Thursday, September 25, 2008

Lemon Pepper Panko Chicken

On the dinner plate: lemon pepper panko chicken, jasmine rice and fresh garden zucchini with Parmesan cheese. We also had fresh garden sweet corn.
Lemon Pepper Panko Chicken
I use the lemon pepper chicken breasts from Schwan's for this recipe. Put a little oil in a frying pan on medium heat - don't use non-stick, because the bread crumbs toast up better on a regular skillet. When oil is hot, add the chicken breasts flat-side down. Cook them for 5-7 minutes, until there is a nice brown carmelization on that side. Flip them over and turn heat down a little. Sprinkle panko bread crumbs generously on the top and press them into the chicken. It's O-K to sprinkle them all over the pan, don't worry about being messy. Cook chicken another 5 minutes or so, then flip again, so the crumbs are pan-side down. Sprinkle the chicken with panko again and press down. You'll do one more flip to brown up the crumbs. Go ahead and scoop toasted crumbs from the pan and press them into the chicken. No set time here, just get the crumbs toasty and make sure the chicken is done.
Jasmine Rice
I like to saute my jasmine rice before cooking it. And I rinse the rice. Put a tablespoon of butter in the pan you're going to use for rice (a pan with a lid). Melt the butter until it's bubbly, then dump in rinsed rice - I used 2 cups) and stir to coat with the butter and cook until you see a couple of browned piece of rice. Add 3 1/2 cups of water and bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer and cover until done.
Zucchini and Parmesan cheese
I peel and slice the fresh baby zucchini to about 1/4 inch think. Place in pan without stacking them. Turn heat to medium and then turn the pieces over when they start to brown. Turn off the heat and sprinkle with grated parm. Let the cheese melt and then serve. Notice that you don't need to put butter or oil in the pan, there's a lot of moisture in zucchini so oil is not needed.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Oatmeal is Perfect for a Turn in the Weather

We've had a couple of gray, cool days - and oatmeal is perfect. I don't usually use the "quick oats" - cooking cut oats really doesn't take much longer and then have more of a bite. The quick ones are usually mushy. The ratio is two parts water to one part oats. Bring water to a boil, stir in the oats and simmer until most of the liquid is gone. I like just a touch of sugar and milk for mine.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

BLT Salad Sandwich

I picked a nice batch of sweet cherry tomatoes for this recipe. It's a BLT salad sandwich. Simple to do. Mix mayonnaise and some red wine vinegar, enough to really cover the salad. Toss chopped romaine, tomatoes, and chopped bacon. Serve on a fresh baguette. Oh, and how to cook bacon. A military cook a long time ago told me, "never fry bacon." And I never have since that day. I bake the bacon in a deep dish, 350 degrees. You don't need to turn it, it doesn't splatter all over, either. Cook until done like you like it, and we like it crispy.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Roadside Ribs and Chicken

We attended a "parents' night" at my daughter's school last night and there was really no time for dinner. So, on the way home, I pulled up to a roadside ribs and chicken trailer and brought some home.
The ribs were good, very tender, but not very flavorful. The chicken was more flavorful, but I was too full to take more than just a taste after eating all these ribs. You can get a rack of ribs and half a chicken for about $20.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fresh Mozzarella and Garden Tomatoes

This is so simple, and so good. Slices of fresh mozzarella and garden tomatoes sprinkled with coarse sea salt. Sometimes, I tuck fresh basil leaves in. Sometimes, I drizzle with olive oil. You can't go wrong with this combination. Prepare the dish, and then let it sit for 10-15 minutes so the flavors can mix.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Goodwood Barbecue - and I Order a Salad?

My lunch the other day at one of our regular restaurants - Goodwood, which is a barbecue place. This is a chicken Caesar salad with their BBQ chicken, which has a sweet sauce on it. It's a nice contrast to the tart Caesar dressing. The food is consistent and good, the place is kid-friendly, it's nearby, and the service is O-K - not as consistent as the food quality, though. Yes, they do ribs, but I don't order them very often because I don't usually feel like getting that messy. And there's really no way to eat them except get messy when doing it.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Late Summer Backyard Party

A picture from my neighbor's late summer backyard party over the weekend. The flowers are a mixture from both of our yards. I do believe they had more than candy corn for dinner.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Peach Pie from our Friend Ben

Our friend Ben has been experimenting with peach pies because he has a bountiful harvest of peaches this year. His challenge: make a pie that's not so "runny." This one is a hit. It's kind of a combination of a pie and a cobbler, with pecans, too.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Smashed Baked Potatoes

Smashed baked potatoes, or baked smashed potatoes, and I've seen them called crash potatoes. It's National Potato Month - and Idaho is famous for its potatoes, so I'm sharing a potato recipe.
Medium-sized red potatoes - one per person, or two!
Rosemary herb seasoning - I used Pampered Chef
coarse sea salt
olive oil
Boil the whole potatoes until soft. Drain. Heat oven to 450 degrees, rack should be middle position. Brush a baking sheet with olive oil. Put the potatoes on the baking sheet and then take a potato masher and gently squish them into the pan - do a criss-cross squash. Brush them with olive oil, then sprinkle with coarse sea salt and rosemary herb blend. Bake until tops turn a bit brown. I like to put a little dab of butter on them before serving. My neighbor did this with cheese on top - why not add bacon and make a kind of potato skin?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Cherry Tomato Salsa Today

This is how I'm eating my cherry tomato salsa today. I made a big vat of the salsa over the weekend and I'm handing out to my friends and neighbors later today. Here's my recipe.
Warning: I don't measure for this recipe.
as many cherry tomatoes as you can get, garden-fresh is key for this recipe
medium-sized sweet onion, peeled and quartered
4 cloves of minced garlic
sliced deli-style jalapenos - I used a half cup, but we like it hot
Put the onion, garlic, jalapenos, and a couple of handfuls of tomatoes in a food processor. Pulse until you have small chunks in a slurry of yumminess.
Scrape it into a large bowl. Then chop, by hand, cherry tomatoes. It's labor intensive, but a labor of love! Mix it all together and salt to taste. Add cilantro just before serving. Unless you hate cilantro, then, throw the cilantro away! Serve with salty tortilla chips - we like Santitas.