CHEW THIS! Mona Brown’s Grand Champion Jade Express Chicken with Rice

Mona Brown and Inga Neal

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Saturday, September 21st 2019 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

Mona Brown’s Grand Champion Jade Express Chicken with Rice
Blaise Doubman

My friend Inga Neal, of “Temptations” fame, was kind enough to share with me her Mom’s famous recipe for zucchini bread that I shared with everyone in my last column. At the end of that column, I spilled a secret that Inga had also shared with me another recipe from her Mom, a dish that won Grand Champion in a contest through “The Courier-Times” years ago. The dish is for a chicken and vegetable dish, served with rice and sprinkled with cashews and let me tell you, it is absolutely fabulous and delicious! When sharing these recipes with me Inga shared that her Mom, Mona Brown, had owned and operated “Mona’s Little Shoppe” from 1970-1981. Inga worked at the shop with her Mom and the shop was a craft shop where tons of memories and conversations took place. Inga also shared that her and her Mom used to pick strawberries and black raspberries every year and they enjoyed making jams and jellies. I love hearing stories and memories that are food related and that can be passed down to other generations. Getting to know Inga and hearing about some of her history and passion for food, there is no doubt in my mind as to why she is so successful. Everything she does is out of passion and love.

When sharing this recipe with me, Inga also sent me the original published article. In the article Mona Brown talks about her love for cooking, especially cooking for crowds. This made me smile and think of Inga and not only her successful restaurant but her successful catering business. The article goes on to say that sometimes Mona substitutes the chicken in this recipe for beef and that as a time saver, she recommends chopping and preparing everything in advance before starting the recipe, as well as freezing the dish for a later time. The article concludes that she had plans of writing a “family cookbook”, joking that now since this recipe for chicken with rice had won, there would need to be an additional page added to the book. What I would like to know, is more about this “family cookbook” and where I could purchase one! Ha! In all seriousness though, I would like to thank Inga Neal for sharing her family memories and recipes with me, as well as a thank you to her Mom, Mona Brown. Mona is no longer with us, but I really believe she is smiling down at Inga and her family and is so proud of everything she has accomplished. Inga’s restaurant, Temptations”, is located at 2001 South Memorial Drive, New Castle and is open from 11-2, Monday through Friday.

Mona Brown’s Grand Champion Jade Express Chicken with Rice

This dish can be made ahead, wrapped in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil and frozen. When ready to bake, remove the plastic wrap and aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven.

4 large chicken breasts
2 cups fresh sliced mushrooms
1/3 cup cashews
3 tablespoons salad oil
3 cups celery, sliced
1 large green pepper, chunked
13 ½ oz canned pineapple tidbits, drained, save juice
½ cup cooking sherry
1 cup natural soy sauce
½ teaspoon garlic salt
1 cup sliced green onions
2 tablespoons corn starch
Prepared cooked rice, enough for 4-6 servings

Start by boning and skinning the chicken breasts. You can also use boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this recipe. Cut each breast into ½-inch chunks.

In a large skillet or Wok, sauté the mushrooms in oil until brown.

Stir in the celery, green peppers and chicken. Cook this until chicken is cooked through and tender and then add the pineapple juice, cooking sherry, natural soy sauce, garlic salt and corn starch. Stir this mixture constantly until the mixture becomes thickened.

Fold in the pineapple and green onions. May be simmered 20-30 minutes.

Serve this over the rice and cover with cashews.

Ask and Answer: Several of you have written in about “Mona Brown’s Famous Zucchini Bread” and wondered if the recipe could be doubled or tripled and wondered if the bread could be frozen. Yes! The recipe can be easily doubled or tripled and when freezing the bread be sure to wrap first in plastic wrap, followed by aluminum foil. The bread will keep frozen for 6 months.

CHEW THIS! Damon’s Favorite BBQ Ribs

Damon’s Favorite BBQ Ribs

Damon, Penny and Darla.jpg

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Saturday, July 20th 2019 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

Damon’s Favorite BBQ Ribs
Blaise Doubman

This column and recipe is dedicated to my brother, Damon! We haven’t, admittingly, always been really close over the years, but within the last few years I think our relationship has changed for the better. I have learned that he is his own person, who can make his own decisions and doesn’t always need me to make those decisions for him. Ha! Sounds like your typical brother relationship. Yes, there was awhile there when I felt the need to try and control and make every decision for him. Hence the relationship strain. But once I realized, and I really always knew, that he was a talented, smart person, I knew he would be OK. He knows that I will always, no matter what, be there for him, no matter what he needs, and that is all that really matters. I can’t even begin to share with you the stories we share and laugh about, growing up together in a small town filled with family. Green rocks from neighbors, video game filled afternoons with Sonya and Katana, pool fights, bike rides, Harriet the Spy, Mario’s hard shelled enemies, moon shoes, bus rides, car rides, hiding in connecting closets, grilled cheese sandwiches, back to school shopping with Grandma and Grandpa and so many more memories that I will cherish forever. Plus, memories and stories, we are still making today. I am lucky to have Damon for my brother and love him very much. Shout out to Damon for putting up with me for so many years! I am sure he deserves some type of award for sure! Ha!

Growing up my brother, Damon, was a very picky eater. Not much has really changed, although his tastes have expanded in certain categories. BBQ ribs for an example. His love for them started with my Dad, Jamie, and my Grandpa Max, ordering them at Grindstone Charlies. Damon’s first bite of BBQ ribs can be described as love at first bite. Ha! He has loved them ever since. I think he was about 8 when this love began and has continued all these years. I can still remember him eating them, making a mess and using those little square wet wipes to clean up. Somewhere there is a picture of this that I need to find! It was the funniest thing. Over the years I have watched him grow and change but his lover for bbq and ribs have never faltered. When developing bbq style recipes he is my “go-to” taste tester and always helps me improve or change the recipe in ways I hadn’t thought of before. Same thing with this recipe I am sharing here with everyone today. It is one of his favorite meals! I highly recommend this recipe! Try it, and as usual, send me a message or email and let me know your thoughts!

Damon’s Favorite BBQ Ribs

You can substitute the boneless ribs, for bone-in ribs if you desire.

3-4 pounds boneless ribs
2 cups favorite bbq sauce
¼ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Start by lining your slow cooker with a slow cooker liner.

Place in the boneless ribs.

In a large bowl combine the bbq sauce, lightly packed light brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, honey, salt and black pepper. Pour evenly over the ribs and spread evenly.

Place on the lid and cook on low for 8 hours.

Carefully remove the ribs onto a serving platter. Top with additional bbq sauce, a drizzle of honey and a sprinkling of black pepper before serving. Serve these hot!

Ask and Answer: I have been getting lots of inquiries about my cookbooks. I have decided not to continue with any reprints, meaning what I have in stock now is all I will ever have. This will be your last opportunity to buy my cookbooks directly from me. Supplies are extremely limited. “Blaise the Baker Dessert First” and “Blaise the Baker Celebrates” are $15 each, $12 for the cookbook and $3 shipping and handling. Send payment to Blaise Doubman, Box 47, Kennard, IN 47351. You can use PayPal and Venmo with my email blaisejdx@gmail.com Contact me with questions about my special business bulk deals. This is a first come first serve offer and once supplies are gone, they are gone for good so I encourage you to act fast.

CHEW THIS! Tina Tutrow’s Slow Cooker Cube Steak and Gravy

Tina Tutrow’s Slow Cooker Cube Steak and Gravy

Tina Tutrow and Grandkids.jpg

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Saturday, June 15th 2019 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

Tina Tutrow Shares Family Recipe
Blaise Doubman

Tina Tutrow is one of the only people who know my true hair color and has been a friend of my family and I for so long, I think we all consider each other family by now instead of good friends. My Dad, Jamie Doubman, went to school, all twelve years, with Tina Tutrow so really between my Mom, Darla, and my Dad, they have known Tina for most of their lives. That is the wonderful thing about small town living, everyone knows one another and, if you are lucky, get to experience their lives with one another. Tina has been one of the best beauticians in the area for close to over thirty years. Several years ago, she decided to try her hand at running her own business, her own beauty shop, and has not looked back since. Successful, talented and well known, Tina is a master at what she does and makes it look easy and effortless. She has also managed to raise a beautiful family, who in turn are all raising their own exquisite families. What some people do not know about Tina, is that she is just as talented in the kitchen as she is in her beauty shop. She cooks, bakes and thankfully, is delighted to share her recipes.

One day over at “Tina’s Hair Shop”, my Mom and I were discussing how we were looking for a new recipe for cube steak. Neither of us really cared for the thick cream of mushroom soup that is generally used. Tina said she did not care for the mushroom soup either and said she has used beef gravy for years, instead! My Mom and I looked at each other and immediately knew we had to try it! Why hadn’t we thought of that? Skip ahead a couple of days later and we tried her recipe and oh my! Delicious! It made the cube steaks taste so much better! I think dinner that night disappeared faster than it has in months. Everyone enjoyed it and we decided then and there that number one, I had to share this recipe with everyone and number two, we would never make cube steak with thick cream of mushroom soup again! I highly recommend you try this recipe as soon as possible. Serve alongside baked potato and asparagus for a delicious, and nutritious, meal. Shout out and special thanks to Tina Tutrow for sharing this recipe with me and allowing it to be shared with all of you! Try it and let me know your thoughts! I would love to hear from you. Visit http://trailblaise.com and click “contact”.

Tina Tutrow’s Slow Cooker Cube Steak and Gravy

For optimal flavor and texture, it is important to take the time to brown the steaks on each side before placing them into the slow cooker. I generally follow this rule on most of the meats I put into my slow cooker, aside from chicken. For easier clean up, line your slow cooker with a plastic slow cooker liner. Be sure to reserve the leftover gravy in a small bowl to serve at the table for those who like a little extra gravy on their cube steaks.

4 cube steaks
½ cup white all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
Large jar of beef gravy

Start by warming about ½ cup vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. On a plate combine the white all-purpose flour, salt and black pepper.

Dredge each cube steak in the flour mixture and carefully place in the heated vegetable oil.

Brown both sides of the cube steaks, which will take about 5 minutes.

Carefully place each steak inside of your slow cooker and pour on the beef gravy.

Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.

Ask and Answer: Lots of people have wondered recently if I have any recipes for cold side dishes such as potato salad, macaroni salad, etc. Yes! Visit my website, http://trailblaise.com and in the search box, type in whatever recipe you are looking for! My website is divided up and will search for particular recipes, flavors and even the ingredients you want to use.

Summer Garden Pasta

One of my favorite pasta combinations!

Summer Garden Pasta

4 pints colorful cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound angel hair pasta
2 cups grated parmesan cheese

In a large bowl combine the halved colorful cherry tomatoes, olive oil, minced garlic, salt and black pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for about 4 hours but no longer.

When ready to serve, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add large pinch of salt and drizzle of olive oil to the water and stir.

Cook angel hair pasta about 3 minutes. Drain. Add the pasta in with the tomato mixture and toss. Sprinkle with chopped basil leaves and grated parmesan cheese. Toss together. Sprinkle additional chopped basil leaves and grated parmesan cheese on top if desired.

Serve hot, warm, room temperature or cold.

CHEW THIS! Chicken Parm Patty

Chicken Parm Patty

Chicken Parm Patty.JPG

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, June 2nd 2019 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

A new twist on a new recipe…
Blaise Doubman

I love chicken parmesan! I must admit that for years I would turn my nose up at it and not even give it a second look. Why? I have no idea, because what is not to love? Chicken, tomato sauce and cheese served as a main dish individually or even placed on pasta! My brother, Damon, loves chicken parmesan and I must credit him for finally getting me to try it. Once I tried it, there was no turning back! He had converted me into a chicken parm lover! Over the years I have tried it individually with extra tomato gravy, on top of buttered pasta and even in between fresh brioche rolls and I have yet to find a way I do not love this dish. However, when I try to make it at home it is messy, time consuming and difficult.

In steps Rachael Ray! She has recently revitalized her show, “30 Minute Meals” and one of the first shows she filmed was all about making chicken parmesan easier for the home cook! Of course, I watched, and instantly loved her take on it! She took ground chicken, formed them into huge patties, baked them in the oven at a high temperature and then topped them with tomato sauce and shredded cheese. Genius! I took her basic recipe and made changes, decided to simplify things by using marinara sauce in a jar and left out some of the spices she used because I found them overwhelming when it came to the final dish. It turned out perfectly! This has become one of my favorite recipes and a recipe I go to when short on time because it is so easy, versatile and not to mention, delicious! I like serving this alongside a salad and garlic bread but feel free to serve as you desire. If the patties are to large for you or your family, feel free to make them any size you desire but be sure to adjust the cooking time.

Chicken Parm Patty

These patties cook in a high temperature oven, 500 degrees, so please be sure to make sure your oven is spotless before attempting this recipe. Otherwise, your kitchen will be filled with smoke. It may be a good idea to raise the kitchen windows and turn some fans on while these are baking, just in case of a smoky fog.

2 pounds ground chicken
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
¾ cup breadcrumbs
1/3 cup milk
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/3 cup parsley leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon fennel seed
Pinch red chili flakes
3 tablespoons olive oil
Jar of favorite marinara sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Start by preheating your oven to 500 degrees F.

Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl combine the ground chicken, salt, black pepper, breadcrumbs, milk, slightly beat egg, grated parmesan cheese, minced garlic, chopped parsley leaves, fennel seed, red chili flakes and olive oil.

Mix everything together and, using clean dry hands, divide the meat mixture into four sections.

Place each section onto the parchment lined baking sheets and flatten out each section to form four giant thin patties.

Bake, one baking sheet at a time, in preheated oven for 18 minutes.

Remove and top each patty with some of the marinara sauce and sprinkle each with the shredded mozzarella cheese.

Place back into the oven, to melt the cheese, for about 5 minutes.

Remove, place each patty on large serving plate and top with chopped parsley.

Serve hot alongside a salad and garlic bread.

Ask and Answer: A lot of people have wondered about the upcoming delivery changes with “The Courier-Times” and how my column will appear. After this printed column, my “CHEW THIS!” column will appear in the first and third Saturdays of the month, instead of Sundays. Hope you will follow me to Saturdays and thank you all for the continued dedication and support. I love sharing my life and recipes with you all and I love hearing your feedback.