Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sasha's Kitchen: Turkey Panini with Cranberry-Orange Relish

I made this last week, but if you have leftover turkey from Thanksgiving, this is the perfect leftovers.  I'm obsessed with my panini press. It's one of the best kitchen toys I own and I love buying fresh breads, such as focaccia and making pressed sandwiches, with fabulous meats, cheeses and other spreads.  I've made a couple of good sandwiches the last few weeks, including the one below.  The panini press is like magic - it so quickly flattens your sandwich into a delicious panini and works for almost any sandwich you could imagine.

Sasha's Roast Turkey Panini with Cranberry-Orange Relish and Blue Cheese (makes 2)
1/2 lb sliced roast turkey, or thanksgiving turkey leftovers
1 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
2 T sugar
1 T orange zest
3 T water
fat free mayonnaise
focaccia bread
1/4 lb Stilton blue cheese

For the relish, combine the cranberries, water, sugar and zest in a saucepan and simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the cranberries pop, about five minutes.  Allow to gel together for another minute before removing from the heat.

Cut the focaccia bread and prepare a sandwich with the mayonnaise, turkey, relish and Stilton and press in your panini press according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sasha's & Brad's Kitchen: Tiger Beer and Fish Curry Pairing at Masak

I've never been a big beer drinker, but there are a few kinds of beer that I do enjoy.  One of them has always been Tiger beer, a nice balanced Malaysian beer.  It's one my husband, Brad, more the beer connoisseur than I, has always enjoyed as well.  Recently, I got the opportunity to be treated free of charge to a Tiger beer and fish curry food pairing at Masak, a Singapore-influenced restaurant down in the East Village courtesy of the folks at Tiger Beer.  Coming into the experience, I knew I liked Tiger beer but wasn't sure about the pairing of fishhead curry.  Boy was I surprised.  The curry was delicious and I enjoyed the tender, flaky fish and rice with the homemade Singapore-style curry.  The dish was fantastic and Brad enjoyed it as well.  Just goes to show that it pays to be a bit more adventurous in your eating style!  You just have to be careful of the bones, but the fish was very tender and Masak's curry sauce was delicious.

Delicious fishhead curry at Masak - no need to be afraid, it's super good!

The curry flavors paired well with the smooth, exotic flavor of the Tiger beer.  The beer really brought out the flavor of the curry and it was a truly excellent pairing.  Next time I'll have to try making a curry dish at home and serve it with some Tiger.  In addition to the beer and curry we were treated to, we also purchased a couple of excellent appetizers at Masak as well - we got little Qui Pie Tee (little pastries) filled with hen of the wood mushrooms and duck, as well as the crispy duck croquettes.  All and all this was an exotic and fun drinking and eating experience and an excellent way to enjoy Tiger beer and Malaysian/Singapore-style food!

Qui Pie Tee, filled with hen of the woods mushrooms and duck rilette

Duck fritters, which also paired nicely with the flavors of the Tiger beer


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sasha's Kitchen: Sesame Chicken with Edamame Coconut Rice

I love making at home styled chinese dishes.  It's so much healthier than actual chinese food, and the sauces are delicious when you make them fresh yourself.  I've invented some of my own recipes, which are basically stir fries, but this one came from Janice's Cole's new book Chicken And Egg, a book of all chicken and egg recipes. I'm happy to report that I'm finally going to be taking another cooking class at the Brooklyn Kitchen, and this one is a chinese dumpling class on December 4th. Should be a lot of fun!

As far as this recipe goes, it's for a stir-fried style sesame chicken.  I made it a second time with beef and it was equally good that was as well. It's a health dish, with a delicious hoisin-based sauce and is as fresh as the vegetables and high quality meat that you use in the dish. The original recipe called for mushrooms as well, but I left that out and added a yellow zucchini instead.

Sesame Chicken with Edamame Coconut Rice
1 cup jasmine rice
1 14 oz can lite coconut milk
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 cup frozen edamame beans

1/4 cup plus 2 T hoisin sauce
1/4 cup plus 2 T orange juice
1 T sesame seeds
2 T soy sauce
1/2 tsp dark sesame oil
1/4 tsp Asian chile hot sauce

Stir Fry
2 T canola oil
1 lb chicken breasts, cut up into 1 inch pieces
2 cups cut up broccoli
1 large onion cut into wedges
1 red bell pepper, cut into one inch pieces
3 garlic cloves, diced
1 T minced ginger
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 T sesame seeds
1 yellow zucchini, cut up into slices

To make the rice, put the coconut milk, water and rice and salt in a saucepan.  Stir and bring to a gentle boil, covered, over medium heat.  Reduce to low and simmer for 15 minutes.  Stir in the edamame and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the edamame is tender, about another five minutes.

Combine the ingredients for the sauce and set aside.

Heat half the canola oil in a skillet, wok or stir fry pan. Cook the chicken for 3-5 minutes and set aside.  Add the reaming canola oil and add the broccoli, zucchini onion and bell pepper and cook for about 3 minutes on medium high heat until the vegetables begin to soften.  Add the ginger and garlic to a separate pan and cook for about a minutes before adding to the other vegetables. Stir fry for a few more minutes until all the veggies are crisp-tender. Add the sauce and bring to a boil to coat everything.  Stir in the cilantro and remaining sesame seeds, and serve with a side of the coconut rice.
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