Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Caramelized Thai Chicken with Stir-Fry Noodles

I recently signed up for a trial subscription to Food & Wine magazine. After I'd received my confirmation email from them, I went to check out their recipe section of the website and stumbled across this one, which served as the leaping off point for dinner that night. My version uses about half the amount of sugar, and it was plenty sweet.

Caramelized Thai Chicken with Stir-Fry Noodles

1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
3 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp coarsely ground pepper
1/2 tsp thai chile paste
1 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

In a small bowl, combine the sugar, fish sauce, water, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, pepper and chile sauce.

Heat the oil in a large deep skillet. Add the shallot and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the fish sauce mixture and the chicken and simmer over high heat until the chicken is almost cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare a pot of boiling water. Add dry rice stir fry noodles to pot. Cook according to package directions. However, after draining, add noodles to chicken mixture. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until chicken is cooked thru and noodles are well-coated. Serve immediately.

Mustard-Crusted Lamb Chops

Lovely dish for St. Paddy's Day, if it's warm enough out to grill (in our house it always is, even in January, but we're strange like that). This is basically a scaled down recipe of this Cooking Light one.

Mustard-Crusted Lamb Chops

1 tbsp and 1 tsp stone-ground mustard
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/8-1/4 tsp salt
1/8-1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
4 (4-ounce) lamb loin chops, trimmed
Cooking spray

Combine first 7 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add lamb; seal and marinate in refrigerator 1 hour or up to 8 hours, turning bag occasionally.

Prepare grill to medium-high heat.

Remove lamb from bag. Place lamb on grill rack coated with cooking spray; cook 6 minutes on each side or until medium-rare or desired degree of doneness.

Remove from grill, cover with tented foil and let rest 5 minutes. Serve with Colcannon.

Wine Pairing: We had the leftover chops with a merlot.


This is an Irish dish that is traditionally served on Halloween (since cabbage is in season then), but it's good just about any time of the year!


1/2 head large cabbage
6 large potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 large shallot
1 tbsp butter
~1 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 tbsp butter, melted (optional)

In a large saucepan, boil cabbage until tender; remove from heat and drain. Chop well, aside and keep warm.

Boil potatoes until tender. Remove from heat and drain.

Chop shallots and simmer them in just enough milk to cover, until they are soft. Add boiled potatoes, milk, and mash well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Blend in the cabbage until well-combined. Add additional butter, if desired

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Rudy's BBQ Chicken

The Spouse and I have been craving grilled food. Our grill blew over in a massive storm this winter and we were afraid it was damaged beyond repair. But, beyond being a bit battered and broken, it actually does work. Enough.

BBQ Chicken is theoretically an easy dish to make. Grill the chicken, slap on some bbq sauce, voila.

To make GOOD BBQ chicken takes a bit more. It's easy to grill up a dry chicken breast. It's easy to end up with drenched chicken. But to cook a good, moist chicken breast with a proper bbq glaze takes experience.

Fortunately I have a good bit of that!

Rudy's BBQ Chicken

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Rudy's Rub
2-3 tbsp Rudy's Original "Sause"

Trim chicken breasts of excess fat. Sprinkle each side with Rudy's Rub and massage rub into breasts. Let stand at room temp for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat grill to 400. Add chicken breasts to grill. Grill first side about 5 minutes. Flip. Grill other side 3 minutes. Using a pastry brush, brush sause on chicken breasts. Grill another 2-3 minutes. Flip. Brush sauce on other side of chicken breasts. Reduce heat to medium. Grill 2 minutes, flip, brush sauce on breasts. Grill another 2 minutes, flip, and slather the last of the sauce on. Remove chicken breasts from heat and serve immediately.

You'll know you've done this right if you don't need any extra sauce on the plate to moisten the chicken.