Mmm…Ham for Dinner

Just a quick slide show.  Questions?  I’ll answer in comments.  Merry Xmas and Ho Ho Ho!

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Panko Fried Chicken

Last night it just had to be fried chicken. Three problems with that craving.  One – I’m very temped to buy somebody else’s fried chicken.  Two – I hate deep frying anything.  I loved fried food, don’t get me wrong, but I hate the mess.  So I usually do the Oven Fried chicken.  Which brings us to problem three last night – not enough time for oven fried chicken.

There was a lot going on and I didn’t have the time to bake chicken, especially since I hadn’t taken any chicken out to thaw, so I had to come up with something that would be quick and easy.

My solution was to take 4 small boneless chicken breasts, quick thaw them in cold water, pound them flat (I wrap them in plastic first).  I dipped them in an egg wash (2 eggs with just a bit of water, salt and pepper) and then dipped them in my seasoned panko breading – I used basil, oregano, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and garlic.  Heavy on the pepper.  But wait, it wasn’t real panko.

Lfern had mentioned she missed panko breading and I had a thought in my head that crushed rice chex would make a good substitute.  I ran them through my mini-food processor until I had 2 cups of course ground chex.  I thought the texture was very close to panko and took spicing well.  It fried up with a satisfying crispness, very much like deep fried chicken.

Since the breasts were so thin, I only needed 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter (butter gives them a rich flavor, olive oil keeps butter from burning).  I quickly browned the breasts in the hot oil, reduced the heat and let them cook for 15 minutes turning several times, so as not to burn.  I made a real nice chicken gravy with the pan drippings – I have been thrilled with how nice gravy turns out in a cast-iron skillet.  Served with mashed potatoes and garden salad that had just about a bit of everything it.

It all looked good and I was going to take pictures but haven’t recharged the batteries since I got home.  Yes, yes, I am as disappointed as you are.  Maybe JeffW will come up with some fried chicken for us this week to make up for my lack.

Stuffed Mushrooms

I’ve never done stuffed mushrooms before today.  Don’t really remember ever eating any.  I bought a fair sized box of mushrooms yesterday and rather than see them slowly turn brown I decided to try stuffing/baking them.  I looked at several recipes and got a fair idea of stuffing ingredients from this site. At another site there were some good tips on process.

None of the recipes I looked at had meat in the ingredient list.  Mine has some Italian sausage.  I sautéed three links sans skins, crumbled into a skillet.  When those were browned I drained them well, and squeezed out more grease with a wad of paper towels.  Most everything was done in the food processor:  The stems were minced along with a cup of dried tomatoes, a couple of cloves of garlic, and half an onion.  I added the sausage, about a cup of panko (bread crumbs), an egg, and a half cup or so of parmesan and gave all the stuffing ingredients a good spin to mix and chop them finely.  Added a glug or two of red wine to the mix in a bowl when it all was chopped/mixed/ready.

One of the recipes linked above mentioned pre baking the caps to lose some of the water, and I did so at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes.  I drained the liquids and them flipped the caps and stuffed them, and gave them 15 minutes in the oven.  Took them out long enough at the end to add some grated romano cheese, then back in just long enough to melt the cheese.

One of the drawbacks to “winging it” on a recipe is having a mismatch of quantities.  I ended up with more stuffing than I had mushrooms.  Oh well-it gave me a chance to see if they would make decent meatballs.  Alas, they were lacking in the “meat” part of “meatballs”.  LOL-they didn’t taste bad.  I may try them in a sammich later.

Enjoy!

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Poppers

OK, Mrs J”s Test Kitchen has turned out some poppers.  She went with milk->flour->egg->bread crumbs on the breading.  She blanched the peppers for two minutes before cooling and stuffing with cheese.  We both agree that another minute’s scald would have been better. The stuffing is cream cheese with shredded cheddar and jack cheeses.  I think just flour in the breading, along with milk and egg would be best.  The bread crumbs browned too quickly.  She used half panko and half seasoned Italian bread crumbs.  Maybe just the panko next time, I’ve noticed the other bread crumbs browning fast when I used them on shrimp before.  The dip is  Kraft Triple Cheese Ranch  dressing.  Good stuff.

Breaded Shrimp

These are the last of my shrimp.  Shudder to think where prices are going to go with all the oil loose in the Gulf.  Most recipes say to leave the tails on, that does make them look identifiably shrimp but leaves a bit of litter on the plate.  These you just pop into your mouth and eat.  Simple enough to do these, the peeling and deveining take longer.  Put the shrimp into a bag with some flour and shake to coat, then dredge them in beaten eggs and roll in the breading.  I used panko this time, it’s my personal favorite for this.  Drop them into 350 oil till they’re brown and serve them with the sauce of your choice.  The ketchup/horseradish cocktail sauce is good-add a little lemon and a shot of Lee & Perrin’s.  Tartar sauce works for me, Mrs J stays solely with the cocktail dip.  I like ’em both.

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Panko Chicken Cutlets

I’ve been experimenting with Panko bread crumbs, I really like the texture and they work on a variety of foods.  This was tonight’s dinner, using Panko and my new favorite, Ponzu sauce.

Panko Chicken Cutlets

  • 4 chicken breasts, pounded flat
  • 1/2 cup Ponzu sauce
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 oz Panko bread crumbs
  • oil
  • cornstarch

skillet, large container with cover, plate, bowl

Mix together Ponzu and orange juice, add chicken breasts and marinate for at least 1 hour, or overnight.   Heat about 1 inch of oil in skillet. Remove chicken from marinade and dip in egg, then dredge in Panko.  Add to hot oil and cook for 5 minutes each side, until cooked through and browned.   Remove to paper towel and keep warm.  Remove most of oil from skillet and then add marinade to skillet, bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Boil for 1 minute, add cornstarch, thicken and simmer on medium-low for 5 minutes.  Slice cutlets into 1/2 inch strips, serve with rice and use cooked marinade as dipping sauce.

Some Deep Fried Shrimp and a Salad

Mmm…deep fried shrimp.  These I peeled and deveined, patted dry on a towel, coated with flour, dredged in beaten egg, and covered with panko.  A minute or two in 350 oil and Yum!

You’ve met the salad and the dressing, that is, if you read the last post. Might say a word about those peanuts.  I put a handful into a small sauce pan and warmed them over medium heat, then poured in some Chinese cooking wine, a little soy sauce, and a bit of mirin.  Stir that around while it reduces, then dump them on a plate to cool,  Chop them up and sprinkle wherever peanuts would look good.  Have some straight if you’ve a mind to, I sure did.

Enjoy!