Monday, October 12, 2009

Sweet and Sour Chicken

This was always a favorite in my house growing up. My mom made it when we were young, and eventually found an easier recipe that just didn't taste as good. My brother's, sister's and my favorite is now back!

What you'll need:
4 pieces boneless chicken breast (fresh or frozen will both work)
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 chopped onion
3 Tbsp ketchup
3 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp cornstarch

1. In a large frying pan, over medium heat, saute chopped onion, in oil, until soft.
2. In a small bowl combine ketchup, sugar, soy sauce, lemon juice, and black pepper. Add this mixture to the onion in the skillet.
3. Add the chicken to the pan. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, and simmer for 25 to 35 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked.
4. Remove the chicken from the pan and put on serving platter.
5. Dissolve cornstarch with 2 Tbsp water, and add to pan with sauce.
6. Bring the sauce to a boil, stirring constantly, until thickened.
7. Slice chicken into strips.
8. Pour sauce over chicken and serve warm.

Cream Porter Chili

This recipe was adapted from the chili recipe that can be found previously in this blog. We wanted to try making it with a porter beer that our local brewery makes.

What you'll need:
2 pounds ground beef or turkey
1 small green pepper
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
1/4 to 1/3 cup chili powder
2 cans stewed tomatoes (drained)
2 cans kidney beans (drained)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 bottle porter beer (you won't use the whole thing)

1. Chop up onions and green peppers.
2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet.
3. Fry onion, pepper, garlic, and meat until meat is cooked.
4. Pour meat/vegetable mixture into crock pot.
5. After draining tomatoes, replace drained fluid with porter.
6. Empty tomatoes and kidney beans into crock pot.
7. Pour in some extra porter. The more you use the thinner the chili will turn out..
8. Allow to simmer for a few hours.
9. Serve and enjoy.

Mulled Cider

We had a party this weekend where we served mulled cider. The cider was awesome, and we've been drinking it ever since. We made this in the crock pot. I adapted a stove-top recipe for it. The next time I make this cider I plan to remove the spices a bit earlier in the process. After 8+ hours in the cider the spice flavor was a bit too strong.

What you'll need:

8 cups cider
4 Tbsp light brown sugar or honey
22 whole cloves
11 lemon slices (I cut the lemon into eighths, so you'll need about 1-1/2 lemons)
10 cinnamon sticks
1 cup light rum

1. Put 2 cloves into each lemon slice. I make a small cut in the rind of the lemon to slide the end of the clove into.
2. Put all ingredients into the crock pot and stir.
3. Allow to cook on low heat for a few hours.
4. Once the cider is warm and all of the flavors have integrated, remove the cinnamon and lemon.
5. Serve hot. More rum can be added at the bottom of each cup before pouring the cider in. To dress up the mug serve with a cinnamon stick in it.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

This dip was delicious. Everyone who came to the party that I served this at asked for the recipe.

What you'll need:
8 ounce package of cream cheese
2 cups cooked chicken
2 Tbsp butter-melted
1/2 cup hot sauce
1/2 cup ranch dressing (you can substitute blue cheese dressing if you prefer that)
1/4-1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

1. Cover the bottom of a glass dish 9x9 or larger.
2. In a medium sized bowl combine the chicken, hot sauce, and butter and pour the mixture over the cream cheese.
3. Top with just enough ranch dressing and mozzarella cheese to cover. Be careful to not use too much cheese or it will be difficult to dip anything.
4. Cook in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until cheese bubbles.
5. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving warm.