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Monday, February 28, 2011

Another Pot Roast Recipe!


I know I've posted a pot roast recipe before....but I guess I never get tired of it...I don't care what time of year it is...Here is yet another one for you.


Ingredients

3 1/2 lb of beef shoulder or boneless chuck roast

1 Tbsp olive or grapeseed oil

Salt, pepper, italian seasoning to taste

1 large yellow onion, chopped or sliced

4 cloves of garlic, peeled

1/2 cup of red cooking wine

Several carrots, peeled and cut lengthwise.


DIRECTIONS-

1 Use a thick-bottomed covered pot (oven-proof if you intend to cook in oven), such as a dutch oven, just large enough to hold roast and vegetables. Heat 1 Tbsp of oil on medium high heat (hot enough to sear the meat). Sprinkle and rub salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning all over the meat. Brown roast in pot, all over, several minutes on each side. Don't move the roast while a side is browning, or it won't brown well.

2. When roast is browned, lift up the meat and add garlic and chopped onion to the bottom of the pan. Let the roast sit on top of the onions. Add 1/2 cup of red wine. Cover. Bring to simmer and then adjust the heat down to the lowest heat possible to maintain a low simmer when covered (we cook our roast on the warm setting of our electric range)*. Alternatively, you can cook the pot roast in a 225°F oven, once you have browned it on the stovetop, and brought the liquid to a simmer (make sure to use an oven proof pan).

3. Cook for 3 1/2 to 4 hours, until meat is tender. (If you are using a pressure cooker, cut the time by half). Near the end of the cooking, add carrots, cook until tender, about an additional 10 minutes.

After cooking 3 1/2 hours, before adding the carrots. Note how much liquid has been released by the meat. This comes from slow cooking at a very low temperature. If your pot roast is too dry, make sure the pan you are using has a tight fitting lid and that you are cooking at the lowest possible heat to maintain the low simmering.

Serves 4-5 people. I Suggest serving with green beans and potatoes.

*Check it out,If you're using a gas range, you may find difficulty getting the flame low enough. A tip I recently read in a magazine suggests tightly rolling up some aluminum foil, shaping it into a skinny donut, and putting that on top of the burner to create a little more distance between the range and the pan. If your pot roast is turning out too dry, you might want to try this tip.


Have a glass of Ice Tea with it.....Enjoy!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Cajun Chicken Pasta


I've never been to New Orleans...But everybody who has been there has told me about the great food that is to be found in this city. One of my friends gave me this recipe that I'm going to share with you now.

Ingredients

4 ounces linguine pasta

2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning

2 tablespoons butter

1 red bell pepper, sliced

1 green bell pepper, sliced

4 fresh mushrooms, sliced

1 green onion, chopped

1 cup heavy cream

1/4 teaspoon dried basil

1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Directions

1.Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.

2.Place the chicken and the Cajun seasoning in a plastic bag. Shake to coat. In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the chicken in butter or margarine until almost tender (5 to 7 minutes).

3.Add the red bell pepper, green bell pepper, mushrooms and green onion. Saute and stir for 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat.

4.Add the cream, basil, lemon pepper, salt, garlic powder and ground black pepper. Heat through. Add the cooked linguine, toss and heat through. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and serve.


Enjoy!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Almond Berry Coffee Cake


I've written a lot about pasta lately and meat dishes....It's time I wrote about having a nice cup of coffee, sitting in your living room...with the IPOD dock programmed to your playlist and eating some Almond Berry Coffee Cake. This is a nice desert to have o wind down to, after you've taken your shower and are just chilling..Check it out-

INGREDIENTS:

Topping:

1 cup(s) all-purpose flour

2/3 cup(s) packed light-brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon(s) salt

3/4 cup(s) sliced almonds, toasted

1/2 cup(s) (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1/4 teaspoon(s) pure almond extract

Cake:

Vegetable oil cooking spray

2 1/2 cup(s) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon(s) baking powder

1/2 teaspoon(s) baking soda

1/2 teaspoon(s) salt

6 ounce(s) (1 1/2 cups) raspberries

2/3 cup(s) blackberry jam

3/4 cup(s) (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 1/4 cup(s) granulated sugar

1 1/4 teaspoon(s) finely grated lemon zest

3 large eggs

2 teaspoon(s) pure vanilla extract

1 1/4 cup(s) sour cream


DIRECTIONS:

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the topping: Whisk flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and almonds in a medium bowl. Using your fingers, work in butter until mixture forms coarse crumbs ranging in size from small peas to marbles. Sprinkle with almond extract; toss to combine.

2.Make the cake: Use cooking spray to coat a 10-inch tube pan with a removable bottom. Place pan on a baking sheet. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl. Fold raspberries into jam in a small bowl.

3.Put butter, sugar, and zest into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce speed to medium. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Mix in vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Mix in half the reserved flour mixture, followed by the sour cream. Add remaining flour mixture; beat until just combined.

4.Spoon half the batter into prepared pan. Mound berry mixture in a ring in center of batter. Top with remaining batter. Using a small offset spatula, smooth top. Sprinkle with the topping.

5.Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 65 to 70 minutes. Let cool slightly on a wire rack, 10 to 15 minutes. Run a knife around edges of pan to loosen. Pull up on tube to lift cake from pan. Let cool on rack 15 minutes. Invert cake onto a baking sheet, removing tube portion, then reinvert onto rack to cool completely.


Enjoy!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Penne and Vegetable Gratin


Tired of Eating the same old pasta dishes? Did I say this before? Maybe I did...I lose track now of days, having to spread myself so thin...Here is a delicious and heart healthy dish you might want to try one afternoon when you've got time on your hands-

INGREDIENTS:


1/2 pound penne or other tubular pasta (about 2 1/2 cups)

2 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices

3/4 pound vine-ripened tomatoes, seeded and chopped (about 1 1/3 cups)

1 cup coarsely grated chilled Fontina cheese (preferably Italian, about 1/4 pound)

1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves, washed well, spun dry, and chopped

1/3 cup packed fresh parsley leaves, washed well, spun dry, and chopped.

For sauce -
2 large garlic cloves, minced

1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced (about 3 1/2 cups)

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 cups milk

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

For topping -

1/2 cup fine fresh bread crumbs

1 tablespoon olive oil


DIRECTIONS:


In a 4-quart kettle bring 3 quarts salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes. (Pasta will cook more when baked.) Drain pasta in a colander and rinse well under cold water. Drain pasta well and in a 2- to 2 1/2-quart gratin dish or other shallow baking dish toss pasta with zucchini, tomatoes, Fontina, and herbs.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Make sauce:
In a large heavy saucepan cook garlic and red pepper flakes in butter over moderately low heat, stirring, 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and salt to taste and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until mushrooms are tender and give off their liquid. Add flour and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add tomato paste, milk, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste and bring to a boil, whisking. Simmer sauce, whisking, 30 seconds.

Pour sauce evenly over pasta mixture and shake gratin dish gently to coat pasta mixture with sauce.

Make topping:
In a small bowl with a fork stir together bread crumbs and oil until crumbs are evenly moistened.

Sprinkle topping over pasta mixture and bake in middle of oven 30 minutes. Cool gratin 10 minutes before serving.


Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Healthy Eating Tips for Heart Health Month


February is Heart Health Month and so as a tie in with my other blog, Keith's Space I want to give you some healthy eating tips.


A healthy diet and lifestyle are the best weapons you have to fight heart disease. Many people make it harder than it has to be. It is important to remember that it is the overall pattern of the choices you make that counts. As you make daily food choices, read nutrition labels and base your eating pattern on these recommendations:

•Choose lean meats and poultry without skin and prepare them without added saturated and trans fat.

•Select fat-free, 1% fat, and low-fat dairy products.

•Cut back on foods containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oils to reduce trans fat in your diet.

•Cut back on foods high in dietary cholesterol. Aim to eat less than 300 mg of cholesterol each day.

•Cut back on beverages and foods with added sugars.

•Select and purchase foods lower in salt/sodium.

•If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation. That means no more than one drink per day if you're a woman and two drinks per day if you're a man.

•Keep an eye on your portion sizes.


I'm getting a great sense of deja vu here...Only because I wrote a lot of this on my Keith's Space blog today on the larger issue of Heart Health month...but I thought of this as being a terrific tie in...So I decided to rewrite a portion of this for this blog..since it's about eating good food.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Romantic Meal for Valentines Day.


I actually made this meal for my wife on Saturday. I was out shopping and I picked up two very good cuts of steak from the Farmers Market...Cost me a pretty penny too, but it is Valentines weekend after all..This is Pepper Crusted Filet Mignon...Check it out-

PEPPER CRUSTED FILET MIGNON

INGREDIENTS:

Naturally it begins with the Steak of course-

  • 2 (5 to 6 ounces each) filet mignons (about 1 1/2 inches thick)

  • Seasoned Salt and very coarsely ground pepper

  • 2 teaspoon(s) olive oil

Red Wine Sauce (optional):

  • 1 cup(s) red wine
  • 2 tablespoon(s) cold butter, cut up
  • Coarse salt
DIRECTIONS:

1.Season filets very generously on both sides with salt and pepper (especially pepper), patting in firmly.

2.Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-high. Cook filets until desired doneness, 3 to 5 minutes per side (depending on thickness) for medium-rare.

3.Remove strings from filets, and serve with Red Wine Sauce, if desired.

4.To make Red Wine Sauce: Place wine in a small saucepan; boil until reduced to 1/4 cup, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat; add cut-up butter, and swirl pan until butter is melted and sauce is thickened, about 1 minute. Season with coarse salt.

Enjoy!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Something Different For The Super Bowl


I was on Facebook and Twitter earlier...I posted that I was planning what I was going to serve for the upcoming Super Bowl. I am all Pizza and Hot winged out...That seems to be what everybody is having. Someone suggested to me that I serve Brats...(Huge Hot Dogs for the uninitiated!) I agreed and thus my post for tomorrow/ today was born. (You gotta remember, I write what you are reading the night before...and in some cases ("Keith's Space" and "Escapades") days before you actually read em.)

PIEROGIES

INGREDIENTS:

Dough

3 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for kneading

1 cup water

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon salt

Potato filling

1 1/2 pound russet (baking) potatoes

6 ounces coarsely grated extra-sharp white Cheddar (2 1/4 cups)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Onion topping

1 medium onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter


DIRECTIONS:

Make dough:
Put flour in a large shallow bowl and make a well in center. Add water, egg, oil, and salt to well and carefully beat together with a fork without incorporating flour. Continue stirring with a wooden spoon, gradually incorporating flour, until a soft dough forms. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead, dusting with flour as needed to keep dough from sticking, until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes (dough will be very soft). Invert a bowl over dough and let stand at room temperature 1 hour.

Make filling while dough stands:
Peel potatoes and cut into 1-inch pieces. Cook potatoes in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain potatoes, then transfer to a bowl along with cheese, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and mash with a potato masher or a hand held electric mixer at low speed until smooth.

When mashed potatoes are cool enough to handle, spoon out a rounded teaspoon and lightly roll into a ball between palms of your hands. Transfer ball to a plate and keep covered with plastic wrap while making 47 more balls in same manner (there will be a little filling left over).

Make onion topping:
Cook onion in butter in a 4- to 5-quart heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally (stir more frequently toward end of cooking), until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.

Form and cook pierogies:
Halve dough and roll out 1 half (keep remaining half under inverted bowl) on lightly floured surface (do not overflour surface or dough will slide instead of stretching) with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 15-inch round (1/8 inch thick), then cut out 24 rounds with a lightly floured, 2 1/2-inch cookie cutter. Holding 1 round in palm of your hand, put 1 potato ball in center of round and close your hand to fold round in half, enclosing filling. Pinch edges together to seal completely. (If edges don't adhere, brush them lightly with water, then seal; do not leave any gaps or pierogi may open during cooking.) Transfer pierogi to a lightly floured kitchen towel (not terry cloth) and cover with another towel. Form more pierogies in same manner.


Bring a 6- to 8-quart pot of salted water to a boil. Add half of pierogies, stirring once or twice to keep them from sticking together, and cook 5 minutes from time pierogies float to surface. Transfer as cooked with a slotted spoon to onion topping and toss gently to coat. Cook remaining pierogies in same manner, transferring to onions. Reheat pierogies in onion topping over low heat, gently tossing to coat.

Serve with sour cream! This recipe is from Pittsburg! Home of the Steelers.


If you hail from Green Bay...You make like these Beer Brats...This is simple!

Ingredients:

1 dozen fresh bratwurst

1 dozen brat buns

Beer, to cover (lager is best; for true local flavor, use one brewed in Wisconsin)

1 medium large sweet onion

2 ounces (1/2 stick) butter


DIRECTIONS:

Place brats in a Dutch oven or large pot with onions and butter; cover the brats with beer. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until brats are cooked (15-20 minutes). Remove brats and set aside beer mixture. Grill brats until golden brown and return to beer mixture until ready to serve. Serve brats on fresh baked brat buns.

Serve with sauerkraut, mustard and diced onions. Enjoy!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Vegatable Strata


For my readers out there who are vegetarians...As promised..I have a recipe for you...Tomorrow night is the perfect time to try it out..It's called "Variable Vegatable
Strata." I have to be honest with you. First off...I'm not a vegetarian...My bible says that the lord made everything and everything he made is good!That said...I'm going to also go on the record by saying that I don't know if I would personally eat this myself. (Nobody else that writes a cooking blog will be so honest, just remember..)but I'll also say that that doesn't mean that this is a quote unquote bad recipe...You may find that you like this after you fix it.


INGREDIENTS:

6 slices day-old bread

1 to 2 cups chopped cooked vegetables

1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

6 large eggs

1 (10.75-ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon prepared mustard

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon basil leaves, crushed

1/8 teaspoon pepper


DIRECTIONS-

1.Grease a 8 x 8 x 2-inch (or 2-quart rectangular) baking dish. Cut bread into 1/2-inch cubes.

2.Evenly sprinkle half of the cubes into prepared dish. Sprinkle vegetables and cheese over cubes.
Sprinkle with remaining cubes.

3.In medium bowl, beat together eggs, soup, milk and seasonings. Pour over bread-vegetable mixture. Cover. Refrigerate several hours or overnight.

4.Bake in preheated 350°F (175°C) oven until knife inserted near center comes out clean and top is golden brown, about 50 to 60 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.


Try this...Hey, I might just try it myself....Enjoy!


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