dinner in 30 minutes · Main dish.

Did Someone Say Shrimp Sauce?

 

shrimp sauce.jpg

During our recent sabbatical, my husband and I were blessed with the opportunity to eat out quite a bit, thanks to the gracious gifts of our church family. One evening we ventured out to a local Asian restaurant that we hadn’t been to in a very long time. The meal we ordered was a mixed meat grilled on a hibachi and served with a side of Shrimp sauce. The meat was great. The vegetables were flavorful, but the shrimp sauce was OUT OF THIS WORLD! We doused added it to every bite!

Last week when I was making beef stir fry at home, the memory of that glorious sauce popped into my head and I Googled it in search of a recipe. I was shocked at the simple ingredients that are used to make the sauce. I had every ingredient on hand! This meal was so good, and it made me happy to be whipping it up in my own kitchen!

stir fry.jpg

Let me share with you the way I make my stir-fry and then I’ll add the simple recipe for the shrimp sauce.

Stir Fry
½ lb. your choice of meat – chicken, beef or shrimp
2 Tbl. Oil

In a wok, stir fry the meat until it Is cooked through. Remove meat and cover to keep warm. Add a little more oil to the wok and cook vegetables of your choice, starting with the vegetables that take longer to cook, then adding the other vegetables a bit later. The list below is the order I add my vegetables.

Zucchini
Red, green or yellow peppers – I like to ad a variety of these
Snow peas
Onion
Stir fry until crisp-tender.
In a small bowl, mix:
1 cup chicken broth
2 Tbl. Corn starch.
2 Tbl. Soy sauce

Add this mixture to the vegetables and stir to thicken. Add meat and stir to cover with the sauce.
Serve with Shrimp sauce.

Shrimp Sauce
1 Cup Mayo – I used reduced fat
¼ cup ketchup
1 tbl sugar
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
Dash of hot sauce

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. If you can make it an hour ahead and refrigerate it, the flavors will combine even better. I served mine immediately and it was still delicious, so don’t let that hinder you!

We won’t have stir-fry in the future without this sauce, I can promise you! This is great with any Asian food, so whip this up and dunk away!

If you could recreate any restaurant food you’ve had, what would it be?

With love from my country kitchen,

img_8101

 

grilling · home · Main dish.

Hawaiian Chicken with Pineapple Salsa

Last week I encouraged you to make your home a haven for your husband.  It needs to be your haven, too.  It could be a one for anyone that would enter your door.  Each day this week I’m going to be sharing  ways that you can do just that.  Maybe you’re a pro at it and these will just be reminders.  Perhaps you’ve gotten so preoccupied with other things that you need a refresher.  Or maybe you’re new at creating an atmosphere of a refuge and you don’t know where to begin.  I pray this will encourage each of you!

Food is a gift from God and is a huge element in home life. Cooking creates delicious aromas.  The dishes the meals are served on can create family traditions and carry precious memories, and time around the table creates conversation, care and intimacy.

I believe the meals we prepare need to be thought through so we’re prepared, organized, and allow our families to anticipate what’s coming!  I challenge you to plan at least four dinners for this week and post it somewhere.  It could be on your planner, a marker board, or a chalkboard.  Put it out where your family will see it and know what’s coming for supper this week.  You may need to switch the night you chose to make that entree, but that’s okay.  You’ll still have a plan.

I often scroll through my blog menu items and make up my whole week of dinners from it. That’s one great reason to blog about my food; I have an on-line record of our favorites!  If you keep a list of your family’s favorite things, it will be easier to make a weekly plan.

After you make your plan and post it, then make a grocery list and secure the ingredients needed.  Prep ahead and get things started early so dinner will be anticipated by everyone – even you!

Recently I made a recipe I’ve shared here –  the Hawaiian Chicken with Pineapple Salsa again and was smitten by the fantastic taste the grill gives the whole meal!

0925161349a.jpg

Hawaiian Chicken with Pinapple Salsa
Ingredients:

1/4 cup pineapple juice

2 tablespoons ketchup

2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce

1 1/2 teaspoons minced peeled ginger

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

Cooking spray
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 cups hot cooked long-grain white rice

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Preparation

1. Combine first 5 ingredients. Reserve 1/4 cup marinade; place remaining marinade in a zip-top plastic bag. Add chicken to bag; seal. Chill 4 hours. (I did mine overnight)

2. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Remove chicken from bag; discard marinade in bag. Sprinkle chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Note:  I microwaved the chicken for about 10 minutes to pre-cook it a little.  Then we put it on the grill. Add chicken to pan; baste with 2 tablespoons reserved marinade. Cook 6 minutes. Turn chicken over; baste with 2 tablespoons reserved marinade. Cook 6 minutes.

3. Combine rice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and cilantro.

Pineapple Salsa

Mix:

1 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple (I used canned)

1/3 cup finely chopped red onion

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 cup pineapple preserves

1 tablespoon finely chopped seeded jalapeño pepper

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

I heated up the salsa and served it over the chicken.  This was so delicious!  The grilled chicken and the flavors of the marinade and the salsa are perfect!

Grilling makes all the difference!  I hope you’ll try this soon.  I know I won’t be waiting long before I make this again!

So who’s with me on making a menu for this week?  Will you strive to make the haven for your husband and your family with the food you create?   Can you plan four dinners you want to make and serve to your family this week?  Let me know in the comments below!

With love from my country kitchen,

img_8101

dessert · grilling · Main dish. · summertime

The Grill’s Not just for Hot Dogs!

We’re in the middle of another session of Apples of Gold – the cooking/teaching mentoring ministry for ladies that I’ve had the privilege of being a part of the last three years.  Each week we learn cooking techniques, study Titus 2, and fellowship together around a home-cooked meal.  It’s a wonderful, encouraging and fun time!

Last Saturday the meal was all about the grill.  Here was our menu:flatbreads.jpg

 

Grilled Prosciutto, fig and Gouda Flatbread
Rosemary and Sea Salt Flatbread
Honey-Lime Grilled Chicken Salad
Grilled Pineapple with Coconut Whipped Cream

For Flatbreads:
Ingredients
  • For the flatbread:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¾ cup warm water, plus more if needed
  • Olive oil for brushing
  • 6 ounces Gouda cheese, grated
  • A handful of arugula
  • 8 slices of Prosciutto
  • 8 fresh figs, cut into quarters – I used dried figs and they were just as delicious!

For the balsamic glaze:

  • 1 cups balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey

Instructions:

For the flatbread:
To a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, salt, and baking powder, mix well.
Add the olive oil and mix.
Add the water and mix until the dough comes together, either using your hands or a wooden spoon.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
Remove the dough from the fridge about 10 minutes before using to allow to come to room temperature.

Preheat your outdoor grill.
Divide the dough in fourths and roll out onto a floured cutting board into your desired shape.
Brush with the olive oil on both sides.
Grill on each side for about 2-3 minutes until you have good grill marks and the dough is crispy.
Remove from the grill and add your toppings.
Return the flatbread to the grill and grill only long enough until the cheese is melted.

For the balsamic glaze: – Make this while the dough is in the fridge

In a medium saucepan, add the balsamic and stir in the honey.
Bring the vinegar to a simmer over medium heat.
Simmer for approximately 30 minutes until the vinegar has reduced by ½, keep an eye it and check until it has the consistency of molasses.
Drizzle over the finished flatbread.

0720161340a.jpg

For Rosemary/Sea Salt Flatbread – 

Combine 1 tbl. finely chopped fresh rosemary and about 2 tsp sea salt.

Brush flatbread with olive oil and grill until browned.  Remove and brush with more olive oil.  Rub Rosemary and salt mixture over oil.  Serve warm.

Griled chicken salad

Honey-lime Grilled Chicken Salad

Ingredients

For Honey-Lime Grilled Chicken
  • 4 small chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • zest from a lime
  • juice from a lime
  • salt and pepper to taste

instructions

  1. In a bowl add the Honey lime chicken ingredients; olive oil, honey, cilantro, lime zest, lime juice, salt and pepper. Whisk until smooth.
  2. Place each chicken breast between plastic wrap and gently pound using a meat mallet until chicken is about ½ inch in thickness. Place chicken in a large Ziploc bag and pour marinade over chicken. Marinate overnight.
  3. Grill chicken over medium high heat until cooked through.

For Salad:

Ingredients:

Spring Mix
Sliced Strawberries
Blue Cheese

Place salad ingredients on plate, top with grilled chicken.

Honey-Lime Dressing – 

1/4 Cup olive oil
Juice and zest of a lime
2 tsp Honey

 In a small bowl, whisk the juice of the remaining lime, the honey and 1/4 cup olive oil; season with salt and pepper.

Now for dessert:

Pineapple

Grilled Pineapple

  1. Slice fresh pineapple in one-inch slices.
  2. Sprinkle with a cinnamon/sugar mixture
  3. Grill on medium high heat 2-3 minutes or until soft and pineapple has grill marks.
  4. Garnish with whipped cream, and fresh mint.

Coconut Whipped Cream

Ingredients

Full Fat Coconut milk
Vanilla
Sugar

Place coconut milk in fridge overnight. The next morning, put mixing bowl and beaters into freezer for ten minutes.  Turn milk can upside down, open and pour off liquid.  Pour rest of milk into chilled mixing bowl.  Beat until whipped up.  Add 2 tbl sugar and 1 tsp vanilla.

This meal is so delicious!  Fire up the grill and get some restaurant worthy foods cooking on your back porch!  

With love from my country kitchen,

 

Main dish.

Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken

I went to my Pinterest board for a little supper inspiration last week. I love going to my boards and finding things I’ve put there for future use.  I have found some really wonderful recipes!   That’s where I found this lovely dish…

Sweet and Sour chicken

This is Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken from Skinny Mom.  Because it’s not fried, this recipe comes in at under 300 calories per serving!  It’s so good you’ll be tempted to eat more than one serving, but it’s so hearty you won’t have room to do so!  It’s browned on the stove, then put in the oven for 45 minutes to finish cooking.  So plan ahead a bit.  This will need to be started an hour before you want to eat.  Your patience will be rewarded, trust me!

Here’s how you make it:

Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 (8-ounce) can Del Monte® pineapple chunks in 100% juice
  • ¼ cup Heinz® reduced-sugar ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon less-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon stevia
  • ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Spray an 11×7-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Place the chicken and ⅓ cup of the cornstarch in a large resealable bag. Seal and shake the bag a few times to evenly coat the chicken.
  3. In a wok or large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken in a single layer and cook the chicken until browned all over but not cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes, turning the chicken occasionally. Remove from the heat.
  4. Drain the pineapple and reserve the juice for the sauce.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the reserved pineapple juice, ketchup, rice vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, stevia, red pepper flakes, and remaining 2 teaspoons of the cornstarch.
  6. Place the browned chicken pieces in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Add the pineapple chunks, onion, and red and yellow bell peppers. Pour the sauce evenly over the chicken and vegetables.
  7. Cover the baking dish loosely with foil and bake until the sauce is bubbling and the chicken is cooked through, about 45 minutes. Stir the chicken mixture and rotate the pan front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure that it cooks evenly.
  8. To serve, garnish with the green onions.

I served it with rice – how could you not?  It was really good and made great leftovers for the next night!  Aldi’s has great prices on those red and yellow peppers.  I buy the little ones, rather than the large.   They’re so sweet and delicious in this dish (or any other!)  

Who else has recently tried a recipe you’ve pinned on Pinterest?  What was it?

With love from my country kitchen,

 

 

Dinner · Lunch

Quick Fried Chicken Strips

Strips

Sometimes when you see a recipe you just know it’s going to be fabulous.  Fried chicken that’s first dipped in Buttermilk, then bread crumbs caught my eye in a recipe from Food Network.  I put it on my menu for last week and I made it on a night when my husband came home very tired and weary from an extremely busy afternoon. When he came in the door, the lights were dimmed, the candles were flickering, soft music was playing and dinner was on the table.  It was my way of saying, “I care about you enough to help you rest when you come home.”  It is my attempt to be a “good thing” to my hard-working husband.  

As I imagined, he was starving. Within minutes of his arrival home, we were praying and then digging in!  I LOOOOVE it when he takes the first bite and says, “MmmMmmm!”  He also added, “That’s a winner!”  Yay!  I had about five strips leftover (hard to believe, because I just used one chicken breast!), so the next day I warmed them in the oven and cut them into pieces and added them to a salad for each of us.  Yummy!  

The Food Network issued this recipe as a lunch for your child’s lunchbox.  They cut the chicken into nuggets.  This would totally make any child’s lunch the best in the school!    If you like fried chicken, you need to make this super fast recipe with chicken strips!

fried chicken a

Panko Fried Chicken Strips

1 large egg
1/3 cup buttermilk – Shake up the buttermilk before pouring!
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs – I was out of Panko crumbs, but the regular bread crumbs still made a nice crust!
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
Ranch, honey mustard or barbecue sauce for dipping, optional

Directions
Whisk the egg and buttermilk in a medium bowl. Soak chicken pieces in egg mixture while you gather remaining ingredients. Meanwhile, in another shallow bowl combine panko with paprika, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper, to taste. Set a rack on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Lift chicken from buttermilk, letting excess liquid drain back into the bowl, then dip into panko and turn to coat on all sides.

Carefully place chicken in oil and cook until they are golden and crispy and cooked through, about for 5 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to the rack to cool. Place in sealed container. Pack in a lunch box with their favorite veggies and ranch, honey mustard or barbecue sauce for dipping.

As I said earlier, this would make a great recipe for dinner, but it also makes great leftovers for lunch! 

Sooo, tell me, what have you done this week to be a good thing to your husband?

With love from my country kitchen,

8E63C63AC0BC189BF1C68B03C74DBB5F

Main dish.

The Best and Easiest Honey/Lime Salad Dressing (and a great salad to put under it!)

wpid-wp-1441413063163.jpeg

I found this Grilled Chicken and Corn Salad in Rachel Ray’s Magazine and it called my name! It appealed to me for many reasons, but I’m bringing it to you for one reason – IT IS SOOOO GOOD! The kicker for me is the super simple Honey/Lime dressing that goes over the salad. I think I am done buying pre-made salad dressings! Homemade vinaigrettes are just so much better!

I grilled several pieces of chicken at once when I made this (more than I needed), so I could put the meat in other recipes through the week. It makes sense that if you’re going to heat up the grill to cook chicken, do extra and have it on hand for the week! I’ll share my other recipes at the end of this post. But first, here’s the delicious Grilled Chicken and Corn Salad…

Grilled Chicken and Corn Salad with Lime Dressing

  • 1 cup heavy cream or Mexican crema
  • 2 tablespoons chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, pureed or finely chopped
    This salad is wonderful witihout the Crema!
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken (breast or thigh)
  • 2 large ears corn
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Juice of 2 limes (about 4 tbsp.)
  • 2 teaspoons acacia honey or light agave
  • 6 cups chopped romaine hearts
  • 4 ounces Manchego cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler – I used a Mexican cheese blend
  • 1 ripe Hass avocado, sliced and dressed with lemon or lime juice to slow browning
Directions

  1. Heat a grill pan or outdoor grill over medium-high to high.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat the cream and chipotle over low, stirring occasionally. Simmer until it thickens a bit, about 5 minutes. Keep warm.
  3. Drizzle the chicken and corn with a little oil. Season with salt, pepper, thyme, oregano and cumin. Grill the chicken and corn until the chicken is cooked through and the corn is charred in spots, turning occasionally, 12 to 15 minutes. (If using a grill pan, cook the corn first.) Invert a small bowl in a large bowl. Place one corncob upright on top of the small bowl. Cut the kernels off the cob (they’ll fall into the big bowl). Repeat with the other corncob. Slice the chicken. Douse the chicken and corn with the juice of 1 lime.
  4. Dressing: In a large bowl, whisk the juice of the remaining lime, the honey and 1/4 cup olive oil; season. Toss with the greens. Divide among plates; top with the cheese, chicken, corn, chipotle crema and avocado.

I also used the grilled chicken for this soup (with a few changes). I also cut the corn off the cob before adding it to the soup!

My  husband used the grilled chicken and made us Quesadillas for lunch one day (isn’t he sweet?!). He added the chicken, tomatoes, and cheese and it made a great lunch dish!

So, do yourself a favor and make this Lime Dressing, if you don’t try anything else. Do yourself a second favor and fire up the grill and get some really flavorful meat in your fridge for the rest of the week!

What have you cooked up in your kitchen this week?

With love from my country kitchen,

Uncategorized

The Secret Trick Your Stand Mixer Can Perform

A friend of mine shared her tip for chopping chicken in a flash. Ready?

You put the cooked meat in the mixer, turn it on, and in 30 seconds it’s all shredded.

I wouldn’t use this method if you want the meat chopped, like for chicken salad, but I did this for these Chicken Enchiladas and the consistency was perfect. It would work great for pork that was being used for sliders or sandwiches.

This is a real time saver! Thanks, Angie! What will you make with your shredded meat?

Stay refreshed!