Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Chicken Fried Steak

Chicken Fried Steak and frozen peas and carrots (like Forest and Jenny)

This was a good Wednesday night meal. The girls, even Anna, ate a minimum of two pieces of the steak. Lucy and Sarah kept asking for more and more meat. I over cooked it a little bit, as I should have reduced the time I left it on Medium-Low. This was the first time I have ever made gravy and it wasn't too bad.

Grade: B+

1 lb boneless beef top round steak, cut ½ inch thick
¾ cup fine dry bread crumbs
1 ½ tsp snipped fresh basil or oregano
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
1 beaten egg
1 Tbs milk
2 Tbs cooking oil
1 small onion, sliced and separated into rings
2 Tbs all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups milk

1.       Trim fat from meat. Cut meat into 4 serving-size pieces. Place each piece of meat between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Working from center to edges, pound meat lightly with the flat side of a meat mallet to ¼ inch  thickness. Remove plastic wrap.
2.       In a shallow dish or on waxed paper combine bread crumbs, basil, the ½ tsp salt, and the ¼ tsp pepper. In another shallow dish combine egg and the 1 Tbs milk. Dip meat pieces into egg mixture, then coat with the bread crumb mixture.
3.       In a 12-inch skillet cook meat, half at time, in hot oil over medium heat about 6 minutes or until brown, turning once. (Add more oil, if necessary.) Return all meat to skillet. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for 45 to 60 minutes more or until meat is tender. Transfer meat to a serving platter, reserving drippings in skillet. Keep warm.
   For gravy, cook onion in reserved drippings until tender but not brown. (Add more oil, if necessary.) Stir in  flour. Gradually stir in the 1 1/3 cups milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. If desired, season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Serve gravy with meat.
Sarah eating her first of many pieces.

Anna actually eating steak!

Emily, mid-bite

Lucy chewing away. 

Sweet ‘n Sour Chicken Over Potatoes

This slow cooker meal was made on our “Slow Cooker Monday.”
I don't have any pictures for this meal because I was not "at" dinner during the time the girls were eating this. Actually, I am not sure if they ate this or not. Jen might have taken the path to least resistance and took the pizza route. I had it on Tuesday for lunch and it was moist and the potatoes had a pineapplely taste (yes, I am aware that pineapplely is not a word).

Grade: B-

3 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
4 whole chicken breasts, skinned and halved
1 cup orange juice
2 Tbs brown sugar
1 tsp dried basil
¼ tsp. nutmeg
2 Tbs cider vinegar
Dried parsley flakes
17-oz can pineapple chunks in water, drained

1.       Place sliced potatoes in slow cooker. Arrange chicken breasts over potatoes.
2.       Combine orange juice, brown sugar, basil, nutmeg, and vinegar. Pour over chicken.
3.       Sprinkle dried parsley flakes over chicken.
4.       Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours.
5.       Remove chicken breasts and potatoes from sauce and arrange on a warm platter.
6.       Add pineapple chunks to sauce remaining in slow cooker. Cook on high until they are at serving temperature.
7.       Pour sauce over chicken and potatoes. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Homemade cheese sticks and Creamy Corn and Garlic Risotto

Tonight’s dinner is a mixture of a cheese stick and a corn risotto. Jen and the girls were out of town, and I had some time to plan the meals for the week, so I will be posting all four meals that are prepared during the week. The Sunday night meal is vegetarian, the Monday/Tuesday is a slow cooker meal, Wednesday is steak, and Thursday/Friday is chicken with rice.

Tonight's meal was a huge success! The cheesesticks came out great, just like the picture in the cookbook (which never happens!). The risotto was creamy and cheesey and tasted amazing. I would make both items again.
Grade: A
String Cheese Sticks with Dipping Sauce
2 ¼ cups Bisquick
2/3 cup milk
1 package of plain string cheese
1 Tbs butter (melted)
¼ tsp garlic powder
1 can pizza sauce
1.       Heat oven to 450. Stir Bisquick and milk until soft dough forms; beat 30 seconds with spoon. Place dough on surface sprinkled with Bisquick; gently roll in Bisquick to coat. Shape into a ball; knead 10 times.
2.       Roll dough ¼ inch thick. Cut into eight 6x2-inch rectangles. Roll each rectangle around 1 piece of cheese. Pinch edge into each roll to seal; seal ends. Roll on surface to completely enclose cheese sticks. Place seam sides down on ungreased cookie sheet.
3.       Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Mix butter and garlic powder; brush over warm cheese sticks before removing from cookie sheet. Serve warm with pizza sauce for dipping (or ranch like my girls).

Creamy Corn and Garlic Risotto
3 ¾ cups vegetable or chicken broth
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup uncooked Arborio or white rice
3 cups frozen whole kernel corn
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1.       Heat 1/3 cup of the broth to boiling in 10-inch skillet. Cook garlic in broth 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Stir in rice and frozen corn. Cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
2.       Stir in remaining broth. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to medium. Cook uncovered 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until rice is tener and creamy; remove from heat.
3.       Stir in cheese.

 Lucy trying to see how far she could stretch her cheese.
 Emily with another, "Emily" face.
 Anna loved the cheesestick more than her risotto.
Sarah with a mouth full of cheese!