One of the great cookbooks I received when I was newly married was Betty Crocker’s Dinner for Two Cookbook (love the $2.95 price tag).
A favorite recipe that I still refer to is the Oven-Fried Chicken. I love fried chicken but I don’t enjoy standing over the stove cooking it. This recipe has the flavor of a true fried chicken but with the simplicity of baking in the oven.
1/4 cup shortening or salad oil
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 tablespoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 pounds chicken pieces
Heat oven to 425 degrees. In oven melt shortening in baking pan.
Mix flour, salt, paprika, pepper in plastic or paper bag; shake chicken, 2 or 3 pieces at a time in bag until coated.
Place chicken skin side down in pan.
Bake uncovered 30 minutes. Turn chicken, bake until tender, 15 to 30 minutes longer.
During a recent trip to Nicaragua, plantains (plátano in Spanish) were served as a side dish at many meals. I recall having them in Puerto Rico a few years ago but these were especially sweet. When I returned home, I bought two plantains at the local grocery store and let them turn almost black, the key to having a sweeter plantain. The plantain looks very much like a banana but is larger and harder to peel.
2 ripe plantains
Oil for frying (olive or canola oil)
Slice off the ends of the plantains, using a sharp knife. Slit the skin from tip to tip. Peel the skin off in one piece.
Cut the plantain in half crosswise, the in 4 slices across each segment
Heat about 1/2-inch of oil in a skillet over medium heat.
Add the plantains, a few pieces at a time, and sauté until lightly browned. Turn and sauté the second side. To caramelize the plantains cooked for up to 20 minutes on medium to medium-low heat.
Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and repeat with the rest of the plantains. Sprinkle with a little salt. Serve hot.
This website is a great link to more information about cooking Plantains: