Tired of takeout or bland freezer food for those busy weeknight dinners? Here’s a quick, easy and exotic meal idea that’s a breeze to prepare and sure to please everyone at your dinner table.
For this Asian-inspired dish, I used Stubb’s Pork Marinade as the base for marinating a pork tenderloin. The flavors of lemongrass, chilies, and lime in Stubb’s Pork Marinade make the perfect flavor base for an Asian-style dish. With the addition of a little extra garlic, ginger and fresh lime juice, I marinated pork tenderloin for a few hours, then seared and roasted it to give it a nice browned crust. Noodles in a zesty peanut sauce make a great accompaniment to the pork and can be quickly whipped up while the pork is cooking.
Besides the marinating time, this meal can be prepared and on the table in about thirty minutes or less. Better yet, you may already have some of the ingredients on-hand, like peanut butter and soy sauce, and the rest of the ingredients can be easily found at your grocery store. Don’t have any Asian noodles? No problem. Standard spaghetti or fettuccine pasta make great substitutions. And if peanuts pose an allergy issue, simply substitute almond butter and almonds for the peanut products.
Try these Asian-style noodles with roast pork tenderloin and peanut sauce tonight and you may never have to dig out those takeout menus again.
Check out the recipe on Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q’s website!
Craving something exotic for dinner but don’t feel like ordering takeout? Then look no further than this easy-to-prepare version of Chicken Tikka Masala. This creamy, spiced Indian comfort food is worth the effort to make and much more rewarding (and healthier) than ordering takeout.
This adaptation of the favorited Indian dish, just needs one pan to be cooked in as, instead of broiling the yogurt- and spice-marinated chicken tikka beforehand, it is cooked in the same pan that the masala “gravy” sauce is prepared. Aside from the chicken needing at least thirty minutes to marinate, the sauce only takes about fifteen minutes to whip up. Best of all, this tikka is a little lighter than the original because I swapped the heavy cream out for the yogurt marinade that’s stirred in at the end to thicken the sauce. As for the accompanying basmati rice, my suggestion is to get it started cooking while the chicken marinates, before the sauce is started — or just cheat and buy a brand that you can quickly cook in the microwave here (I won’t judge).
Whether you’ve had some experince dabbling in Indian cuisine or if you’ve no clue what garam masala is, this recipe can be easily prepared in under an hour and you can find most or all of the ingredients at your grocery store.
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Katniss’ favorite meal of lamb stew with dried plums and wild rice.
If you’ve ever read The Hunger Games trilogy, you’ve probably noted that the most memorable dish in said texts is Katniss’ memorable meal of lamb stew with dried plums over wild rice. Her first taste of it in book one is at the games training center in the Capitol, and she is later rewarded with more of it later on during her time inside the game arena (it pops up in the following books quite a few times as well).
To create this dish, I used my favorite Irish Guinness beef stew as the base recipe: swapped out the beef for lamb, traded the Guinness for red wine, and threw in some dried plums (a.k.a.: prunes). Otherwise, the base is simply, onions, carrots, potatoes, fresh herbs and tomato paste — all items that can be easily found at your local grocery store.
This rustic lamb stew is incredibly easy to make and is the perfect dish to serve over these next few chilly months. The lamb is tender and slightly sweet, further enhanced by the herbaceous rosemary and sweet prunes. If lamb is too pricey for your budget, simply use beef or pork stew meat in its place. This can be simmered on the stove top for about 45 minutes, or cooked low and slow in a slow cooker over the course of a few hours. It is great served on its own, but to keep with the original inspiration for the dish, it’s even better served over wild rice (though I prefer a wild rice blend as wild rice can be rather chewy and rather costly).
Put yourself in Katniss’ shoes and volunteer yourself as tribute for cooking up this heartwarming meal. And may the odds be ever in your favor.
(P.S.: Happy New Year!)
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Every ethnic cuisine has their form of a one pot, rice-based dish that usually includes some form of meat and/or seafood with vegetables. One of my favorite versions of this is Spanish paella. Paella is traditionally made in a large pan called a “paellera” (go figure) with short- or medium-grain rice and given its characteristic yellow color from saffron threads, as well as its distinct flavor. Paella varies from region to region in Spain, the coastal areas include mostly seafood in theirs, such as mussels, clams and shrimp. Other traditional versions feature Spanish dry chorizo and even snails. While traditonal versions of paella are absolutely wonderful (definitely a must-try ethnic dish), I am hardly a traditionalist so I felt I had to put my own spin on it.
First of all, I didn’t feel like slaving over a hot stove to make my paella and I hadn’t used my fabulous rice cooker in ages, so I busted that bad boy out and got to work. I know I’ve already raved about all of the amazing things a rice cooker can do in a short amount of time, but I feel I must again and pay homage to my dear friend and kitchen appliance. Did I also mention it can cook rice perfectly? Read the rest of this entry