Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Sweet Chicken Bacon Wraps
1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless, chicken breasts (about 4 breasts) 1 (1-pound) package sliced bacon 2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar 2 tablespoons chili powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes. Cut each bacon slice into thirds. Wrap each chicken cube with bacon and secure with a wooden pick. Stir together brown sugar and chili powder. Dredge wrapped chicken in mixture. Coat a rack and broiler pan with nonstick cooking spray. [I covered the pan with aluminum foil because I knew it would make a mess and it did.] Place chicken wrap on rack in broiler pan. Bake at 350° for 30 to 35 minutes or until bacon is crisp.
Recipe Summary Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 25 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 12 to 15 appetizer servings User Rating: 5 stars
I was able to de-bone the breast and cut it into 20 cubes. I had halved the sugar/chili mixture and that was about right - there was a little left over, but not much.
Tonight I made The Y chili, a relic from hubby and my past. The town we grew up in had a greasy spoon in the YMCA building, affectionately known to us as the Y. Their chili was a legend, and one of hubby's mom's friends asked the cook how he made it, and he told her. Here is my take, 50 years later. Hubby and I were talking at supper that the original was very salty, but no one eats as much salt today as they did back then. We're also a lot more aware of fat content too. So here's how I do it to get the taste and texture without so much salt and fat. The ground beef is not in chunks or hunks - it's in very fine "beads."
Y chili for hot dogs (hamburgers and fries)
2 lbs. ground beef, not round or sirloin
about 2 quarts cool tap water
16 oz. tomato sauce
2 tablespoons good quality chili powder
2 tablespoons dehydrated minced onion
1 tablespoon beef bouillon granules
1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
(I added no salt - the bouillon and tomato sauce have plenty.)
Put the water and ground beef in a large saucepan or dutch oven and use your hands to squeeze them together into a pudding-like mixture. Put on the burner on high to bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and cook until the meat is no longer pink. It will be sort of grayish-brown. Drain off the liquid and that will remove the fat also. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well. You'll need to add some water to thin it down some. If you can avoid adding the fat back, you can use a little bit at a time of the water the meat was cooked in till you get the right consistency - not too thin, not too thick. Otherwise, just use fresh water. Simmer at least 30 minutes covered. Will be even better the next day. I always freeze and LABEL the leftover in 1 cup lots. That's enough for 6 to 8 hot dogs.
That's it for tonight.
Sunday, February 3, 2008
Cook until tender chicken pieces that will give you 2 to 2-1/2 cups diced meat, approx. 45 minutes – time depends on size and type of pieces. Or use leftover chicken or supermarket Rotisserie chicken.
Prepare 1 box of Uncle Ben’s Wild and White Rice Mix according to package directions. When rice is cooked spread in bottom of 9” x 9” Pyrex baking dish.
While rice cooks, de-bone and cube chicken – need 2 to 2-1/2 cups.
Preheat oven to 425°.
Also while rice cooks, make white sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 c milk
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Bring to a boil and cook 2 minutes until thickened and bubbly. Stir almost constantly.
Reduce heat; add 6 to 8 oz. cubed Velveeta and 1 cup (8 oz.) sour cream. Stir until cheese is melted. Stir in the cubed chicken. (Next time consider adding toasted slivered almonds for taste or frozen peas and diced pimiento for color.) Pour over rice in the casserole.
Melt 3 tablespoons additional butter; toss 24 crushed saltines with the butter. Sprinkle over the casserole.
Bake uncovered at 425° for 10 to 15 minutes or until heated through and saltines are golden. Serves 4 to 6 people.
This morning, Kat cooked up a storm in my kitchen - homemade pound cake, two bite brownies, cheese ball, teriyaki wings, and she got together the ingredients for the meatballs that she'll prepare at her friend's house. She reminds me of my late mother-in-law. She was a whirling dervish in the kitchen. She could cook up a scratch meal in 1 hour and have the kitchen clean at the same time.
That's all for tonight.
Saturday, February 2, 2008
Well, on to the recipes. One that I always get requests for is "Janet's Cheese ball." Janet is my niece. She brought this to my house for Christmas 10 years ago, although it seems like yesterday. That's what happens when you get old - time just flies on by. I like this because it's easy to keep the ingredients on hand, it's quick, and it makes just a small amount, but it's easy to double, triple, quadruple (yes, I have), well, you get the idea.
For each 8 oz. block of cream cheese you need 1 pkg. of Good Seasons Italian dressing mix, kept dry (regular or the Zesty, you can’t tell the difference)
Jane’s Crazy Mixed Up Pepper
Soften the cream cheese to room temperature and mix in the dry salad dressing. Form into a ball and roll it in Jane’s Crazy Mixed Up Pepper. That’s it. Do make at least a few hours ahead of time so the veggie flakes from the dressing can rehydrate.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Simmer covered in a dutch oven about 25 minutes: 4 bone-in, skin on chicken breasts
2 tablespoons instant chicken bouillon
3 tablespoons dehydrated onion flakes
Water to cover
The bouillon takes the place of salt and intensifies the flavor. If you're using left over chicken, use 2 - 3 cups.
Then add to the above from larger bags: 1 cup frozen green peas
1 cup frozen carrots
Return to a boil and simmer for about 15 more minutes.
Remove the chicken from the broth and add i can of small potatoes, drained and cubed so that they can heat. If you don't want to use canned, add one peeled medium cubed white potato when you are adding the peas and carrots above
Let the chicken cool slightly before skinning, boning and cutting it into bite sized pieces. Place the chicken evenly over the bottom of a 2 quart (13" x 9") Pyrex baking dish.
Preheat the oven to 350°.
Make a thick white sauce in a sauce pan: 6 tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup of plain flour
3 cups of milk
3/4 teaspoon of salt
pepper to taste
Melt butter, add flour,salt, and pepper and blend till smooth. Cook until bubbly and then add the milk and return to a slow boil. Simmer till thickened, stirring frequently to keep from sticking.
Drain the chicken/veggie broth and save it for another purpose. Arrange the veggies on top of the chicken. Pour the white sauce evenly over all.
Make the topping: Blend one stick of melted butter and
1 cup self-rising flour. Mixture will be very stiff.
Whisk in 1 cup of milk.
Pour the topping evenly over the ingredients already in the baking dish. Bake 50 - 60 minutes.
Note: You can use caned evaporated milk in the white sauce and use equal parts of the broth to reconstitute it (12 oz. of each).
Now it's time for me to get started on mine for tonight.
Friday, January 25, 2008
First I want to share the recipe for Ham Delights that my daughter will need if she decides to make them for the Super Bowl Party.
This version is from Cooks.com with a few tweaks from me.
2 sticks of butter
3 tablespoons of poppy seeds (the seeds may cause someone to test positive on certain drug tests, and I usually reduce the amount to 2 tablespoons)
1 medium onion, very finely chopped
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons of prepared yellow mustard
1 lb. boiled ham, chopped
1/2 lb. Swiss cheese, cut into small squares
3 packages of Pepperidge Farms party rolls (These are the rolls that are about the diameter of a quarter. I use rolls the size of the dinner rolls that White Castle burgers are made on - 2 dozen. I have even used Sub rolls before when not preparing them for a party.)
Blend the first five ingredients together and spread on both sides of the cut surfaces of the rolls. Try to keep the sheets of rolls attached because it will be easier to spread the butter mixture that way. Divide the ham and cheese evenly between all the rolls. and and if they came in aluminum foil trays, cover tightly with foil. If the rolls came in a plastic bag, completely wrap the assembled delights into two or three foil packages. At this point you can freeze them for later use or to use at different times. When ready to serve, preheat oven to 400° and heat still in the foil 10 minutes or until very warm. If you froze them, increase heating time and lower the oven temperature to 350° so that they will thaw inside before drying out or burning on the outside.
Well, that's it for today. I'll try to get back here tomorrow.