Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Caddywampus's why

This site has me beat and I cannot do any better.


Monday, November 20, 2006

Chicken Parmesean: A lot easier than you'd think

OK, so I've seen my wife make this a couple of time and I thought I'd give it a shot. More to the point, I ended up doing it. Yes, I was sceered of screwing it's Chicken Parmesan for goodness sake.

4 chicken breasts
1 Cup flour (all purpose)
2 Cups Italian Bread Crumbs
2-3 eggs beaten
2 Tbl spoons EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
1 jar marinara sauce
1 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese (not the powdery stuff)

First pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Then, take some saran wrap and put it on top of 2 plates (this is a good trick to make clean-up go quicker) pour bread crumbs on plate and flour on the other. Put eggs in square dish or wide bowl, beat w/fork or whisk. Now, take about 2 feet of saran wrap and place chicken breast and fold it over. Take a meat hammer (tenderizer) and pound the chicken flat. (Trust me!)

Now, dredge the chicken in the flour, dip it in the egg wash and then in the bread crumbs....set it up like an assembly line. Just so you know, I made the mistake of only using the bread crumbs. I did bread crumb, egg, bread crumb style of breading, but after talking with my friend Tim...he reminded me that the flour is like the primer for breading. Any time you're going to bread anything, dredge it in flour first; this helps the breading stick. That's what caused my breading to come off so easy.

While you were breading your meat, you should have a skillet heating up the EVOO. When that's good and hot, place the chicken in the skillet about 2-3 minutes per side. Once you have all your chickies browned, place in 9"x13" pan, pour jar of marinara over it and coat the top of that with cheese. Place in oven (hopefully pre-heated to 350 degrees) and cook for about 20 minutes. That should give you plenty of time to get the angel hair pasta cooked al dente (or whichever stringy pasta). Once the cheese is melty and browning on top, remove from oven and serve over pasta.

Open a nice red (Cabernet is a typically a good choice) and impress your friends with your culinary know how.

Has anyone tried any of the other two?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

On a Whim, try something you haven't before

The other night, I had some pork tenderloin chops I needed to cook. I was trying to think of the best way to season them and looked in my pantry to find balsamic vinegar. Now, at the time I couldn't think of why I wanted to try it, but I did. I think I remembered that it would sweeten the foot as it was cooked.

So, I sprinkled some Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), balsamic vinegar, worchestire, then I seasoned it with minced garlic and pepper on top of these chops. After letting that sit for a bit, I took my skillet coated the bottom with EVOO and let it get good and hot. While that was working I turned my oven up to 400 degrees farenheit. (By the way, the idea of pan searing a steak and popping it in the oven to finish it off is the best thing my wife ever got out of Cosmo.)

Once your EVOO is hot, place the chops in for 3-4 minutes on one side to sear the juices in; flip them and pop the entire skillet into the oven for approx. 6-8 minutes. (You want the pork to be done; however, they will increase in temperature as they rest out of the oven. Also, trichinosis has not been found in pork in the US in quite some time....maybe a dozen year.)

This is a great marinade for steaks too! After you cook the meat, you can add water, wine and some mushrooms to the remnant in the skillet for a great sauce.

Try it, people.....and thanks for visiting the Caddywampus Cafe

Just for everyone's information, I will be adding writers to this blog as I would love this to be as interactive as possible. I've got one contributor and would love to have more. Please welcome Timbywa when he shows up!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Fritatta (with whatever)

Over in A New Beginning, I talked about making a Fritatta, which is an open faced Italian omlette. Here's how I do it...I'm not sure if it's right, but it sure does taste good.

2 Tbl spoons of butter (divided)
6 eggs
1/4 Cup of Milk
1 Cup of Cheese
1/4 cup of Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to your liking (I use cyenne and garlic salt-sometimes)
3-4 slices of ham diced
1/2 med-lg avacado
1/2 bag of spinach (w/out ecoli, please)
3 chopped green onions

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Get 10" omlette (or skillet) pan hot and melt 1T of butter, brown diced ham while doing step 1a.
1a. Beat eggs, stir in milk and continue beating egs (just for a moment or two)
2. Set ham aside and melt remainder of butter.
3. Pour eggs in omlette pan
4. When bottom of eggs seem set, sprinkle ham throughout eggs; repeat with remainder of ingredients
5. Slide skillet into oven until eggs set and cheese browns on top. (Should take about 6-8 minutes)
6. Remove from oven and slide on to FLAT cutting board or plate.
7. Slice, let cool and enjoy.

Now there are lots of ways to make a frittata. Some include dicing potatoes and onions and frying up in a pan before hand. One could use sausage or whatever type of meat you'd like to use. I need to try it with crab, shrimp or lobster....I have seen it prepared with cooked pasta and sun dried tomatoes, but that was a little weird to me. I guess, it's a starch like potatoes.

Someone try this....let me know if you liked it!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Welcome to the Caddywampus Cafe!!

This is the beginning of a dream. Of course after a short stint as a part time manager of the Cedar Creek Inn restaurant, I decided to keep this as a place only in my head. That is, until now. Now it will be a place online to share food stories, opinions, reviews and recipies.

I love to cook for my family and friends. It's kind of like playing music in the sense that the preparation is like recording a song and watching the face of the consumer when the first bite is consumed. You know yourself that something is tasty and you just want someone else to try it.

In my kitchen, I like to just play around and see what kind of good food I can make without having to make a special trip to the store. So far I haven't made too many stinkers; however, there have been a few. (My attempt at a Justin Wilson's home made roux was just sad....I'm sure it was me and not the recipe.)

Anyway, I hope to add some other people to help me with this and make this a community more than me yanking my own chain.

Thanks for coming to the Caddywampus Cafe and we hope to see you again.