Posts Tagged ‘Dinner’

Thai Coconut Chicken Curry

Monday, April 7th, 2014

From our food contributor, Shaina Olmanson.

Thai Coconut Chicken Curry #recipe via Shaina Olmanson at MomAdvice.com
Thinking fast on your feet is one of those skills no one ever tells you you’ll need as a mom. I often feel like there should have been a prerequisite before choosing to have kids, a mini boot camp that presented you with harrowing situations and tight time limits for figuring out the solution. Where were those life skills taught?

More often than not, when I reach the 5 o’clock hour I’m in a mad rush to throw something together before whatever activities the evening holds. I have four kids emptying their backpacks on my dining room table as I stare into the refrigerator, and as I’m stress-searching the contents of crisper drawer and the inner door, one of them is bound to ask for homework help. Why didn’t I remember to take the meat out of the freezer?

It is in these parenting moments where I feel utterly defeated by life that I find the greatest opportunities to defeat it instead. This meal is one of those that lends itself to last-minute meals. I try to keep ingredients for it on hand, ready at a moment’s notice, along with a Greek seasoning blend and taco seasoning and cans of beans in the pantry (which isn’t really a “pantry” as much as basement shelves and a cupboard in the garage at my house). They’re the things I turn to when everything is falling apart, when I’ve dropped every ball there was to juggle. The thing they have in common: quick cooking times.

Cutting the chicken thin helps it cook faster. If you only have chicken in the freezer, thaw it partially and then cut it. It’s wonderfully easy to slice thinly when there’s still a bit of frozen resistance. The vegetables are interchangeable, for the most part. Use what you have on hand. Zucchini and mushrooms can be great in this curry, too.

Thai Coconut Chicken Curry #recipe via Shaina Olmanson at MomAdvice.com
Let’s talk rice. I’m not going to judge the type of rice you use here, whether you’re a boil-in-the-bag home, a minute-rice family, you rely on those microwaveable pouches and trays, you are a diehard stovetop rice cooker, or you – like me – are devoted to your rice cooker. For me, I find that the best way to cut down on rice cooking time is simply to make exactly the amount you need. My rice cooker takes far longer to cook six cups of rice (I like leftovers) than it does to cook two. Similarly, if you are making it on the stove, bringing several cups of water to a boil is going to take more time than if you only make what you’ll be eating.

Thai Coconut Chicken Curry
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Thai
Serves: 4-5
 
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into thin slices
  • 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 daikon, julienned (see notes for substitutions)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 can (15 ounces) coconut milk
  • 4 green onions, diced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro
  • 4 cups cooked rice
Instructions
  1. In a wok or large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add in the chicken and cook until white on all sides. Stir in the curry paste. Add the red bell peppers and the daikon and saute for 3 minutes.
  2. Stir in the brown sugar, fish sauce, and coconut milk. Bring just to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5-7 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle green onions and cilantro over the top just before serving. Serve over rice.
Notes
You can substitute bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, or another vegetable for the daikon.

 

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Nearly Classic Shrimp and Grits Recipe

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

From our food contributor, Shaina Olmanson.

Classic Shrimp and Grits #recipe via MomAdvice.com
I feel under qualified to be talking about grits. Coming from the Midwest, grits are not exactly an everyday food. In fact, an upbringing and solidified love for farina and creamed wheat cereals is what led me to believe I would love a bowl of grits equally, and so when the opportunity arose to order them on a road trip well into my teen years, I did just that.

I’ll leave it at this: Truck stop grits are not the type you fall in love with. Still, there was something to that bowl of white and creamy food with a big pat of butter melting on top. I was not to be thrown off course in my desire to adopt grits as my new “it” food. It had all the same promises as my breakfast favorites, but with expanded possibilities for my palate. At the top of the savory list: shrimp and grits.

Creamy, cheesy grits get topped with vibrant shrimp and crisp green onions. What’s not to love about this? The idea of adding butter and cheddar and plump shellfish to a bowl of warm comfort food seemed to me like a decision that was already made in the affirmative. So I set out to learn as much as I could about grits.
Classic Shrimp and Grits #recipe via MomAdvice.com
The first issue was obtaining them. Outside of the generic “quick-cooking grits” on the market shelf, there weren’t many options at first in the urban Midwestern area I lived in. I finally settled on making grits with white cornmeal to begin my experiments and then ordering online. Traditional grits are made from hominy, alkali-treated corn, and were stone ground in a rough, coarse texture. You’ll find both white corn and hominy when looking, so determine which you want to go for.

Once you have the grits in hand (or nearly grits), the rest of the preparation is satisfyingly simple, and the payoff is pure comfort food. It’s the kind of meal that leaves you satisfied at the end, the type of dish that begs to be made again and again.

Nearly Classic Shrimp and Grits
Author: 
Recipe type: main dish
Cuisine: southern
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup stone ground white grits
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese (I used Kerrygold Dubliner)
  • 3 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails removed (if desired)
  • ½ cup chopped scallions
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Bring the water and salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Slowly whisk in the grits. When all the grits have been added, reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, for 25 minutes. Keep the butter and cheddar cheese ready off to the side.
  2. While the grits are cooking, in a large skillet cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon pieces, leaving the grease in the pan and add in the garlic and the shrimp. Cook the shrimp over medium heat just until pink.
  3. Add in the scallions, parsley, and the lemon juice. Cook for 3 minutes to combine the flavors and then remove from the heat and stir in the bacon pieces.
  4. Stir in the butter and shredded cheese at the end of the cooking time for the grits. Immediately spoon into a bowl and top with shrimp and bacon to serve.

 

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Summer Dinner Inspiration

Monday, June 18th, 2012

I love planning summer meals because they are so easy to execute. I am hoping to provide a few ideas for summer dinner inspiration from recipes we have available on our site. I believe though that if you have a grill and you have a slow cooker, you have all the tools you need in the world to get a great dinner on the table without a lot of effort in the summertime.

This summer I am taking a few mobile pictures to help inspire your summer meals. I will try to share three great dishes to enjoy each week around the dinner table. 

I love a good Sunday dinner and one of our family’s favorite dishes is roast chicken. There are a million ways to roast a chicken, but absolute favorite is this Roast Chicken Cooked in Milk. Once I found this recipe, I have never cooked my chicken any other way. It is a fun flavor combination of sage, cinnamon, lemon, and milk. The sauce is heavenly. I served this with crusty bread with dipping sauce (pesto with a generous drizzle of olive oil) and roasted fingerling potatoes.

The potatoes were cooked at 375 for 45 minutes. They were tossed with olive oil, rosemary, thyme, and kosher salt. These were golden and crunchy. We dipped those in our pesto dipping sauce too.

There is pasta and there is summertime pasta. My Rotini with Turkey Meatballs is one of those deliciously light dishes that you just can’t stop eating. If you have cherry tomatoes and herbs in your garden, you have the makings for a really great sauce for this dish. We served it with the leftover bread from our meal and my favorite roasted green beans. To drink, I have become addicted to Tazo Passion Fruit Tea. I mixed this with some lemonade and it was so delicious and refreshing.

Breakfast for dinner is always a hit around our house. Thanks to using the Cooks Illustrated guide to freezing my blueberries last summer, I still enjoying the last of our fabulous blueberries for our dishes.

Nothing screams summer to me more than a pile of these blueberry pancakes. If you have some blueberries on hand in your house, I highly recommend visiting my list of eight great recipes to try with your blueberries this year.

 

 

 

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