i love cooking, especially for other people. unfortunately, since i can't have you guys over for dinner, i figured i might as well put down some pseudo-recipes :) (the pseudo meaning there are some things i have no measurements on and can only give the ingredients since i do it to taste and completely differently each time, but hey that's half the fun!)...
forgive me, but resizing of the photos in photobucket didn't see to work, but i think somehow you will all manage.
i love salads. since they're pretty simple, i thought i'd start off, well, simply!
- freshly chopped romaine lettuce
- 1/2 or 1 ripe tomato (any kind will do, really)
- 4 sun dried tomato halves, not in oil
- 1/4 to 1/2 avacado
- Galeo's Miso Dressing (the best, you wouldn't believe it only has 22 calories per tablespoon AND is all natural!)
- slivered almonds (toasted, raw, salted--up to you!)
just slice'n'dice and throw them in a bowl. enjoy!
CROISSANT HOT DOGS (the *other* pigs in a blanket)
still simple but a tad messy...
- roll of croissant rolls (i prefer the reduced fat ones from Pilsbury)
- 8 hot dogs (again, reduced fat will actually be better if you know a good brand)
- 4 slices swiss cheese, cut into 4 strips each (2 strips per dog)
- yellow mustard
to cook, you'll want to follow the instructions for the rolls (preheat oven, cook temp and time are as if you're cooking just buiscuts or rolls).get a large cookie sheet, no need to grease, and i like to open the roll and separate the croissant triangles and kind of work them and stretch them out a bit so they can cover the hot dogs.
slice the hot dogs really deep lengthwise so that they're ALMOST cut through. stuff 2 strips of cheese in the slit, and put a line of mustard in the slit (so it will melt into the cheese).
wrap the croissant triangle around the hot dog, and make sure the slit side of the hot dog is facing upward so the cheese doesn't run out. cook as directed (about 12 minutes). enjoy while hot!
TERIYAKI (chicken or steak) WITH GARLIC GREEN BEANS
this has got to be one of my favorites (i'm eating this for dinner right now, actually!), found it on about.food.com or something like that and modified it a little.
- 3/4 pound of top sirloin (3/4 inch thick cuts are great) OR 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup GOOD soy sauce (the cheap stuff has a ridiculous amount of sodium, i think kikoman or better is fine)
- 1/2 cup sake (doesn't seem to matter if it's really good)
- 1/4 cup mirin (a rice wine, sweeter than sake)
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar (i use 4 tablespoons if i'm cooking chicken)
- 1 teaspoon dried, ground ginger (or you can grate fresh ginger and squeeze the pulp through your fingers to get a tablespoon of juice without the pulp)
- 1/2 cup rice and 3/4 cup water in the rice cooker
- 1 teaspoon corn starch and 2 teaspoons cold water (i've used flour and it works, too, just use tablespoons instead of teaspoons)
- 2 servings of FRESH green beans, trimmed (remove the stems)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (i use the stuff in a jar)
start by stirring the soy sauce, sake, mirin, brown sugar and ginger in a small bowl. get a GOOD ziplock bag that will easily fit the meat, and put the meat in it after stabbing the meat with a fork. pour 1/2 cup of the sauce into the bag, get rid of excess air, seal and refrigerate for an hour or more. i've marinated the meat for up to a day without any problems of it becoming tough. save the rest of the sauce for later.
after marinating the meat, start your rice cooking in the rice cooker. if it finishes before the rest is ready, the cooker will keep it warm.
drain the liquid from the ziplock, then take the meat out and pat it with a paper towel or napkin to get the excess sauce off. heat a large pan on medium high on the stovetop, be sure to spray it with cooking spray before heating (the sauce will ruin your pan as it sticks horribly even if your pan is non-stick). when the pan is hot, put the meat on it. cook to desired doneness: about 6-7 minutes per side (less if your steak is cut thin). the outside of the meat will blacken, and i actually really like the crisp outside when you end up cutting it up (so does my boyfriend!). when you flip it, spoon a little bit of sauce on the top. (you should still have quite a bit of sauce left after this.)
while your steak is cooking, put your green beans in a bowl, put a few tablespoons water in and cover with plastic wrap. microwave for 4-5 minutes (until tender). drain the water, set aside. you'll be reheating them right before the meal is ready so don't worry about keeping them super warm.
once the meat is cooked (make sure if it's chicken that the thickest part has no pink!), put it aside on a cutting board to REST for 5 minutes. DO NOT CUT INTO IT YET (except to test for doneness), letting it rest lets the juices redistribute themselves into the meat so they don't just run out when you cut them. i pour another tablespoon of sauce over each piece while it sits.
while the meat is resting, scrape off the burnt teriyaki sauce, whatever you can get off, from the pan with some tongs or something, but don't get it wet, you're going to use it for the green beans. put the pan on the stove to about medium low and pour about 2 tablespoons of sauce in the pan and then the tablespoon of minced garlic. let it brown for about 30 seconds, then add the green beans and toss. turn off the heat, and let it sit in the pan while you prepare the meal.
by now, the meat will have rested and the rice is done. put some rice in a large soup bowl, and cut the chicken/steak into VERY THIN strips so they are easy to pick up with chopsticks if desired. fan meat over the rice, and put the green beans next to the rice in the bowl. drizzle some more sauce over the whole bowl, beans included, and enjoy!