Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Contest from Sub-Zero and Wolf brand and BlogHer.com

I have been following Natasha's Kitchen for a while now and have found her recipes to be intriguing and fun to make, I still have not tried making the Russian Pelmeni, but I will one day.
She has a recipe up now that is just in time for Thanksgiving for Juicy Roast Turkey that looks great. I have in the past placed a butter mixture under the skin of chicken, but have yet to try this with turkey.
As a part of her post there is a contest to win a gift certificate from a sponsor of hers Sub-Zero and Wolf brand, I am getting an entry into the contest for mentioning it here and you could, too.
I know that Sub-Zero and Wolf are very good appliances as we used to equip the yachts that worked on with them.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Rolling a Pie Video

The way you roll the dough is not critical, but I enjoy the method in the video. It was copied from Christopher Kimball of America’s Test Kitchen fame. You may end up with holes in your dough or a shape that is not very round, do not get discouraged it is perfectly fine to patch holes with scraps and it gives your pie a distinctive hominess, be sure to wet the edge of the patch with a little cold water to help it bond to the crust.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

Well I was supposed to put chicken breasts and thighs in the slow cooker for Shredded Chicken Sandwiches Thursday morning and that just did not happen. They were out of thighs at the grocery and so I thought it would be simple to get leg quarters, cut the thighs off and save the legs for another meal. I would have to do the "butchering" the night before, well that did not happen Wednesday night and the dish did not get made Thursday morning - no worries, we will just have Friday dinner on Thursday; Pan-fried beef steak, baked potato, and steamed veggies. The Wife O’ My Life decided that she did not want the potato and so I did not bake them. I sliced the medium-well steak fairly thin and put it on a bed of corn steamed with onions and peppers and topped it with pico de gallo for Sweet Wife. I had the corn also, but did not want any of the salsa, so I fried up a bunch of mushrooms to go with my very rare steak. It was excellent.
So this all means that I need to get the chicken in the slow cooker on Friday morning, again it did not happen. I looked for a recipe I had made before where I took leg quarters and placed them standing up in the rack that came with my roasting pan and cooked them on the BBQ, I know it came from America’s Test Kitchen (ATC), but I thought before I tear into my ATC cookbooks I would do a quick search on the Web. I was so glad I did; I found a recipe from Rachel Ray for Pulled Chicken that was so simple and the ingredients are all fairly healthy, OK the BBQ sauce is a bit out of the healthy box, but not too far. Best thing was it was ready in less than an hour.

The ingredient list is short and all right there in my pantry (I do not keep chicken in my pantry, but you know what I mean, right?):
2 lbs. boneless chicken breasts, about 4 halves, seasoned with salt and pepper
1 onion and 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 1/3 cup BBQ sauce (most of an 18oz bottle)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
Hot pepper sauce

Toss the chicken, onion, and garlic in a Dutch oven or other large pan and then pour about 1 1/2 cups water in, just to cover the chicken. Add the BBQ sauce, when I do not make my own I use Bulls Eye brand because it tastes best to me and if that is not enough ATK says it is their go-to brand in a hurry, also add the vinegar and a few drops of hot sauce, I know I do not even deserve to be called a cook because I was out of Tabasco Sauce (who does not have Tabasco Sauce) so I used some chili sauce called Tuong Ot Sriracha it has a rooster on the front so it is rooster sauce to me. Bring this all to a boil and then reduce to a quick simmer for about fifteen minutes. When the chicken is done take it out and set it on a platter or cutting board to cool a little and set the timer for fifteen minutes, again. While the sauce simmers and reduces to about half of its former self you can shred the chicken. Rachel Ray wanted me to use two forks to shred the chicken, but I like to hold the chicken with one hand and shred it with a fork in the other hand…I am writing this with a cartoon bandage on the index finger of the holding hand, so you decide if you need one or two forks – do you need two fully functioning hands? Not always. Anyway the only thing left to do is to put the shredded chicken, and any liquid it has accumulated, back into the sauce and if need be heat it back up a bit. We served it on soft dinner rolls with a slice of pepper jack cheese. It was very good.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Alton Brown's Chicken Dinner

I discovered Alton Brown from The Food Network, OK I suppose you all have heard of him and some may even follow him, but I do not get the Food Network and had never heard of him. He made a series of YouTube videos answering questions about Thanksgiving feast planning and preparation. Funny guy with lots of good sense, one thing he pointed out was that raw does not necessarily mean fresh when it comes to turkey frozen can mean fresher and they usually have a less traumatic – temperature wise – trip to market. Maybe that is why I think he is so clever, I have been using frozen birds for years for the same reason. The cleverest people in the world are the ones that agree with us!

I watched an episode of show that airs on The Food Network called Best Thing I Ever Made and he made what looked like a tasty dish called Smoked Paprika Chicken Thighs with Potato and Onion. If you go to BTIEM - Chicken Dinner (Alton Brown) on YouTube you will find it. The show was interesting and the chicken dinner looked fabulous, so I thought I would try it out on my family.

Smoked Paprika Chicken Thighs with Potato and Onion

Alton Brown Food Network
Prep time: 40 minutes – Cook time: 60 minutes – Level: Easy – Serves 6-8


pimento stuffed green olives, chopped
2 t
lemon zest
2 cloves
garlic, grated
3 T
smoked paprika
1 t
olive oil
1 1/2 t
kosher salt
1/4 t
black pepper, freshly ground
8 each
bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
2 pounds
Yukon gold potatoes, unpeeled
1 medium
yellow onion, frenched (see the video)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Combine the olives, lemon zest and garlic in a small bowl. Set aside.
Mix the smoked paprika, olive oil, 3/4 teaspoon of the salt and pepper into a paste in a large bowl.
Lay the chicken thighs skin-side down. Using a pair of kitchen shears, make a cut down the length of the bone to expose it, then cut the meat away from the bone. Discard the bone. Add the boned chicken thighs to the paste and massage to coat.

Thinly slice the potatoes on a mandolin, about 1/4-inch thick. Arrange the potato slices and onion pieces in an even layer on a foil-lined half sheet pan and sprinkle with the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt.
Stuff about 2 tablespoons of the olive mixture under the skin of each chicken thigh. Arrange the chicken thighs, skin-side up, on a cooling rack and set the rack over the potatoes and onion in the half sheet pan. Bake until the skin is crispy and the potatoes are tender, 55 to 60 minutes. If you prefer the potatoes crispy, remove the rack with the chicken and return to the oven for an additional 5 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Long Time Gone

I just noticed that it has been almost two years since I wrote in my blog and the last blog I posted said I was going to start writing more often...ha! That did not happen, now did it?
I am trying to figure out how I can incorporate my new found healthy eating habits into a blog that might interest some folks to read. I have been doing well in controlling my diabetes the last six months or so and I have always balked at watching my salt intake, but it seems my blood pressure was rising to above normal so my diabetic counselor, Tara, talked me into trying to restrict my sodium intake. For a month and a half I brought my sodium intake to about 1,200 mg per day and dropped my BP by about ten points - I am sold on that. It is a bit trickier than restricting carbs because almost anything you break out of a package already done and delicious for you, is probably loaded with sodium.
1 cup Buitoni Three Cheese Tortellini = 460 mg
1/2 cup Buitoni Marinara Sauce = 540 mg
1 slice Texas Toast = 209 mg
Total 1,209 mg sodium and then, God forbid you should have seconds...or breakfast and lunch.
I found some ways to make a lot of the recipes I use for family dinners and personal lunches and breakfasts a lot healthier, so that is what I hope to blog about. I will bring recipe make-overs and tips and tricks I learn along the way.

The above dinner, for me, has changed to:
1 cup Barilla Tortellini = 243mg (not reviewed as highly  in America's Test Kitchen, but still a good pasta)
1/2 cup Newman's Own Marinara Sauce = 51mg
1 Plain Bread Stick = 66mg
I improved the dinner to the tune of 360mg for dinner, I could even keep the Texas Toast and still come out with room for lunch and breakfast.

Eating healthy is more expensive and it takes considerable effort, but the rewards are manifold.

Friday, May 6, 2011

New Direction

Well, I failed the original mission of this blog which was to record the baking experience of creating all the pies in Irma Rombauer's Joy of Cooking; All About Pies and Tarts cookbook. I have ignored my blog for a long time.
I have decided that I will renew my blog and the goal will be simply to record my adventures in cooking for my family and friends and, of course, I will continue baking and will share that also.
I still have a goal to finish Irma's book and I will! It may take a while, but I will finish it!

Monday, May 24, 2010

After the Linzertorte “bust” I decided to back to some basic Americana pie. What could be more American than peanut butter (yeah, yeah, I know you were going to say apple pie, but this is my blog) and chocolate?

Irma says in the book that this is a simple pie and sounds like kid stuff, but has a complexity and subtle flavor that will surprise.

We were invited over for dinner to the home of some of my favorite people ever. I first met Edwin and Patty when they were young and fresh married leaving for deep dark Africa as missionaries. In fact I met them at their going away potluck celebration as a guest of my best friend in the whole world Kevin. I remember a little envy at the things they were going to experience and accomplish. Between then and now the sun has risen and set quite a few times. Their twin daughters, Jessica and Bethany are both in their first year of high-school and the youngest; Tabitha is, well, I do not know how old she is…probably 6 or 8. Anyway we were invited to have supper with them and Patty tells me they are planning curry chicken. I tell her that curry wrecks havoc on my wife’s digestive system, so we had Mexican instead. Thanks, Patty.

I thought my daughter, Rachel would come with us and she was dragging her feet, not wanting to go and my son, Dave pops up with, “Hey, I want to go.” Then Rachel decides it might not be so terrible with Dave there. As it turned out we all have a really fun time and even Rachel, although she would not admit it, was glad she decided to go along.

I decided to bake and bring the Peanut Butter Pie. It has a crumb crust which can be made with graham crackers, but I thought it would be better made with chocolate wafer cookies. The filling itself is almost like a mousse, very light and the subtle flavor of peanut butter and cream cheese with the chocolate crust was very good by itself, but there was more. The pie is topped with a thin hard chocolate glaze and I made whipped cream for a garnish. There were nine of us and a pie that goes into eight servings so Patty and I cut it into ten slices. As it turned out we could have cut it into twelve servings because it was so rich.

Dinner was very good.

The company was great.

The game was goofy (fun).

And I think the pie turned out to be pretty good, too!

Thanks to our American-African friends for having us over.