Monday, April 25, 2011

101 Uses for a Roast Chicken #26: Epic Chicken Sandwich!

So, I had a hormonally-induced hankering for a big-assed BBQ chicken sandwich. I also watched the Divers, Drive-ins & Dives marathon on Food Network over the weekend, and it had me salivating. Funny how one thing influences the other. I had a chicken carcass from one of my roast chicken dinners to turn into stock, and a couple of backs a relative gave me after a chicken dinner she made. I got a lot of great meat off these bones when I made up the stock on the weekend, and I wanted to do something different from the usual pot of soup. So, it was actually three events (hormones, Triple D, and stock-making) that induced this particular craving.

It's very simple: get a big giant bun. Grill some veggies (in this case, onions, peppers, and mushrooms), slice some havarti, and dig out your favourite BBQ sauce. After the veggies have done, put them on the bun and top with some havarti. Add some left-over roast chicken to the pan and heat through; add BBQ sauce. When everything is nice & hot, throw it on the bun & top with more havarti.


I served them with some homemade oven fries and this meal totally hit the spot!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Lemon Trifle

Happy Easter to all my readers who celebrate it!

We had our Easter dinner last night due to scheduling issues, and after my lemon pound cake disaster last Tuesday, I offered to bring a dessert so I could get rid of that ugly beast pronto to make room in my freezer for more successful endeavours. Lemon-flavoured desserts in the spring are just the best, I think. Well, they're the best at any time of year, but it seemed particularly appropriate yesterday because it was a beautiful sunny day for once and lemons remind me of sunny things. This is a super simple trifle that was an enormous hit.


- one lemon pound cake, cut into cubes
- 1 jar lemon curd (I used Robertson's because it was the least expensive at LOGS)
- 500mL whipping cream, whipped to a decent firmness, just not butter
- 1 large package (the one that makes 6 servings) vanilla pudding, prepared

Layer in the cake with the lemon curd dabbed over the top of the cake cubes, then pour over the pudding, then some whipping cream, and repeat till everything is used up, topping the trifle with whipping cream. I topped mine with some almond flower decorations.

It took about 15 minutes to make and was absolutely heavenly and delicious!

Have a great day everyone, and for those of you who are Canucks, enjoy the long weekend!

Friday, April 22, 2011

101 Uses for a Roast Chicken #25: Pesto, Chicken, Goat's Cheese, and Onion Pizza

I've been on a pizza kick these days - probably due to hormones. I was very grateful today for a load of fresh basil from my AeroGarden, with which I made some lovely pesto. I used the crust from the last pizza I made and froze, and some of the leftover roast chicken I had from that pizza, too along with the pesto to make a super delicious pizza. The goat's cheese was a new product from President's Choice, a low fat version of the soft, unripened, famous chèvre. I really like it and can't really tell the difference between it and regular-fat goat's cheese.

I'm really loving my pizza stone for these pizzas; you can't beat it for crusts that are crispy on the outside and nice & tender on the inside.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Loaf Failure

Something must be in the air in this God-forsaken place! Spring is soooooooo slow in arriving, I'm cranky as hell, and today I had a very frustrating kitchen failure that didn't do anything to help my mood.

I was inspired to make lemon loaf today after seeing my friend Pierce's success with this recipe this morning. I have a thing to go to tomorrow afternoon, and I thought I'd pack a dessert with me, and since lemons were on sale this week at LOGS, I thought a lemon loaf would be perfect. Plus, it's spring-like! And God knows, I need more springlike things in my life right now!

Tina had great success with her loaf. But mine was a disaster. Granted, I didn't use the food processor as directed in the original recipe, but I don't think that's the explanation for this loaf that A) overflowed from the side of the pan during baking (luckily, I baked it on a baking sheet), B) had a texture that was a bizarre mixture of coarse sponginess with a bit of rubber thrown in, C) didn't rise, and D) it seemed like all the butter sunk to the bottom of the loaf during baking because the bottom was full of grease, and E) it wasn't very lemony. Perhaps my lemons were lemons.

BY NO MEANS AM I DISSING TINA'S RECIPE OR TINA! Tina's looks lovely and according to her, tasted great, too. I obviously messed up big time somewhere along the line, I just don't where. Sometimes things just don't work out. Like I said, there is something in the air up here... I will freeze the loaf and use it for trifle down the line somewhere. I certainly am not letting it go to waste.

101 Uses for a Roast Chicken #24: BBQ Chicken Pizza

Yeah, I know it's been forever since I've done an installment in this series. I haven't been on the ball, what can I say?

Recently, my relative, C, did a catering job and had so many leftovers she was giving them away to everyone she knew, and I was lucky enough to receive a bag of roasted chicken pieces. I put most of them in the freezer, which is a great boon to me. Tonight, I had a hankering for pizza, and since my friends Chris and Deb gave me a bunch of Tony Roma's BBQ sauce, I thought making a BBQ chicken pizza was the way to go.

I have no idea who Tony Roma is, but he has a restaurant chain named after him, and this chain also sells its own name-brand BBQ sauce. I used the hickory one, and it was quite tasty.

The crust I used was Giada de Laurentiis's pizza dough, which is now my go-to recipe. I cut it in half and froze the other half I didn't use tonight.

Otherwise, the pizza was very simple: a light smear of cream cheese went on the crust first, after I softened it in the microwave. After that, I chopped up two pieces of chicken and mixed them in the pizza sauce, then put that down on top of the cream cheese. Then I sauteed some red onion and on that went. Finally, I topped that with a bunch of low fat mozza.

The end result: ridiculicous! This is definitely a keeper combination! And my crust was awesome - probably the best result I've ever had. I think the pizza stone I baked it on helped with the crispy texture.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic, and Fresh Herbs

My AeroGardens have provided me with such amazing bounty this winter. The fresh herbs alone have been a God-send, and I am so grateful to my friend Jodi for giving me this huge gift!

The oregano I originally didn't think would make it has become quite prolific, and the thyme is doing excellently, too. The basil is awesome, as is the Genoa basil plant that has a very anise-y flavour to it. The lemon basil is pretty much kaput and I think I'm just going to yank it out and put in some cilantro in its place. The mint is hugely prolific, as is the dill. I almost have an overabundance of both!

While wondering how to utilize all this hydroponic bounty, I had a brainwave: last fall, after the garlic festival I attended, I made this yummy meal, and so I made another version of it the other night. I didn't have the fancy garlic this time, but that was OK. I still used about a head of garlic in total, and I roasted the tomatoes & garlic with a bunch of sprigs of thyme. After it was done roasting, I added chopped oregano and basil. And Bob's your uncle!

It was another simple, spectacular, and very cost-effective meal ('cause I'm more about cost effective now than I ever was before).

Spoil-myself Food

When I feel like spoiling myself, I often make these shrimp salad rolls. They have fresh mint in them from my AeroGarden. They are very easy to make, but are a bit finicky. They are so worth it, however! And when I feel I'm worth it, I make them. This afternoon was such a day for such a treat!

Elk Steak Dinner

My dad is the local gun guru, and as such, he always has a line on some game meat through his gun pals who hunt. Dad hasn't hunted in years, but he did when we were kids, and I remember one time he came home with a moose that we ate for the better part of a year. It was awesome meat, from what I recall, and to this day, I really enjoy moose meat. Game meat in general is great stuff: basically organic, free-range, drug free, and leaner than beef, pork, or other meats you get in the grocery store. And it tastes amazing. Some meats I avoid, however: bear is gross and I don't like eating teddy bears; white tail deer is very gamey and strong; and I won't touch cougar for ethical reasons.

Elk is a large animal and it's extremely lean. I have had elk done poorly, and when it's done poorly, it's really bad. However, when it's done well, it's excellent. Last night, Dad brought over an elk steak of unknown cut for me to grill up along with a beef sirloin he had hanging around his freezer.

The elk steak was ginormous, and it required some trimming to that I could fit in into my rather modestly-sized grill pan. it had two sections of bone in it and a large piece of very tough fat around the edge that was almost the texture of cheese rind. After trimming, I managed to fit it into my grill pan. I seasoned it with Montreal Steak Spice.

I have one of those cast iron grilling pans and I've yet to master using the stupid thing because I always seem to heat it too high and cause a lot of smoking to happen. While grilling last night, it got so smokey in my kitchen that my smoke detector, located in the living room, went of twice. I reduced the heat but still got smoked out. It was brutal!

I don't know how long I grilled this per side. I do know that you don't want to grill the crap out of game meats because they are so lean, so my aim was to cook this to a nice medium rare - which is how I like my steaks done anyway. Once I took it out of the pan and let it rest, though, it wasn't done to my father's satisfaction: it was still too rare for him. So I put it back in the pan for another few minutes - creating more smoke - until finally, it was done to perfection.

It was delicious and cut like butter. It was a beautiful thing indeed. I served it with some mini potatoes, also donated by my dad, and some yams. It was so big we each had a hunk and I sent my dad home with about 1/3 of it that was left over.

Oh, and the beef steak was pretty good, too, but not as good as this bit of elk. Go game meats!

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Magazine Monday #78: Sweet & Salty Cookies

Sometimes I just see stuff in a magazine and I HAVE to make it, no matter what. This recipe from the most recent issue of Canadian Living was one of those recipes.

OMG, this is now my new favourite cookie! It called for candy covered chocolate pieces, and I though that the Easter-coloured M&Ms would be perfect. They were. I used crushed up pretzel twists.

Awesomesauce and a half!

Monday, April 04, 2011

Peruvian Chicken & Rice Soup

I finally got around to making that delicious Peruvian Roast Chicken carcass into a soup. It was very straightforward and I used the same flavours in the soup that appeared in the rub on the roast - minus the mint, though, because I was out of it. I use a lot of mint and my AeroGarden can barely keep up!

The stock was a very basic carcass-celery-carrot-onion-garlic affair, with some salt & pepper. As usual, I did it in my crock pot. The flavours still on the carcass infusing themselves into the stock were utterly mouthwatering.

For the soup, I used:

  • carrots
  • onion
  • cabbage (from a coleslaw mix)
  • 1/2 cup of white rice
  • more garlic
  • 1 720 mL bottle passata

For the spices, this is a general idea of what I used but I think I adjusted after tasting, so I recommend you do the same thing.

  • 1tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • generous squeeze of lime
  • 1 tsp chili powder
In the end, it was really missing the mint, so I'll know for the next time to make this when mint is readily available to me. Otherwise, the results were fantabulicious and I got 9 servings in total. Which means I got 12 meals from one measly carcass - awesome! I am cheap and proud of it!


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