Posts Tagged ‘homemade’

Oven Baked French Fries

November 10, 2009
First of all, let me say “yes, yes, I know…baked fries is an oxymoron!”  But quite a tasty one ;-)
Hamburger IMG_4320

Skillet Hamburger and Oven Baked Fries

Last night was supposed to be Cheesy Chicken and Veggie soup with fresh bread; however, as the afternoon came and went and the sky turned a pretty pink, I had absolutely zero initiative to pull out the cutting board and invest the necessary 20 minutes prep-time needed for the meal.  Besides, it’s been hot and sticky and warm soup just didn’t sound good any more!  So quick change of plans…Hamburger Night!

There are some grill aficionados who would just gag at the idea of pan frying hamburger patties, but to them I say “So what!”  On a Monday night when you just aren’t quite ready to let go of the weekend, there is nothing tastier than a hamburger and fries…go ahead and use your skillet to cook up those patties; it’s a very low-mess, healthy, and fast way to have a juicy hamburger and fries.

While traditional oven fries can be too time intensive for a quick dinner, if you microwave your potatoes first you can cut your baking time in half and have crispy oven potato fries ready in a snap!

Oven Baked French Fries (the fast way!)

Prep Time: 5 minutes / Cook Time: 20-30 minutes

  1. Scrub potatoes and thinly slice into rounds, wedges, or strips (the thinner the slices the faster and crispier they will cook up.)
  2. Place slices into a microwave safe bowl and cook for about 10-15 minutes, stirring half way through.
  3. Remove from microwave just a few minutes before potatoes are completely done; toss with a little butter or olive oil, salt, pepper, and paprika.
  4. Bake at 450°F in a single layer on a large cookie sheet for another 10-15 minutes, stirring once, until they are golden and as crispy as you would like them.

    French Fries IMG_4310

    Homemade Oven Fries

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Pizza Night and Re-purposed Tomatoes

November 6, 2009

Tomatoes fresh IMG_4177I love a good tomato…the firm, sweet, juicy type with the most wonderful texture.  And then there are those mealy things that pose as tomatoes; if you didn’t know what they were supposed to taste like you’d swear you’d never touch another tomato again!

Well, I managed to pick up a batch of the later.  Ick!  They have been sitting on my counter for a couple of days, looking oh-so-beautiful but far from salad worthy.  I determined it was time to put them to use before they headed any further south. 

You can probably tell by now that Pizza is my cure for just about any dinner quandary.  There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that pizza can’t carry off perfectly!  Forget diamonds, pizza and chocolate are this girls best friend (and possibly mashed potatoes, lasagna, spaghetti, avocado, umm…but I digress). 

Now I know there are some chefs out there who would cringe at the thought of using mealy, half-mushy tomatoes for anyting…purists.  Personally, I don’t care how far gone they are, I’m not letting my $2.50 worth of tomatoes go to waste ;-) 

So my three tomatoes became homemade pizza sauce, and I have enough left over to smother a couple of baked chicken breasts or toss with some pasta and fresh basil for a side dish!  The flavor came out wonderfully, and the mealy texture didn’t matter one bit once they were cooked and seasoned!

Another Delicious Chicken Pizza 

(Oh Pizza, how I love thee!  How else can you stretch half of a chicken breast between two and a half people?) 

  1. Take about 10 minutes to mix up your pizza dough (give yourself at least 1 hour before you want to eat so it has time to rise and bake); when it is ready, press out and…
  2. Spread with a thin layer of chunky, homemade tomato sauce mixed with Greek Vinaigrette Dressing
  3. Top with shredded mozzarella, chopped chicken, sliced olives and thinly sliced red onions and green bell pepper.
  4. Enjoy!

    Pizza 2 - cooked

    Chicken Pizza with Mozzarella , Fresh Tomato Sauce, Vinaigrette, and sliced Red Onion

Next time you have a couple of tomatoes that are a little past their prime, or need to make a small batch of sauce quickly, give this a try and let me know what you think!

Fresh, Homemade Tomato Sauce

Prep Time:  5 minutes / Cook Time: 10 min / Yield: about 1.5 cups

  1. Peal tomatoes (using a fork, I held mine over the gas stove burner for about 20 seconds, rotating, and the peals came right off with no trouble)
  2.  Chop or puree until you have a chunky sauce (I use a pair of kitchen choppers for this…not fan of most kitchen gadgets, but love these scissors)

    Tomato Sauce 1 IMG_4197

    Time Savers

  3. Season to taste (oregano, salt, dried onion, olive oil if desired) and simmer in a small saucepan for about 10 minutes until tomatoes are soft and slightly stewed.
  4. Use as sauce for pizza or pasta; leftovers can be frozen in ice cube trays (each cube will be about 1 oz) for easy dinners later on.