April 28, 2010

Teriyaki Habanero BBQ Chicken

I was in the mood for BBQ chicken. More specifically, I wanted chicken strips, like the kind you find on any restaurant's appetizer menu. Here's the kicker, I didn't want the chicken deep fried (calorie city) and I didn't want a BBQ sauce saturated with high fructose corn syrup, artificial ingredients, and additives. So I figured I would make my own homemade oven baked fried chicken and sauce. I started with the Teriyaki Habanero BBQ sauce and I wanted a balance of sweet, tangy, and spicy (hot). Then I made an oven baked fried chicken; buttermilk base, like the kind grandma use to make (without the fryer). This is what I came up with:

Teriyaki Habanero BBQ sauce (diabetic friendly)
3/4 cup ketchup
1/2 c reduce sodium soy sauce
1/4 c rice vinegar
3 cloves garlic roasted and mashed
1 1/4 c splenda
1 tsp sugar free breakfast syrup
1 tsp of minced habanero pepper
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp garlic chili paste
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp ancho chili powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp cracked black pepper

Combine all ingredients together in a heavy bottom skillet over medium heat. Bring sauce to a boil, then cover and simmer for 30 mins.

Right before it hits the oven

Oven fried chicken
4 chicken breast halves
2 cups corn flakes
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup low fat buttermilk
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp sage
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp ground thyme
2 tsp cracked black pepper
sea salt to taste

Set oven to 400 degrees

Rinse chicken breast thoroughly, pat dry. Using a meat tenderizer, tenderize meat to 1/2 inch even thickness, then set aside. Take corn flakes and put them in a sandwich baggy and process to crumbs, then set aside. Take a medium size bowl and add flour, then set aside. Take another medium size bowl and add buttermilk, mustard, cayenne pepper, thyme, and sage, mix well and set aside. Season chicken with the seasonings listed above (to taste). Then take chicken and lightly coat with flour (shaking off excess), then dredge in buttermilk mixture and roll in corn flakes. Place chicken in a large baking dish and bake for 12 minutes on each side or until internal temperature reaches 165. Bush on sauce during final 5 mins of baking. Remove from oven and set aside for at least 5 mins at which the internal temperature of chicken should reach 170 and the juices will properly distribute. The chicken should be moist, juicy, and tender. You can then slice into strips or enjoy whole. Enjoy!

April 22, 2010

Southwestern style Black bean tofu burgers

This was an experiment that I thought I would try, since I had tofu left over from my previous post. I have this thing about wasting good food and since the self life of tofu is short, I thought I would keep the "tofu" theme going for this week. It's also a healthy alternative to your beef burger counterpart. Now I first have to say that my favorite type of cuisines with regards to flavor are Caribbean, Jamaican, Southwestern, and Asian fusion. So most of my posts will reflect these flavors. But remember as a foodie, I keep a very open mind about trying new things. I decided on a southwestern flavor for these burgers.

15 oz can of black beans drained and rinsed
7 oz tofu drained, dried, and chopped
10 oz diced tomatoes with green chili
1 cup quick cooking oats
3 scallions chopped
1 tbsp ancho chili powder
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp garlic powder
2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp of fresh chopped parsley
1 tsp red pepper
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp crack black pepper
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp thyme powder
1 tbsp splenda or sugar
sea salt to taste
1 egg

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients together. Using a potato masher, mash all the ingredients together until it forms a nice solid mass. The Mass will be very moist, this is fine. Refrigerate the mixture for at least 1 hour so that the flavor is absorb and more pronounced.

Preheat oven to 400
Take a cookie sheet lined with parchment (if you have it) and form the mixture into 1/4 inch disks. Bake in the oven for 30-35mins. It will be nice and browned on the outside and moist on the inside. Let it rest for at least 5 minutes before serving, enjoy.

Just before they hit the oven

Just out of the oven, browned and ready for serving


April 20, 2010

Pad Thai Tofu Pizza

I got the inspiration for this dish from the love of Thai food, but more specifically, chicken pad Thai. I don't consider myself any thing close to a vegan, but as a foodie, I like to keep an open mind. I've never had the pleasure of working with tofu and so I figured there is no time like the present. I also choose tofu because it's a healthy alternative to fatty and calorie dense meats. Tofu is known as a
beancurd and is made by boiling soy beans, mashing and then sieving them to make soy milk. The milk is then curdled with a coagulant and then pressed into different types. I'm using firm organic tofu from Trader Joes for this recipe. Firm tofu is sold in solid blocks and can be cubed or sliced and used in all sorts of dishes. Tofu alone is quite tasteless, but can readily take on other flavors, when introduced. I Started with a Pad Thai inspired marinade listed below.

Pad Thai Marinade
1/4 cup rice vinegar
3 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/3 c splenda
2 tsp oyster sauce
1 1/2 tbsp tamarind paste
1 1/2 tsp peanut butter
1 tsp seasame oil
1 tsp garlic chili paste
1 tsp ground ginger
fresh cracked black pepper

Combine all ingredients and whisk until combined
Slice tofu into 1/2 inch cubes, place in a medium bowl, add marinade and place in the frig for at least 1 hour.

Pad Thai Pizza Sauce
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar
3 tbsp of tomato paste
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup splenda
2 tsp ginger
fresh black pepper to taste
Pad Thai marinade

Heat olive oil and sesame oil in a medium size pan over med-high heat, add garlic and cook until light brown. Add rice vinegar and reduce to about half, then add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes. The sauce is ready.

Whole wheat crust, prebaked - Recipe
sliced red onions
chopped scallions
marinaded tofu
chopped celery
sliced mushrooms
shaved carrots
Bean spouts
chopped peanuts
Pizza blend cheese

The proportions of the ingredients are up to you.
Baked at 500 for about 12 mins or until cheese is melted, bubbling, and slightly brown. Enjoy!

April 19, 2010

Tazo's African Red Bush Tea - Reviewed

I was given a sample of this tea by my father, who I call, the ultimate purveyor of tea. Since I instantly fell in love with it, I felt it only fitting to discuss my experience. First of all I have to admit that I am a fan of
Tazo brand teas and this tea is definitely another favorite. Although they call this tea an herbal infusion tea, I would have considered it a spicy tea, why? Keep reading. The tea gets its name from the ingredient rooibos or "red bush." Rooibos are part of the legume family of plants and are grown in a small area in the South Africa's Western Cape Province region. The tea also contains lemon, orange peel, hibiscus, and rosemary as ingredients.The rosemary is subtle and not overwhelming adding an wonderful earthy profile to the flavor. The tea is traditionally enjoy with a splash of lemon and honey and that is how I enjoyed it. I also suggest adding a splash of vanilla soy, cinnamon, and fresh grated nutmeg to be enjoyed as a dessert tea. Since I was sick last week, the soothing nature of this tea coupled with a squeeze of lemon and splash of honey, certainly assisted with the healing process.

April 11, 2010

Strawberry Cake

I love when fresh fruits are in season, especially strawberries. What better way to celebrate strawberry season, than with a cake. Making strawberry cake is a real treat only because I rarely get a chance to make them. They don't seem to be everyone's favorite cake flavor, but I like to consider it an "unsung" hero in the cake world. One thing I have to note about this cake, it's not just a white cake with strawberry frosting. It's a strawberry cake (made with real strawberries) with fresh strawberry filling (not preserves), and strawberry cream cheese frosting. Now if that doesn't make your mouth water, than maybe the picture will. A word about dipping strawberries it's not hard and can be fun. I made this cake for my sister-in-law's birthday. Enjoy!