Homemade Tater-Tots (serves 4-6 hungry atheists)

December 29, 2007 by

Software:

  • 4-5 fist sized white potatoes
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • Enough canola oil to deep fry tots in (you be the judge)
  • Fried, dried onions to taste (optional)

Hardware:

  • Deep fryer, or tall pan
  • Soup spoon, or 1 inch melon baller
  • Food processor (optional, but HIGHLY recommended)
  • Mixing bowl
  • Stove (if no deep fryer)

Directions:

  1. Clean, de-eye, and quarter-cut potatoes
  2. Run potatoes through food processor until the size of the potato pieces are about the size of your pinky nail
  3. If you don’t have a food processor, chop them bitches up fine
  4. In a mixing bowl put the potatoes, 1 egg and about half the flour, then mix
  5. Keep adding flour until you can scoop out a lump of the mix with your spoon and have it all fall out of the spoon in one lump (in other words: until it gets a little thick (but not too thick))
  6. Turn your deep fryer or stove on to medium heat
  7. Test the heat of the oil with a small bit of tot-batter; if the lump does not fall apart due to the bubbling you’re good to go
  8. Using the melon baller or soup spoon scoop out lumps of tot-batter into the hot oil
  9. Cook tots until crispy golden brown
  10. Eat
  11. If you’re feelin’ frisky, whip up some honey-mustard for dipin’

Homemade Shake-n-Bake Chicken

December 29, 2007 by

Homemade Shake-n-Bake Chicken — I love Shake-n-Bake, but I decided to see if I could top it. This recipe is MUCH cheaper than the store-bought version, and I think it tastes even better. You can double or triple the coating recipe and keep it on hand in a covered container for use any time with chicken or pork. I never buy Shake-n-Bake anymore. Use your favorite spices, or whatever savory ones you have on hand. The point is to use what you have without spending extra money. The recipe below is my favorite after several experiments, but be creative with your spices.

Ingredients for dry coating:

1 and 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs

1 tbsp. dried thyme

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. sweet or hot paprika

plenty of salt and pepper.

Mix dry ingredients, making sure to crush thyme in your fingers as you add it — that really makes a difference in the flavor — and use as below, or store in cupboard for later.

4 – 6 pieces chicken (thighs and drums work best. . leave skin on for moistness and flavor)

1/2 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt (gives a moistness and tang; essential if you’re using skinless chicken breasts as these dry out and are bland without the buttermilk or yogurt

Dip chicken in buttermilk, then press into coating firmly until they’re well-coated. You can even dip them again in the buttermilk and into the coating a second time for a really thick crust. Bake the chicken at 350 degrees, for about 45 minutes. They come out crispy, tender, and moist.

Easy Variation — This comes from the mother of an old boyfriend, David, whom I knew in college. She was very cute, and wrote on this recipe card, “David likes this one.”

4-6 chicken pieces

1/2 cup Hidden Valley Ranch

1 cup plain bread crumbs

Dip the chicken in the dressing, then press firmly into the bread crumbs. Bake as above. Quick and Yummy.

Alfredo Sauce (serves 4-5 atheists)

December 29, 2007 by

1/2 cup sweet butter

2 garlic cloves

2 cups light cream

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

3/4 cup shredded mozerella cheese

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium/low heat. Add all other ingredients EXCEPT the mozerrella and stir often for 8-10 minutes. When the sauce has thickened, add the mozzerella and stir until smooth. This recipe requires frequent stirring throughout.

Variations: Use asagio or fontina in the place of the mozzarella.

Chicken-Fried Steak

December 29, 2007 by

Chicken-Fried Steak

1 pound cube steak (four pieces)

3/4 cup flour

salt and a generous amount of pepper

1/2 tsp. onion powder

a couple dashes cayenne pepper, or sweet paprika, if you like it milder

1/2 cup buttermilk

Soak the meat in buttermilk for about an hour, or, if you don’t have time, simply dunk it in. Combine dry ingredients, and press moist steaks into flour mixture until well-coated. Fry in medium hot oil in a skillet (preferably cast-iron) until both sides are crispy and goldenf. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Cream gravy — drain all but two tbsp. of the pan drippings. Return to heat, and blend in two tbsp. flour with wooden spoon. Add 1/2 cup milk, and one cup water (or all water), stirring constantly to get lumps out. Let bubble up until thickened, pour over steak and mashed potatoes.

Crab-Stuffed Chicken

December 29, 2007 by

Crab-Stuffed Chicken or Fish — this recipe comes from my good friend Cathy, a true Massachusetts Yankee from the fishing town of New Bedford. I’ve made it for years and every guest raves about it.

Ingredients:

1-2 cans (depending on how rich you feel when you’re shopping) crab meat

1 cup dry bread crumbs

couple dashes of Old Bay seasoning

couple dashes of hot pepper sauce (really essential, and Tabasco is best, but vary to your taste)

1 snipped stalk of a green onion

1 heaping tbsp. mayonnaise

4 chicken breasts, pounded thin, or slit in the middle to spoon in stuffing

~OR~

4 fillets of haddock, cod, flounder, or other firm white fish

Drain crab, and mix with bread crumbs, seasoning, onion, mayonnaise, and pepper sauce. If using chicken, place 1/4 stuffing in each breast, secure with toothpicks. If using fish, wrap the long fillets around 1/4 of the stuffing spiral fashion (this is easiest), and secure with toothpicks.

Squirt lemon juice on top of fish or chicken, and bake in a covered dish in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes, or until done. Great with hollandaise sauce, or with melted butter and lemon juice as a garnish.

The Perfect Meatloaf

December 29, 2007 by

Meatloaf

1/2 pound ground beef

1/2 pound ground pork

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1/4 cup minced onion

2 large cloves of garlic, minced

1 tsp. dried basil or oregano

couple dashes worcestershire sauce

1 egg

salt and pepper

Glaze:

1/3 cup ketchup

2 heaping tbsp. brown sugar

1 tbsp. yellow mustard

dash cinnamon (optional)

Mix meatloaf ingredients together with your hands, press into loaf pan. Top with glaze, and bake for abotu 25- 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Even better the next day cold on sliced white bread for sandwiches.