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    Entries in heat wave (14)

    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?

     

    Tuesday
    Jul162013

    Mounds of Coconut

    Gluten free mounds! (yes, I'm hitting a food blog buzzword)

    But it's true. There's no gluten in these.

    There's coconut and chocolate though, and really, that's all that matters.

    There are a few no-gluten people at work and I feel bad every week when they have to pass on the cookies, so I thought I'd give the gluten free thing a shot.

    These are more of a candy than a cookie, but I doubt anyone will complain.

    Chocolate Coconut Candy Cookies

    Filling

    • 2 c sugar
    • 1/2 c milk
    • 1/2 c butter
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1 c ground almonds
    • 3 c unsweetened shredded coconut

    Coating

    • 2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • 1 tbsp butter

     

    In a pot big enough to hold all the ingredients, combine the sugar, milk, and butter over medium heat. 

    These are basically a variation on Taneasha's No Bake Cookies and she has some great tips there on how to make the "candy" part of these "cookies" come out perfectly. I didn't follow any of them. 

    What?

    You expected me to follow rules?? Seriously, I'm amazed I managed to measure the sugar and the milk. No comment on the butter.

    Bring the candy combo to a boil and set a timer for 3 minutes. (I let mine go an extra couple minutes and I think that I won't next time)

    After 3 minutes, remove the pot from the heat and pour in the vanilla. You can even measure it if you want to.

    Stir that in and then dump in the almonds and coconut. Yes, I know Taneasha's tips said to pour this onto the dry stuff, but this way, there's only one pot to wash.

    If you want pure coconut you can replace the cup of ground almonds, but I'm thinking it might be fun to go the other way and do these with ground almonds only.

    I recommend using the 3 minutes of boiling to lay out parchment paper on the counter or a table.

    Since my air conditioner is in the bedroom, and the air in the rest of my apartment is distinctly not conditioned, I moved my kitchen table into the bedroom and laid out the parchment.

    Fill a small scoop by pressing it against the edge of the pot. If you have a melon baller that wold work. Do people even have melon ballers any more? Me, I have a tablespoon measure that is dome shaped. Look! I measured something!

    Drop these little mounds of coconut candy onto the parchment.

    They will start to set pretty quickly, but the stuff in the pot will still be hot. Be careful if you decide that you want to use your hands to try to shape them a bit.

    You can't roll them, or they'll fall apart; you have to press them into shape. Which was more work than I wanted to do so I went back to the scoop.

    Now, you could leave these things as is, and everything would be lovely.

    Or, you could decide that they need some chocolate drizzled over top.

    I totally forgot to take pictures of the chocolate part, but if you follow Taneasha's chocolate tempering steps you'll be just fine. Okay seriously, is there anything candy-related the woman can't do?

    Mine came out beautifully. Damn she's good.

    Drizzling didn't work out so well.

    So I dipped.

    And dipped

    and dipped.

    And managed to avoid licking my fingers between dips.

    And if you're wondering what to do with the crumbles left in the bottom of the pot, and the last bit of chocolate in the bowl, I recommend balls. 

    Some of the dips will come out looking like they were made by a 5 year old (actually, most of them will... or maybe it's just me),

    but some of them will be lovely.

    And all of them will need about an hour for the chocolate to set.

    So, are you willing to try gluten-free recipes?