New Things I Made Up
July 16, 2009, 4:52 am
Filed under: Food, Ramble | Tags: , ,

So, now that I’ve moved out on my own, I’ve started having some more fun cooking for myself.  In honor of all the episodes that I’ve watched lately of Chopped on the food network, I try hard to come up with inventive combinations.  So the following are my random recipes.  This week the secret ingredient was orange peel.  These recipes aren’t exact, so I’m just spitballing here (probably shouldn’t use the word spit so close to a recipe).

Are you Zesty Enough Salsa?

4 Tomatoes (Standard, run of the mill kind.  You can use smaller ones, but you need more)

1/2-1 Onion (Some people love onion, some people don’t)

3 Sprigs of Cilantro (Can substitue dried Parsely)

1-3 Jalepenos (If you’re really zesty and manly, you’ll use three)

3/4 Cup Lime Juice (This isn’t real exact, but the lime is a good base for the sauce.  Don’t do too much)

1/2 Orange Peel (Used a potato peeler, but if you have a spice/cheese grater, even better)

1 tsp Chile de Arbol Powder (Again, manly enough?)

1 tsp of Pepper

1~tsp of Salt (This is a personal preference)

2 tsp of Garlic Powder (Possibly the reason why I’m not getting married any time soon)

1. Pour the Lime Juice in a large bowl.  Add the spices (Salt, Pepper, Garlic, and Chile de Arbol Powder) and whisk them with a fork or (I don’t know) a whisk. As you add each ingredient, give ’em a good roll in the juice spice mixture to make sure everything is evenly coated.

2. Chop up the onion and to the bowl.  (You’ll blend it all later, you’re cutting them up to make them mix better when they go into your sauce pan.  So don’t worry about cutting them up way to small or too big)

3. Cut the Jalapenos length wise and then cut length wise again.  If you don’t want to sweat having to worry about appendicitis, take the knife and gently cut out the seeds and inner stem. (If you want to keep some heat, leave the stem in.  If you want more heat and all the risks, leave both).  Toss ’em in the bowl.

4. Cilantro, chop it up really fine. Toss it in.

5. Orange peel, if you don’t have a spice grater or a fine cheese grater, a potato peeler actual works.  You want mostly peel and not white rind.  So, you don’t want to go too deep.  If you potato peel it, julienne it on a cutting board (like I know what julienne means, didn’t she go out with Romeo?)  Toss it in.

6. Now you’re ready to get cookin’.  Toss the whole mix in a big sauce pan and put on High to medium high.  You want it to simmer, but not boil.  Let it cook until the tomatoes lose their consistency and take on that stewed tomato look.  Letting the ingredients simmer longer is a good idea, but you don’t want the liquid to cook off.  The orange peel needs to soak into the sauce and release that zesty flavor.

7. Ok, everything’s ready.  Pull out your tortilla chips, not for any reason, but it’s just kind of exciting. Now toss it into the blender or food processor.  You want it to have a nice texture to it, but you don’t want it to be garden salsa.  Traditional mexican salsas like this use a mortar and pistle.  So imagine the final consistency they achieve.  Once you get it all blended, toss it into a bowl.  Grab your cheeps, and take no prisoners.

A-peeling Asian Chicken (2-3 Servings)

3 Chicken Breasts

1/2 Onion ( I love onion)

1 Navel Orange Peel (Don’t Peel it, you’ll use a potato peeler or a knife for that)

1/8 – 1/4 Cup of Mustard (I love it, but it’s your call.  Honey Mustard works really well or Spicy Mustard)

1/2 -3/4 Cup of Lime Juice

1-2 tsp of Garlic Powder (Who needs to get married)

1 tsp of Pepper

1 tsp of Salt or to taste

1 tsp of Chile de Arbol Powder

1 tbs of Sriracha (Chinese hot sauce)

3 Cups of Cooked Rice (Have it ready when the chicken finishes up)

1. Chop up your chicken into 3/4 inch cubes raw.  Toss it into a bowl and add the lime juice.

2. Add the spices, Sriracha, and mustard to the bowl and toss it a bit so everything gets an even coating.

3. Chop up your onions into a fine dice, and toss ’em into the bowl.

4. Take the Orange, and using a knife or a potato peeler cut it into nice half inch strips.  (We’re leaving it big so you can advise your guest or yourself not to eat it.  It adds flavor and presenation, but tastes good for half a second until it goes bitter.)

5. Spray a large sauce pan with PAM and turn up the heat, medium to medium high.  Toss the chicken mix and the orange peels in right away.  Start stirring and flipping with a wooden spoon.  Your goal here is to make sure the chicken cooks through, but the orange peels simmer in the sauce from the chicken and lime juice.  When the chicken starts to turn a nice white without any pink, you’re there.  A good test of whether the chicken is cooked, take your wooden spoon and gently press down.  As you press down, the chicken should split.  If you’re having to force it hard, it ‘s not done yet or it’s way over done.

6. When the chicken is pretty much finished, turn down the heat to a low simmer and plate the rice.  If you’re feeling real fancy, add a couple fresh orange slices or orange peels to the top for presentation’s sake.

7. Divy up the chicken and make sure you add some of the liquid on top of the rice.

8.  Eat and enjoy!

Let me know if you try it and how well it worked.

Quick Chippy Apple Turn

1 Light Apple TurnOver Yogurt

1-2 tsp of cinnamon powder

1 Chopped up Apple (Granny, Fuji, Red, Green)

10 FoodShouldTasteGood Multigrain Chips

1. Finely chop the apple and combine it with the yogurt and cinnamon in the bowl.

2. Crush the chips and add to the mix.

3. Take out a spoon and enjoy!

Ok, I need to go to bed.