Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Chicken Nuggets

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/3 C cornstarch
1/3 C flour
3 T corn meal
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. paprika
3 eggs
1/4 C milk

Combine dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, beat eggs and milk together. Add to dry ingredients. Cut the chicken breasts into bite size pieces. About an inch to an inch and a half in size. In a large, deep skillet, heat some oil. Place the chicken into the batter and allow to sit for a few minutes. This will make for a more tender piece of chicken. Remove from batter and cook in the oil. Cook until golden brown. About 5-7 minutes. Remove and place on a paper towel to drain. Serve with your favorite dipping sauces.

*You can also use chicken tenders to make "fingers" or "strips" instead of nuggets. Something I thought of tonight (after I already made it, of course) was that I should have made the batter with buttermilk. It's a classic fried chicken ingredient and would definitely make the chicken more tender. I'm going to use it next time.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Beef Macaroni Bake

This is essentially Hamburger Helper from scratch. I like to make things like this when I want something fairly decent and edible, without a lot of prep time. It's dishes like this that dried minced onions are perfect for.

1 pound lean ground beef
1 package elbow macaroni
2 8 oz. cans tomato sauce (you may need a 3rd can, depending on how much moisture the pasta absorbs)
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
2 cups cheddar cheese
dried chopped onions to taste
Salt & Pepper
garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350. Cook the macaroni until al dente. Drain the water. Brown the hamburger with the dried chopped onions (I would say I use a couple of tablespoons of them), season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Drain off excess fat. Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, macaroni and half of the cheese. Mix well and pour into a 9 x 13 casserole dish you have sprayed with non-stick spray. Cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes, or until bubbly. Sprinkle remaining cup of cheese on top and bake until melted, or cover again with foil and let it stand until the cheese melts.