Ginger Plum Chicken

Hi everyone– saw these plums at the market and couldn’t resist digging into summer fruit!  The best part of this dish is the sauce!!  We ate it with brown rice that soaked up the puddles of sauce for a delicious side dish.  Add a bright salad and a chunk of bread.  Delish!

2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 tab. olive oil
1 tab. soy sauce
1 tsp. ground ginger
2 tab. brown sugar
1/4 cup plum jam
1 tsp. brown mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tsp. corn starch
2 plums, seeded and sliced to wedges

Slice the chicken breasts horizontally to make 4 chicken filets.  Heat the oil in a large skillet.  Cook the chicken on medium high for 3 to 4 minutes on each side until it is cooked through.  Remove the chicken from the skillet.

While that’s cooking, combine the soy sauce, ginger, brown sugar, jam, mustard, garlic, broth and cornstarch in a container with a tight fitting lid.  Shake the container until all the ingredients are well blended and then pour it al into the hot skillet.

Stir it up for a couple minutes until the sauce thickens. Then add in the cooked chicken and the plums.
Lower the heat to a low simmer and let it all cook for about 3 or4 minutes to warm the chicken and set the sauce.  .

Serve it all up on a pretty platter, topped with all the sauce and a sprig of something green.

Plum Nut Cake

IMG_8023Hi there– Well, it’s the beginning of fall and I just have to bake up something.  And with the end of the summer fruits still in the market, I settled on sweet ripe plums in this friendly little cake.  I don’t like to play favorites– but this is the best cake I’ve had in quite a while…

It’s sweet and nutty, really more fruit than batter.  With a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a mug of tea, it’s the perfect way to celebrate the advent of Autumn.

4 perfectly ripe plums
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. amaretto*
1 egg
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup walnuts (or pecans), coarsely chopped
1 little powdered sugar to dust on the baked cake

Cut the plums into polite little chunks, discarding the pits.  Set aside

In a mixing bowl stir together the sugar, oil, vanilla, amaretto and egg.  Then mix in the flour, baking powder and salt.  Finally fold in the plums pieces and chopped walnuts.

Spoon the batter into a 9″ or 10″ cake pan** that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Pop it into a 375 degree oven for 30-35 minutes until it’s cooked through and golden. (Test for doneness inserting a toothpick).

Lovely eaten warm or at room temperature.  Fist taste of Autumn.

*I use Amaretto in place of almond extract– less expensive and a bottle will last about forever!
**I use a springform pan–easier to remove the cake onto a plate.


Almond Plum & Chicken Stir Fry

IMG_0751Hi all– As a kid, I remember going out to my Grandma Rose’s backyard.  Her tiny house was on a big lot, planted with corn and sunflowers, rhubarb and a grape arbor,  and fruit trees, several fruit trees, including plums.  We’d go out and feed her chickens and pull from ripe fruit from the trees.  I wish I could do that with her again…

So in honor of luscious summer plums, here’s a plum-y chicken stir fry, that’s fast and fresh. No oven involved.  Good for summer cooking…

2 large chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
1 1/2  cups rice
splash olive oil
2 purple plums, pitted & sliced
3 green onions, chopped
1/3 cup whole roasted almonds, cut in half
1 cup water
3 tab. soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tab. cornstarch
1 tsp. ground ginger
4 cloves garlic, minced

Cut the chicken breasts into nice polite chunks and brown them in a hot pan with olive oil. Meanwhile, put the rice on to cook, according to the directions on the package*

When the chicken is cooked through, remove it from the pan.

In a container with a tight fitting lid, combine the water, soy sauce, cornstarch, ginger and garlic.  Shake it all well, until it’s thoroughly blended.

Pour the soy sauce mixture into the hot pan over medium heat and stir it with the drippings from the chicken for a minute or two until it thickens into a pretty sauce.

Then add back in the chicken, plums and 2/3 of the chopped green onions. Let it simmer a couple minutes to meld the flavors and soften the plums just a bit.  Then stir in the almonds.

When the rice is done cooking, spread it onto a large platter and top with the chicken and plum stir fry.  Top with the remaining green onions.  Fast and fresh– summer eating.

Plum and Pork Stir Fry

Hey there–  I’m looking forward to some real Chinese food next week.  Larry and I are traveling to see our kids in Shanghai.  Our daughter-in-law Jodi is magic with her wok.  But in the meantime we enjoyed this simple stir fry to practice our chopstick skills!  Sweet, tart plums play well against the savory pork.  Hope you try it…

4 boneless pork cutlets
2 tab. olive oil
2 ripe plums, cut into small slices
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup water
2 tab. soy sauce
3 tab. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. ginger (chopped or powdered)
1 tab. cornstarch
1 1/2 cup brown rice (or white*)
3/4 tsp. salt

Put the brown rice, salt and 3 cups water into a pan with the lid on.  Simmer on low for 25 to 30 minutes until the rice is soft.  Meanwhile cut the pork into small chunks.  Then brown it with the oil in a hot non stick pan.  When the meat is browned and cooked through, drop in the peppers and cook 2 minutes while you stir.  Finally add in the plums.

In a container with a tight lid shake the 1/2 cup water, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, and cornstarch until it is all thoroughly combined.  Stir it into the hot pan of meat and plums until it thickens and makes a lovely brown sauce.

Spread the rice on a platter and pour the pork & plum mixture over the top.  Pass out the chopsticks and dig in!

*White rice only needs to simmer 10 minutes.

Plum Cake

Hi all–  Love this plum cake.  It tastes like an August day, when all the stone fruits come ripe. Cut a slice and plop a big spoonful of whipped cream on top.  Perfect.  It’s a version of the old upside-down cake, fast and fresh.  I hope you like it…

1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 large red ripe plums
1/2 cup hazelnuts, chopped in half
1 1/4 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup canola oil
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla

Put the butter in a glass can pan and melt it in the microwave (about 20 seconds).  Then sprinkle on the brown sugar.  Top with the cut hazelnuts and then cut the plum into nice thin slices and arrange them in a pattern in the pan over the nuts.

Mix up the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Then pour in the milk, canola oil, egg and vanilla.  Stir just enough to combine in thoroughly.  And spoon it into the pan over the plums.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes until it is firm to the touch on top.

While the cake is still hot, cover it with a plate and then invert it upside- down so the cake falls onto the plate.  If there is leftover butter-brown sugar in the cake pan, scrape it out and spread it onto the warm cake.  Serve it up hot or cool.

You can use any nuts or stone fruit (peaches, apricots, nectarines).  I just had these pretty plums and hazelnuts on hand.  And really, don’t for get the part about the whipped cream on top.  So delicious and summery…