an old favorite

chicken and nice riceI have been making this dish for many decades. My first wife Ruth, who died suddenly in 1989, introduced me to the basic concept. In fact, I think that I requested she make it so often that it sometimes irked her. But she made it anyway. How closely what she made resembled what I make today I can’t really say after all these years. But her dish was the basis of and inspiration for my current version. I make this dish on a regular basis, varying the spices and the form of bread crumbs that I use. Whatever the variation, Terry always seems to enjoy it.

Fried Breaded Chicken Breast

Ingredients

  • boneless chicken breasts
  • wheat germ
  • bread crumbs
  • olive oil
  • spices: granulated onion, granulated garlic, cayenne or chili powder, Italian herbs, freshly ground black pepper

Procedure

  1. If the chicken breasts are thick, slice horizontally and pound thin. Or buy thin chicken breasts.
  2. Mix the wheat germ and bread crumbs in a large plastic bag. If I have an old loaf of sourdough I like to dry out a slice and granulate it.
  3. Add the spices to the mixture and mix well.
  4. Add the chicken. Shake and coat.
  5. Add olive oil to a frying pan and heat.
  6. Cook the chicken on both sides until done.

Serve with Nice Rice (aka Uncle Ben’s Long Grain and Wild, original recipe).


pressure cooker pot roast

pressure cooker pot roastTerry and I enjoy having pot roast on a Sunday every once in a while, as it brings back pleasant childhood memories for both of us. While we grew up with pot roast in the oven, making pot roast in the pressure cooker is simple and doesn’t heat up the kitchen.

Everyone who belongs to Pressure Cooker Recipes on Yahoo! Groups knows about group owner Ray Knapp’s 3 Envelope Pot Roast recipe. It involves 1 packet each of Italian salad dressing mix, ranch salad dressing mix, and brown gravy mix. That combination kicks the sodium level up pretty high, but Ray’s instructions for liquid and timing are spot on. My version follows those instructions.

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ (or so) pound chuck roast
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup cooking port or red wine
  • Your favorite meat rub

Procedure

  1. Cut the roast if necessary to fit into the pressure cooker.
  2. Rub the roast with the meat rub.
  3. Place the rack in the pressure cooker.
  4. Add the water and port or red wine.
  5. Put the roast in the pressure cooker allowing ample room for the steam to rise.
  6. Seal the pressure cooker and set to High for 70 minutes.
  7. Use natural pressure release and serve.

There are dozens of meat rubs out there, and I use different ones at different times. I especially enjoy Jeff Mauro’s Mega Meat Rub, though I tend to dial back on the salt on this one.

Enjoy!


appreciating my stove-top pressure cooker

I have two pressure cookers. I have a stove-top Presto which I have had for more than thirty years and a Cuisinart electronic pressure cooker that I have had for a number of years. I use the Cuisinart for meals and the Presto to cook beans for tostadas.

stove top pressure cookerOne day recently I pulled out the Presto to make tostada beans. I couldn’t get it to seal and latch. This distressed me a great deal since I’ve had it for so long. But I needed to get dinner made, so I put the beans in the Cuisinart. The beans turned out fine, and Terry discovered that my Presto was fine. I was simply having a senior moment. I had the lid to the left of the handle and was turning right. I needed to be to the right of the handle and turn left.

I’m glad the Presto is fine. As Terry has said, the jiggle of the weight on the release valve while the cooker is up to pressure is a comforting, reassuring sound.

I guess I need to pull out the Presto more.


pressure cooker pulled pork

This is so incredibly simple that I’m almost ashamed to share it. But sometimes we’re busy and need something extremely simple to fix for dinner. This recipe is for an electric pressure cooker, but could easily be adapted for a stove-top.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb pork loin
  • barbecue sauce, your favorite brand, ⅓ bottle
  • water or broth

Procedure

  1. Cut the pork loin so the pieces fit into your pressure cooker in a single layer.
  2. Coat the pork with half of the barbecue sauce.
  3. Put the rack in your pressure cooker and add water or broth up to the bottom of the rack. Put the pork on the rack. Leave ample room around the sides for the steam to rise.
  4. Cook for 75 minutes on high after coming up to pressure.
  5. Use natural pressure release.
  6. Take the pork out of the pressure cooker and shred it using two forks.
  7. Set the pressure cooker to sauté, put the pork back into the pressure cooker, add the rest of the barbecue sauce, and stir.
  8. Serve.

The original recipe called for 4 lbs of pork and specified so little liquid that I wasn’t sure how it could come up to pressure. My version turned out very nicely.

pulled pork

file photo: Pixabay


sandwich thins

It’s sandwich thins wrappereasy to get into the habit of eating frozen Indian and Mexican meals for lunch each day. It’s simple, straightforward, and not a lot of work. And while not terribly unhealthy, it is not the optimal healthy lunch.

Terry and I like to buy deli meats and cheeses from the full-service deli at Sprouts. We can buy small amounts (often a quarter pound) and if we’re lucky we’ll use them up before they go bad. Add some Romaine or buttersandwich thins sandwich lettuce from our container garden and it makes a nice sandwich. The only problem: too much bread.

Terry discovered a new product from Orowheat. They’re called Sandwich Thins. They are round, thin, and larger than an English Muffin. They make for great sandwiches without too much bread.

Great discovery, Terry. Thanks!


enchilada sauce

enchilada sauce canSomehow my cooking repertoire never included recipes that contained enchilada sauce. That’s not to say that I don’t like enchiladas. I do. When we go out for Mexican food my meal frequently includes an enchilada. Terry makes a marvelous enchilada which I absolutely love. She follows the recipe to make her own enchilada sauce from scratch, and it is superb.

But buy a can of enchilada sauce? I don’t believe that I have. Or if I have it’s been decades. Until recently. In January I made two recipes that called for a can of enchilada sauce.

The first was a spiralizer recipe. It was Spiralized Sweet Potato Enchilada Casserole. It turned out great and was delicious.

The second was a one-skillet meal. That was Chicken Black Bean Enchilada Skillet. Again, excellent.

I guess I’m going to have to add enchilada sauce as a pantry item in our kitchen.


healthier snacking

roasted almonds I have this habit of trying to clean up my act (at least somewhat) in advance of my annual blood work. So I have, for the time being at least, sworn off bags of fun size Snickers in favor of roasted almonds. I used to make them all the time up in Gilroy and I thought I needed to get back to that. Healthy. Good for cholesterol.

It’s really easy.

Ingredients

  • Raw almonds from the bulk section of the grocery store
  • Olive oil
  • Your favorite seasoning (preferably salt-free)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Put enough olive oil in a bowl to cover the almonds.
  3. Add your favorite salt-free seasoning.
  4. Toss the almonds in the mixture
  5. Spread out in a single layer on a cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for ten minutes.
  7. Let the almonds cool off and then store in an air-tight container.

Voila! A tasty, healthy snack!

roasted almonds