Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Toni's Post-Session Stew

This stew has a few Japanese ingredients like seaweed, sake, and panko bread crumbs thrown into a pot with potatoes, crimini mushrooms and (!) chickpeas. This was another 'whatever's in the kitchen' experiment that became a cold weather favorite! It's very filling and satisfying, especially after mountain biking or surfing when I'm feeling hungry enough to eat my own leg.

2 cups vegetable broth
3 red potatoes, cubed
1 can chickpeas
4 sliced crimini mushrooms
2 green onions, sliced
1/2 pound tofu, pressed (optional) not necessary to deliciousness but more filling if you have it
1 large carrot, sliced
1 cup sake
1/2 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
1/8 cup shredded dried green seaweed
1/4 cup bonito (fish) flakes (optional)
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. Asian chili oil (optional)
freshly ground black pepper

put a large pot of the veggie broth to a boil. add the potatoes and carrots. Meanwhile saute the mushrooms. after about 15 minutes add everything but the panko. simmer for about another 15. stir in the panko and serve.

serves 4-5

Lemon Chicken Penne with Braising Greens

At first glance, this dish doesn't seem very mad science-y. Come on, chicken and pasta? The reason I am posting this is to make you all use your noodles (pun intended) whenever you think you don't have enough in your pantry to cook a kickass meal.
I thought I had no food in the house and was about to go waste 20 bucks at Saturn Cafe when I remembered the braising greens I had just bought at the farmers market. I didn't really know what to do with them and had bought them simply because they contained something called "dinosaur kale". I'll admit I didn't and still don't know what "braising" means, but to me it sounded like quickly stir-fried or something along those lines. I remembered then I had a bag of frozen thighs in the freezer I bought for a (failed) teriyaki chicken attempt. The best idea seemed to be to throw it all on top of penne pasta and see what happened. I loved the outcome and hope you will too!

2 cups dry penne pasta
2 chicken thighs
1 1/2 cup braising greens (or just use kale)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp. dried marjoram
1 tsp. salt
black or lemon pepper

boil a pot of salted water and add the penne. While it's cooking, heat a skillet with a little oil and add the chicken. squeeze the lemon juice onto the chicken during the last 5 minutes of cooking. once the chicken is cooked add the braising greens, pepper, marjoram, and salt to the skillet. Cook for only about a minute and a half longer; you want the greens to be a little crunchy. serve on top of penne with a drizzle of olvie oil and parmesan cheese.

serves 2