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Month: January 2009

Homemade Teriyaki Chicken

Homemade Teriyaki Chicken

When I was a teenager my dad and I used to go to breakfast together on Sundays at a little French café. Their breakfasts were very good, but they also had two dishes that I loved that were not breakfast foods – potato soup and teriyaki chicken. You could say it has been one of my minor life’s quests to replicate those dishes. I have made potato soup and teriyaki chicken that were very good, but not the same. Until now!

When I decided to make teriyaki chicken I didn’t have any teriyaki sauce. I could have bought some, but I decided to try making my own. I had no idea that this was going to turn out so much like my favorite teriyaki chicken in the whole world. I had given up on trying to replicate it!

Chicken breast – 2.5 pounds, frozen, boneless, skinless
Pineapple juice
Tamari sauce (or regular soy sauce)
Garlic powder
Ginger powder
Cayenne powder

Heat oven to 350. Place chicken in glass baking dish. Sprinkle powdered spices on chicken. Pour in pineapple juice. Add tamari. Cover and bake until chicken is done, flipping chicken over once or twice.

A note on proportions. I used about 2 or 3 cups of pineapple juice and about ¼ to ½ cup of tamari sauce. I went unusually light on the spices, just lightly sprinkling them over all the chicken, not coating it!

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Baked Eggs & Toast

Baked Eggs & Toast

This is a very easy breakfast or snack.

2 eggs
¼ cup milk
Butter
Salt
Pepper
Garlic powder
Onion powder
1 slice toast

Preheat oven to 325. Butter ramekin or small baking dish. Pour in milk. Add eggs. Add spices. Baked for about 15 minutes, until whites are set and yolk is still runny or just starting to get firm. Remove to a bowl and serve with toast.

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Venison Scaloppini

Venison Scaloppini

Cubed venison steak
Orange juice
Flour
Salt
Pepper
Onion powder
Garlic powder
Lemon juice
Bacon grease

Soak venison overnight in orange juice. Remove from orange juice and pat dry. Tear into large bite sized pieces. Combine flour and dry seasonings in a large baggie. Drop venison in flour mixture and shake to coat. Heat iron skillet on med-high melting an ample amount of bacon grease. When the grease is hot, drop in the meat and brown on both sides. Add lemon juice, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for five to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve with baked sweet potatoes. http://realfoodforhealthandpleasure.blogspot.com/2008/12/baked-sweet-potatoes.html

If you make this dish with beef you do not need to soak it in orange juice, but you can.

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New Year’s Black Eyed Peas and Greens

New Year’s Black Eyed Peas and Greens

Black eyed peas are traditionally eaten on New Year’s Day to ensure good luck throughout the year. This was a tradition in my family, but I didn’t like black eyed peas so I would eat just one. Greens and pork are also traditional New Year’s food eaten for good luck. They were not a part of my family’s tradition, but it’s never too late to start. Bacon, ham, and sausage are the only types of pork that I cook.

I thought about cooking some other type of pork for New Year’s, but bacon was such a natural choice with greens, and kept the meal pretty light, which is exactly what I was going for. The plan was to eat this shortly after midnight, so for dinner we had fried chicken tenders with no sides. I was going for easy finger foods that wouldn’t be too filling, but would keep us from going hungry all night waiting for our special meal.

1 pound bacon
1 bunch red chard (or any greens)
3 or 4 large cloves garlic
Black eyed peas

I cooked the black eyed peas from scratch. To do this soak for at least eight hours, drain, rinse, and simmer for a couple of hours until soft. For this dish I did not season my black eyed peas. You could use canned.

Cook the bacon and save the grease. I use a broiler pan and cook mine in the oven at about 400 degrees. You can cook the bacon in the skillet you plan to use for the greens.

Pour the bacon grease in an iron skillet and heat on med-high. Slice garlic and add to grease. Rinse and cut up greens. I just lay them down and chop all the way across in one to two inch sections. Some stem is OK. Put the greens in the skillet. Cut up the bacon into bite sized pieces. I hold the whole bunch of bacon in my hand and cut it up with kitchen scissors. Add bacon to the greens and toss to coat the greens in the grease and garlic. Cover and reduce heat or turn off and let the greens wilt to your desired consistence. I like mine a little on the crisp side. Remove to a large bowl and toss with drained black eyed peas.

Tips and substitutions:

This dish can be served immediately or reheated in the skillet. If you want to reheat it, I recommend putting the black eyed peas in at the last minute so they don’t overwhelm the other flavors. They can be added just before reheating or added cold after the rest is heated. I did not want to cook this late at night during our celebration, so I cooked it ahead of time.

I used all the grease from the bacon. You don’t have to do that if it freaks you out. You can use less grease or you can substitute with butter or olive oil. If you substitute the grease it will drastically change the flavor, though. You might try using a little bacon grease and mostly some other kind of oil to help maintain the flavor.

I used “hardwood smoked” bacon this time and it was very delicious. The flavor was in the grease and influenced the flavor of the entire dish. I did not realize I had picked up flavored bacon until I smelled it cooking and looked at the box again. It was the brand I normally buy, and I hadn’t noticed (I was in a hurry at the store). The ingredients for the flavoring are pretty questionable, but it is so yummy that I am going to have to search for some with natural flavorings.

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