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May 10, 2012

Recipe for slow cooker hoisin chicken and slaw sandwiches


A few weeks of recuperation after a recent health issue left me with the urge to cook, but without the energy to spend hours at the stove. My slow cookers came to the rescue. A few minutes of prep, a few hours in the slow cooker, and minimal exertion on my part resulted in some wonderful meals using ingredients straight from the pantry. This hoisin chicken couldn't be easier: three ingredients, including the chicken thighs, and three hours in a small slow cooker. The recipe came from a Kikkoman brochure, with a slight tweak here and there. Hoisin made a thick, sweet glaze on the chicken, and the slightly acidic broccoli slaw -- for which you can substitute your own favorite cole slaw -- provided a tart counterpoint with some welcome crunch. You can make the chicken and slaw a couple of days ahead. How perfect these sandwiches would be for a picnic!

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April 15, 2012

Recipe for bacon and egg tartine


Offer my husband Ted a green salad for lunch, with some sliced hard-boiled egg, and -- sweet guy that he is -- he'll say yes, that's fine, even if he means is that all we're having for lunch? Offer him that same salad atop a crispy slice of bread with some bacon embedded in it, and he'll say Mmmmm! And who wouldn't, really? Tartine is the French name for an open-faced sandwich. This bacon and egg tartine starts with a slice of rustic or sourdough bread, one with a close grain and not many holes. A panini press makes quick work of melding the bacon and bread together; if you don't have a press, use a stovetop grill pan with a second heavy frying pan on top. A dressed green salad and sliced egg complete the tartine, making it the perfect meal for brunch or lunch. (I know some of you might go ahead and eat the bacon bread on its own. And who wouldn't, really?)

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April 10, 2012

Roast beef panini recipe with caramelized onions and horseradish cheese sauce


During the week, when I indulge in a bowl of garden salad and call it dinner, I often think about the difference between guy food and girl food. If you believe that some dishes are not entirely gender-neutral, then you'll understand when I say this roast beef panini with caramelized onions and horseradish cheese sauce has guy food written all over it. I loved every single bite, yes I did, because the combination of beef, onions and horseradish reminds me in the best way of a wood-paneled steak house dining room, where thick cuts of meat arrive on oversized plates, with a baked potato and sour cream. The cheese sauce comes together in seconds from pantry ingredients, and really takes this sandwich over the top.

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April 3, 2012

Recipe for salmon burgers with green yogurt sauce


At this point in my life, I admit to being set in my ways about many things. I like my hair short, my pants black, my dinner early, and my coffee without sugar. And I like my burgers all-beef, medium rare, sometimes cheese, never onions. With fries. However, at least when it comes to burgers, I'm expanding my horizons, and that's a good thing, because these salmon burgers are worth it. Light and bright with the flavors of lemon and capers, the burgers don't dribble down your chin, but that doesn't mean they're dry; Greek yogurt adds moisture to the fish, and the Green-Goddess-inspired sauce contains yogurt, too. I like the sauce chunky, but you can blend it to a smooth purée before you slather it on your burger. So, try something new, a flavor-packed fish burger so lean you can sneak a few French fries, guilt-free.

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January 19, 2012

Grilled chicken, avocado and peach salsa quesadilla recipe


In the house where I grew up, we ate grilled cheese sandwiches all the time, but nary a quesadilla. Maybe it was a Northeast thing, but more likely, it was a my mother never heard of quesadillas thing. My own pantry always holds enough fixings for these simple Mexican grilled cheese sandwiches, a go-to meal on busy days. Most often I use Joseph's low-carb oat bran tortillas -- the gorgeous orange ones in these photos are habañero-lime tortillas from Trader Joe's -- and my friend Lucia keeps me supplied with her homemade peach salsa. Newman's Own peach salsa from the supermarket, or Trader Joe's peach salsa, will be fine substitutes that add a bit of fruity heat. Here's my secret to great quesadillas: tuck a few teaspoons of the salsa inside, and cook them on a dry griddle, to keep them from being greasy on the outside.

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  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my tiny kitchen in Boston's South End, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives. Thanks so much for visiting.

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