Saturday, October 15, 2005

Avgolemono - Lemon Rice Soup

Ok, today's lunch inspired me to post this recipe, even though I haven't made it in a number of years. We can get a nice version of it from a place just down the street, "The Gyro Shoppe" (in a converted ex-Taco Bell), and it's pretty cheap, so I haven't had much incentive to make it. I may have to try though after today, especially since we all love it. The version listed below is from "The Frugal Gourmet Cooks Three Ancient Cuisines". He lists a couple of versions in the book, including one that has chicken added, which I always do.

Avgolemono Soup (Serves 10-12)
2 cups of milk
2 Tablespoons of cornstarch
6 egg yolks, beaten
2 quarts of chicken stock
1/2 cup of long-grain rice
2 oz. (1/2 stick) of butter
chopped fresh parsley, to taste
1 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice
grated lemon peel to taste (optional, but recommended)
salt and pepper to taste

1) Stir the milk and cornstarch together, then beat in the egg yolks. Set aside.
2) Bring the stock to a boil in a 4-qt. soup pot and add the rice. Cook, covered, until the rice is puffy and tender, about 25 minutes.
3) Remove the soup from the heat and add the milk and egg mixture, whisking continuously.
4) Place back over heat and cook for a moment until it thickens.
5) Remove from the heat again and add the butter, parsley, and lemon juice, and the optional grated lemon peel.
6) Add salt and pepper to serve.

I usually add a cup (or more..) of shredded chicken after I remove the soup from the heat (beginning of step 3 above). It's a great use for leftover chicken.


A Greek Lunch

We had a great lunch today at The Happy Greek in the Short North today. It's been a long time since I've had Greek food, and the flavors were a welcome reminder that I shouldn't keep away from it for as long as I have. Since the portions at restaurants these days are enormous, we've been either getting an appetizer and sharing an entree, or getting a salad and sharing an entree. Today we had an appetizer of Dolmadakias and a "lunch" portion of Mousaka.
The Dolmas came on a small plate, 3 wonderful warm 2 1/2 inch portions of grape leaf-wrapped seasoned beef, lamb and rice, covered in a very light egg-lemon sauce on a bed of baby lettuce leaves. There also seemed to be a light sprinkling of feta over them. Wonderful. Satisfying. Absolutely delicious. We each devoured a single dolmadakia, then split the last one. We each wanted the whole thing, but being the generous spouses that I are, we shared...
The mousaka came on a very large plate, and as a very large portion, about 6 inches square and at more than an inch thick, surrounded in a tomato sauce. If you've never had mousaka, you must try it and ignore the list of it's ingredients. I'm saying that just because I'm not a big fan of zucchini, but I'm sure I had some today in the mousaka and it was fantastic. This thing looks like a lasagna, but the layers of roasted eggplant (I'm a big fan of that now), potato, zucchini, herbs and bechemel give it a very distinctively Greek flair.
Overall the Happy Greek was a great big fat wonderful lunch that I'm ready to repeat, probably with spanakopita, avgolemono, & pastisio.


Thursday, August 11, 2005

J-Walk Blog Link Experiment

Sorry, this isn't a recipe, but rather a link to my very favorite blog, The J-Walkblog. I read this blog EVERY day. It's filled with links, insights, comments from many other readers and written by John Walkenbach, a guy who is not only a genius when it comes to Microsoft Excel (look at that excel book you bought...he probably wrote it!), he seems like a pretty darn nice guy.
Check out The J-Walkblog then come back here and tell me how right I am!


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Pan seared Shrimp & Simmered White Beans - Bonus! 2 for 1 tonight.

I made Pan Seared Shrimp tonight, from a recipe sent to me by Cooks illustrated ( I subscribed to their email list at It was pretty quick and quite good, especially since I used the Garlic-Lemon Butter variation. I had to use smaller shrimp than the recipe called for (36-40's), but I kept my eye on the cooking times and they turned out great.
While trying to decide what to make as an accompaniment, and I found that I had a can of Goya cannellini beans - I usually do - and as soon as I saw them I knew that was tonight's side dish would have them in it. But how? ok, I'm making a sort of scampi-ish dish, so I started thinking italian... The Simmered white beans recipe below is what I came up with. It, too, was pretty quick and real tasty. Try it and tell me what you think!

Pan-Seared Shrimp (from Cooks Illistrated)
The cooking times below are for 21/25 shrimp (that is, the size of the shrimp is such that there are 21 to 25 in 1 pound). If 21/25 shrimp are not available, adjust cooking times slightly. Either a nonstick or traditional skillet will work for this recipe, but a nonstick will simplify cleanup.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 pounds 21/25 shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon sugar

1) Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch skillet over high heat until smoking.
2) Meanwhile, toss shrimp, salt, pepper, and sugar in medium bowl.
3) Add half of shrimp to pan in single layer and cook until spotty brown and edges turn pink, about 1 minute.
4) Remove pan from heat; using tongs, flip each shrimp and let stand until all but very center is opaque, about 30 seconds.
5) Transfer shrimp to large plate.
6) Repeat with remaining tablespoon oil and shrimp;
7) After second batch has stood off heat, return first batch to skillet and toss to combine.
8) Cover skillet and let stand until shrimp are cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes.
9) Serve immediately.

Pan-Seared Shrimp with Garlic-Lemon Butter
1) Beat 3 tablespoons softened unsalted butter with fork in small bowl until light and fluffy.
2) Stir in 1 medium garlic clove, minced, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, and 1/8 teaspoon salt until combined.
3) Follow recipe for Pan-Seared Shrimp, adding flavored butter when returning first batch of shrimp to skillet.
4) Serve immediately, with lemon wedges, if desired.

Simmered White Beans
1 can Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon dried Oregano or 1 teaspoon fresh Minced Oregano
2 or 3 cloves of Garlic, minced
1/2 cup of Chicken Broth
1 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

1) Put all ingredients into a medium saucepan and simmer, uncovered, for 5 to 10
2) Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes more.
3) Serve immediately. If serving with the Garli-Lemon buttered Shrimp recipe above, drizzle a bit of the Shrimp's sauce over the beans, too.


Thursday, July 28, 2005

Mediteranean Spiced Beef

This is another recipe I've had sitting around for years, one we cut out of an old "First" magazine. The magazine calls it "Spiced Beef with Grilled Pita". since we had nearly all of the ingredients on hand, we decided to give it a try. I was pretty surprised at how pleasant it tasted and how easy it was to make. The one ingredient I didn't have was the pita (I really like the pita they carry at Aladdin's Eatery in Grandview. At $1.99 for a pretty good sized bag (15 of them?), it's a pretty good deal. They're much flatter and tastier than those fat store bought pita, more like lavash. Since I didn't have any, I used some tortillas and they worked fine. I WILL use Aladdin's pita next time, though, and I'm also thinking this would be fantastic using ground lamb...

Yogurt Sauce:
1/2 Cup Plain Yogurt
3/4 teaspoon Fresh Mint, chopped

1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
2 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano (I used a Tablespoon of the fresh stuff from my garden, minced)
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup tomato sauce
vegetable oil

1) Combine the yogurt and the mint in a small bowl and put it in the refrigerator.
2) Crumble the beef in a frying pan and brown over medium heat. Drain the fat off.
3) Into the beef, stir the next nine ingrdients (onion thru tomato sauce).
4) Cover and simmer 15 to 20 minutes to blend the flavors.
5) Grill the pitas by brushing them with oil and grilling them quickly on both sides in a large pan over high heat.
6) openthe pitas to make a pocket and fill witht he meat.
7) Serve with the yogurt sauce.

I served them in grilled tortillas, with the yogurt sauce and some finely shredded romaine and some steamed french green beans.


My Shrimp Etouffe

I love cajun food. Unfortunately, there is no place here in Columbus to get anything that even resembles cajun. There used to be an authentic little cajun place that was known by several names: "Gloria", "Harold's Cajun Glory", and a few others, I think. It started out as this tiny 5 or 6 table hole-in-the-wall that had great acadia crab cakes, boiled crawfish(the good kind- fresh with lots of spice), andoullie, and...FABULOUS crawfish etouffe. Since Harold died a few years back, the Columbus restaurant scene has been severly lacking.
So I decided that I had to learn to make some of this wonderful food myself. I found a recipe on S.O.A.R., now called Recipe Source. It's a great resource for all sorts of recipes, including a great range of ethnic recipes. The crawfish etouffe recipe I found was a good starting point, but I really didn't have access to decent crawfish, so I adapted it to use shrimp. I think it's pretty good. Even my son likes it!
So what is "Etoufee" anyway? Let's start by pronouncing it properly.. Can you say "AY-TOO-FAY"? I knew you could...
It literally means "Smothered" in the cajun language.
Practically speaking, it is a spicy seafood stew-like sauce (generally crawfish tails) cooked in a roux (you'll see the flour added to the oil and cooked a bit in the directions below) along with the cajun holy trinity (onions, celery and bell pepper) and served over rice.

Here it is:

2 Tablespoons Butter (yeah, the real stuff)
2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
The holy trinity:
1 Bell Pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup Celery, finely chopped
1 large Onion, finely chopped
4 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon dried Cilantro
1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes (or less or hot as you like)
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (or less or hot as you like)
3 or 4 or 7 or 10 dashes Tabasco Sauce (again, as hot as you like)
1 to 1 1/2 pound Raw peeled Shrimp
2 cups Chicken Broth (don't use the no-salt stuff...)
Long grain cooked Rice (for serving. I like to use Basmati -yummy...)

A note about the shrimp: I like to use medium size, 41-50 per pound. See this site for a great shrimp sizing chart

1) Melt the butter over medium heat
2) add the oil and blend with the butter
3) Add the onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic and cilantro and saute until onion is opaque.
4) add the red pepper flakes, cayenne & Tabasco & mix well. saute for another couple of minutes.
5) Add the shrimp and saute for about a minute.
6) Sprinkle all of the flour over the pan contents and stir it aourn to mix it in.
7) Saute for about 3 minutes or so.
8) Slowly stir in the chicken broth so it blend with the rest of the pan contents...keep stirring, keep stirring, keep stirring...
9) turn down the heat to a simmer.
10) Cover and simmer for about 3-4 minutes.
11) Serve it over hot rice.

Make sure you serve it while it is very hot! (temperature hot, that is... the seasonings wil guarantee the tasty type of heat!)

Comment below and let me know how you like it.


Tuesday, July 19, 2005

My favorite Balsamic Chicken

Last night we made my favorite balsamic chicken recipe. I found it years ago in a magazine, cut it out and saved it, but didn't make it for several years. Finally I wised up. It's pretty quick and tasty, too. I almost always serve it with wide egg noodles (stay away from those nasty no-yolks. They're very rubbery tasting).

I've had the recipe on my website for quite some time now:
It's been fairly popular among freinds. Give it a try and send a comment to me - let me know what you think of it.

I've been using Monari Federzoni green label balsamic vinegar for a coulpe of years now. It's pretty good stuff and not too expensive. They have a nice website, too:


Thursday, July 14, 2005

Garlic-Dill Salmon Fillet

Last night was salmon - I made my usual broiled salmon with garlic and dill. I also coat the top lihtly with bread crumbs or, preferably, a bit of corn meal. I always use fillets instead of steaks, and I've recently started portioning the fillets out before cooking. I've found cooking time to be a bit shorter and I can see the ends of each piece better, so I'm not overcooking them. They stay moist and taste much better, plus I'm not tearing the fillet up trying to slice it after it's cooked.

Here's how I made last night's:

1 pound salmon fillet (I had a nice wild fillet), cut into 3 portions
Garlic powder
Dill weed
Lemon juice (from half a lemon)
Olive oil spray

1) Line a pan with foil and lightly spray the foil with oil
2) Sprinkle some garlic powder and some dill in the pan where the salmon will sit
3) Place the salmon portions into the pan skin side down.
4) Squeeze the lemon juice onto the salmon (catch the seeds!)
5) Sprinkle the salmon with garlic powder. sprinkle lightly for a subtle flavor or be more generous if you like garlic
6) Sprinkle the dill liberally on the salmon. (don't be too stingy with the Dill!)
7) Lightly sprinkle the salmon with the cornmeal. tHe idea is to make a very light coating, not quite a crust...
8) spray the salmon lightly with the Oil
9) put the salmon under the broiler until just barely pink at the bottom. The top should be just slightly crusting.
10) server immediately.

I served this with twice coked green beans (steamed, then added to hot olive oil and mustard seed and tossed about a bit).

It was pretty tasty and very quick to make, and healthy, too!


Saturday, July 02, 2005

Becky's Beans - Baked Beans Beyond Belief!

We went to a birthday party for the cute little three year old girl down the street last weekend. It was all afternoon fun for the kids and a tasty meal for the adults, too. One of the homemade yummies we had was a crockpot full of baked beans made by the birthday girl's grandmother, Becky. She was kind enough to let me have the recipe and forward it on to you!
I know you've probably had great baked beans before, but you MUST try these. They're fantastic and have a great and unusual flavor. Read it through and give them a try. Total crock cooking time is 8 hours (on low). Be sure to remove the lid after 5 hours.

1 pound Bacon, cut slices into 1 inch pieces
1 pound Kielbasa, sliced thin
1 large onion, chopped
1 48 ounce jar white northern beans (She uses "Randall's brand)
1/2 pound dark brown sugar
1 Tablespoon mustard
1/3 cup molasses
1 cup ketchup
3/4 cup hot taco sauce (like "La Victoria Salsa Brava")- NOT hot salsa...

Saute bacon, keilbasa and onion and put into crockpot
add all the other ingredients and mix well. Cook on low for 5 hour, then remove lid and cook for 3 more hours on low.

We had these with BBQ beef from GFS, kettle chips, pickles and olives.

Let me know how they turn out!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Peanut Butter Noodles

A Vietnamese friend of mine, Connie Haong, gave a little presentation to a preschool class demonstrating a dish they she fixes at home using the recipe below. She tells me that this dish is more Thai than Vietnamese, but it's still pretty tasty. When we make it, we add extra crushed red pepper and about 1/2 pound of sauted shrimp.

Peanut Butter Noodles
by Connie Haong

8 ounces Angel Hair Pasta, coked
1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
1/4 Peanut Butter
3 Tablespoons Sugar
3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
3 Tablespoons Dark Sesame Oil
1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
1 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper

Whisk all ingredients together except noodles. Toss with hot noodles and serve toped with peanuts (unsalted), sliced scallions.
great addins inclde sauted chicken chunks or shrimp.


Saturday, May 21, 2005

My first photo on this blog...


This is my stove a 1950 Frigidaire model RM-60 electric range. It's been in the house since 1950, when it was purchased, replacing a 1938 magic chef model 3800. the old Magic Chef still lives inthe basement. I really need to get rid of that one, I could use the space!

Everything onthis old range works except the clock. The oven is unbelievably accurate, even after 55 years. If I set the oven to be at 350, it will get up to and stay at 350. period. it cooks well, especially after I've become accustomed to using it over the last 14 years. Ilike it, but would gladly trade it for a nice modern gas range or, preferably, a fabulous 1940's O'Keefe & Merritt Vintage Gas Range though I'd settle for a Wedgewood, or Chambers (like Rachael Ray's). Yeah, I know...Dream on...

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Feta Dill Tuna cakes

I hate Tuna noodle casserole. With a vengance. And so I've always been leary of cooked tuna. But I really like these tuna cakes, though. They've got great flavor and texture and are pretty quick and easy to make. Another plus is that I get to use feta cheese, which I really like, but don't find too many things to use it in.
Give these a try. I like to use solid white tuna packed in water.

Feta Dill Tuna cakes
2 cans Solid White Tuna, packed in water, DRAINED
1 Large egg
1 Tablespoon olive oil
8 to 10 saltine crackers, crushed fine
2 Tablespoons dried dill
2 green onions, chopped
4 Tablespoons (or more!) crumbled Feta cheese

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl (get your hands into it!) .
Form into patties - I usually make 5 or 6. Don't make them too fat, but not too thin either.
Brown in olive oil over medium to medium-high heat.

We usually have these with a salad, creamed spinich, sometimes even with baked steak fries.


Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Sweet Horshradish Chicken

I don't roast whole chickens too often, but when I do, I usually use this recipe for Horseradish Chicken. It comes out amazingly sweet and juicy, with a wonderful flavor. If you make it (and you should...), serve with mashed potatoes because the gravy is fabulous.

The recipe:
Horseradish Roasted Chicken
2 Tablespoons softened butter
1 Tablespoon grated fresh Horseradish(or a little more if you like)
1 Tablespoon (or more!) fresh Horseradish from a jar (the kind in the refrigerated section by the cheese/butter/eggs - DO NOT USE that white mayonaise-y prepared horseradish sauce !!! BLECCCCH !!!
3, 4 or more cloves of garlic, minced
3.5 - 4 lb Whole Chicken
Salt & pepper

Heat your oven to 350 F.
Combine the softened butter, garlic, and Horseradish in a small bowl.
Starting at the neck end of the chicken, gently separate the skin from the flesh over the breast. Put your hand all the way in and loosen the skin over the thighs, too, being careful not to tear the skin.
Spread as much of the butter as possible UNDER the skin.
Pat the skin back in place and rub the remaining butter on the top of the skin.
Sprinkle with salt & pepper.
Put the chicken on a roasting pan .
Bake until the juices run clear when an inner thigh is pierced to a temp of 160 with an instant read thermometer in the thickest part of the breast, about 1 hour 15 minutes 15-20 minutes/pound.
Remove the chicken and add 1/4 cup water to the pan and bring to a simmer on top of the stove over medium heat, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
Cook until reduced and thickened, about 5 minutes.
Carve the chicken and serve with the sauce.

I generally use a little more butter and horseradish than the recipe calls for. It's also a little easier to work with if you melt the butter, add the horseradish & garlic, then stick the mixture in the freezer for fifteen-twenty five minutes or so. It spreads better.
You can also roast some small red skinned new potatoes with this and of course, some healthy steamed veggies, like sugar peas are also a good compliment.

Serves 4 - 6 (Depending on the size of the bird - I used a big 6 pound "Sunday Roaster" once & LOTS of butter/Horseradish mixture both inside AND out - 6 people were very happy and we still had lunch the next day!)
I once made this dish using just chicken breasts (with the bones and the skin still on) - just bake the breasts at 350 F for 30 minutes or so in a foil lined pan. This dish also makes a nice gravy for rice.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Dinner at Cafe Istanbul

We recently had a fantastic dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Cafe Istanbul at Easton Town Center. We've been there several times, but our experience witht he menu is quite limited because we never seem to be able to order anything different. The place smells great, and the food we've had (and the service) has been wonderful. Our regular order is to start with the small "appetizer sampler", which has Humus (Pureed chickpeas with tahini , garlic & lemon juice), patlican salatasi (Smoked mashed eggplant blended with tahini & garlic), yaprak dolmasi (Grape leaves stuffed with rice, herbs, currents & pine nuts), kisir (Cracked wheat salad with red & green peppers, parsley, onions, olive oil & lemon), pilaki(Pinto beans with carrots, green peppers & diced potatoes seasoned with light tomato sauce & olive oil.), soslu patlican (Cubes of fried eggplant in fresh tomato sauce) and, my favorite, ezme (Blended tomatoes, onions and hot peppers mixed with olive oil & herbs). Oh, my the ezme is good stuff! I'm searching for a good usable recipe for ezme and will post it as soon as I try it. The appetizer platter is served with very fresh and flavorful hot, right out of the oven turkish bread. After we devour the appetizer platter, we then split a dish called "Karniyarik", which is described as "oven-roasted eggplant stuffed with ground beef, chopped tomatoes, green peppers and herbs". I have absolutely no refernce for to describe to you what it tastes like - I can never remember until I taste it again. All I can say is that it's great. After a hot turkish tea or turkish coffee, we usually roll out of there stuffed to the gills and with our tastes buds completely satisfied for about $30 + tip. If you're anywhere near Columbus, go there! If you aren't, find a turkish restaurant near you.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Kapusta, Kapusta

What the heck is Kapusta, you ask. Well, simply put, it's baked pork and kraut with a polish twist. I first made this several years ago by just tossing some stuff into my crock pot but my polish mother-in-law came by and declared it the best "Kapusta" she'd ever had! I'd never heard of Kapusta before and was just making up the recipe as I went along, so I was surprised, but inlooking at several other receipes for it, I too think mine's the best. Here's one that's close, but not as good as mine:">RecipeSource: Cerveny Kapusta

And now here's mine:

Lorence's Kapusta
1 lb polish sausage, cut into inch long slices
1 1/2 pounds boneless pork chops, cut into bite sized cubes
4 or 5 hot dogs (leave 'em whole!)
1 tablespoon caraway seed
3 medium potatoes, cut into bite sized cubes
1 large tomato, diced
2 tart apples, pared and cut into cubes
1 large onion, sliced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
32 ounce bag of sauerkraut, (juice and all)

Turn a large crock pot on high. Put all of the ingredients into the crock pot and try to get it all mixed as best as you can.
Cook on high 4 hours or so, and stir it up after about 2 hours.
Turn it down to low and cook for another 2 or 3 hours (or as long as you want!).

That's it. Serve it hot with some bread. We often use steamed hot dog buns (let them sit on top of the Kapusta in the covered crock pot for 5 minutes or so...

Try it and tell me what your think.

Friday, March 18, 2005


I just came across this Website/Blog - a must read for anyone who loves garlic:

I've just read a couple of pages and I'm ready to go out and buy a case of fresh garlic.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Quick shrimp and pasta

I know, I know, I said I was going to cook tonight. Friday's are just kinda hectic, and I'm usually pretty tired, so I just threw some stuff together.
I started some penne cooking, then in my big pan, I heated up some olive oil (oh, about 3 Tablespoons or so) and threw in 4 or 5 large minced garlic cloves, about half of a roasted red pepper (cut up) and a couple of choped up roma tomatoes. I had a pound of peeled shrimp tossed with half a teaspoon each of oregano and basil which went into the pan. I tossed it all around 'til the shrimp were done, then dropped the drained pasta in and shook that all about. Served it with a tossed salad and Ken's Creamy parmesan peppercorn dressing. Not too bad for a throw together.

Lunch was that leftover tarragon-rosemary chicken. I also had some greens with cabbage and ginger honey glazed carrots from the cafeteria. The greens were great (they're always great - the cafeteria has the best greens in town!) and worked well as an accompaniment to the chicken, but the carrots were way too sweet and didn't really go with the chicken at all.

I'm not sure what's up for tomorrow. Maybe some salmon on Sunday, though.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

BBQ Ribs and cabbage tonight...

Tonight I just did some quick bbq ribs. They were country style ribs, bone-in. I just gave them a good rub all over with some granulated garlic and Old Bay (I love Old Bay!) and stuck them under the broiler. I kept turning them until they were cooked through, then smothered them in Kraft brown suger BBQ sauce, popped them back under the broiler again, turned them and smothered them again. They had real good flavor but were a bit too fatty. I served them with some Glory Foods Country Cabbage that I just heated straight from the can. Glory is a Columbus, OH company that makes some of the best southern style foods available to those of us north of the Mason-Dixon line, even better than Sylvia's Soul Foods (which are pretty good, too.). Not a bad quick meal, but I need to really cook something. Soon.

Lunch was tasty - not healthy, but tasty. The caferteria had wing bar today and I can't ever resist the hot wings. I had 7 or 8 drummie pieces and plenty of napkins. Now that was yummy! I'll be eating the leftover tarragon-rosemary chicken tomorrow...


Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Welcome to the Kitchen!

Hi, and welcome to my kitchen!
I hope to use this "space" to record my kitchen adventures, post my recipes, receive comments about them and maybe even some new recipes, if you'd like to share. I've never kept a journal before, but since blogging is all rage these days, I figured I'd give it a try. So let's get started!

This first post actually has nothing to do with MY kitchen, since we went to PF Chang's tonight. Karen and I had the Spring Roll appetizer (I'm not a fan of the lettuce wraps), then the Beef a la Sichuan and Garlic Noodles for Matthew. He insists on eating with his "Hold Stix" kiddie chopsticks, and does a pretty darn good job with them, too! I have a great photo of him when he first tried them - I'll dig it up and post it soon.

I can't start this out without a recipe, so here's what I made last night:

Tarragon-Dijon Chicken
2 Tablespoons Course Ground Dijon Mustard
2 teaspoons Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon tobasco
vegetable oil spray
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 6 oz each

Heat oven to 350.
Combine the first 5 ingredients in a box.
Spray the bottom of a 13x9x2 glass baking dish with vegetable spray
Place the chicken in the dish in a single layer
Spoon the Mustard mixture evenly over the chicken
Bake the chicken for 35-40 minutes

The original recipe called for baking 40-45 minutes, but I think this came out a bit dry at the length of time, so try adjusting it down a bit. Just make sure the chicken is cook all the way through. I'll probably try this dish again - flavor was great - but I'll probly try covering the dish with foil for a while in the oven so it retains more of it's moisture.

Try it and use the comments here to
tell me what you think!

That's all for tonight. Tomorrow we cook again!