Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Thai Chicken Salad

I'd grabbed a Chinese chicken salad at our local co-op the other day for lunch.  Forgetting how much I love Chinese chicken salad, I came home and told Justin we should come up with one that we dig.  So instead of Chinese, we went with Thai!  I don't think we ever get tired of the combination of cilantro, basil, and mint!  I was a little leery of the chipotle in the dressing (begrudgingly inspired by Bobby Flay), but it was really great!  We both ate giant bowls of this and in between mouthfuls, we just kept exclaiming how awesome the salad was (and how awesome we are!)

For music... well, this is how the conversation went.  Me: What do you want to use for music?  J:  I dunno.  Me:  Did we use Screeching Weasel yet?  J:  "What We Hate" is my favourite of theirs.  Me:  I like that one too.

Not very inspiring, but still a great song from a band we love.  -jen

Time:  20 minutes prep at most
Difficulty:  If you can use a knife, you can do it, Nicky!
Serves: 6-8 
  • 2-3 cups cooked chicken breast, cubed
  • 1/2 head Napa cabbage, shredded
  • 2 heads Romaine lettuce, shredded
  • 4 medium carrots, shredded
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 4 medium scallions, sliced long and thin
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup basil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup mint, chopped
  • 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter (creamy or chunky, whichever you prefer)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced chipotle pepper
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon fish oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • crunchy chow mein noodles
In a large bowl, mix chicken, cabbage, lettuce, carrots, broccoli, scallions, cilantro, basil, mint and almonds.

In a smaller bowl, whisk vinegar, peanut butter, ginger, chipotle, soy sauce, honey, fish oil, sesame oil, lime zest, and lime juice.  Whisk in vegetable oil until completely blended.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Pour dressing onto salad and toss.  Toss your salad until you can toss it no more.  TOSS IT!!!  Then serve with crunchy chow mein noodles on top (don't mix them in, they'll get soggy).

Tip:  If you think you'll have leftovers, don't mix the dressing with all the greens.  Just pour the dressing on your individual servings, that way your greens don't get soggy in the fridge.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Red Cabbage & Broccoli Coleslaw

I really love red cabbage and its EXTREME CRISP!  (I just wanted to hop on the EXTREME bandwagon.)  So the night after Justin made Ribolita for dinner, I found we had all the fixings for a vegetable coleslaw using the leftover red cabbage!  I whipped out the box grater and went to town!  The slaw came out real tasty - we ate it with some pulled pork, good call there.  Simple, basic recipe - super easy.

When I think of coleslaw, I think of the south.  And so I was trying to think of some southern punk... and instead, my mind popped up with this song.  Not punk, obviously, but I got there by way of punk!  I woke up to Dylan's version on the radio this morning, thought about how I liked Ness' version better, and so somehow Social D wires crossed with southern food and if I ramble any more about how I get from one thought to another, I'm going to sound ridiculous.  Mike Ness - Don't Think Twice.  -jen

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 small shallot, diced fine
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional because of the celery salt, add to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 medium red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 medium crown broccoli, shredded
  • 4 medium carrots, shredded
In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, Dijon, red wine vinegar, shallot, sugar, Old Bay, celery salt, and black pepper.  Whisk until combined.  Add cabbage, broccoli and carrot and toss until coated.

Tip: Make this the day before you want to eat it because the flavours meld deliciously once it refrigerates over night!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Cream of Mushroom Soup

I guess we've been in a soup mood lately.  Cream of Mushroom is one of my favourites and I'd been wanting to make a batch for a while.  This batch I decided to do thinner than usual because I wasn't feeling like a gravy-esque soup, just something brothy and a little creamy.

I don't know why this song got stuck in my head when I was thinking of what to play.  And so... with no connection whatsoever to Cream of Mushroom soup, here's Camper Van Beethoven with "Take the Skinheads Bowling".  I could only find one link to the original video!  They didn't even have it on Youtube, very odd!  -jen

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 6 ounces crimini mushrooms, chopped
  • 6 ounces button mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons sherry
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dry thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 cup heavy cream
In large sauce pan, melt butter over medium-high heat.  Saute crimini and button mushrooms, shallot, bell pepper and garlic until tender, about 5-7 minutes.  Stir in flour and cook another 3 minutes.  Add chicken broth and whisk until flour is dissolved.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Soup should thicken.  Then add sherry, Worcestershire, thyme, sage, and cream.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer for another 5 minutes and serve. 

    Saturday, March 10, 2012

    Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

    It's been a bit chilly up here in Nor Cal and as such I've been making soups and stews more frequently.  The latest was a delicious roasted tomato basil soup that we'd perfected a few years back and posted on our old blog (now defunct).  So, I decided that I would post it here for reasons of sharing and for posterity.  It is a delicious soup, assuming you like tomatoes and basil, and is awesome with a nice crusty grilled cheese or any sandwich really.

    To accompany the soup I'm throwing in some SNFU as they take me back to a time when I ate soup and sandwiches far more often than I seem to of late.  Some classic DIY punk with some DIY homemade soup.  Plus, the song Painful Reminder is off of their album "Something Green and Leafy This Way Comes".  Green, leafy...basil?  Get it?- justin

    Tomato Basil Soup
    Time: 1 1/2 hrs
    Difficulty: easy
    Serves: 6-8

    • 3 lbs ripe plumb tomatoes cut in half (also called Roma tomatoes)
    • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 tbsp kosher salt
    • 2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
    • 2 tbsp butter
    • 2 cups chopped onion
    • 1 tbsp minced garlic
    • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flake (omit this if you don't like heat)
    • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (substitute red wine vinegar if you don't have balsamic)
    • 1 tbsp brown sugar
    • 1 28 oz can plum tomatoes
    • 3 cups fresh basil leaves
    • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
    • 1 quart chicken stock
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Toss the ripe plumb tomatoes with the 1/4 cup olive oil, the salt and the pepper.  Spread the tomatoes out in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes.

    In an 8qt stock pot over medium low heat, saute the onions and garlic in the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil, the butter, the red pepper flakes, and the vinegar for about 10 minutes.  Add the brown sugar, canned tomatoes (liquid and all), the basil, thyme and chicken stock.  Add the oven roasted tomatoes, including any liquid that may have accumulated on the baking sheet.  Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for 20 minutes.

    Using a blender (immersion or standing will work), blend until the desire consistency is reached.  Add the heavy cream and simmer for another 15-20 minutes.

    This recipe can also be made without the cream if you want a "lighter" soup or is you wish to serve it chilled like a gazpacho.

    Wednesday, March 7, 2012

    Simple Boule

    I've been trying to get back to baking more often as I grew up with my mom baking frequently, and as an adult have done less baking than when I was younger.  So, I've been trying my hand at breads lately and was suggested one by a good friend recently.  She is somewhat of a foodie herself and based on her recommendation I gave it a shot and succeeded beyond my wildest dreams.  This is a very simple recipe that you leave to rise overnight.  After 14 hrs or so of rising it's rolled one last time in some flour or cornmeal and it bakes in a dutch oven, which I'd never done before.  In any case, this recipe I'm posting is our variation of this recipe and has a couple of extra flavor enhancers tossed in so feel free to experiment cause it's hard to mess this one up.

    And what would go better with baking some bread than Propaghandi with their early track titled "Who Will Help Me Bake This Bread" off of their album How to Clean Everything. - justin

    Simple Boule
    Time: 15 to 16 hrs
    Difficulty: medium
    Serves: 6-8

    • 3 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 tsp sea salt (or 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt)
    • 1 tsp herbs de Provence ( or 1/4 tsp each: thyme, fennel, basil, savory, lavender)
    • 1 tsp minced garlic
    •  3/4 cup water
    • 3/4 cup milk (I used 1% milk)
    • 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
    Combine the flour, salt, herbs, and garlic in a large mixing bowl.  Warm the millk and water to a lukewarm temp either on the stove or in a microwave safe dish.  The liquid should not be hot, merely lukewarm, no more than 115 degrees Fahrenheit.  Add the yeast and let sit for 5 minutes.  After five minutes add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to mix.

    Just stir in the liquid until the dough forms into a ball and deposit in an oiled bowl that will have enough room for the dough ball to double in size.  Cover with a wet towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 6 hrs or so.

    After 6 hrs or so make sure the dough has doubled in size.  Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and fold onto itself a couple times, using a little flour to keep it from sticking to your hands and counter top.  After the dough has been worked back down to a smaller size, just a minute or two of kneading, return to the oiled bowl, cover again with a wet towel and let rise at least another 6 hrs. 

    After the second 6 hr rising period, once again kneed the dough ball a couple times, no more than 2 or 3 folds, and let rise, covered, for a final 2 hrs.

    30 minutes before you are ready to bake the bread pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees.  Place an 8qt dutch oven inside to pre-heat along with the oven.  When ready to bake, place the dough ball in the dutch oven, seam-side facing up, cover with the dutch oven lid, and bake for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, remove the lid from the dutch oven and bake an additional 15 minutes.  Remove the loaf of bread and set on a rack to cool at least 10 minutes before serving.