Stir Fry Ginger Chicken

Yup, another chicken recipe! Honestly, it’s an incredibly versatile protein and I’d rather have chicken than steak. Now, I’ve never been a big fan of ginger – mainly because it is such a strong flavor and when I have had it, it seemed to overpower everything else. So I was wary of this recipe but wanted to do something different. I was very happy with the results – so happy that it is going on my regular rotation of dishes. It was fricking EXCELLENT!

Ingredients:

  • 3 chicken breasts, cut into cubes
  • 3 scallions, diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 4 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons cooking wine or dry white wine
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons cool water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch, divided (see directions)
  • 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanut oil

In a bowl, combine the egg white, 1/2 the salt, and 1 1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Mix well and add the cubed chicken. Coat well and let it sit for 20-30 minutes. In the meantime, combine the sugar, the remaining salt, ketchup, white vinegar, cooking wine, and soy sauce. Set aside. On a small plate, combine the ginger and scallions. In a small cup, combine the water and remaining cornstarch. Now you are ready to cook!

In a wok or large skillet, heat on high until hot. Add the peanut oil, making sure to swirl the oil around the sides of the wok. Toss in the chicken and stir well in the oil to make sure all of them are coated and cook lightly. This won’t take long. Using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken to a small plate and set aside. There should be a couple of tablespoons of oil left in your pan.

Toss the ginger and scallions in the oil. Stir around in the oil for roughly 45 seconds. Then add in the soy sauce mixture. Stir and allow to heat through. Then add in the small cup of cornstarch and water – be sure this is still mixed well before pouring it into the sauce. This will thicken your sauce well.

Once thickened, add the chicken into the sauce. Stir thoroughly and all the chicken to heat up well. Serve any way you wish, but it was really good over rice.

1656081_424026687727490_1377441398_n
Ignore the cat – she is the poison tester of the house. ūüôā

Loaded Mashed Potatoes

Potatoes. I love them and have yet to find a way to make them that I don’t like. Well, unless you add something nasty like broccoli. Yes, I have a few foods I don’t like. *grin*

These are a different way to use mashed potatoes – either leftovers or what I did recently, for a potluck I was heading to – and they went over very well.

Ingredients:

  • 5 1/2 cups mashed potatoes (around 6-7 large baking potatoes)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 3 green onions
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8 slices bacon crispy cooked and crumbled

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Peel, quarter, and boil potatoes for 15-20 minutes or until soft. Drain potatoes and beat with a mixer until smooth. Add milk, cream cheese, sour cream, green onion, parsley, garlic powder, and salt and pepper – these are to taste. Beat at a medium-high speed until nice and creamy.

Spoon into a 9×13 baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

2013-06-28 07.23.08

Top with cheddar cheese and bacon. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

2013-06-28 08.02.57

Zucchini Parmesan

Oh look, another dish using zucchini. You’ll get over it. But wait – I actually remembered the camera!! ¬†This is a pretty good recipe, that is being altered for a much better taste. How you alter things is up to you, but I needed to doctor up the marinara sauce I had – garlic powder, onion salt, thyme, basil, and oregano. If you use bottled, you *need* to doctor it. They tend to be way to bland.

So, this is my version of a recipe I found on, where else, Pinterest.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 large zucchini, sliced into 1/3-inch coins
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated and divided in half
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon italian seasoning or combine some thyme, basil, and oregano
  • salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 cup marinara sauce, homemade or bottled
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
There are two ways to cook the zucchini – you can fry it in a bit of olive oil in a saute pan or you can bake them. I baked them and am sorry I did. While the baking will be better health-wise, they end up a bit softer than you may like. Frying them in the pan will give a much crisper result – which I really do recommend. Instructions for both are below.

Blot zucchini coins with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Place zucchini in a medium bowl and drizzle with olive oil, turning to coat each piece. In a separate bowl, combine the bread crumbs, garlic powder, italian seasoning (or your own equivalent), salt, pepper, and half the parmesan. Put each zucchini coin into the parmesan mixture, a few at a time, turning to coat and pressing the breading slightly to ensure it sticks.

To bake: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Coat a large baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Place breaded zucchini coins in one even layer on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes or until browned and crisp.

2013-06-20 08.16.39

OR

To fry: Drizzle a bit of olive oil in saute pan on put on medium high heat. You’ll need to do the zucchini in small batches to ensure even cooking. When heated up, cook each zucchini coin on each side for 2-4 minutes (depending on your pan, the oil, and heat level). Put aside on a plate lined with paper towels to help wick away the excess oil. Blot them a bit to make sure you get all the excess oil off all of your zucchini.

Have oven temp at 400F. Coat the bottom of a baking dish with marinara sauce. Layer one third of the crisp zucchini coins over marinara, overlapping if necessary. Sprinkle zucchini layer with mozzarella and the remaining parmesan. Repeat the layers as many times as you have zucchini left. I only did 2 levels, but I had a larger baking dish.

2013-06-20 08.48.17

Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.

I took this picture right before it was all gone. I was too hungry to take the picture beforehand!  LOL

2013-06-20 09.52.14

Skillet S’Mores Dip

I love me some s’mores. I always looked forward to summer barbecues as a kid and the chance to make them. ¬†It was such a treat. Now that I’m older, I can make them anytime I want to, but still treat them as special as they were as a kid. I decided to make this tonight, since I’m watching my Patriots in a playoff game (and I have a bottle of champagne waiting if they win) and really need the chocolate!

This is so easy and it can be done in an oven or over a campfire!

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 handfuls of marshmallows ( mini or regular)
  • 1 package of graham crackers for dipping
Preheat oven to 450F. In a cast iron skillet (this recipe is for a smaller one) add chocolate chips first then marshmallows on top. Cover with foil. Bake for 5 minutes then uncover for marshmallows to toast for 2-3 more minutes. Serve with gram crackers!
The bigger the skillet, the more you’ll need and the more friends you’ll need to help you eat it!