Homemade Peanut Sauce

This is a peanut sauce recipe that I modified, after following the recipe that came in this Hello Fresh kit.  (It goes over a great lime-marinated beef and broccoli stir fry).  I thought their version came out a little too thin and heavy on the soy sauce flavor, so here how I’ll make it if and when I make it again in the future:

(This will give you enough sauce to go over 2-3 servings of a stir-fry dish).

Start with 2 bulbs of scallions:

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Separate the white tips from the green stems– the greens can be used later as a garnish.

To start, lightly pan fry the scallion whites in oil, along with one chopped glove of garlic, until slightly browned.

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Then stir in:

5-6 tbsp of creamy peanut butter

2 tsp sugar

1 tsp soy sauce

Then, while gently stirring over low-medium heat,  add approximately 1/2 cup water (or until sauce reaches desired consistency.

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When I followed their recipe, it came out a little too watery for my liking.  But still tasted good!

End product:

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All in all, not a bad recipe, though one I would definitely tweak in the future.

Other peanut sauce ideas:

This one from Epicurious calls for lime juice and red pepper flakes.

I’m slightly skeptical– but curious– about this simple-looking one using crunchy peanut butter and hot sauce.

Last, this authentic recipe from She Simmers Thai Cooking that calls for coconut milk and curry paste.  (I think I’m the most excited to try out this one).

Happy cooking!

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Cheese Tortellini with Melted Goat Cheese & Sauteed Broccoli Rabe

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In my last post, I described a pretty easy way to cook broccoli rabe (blanching it in cold water, and then sauteing it in olive oil).

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You can then use that broccoli rabe to make this dish.

It’s super simple:

You just boil the tortellini (I used an 8 oz package of fresh Bertoli tortellini, in the three cheese flavor):

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Then you drain the pasta in a colandar.

Next, slice a log of goat cheese into thin medallions and then spread them out evenly, stirring gently so that they begin to melt.

Then add the broccoli rabe, and voila!  You’re done.  Easy side dish.

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Kale salad: avocado, bacon, apple & pomegranate (a little b. good inspiration!)

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I think it must be a well-known fact by now that I am officially obsessed with this healthy, “fast” food chain we have on the East Coast called b. good.

Pretty much everything on the menu is super healthy, and they have a really interesting way of combining ingredients in a way you wouldn’t expect, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.

To top things off, they source many of their ingredients from local farms and vendors.  When you go in to a store, you can see they actually have really pretty bulletin boards up listening where the food came from.  I just love it.

Any time I go to b. good, I just have to try something new.  Today was the “Local Apple & Bacon” Kale & Grain Bowl.

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Somehow, they actually made the kale taste really good.  It was raw, but it had been marinated in some kind of lemony vinaigrette, which made it soft.

The combo of avocado, bacon, and pomegranate was over the top!

Full disclosure: the person who made the bowl apparently left out some of the other ingredients, such as dried cranberries, scallions, and sunflower seeds.  Oh well– it was still pretty good, and filling.

I’ll just add those in when I inevitably try to make this at home!

Chicken, Bacon & Wild Rice Soup (from Pinch of Yum)

Pinch of Yum is a really great food blog I’ve been following a long time.  In addition to their wide range of recipes, Lindsay and Bjork also offer a lot of great advice on topics such as food photography and making an income with your blog.

Yesterday I followed their recipe for Chicken Bacon Wild Rice Soup.  Obviously I can’t give you the whole recipe here, but I just wanted to save a few notes for myself (and you, if you’re interested) about what it was like to make this recipe.

One thing: This recipe makes a creamy soup with a lot of liquid.  I ended up increasing some of the ingredients because I wanted more of a stew/one-pot meal.   I used:

  • 1.5 cups uncooked rice instead of 1/2 cup
  • an entire 1.25-lb package of chicken

It came out really, really good.

I really liked how easy it was to follow this recipe.  As I made it, I realized there were basically three main steps, which could be adapted to make all different kinds of soups: (Yep… definitely still a beginner here!).  Anyway: 

1. Cook chicken broth, scallions, and rice

2. Make the creamy bechamel-inspired sauce

3. Combine everything at the end.  For me, using pre-cooked chicken and bacon makes the recipe a little bit easier to follow, since I don’t have to worry about the meat getting fully cooked in the broth.

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It came out great, and I’d definitely make it again.  (I think next time I might add some chopped carrots in at step 3).

Anyway, that’s all for now!  If you want to know more, be sure to check out the original recipe!  Bon Appetit!

Baked Chickpeas (with Rice & Parsley)

So.

I’ve decided to treat this food blog as sort of a scrapbook– not only to share recipes, but also to save tips & tricks that resonate with me.

In this post, I wanted to “scrapbook” the idea of baking chickpeas in the oven, with olive oil, salt and pepper, before incorporating them into a larger dish.

(This little tidbit was part of a larger Blue Apron recipe called “Spicy Chicken & Carrots, with Harissa, Dates, and Chickpeas“).

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You coat the chickpeas with olive oil and roast at 425 for approximately 25 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste afterwards.  They were honestly pretty good just like this, right out of the oven.

However, the actual recipe calls for you to mix the chickpeas with rice and chopped parsley to make a little rice salad.

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The rice and chickpeas are then served as a side to the main dish– spicy chicken and carrots.

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Overall this dish was really good– I’ll have to review it in another post!

Note: Another baked chickpea dish which I really want to try is this Baby Kale Salad with Lemon, Parmesan, and Crispy Roasted Chickpeas

Sage, Browned Butter & Almond Topping (for Chicken)

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This little recipe is actually another great snippet from a larger Blue Apron recipe.  I don’t always have the time to re-create and shop for an elaborate meal, so I’m trying to pick out useful ideas that I can easily incorporate into my own meal creations in the future.

This chicken recipe was super simple and easy.

Basically, you start by searing chicken breasts or thighs in a pan with olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste.

Once the chicken has been thoroughly browned, you set it aside but leave the liquid and browned bits (“frond”) in the pan to create the base for the sauce.

You then melt 2 tablespoons of butter in with the frond:

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Once the butter is mostly melted, you add in chopped sage leaves and almonds (Ok, I forgot to chop them before taking this picture, but ideally you should chop them into fine pieces!).

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Once all three ingredients are browned and thoroughly combined, you can use as a topping on the chicken, as well as on your side dish.

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Blue Apron combined this chicken with the autumn vegetable hash I described in my last post– this garnish worked well on all of it.

img_5014  That’s all for now!  Happy cooking!

Roasted Butternut Squash, Potato & Apple Hash

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So… technically, this recipe was part of a Blue Apron recipe.  (I know, I’m the laziest food blogger ever).   But I would totally make this again as part of a stand-alone dish, so, I’m modifying it:

What you need:

  • one butternut squash
  • 2-3 Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1-2 apples

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Start by cooking the squash and potato, as they take longer to cook.   Chop into small pieces and coat with olive oil.  Add salt and pepper to taste, then bake on a baking sheet at 475 degrees.

After 15-20 minutes, the vegetables should begin to look browned.  Then you just stir in the apple pieces for another 10 minutes or so, until everything looks done.

That’s it!  Blue Apron paired this side dish with pan-seared chicken with a browned butter, almond, and sage sauce— I may have to document that in another post!