The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 29

January 31, 2012 at 2:35 am (Food) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Hello my friends, and welcome back!

Well, tonight was a mixed bag for us…  some successful things, some not so much.  I’m going to give you all the recipes in case you want to give anything a try, and I’ll tell you which were hits or misses for us.  Knowing that everyone has different tastes, you might like something that we didn’t!  And, of course, there is always that SLIM chance that I did something wrong! LOL!

Fried Polenta (this one was not such a hit around here…)

2 3/4 cups water

1 cup corn meal

1 cup cold water

1 tsp salt

Place 2 3/4 cups water in medium sauce pan, bring to a boil over medium heat.  Mix 1 cup corn meal, 1 cup cold water and 1 tsp salt in measuring cup or small bowl, then add to boiling water.  Bring back to a boil, then reduce heat, stir and simmer 10-15 minutes or until thick and creamy.

Pour hot mixture into a clean loaf pan, cover with plastic wrap and cool in the refrigerator AT LEAST 4 hours.  Cut into 12 even slices (or more, in this case thinner is better!), and fry in hot oil AT LEAST 15 minutes, turning once.

You can serve this with several different kinds of toppings.  My husband likes sauteed mushrooms cooked in butter and garlic, so that’s what I did this time.  This didn’t turn out as crunchy as I expected or wanted, but it was OK.

Fried Chicken (yet another take on this dish, I know, it’s getting old, but what the heck!  This was HUGELY popular!)

3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into tenders

1 cup flour

1 cup Panko bread crumbs

3 Tbsp Everglades seasoning mix

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup oil for frying (and you will need to add more as you cook batches of chicken, the pan will get dry)

Place buttermilk in a wide shallow bowl and set aside.

Mix flour, bread crumbs and Everglades seasoning in another wide shallow bowl and set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Dip each piece of chicken in buttermilk, then in the flour mixture, add to the hot pan.  Cook 3-5 minutes per side, or until deep golden brown on all sides, and check a couple of the bigger pieces to make sure the chicken is cooked through.

Remove chicken from pan when done, drain on paper towels.

Burst Tomatoes (I love this one, everyone else, not so much)

2 cups grape tomatoes

1 Tbsp firmly packed brown sugar

Pierce skin of all tomatoes, place in microwave safe dish.  Sprinkle brown sugar over tomatoes.  Cover dish (either the cover that goes with the dish, or plastic wrap if you don’t have a cover), microwave on high 3 minutes or until tomatoes pop.  Stir and serve!

Wilted Spinach (everyone except William liked this one)

Place 2 Tbsp butter and one 9 ounce package of fresh spinach in the hot pan after you’ve finished frying your chicken.  Stir and toss lightly until spinach is very tender.   Serve warm.

Roasted Butternut Squash

Cut butternut squash in half, remove seeds.  Place cut side down in baking dish, sprinkle brown sugar in the bottom of the dish.  Roast at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until tender.  Scoop out cooked squash and serve.

I’m sure I did something wrong with this last one, it took TWO HOURS to cook!  And, when I scooped out the squash, the only part that tasted good was the part coated in brown sugar.  The rest was sort of bitter…

Anyway, that was dinner tonight.  James helped with some prep work.  William whined that he didn’t want another home cooked meal, then loved the chicken.  Mike doesn’t like tomatoes, but loves mushrooms, so he was happy.  Couple hits, couple misses, but we all ate well!

Until tomorrow, eat well, love well, live well my friends!

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