Juicy, Grilled Pineapple Teriyaki Flank Steak

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Although it is raining today,  just a few days ago this was the view from my backyard porch swing in Denver Colorado.

view from porch swing

And yes, that probably is a yellow flower blooming from big toe — because that is just how happy I am to finally see Spring come to the Rockies.

With the coming of warm weather,  I get to dust off the ol’ grill and make some of my favorite summer recipes.   This easy recipe for steak marinade works just as well for chicken breasts. The longer you let the beef or chicken bathe in the bag, the happier it gets, but for the steak even four hours will do the trick.

Years ago when I had more energy, lots of kids and a big need for income, I was a caterer and this recipe for marinated chicken or steak was my number one, never fail, go-to main dish. People loved it and requested it again and again!

I am not sure why but it really does bring out the most tender flavor in grilled meat.  It is not overly sweet either, as some teriyaki marinated meats tend to be — but just the right the balance.  The pineapple juice adds a touch of flavor,  but it is a fresh and light background note.   Doesn’t cloyingly ring of pineapple.

Nothing says, “Summer is on its way!” like the smell of food on the grill,  and a gathering of friends on the porch.  This would be absolutely perfect to make for Mother’s Day, which is coming up soon.  And by the way, if you are looking for a pretty perfect Mother’s Day Gift — something to entertain and inspire and cheer your mom (or your wife or your daughter or grandmother, or your daughter is now a mom herself),  may we recommend a copy of We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook?

For any of you who may live near Alexandria, Indiana (or know someone who does),  Rachel and I will be speaking and doing a food demonstration at the Annual Spring Tea, this Saturday May 13, 2014, at 11:00 at Gaither Family Resources.   (Click on the link “Gaither Family Resources” and scroll down to the Spring Tea information box for ticket prices and the number to call to make reservations.)  We would love to see you, hug your neck and possibly sign a book for you or your mother in person!  Ya’ll come! 

Add a little "happy" to your days with this funny, uplifting mom-daughter memoir. (Perfect gift for Mother's Day, too.)

Add a little “happy” to your days with this funny, uplifting mom-daughter memoir. (Perfect gift for Mother’s Day, too.)

 

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Juicy, Grilled Pineapple Teriyaki Flank Steak

1 flank steak

Grill Seasoning, about a teaspoon (or enough to season both sides of the steak)

1/2 cup white wine

1/4 cup light soy sauce

1/2 cup pineapple juice (or drain the juice from a can of pineapple rings)

1 T. olive oil

2 T. Worcestershire Sauce

2 large cloves of garlic, smashed with side of knife

Oil for grill pan, if cooking indoors

Ziploc bag

Directions:

Season both sides of a flank steak with Grill Seasoning (or salt, pepper and garlic powder). Add the rest of the ingredients to a large, Ziploc bag and carefully squeeze the contents to mix.  Place the flank steak in the bag of marinade, seal the bag then squeeze and turn the bag to coat both sides of the steak.  Put in fridge to marinate, turning  once or twice in the process and marinate anywhere from four to 10 hours.

Fire up the outdoor grill or use a grill pan over high heat (put a little olive oil in the pan if cooking indoors).  Place steak on the grill and sear one side until golden brown with nice dark grill marks.  Turn over and grill the other side.  Then cover the grill pan or close the grill and let it cook for another minute or two.  Remove and put on a plate,  cover the meat with foil and let it sit so that juices distribute throughout the meat.   While the meat is sitting, lightly grill small slices of pineapple (fresh or canned), and bring the leftover marinade to a boil.  Spoon some of the marinade over the steak and decorate with pineapple to show it off!    When you are ready to serve, remove pineapple slices, cut the steak in thin slices across the grain, giving each person a pineapple half and a drizzle of sauce.

The nice thing about serving a big piece of steak like this is that you serve the outer slices to those who prefer their meat more done, and for those who prefer their meat more on the rare side, serve them slices from the middle of the steak.

Depending on the size of the steak,  it will usually feed anywhere from 4 to six people.  Delicious with rice or mashed potatoes or pasta;  a green salad or steamed/roasted  green veggie is tasty and beautiful.

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30 Minute AMAZING Lemon Pepper Chicken Noodle Soup

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In early November, Greg and I  arrived in sunny Southern California for a week of much longed-for and needed vacation.  I took no time in shimmying into my bathing suit (and immediately donning a cover-up), loading my tote bag with “beach reads” and a pair of sunglasses.  I snapped a picture of the glistening pool, palm trees, blue sky and mountains in the distance, then posted it to Facebook extolling the joys of time away!  Savored every moment of  sunshine that first day of vacation, went back to the condo enjoyed a relaxing evening  and fell asleep.

The next morning I woke to find that my skin was hot, my body aching, my throat swollen, my head felt about twice its normal size,  and my ears seemed stuffed with cotton.  Greg too had caught the bug, but he had taken the flu shot earlier in the month, so his misery was limited in time and scope.  I did not get the shot, so my misery knew no bounds. There was no doubt about it:  I had the flu.  I don’t really remember much about the next next six days of “vacation” as I spent most of it sleeping or on drugs.

When I am sick, Greg does a fine job caring for me, truly he does.  That entire week he was the one who braved getting out and going to the store, ferrying in rations of cold medicine, cough drops and canned chicken soup.  But the truth is,  I wish I  could have a Well Me to take care of the Sick Me, because the Well Me makes a killer homemade chicken soup.

This one uses one of my favorite Trader Joe’s products: Lemon Pepper Pappardelle Pasta.   The lemon flavor is not overly strong and the texture of these noodles is perfect for chicken soup: firm but tender –a near-perfect pasta product!

The great thing about this homemade soup is that it only takes 30 minutes to make but tastes like you’ve toiled in the kitchen all day.  The special noodles take it to a “gourmet” level that you would be proud to serve to guests.

I believe this easy chicken soup will become your go-to recipe to serve on a chilly day, make for a sick family member or cheer up a friend with the flu.  (You might also consider tucking in a copy of We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook for your friend.  Nothing cures what ails you like homemade soup and laughter.)  It is also easy to “veganize” this dish, and I’ll list alternative ingredients in the recipe below.

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Fast & Easy Lemon-Pepper Pappardelle Chicken Soup

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Ingredients

2  T. olive oil (or oil and butter combo)

2 T. flour

4 cups of chicken or veggie broth

½ c. water

½ c. milk or almond milk

3 cloves garlic, grated or pressed

4 oz. Lemon Pepper Pappardelle Noodles, broken into 1 – 2 inch pieces (Trader Joe’s brand recommended/ 4 ozs is about ½ a package.  Unflavored Pappardelle or other wide noodle will also work if you prefer or cannot find pappardelle pasta at your grocery store.)

4 carrots, peeled and diced (the smaller the dice or slice, the faster they’ll cook)

3 large mushrooms, diced

2 cups of cooked chicken, pulled from a deli roasted chicken (I like to keep some of the pieces fairly large, some small. )

*VEGANS can substitute a can of big butter beans or your favorite vegan chicken substitute for the meat.  But add toward the end of cooking.

½ c. frozen corn

½ c. frozen peas

½ to 1 t. salt (you’ll have to taste test because some broths and chickens are saltier than others)

½ to 1 t. pepper (according to your taste)

½ to 1 t. your favorite dried herbs  ( I use a little Italian seasoning, a little basil)

Dash hot sauce to taste (like Tabasco)

Directions

In a big soup pot, heat the oil or oil/butter combination until it begins to bubble.  Add flour and whisk this roux until smooth and bubbly.  Very slowly, and while still whisking with one hand, add one cup of the chicken broth, stirring until smooth.  Add the rest of the broth, the water, the milk and garlic, then  continue to stir and let it come to a boil.

Add the broken pappardelle noodles and carrots and mushrooms. Simmer this until the veggies and noodles are almost tender.   Add chicken, corn, peas, seasonings and dash of hot sauce. Continue to simmer until noodles and veggies are tender  (but not mushy) and heated through.  Adjust seasonings to taste.

We usually serve steaming bowls of this hearty soup with hot buttered cornbread and fresh apple slices.

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From: http://www.laughcrycook.com


Easy Moo Shu Veggie or Chicken Wraps

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“Come, let’s be a comfortable couple and take care of each other! How glad we shall be, that we have somebody we are fond of always, to talk to and sit with.”  Charles Dickens

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My husband Greg and I love our little pleasurable routines.  It really doesn’t take much to make us happy.  We don’t need high adventure, fast cars, tall mountains, or Broadway plays.  We get a kick out of watching Jay Leno’s “headlines” segment on Monday nights and reruns of “30 Rock”. We can’t wait to snuggle up on Sundays to watch Downton Abbey when it reappears on PBS this winter.  He often watches sports, while I contentedly piddle on Facebook from a comfy loveseat nearby.

We enjoy quiet road trips with Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra playing in the background more than attending rousing stage concerts.  Greg stands and greets me with a kiss every morning as I stumble into the kitchen; me waking up to my first cup of coffee two hours after he’s greeted the morning. We watch Brian Williams tell the news every evening (in his friendly voice,  even the worst disasters sound less terrible).  Then I serve our suppers,  all prettily plated,  as we eat in living room, our feet up, hearts at ease. We usually clean up the unbelievably messy kitchen, afterwards, together.

 During the summer we meet outside on the porch swing for Happy Hour and conversation at 5:00 p.m.  We go to bed, each reading our e-books, a glass of ice water on my bedside table.  I slather on Lemon Cream Lotion and Greg always says I smell like lemon pie before he kisses me goodnight, wishing me sweet dreams. Then he hands me the treasures that have somehow gathered on our bed during the day: hair clips, reading glasses, books, jewelry, pens and notebooks, stray socks, apple cores — clearing room for us to ease under the quilt and fall asleep.

We’re mostly One-Note Nellys without much need for variety or grand adventures.  We find, in the comfort of each other’s company, all the thrill we generally need.  A free evening with nothing planned  is typically our idea of perfection.

Our date night’s are inevitably to our favorite Asian restaurant, John Holly’s, followed by a movie. At John Holly’s I always order the same thing:  Moo-Shu Veggies. I pile them up on thin rice pancakes with a drizzle of thick salty-sweet Hoison Sauce and dash of sriracha, then rolled the delicious stuff up like a burrito.

This quick and savory-sweet recipe for Moo-Shu uses thin uncooked flour tortillas (easier to find than rice pancakes) and has become one of my favorite veggie based cook-at-home meals now.  Greg likes it with chicken but you can substitute edamame, tofu or scrambled egg (or combo thereof) to avoid meat and make this easily vegetarian or vegan.

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Easy Moo Shu Veggie or Chicken Wraps  

1 16 ounce package of pre-shredded  Asian or colorful Cole Slaw mix

1 cup fresh snow peas, chopped into ½ inch pieces

1 cup fresh chopped mushrooms, any kind

1 cup chopped or shredded cooked chicken (or sub 1/2 cup diced tofu, edamame or raw egg, whisked)

1 large clove garlic

1 T. olive oil

1 T. sesame oil

3 T. soy sauce

1 T. maple syrup, honey, molasses or brown sugar

salt & pepper to taste

4- 5 uncooked Tortillas (or the thinnest pre-cooked tortillas you can find)

½ cup Hoison Sauce (in Asian sections)

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¼ cup hot chili sauce or sriracha (optional, if you like heat)

1/2 cup cashew pieces or sliced almonds

Directions:

In a large skillet or walk, heat oils and 1 minced fresh garlic clove.  Toss in slaw, chopped snow peas and mushrooms.  Add chicken and/or tofu/egg. Cook until tender-crisp. Add soy and your choice of sweetener. Heat through.  Add salt or pepper if needed to season.

Lightly cook/brown the tortillas on a flat skillet.  Put about ½ cup of the hot veggie mix down the middle of each tortilla. Sprinkle with 2 T. sliced almonds or cashew pieces.  Drizzle on Hoison and dot with a little hot chili sauce or shriracha if you enjoy some heat with your Asian food.

 

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Roll up like a burrito and slice on the diagonal, in half to serve.

moo shoo pork 012Variations: Use any veggies you like: peppers, bean sprouts, water chestnuts, celery, some fresh grated ginger – use your taste and imagination.  Try using leftover beef, pork or shrimp instead. Experiment with different nuts or sesame seeds, sliced green onions, crispy Chinese noodles or fried won ton strips, perhaps a squeeze of fresh lime.


Pineapple Chicken Stack Ups

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(Becky, the Mama)

I have literally been making this recipe for 30 years!

As a newlywed and college student,  one of my best friends was Brenda Scott.  We both married young (I was 17 and she was 18),  so we swapped recipes and sometimes cooked together, too, trying to learn our way around the kitchen. One day we whipped up chocolate chip cookies in my small duplex kitchen. We  each took a bite of a cookie at the same time, then both ran to spit it out in the sink, reaching for water to quench our sudden thirst.

 “Becky, what did I do wrong?” Brenda asked, her Texas accent thick. “These taste like pure salt!”

I held up a clear canister that I’d filled with salt. (I never bothered with pesky things like “labels.”)

She looked at me, her eyes wide with confusion.  “Who keeps salt in canister?”

All I could do, since I was laughing so hard, was to point to myself and shrug.

Eventually we both had children,  and on a visit for lunch in her home,  our kids everywhere around us, Brenda served this sweet-savory dish called Pineapple Chicken Stack-Ups.  She thinks she may have found the recipe on the back of a Dole Pineapple can.  Wherever she found it, for me, it was love at first bite. The toasted English muffin is smeared with a savory mayo dolled up with dill and chopped green onions, then layered with  pineapple slices (fresh or canned),  a piece of cooked boneless chicken (thighs or breasts or even tenders),  a little more sauce and sprinkle of grated cheese… popped in the oven for about 10 minutes, and dinner is served.   (All you need is a simple salad on the side.)

I went home from Brenda’s house and made this recipe that very evening and have been making them on a regular basis for 30 years now, as long as Brenda and I have been friends, as long as we’ve been laughing together about our own foibles .  (I should mention she went on to become one of the finest nurses you can imagine.  Since I still forget to label things, I decided not to inflict my personality on the medical world, and eventually turned to writing humor as a career.)  I mentioned these Pineapple Chicken Stack Ups to Rachel  the other day and she said, “I loved those! And see? There’s proof you DID actually cook for us when we were kids.”  My youngest son, Gabe, chimed in as well.  “I loved those things, too!”

 You can make as many “stack ups”  as you want (and can fit) on a cookie sheet by increasing the recipe, which is really easy to do.  Because they spend very little time in the oven, they make a nice summer meal.   Perfect for fancy ladies luncheons, too, as you can construct them ahead of time, and then pop them in the oven to heat and melt at the last minute.  This recipe is also easily veganized by subbing Veganaise for the mayo;  cooked vegan chik’n cutlets, and vegan cheese.   I used fresh pineapple this time, but when the kids were young, and time short,  I reached for a can of pineapple rings and the results were still yummy.

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Brenda’s Pineapple Chicken Stack Ups

Makes 4 servings   (If your gang is hungry, they might eat 2 of these each, making the yield just 2 servings)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Ingredients:

2 English muffins, split into 4 halves, and lightly toasted (I prefer multigrain)

4 boneless chicken thighs or smallish chicken breasts , seasoned with salt & pepper,  and cooked on both sides, in a skillet, in a little olive oil until golden brown (or a vegan “chik’n” substitute)

1/2 cup mayonnaise (vegans use veganaise )

2 T. chopped green onions

1 T. dried dill or 2 T. fresh dill

4 fresh or canned pineapple slices

1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese (vegans use a dairy-less cheese)

Directions:

Mix mayo, green onions and dill together in a small bowl.  (Don’t skip the dill, it is truly what makes this dish special!) Spread the toasted muffin halves, cut side up, with a heaping Tablespoon of the may0-dlll-onion sauce.  Place the muffins on a cookie sheet or large baking pan, leaving at least 2 inches between them.  Next, place a slice of pineapple on each muffin.  Then carefully lay  one piece of boneless cooked chicken on top of the pineapple, followed by another scant tablespoon of mayo-dill-onion sauce and finally a heaping tablespoon of grated cheese on top of it all.

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Stack Ups Ready for the Oven!

Carefully pop in the oven and let heat through until cheese is melted on top for about 10 minutes.

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Savory Turkey Burgers with Quick Mango Red Pepper Chutney

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(Becky, the Mama.)

A family story pops up almost every Thanksgiving.   Decades ago, my adorable cousin Kenny, about age five, tiny and wearing enormous glasses took a bite of the day’s celebrated roast bird, smiled, and then with a slow southern munchkin voice, asked my mom, “What kind of chicken is this Aunt (pronounced “Ain’t”) Ruthie?  Tur-key?”

I must confess, I’m not a big fan of turkey (even cousin Kenny’s “chicken kind of turkey”) — as it too often tends toward dry and flavorless.  I’ve found three exceptions, however.  One is a  recipe for marinated grilled turkey tenderloin. Moist, delicious,  a family favorite.  Another is a savory-sweet recipe for Asian turkey meatballs.  Finally there is this creation for savory turkey burgers loaded with flavor and topped with a sweet and spicy quick mango red pepper chutney.  It’s beautiful on a serving plate, plus budget and waistline friendly dish. Yummy paired with a side of jasmine rice and my simple sesame avocado  cucumber salad.  For vegans or vegetarians,  trying grilling Field Roast Apple Sage Sausages, and then simmer them in the sauce a few minutes before serving.

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Savory Turkey Burgers with Quick Mango Red Pepper Chutney

Makes 6 to 8 patties depending on size you prefer

Burgers

1 lb ground turkey (you can also use ground beef if you prefer)

1 lb  sweet Italian turkey sausage, out of casing and crumbled

2 t. seasoned salt or grill seasoning

1 egg

1/3 c. soft bread crumbs

Sauce

½ cup chicken or veggie broth

1 /4 c. brown sugar

1 T. Dijon mustard

1/3 c. red wine or balsamic vinegar

Pinch salt and pepper

1 fresh mango diced (Or 3/4 c. fresh pineapple, chopped, is also delicious if you prefer)

1 roasted red pepper, diced

2 green onions, chopped

Directions:

Mix the ingredients for turkey burgers together and form into patties, any size you like.   Grill or sauté with a little olive oil until brown and caramelized on the outside, cooked through on the inside.  (You can cover the pan once the burgers are brown on the outside and let simmer a bit more if they need to cook through more on the inside.) Remove from pan to a plate, cover with foil to keep warm and let juices redistribute.   To the same skillet, add veggie broth, brown sugar, mustard and vinegar to skillet. Turn heat on high to bring to boil and then back heat down to a simmer,  until sauce begins to get thicken.. Add mango, red pepper and onions, pinch salt and pepper continue to cook until the chutney is hot again.  Serve a spoonful of warm sauce over turkey patties.

Vegan or Vegetarian Alternative: Use Field Roast Apple Sage Sausages, split down the middle length-wise. Brown in a little olive oil, then continue recipe above.

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This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook
The site URL: http://welaughwecrywecook.com
The Title: Savory Turkey Burgers with Quick Mango Red Pepper Chutney
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Quick Skillet BBQ Chicken Thighs (or “Calm Down” Chicken)

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(Becky, the Mama)

We have been cleaning, decluttering and staging our house to sell. That sentence sounds so simple, but this has been the hardest physical work I’ve done in my life. I actually lost weight, even though –during the dawn to dark labor — I went on a two week drive-through-burger diet. And this, after two months of being mostly a healthy vegetarian and loving it. What can I say? Even for an avid foodie, there are times that McDonalds Happens.

Now we are “showing our house” — and this means that three adults and one six-year-old grandson have to keep our home mostly perfect, at all times, prepared for the random call from a realtor who wants to bring a client by to see it. We’ve been averaging about two showings a day, which has really cut into my napping and cooking time. Not to mention the toll it has taken on what’s left of my sanity.

Finally, this week, I had a few precious “spare” minutes and –determined not to eat another meal in a box, sack, or bucket –I decided to cook my simple recipe for quick bar-b-que chicken thighs in a skillet. My grandson George’s diet that day consisted of way too much sugar and carbs. He’d been hyper and cranky when I finally settled him down to eat a plate of this succulent, sweet and savory chicken dish. He ate as if in a happy trance, and then asked, “Nonny, can I please have some more of that Calm Down Chicken?”

If your life is a busy as mine right now, you don’t have time for lots of ingredients or a great big mess or something that’s going to take more than 10 minutes to throw together for supper. I bequeath to you this recipe for “Calm Me Down” BBQ Chicken Thighs.

P.S. An additional recipe comment from George: “Nonny, tell the people that this chicken also gives you en-gerny and makes yous muscles strong.” So there ya go.

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Nonny and Georgie, happy together. This day he was a musician at Kindergarten Circus. But more often he is my sous chef.

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Quick n’ Easy Skillet BBQ Chicken Thighs (or “Calm Down” Chicken)
Serves 2-3 people

Ingredients

6 boneless chicken thighs
Grill or Steak seasoning (or your favorite seasoned salt)
1/3 to ½ c. BBQ Sauce (I like Sweet Baby Ray’s)
Dash hot sauce if you like your Bar-b-que Spicy
1 – 2 T. olive oil

Directions

Put oil in a skillet (preferably an iron skillet), so that it covers the bottom of your pain in a thin layer. Turn the stove up to high heat. Rinse chicken thighs with water and then pat with paper towel until fairly dry. Flatten out the thighs a bit with your hands, and then sprinkle both sides with grill or steak seasoning or seasoned salt. Place in super hot skillet, being careful not to overcrowd. Cook until one side is golden brown and then flip and cook the other side until it is the same. Pour BBQ Sauce over the top of the thighs (adding a few shakes of hot sauce if you prefer spice), cover the skillet and then turn down the heat to medium and cook about another minute (to make they are thoroughly cooked). Finally remove the lid, crank heat up to medium high and cook the thighs until the sauce that has dripped to the bottom of the pan begans to thicken and caramelize. Turn chicken again, coating all sides with thickened sauce. Serve. (It is delicious and pretty to serve this on one big plate, with slices of fresh pineapple tucked around and if you like them, a sprinkle of green onions or chives.)

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The Title: Quick Skillet BBQ Chicken Thighs
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Marinated, MOIST, Grilled Turkey Tenderloins

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(Becky, the Mama.)

*Update: This is our MOST popular recipe on this site!  Thanks so much for making it so!  Be sure to also check out a new and awesome recipe for juicy,  marinated grilled Pineapple Teriyaki flank steak.  Also melt-in-your-mouth delicious.)

“What is Sue making for dinner?” I asked Greg on the way to our friend’s home for a patio supper.

“I think she said turkey tenderloins,” Greg answered.

I must admit, though I knew Sue Kennedy to be a fabulous cook, I prepared myself for the dry, tasteless poultry that turkey breast has always been in my previous experience. (Obviously, I’ve not yet perfected the art of a moist Thanksgiving bird yet!)

So when Sue and her husband Jason served us a beautiful piece of grilled, moist turkey tenderloin, loaded with flavor, I was in awe. Then I asked for seconds. And then I woke up thinking about it the next day – the sign of truly memorable meal.

“Okay, Sue, how did you turn turkey breast into meat butter?”

She sent me a recipe for marinade with lots of ingredients, but all of them were in my pantry. The tenderloins are best if you can marinate them for a few hours or overnight. Sue recommends using a digital meat thermometer to eliminate guesswork and avoid overcooking. (Eventually, I’m going to buy myself one of those gadgets.)

Turkey tenderloins typically come two to a package and are a little smaller than pork loins. In fact, they look a lot like chicken breasts, if the hen was named Dolly Parton. Two other benefits: this turkey is moist as can be, but has very little fat and is a great low-cal source of high quality protein. In addition, it is very affordable and the leftovers make fabulous sandwiches. (Try turkey, whipped cream cheese. green onions and cranberry sauce sandwiches!)

Don’t be too daunted by the list of ingredients: use what you have on hand and just substitute something similar if you are missing an ingredient or two. I have made a couple of tweaks to Sue’s recipe, and you can feel free to do the same and make it your own. Marinades are awfully forgiving. As long as you have something salty (salt, soy) something a little sweet (teriyaki, sweet chili sauce, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup),  something garlicky (fresh or powdered)  and acidic (wine, vinegar, citrus juice) in the mix, it is probably going to be yummy!

Most of us are ready to get our health and our waistlines back in shape after the holidays, and this is a great recipe (under 170 calories in 3 oz serving)to put in your New Year file!  I served these tenderloins pictured using the second grilling method in the recipe below.  I roasted chunks of zuchhini, yellow squash, mushrooms and garlic with a little olive oil, salt, and balsamic vinegar for a side dish. Lip-smacking good meal!

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Turkey Tenderloins

2 pound turkey breast tenderloins
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
• 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
• 1 t. hot sauce such as Tabasco
• 1 T. maple syrup
• 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
• 2 T. Worchestershire sauce
• 1 tablespoon spicy brown or Dijon mustard
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• ½ cup wine, beer or cola
• Grill or Steak Seasoning (enough to sprinkle both sides of tenderloins)
Directions
Sprinkle all sides of turkey will steak or grill seasoning.  (Or salt and pepper.) In a 2-cup measuring cup or bowl with pourable “spout” – whisk all the ingredients for marinade. Pour 2/3 cup into a Ziplock bag; add turkey. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for 4 hours to overnight, turning at least once more during that time. Cover and refrigerate remaining marinade.
When ready to cook, discard marinade that is in the bag with the tenderloins, then proceed to cook using one of the following methods.

Outdoor Grill: Using long-handled tongs, moisten a paper towel with cooking oil and lightly coat the grill rack. Grill, covered, over medium heat for about 7-9 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 170°, basting frequently with reserved marinade.

Alternative Indoor Method: Use a nonstick grill pan that has been generously coated with olive oil and grill tenderloins on both sides until dark golden brown grill marks appear.

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Put in a preheated 350 degree oven and cook about 10 more minutes or until internal temp reaches 170 degrees. Remove from oven, immediately cover with foil to let juices redistribute before slicing. Heat reserved marinade to boiling in a small sauce pan and drizzle over the tenderloins.

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The Title:Marinated, Moist, Grilled Turkey Tenderloins
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Sesame Chicken with Honey Garlic Sauce

(Becky, the Mama.)

One of my most-repeated cooking mottos is, “It’s all about the sauce.”  Growing up in Texas, pot luck suppers often provided informal competitions for whose mama made the best Bar-B-Que Sauce or home-made Salsa. My palette was set for big flavors at a young age.  And I am still like a kid when it comes to tasty dipping sauces.

One of my favorite flavor combinations are foods that use the following layers of flavor and texture:  crunchy, spicy, savory, garlicky, tangy and sweet.  A tall order, but I think I may have created the perfect irresistible dish that, as we say in the south, “has it ALL going on, ya’ll.”

These spicy oriental style chicken strips get an extra crisp texture by dipping them in a mixture of egg whites and siracha,  then rolling in seasoned flour and cornstarch before pan-frying in healthy coconut oil. 

And wait until you try this sweet garlicky sauce made with honey, soy and a touch of molasses.  So easy and only has to be heated to a boil then simmered for a minute before serving, but the depth and layers of flavor is amazing.

Move over Colonel,  I think I may have given a whole new defination to finger lickin’ good!

Sesame Chicken with Honey Garlic Sauce

 

Serves 3 to 4 people

Ingredients:

½ to 1/3 c coconut oil (may substitute other oil, but this is my favorite)

12 chicken tenders (or breasts cut in 12 tender-sized slices)

2 egg whites

1 T. siracha (or Tabasco or Frank’s Red Hot Sauce)

½ c. flour

½ c. cornstarch

1 ½  t. Tony’s Cajun Seasoning

1 t. steak or grill seasoning

1 T. sesame seeds (black or white, I used black

For sauce:

½ cup honey

¼ cup low sodium soy sauce

3 cloves fresh garlic grated

1 T. vinegar

1 T. molasses

1 T. sweet thai chili sauce

1 T. bourbon (may omit and sauce will still be delicious) 

Directions:

Heat Oven to 250 degrees.

Melt about 1/3 to ½ cup coconut oil in a large skillet, so that there is about ¼ inch of oil in the pan.  Heat to medium high.

Rinse and pat dry a dozen chicken tenders.   Lightly salt and pepper them.  In a side shallow bowl, mix egg whites and siracha sauce.   In another bowl, mix flour, cornstarch, Cajun seasoning, grill seasoning and sesame seeds.

Using long tongs, dip tenders first in egg white mixture and then in dry flour mixture, then carefully in hot oil in skillet, about 6 at a time.   Turn when golden brown and crispy on one side.  Repeat on the other side.  Put the first batch in a warm oven on a cookie sheet while waiting for next set of tenders to cook

In the meantime, in a saucepan, mix all the ingredients listed for the sauce.   Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally, and then simmer for one more minute.  Let cool a bit before pouring into small individual dipping bowls. Serve each person 3-4 chicken tenders about 3 T. of dipping sauce.   We enjoy this meal with brown jasmine rice and colorful stir-fried veggies as a side dish.  Fresh sliced pineapple makes the perfect  dessert.

(Vegan variation: use a vegan chicken-substitute product, extra firm tofu or seitan instead of chicken.  Substitute egg white with a 3 Tablespoons water mixed with 1 T. flax meal.)

 
 

This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook

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The Title: Sesame Chicken with Honey Garlic Sauce

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© Copyright 2012 – All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


“Healing” Panang Curry 2 Ways — Traditional and Soup

Panang Curry Soup

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Traditional Panang Curry with Shrimp

(Becky, the Mama.)

A sure-fire way to humble yourself is to announce: “I never (fill-in-the-blank)” publically.  (Or worse, “My child will never…..”)   And so when I declared, on Facebook that I almost never get sick, I should have known I was in for it.

For some unknown reason, for nearly a week, day after day, I  forgot to take my daily regime of immune-boosting supplements (fish oil, odorless garlic, probiotics, super green food powder) and woke up one morning feeling as though I was swallowing razor blades.

I went on the attack with liberal doses of all my regular supplements above  plus a couple of more exotic-sounding ones: olive leaf extract and astragalus.  By mid-afternoon my throat had calmed considerably and by nightfall it did not hurt at all.  (I did, however, get the standard stuffy head, runny nose bit – though, thankfully, without fever and it seems to be running its course fairly quickly.)

My husband was also out of town, so I had no choice but to practice good self-care and nourish my body as best I could, all by my lonesome.

In addition to honey-sweetened white tea (more nutrition-packed than green tea) laced with fresh grated ginger, and sips of Feel Good Blueberry Smoothie, I made two pots of healing soup.

First, I made a classic home-style chicken soup, a super quick and easy recipe I’ll share in coming weeks.  The other, is my new favorite “healing soup” – a Thai Panang Curry soup, rich with cancer-fighting and immune boosting antioxidants from the ginger and spices, cruciferous veggies, shitake mushrooms (which contain a compound called lentinan, shown to strengthen the immune system’s ability to fight infection and disease) and vitamin & mineral rich kale. Coconut milk, too, has healing properties.  It  contains lauric acid, antimicrobial lipids and capric acid, which have antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties.

Afriend introduced me to my first good Thai Panang curry , when she bought us both take-out containers of it during a working writer’s lunch.  It was love at first bite.  It hit all the strong flavor notes I crave: spice from the curry and ginger, slightly sweet and creamy from the coconut milk, a touch of tang from fresh lime, and salty-savory-earthy from the mushrooms, veggies and broth.

It sounds so exotic, but I do not make complicated recipes, especially when I’m fighting a cold, so trust me – this is quick and easy. Feel free to substitute any veggies you have on hand, or enjoy, in this basic recipe.   I’ve included instructions for both tradition curry with rice and also the soup, in the recipe below.

 

Panang Curry with Shrimp

Panang Curry with Shrimp

“Healing” Panang Curry Soup

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 can coconut milk (I prefer whole fat as it makes a creamier soup).

1 ½ cups veggie broth (or chicken broth)  — use 3/4 c  if you prefer to make the thicker curry version

½ small jar Thai red curry (about 3 T – less if you prefer less spice) (This jar of curry is found in Asian section of most groceries now and is small, about the size of a baby food jar.)

1 t. fresh grated ginger (pinch of dried ginger if you don’t have fresh)

1 t. brown sugar

Soy sauce or sea salt  to taste

1 c. rainbow slaw (or broccoli slaw)

1 large clove garlic

1 T. olive or coconut oil

1 T. butter

2/3 c. sliced mushrooms (I used shitake)

1 c. loosely packed, torn kale

1 fresh chopped tomato

2 sliced green onions

Slice of lime

Cilantro (sprig or chopped) and/or basil for garnish

Protein of your choice:  grilled diced tofu, diced or shredded chicken; or cooked shrimp, 1/2  to 1 cup depending on preference.  I use a small amount of chicken in the soup — as I  like the veggies taking center stage in this soup.  You could also sprinkle in toasted peanuts for added protein.  For the curry and rice version I prefer shrimp, about 5 medium shrimp per person.)

Instructions:

Saute garlic with mushrooms, slaw and kale in oil and butter in a deep large skillet until just tender. Dump all the ingredients except the last three (green onions, lime, cilantro or fresh basil ) into a large skillet and simmer until veggies are tender but not mushy. Add chopped fresh tomato last, and stir to heat through.  Ladle veggies and broth into each bowl, then garnish with a sprig of cilantro or basil (or chop it up and sprinkle), some green onions, and a slice of lime to squeeze over and stir in right before eating.

Variation:  To make a more traditional curry instead of soup, use half the broth and put a scoop of jasmine rice in the middle of the bowl before garnishes.  Sauteed shrimp is beautiful, artfully arranged around the rice and on top of the curry.  You can use any veggies you like in place of slaw, mushrooms or kale.  Add slices of cooked sweet potato and pineapple for a creamy pineapple curry.  To add heat, use a few drop of siracha sauce or thai chili paste.

Panang Curry Soup

 

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This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook
The site URL: http://welaughwecrywecook.com
The Title: “healing” Panang Curry Soup
The URL: http://wp.me/p1UwM9-Kz
© Copyright 2012 – All Rights Reserved


Pesto Parmesan Chicken


(Becky, the Mama.)

I was famished after a gym workout this week, and decided to grab a bite to eat on my way home. Cruising through the drive-through lane at Taco Bell, I placed my order for a taco. The voice on the intercom sounded confused, so I repeated my order again, louder and with more clarity. And that is when I actually looked at the menu and realized…. I was in line at Starbucks.

One of my Facebook friends quipped, “So did you ask them to make you a Taco Frappucino?”

Granted, there is nothing appealing about the thought of a Taco Frappucino, but you’d be surprised at how many of my favorite recipes are created because of accidents. Or because I am hungry for a particular something, but out of an ingredient or two, so try to make due with substitutes. Time and again, the substitute often proves to be an improvement on the original recipe.

Such is the case with today’s recipe. Typically, when I make Chicken Parmesan, I use thin cutlets. What I had on hand was a couple of monster size breasts (Yes, my husband could not keep himself from making a few jokes about that) and I was in too much of a hurry to pound them thin.

Secondly, I often dip the cutlets in egg whites and grated garlic before rolling in Panko crumbs and Parmesan. Alas, nary an egg or a clove of garlic anywhere in the house.

That is when I spied a large jar of pesto that I’d purchased at Sam’s Club (it is surprisingly tasty, some of the best purchased pesto I’ve tried). One thing led to another and I ended up covering the breasts with pesto, then rolling them in Panko and grated Parmesan cheese. What we ended up with, eventually, was the best Chicken Parm I’ve ever made. In fact, it was the best Chicken Parmagiano I’ve ever eaten. The chicken inside stayed incredibly tender and when you cut through it, you could see the pretty layer of green pesto, golden Panko, red marinara and white cheese. Now that’s amore.

Pesto Parmesan Chicken

Serves 2 people (with big appetites)

Ingredients

2 large boneless chicken breasts

Salt & Pepper (to taste, to sprinkle lightly on chicken)

2 cups marinara sauce (your favorite bottled brand or homemade)

¼ cup fresh or grated mozzarella

1/4 cup olive oil

1 T. butter

1/2 cup Pesto

1 cup Panko bread crumbs

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Heat Oven to 400 degrees

Instructions:

Heat the marina in a saucepan until hot.

Put olive oil and butter in a large oven proof skillet and heat to medium high.

Rinse and pat boneless chicken breasts dry. Sprinkle both sides lightly with salt and pepper. Put pesto in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl mix Panko and ½ c. Parmesan cheese. Lay chicken breasts, one at a time, into pesto first, coating both sides of breast and edges thoroughly, and then in Panko-Parm mixture, coating both sides and edges of breasts thoroughly again.

Saute the breasts on both sides until the coating is crispy and golden. You may have to add a little more oil depending on size of breasts and your pan.  (Drain off excess oil, if there is a lot of it, before putting in oven.)

Then put the entire skillet into the oven and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and ladle each breast with ¼ cup marinara, 2 T. mozzarella and 2 T. Parmesan cheese. Place back in the oven for 5 to 10 more minutes or until cheese is melted and chicken breast is cooked but not overly so. (A meat thermometer is helpful here, but if you don’t have one, just cut through the middle of one of the breasts to check for doneness.)


Before serving ladle each breast with more marinara and sprinkle with more Parmesan cheese. This dish is excellent served with a side of angel hair pasta that has been tossed in a little pesto.

Variation:  Use thinner chicken breasts or pound smaller chicken breasts thin.  Put sauce and cheese on immediately after pan frying, and cook in oven only until cheese melts.

Vegetarian or Vegan Variation:
Use a vegan chicken patty (such as Gardien brand frozen chick’n scallopini), tofu, tempeh or seitan instead of chicken breasts. Use or make a vegan pesto (omit the parm cheese in most pesto recipes). The cooking time in the oven following pan-frying may not be needed at all, or just cook for a few minutes with tomato sauce and cheese. Vegans can serve without cheese, or use vegan versions of mozzarella and Parm on top.

This was printed from: We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook
The site URL: http://welaughwecrywecook.com
The Title: Pesto Parmesan Chicken
The URL: http://wp.me/p1UwM9-Jz
© Copyright 2012 – All Rights Reserved