Turkey Leftovers Pad Thai

Turkey turkey turkey. Lots of it. After Thanksgiving dinner my parents sent us home with practically ALL the leftovers. I made an entire recreation of my dinner the next day, but then didn’t really touch anything. I decided to get a little crafty and use the turkey meat for a pad thai experiment. It worked.

While most pad thai has crushed peanuts and bean sprouts, I skipped them this time. Not for any taste reasons, but my little produce bodega didn’t have any sprouts and I was a little lazy to crush peanuts. The next time I make this I’ll spruce it up. You can use any meat with this recipe, which is great for leftovers. If you cook chicken or beef fresh, do it separately and add to the pan once you add in the noodles and sauce.

For the sauce:
1/4 cup fish sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons lemon or lime juice – lime would probably be better, I used lemon and it was great
1 teaspoon Sriracha – or more, to your heat preference
1/3 cup brown sugar

For the noodles:
One box rice noodles – I used a bit more than half of a 14oz box that I had leftover

For the stir fry:
One bunch green onions, chopped with light and dark parts separated
4 garlic cloves, chopped or minced
One handful of sliced carrots – use more or less depending on how much slicing you care to do
1 (or more) eggs – I only used 1 but would likely use 2 or more when I make this again
Chopped cilantro to top
Lime wedges

Bring a pot of water to a boil for the noodles. Use the directions on the package, which should say to remove the pot from heat when you add the noodles. Cook for the time noted.

Mix the sauce ingredients in a bowl and whisk until the brown sugar is dissolved. Set aside until stir fry and noodles are ready.

Heat a pan or wok with the oil of your choice over medium high heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, then add the light onion bits and carrots. Stir fry the veggies until they soften, then add the egg and scramble until cooked. At this point add in any cooked meat or tofu you have and toss in the sauce.

Once the noodles are cooked drain them and rinse in cool water. Add them to the pan that has the veggies and sauce, mix everything up to coat. Serve topped with the dark green onion bits, some chopped cilantro, and a couple lime wedges. This is where you’d add in the bean sprouts and peanuts if using them.

This recipe can be edited in many ways. More garlic, more heat, less onion or no meat at all. Play around with it and find your favorite variation. Leftovers get a bad rap, but this is one fun way to make them exciting.

Post to Twitter

Slow Cooker Short Ribs

The temps have finally fallen and San Francisco feels like Fall. After a very drawn out late Summer, we’ve enjoyed some decent rain and blustery breezes. I’m excited for jackets and scarves, but even more so for feel-good Fall food. This rich meal pulls a lot of flavor with not a lot of work. Your slow cooker will be your best friend.

2 pounds beef short ribs, for me this was 4 large ribs
1 medium or large onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, sliced or chopped
1 package mushrooms, sliced
1 cup baby carrots
2 beef or chicken stock cubes, or 1/2 cup liquid stock
A few dashes of cinnamon

Season the ribs all over with salt and pepper, then brown in olive oil or vegetable oil. Once browned on all sides put the ribs into the slow cooker. Using the same pan you used to brown, add the onion, garlic, and mushrooms. Cook until the onions are turning translucent and the mushrooms are releasing their liquor. Deglaze the pan with 1/2 cup water (or red wine). I didn’t think about using wine until after trying this recipe, but you bet I’ll do it next time.

Add the stock cubes and break up, or if using liquid stock mix everything well. Add the carrots and a few dashes of cinnamon. Make sure everything is combined and simmering and get ready for how amazing your house is going to smell. Pour this mixture over the ribs in the slow cooker and settle into place. Cover for 4-6 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low. Slow cookers may cook at different temps so check on your ribs to see how they’re doing.

I served these with green beans. You could serve it over mashed potatoes, rice, or just more vegetables. Bring on the colder temps!

Post to Twitter

Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookies

I LOVE soft baked cookies. This adoration began when I discovered what happens when you put Chewy Chips Ahoy cookies in the microwave. Soft magic, that’s what. These babies get their pillowy softness from brown sugar and extra flour. You may want to play around with cooking time, as ovens and preferences vary.

2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt

Take all the above dry ingredients and mix them in a large bowl. You’ll be adding wet ingredients in a moment.

1 1/2 sticks melted unsalted butter – a note here: you may use salted butter, but lower the salt in the dry mix to 1/4 teaspoon
3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg and 1 egg yolk
1 cup chocolate chips

Mix the butter, sugars, and vanilla together using a wooden spoon or spatula. Then mix in the eggs. Once everything is hanging out together, fold the wet ingredients into the dry. I used a silicone spatula for all my mixing and it worked out just fine. At the end add 1 cup of chocolate chips (semi-sweet, dark, or even M&Ms) to the dough. Spread the chips through the dough as well as you can, then cover and chill in the fridge for at least two hours.

Chilling the dough is essential to getting a better cookie. You can chill for longer if you like, but who has patience?! After chilling let the dough come back up a bit in temperature for about 10 minutes outside of the fridge. Then roll into balls about two tablespoons full. Roll them a little taller than wide so they will settle down and stay soft in the middle. Place them on your baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat and bake at 325 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. Here’s where it’s good to experiment: my first batch was baked for 12 minutes and was a little too undercooked. My second batch was 14 minutes and they were perfect (to me). Once your baking time is up let the cookies cook on the sheet for another 10 minutes before letting them cool completely on a wire rack.

Experiment with time and cookie fillings and you’ll never get bored. Honestly, these babies would be good even on their own. Gooey, buttery goodness.

Original recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Post to Twitter

Muy Bueno Chicken Chile Verde

Mexican food is comfort food at its core, made in the kitchens of millions of grannies, aunties, and mammas. Not only are the flavors great, but cooking this stuff makes an entire house smell good. Personally I haven’t made a lot of Mexican dishes because I always thought they’d be too difficult or intense. The truth is it doesn’t have to be hard, and this recipe proves it.

Two tomatillos – husks removed, washed, and quartered
One poblano pepper – stemmed and seeded, cut into large chunks
One quartered onion
1/2 cup garlic cloves – adjust this as you like, we really like garlic

Place the veggies on a foil covered baking sheet with some olive oil. Place them under a broiler and cook until they start to blacken and bubble a little. Pull them out and set to the side.

One serrano pepper – stemmed and seeded, membrane removed if you want to control heat, slice
1/4 cup fresh cilanto
1 tablespoon cumin
1/4 tablespoon paprika
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup chicken broth

Add broiled veggies and all above to a food processor and blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

One pound chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized chunks – replace with chicken breast if you prefer

Get a heat proof pan hot and throw in enough oil to brown the chicken. Once chicken is browned, add veggie sauce and mix it all up. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for about an hour. I’ve read recipes that say to cook for three hours or more, but the sauce was thick enough and the chicken tender enough just after an hour. Check on it once in a while to make sure the chicken isn’t sticking to the pan.

This served two adults. Serve along with rice and tortillas, you could also serve more people by adding beans or a salad. Enjoy, and thank your abuelita for being awesome.

I over blackened these bad boys, but the flavor was still wonderful.

Post to Twitter

Tom Kha OMGai

True story: I had never had tom kha gai. I’ve always seen it on the menu but I’ve always craved something else. After dealing with the after effects of the stomach flu, I decided this would be my return to cooking. I browsed a few recipes before settling on this SUPER quick and easy fare. As long as you have the ingredients for the broth you can spice this up any way you want. I know there are many more ingredients that a traditional thai soup might have, but let’s call this the easy peasy American weeknight version.

4 cups chicken stock
1 can (13 oz) coconut milk
1lb chicken breasts or thighs, cut into strips or chunks
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
3 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into a few chunks
6 cloves garlic (use more of less to your taste), sliced or minced
1/4 cup lime or lemon juice
zest of 1/4 of a lime or 1/8 of a lemon, to taste
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, to taste
2 large basil leaves, torn into chunks
salt and pepper to taste
Fresh cilantro or green onions for garnish
* You can use lemongrass (3 stalks) if available, I just couldn’t find it at my market.

Start by sautéing garlic and red pepper flakes in about a tablespoon of olive oil. Add chicken and cook until not opaque but not completely cooked. Add the chicken broth, ginger, torn basil, (lemongrass if you have it), and salt and pepper. Let everything mix in and then add the coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar, citrus juice and citrus zest. Bring this to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes. Add additional salt/pepper/citrus to taste and feel free to throw in some Sriracha for extra heat. If it tastes good and the chicken is cooked, you’re done.

If you used lemongrass remove it from the pot and then serve in bowls. I added some fresh green onions at the end for serving. This would go great with a side of rice or even right in the soup. You can mix up the protein by adding shrimp, beef, or tofu. I think it would be delicious on it’s own as well. This was my first “real” meal back and it filled me up just right. Who wouldn’t want a pot of this just simmering in the kitchen?!

Post to Twitter

« Previous Entries Next Entries »