Sweet & Spicy Baked Chicken Wings

I can’t explain why, but I had not made chicken wings, ever…until recently, that is. We had gone to a friend’s home for a potluck, and I fell in love with the wings they served. My friend shared the recipe she used, and I’ve tweaked it a little bit and made it spicier since my husband loves his spice! It’s based off of Food and Wine’s recipe from Carmel-based chef Tim Wood.

And this is the first recipe that I’ve tried, tested, and loved. Perhaps it was my fear of eating fried food, but this recipe is BAKED! Yet, you end up with a beautifully crisp, sweet, and spicy chicken wing done just right.

Serve this at your next party has a main dish accompanied by a side or noodles, and you’re all set – people will be raving and asking for your secret recipe! 😉 Enjoy!

Love,
Priyanka

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Yields: Approximately 4 servings
Ingredients
3 pounds chicken wings
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder (if you want this to be more kid friendly, you can omit the chili powder)
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Garnish: 2 scallions, thinly sliced

Preheat your oven to the ‘broil’ setting (if your oven does not have this setting, no problem! heat it to 500 degrees F).

In a large bowl, toss the chicken wings with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the wings on a sheet pan and place on lower rack of oven. Broil for 45 to 50 minutes. Turn the chicken pieces over using tongs once every 15 minutes, until the wings are cooked through and crisp.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, crushed red pepper, and chili pepper. Heat over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer (this will happen quickly!). Simmer for 1 minute. for 1 Take it off of the heat and let it cool completely (to quicken the cooling process, pour out the mixture into a glass bowl). Once cool, whisk in the honey and soy sauce.

In a large bowl, carefully toss the chicken wings with the honey-soy mixture. Transfer the wings to a platter, sprinkle with the scallions and serve HOT! 🙂

Japanese Broiled Fish

Have you ever been in a rush to put together a delicious meal? Well, I certainly have. And there have been many (perhaps too many) nights where I’m craving a delicious, yet healthy fish dish but I don’t have the energy to marinate overnight or be fancy about things. This is by far, my favorite and quickest Asian-style fish recipe that makes my taste buds tickle with happiness. The beautiful color of the fish and the charred bits from the grill are the most beautiful part of this dish. The simplicity of the flavor (and low calorie count) make this recipe a true winner!

Try it out – you won’t be disappointed! 🙂

Love,
Priyanka

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Ingredients

1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/2 tablespoon miso paste (yellow miso, not red miso)
1 fish filet of your choice (can use salmon sea bass, cod, or even mackerel)
Kosher or sea salt, to taste

Directions

Method: You can either broil the fish in your oven, use an indoor grill pan, or use an outdoor grill! I like putting my fish indirectly on the flame as pictured below, which I am told is the best way to cook the fish! [Note: if you cook it the way I did, remember to line your stove with aluminum foil as I did for a quicker clean-up!]

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Combine the first four ingredients in a bowl and marinate your fish filet while you heat up your grill (up to 20 minutes, but less is fine!). Once your grill (or oven) is hot, cook the filet for about 5-8 minutes, flipping and basting occasionally until the fish is flaky and cooked to your liking.

Sprinkle a little salt on top of the fish and serve on top of a fresh arugula salad and squeeze a lemon wedge over your fish and salad. Dinner is ready! 🙂

Roast Halibut with a Spiced Cream Topping

My parents have been vegetarians their entire lives (well, mostly) :). My dad apparently had his ‘meat’ days when he used to eat seafood, hamburgers, and even chicken before he met my strictly vegetarian mother. But, I suppose after over 35 years, it becomes a distant memory and almost hard to believe. Well, as it would so happen, I managed to convince both of them to start eating fish and eggs to help them increase their protein consumption. And this was the SECOND fish dish they had – and they loved it.

I have to admit, it’s not the healthiest preparation of fish, but I won’t lie, steamed fish can get old really quickly. Make things interesting once in a while and add creative vegetables and sauces and excite your family! 🙂

Since this huge change in my parents’ diet, I’ve been trying to make fish for them 2-3 times a week until they get a hang of how to handle and cook fish (I guess Dad really has forgotten!) :). But, I have to say, there is nothing more delightful than making food for your loved ones and have them enjoy it and eat up every little bit of it. There were no leftovers when I made this dish. 🙂

I think of this dish as Asian-inspired slash french 🙂 The asparagus and the cherry tomatoes really put this dish over the top when they blend with the tanginess of the Tabasco and chili sauce and the creaminess of the mayo! *I’m getting hungry just typing this!* 🙂

If your family loves fish, they will LOVE this recipe!! 🙂 Enjoy 🙂

Love,
Priyanka

PS – I beg all of you who have tried ANY of my recipes to send me pictures and any feedback and/or comments!!! 🙂 Would love to feature you on my reviews section.


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Ingredients

4 filets of halibut (or similar, firm white fish such as cod or sea bass!)
Kosher salt, to taste
freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

1/2 cup mayonnaise (to make it healthier, feel free to use 1/4 cup mayo, 1/4 cup greek yogurt)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon of Tabasco sauce (red)
3/4 teaspoon Lee Kum Kee chili garlic sauce(can be found at asian stores) – you can substitute with sriracha or a pinch of chili powder or flakes and minced ginger
1/2 teaspoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1 bunch of thin asparagus, approximately 1 inch of the stem trimmed
1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup thinly sliced onions
1 lemon, cut in half (or a teaspoon of lemon juice)

Garnish: 1 tablespoon sesame seeds & 3/4 cup sliced green onions

Directions

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F, and set an oven rack on the center rung.

In a separate bowl, mix the mayonnaise, lemon juice, Tabasco, chili garlic sauce, sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil and onions.

Line a baking sheet (or flat, oven-safe pan) with aluminum foil and spray the aluminum with cooking spray. Now, arrange halibut pieces on the prepared baking sheet (it’s ok if they touch each other!) and season with Kosher salt and pepper to taste. Now, lay the thin asparagus spears and cherry tomatoes over the fish in whichever arrangement you like.

Top the asparagus and fish with the mayo mixture – use spatula if easier to spread.

Bake in the preheated oven until almost opaque, 15 to 20 minutes; remove the baking sheet from the oven.

Raise the oven rack with the baking sheet to the next-highest level and change the oven setting to ‘Broil’. Put the baking sheet back into the oven on the higher rung and cook the fish until the top is browned (oven strengths vary, but you should broil the fish for anywhere from 3-7 minutes). Just watch it! 🙂

Plate each filet, squeezing fresh lemon juice over each piece. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions.

Slow-Cooked Egg over Sushi Rice

A dear, foodie friend of mine has so kindly loaned me his sous vide machine (these things are pricey!) – and boy have I been having fun with it! Just when I thought that sous vide experiences were reserved for my daydreams while I watched Iron Chef episodes, I’ve been graced with the opportunity to experiment with this glorious mechanism and absolutely divine way of cooking foods slowly and gently at various temperatures.

Given that I’m a true egg fanatic, I had to start my experiments with eggs. I wish I owned one of these machines now – I think it will be hard to go back to stove-cooked eggs! I hope you enjoy this simple recipe – it does require a sous vide machine, but don’t worry if you don’t have a sous vide machine – just poach your eggs in boiling water on the stove per your liking, and the rest of the recipe can stay the same!

If any of you had childhoods like mine, I grew up eating boiled white rice with soy sauce and butter – and this recipe takes me down memory lane in such a warm, fuzzy way :).

Super quick to assemble, super easy to devour in under 5 minutes, and incredibly easy to entertain with (friends or family!) – kids will eat this up too 😉 I hope you enjoy! 🙂


Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients

4 large, organic eggs
4 cups hot cooked sushi rice
4 teaspoons dark soy sauce
roasted sesame seeds, to taste
green onion, finely sliced, to taste
salt, to taste
Optional garnish: a few drops sesame oil

Directions

Preheat your water ‘oven’ using your sous vide machine to 145°F. Place eggs (in shell) in water bath and cook for at least 90 minutes, and up to 4 hours (depending on how runny you like your eggs).

Divide hot rice evenly amongst four serving bowls. Carefully crack your cooked egg, creating a hole at one tip using your fingertips to allow the contents to come out. Pour out the egg into a small bowl, then carefully pour it, or ‘set it’ on top of rice.

Drizzle with soy sauce, sprinkle with sesame seeds, scatter sliced green onion on top, and eat, mixing egg into rice! Garnish with Kosher salt, to taste, if needed.

Pad Kee Mao (Drunken Noodles with Ground Chicken and Vegetables)

For those of you who enjoy Thai food, you must have ordered Pad Kee Mao or Pad See Eew (a.k.a. ‘Drunken Noodles’) at some point. Hopefully you enjoyed them as much as my husband and I do!

Pad Kee Mao literally translates to ‘Drunken Stir Fry’ in English, and there are numerous variations on these ‘drunken’ dishes that are very often sold by street vendors in Bangkok and the rest of Thailand.

Rumor has it that the ‘drunken’ description comes from the fact that it originated in late-night revelers’ kitchens after stumbling home from the nightclubs in the wee hours of the morning. 😉 I suppose after a night of partying, nothing soothes the stomach like some starch and meat! 😉

Pad Kee Mao typically has sliced pork in it, however this is my rendition of it with ground chicken and vegetables! However, feel free to omit the chicken and replace with 1/2 cup of thinly sliced pork (of any cut), or use both meats and have a flavor party! I wanted to re-create what I had at the Thai restaurant (but without the MSG and loads of oil that made my noodles super shiny), so I hope you enjoy my healthier version of Pad Kee Mao.

This dish seemingly has a lot of ingredients, but if you have what’s needed on hand, this can morph into a wonderful weeknight meal and your go-to recipe for a weekend get together. Just pair it with one of my curries Panang Curry ;-), steamed white or brown rice, and you have a gourmet meal waiting for you and your loved ones! And if you feel like going the whole nine yards, serve this menu along with Nobu’s Miso Black Cod, and your meal will be talked about for many weeks after! 😉

Menu Idea: Chiang Mai Panang Curry, Pad Kee Mao Noodles, Miso Black Cod, steamed white/brown rice.

Enjoy! 🙂


Ingredients
1 (14-ounce) package wide rice noodles (you can use thinner pad-thai noodles too!)
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup of finely diced or sliced white onion or shallots
3 medium garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 pound ground chicken
2 medium red or green bell peppers, thinly sliced
2 cups of broccoli florets (the broccoli head, no stem), washed
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/8 cup oyster sauce
1/8 cup fish sauce
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 2 limes)
1 medium jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced (remove the pepper seeds if you don’t like spice!)
1 cup loosely packed Thai basil leaves (or regular basil if you don’t have access to Thai basil)
Optional: red chili powder, to taste (if you want it more spicy!)

Directions
Place noodles in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Soak for about 15-20 minutes until loose and almost completely to your liking. Drain and set aside.

Heat vegetable oil in a large wok over medium-high heat, and add chopped onion and garlic stirring with a wooden spoon or tongs for about 2 minutes until softened (careful to only soften them – do not brown or burn!)

Add ground chicken and break into small pieces. Continue to cook until chicken is white and almost cooked through, about 3-4 minutes. Add bell peppers and broccoli florets, stir-frying until the vegetables are softened.

Push chicken mixture to one side of the pan and add eggs to the center. Scramble with a your wooden spoon until eggs are set and don’t run, about 1 minute.

Push scrambled eggs to the side and add in: oyster sauce, fish sauce, soy sauce, lime juice, and sugar. [Note: If you feel like there is not enough liquid in the pan and the noodles are too dry, feel free to add a little chicken broth].

Once the sauce and vegetable mixture is boiling, add the drained noodles and toss to coat. Remove from heat, add jalapeños and basil, and toss to combine; serve immediately. Top with roasted peanuts (salted or unsalted), chopped green onion, and enjoy! 🙂

Chiang Mai Spicy Curry (Panang Meat or Tofu Curry)

[NOTE: This recipe can be made vegetarian!]

Living in the Bay Area allows me to indulge in a large lot of Asian dining options – the diversity here is immense and incredible. Part of that, however, leads to people like me to be utterly confused about the true origin of certain dishes. For example, one of my all-time favorite Asian eateries is called ‘Mingalaba‘ in downtown Burlingame, California. I find every and any excuse to drag my friends and family there for a meal :). However, go figure, they are a ‘Burmese-Mandarin’ restaurant. Now shoot, last time I checked, those are two very different cuisines with incredibly different ingredients and spices.

My favorite two dishes there are their ‘Tea Leaf Salad’ – it’s incredible and one of these days I will try and recreate it. Once I perfect it, I PROMISE to post the recipe. 🙂 The other is their ‘Ong Noh Kaw Soi’, or their Coconut Chicken Soup.

This Panang Meat Curry recipe, my friends, is my attempt, to recreate what they have at Mingalaba.

For those of you that are of Thai background, you might wonder why I ate this typical Thai curry at a Burmese and Mandarin style restaurant. To be honest, I can’t answer your question and am at a complete loss. The further research I do on this curry , the more I am lead to a Thai and Malay heritage for the dish. Perhaps over the ages, cultures merged from a culinary perspective, or there were a lot of similarities – I don’t know.

But either way, here is my rendition of one of my favorite curry soups of all time – it’s creamy, spicy, crunchy (with the right garnishes), and extremely satisfying. It is traditionally served over fresh hot noodles, however this is a low-carb version without (but feel free to serve this soup over freshly cooked noodles (spaghetti, linguine, chinese noodles, or any other long, slender noodle that you fancy or have in your pantry). Also, you can make this curry vegetarian if you wish by using firm tofu instead of the meat, and vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

And lastly, if you are in a rush (like I often am), don’t fret! Pick up a fresh rotisserie chicken from the market and add the cooked chicken at the very end! This will cut your cooking time down from 30 minutes to about 8-10 minutes TOTAL! It’s an incredible ONE-POT weeknight meal, yet fancy enough to serve to guests.

Enjoy! 🙂

PS – If any of you wonderful readers of mine can shed any light on the heritage of this curry or your experience at home with it, would love to hear your thoughts! 🙂


Yields: 6-8 generous servings
Ingredients

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1.5 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons panang curry paste [Note: this yields a pretty spicy curry – if you want a milder flavor, cut back on this paste]
3/4 lb boneless chicken, cut into big bite-sized chunks (Variation: can also use 3/4 lb boneless beef such as tri-tip or flank steak sliced thinly. To cut down cooking time, use cooked rotisserie chicken. VEGETARIANS: Use firm tofu instead!)
2 15 oz. cans of unsweetened coconut milk (can use light coconut milk for a lower-calorie result)
2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
2 teaspoons ground turmeric or 2 teaspoons curry powder
3 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

Garnish ideas:
cooked noodles
chopped shallot
chopped red onion
chopped fresh cilantro
thinly sliced green onion or chives
lime wedges
fried onions
a dollop of sour cream
boiled eggs, sliced


Directions:

Heat the vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and panang curry paste at the same time, mashing and stirring it constantly to soften it in the oil (I prefer using a wooden stick in order to avoid damaging my pan). Do this for about 1 minute. [Note: Use a splatter screen or be VERY careful! The hot oil and ingredients can jump up out of the pan and stain your clothes or worse, burn you!].

Add the chicken (or beef or tofu) and brown for 1 to 2 minutes, tossing using tongs. Allow them to brown evenly and incorporate well into curry paste and garlic mix.

Add the coconut milk, chicken (or vegetable) broth, turmeric (or curry powder), soy sauce, sugar and salt, stirring well. Bring to a gentle boil and adjust heat, maintaining a simmer. Cook about 10-15 minutes until meat is cooked through.

Stir in lime juice, remove from heat and serve HOT! Garnish with some (or all!) of the ideas I’ve given. Or get creative and garnish with whatever you enjoy 🙂

Chicken Adobo

I got inspired to cook this traditional dish from the Phillipines after a friend of mine posted her recipe on her blog ‘Just One Cookbook‘. I hope all of you check out her blog – she does such a beautiful job with her photography and I love all of her recipes (she focuses on Asian recipes!). 🙂

The thing I love about this recipe is that it is healthy! Traditionally, Chicken Adobo involves browning the chicken in hot oil before simmering it in the vinegar marinade to finish the cooking. However, this is a no-fry recipe and just as delicious! You get the same crispiness from the broiling in the oven that you would from pan-frying it!

I did change a few things in the recipe a bit by adding some sweetness to the sauce through pineapple juice (but you can use brown sugar or even honey if you’d like), increasing the garlic amount (I love my garlic!), and adding peppercorns and bay leaves to the cooking liquid. However the original recipe is also just as delicious and involves less ingredients if you are looking for a more simple recipe.

Ingredients

6-8 chicken drumsticks (skin-on) or 6 chicken thighs (skin-on)

1 cup water
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
8 cloves garlic, smashed lightly with a wide knife and sliced (Did you know: smashing garlic brings out the flavors!!)
1 tsp. black peppercorns
3 bay leaves
Either 3 tablespoons brown sugar or 1/2 cup pineapple juice

Directions

Combine all ingredients except chicken in a large pot and bring to boil. Add chicken pieces in a single layer and lower heat. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, turning chicken over once halfway through.

Heat oven to the ‘broil’ setting (or 550 degrees F).

Remove the chicken pieces from the pot and turn up the heat on the reserved cooking juice until it reduces and thickens a little more. (Discard bay leaves at this point if you want).

Place the chicken pieces on a wire rack on top of an aluminum foil-covered baking sheet on the center (or upper-middle) rack of your oven. [Note: putting them on the wire rack allows the juices from the chicken to drop down onto the aluminum for easy clean up later!]

Broil each side of the chicken for 3-4 minutes until browned to your liking. When the chicken is in the oven, be sure to watch it carefully so it does not burn! The ‘broil’ setting can get very hot!

[Note: You can bypass the broiling of the chicken and finish them off on a hot grill for a nice variation and some beautiful grill marks!]

Serve hot out of the oven by brushing the reserved (and reduced) cooking liquid over each piece of chicken liberally (I personally love eating this dish with a little bowl of the reserved cooking liquid and dip my chicken in it for every bite!). Finish your preparation by sprinkling Kosher salt over the chicken, also liberally and to your taste.

Best served on top of a bed of rice or quinoa (as pictured!) and make it a meal by adding a side of steamed or pan-cooked vegetables!

Enjoy! 🙂