Sunday, October 25, 2009

Basil Jasmine Rice with Garlic/Pepper Tofu

Last night David and I had our 2nd (his 3rd) annual pumpkin carving party. It was good times and great fun with amazing people. As usual, we fed our guests good food that was good for them (except, perhaps, for the pumpkin chocolate was DELICIOUS but perhaps not the best for you).

This recipe takes a little more prep time, but it is worth it.

Here's the dish that I served up for the kiddies:

Basil Jasmine Rice with Garlic/Pepper Tofu

2 Cups Jasmine Rice
4 Garlic Cloves minced
3 bunches Green Onion diced
3 cups Fresh Basil minced
2 Jalapenos minced
1 Red Bell Pepper diced
2 cups fresh Green Beans
4 cups Snow Peas
1/2 cup Cilantro minced
1/2 cup Red Onion minced
1/4 Soy Sauce
2 packages Garlic/Pepper Tofu (or plain tofu if you can't find the flavored version)
1/4 cup Peanut Oil

First of all you want to prepare your rice a couple hours a ahead of time. Cook the jasmine rice using the directions on the bag. I use about 1/2 cup less water than recommended. The rice will be fully cooked but it will also be a little more firm, which is better for later on in the recipe. Once the rice is cooked put it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or until it is cooled.

Next prepare your tofu. Use the directions for preparing your tofu here.

In a large wok heat your peanut oil. You can use olive oil, but peanut oil is better for high heat cooking. Once the oil is hot add to it the garlic, green onions, basil, cilantro, red onions and soy sauce. Cook for about 2 minutes.

Add the remaining vegetables to the wok. Cook for 5 minutes stirring frequently to mix the flavors together.

Then add to the tofu to the mixture. Cook for another 5 minutes.

Lastly add the jasmine rice. Cook for ten minutes stirring frequently to make sure the rice is mixed well with the rest of the ingredients.

Remove from dish from heat and serve it up!

This dish will comfortably serve four to six people and have them stuffed to the gills. The entire cost of this meal is roughly $10-$15 depending on the season and the cost of the vegetables and tofu in your area.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Down Home Chicken Soup

I have spent the last week basically unconscious or on the toilet. I had a fight with the flu and for most of the last seven days, the flu was kicking my ass.

The worst part of the ordeal was that everything tasted like the rancid mucus flavor that seemed to ooze from the back of my throat. G-R-O-S-S.

But, I am happy to report that after making my magic chicken soup last night, my taste buds are back, and I am feeling tip top.
So, i thought I would share the recipe here with you. Please note, I do not like noodles in my chicken soup. But, if you do, you can easily add in egg noodles to this recipe once the soup is done.

Down Home Chicken Soup

1 Whole Chicken
6 Red Potatoes diced
5 cloves garlic minced
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 cup celery
1 cup basil
1 cup cilantro
1 cup red onion
1/2 cup scallions
1 package button mushrooms chopped or whole as you like
6 cups fresh spinach
3-4 chicken bouillon cubes
1 jalapeno
2 tsp seasoning salt

First, add the garlic, basil, and cilantro to a large stock pot of water along with the entire chicken. Boil the chicken for two to three hours until the meat starts to fall off of the bone. Continuously add water to the pot to keep the chicken covered.

Remove the chicken from the pot and place in a strainer. Keep the soup stock and set aside. Run the chicken in the strainer under cold water. While the chicken is cooling add the remaining ingredients to the stock pot.

Once the chicken is cool enough to manipulate, remove the skin and tear the meat from the bones, shredding it with your fingers and add it to the stock pot. Throw out the skin and bones. Return to the soup to the heat and let simmer for another 45 minutes.

Serve this up and enjoy! This meal will run you between $9 to $18 dollars depending on the price of chicken. The soup will easily feed a family of four for two or three meals. This soup is easy to freeze as well and can be kept in the freezer, if well sealed, for six months.