Sunday, July 1, 2007

Gyros my way

I'm not the most adventurous with food, but there is a great Greek/Mediterranean place here in OKC called Zorba's. I don't particularly care for lamb, but I do enjoy the chicken "gyro" that they make there. You can have it with fries or tabbouleh, another middle eastern/mediterranean delicacy I enjoy from time to time. I haven't been there since, oh, last fall. We had planned to go at lunch one day, but there weren't any parking spaces anywhere near it!

We ended up going to an awful hamburger place. Good fries, but my god, my husband's burger disgusted had three kinds of meat...and I'm a meat girl!

So I got the bright idea to make my own chicken gyro/pita thing. I'm still trying to figure out what to call it. The sauce was very tasty, and the whole thing was SO incredibly good for you!

This is what I did, feel free to mess with it. It certainly isn't patented!

For the cucumber-lemon-yogurt sauce

1 cup plain yogurt (I used full fat, it's not that bad)
Strain the yogurt in this fashion (by all means, if you can get Greek yogurt, go for it, but I can't for the life of me find it!): Put a strainer over a bowl where the strainer doesn't hit bottom, about 1 inch difference. Place a paper towel (or cheesecloth) in the strainer, spoon the yogurt in, and top with another paper towel. Refrigerate for awhile. The liquid should drain out of the bottom and you will be left with a nice, thick concoction!
1/2 peeled and seeded cucumber, diced
Juice of 1 half lemon
About a tsp minced garlic
S&P to taste
1 TBS fresh parsley

Whiz all this up in a small food processor/chopper and you're good to go!

We made two gyros all together.

2 flat pita breads (the kind I found had plant sterols and were only 60 cals each and had 5 grams of fiber...feel free to use something else :) )
1 chicken breast
1 tomato, seeded, cored, and chopped
1 roasted red pepper (I just used one from a jar)
2 green lettuce leaves (or your preference)
2 TBS chopped red onion

I roasted the chicken breast at 400°F until done, about 25 minutes or so. I just seasoned with S&P. Warm the pita bread in the toaster oven or regular oven, or microwave if you must.

Assemble: Pita bread on plate, spoon about 1TBS or so of the sauce on 1 half. Top with onion, tomato, peppers, and some chopped roasted chicken. On the other half, spread a little more sauce, and place the leaf. Fold over and fasten with a toothpick.

I still had 1/2 the chicken breast left over! The chicken wasn't really the star of this meal--the freshness of all the wonderful veggies and the tangy sauce were!

Served with a side of nicely roasted red potatoes instead of the usual fries to keep it healthy.

I had enough sauce left and chicken left over to make my lunch for tomorrow.

Here is the final product:


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Chicken with 15 cloves--a new take on an old classic. Plus, chocolate chip cookies!

So since there are only two of us I rarely make a whole chicken...we never seem to eat the whole thing and it's just wasteful. However, three bone-in skin-on chicken breasts is just enough for dinner and a yummy lunch!

I decided that tonight should be "date night" because we are going out for drinks after this yummy dinner and then to see Knocked Up. We haven't been to a movie since we saw Apocolypto back in December or January. Wow. This is why I decided to make the cookies--it's a special dinner, so it deserves a dessert!

***This is a knock-off of Ina's Chicken and 40 cloves

Here's the plan:
3 bone-in skin-on chicken breasts
1 TBS butter
1 TBS olive oil

Melt butter and oil together in a dutch oven, sprinkle chicken breasts with S&P to taste, and brown in the butter-oil mixture. Remove to plate and set aside.

15 cloves of garlic (1 head for me)
1 1/2 cup dry white wine
1-2 TBS cognac (I'm not using it but the original uses it) I used a little chicken stock.

Blanche the cloves, skin and all, in the water for 60 seconds. Remove from boiling water and "shock" in an ice bath. The skins should slip off pretty easily (I needed the aid of a paring knife).
Brown the garlic on all sides in the chickeny-oil. Add the wine (and cognac if using) to the pan. Bring to a simmer and deglaze the pan.

Add the chicken pieces back to the mixture and sprinkle with thyme (fresh is best, they didn't have it today so I used parsley). Cover and simmer 20-30 minutes or until chicken is done.

Using 2TBS flour and 1/3-1/2 cup of the wine sauce, make a little thickening paste for the sauce. Stir back in to the mixture. Add 2 TBS of heavy cream (I am using 2% milk...I never have cream and refuse to buy it for only 2-3 TBS) and stir in.

Let it set for a few minutes, and while you wait enjoy a glass of that nice white wine!

Served with roasted asparagus. Nothing fancy. Just toss with plenty of olive oil, kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper and roast at 400°F for about 10 minutes or until it is to your desired doneness.

Here is the finished product on the plate:

Now for the chocolate chip cookies! This is the recipe off the back of the Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate chip bag. Very fancy.

2 1/4 cups AP flour (I used unbleached)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (oops, forgot this!)
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed (I only had dark brown, cest la vie!)
2 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup optional chopped walnuts or pecans (I opted out)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Stir flour with baking soda and salt, set aside. In large mixer bowl, beat butter with both sugars at medium speed until creamy. Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, and mix on low speed until incorporated. Gradually blend dry mixture into creamed mixture (I split it into thirds). Stir in chocolate chips (and nuts). Drop by tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown.

And here they are:

Monday, June 25, 2007

Cooking Light done my way--Buttery-Parmesan Chicken

An adaptation of "Buttery Herbed Chicken" from my fast suppers Cooking Light cookbook. Served with roasted parmesan potatoes and vegetable medley.

2 chicken breasts, pounded thinner, seasoned with S&P
1 TBS olive oil

Sear chicken breasts in olive oil until mostly done. Remove from pan and keep warm.

Melt 2TBS butter in the same skillet, and slowly stir in chicken broth. Loosen up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add in herbs of your choice--mine today was just regular dried italian seasoning--and about 1/4 cup fresh-grated rmeggiano-reggiano cheese.

Add chicken breasts back into pan to re-heat and cook fully through.

Here is the finished product:

And here is the whole plate of food:

Here is the roasted potato recipe:

2 red potatoes (1 per person was plenty for us!) cut up
1 clove garlic, minced
About 2 tsp olive oil
onion powder, salt, and pepper to taste
A sprinkling of paprika for color

Roasted these at 425°F in the toaster/convection oven and they were perfectly tender. Sprinkled a little fresh grated parm left over from the sauce. Quite tasty! I never make potatoes.
Served with quartered cherry tomatoes and a veggie medley.

Sorry for the blurry pictures--next time I'll get out the D-SLR for better quality!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

First post!

I saw a lot of the other "nesties" at had these food blogs so I thought I'd give it a try! Since I have a love of both food and photography, I thought this would be a nice thing for me to do.

I don't have any recipes to add at this point...I made steaks tonight but they were not good...note to self: DO NOT BUY MEAT AT WAL-MART ANYMORE! The asparagus, however garlicky, was quite tasty!

Okay, so I'll hopefully be posting much more in the future. I have a couple of recipes to try in this upcoming week. Since there is no school right now I have more time to try new recipes that I can keep for the new year!