Sunday, November 9, 2014

Potato Pinchos

I discovered pinchos reading through the Food Network Magazine. It's basically a Spanish appetizer served on a toothpick. This is a really easy and great idea from the Food Network Magazine. You can also customize it to your liking. 

The first time I made it I used Manchego cheese as the recipe indicated. 

The second time I made it, I used Chile Jack with Hatch Pepper cheese made by Great Midwest that I found at Sam's Club. It's a Monterary Jack cheese with Habanero, Hatch, and Chipotle Peppers with added smoke flavor. I loved it and so did the party guests. The cheese added more flavor and a slight kick to these easy appetizers. 

Unfortunately Food Network Magazine didn't list out ratios for this recipe. Below is approximately the ratio I used so hopefully you will give these a shot as well! 

Potato Pinchos

In a pot, add a couple of Yukon potatoes, cover with water, and salt the water with some kosher salt. Bring to a boil until fork tender. Not too tender. You do not want it where it’s too soft. You want it to be able to pick them up and eat.

When cooked, drain the boiled potatoes and let cool enough to handle. Peel the potato skin. Then slice into about ¼  inch thick rounds. Then slice each round in half (it makes it easier to eat, otherwise it’d be too big).

In a small mixing bowl, mix together about ¼ cup of mayo, 1 tablespoon chopped capers, 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, salt and pepper to your liking. Spread some of the mayo sauce on each sliced potato round. Then top each with a slice of the Chile Jack with Hatch Pepper cheese, slice of dried chorizo, and a piece of sliced green olive with pimento. Skewer with toothpicks and enjoy!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Jalapeño Poppers

It's Saturday and there's lots of football on TV for Matt! One of my best friend also came over and since we love food I decided to whip up a snack! I wish I bought 10 jalapeños to make 20 jalapeño poppers! Shouldn't have listened to Matt. Now they're all gone and I just want more of this delicious, cheesy goodness!

On another note, Go Dawgs!!

Jalapeño Poppers

5 large jalapeño
4 oz cream cheese, room temp
1 ear corn
1 c fontina cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
Cut the tops off each jalapeño and discard the tops. Cut each jalapeño in half. With a small spoon, scrape out the seeds and discard the seeds. Place the halved jalapeños on a baking sheet. 
Cut the kernels off the ear of corn. 
In a small mixing bowl, mix the corn kernels, both cheeses, season with salt and pepper. If you mix it well the corn and shredded fontina should be incorporated into the cream cheese, and will allow easy scooping. 
Scoop a spoonful into each jalapeño. Bake for about 30-45 mins until the jalapeños are tender and the cheese is golden brown. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Veal quesadilla

Another great meal made from the veal Matt's grandparents gave us! This packet of ground veal we got was taco-seasoned. So what did we do? Made quesadillas! In a large skillet over medium-high heat, I added the 16 oz package of ground taco-seasoned veal. Broke up the meat to cook evenly. Then added to the skillet a few spoon of Mexican crema. Spooned some of the cooked meat on one side of a flour tortilla, then topped with some shredded mozerella. Then folded over the tortilla and pan-seared both sides in a buttered skillet. Delicious!! If you can't find taco-seasoned ground veal, I would think adding a packet of taco seasoning to ground veal would do it. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Veal Bolognese

I miss cooking like this. This would be a great date night meal. Enjoy a great pasta dish with a glass of Merlot. The Merlot takes this pasta dish to the next level, and there's just the right amount of heat from the crushed red peppers. It was pretty good we had to try not to eat a third helping!

Veal Bolognese

6 bacon slices, sliced
1 shallot, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 lb ground veal
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c merlot
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 c heavy cream
.66 oz package basil leaves, torn
Merlot Parmesan, shredded 
16 oz angel hair pasta, cooked 

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package. 

Heat a large Dutch oven pot over medium-high heat. Cook the sliced bacon until almost crispy. Discard all but 1 tbsp of the bacon fat. Add the shallot and garlic and cook for a couple mins. Add the veal and cook until it's no longer pink. Add the nutmeg, crushed red peppers, and oregano. Add 1/4 cup of the Merlot. Cook for a few mins. Then add the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste. Simmer for about 10 mins. Salt and pepper to your liking. Then add the remaining 1/4 cup of Merlot, cream, and basil. Cook for a few more mins then serve over pasta topped with Parmesan.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Simple baked Chicken Breast with flavor

You know most of us have tried to watch what we eat at some point. So what do we usually turn to? Grilled chicken breast. One of my coworkers who eats out every lunch had gone on a diet. We saw her in the cafeteria miserably eating her grilled, skinless chicken breast. Of course she wasn't enjoying it. All they did was grilled up some frozen chicken breast. You can enjoy a healthy meal though if you added a bit more flavor to it. 

Our dinners have been pretty simple lately: lean protein and veggies. So you can imagine we've been cooking lots of boneless, skinless chicken breasts. One night I cranked the oven on 425 degrees F. In a small baking dish I drizzled a little bit of olive oil in the bottom of the baking dish and laid about 6 chicken breast in there that's been seasoned with salt and pepper. Added a splash of apple cider vinegar, splash of white wine, couple cloves of garlic, couple of sprigs of thyme and rosemary. Baked it until a meat themometer registered 165 degrees F. The chicken came out juicy and moist. And there was so much wonderful citrus flavor from the vinegar and wine. It was just a simple, healthier meal I cooked up, but then it hit me, some people wouldn't know healthy can taste good. You just need to add a bit of flavor. 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Golden Chanterelle Gnocchi

If you ever come across golden chanterelle mushroom, you must try them. Matt's coworker introduced us to these mushroom. His coworker found a ton on his hike and was nice enough to give us a couple bags. The mushrooms are meaty and very earthy. It adds a lot of flavor to this pasta dish. We really enjoyed them and are sad we don't see them at the stores around here. 

Golden Chanterelle Gnocchi

2 tbsp butter
2 c golden chanterelle mushroom
2 tbsp flour
1 pint heavy cream
2 c morel and leek cheese, shredded
1 lb gnocchi, cooked
Salt and pepper
Chopped parsley

Heat the butter over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 5 mins. Add the flour and cook for a couple of mins to cook out the flour taste. Slowly whisk in the cream. Bring to a simmer. Slowly add the cheese, a little at a time so it can all incorporate. Cook over medium-low heat until thickened. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the gnocchi and finish with some chopped parsley. 

For the gnocchi, I tried Marc Forgione's Gnocchi recipe in Food Network Magazine's April 2012 Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Sage. It was really easy. And I was able to freeze the rest and cook it up real nicely. It wasn't gummy like another gnocchi recipe I tried. Below is the gnocchi recipe I used:
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Pour a mound of kosher salt onto a rimmed baking sheet. Prick 3 large russet potatoes (1 1/2 to 1 3/4 lbs) all over with a fork and nestle them in the salt; this prevents the potatoes from browning and draws out their moisture. Bake the potatoes until fork-tender, about 45 mins. Let sit until just cool enough to handle. 
2. Halve the potatoes lengthwise and scoop the flesh into a bowl; discard the skin. Break the flesh with a fork. Put into a floured cutting board. Let cool 3-4 mins. Spread out the potatoes slightly. Beat 1 large egg with 1/2 tsp salt in a small bowl and drizzle over the potatoes. Sprinkle the potatoes mixture with 1 c flour and knead until a smooth dough forms, adding up to 1/2 c more flour if the dough is sticky. When you press your finger into the dough it should come out clean. If it doesn't, continue to knead. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest 10 mins. 
3. Lightly flour your surface. Divide the dough into 6 pieces and roll into "snakes," about 1/2 inch in diameter. Cut into 1/2-to-1-inch lengths with a knife; transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and lightly dust with flour. 
You can transfer to a gallon sized bag and freeze any gnocchi you won't be cooking right away. 
4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the gnocchi; wait until they float to the surface, then simmer 30 more seconds. Scoop the gnocchi from the pot with a spider or slotted spoon.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Chocolate Covered Cinnamon Toast Crunch

Oh yes, you read the title right. Cinnamon toast crunch covered in chocolate? These can become addicting. I found myself going back into the kitchen and grabbing for more. They would make a great party snack too!

These were part of Matt's early Valentine's Day present. I made the chocolate for some chocolate covered strawberries. Had some chocolate left over so I threw in some sliced bananas. Still had about half a cup of chocolate left over so I threw in a couple cups of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal. Which led me to discover these addicting treats.

The chocolate has been spiked with some orange liqueur too bringing another depth of flavor to the chocolate. Tossed with that cinnamon sugar cereal, it made a sweet and crunchy snack. I also tossed some mini M&Ms in there. Why not? You could throw in marshmallow, pretzels, whatever else your heart desires!

Chocolate Covered Cinnamon Toast Crunch

6 tbsp heavy cream
1/2 tsp orange extract
7 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 tsp instant coffee granules
3 tbsp Grand Marnier liqueur
2 tbsp light corn syrup
Cinnamon toast crunch cereal
Optional mix-ins 

Set a heat-proof bowl over simmering water, careful to not allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the water. You're basically creating a double boiler. Heat the cream and orange extract in the bowl. Add the chocolate, coffee, Grand Marnier, and corn syrup and stir constantly until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Toss some of the cereal into the chocolate, adding as much cereal as needed to use up all of the chocolate and coat the cereal. You can also mix in any mix-ins of your choosing (I chose mini M&Ms). Transfer to a baking sheet lined with wax paper and chill in the fridge until set. It won't take long for the chocolate to set. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Chipotle Chicken Salad

Whipped up some chicken salad with the chicken tenders, celery, and lettuce we had. The result ended up being blog-worthy. It had a nice bit of kick to it from the chipotle chile pepper and lots of flavor from the other spices making this salad a keeper. And it was so easy and quick to put together. I had to blog it to remember what all I threw together. 

Chipotle Chicken Salad

6 chicken tender
1 bay leaf
6 sprig thyme
1 sprig rosemary
1 clove garlic, smashed and halved
1 tsp Kosher salt
Grinds of Grains of paradise or black pepper

Put all contents in a medium saucepan. Cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Transfer cooked chicken to a cutting board and let it cool. 

To prepare the rest of the chicken salad, mix together in a medium bowl:
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 tbsp parsley, chopped
4 tsp capers, chopped, plus 1 tsp brine
1 tsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 lg spoonful mayo
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp chipotle chile pepper
Pinch of salt and pepper

Dice the cooked chicken and toss with the contents of the bowl. Serve over mixed greens and with some mozzarella.