Cooking thread, anyone?

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Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2018
Nan's birthday dinner because it was Cinco de Mayo. As posted above: Almond Chicken (Pollo Almendrado) and Skillet Red Rice (Arroz a la Mexicana).

Chicken recipe calls for three full chicken breasts, which is six individual breasts. I halve the recipe because we split a chicken breast because they are frequently so large currently. Will have three dinners out of the cooking.

Recipes from: Mexican Cooking Class Cookbook. By the Editors of Consumer Guide. Lincolnwood, IL: Publications International, 1990.

There are other cookbooks for Chinese, Wok, Japanese, Italian. Excellent series of cookbooks readily found online and at library book sales. Remember pre-pandemic library book sales? Miss going.

Recipes to be posted below.

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Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2018
Almond Chicken (Pollo Almendrado)

Mexican Cooking Class Cookbook. By the Editors of Consumer Guide. Lincolnwood, IL: Publications International, 1990. Spiral bound hardcover.

½ cup (125 mL) blanched almonds
3 whole chicken breasts ( 1 pound or 450 g each), split, boned, skinned
2 to 3 tablespoons (30 to 45 mL) vegetable oil
1 tablespoon (15 mL) butter or margarine
¼ cup (60 mL) finely chopped white onion
1 fresh Anaheim or poblano chili, roasted, peeled, seeded, deveined (see page 5), finely chopped
1 small tomato, seeded, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
½ cup chicken stock or broth
¼ teaspoon (1 mL) salt
½ cup (125 mL) whipping cream
Tomato wedge
Fresh coriander sprig

1, Process almonds, about ¼ at a time, with on/off pulses in electric spice grinder to fine powder.

2. Dip chicken in almonds on small plate to coat all sides; reserve remaining almonds.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon (15 mL) oil and the butter in deep 10-inch ( 25-cm) skillet over medium heat until foam subsides. Add as many breasts as will fit in a single layer without crowding. Cook until chicken is light brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side, reducing heat if almonds get too dark; remove to plate. Repeat with remaining chicken, adding 1 tablespoon (15 mL) oil, if needed.

4. Add remaining 1 tablespoon (15 mL) oil and the onion to skillet; sauté over medium heat until soft, anout 3 minutes. Add chili, chopped tomato, and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add stock, salt, and reserved almonds; heat over high heat to boiling.

5. Add chicken to skillet; reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, until chicken is cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove chicken to serving dish; keep warm, covered.

6. Add cream to cooking liquid; heat over medium-high heat to boiling. Cook and stir until sauce is slightly thickened, 3 to 5 minutes; pour over chicken. Garnish with tomato wedge and coriander.

Makes 6 servings.


Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2018
Skillet Red Rice (Arroz a la Mexicana)

Mexican Cooking Class Cookbook. By the Editors of Consumer Guide. Lincolnwood, IL: Publications International, 1990. Spiral bound hardcover.

2 tablespoons (30 mL) lard or vegetable oil
1 cup (250 mL) raw long-grain white rice (not converted)
½ cup (125 mL) finely chopped white onion
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon (2 mL) salt
½ teaspoon (2 mL) ground cumin
Pinch pure hot chili powder
2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded, chopped
1 ½ cups (375 mL) chicken stock or broth
1/3 cup (80 mL) shelled fresh or thawed frozen peas
2 tablespoons (30 mL) chopped pimiento
Pimiento strips

Heat lard in 10-inch (25-cm) skillet over medium heat until hot. Add rice; cook, stirring constantly until rice turns opaque white, about 2 minutes.

Quickly add onion; sauté over medium heat 1 minute. Stir in garlic, salt, cumin, and chili powder. Add tomatoes; cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes.

Add stock; mix well. Heat over high heat to boiling; reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, until rice is almost tender, about 15 minutes.

Stir in peas and chopped pimiento. Cook, covered, over low heat until rice is tender and all liquid has been absorbed, 2 to 4 minutes longer. Rice grains will be slightly firm (al dente) and separate, rather than soft or sticky. Serve, garnished with pimiento strips.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Our notes: Make in oven safe 3-quart saucepan and place in 325 ℉ oven for 45 minutes. Remove and let stand for 10 minutes. Stir.


Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
I think I might have to give that Skillet Red Rice a try.

We had a cooking success last week in that I finally found a way to prepare Swiss Chard that three of my kids enjoy, and the last tolerates. Since it’s growing well in our garden, I needed a way to get them to want to eat it, and my previous attempts had not been very well received by three of the children. The successful attempt was baked chard with cheese sauce (the same basic sauce that I use on Welsh Rarebit).

One large bunch chard, thick stems removed, and leaves chopped.
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Precook the thick stems of the chard for a few minutes, then add the chopped leaves and cook for a few more minutes. Drain. Put in casserole dish and top with cheese sauce. Bake for about 10 minutes in 350 degree oven.


It was cool and damp the other day, so it was a good day to use the oven. I had planned the chicken and potatoes the day before, and when I asked my third (formerly chard disliking) child what the vegetable should be, I was very pleased when she requested chard with cheese sauce.


Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
You kind of need to get used to something like that but cheese sauce is great and so is chicken and potatoes..Yes..clancey


Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
I made a great pizza sauce today. I had two pounds of tomatoes from the garden, but I also had a couple of zucchini and a small eggplant that I wanted to use. Instead of topping the pizza with them, I decided to incorporate them into the sauce as an experiment, and I’m very pleased with how it turned out. I sautéed onion first, then added eggplant, then zucchini, and I cooked those down a good bit before adding minced garlic, fresh basil, oregano, and thyme, and finally adding the tomatoes that I had run through our hand food mill. Once I put those in, I puréed the concoction with an immersion blender, and cooked it down while I mixed up the pizza dough. It made a great sauce for dinner and extra for the freezer. I’m hoping to be able to make more of it in coming weeks as the tomatoes ripen.


Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
Our Father’s Day meal:

We buy a grass-fed steer every few years, and we had inside skirt steak in the freezer from the last purchase three years ago. I found the recipe above, and it was quite a hit with the whole family. I made the garlic butter in the same pan the steak had been cooked in. I didn’t see a need not to have the meat drippings or to dirty another dish.

Mashed potatoes (the last harvest from our garden)

Vegetables Masala (onion, pepper, zucchini, eggplant, and tomatoes from the garden). Those are not necessarily my husband’s favorite vegetables, but he’s on board with eating what the garden gives, so the garam masala flavoring improves it for him.


The best news is that it was such a hearty meal that we have enough leftovers for a second. I love it when the next day’s lunch or dinner is already covered.
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Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
SE North Carolina
Cedar plank salmon on the grill. Grated a little butter on the top with some limes and clementines. Season to your taste. Ours was the last picture. Mostly cinnamon allspice and hot pepper.

I would like to try some pecan or apple planks.



Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2018
From the Stonyfield yogurt web site. Made it Sunday, and we are finishing it tonight. Excellent recipe for hot summer days when you don't want to cook for a few days.

Wild Rice & Chicken Salad

The prepared rice mix lets you get a jump start on this satisfying fruit and nut salad. If you can't find fig vinegar, feel free use to use another lighter, sweet variety of vinegar, like raspberry or apple cider.


1 box long grain and wild rice mix (6 ounces)
1/2 c Stonyfield Organic Low Fat Plain Yogurt
2 T fig-flavored vinegar
1 T Dijon mustard
3/4 t salt
1/2 t black pepper
1 T olive oil
1 lb. boneless (skinless chicken breasts, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-wide strips)
1 Gala apple (cored and chopped)
7 scallions (trimmed and chopped)
1/2 c chopped toasted pecans
1/2 c dried cranberries
1 head Bibb lettuce (separated into leaves, rinsed and dried)

340 Calories; 12g fat; 22g protein. 6 Servings.


Step 1 - Prepare rice mix following package directions, discarding any seasoning packet.

Step 2 - Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix yogurt, vinegar, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper; set aside.

Step 3 - Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to skillet and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook for 6 to 9 minutes or until cooked through. Remove chicken from skillet and cut into bite-size pieces.

Step 4 - In a large bowl, stir together chicken, apple, scallions, pecans and cranberries. Add rice and stir to combine. Pour yogurt dressing over top and gently mix.

Step 5 - To serve, make bowls with individual Bibb lettuce leaves. Equally divide the rice salad among the leaves. Or, line a large serving bowl with the lettuce leaves; spoon the salad into the bowl.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 340. Calories from Fat: 110. Total Fat: 12g. Saturated Fat: 1.5g. Cholesterol: 45mg. Sodium: 380mg. Total Carbohydrate: 38g. Dietary Fiber: 4g. Sugars: 12g. Protein: 22g. Vitamin A: 20%. Vitamin C: 10%. Calcium: 8%. Iron: 10%.

Notes - Adjust ingredients and amounts to suit personal preference. We do the following.

Rinse brown rice and add to recipe amount of water in an oven-safe sauce pan. Bring to boil. Place in 325 ℉ oven for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand covered for 10 minutes to steam. Spread in baking pan to dry and cool.

Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and cook a hot, oiled skillet. Cool.

Cut scallions. Cut whole almonds in half. Add to dried cranberries in mixing bowl. Add cooled rice and chicken. Stir. Place in refrigerator.

Mix vanilla yogurt, balsamic vinegar, deli mustard, and a little salt and pepper. Place in container in refrigerator.

Dice cored gala apple. Place serving of chicken-rice mixture on individual serving plate. Top with diced apple and dressing. Enjoy!

Even easier if you have pre-cooked, seasoned boneless chicken in the freezer from grilling.
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Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2018
Rinse rice and cook while preparing other ingredients.

Sunday was 1 1/2 cups brown rice and 3 cups water in an oven safe sauce pan into the oven. 20-oz. chicken breast cut into bite-sized pieces and cooked in a hot, oiled skillet.
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Dried cranberries, scallion, and whole almonds cut in half.
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Mixed with cooled rice and chicken.
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Vanilla Greek yogurt, balsamic vinegar, deli mustard, freshly ground pepper, and a little salt.
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Topped with diced gala apple and a little dressing. Yum!

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