Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sasha's Kitchen: Veal with Roasted Red Peppers and Mushrooms

I was excited to use the delicious looking jar of roasted red peppers from Greece that I had received from Shop-Rite in the mail as a participant in the ShopRite "Potluck" blog panel. I had already planned on making veal marsala for dinner. Then, I decided to go with the marsala theme, but vary things up a bit. This dish is kind of a take on veal marsala, but its quite untraditional - and better than even our best veal marsala. I jazzed up the sauce with a bit of lemon and some Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce that I got some coupons for as part of a Foodbuzz  promotion. So this is all about some great ways to use the goodies that I received. The roasted peppers from ShopRite in particular were delicious - and made a perfect complement to the marsala sauce and the mushrooms. The Lea & Perrins really jazzed up the marsala sauce in the best way ever - and is a must (in small amounts) in all of my marsala dishes from here on out.  I also used some of ShopRite's extra virgin olive oil that I received - fresh from Italy. It was delicious, and great quality and complemented a nice dish.

Sasha's Veal with Roasted Red Peppers and Mushrooms
1 lb veal scaloppine or veal cutlet
ShopRite extra virgin olive oil
baby bella mushrooms (one package)
1 jar ShopRite roasted red peppers
1 onion, diced
3 sprigs of thyme
1 cup marsala wine
1 cup of chicken stock
juice of half a lemon
1 tsp Lea & Perrins worcestershire sauce

First, dredge the veal in flour and season with salt and pepper. Sear on all sides, and set aside. Dice an onion and saute in olive oil. Add a bit more olive oil, as well as the mushrooms and red peppers and thyme, and cook until softened. Add 1 cup of marsala wine and cook over medium high heat, and allow to reduce by half, as the mushrooms, pepper and onions will soak up the flavor of the marsala. Add the chicken stock and reduce until you have a proper sauce.  In the meantime, you can cook the veal to your liking in the oven before adding it back into the sauce and cooking over medium heat for another few minutes, as the sauce thickens. Add the Lea & Perrins and juice of half of a lemon towards the end. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sasha's Kitchen: Asian-Style Sesame Chicken

I wanted to create an Asian-style sesame chicken dish that was lighter than typical chinese food, and healthier - avoiding frying the chicken and using high quality meat and ingredients. As a member of the Shop Rite blog panel, I received a bottle of ShopRite's Asian Style Garlic Sesame Sauce to try out in creating this dish - that was my inspiration. As it turns out, the combination of the high quality Empire kosher chicken and the ShopRite Asian Style Garlic Sesame Sauce was stellar - a healthy and delicious twist on a classic dish. This was a high favorite with my husband, who requested that I make the dish again the next week. ShopRite's sauce would also likely combine well with beef or salmon. I paired the sauce and chicken dish with traditional snow peas and jasmine rice.

Sasha's Asian Style Sesame Chicken
3 T low sodium soy sauce
2 T Sesame Oil
2 T honey
1 package chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
3 scallions, thinly sliced
2-3 cups snow peas
3-4 T ShopRite Asian Style Garlic Sesame Sauce
1 cup jasmine rice

Combine the soy sauce, sesame oil and honey in a bowl and whisk together. Marinate the chicken for about 30 minutes. Remove the chicken from the marinade and saute in a pan until cooked through with the scallions. Shortly before the chicken is done, add the ShopRite Asian Style Garlic Sesame Sauce and cook to completion. Meanwhile, steam the snow peas and cook a cup of rice to serve with the sesame chicken dish.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Amasea's Kitchen in Sun Valley: Two desserts to impress your in-laws

This Thanksgiving, I knew I couldn't do much to help the meal planning.

We were planning to arrive the day before the big feast, and it turned out weather delayed us until the morning of -- not to mention the turkey and sides have been traditionally taken care of by my new in-laws, and I didn't want to step on anyone's toes.

However, I had some beautiful, hand-picked cranberries (from my mom, plucked from the cranberry bogs of Whidbey Island) that I really wanted to do something impressive with. I also had just found a recipe that has a slightly embarrassing origin but is *delicious* (more on that in a second).
So, dessert.

I started with that recipe, which comes from Relish magazine. Yes, the food equivalent of Parade. Which is where the embarrassment comes in. As a newspaper employee, I try to read a lot of the paper (classifieds and sports section aside), including Parade and Relish, despite their broad, broad appeal to midAmerica and its bland tastes. Fortunately, Relish is a little better than Parade at breaking those strictures, so occasionally I'm interested in something they print. Like this:

Pear Frangipane:

It. Is. Delicious.

Pear-y, marzipan-y, even good as two-week-old leftovers (says the baker who admits to eating the last piece from the trial batch two days ago). I initially made it with a cake pan, the kind that has the little bar you move under the cake to loosen it after it has baked, and that was OK, but the one I made in the tart pan with the removable bottom was pretty much the star of the show (I do recommend that you fold the edges of the pastry over the top edges of the pan; otherwise, during prebaking it shrinks in too much). My father-in-law requested -- nay, insisted -- I leave the leftovers with him.

So that was one successful dessert, but it hadn't taken care of the amazing, tiny, tart cranberries.
For that, I turned to the intertubes.

I'm honestly not much of a baker. I've gotten into bread moods, and even received the very good Bread Alone cookbook as a gift (though not used it nearly as much as I'd like to). I'm still intimidated by baking and its precision.
Therefore, it shouldn't come as a surprise that I've never made a cheesecake in my adult life. But that didn't stop me from thinking that cranberry would be a good combination with cheesecake (that is, after I rejected the implausibility of traveling with and/or making in small portions and without a reliably available oven, cranberry creme brulee. I still *need* to make that).

And the good old intertubes came through again, giving me this recipe, which apparently purloined from Taste of Home.
It's really good. Really full of cream cheese, and really good.

I used a little less sugar and a little more lemon juice because I wanted the tartness of the cranberry to shine. Additionally, the sides of the pan were so low (do I have the wrong kind of pan?) that I had to swirl the cranberry directly into the cheesecake, not leaving the layer of sauce on top that is shown in the AllRecipes photo. It looked pretty awesome, although the cheesecake did crack, which I had understood the sitting in a cooling oven is supposed to prevent.
As it turned out, it tasted pretty awesome too, a run for the money with the pear frangipane.

So. If you have in-laws, bosses, or other discriminating folks to impress this holiday season, these two desserts are what I suggest. If you're so lucky as to be stuck with the last course, that is!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sasha's Kitchen: Star Wars Themed Cupcake Series

It was nice for a new cupcake series. I'm not really a big Star Wars or Science Fiction fan, but I have certainly seen the classic movies, and thought they would translate well into a good series of cupcakes, made using fondant from New York Cake. Rather than buy a bunch of different colors of fondant, I bought plain white fondant, and used gel food coloring to make different colors of fondant. I didn't do all the characters, but I did the important ones and/or the ones I thought I could pull off: Princess Leia, Yoda, Jabba the Hut, Strormtrooper, Darth Vader, C3PO and R2D2. The cupcakes are just plain vanilla cupcakes that I made using the recipe from Julie Hasson's 125 Best Cupcakes. I frosted them with yellow/gold icing and added the fondant creations atop. Here are some pictures below:

Related Posts with Thumbnails Share