chezpei.com

Trying to eat something delicious, each and every day.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Chicken Curry Udon

I'm warning you people--there are going to be a lot of posts about using up leftovers and eating cheaply. The blog might even have to be re-named "Chez Cheapo," because I'm all outta cash and that doesn't look like it's going to change for the next decade or two. Buying a home is not all it's cracked up to be. But I digress...


Today's lunch was chicken curry udon noodles. For a nice lunch for one, take a block of frozen udon and put it in just enough simmering water to soften it. Never buy the vacuum packed udon. It has a terrible doughy texture and if you even slightly overcook it it falls apart. The frozen stuff is really good. You just need to simmer it in hot water until it defrosts, and it has a nice bouncy toothiness to it.

When the udon is almost completely softened, throw in a few pieces of chicken breast that have been pounded flat and lightly salted. As that cooks, add a tablespoon of your favorite curry paste to the pot and stir well. When the chicken is half cooked, add a handful of whatever leftover vegetables you have on  hand. Cook for a minute longer or as needed, and voila! Refrigerator scraps become a presentable meal. I scavenge a lot around lunch time. Tell me what's in your fridge and I'll tell you what to cook!

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Chicken Salad Sandwich

Hey check it out! I made myself a healthy lunch today. I took a piece of pan fried chicken breast and cubed it to make a simple chicken salad with mustard, mayo, and celery. Then I piled some onto a slice of toast and half a sliced avocado, and ate the leftover rib of celery as a side of fiber. Not too shabby. Certainly beats eating out again!

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Lemon Chicken and Vegetables

Easy, healthy, not too pretty dinner tonight.

Grilled chicken breast with a little lemon pepper sauce, mache, garlicky broccoli and carrots, and some rice. It's surprising how full you can get off half a chicken breast when you have this many sides.

Close up. I didn't always like chicken breast, but it's grown on me over the years. I finally applied the rule that works for tough cuts of beef: cook lightly (but thoroughly, for chicken) and slice thinly against the grain. Works wonders!

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Everything Gumbo

I do 99% of the cooking in our home, but when J decides to step up to the plate, he does not mess around. This weekend he decided it was time to revisit one of his favorite foods: gumbo.


The result was smashing, and we are not lenient judges around here. J achieved the perfect consistency for spooning over rice, and the gumbo had enough soup for sipping while still being full of Dungeness crab (two whole ones!), chicken, shrimp, sausage, okra, celery, onions, and green bell peppers. The only thing it lacked was a hint of smokiness from a smoked ham hock and/or a little blue crab flavor, but given what's easily available in SF it was a phenomenal showing. What a treat to come home to after an afternoon at the gym!

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

BBQ Chicken (Buena Park)

In case you hadn't heard, the Koreans are all about fried chicken. There are Korean style fried chicken places like Kyochon, and then there are Korean-owned places making traditional Southern style fried chicken, like at BBQ Chicken in Buena Park.

A fellow bridesmaid introduced me to BBQ Chicken this past weekend, and we shared a whole olive oil fried chicken. It took awhile to arrive at the table, but in exchange it was fresh and piping hot. The crust was perfect, the chicken was juicy, and because of the olive oil there was a slightly distinct flavor to the crust. It somehow tasted more fresh and less greasy. An excellent choice for a pre-rehearsal meal!

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Fried Chicken Friday!

Thanks for coming over, S and E! Dinner parties are fun. Fried chicken parties? Even more fun.

Here are our tasty plates, all ready to go. You can tell the photo was a rush job; I had hungry people waiting! We had fried chicken, mashed red and yukon potatoes, and heirloom tomatoes on a bed of butter lettuce.

E's plate. He's being healthy and laying off the fried stuff. Actually, I was pretty jealous of his plate because it was so pretty. I might have to make the same thing for myself some time. The chicken breast was marinated in lemon juice, salt, pepper, fresh basil, and dried oregano and sage. Then it was topped with a light salad of chopped parsley and olives in olive oil, and a little good Parmesan. It was really quite lovely.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Chicken Noodle Soup

Sorry, no bacon in this post.

It's been a week of comfort foods. First the oxtail soup, then the decadent doughnut, now chicken noodle soup. We've also been having a lot of fruits and fruit-vegetable juices. It's nice to eat some simple homemade food and raw seasonal produce after eating out for the better part of two weeks.

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Thursday, July 09, 2009

Winter Melon Soup, and Steak

I've been working some jog-hike combinations into my workout routine, the better to take advantage of all the steep hills and great views in SF. After a four-mile loop today, I was starving all day.

Whole Foods meat department to the rescue! Grass-fed ribeyes are on sale for $10/lb today. This steak was just over a pound, and normally it would have been enough for me and J to share. Luckily, he was not very hungry today so I got to eat most of it.

On the lighter side, we also had stewed chicken with winter melon, mushrooms, and gojiberries. There was also a great romaine and cherry tomato salad, but J ate too much of it before I could snap a photo. The mustard dressing included fresh garlic from a friend's vegetable garden and chopped basil from our tiny balcony herb garden!

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Aji de Gallina

The desire to make this dish came from a meal over a year ago at Fresca. I won't say my version is anywhere near as good as theirs, but it was a nice homey meal at the end of a fantastic holiday Monday! We went to the shooting range with W, had lunch at La Cumbre, went grocery shopping, and stopped by Mitchell's for a snack before coming home and spending the entire afternoon cooking. Good times!

The recipe needs tweaking, but you can click here for the recipe I followed.

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Thursday, May 07, 2009

Balsamic Chicken and Broccoli

Dinner tonight was one of those simple affairs that comes together as more than the sum of its parts.

I salt and peppered one drumstick and one thigh for each of us, then pan fried the four pieces for at least six minutes per side over medium heat until they were cooked through and had crispy skin. During the cooking of the second side I added broccoli to the pan so it would cook in the chicken fat.

After removing both the chicken and the broccoli, I hit the pan with a splash of balsamic vinegar, scraped all the cooked bits off the bottom of the pan, added a splash of vodka, and stood back as the flames raged. The reduction was sweet and tangy, a really nice addition to an otherwise simple meal. We also ate the rest of the bean and cous cous salad we had yesterday.

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