All posts by Codychildress

How to chop an onion without tears

There are a couple tricks I learned along the way that help me while chopping onions.

imageThe first thing is to use a very sharp knife. The sharper the knife,  the less you’ll damage the cell walls of the onion. This is good because the cells of the onion contain sulfur that when it gets in your eyes reacts with the water and becomes sulfuric acid. That’s what actually causes the pain and makes you cry.

the next thing is there is a simple way to chop your onion that I learned from food network several years ago and I’ve been using it ever since. It’s the fastest way and I never have tears when use this method.

 

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I start by cutting the ends off the onion.

 

 

 

 

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Then I make a slit down the side and peel the skin off.

 

 

 

 

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Then I chop the onion in half.

 

 

 

 

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I then make 3 or 4 horizontal cuts almost all the way through the onion.

 

 

 

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Then I make several vertical cuts almost all the way through the onion.

 

 

 

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Then I simply chop vertically in the opposite direction and the onion magically dices before your very eyes.

 

 

 

One more tip I have for you is  to have your onions be refrigerator temperature before you cut them. This also keeps a lot of the sulfur for getting out of the onion and into your eyes. Also it helps to keep your head back as far away from the onions as possible.

 

i hop you enjoyed these tips. If you like it please share it.

 

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The best homemade chicken and rice soup

This is my favorite way to make chicken and rice soup. I’ve experimented for several years and this is by far the easiest way to make an excellent chicken soup.

The things you’ll need are:
1 whole chicken
1 medium onion
5 stalks of celery
5 medium carrots
1/2 teaspoon of thyme


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I started off by boiling the chicken whole for about an hour. I added a backbone I had saved from a roasted chicken I made a few days ago as well. The backbone has a lot of marrow and fat that will add a lot of flavor to your soup.

Then I took the chicken out of the pot and strained the broth just in case of stray bones and skin left in the broth, and I let the chicken cool on the counter for at least 20 minutes. It was blazing hot. Then I separated the meat from all the bones and skin by hand and put the chicken back in the pot.

imageThen I diced the onions and chopped the celery and carrots to approximately the same sizes. This is important because the celery and carrots need to be around the same size to be tender at the same time. Then I threw all of those in the pot with a half teaspoon of thyme. I brought it back up to a boil and then turned the pot down to simmer to let the aromatics get tender for about an hour. I then started the rice in a separate pot according to the package instructions.

When the soup is ready and all the vegetables are tender you can serve yourself as much rice as you’d like or my aunts case no rice at all. It’s important to leave the rice separate because if you leave it in the soup, the next morning your soup will be a complete mush and the rice will have mostly dissolved and thickened your soup to a stew like consistency and that’s just wrong.

I hope you like this recipe. If you like it share it with your friends and family.

Super easy peach upside down cake

Peach upside down cakeHere’s one of my favorite recipes actually, and my sister loved it too. It’s for a peach upside down cake. Except I make it super easy. All you do is lay some peach slices down in an oven safe pan. In this case I used frozen peaches but you can use fresh or canned just the same. Then just sprinkle about a tablespoon of brown sugar on top of the peaches, and put 2 slices of butter on top of that and sprinkle cinnamon over all of that.

Peaches, butter, brown sugar and cinnamon
Peaches, butter, brown sugar and cinnamon 

Then all you do is pour regular pancake batter over the whole thing, almost to the top. Then bake it at 350 degrees in the over for 20 minutes and you’ll have my easy peach upside down cake.

Pancake batter
Pancake batter

Then I served it with a scoop of French vanilla ice cream.
I hope you enjoy this simple recipe.
By, Cody Childress

 

Stuffed shells with wine infused portobellos

imageSo this was a little bit more complicate recipe, but it’s also pretty impressive. This is an Italian dish called stuffed shells, and I added some wine infused portobello mushrooms. This dish is vegetarian, so it’s pretty healthy but it has quite a bit of cheese.

The ingredients you will need are:
1 box of large shell noodles
4 whole portobello mushrooms sliced into 1/4 inch strips
1/4 cup of white wine (I used Chardonnay)
1/2 stick of butter
1 tub of ricotta cheese
2 pounds of mozzarella grated
1 tablespoon of dried basil
2 jars of your favorite tomato sauce

The first thing I always do when cooking pasta is boil water. This always takes the longest so I made sure I started that early. I use about a gallon of water and a whole teaspoon of salt to boil the pasta in. Once the water boiled I added all the noodles and cooked them for about 7 minutes till they were al dente. Then I drained the water and let the noodles cool down enough to hold them in my hand.

Soaking up the wine sauce
Soaking up the wine sauce

While the noodles were cooking I fried all of the slices of portobello mushrooms in butter over medium heat till they got some nice color on them. I could fit about 1 whole sliced mushroom in the pan at one time. Once all of them were fried I put them all back in the pan and put the pan on high to get it really hot. Then the next step was a little dangerous so I quickly took the pan outside to a safe area before I added the 1/4 cup of wine. Then once I put the wine in the pan I took my lighter and lit the fumes on fire. This quickly burns off all the alcohol, it only stayed lit for about 5 seconds. Then once the flames were out I poured the whole mixture into a bowl to let it cool and let the mushrooms absorb the flavorful butter wine sauce.

Ricotta, mozzarella and basil mixture
Ricotta, mozzarella and basil mixture

Then I used an entire tub of ricotta cheese and mixed it with 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese and 1 tablespoon of basil in a large mixing bowl.

Halfway through I added another layer of mozzarella just because.
Halfway through I added another layer of mozzarella just because.

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Once everything was cool enough to handle I took a half of one jar of tomato sauce and poured it in the bottom of the Pyrex baking dish so the noodles wouldn’t stick to the pan. Then I assembled the shells by first opening a shell and adding a half of one slice of a mushroom and then a scoop of the ricotta cheese mixture and then gently squished the shell so there wasn’t any air inside. Basically I made about 40-50 shells and laid them all in the pan. Then I poured the rest of the tomato sauce all over the top and squished it all down with a plastic spatula so it was nice and flat on top. Then all I did was sprinkle all the rest of the mozzarella cheese on top of that like a lasagna and put it in the oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Perfect
Perfect

Now here’s the most important part. Once the hour was up I turned the broiler on high and let the cheese brown for about 2 minutes. This step is really important to me because the browned cheese adds so much flavor. Basically when I make a dish like this it’s just a really good excuse to eat burned cheese haha. Once you turn the broiler on you are going to want to check it about every 30 seconds or so. You will see the top brown very quickly, but I think 2 minutes is about right. The browner the better.

If you follow these steps you will have a delicious and impressive meal that was actually pretty cheap to make. About 20-30 dollars. If you don’t like mushrooms you can just leave them out. The cheese stuffed shells are delicious by themselves.

I hope you enjoyed this recipe. If you like it please share it on on facebook!

By, Cody Childress

Secret family recipe for Dutch chicken

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Dutch chicken

So today I’m going to show you how to make my entire family’s favorite dinner. My Oma (which means grandmother in German) taught my mother this recipe and I learned it from my mother. It’s called Dutch Chicken. It’s essentially just fried chicken but at the end you pour water over it and it makes excellent gravy and if you’ve never had it it’s impossible for me to explain how delicious this turns out every time.

So first you want to wash your chicken, I’m using 4 thighs for this batch, and then lightly flower them. I add a little pepper to the flower to add a little extra flavor.

This is right before I flipped them the first time.
This is right before I flipped them the first time.

Then melt 1/4 stick of butter in a pan and add about 1/8 of a cup of canola or vegetable oil over medium heat. The butter and the canola mix nicely so it gives the chicks a buttery flavor without being too heart clogging. Once the pan is nice and hot add the chicken. Basically you fry the chicken exact ally like you would cook regular fried chicken, but it’s ok to get it really really dark and almost burned. This adds a lot of flavor. The darker you get the chicken without actually burning it the better flavor your end result will have. It usually takes about 20 minutes to get mine nice and dark.

This is when the pan starts going crazy so be careful.
This is when the pan starts going crazy so be careful.

Once you get the chicken to where it’s almost burned nicely on all sides take a glass of water and pour a little bit of water on top of one piece of chicken, and be careful not to splash. Also once you pour that first cup of water in you are going to want to step back because the
oil is going to go crazy, but it’ll die down in a minute and you can at that point pour a little more water onto another piece, this process is called bruising the chicken. Continue pouring water in slowly until you’ve added about 1 cup of water.

Then wait for the gravy to start bubbling and turn the burner down to low and put the lid on but leave it cracked a little so it doesn’t boil over. At this point you can leave it alone but check on it every ten minutes for about 30 minutes and move it around or add a little extra water if you need and just make sure the chicken doesn’t stick to the bottom. Once the 30 minutes are up the chicken is done and it should be extremely tender. The gravy is one of the best parts of this dish, I usually pour it over mashed potatoes and le sueur peas.

I hope you enjoyed this recipe, as my family has for generations.

By Cody Childress

Delicious slow cooker Italian beef

Italian beefSo it’s come time for me to show you a recipe that my father always called Italian Beef. This is a very simple crock pot recipe that takes about 5 minutes to prep but about 6 hours of cooking in the crockpot. I have to say this is one crazy delicious dish. Here’s how I do it:

Chuck roastFirst I just took a regular chuck roast, in this case it came pre sliced which turned out easier to shred it later, but an unsliced one works very well too, and I put it in the crockpot. I was kinda lucky because my aunt for some reason had a brand new crock pot that was just sitting in a box unused and it had a built in timer which I thought was pretty cool. I then turned the crockpot on as high as it would go and put a full teapot on the stove to boil.

Only 6 hours to goWhile I was waiting for the water to boil I chopped one whole white onion and 4 cloves of garlic and threw them in the pot along with 3 bay leaves and tablespoon each of dried oregano and basil. Then I added the juice of one lemon as well, this helps make the beef super tender. When the water boiled I filled the crockpot pretty much to the top with boiling water. The boiling water helps cut down the cooking time, considering crockpots take forever to heat up I just sped up the process a little.

And then I just waited for about 6 hours, which was so hard because the house smelled like garlic and beef and made my mouth water, which actually led me to eat half of a frozen Tombstone pizza to keep from losing my mind haha.

Italian beef sandwich

When the 6 hours were up the beef was as always super tender, so then all I did was shred it up and made sandwiches on rolls with Swiss cheese and then used the broth to dip the sandwiches in, kinda like a French dip sandwich but just not French… Oh and I also picked the three bay leaves out, they aren’t really edible they just add nice flavor to the beef. I wouldn’t want to end up eating one in a sandwich, that wouldn’t be very pleasant.

imageAlso I went a step further this time I made it and took the broth and put it in a separate pot and boiled it until half of the water evaporated. Which is again a lot like what the au jus for a French dip sandwich. This method basically just condenses the beef flavor in the broth. It was well worth the extra 15 minute wait for the broth to condense.

I hope you enjoyed this recipe and please share it if you like it!

By, Cody Childress

How to make delicious guacamole

GuacamoleSo today I’ve made some pretty simple yet absolutely delicious guacamole. It only takes about 5 minutes to make this excellent guacamole at home. Try it out!

The ingredients you will need are:

2 avocados
1 key lime
Half a clove of garlic
1 quarter of a red onion
10 cilantro leaves
Salt and pepper

 

Mortar and pestle

I started off by smashing the cilantro and garlic with the lime juice and some salt and pepper in my mortar and pestle. You could also just finely chop the garlic and cilantro and just mix it into the guacamole like that but since I happen to have a mortar and pestle I decided to use it.

Then I diced a quarter of a red onion and sliced the avocado into large chunks, and just gently mixed the cilantro garlic lime mixture into the chopped avocado and red onions. The reason I gently mixed it in is because I happen to like large chunks of avocado in my guacamole. I don’t really like it when the avocado is smashed up too much but if you like it that way that’s fine too.

And that’s it, only 5 minutes and a few simple ingredients are all it took to make this simple yet delicious guacamole. I hope you try this recipe and if you like this please share it with your friends on Facebook.

By, Cody Childress