11.16.2010

What do I have on my plate?

No, this isn't a post complaining about having too much shit to do. I just wanted to share what was actually on my dinner plate this evening.


Do you have a few meals you consider favorites but they're not exactly something you might brag about? Most people will agree on the finer things - a glass of good champagne, hunks of real Parmesan cheese, truffles, dark chocolate sprinkled with sea salt, your grandmother's meatballs and homemade sauce, your mom's apple pie. You get the idea. But then, on your list, you might sneak on a Big Mac or Kraft Mac 'N Cheese, or deep fried pickles dipped in peanut butter (I just made that up and it sounds totally gross - I wonder if anyone really eats that?!). 


This Secret Favorite Foods list is secret because it can be a little embarrassing. It's not exactly the kind of secret that'll keep you out of the FBI (unless magic brownies is on your list) but they're not very brag-worthy food items. Not saying you have to go around impressing everyone with your sophisticated taste in food but you might get a few looks when you reveal to your coworkers you eat the same thing for dinner 5 nights a week that they go home and feed their kids at 5:30 PM - which, of course, is not what they eat themselves at 7:30 PM. 


Some foods on my list:
- Pizza: this isn't embarrassing but I am truly addicted. I eat pizza once a week at minimum, and I only limit my consumption because I am trying not to weight 300 lbs. 
- College Casserole: My own creation which can be made in a dorm without a kitchen (Annie's Mac N Cheese, peas and honey battered chicken nuggets) 
- White wine spritzers: I started this over the summer to help keep myself hydrated when drinking and also slow me down. But now I can't break the habit, even when I'm drinking a $30 bottle of wine. Pretty embarrassing. No, I don't "cut" my reds with anything.
- And a newcomer: Chicken and rice casserole...with mayonnaise. This has been on my list as one of my top comfort foods since I was a kid but I forgot about it for years. I remembered it on Sunday and was ravenous for it. My mom didn't remember the recipe but it was something she got from Arthur Roebuck who ran catering around our area. I found something online that sounded similar to what she remembered and it was spot-on. So delicious, comforting and easy. Here's what I did...


Chicken and Rice Casserole (inspired by Arthur Roebuck's British Relief Restaurant)
4 boneless, skinless chicken tits*
2 cups rice, any kind you like (I used Uncle Ben's quick cooking brown rice)
Chicken stock for cooking the rice**
2 Bay leaves
1 can of Campbell's Cream of Chick condensed soup
1 cup of mayo, I happen to like Cain's
2 tbl. whole grain mustard, I use Maille because Giada likes it
1 lemon, juiced
Few cups of Corn Flakes, OR crushed Ritz OR whatevs the hell you want to use that's crunchy and makes you happy
Pepper to taste


Preheat your dragon-fire heated stove to 350 degrees F


1. Poach chicken. Google it if you're confused. I do it in broth for extra flavor. Once they're cooked let them cool for a few minutes then shred those bitches.
2. Cook rice as directed on box except see my SUPER IMPORTANT NOTE below that says USE BROTH and the bay leaves. This is the kind of simple move in the kitchen that separates the people who give a shit about what they're making and the ones that cause dinner guests to suggest going to a restaurant next time they want to see you. What kind of rice do YOU want to make, huh?
    2b. Pick out the bay leaves and discard.
3. In a 9x12ish casserole dish put all the ingredients EXCEPT Corn Flakes (includes cooked/shredded chicken + cooked rice).
4. Put your Corn Flakes on top of that shit. I crunch them up a little and push them down into the mushy layer. Some people might be inclined to put some melted butter on there, too. I didn't because our toilet was spewing (clean) water so I threw it in the oven as it was and ran to observe the excitement in the bathroom. 
5. Cook for about 30-40 minutes - until crust is really golden.


* I actually only used 3.5 boobies since I gave a few very large hunks to Ruby. She was being so CUTE, I couldn't resist.
** Please don't use water. That's not flavorful and therefore ghetto.


Finished product - not the best lighting and not the best looking dish but I promise, it is yummy

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