A personal kitchen diary. I try new recipes and make notes on what works and what doesn't. Sometimes I can things, and sometimes I dry herbs. This is the story of my kitchen.

Month: March 2016

Orzo/Pea/Parmesan Pasta Salad

Orzo/Pea/Parmesan Pasta Salad

I liked the dish, and would have liked it even better with basil in it (I left it out because Steve doesn’t like basil).  But it wasn’t great and Steve hated it (so maybe I should have just left in the basil!).  So I’m not sure […]

Oven Baked Shrimp

Oven Baked Shrimp

I felt like having shrimp today and also wanted to try a different shrimp recipe.   I used Yummly to find shrimp recipes and settled on this one from Turnip the Oven: http://turniptheoven.com/easy-baked-shrimp-with-garlic-and-herb-butter/ I loved the crunchy topping made with herbs (parsley and thyme), red […]

Lime-Garlic-Cilantro Marinated Flat Iron Steak

Lime-Garlic-Cilantro Marinated Flat Iron Steak

An easy dinner tonight.  I had some flat iron steaks from Barham Family Farms, some cilantro and garlic, and while I didn’t have any fresh limes, I did have lime juice.

I peeled and crushed a bunch of garlic, and coarsely chopped a bunch of cilantro.
Tossed them over the steaks in a plastic container.
I added 1/2 cup of lime juice then 1/2 cup of olive oil, then I decided it was too much oil so I added more lime juice.  As you can tell, this was a scientific method and a very very strict recipe.
Tonight I marinated the steaks for about 3 hours, turning once.  When it was time to  cook the steaks, I heated olive oil in a cast iron pan over medium-high heat until the oil shimmered, seasoned the steak with salt and pepper, and added to the pan.  4 minutes on each side.  Steve’s was quite a bit thicker, so I ended up at 5 1/2 minutes on each side for his.
Flat irons can be tough, and really benefit from the shorter cooking time and resting after coming off the heat.  I could have probably gone 10 minutes, but I only let it rest 5 this time.  I was hungry.
Thin slices against the grain, and served with chilled carrot and honey soup.
Oven Braised Chicken

Oven Braised Chicken

The other day I had a whole chicken out of the freezer and was trying to decide what I wanted to make that night.  My roast chicken is great, but I just felt like having something different.  I went through the mental check list of […]

Asian Peanut Vinaigrette from Food.com

Asian Peanut Vinaigrette from Food.com

My friend Liz recommended this salad dressing and tonight seemed to be the perfect night to try it out. You can find it on Food.com, here: It was easy. I just gathered up the ingredients and whisked them together.  I guess you can’t see the […]

Velvet Chicken with Soy-Ginger Vinaigrette

Velvet Chicken with Soy-Ginger Vinaigrette

A friend had posted this recipe a long time ago and I only just got around to trying it.  It is an easy way to prepare chicken that is tender and moist.

I served it over rice with the vinaigrette that he also shared.  Another friend suggested the chicken was great to use in chicken salad.  I think I will use the leftover meat tomorrow night to make chicken enchiladas.
Along with an Asian-inspired salad, it was a great meal.
Velvet Chicken
 
All you need is chicken, kosher salt, a large pot, and a bunch of water.
Remove the giblets and wash the chicken, and put it in the pot.  Add 2 Tablespoons Kosher salt.
Add cold water to cover the chicken by a couple of inches, put the cover on, and put it on the stove.  Turn on the burner and bring the pot to a full rolling boil.  This will take about 25 minutes.
Once it is boiling madly, turn off the burner and take the pot off the heat.  Do not take off the lid!
And let it sit for 3 hours.
When the three hours are up drain the chicken and remove the skin and bones.  There’s nothing pretty about deboning a chicken, so no pictures!
But here is a picture of the results.  The meat is as advertised–silky in texture, and very moist.
Here’s the recipe for the chicken and the vinaigrette:
Velvet Chicken

Serve with a warm ginger-soy vinaigrette and a tuft of pea shoots or micro-greens—or simply piping hot in a bowl of broth with snippets of chives. Serves 4

Rinse and dry 1 (4-pound) chicken and discard giblets. Tie the legs with kitchen string. Put the chicken in an 8-quart pot. Add cold water to cover, about 5 quarts. Add 2 tablespoons kosher salt. Cover pot. Cook over high heat for 20-25 minutes until you hear the water in the pot boiling rapidly. Do not lift cover. Remove pot from heat; let sit 3 hours. (No peeking!) Remove chicken from the broth. Cut into pieces, discard skin and bones. Don’t forget the meat from the wings. Serve warm with sauce below.

Warm Ginger-Soy Vinaigrette (optional): In small saucepan, stir together 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1/3 cup rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons mirin, 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, 1 tablespoon dark Asian sesame oil. Heat until just warm. Stir in 2 tablespoons minced scallions and 2 teaspoons slivered fresh ginger. Serve warm. Makes about 2/3 cup.

 
Ginger-Soy Vinaigrette
 
The only thing I didn’t have was mirin.  I googled around and found several suggestions for options.  I ended up using 2 Tablespoons of Marsala and 1/2 tsp of sugar to replace the mirin.

There are plenty of options for how to use this chicken.

 
I had the chicken over rice, topped with the vinaigrette, and a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds.
 
It was delicious.
 
Mexican Shrimp Cocktail – Merri style

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail – Merri style

I love Mexican Shrimp Cocktail–that wonderful mixture of shrimp and avocado, usually some onions, probably cilantro and lime, all in a V-8 style juice mixture.  In my case, actual V-8. I had not made it at home before, but I had shrimp, avocado, cilantro, and […]

Merri made meatballs!

Merri made meatballs!

I made meatloaf for dinner the other night, using my usual mix of ground beef and ground pork. The packages of meat I had purchased at the grocery store were really big, though, so after I used the amount I needed I had a lot […]