March 9th 2012

Your favorite take-out recipes: from home!

Want to make your favourite take-out menu items at home? These easy-to-put together dishes will have you spending a little more time in the kitchen, rather than picking up the phone and dialing your local delivery restaurants.

They’re easy to prepare, use ingredients found in the local grocery store, and hit up all of the flavors and cuisines that you know and love.

And the bonus? They’re pretty darn good for you, too.

Thai Beef Slaw

2 tablespoons unsalted peanuts
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest
2 Thai chiles
4 tablespoons finely chopped shallots, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon canola oil
1 1/2 pounds sirloin steak
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
3 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
3 cups thinly sliced Napa cabbage
2 carrots, thinly
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups green beans, trimmed

Heat a grill over medium-high heat.

Put the peanuts in a small skillet. Toast until fragrant and lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, put onto a plate, and let cool. Coarsely chop and set aside.

Put the  ginger, lime zest, jalapeno, 2 tablespoons chopped shallot, and 1 teaspoon brown sugar in a food processor. Process to make a paste. Add 1 tablespoon of the fish sauce and 1 teaspoon of the oil. Pulse 2 to 3 times to combine. Put the steak on a large plate. Coat with the marinade and set aside.

Put the lime juice with the remaining  fish sauce, sugar, and shallot. Drizzle in the remaining oil, whisking until emulsified.

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook until crisp-tender and bright green, about 2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove them from the water and plunge them into ice bath. Once they are cool, remove and set aside.

After these steps are done, grill the marinated steak 6 minutes on one side, then turn the steak, and continue cooking 4 minutes more for medium-rare. Transfer to a cutting board. Let rest 5 to 10 minutes.

Toss the green beans, cabbages, and carrot slices together on a large serving platter. Drizzle the dressing over the vegetables. Thinly slice the steak on the bias, and top on the vegetables. Sprinkle with peanuts and scallions. Serve immediately.

Chicken Enchiladas Verde

1 1/2 pounds bone-in chicken breast, skin removed
1/2 medium white onion
1  clove garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
2 1/2 cups loosely packed fresh cilantro
1 1/2 pounds tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1 jalapeno chile
1 poblano chile
8  corn tortillas
1 cup grated  Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup sour cream

Put the chicken, onion, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan. Add water to cover the mixture by at least 1 inch. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat. Simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Scoop out 3/4 cup of the liquid. Set aside. Carefully remove the chicken. When cool, shred it from the bones. Discard the bones and toss with 1/2 cup of the cilantro. Set aside.

Turn on the broiler and arrange a rack 6 inches from the heat. Broil tomatillos and chiles on a rimmed baking sheet for about 10 to 12 minutes, rotating them as they blacken. Let cool. Remove the blackened skins, along with the stems and ribs rom chiles.

Turn the oven temperature to 375 degrees.

Put the tomatillos and chile flesh in a food processor. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining cilantro, 3/4 cup liquid from the chicken. Puree.

Heat the tortillas until soft. Dip it in the tomatillo mixture. Put 1/3 cup of the chicken on half, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the cheese, and roll up. Place it seam side down in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortilllas and ingredients. Spoon the remaining tomatillo mixture  on top. Bake until heated through, about 20 minutes.

Serve with sour cream.

Shrimp and Tofu Fried Rice

1 1/4 cups brown rice
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 ounces sugar snap, stems trimmed and strings removed, blanched and drained
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons canola oil
8 ounces small shrimp, peeled, deveined, and cut in half crosswise
8 ounces firm tofu, pressed and drained, cut into small 1/4-inch cubes
1 small onion, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons grated ginger
6 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup bean sprouts
4 green onions, trimmed and thinly sliced

Put the rice, salt, and 2 1/2 cups water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cover; simmer over medium-low heat until rice is tender and water has been absorbed, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat. Spoon the rice in a thinlayer over a parchment-lined baking sheet. Let sit, uncovered, 3 to 4 hours.

NOTE: you can by-pass this drying method by using leftover rice, about 2 1/2 to 3 cups worth.

Put the broth and soy sauce in a bowl. Heat a wok or skillet until very hot. Add the oil and swirl it around to coat the bottom. Add the shrimp and tofu. Cook until shrimp have cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a covered bowl.

Add the other teaspoon of oil to the skillet or wok. Add the onion and garlic, and cook for 2 minutes. Add about 3 tablespoons of the broth mixture, the ginger, mushrooms, carrot, bell pepper, and black pepper. Cook for three minutes, stirring constantly. Add a dash more broth, the sprouts, and the shrimp/tofu mixture. Cook for a minute. Add the rice, remaining broth, and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the green onions and blanched peas. Cook for another minute. Serve warm.

Easy Homemade Pizza with Fresh Dough

1/4 cup homemade or bought tomato or pizza sauce
1 batch whole grain pizza dough (prepared as written below)
1/2 cup cheese mixture
1 garlic clove, minced
Toppings of choice
Olive oil

Put a pizza stone or baking sheet that has been turned upside down in the oven. Heat the oven to 450 degrees F. Put the dough on parchment paper. Spread with the sauce and add the garlic and cheese. Top with your choice of toppings and drizzle with olive oil.

Slide the parchment paper onto the pizza stone or baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes, until bottom is crisp and cheese is bubbly.

Whole Grain Pizza Dough (makes six portions)

1 envelope dry active yeast
2 cups warm water
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting surface
2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 cups whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
Extra-virgin olive oil, for the bowl

Put the yeast in a the water in a large bowl. Let stand until bubbling, about 5 minutes. Add 2 cups of the all-purpose flour and the salt. Mix in the whole wheat flour and the wheat germ. Mix well.

Add the remaining flour, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes away from the bowl but is still a little sticky. Put on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.

Transfer the dough to ta lightly oiled bowl. Turn to coat with the oil. Cover and let rise in a warm place until it doubles in volume, about 2 1/2 hours. Cut the dough into six portions, and let rest before stretching and rolling into pizza dough.

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Andrew's Biography

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Andrew loves art and design, and pursues his studies in his final year at the Ontario College of Art and Design. He loves seeking out new artists and giving them their dues, and in his spare time, focuses on his own abstract sculpture.