Archive for March, 2011

Chicken, Walnut and Grape Salad

This is another recipe from my chicken recipe book. Not many left before I finish it (well, as a first go round anyways. After this, I have to make the recipes on my own to see if I like them sitll, if they are easy to make with one person, and if they freeze well. I also have to go through the book and see if there are any recipes I missed the first time that I want to try).

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup lime or lemon juice (we used lemon)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 small bunch of fresh chives
  • 1 to 1 1/4 pound cooked chicken or turkey (we used chicken)
  • 2 cups seedless red or green grapes (we used red)
  • 1 cup pecan halves, blanched almonds or walnut halves (we used walnuts)
  • 4 Kirby cucumbers (we used one cucumber. I don’t really know what a Kirby cucumber is and how it is different from other cucumbers, but ours was most likely not a Kirby)
  • 1 head of Boston lettuce, leaves separated, rinsed and dried (if it makes a difference, we used iceberg lettuce)

1. Combine mayonnaise and lemon juice in a mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Snip the chives into 1/8 inch pieces for about a 1/3 cup. Stir into mayonnaise.

2. Cut the cooked chicken into 1/2 inch dice and add to mayonnaise. Rinse and dry grapes, finely chop the nuts, and peel, seed (we didn’t seed) and dice cucumbers. Add to mixing bowl. Toss.

3. Tear lettuce into large pieces and serve the salad over lettuce.

Verdict: I like this salad too. My mom thought you could really taste the lemon, but I didn’t notice it. I didn’t even mind the chives, which I had only eaten in a ground form before this. This salad reinforced the fact that I do not like cucumbers.

On a purely esthetic point, the red grapes added some colour to the salad. Green grapes would have made the salad a little too monochromatic.

Like the last salad I made, my main problem was the mayonnaise. I just feel like I would probably like the salad with a store bought dressing or another type of dressing that is not mayonnaise based.


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Pretty Fast Chicken Gumbo

This is another recipe from my chicken recipe book.

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 6 medium (1 pound) spicy chicken or turkey sausages, cut into 1/2 inch rounds (we can’t seem to find chicken sausage around here, so we bought ground chicken and mixed it with chicken seasoning, garlic powder and pepper)
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4 inch pieces (we didn’t use)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (we used garlic powder – on top of what we added to our substitute chicken sausage, because we love garlic)
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth (we used chicken)
  • 2 cups canned plum tomatoes plus their juices
  • 1/2 cup long-grain rice (we used more, closer to a cup)
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen okra cut into 1/2 inch slices (we used fresh okra)
  • Salt to taste
  • Cayenne pepper or Tabasco or other hot sauce to taste (we didn’t use)

1. Heat vegetable oil in large skillet. In a couple of batches, brown the sausages for about 2 min per side. (Since we had to use ground chicken, we cooked that off in another saucepan and used less oil to heat for the vegetables that followed). Remove sausages with slotted spoon. Add onion, bell pepper (if using) and garlic to pan. Cover and simmer over medium heat, until they are tender, 5 min.

2. Add the broth (how this is supposed to be cooked in a saucepan, I have no idea. We used a large pot and transferred the onion over to it before adding the broth), tomatoes with their juices (at this point, we used an immersion blender to break up the tomatoes, because my sister does not really like tomatoes. As a result, the onion were pretty much blended up as well), rice and thyme and bring to boil. Return sausage to liquid, cover and simmer until rice is tender, about 15 min (we made ours in advance, so it was simmering a good 30-40 min).

3. Add okra (because we bought fresh okra, we had to prepare it. Mostly that means we had to wash them to remove any of the little hairs that are on their skin and then cut off the stems before slicing them into the rounds). Simmer 2 min (only add right before serving, because any longer and the okra will apparently turn slimy). Season to taste with salt, cayenne pepper and/or hot sauce.

Verdict: I liked it. It was a nice and filling soup. And I liked the okra!


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In Search Of: the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie Part 12: Malted Milk Cookies

I am not exactly sure where I found this cookie recipe, but I have found it online on a couple of sites (I had to search for it mid-baking process, because wherever I got it from didn’t include the quantity of vanilla to include).

  • 2 1/2 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup plain malted milk powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (omitted because even if the recipe says to use salted butter, I do not add sugar when I use salted butter)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 300F.

2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, malted milk powder, baking soda and salt (if using). Mix well.

3. In a large bowl mix sugar, brown sugar and butter. Add in eggs, vanilla and sweetened condensed milk.

4. Add in flour. Mix well. Add in chocolate chips.

5. Drop by spoonful onto baking sheet. Bake 24-25 min (ours were nice after 15, cooked all the way through, but not too golden).

One of the sites said this made 36 cookies, but we made 72 cookies. I consider them to be nice sized cookies, but maybe they are actually small?

Verdict: I was expecting them to be a little sweet or to taste more like the malted milk sandwich cookies we made a long time ago, but it didn’t have much of a different taste at all. The cookies were flat and kind of crispy. One of the sites had a rating of 3/5 or 60% and while I would rate them a little higher than that, they are nowhere close to an 80%.

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Even more pancakes

Here are a few more pancakes that I’ve tried recently.

Sour Cream Pancake

1 1/2 cups flour
3 TB sugar
2 ts baking powder
1 1/2 ts kosher salt
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk
2 extra-large eggs
1 ts pure vanilla extract
1 ts grated lemon zest (instead I used lemon juice)

and 2 diced bananas

Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, milk, eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones, mixing only until combined.
Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat until it bubbles. Ladle the pancake batter into the pan to make 3 or 4 pancakes. Distribute a rounded tablespoon of bananas on each pancake. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until bubbles appear on top and the underside is nicely browned. Flip the pancakes and then cook for another minute until browned. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel, add more butter to the pan, and continue cooking pancakes until all the batter is used. Serve with sliced bananas, butter and maple syrup

These are probably the best out of all the pancakes I’ve had. They fluffy, but not too light and they fill you up. Also fried bananas are awesome.


  • 1-3/4  cups  all-purpose flour
  • 2  tablespoons  granulated sugar
  • 2  teaspoons  baking powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1    egg, slightly beaten
  • 1-1/2  cups  buttermilk
  • 3  tablespoons  cooking oil (I used butter) 

    In a large bowl stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl use a fork to combine egg, buttermilk, and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be slightly lumpy). If desired, stir in desired fruit.

    For standard-size pancakes, pour about 1/4 cup batter onto a hot, lightly greased griddle or heavy skillet, spreading batter if necessary. Cook over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until pancakes are golden brown, turning to second sides when pancakes have bubbly surfaces and edges are slightly dry. Serve warm. If desired, top with syrup.

    There was nothing special about these pancakes although they had an unsualy eggy taste even though there was only one egg in them…weird.

    Buttermilk Yogurt Pancakes

    1 cup all purpose flour
    2 Tbsps. yellow cornmeal
    2 packed Tbsps. light brown sugar
    1 tsp. baking powder
    1 tsp. baking soda
    ½ tsp. salt
    1 cup buttermilk
    1 cup plain yogurt
    1 large egg
    1½ Tbsps. unsalted butter, melted
    Additional butter for the pan

    Combine the first six ingredients in a large bowl, and whisk to blend. In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, yogurt, and egg. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir until just blended, but still lumpy. Don’t over-mix the batter, or your pancakes will be heavy. Gently mix in the melted butter.

    Heat a large nonstick griddle or pan over medium heat and melt just enough butter to thinly coat the entire surface. Working in batches, drop the batter by 1/3-cupfuls into the pan. The pancakes will spread slightly, so be sure to leave some space between them. Cook the pancakes for about 3 minutes, until they are golden brown on the bottom, and bubbles form on top. Turn the pancakes over and cook until the bottoms are brown and the pancakes are barely firm to the touch.

    Cornmeal made them gritty, and there was nothing special to them.

    Cinnamon Banana Pancakes

    • 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour
    • 1/2 cup of flour
    • 1 tbsp sugar
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/8 tsp salt
    • 3/4 cup vanilla fat free yogurt
    • 2 tbsp butter, melted
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/8 tsp fresh nutmeg, grated
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
    • 1 large banana, smashed
    Combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl, stirring well to combine. Combine yogurt butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, eggs and mashed banana in a small bowl, mix thoroughly. Add the flour mixture to the yogurt mixture, stirring until smooth.
    Pour about 1/4 cup of batter per pancake onto a hot nonstick griddle or skillet. Cook 2 minutes or until the tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked. Carefully turn pancakes over; cook 2 more minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Top with freshly sliced banana and maple syrup.
    The problem with pancakes that you smush bananas into the batter is then you have a very overpowering banana taste to your pancakes, one that even the taste of cinnamon can’t hide.

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    Pecan-Breaded Chicken Breasts

    And another recipe from my chicken recipe book.

    • 2 chicken breasts, halved
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
    • 1 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 2 teaspoons water
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 1/2 cup sour cream
    • 1/4 cup fresh chives or scallions (we used onions)
    • 1/4 cup white wine (omitted)
    • 1/2 cup chicken broth

    1. Place chicken breasts between sheets of plastic wrap and lightly flatten them with a meat pounder or heavy skillet. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    2. Rub 2 tablespoons of the mustard over the chicken breasts and set aside. Finely grind pecans in a food processor and transfer to a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, beat egg and water together. Dip chicken pieces in egg and coat them with pecan.

    3. Heat butter and oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and cook, without disturbing, for 5 min. Turn and reduce heat to low, cooking without disturbing for 10 min, until chicken is cooked through. Meanwhile, combine remaining 2 tablespoons mustard and sour cream.

    4. Remove chicken to a plate (we put ours into the oven to keep in warm and to ensure it was cooked properly). The original recipe says to collect any pecan pieces that came off during cooking to spoon over chicken when you serve it, but they were pretty doused in oil, so we didn’t bother with that step.

    5. Return skillet to medium high-heat. Add wine and boil for a min (if using). Add chicken broth and boil 2 min. Remove skillet from heat and stir in sour cream-mustard mixture. When sauce is smooth, season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon over chicken to serve.

    Verdict: It’s weird, because this was quite similar to a recipe both my sister I remember trying a long time ago. We didn’t like that recipe much, because the rub we put on the chicken tasted weird. This recipe was an improvement, though I don’t think I would make the sauce again.

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    A Burger of Many Tastes

    I am getting closer to finishing the recipes from my chicken recipe book!

    • 1 1/4 pound ground chicken or turkey (we used chicken)
    • 1 egg, lightly beaten
    • 1 tablespoon bread crumbs
    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
    • 2 scallions (we used onions)
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • Tabasco or hot sauce to taste (which meant we didn’t use)
    • Garnishes of your choice (tomatoes, lettuce, onion slices, avocado, ketchup, mustard)
    • 4 hamburger buns

    1. Combine ground chicken, egg, breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil (I accidentally put in both, so we had to add more breadcrumbs and the burgers were a little greasy) and barbecue sauce in a mixing bowl. Trim scallions, thinly slice the white and green parts and add them in. (We chopped half of a small onion and added it.) Salt and pepper to taste.

    2. Shape mixture into 4 patties (I think we made 6). Heat remaining tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook burgers 7 min on each side, until cooked through.

    3. When burgers are ready, assemble as desired.

    Verdict: These were the best homemade chicken burgers I have tasted. Although, to be fair, I only have one other chicken burger to compare it too.

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    Chicken Patties

    This is another recipe from my chicken recipe book.

    The first time I tried this recipe was a long time ago, maybe over a year ago. I remembered liking it, so I was trying it again.

    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    • 1/2 cup chopped onion
    • 1/2 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and chopped (I used a whole apple)
    • 2 cups chopped chicken, cooked
    • 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans (I used walnuts)
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    1. Heat oil in skillet over low heat. Add onion and apple. Cover and cook 3 min, until soft.

    2. (They said to chop all of the ingredients together in a food processor to combine, but I don’t have a big food processor, so I just chopped each ingredient – the chicken, the nuts, the onion and apple mixture – individually then put them in a bowl. I then added the egg and mixed by hand.) Season with salt and pepper to taste. Form into 4 patties.

    3. Melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Cook patties until golden and heated through, about 3 min on each side.

    Verdict: Not as good as I remember. They had an odd taste to them that may be as a result of my freezing them to eat later. Still, I won’t be making this recipe a third time.

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