06/6/17

Quick & Easy Thai Grilled Chicken Salad

Easy Thai Chicken Salad

Sometimes even I don’t have a lot of time to prep a delicious, healthy meal…and a little cheating is required. And sometimes, those meals turn out to be freakin’ awesome.

This is one of them.

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 bottle Sesame Ginger Marinade
  • 1 jar Apricot preserves
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 bag Thai (or Asian) salad mix

This recipe couldn’t be much easier…

Easy Thai Chicken Salad

In the morning, mix the bottled marinade, preserves, and brown sugar in a non-reactive bowl, and whisk until smooth.

Add the chicken thighs, turning each to coat evenly.

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Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge. If you’re home, turn them a couple of times during the day, if not, don’t worry about it.

When  you’re ready to start dinner, remove the chicken from the marinade and allow to rest on the counter for at least 30 minutes to take off the chill.

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Fire up your grill for indirect cooking, and grill the chicken for five minutes, then dip each thigh back in the marinade, flip, and grill another 5 minutes. Repeat until the thighs get firm, then move them over the direct heat to get a little char on them.

Remove from heat and let the thighs set and cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing.

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Mix all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl, divide between four plates, and top each with an even amount of chicken.

Enjoy!

Chef Perry

08/24/16

Super Simple Broccoli-Tomato Salad

Super-Simple Broccoli-Tomato Salad

Sometimes you just need something simple, healthy, and fast, without all the chefy froo-froo. THIS, is one of those dishes. Crunchy and bright, sweet and tangy, this uber-easy salad is short on prep-time and big on flavor.

SO refreshing after a long, hot day!

TIP: Want to make it a meal? Grab a rotisserie chicken, allow to cool, and toss equal parts chopped thigh meat and breast into your salad (increase the amount of dressing by 1/3, if you do this).

Super-Simple Broccoli-Tomato Salad

1 large head broccoli, cut into florets
1 small sweet onion, chopped
2 cups cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup white sugar
3 Tbs. rice vinegar, unseasoned
1 Tbs. toasted sesame oil
1 tsp. coarse black pepper

Combine broccoli, onion, and tomatoes in a bowl.

Whisk mayonnaise, sugar, oil, pepper, and vinegar together in a bowl until dressing is smooth; pour over broccoli mixture and stir to coat.

Optional additions:
1 cup craisins
8 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
1/4 cup sunflower seeds, salted

Enjoy!

Chef Perry
www.joinmykitchen.com

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04/15/16

Good food starts with good food

Simple marinara with fresh Roma tomatoes recipe

Fresh Roma tomatoes ready to dice.

One of the biggest factors in cooking good food, is using good food to cook. This is a point we stress over and over, with every kid that comes through out cooking program.

Not expensive food, not even “fancy” food (though that can be a lot of fun, when you can swing it), but good, real, recognizable food.

Start small, instead of buying that can of diced tomatoes, buy three roma tomatoes (about the same price), dice them in a bowl, and sprinkle a little salt and sugar on them.

10 minutes later you’ll have the same, but far superior tasting ingredient: diced tomatoes in juice…and really, was it that hard? (…and it doesn’t taste like the can!)

And I’m not even going to bring up the subject of the health benefits of freshly made food, vs. pre-packaged.

Now, let’s take that one tiny step further…now that you have your diced tomatoes, is it really that much harder to dice up an onion, chop a little garlic, and squirt some olive oil in a pan?

Saute (that means a low fry in a small amount of oil) for 10 minutes. Toss in some fresh herbs like basil, oregano, and Italian parsley (which you can now buy pre-packaged in small amounts in just about an produce section) and your diced tomatoes, and give a stir.

Simple homemade marinara recipe

Throw some salt and pasta in a pot…spaghetti, linguine, angel-hair, whatever, and let heat and water work it’s crazy magic for you. (Here are some tips for cooking perfect pasta!)

Meanwhile, grill a chicken breast, or cook and crumble some ground pork, or  saute some zucchini slices, or if you’re feeling really crazy, poach a dozen little-neck clams in their shells with a little white wine…(don’t flip the clams), and a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper…don’t worry about a bunch of spices, see the what food tastes like first, and to quote a guy I know…”Bam!” you’ve got a dish of pasta that probably cost less, and certainly tastes much better than you’ll ever get from that bottled muck on the shelves.


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Sprinkle on a tablespoon or so of fresh grated asiago cheese (it’s in the deli section, it’s expensive, and it’s worth it. Plus, a little goes a LONG way) and I promise you, I PROMISE you, you will never, willingly, go back to prepared, bottled “spaghetti sauce.”

Simple homemade spaghetti recipe

Why’s it so darn good?

Not because it’s harder to make (it really wasn’t, was it?) Certainly not not because it was more expensive…it wasn’t, at least not much.

No, it tastes so darn good, because you used good food to make it!

Congratulations…you’re a cook.

-Chef Perry
joinmykitchen.com

03/9/16
Deconstructed California Roll

Deconstructed California Roll Salad

Deconstructed California Roll

Okay, let’s face it…some folks love to make sushi. Rolling perfect cylinders with their little bamboo mats, slicing perfect rings with their razor sharp Yanagibas (sushi knifes), and topping them with brightly-colored little garnishes of this and that.

Some of us, however, just love to EAT sushi.

And no sushi is more ubiquitous to the Western sushi-bar than California Roll.

Califoria Roll with Tobiko

California Roll with Tobiko from FISHES restaurant, Cannon Beach, Oregon

First appearing in Los Angeles in the 1960s, the California Roll is a maki-zushi, a kind of sushi roll, usually made inside-out, containing cucumber, crab meat or imitation crab, and avocado.

Though there are many variations of additional ingredients, these are the “mainstay” of the California roll.

As one of the most popular styles of sushi in the US market, the California Roll has been influential in sushi’s global popularity


Ichiro Mashita, a sushi chef, first substituted avocado for toro (fatty tuna) in hope that removing the raw fish would make it more palatable to Western customers, and realized the oily texture of avocado was a perfect substitute for toro. He also made the roll “inside-out” (with the rice on the outside), because Americans didn’t like seeing and chewing the nori on the outside of the roll.

By the 1980s, the California Roll was the single most popular item in the sushi craze that was sweeping across the United States.

MY KITCHEN Outreach ProgramBy the way, if you’re enjoying this recipe, please subscribe to our free newsletter! We’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each Friday.

Plus, you’ll be helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk kids, in our MY KITCHEN Outreach Program.

 

This recipe allows for the same flavors and textures of the traditional California roll, without requiring the skills or equipment necessary to create the more familiar rolled presentation, with Furikake seasoning replacing the traditional nori (seaweed sheets).

Furikake seasoning can be found in Asian grocery stores, or can be ordered from our Amazon.com store.

Enjoy!

Chef Perry
joinmykitchen.com

Deconstructed California Roll Salad

1 batch sushi rice (recipe below), room temp.
2 Tbsp. Furikaki seasoning
1/3 cup sesame seeds
1 small cucumber
8 oz. imitation crab or lobster
1 medium avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced 1/4-inch thick
Pickled ginger, wasabi, and soy sauce for serving (opt)

Mise en Place

Prepare the rice (recipe below). Peel, seed, and cut cucumber into half-rounds. Break imitation crab into bite-sized portions. Peeled and pit the avocado, and slice 1/4-inch thick.

Prepare the Dish

Divide the cooled rice between two plates, and sprinkle with 1/2 of the Furikaki seasoning and 1/2 of the toasted sesame seeds. Top with crab, cucumber, and avocado, the sprinkle with remaining Furikaki seasoning and sesame seeds.

Serve immediately with pickled ginger, wasabi, and soy sauce (all optional).

Sushi Rice

1 cup sushi or short grain rice
1 cup water
1/4 cup mirin (sweet rice wine)
1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 Tbsp. kosher salt

Rinse rice in a mixing bowl 2 to 3 times, or until the water is clear.

Place the rice and 1 cup of water into a medium saucepan and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, uncovered. Once it begins to boil, reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cover. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.

Combine the rice vinegar, mirin, sugar and salt in a small bowl and heat in the microwave on high for 30 to 45 seconds. Transfer the rice into a large wooden or glass mixing bowl and add the vinegar mixture. Fold thoroughly to combine and coat each grain of rice with the mixture.

Allow to cool to room temperature before using to make sushi or sashimi.

Makes 2 cups

 

 

01/31/16
Peach Pumpkin Grilled Chicken Tacos

Peach Pumpkin Fusion Chicken Tacos

Peach Pumpkin Grilled Chicken Tacos

Picked up some of this awesome salsa made by my pal, Amy Roloff.  Personally, the only thing better than Asian food, or Latino food, is a fusion of both.

I’m telling you, these are some next-level tacos!

Peach Pumpkin Fusion Chicken Tacos
Serves 4

Prep Time: 20 min    Cook Time: 20 min   Total Time: 40 min

The Chicken
2 Lbs Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs
2 Eggs, Lightly Beaten
¼ cup Soy Sauce
1/4 cup Thai fish sauce
¼ cup Sugar
2 cloves of Garlic, Pressed
1 Tsp Finely Grated Fresh Ginger
2 Tbsp. Furikake

For the Tacos
10-20 white corn tortillas
1 Pkg. chopped Asian salad
Roloff Farms Peach Pumpkin Salsa
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Pound the chicken thighs lightly with a meat tenderizer just to flatten the chicken so that it cooks evenly.

Peach Pumpkin Fusion Chicken Tacos

In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, soy, fish sauce, sugar, garlic, ginger, and furikake. Toss the chicken in the mixture making sure each piece is well coated. Cover and place it the fridge and let marinate overnight.

Peach Pumpkin Fusion Chicken Tacos

To Make The Tacos

Chop fresh cilantro, set aside.

Grill chicken over hot coals, 3-5 minutes per side, until well marked. Move to offset heat, and cook another 8-10 minutes. Remove to pan, tent loosely in foil, and allow to rest 10-15 minutes, then cut into cubes.

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Peach Pumpkin Fusion Chicken Tacos

Mix salad according to package instructions, set aside.

MY KITCHEN Outreach ProgramBy the way, if you’re enjoying this recipe, please subscribe to our free newsletter! We’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each Friday.

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Warm tortillas in a dry pan, both sides, and wrap about tortillas in aluminum foil and put them in the preheated (250F) oven.

Peach Pumpkin Fusion Chicken Tacos

Serve by spooning some salsa into a tortilla, add salad, chicken, and cilantro.

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