Stuffing Bell Peppers with Leftover Chicken Cutlets and Stir-Fry Tofu and Vegetables

Baking, Poultry Recipes, Vegetable Recipes

I wonder if more people cook at home these days. With a plethora of cooking blogs, books, and TV channel and programs that we have, do you think they attract more people to cooking? Convert cooking non-believers into aficionados? Raise an interest in trying different recipes, maybe?

Chicken, Tofu, Vegetable Stuffed Bell Peppers by Tiny Chili Pepper

I won’t lie, cooking takes a lot of time and energy. We all know that it starts WAY before the actual cooking itself, right? Planning a meal, coming up with an idea for a menu, (in my case, it just means asking myself, “What should I cook tonight?”) is the hard part for me. Once I figure it out though, things just seem to happen— almost like moving on an automated-pilot mode. So in my situation, inspiration matters. Hence the collection of cook books, the email subscription to cooking blogs, the food talks with friends and family, and the occasional tune in to cooking programs on TV. I am thankful for the existence of this recipe universe that I have.

Stuffed Bell Pepper with Chicken, Tofu, Vegetables, Breadcrumbs by TCP

Speaking of recipe idea, I came across a good one the other day: Stuffed Bell Pepper by Giada De Laurentiis. In this recipe, she stuffed the peppers with eggplants, olives, capers, and tofu. Tofu! Ha! An idea appeared. I happened to have made stir-fry tofu with broccoli and green peas the previous day. Got some baked chicken cutlets too. (At this point, the tofu and vegetables have absorbed all of the flavors: garlic, soy sauce, fish sauce, and sesame oil). So I decided to combine the two leftovers, pulse slightly in a food processor, add a little bit of a good salsa sauce, stuff it into roasted bell peppers, and add some breadcrumbs on top. Yum! Such a nice way to use up all of my leftovers.

Here’s how I did my Chicken, Tofu, and Vegetables Stuffed Bell Pepper:

For the Stir-Fry Tofu and Vegetables:

  • 1 extra firm tofu (pressed to drain and then cut into squares with ½ inch thickness). I found out later that the tofu bound the stuffing together nicely. It’s pretty great!
  • 2 cups of broccoli (cut into bite size)
  • 1 cup of green peas
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • ¼ cup of soy sauce
  • ½ cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of fish sauce (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon of sweet soy sauce (optional)
  • 4 garlic (chopped)
  • 4 Thai peppers (chopped)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

I cooked the garlic and peppers in sesame oil for two minutes. Then I added soy sauce, fish sauce, peas, broccoli, water, salt, and pepper. Covered the pan with a lid for three to five minutes. Once the sauce started to simmer, I arranged my tofu slices in the pan to make sure that they could absorb the sauce on the bottom of the pan. Covered the pan again and let it cook for another five minutes.

For the chicken cutlet: see Mark Bittman’s recipe here. (I used chicken breast, olive oil, a little bit of dijon mustard, breadcrumbs, and baked for 15 minutes.)

Stuffing the Bell Peppers:

  • 3 red bell peppers (halved and cored)
  • Drizzled with olive oil
  • Roasted for 30 minutes in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Combined chicken cutlets and tofu with vegetables, pulsed very slightly in a food processor, added a good salsa sauce (optional, I wanted to add a little bit of spicy tomato and pepper taste in the stuffing), scooped into the bell peppers, sprinkled breadcrumbs, and broil for 2 minutes. (Might want to move the oven rack down, further from the broiler before starting. My topping was a bit burnt there, oops…Still very good though!).

Hope you like it and thanks for stopping by!

Chicken in Sesame, Ginger, and Garlic Soup

Poultry Recipes, Soup

Chicken in Sesame, Ginger, and Garlic Soup by Tiny Chili Pepper

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The temperature keeps dropping in this part of the world. Looks like the cold days are really here to stay, at least for a while. Tis the perfect time for…warm soup!

Many years ago, back in college days, a good friend taught me how to do Hainan chicken rice. I remembered the fantastic fragrance that came from the dish. Sesame oil, ginger slices, and garlic infused the soup and the chicken. My friend also tossed the rice grains with a little bit of sesame oil and oyster sauce in a pan before cooking it. Ah, so wonderful!

Inspired by that memory, I recently made something similar: chicken in sesame, ginger, and garlic soup. I served it with jasmine rice, scallions, and a little bit of chili flakes on a bitter cold night. The heat from the soup, the ginger, and the spicy chili flakes warmed me right up. I think I might make it again real soon.

Here’s my easy version:

Serve 2:

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts and 2 thighs with bones and skin (change it up according to your preference)
  • 1—1 ½ inches of fresh ginger (peeled and chopped). Fresh ginger, not powder, is one of the keys here, folks.
  • 2—3 Thai peppers (chopped), if using
  • 4 garlic (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil. Sesame oil is the other key ingredient in this recipe. Trust me 😉
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 bunch of scallions (minus the root part, chopped)
  • Water

Steps:

  • Heat up a medium pot over medium heat
  • Add oil, ginger, peppers, and garlic. Let them cook for a minute or two.
  • Add the chicken and water. Make sure that the chicken is submerged.
  • Add salt and a little bit of pepper.
  • Cook for 30 minutes or so until the chicken is cooked through. Taste the soup and adjust.
  • Reduce the heat to low. Take the chicken out and shred them using two forks. Discard the bones.
  • Return the meat into the soup and let it sit for about 10 minutes to absorb more flavors.
  • Serve hot with chopped scallions and rice.

Hope you like it!

Have a great weekend, all.

For Maria