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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Black Cauldron






Last Day of the month!  Halloween...Here is something ghoulishly delish for grown folks!....
After the kiddies retire to inventory their candy haul, grown-ups can drink  from this Black Cauldron — a spiked ice-cream float that bubbles and burbles.

INGREDIENTS:


  • 2 cup(s) vanilla ice cream
  • 1/4 cup(s) vodka
  • 1/4 cup(s) brewed espresso
  • 24 ounce(s) oatmeal stout beer

 
DIRECTIONS: 

 Place 1/2 cup vanilla ice cream in each of 4 tall glasses. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon vodka, 1 tablespoon brewed espresso, and 6 ounces oatmeal stout beer. Serve immediately.

See, that was simple!





Enjoy with your significant other!    Eat well my friends!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Friatta






Amazing that on the eve of a storm where I might lose power in my home (but I'm not expecting to) and therefore can't cook that I'm thinking of something to fix for brunch, just in case I can cook something..(Which I fully expect to be able to do tomorrow.)

Country Friatta!... (Hope I spelled that right!) Loaded with green peppers, ham, and cheese, this skillet egg dish is appropriate for brunch, lunch, or dinner. Serve with an easy green salad and rolls to accompany it.


INGREDIENTS:


  • tub(s) (10-ounce) PHILADELPHIA Original Cooking Creme, divided
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon(s) butter
  • 1 cup(s) chopped green peppers
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup(s) chopped OSCAR MAYER Smoked Ham
  • 1/2 cup(s) KRAFT Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese 
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Reserve 1/4 cup cooking creme. Whisk remaining cooking creme with eggs and black pepper until well blended.
  2. Melt butter in 10-inch ovenproof skillet on medium heat. Add green peppers; cook and stir 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Stir in egg mixture, onions and ham; cover. Cook on medium-low heat 8 to 9 minutes or until center is almost set.
Heat broiler. Uncover frittata; sprinkle with cheddar. Broil, 6 inches from heat, 2 to 3 minutes or center is set and cheddar is melted. Drizzle with reserved cooking creme.


TIPS & TECHNIQUES
Variation: Pizza Frittata Prepare as directed, substituting chopped OSCAR MAYER Pepperoni for the ham and KRAFT Shredded Mozzarella Cheese for the Cheddar.(See Photo up top!)

Enjoy!  Eat Well my friends!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pork Chops with Harvest Rice Pilaf



I thought it was about time I posted a recipe featuring that "other" white meat...Pork... This one comes from my favorite food city, New Orleans...It's called Pork Chops with Harvest Rice Pilaf. (Special thanks to the good people at Zatarain's)


Favorite fall ingredients like apples and cranberries provide texture and color to this flavorful one-skillet pork chop and rice dish.


This dish yields 4 servings.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes

INGREDIENTS:


1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 4 bone-in pork chops,

1/2-inch thick (about 1 1/2 pounds)

1 tablespoon oil

1 cup apple juice

1 cup water

1 package ZATARAIN'S® Rice Pilaf

1/2 cup chopped apple

1/2 cup dried cranberries or dried cherries

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped pecans

DIRECTIONS:


1. Mix paprika, thyme and pepper in small bowl. Sprinkle evenly on both sides of pork chops. Heat oil in nonstick large skillet on medium-high heat. Add pork; cook 3 to 5 minutes per side or until pork is cooked through. Remove from skillet; keep warm.


2. Stir apple juice, water, Rice Mix, apple, cranberries, onion and pecans into skillet. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 20 minutes.

3. Place pork over rice mixture. Cover. Cook 5 minutes longer or until most of the water is absorbed and rice is tender. Remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes.

Tips

Test Kitchen Tip: For saucier rice, add 1/4 cup apple juice or water when returning pork to skillet.






Enjoy, Eat Well My Friends!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Steak Tacos







Hey folks....I really need to stop neglecting this blog...This is my baby blog...I've been gone for a few days..but I'm back now and with a great recipe.....Steak Tacos with Chimichurri sauce...(I can't pronounce it or spell it correctly either!)

A fresh, herby chimichurri sauce is the perfect contrast to the succulent grilled steak in these tacos. Thank you to O.Magazine, where I got this recipe from.


INGREDIENTS:


Steak:
  • 1 1/2 pound(s) skirt steak
  • 1 teaspoon(s) cumin
  • 3 tablespoon(s) vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoon(s) kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) ground black pepper
  • 5 clove(s) garlic, minced to a paste
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 cup(s) thinly sliced red or white onion

Chimichurri Sauce
  • 2 clove(s) garlic
  • 1 teaspoon(s) kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup(s) cilantro
  • 1/2 cup(s) flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup(s) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon(s) lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) crushed red chilli flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) ground black pepper
To Serve:
 DIRECTIONS:
  • Cut steak into 6 pieces. In a medium bowl, combine cumin, oil, salt, black pepper, and garlic. Add steak to bowl, rub spice mixture into meat, squeeze lime juice on top, and mix in onion. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
  • To make chimichurri sauce: In a small food processor, pulse together garlic and salt until it forms a paste. Add cilantro and parsley and pulse, scraping the sides down often. Place in a small bowl and stir in olive oil, lime juice, red chili flakes, and black pepper.
  • About 10 minutes before serving, grill steak 2 to 3 minutes on 1 side, without moving, then flip and continue cooking to desired degree of doneness, 2 to 3 minutes for medium rare. Let meat rest 5 minutes, uncovered.
  • Dice or slice meat against the grain and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Serve on a tortilla with chimichurri sauce and Pico de Gallo
Enjoy, Eat Well My Friends!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Herb Roasted Chicken (For Two?)







You might think I've got chicken on the brain.....I know that my last recipe was latin chicken...but I can't write too much about Beef and Pork...The Healthy eating people wouldn't like that...So since no one that I know of has a beef with Chicken....(No pun intended...I give you a Herb roasted chicken recipe.)


INGREDIENTS:


1/4 cup(s) chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, sage, rosemary and/or thyme

2 clove(s) garlic, minced

2 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoon(s) kosher salt

1 teaspoon(s) freshly ground pepper

2 (4 to 5 pounds each) whole chickens, giblets removed.

DIRECTIONS:

1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat a large roasting pan with cooking spray.

2.Mix herbs, garlic, oil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl to form a paste. Rub the herb mixture all over the chickens, under the skin and over the breast and thigh meat. Tie the legs together with kitchen string. Place the chickens in the prepared pan, breast-side up, preferably not touching each other.

3.Roast the chickens for 45 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees and continue roasting until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, without touching the bone, registers 165 degrees F, 45 minutes to 1 hour more. (Be sure to check the temperature of each chicken. One might be done before the other.) Transfer to a clean cutting board; let rest for 10 minutes before removing the string and carving (see How To).

 Exchanges: 4 lean meat

Serve With a White Wine...Enjoy!  Eat well my friends!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Latin Chicken with Black Beans and Sweet Potatoes



Heyyy..Any of you guys or gals ever use a slow cooker?  Well there is no better time than the present..Merits of the slow cooker are many: If you routinely get home late from work,(like my wife and I sometimes do.) set up a comforting stew before you leave in the morning.

 Can't stand turning on the oven in warm weather?(My wife particularly hates that!) Use the slow cooker to make everything from pot roast to braised chicken without turning the kitchen into a sauna. You'll save money, too. Slow cookers use less electricity than a standard oven.

I'll have more recipes for the slow cooker in later posts, but let's start with this dish...
Latin Chicken with Black Beans and Sweet Potatoes.

INGREDIENTS:

3 pound(s) bone-in skinless chicken thighs

2 teaspoon(s) ground cumin

Salt and pepper

1 teaspoon(s) smoked paprika, or

 1⁄2 tsp. chopped chipotle chiles in adobo sauce

1/2teaspoon(s) ground allspice

1 cup(s) chicken broth

1/2cup(s) salsa

3 clove(s) (large) garlic, crushed with press

2 can(s) (15 to 19 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained

2 pound(s) sweet potatoes, peeled cut into 2-inch chunks

1 jarred roasted red pepper, cut into strips (1 cup)

1/3cup(s) loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Lime wedges

DIRECTIONS:

1.Sprinkle chicken thighs with 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper. Heat 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot; add chicken thighs and cook until well browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate. Remove skillet from heat.

2.In same skillet, combine smoked paprika, allspice, chicken broth, salsa, garlic, and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin.

3.In 6-quart slow cooker, combine beans and sweet potatoes. Place chicken on top of potato mixture in slow cooker; pour broth mixture over chicken. Cover slow cooker with lid and cook as manufacturer directs, on low 8 hours or on high 4 hours.

4.With tongs or slotted spoon, remove chicken pieces to large platter. Gently stir roasted red pepper strips into potato mixture. Spoon mixture over chicken. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with lime wedges.

Serve with a white wine
Enjoy!  Eat Well My Friends!



Monday, October 1, 2012

Chicken & Squash Lasagna






Ahhh, you know that I can eat pasta for days , don't you?   Just when I thought that I couldn't come up with another pasta dish.....Here is yet another great one...

INGREDIENTS:


1 1/2pound(s) yellow squash or zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds

3 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil

Coarse salt

Ground pepper

1 pound(s) ground white-meat chicken

1/4 teaspoon(s) cayenne pepper

1/3cup(s) packed fresh basil leaves , torn

1 1/2teaspoon(s) chopped fresh marjoram or oregano

5 cup(s) prepared pasta sauce

8 no-boil lasagna noodles

1 1/4cup(s) (3 1/4 ounces) grated Parmesan

DIRECTIONS:

1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, with racks in middle and upper third. Divide squash between two rimmed baking sheets. Toss each with 1 tablespoon oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake until tender, 20 minutes, stirring squash and rotating sheets halfway through. Let sheets cool on wire racks.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through, 4 minutes. Add cayenne, basil, and marjoram and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, 3 minutes. Transfer chicken to a medium bowl.

3. Spread 1 cup sauce in an 8-inch square baking dish. Top with 2 noodles. Layer with half the chicken, then 1 cup sauce, and 1/4 cup Parmesan. Top with 2 more noodles, half the squash, 1 cup sauce, and 1/4 cup Parmesan. Repeat layering with remaining ingredients, reserving the last 1/4 cup Parmesan. Cover lasagna loosely with foil and bake on top rack until sauce is bubbling, 35 to 40 minutes. (Place a rimmed baking sheet on middle rack to catch any drippings.) Remove lasagna from oven and heat broiler. Sprinkle with reserved Parmesan and broil until cheese is browned and bubbling, 3 to 5 minutes. Let cool 20 minutes before slicing.






Serve with a nice red wine. 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