Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Cooking without an oven...

I am happy to take special requests for cooking info!  What do you do when your landlord simply refuses to fix your oven?  (If you're in the US, you threaten to sue them under the Landlord Tenant Code of your jurisdiction... but I digress..)  If you're somewhere else and it's just not worth the fight, or whatever... you make do.  So-- by special request-- some recipes for cooking that require only stovetop, microwave, or slow cooker means of combining heat and foodies to make yum.

Glazed Grilled (or Pan Fried) Pork Tenderloin

Serves 4

    * 1/2 cup plum jelly (or apricot, or apple, just don't use strawberry or grape.)
    * 2 tablespoons lime juice
    * 2 scallions, minced
    * 2 garlic cloves, minced
    * 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
    * 2 pork tenderloins (1 1/2 to 2 pounds total)
    * 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    * Salt and pepper

   1. Combine  jelly, lime juice, scallions, garlic, and ginger in bowl.
   2. Rub tenderloins with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill meat over hot fire or over medium-high heat in nonstick pan until browned on all sides and internal temperature reaches 145 degrees, about 12 minutes. Brush with plum glaze and cook 1 minute longer. Transfer to platter, cover with foil, and let rest 5 minutes. Slice pork and serve with remaining glaze.

Carolina Crockpot Chicken
Serves 3-6

6      skinless chicken thighs, boneless too, if available
1      onion -- chopped
2       cloves of garlic -- pressed     
1       teaspoon  dry mustard
         salt and pepper -- to taste
1/4    cup  tomato paste
1/2    cup  Worcestershire sauce
3       tablespoons  cider vinegar
1       tablespoon  olive oil

In a skillet, heat the olive oil and brown the chicken on both sides. Place in a crockpot with remaining ingredients and cook on low 8-9 hours, depending on your crockpot.  When done, shred with two forks and serve with juices over rice or egg noodles.

Chicken Marsala and Gorgonzola

Serves 2-3

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 3)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
6 oz. cremini or white mushrooms, sliced 1/8 inch thick (about 2-1/4 cups)
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry Marsala wine
1/3 cup heavy cream
1-1/2 oz. crumbled Gorgonzola (1/3 cup) or any mild blue cheese (can substitute goat cheese)
1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Trim the chicken, removing the tenders, and slice on an angle into 3/4-inch-thick pieces; season generously with salt and pepper.

In a 10-inch straight-sided sauté pan, heat 2 Tbs. of the oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add half of the chicken and cook, flipping once, until lightly browned and just barely cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate; repeat with the remaining chicken. Cover with foil to keep warm.

Return the pan to medium-high heat and add the remaining 1 Tbs. oil. Add the mushrooms, season lightly with salt, and sauté, stirring with a wooden spoon, until softened and well browned, 3 to 4 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium, add the garlic, and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 20 to 30 seconds. Pour in the Marsala and scrape the pan with the spoon to loosen any browned bits; simmer until the Marsala is reduced slightly, about 2 minutes. Stir in the cream and simmer until thickened slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Add two-thirds of the Gorgonzola and stir until melted, 1 to 2 minutes.

Taste the sauce; add salt and pepper as needed. Add the chicken along with any accumulated juices and turn to coat with the sauce. Serve immediately, sprinkled with the remaining cheese and the parsley.

Pan-Grilled Lemongrass Chicken with Red Quinoa and Vegetables

 Serves 4

    * 3 medium shallots, roughly chopped
    * 2 stalks fresh lemongrass (tough outer leaves removed), roughly chopped  (if you can't find lemongrass, substitute zest from 1 lemon.)
    * 1 piece ginger (about 1 1/2 inches), peeled
    * 1/4 cup plus 5 tsp canola oil, divided
    * 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
    * 1 tablespoon tamari (or soy sauce)
    * 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
    * 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
    * 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    * 1 teaspoon ground coriander

    * 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

    * 3/4 cup red quinoa
    * 1 1/2 cups chicken broth (or stock)
    * Vegetable oil cooking spray or olive oil

    * 1 pound fresh sugar snap peas, strings removed
    * 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced
    * 1 yellow or orange bell pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced
    * 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Marinade: Puree shallots, lemongrass, ginger, 1/4 cup oil, lime juice, tamari, sugar, sea salt, pepper and coriander in a blender until smooth. Place chicken in a dish or ziploc bag and spoon on marinade, rubbing it on all sides. Cover; chill 1/2 to 2 hours.

Heat 2 tsp oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook quinoa until toasted, 3 to 4 minutes. Add broth; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until quinoa absorbs liquid, about 20 minutes. Turn off heat; let sit, covered, until ready to serve.

Heat a grill pan or skillet over high heat; coat with cooking spray/olive oil. Cook chicken, turning once, for 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Cook, turning once, until cooked through, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove chicken; let rest 2 minutes. Slice each breast on the diagonal into 1/2-inch pieces.

Heat remaining 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook sugar peas and peppers until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Turn off heat. Add mint and toss.

Divide quinoa among 4 plates. Top each with 1 sliced chicken breast and 1/4 of vegetables.

Shrimp Soft Tacos with Guacamole
Serves 4

1/4 c + 2 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, halved
2 small serrano chile peppers or 1 small jalapeno, halved- remove ribs and seeds to reduce the heat
1/2 c loosely packed cilantro
1/2 c freshly squeezed lime juice (about 3 limes), divided
1 tsp salt, divided
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 lbs raw shrimp with shells removed
1 lg white onion, sliced 1/4" thick
2 ripe avocados
1 ripe small tomato
12 corn tortillas (6" size)

Heat 1/4 cup of the oil in small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and chile peppers and cook, stirring frequently, until just brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Process with cilantro, 1/3 cup lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and black pepper in blender or food processor until smooth.  Put shrimp in shallow dish or ziploc bag and spread half the garlic mixture over them, stirring to make sure you get coverage of all shrimp on all sides.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden but still slightly crispy, about 5 minutes. Chop enough of the onion to make 1/4 cup and set aside. Put rest of onion on a plate. Save the skillet.

Peel and pit avocados, dice in skins, and put flesh in a bowl. Dice tomato and add with reserved chopped onion, remaining garlic mixture, remaining lime juice, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Coarsely mash with potato masher or fork.

Return skillet to medium heat and add remaining tablespoon oil. Add shrimp to hot pan, discarding excess marinade, and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook on high heat 3-5 minutes, stirring/flipping frequently to cook both sides, until shrimp are pink and opaque but not further or they will get tough. Remove to bowl. Put reserved sliced onion in the skillet to reheat. Scrape up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.

Wrap tortillas in damp paper towels and microwave on high 1 minute. Remove paper towels and keep tortillas warm. Toss shrimp with onion in pan. Serve with tortillas and guacamole.

Penne puttanesca with shrimp

Serves 4

2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 tsp. finely grated orange zest (from half a medium orange)
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup dry white wine
One 28-oz. can whole tomatoes, coarsely chopped, juice reserved
1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives, rinsed and quartered
2 Tbs. capers, rinsed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 oz. whole-grain penne pasta
1 lb. medium shrimp (51 to 60 per lb.), shelled and deveined
4  anchovies, finely chopped (optional)
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the onion, orange zest, oregano, and pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until it has almost evaporated, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and their juice, olives, and capers. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, and cook until the sauce has thickened, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the penne and cook until al dente. Drain well.

Add the shrimp and anchovies (if using) to the sauce in the skillet. Raise the heat to medium high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Pour the pasta into the skillet and toss with the shrimp sauce. Divide the pasta among 4 bowls. Sprinkle with cheese and parsley.

Creamy Orechiette with Spinach and Prosciutto
serves 4-6

Kosher salt
3/4 lb. dried orecchiette or medium shells
8 oz. baby spinach leaves (about 8 lightly packed cups)
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
2 oz. coarsely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 1 cup using a box grater)
1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
2 oz. prosciutto (about 4 thin slices), coarsely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
Bring a 6- to 8-quart pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente. Gently stir in the spinach and cook until wilted, a few seconds. Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta and spinach.

Return the pot to the stove over low heat, add the mascarpone, Parmigiano, and lemon zest and cook until the mascarpone has melted, about 1 minute. Add the pasta, spinach, reserved pasta water, and the prosciutto and toss gently. Season to taste with pepper and serve.