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Category Archives: Back to Basics Cooking

Sammich Pr0n

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Pan Biscuits and Chicken Gravy

 

This was a cross between biscuits and gravy and chicken pot pie.  I went with this recipe for the biscuits.  I’ve made it before but this time I used an 8×8 inch glass pan.  I should have stayed with my larger hotel pan because the biscuits took way longer to bake than the recipe indicated.  After I took the pic I tried to plate some biscuits for the dinner but they were not yet done, I had to give them 10 more minutes past the 25 I had set the timer for and they were still not quite right.

The chicken was leftover from the “Winner, Winner..” post the other day, and the gravy was just a simple white sauce with powdered mustard, a few ounces of Parmesan, plus the remaining chicken gravy.  I steamed some more veggies to add to it.  I was hungry when I put the biscuits into the oven and ravenous by the time they were finally done.

Crockpot Italian Beef

Kroger had a bin full of chuck roasts on sale the other day so I grabbed one, it weighed in at just over five pounds.  They also had a rack of pickled pepperoncini right there, anticipating this post I’m sure.  I love how easy these slo-cooker recipes are, just plop in everything and let time work for you.  I always add the juice from the jar of peppers, a few of the peppers, a lot of garlic (fresh and granulated), dried basil, oregano, and thyme, granulated onion, chopped sweet onions, bay leaves, ground black pepper, salt, worcestershire sauce, chicken and/or beef stock, maybe a little soy sauce, a little steak sauce, and whatever else that may work.Several hours later the chunk of beef is tender enough to chop and shred.  It’s easiest to process the meat if it’s removed to another bowl or cutting board but it can be done in situ.  You will need some rolls.  These are from my go-to recipe for buns and rolls and such from the King Arthur Flour folks.  I let my bread machine make the dough and then form it into appropriate shapes.  I let the loaves rise again for 30 minutes while the oven heats to 375.  My convection oven takes about 15 minutes, tuning them when half way done.  I’ve just brushed these with melted butter.  Brush them when they go into the oven and again when they come out.

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

Multi-Pot Recipes: Cooking In Two Layers, Shredded BBQ Chicken and Mashed Potatoes

I’ve been using my multi-pot electric pressure cooker a lot. I’ve been making my standard pressure cooker recipes, including a delicious pot roast  (recipe here – although I’ve been using  whiskey instead of wine and really liking the flavor)

My multi-pot came with both a steamer tray and a steam basket. The former is so you can steam instead of boil your food and the latter so  you can cook two items at once. On a busy day, I may not cook fancy, but with a pressure cooker  you can put together a quick flavorful meal in a few minutes.

I thought it was time to give the steamer basket a try.

First up – the steamer tray. The one that came with the multi-pot is basically a wire rack. The one from my stove-top pressure cooker is a flat tray.

I wondered if it would fit and sure enough it did. So I started with that one, since I was more familiar with it. What I love about the steamer tray is you can infuse whatever you’re cooking with lots of flavor by placing a spice packet (I use unbleached coffee filters and string) under the tray, add just enough water to cover the tray and cook as usual.  Super flavorful when pressure cooked.

I made Chicken in BBQ sauce and mashed potatoes:

Shredded BBQ Chicken

  • 3 small boneless chicken breasts
  • salt & pepper
  • red wine vinegar
  • water
  • spice packet: rosemary, sage, garlic, oregano – crushed together and tied into a flat spice packet to fit under the tray

Lightly salt and pepper chicken breasts. In the multi-pot add enough liquid (1/2 water and 1/2 red wine vinegar) to barely cover the tray. Add spice packet, steaming tray and then chicken breasts.

Now it’s time to add the potatoes in the steaming basket.

Mashed Potatoes

  • 4 potatoes (I like yukon gold, but any will do), washed and cut into eight pieces each)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

Place the steam basket into the multi-pot and add potatoes.

Now it’s time to attach the lid and cook according to directions – use the time for the longest cooking item, in this case the chicken (15 minutes vs. 10 minutes for the potatoes).

Once the cooker has depressurized, add potatoes to a large bowl to mash, heat milk and butter in microwave until butter is melted and add to potatoes. Mash and add salt and pepper to taste. Cover to keep warm.

For the chicken, remove from the pressure cooker to a plate. Remove spice packet and liquid (I save the liquid and freeze for soup base). Shred chicken (I use two forks, pulling in opposite directions) and then add back into the multi-pot along with BBQ sauce (Sweet Baby Rays – sweet & spicy – is my favorite) and turn the multi-pot to WARM. Let simmer until everything is heated through (a couple of minutes).

Serve with steamed buttered green beans for a quick evening meal.  It’s not fancy, but it’s also not fast food. 😉

This technique can be used with many items – instead of BBQ you can skip the vinegar when cooking and then use the liquid, along with milk, butter and flour to make a quick gravy after the chicken has steamed. Shred the chicken, add to the gravy and serve over potatoes.

Use this two-tier technique with pot roast, ribs, pork roast… etc.

I think I’m going to try lemon juice, chicken and rice for my next concoction.

Note on steamer tray – I made my first batch of mashed potatoes without it and the potatoes were watery. The next batch I switched to the steamer tray and they were smooth and creamy. Lesson: steam whenever you can instead of boil.

For all the Multi-Pot recipes, bookmark this link.

Next Multi-Pot recipe will be Sesame Chicken. Until then…



 

Breakfast Pr0n

Mmm… Meatloaf Dinner

Your basic meatloaf, half beef and half Italian sausage with milk and crumbs and Parmesan and herbs and spices.  Ketchup with brown sugar and worcestershire sauce for the topping.  There’s onions and peppers in there.  Hard to go wrong but it can be done so don’t take that as a challenge.Mrs J was wanting mac and cheese and green beans because that is what you serve with meatloaf in these enlightened environs.A good time was had by all.  Gabe got some cheese sauce flavored pots and casseroles to lick out and he did a very good job.  Such a good boy, yes he is!

Fillet o’ Fish

The local Kroger store had fresh cod the other day, I bought a couple packages.  Here in the mid-west we seldom see fresh fish at Kroger so I’ve been bringing home frozen.  I am amazed at how much better the fresh fish is.  They pump so much water into the frozen offerings it should be a crime.  Maybe it is!  I thaw the fish and have to press the water out.

Of course I’m not talking fresh – as in “caught today” – fish.  I don’t know how fast the fish get here from the processing plants but if the journey takes less than three days I would be surprised.

Sliders and Crinkle Cut Fries

Moar Grilled Cheese Pr0n!