A Brit, a Yank and a Kitchen

Sunday, January 28

Tori No Kara-Age

This has been a long time favorite of mine.

Back in 98.. when I was living on my own for the first time.. and was teaching myself how to cook.. I discovered this website. Even though they havent updated it in years, it is still by far one of my favorite places to go for unusual but simple recipes.

To me.. this is the ultimate chicken nugget.
For the original recipe, step by step photos, and a charming story... click here.

  • 2 tablespoons soy-sauce
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger-juice
  • 2 tablespoons Sake
  • 0.5-1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2-2.5 tablespoons Katakuriko (potato starch)
  • 1 piece of minced garlic

  • Combine all ingredients and marinate... for one hour to overnight.

    Sometimes I will roll the chicken in flour before frying... sometimes not... it all depends on my mood. But I think I prefer it without the flour.

    Preheat oil on medium heat (160 C). Deep-fry chicken until golden brown about 3-5 minutes.

    Tuesday, January 23

    Deviled Chicken

    I've been having alot of fun with my new Silver Spoon cookbook. Some of the recipes just read so stupidly simple.. I wonder if there were steps left out. This was one of those recipes.

    As much as I was positive it wouldnt work right... the chicken wouldnt cook all the way through... it would dry out... the skin would get soggy... it did work. And it worked perfectly.

    Although the flavors werent exactly what I'd considered deviled.... there actually wasnt much to it at all... I almost wonder if the American version of chili powder is different from the Italian version of chili powder.

    Heat 3 T olive oil in a large cast iron skillet. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and fry in the oil on both sides until nice and golden, about 15 mins. Generously sprinkle chili powder on both sides, reduce the heat and continue cooking for 45 minutes, turning frequently.

    Easy right?

    Sunday, January 21

    Steak & Kidney Pie

    Let me just take this moment to say raw beef kidney smells like shit. Literally. So much so that I fear that I may be put off from kidney!!!! =( I'd never handled raw kidney before... and I mean it makes sense that it should smell that way... but really... I wasnt expecting it to be THAT obvious.

    Okay.. now that I have you all good and appetized for some shitty offal... let me tell you about this FANTASTIC Steak & Kidney pie!!!

    Don't get me wrong... I really like Steak & Kidney pie... and even more importantly.. its one of Dave's all time favorites. So I put my mind to it that I would make Dave a good steak and kidney pie, since I'd found some kidneys at Wal-Mart.

    I dug up a recipe from one of Dave's old school Brit cookbooks.... and modified it a bit since I am too much of a slacker to make my own crust! It turned out to be a really, really, good pie... even if it did smell like poo.

    Steak & Kidney Pie

    1 large onion, chopped
    3 ounces butter
    1.25 lbs beef stew meat
    .5 lb kidneys, cut into pieces
    1/3 C flour, seasoned with salt & pepper
    1 Bayleaf
    1 T parsley
    1 T Worcestershire sauce
    1.5 C beef stock (I just used OXO)
    2 T tomato puree

    Fry the onion in the butter til well browned. Set aside.
    Toss the steak and kidneys in flour, and saute lightly... transfer to a casserole. Add onion to meats. Add bayleaf, parsley and a generous sprinkling of salt & pepper.
    Mix the stock with the worcestershire sauce and tomato puree and pour it over the meat mixture. Cover and simmer in a 325 degree oven for one hour or until the meat is just tender. Remove and allow to cool.

    Place a sheet of puff pastry over top... poke a hole in the middle, and brush with a whisked egg.
    Place in the oven at 425 degrees for 20 minutes or until the pastry shell is golden.

    Friday, January 19

    Iron Chef Mom: Meatloaf Challenge

    Apparently... when I posted about my Alton Brown meatloaf a couple of weeks back.. my mom took it as a challenge. So she invited Dave and I over for a meatloaf throwdown.

    Oh mommy dearest... please forgive me for my silly statement that Alton's meatloaf is better than yours... after all.. it had been about 15 years since I last tried your meatloaf... and I wonder how I forgot its meatloaf masterpieceness.

    Ironically... after she told me her recipe.. it turns out it is almost EXACTLY like Altons. Great culinary minds must think alike. Although.. mom did some things I liked that Alton did not.. for instance, she left nice big chunks of carrot in her meatloaf.. which gave a nice texture... with some bites having little surprise crunchies stashed away to discover. However she doesnt glaze her meatloaf.... and I do believe if we took my mom's meatloaf.. and covered it with Alton's glaze... we would have .. THE MOST AWESOMEST MEATLOAF..... IN THE WORLD!!!!

    Stay tuned... because I do intend to make said meatloaf.

    Monday, January 15

    $20 Groceries Round 2

    So we're on to week 2 of the $20 grocery budget! And I think I am starting to get good at this!
    It was off to Wal-Mart again... and I was looking forward to what the innard section would offer me. It seems it is sort of luck of the draw when it comes to that section... they had a different selection... ox tail... beef tongue... but unfortunately the prices were higher.... for instance the tongue was just over $7. I did score some more chicken livers... and just as I was starting to feel a bit defeated I spied the motherload of chicken.

    $4.70 for TEN POUNDS of chicken leg quarters. TEN POUNDS!!! I kept looking over the price tag to see if I wasnt reading something right. When I was checking out I was waiting for the real price to ring up.. and when it didnt.. I felt the need to run quickly from the store before they realized their horrible pricing mistake.

    chicken loot.

    I divided it up into zip bags, two quarters each bag.. enough for one meal for both Dave and I.... it filled 5 bags. I think I might be able to show up Mr. Dollar a day!
    So now I get to figure out all different ways to cook these birds up! Definitely doing fried chicken in my skillet one night. I'm also going to take advantage of the 20+ pages of chicken recipes in the Silver Spoon. :)

    In the end, this was the grocery list:

    Cabbage - $1.33
    Bananas - $.69
    Kale - $1.38
    Carrots - $.76
    Celery - $1.44
    Chicken Livers - $1.33
    Beef Stew Meat - $4.64
    10 lb Chicken Leg Quarters - $4.70
    Eggs - $1.98
    Milk - $2.09

    Grand Total - $21.56

    Sunday, January 14

    Cheesy Grits and Eggs

    This is one of my favorite breakfasts. Unfortunately, Dave isnt a big fan of grits or polenta... so I only have it when he is away.. or isnt hungry for breakfast. The latter was the case this morning... so yay for me! ;-)

    I tried making my eggs a different way this morning, instead of frying them... I got the Silver Spoon cookbook yesterday, and in it is a recipe for "shirred" eggs. Basically just stick the eggs in the oven at 325 for 5 mins and voila. I think they produced perfectly shaped and cooked eggs!

    For the grits-

    half a cup of grits (or polenta... but grits are better =P)
    2 cups of milk
    a knob of butter
    cheese (about half a cup shredded... I used glouster and parmesan today)
    3 chopped scallions
    dash of garlic powder
    salt & pepper to taste

    Cook the grits and milk with onion and garlic powder until they start to get creamy. Add butter til melted. Add cheese til melted. Salt & pepper to taste. Serve with eggs on top!


    Saturday, January 13

    Chicken & Cream of Mushroom Soup over Rice

    Just in case you guys think I always cook all fancy.. I'm gonna dash away all your dreams!
    I am sure everyone who was a kid in the US was fed a concoction similar to this one at some point in their lives. I'm sure it has.. or once had a proper name.. and it seems everyone cooks it a little different. I was the odd ball though, my mom never fed this to me... and I had never tried it until I moved out into the world on my own. I had a room-mate who would cook everything.. a whole chicken... like 4 cans of cream of mushroom soup... several packets of powdered French onion soup mix... lots of milk.. and lots of rice... she'd stick the whole thing in the oven on low all day... and in the evening we'd all dig in... picking out little bones. I thought she was a genious. We all always begged her to cook it for us.

    Since then I've tried other people's versions... and all of them said their mom used to make it all the time. Some did it in casserole dishes... some in slow cookers.... but none quite like my old room mate.

    I never have figured out how to make it the same way she did.... but this is the way I've found I like it. Definitely not haute cuisine... but it is a comforting dinner..... and cheap!!C'mon... get it touch with the white trash inside.. you can do it! You know youve got those cans of mushroom soup lurking in the pantry! And dont you even try to deny that is a packet of powdered onion soup mix hiding in that dark corner of your cupboard!

    If anyone knows what the heck this thing is called... please fill me in!


    2 cans cream of mushroom soup
    1 packet French onion soup mix
    1 cup milk
    1 cup chicken broth
    4 chicken thighs

    cook rice (I like Jasmine)

    Put all of the ingredients except the rice in a slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.

    If you want to pick the bones out before serving... go for it (I do)....

    Serve chicken over rice with the mushroom soup concoction ladled over top.

    Thursday, January 11

    Amanda's Mac & Cheese.. sort of

    So... I totally ganked this recipe from Amanda over at What We're Eating, and it became what me and Dave were eating. I had to modify it though... since I didnt have all the fancy pants ingredients she used.... but I did have enough stuff stashed away in the fridge that I could make something close enough!

    I modified the cheeses... used Parmesan, Gorgonzola, Valencay (chevre), and Double Gloucester... I also used plain button mushrooms in place of the crimini and shitake... cheapo canned Italian bread crumbs in place of the panko.... nixed the truffle oil... but hey! I did have some goose fat in the freezer from Christmas so I used that in place of the bacon fat! MUAHAA!! Oh.. and I also threw in some chopped up leftover turkey.

    Totally awesome recipe Amanda!!!!

    Wednesday, January 10

    Southern Fried Chicken Livers

    This was our dinner Monday night... even though its a bit ghetto... fried chicken livers always was.. and probably always will be.. one of my favorite methods of consuming innards.

    The house smelled sooooo good while these bad boys were frying up... and I was happy to get to use one of my christmas presents from Dave, a cast iron skillet.

    I am so happy there is still another half pound of chicken livers left.. because I am soo making this again next week.

    Oh.. and never you mind that beer that cost half as much as the entire weeks groceries!

    Southern Fried Chicken Livers
    1/2 lb chicken livers
    2 tablespoons kosher salt
    2 tablespoons paprika
    2 teaspoons garlic powder
    1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    Flour, for dredging
    Shortening, for frying

    Melt shortening in a 12-inch cast iron skillet or heavy fry pan over medium heat.

    Combine salt, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Liberally season livers with this mixture. Dredge livers in flour and shake off excess.

    Place livers into the pan and fry until cooked through, turning once.... dont overcook them, or they'll turn out chewy and bitter.

    Drain livers on a rack over a sheet pan lined with paper towels.

    We had this with mashed potatoes and mustard greens cooked in pork stock, sprinkled with vinegar.

    Tuesday, January 9

    $20 for Groceries for a Week

    Dave challenged me. I accepted.

    Ring the dong, cause we're on like Donkey Kong!

    Now.. I'm not one to take the easy way out and just buy a bunch of ramen and kraft. I wanted to do this and still use REAL FOOD. So I went through my cupboards to see what could be stretched through the next week... a wide array of seasonings... some pasta, noodles and macaroni... and bajillion different cheeses... and of course staples like milk, butter, flour.. a lifetime supply of cream of mushroom soup. "I can do this".. I thought.

    So I set off early on Sunday morning to my least favorite store in the world... Super Wal-Mart. But my little bit of research online on the topic "$20 grocery list" told me that Wal-Mart was the way to go... even if I can seriously feel my I.Q. drop and any bit of class I might have melt away as I walk through the huge sliding glass doors.

    But as I perused the sadly plastic wrapped uniform cuts of meat... lo and behold my eyes spied an entire shelf of organ meats. It was as if the Offal Gods were smiling down on me and my $20 budget challenge... oh yes... we would win. The shelves were LOADED with innards I didnt think could be found outside of ethnic markets miles away from my little white bread town. Beef kidney... tripe... seperately packaged chicken hearts, gizzards.. and turkey necks!

    Oh yes I am sure you all are sure I've lost it now.... but I have to take Bourdain's side on this one. Offal is some good shit. Okay not literally... but you get the point.

    In the end... this was the loot...

    5 lbs Russet Potatoes $2.24
    3 lbs yellow onions $1.98
    Jasmine Rice $1.54
    Mustard Greens $.98
    6 Chicken Thighs $3.06
    Stew Beef $3.35
    Chicken Livers $1.33
    Beef Kidney (3 whole) $2.35
    Green Onions $1.17

    Grand Total (after tax) $18.00

    Now.. what am I making with the above grub you ask?
    Well this is the weeks menu-

    Fried Chicken Livers, mashed potatoes & Mustard Greens

    Home made Mac & Cheese

    Chicken Thighs slow cooked in cream of mushroom soup over rice

    Soba Noodles with stir fried brocolli

    Chicken Teriyaki

    Steak & Kidney Pie

    The best part is there is still half a pound of chicken livers.. and another 2 kidneys that I can stretch over to next week..... might Dave take a challenge part 2??

    Saturday, January 6

    Cookin yer Goose!

    I know its pretty late for a Christmas post... but for the past couple weeks we had company in.. Dave's family to be exact... visiting from the UK. So needless to say the last thing on my mind was jumping online and blogging about all the face stuffing Ive been doing! And there was a LOT! Unfortunately... I didnt do much photographing... didnt want to freak out the future in-laws too much by my strange habits of taking shots of everything I eat... I know they thought it was strange enough that I seem to enjoy being in the kitchen a little too much.

    But I did want to share that I decided to go out on a limb and cook a goose for Christmas! Even though Dave nor I had ever had goose, at least that we could remember!

    The goose was fantastic!! I definitely think it will become a Christmas tradition in our home... a welcome break from turkey and ham. And a major bonus was that I managed to trim loads of fat off the goose before I cooked it... now I have a nice stash of goose fat in the freezer to use at my leisure... mmm...

    Ahhh... above is Dave's plate.
    At 12 is the brussels sprouts Dave's mom made with her uber-top-secret recipe... good gawd they were good... like butter in the center...mmmm.
    3 o clock is honey glazed carrots... using the same recipe I used for Thanksgiving that went over very well with my dad and sister. This is the recipe I use... I omit the parsnips.
    At 7 and hugging the left of the plate is some goose breast. I think its flavor falls somewhere between duck and turkey... VERY yummy. I'm not sure why its not more popular. This was the recipe I used for the goose... I also made the caramelized apples... I think those are hiding between 1 & 2 o-clock.
    Smack in the middle is mashed taters.. also courtesy of Dave's mom. I made gravy following the recipe below... probably the best gravy recipe I have ever found.. and finally gives me an excuse to use up ALL of the giblets.. neck included!

    The Most Awesomest Gravy EVAR

    Reserved neck, heart and gizzard
    6 cups water
    3 1/2 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
    2 carrots, coarsely chopped
    1 onion, halved
    1 large celery stalk, chopped
    1 small bay leaf

    5 tablespoons butter
    5 tablespoons all purpose flour

    Place reserved neck, heart and gizzard into large saucepan. Add 6 cups water, 3 1/2 cups chicken broth, carrots, onion, celery and bay leaf. Simmer over medium heat until stock is reduced to 3 cups, about 2 hours. Strain stock into bowl; reserve neck and giblets. Pull meat off neck. Chop neck meat and giblets.

    Melt 5 tablespoons butter (or some of that reserved fat!! mmmm!!) in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add 5 tablespoons all purpose flour and whisk 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in stock and up to 1 cup reserved pan juices (juices are salty, so add according to taste). Simmer gravy until thickened to desired consistency, whisking occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add chopped turkey neck meat and giblets; season to taste with pepper.