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Awesome Onion Goggles

Regional Eating: Baked Chicken with Caramelized Sweet Onions

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Let me start by saying that I think this is the juiciest chicken I have ever made. Wow. The flavor was excellent as well. This goes great with couscous, polenta or crusty bread. This recipe comes from the Tastes of the Pacific Northwest cookbook and I came across it as I was researching my WCC#9 recipe.

I found another dish from this cookbook that I will be posting about next Monday for that Weekend Cookbook Challenge but this chicken definitely deserves its own post! Plus, the bay leaf is from our backyard — that’s pretty damn regional!

Baked Chicken with Caramelized Sweet Onions
3-4 chicken breasts (skinless & boneless) you could also probably use a combination of 2 breasts and 2 thighs
flour for dredging (about a cup or so), seasoned with a little salt and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
2 large sweet onions (Walla Walla if you have them), halved and cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
4 cloves garlic, halved
12 cured black olives (I used about 15 little nicoise olives, as that’s what I had on hand)
1 tsp fresh thyme, minced
1 bay leaf
salt & pepper
2 lemons, cut into wedges
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

. . . → Read More: Regional Eating: Baked Chicken with Caramelized Sweet Onions

Asian Pasta Mix-Up: Ginger-Garlic-Cilantro Shrimp

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Is it Italian? Is it Asian? I dunno. It was good, though.

You could just as easily serve this over some basmati rice (and omit the cheese) but I really like the huge rigatoni we had with this and of course, the Parmesan. It was a fusion, as the kids call it.

Ginger-Garlic-Cilantro Shrimp
Originally, from Bon App├ętit magazine, with 6 tbsp of butter instead of 3.5.
3.5 tbsp butter, room temperature
1/4 cup (packed) chopped fresh cilantro
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 pound uncooked, peeled and deveined shrimp (large — 26-30 ct)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small white onion, diced
1 orange or yellow bell pepper, cored and diced
Lime wedges
1 pound rigatoni or other large tube-like pasta of your liking
salt and pepper

Mix the first six ingredients in small bowl until well blended; alternatively, throw in the food processor and process until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Also, add a little lime juice from one of your lime wedges, just for fun. See, it’s fun! Set aside.

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I used a food processor, so it’s all blended-like.

Cook the pasta in salted boiling water. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a . . . → Read More: Asian Pasta Mix-Up: Ginger-Garlic-Cilantro Shrimp

The Awesome Cheeseball of Montana

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I’ll start with the cheese ball, as that is usually the best place to begin. I have been telling my mom about the awesomeness of this cheeseball for about a year now, when I first made it last year before the holidays. This outing in Montana was the perfect opportunity to share in its greatness.

My aunt, who doesn’t even like tomatoes, ate as much as everyone else.

Also, it looked much prettier than the title picture above. That’s all that was left from the trip, the picture taken after the poor cheeseball had been in a cooler for 11.25 hours on the drive home. We put him to good use back in Portland.

Unfortunately, I did not take pictures of the cheeseball-making. Therefore, I will intersperse this post with pictures from the trip.

The Best Cheeseball Ever
Based on Paula Deen’s Pesto Cheese Blossom recipe
1 (8-ounce) package sliced provolone cheese
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup toasted walnuts (you could also use pistachios, pecans — really whatever nuts you like)
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 3 oz pkg dried, sundried tomatoes
1 tsp . . . → Read More: The Awesome Cheeseball of Montana

SHF23: Hey! There’s Brown Rice in My Creme Brulee!

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Hello! I am back from Montana and will post about that soon. But, Sugar High Friday is due so that will have to come first. Oh, well — I can’t resist, here’s a quick picture.

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Yellowstone River, Livingston, MT.

Okay, fine. Twist my arm. One more.

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jwa and I in Sacajawea Park.

It was a great trip and it was nice to see my mom and my aunt. We ate at 2nd Street Bistro one night and I made Paula Deen’s insanely good pesto/sun dried tomato cheese ball (my name for it, not hers).

Now for the creme brulee…

This month’s Sugar Hight Friday is hosted by A Veggie Venture and the theme is a surprise inside. I came across this Emeril recipe and thought rice (in this case brown rice) in a creme brulee was a bit of a surprise. The surprise is also inside. Ha!

In addition, I am on a bit of a creme brulee kick lately, so that really sealed the deal when picking a dish to make for this event.

SHF23: Cinnamon & Brown Rice Creme Brulee
This recipe makes four creme brulees — double it up for eight.
2 cups half and half (or . . . → Read More: SHF23: Hey! There’s Brown Rice in My Creme Brulee!

What’s For Lunch? Thai Basil!

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Lemongrass Chicken

Thai Basil
Corner of SW Oak & 2nd Ave
Portland, OR
503-330-1010

Well, as I’ve mentioned before, I have a new job downtown and one of the nice benefits of that is the lunch choices. My last position was up on Skyline and my lunch option was…Pizzicato. I mean, that was good, but that was it. That was the only choice nearby.

But now…the possibilities are endless! So, I thought I would start a little review of lunch carts in downtown Portland. The first is Thai Basil, which is right across the street from my office building. How convenient!

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Thai Basil Menu
Chicken or Tofu Curry — a red curry, green curry and a yellow curry
Chicken or Tofu Stir Fries — ginger, garlic, veggie lovers, spicy basil and cashew versions
Chicken or Tofu Noodle Dishes — pad thai and two other varieties
Chicken or Tofu Fried Rices — comes in pineapple, spicy basil and with extra chilis

They also have specials. These include Lemongrass Chicken, Pumpkin Curry with Chicken or Tofu, Spicy Mango Curry and Stir Fried Asparagus with Chicken or Tofu.

All of these menu items come with a salad roll and dipping sauce, and a drink (Thai ice tea or water) for . . . → Read More: What’s For Lunch? Thai Basil!