Saturday, September 28, 2013

Scary's Chicken and Dumplings

One of the comfort foods I have been asked to make and put up here is chicken and dumplings.  I grew up eating mom's homemade chicken and dumplings and I wanted to try it out!  So here's my version of it!  (Mom, don't worry!  I'll put up the original recipe soon!)  This is very hearty with just a touch of heat.  It makes for a great meal throughout the week. :)

Scary's Chicken and Dumplings

*Makes.... ummmm.... a pot full?  A lot of servings!  I fed 6 people several servings.  Maybe close to 12-14 2 cup servings

20 C. Water
2 Basil Leaves (mine are kind of in pieces so it was hard to take them out at the end, but remove these when you serve!)
12 Chicken Bullion Cubes
5 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 Celery Stalk
4 Red Bell Peppers
1 1/2 Onions
2 Jalapenos (seeds optional)
Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder (at LEAST 2 tsp each but to taste)
Thickening liquid (1/4 C. flour and enough water to mix into a liquid)

3 C. Flour
1/2 C. Shortening (pea sized chunks)
1 tsp. Baking Powder
2 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Pepper
1 tsp. Sage
1 tsp. Rosemary
1 tsp. Parsley
1 tsp. Oregano
1 1/2 C. Water (give or take)

1. Put the water, bullion cubes, veggies, seasonings, and chicken in a stock pot.  Bring to a boil and lower to med heat.  Cook for about 45 mins to an hour.

2. Pull out the chicken and shred, or chop if you prefer cubed chicken.  Put it back in the soup.
3. Put all the dry ingredients in a bowl with the shortening.  Add the water a little bit at a time and mix.  You don't want the dough to be too wet!!  If you find that it's too wet, just add more flour or roll it out in a ton of flour.
4. Divide the dough into 3 balls and turn the heat up on the soup between med and med high.  (I have limited counter space so I can't roll out a ton of dough at once).  Roll it to about 1/8 inch thick and cut.  Go crazy and use a pizza cutter!!  Makes the job super easy!  I made really big dumplings in these pictures, but I prefer smaller ones.  It's all up to what you like.

5. Drop the dough pieces into the soup a few at a time.  Once you're counter is clean, repeat until all the dough is made!  You want to make sure and push the second and third group of dough down into the water so it doesn't hang out at the top and stick together.

6. Cook for about 10 mins and then turn the heat down to medium again.  Here you're going to add the thickening liquid to make it more soupy instead of just watery.  You can always add in more if you want it even thicker but keep in mind it gets thicker for the next 20 mins.  Cook for another 20-30 mins, checking the done-ness of the dumplings.

Serve it up with some fresh french bread for dipping!

Biscuits and Gravy

The ultimate comfort food when it comes to breakfast!  Mom was always the major cook in the house but when it comes to breakfast, dad was the boss. :)  His specialties are the most AMAZING pancakes ever (I'm sure I'll put that recipe up sometime) and his hamburger gravy to slather on some piping hot biscuits.  This is not a traditional recipe but I prefer it over using sausage because it's still a unique flavor.

Dad's Hamburger Gravy

*makes 2-3 servings

1/2 lb. Hamburger
3-4 Tbsp. Flour
2 1/2 C. Milk
1 Tube of Biscuits
Salt and Pepper

1. Preheat oven for the biscuits.  Start browning the hamburger.  Be liberal with the salt and pepper.  You don't want the meat to be bland once the gravy is made.

2. Once the hamburger is brown, add the flour and stir to coat the meat and absorb the grease.

3. Put the biscuits in the oven.
4. Keeping the heat at about med-high, add the milk and stir often until it starts to boil.

5. Lower the heat to med-low and simmer while it thickens.  Still stirring often to make sure the gravy doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.

6. Season with salt and pepper (heavy on the pepper).  The biscuits should be done by now, pull them out and put it all together!

Dig in!!!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Philly Cheese Steak Bites

There's a quaint place that I have to visit every time I'm in LA called Phillipes that is just to die for!  I don't think I enjoy my french dip sandwiches as much anywhere else.  I don't often make my own french dips or philly cheese steaks either, but hey why not take it for a spin!

Philly Cheese Steak Bites

*makes 12-16 bites

2 tubes of Crescent rolls
1 package of roast beef (using 2 slices per roll)
6-8 slices of cheese [usually provolone but I'm not a fan] (cut in half diagonally)
1/2 Onion (sliced)
1 Green Bell Pepper (sliced)
2-3 tsp. Olive Oil
1 packet Au Jus gravy

1.  Put the oil in a skillet and add the veggies.  Let these cook on one side for 5-8 mins and then stir/flip them as best as you can to the other side.  When these are done, preheat the oven according to the rolls.
2. Open up the rolls and start separating them.  Lay the cheese down on each roll with the long edges together.
3. Then layer 2 slices of roast beef, add 2 strips of bell pepper and 2-4 pieces of onion.  Roll up and put on a cookie sheet lined with tinfoil and sprayed with non-stick spray.

4. Cook them for 10-12 mins.
5. Prepare the au jus while the rolls are cooking.
6. Serve it all up and enjoy!

(the roast beef tends to weep a little so the bottoms don't stay crisp, I recommend a fork and knife)