All posts filed under: Entree

Wine Country Chicken

With Memorial Weekend fully upon us. it’s time to pull off that expensive grill cover, check your fire supplies, and give it a good ol’ cleaning… because you know you’re going to be spending a lot of time out there flipping burgers, rolling dogs, and gettin’ experimental. To be perfectly honest – I’ve never cooked “Beer Can Chicken“. Shoving a shiny can of Pabst up the southern-most end of a bird and grilling the bejeezus out of it, just doesn’t appeal to me. I’m dubious that it adds any real moisture, and even more doubtful that an unadulterated warm beer enema is suitable flavoring for…well, anything.   That being said… I watch a lot of PBS cooking shows. You always learn something new and you don’t have to contend with a lot of flappy patter from personalities trying to be …well, charming…. they just cook. I catch episodes of Steven Raichlen’s Primal Grill periodically. I find it to be one of the best grill-specific instructionals out there. I say instructional, because he is kinda hard to listen to. Stilted, monotone …

A New England (inspired) Clam Chowder

Every culture has a dish, or handful of dishes, that they claim the all-encompassing rights to. Here in the South, it’s grits… and fried chicken. Although.. truth be told, I grew up here and I still have no clear understanding exactly what Southern Fried Chicken is. If I go by my Great Grandmother, it’s heavily peppered, pan fried chicken, placed in a pan after cooking – covered and allowed to steam…. it isn’t crunchy. Jane’s is crunchy… but no pepper. Evelyn’s was buttermilk dipped, but not steamed. … and on and on it goes, throughout every single household here in the Deep South – slight differences in techniques, varying outcomes, different seasoning profiles… but all of them Southern Fried Chicken. It’s ours… we Own it. So, I get it when someone from New England foams at the corners of the mouth when some outlander makes a “traditional” Clam Chowder. It’s just one of those things that if you aren’t from here (well, there)… you can’t make. I’m sensitive to that. That’s why you never see me make a …

Under Pressure – Braised Back Ribs

This was actually the first thing we did in the micro cooker. Seeing that I really didn’t want to waste a lot of money on something just in case the end product was a hot steaming mess. I’ve opted to take the basic timing and procedures for the Lamb Shank recipe in the provided cookbookerlette and apply that thought process to something about the same quality and texture – Beef Back Ribs. This recipe consists of 1 pound of badly cut beef back ribs – 8 Pieces of Rib – $3.95 total…(on sale at the market today) Considering that to get back ribs.. or shanks… or shoe leather edible should take between 2.5 to 3 hours in a conventional oven… or up to 8 hours in a slow cooker, I’m calling this a win. The ribs are very tender, although some of the rib connective membrane hasn’t softened up as much as I like. And to be totally honest, that probably would have corrected itself if I had removed the chine off the backside of the riblettes. …

Tahini Grilled Chicken

  Yes, yes… it does day “eating allergy free” up there in the picture. But, before you go all cat lady crazy on me – let me explain. First off, I’m not calling it “All Encompassing Allergy Free” because frankly if you go that far, you’re just living off air… that’s been scrubbed… and hasn’t been anywhere near people… or farms… We, unfortunately, have a very specific set of allergens that I have to navigate in order to provide food that is tasty, appealing, and somewhat resembles foods we used to enjoy. And instead of dredging all that back up here.. just go back to The Long, Slow Train to Crazytown and catch up. The thing is.. we like peanut satays. Scratch that – we love anything with peanuts. But like the train ride tells you, it’s just another of the things I’ve had to scour out of our diet. Among the substitutions I’ve been testing in our diet, I’ve found that Jane has absolutely no issue with sesame… in any form. Lately, she’s even …

Kitchen Fodder – Meatballs Under Pressure

Curry No, I’m not talking about the little red & white can that sits in the pantry growing dust bunnies because you only pull it out once every 6 years to make those curried glazed carrots you’ve read so much about. No. That stuff is for Cretans and Malcontents.  Anywhere else in the world, curry is a dance – a give and take of spices and aromatics – that when blended properly, transforms a dish to such exotic heights, it is the culinary equivalent of Mount Everest…. (sought by many, obtained only by the very adventurous). So… Seeing the Curried Lamb Meatball recipe the the little CooksEssentials Microwave Pressure Cookery Bookerlette… I was intrigued… but very, very cautious. Like most things, I monkeyed around with their recipe. Not because I’m just a bad person, but like finding that curry nirvana, I have my own particular likes and dislikes that play into the picture when creating that perfect spice blend. Granted, if you’re not terribly particular, you could just open up that red/white container and hawk in 2 big spoonfuls …

Chicken Pot Pie

In the past, my experiences with Chicken Pot Pie have been nothing to sing about … they’ve been those frozen, gooey,  little individual things with the grainy crust, an over-abundance of English peas, and chicken – like substance.   I knew I could do better than those things. And, I did. Rich, thick, chicken-y sauce…   the perfect blend of seasonings….  a carefully balanced ratio of meat – to – veg – to – peas… … and a flaky crust to kill for…. really, “kill ’em done dead.” So, dig out you favorite big-ass casserole pan and let’s get at it.   Plate Fodder’s – Chicken Pot Chicken Pot Chicken Pot Pie! Serves 6 For the Crust: 2 Cups AP Flour 1 Teaspoon Salt 1/2 Cup Cold Butter 1/2 Cup Cold Lard 1/2 Cup Ice Water (more or less) The tools of the Trade: Food Processor Zipper Bag Freezer Flour for Rolling the dough Rolling Pin For the Filling: 3 (6 to 8 ounce) Boneless / Skinless Chicken Breasts 1/2 Cup Water 1/3 Cup EACH …

OPA! ~ The Moussaka Experiment

It’s a funny thing when you start researching a recipe. It begins with one simple recipe… then two; both asserting THEY are the traditional recipe. Then there’s recipes three through 15 with only 1/2 of the ingredients – also staking their claim to the birthright. Then there are the ones with potatoes for the base, and an equal number disallowing any knowledge of potatoes. Ones with eggplant stack up against the horde of Greek Mothers that adamantly state there are no eggplants in moussaka. Beef vs Lamb Phyllo Crust vs Bread Crumbs Traditional Greek Cheese vs Cheddar & Parmesan Crushed Tomatoes vs Puree Bechamel vs White Sauce and so it went for 62 separate and distinct recipes… each and every one claiming to be the one and only. In the end, I chose none of them as my recipe. Instead, I became a little like Dr. Frankenstein and created my Greek monster out of 12 different moussakas. So, why all the fuss? Here’s the thing.   Like a lot of people, I have my own ideas what good …

Goofin’ on Grandma

Oddly, I come across a recipe for Grandma Pizza about once a month. I see it… I think, “huh, all those tomatoes and oil… that can’t be good.” And I pass on to the next sexy bit of food porn that inevitably fills my inbox. Given that I’ve been craving a slice of cheesy heaven lately, my curiosity got the better of me and I drug out one of those “best damned pizza in the world” grandma pizza recipes to see what all the fuss was about. I still didn’t like the idea of just tomatoes and oil, and I wasn’t all that keen on a super thin crust. In my head, I could just see a soggy behemoth coming out of the oven… so I took the idea of it all, and made it something else entirely. So… what is a Grandma Pizza? It’s a pie that appears to be widely popular in Queens and Brooklyn. It’s a Sicilian style pizza with a super thin, square crust – Topped with cheese and scattered with seasoned, crushed …

All Stuck Up – Chicken Paella, on a Stick

I know at times, it seems that I’m all in for making simple food look impossibly difficult – 76.4% of my recipes should attest to that. But, let’s clear the air here. Contrary to what you may think, it’s not that I want to frighten the bejeezus out of you so you’ll Never want to try them. It’s that:  * I believe in being thorough. There’s nothing… Nothing.. I hate more than a recipe that leaves things off the list… it really cranks my rice krispies. * I believe you should have everything you could possibly need spelled out. Because, let’s face it. Left to your own devices, some of you wont read the entire recipe, or will make  * your own substitutions, or just get the general gist of the instructions and “Damn the torpedoes – Full speed ahead!” – – -and then complain because it didn’t turn out right. * I believe, that given exhaustive instructions, anyone can cook what I give you. And really, that’s the beginning of trying anything new. Read …

Weeknight Meals – Salisbury Steak

Although the creation of Salisbury Steak is attributed to Dr. J.H. Salisbury  as a means of creating a lower calorie diet in the same odd turn-of-the-century healthcare craze that gave us Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, the “true” Salisbury Steak bares little resemblance to what we make today.  In his book, “The Relation of Alimentation and Disease”, he describes it as  lean, center-cut round – chopped with all the sinew, fat and tendon removed – broiled….. and served with a little Worcestershire Sauce. I know… sounds dreadful. Thank God we turned it into meatloaf patties… because, you know… meatloaf IS so much better for you. ________________________________________________________________ Here’s the thing with the modern Salisbury Steak. While is it’s still a kind of a meat loaf thing, there are a few differences: It’s meat – of course There is some sort of extender – be it grated potatoes, rice, bread crumbs (although thoughts differ on that part of it. Me? I like a little bread) There are vegetables – usually onions and / or celery Seasoning – Worcestershire Sauce, salt, pepper, …