You know, it’s getting to the point where if Rick Bayless gave me a recipe for stewed monkey brains with rabbit feces, toilet paper and chalk, I’d probably make it…and it would be delicious. I’m not sure how we hadn’t made today’s recipe thus far, but it’s fantastic. It’s almost like a chunky chicken and potato salad hybrid, infused with oregano, vinegar, spicy chipotles, crunchy Romaine, and sweet and creamy avocado. Rick’s original recipe calls for the chipotles to be seeded, but we kept the seeds and added a little honey to offset the spiciness a bit. We used a rotisserie chicken, but any leftover chicken you have would be fine. It’s a one-dish meal, perfect for warm summer days. Enjoy!
Chipotle Chicken Salad Tacos with Avocado, Red-Skin Potatoes and Romaine
1 large red-skin potato or Yukon Gold, sliced about ¼ inch thick 1 tbsp. salt 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 1 teaspoon dried oregano 2 canned chipotle chiles en adobo, chopped
1 tsp. honey ¼ small white onion, finely chopped 6 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) coarsely shredded cooked chicken breast 2 cups sliced romaine leaves – slice them about ¼ inch across 1 ripe avocado, cut into ¼ inch cubes 2 tablespoons olive oil 12 warm corn tortillas
Place the sliced potatoes into a large microwavable bowl, pour in ¼ cup of water and sprinkle generously with salt. Cover and microwave on high for about 4 minutes. Remove potatoes with a slotted spoon to a cutting board and let cool, reserving cooking liquid. Add the vinegar, oregano, chipotles, honey, and onion to the bowl with the potato water to make the dressing. Mix and then add salt. Use a fork to break up the potatoes into ½ inch pieces, then place them in a large bowl. Add the chicken and the dressing, and toss to combine. Refrigerate it for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Just before serving, add the lettuce and avocado, and drizzle with olive oil and toss gently to combine. Serve with warm tortillas. Eat!
I don’t know if there is such a thing as Korean soul food, but if so, I think this would qualify. It’s so absolutely delicious, bursting with the aromatic flavors of garlic and ginger, sweetness from brown sugar, salty soy sauce, and fiery pepper paste and pepper flakes. The original recipe, from www.maangchi.com, calls for pork belly. We didn’t feel like going to the Asian market, so we used boneless pork chops and they worked just fine (though we did slightly overcook them). But you could certainly use chicken, thinly sliced beef, or tofu and it would still be terrific (you’ll just need to adjust the cooking time depending on the protein you use).
The pepper paste gochujang is what really gives the dish a great texture – you can find it in your Asian market in varying degrees of spiciness (get at least the medium one – it’s not that spicy).
We served this with a fantastic new product we found at Trader Joe’s – frozen kimchi fried rice. Despite being microwaved in a plastic bag, I was fluffy, moist, and flavorful. There weren’t many pieces of kimchi in it, but it was a little spicy and very tasty. Good for the Seoul. Enjoy!
(Insert unpronounceable Korean name) Spicy Korean Stir-fried Pork
1½ pounds boneless pork chops, cut into bite size pieces about ¼ inch thick
1 medium onion, sliced
3 scallions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp. minced ginger
1/3 cup gochujang
2 tbsp. hot pepper flakes
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. soy sauce
½ tsp. black ground pepper
2 tsp. of sesame oil
1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
Heat a wok or deep skillet over high heat. Place all ingredients except the sesame seeds into the pan. Mix and stir with a wooden spoon, until the pork is cooked thoroughly, about 7-8 minutes. Transfer it to a serving plate, sprinkle sesame seeds on top, and serve with rice and kimchi. Eat!
“Chicken is so boring!” That mantra is something not only uttered by certain 5-year-olds who reside at the MHK, but also by plenty of adults out there. We feel sorry for anyone who feels that way – yes, a plain cooked piece of unseasoned, skinless chicken is boring, agreed. But honestly, if that’s the kind of chicken you’re eating, you have no right to hyperbolize chicken and its excitement factor. We submit that even the pickiest chicken eaters out there will go nuts – peanuts – for this recipe. This dish, presented by the Hannaford Supermarket magazine, is made with common Thai ingredients like coconut milk, curry powder, ginger, fish sauce, and peanuts, but it’s not really something you’d see on a Thai restaurant menu. Regardless, it’s frickin’ delicious. The sweetness of the coconut milk and peanut butter is balanced by the kick of the garlic and ginger, the salty fish sauce, and the aromatic curry powder, and the turmeric adds some earthiness and bright color. We served this with a salad made with a cilantro-basil dressing. Add some rice for a complete and healthy meal that tastes fantastic. Enjoy!
Thai-Inspired Chicken Thighs
1 tablespoon light coconut milk
1 tablespoon peanut butter
2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon Asian fish sauce
1 ½ to 2 lb. boneless chicken thighs
1 tbsp. chopped roasted peanuts
Preheat grill to medium high. In a large bowl, whisk together coconut milk, peanut butter, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, turmeric, curry, sugar, and fish sauce until evenly blended. Pat the mixture all over the chicken thighs. Let marinate at room temperature for about 10 minutes. Brush hot grill with vegetable oil. Place thighs on the grill and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, or until well marked. Turn and continue to grill until done, about 5 to 6 minutes more. Divide on to plates, sprinkle with chopped peanuts. Eat!
Yes, I know the last two posts have similar titles. It was intentional. Not that funny, but intentional. Moving on.
Ground pork is a terrific alternative to beef when you’re in the mood for a burger. They are pretty lean, though not as much as ground turkey, so the meat doesn’t need as much help as turkey to keep it seasoned and flavorful, but it does need some attention. Going for an Asian flare, we kept it simple but tasty by mixing the meat with scallions, grated ginger (yummy), garlic, salt and pepper, and sesame oil, which kept the burgers nice and moist. The savory burger topped with smoky grilled onions and capped by a Sriracha mayo created an intense and aromatic flavor combination that was fantastic. We used boring hamburger buns – the dish would be even better with a nice onion roll or Kaiser roll. We served this with a cucumber salad for a complete and healthy meal. Enjoy!
Asian Pork Burgers
1 1/2 pounds ground pork 2 scallions, thinly sliced 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger 2 large garlic cloves, minced 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
8 thick onion slices
4 buns, lightly toasted
2 tbsp. mayo
1/2 tbsp. Sriracha or other spicy Asian chili sauce
Heat a grill on medium. In a large bowl, mix the pork with the scallions, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, 2 teaspoons of kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Form the meat into four 3/4-inch thick patties. Lightly oil the onion slices. Grill the burgers and onions, turning once, until cooked through, about 8 minutes (the onions may take less time). Spread 1/2 tbsp. of the chili mayo on the top half of each bun. Place the burger on the bottom half, top with onions, close with top bun. Eat!
There just isn’t anything better than real, quality Mexican food. I know coming from the MHK that isn’t big news, but it just needed to be said. Again. Today’s recipe comes from Aaron Sanchez’ book Simple Food, Big Flavor, a great tome for Mexican recipes. His adobo rub seems complicated at first, but it’s actually a breeze and this dish can be made in less than 45 minutes. We didn’t have ancho chiles, but we used ancho chile powder and it turned out fine. The aromatic spices, the deep chile flavor, and the lean pork combine for a beautiful taste experience. We served this with grilled vegetables and mini cheese quesadillas for a well-rounded, healthy Mexican meal. Enjoy!
Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Aaron’s Adobo
¼ cup cumin seeds
¼ cup coriander seeds
¼ cup fennel seeds
¼ cup mustard seeds
2 pasilla chiles (dried poblanos), stemmed, seeded, torn into small pieces
2 ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded, torn into small pieces
½ cup dried oregano
2 tbsp. onion powder
2 tbsp. garlic powder
¼ cup paprika
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 ½ lb. pork tenderloin
Heat a skillet over med-low heat. Toast the cumin, fennel, coriander, mustard, and chile pieces until aromatic, about 3 minutes. Pour into a bowl to cool, then grind in a spice or coffee grinder. Pour powder into a bowl, add the oregano, onion and garlic powder, and paprika. Stir to combine. Heat grill on medium-high. Rub olive oil over pork, then coat on all sides with ¼ cup of the spice rub. Grill pork on both sides until done – 145 degrees in the center. Let pork rest for five minutes, then slice and serve. Eat!
A few months ago I stumbled upon a product that has become very useful at the MHK. They are pre-baked flatbreads from Stonefire – you top them with whatever you want, bake at 400 for 15 minutes, and you can make amazing flatbread pizzas that could honestly be sold in a restaurant. What you top them is obviously important – here are three combinations we’ve tried that have been fantastic.
1. Italiano – fontina cheese, prosciutto, arugula, olive oil
Shred the cheese and cover the flatbread with it. Top with a couple handfuls of arugula. Cut the prosciutto into strips and add to the pizza. Bake 15 minutes. Drizze olive oil over the pizza. Slice, serve and eat!
Divide the peanut sauce – coat the pre-cooked, diced chicken breast in the sauce. Spread rest of peanut sauce over the flatbread. Top with mozzarella (a thin coating). Top with shredded carrots, chicken, and bean sprouts. Top with chopped peanuts. Bake for 15 minutes. Drizzle Hoisin sauce over pizza, sprinkle cilantro on top. Slice, serve and eat!
Cover the flatbread with mozzarella. Brown the sausage in a pan, then slice into 1/4-inch rounds, then place on pizza. Sprinkle corn and diced poblano over the pizza. Bake for 15 minutes. Add some water to sour cream to make it thin, then drizzle over pizza, sprinkle with cilantro. Slice, serve, and eat!