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Blog Archives

Posole Verde with Chicken

This was easy enough.  I poached some chicken thighs in stock and then set them aside to cool.  I found a pint jar of tomatillo salsa and added that to the broth, a quart jar of hominy, plenty of garlic, cumin, salt and pepper, and finally, the chicken , shredded.  Thicken, as needed, with a slurry of masa in water.

Some corn tortillas, cooked on the griddle and then torn into pieces and fried, made a nice side.  Toss them with salt and a grind or two of mixed dried peppers while warm.

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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.

Tacos for Sunday Lunch

Used the rest of those first cherry tomatoes in a pico de gallo.  The taco base is refried beans and chicken, I finished mine out with the pico, chopped lettuce, queso fresco, and my new favorite taco sauce.  I like the red, Mrs J goes for the green.

Tidbits

Mmm… another Reuben.  We’ve pretty much settled on an assembly standard:  The corned beef, sliced just so, homemade sauerkraut, and cheese all warmed in a skillet – adding the cheese only when the beef and ‘kraut are warmed through.  The rye slices are started in the toaster when the cheese goes on.  The thousand island dressing goes in a small bowl to be used as a dip – this helps to keep the sandwich intact because it is not soaking through the toast.  Pickle spear garnish is optional but encouraged!We’ve been seeing a lot of rain, 10 inches in the last week, and rivers and creeks are overflowing.  Whenever we get high water  one of the obligatory stops on the gawking tour is this municipal band shell at the aptly named Riverside Park.  The Big Muddy River (actual name!) is a tributary of the Mighty Mississippi, it enters a few miles below Grand Tower, IL.An access road loops around the park.  It would be visible below the shell but for the high water.  Right now we are kinda “meh” – we’ve seen it higher.  All bets are off should the rain come back.  Crews are sandbagging the big levee along the Mississippi just in case and they are keeping a 24 hour watch.We’re using those naan loaves for pizzas, and here is one replacing a tortilla in a vaguely Tex-Mex hodgepodge with rice, beans, chicken, cheese, eggs, and a salsa verde.Another selfie with Bitsy that I’ve run through the Prisma app.  This is using the Heisenberg filter.  My favorite filter is the one they call Gothic.Time for another pineapple upside down cake!  I used dark brown sugar in this one rather than the light brown I usually go with.  Pour melted butter mixed with brown sugar in the bottom of a pan, this one was made in a 9-1/2″ x 12″ hotel pan with 3/4 cup of butter and 3/4 cup sugar.  I drained the juice from a can of pineapple tidbits and used about half of them in the recipe.  Use the pineapple juice to replace some of the water needed for a yellow cake mix and pour the prepared mix over the pineapple bits.  These baked at 350 for 20 minutes and were not quite done so I added 10 minutes to the timer and reduced the temp to 325 because the top was browning nicely.  If you would rather go from scratch this recipe should work fine for you.These are a favorite and this surely won’t be the last one you’ll see here.  We are just getting warmed up for those summer garden tomatoes.

Biscuit Crust Pot Pie

Well, it’s a semi-sorta biscuit crust pot pie.  Biscuit crust pot pies are a thing, but whenever I’ve made them (usually with store bought pop biscuit dough) the tops of the biscuits browned nicely but the bottoms were always nearly raw.  This fixes that.  I found a nice pan biscuit recipe [here] that looked really good.Lacking any buttermilk, I went the ersatz route with a tablespoon of white vinegar in regular whole milk.  I wasn’t sure that the butter in the pan bottom would incorporate well but it worked fine.My pan was 10×12 inches rather than the 8×8.  I figured that for what I was doing there wouldn’t be any problem with a tad thinner biscuit.  It did finish quicker, mine took 15 minutes at 425.I wish I had thought to use parchment paper in the bottom.  I made a few half-hearted tries at winkling the whole thing out but ended up taking it out in pieces……and placing them atop the chicken and veggie filling that had been cooking on a different shelf in an identical pan.  I gave the top a brushing of melted butter and popped it back into the oven for a bit.The pan biscuits were really good, I do think that for this application the recipe should have been reduced by a third, or the amount of filling increased.

Puff Pastry Pot Pie Pr0n

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Stir Fry Dinner Menu: Orange Chicken and Broccoli

orange-chicken-dinner

I’m not big on deep frying anything, but I love orange chicken so I wanted to find a way to make it so it was still crisp without all the oil and breading. I found the perfect ingredient to produce that result: potato starch. I’ve been using it for a while now and it makes the most perfect Oven Baked Chicken – I’ve been substituting it for the bread crumbs, combining it with crushed rice chex – I’ll post an updated recipe on that technique this week.

I thought it might have the same effect on pan frying chicken pieces. It did. Crispy, light and flavorful. Of course top anything with enough orange sauce and I’m there.

On the board tonight:

  1. Pan-Fried Orange Chicken
  2. Rice or Rice Noodles
  3. Steamed Broccoli

orange-chicken

Pan-Fried Orange Chicken

Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp to 1 tbsp sriracha or chili sauce (opt)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp white or rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp corn starch

bowl

Mix together in bowl and set aside

Chicken:

  • 1 lb chicken boneless breast (or thighs), cut into large chunks
  • olive oil
  • 1 cup potato starch
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 green onions, chopped – save 1 tbsp of chopped greens for garnish
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds for garnish
  • 2 tbsp oil (more as needed)

2 plates, skillet or wok

Add salt and pepper to potato starch. Drizzle a bit of oil over chicken pieces to coat. Dredge in potato starch mixture and move to clean plate. Finish all chicken before cooking.

I used to have a wok, but never got the results I wanted from it. Then I heard Ming Tsai discuss how a skillet works better in regular kitchens because a wok really needs a commercial heat source to get it hot enough to cook the way it is designed. Got rid of my wok and use my skillet now. So don’t feel you need a wok to stir-fry things.

Heat oil and add onions (whites and green) quickly stir until they have softened (about 1 minutes) and then add chicken pieces – one at a time so they all touch oil/skillet surface.  You may have to cook chicken in two batches depending on the size of your pan.

Fry until golden on one side, then flip to brown the other side.  Then I tossed it around a bit until it was golden on all sides.

If you cooked in two batches, remove first batch to clean plate and cook the second batch. Add all chicken back to pan, coat with Orange Sauce and toss until it’s all coated. Let sauce heat through thoroughly over low heat. Serve with rice (or noodles), garnish with sesame seeds and onion greens.



 

 

Chicken Dumplins

20161218_172312-1600x1200Mmm… and it’s not chicken and dumplings.  Boil a whole chicken with plenty of celery and onions and a carrot or two,  Add sprigs of thyme and rosemary, some black peppercorns and a dash of salt.  It takes an hour or so, longer and the chicken falls all apart later when you cook it again.  Discard all but the chicken and that lovely broth.  Pull the meat off the bones and save the bones for another stock. I use paper towels to take the fat off the surface of the broth.  Just lay them one at a time flat on the broth and they will soak it up.

The dumplins are simply made:  2 cups flour, 2 tsps baking powder, 1 tsp salt, 1/3 cup shortening (I used lard in these), and 1/2 cup milk.  Knead until it’s one good clump and then roll thin (1/8″+-).  You may want to let it rest a bit if it resists rolling.  Cut into squares or triangles and let them air dry for 20 minutes or so lest they fall apart while cooking.

Bring the broth to a boil and add the dumplins a few at a time to keep the boil going, when they are all in (including those scraps that aren’t so pretty – they will help thicken) reduce to a simmer and add back the chicken.  (I added frozen peas at this point – optional.)  You can serve them when the dumplins are thick and soft.  They will taste better the next time, so make plenty!

Tidbits

20161120_1003181600x1200We are fast approaching Thanksgiving and we’ve had our second hard freeze.  The first time I carted the vulnerable jalapenos into the garage overnight but I didn’t this time.  I combed through the wilting foliage for the last harvest.  The cornbread cubes are drying in anticipation of making a dressing.  I baked a loaf of plain white bread earlier and dried them in a low oven.img_20161119_112743_processedHere’s another treatment of the picture of Bea among the habaneros, it’s done with the “mosaic” filter in the Prisma app.  It most effective when there are a lot of discrete elements within the photo like the leaves and peppers in this one.20161120_1635431600x1200Sammich pr0n!  This is a cod fillet that had been dredged one time in a commercial fish breading that I added some coarser cornmeal to.  I made a very busy tartar sauce of mayo, onions, chives, horseradish, jalapeno, lemon juice, salt and pepper – and topped that with slaw.20161118_1649221600x1200Here’s a chicken breast that was slow cooked in the toaster oven with my (current) favorite hot sides of fried potatoes and sauteed Brussels sprouts.20161119_1643391600x1200Just your basic cheeseburger – pickles, onions, mustard.img_20161119_112949_processedHere’s that mosaic filter again. The algorithm that draws in the tiles has trouble with the motion blurred background.  And that tongue!  LOL20161116_1225541600x1200I had the stub end of a loaf of Italian bread left over from making garlic bread to go with a small lasagna I made the other day.  The lasagna was pretty good but I served it right out of the oven and the layers slipped and slid all over the plate in the bechamel/tomato sauce.  Served it in a bowl, I could have called it soup.  Ha Ha I meant to do that!

Tidbits

img_09931600x1200Here’s a photo from the archives.  I like the symmetry.20161112_1654231600x1200Kroger had a sale on strip steaks.  They needed some trimming but were still a pretty good value.  I did this sous vide, setting the water bath to 130 degrees for a couple of hours.  They finished in a smoking hot cast iron skillet in olive oil and butter, deglazed with white wine and chives for a simple pan sauce.20161115_1204201600x1200Sloppy joes for lunch the other day.  This one has American cheese and a few dill pickles.  The potato salad looks like it has the traditional dusting of paprika but it’s really Creole seasoning.  It adds a bit of a tang to it.20161111_163233-1600x1200BBQ chicken!  I’ve taken to cooking these leg quarters in the toaster oven using the slo-cook setting.  I did this on the high setting for two hours, no particular reason to choose that time – it’s the default for the high setting.  Set it to low and the default is four hours.20161116_0824161600x1200I snapped this one of Bitsy lounging atop the sofa, prompted by the play of sunlight through the slots of the vertical blinds.  It seemed like a candidate for the Prisma treatment:img_20161116_082932_processed

20161114_1131091600x1200Hot dogs!  I’m not sure how long these buns have been offered but I’m liking the slit on top rather than on the side.  These are Pepperidge Farms brand.20161115_1712191600x1200I’ll wrap up with some soup. This one uses the broccoli left over from that steak dinner, a bit of smoked pork, rice, and three kinds of cheese in chicken stock and milk.