Tag Archives: quick easy meals

Chicken Stir-Fry with Ramps and Asparagus

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Hi, all!  I know, I haven’t been around for a little while.  I’m sorry!  No excuses, I think I was just being a bit lazy.   I have been cooking, I promise!  I just haven’t been so great about taking pictures and actually writing down what I’m doing when I cook.

Truthfully, sometimes it’s a struggle for me to write a “recipe” for what I cook.  If I’m not baking, I typically don’t use measuring spoons or measuring cups. so I’m not always sure how much of something I’ve added.  Heck, sometimes I can’t remember what ingredients I added!

The bonus to having to pay attention to ingredients and amounts is that I can recreate those recipes that worked really well.  Before I started blogging, there were times when I would create a dish, or I would make a change to an existing recipe that was fantastic! But when I tried to make it again, I could not remember what I did.  Anybody else have this problem?

For dinner tonight, I looked at maybe a dozen recipes for stir-fry sauces – and used none of them.  I wanted to use the chicken and veggies from Saturday’s farmer’s market, and I really didn’t want to make a grocery store stop.  I was sure that I had enough options at home to throw something together.

When I tasted the finished dish, I was really glad that I took the time to write everything down!  I’ll definitely be making this again.  It was filling but not heavy, and it had a good amount of heat, which I enjoy.  Plus, a stir-fry works with almost any veggies, which will definitely come in handy when my CSA starts back up!

I used a lot of the same spices that I first tried in my Hangover Soup, but the rice vinegar and the red pepper flakes gave it a nice bright finish and some extra spice.  The buckwheat honey that I used in the marinade is one of my new favorites – it’s like a deep, dark cross between honey and molasses, with a slight grassy undertone.  Sounds weird, but it’s so good!  I’m trying to figure out how to use it in everything.  (I’m not kidding.)

Buckwheat honey is awesome.  This is from Kline Honey Bee Farm in Edinburg.

Buckwheat honey is awesome. This is from Kline Honey Bee Farm in Edinburg. Oh yeah, there’s fish sauce, red pepper and vinegar as well.

Chicken Stir-Fry with Ramps and Asparagus (serves 2)

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced
  • about 12 stalks of asparagus, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 5-6 ramps, bottoms trimmed, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Fish Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Buckwheat Honey (you could sub regular honey or molasses)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Curry Paste
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • Rice noodles (or leftover rice)
  • Vegetable or canola oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Pepper the chicken.  (I didn’t salt it because fish sauce is usually salty enough.)  Marinate the sliced chicken in the vinegar, fish sauce, honey and red pepper flakes.  I threw the marinade together as soon as I got home from work, so by the time I was ready to cook dinner, the chicken had been in the marinade for about an hour.

Marinade!

Marinade!

Before you start cooking the chicken, soak the rice noodles in a bowl of hot water.  They need to soak for about 8-10 minutes, so by the time the stir-fry is done, they’ll be ready.  If you’re using leftover rice, don’t soak it in water.  Nobody wants soggy rice in their stir-fry.

Rice noodles are awesome.  There's no need to boil a huge pot of water...and they're tasty!

Rice noodles are awesome. There’s no need to boil a huge pot of water…and they’re tasty!

Heat a small amount of oil in a wok (or large skillet – I don’t use my wok very often, so I enjoyed busting it out).  When the oil is hot, add the chicken in a single layer.  Let the pieces brown on one side, then toss in the garlic, asparagus and the bottom, onion-like part of the ramps and stir.  (I added the ramp leaves at the end.)  Keep the chicken and veggies moving around the wok – you don’t want them to burn.

You can see the flame under the wok.  Good stuff.

You can see the flame under the wok. Good stuff.

After the chicken and veggies have cooked for a couple of minutes, add the red curry paste and chicken broth.  Stir everything around to make sure the curry paste is dissolved into the chicken broth and continue to cook for a minute or two.  I added a pinch of salt and some additional red pepper flakes here (because I like it hot!), but taste a piece of chicken or asparagus and do what you need to do.

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When the chicken is done and the veggies are cooked but still crisp, add the ramp leaves and rice noodles (or rice).  Stir everything together, turn off the heat to the work and serve!

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My big orange cat was unimpressed by the stir-fry, but I enjoyed it!

Jake was hanging out on the cat tree next to my desk while I typed this.  I'm sure he's wondering why his dinner isn't on the blog.  Fancy Feast, anyone?

Jake was hanging out on the cat tree next to my desk while I typed this. I’m sure he’s wondering why his dinner isn’t on the blog. Fancy Feast, anyone?

This post is linked to What’s in the Box?  at In Her Chucks.

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Spinach and Artichoke Pizza

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This pizza was so good…

What’s that?  How good was it?

It was so good that I made it twice in two days.  I first made it on a  Friday night for a girl’s night in (side note:  it goes well with red wine).  I liked it so much that I made it again the next day so Brian could try it.

It was so tasty that I actually made it again a couple of weeks later so Mom could try it.  Yep – I’ve made this three times now!

I will admit that more than one person who ate this pizza said it was, and I quote, “The best pizza they had ever eaten.”  Now, I know that whatever you’re currently eating is always the best, so I take this with a  grain of salt.  That being said, I love compliments, so thank you!

My favorite part about making a mess of homemade pizza dough is that for a few days, I have quick easy meals that only take a few minutes and almost no effort to throw together.  Take this pizza, for example.  The only prep work I did for this pizza was to rough chop artichoke hearts and spinach, then pop the spinach in the microwave for a minute.  That’s it! Oh, I guess I grated the fontina cheese, too.  Still super easy!

Pizza toppings!  Roasted garlic sauce, artichoke hearts, spinach, three cheeses (fontina, asiago and mozz) and prosciutto.

Pizza toppings! Roasted garlic sauce, artichoke hearts, spinach, three cheeses (fontina, asiago and mozz) and prosciutto.

This stuff is awesome.  Really.

This stuff is awesome. Really.

Here’s the funny part – I’m calling it a Spinach and Artichoke Pizza, but this recipe started with the prosciutto.  I knew that my sister and my best friend were coming over, and they had been talking about prosciutto on pizza (Laura had tried my Butternut Squash and Prosciutto Pizza and was still talking about it).  So I started thinking about what I hadn’t put on a pizza yet that would go with prosciutto.

Of course!  Spinach and artichoke!  It makes a good dip, it goes well with cheese – done!

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I started with the garlic sauce, then the chopped marinated artichokes.  I added the slightly cooked spinach (I microwaved it for a minute – just enough to wilt it so it wasn’t raw tasting) and topped that with fontina, asiago and mozzarella cheese.  Fontina is one of Laura’s favorite cheeses, and it works well in a blend like this.  I added the prosciutto last, but you could totally leave that off and have a kick @ss veggie pizza.

As it cooked, it totally smelled just like good spinach and artichoke dip.  Yum!  The third time I made this pizza, I used baby spinach from the farmer’s market – super yum!  I’ll have to remember this when I get greens in my CSA share.  Maybe I’ll even try making my own roasted garlic spread – especially if the garlic I planted last fall does well!

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