Friday, November 20, 2009

Fried Chicken, Corn Bread, Macaroni & Cheese, and Sweet Potato Chips

I just got back from nearly a week in Florida. Now, I know Florida isn't the south, but my family is largely North Carolina based and there are a lot of grits and biscuits involved when I go home. Yesterday I made biscuits and sausage gravy for breakfast, and this for dinner. When I'm in a food mood, there's no stopping me from taking the theme as far as my grocery store will let me. Don't be surprised if there's pulled pork on this blog soon.

Some people have joked over the years that I should open a restaurant and call it Beige, since most of my favorite foods are shades of brown. Har har har. But there's a salad! I was going to make green beans but I forgot to get them at the grocery store. I also meant to make the sweet potato chips with peanut oil, but discovered too late that I was out of it and had to use vegetable oil, which, sadly, doesn't make for crunchy oven chips. They were really tasty though!

Anyway, I hope you don't mind, but I seem to be on a kick of posting whole meals. I'm leaving off the apple tartlets for now, but there was dessert, too. Of course.

Fried Chicken
1 whole chicken cut into pieces
1 cup flour
3 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup beer
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp adobo
1/2 tsp paprika
2 more cups flour
1 more tsp paprika

Heat 1 1/2" or so of oil in a large skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat (350º if you have a thermometer). Drip one drop of water in the oil, if it sizzles the oil is ready. Put 2 or 3 pieces of chicken into the batter, then into the flour, then immediately into the oil. Flip them over when the batter is golden, it should take 10-15 minutes to cook thoroughly. Drain on paper towels before serving. I like to put the first batch in the oven to cook more and stay warm while I cook the rest.

Corn Bread
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs at room temperature
6 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup milk
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 12.5-oz can creamed corn

Preheat oven to 350º. Grease a 9x13 or 9x9 pan (f0r thicker cornbread) or line muffin tins with paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs. Melt the butter and pour it into the eggs in a steady stream while whisking. Now whisk in the oil, milks, and cream corn, then stir in the dry ingredients until just combined and pour into pan. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 30 minutes, rotate the pan, and bake another 10 minutes.

Sweet Potato Chips
4 or 5 skinny sweet potatoes
1/4 cup peanut oil
kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 400º.
Slice the sweet potatoes as thinly as you can, use a food processor if you have one. Coat them with peanut oil, spread on a foil-lined cookie sheet (for easy cleanup) and bake until they are browned around the edges, roughly 30 minutes. Sprinkle with kosher salt before serving.

Macaroni & Cheese
1/2 pound (half a box) elbow macaroni
6 tbsp butter
1/4 cup flour
3 cups milk
1 tbsp mustard
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp paprika
12 oz shredded cheese (I used extra sharp cheddar & monterey jack)
salt & pepper to taste

Cook the macaroni as directed, but drain when it gets slightly al dente, as you will be cooking it further. Set the pasta aside after draining and toss it with half of the butter to prevent sticking to itself. In the same pot you cooked the pasta in, melt the rest of the butter over medium heat and whisk the flour in, turn down to low and keep whisking for 2-3 minutes. Turn up to medium heat and add the milk in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Add the seasoning, then whisk in the cheese. Adjust seasoning as needed, then stir in pasta. Continue to cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently until the pasta is cooked through. Sprinkle with with breadcrumbs if desired.
If you have a casserole dish (I don't! Why!?) you can transfer the macaroni to it just after stirring in the pasta, and bake for 20 minutes.


  1. Wow, I ran into your blog by accident.... I love it! It's nice to see someone else enjoy making things all from scratch.
    Will be back to read some more later tonight. I know I will be learning a lot!! yay.

  2. Thanks!! I hope you enjoy my blog, and my food! :)

  3. Thanks for the sweet potato chips recipe! I am going to try it! Enjoyed your blog thanks!