Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Korean Teriyaki Chicken Stir Fry

     Yesterday, I was in a tight spot. I had $40 to cover my groceries and it was my turn to cook dinner that night. I went through a lot of options but I settled on something that had lots of inexpensive vegetables, to make up the bulk of the dish, and a inexpensive cut of meat preferably on sale. Also, more important than anything else - it HAD to be good.
     For the first time EVER, I'm faced with a beau who can produce more in the kitchen than fried eggs. The first meal this guy made me was muscles in a tomato-white wine sauce. What the Hell?! Nobody does that in real life! He's amazing so I can't just slap down some tacos seasoned from a packet anymore.
     Given the circumstances and budget, the fact that he likes Asian cuisine, I picked stir-fry. I am SO GLAD I DID! Needless to say, my beau contributed a lot to this recipe. We used one of his woks, because of course he has more than one! I might have prepped but he had a hand in a lot of the cooking process due to his stir-fry history.

You will need:
  • 1 lb. chicken strips OR chicken breasts, cut into thumb-sized chunks
  • 1 onion, cut into semi-circles
  • 1 red pepper, cut into 2-inch strips
  • 1 small broccoli floret, chopped
  • 1 fat garlic clove, diced
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • fresh ginger, one-inch piece, diced
  • 2-3 carrots, peeled into strips
  • 2 TBSP vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup Tsang's Korean Teriyaki Stir-Fry Sauce
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce, I like the low sodium kind
  • 1 cup par-boiled rice
  • 2 cups water
      Grab a small, resealable plastic bag and put in the chicken chunks, garlic, ginger, 1/2 cup Tsang's Korean Teriyaki Stir-Fry Sauce, and 1/2 cup soy sauce. Before you seal the bag, try to get out all of the air that you can, then toss it in the fridge for 30 minutes. While the chicken is speed-marinating, this is the time to prepare your vegetables and rice.
     My beau introduced me to par-boiled rice. It's nice and tender and I LOVE IT! Get your water boiling and then break up the bouillon cube in the water, then add the rice and cover. Let the rice boil for about 30-60 seconds then reduce the heat to low. Stir once or twice for the next 15 minutes then turn off the heat and stir. If there's rice sticking to the bottom just put the cover back on for about five minutes then stir. The moisture should lift the rice up off the bottom of the pot.

Heat the vegetable oil in your wok or frying pan on medium high heat. Once the oil is hot carefully pour in the chicken mixture, try to get whatever is leftover in the bag out into the pan. Cook the chicken for a about 2-3 minutes. Add the vegetables and the rest of the Tsang's Korean Teriyaki Stir-Fry Sauce and soy sauce.


     Remember: KEEP STIRRING, that's the point of stir-fry. The vegetables should be cooked but still crisp. Stir every 30 seconds or so for the next 10-13 minutes then you're done!
     I like to plate the rice first and then layer on the goodness so the rice soaks up the run off sauces. Scrumpty!



Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Simple Sausage Marinara

I've made this a few times now and I find it super savory! This red sauce with sausage is super easy. Its one of those meals you do a bunch of prep work for, and then you relax while the sauce simmers it's way into the juiciest parts of the sausage. Let's get started.

You will need:
  • 6 hot or sweet Italian sausage, whichever you prefer or mix it up
  • 14 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
  • 14 oz. can of whole peeled or diced tomatoes
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, diced
  • fistful of basil, chopped
  • salt & pepper to your taste
  • olive oil
Start prepping by filling a medium sauce pot 2/3 full of water. Set that on medium-high heat and let it come to a boil while you're dicing up the onion, garlic, and basil.

Pour olive oil into a large sauce pot, enough to cover the bottom of the pot, and put it on medium-low heat. Once the olive oil has heated up a bit, dump in the diced onion. Let the onion cook until it looks a little translucent and then stir the onions to the sides of the pot to make a little landing pad for the garlic. Let the onion and garlic simmer for a while until the garlic looks yellow, then stir it up. If the onions start to burn or cook to quickly, definitely turn the heat down.

Before you place the sausage in the boiling water, use a fork to poke each sausage three or four times. Let the sausages cook for 4-6 minutes each at the most. After they're done, I like to cut them into twos or threes so the sauce gets in. My Nonno (grandfather) preferred cooking them whole. It's alright if they aren't cooked through because they're going to be in the sauce which is still thickening.

Turn the heat way down and let your sauce simmer for at least 30 minutes. I like to simmer my sauce for as long as possible. Well, go try this and tell me what you think. Whatever, you'll like it.