Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Our Family Dinner Bell Sounds a Lot Like a Fire Alarm...

So tonight, dinner started with a 13.5 oz can of coconut milk...and realizing the recipe I intended to use only called for 1/4 cup of it...

Fortunately for me, the coconut milk came with a recipe of it own for dessert (:

So tonight, I made Coconut Chicken with Homemade Sweet Chili Sauce over Rice, with Garlic Seasoned California Vegetables with Rice Pudding for dessert.

Here's Beth M's Coconut Chicken Recipe, from http://budgetbytes.blogspot.com

Ingredients

2 lbs of chicken breast, sliced into roughly 1/2 inch strips
2 large eggs
1/4 cup coconut milk (and by the way-- if you've never used it before, you're supposed to shake the can before opening it!)
1/2 cup of flour
1 cup panko bread crumbs (or crushed rice chex)
1 cup shredded coconut
salt, to taste
and enough vegetable, olive or canola oil to give you between 1/2 and 1 inch of oil in your frying pan.

Directions

Set your sliced chicken off to the side and prepare your dipping stations in three bowls.  Bowl 1:  the flour and salt, mixed with a fork.  Bowl 2:  the eggs and the coconut milk, whipped with a fork until well mixed.  Bowl 3: the panko bread crumbs and shredded coconut, also mixed with a fork.  While you're breading the chicken, go ahead and turn on the skillet for medium heat.  While it's heating, first dip each piece of chicken in the flour and give it a nice, even light coat.  Set them all aside on a plate.  Then dip them in turn first into the eggs/coconut milk and then the panko/coconut and set them aside on another plate.  When you have 4-6 ready, check that the oil is ready and you can start putting them in.  Continuing to bread them while you pay attention to what's cooking-- they only need about 3-5 minutes before they're ready to turn over, then 3-5 more before you'll need to take them out and put them on a plate with some paper towel.  When you've cooked all of the chicken, you might want to put them in a single layer on a cookie sheet to make sure they're thoroughly cooked and evenly heated.

For the Rice Pudding

1 cup of rice
1 1/2 cup of water
2 tsp of ground cinnamon
the remainder of the container of coconut milk
1 cup of milk
1-2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1-2 tsp lemon juice


In a medium saucepan with lid, cover the rice with the cinnamon and water, bring to a boil, then turn the heat down, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.  Add the coconut milk, milk, vanilla, brown sugar and lemon juice.  Give a good stir, heating over medium heat until it starts to bubble, then simmer and cover until most of the liquid is absorbed.

For the Sweet Chili Sauce

1/3 cup of apricot preserves
2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar
2 tsps srichacha chili sauce
2 tsps red pepper flakes

Stir them all together in a small sauce pan over medium high heat until it boils, then simmer.


For the Vegetables

1 package of frozen California Blend Vegetables (carrots, broccoli and cauliflower)
Garlic salt, to taste

Use a bit of vegetable oil on a cookie.  Preheat the oven to 450.  Mix the vegetables and seasoning in a bowl, then spread the vegetables out on the cookie sheet.  Bake for between 15-20 minutes.


*************************************************************************

In order to time everything right, I started with the rice.  1 cup in my steamer to cook for 60 minutes and to serve with the chicken and the other on the stove for the Rice Pudding and set a timer for 20 minutes for that rice.  Then I greased the cookie sheet for the vegetables and set it aside.  Then I prepared the three dipping bowls and sliced up the chicken.  About that time, the rice pudding was ready for the next stage.  After getting it back to simmering, I put a frying pan of oil on the stove for the chicken and set it for medium heat.  Then I started breading the chicken.  When I had about 25 minutes left on the steamer for the rice, I preheated the oven and started preparing the vegetables, paying attention to the chicken if I needed to turn it over, take it out and put on the paper towel or start the next batch.  When I finished with all of the chicken, I put in on a cookie sheet to evenly heat and finish cooking it.  When I had 15 minutes left on the rice, I put the vegetables in the oven.  After 7 minutes, I added the chicken on the second cookie sheet.  And when the steamer timer went off, everything was ready.  Even the rice pudding, so I turned that off.

And as I opened the oven to take the vegetables and chicken out-- the fire alarm went off...

And my nine year old, from the living room announces, "Dinner's Ready!"

It's kind of a running theme.  It was true when I was a little kid and my mom was cooking.  And my husband has identical stories to tell of his mother's cooking.

It's practically a family tradition: When the fire alarm goes off, Dinner's ready (;


And a note for the rice pudding (that isn't pictured)-- it tastes -exactly- like the stuff I buy at the store!  I just need to purchase some raisins to toss in it.  I know, it's kind of ironic that I have all the ingredients above on hand at a moments notice-- and not a single raisin in the house (;

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