Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cooking Inspirations

I've been branching out lately with my cooking.. here are a couple of successful dinners worth of pics and semi recipes.

Old School Chicken Dinner
I've always loved chicken dinners. I grew up on them. But I've never been able to recreate my grandma's and mother's chicken recipes. I still can't (I leave that up to Come and Get It Chicken and Waffles.) But I can finally make a damn fine fried chicken (I've always been able to make biscuits, gravy, mashed potatoes, etc.. no gravy this time but the rest was lovely.)
I overcame my fear of frying, and started out by seasoning four chicken legs with onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper. I let that sit for a bit for the flavors to soak in. Then I shook them up in a bag with cornstarch, then dipped in egg/milk seasoned with Sriracha, then shook them in another bag with flour mixed with crushed cornflakes and salt. Then deep fried them @400 degree oil for 15 minutes, turning halfway through.
The biscuits are my standard recipe:
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp baking powder
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup oil
mix everything together til it forms a dough ball, then knead about 10 times. Form into 8 balls and place in greased pan(rolling to grease all sides) and bake at 450 for 14 minutes.
The mashed potatoes were just peeled red potatoes, boiled, and mashed with mayo, butter, milk, and salt. And here you are:
Then tonite, I was craving Chinese American food so I made:
Chinese American Style Sweet and Sour Pork and Fried Rice

I make my fried rice by cooking regular rice ahead of time (2 cups water, 1 cup rice, bring water to boil, add rice, turn down to medium low and cook for 25 minutes covered, then remove from heat and keep covered for another 10 minutes. Fluff with fork and spread on cookie sheet sprayed with nonstick spray to dry for at least an hour.) Scramble 2 eggs, set aside. Cook 1 cup of peas/carrots, set aside. Add small amount of oil in pan on medium high heat, mix rice with eggs, veggies, green onions, grated garlic and ginger, salt, sesame oil, sugar, and soy sauce (amounts vary). Fry til brown on bottom, and mix. Set aside and keep warm while you make sweet and sour sauce:
1 cup water and/or pineapple juice 1/3 cup vinegar 3/4 cup sugar or sugar substitute (or less to taste) 1/4 cup ketchup 1 1/2 TBSP cornstarch Mix 1st 4 ingredients and boil over medium high heat, mix cornstarch with a bit of cold water or juice and add to boiling sauce, turn down heat and cook til thick. You can add pieces of pineapple and/or veggies afterwards.
I then cut up 3 boneless pork chops into small pieces, salted and peppered them, and dredged them in cornstarch and fried them in about a half inch to one inch of oil til brown. I tossed those into the sauce. Here are the results!

The eggrolls were from the freezer section of the store and were pretty crappy. But everything else was just delicious!

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