Sunday, May 24, 2009

Eat For A Week, Episode 17: Last Flight for the Bird (remix)

The first family recipe I've decided to "remix" for this is one called Last Flight for the Bird. My grocery bill for this one was just shy of $22. I had to get everything but the rice.


large bowl
oven-save baking dish


4 chicken breasts
1 16 oz. packet of bacon
16 oz. potato leek soup
1 can condensed cheddar cheese soup
8 oz. swiss cheese, grated,
1 head of broccoli, chopped into bite-sized bits
6 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
about 3/4 Cup uncooked rice


Preheat oven to 375°.
Wrap each chicken breast in a slice of bacon then return them to the refrigerator until needed.
Chop remaining bacon into about 1" bits and cook in skillet until crispy.
In a large bowl combine rice, soups, garlic, broccoli, cooked bacon, and about 2/3 of the swiss cheese. *
Mix well.
Transfer mixture to an oven-save baking dish. Nestle the bacon-wrapped chicken into the dish
Top with remaining swiss cheese.
Cover with foil and bake in 375° oven for 45 minutes.
Remove foil and return to oven for 20-30 minutes or until top is golden brown.
Let cool 10-15 minutes before serving.

Music for this episode was "Breakfast of Champions" by The Hybiscus Journals.

* If I'd had it on hand, I would have included a couple tablespoons of spicy mustard in this mix.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Hi there!

No, I'm not dead and neither is this blog. I've just been stupidly busy and the blog has been hibernating. I'm actually cooking up the next installment right now. (Well okay, the oven is doing the cooking. I'm just waiting for the timer to go off at the moment.)

So, where am I going now that I've run out of all those fantastic secret ingredients? That's an excellent question. Glad you asked. Years ago, my mom gave my sister & I cook books of our favourite family recipes. Sadly, many of those recipes call for things which contain MSG, which is something I can no longer consume without experiencing crippling migraines. What has MSG? Many canned soups, dried soup mixes, processed meats, and those damn seasoning packets - which I now "affectionately" call "death packets". (Thanks for that one, Cy!) Because of this, many of these meals I haven't eaten in years. This makes me sad because, damn, they're tasty. So I got this brilliant idea...

Rather than just trying to recreate these recipes while substituting a couple of ingredients - which I've learned rarely produces satisfactory results - I'll completely recreate them. I'll use the methods and major concepts from the recipes but with a whole new flavour pallette. I've tested this with a few recipes, and the results have so far been spectacular, if I may say so.

So that's where I'm going for now. No, they won't always last a week, but they will at least go for a few days for those of us living alone. Or provide dinner one night for four, which also isn't too shabby for around $20.

That's another thing... I've considered hedging my price baseline up a bit more since things are seeming to cost more now. I've decided against that. Sure, that may make things a bit more challenging, but I like a challenge. At the same time, I'm not going to rake myself over the coals for going over $20, so I'd appreciate it muchly if you wouldn't as well.

I've also considered asking the local grocery store how they'd feel about me video taping my shopping process so that I might be able to offer some additional tips in that direction. So far I haven't had the guts to ask for a manager and bring it up, but I've been shopping there for nearly 5 years now. Most of the staff know me at least by sight. I'd like to think it wouldn't be an issue.

So there you have it. That's where I'm at for now.