Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Superbowl Recipes - Touchdown!

Head to the end zone for a long pass of recipes from The Culinary Quarterback. Are you ready for Superbowl Sunday? The Fried Pig Skin Lovin' Chef has some tasty football food that will leave enough green in your wallet to buy an extra keg for your tailgate party.

Just click on any recipe name below to see what I mean. There are no fumbles in this recipe list!

Next to pizza and hotdogs, Fried Chicken is a fan favorite. And I've come up with a crunchy coating that will empty the bleachers and have fans storming the kitchen! Kickoff Superbowl Sunday with my Fried Chicken Sandwich Recipe or use my special flour and spice mix for regular bone-in chicken parts.


Fans will take a half-time break and huddle around your cast iron pot of my fragrant and spicy Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya and Cajun Gumbo. Or, go straight up the middle with a tray of Teriyaki Spam Musubi. Weave through the living room backfield with a pile of Mexican Carnitas Tacos (slow-cooked pork) and you'll be lucky to make it through without being sacked!

Mom's Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

For all you Carolina Panther fans I have the prefect recipe for you, a succulent and smoky BBQ Pulled Pork recipe.

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich

I use regular BBQ sauce, but you will want to serve a local mustard/vinegar/brown sugar sauce for the home team. My Pulled Pork recipe is easy and cheap to make, of course. Just check out the video below or click here to see all the tasty recipe details.



If fish is on your mind then hook your bleacher bums with some of my homemade Sushi Recipes. Try tackling a Spicy Tuna or California Roll. How about setting up a sideline station of chopped veggies and fresh fish and roll your own delicious Hand Rolls? It's easier than you think, and I have simple photo-illustrated instructions a click away, here.


While everyone's watching the pre-game show send in any of my delicious sideline sides, including: Bacon Wrapped Dates, Tomato & Basil Bruschetta, Deviled Eggs, Portabella Mushroom Fries, Sweet Fried Plantains, Ceviche with Avocado and Black Beans, and Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce.


Denver Bronco fans will eat up my omelets. Now, while I don't have a Denver Omelet recipe, you can use my French-style Omelette one and add the prerequisite sauteed bell pepper, onion, cheddar cheese and ham.



Or just click here to see my Veggie Frittata recipe that will feed all your hungry team players (again, just add some ham pieces to fill out the frittata.)


East Coast revelers will eat up my riff on a Lobster Roll -- a cheaper Scallop Roll. And if fans can't make it to Denver for game day, then throw another log on the fire and gather in front of the big screen with a steaming bowl of my cheap$kate Clam Chowder.

 Scallop Roll

Los Angeles locals know an LA Street Dog will not get flagged. And, everyone will huddle around sandwich plates of gooey, cheesy Patty Melts, hearty Meatball Subs, Homemade Deli Pastrami, Falafel Pitas, and steaming Sloppy Joe's.


If you're looking for one pot meals, so you don't miss any action on the field, just check out my Pork Bourguignon, French Cassoulet, Mr. Patti's Red Beans & Rice, Baked Pasta with Cheese and Cauliflower, Chinese Fried Rice, Baked Lasagna with Ground Chicken, Shepherd's Pie, or Sausage & Sauerkraut with Beer recipes.

Baked Lasagna with Ground Chicken

 Looking for a sneak-play recipe? How about a different twist on Buffalo Wings with my African Spiced Water Buffalo Wings? This original recipe features chicken legs, but you can substitute wings. The Cheap$kate Chef's Turkey & Black Beans Chili recipe will add extra points on your scoreboard for flavor. Make it spicy, but be sure to have an ice chest full of brews for all your bench-warming guests. And don't forget to send in from The Whisk Welding Coach a most versatile of plated plays, the Pita Pizza -- a varied list of toppings you can use would fill the coaches chalkboard.

Pita Pizza

Tired of stale, soggy stadium hot dogs? I have a great and easy Corn Dog Recipe made with Vienna sausages -- but you can use regular wieners. There will be no fumbles as your hungry guests dip these crunchy coated pig skins into my tasty honey-mustard sauce. Since you have the fryer going you might as well make a batch of my Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. They're as light and airy as the Goodyear blimp.

So get your backfield in motion and click on any of my tasty treat names above to watch an instant reply of recipes from my blog. Your guest will be cheering you on -- from their cheap seats!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Wife Approved Recipe - Trader Joe's Curried White Deli Chicken Salad


My wife loves Trader Joe's Curried White Deli Chicken Salad, and so do I. She will often chastise me after I finish off the small tub of leftovers she leaves in the refrigerator - hey, it's her own dang fault for not hiding it better!


She shops at Trader Joe's more than any other grocery store. If you don't know Trader Joe's, it has a fanatical following (like In-n-Out Burger) here in Los Angeles, and it's even spread to New York City, after a store opened there a few years ago. (Click here for the website.)

They carry specialized frozen and fresh packaged foods, locally baked bread, organic veggies and fruit, hormone-free meat, chicken and fish, along with a huge selection of exotic beer, wine and spirits.

They my be best know for introducing the tasty 2 Buck Chuck line of wine (no longer 2 bucks, but still cheap) that is the favorite beverage of starving artist and actors, served at parties, dorm rooms, and gallery openings. There is even a popular cookbook series devoted to Trader Joe grocery store ingredients (see them here.) Check out  below a few stocked items.






Wall of Cheese

Well, I picked Trader Joe's recipe lock for my latest cheap$kate treasured bite. What makes Trader Joe's Curried White Chicken Deli Salad so good is the disparate flavorful contents. You have green onions and raisins, cashew nuts, garlic powder, lime juice and shredded carrots, with chicken, all in a mayo, mustard, honey and curry sauce. Whew, it shouldn't all work together, but boy does it ever.


This chicken salad will quickly move up the ladder on you favorites list. It's crunchy with cashews, creamy with mayo, and so flavorful with cumin or curry spice, plus an added sweet touch of honey. Especially when I can make almost twice as much, for less than the price of Trader Joe's eleven ounces at $3.99!


And luckily I can get almost all the package listed ingredients from my local 99c only Store. I bought a chicken breast on sale for 99 cent per pound at my local Latin market and poached it in water. Or, you can use any leftover chicken from a roast you buy in the deli section of your local grocery. (Using dark meat is the cheapest, but still tasty, way to go.)


I always find small packages of nuts. This recipe calls for cashews, but regular cooked peanuts are a cheap substitution. If you buy salted nuts, I recommend rinsing off the salt, then allowing them to dry. Too much salt will overwhelm the chicken salad.


Chicken and nuts are the most expensive ingredients, while raisins, green onions, shredded carrots, mayo and mustard are cheap enough. You need curry and garlic powder, but I find ground cumin has all the curry flavor you need. (I also find prepared curry powder cheaply at my local India or Middle Eastern mom and pop groceries.)


My Curried White Chicken Deli Salad is not as yellow as Trader Joe's version because turmeric powder is used. While this spice adds another level of flavor, it also adds a yellow tint. But I find the overall taste is close enough to Trader Joe's chicken salad, even without it. If you have turmeric in your spice rack then go ahead and add a teaspoon. I'm not replicating their recipe exactly, I'm more concerned about the overall flavor and using ingredients any of my visitors can find for the right price.

I make this as I would a regular mayo-based chicken or tuna salad, just adding the extra ingredients listed above. The ingredient amounts are the main mystery. Hmmm, I'm just guessing the balance, but I think it's close enough. And you can always adjust any ingredient amount to suit your own taste buds.


This recipe is wife approved, so I know everyone will like it. And don't let Trader Joe's know that I ripped off their Curried White Chicken Deli Salad recipe and made it for almost half the price, I don't want to get banned from getting their 2 Buck Chuck Chardonnay!

Ingredients (3-4 servings. Yeah right, like it will last that long!)
  • 1 - 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast - I poached a large half-breast. Okay to use roasted chicken from your favorite grocery store. Poaching dark meat chicken is a tasty and cheaper way to go.
  • 1/2 cup roasted cashew nuts - if salted, then rinse them off and allow the nuts to dry. Okay to substitute with cheaper roasted and shelled peanuts.
  • 1/2 cup of raisins
  • 1 cup of shredded carrot - I used packaged. You can thin "matchstick" slice a carrot, or hand-shred it with a veggie shredder.
  • 2 green onions - chopped
  • 1/2 cup of mayo - okay to add more or less for desired creamyness.
  • 1 teaspoon mustard - any type. I used coarse ground mustard.
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin or curry powder - I find ground cumin is the cheap and easy way to go, as it is close enough to regular powdered curry (which can be hard to get.) If you have turmeric then add a teaspoon for color and extra flavor.
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder - or granulated garlic.
  • 1 teaspoon lemon or lime juice - fresh or from a bottle.
  • 1 teaspoon honey - or any favorite sweetener.


Directions

Roughly chop or shred cooked chicken breast. Total amount should be about 2 cups. You can use deli store bought roasted chicken, or follow my chicken poaching method below.

I bought a large half-breast of raw chicken. I filled a pot of water halfway covering the chicken breast. Season it with salt and pepper (or any favorite spices and aromatic veggies like onion and garlic.) Put a lid on the pot and low boil the breast about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes, depending how large the breast is. You can slice into the thickest part of the chicken breast to make sure it cooks all the way through.


When chicken is fully cooked remove and allow it to cool so you can handle it. (And save the homemade chicken broth for a tasty soup, like my veggie loaded Mexican Calabasitas, a click away here.)

While chicken is cooking you can prepare the other ingredients. Chop 2 green onions and shred a carrot, unless you buy shredded carrot in a bag.


If roasted cashew nuts are salted, then rinse them off under water then allow them to dry out.

When chicken is cooled down after cooking, then remove the meat from the breastbone. Pull off the skin and any fatty pieces and discard. Finally, slice or shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces. (Do the same if you use dark meat.)


Now time to bring it all together.

Add into a large bowl the sliced and cubed chicken, along with chopped green onion, raisins and cashews.

Add a teaspoon of mustard. Spoon on 1/2 cup of mayo. (After everything is mixed together, taste it as see if you want more mayo - if so, then add a teaspoon at a time to desired creamyness.)


Sprinkle on the cumin (or curry powder) and garlic powder. Finally drizzle on a teaspoon of lemon or lime juice, and a teaspoon of honey, or a favorite sweetener.


Mix well. That's it.

Best to refrigerate the Curried White Chicken Deli Salad for a couple of hours, so the spices and other flavors intensify. Store it in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

I like this chicken salad served with crackers. You can put it on sandwich bread or in pita bread. Also, try adding a couple scoops to a favorite leafy salad.

Hindsight
Again adjust the ingredients to suit your taste. If you want a lighter curry taste then take away some ground cumin, curry, or turmeric powder.

Same goes for honey, mayo and mustard. Add a little at a time, then taste. Using less, or no honey, is okay as raisins add a good amount of sweetness.

Also stretch it out with more carrot, raisins and green onions - you could even add some celery or apple. If you like a lot of protein then add more chicken.

Substitute regular roasted peanuts instead of more expensive cashew nuts. You can taste the difference when fresh made, but after a day, or so, the curry flavor takes over and any nuts will taste the same.

I've made Trader Joe's Curried White Chicken Deli Salad with dark meat. There recently was a great sale at my Latin grocery store for skinless and boneless leg quarters (thigh and leg combined) for 88 cents per pound! While white meat is more common in chicken salads, I like dark meat, as it's more moist than white meat. You can poach a leg quarter and chop it for this salad. Dark meat has more fat that you can easily remove if necessary.


This recipe is easy to double the ingredient amounts. Although, you may not want to exactly double the mayo, mustard and cumin (curry powder,) just add a little more at a time and taste.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Portabella Mushroom, String Cheese & Herb Omelet

This breakfast is extravagant. It's not often I will make a Portabella Mushroom Omelet, but when I can get this high-end fungi for 99.99 cents, why not go for it? Thick, meaty slices of mushroom cradled by melted cheese, and wrapped in fluffy cooked egg, is a great way to start the day.


I gotta give it up the my local 99c only Stores for the main ingredient. A 5 ounce package will hold 2 to 3 nice-sized ones. And, you'll only need one mushroom per omelet, so, go ahead and invite a friend and make a few of these tasty suckers for breakfast.


I get string cheese there, too. You can use any favorite cheese you have on hand, or find on sale. And, I get my herbs for free, from my patio garden. You can sprinkle in a little dried herbs if you don't have fresh - or just leave them out, this omelet is luscious enough.


Eggs aren't as cheap as they used to be, but are still a good value, at least nutrition-wise.


Regular mushrooms are easier to work with, just brush off the dirt and slice them. A portabella has mushy gills under the mushroom cap that need to be scrapped out. Some cooks will leave them in, it's up to you.


I use a spoon to gently loosen and discard the gills - it's easy enough. You can remove the stem if you like, it's slightly tougher than the mushroom cap, but I don't mind the stem, so I usually leave it on.

I make this omelet old school, diner-style. The egg is whipped with a little milk and cooked all the way through -- with a nice browned exterior. As a contrast, I made a soggy, French-style Cheese Omelette video a couple of months ago (check it out here.) It's good, but sometimes I like my food cooked all the way through.


You can use any mushrooms you find on sale, it's all good. I like a tasty omelet sometimes, and when mushrooms are on sale, that's excuse enough to make my Portabella Mushroom, String Cheese & Herb Omelet.


Ingredients
  • 3 eggs - okay to make it a 2 egg omelet.
  • 1 portabella - per omelet. Okay to use small button mushrooms or any you can get cheaply. Add as many sauteed mushrooms to omelet as you like.
  • 1 stick of string cheese - okay to use any favorite cheese, like: mozzarella, Swiss, cheddar or plain American.
  • 1 teaspoon herbs - any favorite, I used parsley and basil. Okay to use dried herbs - but just a 1/4 teaspoon or a small sprinkle.
  • 1 tablespoons milk - to mix into eggs.
  • 2 tablespoons oil - one for mushrooms and one tablespoon for frying omelet.
  • Salt and pepper - to taste.

Directions
Chop herbs and shred cheese.

Prepare portabella mushroom for sauteing. Brush off any dirt. Scrape out and discard the black gills with a spoon. Thick-slice mushroom. 


Add 1 tablespoon oil to a medium/hot pan. Saute mushroom slices until soft, about 2-4 minutes. Set aside when done.


Add 2 to 3 eggs to a bowl. Pour in 1 tablespoon of milk. Whisk the eggs and milk to blend well.


Heat frying pan to medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil (less oil for a non-stick omelet pan.) Pour in beaten eggs into medium/hot pan. Let it cook for a minute then add extra ingredients. I add the cheese and mushrooms on one half, and the herbs on the other half.

 Click on any photo to see larger.

Let the omelet cook until eggs are starting to firm up, but still slightly wet. Depending on heat of pan and how many eggs you used, it takes another minute or two.


Gently fold the omelet in half. Cook omelet to desired doneness, about another 30 seconds or a minute.

Just cut into the thickest part of omelet to check for slight dampness. Of course, you can cook the omelet until dry. A hot omelet will continue to cook and dry until eaten.


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