Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Thai Red Curry Chicken

Have I mentioned how much I love Thai Red Curry?  I'm sure I have several times, but it is typically not my husband's favorite which is why I make it only once in a while.  Tonight's dinner featured small slices of chicken sauteed and smothered with a mixture of sauteed aromatics (including Thai Red Curry Paste) and a sauce make with sweetened, lightened coconut milk.  This curry was lightened with some chopped fresh spinach and garnished with chopped red bell pepper and peanuts.  The curry was served over Basil-Lemon Rice Noodles.  I thought the ratio of curry mixture to rice noodles was off since there was not enough sauce (of course I love Thai red curry sauce).  Gerry thought the dish was absolutely fabulous since each bite had just the right amount of flavor and spice.  He is not a huge red curry fan.

This turned out to be a very agreeable meal for both of us since we both enjoyed it.

Thai Red Curry Chicken
Makes 2 servings

1 tablespoon peanut oil
12 oz. chicken breast, sliced, seasoned with salt and pepper
1 cup sliced red onion
1 tablespoon red curry paste
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 cup canned lite coconut milk
1/2 cup low-sodium hicken broth
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon light brown sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 cups chopped fresh spinach
Chopped dry-roasted peanuts, chopped (optional)
Diced red bell pepper (optional)

Heat oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat.  Add chicken and saute until brown on both sides and cooked through, 4-5 minutes; transfer to a plate.

Add red onion to pan and cook until soft, 2-3 minutes.  Stir in curry paste, giner, and garlic, and cook 1 minute.

Combine coconut milk, broth, fish sauce, and brown sugar.  Stir mixture in pan, scraping up any browned bits on bottom  Bring mixture to a simmer; cook until slightly reduced, 5 minutes.

Whisk together lime juice and cornstarch and whisk into pan until thick, 1 minute.  Return chicken to the pan and add spinach, tossing with tongs until wilted.

Garnish chicken curry with peanuts and bell pepper, if desired.  Serve over Basil-Lemon Noodles (recipe follows).

Basil Lemon Noodles

6 oz. rice stick noodles
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon sesame or peanut oil
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
2 teaspoons minced lemon zest
1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (or 1 tablespoon dried)
Salt to taste

Soak noodles according to package directions.  Drain noodles, rinse in hot water, and drain again; transfer to a bowl.

Whisk together lemon juice, oil, brown sugar, zest, and chili garlic sauce in a bowl.  Stir mixture into noodles, then add basil.  Season noodles with salt.

Adapted from Cuisine at Home for Two

My rating:

Gerry's rating:

Monday, September 10, 2012

Red and Green Enchiladas

What do you get when you fill corn tortillas with cooked red lentils and smother them in green enchilada sauce?  Red and Green Enchiladas.  This was not a trick question, it was our dinner tonight and it was fabulous.  This was part of one of my Once a Month Mom meals that I made earlier and had stashed in the freezer.  It was not difficult to cook the filling and pull these enchiladas together originally and it was positively simple to thaw and bake these for dinner tonight.  That is the beauty of make-ahead meals.

Red and Green Enchiladas
Makes 4 servings (2 enchiladas per serving)

1/4 cup onion diced
1 1/2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
2 1/2 tablespoons jalapeno, chopped
3/4 cup red lentils, rinsed
1 1/4 cups water
1 1/4 cups vegetable stock
8 6" corn tortillas
24 ounces green enchilada sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

In a large saucepan, bring the water and vegetable stock to a boil.  Add the salt and lentils and cook for 10 minutes.  Drain.  Meanwhile, heat a large saute pan.  Add onion, cilantro and jalapeno.  Cook for 4 minutes.  Add cooked and drained lentils.  Stir.  Mix in approximately 1/4 of the green enchilada sauce.  Set aside.  Prepare pans.  Divide the next 1/4 of the green enchilada sauce among the bottoms of 2 8x8" foil pans.  Next, prepare the enchiladas.  Spoon lentil mixture into corn tortillas.  Roll up and place seam side down in prepared baking dishes.  Once all are assembled, pour remaining enchilada sauce evenly over each baking dish.  Top with cheese.  Cover pans and freeze.

To serve, thaw,  Bake at 350 degrees, covered, for 30-35 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.

Adapted from Onceamonthmom.com

Our rating:

Friday, September 7, 2012

Slow Cooker Brown Sugar and Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin

I pulled a meal that I had previously prepared and stashed in my freezer for tonight's dinner.  I have tried several different recipes that advocate advance preparation before freezing and then making dinner preparations quite easy.  I took a boneless pork loin roast and rubbed it with a combination of sage, salt and pepper before putting it in a freezer bag.  I then combined the ingredients for the glaze by combining minced garlic, brown sugar, corn starch, balsamic vinegar, water and soy sauce.  The glaze went into a quart size freezer bag which went directly into the gallon size bag containing the seasoned pork roast before being stashed in the freezer.

I put the frozen meat bag in the refrigerator on Wednesday evening to make sure the pork would be thawed before putting it in the crock pot this morning, which worked out perfectly.  During the last hour of the pork cooking, I heated the glaze in a small saucepan until thickened and brushed it over the meat 3 times.  I served the remaining glaze drizzled over the slices of pork along with mashed potatoes and cooked carrots.

Slow Cooker Brown Sugar & Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin
Makes 2-3 Servings

1 pound boneless pork loin
1/2 teaspoon ground sage
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon corn starch
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon soy sauce

Combine sage, salt and pepper.  Rub over roast.  In a bowl, combine the remaining ingredients for the glaze.  Place seasoned pork in gallon size freezer bag.  In a quart size freezer bag, place glaze.  Freeze glaze bag in with pork.

To serve:
Thaw.  Place pork in a slow cooker and cook on low for 4-6 hours.  During the last hour, heat the glaze ingredients in a small saucepan until thickened.  Brush over pork 2-3 times during final hour of cooking.

Adapted from Onceamonthmom.com

Our rating:

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Couscous Casserole

I know my blog posts have been very sporadic, but it has been a very busy time for us.  It looks like we have sold our house and of course our time has been tied up with showings first, then inspections, and finally some minor repairs.  We have had our appraisal and survey done this week, so it looks like we are on target for our closing on September 21st.  Needless to say, our dinners have looked a little different since I have been pulling things out of the freezer to use up before we move.

For today's vegan dinner, I remembered a recipe from a long time ago that our god-daughter used to make.  It was a vegetarian dish that I turned into a vegan dish simply by using vegan cheeses.  I started by cooking up some couscous in vegetable broth and meanwhile sauteed some chopped onions with garlic until tender.  Once the couscous was done, I combined it with a little homemade Pomodoro sauce.  Half of the sauced couscous went in to an oiled loaf pan and topped with a little more of the Pomodoro sauce, sauteed onions and garlic, some vegan cheddar and mozzarella, and a layer of fresh baby spinach.  This was topped with the remaining couscous, Pomodoro and another layer of cheese.  The pan then went into the oven for 20 minutes to heat through and melt the cheese.

This recipe is a recreation of what I vaguely remember someone making for me some 15-20 years ago.  I don't remember exactly what the original tasted like, but I thoroughly enjoyed this version.  I served a side of cooked green beans with this casserole.

Couscous Casserole
Makes 4-6 Servings

1 1/2 cups couscous
1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 teaspoon butter substitute
1/2 teaspoon salt
16 ounces Pomodoro Sauce (or marinara or tomato sauce)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 1/2 cups baby spinach leaves
Daiya shredded Cheddar
Daiya shredded Mozzarella

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bring vegetable broth to a simmer with butter substitute and salt.  Add couscous, stir, cover pan and remove from heat.  Set aside for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile saute onions in olive oil until just starting to turn translucent.  Add garlic and cook for about another minute until both onion and garlic are tender.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Once couscous is done, fluff with a fork and add about 1/3 of the Pomodoro sauce.  Put half of the couscous mixture in a loaf pan that has been oiled.  Add about half of the remaining Pomodoro sauce, all of the sauteed onions and garlic and sprinkle with cheddar and mozzarella.  Add the remainder of the couscous, top with the remaining Pomodoro and sprinkle the top with more of the cheddar and mozzarella.

Place the loaf pan in  the preheated oven for 20 minutes until heated through and the cheese is melted.

Our rating: