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Sriracha-Glazed Chicken

I was in desperate need of more freezer space, I had to find room for a dozen bagels that I had gotten for free on my birthday from What-A-Bagel. This was no easy task as my freezer was crammed with chicken (from when my No Frills was closing) and fruit (because I bought a blender). I crammed them in, but every time I went to get something from the freezer there was a looming threat of a frozen-food avalanche. Something had to be done about this.

I just so happened to have all the ingredients for Martha Stewart’s Sriracha-Glazed Chicken and Brent just so happened to be out of the country and returning tonight- a perfect excuse to test out the recipe on him, with a surprise dinner.* Even more-so because he loves Sriracha sauce. Loves.

You know something has a lot of salt in it when you can smell it, as was the case with the soy sauce. No wonder the recipe does not call for salt, yeesh. As I mixed the ingredients though, a wonderful smell wafted from the bowl. Oh my God, I thought to myself, this might very well turn out as the best chicken ever! It smelled like a mix between barbeque chips and all-dressed chips. I am now craving potato chips real bad.

There is a certain anti-climactic aspect to it though. It smells so good, I had all the ingredients- all went well…. and now I have to wait while it marinates “for at least 30 minutes in the fridge.” BUT I AM HUNGRY NOW.

UPDATE: it is delicious! Easily a new go-to recipe from now on.

*surprise not ruined, he will not have read this until tomorrow.

 
 

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Spice Rubbed Pork Chops

There is nothing in the world I hate more than math, except maybe broccoli. For the most part the math on recipes is simple, simply halving all the measurements, there is the occasional half of 1 1/2 but even then things turn out fine.The recipe for Spice Rubbed Pork Chops (sans zuchinni though) proved to be a doozy. I had initially just glanced over it and took note: 4 pork loin chops, easy enough to remember right? Having learned in the past to pay close attention to the weight of meat required I double-checked that and good thing I did: turns out I had purchased tiny little pork chops and if I were to follow the recipe I had to cut everything by 1/3. This was only further complicated by the fact that I really only wanted to make 2 pork chops, and save the other 2 for another recipe that has caught my eye. I had to divide the whole recipe by 1/6… to make matters worse, Google sometimes gave me measurements in milliliters and I would then have to convert that to teaspoons (well, fractions of teaspoons). All in all, the math took longer than the prep.

Project 37- Spice Rubbed Pork Chops sans zuchini Martha Stewart (2)

The recipe is simple, albeit a little more hands on than I had expected. Cutting the fat off the pork was also not fun, the fat was slick and hard to grip and I was certain I would end up with a knife wound. After some struggle I managed to cut off a good deal of it, which is to say not that much at all, my pork chops were lean it seems. It could have been my measurements, but the rub was more of a paste (not enough oil maybe) and I ended up having to get in there and just rub it right into the pork rather than shaking it about in a container.

 

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Pomegranate Glazed Chicken

It’s been a while since I made anything in the kitchen, subsisting on my stash of frozen chicken breast… until it ran out. Coincidentally No Frills was having a sale and I chanced upon some pomegranate juice and later some really cheap chicken breast. It was settled, I’d once again try my hand at a Martha Stewart recipe, this time for pomegranate-glazed chicken.

First a note: the chicken was so cheap because it had the bone in and the skin on, adding about 10 minutes of epic struggling and some more difficulty. For next time I will spend the extra money and save myself some time. The recipe is simple enough: mix the pomegranate juice and orange juice (in my case I had only 1 cup of pomegranate juice, so I made it an equal amount of both). Lacking a garlic press I diced it, again adding more time- and another item to my list of things I still need in my kitchen.

Project 29- Martha Stewart pomegranate glazed chicken (8)

I managed to successfully simmer the sauce until it was reduced to half its quantity, a first for me in the kitchen if I may sadly add. The only time consuming part really is the actual cooking of the chicken. The total cooking time is 20 minutes, but the recipe calls for basting the chicken every 5 minutes. At first I was against this, I considered just pouring it all in the tinfoil lined pan and walking away. I resisted the lazy temptation and set my oven timer to 5 minutes and basted as called for. A much better approach the making sure all the chicken gets basted, not just the bottom parts.

The chicken turned out delicious. I actually prefer it with the same amount of orange juice to pomegranate juice as it balances very well. I have had pomegranate chicken before where the pomegranate over powers. The vinegar that is added just before basting also helps to balance the sweetness with a bit of acidity.

This recipe is a definite keeper, simple, cheap and delicious.

 

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Slow Cooker Pork Chops

My stash of frozen cooked chicken breasts was starting to run low and I just so happened to have 2 pork chops in the freezer and a day off. This could only mean one thing: slow cooker pork chops.

Project 27- slow cooker pork chops  (2)

As per usual, I had the idea before I had the ingredients so I would have to improvise. I swear I had a box of chicken broth cubes and it just got lost in the move. I had to resort to using Lipton Cup of Soup and just picking out as many of the noodles as I could- not an easy task. At least I now understand the importance of having a sieve in the kitchen. Up next: I had no poultry seasoning (had not even heard of it until today actually) so instead I used Old Bay seasoning, it has the word seasoning in it so it would seem to be close enough. Lacking basil, I added a sun-dried tomato seasoning I figured probably had basil in it (upon reading the label it did not). I lacked garlic both in powdered and real form and had to simply go without, hoping that maybe the chicken soup or Old Bay had some trace of garlic in it.

Project 27- slow cooker pork chops  (4)

Even with my copious substitutions the house smells great so I have my fingers crossed the pork chops will be tasty. Or at least edible.

Project 27- slow cooker pork chops  (5)

Success! They are delicious and due to the slow cooking: succulent. I would still like to retry the recipe with the proper ingredients however.

Project 27- slow cooker pork chops  (8)

 

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Wine Jellies: Update

It has been a few days now and I am sad to say: the wine jelly (not sure why I keep pluralizing it) did not turn out. It did not really set properly (I blame the fact that I removed it from the stove and then stirred in the pectin- or I did not stir for long enough). In addition it is unbelievably sweet, I made a mistake using a late harvest wine.

There will be a re-do in the coming weeks where:

  1. I will not attempt any math on the recipe, no more halves or thirds
  2. I will use a less sweeter wine
  3. I will actually use a timer!

In the meantime, I have a jar full of super sweet half-set jelly. It’s time to make linzer cookies.

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Wine Jellies

I will use just about any excuse to head into the kitchen and whip up something delicious, and Mother’s Day is no exception. I know, I know, Mother’s Day is still a-ways-away. However, one must contend with mistakes. I found a recipe on the Porto Bellas blog for wine jellies and could not resist. Besides, it would make a nice gift- assuming it turned out well.

Lacking a bottle of wine, I went out in search of one. I found a nice late harvest wine, which is about as close you can get to ice wine without actually buying ice wine, which for a jelly I think would be too sweet anyways. I was at Michaels’, holding a mason jar and contemplating buying it. I remembered Dollarama having such jars, so I put it back. Apparently I was mistaken, Dollarama did not have any. Nor did Wal-Mart. Or Bulk Barn. Or any grocery store I went to. I was starting to panic. I finally found one that was close enough: it did not have the lid with the ring, but it was a jar that would not crack where I to boil it to seal it.

Project 20- wine jelly (4)

The recipe is simple. However there is one part where you may need a second person. Once the wine, sugar and vinegar (small amount) start boiling, you are to whisk in pectin and stir for 60 seconds and remove from heat. I was so concerned with not screwing up the recipe that as soon as it boiled I removed it from heat and then whisked in the pectin. I remembered there was still another step, panicked I call over to Brent to have him check what I had done wrong.

As the jelly sits in its jar cooling, I am wracked with nerves. Did it turn out? Does it taste good? Should I still seal it, given that the dent in the lid goes down?

 
 

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Slow Cooker Maple Mustard Chicken

A week ago I had yet another failed attempt in the kitchen and went on a hiatus. However when I was leaving my dad’s house he gave me food, including a giant frozen chicken breast. I threw it in the freezer and figured I would cook it sometime during the week, after my current supply of chicken* ran low.

As it turns out, taking a hiatus from the kitchen is no easy task. I quickly found myself back in the kitchen, bringing out the slow cooker for a second attempt, after the first turned out less than stellar. I had everything set up, recipe loaded: I was ready to cook! Problem was, the chicken breast was not. It was frozen solid. When you suddenly decide to cook on a whim, it’s not that easy. Enter the microwave. I was worried that I would get chicken-salmonella juice all over the microwave or maybe even something worse. Thankfully it all went well (maybe one day I will actually use the microwave to cook, not just reheat stuff).

Project 15- maple mustard slow cooker chicken (6)

The next step involved math. The recipe I had found for slow-cooker maple mustard chicken called for 4-6 chicken breasts. I had what appeared to be one giant piece of chicken breast, but that was probably two stuck together. The recipe was downright simple: mustard powder and maple syrup. Finally I had a use for the bottle of Mrs.Butterworths I bought just because it was on sale. The recipe also called for a teeny tiny amount of quick tapioca- no way. There was no way I was going to have an opened box of tapioca kicking around my already full baking drawer for one recipe. I took the risk and went without.

That was all the recipe called for: dry mustard and maple syrup. It did not smell good when I mixed the two together. I had a sinking feeling that this would be yet another dud. I tossed it the chicken and the sauce in the slow-cooker, crossed my fingers and walked away. After about an hour I got a little curious and opened it up to peek in on it. It made my eyes water- I blame the mustard. But it did smell good. After a couple of hours the smell overwhelmed the house, it was delicious and making me hungry. And it made me keep peeking and more tears came rolling- you would think I had learned after the first or second time.

When I took it out of the slow-cooker, the chicken was the most unappetizing-looking thing ever. It was a very light brown slick hunk of meat- that smelled more delicious than it looked. What is most important here is taste. And what the chicken lacked in aesthetic appeal, it more than made up for in taste.

Project 15- maple mustard slow cooker chicken (8)

This recipe is a keeper. It is simple and easy and cheap and delicious.

 

*I cook up a club pack of chicken breast and throw it in the freezer for easy dinners. Just makes sense.

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2013 in I Will One Day Attempt To Make This

 

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