Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Recipes by Jimmy Stewart: Chicken Breasts Italian; Cowpoke Beans; Favorite Pork Chops; Good Fish Fry; Pork Chops Supreme

Jimmy Stewart's Chicken Breasts Italian

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 pound chicken livers
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons light cream
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
4 parsley sprigs, garnish

Coat chicken breasts with flour and set aside.

Using a skillet over low heat, saute 1/4 pound chicken livers in butter. When browned on all sides, add in chicken breasts and season with garlic powder. Sprinkle on the lemon juice and turn breasts, cooking on both sides. Cover skillet.

In a mixing bowl, blend eggs yolks with light cream. Season with 1 tsp. salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Add in this to skillet ingredients, stirring so as to coat chicken and liver. Cover skillet and cook 30 mins. over low heat. Turn ingredients once or possibly twice during cooking. Remove from heat. Garnish with sprigs of parsley. Serve immediately.

Jimmy Stewart's Cowpoke Beans

Three 1-pound cans kidney (or pinto) beans
About 3 cups water
1 red chili pepper (or 4-oz. can roasted green chili peppers, chopped)
1 large Bermuda onion, chopped
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp. ground sage
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 bay leaf
4-oz. can dried beef
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Put beans and water in large kettle with red chili pepper (or chopped roasted green chili peppers), onion, garlic, sage, cumin and bay leaf. Simmer about 30 minutes, stirring often to prevent burning. Add dried beef torn in hunks and cook 15 minutes longer. Season to taste, adding more sage and cumin if needed, salt and pepper to taste. If desired, add handful of rice during last 15 minutes. Serve with beaten biscuits or cornbread. Serves 6-8 generously.

Thoughts: Cowpoke beans (or frijoles-in-a-pot) can be prepared in the Old Western way by soaking pinto (or kidney) beans overnight, then slowly cooking in water to cover with salt pork (or ham bone) to season. Range cooks used to use jerky (sun-dried, cured beef) or pemmican (dried meat, preferably buffalo, flavored with berries), wild sage, wild onion and-or wild garlic that grew on the Great Plains. Beans, often called Prairie or Pecos strawberries and jerky made excellent portable staples in saddle bags when cowboys took to the range.

As the West grew and the cowboy grew to depend on his chuck wagon, beans were cooked in a pot suspended on a hook or buried in coals in a bucket covered with a tight fitting lid punctured with holes to let out the steam.

Jimmy Stewart's Favorite Pork Chops

3 pounds pork loin chops (six 8-ounce chops)
6 tablespoons ketchup
6 tablespoons brown sugar
6 slices yellow onion
6 slices lemon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In casserole or pan, place pork chops. Top each chop with 1 tablespoon ketchup, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 slice onion, and 1 slice lemon.

Cover and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on thickness of chops. Uncover last 15 minutes.

Jimmy Stewart's Good Fish Fry

To clean: Lay bass on side, hold it firmly by the head. With a few swift strokes using blunt (or saw-tooth) knife, scrape upper side free of scales. Turn over fish and scale other side. Hold fish firmly with one hand (to get a good grip, dip hand in sand) and knife in other hand. Make deep gash on each side of back fin, running length of bone. Grasp fin firmly thus removing fin and row of small spiny bones at the same time. Reverse position of fish so belly is in upward position; remove ventral (end) fin in same manner. Slit open belly to remove entrails. Remove dark streaks of blood near bone. Remove head (or leave on if desired) by cutting on slant pointing knife toward tail so side fins come off at the same time. Rinse well inside and out. Dry well.

To cook:

Dressed, cleaned fish
2 tsps. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper (or cayenne)
1/2 cup yellow (or white) cornmeal
1/3 cup flour
About 3 tbsps. butter
1 lemon

1. Dry fish carefully. Salt and pepper inside cavity well. Mix salt, pepper, cornmeal and flour on clean split log (or sheet of brown paper).

2. Roll fish on all sides in seasoned flour-cornmeal mixture.

3. Heat butter in large frying pan. Brown fish about 5 minutes per side. Do not overcook. Remove fish to heated platter. Garnish with lemon slices (or squeeze lemon juice in frying pan with pan drippings. heat to deglaze skillet, pour piping hot over fish). Serves 1 hungry man. Expect to cook seconds and thirds!

Thoughts: If fish are small, clean, string on forked stick and cook Indian fashion, holding fork over open fire. It takes little longer but fish acquires a marvelous smoked flavor. Or to cook fish without watching: Smear large Dutch oven with bacon fat (or use pair of close-fitting skillets). Heat Dutch oven (or skillets) in coals, pop in fish, cover with lid or heated second skillet. Cook in coals without peeking about 15 minutes (longer if fish is heavier or thick-meated). Fish comes out browned and very succulent.

Jimmy Stewart's Pork Chops Supreme

2 cups long-grain white rice, uncooked
3 tablespoons butter
20 ounces pork loin chops (4 chops, 5 ounces each)
1 cup celery, chopped
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 can (29 ounce) tomato puree

Cook rice per package directions and set aside.

Melt butter in skillet. Brown pork chops on both sides. Remove the chops and place in a large baking dish. Add celery and onion to the butter/drippings in the skillet. Cook until onion is translucent.

Place a mound of cooked rice on each chop and over this sprinkle the cooked celery, onion, and butter/drippings. Cover the entire mixture with a large can of tomato puree. Cover baking dish with foil. Bake in a 350 degrees F. oven for one hour.

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