Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Muffaletta Sandwich

Print Friendly and PDF

When Denny and I went to New Orleans, we had the best Muffaletta sandwich at an Italian deli within the Central Grocery Store in the French Quarter. This hearty sandwich was originally created at this store in 1906, and the same recipe is still used. What makes it so good is the olive salad, a salty blend of green and black olives, pimientos, capers and anchovies. It was so delicious we stopped at the deli on the way to the airport to buy additional sandwiches to take home with us.

Ingredients:

Sandwich:
1 circular loaf of Italian bread (can use ciabatta bread)
1/3 lb. hard salami, sliced thin
1/3 lb. ham sliced thin
1/3 lb. provolone, sliced thin
1/3 lb. mozzarella, sliced thin

Cut the bread in half. Brush the bottom half with a little olive oil. Layer the meats and cheeses. Top with olive salad. Slice into quarters.

Olive Salad:
2/3 cup green olives (pitted and coarsely chopped)
2/3 cup black olives (pitted and coarsely chopped)
1/4 cup pimiento, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 fillet of anchovy, mashed (or equivalent anchovy paste)
1 T capers
1/3 cup parsley chopped
1 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Thoroughly mix all ingredients. Cover and let marinate for at least 12 hours.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Boiled Chicken with Hot Oil, Garlic and Ginger

Print Friendly and PDF
This recipe is so easy. You just put the chicken in a pot of water, bring it to a boil, then let the chicken sit in the pot with the heat off. The chicken turns out moist, soft and tender. When I made the hot oil part at the end, the little bits of garlic and ginger browned nicely and added a crispiness to each bite. We had this dish at a Chinese restaurant, and the ginger was grated, instead of finely chopped, but equally as good. Yum. Can't wait to eat the leftovers.

Ingredients:
1 large whole chicken
1 tsp salt
2 inch piece of fresh ginger
1 whole bulb of fresh garlic
6 green onions, chopped -- Reserve 2 T to use as garnish
2 tsp sesame oil
1/3 cup vegetable or peanut oil
Soy sauce to taste
Chopped cilantro, as garnish (optional)

Place whole chicken in a large pot and cover with cold water, salt, sesame oil, 4 cloves of chopped garlic, green onions (save 2 T for topping). Peel the ginger and add the peel to the pot. Bring the pot to a boil, then turn heat to low and simmer for 10 min. Turn stove off and let the chicken sit in the pot for 1-1/2 hours. Remove chicken from pot to cool. Once cooled, cut the chicken into individual serving pieces or debone and shred it, and place it on a serving plate.

Finely chop the ginger and the rest of the garlic. In a frying pan, saute ginger and garlic in 2T vegetable or peanut oil, being careful not to burn it. Add the rest of the oil to infuse the ginger and garlic for a few minutes on medium heat, then pour it over chicken. Sprinkle with generous amounts of soy sauce and garnish with chopped green onions and cilantro. Serve with rice.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Print Friendly and PDF
Here's a nice alternative to French fries and healthier for you too since it's baked and not fried. Very little oil is used in this recipe. You can cut the sweet potatoes or yams into matchstick size pieces or large wedges, and just vary your baking time accordingly. Sweet potatoes have lots of vitamins A, C and B6. It's a good side dish for ribs or chicken with barbeque sauce. We had it with grilled turkey burgers.

Ingredients:
2 medium size sweet potatoes or yams
1 T canola or olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Cut the sweet potatoes lengthwise into strips or wedges. Spray a cookie sheet with PAM. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with the oil, salt and pepper. Bake at 450 degrees for 15-30 min. depending on the thickness. Serve hot with barbeque sauce, ketchup or a ranch dressing dip.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Steamed Chicken

Print Friendly and PDF
Here's Denny enjoying a healthy steamed chicken dish that has a wonderful blend of fresh ginger and Asian flavors in a light, flavorful sauce. We couldn't stop eating it!

Ingredients:
4-6 medium-size Chinese dried mushrooms (shiitake)
1-1/2 lbs (1/2 of a fryer) assorted chicken pieces, bone-in, cut in small serving pieces
1/4 tsp salt
Pepper, to taste
1-1/2 T soy sauce
1 T dry sherry
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
1-1/2 T cornstarch
2 T of the water the mushrooms were soaking in
3-4 slices fresh ginger, cut in slivers
1 green onion, chopped

Soak the dried mushrooms in hot water for 20 minutes until soft. Squeeze out some of the excess water, reserving 2 T of the mushroom soaking liquid to use in the sauce. Slice the mushrooms. In a heat-proof shallow bowl, mix the salt, pepper, soy sauce, sherry, sugar, sesame oil, cornstarch and mushroom liquid. Add the chicken and coat thoroughly. Sprinkle mushrooms, ginger strips and green onions on top. Place the bowl on a rack in a pot for steaming or in a bamboo steamer in a wok. Steam over boiling water for 20-30 min. until the chicken is cooked thoroughly. Serve over rice.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Stephen's Okonomiyaki

Print Friendly and PDF
Here's a scrumptious okonomiyaki recipe from my son, Stephen. This is a Japanese style pancake or pizza. You can add your favorite ingredients to the batter. Some folks top the pancake with thinly sliced pork, shrimp, red ginger, yakisoba noodles, tempura crumbs, corn, green onion, bean sprouts, dried bonito flakes or dried seaweed, adding okonomiyaki sauce and mayonnaise drizzled over all. It is truly delicious.

Ingredients:
3 cups green cabbage, shredded
1 large carrot, shredded
1/2 onion, finely chopped
3 stalks of celery, finely diced
2 cups flour
1 egg, beaten
2 T brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 can (10-oz.) evaporated milk
2-4 T water
Ham sliced the size of a credit card, 1/2" thick

Mix all ingredients together (except for the ham) in a big bowl. Add the 1-2 T water until it's the consistency of pancake batter. Fry one side on an oiled pancake griddle. Put the piece of ham on the non-cooked side, then flip it over. Cook until the batter is golden brown. Serve with okonomiyaki sauce.

If you can't find okonomiyaki sauce at the Japanese market, here's a quick recipe to try:

Okonomiyaki Sauce:
3 T ketchup
1 tsp soy sauce
1 T worcetershire sauce