Saturday, February 28, 2009

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches

I made French Dip Sandwiches last weekend and they were fantastic! This is now one of my top ten recipes (not sure what was bumped off because I actually haven't written out this list yet). I feel like I find buried treasure when I stumble upon a recipe that is so simple and delicious.

Here is the run down. I needed to be able to feed six people shortly after walking in the door with them. So I knew it would involve my slow cooker. Also, dinner was going to be later than usual (well maybe not for a European) so I didn't want to have a heavy roast or chicken. After looking on Recipezaar (at this recipe and this one) and doing some other google searches I settled on french dip sandwiches. The idea seemed special (out of the ordinary) but not complicated. Perfect! I do get nervous trying a new recipe out on guests. I really don't like to do that because it adds a layer of stress when your trying to be a good hostess. On that account, I shied away from all of the different recommendations for spice blends and went with my favorite standby that has NEVER let me down -- Trade East Canadian Steak Seasoning. Sorry to all the people on the west coast who can't find this readily. I will have to try to find a good substitute or try to figure out how to make my own version. Everyone raved about the sandwiches! The meat was so tender and flavorful. The caramelized onions and cheese are complimentary flavors with the crusty bread dipped in the savory broth --yum! By the way, four days later I made this again for my husband and I because we just didn't have enough the first time around.



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Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches

1 (2 1/2 - 3 lb) Tri Tip Roast
2 tsp. Trade East Canadian Steak Seasoning
2 1/2 cups of beef broth (I used Pacific Natural Foods)
3 medium sweet onions, sliced in half and in half again to make 1/4 inch strips.
1 Tablespoon of butter
1 pinch of coarse salt

1) Place the roast in the slow cooker, sprinkle seasoning over top of roast, and add the broth without disturbing the spice on the top of the roast. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.



2) Carefully remove roast from the juices, place on a cutting board and tent with foil for 10 minutes. Pour the juice from the crock pot into a fat separating craft and let the fat rise to the top. While the roast and juice are resting add 1 tablespoon of butter to a frying pan. Add onions, sprinkle with salt, and cook on medium low heat to caramelize slowly and evenly, stirring often.

3) Cut roast into chunky slices and place on platter or return to crock pot on a warm setting.
Carefully (without disturbing the fat that has risen to the top) pour a few tablespoons of broth over the sliced meat.



4) Pour remaining broth through a cheese cloth for a clear dipping broth leaving the fat in the separator. Serve on french rolls with onions and and cheese along with kettle chips and caesar salad. Serves 6-8

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Rosemary-Lemon Chicken with Smashed Garlic

Every once in a while I find myself having a couple of chicken breasts in the fridge thawed, about to expire, and having no clue what to do with them because I'm bored with the idea of plain sauteed chicken.  I found myself in just such a predicament, and did a little web surfing.  I found a few similar recipes of which I had all of the ingredients, melded them together and voila.  Here is my version, and it turned out terrific!  This recipe serves two people and could be doubled if more servings are needed, but depending on the size of the grill pan, it may then need to be cooked in more than one batch.



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Rosemary-Lemon Chicken with Smashed Garlic 

1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon of dried rosemary leaves, crushed with mortar and pestle
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/8 teaspoon of black pepper
2 chicken breast halves
6 cloves of garlic, smashed with flat part of knife edge and skins removed
1 Tablespoon of grape seed oil 
(Note: the only reason I use grape seed oil instead of olive oil is because my understanding is it has a higher smoke point.  Given the sensitivity of my smoke detector I use this oil)

1) Combine first six ingredients in a zip lock bag and let sit for two hours at room temperature. Shake up a few times during marinating process.
2) Crush the garlic with a knife blade, and remove skins.
3) Heat one tablespoon of grape seed oil in a grill pan on medium-high heat.  Add chicken breasts and garlic and use a heavy pan or iron grill top to press down on the chicken.  Grill for 9 minutes.  Watch small pieces of garlic, keeping them to the edge of the pan so they don't burn.
4) Flip chicken and garlic and grill for another 9 minutes or until juices run clear.

Note: this makes for a great low carb dish for phase 1 of the South Beach plan.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Low-Carb Fajitas

Craving Mexican food but following a low carb diet plan?  When I find myself in that situation I turn to this satisfying meal.  Even when I'm not intentionally following a low carb diet this meal falls into my top ten meal menus--it's that good.  This meal would also be great for a crowd too because you can keep adding items to the "buffet" like guacamole, salsa, sour cream, fresh cilantro.  Of course, you can add non-low carb items too like tortillas and chips.  I am giving you the basics here but there is plenty of room to get creative with this menu. Leftovers make for a delicious omelette!


On a side note, as I mentioned in the BBQ Chicken Salad post, my rule-of-thumb for a restaurant is that the food needs to be better than what I would make (or at least comparable) to what I would make at home --otherwise it is a huge letdown.  You would think that by living in the greater San Diego for the past 2 1/2 years I would have found an amazing fajita place by now.  I'm sad to say that I have not found such a place.  I will admit that I have a high bar.  The best fajitas that I have ever had in my life are made at Pappasito's in Houston, Texas.  Actually, that is the best Mexican restaurant that I have ever been to because they have the perfect trifecta: excellent fajitas, margaritas, and chips & salsa.  I ask you; how many times have you been to a Mexican and been let down by one of those three items?  Is it just me--is it that unrealistic?  Okay, I will admit that when it comes to the chips and salsa--it probably comes down to preference because there are so many different kinds and everyone has their favorite.  I like very thin and crisp with a finely minced salsa.  California has thick and course chips.  I guess I'm going to have to learn to make my own.  Enough of this of this line of thought! I'm not even eating chips right now.


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Low Carb Fajitas (Phase 1)

1 Flank Steak
1 Tablespoon of Trade East Canadian Steak Seasoning
1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
2 Green Peppers
2 Sweet Large Sweet Onions
Boston Bibb Lettuce or Butter Lettuce
Adolf's

1) Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Quarter the onions and separate pieces.  Core the peppers and cut into strips.  Place these items in a zip lock bag.  Drizzle olive oil, and put 1 teaspoon of the Canadian Steak Seasoning in the bag and shake. Place in a large sheet pan or casserole.  (What you bake in will effect the amount of time you need to caramelize the vegetables).

2) Bake approximately 35 minutes stirring once or twice to keep them from burning.


3) Stab the flank steak front and back with a fork several times, and sprinkle lightly with Adolf's (gasp -- yes, I still use this for a couple of items).

4) While waiting for onions and peppers to finish (unless your one of those lucky cooks to have more than one oven) use this time to prep all of the side dishes and garnishes like beans, cheese, lettuce, salsa, etc. After the onions and peppers are done place in a covered casserole dish, or a serving dish covered with tin foil to keep warm.

5) Turn up oven to broil.  Sprinkle one side of flank steak with 1 teaspoon of Canadian Steak Seasoning and broil 5 to 7 minutes.  Flip the steak over, sprinkle with remaining Canadian Steak seasoning and broil another 5 to 7 minutes to your liking using a thermometer if necessary.  Pull the steak out, place on a cutting board, cover with tin foil and let rest for another 5 to 7 minutes.  Slice thinly against the grain.

(Sorry again to all the west coast cooks that can't get to a Gordon Food Service location, a midwest establishment, for Trade East Canadian Steak Seasoning).  If you know someone in the midwest who can ship it to you it is worth the trouble.


Monday, February 16, 2009

Turkey Roll-Ups

This is one of my favorite snacks.  I read about these in The South Beach Diet.  The original calls for cilantro mayonnaise which I substitute for hummus because my husband doesn't like mayonnaise.  (I know don't get me started;-)  On a side note, I am looking forward to learning how to make my own mayonnaise hoping that it will be so much better than the store bought version that my husband will like it.  The original recipe also calls for red bell pepper strips which I just skip all together.  It's just not a staple that I have in the house on a regular basis.

Also on my mental "cooking to-do list" is to find a homemade recipe for hummus that I like.  Believe it or not, I am spoiled by a store bought brand of hummus! Sabra hummus is the best hummus I have ever had (and I used to go to Greek Town in Detroit, MI when I lived near there).  So the hummus recipe that I am on a quest for must be a smooth, rich, and creamy as this brand.



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Turkey Roll-Ups (South Beach Phase 1)

6 Boston Bibb Lettuce Leaves
3 Scallions, trimmed, cut in half to make 6 long pieces and cut in half again to make 12 pieces
6 (or so) Tablespoons hummus
6 Thin Slices of Turkey Breast (Note:  Usually I use Hormel Natural Choice - no nitrates.  I have also used leftover rotisserie chicken and turkey breast which is also very good)



1) Cut scallions in half to make 6 long pieces and cut in half again to make 12 short pieces
2) Spread a dollop of hummus on a lettuce leaf, cover with a slice of turkey, and top with 2 scallion pieces
3) Secure with toothpick

Serves 2 people 3 roll-ups each as a snack, or 1 person all 6 as a lunch.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Soufflé Stuffed Chicken

Here is a delicious recipe found in The South Beach Diet Cookbook.  I would serve this for company.  I have made this recipe twice now, and I think it is a keeper.  I have actually wanted to make this recipe more than twice, but I can't always find the Stouffer's frozen spinach at the grocery store.  The last time I found it, I bought two packages and just kept one in the back of the freezer. Plus, they make a delicious side dish in and of itself.  A tiny word of warning:  both times I made this recipe I thought I was going to fail miserably.  It is not easy wrapping the chicken around the spinach.  I don't want to scare anyone because at the same time it is not that difficult.  It is worth the extra effort.  You need to "sew" the chicken together with several toothpicks. Both times I've been worried that the chicken will bust open and spinach would ooze out everywhere.  The messiest ugliest looking stuffed pieces end up looking the prettiest because just enough of the spinach seeps out.  The only thing I do differently is skip the dijon mustard in the pan reduction sauce.  My husband can always tell when I try to sneak mustard in a recipe.





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Souffle Stuffed Chicken

1 package (12 ounces) Stouffer's frozen spinach souffle, not thawed
4 boneless, skinless chicken pounded to 1/4" thickness
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt
Ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped parsley, for garnish
Slices of lemon, for garnish
Sprig of parsley, for garnish

1) Preheat the oven to 350.  Pound chicken breasts to 1/4" thickness.
2) Using a serrated knife, cut the spinach souffle crosswise into 4 equal pieces. Top half of each whole breast with one of the pieces of souffle.  Fold half of the chicken over the filling and fasten the edges with wooden picks. (NOTE: use as many as it takes)
3) Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic and cook for 3 minutes, or until golden.  Discard the garlic.  Add the chicken breasts to the skillet and cook for 7 minutes per side, or until well-browned on both sides.  (NOTE: mine look like bricks so I have at least 3 to 4 sides to brown:-)
4) Remove the chicken breasts to an oven-proof dish.  Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest portion registers 170 and the juices run clear.
5) While the chicken is baking, add the broth, lemon juice, mustard, salt, and pepper to the large skillet.  Heat to boiling.  Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the sauce is reduced about 1/2.
6) To serve, remove and discard the wooden picks.  Arrange the chicken on a warm serving platter, and spoon the sauce over the chicken.  Garnish with the chopped parsley, lemon and parsley sprig.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Smashed "Cauliflower-Potatoes"

Ugh, it's time to get back to the Beach....South Beach that is (so that I can go to the beach this spring;-). You see,  when I'm actually trying to eat healthy, I follow the South Beach Diet principles.  I learned a lot about nutrition and how our bodies process carbs, fats, and proteins from this book.  So did my parents when I passed the book on to them.  (Mom and Dad - I'm so proud of you).  For instance, did you know that your body reads a slice of typical white bread (the kind stripped of all the bran and fiber) the same way as a tablespoon of sugar.  It's true according to Dr. Agatston.  Anyway, I highly recommend the book.  When using the South Beach Diet as a guideline, I eat a lot more vegetables, more fiber, less bad fats, and more good fats which results in weight loss.  Here is another vegetable side dish that I make once or twice a week.  Even my meat-and-potatoes husband enjoys this recipe.

Note:  I updated this recipe on 5-18-13 with new pictures and revised instructions



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Smashed "Cauliflower - Potatoes"  (South Beach - Phase 1)
1 Medium-size head of cauliflower  (I have also used a couple of bags of fresh cauliflower already cut up like they sell at Trader Joe's, or 1 (20 oz) bag of frozen florets)
2 - 3 cups milk (use low fat milk 1% or less to be South Beach - Phase 1 friendly)
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Core the rinsed cauliflower leaving large florets.



2. Cut each large floret into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices so that they lie flat in a medium pot.




3. Place the florets in a medium pot, sprinkle with salt, add milk, and cook over low heat for 35 minutes.



4. Periodically stir the cauliflower in the milk and to keep the milk from scalding.  Sometimes when I get distracted the milk gets scalded on the bottom of the pot.  If this happens, stir gently so that that the scalded milk browned bits do not get mixed up into the cooked cauliflower.



5. Drain, and discard or freeze the remaining liquid for a creamed vegetable soup (like cauliflower-cheese soup).  Using an immersion blender, blend cooked cauliflower until the mixture resembles mashed potatoes.  At this point use this mixture as if it were mashed potatoes and turn this "Smashed Cauliflower" into your favorite form of potatoes.  In other words, you can add roasted garlic, scallions, low fat sour cream, chives, butter, or any combination.  However, most of the time I eat it as is, with salt and white pepper to taste.



Note:  the picture below shows the actual yield which I would guess to be approximately 3 cups. Sometimes I double or even triple the batch and freeze the rest in 2 serving portions for another time.
This is my original picture from this post. I've kept this picture because I didn't want to break the original Pinterest link.



Sunday, February 8, 2009

To Die For Pot Roast?

First, you should know that I didn't invent this recipe or the title.  I think this might only be the second time I've made pot roast in my life.  Lately, I have had my usual mid-west winter cravings despite my living in southern California.  The first time I made pot roast on my own I probably used my mom's method.  My mom sprinkled her roast with salt and pepper seared both sides in hot oil put it in a roaster with onions potatoes and carrots at 350 for....well I don't know how long.  My situation: 1) every time I leave my oven on for a long period of time my smoke detectors go off.  (I probably do need to clean my oven but either way my smoke detectors are super sensitive and it drives me nuts) 2) We were to have a guest over to our place immediately after church.  So, given those perimeters I decided to go with a crock pot meal.  That decided, the next dilemma was what to cook.  After flipping through a couple of cookbooks I decided to have a look on Recipezaar, and ran across a recipe called To Die For Pot Roast.  Well, 960 reviews and a name like that who could resist?


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To Die For Pot Roast (as listed exactly on the Recipeezaar site)
1 Beef Roast, any kind
1 (1 1/4 ounce) package brown gravy mix, dry
1 ( 1 1/4 ounce) package dried Italian salad dressing seasoning mix
1 ( 1 1/4 ounce) package ranch dressing mix, dry
1/2 cup water

1) Place beef roast in crock pot.
2) Mix the dried mixes together in a bowl and sprinkle over the roast.
3) Pour the water around the roast.
4) Cook on low for 7-9 hours.

What I did:  After reading through several comments, here is what I did.  At 5:00 a.m. I placed a 3 pound roast in an oval crock pot with 1 cup of water 1 pkg. of the gravy mix, 1/2 of the Italian seasoning, and 1/2 of the ranch dressing pkg. and set the crock pot to low.  3 1/2 hours later I placed 1 bag of baby carrots, 2 turnips cut in sticks, 2 large onions quartered and 3 large potatoes cut in thirds over the meat and sprinkled the vegetables with the rest of the seasoning...and left for church.  After reading so many reviews about the saltiness, I decided the best thing to do was cut it down with veggies.  At 1:00 p.m. we got home and ate right away.

Result:  It was good, but I wouldn't die for it;-)  There are things I would die for but this pot roast is not one of them.  Maybe I'm just not a fan of pot roast...I don't know (after all I have only made it twice).  Maybe it would have been to die for if I didn't add all the veggies...again not sure.  Whenever I do get the craving again for pot roast (perhaps in a year or two from now), I am going to work on my own spice blend due to the sodium level and the fact that one of those packages contained MSG.  Furthermore, our guest was not able to come over that day so I have a lot of leftovers now stored in the freezer.  I am looking forward to the challenge of reinventing a use for those leftovers.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Portobello Mushroom-Goat Cheese Pizza

In the Ratatouille post I hinted that I love this pizza, but I must admit it is my absolute favorite.  I had a wood-fired version at a restaurant once, twice, okay a few times until they stopped serving it.  I was quite shocked when it was no longer offered.  I had no choice but to learn how to forge those flavors for myself.  I remember the original as a white flour crust topped with tomato sauce, thinly sliced portobello mushrooms, goat cheese, mozzarella, and fresh basil.  I have used both left over ratatouille and pizza sauce.  Either version is delicious.  This is the closest that I can get without a wood-fired oven.



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Portobello Mushroom-Goat Cheese Pizza

Bread Machine Pizza Crust - (makes 2 small pizzas, 6 slices each)

1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 3/4 cup flour (I use white spelt)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 pkg. yeast

Pizza Topping

1/2 large portobello mushroom, ears scraped, sliced thin
1/2 cup mozzarella
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
Fresh basil for garnish

1) Add ingredients in order and set bread machine to dough cycle (while machine is mixing dough, be prepared to add one tablespoon of flour if dough ball does not form, or one tablespoon of water if dough isn't absorbing all of the flour and seems hard)
2) When dough cycle is finished divide dough in half.  Cover one half and set aside.  Preheat oven to 400.  (Note-to-self #2 - do not attempt to preheat oven to 500 in a California apartment and expect smoke detectors to not go off - I was trying really hard for that wood fired flavor).  Instead, roll dough into a small oval shape.  Brush with oil and par bake crust for 10 minutes.  (The crust in this picture is not par baked; while the flavor of the pizza was present the crust was too soft for my taste)  So, if you prefer a softer crust skip the par baking step.
3) Add ratatouille or pizza sauce (will need less if using plain sauce) to par baked crust.  Top with mushroom slices, mozzarella, and goat cheese.
4) Lower oven to 375 and bake 10 minutes or until brown and bubbly. Garnish with fresh basil.  Cut in half lengthwise then in thirds to make six slices.
5) Repeat with other half of dough or make them at the same time in a large oven on a large baking sheet.



Monday, February 2, 2009

Steakhouse Supper

I could hardly wait to blog about this menu.  I was flipping through the February/March issue of food network magazine (actually it is the first time I bought it) and on page 96 is the most fabulous picture of a steakhouse dinner I have ever seen in a magazine.  I just knew that I had to make these recipes as soon as possible.  I made this for dinner last Saturday (the day before Superbowl Sunday).  Tonight, I am blogging and enjoying the leftovers!  The menu is London Broil with Herb Butter, Creamed Spinach, and Steakhouse Onion Rings.  My husband loved it! I actually followed the recipe EXACTLY. Sometimes that is a hard thing for a foodie to do because we want to tinker right away.  I know this to be true.  However, lately I've been trying not to do that with first time recipes - so I can learn what I like, what I don't like, and why. Now, I would like to share what I learned with you when it comes to this meal.





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London Broil with Herb Butter

For the Steak:
1 beef bouillon cube
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 top round London broil steak (about 2 pounds)

For the Herb Butter:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chervil or tarragon
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1) Prepare the steak: Dissolve the bouillon cube in 3/4 cup hot water in a bowl; set aside to cool. Whisk in 2 tablespoons olive oil, the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.  Place the steak in a large resealable plastic bag , pour in the marinade and seal, squeezing out the air.  Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 1 day.
2)Prepare the herb butter:  Mix the butter with the chives, parsley, chervil, a pinch of salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and the lemon juice in a bowl.
3) About 30 minutes before cooking, remove the meat from the bag (discard the marinade), dry it well and bring to room temperature.  Heat a large heavy skillet over high heat, about 2 minutes.  Rub the steak with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Sprinkle 1 tablespoon salt over the surface of the pan; add the meat and set a heavy skillet on top to weigh it down.  Sear for about 7 minutes; turn the steak, replace the weight and cook until a thermometer inserted into the side reads 110 degrees for medium-rare, about 5 minutes.
4) Transfer the steak to a cutting board; brush with some of the herb butter, tent with foil and let rest for about 10 minutes.  Thinly slice against the grain; top with more her butter and drizzle with the pan juices.  Serve with creamed spinach and onion rings.

What I learned:  Even after 5 hours of marinading the steak it wasn't as tender as I expected. I would recommend going overnight like the recipe allows.  Next time I will probably stab it with a fork several times and use the good old stand by called Adolph's.  Frankly, I have yet to meet a homemade marinade that I absolutely love when it comes to red meat.  I always end up tasting the tanginess of the marinade when all I really want to taste is the flavor of the meat itself.  So I will probably play with the marinade in the future.  Also, I have to confess I really am not fond of tarragon.  Whenever I see it in a recipe I'm skeptical as to whether or not I'll like it.  For the folks that like tarragon you will love the herb butter.  However, next time I am going increase the chives and parsley or add something else. Oh, and I will leave out the lemon juice in the herb butter as well.  I think it added to the tanginess of the steak that I personally didn't like. All of this blather makes it sound like I didn't like the steak, I know, but that is not true.  I did like very much but these are the things I will do differently next time.

Creamed Spinach

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk, at room temperature
Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 pounds spinach, tough stems removed
1 large egg plus 2 egg yolks
Freshly ground pepper

1) Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk in the flour until smooth; cook, stirring, until the mixture lightens, about 1 minutes.  Remove from the heat; whisk in the milk, 2 teaspoons salt and the nutmeg.  Return to medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking. Remove from the heat again; stir to cool slightly.
2) Heat a deep skillet over medium heat.  Add the spinach and 1 teaspoon salt; cover and cook about 3 minutes.  Toss with tongs, then continue to wilt, uncovered, about 2 more minutes.  Drain and cool slightly, then squeeze the spinach until dry.  Coarsely chop.
3) Gently reheat the sauce, then whisk in the whole egg and yolks; cook stirring, until the sauce thickens.  Stir in the spinach; heat through. Season with salt and pepper.

What I learned:  I wouldn't change a thing about this recipe.  Although here is a word of caution, this will not keep on the burner - even on low.  I made this recipe first hoping that I could keep it on low.  Nice try but doesn't work - the egg and the sauce broke down to the point where it seemed non-existent.  Also, this is definitely a special occasion dish....I certainly could not make this on a monthly basis and still fit into my cloths.  In order to hang on to what figure I have left I need wilt my greens in olive oil with garlic on a regular basis.

Steakhouse Onion Rings

2 large red onions, cut into 1 inch rings
2 cups milk whisked with 1 large egg in a shallow bowl
1 cup flour mixed with 1 cup cornstarch and 1 teaspoon salt
Deep fryer, electric skillet, or heavy-bottomed pot filled with 4 inches of vegetable oil heated to 365 degrees

1) Soak the onion rings in the milk mixture for 30 minutes
2) Toss each ring in the flour milk and flour again
3) Fry in the hot oil until golden, about 5 minutes.  Transfer to paper towels; season with salt

What I Learned:  I wouldn't change a thing.  These were amazing.  Obviously only meant for a special treat. I saved the end pieces and smaller middle pieces of the onion for another use and used a 1/2 of a third onion that I happened to have in the fridge to make up the difference.  If I prepare this menu in its entirety again - I will start these first and keep them on a cookie sheet in the oven on a warm setting. I cooked 4 batches in an electric fry pan to finish.

Final Thoughts:  I will definitely make this again.  I think of this menu as a success and would rate it as follows:  London Boil 4 out of 5 stars, Creamed Spinach 5 out of 5 stars, and Onion Rings 5 out of 5 stars.  I hope I don't sound too critical.  I just want to share with you and remember what I will do differently next time.  Lastly, the Feb/Mar issue of food network magazine is filled with so many things I want to try - I highly recommend this issue.

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