Awesome Artery Blocker

Since today was another weekend day I got plenty of time to mess around in the kitchen again today.

Ever hear of a tomato sandwich?

I don't know how common or rare it is. I think its Iowan comfort food since I inherited the sandwich from my Dad. It's super easy to make and oh so yummy if you're in the mood for tomatoes.

It has toasted bread, plenty of mayonaise, and thick (or thin, your preference) slices of tomato. Boom! Sandwich made.

So tonight for dinner I made smothered chicken breasts from Allrecipes.com. As sides I had simple boiled potatoes and my attempt at glazed carrots.

I did do a little switcheroo on the recipe based on what I had in the cupboard. I was out of lemon-pepper and the wifey-poo had suggested regular pepper and a little lemon juice. Dang! No lemon juice either. I would up seasoning the chicken with salt, pepper, and about 1-1/2 tablespoons of ground dijon mustard. It turned out fantastic.

The recipe also calls for cooking the chicken then the bacon then onions. I figured that bacon was easier to keep warm than chicken and that bacon rendering would give more flavor to the chicken than vice versa. So I cooked the bacon first, then the chicken, then the onion and brown sugar. It also gave the the bacon time to dry, stiffen, and get that perfect crunch.

I was a little worried about using an entire quarter cup of brown sugar but amazingly it was definitely not overly sweet. I don't know if it was the bacon grease or chicken fond or what it was that soaked up the majority of the sweetness. It really did give a great slightly sweet taste.

I didn't have colby-monterrey jack cheese so I used some Mexican blend cheese I had left over. Still turned out great.

Early I said I attempted glazed carrots. The carrots were perfectly cooked (if I do say so myself) the problem is they weren't glazed (just boiled). I don't know if I didn't heat them fast enough or if I brought things to a boil too quickly. The problem was they were done cooking (by taste and softness) well before the sauce had reduced to a glaze. I had to make a judgment call of perfectly done or perfectly glazed. I went with perfectly done (especially after yesterday's eggplant overcooking fiasco). The recipe called for 6 tablespoons of butter for a measly 1 1/2 lbs of carrots. Coronary anyone?

By the way, I love my meat thermometer. It has saved me either 1) from overcooking plenty of proteins and/or 2) slaughtering the appearance of many a piece meat by trying to cut it open and see if its done 3) allowed me to worry less about the cooking times in recipes because I know the true measure of being done. I don't have to worry about some arbitrary number chosen by someone who has absolutely no clue how hot (or not) my stove is.

The little lady made desert today. It was coffee roasted pears via Jacque Pepin. They were delish. The recipe starts at about 20-21 minutes in (so you don't have to sit through the whole thing.

So what did I learn today?

  • Pans are measured from inside rim to inside rim.
  • The French love butter (6 tablespoons? Really?)
  • Bacon makes everything better. 
  • Coffee and pears can actually go together. 
  • I don't know how the heck to reduce sauces or liquids.

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