Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Oven Fried Chicken


I am the "fried chicken queen". Not that I have cooked much of it through the years .... I just love to EAT IT!!!!
I have to say that fried chicken has been my one single downfall from time to time while traveling or for that matter the famous Murph's Gaslight in Bermuda Dunes, CA near where we live. I have liked this style as it does not have a heavy coating.
My mother and grandmother were famous for their fried chicken so growing up we consumed our fair share. I'm sure it, among other southern cooking is why I must do my best now to recreate some of our family favorites into a healtier version.
I have played around with several variations and combinations for fried chicken, nuggets and strips. I am always partial to bone in although I have landed on this one and it works fabulously for all of them.

Ingredients:
4 chicken breast halves
   or 1 whole chicken cut up
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups almond flour- fine
3/4 cp Parmesan cheese-fine
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp Celtic salt
1/2 tsp pepper
olive oil spray

Preperation:
Preheat oven 350.
  • Spray a foil lined baking sheet with olive oil spray.
  • Mix eggs in medium bowl. Mix almond flour with the rest of the dry ingredients in another medium bowl.
  • Cut chicken breast halves into 3 pieces each.
  • Dip the pieces into egg mixture then coat with almond coating. (I will often divide almond mixture into two batches as it helps keep it from getting wet clumps into the mixture which enables it to cling to the chicken better)
  • Place chicken onto baking sheet
  • Spray tops of breded chicken with more olive oil spray.
  • Bake 20-25 minutes. For a crispy outside, turn broiler on low and broil each side for 5 minutes. Keep a close eye on it.
In my freezer
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I like to double this recipe and freeze it on a pan right after breading the chicken. When it is frozen I put it in a Ziploc to bake at a later date. Couldn't be easier.
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 I served this with a creamed spinach that was fabulous to dip the bites of fried chicken into.
Recipe to follow

Monday, October 29, 2012

Twice Baked Cauliflower


Ok, I know these are not actually baked twice but you or any of your guests will never know it when you get done this fabulous concoction. This is actually the same recipe that we have done for years for our potatoes at Christmas and Thanksgiving. It as well is my husbands 1st choice with a nice big roast featured in my previous post. So I recreated it a couple of years ago with cauliflower and he is one happy guy. He has never even asked to go back to the actual potatoes.
We usually make a big batch of this dish because we love the left overs as much or more than the 1st night.

Ingredients:
1 head cauliflower
1/2 Bacon Ends and Pieces-medium chunks
4 oz cream cheese
4 TBS butter
2 green onions-sliced1 cp sharp cheddar cheese-shredded
Salt, Pepper to taste


I have seen many different variations of this dish in the LC world. We all seem to have our own version of it and each one as yummy as the other.

Preparation:
Preheat oven 350
Steam cauliflower on stove top until well tender. Thoroughly drain.
Cut and brown bacon on stove top. Do not over cook as it will still be baked further in the oven.
Whip cauliflower well with mixer, add butter, cream cheese and 1/2 cp cheddar cheese and mix until smooth. If needed add a bit of cream. Add bacon and green onion and blend in.

Pour mixture into a casserole dish.  Bake for 25-30 min. Sprinkle with rest of cheddar cheese 1/2 way through.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Perfect Roast

A roast really is one of the least labor intensive items to cook. I often get a call from one of my girls..... "Mom, tell me exactly how to cook this particular roast again". So our family loves meat....and goes crazy over a good roast.
If you have read very many of my posts you may have come across the fact that we lived on a farm and raised our own meats. So when we sent our beef out to the butcher to hang for 21 days and cutting and wrapping we made sure to have lots of roasts cut. I was taught early on how to roast a perfect big prime rib or one of our favorite growing up was the rump roast. It is often referred now as a bottom round these days. We always prefer the bone in. It may be trickier to slice but gives much more flavor while cooking. Of course to get bone in these days, you often will need to special order.

Click for a larger view
The flavor of the "Rump Roast" is amazing although it is more economical as it is a bit tougher than the rib roast due to much less fat running through it because it is from the area of the beef that gets exercise more while walking and running. However growing up my father knew that cutting against the grain and slicing very thin resulted in fabulous servings of great taste.
We didn't have time to special order a "standing rump roast" (often referred to today as a botton roast) today so grabbed a nice rib roast. We try to find one that has a nice fat cap on top that will baste the roast as it cooks. This is not a roast for you if you are on a calorie restricted diet (go for the Rump) but for those of us adhering to low carb, either is perfect. 

The Perfect Roast
Rib, Rump, Bottom Round, Sirloin Roast
Olive Oil
Garlic puree
Preferred Seasoning-(I use Jocko's)
or kosher salt, pepper, garlic powder
Rosemary-to taste (optional)
If you have time, season the night before or a few hours before, cover and place in fridge. Not critical however will allow seasoning to penetrate. Then bring out to room temp 60 min before roasting.


  • Preheat oven 400 then turn down to 325 (after 20 min of cooking turn down to 325)
  • Smear olive oil over roast then smear garlic puree all over. Season with your seasonings. Sprinkle with rosemary if using it.
  • Insert a "leave in meat thermometer" into center of roast, not near a bone where you will be able to see it through oven glass while roasting. (Do not use an instant read so you do not have to keep opening the oven door to check temp).
  • Place in roaster with low sides on a wire rack to provide even airflow. Do not cover.

Rule of thumb
5lb Rib Roast
20 minutes pr pound for med rare (however since ovens cook differently check meat thermometer).
130-very rare
140-med rare
150-med
160-med well
170-very well
 
Take roast out 7-10 degrees from your desired temp as it will continue to cook after it comes out of the oven.
Let roast rest for 20 min before slicing as the meat molecules will reabsorb the juices that they have let go of during cooking. This will result in much juicier slices of meat instead of loosing all the juices onto the cutting board. 
Another Rule of thumb
Bone in Roasts
  1lb pr person
Boneless Roasts
  1/2 lb pr person
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We used to serve this fabulous meal with twice baked potatoes and a nice green slaw or salad. Since we are cutting the carbs we now serve it with twice cooked baked cauliflower. It truly tastes almost exactly the same. Not one person misses the potatoes. I will post the twice cooked cauliflower next my next post.
 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fall Gingerbread Scones

Yesterday my daughter came over and we did some baking experiments for the fall. She has a blog as well, featuring Organic, Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Clean eating. Check it out here The Girl Cooks Clean. Similar to The LC Kitchen although not quite as low carb.  Amber has some great recipes as well as research information that is very useful with this lifestyle of eating.

Since we created and baked together, and then I took the photos while Amber helped style and prop we thought it fitting to share on both blogs.


We wanted to bake something that launched fall for us here in the desert. Even though we have bright sunny days here right now, it has just turned to a crisp nip in the evening and mornings. I SMELL FALL!!!!
We landed on trying a gingerbread scone that we have seen several different recipes for. We made a couple of batches that were just not great when finally we landed on the tweaks we thought were amazing. The final combination was moist and had that wonderful gingerbread aroma and flavor. Not sure if a scone is supposed to be considered moist, but I gotta tell you, these are fabulous. You could of course make them round and turn them into cookies if you like. Either way, they make you envision "golden maple leaves floating in the air while you walk down the street wearing your favorite fall boots". I think there's a song in there somewhere.....
Cinnamon Coffee and Gingerbread. What could be better to launch the fresh fall season.

Ingredients
2 -1/8 cups almond flour/meal*
1/4 cup Swerve
(or your choice of sweetener)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 cup vanilla protein powder
1 large egg
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 TBS heavy cream
1 TBS 
Just Like Brown Sugar (or 2 tsp molasses)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract
 
*if dough is too wet then add 2 or 3 more TBS of almond meal/flour
 
Frosting:
2 TBS butter, soften
1/4 cup powdered swerve (OR your choice of sweetener)
1/4 tsp vanilla
4 oz cream cheese
 
 Preheat 325 / Servings 8
  • Whisk together almond flour, swerve, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and cloves in a large bowl.
  • Add eggs, butter, cream, brown sugar, vanilla, and stir until dough comes together
  • Form a ball out of the dough and turn out onto parchment-lined baking sheet and shape by hand into a rough circle (7-8 inch diameter).
  • Using a pizza cuter or knife, slice 8 even wedges and seperate carefully, then space evenly around the baking sheet.
  • Bake 18-20 minutes, or until scones are firm and lightly browned. (keep eye on the bottoms to make sure they don't burn)
  • Remove from oven, transfer to a wire rack and let cool.
Frosting:
  • For the frosting, mix butter, powder swerve, vanilla, and cream cheese.
    Spread over COOLED scone.



Monday, October 1, 2012

Jimmie Jan's Jalapeno Poppers


Cream Cheese Bacon Poppers
Mark and I had a sleepover at my sister's house a few days ago. She and her husband Rich live in Yelm, WA where you may remember we relocated my mother to a care facility a few months ago. I am able to go visit her and often stay at my sister's beautiful home. She is quite the Martha Stewart and is a LC'er as well, so we hang great together. 
When we got up in the morning she was in full swing cutting up Jalapeno peppers for a little breakfast snack. Jalapeno popper with cream cheese wrapped in bacon. Then while they were in the oven cooking she whipped together some homemade jam sweetened with our beloved Swerve. 
See, I told you....Martha Stewart.
These were a great morning treat and made the house smell fabulous. Could hardly wait for them to come out of the oven. I just had to do a little photo shoot, her kitchen has amazing light.

Ingredients:
12 fresh Jalapenos-halved & seeded
8 oz cream cheese-softened
1 pkg bacon-slightly thick




Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350°.
Cut and seed Jalapenos. It's a good idea to wear kitchen gloves for this.
Fill halved Jalapenos with cream cheese. Wrap with bacon.
Bake 45-60 minutes to desired crispness.


 Jimmie Jan will be launching her own blog soon showcasing her dishes made from an amazing all natural freeze dried product line she represents and uses to develop recipes. I'll keep you posted.