Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Teriyaki chicken - working backwards

A few weeks ago, I picked up a box of frozen teriyaki chicken from Costco.  I normally don't buy frozen meals from the grocery store, but finding time to cook during that time was impossible so it was either buying frozen food, or Mc Donalds!
$10 yielded me 2 pounds of pre-fried, pre-frozen chicken chunks and 2 bags of teriyaki sauce, which you pour over the chicken after you heat up the chicken on the stove top.  Not a very good value if you ask me!

Flash forward to this weekend.  I now have a bit more time to cook during the week so I picked up some fresh boneless, skinless, chicken breasts at the grocery store at $1.99 per pound (what a deal!).  Not knowing what to do with these chicken breasts, I asked some people for suggestions.  I got some suggestions like making fajitas or putting it in a slow cooker with cream of mushroom soup.  Both weren't really what I was feeling.  Maybe it's because I'm not a fan of mexican food and I'm not a fan of cream-of-anything soup.
Then in the shower, I thought of exactly what I wanted to do with the chicken breasts: I'm going to work backwards and replicate that frozen teriyaki chicken meal.

First, I made the teriyaki sauce.
Sweet, thick, garlicky, how can anyone not like teriyaki sauce.
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
5 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 -2 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
Mix all but cornstarch and 1/4c water in a sauce pan and begin heating. Mix cornstarch and cold water in a cup and dissolve. Add to sauce in pan.  Heat until sauce thickens to desired thickness.
Set the teriyaki sauce aside.

Take the chicken breast and slice them into thin slices.  Heat up olive oil in a large skillet or wok.
Thinly coat each chicken slice in corn starch and place into the oil.  Turn the chicken over when it's golden and crispy on the first side, and cook until the other side is golden and crispy and the meat is cooked thoroughly.  Around 8-10 minutres.
Turn off the heat and drizzle the teriyaki saucw over the chiocken.  Mix well.

And there you go!  A better version of the frozen entree version for a fraction of the price.  It's easy to make too!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Butternut Squash! It's officially Fall!

Yesterday was the first day of Fall, and what better way to celebrate it than to go to the grocery store and pick up two beautiful butternut squashes.

Normally I would just buy one, which is more than enough for my husband and me, but now that we have a wee little one in the house that recently started eating solids (and butternut squash is a great "first foods" for babies), then two butternut squashes it is!

I simply had my husband slice the necks off each butternut squash, then slice each segment lengthwise, then steamed them for 1.5 hours.
I thought it would take maybe 30-40 minutes to steam, but maybe it's because I tried to steam a lot of butternuts at once that it ended up taking 1.5 hours?
After they were steamed and cooled, I scooped the meat out of the shell, discarded the shells, saved half for my husband and I to enjoy later, and pureed half with a little bit of cooking liquid.  The pureed butternut squash was then placed into an ice cube tray, which makes individual portion sizes for our wee baby.

Today, us 3 all enjoyed some butternut squash!  It was very sweet and was the perfect way to welcome the Fall season.  If the butternut squash is too plain for you, enjoy it with a bit of brown sugar or maple syrup.  Btw, I think butternut squash is my daughter's favorite -- she gobbled it down!