Sweet Curry Chicken and Yellow Jasmine Rice with Mixed Vegetables

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Ms. Foodie loves Pinterest! It literally has replaced any recipe books I might have (very few), and is so easy to access and categorize. Tonight’s dinner was selected from one of Ms. Foodie’s various food boards, and while Ms. Foodie enjoyed it, we will definitely be adjusting some of the ingredients for future preparations. If you want to follow Ms. Foodie’s boards on Pinterest, click here.

The recipe for Yellow Jasmine Rice was just an internet search away. Of course, Ms. Foodie added her own flourishes to the dish, as is my wont. Don’t hate, emulate.

What’s for Dinner: Oven-Grilled Pork Spare Ribs

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Oven-grilled Pork Spare Ribs with Spinach-Jasmine Rice. Last vestiges of Summer, since the temps don’t seem to want to get us to Fall!

Quickie Meals: Honey Sriracha Chicken with Jasmine Rice, Sweet Corn and Spinach

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Honey-Sriracha Chicken with Jasmine Rice, Sweet Corn and Spinach

While Ms. Foodie loves to mount elaborate meals from time-to-time, for the most part, I depend a great deal on Kitchen Cabinet Cooking: what’s in the Store (my cabinet/fridge), and what can be made quickly.

This meal has several quick and dirty components:

  • Chicken Thighs: The easiest part of the Chicken to grill and bake, because thighs they require so little maintenance, while still retaining their moisture and flavor. You can cook eight chicken thighs in a 400 degree oven in as little as 45 minutes.
  • Frozen Vegetables: Look, I grew up in the Midwest, and fresh vegetables were only possible in the late Spring and the Summer—or you paid a lot of money for shipped produce which didn’t retain half the nutrients. Frozen vegetables, especially the flash frozen variety we find today, retain much of the nutrients of their fresh counterpart, and they make for an easy meal accompaniment.
  • Pre-cooked sides: Ms. Foodie adores her Rice Cooker, and when I cook rice, I always make an extra cup or two. Cooked rice refrigerates for up to five days; so that means you can focus on the meat or veggie part of your meal, and simply heat up or nuke the rice to go along with it.

Thanks to this extremely easy recipe from Healthy. Delicious., frozen Spinach and Sweet Corn, and pre-cooked Jasmine Rice, Ms. Foodie was able to crank out dinner in less than an hour.

When you have so many things to do, wherever you can save time makes a huge difference.

Honey + Sriracha Chicken.

 

Simple Fare: Pan-fried Salmon with Onions, Garlic, and Kale accompanied by Cilantro-Jasmine Rice

Ms. Foodie is finding that it is often the simple things that turn out to be the best. This would be especially true of tonight’s dinner.

Ms. Foodie took less than 45 minutes (thank you, Rice Cooker!) to make this meal, and if I put my foot in it, if I must say so myself!

Ms. Foodie rubbed down a large Salmon Fillet with Sea Salt and Red Pepper Flakes then let it sit for about 20 minutes.

While the Salmon was marinating, Ms. Foodie added chicken boullion and Cilantro to the Jasmine Rice to create a flavorful and refreshing rice dish in the Rice Cooker. I added equal parts water to the cups of rice (I did two), hit the “Cook” button, and forget about it.

Ms. Foodie then chopped a bit of White Onion (about 1/4 cup), 2 cloves of Garlic (sliced), and some Kale leaves (about a 1/2 cup) and sauteed the mix in a tablespoon butter until the onion was clear and the Kale was vibrant and a bit tender. I removed this mix from the skillet, added another tablespoon of butter, and threw on the Salmon Fillet, skin side down. Ms. Foodie cooked it for about 5 minutes, or until the skin was crisp, then flipped the Fillet and cooked it for another 5 minutes until it was cooked through.

Mr. Foodie gave it the thumbs up and said “It was delicious!” I’m inclined to agree with him. 😉

Sunday Dinner: Herb-crusted roasted Pork Loin with Simmered Cabbage

Say what you will about Paula Deen’s recent troubles, the woman can throw down. Ms. Foodie pulled her recipe off of the Food Network’s website and coupled it with a Food.com recipe for Simmered Cabbage.

Ms. Foodie served it all over Jasmine Rice, and was quite please about the way this turned out!

Chicken and Rice Soup

Ms. Foodie combined chicken soup for the soul with powerful, cold-busting, antioxidant lemon and garlic. With the additions of celery, carrots, Jasmine rice and spices, this made a hearty and warm meal for a Fall evening.

Big Food for the Big Game

CIMG0371Ms. Foodie is by no means a sports fan–I just use any excuse to cook and party! SuperBowl Sunday is the perfect day to trot out some new recipes, or put a new twist on the old ones.

Ms. Foodie kept the nibbles few and simple: Potato Chips, Baby Carrots, Celery Sticks, and Toasted sliced mini Baguettes.  They were the perfect complement to the AllRecipes.com Garlic Feta Dip and the Egg and Avocado Salad found on the Never Homemaker site.

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Ms. Foodie liked this particular Egg Salad because of it’s simplicity and flexibility. Of course, changes were made: Ms. Foodie rarely does Mayonnaise, when Miracle Whip tastes better; and Salt and Pepper should always be to taste–a pinch just doesn’t do the trick.

CIMG0367But enough of the nibbles, it’s always the main event that gets me really excited!

Ms. Foodie has fallen in LOVE with Trader Joe’s Sweet Chili sauce, so she decided to sauce up her Pork Spare Ribs with it! I first seasoned the Ribs with some Sea Salt, Pepper, and a bit of Cayenne, then poured on the TJ’s Sweet Chili sauce (about half of the 10 ounce bottle for 12 ribs), sliced some onions to cover the ribs, and put the mix in a crock pot for about six hours.

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Once the Ribs were sufficiently succulent,  I placed them in a pan, basted them with the rest of the bottle of Sweet Chili sauce, then baked them uncovered in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes.

CIMG0374Ms. Foodie paired the Spare Ribs with my favorite Jasmine Rice–Man, were they tasty!

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That got us through two halves of the game, so for halftime, Ms. Foodie whipped up some sliders. Easy to do with pre-marinated Ground Beef, mini buns from Trader Joe’s (love that place!) and some sliced Cheddar.

I mixed the Ground Beef with chopped Onions, Garlic, Worcestershire sauce, Cumin, Basil, Thyme, Salt, Pepper, and a bit of Probiotic Yogurt. Ms. Foodie set the mixture in the fridge for a couple of hours to meld these flavors. It also helps me form the mix into little balls, about an inch to an inch-and-a-half in diameter.

CIMG0378In lieu of a grill, I lined a pan with aluminum foil, then cooked them in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. While the Burger Balls were cooking, it gave me time to prep the mini buns by cutting the Cheddar Cheese slices in quarters, and putting those mini-slices on each side of the bun.

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Ms. Foodie placed the prepped buns in the oven midway through the Burgers cooking. Once the Cheese was melted, everything comes out, and the Sliders are ready to be put together.

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No matter who wins the game, these SuperBowl goodies make for a victorious feast!

I Eat, therefore, I Am: Panko-Breaded Salmon in Sweet Chili Sauce

The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”― Julia Child

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Right on, Julia! Ms. Foodie loves Salmon, but is always looking for ways to “spice it up” so to speak. Only so much baked, broiled, and grilled Salmon one foodie can stand. So, this epiphany came to me today: Panko and Sweet Chili Sauce.

Trader Joe’s has a wonderful Sweet Chili Sauce that I have decided to buy in threes, because it’s not only great for dipping, but for cooking too. And the 10.1 oz. bottle gets used up fairly quick!

Ms. Foodie sliced her Pacific Salmon into quarter-inch strips, basted them in a mixture of egg and milk, with a bit of ground black pepper, salt, turmeric, and thyme, then lightly coated them with the Panko breading.

Be on your guard: Not all Panko is created equal: I recommend Trader Joe’s brand, or one from your local Asian market.  Panko should not taste like run-of-the-mill bread crumbs. There’s a lightness to the texture which balances out the weightiness of the fish.

Ms. Foodie then heated one to two tablespoons of Sesame Oil in a skillet until it was a bit smoky (Sesame is a wonderful oil for stir fry) and placed the breaded Salmon pieces in the oil, lightly browning on both sides; about 2-5 minutes.

Once the breaded Salmon was sufficiently colorful, I used about three-quarters (maybe 8 oz. give or take) of the Trader Joe’s Sweet Chili Sauce (you could use the whole bottle, depending on how much spice you like) and coated the pieces with it, poured some Sweet Peas (about a cup) on top, covered this, and turned the heat to a low simmer.

While the dish was marinating in heat, I put Jasmine Rice in the Rice Cooker–one of the best inventions ever created–I kid you not!

About 15 minutes into the simmer, I gently stirred the Salmon pieces to sufficiently let the Sweet Chili Sauce cover and coat every piece, as well as to spread the Sweet Peas throughout. Then, I chopped up two green onions, sprinkled them on top of the Salmon-Chili Sauce-Sweet Pea combo, covered it again, and let it simmer for about 5 minutes more. After that, I turned off the heat, and let the dish sit for about 5 minutes.

Once the Jasmine Rice was perfectly steamed, Ms. Foodie spooned it into a dish, and served the Sweet Chili infused Panko-breaded Salmon over it.

Ms. Foodie put her foot in this–Mr. Foodie’s second helping was the proof!

Eaasy (and I mean it) Skillet Drumsticks…

So Ms. Foodie was talking to a fellow Foodie friend, who can throw down in her own right, and we were discussing how some of these recipes labeled “easy” are anything but.  How many of you keep endive on the regular in your fridge?  My Foodie friend agrees.

Hence my giving up on the erroneously labeled “easy chicken drumstick recipes” on the Internet to create my own.  Would you expect anything less?

I began with the marinade: Worcestershire, Pineapple juice, lemon pepper, lightly browned butter, and a bit of orange in any form: a 1/4 cup orange juice, canned mandarin oranges, or the navel variety, freshly squeezed.  We just happened to have some of the latter lying around, so I went with that!

I cut two 1/4-inch slices into the meaty part of the drumsticks, so that the full flavor could sink in, then threw them in a bowl with all the aforementioned ingredients.  I always add the browned butter last, so that it won’t solidify too quickly.  Put it in the fridge for 15 minutes or so to let the flavors settle–quick and breezy.

While the meat was marinating, I attended to the side dish:  Fruity Jasmine Brown Rice.  I’m not a huge fan of the Brown, but it is healthier, and the Jasmine variety seems a bit mellower and less grainy than its long-grain counterpart.  I also cook it in a rice steamer with part water and part chicken broth, to further mellow it.  Then to fruit it up, I added that remaining pineapple juice and some fresh cranberries, which burst with flavor upon cooking!  Cranberries freeze well, so they are a regular part of my store.  You can substitute dried cranberries or a dried (or fresh) fruit of your choice.

And for my veggie, those sprouts from Brussel, steamed to perfection.  For those who like the health benefit, but are not fond of the bitter, pour any cooking vinegar (rice, balsamic, red wine) over the sprouts before you steam them–totally cuts it out.

With the meat good and soaked with the marinade, I threw them in a non-stick skillet, covered, and cooked over medium heat.  Turning them halfway through cooking keeps the flavors evenly distributed.  Drumsticks generally cook within 20-25 minutes.

All the subtle fruity goodness makes this dish most Delish!