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Friday, February 29, 2008

Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Casserole

I love chicken enchilada and I've been craving for it since I tasted it. I just found a good recipe for it and I want to share it here. Try it and you'll love it.

INGREDIENTS

* 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
* garlic salt to taste
* 18 (6 inch) corn tortillas, torn in half
* 1 (28 ounce) can green chile enchilada sauce
* 1 (16 ounce) package shredded Monterey Jack cheese
* 1 (8 ounce) container reduced fat sour cream

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a medium baking dish.
2. Season chicken with garlic salt. Arrange in the prepared baking dish. Bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven, until no longer pink and juices run clear. Cool, shred, and set aside.
3. With metal tongs, char each tortilla half over the open flame of a gas stove burner for about 1 minute, until lightly puffed.
4. Pour about 1/2 inch enchilada sauce in the bottom of a medium baking dish, and arrange 6 tortillas in a single layer. Top with 1/2 the chicken, 1/3 cheese, 1/2 the sour cream, and 1/3 of the remaining enchilada sauce. Repeat. Coat remaining tortillas thoroughly with remaining enchilada sauce, and arrange on top of the layers. Sprinkle with remaining cheese, and top with any remaining enchilada sauce
5. Cover, and bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool slightly before serving.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Chicken Fried Steak

My hubby loves chicken fried steak and this is one of his favorites. When I just got here in the US, my hubby and I went to a restaurant. He ordered chicken fried steak. I thought it's a chicken meat and I asked him if I can taste it. Then he told me that chicken fried steak are actually breaded and deep fried beef cutlets but they are cooked the same method in cooking fried chicken. Then later on I learned how to cook it because my hubby love it. I like it too but hubby like it more.

INGREDIENTS

* 1 pound boneless beef top loin
* 2 cups shortening
* 1 egg, beaten
* 1 cup buttermilk
* salt and pepper to taste
* 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
*
* 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 1 quart milk
* salt and pepper to tas

DIRECTIONS

1. Cut top loin crosswise into 4 (4 ounce) cutlets. Using a glancing motion, pound each cutlet thinly with a moistened mallet or the side of a cleaver.
2. In a large, heavy skillet, heat 1/2 inch shortening to 365 degrees F (185 degrees C).
3. While the shortening is heating, prepare cutlets. In a shallow bowl, beat together egg, buttermilk, salt and pepper. In another shallow dish, mix together garlic powder and 1cup flour. Dip cutlets in flour, turning to evenly coat both sides. Dip in egg mixture, coating both sides, then in flour mixture once again.
4. Place cutlets in heated shortening. Cook until golden brown, turning once. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat with remaining cutlets. Drain grease, reserving 1/2 cup.
5. Using the reserved drippings in the pan, prepare gravy over medium heat. Blend in 1/4 cup flour to form a paste. Gradually add milk to desired consistency, stirring constantly. For a thicker gravy add less milk; for a thinner gravy stir in more. Heat through, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over chicken fried steak.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Poaching Fish

The technique of poaching has been all but forgotten. This gentle cooking method is perfect for seafood, because it imparts lots of moisture and will not mask the delicate flavor of the fish. Traditionally, fish is poached in a court-bouillon--broth made from simmering aromatic vegetables and herbs in water together with peppercorns and something acidic such as lemon juice, vinegar or white wine. To poach fish, you can make your own court-bouillon or simply use vegetable or chicken stock.

* Use a pan big enough to lay each piece of fish down flat.
* Pour in enough liquid to just barely cover the fish.
* Bring the liquid to a simmer, and keep it there.
* If you see any bubbles coming up from the bottom of the pan, it's too hot--the liquid should "shimmer" rather than bubble. The ideal poaching temperature is between 165 and 180 degrees F (74 to 82 degrees C).

Monday, February 18, 2008

How To Tenderize Beef

There's nothing better than a good steak on the grill or under the broiler. But if you bite into it and can't chew, it puts a damper on the deliciousness. There are several things you can do to tenderize beef. Read on to learn how to tenderize beef.

Step 1:
Use a meat mallet (a meat tenderizing hammer) to pound the meat before you cook it. Pounding the meat with the mallet breaks up some of the fibers in the meat. It also breaks some of the connected meat tissue. Break down of this fiber and tissue makes the meat cook more evenly throughout and helps to tenderize beef.

Step 2:
Marinate the beef in a deep bowl inside your refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Punch holes in the meat first with a fork or sharp knife. The holes will allow the marinate liquid to penetrate throughout the insides of the beef. Marinate helps to tenderize beef, especially if you use acidic ingredients in your marinate liquid. Oil, vinegar or wine work well. Any citrus fruit juice will help also. A bottle of oil and vinegar salad dressing poured over the meat works well as a marinate to tenderize beef. Turn the meat several times in the bowl while marinating.

Step 3:
Try a meat tenderizer that you can buy at the grocery store. Sometimes a meat tenderizer bought at the store is all that is necessary. But on some cheaper, tougher cuts of meat, it may take all techniques combined together to tenderize beef.

Step 4:
Cook the meat quickly on high heat after you have prepared to tenderize it. Beef cooked on the grill or under a broiler helps hold in the flavor and retain the tenderness you've worked to achieve.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Chicken Cooking Basics

Chicken is a dinnertime favorite: it's highly versatile, family-friendly, and good for you.

Chicken is a great source of protein with the added bonus of being low in fat and calories, especially if you don't eat the skin. But like all fresh meats, it is perishable. Since raw poultry can transmit illness-causing bacteria such as Salmonella and Listeria, use care during handling and preparation.

Keep It Cold

Never leave raw or frozen chicken at room temperature. Raw chicken should be stored in the coldest part of your refrigerator and used within two days. Freeze any chicken that won't be used right away. You can freeze it in its store packaging, but if you plan on storing it for longer than two months in the freezer, you should unwrap the chicken and rewrap it in heavy duty aluminum foil and a plastic freezer bag.

* Frozen chicken can be stored in the freezer for up to one year without sacrificing quality.
* When thawing frozen chicken, do so slowly and safely. It will take from 24 hours up to two days to thaw a whole chicken in the refrigerator, and about 2 to 9 hours for cut-up chicken parts (less for boneless pieces).
* Other approved methods are thawing in a cold water bath or by using the defrost cycle of the microwave.

Keep It Clean


Rinse chicken with cold water, inside and out, and pat dry with paper towels before preparing. To prevent cross-contamination, thoroughly clean all surfaces, utensils, cutting boards, knives and hands with hot soapy water after handling raw poultry.

Get It Done


The only way to tell if a chicken is cooked properly is to use a meat thermometer--seeing if the juices run clear is not a reliable indicator of doneness. To test the internal temperature of a whole chicken, insert the thermometer into the thigh, taking care not to touch the bone. Chicken should reach 165 degrees F (74 degrees C). Remember that the meat will continue to cook once it's removed from the heat source, so you may pull it out of the oven or off the grill a few degrees below the target temperature--just keep the thermometer in place and check to be sure the temperature climbs to a safe heat.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Grilled Fish

Grilling fish is tricky without a grill basket, but don't let that deter you:

* Spray the fish with nonstick cooking spray or brush it very lightly with oil.
* Place the fish around the edges of the grill, away from the hottest part of the fire (Don't try to lift up the fish right away; it will be stuck to the grill).
* Start checking for color and doneness after a few minutes, once the fish starts to release some of its juices.
* Flip it over when it's got light grill marks.

Fish on the grill needs to be attended very closely and only takes a few minutes per side. If the filets are an even thickness, fish can be cooked through by grilling it on one side only.