Daily Archives: January 31, 2010

I may be in love….

I’ve cooked a couple of things in the new skillet, but this afternoon was the best as I cooked some hash browns and they were perfect.  Perfectly crisp, evenly browned. Clean-up a breeze.  I have to tell you, this skillet, this simple, old-fashioned cast iron wonder, is on its way to becoming my most-est favorite cooking item in the cupboard.

I had been using Scanpans, which were a gift, and which I’ve come to loathe over the 15 years I’ve had them.  They pit, chip and peel – and they were not cheap.  I started replacing them, since they came with a life-time guarantee, but gave up after the 3rd frying pan.  They don’t  heat evenly and are terrible to clean, even the saucepans.

By comparison, my $13 cast iron skillet is a marvel.  This might be love.


Mmm…veggie beef soup

Hard to beat this for a Sunday lunch

Mrs J was cleaning the fridge this morning, and in the freezer side she found some “beef for stewing”.  We decided to use it in a soup to go along with the odds and ends of veggies we found frozen: a few peas, the last of the garden green beans, some corn I sliced from the cob and stuck into a ziplock bag that day we bought so much at the farmer’s market.  I diced the frozen meat into smaller cubes (much easier to do this when the meat is at least semifrozen), and grabbed an Idaho potato that was starting to look back at me, a couple of carrots, and an onion, diced those as well.  Dragged the stock pot out and warmed it up, poured in a bit of oil and dumped the still frozen cubes of beef into it, covered it over a medium flame and went to the window to see if that hawk was back. Nope, I’ll just wait by the window a little while…

Mrs J’s shout from the kitchen that the beef was burning was alarmist as it turned out, but I did start with some very well browned meat.

A splash of red wine to deglaze worked wonders on the brown goo on the bottom of the pot.  Yeah, there’s a name for that stuff, can’t be bothered to remember it.

Now everything else gets dumped in along with some beef stock.  I watch some cooking shows on TV, and when the chefs are adding stuff to a pot they often use a spoon or some such to transfer it and I want to holler “dump it in there, go ahead, just dump it in!” but they act like they can’t even hear me.  Miracles of modern communications-pfft.  Where was I? Yeah, DUMPING stuff into the pot.

OK, meat, broth, veggies…looking through the cupboard…ah, some pearled barley, good, that’ll work.  Doop de doop, herbs…rosemary, thyme, a bit of basil, hmmm….onion powder…red pepper flakes…can of diced tomatoes…yeah that’ll all be good in there.

Snoopin in the fridge, hmm, all clean and shiny, where is everything?…ah, some garlic, crush a few cloves and slice em…in they go…not findin much…got that feeling I need more stuff.  Ah, red wine won’t hurt this at all– glug glug…half a bottle.  That’s the ticket.  OK, cover and simmer while I measure stuff into the bread machine, basic white loaf, nothing fancy.  Push the start button.

If I was a sports fan I could use this time to watch a game, but meh.  Look at some blogs, read the comics, chat with my pal down in Texas.  Blade the snow from the drive.  Scan a doc, convert to .pdf, fax it online to those dorks that lost the original so Mrs J can retire.  Yay!

Crispy Potato Chicken for Sunday Dinner

This is really quick to put together for something a bit different for dinner.  Add some buttered carrots and you’ve got a great dinner.

Crispy Potato Chicken

  • 2 large potatoes, peeled
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • ¼ tsp ea. salt & pepper
  • ½ tsp fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ice water

2 bowls

baking dish (8×8), lightly oiled

Shred potato, transfer to bowl of ice water. Rinse & dry breasts, place in baking dish and spread with garlic. Drain potatoes, pat dry and mix with oil & seasonings in bowl. Spread mixture over the top of the chicken pieces. Bake at 425° for 35-40 minutes, until potatoes are golden brown and chicken’s internal temperature is 185°