Momma Told Me: Spice as in flavor, not hot!In our home it is not uncommon to see me foraging through the kitchen cupboards with tablet in hand, hunting for ingredients to try a new recipe seen on Pinterest, or in a food magazine. My family is subject to any form of cuisine, or advanced technique I so humbly try to emulate with my passing moods. Thankfully, Sabrina (10) will eat just about anything without questioning it, and Jay is pretty tolerant towards various ingredients so long as they "taste good." Of course, taste is subjective. When I was younger Momma would squeal like a little girl when the grocer would restock her Liverwurst. I recall it came in these salmon colored rolls, and was more of a pate than sausage. She'd stand there in the kitchen spooning the dreadful stuff onto a bagel or slice of bread as I feigned a gag and pretended to pass from the mere thought of taking one bite. In any case, with all of my culinary experimenting it's necessary that I have multiple proteins on hand to cook on a whim.
Omaha Steaks boxes have helped bring together. With as little as 24 hours notice I can have a grill full of grub waiting for my unplanned guests, without paying retail pricing at the butcher.
Ironically, in the very midst of my recent digestive issues I was craving flavor; and a particular type of cuisine at that, Thai. I say this was quite ironic, because I was otherwise on a liquid protein diet (along with the occasional carb), but something about warm, spiced, Thai food tickled my palette that day. I should note that this particular style of cuisine is not necessarily 'spicy' as in 'hot,' but rather spicy for flavor's sake. Like the scent of a fresh cinnamon stick singing one's nose hairs, great Thai cooking can be tolerated by any palette, and very much appreciated. One trademark of the curries and Pad Thai is the inclusion of very nutritious, and creamy, coconut milk. A few years back I made a Spicy Peanut Butter Satay that encouraged me to pour warm coconut milk directly over my steamed rice prior to serving. It has been an indulgent habit I've since found hard to break! Today I will share 2, not-so-photogenic, Thai inspired recipes that are sure to have your family talking about unique, yet successful, flavor combinations. The 3oz individually packaged Omaha Chicken Breasts proved just the right portion/per person for this light and flavorful lunch.
Spicy Peanut O'Brien
***click here for printable recipe
* 1/2 Package (14oz) of Potatoes O'Brien (w/onions and peppers preferred)
* 6oz Cream Cheese, Cubed
* 3 TBS Sriracha, or preferred hot sauce
* 4 TBS Soy Sauce
*3/4 C Smooth Peanut Butter
1.) In a large pan, cook 1/2 package of potatoes O'Brien to package specified directions, just until beginning to crisp and turn golden.
2.) In a small skillet combine remaining ingredients over low-medium heat and stir until well combined. Constant stirring will ensure the mixture does not seize or burn.
3.) Toss potatoes on Medium heat in peanut sauce, allowing to cook 2-3 minutes, or until gentle crisp develops along potato edges.
Note: The potatoes will begin to crumble if over-handled. You may desire to cook them to a well crisp before introducing the sauce, or even form the potatoes into a Spicy O'brien potato cake. It's not the prettiest, but Jay has already requested I make it again!
Mango Chicken Curry
****click here for printable recipe
* 2 (3oz Omaha Chicken Breasts), cut into chunks or strips
* 1 Mango, Peeled and Diced, or 3/4 C Mango Puree
* 3/4 C Coconut Milk
* 1 TBS White Vinegar
* 1 Clove Minced Garlic
* 1/4 C Finely Diced Onion
* 1 TBS Ginger
* 1 TBS Yellow Curry Powder
* 1/4 TSP Cumin
1.) Heat oil in saute pan over Medium heat. Add onions and stir until soft and semi-translucent. Add garlic and ginger and continue cooking another minute. Introduce cumin and curry powders, allowing to cook for 2-3 minutes. If the mixture thins and begins to stick add an additional TSP of oil.
2.) Add vinegar, coconut milk and chopped mango/puree to the pan. Bring to a low simmer, cover and allow to cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and pour into food processor, pulsing until well blended.
3.) Return mixture to hot pan and incorporate chicken strips/cubes. Return to a low simmer. Cover and cook 8-10 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked.
***An additional mango may be diced and introduced into the final step if you wish the add consistency to your curry.
The mango chicken is much more creamy and mellow than the Spicy Potatoes O'Brien, which seem to erupt with flavor; making this a well paired dish. Neither of the entrees will win any photo contests, but they certainly taste much more intricate than they look; and they're fairly easy to whip up at home. Pay attention to sticking whenever working with peanut butter in a pan, and as a rule of thumb processed peanut butters will melt and combine much smoother than organic (though either is acceptable). The recipes above are portioned for 2 people (though the potatoes will in truth feed 3-4, there were no leftovers in our home), so they may be doubled to serve a standard 3-4 adults. Make the mango curry sauce in bulk in advance for an easy busy-night meal solution that's as easy as cooking chicken and pouring over rice!
What Daughter Says: Cooking with spices doesn't have to intimidate, try it at home today!
As Required By The FTC: I received product from Omaha Steaks to facilitate this recipe creation, no other compensation was provided. All content and opinions above are unaltered and mine alone.