Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Chicken Fried Rice: Biggest Loser Recipe Makeover #4

Somehow I lucked into making this because I had forgotten to thaw the pork for this dinner. I also happened to get the white rice from the Chinese restaurant because we had gotten some chicken with broccoli for dinner the other night. This is my first attempt at making fried rice and of course, we all know how much I love to use my wok. I was surprised at how close this was to the original, even though J though it was a little bland.

Chicken Fried Rice (adapted from Weight Watchers)
3 oz. chicken breast diced
1 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce, divided
2 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 clove garlic, grated
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp peanut oil
1/2 small onion, diced (I used red because it was on hand)
4 scallions, sliced
1 carrot, diced
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 cup frozen peas
2 cups cooked white rice, cold

  1. Combine the chicken, half of the oyster sauce, the ginger, garlic, and 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil in a small bowl; set aside.

  2. Heat the peanut oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add the chicken mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the chicken begins to brown, about 3 minutes.

  3. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the chopped scallions for garnish. Add the remaining scallions, onion and the carrot to the chicken in the wok. Cook, stirring constantly, until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the egg, stirring quickly and constantly with a wooden spoon until the egg begins to set, about 2 minutes.

  4. Stir the rice, soy sauce, the remaining oyster sauce, and the remaining 1 teaspoon sesame oil into the skillet. Cook, stirring frequently, until the rice is heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the peas and cook, stirring, until heated through, about 2 minutes. Serve sprinkled with the reserved 2 tablespoons scallions. Serves 3-4.
Feel free to add a little additional soy sauce while it is cooking if you prefer it a little darker.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Quinoa Pilaf

I have definitely been MIA the past few weeks. I haven't felt like posting the first few weeks of school. We are doing another Biggest Loser competition and I have been trying to exercise more often. J has been hounding me to eat less chicken breast and pork tenderloin (even though these are the items that have been on sale). This week I left him at the seafood counter while I searched for something in another aisle so that he would make a decision and pick out some fish. He decided on haddock, which I had never cooked before. I put it in a pan with a little oil, salt and pepper. It honestly wasn't too bad. As a side I had found this recipe for quinoa on the Weight Watchers website. This particular recipe I cut in half, more or less. This was my second foray into the world of cooking quinoa. The first time I was making it for my grad school dinners. Sadly, I burned it up. I was a little gun shy remembering the awful taste of the quinoa salad I had made in July, that it took me until the now to try it again.

Quinoa Pilaf (adapted from Weight Watchers)
1 tsp canola oil
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 tbsp raisins
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 canned chicken broth
2 tbsp salted dry roasted pistachios, chopped
1 tbsp cilantro, chopped

  1. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add shallot and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until shallot is transparent, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Add quinoa; toast for 1 minute.
  4. Stir in raisins, cinnamon, salt and pepper.
  5. Pour in broth; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until quinoa bursts its skin, is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
  6. Remove cover and fluff quinoa mixture with a fork.
  7. Just before serving, sprinkle with pistachios and cilantro.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Return to American Flatbread

One of my favorite places to eat is American Flatbread. I've said before that my family makes a point to go there once during the week of our vacation. I personally love trying the specials each year. The mystery of what is it going to be this year makes the anticipation of going so great. If I had any experience

This is a picture from their website.

This year my uncle, who had never been before came with us, which meant that we got to try some new things on the menu that we normally pass up. Here is a photo of the Specials menu:
We got to try the special salad and this year we also had the Evolution salad:
This is the salad. Take a close look at the bowl and tongs. We went to the wood market and got these for early Christmas presents. The bowl I got is the perfect size for 2 to 3 people for salad.
We also had some of the pizzas. The Med Bread and the Cheese and Herb, as well as the sausage with mushrooms, pepperoni and one of each of the specials.I thought this would have been the best of the pizzas. This is the special with beets and potatoes. I thought the best part was the rosemary honey but the pizza wasn't quite as wonderful as I had hoped. I think the beets would have been preferable in slices rather than chunks.
This is a picture of the other special, the bolognese. I thought it was very tasty but it needed a tiny bit of salt or parm. cheese.
This is the sausage and mushroom, which is probably my favorite regular menu pizza.
This is the pepperoni and peppers from the regular menu. My uncle who made the new banner picked this and we were glad he did because it really was quite delicious. If you can get the chance to eat at American Flatbread I highly recommend it.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Trattoria Delia (Burlington, VT)

The annual Vermont trip this year was quite a good time. I got back about a month ago but with school starting I've been super busy. This year we decided to eat out more than usual. One night we drive up to Burlington. I really like the city, you can see Lake Champlain and it just has a really nice atmosphere. Sometimes when I'm in Vermont in the summer, I wish that I had gone to college in Vermont. Then I remember that most of the school year is winter weather and I realize that I made the right choice.

But I digress...

This year we went to one of the most well known restaurants in Burlington, Trattoria Delia, on St. Paul St. just around the corner from Church St. which is closed to traffic (pedestrians ONLY). We were a little early for our reservation, so we took a look around. A former military fellow was walking by and advised on several menu items, touting the Veal Saltimbocca. The strange thing was that he was loitering around the door when we finished several hours later as well.

As usual, I don't have the best pictures of the meal and sadly, I probably don't remember everything that we had. Pretty much everything that we had was delicious. I was extremely please with my meal.

To start we had Calamari Fritti, Lumache alla Sambuca (Sauteed snails with herbs, butter and olive oil, flamed with Sambuca, then served over wood-grilled country bread. ), Batu D'anatra (House made duck confit with agrodolce yellow and red peppers sauteed with Vermont honey, aged balsamic vinegar and garlic), and something with proscuitto, but I don't remember what. I haven't had snails in a long time and they were great! I think my least favorite was the duck confit.

For dinner I don't quite remember everyone's meal but: my grandmother had the pasta parm (Rigatoni baked in a clay pot with our tomato basil sauce, a veal meatball and sweet sausage, topped with fried eggplant and our homemade mozzarella), we also got to try Gnocchi al Tartufato (handmade potato gnocchi in a truffled sauce with sausage, sweet Vermont cream and Grana Padano cheese) which was probably my favorite out of everything. I had the Taglioloni al Mare e Monte (wide ribbons of fresh egg pasta with pan-seared Atlantic sea scallops, imported porcini mushrooms, white wine and Vermont cream), which was delicious and I would get again. Somebody got the Veal Saltimbocca, very nice as well. I think my uncle got the rabbit special. All I have left for pics is a super blurry photo of the veal (worse than the scallop photo), so I'm not going to bother posting it. At the end of the meal we tasted a few desserts. The only thing that I would say was lacking in the evening was the service. Our server had a little bit of an attitude.