Monday, January 19, 2009

Grape Chicken, Shrimp Stir Fry and Juice - 1/19/2009

I decided to try some of my new kitchen toys with my cooking this week to very pleasing results.


My mom gave me a juicer that she doesn't use, so I thought I would give it a shot. I juiced 4 carrots, 3 pears, 3 Pink Lady apples (the juice actually had a pink tinge to it), and some cubed pineapple. I can't stand carrot juice by itself, but mixed with these other juices, it made a nice cocktail that lasted me the entire week, about 4 cups worth. My main hesitation with juice, though, is that you consume many of the calories you would normally get from fruit without any of the fiber, which not only has nice digestive properties but also helps to give you a feeling of satiety. Nonetheless, this ruthless little machine will serve me very well in the future.


This apparatus is a handy little set-up. The bottom portion is the main pan and the top portion has holes in the bottom to act as a steamer compartment. Using this, I cooked some wild rice in the bottom compartment and, about halfway through its cooking, I placed some broccolini with sliced lemons in the steamer compartment to let them cook until a crisp tender while the rice finished.

Grape Chicken

In a separate pan, I cooked up some thinly sliced chicken breasts. After they were done and out of the pan, I added a combination of grape juice, chicken broth and cornstarch to the pan, cooking it until it thickened. Then I added white grapes to the pan until they were heated through. This dish came out very nicely balanced on the sweetness and the flavor of the grapes really sang after they were warm.

Shrimp & Chives Stir Fry

This last dish does not have any Christmas gift element, but it was good nonetheless. After heating up some oil in a skillet-wok with some salt and a little sugar, I cooked some ginger until it was fragrant. Then I added a pound of shrimp, a little bit of rice wine, and a bunch of uncut chives. After the shrimp just turned pink, I added some cornstarch mixed into some seafood broth to thicken up the sauce. Serving this atop some baked spaghetti squash helped to cut down on the carbohydrates while still providing a neutral and hearty base to the dish. The pungent flavors of chive and ginger came through well. Not only that but this all cooked up in about 10 minutes.

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