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Archive for March, 2010

This is one of Mark’s favorites, and if taken to a Chinese Restaurant, will order this, guaranteed! So, I have been making this for years to accommodate his in between restaurant visits. It is really good, and if I make the Egg yoo Yung with it, I’m golden!  This particular recipe is a Chinese inspired American dish mostly served in Michigan Chinese Restaurants. This recipe originally came from the Detroit Free Press.

Almond Chicken

2 Whole Chicken Breasts, skinned, boned, and cut in half

1/2 tsp. Salt

1 Tbsp. Dry Sherry

Sauce:

4 Tbsp. Cornstarch

3 Tbsp. Water

3 Cups Chicken Broth

1 1/2 Cups Chopped Mushrooms (Optional)

3 Tbsp. Chicken Fat or Butter

2 tsp. Soy Sauce

3 tsp. Chicken Bouillon Cubes

Batter:

3 Tbsp. Cornstarch

3 Tbsp. Flour

1/2 tsp. Baking Powder

1 Egg, beaten

1 Tbsp. Water

Vegetable Oil for Frying

1 Cup Shredded Lettuce

1/3 Cup Toasted,  Almond Slivers or Slices

1 Green Onion, finely Chopped (Green & White Parts)

Directions:

Sprinkle chicken with salt and sherry. Set aside for 15 minutes.

Prepare Sauce:

In a small saucepan, stir together cornstarch and water until smooth. Gradually stir in chicken broth, mushrooms if desired,chicken fat, soy sauce and chicken bouillon. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Let boil 1 minute. Keep warm.

Prepare Batter:

Beat together cornstarch, flour and baking powder, egg and water until smooth. Coat each piece of chicken with batter.

Pour vegetable oil into a large skillet or wok to the depth of 1/2 inch; heat to 375 degrees F. Cook coated chicken pieces in oil, turning once until golden 5 to 7 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

Cut chicken pieces diagonally into strips. Reassemble strips in chicken breast shape and place on a bed of shredded lettuce. Sprinkle with almonds and green onions. Spoon sauce over chicken and serve immediately.

According to about.com Egg foo Yung is based on an authentic Chinese dish. Fu Yung Egg Slices, is an elaborate Shanghai recipe made with beaten egg whites and minced ham, possibly named for the lotus flower. A Northern Chinese version replaces the ham with chicken breast. From these dishes came the Egg Foo Yung many of us remember enjoying in Chinese-American Restaurants through the 1950′s and 1960′s. A deep fried pancake filled with eggs, vegetables and meat or seafood. Today, homemade Egg Foo Yung is normally pan-fried instead.

That’s the way I did mine too, I pan fried them. For more flavor, blanch or stir fry the veggies, before adding to the egg mixture even if the recipe doesn’t call for it. Make sure blanched vegetables, are well drained.

Egg Foo Yung

adapted from: About.com

6 Eggs

3 Cups Bean Sprouts, Fresh or Canned

1/4 Small Onion, diced

3 Slices Ham, diced

1/2 Cup Mushrooms, diced

1/2 Cup Green or Red Pepper, diced

3 Tbsp. Flour

1/4 tsp. Salt

Vegetable Oil as needed for frying (I used Sesame Oil)

Gravy for Egg Foo Yung

3 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil or Sesame Oil (I used Sesame Oil)

4 Tbsp. Flour

2 Cups Chicken Broth

2 Tbsp. Oyster Sauce

2 tsp. Dry Sherry (I used White Wine)

1/4 tsp. Salt

1/4 tsp. White Pepper

In a small skillet, stir fry the diced onion, mushrooms and peppers. Stir fry until the mushrooms release their moisture and evaporate. Drain, if needed and Set aside.  In a medium bowl, slightly beat the eggs. Add the bean sprouts, ham and stir fried vegetables. Stir in the flour and the salt. Set aside.

Make the gravy:

Mix oil and flour in a preheated skillet to make a roux. Gradually stir in broth along with remaining gravy ingredients, cooking until a gravy consistency is reached. Taste, adjust seasonings and keep warm while cooking the eggs. To vary the gravy, add diced cooked chicken, pork or shrimp to it.

Heat wok or heavy skillet over medium heat until hot. Add 2 Tbsp. Oil and heat. Ladle mixture into mounds in skillet. Using a spatula, gently flatten the mounds. Cook until the underside is brown, turn over, and continue cooking for 6 to 7 minutes more. (Add more oil if needed, before flipping). Remove and drain. Pour gravy over eggs at serving.

Yield: 6 to 8 depending on how large you make the patties.

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The Good Old All American Hamburger. I love a hamburger once in a while.  We almost always do ours on the grill, and this one is no exception, Except, I didn’t have any hamburger buns, didn’t have time to make them, and didn’t want to run to the store. So I took bread, toasted it, and cut circles out of them with the biggest round cookie cutter I had. Worked good too!! (Kids didn’t mind as long as there was no crust. I make their toast with the cookie cutter too. Keeps them happy.)   These are seasoned with Bone Suckin Sauce Rub & Seasoning. I topped mine with Mayonnaise, Honey Mustard, a couple squeezes of Ketchup, Lettuce, Onion and homemade refrigerator pickles.

These are Delicious!!  My daughter, never lets me run out of them. I like making these when cucumbers are in season, straight out of my garden. And they are so easy.

Refrigerator Pickles

3 Quarts Water

1 Quart White Vinegar

1 Cup Kosher Salt

4-5 Pounds Cucumbers, unpeeled, sliced thin

1 Bunch Fresh Dill

1 Head Fresh Garlic

Peppercorns (I like to use the colored ones, Black Peppercorns will work just as well.)

In a large Pot, combine water, white vinegar, and salt. Bring to a boil.  Remove from heat, cool to room temperature and refrigerate overnight.  Pack sliced cucumbers in jars. Add at least 2 dill sprigs and 4 whole garlic cloves to each jar. Pack with cucumbers, add peppercorns, and fill with the cold brine. Secure lids and refrigerate at least 3 days before opening. (I usually let them set at least 2 weeks before opening them.) These are absolutely delicious!  And did I mention Easy!!

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I seen this in Taste of Home Prize Winning Recipes magazine.  It looked so good I had to try it. Of course, I was not able to follow the recipe exactly, but that was due to me not planning ahead!  They turned out great anyways. I will give you the recipe, and than explain how I had to do mine. It was really tasty and Mark went back for a second helping.

Bacon Cheese Topped Chicken

From: Taste of Home

Mushroom, bacon strips and Monterey Jack cheese top these tender marinated chicken breasts that provide an unforgettable dining experience with just a little fuss. I get compliments whenever I serve them.

- Melanie Kennedy from Battle Ground, Washington

1/2 Cup Dijon Mustard

1/2 Cup Honey

4 1/2 tsp. Canola oil, divided

1/2 tsp. Lemon Juice

4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts Halves

1/4 tsp. Salt

1/8 tsp. Pepper

Dash Paprika

2 Cups Sliced Fresh Mushrooms

2 Tbsp. Butter

1 Cup (4 oz.) Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese

1 Cup (4 oz.) Shredded Cheddar Cheese

8 Bacon Strips, partially Cooked

2 tsp. Minced Fresh Parsley

1. In a small bowl, combine the mustard, honey, 1 1/2 tsp. Oil and lemon juice. Pour 1/2 cup into a large resealable plastic bag; add the chicken. Seal the bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for 2 hours.

Cover and refrigerate the remaining marinade.

2. Drain and discard the marinade from chicken . In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the chicken in the remaining oil on all sides. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika. Transfer to a greased 11 X 7 inch baking dish.

3. In the same skillet, saute mushrooms in butter until tender. Spoon reserved marinade over chicken. Top with cheeses and mushrooms. Place bacon strips in a crisscross pattern over chicken.

4. Bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees F. for 20-25 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 170 degrees. Sprinkle with parsley and serve at once.

The way I had to do mine.

I made half of the marinade. I cooked bacon in a skillet and drained all of the grease except for 2 Spoonfuls. I than took the chicken breasts and between 2 sheets of waxed paper, pounded the chicken breasts thin. I than put them in the skillet with the bacon grease, sprinkled them with lemon pepper and Bone Suckin’ Sauce Rub & Marinade and pan fried them until they were golden brown on one side, covered the pan and continued cooking until juices ran clear. Remove the chicken from the skillet, and add the mushrooms. Stir fry the mushrooms until mushrooms release their juices. Stir the marinade into the pan to de-glaze. Return chicken to pan and stir, mixing well. Place cheese on the chicken breast, crisscross bacon, and spoon sauce over chicken. Serve at once.  I think these could be served on Sandwich Rolls with excellent results.

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Recently I had the pleasure of reviewing:  “Ham: An Obsession with the Hindquarter“, by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough. It’s a delightful, witty, well written  recipe book featuring “Ham” in all shapes, sizes and different ways to prepare it.  I liked “The Ingredient Scoop”, giving you descriptions of some of the ingredients, and what to do with them, and tester’s notes that comes with just about every recipe,  giving you invaluable information about buying, preparing and serving ham.  There’s not a picture for every recipe, but the charm and wittiness of the book more than makes up for it. I liked the quality of the book.  The pages had a nice and thick feeling, ensuring that the book will last a longtime.  I had a hard time choosing a couple recipes to post on the blog. Your going to want to make them all! I enjoyed the book and will be using it quite often. I highly recommend it.  An Example of some of the recipes listed in the book: “Cold Fresh Ham in Garlic Sauce”, “Steamed Ham Buns”, “Serreno Wrapped Scallops”,” Hammy Reuben Bites”, and a most unusual Mac & Cheese dish.  I could go on and on.  There is so many delicious sounding dishes that I wanted to make them all. (and will) I’ve never found a book with so many recipes that I’ve wanted to try in one cover!  For now, I settled on two to post on my blog. I picked the first one, Pizza Quick Bread, because Mark (Mr. Fire) loves pizza, and would eat it every day if I made it. He never gets sick of it!

Pizza Quick Bread

By: “Ham, An Obsession with the Hindquarter”

Yields: 1 loaf

With prosciutto in the mix, this quick bread tastes like pizza – a great treat for the kids when they come home from school, or for weekend quests who’ve announced they intend to stay Sunday night rather than going home as planned.

6 Tbsp. Olive Oil, plus additional for greasing the loaf pan

1 Medium Leak, white and pale green part only, halved lengthwise washed carefully to remove the grit,

and very thinly sliced

2 Medium Green Bell Peppers, cored, seeded and diced (I used Red, that’s all I had)

1 Medium Garlic Clove, minced

3 oz. Thinly Sliced Prosciutto Crudo or Jamon Serrano, diced

1 1/2 Cups canned reduced sodium tomato Sauce

2 oz. Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated, (about 1/4 cup)

2 tsp. Minced Oregano leaves

2 tsp. Minced Rosemary Leaves

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/2 tsp. Freshly Ground Black Pepper

2 Large Eggs, at room temperature and lightly beaten

1 2/3 Cups All Purpose Flour

2 Tbsp. Sugar

1 1/2 Tbsp. Baking Powder

1. Set the rack in the middle of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees. Then lightly oil the inside of a 9-by-5 inch loaf pan, making sure you get the interior corners well coated. (If you’re using a glass loaf pan, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil, tilt skillet this sway and that to make sure its interior is well coated with oil, and then add the leek and bell peppers. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables have begun to soften, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 15 seconds. Dump into a large bowl and cool for 10 minutes.

3. Stir in the diced ham, tomato sauce, cheese, oregano, rosemary, salt and pepper. Once everything’s pretty well blended, stir in the beaten eggs until just combined.

4. Add the flour, sugar, and baking powder. Stir just until there are no traces of flour left, then spread into the prepared loaf pan.

5. Bake until somewhat firm, rounded, and lightly browned, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center of the loaf comes out with no crumbs attached, about 50 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before unmolding. Either slice up to serve, or continue cooling on the wire rack for 2 hours, then wrap in plastic wrap  and store at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Verdict:

This bread was really impressive. It truly tasted like pizza. Although a little strong on the rosemary, it blended well with the rest of the flavors in the bread, making it quite tasty.   The bread was really moist and tender. I would definitely make this bread again. The Pizza man, (Mark) had this to say: Very Unique! Not what I was expecting at all. I’ve never had bread like this before! It looks like bread, but tastes like pizza!  Wow!  He continued to eat several more pieces.

The second recipe I chose is Deviled Eggs.  Almost everyone likes Deviled Eggs.  Any kind of gathering, you almost always find a plate of Deviled eggs, and they’re usually the first empty dish on the table!

Deviled Eggs With Ham

By: “Ham An Obsession with the Hindquarter”

Makes 12 Deviled Egg halves

6 Large Eggs

4 oz. smoked, wet-cured ham, such as a spiral sliced ham, any savory coating removed, finely chopped into 1/4 inch bits

1 Medium Scallion, minced

2 Tbsp. Mayonnaise (Regular, low fat, or fat free)

2 Tbsp. Minced Celery (about 1/2 a small rib)

2 tsp. Jarred White Horseradish

1 tsp. White Vinegar

1 tsp. Minced Tarragon leaves or 1/2 tsp. Dried Tarragon

1/2 tsp. Dry Mustard

1/4 tsp. Cayenne, Optional

Several Dashes Hot Red Pepper Sauce, such as Tabasco Sauce, to taste

1. Set the eggs in a large saucepan, cover them with cool water until the water stands about 1 inch over the eggs, and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 2 minutes; then cover the pan and set off the heat for 7 minutes.

2. Carefully drain the pan over the sink, leaving the eggs inside; then run lots of cold tap water into it to bring eggs to room temperature. Peel off the shells

3. Split the eggs in half lengthwise and use a little spoon to scoop the yellow yolks into a large bowl, taking care not to break or tear the whites. Save these on a plate.

4. Mix the yolks with all the remaining ingredients. Using the back of a fork, mash the yolks fully into the mixture. Then use a small spoon to scoop to mound this mixture back into the indentations in the halved egg whites.

5. Place on a platter, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours so the flavors meld a bit.

Verdict:

These are Delicious!! I loved the ham and celery in these, and the spices in it were spot on.  I’ve never tasted Deviled Eggs like these, but will be adding them to my make again, and take to an outing book. These were gone in no time! Even the picky Grand babies devoured them!  I did cut down on the horseradish and hot spices because the Grand Babies were eating them too. I will make them again, with the cayenne pepper and hot sauce. I think Mark will like them even more with those additions.

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