March 2010 Archives

French Toast

As it turns out, my homemade whole wheat and oat bread also makes very good French toast!

And, with frozen, pre-cooked bacon, it only takes a few minutes to make a very delicious breakfast.


Pork chop (sous vide) (revisit)

This is basically the same pork chop I made earlier, though this time I did it with a 2.75 lb. boneless 7-rib pork roast instead of bone-in.

I still trimmed the fat and cut a couple nice pork chops out of the boneless roast, seasoned,  vacuum sealed, and cooked sous vide for 2 hours at 160°F.
The main difference is that I didn't have any bones to make pork stock, so this time I used the juice from the sous vide bag to make the pork jus:

Take the contents of the sous vide bag and bring to a boil. Skim off any foam. Add a little soy sauce. Strain and serve as the jus for the pork chop.

As the final step: add a little olive oil to a hot sauté pan and sear the pork chop. I also made a little fried cabbage at the same time.
It all worked pretty much the same as before, and it really does make a very moist and tender pork chop. I only made two small pork chops; the remainder I made directly into four 3.0 oz. pre-cooked and pre-cut servings for stir fry. I think I prefer the bone-in version of the pork chop, though the boneless does make for easy stir-fry meat.

The Great Salad Experiment

salad1.jpgI like a good salad, but I don't like making salad at all. Part of the problem is that I like a salad with a variety of vegetables, and that's just a pain to make for one person. And pre-made salad does not stay fresh for long.

I thought about vacuum sealing a salad, but I was a bit concerned about all the plastic bags and the salad getting totally squished. Then I found the interesting idea of "salad in a jar."

The idea is fairly clever: The Tilia Food Saver vacuum sealer has a mason jar sealer attachment. You take a regular canning jar, put on the regular lid, then the vacuum attachment, and it sucks the air out of the jar, vacuuming the lid to the top of the jar. Then you remove the attachment. You can put on the screw on ring at this point, though it doesn't really need it. It's fast and doesn't require any plastic bags.

salad2.jpgThis works with any regular mouth mason jar - I was making small side salads so I used 16 oz. (pint) jars, but if you're making a meal-replacement salad, the 32 oz. (quart) jars would be a better choice.

The salad-in-a-jar woman only put lettuce in her jar. I put in romaine lettuce, a little piece of paper towel, then the rest of my veggies, which included: celery, carrot, broccoli (blanched), cucumber, green pepper, mushrooms, and sweet onions. I didn't add tomato since that was the least likely to succeed and tomatoes are best not refrigerated, anyway.

salad3.jpgWhile I was at it, I also prepared two jars, one with romaine lettuce cut with a knife, and one with lettuce that was torn. Both were vacuum sealed. I was skeptical about the whole cutting lettuce with a metal knife causes it to turn brown claim.

salad4.jpgAfter preparing my five complete side salads and two jars of lettuce I still had half a cucumber, half a green pepper, half an onion, and a little lettuce left. I decided to vacuum seal those to see if they held up better than they do normally.

salad5.jpgI packaged everything on a Monday morning and the plan was to see if I could make a whole week's salads in advance, and find out what does and does not keep. Here's what the salad looked like when it was made fresh:

salad6.jpgYou can click on any picture to get a larger view of it, by the way.

Tuesday - Day 1 (about 32 hours)

The salad looks great! The lettuce is basically indistinguishable from when it was fresh. The cucumber and green pepper dried out a little, but are still acceptable. Nothing got slimy, brown, or otherwise unhappy. Taste and texture is good. Success so far.

salad7.jpgsalad8.jpgThursday - Day 3 (about 80 hours)

The lettuce is holding up very well. Everything, except the cucumber, is looking good. I'd say cucumbers only last a couple days at most, which is not too surprising.

Vacuum sealing your own cut lettuce appears to be significantly better than buying bagged, prepared salad mix, which always looks fairly questionable in my supermarket, even before bringing it home. And making your own is much cheaper, too.

salad10.jpgFriday - Day 4 (about 104 hours)

The lettuce is still flawless. I'd say the cucumber and mushrooms are beginning to show their age, and we're getting to the limit for the fragile vegetables. We're looking good for lettuce to last a whole week, but salad with veggies is looking to be more of a half-week deal, for best results.

Saturday - Day 5 (about 128 hours)

This seems like about as long as the vegetables ought to be left cut in a jar. They look OK, the texture is normal, but it just seems like a good upper limit. And I was hungry for a salad and this was the last jar in the fridge.

salad13.jpgsalad14.jpgI still have the two jars of lettuce... I think I'll just leave them and see how long they last! The followup after two weeks is in part 2 of the great salad experiment.

In the next installment, I'll try some more fragile lettuce like green leaf, and I think I'll make an entire jar of lettuce and package the vegetables in a separate 4 oz. jelly jar since the lettuce seems to keep so well. We'll see how that works!

Update: I blanched my broccoli because I find raw broccoli in a salad is just too crunchy. As it turns out, it's really important because vacuum sealed uncooked broccoli smells really, really bad. I eventually found the technical reason for it, but should you feel tempted to put raw broccoli in your salad veggie mix, just say no.

Update: I've found this technique for opening vacuum sealed jars to work very well.

Update 6/20/2012
: I've made a new vacuum sealed salad post with my latest best practices, too.

Update 4/21/2014: I was reading Ideas in Food and it pointed out that there is a danger of botulism in vacuum sealed food, because botulinum toxin thrives in an air-free environment. I haven't killed myself yet, but botulism is very serious stuff, so it probably is a good idea to limit your refrigerated vacuum sealed vegetables to a few days to be safe.

Spare Ribs

ribs1.jpgI really like this sous vide preparation for ribs. They're moister than dry oven cooked ribs, and I like the texture better than braised ribs.

Update: This recipe for ribs was even better!

Preheat the sous vide machine to 160°F.

Start with a small (2.18 lb.) package of pork back ribs. Divide them so they'll fit into vacuum bags for the sous vide.

Seasoned them with a good coating of dry rub then vacuum seal.

ribs2.jpgSous vide for 4 hours at 160°F.

ribs3.jpgDrain the bags, put the ribs on a sheet pan, coat with barbecue sauce (about 4 oz.), broil until the sauce bubbles.
ribs4.jpgPictured above with skillet cornbread.


tonkatsu1.jpgTonkatsu (豚カツ), Japanese breaded, deep fried pork cutlet, is one of my favorite dishes. It's kind of like Wiener Schnitzel.

Start with a center cut pork roast, about 2.75 pounds. Remove the layer of fat and silverskin so you get a uniform, monolithic chunk of meat.

tonkatsu2.jpgThe easiest way to make the uniform thin slices is to freeze the roast for about 2 hours. Then make very thin slices - even thinner than what you get for "thin sliced boneless pork chops" at the grocery store.

tonkatsu3.jpgSeason with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Cover with plastic wrap and pound with a flat-faced mallet to make the slices even thinner.

Prepare a breading station with all-purpose flour, 3 eggs beaten with a little water, and panko breadcrumbs. The panko breadcrumbs really are necessary - definitely do not try to substitute regular grocery store breadcrumbs. In a pinch, pounding a bunch of Ritz or Town House-type crackers isn't a bad substitution, however.

tonkatsu5.jpgI find it works best to flour about 5 slices, then proceed with taking each slice and individually coating it completely in egg, then into the panko. Press the panko into the slice to make sure it sticks.

tonkatsu6.jpgDeep fry for 2 minutes at 360°F. After one minute, flip over. Make sure the slices are not too crowded, and should not overlap. You'll probably have to make quite a few batches, but it's not so bad since they don't take long to cook at all since they're so thin.

tonkatsu7.jpgThe completed tonkatsu. There was another partial sheet pan, as well.

tonkatsu8.jpgIt's served with "tonkatsu sauce" which is a slightly sweet dipping sauce that can be purchased in Asian grocery stores. I like mine a little saltier so I mix regular soy sauce (shoyu) with tonkatsu sauce. You could even use plain soy sauce.

Tonkatsu freezes well in a ziplock bag or a plastic container. Just make sure you reheat in an oven, or even a toaster oven, not the microwave. I heat it on a lightly greased sheet pan in the oven for 12 minutes at 350°F.

There are apparently regional and even family differences in the preparation of this dish. In particular, my family's version uses very thinly sliced pork, though there are some preparations with cuts from 1 to 2 cm thick.

There are also other katsu - including versions make with chicken, minced meat, ham, and beef. I've never had ham katsu, but I like saying "hamu katsu."

There's another post of the tonkatsu reheated.

Update 5/17/2012: Here's a nicer plating:

Update 1/27/2014: Instead of using the big deep fryer, I used a sauté pan on my induction hot plate at 360°F. It worked really well for smaller batches!


Weight Watchers recipe cards from 1974

Oh my. Weight Watchers recipe cards from 1974. I am glad the culinary world has evolved since then. They must be seen to be believed:

And I must make "fluffy mackerel pudding."


Plain Salmon (sous vide)

salmon1.jpgThis isn't so much a recipe, but the sort of thing I make when I don't feel like cooking something fancy. For a little fancier preparation, I recommend the maple-soy glazed salmon.

Preheat the sous vide machine to 140°F.

1.5 lbs. salmon (this is farm-raised organic Shetland salmon)
Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and olive oil. Cut into three pieces and vacuum seal.

Sous vide for 25 minutes.
salmon3.jpgThe salmon is very tender and extremely moist when prepared this way. 

The rice is plain rice with furikake, a mixture of sesame seeds, nori, and dried bonito fish. The sauce is just plain soy sauce.

Served with Hautmarin Vin de Pays de Côtes de Gascogne, en Bretangne d'Armagnac Columbard-Ugni Blanc 2007. It has strong citrus notes, almost like a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. The interesting thing about this wine is that it's 80 % Colombard and 20 % Ugni Blanc, the same grapes that are in Armagnac. I was pleasantly surprised, especially considering the price ($ 10.49).

The serving is 1/6th of the total amount cooked; I froze the remaining five portions for use as a quick meal from the freezer.


bacon1.jpgI love bacon! Unfortunately, it's kind of a pain to cook bacon in a sauté pan on the stove, and even more of a pain to cook one serving of bacon. Fortunately, I discovered two things:

1. Cooked bacon freezes well
2. You can cook bacon on a sheet pan in the oven

Knowing this is a good or bad thing, depending on how much bacon you want to consume.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Arrange 1 pound of bacon on a half sheet pan (13x18). You really need a food service style sheet pan, not a cookie sheet, since grease will flow off the latter and probably set your oven on fire. A "jelly roll pan" has higher sides, but would be too small to hold a full pound of bacon.

It works best if you arrange it the way shown, mostly not overlapping, bunching it up as necessary. It will shrink significantly while cooking, and this arrangement works the best for me.
bacon2.jpgI prepare two pounds of bacon in two sheet pans in the oven at the same time.

Cook the bacon in the oven for 25 minutes, one on a middle rack and one a few inches below that.

Swap the top and bottom pans, and rotate each 180°. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Remove from the oven when all pieces look cooked.

Remove the pieces from the sheet pan and drain on paper towels. It's likely that several of the pieces will stick together and it's much easier to separate them with your hands when cool, rather than trying to do it with tongs while they're hot.

When done, you'll have a big bag o' bacon to put in the freezer.
bacon3.jpgThe frozen bacon can be reheated in a sauté pan, griddle, on a sheet pan in the oven (about 15 minutes at 350°F), or even in the microwave (about 50 seconds).

Very surprisingly, cooking bacon in your oven does not, in fact, coat the inside of your oven in bacon grease. The sheet pans are easy to clean, much easier than my sauté pan. A win all around.

Updated pictures:

Here are two pans of Vermont Smoke and Cure hand-cut bacon. They look emptier because they're only 12 oz. per package/pan instead of 16 oz.. And the slices are thicker. It only takes about 23 minutes to cook two pans of this bacon.

And I switched to using a cooling grid for cooling and draining the bacon, instead of paper towels:

And I've found the best technique for storing it is to put the bacon single layers in a zip-lock bag, separated by wax paper. This keeps the slices from freezing together into one big block of bacon.

Update 10/24/2011: The cooking time varies greatly depending on your bacon, your oven, rack position, your pans, etc.. Here's the formula I've been using with Oscar Mayer thick cut bacon, since I can't get Vermont Smoke and Cure bacon here.

20 minutes at 400°F
Rotate the pans 180°F, keeping the top and bottom rack in the same position
4 minutes more, then remove the top pan
4 minutes more, then remove the bottom pan

Update 7/18/2012: I slightly modified the times again.

Italian Bread

bread1.jpgCiabatta is one of my favorite kinds of Italian style bread. It's great dipped in olive oil and served with spaghetti, marinara, and Italian sausage. It's crusty on the outside and filled with big holes on the inside, making it light.

This recipe, however, did not produce ciabatta. It did produce a very delicious white Italian bread that on the outside looked kind of like ciabatta. I'm pretty sure it was my fault for not following the original instructions properly, presumably in the handling the the dough. I think I was overzealous in the stretch part of stretch and fold and compressed out all of the air pockets in the bread. In any case...

I finally succeeded in making this, with Ciabatta #4!

This is a recipe for delicious Italian bread that may or may not produce ciabatta.

The day before, make the poolish:

11.25 oz. bread flour
12 oz. water, at room temperature
0.03 oz. instant yeast

Combine the ingredients until the flour is hydrated. It should look like thick pancake batter. Lumps are OK.

Loosely cover and let ferment for 3 - 4 hours at room temperature until bubbly.

bread2.jpgRefrigerate overnight.

Remove the poolish from the refrigerator 1 hour before you want to begin making the bread.

13.5 oz. unbleached bread flour
0.44 oz. salt
0.17 oz. instant yeast

Stir together the ingredients in the mixer bowl. Add:

22.75 oz. poolish (should be all of what you made, above)
3 oz. water at room temperature (may take as many as 6 oz.)

Mix with the paddle attachment until a good ball of dough forms, then switch the to the dough hook. Knead for 7 minutes.

Divide the dough in half. I got two 1 lb. 3.5 oz. loaves. Form into a rough rectangle. Let rest for 2 minutes.

Grab the short sides of the rectangle and pull so the long side of the rectangle is double its previous length. Then fold the ends into overlapping thirds - letterfold. Sprinkle the top with flour, mist with oil, then cover loosely with plastic. Let rest for 30 minutes.
bread3.jpgFlip the dough over, rotate 90°, the repeat the stretch and fold, stretching the opposite way you did before. Sprinkle the top with flour, mist with oil, then cover loosely with plastic. Let ferment and rise for 90 minutes.

Flip the dough over, rotate 90°, the repeat the stretch and fold, again. Place the two loaves next to each other, separated by a piece of parchment paper. Sprinkle the top with flour, mist with oil, then cover loosely with plastic. Let ferment and rise for 60 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 500°F. Put a small roasting pan or other suitable steam pan in a rack below the rack where you'll be baking the bread.

Heat a kettle of water. You'll need about a cup of boiling water.

Dust a half sheet pan with cornmeal. Carefully lift each loaf and place it on the sheet pan. A peel or very large spatula dusted with cornmeal helps.

Stretch the dough, if necessary, so the loaf is 9 - 12 inches long.

Put the sheet pan of bread in the oven. Pour about a cup of hot water in the steam pan. Be careful, as hot water may splash out.

Close the oven door and bake for 2 minutes at 500°F. Then lower the heat to 450°F and bake for 8 more minutes.

Rotate the sheet pan 180° and bake for 5 to 10 more minutes, or until the temperature of the center of the bread reaches 205°F.
bread4.jpgThis recipe is from The Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart, pp. 136-139, which has significantly more detailed instructions on how to make this bread, and many others. If you follow the directions correctly, I'm pretty confident the result will be ciabatta, as I've had very good luck with the other recipes.

Spicy Vegetarian Chili

chili1.jpgThis is a very tasty vegetarian (actually, should be vegan) chili recipe. It's full of vegetables and great flavors.

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
2 jalapeños, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 chipotles in adobo, chopped
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. dried oregano
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes, with liquid
3 cups water (was previously 4 cups)
1 15 oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz. can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz. can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
salt to taste

I also have a new recipe with beef that I like a lot as well.

There's quite a bit of chopping involved, but the vegetables are worth the effort!

chili2.jpgHeat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrot, and celery and sweat until the onions are translucent, about 4 minutes.

Add the green and red peppers, jalapeños, and garlic and cook for 8 minutes or until softened. Do not brown.

Add the chipotles and some adobo and the dried spices and stir to combine. The adobo adds some spice and a slightly smoky flavor. I vacuum seal and freeze the rest of the contents of the can for future recipes.

Add tomatoes and their liquid, and 3 cups of water. This recipe cooks the entire time uncovered on the stove. If you adjust to a covered preparation, such as a crockpot, make sure you reduce the amount of water, maybe to 2 cups, otherwise you'll get soup instead of chili. Simmer uncovered for 45 minutes.

Add the beans. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.

You can pick just about any canned bean for this recipe. You could also start with dried beans, but you would need to cook them before adding them to the chili. You want about 4 1/2 cups of cooked beans.

chili3.jpgMakes a little more than 6 servings of 12 ounces each. Served with skillet cornbread in the picture at the top of the page. It freezes well.

This recipe was based on a great recipe from Whole Foods. I added the jalapeño, but otherwise the recipe is pretty much the same.

Update: I did the nutrition facts calculation for this recipe and, not surprisingly, it's excellent! 218 calories per 12 oz. serving. Information from

vegchili_nf.jpgI also have a recipe that has beef, that I really like.

Update December 2, 2017

I made this again and it was still really good. I reduced the water from 3 cups to 2 cups because I can better simmer on my induction hot plate (setting 2) and not as much water evaporates.

Reducing the portion size to around 11 oz. allows for 7 servings, as well.

It's also good with a side Caesar salad and a little cheese.


Skillet Cornbread

cornbread1.jpgGreat with spicy vegetarian chili!
1 1/2 c. yellow cornmeal
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 oz. butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
1 c. buttermilk (or substitute regular milk)

3 tbsp. vegetable oil (such as canola)

Preheat oven and an oven-proof sauté pan to 400°F.

Combine the dry ingredients (first 6) in a large bowl. Add egg, buttermilk, melted butter, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened.

When pan is hot, remove from the oven, add the oil, and coat the pan. Add the batter, return to the oven, and bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.
When done, with any luck you can just flip the sauté pan over and the cornbread will happily come out in once piece. Let cool on a wire rack.

I usually cut it into 8 serving pie-shaped pieces, but in retrospect when serving with vegetarian chili, it would make more sense to cut it in 6 pieces since that's the number of servings of chili the recipe makes.

Some care is needed when vacuum sealing unfrozen cornbread. I found that 15 seconds (0.08 MPa) works to avoid making a cornbread pancake. In any case, it freezes well - even just in a ziplock bag.

This recipe is a combination of this recipe and this recipe.

Teriyaki Flank Steak (sous vide)

flank1.jpgI love this preparation of flank steak! It's flavorful, moist, and tender, which is a pretty difficult combination to achieve using any technique other than sous vide. The 3 1/2 hour cooking time breaks down the collagen for tenderness, but the 134°F cooking temperature makes it come out medium rare!

Make about a cup of teriyaki sauce. A pre-packaged teriyaki marinade is OK, but the sauce commonly found in the supermarket is far too thick. You can easily make your own by heating in a sauce pan:

6 oz. soy sauce
1 oz. sake (rice wine, or dry sherry)
2 tbsp. sugar
ginger, peeled and minced
garlic, minced

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer and simmer for 5 minutes. Reserve a few ounces for a dipping sauce.

Cool the remaining sauce.

Preheat the sous vide machine to 134°F.

Take a 1.5 lb. flank steak and trim any excess fat and silverskin.
flank2.jpgIf necessary, cut it so it will conveniently fit into a vacuum bag. Vacuum seal. One of the advantages of the vacuum sealing method is that it greatly reduces the amount of marinade that you need over traditional marinating in a container.
flank3.jpgSous vide for 3 1/2 hours at 134°F. This combination is slightly controversial since technically the meat will be in the danger zone close to 4 hours. The temperature is so close to 140°F, however, bacterial growth, if any, would likely occur very slowly and take more than 4 hours to reach critical levels.

Let the meat rest for 15 minutes before thinly slicing, across the grain.

Wine chiller organized!


Chana Masala

channa_masala.jpgThis tasty and healthy dish isn't quite authentic, but I still enjoy it very much.

There is an updated version of this recipe as Chana Masala #2 that's double this recipe, and with more tips and pictures, but otherwise the same.

1 tbsp. butter
1 small onion, diced (small)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tbsp. coriander, ground
1 tsp. cumin, ground
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper, ground
1/2 tsp. turmeric, ground
1 Italian plum tomato, diced
4 oz. water (1/2 cup)
1 15 oz. can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. garam masala
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 lemon, juice only
1 jalapeño, stemmed and minced
1 tbsp. ginger, minced

Melt butter in a sauté pan over medium heat.

Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Add the coriander, cumin, cayenne, turmeric. Stir thoroughly and heat for 30 seconds.

Add the tomatoes, cook for a minute.

Add the water and chickpeas, increase the heat to bring to boil.

Reduce the heat to simmer, add the paprika, garam masala, salt, lemon juice, jalapeño, and ginger. Cook for 10 minutes.

Serves 2.

If the sauce is too thin at the end, you can crush a few of the chickpeas with a spoon and stir into the sauce to thicken it.

Garam masala is a dried spice mixture that can be found in Indian markets.

This recipe was based off a recipe on, which I can no longer find. That recipe, however, was based off:

I vacuum seal and freeze the remaining portion. To reheat, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the frozen vacuum-sealed bag and bring back to a boil. Lower the heat to simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. This makes a great quick lunch when reheated.

Updated 1/7/2012: Include the stems and ribs of the jalapeño, increase cayenne from 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. and cooked the entire time uncovered.


granola1.jpgI really like this recipe for granola; the recipe below is basically unchanged.

1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used canola). Also very tasty with 1 stick of melted butter.
1/2 cup maple syrup (real maple syrup, of course)
1 cup raw wheat germ
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
3 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats (not instant or quick oats)
1 1/2 cups mixed nuts (I used walnuts and pecans)
2 cups mixed dried fruit (I used raisins, cranberries, and cherries)

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Mix the oil, maple syrup, wheat germ, vanilla extract, and salt in a large bowl. Add the oats and nuts and mix thoroughly.

Spread on a sheet pan with a silpat and bake for 15 minutes. Stir and bake for 5 minutes. Stir and bake for 5 more minutes until lightly browned.

Add the dried fruit and let cool.

The real recipe skips the sheet pan, but baking it in the bowl doesn't let it really dry out evenly. And without the silpat, you may end up with the maple sticking the the sheet pan.

To keep the granola fresh, I divide it, vacuum seal it, and freeze it in packages for later defrosting. The portion I'm using just sits in an airtight glass jar at room temperature.
granola2.jpgTo serve, I take a container of Greek yogurt, add a couple tablespoons of maple syrup and 1/3 c. of granola and have a tasty snack or light meal.

Chicken Balsamic

Note: There is an updated, and I think better, recipe as Chicken Balsamic #2.

This is just a simple chicken dish that seems appropriate for a cold evening.

2 chicken breasts
8 oz. chicken stock
mushrooms, sliced
shallot, minced
balsamic vinegar

Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Add olive oil to a hot sauté pan medium-high heat. Sear one side of the chicken breast. Flip the chicken over and add the shallot.
balsamic2.jpgWhen the other side is browned, add the chicken stock and some balsamic vinegar, to taste (a couple tablespoons or more).

Add the mushrooms.

Heat, uncovered, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160°F, about 10-15 minutes. Remove the chicken.

Reduce the sauce. Serve. Pictured with garlic mashed potatoes.

Chicken Soup

soup1.jpgHomemade chicken stock with chicken
Soba Noodles (Japanese buckwheat noodles)

Bring the chicken stock and chicken to a boil. Add the soba noodles and cook according to directions. For my noodles, this was 6 minutes. Once the pot comes back to a boil, reduce the heat slightly.

When almost fully cooked, add a handful of fresh spinach. It shouldn't need to cook more than 20 seconds to wilt.

Season with soy sauce and pepper. The soy sauce gives it the darker color in the picture; you could substitute salt which would leave it normal "chicken broth" color. I used homemade chicken broth which had no added salt; if you used packaged broth you might not need any added salt at all.


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