Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sweet and Spicy Pork - An Irresistible Marinade

Tired of eating tasteless pork chops?  This marinade can be used on chicken or any cut of pork.  There is also a small amount of oil in the recipe, which makes this a figure-friendly meal.

Sweet Balsamic Marinade
- 2 TBSP orange marmalade
- 1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 TBSP soy sauce
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp Cajun spice (Optional... but definitely recommended)
- Salt and pepper

Mix the ingredients into a small bowl.  Whisk thoroughly.  If you prefer the marinade to be thicker... it is optional to add more oil or marmalade.  In a shallow baking pan, add the pork or chicken.  Cover the meat with the marinade and then cover with saran wrap.  Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.  Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes or until pork is cooked through.

This recipe will pair very well with Red Beans and Rice.  You can also add veggies or salad as an additional side dish.  Cabernet wine will compliment the spiciness very well.

Enjoy!  Have a fantastic weekend readers.

Coming Soon:  Healthy Turkey Burger Wrap

We could all use a hint of more time!
Copyright 2012 A Hint of Thyme.  All rights reserved.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mango Chicken and Fresh Spring Rolls

Asian cooking is extremely versatile and generally healthy.  In this post you will find a mix between Caribbean, Vietnamese, and Southeast Asian cooking.  

Last weekend, I spent some much needed time with my mom and aunt.  It's typical for our visits to include something with food or cooking.  We decided to spend the afternoon in an attempt to make fresh Vietnamese spring rolls that would be later served for dinner.  Lady time with a little champagne and cooking definitely makes for a great afternoon.  Laughter with family in the kitchen makes for great memories.

Servings:  5 - 6
Time:  4 hours in slow cooker 

Chicken and Mango with Ginger-Curry Topping
Recipe from Healthy Crockery Cookery by, Mable Hoffman (1998)

Mango Chicken:
- 1 or 2 large ripe mango's
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/8 tsp paprika
- 2.5 to 3 lbs chicken pieces (your choice on the cut)
- Salt and Pepper

Ginger-Curry Topping:
- 1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
- 1/2 tsp curry powder 
- 1/4 tsp ginger root
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp orange zest (or grated orange peel)
- Salt and pepper to taste

Peel mango's and dice into small pieces.  Put the mango in a bowl.  Stir in lemon juice, honey, garlic, paprika, salt and pepper.  Rinse chicken and pat dry.  Place in the slow cooker.  Add the mango mixture.  Cover and cook on LOW for about 4 hours or until chicken is done and tender.

While the chicken is cooking make the topping (I suggest making this right around the 4 hour mark). Combine yogurt, curry, ginger root, brown sugar, and orange peel.  Stir and taste.  Add salt and pepper and continue to taste to your liking.   Refrigerate. 

To serve, place chicken on a serving plate and spoon the mango drippings over the top.  Serve the topping on the side or over the top of chicken depending on your preference. 

The chicken is slowly roasted and should easily pull apart into shredded pieces.  As a leftover or main course, the chicken can be shredded and the served over the top of jasmine rice.  For a little heat, add a couple pinches of Cayenne pepper to the topping.

Servings:  6 - 8
Prep time:  20 -25 minutes

Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls
Based on a similar recipe from

Spring Rolls:
- 2 oz of rice vermicelli (about half the package)
- 8 to 10 rice wrappers (7 or 8.5 inch diameter)
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup fresh Thai basil
- 1/2 cup shredded carrot
- 1/2 cup shredded daikon
- 2 or 3 leaves of shredded lettuce

Dipping Sauce:
- 2 TBSP hoisin sauce
- 1 TBSP sesame oil
- 1 TBSP salted peanuts, chopped
- Salt and pepper

Boil the rice vermicelli in a shallow pan for 3 to 5 minutes.  While the water is boiling, rinse and dry the cilantro and basil (do not cut).  Rinse and shred the lettuce, carrot and daikon.  Drain the vermicelli, rinse and let it sit.  

Use a large bowl or the shallow pan to wet the rice paper.  Dip the rice paper into warm water.  Flip and carefully remove from the water after it softens.  Lay flat on a cutting board.  Place rice vermicelli on the wet rice paper - you want to place it close to one side and the vermicelli should be about the width of 2 fingers.  Layer on the carrots, lettuce, daikon, cilantro and basil.  Tuck in the 2 ends and roll carefully toward the open end.  Repeat until vegetables are gone. (See image above)

To make the dipping sauce, simply combine the hoisin sauce, sesame oil and peanuts into a small bowl.  Peanuts should be finally chopped.  If you are allergic to peanuts or don't like them... try sesame seeds or cashews instead.

These are not your typical spring rolls and you won't find anything like this in the frozen food aisle at your grocery store.  This was our first time making spring rolls and definitely something that we plan to do again.

A meal like this would be perfect for a Saturday or Sunday evening at home.  Serve with chilled glass of plum or Moscato wine.


We could all use a hint of more time!
Copyright 2012 Hint of Thyme.  All rights reserved!