Broccolini with Garlic and Soy

Broccolini is a green vegetable similar to broccoli but with smaller florets and longer, thin stalks. My local farm stand had it available and though my prior experience with it at a restaurant wasn’t great I was game to try it at home. I decided to treat it like I might regular broccoli, with a high heat cooking method and a bit of spice.

Broccolini with Garlic and Soy
Servings: 3-4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. broccolini, stems trimmed, cut into 2″ pieces
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. fish sauce
  • 1 tsp. sambal oelek (or 2 seeded and finely chopped red fresnos chiles)

Directions:

  1. Combine the soy and fish sauce together. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a 12″ non-stick skillet over medium until shimmering. Add the garlic and stir constantly for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the broccolini and soy/fish sauce. Toss to coat the broccolini and cover the pan. Cook for 4 minutes without disturbing.
  4. Uncover and toss the broccolini again. Recover and cook another 4 minutes.
  5. Remove the cover and set it aside. Toss the broccolini again and stir in the sambal oelek. Cook for 2-3 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  6. Taste for salt, and heat; adjust if desired. Serve as a side with roast chicken or over white rice.

Notes:
In its purest form the Indonesian condiment sambal oelek consists of freshly ground hot red chiles with some salt and vinegar for flavor and preservation. We find it in the “ethnic foods” aisle wedged between the Japanese and Chinese sauces.

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Noodle Salad

This recipe is inspired by some “Asian” noodle salad from a local market’s prepared food section. I grab it when I swing by for their house-made frozen cod cakes. I did the online search for “Asian” noodle salad, mixed and matched a few things and came up with this.

It seemed to go over well and the leftovers were as good, if not a bit better, after a couple of days rest in the fridge.

Noodle Salad
Servings: 10-12
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 90 minutes

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Soy-glazed Chicken Thighs

This recipe is brought to you by rainy weather which ruined my plans for grilled chicken. A couple hours in a soy sauce based marinade turned “boring” old chicken thighs into something very flavorful.

Soy-glazed Chicken Thighs
Servings: 8-10
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 4 hours (includes time for marination)

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup dark soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup dry sherry
  • 3 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. Sriracha sauce
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil plus additional oil for browning the thighs
  • 12-16 bonless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat

Directions:

  1. In a large measuring cup or bowl combine the first 5 ingredients and whisk them together until combined.
  2. Place the trimmed chicken thighs in a large zip top bag or sealable container. Add the marinade, coating the thighs. Stash in the fridge for a minimum of 2-3 hours, Give the bag/container a shake every hour or so to recoat the thighs.
  3. Place the oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 350°F.
  4. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add 4 chicken thighs, “skin” side down and brown for 3 minutes. Flip the thighs and brown the second side for an additional 3 minutes. Transfer to a foil lined sheet tray.
  5. Repeat browning of the remaining thighs, heating additional oil as needed.
  6. When all the thighs are browned cover the tray with foil and transfer it to the heated oven for 20-25 minutes. The chicken should register 165&degF on an instant-read thermometer before removing.
  7. Transfer to a platter and serve.

Notes:
A 1-quart measuring cup is ideal for mixing the marinade.

Inspiration provided by the Joy of Cooking cookbook recipe for Deviled Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts.

Spanish Chickpeas

I made this for our Saturday night gathering recently and it was a hit. It is based on a recipe I found in Moosewood Restaurant Celebrates. I adjusted a couple of ingredients and written the recipe up in my own words.

Spanish Chickpeas
Servings: 8-10
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. Sriracha sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. paprika
  • 1 lg. red onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 14.5 oz. cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Combine the tomatoes, lemon juice, soy sauce, Sriracha and paprika in a blender. Puree until smooth and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium size sauce pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions and a generous pinch of salt. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened.
  3. Add the tomato mixture and the chickpeas. Stir to combine and heat for about 10 minutes. You want the chickpeas to be warmed through.
  4. Taste, adjust seasoning as desired, and serve.

Notes:
I used Meyer lemons on my first attempt at this dish. It look 7 Meyer lemons to make 1/2 cup of juice. For regular sized lemons I’d normally need 2-3. Since regular lemons are more acidic than Meyer lemons I might add a tablespoon of honey to the puree mixture.

I prepped the tomato mixture an hour or more before cooking the dish and stashed it in the fridge. It made things less hectic at dinner time and, I suspect, gave the components in the sauce a chance to mingle.

Weeknight Green Beans

Healthy living (and my dietitian) suggest that the dinner plate should be half filled with non-starchy vegetables. I’ve never been great with this on the best of days and weeknight meals I often struggle to make a main and starch. So I’ve been poking through my brain to figure out vegetables we like that I can look with a minimum of fuss on a weeknight.

Weeknight Green Beans
Servings: 2
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb. fresh green beans
  • 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil

Directions:

  1. Trim the stem ends off of the green beans and cut into 2″ pieces. Transfer to a microwave-safe bowl, add a splash (call it a tablespoon) of water and cover with plastic wrap. Heat at full-power for 5 minutes. Drain water and set aside.
  2. While the green beans cook combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl and mix until combined.
  3. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat until shimmering. Add green beans and distribute into a single layer in the pan. Good for 2 minutes without disturbing to develop a bit of browning.
  4. Toss and stir to redistribute the beans. Cook for 2 more minutes. Check a green bean. If done to your liking go on to the next step, otherwise toss, stir and repeat until your happy with the doneness.
  5. Drizzle the mustard mixture over the green beans. Toss green beans so that the sauce coats as many of the beans as possible.
  6. Taste a green bean, add salt and pepper as desired, and serve.

Notes:
No reason this couldn’t be doubled except maybe your skillet size. If you can’t get a single layer of beans when doubling then bump the heat up to high and redistribute every minute.