Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Pesto Chicken 青酱烤鸡

The only reason for taking extra effort to de-bone chicken drumsticks is to "save and keep" the bones for making stock. Part of the week's menu-plan requires the use of some chicken stock, so instead of buying chicken backbones separately, bone-in chicken drumsticks work fine as an alternative - the chicken bones, and meat can both be used.

In our family, we don't shy away from chicken "dark" meat, meaning parts of the chicken e.g. chicken thigh or leg, that comes with fats/skin. For that, Trader Joes organic chicken drumsticks ($1.99/lb, $3+ for five organic chicken drumsticks) is one of the best-value organic chicken around. Bone-in chicken are very flavorful when making chicken curry, chicken soup and roast chicken, for example.

It may not be a lot of bones (and flavor) from de-boning five or even two chicken drumsticks, but it is better than water as liquid base, and very useful when cooking a small-serving pot of rice or congee/porridge.

De-boning aside, this is an easy organic chicken recipe that makes use of homemade pesto as the marinade. You can also cook a bigger batch by roasting more boneless chicken using this recipe, and then shred the chicken leftovers which could be reheated later to make pesto-chicken sandwich, for example.

There are many ways to use pesto such as Potato with Pesto-Yogurt Dressing, Pesto Pizza, Pesto Cucumber Bites, or Pesto Pita Bites.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Spicy French Green Beans Haricot Verts 辣炒四季豆

French green beans with garlic is simply delicious and fragrant, and it has become a standard way to cook French green beans (Haricot Verts) in my kitchen.

Rules can sometimes be broken or flexed to seek something better. Why not try spicing it up with chili? Not as if it is something new. Would sambal chili be appropriate? Not just appropriate but good is this spicy garlic French green beans.

Do you ever use frozen whole French green beans? I tried, after reading - 11 Trader Joe's Products We Can't Live Without and thought that the frozen Haricot Verts is indeed a good find (after trying Trader Joes frozen artichoke hearts). Not only they are great value for money, vegetables when frozen right (e.g. frozen at source when fresh, flash-freezing locks the vegetables in a relatively nutrient-rich state) also retains nutrients better. Frozen vegetables also cuts prep. time as you now do not need to rinse and cut/chop the vegetables. Experts now say that flash freezing retains more nutrients than store-bought

What frozen vegetables do you keep in your freezer?

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Roasted Radish & Fennel 茴香烤樱桃萝卜

Radish curry paired with radish leaves spiced rice can be such a warm and satisfying dinner in the chilly nights of spring time. However, when I run out of time, curry with rice is definitely not my game to play in the kitchen.

How about putting the red-globe radish under the roast-radar? Does that save time? Yes, in my opinion, it is fuss-free cooking as I do not have to be behind a stove - stir a pot of curry and watch over another pot of simmering rice. All I have to do is to prep (rinse, cut, slice) the ingredients, and by then, 80% of the work has been done.

Raw radish, crisp and refreshing, might be piquant and peppery for some of you; but roasted radish is THE complete-makeover - sweet and juicy!