Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Cooking Assistance

Greetings all...remember when I used to blog every day? Wow, that seems ambitious. Heck, when I started, I even blogged every weekend day!!! Oh, how times change. You might think that the quality of my blogging would improve as the quantity decreased, but you would be wrong about that, too;-)

Anyway, let's see...Munchkin and I did some shopping last night because she needed a few things for her trip (a coat, a sweater, some shoes...nothing too exciting). She leaves after school on Friday and will be gone for a week or so...poor kid;-). I am at least a little sad that we don't do our spring break trips anymore, but I suppose there is no rule that says we can't start again in the future.

I have been cooking a lot more lately. Usually I leave work before 4:00, which gives me some time that I have never before had in the evenings...kinda nice. I am still a novice cook, but I think that I may be graduating to intermediate. I am willing to take any and all suggestions...

Actually, I have a random question...I tried making chicken parm the other night, and it came out pretty well, but I have a technical issue. The sauce was just crushed tomatoes with oregano, basil, bay, salt, pepper and some other random spices that I threw in. The chicken was not breaded, I just sauteed it quickly in olive oil with some salt and pepper, and then put it all in a glass 9x13 pan, poured the sauce over it and covered it with shredded mozzarella, Parmesan and provolone.

It was really good, but the sauce ended up getting too watery. So, my question is, how do I get the water out of the tomatoes? Should I try diced tomatoes and drain them? I feel like that won't really solve the problem. Should I cook the sauce longer to boil some of the water off? This is the sort of technical issue that I don't have the skills to figure out on my own.

Help appreciated...

7 comments:

Dawn said...

I have no sauce advice but...

You know how chicken that you get in Chinese restaurants is always tender and soft, but the chicken breasts that you make at home are not usually as melt-in-your-mouth good? I found the trick. Defrost as normal. Sprinkle on a healthy coating of baking soda -- YES, BAKING SODA -- on both sides. Let sit for 15-20 minutes. Rinse the baking soda off COMPLETELY. Cook as you normally would. Voila! Tender chicken just like you get in Chinese restaurants. I'm not even kidding. It's a fabulous trick.

I've been doing it this way for about 6 months and have not experienced dried-out chicken since I started doing this. I made chicken marsala the other night -- OMG, the goodness of that chicken!

Our Happy Married Life... said...

um, scratch that all together and try the pioneer woman's chicken parm! You will love it and never ever make any other version of it. Trust me.

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

I'd say definitely try to drain the tomatoes from the can (regardless of what kind you get). Also, maybe adding some tomato paste to the tomatoes will thicken things up? Could be totally wrong here and it might make things worse than before, but the thought probably occurred to me because I have a partially used can of it in my fridge and I have no idea what to do with it. ha.

Ally said...

I'm impressed that you're making your own sauce...my solution would be to dump a store-bought one over it :)

Kari said...

I cook my sauce first...if running short on time...throw it in Mr. Microwave (that way you don't have to stir or worry about it burning). I also put the chicken in the oven for a few minutes (basically to warm it up), pull it out, pour the warm sauce on it. Just before it is done, i put the cheese on it and then actually broil it...really it is not as labour intensive as it sounds (if I can do it...anyone can!)

A said...

Am totally useless on the sauce issue. But A+ for trying! Sauce is totally an intermediate task, so you've totally graduated to the next level. :)

Anonymous said...

your instincts are right! reduce the sauce until it's thick and almost pasty. that'll make the rich sweet flavors of the tomaotes come out, and the juices from the chicken will thin the sauce til it's juuust right!