Thursday, December 19, 2013

Cooking Comparisons: Making a meal my own

My favorite way to cook is to read a recipe, get inspired, and then make it my own.

With the following recipes I did just that:

Oven-fried Chicken Sandwich 

John's sandwich, inspired from Bon Appetit and Cooking for Isaiah
My chicken tenders without the bun, served with slaw and a kale salad
John wanted the Fried Chicken Sandwich with Slaw and Spicy Mayo on the cover of April's Bon Appetit, but since the first piece of equipment that you need is a deep fry thermometer (which I obviously do not own), I altered it a bit. Plus, I wanted to make it somewhat healthy and gluten free. Instead of frying the chicken, I used Cooking for Isaiah's oven-fried chicken recipe and sauce, and I changed the coleslaw recipe for what I had on hand. Here's what I ended up making:

Serves 4
4 cups corn tortilla chips, crushed (I used Trader Joe's no salt added ones)
Salt and pepper
2 eggs
1 pound chicken tenders (I used Trader Joe's tenderloins which were thin. I recommend pounding your chicken first if it isn't thin, so then it stays moist.)
Sandwich rolls
1/4 cup canola mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. honey
1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 cups broccoli slaw
1 jalapeno sliced thin
1/2 red onion sliced thin
3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a baking sheet with cooking spray. Combine crushed tortilla chips with salt and pepper to taste. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl. Coat chicken with chips, then dip into eggs, and coat with chips again. Repeat this process with all of chicken and put on a baking sheet. Bake chicken for 15 minutes or until done. (If your chicken is not as thin it may need 20 minutes).
  2. While chicken cooks, prepare the slaw by tossing all of the slaw ingredients together and let marinate.
  3. Mix sauce ingredients together.
  4. Spread sauce on both sides of sandwich rolls and top with chicken and slaw. (Yes the slaw goes on the sandwich.) Or, serve the sauce on the side for dipping the chicken tenders in if not making a sandwich.

Black Bean Tacos with Bacon and Feta

My tacos as compared to Cooking Light
John's taco 
My tacos without the cheese and on corn tortillas

For this meal, I followed Cooking Light's recipe pretty closely. You can read the recipe here.

Here were the changes I made:

  • I didn't cook the onion, garlic, and jalapeno together in the bacon drippings. Instead, I let the onion caramelize in a separate pan while the beans cooked, and I added in the garlic and jalapeno towards the end.
  • I didn't have seasoned black beans, so instead I mixed in cumin, sea salt, and pepper and let them simmer with some chicken broth for about 10 minutes. I occasionally stirred them, mashing up some of the beans while they simmered.  
  • I also made my homemade guacamole to put on top of my tacos (since I didn't use feta) and as a nice side with chips.

Thai Basil Beef

My rice bowl as compared to Bon Appetit's

For this Bon Appetit recipe (which you can read here) I followed it almost exactly. Here are the few changes that I made:

  • I didn't have fish sauce, so for the sauce I used Tamari (gluten free soy sauce), lime juice, and about half of the amount of sugar that the recipe calls for.
  • We happened to have gone to the farmer's market and had red chiles, but when I make this again I would probably use jalapenos since I always have those in the fridge.
  • I used brown rice instead of white.

Here are some other cooking comparisons that I've made in past posts:

No comments:

Post a Comment