Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Roux proportions

1 tbsp oil/butter (2 oz.)
1 tbsp flour (2 oz.)
1 cup stock (8 oz.)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Baked Sausage Tip

During the years I spent in the restaurant business, I often had to prep large amounts of bacon or sausage links at one time. We would lay them out on a baking sheet and put them in the oven for varying amounts of time, depending on whether we needed them fully cooked, or merely blanched so that they would finish cooking more quickly for short orders.

At home, I use the same technique to cook bacon or sausage for breakfast. It's quick, reliable, doesn't leave grease spatters on my cooktop, and doesn't tie up a burner that I want to use while cooking eggs. There's some debate among purists about whether bacon tastes the same baked, as grilled or fried, and the only difference I can think of is that the sugar cure in bacon is more likely to get caramelized at high heat when frying it in a pan, thus the difference. But, I digress.

In the restaurants, we used unlined baking sheets, as we had dishwashers and potscrubbers to clean up the mess afterwards, but at home I have to clean the pans myself (or my lovely wife does), so I like to line the pan with a foil sheet before baking - just throw the foil away when you're done, and there's no baked-on gunk on the pan to scrub.

This works great for bacon, but for link sausage, the links often get stuck to the foil sheet. Just this morning, though, I finally tried a little trick - spraying the foil with Pam cooking spray before I put the links down on it.

It worked like a dream, the links didn't stick, and they came right off the foil when it was all cooked. Hope this tip is good for you, too.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Tangy Ranch Chicken

Found this one in the newspaper coupon flyer, from French's (the mustard people), and tried it out. Really good.
2/3 c ranch dressing
1/3 cup French's classic yellow mustard (I used the fancier French's variety)
3 tbs brown sugar
6 oz. boneless chicken breasts (used two nice large breasts, I think 6 oz is a little low for dinner for two)
Mix: Salad dressing, mustard and sugar. Pour 1/2 cup sauce into serving bowl (two dipping cups worked well)
Coat chicken with remaining sauce in greased baking dish
Bake chicken at 350 for 25 min. until cooked.
Serve with reserved sauce.