Chicken, Granola, Fish, and Dried Fruit
Last week (March 6-12) wasn't a super-exciting week food-wise. There were a couple of days my mom didn't feel too well, and then it was my turn to feel not-so-great. So, there's not a lot to report, and I'm putting it all in one post.
Early in the week I made pan-fried chicken with oven-baked sweet potato fries. I'd never made fried chicken before, but with advice from my mom and after reading several recipes, I felt up to the challenge. I put a mixture of flour, salt, pepper, and paprika in a paper bag and then dropped the chicken pieces in one at a time, coating them well. I heated about 3/4 inch of oil on high heat in a flat-bottomed frying pan and then placed the chicken pieces in and cooked them, turning once, until both sides were nicely browned. Then I turned the heat down and covered the pan letting the chicken cook for about 25 minutes. After that I checked for done-ness and lifted the chicken out onto paper towels to drain.
I peeled and cut a large sweet potato into french fry sized sticks, tossed them in a little olive out and spread them out in one layer, trying not to overlap, on a 2 baking sheets. I cooked them at 400 degrees turning them as they browned. I can't really say how long they cooked, but I can tell you that one pan cooked too long and half the fries burned. We ate the non-burned ones and threw the rest away and finished cooking the others, which came out tasting good, but not really crispy except on the edges.
The chicken was tender and juicy and very flavorful though I think I missed a couple spots on the edges when flouring them. One piece had a couple of tough spots around the edges where the meat was frying without the benefit of a little flour to buffer it. Still, all-in-all, it tasted good.
Red Snapper with Baby Bok Choy & Crispy Ginger
Later in the week I made Snapper with baby bok choy and crispy ginger again. It turned out really delicious, even better than last time. I added both chopped garlic and a little chopped ginger to the olive oil before adding the fish. This gave the fish added flavor.
The bok choy is pretty tender because it's young, but the white parts of the ends can be a little tough, so after separating and washing the leaves, I cut the ends into thin strips, but I just split the green leafy parts lengthwise.
On Saturday I made granola (see the photo at the top of the post). I wrote about making granola on facebook a while ago, but I thought I'd write about it here as it's been a while, and I think I've perfected my recipe--to my taste at least. Again, it's still based partly on Alton Brown's granola recipe available on the Food Network Website.
Alex's Version of Alton Brown's Granola
4 cups rolled oats
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
6 Tbsp brown sugar (1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp)
6 Tbsp maple syrup (1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp)
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp water
1/4 tsp salt
a couple of dashes of cinnamon
Mix the first 4 ingredients in a large mixing bowl. In a small bowl or measuring cup, I stir together 6 Tbsp maple syrup, 2 Tbsp canola oil, and 2 Tbsp water. I pour the mixture over the dry ingredients and mix well--using your hands really helps to get the liquid ingredients well-distributed throughout the dry ingredients.
Coat 2 baking sheets with a little cooking spray and spread the granola mixture onto the two trays. Bake these in a 250 oven for 1 hour 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. When it's done, remove the trays from the oven and let the granola cool completely before putting it in a plastic or glass container with a tight-fitting lid.
I love this granola. A little bit of it sprinkled over bran flakes or wheat square (some cereal high in fiber but not necessarily big on taste) really perks up the cereal.