Archive for March, 2011

Bacon. Pretty Pretty Bacon.

Posted on March 24, 2011. Filed under: bacon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

Because sometimes you have to take a study break and post pretty pictures you took of delicious bacon.

How does a person make this delicious bacon? Magic, of course.

Or my (soon to be updated) post: Technique: Makin’ Bacon

Magic did help though. Three cheers for photo imaging software. And three more for having it designed so I could figure out how to use it.

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(Not Your Momma’s) Fried Chicken

Posted on March 17, 2011. Filed under: chicken, poultry, recipe, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

I was craving fried chicken yesterday. What I ended up eating was something that wasn’t quite what I was craving but was nearly as satisfying. Perhaps even more satisfying, if you add creativity bonus points. Alright, perhaps not. There isn’t any kind of “fried” chicken that satisfies like a piece of skin-on chicken that has taken a delicious bath in bubbling oil. Still, this was pretty damn good.

What did I do? In a sense I deconstructed fried chicken. Deconstructing things is fun, but fun isn’t why this happened. Now I didn’t set out to be a clever beaver or anything. So why did I do it? I’ll give you two choices, and you can decide which one is true.

One: I set out to construct a lower calorie “fried” chicken that is just as enjoyable as its deep fried cousin. We all hate calories, right? And deep frying is ever so evil and wicked and full of death. “Fried” chicken should be baked chicken, because that’s what’s good for our souls and our waistlines. And oven baked chicken tastes better, right? Oh yes. So much better, all dried out and sad. So I deconstructed in hope that it might taste better. Perhaps the chicken wouldn’t be so dry.

Two: I was craving fried chicken but had cleaned my deep fryer the other day and hadn’t procured new oil.

You decide. Either way, I got creative. Here’s what I did:

I prepared Chicken Variation #3. Simple as can be.

While that was cooking, I made a breading.

Mix:
3 Tablespoons Ground Raw Macadamia Nuts*
3 Tablespoons Panko
3 Tablespoons Pine Nuts**
2 Teaspoons Melted Butter

Toss mix in a medium-hot pan for 2 minutes, and then add:
3 Tablespoons Parmesan Cheese

Stir until mix is golden brown. This should take about another 2 minutes. Keep a close watch- it can go from beautiful to burned quickly.
Remove breading from pan, and allow to cool for a few minutes.
Cut cooked chicken into cubes.
Put in a bowl or plastic bag, add breading, shake or toss to cover.
Serve.

* Make sure the macadamia nuts are raw. Pulse whole nuts in food processor or spice grinder until roughly the same size at the panko.

** You don’t have to limit yourself to pine nuts. Try any combination you like. I just happened to have extra pine nuts on hand. Raw walnuts or almonds would be nice, too. Make sure to process them to the same size as the panko.

*** If preparing this dish within 20 miles of a southerner, rename dish. Don’t even try to pretend it’s fried chicken. They will be angry. Call it Nutty Yankee Chicken Bake, or something like that.

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Easy Kale

Posted on March 8, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |

I had to write a long paper about crop rotations, weed management, and insect prevention last week. It was as fun and exciting as you think it was. As the paper writing wore on, I needed something to fuel me. Mostly, it was bacon. Bacon eating while paper writing is a highly recommended activity. However, a completely bacon-fueled paper is not all that good for long-term health, so I had to make something else.  Say hello to kale, today’s super trendy healthy as all healthy vegetable. Kale is not just a salad bar garnish or ornamental plant brightening New York City sidewalks. It should be in your kitchen. But what to do with it?

Actually, you don’t have to do very much at all.

Add, to a medium-hot pan:
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3 Cloves Garlic, smashed
One Pound Kale,chopped*

Cook for 4 minutes.
Add:
One Tablespoon Lemon Juice
Pinch Salt
Pinch Sugar

*You should be able to find fresh kale in just about any grocery store. Be sure to wash it thoroughly, and remove the large stem in the middle–just grab it and pull. You can also use frozen chopped kale.

**If you’re having a super duper bacon week, you might also want to consider chopping a few slices of bacon, rendering the fat, and cooking the kale in it. Just saying…

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