Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Thai Noodles with Chicken and Snow Peas

1 pound chicken, cubed
9 ounces Asian-style noodles (can use linguine, but the Asian are good. And FYI, they were sold in a two-pound package for $3, so not that different in price from regular pasta)
1 1/2 c. snow peas
1/4 c. cilantro, chopped

Chicken marinade:
1/3 c. vinegar (rice or regular)
3 T. honey
2 T. peanut butter (chunky or reg)
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. canola oil
1 T. sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 t. red pepper, crushed
1/4 t. ginger, ground

Combined all marinade ingredients. Set aside one-fourth of this in another bowl. Using the remaining, marinate the chicken overnight or at least 30 minutes.

Remove chicken and discard marinade. In a large skillet or wok, cook chicken for 6-10 minutes over high heat until cooked thoroughly. Set aside.

Cook noodles according to package directions (the Asian took only 5-6 minutes). Add snow peas during last three minutes of cooking noodles.  Rinse noodles and peas with cold water; drain. Place in large bowl; add cooked chicken and marinade which was set aside. Toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Serves 5-6.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Pita Bread

1 1/8 c. warm water
1 1/2 t. sugar
1 1/2 t. yeast
3 c. flour (white or whole-wheat)
1 t. salt
1 T. vegetable oil

Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the water in the bowl of your mixer.  Let proof for about 10 minutes.  Add the flour, salt, and oil and knead until dough pulls away from the bowl, about 4-5 minutes.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface.  Form into a ball and cut into eight pieces (or you can form it into a rope and cut into eighths).  Roll each into a smooth ball.  With a rolling pin, roll each ball into a 6- to 7-inch circle.  Set aside on a lightly floured countertop.  Cover with a towel and let rise about 30 minutes, or until slightly puffy.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.  Place two or three pitas on a wire cooling rack.  Place the rack directly on oven rack.  Bake pitas 4-6 minutes or until puffed and tops begin to brown.  Remove from oven and immediately place in a sealed brown paper bag or cover them with a damp kitchen towel until soft.  Once pitas are softened, they can be stored in a plastic bag in the fridge for several days or in the freezer.

Note: I had no problems doing 100% whole wheat pitas. So don't feel like you need to do half and half. Now turn these pitas into pita chips and serve with tzatziki!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Tzatziki Sauce

1 cucumber, seeded and diced
1/2 T. Kosher Salt
1 T. lemon juice
1/4 clove of garlic, chopped
1/4 t. dried dill (or 1 t. chopped fresh dill)
Dash pepper
1/4 t. salt
6 ounces of Greek yogurt (fat-free, low-fat, whatever)

Peel the cucumber, then cut in half lengthwise and take a small spoon and scrape out the seeds. Discard the seeds. Slice the cucumber into thick slices, then put in colander (placed on a plate or in the sink, to catch the water), sprinkle with the Kosher salt, and let stand for 30 minutes or more to draw out the water. Pat dry with paper towel.

When cucumber is done, put it in a blender with the lemon juice, garlic, dill, and few grinds of black pepper. Process until well blended, and then stir this mixture into the yogurt. Taste before adding salt (it may not need it). Place in refrigerator for at least two hours before serving so flavors can blend.

This will keep for days or more in the fridge, but you will need to drain off any water and stir each time you use it. Serve with pita chips or whatever else you want!

Note on Greek yogurt: This is becoming more and more popular and therefore should be available in most large supermarkets. Even Yoplait is making their own. The brand I found was Chobani and it was about $1.49 for the six ounces. Regular yogurt will not work because of its moisture content. However, if you can't find Greek yogurt, you can strain regular plain yogurt through cheesecloth for about two to three hours to get the general consistency of Greek yogurt.

Pita Chips

2 pitas
4 t. olive oil
Dash pepper
Scant 1/4 t. garlic salt
Dash basil

Preheat oven to 400ยบ. Cut each pita into eight triangles. Place triangles on cookie lined (with parchment paper, wax paper, or foil) sheet. In a small bowl, combine the oil, pepper, salt, and basil. Brush each triangle with the oil mixture. Bake in preheated oven for about 7-8 minutes, or until lightly browned and crispy. Watch carefully as they tend to burn easily!