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Category Archives: Back to Basics Cooking

Breakfast Pr0n

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Comfort Food Parade Continues!

Easy meatloaf: hamburger, Italian sausage, an egg, an onion, bread crumbs, buttermilk, salt and pepper.  The Allrecipes link doesn’t say sausage but I had some so I went half and half with ground beef.

Chicken Dumplings

When I was growing up this dish was one of the things my dad felt competent to make indoors on the stove.  I’m not sure why but he wouldn’t let mom do it.  It may be the comfort food for me.  I finally took Alton Brown’s advice and let the rolled dough dry for several hours before simmering to a finish in that wonderful chicken broth.  If you drop them in as soon as they are rolled the dumplings tend to dissolve.  These actually held together a little too well!

Chicken Parm

This dish is usually made with tenderized chicken breasts, I like the boneless, skinless thighs better.  I pounded these a little but not a lot.  The prep was typical, though:  dredge in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs,  Cook in olive oil until golden, then flip.  Bake, topped with sauce and cheese and serve.  I like a bed of spaghetti that has been tossed in butter and good olive oil with plenty of garlic.

Breakfast Pr0n

Pressure Cooker Italian Beef

It’s just like crockpot Italian beef, only faster.  I’m liking my Instapot cooker more and more.  It’s the only way I make stock these days – just pile in the bones and odds and ends of celery and carrots and what-not with water and give it an hour on the timer and you’re golden.

Anyway back to the beef – sear a good chunk of that on sale chuck or what have you, cover it with some of your stock, add a couple of coarsely chopped onions, a handful of garlic, Italian seasonings (basil, thyme, oregano, parsley), and a jar of pickled pepperoncini.  The peppers are not as important as the juice.  You can add some red pepper flake to spice it up.  I set the timer for 75 minutes – it was easily shreddable when done,I baked some rolls to go with the beef.  I’ve been using the reliable KA bun recipe for several years now.  My hamburger buns usually turn out better looking than these hoagie type rolls but I’m working on that.Bonus Bea pic!

Sweet and Sour Chicken

This is simple to make, the batter is 1/4 cup each of flour and cornstarch and 1/2 tsp baking powder whisked into 1/2 cup of water – it’s thin and this will coat a good bit of chicken.  Deep fry the battered chicken chunks in oil, draining off excess batter, till browned.  Keep the pieces separated as they go in.  Set aside on paper towels to add to the veggies later.  The sauce is even simpler than the last time I made a sweet and sour stir fry.  Mix 1/3 cup of rice vinegar, 2/3 cup of pineapple juice (I remembered to buy some frozen juice), a healthy squeeze of catsup, and 1/4 cup of Splenda.  Heat the mixture to a simmer and whisk in a tbsp of cornstarch in a slurry with a little water to thicken.  I decided to leave out the soy sauce this time, didn’t miss it.  Optional but recommended:  add some chili garlic paste to the sauce.

This time we used broccoli, green bell pepper, and snow pea pods with some red onion for the veggies.  Add some minced garlic and ginger to hot oil in a pan and stir for a few seconds, add the broccoli and cook until nearly tender.  (I usually add a splash of water and cover to quickly steam the broccoli.)  Add the pea pods, peppers, and onions.  Add the chicken to the veggies, pour in the sauce and toss to coat and heat everything through. Serve it with white rice.  Two thumbs up!

Breakfast Pr0n

Peachwood Smoked Maple Sugar Pepper Bacon

Ready for the smokerIt reached 150 after four hours

Breakfast Pr0n – Huevos