Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Indonesian Peanut Chicken

Every once in a while Jeff and I grab a cookbook, leaf through it, and choose a couple recipes that we've never done before. Ethnic dishes are particular favorites of ours; we love being able to enjoy flavors from around the world in the comfort (and frugality) of our own home. We also think it's great to be able to introduce various flavor profiles to the kids.

Blah blah, fancy talk, what I really mean is: this week we were bored with the same old meal rut we've been in and wanted to try something less boring. :)

This is a fun recipe, a little sweet, a little spicy, a little exotic. The three-year-old didn't care for it, but the older kids liked it well enough. As for Jeff and I, we found it delicious.

Indonesian Peanut Chicken
(from Betty Crocker)
3- to 3 1/2-pound cut-up broiler-fryer chicken (we used chicken leg quarters)
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup chili sauce
1/2 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
1 cup water
1/4 cup salted peanuts
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in 12-inch skillet or 4-quart Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook chicken in oil about 15 minutes, turning occasionally, until brown on all sides. Cover and cook over low heat about 20 minutes or until juice is no longer pink when centers of thickest pieces are cut. Remove chicken from skillet with tongs.

Drain all but 1 tablespoon drippings from skillet; heat over medium heat. Cook onion in drippings, stirring occasionally, until tender; reduce heat. Stir in peanut butter, chili sauce and red pepper. Gradually stir in water, stirring constantly, until peanut butter is melted.

Add chicken. Spoon sauce over chicken. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered about 5 minutes, spooning sauce frequently over chicken, until sauce is slightly thickened. Serve sauce over chicken. Sprinkle with peanuts and bell pepper. 

Linking to:
Think Tank Thursday at Joyful Homemaking 
Weekend Wrap-Up at tatertots&jello 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Chocolate Cakies with Creamy Chocolate Frosting

Let's just get this out there right off the bat - these were supposed to be whoopie pies. But as I watched the cakes baking in the oven and saw them spreading out to be about the size of my hand I decided that I wouldn't sandwich them like you would a traditional whoopie pie. I mean, those would have been some seriously huge whoopie pies. Instead, just served individually and topped with frosting, these are like little handheld cakes - Cakies! They're kind of like cupcakes, but easier to eat.

That being said, you could totally use this recipe to make whoopie pies, just scoop the batter out by 2-tbsp scoops instead of 1/4 cup. Then sandwich the frosting between the cakes. Or, you know, just use 1/4 cup and make really big whoopie pies. I won't judge you.

Chocolate Cakies
(from sweet falcon)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk (or 1 tbsp lemon juice and milk to make 1 cup)
1 tsp vanilla
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg

Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a bowl until combined. Stir together buttermilk and vanilla in a small bowl.

Beat together butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes in a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a handheld mixer, then add egg, beating until combined well. Reduce speed to low and alternately mix in flour mixture and buttermilk in batches, beginning and ending with flour, scraping down side of bowl occasionally, and mixing until smooth.

Spoon 1/4-cup mounds of batter about 2 inches apart onto 2 buttered large baking sheets. Bake in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until tops are puffed and cakes spring back when touched, 11 to 13 minutes. Transfer with a metal spatula to a rack to cool completely.

Creamy Chocolate Frosting
(from Let's Make Whoopie...Pies) 
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Beat together butter and chocolate. Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time. Use to frost cakies or to fill whoopie pies.

Linking to:
Project Inspire{d} at Dukes and Duchesses
Think Tank Thursday at Joyful Homemaking
Weekend Wrap-Up at tatertots&jello

Monday, May 20, 2013

Turkey Chili

A while back, Jeff bought three huge turkeys, because they were super cheap. Thank goodness we have a large freezer downstairs! Anyway, several days ago we cooked one of the turkeys, and of course we boiled up the carcass into some fantastic turkey broth. This dish was a great way to use some of the broth and leftover turkey. It also takes advantage of the fact that fresh cilantro is really inexpensive this time of year. This chili has a delicious flavor and, being a bit lighter than traditional chili, is a great meal for a spring evening.

I may or may not have eaten three bowls in one sitting.

Turkey Chili
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp oil
3 cups turkey broth
2 cans beans, drained, or equivalent beans cooked from dry (I used black beans and soy beans)
1 can corn, drained
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 cups chopped turkey

Cook onion, green pepper, and garlic in oil until tender. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes.

If you like your chili spicy, you can add some canned chilies, or some hot sauce.

Linked to:
Weekend Wrap-Up Party at tatertots & jello
Think Tank Thursday at Joyful Homemaking