Sunday, June 30, 2013

Cardassian Sunrise

So, one night I was deep into Star Trek and decided to recreate one of the coolest drinks: the Cardassian Sunrise.

Not to be confused with a Kardassian Sunrise (if that is even a thing, I hope not).

A Cardassian Sunrise is a drink that starts off clear, but with a slight tap it undergoes a reaction.  With a burst of color the drink changes from clear to a red-orange.  While that part of the drink is currently impossible to recreate, my recipe captures all the essence and still manages to taste great.  So, even if you are not a Trekkie you can enjoy it.

Since I created my version, I have found a few recipes online.  I haven't found one that I am as fond of yet.  Perhaps I am biased because this is my Star Trek love child, or maybe mine is superior.  You can be the judge. 

The ingredients are relatively simple.  You can use a double shot of either Sailor Jerry's or Bacardi 151 (no synthehol here), depending on how drunk you want to get.  I prefer to use this particular 16 ounce goblet because it shows off the drink well and gives some sort of tribute to the green color that appears in the reaction.  

Here is the recipe:

1 double shot Sailor Jerry's rum or Bacardi 151
1 quarter shot grenadine 
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Orange-mango juice (I prefer "Simply" brand for this recipe.  The store was out when I went so I had to go with Sunny D).

1. Pour grenadine, lemon juice and rum into a 16 ounce glass
2. Quickly fill the rest of the glass with the orange-mango juice (this will get the swirling reaction from the show and looks pretty neat)
3. Stir and enjoy! 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Crock-Pot Sweet Chicken Teriyaki

A few weeks ago my stepfather came down to visit and help install a new garage door track thing.  I really wanted to cook him dinner, but I didn't have a day off of work.  He had offered to make shish kebabs with the chicken I had in the freezer, but I had too many horrific memories of being fed black pieces of meat and vegetables from his less than desirable grilling skills (even though he has gotten much better at the art of grilling, according to my mother at least).  Besides, I would have felt terrible making him cook after helping me out with repairs.  Being the somewhat crafty person that I am, I came up with a plan to make something in the crock-pot that I could start before work and finish when I got home.

I hadn't had chicken teriyaki in a long time, and I found a pretty good base recipe on Six Sisters' Stuff (the recipe has been taken down).  Of course, I modified the hell out of it because a meal with that much sugar and no vegetables didn't sit right with me.

I started off by following the original recipe, replacing the granulated sugar with brown sugar, regular soy sauce with low sodium, and garlic salt with fresh garlic and salt.  Okay, so I already deviated from the recipe quite a bit.  

By the time I actually left for work it was already starting to look and smell great.  I gave my mother strict instructions to keep an eye on it and left them to be tortured by the smell all day.

When I got home the chicken was falling apart nicely.  To make the dish seem a little healthy, I added a  large bag of stir fry vegetables and let them cook for a bit. 

It actually came out really good.  It was the first time I made a teriyaki sauce from scratch.  I had no idea it was so simple.  I served it over brown rice.  I have to warn you though, it makes a lot.  If you are not making this for a large group, you will be eating the leftovers all week.

Here is a link to the original recipe using the Way Back Machine.

Here is my modified recipe:

6 chicken breasts (frozen)
1 onion 
1 cup brown sugar 
2 large cloves of garlic
1 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large bag asian stir fry vegetables

1. Mince garlic and slice onion
2. Add all the ingredients except the stir fry vegetables to the crock-pot
3. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours
4. Add stir fry vegetables during the last hour of cooking
5. Serve over rice of your choice

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Honey Glazed Chicken

On my days off of work I always get super excited because I actually have time to cook.  Don't get me wrong, I love sandwiches and soup (and even the taquitos I get peer pressured into eating at work all the time), but nothing beats a home cooked meal. When I woke up I took some chicken out of the freezer to enjoy that night, with absolutely no plan on how I wanted to cook it.  Then I got a craving for something smothered in honey, and this was born.

The ingredients are pretty simple: chicken, honey, a fresh lemon, salt, and pepper.  I heated up the honey, to make it easier to work with.  Then I mixed in the juice and zest from half a lemon, added a pinch of salt and pepper, and poured half of it over the chicken and popped it in the oven.

It made the whole house smell wonderful, and came out looking pretty nice as well.  I am a bad judge on how long to cook meat (I was a vegetarian for years), so I always have to cut one or five to make sure they are done.  After I pulled them out I poured the rest of the honey glaze on them, for that extra flavor without that extra burnt honey on the bottom of the dish.

They tasted pretty good too.  They had a nice light flavor.  I served them with some mashed sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli.  Not bad for not having a dinner plan at all.  Next time I am going to add some red pepper flakes, to give it a little kick.

Here is the recipe for the chicken.

1 lb chicken tenders
1/2 cup honey
1/2 lemon, zest and juice
Salt and pepper to taste
(optional red pepper flakes)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Lay chicken out on a greased pan
3. Heat honey in a microwave safe dish for 30 seconds
4. Zest half a lemon into the honey and squeeze in the juice
5. Add spices to taste and stir
6. Pour half of the honey mixture over the chicken and place into the oven
7. Cook for about twenty minutes, or until the chicken is done
8. Pour the rest of the honey mixture over the chicken
9. Enjoy with the sides of your choice