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Monday, January 28, 2008

Asian Flank Steak and Egg Foo Yung



This is another low-carb meal that at least offers your taste buds something similar to Chinese food without all the extra sugar and deep-fried business that goes on in those restaurants. I didn't write down the recipes nor have them with me, but I did take pictures and I'd like to post them even with some open-ended recipes. Maybe I'll update the recipe later... haha.





Asian Flank Steak
Enough for dinner for 2 or 3, depending on sides.

~2 lbs Flank Steak (I think it is worth it to buy it from a good quality meat market)

Basic Asian Marinade:
~1/3 cup soy sauce or more if needed to cover steak
3-4 garlic cloves, crushed
3 pkts of sugar or splenda (or could use honey)
1 inch fresh chopped ginger (can use dried ginger in a pinch)
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 tablespoon vinegar
3-4 sliced green onions

ground pepper to taste

Garnish: additional chopped green onions

Combine marinade ingredients in a zip-loc bag and throw in flank steak(s). Mash around to make sure the steak is full covered with seasonings, and set in your fridge for several hours or overnight. Feel free to adjust amounts (I never measure for this). Also, if you remember, flip the steak half way through the marinating process so both sides equally soak up the tasty marinade.

On a grill pan heated to high, place the flank steak. This cut of steak is very thin so a high intensity heat for 5-8 minutes on each side should suffice. You can also do this on a grill. I like to use my meat thermometer to make sure I'm getting the doneness I want: medium rare. Let the flank steak rest on a cutting board for a few minutes before slicing against the grain, into small slices before serving. Top with sliced green onions for garnish and flavor.



Chicken or Shrimp (or anything) Egg Foo Yung

I ended up using a mixture of recipes, but I think the original recipe that I once used before is the best one. It is from FoodNetwork's George Stella's "Shrimp Egg Foo Young." This time around, I skipped the shrimp and used cooked chicken. Original recipe can be seen here. The second recipe that I was trying out was from AllRecipes.com and can be viewed here.

4 tablespoons canola oil (I used vegetable)
1/4 cup yellow onion, chopped
2 cups shredded cabbage (I bought the pre-shredded red cabbage)
6 eggs
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup sliced bamboo shoots

1/2 cup cooked small salad shrimp, or large dice medium cooked shrimp (I used chicken, beef or pork would be good, too. When I used shrimp originally, it was great.)
2 tablespoons green onion tops, sliced, for garnish

* I also used sliced mushrooms, a handful of bean sprouts (which I think is mandatory), a splash of sesame oil, some celery, and some powdered ginger that I would not do again since I like to shoot for how it tastes at the restaurant.

First, I sauteed all the cabbage and onion and veggies a little to pre-cook them, and then drained them. I had way too many veggies for the amount I needed (the AllRecipes recipe servers way more than 2 people).


Whisk the eggs in a bowl and mix in soy sauce, spices, drained cabbage/veggie mixture, and bamboo shoots.

Using a non-stick pan over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and heat. Ladle about 4 ounces of the cabbage mixture into the hot pan, as you would for pancakes, and sprinkle the small shrimp (or chicken) evenly on top of each. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until edges start to brown and when jiggled, it slides in the pan. Flip and cook another 2 to 3 minutes until cooked through. Garnish with scallions.

Cook's Note: If Egg Foo Young becomes brown too quickly, finish it by baking in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for a few minutes. (I didn't have this problem but that is a good tip)

Hope you enjoy!


There are many recipes for a sauce for Egg Foo Yung, and I prefer the starchy peanut/soy sauce mixture but tend to make this dish when I'm avoiding starch, and thus sauce. I haven't tried the Egg Foo Yung sauce that combines 2 cubes chicken bouillion, 1 1/2 cups hot water, 1 1/2 tsp sugar, 2 tbsp soy sauce, all heated together, then 6 tbsp cold water + 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch added to thicken it up. I read decent reviews of that sauce and saw it several places (including the Allrecipes note above) so maybe I'll try it someday. I still like peanut sauce though!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Parmesan Encrusted Chicken with Creamy Marsala Sauce


This was an invention two nights ago in attempt to make your boring chicken breast with side of veggie a little more interesting and tasty. It's a perfect low-carb meal. There aren't too many ingredients here but even boring chicken gets a twist. Hubby and I both loved the sauce which I thought was versatile enough to be used with pasta or even a more bland preparation of chicken so that it was the feature of the dish. The chicken was tasty on its own and the sauce almost got lost - both of these items are great by themselves and so EASY.





Parmesan Encrusted Chicken Breasts

3 chicken breasts with rib meat thawed (use more if you need!)
2 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp or more of grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp dried basil
2 tsp garlic salt
1 tbsp Italian seasoning

Heat nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and pour olive oil. Pound chicken breasts into uniform thickness as much as possible. Ensure pan is very hot when you place chicken.

Season one side of chicken breast with: garlic salt, basil, Italian seasoning. Then, sprinkle a generous portion of Parmesan cheese to cover the tops of the chicken. Place each chicken breast carefully (cheese side down) into the hot pan.

As the chicken begins to cook, season the top (bare) sides with garlic salt, basil, Italian seasoning and top with a coating of Parmesan cheese. Do not flip chicken for 5-7 minutes or until you have a deep golden brown crust on the bottom. After flipping, cook another 5-7 minutes and cut to ensure chicken is done.

This results in a juicy flavorful chicken breast, tasty enough to not require a sauce. Would also be delicious as a healthier non-breaded version of Chicken Parmesan with a tomato sauce accompaniment.


Creamy Marsala Sauce

1/3 cup chopped onion
1-2 tbsp Marsala wine
1-2 tbsp capers
3-4 tbsp butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
pinch salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onion and butter until translucent over medium heat. Add the Marsala and cook for a few minutes. Add the cream and salt and pepper and let thicken slightly. This made enough sauce to spoon over three chicken breasts but this could easily be increased. I didn't actually take measurements of ingredients so taste and adjust to your likings.
We had this with plain green beans and it was a healthy and flavorful low-carb meal, fast enough for a weeknight!



Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Mexican Shredded Beef


I originally printed out this recipe for my surprise fireman graduation party for my husband (Cinco de Mayo theme), and made it again recently. The recipe is originally from HowStuffWorks.com and I always alter it to suit my tastes (it was a little bland as written).



It's a convenient recipe because I can throw the ingredients in my crockpot in the morning and come home to a tasty and healthy dinner, ready to go!




Mexican Shredded Beef
Altered from HowStuffWorks.com


Ingredients
1 boneless chuck beef roast (about 3 pounds)
1-2 tablespoons of ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 cup salsa
1 tablespoon cornstarch
a few splashes of hot sauce (optional)
1-2 tsp of southwest seasoning (or taco seasoning if you want)


Directions
1. Cut roast in half. Combine cumin, coriander, chili powder, salt and red pepper in small bowl. Rub over roast. Place 1/4 cup salsa in slow cooker; top with one piece roast. Layer 1/4 cup salsa, remaining beef and 1/2 cup salsa in slow cooker. Cover; cook on LOW 8 to 10 hours.

2. Remove roast from cooking liquid; cool slightly. Trim and discard excess fat from beef. Shred meat with two forks.

3. Let cooking liquid stand 5 minutes to allow fat to rise. Skim off fat. Blend water and cornstarch until smooth. Whisk into liquid in slow cooker. Cook, uncovered, 15 minutes on HIGH until thickened. Return beef to slow cooker. Cover; cook 15 minutes or until hot. Adjust seasonings. Serve in taco shells. Leftover beef may be refrigerated up to 3 days or frozen up to 3 months.


(It does freeze well.)

We enjoyed this on crunchy and soft taco shells with shredded cheddar cheese, salsa verde, chopped onions, chopped cilantro, and sour cream (optional). Taco sauce, more salsa, corn mixed with the beef, guacamole or chopped tomatoes would also be good.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Happy New Year!



Here's to a year of food-and-craft-filled blogging! Good luck to all in 2008!