I haven’t posted a recipe in quite some time, so here is one sure to please!
My Dad loved to cook and when he said he was making this for dinner, my siblings & I were all on our best behavior (better behavior meant more chicken!). It’s Chicken in Lemon sauce, which I have lovingly renamed General Jim’s Lemon Chicken in honor of my Dad. Click that link for the printable version.
General Jim’s Lemon Chicken
¾ lb. skinned, boned chicken breasts
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon rice wine or dry sherry
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 egg yolk
1/8 teaspoon pepper
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons water
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Juice of one lemon (about ¼ cup)
6 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons flour
8 cups Crisco
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 sliced lemon for garnish, if desired
Cut chicken breasts into chunks. Combine marinade ingredients in a medium bowl. Add chicken chunks: mix well. Let stand at least 15 minutes (if longer, put in fridge). Combine ingredients for Lemon Sauce in small bowl, mix well with whisk & set aside. Mix flour & cornstarch in medium bowl. Once chicken is done marinating, place in flour mixture and mix to coat well. Heat Crisco in a wok or large frying pan. Once hot, lower flour-coated chicken into oil. Cook until done & golden brown. Remove chicken to paper towel on plate to drain off excess oil. In separate pan, heat 1 teaspoon of hot frying oil used to cook chicken. Heat pan with oil & then add Lemon Sauce. Bring to a boil, stirring with whisk. When sauce thickens slightly, add vegetable oil to make sauce glossy (totally optional – I have never done this and Lemon Sauce is glossy enough!) Toss in chicken to coat. Serve over white rice & enjoy!
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family has over the years. It is so light & delicious, it will wow any lucky recipient that you serve it to – promise.
So, just because I haven’t posted much about my Italian learning/cooking doesn’t mean there hasn’t been a lot going on. My expanding waistline is proof that I have gone full throttle into my Italian cooking, and I am loving it! I have made pasta, gnocchi, stuffed onions, and pizza. Ohhhhh, the pizza! My favorite thus far? Potato Pizza. Now, I know this may sound like a foreign concept (no pun intended) to us Meat Lovers Pizza people, but potatoes and pizza crust just work, especially with this recipe.
A little back story on my first introduction to potato pizza. My husband and I had been in Rome, Italy for almost a week when we discovered this quaint little pizzeria behind the Piazza Navona. It was a husband & wife team that owned it (sadly, I can’t remember the name or find it on the web to provide a link, sorry). Having a few hit-n-miss meals the week before, we were thrilled to discover this little jewel. While looking at our options of sliced pizza, we saw the potato pizza. I had never in my life seen potato pizza. “Really?” I asked the owner. She smiled and said, “Si!” and then held up a jar of chili oil. We decided to give it a whirl (we still had some sausage pizza in the bag) and she pulled out two pieces and drizzled chili oil on top of each. When we got back to our villa and tried this pizza, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. It was so good – and so dang simple. Potatoes! On pizza! Who knew? (The Italians, I guess!) We ate a lot more pizza from this pizzeria before we left Rome.
Now, I had not had potato pizza in 10 years when I decided to make the recipe I’m about to provide you. This version is slightly different than what we had in Rome. I can’t say what cheeses she put on her potato pizza, but this recipe calls for Taleggio & Parmesan, both of which you will find at a good cheese store or in your grocery store if they have an expanded cheese section. Taleggio is a stinky smelling cheese, but has a smooth, delicious flavor – worth finding, so try not to substitute. The next difference is this recipe uses pancetta. The pancetta takes this pizza to a whole new level.
Even though this potato pizza was different than what we had in Rome, the first bite took me back to that little pizzeria 10 years ago. This pizza is light & delicious, and so dang simple! You’ll be amazed at the flavorful punch from the few ingredients. My one suggestion – use a great quality olive oil on this pizza, as you’ll be drizzling a lot of it on while cooking! That and… don’t use the rind on the Taleggio cheese. It is edible (I use that word very loosely), but trust me… don’t use it or eat it. I’ve done the leg work for you on this issue. Enough said.
Until next time – Godetevi!
A new year, a new set of “goals” that I want to accomplish. In college, I studied and became fluent in German. I was quite the, “kleinen deutschen Sprecher.” But, after graduating, I used my German little, if at all, and my skills suffered. So, when listing my goals for 2011, becoming fluent in German once again was high on my list. Fabelhaft!
Or not… The more I thought about my goals, the more the German nagged me. I love the German language – sincerely. It suits my personality. However, my dream language at this stage of my life is Italian. My husband and I celebrated our college graduation by going to Rome for two weeks. We rented a fabulous villa near the Piazza Navona and, thus, my love affair with Italy began. I loved the food, the history, the people, the lifestyle and, of course, the language. And so, since I believe there is no time like the present, I have decided to learn Italian. Favoloso!
When I say I’m going to learn it, I mean I’m going all in. Not only am I going to learn it, but so is the Boss. In addition to our studies, once week we will cook an authentic Italian meal. Now, before I start posting recipes, experiences and whatnot from all this, I want to make it clear that I AM NOT trying to recreate Julie & Julia. I’m not cooking my way through an Italian cookbook, I’ll promise you that. Especially after I saw an Italian recipe called, ”Whitebait Fish Salad.” Pass.
Last night, I made, “Spaghetti Aglio, Olio e Peperconcino.” This translates to, “Spaghetti with garlic and Chile oil.” This recipe came from the Il cucchiaio d’argento cookbook. I read that the ingredients in this dish are never missing from any Italian kitchen, so I thought what better way to begin my Italian learning & cooking adventure. Here is the recipe, and you can print it here.
Spaghetti Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino
(Spaghetti with Garlic and Chile Oil)
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
½ fresh Chile, seeded and chopped
1 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprig, chopped
12 ounces spaghetti
Heat olive oil in a small pan, add the garlic and Chile and cook over low heat for a few minutes, until the garlic is golden brown. Season lightly with salt, remove from heat and add the parsley. Cook the spaghetti in large pan of salted, boiling water until al dente, then drain, toss with the garlic & Chile oil, and serve.
Here are my tips on this recipe. First, don’t get the oil too hot. I let it get too hot, and the garlic got crispy. I crushed the garlic up as much as I could while the spaghetti was cooking, so that helped. But, live and learn. In addition to that mishap, I was confused by the recipe just saying, “Chile.” I used a red jalapeno, but I think next time I’ll try a serrano. The pasta was delicious, but could have used more spice. Still, not bad for my first meal! The masses didn’t complain at the dinner table, so I was happy.
Now, since deciding to take up Italian, I have felt some pangs of guilt about putting my German aside. I have over six years in on that language, and worked really hard at learning it in the first place. This being the case, I will study German while learning Italian. The languages are very different, so I think it’ll be ok. I’m undaunted…. at this moment, anyhow…. but get back to me in a month or so. However, I will not be cooking German meals. My waistline can’t handle both, so no German recipes to follow, sorry! Ok, ok, how about this… I’ll drink some German beers during all this to further my German education. Prost!
Enjoy! And until next time, “Vita, amore, cuoco!”
This Blog sure has a lot of posts about food – probably because I love to cook. Oh, who am I kidding – I love to EAT! This week, I was lucky enough to find a Blog that combines two of my loves: Texas & Food. Homesick Texan is a sassy Blog all about cooking Texas-style comfort food.
I was browsing through the amazing recipes listed on the Blog and I saw “Cheese Straws.” The recipe sounded so simple, and so delicious, that I knew I had to make them this weekend. And I did just that today. Oh my Lord, they were beyond great. My family and I ate them up in about two minutes. I managed to take a picture of a few before they were all gone:
Go check out Homesick Texan’s Blog and see all of Lisa’s other amazing recipes. I think I’ll make her Chipotle Mac & Cheese next!
Easter is upon us! In addition to my Blue Cheese Potato salad, I’m making Chipotle Deviled Eggs for my family’s Easter brunch. I love deviled eggs, but adding Chipotle peppers takes the plain-jane deviled egg to a whole new level. I also love making deviled eggs because it gives me an excuse to use this super cute “Cock-a-doodle!” deviled egg plate I got at a Southern Living party!
Here is the recipe for Chipotle Deviled Eggs:
- 12 large eggs
- 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 to 3 teaspoons finely chopped canned chipotle chiles
- 24 fresh cilantro leaves (optional)
- Place eggs in large saucepan. Add enough cold water to cover. Bring to simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to low; simmer gently 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand 10 minutes. Drain eggs; cover with ice and water and let stand until cold.
- Peel eggs and cut in half lengthwise. Spoon yolks into small bowl; arrange whites on platter. Finely grate yolks on small holes of box grater into medium bowl. Mix in mayonnaise, then 2 teaspoons chopped chipotle chiles. Add more chopped chiles, if desired, for more heat. Season filling to taste with salt, if desired.
- Using pastry bag fitted with 1/2-inch-diameter star tip, pipe filling into egg whites. (I always use a plastic, Ziplock bag. Just spoon in the filling and snip off a corner. Works like a charm.)
- Cover and chill eggs at least 2 hours and up to 1 day. Press 1 cilantro leaf into filling in each egg and serve.
Chipotle peppers are pretty popular these days, so you should be able to find them at your local grocery store in the Hispanic Food section. I buy Embasa Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce.
You will need to cut open each pepper and remove the seeds. Here is a tip when working with any hot pepper barehanded: rub your hands with olive oil before cutting/seeding the peppers (be careful once you’re using that knife, though!). The olive oil will keep the oil from the peppers from getting into your skin. Nothing like trying to scratch an itch in the corner of your eye after cutting some jalapeño peppers. I learned that lesson the hard way.
I have found that one large pepper is enough for this recipe. If I want a little more heat/Chipotle flavor, I spoon in some of the Adobo sauce. You will have left over peppers and my suggestion is to cover the top of the can with foil and put it in the fridge for up to a week. Putting the peppers & sauce into a Tupperware-type container will stain the container, and the Adobo smell will never come out. I learned this the hard way, too!
Here is my super cute Southern Living Deviled Egg plate filled with my Chipotle Deviled Eggs:
Happy Easter everyone! Enjoy -
Ever wonder why Cranberries are a tradition at Thanksgiving? Yeah, me too. After a quick Google search, I learned that Cranberries were used in Native American foods long before the first Pilgrims arrived, even incorporating myths about this tiny fruit into their religious traditions. The most interesting and relevant fact I found on the Cranberry was that the Native Americans used it for medicinal purposes, primarily to ward off indigestion. That seems like a perfectly logical reason why this fruit goes hand-in-hand with Thanksgiving! Although the Natives most likely had a fresh, “au naturel” approach to the Cranberry, I’m going to serve up a modern version for your Thanksgiving day pleasure.
This recipe comes from my mother-in-law, who I love and adore (and not just for this recipe!). I don’t know how far back this recipe goes in our family history, but at least back to the invention of Jell-O! It is a wonderfully easy & delicious recipe that will be an instant hit with your friends & family at Thanksgiving.
Mom’s Cranberry Salad
2 cups fresh cranberries
1 ½ cups water
1 cup sugar
1 6-oz or 2 3-oz package(s) cherry Jell-O
1 diced Red Delicious apple
1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple
½ – ¾ cup chopped pecans
Combine the cranberries, water, sugar and Jell-O in a sauce pot and cook for 15 minutes (Cranberries will begin to snap open and make a popping sound as the water boils). Stir often and adjust heat so mixture does not bubble over. Once cooked, remove from heat & cool completely.
Once cooled, transfer to a bowl. Add diced apple, crushed pineapple (including the juice) and pecans. My family prefers more pecans in our salad, but you can adjust to your desired amount. I’ve been known to add up to a cup of pecans to this recipe, but I love pecans! Seal top of bowl with plastic wrap or foil and put in refrigerator and let set overnight.
Here is a printable version of mom’s Best Cranberry Salad recipe. I love this recipe so much, I freeze an entire bag of fresh Cranberries after the holidays so I can make this salad any time of year. They freeze well and this salad is a treat come mid-summer when it’s scorching hot outside.
Happy Thanksgiving to you & yours – enjoy!
I love to cook and bake, but as a working mom, I don’t have a lot of time (or energy) to make elaborate dinners every night of the week. The simpler the recipe the better as far as I’m concerned – but it has to taste great, too. With that being said, I want to share one of my all time favorite “easy” recipes: Tortilla Soup.
Easy Tortilla Soup
3-4 chicken breasts
9 cups chicken broth
2 cans (14.5 oz each) seasoned diced tomatoes (see notes)
3 tablespoons Cumin
2 cans (4 oz each) green chilies
Shredded cheddar cheese (or whatever type suits your taste)
Tortilla chips, crushed
Mix everything for the soup in a large stockpot and bring to a boil. After chicken is fully cooked, take out of soup and cube or shred (discard bone if bone-in chicken breasts were used). Put prepared chicken back into soup. Turn down heat and simmer 30 minutes.
Fill bowl(s) with soup and top with crushed tortilla chips, diced avocados and shredded cheese. Serve & enjoy!
Click here for a printable version of the recipe, and here are my notes on making this soup:
- I love spicy food, so I use Hot diced green chilies in my soup.
- I prefer the Hunt’s brand of diced tomatoes and use the Diced Roasted Garlic Tomatoes. This is an area where you can vary the recipe to suit your taste. My mother-in-law likes to use Italian-style tomatoes in her soup, which gives it a sweeter taste.
- We buy bags of chicken tenders at Sam’s Club every other week and I like using these for my recipe. I add 8-10 tenders. They cook quickly and are super easy to cut/shred.
- I’m a big fan of Cumin – my husband’s not. I have found that 3 tablespoons is the right balance for us. If you’re not sure how much is right for you, make sure the chicken is fully cooked and then add the Cumin teaspoon by teaspoon to the soup, tasting after each addition.
- I’m also a big fan of avocados, and I think they “make” the soup once added.
- A thicker tortilla chip holds up better in the soup, and I prefer Mission Tortilla Strips.
- Add whatever you think sounds good! My mother-in-law likes to add corn, and even potatoes on occasion.
If you come up with a version of this soup you think is awesome, email me the recipe! I’d love to hear how it turned out for you & yours. Enjoy!
Bacon. Bacon….bacon…bacon. It’s always a great time for bacon in my book. With a multitude of family and friends coming over to BBQ this weekend, I want to share a favorite recipe I have that uses bacon: Blue Cheese Potato Salad. I know, I know… bacon isn’t even in the title, but don’t kid yourself, it’s a main component of this highly addictive side dish. Here is the recipe:
Blue Cheese Potato Salad Recipe
- 1 lb. bacon
- 2 pounds red new potatoes
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2+ ounces blue cheese, crumbled
- Cook and drain the bacon. When dry and crisp, crumble and set aside.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Clean and cube the potatoes, leaving the skins on. When water is ready, add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15-20 minutes. Drain and cool completely.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the oil and vinegar, about 2-3 minutes. Add green onions, salt and pepper and whisk one minute more. Add the potatoes, bacon and cheese and toss to coat. Salt to taste.
A few helpful tips when making this recipe.
- Double the recipe if you have more than four people to feed or if you want leftovers. This stuff gets even better when left in the fridge overnight.
- Cool those potatoes completely. If they are even slightly warm, they’ll melt the blue cheese. It’ll still taste good but look a mess.
- Make sure your vinegar is fresh. It won’t combine well with the olive oil if it’s old, and that makes for an oily salad.
- It sounds like a lot of olive oil, I know, but when combined with the vinegar, it’s perfect and the potatoes absorb it.
- Add more blue cheese if you like. Two ounces is never enough for the Stone family or our friends.
- Add more bacon.
- Add even more bacon.
- Make extra bacon to eat while you’re making the potato salad.
- Have this Blue Cheese Potato Salad Recipe on hand, as almost everyone will ask you for a copy.
Happy Labor Day weekend everyone – Enjoy!
The other day, The Boss and I were at Barnes and Noble looking for Splat The Cat – a book we had seen on a previous visit. On our way to the checkout counter, The Boss spied a thick book with a huge chocolate cupcake on the cover – Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes. It was love at first sight, to say the least. Not wanting to abandon Splat and read cupcake recipes at bedtime, I opted to get both books.
The next day, The Boss and I began looking through the recipes. I told him he could pick any cupcake recipe he wanted and we’d make them that afternoon. Much to my surprise, he selected strawberry cupcakes. We had seen countless chocolate cupcakes along the way, but he assured me he wanted the strawberry, so off to the store we went to buy the necessary ingredients.
These cupcakes were sublime. I can’t think of a better, more delicious summer cupcake. Light, airy, and delicious. I’ve provided the recipe below. But, before you head to the store to get the fixins for these cupcakes, know a few things:
- I about pulled my hair out looking for cake flour at the store. Turns out, it was in a box on a shelf above the bags of flour. I purchased Pillsbury Softasilk, as it was the only box of cake flour at the store.
- I don’t have a pastry bag, so I took a gallon-size Ziploc bag, spooned the Buttercream frosting into it, and then snipped off a bottom corner. Worked like a charm. If you’re not sure how much to cut off, start with a small snip and keep cutting off more until the frosting comes out how you want.
- They have fruit in them, so they must be good for me, right? Yeah, not so much. The frosting, per cupcake, has to register at about a billion calories. I mean, it’s butter, sugar and eggs in with all those healthy strawberries!
- These take hours to complete. I didn’t cool the cupcakes in the pans for 15 minutes as the recipe called for. Hello, Martha – some of us only have one or two cupcake pans! Also, it’s summer and the oven was heating up the house, so I didn’t feel the need to keep it on any longer than necessary.
- I was half way through making the recipe when I saw some text that read, “Cupcakes can be stored up to 1 day at room temperature in airtight containers.” ONE day?! In hindsight, I should have frozen about half the cupcakes, unfrosted, for The Boss to have at a later date. To be truthful, I was having too much fun frosting them and wasn’t thinking straight. My suggestion is to make these for a party or family gathering where they can be eaten the same day. This recipe yielded about 45 cupcakes.
The book has 175 recipes, some of which are fun, kid-geared cupcakes, especially for the upcoming holidays. Cupcakes like Creepcakes, Wicked Witch Cupcakes, and Marshmallow Turkey Cupcakes.
Click here for Martha Stewart’s Strawberry Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting recipe.
Just want plain buttercream frosting? Here is Martha Stewart’s Buttercream Frosting recipe.