Recipes – making them my own

I like trying recipes and finding favorites that I make over and over again. And I almost always make some adjustments. I cannot help myself. I guess the only recipes I do not change too much are my mom’s recipes and a few other family recipes.

Some recipes I change so much that I claim them as mine. I think that is fair, in the grand scheme of thing.

I think now it is time to start making my own recipes. So I am going to start with a few things that I remember from childhood that I have not been able to quite get there. So research. Which was always my favorite part of my uni education. Research, at least to me, is fun. What do you expect from a historian? Research. Yep. I’m a total nerd that way, but it was always my favorite part, at least until I learned how to really write. A public school education, at least in my day, did not really teach you how to write. It was sad really. The one thing I learned working for my master’s degree was that I needed to learn how to write and understand the English language much better than a public school education had taught me. To bad it cost a crap-load of money to do that.

I am still a word nerd, but I do not think that is a bad thing. It is kind of funny, I think if I had to do it over again, I would be (a Secret Service agent – no … really!) or a linguist (much more likely).

So research it will be for the following things:

Peanut Butter Fudge – can not quite help myself.

My mom’s meatloaf – especially a meatloaf sandwich.

Chicken and Rice – really simple, but slightly amazing.

Cheese Crackers – did the Cracker Challenge a few years ago, but I feel like the only person that makes cheese crackers – is that possible?

Potato Salad – been struggling with this all summer – and not to my satisfaction.

Peach Cobbler – wow – this one is charged. I love my mom’s recipe, but I don’t really like the biscuits on top. How to fix that?

 

 

Baked Chicken with Parmesan-Garlic Crust

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Baked Chicken with Parmesan-Garlic Crust – Cook’s Country

Baked Chicken with Parmesan-Garlic Crust

1 cup fresh breadcrumbs – two slices pulsed in the food processor until small crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese or Pecorino
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp of table salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts – cut in half and pounded to about 1/2 inch thick
1/4 cup Duke’s mayonnaise
zest of one lemon
juice of half a lemon
Lemon wedges, for serving

Preheat over to 425 degrees. Lightly spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
Combine breadcrumbs, chees, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl.

Dry chicken with paper towels and arrange in baking dish leaving room between each piece. Combine mayonnaise, lemon zest and juice in a small bowl. Top each piece of chicken with the mayonnaise mixture. Then top with breadcrumb mixture, pressing to make sure they adhere.
Bake until crumbs are golden and thermometer in thickest part of chicken is 160 degrees about 20 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges

My modifications on a Cook’s Country recipe.
25 March 2009
28 April 2009
16 February 2010
12 April 2010
28 August 2012 – Hurricane Issac
3 June 2015 – great left over the next day. Think they would make a good sandwich too, esp. when pounded thin.

Currant – Glazed Chicken

Currant Glazed Chicken with Rice and White Corn

I’m not quite sure how to describe this dish. It’s pretty simple, but the flavors – Dijon mustard, lemon, and currant – work well together. Do love shoepeg corn. Slightly less sweet than yellow corn, but my favorite with rice, some salt, and a good bit of butter. Another childhood favorite – rice and corn w/butter.  I really am simple I think when it comes to flavors, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
2 Tbs unsalted butter
2 Tbs olive oil
Juice of one lemon
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
12 oz jar of currant jelly

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a baking dish with non-stick spray. Pound each chicken breast between two sheet of waxed paper until 1/2 inch thick. Heat one Tbs of butter and 1 Tbs olive oil in a skillet and brown each chicken piece on both sides, working in batches and adding other Tbs of butter and olive oil as needed.
Remove to prepared baking dish. Leave butter oil mixture in skillet and deglaze with lemon juice. Add mustard and currant jelly. Heat and stir until melted. Pour currant sauce over chicken. Cover baking dish with foil and bake 20 minutes. Uncover and bake 20 minutes more (or so – here’s where it can get tricky..

Modified from Southern on Occasion, p. 192

Southern on Occasion is an entirely different story – a very wonderful cookbook. And more recipes to come from it. Including one from our wedding pre-party.

I do mark down dates that I make things – it’s kind of telling what’s good and what stands the test of time and why my memory can be so terrible. This was a Chapel Hill dinner and I can’t believe I had forgotten it  – memory problem anyone? Now on the roster again. Pretty damn simple really.  Next time I think with roasted potatoes. Although I do love rice and corn together.

June 2002
13 September 2002
18 October 2002
7 April 2015

Apricot and Cheddar Chicken Melt

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Chicken, Ham, Apricot, Cheddar sandwich

I totally had a fit about this sandwich for, well, at least a year.  And it’s been at least two years since I made it and now it’s in the rotation again. I don’t want to over do it, but it’s pretty simple if you plan ahead (marinating) and it’s amazing.

1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 Tbs Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, chopped (optional in my opinion but I like them)
Coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6-8 ozs)
1 baguette, split horizontally, then cut in a half
1/4 cup apricot preserves
4 ozs thinly sliced tavern ham
4 ozs sharp white cheddar, grated (1 cup)

Between two pieces of plastic wrap, pound the chicken slightly until it is more even. It does not need to be super thin, just a little more even. Makes for easier (quicker) marinade and more even cooking. Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a resealable plastic bag, add vinegar, mustard, garlic, and chicken. Let marinade several hours or over night in the refrigerator.

Heat broiler on low and line a baking sheet with foil. Remove chicken from marinade (discard marinade) and place on the baking sheet, broil without turning until opaque throughout. Transfer chicken to work surface and discard foil. Reline the baking sheet with new foil.

Place baguette on baking sheet, cut side up (duh). Spread each piece with apricot preserves, layer with chicken, ham and cheese. Broil until cheese is melted.

Source: Martha Stewart with my modifications.