In learning all about blogging and the social media my daughter enrolled me on Twitter. The other day I found a way to search on Twitter. It was amazing to see how many people did not know how to cook. I saw so many asking how to cook good chicken. While others just wanted to learn how to cook.
Some people think cooking is difficult and requires special talents to do this. Well part is true and part is not. Cooking in my books requires imagination. What you can imagine goes together and taste good together. Just before shopping day and supplies are low and cupboards are getting bare how you can pull a good meal out of your hat?
Being the magic chief
Let us see what we have on hand. I find here we can do well with almost anything. It is a mater if imagination and thinking about what goes good with each other. We can always make a simple sauce out of flour, milk, butter, salt and pepper and season it to taste according to our dish with curry, garlic, and other spices.
I see here we have in our freezer:
- Chicken wings
- Chicken legs
- Round tip steak
- T-Bone Steak
- Chicken Breasts
- Pork chops
We have are base ingredients to start off with. Now all we have to do is figure out what goes with each one of them.
Hamburger: we know that hamburger can be used in a variety of ways. We can make spaghetti; meat balls, meat loaf, stuffed peppers, Spanish rice, and the list can go on and on. But what happens if we do not find all we need to make our favorite dishes with. We will need to be creative. Some of the best dishes I have made came from adding this and that and changing this for that.
One hamburger dish I created was so simple and easy to prepare. It did not require a lot of thought but the family loved it.
- 1 package of hamburger
- 1 jar of home canned stewed tomatoes
- 1 jar of home canned green beans
- 1 cup of long cooking rice
- 1 large onion cut up fine
- 8 cloves of garlic
I browned the hamburger with the onions and garlic. Drained off the grease, added the home canned tomatoes and green beans then seasoned it to taste. In the mean time I cooked the rice. If you have a rice cooker this one is easier to do but can also be done in a sauce pan where 1 cup of rice you add 2 cups of water. When it comes to a boil you will need to turn the fire way down and let it cook slowly. Do not make the mistake of touching it and stirring it when it cooks. You make take a few grains off the top to make sure it is cook.
I served the hamburger I prepare over the top of the rice. You may then add hot sauce or soy sauce depending on your taste. This is so easy to prepare and takes no time at all. You can cook almost anything in your home this way.
You can add other vegetable, mushroom, season with soy sauce, hot chilies, some cider vinegar, cooking wines, and the list can go on. Be creative that is the point. Taste your creation and add this or that to flavor it with. Each time try something different. You do not have to make the same dish twice.
The secret to perfect fried chicken:
Grandma Simpson was known for her famous fried chicken. All pot lucks, picnics, family get together everyone waited for her chicken.
Over the years of watching her and my Mother I came to learn the secret of her famous chicken. I am now going to tell you how to make memorable fried chicken that your family will ask for time and time again.
- Add salt and pepper to your flour and coat your chicken
- Heat on the stove in cast iron frying pan lard, you may use Crisco if you do not have lard make sure it is extremely hot before adding your chicken
- Place your floured chicken in the frying pan. You should not place too much in the pan at one time. In a good size skillet about 6 pieces is enough
- Cook this well on the first side really browning it nicely before you ever turn it over
- Once this side is browned turn it over in the pan and brown the other side
- Make sure your chicken is nicely browned on all side
- Now here is the secret we are not going to cook the chicken in oil until it is done all the way through to the bone
- Remove the chicken from your pan and place it in a medal baking pan
- Finish to brown all your chicken the same way
- While cooking your chicken preheat your oven to 375
- Place your medal pan in the oven and cook for around 30 min
- When done remove from oven and place chicken on paper towels to absorb the rest of the oil
This is the best fried chicken you will ever eat. It is tender, juicy, not oily and dry. Finishing cooking your chicken in the oven removes the grease from the frying stage but seals in the juices of your chicken.
I have tried this technique with the new frying pans but the old cast iron frying pan well seasoned with age is the best pan to use for frying chicken in. The secret is to fast brown your chicken not losing the coating and the flavor of the chicken. Keeping in the oil too long soaks up a lot of the grease to the inside of your chicken. You want to just nicely brown your chicken on all side. Do not over cook your chicken in this stage. You will finish cooking the chicken on the inside in the oven, sealing in the juices of the chicken and taking off some of the grease from frying.
This technique might take a little practice to get your lard just the right temperature before adding your chicken. Also your frying time can very for the size of each piece of your chicken. Grandma always cut up a whole chicken to fry with. She never liked to just use parts of the chicken. But today we can buy just the part of the chicken that we like the most.
Preparing for winter:
I am not a fan of canned foods and do not buy many to have in my cupboards. Boxed foods taste to me like cardboard and I try and stay away from them too. In summer I try canning most of my foods when the crops in the small garden come in. Many times I find specials in the markets where I can get tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers, and other fresh vegetable at a good price. This is the time to buy in bulk. You can always have a well stocked fruit cupboard in your garage for winter.
In the summer months I love canning all my vegetables, jams, and jellies for winter. This is the perfect time to make all our pickles and sour kraut during the summer months. A nice cupboard in your garage can hold all your canned foods and save you from buying canned foods in the market.
Simple cooking at home:
Cooking at home does not mean we have to spend hours in the kitchen. We can prepare some simple one dish meals that can be served over rice or pasta. Round steak can be beaten to make it tender and cut into long thin strips. We can then brown quickly and remove from the pan. Add our flour to brown in the olive oil we used to brown our meat in. Add water and milk mixture 50/50 to the browned flour to make gravy for our meat. In the gravy we can add our vegetable what ever we chose. Add back the meat and finish cooking for 5 min. serve this over rice or pasta makes a whole sum meal for your family.
Use your imagination when cooking. You know you like steak, green beans, and other vegetables. Why not take and combine different meats and vegetable together to create new and interesting dishes for you and your family?