The Ultimate Yummy

My brother was a recipient of that chain email I talked even though he did not join he did send me a recipe. He was an inspiration to me working at Danny Kay’s that small Italian restaurant in Falmouth long since gone, making sauces and other delights. I remember walking in when I moved back to the cape from Chicago (at least 3 years had passed) and Paula Rose asked me if I wanted my usual Veal parmesan.  It was the kind of place that you could share stories and sometimes food with people sitting next to you at least my Dad did. I think that is why I can make new friends in a line.

Anyway Mike sent this

Sorry, but I am not into the mass recipe things. But I would like to share this wonderful treat. The problem is that it is really not very good for those on a diet. But it is unbelievably yummy. Once made, it can be frozen and saved for a special day. Nancy’s daughter-in-law made it. It lasted just a few days in our freezer!

Call it what you want. We just call it “The Ultimate Yummy!”

Enjoy!

Nancy and Mike

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips (doesn’t say how much) I prob use about 1/2 a bag
  • Saltine crackers

How:

Preheat oven to 350

Line cookie sheet with aluminum foil

Grease foil and line with saltines

Melt butter and brown sugar in small saucepan. Bring to boil stirring constantly. Boil for exactly 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla.

Pour mixture over saltines and spread evenly. Bake for 5 minutes

Remove from oven and put chocolate chips on top. Allow chips to melt and spread evenly

Refrigerate to set. Break up crackers and remove aluminum foil from bottom of the cookies

Keep refrigerated until ready to serve

Here are some tweaks I might try.

Use light brown sugar and no salt butter, use dark chocolate and maybe melts some white chocolate and drizzle on top.  Chopped golden raisins and or nuts pecan or walnuts mmm?  But like I say, try it the cooks way first you should taste what they created.

PS I did a quick Google search on the ingredients and found that this is similar to Saltine Butter/Cracker/nut Toffee so I admit it I grabbed a picture, this is something that I have to stay away from but it sounds soooooo good.

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Oven-fried Chicken Cutlets

This is a healthier version of my pan-fried chicken cutlets. I also like to use the tenders the same way to make chicken fingers.

Oven-fried Chicken Cutlets

Ingredients

  • Boneless skinless chicken breast split and tenders removed. (depends on how many you are feeding or cooking to freeze)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 eggs to start
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Tabasco or hot sauce per 2 eggs (optional). Note: I add, it does not give the heat but adds to the flavor.
  • 2 cups whole wheat Italian bread crumbs to start. Note: You can actually use whatever type of breadcrumbs season yourself does not have to be Italian.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Olive oil 3 Tbsp. to start

To start you may have to add more of these items depending on the batch size.

How

Pound the chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap to about ¼ inch and cut in half

Set up the assembly line in three shallow dishes (pie plates), flour in one, lightly beaten eggs with optional tabasco sauce in another, bread crumbs in the last.

Preheat oven to 350°

Dredge a chicken cutlet in flour shake off excess place in egg covering wiggle around to cover flip over and wiggle, move to bread crumbs cover completely all side and place on a plate. Repeat.

  • Note: I use one hand to do this it does cake up on the fingers.
  • Depending on the batch size. I believe if you have a bowl of water next to you can rinse then dry your hand after each piece but heck I just go for it washing my hands every once in a while.

Place in a single layer on baking sheet, lightly spray  the tops of cutlets and back until golden brown about 20-25 minutes (with or without parchment paper). The cutlet will feel firm when done and you can always cut one open to get an idea of time/doneness got to feed the chef right? No wonder I am not hungry when it hits the table.

There are so many ways to serve these, plain, with sauce, use to make quick chicken parmesan, in a sandwich with lettuce, tomatoes and roasted peppers…….

Pan-fried Chicken Cutlets

I remember going to my in-laws and Sunday dinner where mounds of homemade lasagna, meatballs, pasta, brasciol, mineste soup little meatballs, greens OMG all those Italian delights covering every open inch of the table. Mom would be up at 4 AM pans clanging, blender whirling and soon that sauce was simmering it was not long before you woke to the smells and you snuck in dipped a piece of bread into the sauce for a quick breakfast appetizer.   I must have gained 5 lbs. every time we ventured to Maine for the weekend.

Although a small part of the meal it is something that stuck with me and became a staple of our diet only to be modified when we had to get healthier see Oven-baked Chicken fried cutlets.

Pan-fried Chicken Cutlets

Ingredients

  • Boneless skinless chicken breast split and tenders removed. (depends on how many you are feeding or cooking to freeze)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 eggs to start
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Tabasco or hot sauce per 2 eggs (optional). Note: I add, it does not give the heat but adds to the flavor.
  • 2 cups Italian bread crumbs to start. Note: You can actually use whatever type of breadcrumbs season yourself does not have to be Italian.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Olive oil 3 Tbsp. to start

How

Pound the chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap to about ¼ inch and cut in half

Set up the assembly line in three shallow dishes (pie plates), flour in one, lightly beaten eggs with optional tabasco sauce in another, bread crumbs in the last.

Heat 3 Tbsp. olive oil in fry pan over medium heat then lower slightly we you add the chicken.

Dredge a chicken cutlet in flour shake off excess place in egg covering wiggle around to cover flip over and wiggle, move to bread crumbs cover completely all side and place on a plate. Repeat.

  • Note: I use one hand to do this it does cake up on the fingers.
  • Depending on the batch size. I believe if you have a bowl of water next to you can rinse then dry your hand after each piece but heck I just go for it washing my hands every once in a while.

Anyway when you get 4 ready add to the heated oil and fry about 2-3 minutes per side depending on the thickness until golden brown. The cutlet will feel firm when done and you can always cut one open to get an idea of time/doneness got to feed the chef right? You will mostly likely want to turn the heat lower after the 1st or 2nd batch. Depending on batch side you can clean the pan out from time to time with a wad of paper towels.

Place cook cutlets on a paper towel to absorb excess oil.

There are so many ways to serve these, plain, with sauce, use to make quick chicken parmesan, in a sandwich with lettuce, tomatoes and roasted peppers…….

Baked Macaroni & Cheese

I loved Mac & Cheese since I was a kid. I can remember in my teens making the Kraft boxed and thinking I was a great chef mixing powered cheese(?) with the freshly boiled tiny little elbow macaroni’s and milk or water. I graduated to the deluxe version that had the cheese(?) as sauce in the can. I was in Mac & Cheese heaven watching Bruin’s hockey a devouring a whole box. It was not until I was transferred to Dallas with 20th Century Fox that I met Paul and Clair who introduced me to Mac & Cheese made from scratch and real chesses. I was sold.

This time I made it with white cheddar and America cheeses, but normally I like a sharp orange cedar cheese. You can use many kinds of cheeses which I have, so experiment. I have found at least to my liking that cheeses that get stringy when melted (i.e. mozzarella) do work but everyone has different taste and who am I to say…..

Mac & Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 pound penne, elbow or cavatappi (corkscrew) macaroni.
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour.
  • 4 cups milk, heated.
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded extra sharp Cheddar cheese.
  • 2 cups finely chopped American cheese.
    • Remember you can use more or all cheddar if you want.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Tabasco or hot pepper sauce.
  • ¼ freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

How

In a large pot bring lightly salted water to boil and cook macaroni and cook aldente. Drain well.

Preheat the oven to 350◦ with rack in center. Butter 13”x 9” baking dish, alternatively use a deep 4 quart casserole.

Melt the butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Slowly whisk in the milk. Bring to simmer, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup each of Cheddar and American cheese. Season with salt, pepper and tabasco sauce.

Combine the rest of the Cheddar and American cheese. Spread ½ of the macaroni on the bottom of baking dish. Sprinkle with slight more than half the combined cheeses and then ½ the sauce. Add the remaining of the macaroni top with the cheese and then sauce. Now sprinkle the graded parmesan cheese over the top. If using the 4 quart casserole 1/3 of macaroni, ½ of combined cheeses, 1/3 of the sauce. Repeat with another 1/3 of macaroni and remaining cheese and ½ the sauce.  Finish with the removing macaroni and sauce and then sprinkle the grated parmesan cheese. I prefer the baking dish it is easier to make single servings and you can freeze these for a quick, meal or side. (Add a little water when re-heating in microwave.

Bake until bubbly and golden brown around the edges. About 30 minutes.

 

Roasted Vegetables

I love veggies and roasting them is just another way to appreciate them. They make a great side dish and then for leftovers in a frittata or as a salad topper. I usually use spices that I am using in the main dish to bring the two together.

I can’t say what to sue there are so many and most will roast up nicely so experiment away. If you find something that just is great roasted let me know.

 

Roasted Vegetables

Love that carmalization!

Ingredients you’re eyeballing here and you will put more of what you like and according to how many people.

  • 1- Small to medium eggplant pealed on not cut into slightly large than bite size.
  • 3-6 – Green, red, yellow or orange bell pepper quartered or more depending on the size. Also seeded and white web removed.
  • 2-3 – Red or sweet onion quartered
  • ½ head of broccoli flowerets or 1 pound of asparagus cut up slightly larger than bite size pieces
  • 3-5 Carrots
  • 6-15 Whole mushrooms stems removed
  • 10-15 fingerlings potatoes or small red potatoes (If too large just cut in half.)
  • 2-3 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 2-3 Tbsp. each Dried oregano, basil and rosemary. (Remember use what you used in main meal to bring the flavor together).
  • 1 lemon (optional)

Again the choices are many it’s up to you.

How

Preheat oven to 350 to 400°

Place the vegetables in a roasting pan, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle on the herbs, mixed well making sure the herbs get distributed evenly. Now roast for 40-55 minutes. I know it is large span in cooking times but it all depends on what you’re roasting. For my wife the pepper head a few twist of the pepper mill before serving.

 

 

Grilled Salmon with Herb Crust

Grilled Salmon with Herb Crust

 

 Will insert picture next time I make it probably this weekend.

 

Prep: 15 minutes

Grill: 8 minutes

 

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces fresh salmon fillets, about 3/4 inch thick
  • 1/3 cup each coarsely chopped fresh oregano and cilantro
  • 1/4 cup sliced scullions
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

How:

1. Rinse fish and pat very dry with paper towels. Cut fish into two pieces (about 6 ounces). Set aside.

2. In a food processor combine oregano, cilantro, green onions, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper. Process until chopped. If I have company and we are talking I use a knife to finely chop the oregano, cilantro, green onions, and garlic. Transfer to a shallow bowl. Stir in lemon juice, olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper. Generously coat both sides of the salmon with the herb mixture. Now some like the skin some don’t that is up to you.

3. For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium-high. Place salmon on grill rack over heat. Cover and grill as for 6 to 8 minutes or just until the salmon flakes easily when tested with a fork.  Remember I grill all year even in the snow.

4. To serve, cut each salmon piece in half.

I like to take some cut up veggies and potatoes, whatever I have in the house, and place them in tin foil pouch with butter or oil, salt, pepper and maybe some oregano and cilantro to bring the flavor of each dish together when I start to preheat the grill. It is done about the same time as the fish will be.

Hint: If there is a thinner end to the fish you can fold under so that it is about the same thickness as the rest.

English: Fresh Cilantro (Coriander) Deutsch: V...

Fresh herbs always on our counter

 

Of course everyone has thier own idea of what a handful of or a pinch of is.

1/3 cup. How do I measure up to you?

Patti sent me a chain letter the other day, normally I would have just hit the delete button but it was from Patti so I looked. The jest was to send a recipe to the next person on the list and then remove that person and add yourself to the bottom (only 2 people to start with). After doing that you were to send the starter email out to 20 of your friends. I bought into it (sorry guys) and gladly sent out a recipe. Well this started a conversation going between my brother, sister and myself about measurements. “I can’t send a recipe because I don’t measure anything”. I will admit I understand where they were coming from although I start with a recipe on new things I quickly move away with a handful of this, a pinch of that and a half palm full of ….eyeballing I guess is the best way to describe. My first try I measure as the cook says, I figure I should at least taste what they created.  I like to talk about what I made last night at to anyone that will listen and sometimes they ask for the recipe. It was not long that before I knew that this much in the palm of my hand was about a teaspoon and a handful was close to a cup of chopped herbs and ½ if crumbs or similar. A small grab and twist of fresh cilantro was about 2 Tablespoon minced…. I think you get the idea. So whether you measure or not and you like to share recipes it does not take long to figure out how your handful measures up. This is not me throwing a guilt trip on them they just got me thinking.