Sunday, February 3, 2013

Spam and rice

This is one of my  husband's favorites.  Frankly, I don't care for it, but there might be some folks out there that might find that they like this. 


1 cup of rice
2 tblspns butter
1 can of Spam
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 red pepper finely chopped
1/4 large onion finely chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon EVOO

Cut of up the spam in small pieces.  I cut three length-wise, and then cut the long pieces into pieces so I have small cubes.

Warm up a pan with 1 tbsp of EVOO.  Cook the onion, pepper, and spam tidbits until the spam is brown on all sides.  You will have to stir the mix from time to time to get all the pieces browned.

After the spam/pepper/onion mix is browned (NOT BURNT) add the brown sugar and toss to coat the spam/pepper/onion mix.  Then add the ketchup.  Stir until all the pieces of spam are coated.  Cover and simmer on low heat until the rice is cooked.

RICE -- cook rice.  1 cup of rice and 2 cups of water.  Boil the water and add the butter.  When the water reaches a boil add the rice.  Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

Put some rice in a bowl and add some of the rice mixture.

I use the word "some" because portions can vary depending on how much a person wants to eat. 

This should serve two adults and two children.

If you have more adults, double the recipe.

Remember, my husband loves this dish.  Me?  Not so much.  So test it out and see if you like it. 


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Chicken a la King

One of my dad's favorite dinners was chicken a la king, aka, creamed chicken with peas and pimentos in the cream sauce.

I haven't made this dish for at least 40 years.  It wasn't one of Alan's favorites back then, but since he is enjoying chipped beef (in cream sauce) on toast, I thought I'd try the dish again.

We probably had this particular dish at least once a month -- none of the children, except for me, particularly liked the dish, but then I liked just about everything my mom cooked (except cow's tongue).
Instead of pouring it over toast, she would make biscuits and we would pour it over biscuits, sort of like biscuits and gravy, except the gravy was loaded with chicken instead of sausage.

It's a very easy dish to make and I have modified it, using half and half instead of the creamy, whole milk, my mom used.  I think our half and half is akin to the milk I had as a child, since the cream rose to the top of the bottle, and mom would shake it into the milk which settled to the bottom of the bottle. 

2 cups 1/2 and 1/2
1/2 chicken boiled and removed from the bones
1/2 cup peas
2 pimentos (jarred) cut up into very small pieces
butter and flour to thicken the milk
salt and pepper to taste

Take 1 tablespoon butter and 2 tablespoons of flour -- melting the butter and putting the flour into the melted butter, stirring until the flour is well mixed into the butter.  Slowly add the 1/2 and 1/2, whisking lightly until it thickens -- this should be done over a medium heat.  After the milk  (1/2 and 1/2) is thickened, add the chicken which you have shredded after removing from the bones, the peas and the pimento to heat through.  Salt and pepper to taste.  That's it.

Pour over biscuits or toast or puff pastry.  Your choice.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ham and cheese on French toast

French toast was always a favorite of mine.  My mom made great French toast.  She didn't make it very often, but it was a treat when she did.  She would add cinnamon sugar to the egg/milk wash, and she would t whip the egg/milk/sugar/and cinnamon mixture up until it was frothy.

When she made the sandwich, however, she did not use the cinnamon or the sugar.

To make this great supper to serve with soup of any kind, you need:

Eggs (2 for four sandwiches)
Milk about 1 cup (for four sandwiches)

Preheat your pan or pancake griddle so that butter melts but does not turn brown

Put together the sandwiches: on  a slice of bread (your choice of white, wheat, whole grain, etc) put one piece of thinly sliced boiled or baked ham and one slice of American or Swiss cheese, then cover that with another slice of bread.  Using tongs (mom used baby-bottle tongs--the things she stuck in boiling water to get the bottles out of the water after being sterilized) grab the sandwich further over than the middle (so that the sandwich doesn't flop open) and quickly dip the sandwich in the egg wash.  Note:  you can get a nice pair of tongs at Krogers.

Put on prepared grill/pan.  After the first side sizzles (about one minute) turn it over and grill the other side until browned (about one minute).

Eat with a couple of pickles on the side, and a cup of soup.



Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Not so hungry

I'm not at all hungry and I really don't like cooking when I have no desire to eat anything I cook, but I have to do it.

My mom probably felt that way most of the time when I was growing up because while she ate with the family, she hardly ate anything, and when I was old enough she left cooking up to me.

Tonight I'm making pork chops -- nothing exceptional, just fried chops, no coating, just a little EVOO in the pan and some spices added to the EVOO, then I put in the seasoned pork chops and brown them on each side, cover them, and lower the heat and cook for 15 more windows.

I'll add some peas, a salad, and some mashed potatoes (Bob Evans, not my own).

This dinner will have me recalling a steamy kitchen in the summer and the closeness of all six of us sitting and eating dinner at that table in that tiny kitchen.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Chicken Curry

I haven't made chicken curry (or any curry for that matter) for years. But, I had a coupon for coconut milk, a product I don't normally buy, so I'm trying to think of ways to use it up. It was a two-for, so I have to use up a gallon of the stuff by the middle of July. I guess I need to go to my favorite recipe Website and find some recipes.

However, chicken curry is very easy to make.

Buy a couple of tablespoons of your favorite curry powder (if you go to a spice shop), or buy a small container of it in the spice section of your grocery store. You will need 2 tablespoons for this recipe, and it isn't very spicy-hot.

First, the chicken needs to be simmered until it is cooked through. I prefer chicken breasts with the bone in for this because the bones seem to give more flavor to the chicken. I suggest one whole breast for two people.

After the chicken is cooked and cooled (you can flash cool it in a bowl of ice water, or just wait until it's cool enough to touch) you need to cut it into bite-size pieces.

Take the juice that is left from the simmer of the chicken and add 1 cup of coconut milk and 2 Tblspns of curry. Salt and pepper to taste. Return the chicken pieces to this concoction and simmer again until the liquid has reduced by 1/2. This will thicken the sauce. Serve over rice.

We like condiments with our curry such as peanuts or cashews, scallions or chives, fresh chopped basil, tomato pieces (like for a guacamole, small sized bits), chopped avacado, raisins or dried cranberries. You just put any of these on top of the rice/curry and enjoy.

NOTE: If you like hot curry, add some hot sauce to taste. This will change the flavor of the curry/coconut mixture. But some people prefer it this way.


Monday, February 28, 2011


I used to hate this stuff, but since my taste buds have matured, I am now really loving sauerkraut.

My mom used to make it much too often for me, but my dad loved it, so we had to have it occasionally. Mom's recipe was quite simple. No, she didn't make her own kraut. Wait! I think she tried to make her own one summer, but we all couldn't stand the smell and at that time our family/TV room was in the basement, and that's where she was brewing the kraut.

Anyway, I can smell it now. I'm making it for dinner tonight because my husband loves it as well.

Before I give you my recipe, let me tell you when I really started to enjoy eating sauerkraut. It was the first time I went to Izzy's (a sandwich shop in Cincinnati). In Philadelphia if you ordered a corned beef on rye you got a side of cole slaw to put on the sandwich. Yummmm.

But in Cincinnati, each table had a large tub of sauerkraut and a large tub of sliced Jewish pickles. So when you ordered a corned beef on rye you got sauerkraut to go with it, or you could just eat the sauerkraut as a side. It was so much better on the sandwich than the cole slaw.

Tonight I'm making sauerkraut. Whether it's the way my mom made it exactly, I'm not certain, but it will taste really, really good.

First, I brazed three medium sized pork chops (I usually use left-over pork roast) and let them cook for 15 minutes so there was a lot of pan drippings. I added 3/4 cup of water to the pot and let it simmer for 15 minutes, then I thickened the drippings (plus the water) with some cornstarch. I added 1 tablespoon of Kitchen Bouquet. Then I spread the sauerkraut over the top of the chops and gravy. I used Bavarian style canned kraut. It's a little sweet, but Alan prefers it to the regular canned stuff. After it simmers for about two hours, it will be ready and the meat will fall off the bones of the chops and I can pull the meat apart.

Anyway, that's it. Hope you can convince your family that the awful smelling stuff really does taste good.


Thursday, February 17, 2011


I do not particularly like meatloaf. At least none that I've tasted other than my mom's. I haven't had good meatloaf in any restaurant, diner, drive-in, or dive, mainly because I'm not particularly fond a tomato/ketchup topping or infusion in the loaf. Alan often orders meatloaf and I at least try a bite or two of what he received, so I have tasted many meatloaves.

My mom made one kind of meatloaf and when I had children I made another kind, one that they all loved, and so did my husband. I tolerated it.

My mom's meatloaf was just plain. Ground beef, seasoned bread crumbs, chopped onion, chopped parsley, salt, pepper, and that was it. All that got mixed together with one egg for moisture, I suppose. And then it was shaped into a loaf.

She did not bake the loaf, but rather browned both sides on top of the stove using a small bit of olive oil so the loaf wouldn't stick to the pan. Then she'd cover the pan for about 1 hour, turn the heat on low and wait. It made quite a bit of au jus which was made into gravy. A nice dark brown gravy.

That's my preferred method for making meatloaf and Alan wolfs it down, but smothers it with ketchup. I smother it with gravy.

The kind of meatloaf I made by children when they were growing up was made with Lays Bar-B-Que potato chips, smashed into small pieces, onion, Bar-B-Que sauce for moisture, salt and pepper. That was it. Mixed all that together, and shaped it into a loaf. That meatloaf WAS baked in an oven for about 1 hour at 325. It always turned out really nice. Slicing it was a breeze -- no crumbling. And the children and Alan liked it especially if they could add more BBQ sauce. I tolerated it, but filled up on the sides, which were usually mashed potatoes, peas, and some sort of salad.

If you're wondering what made me think of Meatloaf today. There's a new freebie on Kindle -- 25 Ways to Make Meatloaf. I don't think I'm going to get that book.