Saturday, August 30, 2008

Buttermilk Fried Chicken



This is one of our families favorite dinners. If you have rice or mashed potatoes on hand, it makes a meal in a jiffy, with the addition of fresh green beans. You can always do canned or frozen ones too if you're in a pinch and can't make it to the store. I am really picky when it comes to my chicken - so I completely trim and de-yuck my breasts no matter what I am making. I love being able to customize the chicken to my families liking. This is what works best for us. You may want more spice or seasoning. Some may prefer less salt. It really is versatile and the base of a simple, easy-peasy basic fried chicken recipe. If your chicken is cut into strips or nuggets, you don't have to bake them in the oven. But when we do larger chicken breasts, I always bake to make sure they're done. You can take the whole pan you fried them in and place it in the oven, or you can move them to a foil-lined cookie sheet and use the pan for making some homemade gravy.


6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (trimmed)
2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 teaspoons garlic salt (3 for flour)
2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper (1 for milk and 1 for flour)
3 teaspoons onion powder (for flour)
1 teaspoon chili powder (for flour)
2 teaspoons or so paprika (for flour)
2 tablespoons parsley
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups Crisco or vegetable oil



Directions

1. In large bowl or baking dish, combine milk, vinegar, and minced garlic. Add garlic salt (or regular salt if you're not as into the garlic as our family) and fresh ground pepper. Add chicken. Let soak for about 30 minutes, or overnight if you prefer.

2. In a large, shallow bowl, whisk flour with 2 tablespoons garlic salt and remaining 2 teaspoons paprika. Dredge the chicken breasts in flour mixture, one at a time, making sure to coat evenly.

3. In a 12-inch large skillet (or other heavy-bottomed pan), heat oil to 350 degrees.

4. Carefully add pieces of chicken. Cook for 12 minutes; turning chicken gently with tongs, ONCE during the cooking process. Cook until a nice light/golden brown, and then, if using an oven-safe pan - move to oven and bake at 350 for about 25 minutes - or transfer to a cookie sheet before baking.

Chocolate-Mint Icebox Cake



Ingredients


Serves 8

♥ 1 3/4 cups heavy cream, chilled
♥ 1/4 cup sugar
♥ 3/4 teaspoon mint extract
♥ 1 package (9 ounces) chocolate wafers
♥ 1 cup miniature chocolate chips

Directions

1. Make the mint cream: With an electric mixer, beat heavy cream, sugar, and mint extract until stiff peaks form.

2. Line a serving platter with two sheets of wax paper side by side. Assemble the cake: Spread each wafer with about 1/2 tablespoon mint cream, forming stacks. Lay stacks horizontally along seam of paper, pressing gently to form a log. With small spatula or knife, cover log with remaining mint cream. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to 2 days.

3. To serve, gently remove wax paper from underneath cake (holding cake in place with a metal spatula, if necessary), and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Slice cake diagonally with a serrated knife.






Thank you, Martha!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Churros

So... once again we owe AllRecipes.com for this delicious recipe!



Ingredients:

* 1 cup water
* 2 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 2 quarts oil for frying
* 1/2 cup white sugar, or to taste
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Directions:

1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine water,
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar, salt and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil.
Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in flour until mixture forms a ball.

2. Heat oil for frying in deep-fryer or deep skillet to 375 degrees.
Pipe strips of dough into hot oil using a pastry bag.
Fry until golden; drain on paper towels.

3. Combine 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon.
Roll drained churros in cinnamon and sugar mixture.


They turned out AMAZING! Beckham ate nearly half of them.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Smoky BBQ Rub

We got this from Adam Gertler. We've made it twice, and it's absolutely amazing chicken!

1 cup kosher salt
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1 cup smoked paprika
1/2 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon dried thyme
4 - 6 garlic cloves

We used a whole, cut-up chicken and coated the pieces in the rub,
then put them into a cookie sheet, on top of a cooking rack.

We put the rosemary, thyme and the garlic in the bottom of the
cookie sheet, with a cup or so of water. Baked them in the oven
@ 375 for 45 minutes, turned them and let them cook for 45 more.

We've made them with rice and green beans,
but this recent time, we made fried corn to go with them.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My Chili

Ingredients

1 pound ground beef
1 pound stew meat (cut into bite sized pieces)
1 tablespoon shortening or olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons onion powder or 2 medium sized onions
6 cloves garlic, minced (if you don't have whole garlic, substitute 2 tablespoons of garlic powder)
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons dried oregano
4 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
4 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained

Directions

  1. Heat shortening in large stock pot.
  2. Add garlic, browning slightly, on medium heat.
  3. Add: ground beef, stew meat, salt, pepper and onion powder.
  4. Let meat cook for about 10 - 15 minutes.
  5. Add: tomato sauce, chili powder and oregano. Stirring well.
  6. Once it reaches boiling, turn it down to a simmer.
  7. Cook, covered, for about an hour, stirring occasionally.
  8. Stir in beans, simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes.

This is one of mine and hubby's FAVORITE dinner!
Goes perfectly with bread bowls!

Bread Bowls

So... tonight for dinner we're having homemade chili (love it, we'll have to post the recipe soon!)
and homemade bread bowls... I improvised a few things this time around, to see if I could
better perfect them. We'll have to see. The dough is rising as I am typing this post, can't wait to try them!

You'll need the following ingredients:

♥ 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
♥ 2 1/2 cups warm water
♥ 2 teaspoons salt
♥ 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
♥ 7 cups all-purpose flour (I sift mine and then measure it.)

♥ 1 tablespoon cornmeal
♥ 1 egg white
♥ 1 tablespoon water



***I added 1 tablespoon of white sugar to the yeast and water mixture.***
  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add salt, oil and 4 cups flour to the yeast mixture; beat well. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well with an electric mixer at medium speed after each addition.
  3. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes.
  4. Punch dough down, and divide into 8 equal portions. Shape each portion into a 4 inch round loaf. Place loaves on lightly greased baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in bulk, about 35 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). In a small bowl, beat together egg white and 1 tablespoon water; lightly brush the loaves with half of this egg wash.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Brush with remaining egg mixture, and bake 10 to 15 more minutes or until golden. Cool on wire racks.
  7. To make bowls: Cut a 1/2 inch thick slice from top of each loaf; scoop out centers, leaving 3/4-inch-thick shells. Fill bread bowls with hot soup and serve immediately.
As soon as they're done baking, I will get some pictures up and let you all know how they taste!