Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sheet Pan Dinner, NYTIMES

If you are sometimes cooking for one, say, if the rest of your family has abandoned you and one member of your family only eats mush, then it behooves you to have a simple, one (dishwasher safe) pan recipe that cooks in ten minutes with a two minute prep. And that recipe is anything that you can roast on a sheet pan.  If you are indeed parenting solo, then it would also behoove you to treat yourself to something delicious and sumptuous, a little treat to say, good job, woman!

And for me, that is halibut. Because that shit is expensive.

 But a little goes a long way. I got less than half a pound and it was good for dinner and lunch!

The recipe is not even a recipe, it's a state of mind. Set oven to 400 degrees. Get out sheet pan. Put fish on sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper it (be generous).

Cut up a head of broccoli. Put the florets on the sheet pan. Olive oil, salt, pepper. You could do other stuff, but I don't.

Here is the key. SPREAD OUT the broccoli so that the florets don't really touch.  This lets them get crispy and truly breathtaking, even if it's only broccoli. As I was eating it, I thought, I prefer this to candy. TO CANDY?!

10 minutes, check it, 10 more minutes (the halibut is pretty thick, the rule is ten minutes per inch.) 20 minutes was perfect for the broccoli. I ate it standing up, over the oven, in the pan. Gourmet, indeed.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Panda Express Style Mushroom Chicken

I have a dear dear relationship with this chicken, which I remember sharing with my mom when I was at Montgomery Mall in middle school and from hence all it has always been my go to mall dish. I always crave it but it's not so easy to get. I'd have to go all the way to the mall.

This is a version

And this is the version that inspired that version

And this is my version:
1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into thin bite sized slices - pretty small is better
3 tablespoons cornstarch 
1 tablespoon canola oil 
1 tablespoon sesame oil 
1 8 oz package of mushrooms (sliced)
2 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise, then in ½ inch slices 
2 tbl soy sauce + 1tbl balsamic vinegar (I didn't even use all of the sauce!) 
Lots of minced garlic (at least two cloves)
2 teaspoons minced ginger

This recipe is pretty fast if you prep everything first.
Season the chicken in salt and pepper, then coat the chicken with the cornstarch. I put the chicken in the bag, then add 1 tbl of cornstarch at a time, because it wants to clump up.
Heat the oil to pretty hot (on high) and put the chicken in using tongs, so that it doesn't clump up. Flip during cooking to get a little crispness (this seems to go away when you add the sauce, but oh well).

Take the chicken out of the pan once it's cooked through. Keeping the pan at high, add the zucchini and mushrooms. In a few minutes they will wilt down, add liquid and get ready to soak up yummy juices. Add in LOTS of garlic and ginger, and cook it down for half a minute. Then add the chicken back in and pour the sauce in a tblspn or so at a time. Watch it thicken like magic. Thanks, cornstarch!

I don't add all the sauce just in case it gets too wet. I like that nice gloopy food court consistency.

It's not the same but it is a fast (and healthy) dinner! Too lazy to make the panda fried rice. Will just have to make do with white rice.