What’s in Our Kitchen: the Okinawa Version

Chuck and I both love to cook, and now that we find ourselves in a completely different culinary environment, we are eager to discover the ways in which we can concoct new recipes and experience new flavors. Of course, we also want to know where to shop for the best ingredients for the flavors we already know and love! For instance, I will never tire of Chuck’s deep dish pizzas 🙂 The Commissary here is sufficient for some things, but it’s small and pretty boring. I will probably only go there for things like cereal, milk, pasta, and some meat. Luckily, the local grocery stores out in Uruma are a real treat! I don’t know what 95% of it is, but the 5% I do know is fantastic, fresh, and relatively local (even if the squishy raw seafood with eyeballs and tentacles on display freaks me out!) Better yet, we found a farmer’s market within walking/biking distance, with all sorts of fresh fruits, veggies, and flowers. It was just a quick trip in the middle of a rain shower, so I didn’t take many photos, but I couldn’t resist snapping a quick pic of the pineapples adorned in pink ribbon below…

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We brought home our goodies and whipped up some dinner: seared tuna in a homemade ginger-soy-lemon-garlic sauce served over a bed of fresh greens and accompanied by fresh avocado and tomato. Delicious, and healthy too! photo2 (9) We also got Japanese eggs, which are very large, brown, and don’t require refrigeration. In fact, the U.S. is one of the only countries in the world that refrigerates its eggs. We also treated ourselves to a delicious item from the dessert section of the Japanese grocery store – the half-eaten chocolate log pictured below. We don’t know what it is exactly, so Chuck calls it “Dragon Poop,” naturally. Appetizing, right? Right.

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In conclusion, I was particularly tickled to find out that while most Japanese produce is regional, they still import their oranges from the good ol’ US of A. I guess you just can’t beat Florida citrus! 🙂

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See, I promise I eat healthy most of the time. Baked chicken on a bed of spinach, pears, broccoli, and tomatoes, sprinkled with feta cheese. Of course, there was apple crisp for dessert…does that ruin it?

(Taken with Instagram)

Culinary Delight #7: Pan-Roasted Apple Garlic Chicken

I’m proud of this one because it’s a tasty and easy diversion from my usual unhealthy comfort foods. I’m also proud because I kinda sorta came up with it myself! It was originally going to be lemon-garlic chicken, but I thought the lemon was too strong. I had apple chicken served at my wedding, and it was just amazing, so I started substituting in this recipe to get a similar effect. FYI, this picture was taken when I used lemons, and it doesn’t do it justice.. it’s way juicier and more golden 🙂

1/4 cup olive oil

1 apple, half thinly sliced, the other half cut into chunks

1/4 cup apple juice

1 tbsp lemon juice

4 cloves minced garlic

Salt and pepper to taste

3/4 pound trimmed green beans

8 small red potatoes, quartered

4 chicken breasts

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and lightly coat a casserole dish with olive oil. Arrange apple slices in a single layer on the bottom of the dish.

In a large bowl, combine the oil, apple juice, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add the green beans and toss to coat. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, remove the green beans and arrange them on top of the apple slices.

Add the potatoes to the same olive-oil mixture and toss to coat. Arrange the potatoes along the inside edge of the dish or skillet on top of the green beans. Place the chicken in the same bowl with the olive-oil mixture and coat thoroughly. Place the chicken, skin-side up, in the dish or skillet. Arrange apple chunks around the chicken and potatoes. Pour any of the remaining olive-oil mixture over the chicken.

Roast for 50 minutes. Remove the chicken from the dish. Place the beans and potatoes back in the oven for 10 more minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Place the chicken back in the dish, cool, and serve!