the Egg Farm » » Meat and Poultry we know chicken poop from chicken salad Wed, 01 Jul 2015 03:48:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Sticky Lemon Marmalade Chicken Thu, 21 May 2015 01:56:54 +0000

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An unfortunate incident with a recent batch of Meyer Lemon Marmalade was the inspiration for this recipe.

When you are living in a house that is on the market, the last thing you should do is start making marmalade. I’ll guarantee you that the phone will ring and someone will want to tour the house. When this happens, turn off the stove, pour the marmalade in a big jar, get in the car and drive off. Park around the corner until you see them leave, then get back to the house asap. Pour the marmalade back into the pot and start cooking it over again. If you don’t cook it over again, it will be runny and not set completely. This I know for a fact.

But, when faced with a jar of liquidy marmalade and a new wok, opportunity knocks. I decided to use the liquid part of the marmalade to make lemon chicken stir fry. This delicious dish is why I see the marmalade incident as a happy accident. This was so easy to make and so tasty.

Sticky Lemon Marmalade Chicken at

If you have a good wok, definitely use it to make this dish. If not, a good cast iron pan or skillet will work.

sticky lemon chicken600If you don’t have homemade Meyer lemon marmalade, buy a jar at the store and use that. If you can’t find lemon marmalade, use orange and call this sticky orange chicken stir fry. I happen to love Meyer lemons because they bridge the gap between sour lemon and sweet orange. The marmalade gives you that sweet, tart, sticky sauce.

Sticky Lemon Marmalade Chicken

Serves: 3 servings

  • ¼ cup lemon or orange marmalade
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, (about 12-14 ounces), cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced fresh ginger (more if you like ginger)
  • ½ medium sweet white onion, cut into 1" dice
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sweet Thai chili sauce (if you like a little heat)
  • 1 scallion, sliced, as garnish
  • 3 cups hot cooked steamed white rice
  1. Heat the marmalade on the stove over low heat until melted. Add a little water if it doesn't thin out when heated. Pour the marmalade through a fine mesh strainer reserving the liquid. You can use the rind portion as garnish or just discard it. Set the marmalade "liquid" aside.
  2. Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces. Toss them in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil and set aside.
  3. Heat your wok or skillet to medium high heat. Pour the remaining 2 tablespoons of peanut oil into the hot wok. Add the garlic and minced ginger and stir just until they become fragrant. Be careful not to burn them. Add the onion and cook with the garlic and ginger for an additional minute or two until the onion softens. Add the chicken and stir until it is cooked through and slightly browned. Make sure it is cooked through but not too long or it will dry out. Pour the soy sauce around the edge of the pan followed by the marmalade and sweet chili sauce. Stir about a minute, until the sauce is combined and slightly thickened. Be careful not to allow it to burn. Stir in the sugar. Taste the sauce and sprinkle the salt in if you like it saltier.
  4. Serve hot over steamed white rice and garnish with scallions.

Shared at Clever Chicks Blog Hop

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Katsu Chicken Hawaiian Plate Lunch Sun, 10 May 2015 20:08:08 +0000

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Michael did something very nice for me the other day and I wanted to do something nice in return. So while he was out running errands yesterday, I put together one of his all-time favorite meals, a Hawaiian Plate Lunch with Katsu chicken. He loved this dish from the years he spent growing up in Oahu.

I tried to make Katsu chicken only once before and it did not go well. The chicken was all wrong and the sauce was horrible.

This time I relied on a jarred sauce, Bull Dog Brand, which Michael says is almost spot on taste-wise, to the Katsu sauce he grew up eating. I will try to make it from scratch again, but for now the jarred worked just fine. 

Katsu Chicken Hawaiian Plate Lunch at

The thing that really showed the most improvement from my first attempt was the chicken. It was moist and tender on the inside with a perfectly light and crunchy outer crust. We couldn’t stop eating it.

This time I also nailed the Hawaiian-style macaroni salad. If you’ve never eaten it, macaroni salad in Hawaii is just glorified pasta and mayonnaise. It is not at all like the stateside version with celery, onions, pickles, and hard-boiled egg. I am a big fan of the stateside version, but the Hawaiian style is growing on me. It lends itself well to the plate-lunch-style meal where everything is crammed onto the plate, or usually a styrofoam container. Macaroni salad’s somewhat bland island cousin let’s the other flavors on the plate stand out.

The last essential element of a plate lunch is a mound of sticky white rice.

Here are my recipes for Katsu Chicken and Hawaiian-Style Macaroni Salad. Aloha. Enjoy.

<span class="mceItemHidden" data-mce-bogus="1">Katsu Chicken</span>

Serves: 2-4 servings

I used Bull Dog Brand tonkatsu sauce but if you want to make your own, by all means, do it. If it's good, send me the recipe!
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced into thirds lengthwise and pounded to a uniform ½" thickness
  • Peanut oil or high heat sunflower oil for frying
  • 2 eggs, beaten with a fork
  • ¾ cup cornstarch
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper,
  • ⅓ teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 2-3 cups Japanese panko bread crumbs (don't use Italian style bread crumbs!)
  1. Slice the chicken breasts into thirds lengthwise. Cover with plastic wrap and pound them to a uniform thickness of ½ inch. The cleanest way to do this is to place the chicken in a ziplock bag with the air squeezed out. I was able to get three slices into a quart sized bag. When I was done I just stored them in the bag in the fridge until ready to use.
  2. Make the egg wash for the chicken by combining the beaten egg, cornstarch, water, salt, pepper, and granulated garlic in a long pan. I used a glass loaf pan. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Stir just before using to incorporate the cornstarch which may have settled to the bottom. Place all the chicken slices into the egg wash at once, or one at a time if you prefer. It was easiest just to soak them all at once.
  3. Pour the panko bread crumbs into a shallow pan. One at a time, pull the chicken pieces out of the egg wash and pat into the bread crumbs, coating both sides.
  4. Fry the chicken pieces in a large skillet, preheated with oil to medium high. Use just about a half in of oil up the side of the pan. Cook the chicken until it is lightly golden brown then flip over and cook the other side. Don't crowd them in the pan or they won't get crunchy. Don't walk away. These cook fast and burn easily.
  5. Remove the cooked pieces of chicken to a heated plate in a 200 degree oven until all the pieces are cooked. Serve immediately with a little Katsu sauce over the top and extra for dipping.

Hawaiian-Style Macaroni Salad

Serves: 12 servings

  • ¾ pound elbow macaroni
  • 1 large carrot, diced small
  • 2 ounces flaked imitation crabmeat
  • 1 cup mayonnaise (you may need to add more)
  • Salt to taste
  • White pepper to taste
  1. Boil the macaroni until al dente. Do not overcook it. It will continue to cook a bit until cooled and will soak up the mayonnaise and soften. Drain the pasta well and place uncovered in the refrigerator until completely cooled. You can hurry the process by stirring it around a couple of times while it's cooling.
  2. Peel and dice a carrot. Cook until barely tender but still crisp in a pan of boiling water. Drain well and cool in the fridge with the macaroni.
  3. When the macaroni and carrots are completely chilled, remove from the refrigerator and add the flaked imitation crabmeat. Stir in the mayonnaise. Taste. Add salt and pepper until it suits your taste. I deliberately did not salt the pasta water because the mayonnaise adds a lot of saltiness. You can always add more but you can't remove it. The amount of salt and pepper you add is entirely per your liking.
  4. Refrigerate until serving time. You will probably find that the macaroni has soaked up the mayonnaise and you may have to add more. Typically this style of macaroni sale is mayonnaise heavy. Again, this is entirely up to you.


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Philly Cheesesteaks Mon, 13 Apr 2015 01:39:02 +0000

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I happen to love Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches but Michael is not much of a fan. Could be due to the presence of “green things.”

I have probably never had an authentic Philly Cheesesteak in my life since I have never been to Philly. They seem simple enough, but I am sure there are little nuances perfected over decades in Philly that I cannot even touch. But, that didn’t stop me from trying, two days in a row.

Yesterday’s version had the meat too finely chopped and lacking seasoning. Today’s version made up for it. I left the meat thinly sliced and didn’t chop it. I added a lot more salt and pepper to the meat and a little to the veggies as well. I swapped out the cheese sauce I made yesterday for good old slices of white American cheese, melted onto the bun under the broiler. Night and day I tell ya, the difference was night and day!

Philly Cheesesteaks at

Here are my tips for making really good Philly Cheesesteaks:

1.) Buy meat with good marbling like thick rib eye steaks. Don’t even think about using sliced roast beef from the deli. Don’t even think about it.

2.) Slice the meat as thin as you can get it, across the grain.

3.) To make the meat easier to slice thin, put it in the freezer for 45-60 minutes.

4.) Use a very sharp, good quality knife. I could not have gotten the thin slices I got today without my new Wusthof chef’s knife. (Not a paid endorsement, just my opinion)

5.) Season the meat well with salt and pepper. There are no other flavorings on the meat so you need it.

6.) Use a good quality Italian roll. Yesterday I used homemade baguettes but today I had to use store-bought. I splurged on San Francisco brand rolls.

7.) Cook the peppers separate from the onions in case you have a picky eater. Some people add sautéed mushrooms too.

8.) I know Cheese Whiz is classic, but I don’t recommend it. I may change my mind if I ever get to Philly to try one with Cheese Whiz, but for now I am recommending real sliced cheese.

9.) Spread a little butter on the rolls and toast in the broiler. Add the cheese and let it melt before adding the meat and veggies.

10.) After assembling, wrap the sandwiches in aluminum foil and place in a 300 degree oven for about 7-10 minutes. This step allows to meat juices to soak into the bread and crisps the crust up a bit. This really makes a difference.

<span class="mceItemHidden" data-mce-bogus="1">Philly Cheesesteaks</span>

Serves: 4 sandwiches

  • 4 hoagie rolls, sliced and lightly buttered
  • 1 small green pepper, sliced
  • 1 large sweet yellow onion, cut in half and sliced thin
  • 1.5 pounds beef ribeye steaks (sliced thinly across the grain)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 8 slices white American Cheese
  1. Preheat the broiler to high.
  2. Slice the hoagie rolls, lightly butter them and broil on a sheet pan until golden brown. Place two slices of cheese on each roll, slightly overlapping the edge of bun. Place back under the broiler until the cheese melts. Set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  4. Heat a large non-stick skillet or griddle on medium high. Add 1 tablespoon butter. Add the onions and cook 5-8 minutes until onions are translucent. Remove and place onions on a plate. Set aside. Add another tablespoon butter and cook the green peppers until soft. Put on a plate. (You can cook these together if everyone likes them both!)
  5. Add 1 tablespoon butter and turn the heat to high. Season steak with salt & pepper and add to the hot skillet. Reduce to medium and cook for 2-4 minutes. Do not over-cook. Move the meat around as it cooks. Remove from heat.
  6. Assemble the cooked meat and veggies atop the hoagie rolls. Place each sandwich on a separate square of foil and wrap loosely to close. Place in the oven for 7-10 minutes. Eat piping hot as soon as they come out of the oven.


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Filet Mignon with Gorgonzola Butter Mon, 23 Mar 2015 00:14:57 +0000

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I’ve had this idea floating around in my head in which a juicy filet mignon gets topped with a special butter. I have made herb butters, garlic butters, pesto butters, etc, but that wasn’t what I wanted.  I once cooked a filet that got rave reviews from Michael. It was a filet mignon with a blue cheese and cream pan sauce. It wasn’t much to look at, but it tasted great. Today I did a riff on that sauce by adding Gorgonzola cheese and herbs to softened butter and melting a pat of it over a sizzling steak. It tasted as good as it looked! I served it over apple and rutabaga purée with blanched asparagus and purple scallions.

Filet Mignon with Gorgonzola Butter

Michael and I shared this one for lunch and we’ll make another for dinner.

In addition to the gorgonzola cheese, I added chopped parsley, chives, and freshly ground black pepper to the butter. I rolled it into a log and refrigerated it until firm enough to slice. Make sure your steaks are sizzling hot when you add the butter so it melts and runs down the edges of the steak. You could serve this over any other vegetable purée or garlic mashed potatoes for an equally delicious entrée. Rutabagas came in my winter vegetable CSA box this week, so they were the obvious choice. The asparagus and purple scallions were in the box this week as well. I think this is the first time I have used so many items from the CSA box in one meal. I like that! If you haven’t tried a vegetable share through a local CSA you really should. It is so much fun to see what you got for the week and find creative ways to use new vegetables. The filets are from a local source of grain fed beef.

Supporting our local agricultural community is really important to us. In return, we got to have this for lunch today!


Filet Mignon with Gorgonzola Butter


  • For the herb butter:
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter, from temperature
  • 2 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (I used parsley and chives)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • For the steak marinade:
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • For the steaks:
  • 2-3 filet mignon steaks, trimmed and tied with butcher's twine to form a circle
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  1. Make the Gorgonzola herb butter by mixing all ingredients in a small bowl. Form into a 4 inch log by rolling in plastic wrap. Twist the ends to close and refrigerate until firm.You can make this a few days in advance and refrigerate or freeze. Thaw in the refrigerator before using.
  2. Make the marinade for the steaks by mixing all ingredients in a zipper bag. Trim the excess fat and the filets and tie two lengths of butcher's twine around the steaks to form a circle. Cut off the excess twine. Carefully place the steaks in the bag with the marinade and flip the bag over a couple of times to coat the meat. Keep in the refrigerator up to one day, flipping them every few hours. Lay the bag on a paper place in case of leakage. Remove the steaks and allow them to come to room temperature before cooking.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  4. Heat an oven-proof sauté pan with a drizzle of olive oil over high heat. Remove the streaks from the marinade and place one at a time with tongs into the hot pan. Sear one side well, then the other. Using the tongs roll the steaks in the hot pan to sear the edges. Place the pan in the oven to finish cooking to your desired degree of doneness. Use a meat thermometer to check and allow for the temperature to increase slightly while the steaks are resting. Don't over cook them! While the steaks are still hot add a pat of the herb butter to each steak and allow it to melt.





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Homemade Corned Beef Hash Thu, 19 Mar 2015 01:20:38 +0000

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If you are like us, you enjoyed homemade corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast this morning. If not, it’s your loss. The best thing about St. Patrick’s Day is the morning after St. Patrick’s Day. I always cook a large enough corned beef brisket to assure we’ll have leftovers. We love the leftovers for Reuben sandwiches and corned beef hash. The sandwiches will be tomorrow’s dinner but the star of the show today was homemade corned beef hash.

Homemade Corned Beef Hash

I have made corned beef hash for a long time but always found that it lacked a certain flavor I like in canned corn beef hash. Yes, I like canned corned beef hash too. I thought about it a lot before making the hash and decided what is missing from my homemade version was a little tang. Not heat, but tang. So this morning I added a splash of rice wine vinegar to the corned beef mixture before cooking. It provided just the tang I have missed, without being detectable as vinegar. Perfect. Michael and I both thought it was the best hash I have ever made.


Homemade Corned Beef Hash
  • 1½ cups chopped corned beef
  • 2 cups diced potatoes
  • ½ medium onion, grated
  • 2 Tbs chopped parsley
  • Splash of rice wine vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 TBS vegetable oil
  • 1 TBS butter
  • Egg, cooked any way you like it
  1. Mix the corned beef, diced potatoes, and grated onion in a medium bowl. Add parsley, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Heat oil and butter in a non-stick frying pan. When the oil is hot add the hash mixture and spread out evenly. Cover and cook slowly, over low heat until the potatoes are tender. Remove the cover and continue cooking over medium heat until browned on the bottom. Flip the hash over and continue cooking until browned. Serve on a heated plate or personal sized skillet topped with an eggs of your choice.


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Stuffed Cabbage Leaves Sat, 07 Feb 2015 01:11:05 +0000

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Don’t you just hate when you slave all day on a special dish and your spouse comes downstairs to report smelling “skunk?” What the heck? “That’s not skunk, it’s your dinner.”

The scent of cabbage cooking, while not exactly kitchen potpourri, is far from skunk. Leave it to me to have two husbands (not concurrently) who don’t like cooked cabbage. The first time around I agreed to never cook cabbage again. This time, I’ll cook cabbage at two o’clock in morning in the master bedroom if I choose.

I’m sure that once Michael tastes these stuffed cabbage leaves, he’ll retract the skunk comment. They are delicious.

I used Ina Garten’s recipe as a jumping off point, putting my twist on it based on what I had on hand. I was a little nervous when I saw that Ina’s recipe calls for raisins, vinegar and brown sugar. I decided to trust Ina and include those ingredients in my adaptation of her recipe. I really like it. The sauce has a unique sweetness as well as a nice tangy note. I would make this again. Given the number of cabbages I am getting in my CSA winter vegetable boxes, I am happy to add this recipe to my collection.

stuffed cabbage


Stuffed Cabbage Leaves

Serves: 4 servings

  • For the sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • ¼ cup golden balsamic or red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup red wine (omit if using red wine vinegar)
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • For the filling:
  • 1 pound ground chuck
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup finely diced yellow onion
  • ¼ cup plain dried breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup cooked white rice
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 head green cabbage, including outer leaves
  1. For the sauce:
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the diced onions, reserving ¼ cup for the filling. Cook over medium-low heat until the onions are translucent. Add the canned tomatoes, vinegar, wine, brown sugar, raisins, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer covered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set the sauce aside.
  3. To remove the cabbage leaves:
  4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Remove the core of the cabbage with a paring knife. Immerse the head of cabbage in the boiling water, peeling off each leaf with tongs as soon as it s flexible. Set the leaves aside on paper towels. I used eight large leaves of cabbage. Remove the head of cabbage from the water and refrigerate for another use.
  5. For the filling:
  6. To make the filling combine the ground chuck, eggs, onion, breadcrumbs, rice, thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Add ½ cup of the sauce to the meat mixture and mix lightly with a fork.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  8. To assemble the stuffed leaves, place ½ cup of the sauce in the bottom of a large Dutch oven. Thin down the hard triangular rib from the base of each cabbage leaf with a small paring knife. Place ⅓ cup of filling near the rib edge of each leaf. Tuck the sides in fold the cabbage over the filling. Place half the cabbage rolls, seam sides down, over the sauce in the bottom of the dish. Continue assembling until all the cabbage rolls are in the pot. I ended up with eight. Pour the remaining sauce over the cabbage rolls. Cover the dish tightly with the lid and bake for 1 hour until the meat is cooked. Baste with the sauce from the bottom of the pot and serve piping hot.

stuffed cabbage600

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Turkey Pot Pie Sat, 24 Jan 2015 05:45:42 +0000

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Please excuse our absence. We have been sick. First Michael, then me.

I hate being sick. I hate being in bed all day curled up in blankets. My mind goes wild thinking of all the things I could be doing. Before I got sick I cooked a big turkey breast and we ate that for a couple of days. I used the last of the turkey tonight in this flaky crusted, turkey and vegetable pot pie.


One of the reasons I was excited to make this pot pie was the vegetables. For my birthday I bought a set of Wusthof knives and they arrived today. They are amazing. I am really going to have to be careful because I am accustomed to old, dull, serrated knives. Chopping, peeling and dicing the veggies for this pie was such a treat! I cut through a thick carrot like it was buttah.

You could make this pot pie with a homemade pie crust but I’m sick.  I cheated and used a prepared crust on top of the filling in a casserole dish. It was the perfect comfort food.

I just sneaked down to the kitchen for a second helping of turkey pot pie. I’m feeding my cold you know, unless I actually have the flu, in which case I am supposed to starve it. Comfort food almost makes being sick worth it.

Turkey Pot Pie

Serves: 4 servings

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion, diced in large pieces
  • 2 - 3 small Yukon Gold potatoes, diced
  • ½ cup fresh diced carrots (or frozen)
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken or turkey broth
  • ¾ cup half and half
  • 1 teaspoon dried poultry seasoning
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups cubed turkey breast
  • 1 pie crust
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Lightly butter a medium casserole dish.
  3. To make the filling, melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion, stirring occasionally, until onions become translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the carrots and peas and remove from heat. Pour the broth into a medium sauce pot and add the diced potatoes. Cook until the potatoes are cooked but still a little firm and the broth has reduced by half. Whisk in flour into the skillet with the vegetables and cook on medium heat for about a minute. Use a slotted spoon to remove the potatoes from the broth and add them to the skillet. Gradually whisk in the hot broth, followed by the half and half and poultry seasoning. Cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in turkey. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Pour the filling into the buttered casserole dish. Cover with crust and make several small slits to allow the steam to escape. For color you can lightly brush the crust with egg wash. I skipped this step.
  5. Place into oven and bake until the crust is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Of course you could make this pot pie with chicken as well as turkey. It is a great use of leftovers.


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Turkey Tetrazzini Gone Wild Mon, 29 Dec 2014 00:43:55 +0000

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It was only an eight pound locally raised organic turkey, but Michael and I ate it roasted for Christmas dinner, for sandwiches, and again for turkey Tetrazzini and turkey chili. Finally it is gone, except for a quart of turkey broth tucked away in the freezer for another day. Last night I simmered the carcass in a big pot on the stove then refrigerated it overnight. Sorry I said carcass. This morning I pulled the meat off the bones and separated the white meat from the dark.

Turkey Tetrazzini Gone Wild @

The white meat would be made into turkey Tetrazzini and the dark meat, turkey chili. I added peas, carrots, mushrooms, fontina cheese, spaghetti and wild rice to my Tetrazzini. I came up with this recipe after scouring the internet and finding one after the other using condensed cream of mushroom soup. Nope, that was not going to happen. I made a white sauce with butter, cream, and cheese for this Tetrazzini. The idea to add the wild rice came from a recipe I found online for turkey soup.

If you have any turkey leftover, this is a beautiful way to prepare the white meat.

Turkey Tetrazzini Gone Wild @

I love the part along the edge of the casserole dish where the cheese gets all crispy.

Turkey Tetrazzini Gone Wild @

You could easily leave the wild rice out if you don’t have it, but it does add a nice crunch to an otherwise creamy dish. Here’s the recipe.

Turkey Tetrazzini Gone Wild
  • 12 ounces spaghetti, broken in half
  • 6 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup turkey (or chicken) broth
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh thyme, finely minced
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons sherry cooking wine
  • 3 cups cooked turkey, cut into 1" dice
  • ¾ cup cooked wild rice
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • ⅔ cup freshly grated Fontina cheese
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta. Cook to al dente and drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid. Set aside pasta and reserved water.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons butter to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, onions, and carrots and sauté until the carrots soften and the mushrooms and onions begin to brown. Pour into a bowl and set aside.
  3. Add remaining 4 tablespoons butter to skillet along with flour. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Do not let the butter flour mixture brown.
  4. Add the milk, cream, and stock to a bowl and stir. Gradually add the liquid to the roux (butter/flour mixture), whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Cook until smooth and thickened, about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add salt, minced fresh thyme, pepper, nutmeg, and fresh lemon juice, sherry, and vegetables.
  6. Taste and add more salt and pepper if desired.
  7. Pour into a large mixing bowl and add the turkey, wild rice, and Fontina cheese. Stir to combine. Add some of the reserved cooking liquid if mixture is too dry.
  8. Transfer mixture to a buttered 9X13-inch casserole dish.
  9. Sprinkle top with Parmesan cheese. Place in oven and bake for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees.


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Easy Orange Chicken Sat, 13 Dec 2014 04:33:41 +0000

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The inspiration for the this version of orange chicken came from an unlikely source. Breakfast. I love toast in the morning, specifically toast with orange marmalade. I think it pairs perfectly with a hot cup of black coffee. Yesterday I picked up a jar of marmalade from the food co-op. It was not my usual brand. Instead of the tangy, semi-bitter taste I love, this marmalade was super sweet. I didn’t care for it on toast.

In the spirit of waste-not, want-not I devised a plan to re-purpose the marmalade. The first thing that came to mind was orange chicken. I didn’t want the orange peel in the sauce, so I emptied the entire jar of marmalade into a small saucepan and heated it with a little water. I poured the melted marmalade through a sieve and separated the orange peel. I used the rest to make the orange chicken sauce. The meal came together quickly using things I already had on hand.

We really enjoyed this simple version of grandson Buddy’s favorite, orange chicken. It is worth buying a jar of marmalade, just for this chicken.

Easy Orange Chicken at

The beautiful carrots were part of the Winter Vegetable Box from the CSA. This was my first week as part of the CSA.

orange chicken-32


Fragrant steamed Jasmine rice is the perfect accompaniment to the orange chicken and carrots.

Easy Orange Chicken at

All that you need now is a little scallion for garnish and your chopsticks.

orange chicken-5a

And keeping waste-not, want not in mind, I have included a bonus recipe that makes great use of the candied orange peel from the strained marmalade. I don’t want to show my cards at this time, but let me just say that chocolate is involved.

Serves: 2-3 servings

  • For the sauce:
  • 14 ounce jar of orange marmalade
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ⅛ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • ½ teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon red chili paste
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • For the marinade
  • 1 Tablespoon sake
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • For the chicken
  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • ½ cup white rice flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Canola oil for frying
  • 4 small carrots, cooked, sliced
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  1. Empty the jar of marmalade into a small saucepan. Add the water and heat over medium heat until thin. Pour the marmalade through a sieve over a small bowl. Save the candied orange pulp for another use and pour the liquid back into the pot. Add the soy sauce, orange juice, ginger, chile paste and salt. Cook over medium heat until heated trough. Set aside.
  2. Cut the chicken breasts into cubes. Mix the marinade and pour over the chicken cubes. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. While the chicken is in the marinade, peel, slice and cook the carrots in boiling water until soft but still a bit firm in the center. Set aside.
  4. Pour canola oil into a heavy pot with straight sides to a depth of 2 inches. Heat over medium high heat to 350 degrees. Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and dredge in the salted rice flour. Fry in the oil a few at a time until light golden brown and cooked thoroughly. Drain on paper towels and place in a 300 degree oven until all the chicken is cooked.
  5. Place the chicken pieces and carrots on a serving plate and pour the sauce over the top. Garnish with chopped scallions and serve over steamed rice.


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Pork Fried Rice…at home! Wed, 30 Apr 2014 22:45:59 +0000

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We love fried rice, especially BBQ pork fried rice. I have tried making it at home a couple of times without much success. I always found the rice to be the wrong consistency, usually too mushy. The take-out fried rice we like has firm rice grains, not stuck together.

Finding myself with a piece of BBQ Char Sui BBQ pork today, I decided I had to try making fried rice again. I got a lot closer to the real deal this time. I had sushi rice, jasmine rice, and medium grain premium rice on hand. I went with the medium grain, preparing it in a rice cooker. It was the right choice. I adapted a couple of recipes I found online to make the fried rice. Both used sesame oil and garlic, both in amounts that were too heavy. It was still quite good but a little less garlic and sesame oil would suit our tastes more. Next time!

Researching fried rice recipes online was interesting. Some included ingredients I don’t associate with fried rice. One recipe called for a cup of sliced mushrooms. Not in my fried rice! Another included zucchini, and peppers. Again, not in my fried rice, and certainly not in Michael’s!

So I’ll tell you how I made it, with suggestions to make it better, even though it was good as is. Fried rice can be made with BBQ pork, chicken, beef, shrimp, or any other meat you choose. A favorite around here is House Fried Rice which contains all four of these meats. I made steamed pork buns a couple of days ago and happened to have leftover BBQ pork, so that is what I used.






Pork Fried home!


  • 3 cups steamed medium grain rice
  • ¼ cup chopped green onions (the white part)
  • ⅓ cup chopped carrot
  • ⅓ cup frozen green peas
  • ⅓ cup diced ham/pork, chicken, shrimp, or cooked sliced beef
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 small clove garlic, pressed or finely minced (optional)
  • ½ tsp sesame oil (optional)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 TBS soy sauce
  • 2 tsp peanut oil
  • Green onion tops, sliced for garnish
  1. Heat 1 tsp of peanut oil in a wok or a large skillet on medium-high heat. Put the carrots and garlic (if using) in the pan and cook until done. Add the frozen peas and meat to the wok and stir to combine with the carrots. Push the vegetable and meat to one side and add the second tablespoon of peanut oil. When the oil heats up, pour the lightly beaten eggs into the wok or skillet and cook as you would for scrambled eggs. Add the rice and stir-fry it all together until heated through.Turn the heat down to low, pour soy sauce, salt, and sesame seed oil (if using) and stir quickly. You may lead less or more salt depending on taste and the meat you used. Garnish with sliced green onion tops.


]]> 5
Steak au Poivre Tue, 22 Apr 2014 02:43:00 +0000 Steak au poivre in French, is literally steak with pepper. Traditionally it is a filet mignon, generously coated in crushed peppercorns, seared at a high temperature to create a crust on the outside leaving the interior rare to medium rare. It is left to rest while the pan sauce is made. Typically the pan sauce includes the fond, those tasty bits scraped from the bottom of the pan, cognac, butter, shallots, Dijon mustard, and heavy cream. Despite having had steak au poivre two nights in a row, it is a rich dish, perfect for special occasions. Yesterday we enjoyed steak au poivre with steamed asparagus and fresh radish as our Easter meal. I cooked the remaining steak tonight, served with French fries, a more common side dish with steak au poivre.

Despite its fancy name, this is an easy dish to prepare and is sure to make a statement on anyone’s dinner table.



Adapted from Epicurious

Steak au Poivre


  • 4 (1-inch-thick) boneless beef filet mignon
  • 2 Tsp kosher salt
  • 2 TBS whole black peppercorns
  • 1 TBS vegetable oil
  • 2 chopped shallots
  • ½ stick (1/4 cup) salted butter
  • ½ cup Cognac or other brandy
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard (optional)
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  1. Preheat oven to 200°F.
  2. Season both sides of steaks with kosher salt.
  3. Coarsely crush peppercorns in a sealed plastic bag with a meat pounder rolling-pin, then press pepper evenly onto both sides of steaks.
  4. Heat a heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot, add oil, and sauté steaks in 2 batches, turning over once, about 6 minutes for medium-rare.
  5. Transfer steaks as cooked to a heatproof platter and keep warm in oven while making sauce.
  6. Pour excess fat from skillet leaving the browned bits on the bottom of pan. Add shallots and half of butter (2 tablespoons) to skillet and cook over moderately low heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits, until shallots are well-browned, 3 to 5 minutes.
  7. Remove pan from heat and add the cognac or brandy. Return pan to heat and boil, stirring, until liquid is reduced to a glaze, 2 to 3 minutes. Add cream and any meat juices accumulated on platter and boil sauce, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, 3 to 5 minutes. Add remaining butter and Dijon mustard and cook over low heat until butter is incorporated. Serve sauce with steaks.

Steak Bite

]]> 4
Chinese-Style Lemon Chicken Fri, 21 Feb 2014 17:51:10 +0000 Lemon chicken reminds me of my son. For many years he lived in a small desert town with only a handful of restaurants. The upside to having nowhere to eat, is that he became a great cook. This came in handy after he married a lovely girl who still can’t boil water. On a visit with us a few years ago, he told a funny story about buying lemon chicken at the only Chinese restaurant in town. Apparently this lemon chicken was the crème de la crème of lemon chicken. The problem was, not just anybody could buy the lemon chicken. As the story goes, the restaurant owner picks and chooses who get’s it and who doesn’t. If you’re a Seinfeld fan, think “Soup Nazi.” It was sort of like that. Mark’s story included funny tales of fellow officers claiming Monday morning bragging rights for scoring lemon chicken over the weekend. I guess that’s what cops do in a town without a doughnut shop!

I enjoyed the story then and remembering it again now. My son has since moved to the Palm Springs area where restaurants abound. But I am guessing he still remembers that lemon chicken.

My refrigerator veggie drawers are still full of Meyer lemons, so I decided to make Chinese-style lemon chicken for dinner. I read many recipes and found that there is great debate about how lemon chicken is supposed to be prepared. There is Chinese lemon chicken, Americanized Chinese lemon chicken, lemon chicken, and so on. Wishing to steer clear of the debate, I am calling mine Chinese-Style Lemon Chicken.  The sauce is lemony, tart, and a bit spicy with the addition of red pepper and a little grated ginger. I loved it, but Michael was a bit wary at first, but ended up loving it. Especially tasty was the chicken itself. I was really happy with the way it came out. I saved a few strips to cook after dinner so I could take photos, and I admit that several were missing in the last shot.

lemon chicken575_edited-1
If my son is really good on his next visit, I may make this for him. Or not.  :-)

Chinese Style Lemon Chicken
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
  • For the marinade:
  • 3 TBS low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 TBS sherry cooking wine
  • 1 TBS cornstarch
  • Zest of one lemon (save the juice for the sauce)
  • For the sauce
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Pinch of salt, or to taste
  • ½ tsp grated ginger
  • 2 TBS rice wine vinegar
  • 2 TBS low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp red chili paste, or red pepper flakes
  • 1 TBS orange marmalade (optional)
  • 5 TBS water
  • 2 tsp corn starch
  • For the chicken
  • ⅓ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • Peanut oil for frying chicken
  • Garnish
  • Sliced green onions
  • Toasted white sesame seeds
  • Steamed Rice
  1. Mix the ingredients for the marinade and pour over the chicken. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Mix all the ingredients for the Sauce except the water and cornstarch. Set aside.
  3. Remove the marinated chicken from the marinating liquid. Dredge the chicken strips in the corn starch and all-purpose flour mixture. Heat a skillet or wok with about two inches of peanut oil. As soon as the oil is fully heated, deep-fry the chicken until golden brown. Transfer the cooked chicken to a baking tray lined with paper towels. Repeat until all the chicken is cooked. Keep chicken warm in a 250 degree oven if needed.
  4. Add all the sauce ingredients, except the water and cornstarch, into a small sauce pan and bring it to a quick boil. Add the cornstarch to the water and mix to make a slurry. Slowing pour the slurry into the sauce, stirring constantly until the thickness you want is achieved. This should happen almost immediately. Remove from heat.
  5. Transfer the fried chicken to a serving dish and pour the sauce over. If you are not serving it immediately, add the sauce at serving time to keep the chicken crispy.
  6. Top with the white sesame seeds and scallions, and serve immediately with steamed rice. This chicken can also be served as an appetizer with the sauce on the side for dipping.


lemon chicken575

]]> 0
Chili Mac Thu, 20 Feb 2014 19:46:57 +0000 “Jimmy, Jimmy, oh Jimmy Mack, when are you com in’ back?
My arms are missing you, my lips feel the same way too…”

Jimmy Mack was a catchy little Motown tune, recorded by Martha and the Vandellas in the late 1960’s.



Chili Mac was a Betty Crocker Hamburger Helper flavor introduced in the early 1970’s.












When I think about Chili Mac, the song Jimmy Mack always gets stuck in my head. Always.

Newsflash: Chili Mac Hamburger Helper has been discontinued! barnie


Well, maybe it’s a coincidence but…

“Chili, Chili, oh Chili Mac, when are you comin’ back?
My arms are missing you, my lips feel the same way too…”

It is these moments that make us ponder. “Am I psychic?” “Did I unknowingly predict the demise of Chili Mac Hamburger Helper decades in advance?” And, “Chili Mac will you be comin’ back?”

Hamburger Helper was a staple in my household in the 70’s when I was a working Mom raising two kids. It was a much simpler time. Scratch cooking was being replaced by convenience products that allowed us to get home from work and still get dinner on the table before bedtime. No one thought much about additives, preservatives, and artificial ingredients. These meals were easy, fast, and many of them actually tasted good, including chili mac.

Fast forward forty years when I have all the time in the world to get dinner on the table. I still like a comfort food classic like chili mac now and again. A pretty jar of curly pasta on my kitchen counter this week brought back memories of chili mac and, I had to have it. Immediately the song Jimmy Mack came into my head and is stuck there still, four days later.

I am not inclined to grab boxed “dinners” off the shelf in the grocery store these days but I knew the recipe for chili mac could not be too complicated, minus the ingredients I can’t pronounce.  I gave it a shot, winging it all the way, and ended up with a tasty version of chili mac.



It was still good warmed up for lunch yesterday!


Give it a try, but consider yourself warned, that song will get stuck in your head.

Chili Mac
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces macaroni
  • 1 small can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • ½ cup tomato Catsup
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 TBS chili powder (more if you like it spicy)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • Sliced scallions and sour cream for garnish
  1. In a large skillet, brown onion in olive oil until just translucent. Add the ground beef and continue to cook until browned and crumbly. Add macaroni to boiling salted water and cook to al dente' stage, then drain. To the ground beef add tomato sauce, catsup, water, chili powder, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese; cover and continue to heat until cheese is melted.
  2. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of finely sliced scallions.


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Perfect Valentine’s Day dinner for two. Thu, 13 Feb 2014 18:34:26 +0000

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I couldn’t wait until Friday for Valentine’s Day dinner after finding a nice, small beef tenderloin at the market. We prefer beef tenderloin over prime rib to make at home. The flavor is good if properly seasoned, it is tender and buttery if cooked right, and it is usually available in smaller sizes. While it is more expensive than prime rib, there is less waste and no bones. But, I do love to sneak off by myself with a meaty prime rib beef bone from time to time.  For home cooking, we mostly stick with beef tenderloin.

Now, here’s my beef (pun intended) about beef tenderloin. It is pricey. I think when paying $13.99 per pound, the meat should be ready to cook when purchased. But alas, it is not. I always have to do some trimming on beef tenderloin. If I buy a whole beef tenderloin in a cryovac package, I expect to have to do the work myself. When it is being sold for top dollar as a beef tenderloin roast, I shouldn’t have to do a thing. But, I do, so here goes.

Here is the beef tenderloin as I received it. Still intact is the silverskin, a rubbery piece of connective tissue similar to a thick rubber band. No one wants to eat that. The piece called the chain, the fatty sinewy piece in the bottom of the picture, needs to be removed as well.

trimmingtenderloin copy


The first thing I do is remove the silver skin. Using a sharp knife, which I don’t have, slip it under the silverskin and lift up until you can grab hold with one hand.




Slide your knife under the silverskin while pulling it up slightly with the other hand. Grab it with a paper towel if it is too slippery. Cut along the length of the tenderloin until the strip is removed. Repeat to remove the adjacent pieces. If you angle your knife towards the silverskin, it is easier to remove it without losing any of the meat along with it.



Here is the tenderloin with the silverskin removed. Now it is time to remove the chain. The easiest way to do it is to pull it off in one piece with your hands. It should come away fairly easily from the tenderloin. You may want to do a little extra trimming of the tenderloin once the chain is removed. There is a little useable meat in the chain, but not much in a small piece of tenderloin like this one. I roast it in the same pan with the tenderloin to get the benefit of the fat in the chain. Then I cut up the good stuff and let Tucker have a little feast as well. Here is the meat with the silverskin removed and the chain still attached.




Here is my finished tenderloin with the silverskin and chain removed. It is tied and ready for cooking. Tenderloin is tied because it naturally tapers at one end. If left to cook this way, one end will be like shoe leather before the other gets done. Fold over the small end and tie the whole thing with butcher’s twine. As you can see in the picture, there is quite a bit of waste at $13.99 per pound. The most economical way is to buy a whole beef tenderloin and trim it yourself. The reduced price for buying it this way compensates for the waste.  If I ever get a good sharp filet knife, I may start doing this myself. We buy a lot of filet minion.


On to the preparation and cooking. 

I made a wet rub of 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 tsp kosher salt, 1 TBS freshly ground pepper, 1 TBS Dijon mustard, 3 clover pressed garlic, and 1 tsp finely chopped rosemary.



I slathered it all over the sides and ends of the meat and let it marinade in a glass loaf pan, at room temperature for about an hour. Don’t refrigerate it. Cold tenderloin will take longer to cook. If you plan to marinate it longer than an hour, do put it in the refrigerator please. It can be done up to a day ahead of time and refrigerated. Do let it come to room temperature before cooking though.



Things got a bit hectic at this point and I didn’t have time for pictures. I heated a heavy skillet on high heat with just enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Using tongs, I placed the beef into the hot skillet and browned all sides and ends quickly. Stay right there and turn it until every surface is nicely crusted. You aren’t cooking the meat with this step, just searing the outside. Do not cook the meat in the loaf pan. It should be roasted uncovered, on a baking sheet. I used an electric roaster on 425 degrees with the lid on, but you can certainly use your oven.  After 10 minutes I reduced the heat to 375 degrees and cooked until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part read 136 degrees. I removed the beef from the roaster, covered it loosely with foil, and let it rest for 20 minutes while I finished preparing the side dishes. Save the pan juices in a small saucepan to heat and pour over the beef when serving. While not traditional with beef tenderloin, a nice horseradish sour cream sauce is always welcome at my table, even on Valentine’s Day.

About the side dishes.

On the same shopping trip, I found the most beautiful artichoke I had ever seen. Along with being beautiful, it was big enough for two. It would be the perfect accompaniment to the beef tenderloin.


I trimmed the artichoke by cutting off the warp tip with kitchen shears. I them sliced it in half, removed the hairy part and most of the small leaves, exposing the artichoke heart. I soaked the trimmed artichoke halves in lemon water until time to cook. I steamed them until almost done in salted lemon water. I removed them from the steamer and allowed them to drain completely. I brushed  the edges with olive oil, sprinkled on kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and finished them on my indoor grill. You could do this on your gas grill outside or inside on a hot grill pan on the stove. The smokey flavor and nice grill marks are what you are looking for. I served mine with roasted red pepper aioli. To make the sauce I added a couple of jarred roasted red pepper purée to a half cup mayonnaise and squeezed in a little lemon. Red-Pepper-Hating Michael loved it!

I also made Duchess Potatoes. These are an old school potato recipe that goes back to our mothers’ time. It is still good today and a welcome change of pace for the humble potato. Recipes abound online but I basically just peeled, cubed and boiled two russet potatoes. I drained them completely, added butter , cream, and egg yolks, salt, and whipped them with a hand mixer. They key to getting them to turn out right is not to add too much liquid. They are then piped onto a buttered baking tray with a piping bag and a large star tip. I them popped them into the freezer for a half hour. I drizzled melted butter over them before baking until the peaks are lightly golden brown.

I served my Valentine’s Day dinner for two with an artisan Mediterranean style bread with kalamata olives. Each side complemented the meat perfectly.

We may have been a couple of days early, but why wait to savor this? Happy Valentine’s Day!


]]> 3
Meyer Lemon Chicken under a brick Sun, 19 Jan 2014 05:40:12 +0000

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There are plenty of lemon chicken recipes that use a brick to weigh down the poultry. My recipe was inspired by the beautiful Meyer lemons that I found at Whole Foods this week. I had chicken, lemons, thyme, garlic, and butter but I didn’t have a brick! To make this recipe, I had to go to Home Depot. I picked up a couple of plain red bricks, washed them in hot soapy water and wrapped them in foil. I was ready to cook!

I used butter, lemon, garlic, thyme, and sherry for my sauce. I heated the sauce in a heavy braising pan.


I placed a whole chicken with the back bone removed, skin side down in the hot pan.


I covered the chicken with the bricks and let it brown on the stove top for a few minutes, then braised it in the oven.


Meyer Lemon Chicken under a brick
  • 1 3-pound chicken, backbone removed
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 cloves peeled garlic
  • ¼ cup sherry
  • Juice and zest of 1 Meyer lemon
  • 2 - 3 sprigs thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Meyer lemon, thinly sliced
  • 2 bricks, wrapped in aluminum foil
  1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
  2. Place the butter, olive oil, garlic, thyme, lemon juice, zest and sherry into a heavy braising pan or Dutch oven. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat the sauce over medium heat until hot and bubbly.
  3. Place the chicken, skin side down in the pan and press the bricks on top. Reduce the heat to low and cook 10 to 12 minutes until the skin is golden brown. Slide the braising pan into the oven and bake 1 hour without removing the bricks. Remove the bricks, flip the chicken over, add the lemon slices and heat under the broiler until the lemons are slightly browned. Cool 5 minutes before slicing, and serving.

Before serving, I removed the bricks, flipped the chicken over, added lemon slices and finished it under the broiler. I served the chicken with angel hair pasta and steamed vegetables. It was flavorful and juicy, simple and stunning. The brick cooking method lets the skin brown beautifully without the meat drying out. Yum.


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Asian Style Short Ribs Wed, 15 Jan 2014 22:12:14 +0000

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My friend Kelly started a trend in an online chicken chat when she posted the link to a short rib recipe she tried. I have not always been successful when cooking short ribs, but this sounded too good to pass up. The recipe comes from Emeril Lagasse, via The Food Network. It features short ribs, slow cooked in an Asian-inspired braising liquid. The flavors of orange, soy, ginger, garlic, and lemon grass sounded perfect and smelled divine as this dish cooked. I chose to remove the meat from the bones and serve it with sushi rice and baby bok choy. It’s embarrassing to say, but Michael and I both groaned on the sofa after dinner, too full of Asian short ribs. It was one of those dishes where one more bite couldn’t hurt, until it does.


I followed the recipe as written except I added a bit more brown sugar at the end, as the sauce was thickening. I enjoyed the sauce almost more than the beef, spooning it over my rice, again and again. This one’s a keeper!

Just a note about short ribs: They can be good or they can be bad. By bad, I mean fatty and gristly. Buy short ribs with a good amount of meat on the bone. Talk to the butcher and ask him to pick out the best ones for you. Don’t ruin a good recipe with bad beef.  I learned this lesson the hard way.

Here is Emeril’s recipe, but as always, the photos is mine.

Asian Style Short Ribs
  • 5 pounds beef short ribs, cut into 4-ounce portions
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 (5-inch) stalk lemongrass, halved and smashed
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and minced ginger
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 quart water
  • ½ cup sliced green onion bottoms, white part only
  • ¾ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • ¼ cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Jasmine Rice, for serving
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange rind, for serving
  • Sliced green onion tops, optional for garnish
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a wide stockpot or Dutch oven, combine the short ribs, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, brown sugar, water, green onion bottoms, crushed red pepper, and 2 tablespoons of the orange juice. Make sure that the stockpot is deep enough so that the short ribs are submerged in the liquid.
  3. Bake the short ribs, covered, for about 3 hours, or until the meat is tender and falling off the bones. Remove the short ribs from the braising liquid and cover to keep warm. Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees F.
  4. Drain the fat off of the cooking liquid and discard. Place the remaining braising juices in a medium saucepan with ¼ cup of the hoisin sauce and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the liquid until only about 1¼ cups remain. Strain through a fine-meshed strainer, discarding the solids. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of orange juice and the lemon juice.
  5. Return the short ribs and the reduced sauce to the stockpot or Dutch oven, coating the short ribs well with the sauce. Bake for 10 minutes, until the short ribs are heated through and slightly glazed. Serve hot over jasmine rice. Season each portion with the orange zest and garnish with the green onions if desired.


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Grandmother’s Chicken – Revisited Sat, 16 Nov 2013 06:09:02 +0000

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I first made Grandmother’s Chicken as part of my Sunset Recipe Challenge in April, 2011. I have revisited some of our favorite dishes and this is definitely one that we enjoyed the first time.

I made Grandmother’s Chicken for dinner on a busy day this week. It is a one pot meal, which makes it even better. The chicken is browned in a hot Dutch oven or braising pan, then the vegetables and chicken cook together in the oven. The recipe calls for pearl onions, potatoes, and mushrooms but you could certainly change it up. I think carrots would be nice. They would caramelize during cooking and add a lot of flavor. I think I’ll try that next time. This time I just followed the original recipe and everything still works! Michael ate all the chunks of roasted garlic except one. I just cut the top off a bulb of garlic and tossed it in without peeling. Yummy.



Here’s the printable recipe.

Grandmother's Chicken from Sunset Magazine


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 chicken (4 to 5 lbs.), cut into 6 pieces (2 bone-in breast halves, 2 bone-in thighs, and 2 bone-in drumsticks)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup frozen pearl onions
  • 6 large cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 pound baby Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and halved
  • 3 slices thick-cut bacon, sliced crosswise into ¼-in.-wide pieces
  • 1 pound cremini or button mushrooms, trimmed and cut into quarters
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed 4- to 5-qt. pot over medium-high heat. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper and add skin side down to pot. Cook until skin is crispy and deeply browned, about 12 minutes. Remove chicken from pot and set aside.
  2. Pour off all but 2 tbsp. cooking fat, reduce heat to medium-low, and add onions, garlic, and thyme. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes, then add potatoes and bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is well browned, about 8 minutes. Pour off all but a thin layer of fat.
  3. Add mushrooms and chicken stock, bring liquid to a boil, and cook until liquid is reduced by one-quarter. Arrange chicken, skin side up, on top of vegetables.
  4. Transfer pot to oven and bake, uncovered, until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes.



NaBloPoMo November 2013

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Chimichurri Chicken Sandwich on Pretzel Buns Mon, 28 Oct 2013 04:01:20 +0000

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My Safeway store just added pretzel buns to their bakery line-up. I had to try them! I wasn’t disappointed, but I will try making my own at home next time. I thought they would go well with chicken. The only decision left was, what kind of chicken? I thought about ranch but that seemed too much like “fast food” if you know what I mean. I decided to go outside the box and make chimichurri grilled chicken breasts with lettuce, tomato, and avocado. My garden is just about done for the season but I still have lots of fresh herbs for the chimichurri sauce.



Chimichurri Chicken Sandwich on Pretzel Buns

Serves: 2

  • 2 chicken breasts, pounded thin
  • 2 pretzel buns, split
  • 2 tomato slices
  • 2 Romaine lettuce leaves
  • Avocado slices
  • For the chimichurri sauce:
  • 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 Tbs. fresh oregano leaves
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 TBS Champagne vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  1. Pulse the parsley, garlic and organ in a food processor until finely chopped. You can also do this by hand. Pour into a medium bowl and add the olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. You can add extra red pepper flakes if you like it spicier.
  2. Marinate the pounded chicken breasts in half the chimichurri sauce for at least an hour. Grill until cooked completely through. Add extra sauce if you like before serving. Warm the pretzel buns on the girl or in the microwave for 25 seconds. Slather on some mayonnaise if you like, top with the veggies and enjoy.

Feel free to pour on extra sauce before eating!


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Chipotle Ale Shredded Beef Wed, 02 Oct 2013 04:54:21 +0000

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Pot roast gets pretty boring. I love it, but sometimes a nice beef chuck just needs a makeover. While strolling through the grocery store with a beef chuck in my cart, a bottle of chipotle ale caught my eye. I like cooking with ales and this seemed like a good flavor profile for beef roast.


I already had rice in the steamer so I decided to make a shredded chipotle beef to serve over rice. I seasoned the meat well with salt, pepper, and A1 Chipotle rub.


I seared both sides of the roast in a small amount of olive oil in a heavy, hot braising pot.


I poured the full bottle of ale over the meat, put the lid on and cooked it for several hours in a 300 degree oven. During the cooking process, as the liquid evaporated, I added beef stock. When the meat was fall-apart-tender, I removed it from the oven. I took the meat out of the pan and let it rest on the cutting board until it was cool enough to shred.


I added pearl onions and carrots to the liquid and cooked it on the stove top until the carrots were tender. I added a couple of tablespoons of chipotle paste to the liquid and put the shredded beef back to the pot to heat through. I served it over plain white rice. You can vary the amount of chipotle paste to suit your own taste or leave it out entirely. I think I got the heat level just right. Hot enough for me but not too hot for Michael. This one’s a keeper. Flour tortillas would have been a good substitution for the dinner roll. Good for sopping up the sauce.


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Pulled Pork with Apple Juice and Dr. Pepper Fri, 20 Sep 2013 23:06:15 +0000

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Pulled pork sandwiches were on the menu for dinner last night.  In a move made famous by  The Pioneer Woman, I added Dr. Pepper to the crock pot. I took it a step further and added apple juice as well. My Dr. Pepper addiction inspired my cooking yesterday in other ways too. Check out my recipe for Dr. Pepper Apple Cake.

But, not ones to eat dessert before dinner, let’s get back to the pulled pork. Since there was just two of us for dinner, I picked out a small pork shoulder-blade steak. It made the perfect amount of pulled pork for three hearty sandwiches. I cooked it for several hours in the slow cooker until it fell apart.  It bathed all day in a Dr. Pepper and apple juice hot tub. The result was sweet, juicy pulled pork.

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Pulled Pork with Apple and Dr. Pepper
  • Pork Shoulder
  • Dr. Pepper, 12 oz
  • Apple juice, 8 oz
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Add the pork, Dr. Pepper, and apple juice to a slow cooker. Cook until the meat begins to fall apart. Mine cooked on high for three hours. Remove the meat from the cooker and allow to rest until it is cool enough to pull. Skim any fat off the juice in the slow cooker. Pour the remaining juices into a medium saucepan. Add the brown sugar, salt and pepper and simmer until thickened. Pull the pork into shreds. Pour the thickened sauce over it. Serve on toasted rolls with condiments of your choice. If you don't like sweet pulled pork just omit the brown sugar.



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