Wednesday, January 31, 2007

By popular demand....Chicken Tenders -- Homestyle

My daughter mentioned (rather pointedly, I might add) that I hadn't posted here for a while, and asked if I could post the recipe for the Chicken Tenders I make that she and her dad both love.

The recipe is so simple I'm almost embarrased to write it out, but since she asked, here it is:

Mom's Chicken Tenders

white meat chicken (I use boneless chicken breast pieces) -- the equivalent of one chicken breast piece per person
flour to dredge in (Wondra Flour works real well, but all purpose is fine)
sesame oil (peanut oil will work too)

Cut the chicken into bite size pieces (this is easiest if the chicken is still slightly firm from being frozen)

Lightly flour the chicken

Heat the skillet (HOT!), put a little oil in the pan, fry the chicken pieces until nicely browned and the chicken is done all the way through.

Salt lightly and enjoy!

NOTE: these are really good on top of a Ceasar salad

Friday, January 05, 2007

Peachy BBQ Ribs

These yummies are a recipe that my mother used to make when I was a kid.

For a long time, I never knew any kind of BBQ but this kind of slow, moist, torture it in the oven, kind. I really like the combination of the pork with the peaches and the little hint of cloves gives it a little zip.

I cooked up this batch last night after we had gotten some really good lean boneless ribs during our Costco run.

The original recipe was designed to feed 4, so I just cut it in half -- more or less (more about that below) and made this great dinner.

So, here's the original recipe with the reduced for [2] in the parenthesis.

Peachy BBQ Ribs

3 pounds [1 1/2 pounds] lean, boneless pork ribs
1 large can of peaches [1 small can of peaches]
2 Tbls [1 Tbls] worchestershire sauce
2 Tbls [1 Tbls] flour
2 Tbls [1 Tbls] prepared yellow mustard
1 cup [1/2 cup] ketchup
1 Tbls [1 1/2 tsp] dry onion flakes
1/2 tsp [1/4 tsp] ground cloves
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 375 degrees

Spray the baking pan with cooking spray for easy clean up afterwards. A full recipe needs an 11 by 9 inch pan, a half recipe can be done in an 8 by 8 inch pan, and I usually use glass.

Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper and place in the prepared baking pan.

Drain the peaches, save the juice, set the peaches aside.

In a small sauce pan, combine 1 cup of the juice from the peaches, and the other ingredients. [If there is not enough juice from a small can of peaches, add water to bring it up to 1 cup. This is the part that you really don't cut in half because you need the liquid to do the cooking in the oven]

Bring the sauce mixture to a boil, stirring with a whisk to remove any lumps.

Pour sauce over ribs. Bake for 1 1/2 hours. About half way through either turn each rib over or baste (I prefer the turning method).

When ribs are tender, arrange peaches on top of ribs, baste with sauce and return to the oven for another 5 minutes to heat peaches.


Thursday, January 04, 2007

Potato Soup

I like potato soup. There's something soothing about that warm, creamy potatoey goodness.

I remember eating potato soup as a kid. My dad will eat potatos 9 times a day (must be his Irish genetics!), and I must have gotten that fondness for the stuff from him.

Besides all that, its pretty easy to make. And its pretty forgiving of little variations in ingredients too.

So, here is the recipe:

Potato Soup

2 pieces of bacon, cut in fine dice (I've also used little pieces of ham for this)
2 ribs of celery, cut in fine dice (the idea is for a little texture, not big chunks)
1 bunch green onions -OR- 1 medium onion, cut in fine dice
1 tsp salt (or to your taste)
8 to 10 small to medium red potatoes, scrubbed and diced (I've also used other potatoes, and they work okay too)
1 to 2 cups chicken broth (homemade is great, out of a can is fine)
4 to 5 cups water
1 can evaporated milk (or whatever milk you have on hand, half and half is really good)

In a LARGE pan, brown the bacon.

Add the onion and celery and saute until transparent

Add broth, water and potatoes and cook until potatoes are soft.

Blend soup to desired consistancy. Use an immersion blender, a blender (in small amounts at a time) or a masher to do this step.

Add milk to the soup and heat to just below a boil (boiling the milk gives it a funny taste)

Serve with a dab of butter, or sour cream, or shredded cheddar cheese or whatever other garnish you like on potatoes.

This also reheats well in the microwave, so it makes a great carry along for lunch in the office the day after.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Hot Pads

Now I know that this is not edible. However, it you're going to cook, you're going to need hot pads.....more than one, and more than one size, and they need to be washable.

I know that lots of stores have hot pads, but it seems to me they are all stamped out of the same mold (so to speak), and most of them just don't suit.

So, what's an enterprising cook to do? Well, if you have other skills (in this case, crochet), you just build what ever it is you need. (And, I might add here that this particular item was made out the yarn from a sweater that had become too worn to wear, so I unraveled it and have been using the yarn for other things!)

The nice thing about this pattern is that there isn't much to it. Select whatever yarn (remember, WASHABLE!) you have available -- okay, if you must, buy some.

And use whatever size crochet hook you have on hand that works well with the yarn. As I said, I used some cotton yarn I unraveled from a sweater, and a size "H" (U.S.) hook.

You begin be deciding how big a hot pad you want to make. This one measures 6 1/4 inches by 7 inches, but the important measurement is the diagonal one through the middle. This one measures 9 inches diagonally.

To make your hot pad:

Chain for the desired length of the diagonal measurement.

Turn and work one single crochet in each chain stitch to the next to last chain, work 3 single crochet stitches in the end chain,

continue working one single crochet in the other side of each chain to the end chain, work 2 more single crochet in that end. (Foundation made.)

Continue round and round working 1 single crochet in each single crochet below. DO NOT Increase at the ends, you want it to “curl”.

As you go, it will begin to slowly create a square.

You can add stripes by working alternating colors for each round.

When your edges meet, use a yarn needle to stitch the two edges together and then run the yarn end inside.

That's it!

When you make the first one, you'll be sure that it isn't going to work (even tho' you've seen the pictures), but it just happens like magic!!

Enjoy making a whole variety to match your kitchen decor, or to be your favorite color, or to use up your odds and ends of yarn pieces.