Saturday, July 26, 2014

SWEET AND STICKY CHICKEN

This recipe is one of picky-picky husbands all time favorites. It is quick and easy and oh so satisfying.

Yes, it IS very sweet (after all it is called "Sweet and Sticky Chicken"), but it is a real crowd pleaser and any leftovers are excellent for lunch on day two!!

You can use white or dark meat chicken, but we LOVE it made with boneless and skinless chicken thighs (and we don't usually eat dark meat), but the thigh meat in this recipe stays very moist and flavorful (and some times, chicken breast meat, cooked like this, can be a little dry.

In bowl #1, mix:
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

In bowl #2, mix
2 large eggs
1/3 cup milk

Cut 1--2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thigh meat into 1" cubes and put them in bowl #1. Toss them around until well covered.

Shake off all excess flour mixture and put them into bowl #2. Stir them around until well moistened, then but them BACK INTO bowl #1 and coat a second time.

Shake off excess and fry in 1/4" vegetable oil (I use my electric skillet for this step).  Fry until golden brown and well done.

While the chicken is frying....make the sauce:

6 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne
1/4 cup water

Put the sauce ingredients into a saucepan and simmer GENTLY until the mixture is nice and thick (it only takes about 3-4 minutes).

Remove any leftover oil from your chicken-frying pan, then put the chicken back in and drizzle the sticky sauce over the cooked chicken. Toss to coat well.  Keep hot till serving time.

We like this served over rice.

NOTE: Picky-picky husband is extremely shy when it comes to "spice" in his food, so I use the 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne and it is perfect for him.  If you like a little more heat with your sweet, then increase the cayenne.

Friday, July 18, 2014

NO WEEP MERINGUE

We love lemon meringue pie, but since we are "empty nesters" it takes us several days to eat the pie, and by then my meringue starts to "weep" a clear liquid that makes everything.......well, we throw it away when that happens.

Recently, I found a recipe online for a "No Weep Meringue" and it truly is, just that, it doesn't weep!! Not only does it taste excellent, but the pie has been in the fridge for three days now and not a DROP of liquid has appeared!! 

For the life of me I can't remember where I found this recipe, so I apologize to the original author. Where has this recipe been all my life!?!?!?



NO WEEP MERINGUE

1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons cold water

Bring this to a boil (whisking all the time) and cook until it gets very thick.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool to lukewarm.

In a large glass or stainless steel bowl (NO PLASTIC) beat three egg whites until they are thick and foamy (they shouldn't hold a peak yet).

With mixer on high, add 6 tablespoons sugar (one tablespoon at a time) beating well in between each addition. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract + a pinch of salt and beat until stiff and glossy.

With mixer running, add the lukewarm cornstarch mixture and beat on HIGH for 3-4 minutes.

Spread on filled and cooled 9" lemon pie.  Bake at 350° for about 10 minutes or until meringue peaks begin to turn golden.

Keep finished pie in fridge.

Friday, July 11, 2014

SUPER EASY-PERFECT FROSTING

I've decorated cakes for decades and I've tried a ton of basic vanilla frosting recipes. Today's frosting is BY FAR the fastest, easiest and tastiest vanilla frosting I've ever used. It is light, fluffy, super easy to work with and it TASTES REALLY GOOD!!


BASIC VANILLA FROSTING
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup UNSALTED butter (see important note below)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (not imitation vanilla)
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
1-4 tablespoons cream  (milk will work in a pinch)

IMPORTANT NOTE: This frosting will taste terrible if you use regular salted butter; well, maybe that is a little misleading. Let's just say I DISLIKE this frosting when regular salted butter is used (it just tastes weird). So, use UNSALTED BUTTER !!

With an electric mixer (I like my stand mixer with the whisk attachment for this), beat the ROOM TEMPERATURE unsalted butter + sugar + extracts + 1 tablespoon of the cream until well mixed. If it seems dry, add another 1-3 more tablespoons of cream (1 tablespoon at a time) and  once you get the spreading consistency you want...beat it for a couple of minutes more, or until light and fluffy.

That's it!! It's so easy and pipes well through a bag and tip or spreads well with a knife. Sounds too simple, but try it, you'll love it.
 


ENJOY !!