Monday, June 29, 2015

Grinds My Gears!

You know what REALLY does! Food blogs with so many god damn advertisements, pop ups and other random shit on them that it takes 5 minutes to load the damn page and when I finally think it's loaded and start reading, it randomly scrolls all over the god damn place because the stupid ad at the bottom wasn't quite done loading after all. GAH!!! I understand that some of you actually try to earn money doing this shit but have mercy on your readers and stop being such whores. Enough with all the crap cluttering up your sites. I want your recipes and to read your stories. I do NOT, however, need a subscription to Asshat Magazine or whatever other crap is filling your margins and annoying me to death. Please, for the love of god, limit that shit! Thank you. Rant over.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Heating Up!

Warm, sunshine, FINALLY! I have to say that it is about damn time. Of course, with the warm up the schedule inevitable goes beyond crazy. It's been so bad that I missed the submission deadline for Round 2 of the chopped at home challenge. Figures, because I had a really great recipe this time. I called it Fiesta Pasta Salad. But seeing as it is Cinco De Mayo, I guess it's appropriate for today and all is not lost. This dish can be served as a side or as a meal in itself. Here is how it goes:

Fiesta Pasta Salad

For the chicken
1 pound chicken tenders, diced small
Juice of 2 limes
1 heaping Tablespoon adobo seasoning
2 Tbs olive oil

Combine ingredients and allow chicken to marinade for at least 1 hour. Once marinaded,  add chicken and marinade to a frying pan and saute until cooked through. Set aside and let cool.

For the Salsa
2 Mangoes, peeled and diced
Juice of 1 lime
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped fine
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
salt to tase

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and salt to taste. Add additional lime juice if necessary

For the Salad
1 8.8oz box Israeli pearl cous cous, cooked according to directions  (do not rinse)
1 Tbs sugar
1/4 chopped fresh cilantro
Juice of 1 lime

In a large bowl combine cooked cous cous, chicken with cooking liquid and salsa. Add sugar, cilantro and lime juice and stir to combine.  Refrigerate overnight  and adjust seasonings to taste before serving. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Springtime in my Bowl

Yep, still cold. At least it's sunnier! Still, this 40 degree weather has got to go! It's almost Easter and I still can't put the winter coat away. It's beyond old and I am so done with it! Last night I figured if it doesn't feel like spring outside, it can at least taste like it inside! This recipe features sweet corn ravioli. I buy it in NYC whenever I am there. I first tried it on a whim and now I am totally addicted to it. I think I may try to make it from scratch this summer if I am feeling adventurous. But for now I love knowing that I have an endless supply thanks to Piemonte Ravioli Company! I teamed it up with fresh pencil thin asparagus (in season right NOW!), red bell pepper, broccoli, chicken and some real good feta (Bulgarian sheep milk feta) that my dear mother brought back from the city for me. Thanks mom! Since making this was a last minute decision, I hadn't thawed the chicken out before I left for work. So, I threw the frozen chicken breasts in the crockpot with a little water to save me a step when I got home later. The bonus was this left me with the fresh cooking liquid to use in the sauce. It worked out perfectly but you could certainly just chop and saute your chicken on the fly and throw it in. I also meant to put some chopped sun dried tomatoes in this but I totally forgot. Once things got cooking in the kitchen, it came together crazy fast and I totally forgot about them. I'll add them to the leftovers. Yeah, that will be good!

Springtime Ravioli Bowl

1 box sweet corn ravioli, cooked according to directions

 2 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped

2 Tbs olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic. sliced
1/2 bunch asparagus, trimmed
2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 large head broccoli florets
1 Cup good feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 C white wine
1 Cup chicken stock
1 Tbs chicken base
Juice of 1 lemon (Always use fresh)
1 Tbs cornstarch mixed with 1/4 C water

Heat olive oil in a large saute pan and add onion. saute until soft. Add red peppers and garlic, continue to saute, add broccoli. When veggies are almost cooked add chicken and wine. Add asparagus. Added chicken stock, lemon juice and chicken base. Stir to combine. Add feta, stir and place lid on pan to finish cooking off veggies. Add the cornstarch mixture to thicken pan liquids. Carefully fold in ravioli. Enjoy!

I REALLY need to work on my photography skills, lol! That picture is terrible but I assure you the food was delicious. LOL!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A Little Bit o' Chicken Fry (Sharron, I finally remembered what I wanted to post!)

It's no secret. I love, love love me some good old fashioned fried chicken. I prefer it boneless but I will scarf down an extra crispy breast on the bone just as fast as any strip or nugget. I am still working on MY version of this American favorite and have yet to get the flavors just where I like them. I firmly believe that mastering fried chicken is a personal journey that takes a long time to complete.  This version was good but still not quite there. I think bumping up the marinade seasonings would have been a good thing as they didn't really carry over much in the meat despite the overnight marinade. I'll try that next time. I'll probably bump up the flour seasonings as well to give it more oomph.  Regardless, it was still good and I will keep working on it to get it just the way I like it. When I do make fried chicken, I always make a ton of it because 1, its messy and kind of a pain in that ass and 2,  it's delicious and the leftovers, no matter how much there are, never stick around long in my house.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Strips

1 pound chicken breasts, cut across the grain into strips

1 Cup buttermilk
2 tsp salt
1/4 tst cayanne pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp smoked paprika

2 Cups flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp baking powder
3 Tbs buttermilk

Combine marinade ingredients and chicken strips in a large zip lock bag and marinade overnight

In a heavy bottomed, deep pan heat 3-5 Cups (depending on size of pan) frying oil to about 350F

Combine breading ingredients in a shallow dish. Dredge chicken strips in mixture to thoroughly coat and  CAREFULLY drop into hot oil. Turn strips to brown evenly. Once cooked through, transfer to a wire rack underlain with papre towels to drain and cool. Ejoy.

Like I said make extra as the leftovers make great sandwiches and are also delicious on top of salads!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Old Man Winter GO AWAY!

It's Monday, March 30 and it is snowing outside. WTF! This winter doesn't seem like it will ever end. If old man winter were an actual person I'd be lining up to kick him in the jewels right about now! I have seriously had it with the damp and cold and gray. With the cold sucky weather hanging around, I decided to make a big pot of sauce to ward off the cold. Because I was feeling particularly creative and wanting beef, I decided to use some if it to make a very non-traditional version of steak pizzaola. I had some lovely strip steaks that were on the thin side which would work perfectly since I was pan frying them. A travesty, I know, but it's too damn cold out to grill....well for me anyway. They'd be cold by the time you bought them inside. First,I got my cast iron skillet smoking hot with a little oil. I seasoned the steaks with salt and pepper and seared them on both sides and then put them aside. I turned the heat down and added sliced onions, red bell pepper and sliced garlic to the pan and sauteed them all until nice and soft. Then I deglazed the pan with some white wine and let that all simmer down. After a couple minutes I added a cup or two of the home made marinara and stirred it all to combine. Then I returned the steaks to the pan to let them finish cooking through and bring everything up to temperature. Boom. Done. Easy as pie. I served the steaks over a bed of mashed cauliflower and then spooned the vegetable and tomato mixture over it. Finally I topped it with some thin slices of fresh mozzarella and dinner was served. You could certainly hit the cheese with the broiler to brown it up but we were hungry and the cheese was melted enough by the heat of the food beneath it. Hubs really enjoyed this meal as it was filling but not heavy. It this weather continues I am sure we will be eating it a few more times before it gets too hot to make pots of sauce.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Spring where art thou?

It was 15 degrees outside this morning. fifteen. fucking. degrees. Seriously WTH!! Last I looked at my calendar it clearly said SPRING! So, why am I still freezing my ass off every morning. OK now that that is out of my system.....for now....I can say that this is the weather the sugar houses have been waiting for. You see, with this endless cold, they are behind schedule too. In order for the sap to flow, sugar maples need freezing nights and thawing days. Fortunately for those tree tappers, we have been eeking out temps of 40 or so during the day so they can now make up for lost time. Then one of my favorite food blogs, Foodie With Family, posted a recipe for Amish Maple sandwich cookies (a.k.a. whoopie pies). That and the bottle of maple whiskey that I bought on my last ski trip, and I had a maple trifecta on my hands. I had been DYING to bake something with that whiskey since I purchased it and so I decided to bring that Amish recipe to the dark side. Let me tell you it was SO worth it! Now the original cookie recipe called for rolling out the dough. When I made mine the dough was very sticky and there was no way I was going to try rolling it out. It would have been a disaster. So, I just dropped in on a foil lined baking sheet and it worked out just fine. He is how I did it:

Maple Whiskey Whoopie Pies (Adapted from Foodie With Family)

For the Cookies:
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon maple whiskey
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2¾ cup flour
For the Filling:
  • 1 cup softened butter 
  • 1 cups shortening
  • 2 cups marshmallow fluff,
  • 1 teaspoons maple extract
  • 2 teaspoons maple whiskey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 5½ cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350F

In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment cream together shortening, butter and sugar. Slowly add remaining ingredients and mix until smooth.

Drop dough by rounded teaspoon onto a foil lined baking sheet. Flatten slightly with the back of a wet spoon. Bake approximatly 15 minutes until set. Allow to cool.

While the cookies are baking add the filling ingredients to a mixing bowl of your stand mixer and mix with the paddle attachment until smooth.

When cookies are cooled, assemble with the filling.

I had tons of leftover filling so you can always divide it and experiment with other flavorings! I made traditional chocolate Whoopie Pies too with plain filling and some that I mixed with peanut butter. They were all super yummy!