1/3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

For the meat mixture:
1/2 lb ground turkey
2 TB Chinese rice wine
2 TB regular soy sauce
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder

DIRECTIONS

Do ahead:  Fully cover rice with water and soak for 3-4 hours.  Drain in sieve and rinse with cold water.  Set aside.  Soak mushrooms in warm water about 1 hour.  Drain and finely chop.  Set aside.

Mix everything in meat mixture in a bowl, incorporating thoroughly.  Cook ground turkey in large skillet, breaking it up into small bits.  Set aside cooked meat.

Heat a heavy large pot (I use my largest All-Clad) with 1 TB oil until hot.  Add ginger and stir fry for a minute.  Add meat and mushrooms, stir frying for another minute.  Stir in rice wine, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, white pepper, and drained rice.  Stir to coat thoroughly.  Add broth, stir to incorporate, and bring to a low boil.

Once it reaches a low boil, immediately reduce to simmer.  Cover tightly and cook 45 minutes.  Turn heat off and let it sit for at least 10 minutes, covered.  Do not peak!

Carefully stir cooked sticky rice, from bottom to top throughout.  Cover and let stand another 10 minutes before serving.

Garnish with freshly sliced scallions, if desired.  Enjoy!

Source:  Chew Out Loud

Note:  Alternatively, you can use Chinese sausage, found in Asian markets.  Just chop up 5-6 links and use in place of ground turkey.  If using Chinese sausage, no need to flavor or precook it, as it comes fully cooked and flavored.  

I use regular Kikkoman soy sauce.  If you prefer lower sodium, use low-sodium soy sauce.

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