Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sesame Garlic Long Beans

Long beans w chickenNot only does this vegetable dish cook up quickly, but it's also a nice change from the standard green beans. A little spicy, definitely savory and pretty on the plate. Here you see the long beans tied in knots and served along with soy-marinated chicken breasts.

Sesame Garlic Long Beans
1 lb long beans (or green beans)
3 cloves garlic
½ tsp red pepper flake
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp dark sesame oil
1 Tbsp white sesame seeds (toasted or raw)

Bring a pot of salty water to a boil, and blanch the long beans until they are crisp tender with an emerald green color. Shock in icy cold water to stop the cooking process, drain and set aside. You may tie bunches of 3-4 long beans together into knots for a pretty presentation.

Heat olive oil and sesame oil in a large skillet or on a flat top. Toss the long beans, garlic and pepper flake in the oil and cook until the garlic is tender and begins to brown. Remove to serving dish and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Marinated Chicken with Braised Baby Bok Choy

Baby bok choyThis is a great dish for grill day. Throw the chicken on the grill and the bok choy are "braised" on the stove top for a fast vegetable accompaniment.

Marinated Chicken with Braised Baby Bok Choy

For the Chicken
1 ½ to 2 lbs of chicken breasts
¼ cup miso tamari or soy sauce
1 stalk lemongrass, chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
2” piece of ginger, peeled and grated

For the Bok Choy
2 lbs baby bok choy, ends trimmed, separated
½ tsp crushed red pepper
1 Tbsp agave nectar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/4-1/2 cup water

To marinate chicken, combine miso tamari, lemon grass, garlic and ginger in a large bowl. Toss the chicken in to coat and let marinate 20 minutes or up to overnight.

Cook chicken on a preheated grill or griddle five minutes on each side or until no longer pink in the middle (depends on the thickness of the chicken breasts. Those pterodactyl breasts from YDFM can cook for 20 mins!) :et cook chicken breasts sit to redistribute the juices.

To "braise" bok choy, heat water with soy sauce and agave nectar in a large pot until simmering. Stir in the bok choy and crushed red pepper and continue cooking over med-high heat until all of the liquid evaporates and the bok choy is lightly glazed. If using large bok choy, separate the greens from whites and cook the whites first for 3-5 minutes, and stir in the greens toward the end of cooking (the last 3-5 minutes) just to wilt until tender.

To serve, slice the chicken breasts and serve over a bed of the bok choy. Garnish the dish with crushed toasted peanuts or sesame seeds.

Chilled Udon Noodle salad, Gingered Shiitakes and Green Onions

Chilled udon salad with shiitakesThis is a quick and easy meal that would even benefit from the addition of silken tofu or cool edamame, or leftover meat like shredded pork or chicken or even shrimp. Bring this to the next hot-day pot luck as a cool side dish and a tasty alternative to that same ol' same ol' pasta salad. Fresh herbs give it a lovely freshness so use whatever is on hand: cilantro, basil, mint. Also give your serving a squeeze of fresh lime juice for a bright finish!

Chilled Udon Noodle salad, Gingered Shiitakes and Green Onions
1 pkg dried udon noodles
1 red bell pepper
2 pints shiitake mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
2” piece of ginger, peeled and grated
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3-5 scallions, whites and greens separated
2 Tbsp dark sesame oil
1-2 Tbsp miso tamari or soy sauce
2 handfulls of cilantro, roughly chopped

Cook noodles according to package directions until just al dente. Rinse with cold water, drain and toss with 1 Tbsp of the dark sesame oil. Set aside.

Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a skillet and sauté mushrooms with scallion whites, garlic and ginger. Add remaining sesame oil and miso tamari (or soy sauce). Cook until all of the liquid is absorbed.

Toss bell pepper and mushroom mixture into the noodles and garnish with sliced scallion greens and cilantro. Refrigerate or serve immediately. If refrigerated, check seasonings prior to serving, and moisten with a little more sesame oil and/or soy sauce as needed.

Turkey Lemongrass Pot Stickers with Asian Cabbage Slaw


Fried dumplings are delicious. And usually filled with pork and deep fried. My pork-a-thon version of pot stickers and dumplings can be found HERE.

But for the last TASTY II class with Spicy Wife, I wanted to make them just a wee bit healthier and slightly less labor intensive, so I used ground turkey here and pan-fry them (think saute). You can omit even more fat by skipping the sesame oil in the filling, and baking or even steaming your pot stickers. Still the addition of lemongrass, garlic, ginger and scallions keeps the flavor out of this world! A touch of crushed red pepper brings just enough heat to warm you through.

Turkey Lemongrass Pot Stickers with Asian Cabbage Slaw

For Pot Stickers
1 lb ground turkey (not purely breast meat b/c it’s too dry)
1 pkg pot sticker or wonton wrappers
1 stalk lemongrass, white part, minced
2” piece of ginger, peeled and grated
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 scallions, green and whites, sliced
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flake
1 Tbsp dark sesame oil
1 Tbsp miso tamari or soy sauce

Heat 1-2 Tbsp oil in a skillet and cook the turkey with garlic, lemongrass and scallion together. As the turkey browns stir in ginger and crushed red pepper, sesame oil and soy sauce. Set aside and let cool, draining off any excess liquid.

Once the turkey mixture is cool, lay out 3-6 pot sticker or dumpling wrappers on a dry cutting board, and place 1 tsp of the turkey mixture on the center of each.

Dampen the edge of half the wrapper with a wet finger.

Fold the wrappers in half (diagonally if they are square) and pinch to crimp the wrapper shut. Continue until you use all of the wrappers.

Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a pan or on a flat top. Cook pot stickers on each side for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.

For Slaw

2 cups savoy or nappa cabbage, shredded
1 cup red cabbage, shredded
2 cups mung bean sprouts (or any other sprout)
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 medium carrot, shredded
2 scallions, sliced
¼ cup cilantro leaves
¼ cup mint leaves
3 Tbsp dark sesame oil
¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
¼ cup sweet rice wine
¼ rice wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp black sesame seeds

Combine sesame oil, soy sauce, sweet rice wine, rice wine vinegar in a small bowl to make dressing.

Toss together the remaining ingredients in a large bowl with just enough dressing to coat the slaw. Reserve the rest as a dip for the pot stickers.

To serve, place the slaw on a platter, sprinkle with the sesame seeds, top with the warm pot stickers and served the dip on the side.