Saturday, February 2, 2008
Some days I have a lot more imagination than others. With everything....and that means food as well of course. Other days.... it seems so much easier to just toss a few things together and turn out something that tastes wonderful.
I love to watch some of the cooking shows for inspiration... and always get a laugh out of Iron Chef when we see it. Wish I could get my hands on some of those recipes...
A few days ago I decided to give a bit of pizazz to some chicken and I am sure that somewhere in the back of my mind the reason came from a food channel episode of something....
Brown some chicken thighs in a skillet in a little hot oil. Salt and pepper, add other herbs of your choice...turn and continue to brown other side. Meanwhile...oil a baking dish and place some Napa (Chinese, Baby Bok Choy, or other of your choosing) cabbage leaves on bottom. Remove browned chicken from pan and place on cabbage. .... place in warm oven...not to continue cooking just yet...but to keep warm til a sauce is made. In the same pan... add a good dollop of butter and some sliced onions. Cook gently til soft and golden. (add a few chunks of celery if you like.) Add some minced garlic. After about 2 minutes, remove from pan and spoon over chicken. Then, in same pan.... (as they always say on the cooking shows..... we don't want to waste any of those "lovely brown bits" !) ... and besides, who wants to wash three pans? ..... pour in about 3/4 cup of orange juice and a bit more butter...heat to bubbling. Then, stir in about 3 or 4 tablespoons of peanut butter. I like the old fashioned chunky kind..but it is your choice. Stir well to mix and continue to simmer...till it reduces down a bit... taste...and add more orange juice, peanut butter..or even a spoonful of marmalade to give it more sweetness and orange-y flavour. Cook a bit more and then pour it over chicken and onions. Place lid on and turn oven up to about 350 F ... bake for 20 mins or so. I served it over Basmati rice cooked with half and half chicken broth and water... and a small fruit salad containing orange segments just to continue the orange flavour a bit more. It was all pretty yummy.
Sadly, I was half way through my Orange Peanut chicken before I even thought of taking a picture. ... so, instead, here is one of some Peppery Orange swordfish I tried a few weeks ago. In the pan in which I browned the fish I made a little thick sauce for drizzling over ... using butter, onions, grated orange zest, orange juice, a little white wine, freshly cracked peppercorns as well as some red pepper flakes. I seem to be on a citrus kick lately. Today it was lime... to make a Caribbean type marinade for some chicken.
Any of the citrus make some amazing little drizzles or thick sauces when reduced down... just do a taste test... add or subtract sweetness in form of honey, marmalade, brown sugar, etc... and if it needs a bit of mellowing....another dollop of butter makes it smooth tasting. Yeh..I know... fattening too...but just don't have sauces every day. However, do treat yourself once in awhile.
Posted by BumbleVee at 7:51 PM