Chili Crusted Chicken

Thursday, January 30, 2014

I got a new recipe book in the mail last week. I must say I am a bit disappointed. There are a lot of good tips in it, such as why you need to drink more healthy beverages instead of soft drinks and tea.

Water, the book says, is your best choice for keeping your body hydrated. It can even keep your appetite in check.

However, I am disappointed in some of the recipes. There's chipotle orange BBQ drumsticks, and there's gazpacho shrimp salad and summer szechwan tofa salad. Also there's a recipe called sirloin steak antipasto salas with pitted kalamata olives. And chili crusted chicken.

Those type meals don't appeal to me.

It got me to thinking about recipes of old. Just plain old northern beans (soup beans) that mama cooled once a week, regular as clockwork.

That, some fried potatoes, sliced onion and tomatoes, topped off with cornbread, made a meal.

How about those time honored victuals of watermelon preserves, hawg's head cheese, fried chicken or rabbit with gravy. Also, chicken and dumplings, sweet 'tator pie, turnip greens, cracklin' cornbread like my grandma made, cathead biscuits, fried corn, potato cakes, and polk salad..Or homemade vegetable soup.

How about bean cakes?

Mom taught me how to cook bean cakes when I was just a teenager.

I would take the leftover soup beans and mash them with a fork or potato masher, add a dash of salt and pepper, one beaten egg, about 1/4 cup of diced onion, and about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of flour, I would mix all the ingredients together to a semi-stiff consistency.

To cook the cakes, I heated a small amount of shortening in a cast iron skillet. Then using a tablespoon, I put a heaping spoon of the cake mixture into the skillet, then shaped it as best I could into a round cake. I repeated the process until I had the skillet filled with small round cakes. I cooked them slowly until they were lightly browned, then turned them over to brown on the opposite side.

Potato cakes are cooked in the same fashion, using left over mashed potatoes.

It's a shame that the youth of today consume so many hamburgers, pizzas, and french fries. Many know little about healthy diets or nutritional foods. We live in a fast food world where Sunday dinners of homecooked meals are almost a thing of the past.

I overheard a Jonesboro man talking with a constituent earlier this week. He said he and his wife had renovated their home last year, including the kitchen. She insisted on a fancy new kitchen range and built in oven. So she got it.

"She has yet to cook a meal on it," he said, laughing.

Excuse me now while I go prepare a spinach-couscous salad with feta. Or better than that, I think I'll have a thick sliced bologna sandwich with American cheese.

Chili crusted chicken just doesn't appeal to me right now..

I do have a recipe for quick peach cobbler. It is prepared in one pan, eliminating lots of dishwashing.

Ingredients are:

1 large can of sliced peaches.

1 cup sugar

1 cup flour

11/2 teaspoon baking powder.

2/3 cup water.

Mix the sugar, flour, baking powder and water together.

Place one stick of margarine in a long pyrex or metal pan.

Place in hot oven until the margarine melts. Remove from oven.

Then gently spoon the mixture on top the melted margarine.

Then gently place the sliced peaches (and peach juice ) on top the mixture, spacing them evenly.

DO NOT STIR.

Bake 400 degrees for about 30 minutes or until lightly brown.

Serve warm with whipped creme (optional).

I gave this recipe to my father-in-law after my mother-in-law died.

My mother-in-law always baked a lot from scratch and there was always cake, pie or pudding for dessert.

He missed my mother-in-law but he also missed those sweets.

After my father-in-law died, I found the above recipe tacked on his kitchen wall where he always had it handy.

He fixed the peach cobbler for himself almost every week.

It is a quick dessert you can prepare at short notice.

And it is tasty, too.