Dinner last night was pretty simple, yet delicious. I asked hubby to take out some chicken in the morning, although I had no idea what I was going to do with it. I realized I had some leftover brown rice that I’d cooked, so I was thinking stir fry. However, it was hot yesterday, and I didn’t feel like cooking inside. So, I decided to bbq teriyaki chicken.
One problem – no teriyaki sauce.
Don’t you hate it when you think of something to cook, and you can practically taste it, and then you find out you don’t have the ingredients? I hate that! I think that’s one of the reasons I tend to overshop; growing up my mom had a huge pantry (I’m so jealous of it now) and she always had a few of everything in there. She was always prepared.
Anyway, being the resourceful gourmet chef that I am (no really, don’t laugh), I turned to my faithful friend Google and started searching for sauce recipes. Turns out it’s not that hard to make teriyaki sauce. Cool!
There are lots of ways to make teriyaki sauce. I chose a simple version of soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, ginger, and garlic. Remembering as always that I don’t measure, here is what I did (just taste as you go along, and you’ll be fine (unless it’s baking…then you have to measure)).
After gathering my ingredients, I poured approximately 2 cups or so of soy sauce in a bowl. I mixed in a couple squirts of lime juice, a lot of brown sugar (probably 4-6 big teaspoons…taste as you go, you can always add more soy sauce if you overdo it), a few teaspoons of ground ginger (I didn’t have fresh; actually I ran out of ground, too, so I may have added more if I’d had it), and then a few cloves of garlic. Since this was a marinade I didn’t bother to mince my garlic, but just cut it into big chunks.
I love, love, LOVE fresh garlic, and I’ve spent years looking for the perfect garlic press. I’m currently still impressed with the Pampered Chef garlic press, but I have yet to buy it. Why? Because I have a simple method for peeling garlic, and then I usually just chop it up (or I use roasted garlic…I’m planning on roasting some this week, so I’ll take pictures). Here’s how I peel fresh garlic.
Step 1: Pull a few cloves of garlic out of the head. Don’t worry about trying to get any of the paper-thin skin off.
Step 2: Take your nice, heavy salt or pepper shaker. On a cutting board (or other surface where you won’t crack a tile), give the garlic a good whack with the shaker.
Step 3: Ta-da! Easily peel that clove out of it’s skin.
I know, so simple.
Anyway, here is the chicken after marinating for just about an hour, if that.
Now, onto the grill (I love our new grill! I finally talked hubby into a gas grill…he loved his charcoal one, but I’m apparently lame and couldn’t ever light it).
Ah, bbq’d chicken – isn’t it beautiful? It was tasty, too. I can cook in the kitchen, but I’m not yet a master of the bbq. Good thing hubby is, and knows how to perfectly grill chicken (I think he gets extra points for the nice grill marks).
On a related note, even though it was hot last night, I did some other cooking in the kitchen (sorry, no pictures). I bought a bag of yellow onions at Costco, because they were just so cheap. I was sure I could do something with all those onions!
I decided to make French Onion Soup, for two reasons. One, I love it, and I’ve never made it before, and two, I use canned French onion soup when I make roasts, and that stuff costs at least $1.75 a can. Ridiculous! By making my own, I have a little I can eat now, and then I’ll freeze the rest so it’ll be ready when I make a roast. (You can find the best roast recipe ever here. And an addition to the best roast recipe ever here.) I also like the idea of making my own soup so that I know what’s in it; no preservatives, no junk, just onions and broth (okay, and butter and a little cheese).
I’ve started making my own stock, but I haven’t made beef stock yet, so I had to use canned broth this time (I know, there goes my hope of no preservatives…oh well). I don’t have pictures, but here’s what I did (and I measured this time!!).
French Onion Soup (adapted from the recipe for Mimi’s French Onion)
2-3 large yellow onions, sliced fairly thin (about ½” slices)
4 15-oz cans beef broth
1 can beef consommé
½ stick (4 Tbsp) unsalted butter
Grated or shredded Romano or Parmesan cheese (okay, this one I didn’t measure; start with a ½ cup, taste, then add more; I think I used 1 cup)
Salt and pepper to taste
Sauté your slice onions in a large, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven (I have a Le Crueset 5.5 quart Dutch oven, and it was perfect for this recipe). The onions will need to cook, stirring occasionally, until they are soft and golden. Add the beef broth and undiluted beef consommé. Let the broths heat, then add the cheese, salt and pepper. Let cook over low to medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes.
I stopped at this point. If you are making soup to eat, rather than reserving it for cooking, you can put the soup in individual oven-proof crocks, add a slice of baguette and some Gruyere or Mozzarella cheese, then bake or broil your soup. Even without the topping, the soup is absolutely delicious (and your kitchen will smell so good!).