Friday, May 26, 2017

OVEN POACHED EGGS !!

A dear friend of mine, posted a video (from Foodstyle.com)about
poaching eggs in the oven and I was quite intrigued. Not only can poaching eggs, in the traditional method, be a disaster be challenging but you can only make 2-3 at a time!!

Here is what I found:

The video said to put about a tablespoon of water in each cup of a regular muffin pan, then crack an egg over the water and bake at 350° for 8 to 10 minutes.........well, that ALMOST worked.

I DID use the scant tablespoon of water, and I DID preheat my electric oven to 350°, but when I tried it using a standard cupcake (muffin) pan, the egg + water filled it to overflowing and took a full 20 minutes to cook, not 8 to 10.

On my second attempt, I had excellent luck using a jumbo size muffin pan (I think they call them Texas size?) and I gave it a light mist of vegetable spray, then put in the scant tablespoon of water and a large egg. I baked them at 350° for exactly 12 minutes (not 8 to 10)
and they lifted right out of the pan with a spoon.....YUM!!!


  A PERFECTLY POACHED EGG !!
Whether you are making one or 30, this method (with my tweaks) really does work and it couldn't be easier!!
The difference in cooking time (between my oven and the Foodstyle video) COULD be that their oven simply runs hotter than mine or maybe they were using smaller eggs (?)With so many variables, I suggest you do a "test egg" to see how long it takes in your oven before you make a whole pan of these.
One other note: When your eggs are done to your liking, take them OUT OF THE PAN right away or they will continue to cook.
Don't you just want to
dunk your toast in this one?

ENJOY !!!



Thursday, April 27, 2017

VELVEETA RISOTTO

I had to smile when I named this recipe because never have two little words described opposite ends of the comfort food spectrum more devishly, just rest assured, that if you like good old mac and cheese, made with Velveeta (like ALL good mac and cheeses 😏) you will love this saucy side dish !!

Arborio rice (for those of you who have not cooked it before)is a short chubby grain of rice, that (when cooked correctly) gets bigger and creamier as it cooks(without getting mushy). The cooking process is also different than regular white rice, since you add the HOT liquid 1/2 cup at a time, letting the rice cook (and liquid reduce) before you add the next 1/2 cup of liquid. Sounds complicated, but it isn't.



BACON RISOTTO and CHEESE

4 cups chicken stock
1 cup ARBORIO rice  (not regular rice)
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (not salt)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
NO SALT (because Velveeta is salty)
5 slices crisp cooked bacon (cut into small pieces)
4 ounces Velveeta cheese cut into small cubes
1 tablespoon thinly sliced green onions


Heat the chicken stock until it almost boils, then keep it hot on a side burner for now.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan, then add 1 cup Arborio rice + the garlic powder and black pepper, and stir. Cook/fry the rice until you see very pale golden edges on most of the rice ....... then add your first half cup of HOT chicken stock and stir. 

Bring to a VERY GENTLE boil(NO lid) until the liquid is mostly absorbed, then add another half cup of HOT chicken stock and stir. 


Repeat this process (1/2 cup of broth at a time)and start testing the rice for "done-ness" at about 15 minutes (but expect the whole process to take more like 20 minutes).  

When you add the LAST half cup of HOT chicken stock, include the small cheese cubes + bacon and green onions. Gently stir, then let it sit a minute while the cheese melts and stir gently again.  Serve !!


CLICK ON THIS PHOTO,
THEN TAKE A BITE !!!






Sunday, April 23, 2017

CROCK-POT CHICKEN SPAGHETTI

This is a quick and easy weekend recipe for chicken spaghetti and everyone loves it. I usually make this with chicken breasts,  but it is also excellent if you substitute quartered chicken thighs and throw in some mushrooms....add a tossed salad and dinners ready.



2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts (or several thighs)
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg beaten
1 jar meatless marinara sauce (about 25 ounces)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup chopped onions
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne

mushrooms (optional)
Mozzarella cheese
spaghetti noodles

In small saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter and add 1/2 cup chopped onions. Saute onions at medium high heat until you start to get golden edges on the onions (the onions AND butter they cooked in, go into the sauce).

Spray the inside of your slow cooker with vegetable spray before you put in the marinara sauce + water + well sauteed onions and butter + basil + oregano + garlic powder +  sugar + salt + black pepper + cayenne pepper + melted butter (and mushrooms if you are using them). Stir well.

Mix the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese in one bowl and the beaten egg in another bowl. Coat the chicken in beaten egg, then roll it in the bread crumb-Parmesan mixture. Place the pieces gently (in a single layer) in the marinara mixture and spoon a LITTLE of the sauce over the chicken, but DON'T MIX AFTER YOU PUT THE CHICKEN IN THE SAUCE OR IT WILL KNOCK OFF THE COATING.

Set your slow cooker on LOW for 3 to 4 hours and do not disturb the chicken while it cooks. 

About 30 minutes before it's time to eat, GENTLY lift out the chicken and set it aside, then stir in about 1/2 pound of half cooked spaghetti noodles (that have been tossed with a little butter) into the crockpot (they will finish cooking in the sauce). Make sure the noodles are well coated, BEFORE GENTLY placing the cooked chicken back on top of the noodles (don't stir)and top each piece of chicken with a some mozzarella cheese. Put the lid back on and let it cook on LOW for 20-30 minutes or till cheese is well melted, DON'T STIR.

NOTE: All crock-pots cook at different temperatures, so keep that in mind when you set your timer. I usually cook 2 chicken breasts for about 3 1/2 hours (almost fall-apart tender). Just keep an eye on the chicken the first time you try this recipe, so it doesn't get over cooked.

NOTE: Chicken thighs cut into larger cubes works VERY well in this recipe too.


NOTE: Use whatever commercial marinara sauce you like. Personally, I use an inexpensive brand (like Ragu) because the extra onion, oregano, basil, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper jazz up the marinara nicely.

NOTE: This would be a fantastic recipe for a potluck dinner if you quarter the chicken breasts or use thighs.


ENJOY !!!