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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Chicken Fried Rice with Bok Choy

My favorite farmer's market vendor ended up with a surplus of bok choy that needed to be used up.  He generously offered me a second bag for free, so I came home and scoured through my recipe list to see what I could make.  This recipe caught my eye because it was simple to make, I had the remaining ingredients on hand, and it would use up most of the bok choy!


I honestly wasn't expecting much from this recipe, but it really turned out great! My husband insisted that this be made part of the regular rotation. I am happy to oblige, since it was so easy and delicious!

Chicken Fried Rice with Bok Choy
Source: Slightly adapted from Everyday Food, December 2008
Serves 4
(This recipe followed another recipe in the magazine, which had instructions for cooking the rice and chicken.  I have amended the chicken cooking instructions.)

  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 1 pound 
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as safflower
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 pound bok choy, cored and coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with foil, and spray lightly with olive oil.  Place chicken breasts on foil, spray lightly with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.  Bake about 30 minutes, or until no longer pink on the inside (inside temperature of 165 degrees F).  Set aside to cook, then chop into cubes.  This step can be done ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium. Add eggs; season with salt and pepper, and cook while stirring to break it up into pieces, until set, 1 to 3 minutes. Set cooked eggs aside (reserve skillet).

3. In skillet, heat remaining tablespoon oil over medium-high. Add bok choy, onion, and garlic; season with salt and pepper (skillet will be very full). Cook, stirring frequently, until bok choy is crisp-tender, 2 to 4 minutes.

4. Add rice, chicken, eggs, ginger, vinegar, and soy sauce. Cook, tossing, until heated through, 3 to 5 minutes.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Spicy Baked Chicken Tenders

A few weeks ago, my husbands schedule changed and his work days got longer.  As a result, he came home hungry and ready to eat... something.  Though his days are longer, he still gets home before me, so I started thinking of ideas that would be easy for him to make quickly.  I decided to try making chicken tenders from my crispy baked chicken recipe, but changing it up and making them spicy. 

My husband loved the idea, and has been making his own little snack wraps (chicken tenders in a tortilla with lettuce and cheese) every week after work.  It's taken me a few weeks to perfect the combination of ingredients, and maintain the level of spicy flavor after baking, but I think I finally got it right.

Spicy Baked Chicken Tenders
 Note: lately, I've been out of flax seed and breadcrumbs, so I made the substitutions below.  It's fun to experiment with different combinations!

3-4 chicken breasts, sliced into tenders
2 egg whites (I sometimes go with 1/4 cup egg whites from a carton)
1/4 cup Frank's hot sauce
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup plain dried breadcrumbs, or oat bran
1/4 cup ground flax seed, or cornmeal
2 tablespoons taco seasoning (recipe follows)
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Combine egg whites, hot sauce, and cornstarch in a shallow dish or bowl.  Whisk to combine thoroughly.   Combine wheat germ, breadcrumbs/oat bran, flax seed/cornmeal and seasonings in a shallow dish.  Dip chicken in egg white mixture, then in breading mixture. Shake off excess breading and place on a baking sheet fitted with a rack (to keep chicken elevated when cooking).  Lining the baking sheet with foil is optional for easy cleanup.  Bake chicken at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

Taco Seasoning
From: Allrecipes

~ 1 tablespoon chili powder
~ 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
~ 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
~ 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
~ 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
~ 1/2 teaspoon paprika
~ 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin (we use coriander)
~ 1 teaspoon sea salt
~ 1 teaspoon black pepper

Monday, November 8, 2010

Double Apple Bundt Cake

I was cleaning out my wallet recently and discovered not one, but TWO Williams Sonoma gift cards. I'm never sure if gift cards in my wallet are used up, or still carry a balance, so I checked on these two and sure enough - they both had a balance! There are two things from W-S that I've had in the back of my mind for... quite some time now. One is their Gold Touch cake pans. I have the muffin tin and my cupcakes/muffins always come out flawless, so I've been wanting to slowly replace my current pans, as they age, with Gold Touch pans.

The other item is the Heritage bundt cake pan. Since I don't have a bundt cake pan, and Tuesdays with Dorie recently made a delectable apple bundt cake that caught my eye, I decided to get the bundt pan to use up my gift cards. Yay! I love new kitchen paraphernalia.


In a twist of fate, I looked up the recipe in the index in the back of the book, and it had one page number in italics to indicate that there was a photo of the cake. I always love seeing photos, so I flipped to that page and was so excited to see what looked like cranberries! However, then I realized that the cake looked a little... off... from what I was expecting. I'm pretty sure the picture on that page is actually of the Holiday Bundt cake, which calls for cranberries and pumpkin puree. That seemed more like the picture. Nevertheless, I was stuck on cranberries and had already decided they were going in my apple bundt cake. While looking over the Holiday Bundt Cake recipe, I happened to notice a slightly different icing recipe. I decided I like that one better for this cake, so I have included it in the recipe below.

This cake baked up beautifully in my new Heritage pan! It is dense, moist, and full of apple flavor with the occasional tart bite of cranberry (too occasional for my taste, in the future I might add more!). The maple glaze was a great pairing for these flavors. Overall, a great fall treat!

Double Apple Bundt Cake
Source: Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours

* 2 cups AP flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour)
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* ½ teaspoon baking soda
* ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
* ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
* ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
* ¼ teaspoon salt
* 1 ¼ sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
* 1 ½ cups sugar (I used evaporated cane juice)
* 1 cup store-bought apple butter
* 2 eggs
* 2 medium apples, peeled, cored and grated
* 1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
* ½ cup plump, moist raisins (dark or golden) (I used 1 cup fresh cranberries
* Confectioners’ sugar for dusting (optional)

For the Icing (optional)

* 6 tablespoons confectioner's sugar
* About 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Getting ready:  Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9- to 10- inch (12 cup) Bundt pan. If your pan is not nonstick, dust the interior of the pan with flour, then tap out the excess. (If yo’ve got a silicone Bundt pan, there’s no need to butter or flour it.) Don’t place the pan on a baking sheet – you want the oven’s heat to circulate through the Bundt’s inner tube.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed, scraping the bowl as needed, for 3 minutes, or until the mixture is smooth, thick and pale. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for about 1 minute after each addition; you’ll have a light, fluffy batter. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the apple butter – don’t worry if it curdles the batter. Still on low, add the grated apples and mix to completely blend. Add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear into the batter. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the nuts and raisins/cranberries. Turn the batter into the Bundt pan and smooth the top of the batter with the rubber spatula.

Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a think knife inserted deep into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack to cool for 5 minutes before unmolding and cooling the cake to room temperature. If possible, once the cake is completely cool, wrap well in plastic and let it stand overnight at room temperature to ripen the flavors.

If you’re not going to ice the cake, you can dust it with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.

To make the optional icing:  Put the sugar in a small bowl and stir in maple syrup. Keep adding syrup a little at a time until you have an icing that falls easily from the tip of a spoon. Drizzle the icing over the top of the cake letting it slide down the curves of the cake in whatever pattern it makes. Let the cake stand until the icing dries, a matter of minutes, before slicing.