Monday, October 20, 2008
Saturday, September 13, 2008
1 lb. skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut in bite-sized pieces
1/2 medium onion (optional, but I like it), chopped
1 medium red Bell pepper, chopped
1 can coconut milk (can use light or regular)
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper and pound to 1/4-inch thickness. You really do want the breasts a little on the smaller side for this as the very large breasts will pound out to nearly the size of your skillet! If this happens you'll end up cooking the chicken breasts one by one... Once pounded, dredge chicken in flour and dip in the egg mixture.
Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add chicken breast halves (don't crowd the pan); cook about 4 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from pan and keep warm. Repeat the procedure with 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and the remaining chicken, wiping the drippings out from the pan between each batch.
After the last cutlet has been cooked, melt butter in pan. Add 1/4 cup wine and 3 tablespoons juice. Bring to a boil; cook for 10 or 20 seconds. Serve over chicken.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Friday, May 30, 2008
In this post I will be discussing the various methods of applying heat to food. Before that it is important to understand how different substances react to heat. Some of this might seem obvious, but it can be very helpful to break down whatever it is you are cooking and consider how each part will respond to the cooking method you have chosen.
Effects of Heat
Fats: Melt (just like butter in the pan and the extra bits of fat in meat) -- also if the fat is allowed to get very hot it will speed up the cooking of the sugars in the foods and make them crispy (like when you deep-fry something.)
Protein: "coagulates" meaning it get firmer. Also it is important to remember that proteins also lose moisture and get smaller.
Sugar: Caramelizes, get brown and a rich dark flavor. This is one the best flavors in cooking. Realize that sugar is present in almost all foods (this is why your chicken or rolls will get that nice golden color when cooked.)
Water: Evaporates. Most foods are primarily made of water and no one likes to eat food that is over-cooked and dry.
Cooking methods -can be broken down into two groups: dry-heat methods and moist heat methods.
Dry Heat Methods include- Broiling, Grilling, Baking, Sautéing, Pan-frying and Deep-Frying. These are great because they get the caramelization going, which adds that great flavor.
Moist Heat Methods include- poaching, simmering, boiling, steaming. The real advantage here is that they add moisture as cook, so you don't end up with a dry finished product.
Braising is one way to get the best of both methods.
Braising is a great way to cook larger, tough cuts of meat, like Roasts and Ribs. Lately, I have been discovering how great braising is for chicken, which is what inspired this post Braising is very similar to what you are already doing in your crock pot; however, most of us are skipping the first and maybe most important step.
Here are the basic steps:
1. Season the meat and brown in a sauté pan with a little fat. (Dry seasons like salt, pepper, garlic salt, and rosemary work well because when you coat the meat and then when you brown the outside the sugars in the meat, the fat and the seasons create a delicious hard shell around the meat that keeps all the juice inside. Also dredging smaller cuts of meat in flour with seasonings can create the same effect.)
2. Finish the meat by simmering it in a liquid or sauce. You do this by transferring the meat to a crock pot or deep baking dish or pan. You can simmer on the stove top or in the oven. Braised meats should be tender. For large, tough cuts of meat the simmering stage could take 3-4 hours, but for smaller and tenderer cuts, like chicken, 30 minutes may be all you need.
Simple, right? Here are some ways you can try it out.
Here is a recipe for Cafe Rio's Pork Barbacoa
This is a great recipe, but before you put it all in the crock pot, rub the dry oregano, ginger, chili powder, garlic powder and dried onions all over the raw pork and brown it in a sauté pan on medium high with a little bit of oil. Transfer the meat to the crock pot, then "deglaze" the pan (fancy cooking word for using a liquid; classically wine, but you can use water, stock, vinegar, juice; to get all the delicious browned bits and flavors left in the pan after you brown something.) Pour what you have in the pan over the meat in the crock pot and follow the rest of the recipe.
One more recipe:
This is a very yummy Cranberry Chicken I made on Wenesday.
Do everything this recipe says, but before topping the chicken with the cranberry/Catalina dressing sauce. Shake salt, pepper, garlic salt and dry rosemary (not too much) on the chicken and brown (the chicken should not be cooked through because you will finish that up in the oven) in a sauté pan (deglazing is less important in this case because the recipe calls for onion soup mix, which has about the same flavor. If you don't have the soup mix you can sauté some onions with chicken and then deglaze with stock. Also, I added a bit of Dijon mustard to the cranberry-catalina sauce, which added a nice little punch.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Josh:Janae, don't they need some kind of special, expensive chocolate? Wouldn't that be really hard to do?
I excitedly responsed: No, they are super easy. Are you guys going to do that for mother's day? I want to help."
And today we handed out two chocolate strawberries to each woman in our ward. Here's the process from raw berry to decadent delight.
We melted two huge bricks of milk chocolate.
We dipped about 150 berries. On Saturday Josh and I were at the mall and saw chocolate dripped strawberries on sale for $2 each, so we firgured that we made $300 worth of strawberries for around $25.
Veva, the first counselor's wife, had the great idea to drizzle white chocolate over the finished strawberries. I think that made them look very fancy. Good thinking Veva!
Friday, April 18, 2008
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Sunday, March 9, 2008
- thraw the shrimp by running it under warm water
- mix batter together
- dredge shrimp in flour and then in batter
- fry shrimp until golden brown
These are really good dipped in apricot jam.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Second, the professor I work with said today that he wants to get the data analysis and research paper I am working on published. It is so exciting to think of something I've written being published in a real journal. My work is still quite a ways away from that but the idea is exciting.
I just reread what I wrote and realized how boring my exciting news sounds to most people.
Oh well, it makes me happy and I know you, as my dear friends, will be happy for me regardless :) ( or at induge me by pretending:)
Monday, February 18, 2008
To celebrate the coming of spring I've decided to start a little herb garden. Historically, I haven't had the "greenest" thumb, but I got this mini greenhouse and seeds for basil, rosemary and chives.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
I decided to dip these shortbread cookies in dark chocolate and white chocolate dyed pink. Then I wrapped them up to look like boxed chocolates.
Friday, February 1, 2008
I have a confession to make. I made Spanakopita this week and I followed the recipe to the letter -- that is so not like me.
Spanakopita is a delicious spinach pastry Josh and I fell in love with while we were in Greece last summer. We loved everything about Greece, the historical sites, the paradisiacal weather, the olive trees (as seen to the right), the lovable people, and most definitely the famous food. I haven’t wanted to try to recreate it for fear that I would totally blow it and ruin the memory. However, when I saw this ginormous container of Feta, I just had to give it a try.
8 cups of all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons of raki (or white vinegar)
2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
1 1/4 - 1 1/3 cups of hot water
flour for work surface and hands
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
- A fat (most often oil or mayo, more creative examples are sour cream, cream cheese, or yogurt)
- An acid (commonly vinegar, sometimes lemon or other fruit juice or wine)
- Seasonings (salt, pepper, sugar, herbs, vegetables, etc.)
The secret to a good cold sauce is a balance of fat and acid-- this combination was something our ancestors brought from the old world and we can't get enough of it. Stop and consider some of your favorite foods. I'm willing to bet if you pull apart the ingredients you'll find a fat and acid at the bottom of the flavor.
Some of my personal favorites: Fries and Ketchup(fries= potatoes and frying oil, ketchup= tomatoes(highly acidic) sugar (seasoning) and vinegar(classic acid). Even PBandJ gives you the fairly fatty peanut butter and the tangy tart juicy jam.
So about Chicken Salad, here are the guidelines:
- Chicken (you can boil uncooked chicken, I like using canned chicken because it make it so fast)
- Some crunchy things for texture (Waldorf Version --celery, apples, and cashews, as seen above. Also consider taking a southwestern approach using onions, corn and peppers or oriental with toasted almonds, chow mien noodles and grapes.)
- The Basic Sauce--mayo, a little bit of vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper. (Now try to add in something that will pair well with your crunchy things. I added celery salt, a bit of mustard and a little bit more sugar to match with my celery and apples. If you do southwestern maybe add some cumin or chill pepper. If you are doing oriental use sesame oil or curry to make it Asian fusion.