Saturday, August 6, 2011

Farmers Market Find: Thai Basil

Those wonderful, rare weekends where I'm in actually in town with not too much planned go a little like this: am spin, hit up the farmers market, become entirely overwhelmed and purchase something completely random, walk through the park afterwards contemplating what the h I am going to do with said random item, get home, make a delicious meal with previously mentioned random item, if it's nice out I'll usually sit in my backyard with a glass of wine and good book, and usually end the night going out with friends or having a quiet movie night while relaxing at home. Sounds nice, right? I wish I had more of these... some day I suppose.
This time the random purchase was thai basil, a wonderfully fragrant herb you've probably had in Thai or any southern Asian cooking. It's also quite beautiful and after washing I thought it would be nice to place the stems in a vase and let the delicious fragrance waft through my apartment. I still have last nights dinner leftovers to eat so I decided to make a thai basil marinade, throw on some chicken breasts, wrap it all up in individual plastic bags and keep in the freezer for a night I don't feel like all out cooking. I love doing this, for nights I get home late from work, or spin, or am just out, and while it's not exactly a novel idea, it does fit the needs of a busy girl to a T.

So while I haven't actually cooked up this chicken in the marinade, I kept dipping my greedy little fingers in the sauce to taste... it was delicious. I looked at a few different recipes but in the end decided to wing it. And I think I'm on to something here.

Thai Basil Marinade
1 c. minced thai basil
1 jalapeno, cored and seeded and finely chopped
1 tsp. mirin
1/2 tsp. tamari
1 anchovy fillet, minced
1 1/2 tsp. ginger- I used powdered
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 Tbl. sesame oil
3/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. rice wine vinegar

1. In a bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Taste. Should be almost like a vinaigrette, with a nice sharpness from the vinegar.

2. Place chicken breasts into individual plastic bags (or however many you need to feed your family). Add in the marinade, enough so that each breast is well covered with the greens but also with a good amount of liquid too. Write the date on the bag and throw in the freezer. I usually like to cook these within 1-2 months.

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