Thursday, July 30, 2009

Fried Green Tomatoes

3 medium, firm green tomatoes
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup milk
2 beaten eggs
2/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs or cornmeal
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Cut unpeeled tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Sprinkle slices with salt and pepper. Let tomato slices stand for 15 minutes.

Place flour, milk, eggs, and bread crumbs in separate shallow dishes.

Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Dip tomato slices in milk, then flour, then eggs, then bread crumbs. In the skillet, fry half of the coated tomato slices at a time, for 4-6 minutes on each side or until brown. As you cook the rest of the tomatoes, add olive oil as needed.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

What I did differently from the recipe:
I only had two small tomatoes (thanks mom!) so I didn't measure anything. I just kind of dumped flour, milk and bread crumbs in separate bowls, and only used one egg. I didn't let the slices stand for 15 minutes (in the first step). Not sure if this would have changed the flavor.

What I'll do differently next time:

Delicious! I'm not a huge fan of tomatoes, but I am a huge fan of fried foods!! Seriously, these were really good. The tomatoes being cooked just squirt in your mouth, and the batter has such a good flavor. It was also really easy to make, with ingredients I had in the pantry.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

2 T butter
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 carrot, sliced or shredded
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 T flour
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 cups cooked wild rice
1 cup water
1 can (10 1/2 oz) chicken broth
1 cup half-and-half
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted (optional)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 cups cubed chopped chicken (I used around 1.25 lbs)

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook celery, carrot, onion, and bell pepper in butter about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender.

Stir in flour and pepper. Stir in wild rice, water, and broth. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in half-and-half, chicken, almonds and parsley. Heat just until hot. Don't boil it or it might curdle.

What I did differently from the recipe:
I used about three carrots instead of one, and didn't use any almonds at all. For the wild rice, I could NOT find any at the store, so I just bought Uncle Ben's pre-made wild rice and tossed it in there.

What I'll do differently next time:
I think I'd either lessen the vegetables or totally leave them out. I had never had chicken and wild rice soup with vegetables before, and although it was really good, I think I just prefer it without. It wasn't very salty, which is good for health reasons, but probably could have used some added to it.

Thumbs up. I may not make this all the time, but I'd use it again, especially to fiddle around with the ingredients.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Jelly-Filled Thumbprints

1 roll (18 oz) Pillsbury refrigerated sugar cookies
1 cup flaked or shredded coconut
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam or red currant jelly
1/3 cup white vanilla chips

Heat oven to 350. Into large bowl, break up cookie dough. Stir in coconut.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls; place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. With thumb or spoon handle, make indentation in center of each cookie. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon jam into each indentation.

Bake 10-13 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes.

Into small resealable food-storage plastic bag, place vanilla chips; seal bag. Microwave for 30-45 seconds. Squeeze bag until chips are smooth. Microwave longer if necessary. Cut a small hole in bottom corner of the bag. Squeeze the bag gently to drizzle melted chips over cookies.

What I did differently from the recipe:
Instead of a roll of sugar cookies, I bought the Ready to Bake. They were cheaper and made 8 more cookies. I didn't put coconut in the cookies, partially because I don't like coconut and partially because I didn't have time to run to the health food store to buy just a cup of coconut. And the store I went to didn't sell vanilla chips, so I used white chocolate.

What I'll do differently next time:
I would like to try them with vanilla chips, or maybe a different jelly. These were so good, but they can easily be changed to your taste. You could use peanut butter cookie mix instead of sugar, and they would become peanut butter and jelly cookies. Or try any type of jam or jelly besides the ones listed in the recipe.

Thumbs up!! Super easy and really tasty!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Speedy Ravioli Bake

Easiest pasta you'll ever make!!

2 9-oz packages of cheese-filled ravioli
1 26 oz jar of chunky tomato pasta sauce
1 tsp dried basil leaves
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a large saucepan cook the ravioli as directed on package. Drain and set aside.

In the same saucepan, mix the pasta sauce and basil. Cook over medium heat 5 minutes, stirring, until heated. Stir in cooked ravioli. Or if you're like me, after you drain the ravioli, just don't move it out of the saucepan and dump the sauce and basil right on in there. Saves a step.

Pour into an ungreased 13x9 baking dish. Sprinkle cheese over the top.

Bake uncovered around 10 minutes or until it's bubbly and the cheese has melted.

What I did differently from the recipe:
I guesstimated on the amount of ravioli, basil, and cheese. I think I did more ravioli than the recipe called for, but they were small, unlike the picture in the cookbook. I probably did more cheese, because I'm a cheese fanatic.

What I'll do differently next time:
Nothing - I'll do it exactly this way the next time I make it.

Thumbs up!! Between four of us, this pasta was eaten almost entirely in one sitting. And truthfully, I would have finished it off except my sister had her baby that day and I wanted to get to the hospital! This is one of the easiest recipes I've ever done. And so good!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Chicken Tenders

chicken breasts or chicken tenders (I usually get around 1 lb or more)
milk (doesn't need to be much, around a cup or less)
flour (probably between 1-2 cups)
salt and pepper
vegetable oil

Heat some vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. The oil should at least cover the bottom of the skillet, and maybe a bit more. In a small bowl, pour the milk. In another bowl, mix the flour, salt and pepper. Put as much s&p as desired - I usually do overkill because it makes the flavor stronger and the chicken crisper.

When the oil is heated in the skillet, dunk the sliced pieces of chicken in the milk first, and then into the flour mixture. Place them in the skillet. Flip them after a couple of minutes. Keep flipping until they are done all the way through.

Serve and eat! This meal takes a while to make but it's really easy. Cooking the chicken is what takes the longest. And the cooked chicken is easily kept warm in the oven or a toaster oven around 250 degrees.

Verdict: Thumbs up!! We make this recipe quite often, and I have no idea where I got it from, so I'm not sure what all I've changed from the original recipe. Try it with some garlic powder thrown into the mix, or some Italian seasoning. Mix it up a bit!