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Friday, July 31, 2009

Stuffed Zucchini


Another simple dinner. An overly stuffed zucchini. Mwhahahaha... That can also be a light supper. I had gotten a large long zucchini from the farmer's market over the weekend. When I buy produce, I usually don't have a clue as to what I'll be making with them. But I do stare at the endless selection to almost no end, trying to decide whether or not to purchase them. I think the vendors think I crazy.

I had vienna sausages, onion, and a lovely heirloom tomato. Mixed all that up to a good helping of panko crumbs after doing a quick saute of the sausage and onion. Baked in the oven for close to half an hour to give the top a crisp crust and the zucchini a nice roast. Delish!!! The tomato sauce on the plate is completely optional. I did that for decor. You can omit the sausage to make this a completely vegetarian dish or replace it with another vegetable.

Serve 2




Stuffed Zucchini

1 Large long zucchini
3 vienna sausage links or your preferred sausage (minced)
1/2 medium tomato (chopped)
1/2 small onion (chopped)
1 c panko crumbs
1/2 c grated parmesan (plus extra)
Olive Oil

Preheat your oven to 375˚F

Cut the zucchini in half and hallow out the middle with a spoon. Save the insides in a bowl and chop them in to bits.

In a skillet, saute the onions and sausage for a few minutes until the onions are translucent in a tiny drizzle of olive oil. Remove from the skillet and add it into the bowl of the zucchini bits. Mix in the panko crumbs and grated parmesan.

Take the zucchini boats and stuff them with as much of the mixture. Sprinkle more parmesan on top.

Place them on a lightly greased baking sheet. Place some balled up foil on the sides to keep from the boats from falling over.

Bake for 25 min.




Thursday, July 30, 2009

Watermelon Smoothie



Yep, another smoothie to cool down from the summer heat. This one is really refreshing. Fresh watermelon with a couple splashes of apple juice and a ton of ice blended together. You can use real apples too. I'd suggest the green variety would be best. It just so happened that I had the juice on hand, so I felt it perfect to go well with the watermelon.

Subtle fruit flavor that makes you want lounge in a chair all day and simply relax. I'll let the smoothie speak for itself. Doesn't it look inviting? Come lounge with me on this fine summer day.





Watermelon Smoothie

2 c watermelon (deseeded)
1/4 c apple juice
3-4 c Ice

Blend all three ingredients together.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Semi-Homemade Breadsticks


Okay from the picture, it looks more like a round bread, cut in half. I would have cut them into stick form, but I just didn't have the patience to actually cut them. I took the easy way out and quartered them instead.

When I was little, my mom and I used to walk to Blockbuster Video and rent whatever latest movie was out. Remember those days of actually going out to the video store and picking out a movie you wanted to watch, if it was in stock. Yes, folks...these were the days before Netflix and instant streaming came along. Anyway, next to Blockbuster was a Little Caesar's Pizza. You know, they had the little Greek cartoon character wearing a toga and a laurel wreath on his head and said "Pizza, pizza!" We'd always stop by and get two orders of their breadsticks and munch on them on the way home. One bag for me and one for my mom. It was literally a round pizza dough baked, cut into strips and seasoned.

Since I made my pizza dough, I wanted to somehow recreate that feeling I once did when I was a child. The portion of dough I had thawed out wasn't big enough to make plump ones, so this was slightly thinner than the once I had a Little Caesar's, but it's really good. Simple to make, too.

If you're having guests over want to impress them with some breadsticks as an appetizer. Here's an easy way to do it. Fool them into thinking that you made the whole thing yourself. You can use your own homemade dough that you've saved in the freezer or premade dough like the Pillsbury Pizza crust. Be sure to get the classic kind. You want them plump. Granted mine aren't as plump, but you want them plump. I added garlic powder, but that's optional. But it must have melted butter and grated parmesan cheese. Yummy!!

Serves 2.





Semi-Homemade Breadsticks

1 homemade or premade pizza dough
1 1/2 Tbsp melted butter
1/3 c grated parmesan
3 Tbsp garlic powder (optional)


Preheat your oven to 375˚F

Roll the dough onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Thickness of the dough is your choice.

Baste the top of the dough with half the melted butter. Sprinkle the optional garlic powder, and half the parmesan. Score the dough lightly with a knife outlining sticks before placing in the oven.

Baked for 10-15 min. (depending on thickness) Remove from the oven and baste with the rest butter and top with the remaining parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Garlic Pasta


You know dinner needs to be prepare soon, but you don't know what to make. Your brain isn't working properly and you become frustrated. At least, I do. A simple solution that sometimes stares you straight in the face and finally hits you like a brick falling from a building. I can always go to my pasta back-up plan to save the day.

I think you all know by now that I love garlic. I use the stuff whenever I can, so why not have it with a favorite type of meal. Pasta! With some herbs and maybe a little onion. This is one pasta dish where the tomato is not an invited guest. I sauteed the garlic with a good amount of olive oil to let the flavors blend together as well as adding the herbs. I used a bland of penne and small shell. That was all I had in the cupboard. you don't have to stick to one type of pasta to make a good dish, right? Anyway, the aroma is wonderful. Love it!

If you're in a jam to make something fast, this is a quick fix dinner. You can add tomato sauce, but I'll leave that up to you to decide. I prefer it without.

serves 2-3



Garlic Pasta
4 c uncooked pasta
1/2 c extra virgin olive oil (plus extra)
4 large garlic cloves (minced)
2 Tbsp dry or fresh parsley
2 Tbsp dry or fresh basil
1/2 c grated parmesan
salt
8 oz tomato sauce (optional)

Boil pasta in a large water filled pot until al dente. Be sure to season the water with salt and a slight drizze of olive oil. Boil for roughly 10-12 min. Drain most, but not all the water.

In a sauce pan, heat the oil and saute the onion, garlic, parsley and basil for a few minutes. You'd want the onions to be limp. Mix in the pasta.

Serve warm.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Roasted Veggie Calzone



When I see a calzone, I imagine it as a mega-sized empanada. Haha... But I do love the stuff. It's a pizza on the go. Which by the way, I finally made my own pizza dough. Woohoo! I made a batch enough for 4 pizzas. Used one and kept the other three dough balls in the freezer for future pizzas or whatever I decide to make with them.

I rummaged through my little recipe box for a dough recipe, I knew I had one, I just never used it until now. I don't remember where I had gotten it as I had written it out on a small piece of index card. Since I've been making my own bread, I'm slowly becoming a little more confident in trying to make things I normally wouldn't.

Anyway...For the calzone, you can use premade dough from the store, if you don't have time to make your own. I roasted some eggplant and zucchini that I had gotten from the farmer's market. Sliced up some fresh tomato and had some grated parmesan. There were a couple sandwich slices of swiss cheese, so I added that on top of the crust a few minutes before taking it out of the oven. That part is completely optional.

Mmmm...Layered veggie goodness!!!

This will serve 2-3.



Pizza Dough
4 C All Purpose Flour
2 c warm water (110 to 120˚F)
1 packet or 2 tsp dry active yeast
2 tsp salt
5 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (plus extra for the bowl and basting)
1 tsp sugar

Combine the water, yeast and sugar together. Let is sit for roughly 5 min..

In a large bowl combine the flour, salt and oil. Blend well. Add in the yeast mixture and mix all together until it forms into a dough ball.

On a well-floured surface. Knead the dough for a couple of minutes until almost elastic in feel. Place the dough into another bowl lubed with olive oil. Cover with platic wrap and a towel and keep away from light until the dough rises and doubles in size. Roughly 1-2 hours.

When the dough doubles, lightly punch down the dough to release the gases inside.

Layout the dough on a well-floured surface and divide into 4 ball. Wrap unused dough in plastic wrap and keep in the freezer until ready to use.



Roasted Veggie Calzone

1 pizza dough - homemade or store bought
1 medium eggplant - sliced
2 small zucchini - sliced
1/2 medium onion - sliced into half moons
1 tomato - sliced
tomato sauce
olive oil
salt
pepper
grated parmesan cheese

Preheat your oven to 400˚F

Toss the eggplant and zucchini in olive oil and season with some salt and pepper. Lay the veggies out on a baking sheet and roast for 20-25 min. Give them a toss half way though.

On a well-floured surface, roll out your dough into a circle using a rolling pin or by gently stretching it with your hands. Then gently place it on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Layer the tomato sauce in a full circle. Be sure to leave at least an inch of dough untouched. Then layer the eggplant, zucchini and tomato slices on on half of the dough. Sprinkle some parmesan cheese over them. you may also put some cheese in between layers.

Fold over the other half of the dough and crimp the edges to seal. Brush the top of the dough with some olive oil and bake for roughly 15-20 min until the dough is golden brown.




Sunday, July 26, 2009

Baked Garlic-Rosemary Fries



Here's the other batch of fries that I made. Fry #2. I had an extra potato left from the potato salad I made earlier in the week. I figured I'd make a batch of regular french fries along with the parmesan sweet potato version.

There's a brewery-restaurant here called Gorden Biersch. I'm not sure if they have any other branches, but they have some really great tasting garlic fries. It's been a LONG time since I've had them. Here's my version of those fries. Again with my quest to avoid deep-frying, I baked them, which turned out awesome. It still had the crisp crunch you find with the fried version. I tossed the potatoes before baking in some olive oil, fresh minced garlic and dry rosemary. To give them a little bit crisper texture, I put them in the broiler for a couple of minutes.

Served it with a side of banana ketchup. Yum!!! You can leave the skins on or peel them. Whatever your preference may be.

This serves 2 people.



Baked Garlic-Rosemary Fries

1 large russet potato
1 large garlic clove - minced
2 Tbsp dry rosemary
Olive oil
salt

Preheat oven to 450˚F

Cut the potato into 1/4-inch stick.

In a large bowl, toss the potato sticks in some olive oil. Toss them well then add in the garlic, rosemary and a sprinkling of salt.

Plce on a baking sheet lies with parchment paper and bake for 40-45 min. Give them a toss halfway through.

To get them slightly crisper, place them in the broiler for 2 min after the oven.



Saturday, July 25, 2009

Baked Parmesan Sweet Potato Fries


I was in a french fry kind of mood. So today and tomorrow will be about fries because I decided to make two types the other day due to my indecision on what to cook. Both are baked meaning they are healthier, tastier and oh-so-delicious!!! Here's the first one. Baked Parmesan Sweet Potato Fries. I already did a herb version of these, so I decided to change it up and and make them thinner.

Can you hear them? They're calling out "eat me, eeeeeat me" (in a haunting voice). Sweet potatoes and cheese, I think is another winning combination right there. Besides, who doesn't like sweet potatoes? I hope there's no one out there who doesn't like them. That would make me sad. You don't want to make Little J sad. (*inserts tear-drop and puppy dog face*)

I had cut them 1/4-inch thick rather than 1/2-inch. You can peel them or leave the skins, its your choice. I coated them with some olive oil and grated parmesan cheese before baking and when they come out, they have a bit of a crisp cheese crust as well as a soft center. After baking, I tossed them in more cheese. You can never have enough cheese is what I say.

Serves 2



Baked Parmesan Sweet Potato Fries

2 medium Sweet Potatoes (peeled optional)
1 c grated parmesan cheese
olive oil
salt


Preheat you oven 450˚F

Cut the Sweet potatoes into 1/4-inch sticks.

In a bowl, toss them in a drizzle of olive oil. Then pour in 2/3 of the parmesan and a seasoning of salt, again toss well to coat each stick.

Place the fries on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake for 30 min. Toss them every 10 min to give an even browning.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Peacherry Tarts


Another tart in one week!!!! I know, but it's Friday. That's my only excuse. Besides, who could resist a fruit tart, eh? A peach and cherry tart. Doesn't that make you drool? Yum yum!!!!! I think I'm getting the hang of this whole tart making business.

I poached the peaches for several seconds in boiling water to help in removing the skins. You can used the canned stuff, too. But since they're in season right now, why not go for the fresh stuff, right? As I mentioned when I made the Banana Cherry Smoothie, I don't have a cherry pitter. I did mine the old fashioned way. Sliced and split by hand. Took a a good maybe 10 min to do 3 dozen cherries. It didn't feel that long. When get a rhythm going, it goes by fast.

I turned the cherries into a simple compote and poured it half way through the baking process as to avoid spillage from the edges. No base on this as the juices and syrup of the cherries will soak up into the puff pastry. Sprinkle a little bit of powdered sugar on top and serve chilled or warm. It's so delicious either way.

This will make 6 small tarts or 3 long rectangular tarts.



Peacherry Tarts

1 puff pastry
2 ripe peaches
3 dozen cherries
1/4 c granulated sugar
powdered sugar
1 Tbsp melted butter


To remove the skins from the peaches, soak them in boiling water for 45-60 sec. Then soak into into into cold water to let them cool. Once cool peel back the skins and discard. Slice the peaches into thin wedges and set aside.

Preheat your oven to 375˚F

Cut the puff pastry into 6 small rectangles or 3 large rectangles. 1/2-inch from the edges score 4 lines creating an inner square. This will the crust.

Place peach wedges within the pastries. Basted the edges with the melted butter and bake them for 15 min.

While the pastries are baking, in a sauce pan, combine together the cherries and sugar. Heat them until the juices from the cherries are released.

Pour the compote over the baked puff pastries and bake the tarts for another 10 min.



Thursday, July 23, 2009

Little J's Potato Salad



Don't you just hate it when you accidentally click on "publish" rather than "save as draft" when working on a post. Then all of the sudden, the cursor goes wacko on you and randomly darts of in a weird direction. Ugh! Anyway, here's my potato salad I had mentioned with the Grilled Shrimp Skewers. I call this Little J's Potato Salad. Little J is a nickname I've had since high school and it's pretty much stuck with me ever since.

This is an adaptation from a recipe my mom had gotten from a friend. The original version had a strong vinegar taste to it that didn't suit too well with my palate. So I tweaked it and what you have here is a balance of flavors. Not overbearing, just right. I love this version. Whenever I can I try to make a batch of it. It's really good. Not like your usual potato salad, whatever that may be. The yellow color comes from the mustard in the recipe. With a touch of vinegar, some relish, onions, sugar and mayo. A nice subtle sweet flavor. Plus, a hefty dusting of paprika.

This will make you go back and get seconds.



Little J's Potato Salad

4-5 Large Russet Potatoes

1/3 c Sweet Onion (finely chopped)
1/3 c sweet relish
1 c mayo
1/2 c sugar
1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 c Yellow Mustard
Paprika


Cut the potatoes into cubes. Size is to your choosing.

Bring a pot of water to a boil, season liberally with salt. Add in the potatoes and cook until tender. When a fork pierces through without any hesitation that means the potatoes are done.

Drain and let them cool.

In a bowl, combine onions, relish, mayo, sugar, vinegar and mustard. Combine well until the sugar has dissolved.

When the potatoes are cool enough, pour in the dressing and toss to combine. Use a two bowl method. By pouring the potatoes back and forth until everything is coated with the dressing.

When ready, sprinkle as much paprika as you'd like and enjoy.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Banana Cherry Smoothie


Hot weather calls for a cold drink. Here's a simple easy smoothie that's healthy and good for you, but also refreshing. Take a couple of bananas, some cherries, a couple splashes of pomegranate juice and some ice. Blend the whole thing and in within minutes you've got yourself a delicious drink. Can you say Jamba-what? Save me a couple of bucks right there. Though, I'll have to attempt to recreate my fave smoothie ever. The Mango-a-go-go. More on that next time.

I don't have a cherry pitter. I just quartered and halved them to take the seed out. This left me with slightly red fingers. Don't worry it washes off, unlike beets. I was going to puree the whole thing any way, so it didn't matter if I had them whole or not. That's another thing to add to my every-growing list of kitchen do-dads to have.

Look at the little cherry swimming a pool of fruity goodness. Grab yourself a glass and sit back, relax and enjoy each sip. It'll satisfy your thirst.

Serves 2-3.





Banana Cherry Smoothie

2 ripe bananas
1 dozen cherries (stemed and pitted)
a couple splashes of pomegranate juice.
2 c Ice

Blend all three ingredients together in a food processor or blender. Blend into a smooth texture.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Grilled Shrimp Skewers


It's grillin' time again. For this go around, I made some shrimp with pineapple skewers. Who wouldn't love some shrimpy goodness? Unless you're allergic, then you're excused.

These little shrimpies were marinated in a simple soy sauce, lemon and garlic mixture That I marinated for a little over an hour. Skewered it with some fresh cut pineapple and grilled away. The smell around the house with the shrimp and pineapple cooking away. It was tempting not to take a bite, but I slightly burned my tongue on a lone shrimp that had no skewer to attach to. I couldn't resist. Don't tell me you haven't tried taking a bite or a sip of something right from the cooker, only to give the tongue a beating. No matter how many times I say "I won't do that again," I always do.

I served this with a side of Little J's Potato Salad. Little J, being one of my nicknames. Recipe for that coming soon. I also used some of the leftover marinade as a dipping sauce.

This will make roughly 6 skewers.



Grilled Shrimp Skewers

1 lb Shrimp (deveined and shelled)
Pineapple chunks
1 c soy sauce
Juice of one lemon
1 large garlic clove (minced)
6 Skewers

Marinate the shrimp in the soy sauce, lemon juice and garlic for at least 30min to an hour. This may be done in advance.

Prepare your grill.

Soak the skewers in water for at least 30min. This will prevent the sticks from burning while on the grill. Skewer a shrimp and pineapple on the stick, alternating each until you reach the top.

Cook the shrimp until they turn a nice shade white and pink. Roughly 3-5 min per side depending on the heat of your grill.

Serve warm.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Baked Nectarine Tart


Sometimes baked goods aren't that photogenic. This tart is one of them. But looks can be deceiving as its taste is amazing. Nectarines are in abundance right now as well as plums and peaches. One of the reasons I like summer is the various produce that are in season.

I paired it with a mascarpone base similar to the ones made for tiramisu, just without the espresso and an addition of a cinnamon-sugar topping. It tastes a bit like a danish, which I found to be quite pleasant.



Baked Nectarine Tart

3 firm and ripe nectarines
1 puff pastry sheet
6 oz mascarpone cheese
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp melted butter

topping:
1 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp butter or margarine (softened)


Preheat oven to 400˚F

Combine the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside. This will be the topping for the tart.

In another bowl, combine together the mascarpone, egg yolks, and granulated sugar until smoothe. Set aside

Cut the nectarines into thin wedges. You may remove or keep the skins.

Take the puff pastry and place it in a lightly greased baking sheet. Take a knife and 1/2-inch from the edges, lightly score 4 lines creating an inner square. This will be the crust. With a fork perforate the dough several times, this will help when it bakes.

Take the mascarpone mixture and spread it even on the puff pastry, not passing the edge mark. Then place the nectarine slices over in a pattern to your liking. Spread the topping mixture after.

Take the melted butter and baste the edges.

Bake for 15-20 until browned.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

10 Fun Food Facts of the Day and a couple of awards

It's that time again. Woohoo...fun food facts!!!!! Enjoy!!


one -

Did you know that butter is one of our oldest foods?

(Hooray for butter!!! I don't know what I'd do without you!!)


two -

The candy bar "Baby Ruth" was named after the daughter of U.S. President Grover Cleveland in 1921.


three -
In 1919, a molasses flood killed 21 people in the north end of Boston.


(Wow how much of molasses do you think it took?!)


four-
In 1930, Ruth Wakefield of Massachusetts, invented the chocolate chip cookie. At that time, it was known as the "Chocolate Crispie"

(Thank you, Mrs. Wakefield. If it weren't for you, I wouldn't be a chocoholic!!!)



five -

There are over 240 varieties of fish and shellfish sold in the fish markets and grocery stores.


six-
In 1953, a 1 pound can of lobster cost a nickel! It was also commonly used as farm fertilizer and was considered "Poor Man's Food"

(oh, how the tides have turned on this beloved crustacean.)


seven -
Carrots really can help you see in the dark! Vitamin A is known to prevent "night blindness," and carrots are loaded with Vitamin A.

(So be sure to eat your carrots, folks. Bugs Bunny did!!)


eight -
It takes 50,000 bees to produce 500 pounds of honey in one year!


nine -
Asparagus is related to onions, leeks, and garlic.


ten-
More than 96 billion pounds of edible "surplus" food is thrown away in the U.S. each year. It is estimated that almost 27% of our food supply is wasted.

(Which is why I don't like to waste. I'm all about making use of any leftovers.)

--------------------
Sources:
http://www.foodfunandfacts.com/foodtrivia.htm
http://www.vvsd.org/districtdept/food/foodfacts.htm#popcorn
-----------------------



I'd also like to acknowledge a couple of awards that I recived this week. The first is from ValleyWriter at Adventures in the Pioneer Valley. She had passed along to me the Kreativ Blogger award.


Second is from Laura at Hey What's for Dinner Mom? She passed along to me the Hard Working Food Blogger award.


Thank you ladies!!!! Please be sure to check out their blogs. They got some wonderful stuff and you won't be disappoint. ;-)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

S.L.T


Just like the B.L.T., this sandwich is simple and easy. A sausage, lettuce and tomato sandwich. I didn't have any bacon on hand, so I used the next best thing. I still had that Hickory Farm's sausage. Well, actually a nub of it. But the nub still seemed big. Then I remember that I had opened a can of vienna sausages the other day. I was planning to use if for something, but I never did end up making whatever I had planned. I can't even remember why I wanted to use it in the first place.

I grew up with vienna sausages as with spam. My mom sometimes puts it in her spaghetti sauce rather than hot dog as many Filipinos households do. That's our version of doing meatballs. For some odd reason, as I began to slice the sausages in half, I found myself just chopping them to bits. I don't know why I did that, but I just did. It still worked out in the end. I just found it completely random act on my part. Don't worry didn't chop the tomato or lettuce. I used some dijon mustard for the base on the bread for give the sandwich a little twang and topped it with some swiss cheese. I put in the broiler for 1-2 min to let the cheese melt.

Anyway...a delicious and a quick meal. Only takes minutes to make. Perfect for those busy days. Sometimes canned meats don't have to be scary.

Serves 2.




S.L.T (Sausage, Lettuce, Tomato)

2 sandwich Loaves (sliced open)
1 small can vienna sausage (chopped or sliced into halves)
2 small tomato (sliced)
a few pieces of romaine lettuce.
mustard
2 sandwich slices of swiss cheese (halved)

Cook the vienna sausage in the skillet. Do not use any oil as the sausage will cook in its own fats. You just want to heat it up until they start to brown.

Putting it together:
Spread some of the mustard on both sides of the bread. Top the bottom with lettuce and tomato, the with some of the sausage. Take two pieces of the halved cheese and place the top half of the bread.

You may melt the cheese in the broiler for 2 min or leave it as it is.

Serve as a warm or cold sandwich.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Banana Cue


I'm still in my summer Filipino treats mode. You already saw my Sago at Gulaman concoction. If not, go check it out after you finish reading today's delicious dish. I had bought a couple of plantains from the grocery a couple days ago. They looked fresh and there was only a few left. I took the opportunity to take 'em. You want to get them just right before they turn ripe. It's the best kind when you fry these puppies. Banana cue is another common treat found from street vendors in the Philippines.

They are plantains that are fried with brown sugar giving it a firm caramel coat. Kind of like candied bananas or almost like a bananas foster in a way. In the Philippine language, a banana is called saging (sa-ging). It's close relative treat is the turon (to-ron), which is a plantain and a piece of jack fruit wrapped in an egg roll wrapper, fried and coated with brown sugar. The banana cue is similar but it's strictly just the banana and served on a skewer. Easy portability. I'll be making the turon soon.

You'd think that frying a banana would cook it inside and out. Yes and no. The key is to just brown the outer layer, then sealing it with a brown sugar coating until it caramelizes. The outside of it has a nice firm sugar crust. When you bite into it, it's got a little itty-bitty crunch then you get into the nice, yellow, soft and warm inside of the plantain. My mom once told me she used to eat these with her classmates during recess when she was a little child.

I didn't put any time measurements as you need to keep an eye out on them. You got to get a feeling for them while they cook. I think that's the secret to making delicious banana cues. Can you see that chunky piece of crystalized sugar?? Those are the best parts. It goes really well with ice cream.

I could eat these all day. Have a piece of fruit while satisfying the sweet tooth, what could be better than that, right?



Banana Cue

2 Large Plantain (nearly ripe)
4 Tbsp brown sugar
Skewers

Oil (canola, vegetable, peanut = You choice)

Remove the skins of the plantains, cut them in half.

In a frying pan, heat some oil. Just enough to go half way up the banana. When the oil is really hot, carfully drop in the plantains. You'd want the outside to have a slight browning. Turn, if needed.

When the bananas have browned slightly all around, sprinkle the brown sugar. You may add more. Keep an eye while they fry you want the sugar to melt and coat the plaintains. Roughly 5-10min. turn them ocassionaly to cook all around.

When the sugar has completely coated the plantains and looks firm, remove from then oil and insert a skewer lengthwise. Two will fit on one stick.

Serve warm.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Coconut Crusted Baked Chicken Nuggets


Chicken and rice. I've seen quite a few recipes lately featuring these two delectable dishes. So I decided upon myself to have some chicken and rice. Luckily, I still had some white rice in the fridge that hadn't spoiled yet. That saved me the trouble of having to cook a new batch. I made some Pinoy Style Garlic Fried Rice.

I've been wanting to do something with chicken nuggets. I had gotten some coconut flakes over the weekend and I figured why not use that for the breading. Mix it in with some panko crumbs. another great excuse to use up another chicken breast from the big bag from Costco.

A herby-coconut flavor that I had dipped in some banana ketchup and I was happy and filled and later went to bed happy. Did I mention that this is baked? No? Well, they are. and they're really good. Better than that those Mcd's "nuggets".


Serve 2-3



Coconut Crusted Baked Chicken Nuggets

1 Large Chicken Breast
3 Tbsp All Purpose Flour
1 egg (beaten)
1 c panko crumbs
1 c coconut flakes
salt
pepper
1 tsp dry thyme
1 tsp dry oregano
1 tsp dry parsley


Preheat oven 375˚F

Pat the chicken breast dry of any water and cut into cubes. Season with salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, and parsley. Then coat the chicken with the all purpose flour.

In two separate dishes, one should contain the beaten egg and the combines panko and coconut in another. Season both with a little salt.

After coating the chicken with the flour, dredge them in the egg and then into the coconut mixture.

Place them on a lightly greased baking sheet.

Baked for 20-25 min. After 12-15 min, turn the chicken to get an even browning on both sides.

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