Thursday, June 11, 2009

What we did with Box #5

Spicy Stir Fried Chicken with Peanuts
(recipe included in HVF newsletter, originally from

For some unknown reason, I'm not a big fan of stir fry. I always think I'll really like it but it often just doesn't do it for me. Must be a lack of cheese. Or cream. Or both.

With that said, this dish was pretty good. Not plate licking good but good. I'd make it again.

2 Tbsp soy sauce, divided
2 Tbsp dry Sherry, divided
3 tsp Asian sesame oil, divided
2 tsp honey, divided
1 1/4 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast halves, cut crosswise into
1/3-inch-wide strips
3 Tbsp peanut oil, divided
4 green onions or 2 green garlic, white parts and green parts
chopped separately
2 tsp chopped dried chiles
1 large bunch greens (such as spinach, hon tsai tai, bok choi,
mustard greens, kale), spinach left whole, other greens cut into
1-inch strips
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup asparagus
1/4 cup chopped roasted salted peanuts

Whisk 1-tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon Sherry, 1-teaspoon sesame oil, and 1-teaspoon honey in medium bowl. Add chicken; marinate 20 to 30 minutes.

Whisk remaining 1-tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon Sherry, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, and 1-teaspoon honey in small bowl and reserve.

Heat 2 tablespoons peanut oil in large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add white parts of onions and garlic and chile flakes; stir 30 seconds. Add chicken; stir-fry just until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer chicken mixture to bowl. Add 1 tablespoon peanut oil to same skillet; heat over high heat. Add broccoli, asparagus and greens by large handfuls; stir just until beginning to wilt before adding more. Sauté just until tender, 1 to 6 minutes, depending on type of greens.

Return chicken to skillet. Add reserved soy sauce mixture; stir until heated through, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving bowl; sprinkle with green parts of onions and peanuts. Serves 4

Breakfast Sandwich with Sauteed Pea Vine
(another recipe from the HVF newsletter)

We often don't use our produce for breakfast but we saw this recipe in the newsletter and to try it. We love breakfast sandwiches, especially when they include bacon and creamy sauce. This one didn't disappoint. My only regret is that I didn't make homemade muffins to use for this. Someday...

Sauce: 1 ½ Tbsp fl our
1 ½ Tbsp butter
½ tsp Dijon mustard
1 ¼-1 ½ cup milk
Salt & Pepper, to taste

2 Biscuits or English Muffins, warmed
6 oz bacon or ham, cooked
1 Tbsp butter
4 eggs
1 bunch pea vine

In a small sauce pan over medium-low heat, melt butter for the sauce. Sprinkle in fl our and stir to combine with a rubber spatula until it is well combined and has the appearance of wet sand.

Stir in mustard and gradually add milk in small amounts, stirring with a wire whisk. Once all the milk has been incorporated, reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently. Simmer for 15 minutes, then season with salt and pepper. Set aside and keep warm until ready to serve.

Heat a small sauté pan over medium heat. Melt 1 ½ tsp butter and sauté pea vine just until wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from pan and set aside.

Start to assemble sandwiches. Open biscuit or muffin. On each half, place crumbled bacon or slices of ham.

Coat the small sauté pan with butter over medium heat. Cook the eggs one at a time. Cook to over-easy so the yolk is still liquid. Remove from pan and place on top of bacon or ham on the open-faced sandwich. Repeat with remaining 3 eggs.

Top eggs with sauce and then sautéed pea vine. Enjoy!

Chinese Braised Pork Ribs
(from Eating Out Loud via A Good Appetite)

I saw this recipe on A Good Appetite and decided I must have the ribs and I must have them now. The ribs were finger-licking good - literally. The meat fell off the bones and the sauce was delicious. We served the ribs with brown rice and a side of bok choy (sauteed with a few random asian ingredients from the pantry) as A Good Appetite did. I drool just remembering the taste of these ribs.

1 rack baby back ribs, about 2 - 2 1/2 lbs
2 T canola oil
1/2 c soy sauce
1 c sweetened rice wine (we find this in the Asian section of the grocery store)
1/4 c hoisin sauce
1/4 t red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T fresh ginger, peeled & minced
2 T honey

Cut the rack of ribs into separate ribs. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a dutch oven. Add the ribs & brown on all sides, about 5 minutes.

Add the remaining ingredients & bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat & simmer for 45 minutes, stirring from time to time.

Remove lid & let boil gently until the sauce is thickened & coating the ribs, 15 - 20 minutes.

Serves 3 -4 (depending on how many ribs you serve per person.)

Pasta with Asparagus, Arugula, and Ricotta
(from NY Times)

I'm not a big fan of cooking elaborate meals (my definition of elaborate = rib recipe above). I like eating them but not cooking them or cleaning up the mess from cooking them. This recipe for pasta is more my style - simple, quick and tasty. I will note that mixing the ricotta with water seemed really, really wrong. We did it anyway and it worked. I might just throw lumps of ricotta in if we make this in the future.

3/4 pound thin asparagus, woody ends snapped off, cut into 1-inch lengths
3/4 pound penne, fusilli or bow-tie pasta
1/2 cup fresh ricotta
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
A generous handful of baby arugula or wild arugula leaves, rinsed and spun dry (about 1 ounce, or 1 cup tightly packed)
Freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add a generous amount of salt. Add the asparagus. Cook pencil-thin asparagus for two minutes, three to four minutes if stems are medium-thick. Transfer to a bowl of ice-cold water. Drain and set aside.

2. Place the ricotta in a large pasta bowl.

3. Bring the water back to a boil, and add the pasta. Cook al dente, following the directions for timing on the package but checking a minute before the suggested cooking time. Stir 1/3 cup of the pasta cooking water into the ricotta. Drain the pasta and toss at once with the olive oil and ricotta, the arugula, asparagus and Parmesan. Serve hot. (Serves four)

Tofu with Spinach Sauce
(recipe by Mark Bittman)

I love, love, love, love this recipe. It's almost like palak paneer but not quite (because, obviously, it has tofu and not paneer and that's a huge difference). But, I'd be content eating this rather than getting palak paneer takeout. Just don't plan to have people over the morning after cooking this unless they really like the smell of garam marsala.

A note about this recipe which makes it even more fantastic - you can use any sort of greens (as long as they don't have a real strong flavor) in addition to the spinach. We added turnip greens and it was great.

1 1/2 pounds spinach
12 ounces firm or extra-firm tofu
2 tablespoons butter or oil
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 dried chilies
2 tablespoons garam masala or curry powder
Salt to taste
1/2 cup yogurt
1 1/2 cups light cream or half-and-half

1. Trim and wash spinach; do not dry. Chop leaves in one-inch pieces. Cut tofu in two horizontally and wrap in paper towels. Put it under a couple of plates.
2. Put butter or oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. A minute later, add ginger, garlic and chilies and cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic begins to color.
3. Stir in garam masala or curry powder and a large pinch of salt and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds. Add spinach and cook, stirring, until it wilts, then add yogurt and a cup of cream. Pick out chilies and discard.
4. Cook mixture over medium-high heat; liquid in spinach will boil off. When mixture is nearly dry, cut tofu into half-inch pieces and incorporate. When tofu is hot, add remaining cream and cook for another minute or two, stirring. Adjust seasoning and serve. (4 servings)

Variations - Spinach sauce: In Step 4, omit tofu. Purée mixture with 1/2 cup remaining cream. Add squeeze of lime juice. Serve with grilled meat, poultry, fish or vegetables.

Parsnip Rosti
(adapted from UKTV Food)

We had quite a few parsnips to use up. Time for parsnip rosti! Pretty much like a potato pancake but with parsnip and some potato onion. Mike whipped up a sour cream/yogurt/onion topping (not pictured), too. Even Owen liked this one!

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