3 Fool-Proof Steps to Moist Chicken Breast

Calorie Counter, Dairy-Free, Entertaining, Fab Food Photos, Learn to Cook!, Recipes, Road Trip/Picnic Food, Wheat-Free No Comments »

Part of the key to sticking to a diet, is that it has to satiate. Chicken breast is a great part of a diet designed to reduce weight, but they are so low in fat, they can be chalky and dry. Follow these 3 steps that add moisture, not fat. They guarantee moist, juicy chicken breasts every time!

1. Brine As soon as you get it home, rinse it and soak it in salt water until cooking.

2. Use a splash of white wine and fresh herbs to add lots of flavor. I used sprigs of mint, lemon verbena, tarragon and basil freshly clipped from my garden.

3. Cook on a very low temperature and with a lid to trap moisture. That means 250º in the oven or super low flame under your skillet. It will take longer at this temperature, but you can set it up and walk away. Cut with a sharp knife in the thickest part. As soon as the pink is gone, its done. Remember not to overcook it even at this low temperature and to remove it from the hot pan or baking dish or it will continue to cook. Cooking time will depend on your oven and thickness of the chicken breast, but expect about 60 minutes.

A Freelancer’s Lunch

Dairy-Free, Ethnic Dish, Fab Food Photos, Learn to Cook!, Recipes, Superfoods, Technique, Wheat-Free No Comments »

Those with office jobs or regular gigs all too often think freelancers are loafing at home, when we’re actually hard at work, though there are a few differences in our daily routines, to be sure. We race to our computers with a cup of morning caffeine and our office counterparts tout a cup-o-joe that’s probably cost them $4 and then crawl their way to work in their vehicles. Sure freelancers often don’t hit the shower until 3pm or 30 minutes before our first outside meeting, whichever comes first, but don’t let our bunny slippers convince we’re not as hard at it as gals in their pencil thin skirts and sensible pumps.

Now that I’ve defended freelancers’ work ethic, lets talk about the lunch time advantages! We break up the day by having lunch out once in a while, but for the most part, we eat when we are hungry and make it from home. It’s best of we can prepare something quickly so we can race back to work, but it can still be fabulous. Last Tuesday, I took a bowl of clams I soaking in water overnight and made a scrumptious noodle dish, you can concoct, too. I even tossed in leftover caramelized boc choy from last night’s supper.

Use this ingredient list strictly as inspiration, because when it comes to a noodle dish and fresh clams, it’s pretty hard to go wrong. The most important thing to remember is to get he broth going long before adding the clams to the pot, so those clams stay tender. Just cook ‘em until the shell pops and not a minute longer!

1 T coconut oil
2 cloves garlic
1/2″ fresh ginger root
1 whole leaf lemongrass
1 stalk celery
1 T coconut oil
8 oz clam brine
3 oz white wine
3 scallions
3 oz dry rice noodles
1 over-ripe tomato
2 baby boo choy heads
10 pink peppercorns
1 t dulse or kelp flakes
salt and pepper to taste
2 T hemp seeds

Freelancer's Clam 'n Noodle Lunch

Melt the coconut oil in a large saucepan set on medium-high. Toss in the garlic cloves, halved. Mince the ginger and add it. Slice the celery on the bias into 1/4″ slices and add to the pot to sauté for 3 minutes, stirring often. Add the briny water in which the clams have been soaking, lemongrass, pink peppercorns, salt and pepper and the dry noodles and push the heat to high until it boils. Toss the noodle around and remove them when they are almost tender enough to eat.

Chop the tomato. scallions, dulse or kelp and any left over cooked veggies on hand. Add the wine and stir. Add the clams and cover with a lid. In 3 minutes with the pot boiling, remove the lid add the noodles back in and wait for the clam shells to pop open. Remove one by one as they do. Pour the contents of the pot over the clams once the noodles are reheated through and soft. Garnish with hemp seeds for a great dash of amino acids and omega 3 fatty acids!

Note: Food continues to cook even after its removed from the heat, so pull it off the heat and out of a hot pot just a little before its perfectly done.

Call for Recipe Testers!

Announcements!, Calorie Counter, Dairy-Free, Entertaining, Good Info, Recipes, Road Trip/Picnic Food, Wheat-Free No Comments »

As I promised, here’s a list of entrees from the first to be released, Enlightened Cook ebook.  If you’d like test any of these just send me the title of recipes at marlonbraccia@gmail.com.  I’ll send back the recipe and for many a photo of the finished dish. What I would value in return is your feedback with specifics about length of  preparation time you experienced, whether the measurements, especially the spices were accurate and the like.

Towering Chicken Burgers with Caramelized Onions

Shrimp Curry in a Hurry

Chicken korma

Aloo Gobi

Broiled Ahi Tuna with Tamari-Lemon Glaze

5-Minute Dover Sole Saute

Sautéed Whole Red Snapper with White Grape Sauce

Porterhouse Steak with Sautéed Onions and Portobello Mushrooms for Two

Gingered Snapper

Chicken Meatballs with Tomato Sauce

Maple Syrup -Poached Salmon

Osso Buco: Fall-off-the –Bone Veal Shank

Pistachio-Crusted Stuffed Chicken

Roast Duck

Soft Shell Crab Sandwiches

Oven-Baked Fish Cakes with Mango

Tilapia con Pepitos (Pumpkin Seeds)

Turkey Meatloaf

Vertical Roasted Chicken

Oven-poached Halibut for One

Fried Eggs Italian-Style

Simple Shitake & Arctic Char Sauté

Curried Steak

Many thanks to supporters of my upcoming cookbook, The Enlightened Cook; Think Like a Yogi, Eat Like a King.