Monday, January 25, 2010

The "pressure" cooker

I wrote a couple of posts ago about running out of family recipes to share (although it subsequently occurred to me to get my Hungarian-Polish sister in law to share her family recipes as well). In a way it's true; the recipe reservoir of the nuclear family is going to be small. If you know how to make as few as 20 different things, assuming you eat out once a week, you're going to go nearly a month before repeating anything. Plus, they're favorites, right? So you want to keep making them.

And of course, I did think of some old family favorites that I haven't blogged yet, and some new things to try out on you, and then there's my sister-in-law. But I also realized what an inspiration just writing about these recipes is. I find myself thinking, what can I make that would have an interesting story, what can I try on my small audience, what can I create?

Here's what I created yesterday:

Ginger chicken with winter squash
bone-in chicken breast, one per diner
1 winter squash (acorn or small butternut)
1 pint shiitake mushrooms
2-4 inches fresh ginger root, peeled and sliced
1 teaspoon green peppercorns
4 cups Ginger-squash broth
1/3 cup rice for each diner

Seed, peel, and cube the squash (you can peel squash and the ginger for that matter with a potato peeler). Put the seeds, peels, ginger bark and peppercorns in a 2-quart saucepan, fill with water, and bring to a boil Simmer for 20 minutes, then strain to create about 4+ cups of broth.

In a large frying pan, saute the chicken in about 3 tablespoons of butter, until skin is browned. Add the ginger root and saute until soft. Add the squash and toss until it is completely coated with butter. Season with salt and pepper. Add the mushrooms and toss, simmering for another couple of minutes. Dredge lightly with flour, toss to distribute flour evenly. Add about 1 cup of the hot broth and bring to simmer. Continue adding up to 2+ cups of broth so that you have a nice gravy.

Use the remaining broth to cook the rice in, which will give the rice a ginger flavor.

Thanks to The Yarden for inspiring the title!


  1. Looks good. I'm going to direct my SIL to your blog because she keeps cooking meals out of the cookbook by Paula Dean's sons.

  2. I have to say, that while I do tend to use a lot of butter, I draw the line at hamburgers on donuts.