Thursday, October 30, 2008

15 Minute Sesame Chicken w/Lavender Rice

<----Click on the pic to'll love what you see!

She's probably one of my biggest fans. I really do love her. She discovered my food blog and has tried my recipes and she's loved them. She e-mailed me and wanted to know if I'd come up with a recipe for Sesame Chicken that used little to no salt. Well, how could I decline her? She deserved it! So, staying true to my theory for Everyday Cookin', here's Sesame Chicken over a Lavender Scented Rice.

It's easy - it's quick - and it's tasty!


Sesame Chicken over Lavender Scented Rice

For Sauce
¼ cup of water
1 cup of low sodium chicken broth
½ tablespoon of vinegar
¼ cup of cornstarch
1 cup of sugar
2 tablespoons of dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
1 small chili, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup of flour
Vegetable oil, for frying
Wooden skewers
2 tablespoons of sesame seeds

The Method
For the sauce, combine everything into a sauce pan. Whisk good until combined and bring to a boil on a medium heat. Once thickened, remove from heat.

Preheat oil to 375 degrees. Cut the chicken breast into strips. Season with salt and pepper. Place onto skewers. Dredge in flour being sure to shake of the excess and deep fry until golden brown. When done, dip in sauce and place over rice or noodles.

**For the rice, prepare rice based on the package instructions. Per cup of uncooked rice add 1 teaspoon of dried lavender to the cooking liquid as the rice cooks.

It was gone soooo quick!

The plating of the sauce. See the color and thickness - this is what you're looking for.

It's important to know where it all started, right? I mean how can you know where you're going if you don't know where you've been?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Balsamic Glazed Chicken over a Sweet Corn, Basil, and Bacon Puree

Balsamic Glazed Chicken over a Sweet Basil, Corn, and Bacon Puree

Here's what's funny. The greatest dishes come from nothing. Seriously. I can go back and forth all day in my mind and I'm never as creative and innovative as what happened here. All I did was go into the kitchen - and 20 minutes later here's what I had. I must admit, I was hungry and tired - so the goal was something quick, easy, and fulfilling. This took the cake. It was a blast to make - it's going in my aresenol of dishes - and it tasted freaking fantastic!

The Ingredients

2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless

½ cup of balsamic vinegar

¼ cup of olive oil

Salt and pepper

The Method

Place balsamic vinegar in a sauce pan on a medium flame until it reduces into a thick syrup and by half. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. On a medium high flame allow an oven proof skillet to get hot. Add oil. When oil begins to waft add chicken breasts. Once in the pan season one side with salt and pepper. When golden brown, turn over, season the other side with salt and pepper and place into oven until cooked through. Glaze chicken as much as you’d like with the balsamic reduction.

The Ingredients

2 cups of frozen corn kernels

½ cup of heavy cream

2 tablespoons of butter

2 tablespoons of chopped basil

5 strips of bacon

Salt and pepper

The Method

Cut bacon into cubes and cook over medium heat. When done remove from heat leaving the drippings in the pan. Add corn and cook until heated through. Pour into a blender and mix with cream and butter – add a pinch of salt and pepper. Return to the pan and over a low heat fold in basil and reserved bacon. Spoon onto a plate and place chicken breast on top. Garnish with basil.



One of the final plating images - then I started eating.

Another pic of me eating...I couldn't get enough.

It started with balsamic vinegar - which I always keep on hand for a quick salad dressing!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

My First Photo Shoote

Can I just say that I absolutely hate taking pictures? I don't know why - it's not that I think I'm an ugly dude - I guess it's just that because the pictures NEVER come out right. Well, I spent about 5 hours today doing a photoshoot for promotional pics to use for the upcoming cooking show.

I worked with a great photographer. We took the pics in my apartment. What was cool was that he was cracking jokes and he encouraged me to put on some music. I started to blast my Smooth Jazz playlist on my itunes.

I think a lot of shots came out great...and there were a lot that were not so great. I'm getting sick - so I kept sneezing and scratching my eyes. If you look close enough you can see the redness in my eyes. My eyes also have this tired look. I think like after the 2nd hour I was DONE! But this dude had just finished on set. And you know what else - my right eye kept shutting all by itself - I don't know why my right eye is so damn retarded. I don't know how celebs and famous folks go through this stuff.

That was my Sunday. Oh - what's funny is that this was my first time meeting dude too - the photographer. How about we were talking about EVERYTHING. I mentioned where I grocery shopped - he mentioned he needed groceries - I told him I shop allll the way on the other side of town because they have great deals. He was down for the trip. So, guess what - not only did I take pics - but I also went grocery shopping - YAY!

That was my Sunday!

Saturday - I played cards all night long. That was only after I went to do a restaurant review. Yes - sent me on my first restaurant review. My best friend and I had a chance to go to a South Shore Classic - The Parrot Cage. It's a restaurant and a school. All the folks working there are students in one discipline or another relative to culinary arts. Great - right? I have one hell of a review though. I'm going to write it soon - but it'll be posted on - not here. I'll keep you guys posted.

So - what did you do this weekend? Any comments on the photoshoot?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Thai Sweet Basil Chicken

Thai Sweet Basil Chicken

What does one do with an abundance of chicken? I mean, I have a troth of chicken breasts that were on sale. When they go on sale - I buy! Another chicken recipe! And this one - talk about quick. I started it at about 9 PM - by 9:17 I was eating. I think the fact that I was taking pictures is really what did it!

This time it's a quick one. I picked up some fresh basil and fish sauce and I used a red bell pepper that I already had on hand to whip this one up in a flash.

It's a simple equation. You know how two plus two equal four. Well, chicken plus basil equal Thai Sweet Basil Chicken!

The Ingredients
- 2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless, cubed
- 3 cloved of garlic, chopped
- 1 whole red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- 10 leaves of basil, sliced or chopped (your preference)
- 3 tablespoons of fish sauce
- 1/2 cup of hoisin sauce
- salt and pepper
- Any type of noodle, prepared per instructions
- red pepper flakes - optional

The Method
In a smoking hot skillet, add oil. When oil begins to waft add the chicken. You want to hear a sear. Stir until chicken is almost done. Add a few pinches of salt and pepper. Then add in bell pepper, garlic, fish sauce, hoisin sauce, basil, and red pepper flakes. Cook until sauce thickens and is fragrant. Spoon over noodles and enjoy.

I dare you try it. THIS is perfect for a mid-week meal. There ar
e leftovers...guess who's going to be happy tomorrow during his lunch break?


Basil...I picked it up after work and I had it while I was in class. My ENTIRE bookbag smelled like heaven!

What's better than chicken? It's lean - it can be flavored a bunch of different ways - and it's perfect for this meal!