Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Ginger Vinegarette + Peanut Butter = Crazy Delicious

Crazy Delicious
Originally uploaded by monkeycat!.
While the title for this post was so easy to come up with (come on, you know you watched Lazy Sunday like 10 times) this dish was even easier!

As I walked in from work, knowing that I was supposed to go to the gym (I hurt! I hurt!), I needed to come up with a quick diversion. Dinner!, I thought.

Genius had struck.

Capellini in a Ginger-Peanut Sauce with Chicken and Carrots

1 pkg Trader Joe's® Egg Capellini
1/2 cup Amy's® Ginger Vinegarette
1/5-1/4 cup natural peanut butter.
2 baby carrots
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 chicken breasts
olive oil

Set oven to 375ºF, get a big pot of water boiling
While the oven is heating up, sautee the garlic and shallots until translucent. Salt and pepper them. At this point, add in about 1/2-3/4 of the ginger vinegarette and take off the heat. Add in the peanut butter. Once the peanut butter is incorporated, use the rest of the vinegarette to thin out the sauce to a desired consistency. Add more dressing if necessary.

Now that the sauce is done, its time to start the chicken. Heat up a large skillet to medium-high/high with some olive oil. When the olive oil just starts to smoke, put the breasts in smooth side down (tender side up). LEAVE THEM ALONE! I know its hard, I can't even do it, but if you can leave those breasts alone for 5 minutes, they will get a great looking crust on them. After 5 minutes, flip the breasts over and stick the skillet in the oven. If you have plastic handles on your cookware, make sure that they are oven safe, or you will have a goopey mess.

Ok - sauce done, chicken in the oven.
The chicken is going to nap in its warm bedroom for about 12 minutes. In that time, all that is left to do is chop up some carrots (julienne, then cut the sticks in half) and cook the pasta. The pasta take 6-8 minutes, so everything should work out from here.

When the pasta is done, drain it, but leave a little bit of the water stuck to the pasta - the starchy water will help get the sauce to stick. Mix the pasta up with the carrots and sauce. When the chicken is done, take it out of the oven and slice it up. Toss it in with the pasta and you are ready to eat!

Remember, Ginger Vinegarette + Peanut Butter = Crazy Delicious!

Friday, February 03, 2006


So, it apprears that MSG may not be as bad for us as once thought. I have always had that feeling. I mean really - its a salt of an amino acid. We make them every time we break down protiens. Jeffrey Steingraten, Food Editor for Vogue Magazine, makes an interesting point

"Two or three ounces of Parmesan cheese contain enough free glutamate to give a headache to anybody who claims to be sensitive to MSG, and yet I have never heard of a Parmesan Headache."

Well, there it is. I propose a campaign to reintroduce MSG into our restaurants. I mean, more flavor is good, right?
[via Slashfood]

Thursday, February 02, 2006

An Original Creation

Last night, for dinner #1 (I got hungry again - it's really not that much food.) I came up with an original creation, something that I haven't done in a while. It was fun to let out some culinary creativity. This dish is very simple but flowery and flavorful at the same time.

Tumeric Tofu with Onions and Garlic
1/4 block firm tofu, cut into small cubes
1 small yellow onion, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
red pepper flake
1 tbs white wine

Slice garlic thin, but not too thin as we don't want it to burn when the oil heats. Put the garlic slices into a suatee pan, and add 2 tbs olive oil to the pan. Turn the burner on to medium high. The garlic was put into the oil cold to let the flavors infuse into the oil over a longer period of time. When the garlic starts to sautee and has gained a little bit of color, add in the onion. Let the onion sautee for 5-6 minutes. Add some salt and pepper and a little bit of red pepper flake. When the onions are translucent and soft, but still with a little bit of crunch, take them out and reserve them. Into the hot pan, add the tofu. Leave it alone for a couple of minutes to let it brown. Toss around and try to get an even brown on the tofu. Add back the onion/garlic mixture and sprinkle with 1tbs tumeric. This stuff is yellow and seems to stain, so be careful. Once the tumeric has coated everything, give it a minute or two in the pan to heat everything toghether. Add in the 1tbs of white wine and let it boil off.


This was really good and light. The tumeric gave it a bright yellow color in addition to a floral taste.

I plan on making this again soon, maybe even tonight with the remaining quarter of a block of tofu.