Kalua Chicken or Pork in a Crockpot

KaluaChicken

Ok, I have to admit that I am glad this is a food blog rather than a photography tutorial. ;) I wish the photo had turned out better and you could really see the juicy flavors percolating through the tender meat. I love that this is a slow cooker recipe. I can make a fabulous dinner that has many variations for serving in a matter of minutes. Another bonus is that dinner can just magically appear the minute hungry tummies start to moan and groan.

Kalua Chicken or Pork

1 whole chicken (or cut up chicken, or chicken thighs, or pork roast of any kind… you get the idea)
3 Tbsp. Smoked Hawaiian sea salt, course ground sea salt, or Kosher salt
2 Tbsp. liquid smoke
black pepper to taste

Using a fork, poke wholes throughout the meat
combine salt, liquid smoke and black pepper; massage into meat

Place in a crockpot on low and cook 8-10 hours, turning the meat once during cooking time (if possible, it will still turn out if you don’t. I promise). When you are ready to serve, remove the meat and shred as if making “pulled pork”. Add as much of the cooking liquid as desired for flavor. Serve.

Tips:

You can use the meat to make sliders or sandwiches. Serve on buns, you can offer a side of BBQ sauce (you can view a recipe for BBQ sauce by clicking on the word BBQ), and coleslaw. This is also a great option for using up the leftovers (if there are any) for lunches the next day.

Happy Cooking!
Kitchen Diva

Schnitzel with Spatzle

Schnitzel

This is an awesome fall dish.  Just as the weather starts to cool down and the leaves turn brilliant colors, this dish leaves a wonderful aroma in the air and makes a great comfort food.  While you can easily purchase Spatzle in a box, there is nothing quite like homemade.  Its the difference between high quality homemade pasta and mac n’ cheese that comes in an all too familiar blue and yellow box.  ;)  This dish originated in Germany and is considered a “hunters dish”.  When I make this dish it is easy to dream of the days of old when a man would put on his furs, go out into the forest, track down dinner and bring it home to cook in the fire.  While I realize this is probably a Hollywood portrayal of what life was really like for hunters, its a little more pleasant to envision than the alternative (which would be life as the hunters really knew it).

Schnitzel 

Boneless pork chops (you can also use chicken, beef, or veal), pounded thin, butterfly if necessary

½ C. flour

Combine 2 eggs, 2 Tbsp milk, dash of salt, pepper, and nutmeg (this is an egg wash)

1 C. bread crumbs

Dredge pork in the flour, then egg wash, then bread crumbs. Fry in butter and olive oil until mostly cooked through, should only take a few minutes. Remove from pan.

In frying pan combine:

6-8 fresh mushrooms, sliced

1 can beef broth

½ C. white wine

1 lemon, juiced

2 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped

Capers to taste

Cook this mixture down until reduced by about half. Combine 2 Tbsp flour and 3 Tbsp. butter until a paste is formed, Dissolve butter/flour in hot water and add to the condensed gravy in the pan and cook until thick and bubbly. Add pork chops back to the pan and continue to heat until pork is finished.

Spatzle

3 C. flour

2 eggs, beaten

1 C. water

1 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt as you would for pasta. Place two Tbsp batter on a cutting board and use a knife to scrape thin slices of batter into boiling water. Boil for about 5 minutes. Remove from water and toss with butter (you may need to make this in batches).  If you really find you love Spatzle, I suggest looking online for a Spatzle Board that sits on top of the pot of boiling water and you can then “press” the dough through.

Happy Cooking!

Kitchen Diva

Published in: on August 12, 2013 at 4:13 PM  Leave a Comment  

Dilly Beans

Ingredients

4-5lbs of green beans (I like to mix yellow beans too)
washed, topped and tailed.
Sliced Lemon (optional)
Carrots (optional)
6 Garlic Cloves
1 Cup fresh dill weed
Pickling spices
Mustard seeds (optional)
6 Cups of White Vinegar
3 Cups of Water
1/3 cup Sugar
3 Tablespoons of Salt

1.  Cut Beans into lengths of 1 inch shorter than the pint jars.  Divide Dill weed and sliced garlic into jars and put a few sliced onions in bottom of jars.  Add 1/8 teaspoon of pickling spice and whole peppercorns to taste in each jar.  Pack the beans vertically in eight clean hot jars, somewhat tightly.  Place 1 slicked lemon and a couple of sliced carrots if you wish for garnish (optional).  Add hot peppers if you wish for a hot/spicey version.
2.  Combine the vinegar, water, sugar and salt in a non-reactive saucepan and bring to a boil.  Pour hot brine over the beans to cover by 1/2 inch.  Leave 1/2 inch of headspace between the top of the liquid and the lid.
3.  To can: tighten lids and place jars into boiling water for 15 minutes to release and trapped air.   Turn off heat and let sit for 5 mins before removing from pot (canning pot).  Set aside for 24 hrs and check seals, then store in a cool dark place for up to 1 year.
`Gyoza Girl
Published in: on August 21, 2011 at 6:09 PM  Comments (2)  

How to Perfectly “Boil” an Egg

So we all know the story about Green Eggs and Ham, by Dr. Seuss.  Well, I believe it was because Sam was boiling his eggs for too long and on heat that was too high.  Perfectly boiled eggs do not have that gray/green rind that we so often see around the yolk.  Over cooking also leads to rubbery eggs, and that is NOT yummy.  ;)  Eggs are so easy.  They are quick, delicious, and nutritious (in moderation).  I will post an excellent breakfast sandwich later this week, but first, lets boil some eggs to buttery perfection!

Start with cold eggs, and cold water.  Place enough water in the pan to completely cover the eggs by an inch.  Also, don’t over crowd the pan as this can lead to broken shells with the whites oozing out….. anyway…..

Bring to a SIMMER (notice I did not say a BOIL) over MEDIUM heat.  This step is important.  (They should really have named them simmered eggs) When the water starts to simmer, put a lid on the pan and keep the temperature as low as you can to maintain a simmer, but prevent a boil.

Now, cooking times.

Soft “boiled” eggs, cook about 4 minutes.

Medium “boiled” eggs, cook about 6 minutes.

Hard “boiled” eggs, cook about 10-12 minutes.

Voila!  Perfect eggs!  If Sam had used this method, he would have had an easier time getting his friends to eat his eggs!

Happy Cooking!

Kitchen Diva

Published in: on June 20, 2011 at 10:13 AM  Comments (2)  

Armadillo Chicken

Armadillo Chicken is a simple but tasty main course for dinner.  I have to admit, I got this idea from a daily special one of the cook’s I used to work with made up one day that seemed to be pretty popular as I remembered.  I took the idea and made my own twist on it.

Ingredients:

4 Chicken breast
6 Slices of bacon cooked to a crisp
1 Cup chopped tomatoes
2 Scallions chopped
1 Cup of shred cheese of your choice, I like mozzerella or swiss but any will do
Your favorite BBQ sauce

Start by grilling the chicken breast either on a BBQ or George Foreman.  I grill the chicken breast with some garlic powder and Mrs. Dash
When chicken breast are done (do not overcook or they will be too dry).  Usually on a George Foreman 3-4 mins each side.
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
Place chicken on a baking sheet or pan and layer toppings on each chicken breast.  I start with bacon, tomatoes, half the onions and then top with cheese.
Bake for about 15-20 mins at 375 or until warmed through and cheese melted.

`GyozaGirl

Published in: on May 26, 2011 at 4:40 PM  Comments (6)  

Randy’s Quiche

My  friend Randy, who is an awesome cook (and so is his wife Sandra) makes an awesome Quiche!  I have a base recipe I use that he gave me but you can tweak it and add different things, make it healthier and add less cheese and more veggies or not.  I love this recipe because you can make it in a pie shell, without a pie shell or even mini quiche and put everything you love into it.  The recipe is very forgiving, so be creative and have fun with it!

`gyoza girl

Base Ingredients:

8 Eggs
1 Cup Sour Cream
2 Cups Monterey or Pepper Jack shred Cheese
2 Cups of  shred Cheddar Cheese (I have used half the amount of all cheese or even Weight Watcher’s shred cheese and the recipe is forgiving)
1/4 teaspoon of salt or season salt (or Mrs. Dash if you prefer)
2 drops of red Tabasco
2 cans of chopped green chiles undrained (this is the secret ingredient)

Pre-heat oven to 350
Beat everything together but the cheeses, when everything is well blended then mix the cheeses in.
At this time if you prefer to add anything else add it in now.

Some optional ingredients:

Mushrooms
Spinach
Sundried Tomatoes
Onions, green onions
mixed vegetables

Pour into an ungreased pan or pie dish with pie shell
Bake for 45 mins or until center is set
Mixture will puff up a bit.
Let cool for 5 mins

For mini quiche, use mini tart pan
Set oven to 450 degrees
make pie dough or use store bought pie shells and place shells in mini pie shapes in tart pan
Bake for 10 minutes or until crust is slightly golden

Published in: on May 23, 2011 at 4:03 PM  Comments (1)  

Spinach Manicotti

I’ve been playing around with trying to master Manicotti for years but I made one the other night with a different twist of flavors blended and even went for a little more healthy flare.  My audience didn’t even know that it was definitely a “better for you” dish and I didn’t give up flavors for sure.  If anything, I experimented with some new flavors.  As with all Italian food, it tastes better the 2nd day when everything has had time to marinate together.

`GyozaGirl

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg. chicken italian sausage
  • 1/2 sweet onion
  • 1 pkg. (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, well drained, squeezed dry or you can use fresh spinach
  • Fresh garlic to taste
  • 1 container (15 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup (2 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Italian seasonings like basil, oregano (optional) to taste
  • Green onion
  • 1 jar (24-26 ounces) marinara sauce or your favorite spaghetti sauce, divided
  • 1 pkg. (8 ounces) manicotti shells or large sea shells, cooked, drained
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Cook manicotti noodles to package direction.  I usually add a teaspoon of  olive oil in the boiling water so the noodles won’t stick.  Boil for about 7 mins.  Drain and lay out on foil so they don’t stick to each other.
Pour half the Marinara sauce in the baking pan you are going to use.  Some store bought sauces could use a pinch of sugar to even out the flavors
Fry up the chicken sausage, onion and garlic and drain if any fat from pan.
Add thawed squeezed dry spinach, ricotta cheese and continue to cook on low heat for a couple of minutes and turn off heat.
Add parmesan cheese to mixed and 1/2 cup of the mozzerella cheese, salt, pepper, green onion, and Italian seasonings.
Add egg and mix thoroughly.
Pre-heat oven to 350-375
You are now ready to stuff the Manicotti shells.  I use a small spoon and stuff as full as I can without breaking the pasta shell.
Place in baking pan with sauce
When you are all done, pour remaining sauce over top of shells and top with the mozzerella cheese.
Bake for 45 minutes.  Let stand for 5 minutes before serving
Published in: on May 22, 2011 at 4:47 PM  Comments (4)  

Welcome GyozaGirl!

I introduced my amazing neighbor, Julie, and her amazing Gyoza Japanese Dumplings in an earlier post. Julie’s food is incredibly delicious and has a distinctive flair.  She has graciously agreed to write Cooking Therapy with me.  You will love her food and her style. Look for her FIRST FOOD POST!  Everyone, Welcome Julie!

Published in: on May 21, 2011 at 9:38 AM  Comments (2)  

Turkey Meatloaf with Apple

Good food does not have to be bad for you.  My neighborhood is something special and my neighbors are my taste testers.  Currently we are all trying to eat a little more healthy during the week; because on the weekends we are bad, bad, bad!  Weekends in my neighborhood produce some of the most delicious, amazing, wonderful food you could ever eat, and LOTS of it!  We all eat a little too much and enjoy each others company into the wee hours of the morning.  Anyway… enough about the neighbors.  I will be introducing you to them and some of the recipes they have so graciously agreed to share, later.  Right now, its meatloaf.  I created this recipe as a lighter version of traditional meatloaf.  I also added a few surprise ingredients that boost the nutritional value a little bit.  My neighbor, Anna, when I brought samples around for everyone to try before sharing this recipe with all of you said “It’s really good!  It shouldn’t be, but it is!”  I love Anna, she will always say it like it is.  I hope you will give this flavorful, and healthier meatloaf a try, and feel free to leave comments of your own letting me know what you think!

Turkey Meatloaf with Apple

1 LB ground pork

1 LB ground turkey

1 egg, whisked

3/4 C. old fashioned oats (do not use the quick cooking variety!!)

1 small onion, diced

1 apple, diced

1-2 carrots (depending on the size), diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp.cinnamon

1 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. sage

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. thyme

1/2 tsp. pepper

Preheat oven to 350*

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix gently by hand until all ingredients are incorporated.  Shape into a loaf and place on a baking sheet (I use parchment paper for easy cleanup.  I use a baking sheet rather than a bread pan so that the grease will drain away from the meat).  Bake for 1 hour, or until juices run clear and meat is cooked through.

Topping

1 C. ketchup

1/2 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce

Mix and place on top of meatloaf the last 20 minutes of cooking

Published in: on April 28, 2011 at 8:39 AM  Comments (4)  

Country Apple Cinnamon Rolls

These are truly the BEST cinnamon rolls ever!  They are very light, soft, fluffy, and GOOD.  Think apples, cinnamon, butter, and bread.  Delicious!  I topped these rolls with butter but they would also be amazing with a cream cheese glaze or powder sugar glaze!  The rolls are extremely easy to make and the apples make them extra special!

Country Apple Cinnamon Rolls

4 1/2 C. all purpose flour

4 tsp. active dry yeast

1/3 C. sugar

1 C. hot milk (about 125*)

1 1/2 tsp. salt

6 Tbsp. UNSALTED butter, cut into pieces and at room temp.

3 large eggs, at room temp.  (see my post about using eggs here: http://sweetkd.wordpress.com/2011/01/06/eggs-a-delicate-subject/)

2 Apples, chopped (I like putting the cut apples into a little water that has a little lemon juice squeezed into it to keep them from turning brown, this step is optional)

Oil for greasing the rising bowl

butter for greasing 9 x 13 pan (I like using the paper the butter is wrapped in for this)

(Streusel Filling, recipe to follow)

In a stand mixer with dough hook attachment combine 2 C. flour, yeast, sugar, and salt.  Add the hot milk and beat on medium speed for 1 minute.  Add remaining flour 1/2 C. at a time until the dough starts to pull away from the bowl.  Knead on low speed until smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes).  Place in an oiled bowl, cover and let rise for 1 1/2-2 hours.

Grease bottom and sides of pan.  Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 14 x 10 inch rectangle.  Sprinkle evenly with streulsel filling and apples, pressing the apples into the dough lightly.  Beginning with the long end, roll up jelly roll style, trying to keep the dough as tight around the filling as you can (don’t press the ends of the “log” closed).  Using a sharp serrated knife, gentle cut into 12 pieces.  Place cut side down into pan and let rise for 1 hour or place in the fridge for 2-24 hours (just remove from fridge about 30 minutes prior to baking).

Heat oven to 375*.   Bake rolls for 30-35 minutes.  Remove from oven and brush with melted butter.

Streusel Filling:

1 C. packed brown sugar

1/3 C. all purpose flour

3 Tbsp. sugar

1 Tbsp. cinnamon

1/2 C. COLD, UNSALTED butter, cut into pats

Using 2 knives or a pastry blender, cut butter into dough until it resembles course crumbs.  Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Published in: on April 25, 2011 at 11:53 AM  Leave a Comment  
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