I really like watching America’s Test Kitchen, and follow them on Facebook. So, when they announced a Kitchen Challenge to make Chicken à la King, I just had to take up the challenge. What makes my Chicken a la King different? Well, it’s barbecue season, and my Weber was sitting outside, crying that it couldn’t join in the fun. I thought to myself, why not? Pimentos are nothing more than very mild chili peppers. I had some lovely yellow, orange and red sweet peppers, and I had some mushrooms and shallots. I also had a chicken breast. All those could go on the grill, couldn’t they? Sure, they could get a lot of flavor to add to a dish that I already really like.
The America’s Test Kitchen challenge is to cook like it’s 1917. Charcoal was developed from waste wood scrap in the Ford Motor Company in 1920, and renamed Kingsford thereafter. Kingsford was a relative of Henry Ford. The Weber grill was not invented until the 1960s but I’m sure that people were barbecuing in some sort of fashion in 1917 – how else would Henry Ford have been able to sell charcoal? I think I’m okay with the time-line, don’t you?
I had a dream, yes I had a dream. I dreamed of cupcakes with blue butter cream frosting.
I’m not much of a cupcake person, but they are nice if you’ve got a lot of kids. They are easy because you don’t really need a plate, and you don’t need a knife, and you don’t have to worry about someone saying their piece of cake is too small or too big. All the cupcakes are the same size.
Usually, I make a butter cake, similar to a 1234 cake, but it makes a three layer cake, and that was just too much for cupcakes. I know that a regular box of cake mix makes enough for cupcakes, but I don’t like things that come in a box. So I made my own box cake with fresh ingredients.
When I made the Roast Goose for Christmas dinner, I had a lot of goose fat. I didn’t want to waste it, so I rendered it, and have used it here and there. It’s wonderful stuff. I thought I could make a pie crust out of for the Quiche I was making for the picnic today.
Most of the time, I buy a ready-made crust in the refrigerated cookie dough section. The reason I do this is because my crusts don’t usually turn out that well. Today, whist visiting The Smitten Kitchen’s Pie Crust 102, I found out why – I have been using the wrong tool for the job – I’ve been using a food processor. So, if you’re using a food processor and your crust isn’t turning out flaky, that’s why.
Making a crust by hand is not that difficult. You just need a pastry dough blender, and a little elbow grease. My pastry dough blender died a couple of years ago, so I used a heavy fork. It worked just fine.
Now, what did I learn in making these? Well, first I learned that I don’t have to get my hands very dirty if I use a fork during the breading process. Then, when I tasted one, I realized I don’t have to wait until I go to Porto’s anymore – I can make these little rolled pieces of Heaven myself!
This morning, our friends Barney and Charlie came by because we were going to UCLA to see the baseball game against the Oregon Ducks. Spane’s first grade class (Mrs. Francisco) was chosen by number 33 Eric Goeddel to come to the game at UCLA today.
Out friend, Maria, was with us as she is on all Sunday mornings. I love Maria Torres so much! She is so much fun, and when she tells those headline jokes, it’s just too much!
Anyway, you’re here to hear about the food, right? Well, when I had asked Bonnie to come from breakfast, and what she liked, she had said pancakes. Hmmm, I thought to myself last night – that’s a lot of pancakes to stand there and make (and this is right after making Cheddar Cheese Spritz Crackers last night). I vaguely remembered hearing about a baked pancake, so I decided to make Dutch Babies, otherwise known as Baked Pancakes.
I served the pancake with fresh strawberries and sweetened sour cream. Baked bacon was also on the menu. It was truly a hit!