THIS IS IN BEFORE MIDNIGHT SO IT COUNTS. !! (!!)
So, I have to applaud my culinary prowess tonight. I made something just off a whim, and it actually turned out edible. I’m kind of bummed I didn’t take a picture of it, but it wasn’t anything beautiful to look at… at any rate.
I took some steak-ums, and cooked them with a little salt and garlic. In a seperate pan, I melted some butter, and sauteed about 1/2 cup (not a lot) of sliced mushrooms with about 1/2 can of spinach. I drained the excess butter and moisture from the spinach off the mushroom mix, and incorporated it with the steak. I cooked it until the steak was nicely browned, and most of the moisture was gone. Then, I made my husband open the container of Pillsbury pizza dough we had on hand and rolled it onto a greased cookie sheet. I cut the dough in half and spooned in a layer of the steak mixture. I had a block of Cabot extra sharp cheese, and I shredded a decent amount onto each along with a little bit of cheddar. I don’t know how to explain how I folded the dough over the mixture, but I can best describe it as making a lovely pizza dough blanket, and then tucked the excess underneath, so it was almost like how you would fold a tortilla wrap. Popped them in the oven at 400° for about 12 minutes, then flipped them over and left them in for another 5 minutes. At the very end, I put some of the extra shredded cheese on the tops of both, and suck it under the broiler for a minute or so. It gave the dough a cheesy flavor. When I took them out, I let them rest about 10 minutes before cutting them in half and served them with some marinara sauce. ITWASSOGOOD.
First of all, hello to all my new “readers” or at the very least, the new people who’ve commented in the past couple of days! Always nice to see some new faces. Or, gravatars.
Tonight, I have a recipe to share with everyone. As I’ve explained in past posts, I suck at making chicken that doesn’t taste like cardboard… but tonight my husband pointed me towards this you tuber and this chicken parmesan recipe. This is the third or fourth recipe I’ve made of his, and they’ve all been simple and delicious. They are explained in easy to follow videos (and the chef has a pleasant voice, too) and then you just go to the website for each individual recipe’s measurements. The only thing I wish is that someone would design a decent looking blog for the man. But if you follow the links I just provided you, I ask that you please take a minute to vote for his blog “Food Wishes” RIGHT HERE in the “Best food Travel Series: Web” and the “Best Home Chef.”
Also, since he’s not a contender in the comedic series, I would suggest you vote for My Drunk Kitchen (…and if you haven’t watched her videos, please do! She’s hillarious!)
All right, enough with the link pimping and onto the recipe, courtesy of Chef John:
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- hot red pepper flakes, to taste
- 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I used 5, but they were huge!)
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- 1/4 cup chopped basil
- 8 oz mozzarella, shredded
- 4 oz Parmesan, grated
- 1 (5-oz) package garlic croutons
In a 9×13″ dish, pour the 2 tbsp olive oil and the crushed garlic. Spread as evenly as you can, and then sprinkle 2-3 pinches of red pepper flakes on the bottom. Place the breasts on top of the olive oil mixture. (You may be thinking that you need to season the breasts, but don’t! It’ll be way too salty.) Pour the marinara (or spaghetti) sauce over the chicken and use a spoon to evenly coat the chicken. Sprinkle the basil on top of the sauce, then 4oz of the mozzarella cheese and 2oz of the grated parmesan cheese (1/2 of each.) Pour the package of garlic croutons onto the sauce, and push into the sauce a little bit with a fork. Cover the croutons with the rest of the cheeses and place in a 350° oven for 35 minutes to an hour (depending on the thickness of the chicken and how many you use) until the chicken is 155° in the middle as measured by a meat thermometer. I also broiled the top for 2 minutes to get the cheese nice and brown.
This literally took me 5 minutes to assemble and 50 minutes to cook. I liked that quickness of it and the fact that there is only one pan to wash afterwards. The chicken was nice and moist. Sophie told me it tasted like pizza, and had seconds. This one is recipe a keeper! Please let me know if you try it out, and make sure to vote for Chef John
Last night, after a bad day, I made a rack of ribs that could rival The Flintstones’. If I could do it over again, I probably would have cooked them another hour or so, but we ate them near 8 o’clock because I started them too late. They fell off the bone pretty easily when jostled, but being a perfectionist, I wanted them to fall of the bone just when lifted off the plate. I think another hour would have done that. The original plan was to marinate them in coke overnight, season them, sear them on the grill, then bake them. That didn’t happen. I don’t have great luck with bbq sauce and the grill. When I’m done, it requires a lot of scrubbing. So, after cooking them with a dry rub for about 3 ½ hours I covered them in sauce (Sweet Baby Ray’s) and just finished them off 20 minutes under broil, each side. Even sophie ate some. Actually, that child ate a LOT of ribs. I took them off the bone for her, but she probably ate the equivalent of 5 ribs, and she’s not even 5 years old yet. When that child likes something, you know it.
Well, in case you haven’t seen or heard, my family and I are moving on May 13th (Friday the 13th… argh!) It was kind of an all of a sudden thing, we just happened to find a townhouse we really loved and then there was Easter, and then Tuesday we signed the lease, called the moving company and set a date to move. 3 weeks may seem like a lot of time and we also only live in a 2 bedroom apartment right now, but there is a lot to be done. With the help of my sister and brother-in-law, we already painted Sophie’s room a pepto-bismol pink color. Tomorrow, I’m going to paint our room a light pale green. I haven’t been able to have a colored wall in 4 years, so this is exciting for me. Along with moving, however, comes a LOT of costs. First months rent on the new place, security deposit, lease break fee at the apartment we live in plus this month’s rent, moving company, new couches (ours are broken; one of the springs, in fact, poked up through and into my butt the other day… owch.)
And packing. I seriously hate packing. I would pretty much do anything to avoid packing, but alas…
Ah, back to cooking… which makes me happykins. I haven’t made a decent meal in who knows how long, but I have had the Food Network magazine I subscribe to sitting open to this “mix and match” pasta page for months. The mix and match part didn’t spark my interest, however the feature recipe for Baked Farfalle with Escarole and Zucchini- did. (Well, maybe it isn’t the most eloquent title, but the picture sure was beautiful!) Now, I don’t know, and still don’t know what Escarole is, though, judging by the picture it must be in the kale/spinach/endive family. Well, I don’t know if those of you reading this follow my blog, but spinach-like veggies and I are not the best of friends. I completely left the ‘escarole’ out of the recipe, and it still turned out delicious. Actually, come to think of it I dumbed this recipe down A LOT because I didn’t want to make my own sauce, saute garlic, or use expensive fancy cheeses that I can’t pronounce. The Food Network version of this meal added together was around $20- which to feed my whole family certainly isn’t A LOT, but using ‘normal’ cheese and jarred pasta sauce, I made this entire dinner for around $8- even less if you have all this stuff in your kitchen already. Get the recipe behind the cut and find out what I did differently (more…)