Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Creamed Chicken And Biscuits

Creamed Chicken and Biscuits

     A true comfort food in all aspects of what makes it labeled that. A southern dish from origin, creamed chicken and biscuits is; comforting, warming, wholesome, and makes you feel at home. My mom always used to make this. Albeit she made her own biscuits and usually had a shortcut with the chicken ad sauce part, but it will always remind me of her.  I never had this anywhere else.  I think she learned to cook it from my father's family. Either way it is a true country dish and being from West Virginia, I should know at least a few good down home meals, huh? Creamed Chicken And Biscuits.

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 3 tbs butter
  • 3 tbs flour
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 tbs onion powder
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • Salt/pepper
  • Pinch of savory

     In a small pot boil the chicken until done, roughly about 15 minutes. Remove and let cool before picking apart into chunks. In a large skillet melt butter and whisk in the flour. Continue whisking for about 3 minutes until your rue has cooked out the flour flavor. Pour in the chicken broth, milk, and cream slowly while still whisking.  The mixture will start to thicken up a bit and that is what you want. Lower heat to low as not to burn the cream mixture. Stir in the onion powder, garlic, and savory. Mix back in the chicken, salt and pepper to taste, and cover and simmer until you are ready to serve.  This dish serves about 3-4 people.  You will love this dish. It will make you feel warm and remind you of home.  Isn't that exactly what comfort food is supposed to do?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Bachelor's Pork Chops And Applesauce

Pork Chop And Applesauce
     What single guy doesn't love a great pork chop? I alone have many different recipes for pork chops.  I have already posted a few on here.  Pork chops are so versatile and go with about just anything.  As a single guy you have to figure out a quick and easy way to make most of what is in your freezer and fridge.  Yes I love to cook, and yes I love to come up with elaborate meals and recipes; however there are times that I just want to come home throw a steak or pork chop on the grill and eat a great and delicious meal that takes under 30 minutes. 

     This dish is inspired by the true old American meal of pork chops and applesauce.  Who doesn't remember the episode of the Brady Bunch where Peter impersonates Bogart and continues to repeat that he is having "Pork chops and applesauce" for dinner. This dish is just that with a twist that any single guy can just throw together and make it look as if he took cooking lessons.  3 ingredients are all this dish requires; Pork chop, apple butter or sauce, crushed pineapple.  That's it, so easy you won't believe once you taste it that it only required three simple ingredients and took less than 30 minutes.  Please enjoy my Bachelor's Pork Chops And Applesauce.

  • 2 large bone in or boneless pork chops
  • 4 oz apple sauce or apple butter
  • 4 oz crushed pineapple
  • Butter
  • Salt/pepper

     First simply salt and pepper your pork chops.  In a sauté pan over medium high heat melt some butter and fry your pork chops on both sides until browned.  Cover with a lid and let simmer for about 10-15 minutes until chops are cooked through.  In a small sauce pan combine the apple butter and crushed pineapple and simmer on low.  Serve over your chops and enjoy!  This dish is so easy but oh so delicious that any single guy on the go can make this in a flash.  Give it a shot for even a first date.  I am sure you will impress that special someone.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Slow Cooker Asian Pork Ribs

Slow Cooker Asian Ribs
     I was walking through my local grocery store and looking for something quick and easy to make.  I came across the meat department and saw that the butcher had Country Pork Ribs on sale.  You know the ones, the cuts of pork from the rib end side of the loin with no bone. Typically they hold a lot of meat on them and are usually very affordable.  I grabbed a pack of seven and thought to myself that they would be great with a homemade Asian inspired sauce and slow cooked in my Crockpot. What could be easier?  Make the sauce the night before and right before work toss into the Crockpot the ribs and pour in the sauce, place the lid on it, and go to work.  Once I return home dinner would be ready and all I would need to do is cook some side of rice and a vegetable. The pork was extremely tender, juicy, and packed with tons of flavor.  I will definitely be making this again and adding it to my list of repeat dishes.  Give it a try: Slow Cooked Asian Pork Ribs

  • 7 country style cut pork ribs
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbs chili paste
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 tsp diced ginger
  • 1 tbs oyster sauce
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 clove diced garlic
  • 1 tbs rice wine

     Combine all ingredients minus the ribs in a bowl and stir together until dissolved and combined.  Place all ribs into a crock pot until packed in. Pour the liquid mixture over the ribs and turn the crock pot on low.  Allow to cook for roughly 7 hours.  You will be completely amazed out how well these ribs just fall apart. The juice is almost completely absorbed and what isn't makes a great drizzle over some nice rice. The citrus combined with the Asian flavors complement each other. The ribs are sweet, salty, and flavorful.  You will definitely make this again and again. It's so easy, just throw it all in before you go to work and when you come home it is all ready to consume. Serves 2-4.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Limoncello and Arancello

     Italian's are known for their wine, their pasta, their cappuccino/espresso, etc. Many of our words in the English language are really from the Italian language and we forget that they are not English. Think of every pasta you know of.... Those are Italian words. Think of how popular your local coffee shop is or the famous Starbucks..... Those coffee names are Italian. See Italians are known for so many contributions to the American culture we tend to forget their origin.

     I have posted a couple times about our families wine making.  A tradition that has been handed down in my family for many years. Many people do not know that Italians are also famous for making liqueur drinks. Many after dinner drinks are so popular in Italian families that we seem to forget that not everyone knows about them. It is quite common after many courses of a meal in an Italian family that the meal is followed up with not only possibly a coffee drink but a nice shot of Italian liqueur. A good one that hits right at the bottom of your stomach. One that makes you feel relaxed, at home, and satisfied after a wonderful meal. A great liqueur that not only compliments the meal but completes it.

     Since it is summer time there are a few after dinner drinks that are perfect for the rising temperatures. The most famous of these is Limoncello. A lemon flavored liqueur chilled and sipped on. Another is its newest brother liqueur made out of oranges called Arancello.  Both of these are the perfect accompaniment to a refreshing summer meal. They're both easy to make and take very little time. The final product is so tantalizing that you won’t believe you made it all by yourself.  One of our cousins, Anita, gave us the recipe for these liqueurs. My cousin Claire and I decided to try our hands at it. So I am pleased to introduce you to our family’s recipe for Limoncello and Arancello. If you have never had these drinks, welcome to the world of Italian liqueurs and enjoy.

  • 8 lemons
  • 8 oranges
  • 2 liters grain alcohol
  • 2 liters water
  • 8 cups, (or 2 lbs), sugar

     First stage: Peel the skin off of your lemons and oranges. Place the peels into separate pitchers and cover with a liter each of grain alcohol. (We used Everclear. 2 bottles a piece to equal a liter roughly). Cover with plastic wrap and seal tightly for 5 days.

Claire peeling lemons

The first stage

     Second Stage: After five days take 1 liter of water and boil on the stove. Turn off the heat and mix in 4 cups of sugar until dissolved. Let cool for about an hour and then pour into the peel liqueur mixture. Recover and seal tightly for another 5 days.

Sugar water mixture

Second stage

     Third Stage: Strain your mixtures into another separate pitcher and then bottle. We chose nice little bottles with the metal and ceramic stoppers. Refrigerate immediately and enjoy! You can actually keep the original mixture with the peels covered for months if you want an even more full bodied drink. We chose a shorter period.

     Each batch makes about 2 liters a piece and we were able to fill about 4 each of the bottles we chose. We named ours too. Our Limoncello we called Loco Limoncello and our Arancello we named Arousing Arancello. These liquors will be perfect for our family reunion and summer picnic. The flavors and coolness of these two make a great after dinner sipping drink.  I am pretty sure we will all be a bit tipsy after a few of these. 


Loco Limoncello

Arousing Arancello