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    Entries in get the good stuff (9)

    Friday
    Jul192013

    Thai Chicken Sliders

    So last week I showed you how to make fabulous slider buns.  This week, a filling that’s worthy of them.  Thai chicken with peanut sauce.  If you’ve ever had chicken satay in a Thai restaurant, the flavor will be very familiar to you.  Not only is it absolutely delicious, but it’s made in the slow cooker, which is becoming my best friend in the summertime.  My a/c has a hard enough time keeping up without my oven adding to the heat. 

    Here’s what you’ll need: 

    • 2 chicken breasts
    • 1 onion
    • Juice of a lime
    • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce*
    • 1 teaspoon molasses
    • 1 Tablespoon sugar
    • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
    • 2 Tablespoons curry powder
    • ¼ - ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
    • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 1 Tablespoon chopped, fresh cilantro 

    *Traditionally satay uses fish sauce as well, but hubby is allergic to fish.  If you want to use it, simply replace one of the tablespoons of soy sauce with fish sauce. 

    Squeeze your lime juice into a bowl. 

    Add the soy sauce

    Molasses (no I didn't measure it, but if you don't trust your eyeballing skills, go ahead and do so)

    Sesame oil

    Sugar

    Curry powder (just use whatever your favorite is)

    And red pepper flakes.  ¼ teaspoon is pretty mild, so adjust for how spicy you like things. 

    Whisk that together. 

    Peel your ginger. 

    Grate that into your sauce.  I used about half of this piece which gave me probably 2 teaspoons.

    Because I was already dirtying my microplane, I used that for my garlic, as well. 

    Just grate in 2 cloves, then whisk again and set the sauce aside. 

    Into your crock pot go two chicken breasts and a chopped onion.  As you can see, I diced the chicken, but I actually recommend leaving them whole or perhaps cutting them into quarters.  I’ll explain later. 

    Pour the sauce over the top and stir until everything is evenly coated. 

    Put the lid on and turn on the crock pot.  I cooked mine on high for an hour and low for another 3 ½.  Basically, you want the chicken to be tender enough to do this. 

    Here’s what you’ll need for the peanut sauce: 

    • ¼ cup peanut butter (use something natural)
    • ¼ cup unsweetened coconut milk (I used light)
    • 1 Tablespoons soy sauce
    • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
    • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder 

    Put the peanut butter and coconut milk into a bowl. 

    Stir them together until they’re nice and smooth.

    Add the remaining ingredients

    And stir them in.

    It will probably be a bit thick, so add coconut milk, one tablespoon at a time, until you get something drizzle-able.   

    Now remove your chicken and shred it with forks, adding sauce from the crock pot as needed.  This is the reason for leaving the chicken breasts in larger pieces.  My small pieces meant tiny shreds.  Longer shreds would give it a bit more chew.   

    Chop your cilantro

    And add it to the chicken. 

    Pile the chicken onto one of your fabulous homemade buns.

    Drizzle on the peanut sauce, and don’t skimp.  It really is the perfect accompaniment. 

    Who says sliders have to be regular old hamburgers?

    What’s your favorite slider?

     

    Friday
    May172013

    Beautifully Basic Buttercream

    The other night, Hubby told me that a colleague of his was looking for a buttercream recipe.  Rather than referring him to one of our posts that includes a recipe for buttercream, I decided it deserves a post of its own.  The truth is, there are lots of different kinds of buttercream.  The one I’m making today is foolproof (even in May), reliable, delicious, and perfect for either piping or spreading. 

    Here’s what you’ll need:

    • ½ cup butter, softened (1 stick)
    • 2 cups powdered sugar (that’s icing sugar for you non-Americans)
    • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
    • 2-3 Tablespoons cream
    • ¼ teaspoon salt (optional)

    An important note to make is that your buttercream can only be as good as the individual ingredients you use.  Good quality butter, organic powdered sugar, and pure vanilla extract are a must.  I can’t stress enough just how important it is.  If you’re going to use crap ingredients, you might as well save yourself the trouble and just buy the stuff that comes in a tub.  If you’ve never used organic powdered sugar, give it a try one time.  You won’t believe the difference.  Trader Joe’s is a really good source for stuff like that. 

    Ok, rant over. Let’s get started.  Drop the room temperature butter into your mixing bowl and give it a quick stir, just to make sure it’s nice and soft. 

    Sift the powdered sugar over the top. 

    This is another thing that makes a difference.  All powdered sugar is going to have at least a few lumps in it.  Sifting it will make your icing nice and smooth.  Break up any lumps with your fingertips or the back of a spoon and put them through the sieve. 

    Mix on low speed until you have what is basically a crumbly mess.  This is when you want to scrape down the bowl really well.  If you have a dough scraper, they work great for this because they’re stiffer than a silicone spatula. 

    Once everything is scraped down thoroughly, mix on medium- low speed until you have something about the consistency of play dough. 

    Add the vanilla.  If you want your buttercream to be a different flavor, (mint, almond, whatever) feel free to substitute it for some or all of the vanilla.  (this is also when you would add coloring if you’re doing that)     

    Mix that in until it is completely incorporated.  Be sure to continue to scrape everything down. 

    Add 2 Tablespoons of heavy cream,  

    and give it a mix until it looks well… beautiful!

    Now’s the time to check for consistency and flavor.  If you want it to be thinner, add a little more cream.  I wanted salt in mine, so I added ¼ teaspoon. 

    Give it one more stir and you have reached buttercream perfection! 

    Spread it on a cake or pipe it onto your favorite cupcake. 

    If you drop your cupcakes back into the pan, they can’t run away from you while you’re piping.  There are two easy designs for topping cupcakes.  The first is a spiral that has a point in the middle. To accomplish this, use a large open star tip, hold your bag straight up and down, and starting from the outside edge, work your way around, slowly moving toward the center. 

    The second is a rosette.  It’s exactly the same technique, except you start in the middle, and work your way toward the edge.  Either way is beautiful!

    Repeat with the rest of the cupcakes.  There should be plenty of frosting for a dozen. 

    What recipe would you like to see us feature?  Don’t be shy.  Requests are not a nuisance.  We actually love getting them.  Not only do they give us inspiration for posts, but they help us to know what kinds of things our audience is interested in.  So feel free to ask questions or make requests anytime, even if it is completely unrelated to the post.