Friday, May 1, 2009

Sometimes I feel like cooking, sometimes I don't!

Last week sometimes, I felt like cooking, so I looked up recipes. I picked the Chicken Wrap with Mango, Basil, and Mint from It turned out very good and it was fun to put together.

Here's the recipe:

For the chicken:

1 garlic clove
1/2 shallot
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Freshly ground pepper
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 12 ounces total)

Make the chicken: Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Finely chop garlic and shallot in a food processor. Add basil and oil, and process until mixture forms a coarse paste. Stir in salt and cinnamon, and season with pepper.

Make a few shallow 1/2-inch slits on both sides of chicken; rub all over with the basil mixture.

Place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake chicken until cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool completely, then shred into small pieces; set aside.

For the Dressing:

1/2 shallot
1/2 mango, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
Pinch of cayenne pepper

Make the dressing: Finely chop shallot in the clean bowl of the food processor. Add mango, and process until smooth. Add the lime juice and cayenne, and process until combined.

For Assembling:

4 lavash breads (3 1/2 ounces each, I used tortillas)
1/2 mango, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick spears
8 fresh basil leaves
8 fresh mint leaves

Assemble wraps: Spread about 1/4 cup mango dressing in center of each lavash*. Top with chicken, mango, and herbs**. Roll up diagonally to form a cone.

* I like to make sure it's all over, not all in one spot.

** My pieces are a bit big for my tortilla, oh well... I like to put full leaves so you really taste the herbs.

Note: Wraps can be refrigerated, wrapped in parchment and plastic, up to 4 hours. It's 4 servings and there's only 2 of us, so that made for some great Bento fare the following day!

Last night I did NOT feel like cooking. I called my husband, offered for us to order out. We went at it back and forth, Indian food? Sushi? Thai? Do we take out, or do we eat out?

I don't feel like eating out. I've been moving furniture all day, I just don't. Then I got to think that if I'm not motivated enough to eat out, than I shouldn't eat restaurant food right?

Starting to feel a little guilty for being so lazy I went in the kitchen and looked for something quick and easy. I had leftover Bulgar, a couple of leeks, half a bunch of asparagus, zucchini, eggs, I had plenty of food in there!

Explanations won't be too precise as I made it up as I went. It turned out really good though!

Here's what I came up with:

Ok, the Bulgar bowl is ugly, sorry about that, but otherwise, for a quick easy meal, it's pretty neat right?

The soup is a Leek-Asparagus-Zucchini soup. I sauteed the leeks, then added asparagus (saving the heads) and then the zucchinis. Once it all started to brown, I added salt, pepper, garlic powder, a little cumin, and chopped fresh basil, chicken broth (just enough to barely cover), added a diced potato and simmered for about 15 minutes. I pureed the whole thing, added a few basil ribbons et voila.

For this frittata, I thinly sliced a shallot, sauteed that with the asparagus heads. I let the pan cool a little, while it did I mixed a whole egg, 4 egg whites, cumin and pepper to taste. I added that to the pan, added the cooked asparagus and shallot. I had leftover steamed zucchini slices already so I put them over the whole thing and decorated with basil ribbons.

I cooked the whole thing on the stove until almost set, then put in the over for about 7-8 minutes to finish setting.

The whole thing took about I don't know, 20 minutes? I shopped veggies and basil for the two dish together. It turned out really good, and satisfying.

So there, cooking doesn't have to be a big project, or even a big adventure, but it can be if you want it to be!

Be good n stuff!

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