Tuesday, February 26, 2008

My New Electric Skillet

My mother-in-law gave me an electric skillet for Christmas, and I am thrilled. So far I've made meatballs and fried chicken, but I'm sure it's only the beginning of what will be a long and happy relationship. We use our griddle every weekend (pound of bacon and buttermilk pancakes) -- and I can see me doing the same here.

The secret ingredient in the meatballs is lemon zest, and my girl Giada and her marinara -- well I cannot say enough about her.

The fried chicken is a work in progress, I did the whole soak in buttermilk thing, but ever since I served bloody chicken to party guests at Kate's 3rd birthday party, I'm honestly a bit gun shy about the dish.

Meatballs (from the Perfect Party Food Cookbook)
2 lbs. of ground meat (I used leftover pork, meatloaf mix, beef)
1 c. finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
grated zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 t. salt
1 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 c. soft bread crumbs
2 large eggs, beaten
olive oil for frying

Marinara Sauce (from Everyday Italian)
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
2 small onions finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 t. sea salt
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
2 32oz. cans crushed tomatoes
2 dried bay leaves

In a large pot, heat oil over a medium-high flame. Add the onions and galric and saute until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the celery, carrots, and 1/2t. each of salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bay leaves, and simmer uncovered over low heat until the sauce thickens, about 1 hour. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Season the sauce with more salt and pepper to taste.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken (from www.elise.com)
With a few notes:
1. I didn't use any veggies in the overnight buttermilk soak
2. It took WAY longer to cook the chicken (see note about serving bloody chicken above) -- I'd say it took at least 20 minutes longer
3. I didn't use all the cayenne pepper she calls for, I was worried it would be too spicy for the kids.

Pretty much a make again, although I served cold leftover fried chicken to the kids last night (which in my book is almost as good as a BLT), and got some negativity about the temperature of the meal. These kids need to expand their horizons!

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