Sunday, February 28, 2010

City Chicken in the Borough

I had never heard of city chicken until a friend's baby shower last fall. I nibbled on a delicious delight on a stick that was very good, but was it chicken?  I was told it was pork but it was called "city chicken".  At home I did some digging on the internets to find that it originated during the Depression when pork was cheaper than chicken. 
Fast forward to last Christmas in Tennessee...
My mother-in-law was reminiscing about eating city chicken as a child so I offered to make it for dinner the day after Christmas.  I did a search of various recipes and came up with the following recipe.  I made it with beef and chicken the first time, the beef was a HUGE hit with my father-in-law.  My husband likes the pork so I have been sticking with that lately.

City Chicken
  • 1.5 to 2 pounds of pork or beef, I used a pork tenderloin because it was on sale
  • 1 cup of cracker (or bread) crumbs
  • 1 tsp paprika 
  • 2 tsp chicken seasoning
  • 1 egg
  • dash of half and half
  • 1 red pepper in chunky slices
  • 1/2 sweet onion in bite size pieces
  • 1 bouillon cube
  • 1 cup of hot water
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  •  bamboo skewers
  • 2-3 tablespoons of canola oil - enough to coat the bottom of a saute pan
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Step 1
Cut the pork (or beef) into about 1 inch cubes.  Place on skewers.

Step 2
Beat the egg and half and half together, place on a plate.  Combine the cracker crumbs, chicken seasoning, and paprika, place on another plate.  Roll the skewers in the egg, then the break crumbs.

Step 3
Brown the skewers in a saute pan with the canola oil on medium.

Step 4
Place on a roll pan or 13x9 pan.  Add the pepper and onion over top/around the skewers.  Dissolve the bouillon in the water, add the soy sauce.  Pour in the bottom of the pan. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.


Notes - 
I haven't been able to find quite the right length of skewer, so I have been cutting the ones I bought at the grocery store so they are more manageable length. 
The sauce is wonderful with some mashed potatoes.

Local - Organic
I didn't do so well today...
The organic red peppers were from the grocery store (shameful)
Cracker crumbs were made in town (and yet they were the most expensive on the shelf?!?)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Pineapple leftovers

We greeted the return of Lost with fresh pineapple and strawberries.  A week later we were still eating the pineapple which is forever for my low threshold of refrigerator holding times.  I was thinking of making something savory with it, but the snow left me craving a baking experience.  Pineapple upside down cake is the first thing that came to mind, so I scoured the internets for a recipe.  I found this recipe at Epicurious, I lacked all of the ingredients so I improvised the version below...

Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Upside down part:
  • Quarter of a fresh pineapple (or more if you have it)
  • 3/4 stick unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar, ok I had some light, some dark
Cake part:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon Malibu rum
  • 1/2 cup orange juice and the scant amount of pineapple juice left
  • 2 tablespoons Malibu rum for sprinkling over cake

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Brunswick Stew on yet another snowy day

Another cold snowy day here, so I decided it was time for more stew to warm us up.  This northerner had not heard of Brunswick Stew until she married into a somewhat southern family.  Steve grew up eating it, so I decided to learn how to make it and carry on the family tradition.  My recipe is a combination of several recipes I researched to determine the basic ingredients.  I am using a crock pot today, you can also use a dutch oven on the stove.

Brunswick Stew
  • 1 whole chicken (mine is from Dave Dietz's stand at York Central Market)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 1/2 cups of broth from the cooked chicken
  • 1-28 oz. can of whole tomatoes peeled tomatoes 
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 quart yellow potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1-14 oz bag of frozen lima beans (or fresh if you have it)
  • 1-14 oz  bag of frozen corn (or fresh if you have it)
  • 2 tsp medium hot chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
Step 1 - Place the chicken and water in crock pot, salt and pepper to taste.
Cook the chicken in a crock pot on high for 5 hours or until internal temperature is 165 degrees
Cool.  This time I cooked the chicken the night before and placed in the refrigerator over night.

 Step 2 - Strain the broth from the crock pot.  Add to crock pot with tomatoes, bay leaves,chili powder, and cumin

Step 3 - Add the pepper, onion, and potatoes.  Crank up the crock pot to HIGH.

 Step 4 - While that is cooking pick the meat off of the chicken and set aside.

Step 5 - After 2-3 hours (to allow the potatoes to cook), add the chicken, corn, and lima beans.  Turn to low and cook for 2 more hours.

The snow continues...

Tomatoes, you can use what you have - fresh, diced, whole with puree

Spotlight on Local and/or Organic:
Potatoes and chicken - local
Tomatoes and red pepper - organic
Do the lima beans count- they were Hanover??

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Chili is Love

Chili is love and it really doesn't have a "recipe" in my book.  Here is how I make it, more or less plus or minus a pepper or some meat.  I use Penzeys Spices in most of my cooking.  I stand by their medium hot chili powder as the cornerstone of my chili.


  • 2- 28 oz cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1- 15 oz can of tomato sauce
  • Red Pepper - sometimes a green pepper
  • 2 15-oz cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • one big can or 3-15 oz dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • Sweet Onion
  • Ground beef, browned - about 1.5 pounds
  • Penzey's medium hot chili powder
  • Ground Cumin
  • Fresh ground pepper

Drain and rinse the beans
Place the diced tomatoes and sauce in crock pot (on low)

Add spices

Saute diced pepper and onions in canola oil

Add beans and sauteed onions and peppers to tomato/spice mixture 
Brown beef
Add to crock pot
Cook on low for 4-5 hours

Mushroom Heaven - Melting Pot Mushrooms

Have I said how much I LOVE mushrooms?  I call these Melting Pot mushrooms not because the recipe is ripped off from the Melting Pot, but because they make your house smell like the Melting Pot. Yum.
I am going to serve these with a nice steak, mashed taters, and snap sugar peas.

Melting Pot Mushrooms

2-8 oz packages of Baby Bella (Crimini) Mushrooms
1 cup of red wine (this time I used a 2005 Georges DuBoeuf Beaujolais-Villages)
1 Knorr beef bouillon cube
1/2 stick of butter
2-3 garlic cloves
Freshly ground pepper

Rinse off the mushrooms.

Place in a crock pot, add wine.

Crumble the bouillon over the mushrooms, add crushed garlic, butter slices, and freshly ground pepper.

Cover and put on high on low for 7 to 8 hours.  Take the lid off half way to let the liquid condense.

Snowmogeddon 2010

I am in love with the snow.  This is the first blizzard of my adult life (no Becca, in 2003 I lived in York and we did not have a much snow as Maryland).  In 1993 I was in Italy and missed it completely, although my mom and sister had a nice surprise waiting for them at JFK when they got home from visiting me. In 1996 I was in Binghamton and we only got a few inches.  So this is my weekend.

I planned out our menu and headed to Giant.  I love how the grocery store becomes a crazy mess before snow.  It is so interesting to look in people's carts to see what they think is necessary.  I left the store with out milk and bread since we really don't use either.  Our weekend menu is at the end of this post.

I am taking lots of pictures - click here to see more - and here is a quick look at our weekend so far:

Steve shoveling snow off the porch roof (yes, I have the best husband ever!)

The back yard during the snow
The sun trying to peek out after the storm

Snow piled up on the bell in the yard

Dinner - homemade pizza
For later this weekend - chili

Breakfast - omelets (brie for me, pepperoni and cheese for Steve) and biscuts
Lunch - warmed up Chili
Dinner - going old school meat and taters - strip steak, mushrooms, mashed potatoes, and snap peas
Baking - Carmel Apple Pie

Breakfast - maybe a crustless quiche or just eggies
Lunch - chili
Dinner - The Dish (black bean and chicken enchiladas)
Baking - something to use up some fresh pineapple
Super Bowl - Crack Dip and Beer

Monday, February 1, 2010

Beefy Goodness in a Crock Pot

This is my version of Kelly Cooks Best Beef Stew Ever - it really is the best and so easy.  My husband LOVES it and it has become an easy go-to recipe at our house. I usually make it before I go to bed and put it in the fridge when I wake up. We warm it up when we want it during busy weeks.  So not foodie but oh so good. 
Beef Stew

  • about 2 pounds of beef roast cut into cubes
  • 1/2 of a sweet onion
  • 1 leek (if you have it, I didn't this time) it adds that lovely leeky smooth flavor
  • about 12 little carrots
  • 3 or 4 stalks of celery
  • 1 red pepper
  • quart of small yellow potatoes
  • 2 Knorr beef cubes
  • 2 cans of Campbell condensed tomato soup
  • 1 can of Progresso French Onion soup

Layer the ingredients as listed above in the crock pot, starting with the beef cubes on the bottom.
Next add the onions on top.

Then bring on the carrots and top with some red peppers and celery...
Bring on the taters and top off with crumbled bullion cubes...

Dump the tomato soups on top and then top off with the french onion soup...

Put the cover on and cook on low for 8 hours, do not stir...
Patience young crock pot Jedi...