Monday, July 18, 2011

Ode to Deliciousness. (I.E. how to add ten pounds by tomorrow.)

Get the details about Yummy Mondays HERE.

Oh, Deliciousness.  I love you.  I do.  I wish we could meet more often.  Every night in fact.  It would be wonderful, wouldn't it?  However, you usually happen to bring along a few unwanted friends - namely Extra Calories, Muffin Top and Flab.  I don't think I need to mention how much I dislike them.  If it were just you, Deliciousness, I'm sure we would rendezvous more often.  As it is, I have to be content with things like sandwiches on wheat bread and salads with dressing on the side every other day of the week.  I suppose that gives Monday a little pick me up, which is nice... but this dinner?  Oh, Deliciousness.  If only...

We'll start with the main course.  It's a tasty dish discovered on Budget Bytes and I pinned it to my pinterest board weeks ago.  Since I'm trying to use my pinterest boards more often, I decided to make it.  It's called Coconut Chicken, and if you could smell it or lick it from your screen, you would want to make it too.  I made Pineapple Rice, of my own creation, to go along with it.  Kind of going for a pina colada dinner here.  I made some minor changes, and the recipe is below.

Coconut Chicken
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
2 Large eggs
1/2 C coconut milk
1/2 C flour
1 C panko crumbs
1 C shredded coconut
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C veggie oil

Prepare your chicken breasts and cut each one into strips.  Place the shredded coconut in a food processor and pulse three or four times.  Combine flour and salt in a ziploc bag.  In a bowl, combine the eggs and coconut milk.  Whisk together until well combined.  In another bowl, stir together the panko crumbs and the shredded coconut.  Put your veggie oil in a skillet and heat over medium/high until just below smoking.  Put your chicken pieces in the bag with the flour mixture and shake it up until well coated.  Take the pieces out and dredge them in the egg mixture.  Then coat them well in the panko and coconut mixture.  Place them in the hot oil to fry.  You will need to do a few small batches as you don't want to crowd the pan.  Fry the strips for about 2-3 minutes on each side.  Place the chicken pieces on a paper towel to drain the oil.  After a few batches you may need more oil, so you can add the rest of it.  Garnish with cilantro.

The recipe did call for sweet chili from the store, but I decided I could probably make my own, no problem.  I'm really glad I did, because the flavor was amazing (although I made it a teensy bit spicy for my liking...)  I found a recipe on - Thai Food and had to alter it a tad to accommodate some items I could NOT find.

Sweet Chili Sauce

1/2 cup rice vinegar (or substitute white vinegar)
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. white sugar
1/4 cup water
3 Tbsp. Oyster sauce
2 Tbsp. cooking sherry
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 to 1 Tbsp. dried crushed chili (1 Tbsp. makes spicy-hot sauce)
1+1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch dissolved in 3-4 Tbsp. cool water
Place all ingredients - except the cornstarch-water mixture - in a sauce pan or pot. Bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to medium and let boil for 10 minutes, or until reduced by half. (Note that the vinegar will be quite pungent as it burns off. Generally, I find rice vinegar less strong than regular white vinegar). Reduce heat to low and add the cornstarch-water mixture. Stir to incorporate and continue stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens (about 2 minutes). Remove from heat and taste-test. You should taste "sweet" first, followed by sour, then spicy and salty notes. If the sauce isn't sweet enough, add a little more sugar. If not “sour” enough (or you need a little “tang”) add a bit more rice vinegar.  If not spicy enough, add more chili. Pour sauce into a small bowl or jar and serve.

I decided it needed some rice for something substantial - since I usually make a couple of sides.  I didn't want the rice to be plain jane, though, so I turned it into pineapple rice.

Pineapple Rice
3 C minute rice (uncooked)
1 Can chicken broth
2 Small cans of crushed pineapple

Put all the ingredients together in a 9x9 baking dish and mix well.  It should be rather soupy.  If the rice is not covered enough, add a bit of water.  Preheat oven to 350 and cook for about 45 minutes.  Stir well with a fork to fluff the rice.

And because that fried chicken simply wasn't enough fried food for one evening, I decided to try the Avocado fries I'd also pinned long ago.  Actually, I thought it was a good way to use up all the panko so it wouldn't go stale waiting in the cupboard.  These were found on Circle B Kitchen.  Here's the recipe.

Avocado Fries

Veggie oil for frying
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp kosher salt
2 large eggs, beaten to blend
1 1/4 cups panko crumbs
2 firm-ripe medium avocados, pitted, peeled, and sliced into 1/2-in. wedges
Grated parmesan for serving

Preheat oven to 200°. In a medium saucepan, heat 1 1/2 in. oil until it registers 375° on a deep-fry thermometer.
  Meanwhile, mix flour with 1/2 tsp. salt in a shallow plate. Put eggs and panko in separate shallow plates.  Sprinkle the avocado slices with the remaining ½ tsp salt.  Dip each slice in flour, shaking off excess. Dip in egg, then panko to coat. Set on 2 plates in a single layer.  Fry a quarter of avocado slices at a time until deep golden, 30 to 60 seconds. Transfer slices to a plate lined with paper towels. Keep warm in oven while cooking remaining avocados. Sprinkle with salt and a little grated parmesan.

I served some flavored water with dinner - you know, something light to even out all that, erm, NOT light stuff... I got the idea from She Wears Many Hats.  And yes, this is on my pinterest board. 

It was light and citrus-y, refreshing and crisp.  Yum.  I love adding lemon to water, but this water had slices of orange, lime, and lemon - never put them all together before.  And the surprise ingredient?  A few slices of cucumber, which makes it keep it's crispness.  Huh.  I never would have thought.  Worth a look around her blog, just saying.

Maybe I should have fried dessert, too, just to round the whole thing out?  Well, in any case, I'm glad I didn't.  Because if I HAD made a fried dessert, I would have missed these ridiculously delicious cupcakes.  And they are now my new favorite cupcake EVER.  Seriously.  Even though I baked them, and in general, my cupcakes are awful.  No, I'm serious.  I just don't do them well.  But these?  Oh, you have to make them.  You do.  I took them from my pinterest board (of course) and I originally found them on Food, Folks & Fun.

Peanut Butter Filled Chocolate Cupcakes
For the filling: 
1 cup confectioners' sugar
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ tsp. vanilla extract
For the cake:
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 cup sour cream
2 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups sugar
2 large eggs
For the frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
½ cup creamy peanut butter
3¼ cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed
mini chocolate chips 
Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.
To make the filling, combine the confectioners' sugar, peanut butter, butter and vanilla extract in a bowl.  Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined.  Roll the mixture into 1-inch balls (at least 24) and set aside on a baking sheet.
To make the cake batter, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; whisk together and set aside.  In a liquid measuring cup, stir together the sour cream, milk and vanilla extract.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar, and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed.  With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and the sour cream mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Mix just until incorporated.
Spoon a tablespoon or two of batter into the bottom of each cupcake liner.  Place a ball of the peanut butter filling in each cupcake well and top with the remaining batter so that all the cups are filled.  Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, butter and peanut butter until smooth.  Slowly mix in the confectioners' sugar, beating until smooth and well blended.  Mix in the whipped topping until smooth and fluffy.  Frost cooled cupcakes as desired, and garnish with mini chocolate chips.

Scrumptious, I tell you, SCRUMPTIOUS.  Does the recipe look long and daunting?  Don't let that deter you.  Really.  You will be missing out.  mr hates cupcakes - yes, I'm serious.  He thinks they are not moist enough and it bothers him that you can't pick your size like you can with cake.  But these?  He said, and I QUOTE, "You can feel free to make these anytime."  I told him, "Likewise."  

 All in all, a very Pinteresting yummy Monday - all recipes worth making.  If you try them, let me know.  And you really should try them.

*Be sure to check just below for all the fun parties I link to!


Amy @ dwell in the season said...

Wow, that looks amazing! But I think you hit it right on the button - I think I would gain 10 lbs. by tomorrow if I ate that whole meal! :)

SJ @ Homemaker On A Dime said...

I'm so grateful that you linked up in this week's Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop :) This awesome post totally rocked the party!

SJ @ Homemaker On A Dime said...

Hi, Kimberly! I pinned this in Pinterest and featured at Recognition Day Thursday. Please feel free to grab my feature button on my sidebar. Thanks for linking up at the Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop :)

Anonymous said...

This sounds delicious. I love anything with coconut milk. I make rice pudding with it. It's too good. Dangerous, in fact.

Inga´s Haven said...

hi - I found you on Sj´s site
this looks reallly amazing yumm- might make it later ;)

Lady Behind The Curtain said...

Thank you so much for stopping by Cast Party Wednesday last week. I really appreciate you sharing your recipe with us. I hope you will join us again for another awesome party filled with yummy recipes.
Thanks Again!

Gloria said...

Greetings! I saw your Coconut Chicken on Homemaker on a Dime's blog! DELICIOUS!! I wish I had that whole platter for myself right now! ;)
Great job!

Corey @ Family Fresh Meals said...

Those avocado fries look like heaven on a plate! Can't wait to give them a try :)

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