Saturday, May 31, 2014

Blackberry Ketchup

I have quite a few items on my recipe creating bucket list.  I was recently reminded about one by a co-worker that was raving about brie bites with a fruit ketchup.  I've been meaning to use some of my frozen blackberries and ketchup, bbq sauce and ice cream have all been at the top of the list.  Today's recipe is for the ketchup.  Be watching for the other two soon if you are a blackberry fan.  I used my ketchup this time on homemade brie french fries.

Blackberry Ketchup

2 cups frozen blackberries
1/2 cup raspberry vinegar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ancho chili pepper
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves

Mix all the ingredients in a large saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Remove berries from pan and strain.  Return strained mixture to the pan and simmer until it thickens to a consistency that you like.  

Monday, May 26, 2014

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes & Green Beans

An easy side to make in the oven or on the grill plus it's a tasty way to use fresh vegetables that are a perfect match for whatever meat you have on the grill.  

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes & Green Beans

1 1/2# fingerling potatoes, cut at an diagonal
10 oz fresh green beans
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp paprika

Place cut fingerling potatoes on a large baking sheet.  Drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil on top and bake at 325° for a half hour.  Remove from oven, stir and top with green beans.  Sprinkle another tablespoon of olive oil on top and season with paprika, salt and pepper.  Return to oven for another half hour.  

Monday, May 19, 2014

Country Fried Pork Chops

The weather finally shows signs that Spring might actually turn out ok after all the cold and rain.  Grilling season will begin shortly but until then, this is something I made last weekend.

Country Fried Pork Chops

2-4 pork chops

Whisk together in one bowl ~

1 large egg
1/4 cup milk

In a second bowl ~

1/4 cup flour
1 dash cayenne
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt

Dip pork chops in the egg mixture and then in the flour mixture before placing in a hot frying pan with 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil.  Cook until 145°.  Remove from pan and keep warm until gravy is ready.  In the same pan, add in another tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and whisk in 1/4 cup flour.  Gradually whisk in 2 cups milk.  Add in salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.  Cook until thickened.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Mascarpone Mashed Potatoes

Super creamy mashed potatoes with the mild flavor of Mascarpone cheese.  The Mascarpone lightens up the texture also so it's perfect on it's own or topped with gravy.

Mascarpone Mashed Potatoes

3# potatoes, I used Klondike Rose potatoes, cut into 1/2" cubes
1/2 cup Mascapone cheese
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp chives

Cook the potatoes in salted water until tender.  Drain and mashed until smooth.  Melt in butter and stir in Mascarpone cheese.  Top with dried or fresh chives.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Chicken & Waffles

And gravy, naturally.  This is an ideal brunch recipe since the chicken should marinate overnight in a bath of buttermilk and hot sauce.  Carrying on the flavor, I used buttermilk in the waffles and gravy.

Chicken & Waffles & Gravy

Chicken ~

3 chicken breasts
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp hot sauce

Place in a plastic bag that seals and allow to marinade overnight in the refrigerator

Coating for chicken ~

1 cup self rising flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Heat large frying pan with 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil.  When heated, dip chicken in flour mixture and add to pan.  Cook until golden brown and inside temperature registers 165°.

Buttermilk Waffles ~

1 cup flour
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
1 cup room temperature buttermilk
2 tbsp butter, melted

Sift together dry ingredients.  In a large mixing cup or small bowl, combine the egg, buttermilk and butter.  Gradually stir in dry ingredients.  Bake in waffle maker per manufacturer's instructions.

Gravy ~

Remove chicken when cooked.  Add in ~

2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup buttermilk
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Melt butter in frying pan with drippings.  Stir in flour and allow to cook for one minute.  Stir in chicken broth and whisk until flour is incorporated into broth.  Stir in the buttermilk and allow to thicken.  Season to taste.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Pepperoni Bolognese Sauce

We're still waiting for Spring but I won't complain since I saw what Wyoming got hit with yesterday.  This creamy sauce has the little spicy bites of pepperoni that are sure to impress all you make it for.  Plus there's enough to freeze for easy future weeknight dinners.

Pepperoni Bolognese Sauce

1# ground beef
3 oz pepperoni, diced
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large carrots, grated
1 tbsp celery flakes or 1 stalk diced
6 oz tomato paste
28 oz crushed tomatoes
1 cup mushrooms, sliced (optional)
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk
1/2 cup red wine (optional)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat olive oil and add in carrots and onions to gently soften.  After a few minutes, add in garlic and ground beef.  Cook the diced pepperoni in a separate pan and drain off all the grease.  Stir in tomato paste and tomatoes into the cooked ground beef.  Pour in chicken broth and milk.  Add in spices and let simmer for at least a half hour to 4 hours if you feel like.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mexican Meatballs

Bursts of flavor throughout these meatballs thanks to the salsa mixed in.  Easy to make for a weeknight meal or an appetizer or snack during the Stanley Cup playoffs.  

Mexican Meatballs

1# extra lean ground beef
1/3 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup salsa, I recommend hot to really take them up a notch
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp chili powder
Place all the ingredients into a medium bowl.  Roll meatballs and place on a lightly greased baking sheet.  Bake for 20 minutes at 350°.  Serve on top Mexican rice (my recipe is below) or alone.

Mexican Rice

2 cups chicken broth
1 cup white rice
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp olive oil
2 tbsp onions, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tbsp parsley
salt to taste

In a medium sized pot, place chicken broth, rice and butter. Bring to a boil, stir one time, cover and turn the heat down to simmer and leave for 20 minutes. Remove from heat after 20 minutes and keep covered for another 10 minutes. While you're waiting, in a small pan heat the olive oil and cook the onions until translucent. Add in the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in tomato paste, cumin and parsley. Mix into cooked rice and add salt if necessary.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Tootsie Roll Bars

This is a family recipe that has been around a long, long time.  They are referred to as Jessie's bars on my father's side of the family and have been a favorite at many Minnesota family reunions.  I remember when I asked my mom to make sure she got the recipe and I put it in my first recipe card book.  At that time, I wasn't aware that they had another name until I saw them at a downtown grocery store/bakery/deli called Leeby's.  I miss that place.  It was a part of Fargo's history.

Tootsie Roll Bars

Crust and topping ~

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups quick oatmeal
2 1/2 cups flour

Cream butter and brown sugar.  Mix in eggs and vanilla.  Stir in oatmeal and rest of dry ingredients.  Pat out 2/3's of mixture in a greased jelly roll pan (10 x 15").  Add a lip along the edges to hold the filling.

Chocolate filling ~

1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tbsp butter
2 tsp vanilla

Melt together sweet condensed milk, chocolate chips and butter in a medium sauce pan.  Stir until smooth and add in vanilla.  Pour filling over the crust.  Dot the remaining 1/3 of crust on the top of the filling.  Bake for 25 minutes at 350°.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Cheesy Mexican Chicken

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

One last recipe to celebrate this day and it's one that is easy to make and perfect for a weeknight meal.  I chose Cacique Queso Quesadillo cheese because I just love how it melts but you can choose any Mexican cheese to top your chicken

Cheesy Mexican Chicken

2 chicken breasts, flattened and cut in smaller pieces if you like
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp oregano
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup milk
Cacique Queso Quesadillo cheese

Place the milk in a flat bowl.  On a dinner plate, mix together the Panko bread crumbs, chili powder and oregano.  Dip the chicken pieces in the milk and then roll both sides in the Panko mixture.  Place pieces then on a grease or no-stick aluminum foil lined baking sheet.  Bake for a half hour at 350° or until the internal temperature of the chicken reads 165°.  Place slices of the cheese on top and return to oven until melted.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Mexican Fried Corn

Corn on the cob is back in the grocery stores and it's been looking fairly good.  I bought 4 ears in hopes that they would be cooked on the grill but the weather is still in Spring denial.  Since I was already making other Mexican foods, I decided to make a fried corn with some Mexican flavors.

Mexican Fried Corn

4 ears sweet corn
2 tbsp butter

1/4 cup onion, minced
2 tbsp chopped green chilies
1/2 tsp oregano
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Slice the corn downward from the cob.  I place it in a bowl so kernels aren't flying all over the kitchen counter.

Place the corn, onion, green chilies and butter in a heated saute pan and cook for 10 minutes.  Stir often. Add in oregano, salt and pepper.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Chicken Enchiladas

It's almost Cinco de Mayo and that means time for Mexican recipes to come about but these are so creamy and good that you'll want to make them more than one time a year.  

Chicken Enchiladas

3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
2 tbsp chopped green chilies
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
3/4 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup Half and Half
1/3 cup sour cream
2 cups Mexican blend cheese
8 - 6" flour tortillas
1 tomato, diced

In a medium saucepan melt butter.  Stir in flour and let cook for a minute.  Gradually stir in chicken broth and Half and Half.   Mix in sour cream and cook until it thickens.  Combine the shredded chicken and chopped green chilies.  Place chicken mixture in the middles of a flour tortilla.  Top with a tablespoon or two of shredded Mexican blend cheese and roll up.  Place tortilla seam down in a greased baking dish.  Pour the sauce over the tortillas and top with remaining Mexican cheese.  Bake for 15 minutes at 350°.  Top with diced tomatoes.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Chicken Tetrazzini

A creamy classic that is one of those comfort foods that you're always craving when the weather or events of the day have you down.  

Chicken Tetrazzini

3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth 
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese, separated
1 tbsp parsley
1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 chicken breasts, cooked and cut into bite-size pieces
8 oz linguini, cooked al dente

In a medium saucepan, melt butter and stir in flour until a paste forms.  Gradually stir in broth and milk.  Allow to cook and thicken while you cook your pasta.  When the sauce has thickened, stir in 1 cup of Parmesan cheese, parsley, red pepper flakes, peas, mushrooms and chicken and cook for another couple of minutes.  Add in pasta and serve.