Lisa Arose's Fast Food Makeover - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Lisa Arose's Fast Food Makeover

Crispy Chicken Fingers

Serves 4

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Sea salt

Freshly cracked black pepper

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 eggs, lightly beaten with a splash of water

1 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs

1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Cut the chicken breasts on the diagonal into wide flat strips.

Pour the whole wheat flour, eggs, and whole wheat panko bread crumbs each into separate bowls.  Season each well with sea salt and black pepper.  Pour the olive oil into the panko bread crumbs and toss well to evenly distribute the oil.

Bread each chicken by dipping each in (1) whole wheat flour, (2) egg, and (3) panko bread crumbs, patting on the panko bread crumbs to make sure they adhere well. 

Lay the prepared chicken tenders onto a sheet tray covered with aluminum foil (for easy clean up) and fitted with a rack.

Bake the chicken in the preheated oven until the chicken is cooked through, browned and crispy, about 12 to 15 minutes.


Oven Fries

Serves 4

2 Russet Potatoes or Sweet Potatoes

Olive oil

Sea salt

Freshly cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Place a sheet pan in the oven to preheat.

Cut each potato into wedges of desired size, smaller for crispier potatoes and larger for steak fries.  Place potato wedges into a large bowl and toss with olive oil, sea salt and black pepper.

Remove sheet pan from preheated oven.  Pour potatoes onto pan and arrange in a single layer.  Return pan to oven and bake for 25 minutes.  Turn the potatoes.  Continue to bake another 20 – 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are deep golden brown. 

Sirloin Burgers

Serves 4

4 ounces mushrooms

1 ½ pounds ground sirloin*

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Dash of Worcestershire Sauce

Slices of fresh tomato

Romaine lettuce leaves

100% whole wheat hamburger buns

Preheat grill or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.

Place the cleaned mushrooms into a food processor and pulse until finely minced and slightly wet.  Add mushrooms to ground sirloin, along with a dash of Worcestershire Sauce and sea salt and black pepper to taste.  Gently mix together the meat and mushrooms until combined, being careful not to overwork the meat.  Divide into 4 equal portions and shape into patties.

Either grill or pan-fry the hamburgers, about 4 – 5 minutes per side, or to desired doneness.  Serve on a toasted or grilled whole wheat bun with desired toppings and condiments. 

*If you can't find ground sirloin, buy sirloin steaks and ask your butcher to grind them for you. 

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

2 cups warm water (about 110 degrees)

1 tablespoon honey

1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil

1 packet Hodgson Mill yeast or 1 ¼ to 1 ½ yeast packets from another brand (5/16 oz yeast total)

2 cups bread flour

2 cups white whole wheat flour

1 tablespoon sea salt

Up to an additional cup of flour for kneading

Olive oil

Corn meal

Add the two cups of warm water to a measuring cup or small pitcher.  Whisk in the honey and olive oil, until the honey has dissolved.  Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water and stir or whisk slightly to incorporate the yeast into the water.  Let the yeast mixture set or "proof" at least 15 minutes until very foamy and until you smell the yeast developing. 

In the meantime, in a very large bowl, whisk together the bread flour, whole wheat flour and salt.  After the yeast has proofed, pour the yeast mixture into the flour.  Stir with a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough is formed.  Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, sprinkle the top of the dough with additional flour and begin to knead.  Continue to sprinkle flour over the dough as you knead (using either the white or whole wheat flour for this – I usually use the white bread flour), incorporating up to another 1 cup of flour into the dough.  Total kneading time will be about 8 – 10 minutes.  The dough should be smooth and elastic and spring back slightly when you press on it.

Place the dough in a very large bowl coated with olive oil. Turn the dough so that both sides are covered with olive oil.  Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and then top with a towel.  Set in a warm place for at least 3 - 4 hours.  Alternatively, you can place the bowl in the refrigerator and let rise overnight.

When you are ready to use, punch the dough down.  Divide into 4 even balls.  Keep the dough covered until you are ready to work with it.  On a lightly floured surface, flatten the dough into a disk and then begin to stretch the dough until you have it as thin as you want it to be.  (I stretch it until it is almost see-through and even tearing in places.  If you want the dough thicker and a little more chewy, just don't stretch it as thin). 

When you are ready to cook, preheat the oven to 500 degrees, or as hot as it will go.  Place your pizza stone, cast iron griddle or sheet pan in the oven to preheat as well.  Once the pan and oven are preheated, take the pan out of the oven and sprinkle with corn meal.  Place the dough on top of the corn meal and then top the dough with your favorite pizza toppings.  Be sure not to put too many "wet" toppings on your pizza, or to make the toppings too heavy or the bottom will be soggy.  Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the crust is browned and done.  In my oven, it takes exactly 12 minutes.

Note:  One the pizza dough has risen and been cut into the 4 balls of dough, it can be frozen.  Just place in a freezer zip lock bag.  When you are ready to use it, just take it out of the freezer and let it thaw on the counter for a few hours.  Be sure to let it come to room temperature before using.           

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