Categories
Featured Main Dishes Recipes

Homemade Chicken Fried Rice

Homemade Chicken Fried Rice from www.jasonscooking.com

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Happy Monday friends! If you read the Benihana Onion Soup recipe last week you may have been thinking, “Jason. What should I serve with that tasty soup?” Chicken Fried Rice of course! Fried rice is quick and easy to make at home using leftover rice from other dinners. All you do is cook some chicken, toss in your favorite veggies, rice and soy sauce and you’ve got home made take out.

One of my favorite things about this recipe is that, because the rice is the star of the show, you don’t need much chicken to feed a family of 4. You probably have everything you need to make this healthy and delicious Chicken Fried Rice at home right now, so put down the phone and pick up the pan!

The RecipeRecipe
Homemade Chicken Fried Rice
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbs Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs, Cut into ½ in pieces
  • 2 Eggs, Lightly Beaten
  • 1 Cup Diced Onion
  • ½ Cup Diced Carrots
  • 6 Cups Cooked White Rice, cooled and refrigerated for at least 6 hours.
  • 1 Tbs Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • Salt and Pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet (or wok) on medium high heat until it just begins to smoke.
  2. Add all of the chicken and cook, stirring frequently until it’s cooked through (about 4 - 5 minutes).
  3. Add the eggs and mix until they’re cooked (1 minute).
  4. Add the onions and carrots, and cook until they’ve softened a bit (about 3 – 4 minutes)
  5. Add all of the rice and soy sauce and toss to combine and to heat the rice (about 5 minutes).
  6. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
Tips and TricksTips and Tricks

Don’t use freshly cooked rice for this recipe or it’ll turn out mushy. Cooling and refrigerating your rice dries it out and makes it the perfect fried rice consistency.

Feed the FreezerFeed the Freezer

Throw your leftover white rice into storage bags and store in the freezer. When you have a hankering for fried rice, the frozen rice will be ready for use in this recipe! Just follow the same directions as above.

Fun FactsFun Facts

Soy sauce has been in use in China for over 2,500 years, making it one of the world’s oldest condiments.

Categories
Appetizers Featured Main Dishes Recipes

Benihana Onion Soup

Benihana Onion Soup from www.jasonscooking.com

BackgroundBackground

Until I met Michael, I had never been to a Japanese Steak House. By the time I realized that I’d never been to a Japanese steak house, I was probably 18 or 19 and I decided to never go to one and that would be an interesting thing about me. Many people were incredulous when I told them and they would invariably tell me that I should go and that I would like it. “Nah,” I would reply and that would be that.

Benihana Mike
Michael, his sister, and his brother-in-law celebrating birthdays at Benihana.

Then I met Michael…who LOVES Benihana. Specifically he loves the shrimp, the chicken fried rice, and the ginger dressing. Couple that with the fact that Benihana was the place that his family went when celebrating things and my days of “I’ve never been to Benihana” were over.

My first Benihana experience was before we went to a pottery painting place that I liked called Wired and Fired. It was a Something I Like + Something You Like evening. The food was fine (maybe a bit bland) and the show was entertaining and just like that I lost my status of Guy Who Had Never Been to a Japanese Steak House.

While the whole Thing isn’t my tokkuri of sake, I do like the sushi and the Onion soup is delicious! That brings us to today’s post (finally). Benihana Onion Soup is a pretty straightforward dish and a great example of less is more. You can whip up a batch really quickly and get more without feeling like a weirdo in the restaurant. It’s a light and simple soup that goes with pretty much anything.

The RecipeRecipe
Benihana Onion Soup
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 3 Tbs Chicken Base (buy it near the bullion)
  • 8 Cups Water
  • 1 White Mushroom, Sliced very thinly
  • 4 Tbs French Fried Onions
  • 2 Green Onions, Sliced
Instructions
  1. Boil the water and chicken base in a medium pot over medium high heat for 30 minutes.
  2. Divide the French fried onions, the green onions, mushrooms and stock evenly between 4 serving bowls and serve immediately.
Tips and TricksTips and Tricks

For chickenier flavor, substitute chicken stock for up to half of the water.

Feed the FreezerFeed the Freezer

Use frozen chicken stock to whip up a batch of Benihana Onion Soup whenever you want one.

Fun FactsFun Facts

Gwen will eat chicken stock so this fits into the theme for the week. If you are a vegetarian who doesn’t each chicken stock, never fear. Better than Bullion makes No Chicken base too!

Categories
Bread Featured Recipes

Everything Bagel Bread

Temperature350°Time40 – 50 mins

Everything Bagel Sandwich Bread from www.jasonscooking.com

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I’ve often had the great ambition to make a loaf of bread every week so that Michael and I have homemade sandwich bread for lunches every day. Invariably, I decide against it because baking bread seems like a whole thing and buying bread is so much easier. I have made many a loaf of bread so I know that, while it does take a while to make, most of that time is spent doing nothing…the Kitchenaid kneads, and the yeast prefer to be left alone while they do their thing. Truth be told, bread is rather simple to make and there’s really no excuse for not making your own.

All that said, it took the blog to make me actually start baking more bread and I’m hooked. Get it…hooked…like the attachment for the mixer. I love Everything Bagels and have been known to make them on occasion. The only thing that distinguishes the everything bagel from the plain bagel or the sesame bagel is the topping and there’s no reason you can’t put that topping on your regular sandwich bread. The result is inexpensive, healthy sandwich bread made with wholesome ingredients that includes all the things you love about everything bagels!  Without further ado, I give you the Everything Bagel Bread…

The RecipeRecipe
Everything Bagel Sandwich Bread
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Bread
Ingredients
For the Bread
  • 1 Cup Buttermilk, warmed in the microwave for about 30 seconds (not hot)
  • ⅓ Cup Warm Water
  • 3 Tbs Honey
  • 2 Tbs Unsalted Butter, Melted
  • 3 ½ Cups Bread Flour
  • 1 Packet of Rapid-Rise Yeast (see fun facts)
  • 2 tsp Kosher Salt

Everything Bagel Mix
  • 2 oz (by weight) Dried Onion Flakes
  • 2 oz (by weight) Dried Garlic Flakes
  • 1 oz (by weight) Sea Salt
  • 1 Tbs Dried Parsley
Instructions
  1. Dump the flour, yeast and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer and mix it all together with a fork.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the milk, water, honey, and butter together and add it to the flour mixture.
  3. Using the hook attachment, mix on low speed until your dough comes together, then turn it up to medium and beat for about 10 minutes until the dough is smooth. Scrape the dough down if needed.
  4. Transfer dough to a bowl that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, toss the dough around to coat it with the oil, lightly cover it with plastic wrap, and stash it in a warm place to rise until it has doubled in size (about 1 hour)
  5. Mix all of the ingredients for the Everything Bagel Mix together and store in an air-tight container for up to 6 months. This recipe will make a lot of Everything Bagel Mix and you won’t use it all.
  6. Spray a loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. I use a Pullman Pan but a regular loaf pan will work just fine.
  7. When the dough has doubled in size, transfer it onto a lightly floured surface and pat it out into a rectangle that is the same length as your loaf pan and about 1 inch thick. Roll it up, pinch the seam, and place in the pan with the seam side down.
  8. Spray the loaf with a bit of water and apply a liberal amount of the Everything Bagel Mix, making sure it gets all over the loaf.
  9. Allow the dough to proof in the pan at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
  10. When you’re ready to cook, preheat heat the oven to 350°, slide the lid on the Pullman Pan (if using), and cook for 40 – 50 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the bread reaches an internal temperature of 195°.
  11. Let the bread cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.
Tips and TricksTips and Tricks

Looking for a good place to stash your dough to let it rise? I stick in the oven with the oven light turned on. I find that to be the perfect environment. Just make sure you don’t forget it’s in there and turn the oven on!

Feed the FreezerFeed the Freezer

Bread can be frozen after it’s baked or before the final rise. If you freeze it before baking, place the frozen dough in your loaf pan in the refrigerator overnight to thaw. Remove the dough from the refrigerator about an hour before you preheat the oven to allow it to get back to room temperature.

Fun FactsFun Facts

A Pullman Pan is a loaf pan with a lid that slides on, forcing the bread to square off at the top rather than doming like a traditional loaf pan. It’s what you use if you want loaves of bread that are shaped like the loaves that you get in the store.

Categories
Appetizers Featured Recipes Snacks

Goat Cheese with Caramelized Onions and Orange Marmalade

Caprino from www.jasonscooking.com

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My friend Gwen and I have worked together for almost 10 years and this is her last week. Boo. Gwen is a vegetarian and she often gives me crap for not making more vegetarian stuff. This week will all be stuff she can eat.

The first recipe is Figo Pasta’s Caprino appetizer. This quick and easy app is a great combination of tangy goat cheese, sweet caramelized onions, citrusy orange marmalade and crunchy toasted French bread. It really hits all of the highlights that a good appetizer should hit – minus bacon of course.

Anywho…one of my favorite things to do with Gwen was to go to Ikea and Figo at lunch. Gwen is good at Ikea…I’m pretty sure they can sense her in the area and batten down the hatches when she’s near Atlantic Station. After tearing through the Ikea at an alarming rate, we would swing by the Figo for some delicious pasta. She introduced me to this place, and now it’s one of Michael and my favorite spots.

The RecipeRecipe
Goat Cheese with Caramelized Onions and Orange Marmalade
 
Prep time
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Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 16
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ Tbs Olive Oil
  • 1 ½ Cup Sweet Onions, Diced
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 Tbs Orange Marmalade
  • 5 oz Goat Cheese
  • 1 Loaf French Bread, Sliced on the bias into 16 pieces (about ½ inch thick)
  • Parsley for serving
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized pan over medium-low heat.
  2. Add the onions, a pinch or two of salt and a few grinds of pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions caramelize and turn a deep golden brown – about 20 minutes. See Tips and Tricks below.
  3. When the onions have caramelized, add the marmalade and stir.
  4. When the marmalade is completely incorporated, add the goat cheese and fold to incorporate everything. The cheese will melt as you stir. Remove from the heat and transfer to a heat-proof bowl to cool.
  5. While the cheese mixture is cooling, heat the oven to 400° and place the slices of bread in a single layer on a pan.
  6. Toast in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes, turning half way through the cooking time, until they are toasty and slightly colored.
  7. Spread the cheese mixture on the slices of toasted bread and sprinkle with parsley.
Tips and TricksTips and Tricks

The secret to beautifully caramelized onions is to go low and slow. If the onions start to crisp up or look like they’re frying, you have too much heat. Slow and steady win the race.

Feed the FreezerFeed the Freezer

You can store the cheese mixture in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When you’re ready to serve, toast the bread and commence scooping and spreading.

Fun FactsFun Facts

Until literally 2 minutes ago, I thought “Caprino” was a well-known Italian appetizer…apparently it’s not. Caprino is simply an Italian goat cheese – the onions and marmalade came from Figo. Who knew?

Categories
Favorites Featured

Your Favorites from October 2014

October Favorites at www.jasonscooking.comOctober was a super busy month for us and for Jason’s Cooking.  I was in my first (and hopefully last) car accident, we took a spontaneous trip to Disney World, and upgraded the Element!  We also had our best month ever on the blog, gained some Facebook fans, and added some email subscribers.  Hooray!!

Here are your favorite recipes from October.  Which ones did you make for your family?

-Jason & Michael

Jason's Guinness Stew from www.jasonscooking.com
Jason’s Guinness Stew

Ciabatta Rolls from www.jasonscooking.com
Ciabatta Rolls

Candy Corn Rice Krispies Treats from www.jasonscooking.com
Candy Corn Rice Krispies Treats

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies from www.jasonscooking.com
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Beef Stew from www.jasonscooking.com
Dad’s Favorite Beef Stew

Chicken Salad Tarts from www.jasonscooking.com
Chicken Salad Tarts

Bacon Pimento Cheese Puffs from www.jasonscooking.com
Bacon Pimento Cheese Puffs

Simpsons Donuts from www.jasonscooking.com
Mmmm! Donuts.

Chocolate Pound Cake from www.jasonscooking.com
Chocolate Pound Cake

Healthy Flank Steak Fajitas from www.jasonscooking.com
Healthy Flank Steak Fajitas

What would you like to see us make?  Leave your ideas in the comments.

Categories
Dessert Featured Recipes

Banana Bread Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake from www.jasonscooking.com

BackgroundBackground

The idea for this recipe came from a catering gig we did a couple of months ago. We wanted to come up with an easy dessert that could feed a crowd, worked on a buffet, was customizable and that was pretty much universally enjoyed so we decided on a Strawberry Shortcake bar. Rather than making 40 – 50 shortcakes, we went with loaf cakes. They’re easy to make and transport and it’s a proven fact that Michael makes the best banana bread in the whole wide world.

We went with a chocolate pound cake, a regular pound cake, and banana bread. I wasn’t 100% sure how the banana bread would go over but that all changed once I tasted this twist on the classic. The banana bread is a great addition to the Strawberry Shortcake team and plays well with the strawberries and whipped topping. If you’re skeptical, remember that the most popular smoothie is the strawberry banana smoothie!

The RecipeRecipe
Banana Bread Strawberry Shortcake
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Combine strawberries and sugar in a large bowl and store in the refrigerator for 6 – 8 hours or overnight. The strawberries will give off a bunch of delicious juice.
  2. Serve by topping a slice of banana bread with some of the strawberry mixture and a dollop of whipped topping.
Tips and TricksTips and Tricks

If you don’t like banana bread, try zucchini bread, pound cake, angel food cake or traditional shortcakes (they’re basically biscuits with sugar in them).

Feed the FreezerFeed the Freezer

All of the components of this desert freeze really well, making it a great candidate for feeding the freezer. Just wrap everything separately and then thaw and serve when unexpected company pops by.

Fun FactsFun Facts

The character Strawberry Shortcake was created in 1977 by Muriel Fahrion for greeting card maker American Greetings. The toys and TV specials came later.

Categories
Featured Lunch Main Dishes Recipes

Sweet and Spicy Chicken and Waffles

Chicken and Waffles from www.jasonscooking.com

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On our recent trip to Walt Disney World, Michael and I decided to try the waffle sandwiches at Sleepy Hollow Refreshments. This place is a small counter-service joint in the Magic Kingdom that is on the Liberty Square side of the castle – it’s easy to miss so keep an eye out for it. We learned of this place from a WDW Radio Podcast and were pretty excited to try it. The great thing about having an Annual Pass is that you get to try hidden places like that because you’re not in a huge rush to do everything.

2014-10-11 11.15.24
Disney Chicken and Waffles

We both got the Sweet and Spicy Chicken Waffle Sandwich and, other than the fact that it’s more of a taco than a sandwich, it was fantastic! The Disney version is a waffle, fried chicken breast in a sweet and spicy sauce, arugula and cole slaw. The combination of Disney Magic, simple ingredients, and a straightforward presentation made the Sleepy Hollow Sweet and Spicy Chicken Sandwich a prime candidate for the blog.

The RecipeRecipe
Sweet and Spicy Chicken and Waffles
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • For the Waffles
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 ½ Cups Buttermilk
  • ¾ Cup Butter, Melted
  • 1 ½ Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • ¾ tsp Baking Soda
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 2 Tbs Sugar

  • For the Toppings
  • 3 Cups Bagged Cole Slaw Mix
  • ¼ Cup Prepared Cole Slaw Dressing
  • ½ Stick Butter
  • 1 Tbs Siraccha
  • 2 Tbs Orange Juice
  • ¼ Cup Maple Syrup
  • 8 Fried Chicken Tenders (I get them from the deli at my grocery store)
  • 1 Green Apple, Cored Sliced
Instructions
  1. Make the Cole Slaw – Toss the cole slaw mix and dressing together in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Make the Chicken – In a small sauce pan, melt the butter, siraccha, orange juice and syrup over medium heat. When the butter has melted and the glaze has warmed through, remove from heat. Using a large bowl, toss the cooked chicken tenders with the glaze and set aside.
  3. Make the Waffles – Preheat your waffle maker and spray it with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, buttermilk, and melted butter together using a fork. Add all of the dry ingredients at once and mix just until everything is combined. The batter should be about as thick as pancake batter (flowey but not soupy). If it’s too thick, add some milk to thin it a bit. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to make your waffles.
  4. WAFFLES ASSEMBLE! – Stack the ingredients thusly: waffle, 2 chicken tenders, apple slice(s), cole slaw.
Tips and TricksTips and Tricks

Overcook your waffles just a bit to help them stand up to the tasty toppings of this tasty treat.

Feed the FreezerFeed the Freezer

Can I use frozen chicken fingers and frozen waffles for this recipe? Yes you can. Look for home-style or Belgian waffles for the base and then simply whip up a batch of the glaze, toss the chicken, mix up the cole slaw and dinner’s ready! It won’t taste quite the same but it should satisfy your craving.

Fun FactsFun Facts

A lot of people associate Chicken and Waffles with the south but recipes for this unique combination are nowhere to be found in old southern cook books. 1930’s Harlem is who we have to thank for the chicken and waffles we enjoy today.

Categories
Featured Jason's Favorites Main Dishes Recipes

Dad’s Favorite Beef Stew

TemperatureSimmerTime1 ½ – 2 Hours Total

Beef Stew from www.jasonscooking.com

BackgroundBackground

Today would be my dad’s 66th birthday. To celebrate, we’re making his favorite beef stew! This stew is one of the few things that he could cook, and he would often make a large pot of it on winter afternoons. Some of my fondest memories include cold evenings in his condo watching movies by the fire place with a warm bowl of stew. He loved to make this stew and I love birthdays so I’m sharing this with you today. I hope you enjoy it.

This recipe is the epitome of a family recipe. My mom, my sister, my dad and I all have slightly different versions and all of them are delicious. My version is below but here are some of the variations:

Mom – Thinner with chunkier veggies
Brooke – No onions and flour slurry added at the end
Dad – Painstakingly consistent cuts of meat and veggies and served with rice

As with all recipes, use this as a base and then add or remove things that you like or don’t like. The great part about cooking is that it is personal and most recipes can be adjusted to suit your taste.

The RecipeRecipe
Dad's Favorite Beef Stew
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 6 - 8
Ingredients
  • 3 Tbs Vegetable Oil, Divided
  • 2 lb Boneless Beef Chuck Roast, Cut into 1-inch Cubes
  • ¼ Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp Salt*
  • 1 tsp Pepper*
  • 1 Large Onion, Chopped
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, Finely Chopped
  • 4 Cups (32 fl oz) Beef Stock
  • 2 ½ lb White Potatoes, Peeled and Cut into 1” Chunks
  • 8 oz Carrots, Cut into 1” Chunks
  • 1 Packet of Beef Stew Seasoning Mix

*You’ll need more pinches of salt and grinds of pepper to season the onions and at the end.
Instructions
  1. Heat half of the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium high heat.
  2. Place meat, flour, salt and pepper in a large zip-top bag, seal and shake to coat all of the meat.
  3. Once the oil has heated up, add half of the beef to the pot to brown, stir after about 3 minutes to get the other sides. Remove the beef to a large bowl with a slotted spoon and repeat with the remaining oil and beef.
  4. After removing the second batch of beef, add all of the onion to the pan (add more oil if needed) and season with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper and stir everything around. After about a minute, add the garlic and cook until the onions are translucent (about 4 or 5 minutes).
  5. Add some of the beef stock and scrape the bottom of the pot to get the browned bits into the stew. Be very thorough and you’ll be rewarded with more flavor in your stew and a pot that is easier to clean.
  6. Add the remainder of the beef stock, the reserved meat, potatoes, carrots and seasoning mix to the pot and stir to combine. Bring the stew to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 – 1 ½ hours.
  7. If needed, adjust seasoning and serve.
Tips and TricksTips and Tricks

If you want to simmer this stew for more than an hour and a half, go for it. Just add the potatoes and carrots in 1 ½ hours before service to ensure they don’t disintegrate. I wouldn’t stew it for more than 3 hours though…your meat might start to break up.

Feed the FreezerFeed the Freezer

This stew freezes really well so feel free to make a large batch and put some in the freezer for a rainy day. Reheat on the stovetop, adding water if needed to thin it out.

Fun FactsFun Facts

My dad’s name was Charles so his nickname was Chuck. My mom once told me that she used his nickname to remember what kind of beef to buy for stew and now that’s how I remember it too!

Categories
Breakfast Featured Main Dishes Recipes

Chicken Sausage, Tomato and Green Onion Wraps

Sausage, Green Onion and Tomato Wrap from www.jasonscooking.com

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If you like quiche, omelets, breakfast burritos, or breakfast for dinner, you should give this Sausage, Tomato, and Green Onion Wrap a try. It’s quick and easy, healthy, inexpensive and is great for breakfast, lunch or dinner. We went with sausage, tomato and green onions but you can switch those out for any meats and/or veggies that you like. If you think of it as a handheld omelet, it’s easy to come up with ingredient combinations that you will love.

This is probably the first recipe that Michael and I disagreed on since we launched Jason’s Cooking. Michael liked it and I wasn’t a huge fan – mostly because I found it bland and boring. I’m not going to write this recipe off completely because I do think it has potential…I’m just not in a hurry to make it again. Next time I will definitely add cheese!!

The RecipeRecipe
Chicken Sausage, Tomato and Green Onion Wraps
 
Prep time
Cook time
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Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbs Butter
  • 6 Eggs
  • ¼ Cup Milk
  • 2 Green Onions, Sliced
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Black Pepper
  • 2 Chicken and Apple Smoked Sausages
  • ¾ Cup Cherry Tomatoes, Quartered
  • 4 Whole Wheat Wraps
Instructions
  1. Melt the butter in a medium-sized non-stick pan over medium heat.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper until they are well scrambled.
  3. Split the sausages in half lengthwise and then cut into ¼ inch thick slices.
  4. Add the sausage and the green onions to the egg mixture and pour it into the pan to cook. Leave the eggs alone for about a minute so that the bottom layer can set up a bit.
  5. Using long strokes with a rubber spatula, gently push the eggs around every 30 seconds or so. Don’t fuss with them, you’re looking for big, creamy curds.
  6. The eggs are done when they set and still look a little moist (about 3 minutes). Stir the tomatoes into the egg mixture, and remove the pan from the heat.
  7. Divide the egg mixture among the 4 wraps, wrap them up like a burrito and serve!
Tips and TricksTips and Tricks

Remember: if your eggs look done in the pan, they’ll be overcooked on the plate. Take them off the heat when they still look a tiny bit moist and let carryover cooking do the rest.

Feed the FreezerFeed the Freezer

This recipe is the epitome of quick and easy so freezing isn’t necessary.

Fun FactsFun Facts

Michael doesn’t like uncooked tomatoes but he loves green onions.