Sriracha chicken and southwest salad

I found another great chicken marinade! This one is made with one of my favorite ingredients for spicing up a meal: Sriracha. The marinade recipe is here: http://www.pincookie.com/siracha-honey-lime-chicken-skewers/

We didn’t skewer our chicken, as suggested by the recipe, but I did pair it with a southwest salad. Since I am the epitome of laziness, I started with a great bagged southwest salad from Taylor Farms. The cilantro dressing that comes with this salad is AMAZING.

I fancied up the salad a bit by adding fresh sweet corn, a can of rinsed and chilled black beans, and cherry tomatoes.

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The chicken was spicy and flavorful and the salad was cool, crunchy, and tangy. It was a great dinner!

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Balsamic-roasted Brussels sprouts

The Brussels sprouts and goat cheese dish I made before was so yummy that I wanted to try another Brussels sprouts dish! I found this recipe for Balsamic-roasted Brussels sprouts with pancetta and decided to give it a try. Unfortunately, my local grocery store didn’t have pancetta, so I decided to go with thickly-sliced bacon instead.

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The good: The bacon and Brussels sprouts became deliciously crispy-crunchy in the oven!

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The bad: This recipe was WAY too salty when made with bacon. The other flavor components were great, but I could barely finish my dinner because there was just too much salt.

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I would like to try this recipe again when I can find pancetta!

Kale salad with lemon-tahini dressing

I recently tried this recipe for kale salad with avocados, tomatoes, cucumbers, chickpeas, and a lemon-tahini dressing.

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I have to admit something now. I think raw kale is yucky. Every part of this salad besides the kale was so delicious (dressing that tastes like hummus?!) but I found myself having to choke down the kale pieces. I have the same aversion to raw broccoli, which is unfortunate because both of these foods are so healthy.

Oh well. Maybe if I just keep eating kale I will learn to love it. We ate the salad with some Terra chips and delicious curry-spiced lamb burgers with cucumber-mint raita sauce (recipes from Joy of Cooking).

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Brussels sprouts with Andouille sausage

This was my first experience with Brussels sprouts. They have always sounded so strange, and I wasn’t even sure how to eat them. My new resolution to eat more vegetables gave me the courage to try them out! I was inspired by this recipe for Kielbasa with Brussels sprouts. Instead of Kielbasa, we chose to use Andouille sausage because we like our food spicy.

I started by sautéing about half of a white onion, chopped, with some sliced Andouille sausage in oil for about 10 minutes.

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Then I added the Brussels sprouts, cut into halves, along with a generous amount of chopped garlic, and cooked for another 10 minutes or so.

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I added lots of black pepper and served the Brussels sprouts and sausage with some Zatarain’s Dirty Rice.

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The Brussels sprouts were sweeter in flavor than I expected, and the flavor kind of reminded me of broccoli and asparagus. Overall, I was pleased with the way this dish turned out and I’m excited to try Brussels sprouts again soon!

Banh Mi Pork Sandwiches

I had my first banh mi sandwich at a picnic hosted by my friend Tiffanie, and I fell in love with the combination of tangy, sweet, and savory flavors. I knew I must learn to make these sandwiches for myself, and so I created a recipe adaptation from this, this, and this recipe.

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Banh Mi Pork Sandwiches

Ingredients:

1 pork tenderloin
1 loaf French bread

Marinade:
½  cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
¼  cup orange juice
3 tablespoons Sriracha hot sauce
½ tsp. ginger powder
4 cloves garlic, chopped

Sauce:
1 jalapeño pepper
1 cup mayonnaise

Pickled Vegetables:
carrots, shredded
cucumber, shredded
1 cup rice vinegar
½ cup lime juice
½ cup chilled water

Other Toppings:
cilantro
1 jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced

Directions:

1. Rinse tenderloin and pat dry with paper towels. Stir ingredients for marinade together and pour into a gallon-sized Ziploc bag with the pork tenderloin. Massage marinade into the meat and place the bag in the refrigerator.

2. Mix rice vinegar, lime juice, and chilled water in a large bowl. Stir in shredded carrots and cucumber. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

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3. Remove stem from one jalapeño and slice into chunks. Blend mayonnaise and pieces of jalapeño in a food processer and refrigerate.

4. Cook pork tenderloin as directed on the package.

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5. Wash cilantro and wash and thinly slice one jalapeño. Slice the French bread into sandwich-sized pieces and cut each piece lengthwise, but not all the way through the bread.

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6. Once pork tenderloin is cooked, let it sit for 5 minutes, then thinly slice it.

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7. Spread jalapeño mayo in the sandwich, then layer the pork, drained pickled vegetables, cilantro and jalapeño.

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Yum!

Duck and Andouille Sausage Étouffée

As mentioned in an earlier post, my husband enjoys trying complicated, fancy recipes. Most recently, he succeeded in cooking a beautiful (and quite tasty) duck and andouille sausage étouffée with corn cakes. The recipe for this was from the Williams-Sonoma New Orleans book.

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As I side, I sautéed some collard greens with copious amounts of garlic, and they ended up going very well with the rest of the meal. I used this recipe for the greens: http://www.elanaspantry.com/simple-braised-greens/

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