Thursday, September 14, 2017

Tacos de Bistec





Tacos de Bistec
Ribeye Steak Tacos

Seems as though I must get new material, because I often start my blogs off with: "It is no secret that I....", but I am going to start this one off, just the same. 

It is no secret that ribeye steaks are my ultimate favorite cut of beef, and in the same breath, it is not a secret how much I love tacos. Personally, I feel that tacos should be a food group and what better way to have two things I love best than to combine ribeye steaks with tacos, now I ask you???  I'd love to share how I accomplished this. Ready? Let's get to it, then. 

Ingredients
1 - 3 thick ribeye steaks
4 tablespoons In-House Cook's Mexican Spice blend
1 large white onion, sliced into crescents
3 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro + two tablespoons
1/2 cup vegetable oil + 3 tablespoons
provolone cheese, 8 - 12 slices
3 tablespoons Chipotle in Adobo sauce
2 tablespoons Mirin
tortillas 
condiments you like with your tacos

In-House Cook's Mexican Spice Blend
3 rounded tablespoons smoked Paprika
2 tablespoons granulated garlic
2 tablespoons granulated onion'
2 teaspoons cumin seed, ground
1 rounded tablespoon ground Chile Molido
2 teaspoons thyme leaves
1 rounded tablespoon oregano leaves, crushed
salt and pepper, 1/2 a teaspoon each
2 teaspoons ground coriander seeds

Add the mixture of spices and herbs to a spice grinder and grind.  Add to a bowl. You will make more than 4 tablespoons; it will be more like 3/4 cup.

Ribeye Steak Marinade
In a food processor or blender, add the wet ingredients followed by 2 tablespoons of the spice blend and half of the garlic. Process and pour a fourth of it onto the bottom of a baking pan. Place the steak or steaks into the pan. Add the onion and rest of the garlic atop the steaks. Pour the remaining marinade blend atop the steaks and sprinkle a bit more spice blend atop the steaks along with the remaining garlic. Set into the refrigerator for an hour or more to marinate (the longer the better) and remove thirty minutes prior to cooking.



I marinated three ribeyes for two hours, turning after one hour.  I had the time, but if you do not, one hour or even thirty minutes would be fine. Remove the steaks to bring to room temperature thirty minutes before you cook, as I mentioned above. 

There is a bit of debate occurring as to whether you need to bring certain cuts of meat, particularly beef, to room temperature before cooking.  Previously, the thought was if you grill or sear the meat cold, the connective tissues would seize up and the meat would be tough. That thought is being debated, but, regardless, having done things both ways, I prefer to bring my beef and some cuts of pork carefully to room temperature (but not poultry) before cooking, as my cooking process oftentimes includes searing before slow-cooking or oven roasting. Meanwhile...

Add three tablespoons of vegetable oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil begins to ripple, telling you it is ready for cooking, add the steaks, or, as you can, add them.  Sear them four minutes per side and remove. Once they are all seared, let them rest a few minutes.  They are NOT done, so make sure you let them "rest" at least five minutes.  After the resting time, use a sharp chef's knife to slice the steak or steaks into fairly thin strips. They will be red inside, and that is okay.  We are not done cooking yet!

Once sliced, reheat the oil and rendered fat in the same skillet.  Add a sprinkle of the spice blend and add half of the meat and all of the onion.  Saute three minutes, stirring or flipping often, and add the remainder of the steak strips.  Saute another five minutes.  The meat may still be a little pink or red. Saute until it is "done Your way".  



I am a rare to medium-rare kind of guy. This is perfect for me!

When the meat and onion are done, the onion just getting soft, the meat to your desired preference, remove the skillet from the heat. Please note, the beef may continue to cook a little longer. 

Plate and serve your tacos however you desire, and with whatever condiments you love. I simply garnish with fresh cilantro. Now, it is time to ENJOY!




Tiempo para disfrutar de sus tacos de bistec chuleton! 

As always, my gentle readers and viewers, I appreciate your time and consideration.  I am grateful for every one of you!  Thank You!!!

Now, go cook for someone you love!  What better way to show your loved ones just how Much you love them, than with Ribeye Steak Tacos, Tacos de Bistec!


~Martin
In-House Cook













Sunday, September 10, 2017

Lessons of a Kung Pao Burger





Lessons of a Kung Pao Burger

It is a thing of intense flavor and beauty between the top and bottom of an Onion Burger bun.  My "Kung Pao" Burger.  One of my most daring burgers to date, it contains spices and herbs, seasoned bacon, cheese and a seasoned egg.  It is also a labor of love which provided me with culinary lessons.  I hope you will continue reading to learn my lessons; what I could and should have done to make it better.  

One of my ultimate favorite Chinese food dishes is Kung Pao Chicken.  I cannot Even begin to tell you how much I love it and yes, whichever Chinese food restaurant I dine at, I order it.  But you know me, I would some day create either a taco or a burger out of Kung Pao spices and sauces!  And yes, I have made Kung Pao Chicken; you are most welcome to search my posts for my recipe! Thank You!

Well, let's get to it, shall we? 

My Chinese Spice Blend
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cardamom 
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, partly ground
1 teaspoon ground mustard
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice
1 teaspoon dried, ground bamboo shoots
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon both salt and pepper



Wet Ingredients
2 tablespoons Shoyu (soy sauce)
2 tablespoons Ponzu
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce 
1 tablespoon Chili Sauce
1/2 cup Kung Pao Sauce *

*I used Panda Express Kung Pao Sauce. I love it!  Use whichever brand you wish!!!

I add two pounds of ground beef, one lean sirloin and the other fairly lean ground chuck, to a large bowl. This is my usual burger routine, ergo the present tense verbs. I sprinkle half of the spice mix atop the ground beef and gently fold in, not a thorough mix. Afterward, I add half of the Kung Pao sauce, the other wet ingredients and all but a roundedn tablespoon of the spice mixture to the ground beef and more thoroughly incorporate that into the meat. I try to not over-mix the meat as over-mixing causes the meat to fall apart more readily due warming fats when frying or grilling. 



Flatten out the meat in the bowl and score the meat to include the number of burgers you wish to make. Place the bowl into the refrigerator for a bit while prepping the other parts the burger. 

I fried halved slices of bacon seasoned gently with part of the remaining spice mix. Place the bacon on paper towels to sop up the extra fat. The aroma will be amazing and your kitchen will be a temple of flavor! 


Next, if you choose, fry eggs and lightly season with some of the remaining spice mix. Just a tiny amount. 

Remove the meat, form the patties and bring a large skillet or cast iron skillet to medium-high heat.  Or, fire up your grill!  Fry or grill the burgers how you like them.  I make mine large and thick (4 burgers out of the two pounds. Hey, I don't make teeny burgers!) so mine take longer than most people's. Five minutes-to-seven minutes per side on the grill or seven-to-eight minutes in a skillet per side. This should produce a medium burger, or medium-well, depending on the calibration of your grill or stove top.  

After you have flipped your burger over, it should have a great caramelization on it!!! Time to add cheese if you choose to.  I added two slices of Provolone to each burger and allowed it to melt under a foil tent as the other side cooked. 


I brushed on a little extra virgin olive oil dusted with garlic powder to the tops and bottoms of the onion buns and broiled them.  I LOVE that garlicky flavor! 

I stacked my burger a bit differently, this time.  I simply added two tablespoons mayo mixed with a tablespoon of Kung Pao Sauce and two tablespoons mustard with Chinese Chili Sauce.  I spread the mayo on the bottom bun, the mustard on the top.  I added the seasoned bacon to the bottom bun, the burger, the egg and bun.  I added a little leftover (previously frozen) spicy herb chimichurrri with ginger atop the cheese prior to placing the egg atop the burger. 


 What?  Another view or two?  Of course!!!





Lessons Learned from my Kung Pao Burger. 

What I would do different is:  I would halve and grill scallions with perfect greens and place them on the burger and skip the egg.  I would slice up ginger and bamboo shoots (I love their crunch), and fresh garlic saute them in toasted sesame oil and either dice them and add that to the meat or perhaps fry it in scrambled eggs and place atop the burger.  Have not figured that part out but the fresh ingredients would provide a much-needed depth to an already fragrant and delicious burger.  I hope you try this burger recipe out, learn the lessons I have and enjoy this monster of flavor and heartiness!!!

As always, I am grateful for your time and consideration, my awesome readers.  And in Your Own Way, PLEASE PRAY for those in the path of Hurricane Irma and for those who will continue after she passes, and also for those digging out from Hurricane Harvey in Texas.  My prayers and thoughts are with you ALL.      

~Martin
In-House Cook 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Moroccan Spiced Hummus with Oven Baked Flat Bread Chips





Moroccan Spiced Hummus

Love hummus but never have had the nerve to make it yourself?  Let me tell you that it is neither time consuming, nor difficult!  Hummus is healthy and just about anything can be added to it to tickle your tastes.  I have flat bread rounds in my freezer so I have decided to make hummus with a North African spice blend and I am certainly pleased with it.  I have made hummus prior to this a few times, one with roasted red peppers and garlic, one with tomato, garlic and basil, one with Pakistani spices and now this, with Moroccan spices. Let's get to it, shall we?

Ingredients
2 14.5 ounce cans of garbanzo beans, rinsed
1/4 teaspoon Moroccan curry spice
1 rounded tablespoon of garam masala*
3 cloves garlic, grated
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (or more)
1 teaspoon dried or fresh oregano

Add all of the spices into a small skillet over medium heat to toast.  Once aromatic, add the spices to a spice grinder and process. Set aside. 

Rinse the garbanzo beans, or, hominy, in a strainer and set aside.  Add two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (evoo) in your food processor with the garlic and one tablespoon of the garam masala*. Garam masala is a luxurious, aromatic mixture of ground spices and herbs and leaves.  You can find it at many grocery stores nowadays, but I prefer to purchase my spices at a local Middle Eastern grocery store where I know the ingredients, oftentimes in one bag, are authentic.  It includes paprika, coriander seed, cumin, fenugreek leaves and more. 



Now, add half of the garbanzo beans to the food processor and another tablespoon of evoo and a teaspoon of the spice blend. 


Process the first batch of the garbanzo beans until a paste forms on the perimeter of the processor bowl. Add another drizzle of evoo, another layer of the spice blend and process, again, until it is a paste clinging to the perimeter of the processor bowl. Repeat if you have another batch of garbanzo beans to process.  



Use a spatula to remove the hummus and place it into a container for future use or a bowl for serving. 



Add another drizzle of evoo atop the hummus and garnish with one of your favorite herbs. I used sage this time as my oregano has perished in the summer heat on my westward facing patio.  Sad me. I also added a gentle pinch of finishing salt. 

I will be serving this tomorrow with flat bread wedges oven baked drizzled with evoo, rosemary and grated garlic.  Stay tuned for the updated blog post!  I am posting this now by request!  


What best goes with Hummus?  Flat Bread Chips, oven baked with evoo, rosemary, garlic and smoked sea salt!  Simply take a package of round flat bread, use a pizza cutter to slice two rounds (three tears) of flat bread (or pocketless pitas!) like a pizza, into wedges.  Drizzle evoo or spray evoo non-stick spray onto foil placed over a baking sheet.  Sprinkle the salt, rosemary and garlic atop the foil.  Now, arranged the chips over the foil. Drizzle evoo atop the flat bread wedges and repeat with the salt, rosemary and garlic atop of the wedges.  Bake for ten minutes at 375-degrees.  When the wedges come out, they are still pliable, but, they will harden when allowed to rest, so do not bake more than ten minutes. 


Prior to baking......



And after baking.  Let cool about five minutes before serving or placing in a container. 

I hope you have enjoyed these simple, flavor-loaded recipes. If you make them both at once, you will be done within an hour, tops!  Now, you have no reason to be afraid to make hummus and, you now know how to make your flavor-packed serving chips!

As always, I am ever humbled and grateful for your visit.  Now, go cook something for someone you love!

~Martin
In-House Cook




Sunday, August 13, 2017

Italian Mac n Cheese in Personal Ramekins





Mini Farfalle Italian Mac n Cheese in Personal Ramekins

While that is a complicated, really big title, this dish is anything but complicated.  However, it has big flavor that will satisfy any palette. I grew up eating Mac and Cheese.  My mother used to make it once a week.  It was a buck-stretching staple during tough times, and, it was fairly easy for my mom to make after her own long day of work. While my mom seldom strayed from her own recipe for mac n cheese, except for adding deep sweet purple beets to the top of it, now and then to add a veg, which I disliked, I have strayed far from it and have added myriad ingredients to my different mac dishes. Search my recipes and you will find that I have written two or three, maybe more, mac n cheese recipes. Whether it was my mom's mac n cheese or my own, my favorite part remains the crispy cheesy top with cheese bubbling all around it as it fragrantly comes out of the oven. 

I have made Mac n Cheese with hot dogs, roasted green chiles, sweet roasted red peppers, chicken, Spanish chorizo and more.  This recipe, however, is by far my favorite.  For this recipe, I have toned down the ingredients list but kept delightful flavors. I decided on an Italian theme, and decided that less is more.  That theory proved correct!

Let's get to it, shall we?

Ingredients:
1 pound mini farfalle ('bow tie") pasta
1.5 cups buttermilk 
3-4 tablespoons flour
1/2 stick of butter
3 + 3 separated tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pound mild Italian ground sausage
4 sprigs fresh thyme 
2 sprigs fresh oregano 
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic + 1 grated or finely chopped
2 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 palm of salt for the pasta  water
1.5 cups grated mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated Fontina cheese
1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
non-stick spray



You can purchase the cheeses already grated at most grocers and you can do without the fresh herbs, but you know me, I love to use fresh herbs whenever possible. Many grocery stores also now sell onions and garlic, among other veg, finely chopped already, if you do not have time nor the inclination to chop and grate them yourself. Excellent for those with time constraints, folks on-the-go and convenience, overall!

Preheat the oven to 375-degrees.

Add at least four quarts of water to a large pot over high heat to bring to a roiling boil. 

Now, in a large skillet, add three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (evoo) over medium-high heat and crumble and brown the sausage.  Add the onion and garlic, reserving the fourth clove, to the skillet. Add the fresh herbs and all but a teaspoon of dry Italian seasoning. Once done, set aside off the heat. 



By now, the pot of water should be at that roiling boil.  Add about half a palm full of sea salt to the water and stir. Add the pound of mini farfalle, also known as "bow tie" pasta to the pot and stir to prevent sticking. 



Mini bow tie pasta takes 8 minutes to cook until soft. Reserve half a coffee mug of the pasta water and strain the pasta in a colander. 

Place the pot over medium heat and add the other three tablespoons of evoo and the half stick of butter. Add the teaspoon of dry Italian seasoning and garlic to the butter and evoo.  Whisk.  Once the butter begins to foam, add the flour and whisk vigorously to prevent flour clumps. 

Next, add the buttermilk and whisk.  Once incorporated, it will very soon start to boil around the perimeter of the pot. Add the sausage and incorporate well.  Add the mozzarella and, set the whisk aside and use a large wooden spoon to fold in the cheese.  "Folding" means to turn over the mixture rather than stir.  Next, add the Fontina cheese.  Fontina is a soft cheese, perfect for melting. Fold the Fontina in with the mozzarella.  By now the mixture will really begin to thicken.  You may get an arm work-out!  If you need, add a little more milk, a splash at a time, to help loosen it up, and I do mean a splash!  


Watch me whisk......Watch me nae nae!

Now add the Asiago cheese and fold.  At this point, add a good splash of the reserved pasta water. This will slightly loosen the heavy mixture, and slightly is the goal.  It should be thick. 

Finally, add the pasta and the remaining pasta water from the mug and fold in the pasta thoroughly. 

Now, spray four -  six personal ramekins with olive oil non-stick spray.  Add a little water to a roasting pan so that it just covers the surface area of the pan. Add a heaping spoon full of the mac and cheese to a ramekin and top with a little grated parmesan cheese. Drizzle with a little evoo. Repeat until all of the ramekins are filled. Stagger them in the roasting pan and place the pan into the oven.  Bake for 20 minutes.  The water adds a bit more moisture and protects the ramekins from cracking. 







And when time's up, the top of the mac and cheese will be golden brown and crispy and amazingly flavorful.  It is truly amazing.  The flavors of Italia will waft through the kitchen and home when you open the oven and carefully remove the pan. And be careful! Remember, there is hot water in it!!!

Let the ramekins rest about eight minutes out of the roasting pan.  Top with fresh chiffonade basil and enjoy!  




The Mini Farfalle is PERFECT for this dish!!!

When I decided on this dish, I could not help but think about my dear friend, Morgan, who LOVES Mac n Cheese, and for some reason, I have never made it for him.  So Morgan, this one is for you!



As always, THANK YOU, friends, for your viewership and readership, your time and consideration.  I am grateful for all of you!

Now, I hope you are suffering about wanting to get to the pantry or store to make this dish!  Go!  Go cook for someone you love!!!!  

~Martin
In-House Cook








Sunday, August 6, 2017

Pesto Farfalle Pasta with Marinated Skirt Steak and Tomatoes




Pesto Pasta with Marinated Skirt Steak and Tomatoes

I have been planning and preparing dishes that are simple to prep, expeditious, healthy and above all, flavorful. Despite one's dietary restrictions, there are myriad spices and sauces to use to induce flavors and tenderize meats without degrading one's restrictions. With this healthy eating thought process in mind, and with the support of my dear friends, Lee and Selena, I have created this dish that can serve four - to - six easily, four big appetites or six average average appetites. 

This dish is simply bowtie (farfalle) pasta tossed with butter, extra virgin olive oil, fresh halved baby tomato medley, grated parmesan cheese and pesto.  The skirt steak is marinated for an hour and then seared until a crust forms on either side. The prep is minimal and the actual cooking is easy and slightly staggered so you have time to attend to other things in the duration of the cooking. 

Let's get to it, shall we?  

Ingredients for the Skirt Steak 
1 16 - 20 ounce skirt steak
1/2 teaspoons of each salt and pepper + half a teaspoon of ground black pepper, separated
4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
4 tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
4 tablespoons Mirin
2 tablespoons Ponzu
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil + three tablespoons, separate
2 tablespoons minced garlic

If you can, allow the steak to marinade for an hour, turning the steak after thirty minutes.  If you can marinade it longer, say two or three hours, that would be even better, but, an hour produces amazing flavor and tenderness of the steak. 



Simply add the three tablespoons of evoo to a skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil ripples, add the steak and sear six or seven minutes per side. Steaks thicker (on the thick side) than 1.5-inches, sear eight or nine minutes per side.  Remove from the steak from the skillet to a plate or cutting board and allow it to rest.  



Meanwhile, on a burner over high heat, add four quarts of water to a large pot and bring to a roiling boil.  Liberally salt the water and stir.  Add one box or pound of farfalle, or, "bowtie" pasta to the water and stir to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pot.  

Here are the other three ingredients I used for my pasta:  
1 jar pesto   (I did not have time nor resources to make my own, sadly)
1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese
1 pint of halved baby tomato medley
2 tabs of butter
2 tablepsoons extra virgin olive oil



Boil the pasta about ten minutes, maybe twelve, until the pasta is done.  I would normally say until al dente, just before done, but, having made this pasta this way before, it is best to boil it until it is thoroughly done and soft.  The pesto flavors and tomato flavors are absorbed more effectively when it is done. Strain the pasta and, while the pasta is draining, add the butter and evoo to the pot with the heat turned off.  Add half of the pesto and the tomatoes and stir.  Add the pasta to the pot and the rest of the pesto and the half of the parmesan cheese and toss to combine.  

Working it like a Boss! Haha!!!😎

Let the pasta rest a few minutes to allow the flavors to marry while you slice the steak. I put the steak on a grooved board to catch any escaping juices. After slicing the steak, add the other half of the parmesan to the pasta, stir again, and plate the pasta on a serving platter for family style, if you wish, and arrange the steaks atop the pasta, sprinkle with six chiffonade fresh basil leaves (ribbons) and serve.  



Your family, loved ones and guests will be thrilled and will enjoy the savory flavors and not worry about their wastelines. While I used a whole wheat pasta, you can reduce the calories and carbs even more so by using rice flour pasta.  

A little closer view. 
Morgan will love this, too!

******  

I want to throw in another shout out to my bestie, Sonja, who brought me lunch a good week ago, turkey and cheese wraps with cherry tomatoes.  She created yet another healthy and deeeeelicious wrap, similarly, with basil.  Just wanted to share this with you.  These are so perfect for someone who is on the go, busy life, little time to make lunches.  Thank You, Sonja!!!

Sliced turkey, mozzarella, a little dijon mustard, basil leaves on a whole wheat tortilla. Deliciousness!

Maniacal looking me with Sonja, left, and another awesome bffff, Brittany, right. 

As always, my awesome readers and viewers, Thank You for your time, consideration and support.  You all amaze me and I cannot be more grateful for YOU!!!!

~Martin
In-House Cook






  

Friday, July 28, 2017

Fresh Rosemary and Garlic Chicken and Fresh Herb Quinoa




Rosemary and Garlic Chicken with Fresh Herb Quinoa

I have enjoyed this week's simple but flavorful meals. I will share two of them with you here, one of which I did not make, myself.  My wondrously techy bfff, Sonja, made a fantastic luncheon for us yesterday! I created this simple dish a few days ago that gave me two more nights of a delightful, healthy dinner. There is certainly no remorse devouring this dish, nor serving it to family and friends. Flavorful, healthy, easy peasy, this meal is one for your recipe file!  

Fresh rosemary, fresh garlic oven roasted boneless, skinless juicy chicken thighs and reduced sodium chicken stock which steeped fresh rosemary and fresh garlic quinoa.  The theme is pretty clear, right?

Let's get to it shall we? That way you can get to your own healthy meal!

Preheat the oven to 375-degrees. 

Ingredients
6 pieces of boneless, skinless chicken thighs
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated, separated
3 rounded tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, separated
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 sprigs fresh thyme, for flavorful garnish
parmesan, if desired
1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken stock or broth
non-stick spray (canola or olive oil) 

In a roasting pan lined with foil, better with a rack inside for more even heating, spray with non-stick spray. 



In a large bowl, add the olive oil, vinegar, the separated rosemary and garlic and whisk together. Add salt and pepper to both sides of the chicken thighs. Add the thighs to the marinate and toss the thighs well with the marinate.  Allow them to marinate as long as you can, but if only a few minutes is all that is possible, then that is fine!  I marinated the thighs only about twenty minutes, and they turned out amazingly flavorful!

Chicken thighs marinating in a bowl. 


Lay out the chicken thighs in the roasting pan sprayed with non-stick spray.  Add the pan to the oven and set the timer for 15-minutes. After fifteen minutes is up, reset the timer for 20 minutes and set up a small saucepan on the stove top over medium-high heat. 

Add two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to the sauce pan, add a package of quinoa (about 5 ounces for four servings) and stir, allowing the quinoa to toast for about two minutes.  Add the fresh rosemary and garlic and stir for another two minutes.  Add a tiny pinch of salt and black pepper (less than 1/4 of a teaspoon each) and stir for another minute.  Now add the 1 1/2 cups reduced sodium chicken stock or broth (listen to the sizzle!) and bring it to a boil, stirring.  



Bring the quinoa liquid to a boil, stirring so the seeds will not stick to the bottom of the saucepan, and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  After 15 minutes, remove from the heat and cover, and allow it to steam.  Afterward, use a fork to fluff up the quinoa.  It has a couscous-like consistency, so if you have never made quinoa before, it is as simple as preparing couscous or rice. 

By now, the chicken timer should be going off, too. Remove the roasting pan from the oven, remove the thighs to a plate and allow them to rest a few minutes. On a side note, you Could use boneless/skinless chicken breasts, too.  Chicken thighs are my preference because they retain their moisture better than chicken breasts do. But it is completely your choice, whatever you like best!

To plate, use your imagination.  I place quinoa in a bowl and turned it upside down to form a base for my chicken thighs.  I added a small salad of halved baby tomato medley, the thighs on and around the quinoa base, drizzled the plate with aged reduced balsamic vinegar and added grated parmesan to the plate for the fun of it.  I could have added it to the quinoa, but parmesan is pretty salty, and I wanted to limit the sodium content of this dish.  


I simply garnished with fresh thyme and sprinkled fresh thyme leaves around the plate. 


Final View.  

As always, I want to the Thank You, my gentle viewers and readers, for your time and consideration!  I so appreciate your visit to my humble blog site. But guess what????  I am NOT DONE!

My dear technology goddess guru bestie, Sonja, came to visit my classroom yesterday to help me add  links to my existing classroom tech, and she brought us a homemade, very healthy, balanced lunch!  She added a sliced wedge of cheese (she said next time she will add two, rather than one, a couple of delicious layers of sliced turkey to wheat tortillas and made healthy, delectable wraps.  I added halved cherry tomatoes to mine, which she'd also supplied.  She also brought us both a banana and a small bag of jerky.  So incredibly satisfying this lunch was!  




  


My techy bestie, Sonja, and I.  

NOW, Friends, go cook something healthy for someone you love!  Their hearts will thank you for it!  

~Martin
In-House Cook