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Double Crunch Honey Garlic Chicken

I think I pinned this recipe when I first discovered Pinterest about 4 years ago and I’m kicking myself now for not making it sooner! Holy smokes this was delicious! It sounds rather unassuming – so simple with no fancy ingredients but it all comes together to create this mouthwatering creation. I’m still thinking about this morning, and wondering how long I should wait before making it again. I cut down on the thyme and the sage, but other than that I made it as is, although I split the recipe so that it made only 2 servings. It was just me and my friend Steve. Miss M. was having none of it, even though I made some for her without the sauce and it looked and tasted exactly like a chicken finger. That’s ok. More for me! Mwahahahaa! *All star recipe*

DoubleCrunch

Double Crunch Honey Garlic Chicken

Serves: 4 servings

Ingredients
4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cups flour
4 tsp salt
4 tsp black pepper
3 tbsp ground ginger
1 tbsp freshly ground nutmeg
2 tsp ground thyme
2 tsp ground sage
2 tbsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
4 eggs
8 tbsp water
2 tbsp olive oil
3-4 cloves minced garlic
1 cup honey
¼ cup soy sauce (low sodium soy sauce is best)
1 tsp ground black pepper
canola oil for frying

Instructions:
Place the chicken breasts between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and using a meat mallet, pound the meat to an even ½ inch thickness. Alternatively, you can slice the breasts by placing them flat on a cutting board and using a very sharp knife to slice them into halves horizontally.

Sift together the flour, salt, black pepper, ground ginger, nutmeg, thyme, sage paprika and cayenne pepper. NOTE: This flour and spice dredge mix is sufficient for two batches of this chicken recipe so divide the batch and store ½ in a Ziploc bag in the freezer. I always like to make enough for next time…and there’s always a next time with this recipe.

Make an egg wash by whisking together the eggs and water.

Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper, then dip the meat in the flour and spice mixture. Dip the breast into the eggwash and then a final time into the flour and spice mix, pressing the mix into the meat to get good contact.
Heat a skillet on the stove with about a half inch of canola oil covering the bottom. You will want to carefully regulate the temperature here so that the chicken does not brown too quickly. The thinness of the breast meat practically guarantees that it will be fully cooked by the time the outside is browned. I find just below medium heat works well. I use a burner setting of about 4½ out of 10 on the dial and fry them gently for about 4 or 5 minutes per side until golden brown and crispy.

Drain on a wire rack for a couple of minutes before dipping the cooked breasts into the Honey Garlic Sauce. Serve with noodles or rice.

To make the Honey Garlic Sauce:
In a medium saucepan add the 2 tbsp olive oil and minced garlic. Cook over medium heat to soften the garlic but do not let it brown. Add the honey, soy sauce and black pepper. Simmer together for 5-10 minutes, remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Watch this carefully as it simmers because it can foam up over the pot very easily.

TO MAKE THE OVEN BAKED VERSION
Follow the recipe exactly as for the fried version but while you are preparing the chicken, heat a baking sheet in a 425F degree oven. Preheating the pan does 2 things; it prevents the chicken from sticking to the pan and it ensures that the heat from the oven starts going directly into the crust on the chicken to make sure it becomes crispy.

Dip all your chicken pieces and coat as instructed. As you finish individual pieces, lay them out on a lightly floured cutting board while you finish getting them all ready.

When the pieces are all ready, take the hot pan from the oven and lightly oil the bottom of the baking pan with canola oil or other vegetable oil. Use only enough to coat the bottom of the pan.

Working as quickly as possible, transfer the chicken pieces to the oiled pan. Do not crowd the pieces together. They should NOT touch each other or they will steam and not get crispy. Leave at least an inch of space between all pieces.
Lightly spray the tops of the chicken pieces with vegetable oil. I recommend that you have a spray bottle filled with canola oil to use in any oven fried recipe for chicken, including this one. A simple pump bottle will do. Spraying the tops helps them start to get crispy in the hot oven too.

Maintain the heat at 425 degrees F and place baking sheet in the oven. I use the second lowest rack in my oven.
Bake for 15 minutes without opening the door! Take the pan out of the oven and flip all of the chicken pieces over.
Return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes until the chicken pieces brown nicely and become crispy. Again don’t open the door, maintaining a hot oven is important for this method. Dip the baked pieces in the sauce as usual and serve immediately.

Notes: For a gluten free option, try substituting rice flour for the white flour.

 

Split Pea Soup

Split pea soup is a staple in Newfoundland and Labrador. I love mine super thick and salty with bits of salt beef (cured navel beef). You can only buy the beef in family sized buckets so I wanted to find a soup recipe that I could make with something more practical for a two person household. The smoked pork hock caught my eye at Farm Boy grocer and I thought “eureka”! But I don’t think my ham hock was two pounds because the soup wasn’t as salt as I like it. It’s a good idea to taste and season as you go, which I should remember for next time. This recipe makes a TON of soup. I gave some to a friend of mine and I still had way too much cluttering up my fridge. I think I’ll try halving the recipe next time. With the addition of salt, it was super yummy! I forgot to take a pic, but I don’t think there’s a way to make pea soup pretty anyway! lol

Split Pea Soup

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:
8 cups water (more for later if the soup gets too thick)
1 package (16 ounces) dried split peas (2 1/4 cups), sorted and rinsed
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch slices (1 1/2 cups)
2 medium stalks celery, finely chopped (1 cup)
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 ham bone, 2 pounds ham shanks or 2 pounds smoked pork hocks

Directions:

Heat peas and water to boiling in 4-quart Dutch oven. Stir in onion, celery and pepper. Add ham bone. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 1 hour to 1 hr 30 minutes or until peas are tender, stirring occasionally. Add more water if needed.
Remove ham bone; remove ham from bone. Trim excess fat from ham; cut ham into 1/2-inch pieces.
Stir ham and carrots into soup. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 30 minutes or until carrots are tender and soup is desired consistency.

Berry Grunt (Berries topped with sweet dumplings)

Mr. M came over last weekend to bring us to the park for a BBQ picnic but the weather didn’t cooperate. Miss M got overheated and grumpy and we had to bring her home. While she slept Mr. M made barbecued pork steaks and I made this. I’m sorry to say that he brought fresh berries thinking that would be great for dessert, but my tastebuds have been deadened by decades of sugar abuse and I don’t really enjoy fresh berries as much as I should. I often find them too sour and have to add sugar. I’ve never made a “grunt” before and it the name isn’t terribly appetizing, but the description sounded good.

Martha Stewart describes the “grunt”:
A classic grunt is a dumpling-topped fruit dessert that’s cooked on the stove; it is often called a slump. Our grunt has blackberries and raspberries that simmer together. Then dollops of ginger-spiked dumpling batter are added to the pan, to steam in berry juice.

So I went for it, and I’m glad I did. Unlike other baked fruit desserts, this one comes together in about 20 minutes total and it’s quite good. I tried halving it but I don’t think it was the best idea. I wasn’t super accurate with measuring my flour so I think the dumplings ended up a little dense, but the sauce was sweet and the berries retained some of their tartness. I will make this again, using the correct measurements.

We inhaled them so quickly I forgot to take a pic of course. Here’s the image from Martha’s site.

Berry Grunt

1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon plus a pinch of ground cinnamon
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
Salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/3 cup whole milk, room temperature
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 cups raspberries (about 1 1/2 pints)[I used strawberries]
3 cups blackberries (about 1 1/2 pints)
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Heavy cream, for drizzling

Stir together 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl; set aside. Whisk together flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, the baking powder, a pinch of salt, and the ginger in a medium bowl. Stir together milk and butter in a small bowl. Stir milk-butter mixture into the flour mixture. Set batter aside.

Gently fold together the raspberries, blackberries, lemon juice, remaining 3/4 cup sugar, a pinch of salt, the remaining pinch of cinnamon, and 2 tablespoons water in a large bowl. Transfer the berry mixture to a large straight-sided skillet. Cover, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.

Drop 8 large dollops of batter on top of berry mixture using 2 spoons, spacing them evenly. Sprinkle dumplings with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Cover; reduce heat to medium. Cook until the dumplings are cooked through and juices are bubbling, about 15 minutes. Serve warm, drizzled with cream.

Turkey Burgers with Roasted Garlic and Provolone

I was searching for inspiration in my old Martha Stewart magazines and found this recipe from the June 2005 issue. I did a search online and couldn’t find it anywhere on your site or on any other blogs, which is weird. I wonder if it’s one of those flavour combinations that just fell out of style so she cut it in the last website redo? I didn’t take it as a bad omen as I love garlic and provolone. As I mentioned earlier, my original plans to make these burgers were dashed when I realized I needed more time to roast the garlic. I later noticed that I would have needed an extra hour to chill the meat after adding the garlic, so I said to heck with that and modified the original recipe. I roasted the garlic and made a garlic mayo, didn’t bother chilling the meat, then pan fried it in my cast iron skillet, topped it with the provolone and mayo, and done. (Didn’t bother with the tomato sauce either.) The burgers were moist and the flavour combination was quite good. I was wondering why the original recipe called for adding the cheese and the garlic to the meat and I think it probably would have added some welcomed fat to the very lean ground turkey. In the future I will give it a shot and report back.

IMG_20150610_155505

Roasted-Garlic Turkey Burgers

Ingredients:

1 1/4 lb of ground turkey

1 1/2 cups coarsely graded aged provolone cheese (about 5 ounces)

1/4 cup roasted garlic

2 1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh sage

vegetable oil for brushing

4 hamburger buns of your choice, preferably chiabatta

juice of 1/2 lemon

1 small bunch of watercress, trimmed

3/4 cup grilled-tomato sauce

salt, pepper to taste

Instructions:

Using your hands, gently combine turkey, cheese, roasted garlic, sage, and 1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper in medium bowl (do not overwork meat). Shape into 4 patties about 5″ in diameter. Refrigerate, covered, until cold, about 1 hour (or overnight).

Preheat grill to medium high (if using a charcoal grill, coals are ready when you can hold your hand 5 inches about grill for just 3-4 seconds) Brush grill and burgers with vegetable oil. Grill, flipping once, until cooked through, 3-4 minutes per side. Toast rolls, cut sides down, on grill; brush cut sides with olive oil.

Whisk lemon juice and 1 Tbsp olive oil in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. Add watercress; toss.

Spread grilled-tomato sauce on bottom half of each roll. Top each with a burger, one-quarter of the watercress salad, and top half of roll.

Roasted Garlic

4 heads of garlic, tops cut off to expose cloves

1 Tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 400F. Place garlic, cut sides up, on a large piece of foil. Drizzle with oil; wrap in foil. Bake until softened, about 1hr 15 min. Let stand until cool enough to handle. Squeeze pulp from skins into a small bowl.

Grilled-Tomato Sauce

2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for brushing

2 large beefstead tomatoes, halved crosswise

coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup Roasted Garlic

Preheat grill to high (if using a charcoal grill, coals are ready when you can hold your hand 5 inches about grill for just 1-2 seconds). Brush grill and the tomatoes with oil. Season tomatoes with salt and pepper. Grill tomatoes until softened and slightly charred, about 3-4 minutes per side. Let stand until cool enough to handle. Peel tomatoes; discard skins. Put tomatoes, garlic, and oil in a bowl; mash with a fork. Season with salt and pepper. Sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container, up to 3 days.

Eggless Vanilla Ice Cream

(I apologize for the late post) Summer is such a busy time for us, especially around Canada Day (July 1st). And happy belated Fourth of July to our American friends! Rain and thunder showers put a bit of a damper on our plans here in Ottawa but we still braved the elements on Parliament Hill. Miss M. got a ride on a mini train which she wanted to do sooo badly and we waited in line for 10 minutes or so, but when she was actually supposed to get on the train she was afraid and I had to hold her hand through the window for the first couple of minutes. All the parents were walking along with the train and once in a while I would get pushed back. I could see her little face through the crowd looking for me and she looked so worried, poor thing. As soon as she saw me again her little face would light up! Oh how I wish sometimes that she could be this age, or at least love me like this forever!

The children’s channel was hyping Canada’s Birthday and my daughter was surprisingly excited, mainly because she thought there would be cake. I made this egg free ice cream instead. Her favourite is strawberry so I also made some homemade jam out of the leftover strawberries I had on hand and mixed it in before serving. Overall it was pretty good. It doesn’t quite have the same texture as regular ice cream – maybe a little gummy or something, I can’t pinpoint it. I made some homemade Magic Shell for mine :)  But if you missed National Ice Cream Day because of allergies for example, this recipe is worth a shot.

eggless ice cream

Eggless Vanilla Ice Cream

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup cornstarch

3 1/2 cups 10% cream

1 vanilla pod, split in half and scraped

Directions:

In a saucepan off the heat, combine the sugar and cornstarch. Whisk in the cream, vanilla pod and seeds. Mix thoroughly.

Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly and scraping the sides and bottom of the saucepan. Let simmer over low heat for 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Strain, Pour int o a bowl and let cool.

Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the cream. Refrigerate for about 2 hours or until the cream is completely chilled. if desired, place the bowl over an ice bath for faster chilling.

Pour the cream into an ice cream maker. Churn the cream following the manufacturer’s instructions, until it becomes thick. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze for 2 hours or more. If the ice cream is too firm, allow to sit at room temperature for a few minutes before serving. The ice cream will keep in the freezer for about 2 weeks.

Courtesy: Ricardo Larrivée, Ricardo Magazine, Summer issue 2015.

Happy National Ice Cream Day!

I’ve been super busy dealing with finances so I haven’t been posting much, but I wanted to write a quick note for national ice cream day! I’m making no churn nutella cheesecake ice cream again, which I posted on here last year, and if you’d like more inspiration, here’s a link to my Pinterest board. Enjoy!  www.pinterest.com/kikiak/frozen-treats/

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

It’s a miracle! My daughter, who’s almost 4, actually liked this soup. I had to nag her but she finally tried it and proclaimed it was “Yum!” This is a major triumph for Mom’s everywhere :) I have to send a thank-you note to her daycare teachers who have been vigilant about getting her to try new things. It’s actually working and I’m beyond pleased. And a big thank-you to Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) :)

With regards to the recipe, I halved it but forgot that I was supposed to halve it and added the full can of tomatoes, but it’s still quite lovely. I don’t have a food mill so I just smooshed everything with a potato masher until there were small chunks left. For Miss M.’s bowl of soup (featured in the photo) I whirred it with an immersion blender to pulverize any evidence of green and ultimately averting a major meltdown. I found that with just mashing the soup, there were lots of fibrous tomato skins left but pureeing the soup got rid of it. I couldn’t find fresh plum tomatos so I used on the vine regular tomatoes so maybe that had something to do with it? I am so not a tomato expert as I detest them raw. Anyone have an tips on what went wrong (with the soup, not my aversion to tomatoes)?

IMG_20150630_134953

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

Total Time: 1 hr 50 min Prep:15 min Cook: 1 hr 35 min Yield:6 to 8 servings
Ingredients:

3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 (28-ounce) canned plum tomatoes, with their juice
4 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 quart chicken stock or water

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss together the tomatoes, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the tomatoes in 1 layer on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes.

In an 8-quart stockpot over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the butter, and red pepper flakes for 10 minutes, until the onions start to brown. Add the canned tomatoes, basil, thyme, and chicken stock. Add the oven-roasted tomatoes, including the liquid on the baking sheet. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Pass through a food mill fitted with the coarsest blade. Taste for seasonings. Serve hot or cold.

 

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