Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Thai Green Curry Shrimp


Tonight I wanted to find a recipe that would use some of the ingredients I had on hand - shrimp, and rice noodles. I love Pad Thai, but I make that ALL the time, and wanted to do something different. I have two jars of curry paste (red and green) and thought it would be nice to use up some of that. I looked up recipes for Thai Curry Shrimp, but they all had coconut milk, and I didn't have any on hand. But, I did have sweetened, flaked coconut! So, I decided to take bits and pieces from multiple recipes and put them together to create something out of what I did have. This is what I came up with....

Thai Green Curry Shrimp


ingredients:
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup Thai green curry paste
1/2 C sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup low-salt chicken broth
3 tablespoons Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
1 lb. large shrimp (31 to 40 per lb.), shelled and deveined
1 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves, torn into bite-size pieces
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed

garnish:

1/8 C toasted coconut
Chopped fresh cilantro
Lime juice

method:
Heat peanut oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add green onions, curry paste, and coconut; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chicken broth and fish sauce; bring to boil. Add shrimp and cook just until opaque in center, stirring often, about 3 to 5 minutes depending on size of shrimp. Stir in the basil and peas and cook, stirring until peas are heated through.I served this curry on top of Thai rice noodles, and garnished with cilantro and toasted coconut.


Over all...Hm. It was good, but not a fave. No complaints at all, but no raves, either. Mike really liked it - he said it had all his favorite stuff in it. I think I'm just not a huge curry fan. I'm trying though!


Friday, April 10, 2009

Cilantro Chicken with Poblano Chile Sauce = AWESOME

Last night I made this recipe from Mary Ellen's Cooking Creations. WOW. It was SO good!!! She originally got the recipe from Epicurious, but since I made my changes based off of her changes, I'll just post her recipe here. My changes are in red. (I didn't take any pictures, so I'm showing you Mary Ellen's photo. Mine looked similar, but my chile sauce looked just like diced chiles, rather than a pureed sauce. My rice was more colorful.)

Cilantro Stuffed Chicken with Poblano Chile Sauce

Ingredients
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1.5 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic (I used 3)
  • 1 tsp finely chopped onion (I misread the recipe and added the onion for the sauce to the mix! I used about 1/4 C onion here.)
  • dusting of chili powder, salt, cumin, and cayenne
  • grated manchego cheese (I used about 1/3 C)
  • Poblano sauce: 2 roasted poblano peppers, 2 cloves garlic, 1/2 small onion, 8 oz chicken broth, added 1/4 c light cream; added salt (Since I had so much extra onion in the chicken stuffing, I only used 1/4 C onion in the sauce. I also used 3 cloves of garlic, and skim milk instead of light cream. I also added about 1/4C of manchego cheese.)

Directions

  • I roasted the chiles first. I put them in the oven at 400 for about 15 minutes, then put them in a covered bowl for 15-20 minutes to cool.
  • Cut a pocket into each chicken breast.
  • Mix cilantro, garlic, onion, and manchego cheese; fill each pocket with the mixture. Coat the chicken with the spices and a touch of olive oil. Place in a baking dish and bake on 400 for approximately 12-15 minutes, flipping once. (I had to bake them for about 10 minutes extra after flipping them. I also sprinkled them with extra manchego cheese.)
  • Make the sauce: Peel skin off of roasted peppers, and chop. I kept some of the seeds because we like heat. Then, heat olive oil in a small pot and saute onions and garlic. Add peppers and broth and bring to a simmer for 1 minute. Transfer to a blender and puree. (I skipped the pureeing step - I didn't think it was necessary, but it would have made it look just a little bit prettier. But, I still think it looked very tasty as it was.) Return to pot, add cream and bring to a simmer. Season with salt. (This is where I added the manchego cheese.)
  • Serve sauce over chicken.


Mike could not stop raving about how excellent this meal was. The chicken was perfectly tender and flavorful. I think it had just the right amount of heat, but Mike added hot sauce to his. I served this with Spanish rice. (Sautee chopped onion and garlic in olive oil. Add 1C rice and sautee until toasted. Add 1/2 C crushed tomatoes and 1 C chicken broth. I also added about 1 T of the chopped Poblano chile from the chicken recipe. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 22 minutes.)

I will DEFINITELY be making this again!!!!



Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Recipe Software Recommendations

Do any of you cooks out there use a recipe software? I recently came across a recipe manager on the Apple website, and realized that it might be a very useful tool for me, since I get most of my recipes from blogs and other foodie websites. I've been storing all my recipes in my gmail, and it's getting ridiculously difficult to sort through. I noticed that there are many, many different options out there though. I have a PC at home, but I have a Mac at work. So, I'd prefer to get something universal, if possible (since I hope to get a Mac at home in the near future!)

Do any of you have any experiences and/or recommendations to share? Any thoughts would be appreciated!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Sorry I've Been Slacking

Dear Readers,

I just wanted to update my blog and apologize for the lack of posts recently. Life has been so insane! The last couple months we have been trying to buy our first home, and I was hesitant to blog about it in fear of jinxing it. Now it's looking like it's been jinxed anyway, and it probably won't be happening, which is just an additional stress! On top of all that, my office is moving to a new building this month, so needless to say, life has been a bit on the crazy side. I still have been cooking every night, but I've just been making recipes I've found on other blogs, and not making any of my own changes, so they don't really seem blog-worthy. So, rather than post about what I've cooked, I think I'll share with you some of my favorite blogs that I regularly get recipes from. Check these blogs out...there are many great recipes to be had!

The Picky Palate
Jenny over at the Picky Palate always has something interesting on her blog! Some of these recipes sure aren't all that healthy, but they sure are tasty! I've gotten several delicious recipes from her lately.

The Noble Pig

I just love Cathy aka The Noble Pig. There is always something fun to be found on her blog! I love all her witty posts and funny stories and situations that make you think. I love her wine reviews, her pictures, and oh, the recipes! Definitely one of my favorite blogs!

Mary Ellen's Cooking Creations
Mary Ellen has some great recipes and fun things to try! I find myself trying recipes from her blog on a regular basis, and they are always great!

Weight Watcher's Recipes
While I am not on WW, I definitely appreciate the healthier side of things...I like to know the calorie content of the foods I'm eating, and knowing that I'm eating fairly light. I am always amazed at how delicious these recipes are!

Once things get settled and I know where I will be living, I will be back to my regular cooking schedule! In the meantime, don't give up on me...I'm still around!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Maintaining friendships

I'm wondering. Do any of you have a hard time maintaining friendships? I feel like keeping friends is even harder than maintaining a marriage. It's so hard for me to have close relationships with people. I hate using the phone...I'm much more of an emailer and a texter. Talking isn't something I'm good at. So, I don't end up calling people to ask them to hang out with me, because I am afraid of an awkward phone conversation. And in return, no one ever calls me. I love all my friends dearly, but I feel like I don't have any reallly close friends that I can rely on. I love to go hang out with the girls, but it's like a once every month or two thing. I don't have a "BFF" that I can call to hang out with at any time...no one that I can invite to any event and know that they will come with me. I end up hanging out with my husband and his friends all the time (which is totally fine...I love them...but I would so love to have a girl friend too, ya know?) and it makes me a little depressed sometimes.

How do you maintain your relationships with other people? I feel like pretty much everyone I am friends with has one or more close friends that they always hang out with, and I just don't know how to get to that point! Any ideas? Suggestions? Any advice would be helpful! :)