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Category Archives: Recipes

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.

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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.

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…



 

Coconut Lemon Cake Revisited

I visited family for Easter and it seemed like a good time to make my Coconut Lemon Cake. It was a hit – though my niece would have preferred a less tangy lemon curd. I will admit, I made it super lemony because my brother and I both love lemon.

Here’s the original recipe.

I made a few changes.

For the cake, I substituted coconut oil for both the oil and butter. When I originally made the cake, I didn’t keep coconut oil in the house, now it’s a staple. This upped the coconut flavor in the cake itself.

For the lemon curd, I flipped the water/lemon juice amounts. Using 1 cup of lemon juice and only 1/2 cup water. This upped the tartness substantially, so be prepared!

For the layers – this time I cut down from 4 to 3, using pie pans for the cake pans. This made for a much sturdier cake without losing any of the flavor – especially with the super tart curd.

Nom-nom. I really could have eaten the entire cake myself.

I’m off to do more prep on the vegetable garden. I have a hoop and 6 wall of water, so I’m hoping to get a head start later this month.

Depending on how the harvest goes, I’m definitely going to get a vacuum sealer to make freezing veggies easier. I. Do. Not. Can.

Are you planning your garden, yet?



Breakfast Pr0n – Bacon Egg and Cheese Muffins

Chicken Noodle Soup

Made this one with fettuccine for a more robust noodle.  This is the remains of the roasted chicken we had for the Sunday dinner.  I did make a fresh loaf of bread to go with it.

Garlic Herbed Butter Roasted Chicken

I grabbed a big chicken at the store the other day, I was thinking beer-butt roasted fryer chicken for Sunday dinner but when I went to put it into the fridge  I saw the “roasting chicken” right there on the wrapper.  No problem!  A quick search led me to this recipe.  I had some fresh rosemary, bought for the porchetta last week.A quick slather and we were ready for the oven.  I ran it at 400° on the convection roast setting.  I mixed the soft butter with several cloves of roasted garlic rather than fresh garlic.  I did add fresh garlic to the cavity, and several cloves went under the bird along with the onions, celery, and carrots.I more or less destroyed the breast quarter, Mrs J got the leg and thigh.  The juices strained from the bottom of the pan made a killer gravy.  A baked potato and steamed veggies rounded out the meal.

Sammich Pr0n

I made buns from my go-to recipe this morning, dividing the dough into 16 mostly equal pieces.  I do an okay job with the division if it ends up with 2, 4, 8, or 16.  My eye is pretty good dividing by two.  The odd numbers are more difficult.  I can divide half-loaves by 3 to end with 6 buns, and each of those by 2 to get 12.  Getting to 10 is hit and miss, cutting halfs into 5 pieces is easy enough, don’t get me wrong, but five equal pieces is another thing entirely.Anyway, they were not quite slider sized, but close enough.  Here they are with smoked brisket – sliced and doused with orange habanero sauce.  Yum!

Play Ball! Opening Day Menu

I am traveling, again. Taking both dogs with me, which should be…interesting. I’ve actually never taken a car trip with two (or three when I had them) Danes. Although, when I purchased my car, that was the one of the requirements. Hold two Danes. Wish me luck!

I thought I would leave you with a little something since today is the best day. OPENING DAY!!

Here’s a little baseball trivia for you: The Colorado Rockies Mascot is an anthropomorphic purple triceratops named Dinger. Do you know why? (Answer at the bottom of the post).

Here’s my traditional opening day menu to bring the ballpark to your house. I tried to be as authentic as I could with each dog. Personally, I would grill any of mine, authentic or not. I was lucky enough to have my friends spoil me with authentic Fenway Franks (grilled) and buns while I was back east. They were as good as I remember them. My all time favorite though is the Italian Sausage with grilled peppers. Here in Colorado you can’t swing a metaphorical cat without hitting a brewery (even our Governor is a former brew master), so we have plenty of great choices for a cold brew. Okay, PLAY BALL!!

On the board today:

Pick Favorite (recipes below):

  • Fenway Franks
  • Boston Dogs
  • New York Dawg
  • Italian Sausage w/peppers
  • Denver Dogs
  • Dodger Dogs (adults only)

Vinegar & Salt chips (if you can find them, Cape Cod chips are excellent)

Raw Vegetable Tray (hey it can’t all be junk food)

Pick one:

  • Ice cream in dipped cones
  • Cracker Jacks
  • Popcorn
  • Peanuts in shells
  • Lemonade
  • Favorite Ice Cold Brew

Fenway Franks

The closest I can find to these are to use Ball Park Brand Franks. The secret to these tasty franks is to bring the water to a boil, then add the franks and let them cook until just heated through. If you can find them, authentic Fenway franks are served in white bread sliced rolls (these look like two bun size slices of white bread, joined together at the bottom and sliced open at the top). If not, regular buns will do. Mustard only, please …though I like them plain.

Boston Dogs

Follow in the instructions above and add hot chili and shredded cheddar.

New York Dawg

Follow the instructions for Fenway Franks and add sauerkraut.

Denver Dogs

Split your dog lengthwise, but not all the way through. Flatten on hot grill, keep the rack far from the flame, don’t let them burn, flip and grill the other side. Brush rolls with melted butter and a touch of garlic, toast on the grill. Bring bun & dog together, top with relish or spicy brown mustard.

Dodger Dogs (Adults ONLY)

Get a can or bottle of your favorite beer, take your dogs and use a fork to poke holes around the dogs. In a large, shallow bowl, add dogs & beer and let soak 30 minutes. Now, this is a two-step process for authentic dogs, but if you want, you can skip the boiling part. Bring water to a boil, drop dogs in for 3 to 5 minutes, remove and immediately pop onto a hot grill and grill all sides. Serve in warm rolls, top with spicy beer mustard or relish.

Italian Sausage w/Peppers

Spicy Italian sausage or bratwurst grilled or pan-fried. These are thick, so make sure you cook them long enough to cook completely through (follow pkg. directions) Slice a green pepper in rings and sauté in butter & olive oil. Toast regular hot dog bun in skillet or on grill, add sausage and top with peppers.

Ice Cream in Dipped Cones

  • 4 waffle cones
  • 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 4 oz package chocolate sprinkles
  • 1 quart vanilla ice cream

In a double-boiler (or a saucepan with a Pyrex or metal bowl place on top), add water to the bottom and melt chocolate & butter. Dip top of cones into melted chocolate, then dip immediately into sprinkles. Let cool completely, scoop in ice cream and top with remaining sprinkles

Why is the Colorado Rockies mascot a dinosaur? Because when they were excavating the stadium – they found a triceratops skull.  Not the first time around there – this past summer they found one near my old house.

Okay, I’m off. Wish  me luck.



Smoked Brisket Hash

I tried to wait for beef briskets to fall in price but had a wait-fail.  It spent the night in peachwood smoke at 200° and then a couple hour at 275°, wrapped in foil.