Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Dago's Dilemma

You love pasta, but you hate love handles -- this is the Dago's Dilemma. Pasta packs on the pounds, and even the whole wheat varieties are surprisingly high in carbs & calories. Shirataki noodles, however, are only 40 calories per pack with no carbs, no cholesterol, no sugar, and no guilt. See? It says it right there on the package.

Shirataki noodles are made from tofu, and have a slightly chewy texture.  Their taste is neutral and goes well with most sauces and preparations, but my favorite way to prepare this Japanese treat is a riff on cold noodles w/ peanut sauce.

Cold Sesame Noodles w/ Peanut Sauce
2 pkgs Shirataki noodles
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 TBS soy sauce
1 TBS rice vinegar
1 TBS sesame oil
1 tsp sriracha hot sauce
1/2 shredded carrot
1/2 cup bean sprouts
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 tsp sesame seeds

  1. drain and rinse Shirataki noodles thoroughly! the liquid they are packaged in smells a bit off-putting, but has no implication on the flavor. 
  2. cook in salted boiling water for 4 minutes.  drain, toss w/ a drizzle of canola oil and allow to cool.
  3. combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and hot sauce.  whisk to combine. mixx in carrots,  bean sprouts, and cilantro. toss to combine.  add the drained & cooled noodles.  toss to combine.  
  4. garnish w/ sesame seeds & enjoy!

© 2011 c. c. villani @ "mission: insatiable - http://www.missioninsatiable.com

Monday, July 11, 2011

Coronary Cuisine

Chicken hearts might be as dense and chewy as a pink eraser, but they aren't without their charm.  They boast a pronounced avian musk with deep, dark-meat flavors that you can't find anywhere else.  Chicken hearts are surprisingly rich, and the bold poultry overtones are quick to satiate. While fun for the few bites, after about three you'll start handing them off to the cat, for sure.

Trim up the hearts, removing any exposed ventricles.  Try not to remove too much of the fat, they are lean and will dry out otherwise.  Thread no more than three chicken hearts per skewer. You can skewer the smaller ones whole, but I'd butterfly the larger ones to promote even cooking.  Soaking the skewers for an hour beforehand will prevent them for charring, and using two skewers per "kebab" allows for better control when turning.

Season with olive oil, salt and a bold spice, like garam masala for up to an hour before hitting the flame.  Cook over medium-high heat, for about three minutes each side.  Nothing you can do will make them tender, so don't even bother getting fancy. 

Soaking the hearts in a brine over night will impart flavor and help keep them moist while on the grill:

Sweet Spice Brine

1 qt water
1/4 cup kosher salt
2 TBS sugar
4 cardamon pods
1 piece cinnamon
1 tsp whole clove

  1. combine all ingredients. stir until the sugar and salt has dissolved.  pour over chicken hearts and refrigerate overnight.

© 2011 c. c. villani @ "mission: insatiable - http://www.missioninsatiable.com