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"A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch." - James Beard


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Panko Mustard Chicken Fingers

Making your own chicken fingers has got to be healthier than the ones that come out of the box, right?  These are doubly mustardy with dry mustard in the coating and a mustard-yogurt dipping sauce. 

Here's what you need:

Boneless chicken breasts, panko breadcrumbs, an egg, dry mustard, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Plus spicy and/or Dijon mustard and yogurt for the dipping sauce.

Crack the egg and add a little mustard powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

Whisk the egg and spices with a fork.

Now you're going to make a breading station.  In a separate bowl, measure about 1/2 a cup of flour and season with salt and pepper.  I also added some paprika and mustard powder.

Mix the spices into the flour with a fork.

And now spice up your panko.  I did salt, pepper and mustard again.

Now cut the chicken breast into strips.

Now dip a chicken strip in the egg to coat.

Remove the chicken from the egg and let the excess drip off.

Now dip the chicken in flour to coat.

And shake off the excess.

Now dip the floured chicken back into the egg.

Let the excess drip off again.

Put the chicken into the panko and coat it well.

Place the coated chicken on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet.

These two big chicken breasts made a lot of chicken fingers!

Bake in a preheated 475 degree oven for around 10 minutes then flip them and bake 5-10 minutes more until cooked through.

For the dipping sauce...

... mix about 1/2 a cup of yogurt with about a tablespoon of mustard in a small bowl.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  

You can also add Dijon mustard.

Once the chicken fingers are browned and crispy, remove them from the oven.

You can serve these with potato wedges or a salad.

These potato wedges were just tossed with oil, salt and pepper and baked along with the chicken for 30 minutes, flipping half way through.

And serve with the mustard yogurt sauce.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Shrimp and Scallops with Green Curry Noodles

This dish was a real winner.  We like curry but usually have Indian-style curries. This Thai green curry is sweet but still spicy.  It's a nice combination with the mild shrimp and scallops.  I used whole wheat linguine but you could use rice noodles or plain rice if you prefer.  The original recipe is from Epicurious but I made a few adjustments.

You'll need:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 fresh hot red chile
  • 4-5 green onions
  • 1 lb scallops, I like small bay scallops for this
  • 3/4 lb large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1 (14-oz) can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon Thai green curry paste
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth or water
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 12 oz linguine
  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • baby bok choy, broccoli or sugar snap peas

  • This is the green curry paste I used.  This is in a plastic tub and I got it from the Asian market but you can usually find it in glass jars in the supermarket.  

    Thaw and shell your seafood if necessary.

    Set a large pot of salted water to boil and add the linguine and cook according to package directions.

    Chop the chili and the green onions and separate the white and dark green parts.  

    Heat some oil in a large pan and add the red chili and the light parts of the green onion.  Reserve the dark green parts for the end.

    Saute for about 5 minutes until softened, then add the green curry paste.  I know this does not look pleasant but, believe me, it tastes better than it looks!

    Heat the curry for a minute or so, then add the coconut milk, brown sugar, lime juice, fish sauce and a little stock or water.  

    Mix the curry into the liquid and bring it to a simmer.  Let it bubble for about 5 minutes.

    Once the linguine is almost cooked, add the scallops and shrimp to the sauce.  

    In just a few minutes the shrimp will turn pink and the scallops become opaque.

    Add your veggies.  I used baby bok choy.  I just cut off the root end and rinsed the leaves.  You could also use sugar snap peas.  If you use broccoli, add it to the boiling pasta water 5 minutes before the linguine is cooked.

    Drain the linguine and add it to the pan.  The heat from the sauce and the pasta will wilt the bok choy.

    Toss the noodles with the seafood and sauce.  

    Then toss with the green parts of the green onion and some chopped cilantro.

    Serve this in a shallow bowl topped with a little more cilantro and green onion.  Delicious, spicy and flavourful.  You'll love it!

    Saturday, October 27, 2012

    Souperday - Cauliflower Leek Soup

    As winter approaches I'm getting into the habit of making a veggie soup on the weekend for lunch and having the leftovers for lunch or dinner during the week.  These soups are healthy, made with all vegetables and stock, no cream.  But this one has a wicked topping to make it a little decadent.  

    Here's all you need for the soup:

    A head of cauliflower, 3 leeks, 4 garlic cloves and a carton of chicken broth.  Plus a little salt and pepper.

    For the toppings you'll need:

    Some shredded sharp cheddar, diced cooked bacon and sliced green onions.

    First cook the bacon in your soup pot.

    Remove from the pot and drain on paper towels.

    You should have lots of bacon drippings left in the pot. You can remove some and leave only a tablespoon or two.

    Now the leeks.  We'll only use the white and light green parts.

    Leeks are filthy creatures.  Dirt accumulates between the layers.  You need to rinse them very well multiple times before cooking.

    Slice the leeks.

    Cover them with water in a large bowl and swish them around.  Change the water until it runs clear.  Then drain the leeks.  

    Look at all that dirt!

    Carefully add the clean leeks to the bacon drippings in the pot.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

    Cook for 5 minutes, then add the chopped garlic cloves and cook for one minute more.

    Chop your cauliflower into florets.

    And add to the pot along with enough chicken stock to cover it.  

    Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

    I added a little cayenne pepper and turmeric to the cauliflower, but that's optional.

    Remove from heat and purée with an immersion blender.  

    Purée until completely smooth.

    Get your toppings ready.  Shred the cheese and chop the bacon and green onions.

    Then ladle the soup into bowls.

    And top with bacon, cheese and green onions.

    Looks delicious!

    Serve with some fresh crusty bread for a warm, filling dinner.  Or take it to work for lunch with your toppings in a baggie.  Enjoy!