Friday, August 28, 2009

How to Reuse a McCormick Sea Salt Grinder

I love the little sea salt grinders from McCormick. I do not love the $2.99 price for a little bottle. I love the little mechanical grinder. I do not love throwing out something that works.

What to do....what to do?

I know...I'll take it apart while I watch David Letterman. Speaking of late night TV....isn't that Craig Ferguson funny? I only watch Dave while I wait for Craig. I miss Jay. I do not understand Conan at all.

After twisting and twisting and twisting some more I realized the top was not coming off. So lets be methodical about this. I got out a kitchen knife and pried on it. What? Oh come on.....tell me that isn't what you would do?

Well, the kitchen knife did allow me to slightly see inside the cap/grinder and made me realize that I could remove the cap/grinder if the plastic would give just a wee bit (no, I am not Irish). So I put a bowl of water in the microwave and heated up the water......not boiling but hot. You will only need enough water in the bowl to cover the plastic cap/grinder when the the bottle is placed upside down.I let the grinder sit in the water for about 5 minutes. Then I pried some more with the knife, moving the knife around the edge prying as I go. Thirty seconds later the cap was off.Now what? Besides sea salt and peppercorns....what can I put in these bottles?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Green Beans with Soy Sauce and Peanut Butter

I sounds gross, doesn't it?

My nail tech Virginia gave me the recipe and assured me everyone loved it. I had to try it because it just sounded so unusual and I have a ton of green beans.

Here's the ingredients....

Green beans washed with ends cut offThinly sliced onions ( I used 1/2 of a small onion)
Olive oil
Soy sauce
Minced garlic (1 clove or I used 1 teaspoon of freeze dried minced garlic)
1 Teaspoon to 1 Tablespoon of peanut butter depending on amount of green beans

In a skillet pour about 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Once oil starts to shimmer add onions and garlic. Once onions start to get translucent add green beans and soy sauce (enough to coat the beans lightly). Cook over medium low until beans are slightly limp. Add peanut butter and allow to melt and coat green beans. Serve.Do not add salt as the soy sauce is salty enough.

Just to make sure R was unbiased in his opinion, I kept all ingredients a mystery. I waited until he had ate all of his green beans and then asked, "how did you like the beans?" He said, "they were good but you did something different." That's when I told him what was in the beans. I saw a weird look come over his face and then he said, "not bad."

Friday, August 21, 2009

Stuffed Chicken Breast Wrapped with Bacon

This is a modified recipe I found in Gourmet or Food Network magazine. * I just found the recipe and it was in bon appetite magazine. The original recipe called for the chicken breast to be wrapped in prosciutto ham and stuffed with a slice of butter.I chose to stuff the chicken breasts with chicken flavored Stove Top Dressing. I bought the dressing in a canister because I only needed a cup or two and not the amount I would have made if I bought the box.

Stuffed Chicken Breast Wrapped with Bacon

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cups of cooked Stove Top Dressing, chicken flavor
1 lb bacon uncooked

Make stuffing according to directions on box or canister. Trim excess fat off of chicken breasts. Using fillet knife (be careful) cut a pocket into the breast. Stuff with stuffing. Wrap uncooked bacon around the breast. If you hold one end of the bacon slice with your thumb you can wrap the bacon quite tight around the breast. Each breast take about 3 slices.

Place the breast in a hot skillet with the loose ends of the bacon on the bottom of the breast. Fry until bacon is almost completely cooked. Be careful and flip the breast over and cook until bacon is almost completely cooked. Transfer the breast to a baking a dish and bake breast uncovered for 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Check temperature and when interior of breasts are 165 degrees or greater the breasts are fully cooked. Watch carefully so that the breasts do not burn. Nothing worse than burnt breasts!!!!I have also cooked the chicken in the same skillet I used to cook the bacon. I just reduced the temperature setting to medium low and placed a lid on the skillet. Depending on size of breasts, cook between 35 and 45 minutes.
I cook four breasts but we usually only eat 2 between us. The remaining two warm up nicely in the microwave the next day. What is interesting is that as the bacon cools it shrinks and gets tight around the chicken so the stuffing stays in and does not fall out.

Today's meal was completed with fresh green beans and a tossed salad made with veggies from our garden and B's Mom's garden. The tomatoes are heirloom varieties called Pineapple (yellow with pink tinge) and Amish Paste (Roma style).