Monday, August 12, 2013

Sticky Honey Ginger Chicken

Fresh ginger is the cat's meow at Chez Giles. We love it and try to put it in as much of our food as we can. Plus it's super good for you (and your gas!). I like to frequent our neighbourhood Chinese grocery store "Green Fresh!" where I can buy insane quantities for next to nothing. When I came across this recipe in last month's edition of Chatelaine, I was pretty excited. This recipe calls for fresh ginger so don't you dare chicken out and go with the powdered kind. It just won't taste right and you'll have such a feeling of self-gingerless-loathing, that it's just not worth it.

I had a lot of fun grilling up the oranges for this meal as well. We're currently in a tiny apartment with no back porch so we made up this dish on our little panini press, but the bbq would be hands down much better if you have access to one. Bon appetit!

3/4 cup orange juice, about 2 oranges
1 tbsp orange zest
1/3 cup honey
4 tsp minced ginger
1/2 tsp salt
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 oranges, halved

1. Preheat barbecue to medium.

2. Whisk juice with zest, honey, ginger and salt in a large shallow bowl. Pour half into a small bowl and reserve. Add chicken breasts to juice mixture in large bowl. Let stand at room temperature for 15 min, flipping halfway.

3. Oil grill, then barbecue chicken, with lid closed, basting often with marinating liquid, for 6 min. Flip and continue grilling, without basting, until springy when pressed, 6 to 8 more min. Add oranges to the grill, cut-side down, for the last 5 min. Drizzle reserved orange mixture on chicken and serve with grilled oranges.

Recipe & photo cred to Chatelaine Magazine

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Chicken Tacos with Mango-Avocado Salsa

These chicken tacos are the BOMB. So incredibly yummy and a neat spin on an old favourite. The mango-avocado salsa only takes a couple of minutes to make up and gives the tacos such a spunky flavour. You'll want to make sure that the avocado and mango that you are using are nicely ripened or else the flavours won't be as good. Don't forget fresh cilantro! Bon appetit! 

8 oz (227 g) chicken
1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground allspice
1 pinch salt
1 pinch pepper
1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil
8 soft corn tortillas

Mango Salsa: 1/2 cup (125 mL) diced pitted peeled mango
1 avocado, pitted, peeled and diced
1/3 cup (75 mL) finely chopped red onion
1 tsp (5 mL) grated lime zest
2 tsp (10 mL) lime juice
1 pinch salt
1 pinch pepper

Yogurt Sauce: 
1/2 cup (125 mL) Greek-style yogurt
1 tbsp (15 mL) lime juice

Sprinkle chicken with allspice, salt and pepper.

In nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat; cook chicken, turning once, until golden. Chop.

Mango Salsa: Meanwhile, combine mango, avocado, onion, lime zest, lime juice, salt and pepper; set aside.

Yogurt Sauce: Combine yogurt with lime juice; set aside.

Heat tortillas according to package directions. Divide chicken among tortillas; top with mango salsa and yogurt sauce.

Recipe cred to Canadian Living Magazine: May 2013

Chicken Burritos with Mojo Sauce

So who doesn't just love a good burrito? I know we do. I'll tell you ahead of time that this is one of those '6 pots on the go' kind of meals but in the end, oh dears yo, serious goodness. And this recipe doesn't make no little, neatly packed burritos - oh no, they was one of those child's arm sized burritos. Yum! Mojo sauce is a tangy mix of cilantro and citrus. It's delicious. Now, I know that the recipe recommends making the beans from scratch, but I just tossed a can into a pot and fried them up with the garlic as recommended - just as bueno! Bon appetit!

Mojo Sauce:
4 garlic cloves
2 serrano chilies, seeds removed
1 large handful fresh cilantro leaves
Juice 2 limes
Juice 1 orange
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

The rest:
8 large flour tortillas
1 (3 to 4 pound) whole roasted chicken, shredded
Yellow Rice, recipe follows
Spicy Black Beans, recipe follows
2 avocados chopped
1 cup grated queso blanco or Monterey jack cheese
Sour cream, for garnish
Cilantro leaves, for garnish
Lime wedges, for garnish

Spicy Black Beans:
2 cups (about 1 pound) dried black beans, picked over and rinsed
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Quick soak the beans: Put beans in a pot and cover with water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let soak for 1 hour. Drain the beans.

In the same pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, jalapeno pepper, garlic, and bay leaf and cook until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the beans and cover with water by about 1 inch. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the beans are tender. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Taste the beans and season them with salt and pepper.

Yellow Rice:
2 cups long-grain rice
4 cups water
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 bay leaf

Put all the ingredients into a heavy bottomed pot, stir well, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook over low heat until the rice has absorbed the water, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Discard the garlic and bay leaf, fluff with a fork, and serve.

Make the Mojo Sauce: Put the garlic, chilies, cilantro, lime juice, orange juice, and olive oil into a blender and process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

To make the burritos: Warm the tortillas for 30 seconds in a dry skillet or on the grill until pliable. Place some chicken down the center of a tortilla and top with rice and beans, avocado, grated cheese, and Mojo Sauce. Roll up the burrito and serve topped with a generous drizzle of sour cream; garnish with cilantro leaves and a squeeze of lime juice.

Recipe & photo cred to the Food Network

Slow Cooker Chipotle Beef Tacos

So, as many of you will have noticed, I have taken a serious holiday from the blog-writing in the past couple of months. I blame one main culprit: little baby Malachi. While I love him, he takes up a serious amount of blog-writing time! One good thing about having a baby though is that I have started to frequent my public library much more. While at my last visit (following baby sing-song read along hour...), I discovered an amazing thing: the library has cook books!! A whole shelf of em'. I couldn't believe it! Why I am just finding this out now is a little embarrassing, but there you have it. I swiftly picked up two cookbooks from "Real Simple" and have been devouring all of the new ideas. So, here is the first one to try from this book. It was TASTY and who doesn't love a good slow-cooker meal? So easy! I made it up the night before while a certain someone was already asleep. Enjoy!!
ps - be very careful as to how much chipotle you add. It can make your meal VERY spicy, VERY quickly if you're not careful!

3 pounds beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 large onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 to 3 tablespoons chopped canned chipotles in adobo sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 bay leaves
4 cups thinly sliced cabbage (about 1⁄3 medium cabbage)
4 radishes, halved and thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
12 6-inch corn tortillas
sour cream, pickled jalapeño peppers, and hot sauce, for serving

Directions1. In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, toss together the beef, onion, garlic, chipotles, oregano, bay leaves, and 1 teaspoon salt.

2. Cover and cook until the beef is very tender, on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 3 ½ to 4 hours (this will shorten total cooking time).

3. Twenty minutes before serving, heat oven to 350° F. In a large bowl, toss together the cabbage, radishes, cilantro, lime juice, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Wrap the tortillas in foil and bake until warm, 5 to 10 minutes.
Transfer the beef to a medium bowl (reserve the cooking liquid) and shred, using 2 forks. Strain the cooking liquid through a fine-mesh sieve into the bowl with the beef and toss to combine.
Fill the tortillas with the beef and slaw. Serve with the sour cream, jalapeños, hot sauce, and lime wedges.