Friday, May 30, 2008

German Potato Salad

German Potato Salad -

This is a versatile summer side. It contains no mayonnaise and can be served hot or cold.

Boil 2-1/2 lbs. red potatoes until fork tender. When cool enough to handle, peel the skins and discard.

Cut the potatoes into bite size chunks and set aside.

While you are waiting for the potatoes to cool a bit, cook 5 slices of bacon, crumble the bacon and reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease.

Saute 1/2 red onion in reserved bacon grease until soft.

In a large bowl, whisk together 1/2 apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup water, 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon coarse salt, 2 teaspoons coarse ground brown mustard, 1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard.

Gently toss in potatoes, bacon and onions. Please toss gently or you will have smashed German Potato Salad. Garnish with finely minced flat-leaf parsley and paprika.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Chicken Georgia best friend, beautiful person inside and out, artist, my maid of honor, my conscience...

Georgia and I finally got to hang on the phone and talk. It seems simple enough and it used to be pretty simple. But I got married and she got married, I moved away and now when we get to talk it seems to be the exact time when everyone else our our respective homes wants our undivided attention or the homegirlz want to bogart my phone time with Ms. Georgia - Sheesh! Good thing I'm not insecure or anything because they want to talk to her more than me. They even used to ask their dad and me to go out so Ms. Georgia could come and babysit because she was so much fun...but I'm not insecure or anything like that.

One thing that Georgia mentioned was how much she is enjoying this blog and she was at that very moment making Turkey Meatloaf. She doesn't comment on my blog, but hearing that she reads and enjoys it meant so much to me. I didn't have a name for this chicken dish and I hope Georgia doesn't mind that I am affectionately naming it after her.

Chicken Georgia -

Heat 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Once butter is melted add 1/4 of a chopped onion and saute for about 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1-1/2 cups of white rice to onions and stir to coat rice with oil/butter. Add 2-1/2 cups of chicken broth to rice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover pot tightly and let rice cook for 20 minutes.

While rice is cooking, preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to the pan. Season 4 chicken breasts with salt, black pepper, 1 teaspoon of dried thyme and 1/2 teaspoon chipolte powder. Cook seasoned chicken breasts for about 7 minutes per side until fully cooked. Remove chicken to a platter and tent with aluminum foil. Return skillet to the stove and add 2 links of chorizo (remove casing, chop into bite size pieces) and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add 3/4 of a chopped onion, 4 cloves minced garlic, 2 roasted, chopped red peppers. Cook about 4 to 5 minutes and add 1/2 cup of chicken broth. Add 1-10 ounce box of frozen peas.

Uncover chicken and ladle chorizo mixture onto chicken and serve with a side of fluffy rice.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Tres Leche

Tres Leche -

If you need instant gratification stop reading right now. This cake requires serious "inactive prep time". It is sooooooo worth the wait, so moist, so delicious... One of our neighbors shared a piece of this confection with me and my tween about a year ago. My tween has been asking me to make this cake ever since. Being a good mom, I finally got around to it. I mulled over a couple of recipes for this cake that I found and figured out the easy way to do this since I lack baking skills.

Bake a yellow cake in a 9x13 pan per package directions, plus add one teaspoon of pure vanilla extract. Let cake cool in pan for about 30 minutes. Poke holes all over the top of the cake using a wooden skewer or a fork. Set cake aside to cool completely. One cake is completely cooled, whisk together 12 ounces evaporated milk, 14 ounces condensed milk and 1 cup of half and half. Pour all of mixture over cake, cover and refrigerate overnight.

Next day make icing - 2 cups whipping cream, 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Mix ingredients on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Ice the cake and chill until you are ready to serve. Keep refrigerated.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Stuffed Articholes - N'Awlins Style

Stuffed Artichokes N'Awlins Style -
If you only try one recipe from this blog it HAS TO BE THIS ONE! Seriously! Once you try this you are gonna be absolutely addicted. New Orleanians look forward to "Stuffed Artichoke Season" in Spring. Just about every seafood counter offers stuffed artichokes for purchase as an appetizer or side to whatever their customer may purchase. Stuffed artichokes are present at crawfish, shrimp and crab boils and EVERYONE knows someone who makes the best ever stuffed artichokes. Let's get started stuffing these babies, but first I want to shout out to my tween a very special thank you for helping me. She posed for some of the pictures and took some of them too. One other thing, when you make these, make two, believe me you'll be glad you did.

First, cut the stem of your artichoke to about 3/4 of an inch and try to make the cut as even a possible so the artichoke can stand upright on the stem.

Each leaf has a little sticker located top and center, cut each leaf evenly across. This is the only tedious part. Start from the bottom and work your way to the top.

The leaves are cut and artichoke can stand upright all on its own. Now fill up a large bowl with water and put the artichoke in the water upside down and swish it around a bit. This will ensure any dirt particles or stickers that you snipped off won't get trapped down in the leaves. Drain the artichokes upside down on a paper towel and twist it back and forth a little to open up the top inside leaves. Let the artichoke finish draining while we make the stuffing. Yum!

In a large bowl, add 1-1/2 cups season Italian bread crumbs.

1-1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese.

1-1/2 cups grated Romano cheese.

Twelve cloves finely chopped garlic.

Mix with your hands and then rub the mixture in your hands and my tween is demonstrating to infuse the dry ingredients with the garlic moisture and flavor.

Place the artichoke in a bowl (the bowl will catch excess stuffing). Stuff each leaf using a teaspoon, starting from the bottom leaves and working your way up. Be sure to get the top inside leaves (get as far as humanly possible).

Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the top and sides of the artichoke. This will keep it moist while it's steaming and will help bind the stuffing.

Places a couple of thin slices of lemon on top for extra flavor. Use a pot with a tight fitting lid that is large enough to hold the artichoke. Pour about 1-inch of water in the bottom of the pot. Using aluminum foil, fashion a bowl and set the artichoke in the foil bowl and place in pot with water. Steam over medium heat for about an hour, checking the pot occasionally making sure there is still water in the post. Add more water as necessary. Make sure water level stays below the bottom leaves. Artichokes are done when leaves easily pull from the artichoke.

Isn't that gorgeous? Now some of you, are probably wondering how to eat these. Start at the bottom and work your way up. Pull a leaf, take the end that was closest to the core and hold it between your thumb and index finger. Put the leaf in your mouth, letting the index finger holding the other end gently brush against your upper front teeth. Gently close your teeth and scrape the stuffing off the leaf and repeat several times.

Mmmmmmm man this smells so good!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Roasted Chops-n-Taters

We've roasted garlic, we've roasted peppers, now it's time to roast some meat...pork that is!

Roasted Chops-N-Taters -
Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Heat 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a large oven safe skillet, over medium-high heat.
Season 4 bone-in center but pork chops with Pork Seasoning and a healthy pinch of cayenne pepper.

Place chops in the skillet and cook for 3 minutes on each side. Place the skillet in the oven for 10 minutes and serve over pan sauteed potatoes below:

Heat 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a large pan or pot. Cook three slices of diced smokey bacon until fat is rendered. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of fat from pan.

Add 1/2 cup chicken broth,
1/3 cup sherry
(Optional - one handful of sliced baby bella mushrooms)
2 scallions, sliced and 4 russett potatoes, thinly sliced. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook until fork tender.

See how quick and easy that was? Now you have time to take a nice evening stroll, practice your yoga or run to the store for some Ben and Jerry's! Go forth and cook!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Turkey Meatloaf

This manly meatloaf is heavenly too! Men will be dreaming of DeWalt power tools, remote controls, football, etc. One secret about this meatloaf, we don't advertise it's turkey to the homegirlz; they didn't notice.

Turkey Meatloaf -

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium pan, over medium-low heat, saute 1 medium chopped vidalia onion (or yellow onion) in 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves until translucent, but not browned, about 15 minutes.

Stir in 1/3 cup of Worcestershire sauce.

3/4 chicken stock.
1-1/2 teaspoons tomato paste and mix well.

Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Combine 2 lbs. ground turkey breast, 1-1/2 cups Italian bread crumbs, 2 large eggs, and onion mixture in a large bowl. If mixture seems too moist, add a litle more bread crumbs. Mix well and shape into a rectangular loaf on an sheet pan (with at least 1 inch sides) sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

Spread 3/4 cup of ketchup evenly on top. Bake for 1-1/4 hours until the internal temperature is 160 degrees F. and the meatloaf is cooked through.

Serve hot, at room temperature, or cold in a sandwich. Go and cook this and let me know how it turns out!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Mississippi Mud Cake

My friend Gunny, is looking for a recipe for Mississippi Mud Cake. Gunny, I found this for you and hope this is close to what you remember from your Gulf Coast days!

Mississippi Mud Cake - Courtesy of Emeril Lagasse

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound unsalted butter (2 sticks)
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup water
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 ounces mini marshmallows

For the frosting:
1/4 pound unsalted butter (1 stick)
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 (16 ounce) box confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch salt
3/4 cup chopped nuts, such as pecans or walnuts, lightly toasted

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a 9 by 13-inch cake pan.

Sift the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt into a medium mixing bowl.

Place the butter in a small saucepan and, when melted, add the cocoa and water and bring to a boil. Add the boiling cocoa mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Add the buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla and stir until smooth. Pour into prepared baking dish and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and sprinkle the marshmallows evenly over the hot cake.

Place the butter in a medium saucepan and, when melted, add the cocoa powder and buttermilk and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and salt and stir until very smooth. Pour the hot icing over the marshmallows on the hot cake and sprinkle with the nuts. Let cool to lukewarm before serving. Cake is best served warm or at room temperature.

Mmmmmmmmmm, this sounds really good, I think I'm gonna give this one a try for Memorial Day OR maybe take it my brother's house if he ever invites me over for his best in the whole wide world BBQ ribs!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

N'Awlins Stuffed Bell Peppers

There's something about stuffing a veggie that makes you feel good about what you're putting in your mouth. Also, there's the convenience factor; tasty food, a meat, veggie and starch all together in an appetizing package. Great for people on the go. Great for a lighter summertime meal. Just great to put in your mouth.

N'Awlins Stuffed Bell Peppers -

Cook 1-1/2 cups long grain white rice and set aside to cool.

Cut 5 bell peppers in half, clean out seeds and stem. Par boil (boil for 2 to 3 minutes) in salted water. Remove from water with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Brown 1 lb. of lean ground beef.

One beef begins to brown, add 1 medium onion finely chopped and 2 cloves minced garlic, salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Once ground beef is completely browned, add 2 tablespoons of finely chopped Italian parsley and blend.

Add one cup of Italian bread crumbs and blend.

Add 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiana Reggiano and 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese and blend.

Add the cooked rice and drizzle with extra virgin of olive oil and mix well into meat mixture.

Generously spoon the meat/rice mixture into the bell pepper shells. You want a round dome over the top. Place the stuffed peppers in a 9x13 baking pan.

Sprinkle a mixture of freshly grated Parmigiana Reggiano and Pecorino Romano cheese over the top of the peppers.

Lightly sprinkle a scant amount of Italian bread crumbs over the tops of the peppers.

Now add a REALLY thin pat of butter on the top of the cheese and bread crumbs because you can! I wish you could smell this...I could stop now without even baking these suckers!

Add water to the bottom of the pan, just enough to cover the bottom and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes before serving if you can wait that long.

Now that's what I'm talking about!