Saturday, May 16, 2009

Ginger Chili Chicken (Serves 2)

2 pieces of low fat chicken breasts cut into small cubes
1 large onion cut into small pieces
10 black peppercorns ground
1 large piece of ginger root (about 3 inches in length), half of it cut into fine 1/2 inch slices, and the other half crushed into a paste
4 cloves of garlic peeled and crushed once with knife
6 medium sized chillies chopped long after retaining seeds only from 4 of them
3 tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste
1 bunch of coriander leaves chopped fine

One of my favorite dishes, as I love ginger. In a medium sized bowl add the cut chicken breast pieces, a little bit of salt, crushed ginger paste, crushed garlic broken down, 1 tbsp of olive oil, ground black pepper and green chillies, and mix them all together. Let it stay for a couple of hours (again the longer you marinade it, the longer the time all the ingredients get to bind together, and the dish is tastier).

Pour 2 tbsp olive oil in a skillet or pan. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and the remaining cut ginger, and saute them on medium high heat. You don't want the onions to caramelize or get burnt either. Saute this until the onions turn golden brown and the ginger pieces get cooked.

At this point, add all the contents of the bowl along with all the chicken, and add salt to taste. Saute the whole mix on medium to high flame making sure nothing gets burnt. When the chicken is done fully, add chopped coriander to garnish and add great aroma to the dish.

Serve hot with rice, bread, or tortilla and an ice cold beer. This dish is somewhat dry and can also be a great o'dourve to go along with a good single malt whiskey :-)

Health Rating: High
Ingredient Substitute/s: Can also be prepared using tofu instead of chicken for vegetarians. I will add recipe for the veggie version in the near future.

Grilled Lemon Rosemary Chicken (Serves 2)

4 - 5 thinly sliced low fat chicken breasts
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and crushed pepper to taste
Lemon juice from 1 whole lemon
1/2 tsp lemon zest
Bunch of fresh finely chopped rosemary leaves (around 1 tbsp) or 1 tsp if using dried rosemary leaves

This is a very simple and extremely tasty dish to prepare. The first step is to prepare the marinade. In a medium size bowl add 3 tbsp of olive oil. Chop the 4 crushed garlic cloves very fine and add to the oil. Add the rosemary leaves, salt and pepper, lemon juice and the lemon zest. Whisk everything together. Add the chicken to this and mix the chicken breasts well with the marinade. Let it sit for a few hours (longer the better).

Using a heavy pan or a grill, cook the chicken until done on medium heat. You can also use a traditional outdoor grill if you want the fancy grill marks :-) Given the thin size of the slices the chicken cooks pretty fast. Serve immediately with fried rice, as part of a salad (cut it into strips once the chicken is cooked), or make yourself a quick sandwich with lettuce, tomato and other desired condiments.

Health Rating: High

Ingredient Substitute/s: The same dish can be prepared using tofu, if you are vegetarian. I will add that recipe in the near future.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Baked Brussels Sprouts (Serves 2)

- (A little twist to this wonderful Italian preparation)

1 10oz (284g) pack of brussels sprouts from the grocery store
4 cloves garlic smashed and cut into medium sized pieces
Salt and pepper as per taste
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp red chilli powder

Clean the brussels sprouts, drain the water and cut into 4 pieces from the top ( or 2 if the sprouts are small in size). Place them in a baking pan/tray. Crush the garlic cloves and cut them into medium sized pieces. Add the cut garlic to the sprouts. Add salt, crushed black pepper, coriander powder, red chilli powder, and extra virgin olive oil to the sprouts and garlic, and mix everything lightly. Let it stay for 5 minutes as you pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the pan in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes by which time the brussel sprouts are completely cooked, and nicely roasted and crisp. Serve hot.

Although I love the way this dish is prepared just with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper, I just wanted to twist it around a bit and see what the result was. I have to tell you that the coriander adds nice flavor to the dish and there is a nice spicy kick to it from the chilli powder. You can find coriander powder and red chilli powder at the local grocery store.

Health Rating: High

Ingredient Substitute/s: You can substitute the red chilli powder with cayenne pepper if you prefer.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Cherry Tomato and Mozzarella Cheese Salad (Serves 3)

1 dry pint cherry tomatoes

1/4 lb solid mozzarella cheese
1/4 tsp salt or as per taste
Black pepper for seasoning
Small bunch cilantro ( 2 tbsp )
1 1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Wash and clean the cherry tomatoes. Cut them lengthwise into 2 pieces each and set them aside in a bowl. Cut the mozzarella cheese into more or less similar size pieces as the tomatoes and add them to the bowl. Chop the cilantro finely and add that to the tomato and cheese. Finally add the wine vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Mix everything well together and let it sit for 10 minutes so that all the flavors and juices in the salad combine together.

Enjoy the fantastic medley of sweetness from the cherry tomatoes, the saltiness of the cheese, the flavor of the olive oil, the  sourness and tanginess of the wine and lemon juice and the aroma of fresh cut cilantro.

For those who aren't fans of cilantro, it can be replaced with fresh basil or parsley which of course would complement the salad in their own individual taste to the overall taste of the salad. If you like a more tangy flavor to your salad, then you can reduce the white wine vinegar to 1tbsp, and use 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice instead. Serve this cold.

Health Rating: High