Category: Little Cooking Tidbits!!!


INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 whole fryer chicken
  • 1 onion-peeled and cut in quarters
  • 1 tomato-cut in quarters and seeds taken out
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled
  • 1 celery stalk cut in 3rds
  • 1 handful of fresh cilantro or parsley..DO NOT CHOP
  • 1 large soup pot
  • water

DIERCTIONS:

  1. Put whole chicken in pot and cover with water
  2. Then take onion, tomato, garlic, S&P, and cilantro and put around chicken
  3. Cover pot and put on medium heat and cook for 2 hours. (make sure water does not boil over.) Put lid on askew to avoid overflow!!
  4. Seriously, could this be ANY EASIER????????
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It’s one of my favorite times of the year…the time of the year when corn is plentiful!! I LOVE sweet corn and I never put anything on it…it’s “virginal”, if you will!

Unfortunately, the season is a small one…we wait and wait and next thing you know, they are using the old corn as decorations for Halloween…sooooooo, what can we do?????

Well, my bloggers, there is an answer…YOU CAN FREEZE fresh corn!!!

All you need is a BIG pot of boiling water, and then another BIG pot of cold water WITH ice… in the cooking world this process is called “blanching”…it’s like going from a hot jacuzzi into a cold plunge!!! bbrrrrrr….but what it does is it stops the cooking process!

So, take the husks off the corn and take away those silky hairs.  Clean it of with a vegetable brush if you like and then, when the water is boiling in a BIG pot, put in the corn and keep them in the boiling water for about 5-7 mins.  Then take them out and immediately plunge them into the BIG pot with the cold water and ice and keep them in there for the same amount of time!

Once you have done that, the BEST product to use is a “food saver with  vacuum sealing!!! I LOVE this product, but if you don’t have one than a freezer Ziploc bag will work fine. The most important thing about Ziploc is that you have to make sure you get ALL the air out of it, otherwise you can get freezer burn.  Get a straw and suck the air out of it…that does work!!

Once this is done, then label the corn and into the freezer it goes.   When the time comes and you are hankering for fresh corn, just take it out and put it into boiling water for about 5 minutes and you will be as happy as a pig in…well, you know!!!!

The Kitchen Sponge

Bacteria and Sponges

After cooking numerous meals over the holiday’s it occurred to me that the kitchen sponge was getting quite gnarly….so i thought “hmmm….how long does one keep a kitchen sponge around before tossing it”???… and you will see what i learned below!!!!

Your kitchen sponge probably has more bacteria than anything else in the house. It’s worse than the toilet.

Bacteria thrive in moist environments. Let your sponge dry out between uses. Don’t leave the sponge sitting in the bottom of the sink. Squeeze it and let it dry. Replace it every week or two.

It’s also recommended that you wet a sponge and then microwave it for two minutes every two days. The high heat kills bacteria on it. You can also put it in the dishwasher but that’s not quite as good.

Dishrags are another have for germs. Let them dry between uses and wash them frequently. Even better: use paper towels or disposable wipes.

So, there you have it…just a little tidbit from Chef-Boy-R-D2!!!!

chicken-picatta

GHEE...a great tastingt butter substitute

GHEE” also known as clarified butter, is a product which is used primarily in India. It has become a product of increasing interest to people in the United States because it is said to be a healthy alternative to butter. GHEE offers the same basic taste as butter but some of the fat has been removed from the butter which is why many people believe that it’s a better product and should be used as a butter substitute.

Here are some of the benefits of GHEE that people have cited over the years; you’ll have to try them for yourself to determine whether or not they are true:

  •  Better for people with cholesterol problems. It is said that GHEE is lower in fat than butter which means that it’s a better choice for people who have problems with high cholesterol.
  • Doesn’t burn easily. If you’re the kind of person who burns everything that you cook then you have probably burned butter in the past. You are not likely to have that problem with ghee.
  • Easier to digest. Because there is less fat in GHEE, it is easier for most people to digest than butter is.
  • Longer shelf life. GHEE can be stored for a long period of time, longer than butter can, and it doesn’t need to be refrigerated when it is stored. This makes it more convenient than butter and better in some people’s eyes.
  • Mental health. People who believe in the healing powers of GHEE say that it can restore balance to the mind and enhance brain function.
  • Skin improvements. Many people swear by the fact that GHEE helps to promote a healthy glow to the skin from the inside out. That may or may not be true but there certainly isn’t anyone who will tell you that butter does that!
  • Tastes better. This is obviously a personal preference but many people say that they like the taste of GHEE better than the taste of butter because it’s a lighter taste.

So, tonight I prepared my “Chicken Piccata” a different way and it was a hit!

  • 4 chicken breast pounded thin and sliced 3 pieces per breast (easier to cook)
  • 1 cup of bread crumbs
  • 1/4 c parmasean cheese
  • 2 eggs, scrambled
  • 1 box baby bella mushrooms cleaned, destemed and sliced (from produce dept)
  • 2TBS GHEE butter or you can use regular butter when you are not at BOOT CAMP!!!!
  • 1 TBS EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
  • 1 TBS minced garlic from jar
  • 1/4 c white wine
  • the juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 6 oz chicken broth (organic) remember…i’m at nutritional boot camp!!
  • 1 bottle of capers (use all or half, depending on your liking of capers)
  • 1/2 lb angel hair pasta
  • broccoli spears

DIRECTIONS:

  1. get pasta pot and boil water for pasta…once boiling, add pasta
  2. get “steamer” and put into pan with medium amount of water for broccoli..then add broccoli
  3. have 2 bowls…1with the scrambled eggs and 1 with the bread crumb & parmasean cheese
  4. put GHEE in large frying pan along with 1 TBS olive oil, garlic until melted and then add pounded chix breast and first dip into the egg mixture, and then into the bread crumb mixture, then add to the pan & cook until sides have turned golden brown, then turn over and do the same.  No more than 3-4 mins and take out and put on plate and put aside
  5. now add wine & chix broth and scrape bottom of pan with spatula and then add sliced mushrooms.  cook  2-3 mins, stirring and then add juice of lemon and continue stirring with mushrooms.  consistency should be “brothy”
  6. now add chix pieces back to pan, stir mushrooms and broth over chix and then add capers, cover and put on low-med heat for about 5-7 mins.
  7. Pasta is drained, then take and put on plate…put 3 pieces of chix, cover with mushroom, capers and broth sauce and a “spear” of broccoli and voila…ready to serve!!!

NOTE:  No rolling of chicken in flour, infact no flour was even used!!!…so the sauce is more “brothy” and healthier for you and the GHEE cooks better than butter and the taste is better!!!

So, my first meal cooking with different products than what I am used too….tomorrow it is off to the health store to get my first jar of GHEE and more vegies…and let’s see what Omega 3 fats I can use!!!  It will probably be a fish of some sort!!!