Category: Andrew

Gai Pad Prik Gaeng [Chicken and Green Beans Stir Fried in Curry Paste]

It’s already been a year since visiting Asia. Time Hop has done a great job of reminding me, showing the photos and check-ins from the three weeks spent in Thailand and Cambodia. I thought I would need longer than a year to detox from the sensual assault that was Asia, but here I am already thinking about going back. The Thai food we’ve been eating is definitely stirring that desire a little more than normal. The Mark Wiens videos have been viewed again, and he’s been posting more recipes as well as reviews of restaurants. His video of this dish absolutely prompted its making. The Tom Yum soup is on deck at some point. It’s easy. It has to be if you’re going to make it quickly from a road-side cart. The key is getting your hands on the ingredients [kaffir lime leaves] or making them yourself [curry paste]. Well stocked “ethnic aisles” in the store or even straight-up Asian markets make this pretty dang easy. In a perfect world, I’d make my own curry paste, but it just wasn’t happening. The thing is with pre-made curry paste is salt. Holy hell is it salty. In a traditional curry, the coconut milk takes care of that sodium. In this dish, there is nothing to help tone that salt down. Tread lightly if you don’t make your own. Start low and then make up a batch of rice to help with what saltiness is left.

When you get that magical balance, it’s just freakin’ delicious. It comes together so quickly, which is perfect for hungry stomachs that just don’t want to wait. The smell of this as it cooks is so hunger inducing, you’ll be thankful it’s just a quick stir fry.

I didn’t go out of my way to find the Chinese long beans. Plain ol’ green beans will do. Frying an egg on top is optional, but let’s just call it necessary because it should be. Keep the fish sauce and sugar around. I started low when I stir fried it up, and then added more to my plate as I ate.

Inspiration: Eating Thai Food

Ingredients

  • 1/2-3/4lb chicken breast, diced into small pieces. Think small and then dice it smaller.
  • 1/2lb green beans, ends trimmed and cut into small pieces
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, torn
  • 2-3 tablespoons red curry paste [make your own]
  • 1-2 teaspoons fish sauce, or more to taste
  • 1/2-1 teaspoons sugar, or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon high heat oil [canola or coconut]
  • Rice and fried eggs for serving

Preparation

Add the tablespoon of oil to a large pan or wok on low heat. Toss in your curry paste and stir it into the oil so it soaks it up. Stir often so it doesn’t stick or burn and let it heat up and smell delicious. It’ll darken as it toasts up. It shouldn’t be longer than a minute. Turn the heat up on high and add the chicken. Stir often, coating the chicken in the curry paste. Add about a teaspoon and a half teaspoon of sugar to start. Cook for 2-3 minutes, adding a little bit of water if necessary because it can dry out. When the chicken is fully cooked, add the green beans and lime leaves. Remove from the heat after about 30 seconds so the green beans are still crisp.

Serve with rice and top with a fried egg.

Green Bean, Chickpea, and Barley Salad with Toasted Spice Vinaigrette

How about one more word in that title? Geez.

This is going to be a quick one today. I’ve been buried in taxes for the last week, easily powering through 12 hour days. The big crunch is over Monday, but I’ll still be in the 10 hour day range until October 15th. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Have you hugged your accountant lately?

Anyway, this salad. This glorious, glorious salad is made so glorious purely from the vinaigrette.

I’ve never been much of a “toast” anything kind of person really. Toasted nuts. Toasted quinoa. Toasted…toast. I never really did it in any sort of recipe that suggested it. I seriously prefer un-toasted bread 97% of the time [butterless too, please]. I felt like I couldn’t disobey this time. I mean, what’s a toasted spice vinaigrette without toasted spices? Soggy spices probably. Sounds awful awesome.

The salad isn’t a slouch either. It covers all the bases, especially if you grill up some flank steak to go with. The vinaigrette goes great with it, too. All of this came straight from Bon Appétit, and as usual it was all awesome. So good that I definitely made it two nights in a row. The second time solidified my love for all aspects of this salad, but especially the dressing. It’s a smokey little spicy number that is gladly soaked up by the barley and chickpeas and stands up to the punchy bits of feta cheese. The green beans add a little bit of texture in their crisp-tender form. I’ve been using the whole “put all the dressing ingredients in a jar, tightening the lid, and shaking it up. So much easier than my wild whisking that usually ends up on the counter and my shirt more often than not.

Inspiration: Bon Appétit

Ingredients

  • toasted spice vinaigrette
  • 1/2lb green beans, ends trimmed and then cut in half
  • 1 cup pearled barley
  • 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed, drained, and those little skins removed
  • 4oz feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Preparation

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans. Cook only for three minutes before removing to an ice bath or a colander to run it under cool water. Keep the pot of water on a boil and add the barley. Drop the heat to a simmer and let it cook until tender. Check your package or at 25-30 minutes. Drain the pot and spread the barley out on a baking sheet so it can dry out a bit.

In a large bowl toss the barley, green beans, chickpeas, feta, dill, and lemon juice. Dress with the vinaigrette. Grill some steak. Enjoy every bite. Tastes great with a bright summery white wine.

Baby Kale with Peaches and Jalapeño Dressing

This was the final weekend of my summer classes so I can start studying for the CPA exams. I didn’t need to take anything in particular, so QuickBooks and Nutrition it is. I’ll let you guess which was more entertaining. We had three books to read in Nutrition—Fast Food Nation [Eric Schlosser], Food Fight [Daniel Imhoff], and In Defense of Food [Michael Pollan]—all of which I’ve been meaning to read. I mostly liked them all in some form or another. I also managed to squeeze in Eat Pretty [Jolene Hart] and VB6 [Mark Bittman] for fun. Call it over achieving; call it a new genre of books I like. Either way, I like it. Have you read any of them? I find them fascinating, if a bit preachy at times, but they often present new information to chew on [PUN!]. I think about food a lot, but I don’t always thinking about it in political or it’s nutritional sense, so it’s a nice change of pace.

The summer of the salads lives on despite it being September 1stAs long as summer keeps bringing me fresh produce, I’ll keep eating it. It’s meant to have mache, which apparently is known by other names such as Lamb’s lettuce and corn salad. I had my eye on the mache at the fridge one day, went back a few days later, and it was gone. Instead of making something else entirely, I went with baby kale. Not exactly what the recipe had in mind, I’m sure, but it worked. You basically want something tender, yet hardy, to stand up to this potentially spicy-as-hell dressing. I hit the jalapeño jackpot with this dressing. I feel like I can go weeks with less than spicy stuff and then *BAM* melt your face. This was bordering on melt your face. I should really learn to taste test before I toss them in, but I don’t. Ever. Playing Russian roulette with peppers. I live on the edge.

Thankfully the creaminess of the mayo [or creme fraiche] and the avocado help tame the spice. The peach is the right amount of sweet. The feta comes in with a salty and pungent change of pace, and it’s just generally dang delicious. The lentils are really just there for added protein and fiber, and mostly because I seem to be doing that a lot lately. Summer of salads and lentils, I suppose.

If you’re going to take the extra step and boil down the fresh orange juice, please please please pay attention to it. It goes from super liquid to a sticky orange toffee consistency really quickly and generally when you stop paying attention. Story of my life.

Inspiration: Sprouted Kitchen

Ingredients

  • juice from 1 medium orange [or half cup of orange juice]
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 1 shallot, quartered
  • pinch of sea salt
  • handful of cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons mayo or creme fraiche
  • 5-6 cups mache or baby kale
  • 2 avocados, cubed
  • 2 peaches, sliced
  • 1/2 cup lentils, cooked and cooled
  • 2oz crumbled feta cheese

Preparation

Simmer the orange juice in a small pan until it reduces a bit. Char the jalapeño until it’s blackened all over [I used my gas stove top]. Peel the charred bits off and chop. In a blender or food processor, add the ingredients from the orange juice to the mayo/creme fraiche. Blend until smooth. Taste for additional salt or mayo to soothe the potential heat.

In a large bowl, toss the greens with the dressing. This will likely be more dressing than you need, so start small. Layer with the avocado, peaches, and lentils. Toss gently before serving into a plate. Top with feta before serving.

Drunken Noodles with Chicken

Like I mentioned before, I’m kind of on a Thai food kick thanks to Sen Yai Noodles. It’s even got us talking about going back to Asia next year. Nothing is set in stone yet, but it’s really fun to think about.

When I go to places like Sen Yai, Chiang Mai, or Tarad, I’m ordering something out of the ordinary from a typical Thai restaurant menu. I’ll eat kuaytiaw khua kai [wide rice noodles stir-fried in rendered pork fat with chicken, cuttlefish, egg, and gren onions served on chopped lettuce] or pad naem woon sen [naem sour pork sausage and marinated ground pork stir-fried with woon sen noodles, egg, tomato, garlic, Thai chili,onion and green onion topped with cilantro]. Other places? Pad kee mao or drunken noodles. 97% of the time that’s what I’m going to order. Medium spice. Unless it’s from Baan Thai downtown. Then it’s mild plus at best. They use the freshest, hottest chilies I’ve ever had in a Thai dish which can be a death sentence if you’re not careful. Luckily they vet you pretty hard if you order anything above a medium.

I never make drunken noodles because I can hardly find the wide rice noodles without going to a specialty market. It’s always pad thai or vermicelli. I gave into the call to make it even with the wrong noodles though. Blame the bag of frozen shrimp. It made me do it. It still tastes like drunken noodles despite the smaller noodles. I think I’m mostly okay with it, but I still prefer the wider ones. If I ever get my hands on some again, I’m stocking up. I couldn’t find the thicker soy sauce the original recipe recommended, so I picked up hoison for the first time. I couldn’t even describe to you what it tastes like before I bought it even though I’m pretty sure I’ve had it a few times. Even still, it’s hard to describe. It’s like soy but more complex. That’s about as descriptive as I can get.

PS – I’m in the market for a new wok. Any suggestions? I’m looking at something like this or this.

Inspiration: Lollipopsicle

Ingredients

  • 12oz rice noodles soaked in warm water for 10-12 minutes until tender then drained
  • 2 tablespoons hoison or thick soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 eggs, whisked in a bowl
  • 1 large chicken breast, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 12 shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 cup basil leaves, packed

Preparation

Preheat a large skillet on medium high heat. While it heats up, whisk together the hoison, soy, oyster, fish and Sriracha in a small bowl. Add the canola oil to the hot skillet. Add the garlic and shallot, stirring to coat in oil and cooking until lightly browned. Add the chicken and cook until mostly cooked through. Add eggs and stir to scramble. Stir in the shrimp. Cook for about two minutes before adding the remaining ingredients, including the noodles. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the noodles are reheated and starting to get crispy in spots.

Pork Fajita Loaded Baked Potato

If I ate a baked potato every time I wanted one, I would eat them a lot.

Impatience is usually the culprit behind the lack of baked potatoes because who has time to roast one properly? I don’t. I’m also the worst meal planner of all time. Maybe someday that will change. Until then, I much prefer choosing what to eat on a whim, fully catering to what I’m feeling right at the moment. Sometimes that’s good [hello Sen Yai Noodles, I'm looking at you] and sometimes it’s a pain. That’s when I end up mindlessly throwing together whatever I can find in the pantry [like the time I boiled some pasta and tried to make a pseudo-carbonara which really turned into some weird gummy noodles and scrambled egg and red chile flakes which was...gross].

You can microwave a potato to get the same baked-potatoesque qualities [guilty as charged], but it’s really not the same. The skin usually ends up leathery and the innards a little dry.

Taking the time to bathe the skin in olive oil and sea salt, wrap them in foil, and slow roast them in an oven or on the grill makes such a difference that they really shouldn’t be allowed be called the same thing. The flesh is so steamed and fluffy, the skin so tender and salty. It’s pretty much an experience and a half.

I wanted the potato to be the star of the show when I finally decided I would take the time to make one, so loading it up seemed like the only real option to do the potato justice. So load it up, I did. Pork and fajita vegetables aren’t exactly a common occurrence, but it seemed to make sense. Realistically I just wanted the potato and guacamole, the rest was just an excuse. We happened to have a little queso fresco on hand to go with the Mexican-inspired potato, so I highly suggest getting some if you can. That salty, creamy cheese melts like butter into that potato flesh.

I’m going to try and not wait so long before having my next baked potato, but I wouldn’t hold your breath.

Ingredients

  • 2 russet potatoes
  • 1/2lb ground pork
  • 1 red [or any color] bell pepper, seeds and white flesh removed, cut into strips
  • 1 small yellow onion, sliced into strips about the same as the pepper
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • red pepper flakes
  • guacamole
  • queso fresco, shredded

Preparation

Preheat your oven or the grill to about 400°. Scrub the potatoes under fresh cool water. Stab the potato all over with a knife. Cover the potatoes in a thin layer of olive oil and sprinkle liberally with sea salt. Wrap them in aluminum foil. Place in the oven or on the grill. Bake for 45-60 minutes depending on the size of the potato. The flesh should be easily pierced by a fork or butter knife.

When the potatoes are nearly done, brown the ground pork. Use a skillet on about medium heat and sprinkle the pork with the red pepper flakes. Once the pork is cooked through, remove from the pan. Leave the grease in there and add the onions and peppers. Sauté for 5-10 minutes, really letting the onions darken and get soft. The vegetables will soak up the pork grease like a champ. Return the pork to the pan. Stir to combine.

When the potatoes are done, remove them from the heat source and allow them to cool a bit so you can actually touch the aluminum foil to take it off. Slice the potato with a butter knife to open. Scoop the fajita filling into the opening. Top with shredded queso fresco and guacamole. Serve.

Chicken Chorizo Frittata

Let’s talk breakfast. I definitely don’t make it that much. Well, on the weekends. I eat it every day of the work week, but it’s nothing usually blog-worthy these days. I’ve been slathering this new [to mepumpkin seed butter on toast with hemp hearts and sliced banana sprinkled with cinnamon. I had no idea this nut butter existed. It’s made locally, just north of here, but it hides in the refrigerated section of the store near the cookie dough. I don’t even know how I found it, but I’m glad I did.

Weekends are usually a time for breakfast burritos or bagels at Grindhouse down the street. I don’t even think about making anything. Half of the time I don’t have anything in the house to make. I’ve already had the same thing for the last five mornings, I really don’t need it for another day or two. The other half of the time I’m already hungry and don’t want to go to the store like that. It’s dangerous!

I did have some foresight one evening when I was shopping for dinner ingredients on a Thursday or Friday night to pick up what I needed for a frittata. I rekindled my love for them while in Spain. Between frittatas and tortilla española, my egg consumption increased 10x in that three week period. Totally okay with that. Since I never seem to make it to the farmers market [or if I do on Wednesdays during work, it's to eat a salad or a wood fired slice of pizza from Tastebud], I’m thankful New Seasons stocks some Portland eggs. They just taste better. I tried to deny it for a long time, but seriously, worth the extra couple of dollars.

Frittatas are almost too easy. I’m always scared I’m going to burn it or overcook it, but I don’t. Either I’m awesome, or it’s just fool-proof. Probably both. They’re forgiving. They accept just about anything into their eggy interiors. The combinations are virtually endless. I’ve been on a chorizo kick lately [again, thanks Spain] so that’s what I gravitated towards — a subtly spicy chorizo that’s more flavor than heat, a whole sautéed onion, and wilted spinach for color. Green onions were tossed on last minute and there may have been some parmesan grated over the top. It was really delicious.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb chicken chorizo
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup frozen spinach
  • Green onions, optional
  • Shredded cheese and/or hot sauce for serving

Preparation

Heat an oven proof skillet on medium heat. Brown the chicken chorizo, breaking it up into little pieces. While it cooks, whisk together the eggs in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.  When the chorizo finishes cooking, remove from the pan and set aside. Leave the grease in the pan and add the onion and garlic. Stir often so the garlic doesn’t burn. After the onion softens, it’ll be about five minutes or so, add the spinach and chorizo to the pan. Stir to incorporate everything before pouring the egg mixture. Tip and tilt the pan as necessary to get egg to cover the whole pan. Don’t touch anything and let the bottom cook for 2-3 minutes. Turn the broiler on. Place the whole pan into the oven and broil for 3-5 minutes. The top should be completely set and starting to brown a bit. Remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before slicing. Sprinkle with green onions and cheese before serving.

Garlic Shrimp and White Beans

Welcome to the second installment of “That time I bought two pounds of frozen shrimp to only use eight of them with those chorizo burgers.”

Apparently I only like to eat shrimp with garlic since that seems to be the recurring theme. I found this recipe in the Bon Appétit [surprise, surprise] and knew it would be the perfect excuse to use some more of those shrimp. Right after I made them, I found this recipe of shrimp and grits and I wish I’d made it instead. I mean, c’mon, it has an egg! That would have been heavenly oozing all over those grits. Next time.

The beans were really good. Pretty sure they’re way healthier than a bunch of cream and corn anyway, so there’s that. I wanted the beans to be spicier, and I couldn’t find chiles de arbol to save my life. I went with something else entirely which escapes me at the moment. The smoked paprika really brings everything together into something that doesn’t taste inherently Italian, which tends to happen to me when I’m playing with a tomato based sauce like this. You can get a can of diced tomatoes to save yourself some time, but since it is tomato season after all, I went with some fresh ones. Slow cooking them until they breakdown is so, so heavenly.

Broiling does wonders at cooking the shrimp in a way that doesn’t turn them into rubber. That’s my absolute fear when cooking shrimp, so don’t get distracted. It only takes about 3-4 minutes to get them done. Grill some bread when you’re done since you already have the broiler on.

Inspiration: Bon Appétit

Ingredients

  • 1lb shrimp, peeled and deveined [let them thaw if you use frozen]
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 cans of white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 pound tomatoes, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 chiles de arbol
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • salt, pepper
  • grilled bread for serving

Preparation

In a small bowl, add the shrimp, two tablespoons of olive oil, 2 cloves worth of minced garlic, and the paprika. Use your hands [or a spoon] to mix together, coating all of the shrimp. Let sit while you prepare the bean mixture.

Heat two tablespoons of the olive oil on medium heat in a skillet that’s safe to throw into the oven. Add the remaining garlic, chiles, and bay leaf. Stir often for about two minutes so the garlic doesn’t burn. Add the chopped tomatoes. Season generously with salt and pepper. Stir occasionally, smashing the tomatoes with the back of your spoon as they cook. Keep cooking until they breakdown. It should take about five minutes.

Add the tomato paste. Stir until incorporated. Allow to cook for 3-4 minutes so it can darken in color. Add the beans and simmer until the mixture thickens. Turn the broiler on high. Spread the shrimp mixture on top of the beans in an even layer. Place in the oven for about three minutes until the shrimp are cooked through. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with parsley before serving.

 

Salmon Snap Pea Risotto

Burger Week is going strong. I haven’t binged been as dedicated as some. One burger a day is enough for me. There’s only been the one photo because it’s usually too dark. So far I’ve been to North Light, Double Barrel, Club 21, and Tilt. Tilt ran out of the $5 burger before we got there, and I didn’t want to hold out on my hunger any longer, so we ate there. Even though it wasn’t one of the burgers it’s still a burger. North Light’s burger stuffed with cheese curds and Double Barrel’s pimento cheese and fresh jalapeños were so, so good. Club 21 had a solid, traditional burger [gouda and onion ring!] and their grill master had medium rare on lock. Tilt was awesome as usual. So many burgers left and so little time!

This risotto was something I drummed up while on a salmon kick. I really really really really want to love salmon in a can, but I really have to dress it up to make it not taste like canned salmon. It just isn’t the same as the fresh stuff. I don’t know if that’s because I grew up on the fresh stuff or what, but I love canned tuna and fresh tuna equally. They’re different, but I like them. Canned salmon is just okay for me. I think part of it is always having to pick out the bones. It drives me crazy and makes me paranoid. I know they’re cooked down and you can eat them, but I freak out a little bit if I get an unexpected little crunch while eating.

I dumped the cans of salmon into a bowl and went fishing for bones for a few minutes before going any further. It helped. A lot. The bright, crisp snap peas also helped give the dish a crunch so in the event I might have missed one, it would blend right in. Baking it is the lazy man’s risotto, and I’m all about it [never mind it's been nearly three years since I've last made some]. You can add just about whatever you want into it. If you want to use some other meat, I’d probably cook it first. Top it all off with parsley and a bunch of shredded cheese, and it’s dinner without a whole lot of work.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1lb snap peas, ends trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 cans of salmon
  • parsley, chopped
  • parmesan cheese, shredded

 Preparation

Preheat oven to 400°.  If you have a large oven proof pan with high walls that you can sauté in, use that. Otherwise start with a skillet of some kind, and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add onion and garlic. Cook for 5-10 minutes until the onion is translucent. Stir often to keep the garlic from burning. Add the Arborio rice, salmon, and snap peas and sauté until the grains appeared to be slightly translucent.

Transfer the rice mixture to an oven proof dish if it isn’t already in one. Stir in stock. Cover with a lid or foil and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the rice is tender, and the stock is evaporated. Set aside, covered, for five minutes. To serve, top with parmesan, chopped parsley. Finish with salt and pepper to taste.

Philly Cheesesteak Stromboli

Apparently when I decide I want to make pizza, everyone else decides they want to make pizza. While I can definitely make my own, it’s just easier to go across the street. I’ve come to the realization that I have to go check the pizza dough stock first before I start grabbing all of the toppings. I’d say 50% of the time they’re out, and I have to either resort to ordering a pizza or switching gears entirely to pasta or something since it’s the easiest way to utilize the same pizza toppings. Realistically I could start the dough before I even go to the store, and it would be ready by the time I got back, but that never seems to cross my mind until I’m back [or sitting here writing a blog post]. Funny.

I’m all for a little food sacrilege sometimes. I’m sure the pho-rench dip [a french dip served vietnamese style with pho broth for dipping] I ate at Lardo the other night counts. I’m sure eating half of my burrito before using the rest of the tortilla as a bowl and forking out the contents counts, too. I really don’t care so long as it tastes good. It keeps things interesting.

Case in point — this stromboli. Bring on the Philly cheesesteak contents. It’s beefy. It’s cheesy. It has all you could love about a cheesesteak with marginally less bread than you’d get from a sandwich. It’s less messy, too. It’s practically a fool-proof process [especially after last time's meltdown]. I made sure to roll it out a little thicker, and do it on the Silpat/pan so I didn’t have to worry about trying to move it too far. It’s still not pretty, but it does taste good.

Inspiration: Taste of Home

Ingredients

  • 1 ball of pizza dough
  • 1/2 pound of deli sliced roast beef, cut into bite sized pieces.
  • 1/4 pound provolone cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 pound American cheese, shredded
  • 1 white onion, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 8oz sliced mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg
  • garlic powder
  • salt and pepper

Preparation

If your dough has been refrigerated, bring it out to rest while you cook up the vegetables.

In a large skillet, heat the butter on medium heat. Add the onions and mushrooms. Add a healthy pinch of salt and stir to combine. Cook for 5-10 minutes until the mushrooms darken and start to release their moisture. Add the bell pepper. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes until tender. Set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Roll out the pizza dough into a large rectangle on top of a Silpat or a piece of parchment. Spread the cheese evenly over the dough. Top with the roast beef. Add the vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Taking the long side of the rectangle, roll the dough up like a cinnamon roll. Pinch the seam to gather and close the ends. Slice the top with a knife so steam can escape.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and a tablespoon of water. Brush on top of the stromboli. Place in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let it set for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Pesto Chicken and Grape Tomato Skewers

I have to say I’ve never made pesto. I’ve always wanted to. I bookmark recipes for it all the time, especially when they’re non-traditional with things like arugula and pistachios. Yet, I never make it. They sit on the list, then I eventually delete them because I know deep down that I’m probably not going to make it. The fridge New Seasons makes fresh stuff for me, so why would I bother?

It’s almost just as surprising that I made my own skewers when New Seasons has those, too. I buy them more often than not when we’re on a “grill something served with salad” dinner spree. I make skewers so often that I forgot I already bought a package of bamboo skewers. They were buried in the back of the pantry. I guess one can never have too many skewers.

Have you ever had a grilled tomato? Specifically a grilled grape tomato. They get soft and sweet and are ready to burst [assuming they didn't already] on the grill. Then, when sandwiched between chunks of juicy chicken covered in pesto, they are elevated to some god-like level. It’s unexplainable, so don’t try. Just eat.

For the side, I sautéed some zucchini ribbons in a little olive oil and salt and pepper. Finished it with drizzle of truffle oil. YUM. 

PS – I soak my bamboo skewers while I’m making up the other ingredients. Supposedly this helps them from catching on fire. I thought about buying metal ones, but that seems like a recipe for me burning the hell out of myself.

Ingredients

  • 1lb chicken breasts
  • 1 jar of pesto
  • 1/2 pint of grape tomatoes
  • 8-10 bamboo skewers

Preparation

Soak your bamboo skewers in water. Cut up your chicken breasts into uniform, bite-sized pieces. This will help them cook better. Place the cut pieces into a bowl and pour the pesto all over them. Use your hands to make sure every piece is coated. Let them sit for approx. 10-15 minutes [or more if you have the time]. I sliced my zucchini ribbons in the meantime.

Set up a station that to put all of this together. Thread a piece of chicken onto the skewer followed by a grape tomato. Repeat until the skewer is full. I was getting four pieces of chicken and three tomatoes. Highly dependent on the size of your chicken pieces. Repeat until you use up everything. Try not to lick your fingers. Y’know, raw chicken.

Preheat your grill to a medium high heat. Lay them on. Don’t touch for about four minutes before rotating. Cook for an additional four minutes. Remove from the grill and let them rest for a few minutes. Serve.