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A disaster!

So I came home last night, all pumped to make this Classic Chicken Teriyaki recipe I had read about in the January issue of Food and Wine magazine.

I have all the ingredients but the sauce seems a little too sweet to me, but then again, what do I know about classic Japanese cooking – nada! However, 1/3 cup of sugar, mirin and sake all at once, with chicken broth and soy sauce sounds like a lot of sugar. So you’re supposed to boil this mixture for 20 minutes and reduce it down to 1/2 cup. Well, at about the 12 minute mark, I had turned away from stirring and was at the sink for a moment and suddenly it started smelling bad – like burnt sugar. I whip around, try to stir this mixture and it is suddenly a hard, dark black mass of concrete!! I take it to the sink, knowing it’s ruined and run water into the pot – it is awful and disgusting and suddenly the room starts to fill up with a thick smoke and smell terribly and I’m convinced that not only have I ruined our dinner but I’ve also completely ruined and charred my All-Clad pot. Booooo. What a disaster!!

And now it’s late and we have no dinner. Fortunately, that was just the sauce but I have to think quick and get moving. So I decide to make a one dish meal, combining the sliced garlic, bok choy, boneless, skinless chicken thighs (which I cut into strips), and red pepper rings all together. I season it with Tamari sauce, 1/2 of a jalapeno pepper sliced thin, and then I add in 3 heaping tablespoons of shallots confit from France that my friend, Mary Beth, brought over one night. I wanted to achieve a salty, hot, sweet combination, and quick! So I was grabbing at what seemed good and was handy.

The dish was amazing! Probably much better than any Chicken Teriyaki could have ever been. Unfortunately this Shallot Confit has a lot of wonderful ingredients like black current cream and wine and olive oil and a touch of lemon juice so I can’t really tell you how to duplicate this recipe unless you have this handmade stuff. But the picture looks pretty, doesn’t it?
Chicken thighs with bok choy and red pepper in a white dish. Chicken teriyaki disaster.

Regarding the teriyaki sauce, I guess the heat was too high and it should have been simmering rather than boiling but still, that’s a little sensitive, don’t you think? My dear husband did manage to get the pot clean, but boy, he scraped out this thick black stuff that was thick and shiny on the outside. It actually looked like car paint. Maybe I invented a new process to make plastic?!?

Chicken teriyaki disaster on a white plate.

Served plate of “chicken teriyaki disaster”

Indian Spiced Roast Beets!

This recipe is really different and so good. I love roasted beets on a salad with goat cheese and toasted walnuts. And then we have a family Polish dish of lightly pickled beets with horseradish that is wonderful with Polish sausage, eggs and homemade bread, but then after that, what do you do with beets besides roasting with olive oil, salt and pepper? Well here is just the recipe. It is really different and really delicious. It is a Melissa Clark recipe, Indian Spiced Roast Beets, from the New York Times that I have altered. I hope you like it as much as we did. Serve with LOVE and enjoy!


Serves 4

1 3/4 pounds beets; a mix of red, and golden
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher or French grey salt, more to taste
Pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 fat garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped with seeds
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon lime juice, more to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Peel the beets and cut into 1-inch chunks. Toss with the oil and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally, then sprinkle with mustard seeds, coriander and cumin and roast until the beets are tender, about 15 minutes more.

While the beets roast, prepare the dressing: using the side of a knife or mortar and pestle, mash the garlic with a pinch of salt until it forms a paste. Place sour cream in a bowl; whisk in garlic paste, jalapeño, ginger, 1/4 teaspoon salt and lime juice. Whisk in the cilantro or parsley.

Scrape the warm beets into a large bowl. Stir in the dressing. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.