Main Dishes


Yes, I know Lemon Spaghetti sounds a little weird. I came across this recipe in a cookbook I picked up at the library. I clearly do NOT have enough cookbooks and recipes and recipe pins on my Pinterest board! I NEEDED to check out a COOKBOOK at the library!

French Women Don't get Fat Cookbook

You will need to chop up TWO onions for this recipe. I know it sounds like a lot of onion. Trust me on this one. The first time I made it I only used one onion. I thought my family might freak out if I use two. It was good, but not as good with two onions.

chopped onion

I used cooking wine rather than the real deal.

olive oil and wine

You will need the zest and juice of one whole lemon.

lemon zester

If you don’t have a zester, go get one! You need the zest! Don’t skip the zest!

Add lemon zest

I also recommend that you squeeze your lemon over a strainer of some sort. I tried to do the catch-the-seeds thing the first time I made this. I ended up picking seeds out of a hot pan.

juice a lemon

The recipe didn’t call for chicken. I added it because I thought my husband family would like it better if it had meat! It did call for Parmesan cheese, which I forgot to add. It was fine without it, probably because of the chicken! I cheated and used pre-cooked chicken. I’m not really sure how much I used-about a half a bag. Sorry to be so vague.

add chicken

I served the Lemon Spaghetti with a side of baby broccoli.

Lemon Spaghetti

I think we all ended up mixing the broccoli into the spaghetti. I was told, however, to never mix it in to serve it that way. Everyone should be able to add broccoli or not add broccoli! Okay!  The lemon and broccoli were a nice complement to each other.

Lemon Spaghetti with Broccoli

Lemon Spaghetti

12 ounces spaghetti

3 Tablespoons olive oil

2 medium onions, peeled and minced

1/2 cup dry white wine

Zest and Juice on 1 lemon

Cooked, diced chicken (optional)

Steamed broccoli (optional)

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (evidently optional)

1. Cook the spaghetti

2. Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onions. Cook until softened.

3. Add the wine, lemon zest and lemon juice. Season to taste. Increase heat to medium-high, bring to a boil for 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium, simmer for 5 minutes

4. Drain pasta and add to the skillet along with remaining olive oil, chicken, and broccoli. (if your family will let you) Season to taste. Garnish with Parmesan cheese.

Critics’ Corner

Chip: I love lemon-flavored dishes — lemon-peppered chicken, lemon cake, lemon ice box pie ice cream, lemon cookies — so I was excited about this dish from the minute I heard about it. It was incredible. The citrus added a real zing that made this dish unique. It is an instant favorite with me.

Megan: It was a little lemony-er than I expected. But, I loved it anyway. I think it tastes best with broccoli mixed in!

Katie: What’s chicken-y, lemony, and just plain yummy all over? If you know what this comment is about, then you know the answer.  : )

We recently had some of our good friends over for dinner. Since the last time they were at our house, Joanna has discovered that she needs to stay away from gluten.

Well, that ruled out all the stand-by “company’s coming” recipes. This was going to be an adventure for sure.

You may have seen me begging for ideas on the Pork Chop Tuesday Facebook page. Thank you for your suggestions!

I really thought about a Mexican dish of some sort. I ended up going with Chicken Curry.

(I probably should have stuck with the Mexican food. My family loves Chicken Curry. I guess it was kinda risky to spring an exotic flavor like curry on guests.)

Chicken Curry

(This is my Mom’s recipe. I don’t know where she got it.)

2 Tbsp. butter

1 ½ cups apple, finely chopped

½ cup onion, chopped

½ cup celery, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

2 Tbsp. flour (use corn starch for gluten-free)

2 ½ tsp. curry powder

1 tsp. salt

1 ½ cups chicken broth

1 small can tomato paste

2 cups chicken

Melt butter; add apple, onion, celery and garlic. Cook 5 minutes. Stir in flour (or corn starch), curry powder and salt. Slowly stir in chicken broth and tomato paste. Cook and stir until thick. Add chicken and heat thoroughly. Serve over rice.

Making Curry

Top with your choice of condiments:

Raisins

Shredded coconut

Chopped boiled egg

Crushed pineapple

Crumbled bacon

Chopped peanuts

Mango Chutney (Ok, I don’t ever use the chutney. Mom loves it. Since it is her recipe I felt like I had to put it in there.)

The condiments are really the best part. I remember when Mom would fix curry when I was a kid. I loved being in control of the “extras” that went on my plate.

Plus, they look pretty. I used a plastic tray I had saved that came with veggies and dip one time. I sat it on top of a gold charger on top of a Lazy Susan. The fake flower ended up in the middle rather than the chutney.

Curry Condiments | PorkChopTuesday

Condiments

The kids had their own set of condiments. They got to use this cute little set Mom got me for my birthday last year. I love the tiny spoons! The kids ate at the coffee table and sat on the couch cushions.

Color Serving cups

Here is the curry without any “extras”.

Chicken Curry from Pork Chop Tuesday

Whew! We made it through the main course gluten-free!

Dessert was a different animal altogether.

As I scoured the internet for GF recipes, everything called for specialty flours. I priced some at the health food store a while back. They are very expensive!

I didn’t have time or money to make a trip to the big city health food store. I had to find something that would work. By work I mean that I could buy ingredients in town they didn’t cost an arm and a leg!

I came across a recipe for Fudge Mountain Cake. Her cake was beautiful! Could it really taste good without flour?

Here is what mine looked like.

Flourless Chocolate Cake | Pork Chop Tuesday

Her recipe says that she actually made a double recipe and used milk chocolate in between the layers.

I opted for the single recipe with some of the ganache between layers. If I make this again, I will make a double recipe. The cakes rose up nice and tall in the oven. As they cooled, they shrank down and got compact.

Baking without flour is a little different from baking with flour.

My cakes fell apart. I had to “glue” them back together best I could.

messed up cake

The cake was very dense and rich.

The original post had fancy chocolate curls on top. I went with the whipped coconut milk. I had never had whipped coconut milk. I had pinned a recipe/how-to on Pinterest not too long ago.

That part was really easy. I just stuck a can of coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight. When I opened it up, I had whipped coconut milk. No shaking, stirring or mixing. You can add a little sweetener or even chocolate if you like. We went plain.

I was glad I added a strawberry along side of the cake. I really added it for looks. The strawberry actually helped to cut some of the richness of the cake.

Ok, the single piece of cake looks a little better than the whole thing. We will end with that.

Flourless Chocolate Cake | Pork Chop Tuesday

I didn’t have the Critics review the Chicken Curry. They have eaten that numerous times and love it every time.

Here’s what they had to say about the cake though.

Critics’ Corner

Chip: Apparently flour just holds cake back. This was one of the best cakes I’ve ever had.

Megan: Moist, rich, and c’mon: it’s chocolate cake.

Katie: Chocolate cake is a splendid treat for all ages. This cake sky-rocketed to the top of my cake list!

As you know, I have been trying to cut calories lately. That means a lot of my “go-to” recipes are out the window, at least for now.

I hit good old Pinterest to find some low-cal options. I found a few to try.

I really have been cooking lately. I just have not quite been in “blogger” mode.

Quite frankly, it has made dinner a little easier. Stopping to take photos at every step does kinda slow you down.

So, here are some of the recipes we have tried recently with only a screen shot of the recipe from my Pinterest page!

Please visit the links provided under the picture to see the original post by the original blogger. You might consider following me on Pinterest, too!

Veggie Soup

Cheesy Vegetable Chowder from Lulu the Baker

I liked this recipe. It was cheesy enough to be yummy, yet I felt like I was eating a healthy meal.

Serves 8

219 calories per serving

Critics’ Corner

Chip: I don’t normally like veggies in my cheese, but this time I’ll make and exception. Very good.

Megan: It was much thinner than I expected, but that turned out to be a good thing. I don’t normally like cheese in my veggies, but this time I’ll make an exception. (silly girl!)

Katie: It was really, really, really, really, really, really, really, good, good, GOOD!

Baked Chicken Parm

Baked Chicken Parmesan from Gina’s Skinny Recipes

Holy Cannoli, Batman! This was yummy! I needed to put a little more sauce between my pasta and my chicken. That’s an easy fix. This one is a keeper!

Serves 8

216 calories per serving-doesn’t include pasta

Critics’ Corner

Chip: Molto bueno (or however Italians say “That was crazy tasty”!)

Megan: Like pizza on a chicken breast.

Katie: I love me some chicken parmeeseean! : )

Mexican Shredded Beef

Mexican Shredded Beef form Skinny Ms.

This was very yummy! You can see by my Pinterest comment that I didn’t quite follow the directions. I’ll have to try it again the right way. There was a lot of juice, which made for yummy meat. It also made for drippy dinner.

Serves 6 (at least when I used the leftovers)

152 calories per serving-meat only

Critics’ Corner

Chip: Additional Mexican food recipes can only be a good thing.

Megan: This may be the only time something was too messy. The juice dripped all over my plate (and even on me) and reminded me of Chico’s Tacos.

Katie: I found it rather dee-lish-ee-ous!

Well, it’s been a while since my last post. Since then we have had a birthday, an anniversary, a major holiday and 4 sick people!

That last one is the one that has really held me up! Oh, and don’t forget about decorating for Christmas!

We are all feeling much better now and are well on the road to recovery from the flu or bronchitis or whatever nasty germs we had.

So, without further ado, I give you White Lightnin’ Chicken Chili!

pot of chili

This is one of those “planned-over” meals. You know, you make a big batch of something so you KNOW you will have leftovers=planned overs!

The first meal is Roast Chicken and Garlic

1 roasting chicken

2 whole heads of garlic, unpeeled

1 small bunch of parsley

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1 medium carrot

1 stalk celery

1. Preheat oven to 400˚. Remove giblets and neck from the chicken. You won’t be needing those. Rinse the chicken and pat it dry. You can cut off any unwanted fat too.

2. Slice the top off each garlic head. Remove the loose papery skin from the garlic head but don’t peel the cloves.

Garlic on the left is with the loose papery skins removed.

Garlic on the left is with the loose papery skins removed.

3. Place 10 cloves in the chicken along with the parsley. (save about a Tablespoon of the parsley for later.) Tie up the legs with cotton string. Sorry, no picture. I was too busy wrestling a chicken!

4. Rub the outside of the chicken with the salt, pepper, and paprika.

5. Coarsely chop the carrot and celery. The veggies will act as a rack for the chicken to rest upon. Lift the wing tips toward the neck and tuck under the back. I don’t think I did this part quite right. It didn’t affect the outcome of the chicken, so don’t stress too much over this step.

6. Sprinkle the rest of the garlic around in the pan.

rubbed chicken

I used my handy dandy Pampered Chef 9×13 pan with the lid. You will need a roasting pan with a lid of some sort. I suppose you could cover it really tightly with heavy duty foil. You don’t want the moisture to escape. You don’t want dried out chicken-yuck!

ready for the oven

7. Bake chicken 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove the lid-careful it will be hot. Continue baking 15-30 more minutes or until juices run clear.

8. Remove chicken from pan. Place it on a cutting board and tent with foil for 10 minutes to seal in the juices.

roasted chickenNow comes the planning over part. Slice your meat. Save half!  I like to use the white meat for our first meal. The dark meat you pick off the bone and doesn’t look as pretty goes in the chili just fine.

two meals

You also need to save 6 cloves of garlic from the pan.

Use 6 more to make a gravy to go with you meat. Just squeeze the skin and all the roasted garlic squishes out. Add the juices from the pan to your squished garlic. Bring these two things to a boil. Throw in that parsley you saved from earlier. Now you have a nice little gravy for you meat and, should you choose, mashed potatoes!

Now for the chili! I bet you thought I’d never get to it!

White Lightnin’ Chicken Chili

3 cups of your planned over chicken

6 saved roasted garlic cloves

1 cup chopped onion

1/3 cup fresh jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped

3 cans (15 oz.) Great Northern beans, drained, rinsed, and divided

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

3 cans (14.5 oz.) chicken broth

2 Tablespoons Southwest seasoning mix

1/4 cup lime juice

1 Tablespoon cornstarch

1 Tablespoon COLD water

1. Chop up the onion and jalapeño.

pepper and onion2. Drain 1 can of the beans. Put the beans in a bowl. Squeeze the roasted garlic into the bowl with the beans. Now mash them together. Drain the other cans of beans. Set it all aside for a minute while you go on to #3.

smash beans and garlic

3. Sauté the pepper and onion in the vegetable oil until tender. You need to do this in your big soup pot. No need for a skillet.

4. Add the chicken, all the beans-whole and mashed, chicken broth, seasoning, and lime juice.

pot of chili5. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 25 minutes.

6. Mix the cornstarch with the water until smooth. Add mixture to the chili and continue cooking another 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

If you want to add a little cilantro at the end, you can. Personally, I HATE cilantro! I think it would ruin the chili. You are on your own there.

chiliCold nights are coming! You’ll want to make this one.

In an attempt to clean out some of my magazine scraps, I came across a recipe I thought might be a success. Boy was it!

This is a great recipe for when you are “country hungry” as Mamaw says.

Like many slow-cooker recipes,  you do have to do a little prep work before you turn on your pot.

As you know, we like pork chops at our house. The name of the blog should let you know that! I usually buy the boneless chops. They are usually the ones that are on sale. The bone-in meats tend to have a bit more flavor to them though. This recipe calls for bone-in pork chops. I found some on sale, so ta da, I tried this recipe.

Pork Chops and Field Peas

1 (16 ounce) package of frozen field peas with snaps, thawed

1 1/2 tsp dry mustard

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder

6 (1 inch thick) bone-in pork chops (about 3 1/2 pounds)

1/2 cup flour

2 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 large sweet onion, sliced

1 (10 1/2 ounce) can condensed chicken broth

1. The first thing you need to do is take your peas out of the freezer. Mine weren’t completely thawed. They turned out just fine.

If you want, you can go ahead and dump them in your crock pot. I used on of those handy-dandy crock pot liners. If you don’t use one, you will need to lightly grease your pot.

2. Mix the mustard, salt and garlic powder together. Rub the mixture all over your chops. Then you dredge the chops in the flour. The recipe called for 6 pork chops. I only had 4.

3. Cook the pork chops in hot oil over medium-high heat 3-4 minutes per side until browned. You just want to get some good crustiness on the outside. They will cook the rest of the way in the crock pot. Only cook a couple of pieces at a time. It is never good to crowd your meat.

Save the drippings in the pan.

4. Saute´ the onion in the hot drippings over medium-high heat until tender.

Add the chicken broth, and cook 2 minutes, stirring to loosen the goody from the bottom of the pan.

5. Put the browned pork chops in the crock pot on top of the peas.

Now, add the onions.

Don’t forget the broth.

6. Cover and cook on LOW 6 hours.

In the mean time, make your mashed potatoes–yum!

The meat just fell off the bone. Consider that a warning! We had to pick some bones out of the peas, so BEWARE!

The rolls were frozen Rhodes dinner rolls. All you have to do there is let them rise then pop ’em in the oven!

This was an EXCELLENT dish! Katie thought it was funny that I was making dinner right after breakfast.

Next time I may try this with the boneless chops just to see how it does.

Critics’ Corner

Chip: I come from a long line of pork chop aficionados. I grew up eating the finest pork chops in the western world. Now, I don’t want to overstate my view of this particular meal, but it may have been the finest pork chop dinner I’ve ever had.

Megan: The word “meal” cannot describe this dish adequately. Rather, it is a superb work of artistry!

Katie: That has been one of the best meals that I’ve had in a while! It was just sooo good!

Well, we’ve survived back to school!
I have had a little more time to try out some new recipes this week. So, I thought I would try some things I have pinned on my Pinterest board. However, I did not take any pictures. I wasn’t really planning on blogging about these, otherwise, I would have taken pictures.

I really like Pinterest. I like seeing and saving all the fabulous ideas out there. Unfortunately, a lot of the recipes that folks seem to rave about have been duds, in my book. But, I try more anyway.

The first one is a Chicken Tetrazzini recipe. I actually pulled this one out of a Southern Living while cleaning out some magazines. I did a quick search on the SL website, so I could add the recipe to my Pinterest board. Yes, I actually threw away the magazine page . It felt so good!

20120829-202116.jpg

I liked this. I thought it was a little bland though. I think next time I’ll add a little more salt and possibly some more white wine. Everyone else seemed to like it just like it was. The kids even asked for it in their lunches.

Critics’ Corner

Chip: The spaghetti tastes like chicken.

Megan: More please.

Katie: The chicken was great! It’s got to be one of my favorite dishes.

I pinned this recipe for Beef Negimaki because I really liked the idea of cooking everything together in a little packet on the grill.

20120829-202124.jpg

Well, I didn’t use the grill my first time out on this one. The recipe calls for instant brown rice. I already had slow?(what is the opposite of instant?) brown rice. I cooked the meat in the oven. One of the ingredients is hoisin sauce. I’ve never used hoisin sauce. Our little Walmart sure didn’t have any. I had to look up a recipe on-line. Basically, I mixed together soy sauce, honey, peanut butter, garlic, olive oil, rice wine vinegar, and sesame seeds. How much? I don’t know. Until it looked right. I guess I did okay  because it tasted yummy!

Critics’ Corner

Chip: Excellent! Meat is good food.

Megan: This is a highly acceptable addition to our Chinese Buffet.

Katie: Awesome, awesome, awesome! The meat roll was awesome! Did I say it was awesome?

I have to admit I have never thought to put ribs in the crock pot.

20120829-202132.jpg

They were so tender! The meat just fell off the bone. That was good and bad. Good because it was so tender. Bad because it was kinda’ hard to get out of the crock pot to put on a broiler pan. It was also a little hard to pick up to eat. Don’t get me wrong, we ate it just fine! I may have gotten the wrong kind of meat. I may have let them cook a little too long. Oh, well, they were delish! I’ll tell you what I really  liked about this recipe. You know how when you cook meat in the crock pot you almost always have to brown it first? This one called for the browning after the cooking! I really liked that. I mean, usually the whole reason you are using the crock pot to begin with is to save time on a busy night. Who wants a busy morning of browning meat?!

Critics’ Corner

Chip: The most tender BBQ I’ve ever eaten. So tender I couldn’t hold it without it falling apart. True story.

Megan: A tender meat candy.

Katie: The barbecue was phenomenal! What more can I say?

Well, that’s what new at the table this week!

I have a Pinterest board for Pork Chop Tuesday items. I call it My Own Stuff. I may rename it to Pork Chop Tuesday. Anyway, you can check it.

Have you Liked the PCTuesday Facebook page yet? Be sure you do that. There is more there than what is on the blog!

When having lunch this summer, the girls and I would plop ourselves down in the den to watch the News at Noon while dining on our PB&Js. Yes, I know it is not exactly the thing to do. So, please, no lectures on eating in front of the TV.

After we had seen the weather report (which was usually the same 0% chance of rain, 110˚) we would flip over to the Food Network or the Martha Stewart Show. If neither one of those was too interesting there was always Bugs Bunny!

This particular day we watched 10 Dollar Dinners with Melissa d’Arabian. To be quite honest, I had never watched her show before. I always kinda’ thought, ” $10?! What’s the big deal? I do that every night!” We watched anyway.

She was making Cannellini Beans. I had heard of them before but had never had them. They are pretty much white, Italian kidney beans. You can find out all in the world you ever wanted to know about cannellini beans on this website. That’s right, they have their own website!

The recipe looked yummy so we tried it.

The recipe calls for herbes de provence. I had never had that either. You buy a bottle of it over on the spice aisle. I’ll tell you now, so you don’t freak out at the store, it is not an inexpensive item. It makes this dish so delish though!

The white wine is also a key ingredient, I think. We don’t keep wine around, so I used cooking wine. It was still very yummy–just in case you prefer to go that route as well.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 sweet bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon herbes de provence
  • 3 cups cooked cannellini beans
  • 1/2 baguette, sliced and toasted, for serving

Directions

In a medium saute pan, cook the bell peppers and onions in 2 tablespoons olive oil until soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, another 2 minutes. Deglaze the pan with white wine and allow to boil for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the stock, herbs de provence, and beans and simmer for 20 minutes. Pour into shallow bowls and drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Serve with bread slices.

I brushed my toast with olive oil then rubbed a garlic clove on each piece before toasting.

This was absolutely one of the most delicious meals I have ever made or eaten! I just felt so fancy eating it! Weird, I know. It had a very complex, yet light, flavor. I loved it! Be sure to see what the Critics had to say.

Critics’ Corner

Chip: A taste of Tuscany–on toast.

Megan: This is better than pizza! (high praise from a teenager)

Katie: I love, love, love, LOVE these beans!

Today is catch up day. We had Spring Break a couple of weeks ago. That put me behind in laundry, budget, grocery shopping, and blogging! Sorry, but blogging got pushed to the bottom of the list, along with mopping!

Spring Break started out with a trip to Dallas. My Sweet Adeline chorus, Top of the Rock, made the annual pilgrimage to regional competition. This year we had a Western theme.

Our group stayed in the Hyatt. What a treat we had! We shared the hotel with the folks who were there for the longhorn auction! These were not just your regular run-of-the-mill longhorns. These were, for lack of a better word, collector longhorns. Some of these creatures would end up selling for $80,000+.

We had to make time to visit the animals.

Oh, wait, those are the guys who were in charge of the auction. They were very nice to us “city girls”.

We came in 2nd place in the contest. Congratulations to Talk of Tulsa Show Chorus. Good luck in Hawaii!

After spending the weekend around cowboy lingo, I figured I’d come home and make some cowboy chow!

This is a recipe I have wanted to make for a long time! It came from a Woman’s Day magazine. (May 11, 1999!)

Chuck Wagon Tortillas

1 pound lean ground beef

1 Tbsp minced garlic

1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder

1 1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 jar (18 oz.) baked beans

1 can (14 1/2 oz) stewed tomatoes

1 can (11 oz) vacuum-packed corn

1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies

1/4 cup bottled barbecue sauce

4 burrito-size flour tortillas

1 1/2 cups shredded pepperjack cheese (6 oz)

Cook beef and garlic in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until no longer pink. (You will need a skillet that is at least 2 inches deep and 10 inches across the bottom.)

Note: For some reason my post automatically posted. I was not finished with it yet. Sorry. Here is the rest of the post.

Stir in chili powder and cumin.

Cook 1 minute longer.

Stir in beans, tomatoes, corn and chilies and barbecue sauce.

 

Heat 2-3 minutes, then pour into a bowl.

Remove skillet from heat, wipe clean with a paper towel, then lightly coat with cooking spray.

Lay 1 tortilla in skillet.

Spread evenly with 1 1/2 cups beef mixture.

Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of cheese.

Repeat layers 3 times, ending with 1/2 cup of cheese.

Cover and cook over low heat 15 minutes, or until cheese melts and stack is hot in center.

Cut into wedges to serve.

While we were at the table, I suggested that this recipe should have been called “Cowboy Stack”. Others had to give their ideas as well.

It was yummy!

Critics’ Corner

Chip: It’s like cowboy food — except better.

Megan: This dish is a testament that I do not only eat bland food. It was so spicy that it warrants the name “The Chuck Wagon Dragon”!

Katie: It’s a combination of two things that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE…it’s messy and delicious! Although, since it is so spicy, I would have renamed it “The Chili Pepper Chuck Wagon”.

 

My grandmother had a love of cookbooks! She always liked to buy those little ones at the checkout stand. She had a gazillion!

She also had quite a collection of pamphlets from the county extension office. You can still get info from your local agency. However, with computers these days, getting little pamphlets is kinda “old school”.

I don’t know where she got this little cookbook. (As you can see, it is a Riceland Rice cookbook. There is no date or publication information on it. My guess is late 1950s-early 1960s.) Since my grandparents had rice on their farm, maybe they sold to Riceland and they sent her a cookbook. Maybe she got it at the Extension office. Who knows! Stuttgart, AR, the home of Riceland Foods, is not far from here.

One day I was thumbing through it and came across this recipe.

Riceland Rice Porcupines

1 pound ground beef

1/2 cup uncooked Riceland Rice

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Dash of chili powder

1 tablespoon fat

1/2 medium onion, sliced thin

1/2 green pepper, sliced thin

2 1/2 cups tomato juice

Mix ground beef and uncooked Riceland Rice, the salt and pepper together. Add  dash of chili powder and mix well. Form into small balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Place in a covered baking dish

In a skillet, melt the 1 tablespoon of fat (or drippings). Saute in this the onion and green pepper. Pour the onion, green pepper, tomato juice over the porcupines-to-be and place in a 350˚F oven. Cook from 1 to 1 1/4 hours. They’re done when the visible rice is tender. Serve with additional tomato sauce if desired. This recipe makes 8 Riceland Rice porcupines.

I have made these before, but it has been a while.

Mine were a little smaller that 1 1/2 inches. I ended up with 17! They were not too small though.

I don’t put the whole 1/2 of a green pepper in my version. The Critics are not too in to peppers. I did buy some green peppers not too long ago. They were 3/$1, so I thought I’d chopped them up and freeze them for when I needed them. Life got in the way. When I was making my meatballs, I noticed I had some withered RED peppers! I salvaged what I could. Most of it was put in the freezer. I put just a tiny amount in the meatballs.

I sautéed my peppers and onions in bacon fat. Duh!

I was missing a key ingredient…tomato juice. Ugh! There was no time to go to the store. I had to improvise! I had some canned tomatoes in juice. I drained off the juice. It was a little more than 1 cup. I chopped up the tomatoes even finer and added them in there too. I also added a little tomato paste and water.

Since the meatballs weren’t the size called for in the recipe, I cut the cooking time to about an hour, I think.

Porcupines!

Critics’ Corner

Chip: Who knew porcupines tasted so good?

Megan: I prefer the other kind, but these are very tasty! (I imagine she is referring to the time I made them with actual tomato juice.)

Katie: Porcupine Meatballs are one of my favorite things to eat, and this  batch was no exception. Delicious! I enjoyed them to the last bite!

In my great attempt to become more organized and actually try some of those recipes I have ripped out of magazines, I found this recipe…

It looked so good to me that I found FIVE of these magazine ads in my stash! UGH!

I don’t know why I found it so appealing. I am not a particular fan of mayo. I like it okay if it is mixed in something, like potato salad. I don’t ever slather it on my sandwich or dip my french fries in it.

This time it is used to hold on breading, so I think that is acceptable.

Since I was up to my elbows in mayonnaise while making this, I didn’t dare touch the camera! Sorry, no “in progress” pictures.

Hellmann’s Parmesan Crusted Chicken

1/2 cup Hellmann’s Mayonnaise

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

4 tsp Italian seasoned dry bread crumbs

Combine mayonnaise and cheese.

Spread on chicken, then sprinkle with bread crumbs.

Bake at 425˚ for 20 minutes.

Ok, now let me tell you how I did it.

First of all, I hate it when recipes call for Parmesan cheese and don’t specify dried or fresh. When in doubt, go fresh! I hardly ever use “shaky cheese”.

These are the breadcrumbs I used.

Panko breadcrumbs give a nice crispy coating. I like to get plain breadcrumbs. Then I can have them seasoned or plain.

I did add a little Italian seasoning. How much? Ummmm, until it looked right.

I found it easiest to get my hands dirty when adding the mayo. I just rubbed it all over the chicken. A half cup was actually a little more than I needed.

I made sure that the chicken was covered really well with the breadcrumbs so it would be good and crunchy!

Bake as directed.

Oooo! Ahhhh! So savory! So yummy!

Critics’ Corner

Chip: 10/10 would eat again

Megan: I absolutely loved it!!!!!!!!

Katie: Loved it! LOVE OF MY LIFE! I enjoyed every single bite!

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