Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fresh green onions dress up this ketchup; put this totable chicken dish on the map

But it doesn’t have anything to do with eating the garden-fresh way, I protested to my daughter. My offspring was extolling the wonders of Chicken Fingers with Curry Ketchup, which I had served her and her family for the July 4th weekend. Not the easiest-pleased eater, she raved about this dish and remarked, “You are going to blog about this, aren’t you?”

“Can’t,” I replied. It didn’t feature a wonderland of fresh fruits or veggies. She countered that if my blog was to feature recipes that would tempt the palate, Chicken Fingers with Curry Ketchup would win hands-down. Finally we analyzed that the Curry Ketchup actually was put on the map by the chopped green onions contained therein. Good enough qualifier. So here goes.

The nuggets were oven-baked instead of fried, with high-fat breading replaced by crushed cereal crumbs. Chicken bits were dipped first in egg (or egg substitute) and then in a wonderful mixture of crushed chex cereal (I used Corn Chex but also have tried this with cornflake and crisp rice cereal crumbs), paprika, garlic powder, nutmeg, and cayenne. After being cooked over olive oil to soften, the green onions were mixed with curry powder and ketchup. The recipe was from a years-ago Family Circle magazine feature on family picnics and easy, totable foods that make a movable feast. Our lunch required only that we move the tenders from kitchen to back yard, but they could have gone anywhere and been enjoyed cold as well as hot from the oven.

Lest you think we’ve deviated from our goal here, I hasten to add that if you leave out those fresh-from-the-garden green onions in the Curry Ketchup, this meal will flop. Just plain ole ketchup straight from the bottle, without enhancements, never will do. Garden-fresh to the bone.

Chicken Fingers with Curry Ketchup

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 green onions, trimmed and sliced thin
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 cup ketchup (we used no-salt-added ketchup)
1 cup cornflake crumbs (or other crispy cereal)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 eggs (or 1/2 cup egg substitute)
2 pounds chicken tenders

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with nonstick foil (if you use regular foil, spray it thoroughly with cooking spray). In a small saucepan heat olive oil over medium heat. Add green onions; cook 2 minutes until onions are softened. Add curry powder; cook for 1 minute. Stir in ketchup; take off the heat. Cool, cover, and refrigerate ketchup mixture until ready to serve. In a shallow glass dish mix together crushed cereal crumbs, Parmesan cheese, paprika, garlic powder, nutmeg, and cayenne. In a second glass dish lightly beat eggs. Dip chicken pieces into egg and then into cereal mixture to coat completely. Place chicken on prepared baking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees when it is inserted into the thickest part of chicken. Remove from oven and cool. Makes 8 servings.

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