Monday, July 19, 2010

Basil Thai Chicken with Summer Squash & Zucchini


Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Difficulty: Level 1
Yield: 3-4 servings

  • 2 Large Chicken Breasts
  • 1/2 Vidalia Onion
  • 1 Squash
  • 1 Zucchini
  • 1 Packed Cup of Fresh Basil (approx.)
  • 2 Scallions
  • 2 Tbsp Minced Garlic
  • 3 Tbsp Canola Oil
  • 4 Tbsp Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Fish Sauce (Found in Thai section of grocery store)
  • 2 Tbsp Sriracha Sauce (mild but noticable heat, add more if you desire but caution!)
  • 2-3 Tbsp Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice (use other half for garnish)
  • 1 Tbsp Cracked Black Pepper
  • 2 Dozen Roasted Peanuts, crushed
  • Jasmine Rice
  • Large Electic Wok or Non-stick Frying Pan

Begin prep work by washing squash, zucchini, basil (if necessary) and scallions (if necessary).  Chop the squash and zucchini into 1/2" cubes or bigger so that each piece has some of the skin.  Set aside.  Next dice the onion and scallions and set aside in a different bowl.  Finally, roll the basil leaves into a clump and rough chop into strips, place in a 3rd small bowl.

If serving with rice, turn the water on to begin to boil at this point.  Follow the directions on the rice package (usually add into boiling water, cut the heat and let simmer for 15 minutes or so until the water is absorbed).

Clean and remove fat/skin from the chicken breasts.  Slice into 1/2" strips and then cut each strip into bit size chunks.  Not too small here as you dont want the chicken to dry out during the high-heat cooking.

Add 2 Tbsp of canola oil to the Wok and preheat to High Heat (400 degrees).  When ready, carefully add the chicken using tongs and make one layer of chicken along the bottom of the pan.  Let cook for a minute or so until the bottoms begin to golden and then stir.  Repeat until the chicken is mostly golden, no more than 5 minutes total for this step.

Push the chicken out of the center and around the edges.  Add 1 tbsp canola oil to the center of the Wok followed by the onions and scallions and let sizzle for 1 minute.  Then fold the chicken into the onion mixture and push everything back out to the edges.  Add the squash & zucchini and the minced garlic to the center of the Wok and cook for 1 minute.  Fold the chicken & onion mixture into the veggies in the center and add the soy sauce, sriracha, fish sauce, lime juice and cracked pepper.  Cook for 1 more minute and then add the chopped basil.  Gently stir until the basil is wilted.

Cut the heat, sprinkle with the chopped peanuts, and serve!  Garnish with a few cilantro sprigs and a slice of lime.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Scallion Infused Pan-Fried Crab Cakes with Lemon Herb Rémoulade

Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 8 Minutes / batch of 4 Cakes
Difficulty: Level 1
Yield: 4 Crab Cakes & 1 Cup of Sauce


Crab Cakes
16oz Cooked Crab Meat (Claw or Lump)
3/4 Cup Plain Breadcrumbs
1 Egg
2 Scallions (white section only)
1 Tbsp Grey Poupon dijon mustard
1 Tsp Worchester Sauce
1 Tbsp Mustard Powder
2 Tsp Old Bay Seasoning
1 Tsp Cracked Black Pepper
1/2 Lemon Juiced
2-3 Tbsp Canola Oil (or other high heat oil)
2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter

Rémoulade3/4 Cup Mayonnaise
1/2 Lemon Juiced & Zest
1 Tbsp Heinz Ketchup
1 Tsp Worchester Sauce
1 Tsp Horseradish Sauce
2 Scallions (green section only)
1 Tbsp Dried Dill
1 Tbsp Dried Oregano
2 Tbsp Olive Oil


Preheat a large (and preferably thick bottomed) frying pan over medium heat with canola oil just covering the bottom of the pan.

Finely chop both scallions, separating the white and green sections.  Place the white section in a large mixing bowl.  Add the mustard, Worchester sauce, lemon juice, mustard powder, Old Bay, black pepper and egg.  Whisk together until mixed and the egg is lightly beat.  Next, dump the crab meat into a small bowl and gently look for shells.

Roll up your sleeves, this next part gets messy.  Add the crab meat and the breadcrumbs into the large mixing bowl and gently fold into the egg mixture until thoroughly mixed and the proper consistency to form into patties.  Divide the mixture into four piles and gently form into balls. Then lightly flatten into large patties on a cutting board with your hand.

Carefully add the butter to the heated oil and allow it to completely melt.  Using a spatula, place the 4 crab cakes into the pan with enough space to not be touching each other.  Once placed, DO NOT MOVE. 

Cook the crab cakes on each side for exactly 4 minutes.  Remove and promptly add to serving dishes.

While the cakes are cooking, place the green section of the diced scallions into a blender. Add the rest of the ingredients for the rémoulade except for the olive oil.  Pulse the blender a couple of times to ensure the scallions begin mixing with the other ingredients and push the mixture down as necessary (with blender off of course).  With the center portion of the lid removed, turn the blender on full and begin slowly drizzling the olive oil into the mixture and blend until emulsified.  Remove mixture and add to serving dishes. 

Sprinkle the sauce with Old Bay.  Garnish with lemon wedges or slices.
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