Classic Coleslaw – Like KFC

I am a big coleslaw fan, but am also pretty picky about it.

A lot of commercial slaws are taste off to me – too creamy or too vinegar-y or some such; but KFC’s coleslaw is mebbe my second fave.

My most fave comes from Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken, but we don;t have one close by, so, if I am out and about and looking for coleslaw, KFC it is.

And then, I came across a recipe.

No, not for Lee’s, more’s the pity, but for KFC-style coleslaw, and the author seemed so sure of herself, I had to try it.

They claimed that Miracle Whip was an absolute necessity, so I bought a jar.

They then claimed that adding canola oil to the dressing would be a good thing.

Here’s the thing. It was not.

One batch of coleslaw down the drain; but I still had some Miracle Whip, so thought I’d try again, without adding any oil.

I had also read an article about Durkee’s Famous Sauce and thought mebbe a bit of that instead of the oil would be a good thing.

It was.

So, here we go with KFC-like coleslaw…

INGREDIENTS
Dressing:
•1/2 cup Miracle Whip
•1/4 cup sugar
•1 tbsp Durkee’s Famous Sauce
•1-1/2 tsp cider vinegar
•1/4 tsp celery salt

Salad:
•1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
•1 bag coleslaw mix

Note: a lot of sugar, I know; but the coleslaw turns out nicely balanced, so go ahead and try it.

Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a large bowl, then add the coleslaw mix and red onion and toss to combine.

Transfer to a covered bowl and chill for a couple of hours, then toss and serve.

Nice! Mebbe not KFC, but certainly KFC adjacent, so I call that a win.

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Cowboy Candy

I had some leftover jalapeños from making a batch of Ciao! Picollo and, well, the canning pot was still full of water, and I had lids and jars prepped anyway, so…

Why not make Cowboy Candy?

Cowboy Candy is basically sliced jalapeños that have been pickled in a sugar brine; so they’re a bit sweet and a bit spicy, and totally delicious. I should note that my small batch only made a couple of half pints of peppers and a couple of extra juice, but I am giving

the recipe to make a full batch, which should yield about nine half pints of candied peppers and three additional half pints of the hot and sweet pickle juice, which is a nice addition to everything from deviled eggs and potato salad, brushed on grilled chicken or meats, or with most anything you might want to top off with a bit of spicy sweet brine.

INGREDIENTS
•3 lbs jalapenos, fresh and firm
– about 10 cups of sliced jalapeño
•2 cups cider vinegar
•6 cups sugar
•1/2 tsp turmeric
•1/2 tsp celery seed
•1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
•3 tsp garlic powder
•1 tsp Cayenne
•1 tsp mustard seed

Wearing gloves, cut off the stem end of the jalapeños, then slice them about 1/4 of a inch thick and set aside.

Stir the sugar, turmeric, and other seasonings into the vinegar in a large pot and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer for five minutes, stirring often.

Stir in the sliced jalapeños, bring back to a boil, and boil hard for six minutes.

Divide the jalapeños among the prepared canning jars, then cover with the pickling syrup. As I noted you will more than likely have extra syrup, so go ahead and add that to jars, too.

Add lids and screw bands on the jars, then process in a boiling water bath for ten minutes.

Remove the jars to a rack and listen for them to “pop” letting you know the jars have sealed. Any jars that have not sealed can be preprocessed in the boiling water.

Enjoy!

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Ciao! Picollo

No, I am not sending a greeting to a musical instrument. Instead, this is my homage to Chow Chow, a slightly zippy pickle relish usually based on cabbage.

Mine does have cabbage, but the backbone of this pickle is cauliflower. And, really, I was making this long before folk were ricing and dicing and pizza crust making with the stuff, so mebbe call me a trend setter.

So, pull up a big pot and get to chopping veggies, there are rather a lot of them.

INGREDIENTS
•10 cups chopped cauliflower
•4 cups chopped carrots
•4 cups shredded cabbage
•3 cups sliced jalapeño
•3 cups chopped red pepper
•2 cups diced onion
•5 cloves garlic, minced
•1-1/2 cup sugar
•2 tsp pickling salt
•1 tsp tumeric
•1 tsp Aleppo pepper
•1-1/2 cup water
•4 cups white vinegar

Stir the vinegar together with the water, sugar, pickling salt, tumeric, and Aleppo pepper in a large (six or eight quart) pot and bring to a boil.

Boil for four minutes, then stir in the veggies.

Note: you are gonna be concerned that you should’ve found a bigger pot; but just cook and stir and chill, as you can see, the veggies will reduce quite a bit as they cook.

Cook the veggies for five minutes, until the mixture is nice and hot, then prepare to process – you will get seven pints in total.

Bring a large canning pot of water to a boil, I always add one cup or so of white vinegar to the water; it neutralizes any minerals or salts in your water and keeps you from ending up with cloudy canning jars.

Ladle the hot mixture into sterilized canning jars – I use my dishwasher for this, but 20 minutes in a 225º oven works, too.

Add pickling liquid to cover the veggies in the jar, then run a wooden skewer through the jar to remove any air bubbles and settle the contents.

Place a sterilized lid on each jar, then screw on a band using your fingertips – you do not want or need it to be screwed on super tight.

Process in the boiling water for 15 minutes, then remove the jars to a rack. You should hear them “pop” which means that the seal has set.

You can check the seal by pressing in the center of each lid. If it doesn’t move, the jar is sealed. If the center of the lid does click down when pressed, you are still good to go. If the center pops back up, open the jar and check that there is nothing between the jar rim and the lid, then reseal and reprocess.

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Air Fried Chicken Breasts

We’ve been playing around with one of those mail-order dinner kits, and have, mostly, been pretty happy with the meals.

I’ve learned some interesting new combinations and techniques, like slightly blistered green beans or, as in this image, the combination of roasted Brussels sprouts and carrots with an Asian-style sauce.

I’ve also (after a disappointing sirloin steak) learned to question some stuff, like, sautéed boneless, skinless chicken breasts.

Yeh. Even the cool card displaying the steps and the finished plate looked a touch on the dried out side to me, even with the sauce drizzled over the top.

So, I went in search on teh google, and found an air fryer solution that looked like it could work.

And it did. With a few seasonings adjustments to suit the flavor profile of the dinner kit I was making, so thanks to A Pinch of Healthy for the guidance.

INGREDIENTS
•Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
•Olive oil
•1/4 tsp Seasoned Salt
•1/4 tsp garlic powder
•1/4 tsp Mural of Flavor – or other salt-free seasoning blend*
•1/8 tsp black pepper

*Mural of Flavor, from Penzey’s, is a blend of shallots, onion, garlic chives, and lemon and orange peel.

Note: timing is based on six to seven ounce chicken breasts. Bigger or smaller breasts will require you to adjust your air fryer time.

Preheat the air fryer to 360º (or so, my dial gauge is not that accurate) and brush the rack with olive oil.

Stir the Seasoned Salt, garlic powder, Mural of Flavor (or other seasoning blend), and pepper together in a small bowl.

Place the breasts on a plate, brush with olive oil, then lightly rub in the seasoning blend.

Place, seasoned side down, on the air fryer rack, then brush the unseasoned side with olive oil and pat in the remaining seasoning blend.

Cook for ten minutes, then turn the breasts over and cook for another nine minutes or so; until the chicken is cooked through (160º to 165º) and firm. Remove from the air fryer, cover lightly, and let rest five minutes before serving.

Nicely flavored, tender, and still juicy – I like that in my boneless, skinless chicken!

Seriously, this method works a treat, so go ahead and try it next time you are planning chicken salads or, dare I say it? Enchiladas.

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Let’s Go Croquettes! Ham, This Time

Last time I sampled Croquettes, I had dragged the last of the holidaze turkey out of the freezer.

And we were wicked pleased.

This time, it was leftover Easter ham and mashed potatoes.

And we were still wicked pleased; especially when I topped them with a bit of Trader Joe’s Greek Feta Salad Dressing and served Korean Potato Salad on the side.

As with the turkey croquettes, I used the air fryer, for the win.

INGREDIENTS
Croquettes:
•3 cups chopped cooked ham
•2 cups mashed potatoes
•1/2 cup grated Parmesan
•1/2 cup shredded Swiss
•1 shallot, finely chopped
•1 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce*
•1 tsp Cajun Power Spicy Garlic Pepper Sauce – or your fave hot sauce, to taste
•1/2 tsp Seasoned Salt
•1/2 tsp black pepper
•1/4 tsp Aleppo pepper

Breading:
•1 egg
•2 tbsp water
•1-1/4 cup breadcrumbs
•Olive oil

*No Sherry Peppers Sauce? No Problem! Simply add a bit of decent sherry (none of that “cooking” stuff) and a dash or three of your fave hot sauce, to taste.

Stir the ham together with the potatoes, cheeses, shallot, sauces, and seasonings in a mixing bowl until well combined.

Whisk the egg together with the water in a shallow bowl and set aside.

Add the breadcrumbs to another shallow bowl and place next to the egg bowl.

Using a 1/4 cup scoop, divided the croquette mixture into twelve more-or-less equally sized balls.

Flatten the balls into patties, then, one at a time, dip each patty in the egg mixture, coating both sides, then dip in the breadcrumbs, flipping over to evenly coat both sides. Arrange on a platter.

Heat your oven to 200º and your air fryer to 350º. The warm oven will keep your croquettes warm while air frying them in batches. My combination air fryer will hold six croquettes at a time; others my only hold three or four at a time.

Brush your air fryer basket with olive oil, then arrange croquette patties in a single layer and brush the top of each with more olive oil.

Pop into the hot air fryer and cook for four or five minutes.

Remove from the fryer, turn over, brush with olive oil, and return to the air fryer for another four to five minutes, until the croquettes are golden brown and crispy.

Remove the croquettes to a parchment lined platter and keep warm in the oven while you air fry the remaining croquettes.

Serve as you will.

The first night, I served with steamed broccoli and Blender Hollandaise sauce; but the next day for lunch, that Trader Joe’s Feta Dressing was da bomb!

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Miso Ginger Cod with Birch Syrup

Wait. What? BIRCH syrup?!?

Yep. Kinda hard to find (though you can order it on Amazon), and, as our friend Barbara would say, “kinda spendy,” but totally worth it – if for no other reason than using it as part of a marinade for fish.

Or chicken. Chicken would probably work a treat with this, too.

Thanks, too, to our cousin Lois for giving me the Canadian cookbook that started me on

cod and birch syrup, and led me to a shop in Niagara-On-The-Lake where I plunked down $30+ Canadian for a 100 mL bottle.

INGREDIENTS
•2 cod fillets
•Milk
•3 tbsp birch syrup
•3/8 cup miso ginger dressing

First things first, arrange your cod fillets in a single layer in a deep dish.

Add milk (I use whole) to cover the fish, then cover the dish and stash in the fridge for at least one hour.

Why milk? I have been doing this forever, with cod, scallops, swordfish, shark; most any “white” fish. I think it takes away that fish case smell and taste from even fresh fish, and makes them taste sweeter.

Once your fish has sat in its milk bath for an hour or so, discard the milk (a little left in the marinade dish is fine).

Whisk the birch syrup together with the miso ginger dressing and pour over the cod to cover completely.

Cover the dish and stash back in the fridge for at least one hour more, though two or three hours is better.

When ready to cook, heat your air fryer to 400º and brush the basket with olive oil.

Remove the cod from the marinade (discard the marinade) and arrange on the basket.

Air fry the cod for ten minutes, turning over after five, until the fish is cooked through and nicely flaky.

http://buzzyfoods.com/2020/04/01/aioli-for-the-win/Delicious.

Don’t care to air fry? Follow your fave recipe for baking or grilling cod, I think you will be pleased. My fish monger has a low opinion of broiling fish, but, if you must…

I paired our cod with scallion pancakes from Trader Joe’s frozen cases, freshly chopped scallions, and a nice drizzle of Aioli.

Note: we get our miso and ginger dressing from Stonewall Kitchen, but feel free to make your own, or try another Asian-inspired dressing.

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Chicken Enchiladas

This comes to us from Rich’s mom’s recipe box – with a little nudge from the nice folk at Campbell’s – plus a few additions from me.

It is one of his fave dinners, so, of course, he requested it for his birthday.

It is also dead simple to toss together, so I had no issues saying “yes.”

One thing: as with a lot of casseroles, this is actually better the second day so, if you can, make it ahead and reheat.

Oh; and yesterday’s Poached Chicken with sun dried tomatoes worked a treat.

INGREDIENTS
•1 can (10-3/4 oz.) condensed cream of chicken soup
•1/2 cup sour cream
•1 cup salsa
•1 can (4 oz) diced green chiles
•1 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce*
•1 tsp chili powder
•1 tsp chopped parsley
•1/2 tsp black pepper
•1 tsp Cajun Power Spicy Garlic Pepper Sauce – or your fave hot sauce, to taste
•2 cups chopped, cooked chicken
•1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
•6 (6”) flour tortillas
•Shredded lettuce
•1 small tomato, chopped
•1 green onion, sliced

*No Sherry Peppers Sauce? No Problem! Simply add a bit of decent sherry (none of that “cooking” stuff) and a dash or three of your fave hot sauce, to taste.

Combine the soup, sour cream picante sauce, and chili powder together in a bowl.

Stir one cup of this mixture together with the chicken and cheese, then divide evenly (1/3 cup scoops) among the six tortillas.

Roll tortillas up and place, seam-side up, in a shallow baking dish. Pour the remaining sauce mixture over the filled and rolled tortillas and cover with foil.

Bake at 350º for forty minutes until the enchiladas are hot and bubbly.

Remove from the oven and let rest for five minutes before serving.

Serve with shredded lettuce, tomato, onion, and mebbe some additional cheese and sour cream. We like refried black beans on the side, too.

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Poached Chicken Thighs With Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Last summer, I poached chicken breasts for a curried salad.

Now, I am back to poaching, but for a batch of Rich’s mom’s chicken enchiladas, and am going with boneless, skinless chicken thighs; mostly because I think they have a bit more flavor than breasts.

I also switched up my poaching method, just a bit; adding oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes to the poaching liquid – and using some of those tomatoes to chop with the chicken.

Nice! And, of course, you also get chicken stock to use in other recipes, so, bonus!

INGREDIENTS
•20 oz boneless, skinless chicken thighs
•1 jar (6.5 oz) sun dried tomatoes in oil
•6 baby-cut carrots
•2 cloves garlic, minced
•1 tbsp lemon juice
•1 tsp Seasoned Salt
•1/2 tsp black pepper
•1/2 tsp dried oregano
•1 bay leaf
•5 cups water

Add all of the ingredients to a large pot – do not drain the oil from the sun dried tomatoes, add that to the pot as well – and bring to a low boil over medium heat.

Note: do not try to rush things by bringing the pot to a boil over high heat – that way leads to tough chicken.

Reduce the heat to low, cover, and continue to simmer for ten to twelve minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.

Remove the chicken to a platter with some (or all) of the tomatoes and set aside to rest for five minutes before slicing.

Note: you can do this bit up to two days before you plan on using your poached chicken, so, again, don’t rush it.

Strain the stock, transfer to jars, and stash in the fridge until needed.

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Pizza, Motor City Style

Motor City ‘Za – a rectangular pizza with a not-t00-thick crust and a wicked crispity wall of cheese around the edges.

*sigh*

A solid fave around our house ever since I first saw Jeff Mauro make it on TV, though, of course, I have switched things up a bit.

Mr. Mauro calls for rapid-rise yeast, but regular active dry works fine; and he makes his dough in a blender.

Hmmm.

I did try it that way the first time, because I had just bought a well-rated, pretty powerful new blender. It made the dough, but I was not loving the slight ‘burning motor’ smell I was getting, so, you know what? My stand mixer with the bread hook works a treat!

INGREDIENTS
Dough:
•2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
•2 tsp kosher salt
•1 tsp yeast
•1 tsp sugar
•1 cup warm (~100º) water
•Olive oil

Pizza:
•Olive oil
•8 oz sliced pepperoni
•Thinly sliced sweet onion (optional)
•16 oz Brick and/or Mozzarella cheese, cubed (Pepper Jack works great, too)
•Pizza sauce

A note on the pizza sauce: Mr. Mauro makes a fine pizza sauce, which I am very fond of, but this time, I had some leftover marinara from a batch of short ribs, so used that instead. You could also use your fave jarred pizza sauce; it is all good.

Add the flour, salt, yeast, and sugar to a stand mixer bowl and whisk to combine.

Add the warm water and, with the dough hook, stir on low speed until the liquid is absorbed.

Increase the speed to medium and knead until the dough comes together in a ball and cleans the side of the bowl.

If your dough isn’t coming together, add additional flour, one tablespoon at a time, until it does.

Gather the dough together with your hands, pulling off any extra from the dough hook.

At this point, you could add olive oil to another bowl, add the dough ball, roll it around to coat with the oil, then cover and set aside to rise for two or so hours; until the dough has doubled in size.

Or…

that dough really has cleaned the sides of the mixing bowl, so you could just drizzle the olive oil in over the top, then roll the dough to coat, cover, and set aside to rise until doubled in size.

Note: as always, you are the boss of that dough! Can’t get back to it in two hours? No worries! The dough will be fine just sitting there, even overnight, if needs be; some recipes actually specify letting the dough rise over night.

When you are ready to deal with the dough and make the pizza, brush your Detroit pizza pan (or 13×9 baking pan) with olive oil, and heat your oven to 500º.

Punch the dough ball down, then lay it out in the pan, stretching it to fit the pan.

Note: if the dough is not playing nice while stretching, just set it aside for 15 minutes or so, then come back to it. Worked for me.

My key takeaway about Detroit style pizza is that you have a kindofa wall of cheese all around the edges, that bakes up into a crusty, crispity cheesy goodness.

Everything else, as far as I am concerned, is up for grabs. That said, I chose to brush a thin layer of sauce on the crust before building my wall of cheese all along the sides. I used Pepper Jack this time.

Cheese wall built, scatter the remaining cheese cubes – here I also added shredded Mozzarella – then cover evenly with sliced sweet onion and the pepperoni slices.

Top with the remaining pizza sauce – I guess that tradition says the top sauce should be added in three stripes down the pan.

I don’t do that.

Pop into the oven for about 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and, using a fish spatula, remove the pizza from the pan and cut into squares to serve.

Hot honey makes for a great drizzle with this pizza, though my husband is also fond of adding Italian seasonings and grated Parmesan cheese.

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Pecan Waffles

When I went in search of recipes to play around with my new mini-waffle maker, I came across a couple of  versions for “Pecan Pie” waffles.

“Perfect!” I thought. We were having a couple of friends over for dinner and these would work a treat as a different kinda of dessert, mebbe spread with honey pecan cream cheese and a dab of whipped cream.

Well; they are nice pecan waffles, and they were not a bad dessert, but…

“Pecan Pie” Waffles?

I think not.

Still and all, they make for a nice waffle, for breakfast, or snacks, or, hmmm…

mebbe lightly toasted and topped with ice cream and caramel sauce?

I got about a dozen waffles out of this batch, which is only supposed to make eight to ten; either way, plenty of nice waffles to play around with.

INGREDIENTS
•1-3/4 cup flour
•1 tbsp baking powder
•1/2 tsp salt
•2 eggs, separated
•1-3/4 cup milk
•1/2 cup canola oil
•1 tsp vanilla
•1/4 cup dark corn syrup – I used Lyle’s Golden Syrup
•1 cup chopped pecans

Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a mixing bowl until well blended.

Whisk the egg yolks with the milk, canola oil, vanilla, and syrup in a beaker and stir into the flour mixture. An immersion blender works a treat for this.

Beat the egg whites until stiff, then fold into the batter in the mixing bowl.

Apply cooking spray and pre-heat your waffle maker.

Ladle about 1/3 cup of the batter onto your hot waffle maker, then top with two tablespoons of chopped pecans.

Close the waffle maker and cook until golden brown, four or five minutes.

Transfer the cooked waffle to a rack in a warm 200º oven and repeat with the remaining batter and pecans.

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