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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Beef Tostados

Ahhh,I'm back with another tasty-Post Thanksgiving Dish...Beef Tostados....Anyone who knows me,knows I love Beef...So why wouldn't I love this?

This beef dish is a cinch regardless of how much beef cred you have. Feel free to make it your own by adding your preferred toppings and, if you're up for the challenge, add a drizzle of hot sauce to finish.

INGREDIENTS: 
  • 4 corn tortillas
  • Corn or peanut oil for frying tortillas
  • 2 cups refried beans
  • 1 ½ pounds Mexican shredded beef,
  • 1 cup shredded yellow cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded jack cheese
  • ½ cup enchilada sauce
  • 1 avocado, pitted and skinned and cut into 12 slices
  • Toppings such as shredded lettuce, chopped fresh tomatoes, chopped red onions, sour cream, taco sauce, etc
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Heat oil in medium wok or heavy bottomed pan to 375 degrees. Use candy thermometer.
  2. Drop a single corn tortilla in and fry on both sides until crispy. Repeat for remaining pieces placing them on serving dishes.
  3. Heat refried beans on stove or in microwave until hot and spread evenly on top of each fried corn tortilla. Heat pulled beef on stove or in microwave until hot and spread evenly on beans. Divide shredded cheese between the four servings. Heat enchilada sauce on stove or in microwave and divided between four servings. Slice and divide the avocado between the four servings then top each with topping of choice such as shredded lettuce, chopped tomato, chopped red onion, sour cream, taco sauce, etc
 Note: All ingredients (such as the shredded beef, refried beans and enchilada sauce)should be made in advance and heated before serving. The prep and cooking time noted in this recipe does not include the times to prepare each basic ingredient

Refried Beans-

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • ¼ pound pancetta, diced into small pieces
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • ¼ cup beef stock
  • 2 cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon Rocket Fuel, or your favorite hot sauce
DIRECTIONS:
  1. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, cook pancetta in canola oil. Cook pancetta until crisp.
  2. Add onion and sauté 3-5 minutes until onions become tender.
  3. Add garlic and cook 1 minute.
  4. Add in all other ingredients and cook five minutes.
  5. Puree half the mixture with an emulsion blender and cook 2 more minutes.
Enchilada Sauce:

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 2 medium garlic cloves chopped
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon (Rocket Fuel) or your favorite hot sauce
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Sauté onions in oil over medium heat for 4 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic and sauté for one minute. Add tomato paste and sauté for an additional minute. Add all other ingredients and bring to a simmer and cook for about five minutes to blend flavors.
  2. With an emulsion blender or in a blender, puree until smooth.
Shredded Beef

INGREDIENTS:
  • ½ large onion peeled and cut into large slices
  • ½ large red bell pepper seeded and cut into large slices
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Agave Nectar or honey
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon Rocket Fuel, or your favorite hot sauce
  • ½ teaspoon Sriracha chili sauce
  • 2 ½ pounds chuck roast
  • 1 cup beef stock
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. In a 9x13-inch glass baking dish or roasting pan, lay sliced onions and peppers on bottom.
  3. Mix tomato paste, Agave or honey, all the dried spices, Rocket Fuel and the chili sauce. Smear all over beef and set beef over peppers and onions. Pour the beef stock around the sides of the beef.
  4. Cover with parchment paper and then foil, sealing tight.
  5. Roast in over for three hours or until fork tender. Check after three hours and cook for another 30 minutes if not falling apart tender.
  6. With two forks, shred meat and mix with all liquid, cooked onions and cooked peppers.
  7. Use as a filling for a variety of Mexican or Southwestern-inspired dishes.
See I helped you out...I didn't initially plan to write all three recipes...but then I said..That's not fair....

ENJOY!  Eat well my friends...!

Chase this down with cold water!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Lemon Chicken in a Skillet


It's the first of December...Christmas Shopping has begun...You certainly feel like fixing something easy, but still good...Well it don't get much easier, or more satisfying: A complete dinner in one pan in half an hour. Lemon brightens this cozy winter meal.

Yield:

Serves 4 (serving size: 1 chicken breast half and 3/4 cup potato mixture)
Total time: 30 Minutes

INGREDIENTS:
12 ounces baby red potatoes, halved
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, pounded to 3/4-inch thickness
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 thyme sprigs
4 ounces cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup whole milk
5 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
8 very thin lemon slices
1 (8-ounce) package trimmed haricots verts (French green beans)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 450°.
2. Place potatoes in a medium saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil, and simmer 12 minutes or until tender. Drain.
3. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add chicken and thyme sprigs to pan; cook 5 minutes or until chicken is browned. Turn chicken over. Place pan in oven; bake at 450° for 10 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken from pan.
4. Return pan to medium-high heat. Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil. Add potatoes, cut sides down; mushrooms; and 1 tablespoon thyme; cook 3 minutes or until browned, stirring once. Combine milk and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add remaining salt, remaining pepper, flour mixture, stock, lemon, and beans to pan; simmer 1 minute or until slightly thickened. Add chicken; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes or until beans are crisp-tender. Sprinkle with parsley.

Serve with a nice Red Wine-


ENJOY...Eat and Drink Well My Friends!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Red Pepper Miso Wings




Hey Guys...Here is a post Thanksgiving treat....


Skip the cream cheese and pepper jelly appetizer and use the red pepper jelly for something new. These sticky, yet crispy chicken wings take full advantage of the red pepper jelly flavor.


The result is a hot, sweet, savory sauce with a vibrant color. Add scallions and fresh basil for an impressive festive-looking dish that is just asking to be taken to a holiday potluck.


INGREDIENTS:


3 pounds chicken drumettes (24 drumettes)
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon toasted seasame oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup red pepper jelly
1/4 cup white miso
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped, peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1/4 cup sliced scallions
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh Thai basil leaves
1 lime, cut into wedges
 
DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place a wire rack on prepared baking sheet; coat rack with cooking spray. Toss together drumettes, canola oil, and sesame oil in a medium bowl. Spread in a single layer on prepared rack. Sprinkle evenly with salt and black pepper. Bake in preheated oven until done, golden brown, and crispy, about 40 minutes.


2. Meanwhile, stir together pepper jelly, miso, rice vinegar, ginger, and garlic in a small saucepan. Cook over medium, stirring occasionally, until mixture is smooth and slightly thickened, about 1 minute.


3. Remove baking sheet from oven. Turn drumettes over, and brush 1/2 cup of the pepper jelly mixture over drumettes. Return to oven, and bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and brush drumettes with remaining pepper jelly mixture. Return to oven, and bake until wings are deep golden brown and slightly crispy but still sticky, about 10 minutes.


4. Place wings on a serving platter; sprinkle with scallions and basil. Serve with lime wedges.


Mmmmmm Enjoy!  Eat Well My Friends!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving


Monday, November 21, 2016

Cornbread Waffles

Who would have thought that I would find something like this? Cornbread waffles....Waffles made from cornbread mix!

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 c. buttermilk
  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter, melted (plus more for serving)
  • 6 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 c. yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tbsp. softened butter, for serving
  • 1 tsp. honey
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Preheat waffle iron and preheat oven to 200 degrees F (to keep waffles warm).
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together buttermilk, butter, sugar, and eggs. In a separate large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking soda, and salt. Pour wet mixture over dry ingredients and stir using a rubber spatula just until moist.
  3. Spray waffle grates with nonstick cooking spray. With a big ice cream scoop, spoon about 1/4 cup batter into waffle iron. Cook until golden brown and cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes per waffle.
  4. Remove from waffle iron, place on baking sheet and keep warm in oven.
  5. Mix together honey and softened butter to spread over warm waffles.
MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM, Enjoy! Eat Well My Friends!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Baked Ricotta Gnudi With Vodka

Hi...It's been a few weeks...but I'm back....and with a nice comfortable recipe......You know I love Pasta..or anything Italian for that matter...Here is a new recipe....Baked Ricotta Gnudi With Vodka..

Ricotta Gnudi with creamy, garlicky vodka sauce with a nice layer of melted mozzarella. These dumpling-like gnocchi are made with ricotta instead of potatoes. They're super easy and fast! If this dish doesn't bring the folks running to the table, I'm not really sure what will! 

INGREDIENTS: 


For the vodka sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 7 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • One 28-ounce can San Marzano crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
In a sauce pot with lid, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, but be careful not to burn it. 
  1. Add the tomato paste. Caramelize a bit by cooking it for about 45 seconds.
  2. Add the crushed tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt, pepper flakes, bay leaf and 2 tablespoons of water.
  3. Once the sauce begins to simmer, turn the heat to low and cover with lid only half-way. Simmer for 25 to 30 minutes stirring every 5 minutes.
  4. After the sauce has simmered and thickened, heat a separate large pan over medium-high heat and add the vodka. Be careful not to flame it!
  5. Reduce the vodka by half, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  6. Add the tomato sauce into the pan. (Watch out for splatter!) Simmer for 2 minutes
  7. Add the cream and simmer for another minute. Turn the heat off.
FOR THE BAKED GNUDI:
  • 2 cups smooth ricotta cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 tablespoon fine salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh black pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • Vodka sauce (see recipe above)
  • 1 fresh mozzarella ball
  • Fresh black pepper
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400° F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the ricotta, eggs, Parmesan,
  3. Add the flour in 2 additions mixing in between. Don't over mix! The dough will be sticky.
  4. With floured hands, form the gnudi into 1 1/2 tablespoon dumplings. Softly roll the dough into a ball and then flatten. Rest the gnudi on a floured surface. Repeat until all dumplings are formed. It will make about 34 to 36 gnudi.
  5. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil.
  6. Using a spoon, create a whirlpool in the boiling water and add in the gnudi. Mix the water for a minute or so. This will help the gnudi not to stick to the bottom of the pot.
  7. Boil the gnudi for about 6 minutes. They will float! Keep them in for an additional 2 minutes after they've floated.
  8. Drain the gnudi and return them to the hot pot.
  9. In a baking dish, place a tiny bit of the vodka sauce on the bottom. Place some of the gnudi along the bottom in one layer. Top with some sauce. Place another layer of gnudi, then sauce. Continue until you've used up all the gnudi and then top with the remainder of the sauce.
  10. Lay the sliced fresh mozzarella and grated parmesan cheese over top.
  11. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is all melty! If you want to char the cheese a bit more, broil on high for 1 to 2 minutes. Serve warm.
Mmmmmmmmmmmmm, Enjoy!  Eat Well My Friends!


Food Safety Tips
Protect yourself against food-borne illnesses.


1. Use a "refrigerator thermometer" to keep your food stored at a safe temperature (below 40 degrees fahrenheit).

Cold temperatures slow the growth of bacteria. Ensuring that your refrigerator temperature stays at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or colder is one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of food-borne illness. You can buy a refrigerator/freezer thermometer at appliance stories, home centers (i.e. Home Depot), and kitchen stores including online ones, such as Cooking.com.

2. Defrost food in the refrigerator, the microwave, or in cold water... never on the counter!

Perishable foods should never be thawed on the counter for longer than two hours because, while the center of the food may remain frozen, the outer surface may enter the Danger Zone, the range of temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees fahrenheit, in which bacteria multiply rapidly. If you’re short on time, use the microwave or you can thaw meat and poultry in airtight packaging in cold water. Change the water every half-hour so it stays cold and use the thawed food immediately.

3. Always use separate cutting boards for raw meat/poultry/fish and cooked foods/fresh produce.

Bacteria from uncooked meat, poultry, and fish can contaminate cooked foods and fresh produce. An important way to reduce this risk is to use separate cutting boards for raw meat/poultry/ fish, and cooked foods/fresh produce.

4. Always cook meat to proper temperatures, using a calibrated instant-read thermometer to make sure.

One effective way to prevent illness is to use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of meat, poultry, and egg dishes. The USDA Recommended Safe Minimum Internal Temperatures are as follows:

* Beef, veal, and lamb (steaks and roasts), fish - 145 degrees fahrenheit

* Pork and ground beef - 160 degrees fahrenheit

* Poultry - 165 degrees fahrenheit.

Cook meats like roasts and steaks to lower temperatures, closer to medium-rare, so that they retain their moisture. It is recommended that those who are at high risk for developing food-borne illness (i.e. pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborns, young children, older adults, people with weakened immune systems, or certain chronic illnesses) should follow the USDA guidelines.

5. Avoid unpasteurized/raw milk and cheeses made from unpasteurized milk that are aged less than 60 days.

Raw milk is milk from cows, sheep, or goats that has not been pasteurized (heated to a very high temperature for a specific length of time) to kill harmful bacteria that may be present. These bacteria, which include salmonella, E. coli and listeria, can cause serious illness and sometimes even death. The bacteria in raw milk can be especially dangerous to pregnant women, children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems or chronic illnesses. Raw milk cheeses aged 60 days or longer are okay, since the salt and acidity of the cheese-making process make for a hostile environment to pathogens.

6. Never eat "runny" eggs or foods, such as cookie dough, that contain raw eggs.

Even eggs that have clean, intact shells may be contaminated with salmonella, so it’s important to cook eggs thoroughly until both the yolk and the white are firm. Casseroles and other dishes containing eggs should be cooked to 160 degrees fahrenheit and you can use an instant-read food thermometer to check. Eggs should always be cooked fully and those who are at high risk for developing foodborne illness (pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborns, young children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems or certain chronic illnesses should follow the USDA guidelines. If you can’t resist runny eggs or sampling cookie batter, use pasteurized eggs. They’re found near other eggs in large supermarkets.

7. Always wash your hands in warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds before handling food and after touching raw meat, poultry, or eggs.

You can pick up a lot of bacteria out in the world, so it’s important to always wash your hands before you eat or prepare food. You should also wash your hands after touching any uncooked meat, poultry, fish, or eggs, as the bacteria from these foods can contaminate cooked foods and fresh produce. Use soap and warm water and wash thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.

8. Always heat leftover foods to 165 degrees fahrenheit.

The USDA recommends heating all cooked leftovers to 165 degrees fahrenheit in order to kill all potentially dangerous bacteria.

9. Never eat meat, poultry, eggs, or sliced fresh fruits and vegetables that have been left out for more than two hours or more than one hour in temperatures hotter than 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you leave perishable foods out of the refrigerator or freezer for more than two hours they may enter the Danger Zone—the unsafe temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, in which bacteria multiply rapidly.

10. Whenever there’s a food recall, check products stored at home to make sure they are safe.

You should discard any food that’s been recalled because it’s associated with the outbreak of a food-borne illness. But, according to a survey conducted by Rutgers University during the fall of 2008, only about 60% of Americans search their homes for foods that have been recalled because of contamination. For more information on food recalls, visit the website Recalls.gov






Cavier & Vodka
Courtesy of The Lady (Bug) of the Household