Monday, June 13, 2011

Asian-Glazed Drumsticks

When I was younger, raw chicken was possibly the most disgusting thing in the entire world. I remember my mom prepping a whole chicken for dinner and looking on in horror as she touched - OMG she touched it! - that slimy, sticky bird that somehow turned into something oh-so-delicious for our evening meal. And if she requested my help? Forget about it. I would have no part in such morbid activities and I certainly made my opinion of partaking in such activities well-known.

Why do I bring up such a memory? I had to laugh this evening as I was preparing tonight's dinner. The recipe called for removing the skin from the drumsticks... No easy feat. As I'm pulling and yanking and wrestling with each piece, I could just sense my 10-year old self staring at my now 27-year old self with wonder and disbelief. Who have I become!

Lucky for me, such activities are not off-limits these days, and I'm able to whip together a nice weeknight meal of Asian-glazed drumsticks and Chinese fried rice without batting an eye. Because I don't think I could live without these drumsticks in my life. Sticky, sweet, spicy and delicious. And surprisingly healthy at only around 115 calories per drumstick. Score!

7-8 chicken drumsticks, skin removed
2/3 c. water
1 tsp. Srirachi hot sauce
5 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
5 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce
2 1/2 tsp. white sugar
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tsp. fresh, grated ginger
2 Tbs. chives and/or scallions, chopped
1 tsp. sesame seeds
salt and pepper to taste

In a small bowl, combine water, Srirachi, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, garlic and ginger. Whisk to combine. Set aside.

Lightly salt and pepper the drumsticks. In a large cast iron skillet, brown chicken over high heat for three to four minutes. Add sauce and cook on high heat until boiling. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove cover, bring heat back to high to reduce sauce, about 10 to 12 minutes, turning chicken occasionally. With about two minutes left, remove chicken to a platter and continue to reduce sauce until it becomes a thick glaze. Pour over chicken. Top with chives, scallions and/or sesame seeds. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted slightly from Gina's Skinny Taste. Thanks Gina!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Open-Faced Grilled Eggplant Sandwiches

Hey there. Hello. Hola. It's been a while. A long while. But don't fret, I've still been eating - and eating well every single day. I just haven't gotten around to posting much. I know, I'm selfish... Keeping all those good recipes to myself. Well, here's to changing that.

Although I value protein highly in my diet, sometimes I just crave a meatless meal (not that all meatless meals are low in protein, but it is more difficult to get a decent amount in a meatless meal). I have always liked the idea of one meatless meal a week, and with Gabe back to the grind stone and taking classes twice weekly, I have two great opportunities to satisfy this craving.

On the menu this week? Grilled eggplant open-faced sandwiches. Piled high with vegetables and cheese, each bite is packed with flavor. And the best part? It all comes together in less than 15 (10?) minutes. Enjoy!

2 slices of hearty bread
4 eggplant rounds, approximately 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick
1/2 Tbs. olive oil + more for brushing bread
1/2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
Herbs de Provence, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste
1/2 Tbs. mayonnaise
Spinach and tomato slices
1 oz. mozzarella cheese

Fire up the outdoor grill or inside grill pan, and preheat oven to the broil setting.

In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Brush over both sides of eggplant rounds, then sprinkle with Herbs de Provence, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Grill until browned, about 5 minutes per side. Remove from heat. Additionally, brush bread with olive oil and grill until lightly toasted, about 1-2 minutes per side.

Assemble open-faced sandwiches by spreading mayo on each piece of toasted bread, then layering on spinach and tomato slices. Top with grilled eggplant and cheese (Note: I had to slice eggplant rounds in half). Pop sandwiches into the oven and broil until cheese is melted and bubbly, about 2 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool slightly and serve.

Note: If you're interested in other meatless meals, check out Ezra Pound Cake blog. She hosts a great Meatless Monday feature with some really great recipe ideas.