The Moveable Feast Food Blog

The Moveable Feast is a Personal Chef Service that serves the Hampton Roads area of Southern Virginia. This blog is an extension of my web site and will go into more details about food and any food service industries. Any pictures and or recipes that are published here are all the property of The Moveable Feast unless otherwise noted.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Enabler
I have been married to the same lovely man for over 27 years and have him pegged. I was over weight when I met him and continued to grow like the Sta-Puffed Marshmallow man in Ghost Busters. Thanks to modern medicine I lost 110 pounds and after about 5-6 years while grieving the death of my father from Luekemia, I packed on 40 pounds again. I have a constant battle with weight and some days I win, others I lose. Having an Enabler in the house is not helping me to keep from gaining more of the weight I once lost.

The prime example of how much my loving husband is a thoughtful enabler happened the other night. He had gone to the grocery store to buy a few things to tide us over until we can get to the commissary. I guess he lingered a bit too long at the check out stand and become a victim of impluse buying. He came home with
this... This man knows how much I love good 'ole Southern cooking. Let's see who has who pegged.

Being raised by totally Southern parents, I ate some of the best Southern food I can remember. My most favorite food was and still is Chicken Fried Steak with Mashed Potatoes and Country Gravy. I could care less about anything green or yellow or any other color on that plate. Meat and taters it is!

I am from Texas and every time I head for home I know that I will be packing on at least 5-7 pounds from my trip. Know why??? I eat Chicken Fried Steak at every place we go eat. I can eat it breakfast, lunch and dinner and I sure do try for all three. Since it's going to be a while before I go home to eat my favorite food, I made it for dinner from that magazine. I was thumbing through it, and there it was; my dream food.

Chicken Fried Steak
Makes 4 servings (ya buddy!)
1 sleeve saltine crackers, crushed
1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 TBS seasoned salt, such as The Lady's Seasoned SAlt
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 1/4 pounds cubed steak
Vegetable oil for frying

Preheat oven to 225.
In a shallow dish, combine crackers, flour and seasoned salt. In a wide bowl, whisk together buttermilk and eggs.
Dredge steaks in cracker mixture; dip in buttermilk mixture; and dredge again in cracker mixture. Place prepared steaks on a wire rack set in a jellyroll pan to set crust for 5 minutes.

Picture disclaimer: I did not have buttermilk so I used two eggs and it worked perfectly.

Pour oil to a depth of 1/2 inch in a large heavy skillet; heat oil to 360 degrees. Fry steaks 3-4 minutes per side, or until golden, turning only once. Remove steaks to a clean wire rack set in a jellyroll pan. Keep steaks warm in oven.

Carelly drain hot oil into a heat-proof container, leaving 1-2 tablespoons oil and browned bits in skillet to make tMilk (or as many call it) Country Gravy.

Picture disclaimer. The gravy on the meat looks really thick and almost solid. It pretty much was by the time I stopped sticking my spoon into the pot of mashed potatoes on the stove to test them for creaminess. It required several tastings. Then of course you have to test the gravy...well you get the gest of it...really...testing is most important...really...

I have to say that this is the MOST unhealthy meal I could eat, but the most satifying for the soul. I added green beans out of guilt, but it sure was worth it.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Apologies to all
I have just been very busy and when I think about coming up here in an office that needs to be shoveled out...blogging is the very last thing on my mind. I haven't tried anything new. Well, that's not true. I had one day off, yesterday and went for a quick coffee and a quick read of knitting books at B&N yesterday. I know I should have been blogging but I need some "ME" time. I went to the cookbook bargin table out of habit, and darned if I didn't buy another stinking cookbook. What was I thinking? I was thinking that I don't have time for food fashion shoots, but just dinner. So I bought...

I tried one recipe as soon as I got home and it slow cooked in the crockpot for 5 hours. I tested the Hearty Chili Mac but didn't take any pictures. I was way too hungry to style a lovely photo so I scarfed it down. It turned out well. If you do not have a crockpot you really should invest in one that has different cooking times on it. Mine is a Rival and it have four times, 4 hours, 6 hours, 8 hours, and 10 hours. I love this because I can be home all day and keep an eye on a pot roast that is cooking for 8-10 hours. The smell really does fill the house.

This is a super mind numbing easy recipe. We used to make this very same thing but browning ground meat, two or three dashes of chili powder and a box of Kraft Mac and Cheese. I think maybe this is the grown up verision. Either way this is the poor man's or starving students cheap eats.

Hearty Chili Mac
4 Servings

1 lb of 90% lean ground beef
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes,drained
1 cup diced onions
1 TBS chili powder
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano, dried
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 cups of cooked macaroni

Brown ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring to separate meat. Drain. Add beef, tomatoes, onions, and all the spices to slow cooker; mix well.

Cover and cook on LOW for 4 hours.

Stir in macaroni. Cover and cook 1 hour.

Okay, as we all know I always screw around with any recipe. I made this one simplier (as if I was complicated to begin with) because I could.

Adjustments: I needed more than 4 servings. So I used a package of the 93% ground beef (the commissary sells it that way, what can I say-I refuse to weigh the meat for a recipe like this). Then I added two of the canned diced tomatoes, with the juices (this will be revealed later why). I always increase my dried spices, just because I can and I tripled them. I did follow the directions and stirred the stuff up. Oh, back up...I cooked the onions while I browned the meat. Saves me time and I liked my onions cooked! I was not going to cook the macaroni in yet another pan. I am just too lazy for that. One more pot to wash or heaven forbid, load in the dishwasher. I measured out two cups of dry elbow macaroni and dumped it in with everything else. Word to the wise. You will need to NOT drain the tomatoes and then add one more can of water. The macaroni will absorb all that anyway. I have to say that the macaroni did get a little soggy but no one here complained.

So no photo but take my word for it; it was completely filling. I have visions of corn muffins dancing in my head, but alas, I fell asleep in the chair watching the news while the crockpot did it's thing and no muffins were made. Oh well...

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

No Time to Dilly Dally Around
I will be back next week to blog but right now I am working seven days in a row which is combining three part-time jobs. I am just about run ragged but the light at the end of the tunnel is next week is much, much slower. So please hang in there and come back next week. Things have just gotten out of control and I need to let the dust settle so I can blog. Thanks for your patience!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Going Nuts!
I have a new part-time job and time is more in shortage than it ever was. Cooking now is much more of a challenge with this new job and with hubby doing lots of overtime and playing golf. This recipe is a great one for time starved working folks like us and I know some of you. I found this at the grocery store where I shop for my clients and look forward to the new pamphlets when they come out.

I am nuts about nuts so this recipe turned me on! Hubby isn’t so wild about nuts but he ate it anyway.

Pistachio Chicken Salad with Goat Cheese Medallions
Serves 4

4 boneless, skinless, split chicken breasts
¼ cup plus 2 TBS dry Italian-style breadcrumbs, divided
¾ cup chopped pistachios, divided
Purchased Roasted Garlic or Creamy Italian salad dressing, divided
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 (logs 3.5 ounces each) Chevre (goat cheese)
4-5 cups mixed salad or baby spinach

Place chicken breasts between sheets of plastic wrap and pound lightly with meat mallet to even thickness. Line shallow baking pan with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray. Set aside.

Combine ¼ cup breadcrumbs and ¼ cup pistachios in shallow dish. Place ¼ cup salad dressing in another shallow dish. Dip chicken breast in salad dressing to coat, drain off excess and then dredge in pistachio mixture. Repeat with remaining breasts. Place breasts in single layer on prepared baking pan. Refrigerate 15-20 minutes to set the breading.

To prepare the goat cheese medallions, combine remaining 2 TBS breadcrumbs with remaining ½ cup pistachios and pepper in shallow dish. Place ¼ cup salad dressing in another shallow dish. Cut each log of goat cheese into six equal slices for a total of 12. Dip cheese medallion in dressing and then dredge in pistachio mixture, turning to coat all sides. Repeat with all cheese medallions. Place in a single layer on plate, cover with plastic wrap and freeze 10-15 minutes. May be prepared ahead and refrigerated for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 350. Bake chicken 20-25 minutes for until temperature on meat thermometer reaches 160F or juices run clear when pierced with knife.

To make warm goat cheese medallions, preheat grill pan over medium high heat and spray with cooking spray. Add medallions, lower heat to medium-low and grill about 1-2 minutes per side. Outside of medallions should be crispy while inside remains soft and creamy. May be cooked in heavy skillet instead of grill pan.

To serve: toss salad greens with desired amount of remaining dressing. Divide among four plates. Top each salad with sliced chicken breast and garnish with three warm goat cheese medallions
This is a super easy recipe to fix. It's great for a summer lunch and it heats up the next day beautifully. Even the goat cheese medallions are just as good the second day.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Been Very Busy!
I am on a roll with a new job and I have not had the time to post anything on the blog. I even missed the Weekend Dog Blogging #32.

We have been busy starting a new backyard garden so we can try our hands at growing our own vegetables...
...trying to work on a sweater in my knitting class... ...spinning wool... and today Sheep Shearing Day is finally here after being postponed due to rain, three weekends in a row. Here is who I will be spending time with most of today, hence no time to blog! So please come back tomorrow when I have more time to post a new chicken recipe.