3/3/18

Chicken Cutlets Italiano



Saw this on FB and decided to try "Nonna's Chicken Cutlets".  I trust any Italian grandmother who doesn't use recipes!  This is the recipe her son wrote from her verbal directions:
INGREDIENTS for CHICKEN
4-8 chicken cutlets, breast butterflied and pounded out
1 quart salt water brine (a basic brine is 4 cups water for 1 cup of salt)
3 eggs
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 teaspoon roughly chopped parsley
salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3 cups breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
INGREDIENTS for DRESSING
3 lemons
4 ounces extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon roughly chopped parsley
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon Sicilian oregano
WHAT TO DO:
1. Brine chicken cutlets in salt water for one hour. Remove and pat with towel until dry.
2. In a medium bowl, crack and beat the eggs. Add 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan to eggs.
3. In a separate bowl, add parsley, salt, pepper, and flour to breadcrumbs. Dip each chicken cutlet in the egg mixture, let excess egg wash drip off, then dredge in the breadcrumb mixture. Flip each piece until cutlet is fully covered in breadcrumbs.
4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place chicken cutlets into well-oiled baking pan. Drizzle with remaining olive oil and bake until golden brown.
5. For the lemon dressing, juice the lemons, discarding all excess pulp and seeds. Add salt, pepper, parsley, olive oil, and oregano. Once the chicken is cooked, remove from oven and place on covered table or counter top. Bathe hot chicken cutlets in lemon dressing.
** Since she didn't specify other than to say, "if the bottom is done, you turn it over"... I baked it about 10 minutes per side.  I served it with basic pasta with Marinara on the side.

12/18/17

Hot Tamales at Year 23

It's my first ever attempt at tamales from scratch. I made green chile chicken this time and used the crockpot, because I didn't want to make a big steamer pot and I had no help.  Perhaps the kid will help next year. He certainly is good at the eating part. Making the filling ahead, and then making the masa dough in the stand mixer was much easier than I thought.

 
 

11/22/17

Thanksgiving 2018

     

It's become tradition to spend Thanksgiving with the inlaws out in Hemet. Which is fine, except that it's going to be like 100 degrees tomorrow, which is a record-breaker (hottest since 1903). Yuck. I'm already sweaty and uncomfortable.

On the bright side, maybe that will make me want to eat less since I'll be sweating my ass off. Save on the carbs somehow.

As a result of this holiday traditional Thursday, I always make a Thanksgiving meal at home on Wednesday because, let's face it, we're all just in it for the leftovers right?

I have tried many methods of turkey prep: dry brine, wet brine, oven bag, high temp/low temp, lift skin and butter, spice bouquet in cavity, stuffed, unstuffed, breast side down & flip, etc.  I am not a fan of the frying situation as the fire danger and skin burn eventuality give me severe anxiety. This year, though, I thought I'd try something I've never done before.  Err I say this, if you have a mayo aversion, leave my blog immediately-- especially if you're one of those sadistic Miracle Whip peeps. 

That's correct, I lathered that baby good in some good' ol Hellman's mayonaisse.  (** listen West Coasters, I'm fully aware it's called Best Foods out here, but y'all got a realize I'm an East Coast girl at heart and I can not get over it being the same damn bottle with some generic food processor's brand. I like to fool myself into believing is was some German grannie that made this personally for me.**) 

Once lathered all over and inside the skin of the breast, I sprinkled it with this dry rub:


Then I cooked it at 325 degrees, approx 15 minutes per pound.

I did not baste it at all, just let is go in the oven and glanced at it with the light, but didn't open the oven. The meat was moist, and the skin was phenomenal!

Sadly, I forgot to take a photo of the bird because it was 3000 degrees in my kitchen by the time I was done and I was too sweaty to remember anything.  But it was a nice pre-holiday lunch with a side of pie. 

Happy Thanksgiving!


Philly Sticky Buns, or Where are you Flourtown Bakery?

Endorsed by my 14 yr old son: "These are BOMB!"

Every once in a while, you need a taste of home. This is a process, but if you have a stand mixer, use the dough hook and go to it!

PHILADEPHIA STICKY BUNS

For the YEAST DOUGH
1⁄3 cup milk
1⁄4 cup sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 cup butter
1⁄4 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
1(1/4 ounce) package yeast
1 egg
2 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour

FOR THE TOPPING
1⁄4 cup butter
1⁄4 cup light brown sugar
1⁄2 cup pecan halves (or more)

FOR THE FILLING
1⁄4cup butter, softened
1⁄2cup chopped raisins
1⁄2teaspoon cinnamon


First the DOUGH:
*In a small pan, heat milk just until bubbles form around edge of pan; remove from heat.
*Add sugar, salt and butter; stir to melt butter, then cool to lukewarm.
*Sprinkle yeast over water in large bowl; stir to dissolve then stir in lukewarm milk mixture.
*Add the egg and 2 cups of the flour; beat with electric mixer until smooth.
*Add the remaining 1/2 cup flour and mix by hand until dough is smooth and leaves sides of bowl.
*Turn dough onto lightly floured surface ; knead until dough is smooth and blisters appear.
*Place in lightly greased bowl; turn to grease all over.
*Cover with towel and let rise in warm, draft-free place until double, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.  (I proof all yeast bread/doughs by starting my oven, letting it get to 110 degrees then turning it off; set the bowl with the towel covering it in the warm oven to proof for the time stated)

Prepare the TOPPING:
*While dough rises, in a small bowl with spoon cream the butter and brown sugar.
*Spread on bottom and sides of 9X9X2-inch square baking pan.
*Place pecans evenly on top, flat sides up.

Prepare the FILLING:
*Mix brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins together.

Prepare the BUNS:
*When dough has risen, roll dough into a 16X12 inch rectangle; spread with butter, sprinkle with brown sugar, the raisins and cinnamon.
*Roll up from long side, jelly-roll fashion; pinch edge to seal.
*Cut crosswise into 12 pieces. (Recommendation: use unflavored dental floss to cut them! Slide the floss under the roll, pull both sides up and cross each other to get a clean cut that knife will not give you)
*Place, cut side down, into prepared pan.
*Let rise, covered in warm place free of drafts until doubled,1 to 1 1/2 hours. (Again, use the heat to 110 and turn off method)

*Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
*Bake sticky buns 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

(Note: After cooking, I let mine sit for 20 minutes, then inverted them and they fell off in one large square.)
*Invert on plate, let stand 1 minute then remove pan.
*Serve warm.

This is labor intensive and might be worth doubling to make a 9x13 batch.


11/4/17

Egg Roll Casserole

So sometimes I want an egg roll, but I need to cut out the fried shell and the carbs. This is an option.

Ingredients
1 # ground pork
5 oz shredded purple cabbage (or napa cabbage)
5 oz bean sprouts
5 oz shredded carrots
1 tsp ginger
4 cloves minced garlic
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 T sesame oil
green onions (garnish)

Instructions
Combine the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and oil. Add the veggies and toss. Brown the pork, then add the veggies and stir fry 3 minutes. Pour into casserole dish (13x9) and bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Garnish with sliced green onions and serve over brown rice or rice noodles.


Taco Seasoning

Photo credit to: http://www.lamag.com/digestblog/del-taco-selling-street-tacos-twice-price-actual-street-tacos/

Oh, street tacos. There is just nothing like street tacos in LA, unless maybe you're in San Diego. I love that I can head on over to Baja Ranch Market down the block and get some Pollo Asado, Carne Asada, or Carnitas at any moment. But sometimes I've got leftover beef or chicken that I need to use up, and then I stir-fry it up with some of this homemade taco seasoning, slice some lime wedges, and heat up those fresh corn tortillas from the local tortilleria. Easy, tasty, gone! The Teen Titan loves them. I keep this on hand for such an occasion.

Taco Seasoning
1T Chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp red pepper (eliminate if you don't like it so hot)
1/4 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp black pepper 


10/21/17

Keto/Low Fat Pepitas (Pumpkin) Muffins


Fall baking before Indian Summer arrives at 100+ tomorrow. 
Come back autumn! Please! 
                                                                

Pepitas (Pumpkin) Muffins
Ingredients
  • 1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
  • cup sugar
  • 2 cups Stevia Baking Blend
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups almond meal/flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • Pepitas (for topping)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, sugar, applesauce, water, and eggs.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together flours, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.
  4. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and stir until blended.
  5. Pour into bread or cupcake pans (will make 24-32 cupcakes). Bake at 350 for 25-35 (until knife comes out clean).
Nutrition 34.9g Carbs, 204.3 Kcal per muffin (1 serving of 24 batch)