Saturday, February 27, 2010

East Tennessee Blogger Get Together!!!

Larry from Big Dude's Electic Ramblings, Chris from Nibble Me This and I are planning a blogger get together for East Tennessee area bloggers.

You’re considered local if you’re willing to make the drive. We’re thinking in terms of a Saturday afternoon sometime from mid May through mid June at Larry’s place near Greenback TN. There are many details to work out, but at this point, we’re just trying to determine interest level and find a good date. We’re not looking for a firm commitment now, but if you think you would be interested in participating, please email one of us with the Saturdays beginning with May 15 and ending with June 19 for which you are NOT, repeat NOT, able to come. We can then see which dates can accommodate the most people. We’d like to hear back from you by March 10.

All of our email address are either attached to our blogs or our profiles.

You don't have to be a food blogger either but since there will lots of food bloggers in attendance, you can bet we'll rustle up the best vittles!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My New Favorite Burger!

 Who says you can't unlearn your bad habits and learn something new?  Most of us drool over the image of a big, thick, juicy piece of ground beef between two huge pieces of bread, slathered with mayo, get my drift.  Don't get me wrong, I adore a beef burger and on a Kaiser roll is always a plus but let's just shake things up a bit.

Season 1 lb. of ground turkey with your favorite dry seasonings.  No need to add an egg.  Ground turkey is usually pretty moist and holds together very well.  Divide into 4 equal portions and form into round burger patties.  Reserve enough ground turkey on the side (about enough to make one small patty).  Using your thumb, place a small dent in the middle of each patty.  Place a small cube of your favorite cheese in the dent (I used Brie).  Knead the and use the reserved ground turkey to cover the cheese. 

Grill about 5 to 7 minutes per side over medium-high heat.

Oozing cheese wasn't supposed to happnen, but doesn't it just make you wish the patty would hurry up and cook!

Then core one apple (peeling is optional and this was a Figi apple) and divide into 16 slices.  Coat the apples in vegetable oil and place on grill.  Grill about 2 minutes per side.

To assemble, place turkey patty on buttered garlic toast, top with grilled apples and a little parsley garnish.  I bet some onion rings would rock with this!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Apple Sausage Hash with Sunny Side Up Fried Eggs

In our house, we are big fans of breakfast food for dinner.  Hash and eggs, so simple, so comforting and so easy to make.  Sometimes it’s the simplest ingredients that give you really big flavors.   This will certainly lift your spirits and make you feel warm all over.

3 russet potatoes diced into 1/2-inch cubes
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 lb. Apple Sausage or smoke sausage diced into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 medium sized yellow onion, chopped
1/2 medium sized green bell pepper, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1-1 /2 teaspoon of your favorite Creole Seasoning
1 cup of grated sharp cheddar cheese
Salt and Black Pepper
Fried Eggs Sunny Side Up, recipe follows
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves, for garnish

Place cubed potatoes in a large pot with enough salted water to cover by 2 inces. Bring potatoes to a boil. continue boiling potatoes about 10 minutes (until tender). Drain and reserve.

While potatoes are boiling, add olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add the cubed sausage and brown. Remove the sausage from the skillet with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel lined plate. To the same skillet, add the onions and bell peppers and saute for about 3 to 4 minutes. Then stir in the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the potatoes, thyme, Creole Seasoning and stir thoroughly to combine. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes start to crisp and turn golden brown. Return the sausage to the pan, stir to combine.  Cook until heated through.

Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, spoon a generous helping of the sausage hash and top with one to two sunny-side up fried eggs.  Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and serve immediately.

Fried Eggs Sunny Side Up:

1 tablespoon butter (or margarine)
2 large eggs
Salt and black pepper

In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. While the butter is melting, carefully crack two eggs into a bowl and season with salt and pepper.  When the butter is foamy, carefully pour the eggs into the skillet. Cook until the whites are firm, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes.

Remove from skillet with a flat spatula and to plate and serve.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Cheese Beignets

I had cheese beignets similar to these at the Spotted Pig when I was in NYC last week.  The servers kept walking around with plates of these little babies.  They were warm, full of delectable flavors and I wasn't the only one who thought so either.  None of us could control ourselves. Within seconds, the beignets were gone.  Several of us were scanning the restaurant wondering where the next plate of cheese beignets was hiding.

I duplicated the beignets, so brace yourselves for some serious, mouthwatering magic.

Using my Basic Pizza Dough recipe,  flatten out of dough about the size of the palm of your hand.  Place a pinch or two of shredded greuyere cheese.  Roll up the dough around the cheese and roll into a ball a little smaller than a ping-pong ball.  Fry in vegetable or canola oil.  They will puff up and brown very quickly. 

Place on a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle with grated pecorino romano cheese.

Pass these around the next time you have guests over.  Just make sure you have a couple of extra plates of these because you won't want to run out.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Shockey Way Chicken

Let's face it, I have enough chicken recipes posted here to wrap around the block.When I find one that's packed full of flavor, well I just have to share, that's just how I am.

This recipe comes from the Times Picayune, the New Orleans daily newspaperMy friend, Georgia, sent a copy of the paper to me upon the New Orleans winning the NFC Championship.

It seems a couple of the single Saints football players have personal chefs.  Chef Jones is the personal chef for a couple of the Saints players, including #88, TE Jeremy Shockey.

 Chef Jones' Shockey-Way Chicken -

Makes 4 entree or 16 appetizer servings

1/2 bottle teriyaki roasted garlic marinade and sauce
1/4-1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/3-1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
Zest of 1/2 lemon
Crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/4 cup bourbon
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 to 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, fat cut off
3-4 scallions, cut diagonally

Whisk together all ingredients except chicken, honey and green onions. Put chicken pieces in a container and pour marinade over them. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight. Stir occasionally so all the chicken marinates.

To cook, heat oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken pieces in a 13-by-9-inch pan lined with foil. (Discard marinade or, if you want a sauce, thicken with cornstarch and pour over chicken halfway through cooking.)

Bake up to 1 hour, until chicken pieces are 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. If desired, to give the dish a bit of shine, squeeze a little honey over the chicken 5-10 minutes before end of cooking time. Sprinkle with green onions at end of cooking time.

Does it get any simpler or tastier?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Roasted Root Vegetable Soup

Please continue to vote, vote everyday at the Kelly Ripa Cake off for a Cause.  Support the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund!

Our poor little cake is in last place with no hope of gaining any steam.  I appreciate all of your votes!

Hope all of you had a Happy Mardi Gras!  You must be sluggish from all that partying and you need something warm and healthy and meat-free today, Ash Wednesday.  You came to the right place, I have a soup for you that is going to knock your socks off!

The method of this soup is so handy for any vegetables you you want to use up plus you can switch vegetables to suit your taste. 

I started off with a couple of russet potatoes, a yellow onion, a turnip, celery root, carrots and parsnips.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, peel and dice the vegetables.  Season with salt and pepper.  Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.  Toss vegetables to evenly coat with oil. 

Roast the vegetables for 30 to 45 minutes.  Until vegetbles are "mashable" and slightly golden brown.  The roasting really enhances the flavors of the vegetables as opposed to sauteing them in the pot.  Also, you will use a lot less oil. 

Place vegetables in a large pot or stock pot over medium heat and mash with a potato masher.  This is a rustic, country soup so you want it to have a thick, chunky consistency.

Add approximately 2-1/2 cups of chicken or vegetable stock 1/2 cup at a time to the vegetables.  You can add a cup more stock to thn it out. Thoroughly combine.  Season with salt, pepper, coriander and red pepper flakes to taste.

The soup will be thick.  If you prefer a smoother soup, feel free to run your emersion blender in the pot ot achieve a velvety consistency.

Top the soup off with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of freshly chopped parsley.

Just for the record, I AM NOT the person that keeps praying for snow!  = )

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Kelly's Cake Off for a Cause

Wow, where do I begin with this post?  It's going to be a very long one.  Go pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea, get comfortable because I think this will be my favorite post.

I told all of you a while back of why I felt so passionate about Ovarian Cancer Research and there were a few that were touch by this horrific disease with relatives, close frieds and co-workers.

Many of you may know that Kelly Ripa is a baking enthusiast.  She teamed up with accomplished master baker decorator, Buddy Valastro, from TLC's "Cake Boss".  Fifteen food bloggers from across the country decorated some lavish cakes for a cause.  Keely and Buddy teamed up with Electrolux in support of the Ovarian Cancer research Fund.

So starting today, exclusively at Kelly Confidential you can cast your for your favorite cake which I hope is the one my team decorated!  For every vote cast, Electrolux will donate $1 to OCRF as a part of it's $500,000 committment to help figth ovarian cancer.

Visitors to the Web site can get in on cake decorating too!  You can decorate and send a special virtual cake to a friend, family member or someone else you love.  Each day you send a cake, Electrolux will donate another $1 to OCRF.  Plus!!!  There's always a plus!  Buddy's top cake decorating tips are available!  Now that's a freebie you just can't pass up!

Everyone who logs on the the Kelly Confidential site and sends a virtual cake will automatically be entered for a chance to win a new induction range from Electrolux!!!  Now, if that doesn't get you clicking, nothing will.

Kelly and Buddy were wonderful.  They came around and talked to all of us like familiar friends.  Buddy helped each team and didn't fire any off us! 

Before I show you the cakes I need to give you a little background on what we were assigned to do.

We were all assigned a theme and our theme was the hardest.  All the the embellishments on our cake had to be piped and no one on our team bakes, we all cook.  The other cakes were embellished with fondant.  The embellishments were cut out with cookie cutters and fastened to the cake.  The fondant cakes were stunning...ours not so much.  Our cake wasn't the prettiest, but vote for it anyway - PLEASE!!!  Tell your friends, facebook it, tweet it....get our cake all the votes you can get!

Our cake "Here Comes the Sun"

"Take a Bow"

"Snow Day"

"Mod Squad"

"Fall for Me"

We had a great time - vote as many times as you can!

..and Diva, I had a great time going to dinner with you tonight!  You are a doll and I hope we can meet up again. 

Live Regis and Kelly!!! Update

5:30 PM  I am stuck in NYC - all flights have been cancelled.  I'm on my way to go have dinner with Diva on a Diet from Beach Eats.  As soon as I return I will post the pictures from today. 

Buddy from Cake Boss and Kelly Ripa were so much fun to be around...very down to earth.

Can't wait to share the deails with you!!!

A blizzard is expected to hit NYC tomorrow.  Snow is expected to start falling tonight.

I'm hoping I get out early enough...we'll see.

This was taken on 9th Avenue outside the the studio where Live with REgis and Kelly is taped.  Very cold and beautiful morning.

I did take quite a few pictures, a lot of them are blurry.  Who knew the building would vibrate that much!

The stage hands getting the set ready.

Gelman giving us instructions of not only when to clap but how to do it properly.  All of our arms are sore.

Regis during a break, taling to the audience.  He really seems to be a lot of fun.

Gelman getting the next segment set up.  Kelly made chocolate hearts and chocolate dipped strawberries that looked like they were wearing tuxedos. She is a lot of fun during the breaks.

We are getting together in about an hour for the cake decorating event in Chelsea Market with Kelly and the Cake Boss!

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Spotted Pig - Manhattan

Let me show you some food porn....

I REALLY couldn't choose, but this I was sober enough to remember...prunes inside of a pare wrapped in bacon.  You know, bacon always wins...hands down.

Tart-tarts with thyme. bacon and geuyrere....ok, these also made your eyes roll to the back of your head too.

Just an essence of the "cooking studio".

See the girl in the off the shoulder zebra print blouse?  We're bff's now...go figure.

Prey waiting to be delic-ified...seriously!

Chef April!  She adopted me..really all I had to say was grits and crawfish and just like that, she adopted me!  She is a genius!

Chef April took root vegetables, turnips, potaotes, parsnips, potatoes, onions, various heirloom carrrots, and roasted them, covered with just a little salt...

Rough mashed them with a fork, added a little chicken stock and some white wine and wa-la...

Served this amazing soup.  As much as I love to mix up the seasonings, I questioned her and salt was all this soup required, it was amamzing!

When you visit NYC, go to Manhatten and visit Chef April.  Tell her,  her adopted child from Tennessee via the Big Easy sent ya....she'll take really good care of you, I promise.

Tomorrow on the set with Regis and Kelly and cake decorating lessons with the Cake Boss!  I can't wait!!!!