Trying new things

It is so easy to get into cooking ruts and make the same things over and over.  When I see recipes that sound interesting in magazines or newspapers, I clip them out and put them in folders based on category.  Then when I want something new, I go through the folders until something catches my eye.  Fortunately, I’m also taking another Thai class so I have an additional source of inspiration.  Last night I made a chicken recipe based on something I had clipped from a magazine.  Tonight I made a recipe from this round of Thai cooking.  Here are the two new (and if I do say so myself, successful) additions to the repertoire!

Honey Ginger chicken

  • 1 TB balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 TB minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • zest from 2 limes (divided use)
  • 2 bone in chicken breasts (or more for leftovers)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • butter
  • canola oil
  • lime juice from 2 limes

Preheat oven to 400.  Combine vinegar, honey, ginger, jalapeno and spices together in a bowl with about 2 tsp canola oil.  Spread over chicken.  (Combine 1/2 of lime zest with sugar in a separate bowl.)

Heat an ovenproof skillet over medium heat and add about 1 TB of canola oil.  Cook chicken, turning frequently until browned (about 5 minutes).  Pat with lime zest sugar mixture and roast in oven about 20 minutes or until chicken is done.  Remove chicken breasts from pan and cover with aluminum foil.  Squeeze lime juice into pan and stir to remove browned bits from pan.  Add about 1 tsp of butter to pan and mix well.  Place chicken breasts on plates with rice and top with pan juices.  Delicious!  Since I was in a hurry, it missed the photo op!

Stir Fry Fresh Rice Noodles with Shrimp

We made this dish in our Thai class a few weeks ago.  It is similar to my favorite – drunken noodles.  It uses the same type of noodles and the sauces are similar.  I like the addition of the egg and the fact that it isn’t quite as spicy.  Keith loved it!

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1 package fresh rice noodles (these can be found in an Asian market)
  • 2/3 pound shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 2 cups broccoli, stems and florets, blanched (Chinese broccoli is preferable but not easy to find – if using Chinese broccoli, trim off the tough ends of the stem)
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 2 – 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 scallions thinly sliced
  • 1 TB light soy sauce (more or less to taste)
  • 2 TB dark soy sauce
  • 1 TB rice wine vinegar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

Preparations:

  1. Wrap noodles in a wet kitchen towel and microwave for 1- 2 minutes until soft. Unwrap and slice into strips. Separate noodles and place in a bowl until ready to cook.
  2. In a wok or large sauté pan, heat oil over moderate heat. Add garlic and sauté. Add shrimp and stir fry, tossing. (Don’t wait until shrimp are cooked through to proceed to next step.)
  3. Add broccoli and soy sauces, add vinegar and chili pepper if using, tossing constantly.
  4. When sauce is bubbly, add noodles and keep stirring until noodles absorb sauce (add extra thick soy sauce if necessary.) Add pepper strips.
  5. Make a well and add egg. Let egg start to set and then scramble into noodles and sauce.
  6. Remove from heat and divide among 4 plates. Garnish with cilantro and lime wedges. Put vinegar, soy sauce and ground chili peppers in small bowls as condiments to pass around the table.
Rice noodles with garlic and shrimp

Rice noodles with garlic and shrimp

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About emenuplan
I love to cook and love to eat. I work full time and have a family so managing good meals during the week requires organization. I'm hoping to share my weekly menu plans and recipes to make things a little easier for those who want to follow along.

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