Page 114: Savory Pan-Fried Chicken with Hot Sauce

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Whoa. This was amazing. Delicious. Best fried chicken I’ve ever had. And I made it! At home! The magazine says it tastes like chicken from a bucket, but I think it’s even better. Just writing this post makes me want to abandon the ground beef thawing on the counter and fry up some chicken. 

Ingredients:

4 chicken breasts (the magazine said 8 boneless thighs, but I didn’t have any)

2 large eggs (one didn’t cut it)

1/3 cup flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

canola oil

hot sauce

 

Instructions:

Butterfly your chicken breasts and pound flat. Trust me, it’s worth the mess. 

Beat eggs in a shallow dish.

Mix flour, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, black and red peppers. 

Heat oil in a pan over no hotter than medium. Dip chicken breasts in egg, then dredge in flour mix, then dip in egg again, and dredge in flour mix again. Cooking Light says to do it once. Probably doing it twice makes it less light, but it’s too good not to. Place chicken in oil. Once it’s golden brown, flip. Preheat broiler. When the chicken was good and fried, I realized that it wasn’t quite hot enough (I love my new meat thermometer! Thanks, Mama Morena!), so I popped it under the broiler until it was done.

I sprinkled mine with Tabasco. My husband ate his plain. We both thought it was better than eating out. Darn you, Cooking Light, you keep giving my husband reasons to say, “why don’t you just cook? Your food is better than a restaurant!”

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Page 24: Seared Steaks with red wine, mushrooms, and onions

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Well this one was very tasty. And I followed the recipe. Almost. I used Hormel teriyaki beef filets instead of New York strip steaks. They were eleven dollars a pound and I couldn’t bring myself to buy them. It was still tasty, but next time I would use a cut of beef that hadn’t been marinated to be part of a stir-fry.

Ingredients:

2 New York Strip Steaks (or really whatever–if teriyaki filets were good, you’d probably be safe with anything)

3/4 tsp salt

3/4 tsp pepper

4 tsp canola oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 pkg mushrooms

2 tsp flour

3/4 cup red wine (I used the sour bottom of a box…and it was still good)

1 tbsp butter

 

Instructions:

Season steaks with salt and pepper and massage with a little oil (or butter if you’re not actually cooking light)

Grill or fry until they’re as done as you like

Cook mushrooms and onions in oil. Sprinkle with flour, Add wine. Bring to a boil. Add butter, salt, and pepper.

 

Really it should be topped with a blue cheese compound butter, but that might undo the light part of Cooking Light.

Page 90: Quinoa with Strawberries and Buttermilk (or Blueberries and Soy Eggnog)

So this was one of those recipes where I realized I didn’t have any of the ingredients when I started making it, but it turned out okay. I wouldn’t make it again, but maybe if I had used strawberries and buttermilk I would have loved it. I don’t think so. The real problem was the quinoa was flavorless, even with the addition of all the goodies. However, it did not give me killer heartburn like oatmeal does, so maybe I’ll have quinoa for breakfast again.

Here’s my crazy version:

Top one cup of cooked red quinoa with 1/3 cup of blueberries, 1/2 cup of Silk Eggnog (which is amazing and only 90 calories…I didn’t even miss real eggnog!), and a quick squeeze of honey. I ate it cold, but you could zap it in the microwave. Not delicious, but it’ll do for breakfast.

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January Challenge! Cooking Light!

We totally failed at December. I don’t even remember what the challenge was. Instead we all got together and played Chopped. That was more fun, anyways (as well as being a great excuse to play with a deep fryer).

January dawned and found us all a couple pounds heavier thanks to the deep fryer and deep glasses of malbec. Mama Morena solved the problem with subscriptions to Cooking Light magazine and a challenge to make and review four recipes in January. I didn’t lose 22 pounds like the editor did, but I did lose the 3 I gained over Christmas!

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