Friday, February 11, 2011

Random Bites- Frank, Serge, Archer and Chicken Two Ways

Here's some random randomness that I've enjoyed this week...

-Keith and I stumbled across a gem of an eatery: Frank's Italian Restaurant. We were actually looking for breakfast and were surprised to discover that they were open for the morning meal. It's a small, intimate joint with a few tables and its originally opened across the way in 1931. Located smack in the middle of charming downtown Parkville, Frank's serves up a truly delicious twist on breakfast. I enjoyed the Frittata of the Day: perfectly cooked eggs with bacon, cheddar and onion. The frittata was served with crisp Potato Franks...crisp breakfast potatoes with green pepper and onion and dusted with Parmesan well as a warm biscuit. K had the ham and cheese omelet and was equally impressed. We enjoyed our food so much that we can't wait to return for lunch/dinner. Check out Frank's at

-I needed a lighter read after We Need To Talk About Kevin, so I went with the latest twisted adventures of Serge in Electric Barracuda by Tim Dorsey. Kristy turned me on to Serge with Triggerfish Twist and I've been hooked on the series since. Fans of Dexter will thrill to the escapades of Serge and his eternally impaired cohort-in-crime Coleman. Serge is a serial killer whose victims are truly evil and Serge is always one step ahead of the law, particularly the hapless Agent Mahoney. Dorsey always has Serge touring and outrunning the officials in Florida. Equally funny and thrilling, the series also features a constantly rotating mad world of characters. Dorsey also tosses in little-known facts and fascinating historical tidbits and absurdities of the Sunshine State. I've read many a series and typically they lose their sparkle after a few entries but Dorsey's wild ride with Serge just keeps getting wickedly better. In one passage from this latest romp, the hapless duo navigate a supermarket and rediscover Frosted Flakes....Tony the Tiger!

I have somehow been missing out on the perverse hilarity of FX's animated-for-adults Archer. I watched my first episode this week and I'm hopelessly hooked now. The series revolves around ISIS, a spy agency and its employees. The dialogue of the characters is consistently and hilariously ribald and every episode I've seen so far has had me laughing out loud; if not gasping for air. This cartoon is NOT for the kiddies but it's hysterically rude for open-minded adults. Watch and learn about food on the floor causing ants and the recurring Stir Fry Day.

Finally, I cooked up some palate-pleasing poultry twice this week and both ways were pretty darn successful. Both of these recipes were chosen as they could be made with ingredients we had on hand and required no trips to the store. First, was a recipe out of The Best Slow Cooker Cookbook Ever by Natalie Haughton for Easy Chicken Santa Fe and it was delicious and perfect for work lunches for the week. The second was a recipe from for Spiced Fried Chicken. I was checking this website for Stonewall Kitchen for a recipe utilizing their Chicken and Pork Rub and came across this. Once again, it also met with the criteria of having all of the ingredients on hand. It was definitely a delectably different take on fried chicken with its layers of flavors. I bought the Stonewall product at my beloved hometown store The Greenhouse. West Virginia friends, please go see my compadres at the Greenhouse and check out the Stonewall products and other gourmet food lines. Chances are, they're sampling and maybe even grilling while you're there. Check them out at The slow cooker recipe counts as Cookbook Challenge #22. The recipes follow...

Easy Chicken Santa Fe


1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained (I used the kind with jalapenos)
2 15 ounce cans whole kernel corn, drained (I used mexicorn)
1 cup bottled thick and chunky salsa
5 or 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 2 lbs. total)
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1. In a 3 1/2 or 4 quart electric slow cooker, mix together the beans, corn, and 1/2 cup salsa. Top with he chicken breasts, then pour the remaining 1/2 cup salsa over the chicken.

2. Cover and cook on the high heat setting 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until the chicken is tender and white throughout; do not overcook or the chicken will toughen.

3. Sprinkle the cheese on top, cover and cook until the cheese melts, about 5 minutes.

Spiced Fried Chicken (this recipe calls for a deep fryer but you don't need one, obviously)

6 chicken breasts about 7 oz each
  • 3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled and pureed
  • 1 jar of Stonewall Kitchen Spice Rub for Chicken and Pork or 1 Jar of Stonewall Kitchen Spice Rub for Steak and Barbecue
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 2 cups flour
  • Peanut oil for frying

  1. Marinate chicken in lemon juice for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
  2. Rub chicken with garlic.
  3. Pour can of spice mix into small pan or plate.
  4. Dredge chicken pieces in spice mix to coat. Sprinkle on soy and hot sauce.
  5. Just before frying, dredge in flour.
  6. Deep fry at 325° until browned all over.
  7. Serve with lime wedge.


Anonymous said...

My mouth is watering...

Lisa Mandina said...

That breakfast looks delicious!

Kristy said...

Ah Serge! My favorite psychopath with a heart. ISIS sounds like something you and I would name our secret headquarters back in OUR spy days. Breakfast looks deeeevine. I'm attempting homemade lasagna this weekend. And after payday I will try out MY spin on a recipe I found for Oyster soup. I MUST master this soup as it calls for my favorite... oysters, of course and artichoke hearts along with all kinds of other wonderful goodness. Fingers crossed I don't blow a bunch of money on oysters by screwing up the soup. Oh well, I can just eat them raw. Failure does have its advantages LOL!

Anonymous said...

Hi Greg! The Stonewall Kitchen chicken recipe sounds great---we must attempt it! Of course Mr. Man will need to figure out a way to "grill" fried chicken. Happy Valentine's Day to you and Keith.


PS--Tuxedoed Men are officially on the loose in St. Mayberry.

Confounded Cook said...

EEK, tuxedoed people are loose in must be Valentine's Day! I was in black tie only for the fun stuff with the shows and actual black tie affairs, lol.

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