A Quick and Easy Dinner Menu for a Busy Night: Chicken with Mango Salsa

May 29, 2013 by  
Filed under Meats, Quick and Easy

The Menu:

A Quick and Easy Chicken Dinner

A Quick and Easy Chicken Dinner:Chicken with Mango Salsa, Photo by Mackarus

Chicken with Mango Salsa
Rice Pilaf
Spring Greens with Cherry Tomatoes

Start the rice pilaf first, unless you are using instant it will take longer than the chicken.

Mango Chicken

4 chicken breast halves, boneless and skinless
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
garlic salt

Skin and bone chicken, trim off all visible fat.

Lay one chicken breast half on a flat surface lined with plastic wrap.

Place another piece of plastic wrap onto chicken breast.

Pound chicken thin with the flat side of a mallet or the bottom of a bottle by hitting downward onto the chicken then sliding the bottle or mallet outward to the edge. The next blow goes outward in the opposite direction, until the chicken is evenly thin all around. Not a lot of force is needed, most of the thinning is done by the outward slide. This should not take but a minute per chicken breast. If you don’t want to pound the breasts, then just cook them a little longer until done.

Season the chicken breasts with garlic salt.

Heat the butter and olive oil in a sauté pan. Saute the chicken in the butter and oil until cooked. Remove to a warm plate or platter.

Top with mango salsa and serve. I place the chicken on a bed of rice pilaf, then top with the mango salsa.

Mango Salsa

2 cups diced fresh or canned mango pulp
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper (green is ok, but red looks nicer)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 hot chili pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
1/2 teaspoon cumin

Combine all ingredients, blend well. Allow flavors to blend while chicken cooks.

Serve with a salad of spring greens, cherry tomatoes, and your favorite dressing along side a rice pilaf.

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Pickled Pig’s Feet – My Best Soul Food Recipes

May 29, 2013 by  
Filed under Meats, Pickles

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, in his "Meat...

Yes, you can still buy pigs feet, but you may have to look for them. Ask your butcher. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ok, this recipe is a blast from the past. I used to eat these as a snack with my mother, sitting on the back porch. Pickled Pig’s Feet are a whole lot better than they sound! Remember the old addage that the meat is better next to the bone? Well, pig’s feet are a lot of bone, knuckle and succulent meat! You have to work to get that meat, but boy is it worth it! Try this recipe:

Pickled Pig’s Feet

4 pig’s feet
1 teaspoon whole cloves
4 bay leaves
4 cups white vinegar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 large onion, sliced
1 hot green pepper, whole
Black pepper

1. Take all four feet, clean and scrape ’em till
they’re spotless, flip off the hoofs, and cut between the toes. Put ’em in a pot and cover with salted water. Simmer til the meat is ready to come off the bone, but don’t let it!
2.While they are cooking: mix the cloves, bay leaves, vinegar, sugar, onion, hot pepper and black pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer 20-30 minutes.
3. Add 2 cups of the juice from the foot to the vinegar,
and stir.
4. Put the feet in a jar so they stand if you can,
and pour the vinegar over them. Cover and refrigerate
for 3 days to a week before eatting.
5. The longer they marinate, the more flavor! Enjoy!

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How to Cook a Whole Corned Beef Brisket

May 29, 2013 by  
Filed under How To, Meats

Cooking a corned beef brisket sounds intimidating, but it really is not. The instructions below are for cooking on the stove top, but you can also cook corned beef brisket in the crock pot or roaster, or covered with water as below in the oven at 325 for approximately 1 hour per pound. When cooking in the oven, use a tight fitting lid, or seal it with aluminum foil.

Cooked corned beef, eaten on St. Patrick's Day...

Cooked corned beef, sliced across the grain. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My recipe starts with an already corned beef that includes the spice packet. If there isn’t a spice packet, don’t worry, just ignore it and continue on.

Stove top method to cook a whole corned beef brisket:

1 corned beef brisket
spice packet that comes in the brisket

1. The brisket comes already brined and ready to cook. You need to rinse the brine off, then place the brisket in a large heavy pot. Add the spice packet that came with the brisket, and cover it with water.
2. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 3 – 5 hours, depending on the size of your brisket. (Refer to the package label.)
3. When done the brisket will be tender and will have shrunk a bit. Remove the brisket from the water and place on a cutting board and allow to rest a few minutes. If you are not planning to eat it until later, allow it to cool before slicing.
4. To slice the corned beef brisket correctly you need to locate the direction of the grain. Look for the long strands of meat. If you slice so that these strands stay long, your brisket will be tough to chew. Instead slice across the grain so that the strands are cut very short. This will result in a tender slice of corned beef.

When the beef is done, throw in some potatoes and carrots, or cabbage. This is a fine meal any night of the week. Don’t forget the Reuben sandwich the next day.



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South Carolina Scrapple

May 27, 2013 by  
Filed under Breakfast, Frugal, Meats

South Carolina Scrapple Recipe

Scrapple is a cornmeal mush made with scraps of pork – leftover odds and ends. It is seasoned with onion, herbs and spices and shaped into loaves for slicing and frying similar to a pork sausage.

English: photo of sliced scrapple

Sliced scrapple (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The scrapple loaf is sliced and fried for breakfast like a sausage pattie, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. The fried slice is often served with maple syrup, ketchup, applesauce, or with eggs for breakfast.

South Carolina Scrapple Recipe

3 lbs bony pieces of pork
2 cups corn meal
Salt and pepper
Juice of 1 onion
butter, optional

  1. Select 3 pounds of bony pieces of pork. For each pound of meat use a quart of water and simmer until the meat drops from the bone.
  2. Remove the meat from bones. Bring the remaining broth to a boil, adding water if needed to make 2 cups.
  3. Slowly add 2 cups of corn meal and cook until the mixture becomes a thick mush, stirring constantly.
  4. Chop the meat and put it in the pot. Season with salt, pepper and the juice of an onion.
  5. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  6. Pour the hot scrapple into a dampened oblong pan or loaf pan. Cool until cold and firm.
  7. Slice and brown in a hot skillet. If the scrapple is rich with fat, no fat is needed for frying, otherwise fry in butter.
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