Sunday, October 26, 2014

Thai Chicken With Basil

We had an abundance of basil from our garden this summer.  Basil is one of my favorite herbs and it was so nice to be able to go pick it fresh from my backyard.  Plus, it saved me money!!  This is one of many dishes that we made that used our fresh basil.  It was delicious and easy!

Thai Chicken With Basil
adapted from:

2 chicken breasts, cut into chunks
2 Tbsp. oyster sauce (the original recipe called for Asian fish sauce, but this is what I had)
1 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. water
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. cooking oil
1 onion, cut into thin slices (I used dehydrated onion)
1/4 tsp. dried red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 1/2 c. lightly packed basil leaves

In a medium bowl, whisk together the oyster sauce, soy sauce, water and sugar.  Add the chicken and let it soak up those yummy flavors, while you begin cooking your onion.  In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook it for 2 minutes.  Add the red pepper flakes and garlic and stir it for another 30 seconds.  Remove the chicken from the marinade and add it to the frying pan.  Cook the chicken until it is no longer pink inside.  Then add the marinade to the frying pan and cook it for another minute.  Remove it from the heat and gently stir in 1 cup of the basil leaves.  Top it with the remaining basil leaves when you serve it over rice.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Homemade Freezer Salsa

This year, my tomatoes went absolutely crazy in my garden.  We are not huge tomato eaters, so in order to use them up, I made freezer salsa.  The rest I just washed, dried and froze them by 10's (or so) in a freezer bag.  Then, when I want fresh salsa in the middle of January, I will take them out, toss them into a pot of boiling water, remove them and take the skins off, and I'll be ready to start a batch of freezer salsa!  At least I hope that is what I will do, I've never tried it until this year, but my neighbor assures me that it works.

Freezer Salsa
by: Carolyn

10-12 tomatoes
2 small peppers (I used some from my garden, and I don't know what variety I planted.  But they are small, light green, and not very hot.  Does that help?)
1 serrano pepper, sliced, with the seeds removed (you can leave the seeds if you want more heat in your salsa--we're a mild family, around here)
handful of cilantro
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp. dried, chopped onion, rehydrated (actually, just slightly less)
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
juice of 1 lime
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper

Blanch your tomatoes by putting them in boiling water for 30-60 seconds, then taking them out and putting them right into a bowl of freezing cold water.  Then the skins should slide right off.  Remove the stems, cut them in half from the top and then squeeze out the seeds.  Toss them in a blender and blend them up until they are the consistency that you like.  In a food processor, finely chop your peppers (whatever kind those were...), serrano pepper, and cilantro.  In a large pot, stir together the tomatoes, pepper mixture, garlic, onion, sugar, lime juice, salt and pepper.  Bring it to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer it for 10-15 minutes.  Feel free to pull out your tortilla chips and start tasting it now.  I added things and got it to the flavor I wanted, while I was cooking it.  Pour it into your jars, or containers and freeze it until you are ready for it.