Posts Tagged With: tomato

Asparagus NOT With Ham

We like ham. We like asparagus. We even like ham and asparagus together. However, we’d already eaten a lot of ham with crackers and cheese over the weekend, ham with scrambled eggs for breakfast, and ham in the bean soup I packed for lunch. The asparagus I purchased on Saturday wasn’t getting any younger, although the spears were still standing pretty tall in the mug in the refrigerator, so Monday night was the right time to make use of the fresh, green vegetable.

Did you know that chicken is more pleasant to eat if you only cook it until it is just no longer pink? Until I watched an old Julia Child video about chicken, I hadn’t really considered that chicken might get tough if you cooked it too long or over too high of heat.

Usually, we like to broil the asparagus sprinkled with Parmesean and olive oil, but I decided to try a stove-top recipe with a balsamic-honey-dijon vinaigrette this time.

I thought that I might be able to guage the texture of the chicken better if I could watch it, rather than have to guess what was happening in the oven or under the broiler.

The chicken and the sauce did turn out nicely, and it paired well with the noodles that my husband prepared. However, we probably prefer broiled Parmesean and asparagus.

 

noodles chicken asparagus tomatoes balsamicIngredients

  • 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • dash of red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • about 6 chicken breast tenders (You may want to cut them into smaller chunks.)
  •  salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • handful of asparagus spears, woody ends snapped off, remainder cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 tomato, cut into about 8 pieces

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, honey, mustard, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and continue whisking until the mixture is well combined. Set it aside.
  2. Over medium heat, heat remaining oil in a medium-sized frying pan. Add the chicken, season it with salt and pepper, and sear until golden, about 3 minutes per side. Remove it from the pan and set aside.
  3. Add  just enough hot water to the pan that you can simmer the asparagus. Cook it until the asparagus is bright green. Add the tomatoes, season with more salt and pepper, and  continue to cook the vegetables until the tomatoes are slightly wilted.
  4. Return the chicken to the pan and pour in the vinaigrette. Toss the vegetables and chicken together and continue to cook the mixture until the chicken is heated through and the vinaigrette thickens.
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Categories: Chicken, Food and drink, pasta, sauces & condiments, Vegetables | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cooking from Memories

pork tomatillo stew

Memoir is an interesting genre. The work is autobiographical, but the author chooses to emphasize a specific theme and/or focus on a shorter period of their life rather than telling their whole story. I enjoy reading memoirs and biographies, because I can learn about worlds that are completely different than mine without leaving earth. Sometimes I am tempted to covet their wealth and opportunity.  At other times the character’s struggle and despair are such that I am reminded to be thankful for the eternal hope that I have.

One of my favorite popular authors is Ruth Reichl. When she shares stories from her past you can feel along with her. When she describes the aromas, flavors, and textures of an amazing meal you are as satisfied as if you had been sitting at the table with her.

Recipes are sprinkled through Reichl’s books. This morning I took inventory of the ones that are included in Tender at the Bone.  A stew made from pork and tomatillos was especially interesting to me, because the bag of tomatillos from Produce Junction was larger than I had needed for a large batch of green sauce.

Ruth instructs the cook to prepare the stew on the stovetop. However, my Saturday plans wouldn’t allow me to babysit a simmering stew for two hours. Instead, after browning the pork and sauteeing the garlic and onions, I tossed everything into a crockpot.

Four hours later, we were home and ready for supper. My husband said the “juice” was good, but he isn’t so sure about the beans being included. I can’t say that the stew was amazing, but I can’t say that it is the recipe’s fault, either. When I cut the recipe in half some of the ratios didn’t quite match.   Also, I don’t keep “dark beer” on hand, so my blackstrap molasses substitute certainly affected the flavor.

 

Categories: Books, Food and drink, Pork, stew | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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