Tuesday, March 29, 2011

#7- Cooking something I never made before

One of my 40 things to do before I turn 40 is expand my cooking horizons. I said I wanted to cook something exotic or something I've never fixed before. I have no idea what I meant when I wrote exotic. Did that mean some weird ingredient or what? Nothing I fixed was exotic. I wasn't sure what I was thinking and other than being expensive or strange, I couldn't think of exotic food. I went with stuff I knew everyone would probably like with ingredients I could afford, a twist on normal foods, I guess!

Also, I thought, once I got on a roll, I'd do more than one dish. So here are my efforts and the recipes! Enjoy!


Ever since my mom died, my family and I have been trying to re-create some of her dishes, often to no avail. I don't think I'll ever get her potato soup right. Ever. However, I've never, in my life made chili, so I think I was channeling my mom, because I nailed her soup. Daddy-O and I brainstormed about what was in it and we got the ingredients. We had no idea of how much of anything so it was a guess, and a good one at that. And for the first time making chili, I was pretty happy- it was a nice memory, a good taste, and a warm yummy dish for a cold, winter day! So, here's the recipe for my mom's chili. (I also want to say, I don't really like chili very much, but this really appeals to me!!!)

With the chili we had crackers, cheese and corn bread muffins, from scratch!

Mom's Chili:
1 large can of tomato soup
1 can of dark kidney beans with the juice
1 can of light kidney beans drained
24 ounces of tomato juice
1 can of black beans, drained
1 pound of hamburger, browned and drained. I cooked a small very well diced onion with the hamburger.
2 teaspoons of mild chili pepper
2 tablespoons of salt
3 dashes of pepper

Put everything into a stock pot and cook on very low heat, covered, for 60 minutes. Cook another 2 hours uncovered, stirring occasionally.

Fried Green Beans
2 cans of cut green beans, drained
Italian Bread crumbs
Parmesan cheese
olive oil

Heat olive oil in pan until hot. Combine bread crumbs and cheese together in a shallow pan. Dip green beans in milk. Roll beans in bread crumb/ cheese mixture. Brush off excess. Put in hot oil for 4 minutes. Scoop out of pan with slotted spoon and lay on paper towel. Salt while still hot. Serve while very warm.

Everyone really liked these and requested I make them again. They were pretty good. So good they were gone before I got a picture! (tonight I also made lemon pepper cod and salmon, and roasted new red garlic potatoes to go with the beans!)

Oven Ranch Chicken

It's really saying something about how much I love this recipe because it's a school cafeteria recipe. Yes, you read this right: this chicken is SCHOOL FOOD!!!! I asked the woman in the cafeteria and she shared. I gave it a whirl at home and while mine was good, I think the school's is better. I think this is so because I used dark and white meat chicken, with bone in. At school, they always make it with boneless, skinless chicken breasts on 'Wellness Wednesdays'. I think that had something to do with making it crispier. Not the wellness part but being white meat and boneless part.

Again, this was a popular dish and everyone voted I fix it again! (We had Julianne cheese potatoes and mixed veggies with the chicken.)

Oven Ranch Chicken

6-8 chicken breasts (though I made it with bone in chicken, it is best with boneless!)

16 oz sour cream

1 pkg dry ranch dressing ( mix with crumbs)

cracker crumbs or Italian bread crumbs (which ever you prefer)


Take thawed chicken and rub/coat with sour cream and then dip them into the cracker mix. Drizzle melted butter over the top and bake covered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until done. Bake uncovered the last 10-15 minutes to crisp up the chicken.

Happy cooking!



Curley said...

Boy that all looks and sounds so good.

Maggie said...

Curly- now you have the recipes so have a go!