V Day Dinner Low Down

Hiddy Ho Friends

How was your Valentines Weekend??

This past Valentines was the best one I’ve ever experienced. I put together a savory meal of food, then we jumped on a quick flight to LA to soak up some sun and relax. 

For some reason whenever I plan big dinners something usually always falls through the cracks. This time it was the arugula salad.

After making another batch of almond biscotti for family members, tackling those red velvet cheesecake brownies, and carefully preparing a vegetable tart, I was pooped. I didn’t have the time or energy to fix a salad, and I still had to pull of sesame seed chicken.

Luckily my man is easy… ‘Like Sunday Morning’ and he didn’t care that the salad didn’t make the cut.

Enjoy the pictures and the recipes. 

Leek and Swiss Chard Tart

1 sheet puff pasty, 1 sheet tart dough, or 1 sheet pie dough unthawed (I used pie dough)
2 tbsp unsalted butter 
2 large leeks (white and pale green parts only) coarsely chopped
1 tps dried thyme
1/2 bunch Swiss chard (I used kale instead) ribs removed, leaved chopped about 2-1/2 cups
1-1/4 cup whole milk
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Roll out pastry dough on floured work surface 

Transfer to 9 inch glass pie dish (I used a 9inch cast iron skillet instead)

Trim overhang to 1-inch , crimp edges, cover, chill

Melt butter in large non stick skillet over med-low heat

Add leeks and thyme, sprinkle with salt and pepper

Cover and cook until leeks are very tender but not brown, stirring often about 10 minutes 

Add Chard sauté until wilted, about 2 minutes 

Remove mixture from heat and let cool

Position rack in bottom of oven and preheat 425 degrees F

Whisk milk, 3 large eggs, 2 egg yolks, salt and pepper in large bowl

Mix in cooled leek mixture

Pour filling into crust

Bake tart 15 minutes 

Reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake until filling is puffed and set in the center, about 15 minutes longer
It took my over about 10 minutes longer

Transfer to rack
Cool for 10 minutes 

Sesame Seed Chicken

1 large egg
2 tbsp corn starch
1 pinch salt and pepper
1 pound chicken breast tenders (or chicken thighs)
2 tbsp vegetable oil (for frying)

2 tbsp soy sauce (low sodium)
1 tbsp water
1/2 tbsp toasted sesame seed oil (I couldn’t find toasted so I used regular sesame seed oil)
1-1/2 tbsp brown sugar
1-1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 inch fresh grated ginger
1 clove minced garlic
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp cornstarch 

For serving
4 cups cooked white rice preferably jasmine or brown rice
2 whole green onions chopped

In large bowl mix together eggs, cornstarch, salt and pepper

Trim excess fat from chicken and cut them into small 1-inch pieces

Toss chicken in egg and cornstarch mixture and coat chicken

Let sit for 5 minutes

Heat large skillet with vegetable oil over med-high heat

When oil is very hot (it should look wavy on the surface) add chicken and all of the egg mixture

Let chicken cook with out stirring for 2-3 minutes ***you will want to stir it but fight the urge. This step is very important

After first 2-4 minutes stir chicken occasionally until golden brown  and cooked through, about 7-10 minutes

Drain off access oil

While chicken is cooking prepare sauce

In same bowl stir together soy sauce, water, sesame seed oil, brown sugar, rice vinegar, fresh ginger, minced garlic, cornstarch, and sesame seeds 

Once chicken is cooked thoroughly and golden brown pour sauce over the chicken

Toss chicken to coat in the sauce

Sauce will began to thicken as soon as it hits the hot skillet

Once chicken is coated and sauce is thickened turn off heat it should take about 3-4 minutes depending on your stove

Serve chicken on bed of rice, sprinkle with green onions

Serves 4
Calories per serving 175.6!!! Fat 9.05g, sat fat 1.21g, protein 19g, sodium 176mg, carbs 5g, Chol 79 mg

I put some serous love into this meal and received a abundant amount of love in return. 

I’ve never made a tart before, I’ve eaten tarts, and I always enjoy the texture, taste, and most of all, the crust. Being the fearless cook that I am, I wanted to make everything from starch. I’ve tackled pie dough before, it’s a little time consuming and a bit nerve racking. I decided to take the pressure off and go with a pre-made pie crust I found at trader joes for 4 bucks. That way I only had to concentrate on creating the delectable filling. 

I had the hardest time trying to figure out what kind of chicken dish to make for my beau. I needed something scrumptious, fun and challenging. Since I don’t eat meat and I’m craving fish less and less, all the traditional Valentines Dinner options didn’t tickle my fancy.  

After a lot of searching on Pinterest I ran across a recipe for Sesame Chicken. It seemed easy enough, I already had a most of the ingredients, and the boyfriend loves Chinese food, problem solved.

The tart was really something special. The crust was buttery and flaky, and the filling was creamy and succulent. I couldn’t believe I actually pulled off the tart. My cooking skills are elevating to the next level.

That’s all today friends

Since today is a holiday I moved Challenge Monday to Tuesday

Enjoy your Presidents Day! 

Blessing my friends

leek and swiss chard tart www.yummly.com
sesame seed chicken www.lovewithrecipe.com

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