RSS

Category Archives: comfort

Chicken Fried Rice

Chicken Fried Rice

If you ever have leftover white rice that has been in the refrigerator, it can find a new home in fried rice.  This recipe can be cut down according to how much rice you have leftover.  You can always make it fresh as well, but just make sure you cook the rice and allow it to dry out overnight in the refrigerator before assembling to avoid mushy rice.

Yield: 16 Servings
Active Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 6 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 6 cups white rice, dry
  • 8 Tbsp. peanut oil
  • 3 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce

Directions:

  1. Cook 6 cups white rice with 6 1/4 cups water in a rice cooker.  Transfer rice to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and place in refrigerator overnight to dry out.
  2. Dice chicken breasts into 1/2″ pieces.  Place in a Ziploc bag and add 6 Tbsp. soy sauce and 1 tsp. sesame oil.  Marinate for 30 minutes.  Toss chicken with 2 Tbsp. cornstarch.
  3. Heat peanut oil and sesame oil in wok at 375F.  Add chicken to wok until browned, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add carrots and stir-fry until slightly softened, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add peas, onions, and garlic .  Cook for another 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  6. Make a hole in the middle of the wok with a spatula and add eggs.  Allow to fry for a minute then scramble and mix in with the rest of the vegetables.
  7. Add cooked rice to wok and toss to coat with oil.
  8. Add 1/2 cup soy sauce stirring frequently until thoroughly cooked and heated through.
 
3 Comments

Posted by on January 13, 2014 in comfort, Entrees, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , ,

Cheesy Polenta (Grits)

Cheesy Polenta

Today we are back in South Dakota to visit an oldie but a goodie friend and my parents.  It is pheasant opener here so we are all decked out in orange.  Otis can’t wait to go find some birds and on a chilly Fall morning a hearty, stick to your bones bowl of grits is perfect to sustain us all day.  We’re hoping for roasted pheasant for dinner, but if no birds come our way, we will just have to have another bowl of these creamy cheesy grits and that would be just fine too.

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups 2% milk, divided
  • 1 1/2 tsp. coarse kosher salt
  • 2 cups coarse ground cornmeal (not instant)
  • 2 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 6 strips bacon, diced and cooked

Directions:

  1. Bring chicken broth, 2 1/2 cups milk, and salt to a boil.  Watch closely to make sure this doesn’t boil over.  I say this because that’s exactly what happened to me!
  2. Slowly whisk in grits.
  3. Reduce heat to low and continue to stir for about 20 minutes until thickened.
  4. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup milk and stir to incorporate.
  5. Stir in cheese and butter.
  6. Stir in bacon.
 
2 Comments

Posted by on October 19, 2013 in comfort, Entrees, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Buffalo Chicken Mac-n-Cheese

Buffalo Chicken Mac 1

Mac-n-Cheese is one of those things in life that so many of us have in common.  I come from a family of 6 and am the baby, baby, baby.  My sisters and brother are 12, 10, and 8 years older than me, so my siblings were very much a part of my upbringing.  I remember very clearly when my oldest sister Terry watched me I always requested Kraft mac-n-cheese.  That’s right, I had the “blue box blues.”  I loved it when she made it for me because she would add all the butter and milk that the recipe called for.  When my mom made it, I think she secretly added water and margarine.  Bleck!

As I have gotten older, I no longer crave the blue box, but my love of mac-n-cheese certainly has not faded.  These days I love a rich, creamy bechamel based cheese sauce, baked, with a crunchy panko topping.  I happened to get a block of bleu cheese for 99 cents at the grocery store this week and needed to use it, so decided to morph my usual cheesy mac into a buffalo chicken recipe.

I hope this recipe brings back as many homey and comforting memories for you as it did for me.  Enjoy!

Buffalo Chicken Mac-n-Cheese

Yield: 8 Servings      Active Time: 30 minutes     Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups shredded chicken breasts, poached or rotisserie
  • 3 cups medium shells
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 Tbsp. powdered mustard
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce (preferably Valentina)
  • 1 large egg
  • 12 oz. extra-sharp white cheddar, coarsely shredded (about 4 cups)
  • 1 tsp. coarse kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh cracked pepper
    For Topping:
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 cup bleu cheese, crumbled

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Poach enough chicken breasts to measure 2 cups shredded or use 2 cups rotisserie chicken.
  3. In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the shells 5 minutes.  You want them undercooked.  They will absorb the creamy cheese sauce in the oven and come out perfect.  Drain and set aside.  Do not rinse.
  4. In a heavy skillet over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and stir constantly for five minutes.  Slowly stir in milk and cream.  Increase heat to medium and whisk to remove any clumps.
  5. Add onion, bay leaf, and hot sauce. Simmer for about ten minutes or until the sauce thickly covers the back of a wooden spoon.  Reduce heat to low and remove the bay leaf.
  6. Temper in the egg (instructions below).  This is an important step.  Don’t skip it!
  7. Stir in the cheese, salt, and pepper. Fold in the macaroni.
  8. Pour into a casserole dish. Top with bleu cheese.
  9. Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

Buffalo Chicken Mac-n-Cheese 3

How to Temper an Egg:
  1. Whisk egg in a bowl.
  2. Add a spoonful of sauce to egg while whisking.
  3. Continue adding a couple more spoonfuls while whisking.  Then add warmed egg mixture to sauce in skillet.
  • The purpose of tempering the egg is to slowly bring the egg to the temperature of the hot sauce.  If you add the egg directly to the sauce it will scramble and give you an awful curdled texture.
  • The egg, when tempered properly, will give a nice creamy texture to your finished dish.
 
6 Comments

Posted by on October 4, 2013 in comfort, Entrees, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: