Thursday, November 14, 2013

Chicken Korma, Chicken Wings & Pork Chops - Three Make-Ahead Meals!

As promised, this will be my first "make-ahead" post.  I'll play with the format a bit and see what works best, but for now I'll wing it...ha ha no pun intended!

Monday night was the only time this week that I really had to prep for the week's meals.  In the morning, before work, I took chicken thighs and chicken wings out of the freezer to thaw.  When I got home I began prepping. 

Here's what was on the menu - Quick Chicken Korma with rice (thank you Canadian Living), Pork Chops With Brandy Sauce (I used red wine) and Braised Red Cabbage (thank you Chatelaine) and Tandoori Chicken Wings (thank you Martha Stewart) with an amazing potato salad (thank you to my brother & sister-in-law)

I began with the Chicken Korma since I knew that's what we were having for dinner that night.





Quick Chicken Korma
1/3 c raw cashews
4 tsp oil
3 onions sliced
2 hot peppers diced
3 garlic minced
1/2 tsp each coriander & garam masala
1/4 tsp cayenne
pinch nutmeg & salt
450g boneless chicken thighs quartered
1 1/2c chicken broth
pinch saffron (optional - I didn't use any)
3 T fat free Greek yogurt
1 1/2 tsp lime juice

In a large skillet toast the cashews over medium heat, stirring often, until golden, 3-5 minutes.  Transfer to a blender.  In same skillet heat half the oil over medium and cook onions until golden brown, 12-15 minutes.  Add to blender and puree until smooth (I added a little water, it was too thick).  Combine next 8 ingredients, add chicken and toss to coat.  Heat remaining oil in same skillet over medium0high, brown chicken 5 minutes.  Stir in 2T water, scraping up brown bits.  Stir in broth, saffron (if using) and cashew puree.  Simmer until chicken is cooked, 5 minutes.  Stir in yogurt and lime juice, heat until warmed through but not boiling.

I served this over rice and everyone loved it - you don't taste the cashews at all.  You get a creamy sauce without the cream, and with added protein and fiber!  See nutritional info below for 1 of 4 servings (without rice):

307 calories
27g protein
16g fat
15g carbs
3g fiber

While the chicken was cooking, I made the marinade for the wings in a large ziploc bag, threw the wings in, and put them in the fridge.  I also chopped up the potatoes and cabbage and put them (separately) in ziploc bags in the fridge.

Tuesday's dinner was the Pork Chops





Pork Chops With Brandy Sauce & Braised Red Cabbage
4 bone in pork chops
salt & pepper
1 T veg oil
1/4c brandy (I used red wine)
1c chicken broth
2 T butter
1/4c chopped parsley (I left this out)
Cabbage - 1 T butter
1/2 large red cabbage thinly sliced (I used the whole head and doubled the remaining ingredients)
1/2c apple juice or cider
1/4c cider vinegar
2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp salt
pepper

Heat frying pan over medium-high.  add chops and season with salt & pepper.  Cook 3-4 minutes per side.  Transfer to a plate and let stand, covered.  Add brandy (or wine) to same pan.  Cook 30 seconds.  Add broth and butter and cook until sauce is slightly reduced, 4 minutes.  Stir in parsley and add chops & any juices that accumulated from them.  Spoon sauce over pork and serve with the cabbage.

For the cabbage (which was already chopped up and ready to go!) - melt butter in large saucepan over medium-high.  Add cabbage and cook 3-4 minutes.  Stir in remaining ingredients and cover.  Continue to cook until cabbage is tender, 9-10 minutes.

This meal was ready in about 10 minutes, with almost zero prep!

The chops are 311 calories each, and cabbage is 84 calories for one serving (of 4)

Wednesday was wing night - with potato salad, so good!






Tandoori Chicken Wings
2c plain Greek yogurt (I only used 1c because I didn't do the dip - see more below)
1/4c tomato paste (I didn't have any so I used some tomato sauce)
2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne
2 tsp grated ginger
2 tsp oil
1 tsp salt
8 chicken wings (I did this recipe with about 20 wings)
1/2 c mango chutney (I left this out of the recipe)
1/2 tart green apple like Granny Smith (I left this out as well)

Combine 1c of yogurt with next 8 ingredients.  Marinate at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours chilled.  (This should already be done if you have prepped the wings!) Bring to room temperature before cooking.  Heat broiler.  Rub oil on baking sheet and add wings in single layer.  Broil 16-18 minutes, flipping once halfway through (I didn't bother).  Remove from oven and brush with chutney (nope, didn't do this either).  Stir apple into remaining cup of yogurt and serve along side wings for dipping (no thanks - too complicated and time consuming).

The wings were fantastic without the dipping sauce, so don't put yourself out if you don't want to.  This was a total of 5 minutes hands on time to prepare on the night of - since all I had to do was move the wings from the ziploc to the baking sheet!

Jay and Kar's Potato Salad
1/4c red wine vinegar
1 T honey
1c mayo (I used fat free)
1 T minced garlic (I used garlic powder)
salt & pepper
2lbs red potatoes (6-8)
1 large tomato seeded and chopped (I used cherry tomatoes - no chopping, and no seeding!)
1/2c diced onions (I used Spanish onion)
1 T fresh thyme chopped (I used dry)
1/4 c fresh parsley chopped (left this out)

Place vinegar and honey in saucepan and bring to boil over high heat (I didn't - I microwaved them in the measuring cup).  Immediately remove & cool to room temperature.  Combine mayo & garlic with the vinegar mixture.  Season to taste with salt & pepper.  Cook potatoes (which should already be chopped!) for 20 minutes in salted boiling water.  Fold mixture into potatoes with tomato, onion, thyme and parsley - delicious!

This was about 10 minutes of hands on time, and I did the mixing & chopping while the wings were in the oven.

So there you have it folks - 3 full meals that took about 20 minutes of prep work on 1 night.  Pretty cool if you ask me.  It definitely saved me this week.

Stay tuned for more in the coming weeks!

By the way, tonight will be eggs, bacon and toast night (we love having breakfast for dinner once a week) and Friday will be leftover night when we empty the fridge of all leftovers throughout the week and create a smorgasbord on our plate, yum!
 
Big shout out to WC - you know who you are -  I have faith in you that you can prep too! DC will love it!!!  And so will the kids :)