I am guilty of overlooking the obvious here at enlightened cooking. For example, dinner. I'll spend my days dreaming of and testing recipes that I think will be fun and exciting for a new post and forget to post the recipes I turn to time and again for simple suppers (often after a long day of recipe development and editing. Oh, the irony).
And yet, it's often these super-simple suppers that readers like you tell me they like the most. Probably because you, like me, love to peruse food magazines and cookbooks by day (or in bed), but once 6 o'clock rolls around, you need something simple, delicious, and reliable. For example, my miso-honey broiled chicken. It's the miso that makes these skewers taste like so much more than the sum of their parts. A fermented paste made from soybeans and grains, miso is a staple in Japanese kitchens; add it to your pantry, and you'll soon discover that you have a multi-purpose seasoning that adds instant complexity to everything from soups to marinades to salad dressings and so much more. It is available in assorted shades, with flavors that range from mild to bold, salty to sweet.
For a good all-purpose miso (especially if miso is a new ingredient for your repertoire), you cannot go wrong with genmai miso (my very favorite) or shiro (white) miso . Both are mild and nutty, with balanced nuances of salty and sweet. Try either variety in this recipe (a standby at our house; Nick, in particular loves chicken done this way; for vegans and vegetarians, I can attest that the same mixture and method are superb with extra-firm tofu, too). Then store the remaining miso in the refrigerator and experiment by adding dabs of it in place of salt in your favorite recipes. You. Will. Love. It.
Did I mention that miso--like many other fermented foods--is extremely healthful? Now I have. Read more here .
So-Simple Miso-Honey Chicken
Makes 4 servings
This is also wonderful with extra-firm tofu (just be sure to drain tofu well and press dry between paper towels).
1/3 cup white (shiso) miso 3 tbsp honey 4 tbsp mirin or cooking sherry 1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces
4 12-inch metal skewers, or bamboo skewers (soak in water at least 30 minutes)
1.In a large bowl, whisk the the miso and honey until blended; set aside 2 tbsp of mixture in small cup. Whisk miring into remaining miso mixture. Add the chicken, tossing to coat. Let marinate 30 minutes. 2. Preheat the broiler, with rack position 6 to 8 inches from heat source. Thread the chicken onto skewers. 3. Place skewers on broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Broil 12 minutes or until chicken is done, turning occasionally and brushing with reserved miso-honey mixture.